Defending ‘Crazy Joe’

by Humberto Fontova

Woulda been great! No more of that "Neo-Fascist" stuff. No more beltway bashing of us revanchists and sour-faced Lincoln-haters. The nattering nabobs woulda done a screeching 180 turn and shrieked your praises, barely smarting from the whiplash:

"Feisty new web-site tackles the tough issues with wit, candor, and solid logic!" Says the New York Times.

"Lew Rockwell wins kudus from former critics," reports the Washington Post. "His site crowned as "Vanguard of the Nation’s Heartland" by USA Today!"

Then dinner at the Brooking’s Institution. Interviews with Larry King. Golf with Ted Turner. Alas….ALAS!

I refer to Miami Mayor, "Crazy" Joe Carollo’s marital scuffle and arrest. Here was drama. Here was action. Here was scandal. Here was the Miami Mafia’s very Don succumbing to the clarion call of his genes, in a scene right out of Carmen.

And was mum.

Come on! We oughta know by now. You can dump on Cuban immigrants with impunity — Joe especially. Indeed its a pole-vault to media respectability. And the more the merrier. The Beltway still smarts from Crazy Joe’s appearance on Geraldo last year. The show also featured the honorable Joe Serrano of New York, who had pried his lips from Fidel’s buttocks for a few hours to appear.

The stage seemed set for another media Auto-de-Fe. Rivera (Rivers, actually) and his producers looked around, shot their cuffs, and sneered smugly to themselves. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare for another media lynching of a supine conservative victim.

Ten minutes into the show Geraldo stuttered helplessly. Serrano was gaping and aghast. The very cameramen scurried for the exits in panic. Crazy Joe was in a froth, merrily tearing them new ones. They expected another lamb. They got a cornered Tasmanian devil instead.

It was a glorious thing to see Lew. And they’ve never forgiven him. If this isn’t bad enough, here’s a little secret; in 1972 Joe Carollo was a campaign worker for — get ready — George Wallace!

Yes! Man oh man! Can you imagine! Frontline would have followed up with an investigative report on rumors that Joe harbors Martin Boorman in his guest bedroom. And keeps a bust of Meyer Lansky in his chapel.

You could have easily piled on Crazy Joe last month. Like the media piled on us last March and April. The more the merrier. I thought I was hallucinating one day last April. Angry, snarling, spittle-spewing Confederate flag wavers on TV — and the commentator was smiling, while interviewing them!

Now, as we all know, Dracula reacts more calmly to a crucifix thrust in his face than Media types usually react to a Confederate battle flag. So I was confused. Nothing about "hate" or "bigotry" — nothing!

Whoops, I thought. What’s this? Some weird cable channel for the Klan? Nothing of the sort. It was CNN itself. You see, these folks were protesting Cuban-Americans. One even held up a sign "One down!–900,000 to go!" The camera shifted and you saw that they were joined by, screeching, fist-pumping blacks, many in dreadlocks. It was the damndest Rainbow Coalition you ever saw. Malcom X T-shirts next to Confederate flags.

I’m not here to castigate them however. Either group. Chances are they’re at least consistent. They probably make no claims about "objectivity." Indeed they were indulging their constitutional right as Americans. Same as a group of peaceful Cuban-Americans in front of Castro’s embassy in Washington last April, who were bludgeoned and chain-whipped by Castroite thugs who poured through the gate and onto U.S. territory.

Sure you remember? The Washington Post featured the attack prominently on page 46, I believe, in the corner, maybe a half-inch tall. And we all know that if 15 years ago Jesse Jackson and ilk were similarly bludgeoned while peacefully protesting in front of the South African embassy, why the incident would have been reported identically, don’t we?

Anyway, what I’m pointing to in the"One Down–900,000 to Go!" demonstration is the media reaction. In this case, not ONE WORD — not the slightest mention — of "xenophobia" or "bigotry," from the Beltway’s finest. Not even when they mentioned that a load of bananas had been dumped in front of Joe Carollo’s office. The nattering nabobs actually nickered about it! And that’s okay, it’s kinda funny.

But can you JUST IMAGINE if we’d dumped a load of sliced watermelon in front of Marion Barry’s office? Think that mighta brought out the deep frowns on Frontline, 20/20 and 60 minutes, against a backdrop shot of lynching’s, snarling canines and fire houses in Selma and torch-lit Nuremberg rallies? I think it might have, myself. Brent Bozell does a magisterial job of documenting this media double-dealing here.

Anyway, you can’t imagine the pride in knowing we Cuban-Americans are the only thing the Beltway Media hates more than southern rednecks. You just can’t imagine it.

Anyway Lew, in case you decide to take my advice, dump on Crazy Joe, and find yourself invited to dinners at the Institute For Policy Studies, luncheons with Bianca Jagger and coffee with Katie Couric, I’m here to defend him.

He might be "crazy" by the Nordic definition, but he’s also a gentleman. He was acting in self-defense recently, I assure you. He was too gentlemanly to display his gouges and scratch marks.

A Cuban woman is a singularly ferocious creature. Many of my American-born friends, captivated by their sensual charm, delirious over their lustrous beauty, and gone gaga from their uninhibited passion, have bumbled into their clutches.

But I will have no truck with these fiends. My own bride of twenty-two years is a gorgeous green-eyed gal of impeccable Nordic-American pedigree. I have no complaints against this angelic woman. She submits to my imperious whims meekly. She indulges my genetic machismo shamelessly.

I have two sisters born in Cuba and one here however. They all married nice southern boys — if New Orleanians of French extraction merit this appellation. A few fanatics (one a new neighbor but already a steadfast hunting, fishing and drinking buddy) claim it only for the Scots-Irish of the Appalachian foothillls and Pine-belt. Seems our "accent’s wrong" over here in the Bayous.

I’m constantly reminding these ignoramuses that it was Pierre Gustave Touton (PGT) Beauregard, a New Orleanian of just such a heritage, who gave the order to fire on Fort Sumter. And during the Yankee occupation it was New Orleans women — many who’s mothers and grandmothers wore Mantillas as Louisiana was a Spanish possession ruled from Havana up until the Louisiana Purchase in 1803,–it was these belles and senoritas who made a habit of appearing on their wrought iron balconies in revealing bodices every afternoon smiling demurely, then dumping the contents of their chamberpots onto the heads of the Yankee soldiers who gathered below.

But back to my poor brothers-in-law. It is a rare week indeed when our guest bedroom does not shelter at least one of these cowed and whimpering creatures. I console them with straight whiskey and tales from the Spanish Civil War. All involve the about the famous "La Pasionaria," the fire-breathing Communist and unrepentant Stalinist, Dolores Ibarruri.

Dolores was the Spanish Hillary, except no one whispered about her being a closet carpet-muncher. She coined the famous slogan: "No Pasaran!" as Franco’s columns converged on what seemed to them the ripe plum of Madrid.

Well, the Nationalists "pasaron" (passed) alright. But it took them another two years ,and required some ghastly carnage. And WOE to the Franco soldier delivered to Dolores’ clutches during that interim. Even the Moors and Foreign Legionaires flinched nervously at her mention. These were Franco’s toughest and most brutal troops. After watching their handiwork on the battlefield Hitler’s advisors started "advising" them very gingerly indeed.

No "smart bombs" for these chaps. The dirty business was done at intimate quarters and often with dagger and bayonet. They hacked, thrust and slit their way through the hapless International Brigades with a skill and blood-lust that reduced Pappa Hemingway himself to blubbering tears. They made Borsht of the famous Abraham Lincoln Battalion (mostly New York commies). They sent Stalin’s cruel-eyed commanders and advisors hightailing it back to the Urals with their tail between their legs.

And even these brutes, ladies and gentlemen, tossed and whimpered in their bedrolls at the though of falling into Dolores’ clutches.

The ghastly tales drifted back to their lines. It was said that Dolores gelded 50 Franco officers with her teeth. Her interrogations were said to be very effective in extracting Nationalist secrets. In between heady snorts of whiskey, I inform my brothers in law that most Cubans descend directly from those fierce Celtiberian tribes. See? I say. You don’t have it so bad after all?

They finally start smiling and nodding. Then I show them scars from my childhood. Would it be Beach Blanket Bingo or The Rifleman tonight? Bye Bye Birdie or Combat? Recall that in that blighted era most suburban households contained only one (color) TV. And it so happens that both The Rifleman and Combat were in black and white. But it’s the principle of the thing, dammit.

Anyway, my father is an M.D. so I was usually stitched up domestically as my mother prepared the ice-bag for my lumpy forehead and bleeding nose.

My darling sisters? Oblivious to my agonies, singing along with Frankie, atop he sofa twisting away with Ms Funicello with one hand and applying the Dippity-Doo with the other.

We always hear about these docile and "demure" Spanish women, corralled, policed and silenced by their "macho" men. No student of history should fall for this bilge. Dolores is one example. My sisters another. Also recall Queen Isabella of Castille. Her husband, the mighty Ferdinand of Aragon, repeatedly booted the pesky Columbus — that nut!– out the front gates and on his arse. And strictly forbad any squandering of the Kingdom’s lucre on his lunatic schemes, period! And not another word about it! Well we all know……the rest of that story.

Alas my darling daughter, now 18, tends heavily to her Cuban side. This was obvious from the crib and I considered christening her Dolores (means "multiple pain" in English, or "HUGE pain") But Shirley balked. She has since relented many , many, MANY times. But it’s too late. So we made it a nickname.

I’ve seen the faces of the poor boys who drop her off on weekend nights. From my post in the Gardenias with my camo face-mask and infra-red binoculars it’s easy to see their wide eyes and ghostly white faces, their trembling hands and stuttering lips, as she SLAMS the car door and rushes through the gate.

Recall Ambrose Bierce’s famous lament: "Ah women…that we could fall into their arms without falling into their hands!" Poor Crazy Joe was facing hands far deadlier than the paws of a Bengal Tiger that night. No my friends. Joe Carollo is a good man and a good mayor. I will not have anyone badmouthing him. I "feel his pain", believe me.

Humberto Fontova’s book entitled The Helldiver’s Rodeo — about cajun-style undersea lunacy — is due for release on March 1st. It’s already listed on and can be pre-ordered.