Ted Cruz, the Tea Party Texas Senator and self-styled populist Superman, is just a common man. Except for how he apparently omitted from required financial disclosure reports his connection to a Jamaican private equity firm he founded with his college roommate in 1998, since which his initial $6,000 investment turned into a tidy $100,000. Other than that, though: Just a regular Joe!
Two years ago, the New Yorker's Mattathias Schwartz documented the brutal massacre Jamaican security forces undertook when they entered the notorious slum Tivoli Gardens to arrest—at the insistence of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency—drug kingpin and local hero Christopher "Dudus" Coke in 2010. They didn't find Coke, but they managed to kill 73 civilians in what the Jamaicans claimed was a pitched street battle with Coke's partisans. After it was all over, they found six guns.
The New Yorker has just posted Mattathias Schwartz's excellent piece in last week's magazine on the disastrous raid to arrest Jamaican druglord Christopher "Dudus" Coke. At the DEA's insistence, Jamaican authorities reluctantly raided Tivoli Gardens, the West Kingston slum Coke ran as a de facto governor, two years ago. Coke didn't turn up, but Jamaican police officers killed 73 civilians, many of them allegedly in cold blood. A Department of Homeland Security surveillance plane was overhead the whole time.
Legendary cross-dressing Jamaican drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke, who was extradited to New York after setting off a bloody neighborhood drug war in Jamaica, yesterday pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and now faces just 23 years in jail instead of a possible life sentence for a lifetime's worth of scumbaggery. We'll probably never know more about the pink wig.
So that's why the show is the way it is. There's a bunch of Rastafarian bros at the helm!
"Slavery was good for the black man." This real column comes not from a neo-nazi pamphlet or the editors of the National Review, but from The Jamaica Observer, which is apparently less like our own Observer and more like a really contrarian Jamaican Slate. You will not see a finer example of conventional wisdom-upending this year. Take it away "freelance writer" Michael Dingwall! "Those of us who continue to see the millions of blacks who died crossing the Atlantic and the displacement of what we had in Africa as proof that slavery was a bad institution don't understand the mechanics of human development and evolution." Wow. This is just like when Alumbrados Illustrated published that essay on how the Spanish Inquisition wasn't so bad. He goes on!
The image on the left is a portrait by UK artist Mister Aitch (which we brought you last week along with several awesome action photos), showing semi-anonymous street artist-to-the-stars Banksy in profile, dressed as the Queen of England. The image on the right is the actual photo of Banksy from which the portrait was drawn. A tipster sent us the full photo-which, as far as we can tell, is not currently published anywhere-which is part of a set of photos taken of Banksy at work in Jamaica in 2004. The much-hyped "only known photo" of the artist is taken from this set. But after the jump, we have two more photos from that set, including one of the mystery man's face in profile: