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Chávez To World: “I Am A Communist”

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Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez surprised no one with this announcement on Monday during the swearing-in ceremony for his new cabinet.

During his speech, Chávez also confirmed the “nationalization” of Venezuelan telecomm company, CANTV, which was one-third owned by American telephone giant Verizon, and of the American-owned Caracas electric utility.

Originally owned by the Venezuelan government, CANTV was privatized in 1991 because of inefficiency and its unwieldy, bloated organizational bureaucracy. At that time, Verizon paid $1.8 billion for its stake. According to Gerver Torres, the former Venezuelan cabinet minister who handled the transaction for the government, Verizon’s share was worth an estimated $3.5 billion on Monday, just before the Chávez announcement plunged its stock price 40% on the NYSE, when the Exchange halted trading.

According to Reuters, “[IBC], the [Venezuelan] stock market, lost almost a fifth of its value on Tuesday, debt prices tumbled to a six-week low and the currency changed hands at nearly twice the official rate.”

Reaction from the White House was relatively muted as Administration officials continue to work behind the scenes to initiate a dialogue with Chávez. “Nationalization has a long and inglorious history of failure around the world,” said Press Secretary Tony Snow. “We support the Venezuelan people and think this is an unhappy day for them.”

With these actions, Chávez continues his impersonation of his mentor, Fidel Castro, whose reign in Cuba has transformed that island nation from one of the most vibrant and prosperous countries in the Americas to one of the poorest, with its people among the most oppressed in the region.

As he continues to build his already considerable power, Chávez also outlined a plan to consolidate his supporter base into a single political party, as well as plans to bring the autonomous Central Bank directly under his control. He is also seeking an end to constitutional term limits as part of his plan to drag Venezuela into his version of “21st Century Socialism.”

At his own inauguration yesterday, Chávez symbolically wore the presidential sash over his left shoulder, rather than the traditional right. According to BBC News, Chávez affirmed in his oath of office, “I swear on Christ, the greatest socialist in history; I swear on all this; I swear on all grief; I swear on all love; I swear on all hopes.”

Ever the dutiful student of his hero, Fidel Castro, Chávez recently closed a speech with the tired old Castro slogan, “¡Patria ó Muerte, Venceremos!.” “Fatherland or Death, we will triumph!”

Let us hope the death to which he was referring isn’t that of Venezuela, its economy, and the democratic freedom of its people!

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About Clavos

Raised in Mexico by American parents, Clavos is proudly bi-cultural, and considers both Spanish and English as his native languages. A lifelong boating enthusiast, Clavos lives aboard his ancient trawler, Second Act, in Coconut Grove, Florida and enjoys cruising the Bahamas and Florida Keys from that base. When not dealing with the never-ending maintenance issues inherent in ancient trawlers, Clavos sells yachts to finance his boat habit, but his real love (after boating, of course) is writing and editing; a craft he has practiced at Blogcritics since 2006.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Well written Clavos. We will see how it all plays out,and in the end if the entirety of the population winds up better off, or worse.

    So far, it appears some are taking a hurting (those upper income folks, and participants in the Venezuelan stock market), and some better (the natives who have received better education and health care under this regime).

    Does Chavez go from a hybrid socialism to full out communism? If so, failure is almost assured.

    But if he can find a decent balance, and refrain from “president for life”, some real good can come out of it.

    Only time will tell, but the natural resources of the country gives him definite advantages over Fidel’s fiasco when it comes to improving life for the poorest citizens.

    Still and all, I’ve not much confidence in the long term, and can only hope that all runs it’s course without too much damage done to that country.

  • Clavos

    Thanks, D’oh.

    I’m impressed by your analysis; I think the only point I would argue is how much good he has actually done for the poor, VS how much of what we’ve heard is his PR machine product.

    I do know there are half-finished projects on which work was halted when the decline in oil prices began.

    The main thing that worries me about him is that, with each succeeding speech he’s turning more leftward. He actually did say “I am a Communist” at the swearing-in of his cabinet on Monday.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    The good I know about concerns teaching folks to read, with the cynical motive that then they would be eligible to vote, that being the law there.

    To me, that’s a good thing, and goes a long way as long as folks don’t start getting killed by secret police.

    As I said, time will tell, there remains the potential for some good, and a distinct possibility of sever fuck ups.

    But in the end, the folks there are getting what they voted for, and that’s how democracy works. As long as the ballots are clean and fair, it ain’t nobody’s business but their own.

  • troll

    I hope that the US government doesn’t contribute to the severe fuck up as it has such a habit of doing in latin America

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    So say we all, troll.

  • Clavos

    D’oh,

    Again, one small quibble. You say,

    it ain’t nobody’s business but their own.

    To which, in principle I agree completely.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Chávez is not content with bringing his “Bolivarian Revolution” just to Venezuela… Besides Nicaragua, he’s also trying to export his ideas to Bolivia and Ecuador.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Good point, Clavos. Let me riff on it a bit.

    As long as it’s the bully pulpit and diplomacy, it is still well within the rights of a democratically elected leader to speak his mind. The very clear line would be fermenting revolt by supplying lawyers, guns and money to insurgents in an attempt to overthrow a legitimate government. Which I don’t think he has tried to do yet.

    It’s stepping over that line that would de-legitimize him and his regime, otherwise it remains well within acceptable boundaries to speak out and talk to his neighbors.

    At least he hasn’t sent troops in to overthrow a government and publicly stated his goal of spreading his political philosophy by use of force, unlike some other national leader we know.

    Big difference between diplomacy (talking) and the use of troops (invasions).

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I still think the title should read “I am a Communist Dictator” – truth in advertising.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    But the people love him and they STILL are doing much better economically then they ever have. Sad isn’t it. Democracy at work.

    Yet we vote for Bush, loose international respect, contribute to the death of several hundreds of thousands foriegners and feel content. Because we are good and we are right. Oh dictatorship is good when we want to dictate to soverign nations.

  • Clavos

    D’oh #7:

    Sorry for the long response time; had to take my wife to her PT.

    I see where you’re going in #7, and am inclined to agree.

    What is worrisome is his recent importation of 100,000 Kalashnikovs, and his inking a deal with Putin to build a factory to make them in Venezuela.

    The 100,00: OK.

    But, the factory?

    He just doesn’t have a need for that many ARs.

  • dilbert

    Chavez has support of over 2/3’s of the population (obviously insignificant to you people) and was recently elected by a 23% margin. As you all know, and chose to ignore, the previous governments didn’t pay attention to the poor even though they were the vast majority of the population. I’m not going to respond to your “analysis”, as the above poster put it, because there wasn’t any analysis. You said some platitudes and quoted the people with the ideology of previous governments. The clause that he wants to put in the constitution that would allow him to be elected indefinitely is very democratic. His plan, which again you didn’t mention, is to recall himself and put the idea up for national referendum. So, if passed, you couldn’t blame him for it becoming law, it would be the Venezuelan people who would support it. Whether you people like their decision is irrelevant and any other government to intervening for any reason would be anti-democratic.

    About Cuba: they certainly are a tightly controlled country, Castro’s human rights record is horrible, in PART because of his orthodox Marxist ideology. However, can you name a country on earth who has been the subject of more covert attacks than Cuba has at the hands of the US? What would the US do, especially with a nut job like Bush in power, if, say, China has been doing the same to us for decades? Do you think we would have fewer freedoms as a result? We all know the answer.

    Also, are they any worse than our biggest ally in the region, Columbia? Columbia receives the most aid in Latin America from the US, is fascistly right wing and has the worst human rights record in the hemisphere (with more union leaders killed there last year than the rest of the world combined). Cuba, for all its faults, has the best healthcare and educational systems in Latin America, is on the path to being fully self sufficient in agriculture (something other Latin American countries can only dream about), based on organic produce, and has accomplished this despite the decades long US blockade and not a single penny from the IMF or World Bank (the only country in Latin America to do so). Of course, not taking funds from those parasitic institutions might be the reason they’ve done better than other countries in the region.

    Just a couple questions to you all: Venezuela is the most participatory government in Latin America (if you want proof I will provide links). Can any of you point out other countries that are right wing or “pro-free market” who can say the same? If so, which ones? Also, you said that Cuba is the poorest country in the region. Name the countries better off in Latin America and the Caribbean and provide proof to back up your argument. Please don’t use per capita income as your argument by the way. It says absolutely nothing about people at the micro level. Please provide proof. I will if you take me up on the question.

    It’s one thing to disagree ideologically. It’s another to pretend that what is happening in Venezuela is a result of one man, as opposed to the general population.

    Sorry to interrupt though, back to your emotionally pleasing platitudes and “analysis”.

  • Clavos

    Chavez has support of over 2/3’s of the population (obviously insignificant to you people) and was recently elected by a 23% margin.

    That would be the 2/3 to whom he has promised the sun, the moon and the stars. OF COURSE they’re voting for him. So far, he’s talked a good talk, but hasn’t delivered much beyond rhetoric; he still has one of the largest poor classes (as a percentage of the total population) in the region. We’ll see how long they continue to support him if he doesn’t start delivering soon.

    Also, are they any worse than our biggest ally in the region, Columbia? Columbia receives the most aid in Latin America from the US, is fascistly right wing and has the worst human rights record in the hemisphere

    If you’re going to write about the region, it would be nice if you learned the names of the countries.

    COLOMBIA has an incredibly grave problem with the drug cartels. Being a judge in Colombia is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. They ARE making progress against the narcotraficantes, and the US aid you sneer at is a major reason they’re able to do so.

    Colombia is literally under siege from neighboring countries, especially including Venezuela and Ecuador. The paramilitary rebels and drug traffickers are given free passage over the borders (Colombia’s are twice as long as the US/Mexico border) and sanctuary by these countries, as well.

    Colombia’s human rights record is not good in large part because of the intensity of the activity of both the traffickers and the rebel groups. That doesn’t excuse the government’s actions, but it does explain them.

    (Cuba) has accomplished this despite the decades long US blockade and not a single penny from the IMF or World Bank

    But with billions from Russia.

    The blockade actually helps Fidel:

    It gives him a boogeyman on whom to blame his own failings. It also enables him to keep the people totally dependent on the paltry largesse from the government, thus helping him to maintain his control of them.

    Also, you said that Cuba is the poorest country in the region. Name the countries better off in Latin America and the Caribbean

    You’re kidding. For decades, Cuba lived off the dole from Russia; now Chávez is supporting them. He’s already sent them $2 billion.

    Practically all of them. You didn’t want per capita income, so here’s the list, based on GDP (Purchasing Power Parity), according to the CIA Fact Book:

    COUNTRY AND WORLD RANK

    Brasil 12
    Mexico 15
    Argentina 23
    Colombia 30
    Chile 46
    Peru 50
    Venezuela 53
    Dominican Republic 72
    Ecuador 74
    Guatemala 75
    Costa Rica 82
    Cuba 89

    Rankings are estimated from 2005.

  • STM

    Better still Clav would be to rank them in order of their standard of living … GDP per capita, far more telling.

    Then they would all be way down the list. The truth is, Latin America is far from a success story, and in reality, with the kind of natural resources it has collectively, should be a power house.

  • Clavos

    Here you go, Stan. There are some surprises here.

    FYI, Dilbert’s original challenge was to list all LatAm and Caribbean countries richer than Cuba.

    Again from the CIA World Fact Book:

    GDP PER CAPITA WORLD RANK

    COUNTRY RANK

    Cayman Islands 5
    USA 7 (For reference)
    British Virgin islands 11
    Australia 19 (for Stan)
    Aruba 48
    The Bahamas 52
    Barbados 60
    Trinidad & Tobago 61
    Netherlands Antilles 64
    US Virgin Islands 67
    Martinique 68
    Argentina 70
    Chile 80
    Costa Rica 83
    Mexico 87
    Uruguay 88
    Brasil 96
    Colombia 102
    Dominican Republic 108
    Panama 109
    Belize 117
    Suriname 119
    Venezuela 120
    Peru 124
    Saint Lucia 134
    El Salvador 135
    Guatemala 138
    Paraguay 139
    Guyana 140
    Jamaica 141
    Ecuador 144
    Grenada 147
    Dominica 152
    St, Vincent and the Grenadines 155
    Cuba 156

  • STM

    Yes, that changes the picture somewhat. I do think it’s a tragedy that countries such as Argentina, once upon a time compared to Australia as a wealthy primary producer and full of hope and potential, have allowed the distractions of insane political manoeuvreings to ruin their economies.

    Moonraven can say what she likes about our great and wonderful institutions, but for all our faults, they do guarantee genuine democracy – as far as one can realistically have that in what have by neccessity become two-party systems – and nail down the kinds of personal rights and freedoms others can only dream of.

    The reason: they were all designed from the outset to guarantee personal freedoms (going back to the Magna Carta, and earlier) and have evolved with stability a key, along with a collective realisation that everything comes second to the democratic process and the rights that affords.

    I don’t see any of that stuff being put in place in Venezuela, or in too many other parts of Latin America.

  • Zedd

    dilbert

    Who are you? You actually have a brain. I was contiplating leaving BC just today because I thought that I was wading in a wasteland and became afraid that I would end up content with the lack of contiplation that is rampent on these threads.

    THANK YOU.

  • Clavos

    Yes, that changes the picture somewhat. I do think it’s a tragedy that countries such as Argentina, once upon a time compared to Australia as a wealthy primary producer and full of hope and potential, have allowed the distractions of insane political manoeuvreings to ruin their economies.

    Yes, Argentina is truly a disappointment. I first visited it in about 1971; it already had gone downhill from its heyday then, but it’s worse now.

    Did you know there was a Harrod’s in Buenos Aires? I was told it was the only one outside of the UK when it opened in 1913. But, in the 40s, it split away from UK Harrod’s and is now closed altogether.

    I have several clients in Argentina. Interestingly, they all keep their boats here in Florida. One tells me that he’s afraid to keep the boat in BA. Because of the kidnapping problem, it would make him a target.

  • STM

    Doesn’t surprise me about the Harrod’s … many Argentinians are of British descent (although not many would go now, I think).

    Rugby is still played in Argentina (and nicely too), and there are cricket clubs still. You will find plenty of Juan Smiths, I suspect.

    But, yeah, I have a mate who plays international rugby and he says while BA is beautiful (and one of the safer cities of South America), he never feels totally safe when he goes there.

    Great horses though!

  • Ted

    Thanks Dilbert for adding some truth to this blog.

    Calling Chavez a dictator after all of his landslide election victories shows blindness by the poster of that idiotic claim. Regarding communism, to some of us, Capitalist is as dirty of a word as Communist is to others. So much for the impact of the word usage. I’m amazed that no one takes issue with the 300 years of rule by the elite who created all of that poverty and disenfrancisment that plagues Venezuela. When a socialist democratically elected president hasn’t solved all of his nations problems in a few years, oh my the outrage! It’s called hypocracy folks.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ted. Let me ask you three questions:

    Has Chavez shut down the opposition press and arrested journalists?
    Has Chavez seized private property without due process of law?
    Does Chavez plan to remain in power indefinitely?

    If the answer to all three of these is ‘yes’ – and it is unless you’re a spinning shill – then he’s a dictator.

    Dave

  • STM

    It’s all true Ted … he’s really just another South American populist dictator in the Peron mould pretending to be a benevolent socialist leader.

    In my view he’s not benevolent, he’s not really a socialist (and if he were, I would have no problem with it), and he’s not a true leader – as he’s leading his bloody country down the garden path for his own ends.

  • Dilbert

    As I said in my post, because that’s always the right’s answer & I knew you’d use it, per capita income says nothing, by itself, about the health of the vast majority of the people in a country. Let’s say I have 1 dollar to my name. A person worth a million walks into the room. Our per capita income is now 500,000.50. By your logic, we’re both rich, although we’re obviously not. Can I, with my 1 dollar, afford healthcare? Can I afford to send my kids to school? Save for retirement? No. If there are no social programs, I can’t afford to eat while the millionaire can eat caviar, in a five star hotel, while sniffing coke, good coke, off a stripper’s ass…and that’s just to get the night started. Does that millionaire work hard for that money? Maybe, but not usually. In all likelihood, he was born rich, hires a broker who increases his wealth by clicking a mouse on his computer. These are the investors that run everything, and democracy shouldn’t make their lives hard.

    Next to your per capita income numbers, put the percentage of the population that lives in poverty, and extreme poverty, in each country. Give percentages on access to healthcare and education. Then give the amount of natural resources in those countries, Brazil is a great example. The amount of under-development is staggering. If you were objective and not rigid ideologically, you’d see that.

    You want to mention the help Cuba got from the USSR, and now Chavez? Again, how much in military aid alone does the US give Columbia? How many billions in loans have these countries received as a result of implementing “austere” programs by financial institutions like the IMF? Do they have healthcare, educational and agricultural systems like Cuba, available to more than a minority of the population? Do the people in those countries benefit even a fraction as much as international investors from resources in these countries? Come on.

    At least Chavez is attempting something that might. Cuba has provided both a good & bad example for countries at the developmental stage that Venezuela is in. What I’m talking about is the good.

  • Dilbert

    Dave:

    Provide links as to who has been put in jail and which stations have been shut down. Do they have ties to groups and individuals, many in the US, who have called for and supported un-democratic removal of Chavez in the past? If China was funding stations to call for the overthrow of Bush and hired reporters to do the same, what would Bush do? Would you blame him? What is the difference here? I don’t blindly follow anyone. If Chavez was who you say was, I’d change my mind. His isn’t, the picture you paint doesn’t have logic or fact to back it up.

    The property he seized was not being used and was owned by a very small fraction of the country. Countries do not develop without land reform. To do so would be unprecedented. I also don’t think a situation where 1% of a population owns 80% of the wealth is just. There’s no justification differences in wealth like that.

    As i said above, what he plans on doing is recalling himself, putting himself on the ballot under the stipulation that he can elected as many times as the Venezuelan people chose but can be voted out each election cycle. What is your problem with this? Articulate yourself.

    Some interesting Adam Smith quotes:

    “It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, cloath and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, cloathed and lodged.”

    “the rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity, and fall with the declension of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich, and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin. The interest of this third order, therefore . . . is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public . . . to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers . . . but to narrow the competition . . . can serve only to enable the dealers, by raising their profits above what they naturally would be, to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens. The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.”

    “It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must . . . have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily; and the law, besides, authorises, or at least does not prohibit their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen.”

    The masters “never cease to call aloud for the assistance of the civil magistrate, and the rigorous execution of those laws which have been enacted with so much severity against the combinations of servants, labourers, and journeymen.

    “We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject…”

    “Masters too sometimes enter into particular combinations to sink the wages of labour even below this rate. These are always conducted with the utmost silence and secrecy, till the moment of execution, and when the workmen yield, as they sometimes do, without resistance, though severely felt by them, they are never heard of by other people.”

    “The policy of Europe, by obstructing the free circulation of labor and stock both from employment to employment, and from place to place, occasions in some cases a very inconvenient inequality . . .”

  • Zedd

    Ted

    “Capitalist is as dirty of a word as Communist is to others. So much for the impact of the word”

    Thank you Ted!!

    Wow, two thinkers on one thread. Beautiful!!

  • Clavos

    Dilbert,

    I gave you ample, documented proof that practically every country in Latin America and most of those in the Caribbean are wealthier than Cuba, which was my original assertion. You said in your first post you could provide proof to the contrary; now’s the time.

    All of your statements so far have been nothing more than typical socialist/communist propaganda. If you want us to believe anything you say, you’ll have to provide credible links from neutral, non/socialist sources UNRELATED to Chavez or Castro, which prove the following:

    The property he seized was not being used and was owned by a very small fraction of the country. Countries do not develop without land reform. To do so would be unprecedented. I also don’t think a situation where 1% of a population owns 80% of the wealth is just.

    As i said above, what he plans on doing is recalling himself, putting himself on the ballot under the stipulation that he can elected as many times as the Venezuelan people chose but can be voted out each election cycle.

    can you name a country on earth who has been the subject of more covert attacks than Cuba has at the hands of the US?

    Cuba, for all its faults, has the best healthcare and educational systems in Latin America, is on the path to being fully self sufficient in agriculture

    Venezuela is the most participatory government in Latin America (if you want proof I will provide links) We welcome them.

    I could cut-and-paste all day long from Adam Smith as well. Proves nothing.

    Show us some verifiable unbiased facts.

  • Zedd

    Often times a discovery or an insight will revolutionize a person’s world view. With that experience comes excitement and a commitment to the ideology that develops from the new knowledge. The problem arises when one ceases to acknowledge other ideas; when their thinking is stunted and they define themselves by that philosophy. What happens is that it becomes harder for them to evolve and mature intellectually, their thought processes are diminutive. However because of their confidence, they never realize just how retarded their scholarly development is. What often contributes to that is if there is a “club” of those who adhere to the same principles. One becomes “in” and feels even more significant because of the stance that they have taken.

    That individual’s responses to phenomenon, is whatever the philosophy allows and not what that person sees as the fitting solution.

    Partisanship has produced multitudes of these drones. Some more sophisticated than others. However the result is a diminished national debate. The scope of possibility for the entire nation is lessoned, no real vision, no real innovation just steadfastness and sameness. A generation later, no one even knows that it is permissible to THINK independently. …..then, Bush happens twice.

    So Ted, thank you for not stating the predictable and illuminating that communism is not inherently bad just as capitalism is not inherently good.

  • Clavos

    communism is not inherently bad

    Actually, as originally conceived by Karl Marx it is quite good; utopian, even.

    Unfortunately, in the real world, with real people implementing it, it has repeatedly failed spectacularly:

    The Soviet Union, North Korea, China, Cuba…

  • dilbert

    Sorry, you seem intelligent, are you just turning your brain off? Do you not, logically, realize why per-capita income numbers don’t tell much of anything? That is basically your whole argument. I gave an example above as to why, has to do with the distribution of income, of wealth. None the less, I will provide the final nail in the coffin for your argu…whatever it is. You haven’t directly responded to anything I’ve said. Whatever propaganda you say I’m passing off you obviously don’t have an answer for. Here’s an article on Cuba’s agricultural system. This won’t be reflected in per capita numbers of course.

    “Cuba’s Agricultural Revolution an Example to the World”:

    “Laura Enriquez, a sociologist at the University of California-Berkeley, who has written extensively on the subject of Latin American agriculture, said: “What happened in Cuba was remarkable. It was remarkable that they decided to prioritize food production. Other countries in the region took the neo-liberal option and exported ‘what they were good at’ and imported food. The Cubans went for food security and part of that was prioritizing small farmers.”

    “Cuba is filled with more than 7,000 urban allotments, or organoponicos, which fill perhaps as many as 81,000 acres. They have been established on tiny plots of land in the center of tower-block estates or between the crumbling colonial homes that fill Havana. One afternoon I visited a small garden of tomatoes and spinach that had been dug just a few hundred yards from the Plaza de la Revolution, a vast concrete square where Castro and his senior regime members annually oversee Cuba’s May Day parade. More than 200 gardens in Havana supply its citizens with more than 90 percent of their fruit and vegetables.”

    Remarkably, this organic revolution has worked. Annual calorie intake now stands at about 2,600 a day, while UNFAO estimates that the percentage of the population considered undernourished fell from 8 percent in 1990-92 to about 3 percent in 2000-02. Cuba’s infant mortality rate is lower than that of the U.S., while at 77 years, life expectancy is the same.

    Experts, such as Professor Pretty, believe Cuba may be one of the only countries in the world to have adopted wholesale a self-sustaining system of agriculture. “They had no choice,” he said. “Their only choice was to look inwards, to the resources they had and say: ‘Can we make more of these resources?’ ”

    Champions of organic, non-intensive agriculture might cite Cuba as an example that other countries could adopt rather than following the large-scale, industrial agriculture system.

  • Dilbert

    Here’s another on Cuban agriculture, “Cuba:
    A Successful Case Study of Sustainable Agriculture”
    .

    World Health Report, Cuba ranked 39th, fifth in Latin America, two spots behind US, with an embargo still in effect:

    Cuba’s healthcare system.

    “In 2000, Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan stated that “Cuba should be the envy of many other nations” adding that achievements in social development are impressive given the size of its gross domestic product per capita. “Cuba demonstrates how much nations can do with the resources they have if they focus on the right priorities – health, education, and literacy.” [18] The Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-governmental organization that evaluated Cuba’s health caresystem in 2000-1 described Cuba as “a shining example of the power of public health to transform the health of an entire country by acommitment to prevention and by careful management of its medical resources” [19] President of the World Bank James Wolfensohn also praised Cuba’s healthcare system in 2001, saying that “Cuba has done a great job on education and health,” at the annual meeting of the Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Wayne Smith, former head of the US Interests Section in Havana identified “the incredible dedication” of Cubans to healthcare, adding that “Doctors in Cuba can make more driving cabs and working in hotels, but they don’t. They’re just very dedicated”.[20]”

  • Dilbert

    I can include links on the educational system if you’d like, but I think you get the point.

    Despite the blockade and its effects on healthcare, described here:

    “Today, more than a thousand Cuban medical personnel, 789 of them trained doctors, are working in remote mountain villages in Pakistan. Of the doctors, 44 per cent are women. Though hailing from a tropical island, the Cubans are not complaining about living in tents in freezing weather and in an alien culture.”

    Taken from: flonnet.com

    There are thousands of Cuban doctors helping around the world, as you many know.

    Again, I don’t think Cuba is some paradise, Casto has done some bad stuff. However, there has been many positive things to come out of Cuba and you right wingers just don’t want to hear that.

    [Dilbert: Welcome to Blogcritics. The convention here is to use properly formatted active links. I learned how to do it at htmlcodetutorial.com
    Thanks. Comments Editor]

  • Lumpy

    Think of all the communist countries that have not become oppressive and compare that with the number of capitalist countries which remain more or less free.

    I rest my case.

  • Dilbert

    “Think of all the communist countries that have not become oppressive and compare that with the number of capitalist countries which remain more or less free.”

    There is some truth to that, although it is burried under tons of propaganda. However, you have to define “free”. It seems capitalist countries are “free” as long as they accept certain economic policies, which themselves tend to be un-democratic, taking economic policy out of democratic decision making. If countries try to develop outside of these accepted policies they’re attacked financially and militarily, like what is happening to Venezuela. Haiti, for instance, tried nothing more than populist capitalism, coup supported by US. Venezuela & Bolivia are now under attack. If Nicaragua follows suit, they’re next. If they dis-continued these policies, even if the population supports them, the attacks will stop and the countries will be “free” again. Ring ring, I think Orwell is on the other line.

  • Dilbert

    My bad about the links.

  • Clavos

    Dilbert,

    You ask:

    Do you not, logically, realize why per-capita income numbers don’t tell much of anything?

    Did you not see my #12? Those are gross national total GDP rankings, not per capita.

    Here’s how the CIA World fact Book defines the data:

    “This entry gives the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. A nation’s GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States. This is the measure most economists prefer when looking at per-capita welfare and when comparing living conditions or use of resources across countries.” (Emphasis mine)

    Here they are again:

    You didn’t want per capita income, so here’s the list, based on GDP (Purchasing Power Parity), according to the CIA Fact Book:

    COUNTRY AND WORLD RANK

    Brasil 12
    Mexico 15
    Argentina 23
    Colombia 30
    Chile 46
    Peru 50
    Venezuela 53
    Dominican Republic 72
    Ecuador 74
    Guatemala 75
    Costa Rica 82
    Cuba 89

    Rankings are estimated from 2005.

    As the definition explains, this data measures the “quality of life” intangibles in terms of the wealth of the nation. It is, as noted, the data preferred by economists for such measurements.

    My original point about Cuba was in regards to its poverty, which the figures I presented support.

    You repeatedly mention the embargo, yet never acknowledge that the embargo only prohibits US based entities from trading with Cuba. Cuba is free to trade with any other country in the world willing to trade with it, and does.

    Cuba’s principal problem in re importing what it needs is its poverty; it has no money (because it does not have a productive economy) to buy goods and services abroad.

    It does appear, from some of your links, that the Cubans have made some significant strides in implementing organic agricultural procedures. Good for them.

    However, here are some interesting passages from some of your own links:

    From Wikipedia:

    However, in 2000 the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act was passed, and the US is now the single largest source for imported food.[31][32] The Cuban American National Foundation state that the US embargo does not include medicines and medical supplies to the Cuban people. It also states that should Cuba choose not to purchase from the U.S., it can purchase any medicine or medical equipment it needs from other countries. Such third-country transactions only cost an estimated 2%-3% more than purchases from the U.S. as a result of higher shipping costs.[5]

    And:

    The difficulty in gaining access to certain medicines and treatments has led to healthcare playing an increasing role in Cuba’s burgeoning black market economy, sometimes termed “sociolismo”. According to former leading Cuban neurosurgeon and dissident Dr Hilda Molina, “The doctors in the hospitals are charging patients under the table for better or quicker service.” Prices for out-of-surgery X-rays have been quoted at $50 to $60 dollars. [37] Such “under-the-table payments” reportedly date back to the 1970’s, when Cubans used gifts and tips in order to get health benefits. The harsh economic downturn know as the “Special Period” in the 1990’s aggravated these payments. The advent of the “dollar economy”, a temporary legalisation of the dollar which led some Cubans to receive dollars from their relatives outside of Cuba, meant that a class of Cubans were able to obtain medications and health services that would not be available to them otherwise.[38]

    And:

    As well as its national health coverage, Cuba attracts paying health tourists, generating revenues of around $40m a year for the Cuban economy. In 2002 more than 5000 foreign patients travelled to Cuba for a wide range of treatments including eye-surgery, neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons disease, and orthopaedics. Most patients are from Latin America although medical treatment for retinitis pigmentosa, often known as night blindness, has attracted many patients from Europe and North America. Cuba also successfully exports many medical products, such as vaccines.[49]

    Some complaints have arisen that foreign “health tourists” paying with dollars and senior Communist party officials receive a higher quality of care than Cuban citizens. Former leading Cuban neurosurgeon and dissident Dr Hilda Molina asserts that the central revolutionary objective of free, quality medical care for all has been eroded by Cuba’s need for foreign currency. Molina says that following the economic collapse known in Cuba as the Special Period, the Cuban Government established mechanisms designed to turn the medical system into a profit-making enterprise. This creates an enormous disparity in the quality of healthcare services between foreigners and Cubans leading to a form of tourist apartheid. In 1998 she said that foreign patients were routinely inadequately or falsely informed about their medical conditions to increase their medical bills or to hide the fact that Cuba often advertises medical services it is unable to provide. [50] The Cuban American National Foundation makes similar claims, also stating that senior Communist party and military officials can access this higher quality system free of charge.[6]In 2005, an account written by Cuban exile and critic of Fidel Castro, Carlos Wotzkow, appeared showing apparent unsanitary and unsafe conditions in the “Clínico Quirúrgico” of Havana.[51] The Clínico Quirúrgico is reported to be one of the better hospitals available to Cubans [citation needed]; the article claims that health care for Cubans occurs in worse conditions in the rest of the country.

    Your citation of “the blockade and its effects on healthcare,” dates from 1999, prior to the loosening of restrictions mentioned above, and thus is no longer relevant. Additionally, it is not a blockade; it is an embargo. the two are entirely different; a blockade is a physical barrier (usually ships, as in our revolutionary war) preventing ALL trade with ANY nation, which is not the case with the US embargo of trade with Cuba by US entities only.

    Finally, we’ve gotten way off topic, simply because I said (and showed) Cuba is one of the poorest nations in the Americas. The original article is about Venezuela, not Cuba, and I really don’t want to derail the thread any further.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Dilbert, out of curiosity, who do you think is ‘attacking’ Venezuela and Bolivia? You sound as paranoid as Chavez.

    Now a discussion of who they’re planning to attack might be meaningful…

    Dave

  • Dilbert

    Didn’t notice that. The same point stands. GDP is a macro number, says nothing about how that wealth is distributed within the country. Given how the financial markets work, along with central banks and the fractional reserve banking system, this simply means that the countries listed implemented policies that were beneficial to investors. Does that mean those policies have been beneficial to the general public? Of course not but you wouldn’t get to that conclusion by simply looking at GDP numbers anyway. If you looked at things like poverty, access to healthcare and education, you would get a better picture.

    GDP is a horrible measurement of the health of a country. I find it interesting that you asked me to use an “objective” source then use the World Bank and the CIA as the basis for your analysis.

    One of my personal heroes is an economist by the name of Herman Daly. Daly is a proponent of “no growth” economics and has written one of the most important books of my lifetime (Beyond Growth: The economics of sustainable development). He was at the World Bank for years and even though his ideas destroy typical neo liberal/free market dogma, they have been for the most part ignored at the World Bank. One of the things he talks about is how free market capitalism arrives at prices and national indicies like GDP. If a country extracts resources from the environment quicker than it can grow back, a cost, the cost it creates isn’t reflected in GDP numbers. As the Amazon has been deforested Brazil’s GDP has grown. In 2006 an area the size of Maryland was deforested in Brazil. Is Brazil, hell all of us, better off as a result? Well, at this point they have money to but goods but future generations will have fewer resources for their use which will cause their economies to shrink. Is pollution and other externalities, which are gigantic, subtracted from GDP? Are these costs reflected in the prices that people pay for goods and resources? No. If they were, prices would rise, which would lead to calls for re-distribution of purchasing power, the ultimate no no in free market economics. GDP and the pricing mechanism is created by the same orthodox economists who believe in free market ideas. That’s why free market capitalism always talks about “efficiency”. When they construct their numbers only the purchase of the goods is considered, not the costs associated with the creation of those goods or the extraction of those resources.

    GDP, and per capita, hide many truths. I’ve provided you links that prove, despite Cuba’s relative isolation, what they’ve been able to accomplish. If they wanted to increase GDP or per capita consumption they could open up their country to international investment. We know what that will mean. The central bank will contract credit, raise interest rates (which will provide a “good investment climate”, low inflation, high IR). They will liberalize capital and financial flows and the second they do something investors don’t like they’ll pull their money out and Cuba will be like every other country in Latin America. They will only consider economic policies that keep investors happy, regardless as to what it does to the general public. There’s a reason why free market ideas are in retreat in Latin America.

  • Dilbert

    Dave, are you kidding me? You must have heard of the 2002 coup attempt. You also probably know that high levels of the Bush administration new about it and supported it as it happened. You also probably know about the close ties the media in Venezuela has with elite sectors domestically and in Washington. You might have also noticed the “separatist movements” in Bolivia. Just by chance, the areas that have gas deposits in Bolivia happen to want to separate from the Bolivian state. Morales has talked about using the sale of gas and oil to benefit every Bolivian and the states that have these deposits want to separate. Here’s some articles on the subject (it is from left wing sources but, not surprisingly given who owns the media, the rest of the media has ignored the story or told it from the separatist’s side). Out of laziness, I’ll use basically one source, Znet. If you want the “other side”, it will at least give you a background about what I’m talking about:

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    There’s a reason why free market ideas are in retreat in Latin America.

    Which would be that communist dictatorship cannot survive the pressure of a free market, so every effort has to be made to keep freedom of all sorts out of the region.

    Dave

  • Dilbert

    “Which would be that communist dictatorship cannot survive the pressure of a free market, so every effort has to be made to keep freedom of all sorts out of the region.”

    Oh. So you’re sticking to the “I’m going to make the most general, cliché platitude I can think of” line of thinking huh? I won’t waste my time on you. Fact and logic obviously won’t change the fact that you took free market econ 101 and refuse question a single thing. People like you are the right equivalent of Marxists.

    If people CHOOSE these policies, as they have in Venezuela and Bolivia, under democratic governments, how can you say there is a lack of freedom? How do you define freedom? I’ll give you time to check your Milton Friedman quote book…

  • STM

    “Didn’t notice that. The same point stands. GDP is a macro number, says nothing about how that wealth is distributed within the country. Given how the financial markets work, along with central banks and the fractional reserve banking system.”

    OK then, Dilbert, here’s a much better yardstick: try the UN’s standard of living/quality of life index, the HDI … which does examine how wealth is distributed and covers such things as general well-being, health, happiness, education, child health, satisfaction and all-round quality of life. Most Latin American countries are getting towards the bottom of that list. Even the top South American countries on the list, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, come in around 36, 38 and 43. Overall, the information on these lists makes for a very telling set of statistics.

  • Clavos

    Dilbert,

    You write (in #36):

    If a country extracts resources from the environment quicker than it can grow back, a cost, the cost it creates isn’t reflected in GDP numbers. As the Amazon has been deforested Brazil’s GDP has grown. In 2006 an area the size of Maryland was deforested in Brazil.

    And yet, Bjorn Lomborg, in his book, “The Skeptical Environmentalist”, states:

    …”total forest loss in the Amazon since the arrival of man has only amounted to 14 percent.

    Elsewhere in the same book Lomborg tells us:

    “WWF confides in us that nowhere is deforestation more manifest than in Brazil, which ‘still has the highest annual rate of forest loss in the world.’ In actual fact the deforestation rate in Brazil is among the lowest as far as tropical forest goes; according to the UN the deforestation rate in Brazil is at 0.5 percent per year compared to an average of 0.7 per year.”

    While your basic statement is true as far as it goes; Brazil’s GDP IS growing, very little of that growth is due to the cutting down of the Amazon rain forest.

  • Javier

    I think we need to keep an important thing in mind when considering Cuba’s GDP. In Cuba the prices of goods are relative. For example a gallon of milk in Cuba is about 5 cents on the dollar. Taking this into account would raise Cuba’s GDP tremendously. When you mention other countries GDP the prices of goods are also much higher. That is why you cant judge Cuba’s standard of living on its GDP. Their economic system is very different than in Capitalist countries. In Cuba, the prices of basic goods in Cuba have not changed since 1959.

  • Clavos

    Dilbert,

    Professor Lomborg’s book was published in 2001, and his figure is from the Brazilian INPE (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais – National Institute of Space Research) report of 2000.

    Here’s an updated figure for total loss of the Amazon forest as of 2005 from Wikipedia,which also cites the INPE report (of 2005):

    According to INPE, the original Amazon rainforest biome in Brazil of 4,100,000 km² was reduced to 3,403,000 km² by 2005 – representing a loss of 17.1%

    In other words, the rate from 2000-2005 averaged 0.6 percent per year, so it has increased slightly, but it is still a very small part of Brazil’s GDP, because, Wikipedia says,

    The 2005-2006 year had a 41% drop in deforestation. This is the lowest figure since 1991. Deforestation rates are expected to go down as conservation has been at a very high rate in the past five years.

    And most of that deforestation has been converted into farmland to grow soy beans, of which Brazil is the world’s largest producer. The crop certainly adds to the GDP and is renewable, ongoing revenue.

  • Clavos

    Javier #42,

    The CIA World Fact Book explains that its GDP (PPP) figures are weighted to take those differences into account. You can read it in its entirety in #34, above, but it says in part,

    A nation’s GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States.

  • Clavos

    Dilbert,

    You write, in #39:

    If people CHOOSE these policies, as they have in Venezuela and Bolivia

    First of all, the people didn’t choose policies.

    They chose two very charismatic men who are particularly adept at speech making and demagoguery to appeal to them. And those people are, for the most part, very unsophisticated, with little, if any, formal schooling, and very little understanding of disciplines like economics. They are poor, grindingly so, and are very receptive to promises of having their lot improved. They are easily swayed and generally very trusting of people more sophisticated than they are.

    Chávez and Morales both understand this very well, and are parlaying the trust of those people into their own power trips.

    Historically, demagogues like them have delivered very little of what they promised to get into power once they achieve it. All have been ruthless in crushing their opposition. None have set up democratic societies, and early signs of both of these guys seem to be running true to that historical pattern.

  • Franco

    #11 — dilbert

    “Just a couple questions to you all: Venezuela is the most participatory government in Latin America (if you want proof I will provide links)”.

    Please don’t, I live in Chile and have been studying Chavezuela for years and its negative effects on it neighboring counties, as it is inescapable living down here.

    “Can any of you point out other countries that are “pro-free market” who can say the same? If so, which ones?”

    “Also, you said that Cuba is the poorest country in the region. Name the countries better off in Latin America.”

    CHILE in capital letters.

    Another little interesting note dilbert. Dictators ruled both Chile and Cuba. Let’s do a little accounting.

    CHILE – Chiles dictator Augusto Pinochet seized power in a military coupe in 1973 taking it away from a democratically elected communist party (financially supported by Cuba’s dictator via mother Russia). He then ruled for 17 years repairing and reforming an economy out of shambles and he successfully rebuilt it into a strong “pro-free market” economy>
    In 1990, by his own order, he turned the country over to free elections and stepped down peacefully.

    During his reign he is said to be responsible for 3200 killings of pro communist factions, 87 percent of them died in the two-week mini-civil war that attended his coup. Many more were tortured or forced to flee the country.

    Chile today towers over Cube as a “ pro-free market” economy, as well as civil rights, free press, social programs, health care, education, the right to freely protest the government, etc, etc, etc, Today it has its first woman President. Through 2005/2006 Bloomberg reported that Chilean Peso was the strongest currency in the world.

    CUBA – Cuba’s dictator, Fidel Castor, seized power 1959 through a guerrilla militia taking it away from a democratically elected “pro-free market” economy that was thriving and then turned it into a communist state producing an economy that went into shambles. He has fanatically refused to relinquish one once of power, rules with an iron fist, and will not step down peacefully.

    During his coninuing reign, now going on 48 years, he is said to be resoonale for the killins of 9,240 people, though the real number could be many times that, particularly if you include the estimate of nearly 77,000 men, women, and children who have died trying to flee the “socialist paradise.

    Cuba today is a depressed economy reduced to looking for hand outs to get by and it has nothing to do with US sanctions. When Russians support ended, many EU countries as well as Asian filled in the void and now its lateest free bank is Chavezuels

    Go try and blow pick sunshine up someone else’s ass.

    Have a look at the Island paradise

  • Zedd

    Cubas GDP is ranked 89th in the world.

    Aren’t there like 193 countries in the world??

    Just trying to get some perspective.

  • Clavos

    Actually, there are 233.

    My original comment was that Cuba is near the bottom IN THE AMERICAS.

    We weren’t talking about the whole world.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    Actually

    243 countries are considered to be entities in some respect.

    HOWEVER:

    193 countries have general national recognition

    192 countries are member states of the UN

    I really wasn’t asking. I was being rhetorical.

    This is however a real question:

    How many countries in this region have the same level or more embargoes or international shunning as Cuba by us and our friends?

  • Clavos

    From my #34:

    You repeatedly mention the embargo, yet never acknowledge that the embargo only prohibits US based entities from trading with Cuba. Cuba is free to trade with any other country in the world willing to trade with it, and does…

    …From Wikipedia:

    However, in 2000 the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act was passed, and the US is now the single largest source for imported food.[31][32] The Cuban American National Foundation state that the US embargo does not include medicines and medical supplies to the Cuban people. It also states that should Cuba choose not to purchase from the U.S., it can purchase any medicine or medical equipment it needs from other countries. Such third-country transactions only cost an estimated 2%-3% more than purchases from the U.S. as a result of higher shipping costs.[5]…

    …[The] citation of “the blockade and its effects on healthcare,” dates from 1999, prior to the loosening of restrictions mentioned above, and thus is no longer relevant. Additionally, it is not a blockade; it is an embargo. the two are entirely different; a blockade is a physical barrier (usually ships, as in our revolutionary war) preventing ALL trade with ANY nation, which is not the case with the US embargo of trade with Cuba by US entities only…

  • Dilbert

    Clavos and all, I am responding now, there’s a lot to respond to so it’ll take a sec. Gotta say though Clavos, you are really good at telling partial truths. You’re going to shoot right up the right wing dis-information machine in no time.

  • Dilbert

    Part 1 (tongue in cheek):

    Cuba ranks 33rd, according to your CIA Fact Book, in Latin America in GDP but is ranked 5th in the HDI numbers you gave. Are you arguing against me or trying to prove my point? They are economically cut off from the world but have done an amazing job in agriculture, education and healthcare considering that fact. I said, way back when, that Cuba provided an example for countries like Venezuela and THAT is why people like you have such a dislike for Chavez and what he is attempting in Venezuela. Have you, or anyone else, in this thread proven that to not be the case? Of course not, we’re arguing minute points, but oh well. I asked you all to prove that Cuba hadn’t done an amazing job considering these things and you haven’t, and can’t show that. I hope you don’t forget this point. On to the rest.

    I first have to say that I was just using Brazil as an example. I also didn’t say, or hint, that the deforestation was the sole, or dominant, reason Brazil has grown. When ANY deforestation happens, it will on its own lead to economics growth (which could be negated elsewhere). I was pointing out that deforestation then, following orthodox economic logic, is good. I could just have easily said the Amazon in general and talked about the countries that are growing, in part, as a result of the deforestation. At some point in the future there will be either no forest or these countries will have to put a stop on logging. Either case proves to be disastrous for these countries, who will be left with little to trade to outside world. Hence, sustainable development should be at the forefront of economic debate and isn’t, thanks to blind followers of free market, growth economics.

    The Amazonian rain forest is the largest forest in the world. As a result, ONLY cutting down .52% of the forest annually amounts to 2,681,400 hectares of land. Additionally, This Link says that:

    Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, Brazil lost an average of 2,681,400 hectares of forest per year. The amounts to an average annual deforestation rate of 0.52%. Between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change increased by 22.0% to 0.63% per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, Brazil lost 8.1% of its forest cover, or around 42,329,000 hectares. Brazil lost -44,623,000 hectares—0—of its primary forest cover during that time. Deforestation rates of primary cover have decreased 9.7% since the close of the 1990s. Measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion) for the 1990-2005 interval, Brazil lost 8.3% of its forest and woodland habitat.

    Amazonian deforestation has fallen in 2006, and I think 2005, but that is like saying I have less cancer. Yes, the RATE at which trees have been cut down is slowing, thanks in part to the ideas I’m TRYING to state here, but they’re still being cut down and the Amazon is inching towards collapse.
    Greenpeace, who you probably don’t trust, says:

    “Greenpeace today claimed that Amazon deforestation levels for the period August 2003-August 2004 are much higher than the indicative figures released by the Brazilian Government and may be a new record.”

    Before you dismiss this, realize that the government admits that illegal deforestation is rampant, a huge problem, that will not be reflected in these figures. According to groups working on Amazonian deforestation, up to ¾’s of deforestation could be illegal, and off the charts. That means that the numbers cited here are potentially only a quarter of the total. Even if they’re an exaggeration, realize that the numbers of illegal deforestation are huge and are a result of the profit motive.

    Again, the end result of this is either ecological or economic destruction. That is if the current, dominant economic philosophy stays in place…on to the rest

  • Clavos

    A quick answer to this:

    Before you dismiss this, realize that the government admits that illegal deforestation is rampant, a huge problem, that will not be reflected in these figures.

    If you had read MY references you would know that INPE arrives at its figures by using satellite and aerial (airplane) photography and surveying. Thus, the illegal deforestation IS accounted for.

    Professor Lomborg, whose book is heavily annotated and footnoted (including data from Greenpeace for some of his points) notes that at PRESENT rates, the Amazon will last through the end of the 21st century. He goes on to say (as noted above) that, because of better conservation measures and their heightened enforcement, deforestation rates in the Amazon rain forest are actually DECREASING.

    Greenpeace has a vested interest in assuming the worst is happening (it is, after all, their raison d’etre), while Professor Lomborg has none. I choose to believe Lomborg. You should read his book; it’s very impressive.

  • Dilbert

    Franco, I don’t blame you for not reading every post in this thread. I rarely do in similar situations. Having said that, in above posts I said that Cuba: 1. WASN’T a paradise. 2. Had a bad human rights record under Castro (partly because of orthodox Marxism, more than anything because of decades of terrorist attacks from the world’s superpower, 70 miles off its shore). 3. Provided a good AND bad example for countries like Venezuela and stated that I was talking about the good (education, healthcare and agriculture).

    I also said in an above post that while certain countries might have a higher ranked systems than Cuba, these systems weren’t available to many of the people in those countries (Chile included) and were a result of creating policies beneficial to domestic elites & international investors and not so much so to the general population. Looking at poverty numbers and access to education and healthcare in these countries, how could you argue otherwise? Countries in Latin America have huge amounts of natural resources and, as a result, tons of potential for real development. What the international system has done is “privatize” these resources and taken them out of these countries, paying off domestic elites in the process, to be brought to the “developed countries” to create into finished products. As a result of this, the amount of under-development in the region is mind boggling.

    Let’s look at Chile for a second. Copper is still nationalized in Chile. Thank god for you it is. It has, historically, been there to save Chile from your free market experiments. In the 70’s, Copper, again a nationalized industry, provided about 3/4’s of revenue of exports for Chile. Today it is less, a little above 40%, but still the most dominant of all exports (along with other raw materials and resources, if Chile truly HAD developed you would be exporting finished products, not the ingredients to those finished products).

    According to a 1998 article from Council on Hemispheric Affairs

    “A recent World Bank study showed Chile as the seventh worst country out of sixty-five nations in terms of unequal income distribution — a designation it shares with Kenya and Zimbabwe. To put Chile’s economic inequality in context, the 100 wealthiest people in that country earn more than the government spends on all of its social services.”

    As you might also know, Chile Plans on Overhauling its Pension System because it has been such a poor job for the so much of the population. The free market didn’t work, time to try something more rational.

    As a matter of fact, the only times in Chile’s history that they have made advancements for the general population they’ve done so by doing the exact OPPOSITE of free market doctrine. From re-nationalization, to putting back freezes on capital flows, to increased access social programs (like in the early 90’s and now). If you look at this objectively, it actually HELPS my argument.

    Countries like Chile who’ve done well have implemented policies that have benefited investors, which make the macro numbers look just wonderful as a result of capital and financial inflows. This is the OBVIOUS reason why Chile is in its position as opposed to Cuba. Having said that, considering that you have access to a computer, can speak English & have free time to web surf, I’m guessing you, or your family, comes from sectors that have done well. Good for you, I guess.

    On a macro level, free market economics can only benefit a fraction of the countries in the world. There is a finite amount of natural resources. Countries that accumulate capital take away from the countries that don’t. Chile, because of their policies, accumulated capital and developed a little. Since the Pinochet years, Chile has ever so slowly gone leftward on most economic policies and has much more to show for the general population. The pension system, increased social programs and some increases in workers rights are just a handful of examples and, again, help me prove my point. Thank you.

  • Dilbert

    Clavos, I’ve liked the argument back and forth. We’re both obviously passionate about these issues and I get to talk about things I can’t with people around me, who aren’t into these issues one way of another.

    Anyway, my main point is that whether it’s 15%, 17% or 20%, we are consuming large amounts of the Amazon each year. At current pace, it will be gone and will ecologically collapse far before it’s entirely gone. If we care about our future relatives, we shouldn’t wait until that day is in front of us to do something. Cutting down on the rate of deforestation is a nice start, but more radial measures will be needed.

    I won’t start another argument, but the lack of real growth (when we do hit a wall as far as available natural resources) will be the end of capitalism. From that point on, humanity will have no choice but to work cooperatively, or will be in constant war.

    I have wanted to, honestly, read the book by Lomborg. It was a big hit with some I know a couple years ago when I was in college. I will say that I’ve heard his conclusions are different than most anyone else working on the issues, and the book is pretty controversial as your probably know. You shouldn’t rest your entire outlook though on one person. Yes, Greenpeace has an agenda but so does Lomborg. He has a career & possibly an ideological bias to further and I don’t know who he is associated with. None the less, like I said, I’ll give it a look and add it to the list.

    In return, give Herman Daly’s book a read. Even if you don’t agree, you might challenge some of your basic precepts, which is a healthy thing.

    About the blockade, and the act you cited: The act allows SOME medical supplies to get through (mainly as a result of the corporate lobby who want(ed)s access to new markets, however small). However, those supplies have to go through hell to get through the island and are still a small fraction of what is needed. . I was involved with a group that wanted to give Cuba computers to be used in their hospitals and the government blocked their entrance, even after it was proven how they would be used. A country’s economic system funds its programs (educational, healthcare, etc). So the blockade’s economic impact has greatly effected Cuba’s ability to fund its healthcare system, along with the not so friendly to investors economic policy. Of course, oil has been discovered off its coast, so I would imagine further freedom of trade will be allowed in the near future.

  • Dilbert

    One final thing. You said, “First of all, the people didn’t choose policies…They chose two very charismatic men who are particularly adept at speech making and demagoguery to appeal to them.”

    This is not true and the people don’t need an education to see that they’re starving, can’t send their kids to school, can’t afford retirement and have no healthcare while they see the richest in their countries, who work no harder (most of the time don’t work much at all) living a life of luxury and excess. Economic values like prices, profits & wages are human inventions and aren’t rational by themselves. How can you say what I’m doing is worth 5, as opposed to 6, dollars? How can you say that X amounts of profits are too big or small? What these people are saying is that the people creating these numbers are benefiting from their creation. How we arrive at the conclusions about who consumes & owns what should be open to more debate and wider sectors than corporate boardrooms (many times thousands of miles away) and governmental offices. The polls clearly show that people have definite things in mind when voting in these countries now. You and I both know that when a politician says they’re “pro-free market” in these countries, or aligns themselves with the US, it creates a loss of support for those politicians.

  • moonraven

    Dilbert, I am afraid whenever we respond to clavos it just feeds his perverse need for attention.

    Yet, it’s hard to sit on one’s hands and read the mishmash of sleazy propaganda that he throws in the direction of this site’s wall, hoping that it will stick like spaghetti.

    And he NEVER puts any documentation for his claims. Sorry, but no one’s opinions are credible when no information/evidence/facts are given to support them.

    And in fact, even clavos’ title is misleading. He is equating the Venezuelan project for Twentyfirst Century SOCIALISM with Twentieth Century Communism. Or maybe he doesn’t even know the difference in terms.

    He says that he’s from Latin America, but seems to have absolutely no knowledge of the history of the region and of its socialist and communist parties that now form parts of the mainstream leftist parties here or who are included in party coalitions in the governments of a number of Latin American countries.

    The history of the PRD party here in Mexico is very short–it might make an interesting read for folks who have dreams of becoming journalists BEFORE they shoot off their keyboards in Internet sites like this one.

    And for those folks posting here who can’t seem to get over their days of mourning for the death of their hero, Pinochet, and have to tell us what a fabulous guy he was: Please be advised that the current government of Chile is made up of a coalition of the left and centrist parties. You might want to leave, Franco. (Interesting choice of fascist nombre de guerra, there.)

    Next Clavos will be calling the President of Spain a Communist because his party is the PSOE–the Socialist Worker’s Party of Spain–and shrieking “Off with his head”.

    And then there are those nasty socialist countries in Scandinavia that he quietly forgets to accuse of taking the nod from Stalin. Those countries have the highest standard of living in the world–however you want to calculate it.

    The point here is that clavos ALWAYS (show me ONE exception, just ONE) presents only lies and half-truths on this site. And Dave helps him write this crap because he can’t even write his own stuff, and the MO is the same as Dave’s: LIES and half-truths.

    And apparently, SO THEY SAY, they are doing all this propaganda hustle FOR FREE!

    For those folks who actually have any interest whatsoever in the part of the world in which this poster lives, otherwise known as Latin America (not Central America, as Dave Nalle has told us over and over while claiming us he’s an expert on Venezuela), there is a well-reasoned article posted today on the Venezuelan news site, http://www.venezuelanalysis.com called The Case of Venezuela’s RCTV.

    Of course Dave and clavos will say the guy is full of shit because he actually lives in Caracas (Oh no, he could not possible know what’s happening there!!!!!!!) and is a PhD candidate in Political Theory at (gasp, choke, wheeze) UC Berkeley.

    They will also say that Eva Gollinger is full of it, whose piece Confused about Venezuela is also posted on that site today. The fact that she has written two books about Venezuela and held the line in the US to get documents under the Freedom of Information Act about US backing of the 2002 coup attempt against the democratically-elected legitimate president of Venezuela of course cuts no ice with these guys–they know it all.

    And if all else fails, they will say the newsite–started several years ago by a US sociologist and journalist who has lived in Caracas for 7 years or so–is a front for the Communist Party!

    The bottom line here is….the bottom line:

    Venezuela has had 3 years in a row now of more than 10% growth. (Yep, clavos, those poor misguided folks that should not be allowed to make electoral decisions that inconvenience US interests and prestige–are those Kissinger’s words, or yours?–voted for the side their bread is buttered on.)

    I could go on and on ad nauseum about Venezuela being free of illiteracy (the US is NOT, as clavos is living proof), having the cleanest elections on the planet and providing more aid to its Latin American neighbors than the US does.

    But clavos and his bunkmate Dave will just say that the UN is a liar, the Carter Center is a liar, and that that aid is not going to help any of those countries one bit. Fuck them and the horse they rode in on is the level of civil dialog one gets from clavos and Dave.

    However, if anyone reading this thread wants to have info from the horse’s mouth–instead of clavos’ lies and misinterpretations of what he said, you can buy and read the book I just finished reading at lunch today:

    HUGO CHAVEZ: EL DESTINO SUPERIOR DE LOS PUEBLOS LATINOAMERICANOS Y EL GRAN SALTO ADELANTE (Conversations with Heinz Dietrich). Joral Editores, Mexico. 2006. ISBN 968-5863-14-8

    It’s a bit out of date now, as Chavez moves as close to the speed of light as anyone governing a country could. But it is the REAL stuff–not a bunch of fantasies made up by clavos and thrown onto this cite with no documentation.

  • moonraven

    I also fail to see why this thread is mostly about Cuba.

    For the geographically challenged, Venezuela and Cuba are two very different countries–although they have somethings in common: Caribbean culture, lots of folks of African descent, mandioka as a staple of the traditional diet, the Spanish language–and Fidel and Hugo were both born under the sign of Leo (the fact that Cuba’s government is currently headed by Gemini Raúl should not matter a whit–just like no facts ever matter to the person who posted the piece of propaganda were have been responding to.)

    What, I’m afraid, it comes down to for many folks is the following: The president of Venezuela is sitting on the world’s largest petroleum reserves, enormous reserves of natural gas, lots of WATER, gold, URANIUM, diamonds, etc. And he is NOT WHITE.

    Racism is alive and well just about everywhere. Anyone who think otherwise is a damn fool.

  • Zedd

    The thread has turned to be about Cuba to ALARM the simpletons among us.

    The problem is that those that will be SCARED will already hold the same beliefs as the author.

  • Franco

    Clavos,

    All I can say is you can sure bring um in. From the huge size of the individual post and their shear number, you have created a workhorse of a thread.

    To bad these are not orders of boats.

    Anyway, Moonys back and she and Dilbert clearly came out of the same “re-education” camp, both graduating with honors. Only differance is, Dilbert is civil in his discussions.

    I have been working on a reply to Dilbert because of it, and while doing so I reviewed all of his posts and your replies and most everyone elses with few exceptions. During this review the same thought about Moony came to mind about Dilbert.

    Have you had any of the same thoughts?

  • Franco

    Oh, forgot to add…….Nice well written article.

  • Franco

    54 —Dilbert

    I have gone back and read all of your posts and their corresponding replies in effort to “get on page with you”.

    You have put up several issues for discussion/debate and you have articulated them well, and made interesting assertions. Most all of the issues I am familiar with through interest and study, and or having first hand knowledge though professional experience. All of them I would like to discuss/debate with you.

    In keeping posts from becoming behemoths (which really pisses SHARK off) resulting in attempting to try posting all issue together and at once, I propose to handling them in separate posts in the sequence you posted them and there subject matter. This will hold each post to medium length the best we can. Mixing issues in a post is natural when making assertions, points, and relationships with the other issue and that is fine, but I do not what to suffer the lose of a issue by burring it in other issues for the sake of clarity for intellectual honesty in discussion/debate.

    These issues you have put up can be simply in category – Cuba, Venezuela, Chile, Capitalism/Socialism, National Resource value added products, and Deforestation.

    I would like to start with our first post, #11

    Chavez has support of over 2/3’s of the population (obviously insignificant to you people) and was recently elected by a 23% margin.

    This assertion in not in contention with me because I do not see this as insignificant. It is one of the most significant things of all. The neglected poor and uneducated masses of Venezuela want and need change. Who in that situation would not?

    The issue of concern with me, and I believe with others on this thread, is where is Chavez going from here when one can not dismiss or ignore facts of his step by step process at total transformation of the government into a consolidation of power for himself. Add to this his close intimate ties with Castro and they’re shared like-minded thinking of two military communists and their like-minded thinking with total control of their nations. Chavez has started to transform Venezuela like Castor transformed Cuba. This gives cause for concern when one understands the oppression of the Cuban people under Castro. You see it as the people of Venezuela giving Chavez his power and I see it as him taking it just like Castro.

    Just to name a few of many Chavez’s Castor stile transformation…

    Control over the central bank
    Removal of constitutional presidential term limits
    Shutting down the free press if in opposition to him or his state agenda
    Making it a crime to criticize the president, or the government, or its agenda
    These are all measures taken to implement oppression of the people.

    The only single exception is the difference in wealth between the two communist states. That begs the question, if Castor has proved anything it is that his socialist system of government without a source of capital, can not support itself as was also the case with the former Soviet Union. So how is Chavez going to prove communism works on its own merrit with an abundance of capital, he can’t, and that becomes the paradox.

    He can buy the communist success with his capital, but he can’t grow it or support it with out it just like in Cuba. The whole thing smells of hypocrisy through and through. The width breath and depth of the hypocrisy can not even be fathomed when considering the trillions of dollars he personally has his hands on directing for there use.

    As you all know, and chose to ignore, the previous governments didn’t pay attention to the poor even though they were the vast majority of the population.

    This assertion is not in contention with me. This pattern in Latin America has repeatedly played itself out in every nation in Latin American And it has been wrong. So do not think I ignore this, on the contrary, I deplore it.

    The clause that he wants to put in the constitution that would allow him to be elected indefinitely is very democratic. His plan, which again you didn’t mention, is to recall himself and put the idea up for national referendum.

    This assertion is faults. National referendum semdum. When the president in power starts to shut down the opposition free press, FOR ANY REASON, promots a single party line, makes it crime to criticize the president, and or the government, and or its official parthy line agenda, he can do just about anything he wants as long as he keeps the poor uneducated masses under control and trusting him. That is not a democracy by any stretch of the imagination.

    Mark my words, presidential term limits have already been eliminated , the rest is all formality and show. You ironically support this fact when you state, So, if passed, you couldn’t blame him for it becoming law, it would be the Venezuelan people who would support it.

    Whether you people like their decision is irrelevant and any other government to intervening for any reason would be anti-democratic.

    This assertion is faults. To steal the accolades away from true democracy as Chavez is doing, then for you to say whether we like it as being irrelevant is a faults asserting based on one simple fallacy. Chavez is the one intervening and creating the anti-democracy, not some outside threat. Your supporting this is puzzling when so many can see through it. Your support of this is assisting in condemning the poor and uneducated masses of Venezuelans in having been cheated from real democracy.

    However, I don’t think any country is going to come to rescue the poor from Chavez today. Why should they at this point, there being bought and paid for by Chavez who will continue to give them things to keep his shame democracy going and hte masses under control while he plans other step by step changes for Chavezeula. Chavez knows that these very acts of good will to his people will not justify another nation coming in to stop him who see him for what he truly is. A communist military dictator making his best friends of other communist military dictators.

    Getting back to the poor, Chavez’s money machine and his handouts is the only good that comes out of this scame for the poor, but like all scams they have there limits. As long as he can take care of the poor and improve their lives he will have their backing. He can not let them get to advanced or he could loose control of them. So do not call Chavez scams of anti-democracy true democracy. They are not even in the same star system.

  • Clavos

    Franco,

    Thanks for your #61.

    I have to go out in a few minutes, so this will be a short comment. Anyway, I want to se the rest of your comments to Dilbert.

    I think you’re selling Dilbert short by lumping him in with Moonie. Yes, many of his ideas are similar to hers, but he’s amply shown he enjoys discussing and the back-and-forth of real debate. As you pointed out, he’s civil.

    I’m glad to see him join the thread. Debate and exchange of ideas is what it is (and should be) about.

    That said,

    Dilbert:

    As I mentioned, I don’t have much time right now, but will be back later. I do have a small, semantic dispute with your last comment;

    The US embargo of Cuba is NOT a blockade. A blockade, by definition, interdicts ALL trade with the target country. With with modern technology, a blockade is almost impossible to enforce these days. In simpler times, blockades were accomplished with ships preventing physical access to the target nation.

    The US action against Cuba is an embargo, and it enjoins ONLY US entities and their subsidiaries from trading with Cuba. Other nations are free to do so, and in fact, many do. Venezuela is one notable example.

    Gotta go, but I hope we can continue to debate, Dilbert.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I hate to even distrurb the international communist lovefest here, but sometimes a bit of realism can be helpful.

    What, I’m afraid, it comes down to for many folks is the following: The president of Venezuela is sitting on the world’s largest petroleum reserves, enormous reserves of natural gas, lots of WATER, gold, URANIUM, diamonds, etc. And he is NOT WHITE.

    Interesting point and it might be valid if you replaced the insane racist fantasy with something sensible. Like taking out ‘he is not white’ and replacing it with ‘he’s a warmongering communist dictator’. Since he’d pass for white in any neighborhood in America, that argument won’t fly, so perhaps pointing out the real reasons people are concerned might make more sense.

    Dave

  • STM

    Franco said: “All I can say is you can sure bring um in. From the huge size of the individual post and their shear number, you have created a workhorse of a thread.”

    Yeah, all of Clav’s bloody stories have long legs … the bugger. So, you ask, how’s he do it??

    I have an idea: next time I write a story about something happening in Australia, I am going to throw in a mention of that bloody Chavez (“the Australia dollar is falling, and analysts think it’s because of … Chavez! …”) – and then watch ‘em bite as they get reeled right in!

    Hello Moonraven!

  • moonraven

    Homeboy needs glasses. Or he has never seen Chavez. Or maybe both things are the case….

    Chavez prides himself on his African/indigenous features. On one of his trips to Mexico (the summit where GW Bush was caught on camera drooling out the left side of his mouth ), when Chavez was being interviewed on Televisa, he pointed out his African features–lips and hair.

    And I can personally vouch for exactly what he looks like–even to the texture of his skin.

    So don’t give me that garbage about his passing for white.

    Racism stinks–and there’s no point in trying to deny it by hypocritically taking the high road and saying Chavez is a “warmongering communist dictator”.

    1. Name one war he is mongering or has mongered. Don’t you ever get tired of lying?????He has repeatedly challenged the warmongering US government for its creation of racist wars to steal petroleum and peddle arms. He hasn’t been nominated for the Nobel PEACE prize because he dropped bombs on Bogota. Get real.

    2. Clavos conveniently did not link us to Chavez’ speech where he SUPPOSEDLY said he was a communist. There’s a reason for that: HE SAID NO SUCH THING. But he DID say that socialists and communists were represented in his government. And Clavos, ever the wily South Florida anti-Castro/anti-Chavez sniveler, also neglected to mention that longtime COMMUNIST Jose Vicente Rangel was removed from the Vice Presidential post he had held for several years.

    3. Dictator????!!!!!That would be funny if you were not such a vicious, hysterical liar. In your book a popular and re-elected president is ALWAYS a dictator? (GWBush, maybe–as you ashholes have handed all your civil rights over to that crosseyed fanfarron.) I guess so far as US history goes, FDR should go down in history as an “antifascist warmongering dictator”….

    No matter how many times you pathetic coldwar retreads say it, a LIE is not the truth.

    Any moment now I expect you and Clavos to shriek “Shoot the gooks”.

    We had a name for folks like you back in the 60s: Racist pigs.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Marthe, here in Texas we’re an ethnically diverse lot, but Chavez could certainly pass for close enough to white that no one would care. I know plenty of Texas Mexicans who are way more ethnic looking than he is and his african features are entirely in his imagination. Just going by skin tone he’s certainly not dark, judging by a dozen photos or so. I suppose they could be photoshopping him whiter, but then that’s the kind of thing that only happens in your fevered imagination.

    Of course I don’t have your experience of being up close and personal with him. He might look darker in that dim, boudoir lighting.

    And regardless, there’s still no racism in the objections of anyone here towards Chavez. What on earth does race have to do with it, and why is that the conclusion you immediately jump to? Suffering a little white guilt there yourself and doing a bit of projecting, perhaps? If it were racism wouldn’t we be complaining just as much about every other south american leader?

    As for your three issues.

    1. Why does he need hundreds of thousands of AK-47s, a disproportionately large army and and AK-47 factory? You don’t use assault rifles to plow the land or spread goodwill. Is he or is he not training terrorists and revolutionaries from a dozen different countries in Venezuela?

    2. I’ve got nothing on Clavos’ quote. Obviously Chavez is a Communist, so why should we be surprised that he might have said so?

    3. I’ll agree with you on FDR being a warmongering dictator in a certain sense. He had a lot of the characteristics. You can’t deny that Chavez has shut down the opposition press and is trying to become president for life. Even if the people go along with him as they did with Mussolini, Hitler and FDR, the end result is the same.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Dave,

    You have only looked at PHOTOS of Chavez????

    That’s all you know about this guy?????

    That’s what makes you a self-appointed expert on Venezuelan politics!!!?????

    That is PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    One does not have to be in a bedroom setting to give a hug and a kiss to someone who deserves both. And to see the color of his skin, the shape of his lips and the texture of his hair!

    It’s true that there are probably Mexicans here in my state of Morelos who are darker than Chavez–as well as the big majority that are a lot lighter. But that’s because here in Morelos (as well as in Guerrero and Veracruz states) there are a fair number of folks of mixed African descent (from slaves who were brought here to work in the sugar cane).

    I am calling your attitude racist because that is the only explanation for your lying belligerance that has even one shred of behavioral logic to it. Or maybe it’s just plain old ENVY????? Paint you green, Homeboy?

    As for MY racist guilt–Homeboy, you apparently have never copped to my being Native American. So your nonsense about my projections are just that: absolute nonsense.

    And then there is this Homeboy howler: “If it were racism wouldn’t we be complaining just as much about every other south american leader?”

    Which other South American leader that you are aware of is of African descent???????????

    Evo and Correa are indigenas,

    Ulribe is whiteboy criollo, as is Kirschner, ditto Lula and Tabare Vazquez.

    Bachelet is criolla.

    Garcia APPEARS to be mestizo.

    The president of Paraguay APPEARS to be mestizo.

    Jagdeo (Guyana) APPEARS to be mestizo but may be African/indigena like Chavez.

    Venetiaan (Suriname) APPEARS to be of African descent.

    French Guiana is an oversees department of France and therefore does not have its own president.

    Your ALLEGED point is complete bullsit, homeboy, as the only other South American president of African descent is the president of Suriname–not exactly a major player on the world stage and certainly well below the radar of someone who insisted until a few days ago that VENEZUELA WAS IN CENTRAL AMERICA!!!!!

    As for the two indigena presidents, Morales and Corrales–Morales has been defamed and viciously attacked on this site both both you and clavos. And I am sure you already have something up your keyboards against Correa–although he was just sworn in YESTERDAY.

    Sure looks like racism to me.

    And the three points you thought you were making:

    1. “1. Why does he need hundreds of thousands of AK-47s, a disproportionately large army and and AK-47 factory? You don’t use assault rifles to plow the land or spread goodwill. Is he or is he not training terrorists and revolutionaries from a dozen different countries in Venezuela?”

    Venezuela needs updated weapons because the US will clearly try to invade the country–sooner or later–for its huge reserves of natural resources.

    No–he is not training anyone except the Venezuelan reserves.

    If you have PROOF (not rumors spread by the Southern Command, PROOF) of his training anyone else, let’s see it.

    2. “I’ve got nothing on Clavos’ quote. Obviously Chavez is a Communist, so why should we be surprised that he might have said so?”

    Well, Clavos made a big deal about something that he SUPPOSEDLY said that he DID NOT SAY. He wrote the above ridiculous piece about it.

    OBVIOUSLY Chavez is a communist????? Obvious to WHOM?????? Things are now obvious without any evidence?????? And by the way, the Cold War has been over for a number of years now, Rip von Homeboy. In short: Who the fuck cares????

    And finally, this utter drivel:

    3. “I’ll agree with you on FDR being a warmongering dictator in a certain sense. He had a lot of the characteristics. You can’t deny that Chavez has shut down the opposition press and is trying to become president for life. Even if the people go along with him as they did with Mussolini, Hitler and FDR, the end result is the same.

    Which warmongering dictator characteristics did FDR have, precisely?

    Or was it The New Deal that putt the burr under your saddle?

    Chavez has closed NO OPPOSITION press. Which one did you have evidence about? OBVIOUSLY you did not bother to read the article I referenced a few days ago in regard to the probable nonrenewal of a TV STATION’s concession.

    Chavez may need to be president for longer than this term in order to transform Venezuela from the shithole it was when he took office to a decent country–without poverty, with social justice and without RACISM. If he’s willing to stay in the trenches that long, I say MORE POWER TO HIM.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    You’re always good for a laugh, Marthe. I particularly like your implication that I can’t tell what Chavez looks like from photos or have an opinion of him unless I’ve actually met him in the flesh. As for the rest, the evidence has been posted again and again. But keep up with your combination of insults and denial. It earns you zero credibility in the face of all the facts you continue to deny.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Precisely WHAT evidence have you posted again and again?????

    That’s another LIE, Homeboy.

    Let me give you a piece of advice:

    Put down the photos–both you and clavos–and get on a plane to Venezuela. See what it’s REALLY like there. I have–several times. And I am going there again next month.

    Beating off to the Playboy centerfold is NOT the same thing as having the girl….

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Insults, lies and denial – how far can they take you in the propaganda game, Marthe?

    You’ve seen the links Clavos and I have posted on other threads to the endless documentation of Chavez’ abuses. I’m not going to bother anymore. You just deny and reject any facts which don’t agree with your delusion – or the one your handlers pay you to have. I’m putting you in the same category as the Chinese shills. Nothing you say can be taken seriously, so I might as well laugh at it. Credibility=0.

    dave

  • moonraven

    Homeboy:

    I think it’s interesting that EVERY time (not just some times) someone (not only this poster) has asked you for documentation and evidence you say that you have already posted it and can’t be bothered to do so again.

    Yet you have NEVER–NOT EVEN ONCE–posted anything of the kind. That’s just another LIE.

    All you have ever posted here is an opinion based on NO information.

    And this Chinese shills bullshit: a couple of months ago you were accusing me of working for the Chinese government!

    As if the Chinese government would both to hire me–or anyone else–to post on this blog site!!!!

    You are completely insane, Homeboy.

    On second thought, stay the hell away from Venezuela. Stay in your rusted out acrylic carpeted trailer with your photos.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The latest on the government shutdown of RCTV.

    Some more good stuff here about Chavez’ changes to the Venezuelan constitution to allow unlimited terms and to let him issue edicts with the force of law without going through the legislative process.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Keep the delusion alive, Marthe. Without it you’d know how obvious your lies are given all the evidence both Clavos and I have posted in the past. Do you not realize that people have SEEN previous comments and articles and KNOW that you are transparently lying?

    As for your China connection, I leave it to you to explain why your IP address was located in China a few weeks ago.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Now it’s obvious why Dave has been so resistant to posting any links.

    The first link, EVEN in the anti-Chavez newspaper El Universal, gives a much-simplified resume of the same material I referenced from Venezuelanalysis.com a few days ago.

    And it supports MY position, not Homeboy’s.

    The second link, UNFORTUNATELY, is an anti-Chavez OPINION PIECE. It is hardly documentation of anything.

    It does, however, make the point that it would be useful to have a dialog with Chavez (instead of just name-calling), since he is clearly NOT going to disappear from the geopolitical map.

    Homeboy apparently didn’t allow himself to pick up that point. He’s a VERY selective reader. He even sees the word Black and reads WHITE.

    And he clearly isn’t supporting any kind of US-Venezuela dialog–hell, on this site he just accused that country’s president of LYING about his ethnicity!!!!! (Not to mention his other absurd comments about ideology and warmongering.)

    Great start, Dave.

    The problem for you here and now is that THIS POSTER actually reads the links that are posted as evidence, and is going to bust you every time.

    Accusing me of working for the Chinese government–and the rest of the pathetically silly shit you have posted about me as a distraction from your complete lack of evidence for any of your claims–is NOT going to change that.

    Deal with it, Homeboy.

  • Clavos

    moonglow,

    Here’s the link to Chávez’ saying he’s a communist.

    And here’s another where he invokes the ideas of Marx and Lenin.

    Chavez cited the communist ideals of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin at other points in his speech.

    And here, where he calls himself a “Trotskyist:”

    Among the new ministers to be incorporated into the government Chavez also pointed to the new Minister of Labour, José Ramón Rivero, which he described as “young and a workers’ leader”. “When I called him” Chavez explained, “he said to me: ‘president I want to tell you something before someone else tells you… I am a Trotskyist’, and I said, ‘well, what is the problem? I am also a Trotskyist! I follow Trotsky’s line, that of permanent revolution.”

    As for my being a racist; to quote a comment of yours not long ago:

    Writing it doesn’t make it true, clavos.

    It’s interesting that you actually have taken the time and effort to analyze the racial background of all of the LatAm leaders. Such a thing never even occurred to me; I don’t care at all what race they are, just what political philosophy they each espouse.

    Obviously, their racial backgrounds are important to you, moonie.

    I say MORE POWER TO HIM.

    Don’t worry, he’s steadily seizing it, even without your support.

    OK, I’m done “sniveling and lying” for now…

    Ciao, bambina!

  • moonraven

    Uh, Homeboy,

    I don’t even know what an IP address is.

    And even if it were in China–which I wasn’t because I was in Bahrain a few weeks ago covorting with the ENEMY: ISLAM–do you have any idea how many thousands of folks with US passports are routinely working as Foreign Experts in the areas of Pedagogy and Foreign Language Acquisition (two areas in which I provide consultations to universities) in China even as I type this?

    Apparently not.

    FYI, I do not have to explain squat–not to you or to anyone else.

    But YOU have a lot of explaining to do about why you are using this blogsite as a hate site.

    Not to mention the shocking state of those photos you’ve been beating off to.

  • moonraven

    Clavos: A quote out of context from the Miami Herald (mouthpiece for the anti-castro/anti-chavez south Florida mafia) is hardly documentation.

    Let’s see the transcript of his speech. That would be documentation.

    I think if you are going to continue peppering the blogsites with your venal nonsense you should take a course at say, Miami Dade Community College, in Basic English. In that course you will learn HOW TO DOCUMENT points in an essay, as well as the difference between primary and secondary sources, opinion and information.

    Many years ago I used to teach those courses. That’s why I am insistent on busting you on the bullshit you write on this site.

    I frankly could not care less if Chavez–or anyone else–is a Marxist, Leninist, Trotskyist, a follower of Gramsci (you forgot that–THAT WAS in the speech), Bakunin, Kropotkin (the ideological hero of Emilano Zapata), or anything else. I would certainly prefer that to a follower of the Dick Cheney School of Political Dialog.

    I repeat: THE COLD WAR IS OVER. Nobody gives a shit about that stuff anymore. Stop shooting at “gooks” and MOVE ON.

    As for the racial composition of South American presidents, I responded to Dave’s claim that if you folks were racists you would be complaining about all the other South American presidents–since only ONE other besides Chavez is of African descent. (Apparently.)

    And apparently you could also use a remedial reading course at MDCC–or else you would have grasped that.

    No matter how yoiu slice it, Nails: Venezuelan politics is simply none of your business.

    Why not put some of that boatscraping energy into plotting against Bush, or into….boatscraping?

  • Clavos

    Clavos: A quote out of context from the Miami Herald (mouthpiece for the anti-castro/anti-chavez south Florida mafia) is hardly documentation.

    I know you would have preferred something from Granma or Pravda, moondog, but I just couldn’t find a quote in either one with which I could agree…

  • moonraven

    Clavos,

    Do NOT tell me what I would have preferred, as I already stated very clearly that I preferred the TRANSCRIPT OF THE SPEECH.

    That is the only legitimate source in this case, and it has nothing to do with whether you agree with it or not.

    That’s just the way the rules are for writing about events. You have to PROVE your statement. So far you have not done so. The ONLY proof is citing a PRIMARY source–not a secondary or tertiary one.

    How do you know the reporter for the Miami Herald was telling the truth? You don’t.

    Why are you so gullible that you believe something is true just because you would like it to be?

    Here’s something to get you started back to school for bonehead English classes:

    “Primary sources are first hand sources; secondary sources are second-hand sources. For example, suppose there had been a car accident. The description of the accident which a witness gives to the police is a primary source because it comes from someone actually there at the time. The story in the newspaper the next day is a secondary source because the reporter who wrote the story did not actually witness it. The reporter is presenting a way of understanding the accident or an interpretation.

    *From North Park University, History Department”

    Cited from: albany.edu

    This is basic stuff.

    Any time you try to pass off an opinion as fact, you are LYING.

    And lying is not a part of CIVIL DISCOURSE.

  • Clavos

    [Entire comment deleted]

  • Franco

    Clavos, Dave,

    Why do you even respond to it?

  • STM

    I love that David Bowie song, Little China Girl.

    It’s very evocative of people with IP addresses in Beijing.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Franco, I respond because it’s possible that someone out there might be dumb enough to believe the stuff she spews. But it is getting hard to take her at all seriously. The more I encounter her complete denial of reality the more I’m convinced that she can’t fool anyone, though.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Moonraven sed: And he is NOT WHITE

    That is most Terrorist’s, Dictator’s, Axis of Evil’s real sin, especially with Americans. We hate Palestinians REALLY because they are not white. I mean they must be bad. Scary brown people raising their fists. They are dangerous. We are in Iraq because they are not White. In no way would we invade a European country so fast without UN support. White supremacy is an insidious thing and most people don’t understand what it is. They just feel as if someone is BAD or dangerous and don’t know why, most cases its because they have power and they are not White.

    If you are not White and have/want nukes, you are dangerous because you will be reckless and push the button… Its just inevitable. How nervy.

  • Franco

    Dave, yea I know what you mean. I pick and choose what I respond for the same reasons.

    In her case though, I think there remains a risk in providing any PROOF of anything we assert. It could be used, and I have not way of knowing for certain, but it could aversely effect the lives of anyone related to that proof if she is part of a Chavez damage control cartel.

    She is still operating in “show me the documented proof” mode in most all of her posts as she has alway done going back over 4 months now.

    The most recent case in point. In this thread Clavos asserts that Chavez is conducting military training we other Latin states. Her reply was and I quote,

    “No–he is not training anyone except the Venezuelan reserves. If you have PROOF (not rumors spread by the Southern Command, PROOF) of his training anyone else, let’s see it.”

    Point is, I do have proof of this and I am not going to provide it for the reasons stated above. It will all be coming out sooner or later. The later may save some live sooner.

    If I am seen as paranoid by some, OK, I’m guilty and I’ll take the rap, because we are taking about Chavez and we are taking about lives.

    JMO

  • Clavos

    You know, Franco, most Gringos (and I’m not including Dave here) have NO idea just how Machiavellian LatAm politics can be. They don’t realize how far (and how ruthlessly) the tentacles can reach.

    You’re right.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    OK, now this is getting really creepy.

    Bad enough I just got through watching a special on Jonestown (read: mind control), but now I come over here for a little light diversion and I’m getting the willies.

    The implications are horrifying.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Zedd, you just bought into the propaganda and went over the to dark side in #54. Try to apply just a LITTLE basic logic.

    Who is more ‘white’ – Ehud Olmert or Mahmoud Abbas?
    Who is more ‘white’ – Condi Rice or Hugo Chavez?
    Who is more ‘white’ – Zalmay Khalilzad or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

    Let me give you a hint. The question is entirely fucking meaningless. ‘White’ isn’t even an ethnic, racial or cultural classification and no one actually had white skin anyway.

    When you buy into Moonraver’s little race baiting shtick you embarass yourself. You can think more clearly than that.

    Elvira’s comments on mind control apply to you, btw.

    Dave

  • STM

    Who is more white? … a huge question, that.

    In the days before people worried about the high rates of skin cancer in Australia, this was always an issue.

    White people were derided for actually being white. To be a proper white person, you had to be brown – and the darker, the bloody better.

    It also helped if in being very brown, you also had the recessive and disappearing genes that gave blue eyes and naturally blonde/blond hair – bleached white by sun and saltwater.

    Now, sadly, having REALLY white skin is trendy again, as is being black, brown or any other colour that is natural and not artificially induced by over-exposure to the southern sun. This is part of the new multiculturalism and is also about multi-colourism.

    But this development is tragic, really. Generations of Australians have burned themselves to a crisp, with no adverse affect apart from leathery skin and the world’s highest rate of melanoma, and have defined themselves as a nation.

    Had it continued, people of all hues would have been varying shades of brown, from light to very dark, thus reinforcing our egalitarian nature.

    Why do you REALLY think this place is called The Sunburnt Country?

    So is white now the new brown, or is brown the new black?

    And will evolution eventually turn all us white/medium brown folks black or darker shades of brown? So is white now the new brown, or is brown the new black?

    Stay tuned …. check back in in about 1 million years.

  • Zedd

    Dave

    You missed the point. Its not who’s more White, its who is NOT WHITE.

    I did not read this entire thread, I replied to what stood out to me. So mind control has not set in.

    I’m also put off by profanity so Its difficult to read a lot of the commentary, especially MR.

    I don’t get much substance from Clavos and Francos posts because they tend to just spit out rhetoric and I find that unstimulated actually boring.

    What I understand and could be wrong because again I haven’t read this thread thoroughly. MR is a communist. She has strong convictions. Clavos and Franco are equally anti communist because of their experiences. Observing from afar both parties are extreme and irrational.

    What I agree with MR about is that simply stating that someone is a Communist is not longer relevant. Going into the trouble of stating what communist heroes this individual has is meaningless because of what was posted earlier: “Capitalist is as dirty of a word as Communist is to others”-Ted.

    Who cares about the counter points. What matters is the progress of this country, monitoring who gets in the way of their progress (internally and externally) and making sure that they are exposed.

    What Clavos did with this piece is to express HOPE that it all goes bad. Is he in some way contributing to it’s down fall?? His comments are not for humanitarian reasons really, there are far worse situation across the globe, far, far, far worse. He doesn’t really care about them. He just wants to be “right about Leftists”.

    The truth is poverty figures have gone down significantly and Venezuela has received praise from the World Bank for its progress in this area. There are promising signs according to this Bloomberg article http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&refer=latin_america&sid=aCiAyYtobHzU
    and many more. Is Clavos being honest?

    I see his article as propaganda.

    Not really following the thread though because they are all over the place.

    Just added my two cents because I believe that being non White is probably the worst crime in the eyes of the West (America more than any other country). Being non White and powerful requires addressing. The sad thing is that the the West isn’t aware that this is the case. It’s deeply ingrained.

  • Zedd

    Dave

    Have ONE conversation about race without discussing it as a diversion or an excuse or a side issue. Face it head on just once. I bet you are sweating just thinking about it. I wonder why that is???

    I find it interesting that most Whites don’t like to talk about the very real topic of race. Many sort of push it aside as if one day it will be discussed but not today and certainly not by me. Some joke about it like STM to lighten the air… There is a psychological component to this reaction. Analyse yourself.

    Not the topic of the thread though so we move on…..

    As for you thinking that I can be baited, pull yourself together. Put a reign on your delusionally presumed paternal status. You are severely retarded where it comes to the topic that you attempted to advise me on.

    I suggest that you focus your attention on your two fans. Advise them about the perils of adhering to an outdated mindset which doesn’t apply in a new world. Advise them that promoting SUCCESS in the region of their concern will not come by latching on to the position of professional naysayer.

  • Clavos

    Here’s another article by Alex Kennedy

  • Clavos
  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    But Clavos, surely Alex Kennedy is a white man working for the white man’s newspaper and using the white man’s words, and therefore inherently not to be listened to at all, right?

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Dave

    You poor victim. Hug!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    You missed the point. Its not who’s more White, its who is NOT WHITE.

    The point you miss, Zedd, is that to most rational people in the modern era the issue of race is entirely irrelevant. Racism of the type which Moonraver talks about exists only in the minds of those who wish to use a fictional oppression as an excuse for attrocities and for their own racism.

    What I understand and could be wrong because again I haven’t read this thread thoroughly. MR is a communist. She has strong convictions. Clavos and Franco are equally anti communist because of their experiences. Observing from afar both parties are extreme and irrational.

    Don’t leave me out. I’m absolutely anti-communist as well. My experiences have made me more aware than most of where communism leads and the absolute foolishness of putting your fate in the hands of those who think they know what’s good for you better than you do yourself.

    What I agree with MR about is that simply stating that someone is a Communist is not longer relevant. Going into the trouble of stating what communist heroes this individual has is meaningless because of what was posted earlier: “Capitalist is as dirty of a word as Communist is to others”-Ted.

    The fact that some people hold the same opinion of capitalism as others do about communism doesn’t make them right. The existence of a viewpoint doesn’t automatically legitimize it. There are actual, objective facts in play here, not just opinions. Governmentally instituted communism leads to oppression. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact based on myriad examples. Capitalism generally goes hand in hand with much better conditions for the people living under it. That’s also a demonstrable fact.

    Who cares about the counter points. What matters is the progress of this country, monitoring who gets in the way of their progress (internally and externally) and making sure that they are exposed.

    Which is EXACTLY what Clavos did in this piece. He exposed yet more evidence of the danger which Chavez poses to the people of his nation and the nations around it.

    What Clavos did with this piece is to express HOPE that it all goes bad. Is he in some way contributing to it’s down fall?? His comments are not for humanitarian reasons really, there are far worse situation across the globe, far, far, far worse. He doesn’t really care about them. He just wants to be “right about Leftists”.

    Providing a valid warning is not the same thing as hoping that something happens. You’ve got a very skewed perspective on that and have demonstrated the same fallacious reasoning before. You confuse the messenger and the message.

    The truth is poverty figures have gone down significantly and Venezuela has received praise from the World Bank for its progress in this area. There are promising signs according to this Bloomberg article http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&refer=latin_america&sid=aCiAyYtobHzU
    and many more. Is Clavos being honest?

    Sure he’s being honest. He’s not discussing the poverty issue, but that’s clearly not what he’s concerned with. It’s easy to make poverty go down in a country when you institute a command and control economy. Make everyone poor to raise up the poorest and in the short term things look better. The problem is that in the long term you’ve destroyed the economy and taken away freedom as well.

    I see his article as propaganda.

    The truth is the truth. Calling it propaganda doesn’t make it any less true.

    Just added my two cents because I believe that being non White is probably the worst crime in the eyes of the West (America more than any other country). Being non White and powerful requires addressing. The sad thing is that the the West isn’t aware that this is the case. It’s deeply ingrained.

    This is such an anachronistic concept that I can’t even begin to address it. It’s the kind of thing which goes hand in hand with thinking that communism could be in any way desirable. It’s a 19th century mindset but we’re in the 21st century. Policy isn’t driven by race anymore. The only color that matters is green.

    Have ONE conversation about race without discussing it as a diversion or an excuse or a side issue. Face it head on just once. I bet you are sweating just thinking about it. I wonder why that is???

    Hey, I’m a historian. I’ll gladly have a discussion about race or any other antiquated concept you’d like to discuss. Doesn’t bother me one bit. We can discuss racism and feudalism if you like. They’re both equally dead except in the minds of a shrinking number of individuals.

    I find it interesting that most Whites don’t like to talk about the very real topic of race. Many sort of push it aside as if one day it will be discussed but not today and certainly not by me. Some joke about it like STM to lighten the air… There is a psychological component to this reaction. Analyse yourself.

    Don’t count me among them. I’ll talk about it all day long. Real racism within the US has virtually ceased to exist, except as a tool used by political opportunists who like to play the racism card to advance their agendas. Even the ‘racism’ of the nativists isn’t a matter of skin color, it’s more of an us vs. them mentality. If the main group of immigrants were Europeans the nativists would still oppose them.

    I suggest that you focus your attention on your two fans. Advise them about the perils of adhering to an outdated mindset which doesn’t apply in a new world. Advise them that promoting SUCCESS in the region of their concern will not come by latching on to the position of professional naysayer.

    I’m afraid they aren’t the ones with the outdated mindset. Success in the region is what everyone wants. Communism and success are inherently incompatible.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Dave Nalle sed: The point you miss, Zedd, is that to most rational people in the modern era the issue of race is entirely irrelevant. Racism of the type which Moonraver talks about exists only in the minds of those who wish to use a fictional oppression as an excuse for atrocities and for their own racism.

    You are correct, race was a construct of Whites who wanted to steal from various indigenous groups and to be fare were ethnocentric and didn’t understand the people that they encountered. Race came out of the pseudo science of the past when blood letting was considered good medicine. TRUE.

    Very real consequences come out of the distinctions that were made and THEY are relevant.

    Its irrelevant because it doesn’t affect you. You don’t have to think about it. Believe me its one of the most relevant issues today. Look at the economic divide….. You naively think its due to a distinction between those who endeavour and those who don’t. You don’t know your world because you are sheltered and are unaware of the insidious nature of this cancer.

    I really dread your response. You simply have NO IDEA about this topic. Like I said, you are severely retarded where it comes to this issue and I would only be waisting time, frustrating you and visiting a lot of pain that we always suppress in order to function, all for not, because you still wont get it…. Guaranteed, you wont get it. It would be like discussing cosmology with an infant. You can start by drawing a globe and start with the colors blue and green but when trying to progress with the discussion, the child would be enthralled by the colors and will want to spend the rest of the time discussing shades of blue and green.

    Also nonwhites, let me speak for Black people, we can tell most of the time who has a little tinge of the motherland in them. You know “African traits” are dominant and they show up. Chavez is not one that anyone would debate about. Just a glance tells you. Again, its a different world, one that you just have no knowledge of. NONE. Your protest against MR seemed so sweet and child like.

    So YES race is irrelevant to you. You are clueless about it.

    BTW so that you use the term properly, nonwhites in white societies can’t be called racist.

  • Zedd

    Dave sed:The fact that some people hold the same opinion of capitalism as others do about communism doesn’t make them right. The existence of a viewpoint doesn’t automatically legitimize it. There are actual, objective facts in play here, not just opinions. Governmentally instituted communism leads to oppression. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact based on myriad examples. Capitalism generally goes hand in hand with much better conditions for the people living under it. That’s also a demonstrable fact.

    Older citizens of the former Soviet Union would differ with you. Many say that things were better (lifestyle-wise) under communism.

    you sed: Make everyone poor to raise up the poorest and in the short term things look better. The problem is that in the long term you’ve destroyed the economy and taken away freedom as well.

    Read the article that I referenced…. the article was not focusing on the poor. It reported just how successful the Venesualen economy was overall.

    You sed:Policy isn’t driven by race anymore

    You are a child.

    You went on to say that you have no problem discussing race yet you say that race issues don’t exist. How do you discuss what doesn’t exist. Again check yourself. Your response is predictable. Why do you people run from this so much. Is weird don’t you think.. sort of CRAZY.

    Dave, I think I am almost done figuring you out. The main thing that I have gathered is that you are very loyal, romantic and afraid of new ideas. There is an entire world out there. You are smart but your caution prevents you from experiencing it. Your an adult and you can do whatever you want to do. Let go and live man. It seems as if you have reduced your universe unnecessarily. You must have had a strong parental figure.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    You are correct, race was a construct of Whites who wanted to steal from various indigenous groups and to be fare were ethnocentric and didn’t understand the people that they encountered. Race came out of the pseudo science of the past when blood letting was considered good medicine. TRUE.

    Not true. Utter CRAP. Race is just an excuse among many and it’s not special to whites. It’s been used as a justification by groups who no one would consider white to oppress other groups, some of whom might be considered very white indeed. It’s certainly a meaningless term genetically, and the point is that it’s ONLY an excuse. It has no real meaning.

    Very real consequences come out of the distinctions that were made and THEY are relevant.

    Yes, but the problem does not originate in the differences in race, but in the desire of some people to oppress and dominate others. The racial aspect is secondary and largely contrived.

    Its irrelevant because it doesn’t affect you. You don’t have to think about it. Believe me its one of the most relevant issues today.

    It’s only as relevant as people choose to make it. I don’t make judgments on race and neither do most people. Some few still do because they think that’s a route to empowerment. They are by nature racist, whether they realize it or not, and whether they are white or not.

    Look at the economic divide…..

    Well sure, that’s a lot more meaningful than race is. Economic divisions are actually significant, quantifiable and real.

    You naively think its due to a distinction between those who endeavour and those who don’t.

    Please point out where I ever said anything like this. This is your assumption and not based on anything I believe. I do believe that people can bring themselves up out of poverty through effort, but I also know that there are many people who are disadvantaged because of the circumstances in which they were born, and that because of our history more people of certain ethnic groups are in that poorer sector of the economy – though this is changing rapidly.

    However, the fact that more ‘people of color’ in America are poor is a function of their communities and their family history and even racism in the past. It’s not a function of anything in our current institutions which keeps them down because of their race, though some nativists may be trying to change that.

    You don’t know your world because you are sheltered and are unaware of the insidious nature of this cancer.

    My ass. I bet I deal with more people of more races in a week than you do in a year.

    I really dread your response. You simply have NO IDEA about this topic.

    No, I just don’t agree with you and you assume that’s from ignorance. You might want to open your eyes and look around. Maybe once you’ve seen some of what I’ve seen you’ll have a more realistic perspective.

    Like I said, you are severely retarded where it comes to this issue and I would only be waisting time, frustrating you and visiting a lot of pain that we always suppress in order to function, all for not, because you still wont get it…. Guaranteed, you wont get it. It would be like discussing cosmology with an infant. You can start by drawing a globe and start with the colors blue and green but when trying to progress with the discussion, the child would be enthralled by the colors and will want to spend the rest of the time discussing shades of blue and green.

    I agree, discussion is difficult with someone – like you – who lacks much experience or perspective. Apparently you haven’t travelled widely or experienced other cultures and have a limited knowledge of history, so you’re not well equipped to address this subject other than by repeating cliches and ad hominems which while they may sound good, are not based in reality.

    Also nonwhites, let me speak for Black people, we can tell most of the time who has a little tinge of the motherland in them. You know “African traits” are dominant and they show up. Chavez is not one that anyone would debate about. Just a glance tells you. Again, its a different world, one that you just have no knowledge of. NONE. Your protest against MR seemed so sweet and child like.

    And again, you seem not to understand the main point. These distinctions are meaningless in a modern context. What Chavez looks like or what you look like or who your ancestors were means nothing to me or to most of the civilized world, except as an interesting bit of trivia. It is peoples actions which matter, not the tone of their skin or where their grandmothers were born.

    So YES race is irrelevant to you. You are clueless about it.

    No, I realize that it exists, I just don’t believe in it. Race is irrelevant, but racism is not. Where it exists it should be erradicated, as much among those who practice it as among those who seek to oppress based on race as among those who seek special advantage because of race.

    BTW so that you use the term properly, nonwhites in white societies can’t be called racist.

    No. Again, it is actions which matter, not your presumptions. If you judge people and treat them differently or expect to be treated differently because of race then YOU are a racist and YOU are the problem – thankfully one we’ve come a long way towards eradicating.

    Older citizens of the former Soviet Union would differ with you. Many say that things were better (lifestyle-wise) under communism.

    Bullshit. I lived in the former Soviet Union under communism and anyone who suggests that things overall were better is engaging in a fantasy. Things are not good there now, but they are not worse, just different. They’ve traded a generally degraded and enslaved situation for one where there is more risk of violence and more individual suffering, but at the same time more diversity and opportunity. It’s a rough time for them, but a not unexpected transition.

    You went on to say that you have no problem discussing race yet you say that race issues don’t exist. How do you discuss what doesn’t exist. Again check yourself. Your response is predictable. Why do you people run from this so much. Is weird don’t you think.. sort of CRAZY.

    You misinterpret well. Race does not exist. It’s a manufactured issue. Racism does exist, but it’s antiquated and obsolete and increasingly marginalized.

    Dave, I think I am almost done figuring you out.

    Heaven protect me from amateur shrinks with an agenda.

    The main thing that I have gathered is that you are very loyal, romantic and afraid of new ideas.

    Nothing could be further from the truth than the last item. I am certainly loyal and romantic to a certain extent, but I’m a glutton for novelty. What I don’t like to see is the same mistakes being made by people over and over again, and that’s what the issue is here.

    There is an entire world out there. You are smart but your caution prevents you from experiencing it. Your an adult and you can do whatever you want to do. Let go and live man. It seems as if you have reduced your universe unnecessarily. You must have had a strong parental figure.

    I had two strong parental figures, actually. Still do, in fact. They taught me to learn from experience and make decisions based on reason and observation. Caution hardly comes into it. I’ve seen more and done more than you can imagine, and look foreward to more new experiences. And one of the things I’ve learned is not to put up with bullshit masquerading as ‘conventional wisdom’ or ‘revealed truth’, which is what you’re pushing. You’re full of beliefs, but none of them appear to be based on any kind of objective analysis. They’re just other peoples ideas you are passing on by rote without really thinking about them.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Read the article that I referenced

    I’m sure Dave did, and I did as well. That’s exactly why I linked two more, later articles by the same author, in which he discusses serious problems within the Venezuelan economy.

    Did you read them?

  • STM

    “BTW so that you use the term properly, nonwhites in white societies can’t be called racist”

    Who says? That’s a nonsense. What, even in white societies where they are not discriminated against? I can think of one really obvious example off the top of my head, in a country that’s not far at all from where I am right now.

    Your arguments are starting to get more bizarre by the day. You also don’t know anything about the people you are exchanging views with here but hilariously continue to assuime that everyone’s white except you. You might be wrong about that, and have you ever considered such a thing?

    Come on Zedd, get real, please.

  • Zedd

    STM

    Calm down.

    “Racism” was coined to refer to people who hold the power in society who employ acts towards those of less powerful ethnicities which lesson their viability. People not understanding its meaning used it in exchange for the words prejudice or discrimination. Just FYIing

    You sed:Your arguments are starting to get more bizarre by the day. You also don’t know anything about the people you are exchanging views with here but hilariously continue to assuime that everyone’s white except you.

    I don’t know what you are on about. I was clearly responding to Dave. He is white. I am very certain of that. As for how many non whites there are on these boards, I don’t care. Let them refute what I have said. None have so far.
    Are you a brother? If you are, did I say something that isn’t true??…. seriously, I wouldn’t have to ask you, you would KNOW….

    STM you are sheltered. Just take the inside scoop and live with it.

    I promise you I am telling you what people don’t tell you. I say things with purity with not an ounce of animosity in my heart. It seems bizarre because you don’t know that it happens AT ALL. Welcome to EARTH.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Dave:

    You GO!!

    There ARE non-white racists, absolutely–what planet are you from, Zedd? Wake up and smell the Kool-Aid!

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    Stop embarrassing yourself.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    A few more thoughts:

    Remember the Lennon song, “Woman is the Nigger of the World?” Well, there are plenty of groups throughout history and right as we speak who are oppressed–of all races, sexes, and religions.

    My grandparents came here from Eastern Europe to escape horrible oppression. They settled in NYC in a cramped tenement with 5 children. My grandmother made sure all her kids finished high school–the oldest had to go to night school after my grandfather died so they could eat. There was plenty of discrimination against Jews at that time in America.

    Education is the most important element of success. Racism still exists, and the repercussions linger on, but it is no longer a blanket excuse to play the victim. That’s so 20th century.

  • Zedd

    Dave

    I am going to have to walk away from this one once more.

    I was joking about the analysis. I thought you’d get that. I don’t care that much.

    Anyway about this subject, which is not related to this thread, like I said, we are solar systems apart. You wont understand what I am saying. This is also what I KNOW.

    Now you know that I don’t walk away from a discussion. This one I will walk away from. Its futile. That is our reality. Now get back into your cozy jammies and don’t let me expose you to the real world or even upset you a little. I certainly don’t want to feel frustrated over NOTHING.

    Oh and BTW don’t go harassing Blacks asking them about what I said. They are just trying to live their lives and trying to not think about this insanity.

  • Zedd

    Elvira sed: but it is no longer a blanket excuse to play the victim.

    Has it ever been???

    Don’t answer it’s rhetorical.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd:

    That seems to be what you’re doing here. As in the “it’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand” schtick.

    Just to set the record straight: As a Jew, I can take a good joke, but if someone spews anti-Semetic rhetoric in my direction I will indeed “play the victim” and take them up on it. But otherwise I try to judge people by their intellect–esp on the internet.

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    I don’t discuss race most of the time. I dialouge with people on various topics and am fascinated by intellect as well.

    I do bring up the topic of race where I see it appropriate in order to maintain the integrity of the discussion. An essential reality cant be ignored simply because it is uncomfortable. But it is not THE topic that I exchange about on these boards.

    Sloganeering about my life is inappropriate. Perhaps if I were an adolescent, radical collage student who was still trying to make sense out of the world, spitting out slogans would be enough. This is my life, not an ideology. There is no reason for banners and certainly for debate.

    No it’s not just a black thing. Its far more complicated than that.

    I wont discuss it further in this capacity. Sorry. Its not fun for me.

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    When someone is spewing out anti Semitic rhetoric you don’t have to play the victim, just introduce them to reality. They are delusional and if you choose, you can introduce them to the real world.

    You are not playing a victim by doing so. There are all sorts of victims in this world today, lets not PLAY that roll else we diminish the significance of their suffering.

  • The village idiot

    Elvira, Smell the Kool-Aid. Hell old Zedd is snorting the stuff. I should know. Thats why Im called the village idiot. Just dont judge me by my intellect. It,s non-existent. “Yaba-Daba-Doo… sr

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd:

    This article was not about race. Moonraven chose to fling that shit against the wall of the post and see if it would stick–and it obviously did.

    I meant playing the victim in the ironic/metaphorical sense–i.e., I don’t tend to play the victim. But sometimes other folks trot out the victim thing as an excuse to hurl vitriol with impunity. In other words, some people will say Jews are always playing the victim or can’t seem to “get over” the Holocaust. Now, I don’t go around routinely talking about the Holocaust, but if someone tries to tell me it didn’t happen I will “play the victim” enough to disagree. Capiche?

    So yes, “racism” and bigotry are real–but I try not to stir that shit up unless someone forces me to.

    We have a black Secretary of State, a black chair of the Ways and Means Committee, and a potential black candidate for president who might just win, just for starters. So there is progress being made. Everyone has their own struggles and challenges in life.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    sr:

    I can’t get Kool Aid off the brain since I saw this incredible show last night about Jim Jones on the History Channel….

  • Clavos

    Chávez on Freedom of the Press, according to Newsday:

    …”Their days are numbered. Squeal, kick, whatever they do: the license of that fascist channel is gone,” Chavez said Saturday. “RCTV’s signal will be nationalized for Venezuelans”

    Emboldened by his sweeping re-election victory, Chavez now seems intent on transforming Venezuela’s broadcast media. An expanding web of state-run and state-financed radio and TV stations shapes his image. And almost every Sunday, he preaches socialist ideals on “Hello President,” his folksy talk-show program that runs for five hours or more…

    …The case also has drawn international attention, with statements of concern from the Organization of American States, the Roman Catholic Church, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders and the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

    And the beat goes on in beautiful, tropical, freedom-loving Chavezuela.

    (with a tip ‘o the hat to Franco)

  • TVI sr

    Jim Jones the cult leader of the Peoples Temple in Guyana. What a wack job he was. Many years ago I worked with a good fried that lost one of his family members at Jones Town. How sad it is that people can get caught up within cults.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    “And almost every Sunday, he preaches socialist ideals on “Hello President,” his folksy talk-show program that runs for five hours or more…”

    Sounds excruciating.

    Jim Jones actually has more to do with this thread than racism–he was, as far as I know, Communist in his philosophy and definitely a “dictator” in a little pond. Took the poor and disenfranchized on a permanent trip to the psych ward at Disneyland.

  • Clavos

    Elvira,

    …in South America.

    You’re right!

    The five hour speeches are yet another leaf Chávez took from Fidel’s book; Castro’s harangues have been known to last 8-10 hours!

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    h e l p

    read my posts from now on, on bc. i will let you decide if i didn’t understand the dialogue on this thread.

    you missed the point of my post to dave. here goes: stop with the really simple and base advise. its annoying. you are not contributing anything that is helpful. who wouldn’t know what you just stated? if you are not considered to be extraordinarily wise by your neighbors, family, coworkers and friends, assume that you are not, to anyone else on the planet including me or any other person of color. shhhhhhhhh

    whewww. now do you get my contention?

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Clavos:

    Ugh…so I guess that means that soon that’s all that will be on TV…and soon after that, it’ll be required viewing. Ay caramba!

    Jim Jones pulled that kind of shit…so did Charles Manson.

  • Clavos

    That’s exactly where he appears to be headed, Elvira.

    here’s an interesting tidbit: there was a polling place for this past election here in Miami.

    Of course, most of the Venezuelans in Miami are strongly opposed to Chavez. The vote here was something north of 90% against him.

  • STM

    Zedd: We’ve all been victims. I don’t speak about this much because I don’t generally give it a thought anymore but I have experienced a bizarre form of racism and bullying that is probably not unique to Australia.

    I spent the early part of my life in Britain and the middle east. So when I came here as a kid, aged 13, and was sent to an all-boys’ school, I still had a British accent. Which of course, made me stand out like dogs’ balls.

    As a result, almost every day for the first year of my school life in Australia, I literally got punched from pillar to post, had my clothes ripped, my nose broken (more than once), my teeth knocked out, my wrist and fingers broken, my tie snipped off just below the knot, my head stuck down the dunnies and flushed or shoved into garbage bins, etc.

    All the standard stuff that boys do to boys, and then some. One of the teachers asked me why I always had black eyes and split lips.

    When I played football (rugby), I got smacked around all over the park. Often, if there were two or more guys in a tackle, I’d get slammed to the ground AND cop a nice smack in the head on the way down as well.

    I even once heard before a game my own teammates telling players they knew from another school to get me when I was at the bottom of the ruck – they duly obliged: punched, bitten and poked in the eyes – because I was “a pommy” (I’m not, BTW).

    Sometimes, when I went down with the ball, my own teammates would trample deliberately over my head and body when they formed a ruck. You grew up in South Africa, so you know what the steel studs on rugby boots can do to bare skin when it’s stomped on and raked. Afterwards, they’d be laughing about it and patting me on the back.

    Cricket wasn’t much better: when I played cricket at school, I got bodylined all the time – the ball deliberately bounced off the wicket so that it would head for my body or my head.

    Then there was the never-ending verbal harrassment. The beltings started to tail off mid-way through the second year. Did I fight back? Yes, and eventually it stopped. Some of my tormentors became my best friends. I went on to play serious rugby league into my mid-late thirties. Thanks to them, probably, so I had the last laugh.

    Years later, one of my mates admitted: “Yeah, we gave it to you a bit, didn’t we? … because you were different.”

    Shit happens, Zedd. You can either be a victim, or turn that stuff to your own advantage. Continually playing the victim the way you do just becomes really bloody tedious and doesn’t help to change anything.

    Take a leaf out of Nelson Mandela’s book, take the path of least resistance – the path of true reconciliation and let the whole bloody thing go.

    You know that saying, “don’t get mad, get even”?

    There’s two ways to interprete that, and only one’s right.

  • STM

    Elvira and clav said: “And almost every Sunday, he preaches socialist ideals on “Hello President,” his folksy talk-show program that runs for five hours or more…”

    “Sounds excruciating.”

    Lucky it’s not on pay-for-view … the poor bastard would be broke

  • STM

    “To see … the shape of his lips and the texture of his hair”

    Moonraven finally divulges her true feelings about Hugo.

    I know I’ve been likening him to a rugby player with a head like a smashed crab and calling him “Dirty” Chavez after a famous prop forward of the same name … but in truth, I my be well off the mark: he may be much more of the latin lover than any of us really understood.

  • Clavos

    Naah, Stan. He’d just make it mandatory.

  • Clavos

    Oops!

    #125 is in response to 123.

    As to moonie and hugo: you think he likes the harpy type?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I spent the early part of my life in Britain and the middle east. So when I came here as a kid, aged 13, and was sent to an all-boys’ school, I still had a British accent. Which of course, made me stand out like dogs’ balls.

    Stan. Sounds like my story in a nutshell. When and where were you in the middle east? I got over my British accent as quickly as possible. It’s even more of a liability in the US than in Australia, I imagine.

    Dave

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd: You said:

    “you missed the point of my post to dave. here goes: stop with the really simple and base advise. its annoying. you are not contributing anything that is helpful. who wouldn’t know what you just stated? if you are not considered to be extraordinarily wise by your neighbors, family, coworkers and friends, assume that you are not, to anyone else on the planet including me or any other person of color. shhhhhhhhh”

    Perhaps you elaborate on other threads, Zedd, but you don’t seem to be going into detail about what your specific issue is with the way Dave is discussing racism (again, not the topic of the post). Or maybe you are, but I just don’t happen to agree.

    Yes, some folks don’t like Dave’s political positions or even his style–I don’t always agree with him but I find him to be super-literate and informed. And I have to tell you that, IMO, his comment #100 was right on the money.

    “to anyone else on the planet including me or any other person of color. shhhhhhhhh”

    Again, you seem to be saying that as a person of color you are so set apart that no one could understand you or your difficulties–and moreover, that they have no right to discuss it and should just shut up and close off all dialogue. And then you don’t elaborate at all. What’s up with that?

    I live in NYC, and am surrounded by people of all races, colors, religions, and sexual orientations all the time. I am moving to the Bronx, in an area that consists predominantly of people of color as well. I have zero problem with them (though I am technically a minority there). Yes, many of them are poor/working class, but virtually every group that came to this country has started at this level, and strived to help their kids rise above it. Many faced opression, discrimination and grinding poverty in their own land, and America, though not perfect, did offer a better opportunity for them.

    Yes, African Americans have a different, and shameful legacy in the US–they did not come here of their own accord, and were slaves. Horrible–and horrible also that such virulent oppressioni and discrimination existed here well within my lifetime. It makes me feel sick, mad, and ashamed.

    But there other groups that have suffered terribly as well–whether “of color” or not. Perhaps homo sapiens are hard-wired to distrust the “other.”

    And yes, many indigenous people worldwide have been exploited by white interlopers. Again, not an excuse, but man seems to be a territorial animal–and those who had the technology to “explore” soon began to plunder and destroy as well. But most people have nothing to say about what their leaders and their ancestors have done.

    Your claim that non-whites cannot be racist is absurd. Why do you want to excuse non-whites from any possible flaw that the “white man” exhibits? We’re all human. Do you think you deserve some special dispensation based on your race?

    I’d really like to hear something more about your experiences or feelings on this.

  • S.T.M

    Dave asked: “Stan. Sounds like my story in a nutshell. When and where were you in the middle east?”

    Baghdad, in 1966 and 1967, and London prior to that and for three years after.

    I wasn’t a popular chappie in Australia …

  • S.T.M

    “It’s even more of a liability in the US than in Australia, I imagine.”

    Don’t think so mate. You have to be here to understand … I knew plenty of Americans as a kid, and even when I first went to the US in the early 80s, they couldn’t tell I was Australian … they all thought I was British, although because of the way I said car, and beer, someone in Georgia thought I might have been from Boston. They thought it was exotic, and were very kind.

    No. Being a suspected young “pommy” at a boys’ school in Australia in those days, whilst not uncommon, meant there was a lot of proving to be done.

    It invariably involved someone else proving that they could inflict some form of physical or mental torture on you. Regularly …

    Oh, how I looked forward to a good game of rugby, where I could at least single a few of them out and give it to them.

    The agony ended about the same time my accent started to go native.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    I don’t think it’s much of a liability in the US at all–in fact, it seems like an asset. Most fellow Americans I’ve run across are totally disarmed at the sound of a Brit accent (or Australian or New Zealand or Scottish for that matter). And once the Beatles hit, forget it–Brits totally ruled.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Elvira, sounds like you’re talking about adults. As a kid coming back from British schools in the middle east I got a lot of razzing from other kids for the accent and did my best to lose it as quickly as possible.

    Though I suppose that as Stan points out the resentment of Brits here in the US is overall lower than in Australia, it’s just not good to have a funny accent in elementary school.

    Stan, sadly we never lived in Baghdad, though we did visit in ’65, missing you by a year or so.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    There is a big difference between critically evaluating situations in the world today that are less than exemplary–and deliberately wishing ill on at least the southern half of the planet.

    The situation in the US is terrible. Habeas corpus disappeared in one of Bush’s snotrags and nobody even blinked! It’s embarassing for folks like me who do not live there to have to apologize to most of the folks on the planet for carrying a US passport.

    That does not mean that we are trying to heap further destruction on the country of which were are citizens. It may not be salvageable, but that is not the point of this thread.

    Nor are we trying to heap destruction on other countries whose leaders are TRYING to break out of the neocolonial bondage of the Twentieth Century so that their people can have a present and a future.

    I personally will do whatever I can to move a potentially positive process forward.

    What I find offensive on the part of folks like the OP and Dave Nalle is that they are stuck dancing the foxtrot with Joseph McCarthy in 1950, looking for communists under the bed and basically being destructive to anyone who doesn’t share their Cold War ideology.

    Fortunately, they are not going to present any real danger in the southern, NON-WHITE half of the planet because they have no intention of ever going there.

    This is all a game, as I have stated before, to pretend to be journalists–or pretend to be historians, as Dave had the nerve to tell us a few posts ago–because with the Internet there is a world of opportunities for anybody with time on his or her hands to do so.

    Back in the days of newspapers, if you were not being PAID to be a writer (like I was, for example), your only recourse was to write letters to the editor–and take your chances that they would agree to print them.

    My suggestion of going back to school and getting an education still stands as a better choice for these guys.

    If 80-year old newly women in Venezuela can do that–and be given a stipend and three meals a day while studying–I think these guys should consider it worthwhile.

  • moonraven

    A very brief aside to Zedd–if he has not given up completely on this thread–we Native Americans can always spot each other, too–even back in the early 60s when a lot of folks were still “passing”, we came together like drops of water to the same river.

    The bird is an anomaly because somehow the tiny sliver of Scandinavian heritage gave me blond hair, but that has never stopped another “indigena” from seeing that I am one, too. That goes for here in Latin America, as well.

    As for someone’s suggestion that my interest in Chavez could be carnal instead of ideological: Take a look at the number of very active women in the enormous chavista rallies. Women respond well to someone who appears KIND, who hugs them, who is interested in what they think and feel.

    Or perhaps I should limit that to NON-WHITE women?

    Or NON-RACIST women?

    Anyone who thinks racism doesn’t exist as the bottom-line mover and shaker of geopolitics, please tell me when the US demands sanctions and bombardments of France for its nuclear programs.

  • moonraven

    And just to forestall any extended red herrings about Iranians being Aryan, please assume that I know that (since I spend a fair amount of time in the Middle East), and move on.

    George Bush and his cronies DON’T know that. To them everybody whose sand is sitting on top of THEIR oil is an Arab.

    That’s a clear example of RACISM.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    There is a big difference between critically evaluating situations in the world today that are less than exemplary–and deliberately wishing ill on at least the southern half of the planet.

    So true. I find it tragic that someone like you who was raised with all the benefits of freedom in America has chosen to devote so much time to promoting the oppression and destruction of the lives of the people of indigenous cultures and emerging nations in the southern hemisphere.

    The situation in the US is terrible. Habeas corpus disappeared in one of Bush’s snotrags and nobody even blinked! It’s embarassing for folks like me who do not live there to have to apologize to most of the folks on the planet for carrying a US passport.

    Have you read the MCA? Apparently not, since it does not eliminate habeas corpus. It merely limits it in some very specific and limited circumstances.

    That does not mean that we are trying to heap further destruction on the country of which were are citizens. It may not be salvageable, but that is not the point of this thread.

    Well that’s good to hear. I never would have guessed it based on your past comments.

    Nor are we trying to heap destruction on other countries whose leaders are TRYING to break out of the neocolonial bondage of the Twentieth Century so that their people can have a present and a future.

    You’re trying to transition them to a worse form of bondage which is completely oppressive as opposed to the relatively benevolent post-colonial free market.

    I personally will do whatever I can to move a potentially positive process forward.

    Mostly in the form of lying and massive denial of reality…

    What I find offensive on the part of folks like the OP and Dave Nalle is that they are stuck dancing the foxtrot with Joseph McCarthy in 1950, looking for communists under the bed and basically being destructive to anyone who doesn’t share their Cold War ideology.

    If the communist/socialist threat had actually gone away with the end of the cold war then we could move on. Since it has not, we’re left having to continue to fight it.

    Fortunately, they are not going to present any real danger in the southern, NON-WHITE half of the planet because they have no intention of ever going there.

    Of course, several commentors on this thread who you disagree with LIVE there – I see you conveniently ignore them.

    This is all a game,

    For you, perhaps.

    as I have stated before, to pretend to be journalists–or pretend to be historians, as Dave had the nerve to tell us a few posts ago–because with the Internet there is a world of opportunities for anybody with time on his or her hands to do so.

    I’ll have to tell my thousands of students to turn in their college degrees because I guess I wasn’t really teaching them history. God, all that time I wasted in grad school to get those degrees. What was I thinking. I need to go back and be an undergrad and get 2 or 3 more BAs.

    Back in the days of newspapers, if you were not being PAID to be a writer (like I was, for example),

    And I was, for that matter – both in newspapers and magazines, and as an editor.

    As for someone’s suggestion that my interest in Chavez could be carnal instead of ideological: Take a look at the number of very active women in the enormous chavista rallies. Women respond well to someone who appears KIND, who hugs them, who is interested in what they think and feel.

    Ah, like Ted Bundy…

    Anyone who thinks racism doesn’t exist as the bottom-line mover and shaker of geopolitics, please tell me when the US demands sanctions and bombardments of France for its nuclear programs.

    Last I checked the key difference between France and North Korea or Iran is that France doesn’t plan on nuking any of its neighbors.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    The above post is a particularly depressing example of why NO real discussion can take place on this thread: I will place my comments in CAPS and then I will leave and let Dave continue with his masturbatory postings.

    There is a big difference between critically evaluating situations in the world today that are less than exemplary–and deliberately wishing ill on at least the southern half of the planet. (MR)

    So true. I find it tragic that someone like you who was raised with all the benefits of freedom in America has chosen to devote so much time to promoting the oppression and destruction of the lives of the people of indigenous cultures and emerging nations in the southern hemisphere.

    NOTE THAT DAVE DENIES MY ETHNICITY.

    THEN HE ACCUSES ME OF OPPRESSING AND DESTROYING THE LIVES OF OTHER INDIGENAS.

    HE DOES THAT WITHOUT OFFERING ANY PROOF WHATSOEVER. AND NOTHING I HAVE POSTED ON THIS THREAD INDICATES ONE WHIT OF WHAT HE IS CLAIMING IS EVEN REMOTELY TRUE.

    The situation in the US is terrible. Habeas corpus disappeared in one of Bush’s snotrags and nobody even blinked! It’s embarassing for folks like me who do not live there to have to apologize to most of the folks on the planet for carrying a US passport. (MR)

    Have you read the MCA? Apparently not, since it does not eliminate habeas corpus. It merely limits it in some very specific and limited circumstances. (mr)

    WE HAD THIS DISCUSSION WHEN BUSH BLEW HIS NOSE ON THE MAGNA CARTA. THE mca GIVES BUSH OR ANYONE DESIGNATED BY HIM THE POWER TO DECIDE WHO IS AN ENEMY AND ELIMINATE HABEAS CORPUS.

    DAVE WON’T ADMIT THIS UNTIL HE IS THE DESIGNATED ENEMY AND ROTTING IN GUANTANAMO. THEN AT LEAST THERE WILL BE SOME, ALBEIT ONLY POETIC, JUSTICE.

    That does not mean that we are trying to heap further destruction on the country of which were are citizens. It may not be salvageable, but that is not the point of this thread. (mr)

    Well that’s good to hear. I never would have guessed it based on your past comments.

    WHICH PAST COMMENTS HAVE INDICATED I AM INTENT ON DESTROYING THE US? AS USUAL, NO EVIDENCE–JUST GRATUITOUS ACCUSATION.

    Nor are we trying to heap destruction on other countries whose leaders are TRYING to break out of the neocolonial bondage of the Twentieth Century so that their people can have a present and a future. (mr)

    You’re trying to transition them to a worse form of bondage which is completely oppressive as opposed to the relatively benevolent post-colonial free market.

    AS USUAL, NO EVIDENCE. VENEZUELA HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST RATES OF GROWTH IN THE WORLD. HOW IS THAT BONDAGE FOR ITS PEOPLE? DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH HAVE BEEN THE BUZZWORDS THE NEOLIBERALS HAVE BEEN USING FOR YEARS TO CONVINCE OTHER COUNTRIES TO HAND OVER THEIR RESOURCES.

    THE POST COLONIAL FREE MARKET HAS NOT BEEN BENEVOLENT IN LATIN AMERICA. I LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHICH NOW CANNOT EVEN PROVIDE TORTILLAS FOR ITS PEOPLE AT AN AFFORDABLE COST BECAUSE NAFTA PROVISIONS DESTROYED THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR. THAT COUNTRY IS MEXICO.

    I personally will do whatever I can to move a potentially positive process forward. (mr)

    Mostly in the form of lying and massive denial of reality…

    I HAVE PROVIDED PLENTY OF EVIDENCE OF DAVE’S LIES. HE HAS YET TO SHOW ONE SINGLE LIE I HAVE EVER POSTED ON THIS SITE. NOT ONE.

    AS FOR MASSIVE DENIAL OF REALITY–I DON’T LIVE IN A TRAILER IN TEXAS, BUT IN THE BIG WORLD–THE WORLD BEYOND THE BORDERS OF THE US. AND I WORK AND GIVE CONFERENCES IN THAT WORLD. NOT AS A PROFESSIONAL TEXAS HICK, BUT AS A KNOWLEDGABLE ACADEMIC AND SOCIAL ACTIVIST.

    What I find offensive on the part of folks like the OP and Dave Nalle is that they are stuck dancing the foxtrot with Joseph McCarthy in 1950, looking for communists under the bed and basically being destructive to anyone who doesn’t share their Cold War ideology. (mr)

    If the communist/socialist threat had actually gone away with the end of the cold war then we could move on. Since it has not, we’re left having to continue to fight it.

    WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO OLD JOE MCCARTHY, ANYWAY?

    I REMEMBER THAT HE WAS FINALLY CENSURED BY THE US SENATE FOR HIS OVERTHETOP DESTRUCTIVE RAVINGS, ABUSE OF POWER AND BULLYING.

    BUT HE’S CLEARLY DAVE’S IDOL AND DAVE WILL CONTINUE TO CARRY ON BULLYING, HATING AND RAVING AGAINST ANYONE WHO DOESN’T FIT THE DEFINITION OF US PATRIOT CIRCA 1950.

    I FIND THAT REALLY PATHETIC.

    Fortunately, they are not going to present any real danger in the southern, NON-WHITE half of the planet because they have no intention of ever going there. (MR)

    Of course, several commentors on this thread who you disagree with LIVE there – I see you conveniently ignore them.

    ONE PERSON ON THIS THREAD–THE PARANOID PINOCHET POSTER BOY WHO CALLS HIMSELF FRANCO AFTER THE FASCIST SPANISH DICTATOR CLAIMS HE LIVES IN LATIN AMERICA.

    HE’S THE SAME PARANOID (HE HAS ACCEPTED THAT ADJECTIVE–SEE ABOVE) WHO CLAIMS HE IS AFRAID TO POST ANY EVIDENCE FOR ANY OF HIS ASSERTIONS BECAUSE I MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING HAPPEN TO HIM OR SOMEONE ELSE IF HE POSTS DOCUMENTATION.

    I AM SORRY, BUT THAT IS JUST TOO CRAZY FOR ME TO RESPOND TO.

    This is all a game, (mr)

    For you, perhaps.

    SANDBOX REPLY. ON THE ORDER OF “Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN”. FIVE YEAR OLDS USE THIS WHEN THEY HAVE BEEN BUSTED.

    as I have stated before, to pretend to be journalists–or pretend to be historians, as Dave had the nerve to tell us a few posts ago–because with the Internet there is a world of opportunities for anybody with time on his or her hands to do so. (mr)

    I’ll have to tell my thousands of students to turn in their college degrees because I guess I wasn’t really teaching them history. God, all that time I wasted in grad school to get those degrees. What was I thinking. I need to go back and be an undergrad and get 2 or 3 more BAs.

    I DON’T BELIEVE IT FOR A MINUTE. UNLESS YOU POST SOME PROOF I HAVE NOTHING TO GO BY BUT YOUR SELF-TAUGHT RHETORICAL MISHMASH TO IDENTIFY YOU.

    Back in the days of newspapers, if you were not being PAID to be a writer (like I was, for example), (mr)

    And I was, for that matter – both in newspapers and magazines, and as an editor.

    WHICH NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES, PRECISELY?

    As for someone’s suggestion that my interest in Chavez could be carnal instead of ideological: Take a look at the number of very active women in the enormous chavista rallies. Women respond well to someone who appears KIND, who hugs them, who is interested in what they think and feel. (mr)

    Ah, like Ted Bundy…

    ANOTHER COMPLETELY TANGENTIAL RESPONSE THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TOPIC. INFANTILE AND UNACCEPTABLE AS AN ARGUMENT.

    Anyone who thinks racism doesn’t exist as the bottom-line mover and shaker of geopolitics, please tell me when the US demands sanctions and bombardments of France for its nuclear programs.

    Last I checked the key difference between France and North Korea or Iran is that France doesn’t plan on nuking any of its neighbors.

    YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHATSOEVER WHAT FRANCE’S INTENTIONS ARE.

    DOES CHIRAC CALL YOU AT MIDNIGHT AND WHISPER IN YOUR EAR?

    IRAN IS HARDLY IN A POSITION TO NUKE ITS NEIGHBORS SINCE IT DOES NOT HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS. IT HAS REPEATEDLY CLAIMED THAT IT IS MORE THAN ADEQUATELY PREPARED TO DEFEND ITSELF FROM THE US AND ISRAEL WITHOUT THEM–INCLUDING IN TODAY’S PRESS.

    THE KEY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE US AND ALL OTHER COUNTRIES ON THE PLANET IS THAT IT HAS NUKED ANOTHER COUNTRY: JAPAN.

    WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT ITS CREDIBILITY NOT TO NUKE ANOTHER COUNTRY?

    ESPECIALLY SINCE IT HAS ALREADY THREATENED TO USE NUCLEAR WEAPONS AGAINST OTHER COUNTRIES IN PREEMPTIVE STRIKES….

    Sorry, Dave, you are living in a time warp. Are you sure you are not a tripwire vet like Clavos?

  • moonraven

    I mistakenly self-attributed Dave’s response on habeas corpus.

    Sorry. The last thing I would desire is to take credit for anything that Dave writes.

  • moonraven

    The latest on the non-renewal of the tv concession:

    Brownfield reconoce que no renovar concesión a RCTV es una decisión soberana

    Note that it is a non-renewal of a CONCESSION.

    Here in Mexico the governor of the state of Puebla recently up and booted out the owners of a channel that was critical of him for his violation of the rights of a JOURNALIST in a pederast scandal case.

    Now that guy, “el gober precioso”, is really a champion of freedom of speech.

    And the current “president” of Mexico, Felipe the Brief, gave prosecuting that governor as one of his campaign promises.

    Great leadership we have here in Mexico.

    Examplary.

    And with the US government stamp of approval.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ah, Moonraver. Frustrated as she is by our refusal to lie back and accept her deceit, she resorts to the internet equivalent of screaming and stamping her feet by writing in all caps.

    NOTE THAT DAVE DENIES MY ETHNICITY.

    I never said one word about your ethnicity.

    THEN HE ACCUSES ME OF OPPRESSING AND DESTROYING THE LIVES OF OTHER INDIGENAS.

    HE DOES THAT WITHOUT OFFERING ANY PROOF WHATSOEVER. AND NOTHING I HAVE POSTED ON THIS THREAD INDICATES ONE WHIT OF WHAT HE IS CLAIMING IS EVEN REMOTELY TRUE.

    You mean you no longer support Chavez, communism and socialism? My mistake. I thought you did.

    WHICH PAST COMMENTS HAVE INDICATED I AM INTENT ON DESTROYING THE US? AS USUAL, NO EVIDENCE–JUST GRATUITOUS ACCUSATION.

    Well, you have openly supported the training of terrorists who target the US. What else am I to conclude?

    AS USUAL, NO EVIDENCE. VENEZUELA HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST RATES OF GROWTH IN THE WORLD. HOW IS THAT BONDAGE FOR ITS PEOPLE? DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH HAVE BEEN THE BUZZWORDS THE NEOLIBERALS HAVE BEEN USING FOR YEARS TO CONVINCE OTHER COUNTRIES TO HAND OVER THEIR RESOURCES.

    I believe Clavos more than covered the economic lies already. As for freedom in Venezuela, how’s that free press going?

    THE POST COLONIAL FREE MARKET HAS NOT BEEN BENEVOLENT IN LATIN AMERICA. I LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHICH NOW CANNOT EVEN PROVIDE TORTILLAS FOR ITS PEOPLE AT AN AFFORDABLE COST BECAUSE NAFTA PROVISIONS DESTROYED THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR. THAT COUNTRY IS MEXICO.

    Odd, I haven’t heard about the dreaded tortilla shortage. One woudl think that with the highest average per capita income in latin america this wouldn’t be a problem. Let’s see some evidence of this dreaded tortilla shortage. And BTW, the US is a net exporter of grain products, so we aren’t eating all the tortillas.

    BUT AS A KNOWLEDGABLE ACADEMIC AND SOCIAL ACTIVIST.

    I’m sort of curious about your academic credentials. Where did you get your degree? Where did you teach university?

    ONE PERSON ON THIS THREAD–THE PARANOID PINOCHET POSTER BOY WHO CALLS HIMSELF FRANCO AFTER THE FASCIST SPANISH DICTATOR CLAIMS HE LIVES IN LATIN AMERICA.

    Lies or senility. You be the judge. You didn’t say latin america earlier, you referred to the southern hemisphere, where STM also lives.

    HE’S THE SAME PARANOID (HE HAS ACCEPTED THAT ADJECTIVE–SEE ABOVE) WHO CLAIMS HE IS AFRAID TO POST ANY EVIDENCE FOR ANY OF HIS ASSERTIONS BECAUSE I MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING HAPPEN TO HIM OR SOMEONE ELSE IF HE POSTS DOCUMENTATION.

    A realistic fear given your ties to terroristic and oppressive regimes.

    I DON’T BELIEVE IT FOR A MINUTE. UNLESS YOU POST SOME PROOF I HAVE NOTHING TO GO BY BUT YOUR SELF-TAUGHT RHETORICAL MISHMASH TO IDENTIFY YOU.

    It’s an interesting conundrum. I’m no longer on the faculty/staff list online having stopped teaching 5 years ago. I guess I could scan and put online a paystub if I still have one, or a tax return. You first.

    Back in the days of newspapers, if you were not being PAID to be a writer (like I was, for example), (mr)

    And I was, for that matter – both in newspapers and magazines, and as an editor.

    WHICH NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES, PRECISELY?

    I’ve had over 500 paid articles and works of fiction and poetry published. The problem is that the portion of my writing career we’re talking about was before the advent of the internet. I can list magaszines, but good luck finding anything. I’ve written for Liberty, What’s Next?, Dragon, Sorcerers Apprentice, Night Voyages, Spacegamer, Dragontales, Fantasy Gamer, Adventure Gaming, Renaissance, Different Worlds, Eldritch Tales, Abyss, Thrust, Space and Time, Sigma and a variety of others, mostly no longer being published. And yes, I wrote mostly on games, game design and on history in those days – plus a good bit of fiction and poetry and lots of book reviews and recurring review columns. Except for my editorial duties for What’s Next, Liberty and a couple of other magazines I stayed away from writing on politics until relatively recently. I’ll admit it’s not the most recent or relevant writing career, but 500 paid publications in a decade is respectable, even if it was mostly in pretty specialized magazines.

    YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHATSOEVER WHAT FRANCE’S INTENTIONS ARE.

    Perhaps, but we have a long history of not nuking neighbors to go on, and in the case of Iran and North Korea we have no history, and with Iran numerous public statements of their intent to destroy Israel.

    IRAN IS HARDLY IN A POSITION TO NUKE ITS NEIGHBORS SINCE IT DOES NOT HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS. IT HAS REPEATEDLY CLAIMED THAT IT IS MORE THAN ADEQUATELY PREPARED TO DEFEND ITSELF FROM THE US AND ISRAEL WITHOUT THEM–INCLUDING IN TODAY’S PRESS.

    So your plan is to wait until they have nukes so that we can have a nuclear confrontation with them rather than stopping things before they get to that point. Brilliant.

    THE KEY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE US AND ALL OTHER COUNTRIES ON THE PLANET IS THAT IT HAS NUKED ANOTHER COUNTRY: JAPAN.

    WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT ITS CREDIBILITY NOT TO NUKE ANOTHER COUNTRY?

    I hope it gives them pause to think seriously about it.

    Dave

  • STM

    “Back in the days of newspapers, if you were not being PAID to be a writer (like I was, for example).”

    Is there anything (the naturally blonde AND indigenous) Moonraven hasn’t done? What was the paper Moonrave … The Young Spartacist?

    Geez … a Bolivarian reincarnation of Wonder Woman, flitting about the globe fighting capitalism, solving all ills and doing good socialist works.

    Could be a movie in that. It could run in the Caracas prime-time timeslot – just after Hello President, when everyone’s already asleep.

  • Clavos

    Geez … a Bolivarian reincarnation of Wonder Woman, flitting about the globe fighting capitalism, solving all ills and doing good socialist works.

    …All with one hand.

    While, with the other, she graces us all here on BC with her brilliant repartee and rapier wit, not to mention the breadth and depth of her expertise in geopolitics.

  • STM

    “…All with one hand.”

    Lol …

  • MCH

    “Sorry, Dave, you are living in a time warp. Are you sure you are not a tripwire vet like Clavos?”
    – moonraven

    Nope, Nalle has never served.

  • STM

    BTW, on the dreaded tortilla shortage, perhaps I can help here.

    There’s a new Mexican joint down the road (that is actually called That New Mexican Place) and I must say, the tortillas are to die for.

    You know what Dave? One thing I pick up from a lot of these threads – not just Moonraven’s – is that everything’s the fault of the US and of course has nothing to do with anyone else’s economic mismanagement or till dipping.

    My suspicion is that the dreaded tortilla shortage is largely the result of Mexico refusing to engage with the US on setting an equilibrium price for tortillas.

  • Clavos

    Today The 18th, is the anniversary of my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 92, but he’s been dead almost 23 years.

    He was really a fair dinkum mate. I still miss him.

  • Clavos

    Sorry, Stan. No idea where that came from.

  • STM

    No need to apologise Clav … I miss my Dad too, although as a mummy’s boy, I miss my mum a bit more.

  • Clavos

    My Mum was a woderful lady, but Dad was very special.

    My wife got to know him pretty well. She says I’m my Father’s son…I’m flattered, but I don’t fill those big shoes.

    You never do forget do you?

  • Clavos

    OK, I’m outta here for the night.

    G’night old friend..

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Girls, frustratingly the politics section has quite the most juvenile comments going on of the whole site and all your childish namecalling has been deleted. I am incredibly disappointed to be forced to delete so many remarks.

    STM; I would have hoped for better from you…

    A plague on all your rickety wooden houses!

    Bah!

  • S.T.M

    Chris Rose said: “All your childish namecalling has been deleted … STM; I would have hoped for better from you…

    A plague on all your rickety wooden houses!”

    Thanks mate! You are right, of course. We really have had a shocker.

    But it WAS fun ….

  • Emry

    [Entire comment deleted. You have made yourself familiar with the Blogcritics Comments Policy, right? Your long suffering Comments Editor.]

  • moonraven

    Geez: Dave’s academic credentials are that he has written about games in a bunch of magazines targeted at 12 year olds.

    Makes perfect sense to me.

    I doubt that any of you folks have the slightest interest in reading about the exhorbitantly priced tortillas in Mexico–even though they are the staple of the diet of more than 95% of the Mexican people.

    However, pick any day during the past week and check the front pages of the Mexican newspapers.

    Today, for example, here’s the lead to the top story:

    “Exige la Permanente resolver la crisis alcista
    El panista Héctor Larios pide a Calderón actúe ”con mayor velocidad”

    ROBERTO GARDUÑO, CIRO PEREZ

    Permanente del Congreso de la Unión llamó al gobierno de Felipe Calderón a resolver la crisis propiciada por el incremento al precio de la tortilla y al resto de los productos básicos afectados en su valor, con el consecuente impacto negativo en la economía de la mayoría de los mexicanos…”

    This has been the TOP story in Mexico, but since none of you read Spanish–despite claiming expertise of all kinds–including the ephemeral presence of a grandfather in Caracas in the 1940s (reminds me of all those folks trying to get EU passports as Germans because a German Shepherd ran through their back yard once….), I am sure you couldn’t care less.

    And since you know nothing about this region and also couldn’t care less, it would appropriate for you to tinkle your keyboards on another topic.

    Your comments about Chavez speeches that you have never heard (and wouldn’t understand anyway) and Alo Presidente (ditto) show how completely uninformed you are about the world and its most influential leaders. Who, my what a coincidence, are in large measure NOT WHITE.

    As a parting shot, too bad I can’t post a photo of Chavez when he still was wearing his afro….(This site really needs an update–technologically speaking.)

  • moonraven

    Aside to STM:

    Many years with a byline and photo in The Albuquerque Journal (among others). Not as big as the NYTimes, but we did score some Pulitizers on a fairly regular basis.

    Beats writing for comic books.

  • moonraven

    Reading Bill Moyers’ speech, “Life on the Plantation”, today I was highly pleased to see his quote from Gramsci about practising “the pessimism of the intellect and the optimism of the will”–which Moyer interprets as seeing the world as it is, and trying to change it despite what one knows.

    For those of you who really don’t think it’s all that much fun toting those cotton bales for The Master, here’s the link to Moyers’ speech. (A man who has spent his life cheek to jowel with powerful politicians and is not frittering away his brains and time playing games and WRITING about playing them and pretending he is a dead senator named McCarthy, is going back to television.)

    For the fans of old Dave and Clavos, they are well represented as the crackpot antagonists in any of south Florida journalist and novelist Carl Hiassen’s books.

    The choice is yours.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Could I just remind all you link happy pols that it is BC Magazine protocol to have all links correctly formatted?

    That means that all urls should appear like this, Blogcritics, and not like this http://www.google.com.

    Anyone who’d like a refresher on just how to go about this will find that the explanation at HTML Code Tutorial is as good as any.

  • moonraven

    Christopher,

    Since I am the only person here who ever docuemnts anything, you must be referring to me.

    I was not aware that it was necessary to take a course in order to post on this site “correctly”.

    The tutorial you linked me to is as clear as mud.

    That’s ONE way to get rid of posters you disagree with, I suppose….

  • Lumpy

    Moonraver’s NPD has the odd symptom of disabling her ability to scroll up and see all the links to documentation others have posted. Or maybe she just has a pathilogical blindness to neutral sources and xan only read propaganda.

  • moonraven

    Sorry, lumpster: No DOCUMENTATION of any point has been posted on this thread except by me.

  • Clavos

    The tutorial you linked me to is as clear as mud.

    Funny. ALL the rest of us have learned how to format links from that VERY SAME tutorial.

  • Melita Teale

    No need for sorrow, Moonraven. Except for the sake of international social movements, which you’re hurting by pretending to represent while raving insultingly yet hilariously, and which you’re neglecting for the sake of getting into pissing competitions with Dave Nalle.

  • moonraven

    A gratuitous exercise on your part, since you do not EVER document any of your claims.

  • moonraven

    You seem to be the filter for the urine that you so sweetly mentioned.

    Here in Mexico, Melita filters are for coffee.

    Different strokes….

  • Melita Teale

    And she puns, too! Melita! Melitta! Brilliant! Carry on the good fight, Moonraven.

  • Clavos

    Here in Mexico, Melita filters are for coffee.

    The filters are spelled with two Ts…

    That’s ONE way to get rid of posters you disagree with, I suppose….

    Utinam.

  • Lumpy

    Wow. You really are totally delusional.

    See #s 6, 46, 73, 76, 93, 94, etc…

    Why do you lie when it’s so transparent?

  • Clavos

    Just for the record, moonstruck:

    My comments with links or citations:

    6,12,14,34,41,44,50,76,93,94,115.

    Yours:

    57,30,137,139*,154*,156.

    Your comments marked with an asterisk linked only to documents entirely in Spanish, making them useless to everyone on the thread except Franco and me.

    You lied again.

  • Lumpy

    Her lies are her undoing. She no longer has any propaganda value because she has no credibility.

  • Emry

    Clodvos, didn’t Moonraven ask you earlier to provide links to documentation rather than mainstream opinion pieces?

  • STM

    Moonraven wrote: “I was not aware that it was necessary to take a course in order to post on this site “correctly”. The tutorial you linked me to is as clear as mud.”

    Surely someone of your extreme intellect should be able to understand a code tutorial.

    It ain’t rocket science.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Geez: Dave’s academic credentials are that he has written about games in a bunch of magazines targeted at 12 year olds.

    No, Moonraver, that’s some of my WRITING background, all before I went to graduate school and went into academics. As I said before, when you tell me what degrees you have and where you got them, I’ll do the same.

    As for the rest, I’m enjoying watching you make a fool of yourself.

    Dave

  • STM

    Moonraven, writing of her time with that great journal of record, The Albuquerque Bugle (Sorry, where is New Mexico again?): “Beats writing for comic books.”

    Beats writing for comic books, eh. Must have been a come down. What’s the pay like?

  • STM

    Morning Emry … been on the chardy again old boy?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The one time I wrote for a comic book I got $150 a page, which wasn’t so bad considering there are only about 50 words on a page. Perhaps not as distinguished as writing for the Albuquerque Advertiser and being paid in tortillas, but not bad.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Clodvos, didn’t Moonraven ask you earlier to provide links to documentation rather than mainstream opinion pieces?

    Shoulda read ‘em for yourself rather than take her word…

    And, obviously you haven’t read hers, either; they weren’t linked, so it couldn’t have been easy for you.

  • Clavos

    P.S. emry:

    Gotta give you points for “Clodvos”. I’m a great admirer of wit, and that one word has more of it than the entire sum total of every comment moonravin’ has made on this or any other thread on BC, ever.

  • STM

    Dave Nalle wrote: “Perhaps not as distinguished as writing for the Albuquerque Advertiser and being paid in tortillas.”

    Mate, obviously, this is the real story behind the great Mexican tortilla shortage.

  • STM

    Clav, I think Emry’s mum has already sent him to bed.

  • Clavos

    Did he finish his homework first?

  • STM

    Hopefully, and then mum probably let him on to the new video game. I wonder if he’s a Dragon Ball Z fan? (I can see C.Rose giving us another bollocking here).

  • Emry

    Clodvos, why would I waste my time following your links to mainstream media opinion pages. I gave up after the first half dozen and the rest would no doubt prove to be equally useless.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Emry, those ‘opinion pieces’ are mostly straight journalistic articles based on solid research, not just some guy’s ranting about Chavez.

    Are you trying to claim that anything reported in the mainstream media is now suspect?

    Dave

  • Emry

    Dave …”is now suspect”. Real cute!

  • Melita Teale

    Dave and STM, Moonraven may be annoying (and I’m pretty sure “she’s” a xenophobic American McCarthyite shill who’s trying make Mexican commies look HORRIBLE) but she’s right about the tortilla prices. Check Reuters. Their government just introduced a price cap because people are desperate. You’re letting her raving get infectious and looking jerky doing it. Relax. You won the cold war, remember?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Melita, I never disagreed with her on the Tortilla prices. The whole situation has been terribly mismanaged in Mexico. However, what most of the news reports and certainly MR don’t mention is that before the tortilla prices went up 500% they went down 70%, so the net result is actually only an increase of about 50% in net price over time. Still not good for the poor, but not disastrous on the scale some are making it out to be.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    emry,

    Exactly ONE was an “opinion piece”. It was an editorial from the Miami Herald. All the rest are straight factual reporting, but not from socialist (or Chavez) propaganda sites; they are from real publications, ms moonbeam’s opinion of them notwithstanding.

    From the banner at the top of my article, you can see that IT is an “opinion” piece. As such, I’ve naturally cited sources that support my opinion.

    If that doesn’t meet with your and moonie’s approval, I don’t actually care.

  • Melita Teale

    Oh no – you never disagreed. You’re a little more subtle than that (140, 175) – a little. I’m starting to think you’re helping her shill by giving her so much feedback. I hope you understand it’s very annoying for the rest of us, Dave. Yet hilarious.

  • Emry

    Clodvos, that should read real mainstream publications full of mainstream opinion.

    So all we’ve got is your opinion backed up with more useless opinion. Thanks for nothing.

  • Clavos

    You’re welcome.

  • moonraven

    This thread really fell into the toilet after I left yesterday.

    More infantile sandbox stuff.

    AND disparaging and obviously RACIST remarks drected against the 6th largest state in the US, New Mexico, and its major newspaper by a freak from the land of Oz. ENVY of me, RACISM, the whole 9 yards. Nice going.

    Although I owe absolutely no information to Dave, and would not believe anything he wrote about his academic career if he swore on a stack of bibles, here is PART of mine:

    All three degrees–including the terminal degree from, respectively, U of Washington, San Francisco State U and U of Massachusetts at Amherst.

    Profesorial and educational administration:

    Asst. Prof English Northern Illinois University (plus head negotiator for NIU local of AFT union)

    Director of Adult and Continuing Education College of Santa Fe

    Asst. Prof. English Santa Fe Commu8nity College

    Assoc. Prof. History Universidad del Valle de Mexico, DF

    Director Languages and Culture Universidad del la Sierra, Puebla

    Director Languages and Culture Universidad del Mar, Oaxaca

    Dean, International University Program, Universidad Especialidades Espiritu Santo, Ecuador

    Assoc. Professor Curriculum Development and Pedagogy Universidad del Papaloapan, Oaxaca

    Consultant, Foreign Language Acquisition: UPN, Ecuador; NYIT Jordan and Bahrain, NAES Bahrain.

    And for the most recent NEWS THAT RELATES TO THIS THREAD:

    It was announced at the Mercosur Summit yesterday that a free trade agreement has been signed between Mercosur and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council–which includes Bahrain, Qatar. UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia).

    Someone did some good work bringing together two groups of Arab culture into that agreement.

    And the update on the Tortilla Crisis:

    1. Dave lied about prices going down 70% before rising. They did not such thing, but have steadily risen since 1995.

    2. Yesterday an agreement was signed that presidente FECAL took credit for placing prices at 8.5 pesos per kilo. The government neglected to say that only 6 percent of the tortillerias are included in that agreement.

    This is not funny. The state in which I live is in the zone where the minimum wage is less than 50 pesos per day. The very poor families eat MOSTLY tortillas and can easily consume 4 kilos per day. At the 10 pesos per kilo that they are in my village, that’s 40 pesos per day.

    Doesn’t mean much to you folks, but to them it means HUNGER.

    And there is no excuse for that.

    Nor is there the slightest excuse for ANY of you pontificating about conditions in Mexico. You do not have a clue.

    Nor are you likely to get a clue, as you are convinced you know it all.

    Your stacks are full.

  • Emry

    It’s a pity Chavez’s “record high spending on food, health and education programs” will be curtailed by lower oil prices.

    And here’s hoping Chavez’s generous gift of heating oil for the poor people in the USA isn’t affected too much.

  • moonraven

    Don’t worry–the operating budget for 2007 was based on petroleum selling for half of what it is currently sellng for.

    Plus the monetary reserves are considerably more than the external debt, so there is a very substantial cushion.

    They always predict very conservatively in regard to the growth of the economy–for 2006, the prediction was 6% growth–and it grew more than 10%.

    The budget for social programs has been sunstantially increased for 2007.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Marthe, I refer you to this article by Tom Philpott who is an expert on third world agriculture and as big a socialist as you can possibly imagine, and a fine fellow nonetheless. He points out that between 1994 and 2001 the price of masa in Mexico dropped 70% prior to the increase in price that began in 2001. The article also has a LOT of interesting detail on the nature of and reasons for the problem, which I agree is an outrage.

    As for your academic credentials, I’ll take your word for them. There’s no way to verify any of the stuff in Mexico, and it’s not worth my trouble either way. In my academic career I encountered plenty of degreed people with extensive teaching experience who were absolute morons, and even more who were narcissistic prigs.

    For a quick summary of my academic credentials, I have two BAs from Franklin & Marshall college, one in English and one in History. I’ve got two MAs from the U. of Texas in Linguistics and History. I left the Doctoral program without defending my dissertation, although I fulfilled all course requirements and other qualifications for my PhD. Family obligations made it impossible for me to finish all of my writing on my dissertation. I was an instructor in history at the U. of Texas for 5 years and then taught for another 14 at Austin Community College. I held a research fellowship in Colonial history, a grant fellowship in Historical Georgraphy, and a fellowship for international study at the U. of London. I’ve presented papers and appeared on panels at the American Historical Association, the Mid-American Medieval Association and several other historical conferences. I’m not the most distinguished historian of all time, but I do have some academic credentials and experience, not that Marthe will believe them. Nor is my academic background all that relevant, except that I’ve done an awful lot of reading in history, economics and politics, and have useful basic training in rhetoric, logic and research.

    There it is, for what it’s worth.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    First, thanks for the link, Dave.

    This is precisely why I insist on seeing documentation of your wild statements.

    This supposedly professional academic has some kind of reading disability, as he insisted–2 times–that the “price of tortillas/masa dropped 70% between 1994 and 2001″, yet the article HE linked us to says the following:

    “According to Oxfam, between 1994 and 2001, the corn price in Mexico fell by 70 percent; meanwhile, between 1994 and 1999, the price consumers paid for their staple, tortillas, rose threefold.

    There is a subtle difference between the raw material here–CORN–and the masa prepared to make tortillas and the machine-made tortillas. That subtle difference (sarcasm, yes) is the profit margin of the folks who have stuck it to the Mexican consumer–and which has resulted in our current Tortilla Crisis.

    By providing the DOCUMENTATION, as usual, Dave has proven MY point–not HIS.

    I would like to think that Dave is just a careless and selective reader–not that he is a liar–but his apparently impecable academic credentials indicate that he should be able to read much more accurately than he apparently does.

    So I have to assume that he is deliberately lying–just what I have contended all along.

    Take your choice: LIAR or LITERACY-CHALLENGED.

    Dave writes:

    “In my academic career I encountered plenty of degreed people with extensive teaching experience who were absolute morons, and even more who were narcissistic prigs.”

    With that I suppose he believes he has cancelled out my academic career, called me a moron and a narcisstic prig.

    Name calling again, Dave–so soon after Cristopher’s rap on the knuckles?

    Then he tells us a bunch of nonsense about what a hot shit academic HE is–although he was unable to finish his dissertation and receive the PhD.

    Perhaps I am the only person on this site who knows that the U of London post-docs are NOT given to folks who do not finish their terminal degrees?

    It doesn’t matter, as Dave lacks the open-mindedness so critically necessary in an educator.

    But the key statement he made on this topic is that he can’t verify any of my Mexican academic posts–which I will complete by the following: BECAUSE THIS SELF-PROCLAIMED EXPERT ON LATIN AMERICA DOES NOT SPEAK SPANISH.

    Anyone else see a problem with Dave spouting off his keyboard about a region where he would not be able to read a newspaper or understand a tv or radio newscast?

    And with his browbeating, insulting and making racist comments to someone who LIVES in the region, is bilingugal and who has written extensively on Latin America in Spanish and regularly gives conferences on Latin American topics?

    Dave, you owe everybody on this site an apology for LYING.

    And you ESPECIALLY owe ME one.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    This is precisely why I insist on seeing documentation of your wild statements.

    Yes, it would be terrible if I continued to agree with you on the tortilla crisis without documentation.

    This supposedly professional academic has some kind of reading disability, as he insisted–2 times–that the “price of tortillas/masa dropped 70% between 1994 and 2001″, yet the article HE linked us to says the following:


    By providing the DOCUMENTATION, as usual, Dave has proven MY point–not HIS.

    Marthe, I didn’t disagree with you on this issue, but yet you keep arguing with me. All I’ve been saying is that the price increase is not as sudden or as dramatic as you and the media make it out to be.

    Name calling again, Dave–so soon after Cristopher’s rap on the knuckles?

    Christopher neither criticized any of my comments nor did he delete any of them. You can’t say the same.


    Perhaps I am the only person on this site who knows that the U of London post-docs are NOT given to folks who do not finish their terminal degrees?

    Talk about reading challenged. When did I say post-doc? It was a graduate fellowship for research, not a post-doc.

    But the key statement he made on this topic is that he can’t verify any of my Mexican academic posts–which I will complete by the following: BECAUSE THIS SELF-PROCLAIMED EXPERT ON LATIN AMERICA DOES NOT SPEAK SPANISH.

    I have NEVER professed to be an expert on Latin America. But that doesn’t stop me from being able to form logical opinions based on available facts.

    And with his browbeating, insulting and making racist comments to someone who LIVES in the region, is bilingugal and who has written extensively on Latin America in Spanish and regularly gives conferences on Latin American topics?

    I’m still longing for an explanation of this accusation of racism that makes any sense at all.

    Dave, you owe everybody on this site an apology for LYING.

    And you ESPECIALLY owe ME one.

    Amazing. NPD knows no restraint.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    So, Dave was not man enough to apologize for lying and for his racist behavior.

    I knew he wasn’t. That big cowboy hat is to distract attention from the lack of two other items in his underwear.

  • moonraven

    Now, to his points:

    1. Conspiracy theory Dave strikes again with this one: “the price increase is not as sudden or as dramatic as you and the media make it out to be.”

    I and the media? Who has been whispering contrary information in your ear now, cowboy? I live here. I buy tortillas every day. The media and I are right and you are simply full of yourself and full of shit.

    2. No post-doc, huh? The U of London does not give pre-doctoral fellowships for research to folks from other countries.

    3. The real howler, considering all Dave’s rants about Chavez: ” have NEVER professed to be an expert on Latin America. But that doesn’t stop me from being able to form logical opinions based on available facts.”

    Logical opinions–whose logical opinions? Not yours, Dave.

    Available facts??????? From where, precisely, since you don’t speak the language and have no personal translator in your trailer?

    Another duende and pixie that’s whispering in your ear?

    You need help. My firing squad offer still stands–only 2,000 bucks and you are off to prepare for a more honorable lifetime.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Available facts??????? From where, precisely, since you don’t speak the language and have no personal translator in your trailer?

    So you’re saying that no one anywhere in the world covers news from Latin America in English? Do you not realize how ridiculous you are?

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Latin America is not an English-speaking region.

    How, precisely, do you cover something you don’t understand one whit of?

    I’ll tell you how: You just churn out the party line of propaganda.

    Good example today: the BBC runs a story on how the National Assembly in Venezuela voted to give Chavez certain law-creating powers for 18 months.

    That source neglects to say what was stated in the article in today’s SPANISH language La Jornada: That all proposed changes to the 1999 Constitution will be submitted to a referendum, just like that Constitution was.

    That’s why you need to speak the language, Dave.

    Otherwise you are just shilling for something that you don’t even get anything out of!

  • Clavos

    I’ll tell you how: You just churn out the party line of propaganda.

    …said the expert propagandist.

  • Clavos

    moonbeam quotes La Jornada because it’s in Spanish, but fails to mention that it’s owned by the Autonomous University of Mexico, which is a hotbed of socialists and marxists, and that the paper is easily the most left wing general circulation rag in Mexico.

    Perhaps the BBC failed to mention that proposed changes to the constitution must be approved by referendum because the BIG story is not ABOUT changes to the constitution; it’s about the power the Asamblea Nacional has given Chavez to rule BY DECREE for the next 18 months, as this article, ALSO IN SPANISH, in EXCELSIOR details.

  • Lumpy

    My question is why moonraven hasn’t been banned from BC long before this. She posts nothing but the most pointless personal attacks and stupidly obvious lies and is in constant and persistent violation of the comment policy. She contributes nothing positive to any discussion and just wastes bandwidth. Her behavior has got to be driving away readers. As a basic courtesy to more reasonable participants she ought to be kicked off the site.

  • Franco

    Is not the concern today really more for where Chavez is taking the country when we have seen what he has done already in little step by step moves in power consolidation. What steps does he see he has not made the he knows he must, but has not let the world see yet?

    Some of the steps at changes he is making in Chavezuela today, he could not have made earlier. The steps he takes tomorrow that we cant see our discuss today will more of the same advances on power and control f or the coming greater regional revaluation. Seduction one step at a time alarming the world at each step but not enough to warrant intervention. He’s and slight one the dog is.

  • Lumpy

    Nice clqvos. Nailed her again. Prepare for some more personal attacks.

  • moonraven

    No personal attacks, lumpy. (BTW, I really applaud your defense of free speech–with folks like you there would be no constitution in the US.) Your entire post was nothing but a personal attack against me–or what information did you give us about Chavez, precisely?

    Just facts:

    1. La Jornada is NOT owned by the Mexican government!!!!! That is the most ridiculously fanciful statement I have ever seen from Clavos.

    2. La Jornada uses the very powerful server of the National University of Mexico–the MOST prestigious university in Latin America and the only one in the top 100 worldwide. It is far from being the “hotbed of socialists and marxists” that clavos so ignorantly claims.

    3. It is owned by the La Jornada cooperative.

    Just to clear that up for Clavos, who SAYS he’s from Mexico. (And to thank him for calling me an expert in the field of propaganda that he so avidly would like to be better at.)

    Wonder where he’s really from? My money is on Cuba, given the behavior we have seen on this site.

    4. What clavos also fails to tell us in his hysterical rant–perhaps because he didn’t know about it–was that in 2001 49 laws instigated as presidential decrees in Venezuela were passed by referendum. Two of those laws involved the use of hydrocarbons and agrarian reform.

    This is not a new procedure in Venezuela at all.

    Franco’s post is not written in any of the languages I speak and read, so I cannot respond to it.

  • Clavos

    moonie,

    Are you blind or drunk?

    La Jornada is NOT owned by the Mexican government!!!!!

    I said it was owned by UNAM, not the government. And yes, I know UNAM is a government school, but we both know they take the “Autónoma” part of the name very seriously there.

    You are correct that the university does not directly own La Jornada, but the direct ownership is DEMOS, Desarrollo de Medios S.A. de C.V. As you well know, “S.A. de C.V.” means that it is legally a stock corporation, not a cooperative, as you say.

    I also know, from lifelong friends close to the University, that the school has a direct, proprietary interest in this lefty tabloid.

    And you obviously don’t have even a shred of honesty left in you if you don’t agree that the school is crawling with extreme lefties; to the point that, historically, practically every lefty/socialist/communist of any note in Mexico (with the exception of course, of Trotsky) came out of there.

    The Escuela Nacional De Artes Plásticas at UNAM, successor to the Academia De San Carlos, is especially noted for them, having produced Orozco, Siqueiros, Tamayo and Rivera. All great artists, all fervent communists, all San Carlos alums.

    Of course, as an extreme lefty yourself, you don’t see the forest for the trees in that regard.

    And to thank him for calling me an expert in the field of propaganda

    If you knew the level of contempt in which I hold propagandists of any stripe, you’d be less eager to thank me. You are welcome to retract those thanks now, if you’d like.

    This is not a new procedure in Venezuela at all.

    Never said it was new. Said it was undemocratic and despotic.

  • moonraven

    Clavos tried to get out of his obvious lack of information about the UNAM by telling us that his FRIENDS told him it was a leftist enclave.

    That’s like Dave–who implies that Chirac calls him on the phone at night and whispers in his ear.

    You are making it up. And you cannot prove otherwise.

    But your final killer is this riotous statement:

    “The Escuela Nacional De Artes Plásticas at UNAM, successor to the Academia De San Carlos, is especially noted for them, having produced Orozco, Siqueiros, Tamayo and Rivera. All great artists, all fervent communists, all San Carlos alums.”

    All DEAD. And for many years now.

    And NONE of them became artists because they stgudied at UNAM, either.

    You went out on a limb, cubano culero, and then you sawed it off. Really smart.

    If you keep falling closer and closer to the ground, by all means PULL THE HAND BREAK!

    I am off to score a few black market tortillas. Unfortunately, most of my neighbors have an income about 1% of mine. So I will have to score some for them, too.

  • Clavos

    moonravin’, don’t you ever get tired of misquoting me?

    You SAY I said:

    Clavos tried to get out of his obvious lack of information about the UNAM by telling us that his FRIENDS told him it was a leftist enclave.

    I ACTUALLY said:

    I also know, from lifelong friends close to the University, that the school has a direct, proprietary interest in this lefty tabloid.

    Either you aren’t very bright or your dishonest, or both.

    IT’S TOO EASY TO REFUTE. Pay attention moonie, you’re losing cred faster than a televangelist caught in flagrante with his mistress.

    And NONE of them became artists because they stgudied at UNAM, either.

    Didn’t say they did. Said …Orozco, Siqueiros, Tamayo and Rivera. All great artists, all fervent communists, all San Carlos alums.

    This is like shooting fish in a barrel, folks!

  • moonraven

    Clavos,

    It won’t wash.

    1. UNAM has no proprietary interest whatsoever in La Jornada–incidentally, just one of the most prestigious newspapers in the region (check out the number of journalists from La Jornada who regularly receive the national medal for periodismo and other awards).

    The university’s budget comes directly from the federal government and there is no way they would allow money to be spent operating a voice critical to them.

    As for autonomy, the federal government has never cared a whit about that. When there have been students strikes they have sent in the PFP to beat the crap out of folks and take over.

    2. What is this nonsense about San Carlos and UNAM being the same entity? Are you a kindergarten student, or what?

    The only fish floating belly up in the barrel of urine is YOU, cubano culero. And the smell indicates you have been dead for several days.

  • Clavos

    Lots of name calling (and now, scatology, too!), as usual, gringita.

    And, once again, you didn’t even read what I wrote:

    The Escuela Nacional De Artes Plásticas at UNAM, successor to the Academia De San Carlos

    Lots of ranting, but no substance…pobrecita, te falta uno que otro tornillo.

  • moonraven

    I read what you wrote. Let’s lok at what it means:

    The successor to FDR was Harry Truman.

    Your logic: Truman was responsible for initiating The New Deal.

    Which is a crock.

    All my screws are absolutely intact and my whole brain completely well-oiled, clavos.

    Where’s that hand brake you were grabbing for?

  • Clavos

    my whole brain completely well-oiled, clavos.

    That’s obvious from the content of your comments, moonravin’.

    What’re you oiling it with? Pulque? Enhanced with a little weed, maybe?

  • Clavos
  • moonraven

    Clavos,

    Never mind the inane distractions. The UNAM was founded in 1551. If you were a Mexican, you would know that it celebrated 450 years of educational existence in 2001–con bombos y platillos, as they say here.

    Now, I would like to return to the TOPIC of this thread you started by plagiarizing from the Miami Herald’s apocryphal statements by Chavez.

    The practice of plagiarism is not only wrong, but it can also make you look like a real fool when youplagiarize from a completely non-credible source.

    In this case, you have egg all over your face, cubano:

    If Chavez is a declared Communist, I would like you to explain exactly why yesterday the Communist Party of Venezuela announced that it is resisting Chavez’ call for all parties on the left to incorporate themselves into one bolivarian chavista party.

    The CPV leaders have not officially put their resistance to a vote, however. That will happen on the 3rd or 4th of March, 2007.

    (The above info from La Jornada’s edition of today.)

  • moonraven

    On second thought, I am not interested in seeing your explanation for why you plagiarized lies.

    I want to see your retraction in the following space.

  • Franco

    Chavezuela – More power grab today.

    Decree powers passed for Chavez

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s National Assembly have given initial approval to a measure that would let President Hugo Chavez enact laws by decree for 1 1/2 years, a key step in what the leftist calls an accelerating march toward socialism

    Chavez said the “mother law” would allow him to enact political, economic, social, national security and defense changes by decree.

    Opposition politician Gerardo Blyde criticized the proposed law, saying “what is becoming evident is that all the powers are one single power in Venezuela — Hugo Chavez.”

    Power grabs for tomorrow.

    Chavez has formed a commission to recommend sweeping changes to the country’s constitution.

    “This one is more flexible,” he said, adding that it must be revised to eliminate parts “where the oligarchy, the counterrevolution managed to infiltrate their concepts.”

    Citing a constitutional clause that says changes to “one or various” articles must not undermine the document’s fundamental principles, Chavez said there is no limit on how extensively it can be rewritten. “It says ‘various.’ That can mean five or 100 or 200 or all,” he said.

    Decree powers passed for Chavez

  • Clavos

    Franco,

    The link’s not working. Try again?

    TIA

  • Emry

    Chavez the DECIDER.

    Well a least this time it’s someone with a brain and a social conscience.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Try this link for the article.

    As for having a ‘social conscience’, that’s a peculiar way to describe a dictator. Even Hitler started out offering what sounded like a positive plan for post-war Germany.

    Dave

  • Martin Lav

    Almost sounds like “compassionate conservative” doesn’t it?

  • Franco

    Clavos,

    Things down here in LtAm arn’t all the smooth for Chavez. His recless demeaner is starting to turn more and more of the countires off.

    This is a good read, thought you would like it.

    Venezuela Wants Trade Group to Embrace Anti-Imperialism

  • Franco
  • Clavos

    Thanks for the links, Franco.

    Great quote here from the NYT article about the Mercosur meeting:

    In private, the four original members have also expressed concerns about Venezuela’s ability to adhere in the future to the group’s requirements that members follow democratic practices, which was important in Paraguay’s transition out of a military dictatorship. As they see it, recent moves by Mr. Chávez raise the specter of a one-party state, perpetual re-election, a controlled press and doubts about respect for private property.

    They should have concerns; they shouldn’t have even let him in, especially not without setting down the rules and conditions first.

    A couple of interesting points from the article about his seizure of the Central bank:

    The bolivar is officially pegged at 2,150 to the U.S. dollar, compared with about 4,000 to the dollar in unregulated trading.

    As the article says, he’s risking the public’s confidence in the Bolivar with that move, at a point when the market already has discounted it by nearly half from the official rate. On top of that, he’s got the highest inflation rate in the region; which is now likely to blow through the roof with the bank seizure.

    Que pendejo.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    All I want to know is: When is Chavez starting a blog?

  • Clavos

    Elvira,

    Rumor has it that moonie’s lobbying to have Chavez take over Dave’s job as Politics Editor…

    I suppose then he he could have a blog called the Elitist Dic (tator)?

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Clavos:

    LOL–I’m sure the only people allowed to comment would be, like, Moonraven and maybe Fidel. Doubtless a scintillating read all the way around.

  • STM

    Clav wrote: “I suppose then he he could have a blog called the Elitist Dic (tator)?”

    Lol … I don’t agree with much of what Dave writes, but he at least expresses himself in a lcid fashion and without resorting to (too much) one-upmanship.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The bolivar is officially pegged at 2,150 to the U.S. dollar, compared with about 4,000 to the dollar in unregulated trading.

    Oddly reminiscent of the ruble under the old Soviet Union. Get in the bread line, Pablo.

    Dave

  • Franco

    It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and
    then — just to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to
    another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

    I began to think alone — “to relax,” I told myself — but I knew it
    wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

    That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother’s. I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t help myself.

    I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could think on Thoreau, Muir, Confucius and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”

    One day the boss called me in. He said, “Listen, I like you, and it
    hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If
    you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.”

    This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my
    conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confess, “I’ve been thinking…”

    “I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”

    “But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.”

    “It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as
    college professors and college professors don’t make any money, so if
    you keep on thinking, we won’t have any money!”

    “That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently.

    She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to
    deal with the emotional drama.

    “I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door.

    I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors. They didn’t open. The library was closed.

    To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that
    night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a
    poster caught my eye, “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked.

    You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers
    Anonymous poster.

    This is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a
    TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided
    thinking since the last meeting.

    I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just
    seemed… easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the
    road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

    Today I took the final step… I joined the Socialist Party of Venezuela

  • S.T.M

    “Oddly reminiscent of the ruble under the old Soviet Union. Get in the bread line, Pablo”

    And pray hard for another shipment from people’s toilet paper factory no 2.

  • S.T.M

    Franco … lol …. very funny mate, but Marthe will get you

  • Clavos

    Franco,

    I had no idea there were Twelve Step programs for thinkers! Good ones too, apparently.

    Thank Go…no, wait…thank MARX for the socialists!

    VERY funny, my friend.

  • Franco

    The Sunday Times – World

    “Chavez told the Venezuelan national assembly that vast tracts of the country’s largely unpopulated interior would be used for the construction of new cities, each covering up to 100 square kilometres (38.6 square miles).

    He declared last week that his new “socialist cities” would be run by “people power”. The new cities would be self-governing and beyond the jurisdiction of provincial governors.”

    Which translates to mean direct governorship with the Chavez via the militay. Well I guess we know were some of those new AK103’s are bound.

    “Chavez’s plan is to introduce a system similar to Pol Pot (the Cambodian Khmer Rouge leader),” warned Carlos Raul Hernandez, a political scientist. “When Chavez talks about people power, he means doing away with elected institutions and replacing them with groups of fanatics.”

    Chavez builds socialist cities

  • Clavos

    And the beat goes on, Franco.

    However, all is not well in Chavezuela. From the same article:

    “Chavez’s self-confidence has outgrown his momentary good fortune (from high oil prices),” said Michael Shifter of the Inter-American Dialogue policy group. “These latest moves may accelerate the implosion of a political system whose vulnerabilities are increasingly exposed.”

    Added to the above, the inflation rate is skyrocketing, and there is already anecdotal evidence that food shortages are beginning to appear.

  • Emry

    I wonder if Bush will decide to bomb Venezuela back to the stone age as the US did with Cambodia.

  • Clavos

    I wonder if Chavez will decide to inflict genocide on his people, as Pol Pot did in Cambodia.

  • Emry

    If the Cambodia model is to be followed, first comes the genocidal US bombing. That should take care of 100,000 Venezuelans, give or take.

  • moonraven

    Bush is obviously–we have plenty of evidence in the Middle East–much more likely to bomb Venezuela than Chavez is to commit genocide.

    Bush has already put several hundred THOUSAND notches on the handle of his six shooter.

    Chavez has put none.

    And more to the point, clavos has tried a runaround here after being proven to be a liar with his statement for this piece that Chavez claimed to be a communist.

    He didn’t have the huevos to retract, so he started throwing up the first links he has put to anything.

    Of course he knows nothing about Venezuela, so the links–although others may care to read them because they have nothing better to do–have no connection whatsoever with his original claim.

    He prefers to live under the dictatorship of Bush/Cheney anyway–so why should he complain about the rights of other countries to their own governments?

    Clavos, when you find those huevos, I am waiting for you to put them where your mouth is.

  • moonraven

    And clavos still does not want to accept the generally accepted principles of writing.

    Opinions of OTHERS are NOT documentation for yours.

    That’s like saying you’re right because Franco agrees with you.

    In this case, clearly, the opposite would be true.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    “Clavos, when you find those huevos, I am waiting for you to put them where your mouth is.”

    Am I the only one that finds this rather smutty sounding? ;-)

  • Clavos

    clavos has tried a runaround here after being proven to be a liar with his statement for this piece that Chavez claimed to be a communist.

    Proven where?

    I posted a source, you choose not to accept it; fine.

    But you haven’t disproven it simply by disagreeing.

    Where’s your source that proves he didn’t say it?

    Feh.

  • moonraven

    I assume you are being deliberately obstuse since I already posted on Sunday the statement by the Communist Party of Venezuela.

    You are not going to wriggle out of this.

    You not only plagiarized a source that lied, you insisted that plagiarizing was okay.

  • moonraven

    And as a further follow-up, as if your lies were not patently obvious, those who might want to check into clavos’ veracity could take the trouble to read Mary Pili Hernandez’ piece on Venezuelanalysis.com.

    Or they might not want to do that–itmightbe more comfortable to believe clavos and the Miami Herald.

    If I were cut from the same cloth as clavos, who has sounded off about what he believes to bemy intentons in Mexico, I might also want to comment that his description of his boat business sounds like money-laundering for narcotraficantes–at the very least.

    Wny he makes so little money is at it, however, is anyone’s guess.

  • moonraven

    It’s called: “Just What Is 21st-Century Socialism”….

  • Martin Lav

    It’s hard to sell boats when you’re chasing Dave Nalle around the internet all day…..

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    And pray hard for another shipment from people’s toilet paper factory no 2.

    Also known as Pravda.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Opinions of OTHERS are NOT documentation for yours.

    As a rule, even in political science faculties, using straight news stories from established newspapers like the Times and Miami Herald is generally considered acceptable and factual documentation, not reliance on ‘opinion’.

    Dave

  • Franco

    Chavez said “Those of you who want to know what type of socialism I have planned for Venezuela should read Marx and Lenin.”

    That is pure communism lock stock and barrel (no pun intended). You can not be any more or any less of a communist then that.

    The argument of whether Chavez is a communist does not rest with anyone of this thread, the argument rests with Marx and Lenin.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    If the Cambodia model is to be followed, first comes the genocidal US bombing. That should take care of 100,000 Venezuelans, give or take.

    Emry, does the US bombing excuse the millions killed by Pol Pot in any way?

    Dave

  • Franco

    #241 — Christopher Rose

    No!

    And you know what Chris, you are funny.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    BTW, I followed Moonraver’s link to venezuelaanalysis.com. I recommend that anyone reading this thread go there as well. Apparently it’s her idea of a ‘neutral’ source. The only problem is that it’s a blatant propaganda site clearly representing Chavez and his minions. Interestingly the domain is registered through a third party so as to prevent identification of the actual owners.

    Dave

  • Franco

    #250 — Dave Nalle [URL]

    “Emry, does the US bombing excuse the millions killed by Pol Pot in any way?”

    er….., um….., Emry, what say you.

  • Franco

    #237 — Clavos

    “I wonder if Chavez will decide to inflict genocide on his people, as Pol Pot did in Cambodia.”

    Only if the price of oil goes down and he looses control of them. People with absolute power are the very worst when trying to hang on to it.

  • Martin Lav

    “registered through a third party so as to prevent identification of the actual owners.”

    Probably through the same url that hosted moonrivers email address…….THE CHINESE!

  • Clavos

    Wny he makes so little money is at it, however, is anyone’s guess.

    As if you had even a clue of how much I make…

    I’m not the one “scoring black market tortillas” every afternoon, and I don’t live in the fields outside Cuautla.

    As for your crack about narcotraficantes: never knowingly, my dear. My books are open for inspection by anyone and all my clients are engaged in legitimate enterprises.

    Not a single communist dictator in the bunch.

  • STM

    Dave writes: “newspapers like the Times and Miami Herald are generally considered acceptable and factual documentation, not reliance on ‘opinion'”

    Glaring omission there old boy … what about the Albuquerque Bugle, that great journal of record?

  • Ramin

    I just ran into this article/forum. Quite an interesting debate. Mr. Dilbert’s comments are rather informative and well argued. Although I am informed and interested in Latin American politics, more than anything, I am learning from this forum. Certain information such as Cuba’s health care and literacy rate are widely known and recognized but I must say Mr. Dilbert that I appreciate you providing links to backup your arguments. I hope that your arguments inform members of this forum of the realities of this world, of the problems of the poor, hungry, and diseased.

    I hope it will make them realize that Imperialism and Colonialism (the worse of them seen under the Bush administration) is the cause of many of the problems of the third world. I hope they will realize that it is the type of foreign and domestic policies pushed forward by conservative right wing Republicans that are the cause of poverty not only in many Latin American countries but right here in the US (with 12% under the poverty guideline). Policies that allow the so called “free market” (with plenty of regulation, only that the regulations are there to help the rich get richer at the expense of everyone else) to rule our country allowing money to rule our lives. This is the most advanced country, the superpower of the world, with CEO’s making hundreds of millions of dollars and yet we have hungry people right here in the US. We produce more food than we consume and yet we have hungry people right here in the US.

    We have employees working for Walmart, the biggest employer in the US, without health insurance. Why? So while the minimum wage worker gets sick and is left with no treatment, some schmuck is millions of dollars richer? Maybe he deserves to be wealthy because he’s worked hard. But not every man has the same capabilities. Every man is human and every man deserves life. While I don’t expect the rich guy to give the poor guy life, I think he should have to provide healthcare for it is his workers who are making him rich. I’m beginning to believe that the only problem capitalists have with communists is that communism doesn’t allow them to get rich. It is all about MONEY.

    Your argument has helped inform me to better argue the same points. I look forward to the success of the Bolivarian Revolution. Thank you.

  • Emry

    “does the US bombing excuse the millions killed by Pol Pot in any way?” asks Dork…whoops, I meant Dave.

    Translation: Does the US genocide excuse the Pol Pot genocide?

  • Emry

    Franco, are you still holding your breath? Good boy!

  • STM

    If imperialsim and colonialism is the cause of many problems in the third world, and in Latin America in particular, how do you reconcile that with the economic success of first world countries like New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong – all former colonies.

    No, there’s much more to it. The real problem is that some countries lack truly democratic legal and political institutions and the resulting political instability, which in turn leads to investment fears and economies in crisis, is the cause of so much of the misfortune.

    Here’s a comparison: in the 1920s and 30s, Argentina and Australia were both considered the great hopes of the new world, with small manufacturing sectors and expanding and booming economies based largely on the rural export and resources sectors.

    One has prospered, and is a first world country, literally having ridden to prosperity on the sheep’s back, while the other has thrashed around dying a seemingly painful and lingering death, with rampant inflation, too much poverty, poor living and working standards and a huge divide between the haves and the have nots.

    Both, you could say, have been victims of political interference from the US, and in the case of Australia, also from Britain, its former colonial master.

    The real reason behind the anomaly: one has placed its grand, if inherited, democratic institutions to the highest position – making them more important than any one man or vein of thought. For that reason, they are and will remain the foundation stone of the nation.

    It has absolute freedom of speech, and a movement of social change that working in accord with industry, has given its citizens one of the world’s highest living standards and conditions for workers that until recently could not be matched anywhere.

    Now, for the other side of the coin: the other one has fallen victim to the whims of dictators, juntas, populist rulers, greedy home-grown capitalists working in cahoots with government officials and bureaucrats on the take, and has had no genuine democracy – all of which has served to rob the majority of its people of the things that should have been rightfully theirs.

    I must say, I do get sick of hearing the tired old argument blaming imperialism and colonialism for all the ills of this world.

    The real reason for Argentina’s lack of progress, and the same applies to most countries in Latin America, has been their absolute disregard for the democratic institutions required for genuine stability. Until those things are set in stone (even under socialist governments if need be), as they are elsewhere, there will be no progress.

    Sometimes people should look in their own backyards and do some mental hard yards on the real reasons for their misfortune before they apportion blame.

    And you don’t have to be a rocket scientists to see the truth of this.

  • STM

    Hello Emry … you are either up late or judging by your knowledge of Australia’s disgraceful treatment of Indigenous Australians, are Australian. If so, where are you?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Jesus CHRIST I get tired of having to correct basic logical/mathematical/factual fallacious idiocy.

    We have employees working for Walmart, the biggest employer in the US, without health insurance. Why? So while the minimum wage worker gets sick and is left with no treatment, some schmuck is millions of dollars richer?

    First, insurance is available for all WalMart employess at a discounted rate. It’s not a great deal compared to employer paid health, but it’s better than they would get if they had no job or a similarly paid job at some other employers.

    Second and more importantly, have you considered what would happen if H. Lee Scott, the CEO of WalMart, were to give up his salary of $1.24 million a year? It would raise the salary of the average WalMart employee by the grand total of 68 cents a year. If he were to give up his entire compensation package including stock options which totals $10.46 million a year, it would raise the average salary of WalMart workers by a sumptuous $5.81 per year.

    So the grand victory of the proletariat in lopping off the head of the capital class would be utterly meaningless in bettering the lives of even a single worker.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    And let me just add to that last, if you think WalMart is an exception, that if you took away the salaries of the CEOs of the top FIVE HUNDRED corporations in the US and divided all $5.4 billion in compensation between the oppressed workers of America each of them would gain a staggering $18 a year. That’s barely an hours wages for the average salaried worker – enough to take the family out for a meal at MacDonalds.

    So let’s not be ridiculous in our orgy of socialistic buffoonery.

    Dave

  • STM

    Dave wrote: “So the grand victory of the proletariat in lopping off the head of the capital class would be utterly meaningless in bettering the lives of even a single worker.”

    It’d make ‘em feel a lot better though mate … when people are struggling with crap wages, shitty working conditions and virtually no rights to stand up to the whims of their employers, looking at someone on a salary package of $10m a year – and you can bet it’s more than that – might cause a bit of resentment, don’t you think.

    Happy workers who aren’t struggling to enjoy a decent life make better workers. Better workers lead to more profit.

    And none of these guys deserve that kind of money. Ultimately, it’s always the workers who make these companies profitable.

    Most CEOs are raking it in for running companies that virtually run themselves.

    I know that view doesn’t hold water in your line of thinking old boy, but it’s still an obscene truth.

    It’s time more Americans realised that you CAN share the wealth around a bit without becoming a stalinist state.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    It’d make ‘em feel a lot better though mate … when people are struggling with crap wages, shitty working conditions and virtually no rights to stand up to the whims of their employers, looking at someone on a salary package of $10m a year – and you can bet it’s more than that – might cause a bit of resentment, don’t you think.

    Well of course, but it’s an unreasoning, illogical resentment. It’s self-hatred directed at the wrong target.

    Happy workers who aren’t struggling to enjoy a decent life make better workers. Better workers lead to more profit.

    Ah, but what does it take to make workers happy? A lot more than just a higher salary or a lower salary for their CEO. It takes a sense of purpose, involvement and being useful, and that’s where most companies fail far more than in how much they pay.

    And none of these guys deserve that kind of money. Ultimately, it’s always the workers who make these companies profitable.

    That’s highly debatable. It’s management as a whole and management policy which includes keeping workers happy which really matters. Individual workers don’t really have much of an impact in a large corporation.

    As for deserving that sort of money, when you run a company with 1.8 million employees, getting paid 68 cents a year per employee doesn’t seem like excessive compensation in proportion to the level of responsibility.

    Most CEOs are raking it in for running companies that virtually run themselves.

    Large corporations left to run themselves generally run themselves into the ground. K-Mart being a perfect example.

    It’s time more Americans realised that you CAN share the wealth around a bit without becoming a stalinist state.

    Nothing wrong with sharing the wealth, but it ought to be shared on the basis of merit.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Stan,

    Happy workers who aren’t struggling to enjoy a decent life make better workers. Better workers lead to more profit.

    The example that started this part of the discussion was WalMart.

    The unhappy worker thing at WalMart is simply not true. Yes, there are some unhappy workers there, but there are always SOME unhappy workers at almost any firm.

    The fact is, ALL of the negative stories (and that’s pretty much all they are, stories) circulating about WalMart were spread by the people trying to unionize the work force there. I have read numerous interviews of WalMart employees who are very happy working there.

    When I worked in the airline business, I directly managed several hundred employees. From that experience I can tell you that if you have widespread dissatisfaction in your workforce, THE JOB IS NOT GOING TO GET DONE. There’s no way WalMart would be as successful as it is if all those stories were true.

  • Clavos

    Stan,

    Ultimately, it’s always the workers who make these companies profitable.

    I partly disagree. The workers make the widgets, true. And without them there would be no widgets, and thus no sales and no revenue.

    But management makes sure the widgets are made efficiently and at a cost low enough to keep them competitive with every other company’s widgets. And sales and marketing (yes, sales in most US companies are management, even if they’re not individually managing anything more than their own territory), make sure the widgets get to the marketplace competitively, and get sold.

    It’s a team effort, Stan, and any well-run company recognizes that and acts accordingly, because if it doesn’t, it doesn’t succeed.

    This “us vs them” mindset is a central element of socialist/communist dogma, but, like most dogma, whether of the right or the left, is a sweeping generalization which is accurate only in specific instances, not universally.

    Ask any Southwest Airlines employee, the next time you’re in the USA.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, I agree with your point in general terms but the caveat is that not every business, not by a long way, accepts its workforce as part of the team.

    Management often see the employees as disposable, like an old fax machine or something, and quite rarely live up to the ideal behind your contention.

    The “us vs them” mindset may well be a central element of socialist and/or communist dogma, but that was only after decades in which the working classes were in fact treated as objects not people by business owners. That mindset can only be as flawed as the management practices that created it in the first place.

    I don’t subscribe to the divide and rule old school divisiveness of such ways personally but many businesses still do, which is why such attitudes still linger.

  • Clavos

    Chris,

    Management often see the employees as disposable, like an old fax machine or something, and quite rarely live up to the ideal behind your contention.

    I don’t think it’s nearly as rare, at least in this country, as it once was.

    That philosophy, or similar variants of it, has been taught in US B schools for at least a couple of decades now, and businesses are increasingly sending management to seminars reinforcing it; I attended a number of them myself the last several years I was in corporate management.

    Increasingly, companies are realizing that happy workers are good for business.

    Herb Kelleher (CEO of Southwest Airlines) began to practice it there more than twenty five years ago. The result? One of the most successful airlines in the history of American commercial aviation, with a work force that would almost lay down their lives for the company.

    And here’s the interesting part: Southwest’s pay scales at all levels, are among the lowest in the business. Money isn’t everything, which Kelleher knows.

  • moonraven

    Just a couple of quick comments to Dave:

    1. Clavos already admitted that the source he plagiarized was an editorial–by definition an opinion piece.

    2. You tried to smear venezuelanalysis.com a few months back, too–as if by smearing the messenger you erase the message.

    Won’t cut it. Gregory Wilpert, a US sociologist and journalist who has lived in Caracas for about 7 years now founded the site late in 2003. He has never been a mouthpiece for anyone–and his credentials are so far superior to yours, gameboy, as to be light years away.

    All of you hoping Chavez and the Venezuelan people fail are just sore losers because the US is in the toilet.

  • moonraven

    Randy Newman, another Nov. 28th Sagittarius (one year older than this bird) has written a song: A Few Wordds in Defense of Our Country.

    It’s posted on the Common Dreams site today.

    Pretty much says it all, folks….

  • moonraven

    So Dave doesn’t dive into the deep end smearing Common Dreams, the source for the reprint of Newman’s song was the New York Times….

  • sr

    Ramin. Did you go to school and major in dumbfuckology or does it just come natural? Speak to me sweetpea and will indulge in unintellectual dialog. Bring moonbat with you ya all. Have a shit day.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    1. Clavos already admitted that the source he plagiarized was an editorial–by definition an opinion piece.

    Yes, but most of Clavos’ links are not to editorials, yet you characterize them all as if they were. In your overly critical parlance that would mean that you’re a liar.

    2. You tried to smear venezuelanalysis.com a few months back, too–as if by smearing the messenger you erase the message.

    I don’t need to smear it. Anyone who goes there can see that it’s a propaganda site. Whether it’s run by the Venezuelan government, Chavez or some fellow traveller doesn’t matter a bit. It still presents an innacurate representation of what’s going on in the country, spinning everything more positive than it is.

    Won’t cut it. Gregory Wilpert, a US sociologist and journalist who has lived in Caracas for about 7 years now founded the site late in 2003. He has never been a mouthpiece for anyone–and his credentials are so far superior to yours, gameboy, as to be light years away.

    My credentials are somewhat elevated by the fact that I’m not a socialist stooge. That gives me a bit more legitimacy.

    BTW, in investigating Wilpert I ran into some interesting sites with useful news direct from Venezuela which are NOT shilling for the Chavez regime. Anyone interested in getting at the truth behind all the lies should visit Caracas Chronicles and The Devil’s Excrement.

    All of you hoping Chavez and the Venezuelan people fail are just sore losers because the US is in the toilet.

    I don’t hope the Venezuelan people fail. I’ll keep holding out hope that they come to their senses and fight for their freedom until the last moment when the UN or neighboring countries are forced to intervene to stop Chavez.

    And BTW, did you hear that Venezuela has bought more arms since 2005 than Iran, Pakistan or China. Who are they planning to use all those weapons on?

    As for CommonDreams, they are what they are. Who cares what they reprint and where they get it from. They’re still an anti-American socialist front group.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The only person I see chasing me around like a lovestruck stalker is you, MCH.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Yes, but most of Clavos’ links are not to editorials,

    The one in question is, in fact, the ONLY one so far.

    And, if moonie had bothered to read it, which she obviously didn’t, she would have realized that the particular point that bothers her so much: that Chavez said he is a communist, was stated as fact in the editorial, NOT as opinion.

    You tried to smear venezuelanalysis.com a few months back, too–as if by smearing the messenger you erase the message.

    Actually, it was I who investigated and pointed out the propagandistic nature and highly biased and suspect character of that site, and I stand by that characterization. As Dave says, its obvious to anyone who takes the trouble to read it.

    …another Nov. 28th Sagittarius…

    Finally, you reveal the source of your political insights: astrology

  • Lumpy

    Clavos is in drag? How did u know that, MCH?

  • Clavos

    He’s projecting, Lumpy.

  • Emry

    “I don’t hope the Venezuelan people fail. I’ll keep holding out hope that they come to their senses and fight for their freedom until the last moment when the UN or neighboring countries are forced to intervene to stop Chavez.”

    That’s just dumb, Dave. Most decent people on this planet want an intervention to stop Dubya Bush. At least the rational one’s do. You must have noticed that since the illegal invasion of Iraq hundreds of thousands of people around the world have have taken to the streets to protest against the Bush regime.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Emry, hundreds of thousands of people around the world celebrate one of the muslim holy days by beating children in the head until they bleed and faint. You can find hundreds of thousands of people to do all sorts of really stupid things.

    Don’t try to engage in discussion with rational people if you’re going to talk about the ‘illegal invasion of Iraq’, because no one worth the time to talk to would say anything that stupid given the known facts surrounding the invasion.

    Dave

  • Emry

    Dave wrote, ” hundreds of thousands of people around the world celebrate one of the muslim holy days by beating children in the head until they bleed and faint.”

    A ritual banned by Saddam Hussein but allowed to take place in iraq under US occupation.

    Dave wrote, “You can find hundreds of thousands of people to do all sorts of really stupid things.”

    Indeed! Such as falling for Bush’s lies about WMD and supporting the illegal invasion of a sovereign state. The one that didn’t import yellowcake from Niger, or buy aluminum tubes for nuclear weapons production, or have stockpiles of chemical weapons agent, etc, etc.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Emry, see #283 again on why you’re not qualified to discuss this topic. You have to start from a point of accepting basic reality.

    dave

  • Emry

    You’re a card, Dave! I just read your comments on the Bush speech and you qualify for a trip back to the third rock from the sun.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos: re your #270 what you say may well be true but it in no way invalidates the point I made…

  • moonraven

    Just for the record, the websites Dave characterized as telling The Truth about Venezuela are notorious anti-chavez hate sites. The folks that operate them have no credentials whatsoever–unlike Gregory Wilpert.

    Clavos: Wrong again. It was the OPINION of the writer of the opinion piece you quoted that Chavez said he was a communist. He was making a conclusion from Chavez having said that he was going to go full steam ahead on Twenty First Century Socialism.

    Like a lot of manipulative opinion writers, he obviously took in the gullible: You, for example.

    I, on the other hand, have a habit of watching a video or reading a transcription of Chavez’ major speeches.

    That way I get it from the horse’s mouth–not the horse’s ass.

    THE BOTTOM LINE IN ALL OF THIS IS THAT BOTH YOU AND DAVE HAVE NO CREDIBILITY AS WRITERS BECAUSE YOU REFUSE TO LOOK AT BOTH SIDES OF ANY ISSUE AND INSIST THAT ANYTHING THAT CONTRADICTS YOU IS, DE FACTO, NOT LEGITIMATE.

    YOU GUYS ARE JUST SMALL TIME DICTATORS. YEENY WEENY PINOCHETS.

    HE’S FEAD NOW.

    IF I WERE YOU, I WOULD INTERPRET THE LESSON IN THAT.

  • moonraven

    O PERDON, dead.

  • Lumpy

    Last I checked you don’t need special credentials to report fact and tell the truth. MR’s cry for credentials is just a sleazy way to try to shut down people she doesn’t agree with and cannot rebut because they have the truth on their side and all she has is the same old tired lies.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I think you just hit the nail on the head. You may need special qualifications to be a brain surgeon. You don’t need them to have an opinion.

    And yes, techniques like saying that those who they don’t agree with aren’t qualified to have a voice are standard ploys used by the socialist left to silence those whose arguments are too strong for them to refute.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    BOTH YOU AND DAVE HAVE NO CREDIBILITY AS WRITERS BECAUSE YOU REFUSE TO LOOK AT BOTH SIDES OF ANY ISSUE AND INSIST THAT ANYTHING THAT CONTRADICTS YOU IS, DE FACTO, NOT LEGITIMATE.

    Uncanny.

    That neatly describes you and everything you post on these threads.

    It’s fun to watch you wiggling and wiggling and only sinking the hook deeper, moonglow.

  • Clavos

    Christopher 287,

    I wasn’t trying to refute you. I agree that for much too long what you describe has been the management style of too many companies, usually to their own detriment, as well as that of their workforce.

    Fortunately, there’s a real trend underway which repudiates those old ideas thoroughly; which is not to say that there is not still change to be wrought in many a company yet.

  • Clavos

    Chris,

    Left out a “not” in that last. I’m sure you know where…

  • STM

    Clav wrote: “The fact is, ALL of the negative stories (and that’s pretty much all they are, stories) circulating about WalMart were spread by the people trying to unionize the work force there.”

    Mate, I think a non-union workforce is more of a worry. I understand that in the US, industrial relations legislation is somewhat different to what we’ve had here until recently, but we’ve now moved to a more American-style.

    That leaves workers with no real protections – except for a couple that are a sop punted up by the very government that took away workers’ rights in the first place.

    People here, after a century of thrashing these things out in the courts, now in onwe fell swoop have had their penalty and overtime rates removed, holidays cut, full-time staff are being sacked and rehired as casuals, etc etc.

    All the neogotiating power is now returned to the employers, who often will act on a whim. Simply, corporations as a rule can’t be trusted to look after the interests of workers.

    There must be some government control as well. You can’t just sack a person because you don’t like the look of their face, for instance.

    But with no protections, that can happen – and the excuse can be, “Oh, they just don’t perform.”

    That Southwest has a happy workforce is a great thing. I work for a very large media company that has chosen to keep all the benefits its staff had under the old arbitration system: penalty rates, good holidays (I get seven weeks a year because I’m a shift worker,) etc. It pays slightly less, like Southwest, but is a good place to work.

    However, I know a few people who have recently been punted under the new legislation after many years of service, in alleged cost-cutting measures (only in one case was that true), and they got few or none of the benefits they would have had under the old system.

    It’s a disgrace to remove from workers the few rights they have, especially in a country like this where industry/unions worked for accord, and the economy at the time was going gangbusters.

    So why do it? Answer: we have a right-wing government that fancies its own ideology and doesn’t really care about people.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, I stuck the “not” in for you, hope I got it right!

    The reason I made my original remark about disagreeing with Mr Nalle and you is that many of the ideas you two go on about are so remorselessly 20th century, which also applies to your current bete noir Moonraven.

    Before Tony Blair bafflingly got religion (he’s a “secret” catholic) and then became your current president’s lapdog, he used to talk intelligently about the need for an inclusive society that considered and embraced all the stakeholders in any given issue.

    This was really smart as it moved the debate on from the shallow and sterile us and them characterisations of the past and allows for a more inclusive set of choices.

  • Clavos

    Christopher,

    Thanks. It’s exactly right.

    As for being remorselessly 20tth century:

    I recall Dave saying he’s a liberal in the 18th and 19th century molds.

    And my economic views are mostly 19th century concepts.

    For that matter, so are Sr. Chavez’ (and any socialists’).

    Please don’t try to thrust us willy-nilly into the horrors of the twentieth. :>)

    As for the twenty first: well, it’s way too young yet; time will tell.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Step into the present, the world we actually live in, Clavos. The water’s lovely!

  • Clavos

    I am in the present, Christopher. I just want to apply (or keep applying, in the case of the USA) principles developed one or two centuries ago to this chaotic present in the belief that if they were to be applied, it would be less chaotic, or even not chaotic at all.

    I don’t think antiquity negates good ideas; and for that matter, neither does most of the rest of the world, or the study of classical ideas would have died out long ago.

    If the water were all that lovely, Christopher, we’d have nothing to discuss on these political threads.

  • moonraven

    So far as this bird can see, you DON?T have anything to discuss.

  • Clavos

    There is an interesting opinion piece (aka editorial) in this morning’s Washington Post, a paper whose editorial policy is generally considered to be left of center.

    It’s titled “Venezuela’s Satellites”, and it begins thus:

    “A REMARKABLE year of democracy in Latin America has left the region generally stronger. Presidential elections were held in 11 countries in the past 13 months, and political moderates won seven of them, including those in the four largest countries: Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Peru. Throughout most of the hemisphere, the elections reinforced a consensus that continued growth must depend on free markets and free trade but that governments should concentrate on narrowing the large gap between rich and poor.

    The new year nevertheless has begun with attention focused on a handful of countries where democracy is dead, dying or in danger. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez began his term this month with a flurry of authoritarianism, promising to cancel the license of the largest independent television station and seeking authority to rule by decree.”

    And concludes:

    “…even as their neighbors consolidate democratic institutions and unprecedented prosperity, the people of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba may be headed for a miserable year.

    Even the left-leaning media is seeing the folly of Chavez and his sycophants.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    You should know better than to post a link to an opinion piece, Clavos. Only the opinions that matter here are those of Moonraven, Earth Mother Goddess of the Indigenes.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Well, I’m just a “liar and a plagiarist”, I don’t know any better.

    And of course, everyone knows the journalistic credentials of the WaPo are about on a par with the Enquirer, and their editorial policy is to the right of Attila’s.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Actually, I find the WaPo to be pretty moderate. From MR’s perspective they’re probably quite right wing.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    They are more than right wing–they have had a 180% spin in political orientation since the days of “All the Presidents Men”.

    And in a sense, Dave is right–other folks’ unsubstantiated opinions mean squat to me.

  • Clavos

    other folks’ unsubstantiated opinions mean squat to me.

    Same here.

  • moonraven

    Right–and this from the person who has never put a single link that was not to an opinion piece which he THOUGHT (sometimes incorrectly) supported his own.

    Try pulling the other one.

  • Clavos

    Right–and this from the person who has never put a single link that was not to an opinion piece…

    And you call the rest of us liars.

  • moonraven

    You ARE liars.

    Or else really fucking stupid.

    Take your pick.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    We may be stupid, but at least when we post stuff on the internet we realize that we’ve just made it public.

    Dave

  • Emry

    Dave, is posting stuff on the internet the same as giving the public one’s IP address?

  • Clavos

    Dave, is posting stuff on the internet the same as giving the public one’s IP address?

    That never happened, missy. Get your facts right.

  • Martin Lav

    I seem to recall that Dave only said he had the IP address traced to a server in China.

  • troll

    Emmy – IP addresses are not private info

    ya wanna keep private – stay off the web

  • troll

    that would be Emry – sorry

  • MCH

    troll,

    I was waiting for someone to mistake me for emry.
    (smile)

  • MCH

    Hey Clavos,

    What’s up with posting a photo that’s so dark you can’t even see your face…?

  • Emry

    “I seem to recall that Dave only said he had the IP address traced to a server in China.” Martin Lav.

    Did he say why?

    Does he make a habit of tracing poster’s IP addresses, or was he just stalking one poster in particular?

  • Clavos

    I dunno, MCH. It’s not dark on my ‘puter.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Emry, I already explained that. I sometimes check to make sure that people are not posting under multiple names which is a violation of the comments policy. Then curiosity led me to check out the location of her IP. I didn’t reveal the IP, just the odd fact that while in Bahrain she had a chinese IP. It seemed interesting in light of the recent invasion by paid chinese shills on a couple of other threads.

    Dave

  • STM

    And what did the check on Emry’s turn up?

  • Emry

    “I sometimes check to make sure that people are not posting under multiple names…”.

    Those people wouldn’t happen to be on the opposite end of the political spectrum from you, would they, Dave?

    Nooooo, of course not!

  • Cliquer

    “And what did the check on Emry’s turn up?”

    Entire comment deleted.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Yeah, check Emry’s IP address. See if she’s Moonraven’s ater ego.

  • moonraven

    Oh for fuck’s sake, check everybody.

    Fascist farsantes.

  • Emry

    “Yeah, check Emry’s IP address.”

    Yeah, and Cliquer’s address too, yeah.

    Yeah, sure, sure, check that address, yeah, yeah, sure, you’re gonna fix him real good, see, yeah, yeah.

    Why I oughtta….yeah.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Yes, It’s what Chavez would do.

  • Cliquer

    “Yes, It’s what Chavez would do.”

    Yes, certainly, certainly, check that address, yes, yes, certainly, you’re going to fix him correctly, observe, certainly, certainly.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Whilst running a routine security check, chortle, I noticed that Cliquer and Emry are sharing the same IP address.

    That wouldn’t be the old “pretend to be somebody else to generate apparent support for my position” ploy would it? Surely not.

  • Clavos

    Naaahh, Chris. Did you check for other names on that IP address as well?

    BTW, it began to appear to be the same person just from content in the last few comments…

  • Nancy

    Yuh, even I noticed that. Same writing style. could it be … ?

  • Cliquer

    Emry you fool you’ve got us busted!

  • Nancy

    Whoopsie-! ;)

  • Emry

    They were bluffing, Cliquer, you fu (entire comment deleted).

  • Cliquer

    You’re the fu (entire comment deleted) Emry, now step away from the computer or I’ll have to……Aaaaaaarrrrrgh……

  • Emry

    Oh, hi….Cliquer had some pressing business to attend to so she’ll be away for a while. She mentioned something about visiting the East River.

  • Nancy

    Lol – glad to see you do have a sense of humor after all. That’s pretty funny sequencing.

  • Clavos

    Nancy sez,

    That’s pretty funny sequencing.

    Yep, it is.

    She mentioned something about visiting the East River.

    A New Yorker, that ‘splains it.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Maybe I should solicit a bribe from Emry to keep me from spilling their ID beans?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Clavos, any real New Yorker will tell you that they stopped disposing of bodies in the East River long ago.

    You just can’t do it anymore, the bodies bounce off and can just walk away on the surface, it being a viscous solid now.

    but I digress…

  • Cliquer

    Emry spoke too soon, the miserable downer. He won’t be bothering you fine folks for the forseeable future.

    maniacle laughter followed by a throat-rupturing fit of coughing ending with (bad words deleted).

  • moonraven

    Chavez would never stoop so low as to check people’s IP addresses.

    That’s stuff for paranoid white supremacist survivalists and game freaks.

    I doubt that anyone is sharing mine.

  • Clavos

    Chavez would never stoop so low as to check people’s IP addresses.

    Of course not. His minions do it for him.

  • moonraven

    He, unlike clowns like you, HAS minions.

    But they would not stoop to your level either.

    This ain’t Wonderland.

  • Clavos

    This ain’t Wonderland.

    If you believe a dictator who is systematically curtailing his people’s rights isn’t into checking IPs, you most definitely ARE in Wonderland, gringita.

  • moonraven

    The only dictator I know of is named George W. Bush.

    He may well be checking IPS, as he is illegally wiretapping and opening folks’ mail.

    Since Venezuela is a democracy, there’s no need for that horseshit.

  • Clavos

    Since Venezuela is a democracy, there’s no need for that horseshit.

    Calling it a democracy doesn’t make it one, moonie.

    ONE guy has ALL the legal power in the country. By definition, that’s the very antithesis of a democracy. It’s a dictatorship.

    Wonderland.

  • moonraven

    You just described the country YOU live in, sucker.

    Not Venezuela.

    Why not get off your fat ass and do something about the dictatorship you live in?

    You could start by joining a citizens committee to impeach Bush and Cheney.

    Personally, I would support their being dragged behind a Hummer at high speed through the potholed streets of Bagdad.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    So you are opposed to the “unitarian executive” bit that this Administration is not only proposing, but operating under?

    Now Bush wants political appointees to head up EVERY federal agency, and let us notforget bypassing the FISA laws concerning warrants…and much, much more…

    Just something to chew on, I’m staying the fuck out of this thread, it’s beginning to rival the Fatima one for blatant hate and discontent content.

    “this is for the People of the Sun”

  • moonraven

    They can all do a heckuvajob, like ol’ Brownie (for the color of his snout, no doubt).

    Here is Mexico nepotismo and amiguismo are the same old same old modality of corruption.

  • Clavos

    Yeah, D’oh, but unlike Venezuela, here we have a viable Congress with power, now that the dems are the majority.

    NOBODY can stop El Gran Payaso in Venezuela.

    And he has set it up that way, piece by piece for the last eight years.

  • Clavos

    Here is Mexico nepotismo and amiguismo are the same old same old modality of corruption.

    No argument there, moonie, except it’s commonly called cuatismo.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    As W has been setting himself up over the last 6? Or Cheney has been doing since Nixon?

    No innocents among those we are talking about, Clavos.

    I refuse to get my panties in a bunch about the internal politics of a country involving legally elected representatives. That’s for the folks who live there, and there were plenty of headlines and bullshit from our Administration from the moment Chavez was on the radar before his first election.

    I don’t know enough about Venezuela to know if this guy is ok or nasty…I just about don’t care, and so leave it alone.

    But NO one who backs W and his cabal, or what they have done, really has a logical or ethical leg to stand on when it comes to discussing most any other elected leader in the world.

    Just me, I guess.

    we now return you to your regular programming

  • moonraven

    Clavos, It is not called that in my neck of the woods, nails.

    Your US congress is a laugh. They are too chickenshit to impeach Bush and Cheney.

    Power? I don’t see any power in the US congress.

    What HAVE you been smoking, nails?

  • moonraven

    D’oh is right. The US government tried to pull off a coup in Venezuela in 1998 to prevent Chavez from even taking office (ala Allende, 1970) and then they tried the same old tired model in April of 2002 (ala Allende 1973).

    They just don’t like non-whites who have brains and balls. (Especially when they say that the CIA did 9/11–which is what everybody in Latin America believes….)

  • S.T.M

    “Just something to chew on, I’m staying the fuck out of this thread, it’s beginning to rival the Fatima one for blatant hate and discontent content.”

    Yes, it’s brought the evil ones out of the closet … Emry and his/her foul spawn, Cliquer, are the latest incarnations of the devil on BC.

    Perhaps we can send them to the Fatima thread and have them exorcised …

    For they have committed the most heinous sin of all … pretending they know better than any other bastard, whilst putting apostrophes in the wrong place.

  • Clavos

    They are too chickenshit to impeach Bush and Cheney.

    You’re probably right, there, moonie. But what if they did?

    Did impeachment stop clinton?

  • moonraven

    The Devil, huh?

    Apparently Bush DOES frequent this site.

    I didn’t think he could read….

  • Clavos

    Power? I don’t see any power in the US congress.

    You will, over the next two years, moonie.

  • moonraven

    Did impeachment stop Clinton from WHAT?

    (Incidentally, for the politically challenged, Clinton was acquitted.)

  • Clavos

    D’oh,

    But NO one who backs W and his cabal, or what they have done, really has a logical or ethical leg to stand on when it comes to discussing most any other elected leader in the world.

    Who are you talking about here?

  • moonraven

    I will not see SQUAT in the US congress over the next two years. Nada. Zip. Zero.

    You morons deserve whatever happens to you at the hands of the US government.

    People in other countries do NOT.

    Lemmings and fools–who voted for porkbarrelers and influence-traffickers.

    Give me a fucking break.

  • Clavos

    (Especially when they say that the CIA did 9/11–which is what everybody in Latin America believes….)

    Well, of course. The CIA and amerika are the source of all the evil in the world, that’s why I’ve hung on to my mexican citizenship.

    can i get another hit on your joint there, moonie?

  • Martin Lav

    “(Especially when they say that the CIA did 9/11–which is what everybody in Latin America believes….)”

    Is this the same people that don’t believe Chavez is a commie?

  • moonraven

    ANOTHER? Sorry, nails, I don’t smoke. You must be mistaking me for another south Florida Carl Hiassen character….

  • moonraven

    Hey, even I said the US government did 9/11.

    I said it on the very day, 9/11/2001.

    On Mexican t.v.

    That sure as hell doesn’t make me a commie–or a member of any other ideology, either.

    Might even make me a fucking patriot.

  • Clavos

    Lemmings and fools–who voted for porkbarrelers and influence-traffickers.

    As they have since they learned they could vote themselves government money.

  • moonraven

    And you think those folks are going to rock the boat.

    Nails, Nails, Nails, how foolish can you be?

  • Martin Lav

    “Hey, even I said the US government did 9/11.

    I said it on the very day, 9/11/2001.

    On Mexican t.v.”

    and you wonder why the CIA is hiding under your bed? Mexican TV? — Hmmmm…..not even the Mexicans take anything on there seriously.

    “Might even make me a fucking patriot.”

    A patriot missile maybe…..shoot yourself in the foot with your own mouth.

  • Clavos

    And you think those folks are going to rock the boat.

    monnie, moonie, moonie, where did I say that?

    This:

    As they have since they learned they could vote themselves government money.

    Refers to the voters.

  • Martin Lav

    Reefers to the voters?

  • moonraven

    Ahem. Clavos–My mistake? It’s the US Congress that votes itself government money! That’s why they campaign to get elected in the first place.

    The “voters” that put them into office are just the smoking gun of the travesty you morons insist on calling “democracy” and trying to shove down the throats of the Third World.

    And, Martin: Where did I ever say that I wondered why the CIA follows me around?

  • moonraven

    Gotta go, guys. me and my shadow are out of here.

  • Clavos

    That’s why they campaign to get elected in the first place.

    Ever heard of pork? Earmarks?

    Their reward to their constituents who voted for them…

  • moonraven

    Tell us all about the great rewards you have received for voting for them, Boatboy.

  • Clavos

    the travesty you morons insist on calling “democracy”…

    Agree with you there, too. It was supposed to be a Republic.

  • Martin Lav

    “Where did I ever say that I wondered why the CIA follows me around?”

    I guess you didn’t, but you seem so non-threatening in your views that I was begining to wonder why Dave felt compelled to have your IP address checked.

    I guess you shouldn’t be so surprised….

  • Clavos

    Tell us all about the great rewards you have received for voting for them, Boatboy.

    I’d rather not, moonie, sorry.

  • S.T.M

    Clav asked: “can i get another hit on your joint there, moonie?”

    Lol … it’s gotta be some excellent sh.t, too.

    I want some as well

  • Clavos

    G’day, mate! Good to hear from you…

    I figure, it’s gotta be some primo ganja!

    How’s things in OZ?

  • STM

    Hey Clav. Good thanks old mate. How’s Miami? I’ll give you the answer to that: it’s fu.king hot, right? And will be for the next 3000 years.

    I’ve been away from the threads as I’ve been buying a new house (or an old one actually, built in the mid 1930s – a Californian bungalow). What a drama. Nothing ever goes to plan when you’re doing this, and it’s been unbelievably time consuming. Plus my youngest daughter started high school this week, and is struggling without her old friends. She can’t be consoled and it must be a hard thing for a kid. She will be right though, as she’s a pretty determined kid.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    “Where did I ever say that I wondered why the CIA follows me around?”

    At least the CIA is doing something right.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Dave,

    Yep– the CIA is wasting your tax money.

  • Nancy

    So tell us which government agency ISN’T wasting our tax monies. Starting with that stupid bastard in the WH.

  • moonraven

    Yep. They all are doing just that.

    But they are not wasting MY tax monies.

  • Nancy

    Well they’re sure pitching mine down various ratholes as fast as they can fork it over – & every other honest US taxpayer as well.

  • moonraven

    Do something about it.

  • Nancy

    Can’t do what I’d like to: Bush & Cheney never are within “range” of the eggs & tomatoes I’d like to lob their way. ;) Out of curiousity (sp?) & if you don’t mind telling, what tribe are you from? You’re lucky; when I was a kid I yearned to grow up to be First Nations. Then I found out it was too late. Oh well.

  • moonraven

    Iroquois.

  • Nancy

    Which one? (Seneca, Onondoga, etc.?)

  • moonraven

    Mohawk. We are from Quebec.

  • Nancy

    Great warriors; the Doorkeepers for the Federation. No wonder you’re so feisty. Were you present at any of the protests & takeover of the bridges?

  • moonraven

    I cannot comment on the protests, nor on the fake murder charges cooked up last year.

    Fellow Mohawk Robbie Robertson is better able to do that–and has, in fact, done so.

  • Emry

    “Yeah, check Emry’s IP address. See if she’s Moonraven’s ater ego.” Vox Populi #322.

    This morning our friend Vox Populi posted a comment on the ‘Folly of the Iraq War’ thread at #5, and signed it “Dave”.

    This prompted MCH to ask in #6, “^ Are Vox Populi and Dave Nalle one-in-the-same?”

    Shortly thereafter Vox Populi’s name disappeared from the comment at #5 and was replaced with the name, Dave Nalle.

    I think Dave or Vox or Pox Davuli should explain WTF’s going on.

  • Nancy

    I wasn’t asking for a confession or fingering anyone; I was just wondering if in your misspent younger days you were around all the excitement, even if you didn’t see THE excitement in question. For example, you could have been present in the crowd when Reagan was shot, but that doesn’t mean you wielded the gun or even saw it happen – but you were there. OK, tho, if you can’t say.

  • Emry

    Where in the world is Pox Davuli?

  • moonraven

    Nancy, You aren’t making any sense.

    1. I did not “misspend” my youth. (By the way, the protests you referred to were not THAT long ago; I am, after all, 62.)

    2. It is my perfect right not to comment on certain events or issues. Especially if I was not a participant and other Mohawk activists were.

    To the general public:

    Moonraven has also posted under the name Marthe Raymond. That was months ago and she chose to use another posting name. She has no “ater ego”; the term is “alter ego”. And she has never seen fit to post under both names at the same time.

    I would not put ANYTHING past Dave Nalle, however–the mere fact that he “checks” other folks’ IP addresses is pretty damning evidence of what he is up to in the realm of multiple identities to “support” his drivel.

  • Nancy

    Moon, it’s a figure of speech; it’s vaguely humorous. It implies the opposite, that your youth was not misspent, or that the nature of the mis-spending was the normal mild stuff most kids do.

  • Martin Lav

    Nanc…..Moonraven’s sense of humor was misspent years ago apparently…..

  • moonraven

    No, Nancy it was a very tired cliche.

  • Emry

    “Moonraven’s sense of humor was misspent years ago apparently…..”

    But then Martin comes along in the nick of time to lighten up the atmosphere???

  • troll

    Vox is playing games with his power as editor…give him a break

    we love ya Dave…

  • moonraven

    No, we don’t.

  • Clavos

    This thread is supposed to be about Hugo Chavez, and at this point is desperately in need of some humor, so here’s an AP article, titled “Chavez defends decree power as democratic, says Bush represents U.S. tyranny” that does both.

    A couple of the more amusing tidbits:

    “We are increasing power, but it’s the power of the nation, national power. It’s not anyone’s personal power,” Chavez said at a news conference Thursday.

    And:

    He also assured Venezuelans education reforms will not lead to indoctrination in schools and that freedoms will be respected.

    “There are no reasons of any kind for the Venezuelan people to be afraid,” he said.

  • Emry

    “There are no reasons of any kind for the Venezuelan people to be afraid,” he said.”

    But they should never let their guard down while there’s a raving, warmongering lunatic in the White House.

  • moonraven

    I second that, Emry.

    If Bush does NOT represent US tyranny, then precisely WHO IS that moron with his finger on the red button?

  • MCH

    Re #392:

    “Yeah, check Emry’s IP address. See if she’s Moonraven’s ater ego.” Vox Populi #322.
    This morning our friend Vox Populi posted a comment on the ‘Folly of the Iraq War’ thread at #5, and signed it “Dave”.
    This prompted MCH to ask in #6, “^ Are Vox Populi and Dave Nalle one-in-the-same?”
    Shortly thereafter Vox Populi’s name disappeared from the comment at #5 and was replaced with the name, Dave Nalle.
    I think Dave or Vox or Pox Davuli should explain WTF’s going on.”
    – Emry

    You’re exactly right, Emry. Looks like Vox Populi is Dave Nalle’s alter ego. We’ve busted the phony Nalle for forgery/fakery; the same kind of shit he berates others for.

    Bwaaaa-haaaaa-haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

  • Martin Lav

    “We’ve busted the phony Nalle for forgery/fakery” – MCH

    What about busting him for promoting an insurgency in:

    ” Apocalyptic Dreams for the New Millenium ”

    Or inciting panic in:

    ” Hey America, Get Ready for Two Years of Hell! ”

    Or mocking global warmining in:

    ” What Hath Gore Wrought? ”

    Or insulting the security and right to live in peace for all Iraq’s in:

    ” No One Died in Iraq Today ”

    ….and the list goes on….

  • Clavos

    You’re right martin. we should ban everyone who doesn’t have the right kind of opinions from this site.

    Would you be so kind as to tell us what is acceptable commentary?

    Perhaps you could consult with moonraven and solicit her input for a punch list of acceptable ideas.

    Oh, and check with Hugo Chavez for instructions on how to enforce compliance.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, please stop mocking people by changing their names or I might spend a week or two changing yours to Clueless or something!

    It’s hard enough to get anything resembling a decent political conversation going on here with all the infantile namecalling…

  • Clavos

    Christopher,

    Kindly stop singling me out. Practically EVERYONE on every thread she posts on changes her name to something mocking.

    And emry has been referring to me as clodvos for weeks now, I even complimented her on the cleverness of it, so I don’t give a fuck what you do to my name, enjoy yourself.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, I’m not singling you out, stop being so paranoid. On the other hand, as one of the editorial team, I am telling you to stop it.

  • Clavos

    Let me see you tell everyone else to stop it, MR. EDITOR.

  • Nancy

    Chris, we all change names sometimes either for convenience or whatever; generally it’s not mocking. I call St. Louis “Looie” because his full moniker is too long. “Moonie” same deal altho I suppose I could shorten it even more & call her MR. You I call Chris. What is wrong with that? The only names that are negative I have noticed on here lately are courtesy of Moonraven, Emry, & the more scatological contributions of Dave – which are unusual for him, IMO/recollection. Anyway, I don’t see what Clavvie is doing that’s bad or unacceptable? Please spell it out for those of us who are understanding impaired. Thanks.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    You know Clavos, one of the things I was taught in one of the many crap jobs I’ve had was: You’ve got two ears and one mouth; use them in that proportion. It took me some time to understand the wisdom of that.

    Similarly, in the internet age, we have two eyes and one keyboard. If you were to look around before typing, you may possibly see other signs of my attempts to improve the level of discoure here. Either way, it’s my call.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Nancy, for convenience is fine, to mock isn’t; it’s that simple really.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    But they should never let their guard down while there’s a raving, warmongering lunatic in the White House.

    Venezuela has a white house too? I didn’t realize. I thought it was called the ‘presidential palace’ or somesuch.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Whatever, Mr. Rose. You certainly are holding all the power in this, and I know better than to fight city hall.

    Funny, I don’t even see where I mocked someone by changing their name anywhere in the last 32 comments (3 days’ worth) prior to your #408. In my #376 I DO call moonraven moonie, but after she has called me boatboy.

    But then, I’m “paranoid.”

  • Nancy

    I have to agree with Clavos, Chris: I don’t see where he has recently ‘named’ anyone. I’m wondering what on earth you are calling him out for; what comment? (# please)

  • moonraven

    If clavos is such a dainty little daisy, let him take his injustices for a long walk.

    Meanwhile, back to the TOPIC, here’s a quote from part of a funny article in The Guardian:

    “Chávez makes a monkey of Bush

    Duncan Campbell
    Saturday February 3, 2007
    The Guardian

    In the lexicon of political insults it will take some beating. Already known for his somewhat colourful use of language Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has probably written himself into the history books for a new sidewipe at his US counterpart George Bush.
    In the latest salvo in the war of words between the two countries Mr Chávez described Mr Bush as “evil,” a “criminal” but then added that he was “more dangerous than a monkey with a razor blade”.

    …”Politicians have swapped insults for generations. In Britain, the former Liberal MP Clement Freud once described Margaret Thatcher as “Attila the Hen”. Former French president François Mitterrand said: “She has the mouth of Marilyn Monroe and the eyes of Caligula.”

    Well, he certainly did not come close to topping that last one….But I know he will keep trying.

  • Emry

    Message for Dave (Vox Populi) Nalle.

    Thanks for responding to message #403. Could you now muster a wee bit of self respect and reply to message #392. See below.

    “Yeah, check Emry’s IP address. See if she’s Moonraven’s ater ego.” Vox Populi #322.

    This morning our friend Vox Populi posted a comment on the ‘Folly of the Iraq War’ thread at #5, and signed it “Dave”.

    This prompted MCH to ask in #6, “^ Are Vox Populi and Dave Nalle one-in-the-same?”

    Shortly thereafter Vox Populi’s name disappeared from the comment at #5 and was replaced with the name, Dave Nalle.

    I think Dave or Vox or Pox Davuli should explain WTF’s going on.

  • moonraven

    He learned the technique of STONEWALLING at the knee of Richard Nixon.

    But I like seeing him “twisting in the wind”….

  • troll

    I hereby give Clavos permission to mock me by calling me whatever (except late for lunch) –

    ignore the editor behind the screen…he’s in one of his moods again

    [Alas it’s not your call either, young troll. It’s not about moods, it’s about respect and common civility. That and comedy of course! Thanks. Comments Editor]

  • Clavos

    In return for which, I promise to put only my best shots on your bridge, troll.

    And, given my own fondness for it, I wouldn’t dream of calling you late for lunch.

  • Emry

    Nalle, are you going to show some spine and tell us why you’ve been posting as Vox Populi. What other names do you go by on this site?

  • Emry

    Driveby with Texas license plates.

    He’s baaaaaKKK!

  • Emry

    Dave(Vox Populi)Nalle, I know you’re in there so come on out and do some splainin’.

  • Emry

    The entity formerly known as Vox Populi has had his moniker removed from the thread: BUSH’S IRAQ PLAN – SAME OLD, SAME OLD, and replaced it with the name…Dave Nalle.

    Originally there were 7 posts by Dave Nalle and 5 by Vox Populi. The thread has been…altered, and like an unpopular member of the old Soviet Union leadership, Vox Populi has been erased.

    Not to worry though, Vox Populi was a bit of an idiot and won’t be missed at all.

  • S.T.M

    BTW: While we’re on the topic of alter egos, has anyone worked out who Emry is yet??

    No? Try harder …

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I have a good guess who Emry is. It was down to two people before I figured out that one of them is still posting under their other name, plus the other one only sounds like a socialist half the time because he’s a unionist throwback of some sort, while Emry sounds like a communist shill all the time.

    Dave

  • Emry

    Here are a couple of “edited” posts from Saturday night. It’s Nalle and Driveby working as a team once again. Driveby didn’t have much to say to me other than, “UP YOURS ASSHOLE”.

    ———————————

    #426 — February 3, 2007 @ 23:57PM — Driveby
    Can something be done about Driveby. Think it’s deplorable, despicable, offensive, and down right ugly.

    #427 — February 4, 2007 @ 00:06AM — Dave Nalle [URL]
    Emry, I already explained that. Stop spamming the threads with it.

    As for Driveby, his posts so far contain more intelligent content than many from certain other users, and they’re clearly heartfelt.

    Dave

    ———————————–

    IF YOU LIKED DRIVEBY’S POSTS WHY DID YOU DELETE THEM, NALLE?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Emry, are you mentally challenged? How many times have I said that I don’t delete posts that aren’t spam?

    So if I don’t delete posts and posts were deleted, did I delete them? And if I didn’t delete them, might they have been deleted by Chris Rose whose job it actually is?

    Gosh, maybe so.

    dave

  • Emry

    Nalle, are you suggesting Chris Rose was posting as Driveby?

  • Clavos

    Emry, Take your witch hunt to someone else’s thread. This one’s supposed to be about Hugo Chavez, missy.

  • Emry

    Which thread is off limits to Dave(Vox Populi)Nalle’s “EDITORIAL POWERS”?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Emry, you’re being a moron. If you like I’ll take on the role of Senior Politics Editor and do what plenty of people think I should be doing and start deleting the off topic comments.

    Dave

  • Emry

    Nalle, have you counted the number of people who think you can’t be trusted with “editorial power”?

    I’m surprised you have any time left to delete off topic comments when you’re so busy altering…editing your Vox Populi posts.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Dave: re your 434 – you don’t have the right to do that and there is no requirement for posters to rtemain on topic so let’s rein in that attitude shall we? Oh yes we will!

  • Clavos

    Hugo Chavez

  • moonraven

    Not to mention that old Free Speech Dave (free for him and his multiple identities) tried using his “editorial powers” to ban me from posting. Of course he lies and denies, but I saw him doing it–and saw the process that sends a “banned” poster to another site while blocking posts to the one we are on.

    Dave is a fucking fascist. Free speech, my ass!

  • moonraven

    Okay, clavos:

    Saturday, Feb 03
    Venezuela’s Chavez Sets Oil Fields Takeover for May; Says Bush Should Resign

    on http://www.venezuelanalysis.com

    YOU should be saying Bush should resign.

    IT appears there is only one set of huevos on the planet….and they belong to Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias.

  • Clavos

    Dave is a fucking fascist

    Says the elderly hippie communist from her villa in Cuernavaca.

  • moonraven

    Clavos, Since you invaded my privacy several months ago you know full well I don’t live in Cuernavaca.

    My behavior does not indicate an ideological preference. Dave’s and yours do: fascism.

    If I am “elderly”, you’re dead and shouldn’t be bothering us from the grave. In my case, age equals wisdom.

    And for those of you stupid enough to believe old Dave when he insisted a few threads ago that
    Chavez was whiter than he is: Check out the 1992 photo of him on http://www.aporrea.org today–with the remains of his afro.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Not to mention that old Free Speech Dave (free for him and his multiple identities) tried using his “editorial powers” to ban me from posting.

    Lying bullshit. You have been TOLD by other editors that this is not true, so why bring up the lie again?

    Dave

  • moonraven

    The “moderator”, Chris, said that you had not asked him to ban me.

    That’s true: You have the power to block postings and you tried to abuse it. I saw it happen.

    It is clear to EVRYONE who frequents this site that you lie CONSTANTLY.

    You show me one instance where I have lied. It may get you to see that there is a big difference between an honest person and a liar like you. But it won’t change things. As I told you before–once you’ve done it you are no longer a virgin.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    moonraven: Although Dave could in theory block posters through the comments tool, I don’t believe either that he has or would. For one thing I’d kick his virtual ass!

    Although I disagree with him more than I agree with him on a political level, I don’t believe he’s a liar. I do think his political philosophy leads him into to some extremely odd debating and political positions but he’s not the only persistent pol here that’s guilty of that.

    In the meantime, I’d be most grateful if you too could voluntarily support my call for rather more mutual respect and basic civility on the site than we’ve seen lately. Let’s have more dialectics and less animosity. That way you lot can debate all night long while I relax and enjoy myself!

  • moonraven

    You did NOT kick his virtual ass, and I watched as the little subtitles at the bottom sent my post into the garbage and sent me to another site entirely. And one of the little words in the string was “banned”.

    One of the biggest frustrations of anyone trying to post INFORMATION on any of these threads is the immediate barrage of name-calling on the part of Dave, his insistent lying and his generally offensive manipulations.

    I would be more than willing to speculate that if you take a sampling of threads with a lot of posts you will be able to see when someone loses it with Dave’s insistent bullying.

    If you haven’t noticed this behavior, then YOU should be replaced as monitor with someone with 20/20 vision.