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Strange Events May Be Brewing and Honduras is Their Focus

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The selection of Costa Rican President Arias to mediate the dispute between former Honduran President Zelaya and the Government of interim President Micheletti appears to have been a wise one. It may be useful to speculate a bit about why and by whom President Arias was selected, as well as about the likely impact of these things on the power of Venezuelan President Chávez in Latin America.

The possible role of President Arias as a mediator was suggested to Zelaya during his 7 July Washington meeting with Secretary Clinton, and Zelaya agreed to it. Secretary Clinton promptly telephoned President Arias to ask for his help and he agreed. However, hers was not the only contact with President Arias regarding the Honduran situation: he had been asked the day before by Honduran interim President Micheletti to consider playing such a role. I am unaware of any reports indicating that Chávez had sought Arias' selection, and the United States Government has said nothing to indicate that it has been in discussions with the interim Government of Honduras; it seems not to have been.

Zelaya and Micheletti went to Costa Rica as contemplated, and are to meet separately with Arias. Their positions, at least for now, are unchanged: Zelaya says he must be reinstated and Micheletti says that's out of the question. As I suggested in the linked article, this may prevent, or at least postpone, a military confrontation between the Honduran military and forces from other countries, principally Chávez ally, Nicaragua.

During the 1980s, President Arias played a substantial role in efforts to decrease the influence of the United States over much of Latin America and to bring some measure of stability to the region. He received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for doing so. However, President Arias is not very chummy with Chávez. During his barely successful campaign for reelection as President of Costa Rica in 2006, Arias' principal opponent was Ottón Solis, much favored by Chávez.

Things seem to be happening behind, but not all that far behind, the curtain. On 7 July, the same day that she met with Zelaya and telephoned President Arias, Secretary Clinton submitted to an interview by Globovisión. The interview was at the State Department in Washington. Globovisión, one of the very few broadcast outlets in Venezuela still able to criticize the Chávez government, has been under vigorous attack by that Government, and may soon be closed; its principals are under criminal charges. Here are comments by a blogger in Venezuela, who does not much care for Chávez:

Questions were standard and Hillary responses standard . . . Still, she made it clear that things in Venezuela are not kosher and that she is aware of it.
***
No matter what, the interview does not solve anything, does not protect Globovisión from being closed though it makes very clear that the price Chavez will have to pay for it will be very high. Interestingly, the Honduras part . . . revealed how irrelevant Venezuela will become as negotiations keep going.
***
As soon as the interview was over I switched to VTV to watch La Hojilla reaction. I was not disappointed as Mario Silva was livid, as furious as I ever saw him. . . . Proving that the interview hit a raw nerve. The top was Silva belching "who named Arias?" betraying his resentment at 1) his boss not being on the forefront anymore and 2) that Arias did the most to block a commie takeover of Central America 20 years ago.

Alberto Federico Ravell, head of Globovisión, was interviewed on 8 July in Miami as he returned to Venezuela from Washington.  He is convinced that

Clinton supports Globovisión's efforts to speak out against Hugo Chávez's government. . . .In every thing she said I was seeing a red beret . . . .It was incredible that the same day she met with ousted Honduran President Zelaya, she also met with representatives from a television channel that is seen by Chávez as part of the opposition.

I think that the full transcript of the Clinton interview confirms that she was, indeed, talking about Chávez, whose media censorship continues unabated. A somewhat different take on the interview is provided here. If, as claimed in that article, Secretary Clinton wanted to "to lower the temperature" in the United States' relations with Venezuela, neither her Globovisión appearance itself, nor statements such as these may have been the best way to go about it:

Clinton said that what the White House hopes to see "over the next months in Venezuela is a recognition that you can be a very strong leader and have very strong opinions without trying to take on too much power and trying to silence all your critics."

"So I think there are ways that the current government in Venezuela could maintain a very strong presence without, in any way, raising questions about the commitment to democracy," the secretary said.

A reminder to viewers of the television station which Chávez is about to close that he shouldn't silence all his critics could hardly have been warmly received by Chávez.

Zelaya's attempt to amend the Honduran Constitution to eliminate the presidential term limit, and later his attempt to return to Honduras, had been vigorously supported by Chávez, who had supplied the aircraft in which he attempted to return to Honduras. It has been reported that Chávez was simultaneously on the telephone with Zelaya, Ortega of Nicaragua and Fidel Castro of Cuba during Zelaya's aborted flight to Honduras. It seems obvious that Chávez's standing in Latin America would have been enhanced by a spectacularly bloody reception of the former President on 6 July, and that it has been diminished by the failure of Zelaya's return and by the selection of President Arias as a mediator.

Despite Chávez's apparent earlier successes in helping to create the Constitutional crisis in Honduras and in pushing the UN, the OAS and ALBA to make it worse, things were not going entirely as he might have wished.

* Shortly before Zelaya's attempted return, several members of the OAS—an organization dominated by Chávez and his allies– apparently tried to dissuade Zelaya from making the attempt.

* Argentine President Kirchner was one of the dignitaries who flew to El Salvador and thence to Nicaragua to be with Zelaya following his attempt to enter Honduras. Her Peronista party had lost very badly in Argentina's 28 June congressional elections, and her husband resigned as the head of the Peronista party on 30 June; Chávez had been among the principal supporters of their party.

* The current President of Panama in June won a decisive victory with more than sixty percent of the vote over his opponent, a big Chávez supporter. During his inauguration address he announced, "As president, I will do everything within my reach to advance the ideals of a free economy, challenging the different ideological pendulum that Latin America has."

Nor are things going well for Chávez domestically. Here is a link to an article I wrote about that just over a month ago.

Hope perhaps springs eternal, and I may have too much of it. Still, during the days immediately after the "coup" in Honduras, Secretary Clinton's State Department seemed to be at least marginally less supportive of Zelaya's position than was President Obama. At a 30 June State Department briefing, it was stated that "it’s not up to us to determine what’s in line with the [Honduran] constitution." President Obama was quoted, at about the same time, as saying that the weekend ouster of Zelaya was a "not legal" coup and that Zelaya remains the country's president. These statements can be read to suggest a difference of opinion.

According to an article in Power Line by an author with whom I frequently agree, and with whom I very much agree on the nature of the Honduran "coup,"

Obama's position on Honduras is part of an emerging, and very sad, pattern. His bogus catchphrases may vary ("meddling," "illegal," or whatever), but the result always seems to be the same. Whether the venue is Honduras, Russia, or Iran, Obama instinctively sides, in the first instance, with the enemies of freedom and the rule of law. And it doesn't hurt at all if that party is also hostile towards the U.S.

I don't know whether Secretary Clinton's interview on Globovisión was cleared by President Obama. However, her appearance on a Venezuelan television station sufficiently at odds with Chávez that it is likely to be thrown off the air soon, and in the course of the interview to appear to challenge Chávez's silencing of his critics, was certainly a major step. It was one which I suspect would ordinarily have had to be approved by the President. Might these things at least hint that President Obama may yet see that Chávez et al are not the sort of friends he or the United States want? Or might they indicate that Secretary Clinton is looking for a graceful exit from the Obama administration ostensibly over foreign policy? She is a crafty person whom I don't much like, but it will be quite interesting to see what happens over the next few months.

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About Dan Miller

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    According to this article,

    Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, of course, thrives on chaos and is doing all he can to stoke it. But the U.S. in particular doesn’t need chaos in Honduras, given the country’s strategic location as a transit point for illegal drugs and the threat that criminal cartels pose to the political stability of regional governments.

    The new Clinton plan also serves to strengthen the interests of Honduras’ neighbors in the emerging bloc of Panama, Colombia and Mexico, all of which do not want a chaotic Honduras.

    The three nations did stress earlier that there should be no foreign interference in Honduran affairs, even as they went with the OAS consensus, and all have moved in this direction. Panama offered mediation. Mexico offered asylum to Zelaya. Colombia stopped a 60-person Venezuelan convoy “battalion” of aid headed to Honduras at its border to ward off Chavista cash and interference.

    What it adds up to is U.S. interests — not those of Venezuela or Nicaragua — becoming predominant in ending the crisis in Honduras, and in a way that’s acceptable to Hondurans and their neighbors.

    This will work far better than letting the OAS continue its grandstanding. Sure, some may say Hillary blinked. But it’s a good blink.

    I hope it is not all wishful thinking.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    I haven’t followed Chavez at all. Do you think he’d knife Zelaya in the back in exchange for a Thanksgiving dinner at the adults’ table? If he would, then everyone could get something they want out of the deal.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dan, I believe Clinton and Obama are on the same page. You seem to assume that Obama and Chavez are buddies or allies. Not!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Handy, how can you justify Obama’s seemingly unqualified and obviously ill-considered support for Zelaya?

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    As I said several times on Dan’s previous thread, I think the administration’s initial reaction was about seeing an elected leader removed from office at gunpoint by the military.

    Obama is hardly alone in this. All the EU countries went even further, withdrawing their ambassadors, which the US didn’t do.

    None of this is about showing solidarity with Chavez [!!]. And since the US helped set up the mediation with Arias, I think overall the stance has been moderate, centrist, carefully thought out, like most of the foreign policy statements from this administration.

    Several commenters on here jumped immediately from point A to point K and accused the president of kissing up to Chavez. This is patently ridiculous.

    I’m not saying Zelaya is an angel, and neither is the administration. But his referendum seemed unlikely to pass [he has an approval rating in the 30s], he hasn’t even completed one term, the referendum was still being formulated — at one point allowing him to run again two elections from now, not immediately.

    In other words, the Hondurans may have overreacted. And the commenters on here were way too quick to call what they did just fine and dandy. And the reason the commenters said that was purely ideological, an allergic reflex because Zelaya is friendly with Chavez.

    And, of course, because it provided another opportunity to kvetch — with utter wrongheadedness in this case — about Obama.

  • Clavos

    Waitaminnit!

    Isn’t all “kvetching” about Obama “wrongheaded?”

  • Hector

    Is not as easy to say that the hondurans overreacted, the famous referendum, with votes printed and delivered by Venezuela was already set to favour Zelaya (to this I mean it was fraudulent), and was wanted to stop general voting in november cause he change at last minute the cause of the referendum from “to you want a fourt ballot to call a constitutional assembly?” to ” do you want to call a constitutional assembly?”, what make him back to call inmeadiatly the referendum finished.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The sad fact is that in countries like Honduras, sometimes the military IS the most democratic representative of the people. They are recruited from the peasantry, have a loyalty to family and their home region, and if they think a president is out of control, their choice to remove him before he goes too far may actually be a more accurate representation of the will of the people than a rigged election.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “The sad fact is that in countries like Honduras, sometimes the military IS the most democratic representative of the people.”

    Considering the long and checkered history of military takeovers and dictatorships in Latin America, that’s a rather tall statement, don’t you think?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Here is an OpEd piece from the LA Times making, quite well I think, the point that there was no coup in Honduras, except perhaps one attempted by former President Zelaya. The article explains a bit about Honduran law, the Honduran Constitution, and the role of the Honduran military in the situation there.

    If people here persist in calling Zelaya’s ouster and the continuing refusal to reinstate him a “coup,” I can think of very little further to say about it.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Considering the long and checkered history of military takeovers and dictatorships in Latin America, that’s a rather tall statement, don’t you think?

    It’s a very accurate statement, IMO. The military is often a far more representative institution than the government in these countries and in many cases the only one which really represents the common people of the countries in a signficant way.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Which is why, perhaps, so many of the Latin American countries have been susceptible in the past to military style of dictatorships. So they’re popular at first until someone like Peron or Allende decide to hold on to their power.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Here is a blog by a “gringa” in Honduras which, I think, helps to put things there in perspective.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://tolstoyscat.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Dan(Miller),

    Don’t you know anyone who isn’t white, who has an opinion?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But those opinions don’t matter, Cindy.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy, re Comment #14 — as a matter of fact I do. The “middle class” Panamanian mentioned in my Comment #277 here is “not white.” He has, in fact, quite dark skin.

    I disagree with the notion, implicit in your question, that “white” opinions are somehow less valid than “not white” opinions; sometimes, “white” and “not white” opinions are remarkably similar. That seems to be the case here in Panama, where former President Zelaya is well regarded by very few people, regardless of race.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    Cindy,

    Though I’m white, I’m as Mexican as any brown-skinned campesino, and therefore just as Latino.

    There is little difference, culturally, between Mexico and the Central American countries.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Except for Salvadorians perhaps. Some of them happen to think they’re made of better clay.

  • Clavos

    That’s true of any nationality anywhere (not just in LatAm), and doesn’t negate the point that there is actually very little cultural difference in the region, since it all was at one time either part of the Mayan empire, or under its control (In Mexico’s case, this is true of only the southern half of modern Mexico).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Perhaps there’s more of a middle class in El Salvador, or intelligentsia perhaps, than in the more impoverished LatAm countries. Or it could be my experience was with an oddball.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The sad fact is that in countries like Honduras, sometimes the military IS the most democratic representative of the people.

    To leap from this highly questionable and wholly unproven generalization to applying it specifically in the Zelaya case is a quite amazing [though ‘sadly’ unremarkable] instance of sophistry.

    In other words, how can you possibly know if this is true in all cases, in a few cases, or in no cases? And most of all, what gives you the wherewithal to pronounce it as The Answer to the question, What happened in Honduras?

    Let’s just all make stuff up, and then assert it as “Facts.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    The Venezuelan Government is not happy with Secretary Clinton’s remarks made during her 8 July Globovisión interview and noted in the article. According to the Venezuelan Foreign Relations Ministry,

    “In a moment in which efforts are being made to improve the relationship with the United States government, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton repeats the old practice of giving recipes and emitting evaluations of Venezuelan democracy,” stated the Ministry.

    “The insinuations of the Secretary of State reflect a profound lack of knowledge of our reality,” the Ministry’s statement continued. “It is difficult to believe in the sincerity of [the U.S.’s] intention of recomposing bilateral relations.”

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    One would assume that Clinton deliberately tweaked Chavez’s nose, at Obama’s direction or with his approval. Possibly because the administration’s stance was being misinterpreted in some quarters as being pro-Chavez.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Like in the present instance.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Clav,

    Obviously no one speaks for Latin America any more than I speak for the U.S. simply because I am white or I live here.

    I am interested only in the specific opinions of born and raised Hondurans.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    21 Handy,

    I think we can safely dismiss anything Dave says unless he posts some reference.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, you’re not going to get it from the author of this article. He keeps on insisting that all other voices are equally valid, raising a general kind of issue which is of no help in the present case.

    Stonewalling is another term for such tactics.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To speak in such superlative terms of the military as Dave does while ignoring the long tradition of military takeovers and dictatorship regimes in Latin American countries is indeed to make a quantum leap. What puzzles me, what’s Dave motivation in so doing? What purpose does it serve?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I don’t know what Dave’s purpose in continuing to voice nonsensical positions could be. I do know what the result is though.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Interesting one from Bangkok Post.

    Note the following:

    “The Honduran Supreme Court said ahead of the talks that if the congress granted Zelaya amnesty, he could return to Honduras without fearing an arrest warrant for treason issued against him.

    But many Honduran business leaders have opposed any return of the beleaguered leader.

    “There has been an irreversible democratic transition in Honduras, and we’re going to have to stick together to create jobs in the teeth of the global crisis and if there is international isolation,” Adolfo Facusse, an employers’ federation chief, told AFP.

    A wealthy rancher who veered strongly left since becoming president in January 2006, Zelaya raised the ire of lawmakers, judges and his country’s military by seeking to hold a referendum to rewrite the constitution so he could run for a second term.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And here’s an opinion from a native Honduran, non-white, I presume.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy, you say I am interested only in the specific opinions of born and raised Hondurans. Seems rather exclusionary to me. Aren’t opinions expressed by Chavez, Obama, Clinton, Arias, the OAS, ALBA, the UN, et al interesting as well? They certainly are relevant to their actions and to the impact of those actions on Honduras.

    Do the opinions of immigrants — legal and illegal — to the United States matter in discussing affairs in the United States?

    As to Dave’s “nonsensical positions,” I think he is correct in some respects. However, as to Honduras, it seems clear to me that the military was acting as the instrument of the civilian government. Please see the La Times piece linked in my Comment #10.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    In fact, the following website is devoted to Honduras news from a wide range of sources.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Another very interesting take from Spiegel Online.

    Speaks of knee-jerk reaction on the part of the ruling elites (Mr. Miller included), and Zelaya’s rather interesting turn/change of heart while in office. Definitely a must-read, because that’s not the kind of news you’re gonna get from Panama.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A noteworthy quote from the aforementioned article:

    A wealthy cattle rancher fond of wearing a Stetson hat in public, Zelaya is in fact a member of the established elite. But after taking office four years ago, he discovered that he had a soft spot for the poor. “He raised the minimum wage,” Lúcio Cardona, 26, says appreciatively. According to Cardona, who works as a motorcycle courier for the Pepsi Cola distributorship in San Marcos de Colón, “the rich, of course, didn’t like it.”

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    If I want to know about something, I prefer to get the opinion of those directly affected to form my opinions.

    I am very certain about one thing. I don’t trust opinions from anyone who would not do likewise.

    Do the opinions of immigrants — legal and illegal — to the United States matter in discussing affairs in the United States?

    Do they live here? Then I am interested in them.

    Aren’t opinions expressed by Chavez, Obama, Clinton, Arias, the OAS, ALBA, the UN, et al interesting as well?

    They would have to be interesting, as they are pertinent. I would of course want to hear them.

    I was speaking more in regard to understanding what is happening and what action is desired, by the people who are and will be affected.

    This is where I am not very interested in Larry, Mo and Curly’s assessment.

    I realize the Hondurans probably will find it very difficult to figure out what is happening right in their own backyard without the help of the Latin American (or U.S.) gringo brigade.

    The smartest ones are, I trust, waiting to assess their situation until a bunch of white people, who’ve never been there, tell them what is really going on.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “The smartest ones are, I trust, waiting to assess their situation until a bunch of white people, who’ve never been there, tell them what is really going on.”

    You must be kidding.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    the U.S. gringo brigade.

    That is hilarious. Should earn the honors for the comment of the week.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    re Comment #35, that’s not the kind of news you’re gonna get from Panama. Probably not. Panama has not had a military since Noriega was deposed. We do have a (somewhat inadequate) police force to deal with an increasing crime rate in the cities, and a quasi-military branch of the police to try to intercept the doubtless “non-violent progressives of FARC attempting to support their wonderfully humane revolutionary cause” (barf) by transporting drugs through Darien Province for sale elsewhere and in the process killing some locals. Since most residents of quite undeveloped Darien are Kuna, Emberá, Choco, Bribri, Bugle, Ngobe, Teribe & Wounaan Indians, it is probably reasonable to assume that at least some of those non-progressive obstructionists killed by FARC representatives have been non-white.

    As to whether the native Honduran mentioned in Comment #31 is non-white or something else, I have no idea. However, it seems silly to “presume” such a thing. The population of most of Central America is of quite mixed ancestry — black, white and what I suppose should be referred to as “Native Central Americans.”

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think Cindy’s use of “white” is meant to signify those who are in power, so as to contrast those views with views of the indigenous peoples.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Yes, ‘white’ meaning–the privileged–those who’ve been pillaging the planet at the expense of everyone else.

    They often think they know better than anyone else, they rarely do.

  • Clavos

    Another very interesting take from Spiegel Online.

    Speaks of knee-jerk reaction on the part of the ruling elites (Mr. Miller included)

    Cool!! Dan got a mention in Spiegel online!

    As the man once said, “It doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad, as long as they’re talking about you.”

  • Clavos

    So Cindy,

    Am I correct that my opinion in re Mexico and its affairs is valid to you?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #42,

    At last, his efforts paid off.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Sure Clav. But only as a member of the elite. ;-)

    And now I must depart this sweltering office and go to imbibe some libations and other treats.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy,

    Like many other Gringos, I have made a country in Central America my home. I intend to live, eventually to die and to be buried in Panamá. When Chávez and others interfere in what I consider purely local affairs, beyond their proper borders, I become irritated. It is, I suppose, much the same way you might feel were the President of the Republic of Virginia to demand that the New Jersey Constitution be ignored because it diminishes his ability to control things there, and to fund and otherwise support a “coup” in New Jersey.

    I also become irritated when the United States Government interferes in Central America as to matters which are none of its business. I was quite displeased a couple of years ago when President Bush’s then ambassador to Panamá made a major speech, widely reported in the local press, chastising Panamá for corruption. Panamá certainly has corruption, and everyone here is well aware of it. However, significant and possibly effective steps were and are being taken to reduce it. It is, in my view, not really the business of the United States Government. I even wrote letters to the White House and to the U.S. Ambassador; there was, of course, no substantive response. Corruption remains endemic in the United States, and appears to be getting worse rather than better. I see very little being done to counter it effectively. How would the folks living in the United States react were the Ambassador from Panamá to berate the United States for its corruption? Perhaps a major speech in Chicago? Washington?

    I disagree with the implicit suggestion that Gringos living in Honduras, Panamá and elsewhere in Central America have no opinions worth expressing on the situation in Honduras or elsewhere in Central America. What happens in Central America affects us, quite directly. The potential impact in the United States is far less. Many of us are “white,” some are not. Most of us have more than enough to eat and to care for our families. These factors can legitimately be considered in evaluating our views. However, I fail to understand why these factors should require that our views be completely rejected as lacking any merit whatever. Nor do I see any reason for us to sit down and shut up. Some of us devote a great deal of time and effort to understanding what is going on in what we regard as our homes. Although many talk “to” the locals, some of us talk “with” them. There is a difference. On balance, I consider the views of those who talk “with” the locals, and try to become a part of the community, better informed than those of many who are not here and may never have been either recently or for an extended period.

    I recognize that there may be some inconsistency between my views on the current situation in Honduras and that in Iran. The situations appear, to me, to be very different. To the extent that there may be inconsistencies, so be it.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That was very frank, Mr. Miller. And it does deserve a measured response. I’ll take a stab at it tomorrow.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Heck, even the Revolutionary Marxists of Iran, in an Open letter to the workers of Venezuela on Hugo Chávez’s support for Ahmadinejad, have come down pretty hard on el Presidente Chávez. The open letter states, among other things,

    With his support for Ahmadinejad he has ignored the solidarity of the workers and students of Iran with your revolution, and in a word, made it look worthless. Most are aware that two weeks ago Ahmadinejad, with the direct support of Khamenei, committed the biggest fraud in the history of presidential elections in Iran and then, with great ferocity, spilt the blood of those protesting against this fraud. You just have to take notice of the international media reports to be aware of the depths of this tragedy. All over the world millions of workers and students, and also those of Marxist and revolutionary tendencies (which mostly are the supporters of the Bolivarian revolution), protested against these attacks.

    In of spite this, Chávez was one of the first people to support Ahmadinejad. In his weekly TV speech he said: “Ahmadinejad’s triumph is a total victory. They’re trying to stain Ahmadinejad’s victory, and by doing so they aim to weaken the government and the Islamic revolution. I know they won’t be able to do it.” And that “We ask the world for respect.” These rash and baseless remarks from your President are a great and direct insult to the millions of youth who in recent days rose up against tyranny. Some of them even lost their lives. Many of these youths came out on the streets spontaneously and without becoming infected with the regime’s internal disputes, or becoming aligned with the policy that US imperialism is following for taking over the movement. In addition, the remarks of your President are an insult to millions of workers in Iran. Workers whose leaders are today being tortured in the prisons of the Ahmadinejad government and some of them are even believed to be being punished with flogging. Workers who were brutally repressed by the mercenaries of the Ahmadinejad government for commemorating May Day in Tehran this year are still in prison.

    And it goes on from there. Gee whiz. I wonder how I find myself allied, at least in small part, with the Revolutionary Marxists of Iran.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    Life is full of delicious ironies, Dan(Miller).

    Nonetheless, your cause (and theirs), in this instance at least, is just.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    What puzzles me, what’s Dave motivation in so doing? What purpose does it serve?

    As always, my “purpose” is to expose people to the truth, even if they are predisposed to ignore or deny it. In this case Cindy chooses to show the elitist’s ignorance of the role which the military plays in developing nations and the character and composition of such a military. This exposes her prejudices — which we’re already pretty familiar with — and just leaves those of us with some common sense and real world experience shrugging, as usual.

    Dave

  • http://tolstoyscat.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Dave,

    Substantiate your opinions with references or, as far as I am concerned, they go directly into the circular file (unless they bounce off the rim).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What I think Dave ought to do is to account for the apparent propensity of the military to go haywire and assume dictatorial powers (as it has done so many times in the history of Latin America), and that’s regardless of its presumably humble beginnings and the initial show of public support. Or its use as a tool at the hands of the ruling class.

    Thus far, he’s been silent on these matters.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Here is an article which does a reasonably good job of putting Latin American military coups and civilian coups in perspective.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://tolstoyscat.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Dan(Miller),

    I am glad I slept on my reply. Clav serendipitously presents the best way I can explain my thinking.

    Nonetheless, your cause (and theirs), in this instance at least, is just.

    This is the crux of the matter to me–justice. I am not suggesting you should be quiet or your opinion unheard. I am asking, what about the people who cannot simply move away and decide to retire elsewhere? What about the people who are not being helped by your system of ‘rule of law’? What do they say? How can they tell someone like you that the rule of law has never helped them, if you won’t even consider their perspective in your analysis?

    An analysis that does not consider the voice of the lowest economic classes is not a reasonable analysis. That is pretty much all I am saying. I am tired of only the people who benefit having a voice, the owning class, they are a smaller group than the people who do not.

    Also, whatever the result of their misconceptions about what happens when some have power over others, I generally find justice is the aim of the Marxists I talk to.

    P.S. Life is full of delicious ironies… –Clavos

    I always think, it’s the messy parts that are the best.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    In Latin American and many other third world countries the military is one of the only routes of upward mobility for the peasantry, because there is a constant need for footsoldiers and by its nature a military will recognize hard work and ability with promotion of some sort.

    This makes the military much more in touch with the general population than other institutions in a developing nation. Its soldiers retain ties to their families and communities and awareness of their concerns. The military is often looked on favorably by the general population when the government is seen as a tool of the elites.

    The result is that the military tends to be far more responsive to popular unrest than the government of the ruling elite. This can be a good thing, but the problem is that a military leader who is charismatic and good at promoting himself as a populist — like Hugo Chavez and dozens of others — can use the military to advance himself as a champion of the people and be viewed by those people as somewhat legitimate because he comes from the military rather than from the plutocratic or aristocratic ruling class.

    If you want evidence of this it is present in scores of examples all over the third-world over the last 200 years. The classic model is Napoleon, who came out of the military as a populist leader. The dynamic is even more powerful when the military forms an alliance with an element of a democratic government against another. It raises the legitimacy of that faction in the eyes of the people who respect strength and have confidence that “cousin carlos is a sergeant in the army and he wouldn’t support El Jefe if he was a bad man.”

    For some reason the elitists of the American left don’t seem to be able to understand or accept this dynamic, which is a tragic commentary on their complete ignorance of history.

    Dave

  • http://tolstoyscat.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Dave the military hawk. Dave, please go drive your family in front of wherever the closest military action is and then tell me what you think.

    There is no way to peace – peace is the way. – A.J. Muste

    It is as simple as that. Bombing people and killing them for peace–just look how well that’s worked so far.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Cindy, have you ever even been in a war zone?

    There’s absolutely nothing hawklike in my #55. Nothing pro-war.

    As usual you confuse an informed awareness of how the world works with an endorsement of the things on which I comment.

    Dave

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Supporting military is supporting war Dave. That is the bottom line. Say Yes to Peace. There is only one single way to do that. In the meantime we’ll have to suffer all the people who think their particular wars are justified.

    Read Gandhi, MLK, A.J. Muste, Tolstoy, Jesus. Say Yes to Peace, Dave.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dan(Miller),

    For your perusal: Statement by the Libertarian Communist* Organization in Chile against the military coup in Honduras

    Once again the bourgeoisie allied with the armed forces tipped a coup against a constitutionally elected president in the institutional framework of their own class. It is strange in the eyes of the world one action of this magnitude, even more so when those same national bourgeoisie did gargle with “Never Again” and other phrases for the bronze after bleaching sponsored dictatorships and coup waves that ravaged the continent during the second half of the twentieth century.

    *Libertarian Communists = Anarchists

  • Baronius

    Hilarious, Cindy.

  • Baronius

    I’m sorry, Cindy. That was rude of me. I hate it when people leave snide little comments like I just did.

    You’re missing the point of what Dave is saying. You’re throwing slogans at him rather than consider his idea. Soldiers are often looked upon as successes and protectors in a healthy society. You mentioned Jesus; recall the respect He showed the centurion.

    That Chilean statement pushed me over the edge. There’s something about extremely bad political ideas that encourages a ponderous writing style. I thought it would disappear with the fall of the USSR.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I’m sorry, Cindy. That was rude of me. I hate it when people leave snide little comments like I just did.

    That is okay Bar, I was just going off to build a catapult to launch you over the wall into the reservation (don’t worry there is a screen top so you can breathe)…er, I mean I was just going off to cry because you hurt my feelings.

    Bar, Please provide references to your positions on Jesus and what he believed. My motto is ‘never trust a Catholic to tell you what Jesus said’.

    Bar, did I ever tell you my husband is a Christian, who is sort of Catholic? You know, in that, doesn’t go to church but believes in the blessed virgin sort of way.–Just so you know I don’t hate Catholics any more than I hate individual police officers, soldiers, or other potential threats to humanity.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dan (Miller),

    I’m going to respond to your #46, and just as Cindy had stated she slept on her reply, so did I. In a way, my response will be along the lines suggested in #54. Let be elaborate.

    What I see is a reaction of a person responding to their immediate circumstances, the immediate exigencies facing them, dire as they may be. Still, it’s a reaction by and large. It brings to mind, in fact, the life at the frontiers, marked by all kinds of hazards, insecurities, and dangers to life – in short, the business of physical survival.

    This isn’t of course to criticize this state of mind, for who am I to tell what a person would feel or think when faced with immediate dangers and perils to their own life and that of their loved ones. But having said all that, I must say it’s a matter of choice. If Panama is not safe, then why be there? Fuck the money. Why feel like a hunted animal when one can live in a relatively speaking safe environment, however much one may detest it? Dangers can come from all quarters, and we have no reasonable assurance that we shall make it into the next day, or the day after next, but still … I must conclude therefore it’s the choice you’ve made and now you have to live with it.

    So the question, in essence, pertains to a mindset that comes with being exposed to physical danger, or at least uncertainty. Granted, the physical circumstances in which one finds himself determine how one is going to think. But I should assume that apart from all that, we should be able to transcend our immediate circumstances and be governed instead by a larger picture. Especially in case of persons as intelligent and articulate as you. At the very least, why remain in a situation where one is bound to respond like a hunted animal and succumb thus to the lowest in human nature if other options are available? I value my humanity and my ability to respond as a human more than anything else, and I’m certain you do, too.

    The point is – I would never condescend to be in a position where my values would have to take second seat and be overcome by the exigencies of the moment.

    So the question is, why do you? Is it really worth it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Bar,

    BTW, the voices of people who have been at the mercy of the ruling elite are not about to disappear. They are getting louder.

    Someone you may be able to relate to on the matter. A video interview (5 minutes but the important part is at the very beginning)of the famous anti-capitalist anarchist Alan Greenspan: Greenspan says, “It is in the nature of Capitalism… that it never seems to get acceptance by the vast majority of people. And the reason is that one of the key aspects of Capitalism is competition, which is a very difficult things when you are competed out of business.”

    Greenspan quotes Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter as he explains why Capitalism is “creative destruction”.

    The system works for you. Goody for you. It doesn’t work for most people.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Schumpeter is a hell of an economist and first-class thinker. Required reading.

  • Clavos

    Um, Cindy,

    Is not Greenspan a follower of the great Ayn Rand, which would make him an Objectivist and thus a strong advocate of unbridled Capitalism, certainly not an Anticapitalist anarchist, n’est-ce-pas?

  • Clavos

    And, Cindy, I would say that the example of the United States, the wealthiest society in history, with the largest middle class in the world, while certainly not perfect, is real proof that Capitalism does work for most people living in a capitalist economy.

    Not all, true, but most?

    Unequivocally yes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Clav,

    Re: 67 – Darn it. I am sure now my irony button is broken. Just yesterday, I posted “Anarchists rule” in twitter and someone started telling me how anarchists shouldn’t rule. (sigh)

    68 – There are too many things I could say to this. I’ll save them for some other time. I a) don’t want to get into a long discussion and b) I am the chipleader in my poker game with only 4 others left and if I pay close attention I will have another $200 to donate to a good cause.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger, you seem, in your Comment # 63, to have misread my Comment # 46. I have little doubt that you did your best.

    I am not living in fear of what Panamanians may do to us; indeed, I am not much concerned. Adequate precautions against crime, reasonable in most any rural area without police nearby, are not very difficult to take, and we have taken them. The incidence of violent crime, while becoming rather high in Panamá City and in various urban areas, is far lower here. The rash of burglaries recently experienced nearby has pretty much vanished, with the arrest of several people from outside the area. In most respects, I am very happy here, and feel far less vulnerable to violent crime than I would in most places with which I am familiar in the United States. It also costs significantly less to live here, quite well.

    Having also spent time in Venezuela just after Chávez came to power and at various times over the next couple of years — and having kept up with the things happening there since — I was a bit concerned during the recent Panamanian Presidential elections that a Chavista might win; it seemed unlikely, and she lost by a very wide margin.

    Venezuela is a beautiful country, with many pleasant people. Up in the Andes, the university town of Merida is delightful. Had it not been for the problems we considered likely to result should Chávez remain in power, we might well have settled within thirty or so KM of Merida. The problems in Venezuela have become substantially worse than we had thought likely, and very many people there are increasingly suffering from oppression and economic hardship.

    The intended thrust of my comment was that having lived in Central America for a significant time, and having become increasingly familiar with what goes on here by talking with the locals, reading the newspapers and otherwise, I feel free to offer my views on happenings in Honduras and elsewhere in the region. My perspectives may be flawed, and to some extent they are in a continuing state of flux. You may, of course, take my views for whatever they may be worth or simply reject them because I often find President Obama’s policies and statements unacceptable, or on whatever basis you wish. I fully expect your attempts at amateur psychoanalysis to continue; I generally find them amusing.

    I do disagree with the notion that Chávez has made life better for most Venezuelans. As I tried to point out in an earlier article, I consider it quite clear that Chávez has done the reverse and that he is a bad, egomaniacal person, trying very hard to retain power indefinitely regardless of the consequences to Venezuela. Were something similar to happen here or in Honduras, or to continue elsewhere, I think that the results would be very bad — for everyone except those in power.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Okay we can argue now, I just wiped everyone out. :-) I love this game.

    So, on a variety of levels I disagree,

    a) It depends on what you mean by ‘work’. If you call its resultant sniveling, violent, miserable, soulless, selfish, anxiety-ridden, insecure, psychologically damaged, fucked-up, controlling, creepy, sexually sick, zombie robots evidence that it is ‘working’,then I say okay, it’s working.

    b) If you mean exclusively economically (even within just the U.S.), I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me. How do you arrive at you conclusion?

    c) Capitalism exists all over the place. The U.S. and others made sure of that. It’s not working for the Maquiladora factory workers or the sweatshop laborers. So, your argument implying second and third world countries aren’t included is flawed.

    d) If you mean the people who live in a Capitalist society benefit, then I agree. They do it because their country rapes the rest of humanity. That doesn’t ‘work’ for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    71 to Clav, of course.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I realize the Hondurans probably will find it very difficult to figure out what is happening right in their own backyard without the help of the Latin American (or U.S.) gringo brigade.

    The smartest ones are, I trust, waiting to assess their situation until a bunch of white people, who’ve never been there, tell them what is really going on.

    Hmmm….. Let’s change this around just a bit to gie it a more realistic perspective and look.

    “I realize the Israelis probably will find it very difficult to figure out what is happening right in their own backyard without the help of the American infantile left brigade.

    The smartest ones are, I trust, waiting to assess their situation until a bunch of infantile American leftists, who’ve never been there, tell them what is really going on.”

    There! Fixed it for ya, Cindy!

    Yer welcome.

    Ahhh. The air in Samaria is so nice in the evening. The green lights from the mosques dot the sky…

    Have a good week!

  • Clavos

    It depends on what you mean by ‘work’. If you call its resultant sniveling, violent, miserable, soulless, selfish, anxiety-ridden, insecure, psychologically damaged, fucked-up, controlling, creepy, sexually sick, zombie robots evidence that it is ‘working’,then I say okay, it’s working.

    Oh good, we agree (though I might have put it a bit differently), but, as one of those sniveling, violent, miserable, soulless, selfish, anxiety-ridden, insecure, psychologically damaged, fucked-up, controlling, creepy, sexually sick, zombie robots who has manged to live very well on a number of levels for the past fifty years, I think it works, at least for those of us who are sniveling, violent, miserable, soulless, selfish, anxiety-ridden, insecure, psychologically damaged, fucked-up, controlling, creepy, sexually sick, zombie robots, which is the majority of the people living in this particular sniveling, violent, miserable, soulless, selfish, anxiety-ridden, insecure, psychologically damaged, fucked-up, controlling, creepy, sexually sick, zombie robotic society.

    It’s not working for the Maquiladora factory workers…

    Have you actually conducted or seen the results of a survey conducted among those maquiladora workers, most of whom have improved their lot in life by becoming such, instead of remaining on their pitiful, arid nonproductive patches of land given to them to farm after the socialistic “land reform” Mexican revolution? Sure, they don’t live as well as one of my clients able to buy a large yacht, but the improvement afforded them by their employment, miserable as it may seem to you and me, in a maquiladora is substantial for them.

    If you mean the people who live in a Capitalist society benefit, then I agree. They do it because their country rapes the rest of humanity.

    Yet here you are, living in the most quintessentially Capitalist society on earth, raping the rest of the world, just by virtue of living here.

    Shame on you, Cindy. Move to the miserable place of your choice, and put your convictions to work bringing anarchy to the Mexican campesinos or the subjects of Robert Mugabe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    73 – Ruvy. I agree. I already showed you I stand in solidarity with some Israelis.

    But your comparison to my statement is not really a parallel. It leaves off a whole people’s opinion; can you figure out whose?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    74 – Clav,

    Yet here you are, living in the most quintessentially Capitalist society on earth, raping the rest of the world, just by virtue of living here.

    That is true. But your suggestion hardly helps. The best I can do is do what I can do every day and move toward rejecting Capitalism. There is no escaping it–no matter where I move. And if it would help to punish myself for being born here, I would–if it would help–clearly it won’t.

    Simply because my living this lifestyle damages other people, doesn’t mean that sacrificing my life will save them. On the other hand that I live here doesn’t make it okay, what this society chooses to do.

    Once a person is aware of what needs to be done, one can only do one’s best to move toward doing that.

    For me, one of those things is this little saying I got from a video:

    “When I refuse to forget. When I refuse to stay silent. I resist.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Clav,

    Please provide evidence for your claims: but the improvement afforded them by their employment, miserable as it may seem to you and me, in a maquiladora is substantial for them.

    I keep myself very informed about the circumstances of people around the world. I will put this topic on my list to write about.

  • Clavos

    So you choose to remain here, yet you say, Once a person is aware of what needs to be done, one can only do one’s best to move toward doing that.

    I submit that by remaining here you are not “doing your best” to move the world toward your ideals, and are in fact greatly weakening your arguments against Capitalism and even leaving yourself vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy.

  • Clavos

    Cindy,

    Please provide evidence for your claims: “but the improvement afforded them by their employment, miserable as it may seem to you and me, in a maquiladora is substantial for them.”

    I’ve a better idea: you find evidence that they are NOT better off than they were at home on the ejidos; evidence that, against all reason, they stupidly left home, moved to the maquiladora free zones and took maquiladora jobs to worsen their lives.

  • Franco

    14 – Cindy

    Dan(Miller),

    Don’t you know anyone who isn’t white, who has an opinion?

    15 – roger nowosielski

    But those opinions don’t matter, Cindy.

    Ah, two liberals playing the race card. A classic progressive canard as they prove their need to keep its flames burning.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’ve been a missing person, buddy. So somebody’s got to do the job in your stead.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy, as a “white” (in whatever sense you may have used the word in Comment # 14) lady in the United States, with a computer and time to use it, and therefore at least a peripheral member of the “elite,” who is (I assume) not one of the native born Mexican Maquiladora factory workers or the sweatshop laborers living and working there, you elect to express apparently strongly held opinions on their condition. You say, in Comment #25, I am interested only in the specific opinions of born and raised Hondurans. Is there something really different about the people in Mexico, or is ideology a sufficient basis for your assertions?

    In Comment #36, you say,

    If I want to know about something, I prefer to get the opinion of those directly affected to form my opinions.

    I am very certain about one thing. I don’t trust opinions from anyone who would not do likewise.

    Well, I suppose. I liked this slogan: “When I refuse to forget. When I refuse to stay silent. I resist.” Should I ever have a car with sufficiently bumper space, I may try to use it.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Franco

    21 – handyguy

    The sad fact is that in countries like Honduras, sometimes the military IS the most democratic representative of the people.

    To leap from this highly questionable and wholly unproven generalization to applying it specifically in the Zelaya case is a quite amazing [though ‘sadly’ unremarkable] instance of sophistry.

    In other words, how can you possibly know if this is true in all cases, in a few cases, or in no cases? And most of all, what gives you the wherewithal to pronounce it as The Answer to the question, What happened in Honduras?

    Let’s just all make stuff up, and then assert it as “Facts.”

    Handy, the entire government of Honduras, the Supreme Court by unanimous vote, all branches of government, and even the members of Zelaya own party supported the dicision to inlest the military in removing Zeave from the County because they knew he was up to Chavestaism and they wll not allow it to get started there as they all want nothing to do with a Veniauelin or Cuban style repressive government.

    Now Handy, with all due respect, when taking under consideration all the is stated above, are you saying you really have no idea how / why Dan could make his statement? Are you for real?

    For the record, here is the most and sinister statement made concerning Honduras.

    “We aren’t going to stand by with our arms crossed… we’re willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the sovereignty of Honduras and its people are respected,” Mr. Chávez said.

    Then Mr. Chavez, you should be respecting and supporting the sovereignty of the Hondurans Constitution who do not what it changed as you do, you fat communist blowhole! What a f—king lying deceitful swindler!

  • Lumpy

    I would find cindy’s biased assumptions amusing if they were not shared by so many and therefore dangerous. The truth is that the chief tapers and plunderers and squanderers of our planet are NOT white (whatever that bigoted word means to her). They are brown and yellow and black and live in Africa and Asia where there are no checks on the waste of resources and destruction of the environment and exploitation of the people. Again the oblivious tranzi dupe defends the destroyers and oppressors and attacks the supporters of freedom and civilization.

  • Franco

    80 – roger nowosielski

    “You’ve been a missing person, buddy. So somebody’s got to do the job in your stead.”

    Hi roger, been too busy making changes with trying to keep the company alive in these times. So fare so good but had to have a break from the grind and sat down and came on to see all my favorites again. So how are you?

    Now concerning your comment, which I choose to take as a friendly joshing, I should advise you that implying that I am racist, if that is what you are doing in any real sense, is not going to work. I am the last person you will be able to call a racist.

    However I will have to admit that I am the first person you will be able of accusing of demanding that everyone pulls his or her own weight. And for those who honestly can’t, you will also be able to accuse me of being one of the first in being supportive in lending them a helping hand so they too may become more prosperous in their own right.

    But no free rides at the expense of someone else!

  • Franco

    Dave, from the homework you have done, pretty good analysis I would say.

    This was not a coup. The military never acted without the full and unanimous backing of the Supreme Court, and all other elected branch members of government, including Zelaya own party.

    The only coup that was getting close to having a chance of taking place was the ongoing illegal actions of Zelaya which were being veamley supported by Chavez and Castro. Everyone knows that, there just not talking about it. And the only reason Zelaya is not dead or hiding in the jungle is because the current government of Honduras has not acted out a coup. It is actually mind boggling how much order there is in Honduras following such events. One death reported. Remarkable!.

    Honduras is something we might want to remember here in the United States if we too ever face such attacks on our constitution, just as our founders insisted we act in such a case. .

    Ain’t protecting freedom a bitch! You go Honduras! The international community is wrong on all accounts on this one.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No implication of the sort, Franco. Just different world views now and then. But no one is squeaky clean – white, black, or yellow. And whites don’t have any monopoly on goodness.

  • Franco

    54 – Cindy

    “An analysis that does not consider the voice of the lowest economic classes is not a reasonable analysis.”

    Excellent comment and well said. I could not agree more!

    “What about the people who are not being helped by your system of ‘rule of law’?
    What do they say? How can they tell someone like you that the rule of law has never helped them, if you won’t even consider their perspective in your analysis?”

    Today in the United States, where everyone of its citizens is granted Constitutional and Bill of Right protections under is system of “rule of law” as you put it, who are the people that you claim have never been helped by or benefited from these liberties and therefor are suffering under them?

    Be specific.

  • Franco

    86 – roger nowosielski

    “No implication of the sort, Franco.”

    Fair enough roger.

    “But no one is squeaky clean – white, black, or yellow. And whites don’t have any monopoly on goodness.”

    For Pete sake, can’t you for once not make a comment directed at any color when speaking of race? Is that really that hard for you?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I was evenhanded, Franco. Somebody’s got to keep you honest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Clav,

    Your opinion of me is your department. Not much I can do about that.

    I’ve a better idea: you find evidence that they are NOT better off than they were at home on the ejidos; evidence that, against all reason, they stupidly left home, moved to the maquiladora free zones and took maquiladora jobs to worsen their lives.

    So it was an assumption on your part. It sounds reasonable to you that people are better off there.

    I’ll be happy to provide information in an article some time. It’s on my list now.

    However, that isn’t the most important thing. The most important thing is that no one should have to live in poor conditions. It’s wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    #81 – Dan Miller,

    Why do you assume I have not gotten the opinions of the workers? You might guess that if you are interested in say, Australia that you could explore virtually unlimited information about it on the internet. At the same time, if you are not interested in Australia, it’s likely it may as well not even exist.

    If you look, Dan(Miller), there is an entire world of protest you don’t see–unless you are interested in it. I am very interested in it. I have spoken directly with Iranian protesters. I have been e-mailed DDos hacker set-ups for the purpose of destroying Iranian govt web sites. (We found out later that this is not a good idea as it also reduces the ability for the protesters to use the internet. So, I told the hacker and he agreed we should not spread it. The page load attacks worked though.) I have a TOR relay on my computer, now, that allows Iranians and others to use my excess bandwidth. I recommend everyone get one. It’s an easy way to share your bandwidth with people who need it. Also, iprental.com is giving free anonymous ips to any Iranian citizen, in case you know anyone who could use that info.

    I talk to people every day, by e-mail who are involved in worker solidarity throughout the world.

    I am not sure why you think I’d just say I know what’s best for Maquiladora workers or any other workers without having viewed and read their own words and opinions.

    The strange thing is they all say the same thing throughout the entire world. You can find that out if you are interested Dan(Miller); the information is available.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    87 – Franco,

    Specifically, I was addressing in the rule of law in Honduras. I could apply it to the U.S. as well. But we’ve been over this a whole bunch of times. So, I’ll say this:

    The U.S. government’s president is not subject to the rule of law. Bush cannot be meaningfully punished for atrocities and crimes against humanity he committed. So, what is all the hubbub about some president who asks people if they want to vote on an issue?

  • Clavos

    Cindy,

    As you yourself pointed out upthread, those who are born and raised in a given culture, know it best.

    I know Mexico and Mexicans — of all classes and stations. I am one, I grew up as one, and spent thirty years working in the Mexican airline industry as an adult. I travel there regularly and frequently, and still do business there.

    While I’m sure you can find individuals in the maquiladoras who will go on forever about how horrible conditions are in them, just as you can find individuals in virtually any workplace in the world who will do the same, the fact remains that no one is forcing the workers to work there, they can always go back home (the vast majority are from other areas of Mexico) and resume tilling their land.

    But, they don’t, because they are better off in the maquiladoras, however bad they may be.

    However, when the Gringo do-gooders come down and interview them, they’re eager to tell the nice Gringos whatever they expect to hear.

    Have the courage of your convictions, Cindy. Go live with them (or the Iranians or whomever) and help them.

    Playing on the internet with software doesn’t change anything.

    Only armed revolution does.

  • Baronius

    “My motto is ‘never trust a Catholic to tell you what Jesus said’.”

    Always helpful to keep track of who the bigots are. Jesus and the centurion are in Matthew 8.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Clav,

    A) I am a pacifist (that leaves armed resistance out, I’m afraid) and B) these aren’t children who look to cry on white people’s shoulders. The are workers who struggle to improve their conditions.

    Most of the world is against globalization. Most of the world hates Capitalism and what it’s done to their countries.

    What is with you and the ‘go live with them’ line? Do you seriously want me to answer this? I live here. This is my home. Do you think I should kill my husband by taking him away from medical help? Or should I just abandon him? There is plenty that I can do, and plenty of people to help right here, where I live.

    Why pick Mexicans, or any other particular people? I feel the same way about people everywhere. If I were to go anywhere it would be Africa. That’s where the greatest hunger is. But I can do as much from here by raising money to by livestock for African families. So, there isn’t any need to go anywhere.

    Finally, I believe I said I wanted to here from the people who are affected in any given situation. We can all give opinions based on what we know about where we were born and some information is objective. However, as I said, no one speaks for a country or an entire population. Many here live in the same country here and yet we still don’t agree on the facts.

  • Franco

    92 – Cindy

    “The U.S. government’s president is not subject to the rule of law. Bush cannot be meaningfully punished for atrocities and crimes against humanity he committed.”

    Cindy, you had better catch up on current events. Just about ever single thing you are accusing Bush of, and that Obama promised to change when in the Whitehouse. Now that Obama is there and being in a position to assess first hand the issues that Bush was facing, Obama has either reinstated the Bush policies he once order discontinued, or he has kept the rest in tact, and right on down to the Surge in Iraq that Obama said would not work, and has just orders the Surge for Afganistan. So just what crimes against humanity are you speaking of of there Cindy?

    And yes, Pelosi was brieft on all interigaion methods.

    “So, what is all the hubbub about some president who asks people if they want to vote on an issue?”

    For those who know, no explanation is necessary; for those who don’t, none is possible!

    Cindy, I asked you a sincere question which relates directly to your complaint that no one askes this question or accounts for it. And ironicly you have duck out of responding to it, even after complaining no one was or cared.

    That now leaves you with three choices. Either put up, or shut up, or look the fraud!

    “Specifically, I was addressing in the rule of law in Honduras. I could apply it to the U.S. as well.”

    OK apply it to the US then and account for your following statement.

    “What about the people who are not being helped by your system of ‘rule of law’?
    What do they say? How can they tell someone like you that the rule of law has never helped them, if you won’t even consider their perspective in your analysis?”

    Here is the exact same question again relating directly to your statement.

    Today in the United States, where everyone of its citizens is granted Constitutional and Bill of Right protections under is system of “rule of law” as you put it, who are the people that you claim have never been helped by or benefited from these liberties and therefor are suffering under them?

  • Franco

    89 – roger nowosielski

    “I was evenhanded, Franco. Somebody’s got to keep you honest.”

    No you were not roger. Evenhanded, truly evenhandedness, makes no mention of it at all roger. Care to dispute the honesty in that statement?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    96 – Franco,

    I agree with you re Obama. Fine with me. You want to toss Obama in there; I’ll go along with that. I don’t have any love for Obama. (Course I don’t have quite as much hatred for him as I do for Bush. But then, like they say, it’s only been a short while; give him 8 years.)

    And yes, Pelosi was brieft on all interigaion methods.

    Again, I agree. Toss her in too.

    For those who know, no explanation is necessary; for those who don’t, none is possible!

    Okay, well. that will get us far. It’s sort of like this riddle:

    If you’re paddling your canoe upstream and your left rear wheel falls off, how long will it take a grasshopper with a wooden leg to kick all of the seeds out of a dill pickle?

    Cindy, I asked you a sincere question which relates directly to your complaint that no one askes this question or accounts for it. And ironicly you have duck out of responding to it, even after complaining no one was or cared.

    Either put up, or shut up, or look the fraud!

    Huh? I was talking to Dan(Miller) regarding Honduras. His stated that he is concerned because Zelaya broke the rule of law. Have you noticed the title of the article?

    I told you I wasn’t interested in going over the question you posed about the U.S. in detail. I have argued it before and it is a whole detailed mess of a new argument that I do not intend to rehash for the next 42 comments (which is what it will lead to). Besides, it’s not like I am going to convince anyone of anything this time.

    (P.S. I think you should give me credit. I didn’t even make an ad hominem attack. Don’t you agree? :-)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Have the courage of your convictions, Cindy. Go live with them (or the Iranians or whomever) and help them.

    You know, do like I do. Live your convictions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Baronius,

    It has nothing to do with being a bigot. I happen to be an atheist. I am also very much opposed to ecclesiastical organizations. What does not trusting a believing member of such an organization have to do with being a bigot?

    I often, not always (after all he is a believer), trust Tolstoy’s interpretation of Jesus because he is an anarchist. He is opposed to ecclesiastical organizations.

    Soldiers are often looked upon as successes and protectors in a healthy society. You mentioned Jesus; recall the respect He showed the centurion.

    What think about this story is that Jesus (and I don’t know if this is the real Jesus, here, or just a convenient one) was not showing the centurion respect for being a soldier, but despite that fact that he was a soldier. He was also a slave owner. Would you argue that the respect was in any measure due to the idea that Jesus thought that it was worthy of respect to be a slave owner?

    Here is the analysis of a pacifist teen (presumably a teen, writing on a Christian teen forum).

    “Ultimately, the whole situation is less about the centurion than it is a lesson for us. This is the extravagance of God’s grace: that even a slave-owning soldier from an oppressive and occupying military superpower (Rome) can know God’s grace. How easy would it have been for Jesus and the Hebrews to tell the centurion to shove off because he’s their oppressor. Yet they did not. . . God’s grace is for all people, even our enemies.”

    Sounds like one smart teen to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Ruvy,

    I already answered that. And unless you want to look foolish, I recommend not suggesting your convictions include abandoning your sick and elderly wife.

    Now, I am too tired from catching grenades for the last few hours to toss any more back. Time for bed.

    I just realized that Roger is one of the few people here that I am not having a fight with. lol

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Most of the world is against globalization. Most of the world hates Capitalism and what it’s done to their countries.

    Cindy, this is just NOT true. Have you ever been outside the US? Have you ever talked to anyone in the third world? They are desperate for the opportunity to engage in real, entrepreneurial capitalism and seize on it any time they have a chance.

    Yes, there are small but vocal minorities who have turned to socialism and other failed ideologies, but they are insignificant compared to the vast majority who want a chance to work and benefit from the fruits of their own labor. I would suggest that if you have contacts outside the US as you suggest you do, they are not really typical of the population of the world — just of those who happen to share some of your bizarre and antiquated ideas.

    Like too many on the left you’ve confused global corporatism with capitalism. They are two radically different things. The operations of the multinationals which work hand in hand with big government and international NGOs bear very little resemblance to capitalism as Adam Smith would have recognized it.

    I would not go so far as to call them evil or destructive, but they ARE indifferent to the kinds of things which concern you. Their impact on the developing world has mostly been positive, but not as positive as true entrepreneurial capitalism has been where it has been permitted.

    However, when the door is opened to the multinationals, they bring with them opportunity for real capitalism, because they raise standards of living and disposable income and encourage the growth of secondary enterprises and associated businesses, so in most cases their role is a net positive.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Why would I want to join the gang, Cindy? It’s not my style.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I just thought it was funny, Roger. It seemed as if I was only arguing with you for a long time. Now I am only arguing with 6 other people, but not with you.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I was kind of concerned with what I saw. I think you should pick your fights more wisely – selective targets if you know what I mean. Don’t let anyone break your spirit.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Yes, there are small but vocal minorities who have turned to socialism . . .”

    Except for most of Latin America, Dave. The great majority of South Americans are under the thumb of ruling oligopolies. That’s one reason, I’d say, why the situation in Honduras isn’t as clear cut as some would like to believe.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #97,

    Incorrect, Franco. It was you who started with claims as to the civilization, culture and justice of the whites. I provided the counterpoint.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dan (Miller) – re #69.

    Well, I may have misread your original comment. But aside from being self-revelatory, I found it on the alarmist side. Perhaps the problem is that you may be speaking with two voices – as an American on the one hand and an expatriate on the other – and at times they may appear at odds.

    I don’t question your feel for the Honduras situation or the general understanding of Latin America’s problems. It’s certainly bound to be better than that of many of us who have never been there. The question still remains whether the people of Venezuela are really so much worse off (as you say) since Chavez took power (and that’s regardless of what kind of person Chavez is). What are your sources?

    Are you connected to the majority of the people – those on the lowest economic rung? It would be rather difficult for a foreigner to be so connected. Kind of like what it would be for whites to truly understand the kind of prejudices and injustices that the blacks were exposed on a daily basis in the Deep South. Besides, the Honduras situation may be different: there were some positive things that Zelaya did on behalf of the poor, like increasing the minimum wage. So are you certain that those voices are represented as well to form your opinion?

    I’m not playing “amateur psychologist,” as you say, only try to understand your motivation and where you’re coming from. Why in your particular case more so than with others? Perhaps some of things alluded to earlier provide somewhat of a clue – there being somewhat of a conflict as to what you say at times and why: dual allegiance, perhaps, to the US and Panama, a less stable or safe physical environment, not to mention the fact that most of your pieces are inseparable from critiquing Obama.

    We’re all affected by our immediate circumstances, where we live, etc., and all of that cannot help but affect our views and how we see the world. Perhaps in your case this is more pronounced. So if I was digging at motives, it’s perhaps because I perceived (rightly or wrongly) certain contraditions. If anything, it was a way to flesh out the real Dan Miller.

  • Clavos

    Except for most of Latin America, Dave. The great majority of South Americans are under the thumb of ruling oligopolies. That’s one reason, I’d say, why the situation in Honduras isn’t as clear cut as some would like to believe.

    Funny you should say that today, Cindy.

    This op-ed column (free registration required) by Frida Ghitis, who is a Guatemalteca and very knowledgeable about LatAm affairs across the region, essentially refutes your point about Honduras.

    A couple of pertinent quotes:

    Before the military removed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya from power, less than one-third of the population approved of his rule, and discontent threatened to bubble over…

    The article is about Chavez’ waning appeal in the region, so is couched in terms of him:

    Many people do love and admire the Venezuelan president, but his appeal has started to wear thin in Latin America. That is true, in defiance of conventional wisdom, even among the poor. Ask a taxi driver in Mexico City what he thinks of Chávez. There’s a good chance he’ll tell you, as several told me, that Chávez is a dangerous payaso. A clown. They have other ideas of what their country needs. Attacking poverty remains urgent, but Latin Americans have found a better way to do it. (emphasis added)

    And finally:

    When Chávez came to office in 1999, the poor in Latin America, who remain far too numerous, did not see appealing alternatives. They saw capitalism that ignored their needs — and then there was Hugo. Now, by contrast, Latin America has another example. Instead of the confrontational, divisive Chávez approach, those aspiring to improve the lot of the poor can look to Brazil and Chile. Both countries have leftist presidents, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Michele Bachelet, respectively. Both governments work to reduce poverty, but they do it in a way that stimulates economic growth and builds a strong economic foundation for the future. Both Lula and Bachelet enjoy stratospheric approval ratings.

  • Clavos

    109 is of course, directed at Roger, not Cindy.

    Sometimes you sound alike.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I stand corrected then.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    According to this article, the entry of Venezuela into the Southern Cone Economic Zone (Mercosur) is being delayed because of “doubts” about the existence of democracy in Venezuela and the refusal of the Venezuelan Ambassador to appear before the Brazilian Congress to make Venezuela’s position clear. A letter from the Venezuelan Ambassador complaining about the delay was returned via diplomatic channels to the Ambassador on 10 July. Based on that sort of thing, the smashing 28 June defeat in Argentina of candidates from the party highly favored by Chavez, and the worsening economic situation in Venezuela,I wonder whether his glory days may be drawing to a slow close.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    A good article from today’s LA Times puts the events into a less fuzzy timeline, comprehensive yet compact.

    Both sides in this debate will find supporting evidence in the article. I still think the Honduran congress overreacted, creating a crisis prematurely.

    But it’s not completely outrageous, considering the country’s political history.

    Also interesting that Zelaya has generally not been a leftist on a personal level, but his inner circle is leftist; and he moved to the left out of political expediency in recent months.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger, in Comment #108, you ask

    The question still remains whether the people of Venezuela are really so much worse off (as you say) since Chavez took power (and that’s regardless of what kind of person Chavez is). What are your sources?

    You might glance at this article I wrote some time ago. It provides lots of sources.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    So Cindy, when you tell Dave to read Jesus, you don’t mean the biblical, historical Jesus. You mean what you and Tolstoy wish Jesus was. You reserve the right to label the parts you don’t like as “convenient”, and the parts you do like as “real”. In other words, you don’t want Dave to listen to Jesus; you want him to listen to you. The rest is just name-dropping.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Is biblical and historical Jesus one and the same? Besides, even today there are different theological interpretations/schools as to Jesus’ real meaning and message.

    So how is Cindy’s handling the subject matter any different or especially deserving of criticism?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I seem to have missed Cindy’s reference to Jesus. I thought she was an atheist.

    As for me, I don’t place an inflated value on his opinions.

    Dave

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Baronius,

    You mean what you and Tolstoy wish Jesus was. You reserve the right to label the parts you don’t like as “convenient”, and the parts you do like as “real”.

    Not quite. The biblical Jesus and the historical Jesus are not one. (You can tell because the historical Jesus is a man not a son of a god.)

    The bible is based on other people’s accounts of Jesus. Some of them may be accurate, some may not be. By convenient I am addressing the idea that the bible was written by human beings and used as a way of wielding a certain influence and/or authority over people. So, the word convenient speaks to the idea that while the bible contains things Jesus said, it also contains things it would be convenient for Jesus to have said were the point to be influencing or controlling others by ascribing certain ideas to Jesus.

    I trust some of Tolstoy’s interpretations because they seem to me to correspond to other accounts of Jesus. They also seem to me what a true enlightened human being would be like. It is a biased perspective, I admit, then again so is any accounting of what Jesus actually did or said.

    The Jesus I am influenced by is both a human being and a pacifist. I believe most people who are Christians have completely missed the most important things Jesus taught, in fact have missed what he was even about–based on what they themselves say and do. As Gandhi put it, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dave, The reference was to Jesus, Gandhi, MLK and Tolstoy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    You could always go back and actually read the post Dave.

  • Lumpy

    Tolstoy embodied all the fallacious liberal ideas which opened the door to a totalitarian state in Russia. The well intentioned liberal and anarchist reformers are always the unwitting harbingers of tyranny.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Like there wasn’t one during Tolstoy’s time or before – in the tsarist Russia.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Roger,

    I think I should take your advice and pick my fights. Not because they are likely to break my spirit any. Some of them leave me shaking my head in disbelief. But, after reading the last one on here, I think probably I have better ways to spend my time. Good suggestion! Thanks. Now, out into the world!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Of course, I did not mean your post Roger.

  • Baronius

    Cindy, I appreciate that there’s a lot in Jesus that a pacifist could find appealing. But it’s awfully unfair of you to cite Him as an ally while dismissing the majority of His claims.

  • Irene Wagner

    Dang, did I miss Cindy?
    I was going to write a comment to Cindy AND Baronius, that I had hoped would be encouraging.

  • Irene Wagner

    Cindy and Baronius, I like you both and I think people like you both have something to offer the world. Baronius, though I am not a Catholic Christian, I have benefited from the things ancient Catholic mystics –for example Brother Lawrence in “Practicing the Presence of God”–taught about the discipline of getting to know Jesus as an immediate, involved Somebody rather than than the remote founder of a religious system. This “knowing” removes the distinction between the biblical Jesus and the historical Jesus because he has become the NOW Jesus.

    Baronius, Mathew 8 also seems to support your view of the centurion as someone whom Jesus not only tolerated but affirmed. Jesus not only answered the prayer of the (slave? maybe) of the centurion, for whom the centurion was compassionately asking Jesus to deliver from being “greivously tormented” with palsy, but Jesus also praised him: “I have not found so great faith…” And I wonder if centurions like this, or some of the younger soldiers over whom he had authority and perhaps some spiritual influence, could have participated in the bloody massacre of Jerusalem’s Jews in AD 67. Maybe it is because, partly, of the connections and secret interference of men like that any Jews at all escaped in the part of the Diaspora that was post-1st century.

    Cindy, I still believe it: a radical, universal, and permanent change of human nature is possible. I believe that because I believe in miracles. You believe that, because you believe in a humanity that cannot sustain itself indefinitely on “the will to power,” hatred and selfishness. You WILL not give up on humanity and will requires strong belief.

    It’s going to happen, Cindy, and I think it’s going to happen without either one of us having to settle once and all the “warrior vs. medic” question. Or even the “warrior OR medic” question. Maybe it’s warriors AND medics who are going to cooperate with God to bring it to pass. Not passively: “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Tolstoy didn’t live to see the world-wide horrors of the the last century. If more people had listened to him, maybe those horrors would not have happened. But people didn’t, and so the horrors happened. This might turn into an article one day, but I won’t make it a half-baked one here. Hope you enjoyed your time out in the world!

  • Franco

    107 – roger nowosielski

    “Incorrect, Franco. It was you who started with claims as to the civilization, culture and justice of the whites. I provided the counterpoint.”

    roger, your statement above is a complete intentional fabrication and falsehood designed to cover a challenge to you that you can not surmount. Your assertion is untrue, unworthy, and intellectually dishonest.

    You have done this to me several times before and I did not do anything about it like I should have. You have also done it to many others.

    Your main salvation so fare as been that it takes someone a lot of time to collect the facts out of a lengthening and ongoing thread to reveal the counterfeit you post and make it known for the fraud it is.

    It’s well past time to acknowledge to all what I learned from you first hand quite awhile ago, and from others I have seen it done to with regularity.

    It is your pattern of taking undue advantage of lengthening threads, making is harder for people to note the changes and counterfeit fabrications you make in later posts to spin off challenges you can’t surmount, while at the same time trying to create a negitive character out of your challenger to look to be something negative they are not.

    It’s the act of a coward and totalitarian, and the pattern has been habitual. I swore to myself that the next time you did it with me I would make the time to meet it head on and give your no quarter.

    Furthermore it should be noted that these counterfiet actions are coming from someone who uses the wailing word phrase “social justice”. Based on that word phrase coupled with these actions, the word phrase is no different then the social justice titles that totalitarian states give themselves, i.e., “Peoples Republic” or “Democratic People’s Republic” where the word “Peoples” is exploaed in an attempt to appear as if a Rebublican and or Demicratic system of justice is somehow taking place, when in reality these very values are being denied the people

    In both truth and reality the names for this regimes are the “State Controlled Peoples” and the real true name for your word phrase is “tyrannical social justice”.

    Here for full review in one easy place are all of our interchanges in this thread as supporting evidence of my claim.

    79 – Franco
    “14 – Cindy – Dan(Miller), Don’t you know anyone who isn’t white, who has an opinion?

    15 – roger nowosielski – But those opinions don’t matter, Cindy.”

    Ah, two liberals playing the race card. A classic progressive canard as they prove their need to keep its flames burning.

    80 – roger nowosielski
    You’ve been a missing person, buddy. So somebody’s got to do the job in your stead.

    84 – Franco
    Hi roger, concerning your comment, which I choose to take as a friendly joshing, I should advise you that implying that I am racist, if that is what you are doing in any real sense, is not going to work. I am the last person you will be able to call a racist.

    86 – roger nowosielski
    No implication of the sort, Franco. Just different world views now and then. But no one is squeaky clean – white, black, or yellow. And whites don’t have any monopoly on goodness.

    88 – Franco
    Fair enough roger. But for Pete sake, can’t you for once not make a comment directed at any color when speaking of race? Is that really that hard for you?

    89 – roger nowosielski
    I was evenhanded, Franco. Somebody’s got to keep you honest.

    97 – Franco
    No you were not roger. Evenhanded, truly evenhandedness, makes no mention of it at all roger. Care to dispute the honesty in that statement?

    107 – roger nowosielski
    Incorrect, Franco. It was you who started with claims as to the civilization, culture and justice of the whites. I provided the counterpoint.

    OK roger, out of this fully verifiable record of our exchanges, tell us where in the world you came up with your assertion in your last post #107 that “I started with claims as to the civilization, culture and justice of the whites.”. Which is clearly you’re playing the race card against me, and doing so with something I never even said to begin with. Justify if roger!

    The simple fact is you can’t.

    Now you can try and claim you are getting old and senile and mistook me for what someone else said, but then you would have to explain how you are able to articulate your theories and post opinion pieces here on BC

    You can also try and claim that it was just an oversight on your part, simple human error, which would appear as a lot more reasonable, but only if you had don’t done it with me and so many other before.

    So what ever your excuse comes back as, let it be stated for the record that you and I know exactly what you’re doing.

    If you plan on trying to exercise your sense of tyrannical social justice against me ever again, whether in using the race card, and or try to put falsified distorted words into my mouth, I promise you I will publicly spit them back into your face and stay at it until you go down in flames, and that is not a threat, I relish the opportunity to hound such social injustice.

    You should have believed me when I said I am tenacious against anyone trying to take a free ride at someone else’s expense!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I apologize, Franco. I confused you with Lumpy’s comment, as per below:

    “83 – Lumpy
    Jul 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm
    I would find cindy’s biased assumptions amusing if they were not shared by so many and therefore dangerous. The truth is that the chief tapers and plunderers and squanderers of our planet are NOT white (whatever that bigoted word means to her). They are brown and yellow and black and live in Africa and Asia where there are no checks on the waste of resources and destruction of the environment and exploitation of the people. Again the oblivious tranzi dupe defends the destroyers and oppressors and attacks the supporters of freedom and civilization.”

    A case of mistaken identity.

  • Franco

    98 – Cindy

    Cindy sez in post 92 “So, what is all the hubbub about some president who asks people if they want to vote on an issue?”

    Franco responds ……”For those who know, no explanation is necessary; for those who don’t, none is possible!”

    Cindy sez…..“Okay, well. that will get us far.”

    LOL

    I am sorry Cindy I had missed this post of yours. Ok it was a cop out of sorts, but like you said we have hashed over so much of this before. I think the well thought out lenghy responses you are getting from Dan (Miller) are excellent and have done a better job of expelling it then I could.

    ”(P.S. I think you should give me credit. I didn’t even make an ad hominem attack. Don’t you agree? :-)”

    Yes Cindy I do agree, and yes credit must be paid where credit is due. I’t not always easy to take this higher road, but it is always the right road. You have come a long way baby, I mean it, keep up the good work.

  • Franco

    121 – Lumpy

    “The well intentioned liberal and anarchist reformers are always the unwitting harbingers of tyranny.”

    Spoken for truth!

    When a reviewer wishes to give special recognition to a book, he predicts that it will still be read “a hundred years from now.” The Law, first published as a pamphlet in June, 1850, is already more than a hundred years old. And because its truths are eternal, it will still be read when another century has passed.

    The Law
    by Frederick Bastiat 1850

    I challenge any progressive liberal seeking socialism or anyone who is poor and seeking social justice to read the pamphlet and come away still defending and seeking socialism.

  • Franco

    112 – Dan (Miller)

    “Based on that sort of thing, the smashing 28 June defeat in Argentina of candidates from the party highly favored by Chavez, and the worsening economic situation in Venezuela,I wonder whether his glory days may be drawing to a slow close.”

    Dan, its has those earmarks, yes, and I think much of it holds real promise in time. But don’t you think that makes a military dictator like Chavez who is obsessed with power that much more dangerous? Would his type character ever give up before at least once using is military complex somewhere somehow to try and hold on to it. I mean if he is on his way out, what kinds of straws would he try grasping on to, to save himself.

  • Clavos

    But don’t you think that makes a military dictator like Chavez who is obsessed with power that much more dangerous? Would his type character ever give up before at least once using is military complex somewhere somehow to try and hold on to it.

    Quoted for Truth.

  • Franco

    129 – roger nowosielski

    “I apologize, Franco. I confused you with Lumpy’s comment.”

    I wish I could believer it was all that simple with you roger, I truly do, but you already have subjected me to it too many times before and to others as I noted in post #128. I stand on my instincts based on those experiences.

    And it is obvious why you do it. It serves you in getting you out of responding to the challenge put to you that you do want to face. And as in all the previous cases, in this case, it has served you this way as well, because the fact still remains that you have not responded to that last challenge put to your in post #97 just before you pulled this carp.

    Letting it happen to me once, shame on no one. Letting it happen to me twice, shame on you. Letting it happen to me three times, shame on me. That is why I pursued it and will if it happens again.

    However, I offer you the following peace terms: In future, you can feel confident to engage me at any time on any subject based on the words that I use, and you will find peace in the valley and a stimulating discussion/debate partner.

    But if you do choose to engage me on those terms, and then once again pull this habitual crap clearly outlined in post #128, I will forthwith again loose the hounds.

    Those are my terms and they are non-negotiable.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I don’t really see much similarity between Lumpy’s comment and anything Franco wrote.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    I don’t really see much similarity between Lumpy’s comment and anything Franco wrote.

    There isn’t any.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Now you’re being ridiculous. Lumpy’s comment was right there in between and I thought it was yours. Hence my response. If you don’t except this explanation and make a mountain out of a molehill, fine with me.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And Dave, what is the point of your remark?

  • http://www.fontcraft.com Dave Nalle

    Just that I don’t see how the two writers can be confused on the basis of style or content. Just an observation.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    And here I was considering misquoting Franco. Well, no sir; it’s just not worth it. :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s still a silly comment. Mistakes happen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    121 and 131

    Hey truth sayers…evidence please

    “The well intentioned liberal and anarchist reformers are always the unwitting harbingers of tyranny.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    140

    Bar, that is hilarious! lol

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What esteemed Baronius fails to understand, after a while all half-baked conservatives sound alike.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Just that I don’t see…

    What’s new? Another thing Dave doesn’t see? How shocking!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dammit, that was a slip. Here a minute ago I came “a long way baby.”

    Thanks Franco, I’ll try not to wince too much at your phraseology…knowing it was well-intentioned.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And anyone, by the way, who is inclined to put credence in Franco’s thought, I refer them to the very link he provided in #131, “The Law” by Frederick Bastiat 1850.

    It there ever was anything like a screwball, that guy is it.

    But as they say, the birds of the same feather fly together.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    He’s still stuck with the “Virginia Slims” slogan. Give the poor sucker a break.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Another rather innocuous example of the Honduras military in action, the democratic way:

    “Honduran Police Detain Six Journalists

    And in Honduras, the military-backed government has lifted a curfew imposed following the coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya. Meanwhile, two members of the opposition political party, Unificacion Democratica, have been assassinated. Also over the weekend Honduran police detained six employees of the regional television network Telesur and Venezuela state-run station Venezolana de Television. The journalists were taken to police headquarters for five hours, and their passports were confiscated. Larry Sanchez of Telesur said, “They told us we should leave the country because our security wasn’t guaranteed and we were at risk here. We have intelligence, and we’re following you.” Honduran soldiers also arrested Telesur journalists at gunpoint in their hotel rooms on June 29 and later let them go. Telesur is a regional television network funded in part by the Venezuelan government.”

    Be proud!

  • Baronius

    Franco – “I am the last person you will be able to call a racist.”

    Lumpy – “They are brown and yellow and black and live in Africa and Asia”

    Roger, do those statements really sound alike to you?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No, of course they don’t, Baronius. But as I said, after a while all conservatives sound alike. If you don’t accept what I’m saying it was a honest mistake, screw you.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    an honest …

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Franco, in Comment #132, you suggest that setbacks may make a dictator like Chavez who is obsessed with power that much more dangerous. I agree. However, Chávez has recently had a whole bunch of setbacks, discussed in this article which I wrote over the weekend and which was just published. Although Chavez likes to brag about his Venezuelan military, I think he exaggerates. I spent several months with our boat at the base naval at Puerto Cabello, the principal Navy maintenance facility in Venezuela, and was far from favorably impressed. Although everyone was very pleasant, only a few sargentos seemed to have any clear idea what they were doing. During the problems between Venezuela and Colombia over a Colombian incursion into Ecuador last year, Chávez bellowed about sending the Venezuelan army, with tanks, to the border with Colombia. I understand that they took a long time to get there, and seemed impotent when they did.

    In addition, the situation even in the United States shows some signs of changing.

    As I had earlier suggested in the present article, it seemed possible — but less than clear — that President Obama and Secretary Clinton differ, at least slightly, on the legality of the actions taken in Honduras and on what should be done. A few things have happened since I wrote it. This article suggests that President Obama may be “hiding” Secretary Clinton. I don’t think so. Instead, I would speculate that perhaps she may be trying to hide herself, in hopes of better things to come her way.

    The United States Congress split along party lines immediately following the 28 June “coup.” The Democrats, along with President Obama, favored Zelaya’s immediate return to power and Republicans opposed it. Positions in the Congress may now be shifting away from Zelaya. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, who had earlier called for Zelaya’s immediate reinstatement, recently came to understand that Zelaya had ignored his country’s Supreme Court, legislature and even members of his own political party. “When the entire political establishment speaks and expresses dire concerns, the President needed to listen. From everything I can see, he did not.”

    Is it too much to hope that such an awakening to the realities of the situation in Honduras may spread not only within the United States but also internationally? I do hope so but may, of course, be excessively optimistic.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Franco

    137 – roger nowosielski

    “Now you’re being ridiculous. Lumpy’s comment was right there in between and I thought it was yours. Hence my response. If you don’t except this explanation and make a mountain out of a molehill, fine with me.

    That is a hostile non-response to the bona fide offer of peace that I extended to you. What is most ironic, as clearly outlined most notably in post #128, everything else becomes irrelevant the moment you except this peace offer and stick with it.

    But as evidenced above, so far your have only rendered a hostile third grader non-response to it.

    I will still hope for, and thus continue to seek that better part of you in reaching out to this win / win peach for both of us. Therefor the offer still stands, with you being the only soul left holding to key to unlock it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Comment #151: after a while all conservatives sound alike. Possibly, but it may depend on who is listening (or not bothering to listen).

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sorry, Dan. I didn’t mean to include you, but if you feel like jumping into the fray, welcome to it.

    And no, Franco, you’re objecting too goddamn much to what was a simple mistake on my part. So no more apologies. It’s you who decide to make a big deal out of this. I shall repeat it therefore: Fine with me.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As a matter of fact, it’s bullshit like this, Miller, the phony pretense as exhibited in #155, that puts you in one and the same category. The kind of herd mentality that makes you object to a rather innocuous statement that “after a while all conservatives sound alike.” It’s as though your own voice lacked in any distinct identity and needed bolstering by being part of a group. So no, I don’t respect that.

  • Franco

    146 – Cindy

    “Thanks Franco, I’ll try not to wince too much at your phraseology…knowing it was well-intentioned.”

    You’re welcome Cindy.

    FYI, I have two daughters and have always used “baby” as an expression of affection. That is how it was meant for you. And never would I do it with them in a negative connotation, and never did I to it with you. Thank you for noting your recognition of my sincerity. So please, no need to wince in the least.

    Conversely, unlike some others who have made a special and intentional effort to post a response applying only a negative connotation to what I said in efforts to rob you of my sincere effection, I would say that if they sincerely missed the sincerity you easily found, then the question becomes whether or not they are capable of showing any sincere affection to anyone except themselves.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’d say, Franco, that “sincere affection to anyone except themselves” verges on masturbation. And having two daughters of your own, you’re of course a stranger to this baboon like habit.

  • Baronius

    Another comment of mine fails to show up.

    Dan – I wanted to say that the more time Arias, the US State Department, even the OAS take to play diplomatic games, the shorter the time until the scheduled election. And that’s not even considering the possibility of an early election. So the diplomats may save the day by wasting everyone’s time (which is their forte). There’s nothing more time-consuming than a bunch of international experts sitting around a large table talking about processes.

    I don’t know if a rushed election would be a good idea. Ideally, the tension of the current crisis would be diminished before the election. But the most important thing is that Zelaya be forgotten, and if a quick election assures that then it’s a great plan.

  • Clavos

    But as they say, the birds of the same feather fly together.

    “They” don’t say that, only you do.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Thanks for incisive comment. Only to be expected from Mr. Perfect.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    In 1948, Winston Churchill wrote The Gathering Storm. It dealt with events leading up to World War II. Speaking of Neville Chamberlain, he of “peace in our time” fame, Churchill wrote:

    “Statesmen are not called upon only to settle easy questions. These often settle themselves. It is where the balance quivers and the proportions are veiled in mist, that the opportunity for world-saving decisions presents itself.”

    In my view, as one of them there retarded “conservatives,” all of whom sound alike and none of whom get it, President Obama has, thus far, made rather a pig’s breakfast of even the “easy questions;” he has made an even worse muddle of the difficult ones, and seems to have missed many opportunities to make “world-saving” decisions to the benefit of the United States.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Bliffle

    IMO, Dan(miller) still holds the high ground on Honduras, and has presented the best case. Also, though it’s purely anecdotal, the more voices I hear from Honduras itself the more anti-Zelaya those voices are.

    I have no strong opinion myself, yet. Unlike most BCers I don’t communicate with the gods so that I can instantly know what course is most Right and Just.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Franco,

    FYI, I have two daughters and have always used “baby” as an expression of affection. That is how it was meant for you.

    That is a cheerful thing to imagine. And I am all for affectionate pet names and indulge in them frequently and creatively–occasionally to the dismay of some of the targets of my affection. I just wasn’t adapted to such being displayed on BC. So, thanks. :-)

    (I remember the commercials linking feminine success with cancerous products. Ah capitalism, it’s all about money, ain’t it swell?)

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Cindy, so what you’re trying to say is that successful women don’t cause cancer?

  • Irene Wagner

    The way I heard it was “feminine products cause successful cancer.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Now now, Dan. I never spoke of conservatives as retards. It’s just that sometimes they all sound alike, just like the liberals do. So why don’t you cultivate your own voice and forget about the labels.

    Fair enough for you?

  • Irene Wagner

    No offense to Franco, or Lumpy, or Roger Nowosielski, but removed from the current emotionally charged context, the exchange:

    One: “You falsely accused me of being a racist.”
    Two: “Oh, I had you confused with another conservative. Y’all sound alike to me.”

    is rather laughter-provoking. In a good way.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger, re Comment # 168: So why don’t you cultivate your own voice and forget about the labels.

    I try. I really do, and think that in some small way I may succeed. I don’t like labels. My first BC article, written more than fifteen months ago, was about labels, and I have often said I don’t like them.

    However, since after a while all conservatives sound alike, the devil made me do it.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’ve got to resist the temptation, Dan. Otherwise, we shall have to lump you among the uncultivated ones.

    I can’t threaten you with hell because you’re an agnostic.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Nice, Irene. It is rather humorous. Too bad the usual suspects don’t see it that way.

  • Irene Wagner

    Well, Roger Nowosielski, when your feelings are hurt, your feelings are hurt, and sometimes it just takes time to be in a ho ho ho mood again. I perceived a sincere invitation from Franco to engage in civil and informed debate in the future, so I would make a go of it if I were you. (Personally, I try to steer clear of that sort of thing myself on Dan M(iller) threads.)

  • Irene Wagner

    Sometimes my civil vs. informed ratio is just a little too high for BC.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I guess you’re right in principle, Irene. But then again, he protested too much, not taking my explanation at face value. So you tell me.

    Why Dan Miller’s thread in particular? I try to stay away from all that nonsense on all threads.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I try to maintain civility, Irene – in fact incommunicado with some of the participants here. But some of them won’t quit. You should have witnessed a gang job on Cindy the other day. It was pathetic.

  • Irene Wagner

    No, not “nonsense” but “civil and informed debate.” I wasn’t singling Dan M(iller) out either, but his thread is where we happen to be commenting now, and my civility-to-well-informed ratio is inappropriate on the comment threads of any of a number of BC authors.

    But this isn’t about ME, it’s about Costa Rica.

  • Irene Wagner

    Honduras. See what I mean? Definitely past time for me to go.

  • Clavos

    You should have witnessed a gang job on Cindy the other day. It was pathetic.

    This from the man who rips into Cindy every other day.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Not the way you sometimes do, and into Zedd. Did you apologize to her for telling her to leave the states? Well, I made the same mistake too in the heat of our discussion, for which I’m sorry. What about you?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I see what you’re getting at, Irene – I think. You mean some of it was off topic?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    While I did argue with at least 6 people at once here, the other day, I never got any impression I was being ganged up on.

    I just finished arguing with at least one or two anarchists and am in the middle of one with a sociologist from Sociologists Without Borders.

    I am simply a disagreeable person. :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No, you’re not. You just stick by your convictions, and so do I. That’s why dragged-out fights now and then. You just rub some people off the wrong way because there’s too much truth in what you say. And they can’t stand it.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    This argument about arguing is quite unspeakably tedious.

  • Irene Wagner

    Roger Nowosielski– As the size of my well-informed denominator decreases, the size of my civility-to-well-informed ratio increases. It was pure humorous (to me anyway) self-deprecation, having to do with neither the civility nor the relevance of anyone else’s comments. Now start laughing dangit, so I can go about my life in peace.

  • Irene Wagner

    Was that a cut, handyguy?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Almost but not quite as tedious as the comment about the arguing about arguments. ;-)

    (And p.s. I think what passes for success these days is probably what causes cancer.)

  • Irene Wagner

    just KIDDING.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    This argument about arguing is quite unspeakably tedious.

    Quoted for … well, because I agree.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well put, Irene. I think is has to do with Socratic wisdom: the more one knows, the more one realizes their ignorance.

  • Irene Wagner

    Laughter is good, Cindy. Arguing and what passes as success these days is kinda like an appetizer.

  • Irene Wagner

    LOL Dan Miller.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    But this isn’t about ME, it’s about Costa Rica.

    Now, THAT was funny. Nice execution. ;-)

    (p.s. it’s nice to see you around lately handy, I missed you.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A preamble to what, then? Kiss and make up?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As long as he won’t argue about arguing.

  • Irene Wagner

    To LAUGHTER. *raises glass and waves goodbye*

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dan(Miller) is often funny. He reminds me of Spenser.

    My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
    How come it then that this her cold is so great
    Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,
    But harder grows the more I her entreat?
    Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
    Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold,
    But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
    And feel my flames augmented manifold?
    What more miraculous thing may be told,
    That fire, which is congealed with senseless cold,
    Should kindle fire by wonderful device?
    Such is the power of love in gentle mind,
    That it can alter all the course of kind.

    Maybe not that Spenser.

  • Clavos

    Heh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    That didn’t sound right. How can a poetry site get a simple poem so wrong? And what luck is it that I probably picked the only site on the internet that got the poem wrong?

    That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice,
    And ice, which is congealed with senseless cold,

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Is that from The Faerie Queene?

  • Clavos

    No, It’s My Love is Like To Ice by Edmund Spenser

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Spenser is reputed to have been the first cinematographic writer – full of imagery.

  • Clavos

    BTW Cindy,

    That erratum in the Spenser sonnet is widespread on the internet. You have to look quite a bit to find it right.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    According to this article, negotiations between the Zelaya and Micheletti teams are set to resume on Saturday, 18 July, in Costa Rica. Speaking from Nicaragua, Zelaya said that if those talks do not “produce results,” he will pay “any cost” to reclaim the presidency. Zelaya did not say how or where he plans to accomplish this.

    Here is an Op Ed piece from the Miami Herald about the current nature of the OAS.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dan,

    I didn’t read the op-ed piece on the OAS, but somebody must have agreed to provided the soldiers to allow Zelaya to make the threats he has. From what I know of how armies operate, it takes a week to 10 days to mobilize and properly equip a force of men. So, if the week deadline is a serious one, someone is already mobilizing soldiers for a Honduran invasion.

    The trouble with coastlines is that you have to defend them – and Honduras has a lot of coastline to watch if this is to be a naval force. Honduras has a long enough border all around so land force will have plenty of places of entry. If it is to be an air invasion, then the question is what kind of ack-ack do the Hondurans have.

    You definitely have a developing story on your hands, pal….

  • Franco

    147 – roger nowosielski

    “And anyone, by the way, who is inclined to put credence in Franco’s thought, I refer them to the very link he provided in #131, “The Law” by Frederick Bastiat 1850.

    It there ever was anything like a screwball, that guy is it.
    But as they say, the birds of the same feather fly together.”

    Ad hominem attack argument.

    An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies absent of logic in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of the person making the claim, his/her circumstances, or his/her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of “argument” has the following form:

    Person A makes claim X.
    Person B makes an attack on person A.
    Therefore A’s claim is false.

    The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).

    It is most commonly used (as in this case) at criticizing or personally attacking an argument’s proponent in an attempt to discredit that argument, when the attacker is unwilling or unable to address the argument itself.

    Having ones arguments or claims criticized by ad hominem attack is like having them savaged by a dead sheep

    Roger, kindly respond in making a argument or rebuttal directly to the arguments and claims of Frederick Bastiat, please leave whatever issues you have with me out of it. They have no bearing on whether the arguments or claims of Frederick Bastiat are true or false. Thank you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Franco, the expression Ad hominem attacks is rather like a phrase used, I think, in Merry Old in a sports context: Play the man not the ball. I don’t know about the sports context, but in forums for what should be rational discussion, it is all too frequent and, well, common.*

    *I use the word here to mean Of low or inferior quality or value; Lacking refinement or cultivation or taste. There are, of course, other meanings as well.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    Aptly put, Dan(Miller).

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Further to my Comment #46, this is about some of the things making me very happy and proud to be here.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Irene Wagner

    A rough road and a very happy ending.
    Hope the July 18 talks turn out the same way.

  • Clavos

    That’s a great story, Dan! I’ll be interested to see Cindy’s reaction; it seems to dovetail nicely with some of what she advocates.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Accusations of ad hominems and strawmen are pretty frequent around here. Often they’re used fallaciously themselves. There’s a fair bit of ‘shut-up-because-you’re-wrong-and-compared-to-me-you’re-an-intellectual-pygmy’ about some of these charges.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Franco, is there any news out of Central America that you can enlighten us with? Arguments over arguments get old and tiresome awful fast. I used to answer ad hominem attacks viciously – but since the comments editor and publisher both made a stink, I elected to use a sword with verbal steel dipped in ice instead. It cuts more cleanly, more meanly – and keeps the editorial rottweilers away.

  • Clavos

    Well, Doc, if the pygmy fits, it should be worn

    (Or something like that…)

  • Baronius

    Dan, I read your comment about ad hominem arguments, and you suck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    There’s a fair bit of ‘shut-up-because-you’re-wrong-and-compared-to-me-you’re-an-intellectual-pygmy’ about some of these charges.

    Well????

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    ROFL! @ Bar

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Okay I am coming up with my own new BC series thingy. It is going to feature very short news stories and opinion pieces on the best things on the resistance worldwide. I am currently looking for a good name. (Example: Notes from the Resistance is not a good name–boring and over-used.)

    Any ideas?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    209- I love that story Dan(Miller)! Thanks for posting that.

    (Now all they have to do is recognize that their govt is unnecessary.)

  • Clavos

    How about “The People Are Revolting”?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Ha! You’re silly. :-)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy, re Comment #218 — I look forward to your news and opinion pieces on the “tea party” movement.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well????

    Well, Cindy, it generally goes something like this:

    Commenter A: As governor of South Hardupifornia, Paul E. Tician oversaw a tripling of the budget deficit in two years.
    Commenter B: [hoping no-one will notice that the article is about fiscal responsibility] That’s a strawman. Let’s ignore the rest of what you have to say and move on.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’ve told you, Franco, that Bastiat is a screwball. All one needs is to read a paragraph or two to come to the only inevitable conclusion. And I certainly don’t intent to waste my time on this fanatical thinker which escalates the idea of law to some kind of metaphysical reality.
    If that’s your religion, it’s your business. But it only tells me we have nothing to discuss.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Cindy @ #218:

    ‘Resistance Is Futile’?

    There’s much to be said for irony.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    223 – lol! That’s good Dr.D

    225 – Perhaps if I find a greater than typical birthrate among protesters…yeah, yeah…dumb joke.

  • Lumpy

    Has the “resistence” decided what it is resisting yet? I mean besides bathing regularly and getting a job?

  • Irene Wagner

    Cindy. “A Gentle Answer.”

  • Irene Wagner

    –per your request for title suggestions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dan(Miller) –

    We, who are part of the resistance, do not drink tea or have ‘tea parties’. We are tough Dan(Miller). We have hair on our chests–all of us. We drink hard liquor without any mixers or ice or even those cute little umbrellas, that I sorta like :-(

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    We are tough Dan(Miller). We have hair on our chests–all of us. We drink hard liquor without any mixers or ice or even those cute little umbrellas, that I sorta like….

    Anything you say, Cindy. The last girl I knew with “hair on her chest” took an awful lot of teasing over it – that was back in 9th grade, I think….

    I never got to check her out, though. At the time, it seemed a tremendous loss (she had a great figure) but now – eh, who cares?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Irene,

    Can ‘gentle’ include bombs, if they are only teeny weeny bombs?

  • Irene Wagner

    Excellent question Cindy.
    Don’t wait on me for an answer though. It would be gentle, but half-baked.

  • Irene Wagner

    OK, eight minutes. That’s enough thinking. It’s YOUR series on resistance. I say, leave the bombs out if that’s the way you think it should be done. And I’m thinking that’s the way you do. :)

  • Irene Wagner

    Dang, Cindy. I thought you were just asking for enough words to fill the “title” field, and now you’ve got me thinking “War and Peace” sized thoughts. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor in the German Nazi resistance, finally decided to participate in an assassination attempt against Hitler. Wouldn’t you know, it was unsuccessful, Bonhoeffer got hanged. I’m not sure what D.B. would say about it had the attempt been successful. Would there be any regrets at all? Some people, still, don’t even have regrets about Hiroshima.

    Bliffle mentioned in an earlier comment that people who talked to God every day having fast and ready answers. Not even people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer could make that claim. I certainly can’t.

  • Clavos

    Cindy is electrical.

  • Irene Wagner

    It doesn’t take much to “amplify” what I could have said in two words into two paragraphs, but Cindy’s “electricity” generally requires me to put more thought into the extra text!

  • Irene Wagner

    Oh I get it, Clavos. Amps, current, resistance. Duh. Time for me to go again.

  • Irene Wagner

    But Wait! I finally have a four word answer for Cindy: Yes, But Only A Car Bomb. That’s teeny-weeny, the damage limited to only one,or a few key, violent madmen, and even the pacifist Dietrich Bonhoeffer was willing to go that far. Not saying I would go that far, Cindy (there are others in the Resistance, like Corrie ten Boon who turned down requests to join in anything but non-violent resistance. Her family eventually paid a heavy price for breaking the law, but had they, in Holland, made the choice Bonhoeffer did in Germany, they may not have had liberty to transport as many Jews to safety as they did.

    Are you sorry you asked yet, Cindy. LOL. I THINK I’m finished, with strong leanings toward….drum roll….believing that pacifists and warriors each have a role to play in resisting evil.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Got my mind made up now…but I need more time…She is electric can I be electric too…

    Hmmm, thought Clav was singing. I like that song.

    Irene! For Pete’s sake! lol I dunno about blowing people up! I was thinking about strategic property damage. :-)

    Sort of militant pacifism!

  • Irene Wagner

    o.
    LOL.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Former President Zelaya today called for insurrection. He addressed his supporters in Honduras from a press conference with Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom. Zelaya said that insurrection is legitimate “when faced with a usurping government and a coup-supporting military. . . . [W]hen the democratic order of a country is disrupted. . . . I want to tell you to not leave the streets, that is the only space that they have not taken from us.” He called for strikes, marches, takeovers, and civil disobedience.

    Speaking earlier in Nicaragua, Zelaya had pledged to pay “any cost” to reclaim the presidency.

    It seems likely, if these things transpire, that Zelaya will not be the only Honduran paying the costs. It also seems that he has either given up hope on further negotiations in Costa Rica, or is blustering to persuade the interim Government to change its mind about his reinstatement.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dan,

    I don’t know enough about Latin American politics to talk intelligently, but I hope this call for insurrection doen’t cross state/national lines. It seems to me that Chavez is stirring up trouble, as you originally postulated, and is providing some kind of hope to this over-blown worm that he can get his comfy chair back.

    If these calls for insurrection do cross national lines, you may be in for more than just a front seat at a civil war. I know you are in the Panamanian back-country, seemingly far from the action, but stay safe, amigo, and DO KEEP US POSTED.

  • Franco

    242 – Dan(Miller)

    “Former President Zelaya today called for insurrection. He addressed his supporters in Honduras from a press conference with Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom. Zelaya said that insurrection is legitimate “when faced with a usurping government and a coup-supporting military. . . . [W]hen the democratic order of a country is disrupted. . . . I want to tell you to not leave the streets, that is the only space that they have not taken from us.” He called for strikes, marches, takeovers, and civil disobedience.”

    The world is a stage. I highly suspect that following Zelaya’s lastest failed meeting in Costa Rica, he knows his chances are now slime to none on getting back in through that avenue anytime soon if ever.

    And with Chavez’s set backs you have detailed, the more time that goes by for Zelaya more and more international voices are siding against Zelaya.

    Add to this what you reported Castro stated (in almost panic) about solving this Zelaya matter quickly or this could spreading to other countries ( : -) ) I suspect Castro, Chavez and the gang have all been busy concocting this idea for Zelaya’s speech and are leading him like the child he is compared to their dark side.

    IMO, the Chavez / Castor crafted speech is a direct attempt create big enough riots that they “want” as much blood spilled in as posible of the Zelaya’s supports. The more blood they can get in the headlines the greater the chances are that the growing tide away from Zelays will turn back against the new government for brutality and —— wait for it——-human rights abuses.

    In essence then wha tis happening is the Chavez / Castor gang is setting up the new government to be their death squads for them on their own people to stay in power, and knowing if it works, they will get away with it scott free.

    You really got it hand it to those Chavistists and all that social justice.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Is there actually any signficant popular support for Zelaya or opposition to the new government — aside from Chavez and his toadies who want an excuse to invade?

    Dave

  • Clavos

    While I wouldn’t call his support “popular” or “significant,” not surprisingly,

  • Clavos

    Chit.

    Here’s the link for #246:

    Vietnam War “hero” John Kerry.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    This link is exclusively for Dan(Miller).

  • Clavos

    Cindy,

    I cheated.

    Great article! My cat’s purr is so low you have to put your ear against her to hear it, but she DOES have a meow which I call her “whiny” meow which serves the purpose described in the article.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I think your cat is like the cat in the photo, Clav. Did you see the caption? Your cat probably devised that low purr just for the purpose it serves.

  • Clavos

    I don’t think so, Cindy, because she has ONLY the low purr, and most of the time I don’t even listen for it.

    But the “whiny” meow? Now, THAT you can’t ignore.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dan(Miller) I just noticed the message I got from you one month ago. And you thought Panama was slow…lol

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Cindy,

    Since I also have a cat, one who has gotten a lot noisier since we moved to Israel (he also has picked up on the aggressive dughri culture here), I looked at the article too.

    According to a zoologist who wrote a book on cats, purring is not necessarily a sign of contentent – it can also be a sign of gratitude. As it is, Flash, our cat, has a specific, and very short meow to indicate that he recognizes (appreciates?) something we’ve done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Ruvy,

    What kind of cat is Flash? You took her over there from the US? I remember you mentioned her before. I have the feeling that I know she is a she.

    I had a Maine Coon cat. She trilled. Brrrrt.

    The cat in that article looks so incredibly pet-able. I like the caption. :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’ve always found male cats more lovable and less skidish.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A public opinion sample on skidishness

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Cindy,

    Flash is a he, not a she. He is tan, with medium length fur, dark tan rings on his tail, a white underbelly, and a very compelling stare; according to my sons, he is a cream mackerel tabby.

    The reason he is with us here is that he is part of the two promises I made my wife when we moved to Israel. The first promise was not to live in a place with high humidity (like Tel Aviv, ReHovot, etc). The second was to bring Flash with us. I have the strong suspicion that if I had refused to bring Flash, it would have been just me alone here, and that wouldn’t have been worth the sacrifice or the move.

    So, here he is, laying in his strategic spot between the kitchen and the salon, inspecting and managing the preparation for the Sabbath.

    So far today, he has hustled us for shares from the schnitzel we’re preparing, the chicken we’ve baked, butter my son’s girlfriend had on bread, milk that we all had for cereal or coffee, and cheese that my younger son used in an omelette he made for his girlfriend and himself. He’ll be back this evening hustling us for more chicken and schnitzel.

    You can read more about his adventures at this article at Desicritics from April of this year.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    He’ll be back this evening hustling us for more chicken and schnitzel.

    Does he know (or care) about the Sabbath? :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s a kosher-dog (sorry, it’s a cat).

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Reminds me of Hebrew National hot dogs (the ones they used to sell in Costco:

    Slogan: “We Answer to a Higher Authority.”
    Translation: “God Knows What’s In Our Sausages.”

  • Clavos

    In an after-school job I had in high school, I used to help make sausage in a small sausage shop.

    You don’t wanna know, Doc, trust me.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You both should have seen the video about the slaughter of animals – kosher or not. It will make your stomach turn. Ever since, I’ve drastically cut down on my consumption of meat. A slice of ham now and then, but no chickens and no beef. I’ll have to go on a fish diet.

  • Clavos

    I have visited a slaughterhouse. The killing part didn’t bother me, but the smell does take some getting used to.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, you should see this video. The cruelty is unbelievable.

  • Clavos

    As I said, the killing of animals for use by humans doesn’t bother me. I’m definitely not a candidate for PETA membership.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Darn! I though that chicken breasts, steaks, pork chops, hamburger and that sort of thing just appeared magically in the meat section of the grocery store, neatly wrapped in plastic. Were they really once live animals? I had no idea.

    As to fish, any experienced scuba diver can tell you that many of them have souls and personalities to about the same extent that most of us do.

    Pass the meat, please; no — that piece. I like rare to medium rare. Thanks.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    You don’t wanna know, Doc, trust me.

    Too late, Clav – I know the sort of things that get into sausages. Still love ‘em; always have.

    :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    257- Ruvy,

    I tried 3 times to post this comment about your gruesome* tale.

    “What’s next, you big hairless cats?”, he seems to be asking.

    I like this line. Great stuff.

    This story was sort of icky (though very well written and interesting in a cringy sort of way) I like your way of describing people, they seem very real. I can picture them clearly.

    *Dead things have never been my department. I am even less fond of things with pieces missing. If I were your wife, I would not have to ask you to come downstairs…you would be running to see what all the noise was about. Because I would be trying to save the mouse from the cat and probably throwing things at the cat whilst running after it screaming to let go. (Dead mouse?–same noise, less words, no throwing things.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Desicritics has posting problems (Sorry never finished the first sentence. Too tired–swimming all day. Second day this summer that it didn’t rain the whole day AND was above 67 degrees. We may actually get a summer now. I plan to stay wet every minute of every good day.)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Shavua Tov,

    Does he know (or care) about the Sabbath? :-)

    I’m told that cats are supposed to be “spiritual” animals by one set of people – and that they carry the greatest amount of tumá (impurity) by others. I generally ignore such nonsense. Flash is a cat. If he can get chicken without working up a sweat, he’ll stare at us concertedly, meow and paw at our legs as much as he thinks is necessary to get the chicken he wants.

    From his point of view, he is probably aware of the Sabbath because we all gather seated around the table, make strange noises (singing Shalom Aleikhem, reading parts of the Book of Proverbs, and blessing wine) and we all get up from the table to ritually wash our hands. When we are seated and have had our slices of Hallá, he starts in meowing. He knows he’s getting chicken (unless it is the once or twice a year that we have dairy for the Sabbath – nasty surprise for him).

    As for spirituality, am I supposed to interpret the bird whose head he ate and remains he left us one Yom Kippur as a Sin Offering?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Cindy,

    Thank you for your kind words (I think).

    It seems you are more fond of mice than you are of cats. I always appreciated Flash’s skills as a mouser. He did earn his keep catching all variety of field mice that wandered in to the house in St. Paul.

    Mice spread disease and contaminate food. As cute as they are when they squeak, they can squeak OUTSIDE my home. So far, we have not had muouse problems in Israel. Both Jerusalem and Ma’ale Levona have healthy cat brigades who keep the rat and mouse population in check.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Hebrew National were always my preferred brand of hot dog in the States (they are not available here to my knowledge). A couple of years after we left the States Hebrew National started having trouble with their kashrut certification (that Higher Authority) and it eventually was pulled by the OU (I think). In the unlikely event that we were to return to the States (even for a visit) we would by the kosher Ballpark Franks (by Armour – feh).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Nathan’s were famous in NY.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    you are more fond of mice than you are of cats

    Not quite. It’s the same when the cat was after a frog. I am just very unfond of live death scenes. And it’s not like I throw rocks at the cat! I mostly just aim so things miss, but scare the cat off the prey. Sometimes pushing the cat with a broom works.

    I do not know what one does with mice infestations. I think you call someone else–a relative, a friend or a husband–that is as far as my part goes and then, as far as I know, the mice magically disappear. Don’t ask me. It’s not my department.

    BTW, the best hot dog I ever ate was made by Thumann’s. It is either a natural casing beef and pork (sorry Ruvy) or a jumbo. Not all Thumman’s hot dogs are the same; most taste average. I have been trying to track down which one it is for 3 years. They are hard to come by as only Costco sells them and then, not always.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I do not know what one does with mice infestations. I think you call someone else–a relative, a friend or a husband–that is as far as my part goes and then, as far as I know, the mice magically disappear. Don’t ask me. It’s not my department.

    Cindy, you do not realize how terribly self-revelatory what you wrote is.

    Terror infestations are very similar to mice infestations. There must be deaths in order to end them. That’s an unpleasant fact that I must face, like it or not. And there is no getting around the brutality of that fact.

    You remind me of the secretaries who screamed with terror when there was a mouse jumping up and down in the trash can where I was a messenger. Called in to “handle” the problem, I did. The mouse died. The self-same secretraries screamed at me for that. Getting rid of the mouse was not their department. And the mouse was so cute when it squeaked – only not in their garbage can.

    They had the vocal cords to scream and whine about the mouse – but not the guts nor stomach to deal with the problem – not even the willingness to recognize that sometimes unpleasant solutions must be utilized.

  • Baronius

    I just heard that Honduran authorities have found computers with the results of Zelaya’s ballot initiative…the one that never made it to the polls. Pretty funny.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Baronius,

    This blogger in Honduras has quite a lot to say about the phony referendum results and other matters.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    275 – Ruvy

    Feel free to read whatever you want into my comments. I don’t put worms on fish hooks either. I wonder what you’ll make of that…lol

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    psst Ruvy, I just asked my husband what he would do if we had mice…He said he’d have to call someone else. He doesn’t want to hurt an animal. haha!

    I just hired a woman to help me with the yard work. She is strong and tough and also sweet with a generous heart. She brings her little daughter to work and they fish in our lake. She said if I wanted to try, she’d put the worm on for me. I like her.

    I bet she would take care of any mice we get! There is always room to be what you are and let someone else be what they are. We’re each good at different things. I cook pretty well and will probably beat you at poker. You make mice disappear. :-)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I don’t put worms on fish hooks either. I wonder what you’ll make of that…lol

    That you don’t put worms on your hook – what’s there to make of it. A fisherman can come to his own conclusions. Given that I do not fish, I don’t know enough.

    A woman who can win $220 at a poker table is someone to be respected and treated warily. I’m not good at poker, but I do know when to get up from a game. That itself is one heck of a money-saver….

  • AntonioSosa

    Hillary is on the same page as Obama.

    In agreement with Obama’s policy of hurting our friends and helping our enemies, Clinton handed democratic Hondurans a poisoned apple — Oscar Arias as a mediator.

    Arias’s recommendation that a criminal thug like Zelaya be reinstated in Honduras is insulting and despicable to any honest and law-abiding human being!

    But it was to be expected from Oscar Arias, who PRETENDS to support peace, but has never really defended peace.

    Arias helped Chavez/Ortega enslave Nicaraguans. Ronald Reagan wanted the Sandinistas and their leader Daniel Ortega vanquished. But Arias got the Sandinistas to “agree to hold internationally supervised elections”. And we can see the results now — Nicaragua is now being enslaved by Chavez/Ortega.

    Oscar Arias has NOT advanced and will NOT advance the cause of peace. On the contrary, as we can see in Honduras, Arias is doing the opposite – he is helping the forces of violence and evil – Castro, Chávez and Zelaya – trample on the law and on the human rights of the Honduran people.

    Oscar Arias is the perfect example of how the Nobel Prize, which has been politicized, is biased and corrupt. It’s seldom if ever awarded to the really deserving, like Pope John Paul II. It is often awarded to people who can be used by the forces of evil to manipulate public opinion, as it’s happening now with Oscar Arias regarding Honduras.

    We pray Hondurans are able to defend themselves from Chavez, Zelaya, Obama, Clinton, Insulza, Arias and other forces of evil who PRETEND to protect human rights and to ‘care for the poor,’ but are actually trampling on human rights and multiplying poverty, corruption, violence and despair.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Antonio,

    The gringos have gone away, and are not paying attention to this issue anymore. It’s just Latin America – it don’t matter to them. The mainstream media is mostly ignoring what is happening in Honduras, with the exception of Agence France-Presse and Pajamas Media.

    What happens in Honduras matters to me, Antonio. I see what is going on there as the same kind of de-legitimization that we in Israel face not only from the world media, but from the traitorous “left-wing” Hebrew “press”.

  • Franco

    142 – Cindy

    Post 121 and 131 asserts – “The well intentioned liberal and anarchist reformers are always the unwitting harbingers of tyranny.”

    Cindy says – “Hey truth sayers…evidence please.”

    Since you asked

  • Franco

    213 – Ruvy

    Franco, is there any news out of Central America that you can enlighten us with?

    Well Ruvy, Dan (Miller) is in Central America, I’m in South American, why down in Chile. One can’t get alot more South then that.

    But this just in. The Honduran ambassador was expelled from Argentina last week. Today, Honduras started seeking what ever is left of relations with Argentina through the Argentine embassy in Israel. What can you tell us about this?

    Argentina expels Honduran ambassador from Argentina. Honduras now seeks relations with Argentina through the Argentine embassy in Israel

  • Ruvy

    It’s simple, Franco. Our government recognizes the government in Honduras as the de jure – the lawful government. The fellow who was kicked out was kicked out legitimately, according to us. In the instance of Honduras, at least, our Foreign Ministry is doing the RIGHT thing instead of the easy thing. That’s the deal. This means that every Israeli embassy is automatically the “interest section” for the gpovernment of Honduras.

    Comprendes?

  • Franco

    Sí, yo entiendo,

    and I think it is a class act Ruvy on Israels part. What do you think of them apples?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    283,

    Franco,

    Chavez, or anyone else in particular aside, let’s take this scenari. If an actual dictator were to emerge in a right-wing country where the right-wing has stolen all the wealth, how would it be the fault of liberals and anarchists?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Because what I hear you saying is basically, if anyone dares to oppose a system where bullies are ‘free’ to steal all the wealth in search of a fairer way of life, they are at fault for risking falling under dictatorship.

    Really? Why would anyone want to change an already free society? If it’s free they must already be happy, right?

    I mean, why are there liberals? Never mind anarchists, they won’t be supporting any govt.

  • Franco

    287 – Cindy

    Franco,

    Chavez, or anyone else in particular aside, let’s take this scenari. If an actual dictator were to emerge in a right-wing country where the right-wing has stolen all the wealth, how would it be the fault of liberals and anarchists?

    It wouldn’t be the fault of liberals and anarchists it that were the case. However, the historical record is clear. The left-wing socialists — Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro — in the name of equality, have killed hundreds of millions of people and only produced economic misery, political backwardness and oppression, and their societies are still struggling to emerge from under the wreckage. The right-wing dictators like Franco and Pinochet killed far fewer people (not that this is an excuse for killing anyone) and the societies they left behind are now vibrant successful liberal market democracies.

    The link I provided you shows a socialist left-wing dictatorship in the making right before you very eyes. And this new dictator likes to make friends who also come from extremely oppressive regimes, i.e., Cuba and Iran.

    Why would anyone want to change an already free society? If it’s free they must already be happy, right?

    It depends on the definition of freedom. For me it is as follows.

    The basic principle of the United States of America is Individual freedom. America is built on the principle that Man possesses Inalienable Rights.

    That these rights belong to each man as an individual — not to “men” as a group or collective;

    That these rights are the unconditional, private, personal, individual possession of each man — not the public, social, collective possession of a group;

    That these rights are granted to man by the fact of his birth as a man — not by an act of society;

    That man holds these rights, not from the Collective nor for the Collective, but against the Collective — as a barrier which the Collective cannot cross;

    That these rights are man’s protection against all other men;

    That only on the basis of these rights can men have a society of freedom, justice, human dignity, and decency.

    The Constitution of the United States of America is not a document that limits the rights of man — but a document that limits the power of society over man.

    “It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all.” — Thomas Jefferson to Francois D’Ivernois, 1795

    Since Man has inalienable individual rights, this means that the same rights are held, individually, by every man, by all men, at all times.

    All legitimate rights have one thing in common: they are rights to action, not to rewards from other people. These rights impose no obligations on other people, merely the negative obligation to leave the same rights of others alone. The system guarantees you the chance to work for what you want — not to be given it without effort by somebody else. The right to life does not mean that your neighbors have to feed and clothe you; it means you have the unrestricted right to earn your food and clothes yourself, if necessary by a hard struggle, and that no one can forcibly stop your struggle for these things or steal them from you if and when you have achieved them. In other words: you have the right to act, and to keep the results of your actions, the products you make, to keep them or to trade them with others, if you wish. But you have no right to the actions or products of others, except on terms to which they voluntarily agree.

    I mean, why are there liberals? Never mind anarchists, they won’t be supporting any govt.

    Well this has been a question in my mind about you when you claim to be an anarchist. I can’t see how you can have anything in common with socialism.

    Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, liberal’s demand that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and what it sees as social morality throughout the nation.

    Under this this demand of socolists to use the law, then it must be asked. If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind.

    Cindy, I have heard you speak in many other posts about “law”, and you ask why we even need any. I would find it hard to believer you would not understand the following.

    Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing.

    But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man — in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.

    Each of us has a natural right to defend his/her person, his/her liberty, and his/her property. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.

    What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. Each of us has a natural right to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?

    If every person has the right to defend – even by force – his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right – its reason for existing, its lawfulness – is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force – for the same reason – cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

    Man can live and satisfy his wants only by continual labor, by the continual application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.

    But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.

    Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain – and since labor is pain in itself – it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

    When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.

    It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.

    But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.

    How has this perversion of the law been accomplished? And what have been the results?

    The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy.

    But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

    When the law defends plunder and participates in it, the beneficiaries are spared the shame, danger, and scruple which their acts would otherwise involve. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons, and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim — when he defends himself — as a criminal.

    As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose — that it may violate property instead of protecting it — then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting at the door of the Legislative Palace, and the struggle within will be no less furious. To know this, it is hardly necessary to examine what transpires in our own legislatures; merely to understand the issue is to know the answer.

    Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter — by peaceful or revolutionary means — into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.

    Woe to the nation when this latter purpose prevails among the mass victims of lawful plunder when they, in turn, seize the power to make laws!

    Until that happens, the few practice lawful plunder upon the many, a common practice where the right to participate in the making of law is limited to a few persons. But then, participation in the making of law becomes universal. And then, men seek to balance their conflicting interests by universal plunder. Instead of rooting out the injustices found in society, they make these injustices general. As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes. They do not abolish legal plunder. (This objective would demand more enlightenment than they possess.) Instead, they emulate their evil predecessors by participating in this legal plunder, even though it is against their own interests.

    It is as if it were necessary, before a reign of justice appears, for everyone to suffer a cruel retribution — some for their evilness, and some for their lack of understanding.

    This legal plunder may be only an isolated stain among the legislative measures of the people. If so, it is best to wipe it out with a minimum of speeches and denunciations — and in spite of the uproar of the vested interests.

    Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law — which may be an isolated case — is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.

    The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.

    Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.

    It is a fallacy to assert that the war that we must fight against socialism must be in harmony with law, honor, and justice, for we enter into a vicious circle. How can you use the law to oppose socialism when it is upon the law that socialism itself tries to rely? Socialists desire to practice legal plunder, not illegal plunder. Socialists, like all other monopolists, desire to make the law their own weapon. And when once the law is on the side of socialism, how can it be used against socialism? For when plunder is abetted by the law, it does not fear your courts, your gendarmes, and your prisons. Rather, it may call upon them for help.

    To prevent this, you would exclude socialism from entering into the making of laws? You would prevent socialists from entering the Legislative Palace? You shall not succeed, I predict, so long as legal plunder continues to be the main business of the legislature. It is illogical — in fact, absurd — to assume otherwise.

    This legal plunder may be only an isolated stain among the legislative measures of the people. If so, it is best to wipe it out with a minimum of speeches and denunciations — and in spite of the uproar of the vested interests.

    This question of legal plunder must be settled once and for all, and there are only three ways to settle it:

    1. The few plunder the many.

    2. Everybody plunders everybody.

    3. Nobody plunders anybody.

    No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs

    The Proper Function of the Law

    In all sincerity, can anything more than the absence of plunder be required of the law? Can the law — which necessarily requires the use of force — rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone? I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right. This is the most fatal and most illogical social perversion that can possibly be imagined. It must be admitted that the true solution — so long searched for in the area of social relationships — is contained in these simple words: Law is organized justice.

    When justice is organized by law — that is, by force — this excludes the idea of using law (force) to organize any human activity whatever, whether it be labor, charity, agriculture, commerce, industry, education, art, or religion. The organizing by law of any one of these would inevitably destroy the essential organization — justice. For truly, how can we imagine force being used against the liberty of citizens without it also being used against justice, and thus acting against its proper purpose?

    The Seductive Lure of Socialism

    Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation.

    This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat again: These two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. We must choose between them. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free.

    “Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty. The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.” — John Adams

    “As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.” — James Madison, National Gazzette, 1792

    “The authority of government … can have no pure right over my person and my property but what I concede to it.” — Henry David Thoreau

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    The earth is the general and equal possession of all humanity and therefore cannot be the property of individuals. ~Leo Tolstoy

    Franco,

    If Basitiat really believed that no one should plunder anyone else, then I assume he would have developed beyond his viewpoint, limited as it was by the time in which he lived, had he theoretically been able to survive until now and learned how unsuccessful his ideas were in this regard.

    I asked why you think there are liberals. My opinion, so far, is that there are liberals because they are acting as a counterbalance. Both sides are trying to get the state to work the way they want it to work. They are pulling back and forth like the state was a tug-of-war. But, you didn’t answer my question, instead you asked what relation my ideas, as an anarchist, have to socialism. Here is a big one:

    If I am born on earth, shouldn’t I should have the right to use it–just like all creatures do? Who decided people could own a planet and by doing so, deprive other people of using it?

    Well, not govt. So ideas within socialism that include govt are out for me. I believe in individual liberty. However, having individual liberty takes the recognition that we are part of a community and therefore we don’t have the right to deprive everyone else of things we want to have all to ourselves. It’s sort of like acting like an adult instead of a child. One learns to cooperate and understand that there are other people in the world who count besides ourselves. So, if I want to count and I feel I have that right, then that right must also extend to you and to everyone, everywhere. Not merely the people of my group (in this case nation would be the common categorization). My principles are to respect human beings. Free marketers do not respect human beings or any rights they claim to believe are possesed by human beings and cannot be denied by a society.

    Markets do not respect human beings, they are used to enslave them (literally, not merely through wage slavery, but that too). Combine nations with markets and you have insanity. Really. It’s insanity to hear that sweat shops are good in any way. To hear it means, to me, I am talking with someone who’s lost her/his mind and has become completely deluded and incapable of sound thinking. I look at this person like I would a Scientologist or other cult member.

    For example, people use the idea of a nation to justify enslaving other people. These people CLAIM that they believe in the natural right of HUMANS (as Bastiat says, as you say, etc.) they don’t say they believe only AMERICANS (or whomever) have this right. Then they proceed to justify slavery for poor people in other nations. I am left scratching my head and wondering–but what about those people’s rights as humans?

    Free marketers don’t care about human beings. They are enslaved to their dogma and will literally twist reality on its head defending it. They will look at you with a straight face and tell you why children should be slaves and how it’s good for them. You ask why isn’t it just better to end slavery and pay people a living wage and treat them better. They then say because this is not approved by free markets. People can’t decide how to treat people or they won’t be free, only markets can decide that. Free markets, to the extent they are allowed to be unrestricted, have proven to be extraordinarily destructive to all but a minority of people and are now threatening to destroy the whole planet. Maybe Bastiat might have recognized that by now, after having seen what has happened. Who knows.

    Freedom of the individual within the community takes more than a plan that is designed based on only either the individual OR the community. It requires thinking about individuals as living within communities. That is how my ideas relate to socialism. I am a libertarian socialist. There are other regards, besides the idea of govt, where my ideas will be in disagreement with socialism. Govt is the main one though.

    Some other things:

    It wouldn’t be the fault of liberals and anarchists it that were the case.

    Well, that is the case in Venezuela. So I guess you’re acknowledging that it’s the ‘every human for himself, as long as I am in a position to get the most anyway’ crowd that is responsible for whatever is happening in Venezuela.

    Also (on the US govt): The basic principles of the US support and glorify the selfishness of some individuals to dominate and use other individuals they have power over. That is its essence boiled down to a single sentence.

    The earth is the general and equal possession of all humanity and therefore cannot be the property of individuals. ~Leo Tolstoy

    (I know I quoted that already. It’s a really important concept to grasp though. So, I figured I’d repeat it.)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Franco,

    One more thing. I disagree with Bastiat about human nature.

    P.S. Hopefully you’ll comprehend my post, despite my bad editing job.

  • Franco

    Cindy,

    Thanks for such an engaging and great post!

    If Basitiat really believed that no one should plunder anyone else, then I assume he would have developed beyond his viewpoint, limited as it was by the time in which he lived, had he theoretically been able to survive until now and learned how unsuccessful his ideas were in this regard.

    His ideas were never ever fully ascribed to. Not in France back then, and not in America today. So you can’t say that they were unsuccessful. All the same things are being debated today on all the same issues that Bastiat did back then. Interesting to note though, this is what he said of the US back in 1850

    “Is there any need to offer proof that this odious perversion of the law is a perpetual source of hatred and discord; that it tends to destroy society itself? If such proof is needed, look at the United States [in 1850]. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person’s liberty and property. As a consequence of this, there appears to be no country in the world where the social order rests on a firmer foundation.”

    But even in the United States, there are two issues — and only two — that have always endangered the public peace.

    What are these two issues? They are slavery and tariffs. These are the only two issues where, contrary to the general spirit of the republic of the United States, law has assumed the character of plunder.

    Slavery is a violation, by law, of liberty. The protective tariff is a violation, by law, of property.

    It is a most remarkable fact that this double legal crime – a sorrowful inheritance of the Old World – should be the only issue which can, and perhaps will, lead to the ruin of the Union. It is indeed impossible to imagine, at the very heart of a society, a more astounding fact than this: The law has come to be an instrument of injustice. And if this fact brings terrible consequences to the United States -where only in the instance of slavery and tariffs – what must be the consequences in Europe, where the perversion of law is a principle; a system?”

    And he was right!

    The earth is the general and equal possession of all humanity and therefore cannot be the property of individuals. ~Leo Tolstoy

    Tolstoy believed that a true Christian could find lasting happiness by striving for inner self-perfection through following the Great Commandment of loving one’s neighbor and God rather than looking outward to the Church or state for guidance and meaning.

    He not only opposed private property, he opposed the institution of marriage and valued the ideals of chastity and sexual abstinence. His belief in nonresistance (nonviolence) when faced by conflict is another distinct attribute of his philosophy based on Christ’s teachings

    Christian anarchists believe that freedom is justified spiritually through the teachings of Jesus. This has caused them to be critical of government and Church authority. The Protestant reformation (protest of Church authority) was actuality an excises in Christian anarchism, and in this case I fully support it as Tolstoy dose.

    When I was a young Christian years ago and was reading the same Bible as Tolstoy, I too took to heart what he did about nonresistance and property when faced by conflict. But I then realized later on I had an obligation to defend my wife and daughters from harm, and if need be, would use whatever force was needed (physical) to protect them, personally, their home, their health, their well being, and their belongings. Dose that then run in opposition to the teachings of Jesus?

    I asked why you think there are liberals. But, you didn’t answer my question, instead you asked what relation my ideas, as an anarchist, have to socialism. Here is a big one:

    If I am born on earth, shouldn’t I should have the right to use it–just like all creatures do? Who decided people could own a planet and by doing so, deprive other people of using it?

    Well, not govt. So ideas within socialism that include govt are out for me.

    I agree with you. And it also sounds like your describing the UN, another want-a-be gov monster or biblial porportions.

    As to “why” there are liberals. I think their intentions are good at heart, and that is way they exist. But their means to an end is misguided because they seek to balance their conflicting interests by universal plunder. Thus instead of rooting out the injustices found in society and the market place, they end up making these injustices general.

    What do I think about welfare. I think welfare reform is heather then more universal welfare. I would like to use the fruits of my labor given to the poor and needy living around me as I see fit, not how the state sees fit. Am I againt all state welfare. No, if we are talking about things like disabled veterans, the widows and children of military personal, of police, and of firefighters who have been killed, yes, tax me for their needs as they get their lives back in order. If we are talking about the truly poor, those without food and shelter, yes, tax me to get them food and shelter and help them get on their own feet to make it on their own. But get rid of everything that people who have their own faculties that they can achieve for themselves.

    I believe in individual liberty. However, having individual liberty takes the recognition that we are part of a community and therefore we don’t have the right to deprive everyone else of things we want to have all to ourselves.

    You are describing a monopoly Cindy with is plunder, and so I agree with you 100%. You will get no argument from me on that or from Bastiat either.

    So, if I want to count and I feel I have that right, then that right must also extend to you and to everyone, everywhere. Not merely the people of my group (in this case nation would be the common categorization). My principles are to respect human beings. Free marketers do not respect human beings or any rights they claim to believe are possesed by human beings and cannot be denied by a society.

    People and or nations owning the planet: We started out as gathers and hunters in remote cornders all over the planet and lived together for support, safety and companionship and shared our skills and strengths together for our very survival. This evolved into larger areas we started to protect for our survival, which needed protecting specifically because of what Bastiat spoke about human nature.

    Then came borders between these expanding areas that became states and nations. And to this day, we still need our nations to protect those living in it. Not only from other nations seeking pluder, but also from the very government running the nation from their seeking plunder, as well as from some other scrupulous and dangerous citizens within the nation trying to organize plunder of others within the nation as well as outside the nation seeking plunder, i.e., the sweet shops you noted. Nothing is new under the sun, and never has been when it comes to tribes or States and Individuals and the need for protection from plunder.

    Do you have locks on the doors to your house? Do you have locks on your car doors? What about you bike, dose it have a lock? Do most people you know have all these same locks? Why do we need all of these if you disagree with Bastiat about human nature?

    Now as far as you having the right to use the earth in the nation or state where you live, yes you should have the rights to use it. And as for the whole earth outside of nation states, I think you slould too, albeet with respect to and for any cultural differences. I am a native to the nation of the United States and I live and work in the State (tribe) called Southern California. But I also live and work in Chile South America, which I am not a native of, and yet I have access to all of the same earth in Chile that all Chileans do. I also conduct business with Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Denmark, Taiwan, Finland, and currently working on opportunities in Pakistan of all places.

    In my business dealings all over the world I have to be careful of some other company or state trying to plunder me when I seek to do business in the market place. I have found some good companies I am happy to work with and they are happy they have found me.

    Markets do not respect human beings, they are used to enslave them (literally, not merely through wage slavery, but that too).

    For example, people use the idea of a nation to justify enslaving other people. These people CLAIM that they believe in the natural right of HUMANS (as Bastiat says, as you say, etc.) they don’t say they believe only AMERICANS (or whomever) have this right. Then they proceed to justify slavery for poor people in other nations. I am left scratching my head and wondering–but what about those people’s rights as humans?

    I agree with you 100%. If they say one thing and do another, they are lying deceitful plunders. It’s not the market Cindy it’s what people do to other people when they exploit them in the market. This exploitation is exactly what Bastiat is taking about in human nature.

    But please help me understand what is causing you to keep putting it all on the ‘free market place” as a whole, instead of specially addressing the plunder and exploiters in it that brake the law and abuse other people. What is preventing you from separating the two and seeing them for what they are? Especially if you disagree with Bastiat about human nature.

    Freedom of the individual within the community takes more than a plan that is designed based on only either the individual OR the community. It requires thinking about individuals as living within communities.

    I agree!

    Let me ask you this. Is it not possible to think of the free market as follows.

    If everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing. Is it not when those who try and restrict others faculties and their free disposition of the fruits of there labor that enslavement, exploitation (plunder) takes place as you say and harms the community? If the free market was to have this plunder rooted out of it, wouldn’t it be a great place for people to meat and exchange their wares?

    That is how my ideas relate to socialism. I am a libertarian socialist. There are other regards, besides the idea of govt, where my ideas will be in disagreement with socialism. Govt is the main one though.

    We surly share the same dislike for Govt. And when you consider the paragraph just above you last statement, I do not think we are that far apart on — as you put it –what’s required thinking about individuals as living within communities, and the world at large in exchanging our wares in a plunder free market environment. Nobody should plunder anybody.

    ((It wouldn’t be the fault of liberals and anarchists it that were the case)).

    Well, that is the case in Venezuela. So I guess you’re acknowledging that it’s the ‘every human for himself, as long as I am in a position to get the most anyway’ crowd that is responsible for whatever is happening in Venezuela.

    Everything happening there is leading to totatarintism. As for who or what is causing it, it’s called plunder on what I pointed out, and its called plunder on what you pointed out.

    The earth is the general and equal possession of all humanity and therefore cannot be the property of individuals. ~Leo Tolstoy

    Then take the locks off all your doors and throw the keys away. And put your money where your mouth in disagreing with Bastiat about human nature.

    Just for fun. World’s Smallest Political Quiz