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Peace Patriot

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Member since: Sat Nov 13, 2004, 12:56 AM
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Tell me again why the U.S. is doing this to Cuba?

Cuz, um, they have the best medical system in the world there, and it's free?

Cuz you can go to medical school there, or any school, through graduate degrees, and it's free?

Cuz there are no homeless people there--everybody has shelter, food on the table, employment, a decent life?

Can't be that, no...

I know...it's cuz Cuba invaded Haiti, and slaughtered a hundred thousand innocent people there with "shock and awe" bombing, and rounded up Haitians and imprisoned them, and stripped them of clothing, and forced them into naked pyramids of bodies, and suffocated and beat some of them to death, and imposed a puppet government and forced the puppet government to sign contracts with Cuban transglobal corporations giving Haiti's resources away?

No, wait! Cuba didn't do that to Haiti--Venezuela did!

And that's another reason the U.S. is imposing "sanctions" on Cuba and fining banks billions of dollars for doing business with Cuba--cuz they're friends with Venezuela and we hate Venezuela cuz...um...

They have honest, transparent elections and we don't, and we're jealous?

No, wait! That's why we hate them! Also, cuz they not only invaded Haiti, they invaded Colombia and murdered thousands of labor union leaders and other advocates of the poor and brutally displaced FIVE MILLION peasant farmers to give their lands to drug lords, Monsanto and other bad actors!

No, wait! That was the U.S.-funded and trained Colombia military, and the U.S. supported mafia boss, Alvaro Uribe, and his rightwing death squads! Hm-m.

But back to Cuba. Why is the U.S. "sanctioning" Cuba? I know, it's cuz they're sending anonymously "piloted" drone aircraft to kill anonymously chosen "terrorists" and anybody else standing around, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Syria...

No, wait! That's Ecuador! But, see, Cuba's also friends with Ecuador which is harboring that terrorist Julian Assange while dropping drone bombs on anybody they please...

OK, here's the deal. Cuba toppled the elected government of Honduras, kidnapped its president, put him on a plane that refueled at a Cuban air base in Honduras, and installed a puppet government to oppress the Honduran people and stomp on their rights in favor of Cuban transglobal corporations. And Cuba is now building yet more military bases in Honduras to entrench its position...

No, wait!

Cuba and its nefarious allies are militaristic pigs, invading other countries, bombing people, torturing people, destroying their societies and stealing their resources in order to enrich the Castro Brothers!

It's those Castro Brothers--who dared to export...their medical system!

Now THAT merits billions of dollars in "sanctions" to anyone who helps Cuba! THAT is dastardly!

No, wait! Now get this! Cuba is exporting doctors to provide health care to POOR VOTERS in Venezuela, so they can get off their sick beds and go vote for free health care and free education in Venezuela! And not only that, Cuba has a medical EYE program, so they can SEE the ballot, and a LITERACY program, so they can READ it!

Now THAT cumulative evil merits "sanctions"--merits punishing banks, businesses, traders, shipping for daring to trade with Cuba!

No, wait! No, wait! It's DEMOCRACY! That's it! The U.S. wants to see Diebold in Cuba!

Ah! Ah! They want Cuba to have all that wonderful looting of Social Security and Medicare, all those firings of teachers and firefighters, all that downsizing and outsourcing, and union busting, and "privatization" and filthy lobbying, and humongous, unquestioned military budgets, and secret budgets and 'TRADE SECRET' vote counting, and corpo-fascist 'news' propaganda, and endless war that WE enjoy. They want to bring, um...freedom to Cuba!



It's not really all that funny but, jeez, you gotta laugh sometimes at U.S. government-transglobal corporate-war profiteer INSANITY. It makes sense to them if to no one else in their right minds. And we don't have nuttin to say about it. That's the funny part.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:05 PM (4 replies)

1% is an interesting number...

It was ikonized by the Occupy movement, meaning the 1% of multi-billionaires who run things here and everywhere else where they can get U.S. boots on the ground in their interest. Then there are the rest of us--the 99%--who get to have "austerity."

But I was thinking that 1% is also how much "we the people" are permitted know about what is really happening within "our" government.

And, boy, is Benghazi a good example of it.

This bullshit about whether Benghazi was a riot or a terrorist plot is a sort of macabre dance that is played before the cameras, and I don't think it represents even 1% of what that incident was about.

For instance, for John McCain to complain about an administration LYING to the public, after what the Bush Junta did to us--those non-existent WMDs and all--is excruciatingly FUNNY, in a very dark sort of way.

In any case, since when are secretaries of state expected NOT to lie? Lying is pretty much their job description. Lying for the "military-industrial complex." Lying for the 1% behind the "military-industrial complex."

Lies, distortions, disinformation. That's what secretaries of state DO.

So part of the dance macabre here is that this matters to John McCain AT ALL. It doesn't. He does not in the least care about a secretary of state lying to "the American people."

What, then, is really going on? That's the 99% that "we the people" are forced to guess at--cuz "our" government is so out of our control that nobody bothers about us any more except to keep us ignorant, confused and supine.

Then their corporate news propagandists ridicule us for inventing "conspiracy theories."

Ah, me. Well, here's mine. First of all, a caveat. I understand that, on the surface, this is a political fight--newly re-elected president, Obama, vs. the rat bastards who lost. And I do understand partisan feeling about this among Democrats. I am a Democrat. I voted for Obama. But that doesn't mean that I have to believe how the Obama White House portrays everything--for instance, in the matter of the Rice nomination.

Also, it's very clear to me that it DOESN'T MATTER that Susan Rice portrayed the Benghazi incident as a riot and didn't reveal intelligence that it was a terrorist plot. The incident was a national security crisis and to expect the U.S. government to be 100% truthful in a national security crisis is ridiculous.

Conspiracy theory: There was a plot involving General Petraeus and Puke candidate Mitt Romney to pull an "October Surprise" on Obama, using intelligence that Betray-Us cadged from the CIA. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the Benghazi incident was LIHOP ("let it happen"--i.e., Betray-Us knew of the plot to attack the embassy and didn't stop it)--not yet anyway (too many unknowns)--but he most certainly knew that the CIA was detaining and torturing Libyans nearby (cuz that's what his girlfriend leaked) and that a plan to rescue those people would occur. He may have known plan and date and couldn't stop it. Or maybe there was a CIA/Petraeus operative within the targeted group who misdirected the group to the embassy and away from the CIA building. There is a lot of room for both treachery and opportunism in my theory. Maybe it was merely opportunism.

Here was the "out" faction within the "military-industrial complex" who want more wars--the over-the-top fascists--with whom Betray-Us had aligned himself for future gain. He tips Romney to the coming "Surprise." Romney gets his "talking points" ready--and the moment that the attack in Benghazi occurs, he's ON it--portraying Obama as incompetent on national security. It struck me as treason, at the time--what Romney did. He himself put U.S. government personnel at risk all over the world, by politicizing a national security crisis right in the middle of the crisis.

A further twist in this theory may be Karl Rove. They not only had a contrived national security issue, they had tech operatives fiddling with the 'TRADE SECRET' code voting machines in Ohio? Rove flipped out on Faux News when Ohio didn't go to Romney. Was that flip-out genuine, in the sense that Rove thought he had it rigged and his plan failed? (And, if it failed, was it really Anonymous who made it fail?) (And who is Anonymous? An interesting question.)

So, what's Obama--and, importantly, Leon Panetta--going to do about this attempted coup d'etat? For damn sure, they're not going to tell the American people. (It's a subtheory of mine that THIS is why Obama couldn't look at Romney in the first debate--kept looking down, for which Obama was criticized. He couldn't believe what this rat bastard was involved in?) Panetta (sidebar: he is a close bud of Bush Sr.--member of Bush Sr.'s "Iraq Study Group" that, in my opinion, took down Rumsfeld--and of course was sent to head the CIA for a year, to heal the wounds from the war between the Pentagon and the CIA that Cheney/Rumsfeld had started--now heading the Pentagon and considered the most powerful man in the world, by some)...Panetta takes down Petraeus over his girlfriend (and his weird friends in Florida, for "color"). Swift justice.*

And "somebody" foils Rove's tech team.

NOW what can John McCain say? They've gotta back down cuz Panetta and his protege Obama have the goods on them.

Obama wants Rice for secretary of state because, among other things, she DOESN'T reveal sensitive intelligence in the midst of a national security crisis! (Jeez.) McCain, furious about the failure of the two-pronged internal U.S. plot outlined above (Benghazi, Rove), can only jump up and down, like Rumpelstiltskin, and tear himself in two, over Rice NOT revealing sensitive information ('terrorist plot') that McCain and his rat bastard allies had intended to use to take down Obama!

Too bad that McCain and Rice are going to meet in secret. I'd sure like to be a fly on the wall at that meeting. Too bad we're never told 99% of what happens--that we have to pay for, and that we have to suffer "austerity" for. We the People.

Ain't that a classy "conspiracy theory"? Being a no-account, tax-paying, hard-working mere U.S. citizen, excluded from 99% of what is going on in my name with my money, has its fun side.

--------------------------

*(Note: The story about the FBI agent "stumbling upon" the CIA Director's mistress is hilarious.)

Posted by Peace Patriot | Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:04 AM (1 replies)

I held my nose and clicked on this New York Slimes article to sniff out the strategy...

...that the U.S. and its transglobal corporate/ war profiteer masters are going to take with Ecuador, generally and with regard to the Assange asylum.

It occurs to me that this Juan José Illingworth is a good candidate for "great white hope" of said transglobals and war profiteers, rather like Capriles in Venezuela--an airbrushed leader with even better creds than Capriles. The Slimes make much of Illingworth and his noble ancestors--including one who fought with Simon Bolivar for Latin American independence--and his "English bona fides" (born in Manchester). They don't do this for just anybody. I strongly sense that he is being "groomed," as they say.

Look how they do go on about Illingworth:

---

"The family has a strong sense of history and its place in it. Its members walk through a city that has an Illingworth Street and an Illingworth Passage.

There are at least two statues and a bust of the Admiral, as their famous forebear is usually called. (The base of the statue in Navy Park contains a coffer with the Admiral’s remains. Mr. Illingworth was present a few years ago at the exhumation and was happy to see that, more than 150 years later, 'his skull was in perfect condition,' he said.)"
--The Slimes (from the OP)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/world/americas/in-standoff-over-assange-ecuadoreans-close-ranks.html?pagewanted=all&_moc.semityn.www

---

That's one possible bit of strategy with which to undermine and destroy the hugely popular Correa and his leftist government--if Illingworth is buyable. Don't know that he is but that doesn't mean they aren't trying. They used him here (and he allowed himself to be used) to start off on a negative tack against Correa ("Mr. Illingworth is no fan of Ecuador’s president...blah, blah, blah...") that pretty much drips slime on Correa throughout the article with only one exception--the "Miriam Vilela, 40, a seamstress" section--but then they dis her as not well informed and they managed to capture a statement from her that makes the poor sound like "little Ayn Rands," all greedy and self-interested, knitting names for the Guillotine. (“Never retreat. What’s ours is ours.”)

In total, the article quotes four anti-Correa Ecuadorans and two vaguely described groups with anti-Correa criticisms, and only one Correa supporter and one Assange supporter. 6 to 2. That is the OPPOSITE of how things stand in Ecuador, as to Correa's popularity. And the only pro-Correa statement is that of the seamstress, above, who is dissed. This is a strategy of propaganda--falsely portraying a hugely popular, democratically elected, leftist president as, somehow, illegitimate, because all the people that New York Slimes stringers hang out with at the country clubs think so. Get this paragraph (which could be a USAID-written Capriles paragraph):

---

"Mr. Correa has made many broadly popular changes, improving health care, education, roads and social services. But he is a lightning rod and delights in in picking fights and taunting his opponents. He has been criticized by human rights groups for cracking down on popular protests and by dissident groups for seeking to intimidate and restrict the press." --The Slimes (from the OP) (my emphasis)

---

"A lightning rod"? "Delights in picking fights?" That's "colorful language"--very, very biased and presented, by the reporter, as reality. Go back and read it. Who is saying this? The reporter! And no one is asked to reply to this reporter's editorializing. The 70% of Ecuadorans who support Correa likely have a very different view of Correa's strong character and wouldn't call it "picking fights" and "taunting his opponents." But none of his many supporters is asked to respond to this view of his character, nor any of his aides or political allies, nor Correa himself. It is the unchallenged opinion of the reporter that Correa's championing of the poor (health care, education) and development of Ecuador (roads, social services) is being perpetrated by a bully and a loudmouth who has only his own political interest in mind. The reporter quotes several people questioning Correa's "political motives" with regard to Assange's asylum, starting with the Admiral's descendant. The conflation is plain. Correa has no good motives at all. He is a bad dude. Get it?

This isn't the worst reporting I've seen on the Latin American Left, but it's close. The Slimes tend to put a slick veneer on their character assassinations. Beware!

As for "seeking to intimidate and restrict the press": As with Chavez in Venezuela, the Corporate Press screams bloody murder when their monopolistic, propagandistic, so-called journalism gets challenged by democratic notions akin to our late, lamented "Fairness Doctrine." Both Chavez and Correa have done more for REAL "free speech"--the speech of ordinary people, the speech of excluded groups, the speech of the poor majority, the speech that the founders of our own country intended to protect with the 1st Amendment--than any political leaders in history, except maybe Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine, and certainly than any political leaders in Latin American history. Both countries are now characterized by extremely high levels of public participation. Both countries are now characterized by intense, widespread political debate about substantive issues. The people of both countries wrote their own constitutions, debated every provision of their constitutions and put their constitutions to a vote of the people (both of which won, hands down), and that intense involvement with their own public life continues--and it puts our public life to shame.

What the New York Slimes means by "the press" is the corporate press. And, by "free speech," they mean corporate speech! They really, really don't want what the 1st Amendment was written to protect: the speech of ordinary citizens.

The strategy of punishing Ecuador for its independent stance on Assange and other matters (including, for instance, a recent Ecuadoran court ruling against Chevron-Texaco for its vast pollution of the Amazon rainforest, and Correa kicking the U.S. military out of Ecuador) emerges in the final paragragh. They found one guy, in all of Ecuador, who would criticize Correa for the Assange asylum decision. I wonder how many phone calls they had to make to get this:

---

"Enrique Ayala, the president of Simón Bolívar Andean University in Quito, said he believed that Mr. Assange had been politically persecuted and ran the risk of being accused of a crime by the United States for the release of secret documents and diplomatic cables. But he said that granting asylum was a mistake.

“'It isn’t in the best interests of Ecuador to have taken this step, which creates conflict with various countries,' Mr. Ayala said. 'The country doesn’t gain anything. I think it loses.'"
--The Slimes (from the OP)

---

You are left to wonder what Washington is cooking up to make Ecuador "lose." Maybe Ayala knows, maybe not. What about his political motives in his criticism of Correa for doing what Ayala admits is the right thing but shouldn't have been done because it creates "conflict." Conflict with whom? The U.S., of course, and its poodle, England. What is his agenda that he would tolerate persecution of a journalist by these governments? Hm?

Finally, I am sick to death of this typical character assassination of Julian Assange:

---

"Mr. Assange, who has taken refuge in the embassy since June 19 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on allegations that he sexually assaulted two women...". --the Slimes (from the OP)

---

Let's get this straight. Julian Assange is NOT really wanted for questioning in Sweden. He has three times made himself available for questioning on these absurd "sexual assault" charges, and Swedish prosecutors have refused to question him. There are no charges against him. The first prosecutor in this case dropped the case because the charges were so flimsy. That prosecutor was replaced with someone with more political ambition. Talk about "political motives"! What they want is to get Assange INTO CUSTODY--in any way that they can--so they can turn him over to the U.S. to be "buried" in a deep dungeon with Bradley Manning!

The "sexual assault" charges are a mockery of every woman who has ever been genuinely assaulted. And this warrant for Assange is a mockery of justice. He is wanted for the crime of journalism. That is the truth. And, if the New York Slimes had any self-respect left, as journalists, they would not perpetuate this slanderous coupling of Assange's name with "sexual assault." He has NOT been charged with ANY "assault." And he has NOT avoided questioning about the allegations. They were so NOT going to charge him with these flimsy allegations that they told him he could leave Sweden! THEN they chased him with a warrant. THEN. Why? Because they want him in custody" NOT for "questioning" but for extradition to the U.S.

I don't call them the New York Slimes for nothing. This slimebag article is all too typical of what this once great newspaper--the publisher of the Pentagon Papers--has become.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Tue Sep 11, 2012, 01:41 AM (0 replies)

Anything to smear FDR and the "New Deal" at election time in the U.S.--the Associated Pukes

And do notice the colorful and/or iffy language....

"some scholars believe..."

"mysteriously vanished into the heart of American power..."

"The long-held suspicion is that..."

"lend weight to the belief that..."

"Historians" describe the new archive material as "important"...nay, as...

"potentially explosive"!

---------------------------

Bush Jr. and his pals slaughter a hundred thousand innocent people in the "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad, to steal their oil, torture prisoners for reasons unknown, in violation of the Geneva Conventions, the UN Charter, the U.S. Constitution, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and all manner of laws and civilized norms, out CIA agents and an entire WMD counter-proliferation project--putting U.S. agents and contacts around the world in peril of their lives--"lose" billions of dollars in Iraq, and entirely bust the U.S. economy--not to mention ignoring dire warnings and going on vacation in August 2001--and the Associated Pukes couldn't care less and subsume all this and more into the corporate news "river of forgetfulness"...

...but let FDR lose, overlook or deliberately ignore one coded message in obscure circumstances (Russians marching out, Nazis marching in) on the eve of world war and that is...um..."important" and those ace reporters at AP really got on it, "days before" it was released, speed-dialing their academic contacts to find out if there was any dirt on Roosevelt.

They even quote one of their experts as saying that it is "potentially explosive." I mean, come on. Something that happened in 1940 is "potentially explosive"? "Explosive" in what way? I'll tell you what's explosive. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld NOT being at the Puke convention is explosive. U.S. taxpayer money developing drones now being sold on the open market is explosive. Drone bombings of "suspected" this and "suspected" that ("suspected insurgents," "suspected terrorists," "suspected drug traffickers," et al) all over the world is explosive. The State Department's "fine" of Blackwater, about two years ago, for "unauthorized" "trainings" of "foreign persons" IN COLOMBIA "for use in Iraq and Afghanistan" is explosive.

FDR "laundering" a critically needed ally, back in 1940, in order to defeat Hitler, is NOT "explosive." It is not even new news.

The more I contemplate this article, the more suspicious do I become--of its timing, of the reporters and academics involved and of the motives of Associated Pukes owners and editors. The article is a very long one--unusual for AP--goes way back into the whole long history of this issue (congressional hearings, Gorbachev admission, the lot) and its point seems to be to associate FDR with Stalin's brutality and tyranny--as if these were FDR's fault--when what FDR was looking at was the consequences of LOSING WW II without Russian help. That is very arguably what would have happened, if the Russians hadn't joined the Allies against Hitler. At the least, tens of thousands more Americans and other allies would have died--rather than millions of Russians--trying to defeat Hitler. Bloody as it was, it could have been a lot bloodier and a lot longer than it was, and we could well have lost the war. To this day, we do not give enough credit to the Russians who fought and died, and suffered so incredibly, to defeat Hitler.

It is also absurd to believe that, had the truth about Katyn been publicly known at the time (that the Russians committed this massacre) that it would have made any difference at all to the fate other Poles or other peoples during WW II and afterward. It would very likely have made no difference at all. Indeed, disclosing Soviet guilt could have turned the course of the war toward a Nazi victory, and it furthermore could EASILY have led to the U.S. nuclear war madmen of the 1950s/early 1960s nuking Russia--wiping Russia and its people off the map--in a preemptive strike, which they so dearly wanted to do (and almost succeeded in forcing JFK to do). The world was a tinderbox at the end of WW II and the last thing in the world that was needed was lighting a match to it! Literally, the last thing in the world.

So, what is the point of this LENGTHY article dissing FDR--from a news organization whose news articles are usually "sound bite" length and most often contain no context and no historical background? All of a sudden they're deep into history and the exigencies of PAST war?

Nope. There is an agenda here, and I think it's ECONOMIC and very election oriented. It is an anti-New Deal article. It says, subliminally, that "liberals" love "communists," especially insane communist tyrants--the same old shit we heard from the McCarthyites of the 1950s, and are hearing ominous echoes of today, and, believe me, it is all about money--looting the social programs of the New Deal, privatizing everything, the rich getting ever richer, and kicking the elderly, the sick, the poor and even workers "off the island."

This article almost REGRETS that it was liberals--New Dealers--WHO WON WW II! But I'll tell you what I think Bush Jr. and his ilk would have done. They would have allied with Hitler to conquer Russia--with the rightwing press--the Associated Pukes of that day--applauding them all the way. (And it would have been the Holocaust that was suppressed!) That I truly believe, if you want to speculate about the past and gainsay decisions of the people who won WW II. It was LIBERALS who won WW II, by NOT being Bushwhacks and stupid, asshole redbaiters and "Tea Partyers."

The U.S. could not have taken on both Hitler and Soviet Russia! It was NOT possible. So Roosevelt had to choose, and it is very clear that he was not happy about that choice, but he had no other. Period. End of story. And, once both sides had nuclear weapons, world war became unthinkable to reasonable human beings and provoking such a war the most unpardonable of crimes--the war crime to end all war crimes, literally.

I am not saying that the truth about Katyn should have been suppressed--then, now, or in between. In an ideal world, there would be no such secrets. But the Associated Pukes is, here, very cynically positing an ideal world in which they are the champions of openness. I've been AP-watching for some time, and nothing could be further from the truth. They are the champions of transglobal corporations, banksters and war profiteers. They are NOT in the business of creating an informed public. Their business is propaganda. They are NOT INTERESTED in Bush Junta secrets or crimes. So, WHY do they give such cache--an unusual in-depth report--to this tiny blip of info on Roosevelt's horrible dilemmas and choices in WW II, which have long been known?

Only one reason: the New Deal. They couldn't care less about U.S. massacres and other war crimes, current era. They couldn't care less about all sorts of grand scale crimes--by the banksters, by the war profiteers, by the rich and the corporate. But, boy, give them a bit of redundant news about FDR and they "stop the presses" to give you an "AP Exclusive"!

It makes you want to puke.

------------------------------

(Link to the full OP source: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-exclusive-memos-show-us-hushed-soviet-crime )
(Link back to this thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014224613 )



Posted by Peace Patriot | Mon Sep 10, 2012, 03:55 PM (1 replies)

The Venezuelan election commission is non-partisan...

...and enforces one of the best election regulation systems in the world, which has been repeatedly monitored and certified by all the major election monitoring groups in the world (the Carter Center, the OAS, the EU, etc.) Opposition parties have been a part of the commission from the beginning and helped formulate, and agreed to, the rules.

Venezuela's election rules include a ban on political ads in the weeks before the vote (to prevent last minute "hit and run" political ads), rules on content aimed at preventing "hit and run" political ads prior to that period, no exit polls released until the official results are in (to prevent false reporting that, say, might be part of a plot to overthrow the real results), no foreign money in political campaigns (which the opposition blatantly violated in the 2004 recall campaign, with USAID money, and got caught) and other "best practices." And the overall voting system is honest and transparent on the face of its details (one of the best, in my study of it) as well as in the opinion of election experts.

So this crybaby stuff by the opposition, when they can't get their "hit piece" onto the public airwaves just under the wire for the ad ban, is absurd, not to mention typical--and the Washington Psst picking it up as a "Chavez is against free speech" headline is also typical and typically loathesome.

There has never been more free speech in Venezuela than there is now and has been over the last decade. There has never been higher voter turnouts nor more active public participation in government and politics. There has never been more diversity of opinion, which has been enhanced, not curtailed, by government efforts to get some fairness on the public airwaves--such as we had here prior to Reagan, during the "Fairness Doctrine" era--and to improve access to the media by the poor majority and excluded groups. That is the truth of the matter.

What the Washington Psst and other corporate news monopolists object to is FAIRNESS. They DON'T WANT free speech for everybody. They want free speech for transglobal corporations and war profiteers. They are control freaks to the max. And their highlighting of this bullshit by the rightwing opposition in Venezuela, and treating it as a "he said/she said" matter rather than a matter of the agreed upon rules, and failing to point out--after so much "Big Lie" propaganda about Chavez--that Chavez has absolutely no power over the National Electoral Commission--is foul play, just like this opposition ad itself is foul play (from the description of it).

What is really going on here? The rightwing opposition in Venezuela is going to lose another election and so they are seeding the corporate media with "talking points" that the reason that they lost is that "Chavez is a dictator," not that the great majority of Venezuelans approve of the Chavez government and, by means of the Chavez government, have voted themselves a "New Deal." THAT's what the rightwing opposition and their corporate media campaign staff and their USAID "trainers" DON'T WANT US TO KNOW. They want us to think that, say, universal free medical care, or good wages and benefits amidst very low unemployment, is only possible by dictatorial decree and are not the rights of a free people freely electing a government that agrees to do their will, in a democratic system where everybody--not just the rich, not just Exxon Mobil & brethren, not just the USAID--gets a say!

A "New Deal" for Venezuelans, or for us, is not thinkable. That's what the Washington Psst and the rest of the lying, dictatorial, monopolist, propagandistic, disinformationist, anti-democratic corporate media want us to believe. 'A New Deal can't happen for you. Don't even think it.'

This article is yet another example of this mind-boggling "Big Lie" campaign, which twists and distorts every bit of news that comes out of Venezuela against the Chavez government, and never ever--EVER!--prints even one--EVEN ONE!--mention of the Chavez government's significant achievements (the REASONS why Venezuelans vote for the Chavez government).

The characteristics of "the Big Lie"--a propaganda technique that Joseph Stalin brought to perfection--are the lie itself then the repetition of the lie over and over and over again--a monotonous, mind-numbing bludgeon that turns the human brain to mush--while suppressing all information that contradicts or questions the lie. THAT is what the corporate media have done to the Chavez government AND to the great majority of Venezuelans (who, when they are mentioned at all--which is almost never--are treated like stupid peasants, rather than like the savvy, politically engaged, activist citizens that they are, who see through the corporate bullshit which remains rampant on Venezuelan TV and keep voting for their "New Deal").

A supreme irony, indeed, that it's the corporate media that have become like Josef Stalin, in their brain-destroying "Big Lie" campaigns (about Chavez, about war, about the banksters, about our mind-bogglingly rigged election system--you name it), while the people of Venezuela and Latin America have created real democracy for themselves, despite the non-stop bad-mouthing of those who would steal their resources and smash their democracies, their free speech and all of their civil and human rights to smithereens (not to mention torturing and murdering them--as in the U.S. client states of Colombia and Honduras today, and all over Latin America in the past).

Many, many ironies. Latin Americans are achieving democracy, at long last, while we, who once could boast of creating it--and of inspiring it and defending it--in the modern world--are fast losing it, along with our own "New Deal." The saddest irony of all.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Sat Sep 1, 2012, 12:56 PM (1 replies)

Venezuela: RW plan to cut social programs, deregulate banks and privatize...

...privatize, privatize.

This analysis of what the rightwing in Venezuela would do--a platform that was not part of the public record but was leaked--indicates, in reverse, what Venezuelans' "New Deal" is all about--what they have voted FOR over the last decade--for instance, everybody gets food, housing and health care, banks are strictly regulated and required to serve the society and the most vulnerable groups get extra help, for instance, children under 4 and the elderly ride free on buses, and all elderly people get pensions (even if they worked in the informal sector before--say, as street vendors--and were excluded from the pension system). These and other Chavez government policies not only created sizzling economic growth (10%) during the 2003 to 2008 period, and a quick recovery from the Bushwhack-induced worldwide depression (Venezuela economic growth has climbed back to over 5%), they have created "THE most equal country" in Latin America (UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean).

Venezuela's rightwing--like the Reaganites and Bushwhacks and our own Democratic "neoliberals"--want to END Venezuela's "New Deal," create banks like we have here, that speculate unconscionably then hit the poor with their trillion dollar 'shortfall,' and kick the poorest people "off the island" in a sickening binge of greed, also like we have here.

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Venezuelan Opposition Economic Plan to Roll Back Public Services Revealed

8/24/2012

Barinas, August 23 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – An internal document has been leaked to Venezuelan press revealing the economic policy of Venezuela's political opposition, the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD), should they win the presidential elections in October. The plan includes the deregulation of banks, opening up the economy to private investment and the reduction of state funding for public services and communal council projects.

MUD candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski is standing against two-time incumbent President Hugo Chavez, with voting set for 7 October.

Referring to the current global financial crisis, the MUD document states that it would be unable to maintain the current social spending levels of the Chavez administration and predicts a decrease in the demand for oil from countries such as China and the USA – Venezuela’s largest trading partner.

The opposition document states that based on current spending levels, the government’s public sector deficit as a proportion of GDP (gross domestic product) will be 8% in 2013. The document classifies this figure as potentially dangerous in the event of a global economic downturn and states that the MUD would aim to reduce this figure to 3-4%.

In order to respond to the “crisis” caused by a potential decrease in the global demand for oil, the opposition says that it would take “concrete steps to decrease, in the medium and long term, the heavy load of goods and services” provided by the current government in a bid to reduce its social spending budget and in turn the public deficit.

Other steps to decrease the government budget for social spending would include the decentralisation of the provision of social services to municipal governments, who the MUD argues would make services “more efficient”.

The government’s social missions, including the Barrio Adentro health program and the children’s educational centers knows as “Simoncitos,” would also be transferred over to municipal government. Health and education missions, including the maintenance of school and hospital infrastructure and the provision of food, would be opened up to “private initiative”.

Charges for some of these services would also be implemented in a “controlled” manner, an action that the opposition argues would allow the new government to reduce the financial burden on the state.

This process of decentralisation would reverse actions carried out by the Chavez government to put the administration of services under the control of central government. The government argues that it has done this in order to minimise the possibility of corruption and to ensure that access to health and education is universal, regardless of geographical location or local government politics.

Ex-governor of Anzoátegui state, David de Lima, was one of those who received a copy of the document.

In comments to Venezuelan television on Wednesday, the political independent said “there are two discourses , there is the economic discourse that’s used to get votes, and the real one, that aims to place the economic policy of the country back in the hands of the two or three sectors that always controlled it”.

Other areas that would be affected by the opposition's proposed cutbacks are food, housing and transport. The document states that a governing MUD administration would put an end to current government subsidies on housing built as part of the Great Housing Mission, although those already receiving the subsidised housing benefit would not be affected by the measures.

Subsidised food sold through the government´s MERCAL scheme would be provided and delivered by private companies, whilst funding available to communal councils for the construction and renovation of housing would also be “gradually reduced”.

Overall, the opposition states that it would aim to decrease the amount of government food subsidies by 60% over the next 3 years or potentially sooner.

Equally, subsidised transport would be eliminated. The price of travel on the Metro in Caracas, Valencia, the Ferrocaril del Tuy and Maracaibo would be raised by 5% every 4 months, at least until the service is able to meet its running costs. According to the document, the same policy would also be applied to other forms of transport such as buses, where children under 4 and adults over 65 can currently travel for free.

Current government policies, such as universal access to social security, would be rolled back. Social security for old age pensioners, currently pegged to the national minimum wage and tending to increase each year, would be frozen from 2013.

Likewise, the new government would retract the current government policy which allows old age pensioners to access social security regardless of whether they have paid their social security contributions in full.

All expropriated land and property would be returned to their previous owners within a maximum of 2 years.

Energy, Oil and Mining Policy

Whilst there are few details relating to the opposition's proposed oil and mining policy, the document states that the MUD would create a new framework for these areas which would no longer be based on a “nationalist ideology”. The subsidised provision of electricity would also be cut and opened up to the private sector, and electricity rates would be raised.

At the end of the document, the MUD states that it will release a separate document outlining its new oil policy.

Banking and Price Controls

The document, titled First Ideas of Economic Actions to Take by the National Unity Government (2013), strongly criticises the current government for its “excessive regulation” of banks and interest rates, as well as a policy which requires banks to designate a certain amount of their profits to social programs.

The opposition argue that current regulation, which states that 25% of a bank’s profits must go towards agricultural projects, 15% towards housing, 3% to micro-businesses, 10% towards manufacturing activities and 2.5% towards investment in national tourism, adversely affects the profitability of banks and their ability to allocate credit to “profitable activities”.

MUD policy recommends the immediate establishment of a “Committee for Banking Sector Reform” in order to begin the process of eliminating the banks’ obligatory social contributions, with the possible exception of regulations on mortgages, which would be made more flexible.

The government’s price control measures, implemented in 2011 in order to combat the adverse effects of inflation and hoarding are described as “absurd” in the document, which states that the measures produce “fear and anxiety in the productive private sector”. All price control mechanisms would be eliminated within a year.

Finally, the plan says that it would consider using the power of presidential decree* in order to “dismantle the socialised and collectivised state model that has been created by the so-called revolution”.

Private bankers and members of Venezuela’s business association, FEDECAMARAS, will be invited to the next MUD meeting to discuss the party’s potential economic policy further.

The document can be read in full in Spanish here
(LINK--see original).

http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/7198
(Creative Commons License. My emphasis.)

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*"using the power of presidential decree."

Funny, how the wingnuts get all nutty when Chavez uses powers of decree to build housing for the poor or to rebuild a town destroyed by floods, but intend to use it themselves to undo the equitable society that Venezuelans have voted for, by big margins, over the last decade.

For the record: presidential powers of decree are discussed and voted on by the National Assembly, are time- and issue-limited and are a common practice in Latin America. (Brazil's president, for instance, used powers of decree to protect a wide swath of the Amazon rainforest for an uncontacted Indigenous tribe.) These are beneficial and democratically conveyed powers--that is, if they are used lawfully, as Chavez has done.

The wingnuts in Venezuela are not great respecters of the law, however. In fact, in their coup attempt in 2002, they suspended the Constitution, the courts, the National Assembly and all civil rights--measures that were thought to be quite efficacious by the corporate media in Venezuela and by the Bush Junta. Venezuelans know all this--no thanks to the corporate media--and are not at all likely to put these fascists in power, in the coming elections, to undo everything. (Chavez is way ahead in the polls.) I point out the corporate media's role in the lawless, thieving, mind-boggling greed of those behind frontmen like Reagan, Bush Jr. and Capriles, to help the uninformed understand why Chavez has also sought to regulate the corporate media's use of the public airwaves--akin to our "Fairness Doctrine" regulation here, that the Reaganites dismantled.

Corporate media is how really bad leaders like Reagan get into power, without directly stealing elections, and how potentially good leaders like Clinton get blackmailed into ruinous policy (such as deregulating the banks). They also assist with outright election theft, here--but that is not a problem in Venezuela (which has an election system that is far, FAR more honest and transparent than our own). The corporate media in Venezuela has helped "launder" this rightwing candidate, Capriles, and won't be telling Venezuelans what he is really all about--dismantling their "New Deal." This is so similar to what happened with Reagan, here, that I thought I'd point it out. Venezuelan voters are not as clueless as our own, though, who got fooled, big time, by Reagan, which is how both our "New Deal" and our very democracy itself began to be dismantled.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:03 PM (12 replies)

Study of Polls Shows a Clear Lead for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela's Presidential Election Race

Study of Polls Shows a Clear Lead for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela's Presidential Election Race

By VENEZUELA SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN UK, August 13th 2012


With just two months to go until Venezuela’s presidential elections on 7 October, a study of recent opinion polls has shown a clear lead for Hugo Chavez over his main rival Henrique Capriles Radonski.

The study shows Hugo Chavez has a lead of between 15-27% in each of the 8 polls examined (see table below).

The study is based on all polls published in July by the major polling companies that carry out polls in Venezuela (with data collected in the last week of June and during July 2012).

It includes pollsters that had some of the most accurate final predictions for the two previous elections that determined whether Hugo Chavez would be Venezuela’s President. These include: Consultores 30-11 and Hinterlaces (2006 Presidential elections) and Datanalisis (2004 Recall Referendum).


The strong lead for Hugo Chavez in these polls is consistent with the ongoing high satisfaction rating for his government which a range of polls have shown is regularly around 60%.


(MORE)

http://left-click.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1030&Itemid=30
Found at: http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/7168
(My emphases.)

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Must be stupid Venezuelans planning to vote for Chavez what with all the terrible news about Venezuela from the Corporate Press duly reported here by some DUers.

Don't these peasants in Venezuela know that Chavez is, a) a dictator, and b) incompetent (an incompetent dictator?).

It's damn puzzling. His government keeps winning elections by big majorities but the Corporate Press and its DU echoheads NEVER SAY WHY. Why do people vote for this clown...er dictator?

Must be rigged elections, huh? Nope. Venezuela has one of the most honest and transparent voting systems in the world, certified by all the reputable election monitoring groups, and transparent on the face of the election system facts--far, FAR more honest and transparent than our own (like night and day).

Well, the last sentence above tells us part of the story that is blackholed in the Corporate Press: "The strong lead for Hugo Chavez in these polls is consistent with the ongoing high satisfaction rating for his government which a range of polls have shown is regularly around 60%."

Huh. How come those polls are NEVER EVER cited in the Corporate Press? How come studies like the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Carribean, which designated Venezuela "THE most equitable society in Latin America" are NEVER EVER cited in the Corporate Press?

Venezuela has problems, of course, like any country does. How come those are the ONLY things EVER reported by the Corporate News? And how come they are often reported without mentioning what the Chavez government is doing about them?

Our politicians would eat their hearts out for Chavez's poll numbers. How come this is NEVER reported?

The picture of Venezuela by the Corporate Press is so slanted as to be ridiculous! It is propaganda. And, what is more, it is a propaganda campaign that has been going on for a decade, and is monotonously negative often with the same "talking points" repeated almost verbatim from corporate news source to corporate news source.

And here we are again. Chavez way ahead in all polls and the ONLY thing we get from the Corporate News and its dittoheads is bad news about Venezuela.

Among other things--like the disgust I feel at being lied to time and again about the Chavez government--this long-standing, intense anti-Chavez campaign is worrisome. Does it mean a war is being planned? Another coup attempt? Or is it just that our Corporate Rulers simply don't want us to learn anything about an equitable society where most people like their government?

What a disaster it would be for our Corporate Rulers if our people found out the truth--that the Chavez government, though it certainly has its flaws, like any government does, is actually a good government, benefiting most Venezuelans, and with consistently high approval ratings over the decade! Venezuelans, not being stupid, have voted for fairness--for their own "New Deal"--for inclusion of the poor majority in the political process--for an expansion of civil and human rights and public participation. Our Corporate Press must bury this truth. And they do.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Mon Aug 13, 2012, 11:17 PM (9 replies)

And this means what? They need the DEA, the AFT, the FBI, the DIA, the CIA, the DOJ, the Pentagon

and billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in military aid "to stop the drug trade"?



Or is it that the New York Slimes had a hole to fill, it's election time in Venezuela and the DEA, the AFT, the FBI, the DIA, the CIA, the DOJ, the Pentagon and the State Department were more than willing to empty their trash cans onto the pages of the New York Slimes to ONCE AGAIN slime the most hated Latin American leftist president of all time--the one who booted Exxon Mobil out of Venezuela?

This gets not so funny after a while. Clearly, Venezuela needs a bloodbath (i.e., Mexico), lots of dead trade unionists and other advocates of the poor and FIVE MILLION brutally displaced peasant farmers (i.e., Colombia) and a fascist coup and lots of murdered leftists-- teachers, community activists, labor leaders--and journalists, and more U.S. military bases (i.e., Honduras), to solve the "drug problem."

I want to laugh some more--sometimes that's all you can do--but, in honor of the millions of victims of the corrupt, murderous, failed U.S. "war on drugs," I will refrain from rofling. This smells too much like the WMDs that weren't in Iraq (um, Judith Miller, New York Slimes).

This is A WAR. And what you are reading, in this corporate/war profiteer trash bin, is WAR PROPAGANDA. Whether it becomes another U.S. shooting war or not, we don't yet know. It smells like Iraq (the Democrats prep the war, the Bushwhacks drop the bombs and torture the prisoners). But if Leon Panetta can keeps winning 'gold medals' (Panetta 2, Latin America 0) (um, the fake "constitutional crises" by which elected leftist presidents were removed in Honduras and Paraguay), maybe only trade unionists and peasants will die and not U.S. soldiers.

And they can always send the Secret Service in, to debauch Chavez.

Sorry, dead people. Even with mountains of dead bodies, murdered by the U.S. "war on drugs"--or maybe because of them--sometimes you just gotta laugh.



Posted by Peace Patriot | Wed Aug 8, 2012, 10:45 AM (3 replies)

Go deeper! Are you not responding to "the Dream" born in the 1960s...

...in millions and millions of brains--a dream that only a few had dreamt before but that quite suddenly, it seems, "went viral"--that humankind could create its own future of social justice, equitable wealth, compassion and high scientific and intellectual and artistic achievement in which all of us, without exception, can participate?

NASA was part of that Dream. It is quite wrong to say that NASA and especially its program of putting men on the moon was created to defeat the Russian communists in space. That was the motive of the war profiteers for going along with it but it was NOT the motive of the engineers who pulled it off nor the motive of the millions of people who supported the effort and the billions who were inspired by it. CURIOSITY and WONDER were the REAL motives of those who did it and those who appreciated it as the most important event of the 20th century and perhaps of all time.

Suddenly, our viewpoint changed from an ant's point of view to the point of view of the great Cosmos, almost overnight. To compare it, say, to Europe's discovery of America, is the right idea but doesn't come near to grasping the magnitude of this human achievement of stepping off our own planet!--and furthermore, doing it as a collective effort! (The movie "Apollo 13" got that right!) (Many brilliant minds, putting their own egos aside, can solve insoluble problems by collective effort, that individuals cannot solve alone.)

We now could see the Earth as "one" and the necessity of including all of humankind in the social justice, equitable wealth, compassion and high achievement that millions were now dreaming of.

The bigger your Dream, the harder it is to see the "big picture," ironically. It is painful--so painful!--to see backsliding, to see war as a money sport return, to see the corruption of the rich and powerful get worse, far worse, to see democracy blockaded with items like corporate-run, 'TRADE SECRET' voting machines, to see youngsters imitating the incredibly ugly leaders who are inflicted upon us--trying to get rich with a gun and drugs, or just going blewy and shooting people at random (how different is the Colorado shooting from the war on Iraq?). The lack of leadership. The lack of vision. The moral decrepitude. The evil. The demoralization and disempowerment of a great people--a people who did that, who put men on the moon and, at the same time, determined to end poverty and racism.

Painful, painful, painful!

But, I'll tell you, that torch--the torch of "the Dream"--has passed to a new generation elsewhere--in the unlikeliest of places, given its history. Latin America.

That is the "big picture" that is hard to see. We in the U.S. are not alone on this planet and those of us touched by "the Dream" in the 1960s are not the only dreamers. U.S. democracy may go down--we may have lost the opportunity ourselves to advance humankind to its next giant steps--of both social justice and achievement. But humankind itself will never lose those dreams. They will be reborn again and again, in inconspicuous places, and seem suddenly to burst upon humankind to renew and refresh human society and move it forward along its inevitable progressive path.

Those of us who have dreamt of peace find war so intolerable that we are almost paralyzed with anger that our "Dream" has been so violated. Those of us who have dreamt of social justice and high human achievement find the current repeat of the crimes that brought on the Great Depression so intolerable that we can barely speak for our anger and don't know where to begin to undo it. (Begin with the 'TRADE SECRET' voting machines, is my advice!) Those of us who also perceive the catastrophe of global warming and its cause, industrial society, and see the suicidal failure of our country to address it--or even to admit it!--feel paroxysms of despair and rage. We can hardly believe the stupidity of our national discussions.

Why? Because we expect better of ourselves and our country. Why? Because we saw "the Dream" born here!--the dream of the best of humanity throughout the Ages, formulated in fits and starts, through many struggles and "dark nights" over many centuries, then blossoming, suddenly, here, for reasons unknown, in a new generation of Americans, the inheritors of the post WW II world. Widespread; shared by many--and quite unprecedented in that respect. We saw the world in a new way at the same time that our friends at Caltech and M.I.T. were putting a camera on the earth from the moon!

And if you were not born at the time--are too young to have lived through it--you certainly hear its echoes in the background of the current horrors.

The JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations and the Vietnam War ended that awakening of "the Dream" quite a few decades before Bush Jr. was inflicted upon us. But "the Dream" is alive and well in Latin America--just being born--and, if the truth were known, it is still alive here in places and among people whom the corporate news monsters quite deliberately ignore. Whether we can recover our democracy--and all our hopes and dreams--I do not know. It would be unusual as an historical precedent. Once a society goes in this bad, bad direction--of rule by the few for the profit of the few--swift decline is pretty much inevitable. But then, democracy--which is still alive here at least as an idea--is designed to do just that: to correct the wrong and disastrous courses of the rulers. (Thomas Jefferson said that we would need a revolution every twenty years--boy, was he right!) Given the mechanisms designed to defeat democracy here, it will be an uphill battle to restore it--but hey, if the Latin Americans can do it--given their history--so can we!

Don't despair! Go deeper!

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"If a more intelligent life form has been watching what is going on here, they just may decide to stop our disease from spreading beyond our planet...".

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That "more intelligent life form" is YOU. And the "disease" you speak of is something that YOU can help cure but NOT ALONE. And the glory of human life on Earth is that that collective "cure" is dreamable and therefore...maybe..we can never be sure...possible.

Posted by Peace Patriot | Mon Jul 30, 2012, 12:43 PM (2 replies)

Why do hunters and self-defenders need assault rifles and fast-action clips that...

...can shoot dozens of bullets in seconds?

The lethality of the weapons that this shooter legally purchased gave the victims--a packed theater audience--little chance to escape or evade, and of course, no chance for those who died and will die from their injuries. His ability to kill many people quickly is why there are so many dead and injured.

It seems to me that--given a real democracy, not this "TRADE SECRET" code-in-all-the-voting-machines, corporate-run sham we're looking at--this could be the basis of a compromise as to regulating guns. You don't need an assault rifle to kill a deer. And you don't need multiple, high-powered weapons to defend yourself.

I've been in despair about this issue since I lost a loved one in the first such "senseless" mass shooting in this country--the Texas Tower sniper in 1966. NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE to prevent such horrors happening again and again--not as to the availability of mass murder weapons, nor as to health care especially for the young, nor on any other front including government/corporate fostering of a climate of fear, alienation, militarism and war, with the war on Iraq the most obvious example but perhaps the "war on drugs" the most sneaky--and yet more socially destructive--aspect of this propaganda.

Anyway, I put this forward as a basis for discussion, and--if we ever get our democracy back--a basis for serious, anti-mass murder regulation, between gun advocates and gun haters. I am in the latter camp. I want all guns and all weapons--and of course war--banned worldwide. But I have had at least one family member who disagrees (he lived in a violent urban area) and I live in a rural area where hunting is part of the culture for some and I cannot say that hunting with bullets is immoral and leads to mass murder although I wish they would use bows and arrows and other skilled means that give their game a chance. Why assault rifles? Why high-powered, mass killing cartridges? Why multiple, high-powered guns and rifles? Why scopes and other sophisticated technology that give the hunted no chance?

I also have some sympathy with 2nd Amendment arguments, although I think that our Founders would be absolutely appalled at what their approval of a "citizen militia" has turned into--the loss of civilization itself. They did not intend THIS.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Sat Jul 21, 2012, 02:41 PM (1 replies)
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