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Tyromaniac

Monday, January 30, 2006

Venezuela going for Number 1!

Venezuela consumption of scotch grew 55% last year!. Two comments, first we are number 8 in the world, come on guys do an effort in a couple of years we could be number one. The National Assembly should declare Scotland Most favored trading nation or something. I hope Chavez announces a program to exchange oil for scotch soon. Second, we finally have some clue were all the money that got into Venezuela may have gone... And this is on top of of all the beer we drink.
Posted by Alfredo at 2:56:12 PM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Chavez threatens to follow the law?

Chavez vows to 'lock up' US spies
President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela threatens to jail any US officials caught spying in his country. [BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]

Posted by Alfredo at 12:36:03 PM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

The capitalism

of the Anti-capitalists has bother anti-globalization activist so much, that some have decided to leave the main forum in order to criticized Chavez.
Posted by Alfredo at 10:03:33 AM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Doesn't make sense?

Venezuela officers 'spied for US'
The Venezuelan vice-president says a number of military officers are held on suspicion of passing information to the US. [BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]
What are Venezuela's secrets? and how come "low-ranking officers" have access to them? Either they are not that important, or the armed forces is about as dumb as the rest of this government...
Posted by Alfredo at 12:34:03 PM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Foro Mundial...

Anyone pissed off about how much money the Venezuelan government has spent on the World Social Forum now causing traffic jams in Caracas should check this out...
Foro Social Alternativo.
Posted by Alfredo at 5:55:49 PM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Tuesday, January 24, 2006



washingtonpost.com - Central America - Chavez Stokes Confrontation Over U.S. Role in Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela -- After the rumble of tanks died down and the last soldier high-stepped past the spectators' pavilion, President Hugo Chavez told the thousands attending Venezuela's Independence Day parade July 5 that no invading army could match the fighting force that had just marched by,...
[Via PubSub: Venezuela ]

Posted by Alfredo at 11:50:37 AM  What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

How the right wingers help Chavez...

Yesterday I commented on an article at the The Devil's Excrement about how McCain [had] joins[ed] Chavez's name calling. The intention of my comment was to counteract the barrage of inane right wing sounding comments that tend to permeate any discussion of venezuelan politics that is not inundated with inane left wing sounding comments. Basically the jest of my comment is that being anti-war or anti-Buish does not make you pro-Chavez. Deeply, I was hinting at the topic in the title of this article. I really have no problem that someone has right wing ideas, my problem is how they have permeated and hurt the opposition in Venezuela, making it a left-vs-right issue, but more about that later, got a story to tell.

What happened next was expected. A new barrage of inane right wing sounding comments demanding that I explain this pretty self explanatory statement:
Bush has contributed to put america in danger by furthering its dependancy on foreign oil and alienating the countries that produce it.
Since I was prepared for that to happen, I decided to leave only one more comment there and not answer any of the dribble that ensued. I left a link to this great script about How Conservatives Argue. But later on I checked on the comments again to find this:
I don't agree with you on this statement, Alfredo: Bush has contributed to put america in danger by furthering its dependancy on foreign oil and alienating the countries that produce it. I have been talking to petroleum institute people and they don't think the dependency problem is based on anything Bush does. They think it's special interest groups across the US - greenies, eco-wackos, nimbys - all of them acting like little medieval fiefdoms, hypocritically demanding cheap oil but screaming bloody murder any time an oil company wants to drill, or worse yet, build a hated refinery. And a new nuclear power plant? Forget it. They will all scream bloody murder and make it impossible to do. Nothing new has been drilled in the US for a long time, it's all off limits due to these nimbys and enviromentalists. Leftwing activists have got to start taking responsibility for their refusal to allow any drilling in the US. Right now the only place a lot of drilling is going on is the western gulf of mexico, which is hurricane country. That's why there isn't enough oil. The spotlight has got to be turned to these eco-wackos who are empowering hugo chavez.
This I had to answer, since I couldn't do it there, I decided to bring the discussion here, where it doesn't belong and get some much needed google juice out of the hassle.

The first thing that struck me about the response it that it came from Publius Pundit whom I considered one of the most thoughtful commenter in that site. The second thing is that it look like a typical "chavista" argument. Here is what would have been my from-the-guts-answer:
You mean to tell me that after 5 years in power, poor Georgie can't do what he wants? They won't let him govern as he wishes? I wonder why the chavistas haven't used that argument... Oh... Wait... Scratch that, they have.

You mean to tell me you really see no relation whatsoever between a war in the middle east, billions of tax payer money spent on Iraq, the deficit, the state of the economy, and the price of oil? If Chavez could claim such independence in such related fields he could... Oh... wait... he has.

Your sources arguments are weaker than Chavez blaming the Viaducto failure on "40 years of false democracy".
But really, the small point of this piece is that the political line is a circle and all extremist use the same type of arguments. It is pointless to counter them. But sometimes you have to 'cause the stakes got raised.

Venezuela has a tiny group of truly right wing believers (as it has a tiny group of truly left wing believers), but somehow we are much more afraid of right wingers than of left wingers. Here in the south the left wingers are cruel but romantic, while the right wingers are cruel and efficient (witness the events of April 12). Thus, we are more afraid of "a Pinochet" than we are of Chavez. This is also the reason why Chavez has been so slow in reform, he doesn't want to frighten us. If he nationalized something big (e.g. CANTV, the banking system) he may upset the delicate balance that keeps him in power. He would upset the dialectics of left-vs-right (as my intellectual wife would say). Hence, Chavez needs a right wing in the opposition to claim that all the opposition is right wing and frighten us, the people in the middle, the real mayority. At least so that we don't participate. At most so that we support him in order to curl the right wing threat. The best thing a right winger could do, to help Venezuela, is, really, shut up. Most Venezuelans do not want a US marines invasion, most Venezuelans believe the influence of the US in the region is negative, most Venezuelans prefer Chavez to a right wing dictator. Deal with it. Let the opposition be intelligent and allow them to conduct the politics they need to win. Allow them to critique Bush, to talk against the war, and to participate in the Social Forum. It would be good if some of the participants there hear about the real Venezuela...
Posted by Alfredo at 10:01:44 AM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Monday, January 23, 2006

That's right...

Election Day

I voted early this morning; we’ve been living in this neighborhood long enough that I recognized some people over at the poll, hung out and chatted for a bit. It felt good. I think that what’s happening today here in Canada highlights the single essential thing about democracy; I wrote about this almost three years ago, but it’s worth saying again: I don’t particularly trust “the people” to pick the right policies or even to pick the right leaders. I do, however trust them to detect the condition that the government has been bad and needs to be turfed. Which we, today, are apparently the process of doing. Frankly, I think it would be OK to pick the next government by random selection, and we probably wouldn’t do that much worse than the current electoral crap-shoot. The important thing—the only thing that really matters—is that we retain the right to throw ’em out in a peaceful and orderly fashion, at our sole discretion and for any reason. There are a lot of people in the world without that right. It’s the one that all the others flow from.

[ongoing]

Posted by Alfredo at 8:46:00 PM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Sunday, January 22, 2006



Captive Colombians in Chavez plea
Colombian politicians held by rebels urge President Chavez of Venezuela to help free them in a video appeal. [BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]

Posted by Alfredo at 4:03:49 PM  What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Friday, January 20, 2006



The Venezuelan version of Know your client is Beware of the service provider.
Posted by Alfredo at 10:31:18 AM  What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I't won't talk...

Inefficiency in Venezuela is not exclusive of the Chavez government, a friend at our offices there reports that work in front of our offices (in Av. Francisco de Miranda, right in front of C.C. Lido) continues. They have been working on that street for almost 3 months, and they are not doing anything useful, a barrier to prevent people from crossing the street is the only achievement and that has caused incredible traffic, in a street that previously was pretty much Ok, as people concentrate in a single point to cross stopping traffic. The rest of the construction is a mysterious opening and closing of holes on the street. The reporter complains of the amount of traffic and the state of the street which is worse than when it first started. We just want to say to the people responsible at the Chacao Mayorship... Stop torturing that street! If it hasn't talked by now it provably won't ever.
Posted by Alfredo at 1:01:03 PM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Future NOW

Here we are, static in the younger half
of the twenty-first century
but it might as well be the Middle Ages,
there'll have to be some changes
but how they'll come about foxes me.
I want the future now,
I want to hold it in my hands;
all men equal and unbowed,
I want the promised land.

but that doesn't seem to get any closer,
and Moses has had his day...
the tablets of law are an advertising poster,
civilisation here to stay
and this is progress?
You must be joking!
Me, I'm looking for any kind of hope.
I want the future now,
I want to see it on the screen,
I want to break the bounds
that make our lives so mean.

Oh, blind, blinded, blinding hatred
of race, sex, religion, colour, country and creed,
these scream from the pages of everything I read.
You just bring me oppression and torture,
apartheid, corruption and plague;
you just bring me the rape of the planet
and joke world rights at the Hague.
Oh, and after the Millennium!
We seem to be further away!
I want the future now
I'm old, but it's my right.
I want a reason to be proud.
I want to see the light.
I want the future now,
I want to see it on the screen,
I want to break the bounds:
make life worth more than dreams.
-- Peter Hammill (updated)


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Posted by Alfredo at 4:19:35 PM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

More on the Viaduct

I have said elsewhere that for even the alternate road to have a chance to exist several things must happen. First, the people living below in the valley have to be taken out (hence the expropriation of buildings in Caracas, so the government can offer a lie with substance). Second, the viaduct has to be brought down, then the creek there have to be flowing in a stable manner, and, finally, the new road can be built. Miguel sends what will happen if not:


Posted by Alfredo at 11:15:33 PM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Not surprisingly at all...

"A new report from the Inter-American Development Bank suggests that the constant search for the hot new idea may be focused on the wrong thing. Perhaps it's not what you do, but how you do it. The study found that countries that scored well on how policies are made and carried out are the places where life is improving.

Not surprisingly, Chile is at the top of the list. More surprisingly, El Salvador is also highly ranked. Argentina and Venezuela are near the bottom."
[From The New York Times]
Posted by Alfredo at 6:45:14 AM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   


Monday, January 9, 2006



Hugo Chavez Accused of Anti-Semitism


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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- A Jewish rights group accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of making anti-Semitic comments in a Christmas Eve speech.

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center demanded an apology Wednesday from Chavez saying such remarks have long been used to persecute Jews.

"The world has enough for all, but it turned out that some minorities, descendants of those who crucified Christ, descendants of those who threw Bolivar out of here and also crucified him in their own way in Santa Marta, there in Colombia. A minority took the world's riches for themselves," Chavez said, according to a transcript of the Dec. 24 speech. Simon Bolivar led the 19th century fight to liberate Venezuela and some other Latin nations from Spanish rule.

Chavez did not did specifically mention the Jewish people in the televised speech.

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A spokeswoman for his office said it had no immediate response to the complaint.

"In your words, the two central arguments of anti-Semitism emerge ... the accusation that Jews killed Jesus (and) associating them with wealth," the Center said in a letter to Chavez. "Our center strongly condemns your anti-Semitic declarations."

Another Jewish leader, U.S. Rabbi Arthur Waskow, said in an e-mail he has serious doubts it was an anti-Semitic slur.

"I know of no one who accuses the Jews of fighting against Bolivar," wrote Waskow, of The Shalom Center in Philadelphia. "And certainly I - and most Jews - teach that it was the Roman Empire, and Roman soldiers, who crucified Jesus."

Chavez's comments came in a part of the speech about the world's poor.

Chavez, a fiery speaker, has called President Bush a "madman" and also used a derogatory term for "jerk" in referring to him. Chavez has also criticized Mexican President Vicente Fox.

©2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

[John Rudnik's Blog]
Posted by Alfredo at 2:54:54 PM  What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Sunday, January 8, 2006



Chavez has given to other countries 16 billion dollars of venezuelan money. Enough to build 45 viaducts like the one that failed last week. If he cares so much about the poor, why leave all those poor families in Vargas without a source of income? Just a little planing and some inside generosity could have solved this problem,
Posted by Alfredo at 9:21:20 PM  What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Thursday, January 5, 2006



It seems Venezuela is falling apart at the seams. I am glad I'm out of there, unfortunately, I was planning a short trip for tomorrow. Will I get to my house there? I don't know. Vargas State is a huge chavista stronghold, I guess this is how they thank them! We'll we really see the government that destroyed Venezuela win the elections next year?
Posted by Alfredo at 9:04:36 PM  What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Wednesday, January 4, 2006



JFK assassination 'was Cuba plot'. Cuba was behind the assassination of US President John F Kennedy in 1963, a new documentary claims. [BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]
As with the Salvador Allende story my doubt is why wasn't this much more publicized? It doesn't make sense for the US not to use this as a justification for a hostile policy against Cuba. Is there any reason to hide this? Is there anyway to keep it secret for so long?
Posted by Alfredo at 9:24:40 PM  What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   



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