Reality In, Garbage Out

grinder

Despite having its moments, The New York Times squarely remains The New York Times, of course:

Mr. Chávez changed Venezuela in fundamental ways, empowering and energizing millions of poor people who had felt marginalized and excluded. But his rule also widened society’s divisions.

Translation: By reducing society’s divisions, Mr. Chavez infuriated society’s overclasses, at home and abroad. They felt less happy, so therefore “society” was more polarized. Overclass = society, in other words.

R.I.P., and muchas gracias, Hugo…

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Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

One of the secretaries in my office has met him at some sort of rally a while back (she’s Latino and travels all over SA). She told me she managed to reach in for a handshake and to tell him that not all Americans ‘hate’ him. She described his reaction as amused, but appreciative.

(The other reason this is a good story is the fact that the person in question is Cuban, and her family has experienced some Castro regime-related hardships, so it’s not like she’s looking at Chavez with armchair-radical hipster colored glasses, but nevertheless found him handshake worthy.)

nercules
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nercules

Team Venezuela was playing its final warm-up game prior to the World Baseball Classic when they heard about Chavez’ death: ‘A Venezuela spokesman said the team had requested a pre-game moment of silence for Chavez and asked that flags be flown at half-staff, but was told by all parties involved — the Marlins, Major League Baseball and Roger Dean Stadium — that they were not prepared to do so.’

This from a league that still forces ‘God Bless America’ down our throats during every 7th-inning stretch since 9-11.

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Nercules, this is more than just a slap in the face – it is also an instance of how, as organizational decision making and control become ever tighter in private dictatorships, fewer and fewer people are filling and able to act according to new information from reality, and you can see this everywhere. Not “prepared” my ass. It requires no preparation whatsoever to 1) make announcement on the PSA system, 2) have a few interns run over to the flags and lower them. I don’t know enough about Chavez to judge, but what little I do know is extremely incongruent… Read more »

nercules
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nercules

Richard Estes made the following comment over on Louis Proyect’s site, and I think it nicely captures some of the most important ways in which Chavez leaves a meaningful legacy: “Chavez drew a sharp line between the US and South America in regard to the US response to 9/11. Unlike many other countries in the rest of the world, South American ones refused to participate in renditions and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. For that reason, the US sought his removal less than a year later. While his response to the Arab Spring was embarrassingly wrong, his abandonment of… Read more »

nercules
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nercules

I think RE meant ‘alleviating poverty’ in the aforementioned quote.

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Here is a IMO remarkable story from 2009, which impressed me even then, though I wasn’t paying nearly as much attention as now. Basically, CITGO (the venezuelan government oil company) provides free fuel for poor families *IN THE USA* (at one point with direct CHavez intervention), something that no *domestic companies* do.

Their explanation? They are doing it for “political reasons”, to “undermine the Bush administration”. LOL! Where do you begin with this shit? (for one, damn straight, you better believe it is political every time you demonstrate, by impacting people’s lives, that their government is fkd.)

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2009-01-07-citgo-heating-oil-assistance_N.htm

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

And if you need a final proof that NPR is just as fucking corrupt as the NYT and the rest, here it is (actually an AP report they reprint): “Chavez invested Venezuela’s oil wealth into social programs including state-run food markets, cash benefits for poor families, free health clinics and education programs. But those gains were meager compared with the spectacular construction projects that oil riches spurred in glittering Middle Eastern cities, including the world’s tallest building in Dubai and plans for branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums in Abu Dhabi.” here it is again, the system has spoken… Read more »