Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hugo Chavez, Cornered Rat

A clear indicator that a dictator feels he has something to worry about is when he starts yelling about conspiracies to remove him from power.

Chávez Bluster Surges Ahead of Referendum

CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 30 -- On the eve of a referendum that President Hugo Chávez has cast as a plebiscite on his rule, the populist leader is escalating his verbal assaults on foes real and imagined, picking a fight with neighboring Colombia one day and assailing Catholic Church leaders as "mental retards" the next.

This is really a fun story.

. . .a few weeks ago the proposals had been expected to receive easy approval, polls released last week showed that the opposition could ultimately prevail in a tight contest.

"He's decided that his best tactic to recover the control of his movement is to instill fear in his people that there's a world conspiracy against Venezuela," said Demetrio Boersner, a political analyst and former diplomat. "It's a tactic that uses histrionics as a weapon to unite the people so they vote for him on Sunday."

"There's an offensive to criminalize Venezuela, to say that Venezuela is falling into an abyss, that it's a country of dictators, of Castro-style communism, a country that helps terrorists," Bernardo Alvarez, Venezuela's ambassador in Washington,

Yea, well it is a country of dictators, of Castro type madness.

In speech after speech, Chávez avoids dwelling on unpopular proposals for change, including one that would permit him to run for office indefinitely and another that would give him the power to appoint provincial governors. Instead, he depicts his opponents as conspirators out to crush his self-styled revolution.

See what I mean?
That rat feels cornered.

Mark Feierstein, an American who has polled in Venezuela for years, said the president's supporters, known as Chavistas, also tire of the rhetoric.

Maybe time to find a new speech writer.

The president's behavior has been making international headlines since early this month when, at a summit in Chile, he called former Spanish prime minister José María Aznar a "fascist." After a long diatribe by Chávez, the king of Spain, Juan Carlos, became so agitated that he leaned across a table and said to the Venezuelan: "Why don't you shut up?"

That is hilarious.

"There will not be a million kings who will want to keep my mouth shut, because I speak in the name of Venezuela," Chávez later said.

The guy doesn't know good advise when it is offered.

Then, after President Álvaro Uribe of Colombia last week ended CChávez's role in mediations with that country's guerrilla group, Chávez said that Uribe's actions were "brutal" and disrespectful of Venezuela -- even if Chávez had sidestepped diplomatic protocol, as Uribe contended.

Chávez withdrew his ambassador from Bogota and, in televised comments Wednesday, said Uribe was capable of "barefaced lies." "If he does that to me," Chávez said, "imagine how he is with the poor Colombian people."

This guy Hugo needs a mirror.

On Friday, a day when an estimated 200,000 people in Caracas rallied in support of Chávez, officials saw yet one more possible sign of conspiracy. Toilet paper is in short supply -- as are milk, eggs and other staples.

This is righteous, the great toilet paper conspiracy.

"We know there are sectors hiding toilet paper," Finance Minister Rodrigo Cabezas said on state television. "A group of business leaders are playing mean, playing dirty." He said it was designed to "create the sensation of product shortage during the election."

Venezuela's Participatory Democracy

Venezuela has a disease. It is called Hugo Chavez.

Political coups don't always wear khaki. Sometimes they take the form of populist politicians who use "democracy" to consolidate their power. That's the case in Venezuela, where President Hugo Chávez is promoting a national referendum this Sunday that would give him vast new authority.

Voters are being asked to approve 69 "reforms" that amount to an overhaul of the country's constitution. Mr. Chávez has promoted the vote, despite the view of many constitutional scholars -- some of whom are his former allies -- that these amendments require the election of a constitutional assembly. No matter. The president announced the referendum and had his rubber-stamp Congress approve it.

This is ironic, since Mr. Chávez all but wrote the 1999 constitution himself. But he has tired of its checks and balances, especially its decentralized power. He now wants to restore more authority to his central government. Communal councils will rule locally, but their members will no longer be elected; they will be appointed by the Chávez government. His name for this is "participatory democracy," which he prefers over the "representative" kind.

I've never heard of Participatory Democracy so I looked it up.

Participatory democracy strives to create opportunities for all members of a political group to make meaningful contributions to decision-making, and seeks to broaden the range of people who have access to such opportunities.

Somehow I don't believe this is what Mr. Chavez has in mind. This BBC article explains the nuts and bolts of the changes Mr. Chavez wants to make. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see through this chrade.

What are the main changes proposed?

Mr Chavez initially proposed amending 33 articles of the constitution, but the National Assembly added another 36 changes.

Among some of the main changes are:

Allowing the indefinite re-election of the president - not applicable to any other political post

Increasing the presidential term from six to seven years

Introducing changes to the country's administrative structure

Ending the autonomy of the central bank

Placing the president in charge of administering the country's international reserves

Reducing the maximum working week from 44 to 36 hours

That BBC article is worth checking out.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Salt, Do Gooders and the Nanny Government

Here we go again.

"The deaths attributed to excess salt consumption represent a huge toll - the equivalent of a jumbo jet with more than 400 passengers crashing every day of the year, year after year,"

And I thought guns were a big problem. Kinda makes drunk driving look small in comparison.

Golly, bin Laden and his Islamo Fascists colleagues can take a back seat to this terrible tragedy.

Of course the Good Doers have the answer, more, bigger government.

Oh and let’s not forget the tort lawyers hitching their band wagon to lighten citizens hands of a few more millions of dollars.

Is this crazy?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Achmed The Dead Terrorist

Don't Call Them Muslims

Rioters in Paris can be called Arab, black, North African, anything except the one thing that all have in common,

They are Muslims, is that so hard to say?

Reading the front pages of several newspapers I can't find that word. One might ask what does that have to do with anything, and I will tell you everything.

You hear of the Muslim angle when they are making excuses for their direct attack against authority,

against culture.

How long must Western Civilization put up with this before we wise up?

EEOC, Pelosi and the English Language

Incredible that there is even an argument.

Two employees who refused to learn English were fired by the Salvation Army.

Once again the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is sticking its nose where it does not belong. Only by the thinnest thread of legal logic does that commission squash the employer’s right to require employees to speak English on the job.

To stop the out of control EEOC Senator Larmar Alexander attached an amendment to a spending bill to protect businesses.

Most businesses are small and just don't have the recourses to protect their rights against the federal government.

This bill was passed by both houses, but then what does that matter as House Majority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi caters to the Hispanic Caucus.

American rights be damned.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Texas Man Shoots Burglars

The only reason this make any interest is because it is recorded on a 911 emergency tape.

I am not shedding any tears for the burglars but this guy should have stayed indoors.

In Texas it is legal to use deadly force to protect property, only at night and this happened at 2:00 p.m., broad daylight.

If I saw somebody breaking into my neighbor’s house I would call the police and that’s it. I am not going to risk my safety for my neighbor’s property.

You can hear the full tape on either link.