26 thoughts on “E possumus unum…

  1. A reader of your IHT piece let off a little ‘verso sin esfuerzo’ that needs to be reprinted here in full:

    The bloom’s off the blossom,
    When a lowly little possum,
    Can turn off the power,
    For so many an hour.
    The excuse is really quite awesome.
    – Technic AllyToronto
    Jajajjajaj

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  2. this one’s nicely written, Toro, including the arc at the end. I specially love the photo by John-Marshall Mantel for The New York Times; it’s perfect. Shouldn’t his and the NYT credit be associated with the link you provide to that photo in your cc files? Or do you like your write-ups filed in the blogs of others, without your byline?

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      • como no has podido ser explícito, extorres, se puede saber si te refieres a mi comentario, acerca del trato conocido, en el mundo periodístico serio, dónde uno respeta las obras creativas de los demás?

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  3. “Neither the Caroní River dams nor the diesel and gas-fired plants are operating anywhere near full capacity because turbines keep breaking down and there’s no money or technical know-how to fix them.”

    Hmmm, I could have sworn that a few posts ago the argument was that Chavez only wins elections because he is swimming in so much oil money. But now it is the LACK of money that is causing power shortages. I suppose trotting out the good ‘ol “oil money” explanation doesn’t work for everything.

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    • The money is not being bugeted for, or spent on, this maintence. The money otherwise exits, but is being misappropriated, therefore there is no money for it. Is that enough “clue”?

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      • So let’s see, Chavez wins elections because he has so much oil money, but at the same time the oil money is being misappropriated and not used for essential things like electricity. So how is it again that Chavez wins elections because he has so much oil money?

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        • Because he misappropriates it for the purpose of feeding a semi-fuedal/clientelist system, where the role of governing is not the provision of adequate or efficient public services (they go to hell), but individual, discretionary favours doled out in exchange for loyalty and obedience. i.e. Instead of providing for general public safety, the state will contract out or cede that role to -lets put it- “non governmental actors”- that work principally through a system of extortion; instead of providing adequate electricity, the government will substitute an entirely discretionary system built on neglect where some get it free, some get it some of the time, the middle class pendejos pay for it, and those closest the top have their own sources of generation for wall to wall air con in all of their bolivarian fincas paid for with the spoils of their corrupt governance; instead of providing good quality universal education and oppotunity to self-actualize one’s talents and productive capacity, reward loyalty, punish competence and provide opportunity based on the ability to replicate dependence and loyalty rather than actually doing something useful and productive. O sea.

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          • clap, clap, clap. O sea, +++ 1.

            Getaclue / Arturo / A. Shaw / Paid Lackey hides until the next assinine comment based on mock innocence.

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          • Canucklehead,

            None of what you said can explain how Chavez and his government maintains high levels of support among the general population. In fact, much of what you said, if it were true, would likely cause the government to be very unpopular.

            Basically you imply that the support from the general population is won through “individual, discretionary favours doled out in exchange for loyalty and obedience.” So in the 2006 elections that would have meant over 7 million “individual, discretionary favours.” That’s quite the nut-job conspiracy theory if you ask me! And if it is so easy to keep winning elections by handing out “individual favors” I wonder why no other governments in the world have managed to be as successful as Chavez at winning elections in this way? Chavez just must be uniquely talented in handing out favors in exchange for loyalty, right?

            But maybe there is a slightly more logical explanation than 7 million “individual favors,” even though you might be loath to accept it. It might just be that a long sustained economic expansion in which poverty and well-being of the majority of the population continued to improve due to massive increases in social spending and social programs has caused the general population to reject the old elite and their plans to return to fiscal austerity and pro-business policies. I dunno, just a guess…

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            • Chavez is not uniquely talented in the regard. El Chapo Guzman runs what you call ‘social programs’ and enjoys huge support from his constituency. Por ejemplo. At least he doesn’t adopt the ridiculous pretense of a humanitarian socialist political leader.

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    • OT – you really are missing the point. This has little to do with maduro. It has more to do with Brazil suggesting tht paraguay should be expelled from Mercosur for abreach of democrary. We will have to wait and see what countries recognize the new paraguatan president. You can bet that the US, Spain and israel will be some of the first to do so.

      Interesting to note that where the opposition to a popular or even populist president has the congressional majority he is votd out – Honduras and now Paraguay. Where no such majority exists other methods are used – for example in the case of ecuador and now Bolivia, the police going on strike for more wages when in reality it is a destablilization plan to force an ouster.

      Have to wait and see on this one but my feeling is that paraguay will be isolated with its US allies on the airbase there.

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      • A country where the President shits daily in the Constitution he wrote, where separation of power is non-existent criticizes when the Congress of one country impeaches a President according to the Constitution. Funny that that not even Lugo himself is calling it a coup, his pals are the one overreacting and faking outrage.
        Dilma’s position is just borderline cynical. I guess that democratic government in Latin American means governed by my pals. I once saw Rouseeff speaking in a conference in a US university. She was questioned about María Lourdes Afiuni, and how she felt or empathize as a former political prisoner and she just replied that she didn’t have an opinion because she didn’t know the facts of the case. So he knowledge about the state of democracy and the liberties in the region is very selective. At the end she is meando fuera del perol, l doubt that Paraguay would be isolated because the Congress impeached the President and no army intervention like in Honduras, not even ñángara diplomacy will accomplish that.

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        • I never get over the monomaniacal view of themselves that Latin American President’s have. It’s as if they think they should deserve full immunity no matter what they do or no matter what policies they enact…

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          • Its funny how they ignore that Congress is an elected power to, than in Parliamentary system governments very commonly fall because they lose parliamentary support. As you say, is almost a monarchical view of Executive Power.
            Funny that the opposition of the Paraguayan Congress is what ‘s stopping Venezuela from joining MERCOSUR. Now Dilma, Chávez and Maduro are crying coup when not even Lugo is doing himself and Rouseff is demanding the very same day that Paraguay should be expelled from MERCOSUR.

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      • This is the way an ILLEGITIMATE Chavez government and its disciples respond to a legitimate/democratic/legal/constitutional act supported by an overwhelming Congressional majority (39/45 Senators), including those of Lugo’s own Party, and peacefully accepted by Lugo himself. By the way, people go on strike because they have legitimate claims–look at Venezuela, with its record number of labor complaints, usually because the Government is stiffing its employees by: not paying promised wage hikes/non-payment of cessation benefits/non-payment of contracted workers/etc.

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        • I guess Arturito doesn’t see the irony of allegedly being left-wing and then signaling laborers for protesting their rights as conspirators. Not even Margaret Thatcher.

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