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Monday, August 08, 2005


Jim Rockford

I had a friend who worked in Venezuela before Chavez took over, for one of the oil companies.

He was quite pessimistic about the ability of Venezuelan society to get it's act together and grow the economy, didn't think they would be able to get past rule of various strong men in the foreseable future.

It seems Chavez has aspirations to sit in office for 40 years like Castro while his nation rots, instead of Lee Kwan Yew's building economically at least in Singapore. Not that Dr. Yew is any great prize, but he at least kept the graft down to manageable levels and left finally.

Fidel Castro ought to be exhibit #1 in "what not to do" as a country's leader. He's hung around, but other than that done nothing really for his country.

jim hitchcock

Something immensely satisfying about watching the shuttle landing this mornings.

The sonic booms, however, were distinctly underwhelming.


Listening to Venezuelan journalists whine about oppression is like listening to FOX News 'journalists' cry about being unfairly treated by the government.


What Jim said about the shuttle landing. Except that I watched it belatedly, after the sonic boom scared the sh*t out of me and the dog and I blearily got up and turned on the TV to see if it was the shuttle I heard, and if all was okay.

(The cat, a sensitive fellow, evidently had some sort of psychotic episode in reaction, but he sleeps in my son's room, so I didn't get to witness his freakout personally.)

Mary Boothe

Although Dinges's article is marred by the sort of knee-jerk centrism he must have absorbed while working at NPR, it at least has the merit of clarifying why the poor support Chavez and why George W. Bush hates him so much:

>>What Moleiro wrote was no secret; it just had been virtually invisible in the mainstream press. “After seven years of this government, there is a concern for the poor, there is a connection that is impossible to ignore,” he told me. “The missions are helping, the poor people feel they are better, they feel they are being helped. But they are not the solution.”<<

Speaking of North American hostility toward radical change in Latin America, there is a powerful rejoinder to Marc Cooper and his Shankerite pal Leo Casey on the question of Cuba-bashing by Harvard professor Richard Levins. Here's a snippet:

Dismissal of Cuba is sometimes simply an off-handed remark in writings about other subjects. For example Marc Cooper wrote a piece in The Nation, “Remembering Allende” (9/29/03). It was a thoughtful commentary, reflecting real experience, knowledge, and sympathy for the Chilean struggle. But in the course of it he threw in a careless unsupported denunciation of Cuba, referring to “the wholesale jailing of dissidents and summary executions by an ossified and dictatorial Cuban state.” He is of course free to disapprove of the trials of political de-stabilizers in April 2003. But by linking the execution of hijackers to the trials of the “dissidents,” he makes it appear as if dissidents were executed. In fact the hijackers were not political people. Two of them had prior criminal records, and they were threatening to kill their hostages. Most of us oppose capital punishment and support worldwide calls to eliminate it, but this does not justify singling out this case as an example of Cuban depravity.

full: http://www.ratb.org.uk/html/Progressive_Cuba_Bashing.html

Mavis Beacon

Great article. Thanks. It's a lot to think about. Just wondering what presidents, prime ministers, or premiers really get Marc Cooper excited and optomistic about a better future?

Also, Jet Blue, Southwest, or a non-American airline is always the way to go.

Tommy Kelly

"Good, hard-hitting journalism has never been more needed in Venezuela, and there are some harbingers of its return, if only because editors realize Chavez is solidly entrenched for the foreseeable future. And they have a business motive. The two newspapers most indelibly identified with the opposition have lost advertising and readers,"

[gasp] Nooo...

Oh Please! As unpopular as it sounds, the only reason Chaves has survived is because he has been somewhat authoritarian. The country's land mass is roughly 1:10 the size of the USA, and its population - mostly poor, mind you - is roughly 1:12 of the USA.

Had Chavez run his government in the fairy tale fashion you had wanted, he would have either been murdered or successfully coup d'état by his enemy's - who would have been even more authoritarian than he was.

bucky walters

that's interesting as a concept. a ruler is 'authoritarian' who has been elected in elections 20x more democratic than the farce that the US media praised as 'democratic' in Iraq, he faces a media that is entirely dominated by the capitalist elite of the country and attacking him FOX style on every major channel and in every major newspaper 24/7....oh yes...this man is truly a major threat to democracy...

richard lo cicero

A simple question Marc. After seeing what happened to Allende what would you do if you were democratically elected on an anti-establishment platform that would piss off your country's establishment and "worry" US Foreign Policy types?

A.M. Mora y Leon

I think Dinges' obsessive centrism blinds him to trouble in some areas. His portrayal of Andres Izarra, a truly repressive guy, as 'the conscience of the Venezuelan media' went too far.

A.M. Mora y Leon

The two newspapers most indelibly identified with the opposition have lost advertising and readers,

I don't suppose that would have anything to do with intimidation, would it? Or the gag law? The one against 'offending the president'? How can anyone report with that hanging over their head? I'm not surprised circulation has gone down, I wouldn't buy a paper from a castrated press. Nobody wants to buy a paper that's glossing over the truth.



The major media outlets in Venezuela are owned and operated by the rabid anti-Chavez opposition. Anyone that has been to Venezuela is aware that the media repression talk is joke. I have never seem a more vocal and organized media allowed to operate at will, with the specific goal of over throwing the president via slander, lies and calls for violence, than in Venezeula under Chavez. Lets see how long some cable news show anchor lasts in the U.S after slandering Bush,or any sitting president, as a pig and pedophile and calling for violence against him to get him out of power. In the Venezuelan media during the recall last summer you could hear the most amazingly slander and calls for Chavez's demise every night of the week. You can not change the facts. By lying you just discredit further the bankrupt position of the minority opposition in Venezuela.

A.M. Mora y Leon

RJF: Dinges' article says that's rapidly changing. I recommend that you read it.


Leon, you apparently miss the key point of Dinges' article: the lamentable state of the media was one wrought upon themselves with their aligning with anti-Chavez business interests from the get-go. Their losing readers is attributable not to their being muzzled by Chavez, but to their blatantly non-objective coverage. That said, Dinges' article carries an optimistic tone: the media are finally attempting to earn their way back.

A.M. Mora y Leon

Rich: I didn't miss it. I just didn't mention it. However, all my other points are correct, too. Sometimes different truths coincide. Besides that, I don't think Petkoff engaged in any of the shenanigans of the hairspray crowd Dinges interviewed. Izarra, by the way, is just a hairspray boy who likes to dish coercion in addition to abuse. The 'conscience' of the press pool he is not.

Check out his rap sheet in Boca Raton.

Jay Byrd

> However, all my other points are correct, too.

No, actually, they aren't. For instance, the gag law is in the works, not in effect, so it has nothing to do with lost advertising and readers. That's a silly fantasy cooked up out of an ideological commitment to something other than truth.


Yeah, Jay, I caught that, too. I just thought it was a typo, and he meant, "all my other points are incorrect, too", which makes the sentence both grammatically correct and pragmatically relevant to my comment.

A.M. Mora y Leon

The gag law is having an impact that's affecting news coverage. Large demonstrations and violent events are not being covered on Globovision or on El Universal. People are scared to report the news. That gag law is damping the news about which the public has a legitimate right to know.

Take a look here:


A.M. Mora y Leon

Rich: You didn't read the conversation very closely, did you? The sentence I wrote was both grammatically correct and relevant to the entire conversation. The point I made, since you need to hear it twice, is that the truth out there is multifaceted. It's not simple nursery rhyme stuff. Read the WHOLE article and maybe you will agree.

The Dinges point about the mistakes of the media was one aspect of the article and it's combined with the Dinges conclusion, which is that the state of the media is rapidly changing for the better. You ignored that last part and only embraced the first part. Dinges reports a more complex story than you do.

Jay Byrd

"Take a look here:"

One dishonest ideologue refers to a blog posting by another dishonest ideologue. Yeah, that's real convincing.

"The Dinges point about the mistakes of the media"

They weren't mistakes; they were very intentional actions.

"was one aspect of the article and it's combined with the Dinges conclusion, which is that the state of the media is rapidly changing for the better."

A number of grunt reporters have been embarrassed by the radically fraudulent activities they were involved with, and are trying to improve things. But the institutional forces behind those activities still exist.

Jay Byrd

"Rich: You didn't read the conversation very closely, did you? ... The Dinges point about the mistakes of the media was one aspect of the article and it's combined with the Dinges conclusion, which is that the state of the media is rapidly changing for the better. You ignored that last part and only embraced the first part.?"

Well, let's see what Rich actually wrote:

"Dinges' article carries an optimistic tone: the media are finally attempting to earn their way back."

So, as usual, right wingers lie.

A.M. Mora y Leon

You're not much of a conversationalist, are you, Byrd?


I did read the article several times and posted it on several of your friends anti-Chavez blogs. They whined and bad mouthed Dinges and, as you do, the sources in the article. However, unlike you, the other anti-Chavez people saw the article for what it was, a threat to their main talking points, media repression under Chavez. Of cousre, we both know the the big lie of the anti-Chavez crowd is media repression. Dinges exposes the big lie. Without this lie you have nothing expect your Wall Street Journal editorial page world vision, in which Chavez is hurting the poor and the workers because he supports the poor and the workers and, sin of all sins, he uses State resouces to beniefit the poor and the workers. You expose the failure of your own argument, if you must twist the intent and meaning of Dinges article to conform to your sad ideologue. I would think we could both be pleased that the long excluded majority (you know, the brown toothless ones that the mainstream privately owned media in Venezuela so frequently likes to refer to) have finally come to power in Venezuela. I know you are with me when I say we can hope this wave of democracy spreads to the people of Bolivia in their struggle to rid themselves of an elite minorities political monopoly and economic theivery.

Raphaël Zacharie de Izarra


Un anti-pédophile sur un forum déclarait un jour : "Si je rencontre un pédophile t'en fais pas il passera un sale moment !". Je vous livre la réponse circonstanciée que je lui fis :

Vous dites cela parce que vous n'en n'êtes pas un et que ça vous donne une certaine honorabilité de vous poser en anti-pédophile de base ? Ça vous rassure de n'en être pas ? Ça vous donne bonne conscience de jouer au justicier face aux pédophiles ?

Ça vous permet de vous dire à vous-même et de montrer aux autres : "Vous voyez, moi je n'en suis pas !"... Noble réaction ! Vous me faites songer à ces honnêtes gens qui crient "A MORT" quand on mène l'assassin à l'échafaud.

Vous prenez même les devants, en jugeant qu'un pédophile devrait "passer un sale moment" s'il vous rencontrait... Sans que celui-ci ne vous demande rien. Juste par le caprice de votre décision, en vertu de ce droit auto-proclamé, auto-octroyé, parfaitement arbitraire, que vous dicte votre bonne conscience... Bonne conscience tellement empressée de redresser les torts des autres, et particulièrement en ce qui concerne les pédophiles... Vous courez, volez vers les pédophiles avec votre glaive justicier.

A quand les ratonnades anti-pédophiles ?

Jugement des bonnes consciences qui ont l'impression de se blanchir en noircissant l'autre (à bon compte, la loi étant pour eux).

L'autre c'est-à-dire le sale, le méchant, le mauvais, le pas beau, le bête, le pas pareil, bref celui qui n'est pas soi, qui en aucun cas ne saurait être soi !

Justice des injustes qui s'ignorent...

J'ai toujours été perplexe face à la propension des braves, honnêtes, bonnes gens à condamner en choeur ce et ceux qu'on leur désigne officiellement comme "l'ennemi à abattre"... Brave gens si prompts à réagir (et avec une telle vigueur, avec quelle virulence !) devant le chiffon rouge que leur tendent les médias !

Du jour au lendemain les masses placides peuvent s'enflammer, se passionner pour des parties de cirque sociales initiées, engagées par les médias. Juste pour un article paru dans le journal, un reportage diffusé sur TF1 mettant le feu à la poudre populacière... L'arène de la sottise de temps à autre se peuple de bovins enragés, assoiffés du sang du pédophile, de repentir de bandits, bref assoiffés de vengeance envers les méchants, qu'ils ne sont pas, eux au moins...

La pédophilie est la meilleure excuse de ces enragés : enfin un bon sujet pour se défouler sans crainte d'être jugé, traité de barbare, de salaud, enfin on va pouvoir "casser du méchant", se défouler de notre trop plein d'agressivité avec l'assentiment des médias, des voisins, et même du pape !

Les jeux du cirques rêvés en somme.

Le pédophile a un énorme avantage : il permet à l'honnête citoyen de se dédouaner de ses mauvais penchants. Avec un pédophile, le brave payeur d'impôts peut déverser ses excréments sur son prochain. Personne ne le lui reprochera. Alors profitons-en, se dit-il en lui-même !

Bien entendu, tout cela est inconscient chez la roture. La gent hurleuse et anti-pédophile croit sincèrement à la pureté de son ire.

Entendons-nous : mon propos n'est nullement de défendre les pédophiles actifs, simplement de souligner la sinistre, hideuse réalité qui se cache sous cette haine anti-pédophile aux apparences si respectables qu'arborent fièrement les braves citoyens, tellement écoeurés par les agissement des pédophiles qu'ils n'hésitent pas à afficher leur vrai visage de justiciers sadiques, pervers, injustes, voire parfois franchement hypocrites...

Cette fureur avec laquelle les anti-pédophiles actifs, enragés, violents (et fier de l'être) se ruent sur leurs ennemis légalement déclarés me semble trop suspecte.

Je prétends que le pédophile est le révélateur des noirceurs des braves citoyens.

Cela n'a rien à voir avec le problème de la pédophilie en lui-même. Je ne prends aucunement la défense des pédophiles actifs je le répète, je me permets seulement de mettre le doigt sur la réalité cachée des choses, celle que les médias n'auront jamais le courage ou simplement l'idée d'aborder, ne serait-ce que par respect, décence (encore une bonne excuse pour ne pas déplaire au lectorat ?) vis-à-vis des victimes de pédophiles.

Mais ni le respect des victimes ni la décence n'autorisent à censurer la vérité, encore moins la vérité cachée. Dans le domaine si trouble des méandres et contradictions de l'âme humaine, j'estime que nous devrions être encore plus exigeants, faire preuve d'encore plus de prudence, de clairvoyance. C'est précisément ce qui est hypocritement caché, inconsciemment mis sous chape de plomb au fond des êtres prétendus honnêtes qu'il faut révéler, exposer au grand jour, dénoncer. Et non pas stérilement ce qui est tellement évident : la pédophilie.

Trop facile de dénoncer ces évidences... Cela est à la portée du premier veau venu. Si je n'ai jamais dénoncé ouvertement et avec des grands mots les pédophiles dans mes textes, c'est tout simplement parce que la chose me semble aller tellement de soi qu'aborder le sujet serait parfaitement déplacé, inutile, stérile. Il n'y que les "journaleux" à la solde de la sensibilité populaire pour défoncer ce genre de porte ouverte.

La pédophilie devrait être le problème de la Justice et non pas des justiciers du dimanche qui se permettent d'adopter des attitudes scandalisées qui leur procurent le clinquant sentiment d'être meilleurs, plus respectables, bref qui les dédouanent de leurs petits vices et autres misères, tares et travers. Ils se sentent tellement plus beaux, plus grands, plus blancs, plus dignes face à un pédophile !

Raphaël Zacharie de Izarra
2, Escalier de la Grande Poterne
72000 Le Mans
Tél : 02 43 80 42 98
Freebox : 08 70 35 86 22

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