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August 10, 2010

Chavecito is in Colombia today...

...at the behest of his newly inaugurated local counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos. Will there be crow on the supper menu tonight at El Palacio Narquiño? Well, let's let the photo of the day (tweeted by Andrés Izarra of Telesur) do the talking:

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Chavecito wore his flag jacket, not a formal suit. Patriotic, rather than toadying/diplomatic, in other words. He gave a short speech at the airport, basically thanking Santos for the welcome and his willingness to talk peace (which Chavecito has always been for, anyway--never having declared war on Colombia, but rather closing the borders when it became obvious that the previous Narcopresidente of that land was getting belligerent with HIM.)

I don't know what the outcome will be yet, but something tells me the 'Cito will emerge on top.

EDIT: Another tweeted photo from Andrés Izarra...

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Chavecito greets a crowd of Colombian well-wishers en route to the meeting place at San Pedro Alejandrino. D'you think they like him, maybe?

EDIT #2: Yup, they like him...they REALLY like him. Chavecito has stopped his caravan twice now to greet his Colombian fans, including this little one:

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According to Andrés Izarra (whom you really should follow!), the crowd was yelling "Long Live Chávez!"

According to Venezuelan newspaper Panorama, this took place in the barrio of La Lucha, (appropriately, "The Struggle"), Santa Marta.

December 3, 2009

Chávez says basta to bad bankers; warns of banker-generated coup

Video in Spanish. Aporrea has more:

President Hugo Chávez called upon bank customers yesterday to maintain calm and not give in to rumors which, according to him, are meant to generate a run on the banks with the end purpose of "toppling Chávez".

"Pay no attention to those attacks, because what they're trying to do is create alarm [...] It all came out on the Internet, by phone, and so on. They're looking for what's known as a run on the banks, and they think they'll topple Chávez with that. I repeat, the only thing that's going to fall here is the private banking system, not Chávez. Don't be fooled, it will backfire on them," said the president during the graduation ceremony for the eighth cohort of Mission Ribas, broadcast from the Teresa Carreño theatre.

Chávez reminded listeners that the government is acting "against a group of banks whose owners could not show where they had gotten all that money. Right up to now they couldn't do it, and that's their job," he said, referring to the liquidated Banco Canarias and BanPro, and the also bailed-out Bolívar and Confederado banks.

Chávez warned that "we have another banking chain on our radar [...] and you may be sure that if I'm obliged to intervene in all the private banks of Venezuela, I'll do it. Let there be no doubt."

Chávez called on private bankers to take care and comply with the law. "I'm keeping an eye on them, because private banking has degenerated into a chain of mechanisms and instead of doing their jobs, the banks are specializing in financial speculation."

The president decreed an end to the hegemony of private banks, and announced the creation of a "real public financial system", although he did not give more details.

Translation mine; linkage added.

Well, let's see if Chavecito doesn't improvise something nifty on the fly. He's very good at that; the ALBA, among other things, was an improvisation of his, which he came out with at the spur of the moment during a speech about the need to kill the ALCA (the Spanish acronym of the FTAA, or Free Trade Area of the Americas) during the 2005 summit at Mar del Plata, Argentina. ALCA is now officially DOA, so we know he wasn't talking out his ass on that one. (Sorry, Otto, but you're a little off base when you say the man doesn't do finance well. He does; he just doesn't do it the capitalist way. He certainly knew how to kill a bad done deal dead!)

Swami 'Bina predicts that Chavecito will probably turn the recuperated banks into credit unions once the depositors get their looted money back. Meaning, citizens will be actual shareholders and managers of their own cash, instead of just victims "customers" like they've been until now. If they can do it with local water councils and co-op businesses, they should be able to do it with banks, no problemo.

She also predicts that Chavecito will stand firm, and it will be the bankers who finally back down when they see he means business. And the bucks-to-bolivars exchange rates will drop right back to their old levels when that happens (and the warned-of putsch doesn't).

BTW: That other man in the video is Jorge Giordani, Chavecito's planning minister. This is how Swami 'Bina comes by her assertion that Chavecito is serious this time. Giordani is a serious man, and he's been Chavecito's right hand on a lot of key things. Look for him to be heading up the committee to get 'er done.

Just for fun, and further proof, here's another video:

...in which Chavecito puts his childhood business experience as a papaya-candy seller to good illustrative use.

We'll see who's more right on this one, Otto or me...all in good fun, of course. This won't be about money, but just to see who's the better prognosticator. Get your turban on, amigo!

PS: Further interesting viewing here. Mario Silva dissects it all rather nicely. David Icke you can ignore if you like, or just take him with a grain of salt. But Mario's analysis is the real thing, and it's especially good in the second segment, where he rips El Matacuras a new one.

October 21, 2009

Dang, I'm GOOD.

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Remember how I predicted the Paliness was headed for the remainder bin even before her book is due out?

Well, it's already underway:

Former governor Sarah Palin completed her memoir in four months. She knew what she wanted to say, apparently, and had Lynn Vincent, a senior writer for the Christian publication World Magazine, bang it out. The book is due November 17 and is originally listed at $28.99 at Amazon, except that it's already available at a cut-rate discount: Going Rogue is priced-to-sell at a mere $9- that's for a hardcover due out in three weeks. Which raises the question: How many bestseller lists can the book top before it's printed?

Actually, it raises another, far more pertinent (and probably rhetorical) question: Will it earn out its advance?

BTW, there's a screen-grab from Amazon at the site. Go see it before Going, Going, Gone is down to a quarter (or less) of its MSR price, instead of the third where it currently sits.

And when you're ready for some real laughs, click here.

And don't say I didn't tell you so!

October 5, 2009

Colombian 6-year-old predicts attempt on Obama's life

The prediction was made in late May, and Oliver says that in five months the attempt will come. That means end of this month--October. Given the fever-pitch of fascist hate being drummed up against The Hawaiian, I'd say the timing sounds about right. We've already seen one fundie nut bring his gun to a meeting where Obama spoke.

Let's hope this attempt fails. Better still, let's hope that this is the one time in every thirty predictions that little Oliver is wrong!

September 30, 2009

O Irony, where is thy sting?

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Bwahahahaha. Where else? Planted firmly, barbed-end-first, in the ass-cheek of a woman who thought she could take the shortcut to queen-bee status:

SARAH Palin is said to have pocketed a $7 million advance for the 400-page memoir she turned in four months early, but she might not have such an easy time on the lecture circuit.

After quitting as governor of Alaska in July, Palin signed with the top-notch Washington Speakers Bureau, which also reps George W. Bush, Laura Bush, Condoleezza Rice, hero pilot Chesley Sullenberger, LA Dodgers manager Joe Torre and magician David Blaine.

Palin's bookers are said to be asking for $100,000 per speech, but an industry expert tells Page Six: "The big lecture buyers in the US are paralyzed with fear about booking her, basically because they think she is a blithering idiot."

Oh noes! Why do you suppose that is? Oh, probably only because she IS one.

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And why do you suppose THAT is? Hmmm...

"Palin is so uninteresting to so many groups -- unless they are interested in moose hunting," said our insider. "What does she have to say? She can't even describe what she reads."

Does she read? I know Dubya read ONE book, or at least pretended to read part of it--one far below what's par for a man his age. Judging from what her daughter's ex has to say, the woman who talked of banning books as mayor of Wasilla is probably no great reader herself; why else would she try to usurp the local librarian and impoverish the public bookshelves?

But don't take my word for it. Here's Levi:

I actually never saw Sarah reading much at all--once in a blue moon, I'd see her reading a book, and I've never seen her read a newspaper. The Frontiersman and the Anchorage Daily News were always there in the morning, but the only one who looked through them was Todd.

Hmmm. Does she at least hunt moose? Oh, deer:

Sarah Palin has said she's a hockey mom and a hunter, but that's really not the case. She pays no attention to her kids when the cameras aren't around. Track and I grew up playing hockey together, and I only saw her at about 15 percent of his games. People think that Sarah likes hunting, fishing, and camping, but she doesn't. She says she goes hunting and lives off animal meat--I've never seen it. I've never seen her touch a fishing pole. She had a gun in her bedroom and one day she asked me to show her how to shoot it. I asked her what kind of gun it was, and she said she didn't know, because it was in a box under her bed.

People would send Sarah big painted portraits of herself. Most of them went in the garage, but she once asked me to help her put one up in the house. So I put the little tab in the back and she told me she could handle it from there. But when I came back, it was sideways. About the only thing she knows now is Gucci and Prada.

Sounds like she wasn't really as much in touch with the huntin' and fishin' crowd as she made herself out to be.

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I'm guessing that she was also rather out of touch with the news, and thus, collectively speaking, the people. Which is kind of sad when you consider that she had an entire state full of 'em to govern, and a governor's job, among other things, is to be aware of issues in the local news, the better to be able to address what needs doing, competently and in a timely manner. Not just to provide lip service and window dressing, but action on the people's behalf.

But clearly, all of that was not even on Sarah Palin's radar. Levi Johnston again:

Sarah was always in a bad mood and she was stressed out a lot. Sometimes she would wonder why she took the job as governor. It was too hard, she said; there was so much going on.

[...]

Sarah was sad for a while. She walked around the house pouting. I had assumed she was going to go back to her job as governor, but a week or two after she got back she started talking about how nice it would be to quit and write a book or do a show and make "triple the money." It was, to her, "not as hard." She would blatantly say, "I want to just take this money and quit being governor." She started to say it frequently, but she didn't know how to do it. When she came home from work, it seemed like she was more and more stressed out. It seemed like she couldn't handle the job anymore. I think that she was just through with it all or that she'd become used to getting everything she wanted handed to her. She'd rather take the money and keep that kind of lifestyle. When a magazine offered six figures to be at the hospital when Bristol gave birth, she said yes at first but then told us not to do it.

No consistency of word or deed; no consistency between word and deed; nothing consistent at all, except the overarching theme: "Gimme money, lotsa money, yum yum yum more money." Greed, ambition and self-promotion: Check. Work ethic: Um, what work ethic?

In everything she has ever done, Sarah Palin is the embodiment of attention deficit disorder; a Jill of all trades, and a mistress of none. Need I bring up her dubious academic record to underscore the point? She ended up, after six years, with one journalism degree, which she invoked at every opportunity during her VP campaign, but at the same time, she no longer reads newspapers. Well, duh; she never wrote for them, either, even at school. Makes sense when you consider that she was originally shooting for TV. Maybe she figured that was the easiest way to fame and fortune, as well as to capitalize on those Miss Wasilla looks!

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For someone like that to aspire to writing a book--well, it doesn't surprise me that she had help. A lot of it. How else to explain the fact that she pooped the seven-million-dollar manure pile out in such record time? And indeed, there is a "collaborator". This is one of those "as told to" stories, although it's doubtless not being billed as such.

I'm gonna go wayyyyy out on a limb here and say that judging from the overall pattern of things, the "collaborator" did the grunt work, transcribing the Paliness's semi-coherent burblings into some semblance of a readable narrative. I do hope she's being paid well for her time and efforts, although I suspect she's probably not being paid nearly as well as the woman for whom she's ghosting.

But meanwhile, there is the question of whether this book will even earn out that very fat advance. The lecture circuit thing's early flop is, along with all those other plot twists, something of a foreshadowing. I'm an English major, as well as having studied journalism; in six years, I earned two degrees from just two schools. I know how to recognize familiar patterns and well-worn storylines. I already know how this will go:

First, I see bookstore clerks grumbling over having to stock this parvum opus front and centre, at the expense of real literature. Sales will seem brisk at first, then drop off dramatically as word goes out that it's a damp squib, rather than the firecracker the media hype has led us to expect.

Then, to save face, there will come a last-minute bulk buy order from a certain familiar Mr. Mellon Scaife, who has so kindly subsidized the wingnut-welfare cottage industry lo these many years.

And soon after that, the Conservative Book Club (!) will be making this one of their featured "3 for $1" introductory offerings. The chattering classes will chatter away, and so, alas, will Sarah--doing the talk-show circuit in lieu of lectures, and carefully skirting the hard questioners, of course. FUX Snooze will talk her up, and everyone else will courteously pretend neutrality and wish her well, while cringing inwardly at having to go through the whole Palin rigamarole yet again.

Meanwhile, cheaply-purchased but unread copies of The Book will be propping doors open and gathering dust on coffee tables before making their shambling way to the used-book market, along with the various tomes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, and Jonah Goldberg.

Finally, remainder tables will be groaning under the weight of hundreds of unsold copies of Going Rogue, deeply discounted. After even that fails to unload very many of them, the covers will be torn off all the unsold copies, and the remainder returned to sender to be pulped. The rest, as they say, is toilet paper.

Et voilà! Another Great American Mavericky Success Story (TM) is born. You betcha!

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April 3, 2009

Festive Left Friday Blogging: GOOOOOOOOAL!

Actually, it was that times six for Bolivia's humble soccer team against, of all people, mighty Argentina under the direction of the revered Diego Maradona. The latter took the defeat graciously, saying, "I think Bolivia played a great game. I believe that any team to go up against Bolivia today would have suffered the same fate as we did" (translation mine).

Evo's remarks were harder to directly translate, but I'd say they went something along the lines of "What a goalfest, daddy-o!"

Meanwhile, here's how the regular fans were taking the news:

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Some were content to paint their faces in the national tricolor, or wear silly hats in it. Others went a bit further to (literally) wrap themselves in the flag:

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BTW, Venezuela's boys in burgundy also did good against Colombia. Suck on that, Uribe!

October 17, 2008

Festive Left Friday Blogging Too: Marxism--it's a par-tay!

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Peace, dude.

From Aporrea, an innnnnnteresting sign of the times--and times to come? Could be:

Whether Karl Marx's books are in fashion, or whether this is a response to the financial crisis is unknown, but what is certain is that they have never sold as well as now, says Jorn Schütrumpf, a German editor specializing in Marxist literature. "Since 2005, my sales volume has never stopped growing."

"Of course, there is a fashion, mainly because many young people are buying the book they've never read, and it's a hard, challenging read," said Schütrumpf, surrounded by photographs of the German philosopher, and the emblematic figure of German socialism, Rosa Luxemburg.

In times when the world is on the edge of a recession, Schütrumpf says, "a society which feels the need to read Karl Marx again, is a society which is feeling ill."

Translation mine.

He's not kidding--remember what society was feeling like the last time this happened?

PS: Ha, ha--look who else is noting an interesting trend in Marxism. When Canada's dumbest, dimmest, rightardliest national newspaper is picking up on it, even from THEIR stupid-ass angle, you know something is brewing.

July 12, 2008

More folly and frivolity at WW4R, Reuters

Okay. Now we know who's NOT in the know about current events in South America:

"Venezuela and Colombia today open a new epoch in our relations," Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez told reporters after a meeting with his Colombian counterpart Álvaro Uribe in Caracas July 11. "I want to make clear that the intention exists to relaunch and fortify relations between Venezuela and Colombia, because these brother nations are destined to be united." (ABN, July 11) Construction of a rail link through Colombia giving Venezuela access to the Pacific is said to have been discussed in the meeting. Uribe told a recent Colombian cabinet meeting, "President Chávez has offered to make this railway. We are ready to it." (El Tiempo, July 12)

Uh, weren't these guys on the brink of war a few weeks ago?

Uh, no. Those tanks were sent to the border to keep Colombia's civil war from spilling over the brink, like it did in Ecuador. It wasn't a war footing, it was plain old self-defence. Catch a clue, dude, and quit doing the dog.

Continue reading "More folly and frivolity at WW4R, Reuters" »

January 5, 2008

The face of fucking craziness

I'm sorry to inflict this on y'all, but...

Continue reading "The face of fucking craziness" »

November 6, 2007

Crazy Rulers of the World

A three-part series whose title speaks for itself. The subject is the dark (and crazy) side of US military intelligence.

Part 1, "The Men Who Stare At Goats":

Continue reading "Crazy Rulers of the World" »

August 12, 2007

24/7 Wall St. bullshit

Courtesy of one "Douglas A. McIntyre", a little piece of absolute hogjaw twaddle:

The prevailing wisdom is that oil prices will move down. They have already dropped from over $78 to $72, and most observers think that is only the beginning. Troubled financial markets and the potential of a slowing global economy should being demand down.

Don't tell the president of Venezuela, nut job Hugo Chavez any of that. He wants the world to believe that he can control the price of crude, which is only partially true. According to Reuters: "I've always said that oil prices are headed straight to $100 per barrel," Chavez said during a televised speech. His argument is simple. Supplies are dwindling and consumption is still going up.

Continue reading "24/7 Wall St. bullshit" »

April 12, 2007

George Will invents a new pronoun

...in reference to the Coultergeist:

The word is "herm". Or at least it sounds like it. Poor George, he's so confused.

This must be the first of those many exploding wingnut heads I predicted a while back.

May 16, 2006

Quotable: H.L. Mencken channels El Predicto

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

-- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

April 30, 2006

Is Chavecito channeling El Predicto too?

Sure sounds like it...

This century will see the end of the US empire, said Hugo Chavez on Saturday during a rally in Havana, where he highlighted the progress of Latin American integration efforts.

Addressing thousands of youth present at a rally, Chavez proclaimed "you will witness the fall of the US empire, since this century will see the birth of our common homeland."

Continue reading "Is Chavecito channeling El Predicto too?" »

April 25, 2006

Here's one for the ol' El Predicto

Who will advance to the second round of the Peruvian elections? O Wise Swami, who knows all and sees all, gaze into thy crystal ball.

And lo! Here are the standings so far, according to El Beebo:

Ex-army officer Ollanta Humala seems certain to face former President Alan Garcia in Peru's presidential run-off, partial first-round results suggest.

With just one percent of the vote left to count, Mr Humala leads with 30.7%, followed by Mr Garcia on 24.3%.

Continue reading "Here's one for the ol' El Predicto" »

January 1, 2006

Things I look forward to this New Year

Happy 2006, everyone...hope you're not too hung over to read. I'm sure as hell not too drunk to write...

Since everyone and their dog seems to have a top five or ten or whatever of the year's past stories, I'm not going to go that route. Instead, I'll be looking into the ol' crystal ball for mine. Consider this to be Swami Sabinananda's psychic Top 10 News Stories of 2006:

Continue reading "Things I look forward to this New Year" »