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May 2008 Archives

May 1, 2008

The Pretenders

I guess it’s no surprise the Washington Post selects primarily the world’s elite and douchey to write for their online PostGlobal project. I mean, the whole point of PostGlobal is to ease the minds of Washington’s elite and douchey with the knowledge that the whole world agrees with us (except for the marginals!) on account of “the end of history” and such. See, they're not so different from us after all.

What does always surprise though is how half-assed some of these guys are in the material they submit. Among the most reliably craptastic is, of course, PostGlobal’s Voice of Venezuela, Ibsen Martinez. (Ibsen! See, even third worldy mothers name their sons after 19th Century Norwegian playwrights. Does he hang out with Thor?) (And yes, actual picture).

Anyway today Ibsen sort of outdoes himself with a piece called “Venezuela’s Pirate Government.” (I know, don’t you just wish? Sadly it’s only about movie copying and illegal music downloads). He starts out talking about a U.S. trade rep’s report on how countries like China and Mexico pose huge problems for Hollywood. And then he goes on to describe a barrio in Caracas where somebody told him they copy movies too. And then in an awesomely unselfconscious twist he makes a mental note:

I shall have to read the US Trade Representative’s report to learn how much money is lost to piracy in Venezuela's major cities.
Hey good idea, dingus! Maybe next time you could even read it before you write your stupid article on Media Piracy in Venezuela. No, I take that back, next time I just want to hear from the pirates.

And Patriots Have To Go Through Customs Twice

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Pity Bernardo Alvarez, Venezuela’s Ambassador to the United States. Every time that phone rings he’s got to answer another retarded question. Here’s an example: buried in this year’s State Department’s annual report on How Goes the War on Terror is the charge that Venezuelan airports have no customs or immigration procedures for flights originating in Syria and Iran. They’re not saying that diplomats, statesmen or, hell, pinko terrorists get a pass, just any islamo-yokel who happens to buy a ticket from the Axis of Evil gets to skip the line, according to Condi’s Angels. So the question was more or less “respond to this crazy shit,” and Alvarez was like, look:

“I am the ambassador of Venezuela and when I go to Venezuela, I go before a booth that clears me to come in and to leave.”
In other words, “Um, no. We don’t do that because that would be dumb.” Next Question.

But They’ve Got Institutions!

Everybody investigating "America’s Colombian President" Alvaro Uribe and his family’s ties to death squads now all have a hit on their heads, you'll be happy to know.

May 2, 2008

The War of High-Altitude Aggression

Weirdness is going down in Bolivia this weekend. If you haven’t been paying attention, the rich white folk in the rich white state of Santa Cruz are holding a referendum on Sunday to declare “autonomy” from the majority redskins. And while the sponsors are a bunch of scary racists, they wrap their arguments up with declarations of economic efficiency and “states rights.” Sound familiar? Anyway today AP runs a story that barely bothers with the niceties. It begins:

The wealthy white governor stood beneath a giant statue of Jesus and promised freedom to the tens of thousands cheering him on — freedom from a llama herder-turned-president who reveres the Indian earth goddess Pachamama.
Classy. And then the autonomy people say all kinds of funny crackery shit and then the reporter asks them about 500 years of state-sponsored oppression of the Indians and they reply:
"We in this region are positive about the conquest," said Luis Nunez, the group's vice president. "We do not in any way resent what that history meant for us. It reflects who we are now."
Boy, does it. Freakily, IPS today writes about exactly what “who they are now,” means, reporting on “a phenomenon that had remained largely hidden and ignored until now” Namely…you saw this coming…slavery. Apparently hundreds of Indian families are held in states of “forced servitude” by prominent Santa Cruz landowners, which is what they are talking about when they say “autonomy” and “states rights” and I want to go lie down now and weep. Happy Friday!

May 4, 2008

Chutzpah

"Jesus Christ was also condemned to death, and I understand that his historical popularity remains intact"
--Jose Obdulio Gaviria, adviser to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, on why Uribe’s domestic popularity ratings remain high even as his ties to death squads come to light.

May 5, 2008

Chavez Maintains Vice-Like Grip on Power Through Cynical “Good Government” Scheme

As you already know, there is nothing that Hugo Chavez won’t do hold on to power, because he is a megalomaniacal crazy jerk who is also fat. This week Reuters explains his latest desperate move to maintain popularity, which primarily involves fixing the country’s problems, and if we don’t intervene quickly he may just succeed in his terrifying scheme.

Where to begin? Over the last few years, dirty, poor Venezuelans slowly began to accumulate some walking around money as the country saw a boom in employment, job training, and cash flow. All of the sudden, people who had been subsisting on rotten food scraps and dirt and dried up dog turds began shopping for products like “eggs” and “milk” and “chicken.” In doing so they literally ripped these products out of the mouths of wealthier Venezuelans, 98% of whom agreed that their lives were better off before.

And then it got worse: decent society had to start eating other kinds of meat and drinking soy milk once in a while and this crisis became the second worst problem the country faced, according to polls. And now, rather than simply putting things back the way they were like a normal human, Chavez found creative ways to address the shortages of milk and chicken and now everyone thinks they are content, but by the time they figure out they are not supposed to be happy it may be too late.

Model Democracy Watch

Colombia is now the 4th worst country in the world when it comes to killing journalists and then pretending that it never happened, following close on the heels of notable shitholes “Iraq,” “Sudan,” and “Sierra Leone.” I didn’t check who came in 5th but I’m sure it was probably Jesus.

May 6, 2008

Is Jackson Diehl a Dangerous White Supremacist, or Just a Dick?

You probably already knew this, but Bolivian President Evo Morales is an Indian, in a country made up primarily of Indians, and in the 170-year history of Bolivia he is the country’s very first Indian president, which is crazy when you think about it. Anyway the Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl believes that this is a bad and scary development, because it threatens to inject “ethnocentric policies” into Bolivian politics when everything was fair and square before. Hell even the slaves were probably happy.

All of which got me wondering, how would the Washington Post have covered the fall of apartheid if Jackson Diehl sat on the Ed Board in the early 90s? Haha that’s easy to figure out. Just take today’s editorial and substitute “South Africa” for “Bolivia” and “Mandela” for “Morales.” Oh no wait allow me:

South African President Nelson Mandela claims to be ruling his country on behalf of a black majority whose rights have been denied for centuries by an evil "oligarchy." In fact, Mr. Mandela is pursuing a narrow and divisive agenda that, if continued, will split South Africa along geographic as well as ethnic lines, and possibly trigger a civil war.

Though demographers disagree, a common estimate is that 65 percent of South Africa’s 43 million people are of African descent, while “Whites,” descendants of Europeans, make up the balance. Ignoring this disparity, Mr. Mandela, a black South African and former guerilla fighter, is trying to impose a new political system on the country that greatly increases his own power and that privileges his own ethnic group at the expense of the rest of the country. Worse, Mr. Mandela is an acolyte of the Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev and has adopted his potted and authoritarian version of socialism.

Early returns from a white-separatist referendum held recently in Johannesburg’s better white neighborhoods showed that more than 84 percent voted for the autonomy plan. Though the legality of the vote is questionable, the exercise demonstrated beyond doubt that opposition to Mr. Mandela’s program extends far beyond any "oligarchy." If South Africa is lucky, Mr. Mandela will recognize that most of his country will never accept ethnocentric policies or Soviet-style autocracy, and he will begin to negotiate a compromise that allows more rights for South Africa’s white inhabitants. If he presses ahead with black-majority rule, the result is likely to be bloodshed.

Now that was easy, wasn’t it? Everybody was doing just fine in South Africa until the blacks took over and made it all racist with their racism. The same applies to Bolivia today, so go back to India, stupid Bolivian Indians!

May 7, 2008

The World Is One Big 100% True Conspiracy Theory

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Ok, so…not only is the U.S. harboring one of the world’s most notorious superkiller terrorists, but they’re throwing him a “hi I’m gay” party in Miami.

And then…a plane went down in Venezuela and the guy that owns the Smartmatic voting machines died and the CIA and drugs and Ohio voters and Christ I don’t even begin to get it…

And then…
some guy with access to Google has “explosively” connected the dots between Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez and posted it all over at this one place on the internet.

And then…another guy who exposed the role of the Albert Einstein Institute in overthrowing governments all over the world got a hilariously bitchy letter from the director about it so he published that too and now he’s going to die.

And then…
Three years after officials hailed his arrest as a major drug war victory, the U.S. asked a judge Tuesday to dismiss cocaine charges against Colombian rebel leader Ricardo Palmera.”

May 8, 2008

John McCain to End Slavery in Venezuela Once and For All


Weird Quote for the Day:

“Human trafficking -– slavery, by another name –- exists not just in places like Thailand, Kuwait and Venezuela. It is a serious problem here in the United States.”
--Crazy old coot John McCain

Um ok, what? Everybody knows that Thailand is an obligatory stopover in the international perv circuit, and that Kuwait is notorious for kidnapping child slaves not just for camel racing but for, like, “building the U.S. embassy in Iraq,” But Venezuela? Oh wait I know. McCain was probably in Caracas and the ladies were throwing themselves all over him and he just assumed…no wait on second thought sex slavery is the only possible explanation here.

God To Uribe: I’m Not On Your Side


Warning! the following has no humor value whatsoever. If you so much as smirk, you are sick, because this is not funny at all, not even a little bit:

"A member of Colombia's Congress had a heart attack while debating a transportation bill and died hours later in a hospital after having to be transported in a private car because no ambulances were available. Sixty-year-old Jose Fernando Castro, a member of conservative President Alvaro Uribe's majority coalition, collapsed mid-debate in a committee room.

The gray-haired Castro, his polka-dotted tie loosened from around his neck, spent 20 minutes on the floor of the room before those trying to help him decided to move him without the help of an ambulance, which was called but never arrived."
Hey maybe that transportation bill would have helped with problems like this. What’s weird here is that as of this morning, Uribe still had a Congressional ally who was not in jail on terrorism charges. Who knew?

May 9, 2008

Third Verse, Same As The First

Well this never gets old: today the Colombians leaked the magic laptop documents to the Wall Street Journal—the same documents they already leaked to the Miami Herald last week and the New York Times the week before that. And once again it’s a Breaking World Exclusive all over again!

Ok there is this funny twist this time though, in that an unnamed “senior U.S. Intelligence Official” said that the intelligence community is in “complete agreement” on the validity of the documents, and implies that they’d been talking to the investigators at Interpol. And then the guy from Interpol calls him a liar. And then a “senior Senate Staffer” who has gone over the documents is like, yeah this all nice but like, "We need to see proof of what is mentioned in the reports." Oh, right, proof. That.

Note: If this link to the story doesn’t work, we’ve excerpted the article after the jump, in its entirety.

Continue reading "Third Verse, Same As The First" »

Bring it on, Bitches

Fuck The Haters, Evo!
Ha ha, it turns out that the Bolivian opposition is exactly like the Venezuelan opposition which is why they will fail, hilariously, forever. Emboldened by the recent “autonomy” vote in the country’s richest, whitest state of Santa Cruz, opposition parties yesterday introduced a bill in the national legislature requiring a recall referendum against Superstar President Evo Morales. Although it was probably meant to be a wedge to rally the country’s right wing, the measure passed quickly without much dissent from Evo backers because the president is like really, really popular. So Evo’s all bring it on and the opposition is all hey wait and now there’s going to be a referendum and Evo’s going to be king of the Andes.

Hat Tip: Otto

May 10, 2008

Jackson Diehl’s Going to be Pissed When He Finds Out

Just two days after we published this, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to drop the terrorist designation for the last guy who got on the wrong side of U.S. Foreign policy. So congratulations, Nelson Mandela! You can finally take the great-grandkids to Disneyland, pending Senate approval.


May 11, 2008

Beltway Bloviators: A Reader's Guide

How are you preparing for the results of the Magic Laptop diagnostic due out later this week? If you are one of the busy beavers in the Bush Administration, you’re probably already ahead of the game by moving an entire fleet of warships into the region, armed with bombs, missiles, and plenty of heart! Agence France Presse tracked down three of Washington’s douchiest commentators for their analysis, but which one is the most contemptible? We investigate, after the jump.

Continue reading "Beltway Bloviators: A Reader's Guide" »

Never Say Evo Again

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So the new Bond movie plotline is out! And the bad guys are…Santa Cruz separatists or something! Check it out:

“… Bond discovers that Greene, conspiring to take total control of one of the world's most important natural resources, is forging a deal with the exiled General Medrano. Using his associates in the organization, and manipulating his powerful contacts within the CIA and the British government, Greene promises to overthrow the existing regime in Bolivia, giving the General control of the country in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of land. Bond and the beautiful Camille who has her own vendetta, team-up to throw a wrench into Greene's machine.”

Bush Has A Legacy After All

>>> Check out the next member of OPEC: Brazil!

>>> Preview Latin America’s next insurgent president: Lula.

>>> Meet Central America’s next leftist government: …El Salvador.

>>> Check out the latest victim of independent scrutiny: The Magic Laptop!

May 12, 2008

“Technically High Treason”

Last night American Dad gave us a musical look at the last time the U.S. “worked together with Latin American countries to deal with common threats and challenges.”

Lamest. Dictatorship. Ever.

Look at big, scary Hugo Chavez. He is such an angry and crazy strongman who makes Venezuelan institutions bend to every retarded whim. Anyway he’s got some baby mama drama since his ex wife got engaged to a tennis instructor and began to renege on Chavez’s visitation agreement with their 10-year-old, so he tried to sue in the courts but then gave that up so as not “to put my daughter in the middle of a spectacle” and then…well that’s the whole story.

Seriously Uribe’s reading this and thinking “Why not just have the bitch killed?”

Our Complex Foreign Policy

Your U.S. State Department on the recent “autonomy” vote in Bolivia, in which one state declared its intent to secede from the rest of the country:

"We are committed to the territorial unity of all the countries of the region… At the same time we are in favor of the expression in a democratic manner of the interests of the different groups and sectors."
So in case you know any foreigns and they ask, we support the democratic “expression” of the vote, but also we oppose the outcome the vote. My head hurts.

May 13, 2008

The World Is Weird

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So Thursday is the day that the Cato Institute pays that Serbian-trained color revolutionary kid for his efforts to overthrow a democratically elected government in the name of “freedom.” And if all that’s not sufficiently creepy, the $500,000 cash prize is named for Milton Friedman, Augusto Pinochet’s economic adviser.

To commemorate the entire freakshow, the Brecht Forum is hosting this awesomely-titled round table discussion tomorrow night in New York, and you should go if you’re in the neighborhood.

That's So Alvaro!

Remember all of those Colombian paramilitary leaders who were exposing the connections between Alvaro Uribe’s administration and right-wing terrorist groups? They were all extradited to the U.S. in the middle of the night, where they will be tried for drug trafficking...and nothing else.

“Claudia Lopez, an independent investigator who helped uncover the paramilitary-political scandal fears criminal cases against politicians will now end: 'They've taken away all the witnesses,' she said Tuesday.”

May 14, 2008

Halloumi for Oil!

An island, a wall, and a miraculous, meltless cheese, Cyprus is the pearl of the Mediterranean, where the music never stops and the cats hump all day long in the streets. It’s Shangri-la with a demilitarized zone, and it’s the latest member of the Axis of Evo. This weekend President Dimitris Christofias will join Hugo Chavez, Rafael Correa and Evo Morales at a “People’s Summit” in Lima while other world leaders have their dumb meetings somewhere else. But if he’s angling for and oil deal, he’s got to have something to offer. And if I may be so bold, that’s where the cheese comes in. Christ that’s some good cheese.

Because It’s Impossible to be Too Disappointed in Humanity

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>>> Alvaro Uribe’s "surprise" plan to shuttle everybody who was going to testify against him out of his country in the middle of the night called corrupt, “a mockery,” and “a blow against truth."

>>> Drug Czar John Walters called it “A great day”.

>>> The Wall Street Journal thinks we’re all going to fall for it.

>>> Steny Hoyer proves them right.

Sigh.

Is Transparency International Corrupt?

Or are they just idiots? Oil Wars investigates.

May 15, 2008

While You Were Sleeping: The Monroe Doctrine Croaked

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It’s laptop day! But before the shitstorm gets underway, we direct your attention to this report by the Council On Foreign Relations, in which Washington’s premier insider-y, do-nothing suck-up Conventional Wisdom Tank declares the Monroe Doctrine, officially and forever, dead. In other words, Chavez could be assassinated this weekend by Colombian paramilitaries on furlough from their Miami prison cells and he will have already permanently restored Latin America’s sovereignty after nearly two centuries. And also:


>>>
“If there was an era of U.S. hegemony in Latin America, it is over,” and:

>>> "U.S. policy can no longer be based on the assumption that the United States is the most important outside actor in Latin America," and:

>>> “Washington must also assume that Latin American countries know what is best for themselves.”

What a concept, and to think it only took 185 years to get here. Bolivar’s back, baby.

Expect the Expected

LaptopDay

Sigh. We’ll be updating until we get bored.

>>> 2 p.m. AP: “Interpol will report Thursday that Colombia did not tamper with computers it says it seized during an attack on a leftist rebel camp.” Duh.

>>> 2:15 p.m. Interpol SecGen: "There was no tampering with or altering of any of the data contained in the user files by any of the Colombian law enforcement authorities following their seizure on March 1."

>>> 2:30 p.m. "But Interpol head Ronald Noble said the report did not seek to verify the validity of charges against Venezuela."

>>> 2:40 p.m. Wow Interpol is efficient! From their press release, the amount of data they sorted through is equal “to 39.5 million filled pages in Microsoft Word and, if all of the seized data were in Word format, it would take more than 1,000 years to read at a rate of 100 pages per day.” It seemed so much shorter than that! Maybe they used robots.

>>> 2:45 p.m. Also from the press release. In handling the computers, the Colombians followed all the international protocols, except for two days, when they didn't.

>>> 6:15 p.m. Ok so we got bored. So we went and did other things. But we're back so continuously hit refresh! Not really.

>>> 6:20 p.m. "John Womack, a professor of Latin American history and economics at Harvard University, warned that the Interpol findings do not necessarily prove any links between Chávez and the FARC. 'But the US and Colombia will try to use this as part of an ongoing propaganda war about Chávez,' he says." Haha no shit!

>>> 6:35 p.m. If you're dying to read the full hundred page Interpol report, knock yourself out. Available in English, Spanish, French or, randomly, Arabic.

>>> 6:45 p.m. Uh, in those two days before the Colombians started following international protocols? They somehow managed to access the computers...48,555 times. Seriously, that's not possible. Is that possible?

>>> 6:50 p.m. Hey whadaya know: "Although Interpol found that the files had not been tampered with, that was no guarantee that the data was accurate. However, the US has already declared that it believes the files to be genuine and is considering what action to take..."

>>> 7:30 p.m. Well that took longer than expected. Tonight's Fox News headline--"Interpol: Chavez Supports Terrorists"


Washington Post Issues Weird Fatwa Against Jose Miguel Vivanco

Laptops aside, Remember how President Uribe shuttled all those terrorists out of Colombia the other night just as they were threatening to implicate his entire administration as death squad collaborators—wasn’t that weird? Anyway this morning the serious thinkers at the Washington Post knew exactly who the bad guys are in all this, and they weren’t afraid to do something about it. So piss off, uh, Human Rights Watch, for raising questions about it all. And a special fuck you to the head of your America’s division, who was mentioned by name no less than four times, and now will die, like that World Cup soccer guy, because these people are crazy.

May 17, 2008

I Should Have Upgraded to the Jungle Version

So my laptop celebrated laptop day by crashing, hooray! Anyway I’ve been salvaging what’s left of my files and moving them over to my brand new hard drive. You know what you should do right now? You should go back up your stupid documents. We’ll be up and running again soon.

Wait Did They Assign This Thing to the Wrong Interpol By Mistake?

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I don’t know how you all have been spending your weekend, but mine’s been kind of busy. Between getting a haircut, rebuilding my hard drive, and those intermittent, rage-filled, computer-related screaming jags, I’ve been reading that Interpol report from the other day. And you know what’s weird about it? Fucking everything. For instance:

The Whole Point. Wasn’t the idea of the Interpol investigation to determine whether or not the files had been altered? The report says that there were no files created after March 3rd. Fine, but of course the laptops were obtained on March 1st, and in those two days Interpol reports “a total of 48,055 files for which the timestamps indicated that they had either been created, accessed, modified or deleted as a result of the direct access to the eight seized exhibits.” Forty-eight thousand. But other than that they were hardly touched at all!

The Sceevy Spokesman. Either Interpol’s Secretary General Ronald Noble never read his own report, or he’s a tool. While the report is peppered with, say, forty-eight thousand points of equivocation, homeboy was slightly less cautious, telling an AP reporter that "No one can ever question whether or not the Colombian government tampered with the seized FARC computers." Haha, is that a threat?

And while the Interpol report itself is clear that the source of the files is beyond the scope of the investigation (“The accuracy and source of the user files contained in the eight seized FARC computer exhibits are and always have been outside the scope of INTERPOL's computer forensic examination”), they are apparently not beyond the scope of this idiot’s ability to blah blah. His AP quote: “We are absolutely certain that the computer exhibits that our experts examined came from a FARC terrorist camp.” Absolutely, dingus.

A Question of Time. Among the weirder findings in all of Magic Laptopia is the discovery that FARC rebels were able to communicate…from the future. So while “no files” were created between March 3rd and today, they did find “2,110 files with creation dates ranging between 20 April 2009 to 27 August 2009,” and another “1,434 files which show as having been last modified between 5 April 2009 and 16 October 2010.” Of course, we all know that it’s impossible that the FARC were actually communicating from 2010, because President McCain will have blown up South America by then. What is possible is that the computers had screwy file dates, which means that nobody has any idea whether files were altered after March 3rd or not.

Even with all this, I still think my favorite part of the whole report (aside from the Interpol logo itself, which for some reason shows Mother Earth and the Scales of Justice being stabbed to death. Awesome.) is Section 77, where it explains that the laptop data could never actually be introduced “in a judicial proceeding,” because the files had been inappropriately accessed so many times that it would be impossible “to demonstrate or prove that the direct access did not have a material impact on the purpose for which the evidence is intended.” Wow, ya think?

May 19, 2008

Great Moments in Investigating

Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos was asked yesterday exactly why 60 of his soldiers crossed the border into Venezuela over the weekend:

“I looked into it and they were not doing anything”
See they wasn't up to no harm, guys..

Washington Post Launches ‘Operation Relentless Confrontation’

The English, you may know, are technically Europeans. And even though they have been staunch allies in many important wars such as “Iraq” and “Afghanistan,” they sometimes show their foreign-born side as well. Take the Financial Times, which today appears to have been edited by Neville Chamberlain himself, providing aid, comfort and, yes, appeasement to Venezuela as it cautions readers against jumping to conclusions over the Magic Laptop documents, simply because we do not have “definitive proof” of any links between Chavez and terrorists. But what can you do? This is a society that built a “Chunnel,” to France!

As for me, I’m a proud subscriber to the Washington Post, without whose clear sighted vision we might never have been able to liberate Mesopotamia from the satanic servitude of Saddam, Islam, and the false god of “24 hour electrical service.” And, god willing, they are prepared to march us into South America as well, with a platform of “relentless” U.S. “confrontation” of the Bolivarians with the “evidence” garnered from the Laptops. They know in their gut that everything the Colombians say is true, even though the rest of world is increasingly skeptical, and that waiting around for “proof” would be like waiting for a Communist 9/11 mushroom cloud, which would be evil. Never Forget, y'all!

May 20, 2008

Enough To Make You Paranoid

So just hours after Colombian troops crossed the border into Venezuela Saturday night, a U.S. Navy aircraft “strayed inadvertently” into Venezuelan airspace, too. And then Monday “a group of Colombian troops crossed the border again.”

Creepy TV Priest Comes Up With Funny Venezuela-Themed Reason to Vote Against Obama

Have you noticed how this Obama person has become quite popular these days? This is evidenced by his ability to draw large and hope-filled crowds. Do you know who else draws large and hope-filled crowds? Hugo Chavez. If that doesn’t immediately strike fear into your heart, this Fox News priest person would like to tell you about the time that he lied to get into some poor lady’s house in Caracas so that he could witness just how poor and miserable she was even though she thought she was happy, and if you vote for Obama you will end up living in a scrap metal shantytown just like her.

May 21, 2008

Luc Besson Takes Job at AFP Miami Bureau

Here is a depressing uplifting totally weird way to pass 10 minutes: Read this mindfuck of a story about an American hostage in Colombia and his against-the-odds from-captivity marriage proposal to his girlfriend on the outside who has been raising their twins alone for the past 5 years--twins who can only communicate with each other in a made-up twinspeak that nobody else can understand. And then there is the former fiancée who is raising his kids from a separate marriage, and they all meet each other for the first time at Hugo Chavez’s home in Caracas. Of course this was all detailed by the French wire service AFP, because they are the only ones who could make sense of it.

Everybody’s Talking Crazy Talk

>>> You may have heard, but Colombia is a narco-terrorist state in the middle of a 40-year civil war with an actual former drug dealer for president. For John McCain this makes it “a beacon of hope” for the rest of Latin America, so you can imagine what his crazy plans are for our country.

>>> You’ll recall that those laptop documents discuss an alleged relationship between Venezuela and the FARC going back a whole year, and according to unnamed “security sources” this also totally proves that Chavez was arming Irish revolutionaries in 1999 somehow.

>>> A bunch of U.S. newspaper editors got to interview Chavez in Caracas last week and nobody spit on him and they generally accurately reported his answers to their questions, which only proves that Florida newspapers are in the tank for him and Castro style Communism.

>>> And, um, Tom Friedman just said something that sort of made sense. Christ, we’re going nutso, too.

May 22, 2008

Stupid Laptop No Match for Real News

Fun fact I learned from watching this video: the same Colombian authorities who managed to find and hold on to three magic laptops in a bombed out jungle encampment also managed to lose every computer file associated with the right wing guerillas that were about to (literally) narc out President Uribe.

Great Moments in Transparency

Ok remember how last week Oil Wars published this funny takedown of Transparency International and their ridiculously untransparent report trashing Venezuela’s oil company that turned out to be all wrong? Today the story got picked up by The Guardian, and intrepid reporter Calvin Tucker calls them up and asks them about it and they hilariously stonewall and lie to him. Transparency International!

Oh and also there’s this part about Mercedes de Freitas, the head of TI’s Caracas bureau, and what she was up to during that pesky coup d’etat:

"... on the night of April 12 - after Carmona suspended the assembly - Mercedes de Freitas, a director of the Fundacion Momento de la Gente, a legislative monitoring project subsidized by NED [National Endowment for Democracy, a US government agency], emailed the endowment defending the military and Carmona, claiming the takeover was not a military coup."
So her role was to…obscure?...muddy the waters?....opacify? Transparency International! Seriously Alanis Morissette should dedicate a song to these people.

Friday Morning Update: Oil Wars has still more. Fun times!

BoRev Musicology: Los Gaiteros del Pueblo

The Doctor is in! Every fortnight month whenever or so, The University of Iowa's own ethno-musicologist T.M. "Tomás" Scruggs classes the up the joint with his exploration of the diverse sounds of Venezuela from just about every region, class, sect, ethnicity and political persuasion going. Check out our archive of previous songs, or click here to listen to Dr. Scruggs's one-hour audio-ethno-musical journey through the country.

This Week: We head up to oil country. Listen to Los Gaiteros del Pueblo. Liner notes and lyrics after the jump.

Continue reading "BoRev Musicology: Los Gaiteros del Pueblo" »

May 23, 2008

Faking It: Magic Laptop Photos Were Planted


So! A bunch of those photos that the Colombian government has been circulating to the press and claiming came from Raul Reyes’ magical laptop? Turns out they actually came from Colombian intelligence agencies, not the FARC. Oops! NACLA scholar Daniel Denvir has just published the first evidence that the Colombians have been faking the evidence.

Here’s my favorite part: Where the author confronts the “Justice Editor” of Colombia’s leading daily newspaper, and the editor’s first reaction was to defend the government source who leaked the fake news to him in the first place:

“Torres played down the notion that the Colombian government purposely leaked false information, hypothesizing the photos inclusion to be an accidental “infection” and characterizing their intelligence source as a lone actor rather than part of a Colombian government orchestrated media campaign.”
There’s your skeptical press corps saving the world from tyranny, or collaborating with it or whatever. Anyway I can’t wait to sit back and watch the U.S. press investigate expose ignore it all, too!

May 27, 2008

We’re Back! What'd We Miss?

Jeez I take a few days off “for the troops” and all hell breaks loose. Can’t you people hold down the fort so I can get drunk on a beach over a long weekend? Anyway let's recap all the dumb crap that happened over Memorial Day Weekend, shall we?

First. Manuel Marulanda is armed, old, and dead. According to AFP, “The elusive Marulanda founded the FARC over four decades ago and has been rumored to be dead at least 17 time.” Weird. Did we mention the dying took place two months ago? Weird weird. Experts agree that nothing will change.

Then. The New York Times managed to ignore the mounting evidence that the magic laptop documents were slightly more than just exaggerated, making the odd claim that Hugo Chavez has been “caught” trying to overthrow Colombia or something, just like Sureshot.

Next. The Financial Times opines on the same subject, only hilariously coming to the opposite conclusion. Apparently the Interpol statement “does not provide conclusive evidence that Venezuela is providing money, weapons and logistical support to the Farc. None of the communications are from Venezuelan officials. The competing leaders of the Farc, fragmented after years of successful counter-insurgency, have cause to exaggerate proximity to Mr Chávez.” Hey great, some common sense from London, right? Well, erm…

Finally. Newly-elected funny-haired Crazy Man/London Mayor Boris Johnson cut off a program designed to help the city of Caracas improve its transportation efficiency in order to stick it to Venezuela. The decision also managed to screw over low-income Londoners at the same time so the Tories are off to a predictable start.

There. See? I could probably use a few more booze-fueled beach weekends once in a while but for the sake of global sanity I'll try not to. Except when I really need it. Like maybe next weekend.

Moral High Ground Watch

From Bloomberg:

“Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos will visit Moscow next month to express concern about Russian arms sales to Venezuela and hold talks on buying similar weapons as a countermeasure, Kommersant reported.”
See their Kalashnikovs will be democratic-er.

OMG Hugo Chavez Battles…The Silver Surfer

As any geeked-out pubescent fanboy could tell you, before becoming a good guy the Silver Surfer roamed the universe (rather, the multiverse) seeking out resource rich worlds and preparing them for their ultimate fate: getting the living fuck sucked out of them by a purple-helmeted bad dude called Galactus, Devourer of Worlds. The end product was a clammy opaque husk of a planet, incapable of sustaining life in any form.

Anywho, I was reading this story that ran on the front page of the Washington Post over the weekend, and it’s all about how the International Monetary Fund is no longer able to seek out resource rich third world countries here on Earth and prepare them to be turned over to multinational commercial interests and I was all like, “awww,” because I miss my misspent comic book reading adolescence sometimes.

And then I saw that the terrible adversary to the sad, tormented IMF, at least in Latin America, was Hugo Chavez, on account of he’s turned Venezuela into “an alternative to the IMF, offering massive aid that has enabled some of the region's countries to pay back loans early and has made them less susceptible to fund demands,” which makes Chavez sort of like the Ultimate Nullifier, which is neat because the nullifier is known to be “the universe’s most devastating weapon,” and certainly the only thing to strike fear in the heart of Galactus, ever! Which sort of explains why everybody freaks out about Chavez I guess.

May 28, 2008

Colombian Laptops Stage Daring Jailbreak!

Here’s a funny/sad quote:


"It seems to me outrageous that the computers of the guerrilla Raul Reyes can survive a Colombian military bombardment in a foreign country in the middle of the night while the computers of the paramilitaries can't survive an inspection by INPEC (prison authorities) in a maximum-security prison."
Hey good point! That would be Colombian “political analyst” Claudia Lopez, mining comic gold from the tragic fact that Colombian authorities “lost” a whole slew of laptops, SIM cards, memory sticks and at least one Blackberry belonging to fourteen accused terrorists, including notable evildoer Salvatore Mancuso, who “has implicated more politicians and military officers than any other paramilitary boss as criminal accomplices of the warlords.”

Mancuso and his friends were all deported to the U.S. a couple weeks back after they began to link President Uribe’s allies and family members to death squads and mass graves. But since the evidence has all disappeared I guess that makes him innocent. Case closed! Give him a trade deal while you’re at it! Haha: done.

May 29, 2008

Journalists Ask Stupid Question, Get Stupid Answer

Damn you, Organization of American States! Why won’t you just go ahead and fake-“investigate” those laptop documents like the newspapers did and toss Hugo Chavez in dirty Panamanian Prison with Wentworth Miller and a broken pen knife once and for all? This is basically the question “asked” rhetorically by our beloved jackass heroes in punditland, especially Jackson Diehl and Andres Oppenheimer.

Well this week the OAS offers its hilarious answer: because Colombia doesn’t want us to investigate (because they’re faking it maybe/probably). Check out this funny interview with OAS Chief Jose Miguel Insulza:

LAA: What are you going to, what would you do?

Insulza: I will do it when they turn it over to me. I'm not going to get ahead ... But they haven't given me a single paper. I have just as many papers as you have. Would you dare, with the documents you've seen, begin an investigation? I wouldn't dare begin an investigation with the things I read in the newspapers. They haven't given me a single paper. Not a single one. I understand that they won't hand over the Ecuador papers, I understand, because of Colombia's and Ecuador's problems, but of the Venezuelan ones they haven't presented me with a single one.

Oh snap! But other than that why aren’t you investigating?

May 30, 2008

Scrappy U.S. Drug Agents Won’t Let ‘International Law’ Keep Them Down

North Americans, we are so tenacious! Remember how mean old Venezuela shut down its cooperative agreement with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency just because DEA was more interested in spying on them than curbing drug trafficking? And how the U.S. was all “no we weren’t” but actually they were? Well you’ll be thrilled to learn that they still are. Yesterday a man was arrested near the Colombian border carrying “Canadian and French passports and a Venezuelan identity card” only of course he wasn’t Canadian, French or Venezuelan, because he is an American who works for the DEA. Commitment: that’s what makes our country great.

About May 2008

This page contains all entries posted to BoRev.Net in May 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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