Venezuela, now, like Puerto Rico, US colony?

2017-07-30

Operation Condor, this time Condor 2.0 and in full flight?

Those continuing, mob-instigated violent confrontations in a Venezuela beset by a severe economic crisis have made a bad situation worse. Not only that, to confirm any lingering doubts comes an official US statement of intention to depose a democratically-elected sovereign government; and for impeccable timing that statement comes just a month or so after release of a report on the affair in Iran in 1953, and with a sundered and tragic Libya (strong language alert) still fresh in mind. Read the rest of this entry »

At the guarimbas, democracy blazes

2017-07-30

Or where responsible journalism is again abandoned to promote an agenda, and where it becomes no more than full-throated propaganda to support ‘régime change’ – the overthrow of yet another ‘insubordinate’ sovereign nation-state, one with massive reserves of hydrocarbons. Read the rest of this entry »

26 July 1953

2017-07-26

Those who remember the days of the Batista régime can still recall the sense of relief, elation at its overthrow, a totally corrupt, brutal régime that enjoyed total US support, with the Mafia of the US entrenched on the island, inflicting heaping doses of abuse and humiliation on its people. Read the rest of this entry »

Huffing, and puffing along tobacco road

2017-07-18

As we journey we look for the wondrous benefits of sugar-sweetened beverages, junk food, and tobacco, and have as companion a question, ‘Why should they be allowed to, if it is…’ A country, still developing and lacking in resources and institutions, and with pressing social and economic issues to address. Worse, an impoverished country. Read the rest of this entry »

Economics for the general reader

2016-12-28

Economics professor, John Quiggin, continues with his Economics in Two Lessons text. A draft piece he has made available at the crooked timber blog for comments and critiques, which may lead to a tightening up of the text directed at the general reader. (The privatisation of public enterprises is a timely topic.)

In the current post, Public Services: Excerpt from Economics in Two Lessons, Quiggin provides a link to the draft text to date, and in pdf format.

A slight investment of time should bear rich fruit, and confirm nagging doubts on the honesty of economic analysis so often proffered by the corporate MSM. The internet offers many rewards, and inexpensively – this is but one powerful example.

Wonder Woman?

2016-12-28

Many should recall that the United Nations Organisation had selected as its inspiration, as role model for all women and girls a famous woman, a fictional woman, Wonder Woman. That cartoon character, half-naked, is ever decked out in a bikini made from a tiny US flag, and wearing tall black boots – and the UN officials saw no problem with that.

Fortunately protests would lead to the withdrawal of that offensive character – obviously nowhere in the whole wide world was there any woman, a living person who could serve as inspiration, as role model. Yet, throughout the year there has been ample evidence of the existence of such women – in this case, Latin America.

Which brings us to this recent post in TeleSUR, Indigenous Women Led Environmental Struggle in 2016. A brief introduction,

Women are leading the struggle in Latin America against environmental destruction as well as Indigenous rights, but they often face assassination, jail, threats and violence.

They not only fight against gender inequality, but also demand wider societal transformation of a patriarchal system that doesn’t work for them as women — even though it is working exactly how it’s supposed to.

These women are engaged in life-threatening struggles, yet their battles seldom attract the attention of the corporate Western media – and for obvious reasons. That UN officials should have overlooked such role models is something of an indictment of the corporate (and other) drift of that organisation. Yes, Wonder Woman.

 

Fidel Castro, 13Aug1926 to 25Nov2016

2016-11-27

The unexamined life is not worth living. Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz.

For over sixty years, from Argentina to Canada, there has been no leader of his stature and influence, and none so admired – except in the US and some of its supplicant dependents. Read the rest of this entry »

¿A Uruguay? Ou, au Canada!

2016-11-14

¡Pasmado! Do cry for me, Uruguay. Or, welcome to the real world of fantasy.

If one remembers, or is reminded, there was much excitement sometime ago, from the very responsible US media of a likely, very strong spike in US tourism to Uruguay, a Spanish-speaking country way down there. For beaches, as in the Caribbean or similar spots? ¡De ninguna manera! The great expectation was based on the legislative debates and then approval there of the sale of limited quantities of marijuana, with the aim of allowing the country to focus more on crimes that are crimes and other more pressing issues than ‘taking a puff’. So, a voyage to the ‘outer limits’ for just a puff? Mercifully for Uruguay, shortly after there would come the news that similar legalisation would be allowed in some states of the US.

And with the president-elect of the US who failed to lose the elections, and did so badly, came other news. Anger and fury of many of his non-supporters who had bought with credit card or other their New Balance shoes. Such anger and fury that – oh! over there the responsible media and tv cameras to record! – they had something of a Bonfire of Inanities (and Stupidities) as they burnt their shoes at the steak (?), because some New Balance official might have indicated support for the president-elect. The good news is that such campaigners for a lower ‘carbon foot-print’ certainly did show those climate-deniers how to do it, and ‘virally’ so.

Then would appear the joyous dénouement, as the astute corporate media would report, ‘staying on message’, seriously so. Au Canada! Pick up the children after school. Head to the airport. Or just drive (or yacht off) to Canada to be greeted rapturously by grateful Canadians and transported immediately to the old home and same schools and same neighbourhood, in Canada. Yet that strong evidence of being in Canada, an inability to pronounce ‘about’ other than strangely. But still there would remain that impediment, the patriotic and resolute refusal to learn to speak a second language, French, in the bi-lingual country. Ô Canada!

Yet, given such responsible, media-conditioned US voters, there is still shock that the president-elect (or even Boris Badenov) would or could have lost, popular vote or not? Seriously?

Democracy and the US presidential elections

2016-11-12

The democracy most know has over the years undergone a radical transformation in the United States. Where one person, one vote would traditionally work, in the US the candidates in general tend to represent the corporations that fund their candidacy and political positions. The two political parties which admit of no serious contenders have become corporate, and the citizens they are elected to represent have been largely ignored – until the next voting cycle approaches. Read the rest of this entry »

Some lights just go out; others flicker – but only for a while

2016-10-30

Smiles, then laughter, a certainty. Reflecting, reminiscing – alone or with loved ones – and we discover the richness that other lives add to our own, and how much who we are is shaped by such experiences.

Then one day, not death, but dementia knocks.A light starts to flicker, then does so between long pauses, then goes out. And it is traumatic enough when a parent (or older relative) is afflicted. From The Guardian, which has presented a commendable series, a son reflects on his father, Buona notte Papa: the long goodbye to a parent with dementia

‘Somehow along the way, he and Mum (mostly Mum) raised four healthy boys in a remote country town.

‘But now, three years from that first diagnosis, all this is lost to him.

‘He struggles to remember our names. Once loquacious, he is reduced to a muddle between English and Italian. He has no road sense, is usually unaware of his surroundings, and requires constant supervision.’

Some of Mark Brandi’s recounting is very familiar, and does strike that emotional chord with some resonance.

And the thing about it. For the younger set, that trauma turns to nagging anxiety when the disease strikes one of the previously ‘immortal’ group of ‘wastrels’, and that one is even younger.

Which is why, all along the way, so many of us continue that quaint habit of engaging, of socialising, of staying in touch. At a distance, or even closer, no better advice than this classic bit. If as they say, ‘Vita brevis est’, then ‘amor aeternus est’?