Archive for May 17th, 2006

Another day in the fascist revolution: Professor faces Bolivarian Inquisition

May 17, 2006

In another
example of the fascism that is quickly overtaking our daily lives, Professor Carlos
Zerpa of de Colegio Universitario Francisco de Miranda was being “orally
tried” today for teaching in the classroom his views on the country’s
history which, horror of all horrors, differ from the “official”
Bolivarian rewriting of the country’s history.


Zerpa, a history Professor, was denounced to a Chavista-controlled student
union for his apocryphal views. The students are asking for him to be expelled
for the school.

In the words of Zerpa himself in his letter to the University before the “trial” to determine his fate began:

“A debate that obviates both the principle of the right to defend myself,
as well as allowing for methods which are foreign to academia in all societies
and takes us towards the instauration of a barbaric civilization. Accepting
without a quick reaction by the authorities of this institution such protests
undermines the principle of academic freedom, that you are obligated to respect
and protect, if not-we the Professors- are exposed to the danger of a system
told by Orwell in his famous novel “1984” where all thinking is blocked,
which would take us to say that the university is dying as a center for free
thinking…

…I make public the statements made in class during the anniversary week and
that are the object of this debate, where the official history was being put into
question: 1) The idea of Latin-American integration in a single nation called
Colombia is due originally to General Francisco de Miranda. 2) Simon Bolivar
does not appear as signing the decree of independence from the General Captain
of Venezuela 3) The title of Liberator was given to Bolivar in 1813 , that is,
before the battles of Carabobo, Pichincha, Bombona and Ayacucho and 4) The
invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte and the subsequent jailing of King Ferdinand VI
during six years would question the thesis of an international war for
independence, this has been proposed by a good fraction ofwell known historians….

…It seems as if making people think, is a counter-revolutionary act. Making
the students question things would appear to be also unacceptable. Promoting a
student with a critical attitude would be offensive. When the lights of
thinking begin to dim, we begin to enter a dark era that all educators have to
fight, being faithful to their role as propagators of knowledge.

I conclude-as any man of thinking that respects himself-both reaffirming my thesis
and bringing to the present the words of Galileo Galilei in front of the Inquisition “e pur si muove

A normal day for the revolution: Lies, abuse of power and BS

May 17, 2006


Yesterday,
Chavez’ MVR party and all of the parties that still support the Government got
together to defend the current electoral system and ask the Electoral Board to maintain
the conditions imposed by the previous.

The
spokesman at the meeting was the official spokesman for the “National Tactical
Command” of Chavez’ MVR, William Lara, who also happens to be the Minister of
Information and Communication in this autocracy run by the unity of Government
and party in the best Stalinist tradition. Except that here there is not even
the pretense of there being a differentiation.


In any
case, William Lara, this mediocre former high school physics teacher turned modern-day-Goebbels yesterday in
his press conference
, conveniently transmitted by the Government TV
channel, unlike opposition press conferences, came out and said two things that demonstrate
how this Government has no morals or criteria when it comes to speaking in public.

The first
statement he made for which I take offense was his passionate defense of the fingerprint
capturing system used in the last three elections. According to this modern day
Orwellian Minister of Information, the presence of these machines prevents
people form voting more than once and makes voting faster.


Well, I
hope I am not prosecuted for calling the Minister unethical and a liar, but so
far, there is no evidence that the system prevents people from voting more than
twice or helping people vole faster. In fact, the opposite appears to be the
case in the case of the speed of the process. In the recall referendum, it was
the fingerprint machines that slowed down the process due to the massive turn
out, forcing polls to stay open until almost midnight.


Moreover,
there is not a single study made in Venezuela that shows that multiple voting
by a single person has ever been a statistically significant problem, In fact,
what has been shown is that those that control the voting are the only ones
that may allow this to happen as the use of indelible ink in all Venezuelan voting
processes guarantees that unless it is allowed by those supervising the
process, multiple voting can be stopped.

Additionally,
the CNE has never revealed or shown how the fingerprint system performed in the
two elections in which it was used, the recall referendum or the October 2004
regional elections. The CNE has always refused to give out technical data as to
the speed of the system, its performance and whether it was even capable of
stopping people form voting twice.

In
contrast, the problems with the fingerprint machines are well known, but were
not mentioned by William “Goebbels” Lara: The ability of the Government to intimidate
voters into believing that their vote can be identified and the ability of
those in control of the voting process to know how many people voted and where,
allowing them to keep polls open later than the law establishes, as was done in
the same two elections. Venezuelan Electoral Law is very clear on the matter: Polls
are only to remain open until 4PM is there is nobody in line or until the lines
are exhausted. None of this was done in these two electoral processes and the
suspicion has always been that the fingerprint machines were telling the
Government, the only one that had access to the real time data that it would be
to their benefit to keep them open. But Lara and his cohorts could care less about teh rights of the people they claim to cherish and love.

But if I
found the defense of the fingerprint capturing machines insulting and
amateurish, his denial of the existence of the Maisanta
database
, which I now call the Chascon database, was truly offensive. There
are scenes of Hugo Chavez on TV asking Tascon how the process is going. There
are scenes of Hugo Chavez on Alo Presidente telling people that they can check
everyone on Tascon’s webpage and there is a video of Chavez telling Tascon himself,
who was present, and his Cabinet not to use the Chascon database anymore.

Moreover, the
CDs were distributed to thousand of Chavista activists and members of the Comando
Maisanta itself proudly acknowledged its existence. Even more harebrained was
his explanation on how they compiled their list. He claimed they had the
registry without addresses which they cross-referenced with the beneficiaries
of the “Misiones” and those that signed with them and that is how they obtained
the addresses to get the data. Well Mr. William “Pinocchio” Lara, my childhood address,
the first one that I used to register to vote too many years ago, is in the
Chascon database and I can assure I do not participate in Misiones, have not
vote for Chavez, against opposition Deputies and the like, and even if I did, I
would use my current address and not that one which happens to appear only in
the Electoral registry.

Thus, another
day in the revolution: lying, abuse of power and unethical behavior. These guys
have certainly learned a lot from the chief autocrat. What a bunch of BS
artists!

Chav Politics:The Hugo Chavez show is bad burlesque in The Times of London

May 17, 2006


Via Pedro
Mario
I read The Times
Editorial on Hugo Chavez, which shows that British papers can not be fooled as
easily as others:


Chav Politics (Chav means trashy
people
in Britain)

The Hugo Chavez show is
bad burlesque.
The
“private” visit of Hugo Chavez to London has proved enjoyable for those who
feared that 1980s nostalgia was not what it used to be. There may be
well-meaning souls prepared to view President Chavez with an open mind.
According to his promotional material, the Venezuelan leader is all that stands
between enlightenment and President Bush inflicting his twisted values (such as
democracy, the rule of law and market economics) on the entire world. Seńor
Chavez, in his spare time, rescues his country’s grateful poor while rekindling
a Latin American sense of purpose and identity.

But if it is wise to judge
a man by his friends, those inclined to give the visitor the benefit of the
doubt might want to reconsider. It was not just the Central Casting collection
of faded radicals in his thrall. Having waited since the failure of the
Sandinistas to spark the (inevitable) anti-Yanqui revolution two decades ago,
their excitement was understandable. Ken Livingstone’s presence added
authenticity. It was good to see Harold Pinter there, a man who once had
something relevant to say (about Eccles cakes), but a long, long time ago. More
significant than those present were the absentees who would surely have wished
to be present at the lion-ising of the self-proclaimed Anti-Bush. Robert
(Mugabe), Kim Jong Il (The Dear Leader) and Muhammad (Ahmadinejad) are comrades
who were otherwise engaged. Seńor Chavez’ eclectic choice of friends suggests a
man so deeply affronted not to have merited inclusion in Mr. Bush’s original
axis of evil (he is also an enthusiastic defender of Saddam Hussein) that he is
keen to create a new club of the touched.

President Chavez demands
attention, not just because he can wear a natty suit and, on occasion, employ
moderate tones. Because of rocketing prices, Venezuela’s oil revenues have
quadrupled since 1998, giving him economic and political clout that he is
exploiting with relish. His credentials as a leader of heroic stature would be
laughable if not so grave. On his watch, poverty rose as oil prices climbed for
the first time since records began. Murder has tripled, making Caracas the continent’s killing capital. His
disrespect for property, the rule of law and press freedom is now threatening
to infect Bolivia.
Corruption is endemic. He may be elected, but he talks of remaining in power
until 2031, and is no democrat.

Fortunately, many see
through him. Candidates in Peru
and Mexico
embraced by him have seen their support fall. The President’s next stop is Libya and a
meeting with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, a man who abandoned pariah status for
something approaching acceptability. Seńor Chávez would do everyone a favour if
he embarked on a similar personal journey.

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