Keiko, Ollanta, Boxing, Primaries, Subway, Lobo and Arias Cardenas…Just Boooring

April 12, 2011

Lately, I have been having a hard time writing. It’s not writer’s block, but simply that the parade of topics is just..either boring or simply I am at a loss to have an opinion other than: Say whaaat?

Take Ollanta versus Keiko, to me it sounds like a late night boxing match on HBO between a Latin American and a Japanese, both feather weights. But what can I really add to this choice by Peruvians? Yeah, make sure the guy who led to the current prosperity by laying the ground work to sound economic policies is properly punished and gets the least number of votes in fourth place.

Caldera used to say: “El pueblo no se equivoca”. Even on that Rafael was totally wrong.

But hey, it’s democracy and “the people” can choose what knife their neck will be cut with. Ollanta may bring some Hugoesque nuttiness to ruin his country, while Keiko apparently appeals to a segment of the population that longs for her father’s autocratic streaks.

Sorry Peru, call when you are a mess. We can then talk about it.

And I can’t get excited about when the MUD (Lodo on Spanish) should, may, would, might hold its primaries. My favorite is the day when in the Zamora Province of Spain grapes used to be picked, but my arguments may sound as frivolous as theirs. Maybe they should ask Luis Vicente Leon what to do, so we can finally establish a record that he was once wrong.

Maybe we can even have a boxing match to determine when to hold the primaries. Of course, we would have to limit the tournament to 64 boxers so that the process can work. Some of you may think this method is unfair to Maria Corina, but you are all wrong, she is not only tough, but by going down with the first punch she may be able to campaign more and better than any of the other candidates. The tournament will be winner take all. The final survivor of the boxing tournament will choose the day, whatever it is. I bet some candidates get more national exposure this way than campaigning.

Or, take the fact that the subway continues to have problems. Hey, Gonzalez Lander was good, but you can’t expect the Metro to function well, 16 years after his departure and under Chavista hands to boot. The remarkable thing is that it works at all. After all, it has has had an unending series of Presidents, the last two getting further and further away from actual expertise.

The next to last one was three years out of his Ph.D. and never managed anything bigger than his home. He was promoted to Minister. The current one is an academic, a very good theorist of revolutions. I wonder what happened to the US$ 2.5 billion he invested to insure growth two years ago.

And the news that Lobo met Chavez? Who cares? Chavez has done about faces many times in his life and has no scruples.

For example, since Chavismo is “celebrating” April 11th. 2002, one may look at this video

and ask yourself: Who has less scruples? Arias Cardenas for calling Chavez a sick mind and an assassin with blood in his hands and now becoming Chavez’ Ambassador and future Chavez candidate for Governor of Zulia?

Or Chavez for getting close to him again?

Booring!

37 Responses to “Keiko, Ollanta, Boxing, Primaries, Subway, Lobo and Arias Cardenas…Just Boooring”

  1. Roberto N Says:

    Y el video, diablito?

  2. moctavio Says:

    I was having lots of problems with it, I fixed it and have no idea how

  3. maria gonzalez Says:

    Well I think that news seem boring because “elcomandantepresidente” has been very quiet…maybe he has the H1N1 or he that is the only way that he does not say anything that will put Humala in a compromising position. HOwever I am sure that tomorrow will be a “cadena” with a new story about April 11-13 events!

    About the primaries I really think that actually Chavez in some way is neutralize by not having a definite target…he is been forced to dilute his energies into different potential candidates. One thing is true the ” primarias” are going to happen…

  4. Eduardo Says:

    Yeah, make sure the guy who led to the current prosperity by laying the ground work to sound economic policies is properly punished and gets the least number of votes in fourth place.

    ======

    Toledo only continued the politics established before. It is He found many problems, including corruption, economic crisis, and many popular demands that were waiting for him.

    But he worked over very low inflation, almost liquidated terrorism, access to open credit, and reserves.

    So he contributed, and his merit is not throwing it all away with populist policies. On the other side, he began to live the life as a new rich, without consideration of the poor, he lacked humility (same as in last election), and social investment was wanting.

  5. megaescualidus Says:

    Isn’t Ullanta Chavez’s prefered choice to be president in Peru? I think he is, and if he wins (and he might) I will only say “here we go again…”.

  6. moctavio Says:

    Poverty was reduced significantly and while good work was done before, his economic policies were effective.

  7. megaescualidus Says:

    Sorry, I meant to say Ollanta, not “Ullanta”.

  8. Eduardo Says:

    MOctavio:

    I don’t discuss the point of poverty. But I discuss that he LAID the foundations. He continued the politics, there was no single important economic turn in his time. Kucsynski acknowledges this.

    Megaescualidus:

    It seems that Ollanta will find it uphill to convince people that he is not another Chávez. If Keiko Fujimori handles the situation well, she could very possibly win (for good or for bad).

  9. A_Antonio Says:

    Boring…Even in the launch of Plan of Promises the regime fails, for second time is postponed the presentation of “Mision Vivienda Venezuela”. ZZZZZZZ…..

  10. Bloody Mary Says:

    Out of topic Q.: I have heard many times that Vzla is just at one step from the bankrupcy -I have a good understanding of this view-. Contrary to this, many people (very competent specialists included) say that Venezuela and Chavez have virtually unlimited resources that are being “hide” as a kind of “estrategic shelter”……Q: Is that possible? I mean, technically could the Goverment sell massively the oil (over what is estimated at this point) without trace and then hide billions out of the official balances? If that is possible: How? and Where?
    Thxs

  11. moctavio Says:

    I dont believe Venezuela is one step from bankruptcy, nor that there is very much in these funds. Venezuela has good cash flow and a comfortable debt profile. However, if they keep issuing at the current rate, things could get touchy.

    Yes, the Government can sell the fields, rent them, whatever to raise money. Hide them, sure, they have been doing that with Fonden.

  12. EH Says:

    If memory serves me well, there was a military figure in Venezuela that demonstrated his lack of democratic credentials by staging a coup against a democratically elected (if flawed) government.

    Nevertheless people gave him a chance and we know how well that worked in Venezuela.

    Ollanta is a similar military figure in Peru that staged a coup against a democratic government.

    Those Who Forget History Are Doomed to Repeat It.

  13. Speed Gibson Says:

    if you are bored, ponder this then…, today is the 150th anniversary of the heroic militia forces of the sovereign state of South Carolina opening fire on the hated army of the yankee merchant class cowering inside Ft Sumpter. Perhaps someone from Zulia, which as I recall shares the same god awful humidity and bug count as S. C., can take inspiration.

  14. Roger Says:

    I think frustrating is a better term. I we look at all of LatAm we see the same and almost equal political division. First, the Socialst Populists made up of some rich and many poor who sell the same old Caldelas, and Juntas re-packaged. No one can disagree that Social Action is needed but, it is a very different thing. Second, the other side, again both rich and poor, that want economic parity with the rest of the western world and feel it is attainable for all that want it. In many countries, large numbers are attaining middle class lifestyles through education and the jobs that come with it. These people see light at the end of the tunnel, if not for themselves, for their children. As important, they know what Chavez and others are selling. You don’t get a job making computer chips in Mexico and elsewhere with a six month Bolivarian degree in Solid State Physics!
    In the long run except for the power brokers both sides want the same thing and if they don’t get it one way or the other, well, just look at Arabia.

  15. deananash Says:

    I’ve spent the past year in the Philippines – after 6+ years in mainland China – continuing my work of helping the poor.

    In China, of the more than 150 street people I took home, only 5 (that’s just 3%) stole from me. Here in the Philippines, of the 20 street people I’ve taken home in one year, 12 (that’s 60%) have stolen from me. In other words, China deserves her rising prosperity and the Philippines deserves its horrible poverty.

    China’s poverty was the result of a very flawed political system that clung to a totally flawed economic system. They’ve still got the flawed political system, but have totally embraced the successful economic system (capitalism). In other words, their problems weren’t their inherent culture.

    Venezuela (and the Philippines) on the other hand, have serious cultural issues. This certainly predates Chavez. In fact, it goes way back. Interesting enough, both countries suffered under Spanish colonial rule, and this appears to have infected the culture.

    I’m not sure how relevant this is to your post, but it’s something that I’ve wanted to share with everyone for a long time.

  16. Kepler Says:

    Deananash,

    I think the Spanishness is not the key part.
    See: Chile was also a Spanish colony and yet corruption is much lower there.

  17. firepigette Says:

    Deananash,

    On one point I agree with you : Culture is all important and Venezuela hardly has the cultural values that easily allow folks to prosper.

    However the fact that poor people in China might less apt to steal than in the Philippines is a poor example.This might be partially more indicative that the Philippines are a less authoritarian society.

    On the other hand, the powerful China is stealing US technology, violating all sorts of patent-protection laws, hacking into Google and infringing on intellectual-property rights.

    In fact, 80 percent of Chinese software is reportedly pirated from American companies.

    We have to be careful in jumping to too many conclusions so easily.

  18. Kepler Says:

    Firepigette,
    Not that I approve of what China is doing, but the USA was doing exactly the same thing at the start of the XIX century – contrary to the laws existing back then. Switerland was doing the same until the start of the XIX century.
    China is actually changing very rapidly its view to patents as it sees it has got to the right level of patents…just like the US and Switzerland before it.

    No, it hasn’t anything to do with Zeitgeist

  19. A_Antonio Says:

    Deananash,

    First I congratulate you for what you are doing to the poor. You are a mahatma (Big soul).

    I think that steal is most in the education that it is part of past or present culture, and by the example set by their leaders.

    Firepigette, In the other side, now China is now in investigation and new patents trend that compete with USA.

  20. firepigette Says:

    Kepler,

    Perhaps you can find some examples of Europeans and US doing the same thing but as always it is a matter of proportion.The degree to which the Chinese infringe patents is WAY beyond anything that is happening in the west.

    The Chinese are notorious for patent infringements!!

    Deananash’s statement comparing the poor in the Philippines to the poor in China makes no sense in this case given an entire countries, abusive, dictatorial, thieving trends( in this case China).

    “China deserves her rising prosperity”???? I think it is probable considering the facts, that in Chinese culture the poor should not steal but ‘higher- ups ‘can.I think the overpowering ambition of the people supports this- their pride in their country, and their tendencies to authoritarianism.

    Definitely the Spanish heritage of laziness, and classicism does NOT contribute to hard work and prosperity.

  21. maria gonzalez Says:

    I think it is probable considering the facts, that in Chinese culture the poor should not steal but ‘higher- ups ‘can.

    This comment remind me of the following incident in USA universities:

    Few years ago there was a problem with the results of GRE tests from Chinese students coming to graduate school to USA. Although their scores in English knowledge was very high, when they arrived they could not communicate in English. I do not have the source, but somebody found a fraud. Students were paying somebody in China to obtain higher scores. The bad thing now is that nobody trust high scores in language skills for Chinese students anymore.

    I think dishonesty is something that very hard to understand. There is a level of general acceptance when somebody is dishonest…that makes dishonest act part of the everyday life.
    For example I just wonder in which part of the world this incident will will not happen?

    http://www.noticierodigital.com/2011/04/saquean-gandola-cargada-con-azucar-que-colisiono-con-camion/#more-26893

  22. captainccs Says:

    Oye diablo! Diós está castigando a la marcha chavista con tremendo palo de agua. Con suerte todos caen con la fiebre cochina Ha1N1.

    http://elha1n1.blogspot.com/

  23. loroferoz Says:

    Excellent post, Miguel.

    “However, if they keep issuing at the current rate, things could get touchy.

    Yes, the Government can sell the fields, rent them, whatever to raise money. Hide them, sure, they have been doing that with Fonden.”

    I expect that things will get touchy. Not only because the government keeps issuing debt at an unsustainable rate.

    But because the private economy is being destroyed, and the government is downright atrocious at making resources reach the people, be it services or be it money.

    And we don’t have a clue of how much goes away in the form of corruption. Some might come back as luxury expenditures or new, protected, businesses by the rojo rojito hierarchs, but…

  24. tleon Says:

    It’s very simple. Unite the oposition and throw the bums out and follow up by putting them in jail. God knows there is enough cause in the human rights area alone to jail each and everyone of Chavez and his thugs for the rest of their lives. I am sure each of them would make someone a good girl friend while locked up.

    Look around the world people of Venezuela others are fighting and dying for freedom and not sitting around crying in thier drinks.

  25. firepigette Says:

    Maria Gonzales,

    The same thing in Belarus.My son took a Masters in piano performance at the Minsk conservatory.When he arrived he knew very little Russian, but he studied like a dog the first year, and even won the grammar Olympics for foreigners.Believe me my son is smart,and though possibly a musical genius, his academic intelligence is only slightly above average.He had to work very hard for good grades in the US undergraduate degree.He told me that it was easier in Belarus.Anyway…

    He informed us that he studied with quite a few Chinese, who were all( without exception) spoiled rotten only children, and they paid to have their final papers written for them as none of them learned Russian.

  26. Eric Says:

    “And we don’t have a clue of how much goes away in the form of corruption.”

    Well, actually, we do. The WB many years back had a rule of thumb for “developing(sic) countries” and that was 20% off the top goes into the pockets of everyone on the take, from the president to the sanitation inspector.

    That was 10-20 years ago. The last time I had a contract with the government, in 1999, I was told that we had to inflate our bid by 30% and kick it back to the person approving the contract (this was in Corpoturismo, or whatever it was called 12 years ago). I’ve heard recently that the going rate is now 40%. That’s just for contractual purposes. How much is just stolen right off the top? Ask Rafael Ramírez.

    All in all, we’re still talking about $200 billion being siphoned out of the treasury since Chávez came to power. Tow hundred billion here, and two hundred billion there, and pretty soon we’re talking real money, to paraphrase Sen Everett Dirksen, RIP.

    Miguel, could it be the reason you find all of this boring is that you’re several thousand miles away from the smell of tear gas?

    I find that when I’m in Venezuela I’m gripped by the drama and urgency of the breaking news, but when I’m back out of the country, as I am these days, it all feels a lot less serious and meaningful.

  27. loroferoz Says:

    Then, Eric,

    I am in Venezuela and I feel bored to death by it all. I prefer not to watch the news as they come out. And I prefer not to see and hear live TV.

    It’s like watching really bad comedy. No redeeming characteristics to a bunch of over the top antics by clowns who have long ceased to be funny with the same tired lines, who do not produce anything like a comprehensive picture and history, and an ending that will neither be happy nor tragic, nor ironically farcical, but will leave everyone with a bad taste in their mouths. There might be some persons who will make a difference and provide something to chew on, but they are struggling at the sidelines.

  28. Ira Says:

    SpeedGibson says:

    “If you are bored, ponder this then…, today is the 150th anniversary of the heroic militia forces of the sovereign state of South Carolina opening fire on the hated army of the yankee merchant class cowering inside Ft Sumpter. Perhaps someone from Zulia, which as I recall shares the same god awful humidity and bug count as S. C., can take inspiration.”

    What the hell are you talking about?

    Heroic Militia forces?
    Who were so unheroic as to not even kill a single Union soldier during the attack. Great aim, southern boys!

    Cowering inside Ft. Sumter? (And there’s no “p” there.)
    Major Anderson refused to surrender. It was only after an ultimatum from the Confederacy to evacuate the fort that the confederacy “valiantly” bombarded it from ships offshore. Again–great aim, guys! Not one Union shoulder killed. (They were too cowardly to actually ATTACK the fort. That takes courage!)

    The Yankee Merchant Class?
    Who the hell do you think the south sold their cotton to? What exactly is THAT supposed to mean?

    And what does any of this have to do with Venezuela?

    I just don’t like people reinventing history, and I sure don’t like people glorifying the South’s ignorant rebellion, and making their successes more than they actually were.

    Once the war started, it was all downhill for them–and again, because of ignorance:

    Wouldn’t you think that Jefferson Davis and Gen. Lee would have realized that none of their member states were capable of manufacturing anything arms related–unless you count cotton?

    And even then, cotton picked by slaves?

  29. firepigette Says:

    Loroferoz,

    Many of my friends and family are living in a kind of denial, which not everybody can do.I can’t live like that which is why I had to leave.I felt every negative gaze, sensed great hatred in many people, feared the atmosphere of intrigue,worried about the terrible crime rate etc, etc, and it made me sick.

    However some people are able to cope through some kind of trick of their attention, and simply do not receive the full force of what is happening.

    I guess for those who are stuck and cannot leave it is quite understandable, but after awhile many people get so used to the idiocy, the horror, the anger and the sadness, that they no longer feel much of anything.Not feeling much of anything might feel like boredom.

  30. loroferoz Says:

    Firepigette:

    The situation here in Venezuela is stressful already. I am leaving.

    I am not in terror, but I don’t want to end my life at the hands of one of the many thousands of sociopaths here for no reason at all. Moreover, fully knowing that this society is so sick that thousands of youth think of emulating them.

    What can be said by any idiot on national TV that trumps that?

    I don’t deny what is happening. In fact, let me go hyperbolic. Pablo Pueblo is up for a royal beating to within an inch of his life. Venezuelans have chosen badly (not limited to Chavez, which is the latest, the real deal authoritarian populist the last other two, Caldera and Perez, could not be), and will surely pay for it. Painfully. With hunger and poverty. With civil unrest and possibly civil war. With more death from crime. Perhaps with the disintegration of Venezuela, foreign occupation/peacekeepers and all.

    But most of the talking characters, they are boring, insubstantial. Overblown. Same-old. They do not really suggest alternatives to the horrid situation at hand. The words do not hold a candle, in all their outrageous nature, to the things done daily and the consequences of omission and incompetence. They could make for some “theater of the absurd”.

  31. LT Says:

    Dear devil,
    Shortly after Rafael Ramos de la Rosa declared himself guilty, the reaction of the judge in the case of Econoinvest was to strike back by denying habeas corpus to the accused directors.
    This is an interesting case. Do you have a way of covering it perhaps…

  32. moctavio Says:

    LT: Complicated, I can’t.

  33. NicaCat Says:

    Thank you, Ira. I couldn’t think of anything to tell Speed, but what you wrote was awesome. The South was indeed ignorant, as well as greedy.

  34. m_astera Says:

    One more word on the US Civil War: There is absolutely nothing in the US Constitution that requires the sovereign states to remain a part of the United States. They joined voluntarily and had (and still have) every right to leave voluntarily.

    If the US Constitution is the law of the land, that is.

  35. deananash Says:

    Thank you all for your warm comments, but the truth is, I deserve no praise. I am merely “Pay[ing] it Forward”. (An awesome movie, by the way.)

    It seems that I didn’t do a good enough job of explaining myself. Yes, China has many corrupt leaders (power corrupts, remember?). My point was that the poor Chinese – the ones who have literally built the country, and, by the way, THE MAJORITY (being 800+ million) are really decent, hard-working people. Even the poorest and least educated among them.

    That’s simply their culture. Compare that to the Philippine culture, and the difference is night and day. Thus, I maintain that China deserves her prosperity and the Philippines deserves her poverty.

    Take whatever lessons you will for Venezuela. From my now distant perspective, it’s every man, woman and child for themselves. With few if any constraints.

    [Of course, I don't mean that expression literally, there are many fine Venezuelans, as there are Filipinos, and everybody else.]

  36. loren Says:

    Hola Miguel te escribí a tu dirección de gmail moctavio pero si ne es correcta déjame saber. saludos. LT

  37. firepigette Says:

    deananash,

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, though I quite disagree.There are so many things that are wrong with China that I do not even know where to begin,and won’t because this is not a blog about China.

    But these decent people you speak of are making it happen.They are making China the country it is.Without them, where would China be?Whether or not you think this is a good thing or not would depend on your set of values, and I cannot compare yours with mine because I do not know you.

    As for Venezuela, people have become accustomed to easy money because of oil and also because of customs.It was always much easier for me and most others I know to earn good money there than it is here in the US..That coupled with almost non- stop vacations kind of puts a damper on productivity, and creativity.


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