Original art by @modográfico

“‘Sjluka, is that you?’ Embarrassed, he just kept quiet behind his stocking.”

Semezdin Mehmedinovic, on recognizing that the soldier harassing him on the street was a former soccer pal in Sarajevo Blues.

Not only was he a psychiatrist, he also authored eight books, including children’s poetry, receiving a prestigious award for it. Also known as the “Butcher of Bosnia”, Radovan Karadzic led the Siege of Sarajevo, a genocidal attack of Bosnian and Croatian civilians. He was a well-read psychiatrist from Columbia University where he also took poetry classes.

In a particularly disturbing sequence, documentarist Pawlikowsk films Karadzic entertaining the visit of Russian poet Eduard Limonov on Mount Trebevic, while the cruelty against Sarajevo is going on. He recites poetry before inviting his fellow writer to look through the telescopic lens of an automatic weapon and fire a round of shots at the city.

12,000 were murdered during the siege, including 1,600 children. Normal people were shot at from the mountains while going out on the street for daily chores.

At this time in history we know better than to think all crooks are ignorant. There’s the case, right around the corner, of well-educated psychiatrist, murderer and serial rapist Edmundo Chirinos, once dean of the Universidad Central de Venezuela and presidential candidate.

In the best-selling book Gomorra, Roberto Saviano tells the story of mafia boss Giuseppe Misso, who wrote a novel while serving his sentence in prison. When arrested, Misso was found holding a book of poems by Ezra Pound. Augusto La Torre, also featured in the book, was called the “psychoanalyst boss” for his love of Lacan, Freud, Jung and Gestalt theory, which he read avidly while in jail. His psychological knowledge, writes Saviano, came in handy when doing managerial tasks in the mafia, as well as showing off during his trial, where he was convicted of over forty murders.

The small controversy regarding the scuffle between Jaime Bayly and Rafael Poleo over whether ex-psychiatrist, ex-writer, ex-vice-president, ex-director of the National Electoral Council, ex-mayor, more recently Minister for the Popular Power of Communications, Jorge Rodríguez, can be called a cultivated man (culto), may seem meaningless. But it was followed up by a night of intense Twitter discussions on the meaning of Julio Borges’ kiss on Delcy Rodriguez’ cheek and diplomatic chit-chat on what appeared to be a break during the negotiation table at the Dominican Republic.

Paranoia is now part of our emotional landscape. Having no solution at hand, we could at least have someone to blame.

The wounds chavismo has inflicted on the country are monstrous and, sometimes, we need to identify the monsters. Government figures like Iris Varela, ugly in every conceivable way, seem to incarnate evil, cackling every time she opens her mouth.

To think that a chavista leader could have an ounce of refinement, or any other quality, may seem incomprehensible, considering all they have done. To concede them any grace is seen almost like an act of treason, or at least offense to the wounded.

These passions are understandable. Our wounds are still open, let’s not add insult to injury.

Semezdin Mehmedinovic, a Bosnian poet who survived the siege in Sarajevo, told an enlightening anecdote once: Semezdin met Karadzic before the war. He remembered him as a rather quiet man, keeping a low profile at poetry meetings. His writing was so inconsequential that nobody took notice of his passion for scenes of destruction. But during the siege, he sat one night listening to Karadzic’s lies on television, and all his pent-up rage came gushing out. He reached for Karadzic’s children’s poetry book (Semezdin’s son loved it), and ripped it apart, making his son cry. He realized that this was more complicated: “I started taping together the ripped pages, to calm a little boy down whose world was being destroyed by grown-ups, a fact he refused to acknowledge. My son knew the author of the book, and he couldn’t let himself believe that such a man would want to harm him.”

Frustrated with our descent into oblivion, desperate for hope, many are looking to pinpoint monsters and traitors. Paranoia is now part of our emotional landscape. Having no solution at hand, we could at least have someone to blame. Julio Borges and Rafael Poleo seem perfect for target practice, but we should be weary of such simplistic reasoning.

On one hand, we need to watch out for childish innocence, like that of Semezdin’s son, that cannot see beyond appearances. Distrust has its place. Of course we need to hold Borges and Poleo accountable, and we should avoid handing anyone empty checks, but we also need the temperance of Semezdin who, conscious of his rage, was still able to put his child’s protection before his need for revenge.

Karadzic, by the way, was at large from 1996 to 2008. He disguised himself working as a sort of new-age alternative medicine doctor, with a long beard and hippie outfit (a rather telling choice of profession), and was arrested and sentenced in 2016 to 40 years of jail for his war crimes.

36 COMMENTS

      • I wonder what the psychiatrists call someone who repeatedly, willfully and for no apparent purpose does something he dislikes.

        • That was so obtuse and such a poorly thought out post as to not even approaching the category of an insult.

          I mean, huh?

          And if you think my failure at “getting it” is a sign of mental weakness, it ain’t. It’s a sign that you’re a really terrible writer.

        • “I wonder what the psychiatrists call someone who repeatedly, willfully and for no apparent purpose does something he dislikes.”

          “Employees”? “Workers”? “Salarymen”?

          :V

      • Ira, you’re the guy who was complaining months ago about them not publishing something you wrote. Have you not recovered? Are you not an adult now?

        • Your memory is failing:

          They wanted me to write, but they didn’t like the subject matter, so I never wrote it. It was about the faulty Venezuelan character.

          Interestingly, since then, these pages are FILLED with this subject!

          You just never do get it right, do you?

  1. Interesting reflections. They brought to mind a book by Milan Kundera about poets and political fanatics. I think it was published in English as Life is Elsewhere. Jorge Rodriguez is an educated but not civilized man.

  2. Government figures like Iris Varela, ugly in every conceivable way, seem to incarnate evil, cackling every time she opens her mouth.

  3. “Government figures like Iris Varela, ugly in every conceivable way, seem to incarnate evil, cackling every time she opens her mouth.”

    We had a dog at the ranch we called Iris because she was such a bitch to everything and everyone around her.

  4. “Being evil, manipulative liars and cruel murderers doesn’t mean you can’t be smart or cultured. Unfortunately.”

    To suggest that Jorge Rodriguez or Delcy are well-educated and intelligent really sets a very low bar on both concepts. Real low. Have you heard them talk? With Universidad Central little degrees.. that ain’t much -at all– and a laughable cursito in Paris? (Crap you can buy on a cereal box, too) ..

    And “smart”? Again, have you heard them talk? Sure, compared to most Chavistas and the tragically uneducated pueblo-people they may seem wise luminaries to you.. to me they are average Venezolanos vivos, under-educated by any significant European or US Standard, and rather dumb.

    And to top it off, the author here suggest ‘refinement”!!

    “To think that a chavista leader could have an ounce of refinement, or any other quality, may seem incomprehensible, considering all they have done. To concede them any grace is seen almost like an act of treason, or at least offense to the wounded.”

    Delcy and Jorge are “refined” and “graceful” ?! Dude your standards are.. por el piso, chamo.

  5. Most SS leaders, those in the top jobs, were incredibly educated. They weren’t no dummies, and it makes sense:

    You need brains to manipulate those under you to carry out your horrors, horrors you can’t and don’t want to physically perform yourself.

  6. It is often said that people who study psychology choose that field in order to try to tame their own demons. Just add drugs to that mix and you wind up with lunatics like Karadzic and Jorge Rodriguez.

    • Written on the wall of a bathroom stall somewhere in my distant past:

      Support your local mental health clinic, or I’ll kill you.

      Another fav:

      Roses are red,
      violets are blue,
      I’m a schizophrenic,
      And so am I.

  7. Measuring a persons level of intellectual literay is very difficult , one thing to be noted is that it isnt always uniform in the way it spreads among different fields of a persons intellectual accomplishments , some are brilliant in one area of intellectual endevour but quite bakward in others , think of the intellectual gifts of Pablo Neruda as a writer of poems and his childish primitive political thought ( he wrote silly poems in praise of Stalin ) , Celine a noted french author left dozens of articles arguing in favour of anti semitism ……Newton was a great scientist but he also dabbled in esoteric studies of the most ignorant kind .

    I have the notion that just as there are idiot savants , feeble minded people who show prodigious mathematical or musical skills , there are savants idiots , people of above standard intellectual literacy but who fall into idiocy when delving in some area of intelletual endevour…..!! One thing I have no doubts about in matters of political thinking Mr Jorge Rodriguez is a total brute ……!!

  8. think of the intellectual gifts of Pablo Neruda as a writer of poems and his childish primitive political thought ( he wrote silly poems in praise of Stalin )

    I am reminded of the Open Letter of the 400_To All Active Supporters of Democracy and Peace [August 14,1939], a letter which praised the Soviet Union in contrast to horrid Nazi Germany. Shortly after the letter was signed, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany became defacto allies as a result of the Non-Aggression Pact between the two countries. Of the people who signed, how many considered themselves played for fools as a result of the Non-Aggresison Pact, and how many merely parroted the new line that Germany and the Soviet Union were now best buds?

    • What I never understood was that Hitler cursed the Slavs from day one as inferior animals.

      Did Stalin’s greed for half of Poland blind him to this fact?

      • It gets real complicated real fast, Ira. Uncle Joe would have preferred an alignment with England and France. BUT:

        1. He rightly estimated it would take 300 divisions to stop the Germans.

        2. Neville Chamberlain (“peace in our time”) had signed the Warsaw Pact a year earlier, giving Sudetenland to Hitler. And the lost generation of England was not about to rock the boat for the Soviets. They would only commit two divisions to the defense of Poland and the USSR (“two now and maybe two later”).

        3. Poland did not want to provoke Hitler by allowing Soviet divisions on it’s soil, which strategically made it almost impossible to head the Germans off at the pass.

        4. France was willing to commit a hundred divisions but was really in love with the Maginot Line. Stalin anticipated a hasty retreat thereto in the event the shit hit the fan.

        “We formed the impression that the British and French were not resolved to go to war if Poland were attacked, but hoped a pact with us (Russia) would deter Hitler. We were convinced it would not.” – Stalin

        • Sorry, but no. I often see stuff like this by those trying to rationalize or justify the unjustifiable and irrational, especially Soviet apologists. I am not saying you are one, but this kind of stuff originated because of them. Especially the attempt to blame Molotov-Ribbentrop on Western cowardice.

          For one, the only reason the Soviets could estimate that it would take 300 divisions to stop the German Army was because the Soviets had spent the two decades before WWII helping the German Army rebuild itself into an army of aggression, in contravention of all international law.

          This was most prominent before Hitler came to power, but not only.

          In 1934 the Reich and Soviets signed a massive credit agreement in which the Soviets would help fund (still illegal) Nazi rearmament in exchange for industrial goods, and the following year Stalin actually tried to negotiate an even bigger one only to be turned down by Hitler reasoning he didn’t need it and it was better to not do it!

          And in the end, contrary to what you say, throughout the thirties when pushed between aligning with Hitler for mutual power or joining the West to contain him, Stalin almost always chose the former.

          So the special pleading by the Soviets that they couldn’t stop that meanie Fuhrer because Britain and France were weak willed is like the person who shot his parents pleading for clemency because they are an orphan.

          • Not apologizing for the Soviets nor accusing anyone of cowardice. I am just trying to state pertinent facts.

            Which of those statements are you refuting? 1, 2, 3, or 4?

          • For one, the only reason the Soviets could estimate that it would take 300 divisions to stop the German Army was because the Soviets had spent the two decades before WWII helping the German Army rebuild itself into an army of aggression, in contravention of all international law.

            The 1922 Treaty of Rapallo between Germany and the USSR had secret provisions for providing Germany military bases on Soviet soil which would perform military R&D – military R&D which the the Treaty of Versailles prohibited. German Military in the Soviet Union 1918-1933.

            In short, German bases operating in the Soviet Union were to be primarily used for R&D efforts, tactical training, personnel evaluation, etc, in those disciplines which were expressly prohibited for Germany by the Versailles treaty. In return for these privileges, Germany would allow the Red Army to conduct military exercises alongside the Reichswehr and it would also agree to share industrial and military technology advances as applicable. The Soviet Union agreed to the above-cited stipulations.

          • Russia was not a signatory to the Treaty of Versailles and was therefore not bound by any of it’s prohibitives.

            Again, I am not apologizing for the Soviets nor pointing fingers at anyone.

          • The point about the Treaty of Rapallo and the German military R&D bases in the Soviet Union is that the Soviet Union colluded in Germany’s rearmament. That rearmament subsequently bit the Soviet Union in the ass beginning on June 22,1941.

            The winning powers in WW1 believed that a rearmed Germany was not a good thing. The Soviet Union thought otherwise. Tell me who made the wrong strategic calculation.

          • No question that if the Ruskies could have looked 20 years into the future from 1922, they would not have signed onto the Treaty of Rapallo.

            But they were not the only allied country doing deals with the Germans between the wars. For example, the four great US Navy airships of the twenties and thirties were designed and constructed in a joint venture of the Zeppelin co. and Goodyear. Heck, the USS Los Angeles was constructed entirely in Germany in 1924.

          • “And in the end, contrary to what you say, throughout the thirties when pushed between aligning with Hitler for mutual power or joining the West to contain him, Stalin almost always chose the former.”

            Did I say otherwise? Look, the Bolsheviks were snubbed by the western powers from day one, including at Versailles. Stalin could not have, “joined the west,” if he had wanted to.

          • Look, the Bolsheviks were snubbed by the western powers from day one, including at Versailles. Stalin could not have, “joined the west,” if he had wanted to.

            I don’t quite agree with your viewpoint. For example, the Soviet attempt to conquer Poland in 1920 just might have had something to do with the Western powers deciding “snub” the Bolshies. In The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, Bertrand Russell recounts an interview with Lenin.

            So said Lenin:
            Peace between Bolshevik Russia and capitalist countries, he said, must always be insecure; the Entente might be led by weariness and mutual dissensions to conclude peace, but he felt convinced that the peace would be of brief duration. I found in him, as in almost all leading Communists, much less eagerness than existed in our delegation for peace and the raising of the blockade. He believes that nothing of real value can be achieved except through world revolution and the abolition of capitalism; I felt that he regarded the resumption of trade with capitalist countries as a mere palliative of doubtful value.

            Seems to me that it is rather appropriate “snub” those who want to destroy you through “world revolution.” Do you make friends with those who want to destroy your world?

            Stalin could not have “joined the west” because he didn’t want to. Stalin did tone down the Leninist desire for world revo ASAP with his “socialism in one country,” Trade increased.

        • “Not apologizing for the Soviets nor accusing anyone of cowardice. I am just trying to state pertinent facts.”

          I can understand that, and I appreciate it. Problem is some of those don’t work.

          “Which of those statements are you refuting? 1, 2, 3, or 4?”

          Most strongly 1 and 3, with caveats for 2.

          Simply put, we know Stalin did not estimate it would take 300 divisions to defeat or contain the Nazis at the start in good faith. We know this because- as I’ll elaborate on later- the Soviets had spent twenty years building up the Reichswehr as an aggressive counterbalance to the Western Allies in Cnetral Europe, and a possible ally for aggression.

          And even WITH all of that, 300 divisions was still far, far, far more than all the resources the German War machine had- whether in the rump official Reichswehr, the illegal “Black Reichswehr”, the paramilitaries like the Freikorps and SA, and the assorted “Civic Clubs”- put together several times over at the time Hitler took power.

          There’s a reason why a war over the Rhineland Remilitarization would have been a walkover for the French or Belgians alone, let alone a combined effort.

          It was easy and economical to contain Germany’s militarists at this point in time, with even a third of the supposed 300 divisions needed being overkill.

          But Stalin- like Lenin before him- was not interested in contaning the Germans.

          As for 3, the truth is that Poland’s concerns with stationing Soviet troops in its’ borders or allowing them passage through it had less to do with fear of alienating Hitler (though that was part of it) and more to do with VERY well educated fears about the Soviets never leaving. And instead using their military supremacy and position in Poland’s borders to dismantle the government and impose a Communist puppet state.

          I think it’s safe to say those fears were utterly well founded, since that’s exactly what happened to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, in addition to the seminal Bolshevik invasion of Poland just over a decade earlier.

          In essence, it downplays the fact that to Poland and the other states, the threat of Soviet expansionism was just as prominent- if not even moreso- than that from a totalitarian Germany.

          The caveat I have with 2 is that while it certainly discusses Chamberlain’s fecklnessness well, as well as the UK’s unwillingness to commit troops to a land war in the East, the issue wasn’t about them defending “Poland and the USSR.” The truth is that while Stalin briefly had a foreign minister who advocated a “Popular Front” to contain Hitler, Stalin himself was never willing to commit to this- or even to “stop feeding the beast”-and the West understood that. Hence why if they were going to do much they would have to do it alone with Poland and France. While the latter was unwilling (I think your 4 point is quite accurate) and the former was that as well as somewhat double faced in using the Germans to extort concessions from Lithuania and Czechoslovakia.

          “Russia was not a signatory to the Treaty of Versailles and was therefore not bound by any of it’s prohibitives.”

          Correct, but it WAS however a signatory to several arms control provisions and nonaggression pacts. Which its’ Rapallo Alliance consciously and illegally broke.

          “Again, I am not apologizing for the Soviets nor pointing fingers at anyone.”

          I can understand that’s your intent, but I think that you softball- even if unwittingly- for the Soviets, and as a result while you’re not apologizing for them, the arguments you put forth wind up doing so.

          And I’m a butthurt history nerd who is kind of obsessed with stuff like this.

          “No question that if the Ruskies could have looked 20 years into the future from 1922, they would not have signed onto the Treaty of Rapallo.”

          Actually, after a decade and a half of wargaming, research, and the like, I can’t agree with this. I think it is all too likely that they would have anyway. They just would have been disappointed about how it bit them in the rear.

          Why?

          Because the Bolshevik regime in Russia (and Ukraine and elsewhere) was a totalitarian system with global aspirations. It wanted to plunge the world into another war so it would pave the way for the Communist revolution, and Lenin tried to do this as early as 1917 (wiith things really heating up in 1919 after Germany was defeated).

          Even if it meant empowering another threat.

          After all, Lenin had made an agreement with a previous generation of German miltiarists- led by Ludendorff- to take part in a coup against the Provisional Republic with German support in exchange for surrendering vast swaths of land and material. I think he did this not because he really wanted to see a reactionary, absolutist dictatorship take control of Poland, East Prussia, and so on- and he in fact began reneging on it very soon after- but because he viewed it as a deal to gain more power. with which to later wage war on the world. In this case, gaining control of the levers of power in the Russian state.

          Rapallo was just a continuation of this policy and some other tentative ones going back to 1919, including Bolshevik offers to the (now discredited but still unreformed) Reichswehr to jointly attack Poland (Deja Vu)?

          Basically, the Bolsheviks saw Germany’s tyrants- whether Absolute Monarhcist or National Socialist- as a counterweight they could use to crush the Tsarists an the nascent nations of Central and Eastern Europe against, while also tying down the Western Allies.

          Then when the time was right, a bolstered Soviet Empire could backstab its’ allies, conquer Germany, and continue the march to “worldwide conflagration” into Central Europe, as Lenin and his followers had prophecized and tried to continue since they took power.

          This is why I think the Soviets were happy to make agreements like Molotov-Ribbentrop, Rapallo, and the Sealed Train. They were all means to an end to set the stage for world conquest. Even if it meant using one non-communist power against others. And I truly believe they were indifferent to the human cost of doing so, both because they did it and because they did their damndest to conquer their neighbors from 1919-1921 and kickstart another world war.

          I think if we could show Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin in 1922 the way history would be in 1942, they would be alarmed and disturbed at how it turned out, but only because their policies started the war on the wrong foot. Not because of the policies or the war themselves. And I think if you showed them history in 1946, they might have viewed Rapallo was proper, and been disappointed only that they did not get everything.

          “But they were not the only allied country doing deals with the Germans between the wars. ”

          They were the only allied country giving military aid to the Germans, and coordinating with them to dismember independent nations.

          Most of the truly infamous deals between the Reich and the Allies were either private ones (by private entities like corporations or businesses), or attempts at conciliation. They were attempts to keep the peace and build a tranquil Germany.

          In contrast, the Bolsheviks and Reichswehr were making plans to start another world war.

          “For example, the four great US Navy airships of the twenties and thirties were designed and constructed in a joint venture of the Zeppelin co. and Goodyear. ”

          Which again, did not involve equipping a German army for aggression.

          “Heck, the USS Los Angeles was constructed entirely in Germany in 1924.

          “Did I say otherwise? ”

          Points 1 and 3 leaned that way, even if again not your intention.

          “Look, the Bolsheviks were snubbed by the western powers from day one, ”

          This is manifestly false, actually.

          The Western Allies disliked and distrusted the Bolsheviks from day one. And they were absolutely right to do so given how the Bolsheviks overthrew their democratic ally in a violent coup with rumors of German military support (that were later to be proven true) and how the Bolsheviks did so while explicitly demanding Russia make peace and concede to the Central Powers. Thus leaving the Allies in a lurch.

          But the Western Allies WERE willing to triangulate with the Bolsheviks if they had to. Which was why the British and Bolsheviks briefly coordinated in arming Karelian militia against German troops intervening in Finland. And why Richard Pipes underlined that Lenin allowed the Western Allies to land and garrison Murmansk. Which they did so in an attempt to protect their stockpiled supplies there from being pillaged and to rescue their civilians and refugees.

          Lenin did it in order to gain a one up on negotiations with his German sponsors in the hopes of dragging talks out so long that WWI transformed into a class war..

          http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/museum/muchado.htm

          “T]he first Western involvement on Russian soil occured at the request of the Murmansk Soviet and with the approval of the Soviet government. In a speech which he delivered on May 14, 1918, Lenin explained that the British and French had landed ‘to defend the Murmansk coast.'”

          Then when the Germans caved in late 1918, Lenin Backstabbed the Western Powers, attacking their garrisons at Arkanglsk and Murmansk (among others) in an attempt to destroy them and seize their supplies.

          In fact, he proceeded to attack every other polity that the Bolsheviks bordered, from Finland to Estonia, to Latvia, to Lithuania, to Poland, to Romania, to Ukraine, to Georgia, and later to Mongolia. In an open attempt to inspire “world revolution” that would destroy all non-Communist governments.

          THIS Is what led the Western powers to shun the Bolsheviks: the unprovoked attacks on them and independent nations, along with increasingly bold Bolshevik claims of world conquest.

          “including at Versailles.”

          Versailles was a Peace Conference, which the Bolsheviks were manifestly uninterested in.

          It’s hard to blame the Allies for “shunning” the Bolsheviks here when the Bolsheviks were not on speaking terms with most nations.

          “Stalin could not have, “joined the west,” if he had wanted to.”

          Firstly: if he couldn’t have, he shouldn’t have been holding out false hope of a “Popular Front” for years with jokers like Litvinov when he was not only unwilling to commit to it, but was unwilling to even stop financing German rearmament.

          And secondly, I don’t think that’s true. After all, he certainly joined with the Western Allies right damn quick when his former ally came calling.

          And he also briefly- very briefly- tried to join them about Czechoslovak security, and more seriously about Japanese expansionism in the Far East.

          The truth is, Stalin and the Bolsheviks could have joined with the Western Allies to stop Hitler if they wanted to. In fact, it is quite possible that Hitler could have been stopped relatively easily even if they did not, in cases like the Rhineland Crisis.

          The issue, of course, is that doing so would mean abandoning- or at least dialing down- Soviet interests in destroying the peace and causing world revolution. At least temporarily.

          And they never wanted to stop Hitler badly enough to do that. In fact, it was usually the inverse. They were happy to help fuel his rise so long as they got their world war.

          Well, we know how that ended.

  9. “To think that a chavista leader could have an ounce of refinement, or any other quality, may seem incomprehensible, considering all they have done. To concede them any grace is seen almost like an act of treason, or at least offense to the wounded.”

    You missed the point.

    Baily went nuts on his program because Poleo used the same idiotic communist speech from forever: “The US are only interested in Venezuela’s oil because it’s such a good business, nothing else, they’ll come to take its oil.”

    Also, the article seems to be another of those useless “we must forgive and forget for the PPPAAAAZZZZZZ” pieces, no one’s saying here that “chavistas are stupid beasts”, what we must be clear is that chavistas have never done anything good for Venezuela, ever, and that chavismo has never done anything positive at all, and thus must be excised from all positions of power.

    • ” Baily went nuts on his program because Poleo used the same idiotic communist speech from forever: “The US are only interested in Venezuela’s oil because it’s such a good business, nothing else, they’ll come to take its oil.” ”

      That’s right, it is a stupid communist speech from forever.

      “The U.S. is interested in the oil of …[insert country]” is a LIE. The U.S. is a free country. The people interested in oil are the companies which are free to operate in the U.S. under U.S. laws, in a free market.

      Socialists in the U.S. say the same thing, “the U.S. is in the Middle East because of oil”. That is the same LIE.

      If it had been “the U.S.” then it would have been the army drilling and pumping and refining and shipping, not Esso (Exxon), not Mobil, not Chevron, not any companies operating in the U.S.. And the army would never have let the predecessors of Chavez “nationalize” their property and screw them over. I doubt anyone would have even dreamed of it … going up against what would have been essentially a U.S. military base? Who the heck in their right mind would want to mess with a “secure zone” – the army will shoot U.S. citizens dead for trespassing on restricted property here in the U.S. and ask questions later.

      The U.S. government does not operate businesses. You can argue that the attempt to “nationalize health care” is an attempt to run a business, but that is a socialist conception. You can argue that regulating utilities is an intrusion, or that building highways is borderline even though it is the contractors who build them. Heck there are people here who think the Federal Reserve Bank is part of “the government”. It is not. A quick and simple rule is that the government is not a profit-making enterprise.

      The more socialists lie and slink into government, the more it becomes a “hand-out” counter – which it was never intended to be. When Venezuela becomes a topic of news, the American response is usually: “That’s what the Demoncraps want the U.S. to become!”

  10. Manuel Llorens –

    One of the incalculably greatest minds and beings ever to walk the Earth lectured not one, but two entire books on the subject: Ethics. Aristotle. He made it very clear, unmistakably clear, entirely lucid, easily visible, self-evident in fact, that ethics is the behavior of a man. That is, his behavior towards others, his endeavors in life, and his conceptions of himself, his drive, his motivations, his thoughts, his aspirations.

    Another incalculably great mind and being resolved that there are things “wrong” with the mind of Man which negatively impact his behavior, his self-conception(s), and his thoughts. Sigmund Freud.

    To blatantly steal a phrase from Naky: We go on.

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