Photo: AP retrieved

It’s staggering that, in Venezuela —one of the 12 countries with the largest fresh water reserves in the world— most of the population doesn’t have access to a drop of water. Instead, many are forced to collect it from mountain springs, bathe under the rain and do things as humiliating as exchanging food for a bucket of water.

Mariana Montilla exchanges black beans and rice for water. She doesn’t have food to spare, but the need to bathe, wash the dishes and cook for the family is colossal.

“We’ve had this issue for a long time, and we can’t pay for water tankers every week. That’s why we’re exchanging food for buckets of water.”

Mariana Montilla exchanges black beans and rice for water.

In Caracas’ low-income neighborhoods, a water tanker costs Bs. 70 million in cash, 23 minimum wages, and families can hardly afford the luxury of paying for it. The Caracas Mayor’s Office, which claims to govern for the poor, doesn’t supply water tankers either.

Montilla lives in Altos de Lídice, La Pastora parish, an intricate area far from the last public transport stop, almost 500 meters uphill. It’s been over four months since she’s been able to regularly wash her family clothes or clean the bathroom. She bathes with a jar just for her armpits and private parts, to avail the 20-liter containers she buys for Bs. 300,000, 10% of today’s minimum wage.

Bs. 1,200,000 are spent each week in those four containers, two buckets for her, and another two for her daughter; “but sometimes we don’t have any money and I give the men who carry the cylinders two kilos of black beans per cylinder, because they already increased the fee.”

Montilla exchanges black beans and rice for water, but there are some who spend the day, with their small children, by the side of a freeway collecting it from mountain springs. Others take empty bottles to their jobs and fill them there, since they can’t pay for a cylinder. Some people profit from the crisis and now they fill buckets from their own filters, without any kind of health regulation. Of course, they charge cheaper than commercial suppliers and ultimately, Caracas inhabitants find it more convenient.

There are some who spend the day, with their small children, by the side of a freeway collecting it from mountain springs.

Now that we’re in the rainy season, despair and thirst are forcing people to fill their tanks with rainwater.

“At least that’s good for cleaning the toilets and the house, because we can’t even buy chlorine for sanitation,” said Moraima Cáceres, from San Martín. Citizens living in the most vulnerable areas are going as far as getting their water from hydrants used by fire brigades.

Mariana sounds tired when she talks, but not just due to water shortage. It’s also transport, power outages, lack of cash, the fact that she doesn’t find medicines. “This neighborhood is horrible, it’s like the wild west, authorities don’t listen to us.”

False promises

Altos de Lídice was left without water because two suction pumps in El Calvario station, 2.3 km away, are out of order. Last May, during Nicolás Maduro’s electoral campaign, the local government offered to buy new ones, but the promise was empty and the company in charge, Hidrocapital, looked the other way.

Montilla and her neighbors are aware that the situation’s due to lack of maintenance and investment in the hydrological company.

We’ve become leaders in shortages and utter collapse of public services.

She remembered how the late Hugo Chávez always said that Venezuela was one of the countries with the largest sweet water reserves in the world, and that he’d turn the country into a super power. And he didn’t lie, because we’ve become leaders in shortages and utter collapse of public services, result of null investment in social programs during his government. Now with Nicolás Maduro, we live a period characterized by intense water rationing, to the point where families may get just 24 hours of running water during an entire week.

And what’s the government’s response to all of this? “It’s a severe drought.

Protesting for water

Cáritas de Venezuela’s latest report, released last month, says that 73% of families —monitored through the Nutrition Surveillance System known as SAMAN— don’t have continuous access to drinking water, and they must frequently resort to untreated drain water to avoid dying of thirst.

Mariana Montilla is part of that statistic, just like the inhabitants of Coche, El Valle, La Candelaria, Catia, La Vega, San José, El Paraíso, Montalbán, Chacao, Baruta and Petare, where some communities haven’t been able to take a decent shower in eight months, thanks to the shortage imposed by the gradual collapse of distribution systems, which haven’t been upgraded in 20 years.

Not even hospitals have a steady supply.

The lack of supply keeps people in the streets. There are up to four simultaneous daily protests in Caracas and, despite people’s demands and the blocked streets, authorities still don’t solve the problem.

Engineer José María de Viana, head of Hidrocapital until 1999, said that the capital must receive 18,000 liters per second, which equals two water tankers with a 9,000 liter capacity each, so that all inhabitants can have water in their homes. However, the city’s getting less than 14,000 liters. If the lack of maintenance continues, it’s clear that the service won’t reach the city’s five million inhabitants.

In fact, not even hospitals have a steady supply and they’ve had to suspend consultations and surgeries due to the lack of water service.

It seems that there won’t be a short-term solution. The government’s bent on causing more trouble, since they’ve come as far as militarizing public filling stations, which many used to survive. This is happening in Caracas, but the story repeats itself in the rest of the country; there’s no water and the liquid that’s still flowing isn’t appropriately treated. People say it’s tainted, smelly and comes with a strange taste, which represents another hazard for the health of Venezuelans.

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48 COMMENTS

  1. I was reading about the massive riots throughout Venezuela due to lack of food, medicine, water and electricity. Thousands of people in the streets demanding accountability.

    No… I didn’t read that. I was being facetious. Because despite the fact that Venezuela has been spiraling down the shitter for the last 19 years, El Pueblo is of the belief that if they just keep their yaps shut, things will get better… tomorrow. After all, doesn’t everyone have to scrounge in the garbage to find food these days? And rolling blackouts… that is normal everywhere, right? Water (non-potable) from trucks, delivered to the local parking lot… everyone does that!

    Until accountability is demanded and there are repercussions, nothing will change for the better.

    • I feel the same way as you, Mr. Guapo, except that el pueblo tasted better not long ago. THEY KNOW the present is a crazy new normal, but they seem to settle for it. I am puzzled.

      Moreover, I hear the nurses are on strike, the teachers are threatening and yet they do not coalesce and work together.

      I get it that people fear the government, they are thugs, but it seems something akin to the concentration camps where a squad of armed men controlled thousands of prisoners.

      “Gloria al bravo pueblo”???? Maybe not so bravo after all.

  2. I spent the day in Cuba last week as part of a Cruise with the wife.. Without bullets and bombs, or your own “Pinochet” you all in Vz are royally screwed.

    In the “Old Square” in Old Havana they is a statue that blew my mind. It’s about 10-12 feet tall, and it’s an old rooster with a naked girl on top wearing only a pair of high heels holding a fork. Our tour guide explained that during the special period “The young girls would ride foreigners old cocks to eat”.. This was said as if it’s normal, or understandable or simply just accepted.

    https://media5.trover.com/T/55672593e9ae421b9500e686/fixedw_large_4x.jpg

    The Cubans we met were very nice, and seemed to not even understand what they were missing, like how young girls f’ing older guys for food is a complete shame. You all are twenty years in and already no young person in VZ may know what it’s like to go to a fully stocked supermarket or have a functioning economy.

    I will say this, Castro, Chavez and Maduro have been great for South Florida Real Estate Values.

    • True, 18 years in already and the majority Venezuelans, now born in Revolution don’t know how much better things could/should be. Young Venezuelan girls, however, are emigrating to ride elsewhere, since Venezuelan currency/salaries/wherewithal is a pittance, and old tourist “cocks” aren’t visiting the Country for fear of having them cut off, figuratively, if not literally.

    • I know several Cuban expats, and most are very nice and very friendly. I think that when you come from having nothing and now have a world of opportunity at your feet, you really appreciate it. (this is a worldwide phenomenon, IMHO)

      Compare and contrast that to people who have had every opportunity to succeed, and have only squandered those opportunities… these people are perpetually bitter and angry at some unseen boogieman, but they can usually name who that boogieman is… Capitalism, uncaring parent, drunken ex-spouse, cheating girlfriend, Trump/Reagan/Nixon, Illuminati, Portuguese pig farmers, sunrises, etc. etc. Sort of like Chavistas… always someone to blame for their “bad luck”.

      A few years ago*, outside of various Big Box stores, there used to be about 2 dozen illegals hanging around looking for day labor (cash). Invariably, they would get snatched up before 0900 where I lived. These guys worked their asses off. They may not have been the best at what they did, but they did there best and they were grateful. Who you DIDN’T see out there was our countries very own SLACKER CLASS who feels anything other than office work for $30/hour is beneath their dignity. Can’t quit hitting the pipe, or Snapchatting for 10 minutes in order to get a job.

      I am serious as a heart attack when I say that Trump needs to open our borders and let REAL, LEGAL workers in… this can be offset by kicking every lazy indolent f*ck off welfare and SNAP and turning every Section 8 property into market rate apartments. THAT would shake the tree. No more dole money and bennies in a economy that is going BEGGING for unskilled, entry level workers.

      *Can’t find these guys anymore. Most have been snatched up long ago and are working full time, either on the books or off.

      • Couldn’t agree more, ElGuapo. The snowflakes fall all over themselves trying to make nice to the illegals, but suggest a legal, work-permit system and they clam up. I don’t understand it. I guess if Trump and the “Alt-Right” support it, they are automatically against it.

      • Oh, and something else: You should read the U.S. constitution some time. It’s not Trump’s decision whether to open or close the border. It’s Congress’s. Like so many republicans these days you just have wet dreams for a fascist dictator like Mussolini. The U.S. is a liberal republic and you are just a traitor.

          • @Gringo X It isn’t that good a call.

            Since it involves ignoring the context. Particularly what Congress did, and the role of the Executive branch in regards to what Congress does.

        • @Jacques “Oh, and something else: You should read the U.S. constitution some time.”

          I do. Regularly.

          “It’s not Trump’s decision whether to open or close the border. It’s Congress’s.”

          Correct.

          The problem with this is that Congress has already made a number of laws on the matter governing US border policy and naturalization.

          Now it is a matter of ENFORCING them.

          Which falls under the purview of the executive branch.

          You geddit? The legislative branch LEGISLATES matters like whether or not to close a border, or under what circumtances lawful immigration or crossing shall happen.

          The executive branch ENFORCES the decisions of the Legislative.

          Or at least that is how it is supposed to go.

          And it has been accepted law- AS LEGISLATED BY CONGRESS- that the US shall construct boundaries on the US-Mexican border for years.

          Y.E.A.R.S.

          https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-congress/house-bill/6061/text

          Now, if Congress wants to cut the feet out from under this, IT CAN VOTE TO REPEAL the relevant Law and pass new legislation forbidding such a thing. In the same way it can vote to disband the laws it has passed regarding naturalization, illegal and legal transport, and so on.

          But they haven’t. So unfortunately for you, this is all a distraction.

          ” Like so many republicans these days you just have wet dreams for a fascist dictator like Mussolini. The U.S. is a liberal republic and you are just a traitor.”

          Oh please. Get over yourself.

          I’m an American republican. I’m ALSO Italian-American, from a family tree that was actually GROUND UNDER by Benito Mussolini and his blackshirted thugs. Hence why I have studied Fascism a great deal.

          If Trump were really a Fascist…

          A: Where’s the freaking paramilitary movement? The Combat Fascisti were the *very First Political Organization He Formed* after seceding from the Italian Socialist party.

          B: Where’s the party press? Who is his Virginio Gayda (Do you even know who Gayda was)?

          And so on.

          Oh, and I could add this. Where’s the Socialism?

          Because that is what Fascism is. A nationalist offshoot of Socialism. As Benny the Moose was all too damn clear on if you bother reading his drek, like “The Doctrine of Fascism.” And also the testitmony of those covering his rise to power, like the aptly named “Sawdust Caesar.”

          Trump wasn’t my first pick and I don’t trust him. Heck, I don’t even particularly like him.

          But if you’re going to blather about Fascism regarding the POTUS enforcing immigration law (as passed by the Legislature per the Constitution), you’re going to have to give a notarized example of where the heck you were to complain about Teddy Roosevelt’s administration banning the immigration of all those who so much as *believed* in Polygamy.

          • Fascist economics was a mixed bag of policies; including telling companies where and what to produce or else (e.g. threats to Harley Davidson), curbing free markets (e.g. imposition of tariffs on all kinds of foreign products), import substitution, and a long etc. So yes, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck… The socialism, we already have in this country: Medicare anyone?

          • @Jacques

            A: If you’re stupid enough to think the NRA or the *farqing PROUD BOYS* are comparable to the Blackshirts, you’re too stupid to be worth talking to.

            The NRA are around to peacefully support the right to keep and bare arms *AS STATED IN THE CONSTITUTION.*

            The Proud Boys are around to support civic pride in Western Civilization.

            The *ENTIRE MOTHERFARQING PURPOSE OF THE BLACKSHIRTS AND BROWNSHIRTS* was to USE VIOLENCE in order to further the party’s cause. Usually by beating and murdering the opposition.

            And they made that purpose public. Very Very Very Public.

            Don’t believe me, stupid?

            Take a look at what Goebbels wrote to laud the Brownshirts.

            http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/berlin.htm

            Now, can you point to a SINGLE INCIDENT in which the NRA or the Proud Boys *VIOLENTLY BROKE UP* a party gathering of the Democratic, “Democratic Socialist”, NDP or other non-right party

            Go on.

            Try me. Point to a single incident where these organizations actually went to someone else’s organization and violently broke it up with fists or other weapons.

            Because IF YOU FAIL, you will show you are unable to show these organizations acting according to the *basic reason* for the Blackshirts to be founded.

            And B just underlines your staggering ignorance of what a Party Press is.

            Newspapers like Der Angrieff and Der Sturmer and Il Popo D’Italia weren’t pro-Hitler or Mussolini news outlets giving them nice press. They were UTTERLY CONTROLLED By the party and an outlet for getting propaganda out. Up to and including the justification for terrorism by said Blackshirts and Brownshirts.

            This was one reason why they were directly controlled by close subordinates, or in the case of Il Popo started out under Mussolini’s direct, personal control.

            “Fascist economics was a mixed bag of policies;”

            Not nearly as much as is often made out to be.

            While it is true it did waver around over the years, it was always predicated on four basic tenants.

            A: Autarky

            B: Ownership by the state.

            C: Management by the state.

            D: Integration with the work force that managed them.

            “including telling companies where and what to produce or else (e.g. threats to Harley Davidson),”

            Sorry stupid, but you don’t seem to get it.

            Fascism didn’t involve threatening private companies with adverse trade relations.

            Fascism involved giving orders to UTTERLY STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES that had once been private companies.

            This is why the National Socialist German Workers’ Party reacted to Dr. Hugo Eckner *being offered to run* under a joint Zentrum/DSP ticket against Der Fuhrer *BY HAVING HIS COMPANY- DELAG- CONFISCATED AND GRAFFITING SWASTIKAS ON THE TAIL FINS OF ITS ZEPPELINS.*

            And in Hungary after Horthy was overthrown and a fully Fascist regime was set up under the Arrow Cross Party, it became illegal to take capital out of the country. Why? Because it belonged to the state.

            In America, there is the possibility of Harley-Davidson setting a factory up in Europe and tanking the economic consequences.

            In actual Fascist states, this was never a legal option. Because you’d get killed, imprisoned, forced to flee.

            ” curbing free markets (e.g. imposition of tariffs on all kinds of foreign products),”

            You mean like the EU’s threats to impose them on the UK for not being part of the common market?

            Yeah. Fascism involves economic isolation and autarky.

            But so do many democratic parties’ economic platforms. They just rarely go so far.

            And furthermore, Fascists never used them and then offered to have a mutual dropping of tariffs. Tariffs to the Fascist were not negotiating tactics, they were the end in and of themselves.

            ” import substitution, and a long etc.”

            See above.

            ” So yes, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck… ”

            Except it doesn’t look like a duck.

            It doesn’t quack like a duck.

            And it doesn’t depose the owner of Harley-Davidson or send paramilitary groups around to murder or capture dissident media like a Fascist Duck would.

            Your own posturing proves my point. And displays a staggering ignorance and naivety about what Fascism actually is.

            “The socialism, we already have in this country: Medicare anyone?”

            Read The Definition Of Socialism, Anyone?

            Sorry, but no.

            While I am no great lover of Medicare as it stands now, it is not Socialism as Socialist thinkers would have understood it.

            Socialism is communal (and usually State) ownership and management of the means of production.

            This means the factories, the plants, the intellectual property, and ultimately labor.

            This is something that Medicare does not do. And never has done. The US economy remains a mostly private, capitalist one in which companies like Harley-Davidson (or Eckner’s DELAG) can do things the government and ruling party *don’t like* without having their property stolen.

            You know, like in an actual totalitarian dictatorship.

          • Oh, girl, there’s no need to get so riled up and to resort to insulting me. A regime doesn’t have to be EXACTLY like Mussolini’s to be fascist or, more accurately in this case, to have fascistic tendencies. The U.S. is still a liberal democracy, but the germs of fascism are in the White House, and, more worryingly, in the minds of people like MRubio and millions of others who long for a strongman and who applaud Trump when he threatens firms. In any case, read Maurras, read Evola, and yes, read Gayda. Their ideas were abominable, but at least they wrote with economy, which is something you, sweetheart, need to learn. Your arguments would be more potent (still wrong, but more potent), if they were more succinct.

          • @Jacques “Oh, girl, there’s no need to get so riled up and to resort to insulting me.”

            Yes, there is.

            Because reciprocity.

            You insulted ElGuapo by claiming he was a Fascist, as well as that of the NRA and the Proud Boys.

            And frankly, I don’t know about you but I view the insult of “Fascist” as MUCH graver than that of @sshole, jagoff, or most other insults.

            And for good reason. One can be a jagoff without earnestly believing in organized oppression and political murder.

            And on top of that, you insult the intelligence of everybody who reads your drek by DARING to associate armed, uniformed terrorist groups committing political violence (IE the Blackshirts, the Brownshirts, lotsa other Color-Here-Shirts) with the NRA and a club of shiteposters.

            A disgusting smear you have NOT SUBSTANTIATED IN THE *LEAST* WHEN CHALLENGED but yet have not had the good sense to apologize for.

            “A regime doesn’t have to be EXACTLY like Mussolini’s to be fascist or, more accurately in this case, to have fascistic tendencies. ”

            Correct, chowderhead.

            The problem with this attempt at a riposte is twofold.

            A: A regime or party does not have to be exactly like Musso’s own to be Fascist, BUT IT DOES HAVE TO BE IDEOLOGICALLY FASCIST!

            B: THAT IS WHY I DID NOT LIMIT MY ANALYSIS TO MUSSOLINI’S PARTY!!!!!!!!!

            I used three undeniable Fascist parties.

            1. The Original, Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party and the dictatorship it formed in Italy (two technically, first while wearing the corpse of the constitutional monarchy, and the second as a puppet of #2, the RSI).

            2. The more dreaded knockoff, Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party and its Third Reich.

            and

            3. The Hungarian Arrow Cross Party, which operated on the fringes of Horthy’s regency dictatorship until it was given power after the Nazis overthrew Horthy.

            Now if you actually bother to analyze these regimes, you’ll notice a number of differences.

            Starting with the fact that these were Italian, German, and Hungarian ultranationalist jagoffs rather than the same nation or culture.

            But even beyond that, Mussolini did not have a natural, genocidal hate for Jews. Hitler and Sazalasi did.

            Mussolini had a Grand Council (which wound up biting him in the rear). Hitler and Szalasi did not.

            Szalasi and Mussolini were unable to exert strict ideological control over the non-party paramilitaries they controlled. Hitler was.

            And both Hitler and Mussolini were deeply antagonistic to Christianity, albeit mostly in secret or through intermediaries. Szalasi was not.

            And I really could go on. I could also add several other Fascist regimes or parties (like Romania’s Iron Guard, Croatia’s Ustasha, or the Brazillian Integralists). But I figured my posts were long enough as it is.

            The thing is, in spite of these differences all three are recognizably and undeniabily Fascist. Because they adhere to the core traits of it.

            Trump’s Presidency does not. It isn’t even conceived of in the same way.

            You have merely alleged that it is. But the very things you try and point to to support your allegations underline the differences, and your own ignorance on the matter.

            “The U.S. is still a liberal democracy,”

            Yeah, about that:

            That’s further evidence to the contrary.

            Trump’s been Head of State for Two Years now, but by your own admission, the US is still a liberal democracy.

            Which means that either you’re puffing smoke, or he is an *incredibly* sluggish Fascist (even compared to Lounge Lizar Shicklegruber).

            Seriously, you wanna draw up a “Time until Fascization” timeline about how long it took between when the party heads (say Hitler, Mussolini, whoever) took power and when “Fascism” or “Fascist Tendencies” took over the entire government?

            Because unless the gap was nonexistent because the regime was outright born that way (like the Arrow Cross and Ustasha were), the time is *awfully damn small.*

            The gap from Mussolini being asked to form a government to the Acerbo law was a year and one month, and until the rigged elections the foollowing April was one year and seven.

            The gap between the election that gave the NSDAP plurality in the German government was 9 months, and between when Hindenburg tapped him as Chancellor was a whopping *two.*

            And in both of these cases large swaths of the country were innundated by the party paramilitary by this point, in essence giving these monsters defacto control over many major cities and localities well before the legal system gave in. Situations utterly without parallel here, unless the NRA has been holding out on me and didn’t send the letter for me to take part in the next Goose Stepping parade (which would deeply hurt my feelings).

            So these points inevitably raise a question. If Trump is Fascist or Fascist like, *WHAT’S TAKING HIM SO LONG?*

            “but the germs of fascism are in the White House,”

            Mate, I don’t think you really understand what Fascism is.

            As you’re going to reinforce in the next sentence when you try and cite Fascist authors and get two outta the three wrong.

            ” and, more worryingly, in the minds of people like MRubio and millions of others who long for a strongman and who applaud Trump when he threatens firms.”

            Firstly: again. Threatening firms with consequences is not Fascism. What those consequences are and how they are applied defines it. Trump is not the first person to play hardball or badmouth a private enterprise from the bully pulpit of a democratic office. He won’t be the last.

            And secondly: “Millions”? Please.

            I’m well aware there are a number of jagoffs who do indeed hold those leanings, and even if I think they might not actually Wish Trump to take up totalitarian power (I don’t think, for instance, Tricky Dick Spencer would be high on the list of advisors) are willing to claim it. Hence the “Unite the Right” Jagoffs in Charlottesville who went on about “Heil Trump” and some of the hacks online I’ve seen.

            Thing is, I have no reason to believe they are “millions.” And I’m going to guess you don’t either, because I make it a special point to track hate and totalitarian groups like them, the KKK, and Nation of Islam.

            The “Trumpenreich Lobby”- for lack of a better term- does exist. And their mere existence is worrying. But they aren’t very numerous or prominent. And certainly are not the single greatest mobilized threat to American democratic republicanism (more on THAT later).

            ‘ In any case, read Maurras, read Evola, and yes, read Gayda.”

            I already have. Not comprehensively, but more than most.

            Which brings me to the problem this points out about your analysis. Namely, ONLY ONE OF THEM WAS ACTUALLY A FASCIST!

            Evola was an eccentric crank who was sympathetic to Fascism, but also declared he was not one and that Fascism had failed when Mussolini asked him to join the party. He also was vastly more esoteric and individualist than the party ever was.

            The same cannot be said for Maurras, whose leadership of the AF did much to blight early 20th century French politics. But here again he was never a Fascist or in a position of great influence within a Fascist regime or party.

            The closest he came to being so was in influencing the ideology of Vichy by way of his pre-WWII writings. But he not only did not have a position within Vichy, his newspaper was *banned* by both it and the occupying Germans.

            He and AF were certainly repugnant, violent figures. And they also were quite happy to support Fascists when their goals coincided. But they were not Fascists themselves and their vaguely supported aloofness made them targets for both the Fascists, and the Allies.

            Both Maurras and Evola can be called perhaps ‘Philo-Fascists” in that they shared a deep sympathy for it, and even had similar aspects. But they didn’t self identify as Fascists, were categorically not seen as such by the ideology’s codifiers.

            They aren’t ideal to read for an insider’s concept of what Fascism is because they weren’t insiders. Why would you do that when you can instead focus on the ideology’s Codifiers?

            Mussolini. Hitler. Goebbels. Jose Antonio. And to a lesser extent Gayda. People who not only self-identified as Fascist, but who were intellectual, ideological shapers within their own orgs. These are the people you read if you actually want to learn about Fascism.

            But you are literally barking up 2/3rds of the wrong tree.

            ” Their ideas were abominable, but at least they wrote with economy, which is something you, sweetheart, need to learn.”

            Economy consists of producing what is needed. Preferably as quickly and efficiency as possible.

            I still write with economy, even if my economy is inferior to theirs or Karl Marx’s.

            You on the other hand favor snippy unsupported balderdash that merely reinforces how mistaken you are.

            ” Your arguments would be more potent (still wrong, but more potent), if they were more succinct.”

            I believe it is more important to corner as many of the bases as possible than to be short.

            Which is why I use evidence in my argumentation and cite it.

            You use unsupported assertion.

            Which do you think produces superior analysis? Which do you think wins debates?

            I should be more succinct. THat is the kernel of truth in this wretched, ignorant comment.

            But you should be more informed.

          • @Jacques Oh, and regarding the greatest threat to American democracy…

            It’s ironic that you wax poetic about the “Fascist” element oof the Republican party. Because while you blather about the “Seeds of Fascism” being in the White House and ramble incoherently about Maurras, Evola, and Gayda while ignoring two of the three were never Fascist, there is a threat.

            There is a totalitarian, paramilitary terrorist group operating in the US in a manner that would be familiar to the old street fighters of the Blackshirts and Brownshirts. They attack their opponents’ assemblies, resucitate the iconography of interwar totalitarian movements, and publically desire the destruction of Liberal Democracy.

            Their name is Antifascist Action, or Antifa for short.

            attacks its opponents assemblies, resucitates the iconography of interwar totalitarian movements, and claims to be their heir.

            Their original incarnation was as a thinly glossed front group for the German Communist Party. With it they tried to recoup the losses their old paramilitary wing had taken, lure unsuspecting non-Communist Antifascists in, and to destroy their enemies and the German Republic.

            And while the term “Anti-Fascist” sounds good on the surface, their definition of “Fascist” includes George Freaking Orwell.

            https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/writers/pearce/1957/09/sftopf.html

            A definition shared by their modern heirs. Hence why “Liberals get the Bullet Too.”

            If there’s one silver lining to this black hoodied gang of thugs, it’s that their modern day incarnation is not a centralized, well regimented totalitarian movement comparable to the Blackshirts, RFB, or old Antifa. But that can change, and it is somewhat offset by the number of apologists they have in the supposed maisntream.

            Oh and by the way: if you were such a good student of Fascism you’d note that the emergence of fanatical Communist and Marxist groups is a LEADING- not a trailing- indicator for the emergence of Fascist ones. So if the “seeds of Fascism” do emerge in the US, I’d expect them to manifest as Fascist gangs on the street. Not the NRA.

            But do go on focusing on Trump. Surely that won’t bite us all in the rear.

          • This is like talking to someone who constantly denigrates blacks but god forbid one calls them out on their racism. The point here is not whether Trump and his government deserve the fascist label. The point is that he and his government act in proto-fascist and clearly illiberal ways, and millions of people admire that and yearn for more of it. This is a government that is destroying the liberal order created after WWII, that is undermining free markets and the institutions underpinning it, that lends support (lukewarm, but support nonetheless) to white supremacists, that is silent when goons in uniform kill innocent blacks or separate children from their parents, and that threatens private business with the force of the state lest they act in ways they don’t approve of. The problem, really, is not Trump. After all, he’ll be carted off to jail or resign soon enough (and if not, his term ends soon anyway). The problem is his popular support; like in 1930’s Germany, the regular folk who elected Hitler. The U.S. republic has not fallen, and it will not fall tomorrow, but it is in danger, not from Antifa, who are just a handful of radicals, but from this new type of fascism that is emerging and that enjoys widespread support. Don’t call it fascism, if you don’t want to, but it is something akin to it, rearing its monstrous head in America, in Hungary, in Poland, in Turkey, in Russia, in Czechia, in the Philippines, and it’s real.

          • @Jacques @Jacques “This is like talking to someone who constantly denigrates blacks but god forbid one calls them out on their racism. ”

            Funny, because that’s the feeling I get from you.

            The difference is, I actually know enough about Fascism to diagnose it. AND to separate its self-declared proponents from closely alligned thinkers who nevertheless insisted they were not Fascists and did not have a significant impact on the canonical Fascist parties.

            You see, I analyze Fascism like diseases are. Which includes being very specific and even exclusionary of a bunch of other stuff that’s nasty and similar.

            “The point here is not whether Trump and his government deserve the fascist label.”

            Sorry, but no.

            Labels are important. They help us understand the world. Like the tags that medics put on injured bodies so that people working through them can act appropriately.

            If the point wasn’t whether or not Trump deserves the label of Fascist, *you shouldn’t have used the Fascist Label because in addition to being WRONG its inaccuracy would detract from your intended MESSAGE and correct treatment of the problem.*

            Easy concept. Correct concept.

            “The point is that he and his government act in proto-fascist and clearly illiberal ways, ”

            Citation needed.

            Because if you think Trump is acting like Quartermaster-General Ludendorff, Kolchak, Chiang, or Henry Ford I have a bridge to sell you in Manhattan.

            “and millions of people admire that and yearn for more of it.”

            Except you haven’t done jack to prove it is actually Fascist or “Proto-Fascist.”

            You’ve alleged, sure.

            But you’ve also shown yourself to be remarkably ignorant about the material you’re trekking in.

            “This is a government that is destroying the liberal order created after WWII,”

            Oh please.

            The liberal order created after WWII has been struggling for some time. Helped in no small part by Trump’s immediate predecessor, Barry Obama. Who weaponized the IRS against his domestic enemies (albeit nonlethally) and opened gigantic gaps in the alliances with America’s liberal allies.

            Ones of significantly greater import than Trump’s admittedly egotistical showboating. For someone who is supposed to be a Kremlin plant, Trump isn’t the one who lifted sanctions on Putin after the invasion of Georgia and gave away missile codes used by our British friends.

            “that is undermining free markets and the institutions underpinning it,”

            Again, you seriously want to ignore the likes of Obamacare? Or the bailouts?

            I’m not the biggest fan or trustee of Trump. But economic protectionism has been part of the post-WWII liberal order since the start. It has just been downplayed compared to most.

            And if you beg to differ about that, I invite you to look over a timeline of US tarriffs.

            “that lends support (lukewarm, but support nonetheless) to white supremacists,”

            Mate, I actually hunt white supremacists for a living.

            Among other scum. I actually got on the streets with a cell phone (to report on their rallies) and my Evil-NRA-defended pistol (in case any of them tried something stupid) to try and trip them up.

            The closest thing he came to offering lukewarm support was his reference to the Unite the Right jackals as being good people, in part of his more boilerplate references to there being good people on both sides. Though considering those jacakals were the victims in this rare case, that isn’t that big of a sin.

            The truth is, if you actually bother observing Trump’s record, there’s little There There racism wise. As even this *fiercely* anti-Trump commentor could admit.

            https://web.archive.org/web/20170203084932/http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/11/16/you-are-still-crying-wolf/

            ” that is silent when goons in uniform kill innocent blacks ”

            Except that is rarely the case.

            And it’s ironic that even BLM- the group supposedly dedicated to doing this- ignores the more clearcut, obvious cases of innocent blacks being murdered by police in favor of supporting PROVEN THUGS like Trayvon Martin and falsified versions of the evidence.

            If you seriously want to preach about this issue, you need to explain why BLM has helped turn Trayvon Martin into a martyr and George Zimmerman into a racist pariah, but Aiyana Stanley-Jones and Officer Joseph Weekley are so unknown.

            Because that isn’t Trump’s fault.

            “or separate children from their parents,”

            This is the most disgusting and stupid example of selective outrage I’ve seen…in the past month or so.

            Firstly: Hey genius, do you know process separates children from their parents?

            LEGAL ARRESTS!

            Does this mean that we should stop arresting people? HELL NO!

            Secondly: US governments have detained minors and adults caught at the border separately SINCE THE BILL CLINTON YEARS! Several of the most infamous pictures of children being held came from the Obama years.

            And RIGHTFULLY SO.

            Because how do you tell which pairing is an actual Parent-Child bond, and which is a cartel siccario with a rent-a-kid hostage (and yes, this is an actual thing)?

            You have to CHECK first. THAT TAKES TIME.

            Now what are checking, what do you do?

            Do you hold the kids and adults together, where the former are at the mercy of people who could be child rapists, gang members ,or the like?

            Or do you separate them briefly for their own safety?

            Seriously.

            Kevin Williamson is NO fan of Trump. But he called you people out on what a contrived, hypocritical crock of nonsense this was.

            https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2018/07/09/immigration-laws-enforce-or-change/

            But where were you? Did you accuse Obama or Dubya or Clinton of eroding the liberal order?

            I’m guessing NO..

            ” and that threatens private business with the force of the state
            lest they act in ways they don’t approve of. ”

            In other words, “something every US President since at minimum Teddy Roosevelt has.”

            And which engaged in a frivolous persecution of the most private business of all, independent ranchers and farmers using means like drudged up EPA regulations.

            “The problem, really, is not Trump.”

            No.

            It’s people like you.

            People so IGNORANT AND CARELESS of the factual and legal matters at hand that you don’t even bother to check for consistency.

            Newsflash:

            People like me have been observing the US government for abuses and corruption for decades. We’re not about to stop because Cheeto Man is in office.

            You on the other hand blatantly do not know what you are talking about.

            “After all, he’ll be carted off to jail or resign soon enough (and if not, his term ends soon anyway).”

            Funny. You’d need to explain why he would be sent to jail. And I’m guessing you do not have a good idea.

            Because you don’t have a good idea of the law, including how common and long lived “child separation” is.

            ” The problem is his popular support; like in 1930’s Germany, the regular folk who elected Hitler. ”

            Firstly, the problem in 1930’s Germany wasn’t popular support. It was the large private armies of TERRORISTS imposing their will on the public and the government.

            Groups like the SA. The RFB. The assorted Freikorps. Stahlhelm. The original Antifa. And yes, I’d argue even the Reichswehr meant to defend the Republic.

            They managed to beat the middle ground into bloody pulp, and then the SA and the SS cleaned up.

            Oh and the little thing about the Republican government being in the hands of usurpers even BEFORE Hitler. Namely President Ludendorff (Late WWI Germany’s military dictator) and von Papen, a man who usurped the rightful place of the Reichstag and had just finished a coup that overthrew the Social Democrats in Prussia.

            Dumbarses who think the big problem with 1930’s Weimar Germany were the people *don’t know that much about Weimar Germany.*

            And secondly: You’ve been ignorant enough to tar Trump with the Fascist brush on little grounds. You’ve had to hypocritically act like he’s RADICALLY different from previous US admins (doing similar or THE EXACT SAME things he has done) in order to do this.

            And as such you’ve seriously tried to claim that a Centrist New York Democrat-turned-Republican is the harbinger of the coming storm.

            NOT the actual terrorist group called Antifa and the group of nutjobs advocating on its behalf.

            I do not take you very seriously.

            “The U.S. republic has not fallen, and it will not fall tomorrow, ”

            We’ll see.

            “but it is in danger, not from Antifa, who are just a handful of radicals,”

          • @Jacques Part 2
            “A Handful of radicals.”

            I’m sorry, but did you define “White Supremacists” as a “handful of Radicals”? Did you define Unite the Right as such?

            Because at Unite the Right- a transoceanic assembly of White supremacist scumbags- there were about 500-1000 white supremacists. (Source: Guardian. Not the biggest fan of Trump https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/13/charlottesville-white-supremacists-far-right-donald-trump-confederate-statue )

            Most likely about 650 or so. Huge by White Supremacist standards, sure. But not that large.

            And they were DOGPILED by 2-3 times their number of Antifa fighter or people who were willing to support a violent attack on non-violent racist jagoffs, and left to do their thing by a GROSSLY irresponsible law enforcement.

            Exact estimares are hard as heck to find but you have total crowd estimates of about 4-5000. which would include a number of uninvolved.

            So chop off about half to account for them.

            Then maybe chop what’s left in half to weed out the lawful counter-protestors. People who did what I did, maybe prepared for trouble but respectful of rights even if not those exercising them. Or maybe do 3/4ths.

            And you get a figure of about 800-1,500 jagoff “fighters” attacking the protesting racist jagoffs. And doing it without a solid command structure or organization compared to the organizers of UtR.

            These are your “handful of radicals”?

            The groups that attacked Milo’s speaking event in Berkeley also number about that many. And they had no shortage of supposedly mainstream people justifying them.

            And yet I’m supposed to believe that they aren’t the threat.

            “but from this new type of fascism that is emerging and that enjoys widespread support.”

            You can’t diagnose the OLD kind of fascism accurately, and you expect to be taken seriously about a “new type” of it?

            You can’t even run the numbers of Antifa members against white supremacists.

            Bitch please.

            “Don’t call it fascism, if you don’t want to, but it is something akin to it,”

            No, it’s not.

            You’re just ignorant.

            ” rearing its monstrous head in America, in Hungary, in Poland, in Turkey, in Russia, in Czechia, in the Philippines, and it’s real.”

            Let’s go through these cases.

            America: Limosine Liberal New Yorker turned Republican centrist becomes President. And gets castigated as LITERALLY HITLER up to the point of violent Stalinist terrorists being lionized in the media.

            Hungary; Viktor Orban rises to power, coyly toys around with scum like neo-Arrow Cross jagoffs, and maintains some support for that using opposition to mass immigration while peddling a right wing, Neo-Horthy line.

            Turkey: Erdogan leads Turkey’s old Islamist, Anti-Kemalist faction to victory in the country’s century long cold civil war with the intent of turning the place into a new Ottoman Caliphate.

            Russia: Vladimir Putin enters his third decade in power over an amoral, corrupt, and expansionist dictatorship that is at the mid point between Tsarism, Communism, and plain old kleptocracy.

            Philippines: Duarte is a military dictator in all but title and routinely shoots dissidents, druggies, and anybody in the wrong place at the wrong time.

            Poland: PiS is democratically elected to power, plays to the public vote, and reforms the judiciary to allow judges deemed corrupt or activist to be removed (a common problem in Poland), but does so by placing them under the control of the Sejm. And engages in conspiracy mongering against the opposition while also being targeted against it in turn.

            Czechia: Zeman and Babis are douches who like buddying up with Putin and attacking their enemies in the press and by lawfare, but have not yet gone byeond that.

            So let’s break this thing down.

            Three of these (T, Phil, and R) are totalitarian dictatorships that have already established. And they are significantly different than each other, with Turkey’s islamism clashing with the more secular and nationalist Russian and Phil approach.

            Two more of these cases are democratic republics where it can be said that the freely elected government is acting in an unfree fashion (with some justification). Poland and Hungary. Both of which are actually quite similar and worrying, but which aren’t there yet.

            And two of them consist of democratically elected governments that haven’t done much if anything illegal, but are run by rude people.

            Namely the uS and Czechia.

            The problem is that you’d be hard pressed to connect an ideological line between most of these governments. Let alone all of them. At least if you don’t assume that anybody to the right of the SPD is automatically a Fascist in waiting.

            Which seems to be the case with you.

          • TLDR. You should seriously consider taking time off your commenting and vigilantism schedule to attend a college course in English composition. There’s no need for your posts to be so long, repetitive, clumsy, and, frankly, unpleasant. If you want to write about discredited conspiracy theories, just put up a picture of Alex Jones in a tinfoil hat. As to Trump, his words on the WTO, Charlottesville riots, women, and myriad other subjects speak for themselves.

          • @Jacques “TLDR. You should seriously consider taking time off your commenting and vigilantism schedule to attend a college course in English composition. ”

            TL:Dr:

            You don’t know jack about me, Fascism ,or politics. You lost the debate, and aren’t prepared to refute it.

            Oh and by the way: I am actually in College taking lessons on English composition.

            I’ve generally recieved high marks, though obviously not perfectly. Word count limits help.

            But I am not going to hold myself to the standards I maintain in class when you’re not willing to respect the standards of “basic freaking evidence for your claims.”

            “There’s no need for your posts to be so long, repetitive, clumsy, and, frankly, unpleasant. ”

            Perhaps, but there is a reason for them to be long, detailed, and sourced. So that I cannot be accused of lying or being ignorant in good faith.

            Much like you can.

            Also, you’re not in a position to lecture me about unpleasant and clumsy posts.

            What i have written is nothing less than you deserve.

            “If you want to write about discredited conspiracy theories, just put up a picture of Alex Jones in a tinfoil hat.”

            A: I’ve never been a fan of Alex Jones, stupid.

            B: Which “discredited conspiracy theories” have I peddled?

            Go on.

            CITE THEM, YOU DUMB ARSE!

            I DARE YOU!

            Or is this another one of the claims you’re going to make, but then cowardly refuse to substantiate?

            “As to Trump, his words on the WTO, Charlottesville riots, women, and myriad other subjects speak for themselves.”

            I don’t think you know the first thing about most of them, chowderhead.

            But you’re so *desperate* you’re going to reach.

            Because you can’t argue away the fact that “separating parents from their children” happened under Obama, Bush, and Clinton. You also can’t argue away the fact that Antifa regularly turns out more people for every piddly little riot than the White Supremacists could get at Charlottesville by gathering people across North America and Europe.

            So you’re going to try and latch on to Trump’s condemnation on violence of both sides (in spite of that being APTLY DEMONSTRATED BY FOOTAGE OF THE VIOLENCE), and completely ignore his followup condemnation of White Supremacists.

            Because he is guilty of every crime you and your fellow hacks can think of , Evidence be Damned.

            And then you wonder why people don’t take you seriously.

          • But you are mistaken… This hasn’t been a debate. Since your first post I’ve been trolling you. There’s no debating someone who is so obviously angry and that so easily resorts to name calling. Go oil your gun or go do something that gives you some comfort . Nothing that you or I say here will change anything anyway. History is running its course over all of us. But dude, get a hold of yourself.

          • @Jacques “But you are mistaken… This hasn’t been a debate. “

            Yeah, it has been.

            Only one of us may take it seriously, but it remains a debate. One you lost some time ago.

            “There’s no debating someone who is so obviously angry and that so easily resorts to name calling. “

            Just because you’re ignorant about debate or how to deal with hostility in it does not mean there is no way.

            I would know. I learned some of the ins and outs on the school debt ate circuits. And in fact having the other side do nothing but hurl insults or name calling is an *excellent* scenario to let you win.

            “Go oil your gun or go do something that gives you some comfort . “

            Chewing out a bullying, ignorant troll gives me comfort.

            Hence Why I am here.

            “Nothing that you or I say here will change anything anyway. “

            True. But what we say can reflect
            reality.

            And that is important.

            “History is running its course over all of us. “

            Perhaps. But we can also, in our little way, help guide history.

            “But dude, get a hold of yourself.”

            I’m not the one who accused someone else of being a loyalist of a mass murdering ideology without evidence.

            Or put it another way, *you first.*

          • That explains it: The infamous American school debate circuit, where kids are taught to debate in bad faith, to spew words upon words up gibberish, to wield facts, selectively, as weapons to bludgeon the opponent, and where what matters is to win and not to learn. Here are two reading assignments for you:

            On the sorry scene of American school debating: https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2017/09/26/corrosion-high-school-debate-and-how-it-mirrors-american-politics

            On the IRS conspiracy theory: https://www.npr.org/2017/10/05/555975207/as-irs-targeted-tea-party-groups-it-went-after-progressives-too

          • @Jacques The entire first paragraph of this post is irrelevant balderdash.

            Hypocritical balderdash.

            It’s funny you try and use the “debate in bad faith and wield facts selectively as weapons” when you conveniently ignore what the NPR wrote a few days earlier.

            https://www.npr.org/2017/10/27/560308997/irs-apologizes-for-aggressive-scrutiny-of-conservative-groups

            Translation for the fucking idiot:

            The NPR articles don’t discredit that conspiracy theory. THEY CONFIRMED.

            Your best response is to blather “but but Obama weaponized the IRS against Prog groups too!”

            Firstly, that probably isn’t true, judging by how few of the targeted groups complained about it.

            https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bizpacreview.com/2013/06/25/democrats-new-talking-points-irs-targeted-us-too-78643/amp

            But even if it IS true, that just means that this particular conspiracy theory was true but actually less comprehensive than the truth.

            This is a case study of you selectively using evidence to try and support a smear, plus arguing in bad faith.

            And you expect anyone to tolerate this?

          • You are assuming that Obama gave the orders to weaponize the IRS against the conservatives, and none of the investigations by the Republican Congress proved that to be the case. Not even Lerner ever faced charges. But who cares about Obama anyway. He doesn’t hold public office anymore. The pussygrabber in chief does, though, and in one thing he was right: He could go down to 5th Avenue and shoot someone and people would still rally around him. But this is about you: You have exposed yourself in these screeds. Your foul language, your unrestrained aggression, your flimsy sophistry, your simplistic view of the world as a zero-sum battle of friend versus foe; they are there for all to see.

          • @Jacques

            “You are assuming that Obama gave the orders to weaponize the IRS against the conservatives, “

            I am.

            Because I have been paying attention to these cases and I can read a fajorking timeline.

            But even if we assume for the sake of the matter that Obama I am innocent of outright ordering the prejudicial policies, it still means that his underlings conducted themselves as such.

            Either way, the IRS was weaponized and Obama is guilty of either grotesque negligence or malice’s

            “and none of the investigations by the Republican Congress proved that to be the case.”

            Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

            And considering that these same keystone cops did not press Hillary or the White House hard enough on their statements that Benghazi was not a terror attack, this is not impressive.

            “ Not even Lerner ever faced charges. “

            And this is supposed to mean she was innocent?

            No.

            “But who cares about Obama anyway. “

            I do.

            Because history.

            “He doesn’t hold public office anymore.”

            See above.

            Past is prologue, and precedent is important.

            Like when you caterwauled about Trump separating parents and kids while ignoring Obama etc al. Doing this.

            “ The pussygrabber in chief does, though, and in one thing he was right: He could go down to 5th Avenue and shoot someone and people would still rally around him.”

            Which I view as distasteful and disgusting.

            But that is why I have never been a great fan of Trump personally. He is no idol or God-Emperor.

            But neither is he a Fascist or to blame for the sun rising in the East as you’ve tried.

            “But this is about you: You have exposed yourself in these screeds.”

            Yeah, well so have you.

            And unlike you I have not made an objectively false statement.

            “ Your foul language, your unrestrained aggression, your flimsy sophistry, your simplistic view of the world as a zero-sum battle of friend versus foe; they are there for all to see.”

            Stop projecting, jag off.

            This entire paragraph is nothing but shameless, sophistic nonsense. And irrelevant to boot.

            The fact that I do not see the world as a zero sum game can be seen from my comments on here. How I criticized Poeta Criollio for his romanticizing right wing despots.

            And on the comments of the Nicaragua article where I agreed with you over ElGuapo re: Norway.

            My aggression is also not unrestrained. Just the opposite. I have not called for your death, labeled you a member of Antifa, or claimed that I was an expert in Gorilla Warfare come to track you down.

            I have been blunt in my evaluation of you as a dishonest troll. But I am convinced that analysis stands.

            And finally, for someone who claims my argumentation is “flimsy sophistry” you have utterly sucked at refuting any of it. And in fact your NPR article did much to gut your own claim.

          • Turtler said, “it still means that his underlying did…”, and there goes your point and the debate. Which President has had multiple underlyings plead guilty?

            This is not to say that President Trump is a fascist, racist or colluded with Russia himself but what is good for the goose is certainly good for the gander.

          • @waltz I agree, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. And I am sure we’ve had multiple more or less mundane cases of Trump underlings being found guilty that go almost unnoticed.

            But if we’re talking about the big names, there’s a lot less to it than it seems.

            The most notable one being the inglorious Paul Manafort. Last I checked, the charges he plead guilty to were not done when he was an underling of Trump, though they were obviously intended to get at him. And were done after some increeerdible squeezing in what I can only call deeply unethical fashion.

            Me. Greek Name that I can’t remember doesn’t have those caveats though.

            And the infamous Roger Stone has not been landed for anything yet, though that could change.

            But what stands out about all these things involving admittedly slimy people is that the charges brought against them both were largely pursued by aggressive to outright unethical fashion (for instance, seizing vast amounts of Stone’s records only to try and vet for confidentiality LATER) and pale in comparison to things like perjury and contempt dripping outta Clinton and Holder.

            None of this means that this means Manafort etc al should not be investigated. None of this means that impunity should cover the President or his close confederates. And none of this means that these are the worst actions taken by them (though the progress of the investigation plus its deeply biased nature never fail to underwhelm me).

            But it does mean that the law should be applied equally, and the charges levied against Trump’s associates so far are miles from the incredibly super heated conspiracy theories.

            Paul Manafort is human garbage and he is probably guilty of far worse than we know. But even he should not have to deal with his wife being made to strip for armed feds and access limited to his lawyer as a form of intimidation.

          • If you have read my posts here, I have defended President Trump when I thought appropriate and said that Clinton was just as bad of a choice. To bring her up is in bad taste, I have no reason to justify/defend anything about her life or canadacy.

            You can try to downplay those who have plead guilty but they were still involved with President Trump and his campaign, meaning he or those he trusted let them near. To not believe in President Trump does not mean that one believed in President Obama.

            These things are not at odds.

          • @waltz Part 2 Also, all of the above is without talking about the credibility of the convictions themselves and the people getting them. Which is certainly a concern when you start digging in to the credibility of Mueller and other high ranking members of the investigation.

            https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/22/christopher-wray-robert-muellers-top-prosecutor-kn/

            Using the barometer of underlings of a given administration pleading guilty assumes a justice or credibility to the convictions. But if that isn’t the case there’s a problem.

            And given Weissmann’s track record that is a reasonable assumption.

            Now of course, a few caveats.

            If Weissmann and others are known to be amoral sharks, does that mean they always act like it? No.

            If Weissmann and others have been caught withholding evidence, tipping the scales, and resorting to unethical tactics, does that mean that the people didn’t do it? No.

            After all, even Soviet courts could justly convict people.

            But it does mean that a structural doubt about the investigation’s integrity is built right in.

          • Nope sorry you do not get to change the goal posts or playing field. If one man/woman is responsible for their underlyings than so are all. You can try to keep downplaying those involved with the current President but it does not limit his responsibility compared to those who came before him.

            You choose a poor argument, no reason to keep defending it.

          • @waltz “Nope sorry you do not get to change the goal posts or playing field.”

            Correct, I do not get to change the goal posts or the playing field.

            BUT I *DO* get to EVALUATE both, and I particularly get to evaluate the refereeing. To see if this seems like it is being conducted honorably and fairly, or without bias.

            See: one particularly infamous US-Slovenian match in which Slovenia won 1-1, after a Slovenian judgen ullified a last ditch US goal on mysterious grounds and refused to clarify his judgement for the poor plebs.

            He might have a right to do that. In fact he might even be completely justified.

            But that doesn’t make his conduct seem upright or non-suspicious to we lowly plebs. Capisce?

            “If one man/woman is responsible for their underlyings than so are all.”

            The problem, waltz, is that you’re fudging the timelines.

            Intentionally.

            Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn has never been convicted for ANYTHING he did as Trump’s underling. Period.

            He also was not protected by the White House in the same way the likes of Hillary Clinton were.

            So now you’re tring to argue that there’s pariety between Obama arguing that Hillary should be cleared of wrongdoing that a former USAF friend of mine assures me would’ve landed him in prison several times over (and yes, I believe him) for Paul Manafort being sent to the pokey for the crime of supposedly lying to the FBI in interview…

            … while he was not ating as an underling for Trump.

            You see the problem with your argument here, my friend?

            False equivalence.

            “You can try to keep downplaying those involved with the current President but it does not limit his responsibility compared to those who came before him.”

            Correct.

            What does limit his responsibility, waltz, is context.

            And particularly the fact that even by the arguments of the prosecution (which again, is filled with morally and legally suspect people like Weissmann who have gotten in trouble for indicting ham sandwiches and doing anything they can to prevent exculpatory evidence from reaching the defendant before), the likes of Manafort haven’t had their cases traced back to Trump. And they weren’t convicted for actions taken while he was an underling.

            “You choose a poor argument, no reason to keep defending it.”

            Your argument lies on intentional lack of context and in at least one case glaring false equivalence (arguing that a conviction on Manafort for lying to the FBI long after he left Trump’s employ still means he was an underling of Trump).

            I would say that is the worse argument than my own.

    • Venezuela is not “the same as cuba”.

      It is WORSE than cuba.

      Because colonies don’t have the right to enjoy the basic stuff the detritus of the colonists have.

  3. If the US and the rest of the civilized world do not intervene militarily, briefly, Kleptocubazuela is doomed for decades to come. Except that MILLIONS of Kleptozuelan pueblo-people (not all but many) – are complicit crooks and thieves. Many of them living the great life here in Miami, Uruguay, Spain, Peru, Argentina and everywhere. Not all, but many, are guilty of the mess they themselves helped to create, and now help to maintain. Complicit in numerous ways. Millions. Not just the Chavistas.. Ladronzuelos sin educacion. A todo nivel. Not all, but a good chunk of the populace should be blamed. Others are just victims, getting the hell out first chance they get. Eso se jodio, unless the civilized world intervenes.

    • If the CubaVuelans are content to live in squalor, who is to deny them that right? Talk to most of them, and they readily admit to being Chavistas… just not Maduristas.

      I think when the titty runs dry (PdVSA goes tango uniform) the Cubans will quickly tire of the cesspool that Venezuela will become. Then, the FANB can go at it with each other for control of their little fiefdoms.

      • You are forgetting the coke. Venezuela is very strategic for distribution. Probably has always been about that. Everything else was just a bonus.

  4. Lack of real education, galactic corruption, abysmal moral values: the deadly combination that destroyed what was Venezuela long ago.

    Too bad they didn’t let MPJ fix it when it was possible, much like Pinochet fixed Chile: with real education and tough laws. Tough, yes, but look at Chile or Uruguay today. Even Costa Rica or Panama..Mano dura. Leyes. Educacion. Or you get Kleptocubazuelas.

    • MPJ spent 5 years in jail for embezzlement of $200 million, which would be about $2 billion in current dollars. Do knights in shining armor embezzle $2 billion in current dollars? If MPJ was such a knight in shining armor, why did El Finado invite MPJ to his inauguration in 1999?

      • MPJ and only a handful at the top were allowed to steal, the rest went to jail if they didn’t produce large public works on time. Even today the amount of public works/housing/similar produced by MPJ in his short tenure probably exceeds all succeeding Ven. govts. 60 yrs.’ production combined, and he did it with $2 oil (call it $20 today). $2 bill. stolen makes MPJ a poor piker by Chavismo standards, and he was probably invited to HCF’s inauguration due to kinship of military backgrounds, and both having spent time in Venezuelan jails.

        • Yeah everyone in the past stole a mere pitiance compared to this crew, and gave back to the people so they didn’t mind. These guys are grotesque about it.

        • Exactly. Did everyone forget the ridiculous amount of public infrastructure and public works that were built, in LESS than 5 years? When oil was cheap, too. Look it up. It’s mind boggling. The bolivar was almost equal to the dollar and in such a short time most of the stuff you see today was built and/or planned. A vast majority of it. That’s the kind of “thieves” Kleptozuela really needs. Not the millions of thieves that they’ve had ever since the 60’s and have under Chavismo today. In less than 5 years MPJ and his tough guys built way more that all the MUD’s have ever built, including Ad/Copey and Chavismo. MPJ built a lot more than all the lousy, thievery governments COMBINED in the next 60 years. 10 more years of MPJ and Kleptocubazuela would have turned out way better than Chile, Chile had only some copper to work with.. But they were educated, worked hard and were sent to jail by Pinochet’s nazis if they stole.

          That’s how you must treat a messed up bunch of corrupt Indians, like we’ve had in Kleptocubazuela for so long. Not just the Chavistas, mind you. It ain’t pretty, but it works. Heck, even Franco in Spain was a necessary evil. And I say that after my own grand father was jailed and tortured many years, almost killed by Franco’s thugs.

    • @Poeta Criollo Sorry, but I agree with Bol.

      I don’t think MPJ was in a very good position to “fix” this. In general, tyranny begets tyranny. It doesn’t fix it. There may be TIMES where martial law is necessary for a greater good, but even then it is a slippery slope.

      If anything I’d argue MPJ helped pave the way for the rise of Chavismo.

      • Oh no, abysmal lack of real education and galactic corruption paved the way for the previous MUDs (ad/copey – 4 decades) and then Chavismo. Clearly.

  5. Taking away the treated water, leaving the people with only contaminated water.

    Repeat with me:

    “What is this? THIS IS GENOCIDE”

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