Photo: Miguél Angulo retrieved

Even if you haven’t read the novel, you’re probably familiar with George Orwell’s 1984. To say it has become influential is an understatement, reaching the real-life political spectrum all across the globe, and creating a whole sub-genre of pieces asking “Are we actually living in “1984”?

If you have any doubt, there’s this nugget from President Trump.

Perhaps it’s the perfect portrayal of totalitarianism, or how Big Brother is a mold where Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Duvalier, Trujillo and Chávez all fit. We can hear it everywhere where a single party demands blind, mafia-like loyalty from all its citizens: “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power.”

Perhaps it’s the perfect portrayal of totalitarianism, or how Big Brother is a mold where Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Duvalier, Trujillo and Chávez all fit.

Venezuela doesn’t escape from such trend: A brand new article in Global Voices, co-written by Laura Vidal and CC collaborator José González Vargas, puts in perspective those specific comparisons between our dire situation and George’s descriptions of Oceania. Even some self-described supporters of Nicolás Maduro have admitted to such parallelisms.

We got our own Ingsoc, our own Big Brother, our own Thought Police and even our own eternal war with Eurasia.

But the many references regarding Venezuela are nothing new, at least here in Caracas Chronicles: Quico Toro has alluded to the novel in multiple occasions, to the point of even coining the “Orwellianismo Endógeno” term, years ago.

For the record, I haven’t read Nineteen Eighty-Four. I’ve seen parts of the film adaptation with John Hurt, but you bet I am versed in the book’s mythology.  It even became an adjective, for better or worse.

And for those asking if the article is available in Spanish, the answer is yes.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.

57 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry… just looked at the picture above and had a visual of the Monty Python skit with “precision military drilling”. Can’t quit laughing now.

    Was it about 6 months ago here on CC that a story had the picture of some military-type guy was pictured wearing a Halloween skull face… while patrolling out in public? And now this with with the grease paint?

    Is there anyone in the FANB who takes their job seriously?

      • Most guns used in such parades don’t have the capability to shoot off anything more sinister than a rubber band. They are props. It leaves too many options if they were operating guns, even if the troops were supplied blanks. Typically there is an easily visualized identifying mark that says its a prop. Though a sneaky guy would put that same mark on a fully functioning weapon with live ammo…

    • Funny… the link was to a supposed “mainstream” US news site. MSNBC. (Funny in the sense that these news sites consider themselves neutral!)

      • Surely what Trump meant to say was: “what you’re reading and what you’re seeing is NOT not what is happening.”

          • I’m not saying Justin would suck on one but I think he would hold one in his mouth. Bitch slap him once and he would cry like the baby he is.

        • I think so, Cnuckles.

          Gustavo – if you are reading the comments and willing to response, what is this supposed to mean: “If you have any doubt, there’s this nugget from President Trump.”

          If I have any doubt about what? That Trump thinks (or wants people to think) the media is not publishing what is “really happening”? Media bias, or Trump complaining about media bias, does not equal Orwellian Government. Or maybe the book has been rewritten since I read it back in the 1970s.

          • I think Orwell might have observed that calling the press the “enemies of the people” is different from complaining about media bias.

            Trump’s problem is, the press is still there to observe “reality”. Like you and Mr. Guapo here, he can’t defend the message, so he has to attack the messenger. Or try to pretend that the shocking thing that happened didn’t really happen…

            https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/white-house-restores-question-to-trump-putin-transcript

          • “Like you and Mr. Guapo here, he can’t defend the message, so he has to attack the messenger.”

            Says the man who calls people white supremacists when he gets called on his bullshit.

          • Another Whatabout That Other Thing Gringo: my comments about white supremacists were references to comments from commenters posted in this comments section. If you want to dispute the observations, you should do it when I make them, rather than change the subject to Justin.

    • @Canucklehead Once again with the stupid idolatry of the press.

      “I think Orwell might have observed that calling the press the “enemies of the people” is different from complaining about media bias.”

      I don’t need to merely *think* about what Orwell observed, because I’ll looked around a great deal about his formulas.

      And while he had more than a small amount to say about remorseless demonization of someone by the “news” or “press” in his famous stories (most famously with 1984’s hate orgy), but his less famous essay do talk about the danger of mob mentality, and even more so of self righteous intellectuals who think they know better.

      Hence

      “In a Society in which there is no law, and in theory no compulsion, the only arbiter of behaviour is public opinion. But public opinion, because of the tremendous urge to conformity in gregarious animals, is less tolerant than any system of law.”

      And

      “If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion. In this country intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face, and that fact does not seem to me to have had the discussion it deserves.”

      I have my issues with Orwell and I believe he should not be taken as an idol (as would he). I regard his socialism as folly, I find his theory That war is what happens when the moneyed class thinks it will benefit to be laughable and objectively false.

      But I can respect him and beli he he was right more often than he was wrong, and had a great deal of practical experience. Two things I would rarely apply to journalists.

      “Trump’s problem is, the press is still there to observe “reality”.”

      No, it isn’t.

      Because “the press” tends to royally suck at doing so little less than the general Public, and often moreso than enthusiastic and honest layman.

      For instance, Neo-Neocon, one of the most informed Trump watchers on the internet and a former lawyer. Who is more than willing to point out dishonesty from both Trump and the media.

      “Like you and Mr. Guapo here, he can’t defend the message, so he has to attack the messenger. ”

      This is really ironic coming from you, since trading in unsupported assertions is most of your stock in trade on here.

      And secondly, attacking the messenger is only a logical fallacy if it is used as a substitute for defending the message (the inverse of which is something you often do). That’s the ad hominem fallacy.

      But often times chewing out the credibility and value of the messenger is an integral and valid part of undermining a given message or argument. For instance, with the line of reporters that uncritically accepted that Hillary Clinton’s health was not an issue.

      “my comments about white supremacists were references to comments from commenters posted in this comments section.”

      We’re all well aware.

      And more often than not they lack any supporting evidence or prompting whatsogoddamn ever.

      Especially since you have an easily documentable tendency to throw the “white” adjective around with no provocation and to criticize analysis like the idea that many oppressed people in a dictatorship further their own oppression.

      “If you want to dispute the observations, you should do it when I make them, rather than change the subject to Justin.”

      I would if you either didn’t do it constantly, or do so without substance.

      But you do.

      • Correction: I was stupid, insensitive, too generous, and above all inaccurate in my opening sentence, when I wrote of “the stupid idolatry of the press.”

        This is inaccurate and much too generous because Canucklehead doesn’t even idolize the press, a myriad of different news outlets ranging from massive multibillion dollar corporate empires to one person with a blog or even a loud voice in the village square.

        What Canucklehead does engage in idolatry to is the golden calf of “professionally trained” journalistic outlets- that dominate much news coverage in the traditional mediums of the West. And whose training has often shown to be no inhibition to F8gging up without correction and possibly a catalyst for bias.

      • Turtler,

        “War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”
        Orwell wrote this in 1937, probably in Morocco, where he was recovering from a neck wound incurred when he was fighting in Spain as a volunteer with the POUM. It was part of a book review (of a book by a former army officer who had become a pacifist) and probably represents the most misinterpreted thing he ever said. He was seriously pissed off at the time by the pusillanimity of the British government (Neville Chamberlain) and the British establishment (the moneyed classes) who still had not declared war against Hitler despite multiple breaches of treaties by Germany. Orwell was against wars launched for the wrong reasons – for jingoism or nationalism – but he was not a pacifist along the lines of George Woodcock. In the early part of the 2nd World War he made his position very clear.
        “…now we are in this bloody war we have got to win it and I would like to lend a hand”. He was scathing of pacifists like George Woodcock, commenting that their pacifist stance made them “Objectvely pro-fascist.”

        • @kribaez ““War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”
          Orwell wrote this in 1937, probably in Morocco, where he was recovering from a neck wound incurred when he was fighting in Spain as a volunteer with the POUM. It was part of a book review (of a book by a former army officer who had become a pacifist) and probably represents the most misinterpreted thing he ever said. He was seriously pissed off at the time by the pusillanimity of the British government (Neville Chamberlain) and the British establishment (the moneyed classes) who still had not declared war against Hitler despite multiple breaches of treaties by Germany.”

          I can understand that. But the point remains that he still wrote it and it goes back to many of his central beliefs.

          Yes, it certainly is true that conflicts *can* be started when “the moneyed classes” like the aristocrats that brought up East India Company stock or others (like Roman soldiers) saw profit in it. Like we see with the British conquest of Bengal and the Roman pillaging of Dacian mines.

          But not always. The remorseless suck, suck, suck of Spanish resources in Morocco before the Civil War didn’t happen because there was much in the hope of Moroccan conquest satiating any kind of resource need for Spain or its truncated empire. Glory, national pride, and perceived honor were enough.

          Likewise, WWI sparked off because a cabal of Austro-Hungarian military leaders and bureaucrats led by Conrad von Hoetzendorff but cutting jaggedly across class and rank used the murders in Sarajevo to try and do what they’d always wanted: destroy Serbia and annex it. Not because of what could be gained, but what they could remove.

          Profit is a powerful motive for war, but it was far from the only one. And I find Orwell was too cheeky by half when he wrote that.

          ” Orwell was against wars launched for the wrong reasons – for jingoism or nationalism – but he was not a pacifist along the lines of George Woodcock.”

          Oh, I am well aware. Though YMMV on the “wrong reasons” part.

          ” In the early part of the 2nd World War he made his position very clear.
          “…now we are in this bloody war we have got to win it and I would like to lend a hand”. He was scathing of pacifists like George Woodcock, commenting that their pacifist stance made them “Objectvely pro-fascist.””

          Indeed. Technically he argued that pacifism undermined the power of whatever ideology was in place; hence in democracies it was “objectively pro-Fascist” while in Fascist regimes it was objectively anti-Fascist. Which was why they clamped it down.

          Orwell is still one of my favorite writers and in spite of the great ideological gulfs between him and I I still accept he was more correct than not. But nobody is perfect.

          Thanks for the comment, kribaez!

  2. This has gone beyond merely Orwellian. In 1984, they described a dystopia. But it was still a society that had norms of behavior that were strictly enforced, however demented those norms were. In contrast, the streets of Venezuela today are a free-for-all. The very fabric of civilization is breaking down. We are approaching “Mad Max” territory.

    • Cucklehead no one bothers to follow any self serving links posted by you. We are all aware of the lefty rags you peruse. How many links must you post every month to receive your stipend from Soros?

    • @Canucklehead Well, against my better judgement I clicked your link and gave TNY its click in order to be intellectually honest and be prepared for it.

      I shouldn’t have bothered, because in addition to being partially wrong at the best of times it also underlines two of the crucial problems with people in general that help dominate many of the big list media companies. Selective recognition of history, and an ASTOUNDING degree of self-absorbed tunnel vision.

      I could do a full scale fisking of this nonsense, but my comments already tend to run long. So I’ll limit this to a couple key points.

      Firstly: “During the Oval Office discussion, Sulzberger pointed out to Trump that foreign leaders, particularly authoritarians and despots, have taken up Trump’s language and angle of attack. And the reason is not hard to discern: autocrats from Manila to Yangon, Ankara to Caracas, Beijing to Moscow, have found it advantageous to point out that even the President of a country that gave primacy to freedom of speech and the press in its Constitution disdains the news media as “fake.””

      This is monumentally stupid on three levels.

      Firstly: They acknowledge that the phrase “Fake News” has a long history going back to the 19h century at the latest (which they use to torpedo one of Trump’s braggart lies that he invented the phrase) and which was popularized by major left-leaning US media companies like Facebook and the Gray Lady.

      But then they insist that “foreign leaders, particularly authoritarians and despots” have “taken up TRUMP’S language and angle of attack.”

      The problem with this is that the article itself Admits (even if by extension) that authoritarians and despots aren’t the only ones using it, including democratic heads of state like Angela Merkel. So apparently we’re supposed to get riled up with what amounts to a rhetorical trend being used by both tyrannical and democratic politicos alike. To say nothing of common trends.

      Secondly: It rests on the idea that this angle of attack really was Trump’s. And to anybody who seriously thinks that, please take your head out of your rear and do some research.

      Let’s start with Singapore, the totalitarian ant hive of an island run with an iron fist by the Lee family for decades. Where the government has weaponized libel and slander laws (in effect declaring that the speech in question is not only fake, but LEGALLY ACTIONABLY FAKE) against dissidents for decades. And they were by no means the only ones. Propaganda against “defeatism” was handed out by Erich Ludendorff’s dictatorship in 1916 and he wasn’t the first.

      So if anything it would be that Trump were adopting the language and angle of attack of these authoritarian states (which would be cause for concern in and of itself- if it weren’t for points 1 and 3- but different from what Sulzie said).

      and Thirdly: Sulzberger is so biased and intellectually dishonest he rambles about “….have found it advantageous to point out that even the President of a country that gave primacy to freedom of speech and the press in its Constitution disdains the news media as “fake.” without ever asking or being asked about whether quotes from previous American Presidents had similar chilling effects. For instance, Tom Jefferson’s own…

      “To your request of my opinion of the manner in which a newspaper should be conducted, so as to be most useful, I should answer, “by restraining it to true facts & sound principles only.” Yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers. It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more completely deprive the nation of its benefits, than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood. Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. ”

      and the simpler and even more caustic..

      “No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will. ”

      The truth is quite simple.

      Firstly: condemning individual media outlets and indeed the media as a whole for bias, corruption, and perversion is an old game. Not just in tyrannical societies or by would be tyrants, but by champions of freedom.

      Secondly: Tyrannies have never found need to wait for an American President to disparage the Press before oppressing their own. So at most Trump’s own counterattacks had little to no substance on the actions of the PRC or Burma except superficial stylistic ones. A fad in fashion, if you will.

      And finally: That freedom of the press is vital, but so too is freedom to criticize the press. This was nothing unusuall in decades past, where party outlets ran their own, even “nonalligned” Newspapers had an issue sheet for where they stood, and they were free targets in the mudpit of politics and gave as good as they got.

      Ironically for all the spastics shouting about Putin, they don’t realize that this article employs one of the strategies he and other despots use against the press. Conflating criticism of people or organizations WITHIN a given body into hostility and hatred of the entire thing.

      The Kremlin attacks dissidents who criticize Russia’s corrupt, venal, and often outright evil leaders and actions by said leaders by convicting them of crimes against Russia itself.

      So a Russian journalist gets slapped with treason because whistleblowing to the Japanese about illegal navy waste dumpings isn’t acting against corruption or mistakes in the nation*, they’re acting against *the very nation as a whole.*

      https://www.rferl.org/a/1098464.html

      Correspondingly, jagoffs who take issue with the mutually hostile relationship between Trump and big name press outlets like CNN conflate criticism of individual, flawed, and biased members with hatred towards the idea concept of a press.

      This is useful for Putin because it lets him paint dissidents as enemies of the nation who are OSTRACIZED in the very nationalist Russian public and PERSECUTED for treason. It’s helpful for partisan news oligarchies to conflate criticism of them with extreme hostility towards the entire existence of a free press, even when precedent shows otherwise.

      But this too gets put under the rug.

      • Turtler, it is the prose equivalent of beating someone with a wet noodle while dressed as a bear. It really is. It is as if Louis Althusser came back from the dead, ate some magic mushrooms, and started reading Steve Bannon speeches.

        Under an homage to Orwell, of all people. I read the all-caps parts.

      • I respect Turtler taking the time to argue point by point and trying to be intellectually honest. He has the most intellectually honest understanding of Trump’s relationship to the media I’ve seen amongst Trump supporters. A lot of his points about the TNY article are correct but ironically I think the story author would agree with many of them as well. There is a history of other leaders, even American presidents criticizing and even demonizing the press but not as frequently , as totally, and as recently as Trump. There was a lot of talking past each other here but a lot of confusion/disagreement rests on the phrase ‘mainstream press’. Trump has, a couple of times, mentioned his main beef is with certain outlets that publish unfavorable or inaccurate stories and NOT the rest of the press. But other times he blithly calls the mainstream media fake news, calls the press fake & enemies of the people. It’s unrealistic and wrong to expect the press to ignore that and conservative press certainly wouldn’t in the opposite situation. But for Turtler it’s seems to be? enough that Trump usually only lumps the entire mainstream press together, not the entire press. The problem is in practice that undermines trust in critical common sources of information (economist, WSJ news pages) which Trump is all too happy to do, a problem Trump supporters almost always ignore. If Trump were more consistent with his language and these caveats he could negate much of this criticism but he doesn’t, maybe because he likes trolling, maybe because he’s incapable. Ultimately he knows he can say what he likes no matter how incendiary and his supporters will stick with him, in doing so tending to cleave them away from everyone else because admitting the leaders flaws is unpleasant, which is in Trump’s interests. He is a divider much more explicitly than American politics has seen for decades. But one mitigating factor is the press’s objectivity has weakened from what it was in the 20th century but it’s still stronger than in Jefferson’s time.

        • If Trump had just stuck to attacking NYT and a few left outlets like past Republican presidents, a lot of this could have been avoided. But he had to lump the press together over and over. Which prompted a massive fight from people who sensed an unusual level of threat was at hand.

  3. @Canucklehead

    “Turtler, it is the prose equivalent of beating someone with a wet noodle while dressed as a bear. It really is. “

    No. It really is not.

    It’s the equivalent of indiscriminate artillery barrages on everything in the general vicinity of the target. Sloppy, excessive, and in need of refinement. But it gets the job done.

    Unsupported accusations that someone is a white supremacist though? That is actually the prose equivalent of beating someone with a wet noodle dressed as a bear.

    Sloppy, imprecise, and above all Weak.

    But I find it ironic that you made such a great deal about people being unable to defend the message and instead decide to attack the messenger…

    But then you ABANDON debating the message if the text gets a bit too long. .

    Even if that were understandable it is still hypocrisy.

    The difference, Canucklehead, is that I try and keep one high standard for everyone. Myself and those “on my side” included.

    “Under an homage to Orwell, of all people. I read the all-caps parts.”

    IIF YOU TRULY MADE HOMAGE TO ORWELL, YOU WOULD READ HIS QUOTES.

  4. It is easy to draw parallels between Oceania and Venezuela today. Indeed, it is easy to draw parallels between Oceania and any dictatorship which controls the news, engages in historic revisionism, redefines the political vocabulary, crushes dissent, rejects individual rights and blames its problems on an ever-present external threat.
    The gratuitous reference to Trump in this article adds nothing. Its inclusion seriously dilutes the message about Venezuela, and makes me think only that the author knows little about Orwell and has an obsessive hatred of Trump. Orwell himself never visited the USA, but in his many essays and articles he often expressed distaste for both its literature and its politics – although he would always support it over Soviet communism which was his model for both 1984 and Animal Farm. He was a fierce defender of freedom of the press, but an equally fierce defender of freedom of speech. I have no doubt that, if Orwell were alive today, he would dislike Trump for his politics and as an individual. He would however fiercely defend Trump’s right to free speech while no doubt ripping Trump apart on his (Trump’s) version of facts. Analogies between 1984 and Trump’s presidency will become justified as and when Trump withdraws the SLAP laws or starts to try to use government organs to curtail freedom of speech, not before. Ironically, despite the screams against Trump, it was under the Obama administration that the IRS was used to target and chill Obama’s political opposition. I may be wrong, but I don’t recall a lot a analogues then being drawn with Oceania and 1984. It would have been more legitimate.

    • Now you folks have done it. Your well thought out and reasonable arguments have driven Canucklehead and his pompously delivered vapid rantings back into the tundra. Only to return into the warmth when Canucklehead again needs to suckle at the breast of U.S., President Trump inspired, soaring economic circumstances.

  5. In NYC, they had us read these books way too early, in like Junior High School. I didn’t understand what any of that shit meant, and didn’t care.

    How many 13-year-olds care about politics?

    Looking at it in retrospect, I guess it was just propaganda, with the Cold War still raging. It sure wasn’t entertaining literature, and because most of us missed the political “points, it was a big waste of time.

    I would be tempted to read 1984 again, except even though I’m now more politically aware, I got a feeling I would still think it stinks.

    • Ira please do us all a favor and read it.

      I’m looking forward to read your comments when the book discussion comes up.

      Truly yours,

      LC.

  6. Awesome! Another “Get the Gringo” lead in for attacking someone that fights group think.

    Never mind that MSNBC and CNN had hours and hours of coverage devoted to how flight 370 was either A) sucked into a black hole or B) abducted by aliens.

  7. In this comments section I see people simultaneously complaining about the way the press treats Trump, defending him calling the press an “enemy of the people” in true chabestia fashion, BUT STILL decrying totalitarianism.

    “We must demonize the other side and call the free press an enemy of the people so we can prevent totalitarianism”.

    If you wanted an example of doublethink, you couldn’t have asked for better.

    • @Escualidus AreechusUnfortunately in your haste to try and make a political point, you f*** up and forget your roots. Double think isn’t “merely” advocating principles that Seem mutually exclusive to a third party (whose biases, ignorance, and whatnot can affect matters). Double think is the process of advocating claims that YOU KNOW are mutually exclusive in order to advance an agenda, much like O’Brien does in 1984.

      But go on.

      Keep screeching to me about how intellectual dishonesty in the free press cannot be called out lest one slip towards totalitarianism.

      Keep telling me how the press is simultaneously a political actor key to democracy and which can call out those in power, but also a neutral actor whose factions cannot be criticized in turn by political actors.

      That’s actual doublethink right there, chowderhead.

      • “Double think is the process of advocating claims that YOU KNOW are mutually exclusive in order to advance an agenda, much like O’Brien does in 1984.”

        IOW, Evangelicals supporting the decidedly un-Christian, immoral Trump.

        Using “Screeching” to describe contrary opinions? There’s another fine Chavez-worthy word.

        That you don’t see how far down the rabbit hole you’ve gone is simultaneously hilarious and scary.

        • @Escuidus Arrechus

          “IOW, Evangelicals supporting the decidedly un-Christian, immoral Trump.”

          You’re assuming that Evangilicals ignore Trump’s unchristian behavior, or think it disqualified him from a political rather than a religious association.

          Unfortunately politics does not work like that. As shown by the key question you ignore.

          What would you PROPOSE they do?

          Support Hillary clinton, someone who is at least as immoral, corrupt, and unchristian ad Trump, and-This is crucial- in league with people even more hostile to evangilicals’ agenda (on matters like Abortion) or very existence (as the infamous double standards about baking a cake show)?

          Or how about they go all the way and support the credible insurgent candidate, Bernie Sanders, a full on Chavidta apologist who embraced ideas like the food line and state enforced persecution of religion by regimes like the Soviets, FLSN, and Castro?

          The Evangilicals faced a common problem in politics. Picking the imperfect and flawed person and party that best represents their interests and values.

          You willfully ignore that.

          “Using “Screeching” to describe contrary opinions? ”

          I don’t use screeching to describe contrary opinions. I give them due respect even if I disagree with them, so far as they can be given respect.

          But there is nothing to respect about a dishonest straw man.

          Which is what you peddle.

          “There’s another fine Chavez-worthy word.”

          More meaningless grandstanding. Google “Hitler at Sugar.”

          Both Goebbels and I use the term vermin. That doesn’t mean we’re both national socialists. Particularly if I use vermin to describe Fascists like the nurderous, screeching bipedal rat that was Der Fuhrer’s propaganda tsar.

          “That you don’t see how far down the rabbit hole you’ve gone is simultaneously hilarious and scary.”

          That you’re so self righteous and ignorant you conflate what I say with utter evil and afford no scope for good intention shows you’re the one in the rabbit hole.

      • Turtler, I’d like to comment on your statement here about “doublethink” because it is tremendously revealing, and helpfully short.

        You are saying, falsely, that Mr. Arrechus said that “intellectual dishonesty in the free press cannot be called out lest one slip towards totalitarianism”. He did not say that. He did not say anything remotely like that. Nobody has said that. You just made that up. That is intellectual dishonesty.

        On the subject of doublethink which you raise, it also bears remarking that you are saying something intellectually dishonest here in defense of a shameless and prolific liar: Donald Trump.

        These are the times we live in, where we get a lecture on doublespeak and George Orwell from the intellectually dishonest defender of a liar.

        • @Canucklehead Having dealt with your moral grandstanding and hypocrisy before, I have every right and justification to tell you go go f*** yourself.

          Particularly since you’ve used my admittedly long and cumbersome way of formatting replies as a justification to ignore what I write, instead favor My blunt dismissals and clever wordplay. As if such things were substitutes for addressing my points (spoiler: they aren’t).

          However, I will reply nevertheless.

          “You are saying, falsely, that Mr. Arrechus said that “intellectual dishonesty in the free press cannot be called out lest one slip towards totalitarianism”.”

          That isn’t falsely.

          That is precisely what he is saying, nimrod.

          This is something he OUTRIGHT LAYS OUT IN HIS STAW-TRUMP SUPPORTER QUOTE.

          ““We must demonize the other side and call the free press an enemy of the people so we can prevent totalitarianism”.”

          Note how this quote involves FALSELY arguing that Trump called the entire FREE PRESS the enemy of the people.

          He did not.

          “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”

          That’s five news outlets among many. Including several other anti-Trump news outlets that he did not list.

          And note how EscAre also (by omission) ignored demonization on the other side. Up to and including calling a Gay Jew married to a Black man a Nazi and going to attack him with a gang of rioters when he dared speak st Berkeley.

          It’s called context, Canucklehead.

          The ONLY way Arriie’s comment is NOT false is if you assume that the “free press” is synonymous with the outlets Trump listed and no others.

          That such a claim is wrong is self evident.

          The fact that you are saying Arrie did not say something he clearly d D (using quotes) and that my quotation of him is false renders your comment unworthy of the time I spent refuting it.

          You’re the one being intellectually dishonest here, Canucklehead.

          The difference is, I’ve never claimed Donald Trump was not a liar.

          You and Arrie have claimed that the entire free press in America amounts to five news outlets and that Trump’s criticism of them is an attack on the entire free press.

          You have the right to lecture me about intellectual dishonesty and lies because we live in a free country, but you SURE As HELL do not have justification to do so.

          “These are the times we live in, where we get a lecture on doublespeak and George Orwell from the intellectually dishonest defender of a liar.”

          Once again with the intellectual dishonesty.

          “All Cretans are Liars” was a lie when it was spoken, and human nature has not changed since then.

          One can be a liar in one aspect but honest in others.

          Hitler lied about mass murders his men committed. Does that mean that his regime’s denial that it was responsible for the Katyn Massacre was a lie?

          No.

          But you are SOOOO fanatical you apparently can’t acknowledge moral
          Ambiguity. Or think that someone defending Trump against accusations he lied means they never acknowledge he does.

          Neo-Neocon has Trump’s number and yours far better than you ever had.

          • God, Turtler, you start with “Go f*** yourself.” And then you command the battalions of paragraphs to march past my tired eyes.

            Snoring.

          • @XiaoFan Firstly: I didn’t *start* with “go F*** yourself”. This is just one of dozens of comments I have made in response to Canucklehead. Which have increasingly been dismissed and ignore in hypocritical and rude fashion.

            After a few months of the treatment as well as blindingly obvious falsehoods in this one, even my patience runs out.

            But yes, I do muster battalions of paragraphs. Far too many of them.

            However it is not without purpose. Because I at least TRY to reply to my partners in a discussion accurately and in depth. It also helps refute nonsense like Canucklehead’s claims that I was dishonest or mischaracterized what someone said.

            As for yourself? Your sleep problems are your own. So deal with them as you see fit.

            But don’t for a second act like this reply of yours was meaningful.

  8. “Double think is the process of advocating claims that YOU KNOW are mutually exclusive in order to advance an agenda, much like O’Brien does in 1984.”

    IOW, Evangelicals supporting the decidedly un-Christian, immoral Trump.

    Using “Screeching” to describe contrary opinions? There’s another fine Chavez-worthy word.

    That you don’t see how far down the rabbit hole you’ve gone is simultaneously hilarious and scary.

    • I already addressed and refuted this hypocritical stupidity earlier, so my full comments are above.

      But the Evangilicals are only guilty of double think if they claim that Trump hasn’t been immoral or unchristian.

      I will allow that some of them have, but most haven’t. Especially since if you knew a flying f*** about Evangilicals you would know the Christian faith holds that all humans are sinful and unworthy people who must find redemption through Christ.

      Also what you conveniently ignore is any indication of what the Evangilicals should have actually done. Support Hillary Clinton, who had been at l say as immoral and corrupt as Trump has been and is in league with interests hostile to theirs (like forced service)? Or go full Bernie and link arms with a Chavista apologist even more hostile to religious liberty?

      You don’t have an answer. Because you peddle in ignorant straw men.

  9. Ill start off witht this link, where MSNBC just crushed Trump last week because of the economy… not at all, no matter how much Trump screams how he is treated unfairly:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jcPrJW91HHA

    Assume some of you saw how Trump tweeted about an OFF THE RECORD meeting he had requested with the chief editor of the “Failing New York Times”, forcing the editor to respond. This is due to Trump morphong from “Fake News” to the press being the enemy of the people. I strongly recommend the HBO documentary series “The Fourth Estate” and see the respect they show while when Trump calls them, the professional journalism, details and standards they follow when putting together investigative stories

    I find it interesting the number of people who only get news and opinion from one source, everything else “fake news”. I personally triangulate as a minimum, meaning I watch no less than three sources (the Big 3, CNN, Fox News and Headline, MSNBC, BBC International, etc) or read no less than three sources before making an opinion. Many commenters here try to do the same re Venezuela by reading Aporrea.

    • @Gringo 2 Finally, reasonable commentary.

      But I agree, it is wise to triangulate one’s news. Particularly because we as humans are so prone to confirmation bias and we have to make a dedicated effort to shake it. This is why I do still read the dead tree media outlets (and not just the big ones).

      And because even if confirmation bias wasn’t a thing, even the best equipped and well intentioned reporter or commentor can be wrong. Particularly if the data they’re working from is flawed.

      What gets my goat is the conflation of mud slinging between the press and politicos or news bias as some kind of unspeakably terrible or abnormal thing. Truth is, it should not be. Press gives the most benefit to a free society in an adversarial role to those in power (one of the secondary reasons I voted for Trump; because he and most of the big outlets would be so focused taking bites out of each other that the sunlight could filter in through the holes).

      What always worries me is the idea of the indispensable group or outlet. That President Trump isn’t just an American President, he IS America. That CNN or MSNBC or what have you aren’t just news outlets in a free press, they ARE the free press’s

      Neither mentality is true. Neither is healthy. And neither does good for a free society and a free people.

      This is why -while I try to take in as many sources as I can- I identify most with conservative but Trump cynical analysts like Neo-Neocon.

    • @Another Gringo

      “I know you are but what am I?” Doesn’t leave room for precise quotations of what people said.

      And it’s a weak argument anyway.
      So thanks for the concern but I will pass.

  10. I learn a lot more about what is happening in Venezuela by reading Aporrea, than CC. I know this is like learning about what is going on in the US by reading WAPO. Not remotely balanced. This site tries too hard to be Huffington Post, except Naky. She should post in Aporrea. That would be awesome. They have only a few females writers. Most all of them are old men, typically retired Chavista commie academics watching this thing they created fuck over their country and themselves. They are probably married to Venezuelan women. Canuckles would hate that.

    • Canucklehead has a hard time with any men married to women. He prefers to suck dick.

      Nothing wrong with that, that’s what he’s into, but did you ever notice that the guy never reveals a single thing about himself? Like, why is he coming to a site dedicated to Venezuela, when he’s never been to the country, and has no family there?

      This guy is a super shmuck putz, with nothing better to do with his life.

      No connection at all to VZ, but with the fucking balls to criticize those of us who do.

      Canucklehead, what the hell is fucking wrong with you? What kind of sad life do you actually live!

      • @Ira To be fair, I have never been to Venezuela, have no personal connections in country (except for some friends I met in Curacao), and have nothing better to do with my life.

        I also will criticize those either in country (like Bill Bass or the authors) or who have connections to it (like you and El Guapo) if I think they warrant criticism.

        I have my issues with Canucklehead and many of his “contributions”- bonus points for the logical fallacies and the outright misreading plus false accusations here-, but CC’s an open and free forum. Including for Norteamericano rubberneckers without direct skin in the game like He and I.

          • @Ed Really?

            Apparently you found it fine to see the political septic tank break in these comments again and again, and to see casual demonization by Canucklehead of everybody to the right of Trudeau as (of all things) a Chavista.

            But my criticism of Ira’s criticism of Canucklehead and an attempt to remind him that one doesn’t need to have friends in Venezuela in order to wish it escapes tyranny… THAT is taking it too far?

  11. Im an old timer in these pages , which sometimes I suspect have seen better times , I am bored stiff with reading the arguments about Mr trumps foibles and praises from his US buffs and enemies ( which apparently are many) . For that reason I heartily suggest that those people whose main concern is Mr Trump please stop venting their spleen in this blog (sometimes I suspect they are govt trolls vent on distracting attention from the real Venezuelan topics. ) they are for the most part irrelevant to the concerns that form the object of this blog, and should be written in a separate blog dedicated to Mr Trup and nothing else. My sole concern right now is our countrys survival , inmmediate survival , not american politics . To the extent that Mr Trumps deeds or words have something to do with Venezuelas current situation Im interested , otherwise I am not ……!! Im certain that quite a few readers of this blog are of the same opinion !!

  12. I hope cucklehead reads your comment Bill…he is the main one who constantly brings Mr.Trump into the conversation. It is a form of trolling on his part.

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