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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:04 pm 
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Less than half the people voted...of those that voted most picked him...so that's just a little bit off from what our elections seem to do. What's a lot more interesting to me is this map:

Image

Red don't support the election. Green do. To look at that map and think that this election was fair or unfair is completely retarded. This is the international community jockeying for the worlds biggest proven oil reserve. The greens are doing it every bit as much as the reds. The election does not indicate at all what the majority your average people living in that country wants.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:33 pm 
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tgrant wrote:
the worlds biggest proven oil reserve.


The Gulf of Mexico? The Caspian Sea/Depression? Both of those have vastly larger supplies of oil than Venezuela ever could have.

Hell, the oil shale on the Western Slope of Colorado has more oil reserves than that. The only major oil producing region Venezuela might be able to beat is the North Sea and even that is questionable. Thus it's a last place among major producers.

If they were so large and so influential, why do oil prices not give any fucks about what happens there? They give plenty of fucks about what happens in the US or Russia or Iran or Iraq or Saudi Arabia but none whatsoever about Venezuela.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:49 pm 
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SomeGuy wrote:
If they were so large and so influential, why do oil prices not give any fucks about what happens there? They give plenty of fucks about what happens in the US or Russia or Iran or Iraq or Saudi Arabia but none whatsoever about Venezuela.


Hmmm...

On what data are you basing that (rhetorical?) question on?

I mean, I could probably grab one of my Trade & Commodity Finance colleagues and ask her or him to explain how concerns about Venezuelan oil production do very much have a bearing on the Global price of oil.

But do I really need to drag them away from whatever they are doing, to explain something so obvious?

I mean... You know who Venezuela's biggest and most important oil customer is, don't you?

Why would you imagine that potential disruption to Venezuelan oil production [url=https://www.theweek.co.uk/oil-price/95286/what-is-the-price-of-oil-and-which-way-will-it-go]would *NOT* worry the Commodity Markets?

:-?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:50 pm 
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Holyman wrote:
PBFMullethunter wrote:
^ bollocks

Canada hasn’t “caved” to anyone — we say what the hell we want. Stopped reading at that point.

Where do you get these people??


I didn't have you pegged as a Nationalist MH...

:-?


Straw Man.

Also, http://theconversation.com/venezuelans- ... tion-96702

Since announcing it would hold a 2018 presidential election, Maduro’s government has severely limited who can appear on the ballot. Four of the five most prominent opposition leaders have been either jailed or barred from office – a main reason for the boycott.

“Will of the People” my ass!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:02 pm 
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tgrant wrote:
Less than half the people voted...of those that voted most picked him...so that's just a little bit off from what our elections seem to do. What's a lot more interesting to me is this map:

Image

Red don't support the election. Green do. To look at that map and think that this election was fair or unfair is completely retarded. This is the international community jockeying for the worlds biggest proven oil reserve. The greens are doing it every bit as much as the reds. The election does not indicate at all what the majority your average people living in that country wants.


Mostly the other dictatorships and fake democracies... this is just standard chess.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:08 pm 
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PBFMullethunter wrote:
Holyman wrote:
I didn't have you pegged as a Nationalist MH...


Straw Man.


Potentially.

But you elected not to read any of the article after your Nation was traduced... So I couldn't respond to any actual points you were making... 'Cos you didn't actually make any.

And... You *ARE* a Nationalist, right? ("We...")

But as I said previously:

You can't actually prove that more Venezuelans want Guiado as President than want Maduro as President.

You can't separate the impact that two decades of unilateral U.S. Economic sanctions has had on the Venezuelan Economy, from the impact that domestic mismanagement (and corruption?) has had on it.

Chavez significantly improved the lives of a significant number of Venezuelans, between 1998 and his death in 2013. He used Venezuelan oil revenues to fund Universal Healthcare, free education for all (up to and including University), substantially reduce poverty, and pension increases.

That must have *REALLY* pissed off the majority of Venezuelan peasants, right? It's no wonder they hate the Bolivarians, and would much prefer Venezuelan oil revenues to be directed to foreign corporations and super-wealthy Venezuelans.

Following Chavez' death, the Obama Administration doubled-down on the unilateral economic sanctions it imposed on Venezuela.

The purpose of these sanctions was to starve the Venezuelan Government of funds, and to provoke Regime Change.

Right?

So now that five years after those sanctions were imposed, the Venezuelan Government is starved of funds, and there's a real drive to replace the apparently elected President with someone who just claims he should be President...

...That can *ONLY* be because the Venezuelan Government opted to use Socialist policies, rather than Neo-Liberal ones.

Is *THAT* more or less your current position on the situation in Venezuela MH?

:-?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:18 pm 
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Holyman wrote:
PBFMullethunter wrote:
Holyman wrote:
I didn't have you pegged as a Nationalist MH...


Straw Man.


Potentially.

But you elected not to read any of the article after your Nation was traduced... So I couldn't respond to any actual points you were making... 'Cos you didn't actually make any.

And... You *ARE* a Nationalist, right? ("We...")

But as I said previously:

You can't actually prove that more Venezuelans want Guiado as President than want Maduro as President.

You can't separate the impact that two decades of unilateral U.S. Economic sanctions has had on the Venezuelan Economy, from the impact that domestic mismanagement (and corruption?) has had on it.

Chavez significantly improved the lives of a significant number of Venezuelans, between 1998 and his death in 2013. He used Venezuelan oil revenues to fund Universal Healthcare, free education for all (up to and including University), substantially reduce poverty, and pension increases.

That must have *REALLY* pissed off the majority of Venezuelan peasants, right? It's no wonder they hate the Bolivarians, and would much prefer Venezuelan oil revenues to be directed to foreign corporations and super-wealthy Venezuelans.

Following Chavez' death, the Obama Administration doubled-down on the unilateral economic sanctions it imposed on Venezuela.

The purpose of these sanctions was to starve the Venezuelan Government of funds, and to provoke Regime Change.

Right?

So now that five years after those sanctions were imposed, the Venezuelan Government is starved of funds, and there's a real drive to replace the apparently elected President with someone who just claims he should be President...

...That can *ONLY* be because the Venezuelan Government opted to use Socialist policies, rather than Neo-Liberal ones.

Is *THAT* more or less your current position on the situation in Venezuela MH?

:-?



Venezuela destroyed itself. The same thing would have happened anywhere else with the same form of “government” regardless of what the U.S. did or didn’t do.

“Socialism” can only work long-term if it is balanced by a healthy private sector to pay for it all. The Cuban model of government control over everything will never, ever, ever work anywhere because it is shit. Sooner or later you always run out of other people’s money.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:32 pm 
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PBFMullethunter wrote:
Sooner or later you always run out of other people’s money.


You realise money doesn't actually exist, right?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:35 pm 
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Slacks wrote:
PBFMullethunter wrote:
Sooner or later you always run out of other people’s money.


You realise money doesn't actually exist, right?


Yes, but somehow it all works when the value is stable. Obviously this requires a functional government that listens to economists as opposed to a bunch of scruffy revolutionaries.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:54 am 
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PBFMullethunter wrote:
Slacks wrote:
PBFMullethunter wrote:
Sooner or later you always run out of other people’s money.


You realise money doesn't actually exist, right?


Yes, but somehow it all works when the value is stable. Obviously this requires a functional government that listens to economists as opposed to a bunch of scruffy revolutionaries.


I was just copy pasta your comment from the other thread.

Fool.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:02 am 
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PBFMullethunter wrote:
Venezuela destroyed itself. The same thing would have happened anywhere else with the same form of “government” regardless of what the U.S. did or didn’t do.

“Socialism” can only work long-term if it is balanced by a healthy private sector to pay for it all. The Cuban model of government control over everything will never, ever, ever work anywhere because it is shit. Sooner or later you always run out of other people’s money
.



Ah, I think I understand a bit better now.

I’m discussing the legitimacy of interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.

But it is starting to look like you are discussing the superiority of Private Sector ownership of natural resources and essential public utilities, over Socialism.

That’s about right isn’t it?

Thing is this:

You (MH) are one of the brightest minds I’ve met on the Interwebs; and certainly and by far the wittiest.

All of which is a gay way of saying that I highly respect your intelligence.

So the really interesting thing to be discussing here, is not the rights and wrongs of who-really-knows-what-the-fuck-is-going-on-in-Venezuela, much less Socialism vs. Neoliberalism...

...But why you and I, two equally intelligent individuals, with access to the same information, hold such different perspectives on situations like these?

Wouldn’t you say?

:-??

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:00 pm 
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FEBRUARY 8, 2019

Juan Guaidó: The Man Who Would Be President of Venezuela Doesn’t Have a Constitutional Leg to Stand On

by ROGER HARRIS


Donald Trump imagines Juan Guaidó is the rightful president of Venezuela. Mr. Guaidó, a man of impeccable illegitimacy, was exposed by Cohen and Blumenthal as “a product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington’s elite regime change trainers.” Argentinian sociologist Marco Teruggi described Guaidó in the same article as “a character that has been created for this circumstance” of regime change. Here, his constitutional credentials to be interim president of Venezuela are deconstructed.

Educated at George Washington University in DC, Guaidó was virtually unknown in his native Venezuela before being thrust on to the world stage in a rapidly unfolding series of events. In a poll conducted a little more than a week before Guaidó appointed himself president of the country, 81% of Venezuelans had never even heard of the 35-year-old.

To make a short story shorter, US Vice President Pence phoned Guaidó on the evening of January 22rd and presumably asked him how’d he like to be made president of Venezuela. The next day, Guaidó announced that he considered himself president of Venezuela, followed within minutes by US President Trump confirming the self-appointment.

A few weeks before on January 5, Guaidó had been installed as president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, their unicameral legislature. He had been elected to the assembly from a coastal district with 26% of the vote. It was his party’s turn for the presidency of the body, and he was hand-picked for the position. Guaidó, even within his own party, was not in the top leadership.

Guaidó’s party, Popular Will, is a far-right marginal group whose most enthusiastic boosters are John Bolton, Elliott Abrams, and Mike Pompeo. Popular Will had adopted a strategy of regime change by extra-parliamentary means rather than engage in the democratic electoral process and had not participated in recent Venezuelan elections.

Although anointed by Trump and company, Guaidó’s Popular Will Party is not representative of the “Venezuelan opposition,” which is a fractious bunch whose hatred of Maduro is only matched by their abhorrence of each other. Leading opposition candidate Henri Falcón, who ran against Maduro in 2018 on a neoliberal austerity platform, had been vehemently opposed by Popular Will who demanded that he join their US-backed boycott of the election.

The Venezuelan news outlet, Ultimas Noticias, reported that prominent opposition politician Henrique Capriles, who had run against Maduro in 2013, “affirmed during an interview that the majority of opposition parties did not agree with the self-swearing in of Juan Guaidó as interim president of the country.”  Claudio Fermin, president of the party Solutions for Venezuela, wrote “we believe in the vote, in dialogue, we believe in coming to an understanding, we believe Venezuelans need to part ways with the extremist sectors that only offer hatred, revenge, lynching.” Key opposition governor of the State of Táchira, Laidy Gómez, has rejected Guaidó’s support of intervention by the US, warning that it “would generate death of Venezuelans.”

The Guaidó/Trump cabal does not reflect the democratic consensus in Venezuela, where polls consistently show super majorities oppose outside intervention. Popular opinion in Venezuela supports negotiations between the government and the opposition as proposed by Mexico, Uruguay, and the Vatican. The Maduro administration has embraced the negotiations as a peaceful solution to the crisis facing Venezuela.

The US government rejects a negotiated solution, in the words of Vice President Pence: “This is no time for dialogue; this is time for action.” This intransigent position is faithfully echoed by Guaidó. So while most Venezuelans want peace, the self-appointed president, backed by the full force of US military power, wrote in a New York Times op-ed that it was possible to “end the Maduro regime with a minimum of bloodshed.”

The Guaidó/Trump cabal’s fig leaf for legitimacy is based on the bogus argument that Article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution gives the National Assembly the power to declare a national president’s “abandonment” of the office. In which case, the president of the National Assembly can serve as an interim national president, until presidential elections are held. The inconvenient truth is that Maduro has shown no inclination to abandon his post, and the constitution says no such thing.

In fact, the grounds for replacing a president are very clearly laid out in the first paragraph of Article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution and do not include fraudulent or illegitimate election, which is what the cabal has been claiming. In the convoluted logic of the US government and its epigones, if the people elect someone the cabal doesn’t like, the election is by definition fraudulent and the democratically elected winner is ipso facto a dictator.

The function of adjudicating the validity of an election, as in any country, is to be dealt with through court challenges, not by turning to Donald Trump for his approval. And certainly not by anointing an individual from a party that could have run in the 2018 election but decided to boycott.

The Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ), which is the separate supreme court branch of the Venezuelan government has certified Maduro’s reelection, as have independent international observers. Further, no appeal was filed by any of the boycotting parties, while all participating parties – including opposition ones – signed off on the validity of the election after the polls closed.

The far-right opposition has boycotted the high court as well as the electoral process. They contest the legitimacy of the TSJ because some members of the TSJ were appointed by a lame duck National Assembly favorable to Maduro, after a new National Assembly with a majority in opposition had been elected in December 2015 but not yet seated.

Even if President Maduro were somehow deemed to have experienced what is termed a falta absoluta (i.e., some sort of void in the presidency due to death, insanity, absence, etc.), the National Assembly president is only authorized to take over if the falta absoluta occurs before the lawful president “takes possession.” However, Maduro was already “in possession” before the January 10, 2019 presidential inauguration and even before the May 10, 2018 presidential election. Maduro had won the presidency in the 2013 election and ran and won reelection last May.

If the falta absoluta is deemed to have occurred during the first four years of the presidential term, the vice president takes over. Then the constitution decrees that a snap election for the presidency must be held within 30 days. This is what happened when President Hugo Chávez died while in office in 2013. Then Vice President Nicolás Maduro succeeded to the presidency, called for new elections, and was elected by the people of Venezuela.

If it is deemed that the falta absoluta occurred during the last two years of the six-year presidential term, the vice president serves until the end of the term, according to the Venezuelan constitution. And if the time of the alleged falta absoluta is unclear – when Maduro presided over “illegitimate” elections in 2018, as is claimed by the far-right opposition – it is up to the TSJ to decide, not the head of the National Assembly or even such an august authority as US Senator Marco Rubio. Or the craven US press (too numerous to cite), which without bothering to read the plain language of the Bolivarian Constitution, repeatedly refers to Guaidó as the “constitutionally authorized” or “legitimate” president.

As Alfred de Zayas, United Nations independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, tweeted: “Article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution is inapplicable and cannot be twisted into legitimizing Guaidó’s self-proclamation as interim President. A coup is a coup.”

Roger Harris with the Task Force on the Americas and the Campaign to End US/Canada Sanctions Against Venezuela.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:34 pm 
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Holyman wrote:
Ah, I think I understand a bit better now.

I’m discussing the legitimacy of interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.

But it is starting to look like you are discussing the superiority of Private Sector ownership of natural resources and essential public utilities, over Socialism.

That’s about right isn’t it?

Thing is this:

You (MH) are one of the brightest minds I’ve met on the Interwebs; and certainly and by far the wittiest.

All of which is a gay way of saying that I highly respect your intelligence.

So the really interesting thing to be discussing here, is not the rights and wrongs of who-really-knows-what-the-fuck-is-going-on-in-Venezuela, much less Socialism vs. Neoliberalism...

...But why you and I, two equally intelligent individuals, with access to the same information, hold such different perspectives on situations like these?

Wouldn’t you say?

:-??


Aw shucks :">

I think the main difference here is you still seem to be suggesting that Maduro's presidency represents the will of Venezuelans at large. How much support did he have before the last election, ~20%? At least half of the population didn't even bother voting, because their favourite potential candidates had disappeared.

Of course, Maduro had to leave someone alone as "opposition" or he couldn't really fake an election. I'm guessing he saw this Juan Gay-do guy as weak sauce enough that he posed no threat and would make a suitable runner-up (obviously he underestimated him just a tad).

I'm sure we actually agree on most things, including:

- there should be no foreign invasion of Venezuela
- the U.S. and allies should not be smuggling any weapons to rebels
- No CIA shenanigans, etc.

But I see no problem in offering conditional moral support for Gay-do as *Interim* president. The main condition, of course, is that he holds proper elections pronto and accepts the results, whatever they may be. Neither of the two presidents is legitimate, but Gay-do is (hopefully) the better option at this point.


The other (somewhat puzzling) thing you keep mentioning is that we "don't really know what is going on" in Venezuela. Journalists from everywhere are on the ground there, giving very detailed accounts of what is going on. It's not just Fox News. This argument is sounding a bit like "Yeah but you can't really PROVE the Earth is billions of years old. That's just what THEY want you to think."


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:12 pm 
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Holyman wrote:
FEBRUARY 8, 2019

Juan Guaidó: The Man Who Would Be President of Venezuela Doesn’t Have a Constitutional Leg to Stand On




More utter nonsense. Where do you get these people?

Stopped reading at "far-right."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Guaid%C3%B3

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/juan-guai ... -1.4990248

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_Will


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:42 pm 
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PBFMullethunter wrote:
I think the main difference here is you still seem to be suggesting that Maduro's presidency represents the will of Venezuelans at large.


Ah, ok. That’s easy enough to clear up.

I have been very carefully and judiciously avoiding any suggestion that Maduro’s Presidency represents the will of Venezuelans at large.

If I had wanted to say that, I’d have just said it.

Instead, I stuck very carefully to the line:

You have to prove that more Venezuelans want Guiado as President than Maduro.

From what I’ve been (rapidly!) reading up on Venezuela, there is no single individual in Venezuelan politics since Hugo Chavez died in 2013, who could legitimately represent the will of Venezuelans at large.

And I think that is probably just as it should be.

No. My whole position is based on the fact that there *WAS* a Presidential Election in May, 2018; and whatever the legitimacy or validity of the result, it wasn’t considered actionable. Venezuelan politics continued Business-as-Usual; and if I recall correctly, the President of the United States was busy making nice with the heads of two undoubtedly undemocratic and totalitarian regimes: one on the Arabian Peninsula; the other on the Korean…

Fast-forward six months, and the U.S. Government is in shutdown, because Congress won’t pay for Trump’s wall.

And all of a sudden, we’ve all got to focus on Venezuela.

And we know that the Vice-President of the U.S. put a call into some obscure Venezuelan politician, a week before that politician bizarrely declared himself President, and was immediately recognised as such by the Government of the U.S., and those Governments who are economically dependent upon the U.S.

And, you know, please forgive me and all…

…But why would I move straight to the conclusion that the U.S. is acting benignly, in support of Human Rights, Freedom and Democracy, in the country that has the World’s largest proven oil reserves?

I mean… You *HAVE* been watching the news these last 20 years, haven’t you..?

Sorry. But if the U.S. is trying to pull another one of its tricks: I want concrete proof. And the onus is on the U.S. to produce that proof: it is the accuser.

PBFMullethunter wrote:
I'm sure we actually agree on most things, including:

- there should be no foreign invasion of Venezuela
- the U.S. and allies should not be smuggling any weapons to rebels
- No CIA shenanigans, etc.


What about the 20 years of sanctions, getting progressively harsher in 2014 and 2017?

What about the illegal tricks the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of England are currently playing with Venezuela’s bullion?

What about the effect of the massive drop in oil prices in 2014? And the effect that had on an economy whose GDP is 90% reliant on oil exports?

What about the fact that Venezuela’s Central Bankers were persuaded to pledge their oil reserves and all assets of the state oil sector as collateral for its foreign debt? And that the U.S. Government is currently acting to force Venezuela to default?

And I guess ultimately, what about the fact that I’m considerably better informed on the last 20 years of Venezuelan History than you are? (Probably because I don’t “stop reading” when I see a phrase I don’t like the smell of…)

PBFMullethunter wrote:
The other (somewhat puzzling) thing you keep mentioning is that we "don't really know what is going on" in Venezuela. Journalists from everywhere are on the ground there, giving very detailed accounts of what is going on. It's not just Fox News. This argument is sounding a bit like "Yeah but you can't really PROVE the Earth is billions of years old. That's just what THEY want you to think."


Ah, right. Nice and easy this one.

We don’t really know what is going on in Venezuela, because the information we receive is unreliable.

There *ARE* a lot of journalists covering the situation in Venezuela.

But you are only looking at the output of a small sub-set of those journalists; whose work is required to meet the editorial policy of the mainstream outlets they hope to sell it to.

I thought we had effectively established that the Mainstream Media (of whatever political hue) is not whom we turn to when we are seeking objective information and analysis about a particular situation or issue.

Personally, I don’t take any single outlet’s “information” as gospel (no, not even Counterpunch).

I don’t think we’re supposed to, are we?

Ultimately, we’re trying to figure out why this sort of nonsense is taking place, what we ought to do about it, and how we might prevent such nonsense in the future.

Information is helpful in that regard, as is analysis. But why would we restrict ourselves to single sources or perspectives.

Reading “alternative” sources, I’m always going to have a more aggregated view; because I can’t help but be bombarded by the “mainstream” view.

(In other words: I read both “alternative” and “mainstream” sources.)

I’m not ideologically fixated. Some of my best friends are highly Conservative Republicans, another is a rabid anti-semite. Takes all sorts.

The trick is to listen to *ALL* of them.

But always leave the Final Word to your own Common Sense.

Oh, and I also find it helps if I operate from a position of *NOT* knowing stuff, before I get into it.

That opens me up to Learning.

:-??

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:39 pm 
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Holyman wrote:
PBFMullethunter wrote:
I think the main difference here is you still seem to be suggesting that Maduro's presidency represents the will of Venezuelans at large.


Ah, ok. That’s easy enough to clear up.

I have been very carefully and judiciously avoiding any suggestion that Maduro’s Presidency represents the will of Venezuelans at large.

If I had wanted to say that, I’d have just said it.

Instead, I stuck very carefully to the line:

You have to prove that more Venezuelans want Guiado as President than Maduro.

From what I’ve been (rapidly!) reading up on Venezuela, there is no single individual in Venezuelan politics since Hugo Chavez died in 2013, who could legitimately represent the will of Venezuelans at large.

And I think that is probably just as it should be.

No. My whole position is based on the fact that there *WAS* a Presidential Election in May, 2018; and whatever the legitimacy or validity of the result, it wasn’t considered actionable. Venezuelan politics continued Business-as-Usual; and if I recall correctly, the President of the United States was busy making nice with the heads of two undoubtedly undemocratic and totalitarian regimes: one on the Arabian Peninsula; the other on the Korean…

Fast-forward six months, and the U.S. Government is in shutdown, because Congress won’t pay for Trump’s wall.

And all of a sudden, we’ve all got to focus on Venezuela.

And we know that the Vice-President of the U.S. put a call into some obscure Venezuelan politician, a week before that politician bizarrely declared himself President, and was immediately recognised as such by the Government of the U.S., and those Governments who are economically dependent upon the U.S.

And, you know, please forgive me and all…

…But why would I move straight to the conclusion that the U.S. is acting benignly, in support of Human Rights, Freedom and Democracy, in the country that has the World’s largest proven oil reserves?

I mean… You *HAVE* been watching the news these last 20 years, haven’t you..?

Sorry. But if the U.S. is trying to pull another one of its tricks: I want concrete proof. And the onus is on the U.S. to produce that proof: it is the accuser.

PBFMullethunter wrote:
I'm sure we actually agree on most things, including:

- there should be no foreign invasion of Venezuela
- the U.S. and allies should not be smuggling any weapons to rebels
- No CIA shenanigans, etc.


What about the 20 years of sanctions, getting progressively harsher in 2014 and 2017?

What about the illegal tricks the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of England are currently playing with Venezuela’s bullion?

What about the effect of the massive drop in oil prices in 2014? And the effect that had on an economy whose GDP is 90% reliant on oil exports?

What about the fact that Venezuela’s Central Bankers were persuaded to pledge their oil reserves and all assets of the state oil sector as collateral for its foreign debt? And that the U.S. Government is currently acting to force Venezuela to default?

And I guess ultimately, what about the fact that I’m considerably better informed on the last 20 years of Venezuelan History than you are? (Probably because I don’t “stop reading” when I see a phrase I don’t like the smell of…)

PBFMullethunter wrote:
The other (somewhat puzzling) thing you keep mentioning is that we "don't really know what is going on" in Venezuela. Journalists from everywhere are on the ground there, giving very detailed accounts of what is going on. It's not just Fox News. This argument is sounding a bit like "Yeah but you can't really PROVE the Earth is billions of years old. That's just what THEY want you to think."


Ah, right. Nice and easy this one.

We don’t really know what is going on in Venezuela, because the information we receive is unreliable.

There *ARE* a lot of journalists covering the situation in Venezuela.

But you are only looking at the output of a small sub-set of those journalists; whose work is required to meet the editorial policy of the mainstream outlets they hope to sell it to.

I thought we had effectively established that the Mainstream Media (of whatever political hue) is not whom we turn to when we are seeking objective information and analysis about a particular situation or issue.

Personally, I don’t take any single outlet’s “information” as gospel (no, not even Counterpunch).

I don’t think we’re supposed to, are we?

Ultimately, we’re trying to figure out why this sort of nonsense is taking place, what we ought to do about it, and how we might prevent such nonsense in the future.

Information is helpful in that regard, as is analysis. But why would we restrict ourselves to single sources or perspectives.

Reading “alternative” sources, I’m always going to have a more aggregated view; because I can’t help but be bombarded by the “mainstream” view.

(In other words: I read both “alternative” and “mainstream” sources.)

I’m not ideologically fixated. Some of my best friends are highly Conservative Republicans, another is a rabid anti-semite. Takes all sorts.

The trick is to listen to *ALL* of them.

But always leave the Final Word to your own Common Sense.

Oh, and I also find it helps if I operate from a position of *NOT* knowing stuff, before I get into it.

That opens me up to Learning.

:-??



Commendable indeed.

But when I see something as absurd as the last article you posted, I just don’t feel it’s really worth my time, similar to reading Creationist websites etc.

New guy is about as “far-right” as my left nut.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:53 pm 
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- the U.S. and allies should not be smuggling any weapons to rebels
- No CIA shenanigans, etc.


Hahahahahahaha
Don't worry
I promise none of the aircraft loaded with Israeli captured firearms will have US markings on them

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:50 am 
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Htown0666 wrote:
- the U.S. and allies should not be smuggling any weapons to rebels
- No CIA shenanigans, etc.


Hahahahahahaha
Don't worry
I promise none of the aircraft loaded with Israeli captured firearms will have US markings on them


And we promise we won't smuggle them in through Colombia.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:55 am 
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The sad thing is, we all know for certain there WILL be CIA shenanigans and you guys will continue to live up to your reputation.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:11 am 
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Everybody does shenanigans like the CIA. It's just most people don't care if the agency involved isn't named CIA, MI6, GRU or Mossad.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:24 am 
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SomeGuy wrote:
Everybody does shenanigans like the CIA. It's just most people don't care if the agency involved isn't named CIA, MI6, GRU or Mossad.


People care about China with their building spy software into everything they make.

Who else does shenanigans though? I don’t think it’s everybody.

Does Burkina Faso do shenanigans? How about Paraguay? Or Andorra?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:11 pm 
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Every country is up to the maximum amount of shenanigans their budget will allow.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:11 pm 
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I think the precise amount permitted is relative to GDP...

:-?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:00 pm 
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Holyman wrote:
I think the precise amount permitted is relative to GDP...

:-?


But some countries with high GDP, such as Japan and Germany, seem to not shenaniganize at all these days.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:17 pm 
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To get a job working for the Japanese government you have to be top of your class from the top universities. As such the people who work at the government are generally socially inept and incapable of doing anything other than translate newspapers from other countries and live in their parents basement...James Bond they are not.

It's probably not for lack of trying...nerds just don't make good spies.

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