Sunday, January 03, 2010

Intelligent life forms missing the start of the year lead you to scary conclusions

As my recovery improves I started reading the papers again.  Fortunately this time of the year papers are thin, less news and advertisement.  Unfortunately this "light" version allows for a clearer view of the idiocies and bad news reported (never mind about the not very bright staff left to report during this holiday season).
The one that seemed the most idiotic "research" published in a long time was a lengthy El Nacional article about how to solve Caracas hyper congested streets. Since it is by subscription I can only tell you that it was a full page article with a map of Caracas featuring the highways that an expert, Daniel Quintini, said should be built. For that he updated a 2000 proposal.

I do not know where to start? That a broken government who cannot even maintain the existing subway lines should start building highways? That this Quintini should know that it does not matter whether you have a 10 lanes highway, it is useless if the exit is a narrow two lanes street? That the real Caracas problem is the excess of cars fueled by the cheapest gas in the world and the insecurity and less than sub par service offered by public transportation? There are people actually being paid to update plans that ALREADY in 2000 were outdated.......

The next discouraging semi idiotic piece comes from nobody else but Enrique Mendoza, the ex governor of Miranda who is reintegrating the political battle field for the legislative election where he could well win a seat. His complain was that the CNE is starting to gerrymander electoral districts.  Duh!  This blog already reported some of the possible ways that it could be done for Miranda, the state where Mendoza would have to run.

Now, mind you, it is OK for someone in the opposition to scream bloody murder before the CNE makes final its new electoral district.  The problem is that Mendoza speaks loudly while we have not heard anything new from the opposition since last time I reported news on them. It was November 19 2009 and today January 3 2010 we have not heard more than complaints while Chavez is campaigning hard, and already starting to release some money in the streets to try to recover votes.  What is the opposition discourse?  How come we do not hear EVERYDAY accusations linking Chavez to, say, corruption or electricity cuts?  Are there not enough leaders to take turns?  I was becoming somewhat optimistic in November 19 but today I am sliding back into opposition bashing mode....

Depressing news also come in today's El Universal, news to which I am particularly sensitive since dengue fever almost did me in. I wrote then that the government does not publishes statistics anymore on Dengue fever or Malaria.   But those statistics exist and are "leaked".

Malaria has increased by 12,7%, and in areas where there should NOT be Malaria, such as Tachira or Nueva Esparta.Although the few cases reported in those states could, in theory, correspond to travelers, it remains that there are more and more areas of Venezuela where you can now get Malaria, and bring it back home.  It is to be noted that before Chavez Malaria was very limited in Venezuela, totally absent of Caracas and Miranda state where now new cases are reported regularly.

Dengue fever is also another report leaked recently, and perhaps even more chilling than Malaria of which evidence of return exist already for at least three years.  Dengue went up 38% last year (more tan 61,000 cases).  This is scary because I have first hand indication that the government agency that does this research does not do its work properly since, for example, the hospital that treated me is never asked for its own epidemiological results.  We also learn now that hemorrhagic dengue is 1 in 13 cases and that the government reports 14 deaths in 2009.  Really?  14 only?  If you revisit my own dengue story you will understand how come I am highly skeptical.

How can you expect public health plans to be designed and implemented since 2007 the government has decided to hide it all?.......

And to top it all, the Miranda Health official is saying that the central government is not sending H1N1 vaccines.  See, Miranda is opposition state so they can all go to hell while vaccines are reserved to chavistas that can vote next September....


  1. Charly8:45 PM

    If you believe Daniel's post, local politics, my own experience and the theory of continental drift, then Venezuela clearly belongs to Africa.

    Happy new year to all.

  2. Charly

    We are getting closer, aren't we? :)

  3. Daniel and the rest, Happy New Year.

    The manipulation of voting districts might be a lesson learned from Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe, country where these practices have reduced the oppositions' assembly seats.

  4. At this point it seem like all factions are terminaly screwed up. Mostly by the Ignorance is Bliss syndrome. Even the Military seems like it would not be able to keep the country organized in a change in government or other crisis. They just don't get it. I not distant future, computers will be more intelligent than some of the people.

    There is only one hope for Caracas.... Move The Capitol!

  5. Put down the paper and walk away from it. Concentrate on the hammock.

  6. My dear Daniel, feliz año nuevo!! I'm very happy to see that you're doing well and clever as always!!

    On the dengue stats: I have a young friend taking her last year in medicine (UCV), her practices are right now in the JM de Los Rios Hospital (also known as Hospital de niños -children's hospital-). She says that they have 4 or 5 dengue cases a DAY. Of course she aknowledges that government numbers are a fake!!

  7. The opposition is bad? Maybe.But it is all we have and all we are, so we have to take it and run with it.

    I believe that a good portion of the opposition has been sold out to Chavez but there are still those authentically opposed who are making uphill efforts,and not getting much credit for it.

    Just take the Metropolitan Clinic as an example.Most of the doctors who are inwardly against Chavez have pretended to be Chavistas to get by because the Chavistas make it hard for physicians to get anywhere without joining them.However there are those courageous folks who stand up and are counted as they truthfully are.
    So it might be a minority who are good, but that minority deserves to be supported.

    With support there is more likelihood of improvement and at least those who do their best should be credited with something.

    I personally know of some anti-Chavez doctors who are the best the Clinic has to offer but who are having a hard time working as they have been declared enemies.

  8. I would like to add something to my previous comment.

    I have heard it said by some people who claim to have "insider information" that ALL oppo leaders are secretly in cahoots with Chavez and have been bought by him.

    This is exactly the kind of rumor the disinformation intelligence service of Chavez would like to make pervasive.Why go to the effort and potential cost involved in voting for the opposition if they are working for Chavez anyway ?

    I suggested to one of these "insiders" that if this were true,it would be a brilliant move by Chavez to allow the opposition to win the legislative elections.He would be hailed as a great democrat and could still order them to do his bidding ;)

    But Chavez's fear tells me a different story.


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