Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Venezuela on wikileaks

As expected, wikileaks is not going to be good news for Chavez.  So far there is one cable that addresses Venezuela, at the very end of that cable.  It is a French assistant to Sarkozy and he says earlier that Iran is a Fascist regime (Duh!) and that:

Whistle blowers or prime donne?

Everyone seems to have a post on Wikileaks, so there is mine.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Eva Golinger, The Hague and me

There are certain issues that will not be solved by a vote, no matter how often we vote. Watching Eva Golinger last Tuesday in cadena reminded me of a problem that we need to solve: what would we do with some chavistas if in 2012 or earlier Chavez leaves the presidency?
From the New York Times, see text

A couple of months ago I was invited to a farewell party of an official that I used to deal with, in an embassy that shall remain nameless because really, that is not the point here. The fact of the matter is that when I arrived most people were in the main rooms chatting amiably, drink in hand. And on one balcony there were two people alone, visibly standing apart. After a while, as the room was becoming a tad warm for my taste we moved closer to the balcony and there I recognized Eva Golinger talking to some guy who my companion recognized as one of these VTV folks specialize in awful micros bashing the opposition.

Police Violence in Venezuela

The repressive nature of the regime can be clearly seen in the picture below.

Police brutality at a Caracas soccer game

You may wonder why I say that?  For many reasons.  One if the violent language of chavismo which eventually leads the police, tightly controlled by chavismo now, to believe that it can do as it pleases.  Think about the consequences for the future.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy T-day!

Since, according to my counters, at least half of my beloved readers are travelling or getting ready to entertain as their turkey finishes the defrost cycle of their microwave, I decided that you probably could not care less about Eva Golinger and other assorted creeps.  So, let me wish you all a happy holiday and review what we can give thanks for, politically that is. In no particular order.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ordinary heroes, and other heroes and future freedom of expression Venezuelan heroes

UPDATED.  In the Washington Post editorial today I read the name of Laureano Marquez, the Friday's editorial writer at Tal Cual.  The Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, has awarded him a recognition, along other journalists from such dangerous places as Iran or Ethiopia.  In fact the CPJ entry on that subject has the picture of Laureano.  We need to congratulate the Post on deeming such awards worthy of an editorial, the more so that Chavez has this week renewed his attack on Globovision, this time probably meaning to close it once and for all.  In fact, Tal Cual today tells us that this afternoon a long cadena is expected, a cadena that Chavez might use for another series of obscene attacks against the US. (1)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday night fun: a more accurate map of the world

Absolutely politically incorrect but, yet, too close for comfort.  Click to enlarge.

I got that form a site who did not credit it properly. If anyone knows who made this map up let me know to put credit where credit is due.

Friday, November 19, 2010

China Commies and the Nobel Peace Prize: an inspiration to Chavez. Sub-title: what are you planning to do about it?

I am not too sure what our local bolibanana regime has said on this subject but after today's article in the New York Times we can be sure that support of the repressive Chinese regime cannot be far at hand.  The more so that the NYT also reports that Chinese folks, even many of those living overseas that should know better, approve of the regime not to let Mr. Liu or his relatives go to Oslo collect the Peace Prize.
Andrew J. Nathan, a political scientist at Columbia University who has been studying China for four decades, said he was struck by how many Chinese friends and associates, even those living the United States, had accepted the government’s contention that Mr. Liu was seeking to push China into chaos through writings that called for free elections and an end to single-party rule. “The Chinese people I speak to have quite readily absorbed the government’s point of view that this guy is a criminal nurtured by the West,” he said.
Indeed, China has been hard at work in its counter propaganda offensive and it has worked partially among some of its neighbors that are now in a position to be blackmailed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Venezuela's justice: when you thought it could not go any lower, it does

Today we commemorate (?, what other word could one use) the murder of prosecutor Danilo Anderson.  We do not know yet who ordered that crime, and for that matter we cannot be certain of who killed him.  But there is finally a novelty: Tal Cual mini editorial of "Simon Boccanegra" has no second thoughts at accusing former general prosecutor Isaias Rodriguez of muddling the waters and making sure that innocent parties paid for the crime so as to protect the real culprits.  The more so that hyper morally corrupt Rodriguez wants to become the president of the High Court, TSJ.  So certain he is of his nomination that he even resigned his ambassador post in Spain, another job for which he demonstrated his total unfitness, by the way.

The editorial is translated below but before you go further be aware that the relatives of Danilo Anderson have asked for the investigation of former Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel as the likely head of the plot to kill Anderson to protect his corrupt banker friends, some of them are on the run today or in jail.  Eventually, shall we know the truth? The Tal Cual article includes a summary of the Anderson Case to date.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Country Human Development Rank

The Economist has an interesting thought exercise about Venezuela and Chavez lies even if none of them is mentioned.  In the chart below, using available data, The Economist has tried to imagine where would the different US states rank in the world Human Development Index if each one tomorrow became an independent nation.

Quite surprising no?  Mississippi, US 50th, above Italy, world 25th!

My point is that on occasion Chavez loves to point out how Venezuela is rising in such ranking games (with data offered by the regime, data that cannot be audited, data that international organizations accept at face value because, well, no one can conceive a government able to fraud and fudge tot he extent the Venezuelan does).   Well, The Economist does not bother taking us, Venezuela, into account, not even Chile, our top of the class.  On occasion also Chavez tells us how the US is unfair and has extensive pockets of poverty that the glorious bolivarian revolution must help rescue.  For example giving discount heating oil to misery laden Massachusetts (not in the table but certainly comparable to neighboring New York at position 6 or Connecticut at position 1).  Or bemoaning the fate of the poor in the South with Mississippi maybe at 50, is above Italy and quite close to Britain that no one in Venezuelan imaginary would consider a poor country...  Heck, even Texas is above socialist Denmark!

Maybe Chavez can arrange for me to be traded for someone equivalent, education and responsibility wise, in Jackson Mississipi.  The way things are going in Venezuela I am willing to consider the swap.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Memories of a Molecular Biologist

Yours truly used to be a hard core scientist, PhD in Molecular Biology. But life went through and I dropped the matter over a decade ago. Yet, that does not mean I forgot about it and thus I am offering you this find of stunning videos on the inner working of cells. What surprised me most is, in addition of a technology that we could not even dream on when I was a student, that I still managed to recognize on sight a lot of organelles either through their shape or function (well, after a couple of views for many, let's be honest here).

Powering the Cell: Mitochondria « XVIVO

harmit09232010 from XVIVO | Scientific Animation on Vimeo.

Still, what made me bring your attention is that the animations of these scenes is, in my opinion, more exciting that what you can find in Star Wars and the like. There you have imagination at play in interstellar combat whereas in these videos it is nature, it is what we suspected was happening 20 years ago; and in beauty and complexity it surpasses anything that intergalactic imagination has been able to come up with.

There are other videos by this company, one that I liked The Inner Life of the Cell « XVIVO. The life of an immune system killer cell.  Beats the Death Star!

Now that I think of it, my past probably explains a lot why I have little patience with fundamentalists and creationists of which chavismo is only one weird variety.... but i digress....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The intellectual future is not with Chavez

Diego Sharifker, new UCV student leader
The oldest university in Venezuela, a public one, the Universidad Central de Venezuela held its students elections last Friday.  Chavismo sensing yet another historical lost sent some of its red shirted violent to perturb the election.  But it did not help.  Saturday afternoon we learned that chavismo suffered another stinging set back.

And it was not even close, it was beyond landslide: the opposition students sent two lists, the first one getting 6,170 votes and the second one 4,860 while the pro Chavez list got a paltry 1,380 votes (results not complete yet but not expected to change much).  Roughly FOR 1 STUDENT VOTING PRO CHAVEZ 8 VOTED AGAINST HIM.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The current Venezuelan crisis for Dummies ®

With all that has been happening in Venezuela since September 26 the casual reader, as well as the informed reader, might have some trouble in figuring exactly what is going on.  Ever willing to help this blog will try to explain the core reasons and consequences of the current political crisis.  Yes, in case you have any doubts,  it is a political crisis that is taking place in Venezuela and the reaction of the regime in place is a not-so-slow motion coup d'état.

The basic reasons behind the regime actions

Regular readers and well informed people already know what is going on and why, but it never hurts to refresh memory and simplify the input.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chavismo and DEM meeting point?

Lately some conservative readers have been trying to give me a hard time.  As a return favor I will give them one point, well, sort off.  Daniel Henninger of the WSJ does not like democrats and describes today how ignorant of business practices the Democratic party has become.  His analysis is a little too black and white for my taste, the guy letting his best judgement clouded by his personal dislike of Unions as the source of all evil, too easily forgetting the historical reasons for unions even if today too many of them look like mafia concerns.  Not to mention that some union workers vote GOP while some business owners vote DEM.....

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Electrical lies of micomandantepresidente, the rationing that hides its name

Your beloved intrepid blogger is back in town and to try to recover from the shock in Caracas after weeks of organized countries, low crime, delicious food, etc...  he tried to go to one of his two favorite pastry shops of Caracas.  You know, to soften the blow, the more so that Spanish cuisine is good but its pastries really suck, thus it would be a good transition.

So I arrived at Pandoro (home of the best Venezuelan made panettone, I will not take discussion on that) to buy pasta seca de almendra for tea time.  Kind of dry assorted biscuits with a touch of marzipan, very good there, excellent to dunk in coffee or tea.

It was closed!!  On a Tuesday.  Thinking it might be a yearly closing for vacation or something I looked at the posted signs and no, it was not a normal closing, it was a forced closing because of electric rationing.  Top bill "racionamiento electrico".  The two bottom bills are placards from the electric company when you are a good guy (in green) and when you become a bad guy (in red) so all know you are a bad guy and can be punished in whichever patriotic way your customers prefer.

Waldoniel last stage

Before resuming regular Venezuelan coverage I am giving you a last guessing game.  Since some people complained that I was not giving enough "historical" or "sociological" clues, there is a famous monument of the last city in the last country I visited.  That is, not only you need to guess the country and the city, but also the building.  Three prizes!!!!!

Monday, November 08, 2010

When the truly defeated think they won

I am amazed at reading that Nancy Pelosi will try to remain as minority leader in the House Democrats group.  In other words, the GOP needs little bit more than to name its candidate for 2012, half of the election job already done for him/her.  In that article from the WaPo we actually read that the Pelosi camp is squarely putting the blame on Obama, making us wonder what the heck is going on within the democratic party, if they are now suicidal.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Carta Abierta a la ministra de Asuntos Exteriores de España, Trinidad Jimenez

Podría uno empezar felicitando a su señoría por su nombramiento pero por la manera en que usted inició su gestión preferimos esperar un poco antes de adelantar la cortesía.  En verdad su negación de la existencia de presos políticos en Venezuela es el tipo de error que uno no espera a su nivel.  Pero usted va aprender rápido: su cortesía con nuestro gorila local no le sirvió de mucho ya que este ya está acusando a su gobierno de cobarde.

Uno no sabe si su error se debió a una falta de su equipo de trabajo, o si usted no cumplió con leer su dossier con la atención debida.  Usted sabrá mejor y no especularé.  Tampoco me voy a encargar de explicarle el por que de su error, esperando que la malísima opinión que usted ya posee en Venezuela le obligue si no a reflexionar, por lo menos a aguantarse la lengua de una manera mas diplomática.  Usted ha logrado en una semana la hazaña de quemarse por los dos lados, como decimos aquí, volviéndose perfectamente inútil para su gobierno en cuanto a Venezuela se trate.

Lo que si me permito decirle es que con el tipo de razonamiento que usted esgrimió en su comparecencia en el senado español cualquiera en un futuro cercano puede llegar a decir que ni los presos cubanos ni Aung San Su Kyi son presos políticos ya que todos ellos tienen cargas penales legales contra ellos. Obviamente estirando la definición de la palabra legal.

¿A quien le cree uno mas, a la legalidad de un país o a las ONG recusadas por dichos países?  ¿O es que usted no invocó "causas penales" como escusa a su negligencia?  ¿O es que ahora España se subordina a ciertas ONG para decidir sobre sus posiciones internacionales?  Por favor, explíquenos cuales son los criterios definitivos de su gestión para poder entender mejor sus próximos desplantes que estamos seguros no tardarán en llegar.

Uno pensaba que peor que Moratinos no iba a ser su sustituto.  Pues bien, peor ya ha resultado, y ademas idiota, porque Moratinos era un pillo pero por lo menos sabia contestar y errores así no los cometía.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

An undeserved victory in the US of A

And so, as expected, and predicted almost a year ago, Nancy is out of a job and the Democrats clang to the Senate (but barely and uselessly as filibuster will be fine and dandy).