Monday, November 19, 2012

Resetting the political counters

Writing has been erratic since October 7, besides the duty felt to try to analyze the results from my corner of the woods.  I do not seem to be able to get back on track, just as I expected it would happen on that nasty evening. But as weeks went by I realized also that my approach to many things was changing and that as long as I did not process it all I was not going to get any purpose in writing, except for the obvious incident such as the last post on how the mafiosi regime is plundering honest workers.  In other words, there is still stuff to write about but I have trouble to get motivated, or even to decide that what happens in the news is worth my time even to read about it, much less comment.

One thing that is becoming a pressing issue for me is to settle my accounts with the opposition leadership. In fact, I feel that as long as I do not make a clean break and explain clearly where I stand I will not be able to write again properly, not even if by January I decide what is the future of this blog.  It looks like the lack of integrity in others is forcing me to review my own ethical parameters, I suppose.

I suspect that many of us either writing blogs or staying at home or participating in political activities have this similar indecision about what to do next, at a personal level.  Nationally the objective remains clear for all of us: as long as Chavez is president of Venezuela there is no hope for either side. We will be vexed at every point, when not prosecuted, but the chavistas will not fare much better as the abject submission demanded on them will carry in the end a bigger price tag.

Today I have to write that I am breaking up with the current opposition platform,  that I will support no one in particular and that I will wait for a modern right wing movement to emerge until I decide to participate again. Accounting for these words will take a while to write up and this long post will not be enough.

The first thing I need to stress is that I will continue to vote. Not for me the ridiculous attitude, confined mostly to Eastern Caracas navel gazers of toying with abstention as a way to fight chavismo. They are idiots, true idiots, as idiotic as those who worship Chavez. I can assure you that whatever yellow dog will be sent my way I will vote for that person as long as it is against Chavez. And I am already doing that because the opposition candidate in Yaracuy is a loser that should have never got the nod. But he won the primary on the emotion of being a victim of Chavez although he has no quality of an administrator or even of a semi functional politician. He was a failure as mayor of Chivacoa, he got even less votes when he tried a come back after his first loss.  Had Biagio Pilieri not be jailed by Chavez no one would talk about him today. Thus my first yellow dog, and a  big one that brays.

Thus, if any one in the political apparatus still reads this blog, which I doubt since they seem not to read whatever they do not like, I will keep voting for your candidates. However do not expect me to rave unless at least a certain amount of things in the platform and attitude of the candidate match. And heck, if the candidate is really too bad I may even vote for a third party idiot, but vote to make sure that whatever chavista does not cross the 50% even when winning. Small comfort of course.

The essential reason that I am breaking with the MUD et al., is that their populism light theory has failed and they are unwilling to admit it. Or even worse, unable because it means they are clueless.

I already complained about that before the primaries, that beating Chavez at its own game was nearly impossible, that you needed to offer at least something drastically different. But no, the whole Capriles campaign, as brilliant as it was, became a Chavez light speech and people sensed it. The forceful dragging of the vote by the chavista machine on Sunday October 7 was possible because when everything was said and done at least a couple of million people did not see why they should change for a promised efficient copy of Chavez when they had the real thing in Miraflores already, with a mutually functioning blackmail.  Had Capriles message really hit that strata, even carried to the voting station the social dependent voter would have voted for Capriles anyway. Let's face it, Capriles came out as a wimp; people simply did not see him as standing effectively against Chavez to force him to surrender power and then to force his coalition to keep bribing them as Chavez did.

But the worse came afterwards, with the dismally easy recognition of Chavez victory, the idiotic reply to the phone call from Chavez and the brushing off of too many things that that should not have been dismissed. Today I am angrier at certain politicians than I was the week after October 7 because their nincompoop attitude has now created further major problems for the opposition and we stand at the abyss of a clean chavista sweep of state houses in spite of its slate of lousy candidates. There is still one month left of campaign and I may be dead wrong, but I consider that we may lose Tachira and Zulia, and gain Merida at best, keeping Carabobo and Lara but, God forbid, losing Miranda because simply people will not waste a single holiday day to remain in Caracas and vote for Capriles. In my mind, this would be the result had we voted today. Least someone tells me real poll in hand how wrong I am.

The light hearted acceptance of defeat on the week following October 7 was irresponsible for Capriles,  Aveledo, and Lopez who are to wear most of that blame.

True, the victory of Chavez had to be accepted but it could have waited a few more hours, it could have been accompanied by many "yes, but...", hints of abuse that made it a dirty victory  a little bit like the "victoria de mierda" of Chavez in 2007.  Even at its press conference after the vote Capriles was only too eager to let people believe we were a democracy when in fact we are not. He knew already then that at least half a million of Chavez votes were all but coerced.  For someone who pretended to be president of Venezuela, glossing over this is simply unacceptable. His announced return to Miranda state is good, if he wins, because clearly the man needs to learn a lot more before he can become president. As far as I am concerned he is back in the rank and file, he is not the leader of the opposition anymore, he needs to prove himself again, almost from square one. We would be in more trouble today if he had forfeited Miranda to pretend to remain the leader of the opposition.

But Aveledo and Lopez also screwed up.  First, their delay to analyze their electoral performance was too long for people that supposedly controlled everything to the tee. Opposition voter disarray grew unnecessarily and is not abating fast enough. This may cost us Miranda (at least in the hinterlands we are more serious than in Caracas though the dampening effect is also real). We knew they did not control it all, that with the means of the opposition they did the best they could. But why not admit it earlier? Why not tell the voters that they need to assume more their role and that they could not rely on them for all?  Still, that would have been forgiven if I had not detected a certain smugness in them, wanting us to accept that the rules imposed by the CNE for the presidential election were acceptable  The consequences of that wishy washy speech were immediate: the CNE started making things even more difficult for the opposition and violating all sorts of laws to favor chavista candidates. I lay that responsibility at the feet of Aveledo and Lopez mainly, for their tardiness and cluelessness.

But it would be unfair to put it all on the back of this trio alone. After all they worked their butts off and the recognition I had for them and their effort remains the same. Who I have in mind to share a lot of the blame is Primero Justicia which attitude has been dismal since October 7. They just went on to campaign for state houses as if they were the top dog in town when in fact they grew only by 1% since 2006.  That is, they pretended that they had nothing to do with Capriles loss, now conveniently the unity candidate when in fact we all know it was mostly a P.J. campaign and a P.J. theme to be the efficient populist while Chavez was portrayed merely as the inefficient populist. Capriles was not alone, he is the product of that party.  For me Primero Justicia is a party that is already failing and I am even more disgusted by them today as I have grown to be in recent years.

UNT is now a regional party so there is no point in wasting time with them as they look about to lose their lone asset, Zulia. Never mind that we are still waiting for a real explanation of a surprising defeat by significant numbers at that.  As for the old parties, they are not free of blame because it is too easy to accuse the Capriles camp as the sole guilty culprit of the October loss. If Primero Justicia boys around Capriles were sectarian that should have never stopped other movements to speak up their minds and advance original proposals that Capriles was reluctant to advance. If anything to force P.J. toward a more reality based campaign. As such, the fear to "appear divided"  made things worse by dooming the campaign. It is an hindsight view now, I admit it,  but it should be acknowledged if we want to avoid a repetition in the future.

Voluntad Popular, long time readers would know that, was my favored. But after Leopoldo Lopez dismal post disaster attitude I have my doubts. Yet at this point they are the lone movement I see with a possibility to change for the best, not as tainted as the other ones by the October surprise. They embrace populism light but they are at least law and order which is a step in the right direction. So, for the time being my yellow dog votes will be through their colors though as a disclaimer I have had no contact with them since October 7 and do not expect any, certainly not after today's words.

So, what is it I look for?

I have written above that I want a modern right wing party. The reason is very simple: the populism we have suffered since the 70ies, 40 years, has altered the political culture of the country, perhaps irremediably  We need to get out of populism and that can only happen through a honest right wing movement where individuality is respected and cherished. Capriles presented himself as Lula and he failed. Not only he failed but that has doomed the Brazilian model as it may exist for future elections; and in addition he got nothing from Brazil. Thus the fake social democracy in place since 1958 that became in fact populist under Caldera I will not be, cannot be cured by an intelligent left like the Northern European Social democrats. They missed their chance.

What I am looking for is a political movement that accepts the below single tenets which in my opinion guarantee the rule of law, civil liberty and economic recovery. They are basic and allow for all sorts of other things as long as they are respected.

The essential principle is that the country needs to know what is wrong with us even if it costs us the election. As long as Chavez is around we are not going to win, and even less if we keep proposing the same garbage we proposed pre October 7 and that still seeps the tweets of Lopez or Capriles. Because, I repeat it once again, winning under a Chavez like platform would lead us straight to a new Caracazo, organized by a defeated chavismo. The opposition now, it is crystal clear to me, needs to win with a clear message of renewal though personal responsibility. Winning otherwise, even through Chavez demise, is not going to be enough if the message is not re-calibrated.

The basic thing I demand is that a spade is called a spade. The blame is on Chavez and the corrupt that surround him. Softening criticism of chavismo, I hope it is clear now, will not help at all.  It is time to let people know that they support a rotten system and that they must bear that responsibility. Chavismo treacheries should now be attacked mercilessly even if we risk increased repression and closing of media. In an age of Internet slowly but surely people will come to read us, or do you think that the situation in the Arabic countries was better than in Venezuela before the Arab Spring?

With this in mind I can now advance some items.

On civil issues we need law an order for sure, something that chavismo has deliberately ignored to create the current anarchy that his drug dealer generals thrive on. Along that the current judicial system should be accused of corrupt and in need of complete overhaul, just as Chavez did in 1999.  Wages for security personnel should be the higher of the public administration and justice work with them, not against them as it is the case now. Real jails, real redemption systems promised.

To soften that law and order approach there are plenty of civilian issues that would have great appeal. It would be easy to propose gay rights and decriminalize abortion once and for all. Today in the newspaper there was yet another extensive description of hate crime.  Abuses of spouses are now only reported when they are particularly gruesome.

Private property should become without any doubt the leitmotiv   The discourse of the opposition has been too bland on that and as such people now think that expropriation is OK as long as they are not part of it. The perfect example on how totalitarian regimes develop selfishness in the masses to their profit. For example we could propose that whatever has been handed out by Chavez be questioned as if it were now a double property; then an amiable agreement is sought to decide who is the right owner now with appropriate state compensation to the other side. That includes handing all the property titles that the regime refuses to give to its Mision beneficiaries.  There are other moralizing options. For example ADN testing should be made mandatory to enforce that parents take care of their children.  Has anyone observed that under chavismo deadbeats parents are out as if nothing? You screw, you pay should be the new social policy.

Social missions should be cut down because they are now useless and a mere source of dependency. This ought to be told forcefully to people, that the way things are with chavismo they will always remain dependent of a Mision. Like a life sentence to mediocrity. People are actually aware of that and maybe offering social services organized for active reinsertion could work better for them and at lower costs.  I am tired to hear pollster stating that it is wrong to criticize misiones, that it loses votes. To criticize, for example,  the "college degrees" the regime is handing as if they were from a laundry detergent packet make our side lose the votes of the graduate's family because for them a degree is a degree. And what are we going to do with them when they have no jobs, when they refuse menial ones, because they have a bolivarian crappy degree? Remedial courses through real universities should be bluntly offered for free to these victims explaining to them that soon not even the state will be able to hire such graduates.  They know it is the right thing because not a single one of them is hired by the private sector, unless bolibourgeois business hire a quota to please some "contacts". We can apply similar reasoning to many of these Misiones of debilitating consequences.

Budget should be balanced. Period. That is the only way to lower inflation to acceptable levels because as long as oil will be our number 1 product we will be always an inflationary economy. And anyone who makes more that two minimal wage should be subjected to small, even nominal, flat tax without deductible.  The reason is to create understanding in the population that you can only claim rights when you pay for them. Paradoxically the notion grows when you pay taxes, even if symbolic. This does not mean that the rich will have the same tax rate, no: they will be taxed as they are now and maybe more, to force the middle class and upper one to get interested in how the polis works. What needs less taxes is business which are dying under the chavista burden. The culture that business pay for all, coming from PDVSA as the nation's milk cow, should be put to rest.

This all may sound right wing for many but it is not. I suggest that you look really into Venezuela's history in the last 50 years, and realize that we never had any government that was right wing. All were populists. The only one that attempted a mild escape was Carlos Andres Perez II in the late 80ies. For all the chavista propaganda there was never a neo liberal government in Venezuela and maybe it is time to try one, with the caveats included above. Whether I agree with it or not is irrelevant  the point is that as long as we do not try to cure the Venezuelan voter from its belief that all must come from the state (and that applies to many, many inside the opposition) we will never have a chance to become a real country. Period. We need to substitute a culture of rights by a culture of duties and this is a decades long process. The sooner we start the faster the results.

I am afraid to tell you that I see NO ONE inside the opposition coming even close on a couple of these items. They actually think that having a mayoral seat here and there is the best way to unseat chavismo someday.

I predict that I am entering a long and lonely period. But that is OK because I will constantly be proven right.  Call me Cassandra Duquenal if you wish, probably with a similar fate in the end.


  1. There is a lot to like in your post, but I don't see why throwing the unborn under the bus helps advance our cause. The moment an opposition platform proposes legal abortions is the moment I become a chavista.

    1. Since this post is designed to stimulate discussion (for once...) I am going to give you a two part reply.

      1- my position on abortion. As a scientist I know that at fecundation the probability of life is high. That does not mean that life starts at fecundation for me, but it means that abortion cannot be a birth control instrument. It has been quite a struggle for me to come to terms with this issue, no matter how much one may understand about probabilities. Eventually I resolved it as the civil libertarian that I am: the state cannot decide for a woman. Period. And those who think that the state can decide, they should be prepared to pay for ALL expenses that are tied up from the moment fecundation happens. these include the months of study the girl will waste, the forcing of the father to assume its responsibilities, the cost of adoption in full, the health insurance for life of the mother in case her pregnancy leaves her with health problem, the insurance for the new born as well as its education, etc, etc... Certainly way too long for this comment section by I trust that you understand that I have thought about that issue a lot.

      2- Abortion in Venezuela is a reality, whether we like to admit it. "Abortionists" and their "clients" are not prosecuted and yet they are not monitored or helped in insuring that the practice at least leaves a biological functioning mother after the fact. Hiding our head in the sand as the regime has don,e not only with abortion, is simply not going to help.

      The best way to fight abortion is to recognize it and pay for it. Only then you can start advocacy against it, education programs, etc. Also, even before we deal with abortion there should be a comprehensive sex education program and a free distribution of all sorts of contraceptives. But the regime also has failed there because they consider that it is discriminatory, that the aim is to make sure the barrios do not reproduce themselves, that it is a ploy from the right to diminish the numbers of chavistas in the future and who knows what. A similar reasoning as the Catholic church which sees Catholic births as the best way to expand its influence, if you ask me. The language of Chavez is clear: he is there to provide for families which means that they have to form families and have as many kids as they can because the state will provide.

  2. Excellent post Cassandra Duquenal, abortion laws included.
    Cassandra Boyd.

  3. Well thought out.I agree pretty much with all of your analysis and have thought this way from the start.

    Once we get bogged down in the sense of entitlement, it becomes like an addiction and is super hard to get rid, but will never be cured without honesty first.


  4. There is a tremendous amount of grist in this mill, and I applaud you, Daniel, for your brave and carefully thought-out positions. I also very much like the image related to 'responsibility'. If in poster form, it should be on the walls of every school and workplace, if not every home.

    What I'd like to broach here, are my sentiments on abortion. For over the years, I've come across numerous expressions that have social and religious implications, but never deal with the psychological aspects, which are a critical component.

    Here, then, are my thoughts. The decision to terminate a pregnancy (within the first trimester) can take several forms.

    One, is the 'Oops' factor. Or, put another way, the 'I never wanted this to happen'. Sometimes the sentiment is shared with the "donor". Sometimes, it is not, in the case of casual sex. If the abortion is performed clinically, meaning, the patient feels as though she is in experienced hands, in a legitimate setting, the trauma is signifantly reduced.

    This type of abortion, presumably most common among teens and twenty-somethings in the experimental stages of life, can be limited through: (a) sex education of both males and females, so that anti-contraceptive mechanisms be kept uppermost in mind; (b) the repeated mantra of 'responsibility for one's actions' in social (and political) environments.

    Two, is the 'OMG, what a nightmare' factor. It compounds the trauma of forced sex. I strongly suspect that the decision to abort provides psychological relief from the already heavy mental burden of having been raped.

    Three, is the 'OMG, I am (we are) not ready for this, after all' between two consenting adults in a committed relationship. The decision can take place when one of those adults decides to leave the relationship, the pregnant one not having sufficient resources (psychological, social, or financial) to carry the pregnancy to term. The decision to terminate this pregnancy has a long-lasting impact on the female, for conception was expected, or hoped for, or planned. The deeply personal decision to abort can leave scars for a very long time, even if the termination occurs early in the first trimester.

    Four, is the therapeutic abortion which would endanger the mother's life. This is a decision best left to the patient and her doctor, with input from the patient's significant other, if available. The trauma from terminating this hoped-for pregnancy can be varied, depending on numerous other factors.


    In sum, the psychological imprint on the woman, when deciding upon and subsequent to an abortion, can vary, its intensity dependent upon the expectation of a pregnancy prior to conception. In most cases, the decision to abort is and should be deeply, deeply personal.

    For that reason, I find it bizarre that the psychological factors involved in the decision-making process are rarely, if ever considered by males who act territorial and who think they should be expounding on this issue, when they have no personal experience with this delicate subject matter.

    1. I thought that by writing that it is a woman's decision it implicitly covered the psychological aspect of the woman. That is, society nor man (except perhaps the father) have no bearing in the woman's decision unless a long list of requirements have been fulfilled. as far as I know no society has come close to fulfill an remotely acceptable list of such requirements to ban abortion, which does not stop them from trying to ban it.

      At any rate, this post is not about abortion but about the issues that chavismo as well as the opposition are hiding to society because it may lose them the votes for the alcaldia de Tacusipon.

    2. Yes, true. This post is not about abortion. And yet the word so mushroomed in the comments section that I saw the need to add my non-male view of the matter. I find that male opinions on abortion are as foolish as are those from females on the issue of vasectomy programs. Not that one female didn't succeed (Indira Gandhi) somewhat in implementing mobile vasectomy units throughout India, a country whose population controls are challenged by low literacy rates among females and the lack of widespread availability of birth-control methods.

      But vasectomies aside, I completely agree with you on PJ hiding behind Capriles. Scratch any beato in Vz and you will likely find an adherent of PJ, or in its earlier incarnation, Copei. Capriles wisely moved under the Unidad umbrella. For PJ sucks at political marketing. As an example, the only way I could get PJ to stop emailing me their repetitive endorsements of Capriles was to threaten never to vote for them. Earlier, PJ had disrespected my multiple requests to remove my name from their list. Frankly, they were clueless about including a "Si no quieres seguir recibiendo este mensaje.." option. Too much praying makes Jack a dimwit, I figure.

      Yes both sides -- chavismo and oppo -- have hidden agendas. But isn't that the way with all politicians, even from the earliest times? "Promise them everything," wrote to Quintus to his brother Marcus Cicero in 64 BC, as the latter campaigned, prior to being the first non-nobleman voted into the Senate.

      I fear Vz is doomed as a society. Politicians are bent on growing their voter base, rather than on delivering any unpalatable medicine to stem the tide of a truly sick economy and a distorted social fabric.

      But like yourself, I will continue to vote opposition. For no matter how misguided that oppo may be, I believe its platform is superior to the utter 'despelote' from present-day chavismo. And no, I will never advocate that others rise up to demand changes from chavismo, as per the repeated suggestions from one commenter who is clueless about living in a militarized state, the trappings of a pseudo-democracy notwithstanding.

      I may answer a few of your other points raised, later. In the meantime, may I suggest that you not be too (pardon me) cocksure about your being proven right. You know how that worked for you after your 7-O prediction...

    3. Hey! Not fair! I always said that abstention was the key to Chavez defeat! If I underestimated it at least I never ignored its value...

      Not that it does us any good at this point...

      As for the rest. A point of mine is that I feel free now to follow any charade. For example once Capriles was the candidate I watered down my drink a lot. If I never bought it at least I pretended to play the game, making my very small contribution. No more. From now it will be a "I will vote for you but you are nevertheless an ass for this and that; and you are going to lose anyway".

      Let's say that if I were ten years younger I would join a political party and try to work for inside. But today all "leaders" are significantly younger than me and until October 7 they though they knew better. Now they know better but a generation of people our age are now pissed at them not to mention that they created the image that you can be presidential only if you are looking less than 40. Another one of those myths that cost dearly last campaign as people like Armando Briquet were thought to be suitable for TV declarations when in fact they put their foot in the mouth more often than it was their turn to do so. At least this is one we are not going to hear much from in the near future 'cause he needs to repair himself way more than Capriles does.

      This is not an "agism issue". It the fault of pollsters who also told Capriles that chavismo light was the only way to beat Chavez. I suppose that in a country of silicone misses one would be tempted to believe that and many willingly accepted to silence their voices for the duration of the campaign, thinking that perhaps it was true that times had changed and their hour gone. Well, we are reaching churchillian days .....

    4. On the ageism issue ... I think it is. Any political contender, say, over 50 is immediately tarred and feathered as belonging to 'la cuarta'. Chavismo has succeeded in chopping down contenders with the most mature intellect and experience, leaving the juniors, which frankly have been lacklustre. Though Capriles did grow during the campaign and managed to impress me with his dogged efforts. I won't put him down. As for his expression of personal loss, after the elections, I refuse to twist his comment into something egotistical, as some pundits have tried to do. Capriles simply said: "Aquí quien no logró la victoria soy yo, que el pueblo no se sienta derrotado. Aquí el pueblo construyó un camino y el camino esta ahí".

      Enough said for now.

  5. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Abortion becomes a male issue when the person performing the abortion is a male. It bothers me that hospitals and specialised clinics require their staff to perform abortions (or euthanasia, which is often mentioned as a related issue)when they would rather be curing people. Some times I think about a country where I once lived, at a time when people were put in a firing squad to kill others on a regular basis. The guys who got shot deserve a mention, of course, but my concern was for the mental health of the executioners. Recently, in a country where I now reside, some nurses (who were not religious at all) refused to take part in late abortions because what came out looked too much like a human being and this bothered them. I guess that my point is that a society that gets used to doing abortions could soon get used to doing euthanasia, and since I am getting near that sort of age...

    1. You're right, Lim. It's shortsighted of me to consider male input as second class in this debate on a fragile subject. My father, a known OB/GYN for many years in CCS, refused to perform abortions, at least the non-therapeutic ones. I don't blame him. It's a nasty business. For I believe that a foetus is human life matter, irrespective of the stage. After all, performing an abortion is not like swatting a mosquito dead.

      My main concern with male opinions are those that verge on the territorial for ulterior motives. I'm talking about men who adhere to religions that use women as incubators in order to expand their religious influence. In that framework, women are purposely kept less educated than males.

      I don't have any pat answers. I just think this is a subject that needs input from intellectually developed females who have some experience in the matter. It is also a subject that requires more discussion by both genders, starting at the high school level, perphaps a little before, given the sexual exploration that seems to have started earlier than in my day.

      Btw, if I was in the abortion line of work, thank God I'm not, I don't think I'd have any trouble performing an abortion on a young teen who had been insemminated by her father or other close relative, likewise on a victim of rape by an unknown.

  6. We have aborted more than 35 million children in the US over the past 40 years.

    1. what is your source, Ken? Please provide it.

  7. Syd According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), since 1973, roughly 50 million legal induced abortions have been performed in the United States.[38] World wide, there have been over 1,260,000,000 abortions performed.

    1. A URL or two would help greatly, when providing stats. Could you do that, Ken? Thanks in advance.

      Otherwise, your figures appear grossly inflated for the US. I'm referring to Table 1 in That lists the total number from 1999-2008 ranging from just over 820K to under 862K p.a., not including numbers from 7 states, which missed reporting, during 1 to 9 years.

      I am further assuming that during the 1970s, when legally induced abortions were not readily obtainable in every state, that the numbers of legally induced abortions were not as high as they are in the past 9 years.

      Therefore, I repeat, unless you can provide more accurate evidence, I find your figure (for the 35 years, from 1973-2008) inflated for the US. As such, I can only assume that you have likewise inflated the figure world-wide.

      I'd be interested in knowing what stats (with URL) you are basing yourself on.

  8. Cyd Results: A total of 827,609 abortions were reported to CDC for 2007. Among the 45 reporting areas that provided data every year during 1998--2007, a total of 810,582 abortions (97.9% of the total) were reported for 2007; the abortion rate was 16.0 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15--44 years, and the abortion ratio was 231 abortions per 1,000 live births. Compared with 2006, the total number and rate of reported abortions decreased 2%, and the abortion ratio decreased 3%. The math isn't hard to do, extrapolate it out. Although being an ignorant,unsophisticated evangelical Christian from Iowa,as your source, I'm sure that the official US Center for disease Control is an inadequate reference. Someday I hope to be as smart and well educated as the elites.DTB

    1. Ken, I'm not as good in creative statistics as the evangelical Christians in Iowa. So bear with me when I use more factual stats from the Centers for Disease Control. Bear with me, too, when I tell you that I'd need to see ALL the totals for every one of the 35 years you're using as a yardstick (1973-2008). It's my training in business, so very different from your spiritual propaganda methods.

      Since I don't have all that CDC data, nor am I being paid to ferret it out, I had already extrapolated. I had also taken into account historical fact: that during the 1970s legal abortions weren't readily available in the every state.

      Even without that historical fact, and using the extrapolation method, your *50 million abortions in the US* was a gross exaggeration, not only for the time frame (1973-2008), but even by adding 4 more years to take us to 2012.

      Shame on you. That is, for not even attempting to get close to accuracy. And for using exaggerated US stats to apply globally. Do you wonder why many folks don't respect or trust the proselytizing from evangelicals?

      This was a perfect example.

  9. Daniel It is naive of you to fingir that there is not a growing modern right wing movement in Venezuela. Unless you don't want to allow the term modern to include contemporary. Venezuela has roughly 3.5 million evangelical Christians, many of whom are actively forming new political parties and fielding as many as 20 governmental candidates in the upcoming elections. I realize that you despise these people, but they are a growing force both in number and influence. Any modern conservative movement will include this group as they are conservative by nature,and a coalition that ignores them, such as the recent Capriles coalition probably can never win. Venezuela esta cambiando, hay levadura en la masa.

    1. 1) that I do not want evangelicals in my face does not mean I despise them. In fact I work perfectly fine with a couple of them and even exchange religious discussions. not all evangelicals are bible thumpers and flat earhters.

      2) evangelical is not right wing. there are many evangelicals in the US democratic party. there are many evangelicals with chavez.

      3) since when you need to be evangelical to be right wing? what do you understand by "right wing"? there are plenty of right wing party in europe led by people that have not set foot in church in decades.

  10. Hello Daniel.

    My name is Carlos Magno and I'm an Engineer from Brazil. Here, on October 7th we also had elections. Here the number one sport is "talking bad of Brazilian Politicians", so I wasn't very much interested in those elections. Instead, I was much more interested in Chavez demise.

    Reading your article gives me the impression of a "depressive thought". I'm with you, depressed with the results of the elections, the situation of Venezuela, the downside consequences of Chavez administration, currency depreciation, inflation, corrupt government officials, high taxes, downhill economy, etc.

    I'm also a Right Wing person on a left-to-centre country. Here also, right-wing and neo-liberal ideas are demonized, also the most rightist political party is called DEMOcrats :-).

    You have good ideas and I'm happy to have found your blog. Most blogs are in Spanish; I can read Spanish but that deserves much more processing of my brain than English, so I like that. Your blog filled a gap in news from Venezuela that I had.

    Its a pity you are a lone voice in a unjust country. I will miss your texts if you quit on January, but I hope things change, that your desire of a right wing party becomes reality and Chavez dies, if that is the only way to change things.

    I will leave on my next comment an English translation of a brazilian music I hope you enjoy: Army of only one Man

    Carlos Magno

  11. An homage to you, my friend Daniel: the music Army of only one Man (Exército de um Homem Só); (you can find it in youtube, if you want)

    No matter if they only play
    The first chord of the song
    We write the rest in crooked lines
    At the doors of perception
    In the walls of a bathroom
    In the leaves that the Fall takes to ground
    In the storybooks we will be the memory of days to come
    If it is that they will come...

    No matter if they only play
    The first chord of the song
    We write the rest without much hurry
    Very accurately
    We care for what was not printed
    And continues to be handwritten
    Written by candlelight, almost in darkness
    Away from the crowd...

    We are an army, the army of only one man
    In the difficult exercise to live in peace
    We are an army, the army of only one man
    No flag
    No boundaries
    To defend
    To defend

    No matter if they only play
    The first chord of the song
    We write the rest and the rest is rest
    The rest is forgery
    Fake blood, Italian bang-bang
    Fake Swing, American tourist
    Free of this story, our history does not need explanation
    And don't have explanation

    We are an army ... up to defend ...

    No matter what common sense says
    No matter what the king says
    If the game no judge
    No roll is outlaw
    No matter what the saying goes
    No matter what the State says
    We speak another language
    We live in another country

    We are an army, the army of only one man
    In the difficult exercise to live in peace
    We are an army, the army of only one man
    Everyone knows
    That does not matter
    Being guilty
    Or being able
    Does not matter...

    1. Well, thank you for the praise and song. Nice to feel appreciated on occasion :)

  12. Cyd I said 35 million. The US Federal govt. said 50 million. I know English is your second language and you have misread your figures. The CDC says in 2007 alone their were 800,000 abortions, which was a decrease from other years.You are ripping on me for my numbers, which aren't mine they come from the US Federal govt. Shame on you for not giving me any number at all.I am sorry to confront your fiction with fact, but here are the actual CDC statistics for every year since 1973

    1. I am always made very uneasy about charges of "second language". I am fluent in three and can read two more so I am not too sure what such implications really mean. Explaining a misunderstanding is a simple proposition without having to resort to such inferences.

      As for abortion, enough. It was barely a couple of lines in the post about how Chavez has mishandled the issue. You should love him, officially abortion is banned in Venezuela but it takes place all the time and nobody says shit about it. How is that better than a policy where abortion is allowed but controlled? Please, let's all go back on topic.

    2. Ken:
      Let's recap for clarity.
      1. You state 35 million in the US with no source.
      2. I ask you for a source.
      3. You respond by now giving me a 50 million figure, according to the CDC (no URL), and 1,260,000,000 worldwide with no source.
      4. I ask you for URLs. In the meantime, I look up those CDC stats, finding that an extrapolation of 1999-2008 figures makes your statement on 50 million from the CDC to be exaggerated.
      5. With no source or URL to back your 1.26B worldwide figure, I respond to the discrepancy of your 50 million. I average 99-08 figures and extrapolate, finding the number closer to 35 million, a figure superseded by your stated 50 million, as associated with government figures.
      6. You follow up on my comment with CDC stats as reported by and on the website of the National Right to Life Organization. But you are still unable to support your worldwide figure with a credible source and URL.

      Hope the argument pathway is a little clearer for you.

      Now, assuming the CDC figures, as reported on the politically biased NRLC site are correct (and they appear so from 1999-2008), I added these to later years, as reported by the CDC. The (excel) total -- and here's a freebie for your fellow "levaduras" -- is 39,716,964, from 1973 up to and including 2008. To reach the 50 million you earlier quoted as being a US government figure, but couldn't support, the figures from 2009-2012, plus the figures from unreporting 3-4 states, would have to add up to over 10 million (10,283,0360 to be exact).

      That's not likely.

      Hope that's clearer to you, as well. I look forward to your source and URL for the worldwide figure.

      And I thank Daniel, for allowing this topic to be aired, on this comment section, where the word 'abortion' had earlier multiplied, including several repetitions by our esteemed blog author.

    3. P.S. Ken:
      Here's a little more clarity.

      I began learning English in the first grade, in Caracas, whereupon I began attending an English-speaking school, while also preparing for and writing exams for Venezuelan grade school accreditation.

      Both languages were used interchangeably in the home. Eventually, English won out, by my greater use of that language in first-tier academic institutions, including post-graduate level, and work settings outside Venezuela.

      Meaning, I'm more than capable of understanding your first language.

  13. I agree with you on this one Daniel, But Syd's insults as usual are unnecessary and designed to provoke a fight.

    "Ken, I'm not as good in creative statistics as the evangelical Christians in Iowa."

    This kind of language is quite unnecessary for an argument.I Ma not Evangelica and not even Christian, and it is offensive to me.

    1. Firepigette:
      I realize that my comments are outside the range of fantasy and conjecture, both of which you rely heavily on, in addition to your insults on all venezuelans when you label this nationality as naive, inferring of course, that you are all-knowing. I can understand how you could easily misinterpret my comments. Therefore, I suggest an easy solution. Stay out of my direct communications with others on these boards. You haven't the intellectual resources to understand them fully. No thanks in advance.

  14. Daniel My apologies for the 2nd language reference. Really it was more directed at myself, as I am aware that in Spanish language reading, I can easily miss a word here and there which affects my understanding.However we weren't as off topic as you have thought. Part of my hypothesis is that any future opposition winning coalition will have to include the growing Christian community (which have issues they are passionate about, such as the value of human life). Minimally we are talking 3.5 million people. There is a deep prejudice and Anti-Christ spirit within the original oligarchy and the burquesia here in Venezuela. Referring to Capriles a taxi driver motioned to the hills above Pto. la Cruz and stated (really with passion and eloquence)that the people that live up there don't trust him. They know he has never gone hungry a day in his life. It's quite possible they don't trust him for good reason. If he and his team have and hold many of the same smug attitudes of superiority and elitism that at times are expressed here, I don't think he can win, and perhaps shouldn't. Of one thing I am certain: Of the hundreds of Christian leaders that I am acquainted, none were recruited to participate within the campaigns in Venezuela and the US.And neither campaign won.So in the midst of Capriles Radonski running around with his Virgins and crucifix, he may need to park them for awhile and engage the Christian community as well.

  15. Ken: I realize you're scambling to avoid responsibility for your earlier comment, not directed at you, as you now try to reframe it, but more honestly directed at me.

    Remember this? "I know English is your second language and you have misread your figures." In the event you "forgot" here's the location URL, as a reminder:

    Not only did you try to demean me by your comment, but you were completely out of the ballpark, doing so. You must have been very annoyed to have me point out numerical discrepancies in your arguments, only to turn around and belittle me, avoiding the fact that numbers have a universal language.

    What other dishonesties do you peddle while proselytizing your religious views?

    As for your statement that Capriles "may need to park [his Virgins and crucifix] for awhile and engage the Christian community as well "... Are Virgins and crucifixes no longer symbols of Christianity? If so, since when? Or, is it a case that these symbols do not suit the particular brand of religion which you wish to expand in Venezuela?

    While I wait for your answer -- if you have the courage to respond -- I'd also like to receive from you the awaited source and URL for the worldwide figure on abortion which you earlier promoted, and for which I asked a source.

    Isn't it interesting how the religious play tiddly-winks with the truth, while brandishing their sword in the name of that Truth?

    1. Correction, first sentence, first para:

      ...not directed at Daniel, as you now try to reframe it,...


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