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 News and opinions on the situation in Venezuela

The comfort of being often (or always) wrong but never in doubt! Venezuela


Wednesday, April 05, 2006 commentarist Stephen Lendman writes:  Just like a few world leaders I could mention, some people never learn to say “uncle,” go home, do something else or at least bother someone else. I’m referring to a character whose initials are CD, but unlike the sweet sounds we get from those disks we buy, this one emits only scratchy discordance and lots of other strange sounds.

After two history lessons this strange one either won’t or can’t read, understand or pay attention to them, so I’m done trying.

  • Some heads are impenetrable … but I know there’s an opening in it somewhere because there’s light coming through it from the other side.

Another writer thinks the guy is a plant. Maybe, but I doubt it. Even plants need a little gray matter upstairs. They gotta make you think they know what they’re talking about even if they don’t. This guy doesn’t even approach that threshold. Credibility is not his long suit. And anyone reading his tripe may think VHeadline Editor Roy Carson flipped out.

No, no. Roy is the best, he’s got it all together, is a seasoned pro, and also believes enough in the spirit of fairness even to give a damn fool a chance to make an even bigger damn fool of himself.

CD takes the bait and then sticks his chin out and asks anyone to take their best shot.

  • I’d hardly waste a good one on him when just a quick swat will do just fine. I think a stiff breeze would also.

Roy extends his fairness to CD and others with hostile views, even nonsensical or venomous ones, and gives them lots of space to make their case. I don’t care to read their ranting but welcome an open forum where all views can be aired, even ones I disagree with.

It’s called a free press, but try getting that in the dominant, one-sided corporate media here where bilge and lots worse are all you get. I have a dear friend who reads my stuff and once asked me if I thought the New York Times might publish it. I told her that would only be possible if there’s a publication by that name on another planet.

I doubt CD appreciates that or even understands it … he’d be a natural in a lunatic fringe venue which is why in my last reply to him I suggested he’d be right at home at “der Fuchs News” — that’s Fox in German for those who missed my other response.

Over there they all sound like CD .. hold on, might this guy be Bill O’Reilly writing under a pseudonym?

Before he passed on we had a noted Chicago Cubs announcer named Harry Carry who every time a batter hit a long ball that looked like a home run would say exuberantly — “It could be, it might be…it is.” Shall I? Nah, I can’t do it like Harry. No one could. I loved him even though I hate baseball.

Ooouuu, I guess that really makes me un-American.

Not to worry. I have a couple of deluded right-wing friends who also hate it so maybe I’m safe.

In the US we have something all over the airwaves called “talk radio.” It’s almost all on the “right” to “far right” to “farthest right.” That’s where the likes of the Rush Limbaughs hang out. He’s got lots of confreres, and they all sound alike — lots to say but saying nothing beyond vitriol, hate and damn lies.

I’ve read some of their choice thinking and spouting. I even read a book about them and several detailed honest studies of their gross distortions on everything and then hoisting them on their own petards with the truths they lied about. I can read about it, but my stomach can’t handle the audio. CD would be right at home over there. If an opening comes up he might qualify. My advice to him is start listening to Rush and practice imitating him. Be sure to get the voice inflections right – that’s crucial. And steer clear of facts. That’s a no-no and will shoot you down if they think you even know them.

Of course, it’s not much better all over the corporate media here, even from the flacks on air or in print with some gray matter. Whether on TV news, talk radio or the morning paper, readers of VHeadline living outside the US may have no idea how bad it is here … I call them all a collective Pravda, but even that state-approved screed was amateurish compared to the pros here.

It’s likely not so good where you are either, but here is where it was all invented and perfected in the first place and then exported around the world.

  • After all things military it’s our most dangerous export and one that should have strong warning labels — this information is really hazardous to your health … and welfare.

I make no bones about where I’m coming from in my beliefs and my desire to spread them. I write and speak out with passion, lots of it and a clear mission. But I’ll never sacrifice the truth and strong principles for a strong point of view and an audience to read it or a small circle to hear it. For me, the combination of the truth, all of it I can learn, combined with high moral and ethical principles are fundamental for me, and I’ll never sell that out for love, money or anything else. I was never for sale, but now my formal working life is over and everything I do is for my love and respect for all others and my wish to try to help them have a better, safer and more secure world than is now possible.

I have a lot of fundamental beliefs, and one of them is never to lose hope no matter how bad things look.

I once read and internalized that the greatest and possibly only unforgivable sin is losing hope. Do it and nothing is possible. Hold on to it and anything is, including the kind of world I want to see for everyone. Hope and that better world are what I spend my time working for.

Sadly for him, CD doesn’t understand that we don’t have that kind of world today, and the main reason is our leaders here (George Bush being only the latest one in a long line) have done and are doing everything possible to deny it to us.

When you’re focused on building empires, as the US has been for the last 230 years, who has time for ordinary folks. They’re the expendable ones you gotta use to do the dirty building. And perish the thought of sharing some of the loot with them. The only times we ever did were when we feared rebellion and had to give a little to “keep the rabble in line.”

Whenever things calmed down a bit we set about taking it back which is what’s happened here since the 1970s and especially since ham actor Ronald Reagan found his role of a lifetime playing the president. I doubt he ever thought he left a Hollywood sound stage and hammed his way through eight painful years for most of us — but not the rich folks and his corporate buddies who loved all the goodies he gave them straight from the pockets of the rest of us.

I’m now writing a new article called Hostile Takeover. It’s about the dominance of big corporations and how they ruthlessly exploit civil society for their own benefit – around the world and in the US. I concentrate on the economic side of their pillaging and cram my article with lots of hard data from official and other reliable sources.

Here’s a preview of the America CD thinks is so “Beautiful.”

In the last 30 years especially, corporate growth and profits have boomed and their CEOs and top execs have made out better than the slickest thieves ever from the biggest bank heists on record. It’d been cheaper and simpler just to have handed them the key to Fort Knox where we stash the gold. But while the rich got lots richer, the average working stiff in the US now earns less than 30 years ago adjusted for inflation.

In 2004 the average CEO earned 431 times the income of “Joe six pack,” up from 42 times in 1980. That’s a more than tenfold widening in the wealth gap from top to average bottom. And if you’re not already gagging let me make you choke. In a newly-released study by two Ivy League academics, they reported the top 5 executives at the 1,500 largest US public companies collectively pocketed $122 billion in compensation from 1999-2003 plus at least $60 billion more in supplemental pensions and retirement benefits. Also, other data shows average annual CEO pay in the US rose from about $1 million a year in 1980 to an estimated $14.4 million in 2001 and rising plus all those juicy benefits.

Oh, by the way, the minimum wage over here is five bucks an hour and change. Try saving for the home of your dreams on that.

Making it even worse while this is going on, these same corporations are stripping away benefits for their workers and ending corporate pensions for them where they existed. And all this is happening with the full support and blessing of our government, Democrat and Republican, that’s supposed to be there to serve us and our needs.

Only in your dreams in this “land of opportunity” … we’re fed a daily diet of myths, but people believe this stuff and like CD don’t even realize they’re been swindled while they’re not paying attention.

Plus all those foreign wars we fight and others we support and finance (all with our tax dollars that should be used for essential social services) — we say to “bring ‘em democracy,” but the real intent is to rob them blind too.

I could go on for paragraphs more, but I’ll leave it for now and let you get your digestion back. When I’m done with my latest endeavor I’ll send it to Roy and hope he’ll post it all so you can lose your digestion again and lunch along with it.

The real undisguised truth over here is an ugly sight to see, and it pains me deeply to see us sinking lower and doing it fast.

I’ve written about it before and now warn you all again that the US is moving at flank speed from a republic to tyranny. It’s no idle statement, and those who scoff at it may one day awaken and discover the folks in Washington stole our freedoms while we were at the mall buying all the stuff we don’t need.

Unless we find a way to stop them in time, at that point it’ll be too late over here and over there as well.

We’re all in this leaky boat together. We better start bailing and patching fast and learning to swim.

  • And that includes you, too, CD. Even your loony views won’t get you a pass. They’ll use and dump you just like the rest of us.

Unless we find a way to right the listing ship of state, it’ll be a sad and sick joke one day to say “I told you so.”

Stephen Lendmanņol remains 100% independent of all political factions in Venezuela

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