International Cat Speculators Since 2006


When some christian idiot says something stupid, the media are all over it.

But when the leader of a South American country does, the silence is defending. Which is funny, because in many quarters, Hugo Chavez is quite the media darling.

Oh, wait I just worked it out.

Speaking of things unreported from Venezuela

Comments on: "How Come this didn’t get media attention?" (9)

  1. […] After all, a famous leftist crank said it. I’m waiting. Sick him, Dawkins. Hat tip to halfdone for the […]

  2. […] Scrubone highlights that Hugo Chavez blamed the Haiti Earthquake on the US saying it was caused by US weapons testing, and wonders why the media didn’t highlight more such obnoxious (and frankly mad) comments. […]

  3. On January 19, Spanish newspaper ABC, a newspaper of record in Spain, published a story entitled Chavez accuses US of causing earthquake in Haiti.

    The story was quickly picked up by websites around the globe – most quoting Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez as saying the U.S. used a new tectonic weapon to induce the Haitian earthquake. This was, according to Chavez – “only a drill, and the final target is destroying and taking over Iran”.

    Within the actual story, ABC noted that the information came from an obscure opinion post on the website of a Venezuelan state television channel, VIVE Television. The post referenced a supposed Russian military report on American seismic weapons.

    All quotes subsequently attributed to Chavez regarding Haiti and earthquake weapons were in fact direct quotes from this web posting – none of which was ever uttered by Chavez.

    • Well, that might be the case. On the other hand, Chavez does have a reputation for blaming the US for anything, and in the craziest possible manner.

  4. So you intend to hang on to your prejudices in spite of evidence to the contrary? I suggest you check your sources.
    Here is an analysis of Chavez’s not so crazy achievements from The Center for Economic and Policy Research :

    “The current economic expansion began when the government got control over the national oil company in the first quarter of 2003. Since then, real (inflation-adjusted) GDP has nearly doubled, growing by 94.7 percent in 5.25 years, or 13.5 percent annually.

    Most of this growth has been in the non-oil sector of the economy, and the private sector has grown faster than the public sector.

    During the current economic expansion, the poverty rate has been cut by more than half, from 54 percent of households in the first half of 2003 to 26 percent at the end of 2008. Extreme poverty has fallen even more, by 72 percent. These poverty rates measure only cash income, and do not take into account increased access to health care or education.

    Over the entire decade, the percentage of households in poverty has been reduced by 39 percent, and extreme poverty by more than half.

    Inequality, as measured by the Gini index, has also fallen substantially. The index has fallen to 41 in 2008, from 48.1 in 2003 and 47 in 1999. This represents a large reduction in inequality.

    Real (inflation-adjusted) social spending per person more than tripled from 1998-2006.

    From 1998-2006, infant mortality has fallen by more than one-third. The number of primary care physicians in the public sector increased 12-fold from 1999-2007, providing health care to millions of Venezuelans who previously did not have access.

    There have been substantial gains in education, especially higher education, where gross enrollment rates more than doubled from 1999-2000 to 2007-2008.

    The labor market also improved substantially over the last decade, with unemployment dropping from 11.3 percent to 7.8 percent. During the current expansion it has fallen by more than half. Other labor market indicators also show substantial gains.

    Over the past decade, the number of social security beneficiaries has more than doubled.

    Over the decade, the government’s total public debt has fallen from 30.7 to 14.3 percent of GDP. The foreign public debt has fallen even more, from 25.6 to 9.8 percent of GDP.

    Inflation is about where it was 10 years ago, ending the year at 31.4 percent. However it has been falling over the last half year (as measured by three-month averages) and is likely to continue declining this year in the face of strong deflationary pressures worldwide.”

    (CEPR’s advisory board includes Nobel Laureate economists Robert Solow and Joseph Stiglitz; Janet Gornick, professor at the CUNY Graduate School and director of the Luxembourg Income Study; Richard Freeman, professor of economics at Harvard University; and Eileen Appelbaum, professor and director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University.])

    It should not surprise you that much disinformation is disseminated about Hugo by those who sought to topple him in the coup that was defeated by a popular uprising of ordinary Venezuelanos.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/apr/21/usa.venezuela

    • “So you intend to hang on to your prejudices in spite of evidence to the contrary?”

      No, in fact I said quite the opposite. I’m not like you.

  5. If I misunderstood your statement I apologise. Perhaps you would post those statements attributed to Chavez where he blames ” the US for anything, and in the craziest possible manner” and we can ascertain the provenance of them.

    • Well, since you’ve already praised his ability to reduce inflation to 31.4% (and it’s just *bound* to reduce more!), I doubt your ability to “ascertain” much at all. Do you even know what inflation is?

      In fact I feel that should I continue this little to-and-fro I’ll shortly be asked to justify something like “free and independent media” or real elections or the right to private property, freedom of speech and other things fundamental to civil society that Chavez wants done way with.

      So I’ll pass.

  6. Fair enough. Its your blog after all. Please note that here:

    “since you’ve already praised his ability to reduce inflation….”

    …you have wrongly attributed the statement made by The Center for Economic and Policy Research in their report – to me.

    I hope our exchange will inspire you to take a little more care with regard to sources. You could start by examining the source from which you gleaned this:

    ““free and independent media” or real elections or the right to private property, freedom of speech and other things fundamental to civil society that Chavez wants done way with.”

    ….in the light of the above analysis which states:

    “Most of this growth has been in the non-oil sector of the economy, and the private sector has grown faster than the public sector.”

    Having lived in Venezuela under Carlos Andreas Perez, I take a strong interest in that country and I have examined the allegations of anti-democratic behaviour made against Chavez. Not one of those allegations is supported by the Carter Center or any of the Internationally recognised monitoring agencies that have free access to the facts on the ground. Neither are they supported by the economic and social conditions that now exist in Venezuela.
    When I lived there in the 80s, corruption was an everyday experience and there was a Muldoon-style price freeze in place to combat a Bolivar that had inflated ten-fold in three years. In a bizarre move to combat imported inflation, Perez provided importers with US Dollars at a fixed rate of 3 Bolivars to the dollar when the going rate was 30. You could buy imported goods for a fraction of the price demanded in their country of manufacture.
    It is unsurprising to me that change in Venezuela has upset a few of the entrenched elite and has resulted in a media campaign to malign Chavez.

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