Calling a hit is something most of us have never done. We leave that to rappers and the characters we see depicted in the movies we love.
But the fact of our mundane lives is, we, as normal everyday American folk, we just don't get the chance.
It's pointless, but I'm gonna do it anyway.
Hugo Chavez, King Shit of Venezuela, needs to die. And he needs to die today, not tomorrow.
Now, don't get me wrong, I've thought this through.
I've let his socialist take-overs of infrastructure go, because it's not my country he's all up in and 'so what?'. I've let his Bush-bashing go, because, let's face it, it's entertaining to see some weak Central American Tit talk like that while the weaker elements of US media slop it all up and regurgitate it.
But he crossed the line TWICE in recent days, and I've had it.
Transgression Numero Uno is trying to abolish term limits, a sure sign of a desperate crypto-fascist, would-be dictator, who knows his days are limited.
Transgression Numero Dos, and the most morally repugnant of the two, was meeting with Sean Penn the 'journalist'.
That's when I knew he had to die. You just shouldn't be allowed to hold your meeting with Jeff Spicoli up to the international audience and say 'this gives me credibility'.
I know what you're thinking, why not just kill Sean Penn? Well, it certainly is tempting, but he's an American, and that means he has the privilege of being an asshole to us while retaining his right to life, even if he denies our sitting president that same latitude. In other words, we have to take it because he's one of our own, even if it's for the sole reason that he's incapable of making a decent movie but yet is somehow still determined to be relevant. It's pathetic to be sure, I mean to advertise a degree of ignorance the rest of us can only assume he gathered while method-acting the afore-mentioned role, but he is not a death-penalty candidate. We have all kinds of idiots who should die first, and some of them were never as entertaining as Mr. Penn.
But Chavez is no longer amongst those, because we can't discard him as easily as we can Sean Penn. Chavez sees the writing on the wall now, and is panicking. He's trying to extend term limits at the same time he is extending communist control of Venezuela's infrastructure. And he's exploiting deranged, anti-Bush propaganda to do it. Worse, he's willing to subjugate an entire nation of good people in order to do it.
He has good intentions, sure, but he also has the wrong theory of human nature. Slaves will never be happy to be slaves, peasants will never willingly remain as such. These ignorant communists belive in dialectic materialism, it's their church, and they believe it to a degree that they think some serf will be happy ad infinitum, if you just provide that serf 'what he needs'. Marx said it flat out in the manifesto: "From each according to his abilities, to each according to their needs.".
It's the same credo that social democrats believe in France, England, and even here in the great, but getting older, US of A. And it is fatally flawed, and that is why it has never worked as well as capitalism. And that is why Chavez, and Chirac, and Annan, hate us the most. Because our system works and theirs doesn't.
Capitalism is brutal, to be sure, but it is for AND about you. Those canned 'needs' of yours that some non-profit group and a few professors told you about in college? That was just to hold you at bay while they were convincing you that you weren't an individual, but rather a small part of some larger group, and based on the characteristics of said group, WE WILL DETERMINE YOUR FATE.
It's bollocks and they have no right. You deserve to be treated according to the theory of human nature that you subscribe to, not some bullshit some politician or professor tells you to believe in. You are an individual, and you are entitled to your own just rewards, not what you inherit, be it from your parents or some arbitrary group affiliation, but based on what you live and work for. What you earn by your sweat, tears, and indeed, smiles!
That's why Chavez has to die. He's put all Venezuelans in a box, and has said, "I alone know what you need, and I've even met with Danny Glover and Sean Penn, and these great thinkers from America agree and endorse me!"
We can't, as a country, afford to absorb the dysfunctions of Central America, because we have our own dysfunctions to deal with. Bush will not be president in 2009, but Chavez will be, and that is why he needs to be snuffed out.
Put yourself to the test. People ask themselves one of two questions when faced with difficult situations in their lives:
The first is 'What can I do to remedy this, to better myself, how can I get through this?'
The second is 'What can the government do to help me, why has it failed me thus far, how can WE get through this?'
You may not be as murderous as I am, but if the first question was truer to your heart, than you agree with me that people like Chavez need to die, and die quickly for the betterment of the individuals that haphazardly fall under them.
Say it with me. DEATH TO CHAVEZ! DEATH TO KHAMENEI! DEATH TO THE ASSHOLE RUNNING CHINA AND HIS SOCK PUPPET IN NORTH KOREA! DEATH TO ANY POLITICIAN OR GOVERNMENT AGENT WHO BELITTLES ME FOR THE SAKE OF A GROUP THAT I REFUSE TO JOIN BUT AM FORCED TO NONETHELESS!
I'll close by summing up some famous quotes from the Communist Manifesto that I amended for this column:
DEATH TO THE POLITBURO! HARD-WORKING INDIVIDUALS FROM ALL COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD RISE UP AND TAKE WHAT IS YOURS!
Maybe it's you, maybe it's Dan. Things aren't quite the way they should be. And now it seems Dan's peace of mind has come up for the bidding, and those that he respects and trusts must all have been just kidding. Dan's little world has lost control, but still it keeps on spinnin'...
ABOUT DAN GONZALEZ
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8.29.07 @ 1:48p
I prefer the V for Vendetta credo of "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people".
8.31.07 @ 10:38a
The man is a danger not just to his own country, but to his entire continent and beyond.
His decisions (decrees) are the proverbial ripples in the pond. They don't just disturb the bugs skating on the surface, they jostle the denizens of the deep and erode the shoreline. You know, the kind of erosion that results in a landslide-generated tsunami that affects everyone else in the general line of wave travel.
Now, I'm not in favor of bloodshed, but the man does need to be stopped. The question is, do the Venezuelan people as a whole have the temerity to say "enough is enough" and generate a popular uprising? Or does the military have the type of leadership that is capable of removing him from power and not abusing their own?
Heavy metal worked on Noriega...maybe we should just send Ozfest along with all the heavy metal powerhouses down there and establish a month-long concert outside his residence.
Then again, maybe just take over his TV satellite and feed him nothing but "Simple Life" reruns, then catch him as he runs from the building screaming.
8.31.07 @ 12:19p
You know, I'm neither for or against Chavez, mainly because I'm ignorant in the sense of "I don't know the 'real' real story, so I can't judge", but that's not relevant.
I do believe, though, that the US needs to stop meddling in other countries' affairs... turn on your TV and see the consequences of meddling in places the world knows little truth about, i.e., Iraq.
If people are unsatisfied enough, and the statement "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people" is true, then it's better to stay out of it and let the Venezuelans take care of their problems in Venezuela and abroad.
And if Chavez does prove (again, we don't know the real story folks... we don't live in Venezuela and are not venezuelan) to be needing a whacking, let it be by the Venezuelan sword. After all, our aim is to free the Venezuelan people supposedly, and want nothing more than to make them happy... why not award them with sweet revenge if that is infact what they want?
Capitalism? Capitalism is a disgusting, selfish way of diong things, but it's something we as Americans are addicted to, thinking it's the ideal and only way to make people happy and full in a society.... I strongly disagree with this belief, but nonetheless I contribute to capitalism against my will. Capitalism is responsible for the "extermination" of Indian tribes all over North and South America to name the Western hemisphere, and destroys more than builds in my opinion. Capitalism may just be a better lay than socialism or communism, but you're still getting f***** in the end.
I have no fixes, but I watch my country, Iraq, being torn apart every day, and know that propaganda and lies by outsiders were what brought it to the place it's in now; the seventh circle of hell.
Give peace a chance.
8.31.07 @ 2:45p
Capitalism worked until credit cards existed. It is based on the fact that you can't spend more money than you actually have. Now the "invisible hand" that's supposed to guide it just doesn't work.
But - all that aside - I wish I knew more about the Chavez situation. My gut feeling is that he is a complete psychotic, and I agree that when he abolished term limits he set himself up to be taken out.
Chavez.. baby.. if you love something, set it free.
8.31.07 @ 9:30p
Thanks for the good commentary. I wish politics were as easy as offing some jerk who obviously deserves it. Unfortunately, violence never solves that many problems, it just tends to erase them and allow the void to be filled by more problems.
I agree with you guys, as I mentioned, that capitalism is brutal according to the original definition of that word. (Et tu, Brute?) But I have to concede that it remains the best path for an individual to benefit from his or her own virtues, and in this day and age, one is not required to subsist directly on the sufferings and labors of another.
Socialism, on the other hand, is draconian. One can only benefit from the virtues of the collective, and however that is defined, it can never feasibly exceed the virtues of the lowest common denominator. Amongst the more spectacular disasters in socialism are that of the Soviets, the North Koreans, the North Vietnamese, and half of western Europe. Amongst the most ruthless of socialists are Mao, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, and surprisingly enough to some, Adolf Hitler. The problem with all is the central planning board that is required to decide who works where and how the wealth is distributed. Democrats*, capitalists, Jews, Shia, and Kurds all fared very poorly under socialism, but there are no such constraints on them in the USA.
All that aside, credit cards and subprime mortgages do undermine capitalism, as Erik points out, but no one forces an individual to indulge in them down the barrel of gun or under threat of imprisonment and torture. Capitalism only thrives when producers and consumers make mutually beneficial bargains, not when one side is harmed.
If we have any true success in Iraq, it will be the day when Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis can all freely engage with one another in voluntary, mutually beneficial arrangements.
As for Chavez, I still say f*** him and his horse. Che is dead, Castro is close, and Chavez is next!!
* ETA that by democrats, I was referring to the 100 Million democrats who were slaughtered in the communist purges in Russia, China, and SE Asia.
9.1.07 @ 9:26p
Chavez = psychotically crazy, with a finger on a velvet trigger. Same as Hitler.
American consumers are to blame for the state of capitalism. We're a throw-away, charge for tomorrow, me-first society. As Erik said, it's all because of credit. The average American has $9,000 in credit card debt - but many more sustain their lifestyles on credit with no thought or concern of ever paying back what they took.
Nice philosophy, if you can live with yourself every day.
9.3.07 @ 2:45a
I read these pages every week. I usually like or even love what I read, but in this case I have to comment, as well.
I live in Austria. We are a socialist country, with a socialist chancelor. We have an extensive social net, preventing people from starving, offering free medical services to sick people, supporting people who have lost their jobs, single mothers and handicapped people.
We are no communists. We don't have a totalitarian regime, we have free elections that might even work better than your own antique system.
When I read those words about Chavez I had to agree, but what you say about Socialism is not - or only partially - true. Our government gives people what they absolutely need, but noone prevents us from doing a better job to earn more and have more. Our average income is higher than your own, btw..
I agree that Chavez' way of using Communist/Socialist principles for his own needs is bad, but I really believe that Socialism - at least the way we live it - is far more fair and humane and open-minded than the American way of life.
9.3.07 @ 9:10a
You have a valid point. However, how that income is distributed after a person earns it is more important than the amount that comes in. What percentage of that income goes to your living expenses--rent/mortgage, groceries, utilities, and gasoline?
The U.S. on average spends the lowest on food per person of anyone else in the world as a percentage of their monthly income---this despite the fact that we buy a significant portion of our food pre-processed in some form, which adds to the cost. Also, on a per liter basis we are paying about 69 cents for gasoline (petrol) (this is based on $2.60 per gallon average where I live). For an 1100 square foot flat, I average $70-80 a month for electricity and natural gas. My landlord pays for water, sewer and trash (no doubt with part of my rent).
Also, how do your tax rates compare to ours--sales, food, income, local, etc? How much of your food must be imported from outside of Austria? How much livestock feed must be imported? Feed costs account for approximately 2/3 of the cost of raising an animal, so this in turn affects the price that we all pay for meat, milk and eggs at the market. Thus, weather and supply and demand also play a role in those costs We are currently paying higher prices for meat, dairy and poultry products because the oil companies are competing with livestock producers for the corn crop, driving up costs. The midwest weather problems are also driving up corn and other grain prices.
9.3.07 @ 12:25p
you are right, things are relatively expensive here, especially gasoline. We are a small country with no way of growing and producing everything we need inside our borders. Having little or no sources of natural gas and oil does not help, either.
I spent a few months in the US a few years back and always found things relatively cheap, especially goods that can be mass-produced for a huge market. I would be very interested in comparative figures, just to see if what I experienced then can be suported by facts. I know that the Austrian standard of living is high compared to many other countries, but hard facts would be really interesting. Any idea where I can find them?
/me starts looking right away.
9.3.07 @ 11:12p
For US numbers, try http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost?ap. This is the average price data page of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is the section of the US Department of Labor that tracks consumer goods pricing. These are the folks who bring us the monthly consumer price index. This page will give you a few standard things like utility prices, some fruits and veggies, milk, eggs, meat and gasoline.
If you want more options, try http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/dsrv?ap, and choose "US city average" under Area, then click "Next Form". That will bring up a large number of specific items you can choose from to compare prices.
I would imagine that your government has a comparable system that you can search to compare our prices to yours.
Our problem here is that we have a lot of people who aspire to a higher standard of living than they can afford, or alternatively resort to using credit to make ends meet. Erik alluded to the overuse of credit and the subprime mortgage problems brought on by this "me first" approach earlier. We refer to this as "keeping up with the Joneses". It's a side effect of capitalism--our marketing industry constantly tries to convince us that unless we have the latest (and conveniently most expensive) model of car, television, computer, i-this or x-box that we aren't in step with the rest of the country.
I am a marketing guru's worst nightmare--I'm driving a 98 Pontiac, I have a 7-year old computer (which is still running Windows 98SE!), no MP3 player, a 20-year old television, and I don't buy designer clothes unless they're on sale--and it has to be a really good sale. Having said that, I'll be buying a computer soon because my poor decrepit desktop system simply doesn't have the power or hard drive space to let me work effectively...and my OS is on borrowed time. It's not a matter of I simply need the newest gadget on the block when everyone else gets it (on 3 now everyone...1, 2, 3, IPHONE!). I guess you could say I typically do my best to get my money's worth out of anything I buy. I have my fair share of debt, but it arises out of necessity rather than any tendency toward materialistic greed.
9.4.07 @ 2:59a
thank you for the links. Is all this of personal interest to you or is it related to your job? You seem to know a lot about those statistics.
I guess I fall into the middle category, I drive a 2005 Ford, one of my computers is 5 years old, but the laptop is brand new.
I buy the clothes I need, when I need them. The dept I have is from the house that now belongs to my ex-wife. The debts I had from my time at university are already gone :)
9.4.07 @ 4:57a
You're welcome. Any time I can put one of the millions of odd facts in my brain to good use for someone else I'm happy to do so. :)
Long, long ago I taught a course that involved such statistics (unfortunately before the internet became such a handy resource!). Then I got smart, got out of my original field of specialty and into something I enjoy a great deal more--writing and developing curriculum and text/virtual resources for kindergarten through college-aged students. It suits my workaholic tendencies, gives me an outlet for this vast store of scientific knowledge stuffed in every nook and cranny of my brain...and even lets me have a life outside of work. Life is good.
9.6.07 @ 10:00p
Can you imagine, if ANY of the candidates for president of the u.s. had a thoughtful and intellectually honest a dialog as the commenters above, how great this country would be? LIGHTS OUT!
Instead, we continue to struggle about these self-absorbed, self-righteous boobs who couldn't be either honest or intellectual if their fruitless lives depended on it.
Matthias - I am glad to hear that you read here often, because the gifted, regular writers and readers here (I am actually quite irregular personally) are smart, well-read, good-hearted, thoughtful people and intend their words to be shared and for dialog to be the measure. So thanks for commenting finally and try not to be so shy.
Red - Some people say we need a female president. Maybe so, but only if they are as scientifically and philosophically well-grounded as you. YOU OWN HILLARY, SHE IS YOUR BITCH!
9.6.07 @ 10:47p
I'm smart enough to know that's one job I don't want, but thanks very much for the compliment. I think perhaps the world needs me right where I am--trying in my own way to educate the scientists of tomorrow.
Maybe one of them will occupy the White House some day. Goodness knows, this country could use someone with some scientific smarts occupying that august residence. It's time for the politicians to get out of government.
9.7.07 @ 12:10a
Keep stoking t hat fire Red!
I'll vote for any applied scientist, linguist, or economist that ever dares to run.
I'm tired of voting for social pseudo-scientists, poli-sci majors, and activists.
9.7.07 @ 12:40a
I've always thought that "political science" was a contradiction in terms.
9.13.07 @ 7:30a
You mean like millitary intelligence?
9.18.07 @ 2:20a
Classic, one of the oldest calls in the Pop Warner Socialist Playbook.
First, just kill or jail vocal dissenters, much like Hussein, Kim Jong-Il, Stalin, or that asshole Mao did. Then, brainwash the indolent sheep who are left by infecting the curricullum with secular humanist hokum. I'm sure the National Education Association here in the U.S. is on-board with this, and that the awesome Venezuelan school system will someday be featured in the next Michael Moore documentary. I can already hear them cheering at Cannes.
9.18.07 @ 3:44a
See, the American government doesn't really want to run the education system. If they did they would pour more money into education and less into war.
As for Chavez, he's nuts. The world is full of nuts. In the long run he will be just another crazy in a long history of crazies.
I think I'm giving up on politics as an interest. The candidate I feel would make the best president is Joe Biden. He doesn't stand a chance against the Hillarys, Obamas, Guilanis all based on money. Capitalism is working very well in this country. Bush bought the presidency, and soon Hillary will drop her dime and pick up the country. Of course she can buy it cheap given the bargain basement condition B ush has left it in.
The next two presidents will be inconsenquential in the history books. In 16 years that president will matter.