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The Chavez reader

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Los que mueren por la vida
no pueden llamarse muertos

Those who die for life
cannot be called dead.
(Ali Primera – www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbKsD8PIwzE)

“Most of what you read or hear in mass media about President Hugo Chavez is always negative, his faults exaggerated, his discourse distorted and his achievements ignored. The reality is quite different.

“Hugo Chavez was beloved by millions around the world. He changed the course of a continent and led a collective awakening of a people once silenced, once exploited and ignored. Chavez was a grandiose visionary and a maker of dreams.

“An honest man from a humble background who lived in a mud hut as a child and sold candies on the streets to make money for his family, Chavez dreamed of building a strong, sovereign nation, independent of foreign influence and dignified on the world scene. He dreamed of improving the lives of his people, of eradicating the misery of poverty and of offering everyone the chance of a better life – the “good life” (el buenvivir), as he called it.”

[From ZCommunications | Hugo Chavez, Dream Maker by Eva Golinger | ZNet Article]

“In many ways, it has. Under Chávez’s watch, Venezuela has become more equal, the most egalitarian country in Latin America in fact, according to the Gini coefficient if income distribution. Poverty has been reduced significantly, and extreme poverty almost stamped out. Illiteracy has been eliminated and education is freely accessible, through the university level, to even the poorest Venezuelans. Health care is free and universal. Despite catastrophic language by the Venezuelan opposition and foreign press, the economy is strong, and has weathered the global economic crisis better than most (notably, the United States).”

[From ZCommunications | Preparing for a Post-Chávez Venezuela by George Ciccariello-Maher | ZNet Article]

“When Hugo Chávez triumphed in the 1998 presidential elections, the neoliberal capitalist model was already foundering. The choice then was none other than whether to re-establish the neoliberal capitalist model — clearly with some changes including greater concern for social issues, but still motivated by the same logic of profit seeking — or to go ahead and try to build another model.

“I believe that Chávez’s chief legacy is having chosen the latter alternative.”

[From ZCommunications | Chávez’s Chief Legacy: Building, with People, an Alternative Society to Capitalism by Marta Harnecker | ZNet Article]

“Well, I guess in the economic or socioeconomic scale, there’s—the most important thing is having turned Venezuela from being one of the most unequal countries in Latin America to one of the most equal ones, or actually the most equal ones in terms of income. It’s a complete turnaround, and that’s quite dramatic. If you look at statistics about income inequality, Venezuela has now the least income inequality of South America, right after Cuba, in any case.

“And then the other thing is that he halved the poverty rate. He decreased the extreme poverty rate by two-thirds.”

[From ZCommunications | Chavez Democratized Venezuela Making it the Most Equal Country in Latin America by Gregory Wilpert | ZNet Article]

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

March 17, 2013 at 05:17

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Government arms race kicks into high gear as DHS buys 2,700 armored vehicles for streets of America

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Nothing to see here folks, just 2,700 light tanks for the streets of the USA… don’t worry about it.

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(NaturalNews) When DHS purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition to be used domestically, inside the USA, and I said this looks like a government agency preparing for war with the American people, I was told, “That’s crazy. The government would never do that.”

When DHS purchased 7,000 full-auto assault rifles to be used inside the United States, calling them “personal defense weapons” that could be used in urban warfare, I was once again told I was crazy for suggesting the government was arming up for war with the American people.

Now DHS has retrofitted 2,717 “Navistar Defense” armored vehicles for service on the streets of America. Cli [From Government arms race kicks into high gear as DHS buys 2,700 armored vehicles for streets of America]

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

March 5, 2013 at 16:18

Tar Sands export routes across North America – Maps

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Will this fossil fuel export proposition be the final nail in humanity’s climate change coffin or the spark for real change? It’s up to you.

Idle No More.

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Tar Sands Pipelines in North America – [From Kinder Morgan Pipeline Route Maps | Wilderness Committee]

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

February 15, 2013 at 08:55

Is a revolution in economic thinking under way? | Anatole Kaletsky

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In the past few months the International Monetary Fund, previously a bastion of austerity, has swung in favor of expansionary fiscal policies. The U.S. Federal Reserve has committed itself to printing money without limit until it restores full employment. And the European Central Bank has announced unlimited bond purchases with printed money, a policy denounced, quite literally, as the work of the devil by the president of the German Bundesbank.

The BoE has spent £50 billion over the past six months to support bond prices. That could instead have financed a cash handout of £830 for every man, woman and child in Britain, or £3,300 for a typical family of four. In the United States, the $40 billion the Fed has promised to transfer monthly, with no time limit, to banks and bond funds, could instead finance a monthly cash payment of $500 per family – to be continued indefinitely until full employment is restored.

[From Is a revolution in economic thinking under way? | Anatole Kaletsky]

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

February 8, 2013 at 16:39

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ZCommunications | Drones, US Propaganda and Imperial Hubris by Sarah Waheed | ZNet Article

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The US thinks that Pakistanis need help to understand why they should support the use of drones to murder their countrymen:

The truth is that the majority of Pakistanis do not support having the sovereignty of Pakistan violated. Even the Pakistani government objects. Maybe that is because, to borrow Obama’s words, “There’s no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.” Without even once trying to explain why the use of drones in Pakistan is necessary, the Atlantic article basically claims that Pakistanis want drone attacks, but that not enough Pakistanis want them badly enough.”

Read the full article: ZCommunications | Drones, US Propaganda and Imperial Hubris by Sarah Waheed | ZNet Article

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 29, 2013 at 11:15

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New Scramble for Africa: Imperialism Plans “Decades of War” | Global Research

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More on Mali from Global Research. [From New Scramble for Africa: Imperialism Plans “Decades of War” | Global Research]


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“Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron vowed that the UK will “work with others to close down the ungoverned space” in northwest Africa “with all the means that we have.” Terming the developments in Mali and neighboring countries a “global threat,” Cameron declared they would “require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months.””

….

So much for Obama’s inauguration rhetoric. “A decade of war is now ending,” he declared Monday, just a day after Cameron’s warning that decades of war in Africa have only just begun.

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 26, 2013 at 12:53

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Pissed Off Scientists: Earth Is Fucked, Commence Resistance Now « Earth First! Newswire

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If we don’t change our ways, the planet will die.

Resist or perish.

Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.


[From Pissed Off Scientists: Earth Is Fucked, Commence Resistance Now « Earth First! Newswire]

As for the big question—is Earth fucked?—Werner announced in his talk that he has done some preliminary runs of his model. At this point I could sense the audience lean forward collectively on their seats. First he simulated the global economy proceeding into the future without the drag of environmental management decisions. “What happens is not too surprising,” he told us evenly. “Basically the economy fast chews up the environmental resources, depletes those reservoirs, resulting in a significant amount of environmental damage.”

Then he factored in some environmental management, presumably of our standard, EPA cost-benefit-analysis-driven variety, and found that “it delays the environmental damage but it doesn’t prevent it.”

That’s not too surprising either. But it also implies we’re eventually, definitely fucked. Still, there’s a choose-your-own-adventure element to the story that has yet to play out. Resistance, Werner argued, is the wild card that can force dominant systems such as our current resource-chewing juggernaut onto a more sustainable path. Werner hasn’t completed that part of his model, so we’ll have to wait to find out what happens. But during the Q-and-A session, he conceded that “even though individual resistance movements might not be fast enough reacting to some of these problems, if a global environmental movement develops that is strong enough, that has the potential to have a bigger impact in a timely manner.”

In other words, according to at least one expert, maybe the Earth is not quite fucked yet after all. But the ultimate outcome may depend on how much, and how many, scientists choose to wade into the fray.

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 25, 2013 at 13:57

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