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The Chavez reader

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hugo holding US aloft.gif
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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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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ZCommunications | Torture is Trivial by Robert Jensen | ZNet Article

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Robert Jensen argues that torture is not even close to the worst of US crimes. Focussing on torture obscures debate about the last dozen years of illegal aggression and the true motivations for the now global War on Terror: the flow of oil and other resources to the US and away from China, access to markets for US corporations, and the exclusion of any alternative development to neo-liberal economics.


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“The problem with “Zero Dark Thirty” is that it … tells the story that Americans want to hear:

“We are an innocent nation that has earned its extraordinary wealth fair and square. Now we want nothing more than to protect the fruits of our honest labor while, when possible, extending our superior system to others.

“Despite our moral virtue and benevolence, there are irrational ideologues around the world who want to kill Americans. This forces our warriors into unpleasant situations dealing with unpleasant people, regrettable but necessary to restore the rightful order.

“A less self-indulgent look at the reality of the post-World War II era suggests a different story. Whether in Latin America, southern Africa, the Middle East, or Southeast Asia, the central goal of U.S. foreign policy has been consistent: to make sure that an independent course of development did not succeed anywhere, out of a fear that it might spread to the rest of the developing world and threaten U.S. economic domination. In the Middle East, the specific task has been to make sure that the flow of oil and oil profits continues in a fashion conducive to U.S. interests.

ZCommunications | Torture is Trivial by Robert Jensen | ZNet Article]

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 24, 2013 at 08:11

Santa Claus and the Magic Mushrooms « Just Wondering – Alternative News and Opinions

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Have you ever wondered why on Christmas we cut down/carry evergreen trees inside our houses, decorate them with fancy ornaments, and place presents underneath them?

Amanita muscaria muscaria9

“So, why do people bring Pine trees into their houses at the Winter Solstice, placing brightly colored (Red and White) packages under their boughs, as gifts to show their love for eachother and as representations of the love of God and the gift of his Sons life? It is because, underneath the Pine bough is the exact location where one would find this ‘Most Sacred’Substance, the Amanita muscaria, in the wild.”–James Arthur, “Mushrooms and Mankind” (8)

 

The Amanita muscaria is the red and white magic mushroom that grows almost exclusively beneath Pine trees. Their main psychoactive ingredient is ‘muscimol,’ as well as trace amounts of DMT, an entheogen naturally produced in the brain’s pineal gland. The pinecone-shaped pine-al gland is an organ that produces the same DMT found in this pine tree fungus, and much more.

Read More: Santa Claus and the Magic Mushrooms « Just Wondering – Alternative News and Opinions

(Via ZenGardner.com.)

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

December 16, 2012 at 17:52

Posted in ideas, Repost

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