McGaffe: Oy Vey…er…Oh Mon Dieu…er…Ay Caramba!

In a recent radio interview, John McCain either espoused a rebuff of Spain and its Prime Minister, Jose Zapatero, or he simply failed to comprehend the subject matter and instead repeated his seemingly uninformed response…despite being given opportunities to correct his statement.


Commentary By: Daniel DiRito

Yesterday, Barack Obama accused John McCain of being a member of the old boys club. If reports in the Spanish press are accurate, McCain demonstrated his bona fides as a founding member…at least as far as the “old” part is concerned.

While the details are sketchy, it seems that the senator grouped Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero in with the likes of Hugo Chavez, Raul Castro, and other foreign leaders he would not meet with…based upon their country’s rogue status.

From Talking Points Memo:

Our review of the audio suggests the same conclusion. In the interview, McCain is asked about Hugo Chavez, the situation in Bolivia and then about Raul Castro. He responds to each of these with expected answers about standing up to America’s enemies, etc. Then the interviewer switches gears and asks about Zapatero, the Spanish Prime Minister. And McCain replies –“ very loose translation –“ that he’ll establish close relations with our friends and stand up to those who want to do us harm. The interviewer has a double take and seems to think McCain might be confused. So she asks it again. But McCain sticks to the same evasive answer.

Obviously, Spain is an American ally and would never be viewed as the equivalent of Cuba or Venezuela. To be fair, it’s clear that anyone can make a mistake or find themselves confused in the heat of an interview. Unfortunately, in this instance, it appears that the reporter reiterated her question multiple times upon hearing the puzzling response from McCain. Undaunted, he reiterates his apparent rebuke each time.

The problem, as I see it, centers on a pattern of the Arizona senator repeating gaffes…seemingly failing to make the cognitive connections and recognitions needed to correct himself. Anecdotal as this may be, it’s a pattern I’ve seen in those elderly folks I encounter on a regular basis. While it certainly doesn’t disqualify their mental capacity, it does raise questions as to their functional fitness…especially in situations of a critical nature with far reaching consequences.

While McCain has been in government for years, I get the sense that there are situations that garner his interest, and there are others that hold little weight in his overall awareness. Granted, we’re all guilty of the same, but it is reminiscent of the casualness that seemed to typify the Bush presidency from time to time. Rather than focus on the factual considerations of each situation, there appears to be a tendency to rely on overarching ideologies. Couple that with an air of unchallenged confidence, a predisposition to neoconservatism, and a suspect temper, and one can quickly become alarmed.

Perhaps I’m simply showing my own bias. On the other hand, under the shadow of eight years of observing the patterns of George Bush’s governance, I still believe McCain’s gaffes, coupled with everything else, should leave us with reason for concern. Needless to say, the interview is drawing ample attention in Spain.

UPDATE:

Here’s the actual untranslated English version of the interview.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Thursday, September 18th, 2008 by Daniel DiRito |

George, Hugo, and Vladimir

Time to play find the authoritarian.


Commentary By: The Xsociate

Two votes. Two decidedly different outcomes.

Voters took to the polls overseas this weekend and the results are an illuminating look at how the US has handled its foreign policy. For in a country we ostensibly label an ally, democracy has taken even more of a backslide while in one constantly denounced as authoritarian, the voice of the people rang loud and rang true.

First up: Russia where President Vladimir Putin’s party won a landslide sweep in the parliamentary elections. Speculation is already off and running that Putin will use this win to continue to remain in power past the end of his term early next year. What form that will take remains to be seen but it is a safe bet that like his soul eyed counterpart in the US, Putin will find someway to remain influential beyond his tenure.

But such an authoritarian move is getting very little attention as compared to that of the defeat of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s referendum seeking more power. Unlike Putin, Chavez put the issue of whether he could stay past his current term to a vote and the people responded. Even more surprising is that Chavez, though chastised, vows to abide by the vote and even goes to far as claim it as proof that there is no dictatorship in his country.

So on the one hand we have a man who has been referred to as a Latin American version of Hitler praising a vote against him and on the other we have a man who seems bent subverting democracy to stay in power at all costs.

No wonder Bush sees eye to eye far more with the latter than he does with the former.

See also Cernig.

(X-posted at The Xsociate Files)

Monday, December 3rd, 2007 by The Xsociate |

A Thoroughly Modern America…Think Again?

I have doubts about the potential of a woman or a black man to be elected to the presidency…not as a function of their competency to lead…but as a function of inherent prejudices that lurk within the psyche of some segments of our society. Simultaneously, I’ve felt that the growing opposition to our rapidly expanding immigrant population contains an element of ethnic bias. I have to wonder if we aren’t standing upon the precipice of a period of exclusion and a re-kindling of old, yet inextinguishable inequities.


Commentary By: Daniel DiRito

We Americans like to think of ourselves as evolved individuals who embrace freedom and equality for all…and in many ways our history has demonstrated the truth found in this assumption. At the same time, we haven’t encountered that many recent opportunities to test the merits of our hypothesis.

As I read the news this morning, I found myself wondering if we may be on the verge of moving in the opposite direction…or, at the least, if our stated commitment to such beliefs might be little more than a nice piece of veneer applied to a hidden harbor of hostility.

The events of 9/11 undoubtedly created a heightened level of fear…a level we Americans have rarely been forced to face. In its aftermath, we have seen a growing willingness to suspend some of the civil liberties which have highlighted our purported belief in an open society and a transparent system of governance.

While I understand the inclination and the necessity to act in this manner (within reason), I find myself concerned that such actions may be a slippery slope towards the adoption of other attitudes that serve to undermine the principles upon which this nation was founded.

I suspect many readers may be thinking I’m about to discuss the efforts of our President to allow for greater clandestine surveillance along with other measures he has sought to detect and minimize terrorist threats. While I do view such measures with a healthy degree of skepticism, my observations today are focused upon the thoughts and beliefs we each hold as individuals and which impact America’s status as a beacon for the tenets of democracy and equality.

For some time now, I’ve expressed doubts to friends and acquaintances about the potential of a woman or a black man to be elected to the presidency…not as a function of their competency to lead…but as a function of inherent prejudices that lurk within the psyche of some segments of our society. Simultaneously, I’ve felt that the growing opposition to our rapidly expanding immigrant population contains an element of ethnic bias in addition to the many legitimate concerns that can be associated with shoddy border control.

Today, three articles caught my attention and lent support to my suspicions. The following excerpts are from the first article.

From McClatchy News:

DES MOINES, Iowa – A pair of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmares trudged past a giant blue “Hillary for President” sign outside the Iowa State Fair here with palpable disgust.

“Hillary can go to hell,” said Alice Aszman, 66, a Democrat from Ottumwa. “I’ll never vote for her. I don’t think a woman should be president. I think a man should. They’ve got more authority.”

Her husband, Daniel, 50, also a Democrat, agreed: “I think women should stay home instead of being boss.”

A July poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers by the University of Iowa found that Clinton had 30 percent support among women and 18 percent among men. By comparison, there was no difference in gender support for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who got 21 percent from both men and women.

The same poll found that 32 percent of women strongly agreed that Clinton was electable, while only 14 percent of men did. And 30 percent of women strongly agreed that Clinton was the Democrats’ strongest candidate, while only 17 percent of men did.

In a general election however, it could be a major problem, because men traditionally vote for Republicans at a higher rate than women vote for Democrats.

“She has to be careful the men don’t split against her more than women split for her,” Smith said.

As I read the article, two items stand out. One, we tend to view bias or prejudice as coming exclusively from those who are different than the one at whom the bias or prejudice is directed…meaning bias towards women should come from men and bias towards men should come from women. Unfortunately, that assumption isn’t accurate and the evidence…in the case of Senator Clinton…pours out of the mouths of other women who embrace established societal notions that gender can and should be a limiting factor in certain circumstances.

Two, the long established view that women should have narrowly defined roles in society…roles that are predominantly subservient to men…remain well established among men in America and women who operate outside these parameters are frequently met with derogatory characterizations. While a strong male figure receives the admiration of many males, a strong female is frequently viewed as acerbic and the object of misogynistic ridicule.

Moving onto the next article, the following excerpts point to the underlying obstacles faced by a black man when seeking to hold the highest office in the land.

From The Philadelphia Enquirer:

A computer search finds 464 instances in which Obama’s name appears in print in conjunction with the phrase black enough. The first was in the Chicago Sun-Times in 2003 when he was preparing to run for the Senate. Writer Laura Washington recalled his loss in an earlier House race to a South Side incumbent. “Whispers abounded,” she wrote, “that Obama was –not black enough.’ “

Washington went on to recall how her uncle, a retired black railroad worker, had seen Obama wearing “a thousand-dollar coat” while visiting a public-housing project. Her uncle, she said, “dismissed him as an –elitist.’ “

And isn’t that telling? A black rapper who visited that same housing project wearing a thousand-dollar coat would be celebrated and emulated. A black politician who does so is an elitist.

Man, I wouldn’t walk in Barack Obama’s shoes for a million dollars. Oh, he seems like a swell guy. But it must get real old real fast being America’s tabula rasa, its blank slate upon which it projects unresolved racial aspirations and fears. If it has been painful watching some conservative white Americans project upon him the latter (Is he too black? Is he Muslim? What about that weird name?), it has been just as painful, if not more so, watching many black Americans grappling with the former.

So the question of whether he’s “black enough” reveals more about the people asking than the man being asked. Liberal, and black, and conservative, and white, we have projected our own realities upon this guy, have written like mad upon the blank slate.

Again, we see much the same with regards to Senator Obama. His obstacles are twofold. He must overcome the objections that emanate from within his own racial profile. Senator Obama, much like a woman candidate for president, has to contend with the objections of blacks who see his success as an indication that he has abandoned his racial constituents in favor of winning the approval of whites.

I was particularly struck by the comparison made with regard to the expensive coat. The success achieved by a senator with a good education and excellent credentials can potentially be viewed to be inferior to the success of a rapper. In that dynamic, one can’t help but notice the built-in resistance to change and the peer pressures that exist to prevent certain types of social, cultural, and economic mobility.

At the same time, the senator is confronted by the bias and prejudice that one might well expect to be directed at his candidacy from those racial groups which have had a history of viewing blacks as lesser and unfit to serve as president.

The following excerpts from the final article confront the question of immigration and the growing animosity that permeates the topic.

From McClatchy News:

Scores of organizations, ranging from mainstream to fringe groups, are marshalling forces in what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich calls “a war here at home” against illegal immigration, which he says is as important as America’s conflicts being fought overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While most of the groups register legitimate, widespread concerns about the impact of illegal immigration on jobs, social services and national security, the intense rhetoric is generating fears of an emerging dark side, evident in growing discrimination against Hispanics and a surge of xenophobia unseen since the last big wave of immigration in the early 20th century.

The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, said the number of “nativist extremist” organizations advocating against illegal immigration has grown from virtually zero just over five years ago to 144, including nine classified as hate groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan supremacists.

Demographers and immigration experts say the passions over illegal immigration in the opening decade of the 21st century are comparable to those that swept through American cities with the surge of immigrants who descended on U.S. shores from the 1900s to the 1920s.

The latest wave of immigrants – both legal and illegal – is predominated by Mexicans and other Latin Americans who are venturing deep into the U.S. interior to follow the job market, often settling in towns and cities that, just a few years earlier, were unaccustomed to Hispanics.

The resulting demographic impact on local communities can often lead to social tensions that help explain the intensity of feelings over illegal immigration, said Meissner and other experts.

John Trasvina, president of the Los Angeles-based Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), said the backlash over illegal immigrants is clearly generating widening anti-Hispanic sentiments, often exemplified in hate rhetoric on talk shows and over the Internet.

MALDEF has thus far prevailed in legally defeating municipal immigration ordinances, but Trasvina said that “a poisonous atmosphere” remains.

“What these ordinances do is add tension to the communities,” he said. “So a woman in the grocery is talking to her daughter in Spanish. It emboldens the person standing in line behind her to say, –Hey, speak English.’”

It seems to me that the growing opposition to the expanding Mexican and Latin American immigrant populations may be the best example of the pervasive nature of bias and prejudice. I would argue that the recent outcry results from the perceived threat to our established cultural structure has reached a point of critical mass.

For well over two decades, the influx of immigrants served our interests…interests which included cheap labor in the form of migrant workers, nannies, housekeepers, landscapers, and other roles which Americans viewed to be inferior. While these immigrants remained in the background such that their impact on society was difficult to observe, many Americans were willing to benefit from their presence.

As these immigrant populations became a visible and measurable force in society, their presence has met with a growing disfavor…some of which results from racial prejudice and has led to such vocal and vehement opposition. Efforts to portray the negative impact of immigrants upon society has suddenly overwhelmed much, if not most, of their positive contributions.

In the end, these three articles paint a troubling picture. Despite numerous admirable attributes and an historical willingness to be welcoming and inclusive, I have to wonder if we aren’t standing upon the precipice of a period of exclusion and a re-kindling of old, yet inextinguishable inequities.

While the current administration seems to be focused upon exporting our way of life to the obviously oppressed, we at home may well be in the process of dismantling or erasing the hard fought principles this country has toiled to achieve…the same principles this president has so persistently sought to promote. At the moment, I find myself struggling to view this as a win-win situation.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Monday, August 20th, 2007 by Daniel DiRito |

Judge Tosses Out Charges Against Posada Carriles

On the same day that the Department of Justice was singing its own praises for busting an alleged terror ring in New Jersey, mostly unnoticed was the fact that the DOJ may have intentionally tanked the prosecution of an international terrorist in our own midst.
As a result, convicted terrorist Luis Posada Carriles is a free [...]

Commentary By: Richard Blair

On the same day that the Department of Justice was singing its own praises for busting an alleged terror ring in New Jersey, mostly unnoticed was the fact that the DOJ may have intentionally tanked the prosecution of an international terrorist in our own midst.

As a result, convicted terrorist Luis Posada Carriles is a free man today.

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone threw out immigration charges against Posada Carriles, and ordered his electronic tracking bracelet removed. He had been free on bail, pending an immigration trial that was scheduled to begin this week.

ASZ has been following this saga for a long time, and it’s no surprise that Judge Cardone took this action. In fact, given the history of this case, it’s almost crystal clear that this was the intended result of the Department of Justice’s case against Posada Carriles. Since he was first detained in the U.S., the DOJ has displayed a level of case management skill that is beyond mere incompetence – in fact, to the untrained outside observer, it’s easy to draw the conclusion that the prosecution of this case was intentionally botched.

According to CNN, the departments of Justice and Homeland Security are “reviewing Cardone’s decision”, and it is not clear at this point whether or not the judge’s ruling will be appealed.

What is clear, beyond all reasonable doubt, is that Posada Carriles is an international terrorist who was trained and financed by the U.S. government. Whether he was operating as a freelancer, or at the behest of his CIA handlers when he carried out his terrorist acts is completely beside the point. Documents from the U.S. government make it clear that the man plotted the bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people, and he has admitted being involved in hotel bombings in Havana. In fact, he’s quite proud of his curriculum vitae as a terrorist.

Today, the Bush administration’s favorite terrorist is strolling the South Beach waterfront in Miami unencumbered, and grateful that the concept of quid pro quo has stood the test of time. In some cases, there is indeed honor among thieves.

A call to your congressional representatives might be in order.

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

BushCo Releases Airliner Bomber on Bail

In yet another demonstration that the Bush regime’s “Global War on Terror” is nothing but a jingoistic paper sham, Luis Posada Carriles was released on bail yesterday, and has been flown to his Miami home under “house monitoring”.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Posada Carriles saga (ASZ has been covering it since 2005), click [...]


Commentary By: Richard Blair

posada carrilesIn yet another demonstration that the Bush regime’s “Global War on Terror” is nothing but a jingoistic paper sham, Luis Posada Carriles was released on bail yesterday, and has been flown to his Miami home under “house monitoring”.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Posada Carriles saga (ASZ has been covering it since 2005), click here – but the short story is that Posada Carriles has been convicted of blowing up a Cuban airliner several years ago, killing 73 people, and has been involved in a lot of Latin American skullduggery over the years as a paid CIA operative. But note that he was only detained on immigration charges when he re-entered the U.S. two years ago:

Posada was freed from a New Mexico jail after he posted $250,000 bond and his family put up another $100,000. He must wear an electronic monitoring device while under house arrest at his wife’s home in Miami pending his May 11 trial on immigration fraud charges…

Yes, Luis Posada Carriles is a terrorist with quite an impressive resume. In fact, Cuba has referred to him as the “Osama bin-Laden of the Western hemisphere”. But since it’s Cuba making the accusations, Posada Carriles’ history is marginalized.

It’s already established that he had long and deep and dark Latin American connections to George H.W. Bush’s CIA, and in particular, John Negroponte. So, with today’s release of Posada Carriles, perhaps this is a demonstration that there is honor among theives, after all…and that the Bush regime feels that terrorism is OK – as long as the guy is our terrorist.

We have a terrorist in our midst who blew an airliner out of the sky, killing 73 people, and no one in the U.S. government (or America, in general, for that matter) seems to give a shit. He was released on bail because the Bush regime DOJ declined to bring terrorism charges against a convicted terrorist, allegedly out of fear that he’d be extradited and tortured.

Who’da thunk it?

Update: If you are new to the Posada Carriles saga, I’d absolutely recommend a diary on Daily Kos by Meteor Blades, Estoy muy contento. I missed it earlier today as I was drafting this post, but it’s about as close to perfect as one can get in terms of expressing the outrage that I feel.

Updated update: I’m not a big fan of A.N.S.W.E.R., but they’ve put together a decent YouTube summary of Posada Carriles’ background that really humanizes the victims of his brand of terrorism.

6 minutes of “must see” streaming and steaming video. Definitely worth watching.

If you’re a blogmaster, and can help push this story further out into the mainstream, you’d have my undying gratitude. I think it’s that important, on a lot of levels.

Friday, April 20th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Posada Carilles to be Released on Bail?

ASZ has been following the tale of the Bush regime’s favorite terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, for a couple of years now – in fact, the story has followed us through at least two iterations of All Spin Zone. Just to recap, the convicted terrorist has been in U.S. custody, and the DOJ won’t [...]

Commentary By: Richard Blair

ASZ has been following the tale of the Bush regime’s favorite terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, for a couple of years now – in fact, the story has followed us through at least two iterations of All Spin Zone. Just to recap, the convicted terrorist has been in U.S. custody, and the DOJ won’t extradite Posada Carriles to Venezuela, because they’re afraid this guy, who masterminded the downing of a Cuban airliner killing 73 people, might be tortured by the Chavez government.

This morning, it’s revealed that a judge has ruled Posada Carriles is to be released on $350,000 bail pending resolution of his case, and confined to his Miami home under “house monitoring”. Alberto Gonzales is apparently personally involved in the prosecution of the case against Posada Carriles, and is amenable to the his release.

Mary MacElveen has a tremendous breakdown of the case on her blog, and saves me spewing my outrage about this continuing travesty regarding the Bush regime’s favorite terrorist. Please, check out her post, and take the actions that she recommends, if you’re as outraged as I am…

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

E. Howard Hunt. . . . DEAD

I once had a friend who was my favorite bartender for a while. Whenever a famous person died Dutchie would say the name of the deceased, then pause and proclaim, with a look part malevolence and part justice. . . “Dead.” That’s how I feel this morning. E. Howard Hunt was a [...]


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

I once had a friend who was my favorite bartender for a while. Whenever a famous person died Dutchie would say the name of the deceased, then pause and proclaim, with a look part malevolence and part justice. . . “Dead.” That’s how I feel this morning. E. Howard Hunt was a Republican disease on the face of this planet, and I am not ashamed to say that his obituary this morning is a pleasure to read.

As you’ll see in the obit, Hunt was more than just the mastermind of the failed Watergate burglary that led our own country into crisis. He was the scourge of Latin America as well in our country’s stupid policies there in the 50′s and 60′s, helping bring to power and prop up dictatorship after dictatorship. Truly an evil man, to my view. What a nice way to punctuate a miserable performance by Bush, who himself is asking us to prop up a puppet government and support failed policies that will only blowback on us in the end.

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007 by Steven Reynolds |

Mexico City: 2.5 Million Protest Election

Calls for a recount in the Mexican presidential election continue to grow. It’™s looking like the IFE is going to agree to at least a partial recount of votes. A largely peaceful crowd of 2.5 million people converged on the Zacalo in Mexico City today, in support of Lopez Obrador ‘” but more [...]

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Calls for a recount in the Mexican presidential election continue to grow. It’™s looking like the IFE is going to agree to at least a partial recount of votes. A largely peaceful crowd of 2.5 million people converged on the Zacalo in Mexico City today, in support of Lopez Obrador ‘” but more importantly, in support of ensuring the election was properly accounted for. Charles at Mercury Rising is covering the day’™s events.

Can you imagine what would have happened in 2000 if 2.5% of the U.S. population had shown up in Washington, DC. in support of Al Gore? 10 million people on the mall? It would have been much harder to ignore the election theft’¦and the country would likely not be in the mess we currently find ourselves.

Update: Lots of good information in this Daily Kos diary.

Sunday, July 30th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Latin America

Diebolding The Mexican Election?

This coming Sunday, voters in Mexico will go to the polls to elect President Vincete Fox’™s successor. Chris Bowers at MyDD has called the election the ‘œsecond most important’ in the world this year – my only disagreement with Chris is that I think Mexico’™s election is arguably the most important. It is [...]

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This coming Sunday, voters in Mexico will go to the polls to elect President Vincete Fox’™s successor. Chris Bowers at MyDD has called the election the ‘œsecond most important‘ in the world this year – my only disagreement with Chris is that I think Mexico’™s election is arguably the most important. It is an election that decides whether the people of Mexico wish to maintain the status quo, or join the ongoing Latin American revolution and begin to throw off the shackles of the WTO, World Bank and the failed experiment of globalization. So, it goes without saying that this is a very important election for the Bush administration.

As with U.S. presidential elections, there are several candidates for the position, but only two leading contenders – Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Felipe Calderon.

Calderon is seen as the natural successor to Fox, and a maintainer of the status NAFTA quo and good relations with the Bush administration. Obrador is a populist candidate, who seeks to stem the flow of illegal Mexican aliens to the U.S. by engaging in a unique concept: giving the working poor a reason to want to stay in their home country by improving the availability of decent jobs, enhancing educational opportunities for the working poor, and upgrading social services.

Let’™s think about something for a moment. If you were a citizen of another country, and the opportunities were available to feed your family, as well as have a ‘œlife’ (kind of the middle class holy grail here in the U.S.), would you be inclined to leave your country for the supposedly greener pastures of the U.S.? Of course not! Yes, there would still be some folks trickling over the border, but not the torrent that currently befuddles governors of border states in both the U.S. and Mexico, and indeed the entire apparatus of the GOP-controlled federal government. (Or at least you’™d think it’™s befuddling congress and the executive branch, if listening to the current jingoistic debate on immigration issues was any true indication.)

QED, you’™d think that Bush administration would be supporting the candidacy and social support platform of Obrador, because Obrador is very high on keeping Mexicans in Mexico. As usual, in our up-is-down, war-is-peace world, you’™d be wrong. The globalization / corporatist crowd that runs things in Washington is solidly behind Calderon. How solidly? Think ‘œDiebold’ solid’¦

(more’¦)

Friday, June 30th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Latin America

Viva Mexico!

This is great news, and I hope it becomes law. While I am very happy to see Mexico move towards more sensible drug policy, until these drugs are legalized and the big money motive removed, there will be no end to the senseless violence that follows this trade around. But at least [...]

Commentary By: somegirl

This is great news, and I hope it becomes law. While I am very happy to see Mexico move towards more sensible drug policy, until these drugs are legalized and the big money motive removed, there will be no end to the senseless violence that follows this trade around. But at least jails will not be filled up with users in some phony show that they’™re tough on crime or some other such silliness.

One of my biggest problems with Venezuela, the country I wanted so desperately to love, was the drug prohibition. At times, they made the U.S. seem downright progressive. Because marijuana and cocaine possession carry the same penalites, cocaine is cheaper and easier to get than marijuana. And of course the system is so corrupt, that the dealers, since they can pay off the cops, get off, and the jails are filled with people busted for simple possession. Of course, drug use is still rampant, there’™s just way more crime and fear surrounding it than necessary. I’™m still really perplexed why it’™s like that there, and who Chavez is trying to impress with such a severe anti-drug stance.

I’™m a bit afraid to see the U.S. reaction to Mexico though, especially in light of the immigration imbroglio – they might have to build the fence even higher! But whatever’¦if this law passes, I know what my next destination will be.

Friday, April 28th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Latin America
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