What is actually going on in Venezuela?

I haven't trusted John Oliver since he did a hit piece on Jill Stein last year.
So I didn't bother to watch his show on Venezuela, but I did watch this breakdown of it.

This week Foreign Policy had an article titled It’s Time for a Coup in Venezuela.
That's an amazingly bold statement, but it's not alone.

US Republican Senator Calls for Coup in Venezuela
Tillerson says Venezuelan military may turn on Maduro
Is a Military Coup or Even a U.S. Invasion Next for Venezuela?

The US has been seeking regime change in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez was elected in 1998. Trump joined Presidents Obama and Bush before him in continuing efforts to change the government and put in place a US-friendly oligarch government.
...Destroying the Venezuelan economy has been an ongoing campaign by the US and oligarchs. It is reminiscent of the US coup in Chile which ended the presidency of Salvador Allende. To create the environment for the Chilean coup, President Nixon ordered the CIA to “make the economy scream.”

I've never been to Venezuela, but I know a propaganda effort when I see it.
We've seen this before.

Gabriel Hetland is a professor at the University of Albany who writes extensively about Venezuela. Writing in The Nation, she said: "The U.S. government has not only cheered and funded these anti-democratic actions. By absurdly declaring that Venezuela is an 'unusual and extraordinary threat' to U.S. national security, and pressuring investors and bankers to steer clear of the Maduro administration, the White House has prevented Venezuela from obtaining much-needed foreign financing and investment."
...The most recent protests in Venezuela started in 2016, when the opposition-led National Assembly attempted to impeach Maduro before calling for a referendum.

Maduro's government has made frequent calls for dialogue with the opposition, which the opposition has repeatedly turned down. In 2016, the opposition-led National Assembly tried to impeach Maduro illegally – they had zero support from legislative bodies.

Then, in October of 2016, the opposition called for a coup against Maduro when the Supreme Court ruled to suspend the presidential recall referendum due to suspected electoral fraud in the first phase of the process. The opposition then launched a series of anti-government protests, further exacerbating the crisis.

We have been accusing Maduro, and Chavez before him, of being "dictators".
The charge is bullsh*t.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, founder of the Carter Center, said: "Of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world."

Results over the past 20 years show that the electoral system enables a fair process for voters and political parties alike.

Venezuela has serious problems, but the fact that we feel it's necessary to fund a violent opposition, sanction the country, and lie about the conditions there, should cause everyone to doubt what we are being told.
That is especially true when you account for the dramatic drop in extreme poverty and illiteracy in Venezuela.
The capitalists will stop at nothing to make sure that socialism can't succeed.

There has been massive US investment in creating opposition to the Venezuelan government. Tens of millions of dollars have been openly spent through USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy and other related US regime change agencies. It is unknown how much the CIA has spent from its secret budget, but the CIA has also been involved in Venezuela. Current CIA director, Mike Pompeo, said he is “hopeful there can be a transition in Venezuela.”
...In 2016, the economic crisis led to the opposition winning a majority in the National Assembly. One of their first acts was to pass an amnesty law. The law described 17 years of crimes including violent felonies and terrorism committed by the opposition. It was an admission of crimes back to the 2002 coup and through 2016. The law demonstrated violent treason against Venezuela. One month later, the Supreme Court of Venezuela ruled the amnesty law was unconstitutional. US media, regime change advocates and anti-Venezuela human rights groups attacked the Supreme Court decision, showing their alliance with the admitted criminals.

That doesn't sound like a dictatorship to me.

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essay posted.
We are so propagandized.

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@on the cusp
All socialism in Latin America must be crushed

Citing the Alliance for Global Justice, Telesur reported at the time that “‘[t]he Nicaraguan government uses foreign assistance from the international financial institutions to support social spending on health and education which have become an ever larger proportion of the national budget.’” Telesur explained that the NICA Act therefore “poses a serious danger to the Central American nation’s economy and could result in a humanitarian crisis and waves of economic refugees that would flee toward the U.S. border, joining waves of migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.”

Currently, Nicaragua is the only country victimized by the US-backed Central American Wars which is not also a source of immigrants to the US. This is in no small part due to the Sandinistas’ effective social programs. As for the Sandinistas’ social programs, eventhe New York Times acknowledged that “[m]any poor people who receive housing and other government benefits support” Sandinista President, Daniel Ortega.
...
The NED has also been giving substantial monies to youth and student groups in Nicaragua – such groups now serving as the main source of the current unrest. In addition, the NED has given support to “independent” (i.e., anti-government) media outlets and to other civil society groups for the purpose of “raising awareness” about how the Nicaraguan government is allegedly repressing them. All told, the NED last year alone gave well over a $1 million in aid to civil society groups for the purpose of ginning up social strife in Nicaragua.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@gjohnsit William I. Robinson:

https://truthout.org/articles/capitalist-development-in-nicaragua-and-th...

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"The Democratic Party is better than the Republican Party in the way that manslaughter is slightly better than murder: It might seem like a lesser crime, but the victim can’t really tell the difference." -- Michael Harriot

Cassiodorus's picture

that's going on now that wasn't going on before Trump took power. The US has been trying to overthrow Venezuela since Chavez took power, and it hasn't ceased its efforts.

And, as far as I know, all of the serious news can be found at https://venezuelanalysis.com/ . So unless there's something they've missed, it's there.

As far as a general analysis, here's mine: the PSUV has blown their revolution and "21st-century socialism." Apparently they waited until two years into Maduro's ineffective Presidency to proclaim a Ministry of Ecosocialism. Meanwhile Venezuela has done very little to promote popular self-sufficiency in food production, nor has the PSUV done much of anything to pull Venezuela's economy out of dependency upon oil exports. My critique, in this regard, has nothing to do with the false accusations of "dictatorship" or any of the crap the opposition has done to make life in Venezuela as miserable as possible. The revolution will happen in the people's relationship to the means of subsistence, or not at all.

I really don't know if the Venezuelans will get any second chances this late in the game. A lot depends upon the loyalty of the Venezuelan Army to Maduro's government.

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"The Democratic Party is better than the Republican Party in the way that manslaughter is slightly better than murder: It might seem like a lesser crime, but the victim can’t really tell the difference." -- Michael Harriot

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

the efforts to crush chavismo and the bolivarian 'experiment' has been going on since 2008 (see wikileaks at the end), but aside from crushing the Red Tide, it's been about chavez having nationalized ReXXon's oil. yes, maduro has made some newbie errors, but he's also kept the formerly invisible people...visible, and they love him for it.

i agree that obomba had first (iirc) declared VZ a direct threat to american national security (wooot!), then trump did, and off to the races. but it's gotten even dicier for VZ and bolivia since: ‘Colombia formally joins NATO: wtf? & woe to VZ and Bolivia’, wd c99%, june 4, 2018. yes, it got off to a very bad start, and it's long, but there was a hella lot of ground to cover in several-stories-in-one.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis

the efforts to crush chavismo and the bolivarian 'experiment' has been going on since 2008

There was a coup in Venezuela in 2002 that deposed Chavez for 48 hours, backed by the United States. Did you not know?

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"The Democratic Party is better than the Republican Party in the way that manslaughter is slightly better than murder: It might seem like a lesser crime, but the victim can’t really tell the difference." -- Michael Harriot

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

but yes, i know only too well. but wikiLeaks published actual memos pertaining to that project beginning in 2008. i'd only come back to say that despite the ever-crippling sanctions laid on VZ, mauduro has continued to provide education, housing, food, medicine, and a living wage to his people. i must have at least a dozen diaries on VZ at the café including the struggles to diversify its income, but no, it's not permitted by the Western Capitalist Imperium.

and when the outside calls to putsch maduro came more fast and furious, the military issued a communiqué that they would stand by maduro as they did in 2002 for hugo chavez. that's all. but the CIA by way of NED and USAID is busy there and in bolivia. long live ALBA, i say. and fuck the OAS and the Lima group. (she sayed in most polite way possible).

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis they needed to move a lot faster than they did with the food issue. If you look up "food" on the Venezuelanalysis search engine, you will get this. Here's the money quote:

At the beginning of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution in 1999, with still over half of the population facing hunger and poverty, both the government and citizens identified food production and provisioning as strategic priorities—and significant strides have been made in the years since. On the production end, the state has made substantial reinvestments in agriculture, including an agrarian reform process to redistribute large landholdings and support small- and mid-scale farmers and fishers. On the distribution end, strategies have included increased availability of basic food items at subsidized and regulated prices and provision of free meals via school and workplace programs as well as community-based feeding sites.

These efforts have made historic gains in food security, as recognized by FAO, but they are mainly separated projects rather than systemic shifts. That is, even with domestic production reinvigorated and the population better fed, the country’s powerful longstanding food import and distribution complex has remained largely unaltered. Today, Venezuela’s food and medicine supply is mostly controlled by twenty companies,[viii] and one of these, Polar, is responsible for eight of the items in Venezuela’s basic food basket, according to the Minister of Agriculture.[ix] For instance, Polar is responsible for 62% of the market for pre-cooked corn flour used for corn patties, called arepas, that form an essential part of the Venezuelan diet.[x]

In other words, Venezuela needs to move faster on the food issue because that's where they're the most vulnerable to attack by the corporations and their buddies in the CIA. Meanwhile it might be nice if someone did a bit of research and challenged the imperialists on their control of this website.

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"The Democratic Party is better than the Republican Party in the way that manslaughter is slightly better than murder: It might seem like a lesser crime, but the victim can’t really tell the difference." -- Michael Harriot

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

it's VZ analyisis, not chavismo proponents. and i get their newsletter and have for years.
you might do better recommending that people should qusetion caracas chronicles, yes i know from craig murray what's been afoot in wikipedia, maybe you do too.

but as i seem to have frontloaded your disdain for reading my diary, all i can posit it that you know more than i do, you have been an avowed proponent of naomi klein's (not really 'anticapitalst', but rather 'unfettered capitalism' (as if it will ever be fettered again post angelides commission post-wall st. bailouts in 2008. i, on the other hand, am a socialist. with that i'll try to lave field, save to say to someone in thread: NO: colombia (on of the worst human rights records on the planet, death squads against the poor and priests who serve them, and worse, yet the US sends boatloads of 'aid' to colombia) is an enemy of VZ, and just joined Nato to prove it, *and* now Nato has bases both the pacific and atlantic in...'our backyard.'

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wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

'food' you'd gotten that single 2016 hit, but i see i may have misinterpreted. i searched both for 'food' and 'agriculture', and the hyperlinks are lists of essays. telesur english also has a VZ tab.

the site notes often that it's seeking actual venezuelan reporters, or at least those living there part time (iirc). but my larger point is while many agricultural programs like 'field and garden to table' and others are underway, it really doesn't matter to the CIA or western empire what the truth is. the confluence of stories in the news in my diary anticipate false flag incursions from colombia 'necessitating' and an R2P nato rescue.

but while noting all that's aligned against maduro fairly extensively, robert harris (whatever amount of cred he has) at counterpunch pretty much parallels what you're saying in this portion:

"Maduro won reelection on the promise that he would right an economy that has been spiraling downward with decreasing production, runaway inflation, chronic corruption, pervasive shortages of consumer goods and medicines, and a dysfunctional currency exchange system. This could be the best and last chance for the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela to meet this daunting challenge in the face of US and domestic hostility."

does he mean to keep his military's support? of course, some key generals had been bought during the last attempt pompeo or tillerson had called for... but harris does spend some words on maduro's 'reaching out to' so and so. bob corker?

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cassiodorus @Cassiodorus Yes, they haven't gotten off oil fast enough. No, Maduro doesn't seem to be quite as effective as Hugo Chavez. However, if the information in that video is correct, the way they flubbed their revolution was by too keenly embracing the principles of inclusive democracy. In other words, business owners who practice "extractive smuggling" of cash and food and/or lock food away in warehouses and refuse to sell it are attempting to economically blackmail the nation into giving them the government and policies they want without benefit of democratic process. (In a way, it's a bit pathetic, in that you can see the desperation on the part of the rich--and the CIA-- as they try to smear the Venezuelan left's efforts at all costs.) It looks to me like their most serious error is in their virtues: they want to treat people like these business owners as Venezuelan citizens with the same rights under the law as every other Venezuelan, rather than locking them up or killing them. There are weighty reasons, both moral and practical, for respecting these business owners' basic rights. But treating these people decently has resulted in them retaining their economic power within the country, a power they apparently have turned wholly to sabotage--again, if Empire Files is presenting the facts honestly. On top of that, you have the CIA doing what they do second best: hatchet jobs (apparently when the CIA tried to do what they do best in Venezuela fifteen years ago or so, it didn't work out.) The horrible irony is that the Chavistas didn't simply murder or jail their opposition, and they are being portrayed as if they had done just that. The people that the Chavistas didn't jail or kill are now spreading the story that the Chavistas are murderous dictators.

It's the old problem for homo sapiens: we don't have an answer to bullying and bad behavior. The Venezuelans are doing better than most, but probably not well enough, in dealing with this problem. Some, like people at WSWS, would say that the problem is that they continued to be at least partially capitalist, that their revolution was not like Russia's nor like Cuba's. Would they still be facing these problems had they done a more traditional Marxist revolution, but with ecological common sense added to it? Is the problem that they weren't left enough? Or is the problem that they weren't ruthless enough? Or would it have gone the same way anyway, given the odds against them? Can't tell.

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13 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

and yes, the wsws journalists are often apt to rail against 'the bougie maduro government, notably calling total bullshit on the charges that it was cross-border raids by colombians emptying commodity warehouses to ensure nothing was o the shelves., thus 'making war on those poor colombian immigrants!

fairly recently an author there had indicted the maduro government for pressing their lawsuit claiming historical ownership of the mega-sized offshore oil-fields near the border w/ guyana: again close to: 'the guyanans are even more destitute than venezuelans!' but as serendipity sometimes rules: from telesur english june 6:

"Venezuela has announced that it will be going to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, along with representatives of the Republic of Guyana regarding the territorial dispute over the Essequibo region of Guyana, over which Venezuela claims sovereignty.

“The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, faithful to its historical position and in accordance with Bolivarian Peace Diplomacy, reiterates its firm willingness to defend the territorial integrity of our country based on the 1966 Geneva Agreement, the legal framework that governs the territorial dispute of Essequibo,” the statement released by Venezuela's Foreign Ministry said.

The government says that it will act through all legal and diplomatic means to resolve the dispute.

Venezuela has claimed the region part of its territory for hundreds of years, but an agreement signed by the United Kingdom in 1966, which was Guyana's then-colonizer, granted authority of the area to Guyana. Upon receiving independence, Guyana continued to claim the region, sparking a diplomatic conflict over the territory.

"The dispute reemerged when Exxon Mobil Co. found massive oil reserves in the territory, and threw its weight behind Guyana, awarding contracts to begin drilling."

again: Rexxon's oil, which industry chavez had nationalized. Can't have that, can we? and we can be certain that Rexxon would pay those guanan's well, and the gummint coffers would be massively enriched.

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detroitmechworks's picture

a Dictatorship... (What is a Gaffe? When somebody inadvertently tells the truth)

Looking at the situation, it's clear that corporate things there's profit in stripping Venezuala. And Colombia too, but nobody's going to mention the fact that leftists are running there right now. (Inconvenient to the Technocrats the US wants in...)

Starting to feel like I ghosted Apollo and he was pissed about it.

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15 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Song of the lark's picture

Any country sitting on that much oil (technically the largest reserves on the planet) and isn't Midas rich has got beaucoup internal problems. The socialists have had years to get this done. I'm a socialist type myself. I can see no other reasons but sheer incompetence or corruption likely both.

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8 users have voted.

@Song of the lark

Any country sitting on that much oil (technically the largest reserves on the planet) and isn't Midas rich has got beaucoup internal problems.

Iraq, Iran, Russia, Nigeria, Angola, Libya, Algeria, Indonesia, Azerbajian, Kazakhstan have all been major oil exporters.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Song of the lark

...of spectacular oil wealth because no one provided you one. So here you go:

Let's compare Venezuela and Norway. Both possess "communist" oil. Both have NOCs. (National oil companies.) But they shared the oil wealth differently.

Norway, benefitting from its geographic situation and well-off neighbors — and free of constant colonization attempts and the sabotage of frequent covert ops, was a bit better off. Here's how the two oil-rich nations handled the profits from sales of oil into the same global commodity market:

Norway, a developed nation, pays their people a substantial wage for extracting their oil from the sea. It sold oil/gas to its own people for $7.00+ per gallon for heating, for use in Norway's small efficient cars, and for their streamlined vertical industries. The people made a profit selling gas to themselves, of about $5.00 per gallon. They put those profits into funds like social security and invested in all manner of social benefits, improvements, and high tech infrastructure. The people enjoyed a secure economic utopia.

Venezuela, an emergent nation, pays their people modest wages for extracting their oil. It sold oil/gas to its own people for only $2.00 a gallon or even less to use in their oil-burning, inefficient American-made cars and rough, newly developing industry. Rather than extracting money from their people through gas sales, Venezuela hoped that the lower costs would act as a subsidy or grant to spur investment in the nation's economy via small and large business start-ups and investments. The government would focus on infrastructure. This is the economic path a developing nation takes when it is fully aware of the savage destruction that would await them if they took an infrastructure loan from the World Bank.

A nation moving toward development requires sacrifices from the people for a time, especially when they are steering clear of the capitalist doomsday machine, the IMF. The Chinese went through this same thing without the oil sales profits that Venezuela had. The Chinese sold the sweat off the people's backs, instead, as they toiled in factories to lift themselves up. Norway was already there. The capitalists are ignoring Norway's communist oil, for now.

You can flush out the rest with these few added variables that influence the outcomes. From here, it's easy to judge and condemn the fools who did not make themselves obscenely rich. American leaders would say about Venezuela, Norway, and China: "This is why communism must be destroyed; why it doesn't work." Venezuela is so blinded by communism that it provides free heating oil to America's poor, year after year. Had they sold that oil on the commodity market, the powerful could have lined their own pockets instead like normal people do.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic Thank you for this. You always have information I don't have, often from a perspective I haven't imagined, which is very helpful.

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9 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Thanks for your comment explaining this.

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5 users have voted.

Governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Pluto's Republic

You can see no other explanation for lack of spectacular oil wealth because no one provided you one. So here you go:

Let's compare Venezuela and Norway. Both possess "communist" oil. Both have NOCs. (National oil companies.) But they shared the oil wealth differently.

+1! And more!

Enough that I felt the need to take my support public!

Give rose

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3 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Bollox Ref's picture

As the South American 'Norway', investing oil receipts for the national future...

Okay, I woke up. And John Oliver is awful.

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12 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

dystopian's picture

Seriously. Is John Oliver a CIA asset? He merely parrots establishment talking points, interjecting dimwiticisms he thinks are jokes, about a bad situation, generally from a propagandistic viewpoint purveying falsehoods on behalf of the imperial empire! How can he not know? He went all Maher and Colbert, but faster, almost right out of the gate.

The Venezuela vid is great and as others said, shows what propaganda mainstream TV is.
Bumper sticker I saw: Free your mind, shoot your TV.

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19 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

detroitmechworks's picture

@dystopian who is very Pro-American and Pro-MIC.

OF course, combat Vets with family connections always do much better than those without... so I can understand buying into the Individualist, I made it so why doesn't everybody doesn't succeed, mentality. I still think it's abhorrent, but I can understand how somebody with very little empathy, (Which you HAVE to be to succeed as a medic sometimes. If you felt every patient's pain, you'd never be able to make it in the brutal situation.) might come to those conclusions.

But CIA? Well, maybe not him, but I'd absolutely check the writers room.

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11 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

snoopydawg's picture

@detroitmechworks

in every main stream media site. Brennan, Mr. ex CIA director has been hired by CNN. I remember when I first learned how the pentagon sent its ex generals out to spout their propaganda that they wanted us to know. The article I read about this just stated what I long believed.

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13 users have voted.

Governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@snoopydawg Eew. Brennan.

It's like seeing a viper; you recoil, but then you reflect that it's probably better to know where it is.

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10 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@snoopydawg BTW, you are spot on. One must assume, at this point, that every mainstream news or politics organ, and many or most of the independent news or political organs, are at least infiltrated if not wholly owned.

It was nice of them to publish that PropOrNot list to give us an idea of who wasn't under their control yet. Smile

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6 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Pluto's Republic's picture

@dystopian

...capitalist news distribution. You'd be hard-pressed to find a notable journalist (or writer, or poet or painter) since WWII who was not an agent. Like Bill Moyer, many of them outed themselves during the Russian Hoax. Art has been deliberately changed, via the ruling patrons, of course. I know it sounds crazy. Until you start reading genealogies. Did you know the CIA has a library on their website? Interesting stuff. When you're at the tip-top of the art world looking down, like Hitler and his elite milieu, or Osama bin Laden for that matter, the power of it all starts makes sense. Henry Miller, William F. Burroughs, Jackson Pollack — they all start to make sense. Insiders make a vast fortune from the CIA's cultural "guidance" down through the generations of the classes, assuring their power immortality.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Did you know the CIA has a library on their website? Interesting stuff.

It's located here. Smile

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8 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic One of Robert Parry's last gifts to us was revealing the little deal the CIA started with the Reagan Administration in 1983, to make sure no more "Vietnamization" happened in the U.S. (what they meant by that is that they didn't want large, left-wing movements marching around in the streets).

They may have been doing this for a while, but it got a steroid shot in the ass in '83, and probably another one in 2001, and I'm guessing yet another one after the 2008 crash.

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14 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Like Bill Moyer, many of them outed themselves during the Russian Hoax.

If so then so is Moyers. He and Winship, his long time writing partner have both been pushing it. If not then which Russian hoax?

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8 users have voted.

Governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy

Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg

I've been working like a maniac for nearly two years trying to get to the bottom of the defection of America's journalists. They are mostly all agents with handlers. That's why the media monopolies will employ them. This has been going on since before World War I. Prominent American journalists of that time talked about it. You have to laugh. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Neil Cassady, Alan Ginsburg, Thomas Pynchon, Gaughan, Robert Anton Wilson, Walt Whitman, David Icke, Michael Crichton, Noam Chomsky, Ram Dass, Bill Maher, Shepard Fairey, and freakin' Matt Taibbi, after all. Why they did what they do. Jeff Bezos is open about it, at least. So are the Charleton Hestons, Mel Gibsons, and Elvis Presleys.

I won't be mentioning this again. It's just a self-explanatory sidebar to the much older and larger social organism that has always ruled the place. It's way beyond politics. How dumb we all are.

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

in Russia Gate, Bill Moyers ' deflection was the most surprising one. He has always been so reliable about the inner workings of the government and people trusted him for decades. Just how can people sell out their integrity so easily?

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7 users have voted.

Governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy

Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg

His choice was to embrace the hoax with his colleagues, or challenge it alone and be shunned. Or, he could pick up his books, exit the stage, and keep silent. This was the choice Seymore Hersh faced. He surprised me. In the end, no one would publish him except London Review of Books. He finally had to move to Berlin to feel safe.

Tiabbi, Hedges, and Greenwald had for years straddled the two worlds — one foot in the gonzo zone vacated by Hunter S Thompson, and the other in the dwindling illusion of a free press. They are stretched to the limit maintaining their positions. Chris Hedges has figured out a way to stay in the game with a more limited audience. The other two could go either way, but they've lost my trust with their cheap antics. They think people can't see what they are trying to do?

So many people think this is all going to go away. They think the world will go back to what it was. The upcoming election should set them straight.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

I too thought this Russia Gate nonsense would eventually be exposed for the lie it is, but too much has been invested in it for that to happen. All the foreign leaders and media members would have to show the egg on their faces for that to happen. Nope, it's here to stay.

Darn. I was waiting to see how Rachel told her fans that she had been wrong all along.

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9 users have voted.

Governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy

Cassiodorus's picture

@Pluto's Republic which describes their "scene": Mark Pedelty's War Stories...

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"The Democratic Party is better than the Republican Party in the way that manslaughter is slightly better than murder: It might seem like a lesser crime, but the victim can’t really tell the difference." -- Michael Harriot

ggersh's picture

@Pluto's Republic My guess is the D party is gone
by 2022 at the latest, but we could have a president
for life by 2020 especially if the R's get over the
37 threshold of states this November.

The D leadership and their minions wont know what
hit them and imagine if after this election the R's
have that majority and start going after the D's from
the clintons on down for crimes against amerika

Get your passports ready.

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6 users have voted.

Theory is when you know everything but
nothing works.
Practice is when everything works but
no one knows why.
In our lab, theory and practice are
combined: nothing works and nobody
knows why.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@ggersh

I'm suggesting a relative defeat for the Democrats.

I see a nuanced outcome that can only be analyzed relative to our current expectations. If they did nothing at all, the Democrats would have a hard time losing decisively the mid-term elections. All the trends and demographics are stacked in the Democrat's favor. They have a decided advantage this time. If Democrats had policies that were Left of Center, they could electrify Americans with optimism. Instead, their accomplishments will be lackluster. If Democrats stood for policies of economic justice and security, the voter turnout could well be astonishing. But if the Dem's plan to push their old familiar platitudes that go nowhere — they won't inspire a flood of energized Democratic voters. In fact, folks seem more willing to endure the banal depravity of Republican rule for two more years, than they are to endure the hassle of voting, when the best they can hope for is more of the same from Democrats.

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3 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@snoopydawg

I think of all the good journalists who defected to believing in Russia Gate, Bill Moyers' deflection was the most surprising one.

Et tu quoque, Bill Moyers? How have the mighty fallen, indeed!

Sad

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3 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic Walt Whitman was a tool of the CIA?

I'm confused...

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3 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic Neil Cassady and Ginsburg were agents of the CIA?

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2 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

It's certainly confusing. Until it becomes clear. The uber-wealthy always served as the patrons of the arts, and not just for home decor, it seems. It took a long time for the capitalists to get involved, after printing and reproduction was industrialized, which birthed the news media — the One Ring that Rules Them All.

I'm not the explainer of these things. I just mention them as examples of things I've learned. I've since moved on to Stewart Brand, Ken Kesey, Tom Wolfe, the Grateful Dead, the ashrams of the West, the Well, the Whole Earth index to Intentional Communities, Whole Foods. and Jeff Bezos. Precursors, all, to Facebook.

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1 user has voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic Seems like you're indicting most of the prominent beatnik voices. Do you have evidence? Not sure exactly what in beatnik subculture serves the interests of the CIA, unless it's the cynicism.

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3 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

... by the FBI and the CIA in order to silence its anti-war message. The drug war was waged against this group along with other undesirable citizens. This Deep State concurrently silences environmental activists that threaten the financial well-being of US corporations.

The Beatniks were the earlier version of the socially conscious activists. They were coalescing during the World Wars. Their art and writing were influential and they had interest in experimenting with socialism and communism to right the wrongs of economic injustice and corrupted power in Washington. Many of them were turned into agents. They received grants and subsidies and trivialized American art for the past century.

It is an intricate subject that is discussed in many places. Here's a random reddit I found with a search that touches on some of it, but everyone here is capable of researching the topic themselves if they have an interest.

https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/6u2crs/pizzagate_fact_did_y...

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2 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

advocating torture, etc. 'homeland security' w/ claire danes is one i've read about, but there are others. netflix the white helmets and an accompanying one whose name i've forgotten; i do have the cover's image in my image library... a longtime commenter at the café is very interested in 'jay's analysis', this is his film page, this is his CIA tab, oh crikey: 22 pages worth.

one of my main chiches w/ the 'intercept' (aptly named, imo) was that they asked permission from the MIC if this or that were okay to publish. not so assange/wikileaks, as they were anti-imperialist and 'we open governments'.

can't stop the signal below had lauded robert parry for his body of work on psyops since reagan, as in: 'the iformation wars' which we discuss a lot at the café.

at the tag end of my version of the convenient concerted confluence of psyops on maduro's government, i'd added dan kovalik's 'Colombia, the death squads & the US’ human rights double standard' which mirrored aspie corner's contributed video w/ abby martin and some 'colombian cia right-wing asshole'. but it wasn't farc killing people, it was paramilitary groups, a hard read, not for the feint-hearted.

but what i'd forgotten to put into the mix was this my favorite tankie on twitter had alerted us to: on the (eugenicists) bill & mellie gates foundation’s tab at the Guardian May 21: ‘Malaria rates soar in Venezuela – a nation that had nearly wiped it out; Shocking reversal for country once lauded for nearly wiping out the disease, reflecting wider problems in failing healthcare system’

"Writing recently in the journal Science, Venezuelan malaria expert Maria Eugenia Grillet outlined what was driving an “alarming” and “unprecedented” increase in cases of malaria.
Grillet blamed “economic and political mismanagement”, which she said had “precipitated a general collapse of Venezuela’s health system, creating an ongoing humanitarian crisis with severe social consequences”.

She added: “The malaria epidemic has been fuelled by financial constraints for the procurement of malaria commodities – such as insecticides, drugs, diagnostic supplies and mosquito nets – and surveillance activities, internal migration associated with illegal gold mining, and lack of provision and implementation of services.”

They have not declared an emergency because that would be to admit that the Chávez revolution has failed, and failed miserably.

now gates not only gets to hit maduro for another reason for an R2P scenario, but the 'new leader of VZ' can then order and use gates' gene drive genetically modified, spliced mosquitos to 'solve the problem'.

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2 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis They can't afford enough surveillance? Isn't that a shame.

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2 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

but nor could they afford insecticides, likely the DDT amerika dumped into 'our backyard' once it was banned in the USA. i mean srsly, by now, it's hard to credit any of stats. i ♥ profiteering faux-lanthopists!

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3 users have voted.
Mark from Queens's picture

@dystopian
All the recent mainstream Neoliberal late night comedians (i.e. Colbert, Stewart, Fallon, Noah, Oliver, etc) may have started out with great subversive comic wit, but once they made some money toned it down to stay on the gravy train. Sort of like Bezos's Whole Foods bait and switch: get 'em in with low prices then hammer them with full bore capitalism, which, in the case of comedians, was making fortunes only if they were to be in service of their corporate master PTB.

Read "The Joke's On You," an excellent essay by Steve Almond in the Baffler, for a full-on evisceration of the Liberal worship of Stewart and Colbert. And Maher is just mostly just another Libertarian douchebag, like his brethren Rand Paul. They're right maybe 15% of the time (in Paul's case; Maher higher for sure but not nearly enough).

There are a few comedians who are not willing to jettison their consciences the way the aforementioned have, honoring unabashed, trailblazing truth-tellers like Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks. I would count among them Lee Camp, Jimmy Dore, Judeah Freelander (his latest special was amazing), Dave Chappelle. Randy Credico deserves mention too.

Even Mark Twain, who wrote some of the most scathing indictments of US imperialism and the selfish foibles of the human race, was very aware to self-edit and carefully instruct most of his most blistering stuff to be published post-humously, saying, "when he could speak truthfully from the grave." If anybody wants an idea of just how strong and hilarious his indictments were please get both collections "A Pen Warmed Up In Hell" and "Letters From The Earth."

Oliver is pretty much dead to me too, after the gratuitous takedowns of both Jill Stein and Bernie. What a douche. Hurts all the more because he had really seemed to be dedicated to and making a name for himself for taking on widespread government corruption at all levels.

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8 users have voted.

(thirty three and a third at TOP)

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Mark from Queens's picture

@Mark from Queens

Really good, candid interview. When I heard that I laughed, then thought how insidious it was.

Let John tell you that and a lot more:

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4 users have voted.

(thirty three and a third at TOP)

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Mark from Queens

All the recent mainstream Neoliberal late night comedians (i.e. Colbert, Stewart, Fallon, Noah, Oliver, etc) may have started out with great subversive comic wit, but once they made some money toned it down to stay on the gravy train. Sort of like Bezos's Whole Foods bait and switch: get 'em in with low prices then hammer them with full bore capitalism, which, in the case of comedians, was making fortunes only if they were to be in service of their corporate master PTB.

Isn't that the truth! I used to rework my whole day around making it for Colbert's monologue, after he replaced Dave Letterman as CBS' late-night man. Then Chump got elected, and all the once-great comedy was replaced by "Trump, Trump, Trump" and how much better things would be had HerHeinous gotten the job. Bad

Often as not now, I just watch BBC news.

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3 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Mark from Queens Poor Dave Chapelle. Was forced into "apologizing" for saying that perhaps people should wait until Trump is actually president and does something before condemning him.

I, too, made that point and then was accused of supporting Trump, but I ain't apologizing to anybody.

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2 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Venezuela is cursed by having oil. The oligarch's want it.
If only they had coffee instead of oil they might have a chance for freedom.

EDIT: Wrote bananas instead of oil, was thinking of United Fruit and Smedley Butler.

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14 users have voted.
GreyWolf's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

.

The United Fruit Co.

When the trumpet sounded, it was
all prepared on the earth,
the Jehovah parcelled out the earth
to Coca Cola, Inc., Anaconda,
Ford Motors, and other entities:
The Fruit Company, Inc.
reserved for itself the most succulent,
the central coast of my own land,
the delicate waist of America.
It rechristened its territories
as the ’Banana Republics’
and over the sleeping dead,
over the restless heroes
who brought about the greatness, the liberty and the flags,
it established the comic opera:
abolished the independencies,
presented crowns of Caesar,
unsheathed envy, attracted
the dictatorship of the flies,
Trujillo flies, Tacho flies,
Carias flies, Martines flies,
Ubico flies, damp flies
of modest blood and marmalade,
drunken flies who zoom
over the ordinary graves,
circus flies, wise flies
well trained in tyranny. ...

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14 users have voted.
Bob In Portland's picture

John Oliver was on-board with the propaganda push against Putin and Russia back during the MH-17 false flag.

I don't think you get on American television unless you can be counted to stay inside the reservation.

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12 users have voted.