Friday, December 01, 2006

Estado rojo, estado azul

What's Spanish for Florida 2000? For hanging chads? For stolen election? What's English for "ay caramba?" Here's how a President is inaugurated in Mexico.


49 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or Spanish for "foreign agent"?

From the May 06 Atlantic:

By finding an excuse to denounce Fox as an American toady and baiting him into a response, Chávez was hoping to bolster the presidential campaign of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a Mexican socialist—and potential political ally—running to replace Fox... Indeed, by some accounts Chávez’s advisers have already been in touch with López Obrador to advise him, and the Venezuelan ambassador was reported to have attended meetings organized ópez Obrador’s supporters. Chávez’s TV stunt certainly worked in his ally’s favor.

What other "stunts" has he pulled for Obrador? Is a wad of cash technically a stunt? If he bought Obrador with a million-dollar stunt, who would really know? And since when do democratic candidates need or even tolerate a foreign dictators' "advisors", anyway?

No, I suspect the current protests aren't about hanging chads at all, but are instead a weapon Chavez is using to gain control of the Mexican government through proxy; to bad, bad ends. Which is a sad accusation against Mexican politicians' integrity, if true. But it wouldn't surprise me. Perhaps more recent spadework sheds light on the matter?

"Oil, darn near the root of all evil."

12/02/2006 12:12:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Tex, you might say,

"The love of oil, darn near the root of all evil."

12/02/2006 12:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT, courtesy of our Bud Larry Johnson(!)
---
Today's WaPo article continues: :
The proposal, put forward by the State Department as part of a crash White House review of Iraq policy, follows an assessment that the ambitious U.S. outreach to Sunni dissidents has failed. U.S. officials are increasingly concerned that their reconciliation efforts may even have backfired, alienating the Shiite majority and leaving the United States vulnerable to having no allies in Iraq, according to sources familiar with the State Department proposal.
Some insiders call the proposal the "80 percent" solution, a term that makes other parties to the White House policy review cringe. Sunni Arabs make up about 20 percent of Iraq's 26 million people.
[...]
The proposal has met serious resistance from both U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and military commanders in Iraq, who believe that intensive diplomatic efforts to bring Sunni insurgents into the political process are pivotal to stabilizing the war-ravaged country, the sources said.

Khalilzad, who has spearheaded U.S. outreach to the Sunni leadership, has developed a long list of steps to accommodate Sunni concerns ...

12/02/2006 12:56:00 AM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

we need to keep our wits about us in these delicate times...

...we must not fall asleep as we reminisce for the simpler times of the nineties...

...we must also realize our biggest vulnerabilities and guard against attacks to these...

...a simplistic economic review might be in order...

first, a few vulnerabilities; for instance: economic shock (see 9/11 aftermath), uncertainty, and crumbling of consumer confidence (after all, how much of economic output is currently tied to bolsterous U.S. consumerism?)

Secondly, the recent passing of Milton Friedman and our recent experience has caused me to wonder whether perhaps the Iraq experience, while a worthy attempt, might have shown how a command economy (nation - rebuilding, etc)and democracy mix about as well as oil and water...
...while recent history is tending to reinforce the idea that market economies lead to to a follow-on free thinking populace (China, hopefully), and theoretically (again hopefully) to a more open form of government...
IMO Iraq has shown that democracy is the gauntlet that protects the free hand (or rather the freedoms that allow a market economy to flourish); but, that without the strength of that free hand, the gauntlet is but limp mail...

We should stick with what seems to be working...

Additionally, we need to remember that all relationships can be thought of in economic terms...

How does this relate to Mexico?

I think we need to guard against slipping into a nostalgic sleep, while the Lilliputians tie us down...
...what we need now is some friendlies to help keep watch, so we relax, get necessary sleep, and not have to look over our shoulders indefinately (see Israel)...
...we need to not only develop economic ties, but develop true friends that can be trusted...we need to not only rely on current friends, but cultivate new/stronger ones (Canada, Mexico, China, India, Brazil, etc.)

12/02/2006 02:43:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

US purchasing power is the single greatest and most powerful weapon on Planet Earth. Latin America is one of the great untapped human and resource rich areas on the same planet. The US chooses to ignore the latter and buy "in mind numbing quantities", manufactured goods from China.

Refocus on the non-Islamic Americas. Make the Americas what they should be. OLÉ

12/02/2006 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Jeez, doug,

I hate to wreck a thread but...

an assessment that the ambitious U.S. outreach to Sunni dissidents has failed.

What's outreach?

Who gives a ...

Back on thread...

2164th Latin America is one of the great untapped human and resource rich areas on the same planet.

But what about the sovereign risk, education, anglosphere skills Chavez? One of the great skills of the Asians is to be able to work out who is the client, you know, the guy you call sir.

ADE

12/02/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Publius is sounding awfully gloomy about the Ven election tomorrow.

12/02/2006 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Buddy, when you rob from Pedro to pay Pablo you will always get Pablo's vote. Chavez will win.

12/02/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

2164th wrote: "US purchasing power is the single greatest and most powerful weapon on Planet Earth. Latin America is one of the great untapped human and resource rich areas on the same planet. The US chooses to ignore the latter and buy "in mind numbing quantities", manufactured goods from China."

Good point! It would be smart for the US to purchase imports from Latin America -- and perhaps even smarter to produce more of those goods in the US itself. But how do we deal with the reality that Chinese companies make high quality goods cheaper than Latin Americans, let alone US suppliers?

Old proverb says -- You can take a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. Applies as much to the South American manufacturer as to the Iraqi people.

12/02/2006 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

If oil keeps going up, how can Chevez lose? It's a money tree. The old Ven upper classes can't really count on the usual Red economic crash to save the constitution, with this new tripling-in-three-years oil price phenomenon. Looks grim for the near term.

12/02/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Brazil is a great model, though--breaking the oligarchy without resorting to secret police, doing it with actual economic policies that are raising all boats. Maybe in time the old Castro model will yet fall to the giant Brazilian example.

12/02/2006 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...

I heard a commentator say (paraphrase) that if we were to turn Mexico over to the Taiwanese we would be complaining about the economic colossus to the south within a year. Problem is Mexico's productive classes don't tax themselves; and there are really no fiduciary institutions that ordinary citizens can rely on. It's an economy of plunder with the result that everyone gets rogered by the guy above him down to the dirt poor Indian/peasant with no running water, electricity, paved roads.

The big difference between the US and Mexico is that in Mexico there is no "build it and they will come" attitude. America thrives on that maxim. As a result we do have a lot of business failures but we also have a good share of superb business success. Everyone loves to put down "developers" in America but without their manias, risks and visions we would have...well, look at Mexico.

12/02/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2164th said, "The US chooses to ignore the latter and buy 'in mind numbing quantities', manufactured goods from China."

We see time and time again that Billy Ray and Sally Sue go to Wal Mart and see a DVD player made in Panama for $59.99, and a virtually identical DVD player made in Panama for $29.99, and they inexplicably choose to ignore the Panamanian one and buy the one from China!

12/02/2006 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

And if the Panamanians are tour allies and the Chinese your enemy a Nation pursues it's long term interests and taxes the Chinese products to "even the playing field" for the Panamanians.

Since the Chinese use Slave Labor and are the biggest polluters on the planet.

Political use of taxes have long been used to modify Social behaviour in the US. Why not use them to support our friends?

The current low costs of Chinese goods is an opiate for the masses that, in the end, can kill the addict.

12/02/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

das is right--systems that redistribute property are at least keeping some of the value of the transferal in play, but if the effect is to shut down opportunity and incentive in the intangibles such as drive, genius, and ambition, nothing replaces the loss.

That the loss is always nebulous, and in the tomorrow, that is, not readily quantifiable, is the only thing that allows such 'opportunity-destruction' to persist.

12/02/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger doolz said...

I agree, Calderon was totally robbed of the Lucha Libre freestyle title, and he deserves a rematch.

12/02/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

Desert Rat wrote: "And if the Panamanians are tour allies and the Chinese your enemy a Nation pursues it's long term interests and taxes the Chinese products to "even the playing field" for the Panamanians."

History suggests that would be a dangerous path -- think Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act, think Great Depression. That is not to say the "Tax Our Enemies Act" could not work, but the risks have to be thought through in this inter-dependent world. What happens when China, having been identified as a highly-taxed "Enemy", decides to blow the US Dollar out of the water? Could the New York Slimes stand the pain?

There may be a dirty little truth hidden behind the massive US trade deficit with China -- the true cost to the US people of our Betters' fascination with stringent, job-destroying, "environmental" regulations.

12/02/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

One 'dirty little secret' is, only the wealthier countries--those with industrial production--can afford to spend wealth on the environment. This is pretty well quantified, signed, sealed, and delivered.

12/02/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Poverty means you slash-and-burn, raise animals amongst people, and use whatever stream is handy for sewerage. No wealth, no choice.

12/02/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

kin-something sez History suggests that would be a dangerous path -- think Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act, think Great Depression.

Open borders, free trade libertarian drivel. Hitler and Moussolini slapped up more tariffs than America at that time ever imagined of doing and soon had flourishing economies, whole industries reclaimed for German and Italian jobs.

The Depression had more to do with bad fiscal models in the laissez faire democracies than with trade barriers. The Soviets, also trading with few - like the fascists - made great economic progress in the 30s.

kin-something also sez - There may be a dirty little truth hidden behind the massive US trade deficit with China -- the true cost to the US people of our Betters' fascination with stringent, job-destroying, "environmental" regulations.

Libertarians who want open borders and no trade restrictions are quick to point out their cherished bugaboos - lousy union workers with their lousy pay checks and health benefits stealing from the noble owners and CEOs that GAVE them work out of the kindness of their hearts; those goddarn environmental laws that block true capitalist miracles by saying you can't dump whatever you please into the air or water or ground!!

Such people ignore the fact that skilled labor is readily available for 1/10 the cost of American labor. That globalization seeks to exploit open markets built up over generations by well-paid middle class workers with cheap foreign labor to supplant them so higher profits can go to a small number in the Owner/Boss class. Their other pet labor theory is that Chinese will inevitably want better wages so things will equalize out like they did with Japan, conveniently ignoring the Chinese only have 60 million workers in the manufacturing export biz, with 300 million hoping to get such jobs. Add 2 billion other aspiring workers in India, Muslim countries, Africa - and you have a truly inexhaustible cheap labor supply.
********************
Buddy and others are correct. Our Ruling Elite once said the future stability of Latin America rested on them getting jobs and having healthy export to the USA and Europe. Then we abandoned Latin America and sent it into economic collapse when we found our enemy, the Chinese, were cheaper.

The result has been a hard turn to the Left and abandonment of the foolish American free trade, crony capitalism model. Warnings that the Left turn would be worse than working for a few rich overlords has not been born out by examples of Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Nicaragua seeking more leftist economic policies lifting all boats, not just a few.

And with considerable anti-Americanism over America ditching economic cooperation with the whole Western Hemisphere except Canada in favor of "Free Trade" and cheaper Chinese labor.

If we want to see Latin America stay in the "Western Camp" rather than move into the Chicom, Chavez, Cuban one - we have to rethink free trade and rebuild the trade and economic alliances down there Bush and his kind destroyed.

12/02/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cedarford said, "If we want to see Latin America stay in the "Western Camp" rather than move into the Chicom, Chavez, Cuban one - we have to rethink free trade and rebuild the trade and economic alliances down there Bush and his kind destroyed."

Staying in the Western Camp, with all the economic benefits that accrue, should be a seller's market rather than the buyer's market you paint it to be.

12/02/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Old Dad said...

Would we rather provide Mexican nationals with welfare here, or workfare there? Of course, it's not so simple, but I'll illustrate with one example.

Not long ago, my partners and I looked long and hard at a very specialized high tech manufacturing opportunity that required very skilled machining. Most American shops have gone relatively high tech. Partly because lots of the low tech work has gone offshore, but mainly because it was the best way to make money. Skilled operators and top tier equipment are expensive. Making money requires excellent productivity.

For the highest tech applications, there really was no alternative to American shops. Only America, for the most part, had the technology, workforce and cost structure to win economically. And even for some mid to low tech applications, American shops were competitive due to astounding productivity. For many low tech apps, though, Mexico and China were the best bet.

The most enterprising American shops had already set up Mexican subsidiaries and shipped out their old and low tech equipment. With training, Mexican machinists produced quality widgets at a fraction of the cost. The most demanding and profitable work remained in the states, although raw dollar volume was creeping up down south.

The owners saw this as a win-win. They were developing a low cost alternative to keep market share, providing jobs and making good money.

Pay them here or pay them there?

12/02/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jeez, C4--did you miss the 20th century somehow? Despite all the jobs whooshing south, other jobs are filling in here (low unempl & rising wages), and the consumer--the largest interest group of all, benefit mightily from the freedom of industry to reward low-cost producers.

And even the Latin left-turn is far more a politics game than an economic--witness the Venezuela vs USA standoff--we are still growing trade every year, and are by far Ven's largest trading partner.

I dislike the latin oligarchs as much as you do, but please, let's not gild the statist model for what it expressly has not done vz latin economic growth.

Granted the 'mixed' model is doing well with Brazil as the exemplar, but just as the relevant point about Greenism is that there are points of diminishing returns between "dumping waste in the rivers" and state control of industry, the 'mixed' economies are anything BUT populist (yes, Ven is trending, but Ven has that money tree).

12/02/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Saudi's worst nightmare
The Washington Times ^ | December 2, 2006 | Claude Salhani

12/02/2006 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Al-Sadr bloc talks of alliance with Sunnis, Christians
CNN ^ | November 30 2006

12/02/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Chessboard Endgame
Obsessed with Iraq, we've lost sight of the rest of the world.


BY GARRY KASPAROV
Wall St Journal Opinion Page
Saturday, December 2, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

12/02/2006 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

“Saddam's Iraq and Islamic Terrorism: What We Now Know”
Imprimis/Hillsdale College ^ | December 2006 | Stephen F. Hayes

12/02/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

WAy OT. We put on an open house Masquerade Ball last night for Belmont and Elephant guests some who will not go home. You have to read the btoom posts by Hu Dat and Buddy Larsen. It does not get better than than that.
We are not sure Wretchard appeared but you can never tell around here.

12/03/2006 05:11:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

bottom posts that is. sorry.

12/03/2006 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

tv news just announcewd that Chavez has just announced that "If the opposition contests the results of this election, I will call a referendum on ending presidential term limits".

Guess he's about got the compass boxed, doesn't he.

12/03/2006 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ride Chavez Ride!
watch it here!

12/03/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

LOL--that's no trick photography, either--

12/03/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Desert Rat wrote, "Ride Chavez Ride!"

Wow, I thought it was a Republican ad reminding voters of all the earmarks they'd gotten.

12/03/2006 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

No, silly--that would've been "Taco Dennis".

12/03/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"Ride Chavez Ride!"

Looks like he's lost a few pounds....

12/03/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Just a bit of Media Control...

Nothing to see here, move along, move along....

12/03/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

At least six people who identified themselves as members of the National Commission of Telecommunications (CONATEL), which regulates electronic media in Venezuela, arrived Sunday afternoon at the hotel from which Telemundo had been transmitting since Friday, said Iacub.

The officials said the network needed permission to transmit and lacking such could not, he said. Iacub said he was unaware of such a requirement but that the Telemundo journalists were accredited with Venezuela's national elections council.

Iacub said the Telemundo team asked how they could obtain permission and, after an hour, were told that they would not be able to transmit.


Certainly seems reasonable for a Nation State to control the media. Happens almost everywhere in the world. Why expect the US standard of liberty and freedom, elsewhere?

Other countries governments will not allow themselves to be undermined by selfselected spin miesters

12/03/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

You say that now, rat, but Telemundo is owned by NBC--you just wait 'til MATT LAUER hears about this!

12/03/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buddy Larsen said, "You say that now, rat, but Telemundo is owned by NBC--you just wait 'til MATT LAUER hears about this!"

I suppose Cedarford will soon weigh in with admiration for how Chavez shut down the "Billionaire Jewish Oligarch's throttlehold on the media in Venezuela" and all we need to do is send some brownshirts around to offices in the Upper West Side of New York.

12/03/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

DbB is on something ...i mean, onto something: NBC is owned by General Electric. General Electric is owned by tens of millions of shareholders worldwide. Think about it, what could be a more perfect cover for a CABAL? Probably led by a so-called "Board of Directors" fronted by a bootlicking "CEO".

12/03/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buddy Larsen said, "Think about it, what could be a more perfect cover for a CABAL? Probably led by a so-called 'Board of Directors' fronted by a bootlicking 'CEO'."

Secret Jewish banks exist in the cities of the US northeast. COUNTRY CLUB is the secret facility for the Elders of Zion in Maryland. MJ-12 is the group controlling 98.3% of the world's diamonds, which has been the secret conduit for wealth since the Dark Ages. POUNCE is the project to either silence or discredit all independent research into the activities of MJ-12. DELTA is the Mossad arm tasked with security for all these projects. Delta agents have infiltrated all major media outlets and most blogs in preparation for a one-thousand year period of total pacification of the Earth.

12/03/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Instap sees hopeful info in the Telemundo action.

The Corner flays AP alive. Good.

12/03/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

absolute proof of the existence of DELTA:

12/03/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

oops, here is the Venezuela link:

It links to Gateway, who seems to be calling it for Chavez.

12/03/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, hell. The mullahs, Putin, and the next US Congress, will all be swelled up bigger than ever now. The Peso took a dive last Friday--look for a swan dive tomorrow. The Dollar, too. Buy oil, buy gold.

12/03/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Oh, the bitter irony--Chavez has decided that the USA MSM model that has so well enabled his career from the USA, has no place in his own nation. link

12/03/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

desert rat said Certainly seems reasonable for a Nation State to control the media. Happens almost everywhere in the world. Why expect the US standard of liberty and freedom, elsewhere?

Telemundo does not broadcast from Venezuela. What they were telling Telemundo was that they could not transmit news out of Venezuela to their HQ for broadcast in the US.

12/04/2006 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Right, papa bear, the Venezuelan Government did not want any loose cannons messin' with their International Image, especially in the Spanish speaking world.

Not the US way, but perfectly reasonable. In a way Telemundo were spies, reporting to world.
Not in the Government of Venezuela best interest. They shut them down.

12/04/2006 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Of course Reuters was doing precisely the same thing, without interference. The only difference was, Reuters was reading the Chavez government's handouts.

12/04/2006 07:33:00 AM  

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