Well, Hugo Chávez narrowly lost at the polls in his attempt to run for re-election indefinitely. I must admit that I really wasn't surprised; it is my experience that people in Latin America don't really want politicians to be allowed to run indefinitely, no matter where they fall on the political spectrum. In Panamá the president is elected to a single, five-year term. A plebiscite was held in 1998 to allow re-election. I was visiting here for the first time, with the Panama Project. Some folks asked me what I thought about re-election. I said that I considered it a normal part of democracy. They told me that they believed that if someone was re-elected in Panamá there was a good chance that they'd never get the person out of office! Perhaps the same thinking was at work in Venezuela yesterday. I personally believe that the president of the U.S. should be elected to a single, six-year term, as they spend the majority of their first term working on getting re-elected, unless they are George W. Bush, who spent his first term lying the country into invading Iraq and also in destroying the checks and balances of the Constitution.
Chávez lost and accepted the outcome. He will probably try again at a later date, and that makes sense. However, I doubt if this will stop people in the U.S. from calling him a dictator. I don't consider him a dictator; he has always worked through the democratic processes and according to the rules of the constitution of Venezuela for any changes he has tried to make, unlike George W. Bush and his administration who simply do whatever they want and dare the chickens**t Congress and Supreme Court to stop him. And of course, the chickens**t Congress and Supreme Court give him what ever he wants. Also, dictators don't lose elections; they always work things out so that they win or suspend the election results. Chávez went on television last night and said, "I congratulate my adversaries for this victory. For now, we could not do it."
So will the pundits of the media in the U.S. stop calling Chávez a dictator? Probably not. The president thinks that the actual dictator of Pakistan believes in democracy, and since the majority of the wankers which make up the political talk shows in the U.S. receive their talking points from the White House, the likes of Musharraf and Putin will be Great Democrats and Chávez will be considered just another South American Dictator.
Photo: Reuters/Yuri Gripas
Another thing, I noticed that the neo-con nutcase who designed the U.S. occupation of Iraq and all its nastiness, the very same person whose corrupt practices on behalf of his girl friend forced his resignation as President of the World Bank, yes, the guy who spits on his comb, Paul Wolfowitz, has been offered the position of Chairman of the International Security Advisory Board of the State Department, by SoS Condoleezza Rice. The panel advices Rice on disarmament, nuclear proliferation, WMD issues and other matters, so I can't see any problem with this appointment . Since the last Chairman was Fred Thompson, whose presidential run is simply inspiring! I hope Wolfowitz doesn't start dating someone on the panel or the Security of the Nation will be at stake.
Christine Comer, former director of science in Texas
Photo: Erich Schlegel, NYT
Not too surprising, since it's happening in Texas, home of the pres'nit whose love of science is overwhelming, but the Director of Science of the Texas Education Agency has been dismissed because she had the nerve to support actual science instead of Creationism and Intelligent Design. Of course, this could have taken place in other Bastions of Scientific Thinking such as Kansas.
Eight men have
While the Anglican Communion is fighting over
Back in the days when the Pres'nit of the 'Nited Staytes was working everyone up into a froth to invade Iraq (which we now know was Tom Dashle's fault!), the (late) Bishop of Panamá, Clarence Hayes asked me, "What the heck is going on in your country? Have they all lost their minds?" What answer would you give Bishop Hayes?