End-Times Alert!: Hugo Chavez and Pat Robertson Kiss & Make Up!

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Paul Wilbert sends this heartwarming tale of reconciliation between South America's hottest tyrant and the American televangelist who rewrote the Gospels to allow for political murder:

Speaking on his weekly radio and television call-in program, 'Hello, Mr President', Hugo Chavez said these catastrophes were nature's answer to the 'world global capitalist model'.

"This model is destroying the world. The world is in danger. Never has there been such disasters, hurricanes, droughts, torrential rains. Incredible! The world is dangerously off balance," he said.

As you ponder the possibilities of a non-sitcom program titled "Hello, Mr. President," please note that Chavez's millenarianism is not so different from Robertson's:

Earlier on Sunday, US television evangelist Pat Robertson, who caused ripples weeks ago calling for Mr Chavez' assassination, said the natural disasters point to the end of the world and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

"These things are starting to hit with amazing regularity," Pat Robertson told CNN, remarking on the coincidence of the Sub-continent's earthquake and recent killer hurricanes slamming the United States.

More here.

Julian Sanchez assayed Hugo the Horrible here. I suggested that Pat "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's–but kill Chavez" Robertson is in fact a deep-cover operative of the Chavez regime here.

NEXT: Intelligent Design = Astrology?

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  1. Never has there been such disasters, hurricanes, droughts, torrential rains.

    Obviously the guy isn’t very familiar with the history of this planet. Same is true for Robertson. Of course no one will call these assholes on their bullshit when their predictions turn out to be false.

  2. Nick, are you using Firefox to post? Because I used to get this crap:

    too, and it was a Firefox glitch.

    If you are using Firefox, the answer is to delete all apostrophes and quotation marks and then re-type them (I can’t believe they haven’t fixed this yet).

  3. Preach on, brothah Hak!

  4. Next we’ll catch Ann Coulter making out with Michael Moore.

  5. Never has there been such disasters, hurricanes, droughts, torrential rains.

    All easily and scientifically explained by astrology.

  6. Hak,

    Naturally, Robertson’s solution for these end-times scenarios is faith in Jesus Christ as the one true savior, best expressed through donations to CBN and the 700 Club.

  7. Because, you see, Soviet coal didn’t release carbon.

  8. David,

    Ha ha ha. πŸ™‚

  9. I expect Chavez to whip out some quotes from Nostradamus following those remarks. πŸ™‚

  10. I blame the Crab People.

  11. thanks Nick – much better.

  12. TallDave,

    Curse you for that mental image! Curse you for eternity!

    OK, Chavez and Robertson can make out if they want. Hell, go all the way. But the guy playing “pitcher” better wash the santorum off his member before returning to his respective crowd of slack-jawed admirers.

    There, TallDave. Burn that picture into your brain!

  13. Hak,

    how’s this?

    Black stone burnt under scarlet banner
    leave no scar upon the mother
    The smiths followers with their lamps
    blacken the skies

  14. South America’s hottest tyrant

    Why is Chavez considered a tyrant? Wasn’t he elected fair and square not once but twice?

  15. Just because you’re elected fair and square doesn’t mean you aren’t a murderous, thieving cretin.

  16. “Tyrant” refers to the quality and type of leadership provided, not the legitimacy of that power.

    It would be wrong to call Chavez a “dictator,” but a case can be made that an elected chief executive is a tyrant.

  17. Just because you’re elected fair and square doesn’t mean you aren’t a murderous, thieving cretin.

    see: the united states. πŸ™‚

  18. joe,

    A tyrant is an individual who seizes power illegtimitely. At least what the clasical Greeks taught me. Whether Chavez is a tyrant depends on whether you view his elections as legitimate ones.

  19. Sounds more like “(Your humorous adjective here) minds thinking alike” than Pat and Hugo kissing and making up.

    The “Hello, Mr. President” show reminded my of the late and disappointingly unfunny “That’s My Bush.”

  20. see: the united states. πŸ™‚

    Gaius, there are times when I’d like to high-five you.

    A tyrant is an individual who seizes power illegtimitely. At least what the clasical Greeks taught me. Whether Chavez is a tyrant depends on whether you view his elections as legitimate ones.

    Seems to me that there’s nothing legitimate about winning an election by promising to give people stuff that you steal from others.

  21. Hakluyt:

    There is also what he has done after winning power legitimately that may bear on the tyrant/not-tyrant determination.

    Re: gibberish quotes:

    BTW, that’s a Windows bug, not a Firefox bug. Word and other apps use smart quotes that the rest of the universe can’t read, and Windows will even take regular smart quotes and turn them into its own weird codes that then get mangled in web applications. Using “dumb” or “straight” quotes is the only way to be sure things will be compatible.

  22. mediageek,

    Well, yes, what are truly legitimate means and/or rationales are an important consideration.

  23. I’ll just point out again that MIT mathematicians proved Chavez was NOT elected fairly.

    Mr. Hausmann and Mr. Rigoban “found very clear trails of fraud in the statistical record” and a probability of less than 1% that the anomalies observed could be pure chance. To put it another way, they think the chance is 99% that there was electoral fraud.

  24. TallDave,

    Well, they certainly demonstrated (if their math is correct) that it was highly likely that fraud took place.

  25. TallDave,

    Thanks. πŸ™‚

  26. According to dictionary.com, both definitions of tyrant are in use, one who seizes power illegitimately, and one who exercises power cruelly.

  27. fyodor,

    Apparently they are using the term as a synonym for a dictator as well. I perfer the classical definition since its less subjective.

  28. Seems to me that there’s nothing legitimate about winning an election by promising to give people stuff that you steal from others.

    That’s pretty much how all the elections in my lifetime were won.

  29. A dictator is an illegitimate ruler who’s still in power. A tyrant is a dictator who’s being overthrown, or you don’t agree with.

  30. Ahh, only at H & R will you find people parsing the difference between a dictator and a tyrant.

    Just because you’re elected fair and square doesn’t mean you aren’t a murderous, thieving cretin.

    Word.

  31. Never has there been such disasters, hurricanes, droughts, torrential rains.

    Some tyrant–this Chavez goof can’t even manage subject/verb agreement. Maybe it makes sense in Spanish…

  32. “Just because you’re elected fair and square doesn’t mean you aren’t a murderous, thieving cretin.”

    And yet, “democracy” is the answer to all the Middle East’s woes…

  33. I completely agree with R C Dean at 2:05 pm. Dictator, tyrant, whatever. Might as well have a debate over whether it’s better to die in a fascist dictator’s concentration camp or a communist dictator’s gulag.

    Oh, wait, we actually have that debate from time to time. OK, bad example.

    Well, how about this: Might as well start bringing up obscure points of legalese every time somebody denounces what was done to US citizens of Japanese descent in WWII.

    Oh, wait, we have that syntax debate as well.

    Anyhow, I’d say that any debate that’s ultimately resolved by a dictionary is not a debate worth having.

  34. Dictator is derived from Latin; Tyrant is derived from Greek.

    Other than that difference, there isn’t one. If my freedom was being squashed by a jackboot, it wouldn’t matter to me who cobbled it.

    On the other hand, I’ve often seen the phrase “benevolent dictator.” I’ve yet to see “benevolent tyrant.” Perhaps that’s another distinction.

    Semantics is a hoot!

  35. Good point, SPD. A dictator “could” be benevolent. In that sense, a dictator is a ruler with unilateral and unchecked power. A tyrant is what dictators become due to the facts of human nature.

    I guess maybe it wasn’t quite so semantical afterwards.

  36. SPD,

    A tyrant could be benevolent in theory, if by tyrant all one means is someone who took power “illegally.” There are some discussions along these lines in Plato’s Gorgias.

    thoreau,

    You really don’t know what you are talking about.

  37. The evolution of the word “dictator”, like “tyrant”, has gone from a somewhat positive (or at least pragmatic) connotation to one of negative connotation. Dictators were not uncommon throughout the Classical world; Athens, the birthplace of democracy, was ruled by one for a time.

    Now, Cincinnatus was a dictator in the Classical sense of the word, wherein the Roman Senate would appoint a citizen as a protector with increased yet still somewhat limited emergency powers. After six months or the resolution of the crisis, the dictator was expected to relinquish his power.

    Wait, why am I writing this? Where’s gaius marius?

  38. SPD-

    I guess the basic problem is that languages evolve over time. Hence there aren’t any Latin professors going around berating my Italian grandfather for the way he talks.

    Whatever tyrant once meant, nowadays it means despot. Nobody (that I’m aware of) uses the phrase “benevolent tyrant”. However, “benevolent dictator” still gets some usage. And people will frequently refer to a domineering manager as a “dictator”, but very rarely will they call that manager a “tyrant.” I infer from these observations that “dictator” is used to describe a style of governance, and “tyrant” describes the almost-inevitable outcome of that style when it is used to wield the powers of the state (as opposed to the powers of the Deputy Officer Manager).

  39. SPD,

    A dictator in the Roman world would have come to power legally; a tyrant in the Greek world would never have to power legally.

    thoreau,

    Or it means someone who takes power illegaly. You really don’t know what you are talking about.

  40. Getting back to the topic at hand, it’s clear that God just hates debauched carnival-style festivals like Key West’s Fantasy Fest and Southern Decadence.

  41. Deus ex Machina,

    Or, the more likely explanation is that those events are held in warm areas (who wants to have a bacchanalia in Minnesota in mid-winter?) that also happen to be locales are hit by hurricanes from to time. πŸ™‚

  42. Hence there aren’t any Latin professors going around berating my Italian grandfather for the way he talks.
    thoreau-
    Maybe not Latin professors, but i can think of certain individuals on this board, including one trying to pick a fight with you, who might chase your gramps around with a stick for not speaking latin.

  43. Chavez is just as legitimate and maybe more so than Bush. At least he treats his people better than our Republican tyrants.

  44. And yet, “democracy” is the answer to all the Middle East’s woes…

    And let’s not forget that Iran, the only Muslim country in the ME with remotely competitive elections, just elected an Islamic hard-liner.

  45. Herman,

    Denoune latine loquebar? πŸ™‚

  46. Deus ex Machina ,

    I’d say that Iraq’s elections are probably as competitive as Iran’s.

  47. thoreau,

    You’re just lucky you’ve never had a tyrant for a manager! πŸ™‚

    FWIW, I think the meanings of the words are overlapping, but ‘tyrant’ does usually imply a more extreme case and is usually more focused on use of power as opposed to the totality or illegitimacy of the power. I think a dictatorial manager would be one who exercised authority in a strict and insensitive manner without ever discussing decisions with his underlings. A tyrannical manager would be almost gratuitously mean, like those managers in third-world countries for international corporations whom anti-globalizationers claim won’t let their employees take bathroom breaks for hours on end and such.

  48. Why did friendofliberty change their handle to rationalvoice?

    Denoune latine loquebar? πŸ™‚
    I was wondering if you or the consul would respond to that first.

  49. Herman,

    Caligula si viveret, ad remum dareris. πŸ™‚

  50. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

    (Sorry, I couldn’t think of anything else.)

  51. SPD,

    Fan of Horace, eh?

  52. Thoreau-

    I think what you’re thinking of is connotation–the two words may mean the same thing, but tyrant has a slightly worse connotation than dictator.

  53. Caligula si viveret, ad remum dareris. πŸ™‚
    Hak-
    Entschuldigung mir, ich kein Latinesche sprechen. Ching ni yong de wen, ying wen hai yong zhongwen.
    Then I might understand.

    Might.

  54. Herman,

    Roughly it means this:

    If Caligula were alive, you’d be chained to an oar. πŸ™‚

  55. Jennifer-

    True, but looking at the usages that I encounter, the difference isn’t just one of degree. People will refer to a “benevolent dictator” from time to time. In that instance, the word “dictator” seems to be referring to methods rather than results. The person wields absolute power with consulting anybody else, but the results are benign. OTOH, “tyrant” is only used to refer to absolute rulers in a negative sense.

    So the difference seems to be that “dictator” is a neutral term, used simply to refer to a method of ruling. “Tyrant” refers to both the method and the outcome.

    Although, as I think of it, we often talk about “tyranny of the majority”. A majority, however oppressive and unchecked it might be, is hardly rule of one.

    Anyway, I know that these terms are defined in dictionaries, and that the dictionary definitions have changed over time. I prefer to infer meaning from common usage. It seems to me that “dictator” is mostly used to refer to a method of ruling, and “tyrant” mostly refers to the cruelty of the ruler.

  56. Chavez and Chirac met yesterday, BTW.

    I have one thing to say to Chirac:

    Fous le camps et morte!

  57. thoreau,

    Dictator is hardly a neutral term. It too brings with itself a very negative connotation, which is why one has to tack on qualifying words like “benevolent dictator” if using the term to mean something other than as a pejorative. Indeed, since “benevolent dictator” is often used in a mocking fashion, this undermines your point even further.

  58. I prefer to infer meaning from common usage.

    That is what the folks who write the dictionary are supposed to be doing! πŸ™‚

    Though they might include dated meanings as expressed in literature in addition to current usage.

  59. fyodor,

    That’s certainly why they update dictionaries regularly. But arguing that the term dictator is a neutral word in common parlance ignores reality.

  60. fyodor,

    That’s certainly why they update dictionaries regularly. But arguing that the term dictator is a neutral word in common parlance ignores reality.

  61. fyodor-

    Good point.

    Jennifer-

    To clarify my last post, when I used the term “neutral” I erred. I was trying to say that, despite the obvious connotations of the word “dictator”, it can be used to refer only to the manner of ruling and not the oppressive results. Whereas “tyrant” clearly indicates cruelty and oppression.

  62. thoreau,

    Or, alternatively, a ruler who got on top via illegal means.

  63. Fan of Horace, eh?

    or of wilfred owen, who exposed its true ironic meaning.

  64. Sorry for the erroneous post.

  65. gaius,

    There you are! Here I am, spouting off about Cincinnatus and the origins of dictatorship, and there you were standing in the corner laughing at my ignorance. Support, damn you, support!

    And yes, I was quoting from Owen. Sorry, Hakluyt, but my knowledge of any author predating Chaucer is pathetic to say the least.

  66. SPD,

    I’m nearly the reverse. πŸ™‚

  67. Support, damn you, support!

    you did very well, mr spd. why should i steal your triumph? πŸ™‚

  68. Hakluyt,

    If “tyrant” simply means one who came to power illegitimately, wouldn’t “tyranny” mean the rule of an illegitimate ruler?

    Also,

    IN every Stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every Act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

    Are the signers of the Declaration of Independence implying that King George came to power illegitimately?

  69. crimethink,

    That is one of the term’s definitions.

  70. At first I too thought thoreau was wrong about the neutrality of ‘dictator’, but thinking about it more (too much?), I began to feel a certain icy clinicalness to the word. Sure it’s generally recognized as a bad thing. In fact, I was going to joke that dictator could be a very good thing if the dictator is you, but then I realized that most dictators eschew the term and might have anyone under his dictates who called him that shot. Still, the word doesn’t carry much emotional weight. ‘Tyrant’ is a lot more emotionally vivid. That word seems to inherently threaten violence. I said before that a ‘tyrannical boss’ would be one that was gratuitously mean. I later thought the phrase might imply one who actually screamed and yelled or did something that made you feel downright afraid, even TERRORIZED. A dictatorial boss would piss you off over the injustice of his exercise of power, but you wouldn’t feel physically afraid or threatened. A dictator is intellectually bad, but a tyrant is viscerally bad!

    Howzat?

  71. fyodor,

    Dude, if you call a political leader a dictator that is an extremely negative means by which to describe that leader.

  72. fyodor,

    that dictator could be a very good thing if the dictator is you

    Everybody Wants To Rule The World…

  73. SPD,

    Well, classical literature describes such one-man rule as perilous to the individual in such a position. Who can one trust? I suppose a modern example is that of Stalin, who was so wary of his followers that he even locked his guards from his room while he slept (which is likely why the response to the medical meegency that ended his life was so slow).

  74. Hakluyt,

    Ironic, is it not?

  75. SPD,

    Stalin should have read more Plato and Plutarch as a child.

  76. I cannot take any dictator seriously since I watched Woody Allen’s movie Bananas.

    “From now on, all children under sixteen years of age are now… sixteen years of age!”

    Pinochet — dictator, or tyrant? Discuss.

  77. SPD,

    Well, you might take one seriously if you lived under one. πŸ™

    Your question should really be:

    Pinochet — dictator, tyrant or oligarch? Discuss.

  78. Hakluyt,

    You got me, and that’s correct. Pinochet was technically the head of a military junta… which, by the way, happens to be my favorite Phish album.

  79. SPD,

    Well, it was a classic cronyist regime. Corruption was rampant there, and its the main reason (tied in with the pension crisis, etc. of the 1980s) that Pinochet smart enough to leave office before there was an open revolt.

  80. I can’t say I take dictators seriously either, SPD.

    Pinochet– Floor wax or dessert topping? Discuss.

  81. Akira,

    “He’s a floor wax, I’m telling you!”

    “He’s a dessert topping, you cow!”

    Hey, hey, hey, calm down, you two! Pinochet is a floor wax and a dessert topping!

  82. SPD,

    I think he’s more like soy milk. πŸ™‚

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