Venezuela

Obama Renews Declaration that Venezuela is a National Security Threat

But it's more just a desperately poor nation suffering from socialist mismanagement and oppression.

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Venezuela's opposition to socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro this week has called on the Organization of American States to help them oust him, Time reports.

At the same time, President Obama is continuing to (bombastically) refer to that nation's economic and political troubles as a threat to U.S. national security, renewing a similar declaration made last year:

The Obama administration first issued the executive order against crisis-hit Venezuela in March of last year…

In renewing the order, the president mentioned the same list of abuses cited last year: persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations….

In renewing the measure, Obama reiterated that the situation in Venezuela constituted an "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States" and that he was declaring a "national emergency" to counter that threat….

The "national emergency" declaration is a tool U.S. presidents possess that allows them to impose sanctions on a country under certain circumstances and go beyond what Congress has approved.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week from Venezuela's agricultural sector, bedeviled by crime and bad government. Fausta's Blog has some meat from that if you are blocked by the WSJ paywall:

Agricultural production in Venezuela had already been hobbled by the socialist government's land confiscations and price controls, which often force farmers to sell at a loss. As domestic food production dropped, Venezuela turned increasingly to imports. But with oil prices plunging, the country now has fewer petrodollars to purchase food abroad.

The problem is compounded by Byzantine currency controls that make it more difficult for private companies to access the dollars needed to import food. And many products that are produced here are smuggled to neighboring Colombia to be sold for big profits. The resulting scarcity has helped fuel the world's highest inflation and produced long lines at supermarkets as people clamor for milk, meat, pasta and other staples.

Maduro intends to try to turn the army, still faithful to him, into a giant militarized bunch of farmers to try to turn things around on the food front.

Bloomberg Business notes, in a story based on an interview with opposition governor Henri Falcon, that Maduro is just doubling down on bad management and tyranny:

Maduro has barely acknowledged his electoral defeat [in Congress] in December, ceding little ground to the opposition. He's sidestepped congress' decisions through the courts and vowed to block its central initiatives, such as giving deeds to public housing residents and granting amnesty to dozens of jailed politicians and activists….

Temir Porras, who was a top aide to Maduro till 2013, said the government finds itself with few answers. "The problem of Chavismo is ideological: How do I face a situation like this without employing socially regressive policies?" he said in an interview….

In other words, socialism is a horrible failure; we are socialists, though, and just can't back down since any move that might actually get the economy working would be seen as "socially regressive."

The bizarre attitudes is rooted in what Foreign Policy this week identified as a politico-cultural possession by the spirit of dead autocrat Hugo Chavez:

….just over three years into his political afterlife, the ghost of Hugo Chávez is as inescapable as el Comandantehimself was in life. To his remaining supporters, he goes by many names: "the Giant," "the Eternal One," "Redeemer of the Poor," and even "Galactic Commander." ….

Images of the late president, or sometimes of his signature or his disembodied eyes, are ubiquitous in Caracas, Venezuela's capital. And he's not always alone. In colorful murals he can often be found hanging out with a veritable A-list of revolutionaries, including Che Guevara, Karl Marx, Simon Bolívar, and Jesus Christ…

This quasi-religious veneration of Chávez by his comrades is not known for its subtlety. In 2014, the government pushed an "Our Chávez" reboot of the Catholic "Our Father" prayer, which included supplications to "lead us not into the temptation of capitalism and deliver us from the oligarchy," thereby reaching new heights of pathos.

Various local religions, they report, indeed are already quasi-deifying Chavez. And why not? When his policies have lead to:

 a nation of thirty million scavengers, desperately seeking rare food and medicines, and increasingly without electricity or running water. As a result, Maduro's government is increasingly reliant on the Chávez legacy as a justification for remaining at the helm. And, like any pre-industrial regime worth its salt, it knows that when the peasants are restless, a little medieval pageantry can perhaps set them right. Despite the country's collapsed economy, festivities are in the works to commemorate March 5, the official day of his passing.

In other political turmoil from Venezuela:

• Maduro's government is unsurprisingly launching an investigation into possible charges against opposition leader Henrique Capriles (who is leading a referendum campaign to oust Maduro) over alleged financial irregularities from his past post as governor of the Venezuelan state of Miranda.

• Students are in the streets protesting a Supreme Court decision that, according to the BBC, "curtailed the power of the opposition-controlled National Assembly to review government appointments of Supreme Court justices."

• The nation is still managing to make its debt payments, though no one expects it to be able to keep that up for the rest of the year.

• Venezuela's central bank is trying to sue, in U.S. District Court in Delaware, a website that publishes black market bolivar-dollar exchange rates, accusing it of being responsible for cyber-terrorism and destroying the bank's reputation (as it continues to "manage" ruinous inflation) and in fact being responsible for the inflation it tries to honestly chronicle.

In summation, as I wrote back in January, "Venezuelan socialism still a complete disaster."

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  1. Broken clock, blind squirrel, etc.

  2. Maduro intends to try to turn the army, still faithful to him, into a giant militarized bunch of farmers to try to turn things around on the food front.

    Just wondering if his final thoughts before the rope breaks his neck will be “seemed like a good idea at the time”.

    1. I always predicted Maduro was more likely to get beaten to death by an angry mob while the army just kind of stood around, watching.

    2. Swords into ploughshares.

    3. “Maduro intends to try to turn the army, still faithful to him, into a giant militarized bunch of farmers to try to turn things around on the food front.”

      Funny, Pol Pot had that same idea.

    4. When did socialism and farming ever go wrong?

    5. Government For Dummies, Chapter 1:
      “Don’t piss off your praetorians!”

  3. “Ladies and gentlemen, the next president of these United States, Bernie Sanders!”

    *crowd cheers*

    1. I’d suggest Bernie needs to take a field trip to Venezuela, but I’m sure he’s convinced his socialism is different from their socialism.

  4. How is any of that a “threat to US national security”? Are the Venezuelans going to invade us? Do they have nukes?
    This is nothing but more illegal actions by the administration.
    Also, notice what the students in Venezuela are protesting, and compare that with our precious snowflake SJWs.

    1. There’s a Venezuelan under your bed right now, be scared!

      1. You Won’t Believe What We Found Living In This Man’s Attic!!!!

        1. RBS == RobBy Soave?

    2. Sounds similar to what the CIA was spouting that led to the overthrow of the Allende government.

      1. Given the net effect of the Pinochet government was to the great benefit of Chile, is that supposed to be a bad thing?

        The greatest tragedy in Venezuelan history is that the coup leaders in 2002 didn’t just shoot Chavez dead, precluding any chance of his return to power.

        1. That has to be the one, the *one* time we didn’t screw this sort of thing up so badly you’d think it was a Cohen Bros movie.

    3. Their commitment to being anti-capitalist, makes them buddies with Iran, as well as several terrorist groups like Hezbollah, FARC, and Basque separatists. So while they’re not directly supporting terrorism in most cases, they’re quite happy to take terrorists’ money.

      1. Ok, so we don’t like them, and they don’t like us. Explain how they are a threat to our security? And if you say THE TERRORISM, I will consider that an inadequate answer, partly because sanctions make them more likely to trade with the Bad Guys, not less.

        1. Because Venezuela is making Socialism look bad.

          1. Dammit, I need to read down a bit more next time.

          2. Tom gets the prize.

        2. To us in the U.S., they’re no real threat. If you live in Columbia, then Venezuela is backing the Communists trying to violently overthrow the government.

          It turns out that governments have alliances. And we have them with countries like Israel, Spain, and Columbia. If you go around violating international norms, then bad things happen, especially in trade. There’s a reason German banks don’t handle AQ’s money.

        3. There are no TRADE sanctions against Venezuela. Only TRAVEL sanctions against seven whole people in Venezuela.

      2. Confused :: supporting terrorism by GIVING terrorists money I understand. But TAKING money from terrorists is supporting terrorism?

        1. Yes, actually if you make money from money laundering, drug trafficking, arms selling, and being a safe haven for terrorist groups that target U.S. allies, like Spain, Israel and Columbia. It turns out the U.S. government tends to frown on such behavior, even when it is not a direct threat to the U.S.

          The Venezuelan government has been pretty friendly with their co-travelers in FARC.

          For those of you unfamiliar with South American politics, FARC is a communist guerrilla group of commie rebels in Columbia trying to violently overthrow the Columbian government and make it more like Venezuela. FARC make most of their money from selling drugs, extortion, and kidnapping. They are not very nice people. And the Venezuelan government under the Chavistas has been helping them. Here’s a BBC article to help explain it. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-…..a-13343810

          1. Doesn’t matter. They are a threat to US interests, not US security. Venezuela poses zero threat to myself, or to any other US citizen. The government has gotten into the habit of declaring anyone who disagrees with them “a threat to US security.” Another manifestation of this instinct is the recent arrests concerning the Bundy ranch standoff.
            How difficult is it for people to grasp that a government who considers their foreign foes a threat so awesome that the normal rules don’t apply, will them evolve into a government that feels the same about its domestic critics?

            1. They are a threat to US interests, not US security.

              This.

            2. That’s boilerplate language used to justify the TRAVEL sanctions against seven whole people in Venezuela. Also, the President’s family is smuggling cocaine into the USA.

      3. Then surely Mr. Pen and Phone can go to Congress and the American people and make his case, if the threat is that dire.

    4. Exactly. This is a nation that can’t even wipe its collective ass with real toilet paper. Their military is more designed to supress internal uprisings than foment aggression, and we’re the only country that will refine its shitty high-sulfur oil.

      As long as the Saudis keep throttling down the price of oil, they’re actually harming Venezuela more than Maduro could ever harm anyone else.

    5. How is any of that a “threat to US national security”? Are the Venezuelans going to invade us? Do they have nukes?

      I’ve noted before Venezuela is ripe for turning into a client state in exchange for a bailout from the likes of the Chinese. From a libertarian perspective, who cares? But from geopolitical perspective, it would give China strategic platform in this hemisphere projecting power essentially into an American lake. That does count for something ‘national security’ wise.

      So, we’ve analyzed their attack and there is a danger. Should I have your shuttle standing by?

      1. Why would China want to control an “American” lake?

        And how would that be a threat to us?

        Let me guess — they are going to position a fleet 10,000 miles from home and resupply it and somehow keep crews happy on six month deployments. All so they can somehow make people like you piss your pants.

        Gosh that logistics is sure a tricky thing.

        I say if they want to waste money like that, more power to them. Hell, let them spend a week in New Orleans and spend money on liberty and corn dogs. Heck yes, we’ll help all they want, and let them waste their money as fast as possible.

        1. China has been building alliances all over the world in order to secure access to natural resources. Resources like the oil that Venezuela is mismanaging.

          Yes, I’m sure China would be happy to have Venezuela as a client state. There’s a lot of money to be made off of managing those oil fields, not to mention the other development opportunities on the South American continent. This is not the isolationist China of your youth.

          1. Who cares if China manages Venezuela’s oil or any other resources? All they want to do is sell them — which is what everybody wants to do, and the price would remain the same. They aren’t going to hoard them, or dump them in the ocean.

            This sounds like Iraq all over again — they invade Kuwait, we beat them back as if we’re saving oil from mad man Saddam, when all he wants to do is sell their oil, and our real excuse is so Bush can pay back debts owed to the Saudis, who are far more despicable than Saddam ever was.

            It makes no difference who sells Venezuela’s oil or any other world commodity — the price won’t change, and they would probably produce more and more efficiently without the ridiculous ideology getting in the way.

            It’s just another excuse to build up a military which is far in excess of the requirements for defense, another excuse for an over-powerful government running rampant around the world.

          2. If the Chinese ran the oil fields better than the current regime, that seems like a net benefit to the world.

      2. Cuba would be a lot, lot cheaper to do that with, and there are all the old Soviet bases there already that aren’t doing much.

      3. Could we convince the Chinese to make the USA their client state?

  5. But Venezuela is the role model for Obama’s favored model of government. Is he mad cause his comrades are embarrassing him with all those inevitable unintended consequences of socialism?

    1. It is bizarre that obobo the el presidente’ wannabe would call any attention to the absurdity that is prevailing in Venezuela.

  6. Speaking of socialism:

    Hillary Rodham Clinton is a liberal Democrat on domestic matters, and Bernie Sanders is a socialist. They voted the same way 93 percent of the time in the two years they shared in the Senate.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05……html?_r=2

    1. No, I mean Bernie is a real life commie. Hillary is a crook. There’s a slight difference, as one of them has good intentions to begin with.

      1. Id rather have the crook

        1. I was just telling someone that tonight. Hillary is so venal she’ll spend a lot of time trying to line her pockets and get adulation. Sanders is a true believer – way more scary.

          1. My hope is that Hillary keeps the machinery of government humming along and is able to deflect blame for Obama’s failed policies back on to Obama himself. I could care less what she does or how she conducts herself in DC – I’m not going to go there – I just genuinely worry about a Sanders or Trump that would come in intent on breaking something that generally works. Somebody like Rubio could do the same on the Republican side but would still end up taking the fall for Obama’s missteps.

            1. Uh, thom, Obama doesn’t have failed policies. He inherited a bad situation from Bush. The bus was in the ditch, remember?

              1. …And the bus stayed there ever since because the American people failed our president.

                I think I have that right, but it is difficult to translate from the original progtard.

          2. Totally agree. Always pick the power hungry psychopath over the ideologue. The power hungry psychopath needs a healthy flock off which to feed, while the ideologue needs to feed a vision, even if it means sacrificing the flock.

      2. Well, the crook only intends to steal from you and otherwise leave you alone.

        The socialist intends, right from the beginning, to enslave you, steal everything you own – all for your own good of course.

        So, neither has good intentions.

        1. Bernie’s brand of socialism does not involve stealing everything you own. He has no intention for the government to take over businesses. He has made it quite clear that you will continue to own your business.
          He just wants the government to operate your business according to fair and equitable regulations benefiting your workers and customers.
          That way, when your business goes belly-up, it will be your fault, not his.

    2. This is from her tax plan:

      Another proposal would limit contributions to tax-favored retirement accounts, including traditional and Roth IRAs, defined benefit plans, and to defined contribution plans such as 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) accounts. Currently, limitations apply to annual contributions and benefits for each plan an individual holds. However, an individual with multiple retirement accounts may accumulate very large balances within those accounts.7 The proposal would prohibit account holders from making additional contributions to any account once the sum of all account balances reaches a level adequate to finance the maximum annuity currently permitted for defined benefit plans. The account balance limit for an individual age 62 in 2015 would have been approximately $3.4 million under this rule.

      1. an individual with multiple retirement accounts may accumulate very large balances within those accounts.

        The horror. The horror.

        1. You didn’t earn that.

  7. Maduro intends to try to turn the army, still faithful to him, into a giant militarized bunch of farmers to try to turn things around on the food front.

    How do you say Great Leap Forward in Spanish? Looks like Venezuela is feeling the Bern!

    1. How do you say Great Leap Forward in Spanish?

      See wall there? Estados Unidos on other side, climb over!

  8. Meanwhile, observers from other nations noted that the persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence, and human rights violations continued apace in the United States under President Obama’s two terms.

    1. The leftoids used to tell us how great it was in Venezuela (LOL), didn’t some Hollywood idiot like Sean Penn go down there and chum it up Chavez? It is bizarre to see comrade obobo even mentioning the UTTERLY FAILED SOCIALIST COUNTRY THAT IS VENEZUELA, usual leftoid doctrine would be to send it down the memory hole and prepare talking points in case anyone starts asking questions.

  9. Snowden tweet: The race is now between Trump and Goldman Sacs.

  10. Talk about strawmen….

  11. “? Students are in the streets protesting a Supreme Court decision that, according to the BBC, “curtailed the power of the opposition-controlled National Assembly to review government appointments of Supreme Court justices.””

    So Venezuelan students are protesting the exact sort of thing that the Democrats want to happen with Obama’s Scalia nomination?

    Who knew Venezuelan university students were such right-wing Rethuglikkkan perverters of the constitution?

  12. Despite the country’s collapsed economy, festivities are in the works to commemorate March 5, the official day of his passing.

    It will be kinda like Halloween. Lots of fake headstones set up on front lawns, lots of drunk, angry people pissing on them.

  13. I think the threat to the administration is that anyone examining Venezuela might come to question the inherent goodness of The State, and might even (horror) turn to the idea of free markets.

    1. Obama: Fucken clowns are making us progressives who believe in socialism-ish look like idiots!

      1. +1 Lead us not into temptations of capitalism

        LOL

  14. “Redeemer of the Poor,”

    Uh…doesn’t this title kind of imply that the poor sucked ass before Chavez came along and made them less terrible?

    Don’t think that’s what they were going for.

    1. No, it means someone else owned them and he bought them.

      1. No, it means he returned them and got his deposit back.

  15. Maduro intends to try to turn the army, still faithful to him, into a giant militarized bunch of farmers to try to turn things around on the food front

    So it’ll be a farmy then?

    1. The guy was a fucking bus driver, and not a very smart one at that.

      1. “Baby, you’re the greatest!”

    2. *puts on John Deere hat and narrows gaze*

  16. So a the president of a socialist nation became a dictator….color me shocked

  17. Sounds like Donny Butt Trumpette is getting under Bozo the Dictator’s thin skin…

    1. But bringing attention to Venezuela can’t be good for OH? Bummer.

      1. El shit-show in Venezuela is not socialism’s fault, it is the evil capitalists driving down the price of oil – in order to kill off the green energy movement in its cradle. The Kochtopuss has many tentacles working at once.

        1. And somehow Venezuela is the only oil producing country on the planet to be suffering with 800% hyperinflation and starvation. Maybe socialists are just unlucky?

  18. It’s Friday evening and we should be talking drinking dammit. This is what I’m just finishing. Damn awesome stuff.

    1. Haven’t started yet, but when I do it will probably be this.

      1. Nice choice, having finished with the beer for the evening I may hit a wee drop of Tullamore Dew.

        1. An equally excellent decision.

  19. OT: Sometimes I get bored listening to my own playlist so I listen to online radio. The ads are all from the Ad Council this or that. It’s brush your teeth, clean the mold out from your house, being a teacher is great etc.
    That crap is all state funded, right? My question is what constitutional right does the state invoke to use such blatant brainwashing? Is it the general welfare clause?

    1. Oh, I think you know the answer…

      1. Does it begin with F and end with Y?

        1. Fuck You, Hitler Is Why?

    2. The Ad Council is a non-profit that makes PSAs. Stations use them perhaps out of some sense of civic duty, but I think mostly to fill unsold ad slots.

      1. Isn’t there a law that x percentage of air time be used for the public good, or some such? So, the government is forcing stations to “donate” air time for public service ads, and look! here’s a whole bunch developed by this non-profit, which just happens to support big government statist bullshit.

        1. This^. Non profit, but that seems to be a distinction without a difference.

          1. From what I can tell, there is no longer a strict rule about time. It’s a less-regulated “demonstrate a commitment to serving your community when you renew your broadcast license” thing, which stations do by running PSAs. However, an internet-only station has no such licensing.

      2. Here in NYC, those slots (plus any slot that used to go to some outfit that the state has presumably banned, like “DealDash”) without exception go to this scammy outfit. It is the most obnoxious commercial ever made and it airs dozens of times a day.

        1. Whoever wrote that jingle they use is the worst person ever.

          1. I would gladly hold them down while STEVE SMITH has his way with them.

    3. I listen to a new station that does the same thing when I’m in western CO. I’m trying to figure out how the station stays in business if they have no ad revenue.

      1. Damn it! *news* station

      2. It’s wild. I’m listening from outside the US so I thought maybe it was different domestically.

      3. I’m trying to figure out how the station stays in business if they have no ad revenue.

        I could see airtime PSA rules written by FCC saying a company must devote x amount of total airtime to PSA crap; so company that owns many radio stations invents loophole of single radio station in middle of nowhere that does nothing but beam PSA crap to make their FCC quota. Sort of like GM selling J-bodies at a loss back in the day to make their CAFE numbers – a tax shelter of sorts, but for regulations.

      4. I think that in some cases, real companies will sometimes pay for these kinds of ads. It might be a charity thing for tax purposes. I’m not sure.

        I do remember years ago seeing some of those Partnership For A Drug-Free America ads on TV, and down at the bottom in fine print, they said ‘Ad-time paid by Proctor & Gamble’.

  20. One of the many, many examples of a city having a performing arts center across the street from the jail is that link text“protesters angry at jailhouse abuses can easily inconvenience arts patrons. This not only helps improve prison conditions, but it raises the consciousness of wealthy theatergoers and presumably turns them into reliable allies of the protesters.

    1. One of the many, many *advantages*

      1. C’mon Eddie – you must be drinking too!

    2. but it raises the consciousness of wealthy theatergoers and presumably turns them into reliable allies of the protesters.

      Didn’t Tom Wolfe write a book about this?

  21. Clearly there’s only one solution: socialism harder!

  22. OK, let’s try this again:

    One of the many, many advantages of a city having a performing arts center across the street from the jail is that link text”protesters angry at jailhouse abuses can easily inconvenience arts patrons. This not only helps improve prison conditions, but it raises the consciousness of wealthy theatergoers and presumably turns them into reliable allies of the protesters.

    1. “Today we celebrate Idaho Day with the theme ‘Idaho Heroes, Past and Present.’

      “It is remarkable to observe that the creation of Idaho began with our most famous and beloved president, Abraham Lincoln…”

    2. I believe putting all the criminals near all the wealthy theatergoers is a sinister plot to force the creation of Batman.

  23. Come on peeps, don’t be so glum. It will work this time. All we need are the correct Top. Men.

    Sumthin…sumthin…Einstein…insanity…

    1. Perhaps you are thinking more of this?

  24. Venezuela just needs more of the nice socialism and less of the bad kind. Maybe we could ship Bernie over there to set them straight.

    1. You can only have the nice socialism if you previously have a good long run of free markets. That way your society has a lot of wealth to loot and doesn’t run out of food, shelter, and clothing for years. You never need to start the violence against the ‘class enemies’ until you have taxed away all their money.

    2. To many it’s an immutable fact that voting for everyone to have money and be successful will work. Scarcity wouldn’t exist if we voted against it. But since they have scarcity it has to be because a bad guy prevented the people from prosperity. Or they’re being sabotaged by capitalists and hoarders.

      But Sanders has good intentions so we don’t have to worry about those sorts of results here.

    3. Chavez apologists have always said that the reason Venezuelan socialism is a failure is because the United States is intentionally sabotaging it. Obama’s renewed declaration probably only affirms this belief.

  25. OT notice to San Francisco area readers: I am gathering emails for a planned SF meetup. Email my handle @gmail.com if interested.

    1. There are no libertarians in SF – at least none that would show their faces in daylight.

    2. Let’s do it. The place you mentioned looks good.

  26. ” Temir Porras, who was a top aide to Maduro till 2013, said the government finds itself with few answers. “The problem of Chavismo is ideological: How do I face a situation like this without employing socially regressive policies?” he said in an interview….

    In other words, socialism is a horrible failure; we are socialists, though, and just can’t back down since any move that might actually get the economy working would be seen as “socially regressive.”

    Socialists are deranged and retarded.

    This is what I see whenever I hear them speak:

    http://bit.ly/1TxoXRp

    1. Satanists my ass. That is some jerk mad at the church, probably a former member, or a lunatic trolling everyone. I knew a guy like that in high school. He admitted to me some years after the fact that he had done the exact same thing and I remember it causing quite a stir. He wasn’t a Satanist, just a drug addled shithead.

      1. Just yanking your chain, sorry about that.

    2. How is the Cross of Peter satanic?

    1. You know who else fretted over their testicle count being less than two?

      1. Probably someone from PantheaCon – see below.

      2. The star of ‘Ow! My Balls!’?

    2. I don’t know who that is but I’m not clicking on it.

      1. NBA player got racked hard in the nuts, quite serious. But the link is nothing to be afraid of.

  27. “February’s 22nd annual PantheaCon, a pan-pagan gathering in Northern California, drew an estimated 3,000 Witches, Druids, Heathens, healers, historians, high priestesses, reconstructionists, magicians, and members of other far-flung, earth-based traditions….

    “The theme of PantheaCon 2016 was “Making Changes,”…

    “A few years ago, gender justice came to the forefront when a ritual held by a pagan elder excluded women who were not “born women.” This year’s con offered attendees lots of opportunities to honor gender’s own pantheon, including badge ribbons indicating preferred pronouns. One older woman asked the information desk why someone who looked like a man would bother wearing a ribbon that said “He/Him.” “That’s not very exciting,” she said. “Most people aren’t telling you their gender because it’s interesting,” the volunteer replied. “It’s because they’d rather talk about other things.”

    “Social justice themes were woven through the programming, not just on panels like “Radical Inclusivity” but in magical workings focused on anti-racism. Black Lives Matter activists facilitated powerful healing rituals….”

    1. #WhiteNerdsMatterToo

      1. “These are all my healing tools,” he says.

        Among them are a clear plastic bag stuffed with white latex gloves and a bottle of lubricant. He will use them later in one of his “trauma healing” sessions.

        Dude. Either get a better shrink. Or you have the best shrink ever.

      2. Its amazing – you can eat real life human flesh and blood in a bog-standard Catholic ritual that has been accepted for centuries and that’s fine, but *one* HJ and all of a sudden its ‘prostitution’!

        1. There’s gratitude for you.

          When the state legislature proposed to strengthen the Arizona Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Arizona Catholic Conference said: “The threats to religious liberty have become very real in recent years and are increasing,”…”Due to these threats, it is important that Arizona’s RFRA statute be clarified to make sure that the religious liberty of individuals and businesses remain protected.”

          But governor Brewer vetoed the bill at the urging of the LGBLTs and the Republican squishes. In fact as I’ve pointed out in other threads, Reason also denounced the bill.

          A stronger RFRA would not have guaranteed that the sex priestess won her case, but it would probably have increased her chances. And the Catholic Conference was for strengthening the bill.

          Is pissing on your allies a kink that gets people off?

        2. somebody needs to google Transubstantiation.

          1. Is it you dude?

            Transubstantiation (in Latin, transsubstantiatio, in Greek ??????????? metousiosis) is, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the change of substance by which the bread and the wine offered in the sacrifice of the sacrament of the Eucharist during the Mass, become, in reality, the physical Body and Blood of Jesus the Christ.

            Its you, isn’t it?

      3. Is this guy from Mars?

    2. I have no idea what any of that means. One thing you can count on is that with social marxism there is no peak derp. The bizarro just keeps going and going and going…

  28. The New York Times impartially reports:

    “Delmer Berg, the last known living veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, which vainly fought against Fascism’s advance into Spain in the late 1930s, died on Sunday at his home in Columbia, Calif. He was 100.”

  29. The threat is that voters might notice that socialism has failed again.

  30. Hey, Quincy, regarding your question “You know who else fretted over their testicle count being less than two?”

    Here’s your answer.

    “VIDEO: The Transgender Man Who Fought in the Civil War: The Amazing Life and Tragic End of Albert Cashier…

    “…in 1910, while working as a handyman in Saunemin, Illinois, Cashier had [her] identity exposed when [s]he had to go to the hospital with a shattered leg.”

    (AUTOPLAY)

    1. Better man than me.

    2. Did she support herself by having men put money in her drawers?

  31. Amid the political struggle, Venezuela is in the throws of a major economic crisis, fueled by failing oil prices and expensive social policies. The oil-rich nation’s economy shrunk 5.7% last year.

    /throes copy of Strank and White at Time magazine copy editor

    1. Blaming falling oil prices for Venezuela’s troubles? Yeah, it’s not the life crushing system they have that left oil as the only source of revenue, it’s the greedy world not paying moar for a plentiful commodity.

    2. I don’t think they’re allowed to edit stories anymore; it’s too microaggressive.

      1. +1 red pencil

  32. “Obama Renews Declaration that Venezuela is a National Security Threat”

    Obama who?

    I’m sure I’ve heard that name before. I just don’t remember where.

    Is he one of those guys that’s running against Trump?

    1. Trump?

      1. I think he means Drumpf.

      2. If he becomes President I hope the Social Security Administration moves towards issuing Trump Cards.

  33. In renewing the order, the president mentioned the same list of abuses cited last year: persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations….

    In renewing the measure, Obama reiterated that the situation in Venezuela constituted an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” and that he was declaring a “national emergency” to counter that threat….

    So – I’m not seeing the connection between Venzuela’s *internal* strife and any significant US *National Security* issue.

    Because Venezuela is collapsing, and it may end up a ‘terrorist threat’ to its neighbors (as a failed state) – but that’s *their* national security threat.

    Otherwise it sounds like he’s saying a collapsing communist country is a threat to the US because its . . . in the Western Hemisphere? Even though its on another continent? I don’t get the connection. Is he expecting Venezuela jihadis to come running north to bomb us?

    Or is this just another excuse to meddle and recreate the glorious ’80’s – death squads and all? I mean SA was a pretty dangerous place while we ‘fought’ the communists there. And then it all cleared up (well, mostly) when we stopped trying to fuck the hornet’s nest. Except for the parts where we still meddle heavily due to the drug war.

    1. It’s a threat to Obama because it’s failure highlights the incompetence of central planning.

    2. Is he expecting Venezuela jihadis to come running north to bomb us?

      They hate us for our toilet paper.

    3. Their government sees a connection. Mostly they just say a lot of over the top rhetoric about how the U.S. Is the cause of all their problems because something, but they’ve got a few more resources and a more violent record than the average idiot who says that so that may have manifested into some intelligence. Or he may believe it has anyway.

      The article talks about sanctions, and IMO appears to want to intentionally mislead.

      “Individuals designated or identified for the imposition of sanctions under this E.O., including the seven individuals that have been listed today in the Annex of this E.O., will have their property and interests in property in the United States blocked or frozen, and U.S. persons are prohibited from doing business with them. The E.O. also suspends the entry into the United States of individuals meeting the criteria for economic sanctions.”

      For the most part I’m not losing sleep over a handful of socialist authoritarians being denied entry into and business with the U.S. Obviously there should be some transparent process before any individual is sanctioned, but in principle I don’t feel that everyone is owed access to the country.

      1. The quote is from the Obama policy on the sanctions last year. It’s all I can find, so as far as I can tell the extent of the sanctions and reason for declaring it a national security threat was for declaring the U.S. won’t do business with those people or let them come to the U.S.

        1. If the extent of the sanction is SEVEN PEOPLE – then Venezuela is not a national security threat and all this is bogus rhetoric designed to fuck with a handful of people to curry favor with a different handful and Obama should be ashamed of being part of it.

    4. Because Venezuela is hostile to the dollar as reserve currency – and they are still alive. So they are a threat to the one industry that will always be protected at all costs. The whole point of the sanctions is to ensure that Venezuela can’t use dollars as a reserve currency. Obama has his post-Presidential future to think about and the price for getting cushy non-jobs with some Wall St entity is to keep Venezuela throttled rather than just let them die quietly. Messages have to be sent.

      1. ^THIS.

        Wall Street wants a regime in Venezuela that can will repay at least some of its debts. Obama’s number one objective with respect to Venezuela is to facilitate this objective. Everything else is secondary.

      2. And yet for some reason, Venezuela accepts ONLY dollars for every single barrel of oil they sell. Why do you think that is?

    5. I think it has something to do refusing to allow a socialist state to fail.

  34. We should evacuate all of their women just in case.

      1. I saw a friend of mine that I had not seen for a while last week. He just broke up with a Columbian hottie. She came to his house to ‘get her stuff’ and simply ransacked his house while she screamed and cursed. He videoed the whole sordid event. At one point she smashes all of his plates on the floor, grabs a butcher knife and chases him around the house trying to stab him.

        I will pass, thank you.

    1. Does it matter? Both were strong leaders who endeavored to make their countries strong and respected.

      1. Yeah, I get you’re joking, but I just read the article, and I feel physically sick.

    2. “We know now that the Germans killed more people than the Soviets did.”

      Problem is Nazism isn’t killing people today and, I don’t see it coming back, whereas the specter of a new strain of Stalinism rising seems more likely as the free shit advocates get angrier and angrier. IOW, too early to tally Stalin’s death count.

      1. I think the difference between the two ideologies is not that far.

        1. Actually, that was a dumb thing to say. I take it back. The Nazis killed out of a sort of hyper nationalism and feelings of racial superiority, whereas the Soviets killed because of class hatred and ideas of fairness. But, to any one of those hundreds of millions killed by ideology, it is a distinction without a difference: Whether you were killed by the Nazis or by the Commies, you’re dead.

          1. The commonality is “Big Ass Central Government”. If you want to get mass murdery, you need the apparatus in place.

        2. National socialism (Nazism) and international socialism (Marxism/Leninism) are both socialism.

    3. Not sure I believe those numbers. I think they are underestimating Stalin. Who also, by the way, deserves some of the blame for Hitler, for helping Germany rearm and for starting WWII together.

      1. +1 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

  35. “persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations”

    If govt’s had a resume, this would be at the top of the list. It’s sad, but you have to laugh at the administration, because it uses these exact same tactics. It’s the same as these morons complaining when China manipulates it’s currency, while engaging in currency debauchery over here, and supporting even more of it to boot.

  36. It’s so ironic to have the Obama admin. condemning a country essentially for being socialist, but then making that country bizarrely out to be a threat to the security of the USA or other countries! Like even when they’re right, it’s only in the service of being wrong.

    No time to look upthread to see if that point was made last night.

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