Archive for February, 2011

Teddy does Santiago

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Not Wikileaks, but revealing just how awful Ted Kennedy was,
THE TEDDY FILES: EVEN WORSE THAN YOU THOUGHT!

After repeated attempts, Judicial Watch has managed to pry loose certain documents relating to Teddy Kennedy from the FBI. The FBI’s original redactions plainly had nothing to do with national security, so the agency apparently was trying to protect Kennedy’s reputation.

The most entertaining documents relate to a trip Kennedy took to Latin America in 1961. He visited a number of countries, accompanied by his “political counselor.” In each country, Kennedy met with prominent Communists or other left-wing leaders. The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico was outraged that Kennedy wanted to bring such people to the embassy–this was the heart of the Cold War, after all–and he refused, telling Kennedy to arrange his own interviews somewhere else. A State Department official in Peru described Teddy as “pompous and a spoiled brat.”

By the time Ted got to Santiago de Chile he had had enough of Communists and rented a brothel for a night.

Here are the FBI reports. The December 28, 1961, report summarizes Ted’s Excellent Adventure at the height of the Cold War, meeting Communists and “others who had left-wing views,” availing himself of the American embassies when allowed – which he was allowed to do as the brother of President John F. Kennedy. Ted did not become a US Senator until 1962.

Doug Ross has more on Ted’s troubling history,

In 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union, KGB files revealed that Kennedy had twice approached Soviet leaders with proposals that would boost his political aspirations while undermining American national security.

In 1978 Kennedy reportedly used a go-between to establish a relationship with the KGB in order to sabotage President Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy efforts. Kennedy, of course, was interested in running against Carter in the 1980 primary.

Furthermore, Kennedy approached the Soviets with an offer to help undermine Ronald Reagan’s 1984 presidential reelection campaign. Kennedy proposed a public relations blitz and mentioned his friends — Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters, by name — as willing to assist in the propaganda effort.

The Kennedy tradition of “reaching out” to Communists continues, as his nephew Joe engaged in deals with Hugo Chavez in 2009, and ended up with less than what the Chilean whores got decades earlier.

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Gaddafi goes Zenga Zenga!

Monday, February 28th, 2011

The Political Commentator brings us the latest in viral video, also in the NYT and the Arab world,
Qaddafi YouTube Spoof by Israeli Gets Arab Fans

YouTube clip mocking Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s megalomania is fast becoming a popular token of the Libya uprising across the Middle East. And in an added affront to Colonel Qaddafi, it was created by an Israeli living in Tel Aviv.

Get down! Get funky!

Noy Alooshe, 31, an Israeli journalist, musician and Internet buff, said he saw Colonel Qaddafi’s televised speech last Tuesday in which the Libyan leader vowed to hunt down protesters “inch by inch, house by house, home by home, alleyway by alleyway,” and immediately identified it as a “classic.”

The NYT points out “Mr. Alooshe plays in a band called Hovevey Zion, or the Lovers of Zion.”

Work it, babeee!

UPDATE
Gerard has the translation, and points out that Once they autotune you, you’re pretty much in the toaster oven

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The last monday in February Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, February 28th, 2011

This week in Latin American news: Michelle Bachmann went to Colombia and Mexico, Obama’s heading to South America, and Ortega loves Gadaffi.

LATIN AMERICA
Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru Move Toward Energy Integration

Obama’s Visit to Latin America: A View from the South

ARGENTINA
In Argentina, a Different Sort of Inflation Fight

BOLIVIA
Bolivia’s top drug cop arrested for smuggling dope to US

BRAZIL
Judge suspends Brazil’s monster dam: contractor ‘imposing’ its interests

Brazil Economy Flickers as Bottlenecks Drive Up Prices

CHILE
Aprobación de Central Castilla: el debate ambiental-energético no termina

Chilean quake survivors still suffer one year later

COLOMBIA
Bachmann visits Mexico, Colombia

Colombia Central Bank Increases Key Rate To 3.25%

COSTA RICA
Chinchilla blasts Ortega for Gadhafi support
Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega said Monday he called Moammar Gadhafi to express solidarity during these very “tense moments.”

CUBA
As Cuba Prepares to Drill for Oil Offshore, New Report Urges Major Changes in U.S. Policy. Here’s the Congressional Research Service report: Cuba’s Offshore Oil Development: Background and U.S. Policy Considerations

Alan Gross’ lawyer wears two hats

AFI and PBS Embrace Pro-Castro Propaganda, Ignore Agustin Blazquez’ Documented Criticism

The infiltration of Cuba’s dissident groups

The Graveyard Police

Raul Castro’s Three-Year Report Card

HONDURAS
With Increased US Aid, Honduras Militarises Anti-Drug Fight

Home building design tips for the tropics

Teachers and Taxistas strike in La Ceiba

MEXICO
Respected Mexican journalist fired for addressing Calderon drinking rumor

6 Members of Zeta Drug Cartel Arrested for ICE Agent Murder

Speedy Sarkozy Bullied by the Mexicans

The Accusations of an Ex-Governor and the Nature of PRI Support for the Drug Trade

An American Dies in Mexico’s Drug War
Rounding up the killers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer Jaime Zapata will not curtail Americans’ voracious appetite for mind-altering substances.

NICARAGUA
Qaddafi and Ortega: Brotherhood of Blood

Gadhafi gets support from Nicaragua’s Ortega (Updated)

PANAMA
InterAmericana Hwy. Shutdown in David due to Protests…

PERU
Peru calls for United Nations intervention in Libya

PUERTO RICO
Five Indicted in Puerto Rico on Organized Crime and Racketeering Charges

URUGUAY
Pedro Konrad y Claudia María Sosa Otero – lavado de dinero de narcotrafico

VENEZUELA
Iranian, Venezuelan Presidents Review Important Regional Developments
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez in a phone conversation conferred on the latest regional and international developments, and stressed the necessity for the two states to keep vigilant and increase their bilateral consultations.

Venezuela’s government supports Qaddafi: denial ain’t a river next to Egypt…..

Chávez starts to pay the price for that Bolivar sword replica UPDATED

U.S. journalist reports harassment by Venezuelan agents

ÉTICA, RETÓRICA Y VIVIENDA…

The mystery of Giordani’s 18% Debt/GDP ratio

ENTERTAINMENT
Jaime Bayly has a new novel coming out, and the hype is on, not all of it good (video in Spanish, language not suitable for work)

The week’s posts:
Teddy does Santiago
Mexico: More Civilians Killed Last Year in One Mexican Border Town Than All Afghanistan
Will Venezuela really go bankrupt?
Mexican drug wars spreading to Central America
White House won’t talk about Libya, while Peru does

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NJ unions: Christie = Gaddafi

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Because nothing speaks about oppression like hyperbole and striking while paid by the taxpayers: NJ unions say Christie is Gaddafi. Paul Budline was at the demonstration and got it on video.

Gateway Pundit has the video:

TigerHawk:

I disrespectfully suggest that teachers who seriously liken Governor Christie to Moammar Khadafy and their own protests to the Egyptians facing down the Mubaraks are too ignorant to be charged with teaching our children. But judge for yourselves.

Possibly relevant point of interest: There are only 45 states with lower average teacher salaries than New Jersey. So, you know, I see where they are coming from.

And that’s for 180 days of work per year.

Help! I’m being repressed!

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Mexico: More Civilians Killed Last Year in One Mexican Border Town Than All Afghanistan

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

According to CNS News, Ciudad Juarez – right across the border from El Paso, Texas – is the deadliest town:
More Civilians Killed Last Year in One Mexican Border Town Than All Afghanistan

There were 3,111 civilians murdered in the city of Juarez in 2010 and 2,421 in the entire country of Afghanistan.

On a per capita basis, a civilian was 30 times more likely to be murdered last year in Juarez, where there are 1,328,017 inhabitants according toMexico’s 2010 census, than in Afghanistan, where there are 29,121,286 people according to the CIA World Factbook.

The number of civilians killed in Afghanistan was compiled by the Congressional Research Service and published in a CRS report released on Feb. 3. The number of civilians killed in Juarez was compiled by Molly Molloy, a research librarian at New Mexico State University who maintains a count of murders Juarez and published it on the Frontera List Web site. Molloy’s work on civilian murders in Juarez was also referenced in arecent CRS report on Mexican drug cartels.

Much of the violence in Juárez is sparked by drug trafficking organizations battling over one of the major smuggling corridors into the United States.

The US government ought to start doing something about securing the border, wouldn’t you think?

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VIDEO: The state budget showdowns

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

“It has everything to do with money”, and the states are broke.

Via Instapundit.

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Will Venezuela really go bankrupt?

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

The Economist is asking that question,
Oil leak
Could one of the world’s top petroleum producers really go bankrupt?

EVER since Greece plunged into a sovereign-debt crisis in 2009, investors have focused on which European country might be next. According to Capital Economics, a research firm in London, however, the next trouble spot could be Venezuela. “There is a growing risk that the government will default on its obligations in 2012,” its analysts wrote on February 17th. Some in the markets have taken fright, too: the country’s credit-default swaps imply a 50% chance of default by 2015. That may be overblown. Even so, Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s leftist president, seems to be pulling off a dubious achievement by causing the bond markets to fear for the solvency of the world’s eighth-largest oil producer.

The chief cause of Venezuela’s travails has been Mr Chávez’s pillaging of PDVSA, the state oil firm. He has packed it with loyalists, starved it of investment and used it for social spending, cutting its output from 3.3m barrels per day (b/d) in 1998 to around 2.25m b/d, according to industry estimates. Of that, some 1m b/d is sold at subsidised prices at home or to regional allies, leaving just 1.25m b/d for full-price exports.

The PDVSA numbers are questionable:
VenEconomy: Venezuela’s Whoppers, Fibs, and Tall Stories

Now, Eddy Ramírez, an oil man who has spent many years in the industry, has also challenged many of the claims made by Rafael Ramírez during his rendering of accounts before the National Assembly.

Ramírez (the oilman) maintains that Ramírez (PDVSA’s president) was lying when he said:

That PDVSA’s workers were responsible for the absurd decision to invest some US$500 million from their pension fund in a hedge fund in Connecticut. Untrue! The fact is that decisions regarding the pension fund are the responsibility of PDVSA’s financial director and have to be approved by the company’s board of directors.

That the 20,000 plus workers who were fired in March 2003 had “sabotaged” the oil company’s operations during the December 2002-March 2003 national strike. False! The fact is that PDVSA refused those workers access to the facilities so preventing them from doing their jobs from December 8, 2002.

That now PDVSA is publishing its financial statements on its web page. A half truth! The report of PDVSA’s financial statements for the third quarter of 2010 published on the company’s web page (a) is incomplete; (b) was published late; and (c) was posted only in English. The truth is that the “old” PDVSA used to publish accurate, compete reports on time and in both Spanish and English.

That the current subsidized oil prices are costing PDVSA around US$1.5 billion a year. A whopper! The loss for selling fuel below the cost of production is in the region of US$6 billion.

That PDVSA’s total financial debt was US$24.9 billion as at September 30, 2010, compared to US$21.4 billion at the end of 2009. Bull! The minister failed to mention in his report the US$9.1 billion of new debt issued by PDVSA in the fourth quarter of 2010 and at the start of 2011.

As you can read in The Economist’s article, it’s more than just the mismanagement of oil production; it’s also the capital flight induced by Chavez’s nationalizing and raiding of the private sector, the raiding of the rainy-day fund from oil proceeds, the unpaid public sector workers, the increase of net public debt, and the unknowns, such as Fonden,

Moreover, since 2005 the government has squirrelled away $39 billion in a separate, unaudited fund called Fonden. Although analysts do not know how much of this has been spent, some part has probably been saved. There are rumours that the president is hoarding hard currency to prepare for 2012, when he faces a difficult re-election battle that will cost him money. The recent spike in oil prices caused by unrest in the Middle East will surely give Mr Chávez some extra breathing room. And at a pinch, he could probably turn to his friends in Beijing for a new loan.

The issue is not just simply oil revenues, but with oil reaching over $100/barrel, Venezuela will not go broke just yet. Instead, Chavez may still have sufficient funds to carry him through the next election.

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Mexican drug wars spreading to Central America

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

I’ve been saying for years that border security is a matter of national security. The whole region is in danger as the Zetas aim to spread their drug business:


Mexican Drug War Spills to Neighbor

Los Zetas is among one of the most feared names in the drug wars. The group began after defectors from the Mexican Special Forces took up arms to defend the country’s Gulf Cartel, only to break away last year into a criminal organization of their own that mixes drug trafficking with extortions, kidnappings and assassination.

The group made headlines in Guatemala in August when Mexican authorities blamed them for the bloody massacre of 72 would-be immigrants on a secluded ranch in Mexico. Many of the dead were Guatemalans headed to the U.S.

Residents of Alta Verapaz say Los Zetas began turning up three years ago. Valeriano Maquin, a 25-year-old man from the town of La Tinta, said the strangers introduced themselves as Guatemalan government officials and asked for local members of the Kaibiles, a former Guatemalan Special Forces unit believed to be responsible for civilian massacres during the country’s civil war. Mr. Maquin and other residents believe the newcomers were looking to recruit the vigilantes into their own ranks.

Throughout 2008, Los Zetas fanned throughout the country, establishing a base of operations and confronting local drug traffickers for control of smuggling routes, Guatemalan officials say. In March 2008, 11 people were killed in a town in eastern Guatemala after a fierce battle between Los Zetas and a local gang.

While the Zetas spread through the region, Mexico itself is facing what The Economist calls a gruesome paradox: ‘the paradox that violence in Mexico has spread extensively, while remaining highly concentrated.’

Take a look at their interactive map and see which sections of Mexico have the highest number of homicides linked to organized crime.

Yes, you guessed right: the areas next to the US-Mexico border.

Border security is national security.

Alberto de la Cruz writes aboutFailed State Watch: How Long Before U.S. Military Confrontation with Mexico Cartels?
Says Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu: “We’re expecting a conflict. I absolutely believe you’re going to see that happen in the next 30 to 60 days.”

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VIDEO He’s baaack! The Old Spice Guy, that is

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

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NSFW Look for the union label?

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Definitely not suitable for work,
Moe Lane posts a video of union members at work, harassing people and assaulting the camera man, at an AFSCME rally,

Elsewhere, Union Thuggery Descends On FreedomWorks and Tabitha Hale was hit while holding the camera,

More video of the protest at Freedom Works HQ in Washington, DC,

What’s on the union label? T-H-U-G-S!

UPDATE,
Welcome, Uncoverage readers.

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