Archive for the ‘propaganda’ Category

Argentina: Secretary of national thought

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Venezuela has a minister of Supreme Happiness; not to be outdone, Argentina appoints new secretary of ‘national thought’
Cristina Kirchner appoints ‘national thought’ secretary, promoting criticism of the fascist overtones of the post

Ricardo Forster, who was named to the post, said the idea was to “build networks among academics and intellectuals who are thinking about joint projects in Latin America”.

He said it had nothing to do with trying to inculcate “uniformity of thought”.

Of course not! (cough cough)

As a parting thought, Cristina’s face is starting to look like her Madame Tussaud’s wax figure was melting,

In other Argentina news, Argentina uses World Cup warm-up to display a banner on its claims to the Falklands

UPDATE:
Linked to by Hot Air. Thank you!


UN: Cuba to chair World Health Assembly

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

The UN believes statistics put out by totalitarian regimes, so, obscene as this may be, it comes as no surprise:
UN Elects Cuba to Chair World Health Assembly Even as Cubans Lack Aspirin, Basic Health

The consensus election today by 194 WHO member states chose the sole candidate, Cuban Health Minister Roberto Tomas Morales Ojeda.

“The sole candidate” makes me suspect that no one reputable would risk their credibility chairing this farce, n’est-ce pas?

UN Watch condemns “UN handing propaganda victory to a dictatorship” and lists several instances of the abhorrent medical conditions Cubans must endure in the island-prison:

While the Cuban articles claimed the Castro regime has achieved numerous health milestones, experts and international observers say the health system is in disarray.

Although Cuba has sent thousands of doctors to Venezuela in exchange for oil, their doctors are considered poorly trained:

Back in 2008 Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez described how, if you’re admitted to a hospital, you must bring everything:

The room has a thin light and the air smells of pain. I begin to unpack what I’ve brought. I take out the little sack of detergent and the aromatic with which I’ll clean the bath; its aroma floods everything. With the bucket we can bathe the lady, using the cup to pour, because the water faucet doesn’t work. For the great scrubbing I brought a pair of yellow gloves, afraid of the germs that spread in a hospital. Mónica tells me to continue unpacking and I extract the package of food and a puree especially for the sick. The pillow has been a wonder and the set of clean sheets manages to cover the mattress, stained with successive effluvia.

The most welcome is the fan, which I connect to two peeled wires hanging from the wall. I continue to unpack and come to the little bag of medical supplies. I have obtained some needles appropriate for the IV, because the one in her arm is very thick and causes pain. I also bought some gauze and cotton on the black market. The most difficult thing—which cost me days and incredible swaps—is the suture thread for the surgery they are going to do tomorrow. I also brought a box of disposable syringes since she yells to high heaven when she sees the nurse with a glass one.

If you want photos, The Real Cuba posts them in all their gut-churning detail.

Could someone please explain why the U.S. continues to host and fund the UN?


Venezuela: The ministry of Supreme Happiness

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

The news on the latest scheme to waste oil money on propaganda made me wonder if they introduced it by having a Judy Garland impersonator singing this,

But noooo, it was created in honor of the late Hugo Chavez

The supreme happiness office, created in honor of the late president Hugo Chavez and the country’s revolutionary figure, Simon Bolivar, will serve the elderly, children, people with disabilities, and the homeless, according to local news reports. The minister will begin imposing cheer on December 9, in time to coincide with the first ever “Loyalty and Love to Hugo Chavez Day.” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called the agency a “social advance in the struggle against the perfidy of capitalism.”

Zounds! “The perfidy of capitalism?” More like the day after the municipal elections, which are scheduled for December 8.

The article mentions that

The Earth Institute’s 2013 World Happiness Report placed Venezuela as the happiest country in South America (for the second year in a row) and twentieth worldwide.

Clearly the Earth Institute’s researchers managed to find folks that are blissful over cloth feminine pads, empty supermarket shelves and no toilet paper. The rest of the Venezuelans? Not so much.

It’s not quite clear just how supreme the happiness goes,

While there have been no details as to what the office will do, I can think of so many ways that it can celebrate and promote the happiness of all Venezuelans, particularly by pointing out happy events around the country, of which there are so many.

As an example, the Vice-Ministry could make sure to interview on TV anyone who managed to buy a package of corn flour, which has become one of the supreme moments of any Venezuelan’s life in the the last few months. And even if you think that finding toilet paper is another such happy moment, the Vice-Ministry could celebrate not only the finding of the roll of toilet paper by those citizens that lacked it, but more importantly recreate the moment of supreme happiness that represents using it for the first time after not having any for a while.

Feeling unhappy, try Orwellian Venezuela: Maduro creates the “Supreme Happiness” office
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of the “Supreme Happiness Under Secretary” to address social debt shortcomings and which was in honor of the late Commandant and president Hugo Chavez and the country’s liberator, Simon Bolivar.
As mentioned abovem timing is everything:

The Orwellian and Kim Il Sung style announcements coincide with the creation of the “Loyalty and Love to Hugo Chavez Day” and come a few weeks ahead of the 8 December municipal elections which could bring surprises to the Bolivarian revolution ravaged by the most serious economic shortcomings in a decade particularly the lack of sufficient food and basics in the country’s stores.

“Social debt shortcomings,” indeed.

Indeed; the Supreme Happiness is headed by a military officer (a.k.a. “Viceministerio para la Suprema felicidad social del pueblo venezolano“), as are also the office of Sovereign People, the Superior Office for the Defense of the Economy, and the Strategic Superior Centre for Homeland Security and Protection.

Happiness all around! How Venezuela’s Military Tried to Fly A Ton of Cocaine to France

police in France, Italy and Spain had launched a joint investigation some months previous, operating undercover in Europe and Venezuela without the knowledge of the Venezuelan government. “They could not tell the Venezuelan government what was going on, because they knew that high-ranking Venezuelan military officials were involved.”

Italian police managed to infiltrate the criminal operation, she said, getting details from informants about collaboration between the Venezuelans and the Ndrangheta, the powerful Italian mafia who are estimated to control 80 percent of the cocaine coming into Europe. The ‘Ndrangheta were due to receive the shipment, which Camero believes was originally purchased by the GNB from the FARC in the border state of Apure.

Happiness, 31 suitcases worth.

Linked to by Dustbury, and by Cherokee Gothic. Thank you!

Cuba: Civility, schmivility

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

The NYTimes has an opinion article, For Cuba, a Harsh Self-Assessment that deplores the decline in “gentility and respect”, echoing Raul Castro’s “get off my lawn” speech of two weeks ago. The article doesn’t question Raul’s premise,

“I have the bitter sensation that we are a society that is ever better educated, but not necessarily more enlightened,” Mr. Castro said.

Ever better educated? You mean like the doctors sent to Brazil and the Jamaican nurses, which were rejected because they don’t meet basic job requirements?

All through the article, the message is that the golden age of Communism brought free healthcare and education back when “a state salary was enough to live on without needing to pilfer.” Of course, Fidel Castro himself repeated incessantly that under him, Cubans are “the most cultured people in the world,” even the prostitutes, while redoing the excellent, definitive Don Quijote de la Mancha 4th Centenary edition by the Real Academia Española. Fidel had Hugo Chavez abridge it, remove the essay “Una novela para el siglo XXI” by long-time foe Mario Vargas Llosa, and replaced that essay with a short preface by José Saramago, a much friendlier Communist. The Communist regime can’t have “the most cultured people in the world” exposed to an essay which essence is that Don Quijote’s a free men’s novel.

Blame the Americans? Oh yeah,

Cuba sets great store by its cultural prestige. After the 1959 revolution, the government set out to purge the decadence that made Havana a magnet for Americans, among others. The state started a national literacy campaign, offered free education to all and established rigorous sports, ballet and music programs.

Because, you know, the Americans are the ones attracted to the decadence. Unlike, of course, the Canadian and Spanish pervs who go today to Havana for the sex trade.

The article posts a photo of shirtless men slaughtering a pig on a sidewalk, under the most unsanitary conditions,

with the caption (emphasis added)

A pig being slaughtered in a tourist area of old Havana is seen as a sign of a loss of civility.

when in fact it is emblematic of the decay of Cuban culture under Communism. Carlos Erie, who lived in Cuba and remembers, lets it rip,

Proof positive of the ignorance and prejudice that govern the thinking of those who write and publish such poison is evident in the photo above. The caption under the photo is the one used by the NYT. Notice, please, that slaughtering a pig on the street is merely “seen” as a “sign” of loss of civility. It’s not really a loss, but is merely “seen” as such by some Cubans. And, notice, that the act itself is not “seen” as a loss of civility, but as a mere “sign” — which means, of course, that it’s not just the behavior that is open to interpretation, but also the act of passing judgment on it. Notice, too, that the slaughtering is described as taking place in a “tourist” area of Old Havana. One must assume that it would be perfectly alright in some other area where tourists don’t dare to go, and that this is something Cubans have been doing for centuries in their own benighted slums. It is also assumed that this is somehow normal for Cubans: to go shirtless in “tourist” areas. Savages.

The Times will never disappoint you . . . if all you expect them to do is echo Raul’s propaganda.


The “where is Snowden” Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 1st, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Today’s must-read: Iran’s Latin America Strategy

Repsol Rejects Argentina’s YPF Compensation Offer
Spanish Oil Firm Calls Terms Unsatisfactory After Last Year’s Expropriation by Buenos Aires

CFK contra los pueblos originarios: Antes de subir al avión al Vaticano el líder Qom tuvo que explicar sobre sus dólares

BOLIVIA
10 Worst Countries for Tourists
Turistas Go Home

BRAZIL
The Gringo’s Guide to Demonstrations in Brazil

Brazil Protests Prompts a Media Shift
Brazil’s recent protests has allowed independent media to gain some traction in a landscape long dominated by a few mainstream giants.

Support for Brazil’s President Plummets
Backing for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s administration has dropped sharply in the past month.

Brazilian Tycoon Batista’s Empire on Edge
Just months after he unveiled it, Brazilian commodity tycoon Eike Batista’s bid to rebalance his unsteady oil, mining and shipping empire is nearly in tatters, overtaken by a shift in investor sentiment.

Brazil’s protests
The cries are answered
The government offers a package of reforms to appease protesters. Is it enough?

CHILE
Chilean Police Dismantle Student Protests
Police have evicted protesting students from the public schools that will be used as polling stations for Sunday’s primary elections in Chile, making at least 150 arrests.
Former president Michele Bachelet won, which comes as no surprise.

COLOMBIA
Colombian Land Deals Are Scrutinized
Large Firms Bought Out Deeds Distributed to Farmers

Colombia, a country without memory?

CUBA
North Korea and Castro Kingdom: Forging Bright Plans for the Future, For Sure

Afraid of Change

More U.S. Citizens Imprisoned in Cuba

Blob alert from Castro Kingdom: It’s a monster… it’s Michael Moore… it’s the ghost of Hugo Chavez…no…. it’s something else!

ECUADOR
Snowden Scrap: Ecuador Thumbs Nose at Washington

The Errors of Edward Snowden and His Global Hypocrisy Tour

And what about Ecuador? Why, just two weeks ago, this country that is apparently on Snowden’s list of possible future homes passed new rules that impede free expression. The statute, called the Communications Law, prohibits anyone from disseminating information through the media that might undermine the prestige or credibility of a person or institution (you know, like revealing a government-sponsored surveillance program). The law also places burdens on journalists, making them subject to civil or criminal penalties for publishing information that serves to undermine the security of the state (you know, like revealing a government-sponsored surveillance program).

Biden Contacted Ecuador on Snowden
Ecuador’s president said the U.S. vice president called him and asked that the NSA leaker’s asylum request be rejected.
HONDURAS
US renews Honduras Travel Warning

JAMAICA
Chris Blackwell’s Jamaican Retreat
The Island Records founder and hotelier shares his love for Jamaica through his latest homegrown hit—his farm.

MEXICO
How Mexico Became So Corrupt
From Sicily to Tijuana, how monopolies and governments perpetuate one another.

Drug-Related Killings Drop in Mexico
The trend is welcome in a nation exhaused by years of violence associated with organized crime, even if the reasons behind it are hard to pin down.

The US-Mexico border
Secure enough
Spending billions more on fences and drones will do more harm than good

Mexico’s middle class
Too bourgeois to bus tables

PERU
Ancient Wari royal tomb unearthed in Peru
Archaeologists in Peru have unearthed a royal tomb with treasures and mummified women from about 1,200 years ago.

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Rolling Out The Welcome Mat For Millionaires

VENEZUELA
ALBA
Laundering Venezuela’s dirty money

Maria Corina Machado victim of a Cuban character assassination technique (counts as XXI century fascism too)

Government Imports Soar In Venezuela

The week’s posts and podcasts:
Today’s must-read

Ecuador: Maybe Assange ought to keep his mouth shut

Ecuador: No travel documents for Snowden

Alexander does the tango

Is Edward Snowden about to become the world’s most famous illegal alien?

Snowden not in Ecuador

Brazil: Left manipulating demonstrations

Where is Snowden?

Podcast:
The Snowden episode & Ecuador


G-r-o-s-s: Bolivarian “sanitary” towels

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

This is what women in Cuba have to use since the country can’t produce paper goods, and doesn’t have money to import them: Pads made of fabric, that must be washed by hand since no one can afford washing machines,

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Michael Moore and all of those touting “Cuban healthcare” probably don’t know about this detail of basic sanitation.

Now that there are shortages of tampons, pads, toothpaste, food, and paper goods in Venezuela, the chavistas have come up with a propaganda video extolling the pads made of fabric:

She claims it’s 100% biodegradable, reusable, and prevents you from participating in “savage capitalism.”

No mention of bacteria, stained clothes, or odors.

Meanwhile, someone else didn’t take well to this pre-industrial age idea (what am I saying? Pre-Roman times), and came up with snark,

“We couldn’t leave out [the] biodegradable Bolivarian tampons”

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“If I wanted America to fail”

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Watch this,

As Gerard says, “Watch this. Then send it to everyone you know. Wait a month. Send it again. Wait a month….”

#Galway mayor doesn’t want #Che monument @declanganley

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

First, to refresh your memory as to Che’s vile nature, an excerpt from an article, The Killing Machine: Che Guevara, from Communist Firebrand to Capitalist Brand, by Álvaro Vargas Llosa I linked to a while ago,

Guevara might have been enamored of his own death, but he was much more enamored of other people’s deaths. In April 1967, speaking from experience, he summed up his homicidal idea of justice in his “Message to the Tricontinental”: “hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine.” His earlier writings are also peppered with this rhetorical and ideological violence. Although his former girlfriend Chichina Ferreyra doubts that the original version of the diaries of his motorcycle trip contains the observation that “I feel my nostrils dilate savoring the acrid smell of gunpowder and blood of the enemy,” Guevara did share with Granado at that very young age this exclamation: “Revolution without firing a shot? You’re crazy.” At other times the young bohemian seemed unable to distinguish between the levity of death as a spectacle and the tragedy of a revolution’s victims. In a letter to his mother in 1954, written in Guatemala, where he witnessed the overthrow of the revolutionary government of Jacobo Arbenz, he wrote: “It was all a lot of fun, what with the bombs, speeches, and other distractions to break the monotony I was living in.

Guevara’s disposition when he traveled with Castro from Mexico to Cuba aboard the Granma is captured in a phrase in a letter to his wife that he penned on January 28, 1957, not long after disembarking, which was published in her book Ernesto: A Memoir of Che Guevara in Sierra Maestra: “Here in the Cuban jungle, alive and bloodthirsty.” This mentality had been reinforced by his conviction that Arbenz had lost power because he had failed to execute his potential enemies. An earlier letter to his former girlfriend Tita Infante had observed that “if there had been some executions, the government would have maintained the capacity to return the blows.” It is hardly a surprise that during the armed struggle against Batista, and then after the triumphant entry into Havana, Guevara murdered or oversaw the executions in summary trials of scores of people—proven enemies, suspected enemies, and those who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In January 1957, as his diary from the Sierra Maestra indicates, Guevara shot Eutimio Guerra because he suspected him of passing on information: “I ended the problem with a .32 caliber pistol, in the right side of his brain…. His belongings were now mine.” Later he shot Aristidio, a peasant who expressed the desire to leave whenever the rebels moved on. While he wondered whether this particular victim “was really guilty enough to deserve death,” he had no qualms about ordering the death of Echevarría, a brother of one of his comrades, because of unspecified crimes: “He had to pay the price.” At other times he would simulate executions without carrying them out, as a method of psychological torture.

The proposed Galway monument to Che is indeed an obscene piece of propaganda, encompassing social media:

The commemorative sculpture will be entirely funded by the Cuban and Argentine Embassies and a design by Simon McGuiness will now go before the Galway City Council’s Working Group for approval.

Simon McGuinness told the Galway City Tribune that the image is a “total homage” to Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick’s iconic 1968 Che poster, which was based upon a photograph by Alberto Korda.

“It has three plate glass panels of varying heights which represent man, image and ideal,” Mr McGuinness explained.

The monument will feature a number of interactivity features and people visiting it will be able to use their phones to have a photograph taken at the statue and uploaded onto Facebook.

A planned WiFi feature at the monument will allow visitors to access videos and surf the Che Guevara website. They will also be able to post messages on the website.

As of now, however, The Mayor of Galway says she will not support plans to erect a monument of Che Guevara in the city.

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Just how much money does Warren Buffett’s secretary make?

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

According to the WSJ, long-term capital gains and dividends are taxed as follows:

For taxpayers in the 15% income tax bracket and below, the rate is zero. For those in the 25% bracket and above, the rate is 15%

and the federal income tax rate for people earning $10,000,000 or more is 26.3%

Adjusted Gross Income, 2009 Average Federal
Income Tax Rate (%)
$10,000 to $15,000 6.8%
$15,000 to $20,000 6.6%
$20,000 to $25,000 8.7%
$25,000 to $30,000 9.7%
$30,000 to $40,000 10.0%
$40,000 to $50,000 10.6%
$50,000 to $75,000 11.6%
$75,000 to $100,000 12.3%
$100,000 to $200,000 16.3%
$200,000 to $500,000 24.6%
$500,000 to $1,000,000 28.8%
$1,000,000 to $1,500,000 29.4%
$1,500,000 to $2,000,000 29.6%
$2,000,000 to $5,000,000 29.7%
$5,000,000 to $10,000,000 29.1%
$10,000,000 or more 26.3%
Average 17.8%

Warren Buffett claims that his secretary is taxed at a higher rate than he. President Obama repeated that claim

“Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett.

She may be, if she’s pulling in a salary in the vicinity of $2-$5 million per year, claims no deductions, and has no capital gains.

Otherwise, the evidence doesn’t support Warren’s claim, particularly considering the various tax exemptions, deductions, etc., that change the numbers when you look at what people actually pay. Today Stephen Ohlemacher did a FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.
Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.
The latest IRS figures are a few years older — and limited to federal income taxes — but show much the same thing. In 2009, taxpayers who made $1 million or more paid on average 24.4 percent of their income in federal income taxes, according to the IRS.

Those making $100,000 to $125,000 paid on average 9.9 percent in federal income taxes. Those making $50,000 to $60,000 paid an average of 6.3 percent.

Obama’s claim hinges on the fact that, for high-income families and individuals, investment income is often taxed at a lower rate than wages. The top tax rate for dividends and capital gains is 15 percent. The top marginal tax rate for wages is 35 percent, though that is reserved for taxable income above $379,150.

We are being subjected to class-warfare propaganda.

Warren, since you think the government is doing such a stellar job of managing things, leave the rest of us alone, and put your money where your mouth is and give all your income and all of your assets to the government. I beg you.

In the meantime, pay up: Berkshire Hathaway Owes Taxes Going Back To 2002

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Hispan TV: Iran-Cuba joint propaganda effort

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Via Latin American Thought,

The fight for hearts and minds reached a new level on 3 May, when Cuba and Iran announced plans to increase media cooperation via Iranian run Spanish language news network Hispan TV. Hispan TV was launched last week eight months after a September 2010 announcement from Iranian state officials announcing the importance of increasing awareness of Iran’s “ideological legitimacy”.

But why Spanish? The Guardian reports that Ezatollah Zarqami, the head of Iranian State TV, says because half of the world speaks Spanish.

However,

The answer most likely has to do with the intended audience. Launching a Spanish language network clearly targets the Spanish speaking world, the majority of which resides in Latin America. It is an example of the type of soft power information campaigns that many governments are undertaking in efforts to promote policy, improve public diplomacy, and have a say in the information madhouse that exists today.

While the goal of this venture supposedly is “the reflection of first-hand, authentic news“, Cuban Colada points out that

Iran, Syria, Cuba, Russia and China are among the 10 worst repressors of the Internet, according to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists published on Monday. Click here for details.

Notice how the goal was stated as “the reflection”, not the reporting.

Cross-posted at Real Clear World

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