I FEEL A FREE FOR ALL COMING ON Yes, it's only Tuesday, but my boss is out of town you see, so I want to free for all. And let's make it a good one. Or let's YOU make it a good one.
VENEZUELA'S PEOPLE ARE STARVING AND MADURO IS WEILDING FOOD LIKE WEAPONS And guess who ISN'T starving? If you said highly placed government officials, you'd be a big winner. Venezuelans have eaten pets and even zoo animals as children show starvation related deformities. This as Maduro got caught eating an empanada on live tv as he engaged in one of his hours long broadcasts. Venezuela is everything wrong with socialism and it's collapsing in real time and American college students think socialism is a GREAT idea. We should send them on an all expense paid trip to Caracas and let them see it for themselves. I'm guessing if Venezuelans were allowed to own guns Maduro may not be in power. Just saying. This Thanksgiving, be sure and raise up thanks we live in a capitalist country where we can annually engage in a one day gluttonous feast. From a Wall Street Journal article on the crisis:
Outside the country many are asking why the popular rebellion, which was significant in July, has gone quiet. The answer may be in the government’s skillful use of hunger as much as imprisonment to quash dissent.
Last week the newspaper El Nacional reported on a “food emergency forum” held by Amnesty International in Caracas. One participant was Maritza Landaeta, coordinator of the Caracas-based nonprofit Bengoa, which has worked to aid Venezuelans in food and nutritional needs since 2000. In describing the crisis, Ms. Landaeta shared the grim reality facing many mothers: “They say their children cry all day and they can only give them water. They are dying.”
Ms. Landaeta said some communities are experiencing undeniable “famine” and that in some parts of the country 50% of the children have left school because of hunger. According to the website El Estímulo Ms. Landaeta also reported that household surveys in the Baruta neighborhood of Caracas found that since the beginning of 2016 residents have lost, on average, more than 30 pounds. In September El Nacional reported that a study in 32 parishes in the states of Vargas, Miranda and Zulia by the Catholic aid organization Caritas Venezuela found that 14.5% of children under five are suffering either from moderate or severe malnutrition. This is no accident.
Inflation has stripped Venezuelans of purchasing power. The minimum monthly salary is now 456,507 bolivars, which on Nov. 15 was equal to about $8. A year ago the monthly minimum was 90,812 bolivars or about $21. Obviously imported food is unaffordable for most Venezuelan families.
The breakdown of domestic production is not new. But it has worsened in the past two years. Without hard currency, farm equipment cannot be serviced and seeds cannot be imported. Price controls make it hard for local producers to earn a profit.
The dictatorship increasingly controls what food there is. Dollars from oil exports go only to the state, which uses them to import. It also confiscates, at will, farm production and the output of agricultural processors. It plans to use the capital freed up by a restructuring of $3 billion in debt held by Moscow to buy Russian wheat. The government is forcing the use of debit and credit cards by withholding cash. This allows it to monitor all commerce and it saves on the costly importation of plane loads of new bills.
Venezuelans face risks if they complain. Last week the government announced that anyone who “incites hatred, discrimination or violence” against another, for their politics, faces 10-20 years in jail. The threat of jail, or worse, has already caused a retreat from the streets. This new law, which includes social media, will further chill speech.
The rest is behind a paywall and totally worth paying to read.
REP. JOHN CONYERS MAY BE A SCUMBAG And if half the things alleged in this story are true, he is. What is interesting about this Buzzfeed story is what little recourse a staffer in Congress has when a member does something like show his member. It will also be interesting to see how Democrats deal with Conyers, as he is not only a senior member of the House, but a civil rights icon. Proving you can be both those things and still treat women in a disgusting way.
BUT HE'S NO CHARLIE ROSE, WHO APPARENTLY IS A REAL SCUMBAG TOO And this one completely surprises me. Talk about a guy who exudes a certain image, Charlie Rose is the picture of calm, level, compassionate interviewer. Now we know that he is also a guy who thinks it's okay to expose himself to women who are trying to get work done. Based on the actions of some of the women, I can actually see him thinking they were "into it". But there were numerous women who in no uncertain terms shut him down only to see him try other creepy stuff. Ick. Just ick. I have to give credit to CBS for covering the story aggressively, even on the show he worked on until yesterday.
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION IS ON THE RISE IN THE US And we can blame immigrants from African nations for this one. I am all for immigration, but this barbaric practice MUST be stopped NOW. We have to prosecute people for doing this and there needs to be a significant education campaign in all immigrant communities where this practice is growing. This MUST be stopped. MUST. NOW.
THAT GUY WHO WAS AN FBI INFORMANT ON THE URANIUM ONE DEAL? HE'S GOT THE GOODS At least according to a follow up report from TheHill.com. It seems this guy worked undercover for SIX YEARS and gathered a LOT of information about Russia's intent to corner the US Uranium market with help from the Obama administration. This is sort of a big deal. He will be testifying before select members of Congress soon, but it seems he's got a lot of information that will throw the Obama administration's decision to approve the Uranium One deal into considerable question. We shall see.
REP. DIANNA DEGETTE SAYS A FELLOW DEMOCRAT SEXUALLY HARASSED HER And she's got the stones to wonder why other members of Congress aren't naming names after they have been harassed. Uh, Ms. DeGette, you didn't name names until now. Bob Filner has been out of Congress for a long time and was forced to step down as mayor of San Diego after being accused of being a creep by multiple women and yet, you said nothing. Please leave your grandstanding position on this issue immediately. From her interview with MSNBC:
The interview with Rep. DeGette began with her saying, “I think that many members of Congress, certainly professional women have been harassed over the years and I’m certainly no different.” She added, “What strikes me in this conversation is that a lot of my colleagues and others have said this is going on but they seem somehow so reluctant to say who did it. I don’t really understand that cause it seems to me, particularly if those people are still in Congress or whatever the profession is then they’re still getting away with it.”
I'm glad Rep. DeGette has come forward, but she really shouldn't scold those who aren't comfortable yet.
BEING ASIAN IS A PROBLEM IF YOU WANT TO GO TO HARVARD And we've talked about this before. Now the Justice Department is investigating whether or not Harvard is "out of compliance" in it's admissions process, as it unfairly penalizes Asian students just for being Asian. This could seriously upend all affirmative action programs.
MOBILE HOMES ARE NOW UNAFFORDABLE FOR THE PEOPLE WHO NEED THEM MOST I do not like mobile homes. I come from an area of the country where mobile homes are EVERYWHERE and I know a lot of people who live in mobile homes. Lest you accuse me of snobbery, I do not like mobile homes because I think they prevent people from truly accumulating wealth. They start to depreciate as soon as they are parked and set up. Unless you have a great location for your mobile home, you will likely not recoup the money you spent when you go to sell it. And now mobile homes are getting so fancy, the very people who have long been the target demo can no longer afford them. I wish someone would step in with a better idea for low income people. Maybe shipping container homes?
OUT OF CONTROL STUDENTS LEAD TO TEACHER'S RESIGNING And it's happening in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Forty-five teachers have resigned, with some saying they have been kicked and punched by first graders. This is what happens when discipline is replaced by feel good garbage programs that do nothing to instill respect.
ARE JIMMY BUFFET AND THE EAGLES WORTH 325 BUCKS? Sure the cheap seats are ONLY 100 bucks, but the high dollar tickets are $325. Take it easy, indeed! Would you pay this kind of scratch to see this concert? If not, would you ever? If yes, who?
IT'S NICE THAT REP. MIKE COFFMAN WANTS TO HELP OTHER THAN HONORABLY DISCHARGED SOLDIERS By sponsoring a bill that would allow these men and women to get mental health treatment through the VA, but shouldn't we make sure that the honorably discharged men and women can get mental health treatment in a timely fashion first? Because that's not happening.
LOOKING FOR A NEW BIKE FOR CHRISTMAS? YOU SHOULD BUY ONE AT THIS STORE. And they don't advertise with me, but you should go. It's a new bike shop in Arvada designed to help people who may need it, because of income or developmental disability. This is a wonderful story!
AND NOW, HERE'S HOW TO MAKE THE BEST MASHED POTATOES IN THE WORLD!