Former Ms. Universe spotlights socialist violence as media hide in the shadows for Maduro

Miss Venezuela

Imagine if you will a situation where a conservative administration was running Venezuela. Imagine what would happen if a conservative Venezuelan president faced scores of protests and he used 1/100th the force used by socialist Nicholas Maduro. Now imagine that a former Miss Venezuela and former Miss Universe took to Twitter to protest that force. Would the media pay attention? I think you know the answer.

As it is, Stefania Fernandez Krupij isn’t getting much attention:

She won Miss Venezuela in 2008 and Miss Universe 2009, and now she’s winning the hearts and minds of Venezuelan protesters standing in opposition to socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Stefania Fernandez Krupij’s beautiful visage has been turned into a bloody, hog-tied and disheveled version of her former self for a social media campaign aimed at spotlighting the Maduro regime’s violent crackdown on opposition protesters.

Neither is opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who has been locked up since February 18th on terrorism charges. At least two other mayors have been jailed, Air Force members taken into custody, over 30 people have died and over 1,500 protesters detained.

The Washington Times reports:

A key opposition leader jailed for more than a month by Venezuela’s protest-embattled government says leaders from across Latin America are engaged in a “shameful silence” toward human rights abuses being carried by “paramilitary groups” loyal to Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro.

The U.S. and Canada-backed Organization of American States is also ignoring what Leopoldo Lopez, a former district mayor in Caracas detained since Feb. 18 on “arson and conspiracy” charges, described as a Maduro government crackdown on protestors and intimidation campaign against opposition leaders.

“The [OAS], which represents nations in the Western Hemisphere, has abstained from any real leadership on the current crisis of human rights and the looming specter of a failed state, even though it was formed precisely to address issues like these,” Mr. Lopez wrote in an op-ed published in Tuesday’s New York Times.

Question: Where is Hollywood’s elite? One would think that the situation would be right up their alley. It’s perfect for them. Actors and actresses can get up on their moral pedestal, raise money, moan about oppressed people and then pat themselves on the back for their efforts — all the while knowing deep down that they’ll never have to actually make real sacrifices for the people they claim to care about.

Answer: They’re nowhere. They’re “consciously uncoupled” from the situation because the politics cut too close to home. Hollywood is filled with ideological allies of Bill “socialism works” Maher and Sean Hugo-Chavez-was-my-boy Penn. When they do get the “news” and it’s not from Jon Stewart, it might come from NPR, which is so morally confused that it still maybe-sorta-kinda thinks Maduro might be right when he blames “unscrupulous businessmen” for the disastrous Venezuelan economy.

If you’re looking for a network that has actually allotted a decent amount of time to Venezuela as of late, I’d have to say CNN makes the grade. The rest? Radio silence.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to look and see what Sean Penn has been saying about student protesters in Venezuela. My guess is that I’m not going to find much.

Related: Socialism’s failures on full display in Venezuela; NPR reports on misery, but won’t assign blame

Socialism’s failures on full display in Venezuela; NPR reports on misery, but won’t assign blame

Chavez

Last June the reports came of Venezuelan efforts to stop toilet paper and diaper shortages by raiding warehouses, and we knew at that time that it was the beginning of the end. The country had long ago swallowed the socialist poison pill, and when the predictable economic diarrhea arrived they were left with a nasty mess.

The protests, the murdered students, the jailed opposition leaders and intimidation — it was all very predictable, because socialism’s historical track record is one of pain and misery.

Today, NPR reported:

Alvaro Villarueda starts his morning the same way every day — putting in a call to his friend who has a friend who works at a Caracas, Venezuela, supermarket.

Today, he’s looking for sugar, and he’s asking his friend if he knows if any shipments have arrived. As he talks on the phone, his wife Lisbeth Nello, is in the kitchen.

There are 10 mouths to feed every day in this family — five of them children. The two youngest are still in diapers.

“The things that are the scarcest are actually what we need the most,” Nello says. “Flour, cooking oil, butter, milk, diapers. I spent last week hunting for diapers everywhere. The situation is really tough for basic goods.”

Again, completely predictable. Yes, over and over again individuals do not get the lesson. Perhaps part of the reason is because news outlets refuse to report the obvious:

As with everything in Venezuela, the reasons given for the food shortages depend on political affiliation. The government says it’s the result of unscrupulous businessmen waging an economic war and hoarding by regular people afraid of shortages.

Those in the opposition blame a system that imposes price controls, the lack of money to buy imports and problems in the supply chain after the expropriation of farms and factories by the socialist government.

Whatever the reasons, the shortages have meant that Nello spends a lot of time in long lines.

“Whatever the reasons”?! It is quite clear that socialism is to blame for Venezuela’s woes, but NPR can’t bring itself to do more than “report” on the symptoms of the disease. It doesn’t want you to know about the disease itself. All it can manage to “report” is a “whatever…” when it comes to the results of spitting in the face of basic economics.

Instead of looking at the very real history of price controls around the world — a dismal track record indeed — NPR would rather shrug its shoulders and essentially say, “Well, it could be those ‘unscrupulous’ businessmen. Who are we to say?”

The sad truth is that if you pick ten random people on the street in any country, then most of them will probably not have a firm grasp on basic economic principles. However, all of them understand hope and will gravitate to the person who instills it in them. When educational systems and news outlets fail to show people the dire consequences of socialism, the stage is set for generation after generation to fall victim to its smooth talking salesmen.

It is a very distinct possibility that Venezuela will lurch further to the left before the country collectively takes part in an ideological course correction. There are countless variables in the air at the moment, but the one constant is the cult-like addiction to the socialist vision by its advocates. As long as Western media outlets continue to engage in mealymouthed coverage of the truth that is staring them in the face — socialism doesn’t work — the cycle will continue to repeat itself.

Venezuela.food.shortage

Related: Venezuela: You can’t have a revolution without a few skidmarks; ignore the toilet paper shortage!

Venezuela’s Maduro tries to stop spinning down the toilet drain by spinning faster

Flush

Venezuela has number of problems on its hands lately, one of which had been toilet paper shortages predictably caused by its awesomely awesome socialist revolution. This is fitting, because its economy has been spinning down the drain. Now, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has a bright idea for preventing the flush from completing — spin faster!

USA Today reports:

“I want a Sony plasma television for the house,” said Amanda Lisboa, 34, who waited seven hours outside a Caracas Daka store, USA Today reported. “It’s going to be so cheap!”

“This is for the good of the nation,” Mr. Maduro said in the report. “Leave nothing on the shelves, nothing in the warehouses. … Let nothing remain in stock!”

“This is more like government-sanctioned looting,” said Caracas-based engineer Carlos Rivero, 42, USA Today reported. “What stops them going into pharmacies, supermarkets and shopping malls?”

Looting, indeed. When you go after private property owners — at gunpoint — call them “bourgeois parasites,” and tell the people it’s all being done in the name of “fairness,” lawlessness ultimately will rule the day.

Think this can’t happen in the United States? Think again:

While the country is immersed in Obamacare headlines and a congressional tussle over delays and mandates, the Obama administration is stealthily moving toward unprecedented control over private property under a massive expansion of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act authority.

The proposed rule, obtained by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee in advance of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s testimony at a Thursday oversight hearing, widely broadens the definition of waterways over which the federal government has jurisdiction to as little as a water ditch in a backyard.

The Clean Water Act redefinition of “waters of the United States” would include all ponds, lakes, wetlands and natural or manmade streams that have any effect on downstream navigable waters — whether on public lands or private property.

The U.S. is going down the same drain, but the difference is that we have people who are trying to slow the process down. It’s just sad that advocates of administrative state are trying to create a bureaucratic vortex of centrifugal force to keep us in the toilet. “Got a ditch in your back yard, kid? Yeah, well, that means it’s the federal government’s yard, now. We’ve been spying on you for quite some time and, quite frankly, we don’t like what you’re up to. So now, you’re up to nothing.”

As I said in August, 2011:

We know how statists feel about the Founding Fathers—and it’s not warm and fuzzy. In order to hide their animosity towards the Founding Fathers and the magnificent document they produced, they refer to the Constitution as “a living document” (i.e., it means whatever it is they want it to mean.) Only by viewing the Constitution in that light can the statists work around what has been an impediment—and a source of frustration—to their central planning for ages. In order for them to succeed, they need power. In a country of 400 million people—each with their own thoughts and dreams and desires—it requires incredible power to get everyone “in line.” The Constitution stops them in their tracks, which is why its defenders must be labeled “unhinged.”

To see how this works, one needs to look no further than the early roll out of Obamacare. Already, politicians are blaming the insurance industry for the economic fallout of their own policies. Individuals who understand basic economics predicted millions of people would lose their plans, that prices would go up, and that the Affordable Care Act would in fact not lower the underlying costs of the health care industry. Now that the writing is on the wall, even Diane “I think you might be a terrorist some day” Feinstein is trying to find a way to avoid the political fallout.

The world was always complex, but as technology advances the world’s perpetual busybodies will become increasingly frustrated. There are too many moving parts. Billions upon billions of voluntary transactions take place ever day between complex spiritual beings with free will. One camp seeks to control the uncontrollable — which has a historical track record of ending in tyranny — and the other believes that the free market (another imperfect system in an imperfect world) is still the best system ever devised for allowing man to obtain his full potential while pulling countless others out of poverty.

Americans should watch what is happening in Venezuela, because in many ways it is giving us a glimpse into the future if we refuse to change course.

Update: I’ll be on NPR’s “Wait…Wait…Don’t Tell Me” on Saturday, Nov. 16 talking about Venezuela.

Venezuela: You can’t have a revolution without a few skidmarks; ignore the toilet paper shortage!

Here we have Venezuelan president Nicholas Maduro telling the "unwashed masses" that if they put their fist into a ball and use it correctly, there is no need for toilet paper. True, the soap shortage will have to be figured out with the increased demand, but price controls will fix that, too. Or not.
Here we have Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro telling the “unwashed masses” that if they put their fist into a ball and use the surface area correctly (knuckles are key!), there is no need for toilet paper. True, the soap shortage will have to be figured out with the increased demand, but price controls will fix that, too. Or not.

How greedy are capitalists? They’re so greedy that they would dare to make a profit on something as essential as toilet paper. Or … perhaps not. Perhaps socialists are so economically challenged that they would try price controls on something as essential to odorless living as toilet paper.

I’ve been meaning to write on this subject for quite some time, but I’ve held off because I feel bad doing so. The free market allows me to buy Quilted Northern as well as Charmin. My bottom is so pampered living in the United States that I don’t want to kick a socialist while he’s down. But … what the heck. At some point we all must answer for our own stupidity; life is full of learning moments if we’re willing to listen.

The Associated Press reports:

CARACAS, Venezuela — Police in Venezuela say they have seized nearly 2,500 rolls of toilet paper in an overnight raid of a clandestine warehouse storing scarce goods.

The Thursday announcement on Twitter said that the officers raiding the garage in western Caracas also seized about 400 diapers and 7,000 liters of fruit juice.

Police chief Luis Karabin told Venezuelan news agency AVN that police, acting on a telephone tip, found “merchandise that we know is scarce on the shelves and doesn’t reach the people.”

Toilet paper is hard to find in Venezuelan grocery stores, as are staple food items such as sugar, milk and cooking oil.

What would it be like to live in a society where tipsters are ratting out their friends and family over rolls of toilet paper? I don’t particularly know, although if you pay attention to the news in the U.S. you’ll find that many, many Americans buy into the notion that price controls work.

I’ll leave it to Lee Doran of “How the World Works” to explain in greater detail:

Over and over and over again, politicians and well-intentioned folks act on behalf of “the poor,” in ways that predictably hurt “the poor.” And when that happens, people are ignorant enough when it comes to basic economics to continue to blame businessmen whose crime is apparently trying to produce a product and get it to the market.

Don’t like what you’re seeing in Venezuela? Think it’s funny? It’s actually not that funny because basic economics is not taught in high school. Most people avoid it like I’d avoid eating burritos in Venezuela right now.

America is on a strange trajectory. A frightening size of its population sees nothing wrong with $17 trillion dollar debt toilet drains, trillion dollar deficits and public policy primordial soup messes that come out of Congress crafted with sound economics as an afterthought.

To my fellow Americans, I say: Do not laugh too hard at our friends from Venezuela. There are plenty of stealth socialists right here at home, and listening to them already has us on the path to Skidmark Row. Let’s wake up before it’s too late.