Another Year Older

 We will be continuing Down The Rabbit Hole Tuesday after taking Monday off to celebrate America’s birthday. Yep, we’re another year older here in the USA. You know, that terrible capitalist, imperialist,colonialist, racist, white supremacist place that people risk their lives to come to every year….hmmmm…?? More on that in a moment.

 Here is an all too typical story from the home of 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism. Erickvaldo Marquez, a student, was released after more than three years of incarceration. Being jailed on trumped up and vague charges is nothing new in Venezuela. So why bring it up? Because it is also nothing new that he was ordered released by a judge in December, 2020 and it took 7 months for him to get out!

 It is also worth remembering the second anniversary of the death of Captain Rafael Acosta Arevalo. He was arrested by the DGCIM, one of the three (or is it four?) secret police groups of the Maduro regime. When he was taken before a judge in a wheelchair, barely able to speak, it was so obvious he had been severely tortured the judge ordered him taken to the hospital immediately where he subsequently died.

 Here is a timely story for those of us that have been Down The Rabbit Hole this week but I have to ask, is this even news anymore? A main water pipeline burst in Miranda state causing Hidrocapital, the government owned utility, to shut off the water, then also the power. Eight other states were also without power….Ho Hum….

 S&P Global reports that Oil Minister,Tareck el Aissami, you know, the guy that says Venezuela will quadruple oil production by the end of the year, has said they will accomplish this by opening 3,700 previously shuttered wells and will restart drilling using 17 rigs (at one time there were 95 in operation, now 1…or none) 14 of them at a cost of one and a half million dollars each. In typical Chavista style he gave no details of how they would accomplish this nor any mention of where the money was coming from.

 There are reports that Maduro will order 6 zeros removed from the Bolivar, the local currency. We will have more on this as details and confirmations come in but if accurate, and we know they have to do something as the largest banknote, the million Bolivar note, is worth about 30 cents in dollar terms. Just like the last time Maduro lopped off five zeros (and remember Chavez lopped off three), it becomes necessary because payment systems aren’t set up for such large numbers per transaction and the systems crash. Oh, and we will have a segment of Down The Rabbit Hole regarding Maduro’s previous attempt (and Chavez’ before him) to reconfigure the currency.

 ” America…what a country!” A constitutional republic, “if you can keep it.” as Ben Franklin famously said. I never thought I would see a time when so many people here were willing to believe so many things that are so fundamentally flawed. As I said last week, Critical Race Theory is fundamentally flawed. You cannot deal with racism(which always has been and always will be around to one degree or another) by using racism. I thought Martin Luther King, you know, the great civil rights leader that said we shouldn’t judge people by the color of their skin, was right. Now I’m to believe that if I don’t judge people by the color of their skin I’m a racist. Huh?

 Black Lives Matter is fundamentally flawed, although their name is catchy. I always thought that it was important to question everything, including myself. Now the leaders of BLM would have me believe that skepticism and objectivity are ” white supremacist values.” To remain unbiased (objective) and to question (skepticism) are fundamental to learning. How can questions be answered that are unasked? If questions are asked how can I process the answers unless I am objective? To think otherwise is fundamentally flawed. Perhaps it is because they are self-proclaimed Marxists?

 Speaking of fundamentally flawed, Marxism (socialism) has to be at the top of the list. How could I be expected to take Karl Marx seriously? He wrote about the evils of exploiting the working class as exploited his partner, Engels, who had to work to support him so he could spend his time writing about said exploitation. Huh? One of the shortcomings of capitalism’s victory over communism in the 20th century was the failure to celebrate it. There has never been an economic system responsible for raising the standard of living of more people than capitalism. It is a fundamental truth. The USSR didn’t get it and the USSR collapsed. The Chinese, to their credit, understood this and their embracing of capitalist principles is what has allowed the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) to survive when their ideologically pure form of government was failing. Communism/Marxism/Socialism goes against human nature and is fundamentally flawed.

 In the face of all this “shut up and do what we say” culture I will choose to continue to question and hopefully will remain objective enough to understand the answers to those questions.

 Mark Steyn said something very interesting years ago when he returned to the US (he’s Canadian by the way) after touring Europe. He said that Europeans always want Americans to be more European when things are good, when they are not threatened. When they are threatened, when things get bad, they want Americans to be more American.

 And then there’s Vinh Pham, my Vietnamese amigo from Savannah,Ga. He told me about how he and his mother fled Vietnam and came to the US. He found himself on a naval dock in Pensacola,Fla. He was shoe-less, wearing pants way too big, held up by a rope belt (both given to him),with no knowledge of the language, no money, and a very uncertain future before him. “It was the happiest day of my life.”  “How could that be?” I asked. “I was in America!”

 To all those who have won the geographic lottery here in the USA… “Happy Fourth Of July” !!!!!!

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