Banker's Hours

 We’ll get to our Down The Rabbit Hole segment shortly but first a little recent news. Bernama reports that the Bank of Venezuela, Venezuela’s largest bank, experienced a cyber attack Friday. Officials are calling it “a terrorist attack.” They report that the attack was stopped (or did the hackers get in there and find out there was no money?) and they are working to restore service to their customers. No details were given.

 Then we have reporting that any news of restoration of service was premature after “the terrorist attack” (hack). It left 16 million users without service and as of Tuesday service was not fully restored. A bank worker (anonymous) says the problems were the result of changes being made to the platform to facilitate the upcoming redenomination for the Digital Bolivar Plan. What is more likely, there was a cyber attack or somebody just had and “oops” moment?  Oh, and the outage occurred during the quincena when most of the country receives it’s salary payments.

 EU representative, Josep Borrell tells us that sending a delegation to observe the November elections depends on the oppositions role. In short, they won’t bother to monitor a sham election unless the opposition is allowed to fully participate. As we’ve told you. the CNE (electoral council) reinstated opposition parties formerly barred from elections and they made a big deal about how it demonstrated their new attitude. What they didn’t say was that many of the most prominent candidates of those parties remain barred from running. The situation is being reviewed by the CNE. Uhh, aren’t the elections right around the corner in November?

 Digital Journal reports that Nicolas Maduro made a big splash by arriving in Mexico for the CELAC summit. It was his first trip abroad since March,2020 when the US DOJ accused Nicolas of Narco Terrorism, Drug Trafficking,and offered a $15 million reward for information leading to his arrest. In his statement Maduro condemned the harassment of “Revolutions” in Venezuela,Cuba,and Nicaragua. And what do these “Revolutions” have in common? That would be little things like Human Rights violations. Nothing says repression and oppression like “Revolutions”.

 In a follow up Mexico News Daily reports current and former political leaders criticizing AMLO for welcoming Cuban and Venezuelan leaders, “Lopez Obrador has turned Mexico into a ‘dictators’ meeting place.”

 Time to head Down The Rabbit Hole…..

 Chapter 15/ Op Ed

 There may be no right more misunderstood than the 2nd Amendment. I hear the arguments about gun control,both pro and con, all the time,especially after a mass shooting.”I have a right to protect my family” or “There are more mass shootings in the US than anywhere in the world” and so on…and on…and on.I understand where both sides are coming from,especially emotionally,but the most important issue regarding gun control is rarely mentioned …so I’ll mention it here as the situation in Venezuela is the perfect context for the discussion.

 Let me begin by saying that I don’t own a gun or exhibit any of the behavior normally associated with someone that is pro 2nd Amendment. I am,however, a life-long fan of history.I feel it’s important to take a good hard look at history,both in a general sense and my personal history.If I know and understand both the facts and the context I can get a grasp of what happened and why it happened,provided I maintain my objectivity,fully knowing that nobody is truly objective.Did you catch that? Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself …trying to prove that I’m objective even about my objectivity! Anyway, the point is to try and benefit from the successes of the past and avoid repeating the mistakes,again both in a general sense and on a personal level.It’s not easy and can be quite uncomfortable, but it’s necessary.

 That said,the question is why do we have a 2nd Amendment? What were they thinking about when they came up with the idea and is it still applicable today? “The right to keep and bear arms…” having read quite a bit about the period leading up to the Revolutionary War, the war itself, and the period after,when the documents upon which our nation was founded were written, as well as the cast of characters involved. I think I have somewhat of an understanding. At least I know enough to know what I don’t know.I love statements like that. It’s one of those “I may not have all the answers but at least I’m in touch with the questions” kinda’ deals.

 In my humble (?) opinion the founding fathers weren’t all that concerned with personal protection when they came up with the idea of guaranteed gun ownership. In fact, it may not have been a factor at all,simply a by-product of the real reason to ensure that the population has access to firearms.And that reason is(was)… not to protect ourselves from each other but to protect ourselves collectively from the government we created.

 The founding fathers were great men,great thinkers,forward thinkers. The American Experiment is the greatest success in the history of government.The men who drafted it’s foundational documents seemed to have an understanding of a basic truth, no one knows what the future will bring and governments seem to transform themselves based on the lowest common denominator.When Ben Franklin responded to the question of what kind of government they had set up for us his response was perfect.”A constitutional republic…if you can keep it.” The way they set things up all seem to serve the same purpose, to protect the government (us) from itself (ourselves).

 To be continued…

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