My Crime

For discussions of culture, politics, economics, sociology, law, business and any other topic that falls under the social science remit.

Re: My Crime

Dude you can spend 3 years in prison here for weed. Like 3 actual years. Mandatory minimums and all that.
You see...a pimp's love is very different from that of a square.
Dating a stripper is like eating a noisy bag of chips in church. Everyone looks at you in disgust, but deep down they want some too.

What exactly is logic? -Magnus Anderson

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Mr Reasonable
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Re: My Crime

Fun fact; it was a Venezuelan dude that came up with the idea for OPEC and got all the Arabs on board. Shit is deep, partner.

We have a saying in Venezuela. "Los rusos tambien juegan." The Russians also play. It doesn't necessarily actually refer to Russians, just to the fact that while the US has been jockeying for a position of power and influence, so has everybody else.

We're not some fucking land of simple naive idiots who just always get duped. The world is a complicated, ferocious place.

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

OK.

In some other parts of the world, which the US gets shit for interfering with, they just shoot you and maybe your family too.

For weed.

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

Which parts? I want to avoid those places.
You see...a pimp's love is very different from that of a square.
Dating a stripper is like eating a noisy bag of chips in church. Everyone looks at you in disgust, but deep down they want some too.

What exactly is logic? -Magnus Anderson

Support the innocence project on AmazonSmile instead of Turd's African savior biker dude.
http://www.innocenceproject.org/

Mr Reasonable
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Re: My Crime

I'm lucky enough to come from a part of the world where if you get caught for weed, nobody really actually knows what the law is but you just pay the cop a little something and go on your way.

If you don't have money, it depends. They might extort you if they think your family may have money, or beat you up, or send you a couple of nights to jail to taste some real hell, or if you're up front about it they may just be in a good mood and let you go, or if they think you are selling and aren't affiliated with the right people or don't have the money to pay them off, then maybe yo go to prison. But you probably don't get a trial for enough years that you have become involved in one of the darkest worlds on the earf, Venezuelan prisons.

In reality it's kind of beautiful. But it got out of hands. Not because of corruption, which I kinda like. It's reasonable. But because of socialism, which demolishes Economies, even super rich ones like Venezuela, in matters of decades. Authoritarianism in general, it's not an easy thing to pull off. Look at Turkey's economy.

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Re: My Crime

All of the Middle East, the Philippines, well most of Asia, and that's about it.

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Re: My Crime

Just sayin. US may not be perfect, but you got a pretty sweet fucking deal down there. All things considered.

Re: all the Hondurans and stuff pouring into the US, like ladies who know for a fact they will get raped doing so.

Pretty fucking cool place, all things considered.

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Re: My Crime

Believe it or not, this is more journalism than it is fiction. In the end the guy that made it, an ex con himself, got shot by gangs for saying more than maybe he shoulda said about the system.

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Re: My Crime

Ok fine, here's a brief (very brief) history of Venezuelan oil exploitation.

Early 1900's, the power of oil is figured out, and a lot of it is found under Venezuelan soil.

The dictator of the time, Gomez, was notorious for treating the country like a private hacienda and obviously basically gave a bunch of gringos the right to take all of it, leave nothing behind including cash or Venezuelan workers, as long as they let him wet his beak.

Fast forward a decade or two, Gomez dies peacefully of old age and politicul tumult ensues. Both parties want democracy: one is Gomez's generals, who want a very sophisticated indirect voting system where only landowning citizens vote and then only for electoral colleges. they do that for a bit until they are overthrown by a generation of people that were University students under Gomez. They had all protested and been imprisoned (ball and chain kind of shit, my great randfather was one) and eventually exiled, where abroad they at first affiliated with communist parties and then floated a tad to the right but anyway, insisted on direct universal votes for all government positions by all Venezuelan citizens, rich or poor.

These guys have a bit more of a populist agenda and they declare by law that oil is a resource that belongs to the Venezuelan people, a public resource, and legislate accordingly. A little further on they found PDVSA, a state agency tasked with running the oil industry in the name of Venezuelans. No Venezuelan has since actually paid any taxes, because the gvt just funds itself and a bunch of looney leftist give-away programs with PDVSA. It has highs and lows about how much they allow foreign companies to participate, but always under strict control of PDVSA. Theu US is cool with it because Vzla is a staunch ally and it is a relief for the US to know they have someone that will always sell them oil, no matter what, no politics or anything. As far as they're concenrned it's a best possible scenario situation. Not that Vzla was ever too tame. We never, for example, signed extradition treaties with the US.

Example: WW2, Vzla declares war on Germany. Doesn't send any actual soldiers, but insures a steady stream of oil for US and take it easy on collecting during the war.

You can say a lot of things about the democracy these guys founded. It was heavily corrupt and inefficient, and was interrupted during the 50's by a brief dictatorship, but nonetheless got rid of it fairly quickly and had the longest running democracy in South America. Venezuelans just aren't good at fascism, really.

But they were lazy, and corrupt, and inefficient, and a vast swath of the country lived in dire poverty from the 70's on or so when oil just wasn't enough to directly fund so many people. They didn't bother too much with developping, and anyway, development is Capitalist and evil. they were on the whole socialists, even the so called right wing Christian Democrats, always with the giveaways and patches.

By 1989, the poverty has gotten so extreme, a slight rise in bus fares triggers a mass riot that makes LA look measured and tranquil. The government's response is to send in the military and start shooting anybody that doesn't go home. Nobody knows how many were shot and disappeared, some say 100's, some say 1000's.

1992, Chavez, a Colonel, and some communist military buddies get a hold of some tanks and storm the presidential palace. They get quickly dealt with, but the news shows Chavez's face and with a few of his super smooth words, he puts half the country in his pocket right there.

He spends about a decade in jail building a network until it gets so influential, our last democratic president is forced to release him. Also that socialist president had sort of praised Chavez because he stormed the palace when a political opponent was there, who incidentally was taking steps to modernize and develop the Venezuelan economy but that included austerity measures and who likes that?

Anyway, they free Chavez and in 1998 he gets elected by a landslide. 90something%, I think.

Chavez decides the laws are too forgiving for foreign companies, even though PDVSA is one of the most respected, best run and most profitable oil businesses in the world (it was a state agency, but independently run by pros, like the Fed). He changes some laws and stuff and now for example all foreign companies must let pDVS have 51% or more ownership over all ventures. Wouldn't you know it? Just around that time the instability promised by Chavez and many other places in the world and a lot of other intricate and ultimately undecipherable factors make the price of oil shoot up to over 100$a barrel. For a long time. Chavez eliminates the independence of PDVSA and appoints political allies, who proceed to use it as a piggy bank for Chavez' socialists insanities which gave houses and hospitals and stuff which is cool, but invested 0 of it while nationalizing gradually all other national industry. Before Chavez oil was 70something% of the Vzlan economy. After him, it was 90%. He would give these companies to cronies, usually military, who would proceed to bankrupt it. He was slightly ore careful with PDVSA, but not enough. Most PDVSA employs are against him so he fires them all. Suddenly, the swift machine that was PDVSA becomes considerably clunkier. machines start breaking down, upkeep isn't met, deals are made more obscure and fucky. But it kinda works for a while, oil is at 100$+. You can get away with almost anything with that price. Another thing they would do is go back on deals with foreign companies on joint ventures that already had the new 51% clause and changing them and demanding more money when thsese companies were already heavily invested. Larger ones like Exxon were able to sue and get some of the investment back, but countless smaller companies just went broke. That's another lost source of income, nobody really wanted to do business with them anymore. Only Russians and Chinese who invested in projects that mostly never really got built (maybe Russia and China would have liked them built, but these guys will screw Chinese and Russians as fast as gringos, they don't care). A lot of money changes hands, but not a lot gets built and even less is invested in maintaining current operations or starting new ones. A lot of Chinese debt, a LOT of Chinese debt, and a considerable amount of Russian debt, starts to become exist. China basically buys Venezuela, really. I ain't even mad at that, at least Chinese get shit done, people don't have to starve. But Venezuela is too incompetent under the socialists for even China to work with.

But hell, oil is at over 100$, you can easily get away with all of this. You don't even need to extract it, just the contracts are ridiculously lucrative. Even though Venezuelan oil is very heavy and hard to extract, and most of it is in the midddle of the fucking Amazon forest where you can imagine, it is not easy to set up oil rigs. But, you know 100$ son. It pays just to mention the existence of that oil.

And then, suddenly, the US gets tired of deppending on these tinpot autocrats around the world and fracking happens and the price of oil takes a deeeeep nose dive.

Chavez conveniently gets cancer and dies, the fucker.

Maduro, who doesn't have the iron grip over the crazy political coalition that Chavez had, takes PDVSA away from corrupt and inefficiant cronies that are at least still nominally trained in the field and gives it to generals who don't know what the fuck they are doing. You can imagine. Incredibly silly mistakes begin to happen, like documents that in any other oil operation anywhere get sent in 2 days takes a month to get sent. Nothing works. Industry upkeep goes from very little to 0. Everything begins to break down, nobody knows how to fix it.

Maduro doesn't have the power to do anything about it anymore, it's all in the hands of the generals now. They let him, who delegates all this to Cuba, run the propaganda arm of the government, but that's about it. Well, the propaganda and the police, which the Cubans are happy to instruct him on how to do. Massive crackdowns and all that.

At this point, people protest on a monthly basis and start actively lobbying the US to do sosmething, who proceed to sanction some individuals in government and their massive, MASSIVE fortunes held in US banks. Billions of dollars a head.

Doesn't do much.

China and Russia got their backs anyway, theirs are long term investments.

But they are just too incompetent. Too fucking incompetent. People in one of the most oil rich nations in the world start starving. You can't find disinfectants for hospitals if your life depends on it, which it often does. People die from dhiarrea and shit.

Things are getting out of hand. The opposition manages to get elected into the national assembly, whhich is troublesome for Madure, so he creates a new special assembly that coopts all of the national assmbly's functions, and starts jailing Deputies (oh yeah, Chavez took it from a two chamber assembly to a one chamber, no more senators). The crackdown has begun.

Some three or five years later of this dire fucking situation and some kid in the national assembly, who nobody knows because all the known guys are in jail, exile, or shutting up to save their lives, some fucking kid can't be over 35 gets elected president of the national assembly and declares himself president of Venezuela. Does some maneuvering, the world is annoyed at this point of Vzla, an oil rich nation to rival Saudi Arabia, starving. So now the US, this was 2019, finally gets the balls to apply the only sanction that can actually bring these dudes down (can, not necessarily will): forbid all business dealings with PDVSA.

I know, you would like all sorts of links and documents and stuff. But I know these things because I have been following it for years and not because I just researched it, and I can't be bothered. Google is your friend, call me on my bluff.

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

Pedro I Rengel wrote:About half way through the video now, and he hasn't mentioned it, and I don't think he will:

One big reason Nixon, and the only real reason he, fought so hard to negotiate a peace with Vietnam from a position of strength rather than just bailing at the request of hysterical leftists was that he was incredibly afraid that once they did leave, there would be one of the greatest genocides in human history.

And there was, in effect, this genocide.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_W ... heast_Asia

for those of you too lazy to watch the video: JFK started the war in Vietnam. Sure, it was succeeding presidents that really escalated, but they were reacting to a thing the US was already committed to, they didn't themselves start a war and in fact none of them wanted the damn thing.

But, you know. Even though leftists then, like leftists now do with Iran, claimed that the Vietcong just wanted to conduct their communist way of life in peace, the fact was that withdrawal would have meant, and did eventually mean, the wholesale slaughter of millions of people.
So, we killed hundreds of thousands to prevent a genocide that actually happened in a different country, one that was destabilized by bombings carried out at Kissinger's advice, but going against both US and international law`? This seems like an after the fact cooked up and even though cooked up terrible defense. It makes no sense and would be immoral even if Kissinger was psychic which he clearly was not.
Karpel Tunnel
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Re: My Crime

It's astonishing to me how little most gringos actually know about their own wars.

Really bonkers. That's the kind of mental laziness that gave us George W. Bush. Neocons. Hey I don't really know whats going on there, but let's get in there and make it a democracy. A policy Clinton was happy to pursue as Secretary of Defence.

But, you know, you found the bad guys, good for you.

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

Even Kissinger slipped up there. It's hard to understand because he gives a pretty accurate description of Rumsfeld in his memoirs of the second term of Nixon's presidency.

The question wasn't do you support the invasion of Iraq or not. The question was holy shit who put Donald Rumsfeld in charge of the most powerful military machine in the history o mankind?

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

Couple of fzzacts for you:

-That different country was being used as a corridor by the Vcong. They knew they could violate that country's soveregnty with impunity while the US would have its hands tied by international and domestic resistance. So they used it, to great effect, and arguably that won them the war, by the time Kissinger bombed the damage was done.

- So JFK goes into Vietnam. LBJ sends in a good amount of troops cause Vcongg are getting rowdy. By the time Nixon, the democratic movement that runs out of South Vietnam, as well as the sorrounding civilized governments, are all liike "pleeeeaaase don't fo, please don't go, these guys and also the Khmer Rouge are psychos. Man, please don't go."

- I just realized that you just said that, because the US bombed some country, it's ok that the southeast Asia communists then committed GEN-O-CIDE.

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

Why was Rumsfeld such a dangerous choice? Because he's an airhead. Not a very smart guy. Got to where he was by sheer will to climb the ranks of government. And Cheney was his apprentice.

"Just look mean, we're republicans, we're supposed to look mean!" That's Cheney.

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

Karpel Tunnel wrote:This seems like an after the fact cooked up and even though cooked up terrible defense.

If you actually bothered to read some detailed history of the thing, rather than just clever opinion pieces with some data in them, it wouldn't seem like anything. You would just know.

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

I'm starting to wonder if you even know what the political history of South-East Asia just prior to JFK's invasion was.

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

Cambodia, Laos, Thailand.

It's a very complicated region of the world. Why do you think Thailand came out of the Vietnam war thing relatively unscathed?

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

I'm just gonna mention this, because the US has something precious few other places have:

Quality, well stocked public libraries with a wealth of extremely well researched history books on almost anything. And that's just the H to K section.

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Re: My Crime

Seems we Dutchies have a good outpost into Venezuala for the coming times, Curacao, part of our kingdom, 100 miles off your coast, is being installed as a hub for humanitarian aid, - meaning of course whatever is convenient for whomever commands convenience. But in general, Holland is of all Euro nations probably the most reliable ally of the US. I dont want to count the Brits as theyre more their own thing. WWII transformed us into what would be a vassal state if we werent the original Empire and still resonate it in cleverness and being in the right places when it matters.

Anyway my compliments on whats easily the most interesting thread here in this politics forum Ive ever seen. Reads like a good detective novel. Informed Noir. Could be a genre.

( Im not like you or mr R, crime was never my scene. But we can use some bloody honesty )
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
~ Владимир Ильич Ульянов Ленин

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barbarianhorde
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Re: My Crime

You think if I opened a Patreon account, anybody would donate?

But then, if that held, Orson Welles would have been a multi-gazzilionaire. Film-noir is the hero you are allowed to hate.

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Re: My Crime

I mean, objectively, Gone With The Wind is still the greatest film ever made, not A Touch Of Evil.

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

Chinatown...

Oh Chinatown...

Polanski...

He IS pretty rich. But he's more capitalism-conscious than Welles and your humble servant.

Chinatown, you know? He accepts the triumph of the villain.

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

Anyway, thanks for the opportunity for that satisfying gaze to my belly button.

Pedro I Rengel
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Re: My Crime

Pedro I Rengel wrote:You think if I opened a Patreon account, anybody would donate?.

I would.

I mean, objectively, Gone With The Wind is still the greatest film ever made,

It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
~ Владимир Ильич Ульянов Ленин

THE HORNED ONE

barbarianhorde
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Re: My Crime

Polanski and cinema in general arent necessarily about stories as much as about psychic magic. You need the semblance of a story or the incentive for the mind to go build one at the images, make them its own, and the movie actor is the center piece.

What a good movie story? Back to the Future. The Terminator. As a chronicle, Forest Gump is good. Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, those are good stories. The Usual Suspects wasnt bad... but Spielberg stories arent as interesting. Nor is the story of Star Wars. These are about the Totem, in Freud. The unleashed shadow, the rolling Rock in Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom... what??? Zool in Ghostbusters 1.

What Hitchcock suggested. Spielberg understood. Had the nerve to pick the perfect Hitchockian threat behind all the threats. Actually the Shark music is actually reminiscent of the Psycho scene.

But yeah all this aside, the world can use a Win in Venezuela.
Big winners, big players.

The US always is the lead in the whole organization with its unrelenting legislature but it is the opportunity to strike some long lasting deals in general. What I like about your discourse (pardonnez) is that it is standing on the solid power of appreciation of every good effort for power. Thats refreshing.

Im always of the opinion that a long lasting political solution is to let people keep their shit and just get them to allow some others to have some stuff as well. Its kind of true what Serendipper says about the luck we have with the few multi billionaires that top the list - theyre not the best but theyre not the worst people in the world. Maybe this trend will persist and in a while wealth and nobility will come to align. Im sure poverty and nobility never will. Theyll always be at odds and create the philosopher, in the Christian sense. Daemonism. We all know we are supposed to step firmly on rock away from that toxicating swamp, but cant leave it without the fishes.
"Were eating their fish"
-a general
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
~ Владимир Ильич Ульянов Ленин

THE HORNED ONE

barbarianhorde
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