Category Archives: Honduras

Where Have All the Catholics Gone?

In recent years, the US Catholic Church is undergoing a crisis. Fully 1/3 of its members have left the Church, even with all the Hispanic immigration. For the Church, this is a looming catastrophe. This is happening at the same time as Evangelical Protestants are increasing somewhat (8% increase) and mainline Protestants are declining somewhat (4%). There has been collapse in the membership of the mainline churches and the Evangelical churches are not undergoing explosive growth. Both of these are common tropes believed by many people nowadays.

If fully 1/3 of Catholics have left the church, this begs the question of where have they gone? I thought, once a Catholic, always a Catholic and in the sense that they take a bite out of you and psychologically, you tend to remain Catholic for good and for bad is a common cliche. I believe that the Church considers lapsed Catholics to still be Catholics, but that is a formality. The Church believes lots of silly things, for instance that we are all naturally born Catholic no matter religion we grow up in. That is why conversion to Catholicism is always called “return” because you are said to be returning to the natural religion you were born into.

In the past, converting out of Catholicism was considered a grave error and even a serious sin. I believed that Catholics were still loathe to convert to Protestantism, other than in the Hispanic community, where a mass exodus of Catholics to Evangelical churches has been going on for a long time in both Hispanic communities in the US and in Latin America itself. The situation is especially grave in Central America. Countries like Honduras now are ~1/3 Evangelical. As lousy as the Catholic Church is (and it is lousy) I would much rather have those Hispanics being Catholic than converting to pie in the sky when you die we love the poor but don’t try to improve your station in life ultra-rightwing anti-Left and anti-progress Protestant Evangelicals, with its various heresies such as Christian Zionism and Wealth Doctrine and other atrocities.

But Evangelical Hispanics are stuck in the worst rut of reaction. One wonders how they c can get out.

I used to think the most Catholics were absolutely loath to convert out to Protestantism, but it’s more common than you think and the Church hardly cares anymore, as they have more pressing concerns. Let’s look at the figures:

Of the 1/3 of Catholics who have left the Church:

50% have simply gone from Catholic to ex-Catholic. They have converted to Protestantism or another religion. Apparently nowadays it is perfectly acceptable to be a former Catholic. That’s news to me.

18% have converted to Protestantism. That is not a large number, but it is not trivial either.

Of those, 12% of leaving Catholics convert to Evangelical Protestantism. I would argue that these are mostly Hispanic Catholics converting out to the exploding Evangelical churches in the Hispanic areas of the US. I’ve never met a White Catholic who converted out to Evangelicalism, but there are probably a few.

Only 6% of leaving Catholics convert to a mainline Protestant Church. That’s a small number, but it’s not trivial.

In fact, more Catholics convert to Buddhism (10%) than convert to mainline Protestant churches. That’s a pretty pathetic statement on how many Catholics leave for mainline P Protestantism.

There’s no good answer on why Catholics leave. Sure, liberals say that they leave because of reactionary Church doctrine on homosexuality, women priests marrying, priestly celibacy, birth control, and abortion. In contrast, conservatives say that Catholics are leaving because they Church has gone way too liberal, especially since Vatican II.

The truth that about equal numbers leave because the Church is too liberal as leave because it is too conservative. There’s no real trends either way. It’s all a wash.

Actually the main reason Catholics left (65%) was that they felt that the Catholic Church was no longer meeting their spiritual needs. This is a serious failure on the part of the Church. I am not sure what they can do about it, but ritual only goes so far. More New Testament Biblical homilies, especially about Jesus’ life, might be an avenue.

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Anatomy of a Lie: All Latin American Revolutions Came from Cuba and the USSR

Jason: Also, the left not only believes the other side will torture them like on Hostel, but they believe the US is aiding the right. I suppose at one time, the right thought the USSR was aiding the left, but I think the real facts were exaggerated.

They have good reasons to think that. Do you realize that hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have in fact been tortured like in Hostel? All with the approval, coaching, cheerleading and assistance of the US?

The USSR was aiding the Left only in a sense. In only a very few countries had an armed revolutions had sprung up and Cuba was aiding them. Russia gave the Cubans lots of arms and the Cubans smuggled them to Nicaragua and then to the rebels in El Salvador. That was it as far as I can tell.

The revolutionaries in the following countries never got one bullet or one nickel from Cuba or the USSR:

Guatemala: URNG and others 1954-1994
Colombia: ELN, FARC 1964-present
Peru: focos in the 1960’s, Sendero Luminoso 1980-present, MRTA 1984-1996
Ecuador: Sendero Luminoso 1990
Venezuela: small focos in the 1960’s and 1970’s
Brazil: urban guerrillas in the 1960’s
Uruguay: Tupamaros 1970-1983
Bolivia: Sendero Luminoso 1990, MIR 1960’s
Paraguay: recent guerrillas supported by the FARC 2012-present
Argentina: Tupamaros 1970-1983
Nicaragua: Sandinistas 1964-1979
Honduras: small guerrilla bands in the 1980’s
Chile: Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front 1970-1989, Lautaro Front 1990’s

As you can see, armed revolutions started up in all of those countries at one time or another usually for very good reasons. The Right tried to blame all this revolutionary activity on the USSR bogeyman. But the USSR never gave any of those groups one bullet or one dime. The Right also claimed and still does that everything was peachy clean and hunky dory in all of those countries except for the evil Soviets coming in and stirring things up by giving those university students all those funny ideas. This is complete nonsense. The truth is that if you have a decent country, you never get Left guerrillas, rural, urban or otherwise.

You only get an armed Left when your country is a complete Hellhole. The way to defeat an armed Left is to create at least a semblance of a decent society. If you do that, the Left will lay down its arms and even join the government.

The US always wants to say that rebels have no agency.

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Latin American Politics Finally Comes To America

I guess Chile has their version of the mighty keyboard warrior like the US. No shortage of white shit for brains running around say they’re going get rid of all the Jews and blacks.. then you have a fair number of blacks running around saying they’re going to get rid of their white oppressors.. etc. Totally delusional twats. Maybe rightists are a serious problem in Chile but I don’t consider YouTube comments a proper gauge of sentiment and support.

I have been engaged off and on in deep study of this region since 1989. 28 years.

You don’t understand Chile. You don’t understand Latin America.

Really the entire rightwing down there is exactly like this. The rich, elite Whites’ basic attitude in almost every country down there is “All Communists must be killed.” And Communist means anyone even slightly left of center. A huge % of the population in Chile is still pro-Pinochet, and this is precisely how they think.

The Left stages marches and protests all the time, often is support of Allende. Rightists, of whom there are many supporters still meet them and there is wild street fighting. Rightists then stage marches often in support of Pinochet. The Left shows up and there is wild street fighting.

Did some searches.. looks like the bigger demonstrations were over education and state (or lack of it) support. Seem to follow the US model – most of the protests are peaceful but then you have “the hooded ones” raising a ruckus. I couldn’t find anything that indicated there were large counter protests by rightists – not saying that didn’t happen but I just couldn’t find them If you have a link or links I’ll take a look.

Ok, well I think I may have read this some time ago. I do remember reading it, but it could have been a while back. It could well have been years ago, or a decade or more ago. But at one time in recent history, this is how it was.

Perhaps the Left vs. Right riots have quieted down in recent years, but that’s the way it was not long ago.

Protests in Chile have historically been far more riotous and violent than demos in the US. There’s not really any comparison. Anyway, violent riots on the US Left are a relatively new phenomenon. Trump is a corrupt, vicious, evil ultraright dictator ruling in a typical Latin American model. All of the Latin American Right is exactly like Donald Trump. That’s why the Left is so violent down there. Trump has succeeded in finally bringing Latin American ultraright fascism to America. So it follows that we are following the Latin American model in that the Left has grown militant, and Left demos now often turn riotous and violent just as they do in Latin America.

This sort of thing is so predictable that you can write near mathematical laws of political science predicting it. A nation can only go so far to the extreme right and it can only become unequal to a certain level. Once it passes that level, it has crossed some sort of Rubicon and now in most any nation you automatically get a militant, riotous and violent Left. It’s as close to a law as the sort you can get in mathematics and physics.

In Chile, the Indians are treated horribly and engage in continuous demonstrations which usually turn into riots.

I was following Latin American politics a lot on the Net a few years back, and most demos in Chile seemed to turn into the typical Latin American demonstration -> riot progression. Most demos in Latin America turn riotous from my observation, at least in Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, and even Mexico. The conditions are so insanely unequal down there that any working class demo quickly turns into a riot.

Violence, riots, coups, extremes of Left and Right politics, lack of democracy and extreme instability are typical of the entire region and now we are importing precisely this model to the US.

I am leaving out Argentina, but the Argentine Right was recently calling for a military coup against Kirchner.

In Paraguay, a legislative coup threw out the leftwinger.

A legislative coup just threw out Rouseff, the left president of Brazil.

There have been many coup and quasi-coup attempts in Venezuela. You could well say there has been a continuous coup since 2002.

In Colombia, yes, left demos usually turn violent or riotous. On the other hand, if you are on the Left down there, you can be murdered by the government at any time.

There was a military coup in Honduras, and now anyone on the Left can be killed at any time. Death squads have killed over 1,000 people.

A US coup removed Aristide in Haiti. The new US installed government quickly murdered 3,000 people.

Why the commenter is trying to polish this Latin American turd is beyond me.

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A Few Countries Where US-Style Conservatives Are in Power

Juan: The Filipino government.

Center-left economics but far-right socially (law and order, etc.)

This does not remind you of Trump?

There is absolutely nothing even 1% left or even centrist about Trump. He’s basically the most rightwing man on Earth, and the Republican Party is one of the most rightwing ruling parties on Earth.

There are some contenders now in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, Honduras and Haiti, but they have vast opposition among the people. I doubt if they have majority support in any of those countries.

Two of them came to power in legislative coups – in Paraguay and Brazil.

Honduras is a military dictatorship, as is Haiti. Both governments are hated by the majority of the population.

Yes, far right parties were elected in Argentina, Chile and Colombia.

But in Argentina the far right was replacing the Hard Left with Kirchner and the government has huge opposition.

There is a lot of support for the Right in Chile, but I doubt if it’s the majority. Chile has been governed by members of the Socialist Party for most of the last 20 years. Furthermore, the Left is radicalized, activated huge and often violent in opposition.

Colombia has long been probably the most rightwing country on Earth. Probably the majority of the population supports the Hard Fascist Right. Why this is, is not known, but it is a long tradition down there. Nevertheless, the Left is huge, extremely radicalized and activated, and in fact, they have taken up arms. Actually, they have been armed to the teeth for the last 52 years. The armed Left is powerful and deadly, and they have killed 10,000’s of soldiers and police. They are so powerful that a while back, they fired mortars at the Capital building at the very moment that the new President was being sworn in. Some of the mortars actually struck the building.

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Are Brownshirt Gangs a Necessary Component of Fascism?

In many respects, Trump and Trumpism looks like the Latin American Oligarchic Right. He also looks a lot like the rightwing, basically fascist Right in Latin America. Every time I look at his regime, I think of the Venezuelan Opposition Right. In fact, the Republican Party increasingly looks like the Latin American Oligarchic Right, and it has been slowly resembling them for some time now.

The rightwing fascists in Latin America do not all have Brownshirt street gangs, do they? Where are the Brownshirts of the Latin American rightwings? They have death squads, yes, in a number of countries, and they have street rioters, but Brownshirts who actually go around attacking the Opposition? Not really.

But there is something like this in the Chilean Right, which regularly engages in all-out street riot-wars with the street fighters of the Left. In this sense, Chile represents Germany in the interwar period.

Something similar goes on in Venezuela, where the Right engages in relatively continuous rioting, and sometimes there is fighting with leftwing mobs. Most of the fighting is with the police though.

The death squads of El Salvador were often made up of the fanatical anti-Communist street thugs of the lower middle class neighborhoods. Have you ever seen an ARENA rally in El Salvador? That looked something like a Brownshirt mob, but they did not take to the streets.

Yes there is a thuggish rightwing in Brazil, but is it really of the Brownshirt variety? The recent coup was a legislative one.

There are something like Brownshirt mobs in the east of Bolivia (who also fashion themselves as White supremacists), but they have not been very active lately, and they are countered by leftwing Indian mobs in the capital and east of the country.

There were rightwing Peronist mobs a while back, but that seems to be through. The only mobs in Argentina anymore are with the Left. The Right only has the support of the out of touch Rich.

The only rioting mobs in  Peru are on the Left, and riot they do, on a near-constant basis. There is no rightwing presence on the streets in Peru, as once again, the Right here is simply an out of touch White wealthy elite.

There are death squads in Ecuador, but they are not active anymore. The Right only has a presence in the security forces. The huge street mobs are in the capital and are of the Left.

The mobs in Nicaragua are mostly pro-Sandinista, as the Right down there has no street presence, since nobody much likes them.

The street is owned by the Left in Honduras too. The Right only has presence in a small number of rich and the security forces.

There are no street mobs of any kind in Guatemala. The murderous Right is present in the security forces.

In Colombia, the Right does have support, but there are no rightwing street mobs. The violent Right down there are the death squads run by the security forces who work in concert with civilian paramilitaries. There are not even many leftwing protests since a few weeks after huge leftwing protests, 10-15 of the protesters will end up murdered. So the Left in Colombia is armed to the teeth yet underground by necessity.

I do not think you need Brownshirt mobs to have a deadly fascist state as many examples in Latin America show us. When the rightwing government is running around murdering the Left, I am not sure if it matters whether that government is classically fascist or not. They are murderous rightwing thugs whether they earn the official fascist moniker or not. Officially fascist or not, they are still coming out to kill you, so at the end of the day, what difference does it make?

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Trump Is Catastrophic No Matter What His Stance on Globalism Is

Jason Y: OK, one choice is taking up Ron Paul anti-globalism, which would reduce him to Jimmy Carter uselessness, or just lie and actually be a globalist, and a massively militaristic one at that.

Why is it down to globalism versus anti-globalism? Leaving that aside altogether, looking at his Cabinet appointment shows him to be an ultra-rightwing fanatical reactionary. Look at those Cabinet appointments. That’s all you need to know right there. Those are some of the scariest people I have ever seen in my government.

Actually, the truth is that he is an out and out fascist. That’s no exaggeration. It is absolutely correct. People have been calling the Republicans fascists since the election theft of 2000, and I think they were onto something. That is, they were moving more and more in that direction.

The Republicans are now about as evil as a typical brutal and corrupt Latin American ultraright fascist oligarchy. This is exactly what they remind me of. I look at them and I think of the oligarchical Right in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.  The only thing missing is overt coup attempts and death squads. To be more precise, they remind me of the Right in Venezuela, but comparisons to Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, Haiti and Ecuador are not far off base.

The leaders of the Latin American Right pretty much deserved to get killed based on how they act. I do not blame the Left down there for killing those people. They very much deserve it. Look at how they act!

They have an extreme hatred for democracy, and basically their attitude is that they will not tolerate the Left being in power for one day. And when the Left gets in, they will try everything in the book, legal, illegal and in between, to get rid of them. There is nothing too low for them. If they have to tell 10 million lies, they will do it. If they have to steal elections, then they will do it. If they have assassinate leftwingers, they will do it. If they have to destroy the whole economy, they will do it. If they have to riot in the streets, they will do it. If they have to run death squads, then they will do it. If they have to mount coups, military or legislative, than they will do it. The ends justifies the means, and it’s “whatever it takes to get rid of the Left, damn morality.”

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Problems of Communist or Socialist Democracy

Steve: I think the worst thing about 20th century communism was not the economic system but the totalitarianism, the police state and the spying and prison camps.

Maybe it was the revolutionary origins, the utopianism, the materialism, the fact the government had too much power because it owned and controlled everything BUT if it were possible to have communism with democracy, free speech, freedom of religion, trial by jury etc it really wouldn’t be so bad, you could live with the economic system.

Remember the communist countries had the cold war and sanctions and stuff to contend with too.

They have a certain amount of free speech in China, Vietnam and Cuba, but maybe not as much as you would like. They have anti-government demonstrations in Vietnam, and there are 100 protests every day in China.

There is critical press in Cuba that no one does anything about (check out Havana Times) and dissidents are mostly allowed to publish openly (check out the famous Cuban woman dissident blogger). There is freedom of religion in Cuba, and believers can now join the Party. They have trial by jury in Cuba. I am not sure how fair it is though. But there are some defense attorneys who are taking anti-government cases right now, people accused of criminal charges, police brutality cases, etc. You can read about them in Havana Times. Nobody does much to them.

In Cuba it was supposedly inside the revolution, total freedom of speech, outside of it nothing. But it never really worked out that way, and they went after a lot of loyal opposition types. In Cuba today, you can’t try to overthrow the government and you can’t advocate getting rid of the socialist system. Outside of that, you can supposedly say what you want, but even that may be limited. Check out Havana Times though. There are some very government-critical people there being published all the time, and I think they are mostly left alone.

Every time they try that, the capitalists go berserk, cause chaos and make endless coup and assassination attempts. Also they engage in mass economic sabotage. But this was only tried in places where the economy was still capitalist. The US starts flooding the country with millions of dollars to the dissidents and spends more millions setting up countless “democratic” pressure group that mostly spend every second of their time trying to overthrow the government. You going to let people own newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations. Guess who’s going to buy up all the media? In Venezuela even today, 75% of the media is privately owned. OK you will allow free elections. How about campaign contributions? Guess who’s going to buy the elections?

You can’t have Communist democracy. That’s why Lenin talked about parliamentary cretinism.

You can’t have somewhat socialist democracy in a lot of places. Look what happened in:

  • Brazil (military coup, parliamentary coup)
  • Guatemala (military coup + 200,000 murdered over 40 years)
  • Iran (military coup + 150,000 murdered)
  • The Congo (military coup + assassination)
  • Haiti (military coup + chaos + contras + 3,000 plus murdered)
  • Dominican Republican (US invasion to topple regime)
  • Guyana (regime toppled by British)
  • Honduras (military coup + 1,000 murdered)
  • Syria (military coup)
  • Greece (military coup)
  • Italy (election fraud)
  • Indonesia (military coup + 1 million Communists murdered)
  • Colombia (assassination + death squads)
  • Panama (assassination)
  • Mexico (election fraud)
  • Afghanistan (contras)
  • Nicaragua (contras + sanctions)
  • El Salvador (military coup followed by 75,000 murdered)
  • Chile (economic sabotage, chaos, military coup, 15,000 murdered, defense attorneys tortured to death)
  • Venezuela (military coup, economic coup, constant riots and chaos), endless assassination plots, assassinations and murders, death squads, economic sabotage)
  • Argentina (military coup, 30,000 murdered)
  • Uruguay (military coup, 300 murdered)
  • Peru (military coup, 1.5 million arrested)
  • East Timor (military coup, invasion to topple regime, 300,000 murdered),
  • Paraguay (legislative coup + death squads)
  • Zimbabwe (sanctions)
  • Ukraine (coup)

Mao warned about this. He said there were always capitalist elements in the party trying to restore capitalism. That was the reason for the cultural revolution. Mao thought you would have to have cultural revolutions all the time to keep weeding out the reactionary elements in the party because they would keep springing up again like weeds.

Look what happened when Mao died. The reactionaries in the party around Deng took over and restored capitalism (sort of). Mao was right.

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Have Countries Improved by Moving Away from Social Democracy and Towards Neoliberalism?

HBD investor: Many countries floundered in various socialist schemes and their economies massively improved when they became less socialist.

None of this is true.

Many countries had problems with centrally planned economies with many or all state firms. This is called either state socialism or Communism and the record is not so wonderful. It isn’t so bad either. Been to Eastern Europe? See all that infrastructure? That was all built by the Communists. Go to Russia and see the same thing. Same in China. Communists built Russia and China up from nothing. They were nothing before, and Communism turned them into superpowers. They also had very high economic growth in industry and agriculture for decades. They massively expanded the nearly nonexistent education system. The Communists made monumental gains in housing in both countries. Health care improved to an incredible degree in both countries.

Now with Communism you can get great economic growth for a while, maybe a few decades, maybe more, but at some point it all starts bogging down in bureaucracy, lack of a pricing mechanism and a market, a lot of people just not working very hard and massive thievery of state property. In addition, the rate of economic growth slows. Although Communist countries usually wipe out poverty, in its place they only allow a relatively low standard of living. People probably want to live better than that. In addition, the collectivization of agriculture has been such a failure in Communist countries that I believe we should stop trying it. Production usually goes down by quite a bit and there are sometimes famines at the start if they try to do it too fast.

Yugoslavian Communism worked very well by the way, and they had a very good standard of living, the highest in Eastern Europe.

In addition, state socialist schemes with central planning had a lot of problems in Syria, India, Tanzania and other places. It just doesn’t work very well.

On the other hand, some form of social democracy is the norm all over the world. It’s not true that social democratic countries did a lot better as they shed most of their social democracy and adopted neoliberalism. The world has been doing that for a long time now and the record is in. It’s been a massive failure.

All of Europe except the UK is voting in Left parties, and at least the people want more social democracy and less neoliberalism. There’s no move towards neoliberalism and away from social democracy in Europe outside of Latvia and the UK.

There is no neoliberal free market capitalism in the Arab World. Arabs actually don’t believe in neoliberalism because Arabs and Muslims are sort of “naturally socialist” people. The Gulf states are huge social democracies. There is a lot of social spending and considerable state involvement in the economy in much of the Arab World.

Iran has been pretty much a socialist country ever since the Revolution. There is vast social spending, and the state is involved in the economy. Afghanistan is collapsed, but Communism was actually pretty popular there. Pakistan has been run by social democratic parties in recent years. India is officially a socialist country. It’s written right into the Constitution. An armed Maoist group is very powerful in India. Communist Parties have been running the states of West Bengal and Kerala for decades. Nepal is run by a coalition government consisting of a socialist party and a Communist party. The large opposition is made up of Maoists. I believe Sri Lanka is run by a social democratic party.

Myanmar’s been socialist forever. Vietnam and Laos are Communist. Cambodia has been run by Communists in recent years. The Philippines is a bad example, but they have free state health care for all, and education is free through the university level. Indonesia recently elected a socialist, a woman. The very popular newly elected president says he is a socialist. An armed Maoist group is very active in the country.

Australia and New Zealand are longstanding social democracies on the Canadian model.

Canada is a longstanding social democracy.

The largest party in Mexico is a member of the Socialist International, and the oil industry is state owned. Education is free through the university level, and health care is also free. El Salvador and Nicaragua are now run by former Marxist guerrillas, the FMLN and the Sandinistas. Costa Rica has been a social democracy since after World War 2. Honduras recently elected a leftwing president who was quickly overthrown in a state-sponsored coup. The military is still in power in Honduras, but everybody hates them.

A socialist party called Lavalas, the party of Jean Bertrande Aristide, continues to be the most popular party in Haiti, even though it has been declared illegal. To show you how popular Lavalas is, in the last election they ran in, they got 92% of the vote. During his short reign, Aristide built more schools than had been built in the entire 190 years before him.

A number of Caribbean island states are members of the Bolivarian economic bloc set up by Venezuela. Most Caribbean political parties are leftwing parties with the words socialist, revolutionary, workers, labor, or popular in them. Cuba is Communist and has a lower infant mortality rate than we do. A few years ago, they also had a longer life expectancy than we did.

Venezuela is still run by the Chavistas, a socialist party. Ecuador is run by a Leftist. Peru recently elected a leftwing Indian, although he has not been able to do much as his hands are tied. Brazil has been electing the socialist PT or Workers Party for many years now. A former Marxist guerrilla was the most recent president, and she was only removed by an illegal US-sponsored legislative coup. Paraguay elected a Leftist Catholic priest, a preacher of Liberation Theology, but he was soon overthrown in a legislative coup. The illegitimate party is now in power.

Uruguay has been a social democracy forever, and it is now governed by a former Marxist guerrilla. Juan Peron put in a social democracy in the 1950’s. Argentina was recently governed by a leftwing husband and wife team who alternated in the Presidency. Chile has been electing presidents from the Socialist Party for about 20 years now. The most recent Socialist, Michelle Bachelet, is a radical, but it remains to be seen what she can do. Chile has a huge class divide, the upper and lower classes  want to murder each other, and there are regular violent protests, leftwing versus rightwing street brawls, and riots, lately by students.

In Latin America, radical neoliberalism was imposed for 20 years, and it failed so badly that the whole continent has been electing leftwingers ever since.

I do not know much about Africa, but most African parties have been officially social democratic for a long time now. The Communist Party was recently part of a South African government. If anything has failed in Africa, it is neoliberalism.

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US and Turkey Not Cooperating at All on Syria

Here and here.

This makes a lot of sense to me.

I have never been able to figure out who was behind that bizarre coup, but I am almost certain that the US was in on it. And the Gulenists may well have played a large role. The coup was probably a US/Gulenist coup to take down Erdogan for cooperating with Russia. The coup happened very soon after Turkey announced a cooperation agreement with Russia.

But it looks like Russia may well have warned Erdogan beforehand, so Erdogan had some sort of foreknowledge of the coup. It was quite suspicious how he rounded up all of those people, put most of his political opponents in jail and jailed half the officers in the country and shut down the nation’s opposition media. He clearly used the coup as a pretext to cement his dictatorship.

The blatherings from the sick US media that democracy had been saved in Turkey and democracy needed to be preserved in Turkey were complete crap. Sure the coupists would not have been democrats, but Erdogan was already a dictator, it’s just that he was even more of one after the coup.

The US government is a maggot entity when it comes to this sort of thing. We foment coups all over the world all the time and overthrow democratically elected governments all the time. We just did so in Haiti, Honduras, Brazil, Paraguay and Ukraine. Usually the sick MSM has some crazy, sick lie about how the coup was necessary because the president was corrupt or incompetent or not democratic!

Ukraine had to be overthrown because it was corrupt. Same with Brazil. Honduras and Paraguay had to be overthrown because the governments were trying to subvert democracy. It’s a lie in both cases, and anyway, they were replaced by putschists who were hardly democrats themselves. Egypt had to be overthrown because the government was a dictatorship. But the coup put in a new government that’s a dictatorship too! Aristide had to be overthrown because he was incompetent and causing chaos. Never mind that things got 10X worse when the putschists were put in and the chaos went crazy, leaving 3,000 Aristide supporters murdered.

It’s all just nothing but lies, hypocrisy and double standards, the three pillars of US foreign policy. It’s pretty simple. When our enemies have a democratically elected government, it needs to be overthrown by a military or legislative coup for some insane reason and a dictatorship needs to be put in. What about democracy? What democracy? The Hell with democracy.

When there’s a coup against one of our democratically elected pals, we scream and yell about the need to restore democracy and get rid of the evil military dictators. And all of our allies are democracies, even the dictatorships. Somehow friendly dictatorships are actually democracies or they are really nice dictatorships, or whatever, or this or that, or nothing. Handwave.

The media of course always plays along with the entire crusade, in fact, US foreign policy is utterly dependent on a compliant media which helps to implement the project. Without the lying propaganda media, US foreign policy goals might be a lot harder to implement. And the entire media goes along. Not one single outlet steps out of line. Name one media outlet opposing the US government on Iran, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela or Russia. One. One. All I ask you is to name one. You can’t. That’s worse than Putin’s Russia. Putin’s Russia has lots of opposition media. That’s worse than the “dictatorship” of Venezuela where the opposition controls 75% of the media. It’s probably worse than the USSR. At least they had their samizdat.

The shootdown of the Russian jet which resulted in the deaths of two Russian airmen is clouded in uncertainty. It is doubtful that Gulenists did it, and Erdogan was raging against Russia at the time. Turkey was utterly defiant and the US and Turkey made up a lie about Russia violating Turkish airspace. Truth is that the shootdown was planned well in advance.

Turkey had received warning 24 hours before from the US military of the flight path of the Russian jets as Russia was coordinating all of this with the Pentagon. The jets were over a tiny bit of Turkish territory for maybe 13 seconds and this sort of thing happens all the time. It’s not like there are border walls up in the sky that keep you from flying over borders. It’s often quite hard to tell exactly where the border even is. But there is no way that those Turkish jets could have scrambled that fast when the Russians barely crossed the line for 13 seconds. The Turks had to have been lying in wait and they must have known the exact flight path. The only way they could have gotten that was through the US military, who had been given that information by the Russians.

I am not sure what to make of this story below. A lot of it is pro-US, anti-Russia propaganda which makes sense as it is published by Al Monitor which is run by US allies in the Gulf.

“Cengiz Candar wrote that “despite official statements to the contrary, Ankara and Washington are not cooperating in Syria. There’s a lot of friction. Ankara acquiesces much more to its former adversary Russia than to its traditional ally, the United States.”

Mustafa Akyol added that Russia is exploiting the friction between Ankara and Washington over the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, whom the Erdogan government considers a terrorist and has accused of being behind the attempted military coup in July.

During a visit to Ankara on Oct. 2, Aleksandr Dugin, a “special representative” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, claimed that Russia had warned Turkey of the coup, which he said took place because of Turkey’s turn toward Russia.

“Since the failed coup attempt, Dugin’s call to Turkey has been played up in the Russian media as well. Pro-Kremlin websites fabricated two fake news stories in September showing that the United States was behind the plot,” Akyol wrote, adding that these stories “found strong echoes in Turkey, which is now more obsessed than ever with conspiracy theories.”

A key element in this new Turko-Russian rapprochement is the common contempt for the followers of cleric Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the Islamic cult widely held responsible for the coup attempt,” Akyol explained.

“Erdogan and his supporters think that Western powers, out of either naiveté or malice, do not comprehend the threat the Gulenists pose for Turkey. In contrast, the Russians have long designated the Gulenists as a perilous group, closing all their schools and even banning the religious movement that identifies with it. That is why Ankara and Russia, even back in 2014, have long been in full agreement on the Gulenists. Now Russians are only adding that Ankara should see ‘the powers behind the Gulenists,’ as Dugin urged in the Moscow meeting.

“The common enmity for Gulenists also gave the two countries a chance to explain away the major rift they had in November 2015, when a Russian warplane was downed by the Turkish air force on the Syrian border,” Akyol continued.

“This incident initiated a cold war between Ankara and Moscow, which ended only last June, when Erdogan reached out to the Russians with an apology. Soon, the pro-government media in Turkey also came up with the theory that the pilot of the Turkish jet that downed the Russian plane was a Gulenist, which may well have been the case, and acted with the sinister intention to break Turkish-Russian ties, which may well be a fantasy. But it seems to be a convenient fantasy on which both Dugin and his Turkish guests in Moscow agreed.”

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Guess What? National Governments Have Little to Nothing to Do with Crime Rates

S. D. writes: Salvadoran gangs might wreak havoc with in Anglo countries, but the Iberian ruling class of Central America keep them under their thumb.

This is absolutely not the case at all. Neither Anglo countries nor their own Hispanic societies can control these maniacs at all, and the Hispanics are actually worse at controlling them then we are. The street gangs and crime in general are completely out of control in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, in part due to the aftermath of the wars. We have much better control over these gangs up here than they do down there.

It just goes to show you that when you have an insanely out of control crime situation, there is only so much you can do about it. The states down there are throwing everything they have at the crime problem (I assume), and the crime rages on nonetheless. When crime reaches a certain level, there is not a whole lot you can do. You can put bad guys in prison. You can execute bad guys, you can simply assassinate criminals on the streets. Which is what the police down there often do, as the death squads formerly used against the Left are now attacking the criminals.

Yes, you can arrest criminals (until your jails fill up), imprison criminals (until your prisons fill up and turn into criminal manufacturing facilities), execute criminals after they are convicted and even assassinate criminals with roving gangs of cop assassins. Sure, you eliminate a lot of criminals that way, but crooks are like mushrooms in these places: they just keep springing up new ones.

I would add that crime has raged in all of these countries through all sorts of governments for maybe 20 years now.

In Honduras it raged on during the Left government the same as it did during the Right government. Now Honduras has an out and out Death Squad Dictatorship courtesy of Hitlery Clinton and crime rages on nonetheless. Even military dictatorships can’t stop the crime!

In El Salvador it is raging right along during the new Left government the same as did under the Right governments.

Also the Right governments in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras involved a number of changing political  parties, but all of the parties and administrations were powerless to stop the crime.

Sure they can try to stop it after it happens, but can they stop it before it happens (prevention)? Not really.

I am so sick and tired of the despicable Venezuela haters accusing Chavez of causing Venezuela’s wild crime rate and blaming him for it. Venezuela has the exact same problem that Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador had during decades of Right governments, and they weren’t able to stop it either in those places.

Apparently the Venezuela critics who insist that it is Hugo Chavez’ personal fault that Venezuela has such a bad crime problem are all degreed criminologists.

You will never hear more garbage and crap in a political debate with your typical moronic American than when you try to discuss what causes crime. Everyone’s got their own theory! Isn’t that amazing? We have 170 million Emil Durkheims right here in the United States! Gadzooks Batman!

I would like to tell all of these Junior Einsteins that since they know what causes crime, that they all need to head to the nearest university and look up the Criminology professors and tell them this stunning news. The Criminology professors would be overjoyed to hear what really causes crime!

Do you know why? Because criminologists have been studying crime for a century now and still do not have the fainest idea what causes crime or what makes crime rates go up or down. Sure, they have all sorts of theories and charts, and they publish books all the time, but really it’s just another Dismal Social Science, and it’s a notorious black hole of theory just like the ridiculous original dismal science.

I would like to tell all of these idiot Venezuela critics who insist that Hugo Chavez himself somehow miraculously caused a massive crime rate in Venezuela (How? By massively bettering the lives of the poor? That’s sure to make the crime rate skyrocket.) to take their stupid theory that it is governments that cause crime and that crime rates go up due to bad governments and go down due to good governments to the closest Criminology professor to inform him of the shocking news.They are in for a surprise because the professor will probably laugh right in their faces.

The truth is that national governments have very little if anything to do with crime, either causing it in the first place or making it go up or down. This is because crime largely occurs outside of politics and the only thing governments can do is politics. But crime is a sociological phenomenon (sort of like drinking, gambling, promiscuity or drug use) that has little if anything to do with politics. Sociological phenomena like those listed above occur for their own reasons that are 100% to do with society and sociological phenomena and ~0% to do with national governments and politics.

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Filed under Americas, Central America, Crime, Criminology, El Salvador, Fascism, Government, Guatemala, Honduras, Latin America, Latin American Right, Law enforcement, Left, Political Science, Politics, Regional, Social Problems, Sociology, South America, Venezuela