A Slightly Witty Look At Today’s Headlines

Goldman Sachs turned a profit despite charges of fraud.  Well, a name with Gold in it inspires trust.  What do you expect?

Charlie Crist running as an Independent for the Florida senate seat.  Good idea.  The Republicans bowing to Tea Party pressure have put their weight beyond Marco Rubio.  If Crist wins as an Independent, this weakens the Republican party and would make it easier for Crist to side with Democrats on some issues.  I say stick it to the Republicans Charlie.

Hugo Chavez gathered with some allies to honor the 200th anniversary of Venezuelan independence.  Chavez has allies?  Really?  In a few years, Venezuela will be celebrating independence from the dictatorship.  Then Venezuela will have plenty of allies.

European planes have been grounded for days by the volcano in Iceland.  The volcanic grit can lock up jet engines.  The airlines lose millions for each day their planes aren’t in the air, while frustrated passengers scramble to make alternative arrangements.  It’s the 21st century.  We’ve mapped the human genome, built space stations, simulated the big bang, come on, can’t we come up with something to protect planes from fine particulates?  A force field, or a giant fan to blow the stuff away or some sort of laser to vaporize the dust.

Top 5 Gifts for a Dictator

To avoid another embarrassing gift encounter, the President should keep some emergency gifts at the ready for future meetings with dictators, and there are quite a few that come to mind – dictators that is.

5.  A Sunoco Gas Card because it’s cheaper than Citgo, H. Chavez.

4.  Copland’s Lincoln Portrait .  Nearly caused a revolution among the spectators in the 50’s when Venezuelan dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez attended a Copland conducted performance in Caracus.

3.  Bananas – the Woody Allen spoof on revolutionaries that should have all self-respecting dictators in stitches.

2.  President Obama’s books Dreams From My Father and Audacity of Hope both inscribed “to Hugo with warmest regards”.  Obama himself joked that he should have given Chavez a copy of his book.

1.  EZ Notes Digital Voice Recorder as Seen on TV,  It’s a dictation machine with a built in flashlight and key chain.  By one get one free.  One for Hugo, the other for Fidel.  The perfect gift for the egomaniacs in your life.

And if the President can’t find the EZ Notes Digital Voice Recorder, the one as seen on TV, I think a used Yugo would be a nice gesture.


Hugo Wants Press Not Peace

President Obama and Hugo Chavez, the photo hungry egomaniacal former Lieutenant Colonel and current President of Venezuela (for life it seems) met twice at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad.  According to the Newsweek Blog The Gaggle, President Obama introduced himself to Chavez and reportedly said “¿Como estas?” Later as a meeting of the Union of South American nations was about to begin, Chavez presented President Obama a book highly critical of the history of  U.S. and European foreign policy and colonialism in the region in a obvious ploy for press attention.  Obama later said jokingly that he thought the book was one that Chavez had written himself and that he should have given him his own book in return.  The history book entitled Las Venas Abiertas de América Latina, or the Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano has been translated into English.  If Chavez had really intended Obama to read the book, he would have presented the translated version.  Obama neither reads nor speaks Spanish.  What is clear is that President Chavez was simply grandstanding.  The book itself does not bother me.  In fact, it is probably a good read and contains a Latin American perspective on the history of colonial domination that American policy makers and diplomats should understand.   It is a book that I would like to read.

If I could present a book to Obama, it would be Howard Zinn‘s classic work,  A People’s History of the United States.

An interesting side note:  The host country of the Summit is Trinidad and Tobago, the birthplace of Nobel Prize winning author V.S. Naipaul who writes of the damaging effects of colonial domination on the colonized.

In retrospect, I think Obama should not have accepted the book because it was clearly intended to embarrass him and the U.S.  Back in the early stages of the presidential debates, then Senator Hillary Clinton said that she did not want to be used as propaganda by enemy leaders and would not just sit down with Hugo Chavez or the Iranian President without some preconditions.   Maybe the preconditions for President Obama’s attendance at the Summit should have been “no gifts”.