12-12-15 Hodgepodge

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Is the Venezuelan Nightmare Over?

With their nation's economy going to hell in a handbasket, Venezuelans have elected a non-socialist government for the first time in seventeen years, by a landslide. That said, it was only a few days ago that election officials confirmed that the opposition hold the supermajority in parliament that they would need to be able to effect a change in course -- such as by holding a referendum on the continued rule of President Nicolas Maduro.

So they have the power to at least stop the rot of further socialist initiatives, but will they?

"We urge the government to stop crying and start working," opposition leader Jesus Torrealba said.
I'm not going to base my guess on one quote, but Venezuela won't stand a chance of real reform in the short term without at least some loosening of its government's stranglehold on the economy. And in the long term, the whole idea of the government "working" in any capacity other than protecting the rights of those who do work will have to be rejected. Central planning is an attempt to do the impossible: have a few people run the lives of millions. The above politician sounds like he thinks central planning can work "with the right people" when, in fact, the problem is that it cuts out practically all of them.

Weekend Reading

"A relationship shouldn't be a nonstop negotiation." -- Michael Hurd, in "Feeling 'Connected' in Marriage: Why It Matters" at The Delaware Wave

"Whatever your condition, it is your life and health at stake, and you should be the one making the choices." -- Peter Schwartz, in "What if We Had No FDA?" at The Huffington Post

"Up until this breakthrough, parents and reality were ignored, so the Freudian-based excuse-making and parent-bashing therapists took control." -- Michael Hurd, in "Demystifying Anorexia" at The Delaware Coast Press

Elmo vs. Sesame Street?

Kevin Wong makes a pretty good case that the producers of Sesame Street are wrong to emphasize this character:
Now admittedly, it's impossible to get a three-year-old like Elmo to care about someone's needs before his own, let alone ask important, deeper questions about solitude and personal safety. But that's exactly my point; a three-year-old Muppet should not be the lead for this show. Elmo used to embody childlike characteristics that children should be moving away from. But now, he's modeling, for four and five-year-old children, behavior they should have already left behind. The show used to recognize this and poked gentle fun at Elmo's immaturity. But in recent times, the writers have forgotten to.
His example, of Elmo guilting a couple into including him on a picnic, is pretty good, but there is much more food for thought.

-- CAV


Today: Corrected last link. 
12-13-15: Corrected a typo.


Anonymous said...

The last link ("pretty good case") is bad.

Gus Van Horn said...

Fixed. Thanks.