Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Castro's "Mega-me"

By Aussiegirl

"George W. Bush is a jerk. His administration is a mafia of assassins." Now, when you read words like this you automatically assume that you are listening to the latest pronouncements of Mr. Sobersides himself, Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean. Guess again -- it's Castro's "Mega-me" in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, and furthermore, Mr. Chavez says that Condoleeza Rice dreams of him at night. (She may be having nightmares after she reads this.)

While there has often been a bizarrely comic element to evil men throughout history, the stark truth remains that behind all that ludicrously clownish bluster lie hearts of stone with mad and evil intentions which usually end in human misery, persecution and death -- not to mention war and pestilence.

Chavez is just one more danger lurking out there on the horizon. With petrodollars to burn, and Castro as his mentor, Chavez is sticking his thumbs into lots of dangerous pies and pulling out all sorts of nasty surprises for the U.S.

Hugo Chavez, another beacon of freedom brought to you courtesy of that great purveyor of peace himself, Mr. Jimmy Carter, who hustled to Venezuela to hastily pronounce the latest referendum on Chavez as fair and free, before all the votes had been completely counted, and in spite of legitimate questions by other election observers. (Thank goodness he didn't lend his imprimature to the first Ukrainian election.) When you add the betrayal of the Shah and the return of the mullahs along with the giving away of the Panama Canal to Mr. Carter's Nobelian achievements, you can see why he is lionized in Europe and on the left.

But back to Chavez. I would hope that the U.S. officials have done more than "begun to suspect" this maniac's intentions. He has gone to very few pains to hide his animosity to the United States and has openly courted America's enemies, China, Russia, naroterrorists and even reportedly given aid and comfort to Islamoterrorists. Let's get on the ball here.

Where's gunboat diplomacy and the Monroe Doctrine when you really need it?

Times Online has the story:

Chavez, 50, is rapidly becoming a US nightmare in Latin America. He aroused further American anger last week by threatening to form a nuclear alliance with Iran. The prospect of two hostile, oil-rich governments working together against US interests has shocked Washington and plunged relations with Venezuela to a dangerous new low.

US officials have begun to suspect that Chavez is plotting to become the "new Castro" � the leading voice in the region of leftist anti-Americanism.

. . . "We want to initiate nuclear research and ask for help from countries like Iran," he said.

While US officials have dismissed some of Chavez's threats as bluster, intelligence sources are concerned about claims that he has given alleged terrorists Venezuelan passports.

17 Comments:

At 2:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOWARD Dean, not John.

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Anonymous is right, of course, about the Deans and should have had the courage and/or courtesy to sign his or her name.
However, what I really phoned about was your comment on the comic side of dictators.
It is an interesting aspect of how Hollywood treated Hitler in his earliest years that it took the Three Stooges to make the first critical movie about him, or at least one of the first.
Curly was a perfect Mussolini, by the way, actually looking very much like him, as did, later, Jack Oakie in Charlie Chaplin's overrated "Great Dictator."

 
At 10:18 AM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Thanks to that prolific author of numerous poems, Anonymous, for pointing out my error in calling Howard Dean John Dean.
I can only claim as my excuse the image of John Dean flickering on a black and white screen all those years ago. I guess it left deep scars ;-)

 
At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm plenty courageous AND courteous, and can't for the life of me see what not signing my name on a blog run by "Aussiegirl" has to do with either of those qualities.

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

You say Anonymous, and I say Pseudonymous -- let's call the whole thing off ;-) All comments are welcome if courteously put and of a constructive nature. Nasty comments are automatically deleted, as they add nothing to the discussion. I'm grateful for the heads up -- this is for some reason, a mistake I constantly make when it comes to remembering Howard Dean's correct name -- I had to laugh when I saw that I had made it again. The last time I made it, Michael corrected me. Oh well, even Homer nods, and as the Japanese say, even monkeys fall from trees. To err is human, to forgive - divine.

Michael, you are so right about the strange comedic quality of so many tyrants through history. But somehow Stalin has failed to capture any of that humor. Hitler comes in for more than his share, and Mussolini of course. They are so easy to parody. And there is a fine psychological line that we all approach when we speak of such terror -- that we almost giggle to keep from facing the horrible truth. Stalin's grim visage and perhaps the enormity of his crimes, coupled with the fact that he is not so familiar to the west as Hitler and Mussolini, who were so roundly ridiculed and skewered during the war, has left him out of this trend. From Monty Python's great pokes at the Germans (I mentioned the war, but I think I got away with it) -- to John Cleese's fingers under the nose and the Heil Hitler salute are instant laugh getters. Maybe it's the old whistling past the graveyard thing.

 
At 1:52 PM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Aus, you got your answer up just as I was trying to post.
Anonymous poses an interesting ... paradox? I guess.
Everything I write gets my name on it and I expect responses to me and to my writings to be signed, indicating courage and courtesy and HONESTY.
I mean, if I criticize an author or the author's writing and DON'T sign, how brave, how polite am I -- and am I being truthful?
However, as Anonymous implies, "Aussiegirl" is not the name your parents put on your birth certificate, so perhaps on your blog Anonymous and all the Anonymous family members are justified in their pseudonyms.
And since it is your blog, perhaps my opinion regarding anonymity is unneeded and unwanted.

 
At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Pindar said...

Aussiegirl, at least you didn't call him Howard the Duck, however appropriate that might have been.

 
At 2:16 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Michael, your opinions are indeed wanted and needed on this blog, and anywhere you care to put them. The character of the internet however, is a strange thing -- as some people don't mind their names being posted, and other individuals, for a variety of reasons, do. As a woman, I prefer to keep my real name private. My thoughts and my ideas, as well as what I write is true. No one needs to know my name or address as we know what kind of a world we live in.
Our posting page gives three choices -- two if a person has no Blogger account - either "other" or "anonymous" --

My only problem with "anonymous" is that I'm not sure how many different people post under that heading -- so is yesterday's "anonymous" comment the same person as today's? We can all give ourselves pseudonyms, those who don't want to their privacy violated, or we can use first names or nicknames alone. I think you may have taken exception because sometimes people who leave nasty comments will use the anonymous feature -- but not necessarily. I say -- please all comment -- Michael -- and anonymous -- as long as we all follow Miss Manners rule, spelled out here long ago --- to wit: We are not home to Mrs. Rude.

Now -- I like the idea of the connection between comedy and tyrants. The Ceaucescu's were a great object of secret jokes in Romania. And of course there are lots of Soviet era jokes that secretly made fun of Stalin -- but he was such a figure of fear, and making jokes was punishable by years in the Gulag, that I doubt too many of those made the rounds.

As far as black humor goes -- my mother told me one that circulated in the early days of the Stalin terror -- between only the most trusted friends. I'll try to translate because it depends on the sound of the Ukrainian words.

The words for hammer and sickle in Ukrainian are: Serp i Molot

But people used to whisper to one another that it really stood for "Smert' i Holod" --- which means -- "death and famine".

How's that for a joke?

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Again, I was not taking exception.
I really wonder why so many people fail to understand just what I say, which is just what I say, nothing implied (except a tongue perhaps firmly in cheek).
My real concern -- ceasing to pussyfoot about -- about anonymous postings is that one cannot reply directly to an unknown writer.
That's why I say it is cowardly.
And cowardice is not mannerly, either.
A blog without a specific person's name is still out there in public and its author will have to suffer any slings and arrows aimed her way.
And because she is a "her," then I can understand any reticence about publicizing a name and location.
Still, as I said, the blogger and the blog are there to be seen, even attacked.
"Anonymous" can just hit and run, which could be cowardly and ill mannered, though isn't necessarily or always.

 
At 4:01 PM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

Hey, you all started a good discussion (fight) without me!

How do we know that you are really Michael Morrison? Is that the name that will appear on your official US government ID card, complete with a GPS chip, when issued?

Perhaps you are in truth someone very famous, using the pseudonym, Michael Morrison. Hmmmm.

I kind of like the handles and nicknames that we all use. Most posting names give a hint about the person, without giving total access until we have gotten to know one another over a period of time. For many months, I was warned by someone that Aussiegirl was probably a 13 year old boy. Haha!

Let's see, "Pindar," someone fond of the Greek Poet, or a connoisseur of fine wines from the Pindar Vineyards in New York?

"Morrison" definitely a British Isles names, and the given name of "Michael," causes me to think there is an Irish connection.

"Aussiegirl" is obviously a female with a strong connection to Australia, unless of course, if she really is a 13 year old boy.

"Anonymous" may be someone who wishes to remain above the fray. Someone who is just testing the waters, to see if we are a friendly bunch, which of course we are.

Perhaps "Anonymous" could remain so, but add a number or an initial, so that we could become more comfortable in knowing that we are addressing our own Blog favorite, "Anonymous __."

 
At 3:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the aforementioned Anonymous (the one in this thread, anyway,) I can tell you that I have no problems whatsoever and, in fact, relish arguing about a great number of topics one-on-one, or even in bunches. The only reason I post anonymously is that there are a number of nuts out and about on the Internet. I work in a rather sensitive industry and can't afford to have some crazy writing to me, or my place of work, whether it be because I've written something deemed by him or her to be offensive, or just because he or she is unbalanced.

For the record, I'm a male Canadian of Scottish birth, married with two kids, working and living in Kiev.

I can't answer for any of the other Anonymice our there!

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

If Anonymous is Scottish, then that more than cancels out the Canadian.
As to a more specific identity, to satisfy Bonnie, he should henceforth be McAnonymous, and we'll know he's our friend.
Aussiegirl, by the way, is not a 13-year-old boy; she's a 16-year-old boy.
But she is undergoing those hormone treatments to become a she.
As to how you all, Bonnie especially, know I am indeed Michael Morrison, well, in fact, my real name was John Wayne, but I changed it to try for a career in show biz.
No, actually, I just looked in the mirror and, yup, sure enough, I am Michael Morrison.
By the way, McAnonymous, I'd love to know to what clan you belong.
I'm trying to figure out how to post the Morrison clan plaid.
Scots aye.
Oh, and Bonnie, please don't refer to the Ould Sod as "British" Isles. Yech.

 
At 11:38 AM, Anonymous McAnonymous said...

Since my last name is Irish (like lots of Glaswegians,) my paternal family hasn't really got a tartan. My mum, however, is a Gordon, and I can wear that, McIntosh or MacPherson.

As for the "cancelling out," pray find a great track by a superb Canadian band (Spirit of the West) called "The Auld Sod."

Chorus: "There's none more Scots than the Scots abroad, there's a place in our hearts for the auld sod."

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Bonnie can probably tell you some good Gordon history, such as General John B. and the battle at Appomattox: His troops, surrounded and outnumbered still managed to whup up on Yankees led by the general soon to be more notorious for getting "massacred" at the Little Big Horn.
Named for him are a Georgia county and a Georgia college. Sure, a grand name is Gordon.
Reminds me of that line from "The Quiet Man," when the Irish-born American returns home and meets the local priest who says, "I knew your family. Your grandfather, who died in a penal colony in Australia, and your father was a fine man too."
Now please excuse me while I go search for discs by Spirit of the West -- and thanks for the recommendation.

 
At 3:26 PM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

Well, I see that the party continued all through the night "our time." With the time difference between here and Kiev, that would make us a 24 hour party, news and discussion site. Wonderful!

So Michael "John Wayne" Morrison has christened our own Anonymous, "McAnonymous." What a great user name! Good job Michael.

First of all I apologize for generalizing in my use of the term "British Isles." I was using a broader term in my initial guess about the origins of your name.

Are you by any chance a descendent of the Scots-Irish pioneers and settlers of the Shenandoah Valley circa 1730? McAnonymous may know them as the Ulster-Scots.

At any rate, welcome McAnonymous, you sound as though you are as well traveled as Aussiegirl (or, is that Aussieboy until the hormones kick in?).

By the way, where is Aussieboy/girl?

 
At 4:16 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

HI THERE -- ahmmm -- hi there - sorry about that -- as these hormones kick in my VOICE tends to BREAK occasionally. Phew -- Scots, Irish, Scots/Irish-- Ulster -- Aussie and Uke -- well -- one thing we all have in common, (in addition to our interesting backgrounds) -- is -- we can all yell FREEDOM!! and really mean it.

 
At 9:48 AM, Anonymous McAnonymous said...

Gordons have gone far and wide. I served in the Black Watch, but one of my best friends from university was in the Gordon Highlanders. Also, there was a famous General Gordon with Tsarist troops (as there had been a General Bruce, under Peter I.)

We're not Ulster Scots, however. My great-grandfather came from Cavan. My paternal grandfather (a dead ringer for Al Capone) left a stamp of glory upon the family by becoming heavyweight boxing champion of the British Navy. Alas, I never knew him.

 

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