Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Raven is pleased with his toast. It’s got just enough charring to make his tiny carbonized eyes gleam.

“Are we going back to Venezuela soon?”

First we have to go to the States, Rave. Remember? The election and all that.

“Yeah, sadly, I do remember. Tweedledee and Tweedledumb. But Chavez is all over the news because he’s going to go full bore now with the agrarian reform.”

It’s time. All he has distributed so far has been land owned by the government. It’s the moment to go after idle land—of which there is plenty in Venezuela, as the big landholders have been living off the ill-gotten oil gains for close to 50 years. Venezuela has had the highest ratio of imported food products in the hemisphere—with 70%.

“Well, Chavez is ready to turn that around now. He says here that not only will the country use every available piece of arable land to produce food, that they will export food.”

Heap big change, guy. I’ll bet the opposition will be cooking up all kinds of capers to try to beat back any radical advance in the reform process.

“They already are—on aporrea.org they have reported that 5 of Chavez’ military escorts are in the hospital. Seems they were driving to Caracas very early in the morning when a vehicle came up behind theirs and hit it, forcing it off the road. It apparently rolled over, and that’s how the guys were injured.”

Amazing how the opposition—because of its status as representing the idle class—has all kinds of time available for pulling dirty tricks.

“I don’t know about this class stuff. I consider myself to be part of the idle class, since you’re the one who works to put food on the table—not food on your family, at least---and my dirty tricking has trickled down to almost nothing.”

Rave, I am not going to touch that line. I can understand that you want to be the Lone Raven in Venezuela—again—but you need to pack your ear-muffs, because we are heading North.

“I don’t really have ears, but nice furry earmuffs could be nice. Then I won’t have to listen to anybody.”

You and George W. Bush—his muffs are built-in. They cost more, because of genetic engineering, but he can afford them because he represents the idle class—and they are more effective at shutting out other folks’ opinions, ideas, points of view.

“Guess I’ll pass on the muffs—and anything else that would relate me to Bush.”

Does that mean you are swearing off pretzels?

“I’ll have to think about that tomorrow.” He scrapes the last bits of toast crumbs into the garbage.

Raven, a bird to make Margaret Mitchell proud.