Thursday, December 07, 2006


Raven is enjoying his breakfast toast more than usual. Butter is running off it into his beak. His laugh is that of a young bird.

Rave, you are in fine form this morning. What’s the deal?

“I am still celebrating the Venezuela presidential election. That Mexican creep, Jorge Castaneda, sure won’t be celebrating it—and this gives me intense pleasure. He had an article in Newsweek this week where he mouthed off as an expert on Latin America—give me a break—and absolutely EVERYTHING in the article was a lie—dates of Venezuela’s elections, poverty percentages—and especially his predictions about the election results—where his most extreme example of a Chavez victory—6 million votes—was not even close to the landslide that happened. I mean, what else is out there to celebrate?

Pinochet’s imminent demise?

“Naw. That’s a crock. They probably didn’t do surgery on his heart nor give him the last rites. I think he just wanted to be taken off house arrest. He will be dancing in his toe shoes in no time. I remember in 2000 how he got on a plane in England in a wheelchair, and was doing the chachacha when he got off it in Santiago—and into the arms of his old torture orgy compinches. No, I’m afraid that Hugo Chavez’ 63% victory is the only game in town.”

Yep. Speaking of crocks, the US government mouthpiece for Latin America, Thomas Shannon, was blithering in London about Venezuela and democracy—mumble mumble—and how they want to have an excellent relationship with Venezuela—grumble grumble—but that the ball was in Venezuela’s court.

“Right. Chavez is plotting coups against them every 30 minutes. He’s spending hundreds of millions of Venezuelan citizens’ tax monies on US election propaganda and US intelligence commissions. Not to mention that he has the Venezuelan navy playing war games in Chesapeake Bay even as we speak. Where do those guys get off?”

He called them on it, though. Said he’d like to have a good relationship with the US, too—but on an equal basis—and that he didn’t believe they were sincere, anyway.

“So, in whose court is the ball NOW?”

Raven has finished the toast, and is peering around for something else.

Still hungry, Rave?

“Not exactly hungry. More like unsatisfied. I don’t know what I want, though.”

Hmmm. Seems like the ball is in YOUR court, then.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Raven's eyes are circling like vultures this afternoon.

Too much coffee, guy?

"Too much happening in the world. I am discombobulated. Frangipanied. Flibberdegibbeted, even."

Are those real words, Rave? That sounds like birdspeak to me.

"Doesn't matter. Look at everything that's been happening since we left Mexico and came here to be bored in Bahrain: Your buddy Ortega finally got in in Nicaragua; this new guy Correa will be the next president of Ecuador. Chavez is being re-elected by a landslide even as we speak."

Ortega, first off, is not my buddy. I barely know him. Just because he claims to be a leftist doesn't make him my friend. I just hope he learned something from all the mistakes he made the last time he was in the power.

"Like the expensive sunglasses caper he pulled his first trip to New York?"

If that was part of maintaining the Latin American tradition of rampant corruption, yes. Second off, being the next president of Ecuador is no big deal. I think there have been eight in the last ten years. Remember that last year when we were in Quito Gutierrez was drummed out, and then Palacios took over. That's two in less than two years. If this guy turns about to be just another banana republic bozo, he won't last either. As for landslides in Venezuela, they are pretty common--remember the one in 1999 soon after Chavez took office where half of Vargas state fell into the Caribbean?

"I suppose you're right. Still, it's a lot of excitement compared to anything happening here in the Arabian Gulf."

Don't worry, we'll be back in the hot seat in Mexico soon. Then you can fly down to Oaxaca and be tear-gassed and shot at by the federal police.

"Never thought I would be nostalgic for that, but I am. Even makes me hungry. Can you heat up some of that chicken with cashews stuff from Swan Lake?"

So long as you're bushwhacked by nostalgia, consider this: Pinochet justt had a heart attack.

"Great news. Is he kicking the bucket?"

It says on Yahoo News that he's in the hospital in serious but stable condition. Maybe he just wanted a change of scene from being under house arrest.

"Naw, he's a pro at house arrest. he was under house arrest for about 15 months in London."

That's right. Maybe he IS kicking the bucket. It would be just llike him to die before they bring him to trial for crimes against humanity.

"There's no justice. Forget the chicken. I've lost my appetite."