Sunday, November 1, 2009

From Savior to Dictator: Argentina's Kirchner Targets the Press

People please do read this extremely well written article and repost it all over the web. These things are important, the truth of what's going on here in Argentina, and a warning about having a totalitarian "Savior" as a president.


Hi, FerFal -

In case you haven't seen it, here is an article written by a WSJ reporter a few days ago. It seems to me that our current situation in the US certainly bears frightening similarities to what is described in the article.

I'd love to hear your comments on the article if you have the time. My bet is that Ms. O'Grady would like hearing your thoughts as well - her e-mail addy appears at the end of the article.

I really like your Blog, BTW!

Take care & thanks for all you do,

R-Tex (Rick)


Argentina's Kirchner Targets the Press


One way a president can boost poll numbers in a bad economy is to wrest control of the central bank and start printing lots of pesos. There's nothing like cheap financing to restore the market's enthusiasm for buying all sorts of stuff—from stocks to houses—already on sale at fire sale prices.

The great reflation will make people feel rich again. A weak currency will also be a short-term boon to exporters, whose profits can then be taxed at ever higher rates. Complainers can be denounced for their greed.

Of course this perpetual motion machine will eventually conk out and when it does, a government that expects to survive will find it necessary to silence its critics. Just ask Argentines, who are living all of this in real time.

After more than five years of heavy state intervention in the economy, Argentina is again sliding into recession. Double-digit inflation is spiraling north and the government is running out of money. In response, President Cristina Kirchner is cracking down on the free press. Argentines are wondering if their democracy will survive.

The story of how Argentina got here is important to recall. The economy was flat on its back after the 2001-2002 collapse of "convertibility," the monetary arrangement that pegged the peso to the dollar. A demoralized nation was looking for a savior.
(Edited by FerFAL:SAVIOR, see Ed? This is what I mean. THIS is the danger

It thought it found one in Néstor Kirchner. He became president in 2003 and set about to restore the state-run economic model of Juan Peron; the market, he maintained, had failed. Mr. Kirchner took control of the central bank. He demonized the private-sector and investors. Using price controls, subsidies and regulation he made himself a Robin Hood to the masses. The legislature granted him extraordinary powers.

The economy bounced back as one would expect after a harsh contraction, and in 2007 his wife was elected president with 45% of the vote.(Edited by FerFAL: That election was a joke, you couldn't find a single person that voted for her)

Now the illusionists are losing their touch. Not only is the economy going sour, but according to polls, the nation is growing intolerant of what many consider to be the first couple's abuse of power.

Four examples serve to make the point: First, when Mrs. Kirchner attacked the farm sector last year because it resisted her plan to impose high export taxes on its harvests, the nation rallied to the defense of the farmers, much to her surprise.
Second, her decision to confiscate privately held pension accounts was loudly denounced as a violation of the rule of law. Third, there is a widespread belief that her government is using the state intelligence service to collect information against the president's "enemies." Fourth, an overwhelming majority of Argentines resent the privileges and jet-set lifestyle of the first family while national living standards plummet.

This popular dissatisfaction showed up at the polls in the June midterm elections, when Mrs. Kirchner's wing of the Peronist party lost badly. Even Mr. Kirchner did not manage to prevail in his bid for a house seat representing the province of Buenos Aires, which should have been a stronghold for the first couple.

Mrs. Kirchner and her husband have decided that they lost because of bad press coverage. They are especially upset with the Clarin media company, which though once a supporter, is now an outspoken critic. In public comments Mr. Kirchner often implies that the government is analyzing the company to see if it might not need to be downsized. In September, tax authorities launched a raid on the Buenos Aires offices of its daily newspaper. Tax authorities later issued an apology for the raid, but the paper maintains that it was an act of intimidation.

Yet the problem of bad press for the Kirchners is much bigger than Clarin. As the antimarket economic model hits the skids, the nation is turning against its architects and a free press will not remain silent. This is why the president forced a media law through the legislature two weeks ago, creating a new "audio-visual" regulatory board controlled by the executive.

The law also grants the executive control over all licensing of the radio spectrum and reserves at least two-thirds of it for state-owned and nongovernmental broadcasters approved by the executive. There is concern that Mrs. Kirchner is now preparing to take over the most important domestic supplier of newsprint and to begin using import licensing to control access to foreign supplies.

Hugo Chávez has become a dictator in Venezuela under the guise of democracy, and he has similarly shut down the free press. Argentines are worried.

Last week in the Argentine daily La Nación, philosopher and writer Santiago Kovadloff summed up opposition sentiment about the government's use of "the law" to consolidate power: "The law has become a beloved tool of corruption," Mr. Kovadloff wrote. "The executive has put it at its service. It manipulates it with skill." And where does that leave society? "Insecurity is no longer a threat. We are in the jungle."
Write to O'Grady@wsj.com

Hi Rick, thanks a lot, very good article. I couldn't have said it better myself and agree with everything said in the article.
This is why I insist on organizing and supporting people like Ron Paul. The political situation affects EVERYTHING.
You can't say " I care about survival and preps, I don't want to read about politics. Don't make the mistake we did! Have a strong political opposition before those in power that want to take away your freedom become too strong.


Don Williams said...

1) There are massive, well-funded propaganda machines in US politics --
whose only purpose is to lie to and deceive the American people for
the benefit of hidden agendas. I think survivalists need to look
at the documented FACTS --instead of uncritically accepting the
false narratives spoon fed to us via the mass media by those propagandists.

2) The first Lie, of course, is that the USA is a Democracy. In reality,
we are a deeply corrupt oligarchy in which 300 million people are ruled
by 550 politicans divided into two allegedly competitive factions. Each
faction depends upon close to $1 Billion in campaign donations each
two year election cycle --not counting the $700 million per Presidential
campaigns. Very little of that money comes in as $25 checks from the
little people and very little consideration is given by Congress to
promoting "the General Welfare".

I will give some illustrations of recent false stories -- and will
provide citations to document my statements if anyone requests it.

3) Lie number one, of course, is that the US Government looks after its
citizens. In reality, the US Government has the highest percentage of its
citizens in prison of the entire planet. It imprisons its citizens at
4 times the rate of even the authoritarian China.

A small percentage of its populations has a large share of both the
national income and the national wealth. The top 1 percent of the US population
has as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. Re income, the top 3.65
percent received 17.5 percent of US annual income.

This picture shows how the
superwealthy have been grabbing an increasing share of the national
income over the past 4 decades --regardless of which party has been
in power:


The vast majority of the American People are ignorant of the above facts --
because the purpose of our news media and educational system
is to keep them ignorant.

Mayberry said...

FerFal that is exactly what's happening here in America. Just witness how the White House attacks any opposing voices, such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

Of course those two examples are corporate shills, but they illustrate the point.

The real story comes from blogs such as yours, mine, and all the others who are out there at "ground level". We have no reason to be predjudiced in what we write, because there is very little, if any financial gain to be had from blogging. Personally, I carry no ads at all, and my donation button sits there unused.

I, like you, blog in the hope of awakening those who are asleep, and to put out useful information to those who are awake. Keep up the good work my friend, I enjoy your blog tremendously. You're on the "front lines", been there, done that.

PS Don Williams, excellent comments. Spot on...

Just A Guy said...

Excellent article, I have been a fan of Ms. O'Grady's opeds. I suggest going back and reading her articles about Honduras and Venezuela, she has very good insight into the region and issues.

Some Guy said...

I really don't want the United States to be a democracy. We're not a democracy, nor are we supposed to be. We're supposed to be a constitutional republic with limited federal powers, as well as checks and balances to keep those powers limited.

Hahahahaha. Yes, the depths to which we have sunk are so sad that it is funny.

There is no real opposition, and almost no politicians or political parties have any interest in rolling back the federal juggernaut.