Hugo Chavez, the brutal Marxist leader of Venezuela, has faced a rocky road in his effort to emulate the career of Fidel Castro. The Venezuelan middle class, opposition newspapers and radio stations, and political groups accustomed to the nation’s tradition of democracy have all resisted the tentacles of his octopus, dealing stinging rebukes to his claim to represent all the people of Venezuela.
The madness of the courts and the greed of trial lawyers are proverbial. The woman who won a huge award from McDonald’s when she spilled hot coffee on her lap has become, perhaps, the archetypical example of litigation run wild. Now McDonald’s again finds itself making headlines in a lawsuit over conduct that seems safe and ordinary to most of us.
Nowadays it seems rare to read a news story with a happy ending, between tales of economic disaster across the world and violent outbursts from jihadists, protestors, and criminals. Fortunately, today (October 13) we celebrate the ongoing rescue of the 33 trapped miners in Chile, of which 14 have already been saved and the 15th rescue is underway. At the rate the miners are being brought up, it seems likely they should all be on safe ground by tomorrow.
Voters in Brazil this weekend had a choice between three leftist candidates for president, two of whom will now be facing each other in a runoff election after no contender reached the necessary 50 percent to win automatically in the first round. And in São Paulo, voters sent Tiririca (Grumpy) the clown to Congress with an astounding 1.3 million votes — almost twice the amount of his nearest competitor anywhere in the nation.
Despite spending government money on propaganda, shutting down the independent media, arresting dissidents, intimidating voters, and blatantly gerrymandering electoral districts, Venezuela's “President” Hugo Chavez and his cohorts still received a loud message on election day: enough is enough. But despite losing the popular vote, incredibly, the regime still controls almost two thirds of the seats in the legislature.