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Fedex still operating like clockwork in Venezuela apparently.  I got a package through customs from Caracas in under a week.  I wasn't sure how the guy was shipping and Fedex rolled up with the documents still attached, complete with the guy's fingerprints.  Guess I'm a little surprised they are operating as normal still down there.

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My thoughts are that Chávez and Maduro and their terms of incompetents have ruined the Venezuelan economy far more than any sanctions from the US.  The thorough corruption and self dealing dwindled th

My father in law just checked in after 50+ hours without power. He's says they expect the outage to last 7 days more. He is without clean water as well. I'm not sure the amount of food he has on

That's actually petty funny. My father in law has been working to get small generators set up in the hospital so that his patients can get dialysis. He actually thinks the number of deaths r

5 hours ago, Slapdash said:

Good, factual chart of the VZ oil industry decline:  https://twitter.com/SergiLanauIIF/status/1126205611501346816 

Oil prices bottomed in February of 2016, right at the point here that their oil infrastructure collapsed.  All their resources ran dry right when they needed the free cash the most to shore up all the pumps, machines, and skilled worker salaries.  Given how they raided that company it probably would have happened anyway, but this price drop just lowered the hammer.  Scary how it matches up - they really did blow themselves up.  From then on, sanctions, oil rebound, etc. didn't seem to matter - the damage was done.  That slope from 2016 on is remarkably linear.

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2 hours ago, Sand said:

Oil prices bottomed in February of 2016, right at the point here that their oil infrastructure collapsed.  All their resources ran dry right when they needed the free cash the most to shore up all the pumps, machines, and skilled worker salaries.  Given how they raided that company it probably would have happened anyway, but this price drop just lowered the hammer.  Scary how it matches up - they really did blow themselves up.  From then on, sanctions, oil rebound, etc. didn't seem to matter - the damage was done.  That slope from 2016 on is remarkably linear.

I've done more detailed analysis here showing that this collapse predated even the collapse of oil prices by a few months.  But I don't feel like being reported and banned for arguing those facts.  It is plain as day that Maduro (and even Chavez) destroyed Venezuela's oil industry with their socialist industrial policy.  Not sanctions.  

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9 hours ago, Slapdash said:

I've done more detailed analysis here showing that this collapse predated even the collapse of oil prices by a few months.  But I don't feel like being reported and banned for arguing those facts.  It is plain as day that Maduro (and even Chavez) destroyed Venezuela's oil industry with their socialist industrial policy.  Not sanctions.  

When you replace 10k skilled engineers with 100k Chavistas in the company structure...   No arguments, it's crystal clear that this was destroyed from within.  It's been building a long time and as long as this government, with its penchant to appropriate industries it wants to grab, holds on no one in their right mind will go in to fix the pipes.  I wonder if COP has kept all the Caribbean assets it has sued to claim in kind.

Anyway, not sure why you'd be reported and banned for talking about the Venezuela collapse.  

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Trump and Pompeo are considering using Cuba as an intermediary to resolve the Maduro problem. We have a lot to offer Cuba, namely oil, perhaps through back channels, and Cuba might be able to negotiate a new election. Incredible that this in even being considered. The fact that it is even on the table could put pressure on Maduro. Many Cubans in Miami would be pissed that we'd help Cuba. This is from NPR radio. 

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On 5/9/2019 at 12:25 AM, Slapdash said:

I've done more detailed analysis here showing that this collapse predated even the collapse of oil prices by a few months.  But I don't feel like being reported and banned for arguing those facts.  It is plain as day that Maduro (and even Chavez) destroyed Venezuela's oil industry with their socialist industrial policy.  Not sanctions.  

You didn't get banned for arguing facts.  You got reported (and banned) for trolling.  

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3 hours ago, ren hoek said:

You didn't get banned for arguing facts.  You got reported (and banned) for trolling.  

I have no interest in trolling you or getting your responses on this or any subject anymore. You have made it clear you have no interest in discussing the actual economic situation in Venezuela.  I stand by my characterization of the sources you post, despite being ridiculously banned for it.

Time to use the ignore feature.

 

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3 minutes ago, Slapdash said:

I have no interest in trolling you or getting your responses on this or any subject anymore. You have made it clear you have no interest in discussing the actual economic situation in Venezuela.  I stand by my characterization of the sources you post, despite being ridiculously banned for it.

Time to use the ignore feature.

 

Well, sorry to see you go but I deserve a lot more respect than to constantly have my views ascribed to Russian propaganda.  

I’m interested in substantive discussion with anyone about anything, and will continue to read your posts to that effect.  I don’t have any personal grudge with you; I just think dismissing anything that disagrees with your worldview as “Russian propaganda” is counterproductive, trolling, and frankly a little scary.  You didn’t get banned for arguing substance, you got banned for burying your head in the sand and doing the opposite of arguing substance.

I’ve discussed plenty of relevant subjects about Venezuela, including the fact that Juan Guaido is a proxy for US neoconservatives and the neoliberal international order, and how US sanctions have killed an estimated 40,000 Venezuelans since 2017.  I don’t even disagree about the Maduro government making poor economic decisions, but that’s a different subject altogether from the deliberate, inhuman economic strangulation being enforced  by the United States.  

I’m tired of this bs McCarthyite mentality, and hope one day you’ll come to understand how destructive it was.  I’ll never apologize for reporting unrepentant, badfaith tripe like that.  

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19 hours ago, SoBeDad said:

Trump and Pompeo are considering using Cuba as an intermediary to resolve the Maduro problem. We have a lot to offer Cuba, namely oil, perhaps through back channels, and Cuba might be able to negotiate a new election. Incredible that this in even being considered. The fact that it is even on the table could put pressure on Maduro. Many Cubans in Miami would be pissed that we'd help Cuba. This is from NPR radio. 

On USA-2 we have built out a post-Castro policy based on trade and promotion of democracy as a model for Venezuela to divert to.

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This situation and Iran are very similar and just show the dead end quality of Trumpismo. Trump in Phase 1 of his presidency was enveloped with party personnel and a cabinet with experience in commerce and military and national affairs. Finding those folks unwilling to engage in his criminality at worst and stupidity at best he switched them out in Phase II for people who either have no idea what they're doing (Shanahan), who are feckless towards Trump personally (Pompeo), or people with a portfolio of warmongering (Bolton). Then shocker Trump lands in a place where he has nowhere to go. I think somewhere in that crazy disco-ball of a head Trump does have political instincts and they tell him through the sound of crackling wires that the Trump base really does have a reaction against foreign misadventurism, so he winds up with nowhere to go after a policy based on bluster and delegation to neerdowells. And yet the horrendous path he sets could take on a life of its own, out of his control.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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Juan Guaidó’s U.S. representatives back TPS for Venezuelans. This could put Trump and some conservative republicans at odds with the Venezuelan community in South Florida. Scott, Rubio, Shala, Murcasel-Powell and Wasserman-Schulz all support TPS for Venezuelans. There could be 10s of thousands or more who would apply. I've run into a few who've overstayed visas and are ubering or working in restaurants. 

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article230321099.html

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2 hours ago, ren hoek said:

Looks like US security forces are about to invade the embassy 

https://twitter.com/answercoalition/status/1128079826886307840?s=21

In that 2 hour video, I probably could be found somewhere in there; I work in the adjacent building.  I would be hanging out with the opposition  Venezuelans, many of the first I've met since I've been in DC.  I know a number of Salvadoreans, Argentinians,  and a couple of Colombians and Brazilians. This video is being filmed on the other side of 30th Street from the embassy in the area cordoned off for the Code Pink supporters.  The Venezuelans are stationed directly in front of the embassy and south towards the waterfront.

 About 6:30pm, the US Govt (I'm assuming the State Department) issued the eviction orders. They had this device that delivered very loud and high pitched signals.  I think from MPDC  (SOD DS0-1) It's been 4 hours and I understand that the remaining handful of occupiers want to be arrested and the US personnel want to sweep the building for firearms and bombs.  This #### was fascinating the first few days, but now it's tiresome.  I've met quite a few nice Venezuelans.  I'm working on a a buzz and will try to post some media.  We'll start with a simplified primer of what's going on.

https://thenib.com/a-showdown-at-the-venezuelan-embassy?t=default

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8 minutes ago, rogwadd said:

In that 2 hour video, I probably could be found somewhere in there; I work in the adjacent building.  I would be hanging out with the opposition  Venezuelans, many of the first I've met since I've been in DC.  I know a number of Salvadoreans, Argentinians,  and a couple of Colombians and Brazilians. This video is being filmed on the other side of 30th Street from the embassy in the area cordoned off for the Code Pink supporters.  The Venezuelans are stationed directly in front of the embassy and south towards the waterfront.

 About 6:30pm, the US Govt (I'm assuming the State Department) issued the eviction orders. They had this device that delivered very loud and high pitched signals.  I think from MPDC  (SOD DS0-1) It's been 4 hours and I understand that the remaining handful of occupiers want to be arrested and the US personnel want to sweep the building for firearms and bombs.  This #### was fascinating the first few days, but now it's tiresome.  I've met quite a few nice Venezuelans.  I'm working on a a buzz and will try to post some media.  We'll start with a simplified primer of what's going on.

https://thenib.com/a-showdown-at-the-venezuelan-embassy?t=default

Thanks for sharing. 

Pretty balanced take there, though it does omit a few things.  DC police and Secret Service have blocked civilians from getting food and water into the embassy, so they've effectively sided with the opposition in doing so.  The electricity has been cut off despite the fact that their bill with Pepco has been paid.  Same for their water.  

The US is acting like a rogue state and taking a huge #### on international diplomacy right now.  Whatever our thoughts on Venezuela- no govt should be able to shut off utilities and starve out legitimate occupants of a foreign embassy because they don't like the cut of that country's jib.  As per usual it's a total media blackout on the Trump admin's most abhorrent actions.  

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On 5/13/2019 at 11:49 PM, ren hoek said:

Trump admin's most abhorrent actions.  

Yeah, I don't think this is in the top 10 of the admin's most abhorrent actions.

Glad you met some venezolanos @rogwadd. In my experience they are some of the funniest and crudest Latinos. Venezuelans learn at a young age the proper way to pepper their speech with vulgarity for comedic effect.

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Law enforcement officers on Monday removed the chains that have for more than a month kept the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington locked shut, hours after posting an eviction notice telling the activists who have been camped inside that they would have to leave.

It was the first step in what many thought would be the forcible removal of the demonstrators, who have been living inside the embassy since April 10. But instead, a stalemate returned.

...Both sides have made themselves at home in recent weeks — with activists from Code Pink, Popular Resistance and Answer Coalition living inside the embassy since the second week of April and pro-Guaidó demonstrators guarding the building’s entrances and exits since April 30. ...

WaPo

- There aren't any Venezuelans in the embassy, just protesters? This seems really ridiculous.

The point of who should be in the embassy, Maduro's government or the Assembly's, is obviously highly relevant, but this is not that.

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Watch Guaido’s clueless rep, who’s dad owns an island, try to explain how war criminal Elliott Abrams bringing ‘humanitarian aid’ (read: weapons shipments to violent extremists) in Venezuela would be a good thing, actually.  

https://youtu.be/i3nzU81bbzg

This is what it looks like when a neoconservative empire tries to anoint a fake president in a country where he has no populous support.  Shame on people who helped push this fraud onto the international stage.  

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On 5/22/2019 at 6:09 PM, ren hoek said:

who’s dad owns an island

You know the quickest surest way to become a billionaire is to be a socialist leader or a high up crony, right?  Not sure why you're knocking this, but willfully ignoring the pile of leaders of the "equality" themed Venezuelan government who have stuffed away billions.  Chaves' daughter is worth 4B+, all extracted from the people.  Maduro budgets ~2M for himself and his family, per day.  We know where all that money comes from.

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24 minutes ago, Sand said:

You know the quickest surest way to become a billionaire is to be a socialist leader or a high up crony, right?  Not sure why you're knocking this, but willfully ignoring the pile of leaders of the "equality" themed Venezuelan government who have stuffed away billions.  Chaves' daughter is worth 4B+, all extracted from the people.  Maduro budgets ~2M for himself and his family, per day.  We know where all that money comes from.

We’ve got our fair share of oligarchs too.  That’s what happens any time corporations merge with state power.  Regardless of what economic model they pretend to follow.  

But as a US taxpayer, I take issue with the fact that US sanctions are making these problems worse and killing innocent people.  It is depriving them of food, lifesaving medicine, and causing them to die.  This is death and destruction that our tax dollars are sponsoring, full stop, period.  It’s not about socialism or Maduro.  

Maybe they should raise their voices at Bone Saw before talking about human rights and stomping around in Venezuela.  

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8 hours ago, ren hoek said:

Maybe they should raise their voices at Bone Saw before talking about human rights and stomping around in Venezuela.

Many of us have done so.  

But again, this really isn't about the US involvement (at least to me).  Rather it's about ending the terrible economic conditions in Venezuela and restoring some semblance of rule of law.  The sanctions imposed by the US didn't bring about the economic collapse.  The sanctions imposed by the US aren't blockading food or drug importation.  The sanctions imposed by the US aren't causing massive country-wide power outages.  All those things rest at the feet of the Maduro regime and the failed economic policies of the last 15 years.

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13 hours ago, ren hoek said:

But as a US taxpayer, I take issue with the fact that US sanctions are making these problems worse and killing innocent people.  It is depriving them of food, lifesaving medicine, and causing them to die.  This is death and destruction that our tax dollars are sponsoring, full stop, period.  It’s not about socialism or Maduro.  

Maybe they should raise their voices at Bone Saw before talking about human rights and stomping around in Venezuela.  

It was shown conclusively that the collapse was prior to sanctions.  This argument was hollow and continues to be hollow.  The government has willfully caused food, medicine, and basic service shortages through their nationalization of busnesses, gutting PDVSA with Chavista loyalists, etc.  The government there has actively blocked medical care and medicines to come in.  

This is all about a desperate despot sacrificing millions onto the altar of his own power.  That's it.

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On 5/24/2019 at 8:57 AM, The Z Machine said:

The sanctions imposed by the US didn't bring about the economic collapse.  The sanctions imposed by the US aren't blockading food or drug importation.  The sanctions imposed by the US aren't causing massive country-wide power outages.  All those things rest at the feet of the Maduro regime and the failed economic policies of the last 15 years.

That may be the case.  It does not change the fact that US sanctions are designed to increase human suffering and catalyze regime change in Venezuela.  Chavez/Maduro's collapsing economy is no excuse for the US to make a desperate situation even worse to serve its own interests.  

The CIA attempted a coup against Chavez in 2002.  They have trained Guaido through OTPOR/CANVAS color revolution outfits dating back to 2007, when he was a GWU Colonial.  He studied under a former IMF director.  You can't seriously believe the US has been a neutral arbiter in all this, or that Abrams/Bolton are good actors here.  

Quote

This paper looks at some of the most important impacts of the economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the US government since August of 2017. It finds that most of the impact of these sanctions has not been on the government but on the civilian population.

The sanctions reduced the public’s caloric intake, increased disease and mortality (for both adults and infants), and displaced millions of Venezuelans who fled the country as a result of the worsening economic depression and hyperinflation. They exacerbated Venezuela’s economic crisis and made it nearly impossible to stabilize the economy, contributing further to excess deaths. All of these impacts disproportionately harmed the poorest and most vulnerable Venezuelans.

Even more severe and destructive than the broad economic sanctions of August 2017 were the sanctions imposed by executive order on January 28, 2019 and subsequent executive orders this year; and the recognition of a parallel government, which as shown below, created a whole new set of financial and trade sanctions that are even more constricting than the executive orders themselves.

We find that the sanctions have inflicted, and increasingly inflict, very serious harm to human life and health, including an estimated more than 40,000 deaths from 2017 to 2018; and that these sanctions would fit the definition of collective punishment of the civilian population as described in both the Geneva and Hague international conventions, to which the US is a signatory. They are also illegal under international law and treaties that the US has signed, and would appear to violate US law as well.

http://cepr.net/images/stories/reports/venezuela-sanctions-2019-04.pdf

While I disagree with socialism as an economic program, it's clear that Maduro is not a dictator, he has real/tangible support, and it is not the West's place to overthrow him.  

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On 5/24/2019 at 1:55 PM, Sand said:

The government there has actively blocked medical care and medicines to come in.  

That's not true.  The Red Cross and UN have been working with Venezuela for years.  They've actually requested that the US stop politicizing aid because it has endangered actual aid workers on the ground in VZ.  

What they've blocked is Elliot Abrams' transparent humanitarian aid PR stunt:

The Venezuelan government has an entirely rational reason to suspect the US would use humanitarian aid as a cover to smuggle in weapons to foment armed conflict: The person running quarterback for Trump on the current Venezuela operation, Elliot Abrams, literally did just that 30 years ago.

From the first two paragraphs (emphasis added) of a 1987 AP/New York Times article on Elliott Abrams, “Abrams Denies Wrongdoing in Shipping Arms to Contras” (8/17/87—h/t Kevin Gosztola):

Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams has defended his role in authorizing the shipment of weapons on a humanitarian aid flight to Nicaraguan rebels, saying the operation was ”strictly by the book.”

Mr. Abrams spoke at a news conference Saturday in response to statements by Robert Duemling, former head of the State Department’s Nicaraguan humanitarian assistance office, who said he had twice ordered planes to shuttle weapons for the Contras on aid planes at Mr. Abrams’ direction in early 1986.

It’s literally the same person. It’s not that Maduro is vaguely paranoid the US, in general, would dust off its 1980s’ Contra-backing Cold War playbook, or some unspecified assumption about a higher-up or two at State. It’s literally the exact same person in charge of the operation who we know—with 100 percent certainty, because he admitted to it—has a history of using aid convoys as a cover to smuggle in arms to right-wing militias.

On 5/24/2019 at 1:55 PM, Sand said:

This is all about a desperate despot sacrificing millions onto the altar of his own power.  That's it.

It's about manufacturing consent for yet another neocon regime change operation under the guise of democracy and human rights.  Pure degeneracy.  Decent people really ought to quit falling for it.

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3 hours ago, ren hoek said:

It's about manufacturing consent for yet another neocon regime change operation under the guise of democracy and human rights.  Pure degeneracy.  Decent people really ought to quit falling for it.

Good thing Chavez and Maduro are decent human beings and rulers.  The country has certainly thrived under them.

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Brian Winter

Wow: Bolsonaro disinvites Guaido’s ambassador to Brasilia from credentialing ceremony next Tuesday.

Folha says decision came from “pragmatic” military wing of govt, which believes April 30 uprising failed and therefore wants to maintain dialogue with Maduro

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The movement has yes apparently failed. Older article but this sums it up.

Allies arrested or neutralized and the military has failed to deliver. I partly blame Trump/Abrams for that, basically domestically speaking they played into the hands of Maduro with the bombastic language and being out front.

Ally of Venezuelan Opposition Leader Is Detained After Failed Uprising

>>The vice president of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly was detained by intelligence officers in the capital on Wednesday night, the latest sign of crackdown following a failed call for a military uprising against President Nicolás Maduro last week.

The vice president, Edgar Zambrano, was surrounded by intelligence officers after leaving his party’s headquarters in the capital, Caracas, he said on Twitter. He was towed away in his car after refusing to leave his vehicle, according to Mr. Zambrano and witnesses.

A member of the moderate Democratic Action opposition party, Mr. Zambrano joined the head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, and a few dozen dissident soldiers last week outside a military base as Mr. Guaidó tried to take the base and set off a national rebellion. The call to oust Mr. Maduro failed to convince the military to switch sides en masse, however.

Instead, clashes broke out across Caracas between demonstrators and forces loyal to Mr. Maduro, injuring dozens and killing five across the country before Venezuela largely returned to its recent status quo: a protracted political standoff as the country slid into further shortages of food, medicine and electricity.

Venezuela’s pro-government Supreme Court had stripped Mr. Zambrano of his parliamentary immunity earlier Wednesday, paving the way for his detention.

He is at least the fourth prominent ally of Mr. Guaidó to be detained or forced to flee the country since January, when Mr. Guaidó proclaimed himself the country’s rightful leader, asserting that Mr. Maduro was an illegitimate autocrat who had remained in power through an election widely believed to be fraudulent.

Since then, more than 50 countries, including the United States, have sided with Mr. Guaidó, while Mr. Maduro has been backed by several longtime allies, including Russia and Cuba.

Mr. Maduro has so far refrained from detaining Mr. Guaidó, instead focusing on dismantling his inner circle, barring him from leaving the country and using security forces and armed paramilitary groups to curtail his movements around Venezuela. The United States has repeatedly said that an arrest of Mr. Guaidó would be considered a major escalation of the crisis.

Dozens of other opposition leaders and lawmakers have been jailed or charged with instigating violence since the opposition won control of the National Assembly in 2014. In the past, Mr. Maduro has used waves of repression to increase his bargaining power in talks with the opposition or to dampen social pressure on his government.

“This is another attack on the democracy, on the institutions, on the separation of powers,” Stalin González, Mr. Zambrano’s deputy in the National Assembly, told reporters outside the Democratic Action party’s headquarters after the detention. “Let not the government think that by detaining lawmakers they will stop the crisis in this country.”

Mr. Zambrano said on Twitter that he was taken to the intelligence police’s headquarters. His exact status on Wednesday night was not immediately clear.

“The regime has seized the first vice president,” Mr. Guaidó tweeted on Wednesday night, naming Mr. Zambrano and the National Assembly. “They intend to disintegrate the power that represents all Venezuelans, but they will not succeed.”

Chile’s foreign minister, Roberto Ampuero, condemned Mr. Zambrano’s “arbitrary detention,” writing on Twitter, “We hold the dictatorship of Maduro responsible for this new abuse of human rights and the intensification of the repression that Venezuelans are suffering.”<<

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This thread is a great example of why ARs and other semi automatic weapons should never be banned in the US.

Venezuelans are just the latest victims of socialism following its natural course.

Remember when the left worshipped Venezuela and claimed they were a model the US should follow?

Pepperidge Farms members.

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1 hour ago, Raylan said:

This thread is a great example of why ARs and other semi automatic weapons should never be banned in the US.

Venezuelans are just the latest victims of socialism following its natural course.

Remember when the left worshipped Venezuela and claimed they were a model the US should follow?

Pepperidge Farms members.

Wait, what? Semi autos and ARs should never be banned in case of socialism?  

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Out of nowhere Russia says it is withdrawing key defense advisers from Venezuela.
 

Quote

 

In a Blow to Maduro, Russia Withdraws Key Defense Support to Venezuela

Russia has been one of Maduro’s major supporters in its standoff with the U.S.

Russia has withdrawn key defense advisers from Venezuela, an embarrassment for President Nicolás Maduro as Moscow weighs the leader’s political and economic resilience against growing U.S. pressure.

Russian state defense contractor Rostec, which has trained Venezuelan troops and advised on securing arms contracts, has cut its staff in Venezuela to just a few dozen, from about 1,000 at the height of cooperation between Moscow and Caracas several years ago, said a person close to the Russian defense ministry.

The gradual pullout, which has escalated over the last several months, according to people familiar with the situation, is due to a lack of new contracts and the acceptance that Mr. Maduro’s regime no longer has the cash to continue to pay for other Rostec services associated with past contracts.

Russia has been among Mr. Maduro’s biggest international supporters, but the winding down of Rostec’s presence shows the limits of Russia’s reach in the South American country at a time when Moscow is facing economic difficulties—in part due to the impact of U.S. sanctions—at home. Venezuela has been one of Moscow’s largest customers in South America.

Rostec’s withdrawal of permanent and temporary employees is a major setback for Maduro, who has frequently touted assistance support from Russia and China as a sign that other global powers are willing to assist him in his bitter standoff against the U.S. Russian military support has been central to Maduro’s pledge to defend Venezuela from any foreign invasion.

 

 

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10 hours ago, msommer said:

Maduro is doing such a great job governing his country that thousands flee daily  to join the millions that already left

I'm sure it's all America's fault....

If only the US didn't sanction the country, everything would be ok there.

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On ‎6‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 4:53 PM, timschochet said:

Yes. Do you agree with his premise, which is that the legal private ownership of AR-15s prevent us from turning into an authoritarian, socialist state like Venezuela? 

Well, what is going on in Venezuela can't happen here anytime soon but if you disarm the people, it makes it easier to defeat the people when the military has the automatic guns and the people don't. We are safe in my lifetime as a democracy. 

My brother has an AR-15 amongst his collection. It's cool to shoot but I don't see a reason for one. I am starting to see a reason to own some guns though. Look at Texas, its now no longer a crime to steal if you 'need it'. That's simply nuts. Someone can break into my house now, steal and be back on the street in a day or so. One of the local cops had an idiot the other day say 'your job is to arrest criminals. My job is to steal.'

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1 minute ago, lod001 said:

Well, what is going on in Venezuela can't happen here anytime soon but if you disarm the people, it makes it easier to defeat the people when the military has the automatic guns and the people don't. We are safe in my lifetime as a democracy. 

This argument is about 200 years too old (though I might be skeptical of it even in 1819.) 

Our government has drones and rockets and tanks and antitank guns and a whole bunch of stuff that you don’t have and cannot buy. If our government decides to impose a dictatorship they can. You are effectively already disarmed. 

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