“It’s hard to take the chattydictator seriously as an evilgenius,”
Wall Street Journal
columnist Mary O’Gradywrote, referring not to Russianpresident Vladimir Putin orIran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,but Venezuela’s dictator-in-residence, Hugo Chavez.The word
usuallyincites references to Russiaor the Red Scare of the 1950s.However, communism isnot just a word or politicalphilosophy in today’s world,but a thriving institution in aSouth American country sittingin North America’s backyard.It is hard to tell how muchof a “genius” Chavez is, but“evil” is quickly becomingan all-too suitable label.His blatant hatred of the U.S. andits government is obvious, withhis harangues on the American“empire” and similar outbursts.Chavez has welcomedRussia’s military planes andships into Venezuela for“exercises” and says that “theYankee homogeny is ﬁnished.”He went on to tell Russia’sVesti24 television, “Not onlyVenezuela, but Latin Americaas a whole, needs friends likeRussia now, as we are sheddingthis [U.S.] domination.”Freshman Candice Rodriguez,a Venezuela native, said thatChavez is known in Venezuelafor his lack of honesty.According to Rodriguez, he isconstantly stealing money fromthe government, and the countrysuffers, lacking necessitiessuch as milk, eggs, petroleum,and even toilet paper becauseof his bartering with Cuba.Rodriguez went on to explainhow Venezuela’s impoverishedpopulation, usually ignorantand innocent by lack of outsideknowledge, are easily swayedby promises of homes and food.However, the ﬁnancially well-off and well-educated people ofVenezuela know better than totrust Chavez, especially as theyrecognize his deceitfulness.Those who dare defy andspeak against him are metwith injustice and intolerance.Radio Caracas Televisionopenly opposed Chavez’sregime, and then the 40-year-old television station’s licensehappened to expire in May2007. Chavez gave his reason forletting the network die: “Forgetabout renewal. What you shouldaccept is a fact that is quiteclear: the license is expiring.”In 2003, three soldiers anda woman were tortured andkilled in Venezuela after leadinganti-government protests.In 2007, tear gas was used onstudents protesting Chavez.Even in this past month,Raul Isaias Baduel, a Chavezconﬁdant-turned-critic, hasbeen arrested and forbiddenfrom leaving Venezuela.It seemed for a while thatthese activities might conﬁnethemselves to the Latinocountry. However, Russia hasstepped up to plate as a military
Hugo Chavez is not happy, espe-cially now that America is takingnote of his benevolent treatmentof the Venezuelan people.
The 2008 Free Market Forum,which took place Sept. 25-27in Dearborn, Mich., concludedon a high note with a Saturdayevening address by Peruvianeconomist Hernando de Soto.The forum, which has beenhosted annually by HillsdaleCollege since 2006, seeks toencourage the study of freeenterprise.Donors and friends ofthe college mingled withstudents and faculty overhors d’oeuvres and cocktailsin the spacious gallery of theFord Conference & EventCenter Saturday evening,exchanging business cards,stories, and an appreciationof limited governmentand unfettered markets.Following dinner, HillsdaleCollege President LarryArnn presented de Soto,internationally recognized forhis advocacy of property rightsand author of two best-sellingbooks that argue his case,with the Adam Smith Award.Since 1990 HillsdaleCollege has presentedthe award to statesmen,scholars, businessmen,philanthropists, journalistsand others who exemplifyand defend the principles ofAmerican constitutionalismand free enterprise. Pastrecipients include RonaldReagan, William F. Buckley Jr., Thomas Sowell, SteveForbes, and Milton Friedman.De Soto delivered an addressregarding the importance ofproperty rights, and engagingaudience members with hiswitty style, he drew laughterfrom guests with several jokes,including a comparison of theFederal Reserve to ScroogeMcDuck.This year’s forum includedevening speeches by Karl Roveand Jonah Goldberg in additionto the events during the day.In previous years, the FreeMarket Forum has beenhosted on Hillsdale College’scampus. However, the eventhas grown signiﬁcantly in thelast two years, with attendanceballooning from a little over 50in 2006 to about 400 this year.The larger turnout created anecessity for a bigger venue,and organizers decided tomove the event to the FordConference & Event Center inDearborn.“Hillsdale does not have enoughhotel rooms nor does the DowCenter have banquet spacefor 400 [guests],” said AnitaFolsom, Director of SpecialPrograms at Hillsdale College.Additionally, the event drawsfaculty members and statepolicy leaders from across thecountry and from Canada. TheDearborn location is muchcloser to the airport, makingtravel arrangements easier formany guests.Folsom said, “Quite a numberof friends of the College werethere this year; some supportersof Hillsdale College ﬂew infrom California, Washingtonstate, Florida, and other partsof the country,”
De Soto Charms at Hillsdale Free Market ForumThe People’s President?
Chavez’s empty promises leave Venezuela unfulﬁlled
Christopher Buckley hasleft
afterendorsing Obama in TinaBrown’s latest endeavor,online publication
, saying “So, to para-phrase a real conservative,Ronald Reagan: I haven’tleft the Republican Party. Itleft me.”*Scientists are consideringusing electron bombard-ment as a replacement forherbicides. The electronsbreak the molecular bondsof the fungal spores thatkill seedlings, but the bom-bardment must be preciselycalculated so as not to killthe seedling itself.*Standing alongside ACORNofﬁcials Rapaport said the“actual instances of [voterfraud] is [sic] so small”and it would be wrong “touse it as an excuse to tryto discourage people fromregistering, to set up barri-ers with a draconian a voteridentiﬁcation provisions.”
CONTINUED ON PAGE 11
As the third presidentialdebate draws near, Obamaleads McCain by 14 points.One week ago, he was onlyleading by three points.The change of heart? 21percent of poll voters saidit was because of McCain’sattacks on Obama and hisVP choice of Sarah Palin.*Two ﬁres have killed twopeople and destroyed doz-ens of home in California’sSan Fernando Valley, anda third has broken out nearCamp Pendleton, a USMarine base, burning 3,000acres. Over 2,000 ﬁreﬁght-ers have been battling theﬂames in an attempt tostop the ﬁres from movingtoward the Paciﬁc Ocean.*The cost of a barrel ofliquid gold dropped below$80 for the ﬁrst time sinceSeptember 2007, droppingto $78.61/barrel, a dropof $6.98 from the previ-ous day’s level. OPEC hascalled an emergency meet-ing in Vienna on Nov. 18 todiscuss the drop.
photo via Globovision