Free Markets, Free People

Sean Penn about Hugo Chavez: “I’ve lost a friend”

Hugo Chavez has assumed room temperature.  I’ve always been taught it is bad manners to talk ill of the dead.  In this case I’ll risk it.  It is a huge boon for liberty and individual rights that Hugo is no longer at the helm of the shipwreck he’s made of his country and its economy.

Of course, there are those who feel differently about a man who had no respect for individual liberty, property or rights:

Sean Penn said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter that “the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion. I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela.”

No one ever said our celebrities were particularly bright.  I mean this is Sean Penn who tried to paddle around New Orleans in a row boat in the wake of Katrina to … well, one assumes to prove something.  Instead he just became another problem for those actually doing rescue work.

So it’s not particularly surprising to see him, blinders firmly in place, saying silly stuff about Chavez. Chavez was a dictator, a tyrant, a bully, amoral, violent and singularly ideologically driven. And, in terms of how the world works economically, ignorant as a stump (a common condition for most socialists) – as is Penn.

Hugo Chavez was no “friend of the poor”. He simply used them, by giving them other people’s property, to provide himself with a power base.

With Chavez’s passing, perhaps Venezuela can now recover from the long national nightmare it has undergone during the Chavez years.

Here’s hoping.


Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

45 Responses to Sean Penn about Hugo Chavez: “I’ve lost a friend”

  • This is a direct result of using low quality Iranian animatronics.   The old Soviet stuff still works pretty good (once the boilers get up a head of steam), as demonstrated in the Castro model.

  • It is good, I suppose, that this idiot was made use of by someone.
    Dittos Jimah Caartur.  What an obscene demonstration.  But, then, there was Arafat…

  • I won’t even be civil about this – I’m amazingly happy Chavez suffered before he slouched off to hell, and in a just world, Penn and Carter will get the same experience.
    Some people aren’t even worth wasting basic human civility on. These are three of them.

    • Delicious irony…Cuban medicine probably killed him a bit faster.

    • So you are taking it upon youself to decide who should be granted “basic human civility”? President Carter introduced himself to me in a small diner in rural Georgia several years ago and even though I never voted for him, I was civil and polite as was he. Should I have acted different? Do you have a complete list of people I should be uncivil to?

      • Hang on, let me consult the official White House list….let’s see, after Chavez comes before Woodward, right?

      • I reserve the right to decide whom I will and will not be civil to. If you don’t like it, I could not care less and I certainly don’t owe you an explanation. All YOU need concern yourself with is if I’m civil towards you, and in our limited interactions that has proven to be the case.

      • “So you are taking it upon youself to decide who should be granted “basic human civility”?”
        Yes. Every individual makes the decision about who to be civil to. It’s called freedom of speech. You may wish to live in a society where civility is mandatory under law, but some of us don’t. It may be impolite, but that is our choice. Unless you live on a college campus or in Canada or the UK.
        “Should I have acted different? Do you have a complete list of people I should be uncivil to?”
        That’s up to you.

        • It’s not just “freedom of speech”.
          Once upon a time, before The Liberal Word-Fascists made it a dirty word, we were allowed a thing called “discrimination”.  It has the meaning of “identifying the differences between things” with an undercurrent of “judging the worth or value of things”.  A half-century ago, having “discriminating tastes” was actually considered a GOOD thing!
          Back in that quaint time, genteel folks would refuse to associate with people of ill-repute.  Respectable people guarded their reputations, and avoided associating with low-lifes.  It was a given that “You are known by the company you keep”.  (That was THEN, of course.)
          Any more, the idea of inviolable moral standards is passe.  “Standards” are so, like, “judgmental”, y’know.  It’s not “fair” to exclude people just because they value different things or they behave differently; they should be celebrated for expressing their own unique “cultural values”.  After all, “who are WE to judge?”  Drag in the twin notions of “cultural imperialism” and “cultural relativism” (how dare white Christians tell anybody else how to behave or what to believe; we’re no better than anybody else — especially given our history of slavery and the Crusades and colonialism and Hiroshima/Nagasaki, yada-yada…) and voila!   The end of morality as we once knew it.  The Left claims the mantle of “morality” but has no values to guide it – so everything becomes relative.  Without standards, without paying attention to the societal results of morality-free behavior, we wind up celebrating thuggish dictators as heroes; or rich baby-daddy rappers as trend-setters; or business cheats/ tax dodgers as government administrators; or bimbos who’ve made sex tapes as role-models for our daughters.
          We’ve been conditioned not to discriminate:  “Discrimination is bad”.  Therefore, accepting every deviancy is good.
          A society that can’t tell the difference between desirable and undesirable behavior is doomed.  Sorry to say, that’s exactly where we are right now.

          • Which explains the accepting bestiality courses at centers of ‘higher learning’ these days.   “Don’t judge other people, because we all have something we are embarrassed about.””
            Mmmmm, that YALE degree value just shot up didn’t it!
            Would that the above were a joke.

  • Some people existence is justified as a warning to others… then there are the days I feel we are little over-blessed with such warnings.

  • Hugo Chavez was definitely passionate about social justice, but I don’t think he choose the best way to achieve his goal. Historically, socialism has always been detrimental to the people it was supposed to serve. Besides that, I dont understand why Chavez hated America so much. By the way, I noticed that countries whose leaders hate America are most of the times countries where atrocities are commited on a daily basis…

    • The word Justice needs no qualifiers. Justice is justice. Adding qualifiers such as “Social” is neither productive, nor accurate.

      • And I’m not sure why anyone thinks Chavez was interested in justice of any kind. He was interested in power, first and foremost.

        I suppose some justice might have occurred accidentally as a byproduct of Chavez grabbing and maintaining power – say, some corrupticrat got his due.

        • I was amazed to hear the Presidente People’s Socialist had amassed a personal fortune of $2 billion.

      • Perhaps it is an abbreviation of “Socialist” justice. That would explain a lot.

        • Yes social justice is about balancing society which is a vague way of saying forced distribution of wealth, access, etc.  So it is code for socialist practices.

        • Although I’ve always found it interesting that moderate socialist places like Europe still manage to have a rich elite to rival the one in ‘more capitalist’ countries like the US and the hardcore socialists have leaders that live in the former Ruler’s Palace.  From what I gather Chavez managed to live between the two models to a degree.
          Any discussion that accepts Socialist governments as being idealized implementations of socialism and ignore the hypocrisy and corruption just make we wince a bit.   You agree to argue against an non-existent utopia.

  • “It is a huge boon for liberty and individual rights that Hugo is no longer at the helm of the shipwreck he’s made of his country and its economy.”
    How is this speaking ill of the dead? I think you hit the right tone exactly, though even Chavez probably did some tiny amount of good somewhere, the damage he caused out-weighed it.

    • BTW, I am not sure Chavez was a full dictator-dictator, only because political science research shows that those guys usually get overthrown when they become ill. Its still early days though. And actually, I think a semi-elected dictator-dictator is worse in some ways.

      • How overwhelmed you become depends on how many sharks you allowed to come close while you were alive.
        As for being a dictator’s dictator, that’s the Orwellian state we’ve achieved perhaps.  State run media combined with getting one block of your country in antagonism with another block of your country which creates an infighting that keeps the masses preoccupied.  Basically manipulation of the masses may have been perfected and we’re too busy being manipulated to see it.
        Getting one block in tension with another block goes back to the British empire.  India it was the future Pakistanis against the Indians, South Africa it was the Blacks against the Dutch settlers, in the Middle East it was the Jews against everyone else.  In Canada it was the captured French Quebec against the English settlers.  Even in the US it was the settlers against the Indians although the balancing act wasn’t worked out real well.  The Sun never set on the British Empire with those practices for over a century and it wasn’t all military might that allowed it to happen.  One of the mistakes of the Soviet Union was that they ate their rich instead of leaving them around to bitch about.  They’d be in some pretty dire straits today but the old regime might still be in power.  And now the bogey man that plays well for them is the US.
        Then add state run media to the mix.  And finally add some old style thuggery but not enough to upset the masses too much.  The one other thing Chavez had it seemed was the numbers.  He had enough promised to the masses to keep a majority on his side.  Or enough of perceived one anyway.  Over time if he stopped delivering, that may have ended.  And to a degree he was able to deliver to keep things from imploding because of oil.  Liquid Gold you can pump for the ground which never permanently saturates the market because its expended eventually.  In other words some luck of timing this period of overpriced oil made his soft rule possible.

  • …I just have to….
    Ding Dong, the witch is dead.

    • The witch is dead, long live the witch. Unfortunately in the real world there is always another witch.

  • Here’s an interesting question for the Chavez-loving Collective…

    When George W. Bush left office, what was his net worth?  As between W and Chavez, who really did the most for “the poor”?

    Reports are that Chavez left an estate worth $2000 million.

    • Ever notice how those most obsessed with “social justice” end up with really nice homes and bank accounts? Funny thing that….

      • Oh, that’s a reward from God hisself for their social concerns and good works!   You don’t think there’s impropriety do you?
        One does have to wonder how far say, half that 2 billion would have taken the collective masses in the Venezuelan slums though doesn’t one, I mean after one is done worshiping this champion of the poor that is.

      • Do you have a definition of this “social justice” to which you refer? I do not comprehend what it means.

        • You’ll find it in The Big Book Of Grifting, under “Biggest Pay-off Grifts“.

    • “Reports are…”
      C’mon. Really?

  • And now, he’s been likened to that ‘hero’ Che.   T-shirt man, famous last words “Don’t Shoot! I’m Che I’m worth to you more alive than dead!”

    • Okay, so he WAS like Che after all…..
      “I don’t want to die, please don’t let me die”
      Memorable….nah, well, except for it being notable whining from the ‘hero’.

      • “The general said he didn’t know precisely what kind of cancer afflicted Chavez, but added: “He suffered a lot.”‘

        Is it bad that that made me happy?

        • Well, you know Don, it wouldn’t be right for us to judge you.
          I’ve read the posts and comments here….I comment here….
          just full of evil Libertarian conservative Republican ex military techie last century sciency denying sterile inbred types and thinking….
          I mean, it’s pretty clear that none of us has gone through life free of error or doing wrong.
          Therefore, by the power invested in me (and everyone else here) by progressive thought which prevents me, us, or anyone else, from judging you
          I pronounce you not bad!
          (Confidentially I wouldn’t have found you bad either anyway, but, let’s face it, it’s wonderful to hoist the opposition on their own non-judgmental petard, no?)

  • One bullet to the head Sean, and you can join your friend.

    • Isn’t it better for him to stay behind and dwell on this tremendous personal loss?
      Not very nice am I…..

    This would be like paying tribute to Hitler.
    Tell me again why we are in the UN…???

    • It’s my understanding that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi can now take a break from having sex with Adolf Hilter, now that Hugo Chavez is there.

    • Speaking of the UN …

      The United Nations has issued the United States a stern warning against a state trend to legalize marijuana, for recreational or medical use: Doing so violates international law. The International Narcotics Control Board, the global body in charge of overseeing drug treaties, issued a warning about the “unprecedented surge” in “legal highs” — those that stem from medically approved marijuana use — and said immediate action is needed to stop the trade, The Guardian reported. The group also warned the U.S. government to crack down on medicinal marijuana laws.

      They is more than a bit of irony in this story … revenge of the “‘One-World’er nuts”