and empty shelves


Ebony: So Charlie and I decided to put up the display in my bedroom.

Charlie: This thing looks horrible.

Ebony: Tell me about it. It’s supposed to hold sugar skulls, whatever those are.

Charlie: They’re… skulls? Sounds like something you would display.

Ebony: So, you think we should partake in this challenge thing?

Charlie: Yeah. It sounds like fun, skulls of any kind are better than those ugly empty shelves anyway.

Ebony: You’re probably right.


Venezuelans younger than 30 (majority of the pop) have not known any govt other than that of Hugo Chávez or Maduro. For them, “Chavismo” is the past…Blaming the CIA, the “fascist opposition,” or “dark international forces,” as Nicolas Maduro and his allies customarily do, has become fodder for parodies flooding YouTube. The concrete effects of 15 years of Chavismo are all too visible in empty shelves and overflowing morgues. The youth who are continuing to protest in almost all of Venezuela’s large cities, risking brutal beatings, savage torture, and death, are convinced that they will not have a better future unless the policies to which this government is strongly committed are changed. And the only government promise they believe is its pledge to stay the course regardless of results or what its opponents say.


Understand that there is a beast within you

that can drink till it is sick

but cannot drink till it is satisfied

Understand that it will use the conventions of the visible world to turn your tongue to stone

It alone knows you

It does not wish you well

—  the third hour of the night, frank bidart

There are two Venezuelas.

In one, there are food riots and empty supermarket shelves and long lines of people waiting for basic goods. In the other, there are gourmet meals, creamy cappuccino and rich desserts.

At the Santa Elena supermarket in the poor neighborhood or barrio of Antimano in Caracas, the capital, 72-year-old Nerys Ojeda is looking for detergent to wash her clothes. There isn’t any.

“We can’t find flour, spaghetti, sugar, butter. You can’t find any of the things we really need,” she says.

But go across town to the wealthy neighborhood of Las Mercedes, to a café called Franca, and there is a different reality. The menu has brioche and brownies and scrambled eggs.

While many poor Venezuelan women can’t find milk for their kids, in this cafe, I’m getting a lovely foam on my cappuccino from a barista.

So what is going on?

Venezuela’s Economic Implosion Exacerbates Inequality

Photo: Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images
Caption: People line up to buy goods at a supermarket in Caracas on June 13.

Scholars wanted!
External image

Hey everyone!

I’ve been working like mad and making a lot of progress lately! Tweaking here and there as I learn more stuff about renpy or python.

Anyways I won’t bore you with tiny details but here is the deal;

I’ll make 6 pretty big libraries in all 6 major cities and there will be shelves and shelves of books in all 6 of them. I’ll make every single book read-able by the player in these libraries but if I try to write them all by myself, the game won’t finish.

Here is what I want from you,

Keep reading
OU professor: Youths' attraction to Sanders shows education failure

It’s disheartening that an avowed socialist is a viable candidate for president of the United States. Socialism is a dead end. For hundreds of years, it has failed everywhere it’s been adopted. The enthusiasm of our youth for the candidacy of Bernie Sanders is a symptom of our failure to educate them, not only in history, government and economics, but also basic morality. 

You don’t have to be a student of ancient history to know socialism doesn’t work. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 was an unequivocal demonstration of the moral and economic superiority of capitalism. The misery caused by socialism is unfolding today in Venezuela. Since Venezuela embraced socialism in 1999, poverty, crime and corruption have all increased. Grocery shelves are empty and the annual inflation rate is estimated to be as high as 200 percent.

The United States is a constitutional republic founded on political equality, not equality of income or circumstances. Our system of government was designed to secure the natural rights of its citizens. These rights include not only “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” but the right to acquire and maintain private property. The Founding Fathers considered property rights to be sacred and paramount.

Under capitalism, goods and services are distributed through private, voluntary exchanges. When people engage in volitional transactions, everyone benefits. If we believe a transaction is in our best interest, we have an incentive to maintain good relations with those with whom we’re trading. Thus a society based on freedom and trading promotes good will and civility. Our free-market system has produced the greatest prosperity in human history.

There are no property rights under socialism. Goods and services are distributed by force through political means. Everything you possess is subject to confiscation and redistribution. Industrious and productive people are punished; parasites are rewarded. When people come to believe they have a right to goods and services produced by other people, society disintegrates into squabbling factions. If socialism is allowed to progress to its logical extreme, it culminates in a military dictatorship like North Korea.

What about so-called “crony capitalism”? This is nothing more than socialism that benefits the wealthy and influential. It’s just as wrong as any other form of socialism. The cure is to limit government power. Human nature is corruptible. If government has the power to redistribute wealth, it will always act in the interests of the powerful segments of society. What made America great is not progressive government, but the genius and industry of a people freed from arbitrary power by the chains placed upon government by our Constitution.

Socialism isn’t so much a legitimate economic system as it is a moral failing. It will always exist because ignorant people will always want something for nothing. If we want to retain our freedom and prosperity, then we must educate our children that the purpose of government is to secure liberty, not provide free lunches.