Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

07.02 American Medical Association sues North Dakota over abortion laws

07.02 'Committed' CO2 emissions jeopardize international climate goals, study finds

07.01 New Solar + Battery Price Crushes Fossil Fuels, Buries Nuclear

07.01 Freak summer hailstorm buries cars in Mexico's Guadalajara [0:50 video]

07.01 Climate Change is Devastating India With Heat Waves and Water Shortages [13:48 video]

06.30 American farmers can't afford this administration's climate apathy

06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

07.15 Finding the Future in Radical Rural America

07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]

07.15 If there is an 'immigrant' who has failed to integrate in America, it's Donald Trump

07.15 Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to 'go back' to 'original' countries

07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]

07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]

07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]

Justice Matters

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: Chavez Given Enabling Law Power
COMMENTARY:

Chavez Given Enabling Law Power

by Stephen Lendman
Monday, 20 December 2010
Enabling Law allows Chavez to address the current crisis by delivering aid to people and agricultural areas affected, but not by exploiting disasters for profit and regressive social change—like America does it.

On December 17, parliament gave Chavez enabling law power in response to torrential rains and severe floods that ravaged Venezuelan communities, killed at least 35, destroyed over 5,000 homes, and displaced about 120,000 or more people in 11 of the country's 23 states. He asked for one year. Parliament gave him 18 months to deal with the crisis.

National Assembly President Cilia Flores said it was needed to help "people who are relying" on him to help. "So that they can have their street, their highways, public services, electricity, everything to live in dignity, we are going to hear (their) proposals and concerns," then respond accordingly.

More on how it works below. Despite opposition and media criticism (in Venezuela and America), it's not about seizing dictatorial powers, nor has Chavez done it since taking office in February 1999.

No matter. On December 14, New York Times writer (and vocal Chavez critic) Simon Romero headlined, "Chavez Seeks Decree Powers," saying:

By so doing, he "opens a new phase of tension between (himself) and his critics." Provea director Mariano Alvarado said: "This measure reflects the contradictions of a government that speaks about the participation of the people in politics, but ends up adopting measures that ignore the will of the people."

On December 14, Wall Street Journal writer Dan Molinski headlined, "Venezuela Opposition Denounces Chavez Move," saying:

He's attacking democracy and "aim(ing) to demoralize an opposition" with more members when parliament reconvenes on January 5. Primero Justicia, a leading opposition group, said he's "perversely using the human tragedy from the rains to justify these sweeping powers."

On December 17, AP reporter Fabiola Sanchez headlined, "Venezuela congress grants Chavez decree powers," saying:

"Chavez opponents condemned the move as a power grab, saying the law gives him a blank check to rule without consulting lawmakers."

False, and they know it. Enabling law power includes well-defined checks and balances.

How It Works

Enabling law power is legal but limited. Chavez used it three previous times. Four earlier presidents used it. Venezuela's 1961 Constitution authorized it. So did the 1999 one under Article 203, stating:

"Organic laws are those designated as such by this Constitution, those enacted to organize public powers or developing constitutional rights, and those which serve as a normative framework for other laws," including amendments. A two-thirds legislative super-majority is needed before beginning debate. Measures are then sent to the Supreme Tribunal of Justice's Constitutional Division "for a ruling on the constitutionality of their organic status."

"Enabling laws are those enacted by a three fifths (National Assembly member) vote to establish guidelines, purposes and framework for matters that are being delegated to the President of the Republic, with the rank and force of law."

They're not dictatorial. They must conform to constitutional provisions and restraints. They may only be issued in National Assembly named areas within the time period allowed. In some cases, the Supreme Court must rule on their constitutionality.

Moreover, Constitutional law lets ordinary Venezuelans rescind what's enacted if at least 10% of voters request it. A national referendum majority then decides up or down. For decree law, it's 5%, a tougher standard to reverse unwanted measures.

In addition, parliament, by majority vote, may change or rescind decree laws any time it wishes. They serve to strengthen, not subvert democracy. Critics disagree but offer no proof. The last time Chavez used enabling law power was in 2007 to:

  • make state institutions more efficient, transparent, honest, and allow more citizen participation;
  • reform the civil service;
  • eliminate corruption;
  • advance the "ideals of social justice and economic independence" through a new social and economic model based on more equitable wealth distribution in areas of health care, education, and social security;
  • modernize Venezuela's financial sector, including banking, insurance and tax policy;
  • upgrade science and technology areas to benefit all sectors of society;
  • reform public health, prisons, identification, migration regulations, and the judiciary to improve citizen and judicial security;
  • upgrade Venezuela's infrastructure, transport, and public services;
  • improve the nation's military;
  • establish territorial organization norms in states and communities relating to voting and constituency size; and
  • permit greater state control over the nation's energy sector.

It's by far the most important, vital to protect, used for all Venezuelans, and kept from letting Big Oil exploit it for themselves.

In 2001, he used enabling laws for land reform, improved credit access for small entrepreneurs, greater equity for small vs. large fishers, and increased hydrocarbon state revenue. Its now for Venezuela's flood victims, what earlier political/oligarch cabals never imagined or their US counterparts for the last 30 years.

America exploits security threats, terror attacks, economic crises, competing ideologies, tectonic political or financial shifts, and natural disasters for greater concentrated wealth, power, and repressive control. As a result, wars are waged, jobs lost, wages and benefits cut, and freedoms lost in the name of national security.

Former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel admitted it, saying: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. They (offer) opportunities to do big things" for America's aristocracy, not workers to be exploited for their benefit.

In his 1962 book "Capitalism and Freedom (Phoenix Books)," Milton Friedman endorsed the idea, saying:

"only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change. When a crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around....our basic function (is) to develop alternatives to existing (progressive) policies (and have them ready to implement when) the impossible becomes politically" possible.

In other words, disaster capitalism or "shock doctrine" opportunities should be exploited so big money can make more of it through greater wealth transfers from the majority to them. More recently, it worked post-Katrina and after the fall 2007 current economic crisis erupted.

If responsibly used, enabling law power is mirror opposite. It benefits all Venezuelans, not solely rich ones. Chavez used it for greater social justice, what Americans haven't gotten since Ronald Reagan declared war on New Deal reforms. Hopefully, Chavez will again prove his critics wrong, getting aid to needy flood victims left homeless by the devastating storms.

Enabling Law power lets him address "vital and urgent human needs resulting from the social conditions of poverty and from rains, landslides, floods, and other events produced by the environmental problem." He may also "design a new geographic regionalization that reduces the elevated levels of demographic concentration in certain regions....regulate the creation of new communities and....establish a more adequate distribution and social use of urban and rural lands (to facilitate) install(ing) basic services and habitat that humanizes community relations."

In other words, he may address the current crisis by delivering aid to people and areas affected. That's how government should work, not by exploiting disasters for profit and regressive social change, the way America does it ruthlessly.

On December 17, Venezuela Analysis contributor Edward Ellis headlined, "Venezuelan Government Plans to Increase Agricultural Productivity after Floods," saying:

Chavez "is implementing a reconstruction plan to provide impulse to the nation's farmers and agricultural production. More than 1,500 small farmers from the area south of Lake Maraciabo in (Merida and Zulia) states will be (helped by) a new government plan to recover underutilized farm (land) and rebuild agricultural productivity....after heavy rains have destroyed harvests and displaced thousands of residents."

He also plans other reconstructive measures, social justice ones when they're most needed. His critics call it a power grab. Recipients, of course, are grateful.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on December 20, 2010.

 

Public Service Ads: