We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Parts of Venezuela's new Penal Code...Why do Leftist governments always do stuff like this? It's a rhetorical question. We know why - they want to do GOOD FOR PEOPLE, so the ends justify the means - right? It's OK to do bad to individual people if you claim that you want to do good for the abstract "the people" - right? Or at least you can get a good run for your money - literally- until someone gets rid of you by coup, bomb, bullet or, occasionally, ballot.
“Anyone who offends with his words or in writing or in any other way disrespects the President of the Republic or whomever is fulfilling his duties will be punished with prison of 6 to 30 months if the offense is serious and half of that if it is light. The term will be increased by a third if the offense is made publicly.”
“Anyone who by his words or acts offends in any way the honor, reputation or decorum of a member of the National Assembly or any other civil servant, will be punished in the following way, if the action is made in his presence and is motivated by his responsibilities…”
“Anyone who communicating with various people, together or separate, would have charged any individual with a responsibility which may expose him to public scorn or hate, or an offense to his honor or reputation, will be punished with prison of one to three years…if the crime were committed in a public document or writings (blogs?), drawings or exposed to the public, the penalty will be from two to four years…”
The Brazilians have commented on this
Imagine getting 1 to 3 years and a fine for beating pots in public to protest:
um a três anos de prisão — além de pagamento de multa — para quem participar dos chamados panelaços (protestos com panelas em lugares públicos) “
Then of course the spying on one to denounce any slight on the president etc. There are going to be lots of paranoid Venezuelans.
What is interesting is how Brazil's Lula is going to spin it because for many Brazilians this is a sort of deja vu as they remember the A5-I decree of 1968 and the hell it imposed on them until the end of the dictatorship.