…the taming of the shrill, a stroller’s guide…

…someone has to do it — even if irony, with occasional dashes of sarcasm, is the only tool of dissuasion, with results not guaranteed…

A quick look at how WaPo continues to look at Venezuela,

At markets, Chavez successor falls short

CARACAS, Venezuela — On aisle seven, among the diapers and fabric softener, the socialist dreams of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez looked as ragged as the toilet paper display.

Socialist cleanup needed on aisle 7

Nick Miroff

An hour-and-a-half wait for toilet paper and mobs over milk? The fate of Venezuela’s revolution will be decided at the grocery store.

Shrill and insulting. Nice. As they say, ‘Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’. Context? Never relevant? And the US MSM would paint Argentina in a similar dire situation. But we digress.

The corporate MSM is the medium used by the corporations, the government and the military to spin the web of deception that is ‘spun’ as truth, shrilly and repetitiously. Guest ‘experts’ with links to any of the exceptionalist groups proffer ‘expert’ views that are no more than a promotion of a planned agenda. And so many, though not so many as before, still do believe that their officials are true, honest patriots that would never lie to them, well, we know what happens.

Once we accept healthy scepticism as a prerequisite , the task becomes easier in separating the fact from the misinformation and the disinformation of which there are lots. And nowhere is it more shrill than toward the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) regions, where leaders actively seek to improve the social and economic conditions of their citizens, abandoning the utter submission of so many of their predecessors and some present colleagues. And tellingly, action had been taken long before the election of Pope Francis.

Here is where we appreciate quiet contemplation away from the shrillness of corporate print and electronic media, as we list some indicative articles on Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) that demonstrate scholarship, honesty and clarity. No shrillness.

Before getting there, why not we look at this article from over at common dreams, As TPP Opposition Soars, Corporate Media Blackout Deafening. The TPP is the Trans-Pacific Partnership being secretly negotiated in which corporations are playing the main role, especially with regards to intellectual property (IP) rights (patents and copyrights) and regulations.  WikiLeaks had leaked couple chapters on the secret proceedings. From common dreams this quick point,

According to a new study by Media Matters, over the last sixth months the network evening news shows—including ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS—have ignored the TPP almost completely.

But no mention made of the frequency of mentions of photos, tv appearances, controversies of Justin Beiber or Miley Cyrus.

Moving on. As we know, life is not a snapshot. Neither is an economy. The second article below may be more demanding, ‘wonkish’, but the charts compensate.

Venezuelan Economic and Social Performance Under Hugo Chávez, in Graphs.  From the americas blog of CEPR this article is rich with graphs that demonstrate the distance Venezuela has traveled, and against strong opposition.

Prosperity and Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean Here too the charts from this vox article aid the analysis. Chart 4 compares a set of Latin countries with a sample of other more developed countries. If this is where the LAC countries have reached, we understand better where they had to come from, and why they were where they were.

Latin American inequality since 1491. With a rather ambitious title this article over at vox gives a quick look at how serious inequality came upon so many countries, with the 20th century being seen as the period of the regression. The Anglo-phone countries, not listed, were not as adversely affected. Venezuela, not shown, has made rapid strides, and despite severe challenges.

As lagniappe, we have an article by Philip Pilkington over at naked capitalism that does require a bit more of the tools of analysis of econ101.  

Philip Pilkington: Paul Krugman Pushes Factually Inaccurate Arguments About Argentina to Support Discredited Monetarist Ideas. But couple paragraphs make some strong points quietly.

So, what are the solutions? Unfortunately, there are no easy solutions. In an ideal world the government would allow the burst of inflation that is going to accompany the recent devaluation of the peso to run through the system and then they would step in with well-enforced wage and price controls. Such controls, if history is to be any guide, are often less popular than inflation — with both trade unions and companies feeling their rights being encroached upon.

So, the likely path that Argentina will have to take is to try to keep economic growth buoyant while navigating the inflation. By not allowing incomes to fall too much the government can ensure that people do not experience their loss of purchasing power as an all-out impoverishment. Meanwhile, the government should bring the trade unions and the management of the firms to the table and try to make them gradually see reason. But again, that’s a tough game indeed.

Yes, there it is. Life, human and economic, is dynamic, not static, no snapshot, that demands more than uninformed shrillness.

We tame the shrill by resorting to other sources of information and analysis: blogs, new media or old media such as The Guardian or McClatchy. Nothing wrong with an occasional do-it-yourself assignment, with cable or network news off and music on. As reward, we just go for an invigorating stroll. And doing so we avoid making ‘much ado about nothing’.

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