Archive for October 13th, 2002

IBM flushes patent for providing bathroom reservation system

October 13, 2002

Via CNET I learn of this patent from IBM which somebody questioned and the company has now withdrawn its application:

“The present invention is an apparatus, system, and method for providing reservations for restroom use. In one embodiment, a passenger on an airplane may submit a reservation request to the system for restroom use. The reservation system determines when the request can be accommodated and notifies the passenger when a restroom becomes available. The system improves airline safety by minimizing the time passengers spent standing while an airplane is in flight”

After reading the patent I have to wonder not only what were the scientists who submitted it thinking, but what did the patent examiner find that he thought was original. Sounds like a Venezuelan butcher with software.

The 22 violations of the Constitution by the Chavez Administration. Part I

October 13, 2002

For those that say the opposition has to get rid of Chavez via Constitutional means, the following article presents a brief description of the first 6 instance of the 22 most important violations by the Chavez Government of the Constitution, taken from today’s El Universal:

1.-2/2/99. Chavez is sworn in and says “I swear on this dying Constitution…..”

2.-01/19/99 The Supreme Court authorizes a referendum creating an instrument not in the Constitution and not using any of the mechanisms of the Constitution to allow the change.

3.-7/25/99 The principle of proportional representation established in the Constitution is violated when Chavez’ MVR party with only 65% of the votes, obtained 98% of the seats in the National Constituent Assembly which was to change the Constitution.

4.-12/22/99 The Constituent Assembly a week before the new Constitution was enacted decreed a “transition regime’ which ceased the functioning of Congress, legislative assemblies and all other public powers. Then, arguing that the new Constitution had yet to take effect (it had been approved already five days earlier in a referendum on 12/18/99) it created a National Legislative Committee, named the new members of the Supreme Court, the people’s Defender, the Attorney General, the National Electoral Commission and the Comptroller. In none of these cases were the procedures established by the new Constitution followed.

5.-3/24/00 After the publication of the new Constitution on 12/30/99, changes to the original document, not insubstantial, were added without approval by referendum in clear violation of the new Constitution articles 5, and 340 to 346.

6.-1/309/00 The Constituent Assembly approved the new electoral statue of public powers and established the date for the new elections. This implies it assumed powers it did not have and even assmued the functions of the National Electoral Council.

More to come, but as usual I ask: Where were the OAS, Human Rights Watch, the Carter Center and the PNUD then? Power was taken away from the people and that is why we now are trapped in the labyrinth created by Chavez that all possible solutions out of the problem such as impeachment, trial of the President or even an election are in the hands of hardcore Chavez supporters appointed by the Constituent Assembly with no proporational representation. What is this called, a Constitutional kidnapping?


Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’ peculiar concept of democracy

October 13, 2002

After Thursday’ opposition march Presient Hugo Chavez will hold his own today. So far, it looks to be about 5% the size of Thursday’s march. That march showed the international community that there is real, strong opposition to Hugo Chavez. To have 1.2 million people peacefully demonstrate while the Government threatens, mobilizes troops and claims it is all part of a coup attempt, is a victory for the opposition. Let’s see what that pseudo-Democrat (pseudo-fascist?) Hugo Chavez did yesterday (page D-4), for those that believe that we have to wait until his term ends, because the Constitution needs to be respected:

In a six hour (!!) speech on TV, Chavez spent most of his time encouraging his supporters to participate in his party’s march, talking about the “coup” that was aborted on Thursday (??) and the “hidden agenda” of the march. Somehow, it seems to me to have been the opposite. The Governemnt claimed all along there was a hidden agenda and a coup, but a huge crowd, marched peacefully asking Chavez to resign and/or hold elections. By the way, to have 1.2 million people march in a city with less than 5 million is in itself quite remarkable.

Now comes Chavez’ statements from yesterday’s TV speech:

“we were ready to cut off the signal of TV channels” given the suspicion that that there was a plot to repeat what happened in April. “There were motives”, Chavez said, with what they did like the transmission of what a military officer said the day before”. He accused (page A-1) TV stations of transmitting false images of Thursday’s march and showed an amateur video in which few peopel are visible at the march. (I was there I couldn’t move!!!). He said they had people at the transmission anntenas to cut off all the signals and “in other places, because they have hidden places from which they can transmit, we have them located, I don’t know if all of them, but almost all”. He said that TV stations had a concessions that the State gives them, but “if you dont follow the Constitution and the law, I can have it removed”. Thus, “anytime this happens these channels could be deactivated or retired from the air”

Now, I would like to know what happen to due process, the Constitution and such things? Where is the Carter Center, the OAS and Human Rights Watch today? Is Chavez a Dictator that he can decide on these issues on his own?  He definitely seems to think so. He violates the Constitution daily and nothing happens (more on that in a later post). International support in the last few months certainly has helped him in mantaining this dictatorial bent. Anyone that thinks that I am exaggerating should read today’s statements by a General that was until that day considered a Chavez supporter (page D-5), about what happened before and on April 11th. If this is no proof that the deaths of April 11th. were the responsability of the Chavez Governmenet I dont know what is.