Hugo Chavez' Immediate Fate a Mystery, But His Legendary Long-Term Legacy is Assured

"Read the news today, oh boy." as Sgt. Pepper said. Hugo Chavez' cancer has returned, this time it sounds very serious. Hopefully, as he awaits his next appointment with the knife in the coming hours he understands that no matter where his immediate fates lead his long term legacy as a revolutionary hero, as a regional financial savior and as an adamant opponent of the empire are assured. Long will the name of Hugo Chavez be spoken among the 99%.

If it was, as the Internet rumor-mill is abuzz with right now,  the CIA who got him and even if they get away with it clean, they're still idiots, Hugo Chavez will, like Che Guevera, be more powerful in the future as a legend and a martyr no matter when he inevitably dies. Hugo Chavez should be a proud man today no matter what. He has made his own choices, did what he thought was right for everyone not just himself. We all owe Hugo Chavez our gratitude for, among other things, teaching us the smell of 'El Diablo'.

Oh boy, others in today's news made far less honourable choices than Hugo like the folks at the Manitoba pig farm being reviewed by top veterinarians about abuse allegations. An investigator working with the group Mercy for Animals Canada got a job at a Puratone Corp. farm in Arborg, Man., and spent about 10 weeks filming with a hidden camera. WARNING the film [available here] is very disturbing, lasted 5 seconds myself. The workers in the plants make bad choices motivated in part by the need of a paycheck to feed their families, so...but the corporate owners just want as much profit as they can wring out of every pig.

Another piece about folks who are part of the meat business making bad choices is the sad story of a wolf murdered just outside the Yellowstone National Park boundaries. The killing of this famous wolf, who was wearing a tracking collar and being tracked by biologists when shot, is refocusing attention on the wolf-kill programs in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. A great place to learn more about the wolves and keep an eye 'em is at the 'Wolves of the Rockies' website.

The ranchers doing the killing, like most of us, make bad choices out of a combination of ignorance and fear. The ranchers fear the loss of their cattle and income because they don't understand the trophic cascade, an ecological phenomenon triggered by the addition or removal of top predators and involving reciprocal changes in the relative populations of predator and prey through a food chain, which often results in dramatic changes in ecosystem structure and nutrient cycling.  In other words, without the wolves the ecosystem of the range land that their cattle and income depend on falls apart. The ranchers are killing their own ranch's future.

Three news stories. Two about innocent animals dying because of human ignorance, fear and greed. The other, Hugo's story, is a model for living beyond them.