17 February 2006

North American Opinion Research: Hugo Chavez's favourite pollster

London 15.02.06 | With the backing of figures provided by pollster North American Opinion Research (NAOR), Venezuela's national electoral council's (CNE) boss Jorge Rodriguez claimed in state media recently that, the organization he chairs, enjoys a healthy 78% of support amongst Venezuelans. According to Rodriguez the increment is due to the effort made by the CNE to guarantee electoral transparency. He ventured into predicting that the level of support could well reach 85% in the run up to the presidential race in December this year. What Rodriguez did not mention is that the last tax filling by NAOR was made in 2000, neither did he care to inform Venezuelans that the Delaware-based pollster dissolved in 2002. Great effort by Jorge Rodriguez to regain credibility...

But this isn't the first instance whereby Chavez's yesmen or his media use NAOR to back their claims. As Francisco Toro aptly noted a while ago, Hugo Chavez and leeching sycophants love "Shredding their own credibility for fun."

In the run up to the recall referendum of August 15 2004, pearls of wisdom, such as the following, could be read in anglophone media outlets:

The North American Opinion Research firm, based in the U.S. state of Delaware, which surveyed people in all of Venezuela's 24 states, found that 60 percent said they would vote in favour of Chávez, while 35 percent said they would vote to revoke his mandate and five percent remained undecided or did not answer.

That is to say, two years after having been dissolved this, most trustworthy pollster, predicted with great accuracy, the results that Chavez obtained, according to Jorge Rodriguez, in the referendum.


Spanish news agency EFE has released an article echoing, yet again, the figures allegedly provided by the North American Opinion Research Inc. Interestingly the firm is now quoted as being based in Pennsylvania. A search in the Pennsylvania register of companies returned no results. It goes to show that sloppy journalism seems to be the norm nowadays.

4 February 2006

WTF is the problem with the Muslims?

London 03.02.06 | Richard Dawkins cited a quote by Stephen Weinberg that goes like this "Good people will do good things, and bad people will do bad things. But for good people to do bad things -- that takes religion." Frankly I couldn't agree more with that predicament. Being an atheist myself I totally empathise with the stance of Dawkins and Weinberg. Furthermore I am absolutely convinced that religion is nothing but the manipulation of the few for the detriment and exploitation of the many by means of instilling fear about the unknown. Banking on widespread ignorance religious leaders abuse the feeble minds of parishioners to advance and impose their particular interpretation of creed. I find it particularly worrying, given the sheer number of people that believe in such nonsense.

The latest Muslim 'outrage,' owing to caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (you read correctly caricatures) comes to reinforce my view of the utter stupidity and irrational behaviour of religious people, in this case those Muslims that have taken to the streets of Europe and other places to 'protest and demand blood' for what they consider a disrespectful depiction of their godly figure. What a crock of shit! If the publication of a dozen cartoons is what it takes to send the Nation of Islam into a frenzy, how can they even begin to argue that their religion is a peace-loving and respectful-towards-infidels one? Is that their idea of increasing their numbers by winning Christian, and other faiths, hearts and minds? Moreover, if they are so incensed by this alleged, most despicable act, of publishing caricatures of THEIR PROPHET in Europe, why don't they take their wares, rage, customs and freedoms and move permanently to their countries of origin, where such profanity is not to be expected by the Muslim-run 'informative and free' media? The fucking chutzpah of some...