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Archive for August 5th, 2009

Honduras, Act III, Day 13/Update 3

Posted by Charles II on August 5, 2009

Update3: Adrienne Pine has the translation of a statement from Dr. Juan Almendares, a heroic human rights figure and former university provost at the National University:

. This is a call to all students, professors, and authorities to join the resistance to the military coup. The real teaching and learning is happening in the streets, fighting together with the people, united with the resistance. Not doing so is to betray the people and the nation.

Tiempo, which has been nervously half-reporting on the coup, got a taste of the devil they’re dealing with when (at the university demo) photojournalist Héctor Clara Cruz was beaten, threatened and the cops tried to destroy his equipment. “Son of a whore, stop that s–t and stop taking pictures of us because if you don’t we’re going to rip off your dick” would be a fair translation of the warning issued by peace officers. There was a peaceful demonstration by thousands in front of the Supreme Court.
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Update2: Adrienne Pine has a report that hundreds of students were wounded by gunshots. It’s very specific that these were lead, not rubber. It seems to me that either there must be many fatalities or these must have been rubber bullets. Added: this is increasingly looking like a false report. Telesur mentions no fatalities.
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Update: I have corrected errors in the post below, including some links that went missing.

RadioGlobo, against all expectation, is still on the air, though my feed keeps bollixing. Eduardo Maldonado is discussing conflict at the university, though I got in late and it’s not clear if this is an incident today or in the past [Evidently 100 university students "rejected" presidential candidate Elvin Santos, after Santos' bodyguards pistol whipped and menaced people. Shots were fired. According to Tiempo, the police ejected 3,000 students with tear gas and water cannons. A woman, rector of the university, was beaten by the police and wrestled to the ground.]. Maldonado says there is a media war, trying to smear Zelaya’s people–and even Hugo Llorens– as having received money from FARC. And he’s reading a number of the nastygrams they have received, calling him a “garbage dog” among many other not very creative insults. A report from the university says things have calmed down, but there are no classes. It sounds as if a tear gas bomb went off, and then there was firing, and that there are conflicting reports of how many injuries. (connection lost)

Jose Torres on the meeting between Zelaya and Llorens in Managua on 7/31. An interview with Salvador Zúñiga of COPINH (the Civic Council of Honduran Popular and Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations).
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Al Giordano has word on why Radio Globo was broadcasting despite the coup having ordered its closing: they are taking a stand, and the public is protecting them.

Image from Indymedia
(Photo from cmi honduras, Indymedia)

Al says that the coupistas are targeting older and pregnant women for harassment, presumably with the goal of causing miscarriages in the latter and deaths among the former. I’m just waiting for the Cardinal to speak up about that.

RAJ has this:

Edmundo Orellana, the defense minister who resigned from the Zelaya government the week before the coup to register his disagreement with President Zelaya, and who since the coup has spoken out against the unconstitutional nature of the actions of Congress and the army, has published a new editorial calling for acceptance of the San Jose Accord.

In it, he briefly summarizes the many violations of Constitutional procedure that make the coup illegal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Latin America | 7 Comments »

Prince of Darkness/Updated

Posted by Charles II on August 5, 2009

Another “your tax dollars at work” story. Also “another your friendly Republican Party servants of Satan” story. By the next Sy Hersh, Jeremy Scahill (via t/o).

A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”

Our government doesn’t want to stir up unhappy memories by investigating things like this. Just keep moving, folks!

Among the interesting angles:

To that end, Mr. Prince intentionally deployed to Iraq certain men who shared his vision of Christian supremacy, knowing and wanting these men to take every available opportunity to murder Iraqis. Many of these men used call signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors who fought the Crusades.

DemocracyNow did an interview with Jeremy Scahill in which other interesting things trickled out:

AMY GOODMAN: Other allegations in the documents, Prince’s North Carolina operations had an ongoing wife-swapping and sex ring?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Yeah. I mean, I—you know, I had heard these allegations. I think the first time I heard something of that nature was in 2006. One of—this is something that comes from just one of the individuals, the one identified as John Doe number two. And John Doe number two says that it caused so much trouble at the company that Erik Prince—among the staff, because of the wife-swapping operation—that Erik Prince actually asked one of his senior executives, Joseph Schmitz, to conduct an investigation.

Interestingly, Joseph Schmitz, speaking of the Christian stuff, was—Christian supremacist stuff—was Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon inspector general, was in love with Donald Rumsfeld, while he was supposed to be monitoring his conduct, and then leaves the Pentagon to go work for one of the contractors he was supposed to be overseeing. Joseph Schmitz is a radical, militant, right-wing Catholic, who once wrote a letter to the Washington Times about abortion, referring to himself as a former fetus, and therefore he understands the issue of abortion, because he’s a former fetus. He also is a member of the Knights of Malta and is an avowed Christian supremacist.

Jeremy Scahill: …Obama, in Afghanistan, is expanding the use of these [private mercenary] forces by 29 percent in the second quarter of this year, and it continues to grow. The Washington Post just had—did a big story about how the number of private forces is swelling, as the US troop levels grow in Afghanistan.

Posted in Blackwater, Iraq war, Republicans as cancer | Comments Off

Now Remember, These People Are Our Moral Superiors

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 5, 2009

Or so they say.

Hop into the wayback machine to 2001 and Bartcop’s documenting Ben Stein’s charming activities:

Truly Tasteless Jokes
from rollcall.com about that super-pig Republican Ben Stein
Even the GOP hates him after his shameless performance.

Even Don Imus can shake his finger at comedian Ben Stein, whose tasteless performance at the
57th annual Radio & Television Correspondents’ Association Dinner on Thursday night was an unmitigated disaster.
Although Imus took all kinds of heat a few dinners ago for raking then-President Clinton over the coals, at least
some of the radio shock jock’s jokes were funny — and he had the guts to pick on a president right to his face.

Stein, however, somehow thought there was humor in telling a John Hinckley joke — precisely one day before the
20th anniversary of the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. The “joke” consisted of reading a fake letter
(which was, by the way, not even an original fake letter) allegedly from Clinton to Hinckley declaring that the
trigger man in the Reagan shooting was getting a pardon.

It ended with a postscript in which “Clinton” noted that Fox commentator “Bill O’Reilly is dating Jodie Foster.”
It was Hinckley’s obsession with Foster that led to his attempt on Reagan’s life. Joking about an assassination
on the eve of its anniversary — with the victim back home in California suffering from Alzheimer’s disease –
is unbelievable enough. But throw in for good measure the fact that the dinner was held at the very hotel where
Reagan was shot — infamously known as the “Hinckley Hilton” — and the offense seems that much greater.

The rest of Stein’s act consisted of a series of tired old jokes that appeared to be recycled from the Web.
(The weak material may have also been due to the fact that Stein was seen scribbling parts of his speech
shortly before the show.) As the audience grew increasingly restless, Stein cracked that the following evening
he’d be performing for “crippled children,” who would hopefully be kinder to him.
“He told more than enough distasteful jokes about assassins and disabled people,” said one stunned GOP aide.
“He oughta be ashamed of himself.”

Posted in rightwing moral cripples | Comments Off

Fred Hiatt, Still A Jerk

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 5, 2009

Mr. Hiatt saw fit to give the WaPo megaphone to John Bolton so Bolton could use it to bash former President Bill Clinton for going to North Korea (calling the trip “unwise”) to free the two journalists who were being held there.

Of course, the fact that President Clinton succeeded brilliantly will not cause Bolton to eat his words, or Hiatt to apologize for publishing them.

Posted in Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, GOP/Media Complex | 2 Comments »

How Cash For Clunkers Is Shaking Out So Far

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 5, 2009

Per Matt Hardigree of Jalopnik.com:

The Ten Most Traded-In Vehicles
1. Ford Explorer 4WD
2. Ford F-150 2WD
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
4. Jeep Cherokee 4WD
5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD
6. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD
7. Ford Explorer 2WD
8. Ford F-150 Pickup 4WD
9. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD
10. Ford Windstar FWD Van

The Ten Most Purchased Vehicles

1. Ford Focus
2. Toyota Corolla
3. Honda Civic
4. Toyota Prius
5. Toyota Camry
6. Ford Escape FWD
7. Hyundai Elantra
8. Dodge Caliber
9. Honda Fit
10. Chevrolet Cobalt

People are ditching the gas hogs for the smaller vehicles. I suspect that a lot of the urban-cowboy crowd got sick of trying to parallel-park the land barges.

Posted in automobiles, Good Causes, Good Things | 3 Comments »

 
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