Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July 19th, 2009

Hugo vs. the tyrant

Posted by Charles II on July 19, 2009

Tamara Pearson, Venezuela Analysis

Kings Hugo and Fidel

Microsoft Versus Venezuela. The MSN Spain home page yesterday Yesterday, Microsoft MSN (Spain) featured a montage photo of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and the ex president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, wearing king’s crowns, accompanied by the colourful title, “When power corrupts: Striving to be kings.” The Venezuelan government and a grassroots technology movement here are both promoting the use and creation of open source (free) software, so it’s no surprise that software tyrant, Microsoft, is lambasting Chavez.

There’s something ironic on the idea of Microsoft calling anyone down on wanting too much power. But opposing open source sounds like a genuinely losing cause.

Posted in Latin America | 1 Comment »

Honduras Coup, Act II, day 6/Update

Posted by Charles II on July 19, 2009

It was reported at about 10 PM on July 18th that Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, the wife of Mel, said that he would be back in “the coming hours, nevermind the machine guns and bayonets.” I said that Sunday was a likely time for return, but it’s getting late in the day. Update: He says he returns next weekend. This is an awfully long time to make the Honduran people wait.

In that regard, Oscar Arias announced a weaselly little plan for reconciliation. Fortunately, the coupistas rejected it. If Zelaya can re-take the country, now is the time. I don’t like the plan because (a) it forbids Zelaya from trying to hold a referendum on having a constitutional convention, thereby intruding into sovereign legal processes and indirectly validating the complaints of the coupistas and because (b) it moves up the elections, which really should be moved back to allow the country to settle down. Of course, if the coupistas prevent Zelaya from serving out his term, he might have a case for running for office again on the basis that he wouldn’t actually be getting a second term, but more like a 1.9th term.

Al Giordano of Narconews reports on the non-violent battle for Zelaya’s home in Catacamas. Also: TeleSur is back in Honduras. And he steers us to The Liberator, an Eastern Honduras paper that treats Zelaya as the legitimate president.

TeleSur is showing footage of (I think) Oscar Arias arriving by motorcade and walking into the building and looping it so rapidly that it looks like a clip from the Daily Show. Now (at about 3PM Eastern) Finance Minister Patricia Rodas is saying that this is the end of the process, that they can’t wait for the coup. The announcer says that Zelaya has accepted the Arias proposal, though I would guess that that’s in principle. Helicopters from the Armed Forces are overflying the presidential home in Catacamas. The people occupying Zelaya’s home to defend it from the military say they will continue fighting for a constitutional convention no matter what happens in the Arias discussions.

Mark Weisbrot has an important article at The Guardian in which he points out how self-contradictory the US response to the coup has been (via t/o)

Posted in Latin America | Comments Off on Honduras Coup, Act II, day 6/Update

Cronkite, Keller, Dr. King

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 19, 2009

Glenn Greenwald has a excellent piece on how the news media is eulogizing Walter Cronkite while ignoring the very things he did that made him most praiseworthy.

Thing is, this is done to all of the really great heroes:

Look at Helen Keller. Notice how the biographies we see of her in our grade-school classes and in the mass media almost invariably stop when she hits the age of twenty? Even though she lived a good six decades beyond that? It’s because she became a Socialist. She realized that the only reason she was able to interact with the rest of humanity at all, much less at such a high level, was because she was lucky enough to be the daughter of the most important and richest man in her Alabama town — and that most children didn’t have that advantage.

Look at Martin Luther King. Notice how his biographies leap straight from the March on Washington to the Memphis balcony? It’s because he spent the last years of his life fighting against America’s involvement in Vietnam. (That’s why the TradMed loves to talk about the “Dream” speech but never the “Drum Major” speech.)

They do it to all of them, Glenn. If they can’t demonize them, they censor what makes them heroes.

Posted in heroes, heroines, media | 1 Comment »

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