Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for August 27th, 2009

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 35

Posted by Charles II on August 27, 2009

Another day of light posting.

Update: Via Nell of A Lovely Promise, the first real good news in weeks. The professional staff of the State Department has (according to an unnamed source) recommended declaring this to be a military coup, requiring the cut-off of all aid, including Millenium Challenge. I take this to mean that the professional staff may be irritated enough with Secretary Clinton to leak their recommendation, making it very difficult for her ro stall much longer. (Honduras Oye, however, thinks this is just a trial balloon; I don’t think so.) In addition:

The president of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez, called for Honduras to be suspended from the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States as a means of putting pressure on the de facto government.

That would truly wound the coup. On the other hand, PJ Crowley did not go much beyond the very narrow confines of previous official reaction. He said that State had “taken stock” of the OAS meeting. Translation: we are aware that the coupistas once against rejected any negotiation. He said that there were many other steps State could take, which means nothing. Senator John Kerry has also spoken against the rejection of the OAS.

RAJ has two posts that deserve to be read. One describes the money that is at stake from BCIE and BID banks, how it flows to infrastructure projects and hence to the wealthy. The second deals with additional sanctions and where they will bite. Radio Globo is reporting that bank accounts will be frozen, and they read off Micheletti’s Wells Fargo, Houston account number.

Employees of the Anthropology and History Institute (INAHIHAH) have seized the old presidential palace. Micheletti is floating the idea of resigning in favor of installing another illegal pretend-president. The NY Times called Micheletti’s offer underwhelming.

Teacher leader Bertin Alfaro says that 2,000 Hondurans are training in Nicaragua for a possible armed resistance. Last we heard, they had no guns, but this is still worrisome.

Via Sandra Cuffe, video with subtitles on women in the resistance.

Channel 36 remains off the air. I also couldn’t get Radio Progreso. Telesur is consumed with the concerns about the military bases in Colombia and has almost nothing about Honduras. Reporting through Chiapas Indymedia is a thin trickle. Many websites such as RightsAction haven’t updated in days. This is a very dangerous situation for human rights.

I finally found the archive of Noti-Nada, the voice of the wealthy, sort of in the style of Billionaires for Bush.

Robert Naiman has a diary on DK regarding the recommendation to declare it a military coup.

Two months of resistance.

Via Sandra Cuffe on Twitter: two young men, one 16 years old, were shot to death.
Congressman Marvin Ponce, his arm broken by the dictatorship
(Image of Congressman Marvin Ponce from El Libertador).

AP confirms that the Central American Bank for Economic Integration is suspending loans to Honduras and may freeze them completely. In yesterday’s diary, the coup threatened the bank with withdrawal of its funds as a response.

Laura Carlsen has a piece on the women’s movement. One excerpt:

The question of the elections slated for November has created another deadline for definitions of September 1, when candidates must be registered and President Zelaya has sworn to return to the country. Feminists in Resistance has a clear position to boycott any coup-sponsored elections, but some other parts of the movement and the international diplomatic community have been more ambiguous.

Carlsen has another piece on living under authoritarian rule:

But few people outside Honduras really understand what it means to live in a society where the institutions are in the hands of the same people who broke with the rule of law…. The week of Aug. 17-24, I accompanied an international delegation for Women’s Human Rights Week in Tegucigalpa and got a chance to see firsthand the morass of contradictions that arise when institutions made to uphold the law and protect human right are run by leaders of an illegal military coup….Despite public and documented accusations of abuse in custody, no charges have been filed or investigations opened against the security forces. Instead, the 24 men and women going before the judge have to answer to a slew of charges including robbery, vandalism, arson and sedition.

The problem of impunity for the powerful and harsh application of the law to the powerless is a worldwide problem. In Honduras, the power imbalances are simply larger and more widespread.

Posted in Latin America | 3 Comments »

Solar Roadways: Paving The Way To Energy Freedom?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 27, 2009

Remember when I mentioned the Solar Roadways concept? Imagine — instead of giving up giant sections of our countryside to solar arrays, we could make solar arrays out of already-paved land, namely roads.

It’s getting closer to reality:

Solar Roadways today announced that it has been awarded a DOT contract that will enable them to prototype the first ever Solar Road Panel.

The Solar Roadways will collect solar energy to power businesses and homes via structurally-engineered solar panels that are driven upon, to be placed in parking lots and roadways in lieu of petroleum-based asphalt surfaces.

The Solar Road Panels will contain embedded LEDs which “paint” the road lines from beneath to provide safer nighttime driving, as well as to give up to the minute instructions (via the road) to drivers (i.e. “detour ahead”). The road will be able to sense wildlife on the road and can warn drivers to “slow down”. There will also be embedded heating elements in the surface to prevent snow and ice buildup, providing for safer winter driving. This feature packed system will become an intelligent highway that will double as a secure, intelligent, decentralized, self-healing power grid which will enable a gradual weaning from fossil fuels.

Replacing asphalt roads and parking lots with Solar Roadway panels will be a major step toward halting climate change. Fully electric vehicles will be able to recharge along the roadway and in parking lots, finally making electric cars practical for long trips.

It is estimated that is will take roughly five billion (a stimulus package in itself) 12′ by 12′ Solar Road Panels to cover the asphalt surfaces in the U.S. alone, allowing us to produce three times more power than we’ve ever used as a nation – almost enough to power the entire world.

This is just so fabulous I can hardly wrap my mind around it.

Posted in economy, energy, environment, solar, sustainability, transportation | 8 Comments »

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