Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for September, 2009

Honduras Coup, Act IV, Day 10

Posted by Charles II on September 30, 2009


Siamese twins.

Cheney High Tech

(This is a sadly inexpert effort, but you get the idea)

Oscar says:

Our homes continue to be silent, as we refuse to tune in to radio stations that accept the coup, that repeat the same lies and we prefer to continue in silence. The closure of our communication media was a strong blow to the resistance. Desperately we seek information on the conventional channels where no one says anything about the reality of this country. It gives the impression that we have never existed, and as Radio Globo repeats ironically over the internet, paraphrasing the Radio Progreso collective, “nothing is happening here”….

The leaders of the resistance discuss what strategies to use in the face of these new obstacles imposed by the dis-government, and although everything points to neighborhoods and villages indicating that the peaceful struggle should shift into a stage of civil self-defense, nobody dares to take the first step. Not even President Zelaya dares, and continues calling for pacific resistance to a dictatorship which is increasingly bloodthirsty.

Armed conflict is what the dictatorship wants. Non-violent resistance has torn the mask off of the oligarchy and has surely cost the oligarchy the support of anyone who isn’t in its thrall. But suffering for so long– and seeing the total impunity of the powerful– offends the human sense of justice at a very deep level. May God intervene to strengthen those who suffer for the sake of a just peace.

La Haine says that there was an attack on demonstrators in front of Radio Globo by 200 soldiers.

Hermano Juancito has a report.

Radio Globo: They are holding a cacerolazo, banging pots and pans, calling the crescendo a “bulliranga,” (spelling? presumably means a “boiling over”) around the Brazilian embassy, and around the world. It’s good to hear people celebrating and with spirits lifted. Cars honking their horns. Wow! A siren! (and not a police siren)

(Ariela Caceres of Radio Globo. Image from El Libertador)

The government continues to force dissent underground, which increases the likelihood that it will emerge as armed conflict.  Radio Globo was removed from the air and continues as an Internet operation; a caller says that things are disorganized and the resistance has not been able to communicate directions even to coordinate demonstrations. Channel 36 was closed down and its equipment stolen. The police are preventing assembly.

Tiempo: The police removed farmers from the National Agrarian Institute. The farmers fear that documentation of their recovery of lands will be destroyed. : The OAS spent 10 hours debating whether the expulsion of their diplomats, who had been invited by the pretend-government, was to be “regretted” or “condemned” and showed itself incapable of reaching a decision. Meanwhile, at the State Department, spokesman Col. Philip Crowley pronounced Lewis Amselem’s outburst attacking President Zelaya as perfectly consistent with State Department aims. When the Nicaraguan representative to the OAS remarked that his country didn’t use tear gas to break up demos, Amselem replied that they used speeches as chemical and sleep-inducing agents. US Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens made another contribution to the annals of US dope-plomacy by saying the US doesn’t support any individual, only democracy. A 34 year old man, Gustavo Murcia Mejia was killed by police; it’s unclear why.

Here’s an interesting and relevant fact:

In this report, the ACLU of Southern California identifies 26 deaths among people who were pepper-sprayed by police officers in the period Jan. 1, 1993, through June 1, 1995. The fatality total suggests that one person dies after being pepper sprayed for about every 600 times the spray is used by police….A U.S. Army study conducted at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1993 concluded that pepper spray’s active ingredient, “is capable of producing mutagenic and carcinogenic effects, sensitization, cardiovascular and pulmonary toxicity, neurotoxicity, as well as possible human fatalities

Micheletti may not put into effect the decree by which he had Radio Globo and Channel 36 ransacked and the entire country put under martial law because it could disrupt the elections.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | 4 Comments »

Lew Anselem: Yet Another Bush Holdover Undermining Decency

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 29, 2009

This certainly explains a lot — not only is the odious Amselem a Bush holdover at OAS, he’s also got a long history of evil trailing behind him in Latin America dating back over two decades:

Journalist Jeremy Bigwood, who was reporting from Guatemala during Amselem’s tenure there, remembers the diplomat for the same kind of outrageous behavior and statements over the years that he displayed yesterday in Washington. Amselem, according to Bigwood, “would put a positive spin on the extermination of a couple hundred thousand Guatemalan Indians. The guy should be sent to the International Criminal Court for abetting war crimes. He even arranged illegal supplies and airlifts to the Guatemalan Army after US military assistance had been banned. I can’t believe that he would be representing the Obama administration in the OAS.”

Most amazing is that Amselem’s current boss, Secretary Clinton, should already know that he’s a loose cannon because she was, as First Lady in the 1990s, involved with one of Guatemala’s most notorious human rights abuse cases, that of Ursuline nun Dianna Ortiz, who was kidnapped and tortured there in 1989.

In 1995, a US federal judge ordered Guatemalan General Hector Gramajo to pay $47 million dollars in damages to Sister Ortiz and other plaintiffs for those crimes.

Human rights champion Kerry Kennedy has written, “Ortiz’s raw honesty and capacity to articulate the agony she suffered compelled the United States to declassify long-secret files on Guatemala, and shed light on some of the darkest moments of Guatemalan history and American foreign policy.”

Well, guess who pops up in Sister Dianna’s memoirs? Lewis Amselem: and not in a good way. Ortiz wrote:

“…after a U.S. doctor had counted 111 cigarette burns on my back alone, the story changed. In January 1990, the Guatemalan defense minister publicly announced that I was a lesbian and had staged my abduction to cover up a tryst. The minister of the interior echoed this statement and then said he had heard it first from the U.S. embassy. According to a congressional aide, the political affairs officer at the U.S. embassy, Lew Amselem, was indeed spreading the same rumor.

“In the presence of Ambassador Thomas Stroock, this same human rights officer told a delegation of religious men and women concerned about my case that he was ‘tired of these lesbian nuns coming down to Guatemala.’ The story would undergo other permutations. According to the Guatemalan press, the ambassador came up with another version: he told the Guatemalan defense minister that I was not abducted and tortured but simply ‘had problems with [my] nerves.’”

So yesterday was not the first time that Amselem revealed a mean-spirited streak to blame the victims of human rights violations. Most disturbingly, Secretary Clinton – who met with Sister Dianna in the 1990s and expressed sympathy and solidarity – should already know this history.

The good news is that a replacement, Carmen Lomellin, has been nominated. The bad news is of course that the Senate Republicans are holding her and other Obama nominations hostage, as always (and with a nary a peep of protest in the media).

Charles says: Al Giordano spells in “Amselem.” Google renders a split decision. The OAS agrees with Al.

Posted in Busheviks, Hillary Clinton, Honduras, Latin America, Obama Administration | 12 Comments »

Honduras, Act IV, Day 9

Posted by Charles II on September 29, 2009

Update2: Tremendous stuff being done around the web.
Honduras Coup 2009Two Four more radio stations threatened with closure
-Oligarch Adolfo Facusse offers Zelaya jail instead of imprisonment in the embassy (it might be a more constructive offer, but that’s how the papers are playing it)
-State Department (Amselem, Llorens, Crowley) as incoherent as a herd of hyenas
– Gen. Vasquez says the crisis is almost over.
– The virtually secret decree, PCM-M-016-2009, silencing the media.
AdrienneAgustina Flores, teacher, being tortured
Amselem cursed Sister Dianna and called her a lesbian (see links to BoRev and Machetera)
-Sisters of Mercy of the Americas asks US government to speak against human rights violations.
-More on Adolfo Facusse’s offer
Honduras Oye-Adolfo Facusse wants UN troops
Al Giordano
Lewis Amselem, monster
Tiempo on the decree silencing the Honduran media
Hermano Juancito– Father Carlo Magno of Tegucigalpa demonizes Zelayists while calling for reconciliation
A Lovely Promise
Nell writes letters
Update: It was too good to be true. Vos El Soberano had a story titled “Cámara de Comercio de San Pedro Sula, podría ser arsenal de Bombas lacrimógenas,” which translated as San Pedro Sula Chamber of Commerce could be an arsenal for chemical agents. But it turns out this is the Camara de Comercio e Industrias de Cortes. Same general class of people, but one step removed from Tom Donohue.

I remain certain in my heart that the US CoC is actively aiding the coup.
Probably light posting today.

In light of the US threat not to recognize any election if the suspension of the Constitution is not reversed, Micheletti has said that he will restore rights… after leaving the opposition media in ruins, requiring months of repair and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not to mention the likelihood that all computers will have to be replaced simply for fear of backdoors having been installed.

And, of course, what’s to stop him from doing it again?

DemocracyNow had a massive segment here and here.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | 1 Comment »

Honduras Coup, Act IV, Day 8/updated with diplospeak translation!

Posted by Charles II on September 28, 2009

Dictatorship silences dissident media
Radio Globo and Channel 36 closed by the dictatorship
(English version)

Wendy Elizabeth Avila. Image from Laura Carlsen's Americas Mexico Blog
(Image from Laura Carlsen’s Ms. Avila, 24 years old, died of pneumonia caused by having been gassed by the dictatorship)

I’m pretty busy today, so please go read:

Laura Carlsen
Honduras Oye
Honduras Coup 2009
Brother John
Al Giordano

and many, many others who have done wonderful work in getting the word out from Honduras. Peace and may God bring good out of all the evil the dictatorship is committing.
In addition to the non-responsive press conference below, Ian Kelly have the following statement:

The United States views with grave concern [translation: plans to take a hard line on] the decree issued by the de facto regime in Honduras suspending fundamental civil and political rights. In response to strong popular opposition, the regime has indicated that it is considering rescinding the decree. We call on the de facto regime to do so immediately.

The freedoms inherent in the suspended rights are inalienable and cannot be limited or restricted without seriously damaging the democratic aspirations [translation: elections will not be recognized if the suspended rights are not restored; but since no timeline specified, when Hell freezes over is ok] of the Honduran people.

At this important moment in Honduran history, we urge all political leaders to commit themselves to a process of dialogue [translation: we aren’t expecting anyone to do anything] that will produce an enduring and peaceful resolution of the current crisis.

We also urge the de facto regime and President Zelaya to make use of the good will and solidarity extended by President Arias of Costa Rica, the Organization of American States, and other members of the international community to help facilitate, within the framework of the San Jose talks, such a resolution.

In this regard, we remind the de facto regime of its obligations under the Vienna Conventions to respect diplomatic premises and personnel, and those under their protection. Abiding by these obligations is a necessary component of the dialogue [translation: if you kill Zelaya, you won’t be able to talk to him] between and among nations, and builds the practices of engagement, tolerance, and understanding necessary for the peaceful resolution of disputes.

This is dishwater when brimstone is required.
Daily Press Baffler from US State Department:
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | 6 Comments »

Why the GOP Is Out to Get ACORN

Posted by MEC on September 28, 2009

The GOP assault on ACORN didn’t begin with the “sting” operation that yielded a doctored videotape purporting to show an ACORN employee counseling a prostitute and her pimp on how to launder their income. (The reality is that the employee reported the couple to the police.)

Justin Jason Leopold reminds us that

ACORN was at the center of the so-called “prosecutor-gate” scandal, when the Bush administration pressured US attorneys to bring indictments over the grassroots group’s voter-registration drives, then fired some prosecutors who resisted what they viewed as a partisan strategy not supported by solid evidence.

The GOP is out to destroy ACORN because ACORN’s voter registration drives bring lots of people to the voting booths who won’t vote for Republicans.

Charles says: I made an edit, MEC. Hope you don’t mind. If you do, feel free to undo and scold me.

Posted in Republicans as cancer, voting rights | Comments Off on Why the GOP Is Out to Get ACORN

Moocakes of I Can Has Cheezburger wins Cat Picture of the Year

Posted by Charles II on September 27, 2009

Photo by Moocakes of ICHC (Image from ICHC)

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Honduras Coup, Act IV, Day 7

Posted by Charles II on September 27, 2009

Update3: The decree the Honduran coup is imposing is available here. To ensure the rights of people, they are taking away their God-given rights. Since the Honduran Constitution allows the suspension of Articles 69, 71, 72, 78, 81, 84, 93, 99, and 103 in the case of something, like, say, invasion, they are gonna be nice and not suspend 71, 93, 99, and 103. Today, that is. And, even though nothing gives them the right to do so: there will be curfews, no public meetings are allowed (that will put a crimp on soccer games), and it’s forbidden to write or broadcast anything that offends public officials. Anyone suspicious may be arrested. They will be breaking up sit-ins. It’s signed by a bunch of wannabees.

Welcome to Occupied France ca. 1943.

The coupistas continue to show their dedication to liberty and the culture of life by threatening Father Ismael Moreno, who runs Radio Progreso, with death (Honduras en Lucha via HondurasOye).
Channel 36 says: The coup is planning to close Channel 36 and Radio Globo by legislative–or more correctly, executive decree. Andres Pavon says this is a cowardly act. On Radio Globo:  The executive decree pretends to give the authorities the right to arrest people on mere suspicion, to suspend media for “offending the human dignity of government officials” or urging illegal activity,  and other “rights” that are clearly acts of a dictatorship. A number of lawyers will challenge this in the Supreme Court tomorrow. “Sunday is a good day for crime.” They say Channel 36 is off the air. A woman called Micheletti “Goriletti” and they cut her off, saying “please don’t offend.” So the censorship is already effective. Minors of age held by police in Colon.

Image from El Libertador


FAIR noticed that the US media’s coverage of Honduras has been finger-down-the-throat retchingly bad.

RNS says that a Chilean from the OAS delegation was allowed to stay.

Tiempo is not updating. The censorship is working.

Honduras Oye says (the report is unsourced):

The first woman to die as the result of golpista repression, Wendy Elizabeth Avila, was overcome by the gases emitted by the golpista authorities yesterday. She went to the hospital and died today of pneumonia….A Telesur team is reporting some journalists were run over by a military vehicle.

Vos el Soberano says that the Constitutional articles being suspended by the pretend-President are 69, 72, 78, and 84. That would be
69: You can’t arrest someone without a reason or hold them indefinitely
72: There is to be no prior censorship of the press, and any abuse of the press is to be tried by law
78: People can meet as long as they don’t endanger public order and “good customs.”
84: You can’t arrest someone except for violating the law and on the order of a competent legal authority

Channel 36 is playing a claymation? cartoon about Jesus with captions like: “Cartoons and not the truth is what Micheletti wants you to see.” This is good. They are figuring out that that the way to defeat dictatorships is with laughter. The cartoon is pretty good, too. The temptation of Jesus seems particularly apt.

On TeleSur, a journalist who was run over by the military said it was a hit and run
Update: Channel 36 says that the dictatorship has refused entrance to the OAS delegation. Three Spaniards, one Colombian, and one American have been deported from Honduras. Felix from Radio Globo calls the deportation of the diplomats, apparently in retaliation for deporting Bianca Micheletti “suicidal.”

Laura Carlsen, in an extensive post on the attack on the Brazilian embassy:

Numerous reports, including Honduran News Network sources, also mentioned the use of radioactive cesium. If the use of radioactive cesium is confirmed, the consequences are very serious. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry finds that the effects of high levels include the symptoms listed above and even coma and death.

This is the notorious “day-after” effect of nuclear bombs. The agency adds that “it is reasonable to expect that individuals exposed to high levels of radiation from a source of radioactive cesium will develop the same types of cancer observed in survivors of the atomic bombs in Japan.”

Edmundo Arellano, former Defense Minister of Honduras and a Constitutional Law Scholar has published an important piece here.

Curfew from 9PM to 5AM throughout the country.

I’m concerned because the Honduras Embassy website is offline and has been for perhaps 24 hours. When I try to log on, it attempts to load, stops, and then starts again. [Added 5:45PM. Now up.]

The full text of the insane “cadena nacional” (national broadcast) still eludes me, but pieces are found in the various papers (paragraphs may not be sequential).

The Presidency of the Republic communicates to the Honduran people that to guarantee the peace and public order, and due to the calls to insurrection made in a public manner by Mr. Manuel Zelaya Rosales, decided to establish a curfew in the entire nation from 6PM to 6AM

We again ask the government of Brazil to define the status of Mr. Zelaya within a period no longer than ten days. If they do not do this, we see ourselves obliged to take additional measures according to international law.

We ask the government of Brazil that it immediately take steps to ensure that Mr. Zelaya cease to use the protection offered by the diplomatic mission of Brazil to instigate violence in Honduras.

No country can tolerate that a foreign embassy be used as a command base to generate violence and break the tranquility, as Mr. Zelaya has been doing in our country since his incursion into the national territory.

[from a second statement read at the same time] The Government of the [Honduran] Republic will not receive the diplomatic agents of such countries [which left Honduras as part of breaking relations, such as Argentina, Spain, Mexico, and Venezuela] unless their respective governments begin to negotiate the re-establishment of the same with the (Foreign Affairs) Chancellory of the Republic. —Reuters

Reuters also says that the pretend-government demanded that the representatives of the named countries hand over their credentials and remove all insignia from their embassies.

Having listened to hours and hours and hours of Zelaya droning on about the need for peaceful resistance and negotiated settlement on a minor radio channel that the government sabotages half the time, and especially having watched this pretend-government apparently attempt to gas the entire staff of the embassy with lethal hydrogen cyanide, this sounds completely paranoid and insane.

(2:40PM Eastern) On Channel 36, Lula says that they do not accept any ultimatum delivered by a coupista government. The coupistas should leave the presidential palace. He said that if they enter the Brazilian embassy, they will have violated all international norms. Concern about the arrival of an OAS mission at Tocontin. They have been detained and are not being allowed to proceed. Micheletti’s daughter Bianca got deported from the US, where she had worked at the Honduran embassy (in New York).

Tiempo has an editorial on the OAS mission.

Posted in Latin America | 9 Comments »

Honduras Coup, Act IV, Day 6

Posted by Charles II on September 26, 2009


Paramilitary in plainclothes invaded the house of Congresswoman Silvia Ayala, seized a portable computer and telephones

The pretend-government accused Zelaya of using the Brazilian embassy to plot a campaign of violence against Honduras. They also issued a series of demands on governments. They demand that Brazil resolve Zelaya’s situation within 10 days. For governments that have unilaterally cut relations I think they said they have to clear out, but the manure was piled so high I could be wrong. There were weird demands about the display of flags and insignia. It was a long, turgid, and arrogant bit of propaganda. I hope someone recorded it and will publish a transcript. Unfortunately, I think most people have stopped listening.

Radio America is reporting that Micheletti is saying that the troops surrounding the Brazilian embassy are there at Brazil’s request. Yes, I guess the pro-coupistas are that stupid, that they believe this sort of blatant lie.

WSJ (via RAJ):

A study on Honduras law and the recent removal of President Manuel Zelaya was done by the Law Library of Congress. The Sept. 21 Americas column Hillary’s Honduras Obsession attributed the study to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), based on information provided by the office of Congressman Aaron Schock (R., Ill.). A spokesman for Mr. Schock says the Congressman commissioned the study from CRS, which passed the request on to the Law Library, which also does research for Congress.

Gunmen on a motorcycle murdered the nephew of the owner of Radio Globo, 40 year old Marco Antonio Vallecillos, who was a congressional candidate of the minor PINU party.

The country is under curfew 6PM-6AM.

The Brazilian embassy rotated out its top diplomats for a couple of days.

Bertha Caceres has an interview with TeleSur.

Just to complicate the story, there’s a report in Tiempo that gas could have been introduce through some hoses.

The Guardian has a poorly-written story (it asserts that Zelaya was driven to the border for his exile).


Update2: Channel 36 showing a demo in front of the Brazilian embassy. Troops on the rooftops of residences have guns with sniper scopes. I would guess the size of the demo as roughly 1000. Rafael Alegria says he expects widespread repression across the board in the next week.

[Added: There is no confirmation of the following. It may be a re-broadcast from yesterday] Radio Liberada [but carried over Radio Progreso] says that helicopters are gassing the general public in Colonia Tres Caminos as well as by the Brazilian embassy, that people are vomiting. People taste a sour taste in their mouth, they say, and suffer various symptoms of asphyxiation, and headache. Some are vomiting blood. The announcer pleads for international intervention. Now the announcer is gasping so hard that it’s hard to understand her. [According to this source, the ambient concentration of hydrogen cyanide in yesterday’s attack, 200 ppm, is enough to cause death within 10 minutes. Vomiting is not listed as a symptom of hydrogen cyanide, but it seems likely that they are using a combined gas attack.] This broadcast was at about 5:30-6PM Eastern.

Channel 36, however, is not showing this sort of scene. 6:50PM Eastern: Still no confirmation. It’s possible that Radio Liberado was replaying tape from yesterday. Channel 36 does report that a reporter from Radio Globo was shot. Also that the soup kitchen used by the resistance was looted, presumably by the government.

Update: Famed cartoonist Allan McDonald, who was one of the first human targets of the coup calls Tegucigalpa “a concentration camp, a city mined with hatred, a giant village tangled up with boots that destroy the grass of hope with every step and strike out so that it will never grow again. But the flower of resistance grows in the asphalt of their twisted steps.” It’s a powerful word poem. Better English translation by Machetera here

For deep thinkers, Leticia Salomon has a piece basically saying that we should do away with militaries, since they’re used as private armies by the rich to repress the populace. [I think George Washington said the same].

According to Tiempo, there’s supposed to be a major demo today. The regime ordered the arrest of policeman Denis Omar Montoya, who shot an 18-year old kid to death in cold blood for shouting “Golpista.”

On Radio Globo, the guest [Juan Almendares?] is saying that the population is showing signs of mass torture. [I agree]. He says there is no feeling against Israel, but if the military of Israel has mixed into the Honduran conflict, it’s a big deal. Yikes: they are playing a long commercial for Pepe Lobos as “The Change.”
You can hear Father Tamayo give his testimony about the gassing of the embassy here. Briefly, a small white tank truck passed by. The military cleared the street, saying it was something toxic. Fifteen minutes earlier, a helicopter passed low overhead. And the third wave of attack was from nearby houses. Then Zelaya says that he experience the attack as a dry throat and then irritated eyes. Then the atmosphere felt heavy [this sounds like shortness of breath. not mentioned in this clip: other people experienced bleeding from the nose and in the urine, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms] Then a medical person explains how he determined the ammonia and hydrogen cyanide levels, using an FDA-certified gas monitor.

The Argentine chancellor says that other embassies may be suffering ultrasound attacks and harassment, but he did not name them.

I didn’t realize exactly how morally ill the Miami Herald is. Their editorial, yukking it up about hydrogen cyanide being used on an embassy full of people, is hereMr. Zelaya hardly helped his own cause by claiming that phantom ‘Israeli mercenaries’ were out to get him and that his enemies were using brain-addling gas and radiation against him. Outrageous.” [To be fair, the hydrogen cyanide attack occurred after the editorial was published. But to be scrupulously fair, (a) there had previously been reckless use of agents like CS that reportedly caused deaths which had not pricked the conscience of The Herald , (b) The Herald very likely concocted the quotes that it was laughing at, and (c) The Herald has taken no steps to demonstrate repentance. They are no better than people who stop at a traffic accident to watch someone die– and joke about it.]

Brother John asks whether our hopes have been dashed. He links us to a Catholic News Service article saying that the Vatican may mediate. I wish I believed that, but I think the Church needs to confess its culpability in bringing the situation to this point. Not everyone in it, of course. Brother John keeps pointing out people doing extraordinary things for reconciliation.

From BolPress via Vos, Jean-Guy Allard points out that the Interamerican Press Society, based in Miamia, would do better in its condemnations of interference against the press if it would admit that some of its members executed the coup. Carlos Roberto Flores Facussé, who owns La Tribuna and Jorge Canahuati Larach who owns La Prensa and El Heraldo were key members of the “cupula.” The author calls it an arm of American intelligence. Considering how Latin American news is covered, with complete focus on the benefit of the elites and not a drop of compassion for those who have been left behind by development, it’s not impossible.

Posted in Latin America | 4 Comments »

Congressional Democrats, Please Heed Mark Morford

Posted by MEC on September 26, 2009

Mark Morford tells us how to talk to complete idiots:

Remember, facts do not matter.

So reasoning with them, expecting them to acknowledge facts and logical conclusions, is futile. And now I’m talking to you, Congresional Democrats: negotiation and compromise are forms of reasoning. Don’t waste your time, they’re not listening. You cannot reason with unreasonable people.

Follow Morford’s advice:

The absolute best way to speak to complete idiots is, of course, not to speak to them at all.

That is, you work around them, ignore them completely, disregard the rants and the spittle and the misspelled protest signs and the fervent prayers for apocalypse on Fox News. Complete refusal to take the fringe nutballs even the slightest bit seriously is the only way to make true progress.

When your Republican colleagues assert that providing a government-administered program so everyone in the country can get health care means the government is going to kill us all, and that the highest priority in reforming the health-care system is maintaining the status quo they are fringe nutballs. Work around them.

Please remember: Being in the majority means you get to decide government policy. That’s how “majority rule” works. Do it.

Posted in doing the right thing | 2 Comments »

Honduras Coup, Act IV, Day 5/updated

Posted by Charles II on September 25, 2009

Light posting if any.

Father Ismael Moreno, who runs Radio Progreso, has received death threats.

Wired and the Guardian have the skinny on the LRAD acoustic weapon.

Update2: The coupista press is completely delusional. The police deny there was a gas attack on the embassy even though there’s testimony from all sorts of people that they suddenly got sick with serious symptoms and then elevated levels of hydrogen cyanide are found. The statement from Susan Rice ordering the dictatorship to stop harassing the embassy mentioned and otherwise ignored. Several articles saying if they can just have elections, everything will be fine.

Radio Globo: Dona Leticia says the police are being so aggressive because they have been shown to be impotent.
Update: Al Giordano has confirmation of the use of LRAD and telephone jamming equipment used against the Brazilian embassy. As for the reports of chemical warfare, he states that “a medical doctor testified that two of the people staying inside the embassy displayed symptoms of bleeding from the nose or the stomach, and that a larger number of them displayed symptoms of nausea, throat and sinus irritation and related problems that can be caused by neuro-toxic gases used in chemical warfare that are also prohibited by international treaties.”

Patricia Rodas named the companies that she says supplied the poison gas used against the Brazilian embassy: Alfacom and Intercom, owned by Yehuda Leitner. I don’t find them immediately. While these may just be import/OEM companies, it is very bad that so many (unconfirmed) fingers are pointing toward Israel as the source of banned technology.

TeleSur filed a protest against the assault on its reporters at the Brazilian embassy.

Nell reminds us that Susan Rice didn’t have any trouble turning her back on a massacre before.

(Via RAJ), The Honduran regime is reportedly attempting to create “facts on the ground” by tossing some kind of chemical weapon into the Brazilian embassy. The reported symptoms (reported here as dizziness, stomach and throat pain, vomiting and bleeding; diarrhea and headaches have also been reported) could be tear gas, but sound different to me. I remember the attack on Radio Globo. That sounds like a dry run for this. The weapons in this case were thrown from a helicopter and, in addition, a water truck sprayed something into the embassy. Vos el Soberano says that a Professor Mauricio Castellanos did an analysis of residue and found ammonia (used as the base for pepper spray) and hydrogen cyanide. This sounds very incomplete to me.

Radio Globo: Government announcement- Medical people from Red Cross International and Honduras and Andres Pavon have been allowed to enter the Brazilian embassy. The government denies using anything dangerous. (argh: Radio Globo has a university professor doing grammar… “haya” not “haiga.”)

If you want to understand how ugly and sick the American media is, look at these two (one, two) pieces mocking Zelaya for saying that they are targeting him with toxic agents and high frequencies. These people are mentally morally ill.

Six thousand resistance people marched by the embassy. The American Association of Jurists, National Lawyers Guild and others have issued a report. From Jennifer Moore at Upside Down World (via Adrienne)

Mexico’s weathervane, Carlos Fuentes, has now declared that the coupistas have “lost their compass.” This is at least a 90 degree turn from his last stance, that neither Zelaya nor Micheletti were any good, and more like a 180.

It’s interesting to see how different people approach the question of the legality of the expulsion of Manuel Zelaya. RAJ write two (count ’em, two) blockbuster posts on the topic, burning the candle at both ends. The first of these reviews an analysis by Armando Sarmiento that appeared first at Quotha (and now here). The focus there is on separation of powers. On 5/7/03, the Supreme Court declared it illegal for the Congress to interpret the Constitution, which makes sense. That’s what courts are for. When a Congress wants to “interpret” a law, it legislates to amend or repeal the law. Since the Congress had previously renounced the power to impeach, that left no clear process by which a president might be removed from office. Nor did the Congress bother to clean up this legislative problem before proceeding to declare that Manuel Zelaya was no longer president. RAJ extended that analysis by pointing out that the session on June 28th was a “special session” and could not have been used to “interpret” the law. [One might add it was particularly extraordinary because certain congressmen weren’t allowed to attend]. And the agenda did not include constitutional “interpretation.” The second post decimates the recent CRS report by pointing out that it relies on one golpista. It also unearths a number of lies put out by the coupistas.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Latin America | 9 Comments »