Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for November 21st, 2009

Honduras Coup, Act V, Day 32

Posted by Charles II on November 21, 2009

Luis Galdames at the Brazilian embassy, on Radio Globo: “Put on the bells.” They are hunting the leaders of the resistance and at ca. 8:40PM Eastern have captured two: Freddy Sanchez and Carlos Guzman in El Paraiso. Also Francisco Batres, a Spaniard of 20 years residence, has been expelled. Lisa Sarmiento was shot at. Inhuman treatment of Father Tamayo. Carlos Reina pleads with Cesar Ham to withdraw from the election. President Zelaya speaks about the many candidate withdrawals. He also talks about the huge amounts of money being poured in… 300 million lempiras ($15M) in Tegucigalpa alone. Will Cesar Ham staying in the race strengthen the coup? Zelaya evades the question, but says that in a state lacking the rule of law, no act of the actors is valid.

Bill Conroy, of Narconews:

The most recent scorecard for that Central American nation (the fiscal year 2010 report released on Nov. 9) shows that during the period covered, primarily 2008, when Zelaya was still in power, Honduras received passing grades on every measure of “economic freedom,” save one.

In fact, some of those grades were near the top of the class with respect to similarly situated nations. For example, Honduras in the most recent MCC scorecard, ranked in the the 89th percentile with respect to is regulatory quality and in the 98th percentile in terms of its trade policy

(The trade policy data is more current and does reflect conditions in 2009, including the first six months of the year when Zelaya was in power. Honduras’ score in 2008 for that indicator put it in the 83rd percentile, up from the 65th percentile in 2006 — the year Zelaya took office.)

In addition, under Zelaya, in the measure of how easy it is to start a business, Honduras showed continuous improvement since he took office in 2006 — raising that mark from a failing score in the 49th percentile in 2006 to a well-above passing grade in the 64th percentile in 2008 — and into the 68th percentile in 2009.

Honduras has dropped off the radar of Western news media. Channel 36 remains off the air now for over 24 hours (see here). Radio Globo is up.

Liberal Congresswoman and vice-presidential candidate Maria Margarita Zelaya Rivas has resigned. Congresswoman Elvia Valle too and six other Congressional candidates. Rafael Pineda Ponce announced that all weapons, licensed or not, will be seized.

Adrienne links to the National Democratic Institute, which she calls a CIA proxy. The NDI says:

In response to these challenges, the Institute is working to safeguard the integrity of the 2009 election process by helping nonpartisan, independent Honduran civic organizations to observe the 2008 primary elections, as well as the pre-electoral, voting and counting process in the 2009 general elections….

NDI is working with nonpartisan Honduran election observation groups to promote their capacity to monitor pre-election and election-day conditions in the areas of decision-making, division of labor, project planning and outreach strategies.

I’ve asked Adrienne for a source on thinking this is a CIA proxy, because there are things that aren’t congruent. For example, they get money from the OAS and the UN (as well as from State and NED). Walter Mondale was on their board, and Mario Cuomo is a senior advisor.

According to pro-coup El Heraldo, Nancy Pelosi has told Ramon Custodio (Pretend-Commissioner of Human Rights) that they will send a mission of observers.
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Update:
According to El Libertador, the son of Guillermo Perez-Cadalso (the guy behind the Library of Congress report justifying the coup), reportedly killed a pregnant woman and wounded three others. Eliseo Pérez Cadalso Paz engaged in the shootings last Saturday (presumably the 14th) on the highway between Santa Lucía to Tegucigalpa. Drunk and driving a state vehicle, he was nevertheless released immediately. His mother is a Supreme Court Justice, Rosa de Lourdes Paz de Pérez. Seventeen year old Navia Yasmín Romero Ortez died, and her sister was injured. This is barely reported by La Prensa, not reported that I could find by La Tribuna. El Heraldo has something resembling real journalism.

Just to prove that it’s full of manure, El Heraldo published a story alleging that two men in a vehicle had six hand grenades… for what El Heraldo called “a boycott” of the election. (Conveniently, the men eluded police). Boycotts do not involve hand grenades. They involve people exercising their right not to vote. So, there’s no evidence connecting the incident to the resistance, but hey, let’s just assume it was. Also, supposedly, a bomb was thrown at the National Party headquarters in El Progreso. No casualties. No idea who threw it or why. But let’s reiterate, you can get 4-6 years for boycotting the election.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | Comments Off on Honduras Coup, Act V, Day 32

While the teabagggers fiddle…

Posted by Charles II on November 21, 2009

While the far right disrupts America’s attempts to right itself by coming up with bizarre (and rather obviously fraudulent) attacks on Obama, the real story of America’s decline is more pedestrian: Via Paul Kedrosky, a scary piece by Paul Mason of the BBC on the role of rare earths such as lanthanum and neodymium in the economy of the future:

97% of the specialist metals that are crucial to green technology are currently mined in China.

China is already limiting exports and has plans to limit them some more. As a result much of the hi-tech metals industry is also moving to China….

For decades US foreign policy, and much of the Western world behind it, has focused on security of supply of oil from the Middle East.

Chinese policy – foreign, industrial and commercial – now centres on finding and securing supplies not just of oil but of all major natural resources needed by an economy developing at 9% for the rest of the century.

The old, oil-based policy shaped the world; the rise of freemarket capitalism after 1989 became possible because no rival powers existed that could fragment the world economy and challenge US dominance; the new, multi-resource based policy of China (together with Japan and South Korea) is what is reshaping the world.

Whoever controls key resources controls the large-scale manufacture of new technologies.

Even on oil, which we have long believed is the critical resource, Alan van Altendorf of Seeking Alpha, says we’re increasingly living in a fantasy world:

Old definition: Proved [oil] Reserves are those quantities which can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be commercially recoverable from known reservoirs under defined economic conditions. …

New definition: Industry is no longer constrained by the criterion of certainty. An operator can book incremental proved reserves from planned enhanced recovery projects (gas injection, acid fracturing) based on a pilot project. Coal seam gas, bitumen, oil shale and other unconventional resources can be booked as Proved Reserves. Estimated reservoir properties in the aggregate is a departure from the old rules. The new SEC definition does not require that an analogous reservoir has to be in the immediate area or in pressure communication. Seismic analysis and reservoir models are sufficient to book Proved Reserves.

Hold on to your shorts, it gets worse.

Under the new SEC rules you don’t have to drill a well and actually produce oil. An operator can establish levels of lowest known hydrocarbons and highest known oil through “reliable technology” other than well penetrations. It doesn’t have to be 90% reliable or widely accepted by industry peers. It can be AVO bright spots, or a fuzzy patch of seismic that could conceivably be a mud volcano, or the ridiculous Russian hokum of “passive” hydrocarbon indicators. You don’t even have to explain exactly what your technology does, if it’s proprietary and trade secret.

Posted in science and medicine | 4 Comments »

 
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