Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for January 4th, 2010

Honduras Coup, Act VI, Day 36

Posted by Charles II on January 4, 2010

[Links updated] Not everything is grim in Honduras. There’s a website called Honduran Campesino Campesinos Sosa that talks about some of the neat development projects that are taking place.

(Spanish pieces of eight discovered in Olancho. Photo from The Last of the True Adventurers at Campesinos Sosa).

Here are photos showing how to use a pedal pump to turn a cow pasture into an irrigated field with drip line.

Of course, there’s plenty of less inspiring stuff. But news has diminished to a trickle.
(Image by Chisp@ at TeleSur. The gorilla is saying, “That wasn’t a coup. That was enforced change.”)

Atilio Boron has a piece on making coup d’etats invisible. He reviews the coups of the last 30 years or so, amazingly missing a couple (Panama and Guatemala), but also comes up with one I hadn’t considered, namely the removal of Stroessner.

During the New Year’s celebration, 212 people died by violence, according to ChinaView.

Jean Guy Allard, who writes for the Cuban press, has an interesting piece in El Libertador (originally in Rebelion) about Jose R. Cardenas, USAID, and the CIA. Even with the precautionary grain of salt, the allegations add up to these: that Cardenas, who Allard says is linked with the CIA, was former head of USAID for Latin America who distributed funds to anti-Zelaya groups. After the coup, he was hired by Micheletti to burnish the coup’s image in Washington through the firm Vision Americas. And he wrote defamatory material about Zelaya in Foreign Policy without disclosing his conflicts of interest. Vision America brought together a nasty cast of characters, including Roger Noriega and Francisco “Puff of Wind” Flores, a member of the ARENA party of Guatemala El Salvador [thanks, Nell], which carried out the assassination of Archbishop Romero.

Whether he is CIA or not, I don’t know. But I did read Cardenas’s piece in FP, and it did make my skin crawl. The guy is a walking zone of anti-truth.

In an interview with Mario Casasus of El Clarin, Esly Banegas reports that the Navy has militarized the northeastern part of the country, the Valle of Aguan, especially from Trujillo to Tocoa. These were places where Zelaya’s Agrarian Reform had restored land to poor farmers. Now the latifundistas are displacing the small farmers.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | 3 Comments »

Dick Cheney: Still Running The GOP

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 4, 2010

At least he is when Rush Limbaugh’s not around.

Get a load of this (h/t Big Media Matt):

A half-dozen former senior Bush officials involved in counterterrorism told me before the Christmas Day incident that for the most part, they were comfortable with Obama’s policies, although they were reluctant to say so on the record. Some worried they would draw the ire of Cheney’s circle if they did, while others calculated that calling attention to the similarities to Bush would only make it harder for Obama to stay the course. And they generally resent Obama’s anti-Bush rhetoric and are unwilling to give him political cover by defending him.

Cowards, crybabies, or both? How about ethical vaccums, for the hat trick?

Posted in Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, Dick Cheney, President Obama, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | Comments Off on Dick Cheney: Still Running The GOP

Freedom of Mind

Posted by Charles II on January 4, 2010

One of the most alarming trends in the United States is the rise of destructive cults. These include religious cults like the Moonies and fundamentalist groups like the family, but also commercial cults like (in my opinion) Amway. With unemployment skyrocketing, the siren call of multi-level marketing companies which may be destructive cults can be heard every day on Air America radio. Regrettably, the American media are asleep at the switch on one of the most important stories of the day and the Congress refuses to legislate protections.

Eric Scheibeler does an interview with cult specialist Steve Hassan that may be worth listening to. While understanding the full spectrum of how cults undermine an individual’s free will is beyond the scope of any brief interview, there is a system to how they go about this. Scheibeler has taken on Amway Quixtar and is worth listening to. If you are considering getting involved, please listen to this clip of Scheibeler first.

Posted in anti-truth, frauds, propaganda | 3 Comments »

Good News From Colombia, Of All Places

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 4, 2010

Proof that good things can flourish even in one of the world’s most notorious narcostates:

Indigenous and rural women from southern Tolima, a province located in the heart of Colombia, are lending a hand to the bleak land around them, with the aim of simultaneously recovering the ecosystem and regaining their own dignity, in a community effort that is changing their environment and their lives.

Manos de Mujer (Women’s Hands) is the name of the non-governmental organisation working since 2001 in Natagaima, a town some 100 kilometres south of the provincial capital, Ibagué. Nine hundred women of the Pijao native community plant ecosystem-friendly seeds to grow natural crops without the use of agrochemicals.

“Nine years ago, the land all around my plot was a yellowish colour. There were only one or two lonely trees,” Claudina Loaiza, who has been part of the projects since its onset, told IPS.


“When I left the father of my children, because of his drinking and cheating, I began planting my own fruit and vegetable garden in my yard; this was something I really wanted,” Loaiza said, her eyes shining as she introduced her daughter and niece, who work the land with her.

“I’m the kind of woman who’d rather be alone than have a bad man by her side,” she said, before going on to describe how she fenced off her one-hectare garden with 144 metres of wire netting.

“I felt, and I still feel, so proud, because we were planting beans, watermelon, plantain, cassava, corn, green vegetables and all sorts of things, without using any weed killers or chemicals, just what we prepared for fertilising and replenishing the soil,” she explained.

Posted in Colombia, environment, family values, farming, food, gardening, Good Things | 1 Comment »

Krugman on the coming currency crisis

Posted by Charles II on January 4, 2010

Paul Krugman wrote an important piece on currency crises. He describes currency crises in three “generations” of economic analysis.

The first generation is an uncomplicated case. Countries need reserves of foreign currencies in order to conduct trade. But suppose a country’s reserves decline to a threshold that makes others afraid to get caught out. Then they will dump the native currency to buy the foreign currency, creating a short-term squeeze.

The second generation is a more complicated case where speculators, recognizing that a country’s currency policy isn’t consistent with its national objectives, create a run on the currency, forcing policy makers to decide between sustaining their currency or getting re-elected. The model for this was the sterling crisis where George Soros made his bones.

The third generation crisis incorporates the real-world effects seen in severe currency crises, which includes a severe decline in GDP with high unemployment. That is what happened in Argentina and may be occurring today. To excerpt from Krugman: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in economy, financial crisis, Paul Krugman, stock market | 4 Comments »

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