Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for August, 2010

Honduran dictatorship, day 234

Posted by Charles II on August 31, 2010

How time flies. A little over two weeks since the last post. And this will be brief.

The main story is violence against teachers. HSN (that’s Honduran Solidarity, not Home Shopping) reports here in Upside Down World:

On Friday, Aug. 27, police and military troops surrounded the National Pedagogical University, responding to thousands of teachers and members of trade unions, peasant organizations and other organizations supportive of the teachers gathered on the university grounds. The police and military forces sprayed tear gas from trucks and beat protesters with truncheons before firing canisters of tear gas into the University grounds. As people were overcome by the gas and tried to leave, they were beaten and many detained. Among the injured were two well-known reporters from Radio Globo, one of the few independent radio stations in the country. Among those seriously affected by the gas were a number of children and pregnant women.

On Thursday, the police and military attacked the same group at a massive protest near the presidential residency…

Adrienne, of course, has been giving the issue plenty of play (here, linking to a Xinhua police riot slideshow; more photos here; an article by Feminists in Resistance on the attack on non-university teachers here; a picture of a van used by paramilitary troops to fire on teachers here; film of demonstrators clashing with police outside the presidential palace here). RNS has a bit more here on the absurd charges that the teachers’ strike is being promoted by foreign influence. Also see Karen Spring. And a number of institutions remain occupied and on strike.

RAJ also has this article on the role of money in the coup d’etat:

Yesterday, El Libertador published a formal statement by the Frente de Resistencia about the “harmful contracts for renewable energy” granted to “the golpista oligarchy”. The contracts in question are for thermal generation of electricity. The Honduran National Congress has, according to this report, approved the concession of more than 50 watersheds for this purpose to private companies….

El Libertador claims that the concessions for energy generation rely on forged signatures of mayors of affected towns, and thus that they were “negotiated” without consultation of the citizenry.

Another very important story is the murder of a journalist. He’s the tenth killed this year by AP’s count, but the ninth since March according to the Committee to Protect Journalists :

Honduran radio reporter Israel Zelaya Díaz was found shot to death on Tuesday along a rural road near the northern city of San Pedro Sula, the latest in an alarming string of journalist murders in the country….
Zelaya, 56, a radio reporter for the San Pedro Sula-based broadcaster Radio Internacional, was last seen alive on Tuesday around 2 p.m. as he was talking with a man in a taxi at a gas station, the daily Tiempo reported. Local police found Zelaya’s body later that day with two bullet wounds to the head and one to the chest…

Why, it’s so bad The Miami Herald woke briefly from its snooze to condemn the slaughter (via Adrienne). And UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has also called on Honduras to do, well, something.

And God has been letting the air out of Brother John’s tires in order to introduce him to some very nice people. Brother John noted this article at a MilNews site, Black Anthem, on the US charm offensive against Guadalupe Carney. Who, if not African American, names their website Black Anthem? Someone who loves metal, I guess. Adrienne thinks this limited assistance was targeted on Guadalupe Carney because it’s a resistance center. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a means to do some snooping.

The Resistance has collected 1 million signatures in favor of a Constitutional Convention, according to El Libertador. The head of the police agency DNIC, Walter Romero, died in a hail of 27 gunshots in San Pedro Sula. The human rights group COFADEH claims that death squads reminiscent of the Mano Blanca 14/-88 have emerged, with torture prisons in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. The Mano Blanca first appeared in Guatemala in 1966. The Secretary General of the farmers’ rights group ANACH, 45 year old Santos Remigio Ávila was murdered with a shot to the head. Radio Uno in San Pedro Sula was forced off the air by sabotage of its electrical system.

There’s more but, alas, no more time.

Added: It should be noted that Guadalupe Carney is named for the Jesuit priest, Father Carney, known as Guadalupe. He was disappeared permanently in that Contra wars. The penny hadn’t dropped on this for me until I was trying to figure out exactly where it is (near Trujillo, which is on the northern coast near Roatan), which happens to be nowhere near where US troops would have a relationship with the community. Also an interesting fact: Google Maps refuses to call it Guadalupe Carney.


Posted in Honduras, Latin America | 5 Comments »

John Cole Has A Message For You

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 31, 2010

PayPal is the Worst Company in the World.

Carry on.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

I Think Mark Dayton Just Won The Governor’s Race

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 31, 2010

He’s won the endorsement of the Minneapolis Police Officers Federation — a group which had backed Tim Pawlenty:

“This was about relationships,” said Lt. John Delmonico, longtime president of the police union. “Mark’s a guy that will listen, Mark’s a guy that cares and Mark’s a guy that will get things done.”

This will help reassure a lot of the fence-sitters — a fact which is sending the wingnuts into cop-hating mode, as shown by the following comments in the comments thread for this story in the StarTribune:

Mpls cops back Dayton

Makes sense. The Mpls cops are an incomptent joke too.
posted by jollyroger on Aug 30, 10 at 3:20 pm

Public pension liability in MN = $$50 billion!!!!!!!

Nationwide the public employee pension liability is $3.4 trillion! How are they going to pay for that AND the national debt?????????????
posted by Healthcrusader on Aug 30, 10 at 3:29 pm

I’m shocked…

that a union that lives and breathes to rip-off the Minnesota taxpayer would support a candidate that lives and breathes the same. Wake up voters, public employees are taking us to the cleaners and as evidenced by the trolls that post on this site, they are unapologetic.
posted by bruiser2 on Aug 30, 10 at 3:29 pm |

Another public sector union backs dayton

ho-hum….must be a pretty slow newsday…
posted by mtbikr on Aug 30, 10 at 3:34 pm |

The tail-chasing hatred displayed by so many dismayed Republicans caused even a conservative to chide them for putting the GOP before everything else:

Fair-Weather Republicans are so September 10th

I can’t believe my eyes. Self-proclaimed Conservatives are joining the Moonbat Left in condemning the Police. Electoral politics are trumping core values. It’s shameful. Move to Somalia if you hate cops so much.
posted by loyalrepub on Aug 30, 10 at 3:37 pm |

Couple this with the Iron Rangers backing him, and the ten-point lead he enjoys, and Dayton’s sitting pretty. I must give him credit for this — it’s better strategic thinking than I thought possible with him.

UPDATE: And yes, I know all about the recent MPR poll with the five-point-three-percentage-point margin of error (and the apparent oversampling for Republicans (46% to 41%) in a state that generally votes for Democrats) that shows — unlike every other poll so far — that Dayton is tied with Emmer. I expect that when Dayton starts running the TV ads showing the police union backing him, he’ll pull ahead again in this poll too, RPM oversampling or no.

UPDATE 2: Joe Bodell has more on the questionable nature of this poll.

Posted in Minnesota | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Joel Hanes, This Is For You

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 31, 2010


Taken from the lower deck of the Riverside by the Root restaurant, which I highly recommend as an eatery and as a place to spend a summer evening.

Posted in Minnesota | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Tom Emmer: Bad For Business

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 30, 2010

I don’t know how I missed this stunningly good piece by The Awl’s Abe Sauer, but it’s rather revelatory about the Emmer family’s shortage of genuine business skills, a lack for which shifty dealings have increasingly failed to compensate:

As his fiscal-conservative, less-government rhetoric would suggest, Emmer is a huge proponent of the private sector as a solution to our problems (i.e., government). And he leans on his private industry bona fides to back it up. His official bio states that Tom learned “the value of hard work and the every-day pressures” from his father’s lumber company. That company is a 100-year-old business founded by great-grandpa Emmer, “Emmer Brothers Lumber.” What the bio conveniently glosses over about Emmer Brothers Lumber (actually Emmer Brothers Company), is that it filed for bankruptcy protection in the mid-1980s. In the few press reports that even bother to mention that the business failed, Emmer is conveniently allowed to say the company had “gone upside down” and that his dad was “struggling.” “Bankruptcy protection” is a term that generally gives fiscal conservatives voting booth rictus.

Now, take note, Poli Sci 101 kids, here’s how a right-wing candidate who hangs his coat on his business experiences spins it when that business is a failed one: Take the fact that Emmer Bros. Co. was bought, post bankruptcy, by Forest City Trading Group and renamed Viking Forest Products, which kept his brother Jack on as an employee, and sum it up as so: “Today it’s known as Viking Forest Products, with Tom’s brother Jack continuing in the business.”

Presto, a failed business with a (maybe charitably employed) brother is now a continuing successful family business from which our candidate has learned “first hand the value of hard work and the every-day pressures faced by employers and the families who count on them.”

Also, Marquette National Bank sued Emmer Bros. Co. for fraudulently concealing assets during the course of the bankruptcy proceedings. But whatever.

One could say this kind of slavish dedication to the “free market” is a family tradition. The Emmer family empire once also consisted of Emmer Brothers Dairy in neighboring Wisconsin. “You can whip our cream, but you can’t beat our milk,” went the motto. One might say these Emmers loved the free market too much, finding themselves indicted in a 1950 anti-trust suit which charged the dairy “illegally combined and conspired with intent to restrain competition in the retail and wholesale price of fluid milk in Milwaukee county, and by such combination and conspiracy actually did restrain competition and fixed and controlled the price of such milk.”

For the tea party set accustomed to things written on small signs, that means “price fixing.” Raymond Emmer was specifically named in the charge. Busted, Emmer Bros. cashed in and sold for a small fortune to Golden Guernsey Dairy, which, surprise, was named in the indictment as an Emmer co-conspirator. In a now familiar story that would come to replay itself years later, one of the Emmer founder’s sons was retained at Golden Guernsey for years afterward.

It’s pretty clear here that, if the personal and family history he touts on the campaign trail is a good guide, Tom Emmer couldn’t be trusted to run a lemonade stand, much less a state.

Posted in (Rich) Taxpayers League, big money, Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Why Catering To Racists Is Rapidly Becoming A Net Negative For Republicans

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 30, 2010

Go ahead, Tom Emmer, Tim Pawlenty and the rest of the GOP. Please.

Go ahead and keep cuddling up to the immigrant-hating Tea Partiers and the twits who gave Arizona SB 1070. Go ahead and assume that the Southern Strategy works just as well using Latinos as the scapegoat as it did when it used African-Americans for the past half-century.

Please, keep it up. You’re helping to flip one of America’s bastions of conservatism into a much more liberal place:

Orange County has been a national symbol of conservatism for more than 50 years: birthplace of President Richard M. Nixon and home to John Wayne, a bastion for the John Birch Society, a land of orange groves and affluence, the region of California where Republican presidential candidates could always count on a friendly audience.

But this iconic county of 3.1 million people passed something of a milestone in June. The percentage of registered Republican voters dropped to 43 percent, the lowest level in 70 years.

This is why Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to buck the national Republican and conservative stance on undocumented workers, even as the base voters and financiers of the GOP, as represented by the Koch-funded Tea Partiers, got more racist and more conservative. But it wasn’t enough.

Posted in immigration, race in America, racism, Republicans | 3 Comments »

More annals of huh?!??, financial edition

Posted by Charles II on August 29, 2010

As of this hour, Asia is a sea of green, and US futures look poised for a modest market pop.

Meanwhile, Roubini has upped his double dip forecast to 40%, noting that the drop off of stimulus turns what had been a tailwind into a headwind (from the increased interest payments) and that the 1.6% growth rate in the April-June quarter is very close to stall speed. He’s calling for 0.9% growth in the second half.

But today, there may well be a rally building on Friday’s anti-gravity exercise. And then? Who knows. We are deeply into Bizarro Universe.

—————–more below the fold————————-
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in economy, financial crisis | 2 Comments »

Annals Of Huh?!?!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 29, 2010

FDL blogger Siun has been regularly covering the Middle East and Israel, with FDL readers like Edward Teller and CTuttle providing additional coverage in The Seminal, for quite some time now. (Here, for example, is a story of Siun’s from December of 2008. And here’s another one from August 25, four days ago.)

And here’s one from today. And two from the 22nd, a week ago (here and here). In fact, counting today’s post, she’s done ten front-page posts during the month of August alone — and the month’s not over yet. [8:30 pm EDT: Make that eleven front-page posts.]

Because of the extreme sensitivity of the subject, she takes care to have all her ducks in a row before she posts a story. When she posts, the propagandists of whichever group you care to name have, be they Hezbollah or Hasbara, a tough time assailing her facts — and it’s not for lack of trying.

Which is why this out-of-the-blue and frankly bizarre blogger attack post (and followup attack Tweet) by Philip “Mondoweiss” Weiss against FDL truly surprises me. Then again, considering things like this and this, maybe it shouldn’t. (Jane’s been all over this, by the way.) Siun and frequent FDL commenter Philip Munger have responded with facts that dismantle the attacks and the cherry-picked quotes, and their responses have been allowed to stand — yet I notice that neither Weiss nor any of his regular commenters or writers have, as of this writing (4:36 pm Eastern Time) dared to reply to either Siun or Edward.

Posted in blogger ethics, blogs and blogging, blowback, israel, wrong way to go about it, WTF? | 4 Comments »

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 29, 2010

Because the truth is scarier than any attempt to parody Alan Simpson could be:

Go and check out just how much this elitist silver-spoon member of Wyoming’s biggest political dynasty hates Social Security in particular — and taking care of the “lesser people” in general.

He sounds like a friggin’ Randroid.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples, Silver Spoon Squad, Social Security | 1 Comment »

Reddit Does The Right Thing, Runs Just Say Now Ads

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 28, 2010

Like Facebook, Reddit — which in this case was forced to do so by its corporate parent company Condé Nast — banned the logo and ads of the Just Say Now campaign.

But after much thought and lots of feedback from Redditors, the Reddit staffers have defied their corporate overlords and are now not only running the ads, but running them for free.

Thanks, Reddit.

Posted in War On Some Drugs | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Reddit Does The Right Thing, Runs Just Say Now Ads

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