Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for March 15th, 2011

Randy Hopper’s Fond Du Lac ‘Apartment’ = Hopper Employee’s $600,000 Home

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 15, 2011

By now I’m sure you’ve heard that when the folks looking for signatures for the Randy Hopper recall petition came to Hopper’s house of record in his Senate district, Hopper’s wife told them that Hopper, a key ally of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, no longer lived with her in Fond du Lac, but in Madison with his 25-year-old lobbyist mistress.

Hopper, in trying to avoid being booted from his Senate seat, says that he really does too live in his district, in a Fond du Lac apartment. Um, except there’s one small problem with that statement:

[Hopper policy advisor Matt] Phillips provided The Capital Times with the address where Hopper is living in Fond du Lac on the condition the address would not be made public. He and Rebecca Hogan, Hopper’s chief of staff, cited ongoing threats against Hopper and his family as the reason.

According to the online Fond du Lac County property tax map, the address is not an apartment, as Phillips said, but a roughly $600,000 home owned by a high-ranking employee of Hopper’s media company, Mountain Dog Media.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Honduran dictatorship, day 433

Posted by Charles II on March 15, 2011

Just a driblet from the Wikileaks. On July 9th, 2009, Zelaya and Micheletti came to Costa Rica, but never entered face-to-face talks. They laid out their irreconcilable differences. Arias said that it was doubtful any agreement could be reached within a few months. State calls this “positive” and “encouraging,” and seems preoccupied with VZ President Hugo Chavez’s influence on Zelaya. There is a list of the core negotiators:

Zelaya’s: Patricia Rodas (former foreign minister); Silvia Ayala (ex-presidential candidate of Unification
Democratic Party-PUD); Salvador Zuniga (head of PUD); and Milton Jimenez (former foreign minister).

Micheletti’s: Carlos Lopez (former foreign minister); Arturo Corrales (ex-presidential candidate for Christian
Democratic Party-PDC); Mauricio Villeda (lawyer); and Vilma Cecilia Morales (ex-president of Supreme Court of

Costa Rica’s: President Oscar Arias; Minister Rodrigo Arias; FM Bruno Stagno; and Minister of Justice Viviana Martin.

Brother John has several nice posts on the poor of Honduras (here and here), as well as a comment on Lent quoting Archbishop Romero that all of us should heed. We are entering a time of scarcity. It is time for the better off among us to do with less and share with with those for whom death means suffering and even death.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | 2 Comments »

US endorses Saudi invasion of Bahrain?

Posted by Charles II on March 15, 2011

With all the excrement hitting the fan, you may not have noticed this story, but Robert Gates visited Bahrain and shortly thereafter, 1000 Saudi troops arrived. Ethan Bronner and Michael Slackman of he New York Times managed to avoid mentioning the Gates visit even while reporting the imposition of martial law using Saudi troops (Elizabeth Bumiller did cover the Gates visit). Needless to say, Bahrainis view the Gates visit as a green light for the Saudi incursion. And 1000 soldiers is a pretty heavy presence, when added to Bahraini forces. That’s roughly 800 people/soldier. In Iraq, we had about 1 soldier per 400 people. So, the level of repression is similar.

Even if you’re a right-winger who thinks that’s our oil under their sand, hasn’t anyone seen the Cisco commercials? It is not necessary (or wise) to put American fingerprints on repression of this kind.

I would be unsurprised to see the repression succeed in short term. In the long term, that means Bahrain will be deeply radicalized.

Posted in Conflict in the Middle East, totalitarianism | 1 Comment »

Franken: Open Internet Is An Independent Producer’s Last Best Hope

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 15, 2011

Why I like my junior senator, part #2792374973:

Net neutrality means that content-a web page, an email, a download-moves over the Internet freely, and it moves at the same speed no matter what it is or who owns it.

So an email from President Obama and an email from your Tea Partier uncle come in at the same speed. You can buy a song from an indie band just as quickly as you can buy a song from a band on a major label. And if you start a website for your small business, your customers can have their orders processed just as easily with you as they could if they were buying from a multi-national conglomerate.

We take this basic fairness-this equality, this, shall we say, neutrality-for granted, because that’s how it’s always been. The Internet is democratic. Not capital-D Democratic, although, for that annoying uncle of yours who still insists that government has never created a job, the Internet was developed by the government at public expense.

No, what I mean is that the Internet is small-d democratic. Everyone has the same say. If you want to be heard above other people-if you want your argument to prevail, or your song to be popular, or your product to sell-the only way to do it is to have a better argument, or a catchier song, or a more useful product.

I think this is a good thing. I think most people think this is a good thing. And that’s why your Tea Partier uncle might hear that Al Franken is fighting for net neutrality and say something like, “Leave the Internet alone!”

And that’s exactly what I want. We have net neutrality right now. And we don’t want to lose it. That’s all. The fight for net neutrality isn’t about improving the Internet. It’s not about changing the Internet at all. It’s about ensuring that it stays just the way it is.

It’s the big corporations who now own the physical infrastructure that makes the Internet work, the pipes through which content is distributed-the tubes, if you will-who want to change the Internet by ending net neutrality.

Read the whole thing. It’s excellent.

Posted in Al Franken, net neutrality | 1 Comment »

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