July 5, 2009 archive

Honduras: The Oligarchy Strikes Back


A major confrontation approaches.  Or does it?  The New York Times breathlessly reports the drama in the air:

Honduras’ exiled president took off for home in a Venezuelan jet in a high-stakes attempt to return to power, even as the interim government told its military to turn away the plane.

Zelaya won wide international support after his ouster a week ago by the military, but the only prominent escort aboard his plane was the U.N. General Assembly president after Latin American leaders backed out, citing security concerns. Honduras’ civil aviation director said Zelaya’s plane was being redirected to El Salvador.

Several other planes carrying Latin American presidents, the secretary-general of the Organization of American States and journalists were leaving Washington separately, trailing Zelaya to see what happens in the skies over Honduras before deciding where to land.

Presumably, the Latin American presidents won’t land in Honduras if Zelaya’s plane is diverted to San Salvador.

And, of course, there’s a corresponding drama on the ground:

Thousands of protesters descended on the airport in the Honduran capital in anticipation of the showdown. Police helicopters hovered overhead. Commercial flights were canceled, and outside the airport about 200 soldiers with riot shields formed a line in front of the protesters.

”The government of President (Roberto) Micheletti has ordered the armed forces and the police not to allow the entrance of any plane bringing the former leader,” the foreign minister of the interim government, Enrique Ortez, told The Associated Press on Sunday.

So much for the golpista’s threat that Manual Zelaya, the deposed president, would be arrested if he set foot on Hondruan soil. Evidently, the golpistas have decided that they have a tight hold on the country, and they fear the consequences of attempting to arrest Zelaya on Honduran soil.  Their tactic is simple: the golpistas control the air force and the airport.  They will keep Zelaya from returning.  The demonstrators will see nothing.

Nonetheless, thousands of demonstrators are making their way to the airport:

Zelaya has urged loyalists to support his arrival in Honduras in a peaceful show of force.

”We are going to show up at the Honduras International Airport in Tegucigalpa … and on Sunday we will be in Tegucigalpa,” Zelaya said Saturday in the taped statement carried on the Web sites of the Telesur and Cubadebate media outlets. ”Practice what I have always preached, which is nonviolence.”

Zelaya supporters said they got the message as they converged on the airport.

”We have no pistols or arms, just our principles,” organizer Rafael Alegria said. ”We have the legitimate right to fight for the defense of democracy and to restore President Zelaya.”

And so, we wait.  And we watch. The odds, I think, are that Manual Zelaya’s plane will be turned away from Honduras, that the golpistas will continue to thumb their noses at the OAS, and that the question of appropriate sanctions, including the removal of ambassadors and the permanent cutting off of aid, will be the next topic of discussion.

The coup has to go.  Democracy has to be restored in Honduras.  I’m waiting to see exactly how committed the US and Canada are to those propositions.


cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

Is Dennis Ross up to his old tricks?

Joe Biden’s repeated comment that, essentially, Israel has the green light to do what it wishes vis a vis Iran; after all, the US does not tell sovereign states what to do! (Except the sovereign state of Iran — it’s okay for the US to tell Iran how to conduct its sovereign affairs.)

The “leaked” and denied report in Ha aretz that Saudi Arabia consented to Israel’s use ofSaudi airspace to target Iran; Israel denies Saudis gave IDF airspace clearance for Iran strike

WaPo giving ink & paper to the likes of John Bolton — they all stink of Dennis Ross.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Now with World and U.S. News.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Obama heads to Moscow for "reset" summit

By Matt Spetalnick, Reuters

Sun Jul 5, 4:09 am ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama heads to Moscow on Sunday promising a far-reaching effort to “reset” U.S.-Russia relations that hit a post-Cold War low under the Bush administration.

Obama is expected to clinch summit deals on the outlines of a new nuclear arms pact and improved cooperation in the Afghan war effort, but deep divisions will remain over U.S. missile defense, NATO expansion and the 2008 Russia-Georgia war.

Traveling to Moscow for the first time since taking office, he hopes to keep building pragmatic ties with President Dmitry Medvedev but is likely to have a more strained introduction to Vladimir Putin, who still dominates Russian politics.

Café Discovery: History of a Song

I was messing around with music by The Weavers this morning.  One thing lead to another (first to Hudie Ledbetter, then Woody Guthrie) and there I was with the story of a song.  It was much more complicated than I thought.

There once was a British racehorse, born in 1741, named Skewball (or Squball or Skuball).  He won a lot of races, including a famous one on the plains of Kildare, Ireland.  The race was so renowned, songs were written.

Of such beginnings, legends are born.

Death and Creation

We have seen a lot of death lately, Farrah, Michael, Karl Malden, Billy Mays, Steve McNair, Sarah Palin’s political career, John Ensign’s political career, Sanford’s political carer, the Republican Permanent Majority, The Republican Party’s Ideology, the Republican Party, the Iranian clerics hold on the People of Iran, Newspapers, death at Disneyworld… Heck, The Dead are even on tour/

The purpose of death, of course, is to make way for new life, for creation.

We are in a transition period between the death of an old world and the creation of a new one. The ‘signs’ of the death of the old world are all around.

But we have not really seen a shape, an indication, or even really a glimpse of the new world that will emerge from the chaos surrounding the death of the old one.

The new world will be, as it always is, created by the young people of the world as I touched on recently. Hopefully with the guidance of some GOOD old folks, to steer them through the mistakes that were made in the past. There is a sense of Revolution in the air, but it has not quite formed yet, to my eye.

I may be wrong, but so far I have not seen a rallying point or a real theme or direction to this new world, it feels like it is still forming. Have you?

On a lazy long weekend Sunday, what are your thoughts as to how this new world we are waiting upon to emerge will look?

Van Flien and Palin can go blow it out their a$$, we will say what we like

Crossposted at daily kos


Sarah Palin and Thomas Van Flien are lizard people from the planet Trafalmador disguised as human beings, the Palin children were hatched in an incubator, Todd Palin is a mutant whose super power is to remind us of Kevin Federline, and Thomas Van Flein engaged in sexual acts with a donkey and a snowblower.

    I will say whatever I damn well please about Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Michael Wiener (Savage) or anyone else, because I have the right to do so. If Sarah Palin and Thomas Van Flien don’t like it, they can go blow it out their a$$.

    I say a$$, because, much like $250,000 of Ex-Gov Palin’s wardrobe, I know someone is paying her lawyer, and I doubt that it is her.

ABC Shits on Bloggers, and quotes John McCain saying

    “She will continue to play an important leadershiprole in the Republican party.”    

– Sen. John McCain

    This is clearly a victory for John McCain

    A hat tip to DKos user Walt starr whose diary Palin’s Attorney Threatening Lawsuits helped make this story public.

    In what amounts to an attack on free speech as well as blogger’s rights, Thomas Van Flien wrote a letter on behalf of Ex Alaska Gov and possibly soon to be indicted Sarah Palin (R) which threatens lawsuits specifically against Blogger Shanynn Moore of The Mudflats.net and citizen journalism.

    I reserve the right to speculate the potential indictment of Ex-Gov Sarah Palin for illegal involvement with contractors in the building of the Wasilia Sports Complex, as well as the illegal firing of an Alaska State Trooper who had ties to the Palin family, as well as the possible poaching committed by Sarah Palin’s Father In Law for hunting big game without the appropriate hunting tags, and any other potential illegality or conflict of interest engaged in by Sarah Palin during her 30 month tenure as Governor of Alaska.    

    Further, I reserve my first Amendment right to speculate that Sarah Palin and Thomas Van Flien are lizard people from the planet Trafalmador disgusied as human beings. I have the right to speculate that the Palin children were hatched in an incubator and that Todd Palin is a mutant whose super power is to remind us of Kevin Federline, and I reserve the right to speculate that Thomas Van Flein engaged in sexual acts with a donkey and a snowblower.

Find out how many kids are Homeless in your State

On this 233rd birthday weekend many of America’s youngest aren’t doing so well.  One of the effects of the bursting economic bubbles, like so many firework chrysanthemums across the sky, is that children are increasingly being exposed to the worst this nation has to offer. The job losses, foreclosures, increased costs and decreased wages are putting kids out onto the streets.  In my State of Arizona the number of school aged children now homeless has passed 25,000. That is an 18% increase over the  last year. Not having shelter from the intense summer heat of the desert can be quite deadly, quite quickly.  

According to this March 2009 report on national child homelessness, America’s Youngest Outcasts: State Report Card on Child Homelessness Arizona ranks 36th overall with a risk ranking of 45th.  In numbers, this means “of the 933,000 children living in poverty in Arizona, one out of every twenty-five (4% ) are homeless.”

Flip below to find out about how many kids are homeless in your state and what you can do about it.

“Spiritual But Not Religious” Parenting 101 ?

Apologies for making this a quickie. I have “company coming” this afternoon and I have to superclean  cleara path prepare. :-/

So. My daughter is 12.5, just finished 6th Grade. For a variety of reasons, I’m feeling like… well, it’s time. I’d like to take her to “Church” at least once in a while and so I’ll be doing some Church Shopping. More important, I’ll be talking to her, more than I have thus far, about all things God.

I’d love to hear from any of you who might have, uhm, an opinion, some experience, suggestions, or just stories if you feel like it. It’s Sunday after all.

A few more details below the line.

Sunday music retrospective: The Weavers

The Weavers


Tzena, Tzena, Tzena

Johnny & Jane Marchin Home to……..

Johnny comes marching home – to no job

Out of Iraq’s frying pan, into an economic fire

Why do we still continue to ignore the fact that women serve, Johnny comes marching home and similar, in greater numbers and are a big part of our military operations? They have always been a Big part of the Military Family and an Important part!

Docudharma Times Saturday July 4

Sunday’s Headlines:

A life in ruins

Iraqi Seizes the Chance to Make War Profitable

‘Lost boy’ who fled Sudan tells of his 4,000-mile trek

Gadaffi rocked by talk of affair with African queen

5,000 days in captivity: The world’s most famous political prisoner and a dismal landmark

Afghan-Pakistani Hostility Impedes U.S. Troops

Mafia looking to get a grip on Milan catwalk

Obama to embark on fence-mending trip to Russia

Americas group suspends Honduras

Supreme Court leaned right on many issues this term

But the divided justices began shifting from the Bush administration’s hands-off approach to business, clearing the way for more consumer lawsuits. Sotomayor could change the direction more next term.

By David G. Savage

July 5, 2009

Reporting from Washington — The Supreme Court, now the lone branch of government dominated by Republican appointees, continued this year to lean to the right on matters of race, crime, the environment and campaign funding.

But the just-completed term, which began amid last fall’s collapse on Wall Street, also saw a tilt to the left and away from the George W. Bush administration’s hands-off policy toward business. Reversing the recent trend, the justices this year cleared the way for consumer-driven lawsuits against banks and the makers of drugs and cigarettes.Overall, the court remained closely divided in a year in which neither the conservative nor liberal bloc could claim major wins. Now the justices will be on recess for two months, while the Senate decides whether to approve President Obama’s first nominee to the court.

Leading Clerics Defy Ayatollah on Disputed Iran Election


Published: July 4, 2009

CAIRO – The most important group of religious leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against the country’s supreme leader and the most public sign of a major split in the country’s clerical establishment.A statement by the group, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, represents a significant, if so far symbolic, setback for the government and especially the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose word is supposed to be final. The government has tried to paint the opposition and its top presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, as criminals and traitors, a strategy that now becomes more difficult – if not impossible.


Foot-shooting season opens in Alaska

Stephen Foley reports on Sarah Palin’s announcement that she is quitting as her home state’s governor

Sunday, 5 July 2009

About the only thing political junkies were able to agree on, after Sarah Palin’s bombshell announcement that she is quitting as governor of Alaska, was that anticipation of her memoirs next year just went through the roof.

The fast-emerging view of Republican Party operatives and commentators – including some of those that have championed her national career since before the beginning – was that Palin just shot her political moose, completing one of the most spectacular flameouts in the modern era.

Some of her staunchest supporters argued that her resignation, 18 months before the end of her term, frees her to pursue a 2012 presidential bid, but they appeared to be speaking more out of hope than expectation.

Late Night Karaoke

Some Music

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