Friday, October 30, 2009

Democracy Now! Reports on Honduras Deal


Here's the link (embedding doesn't yet seem to be working for this one).


Possible Agreement for Zelaya to Return to Presidency in Honduras

There are reports that an agreement has been reached, following pressure from US envoys, between Zelaya and the koupists in Honduras for him to return to the presidency. It appears this has to be approved by the coup-philic congress and court and some of the details remain unclear, but it looks promising. The deal also seems to include the establishment of a truth commission to investigate the actions of the past few months.

(Here's a recent video to remind us of what the oligarchs have been up to:)

More at The Real News

This is, of course, no reason for the growing movement for a new constitution to cease. On the contrary, people are more organized and mobilized than ever to fight for justice.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

HONDURAS UPDATE 10-18-09: THANK YOU, Al Jazeera!

It's been a frustrating week - talks on, talks off, old and new deadlines (here's another worthwhile interview with Zelaya, this one by PBS), more smug stalling by the thugs,... Meanwhile, for the people of Honduras, the terror continues.

One light has been this report by Al Jazeera. Please, please watch both parts.

I come down on the side of this piece: "La amnistía a los golpistas, un punto que debemos rechazar categóricamente."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Somewhere in my pantry

or my mother's cellar lies this...

tape. :/ From many years ago, when it was being sold to raise funds.

Admirable, and catchy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I thought this was what we WANTED!

I just posted this over at Pharyngula's neverending thread, but I'm so bewildered by Dawkins' attitude and that of some of his commenters that I feel compelled to post it here as well (leaving aside, for the moment, the misogynistic-language issue):
Richard Dawkins:
If any teachers are reading this, who are in the habit of giving credit for attendance at visitor talks, I am asking you to please NOT give credit for attending any talk of mine. I have a number of venues to come on my current US tour. I shall make a point of asking, at the beginning of each talk, whether any students are there because they have been told to be there, or because they have been offered extra credit for attending. If the answer is yes, I shall ask them publicly to leave. I cannot compel them to leave but if, as has happened at most of my talks on this tour, there is an overflow crowd outside, I shall draw it to their attention and invite them, as a matter of personal conscience, to give up their seats.
This is incredibly stupid, quite frankly. Teachers, as Dawkins should know, give assignments for credit to encourage students to expand their horizons - to be challenged by ideas that go against what they've long accepted unquestioningly. This is at the heart of a university education. It can be a painful, emotional process, and people understandably are often hostile to new ideas, but few aspects of education could be more important. And he wants to impede these efforts? At any talk, there are going to be a number of people there who are obliged to be by a professor, friend, spouse, whatever. For every one who enters and leaves unchanged or more hostile, I would speculate that there's at least one who comes away thinking about things in a new way (especially when we're talking about a speaker of Dawkins' caliber). I can't tell you how many stories I've heard of people who later became activists having transformative moments when they were dragged to a public talk by a friend or spouse. Why on earth would anyone want to stop this? I would love to attend a talk by Dawkins, but I would be happy to relinquish my seat to someone who doesn't want to be there, especially a young person.

As for asking the students at the beginning of the talk to leave, this sounds insane to me. How the hell is it a "matter of conscience" to deny oneself a learning opportunity? And thinking back to my university years, when I was even more shy than I am now, I would have been utterly and enduringly traumatized by being singled out in front of thousands of people and asked to leave in a situation in which I was trying to do what my teacher had asked and had fairly obtained my seat. I would also have thought that atheists were assholes. The whole idea of it is horrifying, and I hope Dawkins changes his mind about this plan.
We want people who don't know about us to be exposed to our ideas. I'm astounded by Dawkins' stance here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Interlude - Beauty

One more try:

Friday, October 9, 2009

HONDURAS UPDATE 10-9-09: Continuing repression, an opinion poll, a cacerolazo, paramilitaries, anti-Semitism and the media

It’s been another week in which reports from Honduras have focused on a handful of politicians within and without and largely ignored what’s happening on the ground. I did find this video from Al Jazeera a few days ago:

Also, Al Giordano recently reported on a survey of the Honduran populace: "Poll: Wide Majority of Hondurans Oppose Coup d’Etat, Want Zelaya Back."

Honduras en lucha! has posted a call for a cacerolazo across Latin America, this Monday, the 12th, at 7 PM Honduras time.

Today, as talks continue between representatives of the elected president of the country and the violators of international law, there are more infuriating if not entirely surprising reports. The koup regime, faced with domestic and international pressure, was forced to cut short what was initially set to be a 45-day suspension of constitutional guarantees. Of course, they had already raided and confiscated the equipment of media outlets, which hasn’t been returned, and arrested people in the resistance movement, who haven’t been released, and continued to repress protests and commit human rights violations...

Now, there are reports from the UN that landusurpers have brought in Colombian paramilitaries and that the regime has hired an international gang. Another violation, and another clear indication of what this coup was about. It should be abundantly clear that these people care about nothing but maintaining their illegitimate grip on power. They should realize that it’s over. They may have derailed democracy temporarily, but they can’t stop the movements for democratic participation and social justice in the country.

I feel the need to comment, belatedly, on the matter of David Romero at Radio Globo and his revolting remarks. I have only a few things to say. First, few seem to be noting one of the most bizarre aspects of this story:

Romero later apologized for the remarks in an interview with The Associated Press, saying that they were "stupid" statements made in the heat of the moment and that don't reflect his real views. He said his grandfather was a Jewish immigrant from Czechoslovakia who came to Honduras to escape persecution in Europe.
Does this jackass not realize that he would have been considered a “mixed-breed” under the Nuremberg laws? If that genocidal vision had been fulfilled, his family would have been killed and he would likely never have been born. Some people are too stupid to be on the radio. He has apologized; as I understand it, though, he hasn't been dismissed and no action will be taken against him by the station, which, as noted above, is still off the air. That bothers me immensely. When they start broadcasting again, I’ll remove their link from the side of the page.

Annoyingly, attempts have been made by some to portray Zelaya as an unbalanced anti-Semite, apparently twisting his words about reports of Israeli mercenaries having been brought to the country. I was going to write about this a few days ago, but the reports coming out today (on top of the evidence concerning the use of LRAD and other techniques at the Brazilian embassy) - in addition to the shameless, relentless mendacity of this regime - should give pause to anyone who would reject out of hand reports of Israeli mercenaries. Nor is the simple suggestion of the involvement of Israeli mercenaries or "security" implements anti-Semitic. Is the contention that there are no such people? Tell it to black South Africans who lived under Apartheid. Anti-Semites will, of course, try to use this for their purposes. This is encouraged by sensationalistic and inaccurate reporting and needs to be smacked down, especially in times of turmoil in which scapegoating is an even greater danger.