“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Honduran army sends their President to Costa Rica in his pajamas.

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in San Jose, Costa Rica, 28 Jun 2009

Honduran President Ousted by Military
By Laurel Bowman
Washington VOA
28 June 2009

Honduran military forces have ousted President Manuel Zelaya and exiled him to Costa Rica hours before a controversial constitutional referendum vote was set to begin. Organization of American States met in emergency session while the Obama administration expressed concern over events in the Central American nation.

President Zelaya says Honduran troops forcibly removed him from his home in the dead of night and sent him to Costa Rica in his pajamas.

The expulsion came on the day Mr. Zelaya had chosen for a referendum on whether to change the constitution to allow him to run for a second term in office. The president pressed ahead with the vote in defiance of Honduras' Supreme Court, which had declared the measure illegal.

In a news conference at the airport in San Jose, Costa Rica, Mr. Zelaya said he is the victim of a coup d'etat.

The Honduran leader said he has been kidnapped with violence and brutality, which he termed an affront to the entire world that brings back memories of past dictatorships in the Americas. Appearing alongside Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, Mr. Zelaya said he wants to return to Honduras as president and that he is counting on the support of all democratic governments, including that of the United States.

In Washington, President Obama issued a statement saying he is "deeply concerned" by events in Honduras. He urged all political and social actors in the country to respect democratic norms, the rule of law, and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Hondurans to respect their country's constitutional order.

Blocks away from the White House, the Organization of American States met in an emergency session. Honduras' ambassador to the body [Carlos Sosa Coello] demanded what he termed an 'emphatic condemnation" of the coup.

OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza echoed the call:

Inzulza said what has occurred is a military coup that must be condemned with energy. He said the OAS must issue a clear demand for a return to constitutional order and insist that human rights be respected.

President Zelaya is a political ally of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, who pledged to do everything possible to reverse the coup.

Honduras is to hold presidential elections in November. The country's 1982 constitution bans Mr. Zelaya's re-election.


  1. times have changed...

    Just a short while ago, the guy would have been stood against the wall.

    State will be concerned, to be sure. After all, all he did was attempt to violate the constitution and ignore the supreme court.

  2. [Sanford] considered resigning, won’t

    Hmm…The good people of South Carolina could take a lesson from the Hondurans. If they are generous, Sanford could find himself on a plane to Argentina. Now, that would be soooo Kewl!

  3. Obama “deeply concerned”

    “President Barack Obama said he was "deeply concerned" by Zelaya's expulsion and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the arrest should be condemned.”

    Wow! That didn’t take long. The Castros and Chavez are also deeply concerned.

  4. Wow! That didn’t take long. The Castros and Chavez are also deeply concerned.

    I suspect there are blue loose leaf binders on office shelves at the DOS, with each country's name on the spine. Diplo SOPs, if you will. Pick a crisis, insert dates and names, sign. Reshelve.

    Occasionally updated to fit successive narratives, or not, by an experienced cadre of Ivy League minions.

    Between teas and receptions.

  5. ...forcibly removed him from his home in the dead of night and sent him to Costa Rica in his pajamas.


    The Honduran leader said he has been kidnapped with violence and brutality, which he termed an affront to the entire world that brings back memories

    Shades of Abu Grab .

    Oh, the humanity!

  6. House Republican Leader John Boehner Delivers Weekly Republican Address.

    Say what you will, it sounds a hell of a lot better than what we're getting.

    Have at it, ye of little faith...

  7. TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (CNN) -- Hours after the sitting president was deposed by a military-led coup, a new president of Honduras was sworn in Sunday.

    The political developments that swept Honduras over the past weeks and led up to Sunday's coup had the makings of a crisis, but the situation in the Central American nation of 8 million people was calm.

    Roberto Micheletti was sworn in as provisional president to the applause of members of Congress, who chanted, "Honduras! Honduras!" Outside the building, supporters of ousted President Jose Manuel Zelaya protested, but their numbers were limited, and the streets remained mostly peaceful. Micheletti told CNN en EspaƱol Sunday evening that he has imposed an "indefinite" curfew.

    Micheletti, the head of Congress, became president after lawmakers voted by a show of hands to strip Zelaya of his powers, with a resolution stating that Zelaya "provoked confrontations and divisions," within the country. A letter of resignation purported to be from Zelaya was read to members before the vote

  8. Scenes that we've all seen before

    The Elusive Green Economy.

    The Atlantic cover story went on to examine emerging technologies, like solar energy, that lay at the heart of Lovins’s vision. While refraining from outright prediction, the author’s hopes were clear. In 1977, the country appeared poised on the brink of a new age, with recent events having organized themselves in such a way as to make a clean-energy future seem tantalizingly close at hand. A charismatic Democrat had come from nowhere to win the White House. Reacting to an oil shock and determined to rid the country of Middle East entanglements, he was touting the merits of renewable energy and, for the first time, putting real money into it— $368 million.

    But things peaked soon afterward, when Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the roof of the White House. “A generation from now,” Carter declared, “this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken—or it can be a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people; harnessing the power of the sun to enrich our lives as we move away from our crippling dependence on foreign oil.”

    Now we have our answer: museum piece. In one of the great acts of humiliating political symbolism, Ronald Reagan tore down the solar panels, which spent many years in purgatory before eventually finding their way to the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta, where they sit on display in silent reproach to all who drive Hummers and own high-wattage plasma television sets

  9. By David Ignatius.

    An influential hawk on the issue is Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff and a former member of the House Democratic leadership. Emanuel has special credibility as a strong defender of Israel's security. His father was born in Jerusalem and was a member of the militant underground organization known as the Irgun.

    Emanuel's view is that settlements are not a security issue for Israel but a domestic political problem. According to a senior White House official, Emanuel has argued that if the Israelis insist on expanding settlements, "You're doing it on your own dime. We don't want our credibility to be compromised as you work out your domestic politics. We're not going to pay for that one."

    What has surprised the Israelis, says the White House official, is that "for umpteen years, they've been trained to hear one thing from America on settlements, but see us do another. It takes some adjustment."

    The White House believes that if it comes to a showdown, Netanyahu will compromise. His coalition government, the administration reasons, is too weak to sustain an open break with its key ally, the United States. If Netanyahu defies the U.S., his coalition will splinter. The administration is already talking with Ehud Barak, the Labor Party leader and defense minister, who might form a new government if Netanyahu falls

  10. Reuters - Joanne Allen - ‎42 minutes ago‎
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Sunday called a House-passed climate change bill "an extraordinary first step," but spoke out against a provision that would impose trade penalties on countries that fail to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

  11. .

    CARACAS, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday slammed attacks on the Venezuelan, Cuban and Nicaraguan ambassadors in Honduras capital of Tegucigalpa, alongside a coup in the nation.

    "If our ambassador or embassy were attacked, that would be de facto beginning a war," Chavez told a special edition of his Sunday broadcast Alo Presidente. "Venezuela's National Armed Forces have been put on alert," he declared.

    Chavez's statement came just after Armando Laguna, Venezuela's ambassador to Honduras, told Venezuelan television channel Telesur that he was beaten by hooded Honduran soldiers, with counterparts Juan Carlos Hernandez, of Cuba, and Mario Duarte, of Nicaragua.

    In the early hours of Sunday morning and just before the country's national referendum, Honduran soldiers seized President Manuel Zelaya at his home in Honduras capital and forced him to board a plane to Costa Rica.

    During his broadcast, Chavez slammed the Honduras coup, saying Venezuela would not recognize any government that was not led by Zelaya.

    He added that regional blocs like the Boliviarian Alternative for the Americas, the South American Union of Nations, and the Caribbean Economic Community were working in solidarity with Honduras.

    "They are willing to do everything," he said.

    During the broadcast, Chavez was accompanied by Honduras' ambassador to Venezuela and ambassadors from Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba. Venezuela's vice president Ramon Carrizalez and members of Venezuela's military chiefs of staff also appeared in the show.

    Editor: Zhang Xiang

  12. TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- After more than two weeks of silence amid Iran's violent election fallout, former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani -- a key Iranian cleric -- emerged Sunday to call out "suspicious sources" who are creating a rift between the public and the Islamic government.

    He called the aftermath of the June 12 presidential election "a tangled mess, perpetrated by suspicious sources whose objectives are to create differences and separations between the people and the system and eroding the trust of the people in the Islamic system," the Iranian Labor News Agency reported Sunday.

    Rafsanjani was speaking to a gathering of family members related to the victims of a June 28, 1981, explosion, in which 70 people were killed at a bombing at the Islamic Republic party headquarters. The explosion -- known as "Hafte Tir," referring to the date on the Iranian calendar -- killed several prominent Islamic revolutionaries, including Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti.

    Rafsanjani is chairman of Iran's Assembly of Experts, which is responsible for appointing or removing the supreme leader. But despite the chaos that's plagued the Islamic republic for the past two weeks -- even resulting in the brief detention of his daughter -- he remained silent and largely unseen until Sunday's commemoration.

  13. They should have just shot him and shipped his body to Hugo Chaves with a note "you are next"

  14. I vote for the Rufus Rules...

    Dear Israel and all other Democracies being deserted by the current admin...

    When the dictator du jour starts perverting the democratic institutions through voter fraud and illegal "bullshit"

    No more bitching, just start shooting the leaders and enforcers of radical left as they try to take over nations...

    1st there will be a string of Leftist Central American Leaders quietly removed from sight.. Then it will spread... the more emboldened the Left gets, the faster the death squads will respond...

    Thanks to Obama, the Castros, Chaves, Abbases, Ortegos & Assads think their BOY is in office and now they can take us literally back to the USSR....

    I seem to remember there were those that fought back against them....

  15. Do you suppose Bob's sick?

  16. Maybe he got hit in the head by falling luggage like Billie Mays.

  17. "His former wife, Dolores "Dee Dee" Mays, of McKees Rocks, Pa., recalled that the first product he sold was the Wash-matik, a device for pumping water from a bucket to wash cars.

    "I knew him since he was 15, and I always knew he had it in him," she said of Mays' success. "He'll live on forever because he always had the biggest heart in the world. He loved his friends and family and would do anything for them. He was a generous soul and a great father."

    Besides his wife, Mays is survived by a 3-year-old daughter and a stepson in his 20s, police said.
    How 'bout a show of hands from the bar of members whose ex-wives speak well of them?

    Fred Thompson had a gaggle of ex's testifyin.
    Does Rufus have that same Southern Charm with the ladies?

  18. I'd take Craig over that South Carolina Scumbag.

  19. Proverbs 26:11—

    ”As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”

  20. Aer you kiddin?

    Why do you think I post anonymously?

  21. You know, to be serious for a moment: He was doing it by "Constitutional" means.

    They were "Voting" on an Amendment. He was doing it "Legal."

    This was a Coup.

  22. We all know Rufus is your real name Rufus.
    That ain't annonymous.

  23. The Army was enforcing a writ of their Supremes.

    That's the story, they're stickin' to it

  24. They have a Constitution that can't be amended?

  25. Anybody that Hugo Likes, I don't like.

    Anybody that likes Hugo, I don't like.

    Therefore I don't like Oblahblah.

  26. Honduras:

    Honduras's 2009 economic freedom score is 58.7, making its economy the 91st freest in the 2009 Index. Its overall score is 0.2 point lower than last year, partially reflecting lower labor freedom. Honduras is ranked 20th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is slightly lower than the world average.

    Honduras receives high scores for trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government size, and financial freedom. Personal and corporate income tax rates are fairly low, and the overall tax burden is moderate. Financial freedom is enhanced by the developing banking sector, which has been instituting stronger rules and more transparent oversight.

    Poverty and inequality persist, and efforts to restructure the public sector need to be revitalized. Honduras's overall economic freedom suffers most from the lack of institutional capacity to protect property rights and a lack of will to tackle corruption in many aspects of economic activity. Public administration is inefficient and widely perceived as corrupt. The rule of law is undermined by weak basic security.


    Quick Facts:


    * 7.0 million

    GDP (PPP):

    * $24.7 billion
    * 6.3% growth
    * 5.4% 5-year compound annual growth
    * $3543 per capita


    * 27.8%

    Inflation (CPI):

    * 6.9%

    FDI Inflow:

    * $385.0 million

  27. Gone to Penang, Malaysia for a couple weeks.

    Talk you you guys in a bit.

  28. Time to fly north for the winter.

  29. N. Korea criticizes U.S. missile defense for Hawaii

    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea criticized the U.S. on Monday for positioning missile defense systems around Hawai'i, calling the deployment part of a plot to attack the regime and saying it would bolster its nuclear arsenal in retaliation.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he ordered the deployment of a ground-based, mobile missile intercept system and radar system to Hawai'i amid concerns the North may fire a long-range missile toward the islands, about 4,500 miles away.

    "Through the U.S. forces' clamorous movements, it has been brought to light that the U.S. attempt to launch a pre-emptive strike on our republic has become a brutal fact," the North's main Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary.

    The paper also accused the U.S. of deploying nuclear-powered aircraft and atomic-armed submarines in waters near the Korean peninsula, saying the moves prove "the U.S. pre-emptive nuclear war" on the North is imminent.

  30. Sam's gone to Penang for some Poontang.

  31. Frank Lombard is on Facebook.

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  32. The US Constitution cannot be amended simply by calling for a "popular vote".

  33. While admittedly out of the loop, it seems that an attempt was made to circumvent the constitution in order to later circumvent the constitution.

    That our president would, with alacrity, side with Marxists in denouncing the thwarting of the attempt, while remaining uncommitted for so long to the aspirations of Iran's putative "democrats", is telling, I think.

  34. Our neighbors to the south have ever been in thrall to oligarchs - feudal or Marxist. Unless reformation institutionalizes and defends unindentured private property rights, this will not change.

  35. Thus the Glory that is Colombia, according to Trish, and all accounts Allende.