“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."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Supporting Honduras

Why I Came to Honduras
By Dennis Prager
"Why have you come to Honduras?"

That is the question posed to me by Hondurans, surprised that anyone from the outside world, let alone from the media, cares enough to now visit their small country (population 8 million), a country that they themselves consider relatively insignificant.

The question is a valid one. The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert (through July 29) warning Americans against coming here. There are very few outsiders here now. The plane from Houston to San Pedro Sula, Honduras' second largest city, was almost empty, and the few passengers were nearly all Hondurans. The hotels are largely empty.

It is all eerily reminiscent of Jerusalem during the height of the Intifada terror. I went there then for the same reason I have come to Honduras now -- to broadcast my show and thereby show solidarity with an unfairly isolated country, and to encourage, by example, people to visit Israel then and Honduras now.

Honduras has joined Israel as a pariah nation. The United Nations has condemned Honduras by a vote of acclamation, and the Organization of American States has suspended it.

The way in which nearly all the world's media portray the legal, Supreme Court-ordered ouster of President Manuel (Mel) Zelaya is one major reason for the universal opprobrium. Because military men took part in the deportation of the sitting president, it has been portrayed as a classic Latin American "military coup," and who can support a military coup?

The lack of context in which this ouster took place has prevented the vast majority of the world's news watchers and readers from understanding what has happened.

I wonder how many people who bother to read the news -- as opposed to only listen to or watch news reports -- know:

-- Zelaya was plotting a long-term, possibly lifetime, takeover of the Honduran government through illegally changing the Honduran Constitution.

-- Zelaya had personally led a mob attack on a military facility to steal phony "referendum" ballots that had been printed by the Venezuelan government.

-- Weeks earlier, in an attempt to intimidate the Honduran attorney general -- as reported by The Wall Street Journal's Mary Anastasia O'Grady, one of the only journalists in the world who regularly reports the whole story about Honduras -- "some 100 agitators, wielding machetes, descended on the attorney general's office. 'We have come to defend this country's second founding,' the group's leader reportedly said. 'If we are denied it, we will resort to national insurrection.'"

-- No member of the military has assumed a position of power as a result of the "military coup."

-- Zelaya's own party, the Liberal Party, supported his removal from office and deportation from Honduras.

-- The Liberal Party still governs Honduras.

The United States is threatening to suspend all aid to one of the three poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere in order to force that country -- against its own laws and with the inevitable violence it would entail -- to allow Zelaya back as president.

Yet, no Honduran I talked to said he or she wanted Honduras to cave in to the American financial threat. "We will tighten our belts," one man struggling to make a living told me. Indeed, what is happening is that Hondurans are coming to realize that American aid -- even purely humanitarian aid -- comes with strings.

In our increasingly morally confused -- i.e., left-wing influenced -- world, even America is having a harder and harder time distinguishing between right and wrong as it comes to value realpolitik and a desire to be loved, from Iran to Venezuela to Honduras, more than it values liberty. To the extent that Americans will be loved, it will be thanks to supporting liberty and thanks to the work of American charities such as Cure International, with its pediatric orthopedic hospital here and in other impoverished places (

Let there be no ambiguity here. Little Honduras was supposed to be the next country to lose its liberties as it joined the anti-American, pro-Iranian Latin American left. But Little Honduras decided to fight back. And this has infuriated Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who will surely attempt to foment violence in Honduras.

Therefore, if you love liberty, you will do whatever you can do help Honduras resist Chavez and his allies, which include the United Nations and Organization of American States.

There are many ways to do that. Buy Honduran goods. Write your representatives in Washington to back the present, law-based Honduran government. And, yes, even visit this friendly beleaguered place. When the world's governments isolate a country, with few exceptions, that's all you need to know about who the good guys are.


  1. The first truck Gene loaned to me, no charge, was an old 52 Ford, when mine broke down. Started that sucker by pushing a plunger on the floor. Get through harvest, he said, fill it up with gas.

    The people were better in those days, no rancor, no jeolousy.

  2. It is not hard to understand the universal American dream. Any fair minded person would immediately recognize the shared values we have with the great American continent.

    A little capital and a belief in the Americas and we would not have to worry about the Chinese dumping the dollar. They would be scrambling for them.

    The potential to re-industrialize the Americas is immense.

  3. The Honduran Supreme court, reacting to the miscreants attempts to aggregate power and usurp the constitution, ordered the military to remove the scoundrel which they did. The whirled reacts as if a coup has taken place and seems to prefer that another Chavez come to power in Latin America.

  4. All these motherfuckers are trying to do is beg off people like us old farmers who have actually WORKED, goddammnit.

    We built the fucking place, for whatever it is worth, and, in my mind, not worth much now.

    We got assholes like Rat questioning every move, from his hole in the wall.

    Huch Finn has always been my hero.

    I nominate WiO or Teresita or Allen, all people I love, to take over for a few days, I'm leaving tomorrow.

    It seems boobie, and Den Mother, from whom this Scout has learned a lot, and al- Doug, and Linear have all crapped out.

  5. I do NOT nominate Ash to take over the Bar.

    The hit meter would sink like the Snake River in September.

  6. I'm here to be entertained.

    Someone bookmark this statement by Rat.

    It's true, and pathetic.

  7. In other news...

    FARC now has SA missiles. Same flavor as the dickwad next door.

  8. (There are happy calls from SouthCom. There are unhappy calls from SouthCom.)

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. And, let's not forget, that old post, old old post of long ago, when our Hero Rat, was turning his 'friend' in for tax shit he claimed to know about, if the IRS would give him, RAT a break, of a few bucks.

    Anybody but me remember that?

    Rat's a craphole.

    Rat's a shithead, for anyone with a memory.

  11. I plead for WiO, or Mat, or Allen, or Doug, or Ruf, or Trish, or
    Teresitas, Sam, or anyone I've forgotten, to take over for awhile, recognizing no one can replace deuce.

    Be back in a few days.

    Anybody but Rat.

    The kiss of death. Imaginatively speaking.

  12. 2164th,

    I have not followed this Honduran situation at all closely what with being off on holiday and all but I remember you posting there constitution or something like it. I was struck by how it required one term for a president with no way for the general population to amend such constitution. That strikes me as a tad...authoritarian. The deck stacked in favor of the military (whom have no term limits). I mean, really, no way for the electorate to amend the constitution? Doesn't sound kosher to me...

  13. did such a constitution come into effect? I guess put there by the military but that is purely a guess with no research done whatsoever.

  14. (I'm just leaping ahead from the semi-official moniker 'nutjob' to 'dickwad,' hoping the Oval Office indeed follows suit.)

    I thought the Bar ran itself.

  15. Well, hell, Ash, go look it up.

    It seems a good outlook, keeping the power switching around.

    And, what would you object to, you of the tennis racket, if that is what they want to do?

    O tennis racket?

    Go Read Natural Born Citizen, and at least begin to get educated, you moron.


  16. There was a time there, you may have experienced it yourself, in another way, when dad and Gene, and fourteen year old me, when they needed a truck driver, when I didn't want to get up in the morning, being young, and the harvest was on," you, drive truck,"
    no getting out of it, those were the good old days, even if I didn't know it then, and bucked at the harness more than I should have.

  17. I remember getting behind the wheel of my grandmother's Cutlass, I think it was (she would graciously grant this thrill to her two suburban grandchildren) at the age of fourteen. Out in the middle of Nowhere, Illinois.

    Almost killed a cow.

  18. And here were these kids, no more than eleven or twelve, who could maneuver an old tractor like a Land Rover.

    Funny. I ended up marrying one of those kids. Just not from Illinois.

  19. Golly, boobie, after your salt of the earth Jewish lawyer advised against your present course of action I was waiting for the explosion.
    Here it is.

    Sure, I offered a twenty year tax cheat to the IRS, figured he be worth about $15,000. Knowing that he was a career petty criminal and part of a larger tax fraud conspiracy, actually.

    Seems he was not even worth a bucket of warm piss, to the IRS. It was another part of the awakening.
    You are getting yours, now.

    They had no interest in pursuing the lawbreakers, only reaching for the low hanging fruit. Farmers, Ranchers and Businessmen.

    As you said, boobie, your town is only kow embracing no smoking ordinances. These are common place around the Nation now, the arguments that you related, never gaining traction.

    The property tax curve is steep, once you have had the government change the underlying value of the land, by changing the zoning. The Government subsidize farmers, not developers. There is a social good derived from the farmers, not so McMansions.

    That was your intent, to increase the land value. The zoning would have increased the value, before the meltdown. Now the $65,000 lots are unsellable, but the tax bill relates to the subdivision's lesser social and cultural value, as opposed to a family farm.

    Bein' behind the curve can be expensive. Should have listened to your old, reliable and trusted Jewish lawyer friend.

    Now your in Ms Palin's position of ongoing legal expense and do not have a story to sell to cover those costs.

    Good luck!

  20. To Trish--

    Heh, when I was a little tyke, I remember going out to the Clydes, I would shoot pidgeons in the barn, the Clydes from the Netherlands, Dutch, who worked for my gtandfather, Lola, the wife, the best historian of them all, always giving speeches about the whites and the reds, to both the whites and the reds, her father a missionary to the Nez Perce, her husband very quiet and a great farmer, some of which took, some of which didn't, I remember it all, like yesterday, and then they got some land of their own, and we kind of parted ways.

    To this day, I am great friends with Bob Clyde her son. And, his kids.

    They have prospered, being great farmers.

    They have worked with the university too. In all ways. One of the sons ran Talent Search, for instance, bringing folks here from all around.

    We have Warner von Braun's daughter here now, he who sent missiles over to London, in our community, believe it or not.

    "Daddy was not a Nazi", she insists, for our local consumption.

    She is part of our community now, with a little reservation taken on the part of some of the Jews, like my lawyer.

    But nobody here really believes her, but we accept her.

    She works at the U of I.

    There were no Giant Palouse Earthworms here then or now, I SWEAR! Maybe one or two, but nobody saw 'em.

    It was like yesterday, a dream, yet I remember it all like right now, it was beautiful, only God Almighty could create such stuff.

  21. Supporting a Legislature and the Courts comes easy to me. Simple as fallin' off a log.

    It is out of step for some of our contributors, to support the Courts and the Legislature when they side against the Executive.

    Hope they can see the ideological light that the Hondos are holding high.

  22. If you lose, you're done, the taxes on the subdivision value will bankrupt you, if you win, you still only have farmland.
    The lots still unsellable in the current economy.

    Never read Sun Tsu, either, aye?

    Even after all Ms T's urgings.

  23. O go away Rat, nobody wants to hear your bullshit anymore.

    Go lie with your wife, and leave us alone.

  24. Not a chance, amigo.

    We're here for the duration.

    If only because it is fun to watch you squirm, like a Giant Palouse Earthworm.

  25. Bob, I think we all knew, or felt, at moments that it was indeed the best of times. Whatever times those were. And we recall the odd, captivating details as though we were still there.

    That's what makes youth enduringly precious. And enables youth to endure its journey. The time when, as Montessori put it ideally, we lay hands on all the strength and beauty of life.

    Von Braun's daughter. No shit? There's a wonderfully engaging biography of him, ca. 1960. I don't think I brought it with me. But I'll look it up,

  26. humph, I wanted to talk to Trish, a good person, and I got a turd instead.

    Goodnight, Trish.

  27. Put yourself into another no-win situation, boobie.

    I feel your pain, really, I do.

  28. "Daddy was not a Nazi", she insists, for our local consumption.

    Reminds me of Manfred Rommel, mayor of Stuttgart when we were there.

    Anyway, he himself had a very warm disposition toward Americans.

  29. Von Braun's daughter. No shit?

    No shit, Highway 95, just before the old turn off to the Clydes.

    The old Snow Place, I think, but I may have to check.

    She was squirmming on one of the local interviews, but, I say, let her have her peace.

    Just two mile or a little more from the old pidgeon shooting barn, I tell the truth.

  30. Go away, Rat, no one wants you.

  31. Godammit, Rat. What IS your problem?

  32. The whole story of Von Braun's eager and somewhat desperate (search for) surrender to the Americans - I think he was down around Bertchesgaden or Garmisch at the time - is worth the read. And his resettlement along with a number of others in Huntsville.

  33. Trish, I think we may have done some real damaage to the old myths, which we did not capture very well, overwhelming them as we did do.

    I think that may be the worst thing that can be laid against us.

    On the other hand, they got the Casino, and modern medicine and no more kiling one another without a Judge. No more of this up from the south, with a necklace of human scalps round the neck.

    You choose, My Lady.

    We will leave Rat out of it.

    Which is better?

    They also have the Pick Up Truck, and, Coors Beer.

  34. Problem?

    No problem at all.
    Just like teasin' boobie the bigot.

    Serves my sense of social justice.

    Funnier than Seinfeld.

    He sung the praises of his lawyer ad nauseum, then abandoned him, and his knowledge of Idaho law, when boobie did not hear what he wanted to from his old friend.

    Abandoned his life long lawyer, the one that had saved his bacon when everyone else thought boobie would fail.

    Why, because the lawyer knew the law and that boobie would/could win.
    Now that very same lawyer knows boobie is tilting at windmills and will not participate. The Jewish lawyer will not falsely bill his old friend. So boobie found a nice Republican lawyer lady that will.

    Better than Dallas ever was.
    Reality, beats fiction by a mile.

  35. He really was an amazing man.

  36. I was going to amend that ,but f==cked up the post, and say, I'm not sure which way is best, but I really don't think that, what I really think is we have to go forward.

    That means, not going back to living in tepees and animal skins.

    I'm against that.

    I'll take Motel Six.

    I think we have to go forward, scary as it is.

  37. Go away, Rat.

    Can't you ever leave us along to just talk, even if we ask?

  38. No, boobie, not if you ask, not even if you cry.

    You went almost a week, I had hope for you, but you have behaved true to form, again.

    The dam burst.

  39. I'd like to talk to Trish--but O God!, there's Rat.


  40. "I'll take Motel Six."

    Over a teepee as the general blueprint?

    You betcha.

    Night, bob.

  41. God Alnighty, Rat, can't you just leave Trish and I ALONE. Maybe we have something to say to one another, maybe not, without you!

  42. Rat, there's no point in being an asshole here.

    We all have our disagreements. Sometimes spitting disagreements.

    But a CONVERSATION is always priceless.

    Don't ruin it.

  43. Hondurans 'have right to revolt'

    "Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has said his supporters have "the right to insurrection" in their bid to see him reinstated.
    Mr Zelaya said Hondurans were within their rights to demonstrate, go on strike, or even rise up against the interim Honduran government."

    That ends that argument as to the intent of Mr. Zelaya.

  44. I just googled: "Honduras", for last 24 hrs.

    In an admittedly quick scan, I didn't see one article that looked objectively at developments. VOA was all about Zelaya's impatience, and Arias, with US on sidelines, urging patience.

    "Honduras Abandoned" blog said the curfew was very lowkey, from his observations during a ride-along. The streets seem quiet for now, unless Zelaya's community organizers can stir up some protest. New government holding firm for time being, it seems.

    Bottom line of my scanning seems to be the MSM is still beating all its drums to paint the overthrow of Zelaya as a coup, with no current objective on-site reporting. I could have overlooked something, though.

  45. According to the law in Honduras it was NO Coup.

    They've got a "Constitution," and he went against it. He was "set down" in accordance with said Constitution.

    Our Commie President doesn't like it, but them's the facts.

  46. A Constitution that does not allow the citizenry to amend it is not a good foundation for rule of law. It is more of a strait jacket. Take the situation in Iran, would you support the Mullahs if they cited (as they probably do) that their rule is underpinned by the constitution which the citizenry cannot amend? In their view I think that they view the Koran as the equivalent of their constitution, as the underpinnings for their monopoly on power. The two principles are similar - rule of law that the citizenry cannot alter. That is bad.