Thursday, August 20, 2009

Honduras - Urgent Plea from Radio Progreso

Urgent Plea from Radio Progreso

The democratic resistance that CNN won't tell you about .....

Urgent Plea from Radio Progreso (my translation)
Sun, 08/16/2009 - 12:30 — AP

Help! Our Voice, Radio Progreso and ERIC SJ

Our Voice in the political crisis:

Radio Progreso and the Team for Reflection, Investigation and Communication ERIC of the Jesuit community in Honduras

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Radio Progreso was placed under siege by an army contingent the very day of the coup d'etat. At gunpoint and without a warrant, the military penetrated our facilities and forced us to silence our equipment.

On August 14th, our radio sent two of its reporters to cover the protest that the resistance front had organized in the city of Choloma, between San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cort├ęs, in the north zone of the Honduran Atlantic. Radio Progreso would cover the events when the protesters were savagely attacked by the police contingent.

At noon, our reporter Gustavo Cardoza transmitted the news about the teargassing, the arrests, the physical attacks that the police were carrying out right and left on the protesters. All of the sudden, Gustavo Cardoza said that a policeman was pointing his weapon at him and immediately reported that other police were coming after him. Our reporter tried to run, and told them that he was a reporter for Radio Progreso. It was then that we heard his cries, and the blows that our reporter was receiving.

The transmission from our reporter was abruptly suspended. The police kicked him, hit him in the back, in the stomach, they threw him in a vehicle and laid him face down, and in the trajectory they kicked him, hit him with rifle butts, and attacked him with the worst possible insults.

Luckily, the Association of Lawyers in Resistance to the Coup and the Association of Judges for Democracy acted with speed and diligence, and although some of them were shoved and insulted, at the end of the day they managed to get the police to free our reporter and some of the other protesters who had been captured and tortured.

Before the world, we give testimony of our defenselessness. We raise our voice, our clamor before the community of international human rights organizations, because here, all those of us who oppose the de facto regime are exposed to barbarities, while the organisms of the state that are responsible for overseeing justice and human rights, instead of protecting us, point their accusing finger so that they can exterminate us. People of the world, don't leave us alone!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Attorney: FBI trained NJ blogger to incite others from newswire.

Back when I was younger, some old 60's activists taught me a very simple rule. Its this. The person in your group who's trying to incite you to commit a crime, especially acts of violence, that's the FBI agent.

Hal Turner worked for the FBI from 2002 to 2007 as an "agent provocateur" and was taught by the agency "what he could say that wouldn't be crossing the line," defense attorney Michael Orozco said.

"His job was basically to publish information which would cause other parties to act in a manner which would lead to their arrest," Orozco said.

Ah, nothing quite like living in the land of the free. Makes one remember why the founders didn't want to have federal police.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

2% solution

Obama on Drugs: 98% Cheney? by Greg Palast via ZNet.

Obama and the Democrats are bragging about how Obama got the insurance companies to cut the amount they plan to raise the cost of drugs by $80 billion. And be careful to note that they aren't cutting the costs by $80 billion. They are just agreeing to raise prices by that much less.

Greg Palast did the math, and compared to the current amount the US spends on prescription drugs ($3.6 trillion), that promise is worth 2%. Drug prices were expected to double in the next ten years. Now that 100% increase will only be a 98% increase. For that, the Democrats sold off single-payer and any other progressive ideas for health care.

What did that cost us? The New England Journal of Medicine notes that 13 European nations successfully regulate the price of drugs, reducing the average cost of name-brand prescription medicines by 35% to 55%. Obama gave that up for his 2%.

The Veterans Administration is able to push down the price it pays for patent medicine by 40% through bargaining power. George Bush stopped Medicare from bargaining for similar discounts, an insane ban that Obama said he'd overturn. But, once within Tauzin's hypnotic gaze, Obama agreed to lock in Bush's crazy and costly no-bargaining ban for the next decade.

What else went down in Obama's drug deal? To find out, I called C-SPAN to get a copy of the videotape of the meeting with the drug companies. I was surprised to find they didn't have such a tape despite the President's campaign promise, right there on CNN in January 2008, "These negotiations will be on C-SPAN."

This puzzled me. When Dick Cheney was caught having secret meetings with oil companies to discuss Bush's Energy Bill, we denounced the hugger-muggers as a case of foxes in the henhouse.

Cheney's secret meetings with lobbyists and industry bigshots were creepy and nasty and evil.

But the Obama crew's secret meetings with lobbyists and industry bigshots were, the President assures us, in the public interest.

We know Cheney's secret confabs were shady and corrupt because Cheney scowled out the side of his mouth.

Obama grins in your face.

See the difference?

The difference is 2%.

How is getting screwed by the Democrats and big corporations any different from getting screwed by the Republicans and big corporations? We keep hearing that the Democrats are a 'lessor-evil'. Now we know exactly how much lessor --- 2%.

Reminds me of the earlier Palast quote I keep up on the left side bar
"It doesn't make it any less of a crime if the President drives the getaway car."