This blog describes some ideas that seem to be different from the current train of political thought. I will try to bring up somewhat unique and innovative ideas regarding political systems and policies in the US. I hope those who comment also bring in such ideas.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Been moving, Bookseller of Kabul

I've been moving, so I haven't had internet access or the time to blog. Still, I took time to read "The Bookseller of Kabul" by Åsne Seierstad. It is fascinating to look at the recent history of Afghanistan, how people survive, and how families interrelate.

The "bookseller" was a rather notable man in Kabul, Shah Muhammad Rais. He has contested her version of events. It is interesting to look at both sides, especially as elections and conflicts rage on in Afghanistan.

La Gringa is really tweaking the Chavistas

While doing a google search on Honduras today, I came across a Chavista publication that was trying to knock La Gringa. Well, I think that means she has been quite successful in reporting on the constitutional crisis. Way to go!

It is rather funny, they seemed to try to ignore the fact that she has been blogging from Honduras for years. In fact, she has been covering Honduras is much more detail and much longer than they have. Very funny.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Key to a free Honduras: Chavez

When Chavez speaks, it is usually "diarrhea of the ego." He makes stupid remarks. Further, there is a large negative reaction to his words in the United States. Thus, one of the keys to a free Honduras is a babbling Hugo Chavez.

In light of this, I think it is prudent to bait Chavez. It would be wise for Michaletti to bait Chavez into reactions. Perhaps Honduras can call on the OAS to boot out Venezuela, Ecuador, and Cuba for repressing free speech. A mad Hugo Chavez speaking his mind is sure to influence US public opinion in a pro-Honduras way.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mugabe, Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Zelaya

It seems to me that it is fair to link Zelaya with Chavez. What seems to be less reported is that they both supported Ahmadinejad, and the brutal repressions in his re-elections. (I still have a green ribbon on my car, by the way, even though I am not actively blogging on Iran.) I think it is also appropriate to link all of them with Mugabe in Zimbabwe. The people of Zimbabwe have suffered for years due to his cruel repressions. I am very happy to see them finally be able to have some small slice of order. One recommended blog is This is Zimbabwe. It has an interesting post on the struggles of Morgan Tsvangarai. It is a model that Honduras has thankfully avoided, but Venezuela seems to be swiftly becoming the Zimbabwe of South America.

Monday, August 17, 2009

News Updates

From UPI:

Support for Manuel Jose Zelaya is fading fast at the Obama White House because of the ousted Honduran president's track record as a mercurial character

From QandO there are two stories.

Quietly, Honduras has won

things have quietly changed to the advantage of Honduras. While Chavez could run his mouth and the OAS could make threats, the 800 pound gorilla which could really make it miserable for Honduras was the US, and it has quietly backed off its former stance

Chavez Calls Obama a Space Cadet

Saying you can’t ask for help on the one hand and then demand the US get out of Latin America on the other apparently makes you a space cadet lost in “the Andromeda Nebula”.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Various News about Honduras

Honduras is still holding strong. Not much has changed on the political front, but there is still strong support for the constitutional government of Michaletti. David A. Ridenour, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, wrote an editorial that among other things, pointed out the 15-0 vote in the Supreme Court.

Despite what you may have heard, there was no coup in Honduras. Manuel Zelaya was legally removed from office for violating the constitution in an effort to extend his power.

Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, wrote an article entitled Banana Republics.
However, his refusal to respect the decision of the Supreme Court set the stage for potentially violent conflict. And while the military packing him off to Costa Rica in his pajamas looks bad, bad procedure alone does not entitle him to return to office if he violated the Honduran constitution.
It seems the government of Taiwan is supporting the constitutional government of Honduras. Mark them down along with many US citizens and elected officials, various Nicaraguan officials, Columbia, citizens of Venezuela, and Canada as offering support. Various people have said that "world leaders are unanimous in opposing the coup." Yet, it is clear that many do support the constitutional government of Honduras, and oppose Zelaya.
God's Law or Man's Law: The Fundamentalist Challenge to Secular Rule." She recently wrote an opinion piece entitled "Democracy: One size does not fill all situations."
Once more, there is world clamor condemning the military for this coup, and the international press has done very badly in explaining the complications of this case. The military’s actions were more legal than the president’s.
It seems the word is finally getting out on how violent and destructive the supporters of Zelaya are. Al Jazeera has an article on how they attacked Ramon Velazquez, combined with a picture of them destroying a news stand.

There is further news on supporters of Zelaya attacking free speech, this time a Molotov Cocktail. Chavez and Co seem to favor physical and legal attacks on the free flow of information. It seems to be yet another attempt by the left to silence voices they disagree with through intimidation and illegal acts.
The bombs started a fire in the main entrance of El Heraldo, which like most of the national dailies has backed the de-facto government installed after President Manuel Zelaya was deposed in a coup in late June.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Great Depression and Bill W

I have recently finished reading two books which are directly related to the Great Depression. The first is The Forgotten Man by Amity Shales. It is a very insightful book which answers one of the big questions about the Great Depression: why did it last so long?

In the book, Shales goes into some of the fundamental economic laws that both the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations attempted to violate. By implementing measures such as price-fixing, increased taxation, and higher tariffs, the depression was altered from a standard 3-4 year letdown to something in which the dow didn't recover until after WWII ended.

The second book I finished also comes out of the great depression, and was mentioned in “The Forgotten Man.” It is Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as "The Big Book,” written by Bill W. The movement has been one of the greatest positive aspects arising out of the Great Depression, expanding to help not only alcoholics, but also their families, friends, and other suffers of compulsive behaviors. As Shales points out in her book, along with Dale Carnegie, self-help literature was among the best-sellers during the depression. I don't think any type of state planning or socialistic methodology could have come up with such an effective solution to such a real problem.

Currently, the world faces some similar problems - economic depression and addiction. I am hopeful we can learn from the past.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Beer Diplomacy in Latin America

The New York Times reports on a letter the state department wrote Senator Richard Lugar. World 4 Honduras has a link to the actual letter. In it, the administration waffles on Honduras, which is certainly better then their initial reaction.

We also recognize that President Zelaya's insistence on undertaking provocative actions contributed to the polarization of Honduran society and led to a confrontation that unleashed the events that led to his removal ... Our policy and strategy for engagements not based on supporting any particular politician or individual.
Though this is a small step down, I think it is a big hit to the credibility of Zelaya to have this letter be printed. I think part of the administrations softening is due to the public outcry. They don't want to be caught up in what they and the general public see as a muddled situation. It is beer diplomacy in Latin America - an initial reaction turned out wrong, so the administration waffles and tries to work out a deal.

La Gringa comes through with an update on what is happening inside Honduras. She also has the above picture of the supposedly "peaceful" protesters brandishing clubs. Looks violent to me. She points out:

How is it that protesters are being shown on television every day (and rerun day after day) if they are truly being denied their civil right to protest?
It is certainly sad that two people have died in the violence, and I do think there is reason to attribute it to the police and military. But, there have been daily protests over a month, and as many people died at a soccer match. Given the murder rate in Honduras, this seems to be pretty small.

Finally, I have yet to read any OAS condemnation of Venezuela or Ecuador. It is blatant hypocrisy that the OAS is not warning them of violating the terms of the charter after their opposition to the removal of Zelaya.

the Founders.

I recently finished Inventing a Nation by Gore Vidal. It is a discussion of the early days of the United States. To a certain extent it focuses on Hamilton, Jefferson, and Adams, and the Adams presidency in particular. It seems like he wrote it in the waning years of the second Bush administration, as he decrys how the country has been ruined. At the end Vidal tells a story of how he was a family friend to the Kennedy's, and one evening they discussed why the political discourse is at such a lower level now. Vidal states that he still doesn't understand why the change happened, but he wrote this book to hopefully address it.

Now, fast forward a few years, and Obama is doing some of the same things that Vidal was complaining about Bush doing. Indeed, Vidal has fallen into a classic trap of thinking that the addition or removal of one person in the presidency will change everything. Further, by writing a deliberately partisan book, he has reinforced poor political discourse. Thus, it seems if Vidal wants the world to change, he needs to look in the mirror. It seems he doesn't realize where the problem is located because he is part of the problem.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Chavez shutting down the media in Venezuela

Not only is Chavez taking radio stations off the air, his supporters terrorized Globovision. The article mentions that Ecuador is following suit. However, the administration does not seem to be doing anything about it. It seems to me that there is a total double-standard at play. If you are going to leave Venezuela and Ecuador alone, why not leave Honduras alone?

World 4 Honduras has a picture of Rafael Alegria distributing money to Zelaya supporters.

Birth Certificates and Batman

If a person has a birth certificate from Hawaii, that is good enough evidence to be a citizen. Of course, I think it only fair that all citizens are able to run for president - natural born or not. I support the efforts of both major political parties to amend the constitution in such a manner that anyone who is a citizen can be elected president.

Secondly, I am certainly not calling for government restriction of political speach, but the batman posters seem to be a low blow that will backfire. Creative idea, but not a constructive one, and one that will certainly result in more from both sides.