lunes, mayo 29, 2006

Gael Keeps Busy

But due to his choice of movies and roles, I do not think the bulk of the US public will be embracing him any time soon.

This is a review about his latest film, "The King":

Posted on Mon, May. 29, 2006

Gael Garcia Bernal constantly breaks barriers

By Rebecca Louie
New York Daily News

Crossing boundaries and breaking taboos has become a benchmark of Gael Garcia Bernal's career, beginning with his first major role, the owner of a fight dog whose recklessness affects several lives in the gritty, Academy Award-nominated 2000 film "Amores Perros."

The young Mexican actor followed with a succession of roles that had an emotional heft that seemed to run counter to his youthfulness: A road tripping teen in 2001's "Y Tu Mama Tambien" (the most successful Spanish-language film in history), a lascivious priest in 2002's "The Crimes of Father Amaro," and, in 2004, a pair of polar opposites that showed his range - a vengeful transvestite in Pedro Almodovar's "Bad Education" and the young Che Guevara in director Walter Salles' portrait of the revolutionary as a young man, "The Motorcycle Diaries."

So it's no mystery what drew Bernal, 27, to his latest film, the indie drama "The King." The actor - who in person projects the same intensity as his characters - guides viewers through an American Western gothic tale that includes murder, incest, prostitution and arson, though Bernal says one of his new movie's more controversial, and current, themes is never addressed directly.

"This movie (actually) starts with the whole immigration issue," says Bernal, who plays a drifter named Elvis, the son of a Mexican mother and a Caucasian American father. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Elvis seeks out the father he never knew, who's now a Baptist preacher in a Texas church. But even after his dad, David (William Hurt), rejects him on sight, Elvis tries to infiltrate the family, and soon falls in love with 16-year-old Malerie (Pell James). Though Elvis is born in the United States and even spends years defending it, Bernal sees a character still spurned from American society because of his ethnic background.

"In the film, Elvis returns to the United States after having served (in the military), and feels that he has nothing left to prove," says Bernal, who was born in Guadalajara and now lives in Mexico City. "He has done everything he can to be accepted, yet he is soon rejected again."

Moved by the recent protests about immigrant legislation in the United States, Bernal adds, "I find it completely ignorant to say that (all) immigrants are criminals. It is so hateful to hear, but these are the times we live in."

Coming of age during Mexico's Zapatista movement, Bernal, the son of underground theater actors, was raised in revolution. Back then, he took to the streets, peacefully demonstrating and writing about the plight of the Chiapas people, and helping affect change is still part of him: This month, he participated in May Day labor demonstrations in Mexico; in December, he attended the World Trade Organization summit in Hong Kong to discuss the plight of Mexican corn farmers, and last year, joined mass protests in Edinburgh during the G8 summit.

Bernal says he is motivated by more than the gratification of celebrity stumping.

"I see it as my social duty," he says, eyes sharpening behind his thick, black-framed glasses. "I am a person of the world - that is something I should do regardless if I am an actor or not. You have to be able to lead the life you are asking for; you have to show with example."

The life Bernal asks for is a modest one, especially compared with the fabulous life of some of Hollywood's marquee names. "I make Mexican films, I make independent films - I don't have a star's life at all."

Later this year, he'll star as a man held captive by his dreams in "The Science of Sleep," from hip director Michel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"). Then he'll reteam with "Amores Perros" director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for "Babel," co-starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

domingo, mayo 28, 2006

Sanctimonious Hypocrisy

Pope Palpatine has gone crazy.

He dared asking God Almighty why in his own opinion did He remained silent about the Holocaust.

Maybe Ratzinger should ask himself why did he voluntereed to join those carrying out the Holocaust. I forgot, God did not mention anything about all the killings to him, that is why he so merrily joined the Nazi Youth back then.

What about the fellas that held his position as Popes during WWII?

One of them got Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini to support Francisco Franco in his murderous revolt in Spain because the Spanish Republic vowed to lower the Vatican's influence in the country's political and cultural life.

And maybe that is why he joined the Holly Inquisition when the Great War came to an end, after all, God also kept quiet about the hienous crimes commited through the centuries by that institution.

But I have a couple of questions for Herr Benedict XVI.

Why did God keep quiet during the worst genocide ever in history, the one carried out by several European nations against the indigenous people of America?

Why is God keeping quiet about the genocidal war of expansion by Israel into Palestine?

Anyway, just in case you want to read more about this blaming the Almighty for the Holocaust tripe, here you have the news item that appeared at Yahoo News:

Pope: How could God 'tolerate' Holocaust?

By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer

30 minutes ago

Pope Benedict XVI visited the Auschwitz concentration camp as "a son of the German people" Sunday and asked God why he remained silent during the "unprecedented mass crimes" of the Holocaust.

Benedict walked along the row of plaques at the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex's memorial, one in the language of each nationality whose members died there. As he stopped to pray, a light rain stopped and a brilliant rainbow appeared over the camp.

"To speak in this place of horror, in this place where unprecedented mass crimes were committed against God and man, is almost impossible — and it is particularly difficult and troubling for a Christian, for a pope from Germany," he said later.

"In a place like this, words fail; in the end, there can be only a dread silence, a silence which itself is a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?"

Benedict said that just as his predecessor, John Paul II visited the camp as a Pole in 10979, he came as "a son of the German people."

"The rulers of the Third Reich wanted to crush the entire Jewish people, to cancel it from the register of the peoples of the Earth," he said, standing near the demolished crematoriums where the Nazis burned the bodies of their victims.

"By destroying Israel with the Shoah, they ultimately wanted to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith and to replace it with a faith of their own invention."

Shoah is the Hebrew term for the Holocaust, during which the Nazis killed 6 million Jews.

As many as 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, died at Auschwitz and Birkenau, neighboring camps built by the German occupiers near the Polish town of Oswiecim — Auschwitz in German. Others who died there included Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma — or Gypsies, and political opponents of the Nazis.

Benedict did not refer to collective guilt of the German people but instead focused on the Nazi regime. He said he was "a son of that people over which a ring of criminals rose to power by false promises of future greatness."

He also did not mention the controversy over the wartime role of Pope Pius XII, who some say did not do all in his power to prevent Jews from being deported to concentration camps. The Vatican rejects that accusation.

Typically, Benedict did not mention his own personal experiences during the war. Raised by his anti-Nazi father, Benedict was enrolled in the Hitler Youth as a teenager against his will and then was drafted into the German army in the last months of the war.

He wrote in his memoirs that he decided to desert in the war's last days in 1945 and returned to his home in Traunstein in Bavaria, risking summary execution if caught. In the book, he recounted his terror at being briefly stopped by two soldiers.

He was then held for several weeks as a prisoner of war by U.S. forces who occupied his hometown.

Earlier, the white-clad Benedict walked alone under the camp gate containing the notorious words: "Arbeit Macht Frei," or "Work Sets You Free."

He stopped for a full minute before the Wall of Death, where the Nazis killed thousands of prisoners. He was handed a lighted candle, which he placed before the wall.

At the Wall of Death, a line of 32 elderly camp survivors awaited Benedict, most of them Catholic. He moved slowly down the line, stopping to talk with each, taking one woman's face in his hands and kissing one of the men on both cheeks.

Benedict then visited the dark cell in the basement of one of the buildings, the place where St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Franciscan friar, was executed after voluntarily taking the place of a condemned prisoner with a large family in 1941. Kolbe was canonized by John Paul II in 1982.

Benedict stopped to pray again in the cell, standing before a candle placed there by John Paul during his 1979 visit.

The visit is heavy with significance for Roman Catholic-Jewish relations, a favorite theme for Benedict and John Paul.

This was the third time Benedict has visited Auschwitz and the neighboring camp at Birkenau. The first was in 1979, when he accompanied John Paul, and in 1980, when he came with a group of German bishops while he was archbishop of Munich.

Benedict's stop at Auschwitz — his last before he left for Rome — was a somber close to a four-day trip that was otherwise upbeat, with some 900,000 people turning out for his Sunday mass in a meadow in Krakow, the city where John Paul II once served as archbishop.

Earlier, he urged 900,000 singing, clapping Poles gathered in a rain-soaked field to share their faith with other countries, saying it was the best way to honor their beloved John Paul.

The enormous, exuberant crowd chanted "Benedetto! Benedetto!" and sang "Sto Lat," or "A Hundred Years," wishing him a long life.

"I ask you, finally, to share with the other peoples of Europe and the world the treasure of your faith, not least as a way of honoring the memory of your countryman, who, as the successor of St. Peter, did this with extraordinary power and effectiveness," Benedict said as he concluded his homily during the Mass in the Blonia meadow.

"I ask you to stand firm in your faith! Stand firm in your hope! Stand firm in your love! Amen!" he concluded, speaking in Polish on the last day of his trip.

Predominantly Roman Catholic Poland joined the European Union only two years ago, 15 years after the collapse of communist rule.

"He told us that we should remain ourselves, that we should stay as we were before, attached to our traditions and Christian values," said Jacek Radon, 37, a Krakow businessman. "We should carry into the European Union our attachment to faith and to Christ."

A shadow was cast over the papal visit by Saturday's attack on Poland's chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, who was to say Kaddish, or the Jewish prayer for the dead, during the ceremony led by the pope.

Schudrich told The Associated Press he was attacked in central Warsaw after confronting a man who shouted at him, "Poland for Poles!" The rabbi said the unidentified man punched him in the chest and sprayed him with what appeared to be pepper spray. He was not injured.

Police said they were treating the incident as a possible anti-Semitic attack.

Schudrich, said the most important part of Benedict's message "was his physical presence at Auschwitz" but that some Jews wished he had gone further by directly addressing anti-Semitism.

"It was a very powerful statement and the words that we heard were powerful, but I'm sure some felt a glaring omission ... on the question of anti-Semitism. Jews are very sensitive to that and we are used to hearing the words of John Paul II."

Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Los Angeles, California-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Associated Press that Benedict's presence at the camp and his remarks were firm reminders that Holocaust deniers were not speaking the truth.

"He wore the uniform of the Hitler Youth. For him to now go there as the pope and acknowledge the horrors the Holocaust visited on the Jewish people and all mankind is important," he said.

Benedict, 79, has reached out to Poles by delivering parts of his speeches and homilies in Polish and by retracing beloved native son John Paul II's steps. He visited John Paul's birthplace, Wadowice, and Sunday's Mass was held on the same spot where John Paul also drew large crowds on his return trips to Krakow.

Benedict has been applauded during his visit to Poland for encouraging prayers for John Paul's canonization as a saint and for saying he hopes it will happen "in the near future."

Marcos at The Zocalo

Subcomandante Marcos, also known as 'Delegado Zero,' looks out on the Zocalo, Mexico City's main plaza, Sunday, May 28, 2006, in Mexico. Thousands marched to the plaza in support of those still detained by police after violent clashes earlier this month between police and protesters in nearby San Salvador Atenco. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Marching for Atenco's Political Prisoners

Thousands march in front of the Monument of the Revolution, top right, towards the Zocalo, Mexico City's main plaza, Sunday, May 28, 2006, in Mexico. Thousands marched in support of those still detained by police after violent clashes earlier this month between police and protesters in nearby San Salvador Atenco. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Chavez and Che

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (C) holds up a placard with an image of Che Guevara during his weekly broadcast 'Alo Presidente' in Tiwuanaku, Bolivia May 28, 2006. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday accused the United States of trying to stir up a military rebellion against his left-wing Bolivian ally President Evo Morales. REUTERS/Handout/Miraflores Palace

sábado, mayo 27, 2006

Che and a Cuban Student

A Cuban student wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt walks past Bolivian Indians attending a ceremony in the Government Palace where Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and Bolivia's President Evo Morales signed bilateral accords in La Paz May 26, 2006. Picture taken May 26, 2006. REUTERS/Jose Luis Quintana

Bush's Boot-Licker Goes to College

The man who ran and hid when the USA was under attack (by his friends the Saudi Arabs), the alcoholic dimwit that got his college degree thanks to some string-pulling action by daddy Bush, is now perpetuating the family tradition.

Republican values at work I would say.

This is the note as it appeared at Yahoo News:

Bush Lackey Gets Into Harvard

The Nation

Fri May 26, 12:55 PM ET

The Nation -- It's good to know that in the wake of the Enron indictments, the future of America's business world is in safe hands.

The nation's most prestigious business school has accepted Blake Gottesman, a college drop-out whose whopping resume includes having dated Jenna Bush and supplying the President with breath mints.

Gottleman, who dropped out of Claremont-McKenna College in California after one year, landed a sweet job as Bush's personal assistant thanks to his long ties to the Bush family.

According to the Harvard Crimson:

Gottesman performs a wide range of duties, from dog-sitting the president's Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley, to carrying the president's speeches and giving him the "two-minute warning" before a speech begins.

With this impressive business pedigree, Blakey-boy heads to Cambridge next year.

Again, it's good to know that Harvard is churning out responsible capitalists who truly know the value of hard work.

The Wiretapped States of America

You have to love Bush and his team of neocons.

But you have to love the bunch of over payed good for nothings in the US Congress.

Bush managed to get the US citizens to give him and his wild bunch four more years in office despite his lies and his weakness for bombing innocent people just to avenge his daddy. So, the US citizens got what they deserved when Georgie Boy decided to spy on them.

And the Congress said nothing about it, you don't bite the hand that feeds you. But then, one of them got caught with his pants down, and God Almighty, suddenly, some US citizens do have rights, specially those in Congress.

Here you have the note, dedicated to all US citizens that still believe that Bush is a nice person, and that Congressmen are there to uphold the rights of every single person in the USA.

This is the note that appeared at Yahoo News:

Lawmakers, quiet on your rights, roar about theirs

Fri May 26, 7:21 AM ET

Now we know what it takes to make Congress mad enough to stand up for constitutional rights.

When the government snoops on your phone calls and records without warrants, lawmakers barely kick up a fuss. But when the target is a fellow congressman - one under investigation for taking a bribe, no less - they're ready to rumble.

Witness the bipartisan frenzy set off after the FBI searched the Capitol Hill offices of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., on Saturday. The FBI had a court order. According to an FBI affidavit, he was videotaped taking $100,000 in cash from an investor working undercover for the FBI. Agents found $90,000 of it stuffed in his freezer at home, the affidavit said.

Never mind all that. Leaders of the House of Representatives are appalled. They say the search violated the Constitution's separation of powers, "designed to protect the Congress and the American people from abuse of power."

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who rarely agree on anything, demanded that the Justice Department return the "unconstitutionally seized" documents. House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said the episode raised "profoundly disturbing" questions. He set a hearing for Tuesday to ask: "Did the Saturday night raid of Congress trample the Constitution?"

If only those leaders were as profoundly disturbed about executive branch incursions on the rights of average citizens. You certainly have to wonder where they've been for the past several years while the Bush administration ran roughshod over the legislative branch and launched anti-terror programs of questionable legality.

Last December, The New York Times revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) was wiretapping international phone calls without court warrants. Hastert didn't make a peep. Pelosi and other Democrats loudly protested, but nothing came of it. As it turns out, Pelosi was part of a tiny leadership group that had been briefed on the program since October 2001.

The scenario repeated itself this month when USA TODAY revealed that the NSA has collected millions of phone records.

So now the leadership swings into action because the FBI searched a Capitol Hill office for evidence of criminal activity?

This is not to belittle the separation of powers doctrine. It's meant to prevent a president from using investigations and unwarranted searches to intimidate lawmakers in their official duties. The Justice Department might have minimized the outcry by managing the search with more deference to congressional sensitivities. But there's no evidence that the Jefferson raid was an abuse of power.

A more appropriate response from congressional leaders would have been remorse over their failure to do anything meaningful to make members act ethically. Hastert, for instance, replaced a House ethics committee chairman last year after he attempted to enforce some rules. Congressional offices, obviously, should not be sanctuaries for crime, but the outcry from Capitol Hill brought quick action. On Thursday, President Bush ordered the documents seized in Jefferson's office to be "sealed" from the investigators' view for 45 days, while the Justice Department and Congress settle their differences.

What a pity that Congress' leaders haven't used their clout to protect the public's rights as eagerly as they defend their own.

The Risk of Spreading Democracy with Bullets

We all know that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with democracy and "Western Values", and all to do with oil profits for Bush and Cheney's pals both in the United States of America and in Saudi Arabia.

So, it should not come as a surprise when we learn that the Marines deployed in Iraq lie time and again about their involvement in the assasination of Iraqi civilians, specially women and children.

Here you have a note that appeared at Yahoo News:

Official: Iraq civilian deaths unjustified

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

2 hours, 29 minutes ago

Military investigators probing the deaths last November of about two dozen Iraqi civilians have evidence that points toward unprovoked murders by Marines, a senior defense official said Friday.

The Marine Corps initially reported 15 deaths and said they were caused by a roadside bomb and an ensuing firefight with insurgents. A separate investigation is aimed at determining if Marines lied to cover up the events, which included the deaths of women and children.

If confirmed as unjustified killings, the episode could be the most serious case of criminal misconduct by U.S. troops during three years of combat in Iraq. Until now the most infamous occurrence was the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse involving Army soldiers, which came to light in April 2004 and which President Bush said Thursday he considered to be the worst U.S. mistake of the entire war.

The defense official discussed the matter Friday only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk publicly about the investigation. He said the evidence found thus far strongly indicated the killings in the insurgent-plagued city of Haditha in the western province of Anbar were unjustified. He cautioned that the probe was not finished.

Once the investigation is completed, perhaps in June, it will be up to a senior Marine commander in Iraq to decide whether to press charges of murder or other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Three officers from the unit involved — 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. — have been relieved of duty, although officials have not explicitly linked them to the criminal investigation.

In an indication of how concerned the Marines are about the implications of the Haditha case, their top officer, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, flew to Iraq on Thursday. He was to reinforce what the military said was a need to adhere to Marine values and standards of behavior and to avoid the use of excess force.

"Many of our Marines have been involved in life or death combat or have witnessed the loss of their fellow Marines, and the effects of these events can be numbing," Hagee said a statement announcing his trip. "There is the risk of becoming indifferent to the loss of a human life, as well as bringing dishonor upon ourselves."

A spokesman at Marine Corps headquarters in the Pentagon, Lt. Col. Scott Fazekas, declined to comment on the status of the Haditha investigation. He said no information would be provided until the probe was completed.

According to a congressional aide, lawmakers were told in a briefing Thursday that it appears as many as two dozen civilians were killed in the episode at Haditha. And they were told that the investigation will find that "it will be clear that this was not the result of an accident or a normal combat situation."

Another congressional official said lawmakers were told it would be about 30 days before a report would be issued by the investigating agency, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Both the House and Senate armed services committees plan to hold hearings on the matter.

The New York Times reported on Friday that the civilians killed at Haditha included five men who had been traveling in a taxi and others in two nearby houses. The newspaper quoted an unidentified official as saying it was a sustained operation over as long as five hours.

Hagee met with top lawmakers from those panels this week to bring them up to date on the investigation.

"I can say that there are established facts that incidents of a very serious nature did take place," Sen. John Warner (news, bio, voting record), chairman of the Senate panel, said Thursday. He would not provide details or confirm reports that about 24 civilians were killed. He told reporters he had "no basis to believe" the military engaged in a cover-up.

Separately, the Marines announced this week that a criminal investigation was under way in connection with an alleged killing on April 26 of an Iraqi civilian by Marines in Hamandiyah, west of Baghdad. No details about that case have been made public.

In the Haditha case, videotape aired by an Arab television station showed images purportedly taken in the aftermath of the encounter: a bloody bedroom floor, walls with bullet holes and bodies of women and children. An Iraqi human rights group called for an investigation of what it described as a deadly mistake that had harmed civilians.

On May 17, Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), D-Pa., a former Marine, said Corps officials told him the toll in the Haditha attack was far worse than originally reported and that U.S. troops killed innocent women and children "in cold blood." He said that nearly twice as many people were killed as first reported and maintained that U.S. forces were "overstretched and overstressed" by the war in Iraq.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Ruff said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was being kept apprised. Ruff said he did not expect any announcements in the next few days.


Associated Press Writer Lolita Baldor contributed to this report.

viernes, mayo 26, 2006

The Zapatista Other Campaign and the Netwar over Defining Atenco

Today on Narco News:

How a Horizontal Communications Network Unmasked Repression and Simulation by the Mexican State and Media

By Al Giordano
First of Two Parts
May 26, 2006

A suspension by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish initials) of its participation in what began as a journey throughout Mexico titled “the Other Campaign” has not stopped nor stalled the rollercoaster ride that so many, including this team of reporters, have been on since January. The atrocities of May 3 and 4 in San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco (and on the way to, and inside, the prisons of the state of Mexico) have ratcheted up the velocity of a movement and also the gravity of the forces that want it stopped.

But nothing stops nor slows the tumult: not assassination, not rape, not brutality, not mass media simulation, not censorship nor terror. Beginning on May 3, the Mexican State of Vicente Fox and his foreign sponsors attacked a concentration of Other Campaign adherents with every weapon and power in their hands. Three weeks later, they have failed: the opposition is still on its feet, drawing support from previously standoffish sectors (mainly those who had placed their faith in Mexico’s upcoming July 2nd “elections,” despite the country’s dark history of electoral fraud that is looming, again, in 2006), and the forces “from below and to the left” have won the battle over defining the story in what has been an apocalyptic media war (a Netwar, or Cyberwar, say the Pentagon analysts over at the Rand Corporation that study things “from above and to the right”).

The media war of the past three weeks has been over how the Atenco blow-up would be defined. In the early days, the mass media had the upper hand and greater firepower: they worked overtime to try and define the seminal moment in Atenco-Texcoco as an attack by hordes of machete-wielding hoi polloi — portrayed as dirty, smelly, anti-social, mercenary, and out of sync with the average citizen’s desire for peace and wellbeing — while their news anchors cheered the supposedly noble efforts by the government to restore law and order.

The mass media — the upper class’ most powerful weapon in the “class struggle” that is waged daily from above — deployed all the arms at their disposal. From their helicopters they filmed a violent confrontation between police and citizens over a battlefield known as the Lecheria-Texcoco highway. From their control rooms — enjoying unparalleled state-of-the-art technology and satellite support — they (selectively) broadcast the conflict live. From their privileged and elite access to the public airwaves, they bombarded the populace with gut-wrenching violent images. The nation was glued to the TV screen.

The atomic image shown over, and over, and over again by the media from above was that of a police officer captured, beaten, kicked in the balls, and dragged and kicked again by a dozen, maybe 20, individuals who were battling against the police for control of the highway. From the desks of the media bosses they wrote a script and repeated it all day and night, cheering on the State to go in there and, by any means necessary, kick some ass and avenge the attack on that cop, to put a stop to what they portrayed as the lumpen machete-sword horde.

But the forces from above made the same mistake they have made so many times before: they lied. They claimed that it had been a protestor’s firecracker that killed a 14-year-old boy. The autopsy later revealed that he was shot at point-blank range with a police bullet. They claimed that the police didn’t carry firearms. Later, photos began circulating of the cops aiming their guns. The mass media were able to hide the rest of the story only for a limited span of time. Within days their authoritarian script was in tatters. As in 1999, when the Mexican national network TV Azteca distorted the shooting death of one of its “reporters,” only for the facts to explode next in the network’s face when it was learned that their man was a narco-trafficker killed for not paying the bills on his cocaine habit, the Atenco story has now mutated into something else altogether.

jueves, mayo 25, 2006

USA's Democracy in Iraq at Work

Mohammed Ali Salman, 9, is comforted by his father Ali Salman at al-Kindi hospital after being injured by a blast in Tahrir Square killing 3 and wounding 11, according to police, in Baghdad, Iraq Thursday, May 25, 2006. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

Bush's Buddies Found Guilty

But you can be sure Georgie boy will make sure they get a firm slap on the hand and then sent on their way for destroying the future of thousands of Enron employees that did not get the chance to participate in the scheme to manipulate the company's finances for the benefit of a few crooks.

And you never know, maybe they are too short to survive among the other white collar inmates spending time in resort-like prisons, with golf courses, jacuzzis, saunas and cable tv.

Here you have the note:

Lay, Skilling convicted in Enron collapse

By KRISTEN HAYS, AP Business Writer 48 minutes ago

Former Enron Corp. chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted Thursday of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud in one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history.

The verdict put the blame for the 2001 demise of the high-profile energy trader, once the nation's seventh-largest company, squarely on its top two executives. It came in the sixth day of deliberations following a federal criminal trial that lasted nearly four months.

Lay was also convicted of bank fraud and making false statements to banks in a separate, non-jury trial before U.S. District Judge Sim Lake related to Lay's personal banking.

The conviction was a major win for the government, serving almost as a bookend to an era that has seen prosecutors win convictions against executives from WorldCom Inc. to Adelphia Communications Corp. and homemaking maven Martha Stewart. The public outrage over the string of corporate scandals led Congress to pass the Sarbanes-Oxley act, designed to make company executives more accountable.

Enron's demise alone took with it more than $60 billion in market value, almost $2.1 billion in pension plans and 5,600 jobs.

Enron founder Lay was convicted Thursday on all six counts against him in the corporate trial. Former Chief Executive Skilling was convicted on 19 of the 28 counts, including one count of insider trading, and acquitted on the remaining nine.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed," Skilling told reporters outside the courthouse. "But that's the way the system works."

Skilling's lawyer, Dan Petrocelli, said the verdict "doesn't change our view of what happened at Enron ... or Jeffrey Skilling's innocence."

Lake ordered Lay to stay in the courthouse until his passport was surrendered and until the conclusion of a 2 p.m. CDT bond hearing.

Lake told jurors, "you have reflected on this evidence for the last few days and reached a very thorough verdict, and I thank you."

He set sentencing for Sept. 11. The charges for which Lay was convicted carry a maximum penalty in prison of 45 years in the corporate trial and 120 years in the personal banking trial. The charges for which Skilling was convicted carry a maximum penalty of 185 years in prison.

Jurors found through their verdict that both men had repeatedly lied to cover a vast web of unsustainable accounting tricks and failing ventures at Enron.

The panel rejected Skilling's insistence that no fraud occurred at Enron other than that committed by a few executives skimming millions in secret side deals, and that bad press and poor market confidence combined to sink the company.

"I wanted very, very badly to believe what they were saying, very much so, and there were pieces in the testimony where i felt their character was questioned," juror Wendy Vaughan said after the verdict was announced.

Both men testified in their own defense. Skilling is expected to appeal.

The government's victory caps a 4 1/2 year investigation that garnered 16 guilty pleas from ex-Enron executives, including former Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow and former Chief Accounting Officer Richard Causey.

All are awaiting sentencing later this year except for two, who either finished or are still serving prison terms.

The Lay-Skilling case tested the federal government's ability to prove complicated corporate skullduggery.

Enron's implosion and the subsequent scandals scared off investors, increased regulatory scrutiny over publicly traded companies and prompted Congress to stiffen white collar penalties.

Former WorldCom head Bernard Ebbers awaits a 25-year prison term for orchestrating the $11 billion accounting fraud that bankrupted the company. Stewart did five months in prison and more time confined to work and home for lying about a stock sale. Adelphia Communications founder John Rigas and his son got double-digit prison terms for looting their company.

HealthSouth Corp. founder Richard Scrushy bucked the trend with his acquittal last year of fraud charges despite five former finance chiefs pointing the finger at him in a $2.7 billion scheme to inflate earnings. He dropped in on the Lay-Skilling case during Fastow's lengthy testimony in March, saying the ex-CFO couldn't be believed.

But those cases were much simpler than that against Lay and Skilling.

The government's vast investigation seemed to stall until Fastow pleaded guilty in January 2004 to two counts of conspiracy and paved the way for prosecutors to secure indictments against his bosses. Fastow also led investigators to Causey, who was bound for trial alongside Lay and Skilling until he broke ranks with their unified defense and pleaded guilty to securities fraud just weeks before the trial began.

Too Short for Jail

He was not too short to abuse a child (one child for all we know), but he is too short to survive in jail.

Seems like for a judge in the mighty and blessed by God United States of America, it doesn't really matter if a young child is able to survive life after the scars left by a pedophile.

Interesting line of reasoning I would say. Hopefully money was not involved in the salomonic decision by this judge.

Here you have the note:

Judge: Man is too short for prison

Thu May 25, 7:22 AM ET

A judge said a 5-foot-1 man convicted of sexually assaulting a child was too small to survive in prison, and gave him 10 years of probation instead.

His crimes deserved a long sentence, District Judge Kristine Cecava said, but she worried that Richard W. Thompson, 50, would be especially imperiled by prison dangers.

"You are a sex offender, and you did it to a child," she said.

But, she said, "That doesn't make you a hunter. You do not fit in that category."

Thompson will be electronically monitored the first four months of his probation, and he was told to never be alone with someone under age 18 or date or live with a woman whose children were under 18. Cecava also ordered Thompson to get rid of his pornography.

He faces 30 days of jail each year of his probation unless he follows its conditions closely.

"I want control of you until I know you have integrated change into your life," the judge told Thompson. "I truly hope that my bet on you being OK out in society is not misplaced."

miércoles, mayo 24, 2006

Defending L.A.'s Garden

Folk singer and activist Joan Baez, far left and partially obscured, John Quigley, center, and Julia 'Butterfly' Hill speak to media from thier positions in a tree they climbed to raise awareness about saving an inner-city community garden, Wednesday, May 24, 2006, in Los Angeles. Baez warbled from the branches of a walnut tree Wednesday as an inner-city community garden sprouted celebrities hoping to stop the landowner from reclaiming the 14 acres for development. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The Governator Guards the Border

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger answers a question as he leaves a Capitol news conference, in Sacamento, Calif., where he talked about the upcoming visit by Mexican President Vicente Fox, Wednesday May 24, 2006. Schwarzenegger said that he is 'prepared to commit' California National Guard troops to the Mexican border and that he plans to discuss the sensitive topic on Thursday during Fox's visit to the Capitol. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Marcos: Women Without Fear

Today in Narco News:

Women: Assembly Instructions?

Words from the Sixth Committee of the EZLN for the public event “Women Without Fear. We Are All Atenco.”

May 22, 2006

Good evening.

My name is Marcos, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

For those of you who are familiar with zapatismo, it might not be necessary to explain what I’m doing here, at an event of and for women.

Of course you are not just women, but women who have decided to raise your voices in order to protest against the attacks the police have been making, and are making, on other women since May 3 and 4, 2006 in San Salvador Atenco, in the State of Mexico, in the Mexican Republic.

You are, here, there and everywhere, women without fear.

My name is Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, and I am, among other things, the spokesperson for the EZLN, a primarily indigenous organization which fights for democracy, liberty and justice for our country which is called Mexico.

As spokesperson for the EZLN, those others take voice through my voice, those who comprise us, who give us face, word, heart.

A collective voice.

In that collective voice is the voice of zapatista women.

And along with our voices and hearing are also our looking, our zapatista lights and shadows.

I am called Marcos, and among the numerous personal flaws I bear, sometimes cynically and cockily, is that of being man, macho, male.

As such I must bear, and often flaunt, a series of archetypes, clichés, proofs.

Not only in regard to me and my sex, but also and above all in reference to woman, the female gender.

To those flaws which define me personally, someone might add the one we have as zapatistas, to wit, that of still not having lost the capacity for being astonished, for being amazed.

As zapatistas, sometimes we approach other voices which we know to be different, strange, and yet similar and appropriate.

Voices which astonish and amaze our ear with your light…and with your shadow.

Voices, for example, of women.

From the collective which gives us face and name, journey and path, we go to great effort in choosing where to direct ear and heart.

And so now we are choosing to hear the voice of women who have no fear.

Can one listen to a light? And, if so, can one listen to a shadow?

And who else chooses, as we are today, to lend ear – and with it, thought and heart – in order to listen to those voices?

We choose. We choose to be here, to listen to and make echo for an injustice committed against women.

We choose to be fearless in order to listen to those who were not afraid to speak.

The brutality wielded by the bad Mexican governments in San Salvador Atenco on the 3rd and 4th of May, and which is still going on, to this very night, against the prisoners, especially the violence against women, is what summons us.

And not only that. Those bad governments are trying to sow fear through their actions, and, no, what is happening now is that they are sowing indignation and anger.

In a newspaper this morning, one of the individuals who, along with Vicente Fox and his cabinet, are priding themselves on “imposing the Rule of Law,” Señor Peña Nieto (alleged Governor of the State of Mexico), stated that what happened at Atenco had been planned.

If this were so, then those who were beaten, illegally detained, sexually attacked, raped, humiliated, then they planned, among other things, to be women.

We know, from the statements of those without fear who were detained, who are our compañeras, that they were attacked as women, their women’s bodies violated.

And we also know from their words that the violence visited upon their bodies brought pleasure to the policemen.

The woman’s body taken violently, usurped, attacked in order to obtain pleasure.

And the promise of that pleasure taken on those women’s bodies was the lagniappe which the police received along with the mandate to “impose peace and order” in Atenco.

Certainly according to the government they planned on having the body of a woman, and, they planned, with extreme depravity, that their bodies would be plunder for the “forces of law.”

Señor Fox, the federal leader of “change” and of the “Rule of Law,” clarified for us a few months ago that women are “two-legged washing machines” (partial disclaimer, revolving payment plans and go to the customer service department).

And it so happens that up above those machines of pleasure and of work, which are the bodies of women, include assembly instructions which the dominant system assigns them.

If a human being is born woman, she must travel throughout her life a path which has been built especially for her.

Being a girl. Being an adolescent. Being a young woman. Being an adult. Being mature. Being old.

And not just from menarche to menopause. Capitalism has discovered they can obtain objects of work and pleasure in infancy and in old age, and we have “Gobers Preciosos” and pedophile businessmen everywhere for the appropriation and administration of those objects.

Women, they say above, should travel through life begging pardon and asking permission for being, and in order to be, women.

And traveling a path full of barbed wire.

A path which must be traveled by crawling, with head and heart against the ground.

And, even so, despite following the assembly instructions, gathering scrapes, wounds, scars, blows, amputations, death.

And seeking the one responsible for those sorrows in oneself, because condemnation is also included in the crime of being women.

In the assembly instructions for the merchandise known as “Woman,” it explains that the model should always have her head bowed. That her most productive position is on her knees. That the brain is optional, and its inclusion is often counterproductive. That her heart should be nourished with trivialities. That her spirit should be maintained by competition with others of her same gender in order to attract the buyer, that always unsatisfied customer who is the male. That her ignorance should be fed in order to guarantee better functioning. That the product is capable of self-maintenance and improvement (and there is a wide range of products for that, in addition to salons and metal and painting workshops). That she should not only learn to reduce her vocabulary to “yes” and “no,” but, above all, she should learn when she should speak these words.

There is a warranty included in the assembly instructions for the product called “Woman” that she will always have her head lowered.

And that, if for some involuntary or premeditated manufacturing defect, one should lift her gaze, then the implacable scythe of Power will chop off the place of thought, and condemn her to walking as if being a woman were something for which one must ask forgiveness and for which one must ask permission.

In order to comply with this warranty, there are governments who substitute the weapons and sex of their police officers for their lack of brain. And, in addition, these same governments have mental hospitals, jails and cemeteries for irreparably “broken” women.

A bullet, a punch, a penis, prison bars, a judge, a government, in sum, a system, puts a sign on a woman who doesn’t ask for forgiveness or permission which reads “Out of Service. Non-Recyclable Product.”

Women must ask permission in order to be a woman, and it is granted to her if she is so according to what is shown in the assembly instructions.

Women should serve men, always following those instructions, in order to be absolved of the crime of being a woman.

At home, in the fields, the street, the school, work, transportation, culture, art, entertainment, science, government. Twenty-four hours a day and 365 days a year. From when they are born until they die, women confront this assembly process.

But there are women who confront it with rebellion.

Women who, instead of asking permission, command their own existence.

Women who, instead of begging pardon, demand justice.

Because the assembly instructions say that women should be submissive and walk on their knees.

And, nonetheless, some women are naughty and walk upright.

There are women who tear up the assembly instructions and stand up on their feet.

There are women without fear.

They say that when a woman moves forward, no men move back.

It depends, I say, from my machismo reloaded perspective – a mixture of Pedro Infante and José Alfredo Jiménez.

It depends, for example, on whether the man is in front of the woman who is moving forward.

My name is Marcos, I have the personal flaw of being man, macho, male. And the collective virtue of being what we are, we who are zapatistas.

As such, I confess that I am astonished and amazed at seeing a woman raise herself up and seeing the assembly instructions shattering, torn into pieces.

A woman standing up is so beautiful that it makes one shiver just to look at her.

And that is what listening is, learning to look…

Cheers to these women, to our imprisoned compañeras and to those who are gathered here.

Cheers for your having no fear.

Cheers for the valor which you pass on to us, for the conviction you grant us that if we do nothing to change this system, we are all accomplices in it.

From the Other City of Mexico.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Mexico, May of 2006

PS WHICH ASKS: What punishment do those officials, leaders and police deserve who attacked the women, our compañeras, like that? What punishment does the system deserve which has turned being a woman into a crime? If we are silent, if we look the other way, if we allow the police brutality in Atenco to go unpunished, who will be safe? Isn’t the release of all the Atenco prisoners thus a matter of elemental justice?

martes, mayo 23, 2006

Israeli Brutality

An Israeli soldier arrests a Palestinian boy as his mother protests during a demonstration in the West Bank town of Hebron, in November 2005. Amnesty International said in a report that Israeli security forces and settlers are being allowed to perpetrate abuses against Palestinians with no real fear of being brought to justice.(AFP/File/Hazem Bader)

lunes, mayo 22, 2006

Unjust War, A Life Accomplishment

Seems like the racist and xenophobic Condoleeza Rice got the cold treatment at Boston College.

A number of students with moral values decided to let her know that she was not welcomed, mainly because of her part in the present war in Iraq, a war that has murdered dozens of thousands of Iraqis just to make sure the USA had a bigger profit in oil revenues.

Here you have the note:

Rice faces silent protest in Boston

By Jason Szep

1 hour, 13 minutes ago

Dozens of faculty and students turned their backs and waved protest signs when U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice received an honorary degree from Boston College on Monday.

But the protest against Rice, a central player in President George W. Bush's Iraq policy, was smaller than had been expected and those among the 25,000 crowd who gave her a standing ovation outnumbered those who sat in silence.

Rice's selection as commencement speaker had stirred controversy at the Jesuit school, where many oppose the war and say it contradicts Catholic teaching.

"We've spent the last four years learning how to appreciate and work for social harmony, and to have a woman who is part of an administration that has launched a very unjust war, it's just outrageous," said Emily Jendzejec, 22, one of about 60 students who turned their backs on Rice.

Like dozens of students, Jendzejec wore a protest armband and sticker on her graduating robe reading "Not in my name."

At one point, a propeller plane flew overhead dragging a sign saying: "Your war brings dishonor." About 100 protesters outside chanted "Stop the Lies. Troops out now" and waved placards including one reading "No degrees for terrorism."

About 22 percent of the school's 1,000 faculty had signed a petition circulated by Boston College theology professor David Hollenbach and Kenneth Himes, the department's chair, objecting to the honorary degree -- a custom for commencement speakers.

One faculty member resigned in protest.

But unlike a commencement day address by Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) of Arizona on Friday at The New School in New York, there were no loud boos and rowdy heckling from students and the crowd at Boston College's football stadium.

In her speech, Rice avoided direct reference to Iraq and stuck closely to the boilerplate themes often followed by graduation day speakers, urging students to follow their passions, seek humility and overcome personal adversity as she did growing up in a segregated city in southern United States.

Boston College stood by its decision to choose Rice for its commencement speaker for its about 3,000 graduating students. "We're not honoring her for the war we are honoring her for her life's accomplishments," said spokesman Jack Dunn.

Seems like the spokesman Jack Dunn is so stupid that he does not understand that about the only life accomplishment by Condoleeza Rice was to enter a pack of deranged idiots who decided that the lives of thousands of people were expendable.

Only in the United States of America can a spokesman for a Catholic School come up with such excuses for a member of a team of terrorist neo-cons.

By the way, those students may want to reconsider their actions, Mr. Gonzalez could very well decide they should be prosecuted.

Prosecuted Reporters of America

First he said torture was perfectly legal.

Now he insists that prosecuting reporters is the patriotic duty of every red white and blue American official.

This must be why Bush was so adamant about getting this guy Gonzales into that job. He killed two birds with one stone, first George W. Bush came across as someone that supports minorities, second, it is the minority fella the one doing Bush's dirty job.

Here you have the note that appeared at Yahoo:

Sun May 21, 3:31 PM ET

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sunday he believes journalists can be prosecuted for publishing classified information, citing an obligation to national security.

The nation's top law enforcer also said the government will not hesitate to track telephone calls made by reporters as part of a criminal leak investigation, but officials would not do so routinely and randomly.

"There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility," Gonzales said, referring to prosecutions. "We have an obligation to enforce those laws. We have an obligation to ensure that our national security is protected."

In recent months, journalists have been called into court to testify as part of investigations into leaks, including the unauthorized disclosure of a CIA operative's name as well as the National Security Agency's warrantless eavesdropping program.

Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said she presumed that Gonzales was referring to the 1917 Espionage Act, which she said has never been interpreted to prosecute journalists who were providing information to the public.

"I can't imagine a bigger chill on free speech and the public's right to know what it's government is up to — both hallmarks of a democracy — than prosecuting reporters," Dalglish said.

Gonzales said he would not comment specifically on whether The New York Times should be prosecuted for disclosing the NSA program last year based on classified information.

He also denied that authorities would randomly check journalists' records on domestic-to-domestic phone calls in an effort to find journalists' confidential sources.

"We don't engage in domestic-to-domestic surveillance without a court order," Gonzales said, under a "probable cause" legal standard.

But he added that the First Amendment right of a free press should not be absolute when it comes to national security. If the government's probe into the NSA leak turns up criminal activity, prosecutors have an "obligation to enforce the law."

"It can't be the case that that right trumps over the right that Americans would like to see, the ability of the federal government to go after criminal activity," Gonzales told ABC's "This Week."

And people in Irak and Afghanistan are being bombed into pieces just so the USA can export its particular brand of democracy.

domingo, mayo 21, 2006

Che in Nicosia

A youth holds a flag of Ernesto Che Guevara during the celebrations of the victory of communistic party AKEL in the parliamentary elections in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Sunday, May 21, 2006. Greek Cypriots boosted President Tassos Papadopoulos' centrist DIKO party in Sunday's election for parliamentary seats, according to final results _ an outcome likely to be seen as an endorsement of his rejection of a U.N. peace plan to reunify the war-divided island. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

miércoles, mayo 17, 2006

American Family "Values"

What you are about to read is not taking place in some little corner of the world.

It is taking place in backwards United States of America, were fundamentalist religious views are above justice and freedom.

Check this out:

Mo. Town Denies Unmarried Couple Permit

Wed May 17, 11:34 AM ET

The city council has rejected a measure allowing unmarried couples with multiple children to live together, and the mayor said those who fall into that category could soon face eviction.

Olivia Shelltrack and Fondrey Loving were denied an occupancy permit after moving into a home in this St. Louis suburb because they have three children and are not married.

The town's planning and zoning commission proposed a change in the law, but the measure was rejected Tuesday by the city council in a 5-3 vote.

"I'm just shocked," Shelltrack said. "I really thought this would all be over, and we could go on with our lives."

The current ordinance prohibits more than three people from living together unless they are related by "blood, marriage or adoption." The defeated measure would have changed the definition of a family to include unmarried couples with two or more children.

Mayor Norman McCourt declined to be interviewed but said in a statement that those who do not meet the town's definition of family could soon face eviction.

Black Jack's special counsel, Sheldon Stock, declined to say whether the city will seek to remove Loving and Shelltrack from their home.

Is this the kind of self righteous values what the US is trying to impose around the world?

They can keep them, the world is a better place without roadblocks to family happiness.

lunes, mayo 15, 2006

Che in Port-au-Prince

A boy sits close to a mural of paint of Che Guevara on the left, and Haiti's new President Rene Preval, who took power yesterday, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, May 15, 2006. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

sábado, mayo 13, 2006

Che in Vienna

Flags with Che Guevara-motives are waving in front of a statue on Vienna's historic Heldenplatz during a demonstration to show solidarity with the social movements of Latin America, May 13, 2006. REUTERS/Herbert Neubauer

Bush the American Dictator

It is amazing just how little understanding of what democracy really is the US citizenry has.

And with all this talk about having all their constitutional rights removed rather than facing a terrorist attack they are frankly speaking, coming across as cowards.

Just to mention an example, very few US citizens criticise Bush for running away and hiding in a hole on September 11, when the country was "under attack".

But that is exactly what cheap patriotism will do to you, and that is why Bush and his underlings, the warmongering bigots Dick Cheney, Condi Rice and Donald Rumsfeld have been telling the US public that the nation is engaged in a "war on terrorism".

You can not be at war with an strategy or with an activity, that is why the war on drugs failed, that is why the present war on terrorism is failing.

Bush and his neocons instilled the idea in the US citizens that they were at war, and since during war times other US presidents have removed certain civil rights, then the US citizens see it perfectly normal to have an alcoholic that got religion to install an Orwellian society in what once was known as the land of the free and the home of the brave, which never was if you take into consideration the genocide against the Indigenous nations, the slavery and segregation laws against Blacks, the expantionist wars, the meddling in the self determination process in Latin America and few other actions like the present war for oil profits in the Middle East.

Well, here you have a note about how Bush is taking advantage of the US citizens cheap patriotism to become a dictator:

News Analysis: Is Bush Overreaching?

By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer 51 minutes ago

President Bush has made broad use of his executive powers: authorizing warrantless wiretaps, collecting telephone records on millions of Americans, holding suspected terrorists overseas without legal protections. His administration even is considering using the military to patrol the U.S. border.

Congress is on notice from the president that he will not enforce parts of legislation he believes interfere with his constitutional authority.

These are extraordinary times, for sure, and the president says he is acting to safeguard the country. But Democrats and some Republicans, along with human rights activists and legal scholars, suggest Bush has gone too far in stretching presidential powers.

"I do think the president has pushed the envelope," said Georgetown University political scientist Stephen J. Wayne. "He seems so determined for another act of terrorism not to occur on his watch that he has forgotten the constitutional protections that most Americans value as highly as they value their security."

Bush is using a variety of techniques and strategies to maximize his power — at the expense of Congress, some say. It's a course, critics suggest, that both he and Vice President Dick Cheney have pursued since they took office in January 2001.

Administration officials insist they have acted within constitutional limits, citing added flexibility that comes during a time of war.

The disclosure last week that the National Security Agency is building a data base of domestic telephone numbers has touched off an intense debate about whether the administration and phone companies are undermining people's privacy rights.

Expressions of concern came from some prominent Republicans, including House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and added to earlier questions about the NSA's domestic eavesdropping program.

These once-covert programs pose potential trouble for the president's nomination of Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden to be CIA director. Hayden oversaw both programs as NSA director from 1999-2005.

"Everything that the agency has done has been lawful," Hayden asserted last week as he visited the offices of the senators who will vote on his nomination.

Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record) of Pennsylvania, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says his committee will scrutinize Hayden's role in both the NSA's phone data bank and the eavesdropping program.

Former CIA Director Stansfield Turner is among those critical of the administration's eavesdropping program and Hayden's oversight.

"I'm concerned that he had a role in wiretapping American telephones without warrants. I interpret that, if it happened, as against the law. Apparently, the president and others interpret it otherwise," said Turner, who was CIA chief in the Carter administration.

In projecting his powers widely, Bush has made extensive use of statements that accompany the signing of a bill into law. These statements claim a presidential prerogative not to enforce parts of the legislation that he deems to encroach on executive authority. He has issued hundreds of such statements.

Among provisions he has challenged is a requirement to give detailed reports to Congress about his use of the Patriot Act and about a ban on torture.

"The president apparently believes, based on a number of recent statements and policy directives, that anything he approves is automatically legal," said Stephen Cimbala, a Pennsylvania State University professor who studies national security issues.

Because Bush has not vetoed any bill sent to him, Congress has not had the chance to challenge such pre-emptive assertions of presidential authority.

"It undercuts the whole legislative process of veto and override," said James Steinberg, deputy national security adviser in the Clinton White House. He said Clinton issued such signing statements, but only rarely.

"Concentrating that kind of authority in one person is dangerous," said Steinberg, now dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt both suspended various constitutional protections, claiming all-consuming wars as the reason.

President Kennedy drew criticism for ordering the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. He blamed the disaster on poor planning and lack of reliable intelligence from the CIA, just as the Bush White House would do when U.S. forces failed to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

President Nixon was accused of widespread abuse of the Constitution in the Watergate scandal that forced him to resign rather than face certain impeachment.

Human rights leaders continue to decry the treatment of detainees in U.S. prison camps in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and allegations of secret CIA-run prisons in Eastern Europe.

Criticism that the administration is undermining privacy rights of Americans has failed to generate wide opposition from the general public. In an ABC-Washington Post poll taken late last week, almost two-thirds of Americans said it was acceptable for the NSA to collect phone records.

Carroll Doherty, associate director of the Pew Research Center, said in repeated polls taken since Sept. 11, 2001, "a solid plurality, around 50 percent" continues to say they would rather the government went too far in restricting civil liberties than not going far enough in protecting the country.

"There's a concern about terrorism that continues to this day. And, on balance, people are saying, 'protect us,'" said Doherty.

viernes, mayo 12, 2006

In Support of Atenco's Political Prisoners

A masked Zapatista rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos (L) takes part in a march at Reforma avenue in Mexico City May 12, 2006. The march was called to demand for the liberation of those detained during the violent clashes in the village of San Salvador Atenco last week. REUTERS/Daniel Aguilar

jueves, mayo 11, 2006

Massive Demonstrations for Justice

Both in Mexico and around the world, people are holding demonstrations to demand justice for the inhabitants of San Salvador Atenco and their simpatizers who were taken away by police forces during the attacks that took place on May 3rd and 4th of 2006.

Here you have a note about this issue:

Protesters choke Mexico City

Thu May 11, 6:49 PM ET

Hundreds of demonstrators blocked highways leading into Mexico's capital on Thursday to protest rights abuses by police against leftists in a rebellious nearby town and to demand the release of prisoners.

The protesters, many of them students, stopped long lines of traffic on several major highways leading into Mexico City in a protest backed by Subcomandante Marcos, the masked leader of Zapatista rebels in southern Mexico.

The demonstrations followed violence last week when thousands of police in riot gear swarmed the town of San Salvador Atenco, which for years had been under a form of autonomous self-rule.

Last week's brutal clashes between local activists and police exploded after police tried to evict unlicensed flower sellers from a market. Protesters threw Molotov cocktails at police and kidnapped several officers. The police responded by arresting around 200 people, many of whom were beaten up.

A 14-year-old boy was shot dead in the violence, and Mexico's human rights watchdog is looking into allegations that police sexually assaulted women they had arrested.

In Thursday's protests, dozens of Mexico City university students, some of them were masked, blocked a freeway and threw stones at cops before being driven back, radio reports said.

On other highways leading into the capital, one of the world's largest cities, police officials negotiated with students to open up individual lanes to allow a trickle of traffic and avoid tougher measures.

Marcos led a brief indigenous uprising in the state of Chiapas in 1994 and had visited San Salvador Atenco prior to the clashes. He has pledged he will stay in the Mexico City area until all of some 200 arrested protesters are set free.

State authorities said on Wednesday they would release more than 100 of those arrested. Twenty-eight others, however, have been charged with kidnapping or other crimes.

Marcos, an icon among anti-globilization activists, has launched a grass-roots tour across Mexico to build opposition against the main political parties before the July 2 election.

Normally unwilling to cooperate with big media groups, Marcos has changed strategy this week to draw more attention to his cause by giving studio interviews to major television networks, sporting his trademark ski mask, radio headset and combat fatigues.

Israel Starves Palestinian Children

A young Palestinian boy with the words 'I'm hungry' written in arabic on his chest, takes part in a protest against food shortages, the cutting of western aid and Israeli closures of cargo terminals, in front of the United Nations office in Gaza City, Thursday, May, 11, 2006. Israel, pressured by international alarm over a brewing Palestinian humanitarian crisis, has agreed to release tens of millions of dollars in funds it has withheld from the Palestinians and is considering easing restrictions on the transport of goods between Israel and the Gaza Strip, officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

miércoles, mayo 10, 2006

Stop the Media Boycott Against the Other Campaign

I found this call for help so truth is not buried under tons of main stream "news" at Scoop.

Read on:

The Media Boycott Against the Other Campaign

Wednesday, 10 May 2006, 10:32 am


Osuna: Join in the Grand Struggle to Break the Media Boycott Against the Zapatista Other Campaign

May 9, 2006

A Letter from Mercedes Osuna, from San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

Dear Reader:

The caravan of The Other Journalism was created with the goal of covering The Other Campaign, led by Delegate Zero, because we knew in advance that the mass media would ignore and boycott it.

Our team of communicators has traveled thousands of miles through most of the Mexican Republic since January 1 of 2006, reporting the word of Delegate Zero (Subcomandante Marcos) and the Mexican people. The entire team of The Other Journalism has made a huge effort to maintain this project so far, since the costs of video, Internet, transportation, food, lodging and other costs have been covered by each one of us and thanks to the economic support of some compañeros.

You can read hundreds of direct reports - plus video newsreels, audiotapes and translations - about the steps of The Other Campaign that has now traveled more than half of the Republic on the page:

At present, we do not have the resources to continue this informative labor. That's why we are making a call to all our readers to help support our work economically, or with lodging, food, transportation and/or donations to be able to continue spreading the word of the news associated with The Other Campaign, rapidly and truthfully.

At this moment - during the wave of repression against the people of San Salvador Atenco and other adherents to The Other Campaign (including hundreds of political prisoners, grave injuries, the expulsion from Mexico of international observers, and at least one young man dead), the Red Alert and suspension of Other Campaign events as the response from the Zapatistas - the coverage by The Other Journalism is more important and urgent than ever.

That's why, if you are able and have the will to collaborate with the costs, you can do it via the Fund for Authentic Journalism, the international non-profit organization that supports the costs of the project, via this web page:

Or, you can mail a check, made out to "The Fund for Authentic Journalism," to:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism P.O. Box 241 Natick, MA 01760

Please remember that in June there are meetings planned along the US- Mexico border - in Juarez City and Tijuana - between Delegate Zero and Mexicans from the Other Side, which will be vitally important and whose word must be spread throughout the world and in all the languages so that the dignified voice of the "Other North Americans" will be heard and understood as it is; to construct an Other Movement, stronger and more effective, on both sides of the border.


Mercedes Osuna
General Coordinator
The Other Journalism with the Other Campaign

Aleida Guevara in Vienna

Aleida Guevara, the daughter of the late revolutionary leader Che Guevara, addresses a news conference prior to the alternative Latin America-Caribbean-Europe Summit in Vienna May 10, 2006. The 'Enlazando Alternativas 2' summit has been organised for the occasion of the fourth Summit of the European Union and Latin America and Caribbean Heads of State and Government, taking place in Vienna from May 11th to 13th, 2006. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

martes, mayo 09, 2006

Marcos Sets the Record Straight with Media

There was only one way to stop the main stream media in Mexico from continuing to behave like mouthpieces for the Mexican government, and that was to go right into the belly of the beast and tell the truth.

And that is exactly what the Subdelegado Zero did.


First with Carlos Loret de Mola, a self appointed journalist who's big claim to fame is to be the son of a former Yucatan state's governor who made it into history as one of the most authoritarian and repressive politicians ever.

Then the Delegado Zero talked to CNN's Carmen Aristegui.

Here you have the note about his interview with Televisa:

Zapatista Rebel Leader Gives Interview

By JULIE WATSON, Associated Press Writer

Tue May 9, 11:35 PM ET

Zapatista rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos Tuesday criticized a police crackdown against protesters in a town near the capital, predicting that political fallout from the clashes would affect the upcoming presidential election.

In a rare live broadcast interview with Mexico's Televisa network, the masked rebel leader said that a clash between police and protesters that left a teenager dead and scores injured in a town outside Mexico City last week shows the country's brewing tensions.

He added, however, that the Zapatistas will not boycott the July 2 elections for the presidency, state governorships and congressional seats. He emphasized that his rebel group is now committed to peace.

Marcos denied Institutional Revolutionary Party presidential candidate Roberto Madrazo's allegations that the Zapatistas instigated the clash last week in San Salvador Atenco, about 15 miles northeast of Mexico City.

But he said he supports the dozens of protesters who were arrested, and he will remain in Mexico City until they are released.

Members of a radical group of townspeople kidnapped and beat six policemen after they tried to prevent vendors from setting up stands in a nearby city. Police responded with rage the next day: television images showed officers repeatedly clubbing helpless detainees. Several of the women who were arrested alleged they were raped by officers.

Marcos said the attack against the police stemmed from "people's fury" and said the attacks were not organized.

"They were not beating the person, but rather what he represents," he said.

The rebel leader came out of his jungle hideout in January and is touring Mexico trying to forge a national leftist movement.

Marcos said he did not expect any settlement with the government that would lead him to take off his rebel's mask.

Marcos enjoyed almost rock star-like popularity among many Mexicans following the Zapatistas' brief armed uprising in January 1994 in the southern state of Chiapas.

Since then, his fight has been carried out through poetic communiques posted on the Internet, earning him support around the globe.

domingo, mayo 07, 2006

Stop Them Fishy Illegals

This is a call on all the patriotic fish of America.

We need a rapid response team, something you can call the Minutefish, to stop these illegal alien fish from taking over our God given streams, rivers and lakes of our beloved land of the free and home of the brave.

Here you have the urgent note published today:

Non-Native Fish Invade Western Streams

Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience Managing Editor
LiveScience.comSun May 7, 9:00 AM ET

A quarter of all fish in streams of 12 western states are non-native, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The aquatic invasion is widespread. Half of all streams in the West are home to non-native fish. Few habitat types are immune, and humans are largely to blame.

One of the most surprising conclusions in the new study: In streams that are among the most pristine, there are generally more non-native fish than native.

All habitats

"Non-native fishes were found across the landscape in all habitat types, though streams in forested areas were less likely to contain non-native fish," said Scott Bonar, a USGS researcher at the University of Arizona. "Our data suggest that no matter how pristine the habitat type, there exists a non-native species that can colonize it."

Other findings:

In about 11 percent of streams, all fish were non-native. Non-native fish were most common in streams of the interior states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and Montana. In Colorado, two of every three fish are non-native (in North Dakota, only 1 in 12 is non-native).

The survey covered 400,000 miles of streams in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Why it matters

Scientists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say about 40 percent of all freshwater fish species in the country are at risk of extinction. Non-native fish can take over spawning grounds and crowd the natives out.

The invaders might not sound so foreign, however.

The most common non-native species include brook, brown, cutthroat and rainbow trout, as well as smallmouth and largemouth bass that were introduced here and there for sport. Other fish were added to streams on purpose to combat mosquitoes or to be food for larger fish.

The study, announced this week and published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management in November, raises an unexpected possibility.

"Without deemphasizing the importance of landscape disturbance by humans, we concluded that non-native fishes pose an equivalent, if not greater, threat to native fishes than habitat degradation in western U.S. streams," Bonar said. "Consequently, attention to both habitat degradation and the non-native species problem is important to effectively restore streams of the American West."

Last week, federal officials announced that Fish and Wildlife, USGS, NOAA, state agencies, sport-fishing and conservation groups have partnered to work on fish habitat restoration plans. The idea is to protect healthy habitats and improve 90 percent of others by 2020.

GALLERY: Invasive Species Jellyfish Invade the Globe, Thanks to Humans Oops! Scientists Nudge Fish Closer to Extinction Invasive Creatures Attack Like Internet Viruses Five Deep-Sea Fish on Brink of Extinction Controlling Invasive Plants

Visit for more daily news, views and scientific inquiry with an original, provocative point of view. LiveScience reports amazing, real world breakthroughs, made simple and stimulating for people on the go. Check out our collection of Science, Animal and Dinosaur Image Galleries, Science Videos, Amazing Images, Interactive Features and Reader Favorites, Trivia and more. Get cool gadgets at the new LiveScience Store, sign up for our free daily email newsletter and check out our RSS feeds today!

Remember, those new comers will never love the America that we love so much, they will never stand for our core values and the principles in which our Founding Fathers created this country were real American fish could live a dignified life, free of all oppresion and persecution.

Fish of America, we need you, we must protect our borders, including out watery ones.

Fish of America, stand up on your tail fins and defend the red, white and blue.