First, a reality check and public service announcement for those who might not be familiar with United States campaign finance laws:
If you want to make a donation to the campaign of George W. Bush in the United States (we're not recommending it, for the record) and you go to Bush's website and click "donations" and you will find that, before you can give him money, you have to affirm:
"By clicking on this box I acknowledge that contributions from corporations and foreign nationals are prohibited."
Likewise, if you want to make a donation to the campaign of John Kerry in the United States (neither are we recommending this) go to Kerry's campaign website and click "contributions," and there you will have to affirm:
"I confirm that the following statements are true and accurate:
1. I am a United States citizen or a permanent resident alien...
Those who have violated these laws against foreign contributions have been prosecuted in the United States
The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), which represents some 22,000 federal agents in 50 law enforcement agencies, has directed a letter to Congress in support of Ruben Gonzalez, a high-ranking supervisor within DHS' Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Houston. The letter, addressed to U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Texas, stresses that FLEOA supports any and all efforts to eliminate bias and inequities in hiring and promotion processes by Federal law enforcement agencies.
Gonzalez is a catalyst behind the growing chorus of Hispanic agents calling for congressional action on the issue. Gonzalez's attorney, Ron Schmidt, claims the racial discrimination within ICE is so pervasive that it has fostered a dysfunctional agency culture that poses a real threat to national security.
The Internet is a young if already overpopulated frontier where there is a glut of material and a scarcity of quality, especially when it comes to journalism.
There are some very simple things we've done at Narco News differently than many others. I believe these ways of doing little, basic, things have a lot to do with our success.
The five "secrets" are:
But since later this month the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism is meeting again, I'd like to share my general thoughts on how - and how not - to publish an online newspaper or journal...
Fortunately, the Argentine government no longer takes its orders from Washington; Argentina's Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa criticized Noriega's recent statements about the demonstrators, saying "In all honesty, the Argentine government is fed up with Mr. Noriega's meddling in Argentina's internal affairs."
Gonzalez, an associate special agent in charge at the Houston ICE office, wrote recently to his senator and congressman seeking their help in addressing the discrimination problem within ICE and DHS in general. A group of Hispanic federal agents and their attorney, Ron Schmidt, contend the dysfunction and atmosphere of retaliation that is fostered by the discrimination pose a real threat to national security.
To date, Gonzalez senator, Republican John Cornyn, has opted to sit on the sidelines on the issue. Despite the national security concerns raised by the alleged pattern of discrimination, Cornyn says he has chosen to "refrain from intervening due to Senate ethics rules that caution against getting involved in matters that are pending in the courts. Gonzalez is part of a group of Hispanic agents who have brought a class-action discrimination lawsuit against DHS.
In an ironic twist, Cornyn referred Gonzalez complaint to the agents superiors at DHS -- the same group Gonzalez is accusing of allowing the discrimination to fester. Timothy Haugh, the acting director for DHS Office of Congressional Affairs, replied to Cornyn by asserting that Gonzalez charges are without merit.
However, Gonzalez congressman, Nick Lampson, D-Texas, apparently operates under a different set of congressional ethics.
For those who are not familiar with Toro, he is a well-known anti-Chavez activist based in Caracas whom the New York Times once hired as a reporter, in violation of the Times' own claims to objective and disinterested reporting. Toro runs an anti-Chavez weblog called the Caracas Chronicles.
At the time that I received this angry message, I was preoccupied with other issues, so, if I recall correctly, I did not read the critique by Toro that followed the message. However, the recent agreement in Venezuela to move ahead with a recall referendum on Chavez's government, as well as the Venezuelan President's recent citations of my article on Radio Nacional de Venezuela, have re-sparked interest in the topic of the pollsters. Thus, I have decided to revisit one of Toro's criticisms in order to show just how vacuous the Venezuelan opposition's defense of their pollsters is. I will address Toro’s other "main" criticisms in future entries.
Gonzalez wrote to the senator earlier this year to clue him into the widespread discrimination and retaliation problems within ICE, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The discriminatory practices, according to Ron Schmidt, an attorney representing Gonzalez and other ICE agents, foster a dysfunctional culture within the federal law enforcement agency that poses a real threat to national security.
In response to Gonzalez letter, Sen. Cornyns office sent the federal agent a form asking him to verify his immigration status.
Cornyns response was an insult to Gonzalez, who is part of a group of Hispanic federal agents suing the Department of Homeland Security for alleged racial discrimination.
In a commentary posted on the Web site for the Federal Hispanic Law Enforcement Officers Association (FHLEOA), Gonzalez states that Cornyn's reply "demonstrated the obvious bigotry that I and others of Hispanic origin continue to endure."
CC: Laura Zelenko, "editor responsible for this story" - email@example.com
From: Al Giordano, Publisher, Narco News
A quick question regarding your "report" today:
When you take dictation from notorious opposition partisans, is it standard practice at Bloomberg to use only one unquestioned source for a story like that?
Okay, a second question:
When "reporting" a story, do you conduct even a one-minute Google search on the sole source whose credibility you accept unchallenged in the story?
Here... Let me do your work for you, retroactively...
She appeared this week in an interview with the Argentine daily Página 12 to call for the legalization of drugs as the solution to her country of Colombia's long civil war. Página 12 reports:
The Colombian writer Laura Restrepo, winner of the Alfaguara Novel Prize of 2004 for her work "Delirio," said that the problem of drug trafficking in Colombia will end at the moment in which drugs are legalized, and the business will be destroyed. "Drugs in Colombia involve millions of dollars that serve like gasoline to inflame the war even more, which is why we must have legalization," said the author. Restrepo... added that the countries that have serious problems with drug consumption should think about preventative methods to combat them, "and that is how we will save ourselves from a war that is liquidating us as a nation."
Some of Restrepo's novels have been translated into English by Harper Collins.
Had Moses come down from the mountain and held a Constituent Assembly, he probably would have come up with laws that would be adhered to more consistently.
(Plus, to say "thou shalt not lie," and "a burning bush told me that and gave me these stone tablets" does kind of give a mixed message, no?)
Thus, I present the following Ten Suggestions of Authentic Journalism as a draft document, to which I ask co-publishers to add your own suggestions... so that "your truth, together with my truth, can make a better truth..."
And hopefully by the time the Narco News J-School rolls around, 40 days and 40 nights from now, we'll have a working document of this kind.
The report comes as opposition leaders and foreign diplomats have raised concerns about the efforts of government officials and the electoral council to limit the role of foreign observers from the O.A.S. and the Carter Center in the recall. Some officials have even called for the two organizations to be banned.
On the very day Forero's piece was run, alas, Reuters says President Chavez was having a meeting about the recall... with Jimmy Carter his own self.
Good try though, Juan! Maybe next time your little duplicities will survive contact with reality for a couple of days, at least.
Vivanco and Human Rights Watch are now on record opposing a U.S.-modeled impeachment process for Supreme Court justices in Venezuela. The timing - two months before the August 15 referendum in that country - is obviously a partisan attempt to meddle in electoral politics.
Perhaps Vivanco and his bureaucrats should have done a little bit of research on the United States Constitution and American History before demonstrating such ignorance about democratic principles.
Before this essay is done, we will hear from Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt - whose stated principles on the appointment and impeachment of Supreme Court justices HRW has now gone against with this maneuver - on this question. But first let's consult a more recent U.S. president who spoke on this issue Gerald R. Ford