All Notebook Entries

  • Bolivian Bill to Nationalize Gas Feared by Foreign Interests

    The subhead of the December 20 Miami Herald article "Bolivia approves natural gas law" is enough to know that the proposed law is a victory, of sorts, for the social movements: "Law may stop investment in the sector, cause massive lawsuits."

    In November, Herald reporter Tyler Bridges wrote, the House gave preliminary approval to a Movement Toward Socialism measure to have the state unilaterally seize control of the natural gas reserves and impose an immediate and much higher tax than President Carlos Mesa proposed.

  • Guantanamo: Detainee torture in US operated prisons

    Here are some documents obtained under FOIA by the ACLU, detailing some of the torture techniques employed by the army investigators in Irag and at Guantanamo Bay. They are heavily edited and they don't reveal a lot of new information (it's been known for a while that the prisoners are being tortured), but they do link some of the torture techniques with executive orders signed by Bush.

  • En Bolivie il y a de l'eau dans le gaz...

    Comme dans beaucoup de pays dits « en développement » la question de la gestion de ressources naturelles et le coût d’accès à celles-ci est au cœur des conflits politiques boliviens. Un an après la « Guerre du Gaz », la gestion des hydrocarbures boliviens oppose de plus en plus les boliviens entre eux et sert de miroir de la ségrégation de plus en plus criante – non seulement dans la société bolivienne, mais des pays.

    Loin de se prétendre exhaustif, cet article retrace les événements qui ont conduit à la situation actuelle, où il y a de l’eau dans le gaz…

    *NOTA A LOS NARCONUSISTAS: Se trata de un articulo que intenta dar cierta perspectiva al problema del gas en Bolivia, destinado al publico francés que conoce poco la cuestion. Una version corregida aparecera en una revista trimestral independiente francesa. Una version en español estara disponible dentro de poco*

  • New Video - "Gary Webb: In His Own Words"

    This morning the Guerilla News Network released a new video, "Gary Webb: In His Own Words."  Based on interview footage shot during the 2003 School of Authentic Journalism, it's both a moving tribute to a hero of authentic journalism and a plainspoken discussion of the Dark Alliance CIA/contra/cocaine story; what it meant and how it was attacked.  

    Watch it online at the GNN site here:

  • Haiti: Large Peaceful Demonstration for Aristide's Return

    More than 10,000 people poured into the streets in Cap Haitian, Haiti's second-largest city, to demand Aristide's return and an end to repression reported the Haiti Information Project (HIP).  The December 16 event marked the anniversary of Aristide and Lavalas' first electoral victory in 1990.  It was one of the first large demonstrations allowed to be held peacefully since a U.S.-chosen government took power after the February 29th coup de etat.

    UN troops publicly guarded businesses' private property from the protesters.  Two days before the demonstration, UN and government troops had done nothing while paramilitaries seized Aristide's home.

    Moise Jean-Charles, founder of a local peasant movement called Movement of Milot Peasants (MPM) and popular mayor of the town of Milot, quietly joined the crowd to very loud joy as people realized his presence.  He has been in hiding since Haitian police and UN troops invaded his home on June 14th.  At least 700 political prisoners remain in jail in Haiti, even after the high-profile arrest and release of Father Gerard Jean-Juste.

  • Gary Webb drew blood

    It's funny how things come back to you when you lose a friend.

    As I was smoking a cigarette on my patio the other night, thinking about Gary Webb and how everything I stood for in journalism was now quaking under my feet, I recalled that Gary told me there was one person, in particular, that he trusted completely: journalist Chuck Bowden.

    Gary had once told me that he would “trust Chuck Bowden with his life.”

    So in the wake of Gary’s recent death, I decided to look up Bowden and give him a call.

  • An Anonymous Eulogy for Gary... and Truth

    From a former journalist in the United States, to my mailbox, to your eyes…

    I never met Gary Webb, or, really, knew much about him. I remember hearing about how he was fired from the California Assembly staff, and the back-stabbing way in which it was done -- he was an investigator, he was out in the field investigating, and when he got back they told him he was fired because he wasn't in the office (the real reason of course being that the new Speaker of the Assembly wanted to clean house and put his own cronies in place, cronies who wouldn't dig up embarrassing dirtlike Gary did) -- but did not think much about it at the time. Gary had, after all, been effectively dead for all intents and purpose since 1997, when the entire newspaper industry turned its collective back to him and shat upon him. This was just another case of Gary getting comfortable, doing things the way he had always done them under the assumption that his bosses would support him because he was doing a good job, then getting shat upon for doing his job too well. CYA was never, apparently, Gary's thing. I figured he'd shrug, and move on to something else.

    As we know now, he didn't...

  • Colombian Oil, Texas Profits

    Texas companies with ties to the Bush administration are reaping profits in Putmayo...
  • Let Gary Webb Speak.../Permita que Gary Webb hable...

    When I heard Gary was gone, my first instinct was to go to the tape.  My biggest regret of the 1st J-School was that I didnt take part in, or record, his investigative journalism workshop--at the time, I thought I would benefit more from learning web skills.  But I knew I had a recording of him speaking on a panel discussion in Merida--the theme was "How to Write on Deadline"--Gary spoke first, followed by Maria Botey Pascual.  I listened intently, hoping for some jewels, some insight into his mind, but most of the discussion was nuts and bolts of how to write under pressure--Gary was there to teach, not preach or wax philosophical.  But then came a student asking about the "dilemma" that the more time a reporter spends on a story, the more emotionally involved they become--It ended wiith the question---Do you believe In objectivity?

    Gary's words...

    palabras de Gary...

  • Corruption alleged in U.S. Customs' Miami operations

    A respected attorney who fought the system for years to prove that one of his clients had been framed by the mob and FBI has leveled serious corruption charges against U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

    Those charges are outlined in a letter the attorney, John Cavicchi, sent last month to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. In addition to raising the corruption allegations, Cavicchi’s letter also advocates that the current commissioner of CBP, Robert Bonner, be replaced by Mark Conrad, a former U.S. Customs regional supervisor who has earned a reputation as a government whistleblower.

    CBP, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, employs some 41,000 people charged with managing, controlling and protecting the U.S. borders. Cavicchi’s charges take aim at the South Florida operations of CBP -- specifically Miami, one of the busiest seaside entry points in the country.

    Cavicchi gained national prominence as the lawyer for Louis Greco, who was convicted in Boston of being party to a 1965 mob-related assassination. Greco, a disabled WWII veteran, spent some 30 years in prison, all the while contending he was innocent.

  • Gary Webb: Do What He Did

    LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, DECEMBER 15, 2004: I keep imagining the last moments of Gary’s life. He is looking down the barrel of a gun. His eyes are puffy from the swell of too many tears. The moving van is coming to his house near Sacramento, a place he never wanted to be in the first place, to which he was exiled years ago for the crime of telling a powerful but uncomfortable truth. Everyone he has ever trusted or loved has abandoned him: By that I mean everyone, including you and me. What he is about to do requires the utmost in courage: to pull the trigger and plunge into the unknown, perhaps into nothingness, never to write or report or tell his truth to the post-human mortals who couldn’t handle his truth anyway.

    The hand on the trigger at that moment – his – is not the first, nor is he acting alone. Gary had to wait in line and take a number behind all those who set his suicide in motion years ago. It was a miracle he didn’t do this back when San Jose Mercury News editor Jerry Ceppos, now 58 and vice president of the Knight-Ridder news company, cocked the shotgun and pulled the trigger on the most authentic journalistic career of the late 20th Century. That was the day that the bullet flew out of the cartridge and, as if in very slow motion, took years to reach Gary’s head...

  • Authentic Journalism: The flip side, the torturing thorns of rosy Internet.

    Quot homines tot sententiae

    The opinions of a libertarian anarchist in Austin, TX.
    « The Hypocrisy of Daily Kos | Main | Lynne Stewart's Violent Motives »

    Monthly Archives | Recent Entries
    November 11, 2004
    Franz J. T. Lee is a Flailing Moron

    From South African Apartheid to North American Fascism

  • Elections and Protests

    Elections have a certain similarity in many countries and all over the world; a certain aura of corruption succeeding on the back of public indifference and/or ineffectiveness.
  • Gary Webb, ¡Presente!

    (English translation follows)

    Querido Gary: Esta noche volví a la casa y en cuatro líneas George Sanchez me explicó por qué esta vez no podrás contestar a mi palabras. Simplemente, como decía el poeta salvadoreño Roque Dalton, decidiste pasar a mejor vida... y eso, por supuesto, no nos incluía a mí, a George y a Reed Lindsay, que mucho te debemos y tanto te hemos querido. Está bien, Master Webb, no contestes, solamente lee...

  • Gary Webb - R.I.P.

    Excerpt from an obituary in the Sacramento Bee:

    Gary Webb, a prize-winning investigative journalist whose star-crossed career was capped with a controversial newspaper series linking the CIA to the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles, died Friday of self-inflicted gunshot wounds, officials said.

    Mr. Webb, 49, was found dead in his Carmichael home Friday morning of gunshot wounds to the head, the Sacramento County Coroner's Office said Saturday.

    He left a note, but officials would not disclose its contents.

    "I'm still in a state of shock," said Tom Dresslar, who works as a spokesman for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and had known Mr. Webb for 15 years.

    "He was a hard-core, no-fear investigative reporter," Dresslar said. "He wasn't afraid to stand up to whatever authority."

  • President Chavez Frias studying Trotsky, Revolution and Emancipation

    As we reported, a while ago, in Moscow, President Hugo Chavez Frias bought Trotsky's famous work "The Permanent Revolution" and is currently eagerly studying its historic application and relevance. Apart from the well-known theory of global permanent revolution of Trotsky ... the establishment of socialism on a world scale, and not the Stalinist version of socialism in one bloc, country or island ... what should interest Venezuela in particular at this moment are Trotsky's views concerning the social relation between "violence" and "emancipation" in the "Third World," in Latin America.
  • Man! Do we ever need grassroots authentic media in order to know the truth!

          The corporate media is burying the news about the possibly-stolen U.S. election. Some folks wrote me after my last posting, the one titled, “Blessed be the killers, Part III: A strategy for removing the Bush administration”, saying in effect that I was wrong, in either or both judgment and strategy. I think the letters I got are indicative of the success of corporate media in shaping people’s consciousness, even those of us who try to be very critical and independent. In this note I share some of the comments and exchanges.
  • let 'em eat bush: an immodest proposal

    yep. the dream of a liberal america is over. i'm waving my white flag high. it's time for the coasts and the cities to focus on taking care of their own. and if the heartland is so in love with republican values, well, let's let them live with them for a while. let 'em live with low minimum wage, no unions, lousy health care...all that shit the coasts and the cities have tried to legislate and even pay's easy to see now why the liberals have been taking such a beating for the past twenty years...
  • Maybe I'm a stubborn bastard, but

    I'm not ready to accept as true that Bush won the election, despite the fact that even many of those who are strongly opposed to his regime seem to have accepted the seemingly unending proclamations in the corporate media that he even garnered a majority of the votes, and not only the electoral college vote.

    In a number of articles, the most recent of which is at iscus/2004-12-06.htm,  I've argued for challenging continuation of the Bush administration, and proposed a strategy for getting rid of it.

  • La Jornada: "Denuncian que se realizan obras en Montes Azules para saquear las riquezas"

    The Mexican government, (and behind them, North American conservation NGOs, most likely) is stating to the world: we had to Kill the Jungle In Order To Save It.

    This is parallel to these same actors trying to steal indigenous pharma knowledge so they can patent it and make billions off of it.

    Read about it here: pol.php

  • OK, So what the hell is going on in Haiti?

    Maybe Reed and Daniel can help us out, but I saw this report while perusing the counterpunch site:
    "We Must  Kill the Bandits!"
    Lula's  Troops in Haiti

  • US Election: Electors to be Chosen Before Recount

    On November 22, a Federal district court judge denied a request by Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik to expedite the Ohio recount.  The judge said Cobb and Badnarik do not face "irreparable harm" if the recount doesn't take place until after the December 7 date to certify presidential electors, since they will not have any electors anyway.

    The judge did not consider the irreparable harm faced by the world or the nation, and Cobb and Badnarik as citizens, should constitutional democracy be subverted a second presidential election in a row.

  • Medical Marijuana a States' Rights Issue in USA

    The United States Supreme Court will have to either allow the use of marijuana to treat pain or else reverse itself on recent limitations to national government intervention in states' internal decisions, reported The Christian Science Monitor today ("Showdown over medical marijuana" by Warren Richey).
  • Magnetic fake yellow ribbons, credit cards, and U.S. soldiers

    Credit card companies call commanding officers in the United States armed forces to pressure soldiers to pay their interest-inflated debt, National Public Radio reported several days ago.

    In other news, yellow ribbon magnets emblazoned with "Support Our Troops" are more popular than ever on cars, trucks, and low-mileage so-called Sport Utility Vehicles.

  • Stark, dark realities facing Latin America and the World

    Nationally and internationally, studying the latest urgent actions of the Venezuelan government, definitely, life in sheer ad hoc probabilities and mere pro forma possibilities is ending here and now.

    Stark, dark, stormy, Orwellian realities are spreading very fast across Latin America and the world.

    Millions and millions across the globe are already vegetating in sub-human life conditions, generated by corporate, imperialist ultra-exploitation and by bellicose, merciless oppression.

  • Where's Lula? The Decree that Hasn't Come

    According to Brazilian government records, President Lula da Silva's expected presidential decree authorizing decriminalization of drug users, the creation of safe-use rooms for injected drug users, and the change in the name of the lead agency from "National Anti-Drug Secretary" to "National Secretary about Drugs," was not issued on November 24th.

    As reported last week by the daily Folha de Sao Paulo (and translated by Narco News) the various drug policy agencies in Lula's administration had reportedly come to a "consensus" for a policy change that would be signed by Lula this past Wednesday.

    However, the national drug czar, General Paulo Uchoa, did give a media interview on Wednesday in which he said there will be safe-use houses for injected drug users established... but only in an "experimental" manner...

    Let's read the tea leaves of the information that is available today...

  • Cuba/North America Labor Conference Dec. 10

    A message passed on in an e-mail from the International Action Center - Boston:

    On the weekend of December 10, 11 and 12th in Tijuana, Mexico - a conference will give people from North America the opportunity to hear, meet and discuss first hand with Cuban union leaders.

    Also in attendence, the e-mail read, will be union leaders and organizers involved in Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution, including Jacobo Torres de Leon, Coordinator of the Venezuelan Workers' Bolivarian Force (Fuerza Bolivariana de Trabajadores de Venezuela), and a lead organizer of the Million Worker March, Clarence Thomas.

  •'s firewall eliminated 11,468 viruses in the space of one hour

    11,468 computer viruses were eliminated in the space of one hour by's firewall at around 7:00 p.m. New York time yesterday, November 22 ... the corporate enemy is becoming desperately dangerous ... all this reminds me of a fatally wounded man-eater that launches the barbaric "law of the jungle," that becomes more ferocious as it nears its inexorable demise.
  • La esclavitud de la mente: El control mental en sus dimensiones psicológica y fisiológica


    Enjoy the following lecture of Jutta Schmitt, held a few days ago at the University of The Andes, Mérida, Venezuela, concerning coming dangers for Latin America and Venezuela.

    Centro de Estudios de África, Asia y Diásporas Latinoamericanas y Caribeñas

    “José Manuel Briceño Monzillo”

    Congreso Nacional 1854-2004: 150 años de la Abolición de la Esclavitud en Venezuela. ¿Pasado y Presente de una misma Realidad?

    <>Eje Temático: Viejas y nuevas formas de esclavitud que se practican en el mundo de hoy. Los esclavos“ocultos a plena vista” del Siglo XXI.

    Ponencia:        La esclavitud de la mente: El control mental en sus dimensiones psicológica y fisiológica.

    Ponente:          Jutta Schmitt M.A

    _________________ ________

    You can also download this document at the following URL:
    También se puede escarga el documento aquí abajo:

  • American Fascism

     What did the Fascist regimes in Italy, Germany, and Spain have in common?   They consisted of a highly militarized state, backed by corporation and a wealthy elite, that rose to power through a false populism that exploited the public’s fear of foreigners and “moral degenerates.”   This precisely defines the formula that Karl Rove designed to consolidate the Bush administration’s power in the recent election.

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