All Notebook Entries
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - November 3, 2004 at 12:46 pmUSA – Our democratic republic was car-jacked, beginning with the hot-wiring four years ago, and now we see most of our citizens just watch or cheer on the thieves. This country's going to be taken on a joy-ride and left trashed; don't doubt that.
But there's a lot left in this old gas-guzzling SUV of a nation worth saving, a hell of a lot of beautiful land and not a few wonderful people. And maybe, just maybe those of us stuck in the back will be able to distract the driver and his fellow hoodlums from their attempt to run over the innocent bystanders of this theft – the rest of the people in the world – even if we can't jam the gears.
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - November 3, 2004 at 9:28 amMassachusetts liberals descended on New Hampshire this election day to help defeat court-appointed President Bush, and elect their own Senator Kerry. Some had arrived or commuted to New Hampshire to interview potential Kerry voters in the day or days before. A few paid co-ordinators had been working there for months.
The strategy was simple and built around the many volunteers MoveOn has available for short-term involvement but its limited resources for an extended field effort. First, identify people who aren't regular voters and who are fairly likely to support Kerry, meaning registered Democrats and Independents. Second, ask them if they support Kerry. Third, make sure that those who say they support Kerry vote.
Based on this reporters anecdotal impressions participating in this get-out-the-vote effort in a conservative, rural area about a half hour from Manchester, New Hampshire's allowance of same-day registration, its good voting equipment, and its well-run polling stations proved even more important for Kerry's victory in this state.
- Posted by Franz J.T. Lee - November 1, 2004 at 1:40 pmIn previous commentaries we have underlined the emancipatory quintessence of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. We have explained why it is an emancipatory paradigm for all the exploited, dominated, discriminated and alienated peoples of the world.
Yesterday, once more, the Venezuelans have shown to the world, what the kratos (rule, government) of, by and for the demos (people), what real, true, democracy, that is, revolutionary emancipation, is all about.
- Posted by Al Giordano - October 31, 2004 at 4:53 pmPolls close in Uruguay in 45 minutes, at 7:30 p.m. in the capital city of Montevideo (that's 5:30 p.m. in New York and 2:30 p.m. in California) and all of Latin America is awaiting the results.
We'll be reporting the hard numbers here on The Narcosphere as the evening rolls on, and analyzing them for you and, if you are a Narco News co-publisher, with your help.
First, some background information from recent Narco News reports:
Uruguay Votes Today: "An Historic Triumph for Latin America" and South American Unity
Eduardo Curuchet on the Significance of Todays Election and the Movement for Regional Integration
By Manuela Aldabe
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
October 31, 2004
Big Week for Elections in América
By Dan Feder
Via The Narcosphere
October 29, 2004
Uruguay Elections: "We Will Be Able to Begin to Make Changes in Drug Policy"
Congresswoman Margarita Percovich on the Center-Left Coalition that Is Expected to Triumph on Sunday
By Manuela Aldabe
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
October 27, 2004
Here come the results...
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - October 30, 2004 at 7:48 pmWith the new Eminem music video "Mosh", Marshall Mathers joins millions of people in the very active fight to end the most anti-democractic, corrupt, oppressive, and war-crazy (all at the same time, anyway) administration in United States history.
These millions include a few famous people who, like Mathers, have connected with large parts of the white population. The bad news is that the majority of whites in the United States would deliver George W. Bush unto themselves and the world again and again.
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - October 30, 2004 at 2:19 pmIn 2002, publisher Al Giordano named Marshall Mathers, also known as Eminem, the Narco News Journalist-of-the-Year. Days before the election, Mathers leads the U.S. victims of the Bush administration to a rebellion by ballot, in a new video now playing (possibly edited) on MTV. The video, titled "Mosh," is the #1 most popular according to MTV.com.
- Posted by Al Giordano - October 29, 2004 at 2:42 pmLast August we reported that Narco News copublisher and journalist Stephen Flanagan Jackson had "gone to court seeking the lifting of a bizarre gag order imposed on Colombian miners, unions, and family members of those who were assassinated, in their lawsuit against the Drummond Company."
Stop the presses! Jackson has won his case!
The Reporters Committee for a Free Press informs:
Oct. 29, 2004 -- An editor for a Latin American news Web site claimed victory Tuesday in his fight against a protective order forbidding anyone involved in a federal wrongful death suit against an American coal company over the killing of three workers in Colombia from talking about the case.
Stephen Flanagan Jackson, an associate editor for latinamericanpost.com, asked to intervene in the case in August after the trial judge imposed a broad gag order on all participants. Judge Karon O. Bowdre of the U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Ala., modified the order earlier this week so it now applies only to the attorneys involved.
"Her protective order was very broad and general, and it infringed on my rights as a member of the media and any individual's right to talk to me about the case," Jackson said in a telephone interview. The original order had a "chilling effect" on his sources and infringed on public's right to know about a very important case, he said...
Congratulations Stephen! Job well done!
Read the rest of the report, below...
- Posted by Dan Feder - October 29, 2004 at 10:26 amFive hundred thousand people poured into the streets of Montevideo yesterday in a final rally for the left-wing Broad Front (FA in its Spanish initials) party before Sundays general elections. It was, according to the Uruguayan press, the largest demonstration in that countrys history. Now, a demonstration of that size anywhere is a big deal, but were talking about more than 14% of the entire countrys population. The election is expected to be a rout by FA candidate Tabaré Vázquez, who nearly all the opinion polls now predict will win in the first round (if he does not receive more than 50 percent there will be a run-off in one month).
This may turn out to be the straw that broke the gringo camels back. An FA victory would be the first left-wing government in Uruguays history, and could deal a major blow to both neoliberalism and the drug war in South America.
- Posted by Bill Conroy - October 26, 2004 at 9:21 pmAfrican American agents with the U.S. Secret Service, which is charged with safeguarding the life of the president and other national leaders, contend the Bush Administration has worked to undermine their class-action discrimination lawsuit against the agency.
Officials with the nonprofit Black Agents of the Secret Service (BASS) allege that for the past four years -- the lawsuit was filed in 2000 -- the Bush Administration and the Secret Service have used the judicial process to prevent a discussion of this case on its merits. BASS representatives say not a single witness has been called nor has a single document been produced in the case to date.
The refusal to address the merits of the Black Agents case is shameful, said Special Agent Reginald G. Moore, BASS president, in a prepared statement. It is particularly disappointing that nothing was done after (former U.S.) Rep. J.C. Watts arranged a meeting with White House Associate Counsel Stuart Bowen and the class representatives to discuss the case. This is not a situation where the White House is unaware of the issues, nor could they be after the appearance of several front-page stories on the gross mismanagement and racial discrimination in the Secret Service.
The alleged racial discrimination problems within the Secret Service -- formerly part of the Treasury Department and now part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) -- appear to be part of a widespread pattern of racism within major federal law enforcement agencies.
- Posted by Claudia Espinoza - October 26, 2004 at 4:02 pmDe Achacachi a Nayaf, recorre la misma ola de desconfianza cuando los medios de información intentan dar cuenta de situaciones de conflicto.
Pues dejando un poco de lado la versión capitalista y los intereses de las compañías que dicen producir comunicación, el fenómeno de la desconfianza hacia los “medios” bien puede ser visto específicamente desde la construcción del discurso periodístico en el que se advierte una tendencia casi constante en los últimos años: la criminalización de la protesta.
- Posted by Al Giordano - October 25, 2004 at 11:21 amDuring a debate we had here on The Narcosphere back in August, I wrote:
"...it is impossible for the United States to militarily invade Mexico - or even place an economic embargo upon it - without causing conditions that would fast lead a rebellion by United States citizens against their own government at home, and that Mexico enjoys a unique power in this sense..."
I have said this, in fact, to thousands of people in recent years, imploring Mexican friends and allies to realize the real power they have to change drug policies, and others, without fear of Uncle Sam, and imploring gringo friends and allies to understand that a potential silver bullet exists South of the Border to collapse the entire drug war game.
I usually get blank stares in response. To suggest that the little guy can beat the neighborhood bully here in a barrio called América seems to cause a kind of nervous discomfort.
But in today's Mexico City daily La Jornada, somebody else just said it: a very official-looking bloke from the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. His name is John Coatsworth. Look at his photo. It's not like he's wearing a ski-mask over his suit and tie. This guy is as establishment as they come. I'll translate his words. Maybe y'all will listen to the guy in the suit...
- Posted by Yasmin Khan - October 22, 2004 at 2:56 pmCongress just voted down a bill to reinstate the draft for men and women without the option to defer for higher education. They voted it down but why was it in the House in the first place. According to U.S. Army public information officers, the Army is growing by 30,000 in the next year. Why? Where are they going to find people who are willing to die for an increasingly unpopular war? They will find them in schools. Our schools are failing, kids have less and less options for college and even if they go to college the job market is dismal. But these 30,000 new troops will not just be sitting around on American, Afghani or Iraqi soil. They will be dispersed to the corners of the globe- Americans have no idea where our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters are being sent. Kids are scared. Parents are scared. Be prepared for Bush to take over again and flush any hope minorities and poor people have of a better life. If you are intersted in the topic of building the US Army- look at my article at the Santa Fe New Mexican website. Once again, the government has something brewing that is going to screw over people not just in America, but in many other countries as well.
- Posted by Al Giordano - October 22, 2004 at 7:39 amFormer Bolivian president Gonzalo "Goni" Sánchez de Lozada - who resigned in disgrace a year ago after a massacre of civilian protestors occured under his watch, and now faces criminal charges in his country - went running to a higher power on Thursday seeking help and protection from extradition to Bolivia from the United States.
The higher power? Why, of course, it was the editorial board of the Miami Herald (a.k.a. Oligarch's Daily) which published two nearly identical stories about Goni's efforts to fight against his extradition.
One story, by Pablo Bachelet, is in English.
The other story, by Joaquim Utset, is in Spanish.
But in whatever language, Goni said, according to the Herald that "the Bolivian justice system" - a system he helped to form - "was not independent enough to guarantee a fair trial."
In the Spanish-language version, Goni went wild with accusations and conspiracy theories, accusing his former vice president, now president, Carlos Mesa of having participated in a "coup" (Goni signed a resignation letter) and comparing the current president to Russia's early 20th century transitional leader Alexander Kerensky...
- Posted by Bill Conroy - October 21, 2004 at 6:31 pmDuring a recent speech in Ohio in front of a crowd of Republican stalwarts, Vice President Dick Cheney said the following, according to the Associated Press:
The biggest threat we face now as a nation is the possibility of terrorists ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever before been used against us -- biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind to be able to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
If indeed the United States faces such a threat, we better hope the terrorists dont speak a foreign language.
According to email correspondence leaked to Narco News, the Department of Homeland Securitys main investigative arm, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), suspended all foreign-language pay for its agents for fiscal year 2004, which ended Sept. 30. In addition, due to budget constraints, Homeland Security (DHS) has not ruled doing the same in the coming fiscal year, according to Russ Knocke, director of public affairs for ICE.
- Posted by Franz J.T. Lee - October 20, 2004 at 8:14 amAlthough all the great revolutionaries of history seem to have emphasized the "making", the acting of revolution, this does not imply that thinking the revolution is a negligible social factor.
For sure, in his famous "Eleven Thesis" with reference to Feuerbach, the "young" Marx underlined: "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it."
Also, Che Guevara stated categorically: "The duty of a revolutionary is to make the revolution."
Ever since the victorious electoral Battle of Santa Inés, all over Venezuela the Bolivarians are talking about "deepening the revolution", about making the "revolution in the revolution". Across the country various study groups came into existence, to pursue "ideological" education, to analyze, to penetrate the historic essence of the Bolivarian Revolution. However, very soon, many discover, what the German philosopher, Ernst Bloch has formulated : " ... etwas fehlt" (... something is absent), something is missing.
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - October 18, 2004 at 6:23 pmThe Haitian people will continue their struggle against imposed rulers and for the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, despite constant violence from the former army against people associated with his majority Lavalas party, said a Lavalas activist who traveled from Haiti and spoke at the Million Worker March yesterday in Washington D.C.
A transcript of her speech, recorded at the event by this reporter, follows below.
- Posted by Gissel Gonzales - October 14, 2004 at 6:52 pmDespués de constantes manifestaciones exigiendo castigo para los que masacraron en septiembre y octubre; el parlamento autorizo el inicio del juicio de responsabilidades en contra del ex presidente Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada y el gabinete que lo acompañó en octubre del año pasado, el pueblo boliviano escribe con sangre en su historia, la madrugada de un jueves 14 de octubre del 2004 con el voto de 126 parlamentarios a favor del Si al juicio de responsabilidades a Sánchez de Lozada y sus colaboradores.
- Posted by Al Giordano - October 14, 2004 at 8:36 amA year ago, on October 17, the then-president of Bolivia, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada (a.k.a. "Goni") resigned and fled his country for Miami, after a storm of public protests against his deals to sell Bolivian gas to foreign companies and an even greater torment after Goni's troops massacred Bolivian civilians who had protested against the gas deals.
Last night, at 12:30 a.m., 126 members of the Bolivian Congress (out of 140, making the vote against Goni a crushing 90 percent on the second roll call) voted that Goni and members of his cabinet can now be subjected to trial as civilians for their alleged roles in the deaths of more than 80 civilian protestors during what is known throughout Bolivia as the "Black October" of 2003.
The gauntlet was thus thrown down to the Bush administration in Washington, which, according to U.S. Ambassador David Greenlee responding to Bolivian journalists last night, has allowed the former president, Goni, to remain legally in the United States for the past year...
- Posted by Al Giordano - October 13, 2004 at 10:10 amOtto Martin Wolf, columnist for the daily La Prensa in Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras, wrote a column last week titled Should Drugs Be Legalized? (It's in Spanish but I'll translate some key passages here on The Narcosphere).
He recounts the story of alcohol prohibition in the United States and how it gave unprecedented power to organized gangsters:
"Liquor was only the first step. With the power they acquired they bought judges, police and politicians, elevating corruption to levels never seen before (does this scenario sound familiar?).
"The cure was worse than the disease and, in the end, after years of crime and violence, of extortion and bribery, the sale of liquor was finally legalized.
"Is the whole world now in a similar moment regarding drugs?
"It seems that all the efforts to deter the consumption of drugs are failing throughout the world. People's fascination with drugs has created a market that, no matter what is done, seems to increase. For a minor, it is easier to buy drugs than cigarettes or liquor because there is a prohibition on those products that is more or less respected, but drugs are sold everywhere without any control at all "
- Posted by Franz J.T. Lee - October 9, 2004 at 2:43 pm
La oposición oligárquica y sus medios nacionales no tienen respeto en absoluto: actualmente, Radio Caracas TV (RCTV) y otros canales y radios privados están preparando cuñas para sus televidentes y oyentes adoctrinados para celebrar el Día de la Raza (Día de Colón) el próximo martes, 12 de octubre de 2004.
La gran mentira, el engaño sobre el descubrimiento de América por Cristóbal Colón aún tiene infectadas a las mentes de millones de Latinoamericanos y Caribeños.
A pesar del hecho de que el Gobierno Bolivariano cambió el nombre de esta fiesta nacional oficialmente al Día de la Resistencia Indígena, los medios masivos siguen con su control mental, con su adoctrinación y manipulación, a través de un Holocausto Mental Europeo trans-histórico de hace mucho tiempo, lanzado contra los pueblos de las Américas y de otras partes.
- Posted by Gissel Gonzales - October 9, 2004 at 10:19 amLa Coordinadora de Defensa del Gas y los Hidrocarburos al pueblo Boliviano: "Nos encontramos en un momento de definiciones: O recuperamos la propiedad efectiva de los hidrocarburos en toda la cadena productiva a través de YPFB con una amplia participación democrática de los hombres y mujeres de nuestra patria en el manejo y distribución de la riqueza; o por el contrario, permanecemos impasibles mientras los agentes políticos de las petroleras, presentes en el poder ejecutivo y legislativo, escamotean la voluntad popular aprobando una ley que no afecta substancialmente el andamiaje jurídico y económico de las compañías petroleras.
¡Nosotros! como Coordinadora del Gas, denunciamos que Carlos Meza y sus ministros junto al aparato congresal del MNR y del MIR pretenden aprobar una ley maquillada, que consolida la capacidad de las empresas extranjeras para seguir explotando bajo relaciones coloniales a los bolivianos. Las propuesta de Meza permite a las empresas seguir con el control de los precios, debilita aún más a YPFB (Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos) al dividirlo en dos, mantiene la superintendencia, se olvida de subir las regalías al 50% y para peor mantiene la clasificación de hidrocarburos existentes y nuevos".
- Posted by Daniel Fleming - October 8, 2004 at 4:55 pmPara o primeiro secretário da SENAD ( Secretaria Nacional Anti-drogas) no governo de Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Walter Fanganiello Maierovitch, a Lei do Abate institui a pena de morte no Brasil.
A lei permite a destruição de aeronaves que cruzem a fronteira brasileira supostamente carregadas de entorpecentes, como já tinha sido adotado por outros países, como Colômbia, Peru e Argentina, com forte pressão estadunidense, líder mundial da Guerra às Drogas.
- Posted by Gissel Gonzales - October 8, 2004 at 10:45 amYa empezó la lucha en Bolivia, la gente sedienta de justicia y trabajo se organiza preparando su mente y cuerpo para demostrar al presidente Carlos Mesa la incapacidad e ineficiencia de su gestión para gobernar dignamente este país.
La agenda de octubre que los Movimientos Sociales planificaron el septiembre pasado se ha iniciado; la incertidumbre de lo que se viene estos días late en el corazón de muchos bolivianos, todo depende de la acción y la reacción que tengan los principales actores de esta batalla. Que busca por un lado: Nacionalización de los Hidrocarburos, Ya y por otra el Juicio de responsabilidades y cárcel a Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, sus ministros y a los asesinos de febrero y octubre. Ambos casos en manos de los tres poderes del Estado (Ejecutivo, Legislativo y Judicial) poderes del Estado que no escuchan la voz del pueblo, porque no representan los interés de la gente sencilla y trabajadora, de la mayoría de la gente que ocupa el territorio boliviano.
- Posted by Al Giordano - October 8, 2004 at 10:22 amOn Wednesday night, the Argentina Senate approved a bill that shifts most drug enforcement in the country from the federal authorities to those on the state and local levels. While the measure reflects the frustration at the unwinnable nature of US-imposed prohibitionist drug policies, and the over-burdened Argentine judicial system, the legislation was passed for all the wrong reasons, and if passed now by the House, will bring an all-out assault on smalltime drug users and dealers...
- Posted by Al Giordano - October 7, 2004 at 3:51 pmSix weeks ago, we reported on the setback by which the Chilean political system, through its dominant parties in Congress, blocked a marijuana legalization bill sponsored by Senator Nelson Avila.
But often, when Power throws up one fence, it causes change agents to seek new paths, cut new holes in the wall, dig tunnels or leap higher than before. Such is the case in Chile where Avila announces his candidacy for the 2005 election for president of the nation.
La Tercera reports his stance in favor of legalizing the cultivation (not merely the possession) of marijuana as first among his issues. Others include legalization of abortion and euthanasia, and in favor of Chile granting a seaport to landlocked Bolivia (which would resolve a hundred-plus-year-old conflict between the two nations that has fueled many of the rebellions in recent years in Bolivia).
In the coming weeks, Avila plans on crisscrossing the country, beginning in the indigenous lands of the Mapuche ethnic group, where indigenous leader Aucán Huilcamán Paillama is also expected to declare his candidacy for the presidency.
Avila told the news agency Las Ultimas Notícias that while his candidacy may well cause problems for his former center-left political party, Concertación, he expects it will "cause headaches for many" parties and politicians.
Perhaps they will at least be able to treat their headaches, in due time, with the five-leafed medicine that the colorful Senator seeks to legalize. As the campaign marches on, Narco News will be reporting its progress.
- Posted by Franz J.T. Lee - October 7, 2004 at 9:32 amThe oligarchic "opposition" and its national mass media have no respect for anything: currently, Radio Caracas TV (RCTV) is preparing commercials for its mind-controlled adherents to celebrate "Día de la Raza" (Colombus Day) next Tuesday -- October 12, 2004.
This big lie, this hoax ... about the 'discovery' of America by Christopher Columbus, still infects the minds of millions in Latin America.
Although the name of this public holiday has officially been changed to the 'Dia de la Resistencia Indigena' by the Bolivarian Government, the mass media continues their mind control, indoctrination and manipulation -- with a trans-historic European Mental Holocaust launched against the peoples of the Americas and elsewhere.
Columbus was not among the first to know that the earth was round ... the ancient Mediterranean peoples already had this knowledge. He did not 'discover' America ... already centuries before, the Africans had fleets that crossed the Atlantic and they had a vivid, healthy, trans-cultural intercourse with the American indigenous peoples. Their artefacts and traces of their ancient cultures can be found all over Central America.
- Posted by Pablo Francischelli - October 5, 2004 at 5:34 pmParece que el 11 de Octubre se viene fuerte. Y, por increible que pueda parecer, aca en Brasil casi no se habla de lo que pasa en nuestro país vecino.
Me gustaria estar presente ese dia, para poder vivir y participar de todo ese movimiento de resistencia por parte del pueblo boliviano, por la legitimizacion de sus derechos y de su historia.
La coca es del pueblo boliviano, el gas es del pueblo boliviano, pero el gobierno no...El gobierno juega en contra de los intereses de su proprio pueblo. Me parece que enquanto eso no cambie esa guerra no termina.
Les deseo toda la suerte del mundo a mis compañeros autenticos periodistas bolivianos. Estaremos acompañando todo desde aqui la vecindad.
Viva la resistencia!
- Posted by Al Giordano - October 4, 2004 at 4:52 pmNarco News pages are filled with reports on drug policy in Brazil, with a sizeable number of articles and commentaries on the advances made in the continent's largest city, São Paulo, under the leadership of city anti-AIDS coordinator Fabio Mesquita and his innovative programs - from clean needle exchange to decriminalizing drug users - to reduce the harms caused by drug use under prohibition, known as "harm reduction" policies.
But in municipal elections held yesterday, although the pro-drug-policy-reform Worker's Party of President Lula da Silva increased its number of mayoralties from 193 to 388 - and will pick up more in run-off votes to be held on October 31st - the continuation of a pro-reform administration in São Paulo is at risk...
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - October 3, 2004 at 5:12 pmIt's no fun giving to get a group out of debt.
Until Alex Contreras and Bill Conroy weighed in with some of the best reporting anywhere, on the suppression of people in the drug war in Bolivia and the suppression of information in the drug war in the United States, there were more fund appeals on the front page of Narco News than stories.
And there's no matching grant.
Which is why now is the time to give.
- Posted by Bill Conroy - October 2, 2004 at 2:29 pmAn internal Department of Homeland Security memo leaked to Narco News sheds a bright light on how the U.S. government attempts to manipulate media coverage.
For people working in the media, this memo may not come as a big shock, as many have become reluctant participants in the sham. But for readers, this memo should be disturbing, as it demonstrates clearly how much of what you read in the mainstream media is scripted, right down to who talks to the media, what they say, and which media get to cover the story.
What is more telling is the news that is suppressed, that readers are not allowed to know because the heads of our government agencies deem it more important to spin the news than to provide critical information to citizens that is vital to the proper functioning of the democracy.
The memo provided to Narco News was distributed to local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices from ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C.
ICE, composed of special agents from the former U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, is the primary investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The DHS memo obtained by Narco News provides very specific instructions on how local ICE offices are to create a media event for Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins Sept. 15 and runs through Oct. 15.