Latest Threads
Latest
Greatest Threads
Greatest
Lobby
Lobby
Journals
Journals
Search
Search
Options
Options
Help
Help
Login
Login
Home » Discuss » Journals » EFerrari Donate to DU
Advertise Liberally! The Liberal Blog Advertising Network
Advertise on more than 70 progressive blogs!
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion
Sat Jul 16th 2011, 08:33 PM
For our dear brother Medgar Evers July 2, 1925 - July 12, 1963



1963

I’ve been trying to figure out all day why I remember November 22, 1963 so clearly and have no memory of July 12, 1963 at all.

I remember the Sunday before Easter that year. I was six and my mother had forgotten her lipstick on the way to Mass. She borrowed my little Avon sample and somehow managed to lose it by the time we got home. She also got stopped by a San Francisco cop on the way to church. My grandmother told me to tell the cop that Mom was going to have a baby and that he should leave her alone. This was news to me and as the best English speaker in the car, I think the news rendered me speechless. Between losing my lipstick and gaining a baby brother, that day stands out.

Later that year, my cousin Julie had a July birthday party in the garage of her family’s Marin County home. Julie is three years younger than I am so I remember a group of little girls in a rainbow of puffy-sleeved chiffon dresses and full petticoats, in black patent leather shoes and hair curled and pulled back into plastic barrettes. My aunt made that slightly creepy clown-head cake out of Betty Crocker and after everyone left, Julie and I hunted for frogs in the back yard barefoot.

That was about two weeks after Medgar Evers was killed in his own driveway in Jackson with his voter registration card in his back pocket but it might as well have been in another century or on another planet. It was about a month after the president gave his first Civil Rights address to the nation.

Of course, later that year, my brother was brought home from the hospital and two weeks later, our young president was killed.

I don’t remember my own mother or any of my aunts and uncles saying anything about the civil rights movement in the sixties until they themselves had safely changed their own status from “resident” to “citizen”. Not even in the privacy of our home in front of the television. They all grew up in a country where the government could come for your father in the middle of the night and had. So that isn’t very surprising.

And some of them took their families from San Francisco out to the new, white suburbs of Marin. My mother took us south to the equally white and red--lined suburbs of Silicon Valley. She didn’t know, she says, that she was moving us to a whiter neighborhood. I tend to believe her. She was moving away from a chorus of critical older brothers who reviewed her every life decision and to a place where the weather was better, where her kids would have a yard to run in. It never occurred to her that the South Bay suburbs had anything to do with the huge black migration to Oakland and San Francisco during the war. She had an accent so it’s likely the real estate agents didn’t sell our house to her exactly in that way.

I don’t know when I first learned about the murder of Medgar Evers just as I don’t know when I figured out that I was born into the second week of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. I remember odd details of the run up to the 1960 election even though I wasn’t five yet, like the primary debate when my grandmother said Kennedy didn’t look old enough to wear long pants and I leaned into the television to see if I could see his bare legs, but I don’t remember a word about the Freedom Riders in ‘61 or any about Medgar Evers in 1963, a year when too many things got too clear too early for me and for so many of us.

Not about his kids or how his young wife fought him to quit his work as the NAACP field organizer in the most dangerous spot in the country. None of that. I was in a development meant to house the president’s NASA Moon project engineers in Sunnyvale, California, and Jackson, Mississippi might as well have been the Moon. Sometimes, I think the Kennedy’s invented the Moon to take our minds off of things. Or a least, for those of us who had the choice not to worry about church bombings or our fathers being shot in our driveways. I know that in my burb kid’s memory of those years, the Kennedys are jumbled up with the Moon, with Montgomery, with Jackson and more quietly, later with Selma.

That was my first decade on this planet and if there are heroes in the world and not just hype, Medgar Evers is a hero of that decade. We remember him even if the corrupt media will not mark or honor the sacrifice of a veteran of our foreign war and a brave leader of our domestic struggle.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_HBdrJkmDE
Read entry | Discuss (0 comments) | Recommend (+19 votes)
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion
Tue Feb 15th 2011, 04:29 PM
"The FBI has long maintained that while science played a significant role, it was the totality of the investigative process that determined the outcome of the anthrax case,'' the FBI and Justice Department said in a joint statement. "Although there have been great strides in forensic science over the years, rarely does science alone solve an investigation.''

Oh, really?!

Here is Mueller on 9/17/2008 pitching the idea that the SCIENCE would make his case, @ 28:00

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Investi...

Unfortunately, his lead expert had already said on 9/10/2008 that science alone couldn't do that:

"I never felt that the science alone would ever solve this investigation," Fraser-Liggett concluded.

http://bit.ly/hhyzur

And since Mueller's testimony to the Senate, both the National Academy of Science and the National Research Council's studies have not validated his claims.

So, now the FBI says, it's the totality of evidence that makes their case, in other words, they have a whole lotta nothin'.

No one who worked with Ivins believes he had the tech to do that, no means. No one can find a motive. And the FBI can't place him or anyone connected with him at the scene, so no opportunity either.

The FBI has no case against Bruce Ivins. There is no credible resolution of the anthrax attacks. But, it looks like, that's not a problem for anyone in our government.

What the fuck is that.
Read entry | Discuss (0 comments)
Posted by EFerrari in Election Reform
Fri Dec 17th 2010, 06:57 PM
My friends

I got word that on Thanksgiving week, that Tuesday, our friend was driving home to northern California from Arizona and she was lost in a terrible car crash. The police seemed to believe she fell asleep and her ex seemed to believe she died on impact. Terrible news.

I waited for a while to post out of respect for her family and intimate friends. Out of respect for her friends here at DU and out of respect for all her wonderful participation here, let's have a thread for her tonight.

I think I met trouble here in this forum. She was a brilliant, loyal, generous woman. She could be testy, silly and laser sharp on any problem, by turns. She made this, do you remember?



trouble helped fly and merh and fooj and me make a circle around Andy. She stayed up until all hours in those bad days to help figure out the way forward. She was a relentless advocate for election reform and active in her Democratic community. A gifted artist, a very devoted mother and an irreplaceable, irrepressible friend.

To our friend, troubleinwinter. This place, any place, is so much less without you. You are always in our hearts, always bright, always beautiful and always loved.

Read entry | Discuss (2 comments) | Recommend (+179 votes)
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Dec 03rd 2010, 03:02 PM
and a friend to the Constitution, consider visiting this declaration/petition:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/i-read-wi...
Read entry | Discuss (13 comments) | Recommend (+43 votes)
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Nov 09th 2010, 03:39 PM
and other events through the 17th.

It's good to see that the torture president's airbrushing is being bucked by SOMEBODY.

Also, if you haven't seen it already, there's a non violent direct action out of FaceBook here:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=1260...

with a thread just for DU (come in and represent!):

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=1260...


The People's Response
to the George W. Bush Library & Policy Institute


Accountability for the past. Democracy for the future!

Accountability is the hallmark of a mature democracy: no one is above the
law! Remind past, present and future administrations that the
truth cannot be buried or changed, and remind the public that the same
ideologues who crafted the Bush policies of the last decade will be writing
a script for our future. Will this think-tank develop the same kinds of
policies that brought us pre-emptive war, economic crisis, environmental
disaster, unprecedented presidential power and diminished civil and human
rights? Act now to prevent history from repeating itself!

A peaceful, nonviolent march & rally will coincide with the George W. Bush
Presidential Center groundbreaking. Join us for a series of events that
will move us toward accountability for the past and democracy for the
future!Dallas, Texas


Programs/Events: November 14 - 17 (full schedule below)
Updates, sign-up & more info at www.thepeoplesresponse.org .


On Facebook: Invite your friends at
http://www.facebook .com/#!/event.php? eid=109135409149 090.

Post the book you'd most like to see in the Bush Library at
http://www.facebook .com/pages/ The-Peoples- Response/ 155965691105205#!/pages/Dallas- TX/What-book- do-you-want- in-the-George- W-Bush-President ial-Library/ 163745263644112.

"Like" The People's Response at http://www.facebook .com/pages/ The-Peoples- Response/ 155965691105205

Speakers include:

Dr. Robert Jensen - author and professor at University of Texas School of
Journalism

Col. Ann Wright - US Army, (29 years); Foreign Service Officer, Department of
State (16 years)

Diane Wilson - environmental activist, author, and shrimp-boat captain

Coleen Rowley - former FBI Special Agent and Legal Counsel, TIME Person of the
Year

Hadi Jawad - activist, organizer, and former Dallas Peace Center Peacemaker of
the Year

Ray McGovern - US Army Intelligence Officer; Directorate of Intelligence, CIA
(30 years)

Lon Burnam - Texas State Representative and immediate past director of the
Dallas Peace Center

Medea Benjamin - author, activist, and co-founder of Global Exchange and Code
Pink Women for Peace

Rev. Dr. William McElvaney - author and Professor Emeritus, Southern Methodist
University School of Theology

Debra Sweet - activist, writer, and director of The World Can't Wait

Elliott Adams - Past President, Veterans for Peace

Marjorie Cohn - author, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and
immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild

Kathy Kelly - activist, writer, and director of Voices for Creative Nonviolence

David Swanson - author, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet. org/WarIsACrime. org

Cynthia Papermaster - accountability activist, director of National
Accountability Action Network, CODEPINK Women for Peace Golden Gate Chapter

State & local sponsors and endorsers include: Texans for Peace, The Dallas
Peace Center, North Texas Progressive, North Texas Veterans for Peace, Peace
Action Denton, Code Pink Greater Dallas, Waco Friends of Peace, Code Pink
Houston, Austin Veterans for Peace, Rational Broadcasting, Code Pink Ft. Worth,
Dallas ISO, The Austin Center for Peace and Justice, Code Pink Austin, Iraq
Veterans Against the War - Austin, University of North Texas Campus Anti-war
Network, Under the Hood Cafe

National & regional endorsers include: United for Peace and Justice, Veterans
for Peace, Progressive Democrats of America, After Downing Street/War Is A
Crime, The World Can't Wait, the Robert Jackson Steering Committee, The
National Lawyers Guild, TexOma Region, Operation Awareness

Schedule of Events -
Sunday, November 14
3:00-4:00 p.m. -- Interfaith Service of Lamentation & Hope - McCord Auditorium,
Dallas Hall, SMU (parking @ SMU Blvd & Airline)
6:00 p.m. -- The People’s Response Reception - McCord Auditorium, SMU
6:30-8:00 p.m. -- “Accountability for the Past; Democracy for the Future
McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall, SMU
Speakers: Kathy Kelly - Keynote Address; Dr. Robert Jensen - “Projecting
Power or Promoting Peace: A Call for Justice, Kindness, Humility


Monday, November 15
10:30 a.m. -- The People's Response Press Conference & opening of Eyes Wide
Open boot display - NW corner of Mockingbird & Airline Rd in front of Ford
Stadium, SMU
2:00 p.m. -- Peacemaker Workshop - Venue TBA
Peacekeeper training; sign-making; pre-rally briefing; etc.
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. -- “Symposium on Truth and Democracy - Speakers and
Truth-brary Book-signing - McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall, SMU (parking at SMU
Blvd & Airline Rd)
Speakers:Lon Burnam - moderator, David Swanson, Ray McGovern, Ann Wright, Diane
Wilson, Medea Benjamin, Coleen Rowley

The People’s Response Truth-brary Books and Book-signing:
Dissent: Voices of Conscience by Ann Wright
An Unreasonable Woman by Diane Wilson
Stop the Next War Now by Medea Benjamin
Becoming a Justice Seeking Congregation by Bill McElvaney
Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang has Defied the Law by Marjorie Cohn
Daybreak and War is a Lie by David Swanson
All My Bones Shake and Citizens of Empire by Robert Jensen

Tuesday, November 16
9:00 a.m. -- The People's Response March & Rally - Meet at DART Mockingbird
Station (NE of Mockingbird and I-75) and march to NW corner of Mockingbird &
Airline Rd. Please wear black!Speakers: Rich Hancock-moderator, Hadi Jawad,
Lon Burnam, Ann Wright, Ray McGovern, Charles Grand, Diane Wilson, Elliott
Adams, Medea Benjamin, Debra Sweet
2:00-4:00 p.m. --Forum on Torture, Human Rights, and the Law Cathedral of
Hope, Fellowship Hall
Speakers: Ray McGovern - Moderator, Marjorie Cohn, Debra Sweet, Ann Wright,
Coleen Rowley, Cynthia Papermaster

Closing Remarks
Wednesday, November 17

5:00 p.m. Truth & Accountability Teach-In, Gateway Center, Rm 132,
University of North Texas, Denton (off North Texas Blvd, across from stadium).
Ann Wright, Ray McGovern, Coleen Rowley, Medea Benjamin

____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _

Other events of interest in DFW area:
Friday, November 13 --3:00-5:00 p.m.
Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow: Moving from a Military to Peacetime
Economy,presented by the North Texas One Nation Working Together Coalition.
Speakers are Dr. Lloyd Jeff Dumas, professor of economics at UT-Dallas and an
internationally renowned expert on economic conversion and military economies;
and Nancy Hall, legislative secretary of the Communication Workers of America
(CWA), Local 6215. At Interfaith Peace Chapel, 5910 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas.
Wednesday, November 17 -- 7:00 p.m.
UNT student-led protest Don't Pay Bush In the midst of budget cuts, the
$100,000 George W. Bush is being paid to speak this evening will be taken out
of student-paid activities fees. At University of North Texas, Denton.
Thursday, November 18 -- 7:00 p.m.
The Embrey Human Rights Program with the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and
Public Responsibility presents Dead Man Walking -- The Journey Continues with
Sr. Helen Prejean. At Prothro Great Hall, Perkins School of Theology, Dallas.
************ ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* *********



Read entry | Discuss (0 comments) | Recommend (+14 votes)
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Jul 27th 2010, 02:40 PM
Last Sunday on “Face the Nation”, Bush appointee to the US Commission on Civil Rights Abigail Thernstrom put the so called New Black Panther’s voter intimidation case to rest in the media: there is no evidence of voter intimidation and no evidence that the Obama DoJ acted improperly in its handling of that case. This after nearly seven months of the right wing Noise Machine instigating fits about scary black men intimidating white voters (no evidence it happened) and claiming that Holder’s DoJ refused to prosecute black offenders (didn’t happen, the Bush DoJ made that call).

It’s interesting that, while Ms. Thernstrom’s comments where picked up in the mainstream media, and while those stories all mentioned the Shirley Sherrod case somewhere, none of them pointed out that the origin of the New Black Panthers story was also a Breitbart pal and Big Government blogger, Mike Roman.

I haven’t been able to find out if Roman actually shot the video that he posted to his “election protection” site, electionjournal.org and that was taken up by the right wing Noise Machine so lustily. But his website is the one that hosted it. It is the site that is referenced in the media and in the Congressional Record in the ensuing investigation. In fact, Mike Roman’s whole site (and especially his donations page) is built around the image of the two New Black Panthers on Election Day 2008 in Philly. I don’t know if Mike actually sells dog whistles but his donations page features a graphic with the title “Kick election fraud in the nuts” that shows a figure kicking up at a huge acorn.



If you have tracked election and voting news on a daily basis, you could quickly come to the conclusion that the site was set up to showcase this “story”. Most people don’t realize that there are daily at least 15 to 20 important stories in the election reform world every day. Real election reform advocates, like the late and revered John Gideon at VotersUnite, track these stories and offer them to the public for their information and to establish trends that committed activists need to know. Roman’s site does nothing of the sort. In fact, his one attempt at internationalism is a story about the last Colombian election which misspells “Colombia”. Raw Story noted (Conservatives Using Sketchy Videos; 01/19/10), that while Roman’s site doesn’t list an affiliation, he is a former GOP operative that only seems to find stories beneficial to the GOP.

To sum up: this storefront website of a Breitbart pal was the source for the entire New Black Panther’s “voter intimidation” case that was based on zero (0) voter complaints and for which the Obama DoJ was smeared with unequal protection even though it was the Bush DoJ that decided there was nothing there.

And yet, this video was set out for the right wing Noise Machine to “find”, which it did as it finds all the breitbartian bits of video that call up white racist fear and it got all the way to a congressional investigation. Before you know it, John Fund is on “Face the Nation” accusing the Obama administration of racializing the Justice Department for political gain and without a trace of irony, considering that the Bush administration was built on the backs of disenfranchised black voters twice, once in Florida and once in Ohio. Someone should sit John Fund down and read him the story of the wooden puppet that yearned to become a real boy, seriously, for his own good.

That this particular piece of breitbartia sputtered out probably won’t prevent Mike Roman from “investigating” again since fake stories of voter fraud are an old Republican weakness. He was not quite as involved as that other Breitbart pal, James O’Keefe, in smearing ACORN but his did his bit, sponsoring online petitions and posting slanderous stories to his website -- “ACORN hiring registered sex offenders to forge registrations in New Mexico”. And in particular, since Roman hearts Rubio on his face book page, I’d suggest that anyone working the Florida Senate race be on the lookout for “watchdogs” in largely black precincts on Election Day.










Read entry | Discuss (0 comments) | Recommend (+22 votes)
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Jul 22nd 2010, 05:42 PM
“(T)he job of the community is not to catch sinners and punish them but to find people out of balance with the community and to bring them back into balance.”

--- Thom Hartmann, Green Festival, Chicago 2008


Anyone who has seen the original video of Shirley Sherrod telling her story to her original audience can’t be surprised that Andrew Breitbart needed to interrupt that story. As Rachel Maddow remarked to Eugene Robinson the other night, the Tea Party and more specifically, the American right wing, has used tales of scary black people “coming for your stuff” for years to frighten white voters. What could be more subversive to this cynically divisive narrative than Shirley Sherrod telling her own true story of cross-racial empathy, self awareness, generosity and community? Of course Andrew Breitbart, as a Tea Party activist, had to go right after that one.

If you look at his record carefully, you’ll find Breitbart goes after black leaders that put community passionately above and beyond everything else. And with good reason. ACORN, Van Jones, Shirley Sherrod all share a vision of an America that prospers through strong communities, through embracing and mustering diversity. Clearly, these people had to be interrupted because their stories makes the “scary black people” lie grossly obvious.

But this last flap, as repugnant as it was and is, is even bigger than race – if there’s anything bigger than race in America. And I didn’t understand it until I caught Anderson Cooper’s report on this story, “Truth Matters”. Cooper did a good job of showing Breitbart’s dishonesty and his utter unwillingness to take responsibility for any of the damage he’d done to Ms. Sherrod. Cooper made a serious effort to follow up with Ms. Sherrod. But even someone as well intentioned as Anderson Cooper seems to be wasn’t able to step outside of our national dysfunction long enough to drill down to the bedrock of this story – which is all about interrupting a community-building narrative that runs counter to the right wing owned media’s divisive agenda and to the Democrats’ enabling M.O.

Cooper’s report went up on the net in two parts. In the early moments of the first part, he takes ungrounded swipes at “the left”. Referring to Breitbart’s refusal to admit a wrong, Cooper said there are ideologues on the left every bit as narrow minded and just as recalcitrant about admitting wrongdoing -- as if anyone on the left has a serial history of fabricating evidence to destroy someone politically. That’s not true. There is no Andrew Breitbart of the left. Cooper said that the left has anchors who won’t cover stories that don’t fit their “slant”. Maddow and Olbermann not only covered this story but vigorously criticized the Obama administration in their ommentary. So, that’s not true either. Cooper claimed the internet was even worse for “having no standards” and exploiting anonymity as if the entire intertubes functions as Andrew Breitbart does. Thankfully, that is certainly not true. Some of the very best reporting and whistle blowing is only on the net right now. Baby, bath water.

Ironically, Cooper’s critique of Breitbart used the very same “they both do it” argument that makes Andrew Breitbart possible.

Breitbart’s argument, one he has repeated over and over again in these incidents that he creates wholesale, is that black people (from our president on down the food chain) discriminate against white people just as much as white people discriminate against black people. In other words, “they both do it”. This argument puts into question every single healing program our country has put together to drag ourselves away from a history of racial discrimination, not to mention, it obfuscates the reality of white power and privilege. If “both sides do it”, we now have a controversy where before we had a community goal. Voila!

You’d expect that sleight of hand (or mouth) from a cynical hack like Breitbart. You might not expect, I certainly didn’t expect the same “everything is everything” argument from Anderson Cooper. Because someone who saw New Orleans drown and someone who sat at the Israeli-Gaza border during Operation Cast Lead and someone who spent time in post-earthquake Haiti would know better. He’d be more careful, just from his own experience, about who is telling stories and who has been silenced and who benefits from that silence.

Near end of his report (in the Part 2 posted to the net) Cooper asks Ms. Sherrod what she had learned from this fracas, and she responded in terms of “we”. Amazingly, this lady who had been run to ground to no good reason did not answer in terms of herself, not at all. She only answered as a member of a community, not in terms of a wronged individual: “I wish I could understand why they would want to divide us so much . . . why is it that they think we can’t all live and work together in this great country”. Cooper is asking Ms. Sherrod to respond from a split off, marginalized place and she answers from the full throat of a community, of a person grounded in community.

The smaller point here is that Anderson Cooper incorrectly accused the left of being a mirror of the right and that was not fair. It isn’t. There is no left wing hack mounting effort after effort to put false evidence out into the media to destroy their opponents’ political careers.

“Both sides” don’t do this. The left, the Democrats (who have a tenuous relationship to what used to be called “the left” in this country), do something else. They leave the field to the Breitbarts. They don’t take the risks leadership demands in the media or put another way, they bail on their communication with the American people to protect their own political goals. That is cowardly, convenient and harmful to the nation. The Democrats are every bit as responsible as Andrew Breitbart or as Fox for the dysfunction of our political discourse. They are as much complicit in the disgusting state of our media and our national conversation as the Fox caption editors who designate Republican values offenders as Democrats (D) in the Fox crawl every time a Republican gets caught in a bathroom stall with his pants down. But the left, the Democrats, do not do the same thing. They do something different (and complementary) to keep this dysfunction in place and they seem to have zero interest in correcting their own contribution. That’s how alcoholic families work, too. No matter how destructive the characters are, if the system achieves a balance which allows everyone to continue, everyone protects the system at all costs. John Bradshaw used to use a mobile to illustrate this for his seminars on addicted families. All the elements together created a crazy, stressful and completely artificial balance and don’t you even think about tugging on this string or moving that one because the whole enterprise would tangle and grind to a halt.

So while Anderson Cooper is unfair in saying the Democrats “do the same thing” as Andrew Breitbart, he is also unfairly letting Democrats (the nominal left) off the hook by not really describing the situation they create with and in response to the Republican rightwing strategy. In using the “they do it too” argument, Cooper is tacitly agreeing to hide from the nation their desertion of the discursive field. And so is our dysfunction maintained by even the good guys in the corporate media.

It may well be that Cooper thinks that some distributive property in blame can hasten the healing of our national divide. He is mistaken. That property is what allows the right to continue to smear good people and what allows the left to avoid leadership. Punishing both sides in an attempt to be “even handed” is not a remedy for an asymmetrical situation where the larger goal is to restore community.

It is just as important for Anderson Cooper to stop interrupting Shirley Sherrod’s story of empathy and community with his own narrative of false equivalence as it is for Andrew Breitbart to be stopped from his cynical attempt to fracture Shirley Sherrod’s story and to destroy the teller for some short term political Tea Party gain. Don’t wave away the getaway car, Anderson and don’t hop into the backseat, either. We need a remedy here, not reflexive scattershot punishment. If community is our real goal, we need to make sure Shirley’s story is told and retold, not hijacked by revisionists even if we are those revisionists.


Link to AC report #1
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discu...

#2
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discu...

And thanks to Turborama for posting those threads.
Read entry | Discuss (8 comments) | Recommend (+82 votes)
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed May 05th 2010, 05:12 PM
My mother is old now. She’s 78 and for years the only help she’s had has come from the Mexican community here in East San Jose. Probably, mostly from undocumented people. I‘ve never worried about her for a moment up here on her ranch alone and there’s probably nothing short of knowing Mexican culture that could ever allow me to trust anyone so far.

In my family, gratitude for the Mexican people goes back a long way. We are not from Mexico. My mother’s family is from El Salvador. Her parents were a marriage of the oligarchy and the military, my grandmother a planter’s daughter and my grandfather an officer with a knack for politics.

Long story short, my grandfather served under a dictator so crazy and so brutal that he’s still talked about today. And my grandfather led an unsuccessful coup that put Papi in house detention for about a year only because executing him would have been a political risk.

The fun part is that he escaped out of El Salvador by getting his security detail drunk and disguising himself as a chauffer. He drove straight to Mexico. Somehow, my grandmother followed him with five kids, a grandkid and her mother in law. On buses, all that way. I still don’t know how she did that.

In any case, when he landed in Mexico, he set about contacting the Mexican president who at the time was Lazaro Cardenas, a real progressive. Cardenas did things that must have infuriated the US and European powers -- like nationalizing Mexico’s resources and redistributing land and eliminating the death penalty. His Wiki entry says that he never used bodyguards or security. I don’t know if that is true but he seems to have been respected among the people.

Cardenas offered my grandfather a commission in the Mexican Army. He’d get to keep his rank. Of course, the offer was declined and instead, Gen. Castaneda gratefully accepted surveying work in Baja (that may or may not have needed to be done) while he and his compeers figured out how to oust the dictator and his party. Which they did eventually.

But, all of that pales beside this point: between the time my family fled to Mexico and the time my grandfather was able to contact President Cardenas, they had nothing. No place to sleep, no money to buy food with, no way to stay in touch with anyone. There was no net or cell phones in 1938 and Cardenas already had his hands full. They survived on the goodwill of the poorest of the poor in the slums of Mexico City, who extended their hospitality to this group of strangers. My mom says that but for the commie pinko nuns in that parish, she wouldn’t have eaten at all during that time which, as far as I can tell, was weeks, not days. You can be very alone in a city. And yet this big family was somehow taken in and incorporated by that community, just as they were, until they were able to manage on their own.

In all, the family spent about 7 years in Mexico City. And when they were preparing to return to El Salvador to be part of the new administration, most of their friends didn’t believe them when they were trying to say “good-bye”, which is not unreasonable. But when my mom and her brothers and sisters left Mexico, they took with them a love of Mexico and of the Mexican people that sixty years on has never diminished. And that love and regard has been passed on.

So when I read these slurs and fears and judgments about Mexican people, I can’t process them. Because I know third, second and first hand who these people are. And sometimes, I have to wonder if La Raza Cósmica, “the cosmic race” which has incorporated within itself all the races, all the bits of DNA that came to this continent, isn’t lending itself out a little bit to unite this fragmented country, lending a little dignity, a little extra love of family and community, a little tolerance, a little humor. We could use all of those things right about now.

* * *

"Negrita de mis pesares,
ojos de papel volando.
Negrita de mis pesares,
ojos de papel volando.
A todos diles que sí
pero no les digas cuándo.
Así me dijiste a mí;
por eso vivo penando.

¿Cuándo regresa mi negra?
Que la quiero ver aquí
con su rebozo de seda
que le traje de Tepic."

-- El son de la Negra








Read entry | Discuss (49 comments) | Recommend (+74 votes)
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Apr 21st 2010, 01:16 PM
Guantánamo Habeas Week: Exposing Torture, Misconceptions and Government Incompetence



In an attempt to raise awareness of the importance of the rulings being made in US courts on the habeas corpus petitions of the prisoners held at Guantánamo (as authorized by a significant Supreme Court ruling in June 2008), I’m devoting most of my work this week to articles covering the 47 cases decided to date (34 of which have been won by the prisoners), as a series entitled, “Guantánamo Habeas Week.”

Although I have covered the 47 cases in detail over the last 19 months, I had not, until now, followed the example of the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Washington Independent and the Miami Herald, who have all produced “Habeas Corpus Scorecards.” As a result, this series kicks off with my own list, providing links to my analyses of the rulings, to the judges’ own unclassified opinions, and, where relevant, to my articles covering the prisoners’ release from Guantánamo, and progress reports on a handful of appeals.

Throughout the week, following an article examining the case of Yasin Ismail, a Yemeni who recently lost his habeas petition (whose publication slightly preempted the start of this series), I’ll be publishing two articles analyzing the unclassified opinions in the cases of Mohamedou Ould Salahi (aka Slahi), a Mauritanian who recently won his habeas petition despite being considered one of the most significant prisoners in Guantánamo, and Mukhtar al-Warafi, a Yemeni who lost his habeas petition (I wrote about the initial rulings here). I also intend to analyze the judge’s opinions in the cases of four more Yemenis: Saeed Hatim, who won his habeas petition in December last year, Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, who won his habeas petition in February, and Suleiman al-Nahdi and Fahmi al-Assani, who lost their habeas petitions in February (all initially discussed here). If time allows, I will also examine a few other opinions that were not available when I wrote articles based on the judges’ verdicts.

I remain impressed that the judges involved have ruled in the prisoners’ favor in 34 of the 47 cases (that’s 72 percent of the total), especially as they have exposed, in the most objective manner available, the lack of oversight in the Justice Department (first under Bush and now under Obama) regarding pursuing cases that should have been dropped, as well as persistent obstruction by the Justice Department when it comes to providing material necessary for the prisoners’ defense.

http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2010/04/1... /

Please go to Andy's site for hotlinks.

Links to 2 interviews Andy gave to DU:

1/2010
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discu...

3/2009
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discu...



Read entry | Discuss (11 comments) | Recommend (+12 votes)
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Mar 26th 2010, 02:19 PM

A conversation with John Perkins


March 25, 2010



When the earthquake struck Haiti last January, the first person I wanted to hear from was John Perkins. Several years before Naomi Klein coined the phrase “disaster capitalism”, John Perkins’ first person account Confessions of an Economic Hitman described very clearly how US economic interests set about exploiting crises in third world nations in order to gain control of them. John made some time for us in March, and our conversation ranged from Haiti to US policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, to a recent film that collates material from his books on this topic. Perkins, for readers not yet familiar with his work, is what is called in Hollywood a “hyphenate”. He doesn’t have one area of expertise that he can call on – he has several if not many of them and can speak to economics, to geopolitics, to culture clashes and compatibilities; in our brief conversation, he moved among these seamlessly, now describing the big picture, now zooming in on fine detail.

Haiti. The part of our conversation that dealt with Haiti centered on two points: One, the massive amount of American aid now being moved into Haiti will likely not benefit Haitians – not small farmers, small businessmen in tourism or fisheries or other kinds of entrepreneurs. The funds will go to multinationals who are seizing this moment as an opportunity to buy investments in this devastated nation. And two, what Amy Goodman called the “militarization” of Haiti in the aftermath of the quake sends a troubling message that reverberates around the region.

Long term aid. Shortly after the quake, President Obama called on Bill Clinton and on George Bush to spearhead a relief fund for Haiti. It’s a good bet that most Americans took the gesture at face value, as the current president calling on his immediate predecessors to step up and help one of our regional neighbors in their hour of need. It’s likely that few of our countrymen know that our own government had a direct hand in the latest undermining not only of Haitian democracy but also the Haitian economy and so, the infrastructure that might have helped this people respond to their own emergency.

As John noted in a January 21 blog entry at Huffington Post, the aid now flowing into Haiti for long term aid will not for the most part aid Haitians:

“We are encouraged to believe that USAID, the World Bank, and other institutions are truly philanthropic, there to serve the best interests of the people and the country. However, the reality is that, in previous cases -- such as the Asian tsunami -- much of this aid is employed to help huge multinational companies gain a strangle-hold on resources (including cheap labor) and markets. Instead of helping local fisherman, farmers, restaurant, and bed and breakfast owners rebuild their devastated businesses, the money is invested in projects that benefit the Krafts, Chiquitas, Monsantos, Marriotts, and big box restaurant chains of the world” (The Tremor Felt Around the World).

A direct consequence of this mass of capital flowing into Haiti but not to Haitians is that local social movements are undermined. John compared the situation in Haiti now to that of the independence movement in Ache, Indonesia after the tsunami, a movement itself flattened by the tsunami of foreign influence dominating the political landscape in the aftermath of the natural disaster.

Militarization. When the United States took control of the airport and sent thousands of troops into Haiti, there were protests from France, Italy and Brazil. The immediate objection was that US military flights were being prioritized over humanitarian supplies and personnel. There seemed to be a brief tug of war between the UN peacekeeping force, our State Department and a few of the larger humanitarian missions. Now, I myself don’t remember anyone raising the question if this immediate taking of command and control by the US was a response to Aristide’s public announcement from exile that he wanted to return to Haiti to help the nation respond to the quake’s devastation. According to Randall Robinson, Aristide was told not to return to this hemisphere when he was ousted by a coalition of American, Canadian and French forces. In any case, the question of Aristide returning was put to rest as soon as American forces took control of that air field. And Haiti was left in the hands of precisely the government that the economic powers that be wanted in place.

Perkins pointed out that the Pentagon moving thousands of troops into Haiti sends a message to the whole region. He noted that the 4rth Fleet has been re-mobilized to operate in the region, that the Pentagon is acquiring seven new bases in Colombia. This build up of US military presence is seen as saber rattling by regional leaders, creates fearfulness, is experienced as an insult to autonomy. As someone who has himself been threatened, he emphasized how threats profoundly shape not only public opinion but diplomatic relations among nations, that they ”blow back”. To underscore this point, Perkins suggested that the reason Chinese investment is more welcomed in the region than American investment is precisely because the Chinese have no military presence shadowing their business dealings.

Apology of an Economic Hitman, the film. I asked John about a film version of his memoirs now being shown on LinkTv, The film is described as a blend of noire and documentary and it combines re-enactments of his activity in Latin America while he was a “hitman”, file footage from that period that illustrates American investment in those countries, as well as segments with John himself in conversation. I wanted to ask him about two segments in particular, one where he is speaking with Martha Roldos Bucaram, daughter of the assassinated Ecudoran president Jaime Roldos and also, of John addressing a large audience in Quito about his activities in Ecuador before the hit on Roldos’s presidency and what it meant to him, to Roldos and to the Ecuadoran people.

When I asked John about Martha Roldos appearance in the movie, he told me that after “Confessions” came out, Martha Roldos contacted him and flew to Miami to meet with him. Roldos, now a popular politician in her own right, was a teenager when her father was killed. It is a measure of Perkins’ commitment to his project that this accomplished woman, who lost her father long ago, not only made her peace with him but is now his friend and chose to participate in this film.

A real center of power in the film, a scene in a theater run by the Casa de la cultura in Quito, turns out to have been unscripted. John had done a radio show that morning and had planned a short shoot in this theater with a few people behind him while he spoke to the camera.

As it happened, somehow word of the shoot got out and hundreds of people came to the theater listen to him but also, to confront him. At this moment in the film, the Quito audience is entirely engaged, at times, hostile. There are catcalls and mutterings. Perkins says someone called out “John Perkins for President of Gringolandia”. At times, the group is quiet and tense. That this American is standing there, owning up to his part in a tragic chapter of their history registers visibly and profoundly. It is a powerful moment of apology and a step forward toward reconciliation with the facts of a painful past. And Perkins remarkably pushes through that moment, moving on to lay out for the assembled community (in unscripted fluent Spanish) how the current Ecuadorian president and his government are again under attack by the same powerful economic interests. .

I asked John what he was working on at the moment. (A better question might have been, what are you not working on right now?) John has a full schedule of writing and speaking here, in Latin America, Asia and Europe. He gives seminars on international business practices, on sustainability and also on global and personal transformation. He blogs at the Huffington Post as well as at his own site, and has a column in Correo del Orinoco, a Latin American publication. The New York Times bestselling author’s book on the global economic meltdown, Hoodwinked, was released in November.


Visit John’s site ( www.johnperkins.org ) to check his schedule of appearances, to read his blog or more about his earlier books or to purchase Hoodwinked.




Read Robert Baer’s review of Hoodwinked at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hoodwinked-Economic-...

Watch the BookTV segment on Hoodwinked here (transcript at link):
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/id/2158...

***FYI: "Apology of an Economic Hitman" will air again on LinkTV Friday, March 26 at 11 pm Eastern. *** You can find access to LinkTV at www.linktv.org .















Read entry | Discuss (71 comments) | Recommend (+56 votes)
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Mar 03rd 2010, 11:57 AM
http://www.aft.org/pdfs/press/CFHScommissr...

documenting achievement improvements being made at that school, President Obama was incorrect in his remarks about the educators who worked there. He should correct his statements and apologize to those teachers.

It turns out that Obama's comments about this school were wrong:

"So if a school is struggling, we have to work with the principal and the teachers to find a solution. We've got to give them a chance to make meaningful improvements. But if a school continues to fail its students year after year after year, if it doesn't show signs of improvement, then there's got to be a sense of accountability.

And that's what happened in Rhode Island last week at a chronically troubled school, when just 7 percent of 11th graders passed state math tests -- 7 percent. When a school board wasn't able to deliver change by other means, they voted to lay off the faculty and the staff. As my Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, says, our kids get only one chance at an education, and we need to get it right."

This is what the ATF said in their response to Obama's comments:

"President Obama’s comments today condoning the mass firing of the Central Falls High School teachers do not reflect the reality on the ground and completely ignore the teachers’ significant commitment to working with others to transform this school. We know it is tempting for people in Washington to score political points by scapegoating teachers, but it does nothing to give our students and teachers the tools they need to succeed.

What’s even sadder is that the firings and the President’s comments come in spite of a state report written last April that focused on the high school’s reading and writing proficiency, which have gone up 22 percent and 14 percent respectively over the past two years. Nowhere in the report is there any criticism of teachers’ efforts, skills or dedication to their job or their students. The report does, however, point to problems with constantly changing programs and the instability of school leadership. The report reinforces the fact that, today, teachers are being blamed unfairly for the schools’ problems."

http://www.aft.org/newspubs/press/2010/030...

(Emphasis mine.)

I think we should be calling the White House switchboard in support of these teachers -- whose efforts to turn their school around were rewarded by mass firings and disrespectful, ill-informed, public comments made by the president. Obama was wrong. He should own that and apologize to those teachers.

White House comment line:
202-466-1111

Email contact form:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
Read entry | Discuss (83 comments) | Recommend (+42 votes)
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Feb 20th 2010, 02:54 PM
Friday, February 19, 2010
FBI: CASE CLOSED (and Ivins did it)



But FBI's report was released on Friday afternoon... which means the FBI anticipated doubt and ridicule. And the National Academy of Science (NAS) is several months away from issuing its report on the microbial forensics, suggesting a) asking NAS to investigate the FBI's science was just a charade to placate Congress, and/or b) NAS' investigation might be uncovering things the FBI would prefer to bury, so FBI decided to preempt the NAS panel's report.

Here are today's reports from the Justice Department, AP, Washington Post and NY Times. The WaPo article ends,

The FBI's handling of the investigation has been criticized by Ivins's colleagues and by independent analysts who have pointed out multiple gaps, including a lack of hair, fiber other physical evidence directly linking Ivins to the anthrax letters. But despite long delays and false leads, Justice officials Friday expressed satisfaction with the outcome.

The evidence "established that Dr. Ivins, alone, mailed the anthrax letters," the Justice summary stated.

Actually, the 96 page FBI report is predicated on the assumption that the anthrax letters attack was carried out by a "lone nut." The FBI report fails to entertain the possibility that the letters attack could have involved more than one actor. The FBI admits that about 400 people may have had access to Ivins' RMR-1029 anthrax preparation, but asserts all were "ruled out" as lone perpetrators. FBI never tried to rule any out as part of a conspiracy, however.

That is only the first of many holes in FBI's case. Here is a sampling of some more.

1. The report assumes Ivins manufactured, purified and dried the spore prep in the anthrax hot room at US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). His colleagues say the equipment available was insufficient to do so on the scale required.

2. But even more important, the letter spores contained a Bacillus subtilis contaminant, and silicon to enhance dispersal. FBI has never found the Bacillus subtilis strain at USAMRIID, and it has never acknowledged finding silicon there, either. If the letters anthrax was made at USAMRIID, at least small amounts of both would be there.

3. Drs. Perry Mikesell, Ayaad Assaad and Stephen Hatfill were 3 earlier suspects. All had circumstantial evidence linking them to the case. In Hatfill's case, especially, are hints he could have been "set up." Greendale, the return address on the letters, was a suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe where Hatfill attended medical school. Hatfill wrote an unpublished book about a biowarfare attack that bears some resemblance to the anthrax case. So the fact that abundant circumstantial evidence links Ivins to the case might be a reflection that he too was "set up" as a potential suspect, before the letters were sent.

4. FBI fails to provide any discussion of why no autopsy was performed, nor why, with Ivins under 24/7 surveillance from the house next door, with even his garbage being combed through, the FBI failed to notice that he overdosed and went into a coma. Nor is there any discussion of why the FBI didn't immediately identify tylenol as the overdose substance, and notify the hospital, so that a well-known antidote for tylenol toxicity could be given (N-acetyl cysteine, or alternatively glutathione). These omissions support the suggestion that Ivins' suicide was a convenience for the FBI. It enabled them to conclude the anthrax case, in the absence of evidence that would satisfy the courts.

5. The FBI's alleged motive is bogus. In 2001, Bioport's anthrax vaccine could not be (legally) relicensed due to potency failures, and its impending demise provided room for Ivins' newer anthrax vaccines to fill the gap. Ivins had nothing to do with developing Bioport's vaccine, although in addition to his duties working on newer vaccines, he was charged with assisting Bioport to get through licensure.

6. FBI's report claims, "Those who worked for him knew that Nass was one of those topics to avoid discussing around Dr. Ivins" (page 41). The truth is we had friendly meetings at the Annapolis, Maryland international anthrax conference in June 2001, and several phone conversations after that. Bruce occasionally assisted me in my study of the safety and efficacy of Bioport's licensed anthrax vaccine, giving me advice and papers he and others had written. I wonder if I was mentioned negatively to discourage Ivins' other friends and associates from communicating with me, since they have been prohibited from speaking freely? Clever.

7. The FBI's Summary states that "only a limited number of individuals ever had access to this specific spore preparation" and that the flask was under Ivins' sole and exclusive control. Yet the body of the report acknowledges hundreds of people who had access to the spores, and questions remain about the location of the spore prep during the period in question. FBI wordsmiths around this, claiming that no one at USAMRIID "legitimately" used spores from RMR1029 without the "authorization and knowledge" of Bruce Ivins. Of course, stealing spores to terrorize and kill is not a legitimate activity.

8. FBI says that only a small number of labs had Ames anthrax, including only 3 foreign labs. Yet a quick Pub Med search of papers published between 1999 and 2004 revealed Ames anthrax was studied in at least Italy, France, the UK, Israel and South Korea as well as the US. By failing to identify all labs with access to Ames, the FBI managed to exclude potential domestic and foreign perpetrators.

9. FBI claims that "drying anthrax is expressly forbidden by various treaties," therefore it would have to be performed clandestinely. Actually, the US government sponsored several programs that dried anthrax spores. Drying spores is not explicitly prohibited by the Biological Weapons Convention, though many would like it to be.

10. The FBI report claims the anthrax letters envelopes were sold in Frederick, Md. Later it admits that millions of indistinguishable envelopes were made, with sales in Maryland and Virginia.

11. FBI emphasizes Ivins' access to a photocopy machine, but fails to mention it was not the machine from which the notes that accompanied the spores were printed.

12. FBI claims Ivins was able to make a spore prep of equivalent purity as the letter spores. However, Ivins had clumping in his spores, while the spores in the Daschle/Leahy letters had no clumps. Whether Ivins could make a pure dried prep is unknown, but there is no evidence he had ever done so.

13. FBI asserts that Bioport and USAMRIID were nearly out of anthrax vaccine, to the point researchers might not have enough to vaccinate themselves. FBI further asserts this would end all anthrax research, derailing Ivins' career. In fact, USAMRIID has developed many dozens of vaccines (including those for anthrax) that were never licensed, but have been used by researchers to vaccinate themselves. There would be no vaccine shortage for researchers.

14. Ivins certainly had mental problems. But that does not explain why the FBI accompanied Ivins' therapist, Ms. Duley (herself under charges for multiple DUIs) and assisted her to apply for a peace order against him. Nor does it explain why Duley then went into hiding, never to be heard from again.

15. FBI obtained a voluntary collection of anthrax samples. Is that the way to conduct a multiple murder investigation: ask the scientists to supply you with the evidence to convict them? There is no report that spores were seized from anyone but Ivins, about 6 years after the attacks. This is a huge hole in the FBI's "scientific" methodology.

16. FBI claims it investigated Bioport and others who had a financial motive for the letters attack, and ruled them out. However, FBI provides not a shred of evidence from such an investigation.

FBI gave this report its best shot. The report sounds good. It includes some new evidence. It certainly makes Ivins out to be a crazed, scary and pathetic figure. If you haven't followed this story intently, you may be convinced of his guilt.

On the other hand, there are reasons why a conspiracy makes better sense. If the FBI really had the goods, they would not be overreaching to pin the crime on a lone nut.

JFK, RFK, George Wallace, Martin Luther King, all felled by lone nuts. Even Ronald Reagan's would-be assassin was a lone nut. Now Bruce Ivins. The American public is supposed to believe that all these crimes required no assistance and no funds.

Does the FBI stand for the Federal Bureau of Invention?
Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 7:38 PM

http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2010/02...

(MODS: Posted in full with author's permission.)
Read entry | Discuss (31 comments) | Recommend (+23 votes)
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Jan 31st 2010, 03:38 PM
Exclusive for DU: Mark Danner on the latest Haitian disaster and recovery effort



28 Jan 2010


In order to focus the conversation we’re having here at Democratic Underground about the situation in Haiti, I thought I’d contact Mark Danner for some insight. He graciously agreed to give us a brief interview. Mark Danner is a journalist who has been instrumental in breaking stories which more than one government would have preferred to leave in obscurity. We know about the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador, the Downing Street Memo and the Bush Department torture memos because of Mark Danner’s work – and that’s a very short list. His complete bio can be read here: http://www.markdanner.com/living/biography...

His latest book released in October, Stripping Bare the Body: Politics Violence War, opens with a long chapter on Haiti so I thought, as he has recently thought and written on the topic, he would be a key person to consult. Since the quake, Danner published an article, “To Heal Haiti, Look to History, Not Nature” in the New York Times. This short essay sets out briefly but carefully a Haitian history that has led to what he describes as a “predatory state” -- which, of course, is the context in which this new disaster visited the Haitian people.

“HAITI is everybody’s cherished tragedy. Long before the great earthquake struck the country like a vengeful god, the outside world, and Americans especially, described, defined, marked Haiti most of all by its suffering. Epithets of misery clatter after its name like a ball and chain: Poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. One of the poorest on earth. For decades Haiti’s formidable immiseration has made it among outsiders an object of fascination, wonder and awe. Sometimes the pity that is attached to the land — and we see this increasingly in the news coverage this past week — attains a tone almost sacred, as if Haiti has taken its place as a kind of sacrificial victim among nations, nailed in its bloody suffering to the cross of unending destitution.

And yet there is nothing mystical in Haiti’s pain, no inescapable curse that haunts the land. From independence and before, Haiti’s harms have been caused by men, not demons. Act of nature that it was, the earthquake last week was able to kill so many because of the corruption and weakness of the Haitian state, a state built for predation and plunder. Recovery can come only with vital, even heroic, outside help; but such help, no matter how inspiring the generosity it embodies, will do little to restore Haiti unless it addresses, as countless prior interventions built on transports of sympathy have not, the manmade causes that lie beneath the Haitian malady.”

The entire article, which we used as a jumping off point, and which is highly recommended for DUers trying to get up to speed on Haiti or simply wanting Mark’s take may be read here. It’s a short read but it’s packed: http://www.markdanner.com/articles/show/to...

Danner and I didn’t discuss the politics of our State Department or their goals in Haiti at this moment. In fact, he seemed a little irritated when I was raising the question because in his view, this isn’t the best question that could be foregrounded at this moment. And he has a point. He ran down quickly all the elements compounding the aftermath of the quake. The poverty, the joblessness, the demolition of an infrastructure already in ruins, the barely existent health care system, the disappeared government, the lack of the very basic necessities of human survival. The lack of water.

In the NYTs' article, Danner says the “single unitary principle” of those that have intervened in Haiti was their “failure to alter . . . the reality of a corrupt state”. When I pushed on this a little, pointing out that Naomi Klein or John Perkins might not see the corruption of the Haitian state as a failure, asked in what sense it was a failure, Danner responded that it was obviously a failure for the Haitian people and not a failure for other interests who profit from this state of affairs in Haiti.

Danner had two suggestions for actually healing Haiti in his article. They are, roughly, that America opens its markets to Haitian ag products and other goods, and that America and others ensure that the vast amounts of money now pouring into Haiti wind up in Haitian hands.

When I asked how likely these suggestions were to be implemented, Danner said the default was that they would not be implemented, given the way things “usually work”. But he also said, it was much too soon to tell. He said there was “a large and incompetent” relief effort ongoing that will means months and years of money flowing into Haiti. The real question is, in his opinion, will all this effort benefit Haitians?

Danner made it very plain that unless the international response ensures by “a creative and concerted effort” that the reconstruction of Haiti is done by Haitians, the healing of Haiti will not happen. And Danner was even more specific. He said that the resources now pouring into Haiti needed to be put into the hands of as many people as possible and not the same old few hands in order to decentralize the economy. And that doesn’t just mean, and this is my iteration not Danner’s, paying Haitians to clean up but also to train skills, to invest in Haitians.

To learn more about Mark Danner’s work or to purchase Stripping the Body Bare
visit his website: www.markdanner.com



Drawing on rich narratives of politics and violence and war from around the world and written by one of the world's leading writers, Stripping Bare the Body is a moral history of American power during the last quarter century. From bloody battleground to dark prison cell to air-conditioned office, it tells the grim and compelling tale of the true final years of the American Century, as the United States passed from the violent certainties of the late Cold War, to the ideological confusions of the post-Cold War world, to the pumped up and ongoing evangelism of the War on Terror and the Iraq War, and the ruins they have left behind.
- From the book jacket

Thank you, Mark Danner, for sharing your time and insight with us at Democratic Underground.












Read entry | Discuss (54 comments) | Recommend (+37 votes)
Posted by EFerrari in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Jan 26th 2010, 11:49 AM
From the link:

Although I believe that I have had some success tracking down the stories of some of the 100 or so prisoners on the list who have been held at Bagram for between three and seven years, I have found few clues as to the identities of the majority of those listed, who, as mentioned above, were seized in the last two years. Most reports — by the US military or the media — of raids or skirmishes that led to the capture of those held have not furnished the names of those seized, and on the rare occasion that names have been provided it has tended to be because they are regarded as significant figures.

I have no idea whether the allegations against these men are true, but, more importantly, I have not failed to notice that the majority of the prisoners (often men identified by only one name) are clearly not significant figures at all, and my fear — which, I have no doubt, will be confirmed when more information emerges — is that many of them will be revealed to be victims of the same chaotic approach to the capture of prisoners that has done so much to lose the battle for the “hearts and minds” of the people of Afghanistan and Iraq for the last eight years, and which, with regard to the 218 prisoners seized in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2003 and sent to Guantánamo, I chronicled in The Guantánamo Files.

A clear sign that this is indeed the case came in August 2009, when Maj. Gen. Doug Stone, commissioned by Gen. David Petraeus to review detention policies in Afghanistan, produced a report in which he estimated that “as many as 400 of the 600 held at Bagram can be released,” explaining that “many of these men were swept up in raids” and “have little connection to the insurgency.”

If you have any further information about any of these men, please feel free to email me, and I will incorporate the information into the list.

http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/bagram-th... /

(The list itself follows the snip above)

Please help me kick so more DUers can see. TIA
Read entry | Discuss (9 comments) | Recommend (+17 votes)
My Forums
Democratic Underground forums and groups from my "My Forums" list.
Remember the Gulf Coast
Visitor Tools
Use the tools below to keep track of updates to this Journal.
 
Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals  |  Campaigns  |  Links  |  Store  |  Donate
About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.