Monday, August 16, 2004

HUGO CHAVEZ Victorious in Bid to Oust Him in Venezuela

Oh what a sweet victory - for the poor people of Venezuela, for the world and for socialism. Chavez, decried as a Castro-styled dictator by the rich and private media, won an election for the 3rd time in 5 years. Not even a employer/rich-led strike that contracted the economy by as much as 15-20 percent was able to take his Government's committments off track. One million now know how to read, millions in urban slums and rural backwaters now have healthcare in their neighborhood and educaiton spending has quadrupled. Food is subsidized for the poor and housing and community development are other top priorities. All this occus with unprecedented popular participation in the daily affairs of the state.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Our New Top Spy (Goss) Has the Following Convictions: (from a Frontline interview)

Doesn't believe that that 9/11 was "an intelligence failure"

Doesn't think an investigation of the outing of Joe Wilson's wife is necessary, but knows already that there was no wrongdoing

Thinks that the law already permits CIA assassinations of foreigners because "most Americans are fairly comfortable with it." As for killing Castro or Arafat, Goss responded, "I think in our system of government, there is a possibility of doing those kinds of things under extreme last resort circumstances with the appropriate oversight."

He says the law prohibiting the hiring of gross human rights violators has resulted in a "loss."
White Sox Fan Blues Tempered by Kenny's Moves

While there is ample reason to panic at this point - having gone from first place to 6 games out like 8 days and losing Frank Thomas and possibly Magglio Ordonez for the year and losing to the last place Royals 3 times in a week - I remain optimistic. The reason is we actually have a General Manager who cares about winning and is willing to stay true to his word, show good judgement and flash a little cojones. Consider the following:

After losing Thomas and Ordonex, GM Kenny Williams, goes and (re) picks up sleeper Carl Everett, to shore up the middle of the line-up. And after suffering through worsening pitching fortunes, gets #3 in ERA Freddie Garcia - then stuns us all to trade last year's All Star starting pitcher, Esteban Loiza, for finally settled Cuban hurler Jose Contreras (who's wife and kids made it to Key West after outrunning the Coast Guard on a speedboat for 3 hours). Both have performed spedidly, while Loiza got jeered in Yankee stadium after his loss a couple days ago. Then he goes the extra mile and (re)picks up always handy Roberto Alomar. Now he's considering the 4 man rotation if things get a little tighter before the Minnesota series. Gotta like that.

Feds Question Rapper on Cuban Festival Trip

Feds sent letter after returned from Havana rap festival
A Minneapolis rap artist could be indicted by the federal government for attending an international rap convention in Havana, Cuba a year ago. Minneapolis rapper Brock Satter received a notice from the U.S. Department of the Treasury regarding his trip.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) enforces this ban as part of their work as a lead agency against terrorism, and concentrates about 20 percent of its anti-terrorism efforts on Americans who visit Cuba.

Thousands of Americans are currently being prosecuted for travelling in Cuba, and Satter hopes others being investigated for this will be able to fight the charges. Satter encourages writing to R. Richard Newcomb at the Department of Treasury to galvanize support for his cause.

Satter said Hip-Hop artist and previous attendee of the Cuban conference Dead Prez may be fined for his trip. As a result, no American musicians will be attending this year’s conference.

Monday, August 02, 2004

The Ugly Logic of Capitalism

Paraguay probes claims owner locked supermarket to avert looting; 340 dead

When I heard that the doors on the mall were locked by security guards in order to prevent alleged stealing of merchandise, I immediately thought of the infamous Triangle Factory Fire in 1911 NYC . In both cases, decision makers aligned with capital, locked in masses of people in buildings for the reasons of profit. Hopefully, this fire will result in as positive reforms as the NYC fire did. Hopefully Security Guards across the world will be told that human life is more important that corporate greed.