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World News

9/12/05 - today
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    World News
9/12/05 - 9/25/2005

Sunday  9/25/2005

George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People by: The Legendary K.O.  9/25/2005 Black Lantern 

Were British Special Forces Soldiers Planting Bombs in Basra? Suspicions Strengthened by Earlier Reports  9/25/2005 Global Research 

Woman held in probe into Tube shooting leak  9/25/2005 Guardian: "A 43-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the leak of documents from the investigation into the death of Jean-Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian electrician wrongly shot by police as a terrorist suspect after the London bombings in July… The leaked documents showed that police statements immediately after the shooting were misleading, including comments made by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair."

Leadership Failure - Firsthand Accounts of Torture of Iraqi Detainees by the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division  9/25/2005 Human Rights Watch 

A Washington Sand Trap - A golf outing trips up a widening circle of power brokers.  9/25/2005 Newsweek: "David Safavian wasn't expecting visitors. A relatively senior White House official—he oversaw federal contracts for the Office of Management and Budget—the 38-year-old Safavian had been working around the clock on Katrina relief. But at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 19, a team of FBI agents showed up at his house and arrested him. The Feds wanted to know if Safavian would be willing to cooperate in an ongoing corruption probe surrounding his friend, lobbyist Jack Abramoff. According to Safavian's lawyer, no deal was struck. Safavian was then charged with lying to the FBI and obstructing an investigation."

Antiwar Fervor Fills the Streets - Demonstration Is Largest in Capital Since U.S. Military Invaded Iraq  9/25/2005 Washington Post: "Protest organizers estimated that 300,000 people participated, triple their original target."

Saturday  9/24/2005

topPuerto Rico rebel dies in hideout  9/24/2005 BBC: "Early reports suggesting the death of the Macheteros leader triggered protests in San Juan, the capital of the Caribbean island. Some 500 people blocked the city's main avenue to demonstrate against "Ojeda Rios' assassination". "This was done on purpose... to try to humiliate us," Socialist Front president Jorge Farinacci said. "It's to tell us 'You do not have the right to independence'." "

Rapper's line bashing Bush put into song via the Web  9/24/2005 Chicago Tribune: Nickerson lives just minutes from the Houston Astrodome and said he was motivated by survivors' firsthand accounts. "Seeing the loss of human dignity ... it created a lot of pent-up emotion," he said. "I knew I was going to put it into a song."

A Bolivarian Socialist at the UN Hugo Chavez's Mission  9/24/2005 Counterpunch 

US Northern Command and Hurricane Rita  9/24/2005 Global Research 

3 in 82nd Airborne Say Beating Iraqi Prisoners Was Routine  9/24/2005 NYT 

Friday  9/23/2005

topJoin This Weekend's Anti-War Fight  9/23/2005 Alternet 

What the IAEA really found in Iran  9/23/2005 Global Research 

This is an act of censorship worthy of Joseph Goebbels  9/23/2005 Guardian: "The home secretary has promised the prime minister that he will lock away for five years anyone who "glorifies, exalts or celebrates" a terrorist act committed in the past 20 years. He does not care if glorification was not meant. If someone, somewhere takes anything that I say or write as encouraging to terror, even if they do not act on it, I have committed a criminal act… Are Hiroshima or Dresden to be listed events? If not, how can the no less terrorist blitz be listed? Conrad was in this sense right: "The terrorist and the policeman both come from the same basket." I have no faith in Clarke's Stalinist historians. If Whitehall bureaucrats are so otherworldly as to find village ponds, conker trees and rare steaks awash in human hazard, there is no telling what they will find in the bloodstained pages of history. They need only to find a dodgy event and someone to praise it and they will pounce. The issue is not mens rea or intention to glorify. To convict, there need only be someone who confesses to being "encouraged" by the glorification. It is a stooge's charter."

Miles of Traffic as Texans Heed Order to Leave  9/23/2005 NYT: ""The question is how many people will be gravely ill and die sitting on the side of the freeway," said State Representative Garnet Coleman, Democrat of Houston. "Dying not from the storm, but from the evacuation." Mr. Coleman's family had tried to leave the city Thursday at his urging - he is traveling on the West Coast - but they gave up after 12 hours of stalled traffic, without even passing the city's outer ring highway. "If you can't move outside the city of Houston in 12 hours, then nobody else is getting out," Mr. Coleman said. "This is it. Because even if you tried to leave now, you would not move fast enough to get out of harm's way in advance of the storm." The situation raised serious worries about how the city would handle something like a terrorist attack, he said. Timothy Adcock, 48, a Houston landscaper who was in the 15th hour of inching to Tyler in a companion's pickup truck after his car broke down under the grueling conditions, said, "I never saw anything so disorganized." "

Pattern of Abuse  9/23/2005 Time: "Senate sources tell TIME that the Captain has also reported his charges to three senior Republican senators: Majority Leader Bill Frist, Armed Services Committee chairman John Warner and John McCain, a former torture victim in Vietnam. A Senate Republican staffer familiar with both the Captain and his allegations told TIME he appeared "extremely credible." "

Thursday  9/22/2005

topThe Invisible Victims of Katrina  9/22/2005 Pacific News: "They are nameless faces who -- just like hundreds of thousands of others in the Gulf Coast -- lost everything they had to the rabid winds of Hurricane Katrina. They are victims of the storm, but because they don't exist in the eyes of federal authorities, they will not be treated as such. Because they are undocumented immigrants, they are invisible. When the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it would help all the victims of Katrina, it did not really mean "all." When asked over and over again by Spanish-language journalists whether or not undocumented immigrants would be excluded from aid, time and time again FEMA's representatives said the aid is for "all" of the victims. But we later learned how relative the terms "aid" and "all" can be."

Wednesday  9/21/2005

topA Green-Left Coalition - The Real Story of the German Elections  9/21/2005 Counterpunch 

War Pornography  9/21/2005 East Bay Express: "If you want to see the true face of war, go to the amateur porn Web site For almost a year, American soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been taking photographs of dead bodies, many of them horribly mutilated or blown to pieces, and sending them to Web site administrator Chris Wilson. In return for letting him post these images, Wilson gives the soldiers free access to his site. American soldiers have been using the pictures of disfigured Iraqi corpses as currency to buy pornography. At Wilson's Web site, you can see an Arab man's face sliced off and placed in a bowl filled with blood. Another man's head, his face crusted with dried blood and powder burns, lies on a bed of gravel. A man in a leather coat who apparently tried to run a military checkpoint lies slumped in the driver's seat of a car, his head obliterated by gunfire, the flaps of skin from his neck blooming open like rose petals. Six men in beige fatigues, identified as US Marines, laugh and smile for the camera while pointing at a burned, charcoal-black corpse lying at their feet."

2004 U.S. Election: An International Perspective - NOVEMBER 2004 UNITED STATES ELECTION OBSERVATION REPORT  9/21/2005 Fair Election: "This report summarizes the election observation conducted by 15 election experts and democracy advocates from five continents who observed voting activities in Florida, Ohio and Missouri. These observers are part of a larger group of 30 civic leaders, members of parliament, diplomats, lawyers, electoral officials, academic specialists, journalists and veteran election observers from around the world who volunteered to apply their decades of experience supporting, administering, and building democracies in more than 100 countries to further electoral transparency and reform in the United States."

Hurricane Raps -- Freestyles, Conscious Laments and Battle Rhymes Inspired by Katrina  9/21/2005 New American Media: "The Hurricane Katrina experience has sparked an explosion of rhymes from New Orleans evacuees. Many use rapping as a way to express their wonder, anger and frustration as they wait to pull their lives back together. One in an ongoing series of storm survivor narratives."

French Lesson: Taunts on Race Can Boomerang  9/21/2005 NYT: "There are virtually no black people in corporate France, and blacks have almost no political representation. No black person sits in the National Assembly or in a regional parliament, and only a smattering are found in city councils. The European Union finances programs for minorities but not in France, because of its refusal to recognize minorities. So, today, blacks are not much on the French agenda. After the recent fires, the interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, proposed a program of affirmative action and a requirement that résumés conceal a person's ethnic or racial identity. But the rest of the cabinet, including the minister for equal opportunity, rejected the ideas, saying they offended the fundamental principle of equality."

Bush to New Orleans: Let the niggers die!  9/21/2005 SF Bay View: "West had nothing to gain by criticizing Bush and everything to lose in terms of his newly-won mainstream musical success. Certainly the media and the government will try to destroy his career, just as they have done with other outspoken Black commercial artists who have criticized the political establishment… Nobody in the government cares about these Black and poor people. To this government, even a number of poor whites who shared in their fate were totally expendable. They are niggers too, the underclass. No buses were sent by the mayor, governor or president for these Black and poor people to take them to safety, even though there was a full three to four days warning. No plans were made to feed or house them or to give them medical attention. They were abandoned to their fate. Neither Bush nor the local politicians cared if they lived or died. This was a criminal, genocidal non-response by American government officials in the Bush administration especially, one of the most right-wing federal administrations in U.S. history."

Help reunite New Orleans prisoners with their families  9/21/2005 SF Bay View 

Lavalas base reconfirms support for jailed priest, condemns sham elections  9/21/2005 SF Bay View: "Cell phones and fixed telephone lines were lit up for most of the day Sunday with communications between hundreds of meetings held throughout Haiti by members of Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s Lavalas party, Haiti’s largest political party. The primary topic was the development of a response to the decision of Haiti’s electoral council (CEP) to bar Catholic priest Gérard Jean-Juste as their Lavalas presidential candidate."

The Black 911: Baush has declared war on Black people - ‘The revolution has begun – we need to get down here!’ - by Suncere Ali Ahakur  9/21/2005 SF Bay View: "There is total devastation in the Black community down here in New Orleans. All the stories you hear about FEMA and the Red Cross, man, they are slow getting to the people down here. If it wasn’t for the people on the ground, the grassroots folks getting supplies and water and things they need, they probably would just perish. I’m in Algiers (a neighborhood on the West Bank across the river from downtown New Orleans) with brother Malik Rahim. With the people he’s been able to organize, he’s been able to save about 70 percent of the community… On all four corners we’ve got Blackhawk helicopters flying around. You know how paranoid the government gets when people start moving on their own. I don’t have a problem with white people coming down here and helping out, especially if they are in the right spirit. The community we have here is good. They’re about work. The thing is I haven’t heard any Black nationalist organizations giving any funds to help this brother (Malik Rahim) doing what he is doing. I haven’t heard any of these organizations sending any bodies, because we need bodies to do what we are doing. This brother has a clean heart and soul. He’s really about the people, and that’s rare. That is very rare… These people have upped the stakes on us. They’ve taken advantage of Katrina, and they’re making a movement and a land grab on our folks and they’re shooting them in the streets. Our people are not criminals. They’re trying to survive this hell hole. We’ve come down here and set up soup kitchens and a mobile clinic. After we did everything, then the Army came in. They said the people need vaccinations. We already gave them vaccinations. They said the people need water. We already gave them water. But this man (Malik) can’t sustain this stuff by himself. We need us down here to see about us. I don’t care where you come from. We got people driving two days in a row from San Francisco in a car (that’s) packed. We got technicians down here. We’ve got internet set up. Basically we’ve got a little command center and everything. We’ve got people that can get you through those checkpoints. If you all worried about getting shot at, dammit, you’re going to get shot at in your own neighborhood. You run the same risk staying home – so you might as well come on down here and let’s move. The revolution has begun. We need to get down here. These people are not attacking us covertly any more through the prison industrial complex, through sorry health care or through sorry housing. Bush has declared war on Black people. This is the Black 911. Hopefully this will galvanize us, bring us together. You can’t sit back, watch our people die and get their land taken away from them. This is slavery, man. It’s just like slavery when they took slaves, broke them up and sent them to different plantations. It’s the same thing going on. These people are down here terrorizing our people, scaring them not to come back. You’ve got Homeland Security and the Army terrorizing people. I had three friends stopped last night on their way home by three guys from Homeland with guns. There’s nobody here, bro. Why all the guns? Ain’t nobody here. We need some soldiers down here. It’s genocide now. It’s not covert any more. Now it’s overt. I’m not advocating any kind of violence, but protect yourself at all times, of course."

Update for medical clinicians coming to New Orleans - How to donate services and funds to Common Ground Clinic, inspired by Malik Rahim  9/21/2005 SF Bay View: "I'm posting an update on the Algiers Clinic, and how things have been going in New Orleans. We're now calling the clinic Common Ground, and we're referring to the staffing as part of the Mutual Aid Collective of Algiers. The clinic is located on 1401 Teche St, and our phone is (504) 361-9659. To support Common Ground, send donations to Common Ground, P.O. Box 3216, Gretna, LA 70054. Please no clothes or food. More information and online monetary donations are available at the new action website at"

Tuesday  9/20/2005


VENEZUELA ON TRIAL INSTEAD OF THE TERRORIST An interview with Attorney Jose Pertierra  9/20/2005 Cuba Now 

British "Undercover Soldiers" Caught driving Booby Trapped Car  9/20/2005 Global Research: "A report of Al Jazeera TV, which preceeded the raid on the prison, suggests that the British undercover soldiers were driving a booby trapped car loaded with ammunition. The Al Jazeera report (see below) also suggests that the riots directed against British military presence were motivated because the British undercover soldiers were planning to explode the booby trapped car in the centre of Basra."

The day that Iraqi anger exploded in the face of the British occupiers  9/20/2005 Independent: "Then, just before midday, a solution of sorts appeared to have been found. Reports coming out of Basra described how up to ten British tanks, possibly Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks, possibly Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles, had stormed the jail where the two men were being held. Witnesses said that they had smashed down a wall to gain entry. The operation was said to be backed up by helicopters. The witnesses said that up to 150 prisoners took the opportunity to escape through the wall in the confusion."

Iran blamed as militias step up Basra violence  9/20/2005 Times, London 

Monday  9/19/2005

topEvangelicals in Venezuela: Robertson Only the Latest Controversy In a Long and Bizarre History  9/19/2005 COHA: "Curiously, in that same year, the New Tribes missionaries abandoned their villages along the Negro River and settled in the Guayana Shield, where deposits of radioactive minerals had been discovered. What is more, a tantalizing tidbit was provided by muckraking journalists Charlotte Dennett and Gerard Colby: “On Brazil’s border with Venezuela were uranium deposits that the [Brazilian] regime had targeted for the development of nuclear energy and, some feared, nuclear bombs.” They also claimed that the presence of uranium ore was found on the traditional lands of the Yanomami, the largest unacculturated tribe in the Brazilian Amazon. Also present in the adjoining area was the Summer Institute of Linguistics, a New Tribes ally as well as an evangelical missionary organization in its own right, that specialized in translating the Bible into local dialects. Its adherents could be found among the Yanomami in Venezuela, where they were studying the languages of the region from their Porto Velho base in Brazil. Writing to Venezuela’s Minister of Justice, Justo expressed his concerns about the New Tribes. In the course of six years of residence, according to the official, the missionaries had nothing to show for their work and had not accomplished anything for the Indians. Justo was openly suspicious of the evangelicals, who would inexplicably abandon sites and move to other areas. “It makes one suspect,” he wrote, “that they [the New Tribes missionaries] have another objective.” New Tribes: A State within a State? New Tribes was fast on the road towards becoming a veritable transnational organization spanning much of Latin America. Operating in remote, far-flung areas, usually distant from the effective reach of the central government, the missionaries could count on every form of communication and transportation equipment, including aircraft. What’s more, New Tribes at the same time was indoctrinating indigenous tribes in other South American countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. In 1959, Acción Democrática returned to power and President Romulo Betancourt authorized the missionaries to operate in Amazonas. Eventually, the missionaries would be active in an immense zone encompassing not only this territory but also the states of Apure, Bolivar, and part of Monagas. In total, New Tribes had access to 30% of Venezuela’s national territory."

Move This Building to Another Country! Hurricane Hugo at the UN  9/19/2005 Counterpunch 

Is Al Qaeda asking to negotiate?  9/19/2005 LA Times: "Plan A against terrorism isn't working, but listen closely, there might be a workable Plan B: political engagement."

Sunday  9/18/2005

topChavez at the UN - by Hugo Chavez  9/18/2005 Znet: "Last January, of this year 2005, we were in World Social Forum in Porto Alegre. There, several personalities requested that the seat of United Nations be taken from the United States if that country continues to violate international legal norms. Today we know that there never were any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The American people has always been very scrupulous in their demand that their rulers be truthful with them. The other peoples have also made this demand. Even though there never were weapons of mass destruction, in spite of the United Nations' objections, Iraq was bombed, occupied, and continues to be occupied. For that reason we propose to this assembly that the United Nations should leave a country that does not respect the resolutions of its own assembly."

Saturday  9/17/2005

topDoctor says FEMA ordered him to stop treating hurricane victims  9/17/2005 Baton Rouge Advocate: "In the midst of administering chest compressions to a dying woman several days after Hurricane Katrina struck, Dr. Mark N. Perlmutter was ordered to stop by a federal official because he wasn't registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "I begged him to let me continue," said Perlmutter, who left his home and practice as an orthopedic surgeon in Pennsylvania to come to Louisiana and volunteer to care for hurricane victims. "People were dying, and I was the only doctor on the tarmac (at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport) where scores of nonresponsive patients lay on stretchers. Two patients died in front of me. "I showed him (the U.S. Coast Guard official in charge) my medical credentials. I had tried to get through to FEMA for 12 hours the day before and finally gave up. I asked him to let me stay until I was replaced by another doctor, but he refused. He said he was afraid of being sued. I informed him about the Good Samaritan laws and asked him if he was willing to let people die so the government wouldn't be sued, but he would not back down. I had to leave." FEMA issued a formal response to Perlmutter's story, acknowledging that the agency does not use voluntary physicians."

Katrina shows effect of climate change, says Gore  9/17/2005 FT: “Katrina is the first sip, the first taste, of a bitter cup that will be proffered to us over and over again. It is up to us [to tackle climate change], and it does involve accepting that there is a legitimate role for government.”

Frustrated U.S. Finds Few Willing to Join Anti-Chavez Coalition - Washington's agenda in the region proves less appealing than cheap Venezuelan oil.  9/17/2005 LA Times 

FEMA, Slow to the Rescue, Now Stumbles in Aid Effort  9/17/2005 NYT: "Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Katrina cut its devastating path, FEMA - the same federal agency that botched the rescue mission - is faltering in its effort to aid hundreds of thousands of storm victims, local officials, evacuees and top federal relief officials say. The federal aid hot line mentioned by President Bush in his address to the nation on Thursday cannot handle the flood of calls, leaving thousands of people unable to get through for help, day after day. Federal officials are often unable to give local governments permission to proceed with fundamental tasks to get their towns running again."

Friday  9/16/2005

topLeadership vacuum stymied aid offers - Doctor: Officials gave hospital staffers mops as people died  9/16/2005 CNN: "Warehouses in New Orleans burned while firefighters were diverted to Atlanta for Federal Emergency Management Agency training sessions on community relations and sexual harassment. Water trucks languished for days at FEMA's staging area because the drivers lacked the proper paperwork. ...Dr. Bong Mui and his staff, evacuated with 300 patients after three hellish days at Chalmette Medical Center, arrived at the New Orleans airport, and were amazed to see hundreds of sick people. They offered to help. But, the doctor told CNN, FEMA officials said they were worried about legal liability. "They told us that, you know, you could help us by mopping the floor." And so they mopped, while people died around them. "I started crying," he recalled. "We felt like we could help, and were not allowed to do anything."

The New York Times Leads the Pack in Scapegoating Black Americans - Race, Katrina and the Media  9/16/2005 Counterpunch: "Also, I'm not surprised that there was very little difference between the former Ku Klux Klan leader's comments and commentary earlier this week by the New York Times' elite columnists Nicholas D. Kristof and John Tierney. Conservatives might view the Times as liberal, but, in my opinion, the Times leads the nation's media when it comes to scapegoating blacks for the country's social problems. Kristof endorsed a deal suggested by the clueless Rich Lowry of the National Review in which the left would devote " ... greater attention to out-of-wedlock births ... in exchange for the right's support for more urban spending." Missing from this proposal is the fact that out-of-wedlock births among black teenagers have plummeted more than that of any ethnic group, while those among white women are on the rise, according to the latest figures from the National Center for Health Statistics. Kristof also praised Times writer Jason DeParle, who has made a good living identifying welfare as an exclusively black problem. Meanwhile, some members of the Vietnamese community are in a crisis because their five years of receiving checks are about to expire. (When he appeared on C-SPAN, I asked DeParle why the Times always accompanied welfare stories with a black face. He squirmed as callers from around the country referred to other ethnic groups with large numbers on the welfare rolls, including immigrants from Russia.)"

Your Departure is Long Overdue - Mr. Bush's Tuba  9/16/2005 Counterpunch: "Mr. Bush -- I can't bring myself to call him the President -- had the gall to evoke this sacred African American tradition while black people's corpses were still decomposing within walking distance from where he was speaking. While, as an e-mail from someone who had just returned from the Ninth Ward advised me, the stench of death in the street was overpowering. While the destitute were unable to afford the plainest of jazzless funerals for their loved ones. While anguished mothers were still separated from their children two and a half weeks after the hurricane. I hope Mr. Bush can play the tuba himself, because I doubt there will be much enthusiasm for his parade from the now dispersed communities that know how to do jazz funerals right. I wish I could forget that image of him with the guitar while the Ninth Ward was drowning."

It’s time to put LAPD on trial  9/16/2005 Final Call 

After Blocking the Bridge, Gretna Circles the Wagons  9/16/2005 LA Times: "GRETNA, La. — Little over a week after this mostly white suburb became a symbol of callousness for using armed officers to seal one of the last escape routes from New Orleans — trapping thousands of mostly black evacuees in the flooded city — the Gretna City Council passed a resolution supporting the police chief's move. "This wasn't just one man's decision," Mayor Ronnie C. Harris said Thursday. "The whole community backs it.""

U.S. Decertifies Venezuela on Drug Control  9/16/2005 Narcosphere: "It would seem, then, that the White House and State Department are using the drug war pretext to begin what could evolve into a Cuba-style economic blockade of Venezuela. At the very least, they are employing a tool that in the past has been quite effective for the political isolation of other countries, and, in the case of Panama in 1989, was part of the run-up to U.S. military invasion."

Minister Louis Farrakhan says New Orleans levees may have been breached on purpose  9/16/2005 Voz de Azatlan 

Thursday  9/15/2005

topA sausage -- looted or not -- lands elderly church leader in prison  9/15/2005 AP: "Merlene Maten undoubtedly stands out in the prison where she has been held since Hurricane Katrina. The 73-year-old church deaconess, never before in trouble with the law, now sleeps among hardened criminals. Her bail is a stiff $50,000. Her offense? Police say the grandmother from New Orleans took $63.50 in goods from a looted deli the day after Katrina struck. Family and eyewitnesses have a different story. They say Maten is an innocent woman who had gone to her car to get some sausage to eat but was wrongly handcuffed by tired, frustrated officers who couldn't catch younger looters at a nearby store. Not even the deli owner wants her charged."

Expulsion is Transfer: The Colonial Logic of Bush’s Response to New Orleans  9/15/2005 Black Commentator: "First, they order the American Red Cross to leave the site of the catastrophe and not return. Whenever the Red Cross is thrown out of a human disaster zone, the message to any other relief team, either church-based or public is, don’t even think about it. This, incidentally, is the same military strategy that the Israeli army used during its racist siege of Beirut in 1982, where Israel refused to permit the Red Cross to visit Palestinian refugee camps it had just bombed into oblivion (see Noam Chomsky’s The Fateful Triangle, p. 231). In fact, the New York tabloid media seemed to sense this kind of Israelization of the situation in New Orleans when it turned its attention, instantly, to all the dangerous snipers shooting down cops, etc, etc. This fixation on snipers provided the government’s official rationale for martial law, even though the reality of the situation called not for martial law but rather for urgent and massive relief efforts led by the Red Cross. The Bush response to the New Orleans catastrophe was a white supremacist military response, modeled in a precise way after the Israeli colonial occupation of Arab Palestine and the U.S.’s own colonial occupation of Iraq, duly noted, ironically, by commander Riley."

A DIEBOLD INSIDER SPEAKS! DIEB-THROAT : 'Diebold System One of Greatest Threats Democracy Has Ever Known'  9/15/2005 Brad Blog: "In exclusive stunning admissions to The BRAD BLOG some 11 months after the 2004 Presidential Election, a "Diebold Insider" is now finally speaking out for the first time about the alarming security flaws within Diebold, Inc's electronic voting systems, software and machinery. The source is acknowledging that the company's "upper management" -- as well as "top government officials" -- were keenly aware of the "undocumented backdoor" in Diebold's main "GEM Central Tabulator" software well prior to the 2004 election. A branch of the Federal Government even posted a security warning on the Internet."

City of Gretna Louisiana - The most evil, racist city in America.  9/15/2005 "Gretna Police Chief Arthur S. Lawson, Jr. ordered his officers to kill any black people that tried to cross the bridge that lead into Gretna. His officers shot at blacks or people in the company of blacks that tried to cross the bridge. A group of around 20, mostly blacks who were fired at when they tried to cross the bridge, camped out at the top of the bridge. Their camp was raided at dusk by Gretna police who held them at gun point, shouted racial slurs and robbed them of their food and water. They hate black people so much that they wanted to add to their suffering pilled on them by hurricane Katrina by taking away their life sustaining food and water. Many died as a result."

Speculators Rushing In as the Water Recedes  9/15/2005 LA Times: "The real estate agent has $10 million in the bank, wired by an investor who has instructed her to scoop up houses — any houses. "Flooding no problem," Farris' newspaper ads advise. ADVERTISEMENT Her backer is a Miami businessman who specializes in buying storm-ravaged property at a deep discount, something that has paid dividends in hurricane-prone Florida. But he may have a harder time finding bargains this time around. In some ways, Hurricane Katrina seems to have taken a vibrant real estate market and made it hotter. Large sections of the city are underwater, but that's only increasing the demand for dry houses. And in flooded areas, speculators are trying to buy properties on the cheap, hoping that the redevelopment of New Orleans will start a boom. This land rush has long-term implications in a city where many of the poorest residents were flooded out. It raises the question of what sort of housing — if any — will be available to those without a six-figure salary. If New Orleans ends up a high-priced enclave, without a mix of cultures, races and incomes, something vital may be lost."

Malik Rahim and medics from SF to DC set up health clinic in New Orleans  9/15/2005 SF Bay View: "Mayor Ray Nagin announced Thursday that Algiers will be the first of the communities in New Orleans to reopen to residents. While FEMA and the Red Cross will surely trumpet their efforts, the real success of Algiers belongs to those courageous community members who stayed through the storm and activist Malik Rahim who helped to catalyze the bustling Common Ground Relief effort… Cracker squads are groups of white supremacists who are using the slanderous media coverage and storm chaos to terrorize communities of color in Louisiana and Mississippi. One young woman in a Mississippi town relayed to us that a cracker squad had shot Black men in the woods and threatened retaliation for those going public with the story. Similar stories have come in from Algiers, downtown New Orleans and the outlying parishes of Louisiana. A related threat are the armed mercenaries of Blackwater and other contractors who are patrolling downtown New Orleans. Internet reports indicate they have been particularly brutal in the handling of storm survivors."

Masked Haitian police took Kevin Pina and Jean Ristil away today Demand their immediate release - contact info below  9/15/2005 SF Bay View 

Wednesday  9/14/2005

topTime for a Truth & Justice Commission - Back Inside New Orleans  9/14/2005 Counterpunch: "I asked Okra, in his house off of Piety Street, what the biggest problem has been. He said, "It's been the police - they've lost the last restraints on their behavior they had, and gotten a license to go wild. They can do anything they want. I saw one cop beat a guy so hard that he almost took his ear off. And this was someone just trying to walk home" ...According to a report that's been circulated, Denise Young, one of those trapped in the convention center told family members, "yes, there were young men with guns there, but they organized the crowd. They went to Canal Street and looted,' and brought back food and water for the old people and the babies, because nobody had eaten in days. When the police rolled down windows and yelled out the buses are coming,' the young men with guns organized the crowd in order: old people in front, women and children next, men in the back,just so that when the buses came, there would be priorities of who got out first" But the buses never came. "Lots of people being dropped off, nobody being picked up. Cops passing by, speeding off. We thought we were being left to die"

New Orleans: Escape from flooded hospital  9/14/2005 SF Bay View: "The distorted emphasis on criminal behavior has stigmatized the people who are now in shelters. Events this week exposed racial, economic and geographic segregation in our society that includes inequality in planning and resources. People need to stick up for the folks in the shelters. I guarantee there’s a shelter coming to a city near you. There are not enough places here for all these people. The New Orleans community is like a glass paperweight that was smashed by a fifty pound iron mallet. Poor people from New Orleans are going to be everywhere. People need to help them, not fear them. Our question should not be, “Why was there looting,” but “How are your families?” and “How can we help?”"

Tuesday  9/13/2005

topUsher Supports Kanye, Rebukes Media  9/13/2005 All Hip Hop News: "R&B crooner Usher is denying that he took exception to Kanye West’s off-the-cuff commentary that “George Bush doesn’t like Black people,” an opinion expressed during a live NBC telethon. Usher released a statement to contradict the reports and rebuked the media for promoting division between the two artists. “Contrary to false media reports, I support the personal opinions made by my friend Kanye West. If it wasn’t for his comments, there would not be an open dialogue about the underserved people in the Gulf Region,” Usher said in a statement."

Hurricane looting not over yet  9/13/2005 Chicago Sun Times: by Jesse Jackson - "Already Halliburton is on hand with a no-bid contract for reconstruction. Fluor, Bechtel, the Shaw Group -- Republican-linked firms -- are lining up for contracts. Lobbyists like Joe Allbaugh, close friend of George Bush, and James Lee Witt, close friend of Bill Clinton -- both former heads of the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- are advising their corporate clients to get teams on the scene. Normal rules of contracting and competition are being waived in the emergency. Big bucks are on the table. It is a time to be wired politically. The ideologues are in the hunt, too. Newt Gingrich is circulating memos calling for turning the region into a massive enterprise zone, slashing corporate taxes, reducing regulations. The oil lobby is pushing for drilling in Alaska and off the shores of the United States. Right wing activist Grover Norquist calls for cutting taxes on the wealthy even more to stimulate the economy. Arizona Republican Rep. Jeff Flak suggests conservatives use the crisis to try out their favorite ideas -- vouchers for education and health care. President Bush characteristically issued an executive order effectively lowering the wages of reconstruction workers -- and hiking the profits of their companies. He wiped out the requirement to pay prevailing wages in the disaster region, apparently thinking that $9 an hour for construction workers was too high a price to pay. The government can save money, no doubt, by exploiting illegal immigrant labor."

Afrika Bambaataa Speaks on Hip Hop, Katrina and Race  9/13/2005 Davey D's Hip Hop Daily News: "Bam went on to talk about the Black-Brown tensions in cities like Los Angeles. He noted that there’s been a lot of confusion and that much of this has to do with Willie Lynch syndrome and White world supremacy, which strives to keep us divided and going at each other.. Bam went on to note that many Latinos have African roots so its confusing that there would be any sort of tension. He said its important for people not to get caught up in the language of their oppressor (Spanish-English) but to focus on who and what we really are… Bam also said he wants to start doing more interviews in Latin magazine and radio shows to express this unity and bring some of these points to light."

Rosa Clemente Reports Back From New Orleans  9/13/2005 Davey D's Hip Hop Daily News: "Hip Hop activist Rosa Clemente is one of the few ‘non-mainstream journalist allowed into New Orleans where the flood waters and damage has occurred. She brings to us an heartwrenching eye opening account of what’s really going on… She talks about the smell of death in the air and how things are much worse then we could ever imagine….Read what she wrote and peep out the interview… There’s more to come.."

Chertoff delayed federal response, memo shows  9/13/2005 Knight Ridder: "But Chertoff - not Brown - was in charge of managing the national response to a catastrophic disaster, according to the National Response Plan, the federal government's blueprint for how agencies will handle major natural disasters or terrorist incidents. An order issued by President Bush in 2003 also assigned that responsibility to the homeland security director. But according to a memo obtained by Knight Ridder, Chertoff didn't shift that power to Brown until late afternoon or evening on Aug. 30, about 36 hours after Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi. That same memo suggests that Chertoff may have been confused about his lead role in disaster response and that of his department."

The Great New Orleans Land Grab - The 17th Street Canal levee was breached on purpose  9/13/2005 La Voz de Aztlan: "Who were these "military agents" that were killed by the police near the 17th Street Canal breached levee and what were they doing there? Why did the New Orleans police find it necessary to shoot and kill 5 or 6 of them? No one is saying anything and it appears that the news story has now been swept under the rug. Were these US Department of Defense personnel a Special Forces group or Navy Seals with top secret orders to sabotaged the levee? There are verifiable reports that at least 100 New Orleans police officers have disappeared from the face of the earth and that two have committed suicide. Could these be policemen that died defending the levee against sabotage by "federal contractors"? Another telling incident that points to a "nefarious plan" is what New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said at the height of the crisis. He said publicly, "I fear the CIA may take me out!" Mayor Nagin, a Black, said this twice. He told a reporter for the Associated Press: "If the CIA slips me something and next week you don't see me, you'll all know what happened." Later he told interviewers for CNN on a live broadcast that he feared the "CIA might take me out." What does Mayor Ray Nagin know and why does he fear the CIA? In an interview by WWL TV, Mayor Nagin complained vociferously that Louisiana National Guard Blackhawk helicopters were being stopped from dropping sandbags to plug the levee soon after it breached. There is evidence that no repairs were allowed on the levee until after New Orleans was totally flooded! Many civilian groups who were attempting to aid people trapped in their attics, on their roofs and at the Superdome are reporting that FEMA, other federal agents and the US military essentially "stopped" them from doing so. Convoys that were organized by truckers and carrying "food and water" were blocked by agents of the federal government on the highways and roads leading to New Orleans. The American Red Cross, in addition, encountered numerous incidents and has made formal complaints."

Hurricane Kanye hits America  9/13/2005 SF Bay View: "Kanye told the TRUTH, and it needed to be said. Anytime white conservative talk show hosts like Neal Boortz ( – We need to start an email and phone campaign to holla at him this Tuesday, for real) can get on the radio and make racist statements against Black people who are suffering from a natural disaster and urge the good ole boys to arm themselves and shoot first and ask questions later, somebody has to say something! We all know that “martial law” is a code word for white folks to shoot Brothas on sight. We must support Brothers and Sisters who stand up for the people like Kanye West did. As the right wing gathers its forces to attack this Brother, we must attack back! Every time one of them disses Kanye on the radio, TV or newspaper we must make an immediate organized response. We must show them the real meaning of “Bring tha noise!”"

The Rationale for a Scaled-Back City  9/13/2005 WSJ: "But some economists are starting to wonder if Mr. Hastert might have had a point about caution when it comes to rebuilding New Orleans, as poorly articulated as it might have been. It's not just the city's natural disadvantages (much of it is located below sea level) that worry economists. It's also its economic position -- rampant poverty and an exodus of people and businesses even before the hurricane touched down -- and the need to avoid creating incentives that could lead to development that is no less vulnerable. "We have an obligation to people, not to places," says Edward Glaeser, a Harvard professor who specializes in urban economics. "Given just how much, on a per capita basis, it would take to rebuild New Orleans to its former glory, lots of residents would be much [better off] with $10,000 and a bus ticket to Houston." However the help, and the promise of rebuilding, also gives people an incentive to keep living in disaster-prone places. Like Mr. Glaeser, he's for helping victims. But to limit the perverse incentives, Mr. Becker says any rebuilding of the place should come with tough love from the government, such as tight zoning restrictions in flood-prone areas and tough flood insurance rules. He's not the only Nobel-winner arguing for circumspection about rebuilding New Orleans. "The best policy is not to permit rebuilding in New Orleans in the areas that are subject to flooding," says Edward Prescott, a researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, who famously used flood-plain relief as an example of how seemingly sound short-run policies can skew incentives in the long-run. Richard Posner, the conservative jurist who shares an economics Web log with Mr. Becker, proposes that the city come back something like Colonial Williamsburg -- a quaint tourist site that isn't really attached to a city. [The blueprint for getting rid of black people in New Orleans.]

Monday  9/12/2005

topCynthia McKinney censored in congressional record- Is someone afraid of the word IMPEACHMENT?  9/12/2005 Bella Ciao: "I mentioned the word impeachment on the House Floor Thursday late afternoon, but I don’t see it in the official Congressional Record transcript. I was chided by the Speaker that it was out of order to question the President’s motives. I didn’t question motives, I questioned actions: from lack of actions on Katrina to cutting the budget of safety net programs, to rewarding the rich to the detriment of all the rest of us. This transcript directly from the Congressional Record is mangled and omits that word!!!! I can’t believe this. Please read the attachment (I don’t normally do attachments) and see if I missed it. If I hear back from you that it is, indeed, missing, then I will say the word repeatedly on the House Floor upon my return to force them to put my words as I say them in the Congressional Record."


"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to Democracies as against despots: suspicion." -- Demosthenes


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