Sunday, July 30, 2006

Short Anathema

Once in a while we receive input on our lead in top post from someone new to the Forum which isn't scrapped for being idiotic. That of today didn't say much, just "Nice blog". But EIA, the source, said more on the originating blog, a lot more. It is worth looking at.

No matter what else we may do to move toward ends drawn from heart felt belief, all we can accomplish in the cyber section of this world is spread what we see as truths. As was stated by Emiliano Zapata Salazar, "It is not only by shooting bullets in the battlefields that tyranny is overthrown, but also by hurling ideas of redemption, words of freedom and terrible anathemas against the hangmen that people bring down dictators and empires." The EIA blog is doing that.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Too Late for Empire

For all its wealth and dreams of military domination over the past half-century, the US has misunderstood the nature of power and so has become "the fool of history". Its story is not one of success followed by crisis, but of a deep failure; nor is it a tale of a successful empire now in crisis, but of a failed empire, now in disarray. Redemption could lie in learning the limitations on the use of force. - Jonathan Schell
From Asia Times comes this fascinating and informed article about the truths of America and its government, its failures and its oppresion. Below is a small portion quoted, that points the way to much else that is wrong. For those of you that are looking for another opinion besides your own, this is excellent information.
President George W Bush sent US troops into Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but they weren't there.
He said Saddam Hussein's regime had given help to al-Qaeda, but it had not.
He therefore took the nation to war on the basis of falsehoods.
His administration says the torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and elsewhere has been the work of a few bad apples in the military, whereas in fact abuses were sanctioned at the highest levels of the executive branch in secret memos.
His administration lambastes leakers, but its own officials illegally leaked the name of a Central Intelligence Agency operative, Valerie Plame, to discredit her husband politically.
He flatly stated to the public that all wiretaps of Americans were ordered pursuant to court warrants, whereas in fact he was authorizing and repeatedly reauthorizing warrantless wiretaps. These wiretaps violated a specific law of Congress forbidding them.
His administration has asserted a right to imprison Americans as well as foreigners indefinitely without the habeas corpus hearings required by law. Wars of aggression, torture, domestic spying and arbitrary arrest are the hallmarks of dictatorship, yet Congress, run by the president's party, has refused to conduct full investigations into either the false WMD claims, or the abuses and torture, or the warrantless wiretaps, or the imprisonment without habeas corpus.
When Congress passed a bill forbidding torture and the president signed it, he added a "signing statement" implying a right to disregard its provisions when they conflicted with his interpretation of his powers.
The president's secret legal memos justifying the abuses and torture are based on a conception of the powers of the executive that gives him carte blanche to disregard specific statutes as well as international law in the exercise of self-granted powers to the commander-in-chief nowhere mentioned in the constitution.
If accepted, these claims would fundamentally alter the structure of the US government, upsetting the system of checks and balances and nullifying fundamental liberties, including guarantees in the Fourth Amendment to the constitution against unreasonable searches and seizures and guarantees of due process. As such, they embody apparent failures of the president to carry out his oath to "preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States".

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Racism and Israel

Racism is the grease on the hub of the wheels of commerce. Its lubrication eases rotation to advance in preferred direction of societies' dominant groups in quests of further enriching members' lives while degrading those rolled over. It is the precondition for existence of Israel from conception in 1919, realization in 40's, and as it now fuels actions by offering to Israel and guilt laden racist supporting nations a thinly veiled justification for horrors created.

Racism has existed world around ever since some in societies found it sufficient excuse for striving to enjoy better lives at expense of others. It is certainly no stranger to those of any European nation that either engaged in or watched plundering of Asian and African societies. It is no surprise that William Shakesphere treated it in matter of fact manner or that it shows in common paintings of a Swedish appearing Jesus.

Then we have the USA, born of, torn of, and yet suffering aftermaths of the commerce of slavery while claiming "Land of the Free". Racism was the essential genocidal defining of its territory. It generates the begrudging non welcome that each wave of immigrant peoples grants to the next. It defines the difference in its attitudes toward and relations between it and northern and southern neighbors. It determines who is elected to which office, what laws are passed, and which are enforced. As in some other nations, there is nothing that happens in that country not influenced by racism.

Even the word "racism" itself is code used to hide underlying nature of events. It is not a legitimate noting of biological divergence. There is no scientific basis for the concept of human races anymore than there is to so classify differences between spotted and chestnut horses. Its non biological basis developed and was promoted as moral justification for slavery, genocide, colonialism, and imperialism in order to square with otherwise trumpeted and contrary social beliefs usually encoded in religions. Its falsity serves rulers well as an effective divide and conquer strategy. Fools and charlatans buy into, use it, and live by it.

Though visible skin coloration differences are easily noted racist benchmarks, they are not the only determinants. Jewish people, whatever that means, whether used in reference to religious adherence, common ethnic heritage, or residents of the state of Israel, tend to hoist a banner noting racist victimization. There are nods of agreement given to that cry by those who aid, supply, protect, and cover for Israel but always in shamed fear of recognizing its obverse, that the victims are also perpetrators.

An old man's memory retains childhood comments heard among US neighbors in late 1930's, "A new family moved in on the next block but - they are Jewish", spoken in sense of disgust and need to do something about it. Cartoonists vied for laughs by drawing oversized stereotypical noses. "Jewed" was a common expression for being cheated.

There was no secret in the US or Europe of Hitler's racist justified gift to accepting German people in the extermination holocaust of Jews, Gypsies, communists, anti-war and political activists, and any other grouping that might have caused a dream to be realized as nightmare. It wasn't just in Germany that the holocaust saw root. Non Jewish European anti-nazi resistance fighters refused to aid parallel Jewish counterparts. The scourge was cheered in Germany and considered elsewhere in tense of "So what, we don't like them either".

Then came the end of WWII. Those who feigned standing tall above it all perceived a need to appear to do something in remedy of a racist travesty which so clearly contradicted worn social and political litanies. Their solution waited in racist agreements accorded to racist Zionists at the end of the previous WWI, that named "The War To End All Wars".

Aside from looking away at the slaughtering of zionist guerilla warfare which brought about changing British colonialism to Israeli domination, the western world's acquiesence to the take over was characterized by racist attitudes --- Now, we don't like Jews but Mid-Easterners differ from us even more. Palestine seems fitting. Skins there tend to darker complexion, people there pray funny, and hasn't that area always been a subjugation playground?

You know you have the right god when it hates the same people you do. So a racist one chanting "homeland" appeared from the ashes of a racist holocaust. Somehow that translated to justify and bring about another racist war with no plausible end against people on even lower rungs of the racist ladder.

So much for my take on the generalized was leading to the is. Now read some example specifics of the is. The article below appeared today in NNN, the Non-aligned Nation News.

An NNN-BERNAMA Special Report by Ramzy Baroud

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 (NNN-Bernama) -- Racism is "the belief that one racial group is inferior to another and the practices of the dominant group to maintain the inferior position of the dominated group. Often defined as a combination of power, prejudice and discrimination."

This is how the British Library defines racism on its website. The above definition hardly deviates from the essence of almost all definitions of the ominous concept.

And, indeed, the concept is being fully utilised with Israel's onslaught against the Palestinians, and the international community and media's mild, if not accommodating response to the onslaught.

The capture of Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, is an act of self-defence. According to international law and the Geneva Conventions, he can be considered a prisoner of war.

But not according to CNN, Fox News and BBC, which presents the soldier as a victim, who was "kidnapped" by Palestinian "militants" who are "affiliated" with the Hamas Government.

By not challenging the Israeli narrative in any meaningful way, the uncritical media has become a tool in the hands of Israel's war strategists and their eternal concoctions.

Consider this example. An Israeli military commander tells a BBC correspondent dispatched to the border area between Israel and Gaza that Israel intends on opening the border for "as long as it takes" to offset the humanitarian crisis developing in Gaza.

The Israeli Army representative in a barefaced lie declares that the border has always been open despite the perpetual Palestinian threat on the state of Israel. The BBC correspondent thanks him and signs off.

Is it possible that the BBC is unaware of the fact that Gaza has been under a strict military siege since Hamas' democratic advent to power through the January 2006 elections?

Could it be that the Western media has missed the dozens of shocking reports that have warned that the Israeli siege -- which began months before the capture of Shalit -- was soon to create chaos and panic among the already malnourished Palestinians in Gaza? Did they all miss statements by top Israeli officials vowing to carry on with the siege until the outset of Hamas?

Some reporters misrepresent facts out of ignorance not by design. But if that indeed was the case, then how can one excuse the fact that the same media that coined the term "kidnapping" to describe the action of the Palestinian fighters who captured Shalit refused to use the same association to describe the kidnapping of most of the elected Palestinian Cabinet, mostly academics with no connection to any militant wing?

Israel's military spokesman insisted that they are "all terrorists" and Israel "like any democratic" country has the right to protect itself against terrorists.

If that was true, why did Israel refrain from kidnapping them until Palestinian fighters embarrassed the Israeli Army and captured their first prisoner of war in a long time? Is "rounding up" Palestinian ministers and scores of legislators the same as having a soldier captured in what has been for long a one-sided Israeli war?

If you are an avid viewer of Fox News or a reader of the New York Times, then Israel is yet to exceed its legitimate legal boundaries: that of a democracy opting to defend its citizens.

But only racism can lead to such rationale. Only a racist media portrays the capture of a soldier whose army units have besieged Gazans for years, denying them food and medicine, as a violation of all that is holy.

Only a racist media presents the kidnapping of 9,000 Palestinians, now in Israeli jails, as a just outcome of Israel's routine arrests of Palestinian terrorists or potential terrorists.

Only racism can play down the Israeli destruction of Gaza's infrastructure, which is justified without question, for such actions are necessary to impede the militants' efforts.

And yet, Israel is praised for its "generous" act of allowing some food to be transferred to Gazans, who ironically have gone hungry because of the Israeli-spearheaded international campaign to punish Palestinians for electing Hamas.

Only racism can completely remove from the current discourse the murder of dozens of Palestinian civilians at the hands of the Israeli Army (90 civilians in seven weeks) as the reason that led to the Palestinian raid on the Israeli Army post and the capture of Shalit, and instead depict the current escalation as if it was entirely the work of the Palestinians, with Israel's slate still clean.

Indeed, Israel's slate will continue to be clean as long as racism and inequality are the concepts according to which this conflict is explained. Israel has the right to do all the above actions without hesitation because Israel is not Palestine, and the lives and well-being of the residents of Israel, at least some of them, cannot be equated with Palestinians. Turn the tables for a moment and you'll understand how repellent such racism is.

Inequality has always been at the heart of this conflict, the late professor Edward Said used to say. Racism is at the heart of inequality, I must add.

The media can be ignorant, biased and self-serving, indeed, but it can also be utterly racist.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

No Moral Compass


Atrocities of the Promised Land

"The Insane Brutality of the State of Israel"
Words fail; ordinary terms are inadequate to describe the horrors Israel daily perpetrates, and has perpetrated for years, against the Palestinians. The tragedy of Gaza has been described a hundred times over, as have the tragedies of 1948, of Qibya, of Sabra and Shatila, of Jenin -
60 years of atrocity perpetrated in the name of Judaism. But the horror generally falls on deaf ears in most of Israel, in the U.S. political arena, in the mainstream U.S. media. Those who are horrified -- and there are many -- cannot penetrate the shield of impassivity that protects the political and media elite in Israel, even more so in the U.S., and increasingly now in Canada and Europe, from seeing, from caring.
But it needs to be said now, loudly: those who devise and carry out Israeli policies have made Israel into a monster, and it has come time for all of us, all Israelis, all Jews who allow Israel to speak for them, all Americans who do nothing to end U.S. support for Israel and its murderous policies to recognize that we stain ourselves morally by continuing to sit by while Israel carries out its atrocities against the Palestinians.
A nation that mandates the primacy of one ethnicity or religion over all others will eventually become psychologically dysfunctional. Narcissistically obsessed with its own image, it must strive to maintain its racial superiority at all costs and will inevitably come to view any resistance to this imagined superiority as an existential threat. Indeed, any other people automatically becomes an existential threat simply by virtue of its own existence. As it seeks to protect itself against phantom threats, the racist state becomes increasingly paranoid, its society closed and insular, intellectually limited. Setbacks enrage it; humiliations madden it. The state lashes out in a crazed effort, lacking any sense of proportion, to reassure itself of its strength.
The pattern played out in Nazi Germany as it sought to maintain a mythical Aryan superiority. It is playing out now in Israel. This society no longer recognizes any boundaries, geographical or moral, wrote Israeli intellectual and anti-Zionist activist Michel Warschawski in his 2004 book Towards an Open Tomb:The Crisis of Israeli Society. Israel knows no limits and is lashing out as it finds that its attempt to beat the Palestinians into submission and swallow Palestine whole is being thwarted by a resilient, dignified Palestinian people who refuse to submit quietly and give up resisting Israel's arrogance.
We in the United States have become inured to tragedy inflicted by Israel, and we easily fall for the spin that automatically, by some trick of the imagination, converts
Israeli atrocities to examples of how Israel is victimized. But a military establishment that drops a 500-pound bomb on a residential apartment building in the middle of the night and kills 14 sleeping civilians, as happened in Gaza four years ago, is not a military that operates by civilized rules.
A military establishment that drops a 500-pound bomb on a house in the middle of the night and kills a man and his wife and seven of their children, as happened in Gaza four days ago, is not the military of a moral country.
A society that can brush off as unimportant an army officers brutal murder of a 13-year-old girl on the claim that she threatened soldiers at a military post, one of nearly 700 Palestinian children murdered by Israelis since the intifada began, is not a society with a conscience.
A government that imprisons a 15-year-old girl, one of several hundred children in Israeli detention, for the crime of pushing and running away from a male soldier trying to do a body search as she entered a mosque is not a government with any moral bearings. (This story, not the kind that ever appears in the U.S. media, was reported in the London Sunday Times. The girl was shot three times as she ran away and was convicted to 18 months in prison after she came out of a coma.)
Critics of Israel note increasingly that Israel is self-destructing, nearing a catastrophe of its own making. Israeli journalist Gideon Levy talks of a society in moral collapse.
Michel Warschawski writes of an Israeli madness and insane brutality, putrefaction of civilized society, that have set Israel on a suicidal course. He foresees the end of the Zionist enterprise; Israel is a gang of hoodlums, he says, a state ¡that makes a mockery of legality and of civil morality. A state run in contempt of justice loses the strength to survive.
As Warschawski notes bitterly, Israel no longer knows any moral boundaries -- if it ever did. Those who continue to support Israel, who make excuses for it as it descends into corruption, have lost their moral compass

Monday, July 17, 2006


Friday, July 14, 2006

The Dying Dollar


US Dollar May Lose
Supremacy in Oil Market
The American dollar is loosing its popularity and its usefullness and its value. There are so many things right now threatening the existence of America since the Bush junta. Its people go confidently along not realizing all that could befall them for their ignorance and the actions of the government. Here is an informative article from Prensa Latina with some of the details.
"What may be the beginning of the end for the US greenback´S hegemony is due to its devaluation over the last years, making holders want to swap their dollar reserves for euros or yens."Iran, Venezuela and Russia alone hold 25 per cent of all the oil traded worldwide. A change to substitute the petrodollar would seriously buffet the US currency, forcing up interest rates, increasing the cost of imports into the US and triggering inflation or even a recession in the world´s number one economy."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

No Water, No Farm


They Are Stealing My Water
America has no limits to its greed. From a history of land stealing and water limiting, the feud still rages. The much fought over Colorado River water is still a major issue for the Americans to abuse. As the border town of San Diego overpopulates the demand for more water for Americans has come up. Lawns to water, cars to wash, showers to take, toilets to flush, swimming pools to fill, etc. The solution is to cement a major canal in, no leaks, no seepage, enough they say for 112,000 new homes. This canal is earthen and creates a natural wet land feeding run offs and wells since 1940 on the Mexican side. This area is one of the biggest Mexican producers of onions, alfalfa, asparagus, squash and more. Cementing in this canal would make it a wasteland of dust, ruining the farms and destroying the environmentally sensitive wetlands. America is always causing conditions here in Mexico to make people loose their work, and often their homes and then complains when these jobless people come their way seeking employment. It is obvious that America does not care what it causes, as long as it profits. Here is an article from El Universal telling the details.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Who Really Won?

Anatomy of a Fraud Foretold
Posted below in its entirety is an article on the Mexican Elections. It is important the world knows the truth and the part the United States played. Like Bush, Felipe Calderon will be president, but only by fraud.
Mexico's Surreal Elections By John Ross, Mexico City.

Mexican elections are stolen before, during, and after Election Day. Just look at what happened in the days leading up to the tightest presidential election in the nation's history this past July 2nd.

By law, the parties and their candidates close down their campaigns three days before Election Day. On Wednesday night June 28th as the legal limit hove into sight, a team of crack investigators from the Attorney General's organized crime unit descended on the maximum security lock-up at La Palma in Mexico state where former Mexico City Finance Secretary Guillermo Ponce awaits trial on charges of misuse of public funds ­ much of which he appears to have left on Las Vegas crap tables.

During his nearly six years in office, outgoing president Vicente Fox has often used his attorney general's office against leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to counter his growing popularity, including a failed effort to bar the former Mexico City mayor from the ballot and even imprison him.

Now. in a desperate last minute electoral ploy by Fox's right-wing National Action or PAN party to boost the fortunes of its lagging candidate Felipe Calderon, the agents tried to pressure Ponce into testifying that AMLO and his PRD party had used city revenues to finance his presidential campaign but Ponce proved a stand-up guy and ultimately rebuffed the government men.

The imprisoned finance secretary's refusal to talk greatly disappointed both Televisa and TV Azteca, Mexico's two-headed television monopoly that together have waged an unrelenting dirty war against Lopez Obrador for months and even years. Indeed, TV crews were stationed out in the La Palma parking lot to record Ponce's thwarted confession for primetime news and both networks had reserved time blocks on their evening broadcasting, forcing the anchors to scramble to fill in the gap.

That was Wednesday night. On Thursday June 29th, Lopez Obrador's people awoke to discover that the candidate's electronic page had been hacked and a phony message purportedly signed by AMLO posted there calling upon his supporters to hit the streets "if the results do not favor us." Although officials of Lopez Obrador's party, the PRD, immediately proved the letter to be a hoax, the pro-Calderon media broadcast the story for hours as if it were the gospel truth, eventually forcing the PRD and its allies to reaffirm that AMLO would abide by results released by the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), the nation's maximum electoral authority, even if the IFE's numbers did not favor the candidate.

The PRD pledge was a reiteration of a "pact of civility" that Televisa had browbeat PRD president Lionel Cota into signing in early June. "Hackergate", as the scandal quickly became known, was designed to prevent Lopez Obrador's supporters from protesting the fraud that the electoral authorities were already preparing.

That was Thursday. On Friday, June 30th, after more than five years of false starts, Fox's special prosecutor for political crimes placed former president Luis Echeverria under house arrest for his role in student massacres in 1968 and 1971. Not only was the long overdue arrest portrayed by big media as a feather in Fox's ­ and therefore, Calderon's ­ cap but it also put the much-hated Echeverria, a pseudo-leftist with whom Calderon has often compared Lopez Obrador, back on the front pages. Since Echeverria is an emeritus member of the PRI, the bust killed two birds with one very opportunist stone.
That was Friday. On Saturday June 1st, two PRD poll watchers in conflictive Guerrero state were gunned down by unknowns, invoking the memory of hundreds of party supporters who were slaughtered in political violence after the 1988 presidential election was stolen from party founder Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, up until now Mexico's most conspicuous electoral fraud.

That was Saturday. On Sunday, July 2nd, Felipe Calderon and the PAN, aided and abetted by the connivance of the Federal Electoral Institute, Mexico's maximum electoral authority, stole the presidential election before the nation's eyes.

As mentioned above, Mexican elections are stolen before, during, and after the votes are cast. During the run-up to July 2nd, the IFE, under the direction of Calderon partisan Luis Carlos Ugalde systematically tried to cripple Lopez Obrador's campaign. Venomous television spots that labeled AMLO "a danger" to Mexico were allowed to run ­ sometimes four to a single commercial break ­ for months on Televisa and TV Azteca despite an indignant outcry from Lopez Obrador's supporters. The IFE only pulled the plug on the hit pieces under court order. In a similar display of crystal clear bias, Ugalde and the IFE winked at Vicente Fox's shameless, unprecedented, and unconstitutional campaigning for Calderon, and refused to intervene despite AMLO's pleas for the president to remove himself from the election.

One of the IFE's more notorious accomplishments in this year's presidential elections was to engineer the non-vote of Mexicans in the United States, an effort that resulted in the disenfranchisement of millions of "paisanos" living north of the Rio Bravo. Undocumented workers were denied absentee ballot applications at consulates and embassies and more than a million eligible voters were barred from casting a ballot because their voter registration cards were not up to date and the IFE refused to update them outside of Mexico. Untold numbers of undocumented workers who could not risk returning to Mexico for a minimum 25 days to renew their credential were denied the franchise the IFE was sworn to defend. The PRD insists that the majority of undocumented Mexicans in the U.S. would have cast a ballot for Lopez Obrador.

The left-center party has considerable strength in Los Angeles and Chicago, the two most important concentrations of Mexicans in the U.S. When thousands of legal Mexican residents from Los Angeles caravanned to Tijuana to cast a ballot for Lopez Obrador, they found the special polling places for citizens in transit had no ballots. The 750 ballots allocated to the special "casillas" had already been taken by members of the Mexican police and military.

In Mexico City, when voters in transit lined up at one special polling place according to noted writer Elena Poniatowska, hundreds of nuns presumably voting for the rightwing Calderon displaced them and were given the last of the ballots.

Back in the bad old days when the long-ruling (71 years) Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) stole elections with impunity, most of the larceny took place in the polling stations ­ stolen or stuffed ballot boxes, multiple voting, altered vote counts ­ but since national and international observers like the San Francisco-based Global Exchange became a regular feature of the electoral landscape here, such overt fraud has diminished and the cumulative number of anomalies recorded in 130,000 casillas July 2nd seemed insignificant when compared to the size of the victory Calderon was already claiming the morning after ­ i.e. the John Kerry Syndrome, named in memory of the Democratic Party candidate's sudden capitulation in Ohio in 2004 for much the same reason.

Nonetheless, this "fraude de hormiga" (fraud of the ants) which steals five to 10 votes a ballot box, when combined with the disappearance of voters from precinct lists ("razarados" or the razored ones) can fabricate an electoral majority ­ the long-ruling PRI (which failed to win a single state July 2nd) was a master of this sort of "alquemia" (alchemy) during seven decades of defrauding Mexican voters.

During the build-up to July 2nd, independent reporters here uncovered what appeared to be IFE preparations for cybernetic fraud. One columnist at the left national daily La Jornada discovered parallel lists of "razarados" on the IFE electronic page ­ one of the lists contained multiples of the other. While Julio Hernandez made a phone call to the IFE to question this phenomenon, the list containing the multiples vanished from his computer screen.

Similarly, radio reporter Carmen Aristegui was able to access the list of all registered voters through one of Felipe Calderon's web pages ­ the list had been crossed with one containing the personal data of all recipients of government social development program benefits ­ former social development secretary (SEDESO) Josefina Vazquez Mota, is Calderon's right hand woman and the PAN candidate's brother-in-law Diego Zavala, a data processing tycoon, designed programs for both the IFE and the SEDESO. Utilizing voter registration rolls and lists of beneficiaries of government programs is considered an electoral crime here.

AMLO's people went into July 2nd fearing a repeat of 1988 when the "system" purportedly "collapsed" on election night and did not come back up for ten days. When results were finally announced, Cuauhtemoc Cardenas has been despoiled of victory and the PRI's Carlos Salinas was declared the winner.

Lopez Obrador's fears were not unwarranted.

When on July 2nd AMLO's voters turned out in record-breaking numbers, Interior Secretary officials urged major media not to release exit poll results that heralded a Lopez Obrador victory. Ugalde himself took to national television to declare the preliminary vote count too close to call and Mexicans went to bed without knowing whom their next president might be. Preliminary results culled from the casillas (PREP) that ran erratically all night and all day Monday showed Calderon with a 200,000 to 400,000-vote lead activating suspicions that cybernetic flimflam was in the works. When the PREP was finally shut down Monday night, the right winger enjoyed a commanding lead and Televisa and TV Azteca proclaimed him a virtual winner ­ U.S newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune followed suit and the White House was poised to celebrate a Calderon victory.

But there was one fly in the IFE's ointment: 42 million Mexicans had voted July 2nd but only the votes of 39 million appeared in the PREP and Lopez Obrador demanded to know what had happened to the missing 3,000,000 voters. Then on a Tuesday morning news interview with Televisa, Luis Carlos Ugalde admitted that the missing votes had been abstracted from the PREP because of "inconsistencies". Indeed, 13,000 casillas ­ 10% of the total ­ had been removed from the preliminary count, apparently to create the illusion that Calderon had won the presidency.

Meanwhile all day Monday and into Tuesday, AMLO supporters throughout Mexico recorded thousands of instances of manipulation of the vote count ­ a ballot box in Mexico state registered 188 votes for Lopez Obrador but only 88 were recorded in the PREP. Another Mexico state ballot box was listed 20 times in the preliminary count. Whereas voters in states where the PAN rules the roost, cast more ballots for president than for senators and congressional representatives, voters in southern states where the PRD carried the day cast more ballots for congress than for the presidential candidates. Among the PRD states that purportedly followed this surreal pattern was Tabasco, the home state of two out of the three major party presidential candidates ­ Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the PRI's Roberto Madrazo.

On Wednesday morning, with the tension mounting to the breaking point and demonstrators already massing in the street, a final vote count began in Mexico's 300 electoral districts. Although the tabulation of the votes was programmed to finish Sunday, IFE officials pushed the recount ahead at breakneck speed. As the day progressed, PAN and PRI electoral officials, charging Lopez Obrador's people with trying to obstruct the process, repeatedly rejected PRD demands to open the ballot boxes and recount the votes inside one by one in instances where Lopez Obrador's tally sheets did not coincide with numbers in the PREP or were different from the sheets attached to the ballot box. When a recount was allowed such as in one Veracruz district, Lopez Obrador sometimes recouped as many as a thousand votes.

Surprisingly, by early afternoon, AMLO had accumulated a 2.6% lead over Calderon ­ and his supporters were dancing in the streets of Mexico City. And then, inexplicably, for the next 24 hours, his numbers went into the tank never to rise again at the same time that the right-winger's started to increase incrementally. By late evening, AMLO was reduced to single digit advantage and a little after 4 AM Thursday morning, Calderon inched ahead. It had taken 12 hours to count the last 10% of the votes and still there were districts that had not reported.

When Lopez Obrador addressed the press at 8:30, he condemned "the spectacle of the dance of numbers" and announced that the PRD and its political allies would impugn the election ­ he had proof of anomalies in 40,000 polling places (a third of the total) and would present them to the "TRIFE", the supreme electoral tribunal with powers to annul whole districts and states, within the 72 hours dictated by the law.

Then, in his typically hesitating, Peter Falk-like way of saying things, AMLO called for the second election ­ the one that takes place in the street ­ beginning at 5 PM this Saturday in the great Zocalo plaza at the political heart of this bruised nation.

Although Lopez Obrador's words were perhaps the culminating moment of this long strange journey, Mexico's two-headed TV monster chose to ignore them - Televisa was otherwise occupied with "entertainment" news, and soon after the screens filled up with game shows and telenovelas (soap operas.) Although it had not yet concluded, the telenovela of the vote count disappeared into the ether of morning television.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Count

Next to the garbage can residing one, my favorite Sesame Street character was always The Count. He might describe the Further Left Library, Forum, and Chat as follows.

In the last one year, July 9 2005 through July 8 2006, the Library and Forum together have had 16,809 page loads from 9,926 unique visitors, of which 6,391 were first time visitors and 3,535 were returning. Daily averages over that period are 46 page loads from 27 unique visitors, of which 18 were first time and 9 returning.

Usage patterns changed when the Forum was installed October 11 2006. The current last 100 page loads show the Forum now accounting for 82% of the total and the Library 18%. Joint Library and Forum daily averages since then are 47 page loads, 31 visitors of which 21 are first time and 10 returning.

This extrapolates to a yearly expected use of the Forum and Library jointly to 17,155 page loads and 11,315 unique visitors of which 7,665 are first time and 3,650 returning. Narrowing that to a Forum's 82% share gives an expected 14,067 annual Forum page loads from 9,278 visitors of which 6,285 are there for the first time and 2,993 returning.

The Further Left Chat Room would normally experience one to 12 participants at any single time when it was a part of Yahoo chat madness. Twenty two was the maximum I recall. There was no noting then of how many came and went during any particular period.

The Chat's activity diminished greatly after moving to the EWC chat system in mid June 2005. But, so did the madness as it rapidly dropped to zero. There were 9 distinct chat participants yesterday, 16 during the past week, 30 in the past month, and 248 since the June 17 2005 move to the EWC chat system. Those figures varied little over the past year.

We are not a large chunk of the world of information but neither are we invisible. You can't kick a rock out of the path until you see it there. Hopefully we have and will continue to shed a bit of light along the way.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Who Knows?



It´s a Secret

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Why Not Feed Them?

12,000 dead... and it’s not news!
It is a chilling fact 12,000 children die of starvation everyday. This is an easy fact for many, and especially the rich, to live with as it is not brought to their attention daily, like America´s 9/11 day or their flooding problem. These more minor disasters make good news and can be used to sway people and use them. Random dead children are distasteful and not to be focused on, seems to be the view of the public. And the news gives the people what they want of course, it’s a business, like their government. So we hang on to what's popular and let go what is not. This article from Granma International, Havana Cuba, expresses very well the true impact that should be felt from such news as children starving.

And then you think of a country that wants to steal the place of world leader, United States of America, that spends its billions on war for its own profit. Whose business is starving children?
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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Celebration Of Sorts

Our visiting short term gringo neighbors here in central Mexico will fiesta today in celebrating the birth of the very young upstart of their nation just to the north, which they seem to hold in respected esteem. My wife and I must be considered as being of them for we were issued a colorful patriotic decorated invitation to the gathering.

In a way, my neighbors may be right (political entendre intended). Though my years of life now span a third of their nation's 230 year blood and pillage stained history, there is no denying that US birth and subsequent early residence account for a quarter of those of the nation they commemorate today. I cannot similarly calculate the fraction of our close to 20 years expatriation to Mexico in terms of its longevity. That is because it is impossible to finger the coming to nationhood for one where European conquest tended toward marriage to rather than slaughter of most of its original inhabitants. We will not attend the neighbors' festivities but instead, mark here my and many's others views of that which they celebrate.

A few years ago, Guadalajara fútbol fans chanted "OSAMA, OSAMA" during a match with the US after one of its players disrespected Mexico, its team, and fans by blatently urinating on the field of play. The story was carried in indignant news from the north but without mention of the instigating event.

One of my neighbors was so offended she hung American flags outside her house. I followed suit and hung something on ours too, an impressionistic rendering of that flag. It brought no mention to my face from passing gringos but many V and thumbs up signals from Mexican's. That picture was the very first post on this Forum last October. It seems appropriate today to offer it again as my comment on the birthday party at hand. Some words in line with thoughts underlying generation of that graphic are better presented by one more talented in such realm than I. It was found and stolen from a chat room acquaintance and appears on the August 31, 2005 archive of her impotentire blog.

Letter to an American Know-All

Dear Sir,

I had an opportunity of going through your website and all its articles. It so happened that somebody in one of the chat rooms happened to paste this link on the mains and I decided to glance through it. Without beating around the Bush (wish I could literally do that!!!) I’d like to thank you for your articles which were indeed very well written (as I’m sure many have told you) albeit, unconventionally written.

I seize this opportunity to put across my point of view. Naturally you’d like to know who I am. Well my name is Sucheta and I am a 3rd year law student, studying in Calcutta (that’s in India in case you don’t know and do not ask me where India is …George Bush raised this query at the time he assumed office-this isn’t a rumour, by the way! ). I’d like to put the view of most third world nations across, which happen to be cowed down by the sheer money and muscle power of the U.S. At this point, you may in all probability delete my mail because listening to what the people of starving nations think or feel is naturally of no significance. I mean if they’re poor, and starving… they probably deserve to kick the bucket and make space for others (applying American logic).

American arrogance has been reflected time and again in its foreign policy. It would be interesting to note that the U.S., like Frankenstein, has this habit of creating monsters which rebel against their creator. Take Saddam for instance. He was well supplied with arms and ammunition and placed in a position of power in order to keep Iran in its place. But Saddam had ambitions of his own and since he refused to toe Uncle Sam’s line, he was deftly removed, thousands of innocents massacred and a nation pulverized… all for its brimming deposits of liquid gold. After all, surely the U.S. has permanent sovereignty over the natural resources of all the nations of the world. Saddam should have meekly handed over those accursed oilfields to the Big Boss. The funniest thing is that the U.S. still expects the world to digest its fabrications about those weapons of mysterious disappearance.

The U.S., of course, is the world’s self-appointed moral guardian. It will tell us what leaders we ought to elect, what ought to be our system of governance, what products we ought to use (including rubber goods, I suppose) and who deserves to live, who deserves to perish. Take Afghanistan for instance. The Taliban was set up in order to oust the Soviet Russia from Afghanistan but yet again, Frankenstein’s monster turned against its creator and had to be done to death ( how many innocent children were bombed to smithereens of course does not matter…they were Asians after all and their lives of scant value).

The United States has set new standards in hypocrisy. It attempted to keep out goods manufactured by the “lesser” nations by going high on rhetoric…ostensibly talking about the fact that child labour had been used and as such the States’ heart was crying out for those pitiable creatures ( the fact that U.S. sanctions drive millions of children to their deathbeds is another insignificant detail). Yet the United States, along with Somalia, are the only nations which refused to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. We, the “lesser” nations are, of course, not surprised. I mean the U.S. can never be accused of consistency in anything apart from perpetrating terror.

The Kyoto Protocol controversy is yet another example which exposed the States’ contemptuous attitude towards international will and international obligations. The U.S. chooses to use the United Nations as an instrument to spread its reign of terror and when it falters in its designs, the U.N. is naturally termed “redundant”.

The United States, in its fight against “terror” chooses to overlook the terrorism perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians and by Pakistan upon the Kashmiris, the reason being that they happen to be allies of the U.S. in their bid to colonise the world. America will teach the world what being “civilized” is, it will decide our foreign policy for us, it will hand us weapons to fight one another ( the arms lobbies’ interests are definitely paramount…lives don’t count) and then preach love and peace! The U.S. representatives showed their true colours at the Cancun meet where their anger at the solidarity expressed by the third world led them to abandon their veiled warnings in order to proceed with open (and vulgar) threats. This is The Great United States of America for you…long live the Americans, the rest of the world can go hang!

Irrespective of who wins the elections, whether Kerry or Bush, to the rest of the world, it would make no difference because the tyrant will live on… the tyrant called The United States. The rest of the world cowers in fear.

Yes, life is of no value…unless it’s an American life. The rest of the people are mere lumps of flesh and bone…destined to survive…never to live.

Thank you America!!!


Monday, July 03, 2006

And Get On With It

"If the world is upside down the way it is now, wouldn't we have to turn it over to get it to stand up straight?" - Eduardo Galeano

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