November 25, 2003

New Threat to Ecuadoran Rainforest

"they're still doing things that would never even be contemplated
in the United States, Europe or any of the industrialized world,"
said Kenny Bruno, with EarthRights International

...things have changed since the election of Rafael Correa. This short lived threat was mostly abated even prior to his election in 2006.

(11-24-03) Houston Chronicle

Houston-based Burlington Resources has plans to explore the region for oil, despite widespread opposition from local indigenous groups. Burlington and an Argentine company hold rights to explore a combined area of nearly 1 million acres.
That's an area about two-thirds the size of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, another sensitive region oil companies have eyed for exploration. The Ecuadorian rainforest happens to be closer to Houston. But because this controversy is unfolding in a foreign country, it has gone largely ignored by the U.S. media.

full story at Amazon Watch

"Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread...

(11-17) 23:11 PST WASHINGTON (AP)

When the House voted to stop charging wounded soldiers for their hospital food, it had a lot to do with what Rep. Bill Young's wife heard during a bedside visit with the troops.

Read more about this unspeakable outrage....
at least now IT'S A FEDERAL CRIME TO CHARGE
WOUNDED VETERANS FOR THEIR
HOSPITAL FOOD

...and forgive us our trespasses": Jesus Christ

November 20, 2003

Who Supplies Oregon Farm Labor?

    "Many farmers hire labor contractors who will bring to this country Mexican laborers who are paid by the piece or pound or basket.."
No mention of this on the web, although it is a thriving practice among respectable businessmen in Salem, Oregon*.
background

*pop. 136,924, 2000 census

IMF Attempts Coverup of Illegal Arms Trade

the IMF knew about the charges against its employee and the international warrant that finally led to his capture

    "In June 2001 a parliamentary investigation concluded Baca had illegally countersigned decrees authorising weapons purchases with revenues from state enterprise privatisations that were intended for poverty reduction. ...In September of that year he had to testify in a Peruvian court about his links with former President Fujimori's spy chief Vladimir Montesinos, recently sentenced to five years(?!) in prison for human rights abuses, money laundering, embezzlement and arms deals."

November 18, 2003

Republicans Shut Down Iraq Intelligence Investigation

John D. Rockefeller in today's Washington Post
    ...my staff recently drafted an options memo on the use or potential misuse of intelligence. The memo, intended only for me, was pilfered from the usually secure Senate intelligence committee and distributed to the media.
full story

November 07, 2003

They've Learned to Speak the Language

Some nuspeak from the China Business Summit
which apparently has benefitted from it's close association with the
World Economic Forum:
"Private companies used to be managed like family businesses. But now they’re introducing modern corporate governance practices and growing into modern companies...
Where once they measured success purely in terms of financials, they’re now thinking in terms of human capital —
What does this mean?
That family owned businesses thought only in terms of financials?
What is human capital? Is this a humanistic concept?
Due to the corporate media blackout, few people heard the
discussion
of the now infamous Kathie Lee handbags held in the US House of Representatives:
"...when we look at how Chinese workers are already being treated by corporations such as Wal-Mart, Timberland, Nike, Alpine and others, it becomes clear that is not the case. Wal-Mart and Nike's operations in China have become synonymous with child labor, forced labor and hazardous working conditions."
The discussion references: "...an excellent new report called
Made in China,
released by Charles Kernaghan, of New York City."

October 24, 2003

MORALES SEEKS TRIAL OF FORMER BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT

Morales, a former presidential candidate and now a congressman, also repeated calls for trying Sanchez de Lozada, who has taken shelter in the United States, saying he fears for his own safety and that of his family at home.

Evo Morales, a leader of Indian coca farmers, helped lead the protests that toppled President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada last week after the president promoted a plan to export Bolivia's natural gas.
"We have to wait for better conditions. When gas is in the hands of transnationals, it is just a looting of our natural resources."
Morales, a former presidential candidate and now a congressman, also repeated calls for trying Sanchez de Lozada, who has taken shelter in the United States, saying he fears for his own safety and that of his family at home.
"We want to charge him with economic damages and crimes against humanity," Morales said. "We are soon going to see him in prison."

FULL STORY From Ioan Grillo on the Associated Press newswire

"... as soon as a grave question of principle was raised...

   

the scholars were seen to...
leave to their libraries to draw nearer the masses, to involve themselves in life; and the experience has proved that they know how to make themselves heard.
The moral agitation to which these events gave rise has not been extinguished, and I am among those who think that it must not be extinguished."

Emile Durkheim

The Intellectual Elite and Democracy, 1886

October 21, 2003

Debido al espacio
limitado enque nos encontramos
POR FAVOR SOLAMENTE
UNA PERONA EN LA AREA DE COMIDA
Si usted trae sus ninos, porfavor
traigan a alguin que se quede con
ellos en la area de espera.
Gracias por su coperacion.

October 18, 2003

Bolivia Ousts Enron Collaborator

Hundreds of news stories continue to break as the unrest increases in La Paz where over 30 thousand protesters have taken to the streets to protest the plans of Enron, Shell and BP Amoco to accelerate the exportation of natural gas. According to Amazon Watch: "Years of gas development have brought little economic gain to Bolivia's forest communities who bear the grievous social and environmental costs of gas operations. Now the scramble for profits from the new gas bonanza is driving energy giants such as BP, Enron and Shell to embark on massive new pipeline projects with little thought for the well-being of the nation's poorest peoples." The protests which began in September, have become increasingly violent, resulting in extreme measures. Bolivia's only international airport, in El Alto, just outside of the nation's capital in La Paz has been closed since October 11. Bolivia's current president, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, lacks the popular support enjoyed by the leftist majority in congress. The Economist summarizes the conflict quit succinctly:
"Mr Sanchez (or Goni, as Bolivians call him) was an effective liberal reformer in his first term, from 1993-7. Last year, he won the presidency again, but with just 22.5% of the vote, barely ahead of Evo Morales, of the far-left Movement to Socialism. The two men seemed to personify two Bolivias: Goni is a Chicago-educated mining magnate; Mr Morales, of Aymara Indian descent, is the rabble-rousing leader of the coca-workers union. ...
...Ecuador's President Lucio Gutierrez is facing strikes and protests, having lost the backing of the Andean Indian groups that helped bring him to power. A state of emergency was declared this week, as banana growers (Ecuador is the world's largest exporter of the fruit) blocked roads and ports, demanding higher prices and more state aid. " The strife has spread through the region, weaking the presidency of Alejandro Toledo in Peru, where a state of emergency has been in effect since June.

October 17, 2003

Bolivia at fever pitch as coalition falls

Fri 17 October, 2003 20:07 BST
By Alistair Scrutton
LA PAZ, Bolivia (Reuters) - Bolivia's government coalition has fallen apart after a main ally of embattled President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada withdrew his support, echoing demands from protesters for the unpopular leader to step down. more

Bolivia Ousts Enron Collaborators

Hundreds of news stories continue to break as the unrest increases in La Paz where over 30 thousand protesters have taken to the streets to protest the plans of Enron, Shell and BP Amoco to accelerate the exportation of natural gas. According to Amazon Watch: "Years of gas development have brought little economic gain to Bolivia's forest communities who bear the grievous social and environmental costs of gas operations. Now the scramble for profits from the new gas bonanza is driving energy giants such as BP, Enron and Shell to embark on massive new pipeline projects with little thought for the well-being of the nation's poorest peoples." The protests which began in September, have become increasingly violent, resulting in extreme measures. Bolivia's only international airport, in El Alto, just outside of the nation's capital in La Paz has been closed since October 11. Bolivia's current president, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, lacks the popular support enjoyed by the leftist majority in congress. The Economist summarizes the conflict quit succinctly:
"Mr Sanchez (or Goni, as Bolivians call him) was an effective liberal reformer in his first term, from 1993-7. Last year, he won the presidency again, but with just 22.5% of the vote, barely ahead of Evo Morales, of the far-left Movement to Socialism. The two men seemed to personify two Bolivias: Goni is a Chicago-educated mining magnate; Mr Morales, of Aymara Indian descent, is the rabble-rousing leader of the coca-workers union. ...
...Ecuador's President Lucio Gutierrez is facing strikes and protests, having lost the backing of the Andean Indian groups that helped bring him to power. A state of emergency was been declared this week, as banana growers (Ecuador is the world's largest exporter of the fruit) blocked roads and ports, demanding higher prices and more state aid. " The strife has spread through the region, weaking the presidency of Alejandro Toledo in Peru, where a state of emergency has been in effect since June.

October 15, 2003

Building new or maintaining old refineries
is considered to be a crime in Russia more

October 14, 2003

It's The Truth

Pravda, 2.18.03 Interpol agents detained one of the members of the IMF-WB new mission to Argentina, Jorge Baca Campodonico, on Thursday, a few meters from the Sheraton Hotel of Buenos Aires. The former Peruvian Minister of Economy currently serves in the International Monetary Fund and is accused of links to the former chief of the Peruvian intelligence services, Vladimiro Montesinos. Montesinos was the main collaborator of the Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori (1990 - 2000) and is now under arrest in Lima for criminal actions against the public administration. Montesinos has also been prosecuted on connections with narcotraffic, corruption and political assassinations. more PRAVDA?

October 07, 2003

Although Dennis Jett now seems too be worried about whether we're committing war crimes in Iraq, the unjust imprisonment of Lori Berenson never seemed to weigh very heavily on his conscience, and he didn't seem to concerned about the rights of the 48 innocent victims of his cohort Alberto Fujimori mentioned in the document below.

In fact, he made sure the information was reported as classified information for fear that it "might jeopardize our diplomatic relations" with Peru.

October 06, 2003

This document describes the military detention, torture and release of 48 Oxapampa residents in February and March 1997, who were falsely accused of being MRTA members. more

October 03, 2003

ARCHIVE PUBLISHES PERU HUMAN RIGHTS DOCUMENTS

on August 28, 2003
"...the National Security Archive posted on the Web

33 of the most important declassified U.S. documents
used by the Commission in its work"
in a letter to secretary of state Colin Powell on Dec. 19, 2002, representatives of the national security archive wrote:

"...Now, three months past the promised delivery date, the State Department has yet to release the material to the Peruvian Truth Commission, whose strict deadline is rapidly approaching.... (The Commission’s collection of information stage will be over at the end of January, while their final report is due by July 2003.)"

October 01, 2003

Former CIA director

James Woolsey


"...has been named in news reports as a possible candidate for a key position in the reconstruction of a postwar Iraq."

Who's with Wilson?


according to the conservative Center for Security Policy
"The Clinton Administration has placed itself squarely in the tradition of Presidents Wilson and Carter..."
Does this mean the self-christened "neo-Wilsonists" are correct that indeed we have had a nation policy of perpetual war for most of this century?

September 27, 2003

it was much more fun hanging out with montesinos and fujimori Are we committing war crimes in Iraq?The Bush administration is doing some serious diplomatic arm-twisting to ensure that Americans do not fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Washington is threatening to cut off aid to dozens of our allies, including countries that supported our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, if they don't go along with an exemption for Americans.
full story by former ambassador to Peru, Dennis Jett"available for a limited time online". His timing is impeccable, and his position is hard to predict.

September 26, 2003

legacy of railroad magnate EH HarrimanAt the end of the Last Chance run, the river makes it's way through the Railroad Ranch, also known as Harriman State Park. The ranch was purchased from the Oregon Short Line railroad in 1907 by Edward Henry Harriman. It was operated as a working cattle ranch until the 1960s. The property was transferred to the State of Idaho with stipulations that the wildlife and scenic quality of the area be protected.
Would Prescott call it Neo-Wilsonism?my daddy did just fine under woodrow
"Prescott's father, Samuel P. Bush, owned Buckeye Steel Castings Co. which made parts for the Harriman brothers' father's (E.H. Harriman) railroads. Harriman's financing for the railroads came largely from William Rockefeller. These shipped the oil of his brother John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil. (This was the origin of the two Georges' involvement in the oil business.) Samuel Bush became a leader in President Woodrow Wilson's "War Socialism" as director of small armaments and ammunition on the War Industries Board (which set up coercive price-fixing cartels over American industry during World War I). There, Bush assisted Percy Rockefeller (son of William) in his takeover of small arms manufacturers. ..more

September 24, 2003

STILL IN PRISON
Committee to Free Lori Berenson Lori Berenson still held prisoner
Lori Berenson is still in prison. A sad reminder of a lesson we haven't learned well enough from the days of Huey Newton: in order to remain effective as a challenge to the established order, you must not allow the Centurions to lay hold of your body. In the early years of Lori's imprisonment, she wouldn't be able to write to us.
Here's some of
  her latest
Is It Really Wilsonism?
(exhibit A)
Speaking to a group of college students on April 2, 2003, former CIA Director James Woolsey revealed, "...the United States is engaged in World War IV, and that it could continue for years." Woolsey described the Cold War as the third world war. He then said "This fourth world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II did for us. Hopefully not the full four-plus decades of the Cold War..."

September 19, 2003

Sustainable Energy And Economy Network
September 18, 2003

"Severe environmental destruction is the legacy of 40-plus years of oil drilling by Shell Oil in an area of Nigeria known as the Niger Delta, home to over 14 indigenous ethnic nationalities, including the Ogoni people. Ogoni farmlands were expropriated without compensation, their environment polluted, their communities attacked by the military if they protested. The CIA reports that the Niger Delta has suffered the equivalent of 10 Exxon Valdez oil spills, without ever being cleaned up."...more
"On Monday, seven anti-privatization activists were arrested in Soweto for blocking the installation of prepaid water meters. The meters are a privatized answer to the fact that millions of poor South Africans cannot pay their water bills."
writes Naomi Klein

in The Nation

September 12, 2003

I'm here today cleaning up some blog history - removing the dead links, and in some cases, moving material to new sites with links from here that work. Does that make sense? Scroll through the old material and see what I mean.

January 29, 2003

the real david roknich is now at
davidroknich.com,
where he's posting the sheet music for his newest project:
Summer Music
The performance notes are in blog form, and you can post comments, ask questions, hurl tomatoes, whatever....