My friend Tarek

The young fellow and I have completely different approaches to almost everything -- some might say, charitably, that they are complementary approaches. But the truth is we have a lot in common as well. And I have a lot of respect for him, which is why I've been helping him out in whatever small ways I've been able to -- mostly with (what I think is reasonable) advice which he may or may not take. Perhaps because our approaches are so different I didn't think to promote his reports here, in spite of the fact that I am working with him on his project.

Fear, Loathing, and Elections generally

I was just reading the various pieces that ZNet republished from New Politics on the US elections. I would in particular recommend Steve Shalom's piece. Steve has a way of summarizing all the arguments on all sides in a sympathetic way, and then presenting the last word on the topic, that is really impressive. Years ago when I was confused about drugs, his piece on the subject clarified things for me in a similar way.

A Minor Victory In A Major Struggle (C.P. Pandya)

Open up markets or else. This is often the ultimatum governments of developing countries are given as they try to find a way out of severe poverty and economic stagnation. This "development" is anything but and has always come at a very very costly human price: death, displacement and deeper poverty. This is to say nothing of the real agendas motivating the U.S. and other industrialized countries to promote this form of gun-point development.

FARC and the massacre at La Gabarra

Following up on yesterday's post on the massacre at La Gabarra. As I suggested, the place to go to find FARC's views is ANNCOL and they have a statement now on their site, taking responsibility for what happened, claiming that everyone they killed were paramilitaries, and accusing the Colombian government, the 'bourgeois press', and the human rights organizations of crying 'crocodile tears'.

Required reading on Israel/Palestine

From two days ago, a piece by Greg Philo containing excerpts and summary from a book of the same name, Bad News from Israel, is just a must-read. The degree to which people are deliberately propagandized in the West on this issue is amazing, and this is the first book that systematically studies the process. Chomsky's Fateful Triangle tears the arguments apart, and is equally indispensable, but the work of Philo et al. has a different program and does it very well. Read the essay, get the book.