Writer, analyst, and blogger

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A new political novel by Justin Podur

About The Demands of the Dead

When police killed his two best friends in a supposedly accidental shooting, detective Mark Brown left the force bitter and angry, abandoning a promising career and leaving his special skills to languish. A year later, the trail of one of the killers has Mark looking south, to Mexico, just as he receives a mysterious, anonymous, encrypted message over e-mail: The dead demand much more than vengeance. Drawn into the conflict zone by the connection to the deaths of his friends, Mark finds that he has to work on both sides to solve the case, in a place where any mistake could endanger lives – or reignite a war.

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Uribe's courageous attack on the pacifists

This is good. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez, the same guy who asked the US to do for Colombia what they were planning to do in Iraq, back in January when the war was being planned, wants international observers out of the country. He wants the Colombian police to arrest and deport them. These international observers are a miniscule fraction of what is needed in Colombia to prevent Uribe's own military and police from torturing and slaughtering their way through Colombian communities.

Fear and Loathing Report: English Debates

Last night had the english-language debates between the prime ministerial candidates. A few highlights.


Two Haiti Notes

As promised, more on the assault on the home of Mayor Moise from Milo by UN troops; and above that, news of repression from Haiti's 'free trade' zones. Just in case anyone was worried that the coup in Haiti made things less safe for the sweatshop owners, you can put your mind at east. See below.

Urgent action alert and call for solidarity with Haitian workers - Haiti Support Group, 14 June 2004

Grupo M has fired 254 workers at the Codevi free trade zone at Ouanaminthe.

Dominican soldiers have been brought in to terrorise the workers.


FLR: The French Debate

Yesterday the candidates in the Canadian election debated in French. Tonight they will debate in English. Overall, it seems to me that Paul Martin, the current Prime Minister, did not crash and burn the way I expected him to, and Stephen Harper, the contender for PM, did not score any major points. But Harper, while his french his decent, is not as comfortable in French and is also aware that he isn't going to win anything in Quebec in any case. So tonight's debates will have more at stake.


Fear & Loathing Report: Why Bother??

Today and tomorrow there will be the televised debates, during which most Canadians will decide who they will vote for. Today's debates are in French, tomorrow's in English.


UN thuggery in Haiti?

Some may remember the mayor of the Haitian town of Milo, Jean Charles Moise, who wrote about the 'rebirth' of Haitian army terror just after the coup of Feb/March. Moise is a Lavalas mayor who was writing from hiding. I just got this note from a Haiti reporter, who got a phone call from Haiti telling him what happened. More to come when more information can be verified.


Venezuela and the lion's mouth

This question came in the ZNet forum system today:

I'm sure you are aware of this issue, reported by NYT recently but first reported by the Miami Herald (as far as I can tell). I noticed that the companies (both the hardware & software companies) are located in South Florida. I can understand Venezuela's concern about having a financial interest in a company located in a region known for its Opposition support overtly and covertly.

If they knew... would they do anything?

I gave a talk on Friday night to a local community group. Small group (usually the case for my talks). The topic was Canadian foreign policy (I'll be publishing the talk soon). It was a smart crowd, engaged, awake, I think activist in inclination. It was actually a biweekly discussion group, and they brought in guest speakers after which they discussed things among themselves, some retiring to a local coffee shop to continue the chat.

FLR: Quebec and the Canadian Elections

Quick note on the headlines today for your Canadian elections fear and loathing report. A reader complained about my not saying anything about Quebec. In Quebec, the race is not between the Conservatives and the Liberals. In fact, there's hardly any race at all. Quebec is poised to give virtually every seat to the sovereigntists, the Bloc Quebecois. The Liberals might pick up a few seats in anglophone Montreal, but that's about it.


The surreal world of campus activism, part III

On March 11, 2003, at Concordia University in Montreal, where a lot of ugly stuff has happened on campus over the Israel/Palestine conflict, some angry "tabling" ("tabling" is just sitting at a table that has leaflets and posters on it and giving them out to passersby) was going on. A member of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) was tabling next to a member of Hillel (see this note on Hillel). In the exchange, the SPHR member told the Hillel member: "I'll be famous one day and you'll be selling falafel."


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