Thursday, July 2, 2009

Generals who led Honduras military coup trained at the School of the Americas


Romeo Vasquez, a general who led the military coup in Honduras against President Manuel Zelaya, received training at the US School of the Americas. The SOA has trained more than 60,000 soldiers, many of whom have returned home and committed human rights abuses, torture, extrajudicial execution and massacres. According to School of the Americas Watch, Vasquez attended the SOA in 1976 and 1984. The head of the Air Force, Gen. Luis Javier Prince Suazo, also studied there in 1996.


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'The secret government: The constitution in crisis' by Bill Moyers


This is the full length 90 min. version of Bill Moyer's 1987 scathing critique of the criminal subterfuge carried out by the Executive Branch of the United States Government to carry out operations which are clearly contrary to the wishes and values of the American people. The ability to exercise this power with impunity is facilitated by the National Security Act of 1947. The thrust of the exposé is the Iran-Contra arms and drug-running operations which flooded the streets of our nation with crack cocaine. The significance of the documentary is probably greater today in 2007 than it was when it was made. We now have a situation in which these same forces have committed the most egregious terrorist attack on US soil and have declared a fraudulent so-called "War on Terror". The ruling regime in the US who have conducted the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, are now banging the war drum against Iran. We have the PATRIOT act which has stripped us of many of our basic civil rights justified by the terror of 9/11 which is their own doing.

Branding blunder gives Russia-Nigeria energy linkup a bad name

It probably seemed a good idea at the time. But Russia's attempt to create a joint gas venture with Nigeria is set to become one of the classic branding disasters of all time ‑ after the new company was named Nigaz.

The venture was agreed last week during a four-day trip by Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev to Africa. The deal between Russia's Gazprom and Nigeria's state oil company was supposed to show off the Kremlin's growing interest in Africa's energy reserves.

Instead, the venture is now likely to be remembered for all the wrong reasons ‑ as a memorable PR blunder, worse than Chevrolet's Nova, which failed to sell in South America because it translates as "doesn't go" in Spanish.

Alert users of Twitter first highlighted the unfortunate English connotations of Nigaz, which appears to have eluded Medevedev's Russian-speaking delegation.

Writing on Monday, shunty 75 observed: "Nigaz is the name for the new Gazprom Nigeria venture. They need a new PR outfit. NO WAY!! Haha!!" Other twitterers also derided the name.

An article in Brand Republic pointed out the obvious: that the name has "rather different connotations" for English-speakers.

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2009 Bullwer-Lytton Fiction Contest results

"Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the "Ellie May," a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests."

David McKenzie
Federal Way, WA

The winner of 2009 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is David McKenzie, a 55-year-old Quality Systems consultant and writer from Federal Way, Washington. A contest recidivist, he has formerly won the Western and Children's Literature categories.

David McKenzie is the 27th grand prize winner of the contest that began at San Jose State University in 1982.

An international literary parody contest, the competition honors the memory (if not the reputation) of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). The goal of the contest is childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Although best known for "The Last Days of Pompeii" (1834), which has been made into a movie three times, originating the expression "the pen is mightier than the sword," and phrases like "the great unwashed" and "the almighty dollar," Bulwer-Lytton opened his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the immortal words that the "Peanuts" beagle Snoopy plagiarized for years, "It was a dark and stormy night."

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Charles Bukowski reads

'The genius of the crowd'


'The secret of my endurance'

Prisoner of war camp photos win Google competition

A photography competition run by Google has been won by Daniel Halasz from Hungary, whose entry featured images of a secret World War Two prisoner of war camp in Watten, in the Scottish Highlands.

[ ... ]

"I did a lot of research before taking the images because I wanted to concentrate on this history of the place," Halasz explained. "The photos depict the location of a former Second World War camp for prisoners of war, where some of the most high ranking Nazi officers were held for re-education. The existence of this former camp was only revealed two years ago. I thought it was important to remind everyone of what happened in the war, because there is still so much hatred in the world towards people from other countries."

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The coming collapse of the middle class



Distinguished law scholar Elizabeth Warren teaches contract law, bankruptcy, and commercial law at Harvard Law School. She is an outspoken critic of America's credit economy, which she has linked to the continuing rise in bankruptcy among the middle-class.

Google
 

image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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