Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Guatemalan journalist keeps secrets of drug killings for posthumous video

Rory Carroll reports for The Guardian

It is the most compelling video Carlos Jimenez has taped as a journalist but he sincerely hopes it will never be broadcast. If it is, he will be dead.

The tape features Jimenez talking to camera and naming those who have turned his community in El Naranjo, northern Guatemala, into a nest of corruption, violence and fear.

The video, already passed on to trusted contacts, is to be aired only if the reporter is murdered. "It is to be posthumous. I detail who has been doing all the killings. You'll get to see it if they kill me."

The macabre film is the latest sign that narco-fuelled violence has spilled down from Mexico and turned central America into one of the world's deadliest regions for journalists. Media workers are being abducted and gunned down in increasing numbers amid a climate of fear and impunity.
Yensi Roberto Ordoñez, a TV host with Guatemala's provincial Canal 14 cable station, was found dead with knife wounds to his neck and chest in May after receiving threats his bosses said were related to his work.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned what it called a "wave of violence" against Guatemala's journalists, especially those in the provinces.

In Honduras, 13 journalists have been killed in the past 18 months. In the most recent case hooded men with AK-47s shot Luis Ernesto Mendoza, the owner of a TV station in the city of Danli, as he arrived at his office.

Uspomene 677

Uspomene 677 Final Trailer from Mirko Pincelli on Vimeo.

A documentary film by Mirko Pinceli about how victims and perpetrators of crimes from each of Bosnia's communities deal with the legacy of the conflict.

'The DC-9 belonged to the CIA. And I have the documents to prove it'

From The Operation Behind Operation Gunwalker - Did They Sell Planes Too? by Daniel Hopsicker, Mad Cow Morning News

A five-year long struggle to penetrate the mysteries of  two huge drug busts in Mexico on American-registered planes may soon receive answers, courtesy an unlikely source: a Congressional investigation into Operation Gunwalker, an ATF program with no discernible law enforcement purpose that allowed arms traffickers to smuggle 2000 weapons across the border to Mexican drug lords.

If the CIA is arming Mexican drug cartels, might they not also have been behind the otherwise-puzzling effort to supply these same drug lords with top-quality American-registered airplanes and jets?

Were the two now-infamous American-registered planes busted in Mexico's Yucatan carrying almost ten tons of cocaine part of this same so-far unnamed Operation behind the ATF's Operation Gunwalker?

The operation first came to light last December, when guns the ATF allowed to go to Mexican drug cartels were used to murder Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Last week it was clear that Atty. Gen. Eric Holder has apparently chosen acting ATF directorKenneth Melson to take the fall. Melson seems understandably reluctant to go down for a program which he had little or nothing to do with originating.

"The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities," said embattled acting ATF directorKenneth Melson.

Embattled no more...

Embattled Ken Melton dropped a dime on the CIA.

In secret testimony late last week to a Congressional Committee investigating the 4-year old program, Melton, in addition to naming the DEA and the FBI as the Agencies behind the operation of which the ATF's "Operation Gunwalker" is but a small part, alluded to "shadowy other government agencies,"the very definistion of the CIA.

There's also this: Operation Gunwalker has no discernible law enforcement purpose which can be explained without snickering.  So what was its purpose?

Cold dead citizen's hands just twitching for a fight

Right-wing "thinkers" lean heavily towards the purpose being a plot which somehow results in more firearm restrictions on U.S. citizens.

Unless you think there are people out there who drool while contemplating tearing rifles from the hands of cold dead citizens (or vice versa) the suggestion is ludicrous without people eager to destroy their careers in vain efforts to achieve it.

There are no such people. A much better guess at it's purpose is this:

The purpose of Operation Gunwalker is to do exactly what it has now been proven to have been successful in achieving: placing large quantities of high-quality lethal weaponry in the hands of Mexican drug lords.

This raises a question: If the CIA is arming Mexican drug cartels, might they not also have been behind the otherwise-puzzling effort to supply these same drug lords with top-quality American-registered airplanes and jets?

Were the two now-infamous American-registered planes busted in Mexico's Yucatan carrying almost ten tons of cocaine part of this same so-far unnamed Operation behind the ATF's Operation Gunwalker?

It's a revelation I was planning to save for my upcoming book. But it especially pertinent now. Without a shadow of a doubt I can report that the DC-9 from St. Petersburg whose mysterious flight to South America was cut short by its seizure in the Yucatan while making its way back was owned and controlled at all times pertinent to this discussion by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Ancient Futures - Learning from Ladakh (permaculture)

Part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Synopsis: A wonderful follow-up film to ANCIENT FUTURES. A documentary following two women from Ladakh, or Little Tibet, a remote region in the Himalayas, on a reality tour of London to see what life in the West is really like. The tour, sponsored by the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC), exposes the women to aspects of modern urban life homelessness, old-age homes, massive garbage dumps that contrast sharply with the idealized media and advertising images that colonize people’s minds in the less-developed parts of the world.

Claus Schenk originally made this film for German and French television. It provides fascinating insights into the pressures facing non-Western people as they confront the global economy. Conversations with Helena-Norberg-Hodge, Director of ISEC, reveal the thinking that lies behind the organization’s cutting edge work.

With stunning footage of Ladakh, this is a valuable resource for anyone concerned about the spread of the consumer culture and the ensuing destruction of the planet’s cultural diversity.

Economist says Human Time-use is the “Currency” for Bonding With the Universe

By Horace Carby-Samuels II, The Canadian

As I face each day, together with the rest of us, I recognize that, alongside with the trees and the grass, the rocks and the hills, the birds and the animals, and the rivers and the oceans, my carcass is here on terra firma. However, ever since the day when Sputnik I (that Russian satellite of the late 1950s) went up, and circled planet earth, my reference context has changed. Sputnik liberated me from the prison of the reference context, where, earth and heaven were framed as the alternative domains of our existence.

Today, while I know that my body may be here, I feel no guilt that my mind roams among everything else that may be “out there” in the universe. Therefore, although we are all – like the rest of the material complement – a part of planet earth, and essentially a part of the prevailing flora and fauna, I cannot help but to also contemplate beyond this earthbound part of my existence.

Accordingly, even though I expect that I will be required to “ship out of here” one of these days, I may not overlook the fact that, that which counts, is what I do as a component in, and as also a part of, an operating universe (which does not pivot primarily on results that accompany what economic markets are doing here). Furthermore, I believe that “out there” one may very well find (among other features), other minds that are correspondingly focussed on what must be done, so as to foster (by means of effort and resource management initiatives), outcomes that will enhance the meaningfulness of living; and that will also foster an informed bonding of individuals with their environment, and with the operating universe.

On making these reflections about a wider universe of sentience, the recognition of my very small presence in thisoperating universe, does not make me feel any less important, as a component. Indeed, in order to avoid conceiving of myself as being irrelevant in this type of operating environment, I merely need to reflect on the following reality-centred question: “Where does the circle or (in this case) the sphere, begin?”

Meanwhile, we live in a society which is principally moderated by capitalism. Indeed, globally, capitalism has conditioned people as human economic agents, along a narrow focus which expresses itself as the pursuit of greed. That pursuit pivots on the securing of financial-equivalent gain, which manifests itself in business communities as commercial profit. It also manifests in the pursuit of personal ambition that operates in association with materialistic objectives; and it also manifests in strategies where the environment in which we live, is treated primarily as a source of profit-generating raw materials.

Correspondingly, persons in the society are also conditioned to take a similar narrow financially-centred focus, on what their activities and their use of time, should be all about.

Currently, however, it is vital that Earthbound Humans, who contemplate their essential identity in the universe, should now begin (as responsible sentient beings), to also consider a matured perspective on their prevailing economic operations.

Such a matured perspective would take humanity away from an infantile context of economic understanding, which is largely stuck in a nineteenth century appreciational context. Humanity should move, instead, into a truly New Economy. Meanwhile the currently promoted “New Economy”, primarily exists as a slogan, in behalf of the most greed-driven agents of the Old Economy that was articulated in the most popularly touted part of the writings of Adam Smith, the classical economics scholar.

In contrast, herein, inspired by my reflection on my identity as a human being, (who shares in a broader community of human beings), I propose a critically needed shift to a functionally “New Economy” that would emphasize how we use the time-space. It also emphasizes the use of the prevailing resources, toward the achievement of meaningful survival, which flows out of an economic development emphasis on the quality-of-living of people.

In its expression, this “New Economy” contrasts with the currently accepted environmentally and socially destructive focus on the accumulation of financial returns, that is the norm under “capitalism”. Accordingly the new focus is toward a Renaissance of Humanity, within a survival-centred aggregate economic management context.

Substantively, capitalism has so far taken humanity to the verge of destruction, by way of greed-driven wars, oppression, and also paths of environmental and of self-destruction. I therefore draw on the background of reference of an analytical emphasis on quality-of-life attainment, to propose an alternative “People-centred Survivalism”. Its effect would be to overhaul the focus of economic thinking, and help to ensure that aggregate economic development objectives, under responsible and enlightened human guidance, will support rather than undermine human quality-of-survival.

~ more... ~

Dead Society

Thomas Toivonen's Dead Society (2007) is based on an interview with prominent anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan. Using a collage of science fiction film, animal liberation front actions, footage of protest and riots, ethnographic film and much more, Toivonen presents a dark vision of the problems we face. Dead Society offers a sometimes harsh D.I.Y. aesthetic in stark contrast to the slick professionalism of many documentaries. Dead Society is controversial and jarring, but never boring. It will leave you thinking.

New Media Technologies and the Zapatistas Movement

The Zapatistas, indigenous people from Mexico, seek to protect their democratic and land ownership rights. They utilized the power of new media technologies to raise global awareness to their cause.

The Need for a Progressive Neuroethics

James Giordano writes in the Practical Ethics blog:

Neuroscience is challenging previously maintained notions about the structure and function of nervous systems, the basis of consciousness, and the nature of the brain-mind-self relationship. Such developments prompt re-examination of concepts of ‘personhood,’ which forms the basis of the modern social sphere and its interpretation. Contemporary neuroscience also questions traditional socially defined ontologies, fundamental social values, conventions, norms, and the ethical responsibilities relevant to constructs of individual and/or social “good.” Moreover, neuroscientific developments are rapidly being translated into medical and social contexts in the present, not at some unforeseen point in the future.

These developments give rise to a number of pressing questions: are attempt at and strivings toward “liberation technologies” fundamental to human nature as an iterative engagement of biological, social, and machine-use tendencies, or do such activities portend a “transhumanist” trajectory that use neuroscience to engineer a novel being that is distinct from extant concepts of humanity? Irrespective of whether inherent to human nature of representative of a trend toward some transhuman design, might neuroscience (and neurotechnology) afford – and perhaps enable – a more inclusive idea (and ideal) of the human being, that overcomes biological (e.g. gender and ethnicity) and cultural distinctions by revealing a common basis and concept of consciousness and self, and in this way advance a new social reality? Will neuroscience expose the human being as “merely” another social animal among other species of social animals, and in so doing dispel anthropocentric notions of elitism? Can neuroscience – and its technological products – benefit the greater social good by creating a new more cohesive vision of humans, humanity, and perhaps other sentient creatures (e.g. animals and sentient machines) that reconciles long-held distinctions between mankind, nature, organic, and inorganic beings? How – and in what directions – will neuroscience and neurotechnology compel change in the construct, scope, and conduct of medicine as profession, practice, and commercial enterprise within a technophilic and market-driven world culture? And last, but certainly not least, how much the trajectories of neuroscience and neurotechnology evoke positively and/or negatively valent outcomes for the open societies of the 21st century?

~ more... ~

Unlike Us: Understanding Social Media Monopolies and their Alternatives

Invitation to join the network (a series of events, reader, workshops, online debates, campaigns etc.)

Concept: Geert Lovink (Institute of Network Cultures/HvA, Amsterdam) and Korinna Patelis (Cyprus University of Technology, Lemasol)

Thanks to Marc Stumpel, Sabine Niederer, Vito Campanelli, Ned Rossiter, Michael Dieter, Oliver Leistert, Taina Bucher, Gabriella Coleman, Ulises Mejias, Anne Helmond, Lonneke van der Velden, Morgan Currie and Eric Kluitenberg for their input.

The aim of this proposal is to establish a research network of artists, designers, scholars, activists and programmers who work on ‘alternatives in social media’. Through workshops, conferences, online dialogues and publications, Unlike Us intends to both analyze the economic and cultural aspects of dominant social media platforms and to propagate the further development and proliferation of alternative, decentralized social media software.

If you want to join the Unlike Us network, start your own initiatives in this field or hook up what you have already been doing for ages, subcribe to the email list. Traffic will be modest. Soon there will be a special page/blog for the initative on the INC website. Also an independent social network will be installed shortly, using alternative software. More on that later! List info:http://listcultures.org/mailman/listinfo/unlike-us_listcultures.org

Whether or not we are in the midst of internet bubble 2.0, we can all agree that social media dominate internet and mobile use. The emergence of web-based user to user services, driven by an explosion of informal dialogues, continuous uploads and user generated content have greatly empowered the rise of participatory culture. At the same time, monopoly power, commercialization and commodification are also on the rise with just a handful of social media platforms dominating the social web. These two contradictory processes – both the facilitation of free exchanges and the commercial exploitation of social relationships – seem to lie at the heart of contemporary capitalism.

On the one hand new media create and expand the social spaces through which we interact, play and even politicize ourselves; on the other hand they are literally owned by three or four companies that have phenomenal power to shape such interaction. Whereas the hegemonic Internet ideology promises open, decentralized systems, why do we, time and again, find ourselves locked into closed corporate environments? Why are individual users so easily charmed by these ‘walled gardens’? Do we understand the long-term costs that society will pay for the ease of use and simple interfaces of their beloved ‘free’ services?

The accelerated growth and scope of Facebook’s social space, for example, is unheard of. Facebook claims to have 700 million users, ranks in the top two or three first destination sites on the Web worldwide and is valued at 50 billion US dollars. Its users willingly deposit a myriad of snippets of their social life and relationships on a site that invests in an accelerated play of sharing and exchanging information. We all befriend, rank, recommend, create circles, upload photos, videos and update our status. A myriad of (mobile) applications orchestrate this offer of private moments in a virtual public, seamlessly embedding the online world in users’ everyday life.

Yet despite its massive user base, the phenomena of online social networking remains fragile. Just think of the fate of the majority of social networking sites. Who has ever heard of Friendster? The death of Myspace has been looming on the horizon for quite some time. The disappearance of Twitter and Facebook – and Google, for that matter – is only a masterpiece of software away. This means that the protocological future is not stationary but allows space for us to carve out a variety of techno-political interventions. Unlike Us is developed in the spirit of RSS-inventor and uberblogger Dave Winer whose recent Blork project is presented as an alternative for ‘corporate blogging silos’. But instead of repeating the entrepreneurial-start-up-transforming-into-corporate-behemoth formula, isn’t it time to reinvent the internet as a truly independent public infrastructure that can effectively defend itself against corporate domination and state control?

~ more... ~

Musical Innerlube: Wugazi - Sleep Rules Everything Around Me

Wugazi - 13 Chambers

Ex BBC Reporter Tony Gosling: The Murdoch, BBC News Media Wars - Alex Jones Tv

Indignados - Made in Israel

Tel Aviv "Indignados" are protesting about the high prices of the real estate market, by staying in their tents and occupying Shderot Rotschild, the most up-market boulevard in town.
But is it just a matter of housing only?
Juilan Feder, one of the Tel Aviv Indignados, explains to Gabriel Haritos (alloukiallou.blogspot.com) and the Athens-based news portal www.theinsider.gr what this is all about.
[Tel Aviv, July 18th 2011]

Anonymous Global Resistance Song

Tea with William Rhodes on Greece

The veteran financier on the lessons Greece can draw from other debt crises, and on the worrying state of the American economy.

CAKE Road Journal: Athens, Greece 7-1-11

Reporting from the cradle of Western civilization, and the birthplace of democracy.

'Real Indiana Jones' sacked as keeper of Egypt's heritage

By Richard Spencer, Telegraph

He called himself the real Indiana Jones and keeper of Egypt's heritage, and was an almost permanent presence on any television programme about the country's colourful past.

But Zahi Hawass, the public face of the pyramids, has become the latest casualty of the revolution sweeping the Egyptian government after being sacked as minister of antiquities.

Dr Hawass was head of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities for 10 years, and before that in charge of the Pyramids and Sphinx on the Giza plateau outside Cairo. He staged regular press conferences unveiling new discoveries from the time of the pharaohs.

In honour of his claim that the film producer George Lucas consulted him before creating the character of Indiana Jones, played by Harrison Ford in films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, he was rarely seen without a large fedora hat.

But after being made minister of antiquities in one of Hosni Mubarak's last acts as president, he has been sacked to appease growing hostility from anti-government protesters, not least archaeologists fed up with his style of management.

Social networking sites like Twitter were flooded with inevitable jokes, from "the Curse of the Mummy strikes" to comments such as "Zahi Hawass to no longer appear in every single TV special on Egypt". Some were simpler, saying, "Please take your hat with you."

greek cops - immortal technique - fight until the end

Fight Until' The End
sabac Ft. Immortal Technique


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

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