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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Haiti: the coup that came out of nowhere

Yeah, right.

A friend passed this 4-year old article to me about the first stirrings of the destabilization program in Haiti. It's quite good, from Haiti Progres (it is below).

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Egypt and Gaza

An interesting story from swissinfo, again via Newsinsider. Apparently Egypt and Israel are working on a border deal for Gaza. The idea is that Egyptian police would take over the policing of the border. The article discusses it in terms of two things -- first, Egyptians would stop 'smugglers' of weapons... must be all those 'tunnels' the Israelis uncover every time they bulldoze a neighbourhood and slaughter the inhabitants.

The York University Drama continues

Toronto's York University's suspension of student Daniel Freeman-Maloy for his 'crime of megaphone' continues to provide comic relief for those who still believe in freedom of speech. The York University student paper provided some amusing graphics, since he was supposed to be their opinions editor, a position he will have difficulty accepting since he's not allowed to set foot on campus.

Mexican protesters sit in jail...

About a year ago I did an interview with Amina Sherazee, who is one of that rare group of activist/lawyers of tremendous integrity. In the interview, Amina pointed out something that a lot of folks forgot: that there had been escalating repression against movements in the Americas before 9/11, in North America particularly against 'anti-globalization' protesters. That repression continues, of course.

A blog of blogs

If you look carefully, you will notice some new features in these blogs. First, there is a 'blog of blogs', a blog amalgamating all of the znet blogs in one place. Second, we (well, actually it's Brian Dominick of the NewStandard and UTS) figured out how to allow ZNet Sustainers to post comments. We did this because when the blogs were first set up, they allowed comments, and quickly filled with hate and spam.

More Symmetries

I don't have anything to say about Reagan. This is one of those things that is covered ad nauseam in the mainstream and as a result there will be ample coverage in the alternative media as well. Paul Street's blog has a comparison of Reagan and Bush II, for example.

A couple days ago I blogged about the symmetry between Colombia and Venezuela -- Venezuela's elite attempting to halve Chavez's term, Colombia's elite attempting to double Uribe's term.

Israel/Palestine

Yitzhak Laor wrote this article during the recent re-destruction of Rafah for the London Review of Books (published May 20). Laor is a novelist and poet who lives in Tel Aviv. I really like the last paragraph:

Hebron is hidden. Rafah is entirely cut off. The Israeli army didn't kill the children in Rafah intentionally, it will be said. Who will remind us that for three months now, the army has been killing unarmed Palestinians demonstrating peacefully along the Wall that's going up in the West Bank?

Colombia and Venezuela, again

In a state of preoccupation about the recall referendum trap that Venezuela has found itself in, I thought I would check Colombia's national newspaper, El Tiempo, to see what they are saying about it. El Tiempo is actually a better paper, even on Venezuelan issues, than any of the Venezuelan papers. I saw something that is quite ironic. It seems that yesterday, the very day that the results of the signature drive for the recall referendum came out in Venezuela, the Colombian Congress narrowly passed legislation enabling Colombia's current president Alvaro Uribe Velez to be re-elected.

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On abuse

Thanks to the News Insider I saw this story about how Israel is 'stunned' by the abuse of Palestinians by its police. An example:

... three [police] confessed to ordering the 17-year-olds into their jeeps and driving them off to a nearby forest, where they were beaten with sticks, punched, had milk poured over them and were forced to kiss the policemen's boots and chew sand and stones.

Congo troubles

Rwanda invaded Congo again, it seems -- with local backing. In Kinshasa, a protest against the UN and the government for failing to stop the invasion was suppressed, with UN troops firing on protesters and killing at least 2. I tried to write an introductory article on the Congo conflict a few months back to help readers begin to get a handle on one of the major mass murders of the past decade.

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