Human Iterations 2008-10-31 12:33:00 4:33 am / 31 October 2008 by William, at Human Iterations
Congratulations where congratulations are due for getting quoted in Slate.
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Pedro Matías, a well-known reporter who writes for Noticias, a local daily paper, as well as the national weekly Proceso, was kidnapped, beaten, tortured and robbed on Saturday night in Oaxaca. Reporters Without Borders states that,
Matías does much reporting on the social movement in Oaxaca, usually giving it fair, if not occasionally favorable, coverage. According to Reporters Without Borders, he also is a contributor to a radio station and on it has criticized the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), the party which has ruled Oaxaca for almost 80 years.
This is not the first attack against Noticias or its reporters, which for several years has been the lone local mainstream media outlet which is critical of the state government. Mexico is also the most deadly country in the Americas for journalists.
On November 19, 2004, masked gunmen took over Noticias' warehouses and printing presses, holding it for several days and murdering a 19 year old.
On June 17, 2005, Governor Ulises Ruiz, with the help of a state congressman and a PRI-controlled union called the CROC (Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Peasants), fomented a fake strike against Noticias in an attempt to shut it down. Union members, paramilitaries and local police blockaded the building with 31 Noticias employees inside, cutting off the electricity, phones and water. After a month, the thugs raided the building, dragging out the 31 employees and destroying the offices.
On August 9, 2006, during the rebellion in Oaxaca, two armed, masked men entered the offices of Noticias, shooting equipment and people, wounding two employees.
This year, on January 16, two Noticias reporters received death threats from Rubén Marmolejo Maldonado, aka "El Dragón," a leader of porros (paid thugs), who has instigated numerous conflicts on the campus of the state university in Oaxaca (UABJO) as well as organizing attacks against the APPO (Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca). He has been denounced by the Chair of the Law and Social Sciences Departments of UABJO of working for the state government.
And now Pedro Matías has been kidnapped and tortured. While this event should be seen as another occurrence of government repression against Noticias, it also has a place in the increasingly tense climate of repression against the social movement which has been escalating these past couple of weeks. Oaxaca has seen the October 16 arrest of three APPO members for the October 27, 2006, murder of Brad Will, the issuing of more that 300 more arrest warrants, and the October 25 warrantless raid and trashing of a house belonging to CODEP, a group aligned with the APPO, by the AFI, Mexico's equivalent of the FBI.
Things may only get worse as the anniversary-laden month of November approaches. November 2 marks not only the Day of the Dead but also the unsuccessful 2006 Federal Preventive Police (PFP) attack on the barricade of Radio Universidad. And November 25 is the two year anniversary of the massive and brutal PFP, paramilitary, state and local police attacks against the APPO. Clearly, the government of Oaxaca is trying to pre-emptively intimidate and frighten a rebellious populace that it still very much fears.
Beans! i decided that since it’s getting pretty cool at night now, i should bring in the meager bean harvest. There were a lot of green pods, but there were a couple of yellow ones holding mature beans. The two kinds that i grew were Kidney and Black Coco (which look just like kidney beans except that they’re solid black and shiny). I planted 8 plants in the garden, and 6 survived. Only two really got to a decent size, however. Most stayed quite small and only yielded 5 or 6 pods. The biggest had maybe 30 pods on it, although not all of those reached maturity.
Next year, i’m going to start them much earlier (because i start this year in late may/early june). I’m also going to put them closer together, maybe with 8 inches separating each plant, and maybe alternating the spacing of the rows so i can put them closer together. Seems like i had a lot of unused dirt in the garden this year, but i really didn’t know what each plant was going to look like so it was hard to space them properly.
Ride hard, ride free
When is a Terrorist not a Terrorist? One of the insanities on the war of terror is the idea of stopping terror, a dumb concept as I bet most people can't agree on what is and is not a terrorist - freedom fighter/insurgent/terrorist - depends on your point of view. The Nazi's called the French resistance fighters 'terrorists' - I'd call them freedom fighters. On this subject: Two white
I just harvested some late radishes from the garden. I have to say, these were the easiest plants i’ve ever grown. In the first week of september, i took my radish seeds out to the garden and put them in two rows, about a half-inch deep. then i waited until today (Oct 27), and picked them. I might have watered them once or twice to help them sprout, but that’s it. They taste quite good too. Crisp, lightly spicy (similar to mustard greens)
When i do these again next year, i think i’d change the spacing. I put my rows about a foot apart, but i could have done them more like 4 inches apart, maybe even less. The leaves only need about a 4 inch diameter circle to grow in, although i had plenty of them that did well even though the roots were almost touching. So i guess it might work with rows separated by 2 inches on each side. Mine took 7 weeks from seed to harvest, but much of that time was some rather cool weather, around 10C much of the time. Also, there were far fewer hours of sunlight in September and October. I bet these things would go super fast if it were July.
Ride hard, ride free
The Expanding (and Failing) War or Terror As the twilight of the failed Bu$h presidency comes to a close, the war of terror that is his legacy is spinning out of control. We can see cross-border raids, counter to international law in Syria (and analysis); The Bush administration seems to be ratcheting up action against Syria during its last days in power. The cross border raid undertaken on
Shame Train ends in Montreal with successful disruption
October 20, 2008 -- Over 100 protesters gathered in Montreal's Old Port this past Saturday to disrupt the CP Spirit Train's final stop. After successful protests and disruptions throughout it's route from the West Coast to Montreal, the Spirit Train – dubbed the "Shame Train" -- was again met with protesters, and had to cancel or alter large parts of their Montreal program.
-> Photos from the Montreal CP Spirit Train disruption are linked here: http://www.mediacoop.ca/photo/138
Marx's theory of the crises of capitalism is little more than a melodramatic description of the business cycle - standard fare in economic analysis. Every original contribution that Marx made to our understanding of capitalism is demonstrably false: the working class does not become increasingly immiserated; the class structure does not become increasingly polarised; no society has evolved from feudalism through capitalism to communism; the iron law of wages is fallacious; the State does not wither away when capitalism is abolished. Marx will continue to be neglected by serious scholars because he was wrong in every important respect. (via)