Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Thursday, 17 June 2010
filming police and officials -
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: In Public - But not wanting to be filmed

An uproar over a cell phone video that shows a Seattle police officer punching a 17-year-old girl after his attempt to cite her for jaywalking is just one of several recent incidents where low-quality video footage shot by members of the public has incriminated public officials.

The video, which you can watch here (warning: disturbing content), shows a young woman resisting Officer Ian P. Walsh, who was citing the woman and a friend Monday for jaywalking. Her friend attempts to intervene, inserting herself between the officer and her friend and grabbing the officer's arm. That's the moment when the officer punches her in the face.


Image courtesy of ABC News

Seattle community leaders are in an uproar, saying the use of force was excessive. Officials with the Seattle Police Department say they have "questions" about the officer's tactics and are investigating the incident. But Seattle Police Officers Guild President Rich O'Neil says the officer's use of force was appropriate. The Seattle department announced Wednesday that Walsh has been reassigned pending further inquiries.

The Walsh footage is the latest in a series of incidents catching public figures in questionable — and at times legally suspect — conduct. In one of the more formal such encounters this week, Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge apologized after video surfaced of the North Carolina lawmaker reacting angrily to questions from two young men holding a camera. He hit the camera down, roughly grabbed one of the men by the arm and neck, and demanded again and again to know his questioner's name. Watch:



In several other incidents, video footage has opened police to formal inquiries and criminal proceedings involving charges of excessive force. Indeed, videos are often the only way to prove cases of police brutality, where a victim's word is pitted against a cop's. A video shot by a University of Maryland student from a dorm room window showed three Maryland police beating a 21-year-old student. Police claimed the man had attacked the officers, and police charged him with assault. They have since dropped the charges, and at least one officer has been suspended in the incident.

[Video: Wild crashes and other shocking moments caught on film]

A cell phone video broadcast by the Spanish-language network Univision challenged the FBI's claims that a Border Patrol agent who shot a 15-year-old dead near El Paso had been "surrounded" by a rock-throwing group including the boy. In the video, the boy is a fair distance away when the officer pulls a weapon and appears to shoot.

In Oakland, Calif., cell-phone video taken by train passengers showed a subway police officer firing a shot in the back of an unarmed man who appeared to be cooperating with the officers. The Bay Area transit officer who shot the man is now facing trial on murder charges.

In response to the outbreak of incidents on camera, some police departments are trying to limit citizens' ability to record police actions. Authorities are increasingly using decades-old wiretapping laws to prevent people from filming arrests. In a dozen states, notes Annys Shin at the Washington Post, "all parties [must] consent before a recording might be made if a conversation takes place where there is a 'reasonable expectation of privacy.'" A man who filmed an officer giving him a speeding ticket was thrown into jail for posting the video of the incident onto YouTube. Civil libertarians contend that such laws do not apply to arrest, since the processing of a suspect is not a private conversation. If information from the conversation can be used in court, they contend, citizens should be allowed to film police officers.

— Liz Goodwin is a national affairs writer for Yahoo! News.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 1:43 PM PDT
Updated: Thursday, 17 June 2010 2:17 PM PDT
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Wow....salary hikes for Foxconn employees in China
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: Due to an increase in suicides, Foxconn manufacturing increases wages

Foxconn increases wages from 30 to 67%



(original full article)

  Mark LaPedus
Page 1 of 2
EE Times

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Lately, it's been a tumultuous period for Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. Hon Hai, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer (CEM), trades as Foxconn and makes electronic products for such brands as Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Sony. As reported, Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. (FIH) recently announced it will more than double the salaries of employees at its factory in Shenzhen, China within months in response to a global outcry over recent worker suicides at the site. Now, there are unconfirmed reports that FIH may re-locate some operations in Shenzhen to lower cost regions in China. Here's what analysts are saying about Foxconn's troubles:

Impact of salary hikes for Foxconn

Jamie Wang, an analyst with Gartner, said: ''This wage hike may increase Foxconn's operational costs and affect its profitability, but the company cannot afford further tragic suicides, and this action will improve relations with its workers in China and help to deflect potential negativity from its outsourcing clients.

''For now, Foxconn needs to concentrate on handling recent events sensitively, which will affect its cost competitiveness in the short term. However, a continuous focus on improving quality and productivity will be recognized by Foxconn's OEM customers over the long term.''

... was raising pay for its production workers by 30 percent (from RMB900 to RMB1200) effective June 1, the company announced further significant pay hikes of 67 percent ...

Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:26 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 16 June 2010 10:28 AM PDT
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Civic Media - Participation in the Digital Age - MIT video
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Video
Topic: MEDIA



About the Lecture

In a live demonstration of globe-straddling communication technologies like Skype, this forum connects to citizen journalists and activists around the world, some of whom frequently test the limits of governmental authority. Moderator Ethan Zuckerman wonders if these new digital forms are fundamentally liberating, providing users access to public spaces they might otherwise be denied. He pursues this line of inquiry in a series of internet conversations with correspondents covering some of the world’s most ravaged or oppressed regions.

Cameran Ashraf makes the case that video distributed by internet and cellphone helped build and sustain efforts by Iranian activists protesting 2009’s election results. The graphic images countered propaganda, and shook up rural parts of Iran and the rest of the world. The government ultimately could not shut off this flood of information, so demonstrations grew, witnessed by an international audience. What began as an emergency effort to circumvent censorship has turned into the AccessNow website, which now bolsters the longterm struggle for democracy in Iran and elsewhere.

Mehdi Yahyanejad began website Balatarin four years ago to support the diversity of Persian voices. Among 18-29 year olds, he says, blogging became “just fashionable.” As social media content emerged, it was “not understood by Iranian officials over 30 years old.” The government worked hard to block Balatarin, hacking, and searching for passwords. Iranians responded to this clampdown with indignation, and proxy servers kept the words flowing, fanning the flames of the green revolution.

Trinidad-based Georgia Popplewell went to Haiti after the earthquake “to see if we could build on the citizen surge.” In spite of the total devastation, the internet stayed up throughout, and Popplewell monitored vivid coverage from people on Twitter, and from the sole active FM radio station. The scene changed dramatically with the arrival of the mainstream media, says Popplewell, which drowned out citizen voices. Popplewell sees a “great opportunity” to build up local infrastructure for both citizen and mainstream media in Haiti, a chance for “symbiosis.”

In Pakistan, a country with a very low literacy rate, and even lower internet penetration, Huma Yusuf is developing a cadre of news reporters in community radio stations. Individuals “share nuggets of information” via mobile phone throughout rural areas beset by violence on the Pakistan/Afghan border. Yusuf is also monitoring a special community policing program involving women in a slum of Karachi. They have pooled money to buy mobile phones to report episodes of domestic violence.

Ruthie Ackerman has developed a project to serve Liberians both in Africa and in the U.S. (in Staten Island). Ceasefire Liberia is an online venue for Liberians to blog about how they are “rebuilding their lives” following wrenching years of civil war. The website offers an opportunity for both groups to connect, and potentially repair a relationship fraught with “myths on both sides.” The Africans imagine “life is easy in the U.S.,” and the expatriates think the Africans are “lazy and just want money from U.S. families.”

Bev Clark describes Kubatana, a website she and a colleague launched 10 years ago to communicate the activities of NGOs operating in Zimbabwe. This website now houses 16 thousand archived documents, a directory of 240 NGOs, and a weekly newsletter that goes out to almost 10,000 subscribers, who “look to us for nonpartisan information that inspires them.” In an extremely hostile environment, where independent media literally get shot down, Clark says there is “pervasive fear, and you walk around with a crick in your neck, wondering who’s watching and listening to us.” Kubatana “forces us to innovate and be consistently courageous.”

In Madagascar, Lova Rakotomalala is training bloggers to describe their ventures in social and environmental change. Foko Club began with a group of public school students interested in technology, and environmental activists trying to save the forests. When a political crisis forced out the president of the country in March 2009, these bloggers were eager to take their coverage to the streets. Rakotomalala, who was concerned that students might be killed, says “they felt it was their duty to tell more about what was happening.” In particular, they wanted the rest of the world to take an interest in Madagascar, when the subject “was not about the environment or lemurs…. They feel because we’re an island, we’re isolated from the rest of the world.”

Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:52 PM PDT
Saturday, 12 June 2010
Camera Taken from Filmer in Portland Oregon 2003
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Dont Like the "Bum Fight" & "Dont Like Cops Taking Cameras Either"

In Other News... 


When is enough enough? On a Friday night in early May, Kif Davis was watching a fight unfold between bouncers and some drunken patrons outside Berbati's. Davis, an amateur filmmaker who documents public bum fights all over the country, grabbed his video camera and started shooting. When police arrived on the scene a few moments later, Davis hid the camera behind his back and refused to surrender his film.

Witnesses then say that while one cop restrained Davis, another--John Clinton, badge #30255--gave him a sucker punch to the stomach that later placed him in the emergency room. According to Davis, pleading "uncle" and offering up the camera to avoid arrest only led to some "choking and strangling."

Davis also claims his rights weren't read to him until an hour later, at the Old Town precinct, where he was charged with interfering with the police and resisting arrest. And now, to add insult to injury, no one will give him his camera back. Davis plans to file a police brutality report. ANNA SIMON


In spite of pleas for peace and understanding, police harassment only seems to have intensified at the Portland Peace Encampment, an on-going protest against military action in Iraq. Last week, five demonstrators from the PPE formally requested that Mayor Katz cease police harassment. Police have routinely confiscated food, tarps, and chairs from the activists camped across from City Hall.

But instead of compassion, the camp apparently has come under additional scrutiny from Homeland Security. Over the past few weeks, federal officers have acted on reports that Tre Arrow has been lingering around the area. Arrow is wanted in connection with an arson that blew up logging trucks two years ago. Last week, officers approached the encampment to ask if Arrow was there, suggesting that perhaps the best place to hide is in broad daylight.

Todd Kurylowicz, who has been part of the PPE since its second day, thinks it is him they are confusing for Arrow. A week ago, Kurylowicz was asked for identification when entering Terry Shrunk Plaza, the outdoor park adjacent to PPE. The Homeland Security officer assured Kurylowicz that they were requesting identification from everyone, but he did not witness anyone else being carded. A day later, a detective visited Kurylowicz's former house.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 9:15 PM PDT
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Racism and US policy - The anti racists activists are only hope left for Amreica
Mood:  down
Now Playing: The myth of the anti-immigrant majority

The myth of the anti-immigrant majority

Supporters of immigrant rights can make a difference by organizing and activism.

ALL IT took was one glance at the headline of the Pew Research Center poll released last month--"Broad Approval for New Arizona Immigration Law"--and the mainstream media had a new storyline ever since about the state's latest anti-immigrant attack.

Sure, SB 1070 enshrined racial profiling into state law. Taken together with Arizona's ban on ethnic studies programs, yes, it did seem like a throwback to the era of Jim Crow segregation. But what does that matter as long as SB 1070 is "broadly" popular? The "American people" are okay with racism. End of story.

It's up to opponents of anti-immigrant bigotry to make sure that isn't the end of the story.

The survey results from Pew and other pollsters do reflect broad public sentiment in favor of immigration law enforcement. But there are a lot of contradictions in that sentiment if you examine what people actually tell the pollsters. And more importantly, supporters of immigrant rights have the opportunity to reshape the supposed consensus on this issue--but only if we organize an energetic campaign to counter the anti-immigrant lies and make our case to a wider audience.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

THE PEW Center poll may have surprised supporters of immigrant rights, especially coming in the wake of the immediate activist response to Arizona's racist law.

According to the survey, 59 percent of people nationally approved of SB 1070. Only 32 percent disapproved. Nearly three in four respondents agreed with the core provision of the law--requiring people to have documents verifying their immigration status when asked by a law enforcement official acting on "reasonable suspicion."

These findings are similar to other polls, both specifically about SB 1070 and on the question of enforcement. But a closer look at the results undermines the media conclusion that people in the U.S. "broadly" support the policies pushed by the anti-immigrant right.

For one thing, there's a substantial generation gap in attitudes about the Arizona law and immigration policy generally, with people under 30 opposing SB 1070 in greater numbers. And, of course, Latinos, who have the most experience with the consequences of anti-immigrant criminalization and discrimination, oppose SB 1070 by a strong majority.

The polarization is particularly sharp in Arizona as a result of the interplay of these two factors. According to William Frey of the Brookings Institution, Arizona has the country's largest "cultural generation gap"--between older Americans who are mostly white (83 percent) and children under 18 who are increasingly members of minorities (57 percent).

What's more, among people who say they support SB 1070, the picture is more mixed than the headlines let on.

Numerous surveys show that only a small minority--roughly one in five Americans--agrees with the right wing's preferred "solution" of criminalization and deportation of the 12 million undocumented people in the U.S.

By contrast, an overwhelming majority of people say they would like to see national immigration reform legislation, including a "path to citizenship" for the undocumented--a proposal that the anti-immigrant right rejects outright. For example, in an America's Voice Education Fund poll, five out of six people who said they support SB 1070 also said they back comprehensive reform.

Obviously, there's a contradiction in this. The harsh enforcement mechanisms that many people say they support alongside "reform" are the prelude to the criminalization and deportation policies they say they oppose. Immigration crackdowns are not only a violation of basic human rights, but they undermine the possibility of a genuine "path to legalization."

The reason these contradictory ideas can coexist in many people's heads is because the right wing has been able dominate and disorient the debate on immigration in national politics.

The right's hysteria about a "crisis of illegal immigration" today is opportunistic. In reality, there were more undocumented immigrants coming into the U.S. five years ago and getting low-wage jobs. The debate has sharpened today because the Great Recession opened the way for the right to package its bigotry in a campaign of scapegoating immigrants for the crisis.

The small minority of people opposed to immigrant rights in any form has an influence far beyond its small size because, first of all, it gets outsized access to the media--but also because the right wing makes its case without qualifications or hedging.

On the other hand, genuine champions of immigrant rights--people who would make the case for legalization without punitive enforcement policies--aren't actually represented in the national debate. Instead, the "left" end of the mainstream political spectrum is occupied by the Democrats, who have given ground to the right at every step.

Consider how Barack Obama and his administration responded to the passage of SB 1070. When it was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer at the end of April, Obama criticized the law for undermining "basic notions of fairness." Administration officials promised that the Justice Department would consider taking federal action against it, which could lead to a court injunction before SB 1070 goes into effect at the end of July.

At the same time, however, Obama said he sympathized with what he called "frustrations" with the current immigration system that produced SB 1070. Standing next to Mexico's conservative President Felipe Calderón during a state visit last month, for example, Obama was the more cautious of the two, insisting that the solution to laws like SB 1070 was federal legislation with a "path to citizenship," but also toughened enforcement and punishment for both undocumented workers and businesses that hire them.

Then, just a few days before the May 29 national day of action against SB 1070, Obama took a page out of George W. Bush's playbook and announced he was sending 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest--the lion's share destined for Arizona--for a renewed border crackdown.

That was good enough for Jan Brewer. She declared after a meeting at the White House that she and Obama were working together to tighten border security.

The effect of Obama's qualified criticisms and actions has been to signal opposition to the letter of SB 1070, but to confirm the claims of the law's supporters that there is a "crisis of illegal immigration" about which the federal government can't or won't do anything.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

MAINSTREAM IMMIGRANT rights groups have signaled their disappointment in Obama's ramped-up enforcement and inaction on reform legislation. These groups had greeted Obama's victory as a signal that their voices would finally be heard in Washington.

But immigrant rights advocates, however well connected to the party establishment, aren't foremost in shaping the Democrats' position on immigration. Corporate America is.

Ever since the right wing's Sensenbrenner bill--which would have criminalized all 12 million undocumented immigrants, along with anyone who aided them--was pushed back by the pro-immigrant mega-marches of spring 2006, Democrats leaders have supported a series of pro-corporate immigration proposals masquerading as compassionate compromises.

The latest of these--the bipartisan "framework" for legislation from Sens. Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham--is the worst yet. It proposes a highly restrictive "path to citizenship" that ties the undocumented to employers through a guest worker program and requires them to pay fines and perform "community service," with the threat of deportation for even minor violations of the law still hanging over them.

And that's not to mention the sops to the right wing in the proposal--a national biometric ID card and, inevitably, more money and personnel for border enforcement.

These proposals don't reflect the interests of immigrants--but they do reflect the interests of Corporate America.

U.S. businesses of all kinds depend on being able to employ immigrant workers at low wages, so they don't want to see the anti-immigrant right succeed with its full program. But they also depend, in order to keep those wages low, on immigrants being denied full legal rights, including the right to organize unions.

This two-faced position can be seen throughout U.S. history and the history of other counties. All other things being equal, capitalists support the free movement across borders of every commodity but one--human labor. They seek to use the undocumented twice over--as workers who can be super-exploited because they have no legal rights, and as a group that can be pitted against other workers, whether native-born or immigrants themselves, to push down the wages of everybody.

In other words, Corporate America needs an immigration system that secures its access to cheap labor, but that also continues to consign immigrants to second-class citizenship--just what Schumer-Graham does.

And this is what passes in national politics for the "liberal" position on immigration. As a consequence, the case for legalization without punishing the undocumented and without tighter border controls never gets heard.

The contradictory public sentiment on immigration is the product of a national political debate that is taking place not between left and right, but between the center and a bigoted right-wing fringe.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

THE ANSWER to polls that show public sentiment against equality for immigrants--however shallow and mixed that sentiment may be--can't be to wait for the Democrats to take a stand or do the right thing.

Democratic Party politicians are, by nature, cowards. They hate taking a controversial position that might lose them votes. Compromise and concession are second nature to them--which is why the Democrats are uniquely qualified to serve Corporate America on an issue where it needs to steer between the fanatics of the right and the legitimate demands of immigrants.

It's up to immigrants themselves and everyone who supports social justice to take that stand, loud and proud. We need to apply pressure from below to counter the relentless pressure on politicians from above. Our movement needs to become a pole of attraction on the issue of immigration, so the debate isn't between the center and the right, but our side against theirs.

Such a movement can take heart when Obama and the Democrats feel compelled to criticize SB 1070 and even take legal action against it. That can open space for a genuine immigrant rights position. But we can't depend on the Democrats to follow through.

The New York Times put its finger on an important connection between civil rights struggles past and present in an editorial in support of four immigrant students who were arrested for sitting in at Sen. John McCain's Arizona office:

The fight for reform is stalled. It could be simple acts of protest that ignite a fire. Half a century ago, it was young people, at lunch counters and aboard buses across the South, who helped galvanize the movement for civil rights, and wakened more powerful elders to injustice.

One important lesson of the actions of those young people 50 years ago is that they weren't deterred by majority opinion. As SocialistWorker.org columnist Sharon Smith pointed out, national polls in the late 1950s showed overwhelming support for the most vile elements of Jim Crow segregation. By 1964 and 1965, majority views had turned around 180 degrees. "There is no doubt," Smith concludes, "that the civil rights movement challenged and ultimately changed prevailing opinion."

Supporters of immigrant rights are finding that they, too, can make a difference by organizing and activism.

The 50,000-plus people who turned out in Phoenix for the May 29 demonstration against SB 1070--not to mention other protests around the country--dwarfed the size of anti-immigrant events. The spirit on the demonstrations was defiant--and the actions marked the rejuvenation of a movement that emerged with the mass marches of 2006 that opposed anti-immigrant legislation on the federal level.

Perhaps the racist right thought it could intimidate immigrants in Arizona and beyond with harsh new laws. But rather than cement "broad popularity," the attacks are provoking a vigorous response.

Thus, when a Columbus, Ohio, radio station started promoting a contest to win a trip to Phoenix for "a weekend chasing aliens," it took all of 24 hours and a campaign of phone calls to force an apology out of the station. The next target, as the National Council of La Raza suggested, out to be Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, to get him to move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Phoenix.

The coming months will be important ones for the movement, whether activism comes in the form of protests and marches, or boycott campaigns, or public forums in every part of the country, where people can hear the stories of immigrants themselves--and the lies of the bigots exposed.

The Alto Arizona Web site that spearheaded the May 29 day of action against SB 1070 is promising a "Day of Non-Compliance" on July 29, when SB 1070 is scheduled to go into effect. And more besides:

We will make this summer a Human Rights summer everywhere. Wherever the Diamondbacks play, protest. Wherever there are new police/ICE collaborations, push back. Wherever Arizona companies do business, boycott. Wherever there is injustice, we must shut it down.

The key to turning the tide against the anti-immigrant bigots is what our side does to counter the lies and stand up for justice.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 2:58 PM PDT
Oil Spill Cleanup - Here is a plan they wont use
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Company Website has the technology to solve this

Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:30 AM PDT
Sunday, 6 June 2010
Venezuela: The Imperfect Revolution (podcast and article
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: Good Information -and- my opinion on the Venezuela Revolution


Right click on download link below - then choose "save target as" to save my podcast file to your hard drive- next open the mp3 podcast file with your choice of media players to listen to my tenth report

click here to download PODCAST #10

On May 25th 2010 I read for my podcast #10
The article which is titled
"Venezuela: The Imperfect Revolution"

By Eva Golinger - (The Chavez Code)   


The original article that was read for my  podcast #10 was found at this link:



If you come to Venezuela with glistening eyes, expecting to see the revolution of a romantic and passionate novel, don’t be disappointed when the complexities of reality burst your bubble. While revolution does withhold a sense of romanticism, it’s also full of human error and the grit of everyday life in a society – a nation – undertaking the difficult and tumultuous process of total transformation.

Nothing is perfect here, in the country sitting on the world’s largest oil reserves. But everything is fascinating and intriguing, and the changes from past to present become more visible and tangible every day.

(end quote)

Hello to all who receive this introduction and following article from Joe Anybody

(My letter to my friends and Z3 Report Readers)

I wanted to point out a quick snap shot (of what reflects in my opinion) of what is going on in Venezuela. To me this stuff is very exciting and gives me hope, for a better world, for everyone.

From what I have read and seen with my own eyes, I believe every word of this article. In fact when I was in Venezuela for ten days in 2009 I met the author and filmed her speaking to our small group at the Art Museum in Caracas. That video is posted in the video section under the title “All of our 2009 Videos are here”  http://www.pdxvenezuela.org

I encourage everyone who is reading this (By the way I sent this to my whole complete email address book which I rarely do) to go to the main website for this article ( www.venezuelanalysis.com ) and occasionally from time to time, read up on what is going on in Venezuela for social change. If you get your information from the US media it will be a LIE you need to be aware that the information presented to the mainstream press about Venezuela and Chavez is manipulated and untruthful.

I still have video footage to edit from my trip last year to Caracas, I still have massive amount of articles to read about Chaves and Venezuela. And I am the first to admit "I know very little".  In fact I know so little I assure you I know that I am no expert (by far). But daily I strive to learn more about this and try to comprehend ways of living in harmony outside of the realm I am constantly told to follow.  The Bolivarian Revolution or "Socialism for the 21 Century" and the new model of “ALBA” are all exciting things coming out of South America.  I urge you to read with an open mind and heart, the following article and other great informative articles on the web link that I attached from Venezuela Analysis.

This information will blow you away, and if your receptive, it will open your eyes to possibilities of ”real hope and real change”.  This information and the reality that is unfolding in Venezuela is in transformation and is happen now in this world, your world, our world ……. RIGHT NOW!

With one last warning I will end this introduction to the article with my last concerns:

·         If your concerned about or worried about your own greed and the right to make unregulated profits. If you have concern for protecting capitalism and the ugly crooked way it rewards those you do “capitalize”.  Or you are afraid of the word “socialism” and or cannot stand to even think about having  to sacrifice for the betterment of the world at large, then you wont be interested in this article or the website.  So if your protectionism of the corporate media in America and the wall street capitalism way we base our everyday survival and life styles on is fine with you, and if your US patriotism (nationalism) is firm and steadfast, you will have a hard time even reading this.


For this is about social change for “everyone” who has a stake in “quality of life on this planet”.  It is not so much about Venezuela as it is about life and social justice for all.  We can learn by what is happening in Venezuela …or not. We can look to our US corporate media to tell us nothing at all about these changes or we can sit back and allow them to “continue to LIE” to us when we do seek information on Venezuela and socialism for the 21st century. Our government in lockstep with the corporate media spread disinformation with the intentions of discrediting real change and real hope.


Venezuela: The Imperfect Revolution


If you come to Venezuela with glistening eyes, expecting to see the revolution of a romantic and passionate novel, don’t be disappointed when the complexities of reality burst your bubble. While revolution does withhold a sense of romanticism, it’s also full of human error and the grit of everyday life in a society – a nation – undertaking the difficult and tumultuous process of total transformation.

Nothing is perfect here, in the country sitting on the world’s largest oil reserves. But everything is fascinating and intriguing, and the changes from past to present become more visible and tangible every day.

After 100 years of abandonment, as President Hugo Chavez puts it, the Venezuelan people have awoken and begun the gargantuan task of taking power and building a system of social and economic justice. But it’s easier said than done in a culture embedded with corrupt values, resulting from the nation’s vast oil wealth, combined with an overall feeling of entitlement. The bureaucracy is massive and often intimidating, as the people, including the President himself, struggle to erradicate it every day, and replace it with a more horizontal political and economic model.

From the outside, it’s easy to criticize Venezuela. Inflation is high, the economy is in a difficult place, although growing, and relations with countries such as Russia, China and Iran are often painful for foreigners to comprehend. Media portrays much of the power in the nation as concentrated in the hands of one man, Hugo Chavez, and rarely highlights the thousands of positive achievements and successes his government has obtained during the past ten years. Distortion and manipulation reign amongst international public opinion regarding human rights, freedom of expression and political views opposing those of President Chavez, and few media outlets portray a balanced vision of Venezuela today.

While it’s true that there is awful inflation in Venezuela, much of it has been caused by business owners, large-scale private distributors and producers, import-exporters and the economic elite that seek to destabilize and overthrow the Chavez administration. They sell dollars on the black market at pumped up rates and speculate and hike the prices of regular consumer products to provoke panic and desperation among the public, all with the goal of forcing Chavez’s ouster. And despite ongoing economic sabotage, the economy has still grown substantially in comparison to other nations in the region. In fact, according to the neoliberal International Monetary Fund (IMF), Venezuela is the only South American nation to forecast economic growth this year.

How do you build a socialist revolution in an oil economy? It’s not easy. The Chavez government promotes a green agenda, but at the same time, the streets of Caracas – the capital – are still littered with stinky garbage and the air is contaiminated with black smoke emissions from cars and make-shift buses that go uncontrolled and unregulated. Part of the problem is government regulation, but most of the problem is social consciousness. Revolution is impossible if the people aren’t on board.

So, the government gives out millions of free, cold-energy saving lightbulbs, to replace the over-consuming yellow ones, and programs are underway to allow a free trade-in of diesel consuming cars for new natural gas vehicles. The Chavez administration is funding solar energy exploration and research institutes, building wind energy units along the northern Caribbean coast and has implemented a major environmental conservation campaign nationwide. Part of this incredible effort resulted from a horrific six-month long drought that pushed the nation to energy and water rationing, causing countrywide blackouts that weren’t well received. Ironically, one of the world’s largest oil producers is more than 70% dependent on hydroelectric power for internal energy consumption, thanks to the governments past, which only were interested in selling the oil abroad and not using it to improve the lives of their own citizens.


The foremost achievement of the Bolivarian Revolution, as it is called in Venezuela, taking the namesake of liberator Simon Bolivar, has been the inclusion of a mass majority, previously excluded and invisible, in the nation’s politics and economic decisions. What does this mean? It means that today, millions of Venezuelans have a visible identity and role in nation-making. It means that community members – without regard to class, education or status – are actively encouraged to participate in policy decisions on local and even national matters. Community members, organized in councils, make decisions on how local resources are allocated. They decide if monies are spent on schools, roads, water systems, transportation or housing. They have oversight of spending, can determine if projects are advancing adequately, and even can determine where the workforce should come from; i.e. local workers vs. outside contractors. In essence, this is a true example of an empowered people – or how power is transferred from a “government” to the people.

For the first time in Venezuela’s history, every voice is valued, every voice has the possibility of being heard. And because of this, people actually want to participate. Community media outlets have sprung up by the hundreds, after previously being illegal and shunned by prior governments. New newspapers, magazines, radio programs and even television shows reflect a reality and color of Venezuela that formerly, the elite chose to ignore and exclude. Still, a majority of mass media remains in the hands of a powerful economic elite that uses its capacity to distort and manipulate reality and promote ongoing attempts to undermine the Chavez government. Lest we not forget the mass media’s role in the April 2002 coup d’etat that briefly ousted President Chavez from power, and a subsequent economic sabotage in December of that same year, that imposed a media blackout on information nationwide.

Despite claims by private media outlets alleging violations of freedom of expression, Venezuela remains a nation with one of the world’s most thriving free and independent press. Here, almost anything goes, even plots and plans to kill the President or bring the nation’s economy to its knees; all broadcast live on television, radio, or in print.

The contradictions of building a socialist revolution in a capitalist world are evident here every day. The same self-proclaimed revolutionary, bearing a red shirt, wants to buy your dollars on the black market at an elevated rate. You can get killed in the streets of Caracas for a Blackberry; don’t even think of whipping out an iPhone in public. Even President Chavez himself now fashions a Blackberry to keep his Twitter account up to date. Chavez has “politicized” Twitter, and turned it into a social tool. His account, the most followed in Venezuela, receives thousands of requests and messages daily for everything from jobs, to housing to complaints about bureaucracy and inefficient governance. He even set up a special team of 200 people dedicated to processing the tweets, and he himself responds to as many as he can. Ironically, Chavez has found a way to reconnect with his people in a virtual world.

Deals with Russia, China, Iran, India, European nations and even US corporations are diversifying Venezuela’s trade partners, ensuring technological transfer to aid in national development and progress, and opening up Venezuela’s oil-focused economy. Some question Chavez’s deals with certain countries or companies, but the truth is, today, Venezuela’s economy is stronger and more diverse than ever before. Satellites have been launched, automobile factories built and even the agricultural industry has been revived thanks to Chavez’s vision of foreign policy. When beforehand, relations with foreign nations were based on oil supply and dollar input, today they are founded on the principles of integration, solidarity and cooperation, and most importantly, the transfer of technology to ensure Venezuela’s development.

Revolution is not an easy task. What is happening in Venezuela is possibly one of the most socially and politically compelling and challenging experiences in history. Massive changes are taking place on every level of society – economic, political, cultural and social – and everyone is involved. There have been no national curfews, states of emergencies, killings, disappearances, persecutions, political prisoners or other forms of repression imposed under Chavez’s reign, despite the coup d’etat, economic sabotages, electoral interventions, assassination attempts and other forms of subversion and destabilization that have attempted to overthrow his government during the past ten years. This is an inclusionary revolution, whether or not everyone wants to accept that fact.

Washington’s continued efforts to undermine Venezuela’s democracy through funding opposition campaigns and actions with over $50 million USD during the past seven years, or supporting coups and assassination plots against President Chavez, while at the same time pumping up military forces in the region, have all failed; so far. But, they will continue. Venezuela – like it or not – is on an irrevocable path to revolution. The people have awoken and power is being redistributed. The task at hand now is to prevent corrupt forces within from destroying the new revolutionary model being built.

So while things may not be perfect in Venezuela, it’s time to take off the rose-colored glasses and see revolution for what it is: the trying, alluring, arduous, demanding and thrilling task of forging a just humanity. That’s the Venezuela of today.

Eva Golinger is an award-winning author and attorney. Her first book, The Chavez Code, is a best seller published in six languages and is presently being made into a feature film. Her blog is www.chavezcode.com.



Joe Anybody Podcasts are all archived here

Posted by Joe Anybody at 3:26 PM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 6 June 2010 3:44 PM PDT
This is the best news in a long time
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: My website expands
Topic: MEDIA

Hellow Z3 Report Readers, I  now own the web domain name


(no dash between 'joe' and 'anybody')

So that means you can now access my website from







Posted by Joe Anybody at 2:50 PM PDT
Thursday, 27 May 2010
joke or not
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Hmmmmmm (Im in the progressive party myself)
A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him,

"Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

"She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be an Obama Democrat."

"I am,"replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are going. You've risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my fault. "

Posted by Joe Anybody at 9:04 PM PDT
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Police Killings in Haiti's Prison in Les Cayes
Mood:  crushed out
Now Playing: Les Cayes prison riots and the (government) cover up
May 25, 2010

Slaughter in Les Cayes


Even by the grim standards of Haiti, the prison massacre in Les Cayes after the Jan. 12 earthquake is chilling. According to an investigation in The Times by Deborah Sontag and Walt Bogdanich, a dozen or more prisoners were killed and up to 40 were wounded after police stormed the prison to put down a riot.

The government claims that a prison ringleader slaughtered other inmates before escaping. The Times found witnesses who told a different story — of days of abuse after the earthquake and then the murder of inmates by police.

Many of Haiti’s prisons were shattered during the quake, allowing inmates to flee. In Les Cayes, in western Haiti, the walls held. When prisoners panicked, guards beat the noisiest men, shoving them into cells that were already brutally crowded. A week later, a few dozen men tried to escape and set off a riot. Inmates rampaged loose for hours inside as the Haitian federal police and United Nations troops surrounded the prison.

When the police stormed the prison, witnesses said, they shot defenseless victims at close range. Some prisoners seemed to have been singled out for execution. Others were shot indiscriminately. A Roman Catholic priest, the Rev. Marc Boisvert, who entered the prison while it was “still smoldering,” said inmates told him that prisoners trying to surrender were shot through the bars of their locked cells. Bodies were buried in a mass, unmarked grave. The survivors’ blood stained clothes were burned.

The Haitian government says it is investigating, but The Times found no indication that witnesses had been interviewed, bodies exhumed or even basic evidence collected. The United Nations mission in Haiti has ordered an independent inquiry.

The earthquake, and the huge commitment of international aid, are supposed to be a chance to finally create a Haitian government that is respectful of all its citizens’ rights. The United Nations and the international community — particularly the United States — have enormous leverage and a parallel responsibility to help Haiti create a credible judicial system. Reforming the country’s nightmarish prisons, filled with detainees who have not yet been tried, is an essential part of that.

It would be best if Haiti’s government could conduct a full and transparent investigation. That appears unlikely. President René Préval must ensure that the United Nations’ investigators have access to all forensic evidence, witnesses, police officers and prison officials. The government also must be prepared to prosecute anyone implicated in the attacks. The first step to building a new Haiti is figuring out what really happened at Les Cayes, and ensuring that it never happens again.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PDT

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