Sunday, October 30, 2005

Judy Plame Meet Phillip Agee.

Judy Plame Not Joan of Arc.

Phillip Agee, a retired CIA agent, developed a conscience. It was after the reality of the CIA's half-century-plus run through our world has been quite another matter though: the formation and funding of secret armies and death squads from Laos and El Salvador to Afghanistan; the corruption of democratic political parties; the assassination, or attempted assassination, of leaders of other countries; the investment of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in torture research, and then the teaching of new methods of torture (as well as time-tested ones) to allied police and military forces globally; the running of torture centers and secret prisons abroad; and the overthrow of democratically-elected governments from Guatemala and Chile to Iran. Through all these years, CIA agents have acted with impunity. The intricate tale of CIA "covert" operations is quite a grim little history, drenched in blood and pain -- and a history that finally blew back on Americans.

In 1975 Phillip Agee wrote the book "Inside the Company:CIA Diary". It revealed what the CIA was doing, particularly in Latin America. The book named all the spooks Agee knew. Agee was in the company for 12 years. He started as an idealist, and later became angry about covert activities, against justice. Welch was not mentioned in the book. His former comrades were angry, and felt betrayed.

In 1982 the congress under former CIA George Bush41 and Ronald Reagan, passed the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. That law was written in response to the 1975 killing of Greek division head Richard Welch. It was the anti-Philip Agee law. He was blamed for outing Welch, even though he didn't.

Now the phony leftists are singing the praises of Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Some even want to strengthen it. The law was written against the left. Now all of a sudden, the CIA is your friend. Progressives have to stop the CIA and people like Valerie Plame; blowing the cover of her fellow agents when they are found engaging in kidnappings, torture, or attempts to overthrow democratically elected governments.

Don't rejoice about seeing Libby or Rove against the wall. Granted Rove in particular, will use any tactic; be careful of who you think your friends are.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Wal-Mart Exec. Sought to Cut Benefits, Discourage Disabled Labor

by Brendan Coyne From The New Standard

Oct 27 - Just one day after news outlets across the country reported that Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, was planning to implement a new health-insurance policy to dramatically lower employee costs and expand the pool of workers buying into the company health plan, a labor-union project group revealed an internal company memo suggesting the opposite.

The leaked memo says Wal-Mart could lower overhead by cutting employee benefits, taking on more part-time workers and discouraging elderly, disabled and unhealthy people from working for the company.

The memo outlines several steps that the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company could undertake to cut employee-benefit costs.

In a statement, campaign director Paul Blank said the very existence of the memo "robs Wal-Mart workers of their human dignity and instead treats them like products in their stores."

Wal-Mart Watch, which reportedly first obtained the memo, said it "shattered the myth that America’s largest corporation has a unique culture that prizes its Associates and cares for them." The group has outlined a series of statements by company officials that appear in direct opposition to the contents of the memo.

Crafted by M. Susan Chambers, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president for benefits, the document represents the work of a fifteen-member team convened to assess ways the company could address rising benefit costs. The Chambers committee made its recommendations using three factors: cost trends, public relations and employee satisfaction, according to the document.

Among the suggestions offered are raising obstacles to family health coverage eligibility and lowering company contributions toward spousal coverage, cutting life-insurance payouts, hiring more part-time workers and increasing individual employee hours, restructuring retirement offerings, and offering a variety of benefits packages, some of which would end up costing Wal-Mart less than current plans.

The memo also suggests that some employees "would happily give up some paid time off in exchange for a more generous discount card."

In addition, Chambers wrote, the company should attempt to educate workers on healthy lifestyles and set up in-store health clinics to ensure the workforce is healthy, "design all jobs to include some physical activity," and offer discounts and benefits that "appeal to healthy associates."

The memo reads: "It will be far easier to attract and retain a healthier workforce than it will be to change behavior in an existing one. These moves would also dissuade unhealthy people from coming to work at Wal-Mart."

The Chambers group also focused on the costs associated with long-time employees, noting that though benefits and pay increase with the length of time an employee stays with the company, increases in productivity are not assured. Additionally, the benefits manager found, granting better pay to reliable employees may actually prevent them from leaving the company.

"Because we pay an associate more in salary and benefits as his or her tenure increases, we are pricing that Associate out of the labor market, increasing the likelihood that he or she will stay with Wal-Mart," Chambers wrote.

In a surprising admission about critiques of Wal-Mart’s healthcare offerings, Chambers admits in the memo: "Our critics are correct in some of their observations. Specifically, our coverage is expensive for low-income families, and Wal-Mart has a significant percentage of associates and their children on public assistance."

In an interview with the New York Times, Chambers denied the suggestions were aimed at cost-cutting measures, stating: "We are investing in our benefits that will take even better care of our associates. Our benefit plan is known today as being generous."

Earlier this week, the company announced plans to expand healthcare coverage by lowering monthly premiums, some to as low as $11. The plan includes a $1,000 deductible that goes into effect after several doctors’ visits, a first-year $25,000 cap and a range of out-of-pocket payments for hospital stays and prescriptions.

Wal-Mart’s critics quickly attacked the plan as a repackaged version of the existing one that serves fewer than half of the company’s employees. In a side-by-side comparison, maintains that the deductibles under the new proposal are actually higher than those under the company’s two current plans.

According to the Times, the plan also includes individual health-savings accounts, one of the many proposals put forth in the Chambers proposal.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The New Face of Racist Terror.


The picture above is not Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen at thirteen years old. The picture is of Lynx and Lamb Gaede. They're sweet. They're pretty. They're multitalented instrumentalists and singers. They are collectively known as Prussian Blue.

They are the daughters of Bakersfield CA activist and writer for National Vanguard April Gaede. She is also their manager, and home school teacher. They sing songs of white supremacy and pride.

When the girls were asked, what they believe is the number one problem facing the white race, and if they have songs to address it? They replied; "Not having enough white babies born to replace ourselves and generally not having good-quality white people being born. It seems like smart white girls who have good eugenics are more interested in making money in a career or partying than getting married and having a family. And yes, we are working on some new songs about this issue".

In times of turmoil, as now, with high unemployment, jobs outsourced, and war; maggots like this family show their face. Defeat them with mass antiracist action. Send them underground.

This is legal child abuse, teaching hate and ignorance, in the isolation of home schooling.

Renegade Eye

10/25/05 ADDENDUM.
My writing incorrectly implied a single parent situation. I only mentioned the mother, because she is more prominent in the white supremacist movement.

I take back child abuse talk. Its not child abuse, just parenting I have disagreements with. I don't have the answer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Presenting Uruguayan Artist Carlos Paez Vilaro.

Abstraction by Carlos Paez Vilaro 1970

Africa Period 2000 Repique.

The home of Carlos Paez Vilaro.

Carlos Paez Vilaro Renaissance Man from Uruguay.

Architecture by Carlos Paez Vilaro

I'm writing this entry to present the work of the great Uruguayan artist Carlos Paez Vilaro. His work encompasses architecture, wall paintings, murals, sculptures, books, and music (Candombe Afro-Uruguayan music).

His architecture are tourist sites now. He bought land at the price of a carton of cigarettes, per square foot. He never uses drafts to build. His architecture would be what I would desire as a dream home.

His son was one of the rugby players involved with the cannabalism episode in the Andies.

His website is at: Carlos Paez Vilaro

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hitchens On Tribal Differences in Iraq and the Syria Question.

Hitchens talks about tribal differences, the media and Syria.

From Slate Magazine 10/17/05.

Tribal Ignorance
What you think you know about Iraq's factions is all wrong.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Oct. 17, 2005, at 9:03 AM PT

Ever wonder how to piss off an Iraqi? It's relatively simple. Just ask one, no sooner than you have been introduced: "So you're an Iraqi? How absolutely fascinating. Do tell: Are you a Kurd or a Sunni or a Shiite?" This will work every time, just as it's always so polite and so useful to ask a brown-skinned American if he or she is Chicano or, you know … Latina.

If you fall into conversation with an Iraqi, you will soon enough find out what you want to know. Kurds are not shy about mentioning their nationhood, and followers of the Shiite confession are not inclined to make a secret of the fact. So don't force the question. But you will have to know a lot of Iraqis before you meet one who cannot introduce you, usually with pride, to his or her Sunni cousin, or Kurdish auntie, or Shiite brother-in-law, as the case may be. And as for ethnicity and religion beyond our customary categories, you had better be prepared to meet Turkish and Assyrian Iraqis, as well as to bear in mind that in 1947 there were more Jews in Baghdad than in Jerusalem (many of the former of whom had been there longer), that many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are Christian from more than one denomination—Islamic fanatics murdered the head of their Anglican congregation just the other day—and that the spiritual leader of the Shiites, Grand Ayatollah Sistani, is an ethnic Persian.

When it comes to Iraq, one of the most boring and philistine habits of our media is the insistence on using partitionist and segregationist language that most journalists would (I hope) scorn to employ if they were discussing a society they actually knew. It is the same mistake that disfigured the coverage of the Bosnian war, where every consumer of news was made to understand that there was fighting between Serbs, Croats, and "Muslims." There are two apples and one orange in that basket, as any fool should be able to see. Serbian and Croatian are national differences, which track very closely with the distinction between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic beliefs. Many Muslims are Bosnian, but not all Bosnians are Muslim. And in fact, the Bosnian forces in the late war were those which most repudiated any confessional definition. (And when did you ever hear the media saying that, "Today the Orthodox shelled Sarajevo," or, "Yesterday the Catholics bombarded Mostar"?)

In Iraq there are also two apples and one orange in the media-coverage basket (as well as many important fruits that, as I mentioned above, are never specified). To be a Sunni or a Shiite is to follow one or another Muslim obedience, but to be a Kurd is to be a member of a large non-Arab ethnicity as well as to be, in the vast majority of cases, a Sunni. Thus, by any measure of accuracy, the "Sunni" turnout in the weekend's referendum on the constitution was impressively large, very well-organized, and quite strongly in favor of a "yes" vote. Is that the way you remember it being reported? I thought not. Well, then, learn to think for yourself.

This same tribal habit of mind—tribal on our part, I mean, not on the part of the Iraqis—allows some people to make the lazy assumption that the liberation of Iraq has created these differences, or intensified them, rather than sought to compose and heal them. The Saddam Hussein regime was based on a minority of a minority—a Mafia clique based in and around the city of Tikrit—and it stayed in power not by being "secular" or multiethnic but by being sectarian and by playing the card of divide and rule. It treated all the inhabitants of the country as its personal property, and it made lifelong enemies among all communities and all confessional groups. The differences between these groups are now specified in a constitution, perhaps a bit more than I would like, but are at least specified in order that no group is to be left out, or classified as second-class.

Since Iraq has no choice but to be a plural and various country, these diversities can be handled in only one of three ways: by a fascistic dictatorship of one faction over all others, by civil war leading to partition, or by federal democracy. The first option has now, I think, been demolished for all time. The second two options need not be mutually exclusive or incompatible, since one is still possible and the other is still hard, and since a great deal of damage was done to intercommunal relations (to phrase it mildly) during the decades of the fascistic expedient, and since there are neighboring countries that have an interest in supporting their own religious or ethnic clienteles within Iraq. But these are long-standing material realities, and not in any way the product of the intervention. It would make as much sense to say that the murderous terrorism of the religious sectarians is the product of the intervention.

Ah, but that is exactly what the moral cretins do say about Zarqawi and his death squads. There may be an argument about the authenticity of the newly released Zawahiri/Zarqawi correspondence, and I myself make no pronouncement. But as it happens, we know from many open sources that there is a debate among the jihadists as to the wisdom and even the propriety of killing civilians without discrimination, or of slaughtering the Shiites as if they were all heretics or apostates. One of Zarqawi's mentors has even weighed in, on a Muslim Web site, questioning the excessive zeal of his disciple. So even the most stone-cold killers and dogmatists have to wonder, and to worry, about the balance of forces in Iraq. I take this as a sign of encouragement. Perhaps, since they, too, are human, they will have to worry about the enormous casualties they are taking, as well as inflicting.

There will soon be a comparative experiment to run. The Syrian Baathist dictatorship of Bashar Assad, which is also based on a tiny confessional minority—the Alawites—is currently entering its moribund stage. Its despotism and corruption to one side, it has made the vast additional mistake of supporting death squads in Lebanon as well as in Iraq. When Syrian Baathism implodes, and when the many Arab and Kurdish Muslims it has oppressed take revenge, and when its killers prowl the streets of Beirut as well as Damascus and Aleppo in the hope of saving what they can, will we hear again that this chaos and misery would never have happened if it were not for American imperialism?

Actually, we are already hearing rehearsals of this stupidity. Discussing the possibility of cross-border tussles to deal with Syria's wretched, spiteful sabotage of the new Iraq, the New York Times kept tight hold of its only historical analogy and announced—in a news story, not a sidebar—that this was Cambodia all over again. And so it might just possibly be, if we were fighting the Vietcong in Iraq and if Assad were the cynical but neutralist Prince Sihanouk. As it is, our foes in Iraq are much more like the Khmer Rouge, and Assad's regime is more like the aggressive and corrupt minority rulers of South Vietnam, so the analogy is at the expense of those who repeat it parrot-fashion, and who mostly cannot tell Sunni from Shinola.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Iraq Constitution Vote.

From Iraq The Model

"I am so excited but a flashback from Saddam’s referendum three years ago still hurts; he wanted a 100% as the 99.96% of the previous one shocked the dictator. I was depressed that way and I decided not to go to the voting office and so did the rest of the family but my father was afraid that not going could be dangerous.
He said that maybe one member of the family could go alone and cast votes for the rest of us. We looked at each other thinking who’s going to volunteer to do this ugly job to protect the family. At that moment my father said “it was my generation that caused the misery we’re living in so I’m the one who should do this”.
I couldn’t stop him and I couldn’t utter a word but I felt sad for him; his sacrifice was big and I had teary eyes when I watched him taking our papers and heading out.

It is different this time father, no more 100% and a ‘no’ would make me happy just like a ’yes’ would do and no one ever will force us to do something against our will anymore.
Tomorrow will be another day for Iraqi bravery. May God protect you my people…you have suffered so much and you will still be suffering for some time but I am sure the future will be bright.
God bless you my people and all the freedom lovers who keep sacrificing to make this world a better place".



Vanity Fair Magazine Presents Beyonce's New Look.

Beyonce' Knowles in the November 2005 issue of Vanity Fair Magazine, is the first Afro-American, to appear on the cover since the late 90s. Afro-American performers complain that they are rarely are on the covers of mainstream magazines.

Word within the magazine industry is that the cover of VF was digitally altered to make Beyonce's skin lighter, to a Jennifer Lopez bronze. Another claim is that the inside pictures make Beyonce' look so light next to her boy friend Jay-Z, he looks like he is from Sudan. All this is possibly related to VF's sales drop, if the cover is serious. Serious translates to dark at Conde' Naste.

VF's response is angry. Asked about the charge, the magazine’s spokeswoman, Beth Kseniak, insisted that the singer’s portraits were “absolutely not” manipulated and said that any change in her skin tone was a result of lighting and makeup. Furthermore, she claimed that inside shots of the couple were pick-up photos acquired at the last minute that ran unaltered.

UPDATE: Reached for comment this morning, Yvette Noel-Schure, Beyoncé’s personal publicist who set up the photo shoot, said that while she had no knowledge of procedures at Vanity Fair and could not speak for the magazine, she didn’t think VF had lightened her client’s skin tone. “There are very fair-skinned black people in this world, and Beyoncé is one of them,” she said.

I have a sub to VF. I can assure you, I will be studying the pictures of Beyonce'.

Monday, October 10, 2005

School Girl Deaths in Garhi Habibullah.

Quake deaths feared to reach 40,000

Atleast 25,000 people are dead, after the earthquake Saturday, that shattered Pakistan and parts of India and Kashmir. The United Nations through UNICEF, expects the toll to be 40,000 dead. Atleast a million people are homeless.

Building contracts in Pakistan are acquired, it is not necessarily for construction. Shoddy work is the order of the day. They skimp on concrete and bars, while paying off politicians. Villagers in Garhi Habibullah, where 200 girls and women were killed, when the girls school once 29 feet tall, collapsed to become 5 feet tall during the quake. It was the death of the village's whole generation of girls and women. At the same time, the private schools of the elite stand intact nearby.

The radios blared about the mobilization of the government to relieve suffering. Nobody came to that village.

Maqsood Rehman, a social worker who heads the charity committee at the main village mosque, sat dirty and bloody-knuckled from the 11 graves he had dug by mid-afternoon.

"This is a natural disaster," he said, "but also one made by our government."

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Gretchen Wilson and Populism.

Gretchen Wilson's Politically Uncorrect Song.

Gretchen Wilson is the top new star of country music. She was born of a mother yoo young, into poverty. She lived alone as a teen. Before music she worked in a back road bar.

Her latest album "All Jacked Up", contains a duet with Merle Haggard AKA "The Okie from Muskogee", in a song called "Politically Incorrect." Here are the lyrics:

Im for the low man on the totem pole
And I'm for the underdog God bless his soul
And I'm for the guys still pulling third shift
And the single mom raisin' her kids
I'm for the preachers who stay on their knees
And I'm for the sinner who finally believes
And I'm for the farmer with dirt on his hands
And the soldiers who fight for this land


And I'm for the Bible and I'm for the flag
And I'm for the working man, me and ol' Hag
I'm just one of many
Who can't get no respect
Politically uncorrect

I guess my opinion is all out of style
Aw, but don't get me started cause I can get riled
And I'll make a fight for the forefathers plan
And the world already knows where I stand

Nothing wrong with the Bible, nothing wrong with the flag
Nothing wrong with the working man me & ol' Hag
We're just some of many who can't get no respect
Politically uncorrect
Politically uncorrect

Why is that song reactionary? I'm not an addvocate of socialist realism. I believe in agit-prop art, as part of art for its own sake. I'm ok with Gretchen not expressing support in her music, with Hugo Chavez and antiimperialism. My gripe is with populism. It is associated with Paul Wellstone, Jesse Ventura, Ralph Nader, Pat Buchanon, David Dukes of KKK, Ross Perot, and a host of others. It's antielitist and anticorporate. It is not left, right or center particularly. It can be used by dictators as Juan Peron in Argentina. It appeals to a vague concept of "the people". Populists are soft historically on racism. It appeals to class, but fears class struggle. When I think of a populist, I think two things; racism and political unpredictability.

Dear Gretchen, you should know I believe in Darwin and Marx.

Thank you to the blog
  • "Harry's Place
  • for starting this conversation.

    Sunday, October 02, 2005

    How the Free Market Killed New Orleans By Michael Parenti

    The free market played a crucial role in the destruction of New Orleans and the death of thousands of its residents. Forewarned that a momentous (force 5) hurricane was going to hit that city and surrounding areas, what did officials do? They played the free market.

    They announced that everyone should evacuate. Everyone was expected to devise their own way out of the disaster area by private means, just like people do when disaster hits free-market Third World countries.

    It is a beautiful thing this free market in which every individual pursues his or her own personal interests and thereby effects an optimal outcome for the entire society. Thus does the invisible hand work its wonders in mysterious ways.

    In New Orleans there would be none of the collectivistic regimented evacuation as occurred in Cuba. When an especially powerful hurricane hit that island in 2004, the Castro government, abetted by neighborhood citizen committees and local Communist party cadres, evacuated 1.5 million people, more than 10 percent of the country’s population. The Cubans lost 20,000 homes to that hurricane---but not a single life was lost, a heartening feat that went largely unmentioned in the U.S. press.

    On Day One of the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina, it was already clear that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Americans had perished in New Orleans. Many people had “refused” to evacuate, media reporters explained, because they were just plain “stubborn.”

    It was not until Day Three that the relatively affluent telecasters began to realize that tens of thousands of people had failed to flee because they had nowhere to go and no means of getting there. With hardly any cash at hand or no motor vehicle to call their own, they had to sit tight and hope for the best. In the end, the free market did not work so well for them.

    Many of these people were low-income African Americans, along with fewer numbers of poor whites. It should be remembered that most of them had jobs before Katrina’s lethal visit. That’s what most poor people do in this country: they work, usually quite hard at dismally paying jobs, sometimes more than one job at a time. They are poor not because they’re lazy but because they have a hard time surviving on poverty wages while burdened by high prices, high rents, and regressive taxes.

    The free market played a role in other ways. Bush’s agenda is to cut government services to the bone and make people rely on the private sector for the things they might need. So he sliced $71.2 million from the budget of the New Orleans Corps of Engineers, a 44 percent reduction. Plans to fortify New Orleans levees and upgrade the system of pumping out water had to be shelved.

    Army Corps of Engineer personnel had started work to build new levees several years ago but many of them were taken off such projects and sent to Iraq. In addition, the president cut $30 million in flood control appropriations.

    Bush took to the airways (“Good Morning America” 1 September 2005) and said “I don’t think anyone anticipated that breach of the levees.” Just another untruth tumbling from his lips. The catastrophic flooding of New Orleans had been foreseen by storm experts, engineers, Louisiana journalists and state officials, and even some federal agencies. All sorts of people had been predicting disaster for years, pointing to the danger of rising water levels and the need to strengthen the levees and pumps, and fortify the entire coastland.

    In their campaign to starve out the public sector, the Bushite reactionaries also allowed developers to drain vast areas of wetlands. Again, that old invisible hand of the free market would take care of things. The developers, pursuing their own private profit, would devise outcomes that would benefit us all.

    But wetlands served as a natural absorbent and barrier between New Orleans and the storms riding in from across the sea. And for some years now, the wetlands have been disappearing at a frightening pace on the Gulf‘ coast. All this was of no concern to the reactionaries in the White House.

    As for the rescue operation, the free-marketeers like to say that relief to the more unfortunate among us should be left to private charity. It was a favorite preachment of President Ronald Reagan that “private charity can do the job.” And for the first few days that indeed seemed to be the policy with the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina.

    The federal government was nowhere in sight but the Red Cross went into action. Its message: “Don’t send food or blankets; send money.” The Salvation Army also began to muster up its aging troops. Meanwhile Pat Robertson and the Christian Broadcasting Network---taking a moment off from God’s work of pushing John Roberts nomination to the Supreme Court---called for donations and announced “Operation Blessing” which consisted of a highly-publicized but totally inadequate shipment of canned goods and bibles.

    By Day Three even the myopic media began to realize the immense failure of the rescue operation. People were dying because relief had not arrived. The authorities seemed more concerned with the looting than with rescuing people, more concerned with “crowd control,” which consisted of corralling thousands into barren open lots devoid of decent shelter, and not allowing them to leave.

    Questions arose that the free market seem incapable of answering: Who was in charge of the rescue operation? Why so few helicopters and just a scattering of Coast Guard rescuers? Why did it take helicopters five hours to lift six people out of one hospital? When would the rescue operation gather some steam? Where were the feds? The state troopers? The National Guard? Where were the buses and trucks? the shelters and portable toilets? The medical supplies and water?

    And where was Homeland Security? What has Homeland Security done with the $33.8 billions allocated to it in fiscal 2005? By Day Four, almost all the major media were reporting that the federal government’s response was “a national disgrace.” Meanwhile George Bush finally made his photo-op appearance in a few well-chosen disaster areas---before romping off to play golf.

    In a moment of delicious (and perhaps mischievous) irony, offers of foreign aid were tendered by France, Germany, Venezuela, and several other nations. Russia offered to send two plane loads of food and other materials for the victims. Cuba--which has a record of sending doctors to dozens of countries, including a thankful Sri Lanka during the tsunami disaster---offered 1,100 doctors. Predictably, all these proposals were sharply declined by the U.S. State Department.

    America the Beautiful and Powerful, America the Supreme Rescuer and World Leader, America the Purveyor of Global Prosperity could not accept foreign aid from others. That would be a most deflating and insulting role reversal. Were the French looking for another punch in the nose? Were the Cubans up to their old subversive tricks?

    Besides, to have accepted foreign aid would have been to admit the truth---that the Bushite reactionaries had neither the desire nor the decency to provide for ordinary citizens, not even those in the most extreme straits.

    I recently heard someone complain, “Bush is trying to save the world when he can’t even take care of his own people here at home.” Not quite true. He certainly does take very good care of his own people, that tiny fraction of one percent, the superrich. It’s just that the working people of New Orleans do not number among them.
    ------- Michael Parenti's recent books include Superpatriotism (City Lights) and The Assassination of Julius Caesar (New Press), both available in paperback. His forthcoming The Culture Struggle (Seven Stories Press) will be published in the fall. For more information visit:

    Saturday, October 01, 2005


    Just days before the three year anniversary of the first Bali bombing in 2002, a coordianted set of three bombs killed atleast 25 people, and wounded over 100 people. It's unknown if suicide bombers were involved. Among the wounded were 49 Indonesians, 17 Australians, 6 Koreans, 3 Japanese and 2 Americans, according to officials at Sanglah Hospital near Denpasar, the capital of Bali.

    Among the places hit were a crowded restaurant outside the Four Seasons hotel at Jimbaran beach, and a shopping square in Kuta, not far from the terrorist bombing that killed 202 people in October 2002. The bombings occured within three miles of each other during suppertime Saturday.

    This occured as the tourism business, was starting to pickup, after the last bombing and SARS scare.

    The authorities would not speculate about who was behind the attacks, but immediate suspicion fell on Jemaah Islamiyah, a radical Islamic terrorist group in Indonesia that has been behind other major attacks, including the 2002 bombings. Indonesia has the largest Islamic population in the world. It is a country where the majority of people are secular minded.

    This attack needs condemnation, not rationalization. Islam is in a civil war of clerical fascists against secular forces.