Insightful as always, award-winning Australian journalist John Pilger has written his assessment of what’s happening in Haiti. Here’s an excerpt:
The theft of Haiti has been swift and crude. On 22 January, the United States secured “formal approval” from the United Nations to take over all air and sea ports in Haiti, and to “secure” roads. No Haitian signed the agreement, which has no basis in law. Power rules in an American naval blockade and the arrival of 13,000 marines, special forces, spooks and mercenaries, none with humanitarian relief training.
When I was last in Haiti, I watched very young girls stooped in front of whirring, hissing, binding machines at the Port-au-Prince Superior Baseball Plant. Many had swollen eyes and lacerated arms. I produced a camera and was thrown out. Haiti is where America makes the equipment for its hallowed national game, for next to nothing. Haiti is where Walt Disney contractors make Mickey Mouse pjamas, for next to nothing. The US controls Haiti’s sugar, bauxite and sisal. Rice-growing was replaced by imported American rice, driving people into the cities and towns and jerry-built housing. Years after year, Haiti was invaded by US marines, infamous for atrocities that have been their specialty from the Philippines to Afghanistan.
Not for tourists is the US building its fifth biggest embassy in Port-au-Prince. Oil was found in Haiti’s waters decades ago and the US has kept it in reserve until the Middle East begins to run dry. More urgently, an occupied Haiti has a strategic importance in Washington’s “rollback” plans for Latin America. The goal is the overthrow of the popular democracies in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, control of Venezuela’s abundant oil reserves and sabotage of the growing regional cooperation that has given millions their first taste of an economic and social justice long denied by US-sponsored regimes.
Today I’m chatting about Haiti. To understand why many people are concerned about the USA sending thousands of marines into Haiti after the recent earthquake, you have to understand the history between these two countries. Of course, you won’t hear much of this in the mainstream media, as they tend to have amnesia. However a little research shows that America has had its corporate paws all over Haiti for a century and the Haitian people have suffered as a result.
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My first No Illusions podcast for 2010! Today I’m talking about the Australian Government’s “clean feed” with three guys who know a lot more about it than I do: Stephen Collins (@trib), Peter Black (@peterblackQUT) and Jim Stewart (@jimboot). This episode was recorded with a live studio audience. Well, okay, they weren’t in a studio, they were on my uStream channel, but I’ve always wanted to say that.
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So instead of Christmas, we celebrated the life of Anaxagoras, history’s first recorded scientist and atheist. And instead of giving my kids presents, we gave them power vouchers. Chrissy and I made up our own books of vouchers for the kids. They give the kids some extra power – for example, the ones I made up say things such as:
“This voucher entitles the bearer to spend an hour at the park alone with Dad.”
“This voucher entitles the bearer to get out of doing the dishes when it’s his turn.”
“This voucher entitles the bearer to a trip to Laserforce.”
They basically let my kids have a little bit of additional power than they normally would.
The vouchers Chrissy made up for the kids are similar, but contain special ones that let the kids go busking with her but keep all of the proceeds.
I was pretty happy with this approach and I think the kids were excited as well. The last thing they needed was more stuff they would have thrown in the corner after a few days and forgotten all about. And it’s better for the environment. And it forces me to spend more quality time with my kids. It’s a win all round, I think.
Tech disasters are like being attacked by a Great White – you never see the danger coming until it’s too late.
Yesterday morning I shut the lid on my two-year old Macbook Pro 17″ to take a shower. Fifteen minutes later, when I opened up the screen again, nothing happened. I tried re-booting it, taking the battery out, etc, but it still wouldn’t boot.
So I dropped it into the Apple Store at Chermside. They called me today to inform me that the logic board is dead and that it will cost $2100 to replace it. An entirely new Macbook Pro only costs about $3500.
Luckily everything was backed up, but my only other machine is a 3 year-old Vista desktop, so it’s not compatible, even in this day of “cloud computing”. Chrissy is also letting me borrow her baby Macbook for urgent Mac-related stuff. But I really need to replace my Macbook Pro asap.
So I’m in the market for a new Macbook. My last one was kindly sponsored by a Canadian company in return for advertising for a year on this podcast. I’m hoping to find someone else willing to do a similar deal. If you’re interested, please email me.