Judi LynnJudi Lynn's Journal
FIlmmaker has history of campaign work
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Nisman documentary tied to US conservatives
A US filmmaker known for making controversial documentaries friendly to Republican and neo-conservative causes premiered a film yesterday in Washington about the death of former special AMIA prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
Los Abandonados (The Abandoned) is directed Matthew A. Taylor and produced by Alan Peterson, both of whom have worked on several other documentaries and political ads for the Republican Political Action Committee Citizens United.
Taylor and Peterson have previously made documentaries targeting Hillary Clinton, the American Civil Liberties Union, illegal immigrants and praising conservative leaders such as Ronald Reagan.
Taylor was also involved in George W. Bushs 2004 re-election campaign, helping produce some of the most emblematic attack ads of the campaign, including one that showed John Kerry windsurfing to illustrate his changing views.
The Herald tried for several days to contact Taylors media company, Electrolift Creative, members of his production team and Citizen United, but they all refused to comment.
The companys web site states that it is a creative agency specialized in high concept advertisement for political and commercial purposes.
Colombian Farc rebels to halt military training
1 October 2015
Rodrigo Londono, also known as Timochenko, says there will be no more military training
The leader of Colombia's largest rebel group, Farc has announced a halt to the rebels' military training.
The rebel leader, known as Timochenko, tweeted on Wednesday that he had ordered military courses be suspended.
He told Farc's "military structure" to dedicate itself to "political and cultural training" instead.
The order came a week after rebel negotiators and the Colombian government struck a key deal at talks on how to end the 51-year-conflict.
Bolivia stands up to US with coca-control policy
Written by Ruxandra Guidi
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 20:25
Source: Al Jazeera English
Small and landlocked Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America.
For centuries, its majority indigenous population has grown and chewed the coca leaf - much like other people around the world drink coffee or tea - to increase productivity and stave off hunger while working in the fields. An estimated one-third of Bolivians today consume the leaf in its natural form.
Coca, of course, is also the main ingredient in cocaine. Because of growing demand, coca production expanded exponentially in the 1980s, much of it flowing into the international cocaine market. This set the stage for three decades of US-financed eradication programmes in Los Yungas and especially the Chapare, Bolivia's two main growing regions.
Peasants became the main target of military and US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) missions, yet the violence, killings, and political instability continued - and overall cocaine production fluctuated, but did not decrease.
Lean and tall, Carlos Perez - a cocalero or coca farmer with more than 20 years of experience planting, harvesting, drying and selling coca - remembers the military repression that took place as a part of Plan Dignidad in the late 1990s, in which the US paired up its counter-narcotics aid with debt relief.
But he would rather recall the time in 1994, when former coca grower Evo Morales joined a march of thousands of other cocaleros, demanding an end to the forced eradication of their crop. Perez marched too, walking the 130km from the cloud forest of Chulumani to the capital, La Paz.
From lewd jokes to presidency
October 1 2015 at 08:17pm
By Akexander Alper
Guatemala City - For years, Guatemalan comedian Jimmy Morales earned a living cracking bawdy jokes on TV, riffing on eating condoms and the perils of being ravished by a bull. Now he looks set to become the troubled Central American country's next president.
Running on an anti-corruption ticket, Morales rode a wave of public anger over a multi-million dollar customs scandal that led to the arrest of President Otto Perez last month, and he won the first round of voting on September 6.
Wooing crowds with tales of his humble upbringing and pledges to hand out millions of smartphones to children, the 46-year-old former comic actor is hot favourite to win an October 25 run-off against leftist former first lady Sandra Torres.
He got my vote because I haven't heard him being accused of anything bad, said 54-year-old builder Nolberto Domingo.
October 1, 2015
L.A. Times Goes to Cuba
by Rip Rense
The L.A. Times sent one of its managing editors to Cuba a few months ago, to report on the status of the society, culture, etc. Good that they sent a big gun, instead of just a run-of-the-mill reporter. Here are two of the stunning findings from this report. Brace yourself!
If you travel to Cuba, be prepared for a squash fest. At every lunch and dinner, we were offered pumpkin soup or cooked butternut squash or squash stew. It was rarely bad but never great, which was true of much of the food we consumed.
Cuba doesnt have the agriculture, the infrastructure or the economy to support anything resembling the flatbreads, house-cured pastrami and vinegared cauliflower that weve come to expect in Venice or Los Feliz or DTLA.
Well! That darn Cuba! Here the USA has reestablished relations, and Cuba does not even have the goddamned decency to offer squash stew that is great. Sheesh. Harrumph! How dare those tyrannized, dirt-poor people! Good thing the LAT sent one of its managing editors to get this scoop. I mean, think of how an inexperienced reporter might have handled the assignment!
And then we have the vital, earth-shattering news that Cuba does not have the agriculture, infrastructure, or economy to produce flatbreads, house-cured pastrami, and vinegared cauliflower that weve come to expect in Venice or Los Feliz or DTLA (the new hipster way of referring to downtown L.A..) Darn that Cuba again! Here Obama went to all that trouble to let American citizens haul their fat asses down there, and my God, those Cubans dont have the courtesy to produce pastrami as good as Venice, Los Feliz, and DTLA. Unforgivable! Didnt they know that U.S. citizens with big, rumbling guts and discriminating palates were coming? Thank God for this hard-hitting, incisive, pithy, empathetic, moving account of life in Cuba under Castro! Can a Pulitzer be far off?
October 1, 2015
Why Logging Forests After Wildfires is Ecologically Destructive
by Monica Bond
When it comes to wildfire, the U.S. Forest Service has it all wrong. In its just-released plan to chop down trees in nearly 17,000 acres hit by last years King fire in the Eldorado National Forest including logging in 28 occupied spotted owl territories the agency trots out the same tired falsehoods.
First, the Forest Service claims burned areas must be logged and replanted to restore the forest. In truth, wildfire is natural and necessary in the Sierra Nevada, even fires that burn very hot over huge areas, and human interference after fires is harmful rather than helpful.
For thousands of years, big fires have burned in the Sierra Nevada and are as ecologically critical for native plants and animals as rain and snow. And the trees have always grown back on their own.
But before the trees grow back, the burned forests erupt with life. Black-backed woodpeckers thrive in the most charred forests, feasting on the superabundance of insects and creating nesting holes in the freshly dead trees. After the woodpeckers, mountain bluebirds and house wrens use the abandoned cavities to raise their own chicks.
September 30, 2015
Cubas Quiet Wealth: Why It is Needed
by Susan Babbitt
The Pope, speaking to Congress, quoted Thomas Merton, Trappist monk. It was to preface remarks on Cuba. He might have pushed the connection further. Merton said he lived enslaved by his own desires and fears. José Martí, Cuban independence leader, placed a similar insight at the centre of his revolution. It is about the nature of freedom, and science. Martí was concerned, for the sake of radical politics, with how to think.
Two hundred years ago, countering European ideas, an intense debate in Cuba addressed the issue. Armando Hart, who led Cubas literacy campaign, unmatched in the world, says no one who disregards the Cuban philosophical polemic, 1838-40, understands the Cuban Revolution. This will surprise some. Cuba is much studied but not for its ideas, and certainly not for ideas about how to think creatively. It should be.
Since the 1960s, the creativity industry in North America has urged us outside the box. Cuban philosopher, Féliz Varela, in 1817, before Martí and before Marx, cared about boxes. He took the question to be about the nature of thought, which depends upon universals. He noticed that the vehicles for all thought, general categories, are social. We make use of them but we do not create them, at least not alone.
Science depends upon universals. So does individual reasoning, day by day. North American philosophers know this. But they ignore political implications. The Cuban polemicists did not. Cuba in the 1830s was threatened by four global institutions: Spain took Cuba to define its national integrity; slavery was a necessary evil; the US considered Cuba its manifest destiny; and England was gaining influence in the Caribbean. All four implied submission for Cuba.
Source: Associated Press
Civil rights concerns headline Latino farm, ranch gathering
Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press
Updated 10:07 pm, Wednesday, September 30, 2015
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) Leaders of minority farm and ranching groups took aim at the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday, saying the agency hasn't done enough to address decades of discrimination and civil rights violations against Latinos and women.
The groups outlined concerns about dozens of civil rights violations in New Mexico and Colorado and the agency's process for settling discrimination claims among Latinos and women during a news conference as the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association kicked off its annual meeting in Albuquerque.
They said claims filed by Latinos and women as part of a $1.3 billion settlement with the USDA have been denied at much higher rates than those of other minority groups, including black and Native American farmers who settled with the government following separate class-action lawsuits.
"We've got a systemic problem here with the settlement-claims process," said David Sanchez, a northern New Mexico rancher who helped organize the meeting. "It appears it's a numbers game, and it can't go ignored any longer."
Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/Civil-rights-concerns-headline-Latino-farm-ranch-6539446.php
Peru piles high tonnes of rotting food as its tax laws contribute to chronic waste
Campaigners want end to laws that make donating food more costly than destroying it in country with huge harvests but high infant malnutrition
Wednesday 30 September 2015 10.13 EDT
From asparagus filling supermarket shelves in the UK to avocados entering the potentially huge Chinese market, Perus agribusiness shipments are booming at a time of declining demand for its metals exports, which powered a decade of record-high growth.
The sector is expected to grow by 17% this year and be worth $7bn by the end of 2016, according to the countrys agriculture minister, Juan Manuel Benites. But agribusiness is both a victim of and culprit in the global food waste problem, which results in 1.3bn tonnes of food about a third of what is produced being thrown away.
Reducing food waste is part of the new global development agenda, that was adopted by world leaders at the summit in New York at the end of September. The sustainable development goals, which define development priorities for the next 15 years, include a target on food waste: By 2030 halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains including post-harvest losses.
Campaigners say that in Peru, in addition to the millions of tonnes of fruit and vegetables dumped because they do not meet cosmetic standards set by supermarkets in the UK, the rest of Europe, and the US, thousands more tonnes are destroyed or left to rot by Perus own supermarkets due to tax regulations.
September 28, 2015
Cuba: Notes on a History of Best Intentions
by Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship .every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba. If such a policy is adopted, it should be the result of a positive decision which would call forth a line of action which, while as adroit and inconspicuous as possible, makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.
-Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Lester D. Mallory.
In his Dec. 17, 2014 statement calling for normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba, President Barak Obama paused to speak directly to the Cuban people. We believe that you should be empowered to live with dignity and self-determination, he said. No mention was made of Lester D. Mallory. 
Even while strenuously working to destroy the Cuban revolution, US presidents like to say that Cubans should decide their own future. But what if the Cuban people decided to choose communism?
Alluding to the sordid history of US efforts to dissuade Cubans from choosing communism, Obama said that it was all rooted in the best of intentions. Here is an example of one of those best intentions.
The Cuban project
From the early 1960s, sabotage and terrorist attacks against Cuba were carried out as direct action by the US government such as the guerrilla offensive in the Escambray Mountains in 1960 organized by the CIA. When it failed, the Eisenhower administration decided to arm and train an exile invasion force to land at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961.
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