Radical media, politics and culture.


Rosa Parks, 1913-2005

Civil Rights Icon Dies at Age 92

Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post

Rosa Parks, the dignified African American seamstress whose refusal
to surrender a bus seat to a white man launched the modern civil rights movement and inspired generations of activists, died last night at her home in Detroit, the
Wayne County medical examiner's office said. She was 92.

No cause of death was reported immediately. She had been suffering
from dementia since 2002.

Parks said that she didn't fully realize what she was starting when
she decided not to move on that Dec. 1, 1955 evening in Montgomery, Alabama. It was a simple refusal, but her arrest and the subsequent protests began the complex cultural struggle to legally guarantee equal rights to Americans of all races.

Within days, her arrest sparked a 380-day bus boycott, which led to a
U.S. Supreme Court decision that desegregated the public transportation of that
city. Her arrest also triggered mass demonstrations, made the Rev. Martin Luther King
Jr. famous, and transformed U.S. schools, workplaces and housing.

Barrington Moore Jr., 92, Analyst of Totalitarianism, Dies

Wolfgang Saxon, New York Times

Barrington Moore Jr., a Harvard sociologist whose studies of the contemporary human condition led him to dissect the totalitarian society, particularly as it evolved in the Soviet Union, died last Sunday at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 92.

His death was announced by the university, where he taught from 1951 to 1979. He had also been affiliated with the Russian Research Center at Harvard since 1948.

Dr. Moore followed an interdisciplinary approach, always placing social change in its historical context. He distrusted models of social behavior that ignored politics, economics and a multiplicity of other possible factors and events that helped determine it.

Revered Chinese Author Ba Jin Dies at 100

Elaine Kurtenbach, Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — Ba Jin, one of China's most revered
communist-era writers who attacked the evils of the
pre-revolutionary era in novels, short stories and essays,
died Monday of cancer in Shanghai, the official Xinhua News
Agency said. He was 100.

Best known for his 1931 novel "Family," the story of a
disintegrating feudal household, Ba Jin also translated the
Russian writers Ivan Turgenev and Pyotr Kropotkin.

Ba Jin worked well into his later years writing essays and
compiling anthologies of his work.

He was part of the young intelligentsia in the early 20th
century that looked to Western philosophies — Marxism,
anarchism, and liberalism — for solutions to China's
backwardness and social inequality.

nolympics writes:

Haiti’s Biometric Elections:

A High-Tech Experiment in Exclusion
Andréa Schmidt

Port-au-Prince, Haiti — A lot of people agree that the upcoming elections in Haiti—the first since Aristide and his government were expelled in the February 29, 2004 coup d’état—are important.

Members of the international community who supported the coup agree: Canada’s special advisor to Haiti, Denis Coderre, has called them “a crossroads,” and “a historical turning point.” The Haitian business elite who orchestrated the coup—and who are referred to here without irony as “civil society”—also agree. They see the election as a process through which their people can consolidate power. And many Lavalas activists in both rural and urban parts of the country believe that now that the election is underway, it is a critical moment to demonstrate that they are still the party that represents the poor majority in this country.

Chavez Moves Venezuelan Money Out of U.S.
Associated Press

Venezuela has moved its central bank foreign
reserves out of U.S. banks, liquidated its investments in U.S. Treasury
securities and placed the funds in Europe, Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez said Friday.

"We've had to move the international reserves from U.S. banks because of
the threats," from the U.S., Chavez said during televised remarks from a
South American summit in Brazil.

"The reserves we had (invested) in U.S. Treasury bonds, we've sold them
and we moved them to Europe and other countries," he said.

Chavez, a sharp critic of what he calls "imperialist" U.S.-style
capitalism, has often criticized foreign banks for the power they wield in
international financial markets at the expense of poorer countries.

Chavez again proposed the creation of a South American central bank that
would hold the foreign exchange reserves of all the central banks in the

"Armed and Dangerous:

Flipper the Firing Dolphin Let Loose by Katrina"

Mark Townsend Houston, The London Observer

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

"Goodbye Joe"

Jamal Mecklai

me gotta go, me oh my oh

me gotta go pole the pirogue

down the bayou…

The heartbreaking scenes out of New Orleans these past two weeks brought to mind the lyrics of "Jambalaya," one of thousands of great songs that sprung out of the bayou mud of Southern Louisiana over the past few hundred years.

I know – I guess, "knew" would be a better word today – New Orleans, the Cajun country stretching across South Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast extremely well, having been taken to New Orleans on my first fall break in college – a wide-eyed 21-year old graduate student (relatively) fresh off the boat from India.

It was – to use a contemporary phrase – awesome. Not only did we drink all night and whatever part of the day we were up – I particularly remember sitting on the sidewalk swigging Boone’s Farm Apple wine (99 cents a bottle, I kid you not) – but we danced on the streets, heard the finest music and I almost ended up married to a girl who was dancing naked on my table at a bar just off Bourbon Street one night.

5,400 Executions Worldwide in 2004

Agence France-Press

There were more than 5,400 executions were carried out in the world in 2004, slightly down on the previous year, with almost 90% of them in China, an organisation that campaigns for the abolition of the death penalty said in a report which was released on Friday.

Of the 5,476 executions that took place in 2004, at least 5,000 were in China, the organisation Hands Off Cain said.

"U.S. Congressman Says Atta Papers Destroyed on Orders"

Donna De La Cruz, Associated Press

A Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks, a congressman said Thursday.

The employee is prepared to testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was expected to name the person who ordered him to destroy the large volume of documents, said Rep. Curt Weldon, a Republican from Pennsylvania.

Weldon declined to name the employee, citing confidentiality matters. Weldon described the documents as "2.5 terabytes" — as much as one-fourth of all the printed materials in the Library of Congress, he added.

"St. Patrick Four:
The Feds Onfront the Anti-War Movement"
James Petras, Rebelión

On September 19 the first federal conspiracy trial of civilian war resisters to the US invasion of Iraq will take place in Binghamton, New York, a declining and decaying city in upstate New York, 3 hours northwest of New York City. This is the second trial of the "St Patrick Four" — they were acquitted a year earlier by a jury in Ithaca, New York by a 9 to 3 vote in which the presiding Judge David Peeble conceded that the four had represented themselves "probably better than some of the attorneys that practice in this court."


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