Writer, analyst, and blogger

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A new political novel by Justin Podur

About The Demands of the Dead

When police killed his two best friends in a supposedly accidental shooting, detective Mark Brown left the force bitter and angry, abandoning a promising career and leaving his special skills to languish. A year later, the trail of one of the killers has Mark looking south, to Mexico, just as he receives a mysterious, anonymous, encrypted message over e-mail: The dead demand much more than vengeance. Drawn into the conflict zone by the connection to the deaths of his friends, Mark finds that he has to work on both sides to solve the case, in a place where any mistake could endanger lives – or reignite a war.

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Trailer for the new novel, The Demands of the Dead:

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Two books if you're ready to give up

If you're ready to give up, these two books will not help you -- they might push you over the edge, actually. Still, I recommend them.

Aristide goes to South Africa

Just got Aristide's statement in the mail. He's leaving Jamaica to go to South Africa. It's actually a nice statement. Read it, read between the lines. And know that the battle for Haiti's future isn't over yet.

Statement by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
May 30, 2004
Kingston, Jamaica


It's the new world water, and every drop counts

A reader sent me this article in the New Scientist. It is about a neglected aspect of the US/Israel war on the Palestinian population: the fact that it is a water war. I don't have the statistics with me (Vandana Shiva cites a few of them in her book, Water Wars), but Israeli per capita water use is vast compared to Palestinians. Israeli agriculturalists are allowed to dig wells several times deeper than Palestinians.

Repercussions of the 'bloodbath/massacre' in Saudi Arabia

First, I'm very pleased to note that it seems Tim Wise is blogging again, as well as UTS.

Today's hypocrisy. Looking at the headlines of various newspapers today I saw news of a 'massacre' and a 'bloodbath' in Saudi Arabia by Al Qaeda. It was a brutal hostage-taking operation that was done, and certainly it was both a massacre and a bloodbath. I didn't notice these media outlets calling what Israel did in Rafah a 'bloodbath' or what the US is doing in Najaf right now a 'massacre'.

Colombia: Cali building occupation ends

A couple days ago I blogged about the heroic union SINTRAEMCALI's attempts to stop the creeping privatization of the public utilities company in the city of Cali, Colombia. I noted that it was a high-risk maneuver, and they made a risk assessment yesterday after the National government responded with overwhelming repression and decided to call off the occupation. The assessment of the situation by Nathan Eisenstadt of the Colombia Solidarity Campaign in the UK is mixed:

Signals of Repression in Haiti

Just looking at the May 25, 2004 Haiti Human Rights report from Let Haiti Live. You can get a copy of the report by writing to haitihumanrights@yahoo.com.



Doing the rounds and checking Under the same sun I discovered that the authenticity of the story about Rumsfeld banning digital cameras ( which I got via the Newsinsider and which Under the same sun and Empire Notes got from me) has been questioned.


African-Americans invented sexism, and other interesting tales

Now, having read Toufe's piece on moral agency I am not about to try to make some kind of case absolving an artist like Nelly for creating a video in which women are treated in degrading, sexist, and appalling ways. Social change is made by moral agents who decide not to follow the script that is laid down for them. By people who face all the social forces and do not succumb to them. It is these exceptions to the social script that provide possibilities for hope.

A beacon of democracy in the middle east

Israel and the United States, currently competing to see who can bring more democracy to the Middle East, have achieved notable triumphs in the area of press freedom. Israel, for example, shoots and kills journalists (like the UK's James Miller and over a dozen Arab journalists who die even more invisibly than people like Miller) and international observers (like the UN's Ian Hook) and activists (like the US's Rachel Corrie). Israel bombs radio stations -- it did so as part of its latest attack on Rafah, for example.

Peace in Sudan?

A peace accord has been signed in Sudan. For those who know a little bit about the conflict, it seems that the settlement is along the lines of what the Southern rebels have been demanding all along.



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