Book by John Maxwell
How to Make Our Own News: A Primer for Environmentalist and Journalists
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short weeks ago, Bush, Blair and Patterson looked invincible. Mr
Patterson was busy laying down the law to his would-be
successors. Mr Kerry seemed incapable of denting Mr Bush’s
Teflon coating and Mr Blair seemed well set to lead the Britain
Labour Party into the next elections. Mr Patterson is the only
one with a safety net – he has Mr Seaga, to lead
the so-called Opposition. But, on the other hand, the White
Death – the IMF – is again taking over the
governance of Jamaica.
Thursday Mr Blair got what one of his ministers described as a
‘kicking’ from the British electorate. They had lost trust
in him, he had told too many lies, taken too many chances with
other people’s lives.
did him in, as it will do in Mr Bush –whose poll numbers have
begun the long downslide.
all three will fail, in the end, because they had no friends who
were brave enough to tell them the truth.
suppose that I might consider myself as having been a friend of
Michael Manley, and as I told him, if I was to be his friend, I
had no option but to tell him the truth as I saw it. Of course,
this sometimes created a commotion, because, like most political
leaders, he did not take kindly to being contradicted. But if
you happen to be in the unenviable position of being the friend
of one of these personages, the true test is whether s/he is
willing to listen when you say something they don’t want to
Blair, the British Prime Minister, went his own sweet way in the
wake of George Bush, attempting to cement Britain’s 'special
relationship' with the United States by slavishly refusing to
disagree even when it was plain to the rest of the world that Mr
Bush was about to make a fool of himself. So, the western world,
the so-called Free World, was led by two fools instead of one.
British have now decided that they have had enough of their
joker. In elections for town councils and for the European
Parliament on Thursday, the Labour Party, having ridden high for
a decade finished third with 26% of the vote, well behind
the Conservatives with 38% and the Liberal Democrats with 30%.
doesn’t of course mean the end of the Labour Party government,
but Mr Blair is now a lame duck, contemplating just when it will
be politic for him to depart into the rarefied world of
consultancies and £50,000 speeches.
the Iraq war, the New York Times remarked that
there were now two superpowers in the world, the United States
and World Public Opinion. Mr Aznar of Spain (remember him) and
Mr Blair both refused to listen to their people and they have
both paid the penalty.
a little startled to read that US ambassador, Mrs Sue Cobb,
referred to President Aristide as Humpty Dumpty, and suggesting
that as far as she was concerned, there was no point in even
thinking that he and his people had any rights worth protecting.
happened had happened, and the rest of us had better get over
it, move on and accept the arbitrament of the gunmen and the
State Department apparatchiks. Mrs Cobb, an attorney at
law, should realise that her remark was not only gratuitously
undiplomatic but ferociously offensive
long interview with the editor of this newspaper, Mrs Cobb made
her position absolutely clear. She represents President Bush and
is totally committed to him. Bush, she asserted, would in due
time be vindicated. Meanwhile, she would follow her orders.
not sure what Mr Bush will be vindicated about, but Iraq and
pre-emptive war will not be among them.
think Mrs Cobb was somewhat disingenuous in not explaining
her connection to the American President.
American journalists describe Mrs Cobb, somewhat offhandedly, as
a “Coral Gables developer” . She is more than that.
Cobb was the first head of the Florida Lottery, having been
appointed to that position by Governor Jeb Bush, brother of th
President. She herself is a lawyer, general counsel and managing
director of Cobb Partners, a resort property development
Cobb and her husband are also integral and important players in
Florida politics. During the 2000 Presidential election
campaign, the Cobbs hosted George and Jeb Bush at a fundraising
function in the Cobb’s home and raised more than US$1
million for the election.
to the Centre for Responsive Politics, “ Together, Sue
and Charles Cobb make quite a generous duo. Sue Cobb contributed
$52,500 to Republican candidates and party committees in
1999-2000, including a $1,000 donation to the Bush campaign and
a $40,000 soft money contribution to an RNC state elections
committee. She also gave $5,000 to the 2000 Bush/Cheney
Presidential Transition Foundation.
Cobb, the ambassador to Iceland during the administration of
President Bush's father, was more generous than she. He gave
$71,750 to the GOP in 1999-2000, including $1,000 to Bush and a
$40,000 soft money to the same RNC state elections committee, on
the same date, as his wife. He also contributed $5,000 to the
Bush-Cheney Florida recount fund. Like his wife, he contributed
$5,000 to the Bush/Cheney transition foundation.”
Cobb’s contribution to Mr Bush and his cause did not stop
there. According to a Democratic party website which maintains
that the Florida election was stolen by the Republicans:
– "Nearly $14 million magically poured
into the Bush/Cheney Florida recount effort - four times the
amount raised by the Gore/Lieberman camp. The money flowed in so
fast... that Bush campaign officials... were dumbfounded... The
Bush campaign took in $13.8 million, most in large
among those large contributors were Bush and Cheney's two most
reliable genies - Enron and Halliburton... As soon as a recount
was announced, Bush forces moved quickly. Money was no object.
They dispatched over 100 lawyers to Florida and Texas, booking
hundreds of plane tickets, rental cars and hotel rooms. Among
the expenditures listed was a payment of $13,000 to Enron Corp.
and $2,400 to Halliburton Co. for the use of their corporate
jets and other unspecified services. 'Eighteen months after the
election, we find that the (Bush) administration literally flew
into office on the Enron corporate jet,'" said the DNC. All
the Bush scandals are coming together …“
addition to those contributions, and according to the Miami
Herald “During the Florida recount, "John
Bolton, [now] undersecretary of state for arms control, [burst]
into a Tallahassee library on behalf of the Bush-Cheney campaign
to stop a recount of Miami-Dade County ballots. Matt Schlapp, a
former congressional aide, is currently White House special
assistant to the president and deputy director of political
affairs. In November 2000, he was part of the supposedly
spontaneous window-pounding protest at Miami-Dade County Hall
that brought to an end the first recount of Miami-Dade ballots.
Sue Cobb, a Coral Gables developer, today is the US. ambassador
to Jamaica. Twenty months ago, the generous Republican donor
volunteered ... as part of the legal team that contested
recounts in Miami-Dade. [These three] are among more than 50
political appointees found by The [Miami] Herald to have
served as troops in the frantic Florida recount battle that
followed the Nov. 7, 2000 election."
such a substantial investment of time, money, effort and emotion
in the Bush campaign, it would be unfair to expect Mrs Cobb to
be objective about George Bush.
well imagine how she feels about me.
Florida election sticks in my craw, not simply because of the
caveman tactics used to stop the recount, but because no recount
would probably have been necessary if there had not been the
wholesale disfranchising of black people which the Jeb Bush
administration carried out before the election. If you have
forgotten, the Florida State government hired computer
specialists to ‘purge’ the Florida voters lists
of ineligible voters. What actually happened was the
disfranchisement of thousands of blacks in Florida who
were “mistakenly” identified as felons ineligible to vote.
Since blacks in the United States tend to vote solidly for
Democratic candidates (more than 90% for Al Gore and Bill
Clinton) any number of blacks removed from the list improved the
chances of George Bush.
no idea whether Mrs Cobb was as involved in the pre-election
activities of the Florida Republicans as she was in their
post-election activities, but, as she is a lawyer, it would seem
to me that she may have owed a duty to justice which she did not
months before September 11, 2001, I was one of a group of people
who objected to the decision of the US Embassy to take over the
Crowne Plaza hotel at Constant Spring as its headquarters. Our
objections were several, but chief among them were that the town
of Constant Spring would be overwhelmed by the Embassy’s
traffic and that the Embassy would introduce into the area a new
vulnerability to terrorism.
remember pointing out to the Embassy people that we had to
remember the terrorist attacks on the embassies in Tanzania and
Kenya and that if similar attacks happened here, they would
expose thousands of innocent people to mortal danger and
paralyse, perhaps for weeks, all traffic between Kingston and a
large part of the North Coast.
Americans did not buy our argument. September 11, however, made
those arguments moot. Since the Crowne Plaza is the most
significant building in Kingston I am sure the security advisers
of the State Department did not wish to make their Embassy
into the Jamaican equivalent of the World Trade Centre.
the US has decided to move its embassy into another residential
area at another crucial traffic junction, hard by the Mona
Reservoir, the University of the West Indies, the University
Hospital and the University of Technology, to name a few densely
Mrs Cobb is herself a property developer, I would have thought
that she would be sensitive to the zoning laws of Jamaica,
coming from a country where such laws are the bread and
butter of the developer’s life and are rigidly observed. In
some parts of the United States it is prohibited to have a home
office in your own house if the area is not zoned for it and
even if nobody can see that you have an office.
Mrs Cobb and the Embassy are coolly riding roughshod
over the reasoned concerns of their presumptive neighbours, The
Embassy will erect massive blast shields, which will, of course,
direct any terrorist blast away from the embassy and into the
houses of its neighbours.
high-handed and to my mind, idiotic scheme, has been allowed to
proceed by the Government, by the so-called National
Environmental Protection Agency, the Town Planning Department
and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation. among others
Mr Patterson has been so cowed by Mrs Cobb’s strictures on his
neighbourly gestures to President Aristide that he feels that he
has done all the opposing of American design of which he is
still has to justify his disastrous. silly and wrong-headed
decision , to invade and desecrate the Long Mountain burial
places of the Tainos and the natural heritage therein, including
at least one flowering plant found nowhere else in the world and
several animals peculiar not just to Jamaica, but to that spot.
He, like Bush and Blair and Aznar, has a great deal to answer
them, he must explain why sewage from his friend Cartade’s favelas
is allowed to threaten neighbouring houses and the Kingston
water supply in Mona reservoir, and, if it is ever built,
the new Embassy.
Copyright©2004 John Maxwell
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Sex at the Margins
Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry
By Laura María Agustín
This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London
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Debt: The First 5,000 Years
By David Graeber
Before there was money, there was debt. Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems—to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There’s not a shred of evidence to support it. Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors. Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it. Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a fascinating chronicle of this little known history—as well as how it has defined human history, and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy. Economist Glenn Loury /Criminalizing a Race
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The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
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Ancient African Nations
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Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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updated 16 June