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KN4M 05-04-01

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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com For Immediate Release: DISINFORMATION
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2001
      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Thanks,

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist
      http://www.konformist.com


      For Immediate Release:

      DISINFORMATION NOMINATED FOR BEST WEIRD WEB SITE (AGAIN)
      At The 5th Annual Webby Awards

      New York, NY - April 30 - The Webby Awards, the leading international
      honors for Web sites, today announced the nomination of Disinformation
      (http://www.disinfo.com) for a Webby Award in the category of Best
      Weird
      Web site.


      The Webby Awards are a unique ovation for the people who push the
      Internet
      envelope. Widely hailed as the "Oscars of the Internet", The Webby
      Awards
      unite members of the international online community for a celebration
      of
      the Internet's best.


      "The Webby Awards showcase the power of the Internet to entertain, to
      enlighten and to share information with people all over the world,"
      said
      Maya Draisin, Executive Director of The International Academy of
      Digital
      Arts & Sciences. "Disinformation's nomination for a Webby Award is a
      testament to its great contribution in pushing the Internet envelope."


      The 5th annual Webby Awards will take place this year on Wednesday
      July
      18th, 2001 at San Francisco's magnificent War Memorial Opera House.
      Nearly
      3,000 luminaries from around the world will attend The 5th Annual
      Webby
      Awards.


      As a nominee for a Webby Award, Disinfo.com is also eligible to win a
      People's Voice Award. Voting is open to the public from April 26 to
      July
      4, 2001, at http://www.webbyawards.com. People's Voice Award winners
      will
      be announced during the webcast of The Webby Awards on July 18, 2001.


      "It's a great honor for Disinformation to be nominated for a Webby
      Award
      for the fourth time," said Gary Baddeley, The Disinformation Company
      Ltd.'s CEO, "but quite honestly we're fed up with being nominated
      every
      year and not winning, so please, if you're a fan of the site, visit
      webbyawards.com and vote for us." The Disinformation site has been
      nominated for a Webby in four out of the five years that the Awards
      have
      been held; it did in fact win a People's Voice award in 1997 in the
      Politics/Law category.


      About The Disinformation Company
      As well as owning and operating the Disinformation Web site
      (http://www.disinfo.com), The Disinformation Company is the producer
      of
      the hit TV series Disinfo Nation (second season just concluded on
      Britain's Channel 4 network); the publisher of the controversial book,
      "You Are Being Lied To: The Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion,
      Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths," and, with joint venture
      partner Loud Records, has released the definitive Moog Rock
      album "Best of
      Moog". The Disinformation Web site is a member of the critically
      acclaimed Razorfish Subnetwork (http://www.rsub.com).


      About The Webby Awards
      Widely hailed as the "Oscars of the Internet," The Webby Awards is the
      leading international honor for consumer Web sites and individual
      achievement in technology and creativity. The critically acclaimed
      theatre production attended by 3000 attendees includes films,
      animations,
      installation art and performances. The International Academy of
      Digital
      Arts and Sciences selects the nominees, and winners, and hosts the
      awards
      event. Sponsors for The 5th Annual Webby Awards include Intel, Adobe,
      IDG,
      Metropolis Editorial, The Creative Group and Commission Junction.
      Media
      sponsors include "Wired" and "Entertainment Weekly" magazines.
      Balloting
      is audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers. For more information visit
      http://www.webbyawards.com

      About the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences
      The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences is dedicated
      to the
      creative, technical, and professional progress of the Internet and
      evolving forms of interactive media. The Academy's goal is to
      assemble a
      brilliant panel of leading new media experts, visionaries,
      journalists,
      and luminaries to propel the Internet and Interactive Technology into
      the
      future. The Academy is an intellectually diverse organization that
      includes over 350 members such as film director Francis Ford Coppola,
      musician Bjork, Chairman of Miramax Talk Media Tina Brown, cyberguru
      Esther Dyson, creator of "The Simpsons" Matt Groening, Public Radio
      International Personality Ira Glass, and Oracle Chairman Larry
      Ellison.
      Members also include writers and editors from publications such
      as "The
      New York Times", "Wired", "Forbes", "Details", "Fast Company", "Elle",
      "The Los Angeles Times", "Vibe", and "WallPaper". For more
      information,
      visit http://www.iadas.net.




      Contact:
      Jeff Canzona
      jcanzona@...

      *****

      Antartica
      Wed, 2 May 2001
      Robert Stanley <rstanley@...>


      Here are the best links to the ongoing Antartica story.
      http://lantis.tv/bios/zawas_bio.html
      http://lantis.tv/monthly/treaty.html
      http://lantis.tv/monthly/charges.html
      http://lantis.tv/monthly/photo.html
      http://lantis.tv/monthly/anomaly.html
      http://lantis.tv/monthly/40101.html
      http://lantis.tv/monthly/seismic map.html
      U.N. Sends Weapons Inspectors to Antarctica
      UNITED NATIONS (AMP) ­ Hours after an ailing American
      doctor was
      snatched from the South Pole before the onslaught of
      winter, the U.N. Security Council recommended on Monday
      that an
      international weapons inspection team be dispatched
      immediately to the bottom of the world to investigate
      charges of
      secret U.S. military maneuvers.
      The General Assembly must now approve the Council's
      endorsement
      before the United Nations Antarctica Commission
      (UNACOM) and its high-risk mission becomes official.
      Sources say
      approval is a formality now that Col. Ali Zawas, a
      44-year-old Egyptian air force officer, has been
      nominated to head
      UNACOM.
      Zawas is the scion of a highly regarded family of
      diplomats and the
      grandson of a top American aide to U.S. Gen. Mark Clark
      during World War II. He is also a graduate of the U.S.
      Air Force
      Academy. During the Persian Gulf War, Zawas flew under
      Allied command and shot down two Iraqi warplanes.
      The U.N. is trying to determine whether the U.S. carried
      out a
      nuclear test in violation of the international Antarctic
      Treaty.
      The treaty, which entered into force in 1961, establishes
      Antarctica
      as a zone of peace and bans all military activities,
      including the testing of weapons.
      The U.S. has steadfastly denied the existence of a secret
      military
      base or weapons testing on the "peace continent,"
      although it now admits that its National Science
      Foundation (NSF) is
      using American military personnel to construct a new
      base deep inside the Antarctic interior at Lake Vostok.
      Earlier this month, however, a classified spy satellite
      image of
      Antarctica revealed a physical anomaly two miles beneath
      the
      ice that could be a man-made structure - and not just the
      magnetic
      phenomenon the NSF claims to be studying at Lake
      Vostok. Furthermore, the anomaly appears to be located
      300 miles
      away from Lake Vostok, near the epicenter of a recent
      quake in East Antarctica (see seismic map). That quake,
      its origins
      still under investigation, may have caused a huge chunk
      of ice twice the size of Delaware to break away from the
      Ross Ice
      Shelf.
      The United States, the only council member to issue any
      objection to
      UNACOM's formation, abstained from the vote. But
      sources insist the abstention was on humanitarian
      grounds.
      "The Twin Otter plane that rescued Dr. Shemenski from the
      South Pole
      a few days ago braved whiteout conditions and
      temperatures of 65 degrees below zero," noted an American
      diplomat
      in New York who wished to remain anonymous. "It was
      a dangerous 10-hour evacuation flight across Antarctica
      and the crew
      barely got out of there alive . But that was Romper
      Room compared to the insanity Colonel Zawas and his U.N.
      weapons
      inspection team will face when they go in. It's a
      suicidal mission that ultimately will come up with
      nothing but lost
      lives."
      UNACOM will work in conjunction with the Russians,
      Australians and
      other nationals already in Antarctica and hunkered
      down for what promises to be a long winter of 24-hour
      darkness and
      plunging temperatures.
      Ronald Shemenski, 59, the only physician at the Amundsen-
      Scott South
      Pole Station, barely escaped last week before the
      rescue window of opportunity closed. He had been
      diagnosed with
      potentially life-threatening pancreatitis. Eighteen
      months
      ago another American physician, Dr. Jerri Nielsen, was
      evacuated
      after she discovered a tumor that was diagnosed as
      breast cancer.
      "This time around," said the American diplomat at the
      United
      Nations,"nobody is going to be able to save Colonel Zawas
      and his men."

      *****

      MEDAL OF HONOR


      firstly, i would like to say that i have never won one. and by the
      grace
      of god, though i was USMC, i was never put into the position where i
      could have won one. that having been said, i think it important to
      discuss medals.

      there are those who can discuss them better than i: siefried sassoon,
      rupert brooke, for instance. but i should like to say this, the medal
      of
      honor may not signify that a recipient was a man of honor for the
      activities that earned him the citation.

      i think of a two-time medal of honor winner[one of the last, by the
      way]
      by the name of SMEDLEY DARLINGTON BUTLER. this man retired as a major
      general of the USMC. he penned a book entitled WAR IS A RACKET in his
      later years, after he became honorable. in that book, he identified
      himself, in the actions that earned him the medal of honor, and the
      USMC, as gangsters in the service of US corporations, specifically
      Brown
      Bros. Harriman, City Bank, Chase Manhatten, United Fruit, et alia.

      here is what he had to say in 1933...

      War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as
      something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a
      small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the
      benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

      I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a
      nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with
      America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then
      it
      gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag
      follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

      I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy
      investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight
      for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of
      Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

      There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is
      blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle
      men"
      to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and
      a "Big
      Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

      It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison.
      Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four
      months
      in active military service as a member of this country's most agile
      military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks
      from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I
      spent
      most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for
      Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a
      gangster
      for capitalism.

      I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of
      it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a
      thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties
      remained
      in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This
      is
      typical with everyone in the military service.

      I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil
      interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the
      National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping
      of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall
      Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua
      for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912
      (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the
      Dominican
      Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to
      see
      to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

      During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a
      swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al
      Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in
      three districts. I operated on three continents.

      possibly what awakened BUTLER to a notion of true honor was what
      happened to him in 1933. As he testified to the US Congress, he was
      approached by JJRASKOB[ceo of Dupont and the representative of a
      number
      of like-minded plutocrats/industrialists] attempting to engage his
      services to assassinate the president of the united states, franklin
      delano roosevelt.

      Butler went semi-public with the details of the assassination
      conspiracy, but none of his hirers were ever jailed, nor charged with
      the crime of committing a conspiracy to murder. and for most citizens
      of
      amerika, this historical event has been buried. but it really
      happened.
      you can look it up. and maybe you can find it. what i found in the
      library of congress thirty years ago was that anything concerning this
      event had been removed: not available.

      it is sort of what happened to DAVID SHOUP. he became a non-person
      after
      he resigned his office and commission in protest to LBJ's decision to
      land marines in Danang.

      imagine, a member of the JCS[joint chiefs of staff, he was commandant
      of
      the USMC] resigned in protest. yet, this resignation went down
      virtually
      unnoted in the press.

      now, who was david monroe shoup? well, as a colonel in the USMC,
      landed
      and in charge at Tarawa, he was awarded the medal of honor.

      david shoup was remarkable in the mid-60's. the only member of the JCS
      who publicly said, "wrong place, wrong time, wrong war." and who had
      the
      cohones to back that opinion up with a resignation. in my view, the
      only
      general officer in my lifetime[1947 onwards] with character,
      integrity.

      suffice it to say, he died in ignominy some years ago. his honor
      forgotten by all but a few. i daresay that bob kerrey does not hallow
      his name, nor his counsel to this country.

      in closing, i care to say that there are men of honor who are awarded
      the medal of honor. and there are men who are awarded the medal of
      honor.

      i invite you and your readership to figure out the differences.

      thanks for the forum.

      ace

      *****

      Labor Alerts (11,500 subscribers), a free service of:
      Campaign for Labor Rights, 1247 "E" Street SE, Washington, DC 20003.
      Phone: 202-544-9355, fax: 202-544-9359
      Trim Bissell, National Co-Coordinator
      Daisy Pitkin, Co-Coordinator, <clrdc@...>
      Web site: <www.summersault.com/~agj/clr>
      CLR is a member of the Alliance for Global Justice.
      To subscribe/unsubscribe, contact <clrmain@...>
      <><><><><>

      CLR Labor Alert, posted May 1, 2001.
      "Mayday Call-in Action"

      In this Alert:
      1. Guatemalan Unions Call for Suspension of Guatemalan Trade Benefits
      2. Mayday Call-in Action-get your Representatives to sign letter in
      support
      of Guatemalan workers.
      3. Background on SITRABI Trail-Del Monte union leaders testify then
      go into
      exile.

      [Information in this Labor Alert provided by US/Leap]

      <><><><><>

      Guatemalan Unions Call for Suspension of Trade Benefits

      In October of 1999, the leaders of Guatemala's largest private union,
      which
      represents Del Monte banana workers, were surrounded by 200 men and
      forced
      at gunpoint to go to a radio station and call off a legal walkout
      that the
      union had planned for the next day. After the kidnapping, the union
      leaders
      were forced to flee for their lives with their families.

      The violent intimidation of the SITRABI union is a clear violation of
      International Labor Organization conventions on freedom of
      association, as
      well as the conditions of the GSP (General System of Preferences)
      program.
      The GSP is the General System of Preferences-a trade agreement signed
      during
      the mid-1980's that included workers' right to organize as criteria
      for its
      member countries.

      It took the Government of Guatemala over a year and a half to begin a
      trial
      for 24 of the 200 violent intimidators, and the families of the union
      leaders lived in fear throughout this entire period due to the
      government's
      inadequate protection efforts. Last week, the men who kidnapped
      SITRABI
      union leaders at gunpoint were only given fines - and no jail time -
      for
      their crimes. This outrageous outcome is yet another example in
      Guatemala's
      long history of impunity for those caught using violence to dissuade
      workers
      from utilizing their right to organize a union.

      Last month, the Guatemalan SITRABI banana workers' union sent
      representatives to Washington D.C. to testify to the USTR (U.S. Trade
      Representative) in favor of removing Guatemala from this year's list
      of
      nations that receive GSP trade benefits.

      The delegation of Guatemalan workers were given the opportunity to
      testify
      because the USTR initiated a GSP review of Guatemala's labor rights
      violations based on serious and credible evidence of illegal firings,
      death
      threats, abduction and violence against the banana workers of the
      SITRABI
      union.

      For nearly ten years, human rights organizations have petitioned the
      USTR
      for reviews of Guatemala's compliance with the GSP labor rights
      standards.
      These organizations have never before called for full suspension of
      Guatemala's GSP benefits, but now we are calling for this suspension
      because
      of labor rights violations like those that occurred in the SITRABI
      case.

      Guatemalan trade unions have strongly supported the GSP process. Now
      those
      unions are calling for a suspension of Guatemala's benefits from the
      GSP.
      The Guatemalan government appears to be convinced that there is no
      real
      incentive for it to comply with the basic labor rights standards
      outlined by
      the GSP. It is time to provide that incentive.

      A letter to the USTR is being circulated in Congress that would
      pressure
      that office to make the suspension of trade benefits a reality. This
      letter
      has already been signed by several Congress-people, but many more
      signatures
      are needed to effectively pressure the USTR to suspend Guatemala's GSP
      benefits. The letter makes it clear that these benefits are to be
      suspended
      until the Guatemalan government has made progress on the impunity
      issue, as
      well as enacted changes in its labor code that meet the International
      Labor
      Organization recommendations.

      <><><><><>

      Mayday Call-in Action

      Call your U.S. Representative and tell her/him that, as a
      constituent, you
      would like her/him to contact Representative Lane Evans' office to
      sign the
      letter supporting Guatemalan unions.

      The letter, initiated by Rep. Evans' office, is addressed to the USTR
      and it
      encourages that office to suspend Guatemala's GSP benefits-as
      Guatemalan
      unions have requested.

      Get your Representative's contact information from www.house.gov
      Or call the congressional hotline at: (202) 224-3121.

      <><><><><>

      Del Monte Union Leaders Testify Then Go Into Exile
      (The following article was provided by U.S. Labor Education in the
      Americas
      Project)

      On March 22, 2001, 22 men were convicted in the first trial in
      Guatemala's
      modern day history for perpetrators of violence against workers
      seeking to
      exercise their basic worker rights. But the punishment meted out
      failed to
      match the crimes, and international observers rejected the
      convictions as a
      credible step against impunity.

      The 22 were convicted for their role in the violent intimidation of
      the Del
      Monte banana union in October 1999 during which the leaders of the
      union,
      SITRABI, were surrounded by 200 men, many heavily armed, forced to
      resign at
      gunpoint, and warned to leave their homes or they would be killed.
      The
      incident took place the night before the union was to hold a legal
      action to
      protest Del Monte's abrupt shut down of three plantations in the Bobos
      district and the illegal firing of more than 900 workers.

      The criminal case became the key test case for impunity for violence
      against
      workers in Guatemala, but only the threat of losing U.S. trade
      benefits
      ensured that the trial took place at all. The trial, however, failed
      the
      test of credibility. The government prosecutor failed to cross-
      examine most
      witnesses for the defense and failed to present to the judge the
      (available)
      evidence needed to obtain the more serious charge of kidnapping.

      Consequently, the defendants were tried and convicted on lesser
      charges of
      coercion and detention. While the court sentenced the criminals to
      three-and-a-half years in jail, jail terms of less than five years in
      Guatemala can be avoided by paying a fine. Fines in this case ranged
      from
      $.65 to $13 for each day not served.

      Notably, the court failed to find the defendants guilty of a criminal
      trespassing charge, filed because the criminals entered the union's
      headquarters, as well as the house of the general secretary of the
      union,
      Marel Martinez. A conviction on the trespassing charge would have
      ensured a
      sentence of greater than 5 years. It is apparent that the court was
      intent
      on avoiding mandatory jail sentences for the criminals, perhaps
      because the
      judges feared for their lives.

      Ruling Appealed by Both Sides:

      Ironically, both the defendants and the government have appealed the
      case;
      the government because it realized that the Puerto Barrios trial had
      failed
      to satisfy GSP concerns and the defendants because they are outraged
      that
      they were convicted of anything at all.

      The five Del Monte banana union leaders who had been living with their
      families in a safe house in Guatemala City returned to Puerto Barrios
      under
      heavy security to testify against the accused. Immediately after the
      trial,
      they flew to the U.S. to join their families. Meanwhile, witnesses
      who
      braved death threats to testify against the thugs have been provided
      witness
      protection by the Guatemalan government and moved into the city.

      Representatives of the U.N., the U.S. government, the AFL-CIO,
      Witness for
      Peace, STITCH, NISGUA, and US/LEAP observed the trial. See NISGUA's
      website
      at <www.nisgua.org> for eyewitness reports of the trial and
      accompanying
      press coverage.

      For more information on this case, check US/Leap's web site:
      www.usleap.org.


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