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Volume 16, Number 7
July 7, 2010


letters

Also in this section:
Editorials: Mandatory conflict of interest; The oil spill; and Israeli thugs
Endara, Thirty-nine years after they took Father Gallego away
Beluche, The crisis within Martinelli's coalition
Bendib, The rule of law on the high seas
Human Rights Watch, For a real investigation of the flotilla killings
Nasser, Israel is fueling anti-Americanism among US allies
Avnery, Kill a Turk and rest
Blossier, The US-Brazilian cotton dispute before the WTO
Lloyd, China and Brazil
Boscov-Ellen, Drug policy and violence in Mexico
Collins, Remember Prohibition?
Reporters Without Borders, Colombian intelligence services targetted the media
Amnesty International, Worldwide human rights report
Frederick, Trinidad & Tabago government ousted over corruption
Han Shan, Chevron's attempted revenge for documentary about abuses in Ecuador stalls
Weisbrot, Europe's economic woes are self-inflicted
Greenpeace, Prosecution of whaling whistleblowers a test for Japan's new prime minister
Bernal, The International Criminal court and the Inter-American Human Rights Court
Jackson, Trashing Panama in the name of nationalism
Leis, Héctor Gallego's cause
Letters to the editor

The Panamanian predicament --- and the human one --- take on many forms  

Immigration

Hello Eric from the Windy City!

As usual, lots of political corruption stories up here, but that's now why I'm emailing you today. I have a couple of immigration questions that you might (or might not) have an answer for.

1) My wife is now a US legal permanent resident and unsure of whether she should apply for US citizenship after the required waiting period of 3 years. I am a little leery of her applying because of the US Constitution's following requirement: "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen..." She doesn't plan on running for office (like Bosco the Clown), but are there other areas of our lives that could become complicated when we return to Panama should she decide to go the route of US citizenship?

2) When we finally return to Panama, how difficult would the immigration process for me? I would be applying for permanent residency with my wife, who is a Panamanian citizen (which of course could be complicated by #1 I imagine)

Only respond if you have time. I know you are a busy man!

Greg

Editor's note: Panama's constitution provides that Panamanian citizenship by birth is never lost, but that a Panamanian who acquires the citizenship of another country by way of naturalization has his or her citizenship suspended, and that by law the legislature may set the rules for resumption of a citizenship that has been suspended. No legislature has ever set such rules. There have been favors done for individuals, most notoriously the probably unconstitutional back-dated restoration of Bosco Vallarino's citizenship.

For years this section had been a dead letter, wherein a Panamanian who returns here to live resumes his or her rights and duties as a citizen without any questions asked. But for the 2009 election the fix was in to put a high-profile Norieguista at the top of the PRD ticket and the party's polling showed that many of the Panamanians who had acquired US citizenship and then returned got their American citizenship by service in the US Armed Forces and these people take a dim view of both Noriega and former leaders of his Dignity Battalions. Thus the PRD-dominated Electoral Tribunal decided, in the absence of legislation, that the old practice was no longer valid and that those who had renounced Panamanian citizenship while becoming Americans had their rights to vote and hold office suspended.

Then came Bosco the Clown, and they made a series of corrupt special exceptions and tortured rulings for him, and then the legislature retroactively restored his citizenship. The leading protagonist in all of that was one Ricardo Martinelli --- it was a curtain-raiser to a style of impulsive actions with consequences that he never considered before acting.

All of this has left thousands of Panamanians who had thought themselves dual citizens with full rights, and also in many cases the spouses and children of these people, in a quandary. Is their right to live here suspended? Is their right to work here suspended? Is their right to sponsor their non-citizen spouses as residents here suspended? If their children were born outside of Panama, was their right to pass Panamanian citizenship to their children suspended?

I don't have an answer. The legislature ought to have an answer, but I suspect that if they took up the subject it would result in a squalid, unconstitutional perversion that's informed by faulty perceptions of short-term political advantage.

Your wife can avoid all that by not naturalizing as an American. But being an American is an attractive thing to be, and if she came back with you and you died here, she might lose her right to return to the USA and live. So I really don't know what to say and moreover I am not a Panamanian lawyer so my take on the law should not be taken as a substitute for personalized expert advice.


Marc Boswell, etc.

On Tuesday, September 23, 2008 Don Winner wrote under And This Is Why Eric Jackson is Still Nuts:

"Mark Boswell is not the "financial columnist" for the Panama-Guide, nor is he a sponsor. I just did what you failed to do --- give him a place to speak his mind in an effort to balance the playing field a little. "

Maybe Boswell is not his sponsor, but the scammer Friesner certainly is.

On Tuesday, June 29 2010 Winner published a full length promotional article "The ProntoCash Financial MasterCard" under his own name (!) as if it was a news article.

But it is really taken from Friesner's web site and is clearly an ad.

To be exact, Friesner's name does not appear anymore as a manager or shareholder, it's now all in his wife's name.

Nor does his name appear in Tatiana's Swiss-Hannover real estate agency, which has nothing to do with either Switzerland or with the German Hannover. Just sounds more serious. But on the website there are a number of photos with him and Tatiana, titled "Swiss Hannover's European team ..."

Well, Russia is Europe after all, isn't it? They call themselves "One of Europe.s top real estate holding companies" Haha.

This guy is obviously fully in business in Panama and verbally licking Martinelli's boots on the Panama Forum but he cannot be criticized there, otherwise the forum owner puts you on "monitored".

Que risa me dará cuando cierran sus trampas y Winner se queda con su promoción en el web. Tal vez la dejará desaparecer como la cosa sobre el cierre del sitio de Okke.

name withheld

 
Oil spill

Regarding the Gulf spill: I think a large enough concrete block placed over top of the leak will stop the flow. I don't understand why this hasn't been done yet? Please enlighten me. Is it because BP won't be able to siphon any more profits or possibly because this would render the well useless so they will have to drill a new one? It's a crying shame, so much devastation for a circus act about profits!

Dave Coster

Editor's note: As we have seen, things don't work the same on the surface of the Earth as they do one mile below the ocean surface, with all the weight of that water pressing down. What we are seeing is an illustration of the preventive principle in environmental protection: if you don't know how to deal with it if something goes wrong, don't do it in the first place.


When racism masquerades as something else

This is great reading, less we forget. Just watch those talking heads on TV who once praised the President's "coolness" now pontificating about his inability to "emote"... For them he's not "acting" the role. He may be intelligent, but he still can't "emote" to us 'cause he's really not like us. It's a never ending quest, overtly or otherwise, to keep on looking for kinks in his armor, find weaknesses or flaws in order to "re-brand" him in time for the next election cycle. They are bent on equating this "man made" Gulf disaster with the Katrina debacle of the last administration. Amigos, unlike Pogo, we are face to face with our enemies, and they sure don't look like us.

But as the cry of the Republican forces in 1939 Spain to Franco's fascists went: "No pasaran!" Looking back, they won the battle but not the war.

Tito Johnson


Killing fields = Panama

I would like Panama News to do an article on the trash burning at Playa Blanca. Adjacent to the resort, there is a field where trash from neighboring resorts and towns is being burned. the smoke is so thick that you cannot go outside. Guests staying at Playa Blanca cannot eat outside at the restaurants. Condo owners have put their condos for sale --- no one wants to live here.

I was at Penonome hospital last week and was amazed at how many children were there being treated with asthma inhalers.

Plastic burning is known as carcinogenic.

The mayor of Anton addressed property owners of Playa Blanca in January 2010. He proudly stated that after 15 years of fighting to move the trash dump it would be moved by January 31st. It never happened. In fact, the smoke and burning is day and night. You cannot see across the street. The guards at the entrance to Playa Blanca wear cloths across their noses and mouths. Trash is strewn by the side of the road for miles.

Flies, rodents and mosquitoes make a walk outside your condo impossible. Residents are becoming ill with sinus infections and sore throats.

Nikki Beach is under construction but with few buyers. Playa Blanca boosts the second largest swimming pool in the world, yet that, too, is not drawing buyers to the resort.

How can the government of Panama allow such a deadly health threat without addressing this problem?

This is a serious health hazard which no one seems to consider a priority.

LM
 
The trend today is choosing a dog for protection

There is a criminal watching you --- every moment of your life...

A relative of ours living in the former Panama Canal Zone now lies in a coma, shot in the head by an intruder who entered through the roof of his home while he was asleep. Even resting after having a couple beers, does not provide or guarantee you warning --- or time --- to reach for the gun --- if you have one. Your best protection and warning is having a dog, as a pet and protector.

How many seniors have been burglarized by construction or field workers in the area, or by criminals rambling throughout our neighborhood? How many women have been raped and killed by a psychopath ?

Protection dogs come in all sizes.

There are dogs who have the ability to protect people and property. Many of these dogs started off as workers in the outdoors guarding flocks, livestock and fields. They bring the same traits that made them good guard dogs to their homes even though they're now companions.

Training is needed to socialize the dogs with the family, but they come prepared to defend in some way. Additional training is required so he can know the difference between something that threatens and that doesn't. But again, that is the trend in most parts of suburban California today.

The usual suspects or killer may even be a neighbor, an addict, or someone you know.

Usually, with their families all these dogs are big love bugs, but they will protect and even attack, when needed. The owner must ensure the dog is well-trained, and the owner is consistent with the dog at all times.

There are other dogs who aren't tough-looking with rippling muscles, but who will alert with vociferous and furious barking at the very least.

Some smaller dogs are even indefatigable when protecting their own. That means the family, the house and the yard are their domain, and they will bark their heads off if someone doesn't have permission to enter or to touch their owners. And most dogs will protect their master to death.

Don't let size fool you. Yes, the big dogs can look menacing and sometimes are, but there are little ones who will cause enough grief to discourage anyone who doesn't belong. Just don't forget to keep the dog socialized with the family because now they are all companion dogs.

There is a criminal watching you --- every moment of your life. Get a dog today, even if you have to walk it daily --- as with a friend. Your life may depend on it.

Arturo Hassan
Los Angeles, California
 
The expulsion of Nicolas Anelka and
the turmoil on the French soccer team

Athletes should be grounded in their faith and encouraged to engage in prayer and spiritual reading.

Historically, sports were considered to be a virtue-making machine. The values that correspond with sports were considered to go hand in hand with those that go into being a person of integrity and faith.

Today, however, sports are increasingly associated with violence, drugs, racism and money. Vince Lombardi, former coach of the Super Bowl winning Green Bay Packers football team, spoke for a generation when he said "winning isn't everything; it's the only thing." This mentality has unfortunately become a large part sports today. Sports should be a vehicle to develop good character, to make people courageous, generous losers, and gracious victors. We have to recover these original principles of sports so that we can work together to forge greater bonds between people and help overcome the real and terrible social problems of our time such as abortion, pornography, same-sex marriage, genetic manipulation, human trafficking, the depletion of the earth's resources, poverty, famine, and illness.

Paul Kokoski
Hamilton, Ontario
Canada

Searching for burial site

My name is Jorge Eastmond and I just began searching for the burial site of my grandmother Clarice Inez Brown Eastmond, she died approximately in 1935-36-37 at the St. Thomas Hospital --- we are not sure of the exact date. All I know and as far as my mother remembers she was buried at the Ancon Cemetery. She was born in Barbados in April 21 1894, married to George Edred Eastmond. If anyone can help me find some information as far as a place that I can contact --- cemetery, church, anything --- it will be greatly appreciated.

Editor's note: Maybe one of you old-timers, or someone with access to church records, might have some leads to help this man. Myself, I wonder if the grave was moved to the Corozal Cemetery, and if so what the current municipal administration has done with it. The American side of that graveyard is well run, but not so the part that Panama City runs.

 
Managed news: inside the US/NATO

military industrial media empire

There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth.

Charles Dickens

We face what appears to be a military industrial media empire so powerful and complex that truth is mostly absent or reported in disconnected segments with little historical context. A case in point: The London Times reported on June 5, 2010, that American troops are now operating in 75 countries. Has President Obama secretly sanctioned a huge increase in the number of US Special Forces carrying out search-and-destroy missions against al-Qaeda around the world? If so, this increase is far in excess of special-forces operations under the Bush administration and reflects how aggressively Obama is pursuing al-Qaeda behind his public rhetoric of global engagement and diplomacy. Somehow this information didn't make it into the US media.

The US, in cooperation with NATO, is building global occupation forces for the control of international resources in support of Trilaterialist --- US, Europe, Japan --- corporate profits. A New York Times report on the availability of a trillion dollars in mineral wealth in Afghanistan, on top of the need for an oil/gas pipeline from the Caspian Sea, suggests other reasons for US objectives in the region.

Jim Lobe of Inter Press Service writes on June 15, 2010:

The timing of the publication of a major New York Times story on the vast untapped mineral wealth that lies beneath Afghanistan's soil is raising major questions about the intent of the Pentagon... Blake Hounshell, managing editor at Foreign Policy magazine, says that the US Geological Service (USGS) already published a comprehensive inventory of Afghanistan's non-oil mineral resources on the Internet in 2007, as did the British Geological Survey. Much of their work was based on explorations and surveys undertaken by the Soviet Union during its occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s.

Given the previous reports, there is nothing new about resources in Afghanistan that the Pentagon and US multinational corporations didn't already know. On the contrary, the public should consider whether the surfacing of this resource story is a managed-news press release being done at a time of sensitive concerns regarding NATO's mission in Afghanistan. A deliberate news insertion such as the mineral wealth story is designed to create support for a US/NATO global empire agenda.

Managed news includes both the release of specific stories intended to build public support as well as the deliberate non-coverage of news stories that may undermine US goals. Have you been told about the continuing privatization of this global war? Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill, wrote in The Nation magazine November 23, 2009, how Blackwater (Xe) operatives in the Pakistani port city of Karachi are gathering intelligence and helping to direct a secret US military drone bombing campaign in that country.

There has not been much coverage of the report in Global Research, May 27, 2010, regarding new US capabilities for cyber warfare, announced recently by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as the activation of the Pentagon's first computer command and the world's first comprehensive, multi-service military cyber operation. CYBERCOM is based at Fort Meade, Maryland, which also is home to the National Security Agency (NSA).

The US Israeli partner in the Middle East demonstrated a skilled manipulation of the global media's coverage of the May 31 attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Israel controlled the news and images that emerged from the attack on the ships, asserting that the invading Israeli paratroopers were viciously attacked by crewmembers --- resulting in the killing of several in "self defense." Israel sought to divert the focus of public discussion away from the illegitimate use of excessive force against a group of humanitarians --- of diverse religious and national affiliations --- to the blaming of the victims for causing their own deaths.

Managed news creates a Truth Emergency for the public inside the US/NATO Military Industrial Media Empire. Deliberate news management undermines the freedom of information on the doings of the powerful military/corporate entities though overt censorship, mass distractions, and artificial news --- including stories timed for release to influence public opinion (i.e., propaganda).

A Truth Emergency is the lack of purity in news brought about by this propaganda and distraction. It is the state in which people, despite potentially being awash in a sea of information, lack the power of discernment resulting in a knowinglessness about what is going on in the world. In short, we are living in a time where people do not know whom to trust for accurate information and yearn for the truth.

One antidote to the ongoing Truth Emergency is the creation of validated independent news by colleges and universities around the globe where students and professors use research skills and databases to fact check and verify information that is reported to the public. For more about this, and what we can all do to counter managed news, see Project Censored International's new website at http//:mediafreedominternational.org. Together, we can build accountability in our media and breathe life back into our withering republic.

Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff

Peter Phillips is professor of sociology at Sonoma State University, president of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored, former director of Project Censored, and co-editor of Censored 2010.

Mickey Huff is associate professor of history at Diablo Valley College, Director of Project Censored/Media Freedom Foundation, and co-editor of Censored 2010.


Also in this section:
Editorials: Mandatory conflict of interest; The oil spill; and Israeli thugs
Endara, Thirty-nine years after they took Father Gallego away
Beluche, The crisis within Martinelli's coalition
Bendib, The rule of law on the high seas
Human Rights Watch, For a real investigation of the flotilla killings
Nasser, Israel is fueling anti-Americanism among US allies
Avnery, Kill a Turk and rest
Blossier, The US-Brazilian cotton dispute before the WTO
Lloyd, China and Brazil
Boscov-Ellen, Drug policy and violence in Mexico
Collins, Remember Prohibition?
Reporters Without Borders, Colombian intelligence services targetted the media
Amnesty International, Worldwide human rights report
Frederick, Trinidad & Tabago government ousted over corruption
Han Shan, Chevron's attempted revenge for documentary about abuses in Ecuador stalls
Weisbrot, Europe's economic woes are self-inflicted
Greenpeace, Prosecution of whaling whistleblowers a test for Japan's new prime minister
Bernal, The International Criminal court and the Inter-American Human Rights Court
Jackson, Trashing Panama in the name of nationalism
Leis, Héctor Gallego's cause
Letters to the editor



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