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In the Other Press

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News :: Media

Reality Check: "Mercenaries 2”

As you may know, Bono of U2 recently formed an investment firm called Elevation Partners, named after a famous U2 song, “Elevation”. Elevation Partners invested $300 million in Pandemic Studios. They also recently bought a major interest in Forbes, again for $300 million. Investment in potentially lucrative business ventures seems like a good business move.
For Bono, “Time Person of the Year” for his humanitarian, anti-poverty, pro-peace efforts, such investments may be somewhat more problematic.

On November 18, William Langley of the Telegraph, when describing Bono’s recent actions, including the moving of his corporate home from Dublin to the Netherlands to evade taxes, wrote, “This debacle was followed by news that Bono was buying a large chunk of Forbes, the American business magazine, founded by the eccentric, Right-wing publisher Malcolm Forbes, which styles itself "The Capitalist Tool". The stake, costing a reported $250 million, was acquired through Elevation Partners (named after a U2 song), a sophisticated private equity vehicle co-owned by Bono and a group of wealthy California-based investors.

While all this may be no more than astute financial management for a super-rich, middle-aged man with three homes, including a £15 million, three-storey New York penthouse, it somehow fails to cast a warming glow of affinity around Bono's heavily publicised forays into the world of the starving and wretched.” ("Profile Bono", Telegraph.co.uk, 2006).

It is clear that Bono’s hypocrisy, when it comes to producing a videogame that seemingly contradicts all of the principles he professes to defend, is a pattern and not unique to “Mercenaries 2”. Therefore, one concludes that this is further evidence that Bono is nothing more than a well-packaged and well-paid frontman for significant corporate interests.

This helps to put “Mercenaries 2” into perspective. With the backing of Bono and his partners at Elevation, the goal is to produce a piece of propaganda that helps to further corporate interests in Latin America, and make a little money in the lucrative videogame market along the way.



Pandemic’s current project, set for release in 2007, is called “Mercenaries 2: World in Flames”. However, it is not really about the vaguely labeled “world”.



This so-called game depicts the invasion and total destruction of Venezuela. The objectives of the game are to assassinate the President, described as a “power hungry tyrant”, and take over the oil industry. The level of destruction that takes place in the game draws comparisons to what happened when the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If you have reviewed the game website, you will have seen that Caracas is reduced to ashes. It is presumed that the same death and destruction extends to all regions of the country.



Venezuelans viewing the game will instantly recognize their neighborhoods, famous landmarks, and will also recognize that the purpose of the game is to slaughter thousands, if not millions, of innocent people in order to turn the oil industry in Venezuela over to corporate interests.

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Commentary :: Art and Culture

Punk and 40: A Mid-Life Opportunity

I was in college when “thirtysomething” was on TV. At the time I was neither watching TV nor did I give a shit about 30-year-olds. But clearly my TA’s did, and they were growing up, so-to-speak, because they were now seeing themselves targeted as a primetime audience. They had become adult consumers. Little did I know that my time would come.

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News :: Biking : Housing and Development : Public Transportation

European Cities Do Away with Traffic Signs

Are streets without traffic signs conceivable? Seven cities and regions in Europe are giving it a try — with good results.

"We reject every form of legislation," the Russian aristocrat and "father of anarchism" Mikhail Bakunin once thundered. The czar banished him to Siberia. But now it seems his ideas are being rediscovered.

European traffic planners are dreaming of streets free of rules and directives. They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free and humane way, as brethren…

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News :: Media : Right-wing politics

FOX (probably) Paid $2M to Terrorists to Free Reporters

Palestinian terror groups and security organizations in the Gaza Strip received $2 million from a U.S. source in exchange for the release of Fox News employees Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, who were kidnapped here last summer, a senior leader of one of the groups suspected of the abductions told WND.

The terror leader, from the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, said his organization's share of the money was used to purchase weapons, which he said would be utilized "to hit the Zionists."

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News :: Crime and Police

Student shot with Taser by UCPD officers

[fascist] UCPD officers shot a student several times with a Taser inside the Powell Library CLICC computer lab late Tuesday night before taking him into custody.



At around 11:30 p.m., CSOs asked a male student using a computer in the back of the room to leave when he was unable to produce a BruinCard during a random check. The student did not exit the building immediately.

The CSOs left, returning minutes later, and police officers arrived to escort the student out. By this time the student had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack when an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, at which point the student told the officer to let him go. A second officer then approached the student as well.

The student began to yell "get off me," repeating himself several times.

It was at this point that the officers shot the student with a Taser for the first time, causing him to fall to the floor and cry out in pain. The student also told the officers he had a medical condition.

UCPD officers confirmed that the man involved in the incident was a student, but did not give a name or any additional information about his identity.

Video shot from a student's camera phone captured the student yelling, "Here's your Patriot Act, here's your fucking abuse of power," while he struggled with the officers.

As the student was screaming, UCPD officers repeatedly told him to stand up and said "stop fighting us." The student did not stand up as the officers requested and they shot him with the Taser at least once more.

"It was the most disgusting and vile act I had ever seen in my life," said David Remesnitsky, a 2006 UCLA alumnus who witnessed the incident.

As the student and the officers were struggling, bystanders repeatedly asked the police officers to stop, and at one point officers told the gathered crowd to stand back and threatened to use a Taser on anyone who got too close.

Laila Gordy, a fourth-year economics student who was present in the library during the incident, said police officers threatened to shoot her with a Taser when she asked an officer for his name and his badge number.

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video up multiple times on youtube

here's one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyvrqcxNIFs

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Commentary :: Biking : Protests and Vigils : Public Transportation

Holy Rollers

In the fall of 1971, two years after the Stonewall Rebellion, sixteen months after Kent State, and a couple of weeks after the prison riots at Attica, a few hundred bicyclists rode down Fifth Avenue and on to City Hall, demonstrating for the institution of dedicated bike lanes and bike racks. They called themselves Bike for a Better City. One rider held a sign that read, “The internal combustion engine is antiquated, obscene, and responsible for more deaths thru pollution and mayhem than even that great curse war.”

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Commentary :: Civil and Human Rights

Saddam’s Trial in Context: Episode of Victors’ Injustice

By Nicola Nasser: American and European official and public opinion reactions to Saddam Hussein’s guilty verdict on Sunday artificially removed both the trial and the death sentence out of context and focused instead on “flaws” in the legal technicalities of a fair trial and on death penalty as a punishment, which exposed the trial/s in Baghdad as merely another episode in the U.S.-British so far unsuccessful efforts to establish their occupation of Iraq and to develop the current status quo there as the new order.

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News :: Electoral politics

Bush Caught Off Guard With Voting Rights Question

Amidst tough questions in an early afternoon press conference today on the loss of the House, the war in Iraq, and the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, President George W. Bush faced a question he wasn't expecting — on District voting rights.

A reporter asked Bush on whether he would support legislation currently moving through Congress that would grant the District one voting seat in the House of Representatives and may come to a vote before the Democrats take power next January. "First I've heard of it," Bush admitted, adding, "I'll look at it."

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Quote-of-the-Moment

An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)
 

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