Drug Policy Reform Conference

I thought I would post this article by Silja Talvi from In These Times as a follow-up to my previous post (which I never actually posted) about the conference out in California. Law enforcement officials against the war on drugs, as well as ex-prisoners of the war seem to have made the biggest news at the conference. These are definitely two groups that could help to bring about change if organization continues and grows.

Just Say No... to Walmart

If you are a WalMart shopper you should really be thinking twice about your purchasing decisions. If you already avoid the sprawling mega-centers, you should probably be thinking about doing more than that. Check out this website that will make it very clear why this corporation is in fact the epitome of the Evil Empire that the U.S. has become. This company is so unethical it is almost unbelievable. Low pay, small health care benefits, missed breaks, overworked youth, and overpaid executives are just the tip of the iceberg here.

Bush Facing his Critics in South America

Bush is facing a tough crowd down in South America during his visit for the 4th Summit of the Americas in Argentina. A reported crowd of 10,000 people led a protest through the streets with chants like: "Get Out Bush!" and "Fascist Bush! You are a Terrorist!" According to a NYTimes article,
"Leaders attending the two-day summit agreed ahead of time to focus on creating jobs and reducing poverty. In recent days, however, attention has shifted to the free trade issue and sparring between the United States and Chavez, a leftist whose government has used his country's vast oil wealth on social programs for the poor."
Venezuela's President Chavez has become one of Latin America's most outspoken critics of the Bush regime and Washington, regularly claiming that the U.S. is planning to overthrow him. His counter proposal to a hemisphere-wide free trade zone includes:
"an anti-FTAA deal based on socialist ideals. He has also pushed for regional solidarity, offering fuel with preferential financing to various Caribbean and Latin American countries."
Bush does have some support for his plan, and 28 countries in the region have reportedly agreed to restart talks on the free trade zone. Chavez, however, has a good amount of support in the region as well. We all know that the Bush plan is to benefit the international corporations that are largely U.S. based, with little concern for the economies or the people of Latin America. The question is whether or not Chavez is the man that has the interests of Latin America in his heart, and if so, how far will he be able to take his ideas?