Large: 20-04-03_Serpico-Division



It takes a fourteen shot clip. You expecting an army? Serpico: No, just a division. – Serpico.


Cassandra Crossing

I made this film for the survival of all of us – George Pan Cosmatos, Rome, 20 September 1976 – Western Locations Spain: Cassandra Crossing.

When the existence of a strain of plague (vaguely identified as pneumonic) is revealed at the US mission at the International Health Organization, three terrorists seek to blow up the US mission. Two of them are shot, one mortally, by security personnel but one escapes. The surviving terrorist is hospitalised and quarantined and identified as Swedish. Elena Stradner and US military intelligence Colonel Stephen Mackenzie argue over the nature of the strain, which Stradner suspects is a biological weapon but which Colonel Mackenzie claims was in the process of being destroyed. The third terrorist, Eklund, escapes and stows away on a train bound from Geneva to Stockholm. Stradner believes that the train should be stopped so that the terrorist can be removed and quarantined, but Col. Mackenzie is concerned that all of the passengers on the train might be infected. Mackenzie insists on rerouting the train to an disused railway line which goes to a former Nazi concentration camp in Janov, Poland where the passengers will be quarantined. However, the line crosses a dangerously unsound steel arch bridge known as the Kasundruv Bridge or the “Cassandra Crossing”, out of use since 1948 (former railway Zagorz-Solina-Turka-Lviv between Poland and Ukraine) Mackenzie understands that the bridge might collapse as the train passes over it. The presence of the infected terrorist, and the rerouting of the train, precipitates the second conflict, among passengers on the train; they include Jonathan Chamberlain, a famous neurologist, his ex-wife Jennifer Rispoli Chamberlain, a former inmate of Janov and Holocaust survivor Herman Kaplan, and Nicole Dressler, the wife of a German arms dealer. She is embroiled in an affair with her young companion Robby Navarro. Navarro is a heroin trafficker being pursued by Interpol agent Haley, who is travelling undercover as a priest. – Wikipedia: Cassandra Crossing; Cassandra Crossing: Trailer.
» IG: 20-02-29_wuhancorona-xrcassandracrossing


Putin Voroshilov:

Is it possible to argue with Putin? Of course, but only if you [are sincere – aka ego literate [PDF] – and] have ironclad counterarguments. – [EoP Amended] Vesti: Putin: 01.02.

Stalin: They didn’t kill you Voroshilov? Voroshilov: Koba: How could they, without Stalin’s orders? – Stalin 1992: Trailer: 02;14:17; Sheila Fitzpatrick: On Stalins Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics: Sean’s Russia Blog: Retrospective on Stalinism; Princeton University Press: On Stalin’s Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics by Sheila Fitzpatrick; ABC Conversations: Sheila Fitzpatrick: the men behind Soviet dictator Josef Stalin; The Guardian: On Stalin’s Team by Sheila Fitzpatrick review – Soviet bunglers and sadists; Danny’s Reviews: On Stalin’s Team.
» EoP Leg Sub: 01 Sep: Stalin’s Team, Putin EoP Revolution, EN Translation of FSB: AM Kalganov letter.


Putin: Lives of Others Gun Range Image.

The Lives of Others (German: Das Leben der Anderen) is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The plot is about the monitoring of East Berlin residents by agents of the Stasi, East Germany’s secret police. It stars Ulrich Mühe as Stasi Captain Gerd Wiesler, Ulrich Tukur as his superior Anton Grubitz, Sebastian Koch as the playwright Georg Dreyman, and Martina Gedeck as Dreyman’s lover, a prominent actress named Christa-Maria Sieland. Released 17 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, marking the end of the East German socialist state, it was the first notable drama film about the subject after a series of comedies such as Good Bye, Lenin! and Sonnenallee. This approach was widely applauded in Germany even as some criticized the humanization of Wiesler’s character. The film’s authenticity was considered praiseworthy given that the director grew up outside of East Germany and was 16 when the Berlin Wall fell. – Wikipedia: The Lives of Others; Lives of Others: Trailer.

As if the WikiLeaks flap weren’t bad enough for American diplomacy. Now Russian Boss-for-Life Vladimir Putin is using the cable flap to lecture American and its allies about free speech. In a recent – and testy! – press conference, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin cast doubt on accuracy of the cables, asking whether theU.S. diplomats writing in the leaked cables can be considered a “crystal clear source of information.” But his saved his tartest quote to slam what he sees as the hypocritical contrast between the West’s democracy promotion in Russia and the multi-pronged attack on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. “So, you know, as they say in the countryside, some people’s cows can moo, but yours should keep quiet. So I would like to shoot the puck back at our American colleagues,” Putin snarked, questioning whether Assange’s arrest in the U.K. represented “full democracy.” (Earlier this week, an anonymous Kremlin official suggested to the Russian media that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should receive a Nobel Prize for releasing the cables.) – Wired: Putin on Assange Arrest: You Call This Democracy.

Alex welcomes to the Infowars studio Dr. John Hall, anesthesiologist and author of A New Breed Satellite Terrorism to discuss the FACTS of the possibilities of Government Mind Control and Satellite Harassment/Terrorism. www.satweapons.com.
– OSInformers: Ales Jones Show: Satellite Harassment / Terrorism with John Hall.

Are we on the brink of an arms race over zombie ray guns? You might think so, based on the alarms being rung over Russia’s potential to create mind-scrambling weapons. But the reality is that it’ll be a long time before we have to worry about super-soldiers taking over our brains. The Americans as well as the Russians have been looking into psychotronic weapons for more than 15 years. You can find ample references to the subject on the Internet, including a feature published by U.S. News and World Report in 1997 and a report written for a U.S. Army publication in 1998. Such weapons purport to take advantage of the effect that pulsed microwaves can have on brain activity. Some researchers have reported an effect known as microwave hearing, in which a directed beam of radiation produces a sensation of buzzing, clicking or hissing in the head. “This technology in its crudest form could be used to distract individuals,” according to a declassified Army review of non-lethal weapons. Theoretically, electromagnetic beams could cause an epileptic-type seizure, or involuntary eye motion leading to dizziness and nausea. Military researchers have also looked into using infrasound or laser beams to confuse or incapacitate a foe — but when you start going down this road, before you know it, you’re talking about remote viewing, ESP and all the way-out concepts chronicled in “The Men Who Stare at Goats.” – NBC News: Reality Check on Russia’s Zombie Ray gun program; Men Who Stare at Goats: Trailer ; Suspect Zero: Trailer.


The Father of Spin and the Birth of Public Relations

The Father of Spin is the first full-length biography of the legendary Edward L. Bernays, who, beginning in the 1920s, was one of the first and most successful practioners of the art of public relations. In this engrossing biography, Larry Tye uses Bernays’s life as a prism to understand the evolution of the craft of public relations and how it came to play such a critical-and sometimes insidious-role in American life. Drawing on interviews with primary sources and voluminous private papers, Tye presents a fascinating and revealing portrait of the man who, more than any other, defined and personified public relations, a profession that today helps shape our political discourse and define our commercial choices.
– Amazon: Father of Spin: Edward Bernays and Birth of Public Relations.


Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency.

In Republic of Spin―a vibrant history covering more than one hundred years of politics―presidential historian David Greenberg recounts the rise of the White House spin machine, from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama. His sweeping, startling narrative takes us behind the scenes to see how the tools and techniques of image making and message craft work. We meet Woodrow Wilson convening the first White House press conference, Franklin Roosevelt huddling with his private pollsters, Ronald Reagan’s aides crafting his nightly news sound bites, and George W. Bush staging his “Mission Accomplished” photo-op. We meet, too, the backstage visionaries who pioneered new ways of gauging public opinion and mastering the media―figures like George Cortelyou, TR’s brilliantly efficient press manager; 1920s ad whiz Bruce Barton; Robert Montgomery, Dwight Eisenhower’s canny TV coach; and of course the key spinmeisters of our own times, from Roger Ailes to David Axelrod. Greenberg also examines the profound debates Americans have waged over the effect of spin on our politics. Does spin help our leaders manipulate the citizenry? Or does it allow them to engage us more fully in the democratic project? Exploring the ideas of the century’s most incisive political critics, from Walter Lippmann and H. L. Mencken to Hannah Arendt and Stephen Colbert,Republic of Spin illuminates both the power of spin and its limitations―its capacity not only to mislead but also to lead. – Amazon: Republic of Spin: An Inside History of American Presidency.


A Century of Spin: How Public Relations Became the Cutting Edge of Corporate Power

This book charts the relentless rise of the public relations industry and how it has transformed our society. Revealing the roots of the PR movement in the years leading up to the First World War, it shows how it became a key tool in the struggle to subordinate democracy to corporate rule. It is the first book to offer a history of the emergence of corporate propaganda on both sides of the Atlantic during the 20th century.  The authors show how the origins of PR were always covertly political. Spin has been around for a long time and its anti-democratic potential is well known to all those who have made use of it. Based on extensive use of original archival material, the book presents a clear chronology of PR’s development, culminating with a detailed examination of Gordon Brown and David Cameron’s use of spin and how it relates to their connections with big business. – Amazon: A Century of Spin: How Public Relations Became the Cutting Edge of Corporate Power.


Be Fruitful and Multiply

Cartoon: Be Fruitful and Multiply; Now Divide.
IG: 16-07-11_crudeimpact-popcontrol-nuclearoption18-10-30_gwotcranecrash-overpopulationconsumption20-03-28_covid-denverlily-expgrowth17-09-12_eop-v-wip-wealthtransferoptions17-09-12_nyt-irma-carrib-wipbabyloncannibals.


Adam and Eve: Apple or Banana Debate?

Arabic and European scholars even bickered whether the famous fruit that tempted Eve was not an apple, but a banana. Bananas are this boring fruit, but behind the banana is this fascinating history: its like science, its culture, its bloodshed, its murder, its music, its everything. The strain of the fungus that wiped out the Gros Michel banana was called Tropical Race 1 or TRC1. Cavendish is immune to that, but it isn’t immune to a different strain of the same fungs, Tropical Race 4. or TR4. Think of them like different strains of the flu. Quarantine efforts contained the fungus in South East Asia for a while, but it soon spread. The entire banana supply chain from the moment the plantlet is planted in the ground to the moment you start to peal it is designed just for the Cavendish banana. Its almost as if a Cavendish shaped pipe from Central America comes to your house, and it doesn’t really fit another banana. – CNBC: Why The Banana Business Of Chiquita And Dole Is At Risk.
» EoP Leg Sub: 15 Mar: Req for EoP TRC Info: Timberland: J Swartz; Chiquita: C Flores: Nobel Peace Prize Nomination: Abel TRC Reason Freelancer.


EoP Garden of Eden Honesty v WiP Babylon Spin Law.

Indigenous tribes living in their Garden of Eden’s around the world were obeying EoP [breed & consume below Mother Nature/God’s ecological resource carrying capacity] law, while they consciously or unconsciously required their tribes to breed and consume – in terms of their hunting, nomadic herding, hunter gathering and/or sustainable subsistence agriculture – below ecological carrying capacity limits.

Once one or more Cain tribes adopted totalitarian agriculture; they changed their breeding/consumption to obey WiP cultural / religious and/or national law. Practicing totalitarian agriculture involves intensive cultivation of the land for surplus food production; which then results in growth of population of the tribe, and extension of territory – for growing population / consumption greed – into a neighbouring Cain or Abel tribe’s territory.

Many Cain tribes / religions living in accordance to totalitarian agriculture WiP law; results in resource conflict as tribes demands for expanding territory comes into conflict with neighbouring tribes territory. All tribes can cooperate & return to harmony with EoP Gaia law for all; or develope their ‘war’ – alienation from honesty – deception skills on their WiP Tower of Babel Four Horses Armageddon journey.

The ‘knowledge of good and evil’ – flattery / spin / public relations – deception resource thieving war skills; are then used to deceive: (a) self: in order to better deceive others, it helps if you believe your own ego ‘its my God given right to breed/consume above ecological carrying capacity’ bullshit; (b) tribal followers: to convince them to be economic brood sow and/or sperm donor or military cannon fodder for your political resource thieving campaigns; and (c) other tribes: to deceive their political leaders and/or followers; so as to more easily steal their land and/or cheap labour capital.
» IG: 17-09-04_eop-bible-eopedenvwipbabylonlaw


Monty Python: Self Defence Against Fresh Fruit

Good evening class. Evening. Where is all the others then? They are not here. I can see that, what is the matter with them?  I don’t know. Perhaps they’ve got flu. Flu, they should eat more fresh fruit. – Serpico: Trailer; Monty Python: Self Defence Against Fresh Fruit.


Sonia Shah: Pandemic: Think Exotic Animals are to Blame for Coronavirus

Scientists have fingered bats and pangolins as potential sources of the virus, but the real blame lies elsewhere—with human assaults on the environment. t could have been a pangolin. Or a bat. Or, as one now-debunked theory that made the rounds suggested, a snake. The race to finger the animal source of COVID-19, the coronavirus currently ensnaring more than 150 million people in quarantines and cordons sanitaires in China and elsewhere, is on. The virus’s animal origin is a critical mystery to solve. But speculation about which wild creature originally harbored the virus obscures a more fundamental source of our growing vulnerability to pandemics: the accelerating pace of habitat loss. Since 1940, hundreds of microbial pathogens have either emerged or reemerged into new territory where they’ve never been seen before. They include HIV, Ebola in West Africa, Zika in the Americas, and a bevy of novel coronaviruses. The majority of them—60 percent—originate in the bodies of animals. Some come from pets and livestock. Most of them—more than two-thirds—originate in wildlife. But that’s not the fault of wild animals. Although stories illustrated with pictures of wild animals as “the source” of deadly outbreaks might suggest otherwise, wild animals are not especially infested with deadly pathogens, poised to infect us. In fact, most of these microbes live harmlessly in these animals’ bodies. The problem is the way that cutting down forests and expanding towns, cities, and industrial activities creates pathways for animal microbes to adapt to the human body. Habitat destruction threatens vast numbers of wild species with extinction, including the medicinal plants and animals we’ve historically depended upon for our pharmacopeia. It also forces those wild species that hang on to cram into smaller fragments of remaining habitat, increasing the likelihood that they’ll come into repeated, intimate contact with the human settlements expanding into their newly fragmented habitats. It’s this kind of repeated, intimate contact that allows the microbes that live in their bodies to cross over into ours, transforming benign animal microbes into deadly human pathogens. Consider Ebola. According to a 2017 study, Ebola outbreaks, which have been linked to several species of bats, are more likely to occur in places in Central and West Africa that have experienced recent episodes of deforestation. Cutting down the bats’ forests forces them to roost in trees in backyards and farms instead, increasing the likelihood that a human might, say, take a bite of a piece of fruit covered in bat saliva or hunt and slaughter a local bat, exposing herself to the microbes sheltering in the bat’s tissues. Such encounters allow a host of viruses carried harmlessly by bats—Ebola, Nipah, and Marburg, to name a few—to slip into human populations. When such so-called “spillover” events happen frequently enough, animal microbes can adapt to our bodies and evolve into human pathogens. Mosquito-borne disease outbreaks have been similarly linked to the felling of forests, although less because of the loss of habitat than to its transformation. As trees’ leaf litter and roots disappear, water and sediment flow more readily along the shorn forest floor, newly open to shafts of sunlight. Malaria-carrying mosquitoes breed in the sunlit puddles. A study in 12 countries found that mosquito species that carry human pathogens are twice as common in deforested areas compared to intact forests. Habitat destruction also scrambles the population sizes of different species in ways that can increase the likelihood that a pathogen will spread. West Nile virus, a virus of migratory birds, is one example. Squeezed by habitat loss as well as other affronts, bird populations in North America have declined by more than 25 percent over the past 50 years. But species don’t decline at a uniform rate. Specialist bird species, like woodpeckers and rails, have been hit harder than generalists like robins and crows. That increases the abundance of West Nile virus in our domestic bird flocks because, while woodpeckers and rails are poor carriers of the virus, robins and crows excel at it. The likelihood that a local mosquito will bite a West Nile virus–infected bird and then a human grows. Similarly, the expansion of suburbs into the Northeastern forest increases the risk of tick-borne disease by driving out creatures like opossums, which help control tick populations, while improving conditions for species like white-footed mice and deer, which don’t. Tick-borne Lyme disease first emerged in the United States in 1975; in the past 20 years, seven new tick-borne pathogens have followed. It’s not only the fact of habitat destruction that ratchets up the risk of disease emergence, it’s also what we’re replacing wild habitat with. To sate our species’ carnivorous appetites, we’ve razed an area around the size of the continent of Africa to raise animals for slaughter. Some of these animals are then delivered through the illicit wildlife trade or sold in so-called “wet markets.” There, wild species that would rarely if ever encounter each other in nature are caged next to one another, allowing microbes to jump from one species to the next, a process that begot the coronavirus that caused the 2002–03 SARS epidemic and possibly the novel coronavirus stalking us today. But many more are reared in factory farms, where hundreds of thousands of individuals await slaughter, packed closely together, providing microbes lush opportunities to turn into deadly pathogens. Avian influenza viruses, for example, which originate in the bodies of wild waterfowl, rampage in factory farms packed with captive chickens, mutating and becoming more virulent, a process so reliable it can be replicated in the laboratory. One strain called H5N1, which can infect humans, kills more than half of those infected. Containing another strain, which reached North America in 2014, required the slaughter of tens of millions of poultry. The avalanche of excreta produced by our livestock introduces yet more opportunities for animal microbes to spill over into human populations. Because animal waste is far more voluminous than croplands can possibly absorb as fertilizer, it is collected in many places in unlined cesspools called manure lagoons. Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli, which lives harmlessly inside the guts of over half of all cattle on American feedlots, lurks in that waste. In humans, it causes bloody diarrhea and fever and can lead to acute kidney failure. Because cattle waste so frequently sloshes into our food and water, 90,000 Americans are infected every year. Today, the shadow of the next pandemic looms. But that’s not just because of the novel coronavirus. The Trump administration’s liberation of extractive industries and industrial development from environmental and other regulatory constraints can be expected to accelerate the habitat destruction that brings animal microbes into human bodies. At the same time, the administration is reducing our ability to pinpoint the next spillover microbe and to contain it when it starts to spread. The administration decided to end the Predict program in October. Officials reportedly felt “uncomfortable funding cutting-edge science.” Last week, the administration proposed cutting funds to the World Health Organization too, by 53 percent. The epidemiologist Larry Brilliant once said, “Outbreaks are inevitable, but pandemics are optional.” But pandemics only remain optional if we have the will to disrupt our politics as readily as we disrupt nature and wildlife. In the end, there is no real mystery about the animal source of pandemics. It’s not some spiky scaled pangolin or furry flying bat. It’s populations of warm-blooded primates: The true animal source is us. – Nation: Think Exotic Animals Are to Blame for the Coronavirus? Think Again; TRNN: Covid-19, Ebola and SARS Outbreaks were all unleashed by humans.


Join the Animal Justice Movement to fight Climate Change

Animal Rebellion: animalrebellion.org

Police have announced they have made almost 1,300 arrests of Extinction Rebellion protesters since Monday, as activists hope the weekend will swell their numbers for a march through central London. Animal rights activists affiliated with Extinction Rebellion claimed 28 of their supporters were arrested on Saturday morning while attempting to block access to Billingsgate fish market in east London. –  The Guardian: Extinction Rebellion arrests near 1,300 after Billingsgate protest.

Climate activist group Animal Rebellion descended on Billingsgate Fish Market this morning, blocking traffic and holding a vigil for “thousands of dead, and dying” fish. The Extinction Rebellion offshoot prevented vehicles from entering the market after one of their members locked himself to the gate. Animal Rebellion previously occupied Smithfield Market and aims to “end the animal agriculture industry”. – Evening Standard: Protesters from Extinction Rebellion offshoot Animal Rebellion blockade Billingsgate Fish Market.
» IG: 20-02-29_wuhancorona-xrcassandracrossing


Hunting Trophy’s Cartoon


Thanksgiving Small Pox Blankets

As Thanksgiving approaches, we can expect many newspaper articles and television programs detailing the story behind the holiday’s origins.  The accurate ones will explain how the first Thanksgiving in 1621 bore little resemblance to the scenes represented in paintings—e.g., Pilgrims and Native Americans seated at long tables eating roast turkey and pumpkins. Many will also point out that Thanksgiving only became a national holiday in 1863 during the Civil War and even then it took decades more for the South to begin celebrating it.

But few if any will delve into the essential backstory behind the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Plymouth, Massachusetts: the devastating epidemic of plague that ravaged the Native population just before the arrival of the first permanent English settlers. This catastrophe so weakened the local Wampanoag Indians that it played a direct role in their decision to make peace with the Pilgrims and to help them survive—the decisions that earned them an invitation to a feast of thanksgiving in 1621.

The Great Epidemic of 1616-1619 had its origins with a shipwreck.  In 1615 a French trading vessel wrecked off the coast of Massachusetts, somewhere on Cape Cod near present-day Plymouth. The local Wampanoag Indians, who’d seen many of their people (including the famous Squanto) kidnapped by European traders in recent years, killed all the survivors except for four men who they turned into slaves.  At least one of these French captives carried the disease that caused the Great Epidemic.

To Europeans like these captive Frenchmen, this disease—long thought to be typhus, small pox,  or plague, but recent research suggests was leptospirosis—had posed only a minor health threat.  Europeans had been exposed for centuries to these and other ailments. While many died, succeeding generations developed immunities and resistance to these diseases. For Native Americans, however, it was a different story. Their world had never seen these diseases.  When “continental drift” began 120 million years ago, it transformed one large megacontinent into the separate continents of Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceana, and North and South America. These separate habitats saw the rise of unique animal and plant species (in Europe and Africa: horses, cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, honey bees, wheat, rice, and citrus fruits; in the Americas: potatoes, corn, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, peanuts, sunflowers, tobacco, and turkeys).  Once the age of European exploration began in the late-15th century, these animals and plants crossed the Atlantic in a process historians term, “The Columbian Exchange.” Unfortunately, it also included diseases unique to each region. While many Europeans suffered from the introduction of syphilis from the Americas, the peoples of the Americas were devastated by cholera, typhus, small pox, and plague wherever Europeans made contact. It was conquest, in the words of historian Alfred Crosby, the man who also coined the term Columbia Exchange, by “an arsenal of diseases.” And so, when the disease began to spread from the French captives to the Wampanoags, the latter sickened and died with alarming speed. Once the epidemic took hold in 1616 it raged for 4 years (some accounts note three successive epidemics).  How devastating was it? According to later accounts by traders, Pilgrims, and Natives (and confirmed by modern researchers), the epidemic wiped out as much as 90% of the Native population in southern New England.  Of the approximate 8,000 Wampanoags living near Plymouth in 1600, fewer that 2,000 survived in 1620. – In the Past Lane: Of Plague and Pilgrims: The Grim Story Behind the First Thanksgiving.


NYT: Big Fruit

When the Banana Company arrives in Macondo, the jungle town in Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” it brings with it first modernity and then doom. “Endowed with means that had been reserved for Divine Providence in former times,” García Márquez writes, the company “changed the pattern of the rains, accelerated the cycle of harvests and moved the river from where it had always been.” It imported “dictatorial foreigners” and “hired assassins with machetes” to run the town; it unleashed a “wave of bullets” on striking workers in the plaza. When the Banana Company leaves, Macondo is “in ruins.” If Macondo is meant to represent Latin America, it is fitting that “the Banana Company” plays so central a role in its development and decline. For much of the 20th century, the American banana company United Fruit dominated portions of almost a dozen countries in the Western Hemisphere. It was, Peter Chapman writes in “Bananas,” his breezy but insightful history of the company, “more powerful than many nation states … a law unto itself and accustomed to regarding the republics as its private fiefdom.” United Fruit essentially invented not only “the concept and reality of the banana republic,” but also, as Chapman shows, the concept and reality of the modern banana. “If it weren’t for United Fruit,” he observes, “the banana would never have emerged from the dark, then arrived in such quantities as to bring prices that made it available to all.” Today, “the banana is the world’s fourth major food, after rice, wheat and milk.” But when a Brooklyn-born twentysomething named Minor Keith planted a few banana cuttings next to a railroad track in Costa Rica in the early 1870s, it was virtually unknown outside its native environs. Keith and his partners soon realized how great the potential profits were — especially if, along with growing bananas, they could control railroads, shipping and Central American governments (to that end, Keith married the beautiful daughter of a Costa Rican president). Only then did they set out to turn the banana into a product for the masses. Until its demise a hundred years later, United Fruit controlled as much as 90 percent of the market. Throughout all of this, United Fruit defined the modern multinational corporation at its most effective — and, as it turned out, its most pernicious. At home, it cultivated clubby ties with those in power and helped pioneer the modern arts of public relations and marketing. (After a midcentury makeover by the “father of public relations,” Edward Bernays, the company started pushing a cartoon character named Señorita Chiquita Banana.) Abroad, it coddled dictators while using a mix of paternalism and violence to control its workers. “As for repressive regimes, they were United Fruit’s best friends, with coups d’état among its specialties,” Chapman writes. “United Fruit had possibly launched more exercises in ‘regime change’ on the banana’s behalf than had even been carried out in the name of oil.” In its final pages, Chapman’s witty, energetic narrative veers off into polemic, straining to flaunt some direct contemporary relevance. Today’s supporters of multinational corporations, Chapman declares, “would have us all as banana republics.” But his heart is more in the storytelling than in the lecturing, and he never does much with these sweeping proclamations. Still, that is not to say there are no echoes of United Fruit today. Chapman could have noted, for example, that the company’s successor in the banana business, Chiquita Brands International, has admitted to paying nearly $2 million to right-wing death squads in Colombia. And the blow-back from United Fruit’s way of doing business still haunts Latin America. Just look at Guatemala – once United Fruit’s most treasured possession, now one of the Western Hemisphere’s most violent countries. “Guatemala was chosen as the site for the company’s earliest development activities,” a former United Fruit executive once explained, “because at the time we entered Central America, Guatemala’s government was the region’s weakest, most corrupt and most pliable.” When a left-wing democratic president named Jacobo Arbenz tried to roll back the company’s dominance in the 1950s (by, among other things, redistributing its fallow land), United Fruit executives saw it as an affront – and set out to help pressure the United States government to engineer a coup. Fortunately for them, virtually every major American official involved in the plotting had a family or business connection to the company itself. A young Argentine traveler named Che Guevara happened to be in Guatemala when Arbenz was overthrown in 1954. After that, Che told his mother, “I left the path of reason.” And so, too, did Latin America. That day marked a turning point, the end of a hopeful age of reform and the beginning of a bloody age of revolution and reaction. Over the next four decades, hundreds of thousands of people – 200,000 in Guatemala alone – were killed in guerrilla attacks, government crackdowns and civil wars across Latin America. A resident of García Márquez’s Macondo provides an epitaph: “Look at the mess we’ve got ourselves into just because we invited a gringo to eat some bananas.” – NY Times Big Fruit [SQ Copy].
» EoP Leg Sub: 15 Mar: Req for EoP TRC Info: Timberland: J Swartz; Chiquita: C Flores: Nobel Peace Prize Nomination: Abel TRC Reason Freelancer.