Archive - Jul 6, 2005

Charles Bowden and Joey O'Shay on the Radio

By amazing luck, I happened to have the radio on, tuned to NPR, and heard an interview with none other than the mysterious, pseudonymous Joey O'Shay, the undercover DEA agent who's the subject of Charles Bowden's new book that I just blogged about the other day. I went online and found the archived show, and found out it's the second part in a series. In the first part, they interview Bowden. He sounds exactly the same as he sounds when I interviewed him in February, the same as in the dozens of clips that I am needing to watch over and over and over on my computer as I edit my Juarez documentary.

It's really quite amazing how Bowden does what he does. He's managed to get so deep inside this drug agent's head that he can tell his story like Joey was a character he invented in a novel. And the agent, when he speaks on the radio, sounds like a made up character. His voice is like everyone's fantasy stereotype of the classic Texas redneck, sort of like Nick Cage in "Wild at Heart." It's incredible how sometimes the real is so real that you think it might be artifice, that it resembles illusion. Or maybe my perception of that reality is warped by my conception of the ideal that I've received from viewing so many fictions. Just as Baudrillard said.

CAFTA vote coming soon!!! Act Now!

The U.S. Senate has already voted on and passed the Domnican Republic and Central American Free Trade Agreement, and the House is set to vote on it next week. This is the time to make your voice heard, that approving CAFTA will be disasterous for everyone, from Costa Rica to Connecticut, Guatemala to Idaho. Here's what you can do:

Take Action During the July 5-10 Recess to Pressure Representatives and
call attention to the Hunger Strike in El Salvador
Call your Representatives Today! Capitol switchboard # is (202)
224-3121 (see below for toll free option)


1. Contact your Representative and tell them to vote NO on
DR-CAFTA! Also, call their attention to the Hunger Strike taking place
in El Salvador and tell them that a vote for DR-CAFTA is a vote against
human and labor rights.

To contact your Representative call the Capitol switchboard at (202)
224-3121 or visit or
for the local contact information for your Rep.
The United Steelworkers have also provided this toll-free number for
general use to call Congress about CAFTA: 866-340-9281. It will connect
you to the Capitol Switchboard, and at that point you simply ask the
operator to be connected to the Congressional office of your choice.

When you talk with your Rep:
1. Ask to speak to the trade staffer, chief of staff or legislative
2. Tell them you are a constituent and want to know your Rep's
position on CAFTA.
3. If the Rep is opposed to the agreement and will vote against it,
thank him/her. Ask if your Rep has made his/her opposition public and
encourage him/her to do so. Always ask for a letter to you stating
his/her position.
4. If the Rep is undecided, ask your Rep (or staffer) why and when
they are planning on taking a position. Let them know that you oppose
CAFTA (any personal stories related to how NAFTA hurt your region are
helpful) and urge them to vote no when CAFTA comes up.
5. If the Rep is planning to vote for CAFTA, urge them to reconsider.
Inform the office that you intend to spread the word that the Rep is
voting against their constituents' interests.
For sample call scripts and suggestions on concerns to raise, please
visit .

** When phone calls and meetings aren't enough, staging a direct
action is a powerful tool. For ideas on local actions and assistance in
organizing in your community please visit the Stop-CAFTA website at **