Posada revisited

Venezuela Will Push U.S. to Hand Over Man Tied to Plane Bombing [2009/01/23] A story I'd followed long ago and forgotten until picking up a copy of Churchill's Roosting Chickens essay recently. Trial was moved to 2011 Jan 11, but rather than facing charges for terrorist activites, Posada is being tried on only immigration charges.


[update 2011/02/16: add link]

El Paso Diary: Day 19 in the Trial of Posada Carriles [Counterpunch 2011/02/16]

[update 2011/06/28]

Luis Posada Carriles Acquitted in Texas

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de Menezes case settled

Britain to Settle Case of Brazilian Shot as 'Terrorist'. Revisiting an old case.

The killing of Mr. de Menezes rocked Scotland Yard — as London’s Metropolitan Police is widely known — and contributed to the forced resignation last year of Sir Ian Blair, Britain’s top police officer.
"The Commissioner would like to take this opportunity of making a further unreserved apology to the family for the tragic death of Jean Charles de Menezes and to reiterate that he was a totally innocent victim and in no way to blame for his untimely death."

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Election Day

[Pre-Election Day musings written 11/3.  Perhaps I was concerned about what others would think about my having voted for Nader when I left this post in draft status.  Seems wrong to delete it.  Leaving this in its original, unfinished state.]

Hard not to think about the Presidential election this year.  I am constantly having to remind myself that no matter which major party candidate wins, little will change unless it takes root at ground level.  I recall that Obama said something like this early in his campaign, and I wonder if anyone actually paid attention to it.  Last time I checked, Congress makes the laws.  The President wields veto power and executes foreign policy.  Gun and abortion rights aren't going anywhere.

On foreign policy, Obama shows a far less belligerent attitude in general than the warmonger McCain.  What idiot jokes about bombing Iran?  Scant "pro-life" outrage will be found on that issue.  This alone makes him a no-brainer choice between these two, but I'm constantly reminded of Nader's words: "The problem with voting for the lesser of two evils is that at the end of the day, you're left with evil."  Or something like that.

Voting for Nader in NY was an easy choice in 2004, but a more difficult choice in TX in 2008.  Principles won out in the end:

  • I still hold a grudge against the Democrats for suing to keep Nader off the ballot in 2004 (to be fair, this isn't necessarily specific to Obama).
  • Obama voted in favor of telecom immunity on the issue of warrant-less wiretaps, which even Hillary opposed.
  • Strong support for ethanol as part of energy reform.
  • Supported the $700B bank bailout bill. This is a huge theft of taxpayer money in my mind, but it seems no one really cares.
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Terrible terror filled terrified

Man Guilty in Canada Terror Plot. Thought this happened only in the US. Muslim teen gets prison for paintball, doughnuts, and talking smack?!

Charges were dropped this year against seven of the defendants. And evidence presented at the first trial suggests that the group was long on inflammatory talk about plots but short on the means and methods to carry them out, and that it may have been aided - and perhaps provoked - by paid police informants.

From the first terrifying charges outlined by prosecutors to the gritty, often comically deflated details that have emerged in court, the case of the Toronto 18 seems to fit a well-established pattern in terrorism prosecutions. Whether the result of trumped-up charges, conflicting demands of intelligence agencies or difficulties of trying cases where evidence is withheld by governments looking to protect their sources and methods, numerous terrorism trials in the United States and Europe have similarly foundered over the years.

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Those who give tha thieves tha key to their homes

Administration Is Seeking $700 Billion for Wall Street. While legislators debate the terms of this giveaway, all I can think is, WTF?! There is no way a bailout should be happening under any terms.

At his news conference, Mr. Bush also sought to portray the plan as helping every American. "The government," he said, "needed to send a clear signal that we understood the instability could ripple throughout and affect the working people and the average family, and we weren’t going to let that happen."

Condoleeza's mushroom cloud smoking gun.

Mr. Frank said Democrats were also thinking about tightening the language on the debt limit to make clear that the additional borrowing authority could be used only for the bailout plan. And he said they might seek to revive a proposal that would give bankruptcy judges the authority to modify the terms of primary mortgages, a proposal strongly opposed by the financial industry.

Lately, I've been thinking that perhaps I am too cynical and paranoid about collusion between Republicans and Democrats, trading power back and forth while ultimately promoting the same corporate special interests. Then this happens.


Telephone town hall

[Didn't get a chance to ask Congressman Lampson a question tonight so I had to settle for an email message.]

I appreciate your taking feedback and questions during tonight's telephone town hall.

Looking at US oil consumption figures for 2007 (courtesy of the DoE), current US oil consumption is estimated at over 20M barrels per day, of which over 50% is imported. Your sponsored legislation to release 70M barrels from the SPR amounts to less than a week's worth of imports. Regarding drilling in Alaska, estimated peak production for ANWR ranges from 500-800 thousand barrels per day, with peak production projected to occur 20 years out. My concern is that both of these measures amount to a drop in the bucket when compared with our nation's actual consumption.

When I crunch these projections against the current price of oil, I'm having a hard time seeing how lease royalties can even come close to the $2.6 trillion figure that is touted on your web site. The number I get is closer to $10 billion per year.

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Nader/Gonzalez 2008

Nader supporters give him $7,000. Looking forward to writing Nader in on the ballot. Yeah, I gave, too, partly because I had a nice poker win the night before...

It didn't matter that he had, as one supporter put it, "a snowball's chance in hell" of being elected.

I have a hard time thinking of her a supporter as she seemed more like a bitter heckler. The rest of her long rant went along the lines of "The current system is a sham, and why should we even bother to participate in it?"

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Immunity for wiretapping telecoms

Congress votes to immunize lawbreaking telecoms, legalize warrantless eavesdropping. Obama votes with the Republicans in favor of immunity for telecom companies that broke wiretapping laws. Even Clinton voted against.

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Missiles in Iran

KAL 007 and Iran Air 655: Comparing the Coverage. In light of the recent news coverage of Iranian missile tests, here is an old but nonetheless interesting tidbit I ran across this morning. Twenty years ago, the USS Vincennes shot down a passenger jet (IR655) over the strait of Hormuz, killing 290 people. Why don't I remember this?

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Fading memories

Occasionally, I have to remind myself about this period of post-9/11 insanity because it is easy to forget. Mandatory registration of Middle Eastern men, panic over "fear" boxes, random bag searches at subway stations, and TSA screeners sticking hands inside your underwear. Years later, an unarmed Brazilian is shot to death in a subway car by London police, which is followed by a great amount of misinformation in the press.

U.S. Will Seek To Fingerprint Visas' Holders. [NYT 2002/06/05]

The Justice Department will propose new regulations this week requiring tens of thousands of Muslim and Middle Eastern visa holders to register with the government and be fingerprinted, administration officials said today.

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