May 2009 archive
May 31 2009
May 31 2009
The circumstances are of course, not the same. For one thing we do not know if any of the victims of the Bush Torture Program have committed suicide…..yet.
But I have always speculated that part of our government’s response to the issue of torture and illegal detention, rendition, etc hasn’t been at least influenced by crass financial considerations.
MIAMI – A judge on Friday awarded more than $1 billion in damages against the Cuban government for the 1959 suicide of the father of a Cuban-American man who was involved in the CIA-backed capture and killing of revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
“The undisputed evidence at trial established that defendants’ conduct rose to such a level of depravity that they caused Mr. Villoldo to take his life, and their actions are properly classified as torture,” Adrien said in a seven-page decision.
The father was beaten, deprived of food, interrogated for days and repeatedly told he would be executed as a purported U.S. agent.
Soon after the man’s release from jail, Guevara visited the elder Villoldo personally and forced him to choose either death by firing squad himself or the execution of his son, Alters said. He chose to die, then opted for suicide rather than giving Guevara and Castro the satisfaction of killing him.
The lawsuit filed last year sought damages against the Cuban government, Fidel and Raul Castro and Guevara for wrongful death and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Adrien awarded nearly $1.2 billion: $393 million in economic damages suffered by the family; $393 million for pain and suffering; and $393 million in punitive damages.
“They can’t get away with torture and then expect to get back into the U.S. economy,” he said.
I emphasize again the different circumstances.
But a billion dollar award for torture and wrongful death multiplied by the number of Bush victims does not bode well for justice in a country where money is valued above human life.
May 31 2009
It has come to my attention that you have been made new community overlord over at Daily Kos.
Congratulations and may I respectfully ask that in your first 100 days of office you release my handle from Guantrollano Bay, Cuba:
I see no reason for my handle to have been banned.
It’s my real name, what the hell could I possibly do with my real name attached to it that others would be afraid of?!
Unless you are of the belief that some need to remain in “prolonged detention” because I am considered a threat to the Daily Kos.
I can see why seeing how I was e-waterboarded by members of that site to give up my real life info and therefore I am thought to wanting to seek vengeance.
The truth is I want peace.
I want to be afforded the same rights as all others who follow the laws of the Daily Kos.
My original banning under “Jack’s Smirking Revenge” has been reviewed by numerous ex-kos kops who didn’t see a reason for me to even be banned in the first place and who disagree with the methods used to ban and eventually extract information through blackmail.
They agree that the last Administration was wrong to ban me.
I respectfully request full reinstatement if it is a power given to you or at least your influence to have my case reviewed.
Thank you for your time.
May 31 2009
“Greed isn’t good.”
“Americans will do anything to each other for money.”
When Bill is good, he is great. In this weeks show, though, he really out does himself. Every issue gets nailed, from torture to empathy on the Supreme Court, to gay marriage and health care. In my opinion, this is one of the, if not the best episode ever.
This week, Bill Maher had on Michael Pollan in a great exchange about food and what type’s of food are evil. That exchange was worth an essay alone, and can be viewed here.
You can view the other segments of this episode on Youtube as well.
This weeks guests were Fmr. Ambassador John Bolton and Fmr. Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM). When faced with a 2 on 1 disadvantage, Bill hits the ball out of the park on every issue. Bill calls John Bolton out for being part of the Bush Cabal, he demands that America tortured to justify Iraq-Al Qaeda link and trick us into war. The whole episode is available on YouTube but I thought I would post the best segments right here.
Watch Bill at his best here. Some pundits would fold and play nice if they were outnumbered ideologically by a 2 to 1 margin. Not Bill. He attacks these two Conservatives on the issues and moves the direction of the debate into his frame. If only other pundits and non-Conservatives could learn how to do the same.
Bill dares both of these GOPosaurs to choose on the spot between Rush and Colon Powell. He nails single payer, health care, the MIC.
I will say this about John Bolton, he is a war criminal through association, but at least he is competent at his job. Bill Maher and his two guests have a very in depth conversation on North Korea, all of which is included in the videos. The summation is that North Korea is flat out crazy, and as dangerous as a bear trapped in your garage.
Hill Harper, who is a friend of President Obama, joins the panel in the sixth part of the show, and the conversation moves over to the Sotomayor controversy amongst shitheaded Conservatives, and watching Hill Harper destroy John Bolton is a very enjoyable experience.
The fact is that the Supreme Court should be a body that is representative of the people, not the Corporations and Special Interests that own the people.
May 31 2009
The flag is not powerful in spite of its ambiguity; it is powerful because of its ambiguity. It has stood, at different times, for radical democracy, opposition to immigration, the abolition of slavery, unregulated capitalism, segregation, integration, and a hawkish war policy, among many other things.
May 31 2009
Another Week And
The Media Just
Plays Along With
The Republican Racists
Bias Case Looms Large for Nominee
Ruling on Firefighters’ Lawsuit Raises Questions About Sotomayor’s Philosophy
By Robert Barnes and Eli Saslow
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Judge Sonia Sotomayor has heard thousands of cases and has issued as many rulings in her nearly two decades on the federal bench, but the early debate over her judicial philosophy in her Supreme Court confirmation battle comes down to one paragraph.
It is the 134-word summary order in Ricci v. DeStefano, which upheld the decision of New Haven, Conn., to throw out the promotion test it had given city firefighters when no African Americans and two Hispanics qualified for advancement.
The case is under review by the Supreme Court that Sotomayor would join. If the decision is reversed — which, from the tone of oral arguments in April, seems a distinct possibility — the high court’s ruling will probably come at the end of June, just as the Senate and the nation begin to consider Sotomayor’s qualifications.
Kidnappers swoop on China’s girls
The state’s one-baby policy has led to a shortage of females that gangs are ruthlessly exploiting
Michael Sheridan in Kunming, CHINA From The Sunday Times
May 31, 2009
WHEN Li Xiang Xiang, aged 2½, went out of her family’s home on April 1 to the shop around the corner, as she did every day, her mother expected to see her back in minutes with a big smile and a bag of sweets.
Instead, Xiang Xiang – whose rhyming name means “thoughtful” – vanished and her heartbroken mother and father joined the ranks of Chinese parents who fear they have lost their little girls to child kidnappers.
Small boys have long been abducted for sale in China, but in recent years the country’s strict birth control policy, which has led to abortions of girls in families intent on having a boy, has left the countryside short of female babies.
According to a recent report in the British Medical Journal, 124 boys are born for every 100 girls in the country as a whole, and in one province the figure has risen to 192.
Contractors Vie for Plum Work, Hacking for the United States
By CHRISTOPHER DREW and JOHN MARKOFF
Published: May 30, 2009
MELBOURNE, Fla. – The government’s urgent push into cyberwarfare has set off a rush among the biggest military companies for billions of dollars in new defense contracts.
The exotic nature of the work, coupled with the deep recession, is enabling the companies to attract top young talent that once would have gone to Silicon Valley. And the race to develop weapons that defend against, or initiate, computer attacks has given rise to thousands of “hacker soldiers” within the Pentagon who can blend the new capabilities into the nation’s war planning.
Nearly all of the largest military companies – including Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon – have major cyber contracts with the military and intelligence agencies.
May 31 2009
This morning I’m going to feature the essays of TP_Alexander. He’s working on a book and publishes the chapters periodically.
Like Something The Dog Said is starting up.
I want to make it clear that these are the exact kind of projects that I like to see expressed on DocuDharma. They are the kind of thing that is easily overlooked at a faster paced blog. We allow three posts a day so you do not feel constrained to highlight only your best work, it can be as silly or profound as you wish.
Sometimes you can feel ignored because of the lack of comments, but if you examine influential blogs like tbogg or attackerman (I recommend subscriptions at Firedog Lake’s Oxdown Gazette and OpenLeft so you can crosspost appropriate content) or Booman Tribune and My Left Wing) you’ll see that is not atypical for creative content.
I tend to highlight the political, but I recognize the artistic.
Diaries in Chronological Order of TP_Alexander
(except for the two most recent installments which I will promote for your attention)
- What is this all about? Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 20:37:36 PST
- Utopia 1: A Day in the Life of… Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 15:33:55 PST
- Dystopia 1: The Old Future’s Gone Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 15:29:37 PST
- Utopia 2: First Day of School Fri Mar 06, 2009 at 15:55:10 PST
- Dystopia 2: Dinnertime Fri Mar 06, 2009 at 16:03:47 PST
- Utopia 3: Ms. Grant Fri Mar 06, 2009 at 16:14:39 PST
- Dystopia 3: Detained Sun Mar 08, 2009 at 11:23:26 PDT
- Utopia 4: Movie Day Sun Mar 08, 2009 at 11:49:23 PDT
- Dystopia 4: The Trainee Sun Mar 08, 2009 at 13:07:30 PDT
- Utopia 5: Class Discussion Sat Mar 14, 2009 at 17:31:15 PDT
- Dystopia 5: Lost Sat Mar 21, 2009 at 22:07:30 PDT
- Utopia 6: Night Out Sat Apr 04, 2009 at 11:55:09 PDT
- Dystopia 6: The Enemy Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 15:40:24 PDT
- Utopia 7: Civics Lesson Sat May 02, 2009 at 17:05:56 PDT
- Dystopia 7: The Rebels Sat May 09, 2009 at 15:14:11 PDT
- Dystopia 8: The Touch Sat May 16, 2009 at 13:32:09 PDT
May 31 2009
Some decisions you live with forever. Many people learn that ugly lesson without truly knowing what it means, but eventually I ceased to be one of those people. When the decision to lie came, it came easily. Following through was a little harder, considering the venue-a Catholic church called St. Edward’s that commanded a sublime vista of sea and sky-but under the circumstances I still managed to blaspheme a little. Besides, it was the second time in three months that I’d been dragged into one of God’s houses by a pretty girl, and no one makes smart choices when they’re cornered like that. Especially since a police team broke open the wall on Aliso Peak earlier that morning and found a body. I knew that because Miguel Arroyo said so, almost as an afterthought, while he sat down in the pew’s remaining aisle seat and blocked me in.
“So Roy, is there anything else you want to tell me?”
May 31 2009
Note: this turns Orange and will appear at Congress Matters Sunday at 8 p.m.
Welcome to the tenth installment of “Considered Forthwith.”
This weekly series looks at the various committees in the House and the Senate. Committees are the workshops of our democracy. This is where bills are considered, revised, and occasionally advance for consideration by the House and Senate. Most committees also have the authority to exercise oversight of related executive branch agencies. If you want to read previous dairies in the series, search using the “forthwith” tag or use the link on my blogroll. I welcome criticisms and corrections in the comments.
This week I will look at the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. The committee’s jurisdiction is very similar to the House Judiciary Committee (the Forthwith diary is posted here). There is one big difference, though. The Senate committee gets to hold hearings on judicial confirmations, so this seems timely.
Additionally, the committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on an important gay rights/immigration bill (see Uniting American Families Act below).