February 7, 2010 archive

Docudharma Times Sunday February 7

Sunday’s Headlines:

Think-tanks take oil money and use it to fund climate deniers

Jazz legend Johnny Dankworth dies aged 82

With speech before tea party activists, Palin once again steps on political stage

How did the Super Bowl get to be like this?

Ukraine set for tilt to east as Russia’s ally holds poll lead

Arch-enemy Dominique de Villepin takes aim at ‘the dwarf’ Nicolas Sarkozy

The Iranian revolution grinds to a halt on the eve of its anniversary

Shirin Ebadi’s interview with The Sunday Telegraph

Special forces assassins infiltrate Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan

How a feng shui guru’s bid for Nina Wang’s billions ended in his Hong Kong arrest

Africa’s illicit money sent to Western banks

How a feng shui guru’s bid for Nina Wang’s billions ended in his Hong Kong arrest

Haitians prepare for boat journey to Florida

Talkin’ ’bout my generation…

There are many people who lament the end of the ’60s and complain about today’s self-absorbed, materialistic youth.  Now, I’m a teenager, and I can tell you that there’s a grain of truth (maybe a boulder…) to those complaints, but there’s also a vibrant political culture among those of us whippersnappers who do care.

Well, we all know Dylan, Lennon, and Young.  But what about Francis, Folds, and Morello?  If you take a look at the music scene today, it’s apparent that there are a lot of young people who care.  There’s currently a lot of music in the same spirit, if not the same style, as the classics of protest music.

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Sarah Palin Hands Out Some Stupid Advice

Sarah I Have No Ethics Palin gave the keynote speech tonight at the first National Tea Party convention in Nashville.

The former Alaska governor criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the attempted bombing of a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas Day, saying the suspect should have been interrogated more intensely. She said he doesn’t deserve the constitutional rights that U.S. soldiers are willing to die for.

I guess this means nothing to Sarah Palin


and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading

Treatment or Punishment

The States Parties to this Convention,

Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Recognizing that those rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,

Considering the obligation of States under the Charter, in particular Article 55, to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Having regard to article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one may be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,

Having regard also to the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted by the General Assembly on 9 December 1975 (resolution 3452 (XXX)),

Desiring to make more effective the struggle against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment throughout the world,

Have agreed as follows:

The Geneva Conventions of 1949


In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed ‘ hors de combat ‘ by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

Both of which were approved by the U.S. Senate and signed into law.

Sarah Palin doesn’t believe in the rule of law either as evidenced by her her complete ignorance of the rights afforded those arrested within the United States:

The Miranda Warning

The Constitution reserves many rights for those suspected of crime. One of the fears of the Framers was that the government could act however it wished by simply saying an individual was a suspected criminal. Many of the rights in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, such as habeas corpus, the right to remain silent, and the right to an attorney, are designed to ensure that those accused of a crime are assured of those rights.

Police were able to take advantage of the fact that not everyone knows their rights by heart. In fact, it is likely that most citizens could name a few of their rights as accused criminals, but not all of them. The police’s position was that if the accused, for example, spoke about a crime without knowing that they did not need to, that it was the person’s fault for not invoking that right, even if they did not know, or did not remember, that they had that right.

This was the crux of the issue in Miranda v Arizona. In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was accused of kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old, mildly retarded woman. He was brought in for questioning, and confessed to the crime. He was not told that he did not have to speak or that he could have a lawyer present. At trial, Miranda’s lawyer tried to get the confession thrown out, but the motion was denied. In 1966, the case came in front of the Supreme Court. The Court ruled that the statements made to the police could not be used as evidence, since Miranda had not been advised of his rights.

Sarah Palin, her supporters, members of the Tea Party, Conservatives and the Republican Party don’t believe in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights because they give the accused and the weak protections they would have never agreed to. These people are anti-immigrant, against equal rights, racist and believe that America is a Christian Nation when the Constitution clearly states that there will be a separation of church and state.  

Hypocritical Prosecution for War-Crimes in Miami

From the Guardian…

The American-born son of former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor has been ordered to pay more than £14m in compensation to five people tortured during the West African country’s civil war.

A judge in the US made the order a year after the same Miami court sentenced Charles McArthur Emmanuel Taylor, known as Chuckie, to 97 years in prison for his role in one of Africa’s bloodiest chapters; he was the first person to be convicted by a federal court of committing offences outside the US.

The 32-year-old led the notorious Anti-Terrorist Unit, a band of pro-government paramilitaries nicknamed the Demon Forces who carried out murder and torture during his father’s presidency from 1997 to 2003.

Witnesses at his criminal trial in 2008 spoke of hearing him laugh as prisoners were abused and how the Anti-Terrorist Unit “did things like beating people to death, burying them alive, rape – the most horrible kind of war crimes”.

A spokesman for United States immigration and customs enforcement said that it was a “clear message the US would not be a safe haven for human rights violators.”

The US isn’t a safe haven for war-criminals?


Remember these fine words from Barack Obama?

In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution.

And Eric Holder…

It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department.

The torture memos from Bybee and Yoo cover everybody else, and Bybee and Yoo aren’t guilty either! It was just “bad judgement!”


Everybody walks! Nobody goes to jail!

So forget about the “clear message the US would not be a safe haven for human rights violators.”

The real message for the torturers of tomorrow is…

Get some whore of a lawyer (like John Yoo) in your local DOJ to opine that whatever you do is legal, and then you can chop up your victims with no more fear of prosecution than if you were chopping onions.

Open Thread w flute music

man Im tired, long busy day with lots of running around. A top priority included getting Lord Lib’s piccolo back from the shop.  Tomorrow is first day of rehearsals…. he played the show once before, a few years ago, and they’ve hired him again for another go. He’ll be performing all the flute parts.

Miss Saigon TUTS link. I thought I’d go toobing to remember some of the music. It’s a good show, if you ever have the chance to see it.

He {Director Bruce Lumpkin} says some people consider it an anti-war show, but it is that and more. “It’s anti-war but it’s also a very tragic love story. The two main characters almost make it out; they almost make it work.”

Lumpkin was doing Grand Hotel on Broadway when he first saw Miss Saigon after it had opened on Broadway. “It moved me to tears. It is a beautiful story.” When it closed on Broadway he says he was approached and asked if he thought it could work in the round and he said yes.

“The music is just beautiful. It’s a modern-day rock opera, one of the best.”

He says most people don’t realize that the fall of Saigon happened so quickly, that people had only 17 hours to get out before the Viet Cong came marching down the streets of Saigon.

When he was doing a D.C. production of the play, which is based on Madame Butterfly, the cast had a chance to meet the entire crew of the last helicopter out of Vietnam.

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