Monthly Archives: December 2007

No Autopsy on Bhutto’s Body

That’ll put to rest all questions:

… Bhutto was not killed by gunshots, as had been widely reported, and doctors at Rawalpindi General Hospital, where she died, say there were no bullet marks on the former … Perhaps more shockingly, an attendee at the rally where Bhutto was killed says police charged with protecting her “abandoned their posts,” leaving just a handful of Bhutto’s own bodyguards protecting her. Whatever the case, Bhutto’s precise cause of death may never be known because of the failure to administer an autopsy.

Peggy Noonan is an Idiot

Glen G:

On behalf of the throngs for whom she fantasizes she speaks, Noonan proclaims: “We are grown-ups . . . We’d like knowledge, judgment, a prudent understanding of the world and of the ways and histories of the men and women in it.” This grown-up then proceeds to pronounce that Romney, McCain, Giuliani, Thompson and Duncan Hunter are all “reasonable” — as are Biden, Dodd, Richardson and Obama (though too young and inexperienced to be President) — but this is what she says about John Edwards: “John Edwards is not reasonable. . . . .[W]e can’t have a president who spent two minutes on YouTube staring in a mirror and poofing his hair. Really, we just can’t.

Icelander Humiliated, Interrogated, Chained by Airport Security

Eva Ósk Arnardóttir, Icelander was traveling through the States:

There I was told that according to their records I had overstayed my visa by 3 weeks in 1995. … I looked at the official in disbelief and told him that I had in fact visited New York after the trip in 1995 without encountering any difficulties. … I was photographed and fingerprinted. … Then I was placed in a cubicle which looked like an operating room. Attached to the walls were 4 steel plates, probably intended to serve as bed and a toilet. … Soon thereafter I was removed from the cubicle and two armed guards placed me up against a wall. A chain was fastened around my waist and I was handcuffed to the chain. Then my legs were placed in chains. I asked for permission to make a telephone call but they refused. So secured, I was taken from the airport terminal in full sight of everybody. … I was led inside in the chains and there yet another interrogation session ensued. I was fingerprinted once again and photographed. I was made to undergo a medical examnination, I was searched and then I was placed in a jail cell. I was asked absurd questions such as: When did you have your last period? What do you believe in? Have you ever tried to commit suicide?

Ron Paul

I am so goddamned sick hearing about Ron Paul. I think his fans are doing a dis-service to his campaign by excreting his name on every forum and bookmarking site you can find.

Spot On/Off

I feel awful. A guy at the gym asked me to spot him on a bench press – he was bench pressing about 200 pounds. I stood over him. The first 2 reps were fine. The 3rd he managed to get through and then something snapped and the bar fell on him. I didn’t move fast enough to help and he rolled the bar over him and off the bench. He said he felt something in his chest snap. I feel terrible that I didn’t catch the bar in time. He even tells us he is a sports therapist. Ron will tell you I was doing it all wrong and should have been helping him on that last rep even though usually he tells me I help people too much and just yesterday I helped a guy out after he started to fail at the lift and he said that was exactly the way he wanted it. I feel terrible. Ron gets to have his I Told Ya So in the near future. This is after hearing that someone in the gym said I’d packed on some pounds.

Landmark Case Today: Center for Constitutional Right Argues Before SCOTUS Today

Stream while you work.

The Center for Constitutional Rights has eclipsed the ACLU in my eyes. CCR is always pushing the courts to limit the abuse of power of Mr. Bush (and don’t think Mr. Romney or Giuliani or Obama or Ms. Clinton won’t abuse this power as well).

What may be one of the most important civil rights cases of the past decade goes before the Supreme Court today. CCR (not Credence Clearwater Revival, you proles) is arguing the limits of detention:

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the cases of Al Odah v. U.S. and Boumediene v. Bush December 5th. These cases represent the third time the high court will hear a Guantánamo-related case. The previous two times, the court sided with CCR and the Guantánamo petitioners.

Al Odah v. United States [briefing]

On June 28, 2004, the Supreme Court held in Rasul v. Bush, that the nearly-600 men imprisoned by the U.S. government in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba had a right of access to the federal courts, via habeas corpus and otherwise, to challenge their detention and conditions of confinement. Subsequent to this decision, the habeas petitions were remanded to the district court for further proceedings. Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, CCR and cooperating counsel filed 11 new habeas petitions in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of over 70 detainees. These cases eventually became the consolidated cases of Al Odah v. United Statesand Boumediene v. Bush, the leading cases determining the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, the rights of non-citizens to challenge the legality of their detention in an offshore U.S. military base, and the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

‘You Will Not Touch Him/This is The Hour’ from Miss Saigon

Kim (Lea Salonga) reveals her son, fathered by an American GI, to her betrothed cousin, Thuy. As violence erupts indoors, Saigon falls and a parade honoring Ho Chi Minh runs through the streets. I could probably watch this every day and still have the same breathless reaction to it. When I talk about how I like plays/blogs about the intersection of history and biography – the personal and political – this scene illustrates that perfectly.