Thursday, May 05, 2005

DC IMC on Anti-torture Protest case; Kansas IMC on Bully Boy's world, Boston IMC on possible hate crime

From DC Indymedia, Maggie e-mails regarding Pete's "Verdict in Anti-torture Protest Case Delayed:"

In February, three were charged for stepping onto the lower steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, during a protest against the US military's use of torture and the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. The judge has allowed the defense two weeks to present written arguments.
In an unusual maneuver, the judge suspends conviction pending further arguments
WASHINGTON -- Three anti-torture activists will have to wait for their verdict after the judge's surprise move Wednesday, suspending her not guilty finding until June 30 when she will hear further arguments from the prosecution and the defense.
The three pro se defendants were charged with violating a federal law when they stepped onto the marble lower steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in February as part of a protest against torture used by the military and the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as attorney general.
After two days of testimony, D.C. Superior Court Judge Patricia Wynn ruled in favor of the U.S. Government, but then said she was open to further arguments if there was case law she neglected in her ruling statement. Defendants pro se Peter Perry and Mitchell Potts then responded that there were further case law matters that needed to be addressed.

From Kansas IMC, Lori e-mails Gene W. DeVaux's "Bush World as we know it:"

In the last four years, our national debt has grown by over 2 trillion dollars. Today the Senate voted to raise the debt limit to over 8 trillion dollars. Our trade deficits have ballooned to around 600 billion ayear. Annual federal budget deficits have been around 600 Billion when Social Security surpluses are subtracted from the equation. Gasoline is at record highs. China has become our chief competitor in the market for oil suppliers. The situation in Iraq is continuing to indicate a failure of foreign policy.
Jobs are being created, not in the United States, but in foreign countries. China is flexing its military muscle over Taiwan as it grows rich on sales to the United States. Wage discrepancies are growing with low income Americans seeing their paycheck shrink in relation to the huge salaries of corporate executives.

For more click the link prior to the excerpt. We'll also note an editorial from The Nation on the same topic. It's called "The Dollar Doldrums" and is by Doug Henwood (it's only available to subscribers so if you don't subscribe to The Nation, check your local libraries):

The major reason for the dollar's weakness is the profound imbalance in America's dealings with the outside world: We import far more than we export. The trade accounts slipped into the red in 1976, and the deficit has been getting steadily larger. This is an unusual performance for a rich country, where rough balance or even large surpluses are the norm. Trade deficits are usually associated with countries undergoing impressive growth spurts, like South Korea in its glory days (though the country has since matured into surpluses)--or chronically troubled economies, like those of Africa or Latin America.
When imports greatly exceed exports, you must borrow vast gobs of money from abroad to make up the difference. During the late 1990s, most of our foreign money came from private investors, intoxicated by the New Economy miracle of the Clinton era. Lately, the task of financing American deficits has fallen to the central banks of Asia, whose dollar assets (mostly US government bonds) now collectively surpass $1 trillion. They acquire these dollars in two ways. First, when Americans import foreign-made goods, we pay in dollars, which then accumulate abroad. Since there is relatively little that we export to Asia, they don't spend those dollars on our products; they acquire our securities instead.

Please note, The Nation has a new look and we'll cover that in an entry shortly.

From Boston Indymedia, Terrence e-mails Pete Stidman's "Hate Crime Alleged on Tufts Campus:"

Riyadh Mohammed 20, an Economics Major in his Junior year at Tufts University, alleges that he was attacked by three fraternity brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon in front of their frat house early Saturday morning. He claims he was beaten unconscious, and subjected to a chain of racist epithets. Police confirm that he was in need of medical attention after the incident.
Never one to hold back his opinions, president of the Arab Students Association at the school, and one who friends say, “puts the fact that he is an Arab out there.” Mohammed is proud of who he is. According to Mohammed, he and his girlfriend were walking home from a party at about 2am Saturday morning. They passed in front of 114 Curtis, the SigmaPhi Epsilon house, and to his girlfriend, Riyadh commented, "Sig Ep f**king sucks."
Whether intended or not, the hostile comment was overheard. Insults were exchanged and a short, slight, scuffle ensued.

Terrance says he's trying to figure out what happened but isn't sure. Read the comments and you'll find a variety of opinions. (I wasn't there, I don't know.) We'll try to follow this story if it develops further.

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