Saturday, October 22, 2005

Other Items

Anyone with a memory going back to the Vietnam War must hear the clear echo of the term "sanctuary," which Nixon invoked as justification for widening that war into Laos and Cambodia. (Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith write about the possibility of a widening war at some length at
Already, the United States has engaged in skirmishes over the Syrian border. "Some current and former officials add that the United States military is considering plans to conduct operations inside Syria, using small, covert teams for intelligence gathering," said the Times article by Dexter Filkins.
Then there's China, which Donald Rumsfeld visited on the same day Rice was testifying before Congress.
Before 9/11, China was the next enemy in the Pentagon’s view. Osama bin Laden gave China some breathing room, but Rumsfeld is still snorting and pawing the ground as he points his bullying head toward Beijing.
In June, Rumsfeld warned that China was "expanding its missile forces, allowing them to reach targets in many areas of the world." (See
Michael T. Klare's excellent article in The Nation.)
Then in July, the Pentagon released a report that said, "The pace and scope of China’s military build-up are, already, such as to put regional military balances at risk." China, the report said, is "potentially posing a credible threat to modern militaries operating in the region."
Of course, the United States is one of those modern militaries.

Wow, the New York Times is getting hard hitting! (Or as Keesha once said, "Grey Lady be letting her hair down, step!") Sadly, no. The above is from Matthew Rothschild's "A Foreign Policy of Free-Floating Belligerence" (This Just In, The Progressive). Lloyd picked the excerpt and I thought we'd open with it since we have another thing to highlight from Rothschild (which you missed, Lloyd, Valerie e-mailed to note it).

And if Dexter Filkins says something in the New York Times, you better believe the US government wants people to know about it. (Otherwise would Filkins write about it? Based on his rah-rah Falluja reporting and rumors that he cancels interviews with anyone who might raise a military commander's eye brow, the answer is probably no.)

Billie e-mails to note David D. Kirkpatrick's "Texas Senator Takes Exception to Criticism of Supreme Court Nominee's Record." Billie expresses amusement that "John Corny would lecture anyone on the Constitution!" In his three years in office (I would've said two but Billie notes that groundhog like Phil Gramm stepped down early so that Cornyn could get a head start), he's "fired off countless Corny-isms that have led him to become a laughingstock everytime he opens his mouth." Today, he's offended that Harrie Miers' questionnaire responses are dubbed inadequate by some and offended that Arlen Specter thinks Harrie needs to bone up on the Constitution.

Lynda e-mails to note Adam Liptak's "Kansas Law on Gay Sex by Teenagers Is Overturned:"

Matthew R. Limon had just turned 18 when he had consensual oral sex with a boy just shy of 15 at a Kansas school in 2000. He was convicted of criminal sodomy and sentenced to 17 years in prison. Had the sex been heterosexual, the maximum penalty would have been 15 months.
Yesterday, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the starkly different penalties violated the federal Constitution's equal protection clause. It said the state's "Romeo and Juliet" statute, which limits the punishment that can be imposed on older teenagers who have sex with younger ones, but only if they are of the opposite sex, must also apply to teenagers who engage in homosexual sex.
Mr. Limon will soon be released, his lawyer, James D. Esseks, said. "He's spent an extra four years and five months in jail only because he's gay," said Mr. Esseks, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Erika e-mails to note Salman Masood's "Pakistani Raped by Village Order Is to Visit U.S.:"

Mukhtar Mai, the Pakistani woman whose gang rape in 2002 on the orders of a village council caused international outrage, said Friday that she planned to visit the United States next week to receive an award from an American women's magazine.
During her trip, Ms. Mukhtar said, she also plans to help raise funds for the victims of the devastating earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people in Pakistan.
"I have been invited by Glamour magazine," Ms. Mukhtar, 31, said in a telephone interview from Lahore, the city in eastern Pakistan from which she is to fly to the United States.

Glamour magazine is honoring women around the world who have struggled for women's rights in a ceremony on Nov. 2.

For more on Mukhtar Mai, refer to Democracy Now!'s "'I Will Go On Until I Have Even the Slightest Hope of Justice' - Rare Broadcast Interview With Pakistani Rape Survivor Mukhtar Mai." From Amy Goodman's introduction to that interview:

We spend the rest of the hour looking at the case of Mukhtar Mai - a Pakistani rape survivor who has become an international symbol of the ongoing struggle for women's rights in Pakistan.
In June 2002, a group of men gang-raped Mukhtar Mai near her home in Pakistan. The rape was ordered by her local tribal counsel as punishment for a crime allegedly committed by her 12-year-old brother. After her rape, Mukhtar Mai was forced to walk home nearly naked before a jeering crowd of three hundred onlookers.
According to The New York Times, on average, a woman is raped every two hours in Pakistan, and two women a day die in so-called honor killings. Most of the cases go unnoticed, but Mukhtar Mai defied tradition by fighting back against her attackers in the courts. She testified against them. A number of them were convicted and sent to prison. With the compensation money she received, she opened elementary schools in her village.
Last week, Mukhtar Mai was back in the headlines when the Pakistani government barred her from leaving the country in an attempt to block her from publicizing her case. Amnesty International had planned to bring her to the United States. On the eve of her trip, she was detained by Pakistani government officials and placed under house arrest. The government then apparently tried to intimidate her by ordering the release of the 12 men connected to her rape.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf admitted that he had ordered Mukhtar placed on the no fly list, telling reporters "I don't want to project a bad image of Pakistan." But her detention had the opposite effect, sparking international condemnation. The Pakistani government now says Mukhtar Mai is free to travel wherever she wants. But there is one small problem - they confiscated her passport. Once again, Mukhtar Mai is refusing to be silent and is speaking out to the local and international media about her case. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof writes, "President Musharraf may have ousted rivals and overthrown a civilian government, but he has now met his match - a peasant woman with a heart of gold and a will of steel."
I reached Mukhtar Mai yesterday at her home in Pakistan. I began by asking her if she was free to travel outside the country. Translation is provided by Pakistani journalist Azra Rashid.

Ned e-mails to note Raymond Bonner's "Indonesian Students Skeptical About U.S. Policy, but Not America:"

Ms. Hughes, the under secretary of state for public diplomacy, began by inviting the students to tell her what they were studying and what their hopes were.
The students wanted no such small talk. They wanted to talk about
Iraq and America's role in the world, offering comments, opinions and questions marked by charges that the United States was "two-faced" and "unfair."
"Why does America always act as if they are the policeman of the world?" asked 20-year-old Barikatul Hikmah, wearing a black-and-white-striped head scarf, bright yellow pumps and blue jeans.
The question was met with applause from the 100 or so students in the audience.

Brenda e-mailed to ask about a reference I made to Rebecca yesterday. I noted something about the computer problems that morning and that I wasn't doing links (other than to the articles mentioned in that entry) but I'd do the tags. (They're the things below "The e-mail address for . . .") I either said "for Rebecca" or something along the lines of she'd kill me if I didn't do them. Tags, supposedly, assist with "traffic." I'm not concerned with "traffic." But, as with links, I don't have to be and it's kind of elitist of me to not be when other people in the community could use additional visits.

Which isn't to say they're not getting members and visitors going to their sites. Just that we've got members with new sites like Wally at The Daily Jot, Seth at Seth in the City and Cedric's moved his site to Blogger, Cedric's Big Mix. Elaine's probably "new" but since I've known her for years, and been friends with her for years, as well as the six week stint she did filling in for Rebecca at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude while Rebecca was on vacation, she doesn't seem "new" to me. Nor does she seem "old" before she picks up the phone! In addition, you have the always groovy Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills), Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man, Dona, Jim, Jess, Ty and Ava of The Third Estate Sunday Review -- am I leaving someone out? (Maybe I'm just thinking of Folding Star?) So the point is, tags might be of help to someone. Rebecca's the one pushing the tags so, for her, I include them in the morning entries. (I said on other entries, I probably wouldn't and usually don't. I do on the Indyround up Thursday entries.) Elaine's site is Like Maria Said Paz and that might be why I feel like I'm forgetting someone. (That I didn't include her title.)

How do tags work? In case anyone's wondering. They are supposed to allow Technocrati to provide a listing of entries from all over the net that are tagged with similar tags. For instance, yesterday Rebecca wrote about Harriet Miers. She tagged it with that. Ideally, you should be able to click on the tag at the bottom of her entry and find various writings about Harriet Miers.

Ideally. Because unless something has changed, Rebecca and Elaine both are doing tags but they don't show up on Technocrati. You can search their sites and find entries from other members, but their own entries don't show up in the search. (I have no idea why that is.)

So it's one of those get-the-word-out things. (And I've only promised to do them on morning entries and only if I have time.) I don't know how other people feel about them, but I think they're a pain in the butt. But to "get the word out," I'll do them in the morning entries. But if we mention, for instance, Matthew Rothschild here, you should be able to click on the tag with his name below and find others who are also noting him (provided they're doing tags and provide Technocrati is reading their tags).

Which provides us with a transition. Valerie e-mailed to note Matthew Rothschild's "George Mason Urges No Prosecution of Anti-Recruiter" (McCarthyism Watch, The Progressive):

On October 20, George Mason University issued a statement concerning the arrest of Tariq Khan on campus last month. (See "George Mason Student Busted for Anti-Recruiting.")
"The university believes it would be inappropriate for this student to be prosecuted in a criminal court," the statement says. It acknowledges that "aspects of this matter could have been handled differently." But it says its internal investigation "has not revealed facts that would corroborate allegations of bias on the part of university officials."
The university also said it was reviewing "all policies and procedures pertaining to leafleting, demonstrations, and other activities associated with free speech, with a goal of providing a safe and secure campus environment that preserves the rights of all those in the George Mason University community to express their views." For Khan, this is not sufficient.

Don't miss Betty's latest (Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man) which has Betinna planning a dinner party:

Mrs. K was desperate for an invite and dropped hinting as the hours grew closer to the dinner party.
"Betinna," she sobbed, "I cannot take another Friday night of franks and beans and Nicky K."
I hear her. Believe me, I do. But since Thomas Friedman and Nicky K's last encounter ended with Thomas Friedman's hands wrapped tightly around Nicky's neck, I lied and said I had already dangerously exceeded the guest to chair ratio.
She was a good sport and pretended to understand but in the background I could hear Nicky K asking her to pull the TV dinner trays in front of the TV because he felt like watching The Sandlot during dinner one more time.
I was kind of surprised that a woman as smart as she is, married to a columnist for the New York Times, could spend so many empty nights and then I remembered my own sinking boat of a marriage.

We'll note "My Interview With Wally" (Mikey Likes It!) where Mike's interviewing Wally. Trina picked a "lighter moment" in the interview:

[Mike:] Betty had a question for you. She called me today. She wants to know what is it about "you young men" that makes you go to the groin?

[Wally:] She's talking about the question on the profile, right?


That was my third question option. I was trying to hurry because C.I. needed to get to work with The Third Estate Sunday Review. Then that question came up and I just went with it.

"Paper or briefs?" "Breifs! No depends here! I pack a mean tighty whitey!"

Yeah, C.I. laughed and said something like, "That's why you get along so well with Mike."

Because of my question and answer: If you were a cannibal, what would you wear to dinner?Just the bone, just the bone. Munch on that.

We like our dicks jokes, what can I say? Or making boastful jokes. Betty wasn't offended, was she?

No, she was laughing. But she said you put two nineteen year old males together and that's what you'll get.

I feel like I let her down then! We really didn't go there much.

No, we didn't. But we'll do another interview where we do.

Brad picks the excerpt for the article Ron (Why Are We Back In Iraq?) wrote, "Miers provided misleading information to Judiciary Committee" (The Raw Story):

Miers gives wrong dates in questionnaire; Firm was sued during period omitted
President Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers, provided erroneous and incomplete information to the Senate Judiciary Committee about her membership on a Board of Directors for a real estate investment company,
RAW STORY has learned.
Miers also neglected to mention a class action lawsuit that accused the firm, Capstead Mortgage, of violating federal securities laws. The suit, which was later dismissed, came during the period Miers failed to include in her responses to the Senate questionnaire.

According to CapsteadпїЅs 1999 annual report (pdf file) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Miers remained on the board as late as March 9, 2000. Miers opted not to stand for re-election, and in April of 2000, the former senior managing director at Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc., Howard Rubin was voted on to the board and replaced her as chair of the Audit Committee.
But Miers 57-page questionnaire returned to the Senate on Tuesday claimed that her tenure at Capstead lasted only from January 1993 to 1997 (

Lastly, please note that in Eric Lichtblau's "President Picks 2nd Nominee for Justice Post" (New York Times), on the nomination of Paul J. McNulty, Lichtblau does note concerns over McNulty's 9/11 cases. (Yesterday, it wasn't noted.)

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