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Monday, May 17, 2004

congratulations marcia and tanya

and all the others that are being married today…

i just picked a couple from the news feeds; this couple has been together 18 years. i hope they have a wonderful life together…

update: i really should remember to tie the threads together

posted by roj at 1:43 pm  

Monday, May 17, 2004

in praise of heroes with digital cameras

secretary of defense donald h rumsfeld in testimony before the senate armed services committee, may 7, 2004

We’re functioning in a — with peacetime restraints, with legal requirements in a war-time situation, in the information age, where people are running around with digital cameras and taking these unbelievable photographs and then passing them off, against the law, to the media, to our surprise, when they had not even arrived in the Pentagon.

against the law

faced with a challenge from senator susan m. collins (a republican) to “set matters right and to hold those responsible accountable,” secretary rumsfeld speaks of procedures (or lackthereof) and the actions of those people responsible for making the photos available. it seems clear that rumsfeld’s concept of “holding those responsible” is more focused on preventing further embarassing or scandalous leaks than sexual abuse of prisoners in an occupied land.

as an american, that sickens me.

a nod of praise from the meta-roj blog to all those willing to stand up to atrocity and crime, misbehavior and fraud and all the other failings of humankind, in the face of opposition, under the threat of law, and do the right thing.

sometimes it is hard to know what the right thing is, often it’s a painful option. so thank you to each person involved in the getting these photographs into the light.

i’m just waiting for the push to convict you of something…. have any of you been sailor mongering lately?

posted by roj at 6:32 am  

Sunday, May 16, 2004

california classrooms may be truth-free zones

maybe this is building on a theme, but it seems that three high-school teachers in california have been suspended for “displayed, or allowed students in their class to display, video footage or sound from the execution of Nick Berg by Islamic militants.”

well, as much as i hate the concept of chopping someone’s head off as a way to send a message, i think the message we’re sending with this “keep your facts out of our classrooms” concept is a little worse in the long run.

teenagers might not be the most brilliant, articulate or philosophical demographic on the planet, but even people who actively avoid mass media knew about the berg incident. it’s there. it’s real. we better be able to talk about it.

behold, wisdom from the mouths of babes:

reuters California Teachers Suspended Over Execution Images

“You can watch things about the Holocaust. Why can’t you watch this?” one 14-year-old student was quoted as asking.

posted by roj at 10:27 pm  

Sunday, May 16, 2004

heaving bosoms against greenpeace

in an unsurprising move for an administration that believes that creative prosecution is the way to go, and stretching laws a little further than they can go is perfectly legitimate in “these troubled times, ” the us department of justice, under the creative leadership of attorney general john ashcroft is prosecuting greenpeace tomorrow for “sailor mongering.”

it’s not really news – al gore mentioned it in a speech back in november, but it is going forward in a few hours, and it’s a chilling example of this administrations apparent belief that political criticism is grounds for criminal prosecution.

of course, once greenpeace is officially a criminal organization, that opens up a whole new set of approaches to shutting down their efforts. it’s just a couple steps away from getting them tagged as a terrorist organization, and we all know that anyone who supports, directly or indirectly, a terrorist organization is a terrorist.

are those offshore camps ready for all the greenpeace contributors?

find out more here.

oh, you may wonder about the title… it’s from a quote:

Maria Kayanan, ACLU

It harkens to the Barbary Coast and wenches with heaving bosoms and kegs of rum.

update (2004.05.19): the judge tossed this one.

posted by roj at 10:02 pm  

Sunday, May 16, 2004

tonight i was visited by polyphemus

[at least i think it was antheraea polyphemus]

Antheraea polyphemus_s.jpg

posted by roj at 4:23 am  

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Jean-Jacques Laffont


posted by roj at 1:18 am  

Friday, May 14, 2004

check your gang signs: you might be a terrorist

Charging that the St. James Gang acted with “the intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, ” the Bronx district attorney, Robert T. Johnson, said that the grand jury was justified in adding the terrorism stipulation to several counts including conspiracy, murder and gang assault.

i’ve always had a problem with laws that are written in such a way that we have to read minds to make decisions.

posted by roj at 2:50 am  

Thursday, May 13, 2004

union of concerned scientists report shreds missile defense plan

you can go with the data, or you can go with the politics, but the us is getting a “missile shield” in a few months to save us from bad people with ballistic missiles. only it doesn’t work.

any questions? check the ucs report. then ask some more questions.

posted by roj at 5:09 pm  

Thursday, May 13, 2004

keeping that story straight

it seems american officials can’t quite all get on the same page…

senor, coalition spokesman, may 12

was at no time under the jurisdiction or detention of coalition forces.

beth a. payne, united states consular officer in iraq, april 1 email to the family

“I have confirmed that your son, Nick, is being detained by the U.S. military in Mosul. He is safe. He was picked up approximately one week ago. We will try to obtain additional information regarding his detention and a contact person you can communicate with directly

well, one of them is right, anyway….

posted by roj at 5:05 pm  

Thursday, May 13, 2004

it’s prom season – becca’s closet

always on the lookout for good news, particularly bad news turned good… for the teenagers in everyone’s life, i direct your attention to becca’s closet.

Honoring Rebecca Kirtman and keeping her spirit alive. Becca’s Closet is a non profit organization that provides formal attire and scholarship funding to deserving high school students.

Our purpose is to give students the opportunity to attend their prom, homecoming and other formal events. Becca’s Closet also provides scholarships and funding for advancements in education.

posted by roj at 4:54 pm  
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