Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Vote Lib Dem, Snuff Video, Surveillance, Columbia, Oinion, USIP

My apologies for disappearing the past 2 weeks or so
-- there has been a wedding, an immigration interview,
paper grading, and now final exam grading.

For those of you who are UK voters, I urge you to vote
Lib Dem. Although foreign interference with elections
was not welcome here in the US last year, I personally
believe that foreign interference then was every bit
as defensible as it is now. Everyone says they must
vote for Labour because "there is no alternative" or
that "the Tories will win." While this argument
somewhat parallels voting for limp noodle Kerry
instead of the Greens last year in the US, there is a
difference or two. First of all, Blair is the
individual who led the UK into Iraq -- and is also the
individual who provided international cover for the US
to enter Iraq. This makes him your Bush. If you vote
for him, you're voting for the invasion and continued
occupation of Iraq. Secondly, there is a healthy
third party in the UK, unlike the US. If enough
people vote Lib Dem, then maybe the Labour Party will
finally unceremoniously dump Blair and be obliged to
enter into a coalition with Lib Dem. If the Tories
win a majority, then fine, Labour can go into
opposition and rejuvenate itself -- like it appears
the Democrats are (in spite of themselves) doing here
in the US. In any case, that's my argument. VOTE LIB
DEM!

I have a huge amount of material to send out, and will
do so bit by bit in the coming days. Here's tonight's
contributions:


1) Here's what happens when a precision-guided bomb
hits a house, and the reaction of those spotting the
bomb:

http://www.ogrish.com/archives/500lb_bomb_hits_iraqi_building_Apr_25_2005.html


2) Ever notice those cameras they've put up at the
entrance of every major US city? How about the
fingerprinting whenever you cross borders being phased
in nowadays? Finally, what about the new passports
scheduled to come online next year -- with a chip that
instantly recognizes biometric info? Basically, the
next time they want to round up various portions of
society for a "final solution," they'll be able to
find us inside of 15 minutes per victim...:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1464666,00.html

Warning on spread of state surveillance

Richard Norton-Taylor
Thursday April 21, 2005
The Guardian

Governments are building a "global registration and
surveillance infrastructure" in the US-led "war on
terror", civil liberty groups warned yesterday.
The aim is to monitor the movements and activities of
entire populations in what campaigners call "an
unprecedented project of social control".

The warning came from the International Civil
Liberties Monitoring Group, including the American
Civil Liberties Union, and Statewatch, a UK-based
bulletin which tracks developments in the EU...


3) More on Columbia:

http://www.columbiaspectator.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/04/20/4265c90e7e420

Let a Thousand Grievances Bloom
by Chris Anderson

April 20, 2005

Early last week, Columbia University President Lee
Bollinger announced the formation of a permanent
five-member committee within the College of Arts and
Sciences to hear student grievances, although there
still seems to be some confusion about whether the
faculty committee will be empowered to hear charges of
political bias in the classroom. Bollinger and Provost
Alan Brinkley say it will, while College of Arts and
Sciences Dean Nicholas Dirks says he’s not sure. Some
observers might be afraid that the committee will
simply become a new pressure point for pro-Israeli
political forces to continue their attacks on the
University’s Middle East scholarship...



4) A little humor:

Report: U.S. Foreign Policy Hurting American Students'
Chances Of Getting Laid Abroad

http://www.onion.com/news/index.php?issue=4117&n=1

AMSTERDAM—American students traveling abroad confirm
the findings of a study indicating that Washington's
unilateral approach to foreign policy has seriously
undermined Americans' chances of getting laid.


5) On the (il)legality of the invasion of Iraq (or why
one must not vote Labour):

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/politics/story/0,6903,1474190,00.html

Iraq, the secret US visit, and an angry military chief

Antony Barnett, Gaby Hinsliff and Martin Bright
Sunday May 1, 2005
The Observer

The legality of the Iraq war exploded on to the agenda
last week, causing chaos to Labour strategy. Here we
reveal the key US officials who persuaded Britain that
invasion was legal - and the astonishing reaction from
our military chiefs..


6) USIP Report on Iraq "Lessons Learned" in Iraq:

The United States Institute of Peace has just
published Special Report 137

The Coalition Provisional Authority's Experience with
Public Security in Iraq: Lessons Identified , by
Robert M. Perito
http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr137.html





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