Ghent, Belgium, is apparently considering naming a street after one of the Filipino Igarot tribe members abandoned by my great-grandfather there, circa 1913. Here’s a recent news story from the Philippines about my mother’s father’s father, Richard Schneidewind, and Timicheg, one of the tribespeople he displayed. Oh, great-grandfather Richard. Sigh.
Finally some good news!
A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government’s warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.
U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency’s program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy.
More information and a detailed analysis available from Glenn Greenwald. Let’s hope this sticks!
I’ve been trying to come up with a decent summary of why this article on the release of a “suspected terrorist” five years after his arrest depresses me, but I can’t seem to get beyond the obvious “Sixth Amendment in tatters” or hand-wringing “what are we doing here?” arguments.
What really gets me is how accepting we (or at least the media) have been of suspending our core values indefinitely because we’re A Nation At War. A man was arrested and held without any charges for five years, and there’s hardly a peep when he’s released. Have we really become a nation of cowering victims, willing to accept the “protection” of a police state no matter what principles it violates? Better yet, what can we do to get past all the war-talk and start treating crimes like crimes, subject to the rule of law?
When you heard about the latest “foiled terror plot!!1!” was your first reaction disbelief? Did you think to yourself, “Great. They’re going to use this as an excuse to ban everything but Skymall from being carried on an airplane.” I sure did, and apparently, I was not alone.
I just found some original footage from Star Wars. It’s in black and white, and the sound quality is cruddy, but it’s worth it to see Han’s girlfriend (or whomever she is) and to hear Greedo chatting with Han in an English accent. And yes, Han did shoot first.