Saturday, March 12, 2011

Arizona Politico Claims Diplomatic Immunity For Domestic Abuse, Jailing Journalists in Iran, Turkey, China, Russia, Obama Apologist For Treatment Of Pfc Bradley Danning

Gail Collins
Kate Sheppard
Lisa Miller
"The presidential race is barely under way, but already we have had our first Big Thought. I am speaking, of course, of Newt Gingrich’s suggestion that he was driven into serial adultery by hard work and patriotism." - Gail Collins
“In Tunisia, only two women have been appointed to the transitional government, far fewer than served in the cabinet of ousted president Ben Ali…. In Egypt, women are now shut out of the committees and councils deciding the shape of Egypt’s new democracy. The Constitutional Committee has not a single woman member.” - Hillary Clinton

Celebrating Women in the World, or more commonly called Tina Brown's coup, I have linked to women pundits opinion pieces. Gail writes about my favorite hypocrite, Newt Gingrich. He must have been such a boring history teacher, talking more about himself than the day's lesson, it's also a sorry commentary on academics in the South that he has risen to be as influential in politics. On the other hand, the wonderful, mindless gibberish being spouted by freshmen Republicans indicates there are a few packs of dim bulbs trying to shine in the halls of Congress... Kate Sheppard writes about the last meeting of the House Panel on the EPA, and Lisa Miller writes about Hillary Clinton and the struggle for women's rights in the world.
Fukishima reactor after explosion...

The focus on the horrible incidents in Japan and Libya are hiding some of the hijinks happening in response to the outbursts of democratic protests. A whole lot of journalists are being targeted and either harassed, arrested, or deported from the countries they are in. Of course, the countries like Bahrain, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia don't want anyone to know about the levels of discontent, or the measure of violence they use to deal with their protesters. It's bad enough being filmed by cellphones for Youtube, but to add insult and then see your security thugs on the BBC or CBS, well...

Most of the retaliation of journalists is for embarrassing stories they filed. In Iran, they deported an journalist for the AFP for writing about a shipment of missiles that was discovered on their way to the Afghan Taliban. The current opposition leaders have been quietly arrested and taken, with their wives, to prison. The former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Tuesday lost his position as head of the powerful Assembly of Experts, coerced not take his name out of contention. The petty, vindictive forces of the Islamic Republic are taking over, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will have only "Yes" men ruling alongside him.

In Turkey, which is being touted as the jewel of Middle Eastern democracy, writing anything critical of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may land you in jail. An investigative journalist, Nedim Sener, was arrested for questioning the government's handling of a recent alleged terrorist conspiracy to overthrow the turkish government. They are claiming that Mr Sener is actually part of that conspiracy, and the government's out-of-control prosecutors are coming up with some very inventive reasons. Similar trumped up cases have been filed against other journalists. Evidently Mr Erdogan has a very thin skin, and only like compliments from his mirror each morning...

The worst seems to be a tie between China and Russia, who also have been rounding up human rights workers along with journalists. In china, foreign journalists are now limited to geographic areas they may visit, and the government tries to assign them official handlers, who tell them what they can report on and what the government doesn't want reported. In the recent past, human rights workers were taken to jail and their families notified where they were. But the lawyer Teng Biao has been held secretly for over three weeks in Beijing, and no-one has heard from him, nor has the police acknowledged that they still have him... Four other activists have been reported missing by the NY Times.

Vice President Joseph Biden has been visiting Russia, and being his blunt, honest self. He gave a speech critical of the way russia has been jailing dissidents and sending them through bogus trials, how their legal system needs overhauling. When he sat down with Vladimir Putin, and going over their agenda to talk about, Putin: "... cheerily suggested a brand-new idea: abolishing visa requirements between Russia and the United States. The early part of the meeting was featured on Russian television.

Mr. Biden responded “Good idea,” and Mr. Putin seized on the response, saying he hoped Mr. Biden would make the case for the change in Washington. The vice president then backpedaled, explaining that he does not decide such matters." Their meeting lasted 15 minutes, the visa thingy was what made it to television, and the official spin angle was that: "... a senior American administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, described the meeting as “a serious discussion about serious issues,” including cooperation on missile defense, accession to the World Trade Organization, Georgia, Afghanistan and energy." No mentioning of the elephant in the room, human rights...

Back home in the US, the wikileaks political prisoner PFC Bradley Manning is still sleeping bare naked, though he has been given a blanket to curl up in. Sadly, his greatest apologist has become President Barack Obama: "The president said Friday that he had been assured that such measures as forcing Private Manning to sleep without clothing were justified and for his own safety.

“With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference. “They assure me that they are. I can’t go into details about some of their concerns,” he added, “but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well.” He appeared to be referring to fears that Private Manning might harm himself, though the private, his friends and his lawyer have all denied that he is suicidal.""In a talk at M.I.T., Mr. Crowley called the treatment “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid,” and he said he did not understand Defense Department officials’ reasons for imposing it."

This sucks, and I can't believe that Obama actually believes this crap. At least the spokesman for the State Dept, Philip J. Crowley, had the courage to speak his opinion recently: That's because the Defense Department officials are lying and trying to make it sound like the dude is batshit out of his mind, to make it easier to court-marshal him when they bring him to trial. Now, they can even call on the President of the United States as a witness...

The last laugh may be on the state of Arizona, who passed the laws requiring police officers to check for any Hispanics' proof of citizenship. You might think that would deter anyone with a brown skin from staying in Arizona, but just the opposite is happening. Over the last two years, the number of Hispanics moving to Arizona has increased by over 45%. Soon, they will outnumber white Caucasians, and it could become payback time, politically. I wonder how Jan Brewer looks in tar and feathers?

And the latest incidence of white political arrogance in Arizona, comes from the cautionary tale of majority leader of the Arizona State Senate, who: "scuffled with his girlfriend during an argument on the side of the road late one night recently. He hit her and she hit him, according to the police, but the two suffered dramatically different fates.

The majority leader, Scott Bundgaard, told Phoenix police officers that he was a state senator, and he cited a provision of the Arizona Constitution that gives lawmakers limited immunity from arrest, the police said. Police Department lawyers were consulted, and they ordered that Mr. Bundgaard be uncuffed and released.

Aubry Ballard, Mr. Bundgaard’s girlfriend of about eight months, on the other hand, was arrested for domestic violence and spent the night in jail." Subsequently, Mr Bundgaard has been lying his ass of, trying to keep his job. He has denied hitting her and that he passed a polygraph to prove it, he said that she was going for a gun in the glove compartment, and he denied ever having claimed diplomatic immunity to the police.

Oops... This hasn't set well with the Arizona State Police, who now have vowed: "to present the case to prosecutors. “The only thing that kept him out of jail was that he invoked his immunity,” Sergeant Thompson said. “He will have to answer these charges.” This incident has also stirred up the debate over whether he actually is allowed immunity, especially in a domestic violence case, and whether he should be thrown out of office, or re-called. His fellow Republicans see him as the victim and have voted to keep him in office.

Other times that political immunity have been declared were: "In 1999, Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia pulled out a copy of the United States Constitution after a traffic accident and pointed out the section that stated that members of Congress “shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest.” He later backed down and had an aide ask the police in Fairfax County, Va., to issue him a citation.

In Arizona, State Representative Mark DeSimone was cited for misdemeanor assault for hitting his wife in the face in 2008, The Arizona Republic reported. The charge was dropped after he resigned and agreed to undergo counseling.

At other times, the paper reported, lawmakers have faced no penalty. That was the case in 1988 when the police released State Senator Jan Brewer, who is now Arizona’s governor, after discovering she was a lawmaker. She had been involved in a car crash and had stated that she had been drinking." Ahh, that golden girl, Jan Brewer. She only became Governor afterwards....

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