The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is proposing new rules
regarding passenger pre-screening both domestically and internationally. Interestingly, this includes flights that overfly the continental US without ever touching the ground. [more inside]
Frederick Remington was an American artist who in 1898 became a war correspondent and illustrator for the New York Morning Journal
during the Spanish-American War. The Journal's
editor in chief, William Randolph Hearst I was an American newspaper magnate whose paper had, circa 1895, fought to liberate Cuba from Spanish rule by writing sensational stories of Cuban virtue and Spanish atrocities in an attempt to influence US opinion. In 1898, Hearst sent Remington to Cuba to report on the war which Hearst was certain was about to begin. However when Remington arrived, he telegrammed Hearst saying "Everything is quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. I wish to return." Hearst responded "Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war." Not long after, the war began. These telegrams are often cited as one of the most famous (if not the first) examples of yellow journalism
(so much so it is mentioned in Citizen Kane
) and is meant to speak to the powerful potential effects of the news media. But did The Remington-Hearst "telegrams"actually ever take place, or is this simply another urban legend
While the first pioneering forays into atonality and free chromaticism
were starting to occur in Western European music, the talents of Latin and South America
were discovering the Romantic beauty of re-interpreting the past. [much, much more inside!]
It began with
an innocent-looking Valentine's Day card in 2005.
Inside the card were several slips of paper, a hastily cut-up printout of names of 550 secret detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The human rights lawyer who received "this weird valentine" handed it over to authorities, and this week the court martial begins for JAG LtCmdr Matthew Diaz, facing 36 years for divulging state secrets.
Whither goest thou, American Jurisprudence
, and alternative
obituaries for Cuba's Fidel Castro
. Time to get ready for the real thing
about Life After Fidel: Time
to get to know
Fidel's brother Raul
Jan. 11, 2002, the first 20 detainees, shackled and blindfolded, arrived from Afghanistan .... and since then, nearly 800 prisoners have passed through the detention center in southeastern Cuba.
To mark the anniversary, demonstrations are planned Thursday in New York, London, Sydney, Australia, and other cities as well as dozens of small towns in the United States and Britain.
Gitmo Detainees Join Hunger Strike
.... & ....
WikiPeidia History Article
Snakes on a Base!
In the wake of today's announcement that Raul Castro will be 'temporarily' taking power in Cuba while Big Brother (did I say that?) has an operation for some GI bleeding, The Smoking Gun has published some declassified Spec Ops planning cover sheets from the 60s and 70, listing plans to destabilize Cuba. Operation Bingo, on page 3, is especially amusing.
Fidel Castro temporarily relinquishes power before under going surgery.
His brother, Raul is acting as president and first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba. Is this the beginning of the end?
The U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled President Bush overstepped his authority
in creating military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees. The 5-3 vote (Roberts recused himself) found the "military commissions" illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Convention. More from SCOTUSblog
Benjamin Krain, photojournalist.
His series on Katrina captures both scale and detail. His portfolio includes work on Afghanistan, Cuba, Burning Man. His work on the Marshallese
was previously on Mefi. (flash warning for the haters)
Japan beat Cuba 10-6 to win the first World Baseball Classic
. The team was coached by Sadaharu Oh
, one of the great stars of the Japanese leagues (868 home runs to boot), and featured the talents of a few Japanese players who have made the jump to American ball--Ichiro Suzuki
and Akinori Otsuka
. Is the World Series now an outdated misnomer
The Road to Guantanamo
, the latest film by prolific UK director Michael Winterbottom, details the experiences of the Tipton Three
(previously discussed here
), a trio of British Muslims who stumbled into US custody in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11 and ended up spending two years in Gitmo. The film tells a powerful if somewhat one-sided
story of naivety, incompetence and rank injustice.
Last night the film was shown on Britain's Channel 4 to an estimated 1.6 million viewers
, and it was the talk of the Berlin Film Festival a couple of weeks ago. In a bizarre twist, on their return from attending the premiere of the film in Berlin, the Tipton Three and the actors who played them were arrested and interrogated
about terrorism links. Luckily for them, this time their captivity was measured in hours, not years.
By now, we know the story: first the U.S. Treasury department wouldn't
let Cuba participate in the upcoming World Baseball Classic
, only to change their mind
later. Whether to play ball with Cuba or not has been debated since at least 1975, when then-commissioner of baseball Bowie Kuhn contacted Henry Kissinger about plans to arrange a game between U.S. and Cuban teams, prompting this now-declassified exchange (made available through George Washington University's National Security Archive.)
Indeed, sport and politics are often intertwined in the Case of Contemporary Cuban Baseball
JFK assassination 'was Cuba plot'
says a new German documentary Rendezvous with death: Kennedy and Castro
(Google translation). New facts have come to light.
Weathering the Storm: Lessons in Hurricane Risk Reduction from Cuba [pdf]
Oxfam America report described Cuba's community-based response system in April 2004, five months before category 5 hurricane Ivan tore across the island but resulted in zero deaths. From Medicc Review
: "Of those evacuated, fully 78%...were sheltered in the homes of family, friends or neighbors. 8,026 tourists were transferred to safe areas. 359,644 boarding school students were transferred to their homes. 898,160 farm animals in vulnerable areas were moved to safer ground." The International Red Cross had similar praise for Cuba's planning
after Hurricane Michelle in 2001: " The contrast between events in Cuba and earlier disasters, such as Hurricanes Mitch and Georges in 1998 and the floods in Venezuela in 1999, is enormous."
Ibrahim Ferrer has passed.
The 78 year old vaulted from relative obscurity - outside of Cuba, at least - to the forefront of the badly and over-generally named "International" or "World Music" scenes when he came out of retirement to perform with a number of past colleagues (including Compay Segundo
and Ruben Gonzales
) as Buena Vista Social Club. A film
, directed by Wim Wenders, and an album made with the help of guitarist Ry Cooder
cemented his position as one of the sweetest voices in Cuba's rich musical history
in the west and elsewhere. He was generally considered one of the greatest masters of the traditional son
"Justifying or glorifying terrorism anywhere"
will become an offence in the UK under hastily-drafted new legislation. Will the police arrest historians who celebrate the French Resistance
and the Warsaw Uprising
, or Americans who claim that it's okay to bomb Cuban airliners
? What form of words could you suggest for the legislation to use, that would define "terrorism" to include al-Qaeda and the pro-Aristide fighters in Haiti
, but exclude the Miami-based ex-Cubans
Che Guevara: The Killing Machine
Che's lust for power had other ways of expressing itself besides murder. The contradiction between his passion for travel--a protest of sorts against the of the nation-state--and his impulse to become himself an enslaving state over others is poignant. In writing about Pedro Valdivia, the conquistador of Chile, Guevara reflected: "He belonged to that special class of men the species produces every so often, in whom a craving for limitless power is so extreme that any suffering to achieve it seems natural." He might have been describing himself.
Viva la Biotech Revolution!
Embargo or no, Castro's socialist paradise has quietly become a pharmaceutical powerhouse.
Cuba Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles.
An homage to Cuba's astonishing wealth of antique cars, revealing the time-worn splendor of classic American automobiles spanning eight decades.
Torture and Truth
and The Logic of Torture
--Mark Danner writes about Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade (The Taguba Report)
and Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the Treatment by the Coalition Forces of Prisoners of War and Other Protected Persons by the Geneva Conventions in Iraq During Arrest, Internment and Interrogation
in the former and concludes thusly in the latter:Behind the exotic brutality so painstakingly recorded in Abu Ghraib, and the multiple tangled plotlines that will be teased out in the coming weeks and months about responsibility, knowledge, and culpability, lies a simple truth, well known but not yet publicly admitted in Washington: that since the attacks of September 11, 2001, officials of the United States, at various locations around the world, from Bagram in Afghanistan to Guantanamo in Cuba to Abu Ghraib in Iraq, have been torturing prisoners. (More Within)
Coast Guard pulls over floating, propeller equipped '59 Buick driving to Miami
- manned by Cuban refugees. "For four of the 11 people on board, it was not the first thwarted attempt to leave the communist island in a bizarrely converted vintage vehicle." (from ABC
news) Last year, they tried to do the same thing in a converted '51 Chevy Truck: "The crew members of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter could not believe their eyes...Chugging along at a steady 13 kilometres per hour in the Straits of Florida was a bright-green 1951 Chevrolet truck...."
(link to story, as reprinted in Free Republic, alas ) Sadly, the Coast Guard sunk the Buick - which looked a bit like a WW2 amphibious landing craft. Here's a picture
, on the blog of a Christian Evangelical (scroll down for story) who argues that the refugees are worthy of a special exception to US immigration laws, for their pluck and innovative brilliance.
The Internet is now basically banned and controlled for all but the elite
in Cuba. In Iran
, an unelected body has eliminated hundreds of reformist candidates from the general elections. That's what stiffling of dissent looks like. Stare it in the face, and ask your politicians and NGOs and friends to raise their voices against it as loud as they did against the war in Iraq. Promote freedom for people just like you around the world in a nonviolent way. (And I'm not talking about writing Bush to ask for Regime Change)
A View From The Bridge:
Or Death Of A Salesman
, perhaps? Hey, even The Crucible
, at a stretch! Arthur Miller
on Cuba, Castro and the U.S. embargo. Honesty and clarity refreshingly transcend the usual socialist/liberal/conservative divide. Or, at the very least, a damn good read from one of our (i.e. the world's) greatest dramatists. [Via Arts & Letters Daily. Click here for the text-only version.
IEEE bans residents of Cuba, Iran, Libya and Sudan from publishing
"The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) recently
imposed a ban on the residents of Cuba, Iran, Libya and Sudan from
publishing and contributing to any IEEE publication or standard."
I think this is something that deserves much wider coverage then it has been getting.
Anti-sanctions group sanctioned.
Anti Iraq-sanctions group Voices in the Wilderness is being sued
by the U.S. Department of Justice for bringing relief supplies to Iraq before the war. ViTW has issued an initial response
and filed an answer and counterclaim
. Does the DoJ have a leg to stand on? What moral and legal obligations do we have to refrain from giving aid and comfort to "enemy" civilians? How about if they live in sunny Cuba
Copyright to the Revolution (translation):
"On Wednesday, 9 July 2003, the superior court of Paris banned a poster campaign launched by the group Reporters Without Borders
to protest the totalitarian policies of Cuba. This campaign, designed by the agency Rampazzo & Associates
, was built around an iconic image of Ernesto Che Guevara, inspired by the original image by the Cuban photographer [Alberto] Korda
The decision came in a suit
brought by Diane Diaz Lopez, the late photographer's daughter, accusing the organization of misappropriating the original image taken by her father."
The poster reads: "Welcome to Cuba, the world's largest prison for journalists
." Korda had sued in 2000 to prevent use of the image in an Absolut vodka
campaign. An article at Uzine
(French) shows how the image in question was composited.
Further Iranian Oppression.
The "government" of Iran has evidently teamed up with Cuba in efforts to further suppress the growing democratic movement in Iran by jamming pro-democracy satellite broadcasts. Two un-elected governments combining forces to make sure that their
will is enforced, not that of their citizens.
Go south, young man!
An MIT student attempts to sail to Cuba on an outrigger canoe. Hallucinations, not hilarity, ensues.
Cuba is best known for its legendary cigars
and bearded dictators
, but it's also home to some of the healthiest ecosystems in the Caribbean. Pygmy owls
, bee hummingbirds
, and solenodons
share the islands of Cuba with tiny tiny tree frogs
, and one of the largest groups of snails
in the world. There are problems, though. Many species such as the giant cursorial owl
, the ivory-billed woodpecker
and the smallest of the giant sloths
have been wiped out over the last 5,000 years, and other species are threatened
HBO has decided to "shelf" Oliver Stone's documentary
on Fidel Castro on the basis that the documentary depicts
Castro without judgement. Should documentary filmmaking be a "true journalistic endeavor" as the article suggests?
Is Cuba Next?
As long as you're cleaning up for Poppy, why not clean up for the Democrat's martyred Sun King at the same time?
An American Tragedy:
; no Havana Club
; not even a dram
of that lovely new rummy Glenfiddich
malt whisky! Although the embargo is still popular with the Jesse Helms crowd and certain Cuban immigrés
. Why does it go on? From the outside, it just looks like obstinate stupidity. What is it with the Democrats, especially? Are they still covering up for JFK's mistakes? He, at least, had a good stock
of Cuban cigars [well, Petit Uppmanns...
] with which to sit the crisis
out... What gives? What could possibly justify Americans missing out
on such a massive scale? If for the pleasure of a decent smoke or even proper mojito
Robert McNamara and Fidel Castro
met in Cuba last October at a conference on the anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Interesting article about this meeting and the professor who arranged it.
Betting on Mini-Cows
"ROCKWELL, Iowa -- Dustin Pillard is betting his farm on compact cows...Pillard has 50 tiny cows on his northern Iowa farm" MEANWHILE..."In a May dispatch from Cuba, the Wall Street Journal reported that Fidel Castro proposed in 1987 to alleviate a chronic milk shortage by trying to get his scientists to clone the most productive cows, shrunk to the size of dogs so that each family could keep one inside it's apartment. The cows would feed on grass grown inside under fluorescent lights." Now I'd like a mini-polar bear, please, and a mini-elephant, while you're at it...
Leniency for Terrorists
CIA memorandums strongly suggest, according to Bardach's book, that Bosch was one of the conspirators, and quotes the then secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, as writing that the "US government had been planning to suggest Bosch's deportation before Cubana airlines crash took place for his suspected involvement in other terrorist acts and violation of his parole".
Bosch's release, often referred to in the US media as a pardon, was the result of pressure brought by hardline Cubans in Miami, with Jeb Bush serving as their point man. Bosch now lives in Miami and remains unrepentant about his militant activities, according to Bardach.
Is there a double standard at work regarding terrorists?
"All it takes is a snowball," he said, "to start an avalanche." Vaclav Havel speaks
to Cuban exiles.
made history today being the first U.S. President [in or out of office] to visit Cuba since 1959
. At the initial press conference Mr. Carter switched from English to Spanish, in reverence to his host
[his Spanish was actually pretty good]. What can Mr. Carter hope
to achieve this week and how does his action [albeit as a private citizen] affect the current administration?
Beyond the Axis of Evil
- The United States has added Cuba, Libya and Syria to its "axis of evil" - nations it claims are deliberately seeking to obtain chemical or biological weapons. The Under Secretary of State also warned that the US would take action.
Canadian faces jail in U.S. for trade with Cuba.
James Sabzali faces trial on 77 accounts of of conspiracy and of trading with the enemy, nearly half of which relate to buisness conducted when Sabzali was working in Canada. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Poluka concedes that while living in Hamilton the defendant was "technically not subject to jurisdiction.", but maintains that "foreign nationals cannot aid and abet violations of U.S. law." Does this mean the United States has an open licence to prosecute foreigners for acts committed against American laws on foriegn soil?
Send Them Packing!
That's right -- the uninformed opinions of well-known Hollywood actors have grated on you for years. They seem to love Cuba more than America. Well, with the click of a mouse, you can buy them a ticket! [more inside]
They just wont let it lie.
What posses these people to keep fighting against overwhelming odds.I can see what they are against but for the life of me I cannot see what they are for.Couple of points near the bottom of the piece are interesting.IHave I been asleep or has the killing of innocents on 23 January been underreported.Does the fact that small raids have led to arrest interrogation and subsequent release
answer my own question?
I am perplexed,are there any good guys?