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Mai Pen Rai

September 21, 2006 at 1:14pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

Just thought I’d share a few emails from expat friends in Bangkok about the most underwhelming coup in modern Thai history (so far).

Let’s see ... absolutely nothing in my life and daily routine has changed over the last few days. I haven’t even had the good fortune to see a single tank. The one minor change has been the appearance of about half a dozen camouflaged army soldiers with M16s milling around outside The Nation complex, as a precautionary measure for our security, presumably since there were pro-Thaksin protestors here for a few days earlier in the year, complaining about what our sister Thai-language publication Kom Chad Luek had printed in one quote taken out of context….

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Priorities

September 21, 2006 at 12:04am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

From a darn good Bangkok-based food, travel and photo blogger: The universal constant is finding some tasty food...i.e. “A Coup Lunch” (post-democracy).

A Note on Strasbourg Cases Given Recent Events Part 2

September 20, 2006 at 11:28pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

How very timely that the case of Canadian Maher Arar has been making the news recently. Arar’s example is one myself and a colleague have noted in an upcoming article on extraordinary rendition and the application to European law. Long story short, this poor guy was arrested during a stop over at JFK airport, then shipped to Jordan and finally Syria where he was detained for a year and tortured.  During interrogations, he broke down and signed confessions that he was a member of Al-Qaeda, trained in Afghanistan, etc. More proof that torture works? I wonder what amount of damages would compensate for what this guy experienced.

Very Strange New TV

September 20, 2006 at 2:57am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

Just watched the premiere of “Smith” on CBS. You’d think with this talent, they could pull something off. Apparently not. It was a mish-mash of Casino/Inside Man/Heat/United 93-inspired scenes with that “over-produced/in-the-can” look CBS uses for all its dramas. And there apparently was some cross promotional deal because the commercial breaks almost exclusively featured scenes from The Departed. Poor Ray Liotta - perhaps this is the closest he will get to working with Martin Scorcese again? (as noted by TV squad).

So Long Bum

September 20, 2006 at 1:06am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

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Not only are you a person who has one of the squarest faces I know, but you also knew this was the only way you would/could get out after years of corruption and iron-handedness. Your prize is in the mail for sacrificing democracy in exchange for ego.

A Note on Strasbourg Cases Given Recent Events

September 18, 2006 at 1:20am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

Finally finished a paper this afternoon (around 2:12 PM) on an issue that might be a bit of a distraction for the 2006 elections, particularly given recent admissions about the CIA’s detention and interrogation system overseas and all the related hubbub. In this article, we took a look at the following cases and how they applied to liability exposure for member-states of the European Convention on Human Rights.

We took a look at a few known and unknown cases reviewed by the Strasbourg Court: Ireland v. The United Kingdom (violation of prohibition against inhuman treatment for deprivation of food and water, prolonged exposure to noise, prolonged placement in stress positions, etc.); Selmouni v. France (violation of prohibition against torture, beatings, sodomizing with baton); Ilascu v. Moldova and Russia (violation of prohibition against inhuman treatment within territorial jurisdiction, beatings, deprivation of food and water); Soering v. The United Kingdom (potential violation of prohibition against inhuman treatment for extradition to Virginia’s death row); Chahal v. The United Kingdom (potential violation of prohibition against inhuman treatment for extradition of separatist to India); Ahmed v. Austria (potential violation of prohibition against inhuman treatment for extradition of dissident to Somalia); Jabari v. Turkey (potential violation of prohibition against inhuman treatment for extradition to Iran for adultery).

If you have the time, read these cases. Wonder who is running the CIA. Celebrate.

Harvest Time

September 14, 2006 at 3:41am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

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That time of year approaches. From a nice travel and food blog.

John Bolton Comes to Town

September 7, 2006 at 10:47pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

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So is anyone here planning on going to the Bolton thing tomorrow? We picked up some tickets today around 11 AM and they were running out fast. It will be carried via the web and you can also subscribe to the UNL podcast which will very likely have the speech as well. I hate to admit, as someone who watches a lot of CSPAN, I have been following the whole Bolton thing closely, particularly the drama in our Senate Foreign Relations Committee last year (the Chuckster is second highest ranking Republican by the way). I also do not believe his nomination is a good idea.

I do not know what the format of the talk will be. Though I doubt it will be anything close to the earlier hearings this year when Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) really pressed him (which surprised a whole lot of people). The hearings scheduled for today were postponed for some reason.

About the series in general, its also nice to see that one of the speakers this year actually is not originally from the USA (Azar Nafisi). I have been wondering about this for the past few years. You’d think that a high profile series “on world issues” might actually have people from other countries. So they finally were able to bring someone in. 

By the way the picture above is by the other John Bolton – the graphic artist

Yep, its definitely begun…

September 4, 2006 at 5:44pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

“CBS’s plan to racially segregate the tribes for the 13th season of “Survivor” has white-supremacist Web bulletin boards buzzing, prompting concern from the Southern Poverty Law Center civil rights group.”

Can you imagine how humiliating this thing will be? I understand that all of these people were probably ready to be humiliated on public tv anyway when they applied for the show, but to this level? The white tribe is in a conundrum. If they win they are nazis, if they lose, they lose. And the other three tribes will be under ENORMOUS pressure to “represent their race.” This is more sadistic than that “love island” show or whatever. Mark Burnett is one sick !*^&% but ratings will skyrocket. Now I am just interested to see what commercials will run for this one.

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