updated below, 8:28pm
Imagine if the Chinese put the screws on a couple of China-friendly African countries to refuse airspace for Obama's Air Force One because they suspected Liu Xiao Bao or some other dissident was aboard. And that the US President was forced to make an emergency landing for fuel as a result. And when he landed the local authorities forced a search of Air Force One. Major headlines, right? 24 hour carpet coverage. We'd probably have half the Pacific Fleet headed to the South China Sea.
Well, that scenario is more or less what's just happened to Bolivian president Evo Morales as he tried to fly across Europe on the way home from Moscow.
Longtime Correntians will notice that all the media coverage so far--mostly from Euro sources, as the US media has relegated it to second or third tier news-- lapses into that oh-so-convenient lack of agency passive voice. For instance, from the France 24 coverage linked above:
Bolivian President Evo Morales took off from Vienna on Tuesday after being diverted [By whom?] and held up [names, please!] for more than 14 hours amid suspicions that US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board his jet.
Anyone who has ever had any dealings with Hong Kong's scrupulous bureaucracy can't help but chuckle at today's South China Morning Post article detailing the problems that Hong Kong's government had with the United States' request to detain Edward Snowden. Since the SCMP is behind a paywall here are the juicy parts: Read more about A4 Paper, Please. And Do Remember to Spellcheck!
I live in Hong Kong. And when the news broke that Snowden had decided to take refuge in my city, I was puzzled at first. But then, as I read and listened to pundit after pundit in the US declare that Hong Kong was a crazy choice for a whistleblower on the lam, I began to realize: no, they're absolutely wrong. Choosing Hong Kong is clearly something Edward Snowden thought through, and very well indeed. Heck, many of the reasons why he's probably in Hong Kong are the same reasons I came here, too. Read more about Six reasons why choosing Hong Kong is a brilliant move by Edward Snowden
[Just $45 to go for Okanagen's matching challlenge.... --lambert]
[Welcome, New Economic Perspectivicians! Any help is appreciated, and if you want your contribution matched, write "OK" on the PayPal/WePay form, or mail me. For those who don't know, Corrente is not a sideline for me or a hobby; after I pay for the server, it pays some of my bills, too! The PayPal/WePay buttons are to your right. Thank you! --lambert]
[Okanagen's challenge is still (mostly) on the table. Adding, as Okanagen points out... It's still there. --lambert]
I'll start by telling the story of a moment. It is February 15, 2003 and I am in New York City, on the streets with nearly a half million people protesting the threat (it was but a threat then) of the US attack on Iraq.
The MSM--especially the New York Times, under the watch of hawk editor Bill Keller--is banging the drums of war. Saddam, weapons of mass destruction, al-Qaeda. We need to attack. This is a just aggression. Any sane person must understand the need, the reasonableness of it all, right?
But I don't. My guts tell me this is wrong, an arrogant folly, misinformed. My guts tell me I'm being lied to. Read more about This Christmas, give the gift of Corrente (5)
My friend Worapan sent me this picture he took yesterday along Samsen Road, one of the main arteries in Bangkok's old downtown. The flooding there, he reports, has reached 80 centimeters. And the full impact of the water that is now rushing down from Thailand's center through Bangkok will not reach its peak until the weekend.
The Bangkok Post has more pictures and a very disconcerting map here. Read more about Is Bangkok the New Orleans of Thailand's Katrina?
Last night around midnight, the NYPD tried to raid the medical tent at Zuccotti Park. Tents are not permitted in the park, but the occupiers put it up to keep the medicine (and patients) dry.
This one is outrageous, and going viral already. At a Citibank in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, 24 people--including a customer in a business suit--were arrested this afternoon for trying to close their accounts. Action starts @ 1:37. Note the undercover cop who suddenly grabs the woman and lifts her off her feet, handing her off to the white shirt cop.
I went to sleep last night pretty sure that Occupy Wall Street would be around today. Not just because they are organized, committed and willing to put their bodies on the line. Not just because they have the numbers. (The Brooklyn Bridge trap of two Sundays ago proved that the NYPD will not hesitate to perform mass arrests, if their power elite masters tell them too.) Read more about Whose Park? Our Park.
Not that it comes as any surprise. From counterpunch.org:
If you’re a Wall Street behemoth, there are endless opportunities to privatize profits and socialize losses beyond collecting trillions of dollars in bailouts from taxpayers. One of the ingenious methods that has remained below the public’s radar was started by the Rudy Giuliani administration in New York City in 1998. It’s called the Paid Detail Unit and it allows the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street corporations, including those repeatedly charged with crimes, to order up a flank of New York’s finest with the ease of dialing the deli for a pastrami on rye.
It was a small demonstration--only about 35 people-- because there is other pressing local stuff (district council elections) going on. Still, I'm proud to see my friends from the Socialist movement in Hong Kong stepping out for Occupy Wall Street.
Natasha Lennard, the New York Times freelancer who was arrested along with 700 other Occupy Wall Street marchers on the Brooklyn Bridge last Saturday, has put up her personal account of what happened "Covering the March, On Foot and In Handcuffs."
It's an interesting combination of observation, sidestepping and caution--and a case study of the strategic use of the passive tense. Lennard writes: Read more about Reporting in Handcuffs
I'm wet, it's late, but I wanted to at least get the photos up tonight. As you've read already, Occupy Wall Street walked across the Brooklyn Bridge this afternoon. I didn't know where we would be going when I showed up with my friends for the march at 3pm--the destination was "secret". But when 3000 of us passed City Hall and kept going, it became obvious--we were going to Brooklyn! Read more about Report: Occupy the Brooklyn Bridge