Monthly Archives: November 2006

Pets Part Two — The Inside Kittens

Stumpy is the oldest.  While he spent his first year here in the cabinet drawer in the bathroom, he has since made the entire place his own.  Now that the weather is mild, he really enjoys sitting in the open window.  (In the next pic, Stumpy’s pretty eyes aren’t reflecting — I’ll get a better one up of him ASAP :)

Stumpy

Cisco and his sister Caroline (next pic) were small enough to hold both in one hand when I adopted them from the county shelter.  Now, he is long, lanky, and at times very demanding.

Cisco with his bud

Caroline is beautiful, even when she is sleeping. I’ll get a better pic up of her soon, too.  She’s very spoiled — and I wouldn’t have her any other way.

 Caroline

Next:  The Outside Kittens

Pets Part One — The Pups

At long last pictures!

Dora

This is my sweet Dora.  Briefly, Dora was a shelter pup.  When I adopted her, she had a *poor little leg* (still does – it’s her back right leg) and heartworms and weighed only 32 lbs.  Now she’s fat and happy, though slightly crazy.

Tammy

This is Tammy.  She was under the house one morning.  She finally came out, looking healthy and I told her to go home.  Perhaps she tried, but about a month later she showed up in the front yard looking pretty bedraggled.  She’s lived with us ever since.  She’s fat and happy, too, though extremely shy.

Next up — The Inside Kittens.

Clues to Help in Inferring John Little’s Point

On Wednesday, I wrote a post about a Chronicle reader blogger, John Little.  His Chronicle blog is called “Chronicles of War” and his personal blog is called “Blogs of War.”  John titled a post on his Chronicle blog:  Sheila Jackson Lee Addresses CAIR.  (Jackson-Lee’s video address is here.)  CAIR is the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  It is also a favored “whipping-boy” of wingnuts, both in the blogosphere and talk radio.

 I decided to take a look into the Way Back Machine to see if I could find some clues to help me nail down John’s point.  It didn’t take very long.  The very first page of his blog — from 2004, mind you — has images of Muslims (be afraid!) and Communists (be very afraid!) with language associating both with Democrats.  Perhaps John was simply attempting humor.  Perhaps he actually thinks that Democrats are commies (or commie sympathizers).  Perhaps he thinks, in an us vs. them mentality, that because he disagrees with Democrats that those same Democrats must be allied with Muslims.  This last point also assumes that Muslims are synonymous with terrorists, of course.

John is in “good” company.  Greenwald has a new post up at Unclaimed Territory with multiple links to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and various bloggers/pundits making the very same point that John seems to be a little too timid to make.  As I wrote before, I left a comment at John’s blog asking him to clarify his intention in his post about Jackson-Lee, but he hasn’t/won’t respond.  I think it is more attributable to inattention than inability (or cowardice), but I’ll keep commenting on his blog in the hopes of getting a response.

Background on the Bush Admin.’s Part in Medellin Case

My original post is hereI have since found some very good articles which give background information and explain the process very well.  I’ll try to summarize all of it here.

 

Medellin, along with four others, was tried, convicted and sentenced to death in 1997 for the rape and murder of two young girls in Houston.  Medellin, a Mexican national, then filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus because he was not allowed to seek assistance from the Mexican consulate.  While this petition was making its way through the legal system, Medellin and 50 other convicted Mexican nationals won their case in the International Court of Justice in March 2004.  Under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, foreign nationals are to be given access to their consulates to seek legal assistance.  Because they were denied that access, the ICJ ruled that those cases had to be reconsidered.

Ok, so at this point, I have to say that if our government has ratified a treaty, and that treaty protects Americans abroad, then our government should follow that same treaty’s reciprocal protections for foreign nationals in the U.S.  The 51 Mexican nationals were denied access to their consulate.  That was a mistake.  How can that be rectified?  If the remedy, under our treaty obligation, is to grant those foreign nationals a reconsideration of their cases, then that is what should be done.  If meeting our treaty obligation in the Medellin case means his death sentence could be overturned, then that should be a lesson for prosecutors to learn from.

It’s at this point that things get a little more complicated.  There are many intriguing aspects to this case, but I want to simply focus on the Bush Administration part in it.  In February 2005, Bush issued a memorandum ordering the Texas courts to follow the ICJ’s ruling. When Medellin’s habeas corpus petition was before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Bush Administration argued that it is the sole authority of the executive to decide if the U.S. has to comply with international law, and that in this case, the U.S. should – meaning that the Texas court should reconsider Medellin’s conviction and sentence.  By doing so, the administration joined, among others, anti-death penalty advocates from the U.S. and around the world.

(Here’s where other aspects come into play – the irony of George W. Bush siding with human rights organizations in a capital punishment case – remember what he allegedly said about the Carla Fay Tucker case – and the Supreme Court’s passing the buck on making a decision.)

The Supreme Court sent all of the cases back to the state courts.  Before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the Bush Administration made the same argument it had earlier.  What gets me is the posture of the administration.  The way I see it, Bush believes he alone can decide when our government acknowledges anything in the international realm.  In this case, Bush chose to recognize the ICJ’s ruling (in other words, he didn’t bow to pressure from human rights groups or the international community – no – remember Bush is The Decider).

Well, it looks like Bush wasn’t very persuasive back “home” here in Texas, or perhaps he forgot to get John Cornyn to explain to his fellow Texas jurist just how important it is that Bush never lose because the Texas court not only ruled against Bush’s side, but it also ruled that Bush had exceeded his authority.  My next step is to research how the other 50 cases go.

The Shelley Circus — Award Edition

Shelley Sekula-Gibbs has been named Turkey of the Year by the Houston Press.

Too Timid to Say– So Bold a Name

I check the reader blogs at the chron every day.  I particularly like Blue Bayou, Keep the Faith, Kuff’s World and the new The Straight Path.  There used to be a blog called “TexasSparkle” who was a right-winger in the politics category, but that blogger decided she needed to go.  That leaves one other winger reader blogger (ohhh triple -er!) –“Chronicles of War.” 

There’s not much use in linking to John Little’s winger-war blog.  He hardly ever posts, and when he does, he simply lets comments through and never responds, even to direct questions about his occassional posts.  Why should he?  His other blog — blogs of war (!)– gets linked by Michelle Malkin often enough that he has no need to worry about his chron reader blog. (I seriously doubt he reads the chron at all.  It is my understanding that he is asked to post with a certain frequency and he cram-posts just to keep his slot.)

Today he has a post up about Sheila Jackson-Lee speaking via video to a fund-raiser for CAIR.  He states that fact, without analysis, and then lists out all of the Little Green Football worthy rumors about CAIR, again without analysis.

This is so very typical.  He doesn’t come right out and say anything, he simply leaves his reader to make an inference.  Your reaction to his post depends on how you read the cheery-picked info he posts about CAIR.  Uninformed readers may take him at his word.  More informed readers may respond differently.  In the end, he wants to make a point without anyone ever being able to pin it on him.  He’s hoping that his post’s title will lead a certain type of reader to his blog.  That’s called baiting

Perhaps one of these days, John Little will miss his deadline and he will lose his reader blog. 

I left a comment at his blog asking for a clarification.  I’d grow old waiting for a response.  (So, I’ll just post this )

NATO Summit 2006 — Riga, Latvia

I started looking into this today.  It’s of particular interest to me because I lived and worked in Riga right after I got my master’s degree.  I will never forget my time there, nor the friends I made.  I care deeply for the country and especially my beloved Riga.

There is a site for the summit.  The photo gallery is especially cool.  (This one is m fav so far.)  Looking through the different pages today made me happy and sad at the same time.  Riga has become much more modern in comparison to how it was when I lived there ten years ago.  Naturally, it looks a lot less Soviet.  Fortunately, many of the old familiar places — for me — still look the same.  Old Riga is very beautiful.

The summit will be held in the newly built (2005) Olympic Sport Center.  I recognized the street name — Grostonas iela — it is very close to the school where I taught while I lived in Riga.  My friend Maija still teaches there.  I’ll write to her and see if she can give me some local news about the summit.

The summit will be held on Novemver 28-29.