I don’t believe in the death penalty, but …

after reading about BP & its compatriots desire to increase profits by cutting corners and the resulting human, animal and ecological devastation in the Gulf of Mexico, I'll make an exception for BP and the other corporations that created this mess.


Thai government begins crackdown

The Red-Shirts' accepted Prime Minister Abhisit's offer to dissolve parliament and hold a November election, but demanded that Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban to
face criminal charges for his
role in the April 10 crackdown.   Abhisit rejected the Red-Shirts' demand, rescinded the offer of a November election and announced that his government will expel the Red-Shirts from their encampment in the business district in Bangkok.  The Red-Shirts have called for reinforcements.

According to Voice of America, the government crackdown has begun with the shooting of a Thai general who is supportive of the Red-Shirts in their encampment.

Other reporting: Christian Science Monitor, BBC, Times, Al Jazeera, New York Times.  I would have included the Bangkok Post, but I couldn't get to their articles for some unknown reason.

People power in Thailand undermining government support among the Thai army

It appears that the Thai government has offered a reconciliation plan that includes an election on November 14th.  The Guardian says that the Red Shirts have accepted the proposal, while the BBC says that the Red Shirts are willing to talk.

There seems to be a group called the Multi-Colored Shirts who are opposing the Red Shirts, though other sources refer to them as Yellow Shirts, the group that used nonviolence to overthrow the previous government, and wants to limit who can actually be in parliament.

The Red Shirts had fortified their positions in Bangkok and halted army forces from entering Bangkok (New York Times though "thailand protest train" gets 405 hits in news.google.com):

… antigovernment demonstrators in the northeast stopped a train carrying military vehicles, underlining the impunity of the protest movement and the government’s weakening control of the populous hinterland.

While the Guardian wrote that army soldiers may not be reliable:

However, there has been speculation that the army is reluctant to move against the protesters again after a failed attempt to clear them from the streets a week ago. The army chief, Anupong Paochinda, has said an election is the only solution to Thailand's political crisis.

Many soldiers, particularly in the lower ranks, are openly supportive of the red shirts' cause. Protesters have nicknamed them "watermelon soldiers", for their green uniforms on the outside and red sympathies within.

Looks like the Red Shirts are undermining the support of the government.

What type of government surveillance do you want?

Over at Volokh Conspiracy, Stewart Baker posted a blog post entitled Times Square bombing — where were the cameras? and posits that it is better to have lots of small surveillance cameras that can only be accessed after the fact instead of fewer surveillance cameras that are centrally recorded and administered.  The comments are pretty good, but this one caught my eye:

… if we’re all soldiers in the war to defend the Constitution against terrorists, some of us are going to get killed in that defense. And some of us will be killed because ‘defending the Constitution’ means observing the limits it puts on government even when violating them might be more tactically opportune.

I’m sure cameras everywhere would be effective; it just wouldn’t be very American.