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Somebody Page Kafka

Update: a picture of Pedro Guzman is at the ACLU-SoCal site [via Hipparchia in comments].

TBogg pointed out this SoCal tragedy.

An Associated Press report from the San Diego Union Tribune on the case of Pedro Guzman:

[Los Angeles County] Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said the department followed procedures correctly.

“My understanding is that this individual said he was a Mexican national and was in the country illegally when we interviewed him,” Whitmore said. “We turn that information over to immigration officials, who then re-interview him.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed he had been deported and said the agency had done so correctly.

“ICE only processes persons for removal when all available credible evidence suggests the person is an alien,” read a statement. “That process was followed here and ICE has no reason to believe that it improperly removed Pedro Guzman.” An agency spokeswoman declined to comment further because the lawsuit was pending.

Fact: Mr. Guzman is known to be illiterate, and is in the court records as a US citizen. He is also known to be of diminished capacity. He is a US citizen and he was “deported”. There is no conceivable way of characterizing this as anything other that a F**K UP on the part of the LA Sheriff and ICE. Tijuana is not kind to people like Pedro Guzman, and it is very possible that he has died. This is why you don’t give the government unlimited, unrestricted powers, they are not competent to handle even restricted powers.

The family asked for help and the authorities stonewalled. People need to go to jail over this.

June 13, 2007   5 Comments

Rubber Room Time

This from ABC News : Tearful Testimony in $54 Million Pants Lawsuit

A Washington, D.C. law judge broke down in tears and had to take a break from his testimony because he became too emotional while questioning himself about his experience with a missing pair of pants.

Administrative law judge Roy Pearson is representing himself in civil court and claimed that he is owed $54 million from a local dry cleaner who he says lost his pants, despite a sign in their store which ensures “Satisfaction Guaranteed.”

The case gained national attention soon after the lawsuit was filed. The pants are expected to be introduced into evidence, although the judge says the pants are not his, and the correct pants are still missing.

The sartorial loss caused Pearson to suffer what he calls severe “mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort.”

It is time for an intervention. This guy is a judge and he is overcome with grief over a pair of pants? Why is this case in court? This is why there are mental health laws. This is the reason they changed “one size fits all” to “one size fits most,” because of people like this judge.

There was a time when I had my suits made to order in Britain. They had better fabric, and nothing fits like a custom suit. If you have spent $1000 on a suit, you take it to the place you bought it for alterations, not to a Korean dry cleaners. If it was an older suit and the alterations were because of weight gain or loss, don’t waste your money, it won’t fit right.

June 13, 2007   Comments Off on Rubber Room Time

The Mouse Trap

Kevin Drum wonders about Matthew Yglesias’s endorsement of this strategy:

Zbigniew Brzezinski at the conference says the US and Israel should try to put their demands for Iranian disarmament in the context of support for a regional nuclear-free zone (i.e., Israeli nuclear disarmament). After all, he says, if we’re supposed to believe that Israel’s nuclear arsenal isn’t a sufficient deterrent to ensure Israeli security in the face of Iran’s nuclear program, then it obviously isn’t a very valuable asset.

Matt thinks this will put pressure on Iran and will be a good thing. Kevin thinks it’s a waste of time because Israel wouldn’t agree to it and Iran would use it as a stalling tactic.

[Read more →]

June 13, 2007   Comments Off on The Mouse Trap

It’s Time For A Forwarding Address

While CNN doesn’t seem to care, CBS notes: Iraq Braces For Worst After Shrine Blast

(CBS/AP) Suspected al Qaeda bombers toppled the towering minarets of Samarra’s revered Shiite shrine [The Shrine of the Ali Al-Hadi and Hassan Al-Askari] on Wednesday, adding new provocation to old a year after the mosque’s Golden Dome was destroyed.

The attack stoked fears of an upsurge in intra-Muslim violence. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government asked for U.S. troop reinforcements in Samarra, 60 miles north of here, and for a heightened U.S. military alert in the capital.

But within hours, three Sunni mosques south of Baghdad went up in flames, reports CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan, and attackers set fire to three more mosques in the capital itself.

Shorter General Barry McCaffrey [USA Retired] on NPR “Oh shit, it’s time to leave!”

Juan Cole echoes that sentiment, in a very scholarly fashion.

[Note: The CNN top stories at 7PM CST were pathetic, even for an “Entertainment” section.]

June 13, 2007   Comments Off on It’s Time For A Forwarding Address

Some Perspective

Scout at First Draft reports on the Anderson Cooper New Orleans piece and the inclusion of a segment on trailers that were trashed: “FEMA officials say nearly 10 percent of them came back unfit to use again.”

Back in August of 2005 I did a post on trailers:

FEMA brought in 1500 travel trailers to be used for housing after hurricane Ivan last Fall. The local NPR station reports that 900 of those trailers were damaged by hurricane Dennis including 200 listed as destroyed.

FEMA refused to allow the trailers to be moved for protection. People weren’t looking for any help moving them, they just wanted permission to move them at their own expense. FEMA’s refusal cost the government over 13% of its trailers locally.

The report also doesn’t mention the loss of trailers at FEMA’s storage site in Arkansas, because they were improperly protected for storage. Those trailers were brand new and never used.

June 13, 2007   2 Comments