Protests in Thailand

On Sunday, protesters in Bangkok, Thailand swelled to over 150,000 people. They are protesting the rule of the current prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra.

Thaksin Shinnawatra was the prime minister of the country from 2001 until 2006, when he was ousted in a coup. He fled Thailand and has been living outside the country. He was convicted of “conflict of interest” by the Thai supreme court and faces two years in jail should he return.

Many believe that Thaksin still exerts control over Thai politics because his sister is the current prime minister. He also owns some large businesses in Thailand.

Some sources state he is living in London and Dubai, though he has been spotted all over the world.

His sister is trying to grant him “amnesty” so that he can return to the country without facing jail.

In 2010, roughly 90 people were killed during government protests – that time from protests by the Red Shirts, which supported the current prime minister.

http://www.livingthai.org/thaksin-shinawatra-shows-off-his-house-in-dubai.html
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/thai-protesters-force-way-into-government-ministries-1.2438894
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaksin_Shinawatra

The “Other” Assassination Attempt – General Edwin Walker

Seven months prior to Kennedy’s assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald made a different assassination attempt – on retired Army General Edwin Walker.

Walker was living in the Dallas area and was affiliated with right-wing causes. He had run for governor of Texas in 1962, getting beat in the primaries. He had also pushed the McCarthyism ideals that there were Communists inside the U.S. government. He had orchestrated riots against desegregation at the University of Mississippi and he railed against the “anti-Christ Supreme Court,” etc. You get the picture.

It was April 10th, 1963. Oswald left home that night and didn’t give details to his wife Marina about what he was doing. He didn’t return until very late. He left a note for her, which she kept and hid.

The note was about how he had paid rent and he left her as much money as he could. He also instructed her to throw out his clothes but not his personal documents. The note also told her where the city jail was, if he were “alive and taken prisoner.”

According to sources, Oswald aimed at Walker through a back window at his house. The bullet hit the window frame, was deflected, and passed near Walker’s head. Oswald learned from the radio the next day that Walker hadn’t been killed.

Marina later testified to the Warren Commission that Oswald actually told her that he had tried to assassinate Edwin Walker. Marina also told the Warren Commission about the note he left (which she still had). A handwriting expert confirmed the writing was from Oswald.

Photos of Walker’s house were found that were taken by Oswald’s camera. That year, experts could not say for sure that the bullet fragments were from Oswald’s gun.

Another examination in 1977 concluded that the metal elements in the bullet exactly matched the Mannlicher-Carcano ammunition used in Oswald’s rifle. (The technology for this didn’t exist back in 1963.)

For seven months, no one knew who tried to assassinate Edwin Walker – the evidence came out after Kennedy was shot.

Until he died, Walker believed that Oswald had an accomplice – and Walker spent decades trying to learn his identity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marina_Oswald_Porter
http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/walker.txt
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/oswald/more/ps_walker.html
http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=2544
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Harvey_Oswald
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Walker

Lee Harvey Oswald and His Russian Wife

I wasn’t aware that Lee Harvey Oswald had a Russian wife. In the middle of the Cold War. Her name was Marina Nikolayevna Prusakova, changed to Marina Oswald after they got married. They also had two children (I’ll leave their names out of this.) From what I gather, Marina Oswald – now remarried – still lives in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area today.

How did Oswald meet Marina? Oswald had actually defected to the Soviet Union in 1959, after serving in the U.S. Marines, and just before he turned 20 years old. This was in the middle of the Cold War and it was almost unheard of. Oswald first went to Moscow and tried to renounce his U.S. citizenship (though he never did). He decided he wanted to become a Soviet national, and he was sent to Minsk by the Soviet government. In Minsk he was given work and an apartment. He met Marina at a dance and they later married. They emigrated to the U.S. in June of 1962.

These things are not classified and there are many articles about them. They just don’t seem to be well known to the general public. I certainly don’t remember learning about these things in school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marina_Oswald_Porter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Harvey_Oswald
http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/marina-oswald-jfk-assassin-widow/2013/11/22/id/538169

The Other Side of the Story

Many Republicans have complained about the “partisan nature” of the Affordable Care Act, and it is true that it did not get any Republican votes.

However, according to the Daily Beast, Democrats did try to bring Republicans into the fold prior to the passage of the health care bill, and there were several things that happened which helped them decide that it would have to be a party-line vote.

Let’s take a look.

1. In 2009, Obama invited a group of Republicans into his office and told them he’d put tort reform in the bill if it would get him Republican votes. They did not agree.

2. Other administration officials met with Republicans a number of times to see if anything could be put in the bill to appease them. The answer was always no.

3. Outside the administration, Democrats in the Senate negotiated with Republicans for months with little progress.

There was an effort to reach out, but by August of 2009, Republicans had dug in their heels too deeply and refused to budge.

Here are some articles on the topic:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/16/blame-obama-for-passing-a-partisan-health-care-bill-what-nonsense.html

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22625.html

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2009/07/bipartisan-health-reform-negotiations-on-life-support/

Interactive: The 39 Democrats Who Voted With the GOP on Obamacare

This is a re-blog from Time “Swampland.” It has an interactive map that shows which congressmen and women voted for the “Keep Your Health Plan Act.” It seems many Democrats feel that the Democrats who voted for this act “caved to pressure.”

Swampland

The House of Representatives approved the “Keep Your Health Plan Act” Friday, which would allow health care insurers to continue to sell plans that don’t meet the Affordable Care Act’s “essential health benefits” standard next year. The bill, introduced by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), received the support of 39 Democrats as well as all but four Republicans.

The vote was the first congressional referendum on the Obamacare rollout, as opposed to the Affordable Care Act itself, which was the main cause of division during the 16-day partial government shutdown. The number of dissenting Democrats would likely have been higher had President Obama not announced, as he did on Thursday, a fix that would allow insurers to offer cancelled health care plans back to their customers so long as they add a notification of other options under the new federal marketplace. The President had been under growing…

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Pipeline Blow-Up at Milton, TX

texas pipeline explosion

No injuries reported. The town of Milton (near Dallas/Ft. Worth) was evacuated. Capping the pipeline could take 24 hrs.

Here are a couple of articles about the incident:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/11/14/208578/gas-explosion-forces-evacuation.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2013/11/14/milford-texas-pipeline-explosion-evacuation/3530241/

See the related post I wrote on the topic: https://reasonablyliberal.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/global-warming-vs-geopolitcal-foes/