Friday, April 11, 2003

The Supreme Court has affirmed its November 15, 2002 decision ordering the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) to refund to its customers excess charges it has imposed since February 1994. The decision dated April 9 hasn�t been posted yet in the Supreme Court website.
Misocapnic regulations

Sherry Colb, law professor at Rutgers, has this Findlaw comment piece on New York�s ban on smoking in all bars, nightclubs and other public facilities. The ban, Colb writes, is reasonable and is consistent with protecting citizens� liberties.

Davao City also has such a ban promulgated through a city ordinance. I am not sure though whether the ban extends to nightclubs. Probably not, because the last time I was at the Venue, the most popular nightclub there, I saw people smoking their lungs away.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Preempting wars

The news reports say that the Americans are almost in control of Baghdad; the Iraqi Information Minister is in egregious denial, claiming on TV that the American soldiers are in retreat.

With the Iraqi invasion almost under Bush�s belt, the new American security strategy of preemption would probably survive the rigor of post-war discursive parsing�barring, of course, a major disaster in the reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The success in Iraq, if and when it comes, will further strengthen Bush in his resolve to strike anyone who may threaten the dominant power of the US. With Iraq about to fall, will Syria and North Korea be that far behind?

The United States has been unclear and equivocal about its intentions with regard to these two countries. I remember hearing Colin Powell saying something to the effect that North Korea is, unlike Iraq, containable. Incidentally, a highly informative essay from Foreign Policy explicitly argues that contrary to the pronouncements of the US State Department Saddam Hussein can be deterred and thus containable.

I guess if the Bush administration is to be true to the logic that brought it to Iraq (preemptively striking those who pose a threat to American interests) Syria should be next. One of the reasons Bush targeted Saddam Hussein was the fact the he was actively contributing to terrorism by offering cash rewards to Palestinian suicide bombers. Syria is also doing the same thing and is even rumored to have been the beneficiary of Saddam�s last-minute bequeathals of some weapons of mass destruction.

The American eagle is now approaching to land in Baghdad. Let us all pray it does not take off so soon again.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

This is my first post and I hope this works.