Thursday, March 28, 2002

Suit seeks billions in slave reparations

CNN reports that a former law student, who discovered evidence linking U.S. corporations to the slave trade, filed a federal lawsuit
in Brooklyn against these corporations for conspiracy, human rights violations, unjust enrichment from their corporate predecessors' roles in the slave trade and conversion of the value of the slaves' labor into their profits. The suit names FleetBoston Financial, the railroad firm CSX and the Aetna insurance company, and promises to name up to 100 additional corporations at a later date.
"These are corporations that benefited from stealing people, from stealing labor, from forced breeding, from torture, from committing numerous horrendous acts, and there's no reason why they should be able to hold onto assets they acquired through such horrendous acts," said Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, the main plaintiff in the lawsuit. Full text here.

Deadria Farmer-Paellmann: A case for overlawyered?

Is this case for Or is justice finally catching up after a couple of hundred years of delay? According to CNN, in response to the lawsuit, Aetna released a statement saying, "We do not believe a court would permit a lawsuit over events which -- however regrettable -- occurred hundreds of years ago. These issues in no way reflect Aetna today." For sure, the defense of prescription will be invoked -- that is, the cause action has already expired due to the lapse of time. And corporate lawyer that I am, I suppose this is the book solution to this case. However, this can hardly be classified as another case for the books. It involves the entire Amercian history, psyche and nationhood and a very insensitive treatment of this case can lead to riots like those which characterized the Rodney King trials.

Tuesday, March 26, 2002



The Cuban government has banned the sale of computers and computer accessories to the public, except in cases where the items are "indispensable" and the purchase is authorized by the Ministry of Internal Commerce. Minister of Internal Commerce, Bárbara Castillo of Cuba issued Resolution No. 383/2001 Article 19, Chapter II, Section 3 of which states that:

"The sale of computers, offset printer equipment, mimeographs, photocopiers, and any other mass printing medium, as well as their parts, pieces and accessories, is prohibited to associations, foundations, civic and nonprofit societies, and natural born citizens. In cases where the acquisition of this equipment or parts, pieces and accessories is indispensable, the authorization of the Ministry of Internal Commerce must be solicited."

According to, "the rise of independent journalists in Cuba, who published articles on the Internet criticizing the Castro regime, may have something to do with it. The correspondents, who risk jail time for their "subversive" reports, send their stories by fax, e-mail or phone dictation to supporters in Miami." Full text here.

It is quite apparent that Cuba is in a state of paranoia. With the advent of new media, such as the internet and cellular telephones, Fidel Castro and his monolithic party will have their hands full in keeping freedom loving people from expressing their views to the world..Yet, how long can Castro put up with it? Not for long for sure.Not for long.

We finally registered ACERON.NET!. Thus, effective immediately we can be seen under the domain Our email address will also change to will be retired by April 1, 2002. I was never at home with it anyway.

Saturday, March 16, 2002

Saudi Police stop improperly dressed girls from fleeing burning school

BBC reports that Saudi Arabia's religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers. According to the al-Eqtisadiah daily, firemen confronted police after they tried to keep the girls inside because they were not wearing the headscarves and abayas (black robes) required by the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islam. Full text here

This is a perfect example of common sense giving way to obedience of the law. How stupid of the saudi police. But we might be surprise to know that they thought all the time that they were doing the right thing. They probably still do.

Sunday, March 03, 2002


Erap turns the tables on Govt.

What do you know? After committing a big slip on primetime TV by admitting that he is the one and only Jose Velarde, Erap (disgraced former Philippine President), dismissed his top caliber lawyers on the pre-text that he will not get justice anyway from the court trying his case. Now, everybody in the government is frantic that this new Erap posturing might trigger another attack from the Erap mob who lynched Malacanang Palace last May 1, 2001. There is no doubt Erap wants to go on exile.His political supportes are now agitating for it. (See INQ7 text here.) And Gloria -- slick politician that she is -- knows letting Erap go might be the political compromise of the century.

Okay, as for me, I'm just shaking my head as I type this. I am shaking my head. I will go about my business in this country just shaking my head.