Thursday, September 30, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC:  Ecuador declares state of emergency amid ‘coup attempt’.

By Steven L. Taylor

From me @OTB:

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Tuesday, September 28, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

From me @OTB:

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the AP:  NKorea’s Kim makes son 4-star general

North Korea’s Kim Jong Il made his mysterious youngest son a four-star general in a major promotion seen Tuesday as confirmation that he is slated to become the country’s next leader.


It was the North Korean state media’s first mention of Kim Jong Un, who has remained so well hidden from the outside world that not even his face or exact age can be confirmed. He is believed to be 27 or 28, and is said to have been schooled in Switzerland and educated at KimIl Sung Military University in Pyongyang.

But don’t worry:  an extensive search and interview process was undertaken, but it just so happened that the best candidate for the job was under their noses all the while!

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Monday, September 27, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC:  Chavez foes advance in election

The Venezuelan opposition has performed well in elections, overturning President Hugo Chavez’s two-thirds majority in parliament.

Mr Chavez’s United Socialist Party (PSUV) still won a majority of seats in Sunday’s poll, but will now be unable to pass major legislation unaided.


Electoral authorities announced that the PSUV won at least 90 seats, and the MUD at least 59 – surpassing the key target of 55 required to overturn the PSUV’s two-thirds majority.

This is interesting for a variety of reasons.  One is that there has not been a relevant opposition in some time in Venezuela, so it will be interesting to see if this outcome actually produces an active and significant bloc within the legislature.  Along those lines it is worth noting that the opposition boycotted the 2024 elections, which instead of damaging the legitimacy of those elections simply gave the PSUV more power.

The second noteworthy element here is that we do again see elections in Venezuela that appear to be genuine.  This is not to say that there are not a variety of serious problems with the quality of democracy in Venezuela, but the fact of the matter remains it is not the simple autocracy that many like to paint it.  I say this, by the way, as a critic and a skeptic regarding Hugo Chávez’s overall interest in democracy.

I will further present the following caveat to the point in the previous paragraph:  the issue of Venezuela’s qualified democracy and how it should be viewed, described, and evaluated is a more complicated issue that an early morning blog post can tackle.

A few more things worth noting:

the new parliament will not convene until early January, leaving Mr Chavez three months to push through any key reforms.

This will be interesting to watch, especially as it pertains to the question of whether especially dramatic legislation is passed.

Also, the role of the electoral rules are of interest:

The MUD also claims that it actually won an overall majority – 52% – of votes cast, but that changes to electoral districts and voting rules prevented that being translated into parliamentary seats. However, the breakdown of the popular vote has not been confirmed by the National Electoral Council.

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Sunday, September 26, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor


365.269 (9/26/10)

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC is a piece in English on the aforementioned computers:  Colombian police examine Farc rebels’ laptops.

One interesting bit of information/speculation is the following:

They also said the large number of memory sticks seized at the jungle camp and the fact that not a single two-way radio or mobile phone was found suggests the rebels relay information through couriers rather than risk having their electronic communication tapped or traced.

If true, the 94 thumb drives seized may yield a great deal of information.  All of this also an interesting look into contemporary guerrilla warfare and the use of technology in such a context.

Also regarding the operation itself:

They said Operation Sodom, as it has been dubbed, started on Tuesday 21 September, when the heads of all three branches of the Colombian military, the police and the Ministry of Defence met in Bogota to finalise details of the attack.

In the early hours of Wednesday 22 September, 78 aircraft headed for the area known as La Escalera in the Macarena mountain range in Meta province.

They dropped dozens of bombs on Mono Jojoy’s camp, which Defence Minister Rodrigo Rivera has described as "the mother of all lairs" for its size and the number of hidden tunnels it had.

About 400 members of the Colombian special forces then abseiled from helicopters and surrounded the camp.

After hours of fighting, another 400 soldiers and police moved in on the camp, taking it in the early hours of Thursday morning.

So, is “Operation Gomorrah” next?

Saturday, September 25, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

You Have Been Warned

365.268 (9/25/10). Taken outside a mini golf/skating/go cart place in Trussville, AL.

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By Steven L. Taylor

According to a headline in El Tiempo, “El Mono Jojoy’s Computers Have Eleven Time the Information of Those of Raúl Reyes.” (Computadores del ‘Mono Jojoy’ tienen 11 veces más información que los de ‘Raúl Reyes’).

The Reyes reference is to the FARC leader killed in 2024 and the intel gathered from his computers.

In regards to those captured this week, 15 computers, 94 USB drives and 14 external hard drives were recovered.

Whether they contain vital information or El Mono Jojoy’s MP3 collection remain to be seen.

Recovering the data will keep some techies busy, as at least one had three bullets in the monitor—a Vaio that may have belonged to El Mono Jojoy himself.

Filed under: Colombia | Comments Off|
Friday, September 24, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor


365.266 (9/23/10)

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