Archive for February 5th, 2007

Follow Up: “Day of Action” for Watada

Lt. Ehren Watada – the Fort Lewis, Wash. serviceman who refused to deploy to Iraq on grounds that the war is illegal – is being court marshalled today. If you have time to get involved in a local protest, or even a moment to discuss the issue with a friend, please do so. The Capital Times reports today on Madison students braving brutal weather to show support:

Five students braved sub-zero weather this morning to display a banner with pictures of war resisters during rush hour on the overpass across Campus Drive.

“Today is the date of Watada’s court martial. We wanted to show soldiers who resist that they have our support, and others who are thinking about resisting that they will have our support,” said Chris Dols, a senior at the UW who is from New Haven, Conn. “I agree with Ehren Watada that this is an illegal war, and that it is right to refuse to carry out illegal orders. The U.S. was not acting in defense. This was an aggressive war based on lies.”

Background link: My previous post about how Lt. Watada had his legal defense stripped from him.

Traveler finances

Credit card companies could be charging you for every dollar you spend outside of the US. Shanghaiist reports today, syndicating a post from BoingBoing, about the “Foreign Transaction Fee”:

[...] turns out that when you use your credit or debit card outside of the US, Visa and Mastercard charge three percent in transaction fees on the spend. It doesn’t matter if you use an ATM, buy over the Internet/phone, or walk into a store — the credit-card companies always dip their beaks. When you pay your hotel bill, when you buy a plane ticket, every time you use Amazon.uk to order a British release (Citibank told me that they even charge the fee when I withdraw from my Citibank US account while at a Citibank UK ATM, using Citibank’s own network!)

Definitely something to be aware of – when I lived in Seoul, ATM fees could be as much as $5. While you don’t want to be carrying around wads of cash, it’s a good idea to not make a lot of frivolous, small withdrawals.

Also, if you’re planning a trip around the world, Rolf Potts at Vagablogging has some good tips for doing it on the cheap:

Personally, I might recommend starting with a crash course in Southeast Asia. Thailand is always a good place to start, and SE Asia has a lot of diversity, is quite accessible and travel-friendly, and will give you a sense for how cheaply you can get around (better in my opinion to start in a cheap place and be shocked by Europe prices than to blow all your money in Europe and not have enough for cheaper places).


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