Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for June 25th, 2009

Obama rejects DADT plan

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Amanda Terkel at ThinkProgress:

Yesterday, the Center for American Progress released a report detailing a clear, realistic, and comprehensive road map for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the discriminatory ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military. The steps include:

1. Signing an Executive Order banning further military separations based on DADT and sending a legislative proposal on DADT repeal to Congress

2. Forming a presidential panel on how to implement the repeal

3. Repealing DADT in Congress and changing the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, or UCMS

4. Changing other necessary military guidelines to conform to the new policy

5. Following-up to ensure that the armed forces implement the policy changes

In today’s press briefing, David Corn of Mother Jones asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs about the report and whether the Obama administration thinks this is “the way to go.” Gibbs largely dismissed CAP’s recommendations, saying that the White House is not interested in signing an executive order to temporarily halt DADT:

GIBBS: Well, the President has had meetings about this, has talked with members of Congress. His staff has talked with members of Congress. All of them have talked to Pentagon officials and the administration believes that this requires a durable, legislative solution, and is pursing that in Congress.

Q: I understand that for the long-term solution, but what do you take issue with about signing an executive order that will suspend the separations before an endurable solution is reached through the slow legislative process?

GIBBS: I mean, I think there could be differences on strategy. I think our belief is that the only and best way to do this is through a durable, comprehensive legislative process.

Watch it:

ThinkProgress spoke with CAP Senior Fellow Lawrence Korb, one of the authors of the report, who reiterated that it’s essential for Obama to suspend the dismissals of gay men and women while working on a long-term solution with Congress:

We agree on the need for a durable legislative solution. But a presidential suspension on further dismissals on the basis of DADT is not only within the authority of the president but is necessary to begin the process of repealing this counterproductive, costly, and unnecessary law.

Read the full report here.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 June 2009 at 6:34 pm

Yet another thought on the Kindle

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As I commented, being able to readily highlight, copy, and annotate passages with notes of indefinite length is a big boon. And even better is that you can upload that highlighted passages and the annotations to your computer. And best of all, you can email the file to someone else, who can download it to their Kindle and (assuming they have the same book) see all your highlights and annotations.

It occurs to me that there’s a product idea here. If a scholar has great knowledge about a book or its subject, the scholar could annotate the book to a fare-thee-well and highlight all significant passages, attaching notes as needed, and then sell that file on Amazon. You buy the book, and you can also buy the annotations file. Cute, eh?

Written by LeisureGuy

25 June 2009 at 4:34 pm

More thoughts on the Kindle

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I must say that the highlight and annotate function of the Kindle, not even counting the fact that you can upload to your computer the highlighted sections and all annotations, blows away what you can do with a printed book. The highlight is easily entered and as easily erased if need be. The annotation appears as a footnote at the place in the text that you select, and the footnote can be as long as you have patience for given the awkward keyboard. Surely there’s a market niche for full-size keyboards that can plug into a Kindle!

UPDATE: I just emailed the above to Kindle-feedback@amazon.com, with this addition:

And, while we’re at it, a rack to hold the Kindle above the keyboard at the appropriate distance. That becomes a research scholar’s workstation, though it would be nice to have a little more powerful editing of one’s notes. The Kindle RSW.

Can I please have the first one free?

Thanks.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 June 2009 at 3:21 pm

Posted in Books, Technology

Interesting development re: hunger

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In the afternoon and evening, I normally read or watch DVDs. While I am thus comfortably ensconced in The Chair, I sip drink swill large (21 oz) glasses of My Drink:

  • A dollop of pomegranate juice (about 1/4 c)
  • Juice of half a lemon or lime
  • Water to fill

So a total of, say, 20 oz liquid (mostly water) per glass, and I have two of those glasses so that I don’t have to get up so often. Over the course of the afternoon and evening I might drink 8 such glasses: 160 oz = 5 qt. The reason for this is that my doctor inevitably tells me at my checkup that I’m not drinking enough fluids, and that I should avoid coffee.

So it has gone. The Wife got a bee in her bonnet about electrolytes, so I got interested too and found this site and bought a large bottle of the stuff: using it 1/2 tsp per liter of water, enough for 96 gallons.

So yesterday afternoon the recipe for My Drink became:

  • A dollop of pomegranate juice (about 1/4 c)
  • Juice of half a lemon or lime
  • Scant 1/2 tsp Elete
  • Water to fill

At dinner, I had a bowl of my (5.5 qt batch) chili avec fromage. I continued watching the (great) movie (Cadillac Records, recommended by Constant Reader) and only after the movie ended did I realize that I had eaten only the one bowl. Normally I would have had two bowls, and maybe three. Perhaps piggish, but eating one bowl left me feeling dissatisfied—until last night.

Same thing today at lunch. I had had a glass of My Drink, and I downed another while I ate the (recurring) bowl of chili avec fromage and finished watching Cadillac Records. Again, I suddenly realized at the end of the movie I had no craving at all for something more to eat. I was fully satisfied. Again.

So I got thinking: maybe it’s the electrolytes. Maybe I’m drinking so much water daily that I’m washing them out of my body, and when I eat I try to get enough electrolytes through the food, and perhaps it takes quite a bit of food to deliver what I need. But when I get the full complement of electrolytes through My Drink, my need for food goes way down.

Obviously, it’s early, but I’ll keep an eye on it for a week and see what develops.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 June 2009 at 1:29 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Health

38-move Go game

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White wins in 38 moves as Black resigns after big corner loss. Extremely interesting. You can play through the game here and see comments on the moves. At the link is a discussion of extremely short games of Go. For example:

SHORTEST EVER
Kang Hun 8-dan resigned after just two moves against Kim Seung-chun 4-dan in the quarter-finals of the 18th Kukgi on 24 July 1995 in Korea. Kang was ill but thought he could play. Once at the board he decided otherwise, though by turning up at all he ensured his game fee.

SHORTEST WITH PROPER PLAY
Ono Nobuyuki 6-dan resigned because of a misread after 20 moves against Kudo Norio 9-dan in the preliminary stages of the 53rd Honinbo in Japan on 21 November 1996.

Previous shortest was 26 moves when Honma Akio 7-dan resigned against Mizokami Tomochika 4-dan in the preliminaries of the 42nd Oza on 19 May 1994 in Japan. It is believed Honma resigned this game to make it the shortest in history in place of the previous shortest loss, by his teacher Takahashi Shigeyuki 7-dan in 31 moves against Kano Yoshinori 8-dan in the preliminaries of the 21st Honinbo on 26 May 1965.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 June 2009 at 11:32 am

Posted in Daily life, Games, Go

BATFE is not doing its job

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Mike Lillis in the Washington Independent:

Earlier this year, as the violence on the Mexican border had crescendoed into national headlines, the state of California contacted federal firearms officials with a seemingly innocuous request: Would the federal government lend state law enforcers details on the thousands of crime guns seized in Mexico and traced to California — information that might identify patterns of trafficking worth investigation?

Citing a five-year-old federal law that limits the sharing of crime gun trace data, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives refused.

“As a result of this restriction,” California’s Department of Justice wrote in a subsequent letter to the head of ATF in Washington, “California law enforcement agencies … have been unable to identify the California firearm dealers whose firearms are finding their way into Mexico’s drug war.”

The Tiahrt Amendment had struck again.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

25 June 2009 at 11:23 am

UN human rights chief criticizes US

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Colum Lynch in the Washington Post:

The U.N.’s top human rights advocate, Navanethem Pillay, on Wednesday appealed to the Obama administration to release Guantanamo Bay inmates or try them in a court of law, and said that officials who authorized the use of torture must be held accountable for their crimes.

In her most detailed statement on U.S. detention policy, the South African lawyer criticized President Obama’s decision to hold some suspected terrorists in detention indefinitely without a trial. She also called for a probe into officials who participated in torture sessions or provided the legal justification for it.

"People who order or inflict torture cannot be exonerated, and the roles of certain lawyers, as well as doctors who have attended torture sessions, should also be scrutinized," Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement dedicated to victims of torture.

Pillay praised the Obama administration for committing to ban many of the harshest interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, authorized by the Bush administration, and "which amount to torture." But she said it needed to go further, providing victims of U.S. abuses with an opportunity to rebuild their lives.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

25 June 2009 at 11:17 am

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