Later On

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

Archive for April 11th, 2010

I’m going to have a hamburger meltdown

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This baby is called “Silence of the Lambs.” Take a look at what goes into one (and then, I wish, into me).

Written by LeisureGuy

11 April 2010 at 4:25 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Greek Baked Beans With Honey and Dill

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I just made this recipe, and it’s really tasty.

I used Lima beans, but I did soak them—perhaps a mistake, since the beans ended up with more liquid than I expected. I did NOT add the 2 cups of water called for after draining the beans, and I believe that would be a mistake.

In caramelizing the onions, I set the timer for 15 minutes and kept them sautéing over medium to medium-high heat, stirring often. The caramelized onions are a big part of the flavor, so don’t rush that step.

Worth making.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 April 2010 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Standing cat

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Via Boing Boing:

Explanation here.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 April 2010 at 10:45 am

Posted in Cats, Daily life

Don Blankenship warned West Virginia that he believes in “survival of the fittest”

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Brad Johnson at Climate Progress:

Coal baron Don Blankenship is complaining about the “indignity” of the press for investigating his role as the CEO of Massey Energy, whose Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, WV, is the site of the deadliest mining disaster since 1984, with at least 25 miners killed. Blankenship has a long record of putting coal profits over safety. At the time of the accident, Massey was contesting dozens of major safety violations at the Montcoal mine, even as Blankenship increased production.

Blankenship has a “dark, soulless, and destructive social-Darwinist” view of the United States, as Brad Johnson explains in this repost.

Blankenship — whose $23.7 million annual compensation includes the use of the company jet and helicopter and a mansion with several servants — has made no effort to hide his “radical” philosophy of unfettered capitalism. He explained this philosophy most clearly in a 1986 documentary by Anne Lewis on his role crushing the union miners at Massey’s Blackberry Creek mine, saying that “everybody’s going to have to learn to accept” that the United States is ruled by the law of “survival of the fittest”:

What you have to accept in a capitalist society, generally, is that I always make the comparison it’s like a jungle, where a jungle is survival of the fittest. Unions, communities, people, everybody’s going to have to learn to accept that in the United States you have a capitalist society. And that capitalism from a business viewpoint is survival of the most productive. And you may have a year, two years, five year periods where lesser productive companies or people have benefit. But in the long term, it’s going to be the most productive people who benefit.

Blankenship’s social-Darwinist view of the United States is dark, soulless, and destructive. Unlike the mythical uber-capitalists of Ayn Rand novels, Blankenship has no interest in free-market competition within the bounds of the law. Instead, he subverts the political system, busts unions, illegally destroys Appalachia’s unique ecosystem, flouts labor laws, ignores safety rules, and intimidates employees to serve his black obsession with running coal.

Blankenship has successfully delivered his twisted vision of society to West Virginia — flattened mountains, toxic waters, crushing poverty, political corruption, broken communities, and the needless, preventable deaths of the state’s hard-working miners.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 April 2010 at 10:35 am

Posted in Business, Daily life

National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project

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Fascinating Web site. One entry:

Sorry about being a bit later with this recap than usual, Friday was pretty hectic and today will be too. I’m still working on our Q1 statistical report but it’s taking a while because of my schedule at my day job.

(We use the police misconduct reports captured by our news feed to generate statistical data, see here if you don’t know what I’m talking about)

So far the numbers seem to suggest that over $50 million was spent on police misconduct lawsuit settlements and judgments over the first three months of 2010 and there were over 1,500 law enforcement officers and over 80 law enforcement leaders involved in those reports we captured.

In any case, here are the 21 reports of police misconduct that our National Police Misconduct News Feed captured for Friday, April 09, 2010:

  • An Assumption Parish Louisiana sheriff’s lieutenant has been placed on paid administrative leave after officers preparing for a drug trial discovered that evidence in that case appeared to have been mishandled. The sheriff called for an external investigation by state police.  When we see something like this it tends to indicate that someone stole some drugs or money from evidence, but not always… something to keep an eye on.
  • Two Springfield Michigan police officers have been accused of beating & tasering a domestic violence suspect and then shooting his dog while the suspect attempted to hold the dog back and protect it. This one is a case of he said vs cops said as there weren’t any independent witnesses and no video, so it’s not likely to result in anything.
  • An unknown number of NYPD police officers have been accused of brutality in an incident that injured four men and left one of them with a broken leg that was untended for hours because cops allegedly denied him medical care. However, in this case, the victims claim to have video.
  • An Altamonte Springs Florida police officer and his wife were arrested on federal drug and firearms charges. According to officials the couple were accused of running a grow operation and dealt oxycontin and marijuana. Authorities also allege that the couple had been threatening informants and, in the original report which has since been redacted, planned to kill a narcotics officer.
  • A Scranton Pennsylvania police detective has plead guilty to stealing over $8,400 from evidence. The evidence came from a drug bust in 2001 but police didn’t discover the missing evidence until last year when they opened an envelope that was supposed to contain cash but only discovered some rolled-up wads of paper.
  • A Chicago Illinois police officer who was working with a security detail at a White Sox game has been named as part of suit filed against the White Sox by jail guard who claims he was beaten and falsely arrested at White Sox game. Apparently security was called to address a rowdy fan but were pointed to the wrong person, when the guard tried to tell the officer they had the wrong fan the cop allegedly attacked and detained the guard. Charges were dismissed when video of the incident came out.
  • A Beeville Texas police sergeant has been placed on paid leave after he was arrested on possession with intent to distribute prescription drugs charges. The chief is defending the officer at the moment and says “He is a good officer, not a troublemaker…”  Funny how police never say nice things like that about other suspects.
  • A Pensacola Florida police officer who made headlines last year when ran over and killed a 17-year-old boy on a bicycle after trying to taser him while chasing him in a police cruiser has been given an 80 hour suspension as a result of that incident. No charges came about in the case that began because the officer thought the teen looked suspicious.
  • A Longmont Colorado police officer was sentenced to probation in a plea deal that reduced felony charges to a misdemeanor drug possession charge. He was accused of stealing prescription pain killers from his own wife in order to apparently pay off an informant.
  • Two Decherd Tennessee police officers have resigned after they were suspended without pay while investigated for leaving a police K9 in a crate on the back of a police pickup truck for over 24 hours. The dog was found dead of apparent dehydration from being left in the heat… no word on whether they will face charges for assault on an officer.
  • A Grand County Colorado deputy has been fired in a strange case that also involved former jail guard and a firefighter. Apparently the group was in a bar after hours when the owner brought out a gun and they had a little game of target practice inside the bar that resulted in a number of rounds going through the walls and into an adjacent business. Apparently discharging firearms within town limits where they were at is illegal.
  • A US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives agent has been arrested for his role in a faked drug buy operation that also involved a Tulsa Oklahoma police officer that resulted in the conviction of a father and his daughter. Both had served about a year of their sentences in the case when the conviction was overturned when the fake sting was uncovered. Authorities are now reviewing about 100 other cases for potential problems and the Tulsa officer is on paid vacation leave.
  • An unspecified number of Maryland State Police officers have threaten to arrest a man for recording and posting video of an incident where a plain-clothes police officer pulled a gun on him during traffic stop. I missed this one but the ever-vigilant Carlos Miller at the PINAC blog didn’t.
  • The now-former Van Meter Iowa police chief is the subject of a criminal investigation for allegedly overcharging for car inspections and failing to inspect cars properly when he performed the inspections. Apparently the state licenses people to inspect salvaged cars for stolen parts at a fixed rate before they can be sold and the chief did these inspections as a side job. Weird.
  • The Lynbrook New York police chief has been suspended for 10 days for interfering with an investigation into a dispute he had with his girlfriend. Unfortunately the only link to this story is to a pay site, nobody else covered it. This actually happens a lot in the New York city area, not sure why this pay-per-view news site has a lock on the news there.
  • A Los Angeles County California police officer was arrested on suspicion of an on-duty sexual assault that occurred earlier this month on an undocumented immigrant who was groped by the officer during a traffic stop. The officer isn’t a deputy since he works for a department that is responsible for law enforcement in county parks and other areas.
  • A Fulton County Georgia deputy was arrested on federal corruption, firearms, & drug charges for allegedly offering protection to drug traffickers while they engaged in drug buys in exchange for thousands of dollars.
  • An Oneida County New York deputy is facing face disciplinary action for violating policy when he accidentally shot a judge with his taser in the judge’s court chambers while he was adjusting it. Apparently only one barb hit the judge so he didn’t get hit with a full shock, but it’s apparently against policy to pull a taser unless you intend to fire it.
  • A Jackson County Missouri deputy has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl while he was in uniform and on-duty.
  • A Spring Lake North Carolina police officer was sentenced to 19 months in jail in a plea deal after a corruption sting caught him stealing money during a staged drug bust. The Spring Lake police department was only just recently reactivated after it was actually disbanded when that agency’s arrest powers were suspended on allegations of corruption and malfeasance last year.
  • The Escondido California police department is the subject of a lawsuit alleging that officers fatally shot a woman who was a passenger in a stolen car. Apparently the police had asked the woman to be in the car in an effort to bust her boyfriend after she reported him for stealing a car. The police opened fire on the car after it rammed a police car that had boxed him into a parking lot, even though both the suspect and the innocent woman were unarmed.

Well, that’s it for now folks, stay safe out there!

Written by LeisureGuy

11 April 2010 at 9:52 am

Posted in Daily life, Government, Law

The bizarre world of medical costs

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The primary reason for weird fluctuations in medical costs seems to be the way that leverage shifts between hospitals and insurance companies. Take a look at this interesting post by Kevin Drum on a Massachusetts study. Graphs included, of course.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 April 2010 at 9:47 am

Neo-Confederate History Month

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Matt Yglesias:

Ed Kilgore proposes a “Neo-Confederate History Month” that would seek to inform people about the slightly odd and quite ugly history of Confederate remembrance in the post-1865 period since it would be “immensely useful for Virginians and southerners generally to spend some time reflecting on the century or so of grinding poverty and cultural isolation that fidelity to the Romance in Gray earned for the entire region, regardless of race.”

A Neo-Confederate History Month could be thoroughly bipartisan.Republicans could enjoy greater exposure to the virulent racism of such progressive icons as William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson, not to mention Democratic New Deal crusaders in the South like Mississippi’s Theodore Bilbo. The capture of the political machinery of Republican and Democratic parties in a number of states, inside and beyond the South, by the revived Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, would be an interesting subject for further study as well.

Most of all, a Neo-Confederate History Month could remind us of the last great effusion of enthusiasm for Davis and Lee and Jackson and all the other avatars of the Confederacy: the white southern fight to maintain racial segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. That’s when “Dixie” was played as often as the national anthem at most white high school football games in the South; when Confederate regalia were attached to state flags across the region; and when the vast constitutional and political edifice of pre-secession agitprop was brought back to life in the last-ditch effort to make the Second Reconstruction fail like the first.

I get the sense that most white southern conservatives nowadays genuinely don’t understand this, but it’s well-illustrated by the history of Georgia flags:

Georgiaflags

Totally irrespective of the issue of what the Confederacy and/or the Civil War were “really” about, the chronology there makes it perfectly clear what the Confederate Flag Revival was about—backlash against the civil rights movement.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 April 2010 at 9:41 am

Posted in Daily life

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