Later On

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

Archive for May 9th, 2007

Interview about US Torture

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Via War and Piece, this interview:

Tara McKelvey is the author of the new book Monstering: Inside America’s Policy of Secret Interrogations and Torture in the Terror War, which tells the story of the Abu Ghraib scandal and, more broadly, examines the pattern of detainee abuse in Iraq. McKelvey, a senior editor at The American Prospect and a research fellow at the NYU School of Law’s Center on Law and Security, lives in Washington, D.C. I recently asked her six questions about what she learned while researching her book.

1. The general story of the abuses at Abu Ghraib has by now been well covered. What has the media missed?

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

9 May 2007 at 7:29 pm

Iraqi legislature wants US to withdraw from Iraq

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I didn’t see this in any of the major newspapers. Not worth reporting? The story:

On Tuesday, without note in the U.S. media, more than half of the members of Iraq’s parliament rejected the continuing occupation of their country. 144 lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition calling on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal, according to Nassar Al-Rubaie, a spokesman for the Al Sadr movement, the nationalist Shia group that sponsored the petition.

It’s a hugely significant development. Lawmakers demanding an end to the occupation now have the upper hand in the Iraqi legislature for the first time; previous attempts at a similar resolution fell just short of the 138 votes needed to pass (there are 275 members of the Iraqi parliament, but many have fled the country’s civil conflict, and at times it’s been difficult to arrive at a quorum).

Reached by phone in Baghdad on Tuesday, Al-Rubaie said that he would present the petition, which is nonbinding, to the speaker of the Iraqi parliament and demand that a binding measure be put to a vote. Under Iraqi law, the speaker must present a resolution that’s called for by a majority of lawmakers, but there are significant loopholes and what will happen next is unclear.

What is clear is that while the U.S. Congress dickers over timelines and benchmarks, Baghdad faces a major political showdown of its own. The major schism in Iraqi politics is not between Sunni and Shia or supporters of the Iraqi government and “anti-government forces,” nor is it a clash of “moderates” against “radicals”; the defining battle for Iraq at the political level today is between nationalists trying to hold the Iraqi state together and separatists backed, so far, by the United States and Britain.

More at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

9 May 2007 at 5:21 pm

The Encyclopedia of Life

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Watch it. Four minutes well spent.

About the Talk: As E.O. Wilson accepts his 2007 TED Prize, he makes a plea on behalf of his constituents, the insects and small creatures, to learn more about our biosphere. We know so little about nature, he says, that we’re still discovering tiny organisms indispensable to life; yet we’re still steadily destroying nature. Wilson identifies five grave threats to biodiversity (a term he coined), using the acronym HIPPO, and makes his TED wish: that we will work together on the Encyclopedia of Life, a web-based compendium of data from scientists and amateurs on every aspect of the biosphere.

And the wish is coming true:

In Washington DC this morning, the first big step in that dream came true. Five major scientific institutions, backed by a $50m funding commitment led by the MacArthur Foundation, announced the launch of a global effort to launch the Encyclopedia. Ed Wilson described today’s announcement as a dream come true.

Written by Leisureguy

9 May 2007 at 10:59 am

How to wear clothes

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An interesting discussion of “how to wear clothes”—especially the comments. (Leisureguy contributed, you may be sure.)

Written by Leisureguy

9 May 2007 at 10:53 am

Posted in Daily life, Movies & TV

Bush Administration protects wanted terrorist

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I’ve blogged before about the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who has killed many (including blowing up an airliner). Venezuela and Cuba both want to extradite him to try him for his acts of terrorism, but the US is harboring and protecting the terrorist. This is something Bush has more or less promised he wouldn’t do. Not that that means anything. The blog All Spin Zone reports:

On the same day that the Department of Justice was singing its own praises for busting an alleged terror ring in New Jersey, mostly unnoticed was the fact that the DOJ may have intentionally tanked the prosecution of an international terrorist in our own midst.

As a result, convicted terrorist Luis Posada Carriles is a free man today.

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone threw out immigration charges against Posada Carriles, and ordered his electronic tracking bracelet removed. He had been free on bail, pending an immigration trial that was scheduled to begin this week.

ASZ has been following this saga for a long time, and it’s no surprise that Judge Cardone took this action. In fact, given the history of this case, it’s almost crystal clear that this was the intended result of the Department of Justice’s case against Posada Carriles. Since he was first detained in the U.S., the DOJ has displayed a level of case management skill that is beyond mere incompetence – in fact, to the untrained outside observer, it’s easy to draw the conclusion that the prosecution of this case was intentionally botched.

According to CNN, the departments of Justice and Homeland Security are “reviewing Cardone’s decision”, and it is not clear at this point whether or not the judge’s ruling will be appealed.

What is clear, beyond all reasonable doubt, is that Posada Carriles is an international terrorist who was trained and financed by the U.S. government. Whether he was operating as a freelancer, or at the behest of his CIA handlers when he carried out his terrorist acts is completely beside the point. Documents from the U.S. government make it clear that the man plotted the bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people, and he has admitted being involved in hotel bombings in Havana. In fact, he’s quite proud of his curriculum vitae as a terrorist.

Today, the Bush administration’s favorite terrorist is strolling the South Beach waterfront in Miami unencumbered, and grateful that the concept of quid pro quo has stood the test of time. In some cases, there is indeed honor among thieves.

A call to your congressional representatives might be in order.

Written by Leisureguy

9 May 2007 at 10:16 am

A general comments on Bush

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Written by Leisureguy

9 May 2007 at 8:41 am

A sunny day in Monterey

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Sun & Megs  Sun & Megs 2

So I’m rushing about, getting ready for the cleaning ladies, and I happen to notice Megs as I hurry by. She has a different attitude.

Written by Leisureguy

9 May 2007 at 8:38 am

Posted in Cats, Megs

One action from the war in Iraq

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A short animated video narrated by the guy who was in the action and on whose blog the video is based.

Written by Leisureguy

9 May 2007 at 7:13 am

Coates Lime

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My first use of Coates shaving cream—Coates is impossible to find these days, but I got a couple of small tubes from another shaver. Very nice lather indeed, using the Simpsons Chubby 1 Best Badger brush, a thick little guy.

Shaved with the Vision, and got the usual smooth shave but somehow felt awkward with it this morning—perhaps because I got up at 5:00, thanks to Megs. Aftershave was 4711 from Barclay Crocker.

Still: my worst shave with a safety razor is better than my best shave with a multiblade cartridge.

Written by Leisureguy

9 May 2007 at 6:17 am

Posted in Shaving

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