Later On

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

Archive for May 31st, 2007

Senator behind secret hold revealed

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ThinkProgress:

Last week, ThinkProgress noted that a bill called the OPEN Government Act had been locked down in the Senate by a secret hold. The bill in question is a “bipartisan effort to update the seminal Freedom of Information Act to make the government more open and accountable.” The act would:

– Restore meaningful deadlines for agency action under FOIA;
– Impose real consequences on federal agencies for missing statutory deadlines;
– Establish a FOIA hotline service for all federal agencies; and
– Create a FOIA Ombudsman as an alternative to costly litigation.

When Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and John Cornyn (R-TX) tried to bring the bill to a vote on the floor, “the vote was blocked by ‘Senator Anonymous.’ Some Republican senator called the Minority Leader’s office and objected to a vote on the bill, but asked for anonymity and did not publicly state the reason for the hold.”

The man behind the secret hold has now revealed himself: Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ). Kyl’s excuse for placing a hold on the bill? Alberto Gonzales’ Justice Department opposes several provisions:

Kyl says the Justice Department is concerned that it could force them to reveal sensitive information.

In a statement Thursday, Kyl said the agency’s “uncharacteristically strong” opposition is reason enough to think twice about the legislation, and he will block a vote until both sides can work out the differences.

Kyl’s water-carrying for the Justice Department is untenable. The OPEN Government Act has overwhelmingly passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. Similar legislation in the House passed in March by 308 to 117. Kyl needs to get out of the way. As Sen. Leahy put it, “This is a good government bill that Democrats and Republicans alike can and should work together to enact. It should be passed without further delay.”

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2007 at 7:43 pm

Very nice review of The Book

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From the reviews at Lulu.com:

Since I work for Lulu.com, I don’t normally post reviews of content. It’s difficult for any of us here to do so without some sort of bias due to our love for this place and the amazing folks who publish their works through us. But, I wanted to post something here about this book since 1) I found it while searching the web for wetshaving information, not while browsing content on Lulu and 2) I have enjoyed it enough to believe my bias isn’t the only reason I feel positively towards it. Make sense?

I am a recent convert to wetshaving and am slowly but surely coming to absolutely love its benefits as well as the ritual. Shaving has never been enjoyable for me (been shaving for 19 years or so) and up until now has usually been a painful, bloody mess that left me with unsightly razor burn and nicks. I had reduced my frequency to about once a week with the cartridge razors and standard shaving cream. Sometime last year I did start using a brush and occasionally some shave oil which did improve things somewhat, but it was the addition of the safety razor and the time spent learning how to build a later, etc that brought the most benefit to date.

So in that vein, Mr. Ham’s book has been a great resource for me to continue my learning. It is a quick and easy read that is to the point and clear. I enjoy the fact that he is open-minded and just as much into learning as I am. He lays out a bunch of options and suggestions and sends readers off to try them all to find the exact combination that works for him.

Another great thing about this book is its Endnotes. Throughout the book, Mr. Ham references books, websites, shaving products, etc. and quite religiously annotates them with references to his Endnotes. While not as convenient as Footnotes, the Endnote format allows him to expound further as needed on each note without ruining the look, feel, and flow of his book. The first time through the book, I didn’t reference the notes at all, sticking to the context of the book as a whole. Now that I use the book as a reference, I will just put my finger on the Endnotes page so I can flip to it quickly when necessary.

Through these Endnotes and other information in the back of the book, Mr. Ham provides readers with a formidable launchpad for further learning. As a matter of fact, that pretty much sums up the book as a whole: A great foundational intro to wetshaving along with a nice push to many other sources to continue your journey.

Thanks for the book, Mr. Ham. And, while again not greatly affecting my opinion of the book, thanks for using Lulu!

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2007 at 4:45 pm

Posted in Books, Shaving

How to fold a chip bag

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Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2007 at 1:54 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food

More info on grassfed beef

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Here’s a little reference site on the benefits of grassfed beef.

And information on heritage meats.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2007 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Beef, Food

Figure your socio-economic class

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The NY Times has a little interactive on-line app that takes you through the steps.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2007 at 9:17 am

Posted in Daily life

How the Bush Administration responds

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Do nothing unless criticized, and then smear the critic with lies. Great modus operandi—and with the media we have, it seems to work. ThinkProgress:

Earlier this month, after a tornado destroyed 95 percent of Greensburg, Kansas, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS) spoke out about how the war in Iraq had severely drained the state’s National Guard, slowing recovery efforts for disaster victims.

Now the Bush administration is exacting revenge:

Bush administration officials, stung by complaints from Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that National Guard heavy equipment needed by tornado-stricken Greensburg, Kan., is in Iraq, are putting out word that she was two days late at the disaster scene because she was attending a jazz festival in New Orleans.

But according to a report in today’s Wichita Eagle, the Bush rumor is completely false:

Yes, Sebelius was in New Orleans with her family when the tornado hit that Friday evening. But she was notified that night about the tornado, and she and her staff in Kansas immediately began trying to assess the damage. When the scope of the disaster became clear, they began making arrangements for her return.

Sebelius didn’t attend any of the jazz festival and left her family in New Orleans, flying back Saturday afternoon using a plane arranged by Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

Earlier, the White House had floated the line that Sebelius was responsible for the Guard shortages, saying it was “not aware of any prior complaints” by the governor about the lack of equipment. But reports soon surfaced showing Sebelius made at least five separate requests for equipment, beginning in Dec. 2005. Apparently it’s back to the drawing board for the Bush spin team.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2007 at 8:48 am

Miss Megs having fun

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Bagged Megs 1  Bagged Megs 2

Megs is having so much fun she’s almost giggling, though it’s hard to tell. Still, few things are so much fun for kitties and crouching inside a paper bag. This was yesterday, and today she’s ignoring the bag so far. Doesn’t want to get addicted, I guess.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2007 at 8:43 am

Posted in Cats, Megs

More on Stephen Hunter

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I had to get the first three novels via Abebooks.com, and I’m now reading Black Light from the library. Findings regarding the “series” novels:

* 1980 The Master Sniper — events from this referenced in Black Light
* 1982 The Second Saladin — characters reappear in Black Light
* 1985 Target (film novelization) — not series—and it IS just a novelisation
* 1985 The Spanish Gambit (reissued as Tapestry of Spies) — (Spanish Civil War setting—some characters reappear in later novels)
* 1989 The Day Before Midnight — some characters reappear in later novels
* 1993 Point of Impact — first full novel of the series
* 1994 Dirty White Boys — second of the series
* 1996 Black Light — third of the series (I’m reading this now, from the library)
* 1998 Time to Hunt
* 2000 Hot Springs
* 2001 Pale Horse Coming
* 2003 Havana
* 2007 The 47th Samurai

UPDATE: In Havana, we see characters from several of the earlier novels. You may as well treat the entire set as a series.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2007 at 8:29 am

Posted in Books

What the beltway pundits mean by “tough guy”

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They apparently mean someone who plays tough guys in scripts—much like their admiration for George Bush as a “tough guy.” Read Glenn Greenwald and shudder at the vacuity of our elite pundits.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2007 at 8:25 am

Posted in Election, GOP, Media

A NEW shave

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Gillette NEWI used a different Gillette NEW this morning. Note that the comb is longer, with the ends turned down. A very good shave and a fine razor.

In keeping the shaving stick theme, I used the Erasmic shave stick this morning, which The Wife ordered from the UK. I believe that Erasmic is made with a tallow-based soap, and the lather is quite good. I used the Rooney 2 Finest—what wonderfully springy bristles that brush has. It does an exceptional job—as, indeed, did the NEW with a Feather blade.

Finished with Master Lilac Vegetal, which (unlike Pinaud Lilac Vegetal) actually smells like lilacs.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2007 at 7:15 am

Posted in Shaving

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