Later On

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

Archive for June 11th, 2007

Low-calorie pasta

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This actually sounds quite good—and the high fiber content is very good for diabetics. I’ve been eating more pasta—a “good” carb—and I want to try this:

When I was first contacted by FiberGourmet to try their fettuccine, I have to admit I wasn’t really expecting anything all that different – after all, it is just pasta, right? Well, yes and no. The product itself is a lower-calorie version of standard pasta which, as I understand it, uses a reduced amount of flour that is supplemented with dietary fiber. In fact, there are only three ingredients in the pasta – durum semolina flour, modified wheat starch, and vital wheat gluten – with the addition of just tomato paste or spinach powder in the flavored varieties.

Since I received a sample package that included each of the three types – original, tomato, and spinach fettuccine – I wanted to try the pasta served several different ways to see what worked best, so I gathered up a group of people, sauces and accompaniments, and got to work.

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Written by Leisureguy

11 June 2007 at 7:57 pm

Posted in Food, Health

Good that Peter Pace was fired

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Steve Clemons sums it up nicely:

Pete Pace is out, and it’s good for the country.

This is not quite on the same par as Truman firing MacArthur, but a civilian leader firing a general now and then can be healthy — particularly when that General — America’s top general — ventures into political matters that have absolutely nothing to do with his responsibilities as he did in writing a character commendation to the judge before Scooter Libby’s recent sentencing.

Some will argue that Pace was simply “not renewed” rather than being fired. Well, when Brent Scowcroft “was not renewed” as Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Scowcroft told a number of friends he had been “fired” by the younger President Bush. In this case, Pace was fired.

Pace had responsibilities to oversee the national security needs of an entire nation — for Democrats and Republicans — and in our tradition, the senior echelons of the U.S. military are supposed to be non-political while still in uniform. Pace went over a big red line in his letter of support in Libby’s case — and all of his enemies in and out of the uniformed services have pulled their knives out.

In a similar political spat, Pete Pace was brown-nosing the President (he thought) in his condemnation of homosexuals as immoral. Again, this is another political issue he should have remained out of — but given his responsibilities in managing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, there is reason why he might have commented to some degree.

But Pace’s comments weren’t structural — weren’t designed to affirm “don’t ask, don’t tell.” They were political and denigrated a group of Americans currently serving in the military with honor — at exactly the same time he has allowed the issuance of over 125,000 “moral waivers” in the case of other Americans entering the military with serious criminal violations on their record.

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Written by Leisureguy

11 June 2007 at 5:58 pm

Circuit City: view of (former) employee

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From The Consumerist:

I had worked at Circuit City for quite some time, until recently when I could no longer stand the shady operations of its business. While working at Circuit City I worked in the Media and Technology department. I believe there are a few things that people should know about Circuit City…

1. When buying any product, expect the salesmen to tell you that after around 13 months, a certain part or battery will need replacing. The common manufacturers warranty only covers 12 months parts and labor, so the customer is pushed to buy the extended warranty under the impression it will fail later…

2. If you do get an extended warranty (Circuit City Advantage Protection Plan), push for a lower rate. Nearly half of the cost is profit, so if you’re buying a 2 year plan for you laptop that’s running you say 200 bones, you could easily talk them down to 170, possibly 150.

3. Every salesman is ranked individually (unlike Best Buy) by the number of accessories they sell. When you pick up that desktop, salesmen are expected to add several hundred dollars in accessories and protection plans. If you opt to buy just the computer “naked” (meaning no attachments or extended warranty), prepare to be hammered. While being asked to buy certain items such as a wireless mouse, ask for a discount. Also, as for a “deal” on the protection plan covering it. For the salesman, it’s a win-win situation; all the salesman has to do is discount that 30 dollar mouse 5 dollars or so, and throw in the protection plan. This brings up the next point.

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Written by Leisureguy

11 June 2007 at 5:37 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life

Two good posts by The Anonymous Liberal

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I really like that blog. Read this and this. The first one is a little worrisome—it begins:

The conservative Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had handed down an important decision in the Al-Marri case. As you may remember, Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri is a U.S. resident who was arrested 3 months after 9/11 and charged with credit card fraud and making false statements to the FBI. In 2003, while his case was pending in federal court, President Bush ordered that al-Marri be transferred to military custody and locked up in a military brig. He has been there ever since, held without charges or any process whatsoever.

Today the Fourth Circuit granted Al-Marri’s habeas petition, holding in the clearest possible terms that “in the United States, the military cannot seize and imprison civilians–let alone imprison them indefinitely.”

I hope to have more to say on this case later, but for now, here’s the opinion and here’s Marty Lederman’s initial reaction.

. . . okay, I’ve read the opinion, and it’s really quite a stirring defense of the Constitution. So much so in fact that I worry it will be reversed by the Fourth Circuit en banc. The opinion is written by Judge Motz and signed onto by Judge Gregory, both of whom were among the dissenters when the Fourth Circuit voted 8-4 to deny a rehearing in the Hamdi case. Judge Motz, in particular, wrote a strongly-worded dissenting opinion in Hamdi warning of the potential for government abuse:

I fear that [this court] may also have opened the door to the indefinite detention, without access to a lawyer or the courts, of any American citizen, even one captured on American soil, who the Executive designates an ‘enemy combatant,’ as long as the Executive asserts that the area in which the citizen was detained was an ‘active combat zone,’ and the detainee, deprived of access to the courts and counsel, cannot dispute this fact.

The Fourth Circuit is loaded with administration-friendly judges (remember this circuit sided in favor of the government in the Padilla case), so a panel that includes Judges Motz and Gregory is not necessarily representative of the circuit as a whole.

That said, Judge Motz’ opinion is thorough and well-argued. In particular, she demolishes the government’s “inherent authority” argument:

Read the whole thing.

Written by Leisureguy

11 June 2007 at 4:07 pm

Walmart is starting to seem evil

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Look at this:

“Would you like to load your check onto a Wal-Mart MoneyCard?”

Get ready to hear this phrase whenever you cash a check at Walmart (which you shouldn’t do anyway, but that’s another post.) Walmart has launched a prepaid debit card, issued from the same bank that also issues their credit cards.

Why is Walmart doing this? They’re going after the “unbanked” market, the same group of people who get screwed with payday loans, income tax advance refund loans, prepaid debit card fees, auto-title loans and every other awful “service” that this website warns you about.

Check our Walmart’s awesomely evil deal: Cashing your check costs $3.00, but if you put the money on a Walmart MoneyCard, they’ll waive the $4.64 “loading” fee. Neat! After that it’s only $4.94 a month to keep your money on the card.

Want to know how much is left? That’ll be $0.70 to check your balance .This card, in essence, takes people who don’t have access to the banking system in this country and makes Walmart their “bank.” Except it’s a “bank” where it costs $1.95 to get money from an ATM, but getting “cash back” from Walmart’s POS is free! If you deposit more then $1,000, Walmart will generously waive the monthly maintenance fee on the card. Want to speak to a teller? That’ll be $3.50. Your paper statement? $2.00. What a deal!

Written by Leisureguy

11 June 2007 at 2:57 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life

This can’t be good: media

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Media ownership

Full story here.

Written by Leisureguy

11 June 2007 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Business, Media

Things your child needs to know

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But that are not necessarily taught in schools. Look over the list.

Written by Leisureguy

11 June 2007 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Daily life, Education

The 25 best movies few have seen

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The commentary is here, and here’s the list. (I’ve seen several of these, and I definitely would not include Boondock Saints, FWIW.)

1. Falling Down
2. Igby Goes Down
3. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
4. Bubble Boy
5. Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane
6. The Hidden
7. Bully
8. Grace of My Heart
9. The Black Cat
10. Breakdown
11. Chopper
12. Gojira
13. I Shot Andy Warhol
14. Three O’Clock High
15. Brannigan
16. The Ringer
17. End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones
18. Real Life
19. Time After Time
20. Idiocracy
21. Girl 6
22. Female Trouble
23. Kurt & Courtney
24. The Boondock Saints
25. Heavenly Creatures

Written by Leisureguy

11 June 2007 at 11:54 am

Posted in Movies & TV

Good news regarding your rights under the law

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ThinkProgress reports:

In a “major setback” to President Bush’s terrorism detention policies, a federal appeals court ruled today that the administration “cannot legally detain a U.S. resident it believes is an al-Qaida sleeper agent without charging him.”

In the 2-1 decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel found that the federal Military Commissions Act doesn’t strip Ali al-Marri, a legal U.S. resident, of his constitutional rights to challenge his accusers in court.

It ruled the government must allow al-Marri to be released from military detention.

Al-Marri has been held in solitary confinement in the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., since June 2003. The Qatar native has been detained since his December 2001 arrest at his home in Peoria, Ill., where he moved with his wife and five children a day before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to study for a master’s degree.

“To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, even if the President calls them ‘enemy combatants,’ would have disastrous consequences for the constitution — and the country,” the court panel said.

UPDATE: Read the full decision HERE.

UPDATE: Obsidian Wings has an exceptionally good post on this decision—and on the heinous act that prompted it. (I would call locking someone in prison for five years on “suspicion” to be heinous.)

Written by Leisureguy

11 June 2007 at 10:44 am

Good collection of Gillette Adjustables

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with photos. Take a look. The razors shown:

01) Fat Boy Prototype 1958 (D1)
02) Fat Boy 1961 (G3)
03) Fat Boy Prototype 1960 (F4) [a 195, as later post says: sold only one year]
04) Executive 1960 (F1)
05) Chrome Toggle 1960 (F4)
06) Gold Toggle 1958 (D1)
07) Slim Handle 1965 (K3)
08) Aristocrat 1967 (M2)
09) long black handle 1975 (V1)
10) long black handle 23K goldplated 1969 (O4)
11) long black handle G3000 with plastic under the head 1977 (X4)
12) short black handle 1970 (P3)

Written by Leisureguy

11 June 2007 at 7:43 am

Posted in Shaving

Why Joe Klein is an unreliable ally

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Because he’s so often wrong and carrying water for the GOP. Glenn Greenwald dissects Klein’s defense of Libby:

It is difficult to recall a single episode which has been more revealing of our political culture than the collective Beltway horror over the plight of the poor, maltreated and persecuted (and convicted felon) Lewis Libby. It is hardly surprising that the right-wing movement of which he is a part operates from the premise that their comrades ought to be exempt from political prosecution even when they commit felonies. That “principle” is a central and defining one for that movement, applied religiously to the Leader and everyone on down the right-wing food chain.

But what the Libby case demonstrates is that so many establishment journalists believe this just as religiously. To our media stars, “Beltway crime” is an oxymoron, at least when it is committed by a high-level political official. In exactly the way they treated all prior acts of lawbreaking by Bush officials as innocuous political controversies, the Beltway press speaks of Lewis Libby’s felonies as being something other than a “real crime,” all so plainly based on the premise that Libby — as a dignified member in good standing of the elevated and all-important Beltway court — ought to be exempt from the type of punishment doled out to “real criminals” who commit “real crimes.”

Time‘s Joe Klein yesterday became but the latest in a long series of Beltway pundits expressing righteous anger over the grave injustice of One of Them being sent to something as low and common as a prison. In a post entitled “Thoughts on Sentencing,” Klein actually argues — seriously — that it is imperative for the public interest that Paris Hilton receive jail time because “it is exemplary: It sends the message . . .that even rich twits can’t avoid the law,” but:

I have a different feeling about Libby. His “perjury”–not telling the truth about which reporters he talked to–would never be considered significant enough to reach trial, much less sentencing, much less time in stir if he weren’t Dick Cheney’s hatchet man. . . . But jail time? Do we really want to spend our tax dollars keeping Scooter Libby behind bars? I don’t think so. This “perjury” case only exists because of his celebrity–just as the ridiculous “perjury” case against Bill Clinton, which ballooned into the fantastically stupid and destructive impeachment proceedings.

There are so many fallacious and misleading assertions packed within just these few sentences that it is difficult to know where to begin.

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Written by Leisureguy

11 June 2007 at 6:49 am

Posted in Media

I do love Monday mornings

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The shave is either much smoother (from the longer stubble) or it feels much smoother, in contrast. TOBS St. James Shaving stick, the ebony handled Sabini brush, and a great lather. The Gillette NEW with a Wilkinson Sword blade, resulting in smoothness itself and no nicks. A hot rinse, a cold rinse, the alum bar, and put away everything. A final rinse, dry, and apply TOBS St. James aftershave. A quick and reliable route to contentment and profound happiness.

Written by Leisureguy

11 June 2007 at 6:43 am

Posted in Shaving

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