Later On

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

Archive for June 12th, 2007

Greenwald on the Al-Marri decision

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Some reading to do:

The decision (.pdf) of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Al-Marri case technically rests on narrow grounds of statutory construction regarding the scope of the Military Commissions Act, but it is actually quite extraordinary in the broader constitutional principles it affirms and the tone it uses to apply them.

Next to the Padilla travesty, the Government’s treatment of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri — just on the facts alone — may very well be the single most despicable instance of deliberate denial of the most basic liberties. I have written about the facts and circumstances of al-Marri’s detention here.

I really recommend reading (at least) the first 11 pages of the court’s decision, where the court sets forth in very stark and clear terms exactly what we have done to al-Marri. I recall the sensation, back in law school, of reading legal opinions from various periods of time throughout our country’s history which began by recounting the government’s behavior and finding it difficult to believe that any government could engage in such conduct without provoking a massive backlash (and sometimes it did).

That is the reaction which this opinion provokes (even though the facts are familiar). No matter how many times one thinks about it, reads or writes about it, it never ceases to amaze — literally — that our government has asserted the power to imprison people, including those on U.S. soil, and keep them locked up for years and years, indefinitely, without so much as charging them with any crime or even allowing them access to lawyers. And that is to say nothing of what is done to them while being held completely incommunicado. That was just a line that one thought the American Government could not cross without enormous backlash. Yet our government has done exactly that for years — and has spawned a set of presidential candidates vowing to continue doing so at least as aggressively, if not more so — without much protest at all.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 June 2007 at 5:23 pm

Junipero Gin report

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Well, the NY Times panel and I agree: Junipero Gin does make a good Martini, with more assertiveness and punch than Plymouth Gin—and perhaps not quite so good a Martini. Their report comments, ” Smooth, clean and very dry with assertive, classic flavors of juniper and citrus: a martini with one eyebrow raised.” Certainly worth trying, but Plymouth Gin is a better buy and makes a better Martini.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 June 2007 at 5:21 pm

Posted in Drinks

Watch a guy play a theramin

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Pretty cool.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 June 2007 at 2:44 pm

Posted in Music, Technology

Excellent video

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Developing a good strategy for a game you can play only one time:  Watch the whole thing. Thanks to reader JA for passing this along.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 June 2007 at 2:24 pm

Good question: “Do you believe in atoms?”

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The beginning:

Suppose we asked a group of Presidential candidates if they believed in the existence of atoms, and a third of them said “no”? That would be a truly appalling show of scientific illiteracy, would it not? And all the more shocking coming from those who aspire to run a technologically sophisticated nation.

Yet something like this happened a week ago during the Republican presidential debate. When the moderator asked nine candidates to raise their hands if they “didn’t believe in evolution,” three hands went into the air—those of Senator Sam Brownback, Governor Mike Huckabee, and Representative Tom Tancredo. Although I am a biologist who has found himself battling creationism frequently throughout his professional life, I was still mortified. Because there is just as much evidence for the fact of evolution as there is for the existence of atoms, anyone raising his hand must have been grossly misinformed.

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 June 2007 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Election, GOP, Government

Some progress

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Bill would require pharmacies to fill orders no matter beliefs
Monday, June 11, 2007

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) A pharmacy would be required to fill prescriptions for any drug it stocks such as birth-control pills regardless of a pharmacist’s moral beliefs under a bill that cleared the Legislature on Monday.

The bill, approved 56-18 by the Assembly, establishes a pharmacy’s duty to fill lawful prescriptions without undue delay and without consideration for a pharmacist’s moral, philosophical or religious beliefs.

If a pharmacy doesn’t have a prescription in stock, the pharmacy would have to either obtain it under expedited ordering or find a nearby pharmacy to fill the prescription.

The bill was approved by the Senate in June 2006 and goes to Gov. Jon S. Corzine for his signature.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 June 2007 at 12:22 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Music

What’s wrong with the military?

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I’ve been reading stories about the US Military Academy, and paens to “Duty, Honor, Country” and the importance of always telling the truth—and then things like this:

“The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste – either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels.”


Does anyone know of a book or study that explains what happens to so corrupt the idea of “Duty, Honor, Country” and honesty?

Written by LeisureGuy

12 June 2007 at 11:16 am

Posted in Military

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