Later On

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

Archive for June 13th, 2007

Gin report: Citadelle

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Tonight I had a Martini made with Citadelle (and Noilly Prat dry vermouth, the only vermouth I use for a Martini, so far). Although Citadelle did not make the cut in the NY Times gin/Martini tasting, the writer of the article said he would have placed it among the finalists, but other panelists disagreed. After tasting the Martini tonight, I have to agree with him and disagree with the other panelists. Although I want to re-taste the Martinis, right now I think I prefer the Citadelle Martini to the Junipero Martini—though the Plymouth Martini still reigns supreme and not really challenged. It’s in a class of its own, way ahead of the pack.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 June 2007 at 7:56 pm

Posted in Drinks

Good news for New Yorkers

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From an email from the Marijuana Policy Project:

This evening, the New York Assembly passed MPP’s medical marijuana bill by a 92-52 vote. This exciting victory marks the first time a chamber of the New York Legislature has ever passed an effective medical marijuana bill, and it caps more than five years of work by MPP, and more than 10 years of work by the bill sponsor, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D).

We’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars each year since 2003 on this project, and we’re getting close to victory. Please donate to MPP today so that we can continue to push hard in Albany for the purpose of making New York the 13th state to legalize medical marijuana.

The New York Senate is expected to take up the measure next week. With the support of the Republican majority leader there, as well as that of Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) — who for the first time just indicated he is open to signing such a bill — New York has a real shot this month of joining the 12 other states that allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana with their doctors’ approval.

MPP will be doing everything we can to ensure that the bill becomes law. We’ll be pushing hard — but we need your help to do so. Please donate now to support this last-chance barrage of lobbying and grassroots activities.

Passing a medical marijuana law in the country’s third-most populous state would be absolutely huge: The bill’s passage would mean that more than one-fourth of our nation’s residents would live in medical marijuana states.

Medical marijuana enjoys tremendous support in New York. A 2005 Siena Research Institute poll found that 76% of New Yorkers support allowing the medical use of marijuana, including 72% of Republicans. And medical organizations representing the state’s medical schools, the state’s nurses, and the state’s county health officials have voiced their support for the issue. So our job is simply to convince legislators that voting in favor of medical marijuana access is a compassionate and politically savvy — not controversial — move. Click here to read some of the positive news coverage that our bill has already generated.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 June 2007 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Drug laws, Health, Medical

Interesting: what actually destroyed the Soviet Union

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Written by LeisureGuy

13 June 2007 at 10:18 am

Posted in Government

More on the Al-Marri case

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Greenwald:

Having now carefully reviewed the Al-Marri decision (.pdf), as well as ample commentary from those defending and criticizing the opinion, there are several points worth making. But the overarching point is how extraordinary it is — specifically, how extraordinarily disturbing it is — that we are even debating these issues at all.

Although its ultimate resolution is complicated, the question raised by Al-Marri is a clear and simple one: Does the President have the power — and/or should he have it — to arrest individuals on U.S. soil and keep them imprisoned for years and years, indefinitely, without charging them with a crime, allowing them access to lawyers or the outside world, and/or providing a meaningful opportunity to contest the validity of the charges?

How can that question not answer itself? Who would possibly believe that an American President has such powers, and more to the point, what kind of a person would want a President to have such powers? That is one of a handful of powers which this country was founded to prevent.

Al-Marri was in the U.S. legally, studying at Bradley University, living with his wife and 5 children, and sitting at home in Peoria, Illinois when he was detained and then ultimately charged, in a court of law, with committing various crimes. He was set to have a trial in July 2003 when the President suddenly and unilaterally decreed him to be an “enemy combatant,” ordered him put into military custody, had his trial cancelled, and then proceeded to imprison him for the next four years — including many months where he was denied any contact at all with the outside world, including lawyers — all without charging him with any crime.

Does that even sound remotely like the United States? If the President has the power to do that to al-Marri — to arrest him from his home inside the U.S. and keep him locked up forever without due process — then, by definition, the President can detain anyone in exactly the same way. And all of the high-minded and oh-so-civil lawyerly rhetoric in the world cannot mask the radicalism and profoundly un-American vision which proponents of such powers embrace.

Anyone who objects to the court’s decision — and particularly anyone who seeks to vest the President with powers of indefinite, due-process-less military detention of individuals on U.S. soil — is, by definition, advocating nothing less than…

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 June 2007 at 9:58 am

Innovations in shaving brush technology

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Very interesting video by Mantic:

Written by LeisureGuy

13 June 2007 at 9:46 am

Posted in Shaving

Keelhaul Mitt Romney

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ThinkProgress:

Mitt Romney on pardons while he was governor of Massachusetts:

Decorated Iraq war veteran Anthony Circosta seemed like an ideal candidate for a pardon from then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for his boyhood conviction for a BB gun shooting.

Romney said no — twice — despite the recommendation of the state’s Board of Pardons.

At age 13, Circosta was convicted of assault for shooting another boy in the arm with a BB gun, a shot that didn’t break the skin. Circosta worked his way through college, joined the Army National Guard and led a platoon of 20 soldiers in Iraq’s deadly Sunni triangle.

In 2005, as he was serving in Iraq, he sought a pardon to fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer.

Romney on pardons now:

Romney said it’s “worth looking at a pardon [for Scooter Libby],” because special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald “clearly abused prosecutorial discretion” by going on a “political vendetta” against Libby despite knowing he was not the original source of the leak.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 June 2007 at 9:12 am

Posted in GOP

Yet more stinking corruption

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Sometimes it seems that Congress wades through stinking swamps of corruption in doing its daily work. Each Representative apparently decides whether to serve the public, businesses, or him/herself.  Certainly Ducan Hunter’s decision is clear:

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Ca.) on Tuesday defended his role in helping steer tens of millions of dollars to a La Jolla-based aerospace firm to develop a military jet the Pentagon did not want. Hunter aggressively supported the program over decades even though the Pentagon repeatedly questioned the jet’s feasibility and lambasted the contractor’s work.

La Jolla-based duPont Aerospace rewarded Hunter for his support for the program since 1988 with $36,000 in campaign contributions. The Alpine Republican had been chairman of the Armed Services Committee before Democrats regained control of the House earlier this year. He currently is running for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

DuPont has long promised that the plane, the DP-2, will take off like a helicopter and provide greater speed, range, and troop-carrying capacity than the current generation of similar aircraft. For just as long, military officials have said it would never work as envisioned.

Hunter, defending his support for the program before the House Science and Technology Committee’s investigations and oversight subcommittee, said the DP-2 “represents potential leap-ahead technology to support our Marines and Special Forces … The idea around here that if the Pentagon doesn’t come up with something, that if the services don’t like it, you’re not going to build it is ridiculous.”

Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., who chaired the hearing, noted that the DP-2 “is still not operational and has never received a positive technical review in more than 20 years. Congress appears to have permitted the DP-2 program to become a hobby, not a serious research project.”

The aircraft has received $63 million in earmarked congressional spending since 1988, despite a series of Pentagon and NASA studies that found fault with the project. Earmarks are line items inserted into congressional spending bills at the request of individual congressmen without any public debate, discussion or disclosure.

Hunter gave no ground defending his use of earmarks to support a program the Pentagon didn’t think would work, saying earmarks play a vital role in research and development projects.

More at the link if you can stand to read it.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 June 2007 at 9:07 am

Posted in Business, Congress, GOP

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