Later On

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

Archive for October 11th, 2007

Terrific book: Soon I Will Be Invincible

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Soon I Will Be Invincible, by Austin Grossman, is a pitch-perfect account of the adventures, daily lives, and conflicts of various superheroes and supervillains in a world like ours, except with the presence of these “metahumans.” It’s a world like that of Superman, rather than the world of Watchmen, where the heroes, with one exception, are more limited. The Invincible world presents the odd mix you find in Superman’s world: magic, superscience, other dimensions, aliens, and the importance of secret identities — plus a great collection of superheroes and supervillains. Highly recommended.

A very minor point, except these days it’s so unusual: no typos.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 7:22 pm

Posted in Books, Science fiction

Top 25 Censored Stories

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From Project Censored, with details of these stories at the link. A little explanation:

For the past 31 years, Project Censored, based at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, Calif., has selected what the research group believes to be the most important news stories that flew under the national radar each year — either under-reported or completely ignored by the mainstream media. The group is composed of more than 200 Sonoma State faculty members, students, and experts, who refer hundreds of stories to a panel of judges, which then ranks them in order of importance.

The 2007 report, released earlier this month, revealed what may be the scariest list in recent memory. Phinney’s article about the use of slave labor to build an American embassy, shocking as it may be, ranked fifth on the list of 25. The No. 1 story: hidden language in the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that does away with habeas corpus rights, one of the most elemental principles of our legal system, for anyone labeled an “enemy of the state,” — including, potentially, U.S. citizens.

And here’s the list (with more detail on each story at the first link above):

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 3:51 pm

Posted in Media

Protecting the telecoms at all costs

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Another great Greenwald piece, and another small extract (and again, the whole thing is definitely worth reading):

Here is what David Ignatius said two weeks ago when demanding that Congressional Democrats give the administration what it wants and stop questioning Mike McConnell:

People who try to occupy a middle ground in these debates find that it doesn’t exist. That reality confounded Gen. David Petraeus this month. . . . . Now the same meat grinder is devouring Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence. He’s a career military intelligence officer who ran the National Security Agency under President Bill Clinton. As near as I can tell, the only ax he has to grind is catching terrorists. But in the vortex of Washington politics, he has become a partisan figure. An article last week in The Hill newspaper, headlined “Democrats question credibility, consistency of DNI McConnell,” itemized his misstatements and supposed flip-flops as if he were running for office.

Absolutely. Why would anyone dare to suggest that our Director of National Intelligence is anything but pure in his motives and deserving of the blindest of faith in his statements? Just because he got caught manipulating and outright lying to Congress by agreeing with Joe Lieberman that the new FISA law was instrumental in disrupting a German terrorist plot, even though that was a complete fabrication, is hardly any reason to question this Good, Decent, Responsible, Serious Leader. And that is to say nothing of his hysterical and incomparably manipulative shrieking back in August that a Terrorist Attack was about to happen at the Capitol and Congress had better pass the FISA law they want or else blood would be on their hands. And then, more importantly still, there is the fact that McConnell has more extensive private sector connections than virtually anyone in the country to the very telecommunication companies for which he is now demanding amnesty, and he has spent the last decade working on behalf of the very companies who would be the prime beneficiaries of this extraordinary legislative gift. In a healthily functioning political system, McConnell would be disqualified from opining on an amnesty bill for companies to which he is so closely tied.

But to our Beltway opinion-makers, the opposite is true — McConnell is the Unimpeachable Source, and if he decrees that National Security requires Amnesty for his friends and colleagues in the telcom industry, then no decent or serious person will question that. Or else they will have Blood on Their Hands.

UPDATE III: I just learned that the FISA bill cooked up by Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s Senate Intelligence Committee does contain full retroactive amnesty for telecoms. Here is a list of all registered Verizon lobbyists, and here is a partial list of some of the lobbying firms working on behalf of AT&T. AT&T was the fifth largest contributor to Rockefeller’s last campaign, followed by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association in Sixth place, Bell South in Ninth Place, and Verizon was in the top 20.

It’s basically legalized bribery and influence peddling — they pour money into the campaign coffers of these Senators from both parties, pay former government officials such as Jamie Gorelick to help them, and then these Senators jump and pass laws providing that they will receive amnesty for serious felonies. And Joe Klein and David Ignatius are all for it.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 3:15 pm

Warriors who will never enlist

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Glenn Greenwald has an excellent column that’s worth reading in its entirety—partly for the long string of quotations from Glenn Reynolds going back five years in which continually says “we’re winning in Iraq.” But this little excerpt struck me especially strongly:

The real problem here is one that Kathryn Jean Lopez — of all people — stumbled into a couple of weeks ago, where she recounted what she described as an extremely awkward moment, one that made her whole “group mentally cringe.” At a small White House gathering of war supporters and right-wing “journalists”: “the aunt of a military medic currently serving in Baghdad asked the president if he’s done anything to encourage Americans to volunteer for service. He replied: ‘No.'”

Lopez, echoing John McCain’s recent criticisms, lamented that Bush never urged Americans to enlist in the military — not once — in order to fight our epic War on Terror, and speculated as to what accounts for Bush’s failure: “That he did not serve in Vietnam has been an issue for him and so he felt like he couldn’t ask men and women to give up their lives and volunteer.”

But that is only part of the explanation. The real reason that Bush — while spewing lofty War of Civilization rhetoric for years — never even suggested, let alone compelled, a duty of military service is because he knows better than anyone that we are a Nation of George W. Bushs — a nation of Rich Lowrys, Rush Limbaughs, Michael O’Hanlons, Glenn Reynolds, Joe Liebermans, Victor Davis Hansons — people who love to talk about and wallow in wars fought by others, who have an insatiable quest to feel powerful and purposeful and “Churchillian” from watching it all unfold and theorizing and talking and typing about it, but who will never risk or sacrifice anything for it.

And the President and Karl Rove and the entire Bush P.R. edifice knew that — they knew there would be Glory from “The War on Terror” only if our morally stunted warriors could fight it from a far and safe distance, could vicariously feel purpose and glory from it without having to get near it, could cheer it on endlessly as long as there was no cost. We’re a nation of people who cheer on wars while avoiding them yet saying things like this, from Glenn Reynolds in November of 2002:

ANTIWAR DEFLATION: A “study” by a group of “medical experts” reported in the New Scientist reports that an Iraq war could produce 500,000 casualties, mostly civilians. This is progress. Before the Afghan war the usual suspects were claiming that millions would die. Now they’ve trimmed their hyperbole to a mere half-million. Another five or ten wars and maybe their estimates will start to approach reality. . . .

I wonder, though. After reading a piece in The New Yorker (not on line) about German civilian casualties in World War Two, and then this post by Jim Henley on not going far enough in the Afghan war, it occurs to me that trying so hard to prevent civilian casualties might be a mistake. I’m all for minimizing civilian casualties to the extent possible, consistent with winning the war. But if people are beaten so bloodlessly that they don’t feel beaten, and have no real reason to dread a confrontation with the United States, is this really a good thing?

We have a war in Iraq and a government in the Bush administration that reflects that kind of country we are. And we are that kind of a country because of the people in it — the people who, as Thomas Ricks put it, “were so wrong about the Iraq war [yet] keep holding forth,” and who say, “oh yeah, last year we were losing, but now we are winning. And they seem to say it year after year” — and who will keep doing that, to ensure that Glorious War never ends, as long as they never have to pay any price for it.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 3:12 pm

Posted in GOP, Iraq War

Social Security’s doing fine

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Paul Krugman:

Sloppy doomsaying on Social Security seems to be making a comeback. During the great 2005 debate over privatization, I thought people like Dean and myself had managed to get across the points that there is no such program as Socialsecuritymedicareandmedicaid; that Social Security is in pretty good shape, so that projections of huge future spending on Socialsecuritymedicareandmedicaid are mainly about the Medicareandmedicaid part of it; and that in general, what we have is a health care crisis, with the costs of an aging population much smaller and more manageable.

But now casual talk about the need to “fix” Social Security is creeping back into the discourse. Folks, Social Security is in pretty good shape; it’s not clear that there even is a long-run shortfall, and if there is it’s a much less pressing problem than many others. The only reason we hear so much about Social Security is that there are powerful political forces that want to kill it, for ideological reasons.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 3:06 pm

Posted in Government

Tagged with ,

Music on the Web

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Lots more.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 2:59 pm

Posted in Jazz, Music, Software, Technology

Shaving Essentials, LLC

with one comment is a quite recent on-line shaving vendor, but with the coup of carrying J.M. Fraser shaving cream from Canada, along with the Canadian Booster aftershaves. (Booster’s June Clover, Lilac, and Oriental Spice aftershaves are my current favorites of that linee.)

In addition, they offer some of the top-line products: Geo. F. Trumper, D.R. Harris, Mitchell’s Wool Fat, and the three most popular Merkur Razors. They also have three of the Royall family in the 2 oz. size: Bay Rhum, Mandarin, and Lyme. They sell Derby razors and also Derby shaving creams: normal, lavender, lemon, and menthol. I’m definitely going to have to try the lemon, a fragrance I like.

They also have a useful page of information on shaving techniques.

I’ve ordered from them a couple of times, and I have received very fine service. They are easy guys to deal with. And if you haven’t tried J.M. Fraser shaving cream, you should. 🙂

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Shaving

Tagged with ,

More sliming and smearing the Frost family

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It continues. The Anonymous Liberal:

Mark Steyn just won’t give up. Having spent the last few days spreading false information about a twelve-year old and his family, he returns for one last round of factually-challenged callousness. He writes:

Mr Frost works “intermittently”. The unemployment rate in the Baltimore metropolitan area is four-percent. Perhaps he chooses to work “intermittently,” just as he chooses to send his children to private school, and chooses to live in a 3,000-square-foot home. That’s what free-born citizens in democratic societies do: choose. Sometimes those choices work out, and sometimes they don’t. And, when they don’t and catastrophe ensues, it’s appropriate that the state should provide a safety net. But it should be a safety net of last resort, and it’s far from clear that it is in this case.

. . .I’m not persuaded the Frost family are the best judges of the nation’s choices.

Good lord, what an insufferable jerk. Even after knowing the facts, he continues to badly mischaracterize them. Yes, the Frosts choose to send their kids to private school, but they pay almost nothing for it. Their son has a scholarship and the state pays their daughter’s tuition because of her special needs (she suffered brain injuries as a result of the accident). And Steyn’s claim that Mr. Frost works only “intermittently” is based solely on this line from the New York Times:

Mr. Frost works intermittently in woodworking and as a welder . . .

It seems to me the author means that Mr. Frost works both as a woodworker and a welder, not that he’s some sort of shiftless layabout who only works from time to time. And as the article makes clear, the Frosts bought their 3,000 square foot home (picture here) for $55,000.

But beyond the blatant factual distortions, the whole thrust of Steyn’s condescending post is off-base. He seems to be suggesting that the Frosts were irresponsible and the rest of us shouldn’t have to foot the bill for their bad choices. But the Frosts were responsible. They signed up for and purchased S-CHIP insurance for their children. And when their children were badly injured in a car accident, that insurance covered the bills, thereby protecting the family from financial ruin. That’s the whole point. That’s why this family was trotted out as an example of why S-CHIP works.

If President Bush and Mark Steyn have their way, families like the Frosts won’t be eligible for this kind of insurance. And given that two of the Frosts children now have severe pre-existing conditions, it will not be possible for them to find private health insurance. It takes a special kind of callous obliviousness not to see this obvious reality.

Steyn complains about creeping entitlements, but that’s not what S-CHIP is. It’s a program that offers affordable health care to children of parents who don’t make very much money. In other words, it’s a program that allows parents to make the responsible choice, to insure their children and protect their family against catastrophe. Without S-CHIP, there would–indisputably–be many more uninsured children out there and many more bankrupt families, which would not only be tragic in and of itself, but would cost society a lot more in the long run.

And finally, even if Steyn’s argument was at all relevant to this situation–in other words, even if the Frosts had somehow made bad choices or been irresponsible–how is it at all morally defensible to force their children to pay the price for those mistakes? Remember, we’re talking about children here. What possible rationale is there for making children suffer for their parents mistakes, particularly when it costs so little to provide them with coverage.

Steyn is fortunate he grew up in Canada.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 2:06 pm

Posted in GOP

Tagged with

The First Amendment and the free press

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The Bush Administration doesn’t like them:

Last week, Chris Matthews revealed that officials in Vice President Cheney’s office have repeatedly called MSNBC in an effort to influence his editorial content. In a new interview with TV Guide, Matthews gives more details on the suppression campaign:

I thought on the 10th anniversary it would be good to celebrate the First Amendment, which gives us all our living. We reviewed in brief the remarkable experience of covering the Clinton [scandal] and the defense of the war with Iraq. And the difference in these two cases was that although I was extremely tough on Clinton, there was never any attempt to silence me — whereas there was a concerted effort by [Vice President Cheney’s office] to silence me. It came in the form of three different people calling trying to quiet me.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 1:58 pm

And, speaking of missing money…

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How about all that fraud from Halliburton (whose CEO was, famously, Dick Cheney, though that of course is not why Halliburton got all those no-bid contracts)?

Vanity Fair is again on the case, with a lengthy article that begins:

On first meeting him, one might not suspect Alan Grayson of being a crusader against government-contractor fraud. Six feet four in his socks, he likes to dress flamboyantly, on the theory that items such as pink cowboy boots help retain a jury’s attention. He and his Filipino wife, Lolita, chose their palm-fringed mansion in Orlando, Florida, partly because the climate alleviates his chronic asthma, and partly because they wanted their five children to have unlimited access to the area’s many theme parks.

Grayson likes theme parks, too. Toward the end of two long days of interviews, he insists we break to visit Universal Studios, because it wouldn’t be right for me to leave his adopted city without having sampled the rides. Later he sends me an e-mail earnestly inquiring which one I liked best.

He can be forgiven a little frivolity. In his functional home-office in Orlando, and at the Beltway headquarters of his law firm, Grayson & Kubli, Grayson spends most of his days and many of his evenings on a lonely legal campaign to redress colossal frauds against American taxpayers by private contractors operating in Iraq. He calls it “the crime of the century.”

His obvious adversaries are the contracting corporations themselves — especially Halliburton, the giant oil-services conglomerate where Vice President Dick Cheney spent the latter half of the 1990s as C.E.O., and its former subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, now known simply as KBR. But he says his efforts to take on those organizations have earned him another enemy: the United States Department of Justice.

Over the past 16 years, Grayson has litigated dozens of cases of contractor fraud. In many of these, he has found the Justice Department to be an ally in exposing wrongdoing. But in cases that involve the Iraq war, the D.O.J. has taken extraordinary steps to stand in his way. Behind its machinations, he believes, is a scandal of epic proportions—one that may come to haunt the legacy of the Bush administration long after it is gone.

Consider the case of Grayson’s client Bud Conyers, a big, bearded 43-year-old who lives with his ex-wife and her nine children, four of them his, in Enid, Oklahoma. Conyers worked in Iraq as a driver for Kellogg, Brown & Root.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 1:24 pm

Fascinating: if you steal enough money, no one cares

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I’m talking $9 billion dollars. Is anyone going to get to the bottom of this?

Last month, during an appearance on Democracy Now!, former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan questioned a report in Vanity Fair that $12 billion was shipped from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to Iraq. $9 billion cannot be accounted for. Today investigative journalists Donald Barlett and James Steele respond to Greenspan.

This column has links so that you can watch it, listen to it, or read it.

Heck, I would love to have just $1 billion.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 1:18 pm

Monitor and control your finances via Web 2.0

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Mint is a Web-based application that will do all sorts of things in tracking your finances, as Unclutterer explains. I just joined and entered my accounts: very slick, very informative, very helpful.

And it’s free.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Software, Technology

Tagged with ,


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Explore Wikipedia via a MindMap approach. Choose the English version and start with, say, “war” and see what you get…

Via mymindonbooks.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Software

Tagged with ,

Global warming watch

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Via ThinkProgress:

A new study finds that the “amount of moisture in the air near Earth’s surface rose 2.2 percent in less than three decades.” Researchers note that this increase in humidity bears the “man-made fingerprint of global warming.”

Atmospheric water vapor is a greenhouse gas:

Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 12:35 pm

The Bush Administration in action

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Via ThinkProgress:

Documents released in an insider trading trial yesterday reveal that “the National Security Agency and other government agencies retaliated against Qwest because the Denver telco refused to go along with a phone spying program.” In the documents, former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio is quoted as saying “the request was both inappropriate and illegal, and repeatedly refusing to go along with it.” Nacchio’s lawyer said the CEO “refused to turn over customer telephone records because he didn’t think the NSA program had legal standing.”

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 12:27 pm

Another favorite Republican

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From ThinkProgres. More than a few Democrats could emulate this guy (*cough* Murtha *cough* Pelosi *cough* Reid *cough* et al.):

Over the years, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has garnered a reputation as “the House’s No. 1 earmark-hater” due to his willingness “to kill projects” favored by his colleagues. Though he’s gained increased support for his anti-earmark mission since the 2006 elections, Flake says it will probably take “another” earmark-centered “indictment or two” before his fellow lawmakers seriously tackle earmark reform.

Flake believes that day is right around the corner, telling the Politico that he thinks more indictments “are coming“:

One common take on the problem comes from Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). The 44-year-old conservative sees many of his colleagues publicly applauding his attempts to kill pork-barrel spending while privately working to keep alive the budget “earmark” system that has already been the wellspring of several recent corruption cases. “It will probably take another indictment or two” to force change, Flake said in a Wednesday interview. “I think those [indictments] are coming.”

Though he did not name names to the Politico, a number of Flake’s colleagues are currently under scrutiny for their handling of earmarks:

Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA): Currently the ranking member on the Appropriations Committee, Lewis is under investigation for earmarks he’s dished out to clients of a lobbying firm that employs his longtime friend, former Congressman Bill Lowery.

Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA): Miller, who is currently under investigation due to shady land deals, has also used earmarks to steer millions of dollars to his business partner, Lewis Operating.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA): Though not currently under federal investigation, Calvert has made huge personal profits off of his own earmarks and a grand jury recently found that a land deal of his violated the law.

Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV): In the past 10 years, Mollohan has directed $250 million in earmarks to five non-profits he created, after which employees and associates of those organizations subsequently donated $397,122 to Mollohan’s political coffers. The FBI has subpoenaed financial records from the organizations.

Flake could also be referring to the “fresh wave of campaign-related theft and corruption investigations” reported yesterday by Roll Call. According to the Capitol Hill paper, “indictments may be on the horizon.”

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Congress, Democrats, GOP

Tagged with ,

How to connect with nature

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Pick the Brain today has a list of ways to enjoy life (see below). The only problem is that it’s not explained how to do some of the things. For example, “connect with nature” is good advice, but exactly how to do you do that? How do you break through the wall between you and nature that makes you an unattached observer, just looking at it with no feeling of connection?

Joanna Field, in her marvelous book A Life of One’s Own, describes a variety tactics for breaking down the barrier. I highly recommend the book to those who would enjoy being happy.

In The Magic of Starting Small, I made the point that it is your days that define your life. In this article, I want to challenge the common perception that it is only possible to enjoy your leisure time. In particular, this article is targeted at the professional stuck in the 9 to 5 grind who longs for the weekend and, in the process, has given up on trying to find pleasure in the ordinary experiences we have every day.

Appreciate Beauty
Each day we come across beauty in a number of shapes and forms. It’s a shame, then, that many people have become so accustomed to this beauty that it largely goes unappreciated. I suggest looking again at the people, plants, gadgets, and buildings (to name but a few examples) around you and taking a moment to appreciate what makes them so special.

Connect With Nature
Nature is an amazing healer for the stresses and strains of modern life. Eating lunch in the park, attending to a vegetable garden in your backyard, or watching the sunset are just a few simple ideas for how you can enjoy the outdoors on a daily basis.

e. e. cummings once said “the most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” How very true. Never be too busy to laugh, or too serious to smile. Instead, surround yourself with fun people and don’t get caught up in your own sense of importance.

Have Simple Pleasures
A good cup of coffee when I first wake. Time spent playing with my 8 month old son. Cooking a nice meal in the evening. These may not seem terribly exciting, but they are some of the simple pleasures I enjoy in life. If you slow down for just a moment and take the time to appreciate these ordinary events, life becomes instantly more enjoyable.

Connect With People
In so many ways, it is our relationships with people that give us the most happiness in life. Perhaps, then, the best way to enjoy your work more is not to get a raise or a promotion, but rather to build rewarding relationships with your co-workers.

There is a strong link between learning and happiness. Given this, there is no excuse not to be stimulating your brain and learning something new each day. My favorite way to find time for learning is to make the most of the commute to and from work. Audiobooks and podcasts are great for this purpose.

Rethink Your Mornings and Evenings
Are the mornings a mad rush for you to get out the door? Do you switch off the TV at night and go straight to bed? I have personally experienced the profound benefits of establishing a routine in the morning and evening. For example, in the morning you may choose to wake an hour earlier and spend the time working on yourself, whether it be reading, writing or exercising. In the evening, consider spending some time just before bed reviewing your day or in meditation.

Celebrate Your Successes
During a normal day we are sure to have some minor successes. Perhaps you have successfully dealt with a difficult customer, made a sale, or received a nice compliment for your work. These aren’t events worth throwing a party for, but why not take a moment to celebrate your success? Share the experience with someone else, reward yourself with a nice lunch, or just give yourself a mental pat on the back.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 11:19 am

Posted in Books, Daily life

Tagged with , ,

Entertaining sights

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Many things are entertaining to observe, should you be so lucky, and I think among the best is the sight of a novice explaining things to an expert in the field.

The example that leaps to mind is the novice who just got his first camera with a zoom lens explaining to a professional photographer, bedecked with an array of lenses and camera bodies, how a zoom lens is best and, really, all you need.

“See, you can get up real close with this baby, or go way back, or anywhere in between! That’s why it’s so great. You really should get one.” And so on.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 10:42 am

Posted in Daily life


leave a comment » is an on-line shaving vendor with an admittedly bad Web site—but Charles sells great products, listed on the menu on the left: Savile Row brushes, Geo. F. Trumper, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Cyril R. Salter, Musgo Real, Pashana (I really like that aftershave), and many others.

And there are many more, hidden under the last menu item on the left: “Other fabulous toiletry products offered by QED,” which appears only if you’re at the top level menu. (Here’s a direct link to that page.) It’s here, for example, that you’ll find the Merkur razors, Truefitt & Hill, Castle Forbes, MaleFace, Baxter of California, and QED’s own line of soaps, shaving sticks, aftershaves, skin toners, and French green clay.

It was Charles who first turned me on to the shaving stick. I got the Mocha-Java from him, and there was no turning back. (By the way, as you’ll see from his flyer enclosed with your order, Charles seems to be the spitting image of William Powell. No, it actually is a photo of William Powell as the prototypical debonair gentleman.)

Some of my favorite fragrances for the shaving soaps and sticks: Mocha-Java, Special 218, Vanilla, Tangerine & Spearmint, Espresso, Grapefruit & Peppermint, Chocolate, Fresh Lime, and Patchouli/Tea Tree/Peppermint (that one will wake you up).

He also sells some very nice teas (at the bottom of that page).

Charles ships promptly, products are well packaged, and like all the on-line vendors, he stands behind what he sells and will make right any problems you encounter.

Now go buy that Mocha-Java shave stick.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 10:27 am

Posted in Shaving

Tagged with , , ,

Raising the issue

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I think the effort to bring the issue of medical marijuana up for discussion is worthwhile. Too often candidates just skip taking a stand on issues if they possibly can, yet the election campaign should allow the voters to understand the candidates’ position on a wide variety of issues. From an email:

The Marijuana Policy Project’s campaign to pressure the presidential candidates to take positive positions on medical marijuana just hit a new level.

Check out this CNN footage of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) avoiding Clayton Holton, a muscular dystrophy patient in New Hampshire who has used medical marijuana illegally.

And you can see a fuller video clip of the encounter here.

CNN ran its coverage of the encounter over and over again on Monday, in addition to putting it on the front of its Web site, which led to the video clip becoming one of the most watched news stories of the day on

This led to ABC News putting the video on its Web site, as well as a raft of critical blog coverage, including this from Andrew Sullivan and this on Boston Magazine‘s blog, which starts with this …

Don’t you hate it when reality comes barging into your ideological Neverland and mucks everything up? That’s what happened to Mitt Romney last weekend. At a campaign stop in Dover, NH on Saturday, the Mittster found himself confronted by Clayton Holton, an 80-pound man stricken with muscular dystrophy who says he is “living proof medical marijuana works.” Romney wasn’t having any of it …

Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana is MPP’s nine-month campaign to pressure the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates to take strong, public, positive positions on medical marijuana in advance of the New Hampshire primary — the first in the nation — expected to be no later than January 8, 2008.

Would you please consider funding our pressure tactics in New Hampshire?

And the fallout from our confrontation with U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) keeps getting worse for him. On September 30, he rudely dismissed Linda Macia, a New Hampshire resident with multiple sclerosis, by arguing that the government isn’t arresting “the dead” for medical marijuana.

We featured the video coverage of this encounter in an e-mail alert to you on October 4. But check out this column in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune, which blasts McCain for his heartlessness.

We have awarded McCain, Romney, and four other Republican presidential candidates a grade of “F” for their inhumane stances on medical marijuana. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve awarded two Republican candidates — Congressmen Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) — “A+” grades.

And, of course, our campaign has already succeeded in getting all eight Democratic presidential candidates to speak out in favor of ending the federal arrests of medical marijuana patients in the 12 states where medical marijuana is legal under state law.

Please visit for our complete voting guide. You’ll find statements from each of the candidates, as well as a grade for each.

MPP is the only drug policy reform organization that’s systematically influencing the presidential candidates to take positive positions on medical marijuana — and punishing those who don’t.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 10:05 am

Posted in Drug laws, Election

Tagged with ,

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