Later On

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

Archive for September 11th, 2008

Not the potato skins you know

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Instead, these potato skins sound extremely interesting and tasty and, as a bonus, provide flavored oil for other uses. Take a look—and try them.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 12:26 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Finding MP3s to stream or download

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Interesting post about Taboo, a software tool that locates MP3s for you to download or stream.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Daily life, Software

Losing in Afghanistan by killing civilians

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The military is increasingly out of control, it seems to me. Glenn Greenwald has an excellent account, which begins:

On the night of August 22, the U.S. committed what Chris Floyd, in a richly detailed and amply documented piece, calls an “atrocity” in the Afghan village of Azizabad, near the western city of Herat. The U.S. conducted a massive midnight airstrike on the village, killing scores of unarmed civilians, including large numbers of women and children. That was preceded just weeks earlier by another U.S. airstrike in Eastern Afghanistan which “killed 27 people in a wedding party — most of them women and children, including the bride.”

What makes the Azizabad attack particularly notable is the blatant and now clearly demonstrated lying engaged in by the U.S. Government regarding this incident, with the eager propagandistic assistance of what we are constantly told is the “legitimate news arm” of Fox News — namely, Brit Hume’s show and his stable of “legitimate news reporters.” Working in unison, Fox and the Pentagon continuously denied claims that large numbers of civilians had been killed in the airstrike, accusing the villagers of lying and U.N. investigators of having been “duped.” But a mountain of documentary evidence and independent investigations have now conclusively confirmed that it was the U.S. Government that was lying and the villagers’ claims which were true along, forcing the military to “reinvestigate” its own conclusions.

While local villagers, the Afghan government, U.N. investigators, and independent journalists all insisted that the U.S. air attack resulted in the slaughter of 95 civilians, including 50 children, and killed no Taliban fighters, the U.S. military repeatedly issued vehement denials of those claims, insisting for weeks “that only 5 to 7 civilians, and 30 to 35 militants, were killed in what it [said] was a successful operation against the Taliban.” The Bush administration even “accused the villagers of spreading Taliban propaganda” and claimed “that the villagers fabricated such evidence as grave sites,” even though those “villagers have connections to the Afghan police, NATO or the Americans through reconstruction projects, and they say they oppose the Taliban.”

But a gruesome video has now surfaced clearly documenting the huge number of civilians that were killed. A very thorough, independent, on-the-scene investigation by the New York Times‘ Carlotta Gall — who Floyd, a former colleague of Gall at The Moscow Times, rightly hailed as a truly intrepid war reporter — resulted in the discovery of mountains of new documentary evidence and highly credible and pro-U.S. witnesses confirming not only that at least 90 civilians were killed, but also casting serious doubt on the U.S.’s claim that there were even any Taliban in the village at all.

There are numerous vital issues raised by this episode relating both to the bombing and particularly how the U.S. Government so frequently issues false claims, but in light of all the recent uproar over what is and is not “appropriate journalism,” I want to focus for the moment on …

Continue reading. It’s clear that the military are not to be believed: they lie constantly.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 12:22 pm

Hunting wolves from planes

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Arthur Allen has a good article at the Washington Independent on Sarah Palin’s enthusiastic support of hunting slaughtering wolves from airplanes. I find it mildly sickening, but if you want to know more, click the link. The practice does not resemble what I think of as “hunting.”

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 12:17 pm

Posted in Daily life, GOP, Government

Cool houses going up in New Orleans

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This is just one of them. As Inhabitat explains (and they have photos of several other designs at the link):

The ground is breaking in New Orleans, and it’s giving the Lower 9th Ward a reason to celebrate. Thanks to the effort and celebrity backing of a familiar face on Inhabitat, Brad Pitt’s Make it Right (MIR) initiative recently began construction on several homes! Contributing to the rebuilding effort following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the Make it Right campaign set a goal of constructing 150 new residences designed by 13 different local, national and international architectural firms. While each design is unique, all the homes are employing sustainable building strategies while taking into consideration the ease of fabrication through replication. Each home is designed to be built within a budget of $150,000, which has been collected primarily by donations pledged through their website.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Daily life

Why are the physicians cooperating?

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Their professional ethics (and their professional association) forbids it, but they do it anyway. Take a look.

U.S. Army psychiatrists may be participating in the interrogation of detainees, while ignoring recommendations to the contrary from professional medical associations, according to a Penn State bioethicist and a Georgetown University law professor. “The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted positions in 2006 that basically said physicians should not be directly involved in any interrogation of any individual,” said Jonathan Marks, associate professor of bioethics, humanities and law, and acting director of the Rock Ethics Institute. “According to them this is not what physicians should be doing, whether the interrogation is aggressive or not, or legal or not.”

Yet documents recently provided to Marks and M. Gregg Bloche, professor of law, Georgetown University Law Center, by the U.S. Army in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal that the Department of Defense still wants physicians to be involved in interrogations and continues to resist the positions taken by the professional medical associations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 12:02 pm

McCain’s healthcare tax increase

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Joe Klein:

A new rule here: Rather than do the McCain campaign’s bidding by wasting space on Senator Honor’s daily lies and bilge–his constant attempts to divert attention from substantive issues–I’m going to assume that others will spend more than enough time on the sewage that Steve Schmidt is shoveling and, from now on, try to stick to the issues.

Today’s issue: health insurance. John McCain wants to tax your employer-provided health care benefits. He wants to replace those benefits with an insufficient tax credit–$2500 for individuals and $5000 for families (the average cost per family for health insurance is $12000).

There is a positive, progressive tax aspect to this: wealthier people should have to pay for health insurance themselves, without tax breaks from the federal government.

But make no mistake: this plan will do little or nothing for those who do not have insurance now–unless they are young and healthy–and it may well hurt a fair number of workers, especially unionized workers, who get gold-plated benefits from their employers.

It will certainly do nothing for families with members who have pre-existing conditions or children with special needs–because it makes no provision to regulate the insurers, forcing them to cover all comers at “community” rates that don’t discriminate against the people who need health insurance most.

It is amazing to me that Obama campaign has let things go this far without pointing out that McCain–who opposes the energy bill because it would increase taxes on oil companies–is actually proposing a tax increase on health care benefits for American workers. But that is precisely what the Senator from Arizona is doing.

And Kevin Drum has a very interesting chart based on the fine print of the McCain approach. Go read it.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 11:59 am

Posted in GOP

EPA database lists toxic chemicals released by facilities

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You might want to check it for your own locality, especially if you’re starting to lose lots of hair, have a mysterious rash, or glow in the dark. Here’s the story (with the link):

The latest available information on facilities that pollute the air and water is now available on the Internet from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The 2007 Toxics Release Inventory is a searchable database. Internet users can look up specific facilities or search the site for facilities by ZIP code, city, county and state. That allows users to find out what toxic chemicals are emitted near their homes, offices and schools.

The database, available at www.epa.gov/tri-efdr, displays information as received by the EPA: One form for each chemical at a facility.

The raw data released Wednesday have not been analyzed. Early next year, the EPA will publish the traditional Public Data Release for 2007. It will organize the raw data to allow comparisons and will also include national trends.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 11:56 am

The Army doesn’t like soldiers

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Really—how else do you explain it? ThinkProgress:

The Associated Press reports that new U.S. military recruits “are being advised to continue signing up for the old GI Bill while details are being worked out about what types of education are covered” under the new 21st Century GI Bill. However, the old Montgomery GI Bill comes at a cost — a $1,200 contribution that can be paid in $100 monthly installments within the first year of service. The new GI Bill — originally sponsored by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) — is free.

The new bill, of course, is the one that McCain fought against tooth and nail and then, when it passed, tried to take credit for it. McCain is a moral cesspool.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 11:53 am

What we’re all wondering

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Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 10:28 am

Posted in Election

Could I have your social calling card?

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Lifehacker has an interesting post that makes a valid point: business cards are inappropriate if you’re not in a business situation (think of Robin Williams trying to make a car sale at a funeral in Cadillac Man). They quote the Art of Manliness blog (and that blog’s post on the matter is definitely worth reading in its entirety):

During the heyday of calling cards, using a business card for a social purpose was considered bad manners. Today, while business cards are great for making business contacts, they still aren’t really suited for social situations. They probably have your work number and work email, and not much else on them. Think of all the times you meet someone you’d like to see again. Handing them a business card is too stiff and formal. Ditto for simply having them put your digits into their phone.

Lifehacker goes on to note:

Here are several examples where using a business card to exchange information wouldn’t be the most effective method, but writing down your information by hand for each contact would range from counter productive to silly:

  • Class reunions. You’re going to run into a ton of people with which you want to exchange information. Instead of constantly busting out the pen and paper, just hand them your card.
  • Networking between jobs. You’re not currently employed, so you don’t have a business card. Or if you do, it has your old employer’s info on it. While you’re looking for work, have a calling card ready to present to potential contacts and leads.
  • Parties. If you’re planning an informal party or get together, write down your address and the time of the party on the back. When you run into people you’d like to see there, give them one of your cards and invite them over. Sometimes calling cards also come with small envelopes, sized to fit your card. You can therefore always use your calling cards as traditional invitations sent through the mail. Also, if your calling card comes with an envelope, you can use them as gift cards.
  • The classroom. It’s often hard to make the leap from being “in-class” friends to “outside of class” friends. Give someone you enjoy chatting with in class your calling card. They’ll probably start posting on your Facebook page and your friendship will take off from there. Or use the card to set up a study group.

And then they provide some ideas for a good social calling card. Go read.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 10:09 am

Posted in Daily life

McCain answers some questions — or tries

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Via AmericaBlog. Amazing.

It’s an auto-start video, so it will play as soon as you arrive at the ink. And it’s worth watching.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 9:55 am

Posted in Daily life, GOP

TOBS morning

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First was Taylor of Old Bond Street Lemon & Lime Shaving Cream, applied with the Sabini ebony-handled brush and worked into a fine lather. Then I picked up the Merkur HD (in gold) with whatever blade it held—Treet Classic, I believe—and did three very smooth passes. Finish was TOBS Mr. Taylor’s aftershave. Extremely nice.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 9:28 am

Posted in Shaving

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