Later On

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

Archive for December 13th, 2008

Bush’s parting gesture

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Very good article in Rolling Stone by Tim Dickinson. It begins:

With president-elect Barack Obama already taking command of the financial crisis, it’s tempting to think that regime change in America is a done deal. But if George Bush has his way, the country will be ruled by his slash-and-burn ideology for a long time to come.

In its final days, the administration is rushing to implement a sweeping array of “midnight regulations” — de facto laws issued by the executive branch — designed to lock in Bush’s legacy. Under the last- minute rules, which can be extremely difficult to overturn, loaded firearms would be allowed in national parks, uranium mining would be permitted near the Grand Canyon and many injured consumers would no longer be able to sue negligent manufacturers in state courts. Other rules would gut the Endangered Species Act, open millions of acres of wild lands to mining, restrict access to birth control and put local cops to work spying for the federal government.

“It’s what we’ve seen for Bush’s whole tenure, only accelerated,” says Gary Bass, executive director of the nonpartisan group OMB Watch. “They’re using regulation to cement their deregulatory mind-set, which puts corporate interests above public interests.”

While every modern president has implemented last-minute regulations, Bush is rolling them out at a record pace — nearly twice as many as Clinton, and five times more than Reagan. “The administration is handing out final favors to its friends,” says Véronique de Rugy, a scholar at George Mason University who has tracked six decades of midnight regulations. “They couldn’t do it earlier — there would have been too many political repercussions. But with the Republicans having lost seats in Congress and the presidency changing parties, Bush has nothing left to lose.”

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Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 1:19 pm

The mass killings in Afghanistan

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Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 1:13 pm

Posted in Afghanistan War

Omega-3: the movie

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Thanks to Susan Allport for pointing out this video in comments.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 1:03 pm

Short ribs braciole

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This looks like an exceptionally tasty recipe. Click the link for the details.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Short ribs braciole“, posted with vodpod

Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

WebNotes—cool app

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Take a look at this—and quickly: there are 100 signups available for the beta. Well, not more than 99: I just signed up and downloaded the toolbar.

UPDATE:  I’ve been using it: very slick, very easy, very nice. Worth adding to your Firefox browser, I think.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 11:06 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

Why the GOP wants to kill GM

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The company GM is just collateral damage: their real goal is to kill the UAW.

UPDATE: Excellent Salon article describes the reasons in detail.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 10:48 am

Posted in Business, GOP

Glenn Greenwald on Bill Moyers’s program

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Well worth watching.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 9:26 am

The human cost of war

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I have blogged previously about Michael Ware, a journalist who has had much experience in the Iraq War—and it has cost him:

“I am not the same fucking person,” he tells me. “I am not the same person. I don’t know how to come home.”

It’s October, six months after our first meeting, and Michael Ware, 39, is at his girlfriend’s apartment in New York, trying to tell me why after six years he absolutely must start spending less time in Iraq. He’s crying on the other end of the telephone.

“Will I get any better?” he continues. “I honestly don’t know. I can’t see the — right now, I know no other way to live.”

To begin to understand where he’s coming from, Ware wants you to see a movie. He filmed it. It’s just after midnight during the second battle of Fallujah, November 2004. The marine unit he’s hooked up with has cornered six insurgents inside a house, and with no air support available, the only way to take them out is person-to-person. Staff Sergeant David Bellavia doesn’t like the sound of that — odds are one of his men, or he, will die in the pitch-black of an unfamiliar house — but he knows he can’t just let these guys go. So he asks for volunteers to go with him: Three men raise their hands, followed by Ware, who as a reporter (then for Time, now for CNN) is the only one without a gun or night goggles, and still can’t explain why he went along. He just couldn’t not.

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Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 9:14 am

Posted in Iraq War

Connecting your laptop to your TV

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Now that Netflix offers on-demand streaming of movies, connecting your laptop to your TV makes a lot of sense. Here’s how.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 9:00 am

On-line monitor test

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This is useful, particularly if you’re runing multiple monitors.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 8:57 am

Posted in Daily life, Technology

Time for OneNote

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I often need to make notes to myself—that’s easy enough, it’s finding the note later that’s the problem. I have been using Evernote quite a bit when working with Web pages (though Evernote has more functionality than that), but this morning I decided to get serious about Microsoft OneNote. (At that link is a 60-day free-trial offer.)

I’ve been playing with it, and it really is slick. (I have OneNote 2007, which includes quite a few new features and refinements over previous versions.)

Both of these programs came via recommendations from James Fallows (not to me individually, but in his articles and writing), and he in fact was involved in the design of OneNote 2007, having been a dedicated user of the previous version.

If you have OneNote 2007, I highly recommend it. Now that I’m focusing on learning it, I’m finding it a delight.

You can also get it for $10 through the Microsoft Educational policy (applies to Educational Institutions, Administrative Offices & Boards of Education, Public Libraries, and Public Museums).

Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 8:30 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

This looks like better exercise than walking

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Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 8:02 am

Posted in Daily life

Good movie and great special feature

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Last night I watched The Namesake, which was directed by Mira Nair (Vanity Fair, Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala, and others). One of the leads was Kal Penn of the Harold and Kumar movies, this time in a serious role.

I really enjoyed the movie and its relaxed pace and careful exploration. And I especially enjoyed the special feature on the “anatomy” of the film: a Columbia University graduate seminar in film in which Mira Nair carefully explains the making of the film, from financing to final cut. The special feature is a compilation of a series of class sessions, and the director, cinematographer, production designer, and so on talk about what they did. Extremely interesting.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 7:11 am

Posted in Movies & TV

A great shave again

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The Duke shaving brush brought forth a very fine Ylang Ylang lather from Honeybee Spa’s fine shaving soap. The Gillette Toggle provided a smooth, nick-free shave, and Swiss Pitralon topped it off.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 December 2008 at 7:03 am

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

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