Later On

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

Archive for February 23rd, 2010

Sardine-avocado sandwich

leave a comment »

I finally made this mix—which turns out to be delicious and surprisingly light-tasting. I didn’t put it on bread, since I had some crackers to use up. It makes a half-recipe quite nicely. I’ll most definitely be making this again—in fact, it will probably become a regular.

Changes next time: try lime or lemon juice in lieu of the vinegar, and add a dash or two of pepper sauce or a good sprinkling of cayenne or ground chipotle.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 February 2010 at 8:22 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Eating Animals

with one comment

Via Open Culture:

Written by LeisureGuy

23 February 2010 at 4:37 pm

More on Yoo/Bixby/Margolis and a thought on war

leave a comment »

James Fallows has another excellent post, with valuable links, regarding the OPR reports. I encourage you to click that link.

In the post was a comment from a reader on the high number of civilian deaths due to US drone strikes (whereas I would fault the US for the MUCH higher number of civilian deaths in Iraq in an unnecessary war). That reminded me of a train of thought from last night:

It struck me as odd, with all our other advances, that we (as humans, save a few pacifists) still find that war is an acceptable way to settle disputes between groups. I can’t imagine representatives of two groups in a final negotiation saying, “Well, we just cannot find a way to agree here, so this is what I propose: we get large groups of citizens, yours on one side and ours on the other, and we have them start killing each other and the side that sooner tires of getting killed, or is wiped out, loses the argument.” Is that really wise? Isn’t it amazing that we’ve found no better way? (just more efficient ways of doing the killing).

Then it struck me that, in the animal kingdom, very few species wage war against their own species, and even fewer force members of their species (from other tribes) to be slaves. The only examples that come to my mind are humans and ants. Ants also grow crops and domesticate animals. It sounds almost as though our closest cultural relative is the ant.

UPDATE: It’s evolutionarily peculiar that we haven’t developed a better strategy to settle disputes between groups given that co-operation is far superior to competition as a survival strategy—see, for example, the fascinating book The Evolution of Cooperation, by Robert Axelrod, or the equally fascinating book No Contest: The Case Against Competition, by Alfie Kohn. Somehow, we solved the problem at the individual level (rarely are disputes now settled by a fight to the death or murder), but still are having trouble with the group part—only countries, though: corporations manage (for the most part) to settle disputes sans killings.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 February 2010 at 4:15 pm

Your health depends on where you live

leave a comment »

Written by LeisureGuy

23 February 2010 at 3:58 pm

Just had my Pickapeppa chicken wings

with 3 comments

Had to hold Megs off while I ate. This is new. At one point, her little furry paw did that sort of scratching thing at the plate (not snagging anything, though)—I think that’s the motion of grabbing quickly a lot of times just in case you catch something.

I thought of trying the "No! Bad kitty!" thing but dismissed it out of hand. She didn’t want an explanation, she wanted a chicken wing.

I finished the plate in the kitchen.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 February 2010 at 2:58 pm

Posted in Cats, Daily life, Food, Megs

More on the school webcam case

leave a comment »

In Discover:

When we last left the Lower Merion School District, its officials had circled the wagons and refused to openly discuss the lawsuit charging school administrators with remotely accessing the webcams in the laptops loaned out to students, and doing so without the students’ or their parents’ knowledge. The school stayed pretty quiet about it over the weekend, but spokesman Doug Young says that the district has suspended the practice amid the lawsuit and the accompanying protests by students, the community and privacy advocates [The New York Times].

That might not be enough to quell the swell of anger over Lower Merion’s policy. The district, which loans out Apple laptops to all it students, admits remotely activating the webcams 42 times over the course of the last 14 months, but says all of those instances were attempts to find missing or stolen computers. However, this whole fracas started after school administrators tried to use a photo taken of student Blake Robbins as evidence to corroborate charges that the young man had engaged in some sort of mischief. Robbins told CBS News that the school accused him of selling drugs and tried to back up the charge with images from the webcam.

Robbins’ parents filed suit in U.S. District Court, but that won’t be the end of Lower Merion’s legal troubles. The FBI has launched a query into the incident. Risa Vetri Ferman, the Montgomery County district attorney, said Friday that she might also investigate [ABC News].

Written by LeisureGuy

23 February 2010 at 2:06 pm

Interesting case unfolding in the Supreme Court

leave a comment »

David Savage in the LA Times:

The Supreme Court struggled Tuesday to resolve a conflict between the free-speech rights of a Los Angeles-based advocate for international peace and a broad anti-terrorism law that makes it a crime to advise a foreign terrorist group, even if it means advising its members to seek peace.

The justices sounded closely split between those who saw this as a terrorism case and those who saw it as a free-speech case.

U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan urged the court to uphold the broad sweep of the terrorism law and to permit prosecutions of anyone who gives any support to a terrorist group. She discounted the "supposed 1st Amendment claims" raised by human rights advocates.

"When you help Hezbollah build homes, you’re helping them build bombs," she said.

But Georgetown Law Professor David Cole said the human-rights advocates he represents are not interested in supplying bombs, but rather in urging foreign groups to avoid violence and to take their disputes to the United Nations.

"They seek peaceful solutions to conflict. And they support only lawful activities," he said, not terrorism. Cole is representing the Humanitarian Law Project in Los Angeles and its president Ralph Fertig, a USC professor of social work who has advised the Kurds in Turkey.

In 1997, the State Department listed the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, as a foreign terrorist group, which meant that Fertig could go to prison for giving "expert advice or assistance" to Kurdish leaders.

"The government has been arguing for more than a decade that our clients cannot advocate for peace," Cole said.

When asked whether Fertig would be prosecuted for advising the Kurds, Kagan agreed he could be. If he is working for and on behalf of the PKK, he would be subject to prosecution, she replied.

In response to other questions from the justices, she agreed an American citizen could be prosecuted for drafting a legal brief or writing a newspaper article in coordination with a banned group, such as Hamas.

For his part, Cole urged the justices to rule that the 1st Amendment protects those who speak out or advise foreign terrorist organizations, so long as they advocate only peace and nonviolence.

Justice Antonin Scalia agreed with the government’s lawyer and said he saw no constitutional problems with the anti-terrorism law. "If you provide any aid" to them, it "furthers their terrorist activity," he said…

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 February 2010 at 1:20 pm

%d bloggers like this: