"U. S. Guantanamo trials illegal" reads the BBC coverage headline. In the NYTs "Supreme Court Blocks Trials at Guantanamo". The SCOTUS found that the Bush regime violated the US Constitution and the Geneva Conventions.
No word on when indictments are expected...
If you don't know him, he's the UMD professor and local master of conspiracy theories. He is sort of the unofficial dean of the Minnesota conspiracy theory folks (okay, guys, as there aren't too many gals into that particular business) and a compelling argument for the humorlessness of public access television.
On the conspiracy theory news front, as long as we're there, I just finished reading The Letters of Wanda Tinasky. If you remember, she's the "bag lady" who wrote the Pychonesque letters to the editor of various papers around (the California) Fort Bragg area while Pychon himself was in the area researching Vineland. Anyway...the whole story sounds so much better in theory than when actually read, the letters are rather pedestrian and remind me more of the weird letters to Savage Love or Creative Loafing than anything Pychon would author. Anyhow...just my random thoughts to send you off to google.
Let's not forget that this week marks the 30th anniversary of the return of the death penalty to the United States. 1026 deaths. 123 death row exonerations.
Remember, this Saturday for the official 4th (aka 1st) of July party. RSVPs appreciated but not required. See you then!
Okay, truth be told, he's had several presidential moments and we all know that's a few more than the current occupier of the oval office. Still, what to say about An Inconvenient Truth? I saw the movie over the weekend and came away with a string of opinions and a fear that someone would note that I had driven to the movie theater rather than walked...
Dealt with a healthy dose of skepticism, after all if Ed Teller supports it, it's not likely to be a good idea. Still, in good American fashion it would be the technological solution that would let the good-old boys drive their gas guzzlers.
"Breathtaking" says the article. Just wait until we're evacuating Florida from the rising ocean waters.
Oddly enough I had never heard this story before.
I had been wondering when there would be intelligent press coverage of Chicago's ban on foie gras, and the Whole Food chain discontinuing sales of live lobsters. Looks as though California is also going in for the foie gras ban, though it'll be phased in over the next six years.
The New York Times has a balanced look at this in their dining section. Lobsters? Great Danes in one bedroom apartments? Killing a cow? The article doesn't really talk about internally consistent schemes for animal/food ethics such as being vegan. Though that isn't an interesting option to me, it does eliminate much of the inconsistency noted here.
A little exerpt from The Nation. I like the non-obvious nature of some of these listings. Dan Brown and Dick Cheney together at last.
$37 billion donation to the Bill Gates Foundation. Noting the size of the Gates Endowment compared to the UN budget was enlightening... Let them do good with the money.
Real sweet. Art imitating life.
That saves money, right? For a while, then you find yourself without new innovation and technology. But all of that was going to be improved with those tax cuts for the superwealthy, right? :)
It's a rainy, grey day here in Maryland. Am visiting the University of Maryland for a CREAM collaboration meeting and to do a little work on the recovery tools. I went ahead and parked right outside the building and risk the parking ticket rather than lumber half-way across campus with bags of parts and tools. My previous PDA died in a downpour when water pooled in a small pocket of my backpack in which the Treo 90 was located. (That was the non-phone Treo, little Palm-like with a keyboard. Rather obsolete, but useful. Got a Treo 650 as a replacement for that PDA and my old Verizon phone as well.) Since then have been reluctant to walk around without an umbrella in heavy rainfall with electronics in my (claimed waterproof) backpack.
Anyway...was here over the weekend to get some work done, but the lab here has a new lock, so nope! no work done. Spent a few hours watching Battlestar Galactica (the new one) episodes on disk. And then found that the new Dr. Who (Bad Wolf!) was on the Sci Fi channel at the hotel. (And the doctor regenerated after (spoilers!) Rose wiped out the Daleks. Hey, wait, didn't Sylvester McCoy wipe out the Daleks as well?) So, SF TV and then wandered down into DC to find some Afghani food. Once again, not quite devoted enough to make it to the Holocaust Museum. I've been feeling as though I'm a bad person for not feeling like dealing with the emotional content (I'm confident that I can deal with the historical content) of that museum.
The Russian torture center has been found. But do we think that the US has done any better?
Way to go, Galactic Pizza! Their pies are really good as well! Their CSA pizzas in the summer can be pretty impressive, depending on what's fresh in the gardens at the time.
Oh wait, you mean the millions of stadium dollars doesn't help with education? And in fact harms the chances of getting other large blocks of money from the state for actual education programs? But we do know what is most important in a Big 10 state school. A stadium on campus. Yup, that's it.
The Nation has a fascinating piece on the publication of the bin Laden/Al Qaeda missives. The article has even made me interested in reading Mein Kampf which I had always put into the "if I lived in the 1930s I should read it, but why bother today" category.
Hmmm...a glorified powerpoint movie? Still, it's one of the classic cases of the fight between style and substance. Will review it when I see it myself.
For about the eightieth time, Dubya announces a turning point in the Iraq debacle. What is it? Well..."'He wouldn't have taken my phone call a year ago,' Bush said Monday of the new Iraqi parliament speaker. 'He's now taken it twice.' Wow, and it only cost $200 billion and thousands of maimed and dead American soldiers to get the President's call returned."
Meanwhile, we ponder the extent to which the US's utter contempt for human rights and international norms allow event such as the Haditha massacre and cover-up (and pay-off) to take place. A world of "us or them," "right or wrong," and "with us or terrorist" is right out of a twelve-year-old's world-view. But then again, so is playing soldier
One of the more interesting, and utterly cool, examples of "emergency" science. Rescuing frog species ahead of a lethal fungus infection. And bringing them back to the states in carry-on baggage...
What were those fundies whining about?
Or not exactly. Iraq is in worse shape than ever:
I wanted to invite any and all of you out there to my (approximately) eleventh annual July 4th party. The party will be on Saturday the 1st of July, let's call it 4pm or so, with a potluck dinner in there at some point. Kids, friends, SOs, and the like are all welcomed. Both George and Bill Clinton have been invited, so be prepared for the mothership or the secret service. If you would like to, please do bring along some vinyl (records that is) or acetate (78rpm records are also welcomed).
So, let's summarize:
P.S. We have room for out of town guests as well! Do let me know.
It will omit that pesky Geneva Convention business when talking about prisoners. I know the Bushites are stupid, but can they really be this stupid? The Eastern and Western fronts during World War 2 in Europe were decidedly different wars due in large measure to ignoring the Geneva Conventions in the East. This is another decision that bodes poorly for the US's standing in the world.
The Enzo-wrecking Swedish guy. Facing seven felony charges.
Do you remember those hilarious little Chick Tracts? The ones telling you that you needn't pack sweaters for the afterlife? It seems inevitable, now that the stars are right, that the Cthulu Chick Tract is now available. I want to be eaten first!