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"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Judge warned Palin in 2005 to back off brother-in-law's job -
Topic: Current Events 1:34 am EDT, Sep 12, 2008

Abuse of power, the 'feeling out' of how easy it might be to ban books her church didn't approve of...stretching the truth...saying things that make me think she really hates due process and the constitution? Oh boy. I can't figure this one out.
Please don't think all women support her. I know for a fact that is not true. I don't even know one that does.

Judge warned Palin in 2005 to back off brother-in-law's job -

Official American Sadism
Topic: Politics and Law 1:24 am EDT, Sep 12, 2008

At the convention, Sarah Palin quipped:

"Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America and [Obama]'s worried that someone won't read them their rights."

Decius wrote:

This is the road to despotism. This is the fevered dream of theocracy. This is America.

Initially I thought Palin just hadn't been paying attention [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and didn't know what she was saying. But as her comment continues to reverberate, her intention becomes increasingly clear: this was not just an offhand or ignorant remark, but rather a big Fuck You to the Supreme Court and its decisions over the last four years. And in this she stands in league with McCain [and Yoo and Addington et al], echoing his disdain for the foundation of democracy.

Anthony Lewis writes:

Three times in the last four years the Supreme Court has rejected the Bush administration's legal defenses of its program for detention of alleged "enemy combatants."

Each of these decisions brought an outcry from the political right. Senator John McCain, a survivor of torture as a prisoner in North Vietnam who was once a critic of the Bush detention practices, called Boumediene "one of the worst decisions in the history of the country."

Opening the federal courts to habeas corpus applications from the detainees hardly promises them a swift ticket to freedom. But it marks at least a first step toward accountability—a forum where the treatment of a detainee and the asserted reasons for his imprisonment can be examined. As George Will wrote in a column blasting Senator McCain for the ignorance of his comments on habeas corpus, "the Supreme Court's ruling only begins marking a boundary against government's otherwise boundless power to detain people indefinitely."

A striking example of the importance of having courts check official decisions that someone is an "enemy combatant" is the case of Huzaifa Parhat, one of a number of Uighur Muslims from China who are in Guantánamo. Parhat, who the US military claimed was at a Uighur training camp in Afghanistan in 2001, was captured in Pakistan in the fall of 2001. A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found in June that there was no persuasive evidence to support the government's labeling of him as an enemy combatant. The panel included the court's chief judge, David Sentelle, one of the most conservative federal judges in the country. Its opinion ridiculed the government argument, comparing it to the statement of a Lewis Carroll character: "I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true."

Official American Sadism

Political fuss ends up with police being called
Topic: Politics and Law 8:23 am EDT, Sep 10, 2008

Last night, at 12:40am, my son and I went outside to see the moon, which, unfortunately, was behind the trees. Our house is way up on a hill, with a valley below that has cow pasture in front of us, and a good many apartments on each side of that. Things that happen down in the valley echo up here pretty well.

So we suddenly hear a woman screech "Obama Obama Obama that's all you ever talk about, Obama. I don't wanna hear about Obama!" We heard some poor guy say "shit, woman."

Then about 5 minutes later, there was suddenly several folks down in the valley arguing politics. It went on for about an hour - maybe more - in the middle of the night, on a school night, until someone called the police. (Not me.)

It was so heated, that my son said, let's go in before we have to hear them shoot each other.

I'm not a nosy neighbor - this was so far away I don't even know where it was, but it was so loud that anyone outside could hear it. It seemed to start as a lover's spat, involving a woman feeling perhaps jilted by her man's interest in politics, that spread as some neighbors came out to argue politics.

My thought was, we are more polarized that ever? Is this sort of thing, more of what is to come? Neighbors hating each other over red/blue positions?

Obama to Palin: 'Don't Mock the Constitution'
Topic: Politics and Law 8:13 am EDT, Sep 10, 2008

It was in St. Paul last week that Palin drew raucous cheers when she delivered this put-down of Obama: "Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America and he's worried that someone won't read them their rights."

But Obama, who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago for more than a decade, said captured suspects deserve to file writs of habeus corpus.

Calling it "the foundation of Anglo-American law," he said the principle "says very simply: If the government grabs you, then you have the right to at least ask, 'Why was I grabbed?' And say, 'Maybe you've got the wrong person.'"

"The reason that you have this principle is not to be soft on terrorism. It's because that's who we are. That's what we're protecting."

Palin's quip was troubling; I'm pleased to see Obama call her on it, but I don't expect her to seriously engage the subject. It was a throwaway line for her.

Here are two threads on the subject from earlier this year:

Benjamin Wittes’ Law and the Long War is required reading for anyone interested in the legal challenges posed by the war on terror.

Six years after the September 11 attacks, America is losing a crucial front in the ongoing war on terror. It is losing not to Al Qaeda but to its own failure to construct a set of laws that will protect the American people—its military and executive branch, as well as its citizens—in the midst of a conflict unlike any it has faced in the past.

Obama to Palin: 'Don't Mock the Constitution'

The Large Hadron Collider Rap
Topic: Science 1:41 pm EDT, Sep  6, 2008

This is actually a pretty good intro to the Hadron Collider. :)

The Large Hadron Collider Rap

Palin pressured Wasilla librarian about banning books
Topic: Politics and Law 10:49 pm EDT, Sep  4, 2008

"WASILLA -- Back in 1996, when she first became mayor, Sarah Palin asked the city librarian if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so."

Palin pressured Wasilla librarian about banning books

Can a voting machine spend the night?
Topic: Computer Security 7:56 pm EDT, Sep  3, 2008

I suspect now, after seeing this, that this IS happening my area as well.
I had heard it on the radio, a few callers called in and said it was.

"Ohio is an election battleground state with perennial problems at the polls. So what have election officials in some precincts of the state been doing to keep their voting machines safe from tampering?

Taking the machines home with them and stashing them in their garages in the days before a big election."

Can a voting machine spend the night?

Funniest election thing yet
Topic: Politics and Law 7:51 pm EDT, Sep  3, 2008

Marsha Blackburn said today, about Sarah Palin (I paraphrase, but I went slackjawed when she said it on c-span)

"She's a fine mother, business woman, and executive. She's been in the trenches running those PTO meetings and organizing those school events. Now, a lot of mothers know, if you can run a PTO meeting, you can MAKE those important decisions."

Wow. Putin better get ready. We can always stick a titty in his mouth and hand him some girl scout cookies.

I had to 'log' this somewhere. I came home today looking for it in the news, but no one is bothering to report it. I'm sure Cspan will replay it tonight if anyone wants to verify. How stupid do they think we are?

I heard a rumor - can anyone confirm or bust?
Topic: Computer Security 1:31 pm EDT, Sep  3, 2008

I heard that here in my small town of Rome, GA, that the election computers were going HOME with the people responsible for the election - to their private homes.

I've heard that from 2 different people now.

Mentally ill man tasered twice in court
Topic: Crime 10:14 pm EDT, Sep  1, 2008

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Broward County deputies shocked a mentally ill inmate with Tasers in court after the man asked deputies for a few minutes to catch his breath before he was led from the courtroom.

He was handcuffed and shackled at the time.

Mentally ill man tasered twice in court

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