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Interest and Perspective

Our views depend on our priorities and the information we receive

Thursday, September 29, 2005



It's a "religion" that tries to rid you of robot alien souls (wha?) in your brain that make you do the bad shit you do. it ain't demons, that's hokie. and they make investments.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I'm a photojournalist

So I just got my latest copy of the Linksruck in the mail yesterday. I'm not a subscriber to that "anti-war" (read, left, even red) paper, but got a copy because the editor used a photo I had taken at the Sheehan protest. I never did get to find out who the picture was actually _of_, but they fit a nice caption in anyway.

Now I just wish they had abided by the (CC)attrib license. I even gently reminded them. And I could understand if they just didn't give anyone credits (it is that sort of pub anyway), but the editor has his picture right below my shot. Errgh...whatever, the shot works for them and I'm not jealous or greedy (well, maybe greedy) with my works. I just thought it would be cool to have a photo credit in a paper across an ocean. And it still is, so whatever.


Go Ronnie!!

Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay has been indicted on conspiracy charges. Happy happy. As Travis County (Austin) DA has said for the last 2 yrs, justice can only be achieved by democracy, which only works when the system is representative. Ronnie will also tell you that corporations are not people and should not have more power than the citizenry. It's indisputable now that Delay had some role in the cover-up of the Texans for a Republican Majority's misuse of campaign funds.

Delay's lawyers, including DeGuerrin out of Houston (big name, of course) say the indictment is "skunky" and "stinks to high heaven". I hope voters smell that stink at the mid-term ballot boxes, and remember Frist's SEC scandal, Rove's leaking security information, and all the other corruption running rampant on the right wing. Pelosi gave a great stinger: "The criminal indictment of Majority Leader Tom DeLay is the latest example that Republicans in Congress are plagued by a culture of corruption at the expense of the American people." Has the pendulum swung?

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Able Danger in the morning

"The collective testimony of Wednesday's witnesses implied that federal privacy and civil-liberties regulations governing military intelligence operations may have been the reason that contractors were asked to destroy the information."

Lots going on here. The Pentagon isn't letting Able Danger agents testify about what they knew, and also destroyed files that showed who the 9/11 hijackers. They say they had to destroy the information because of privacy laws. Interesting turn-around there. But that's the "smokescreen," if you want to look at it that way: the military branch of government refuses to talk to the legislative branch, and at the same time attacks the strictures imposed on them by privacy laws. Weird, to say the least.

Also weird that the first network news airplay the Able Danger testimony story I saw was at 4:30 in the morning. You know, between the hurricane story and the near-wreck footage of planes in LA. A touchy story, I suppose....

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Roberts on capital appeals

Roberts is indeed a conservative. He doesn't bristle at the government's killing citizens (you know, the ones that can't vote anymore), but rather thinks it's bad policy, legal procedure-wise, to allow multiple appeals.

Apparently JR hasn't heard (that's the charitable interpretation, folks) of prosecutorial misconduct like the abuses at the Harris County (Houston) crime lab. "Losing" evidence and outright tampering of reports were only brought to light using multiple habeas corpus claims and direct appeals; that's what federal review of state murder trials is for. So Roberts' claim that the best way to keep from murdering innocent prisoners is to have the "best counsel available at every stage" rings hollow.

Here's a clue: the best counsel don't want to work for dirtbags. Oddly(?), there's more prestige (and of course, $) in helping a corporation pay less taxes than in trying to make sure the government's not framing poor people. Proponents of state murder love to trot out the "let them and their lawyers eat cake" argument in response to the fact that innocent people are killed, but given the economics of the situation it's just a smokescreen.

The fact that it takes numerous appeals, sometimes to the USSC from the TX CCA and the fed 5th C, sometimes twice because those courts won't listen the first time, shows that the system is stacked in such a way as to make this punishment cruel and unusual. Roberts should literally construct the 8th amendment, and if he needs help from international law to see that a culture of death and a beauracracy of murder, especially one so streamlined as that in Texas (which the fed system will soon resemble if Sen. Cornyn has his way of neutering habeas by imposing a three-prong set of hurdles to any HC claim), is brutal and fucked-up, then so be it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Umpire misses the softball

Sen. Shuman (d, ny) thought defending the independance of the judiciary, especially from people who are basically calling for attacks on judges (eg, Pat Robertson, who thinks that judges are more dangerous to US than terrorism), would be a "softball" for Roberts.

Almost-C.J. Roberts overthought, and Shuman had to answer the question for him in common language. Hilarious. I feel sorry for both of them.

Oomph--Shuman just called the nominee a racist. And it seems right, at least how the term is now used--referring to "illegal amigos", even as a joke, even if it were funny, would just not work today (in a memo, people!). And I guess Roberts got off the hook, at least with a lot of people, when he said the comment was appropriate at the time (sounds familiar). But what bothers me is that he'd even try to justify such a statement. It reminds me of B. Bush's recent dumbass comments about "those people" in New Orleans--people in these types of positions should _at least_, one would assume, have some kind of filter that wouldn't let stupid (objectively and subjectively) things come out of their mouths, or to disclaim them later on. Poor form.


Roberts looks

like Feingold's getting to him. Petulant even, his tone of voice just took on this edge that was really weird and almost shocking, seeing as how he's been doing so well so far.


This is some comical bullshit

What is Sen. Sesions talking about? What a nut. I just got a law lesson from a moron (complete with "little jokes" and just the worst talk on what trial courts and appellate courts do). Definitely for the cameras, not the senators.

Also, Roberts (predictably?) refused to answer almost all of Sen. Feinstein's questions.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Not as bad

as it could be, I really think. From Roberts' thoughts today:

"Here I was, with my client having the US, the most powerful entity in the world, arrayed against him. All I had to do was convince the court that I was right on the law, and all that power would recede away. That is the beauty of the power of law.

"I will fully and fairly analyze the cases before me, consider the opinions of my colleagues on the bench, and I will remember that it is my job to call balls and strikes, not to bat."

The talk is right (especially combined with the "humility theme" as Brooks_nyt calls it). He's no J. Marshall or Brennan, but we can't expect that right now. It also sounds like he fits Sen. Durbin's two "criteria" for confirmation.

OTOH, Roberts' mentioning that he'll protect the "integrity" and "independance" of the judiciary could cut either way. It's true that judicial activism is good or bad depending on one's political view at the time. As I read it, a lawyer's using these terms puts him in the grey area--he'll allow himself to interpret the law, and not really act as "just"
an umpire. But he'll be tied to a strict positivist jurisprudence, it sounds like.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Conflicting information

On the one hand, Ray Nagin says "I would like for everybody to get out because it's a health risk," said Mr. Nagin. "There are toxins in the water. There are gas leaks where we may have explosions. We're fighting at least four fires right now, and we don't have running water. It is not safe."

On the other, others claim that New Orleanians are being held captive in New Orleans, not allowed to leave the "one checkpoint" out of the city.

What the hell is going on?

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Midterm elections

Mercury News hits the nail on the head. Cindy Sheehan has started an anti-war movement. On the other hand, the majority of her supporters don't think that means we should pull out of the reconstruction.

We must start thinking about Bush's midterm elections--taking away his legislative powers is the best way (he's not going to get impeached, folks) to reverse trends. We're not going to leave Iraq right now, but I think enough people have seen that [this] war is pointless.

It needs to go beyond her. I hope she opens it up as she goes to DC.

I also hope Bush looks as bad regarding Katrina as he should--after all, we stopped fixing the levees because the money was diverted towards to the war. If the levees were fixed, they probably wouldn't have broken...continue the line yourself, and remember the nuts shooting as police helicopters. Maybe people will stop voting against their interests and vote reps in with some priorities. Who knows...


*Update* Martial Law

Martial law and mob rule. "Hell on Earth." Fuck. NOLA Mayor Ray Nagin today announced martial law, for real (as opposed to the rumors discussed in I&P below).

The LA Attorney General still insists there's no such thing under LA law. The Mayor's _freaking_out_. Nagin's an ok guy, but panic isn't what you want in your leader.

There is no law in New Orleans. I hope the optimistic anarchists are right....

*Update* -- Having been told they could leave when they wished, the Superdome refugees are now being kept against their will. Houston authorities have (no link handy, sorry) said that the Astrodome would allow free movement. We shall see.

If this isn't martial law, what is?


Juicy quote of the day

John Bolton informed the world today that "UN reform is not a one night stand. UN reform is forever."

Rah rah rah. Classic. Shall we interpret? Loosely: "When we decide that you will change your policy, you will change your policy."


Feeling altruistic?

Wingnuts can donate too! Click here now!!

Actually, Pat's group is just one of the charities listed. But it's so prominent...man, if the Adventists only had that kind of press, the Great Controversy could be the new Rapture!

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