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July 09, 2006


And what do you want to hear more about?


"As Siegel explained, if bloggers don't like something you write, they may respond with posts -- or emails -- expressing that disagreement stridently, much as Hitler (or, for that matter, the obscure but equally brutal Croatian ustashe) did."

Much like the neanderthal 'Nikita" who pounded on the UN table using his shoe, stripped off his foot as deftly as he shed any semblance of credibility he might have had. Momentary fear is quickly replaced with abject derision and the pitiful image renders the perpetrator excised of both presence and power.
Siegel should pipe in sounds from the chicken coop as he warns of a falling sky.

There is a court hearing Monday in which a judge who has a civil rights past is to decide whether the ACLU is to proceed with its case against the government in a complaint that professional people have had a chilling of their free speech as exercised in international consulting or research. The link is to the principal attorney's comments, as ACLU has grown a hosted blog on the MyDD blogsite this past week; several other ACLU people contribute some interesting diaries.

Excerpt from the linked article: Both courts and Congress have an obligation under the Constitution to serve as checks on executive power. Let's hope more of them refuse the secrecy Kool-Aid this summer. And stay tuned to see whether the court in Detroit will see the state secrets privilege for what it is -- a dangerous doctrine that threatens to immunize the abuse of executive power and erode our system of checks and balances.

If you are interested in the legality of bank datamining, there are a pair of interesting articles on Findlaw by Anita Ramasastry, the most recent, here. Excerpt: Privacy International, a London human rights group says no: It has filed complaints in 32 countries -- all 25 European Union nations, Canada, Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Norway, and Hong Kong, alleging that SWIFT has violated European and Asian privacy laws. The group has thus asked regulators to "intervene to seek the immediate suspension of the disclosure program pending legal review."

Since we mentioned the very formal and laidback style of congress which permits entering into the record whole documents which actually are not part of live discussion on the floor of congress, Senators Kyl(AZ) and Graham(SC), tried to make the record look like they had a colloquy on the floor of the senate interpreting the court stripping provisions of Patriot Act as retroactive. A nice debunking of this fictitious accretion to the congressional record is written by a former Republican White House Counsel here. Slate wrote about this first, but here is one oblique comment in the Findlaw expose Ironically, one reason Scalia disregards legislative history appears to be that he is well aware that Senators have been known to distort it. The ruling authored by Stevens in the Hamdan case carefully reviews the evidence presented through Senator Levin's office and other sources showing what happened when the DTA amendment passes was a series of defeats for the very fiction the Kyl-Graham 'colloquy' attempts to pass off as verisimilar.

I had the pleasure of catching a few radio comments by scientist Amy Lynd Luers in the San Francisco area office of the Union of Concerned Scientists UCSusa.org in her interview by Kris Welch on the radio. In the part of the interview about climate change the scientist explained that a few degrees warming sounds minimal but then she described in terms of local climate effects such as the prediction that in 2070-2100 the summers would be 18 degrees hotter than now if the US continues its current policies independent of the Kyoto process. This week's discussion online on this topic is exemplified at the gold standard climate change site linked there. The thesis is the timeframe for policy change is brief because climate is a nonlinear system, kind of like a phase shift: for example, once the spring arrives and the tall mountain snows begin to melt, you know the rivers and waterfalls are going to fill the reservoirs fast; you hope, just slowly enough to avert floodstage concerns. The radio program is politically oriented; but the scientific concern is that decisionmaking delays now will yield very much more significant adverse effects in climate controllability for people alive seventy years from now. The radio station archive is missing a few titles, so you might want to wait a few days and check there again; the archived stream I think is the interview is there.

For those of you living in CA, and for taxpayers all inclusively, you will recall the congress getting involved in saving Redwoods a few years back. Recently the governor of CA read a script about how he would roll back greenhouse gas emissions, and how his Republican administration plans to protect the environment. Now his administration is working surreptitiously to remove environmental protections on some of the wide tract of protected redwoods so a Louisiana firm can pay down its debt by selling redwood logs that were banned from harvest in the congressionally arbitrated multihundreds of $million buyout some years ago. Here is a CA newspaper explaning how Schwarzenegger is removing protections to the area in a ploy to feed the coffers of the Louisiana logging firm.

And here is an article about seawater turning acidic based on carbon dioxide rain.

Since we are about to swim, consider this masthead, a nice graphic of a promontory of rock in the British Isles which looks out to sea.

Thanks for the cite and for the good links, mimikatz. And thanks also to John Lo for all the other good links. Climate change trumps all, in the end. Interesting - and sobering - post about the political aspects of climate change at n+1. Not only does the moral imagination need to be able to dream of [good] things which never were and say 'why not?', but it must also be able to fathom almost unimaginably bad things.

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