Thursday, August 18

Of human (and humane) decency

I've been thinking of execution quite a bit. The term "cruel and unusual" are being discussed by a layperson, (though one who is studied) so that I will give you.  But here we are, living in the year 2011, with Canada, Mexico, Ireland, the UK (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales), France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland (among many others) ... all living without the death penalty.  Not smoothly. Not easily.  Families do suffer grief when they take their loved one away.  But, nevertheless, legislators in each of these countries decide

Tuesday, July 26

Horrible dingbats

 Toward the beginning of the month, US Navy SEALS moved into position around a house in Pakistan.  In the bedroom was Osama bin Laden, arguably the most feared man of the decade.  A half a world away several people were watching by sattelite - President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, and the topmost brass of the military.  The SEALs told him to freeze, he moved, the SEALs shot him, dead.  Obama, Biden, Clinton and the military were relieved.  Later in the morning Obama told the world.

This past week, Anders Breivik, a fundamentalist Christian, blew up a building in Oslo,  killing over 70 people.  Oh, bin Laden, he's so passe.  Breivik is the latest nutjob.  Until the next one strolls along.

During the past 20 - 25 years, we have had our fill of these, uh, "stars".  Earlier on, Timothy McVeigh made his own claim to fame.  He demolished a federal building in Oklahoma City.   Hundreds were killed, including children.

What we do to stop these massacres, I do not know.  Stopping them is somewhat akin to hauling a huge rock up a mountain,

Sunday, July 24

Boring, yet important issues

Before I dig in on the issues, I want to apologize on being so tardy.  I'm so sorry.

As I consider the issues going on in the world, there are, of course, some major issues going on in the world.  Global warming is an issue.  Nuclear weapons are important (not to mention freakin' frightening).  Our relations with the rest of the world is equally important.

But I haven't mentioned toilets.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  On the scale of earth-shattering movements (!) this one's way, way, WAY down there.  But I ask you to consider this: In the year 1775, (1) the toilet was invented.  Since that time, improvements have been made (porcelain structure, plastic seat, etc.) but none to where the human waste winds up.  Since 1775. Considering little Connecticut has a population of 3,574,097 (2)(3), and every single human being puts out solid or liquid waste daily, it ceases to be a source of amusement pretty quickly.

The other is sidewalks. It isn't really so bad as some areas, not really.  But when a community as wealthy as this one shows forth flaws, it is of concern.  Across the street from where I am, the walks in front of CL&P are badly rutted.  On Buena Vista, you can take the sidewalk - until the road turns.  Then there is no sidewalk.  Crossing the road is loads of fun - the walk is virtually impassable.

I have a suggestion.  When workers are repairing or building sidewalks, they should automatically assume wheelchairs, canes, and crutches, not just assume walkers.

(2) United States Census Bureau

Thursday, October 14

Election Day

It's almost Election Day again. For the GLBT community, this is especially important. The easiest way to decide  is to vote straight Democratic.  That was easy, wasn't it?  Well, it is--- unless the Democratic party decides to throw a curveball at you.  (In my case, Tom Colapietro(D) provided the frustration.)   You have a real conundrum there, don't you?

 The vagaries of American politics can be quite frustrating.  As a rule, we can generally say that Democratic politics are preferable to Republican politics. Now, if the differences were something minor, say, the times that liquor may be sold, it would hardly matter.  But this is my life we're talking about. It matters beyond all measure. It matters that I can have dinner with my boyfriend without being hassled or kicked out.  It matters that, if we wish, we can be married. Fully married, not half-assed "married".  And when one of us comes close to the end of life, one of us can comfort the other.

Now, I know what you're thinking.  I live in Connecticut, one of the states which had the good sense to legitimize same-sex marriages. You're probably of the opinion that if Connecticut does marry same-sex partners, well, that's good enough.     Well, what of our neighbor, New York?  The minority party, the Republicans, voted against it - that's to be expected - but a small number of Democrats voted against same-sex partners marrying as well!  Isn't that atrocious?  And Illinois - a fairly liberal state, the state which provided our President - has (as of now) no same-sex marriage provisions!

Now, what of the conservatives among the GLBT movement?  I'm not here to duke it out with you, but I think you must accede a tougher road to hoe among conservatives.  The conservatives have put their feet in their mouths, and you sit in front of your TV, saying "What do I do?"

It's a little late for 2010 elections, but for the year 2011 and beyond, whether Democratic or Republican, there is but one question to be asked:

Why don't you run??

Tuesday, September 21

My musings...

Sorry I haven't been around here too much, people.  In lieu of my absence, I'll try to make this one an interesting bit of bloggery.

After I added a few extra lines to my sister blog (to go there, see Emily's virtual rocket ) I decided to browse about among fellow bloggers to let them know what's up.  Well, the first one was a happy couple, and they were so devoted to either a very handsome little boy, or a precious, pretty little girl. And  then there was another, and another, and another.   Oh, how they would gush.  I'm not certain how they got put together by their computer, but no doubt it was a sizable amount.

What occurred to me, though, was this:  how are you going to deal with your little cutesie-pies if they turn out to be homosexual?

I chose heterosexual vs. homosexual behavior because these are the most widely studied and known groups.  There is bisexualism and transsexualism to be considered, but this is a good starting point.   Some researchers count homosexuals as low as 3 percent, some as high as 13 percent (a few are as high as 20 percent), but the bulk are approximately 10 percent.

Now, here's where you come in.  Grab yourself a 10-sided die.  If you don't have one, a specialty store will sell one to you cheaply.  Next, write down a number, 0 to 9. I can't see you through the blogosphere, but please don't cheat or fudge. (If you are playing with someone, have her/him write it secretly.  This makes it fairer.) Now roll the die, write down the number, then roll it again, then write down the second number. (1)

Any die which you have rolled which matches the original  number is an imaginary homosexual child.

Even if no child met this criterion, the odds of 1 in 10 being homosexual are extremely  common.  If you play the game where ping-pong balls are drawn, it's like that - but only one machine being used, balls numbered 0 through 9.

Now comes the hard question - if one of your children turns out to be homosexual, will you love that child?  I hope so.


(1) The average number of children per fertile couple in the United States is slightly more than two (2.06) (Wikipedia).  For the sake of convenience, I have rounded it to the nearest whole number [two].For other countries, or to compare it to the world as a whole, please see here.

Thursday, September 2


Welcome to Moscow, Moscow City, Russia - Clearwater, Florida - Melbourne, Australia and Scottsbluff, Nebraska!

Friday, August 27

Rest in peace, Percy :-(

Percy Sumner
died August 21, 2010
when you met a sad, depressed person
you made me smile, laugh
rest in peace, Percy

Wednesday, August 18

Pat's phony diatribes

What Pat thinks of you...  (Courtesy: Alex Entwege)

I have to admit, I'm a Jesus-follower fan.  Be it Falwell, Robertson, Schuller, Roberts... hell, I watched this one guy, Gene Scott, just staring at his video camera, totally silent, for 45 straight minutes!  I was fascinated by this guy.  The only sound you heard (or dared to hear) was him puffing away on his cee-gar.

Now, before you haul out the butterfly nets, my interest was (and is ) of the psychology of these people.  I have no interest in singing Onward Christian Soldiers, or any of their liturgies.

But then we have the particular problem of Pat Robertson. You see, he fancies himself not only as a Christian minister,but as a world political leader. In fact, he championed two leaders - Charles Taylor


In our sister blog, "Emily's virtual rocket" there were two stories, one about a murder, one about a molestation.  In other cases such as this, *please* turn them into the police.  They may be transsexual, but they are murders and/or molesters FIRST.  Put them in jail, where they so richly deserve to be.

Tuesday, August 17

On the fritz (grrrrrrrrrrr...)

The  server at Starbucks went out of service this Sunday, and it hasn't come back as of yet.  Shorter runs for now...

Saturday, August 14

A very funny blog!

As I am busy perusing the various blogs people submit, once in a great while I see a perfect gem. His name is Don Austin, and I salute him!
Deuteronomy 22:13-21
A marriage shall be considered valid if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed.
Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A
friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not
Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in
her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem
is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it
creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my
neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I
smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally
obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there
'degrees' of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some
wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the
hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden
by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig
makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing
garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester
blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really
necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town
together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to
death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep
with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and

Saturday, August 7


Welcome to Carmel, Indiana, and San Francisco, California!

Wednesday, July 28

Welcome to Reno, Nevada ... Belgrade, Serbia ... Albuquerque, New Mexico  ...Washington DC, ... Pekin, Illinois ...  Newark, New Jersey, and Milwaukee (Walnut Hill), Wisconsin!

Monday, July 26


Welcome to North Andover, Massachusetts ... Shelton, Connecticut ... Kannapolis, North Carolina... Washington, DC AND  Baltimore (Harwood), Maryland!

Be sure your "friend" is your friend

I just read a story in the New Zealand press regarding a 32 year old case involving a transsexual who was murdered which was just solved.  (The entire case can be read by clicking above.)   And who was the culprit in this crime? Why, the police, of course!

By far, most of the police I know are decent and honorable people.  The ones I meet do hard work, and it is thankless.  But that .01 percent  must be watched out for. careful.

Friday, July 23

Comics, the serious medium

"Working with animals
is a source of suffering to all of us. 
We treat them like babies who cannot speak. 

 The more time passes,
the more I'm sorry about it.
We did not learn enough from the mission
to justify the death of the dog."

-quotation by Oleg Georgivitch Gazenko, Rick Aradzis, Laika
Last night, I went over to the local library. As usual, I took a look at the comics selection.  The comic books were on the bottom shelf, in the teen section.  (once again, as usual)

Thursday, July 22

just a brief one...

If you appreciate this blog, a donation would be appreciated. Look for the very top right word marked "Donate" and check the box. I'll only be mentioning this once every 40 times, so I won't be turning CPTV on you!

Wednesday, July 21


Welcome to Allison Park, Pennsylvania ... Spring, Texas ... Washington DC ...Valley Center, California ... Daytona Beach, Florida ... New Haven, Connecticut and Richmond, Virginia!

Saturday, July 17


Welcome to Toronto, (Casa Loma)Ontario, Canada ... Chicago,Illinois ...Blue Island, Illinois ... Wausau, Wisconsin ... Dublin, Ireland ... Berkeley, California ... and Brooklyn, New York!

Saturday, July 10


Welcome to Suwanee, Georgia...Chantilly (Haymarket) ,Virginia ... North Bergen, New Jersey ...Perth(Leederville),Australia, and Moscow (Mockba), Moscow City, Russia!

Thursday, July 8

For more ideas, see here!

Prior to the disastrous BP oil spill, I grumbled and silently complained about the foolish ways we had about consuming oil. Then (what else?), disaster occurred. I suddenly realized that conserving was far more than a nice idea; more than a good talking point at city or town hall meetings; it was essential to our very way of life. And by "way of life" I do not blithely refer to the landmass of the United States; it refers to the entire earth. So here are my ideas; I expect that few of them will be wildly popular at first. The drivers will likely scream, "You're taking all of my pleasure in driving away!" To which I would reply, "Exactly". 1) When I was a little kidlet, I would read Guinness book of world records ,and read that the car which was best in fuel consumption got 40 MPG. (highway) Not bad, I foolishly thought. Silly me. 95% of the cars today get less than 40 mpg. Make it mandatory that every car sold in the USA get at least 50 mpg, and that's city driving. Of course, car dealers will wail and moan that consumers should have "freedom of choice". They have a point. So let them sell cars with worse mileage. Right after we collect the $25,000 surtax. 2)I must defer to a blogger who came up with a 20 mph citywide. I would only add one important thing: enforce the 20 mph strictly. No get out of jail free cards. Otherwise, they'll be lame suggestions. 3) [deep breath] OK, this one's gonna be really unpopular. But please hear me out. Let's put a $10 tax on gas(per gallon). It would force everyone to think two, three, four times: is this trip necessary? Well,three is good for now. Before you reject them out of hand, look at the mess we've created so far.

Wednesday, July 7

Welcome to Eskisehir, Turkey (Turkiye)!

Wednesday, June 30


Greetings from Austin, Texas ... State College, Pennsylvania ... Boise, Idaho ... Oakridge, Oregon ... Scranton (Larch), Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles, California!

Monday, June 28


Greetings to Orlando (Lake Buena Vista), Florida... and Vernon Hill, Virginia!

Saturday, June 26

A damn good protest!

Those of you who watch TV often enough may remember Will Phillips. He's the hero who refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance unless all Americans - that includes gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered / transsexuals are given the right to marry, not just heterosexuals. I'm joining in the protest. Will you?

Monday, June 21


Welcome to Detroit (Boston Edison), Michigan ... Edwardsville, Illinois ... Woodland Hills, California ...Valley Center, California ... and Wausau, Wisconsin!

Friday, June 18


Welcome to San Francisco, California ... West Hartford, Connecticut ... and
La Valle, Wisconsin!

Thursday, June 17

Why I'll still vote for Barack (really!)

I've been really critical of Barack Obama as of late, especially in areas concerning the war in Afghanistan. Yet I'll still vote for him. Why, do you ask...

1) The spill in the Gulf of Mexico is not Barack Obama's spill. Sure, he made a few flubs heading in. This is called being a "human being".

2) The health care bill. Not since Harry S Truman attempted such a bill sixty years ago did such a bill finally see passage. It is a centerpiece of his administration, one which deserves our admiration and support.

3) Support of GLBT issues. To those of you who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transsexual, or for those existence is dear to your heart, this is much more than some academic exercise. Your life and dignity is of import, and, fortunately, we picked a good man.

Tuesday, June 15

Why I changed my mind...

In my last posting, I was hard on Barack Obama, but I still gave him the confidence of waiting until June 21, 2011 for his start of a withdrawal. In the past 24 hours, events have occurred which changed my mind. I wish to share them with you.

At a conference, inspectors have declared (supposedly, the first time) that Afghanistan, formerly home of poppies and little else, is a gold mine of mineral wealth. I find this to be highly dubious in several areas. First, when the former USSR took over Afghanistan, the pertinent question is: Why?

If Afghanistan were really dirt-poor, that's one reason not to go. Afghanistan is land-locked. That's another. Afghanistan has large areas whose mountains are very rugged, if not impassable. One more. The houses are poorly constructed. Shall I continue?

Since the Soviet takeover in 1980, Afghanistan has been in a state of anarchy and/or dissension. It doesn't have the calm and serenity of, say, Rwanda.

Since we have installed Hamid Karzai as president, things have scarcely become better. He is "head" (cough, cough) of the Afghan army. This army seems more capable at shaking down civilians for money and food (both of which are sorely lacking) just to survive another day.

This, hence, is what I see: President Karzai's support for the US is evaporating. Taliban forces show no signs of abating, despite occasional news conferences. The final nail in the coffin, though, was this silly "finding" of minerals. Enough is enough. Let us leave, now.

Saturday, June 12

An open letter to President Barack Obama

Mr. President:

In November of 2008, I voted for you. At the time, it seemed like a vote of great promise and hope. I was very happy.

However, in the past week in particular, two moves have been made made by you or your administration (which, ultimately, answers to you)which gravely concern me.

1) During this week, in which 28 NATO soldiers were killed, General McChrystal "admitted" that the Kandahar offensive had been "going more slowly than had been planned". Why, how big of him! Mr. President, it is time for General McChrystal to be fired. Period. In his place should be a general who will give a date certain (say, June 21, 2011) for troops to be evacuated and then the date the last troops would leave. Then follow through on those promises.

2) This week you said that in war that "whistleblowers" would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. What happened to the great ideal of the Democratic party of free and open debate? Has it been swept under the rug that quickly? Mr.President, there is a tremendous difference between the specifics of a Tomahawk missile and the killing of five unarmed Iraqis. The latter should never be hidden under the table. Thoughtful people should never be restricted from such vital information. Quite simply, it is their unalienable right. Let us have our freedom.

Thank you.


Some new things...(Press here for "Claudine")

A few new things have popped up as of late, which I will share with you now. The first has to do with Psyche's Links ,a very comprehensive blog. It has its faults, of course,(as does mine and everyone else)but it's really very good. Anyhow,I was directed to another site, Interesting...where have I heard of that site before? When I scoured the sites of my computer, I found the answer- I'd put them in the "recommended" section of my blog! How silly of me! You see, I had gotten some peace information that a good friend thought would be of interest to fellow bloggers. So...on it got put. But that's not all. Dr. Juan Cole was one of the principal authors of this particular emag. Dr. Cole and I have not met, but there are some interesting parallels in our lives. We both have a keen interest in history, modern in particular. We both have an interest in politics. And, most intriguing, our initial interest in joining the Baha'i faith, and eventual leaving thereof.

Anyway, please check out It's located on the right-hand side. I think you'll find it engaging.

A quickie on another issue, namely mangas. What I've read is sometimes good, sometimes godawful, but then there are the true classics. I highly recommend Claudine...!. (Look for mangas rather than film)

Thursday, June 10


Welcome, Moscow (Mockba) Moscow City, Russia!

Friday, May 28


Hello,Wausau, (Brokaw)Wisconsin - Tulsa, Oklahoma - Seattle, Washington - Williston Park, New York - and Vancouver, British Columbia!

Thursday, May 27

defending my views

Pope- Thanks for reading! Here's Mr.Greenwald's which I believe defend my own:


Glenn Greenwald of wrote the following article. It's a bit long, but well worth the read:

Friday, May 21, 2010 13:22 ET
Obama wins the right to detain people with no habeas review
By Glenn Greenwald


Reuters/Jonathon Burch
A detainee holding cell is pictured at the detention centre at the U.S. Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul.

(updated below - Update II)

Few issues highlight Barack Obama's extreme hypocrisy the way that Bagram does. As everyone knows, one of George Bush’s most extreme policies was abducting people from all over the world -- far away from any battlefield -- and then detaining them at Guantanamo with no legal rights of any kind, not even the most minimal right to a habeas review in a federal court. Back in the day, this was called "Bush's legal black hole." In 2006, Congress codified that policy by enacting the Military Commissions Act, but in 2008, the Supreme Court, in Boumediene v. Bush, ruled that provision unconstitutional, holding that the Constitution grants habeas corpus rights even to foreign nationals held at Guantanamo. Since then, detainees have won 35 out of 48 habeas hearings brought pursuant to Boumediene, on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to justify their detention.

Immediately following Boumediene, the Bush administration argued that the decision was inapplicable to detainees at Bagram -- including even those detained outside of Afghanistan but then flown to Afghanistan to be imprisoned. Amazingly, the Bush DOJ -- in a lawsuit brought by Bagram detainees seeking habeas review of their detention -- contended that if they abduct someone and ship them to Guantanamo, then that person (under Boumediene) has the right to a habeas hearing, but if they instead ship them to Bagram, then the detainee has no rights of any kind. In other words, the detainee's Constitutional rights depends on where the Government decides to drop them off to be encaged. One of the first acts undertaken by the Obama DOJ that actually shocked civil libertarians was when, last February, as The New York Times put it, Obama lawyers "told a federal judge that military detainees in Afghanistan have no legal right to challenge their imprisonment there, embracing a key argument of former President Bush’s legal team."

But last April, John Bates, the Bush-43-appointed, right-wing judge overseeing the case, rejected the Bush/Obama position and held that Boumediene applies to detainees picked up outside of Afghanistan and then shipped to Bagram. I reviewed that ruling here, in which Judge Bates explained that the Bagram detainees are "virtually identical to the detainees in Boumediene," and that the Constitutional issue was exactly the same: namely, "the concern that the President could move detainees physically beyond the reach of the Constitution and detain them indefinitely."

But the Obama administration was undeterred by this loss. They quickly appealed Judge Bates' ruling. As the NYT put it about that appeal: "The decision signaled that the administration was not backing down in its effort to maintain the power to imprison terrorism suspects for extended periods without judicial oversight." Today, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals adopted the Bush/Obama position, holding that even detainees abducted outside of Afghanistan and then shipped to Bagram have no right to contest the legitimacy of their detention in a U.S. federal court, because Boumediene does not apply to prisons located within war zones (such as Afghanistan).

So congratulations to the United States and Barack Obama for winning the power to abduct people anywhere in the world and then imprison them for as long as they want with no judicial review of any kind. When the Boumediene decision was issued in the middle of the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain called it "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country." But Obama hailed it as "a rejection of the Bush Administration's attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo," and he praised the Court for "rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus." Even worse, when Obama went to the Senate floor in September, 2006, to speak against the habeas-denying provisions of the Military Commissions Act, this is what he melodramatically intoned:

As a parent, I can also imagine the terror I would feel if one of my family members were rounded up in the middle of the night and sent to Guantanamo without even getting one chance to ask why they were being held and being able to prove their innocence. . . .

By giving suspects a chance -- even one chance -- to challenge the terms of their detention in court, to have a judge confirm that the Government has detained the right person for the right suspicions, we could solve this problem without harming our efforts in the war on terror one bit. . . .

Most of us have been willing to make some sacrifices because we know that, in the end, it helps to make us safer. But restricting somebody's right to challenge their imprisonment indefinitely is not going to make us safer. In fact, recent evidence shows it is probably making us less safe.

Can you smell the hypocrisy? How could anyone miss its pungent, suffocating odor? Apparently, what Obama called "a legal black hole at Guantanamo" is a heinous injustice, but "a legal black hole at Bagram" is the Embodiment of Hope. And evidently, Obama would only feel "terror" if his child were abducted and taken to Guantanamo and imprisoned "without even getting one chance to ask why and prove their innocence." But if the very same child were instead taken to Bagram and treated exactly the same way, that would be called Justice -- or, to use his jargon, Pragmatism. And what kind of person hails a Supreme Court decision as "protecting our core values" -- as Obama said of Boumediene -- only to then turn around and make a complete mockery of that ruling by insisting that the Cherished, Sacred Rights it recognized are purely a function of where the President orders a detainee-carrying military plane to land?

Independently, what happened to Obama's eloquent insistence that "restricting somebody's right to challenge their imprisonment indefinitely is not going to make us safer; in fact, recent evidence shows it is probably making us less safe"? How does our policy of invading Afghanistan and then putting people at Bagram with no charges of any kind dispose people in that country, and the broader Muslim world, to the United States? If a country invaded the U.S. and set up prisons where Americans from around the world where detained indefinitely and denied all rights to have their detention reviewed, how would it dispose you to the country which was doing that?

One other point: this decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court, which serves to further highlight how important the Kagan-for-Stevens replacement could be. If the Court were to accept the appeal, Kagan would be required to recuse herself (since it was her Solicitor General's office that argued the administration's position here), which means that a 4-4 ruling would be likely, thus leaving this appellate decision undisturbed. More broadly, though, if Kagan were as sympathetic to Obama's executive power claims as her colleagues in the Obama administration are, then her confirmation could easily convert decisions on these types of questions from a 5-4 victory (which is what Boumediene was, with Stevens in the majority) into a 5-4 defeat. Maybe we should try to find out what her views are before putting her on that Court for the next 40 years?

This is what Barack Obama has done to the habeas clause of the Constitution: if you are in Thailand (as one of the petitioners in this case was) and the U.S. abducts you and flies you to Guantanamo, then you have the right to have a federal court determine if there is sufficient evidence to hold you. If, however, President Obama orders that you be taken to from Thailand to Bagram rather than to Guantanamo, then you will have no rights of any kind, and he can order you detained there indefinitely without any right to a habeas review. That type of change is so very inspiring -- almost an exact replica of his vow to close Guantanamo . . . all in order to move its core attributes (including indefinite detention) a few thousand miles North to Thompson, Illinois.

Real estate agents have long emphasized "location, location, location" as the all-determining market factor. Before we elected this Constitutional Scholar as Commander-in-Chief, who knew that this platitude also shaped our entire Constitution?

UPDATE: Law Professor Steve Vladeck has more on the ruling, including "the perverse incentive that today's decision supports," as predicted by Justice Scalia in his Boumediene dissent: namely, that a President attempting to deny Constitutional rights to detainees can simply transfer them to a "war zone" instead of to Guantanamo and then claim that courts cannot interfere in the detention. Barack Obama quickly adopted that tactic for rendering the rights in Boumediene moot -- the same rights which, less than two years ago, he was praising the Supreme Court for safeguarding and lambasting the Bush administration for denying. Vladeck also explains why the appellate court's caveat -- that overt government manipulation to evade habeas rights (i.e., shipping them to a war zone with the specific intent of avoiding Boumediene) might alter the calculus -- is rather meaningless.

UPDATE II: Guest-hosting for Rachel Maddow last night, Chris Hayes talked with Shayana Kadidal of the Center for Constitutional Rights about the Bagram ruling and Obama's hypocrisy on these issues, and it was quite good, including a video clip of the 2006 Obama speech I excerpted above:

And in The New York Times, Charlie Savage has a typically thorough examination of the impact of the ruling. As he writes: "The decision was a broad victory for the Obama administration in its efforts to hold terrorism suspects overseas for indefinite periods without judicial oversight." But GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (author of the habeas-denying provision in the Military Commissions Act) "called the ruling a 'big win' and praised the administration for appealing the lower court’s ruling," and that's what really matters.

Greenwald remains one of the journalists I trust,and so I printed my opinion. If you have contact with another journalist whose outlook is different, please contact me immediately. I will be happy to retract my views.



Welcome, Essex, Vermont - Williston Park, New York - Perth, Scotland - and Charlottesville, Virginia!

Sunday, May 23

A troubling sign

President Barack Obama has, on the large scheme of things, been a decent President. There has been, however, a glaring exception to the rule. This will not go away easily. When Timothy McVeigh was arrested for his many, many crimes in Oklahoma City, he nevertheless was read his rights under the Constitution. He was tried, convicted, incarcerated, and ultimately executed - all the time knowing his rights. I personally oppose the death penalty, but if McVeigh could know his rights yet still wind up in the death chamber, I have to admit the US had a helluva good case.

Now what is the difference between Timothy McVeigh and other people arrested in other countries? I can think of three reasons:

1) They are of the "wrong" color.
2) They were born in the "wrong" country.
3) They belong to the "wrong" religion.

Please, President Obama, let these men and women be afforded their basic human rights. Our country is better when we do this.

Wednesday, May 19


Welcome to Summerville and Bluffton, South Carolina, Kent, Washington(state) and Minneapolis, Minnesota!

Friday, May 14

Send some deserving trolls to ***JAIL***

If you live near one of the cites in the US, ***please*** pay special attention to those pictured. They were murdered. Why? The "crime" of wearing women's clothing. (or in the case of women, wearing men's clothing)That's it. That's their "crime". If you know anything about these murders, contact the local city or town police. Thanks for your help.

Name:Ashley Santiago Ocasio
Place of killing: Corozal, PR
Time or date of attack: mid-April
Age of victim: 31
Please contact Puerto Rico or San Juan police

Ashley Santiago Ocasio

Name: Myra Ical
Age of victim: 51
Time or date of attack: January 18
Place of attack: Houston, TX
Please contact Houston, Texas 713-308-3600

Thursday, May 13


Welcome, Somerville (Winter Hill), Massachusetts!

Wednesday, May 12

I'm one of those few who genuinely like most politicians. No, honest, really. They visit with every loon or nutcase that comes along, no matter how carefully she/he crafted the work. Add to that the hordes of lobbyists that come their way. No matter where on the spectrum they may fall, theirs is the Word of God.

This is not the case of "Senator" Tom Colapietro.

We are all aware