I took the liberty of separating the three songs he played into discrete tracks. Enjoy (please).
Aric Clark at Two Friars and a Fool has provided a pretty comprehensive summary of the torture news. Reposting, in its entirety, A Deluge of Torture:
It has been a positive deluge of news about torture lately. In case you’ve been living under a rock, I have collected some salient points for you to consider.
The use of torture was supposedly justified by legal opinions issued by the Justice Department in 2003.
Which means that the memos weren’t a carefully considered response to an early inquiry from eager intelligence officials, but an attempt to silence dissent from within the CIA when interrogators questioned the legality (and morality) of torture.
Torture had always been the plan. In fact, the Bush administration, starting from the very top, was preparing to use torture from just a few months after 9/11/2001, and were urging its implementation to attempt to find an Iraq-Al Qaeda link.
Of course the link never materialized and the early CIA uses of torture bled into the military and were widely practiced in Iraq and Afghanistan which means that Wolfowitz, Cheney, and Bush lied and the Abu Ghraib incident was not just a few bad apples.
Also, there’s a useful timeline over at Daily Kos: What We Know So Far: A Torture Timeline, starting from August 2001.
The ever-wonderful Madeline L’Engle passed away on Thursday. She was 88.
I grew up reading, and loving, the Wrinkle in Time books. She was a beautiful soul.
“Why does anybody tell a story? [It has] something to do with faith – faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.”
May her memory be eternal.
The Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007, introduced by Senators Spector (R-PA) and Leahy (D-VT), looks like a really important piece of legislation that may go up for a vote by this Thursday.
RESTORATION OF HABEAS CORPUS FOR THOSE DETAINED BY THE UNITED STATES.
(a) In General.–Section 2241 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking subsection (e).
(b) Title 10.–Section 950j of title 10, United States Code, is amended by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following:
“(b) Limited Review of Military Commission Procedures and Actions.–Except as otherwise provided in this chapter or in section 2241 of title 28 or any other habeas corpus provision, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause of action whatsoever, including any action pending on or filed after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, relating to the prosecution, trial, or judgment of a military commission under this chapter, including challenges to the lawfulness of procedures of military commissions under this chapter.”.
(c) Effective Date and Applicability.–The amendments made by this section shall–
(1) take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act; and
(2) apply to any case that is pending on or after the date of enactment of this Act.
The good part is section (a): “(a) In General.–Section 2241 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking subsection (e)“. Subsection (e) is a lovely bit to get rid of:
“No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.”
-from the Military Commissions Act
Here is the list of the cosponsors:
•Joe Biden (D-DE)
•Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
•Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
•Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
•Robert Byrd (D-WV)
•Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
•Ben Cardin (D-MD)
•Thomas Carper (D-DE)
•Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
•Chris Dodd (D-CT)
•Dick Durbin (D-IL)
•Russ Feingold (D-WI)
•Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
•Tom Harkin (D-IA)
•Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
•John Kerry (D-MA)
•Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
•Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
•Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
•Carl Levin (D-MI)
•Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
•Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
•Bill Nelson (D-FL)
•Barack Obama (D-IL)
•Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
•Ken Salazar (D-CO)
•Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
•Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
•Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
If your Senator’s name is missing from the list, such as our very own Patty Murray, why not give them a call and ask them to co-sponsor it? I just got off the phone with a staffer at Senator Murray’s office, had a very nice little chat, and he said he’d pass on my request to the Senator. This could be important, even if they are already planning (as is Senator Murray, I was told) to vote for the Act.
Call the US Capitol toll-free at 800.862.5530, or use the Senate’s directory (.pdf – the numbers all start with 202.22). The direct line to Senator Murray’s office is 202.224.2621.
BBC has picked up on the story (see my first post for the breakdown).
I’m getting the impression that Flickr/Yahoo thinks that this problem will go away with time as the blog heat dies down over this. Methinks that it’s certainly not. Google “flickr” and “censor”. 1.5 million results don’t just disappear.
They have apologized and claim that policy changes are being considered, but have yet to announce exactly what they are going to do to change their policy of “delete first, ask questions later”. It’s especially disturbing that in the current setup, when a photo page is deleted by Flickr staff, it is gone permanently, with no advance warning, explanation or opportunity for recovery or contest.
Via Thomas Hawk.
Where to start on this one? It’s been a dramatic couple of days…
•On Monday, Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir, one of Flickr’s most popular photographers, discovered that only-dreemin.com was selling her work on ebay and in their online store. They had profited thousands of dollars from this blatant copyright infringement.
•Rebekka posted about it on Flickr, under a composite image of the images that had been stolen (still available at her blog), starting a major @#$%-storm on Digg, Reddit, thomashawk and elsewhere.
•The page on Flickr had thousands of page views (over 101,000 views at the time of its deletion), and hundreds of comments (~450) offering support and advice to Rebekka.
•Yesterday, Flickr permanently deleted the image – along with all the comments, page views, favorites, etc. According to Flickr staff member Heather, “We maintain a rolling snapshot of the site to recover from outages etc. When a photo, comment, FlickrMail, tag, note, etc., is deleted, it’s removed from that snapshot.” An email was sent to Rebekka, accusing her of harassment and threatening account termination: “Flickr is not a venue for to you harass, abuse, impersonate, or intimidate others. If we receive a valid complaint about your conduct, we will send you a warning or terminate your account.”
•As should be expected, there’s a bit of an uproar about Flickr/Yahoo’s action here. See Rebekka, Thomas Hawk, and Digg. It’s currently the top story on Reddit.
•Flikr has apologized, admitting a “mistake”, but denying censorship: “Actions taken by the team to ensure that any content or activity on the site resides within these boundaries is not and cannot be viewed as censorship. That said, the removal of rebekka’s photo was a mistake.”
•There’s a discussion going on in Flickr’s forum about all this. Thomas makes a substantive point here saying (emphasis his),
The problem is with Yahoo’s process which is thoughtless and irresponsible at best. When a “mistake” happens over and over again you have to expect that a little “oopsie, we made another mistake,” might not be enough…Yahoo’s *process* needs to be changed. It should be changed. It could be changed in a very simple way to prevent most incidents like this from happening in the future.
1. Do not delete any image permanently.
2. Provide Flickr users a 48 hour rebuttal time to dispute those that would wish to censor their work.
3. Have an actual competent human being review the decision.
Thomas has been burned in the past by Flickr’s overeager deletion policy. He points out that the Flickr help forum has 90 threads on “censorship” – so there’s obviously a systemic problem with the Flickr/Yahoo process. The fact that it has been used (in at least two documented cases now) in favor of abusers over against the abused makes this a justice issue in my book.
getting out my hammer…
UPDATE: Stewart Butterfield, “one of the co-founders of Flickr, and … the general manager with overall responsibility for all things Flickr”, has posted a very thorough explanation and heartfelt apology for the entire situation, and claims that “There are several policies which will be changing as a direct result of this incident and the goal is that nothing like this ever happens again. Any errors from now on should be on the side of caution.” I very much look forward to hearing more about the policy changes.
The town of Ballymena, in Northern Ireland, had a big scare yesterday. An unidentified “object” was found outside a police station, and duly detonated in a controlled explosion by the army due to terrorism concerns.
From a police spokesperson:
In this case, the object was outside the perimeter of the station, and away from the entrance – and totally out of place – so we therefore had concerns for the safety of members of the public as well as for police officers and staff.
The object in question? A roll of tape.
This seems to be the type of overreaction on the scale of the Boston Mooninite Scare last month.
Can you blame them?
Wal-Mart vice-chairman Michael Duke is in Mumbai for talks with Bharti bosses and government representatives. Wal-Mart and Bharti are planning a joint venture for cash-and-carry.
A statement from Wal-Mart says Mr Duke is visiting India “to learn more about the market first-hand and to further explore the wholesale cash-and-carry business”.