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.: February 2008 --> February 2008

February 2008

» Those of you who will be voting on Tuesday will be interested in reading the results of the Boston Globe's December 2007 questionnaire, designed to assess primary candidates' attitudes about the limits of executive power, and the use of signing statements.

[O]nce in office, [George W. Bush and Dick Cheney] immediately began seeking out ways to concentrate more unchecked power in the White House - not just for themselves, but also for their successors.
Bush has bypassed laws and treaties that he said infringed on his wartime powers, expanded his right to keep information secret from Congress and the courts, centralized greater control over the government in the White House, imprisoned US citizens without charges, and used signing statements to challenge more laws than all predecessors combined.
Legal specialists say decisions by the next president - either to keep using the expanded powers Bush and Cheney developed, or to abandon their legal and political precedents - will help determine whether a stronger presidency becomes permanent.

Of the Republicans who answered, Mitt Romney seemed the most likely to continue in the direction Bush/Cheney has laid out. Interestingly, only 3 Democrats - and 2 Republicans - advocated ending signing statements altogether.  [ 02.03.08 ]

» Reportedly, Japan is experimenting with street lights that are powered by the sun and the wind. I think they're kind of pretty.  [ 02.06.08 ]

» For those of you who missed out on buying a Spring share, the MVKnits yarn CSA is now selling Fall harvest shares of mohair and a kid mohair/cormo blend. Currently, plenty of shares are available. Update: The first of these kids has been born, and there are pictures on Flickr!  [ 02.08.08 ]

» Newsweek interviews Michael Scheuer, 20-year CIA veteran (he helped to arm the Afghan mujahedin!) and author of a new book, Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq. He makes a compelling case—and I fully agree with his analysis of the real reasons bin Laden is at war with the US.

The enemy we are facing, Osama bin Laden and the movement he heads, is much more dangerous than anyone gives him credit for. Much smarter, much more talented, and now increasingly recruiting a new generation that's better educated, not just in school terms but in operational and especially technological ways. We defeated the swashbucklers. The Errol Flynns of the jihad are gone.... Now we have the gray-suited fellows who are quiet, don't draw attention to themselves, but are tremendously savvy.

(thanks, Loren!)  [ 02.14.08 ]

» Alexander Trevi has a terrific set of pictures of the subterreanean farms of Tokyo (including a rice paddy!), designed, it seems, as a training facility for young people who are interested in pursuing agriculture. The farms are (or were) located in an empty bank vault beneath a high-rise building. He's looking for more current information on the project. If you can find some, leave him a note.  [ 02.15.08 ]

» 18th Century Cuisine reports that tomorrow, Tuesday February 19th, Hidden Kitchens will feature a show entitled Hercules and Hemings: African American Chefs in the President's Kitchen. Once it has aired, you can listen to it via the NPR website.  [ 02.18.08 ]

» Bruce Schneier on denying illegal immigrants drivers licenses:

[W]e are a much more secure nation if we do issue driver's licenses and/or state IDs to every resident who applies, regardless of immigration status. Issuing them doesn't make us any less secure, and refusing puts us at risk.
The state driver's license databases are the only comprehensive databases of U.S. residents. They're more complete, and contain more information - including photographs and, in some cases, fingerprints - than the IRS database, the Social Security database, or state birth certificate databases. As such, they are an invaluable police tool - for investigating crimes, tracking down suspects, and proving guilt.

 [ 02.18.08 ]

» For my sweetie—NPR's Hidden Kitchens: Beyond Tang: Food in Space.

Bread is the number one enemy in space. You do not want crumbs floating around in microgravity getting into the electronics. Come take a look.

Does anyone else remember Space Food Sticks? They and Tang were astronaut food that was available to everyone, and as children we could not get enough of it. Space Food Sticks are available for order online, by the way.  [ 02.22.08 ]

» Pure brilliance: Chocolate pencils with a sharpener to create chocolate shavings for your desserts. (via se)  [ 02.27.08 ]



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