jokah.com

28Feb/050

Web host migration this weekend discarded my last update...

Quicken 2001 seems to have issues when running under Windows XP as a shared application. Namely, I found that sometimes it doesn't run at all as a limited access user. Ended up reinstalling while temporarily granting administrator/owner access, and now it works fine.

25Feb/050

Outsourcing Torture. This debate is not remotely close to being over.

Yoo also argued that the Constitution granted the President plenary powers to override the U.N. Convention Against Torture when he is acting in the nation's defense - a position that has drawn dissent from many scholars. As Yoo saw it, Congress doesn't have the power to "tie the President's hands in regard to torture as an interrogation technique." He continued, "It's the core of the Commander-in-Chief function. They can't prevent the President from ordering torture." If the President were to abuse his powers as Commander-in-Chief, Yoo said, the constitutional remedy was impeachment. He went on to suggest that President Bush's victory in the 2004 election, along with the relatively mild challenge to Gonzales mounted by the Democrats in Congress, was "proof that the debate is over." He said, "The issue is dying out. The public has had its referendum."

[snip]
Most authorities on interrogation, in and out of government, agree that torture and lesser forms of physical coercion succeed in producing confessions. The problem is that these confessions aren't necessarily true. Three of the Guantánamo detainees released by the U.S. to Great Britain last year, for example, had confessed that they had appeared in a blurry video, obtained by American investigators, that documented a group of acolytes meeting with bin Laden in Afghanistan. As reported in the London Observer, British intelligence officials arrived at Guantánamo with evidence that the accused men had been living in England at the time the video was made. The detainees told British authorities that they had been coerced into making false confessions.

[snip]
Boudella's wife said that she was astounded that her husband could be seized without charge or trial, at home during peacetime and after his own government had exonerated him. The term "enemy combatant" perplexed her. "He is an enemy of whom?" she asked. "In combat where?" She said that her view of America had changed. "I have not changed my opinion about its people, but unfortunately I have changed my opinion about its respect for human rights," she said. "It is no longer the leader in the world. It has become the leader in the violation of human rights."

Filed under: Politics/War No Comments
12Feb/050

Wal-Mart Union to File Complaint After Quebec Closure. The first unionized Wal-Mart store is quickly shut down.

The United Food and Commercial Workers' Canadian arm said it plans to file a complaint against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for bargaining in bad faith after the retailer said it would close its first unionized outlet in North America.

[snip]
The union also said today it plans to file an unfair labor practice complaint against Wal-Mart while asking the Quebec Labor Relations Commission to force the company to prove that the Jonquiere store was unprofitable.

Wal-Mart Agrees to Pay Fine in Child Labor Cases. Back in the US, corporate malfeasance is rewarded.

Wal-Mart Stores, the nation's largest retailer, has agreed to pay $135,540 to settle federal charges that it violated child labor laws in Connecticut, Arkansas and New Hampshire.

[snip]
A provision also promises to give Wal-Mart 15 days' notice before the Labor Department investigates any other "wage and hour" accusations, like failure to pay minimum wage or overtime.

That provision drew criticism yesterday from Representative George Miller of California, the senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee. It also prompted complaints from some Labor Department investigators who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

"With child labor cases involving the use of hazardous machinery, why give 15 days' notice before we can do an investigation?" asked a district office supervisor who has worked in the wage and hour division for nearly 20 years. "What's the rationale?"

Filed under: Politics/War No Comments
4Feb/050

Gonzales Is Confirmed in a Closer Vote Than Expected. For what it is worth, Schumer and Clinton both voted against confirmation. Thanks, Senators.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who has been one of Mr. Gonzales's toughest critics, said it was "a sad day for the Senate" to confirm "a person who was at the heart of the policy on torture that has so shamed America in the eyes of the whole world and has so flagrantly violated the values we preach to the world."

Filed under: Politics/War No Comments