Monday, June 28, 2004

End of a grand experiment

“The Supreme Court ruled narrowly Monday that Congress gave President Bush the power to hold an American citizen without charges or trial[.]”

Sure, they said that we do have recourse to the courts, which is a sort of victory. But anyone who can be held indefinitely by his government without charges or trial is not a citizen as the court would have it. We are now American subjects, and the experiment begun by the founding fathers that Scalia et al. claim to so revere is, today, over.

Update: Maybe, I hope, AP’s account (quoted above) is not conclusive. Reuters says this:

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that an American captured overseas in President Bush’s war on terrorism cannot be held indefinitely in a U.S. military jail without a chance to contest the detention.


Too much spin in these reports to know what they mean.

Update II: The consensus of those who took the time to read the actual decisions, rather than the AP’s early reports, is that there is no cause to freak out. Click through for a sampling.

Michael Froomkin

In summary, eight members of the Court think Hamdi (and, by implication, Padilla) is at least entitled to a hearing, with four saying he should be sprung straight away, albeit two on statutory and two on constitutional grounds.

Jack Balkin

In essence, the Court has said in these cases: don’t tell us that we are irrelevant. The flip side of that demand is that if the Administration now goes through the motions of justifying its decisions before a court, courts are much more likely to let it do what it likes. In that sense, the decisions in Hamdi and Rasul cannot be understood to be complete victories for civil liberties. But they are better than the alternatives.

Dahlia Lithwick

For some reason the early headlines perplexingly read: “U.S. Supreme Court Rules for Bush Administration.” I don’t know what part of the decisions in Hamdi and Guantanamo are allegedly “victories” for the administration. Certainly I suppose it’s nice news for the president that he is theoretically allowed to detain some enemy combatants under a limited set of circumstances. But the core claim put forth in these cases by the administration—that such decisions are fundamentally unreviewable by any court—was utterly decimated today.

And contrast the AP lede now (7:30 PM CST) with the one from a few hours ago that caused me to flip my lid:

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the war on terrorism does not give the government a “blank check” to hold a U.S. citizen and foreign-born terror suspects in legal limbo, a forceful denunciation of Bush administration tactics since the Sept. 11 attacks.

First draft of history, indeed.

Filed under: politics

Saturday, June 26, 2004


Try Archpundit for all your Jack Ryan replacement related news. I think it’s a shame that Jack! didn’t have the stuff to stick it out. Mainly because I would have enjoyed a 30-point Obama victory. Of course, if the GOP nominates somebody like Jim “Mexicans want your job” Oberweis or Ron “I used to be schools commissioner!” Gidwitz, we might still see one.

Filed under: politics/2004

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Individual post archives

Individual post archives from the MoveableType incarnation of the blog should now be working, or at least redirecting to the right place. That is all.

Update: Category archives should now be working as well, though I find that firefox 0.8/Linux seems to be unable to follow the redirects correctly. LWP and wget don’t have a problem, so I think my browser is just brain dead. Time to upgrade, I guess

Update 2: Old date-based archive links should now work, as should all browsers (the dead brain was mine, in fact). RSS feeds, date archive links on index pages, and the actual software release should arrive sometime this weekend. Unless, you know, I don’t feel like it.

Update 3: RSS (0.91) feeds are here. You can get a feed of the whole blog, or of individual categories or posts; the RSS link below ‘Feeds’ in the right-side menu will give you a feed for whatever page the link is on.

Filed under: notes

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Air Linus

A little cat-caught-trying-to-catch-playing-card action for you here on the new blog, just to show that it is going to be pretty much the same as the old blog.

Filed under: cats

Reset, reload, relaunch

One reason I haven’t been posting much lately is that I find I have nothing to say anymore about US politics. My government is engaged in a clandestine, organized project to legalize torture by placing the President and his men above and outside of the law. Nothing I could say would be adequate to the moment.

The other reason is that, dissatisfied with MoveableType and their new license, and overwhelmed by comment spam—even with MT blacklist—I decided a little while back to switch to some other blogging software. I tried out WordPress; nice interface, but it takes 19 queries and up to 10 seconds to render my very short front page. I looked at blosxom, and though I liked a lot of what I saw there, I did not like the choice between aching perl-cgi slowness and annoying static rendering.

So I decided to roll my own. Something like blosxom—no databases, no frills—but written in clean, object-oriented PHP. Took a couple of weekends, but here we are, at the stage where I begin to eat my own dog food.

The stage where I release the package will be coming quite soon; it mainly needs documentation and a suite of example page templates. Not that it is complete—far from it. Current missing features include:

  • RSS feeds
  • Date-based archives
  • Selection of home/index page posts by date range
  • A calendar view
  • Comments and trackbacks
  • Searching
  • Posting by xml-rpc
  • Pinging other sites on update

Those will be coming along in roughly that order as soon after the first package release as time permits.

Links into the old mt archives are currently broken, as well, which I hope to fix soon. There are also numerous bugs, some large, some small. For instance, post timestamps do not account for timezone differences. But when eating ones own dog food, one may not be too finicky.

Filed under: notes