Noon-Thirty News, 06/21/10

Posted in News on June 21st, 2010 by bl1y
  • Patricia McGuire Reveals the Secret to Career Success: Coincidence

My colleague offered a different point of view: “A good career is a series of well-managed coincidences,” he said. He was right! A coincidence of my work with Street Law was the opportunity to learn how to do television — I was a guest commentator for two years on a weekly CBS News program for children (“30 Minutes”) and later on a local talk show (“Panorama”). Later on, as the chief development officer, I developed invaluable administrative and management skills.

Unfortunately, McGuire has confused “coincidences” with “opportunities” and “experience.”  Fortunately, you have more control over opportunities and experience than coincidence.  Good thing she’s wrong.  Alanis Morissette would call the mistake “ironic.”  [Washington Post]

  • Ninth Circuit Bats 0 for 4

The Ninth Circuit has a reputation for forging its own path but today had to be special: It was reversed three times by the Supreme Court, with a partial defeat in another case.

The Supreme Court was poised to uphold the Ninth Circuit’s opinion in Kawasaki v. Regal Beloit, but Judge Koman Coulibaly called off the victory, causing the Ninth Circuit to settle for a tie with Slovenia. [Forbes]

  • SCOTUS Votes 6-3 to Ban Peaceful Support of Terrorist Organizations

The law had been challenged by aid groups who taught Kurds in southeastern Turkey how to bring human rights complaints to the United Nations and helped them in peace negotiations. The plaintiffs had claimed the material support ban was too vague, in violation of the Fifth Amendment, and infringed their rights to free speech and association, in violation of the First Amendment.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said support for even benign purposes “frees up other resources within the organization that may be put to violent ends. It also importantly helps lend legitimacy to foreign terrorist groups—legitimacy that makes it easier for those groups to persist, to recruit members, and to raise funds—all of which facilitate more terrorist attacks.”

Here’s a pretty sure fire way of making sure that a terrorist organization continues to see violence as the only method available to achieve their goals: cut them off from legitimate channels of voicing their grievances. [ABA Journal] [Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project]

  • E-Mail Record Reveals Harder Side of Kagan

An enormous trove of e-mail messages from Elena Kagan’s years in the Clinton White House released late Friday afternoon offered glimpses of a savvy, sharp-elbowed and sometimes salty-tongued lawyer at ease with politics, policy and bureaucratic infighting.

“Not to carp,” she told a colleague, “but on memos to the president, it’s usually wise to spellcheck.”

Kagan added to another colleague who was slow in responding to messages, “CHECK YOU E-MAIL.” [New York Times]

  • Israel Eases Gaza Blockade

Israel plans to ease its blockade of Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday following an Israeli Security Cabinet meeting, a step commended by major powers and brushed off by a Palestinian organization and government.

Critics of the blockade had previously been accused of being antisemitic and supporting terrorists.  No word on whether the same labels will be applied to Prime Minister Netanyahu. [CNN]

  • Killer Professor Amy Bishop Fails in Suicide Attempt

University of Alabama Huntsville biology professor Amy Bishop, who’s charged with killing three Alabama university colleagues in a campus shooting rampage, was back in her cell Saturday after she attempted suicide in jail.

Earlier in the week she was indicted in her brother’s murder in 1986 in Massachusetts and at least one defense lawyer said news of the indictment probably affected her state of mind. [KWTX]

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Let Them Eat Jam

Posted in Uncategorized on June 5th, 2010 by bl1y

I normally try to stay away from expressing an opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, except to say that it’s bad and I’m against it.  Most people with an opinion are very passionate about it, and the facts have been incredibly muddied, so I generally think it’s best to avoid the topic and save yourself some grief.  But, the news coverage of the Gaza flotilla raid has been so retarded that I have to weigh in.

The pro-Israel people are right that Israel has a legitimate interest in inspecting goods that are being sent into Gaza to keep weapons and weapon making supplies out.

The pro-Israel people are also right that the flotilla was designed to provoke an incident with Israel, and video of the raid clearly shows the flotilla crew attacking Israeli soldiers.  But, it was an incident that probably should have been provoked.  I don’t agree with attacking the soldiers as they were boarded, but I’m fine with these people drawing attention to what’s going on in that part of the world.

The blockade of Gaza, as it exists, is not designed to keep weapons out of Gaza.  It is a punitive blockade designed to make life in Gaza suck.  Yes, Israel will allow basic humanitarian aid items in, but that’s pretty much where it stops.

On the long list of things Israel will not allow Gazans to import are paper, computers, cumin, or potato chips.  These are all things you can bring on an airplane in the US.  Shoes, combs, and tahini were only first allowed in April of this year.  Canned fruit and chocolate are still banned.

If you want to punish Gazans, then just admit that’s what you’re doing.  But, don’t act like you’re keeping notebooks and donkeys out of Gaza because they pose a threat to your national security.

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