Friday Flick Fun

Sorry, I couldn’t resist a little alliteration today.  I’ve had a flickr account for a while now, and its definitely a slick site if you’re looking for a good photo sharing site.  If you’re using Kodak’s photo sharing site, switch now.  I’ll be honest now, if you send a link to a kodak gallery, I’ll never look at it.  Not just because it requires registration, but the interface is horrible and its clearly geared toward getting people to buy prints of the pictures.  My flickr stream, along with some simple jquery magic, is now behind the image thumbnails on my blog’s header.  To go the extra geeky mile, I have it setup so that I can send a picture from my phone to flickr, and it’ll show up here.  Have fun stalking me!  Oh, and if you use flickr too, add me to your network and I’ll do the same.

Quien es un “enemy combatant”?

Jason left this awesome comment in my post about immigrants being held indefinitely. Since I’m paranoid about allowing ANY html in the comments, it got mangled


Here’s how the law in question (the Military Commissions Act of 2006) defines "Persons Subject to Military Commissions":

`Any alien unlawful enemy combatant is subject to trial by military commission under this chapter.

And here’s how the act defines "alien unlawful enemy combatant":

(1) UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT- (A) The term `unlawful enemy combatant’ means–

`(i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al Qaeda, or associated forces); or

`(ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.

(3) ALIEN- The term `alien’ means a person who is not a citizen of the United States.

So as I read that, it means that anyone who isn’t a US citizen (including foreigners here on valid work permits) who is designated as a Bad Guy by "another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President" can be thrown into a secret prison.

Thanks George!

Scary: Immigrants May Be Held Indefinitely

Although Immigrants is used in the headline, Immigrants May Be Held Indefinitely, from reading the article it appears this applies to non-citizen immigrants.  Or does that mean you’re not an immigrant anymore once you’re a citizen.  Not that it matters anymore, if the President says your an enemy combatant, you rSOL and can be disappeared.  I think the military regime in Argentina did something similar in the 80s.  I wonder how that worked out for them?

The new law says that enemy combatants will be
tried before military commissions, not a civilian judge or jury, and
establishes different rules of evidence in the cases. It also prohibits
detainees from challenging their detention in civilian court.

Me Sick, Pete Engaged, Patty under observation

A more eventful week than I would have preferred, as a fever forced me to leave work early on Tuesday. Bed rest and little else were the order of the day through Wednesday.

Yesterday, Pete called to let me know he finally got engaged to Melissa. Although hes had the ring for a few weeks now, apparently Melissa put together a romantic dinner at home on Halloween, which he "wasn’t going to be able to top" so he opted for the nuclear option to trump her. Or something like that. Anyways, congrats you crazy kids – enjoy the thrilling ride that is wedding planning. Thank you for giving me an excuse to post this picture, from when you guys were in town last year.

Finally, over at her blog, Patty’s keeping us updated on her EKG/heart situation, which so far has mostly resulted in trips to the doctor and having to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours. She’ll be in NoVA this weekend, so I’m excited to see her this weekend. Its really weird not to have her nearby.

PattyMail Bugs

The same techniques online marketers used to track open rates for bulk mail were used by Hewlett Packard to track the source of email leaks.  Its hilarious that they’ve since been named PattyMail – I think my sister has a trademark on that.  PattyMails are either really funny status updates or "Hi, don’t want to worry you but I’m going to the doctor today to get my heart looked at".

Warcraft, MLS, and Toad pictures

I’ve reorganized my online gallery and have also added pictures.
First, there’s a set from United home game honoring the 1996
championshi team. At this game, Staci turned into quite the autograph
hound and among the ones she collected were Etcheverry, Raul Diaz Arce,
Jaime Moreno, Jeff Agood, Ben Olsen, and a lot of other players.

Using the macro mode of my camera, I took some really cool pictures of a toad(frog?) that somehow managed to climb up to our deck.

Finally, after watching last night’s South Park episode about
World of Warcraft, Staci and I logged in to get a quick fix. I had a
bunch of screenshots that I never got around to updating including the
following two:

I’m still using Menalto Gallery 2
as the back end for the albums. Its a pretty big and feature rich php
application, and at times i’ve wondered if I’d be better off repalcing
it with something lighter. But it’s integration with iPhoto as well as
a java-based desktop app makes adding pictures a snap. If it wasn’t so
easy to get pictures on the web, I’m not sure I’d ever add new albums.

Ethnic Dining in DC

Self described "economist by day and diner by night" Tyler Cowen writes an article in the Washington Post on ethnic dining in the Washington metropolitan area. People are often surprised when I tell them there are many Bolivian restaurants in the area, although less so than before. In his article, he interviews Victor Serrano, owner of Victor’s Grill in Falls Church. By far, the best Bolivian restaurant in the area where you can eat the always-popular-with-the-gringos Salteñas as well as delicacies like Lengua, Fricase, and Bolivian Chicaron.

As Serrano points out, "Our competition is not right next door. We compete with . . . restaurants five or 10 miles away."

My
eating odyssey has uncovered other surprises and undermined old
assumptions. Who would have guessed, for example, that good Peruvian
and Bolivian restaurants outnumber Mexican ones in a region that is
home to more than 32,000 Latino-owned businesses and where one in 11
residents is Latino?