When publishers get paid, the writers should be paid

Some of us write for the sake of being read or performed. Some of us don’t expect to make money writing. But if you expect writers to create content for you, you should pay them fairly. This means you don’t go making money on their work without compensating them.

I understand the writers’ union is asking for a percentage of net. They should have a percentage of gross.

JAGs say waterboarding is torture

Copied from Think Progress (h/t Cookie Jill @ stbk):

November 2, 2007

The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman United States Senate Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Leahy,

In the course of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s consideration of President Bush’s nominee for the post of Attorney General, there has been much discussion, but little clarity, about the legality of “waterboarding” under United States and international law. We write because this issue above all demands clarity: Waterboarding is inhumane, it is torture, and it is illegal.

In 2006 the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the authority to prosecute terrorists under the war crimes provisions of Title 18 of the U.S. Code. In connection with those hearings the sitting Judge Advocates General of the military services were asked to submit written responses to a series of questions regarding “the use of a wet towel and dripping water to induce the misperception of drowning (i.e., waterboarding) . . .” Major General Scott Black, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General, Major General Jack Rives, U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General, Rear Admiral Bruce MacDonald, U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General, and Brigadier Gen. Kevin Sandkuhler, Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, unanimously and unambiguously agreed that such conduct is inhumane and illegal and would constitute a violation of international law, to include Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

We agree with our active duty colleagues. This is a critically important issue – but it is not, and never has been, a complex issue, and even to suggest otherwise does a terrible disservice to this nation. All U.S. Government agencies and personnel, and not just America’s military forces, must abide by both the spirit and letter of the controlling provisions of international law. Cruelty and torture – no less than wanton killing – is neither justified nor legal in any circumstance. It is essential to be clear, specific and unambiguous about this fact – as in fact we have been throughout America’s history, at least until the last few years. Abu Ghraib and other notorious examples of detainee abuse have been the product, at least in part, of a self-serving and destructive disregard for the well- established legal principles applicable to this issue. This must end.

The Rule of Law is fundamental to our existence as a civilized nation. The Rule of Law is not a goal which we merely aspire to achieve; it is the floor below which we must not sink. For the Rule of Law to function effectively, however, it must provide actual rules that can be followed. In this instance, the relevant rule – the law – has long been clear: Waterboarding detainees amounts to illegal torture in all circumstances. To suggest otherwise – or even to give credence to such a suggestion – represents both an affront to the law and to the core values of our nation.

We respectfully urge you to consider these principles in connection with the nomination of Judge Mukasey.

Sincerely,

Rear Admiral Donald J. Guter, United States Navy (Ret.) Judge Advocate General of the Navy, 2000-02

Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, United States Navy (Ret.) Judge Advocate General of the Navy, 1997-2000

Major General John L. Fugh, United States Army (Ret.) Judge Advocate General of the Army, 1991-93

Brigadier General David M. Brahms, United States Marine Corps (Ret.) Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant, 1985-88

Whereas we think seniors r teh awesome;

“The doctors who examined Corporal Tillman urged a criminal investigation into his death be opened at that time, and were refused.”

An open letter to the NFL and NFL Players Association (via):

August 13, 2007

Roger Goodell
Commissioner
National Football League
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Gene Upshaw
Executive Director
NFL Players Association
1133 20th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036

Dear Commissioner Goodell and Mr. Upshaw,

On behalf of the veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and those troops still in theater, we are writing to ask that the National Football League and NFL Players Association publicly or privately urge President Bush to reconsider his decision to invoke claims of executive privilege in refusing to share vital documents regarding the death of Corporal Pat Tillman with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

As you know, earlier this month the Associated Press obtained the medical examiner’s finding at the time of his death in Afghanistan, that Corporal Tillman’s fatal wounds seemed to indicate shots fired from ten yards away, or less. The doctors who examined Corporal Tillman urged a criminal investigation into his death be opened at that time, and were refused. Since that time, the Department of Defense has put forth two explanations for the death of Corporal Tillman, the first of which was proven false, and a second which now seems to have been proven to be a lie, as well. In both cases, the White House has actively pushed these false findings to the public.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category entry: Stupid (noun)

Stupid

Nicely inconspicuous, this one is.

Hat-tip Bradley @ Incertus, who has this update:

Curtis Allgier, a convicted burglar and white supremacist, briefly escaped from custody today by stealing a corrections officer’s gun and murdering him. This is not the first time Allgier has been a fugitive– he keeps running from authorities and trying to blend in with the general population.

One miiillion hits…

driftglass, who doesn’t ever link here, but I still read his blog anyhow.

On that account, or for no particular reason, this is an open thread if anyone feels like using it.

Love yourself, as you are

Hat-tip Kate Harding.

Waiting for Friedman

a tragicomedy in infinite acts
by William K. Wolfrum.

Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

Still the best writer on these internet tubes

Make peace now.

HLS Class of ’82 calls for an independent counsel

An open letter to Alberto Gonzales, published May 15, 2007 in the Washington Post. Via Specious Reasoning, hat-tip Phoenix Woman.

Dear Attorney General Gonzales:

Twenty-five years ago we, like you, graduated from Harvard Law School. While we arrived via many different paths and held many different views, we were united in our deep respect for the Constitution and the rights it guaranteed. As members of the post-Watergate generation who chose careers in law, we understood the strong connection between our liberties as Americans and the adherence of public officials to the law of the land. We knew that the choice to abide by the law was even more critical when public officials were tempted to take legal shortcuts. Nowhere were we taught that the ends justified the means, or that the freedoms for which Americans had fought and died should be set aside when inconvenient or challenging. To the contrary: our most precious freedoms, we learned, need defending most in times of crisis.

So it has been with dismay that we have watched your cavalier handling of our fredoms time and again. When it has been important that legal boundaries hold unbridled government power in check, you have instead used pretextual rationales and strained readings to justify an ever-expanding executive authority. Witness your White House memos sweeping aside the Geneva Conventions to justify torture, endangering our own servicemen and women; witness your advice to the President effectively reading Habeas Corpus out of our constitutional protections; witness your support of presidential signing statements claiming inherent power to wiretap American citizens without warrants (and the Administration’s stepped-up wiretapping campaign, taking advantage of those statements, which continues on your watch to this day); and witness your dismissive explanation of the troubling firings of numerous U.S. Attorneys, and their replacement with others more “loyal” to the President’s politics, as merely “an overblown personnel matter.” In these and other actions, we see a pattern. As a recent editorial put it, your approach has come to symbolize “disdain for the separation of powers, civil liberties and the rule of law.”

As lawyers, and as a matter of principle, we can no longer be silent about this Administration’s consistent disdain for the liberties we hold dear. Your failure to stand for the rule of law, particularly when faced with a President who makes the aggrandized claim of being a unitary executive, takes this country down a dangerous path.

Your country and your President are in dire need of an attorney who will do the tough job of providing independent counsel, especially when the advice runs counter to political expediency. Now more than ever, our country needs a President, and an Attorney General, who remember the apt observation attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” We call on you and the President to relent from this reckless path, and begin to restore respect for the rule of law we all learned to love many years ago.

Yours truly,

[Ffty-six signatories]

THESE SIGNATORIES ARE ALL MEMBERS OF THE HARVARD LAW SCHOOL CLASS OF 1982

Happy blogiversary to Mockingbird’s Medley

Mimus Pauly thinks this is the best post he’s ever written. He may be right.

Philip Workman

Killed by the state of Tennessee.

My ideal post is so briefly stated that my point fits within the title.

Mimus Pauly prefers to use more words.

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