RANDOM NOTES 5-26-09

-From the “Holy Shit! Don’t we have enough problems right now?” department.

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea launched tests Tuesday of two more short-range missiles a day after detonating a nuclear bomb underground, a news report said, pushing the regime’s confrontation with world powers further despite the threat of U.N. Security Council action.

Two missiles — one ground-to-air, the other ground-to-ship — with a range of about 80 miles (130 kilometers) were test-fired from an east coast launch pad, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing an unnamed government official.

(Snip.)

France called for new sanctions, while the U.S. and Japan pushed for strong action against North Korea for testing a bomb that Russian officials said was comparable in power to those that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.

South Korea, meanwhile, announced it would join a maritime web of more than 90 nations that intercept ships suspected of spreading weapons of mass destruction — a move North Korea warned would constitute an act of war.

For what it’s worth, not everyone is ready to push the panic button just yet. Hans Kristensen over at the FAS Strategic Security Blog is that the early seismic data

…published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows that the test had a seismic magnitude of 4.7, only slightly more powerful than the 4.3 of the 2006 test.

Not to mention speculation over at Wired’s Danger Room Blog that the four kiloton explosion can be simulated by conventional explosives. Which could explain why radiation levels near the blast site remained normal at last report. Again, my knowledge of these things are rudimentary and I may be wrong. But as of this writing, I’m not ready to panic just yet.

What it does signal is Kim Jong Il’s desire to say to the world “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!!! I’M IMPORTANT!”.

-What Maddow says times two!

I may do a longer post on this later this week. But right let me say one thing, THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED ON FOR!!!!
The good news is that Russ Feingold is on the case! He’s holding hearings on this in June and he’s made it clear that the entire concept is unconstitutional.

While I recognize that your administration inherited detainees who, because of torture, other forms of coercive interrogations, or other problems related to their detention or the evidence against them, pose considerable challenges to prosecution, holding them indefinitely without trial is inconsistent with the respect for the rule of law that the rest of your speech so eloquently invoked. Indeed, such detention is a hallmark of abusive systems that we have historically criticized around the world. It is hard to imagine that our country would regard as acceptable a system in another country where an individual other than a prisoner of war is held indefinitely without charge or trial.

Go Feingold!

-Really California! This is how you want to play it?

The 6-1 decision written by Chief Justice Ron George rejected an argument from gay-rights activists that the ban, Proposition 8, revised the California constitution’s equal protection clause to such a dramatic degree that it first needed the Legislature’s approval.

As for the thousands of couples who tied the knot last year in the five months that gay marriage was legal in California, the court said it is well-established principle that an amendment is not retroactive unless it is clear that the voters intended it to be, and that was not the case with Proposition 8.

Moreover, the court said it would be too disruptive to apply Proposition 8 retroactively and dissolve all gay marriages.

(Snip.)

While gay-rights advocates accused the court of failing to protect a minority group from the will of the majority, the justices said that the state’s governing framework gives voters almost unfettered ability to change the California Constitution.

This last part is sadly true. From the California Supreme Court Decision…(Thanks to AdamB at The Kos!)

In considering this question, it is essential to keep in mind that the provisions of the California Constitution governing the procedures by which that Constitution may be amended are very different from the more familiar provisions of the United States Constitution relating to the means by which the federal Constitution may be amended. The federal Constitution provides that an amendment to that Constitution may be proposed either by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or by a convention called on the application of two-thirds of the state legislatures, and requires, in either instance, that any proposed amendment be ratified by the legislatures of (or by conventions held in) three-fourths of the states. In contrast, the California Constitution provides that an amendment to that Constitution may be proposed either by two-thirds of the membership of each house of the Legislature or by an initiative petition signed by voters numbering at least 8 percent of the total votes cast for all candidates for Governor in the last gubernatorial election, and further specifies that, once an amendment is proposed by either means, the amendment becomes part of the state Constitution if it is approved by a simple majority of the voters who cast votes on the measure at a statewide election.

But that’s all right. Because we’ll just put up a ballot initiative repealing Prop 8 and everything will be just dandy. Unless the other side passes another initiative but then we’ll turn around and…
Aw, fuck it. Let’s just come out and say it. The ballot initiative system in California is busted. And unless the state is ready to sit down and retool the whole system, there’s nothing we can do except run this mad caucus race and hope that a finish line appears somewhere.
In the meantime, I stand with Rogers on this one. California, you’re being lapped by Iowa. For fuck’s sakes, STEP UP!

-Will be writing an episode of the webshow tonight. And for the record, it may be my last because the previous episode got flagged by YouTube for possible copyright infringement on Fox News.
Now while I believe I’m safe because of fair use, I haven’t yet heard back from them on the status of my dispute claim. And given the parameters of my format, not using news clips is kind of out of the question.
So, until I can come up with a work around. I’m stuck with having to shut down since there’s no way I can fight Fox in any potential legal action.
So, we wait and see.

More later.

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About theragingcelt

Actor/Writer/Homegrown Pundit/Cranky Progressive/Sometimes Filmmaker. talesofthegeeknation.com
This entry was posted in John Rogers, My Web Show, Nukes, Politics, President Barack Obama, Right wing Idiots, South Korea. Bookmark the permalink.

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