Lisää Canon G11 kuvia

Tässä lisää Canonilla kuvattuja otoksia. G11 on erittäin mukava yleiskamera, joka mahtuu jopa taskuun. Kuvanlaatu on parhaimmillaan erittäin hyvä, mutta kuten kaikkien pokkarien kanssa, herkkyys kannattaa pitää niin alhaisena kuin mahdollista.

Olen kuvannut aivan kelvollisia matkamuistokuvia ISO 800 herkkyydellä, mutta silloin ollaan kyllä jo aika kaukana järkkärin laadusta teknisessä mielessä. Canon G11 ei myöskään kilpaile kuvanlaadussa esim. Panasonic GF1:n kanssa, varsinkaan jos herkkyyttä nostetaan.

G11 on, kuten jo sanoin, erittäin hyvä taskukokoinen yleiskamera ja tarjoaa varmasti luokassaan parhainta kuvanlaatua. Iso kenno ja isot pikselit ovat hyvän hämäräherkkyyden resepti, ainakin toistaiseksi.

Off Topic Novel---New Orleans 1900: Murder and Opium, Jazz and Storyville, Corrupt Cops and Marriages

Jass, David Fulmer, Harvest/Harcourt Publishing, 354 pp., $14.00, 2005.

Again turn of the century New Orleans' red-light district is the setting for David Fulmer's follow-up to Chasing the Devil's Tail, his first novel with former policeman/private detective Valentine St. Cyr. Fulmer's spare, evocative narrative creates an murder investigation steeped in opium and bourbon, police and political corruption, and marriage and love. Fulmer builds uses an emotional scaffolding of distrust and grace from the first nove. St. Cyr is a multiracial Creole detective, with a deep backstory that is revealed smoothly throughout the second novel. St. Cyr emotional troubles hinder a solution to murders of four brutally jazz musicians. Lieutenant Picot, his former boss in the New Orleans police department, and his current employer, Tom Anderson, the "King of Storyville," challenge and threaten his loyalites. Both make demands that test his committment to a new and delicate relationship with a former prostitute. Historic figures such as Jelly Roll Morton and Madame Lulu are prominent in this story set in the Crescent City. Ghostly appearances of a female seem linked to both to the local voodoo clanns and the serial killings of former members of a Storyville jazz band featured in Chasing the Devil's Tail. A tangible environment flows naturally out of the actions fo the characters and impact of New Orleans on them. place. Fulmer's third in the series, Rampart Street, is on my desk.

Novel---Seen the Glory: A Novel of The Battle of Gettysburg

Seen the Glory: A Novel of the Battle of Gettysburg, John Hough Jr., Simon & Schuster, 432 pp., $25.00.

Hough manages to balance a front rank story and and a home front story. Characters such as young soldiers from Martha's Vineyard Massachusetts, runaway slaves, and freedmen in Adams County Pennsylvania are well developed but at times seem to move to the dictates of the plot and not of their own will. Blending civilian and military history, Hough writes with a novelist's drive. Luke and Thomas Chandler enlist as privates in the 20th Massachusetts Regiment and leave their father with a black female servant who is assaulted by Vineyard roughs.

Exhaustion, hunger, illness are endured by the Chambers brothers whose relationship is strained due to a secret love affair with the black servant and visits to 'soiled doves' in Virginia. Generally accurate in most military details, Hough pushes the likely limits of accuracy in race relations, black resistance, and the Army of Northern Virginia in its Pennsylvania Campaign. Seen the Glory: A Novel of the Battle of Gettysburg is unlike Killer Angels. Shaara's work is more like Hemingway's (Old Man and the Sea), Foote's (Shiloh)and Crane's (Red Badge of Courage)naturalism and reticence of language. Hough's work is more effusive in descriptive language and more complex in using family and community relations.

Is Seen The Glory a novel of the Battle of Gettysburg. No. The climaxes occur at the battlefield and the battlefield park. What convinced CWL to make the purchase was not the backcover blurbs of James M. McPherson (blurb meister)or Scott Hartwig (well appreciated GNMP ranger) but Lee Smith a fine contemporary Southern author. Coming to it as a novel set in the Civil War, CWL finished Seen The Glory satisfied.

New and Noteworthy---Love and Lust in the Archives

Love and Lust: Private and Amorous Letters of the Civil WarThomas P. Lowry, BookSurge Publishing, 228 pages,paperback, $16.95, October 2009. Hello, Rea Andrew Redd. We have recommendations for you. (Not Rea?)

Tens of thousands of Civil War letters still exist, mostly asking about family health, and telling of long marches, sore feet, bad food, diarrhea, malaria, and the occasional battle. Largely lost are those letters telling of physical love, of the private moments of amorous life. Yet some letters have survived, speaking vividly and unashamedly of pre-war passionate embraces, wartime longings for absent lovers, and hope for blissful reunions in the marital bed. One soldier wrote of looking forward to bondage and disciple games in the bedroom, wearing their “favorite uniform” – bare skin. Another man wrote to his wife begging her to write him sexually explicit letters, telling her how much he would treasure such words. A Rhode Island infantryman wrote a few passionate pages, then noted his physical arousal and changed the subject. Single young men, without wives or regular sweethearts, corresponded at length, comparing the prostitutes of Maine, New York, Washington, DC, and Louisiana, and adding cautionary notes about syphilis, gonorrhea, and the painful treatments therefore. One man, home on disability leave, had recovered enough to make daily efforts to seduce every girl he met. A Nashville prostitute cut her hair and joined a Michigan regiment. The mails were flooded with ads for pornographic novels, images, and devices. Another man, perhaps overlooked by the postman, wrote home asking for some “fancy” reading material to revive his dormant sexual feelings. The mail also contained hundreds of family letters of far grimmer content: children dying of diphtheria, measles, smallpox, and tuberculosis, and families turned out in the snow for inability to pay the rent. Some soldiers were sentenced to death for going home to help their starving families. Other letters and court documents tell of a great cavalcade of human mischief, error, misery, and poor judgment. A young girl is sent to prison for incest with her father. A married woman is sued for libel after she claimed a neighbor had offered her “nine pence” to lie with him. A justice of the peace ordered the sheriff to arrest two men for “getting bastards” upon two women. Civil War issues did include battles, politics, and slavery, but there was also a another aspect of life, never mentioned in high school textbooks, of love, lust, venereal disease, incest, abortion, contraception, and harsh language. Even obscene graffiti, written on the walls of Southern mansions, imitated the “art” found in high school bathrooms today. The author’s book, fully referenced and annotated, brings these documents and images, verbatim and uncensored, to a public that would like to know what life was really like in mid-Victorian America. Text From Publisher.

CWL: Dr. Thomas P. Lowry was contributed a great deal in the past decade to our knowledge of soldier life, medicine, justice and gender issues during the American Civil War: The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell: Sex in the Civil War, Sexual Misbehavior in the Civil War, Confederate Heroines: 120 Southern Women Convicted by Union Military Justice, Confederate Death Sentences: A Reference Guide,Tarnished Scalpels: The Court-Martials of Fifty Union Surgeons, The Civil War Bawdy Houses of Washington, D.C.: Including a Map of Their Former Locations and a Reprint of the Souvenir Sporting Guide for the Chicago, Illinois, G.A.R. 1895, Reunion, Curmudgeons, Drunkards, and Outright Fools: The Courts-Martial of Civil War Union Colonels, and Don't Shoot That Boy! Abraham Lincoln and Military Justice, and several others. Without a doubt Lowry has explored the unexplored and spent months in archives that are usually not in the bibliographies of most Civil War books. CWL is always intrigued by Lowry's evidence and conclusions.

Read On!: "The First (Black) Lady"

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures ... to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and wome, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women....
-- Article 5, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

Stereotypes about Black women rarely involve images of political power or social influence. I’ve been reflecting on this while reading an intriguing article by Verna Williams (below left), Professor of Law, and Co-Director of the Law and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. (Photo, below left). The essay, titled “The First (Black) Lady,” explores media and popular images of Michelle Obama (above), First Lady of the United States of America. (photo credit)
The piece is part of a University of Denver Law Review special issue on “Obama Phenomena.” Williams argues "that the gender and racial norms contributing to the traditional notion of First Lady exemplify the intertwined nature of racism and sexism, and particularly how they have been used to justify Black subordination.” It also explores the “transformative potential” of Mrs. Obama’s presence in this role. (Williams notes that Obama prefers the honorific “Mrs.”).

Fashioning a First Lady?
We’ve all heard more than enough about the faux “fashionista wars” between Mrs. Obama and France's First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (a professional fashion model). Still, it is difficult not to be pleased by the cross-cultural acknowledgements of physical health, discipline, beauty, and grace in a prominent African-American woman. Stereotypes about Black women have been so often thoroughly derogatory. The fact that a woman of color could be a global trend-setter is too rare a thing to reject.
Television now even embraces at least one “Black woman as fashion trendsetter” in the post-feminist person of fictional (and thoroughly ruthless) fashion power broker “Wilhelmina Slater” (played by actor Vanessa L. Williams on “Ugly Betty”). But fashion trendsetting is only one form of power—and a particularly gendered one.

Michelle Obama was an attorney for a multinational law firm and an administrator for a major university medical center. She is a committed mother and family member. She has strong ideas about health, education, the rights of women workers, and the work/family balance. (See White House profile here.) That's as it should be. We are, after all, approaching the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (and still awaiting ratification by the United States).

Who are we looking for?
As Verna Williams notes, however, we in the U.S. and outside it remain profoundly ambivalent about the role(s) of First Ladies. They are unelected and therefore should not exercise presidential powers. Yet they are often the closest advisers to presidents. They have always brought their own intellectual, political, social, and personal perspectives to Washington and beyond. The first UN Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Eleanor Roosevelt (below right) is a case in point, given her domestic and international advocacy. (photo credit) (Click here for posts by Beth Van Schaack and other IntLawGrrls on Ms. Roosevelt.) Historians reveal that the subtle or overt influence of First Ladies on presidential decision-making stretches back to the nation's founding and did not end with now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) and former First Lady Laura Bush.
Their every move is scrutinized, whether it is in how they raise their children or what they said in a speech on health insurance reform. They represent the United States as cultural leaders in the art they select for the White House. They are expected to be “diplomats” by hosting foreign officials; they can cause an “international incident” with remarks at a state dinner abroad. The planting of a vegetable garden or a rose garden can cause a run on local plant nurseries. According to Williams,

These responsibilities, substantive and stylistic in nature, also carry the mark of traditional domesticity, and the gendered expectations that comprise it. Namely, the primary focus of the First Lady’s role is on the private sphere—that is, the home and family. Paramount among her duties is supporting her spouse at home so that he may succeed in the public sphere.

"Playing" herself
For First Ladies, the simplest gestures are fraught with social, cultural, and economic meanings. For example, many African-American observers, including me, found the sight of Michelle Obama jumping “double-dutch” (a complicated form of rope-jumping) at a White House "Healthy Kids Fair" to be a wonderful moment. None of us thought we’d ever see what we might have thought of as a Black "girls' game” being played at the White House. That game is now considered a sport, and requires significant physical stamina, balance, hand-eye coordination, and skill to perfect. (A virtuoso performance at the World Double-Dutch Championship is linked here.) Such symbols indicate that positive African-American and historically gender-linked traditions can represent an “American” tradition as well.
The more significant transformative potential of this “First Black Lady” status is yet to be seen (as will the potential of a future first “First Gentleman”). But I suspect it will be fulfilled by observers of the White House, not those inside it. It will be evident when we are prepared to assess presidential partners for who they are, not who we imagine them to be.
Thanks to Alexis Smith for her research assistance.

Demonstrating Value: AddThis & Removing Barriers to Entry

Engaging customers is tricky business, and it's easier than you might think to push them away by requiring registration too soon. Some time ago, over at AddThis, we wanted to increase usage of our sharing platform and postulated that it would increase dramatically if we removed registration as a barrier. Although we might end up with fewer registered users in total, these would be more engaged registered users, and we'd be giving the rest of our visitors just what they want: the ability to share their content, anywhere, with anyone.

To this end, we moved our "Get AddThis" process up to the front page of the site, and made registration optional (see our home page above.) Also note that the decision to "Register" was positioned as a value proposition: Do you want analytics? Create an account, it's easy. Just want to share? No problem, enjoy!

[Ed: Yep, that's our Halloween logo- check out how our very gifted lead designer Jeff Wong ran a little impromtu contest to decide what image to use.]

We tested this approach to a limited set of users, and saw a dramatic increase in usage and some very positive feedback. Not long after that, we rolled out the change to everyone. The end result was an enormous increase in usage of AddThis, and a higher registration-complete rate, because the users that started the registration process had a reason to complete it beyond getting over a barrier to entry.

For more examples, check out Sasha's excellent Posterous article below:

Designing for social traction: Turn a user into a passionate customer *before* making them sign up for your service - Sachin's Posterous

And Happy Halloween!

Door finally open to gender-based asylum claims?

After 14 years of limbo, Rodi Alvarado may receive a grant of asylum.
As IntLawGrrl Amy Senier then posted, this summer the administration announced its intention to adopt regulations that have been pending since Matter of R-A- was first litigated in the mid-1990s.
This week, in a one-paragraph brief issued from the office of Chief Counsel Ron LeFevre, the Department of Homeland Security announced that Alvarado “is eligible for asylum and merits a grant of asylum as a matter of discretion.” This succinct brief not only paves the way for an Immigration Judge to grant her asylum, but appears also to be following through on the promise to adopt and implement regulations creating broader possibilities for gender-based asylum brought under the claim of "membership in a particular social group."
Alvarado (above left) fled horrific domestic violence at the hands of her husband, including his attempts to induce an abortion by repeatedly kicking her in the abdomen, as well as dragging her down the street by her hair and using her head to break mirrors and windows. Her attorney throughout these 14 years, Karen Musalo (right), Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, should be congratulated for tirelessly pursuing the government's 14 year old promise to revise the regulations.
Let us now see whether the administration follows through in the face of inevitable criticism that the decision opens the floodgates to hoards of victims of domestic violence who go unprotected in their own countries.

On October 31

On this day in ...
... 2008 (today), Costa Ricans mark el Día de la Mascarada Tradicional, an annual event celebrated by government decree since 1997. The proclamation recognized a cultural tradition featuring good, bazaars, games, and dancers wearing colorful masks repesenting a variety of fanciful figures -- the devil, death, clowns, giants, dwarves, elves, and animals. (photo credit) The festival will resonate with folks elsewhere who today are celebrating Halloween.

(Prior October 31 posts are here and here.)

'Nuff said

(Taking context-optional note of thought-provoking quotes)

... 67 percent of bloggers are men—up a little from the year before.
That's a worse gender imbalance than in American newsrooms, which is saying something.


RT @inspiredmag 25 Extraordinary Pumpkin Carvings

'Tis the season: there are some really creative ideas here!

25 Extraordinary Pumpkin Carvings « PSDFan

Shared via @AddThis

Refugees on the High Seas

Though the "end of the war" was proclaimed several months ago in Sri Lanka, Tamil refugees continue to flee the island. According to some reports, security cameras donated by the Australian government to Colombo's airport have been used by the Sri Lankan government to identify and detain Tamil political activists, who as a result have turned to the sea as their escape route. Whatever the reason, increasing numbers of Tamils are choosing to flee Sri Lanka by boat; three such boats filled with asylum seekers have been intercepted en route to Australia in the past few weeks. In order to prevent such risky boat journeys, or so it claims, the Australian government requires that refugees it rescues on the high seas be sent to Indonesia rather than Australia.
Nearly three weeks after their dilapidated wooden boat was interdicted by the Australian navy in Indonesian waters, 255 Sri Lankans remain on board the ship in a Java port. Having been denied protection in Malaysia, these asylum seekers refuse to disembark in Indonesia because they fear being placed in detention camps. (Just this week, Malaysia released to UNHCR 66 Sri Lankan asylum seekers detained since September; 40 remain in detention camps.) Indonesia is not a party to the UN Refugee Convention, and has stated that it will not allow the refugees to remain on its territory indefinitely, raising concerns of refoulement.
Almost two weeks ago, nearly eighty Sri Lankans were rescued by an Australian customs ship, which is now moored off an Indonesian island. The local governor has said that Indonesia is not a "dumping ground" and and that he will not allow the boat to disembark its passengers. The Indonesian president has sent a delegation to meet with local officials to discuss the situation, and has asked Australia for $50 million to process and detain the refugees. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankans don't want to disembark in Indonesia, for the reasons laid out above, and are demanding to be received in Australia. Though the Indonesian central government has said it will not forcibly remove the Sri Lankans from the Australian boat that rescued them, Australia has not yet ruled out the use of force.
Detention in Indonesia would be an ironic solution to the problem, as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had closed detention camps for asylum seekers on Nauru and Papua New Guinea in favor of the more humane approach of processing asylum applications on Australia's Christmas Island. It's clear that cooperation between neighbor states will be needed to address this issue, which extends beyond Sri Lankans -- a reported 66 boats carrying over 1600 asylum seekers have been intercepted this year en route to Australia. But that cooperation should take the standards of the UN Refugee Convention as a baseline, and should seek to find a permanent solution for these desperate refugees, rather than warehousing them indefinitely in detention camps.

On October 30

On this day in ...
... 1945, India was admitted to membership in the United Nations. The milestone was achieved 6 days after the U.N. Charter entered into force (prior post), and 2 years before the country attained full independence from its colonizer, Britain (prior post).

(Prior October 30 posts are here and here.)

Aina ei suju

Olin ajatellut, että käyn kuvaamassa eräässä autopurkaamossa, joka on erikoistunut vanhojen autojen osiin. Tarkistin firman osoitteen viimeksi tänä aamuna netistä, mutta mieleeni ei tullut soittaa, koska ajattelin, että minun on helpompi selittää asiani paikan päällä.

No, kun saavuin perille, niin näkymä oli yllä olevan kuvan kaltainen. Kysyin paikalla olevalta remonttimiehen näköiseltä meksikolaiselta tietääkö hän onko etsimäni firma kenties muuttanut. Kaveri vastaa, että etsimäni firma on konkurssissa. On ollut ainakin kolme kuukautta.

Olisi siis pitänyt tarkistaa asia, mutta vakuuttavasti pystyssä oleva nettisivusto ei herättänyt mitään epäilyjä. Näin käy joskus ja nyt pitää ottaa varasuunnitelma käyttöön.

Onneksi paikka oli valokuvauksellisella tavalla rähjäisellä teollisuusalueella ja kuvasin lohdutukseksi Pentaxilla muutamia kuvia blogia varten. Tuossa alla.

'Nuff said

(Taking context-optional note of thought-provoking quotes)
Ms. Bachelet, a professed agnostic and single mother of three in a country that legalized divorce only five years ago, shattered the mold of traditional Chilean politicians in this Roman Catholic stronghold. At the start, she said, the political establishment tried to portray her as weak and disrespectful of the office of the president. “It was an important challenge in the first few years,” [Bachelet said], noting the way other powerful women had urged her to toughen up and “scream and insult” to be respected. “I took a gamble,” she added, “to exercise leadership without losing my feminine nature.”
So reads an article in today's NY Times about Chilean President Michelle Bachelet's successes in office. (See previous IntLawGrrls posts on Bachelet here.) That "feminine nature" includes a long-term financial strategy according to which she set aside billions of dollars from Chile's copper boom, a move that enabled her country to recover quickly from the global financial crisis. Her government has legalized alimony payments to divorced women, tripled the number of free early child-care centers for poor families, and created a minimum pension guarantee for poor homemakers and the very poor.

Go On! Global views on international law

(Go On! is an occasional item on symposia and other events of interest) Public opinion on international law and on The Hague-based International Court of Justice, as revealed in a 21-country poll, will be the subject of a discussion from 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 3, at Tillar House, the headquarters of the American Society of International Law, 2223 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
ASIL's cosponsoring the event along with, whose Director, Steven Kull, will present the findings from a survey from a variety of locations, including Britain, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, and the United States. ASIL Executive Director Elizabeth Andersen will moderate a panel of discussants on the results.
Among the questions to be explored include many on which IntLawGrrls frequently post, such as: the desirability (or not) of compliance with international law; confidence (or not) in the ICJ; the role of the United Nations; intervention under the banner of responsibility to protect or for other reasons; and the International Criminal Court indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
Details and registration for the free event are here.

On October 29

On this day in ...
... 1929 (80 years ago today), The New York Times reported, "Stocks Collapse In 16,410,030-share Day, But Rally At Close Cheers Brokers; Bankers Optimistic, To Continue Aid." Optimism would be shortlived; the Wall Street Stock Market Crash of '29 led to the bleak decade known as the Great Depression. (credit for photo made on the day, captioned "A solemn crowd gathers outside the Stock Exchange after the crash")
... 1952, U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) was born in Cleveland. Fudge took office on November 19, 2008, having been elected to fill a vacancy occasioned by the death of Stephanie Tubbs Jones and, beginning in January 2009, to serve her own 2-year term in Congress.

(Prior October 29 posts are here and here.)

Palmuja, kuolleita kaloja sekä hiekkapölyä

Pentaxin sääkestävyys tuli tarpeeseen, kun Etelä-Kaliforniassa puhalteli melkoinen puhuri ja hiekkapölyä oli ilmassa riittävä määrä. Tässä pari kuvaa Salton Sea-järveltä sekä yksi Palm Springsistä. Kuvat siis Pentax K-7 kameralla ja 50 - 200 mm kittizoomilla kuvattuja.

Pahoittelen näitä melko lyhyitä tekstejä, mutta työpäivän jälkeen on niin monta muutakin asiaa hoidettavana. Molemmista kokeilukameroista, Canon G11 ja Pentax K-7, kirjoitan vielä yhteenvedon kunhan pääsen takaisin kotimaahan.

RT @abduzeedo Halloween Inspiration

Some great ideas for Halloween- a costume inspired by Lichtenstein, and some very creative pumpkin carving.

CHARMED: It's the Most Wonderul Time of the Year

Military Commissions Act of 2009: New AND Improved?

Congress passed several amendments to the Military Commissions Act last Thursday, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. President Barack Obama signed the legislation yesterday.

An earlier version of this post stated that "There is much of importance — some good, some less good — in this legislation." That post went on to focus on the war crimes provisions of the MCA in light of our prior posts on this topic (see, e.g., here and here) (Others have discussed some of the procedural aspects governing the use of coerced confessions and the applicability of Miranda warnings or the collateral review aspects). Unfortunately, the earlier post was based on a prior version of the legislation that did not ultimately get passed. As a result, there is less good in the new legislation as I detail below.

►First (good), the legislation comes closer to standard international humanitarian law lexicon in addressing itself to “alien unprivileged enemy belligerents” rather than “alien unlawful combatants.” Thus, the basic concept statutory provision has been changed from:

§ 948b. Military commissions generally

(a) Purpose. This chapter establishes procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses triable by military commission.


(a) Purpose. This chapter establishes procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unprivileged enemy belligerents for violations of the law of war and other offenses triable by military commission.

An “alien unprivileged enemy belligerent” is defined at Sec. 948a(7) as:

an individual (other than a privileged belligerent) who—
(A) has engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners;

(B) has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or

(C) is a member of al Qaeda.

This definition adds to our genealogy of efforts to define who may be detained and prosecuted in the post-9/11 era.

►Second (good), Congress has deleted reference to the status of military commissions as “regularly constituted courts” affording the necessary “judicial guarantees” for the purpose of common Article 3. The original legislation — passed in the wake of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), which classified the armed conflict with Al Qaeda and the deposed Taliban as a Common-Article-3 non-international armed conflict, at a minimum — boldly asserted that the military commissions satisfied common Article 3, as if the courts would simply accept such a claim:

(f) Status of commissions under common Article 3. A military commission established under this chapter is a regularly constituted court, affording all the necessary "judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples" for purposes of common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

In deleting this language, Congress acknowledged that it is the courts that will decide whether such commissions meet U.S. constitutional and international law obligations and that simply saying something is so does not make it so.

► Third (bad), the legislation still asserts that it does not create any new crimes. The 2006 MCA stated that all of its enumerated crimes pre-existed its enactment and thus could be invoked in a criminal prosecution arising out of pre-2006 events, such as the attacks of 9/11 or even the U.S.S. Cole and Khobar Towers attacks. The original language stated:

§ 950p. Statement of substantive offenses

(a) PURPOSE.—The provisions of this subchapter codify offenses that have traditionally been triable by military commissions. This chapter does not establish new crimes that did not exist before its enactment, but rather codifies those crimes for trial by military commission.

(b) EFFECT.—Because the provisions of this subchapter (including provisions that incorporate definitions in other provisions of law) are declarative of existing law, they do not preclude trial for crimes that occurred before the date of the enactment of this chapter.

A draft version of the legislation that did not get passed had more appropriately hedged this a bit when it stated:

§ 950p. Definitions; construction of certain offenses; common circumstances

(d) Offenses Encompassed Under Law of War—To the extent that the provisions of this subchapter codify offenses that have traditionally been triable under the law of war or otherwise triable by military commission, this subchapter does not preclude trial for offenses that occurred before the date of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010.

This language, which acknowledges that just because Congress says something was already penalized by the law of war does not make it so, unfortunately did not make it into the final legislation. New Section 950p(d) has the same effect as the language in the 2006 MCA.

► Fourth (good), the status of the Geneva Conventions as a source of law has been elevated considerably. Originally, the legislation purported to prevent the treaties' invocation in any setting and for any purpose. This language stated:

(g) Geneva Conventions not establishing source of rights. No alien unlawful enemy combatant subject to trial by military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights.

The 2009 legislation states at Sec. 948b:

(e) Geneva Conventions Not Establishing Private Right of Action—No alien unprivileged enemy belligerent subject to trial by military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a basis for a private right of action.

Thus, while the original provision purported to bar any invocation of the Geneva Conventions, the new language accepts that the Conventions may be applicable offensively in habeas proceedings or defensively in penal proceedings by providing only that they may not give rise to an independent cause of action.

►Fifth (bad), conspiracy (the charge of choice before military commissions) is still listed as a substantive crime. In the rejected draft version of the legislation, conspiracy appeared only as a form of responsibility applicable to all the enumerated offenses along with attempt, solicitation, superior responsibility, accessoryship, etc. This change was not adopted, and so the new MCA still allows for the prosecution of an inchoate crime of conspiracy, notwithstanding that a plurality of the Supreme Court in Hamdan determined that no such crime exists under the law of war. Had the draft language been adopted, conspiracies would have been prosecutable only as a form of responsibility when some substantive war crime that was the object of the conspiracy was committed.

► Sixth (good), the legislation includes at §950p(c) a more explicit war nexus, thus limiting the ability of the government to use military commissions to prosecute crimes that occurred prior to the initiation of an armed conflict involving the U.S. The starting date for any conflict involving the U.S. has never been definitively established, but any such armed conflict likely commenced on September 11th at the earliest and October 7, 2001 (when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan) at the latest. (Although Justice Thomas in Hamdan and others have argued that any armed conflict was initiated earlier, either when Al Qaida "declared war" on the U.S. (Justice Thomas's theory) or attacked our embassies in Kenya & Tanzania). The new war nexus states:

(c) Common Circumstances—An offense specified in this subchapter is triable by military commission under this chapter only if the offense is committed in the context of and associated with armed conflict.

Incidentally, the formulation of the war nexus is identical to that in the ICC's Elements of Crimes.

► Seventh (good, I guess), the crime of spying has been slightly redefined to more clearly reference the law of war (added text in bold):

Any person subject to this chapter who, in violation of the law of war and with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign power, collects or attempts to collect information by clandestine means or while acting under false pretenses, for the purpose of conveying such information to an enemy of the United States, or one of the co-belligerents of the enemy, shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a military commission under this chapter may direct.

There is much to digest in this massive piece of legislation. The amendments described above are welcome, albeit too modest. Congress would have done better to cut more deeply into the list of purported war crimes to cull out all the novel offenses, including
  • inchoate conspiracy,
  • material support for terrorism
  • and murder of a privileged combatant
rather the leaving the task of determining their cognizability to the commissions (and the courts if they're allowed to get their hands on these cases). Had the crime of conspiracy actually been deleted as was obviously contemplated, many of the existing military commission cases would have had to be re-worked in light of the heavy reliance on that charge.

Guest Blogger: Pamela Yates

It's IntLawGrrls' great pleasure to welcome Pamela Yates (right) as today's guest blogger.
Pamela's a cofounder of Skylight Pictures, Inc., and the director of Skylight's most recent production: The Reckoning, a feature-length film on the International Criminal Court that's subject of IntLawGrrls posts posted here and here by Lucy Reed and yours truly.
Recipient of a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship and a member of the Director’s Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America, Pamela has been involved in many film projects in addition to The Reckoning. Examples: producer, Loss of Innocence, winner of an Emmy; director, When the Mountains Tremble, winner of a Sundance award; Executive Producer, Witness to War, winner of an Academy Award; director, State of Fear (2005) (below left), which relied on findings of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission to depict the counterterrorism campaign that lasted 2 decades in Peru; director, Presumed Guilty, a PBS special about public defenders in San Francisco; producer, director, and co-author, Cause for Murder, about the lives and deaths of 2 young Mexican lawyers; producer and director, Brotherhood of Hate, about violent white supremacy movements; and producer and director with Skylight colleague Peter Kinoy of Living Broke in Boom Times, a trilogy about poor peoples’ movements in America.
In addition to all these achievements, Pamela directed what is thought to be the first music video made in China. No More Disguises, featuring troubajor Ciu Jian, filmed in Tianamen Square at the dawn of the democracy movement, was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 10 best music videos of 1989 and had its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival’s opening night.
In her guest post below, Pamela reports on IJCentral, the online global social network on through which she and her colleagues continue to rally their audience 'round the cause of international justice.
Heartfelt welcome!

Social network on international justice

(My thanks to IntLawGrrls for this opportunity to guest post on our online efforts to enhance global understanding of human rights)

Making the film The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court wasn’t enough.
There had to be a way to take the members of a general audience, newly introduced to the idea of the International Criminal Court via the emotional journey in the film, and make them part of a growing movement for international justice.
At Skylight Pictures, where we have been making films about human rights and the quest for justice for 25-plus years, this is always part of our thinking while in production:
► What do we want people to do afterwards?
► How can we make our films engage, educate and increase understanding of human rights amongst the public at large and policy makers, contributing to informed decisions on issues of social change and the public good?
The Reckoning film, on which IntLawGrrls posted here and here, is the flagship in a 3-year outreach campaign and educational initiative meant to drive new constituents to the international justice movement. (You can join the 10,000 others who've already taken advantage of free online viewing here, and/or purchase the and DVD here.) As a complement, we've created a place that these new audiences can go to after seeing the film: IJCentral, an information resource and social network for global justice. Depicted at the top of this post, the IJCentral site was launched at the world premiere of The Reckoning during the 2009 Sundance Film Festival this past January. Today the site joins IntLawGrrls' "connections..." list in the column at right.
IJCentral implements a multi-platform citizen engagement strategy, using online mapping technology to visualize a global social network for international justice. It aggregates blogs, videos, SMS text messaging, media modules created from The Reckoning footage, Twitter and Facebook, e-mail listserve groups, news feeds, and photo feeds, taking advantage of a range of Web 2.0 social bookmarking applications available online. Making use of mobile phones, the world’s most widely distributed communications platform, Twitter and FrontlineSMS text-messaging technology is incorporated into the map. This allows activists, victims, educators, students and other members of the network to upload SMS text messages to the map -- already, you can see a global conversation about justice appears as geo-located pop-ups on that map.
IJCentral is a work in progress, with constant improvements in access, reach, and innovation. As it accumulates content from users, IJCentral will become an invaluable resource and database for human rights advocates and international justice activists around the world. An array of strategic stakeholder partners with worldwide reach will be accessible through IJCentral, including the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, the umbrella for 2,500 NGOs non-governmental organizations around the world actively working to achieve universal ratification of the ICC, and the American Society of International Law.
Other aspects of our 3-year outreach campaign, all of which will be available free online:
► Multiple language versions of The Reckoning. We now have English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Depending on our fundraising efforts, Swahili, Arabic, Luo, and Russian are next.
► In-depth educational modules for classroom use, each 10 to 15 minutes in length. The first 3 modules, produced with Facing History and Ourselves are “The Creation of the ICC,” “Peace and Justice” (as played out in Uganda), and “The ICC and Darfur” (the problem of enforcement).
► Micro-docs, 3-minute shorts that bring the role of the victim into places where victims might not be able to go themselves, such as international justice conferences.

On October 28

On this day in ...
... 1919 (90 years ago today), Congress paved the way for Prohibition by passing the Volstead Act. The statute authorized enforcement of the 18th Amendment, which would take effect in 9 months and ban the U.S. sale, manufacture, or transport of alcoholic beverages -- that is, until its repeal in 1933. This Library of Congress site notes linkages between temperance and suffrage movements. The 1919 sheet music illustration at right (credit) depicts a reason for that linkage: drinking was condemned as a scourge on family life.

(Prior October 28 posts are here and here.)

Hyvä vinkki matkailijalle

Irving Penn tuli nähtyä ja oli hyvä. Jos olet Los Angelesin suunnalla parin lähikuukauden aikana, niin käy katsomassa Pennin valokuvat Getty Centerissä.

Siinä tuli jo yksi vinkki, mutta tässä toinen. Niin työ- kuin lomamatkoillakin pitää syödä ja kun kerran on pakko syödä, niin samalla voi syödä hyvää ruokaa. Yllä olevan kuvan esittämästä paikasta, osoitteessa 3185 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90039, voi ostaa kenties parhaat burritot koko piirikunnan alueella. Sanon kenties, koska en ole käynyt kaikissa burrito take-away paikoissa. Tämä paikka kuuluu vakiokohteisiini tällä alueella ja voin suositella paikan eväitä vilpittömästi. Jos siis satut matkailemaan lähistöllä, niin kannattaa kokeilla. Muista pyytää mukaan riittävästi tulista kastiketta, joka on todella herkullista.

Tässä vielä muutama kuva tältä päivältä. Kaikki kuvat alinta lukuunottamatta on kuvattu Pentax K-7:lla. Vaikka hieman aiemmin moitinkin Pentaxin kittiobjektiivien optista laatua, niin positiivista on pieni koko ja paino, joiden ansioista molempia laseja viitsii kanniskella helposti.

Alin kuva on Canon G11:lla kuvattu Getty Centerin pihalta Westwoodin suuntaan.

Näyttelypäivä tänään

Täällä Kaliforniassa on uusi päivä, tai oikeastaan vanha uusi, koska tiistaihan on siellä kotimaassa jo kohta elettyä elämää.

Valokuvaajalegenda Irving Penn kuoli jokin aika sitten. Penn oli merkittävä kuvaaja, jonka kuvat pitäisivät olla tuttuja jokaiselle valokuvauksesta kiinnostuneelle. Minullakin on pari Pennin kirjaa.

Kirjoista on mukava kotona katsella kuvia, mutta aivan kuten maalaustenkin kanssa, niin aidot oikeat vedokset luonnossa nähtynä päihittävät parhaankin painotyön. Nyt on niin mukavasti, että Getty Centerissä on esillä Irving Pennin valokuvia ja tänään aioinkin käydä katsomassa tuon näyttelyn.

Getty Center on pelkästään rakennuksena näkemisen arvoinen ja aivan ehdoton nähtävyys, vaikka taide-elämykset eivät kiinnostaisikaan.

Yllä Pentax K-7:lla kuvattu kuva, jolla ei ole mitään tekemistä Irving Pennin kanssa.

'Nuff said

(Taking context-optional note of thought-provoking quotes)

I'd rather see myself played by a Puerto Rican or an Italian with a tan than have them ruin the basketballness of me.

-- Sherman Alexie (right), author of works this IntLawGrrl much admires, on why, according to this article in The New York Times, "[h]e turned down offers to sell the movie rights to" his young-adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), "a book he calls an extremely faithful recounting of his experience growing up poor on the Spokane tribal reservation in eastern Washington State." In the few words of the quoted sentence, Alexie speaks volumes about the complexities of assigned and self-perceived identities.

On October 27

On this day in ...
... 1932, Sylvia Plath (left) was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. A creative spirit was evident early on, both in painting and in poetry -- she published her 1st poem at age 8. Her years at Smith College and summer internship at Mademoiselle magazine, a period that included a suicide attempt, provided material for her 1st novel, The Bell Jar. Plath lived and wrote poetry in the United States and Britain, birthplace of her husband, poet Ted Hughes. At age 31 Plath died in London, a suicide, on February 11, 1963.

(Prior October 27 posts are here and here.)

Tänään oli Pentaxpäivä

Tänään kuvasin Pentaxilla ja tässä muutama kuva San Bernardinosta alueelta nimeltä Mission. Kovin graafista näkyy olevan, mutta näin tällä kertaa. Huomenna on aikainen herätys, joten pidemmittä puheitta on paras. Huomenna lisää.

Bloggers Team