Beaten by three years

I was puzzled by a recent notice in the Boston Globe about a tour by the Cornell Glee Club, called “one of the nation’s oldest examples of that collegiate phenomenon, the glee club…” Surely, I thought, they couldn’t predate the Virginia Glee Club, founded in 1871 (as the Cabell House Men)? My bemusement turned to outrage when I Googled the group and noted they had secured as a domain name… then to resigned concession when I learned that they were indeed the senior of my vocal alma mater—by three years, having been founded in 1868 as the Orpheus Glee Club. Alas, missed by three years. And alas, I’ll be out of the country when they arrive in Boston on Monday.

Friday Random 10

Thanks to Zalm for cluing me into the existence of this meme. Normally I avoid memes but this one fits my blog nicely. (Instructions; speculation on the origin of the meme.)

  1. “Banana Co,” Radiohead
  2. “The Last of the Famous International Playboys,” Morrissey
  3. “Mr. Grieves,” Pixies
  4. “Billy Boy,” Miles Davis
  5. Cardoso: Requiem, 2. Kyrie, The Tallis Scholars
  6. “It Happened in Monterey,” Frank Sinatra
  7. “Sprout and the Bean,” Joanna Newsom
  8. “Vacation,” the Go Gos
  9. “Breathless,” Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  10. “Five String Serenade,” Mazzy Star

Not too bad. With all the 80s crap music I’m listening to right now for my Scary 80s mix (volumes 5 and 6, forthcoming), I could have gotten far worse tracks than “Vacation” showing up.

Boycott Sony at SXSW, with your help

Hi folks–an unusual request here. I put my name in the hat over at TechCrunch for a free pass to the South by Southwest Interactive Conference (SXSWi) in March and was selected as one of the finalists, largely on the strength of this blog. Michael Arrington, the author of TechCrunch, is going to give away the pass based on the results of a poll on his site.

I’d like to go to the conference to ask difficult questions about DRM and the rights of customers at every panel. So I’m asking for your help. Between now and midnight tonight (sorry for the short notice–just saw the poll today!), please go and put in a vote for me.

“Poppycock”: the administration’s wiretapping rationale

Hooblogger Joshua at WaxWorks provides a pointer into the most entertaining quote from constitutional scholar Lawrence Tribe’s response to a request from Rep. John Conyers regarding the legality of the Bush administration’s wiretapping its own citizens. The relevant part of Tribe’s opinion:

If [Supreme Court case] Hamdi [v. Rumsfeld] treated the AUMF as an “explicit congressional authorization” … for imprisoning an enemy combatant despite AUMF’s failure to mention “detention” or “imprisonment” in so many words, the argument goes, the AUMF must be read to impliedly authorize the far less severe intrusion of merely eavesdropping on our terrorist enemies, and on members of organizations that indirectly support them. … Surely, then, now that Al Qaeda has launched a war against us, and now that Congress has responded with the functional equivalent of a declaration of war in the AUMF, even the entirely innocent American citizen in Chicago or Cleveland whose phone conversation with a member of an Al Qaeda-supportive organization happens to be ensnared by the eavesdropping being undertaken by the NSA cannot be heard to complain that no statute specifically authorized the Executive to capture her telephone communications and e-mails as such…

The technical legal term for that, I believe, is poppycock.

…The inescapable conclusion is that the AUMF did not implicitly authorize what the FISA expressly prohibited. It follows that the presidential program of surveillance at issue here is a violation of the separation of powers—as grave an abuse of executive authority as I can recall ever having studied.

The further this administration goes into defending the indefensible, the worse the case becomes. I am starting to concur with Tin Man that we may want to start thinking about the appropriate constitutional response for such gross malfeasance.