The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 Volume XVIII, Number 47

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?... he Pet Photo Contest put on by the Carthage Humane Society is taking place until the end of the month. Entry fee is $10. For info, call 417-439-7134.

.Did Ya Know?... The Family Literacy Center will be selling Mums for the fall season at $10 each. To order, call 358-5926.

today's laugh

One day, as a dog was walking by a store, he noticed a sign which said, "Now Hiring: must be able to type 70 words per minute, and must be bilingual. Equal opportunity employment." The dog took the sign in his mouth and brought it into the manager’s office. He set it down on the desk. When the manager realized that the dog was applying for the job, he laughed and said, "I’m not going to hire a dog!" The dog put his paw on the part of the sign that read "equal opportunity employer." "Well," said the manager, "let’s see you type 70 words per minute!" He handed the dog a document and watched as the dog perfectly duplicated the document, and well over 70 words per minute. The man looked at the dog. He couldn’t believe it. "Don’t tell me you’re bilingual too." The dog opened his mouth and said, "Meow."

What do you call a fish with no eyes?

A fsh

A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.

Grand Jury Interest Wanes.

Prosperity and Porto Rico occupied the attention of the grand jury at Joplin yesterday to the exclusion of all other portion of the county. A number of witnesses, many of them volunteers, were examined. Gambling is supposed to have been the subject of the inquiry.

Interest in the jury's investigations has waned to such an extent that the crowd which hung around the Joplin court house during the early part of the session has dwindled until only those who are witnesses or court attaches are present. Fishing, vacation trips and hot weather stories have supplanted the jury's inquiry as subjects of conversation.

Earnest Glenn of South Maple street, left last night for Needle, Cal.,where he has secured a position with a surveying corps of the Santa Fe railroad.

  Today's Feature

Property Tax Public Hearing.

The City Council will hold a public hearing this evening during their regular meeting concerning the property tax levy for the City. According to state statute the levy must be set by September 1. Information needed to calculate the levy typically doesn't reach the City much before that date and always causes the Council to rush through the process. The Council bill to be introduced immediately following the public hearing will include emergency language so both the required first and second readings can be completed tomorrow evening.

As the Mornin' Mail published last week, calculations by City Clerk Lynn Campbell indicate that the City of Carthage will see a reduction in City property taxes this year. Tax levy’s are adjusted each year, and depending on the valuation of property, are supposed to keep the actual tax revenue approximately the same from year to year. This year’s increase in overall valuations in the City could result in the Council setting the levy a couple of cents lower for the year.

The City Council meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.

More at Stake in Gitmo Court Orders Than Detainees’ Fates

by Chisun Lee, ProPublica

The federal judges who are reviewing lawsuits filed by Guantanamo inmates have found that 29 of the 35 men whose cases they’ve completed have been unlawfully detained. For ordinary convicted criminals, that would mean that the authorities who imprisoned them would have to let them go. But the jailer at Guantanamo – the executive branch – is still holding 20 detainees the judges have cleared for release.

The impasse over releasing these prisoners is usually discussed as a logistical problem of foreign diplomacy or domestic politics. But it also raises a deeper question of principle: What is the meaning of the constitutional right of habeas corpus – a core American right to be free from unjust imprisonment – in the new and potentially expanding context of terrorism detention?

The right appears in the original text of the Constitution and is meant to protect the liberty of individuals even when it’s politically unpopular. That protection comes from the federal courts, where judges are not elected but rather are kept independent of popular sentiment by lifetime appointments. Habeas petitions are most commonly filed by prisoners claiming errors in their convictions due to faulty forensic evidence, prosecutorial misconduct or other wrongs.

The traditional remedy to wrongful imprisonment is release. But in the case of the Guantanamo prisoners, the shape of justice has been much fuzzier. In June 2008, the Supreme Court said the detainees have the right to sue for their freedom via habeas petitions, ending years of litigation by the Bush administration to try to block them. But a February ruling by the federal appeals court in Washington – sought by the Bush administration and embraced by the Obama administration – declared that, while Guantanamo detainees have the right to sue and have their imprisonment found illegal, they don’t have a right to actual release.

The appeals court wasn’t moved by the fact that these foreigners had been taken against their will and erroneously placed under U.S. jurisdiction – a finding that trial judges have made in the overwhelming majority of cases so far. Instead, the court likened the captives’ predicament to that of undocumented immigrants who are caught, saying the president has wide discretion to detain people who for political reasons are difficult to send elsewhere.

Since the February decision, trial judges who’ve rejected the government’s evidence as too flimsy have been barred from ordering the president actually to release detainees. Now the judges resort to a vaguer admonition that the executive branch "take steps" toward releasing them.

The appellate ruling overturned the order of Judge Ricardo Urbina of the U.S. District Court in Washington, who last October directed the government to immediately release a group of Chinese Muslim Uighurs into the United States, American judges not having the power to order release into a foreign country. Urbina wrote that officials’ failure for years to find a suitable country to take the Uighurs amounted to flouting "the court’s authority to safeguard an individual’s liberty from unbridled executive fiat" – an authority necessary, he said, to fulfill the constitutional promise of habeas corpus. Thirteen Uighurs remain at Guantanamo despite having been cleared of terrorism suspicions as early as 2003.

The decision blocking Urbina’s order was authored by Judge A. Raymond Randolph of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, who wrote three previous opinions rejecting constitutional claims by Guantanamo detainees. All those decisions were reversed by the Supreme Court. In April, lawyers for the Uighurs asked the high court to take their case and undo this decision as well. But in the meantime, the appeals court decision effectively applies to all the Guantanamo habeas cases, because they’re all governed by the D.C. Circuit.

The Obama administration has urged the Supreme Court to leave the decision alone, despite the president’s public pledge to "abide by" the trial judges’ rulings in habeas cases. The administration’s legal brief argued that detainees who remain at Guantanamo after judges have said they don’t belong there are not being imprisoned but rather are enjoying "harborage" while the president figures out the logistics for a safe release.

The Supreme Court recessed for the summer without saying if it would take the Uighurs’ case. Court observers speculated that the justices were reluctant to intervene at a politically sensitive time. Elected officials were strenuously opposing the idea of releasing detainees into this country, and the administration had managed to find homes abroad for four Uighurs. Recent news reports suggest the others may soon be resettled.

Just days before the court recessed, Congress stepped in to add a new wrinkle. It passed, and Obama signed, a law requiring the president to submit a report to legislators before any Guantanamo captive may be released or transferred using taxpayer funds.

It’s unclear how or whether the new law will affect the courts’ power to enforce detainees’ habeas rights. If Congress tries to delay the release of someone a court has found to be held unlawfully, some legal scholars say, the detainee could sue, claiming the law is an unconstitutional violation of his habeas right or of the separation of powers among the judicial, executive and legislative branches.

Meanwhile, the federal trial judges in Washington are continuing to scrutinize piles of classified evidence and hear closed-door arguments in more than 150 other Guantanamo cases, reviewing details about the detainees’ capture, their alleged hostile conduct and any mitigating facts. In six of the 35 cases completed to date, they’ve agreed with the president that the prisoners are so closely affiliated with al-Qaida or the Taliban that they should be detained indefinitely by the military. But in the vast majority of cases – the mildest and generally least complicated have gone first – they have decided against the government because of weak evidence or poor logic.

Two weeks ago, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly blasted the government’s evidence for detaining Khalid Abdullah Mishal Al Mutairi, a Kuwaiti citizen, for more than seven years, saying the case was based on nothing but "speculation."

In June, Judge Richard Leon said Abdulrahim Abdul Razak Al Janko’s detention as a terrorist affiliate "defies common sense." Janko, a Syrian, may have associated with U.S. enemies for a few days in 2000, the judge said, but by his 2002 arrest, he’d been tortured by al-Qaida and imprisoned for a year and a half in an infamously "horrific" Taliban prison, the uncontested evidence showed. "Surely extreme treatment of that nature evinces a total evisceration of whatever [enemy] relationship might have existed!" wrote Leon, who has ruled against detainees more often than any other judge.

In May, Judge Gladys Kessler invalidated the imprisonment of a Yemeni man, Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed, explaining that the evidence against him "is hotly contested for a host of different reasons ranging from the fact that it contains second- and third-hand hearsay to allegations that it was obtained by torture."

The judges couldn’t order that these prisoners be released by a particular date, as they can in ordinary habeas cases. They wrote only that the government should "take all necessary and appropriate steps to facilitate" the detainees’ release "forthwith."

Asked when the detainees cleared so far will be released, Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd told ProPublica that the State and Defense Departments and other agencies are "working to make appropriate arrangements to carry out transfers of these individuals in a manner consistent with national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, as well as U.S. policies concerning humane treatment."

The Washington Post, citing anonymous administration officials, reported Thursday that nearly a dozen countries have agreed to accept Guantanamo detainees, and that it has been difficult to repatriate some prisoners because they fear they will be persecuted if they return home.

One prominent Guantanamo case could test the now three-way tug-of-war among the branches of government over detainees’ rights. In an exception to the limited orders judges have been issuing, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle recently directed that President Obama "promptly release" young Afghan Mohammed Jawad, whose detention was chiefly based on a confession that a military judge had earlier rejected for being obtained under death threats. She was able to do so because the administration had already volunteered to end Jawad’s widely criticized military detention and had proposed a concrete timeline for releasing him from Guantanamo. The government mentioned the possibility, which observers view as remote, of filing a more conventional criminal charge. Officials have said that some 30 detainees may ultimately be prosecuted in civilian or military court.

The judge accepted the timeline for releasing Jawad as soon as today, putting the government under court order to live up to its promise. But before Jawad can be put on a plane back to Afghanistan, the president must submit classified details about the transfer to Congress. Boyd said he was "not going to speculate" about what the president would do if Congress balked.

The unusual conflict over the power of the federal courts to enforce the habeas rights of terrorism suspects could affect more than the Guantanamo inmates and could become more complex. Detainees held for as long as six years at a U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, are also claiming the right of habeas corpus, in a case to be considered this year by the federal appeals court in Washington. And policy makers looking at U.S. detention strategy are pondering the habeas rights, if any, of future captives, as the fight continues against what many view as the global threat of terrorism.

Just Jake Talkin'

They say all the major street resurfacin’ is complete for the year. I like it when they do it all in a week or two. You don’t have ta spend the summer wonderin’ what intersection to avoid.

If ya didn’t know, the City has a tax on ever’ gallon of fuel that’s sold in the City. Generates ‘bout a million a year that is dedicated to various street projects. Ever time ya fill up the tank, the City gets a half-cent of ever’ dollar ya spend. ‘Course a good chunk of that goes to day to day maintenance, but it also allows for some fairly major work from time to time.

They’ve always got a five year plan for future projects, so your street is prob’ly on the list if they haven’t been by in a while. And you can always help by just sayin’ "Filler up".

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.



  Weekly Columns

To Your Good Health.

Arm Swelling After Breast Cancer Surgery.

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Two years ago I had surgery for breast cancer, and lymph nodes were also removed during the surgery. I recently developed lymphedema and am quite upset about it. I don't think I ever read where you (or anyone else) discussed it. I didn't know what it was until I saw something about it on TV. It seems to be under control, but I must wear an arm sleeve, which I hate. Please comment on it. -- J.R.

ANSWER: We have two circulatory systems. Everyone knows the blood circulatory system. Few know the lymph circulatory system. Lymph is the watery part of blood that oozes out of blood vessels and bathes all body cells and tissues. It provides nutrition and protection. Lymph vessels -- similar to arteries and veins but more delicate -- are open-ended affairs that suction lymph fluid and eventually return it to the circulation. On its journey back to the main circulation, lymph fluid passes through lymph nodes, which remove from it foreign material and germs.

Anything that disrupts the return of fluid back to the circulation causes swelling -- lymphedema. In your case, the disruption was breast surgery with removal of lymph nodes. About 15 percent of women who undergo such breast surgery develop lymphedema of the arm on the side of the removed breast.

Early treatment of lymphedema prevents permanent changes from happening. Arm elevation encourages drainage out of the arm. Elastic garments squeeze lymph fluid back into the main circulation. Compression pumps are another way to mobilize the fluid.

A special kind of massage, performed by a trained therapist, can effectively promote drainage of lymph fluid. It's called manual lymphatic drainage, and practicing therapists are found in about every section of the country. The National Lymphedema Network can put you in touch with such a therapist and can provide you with information on this condition.

Copyright 1997-2009 by Heritage Publishing. All rights reserved.