For everyone who is buying into the Matt Drudge conspiracy that the pictures of Elian and his dad yesterday were faked, AP is currently moving pictures of them playing together on the base today. I saw them on our private AP Photo feed around an hour ago, but Excite News is the first to get them up on the public wire: Elian and Dad kicking a ball around, the whole family together, Elain and dad eating together, and the two of them hanging out.

Of course, now people will say that these, too, are faked… whatever. The Earth is flat, the moon landing was staged, Clinton killed Vince Foster by biting through his jugular vein in an act of vampirism gone terribly wrong… people will believe what they want to believe. But it’s difficult to dispute this, regarding today’s pictures:

Craig carried the undeveloped roll of photos to The Associated Press Bureau in Washington, D.C. Fred Sweets, assistant bureau chief for photos, said the film was developed in the AP photo lab. “These are from a disposable camera,” Sweets said. “I examined the negatives. They are authentic.”

Joel Spolsky continues to impress and delight with chapter 5 of his continuing series on user interface and design: Consistency and Other Hobgoblins.

No matter how bad your day is, it probably isn’t as bad as this poor kid’s. (Found at Pure Stupidity Videos, courtesy of Zannah.)

There’s an interesting and somewhat disturbing article at the New York Times about how drug companies do their research partially on the public’s dime, yet keep the profits for themselves. (They actually claim that the drug is the only profit deserved by the public.) Once again, though, it’s a New York Times article, so it will most likely disappear from the above link, to find its way into their pay-per-view archive.

Not that it’s the largest honor in the world, but it’s cool that Q has made LookSmart’s list of weblogs. The description makes no sense, though; the discussion group here doesn’t get much traffic at all.

Imagine that you return home one day, and your spouse and kids are gone. You worry your heart out, and then on TV the next day, you see a small news piece reporting that they were found in the snow in Canada; your spouse died of exposure, and your kids have been taken in by your cousin. When you go to get your kids back, your cousin hides them, saying that he doesn’t agree with the way that they’re being raised here — he doesn’t like the exposure to weapons in American schools, he doesn’t like the fact that there’s no national health care to protect them from disease, and he doesn’t like the entire environment of conspicuous consumption here. No matter how much you assert the fact that they’re your kids, you aren’t allowed to see them. Then, an actual court of law rules that your kids have to stay in Canada until they determine whether or not you have the right to bring them back to the United States.

That’s what’s happening here. It doesn’t matter how icky you find Communist Cuba — people elsewhere find the United States to be just as nasty. But they don’t have the right to take our kids in the name of trying to give them a better life.

Wow, Mike, have you read the Appellate Court decision? While I completely agree with you that this three judge panel has the benefit of both higher rank and (ostensibly) more prescient legal judgement, they withheld judgement on the entire custody issue. Their opinion is a very small, focused one on only a single aspect of the entire situation — whether or not Elian can leave the country. It specifically does not deal with any other issue, as they have oral arguments scheduled for next month:

To decide Plaintiff’s motion and to preserve his right to a day in court, we need only address the issue of Plaintiff’s removal from the country. We need not decide where or in whose custody Plaintiff should remain while this appeal is pending. This Order only prevents Plaintiff’s removal from this country.

This leaves us with only the words of the March 21st ruling when answering both the question of custody and the question of whether or not the DOJ has the authority to enforce said custody determination. Oh, and nobody is claiming that the INS took Elian back into custody — from the January 5th INS ruling, custody belongs to the father, and nothing has ever changed that. From the legal analysis that I’ve heard over the past 24 hours, Reno’s power to enforce this ruling is the basis for yesterday.