NY Times Business:
Internet Traffic Begins to Bypass the U.S. “Since passage of the Patriot Act, many companies based outside of the United States have been reluctant to store client information in the U.S. ... [snip] ... There is an ongoing concern that U.S. intelligence agencies will gather this information without legal process. There is particular sensitivity about access to financial information as well as communications and Internet traffic that goes through U.S. switches.”
Curse of the Black Gold. Photos of what the multinational oil companies are doing to the Niger delta. Horrible.
Reason why breast cancer survivors relapse discovered. It’s good to know, but it’s generally not good news. Ms Applegate made the right decision to minimize problems, but it may not completely clear her from risk of future cancer.
Contrast Kevin’s experience at the DNC last night with David Brooks’ in-the-studio assessment on PBS last night of “lack of connection with the audience.”
Add to that Hal’s preparations for next week’s RNC.
Wall Street Journal:
Emily’s Ambassador. Emily Dickinson, that is.
New Scientist Environment:
Amazon hides an ancient urban landscape. “Huge swathes of the Western Amazon were cleared 600 years ago, though back then it wasn’t for logging, it was to make way for an urban network of towns, villages and hamlets. For the past few decades archaeologists have been uncovering urban remains that date back to the 13th century – long before European settlers had sailed across the Atlantic and discovered the ‘New World’. This means that decent chunks – some 20,000 square kilometres – of the Western Amazon forest is not, strictly speaking, what could be called ‘virgin’ forest.”
McCain has good timing.
Of course his announcement of Gov. Palin was timed to step on Obama’s nomination acceptance speech. Can’t find a front-page picture of Obama anywhere, he’s been relegated to second or third priority. Terrible, after such a rousing end to the DNC.
The conservative media is still trying to realign to figure out how best to get behind the choice - so they were surprised too. Check out The Corner on National Review, to see the random commentary before the solid front of choreographed opinion forms up and begins marching. Fun to watch as the commenters rationalize the same arguments for Ms Palin that they use against Mr Obama (“in this case, inexperience is a plus”). She’s a political newbie, served as city councilwoman and mayor before governorship. Not a good choice to back up the senior McCain. If McCain passed away in office, we’d have someone in the big chair with even less experience than Obama’s much-touted ‘lack’ - experience being a linchpin of the current Republican opposition. So McCain’s choice of Palin means experience doesn’t actually matter to him, nor does he believe that lack of experience precludes one to the role of Commander in Chief.
Strong ethics background, even against her own party, however. Matches the ‘maverick’ image McCain wants to employ.
Many are being quick to dismiss her. I’ll wait to see how this plays out. It will bring the fundamentalists back into the picture, certainly. She’s fundamentalist, creationist, lifetime NRA member, from the sites I’ve read.
I have to say, though, if the Republicans truly believe this will snatch away Hillary voters, they must be firmly stuck in their ‘50’s mindset. Only the affluent can afford to have five kids with both parents working office jobs in this economy, hiring ‘illegal immigrant’ nannies and paying those huge health care insurance bills. I suppose Republicans believe that any critique of Ms Palin can be transmuted into an attack on ‘modern feminism’, and turned against the Democrats.
We suffered through “don’t be mean to the old man” with Reagan; now McCain. So we now add to that “don’t pick on a working mother of five with a Down Syndrome infant.” This is what the Democrats get for pointing up Biden’s early stuttering problem, his loss of first wife and child. The fact that the RNC comes after the DNC, means they can leverage all the strategies used at the DNC and one-up them. The production schedule for the RNC must be a rat’s nest right about now, as they reshuffle priorities to adapt to the issues raised at DNC.
That Down Syndrome child concerns me, though. As most of you readers know, I helped care for dozens of orphan newborns earlier in my life. I can tell you that Down syndrome children, depending on severity, have significant needs. They’re not kids you shove over to a nanny and be done with them. Many have heart and endocrine issues that need specific care; such care that, though it requires specialists, you as parents (both parents) would still wish to be intimately involved with. When you view some of the Fox News interviews on Youtube, Ms Palin’s special-needs child is sometimes obsequiously paraded about. If the Republicans’ intend to use her child as a PR tool, with tear-jerking highly-produced videos at the RNC, that leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. And not just mine. I ran across a mothering site [this isn’t the one I saw, but you get the idea] where women are already pointing out that the Down syndrome child’s needs will be coming second while Ms Palin serves as Vice President.
Just as the media is going to have to walk a fine line with Ms Palin, her party will have to curb its glee over a VP candidate with a special-needs child.
Later: You know, this also underlines that McCain doesn’t truly believe he’s going to inherit the mantle of “War President.”
SF New Mexican:
DNA evidence sought from Billy the Kid investigation. Betcha wouldn’t walk up to ol’ Bill and ask if you could stick a swab in his cheek.
On the 4 o’clock news today, a big announcement.
Madrid has permanent public toilets. No more port-a-johns. Pumpable pits, I believe ... much like the ones at the local State parks. Still. It’ll make shopping a lot easier, when you don’t have to keep your legs crossed.
National Science Foundation:
Yellowstone’s Ancient Supervolcano: Only Lukewarm? Molten plume of material beneath Yellowstone cooler than expected.
Georgia is the graveyard of America’s unipolar world. “There has been much talk among western politicians in recent days about Russia isolating itself from the international community. But unless that simply means North America and Europe, nothing could be further from the truth. While the US and British media have swung into full cold-war mode over the Georgia crisis, the rest of the world has seen it in a very different light.”
NY Times Opinionator:
The Kerry Surprise. It’s what the DNC needed, the “I’m mad as hell and I’m not taking it any more” sentiment works better than soft insinuations. Especially after the last eight years.
McCain’s Prickly Interview. The “Straight Talk Express” has become the “Straight Talking Points Express.”
Rat meat in demand as inflation bites. Well now, you could become independently wealthy, catching and selling rats from Central Park in NYC.
Interesting experiment with screen navigation on Treehugger.
Look at those white outlines on the right side of the screen. Click on them.
Say it ain’t so!! Biofuels over blue agave? NO TEQUILA?!!
Disaster. End of the friggin’ world.
Remember to read Ghost in the Machine
The young master painting for Pisa. “Luca paints as they did 700 years ago - he mixes his colours in the same way, laboriously grinding his powder on a large block of slate, he makes his own canvasses from linen and glue. Now, the 37-year-old master is to combine all these ancient skills to take on the most ambitious project he has ever attempted - perhaps the most ambitious work of art Italy has seen in some time. He is about to start a 1,700 sq ft Renaissance style fresco that will tell the story of Ranierus, Pisa’s patron saint.”
NY Times Op-Ed Columnist:
Friedman, A Biblical Seven Years. China or America, “Who is living in the third world country?”
NY Times Business:
Running Out of Money, Cities Are Debating the Privatization of Public Infrastructure. Whether or not that’s a good idea, I’ve had an epiphany. A private company that offers a subscription public bathroom cleaning service (perhaps maintenance, as well). America’s public restrooms are horrific.
NY Times Business:
Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits. The grid infrastructure’s old, and needs updating. But who wants more power lines strung across their counties?
NY Times Asia-Pacific:
God’s Home Gets Rehab, and Japan Sneaks Peek. “Every human being has an inquiring mind, but I believe there are things that human beings should not inquire into.” Very wise.