SF New Mexican:
Study links autism to genetic defects. Food poisoning can trigger latent autoimmune issues. I wonder what triggers this gene?
SF New Mexican:
Water-rights adjudications, deep aquifers on tap. “Rep. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, said the mining of deep aquifers is a growing concern, and he hopes the governor will support the state engineer on a bill to give the state control. ‘The whole issue of water mining is something we’re starting to see in New Mexico,’ Wirth said.” Frac’ing is one of those methods of water mining. Up until recently, noone ever really considered brackish aquifers of worth, so oil drilling and coal extracting outfits could foul at will. We can’t accept that in New Mexico, with water supplies dwindling faster than our nation’s oil supplies.
“Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wants to give you 100 gallons of free heating oil to help survive the cold cruel capitalist winter.” And if you accept, CIA agents in your registers?
The French President’s Lover. I don’t believe Carla Bruni and ‘stupid’ have ever been synonymous. At least, not in our American ‘Brit, Paris & LiLo’ paradigm. God knows how those three would define ‘polyandry’.
NY Times Fashion & Style:
Tough Guys for Tough Times. A bunch of piffle. Have you seen the trailer for the new ‘Rambo’ movie [do not watch if you are not prepared for extreme violence]? No political candidate will be parading Stallone, as Huckabee flashes Norris. Hulk and Chuck look like posing pantywaists to the brooding violence of the thickened, aging Stallone. Reminds me of the lethality of a stout Gaboon Viper. No, those previous two are ‘tough guys for past times’, looking coiffed and beautiful in ‘80’s fashion, as cloying as most of the ‘80’s music. Stallone is channeling today’s realities through an ‘80’s paradigm ... a bit too much (I’m ignoring his action-hero flesh wounds, and speaking of his visible aging and his victims). On top of this, Burma (Myanmar) has been in the news of late, as if acting out this bit of Hollywood in reality.
I suppose Hollywood must find new levels of violence to overmatch what we’ve seen from Iraq, but on first viewing, I found myself seriously shocked. Now, all men have atavistic tendencies that are handled in different ways - often through sports or working out. A male cannot watch this kind of violence without feeling some sort of catharsis. The revenge myths and hero archetypes are ingrained, and spark our synapses when prodded with such imagery. As males, we all channel ‘The Iliad’, in some form (Homer knew who he was writing for). I worry for today’s male youth. Few ever explain to young men why, in the final scene of “Dirty Harry”, they all want Clint to off ‘Scorpio’ in the final scene, and why they feel great when he does.
Given this silly article, perhaps I will vote for Hillary.
NY Times Business, News Analysis:
Some Fear Economic Stimulus Is Already Too Late. “We’re facing the risk of a systemic financial crisis ... [snip] ... It’s not just subprime mortgages. The same kind of reckless lending has been occurring throughout the financial system. And it’s not only mortgages: Now it’s credit cards and auto loans, where we see problems increasing. The toxic junk is popping up everywhere.” And reporting on it now, is way, way too late.
“The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war. In many of those cases, combat trauma and the stress of deployment — along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems — appear to have set the stage for a tragedy that was part destruction, part self-destruction.” One-third of the victims are relations, ‘spouses, girlfriends, children’ and others. How do you un-train the highly trained?
“Discovery of a lone survivor of an unknown Indian tribe in Brazil set off accusations of murder and a struggle over ownership of one of the world’s last great wilderness areas.”
Governor Richardson blocks drilling in the Galisteo Basin. Six months! Sorry the run didn’t work out, Governor, but we’re damned glad you’re back.
Bill Richardson, A New Realism. The Democratic Party could do a lot worse than to promote these recommendations party-wide. Read it. I asked the other day, “Where’s the beef?” There’s red meat here. I particular like anyone who mentions this: “The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program has reduced the danger from Russian loose nukes. Its budget should be increased and its timetable accelerated.”
Globe & Mail.CA:
Bisphenol A most harmful to infants, study says. Supposedly, Ziploc bags and Saran Premium Wrap are ‘safe’.
Globe & Mail.CA:
No puke, no pain - no gain. “Our training culture is polluted by body building ... [snip] ... It could be a very, very good thing to shift the North American training philosophy to a much more functional one.”
New Scientist Space:
Upgraded Hubble Telescope to be 90 times as powerful. “This could allow Hubble to see galaxies so far away that we see them as they were just 400 million years after the big bang.”
Kodak Upgrades Its Portra Professional 400-Speed Color Negative Films. For fellow Luddites. “Better scanning.”
The Wilson Quarterly:
The Lost Art of Cooperation. “Capitalism also embraces competition as its animus, and America is nothing if not capitalistic. Even the American understanding of democracy, which emphasizes representation and the collision of interests, puts the focus on division and partisanship.” Only at the ridiculous lengths we see today since the loss of the Fairness Doctrine in ‘87, and the unprecedented partisan howling from the ‘Contract With America’ faithful in ‘94. The current environment feels ‘normal’ only to those who never experienced the previous one.
J.K. Rowling’s Dark Mark; Why she should lose her copyright lawsuit against the Harry Potter Lexicon. Adaptation, derivative, or ... ? One to watch.
NY Times Escapes:
For Many a Follower, Sacred Ground in Colorado. “Places like Sedona and Santa Fe are full of healers and seekers who change what they seek every week ... [snip] ... This has less distractions. Those who come here tend to be more directed in what they seek.” Oooh, some around here will consider those ‘fightin’ words.’ Santa Fe, home of ‘therapy du jour.’ True, at a certain level. We have longstanding traditions of healing, though, too. What of Chimayo?
NY Times Politics
Exchanges in Latest Debate Highlight a New Dynamic in the Republican Field. Predictable. Thompson has to make a showing in SC, and Huckabee has the momentum from Iowa. Expect more of the three “R’s” ... Reaganism, Religion and Recalcitrance.
SF New Mexican:
The story of the couple recently recovered from the Sangre de Cristos. Couple lives through three nights lost on the mountain “As the storm-clouded sun disappeared below the horizon, the couple was suddenly surrounded by cliffs. ‘That’s when I felt really scared,’ Fehl said. She knew they were lost. By 5 p.m., the temperature was 22 degrees.”
I was up snowshoeing near Aspen Vista, and I can attest the snow was light, powdery and thigh-high. My snowshoes (specced for 275 pounds of personal weight and gear) were sinking quite deep, knee-deep, making the going particularly challenging. I wouldn’t have wanted to try it with just boots at thigh-depth.
Tighter driver’s license rules coming out. “The Homeland Security Department has spent years crafting the final regulations for the REAL ID Act, a law designed to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants and con artists to get government-issued identification.” Apparently, bureaucratic imagination can’t embrace the idea of a terrorist over the age of 44. As far as illegal immigrants are concerned, you get old as well as young - if you’ve ever worked the border, as I have, you know this is true. America’s opportunity attracts all ages. Con artists? I never heard they were confined to youth, either. How old are those well-heeled, generously-girthed televangelists who beg, request and even demand money from little old ladies on pensions?
Rationalize all you want, this so-called logic is wigged out. The opposition to “national ID” or “national driver’s licenses” has been legendary. Yet we each have unique SS #‘s. Go figure.
Later: NY Times, Homeland Security on the Hustings.
Snow falls in Baghdad. In earlier times, it would be taken as a sign. Of what, I’ll leave to others’ imaginations.
Countrywide bought by Bank of America. “Bank of America said it expects to generate $670 million in after-tax savings as a result of the deal.” They’d better hope CW is at or near bottom.
Later: MarketWatch, Updated: The Real Story on Countrywide ...
“When the likes of Citigroup and Merrill Lynch confess their fourth-quarter sins on January 15th and 17th respectively, they are likely to be the most shocking yet: forecasts put the two banks’ additional write-downs at $26 billion, on top of the $15 billion they have kissed goodbye so far. Market gossip points even higher.”
Finally, from Bloomberg, Greenspan’s Reputation at Risk as Recession Odds Grow. I’ll relink this article from Counterpunch in ‘05, which I previously linked last year.
A bloodbath has froth, too. I will be astounded, though, if this massacre (richly deserving of more coverage) can possibly overcome the attention given to primary-mania. Having a President is inevitable; having a healthy financial system to work with, is not.
Undisciplined Reading. “Consider the novel. It is here that readers imagine the unimagined ...”