Iraq, the Death Squads. 47 minutes running time. Highly recommended, before commenting on further political actions in Iraq. It seems that in training more Iraqi security forces, we are inadvertently creating the foot soldiers for a religious/military dictatorship. If democracy is a failure, what is the alternative? Has one even been considered?
“Armed cartoonist.” What happened to the pen being mightier than the sword?
I have yet to see a mine reclaimed to safety or beauty. The strip mines I used to see back East (Western PA), were broad unnatural avenues, crisscrossed with orangy acidic streams and creeks, rocks heated to strange blackened fragility. Sure, deer would browse the verges ... as they also browse the verges of corporate office complexes. Doesn’t mean it is a ‘habitat restored.’ A tailing pile is not a mountain, no matter how much greenery you try to hide it under.
There’s a recent local article in the Albuquerque Trib about mining at La Jara Mesa near Mt Taylor, west of Albuquerque and a bit north of Grants. Adjacent areas have been the richest uranium sources found in America, embedded in fossil-rich Jurassic Morrison layers (fossils that we’ll never see). I understand they’ve completed their surveys now, and are awaiting final drilling approval before going into full production.
I don’t understand how individuals, companies, State or the Feds can go ahead with something like this, knowing full well current mining practices will likely kill local residents from diseases related to radiation and extraction processes. I’m no fan of private profit, brought at great public cost. Even if hundreds of jobs are created, how does that stack up against even one child with leukemia? Would you risk a life as precious as this?
As I’ve said before, if there’s money to mine, there’s money to clean. If there isn’t, it shouldn’t be done.
Later: Yellowcake Blues, from the SF Reporter.
Of men and ‘status shoes.’
In the Dutch town of Groningen, they’ve installed street microphones, listening for ‘aggressive voices.’ I wonder what happens when a ‘boom car’ goes by.
The Harvard Crimson:
It took a Frenchman. “The rise of a populist demagogue, to use modern terms, confirmed his blackest fears about the tyrannous possibilities of democracy.” On de Tocqueville.
From Reuters, a photo of the day, of Russian fashion.
The 109th slinks away, trying to look fierce, but with its tail unmistakably between its legs. The Times aims a kick at it to send it on its way a little faster.
Ray Kurzweil builds a neural-net stock picking machine.
Cyber Monday is more about surveying the bargains than purchasing, it seems.
Airline Opens a New Breach in the French Defenses. Casino Barrière de Deauville is apparently the model upon which Ian Fleming created Casino Royale. They have a great virtual tour [click ‘virtual visit’ under the photo] on their website.
SF New Mexican:
Burglary, graffiti crimes way up in Santa Fe. Lock your goods in the trunk this shopping season, and leave nothing in sight of the windows.
Happy B-day, Sauda. Smart fashion choice, horizontal stripe leggings. They’re due to return to the fashion catwalks any day now.
Russia sends missiles to Iran. Oooh, scary ... “sophisticated missile systems” ... foreboding information on Iran’s alleged nuclear plans. Russia wouldn’t be so dumb as to empower Iran with nuke-capable missiles?
Until you know the range. 25km. Greece and China have bought these systems, also. They have anti-missile capabilities, which is obviously what the Administration would be concerned about ... the ability to protect nuclear sites against cruise and precision guided missiles.
How to prank a telemarketer. Don’t blame me if you snort your Thanksgiving beverage of choice.
“I know what you want. You want Gone with the Wind.” Computers lip-read Hitler’s home movies.
Genetic breakthrough that reveals the differences between humans. “The findings mean that instead of humanity being 99.9 per cent identical, as previously believed, we are at least 10 times more different between one another than once thought - which could explain why some people are prone to serious diseases.”
Turkeys Try to Catch Train Out of N.J. The trains tend to be a little late on holidays; try hitchhiking. Oh, flying? Novel concept.
Two Thanksgiving stories.
So many seem to believe that after Columbus, noone ventured near America until the Pilgrims hopped off at Plymouth Rock. Jamestown is gradually making proper chronological headway into America’s historical amnesia. The Pilgrims weren’t the first to hit New England’s shores; they were preceded by Cortereal in 1502, then Verrazzano, Gosnold, Hudson, Pring, de Champlain, Christaensz, Block, Smith, Hobson, Hunt, Weymouth, Dermer. The Dutch had extensive commercial operations going on all over the Northeast (not technically ‘colonies’, but still a continuing presence in the country; Adriaen Block, for instance), but you’ll virtually never hear about it in American textbooks. Amazing, in spite of the sicknesses and bad behavior of those first explorers, that the natives still welcomed the Pilgrims with hospitality. Those previous explorers had been exploitative, and often cruel. But it is native assistance that enabled Plymouth to succeed, where Jamestown suffered. Some natives call a ‘day of mourning’ for this holiday, the symbolic start of the American genocide at Plymouth each year, I believe, on this day.
First, from Tiyospayenow, a Native viewpoint of the holiday: Thanksgiving, Hope and the Hidden Heart of Evil. And from NewMexiKen, The First Thanksgiving. Oñate remains infamous among Native Americans today, for good reason. Still, it’s going to take a larger Hispanic influence in Congress before America wakes up to the fact that if it is indeed a Christian nation, it’s also Catholic ... and, of course, if being ‘first’ is what counts, we should be enjoying a sweat lodge or something similarly native today.
Some will say this isn’t a very upbeat ‘thankful’ post. In the rampant consumerism that is America, Thanksgiving seems to have become a convenient free day on which to ‘fill up the tank’ before getting an early start on Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s purchases; something intellectually stimulating seemed most appropriate. The original November “Thanksgiving” was giving thanks for a miraculous rainstorm (believed to be prayer-brought) after a period of drought. I’ll settle on health and happiness, and celebrating a much-prayed-for Democratic majority in Congress. Tomorrow, I’ll pray that I feel the same a year from now ...
SF New Mexican:
“It’s bad enough when it doesn’t snow but when it doesn’t get cold enough to even make snow it’s really bad.” The Santa Fe Ski Area is forced to delay opening.
SF New Mexican:
Taos County commissioners approve dark-skies law. Seeing the stars is as important as saving a silvery minnow.
folks! Hope those of you who travelled arrived safely, and those of you who are staying home, are elbow-deep in turkey, family and/or friends. Myself, I’m trying to brine a turkey for the first time. I’m hoping I don’t end up with nineteen pounds of turkey jerky ... nineteen pounds, you say? I like leftovers. Lots of leftovers. Relieves cooking duties for the better part of a week.