Dutch intel: US to strike Iran in coming weeks. The last paragraph: “According to the report, whether the United States and Western countries succeed in thwarting the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions diplomatically, through sanctions, or whether a US strike on Iran is eventually decided upon, Jerusalem has begun preparing for a separate, independent military strike.”
Bach fan thrills to discovery of lost 1724 pages. “Thanks to an inquisitive Frenchman named Philippe d’Anchald and the detection power of the Internet, the missing link has been discovered about 30 miles from Paris, where it has been housed in a museum, never fully identified, since 1918.” My italics.
New brain cells are essential for learning. Which makes drinking in college one of the worst things you could do ...
Pagans protest with ancient rite at Acropolis site. Excellent. Grey-eyed Athena, goddess of war and wisdom, is likely to be none too happy.
NY Times Dance:
Love and Dance: Two Obsessions, One Classic Film. “The Red Shoes.” Saw it when I was very young, in B&W. One of those films you don’t forget.
NY Times Autos:
2008 Victory Vision Tour motorcycle. Tell us the bike weighs 850 pounds, and not tell us if the bike has an electric reverse gear [as Gold Wings do]? Looking at the Victory site, apparently there is not a reverse gear. I hope it is easier to push back than the 850 pound spec indicates. It is a real head-turner. I saw one the other day stopped on 285, and it looked so different, I nearly twisted my head off at the neck trying to get a good look.
NY Times Obits:
NY Times Politics:
Disclosures on Palin Raise Questions on Vetting Process. It’s been a fun weekend for Republicans ... Ms Palin and selective disclosure of family history. Telling that there’s no fundamentalist horror over premarital sex and loose morals, as there would be if this situation happened to the daughter of a Democrat. Still, the seat of her much-vaunted ‘executive’ experience offers a few chuckles. Seriously, though, the issue I brought up the other day seems to be working its way around the metacosm. It’s worth discussing even more at this point in time, because Palin now has (in essence) *two* special needs children.
SF New Mexican:
Award-winning photographer Cary Herz passed away in Albuquerque.
Twin Cities Daily Planet:
Beware what you hear about protests at the RNC; hit more than one media source ... and look for videos when possible. They’ve been spraying and arresting journalists. Amy Goodman was manhandled for simply trying to explain the situation.
Later: SF Gate, Amy Goodman released. Watch the video.
Raining like no tomorrow.
We’ve been getting gullywasher after gullywasher here. Drove up north to do some green chile pickin’, and got gullywashed there, too. Brought home a peck or two of roasted green, a bushel of mud. Had some baggage on one of my peppers, just prior to pickin’.
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.”