Priests queue up to qualify as exorcists. The devil made me post that link.
Britain isn’t waiting around. Bird flu alert: one million children need jabs. And, Thousands of secret tests to find first signs of disease.
US setting up new spying agency. Learning the lessons of Saddam’s invisible WMDs.
London Review of Books:
Review of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War. “As long as we shared in the common cause of denouncing the foolishness and hypocrisies of the Clinton years, my relationship with modern American conservatism remained a mutually agreeable one . . . But my disenchantment with what passes for mainstream conservatism, embodied in the Bush administration and its groupies, is just about absolute. Fiscal irresponsibility, a buccaneering foreign policy, a disregard for the constitution, the barest lip service as a response to profound moral controversies: these do not qualify as authentically conservative values.” Powerful condemnation.
I forgot to mention,
I switched from blo.gs to blogrolling thanks to Susan’s handy-dandy changeover guide. How’s that for gratitude? I was so disgusted with in-feed ads breaking my design, punctuation miscoding, mindless faux updating, that I overlooked saying “Thank you, Susan.”
No Late Fees, But Watch Out For Late Rates. “What a deal, no late fee and the interest on the balance goes to somewhere in the 29 percent range ... [snip] ... Appalling.” As I’ve said before, there’d be a huge market for late payment insurance, but the credit card companies prefer to lean on ‘individual fiscal responsibility’ ... the fact that everyone loves a good sales pitch, and noone reads the fine print
More predictions of a difficult time ahead. A hard act to follow. On Alan Greenspan, and the problems that will be laid in the lap of his successor.
If Laura Speaks Out, Miers Must Be in Trouble. ” How often does a president get to flex the I-can-do- anything-I-want muscle, rejecting a list of constitutional scholars and judges in favor of his personal attorney down the hall who wrote him all those gushing, smiley-face notes.”
Inflation surge: Here to stay? Those on variables might want to price out fixed.
The Culture Cult:
Iraq: Learning the Lessons of Vietnam. Nixon’s former Secretary of Defense speaks out after 30 years. “The truth about Vietnam that revisionist historians conveniently forget is that the United States had not lost when we withdrew in 1973. In fact, we grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory two years later when Congress cut off the funding for South Vietnam that had allowed it to continue to fight on its own.” My italics. President Ford was not inculpable, either, though little mentioned here. I don’t agree with all, but it is well-argued.
This echoes what the Native Americans learned a long time ago; a President’s promises are piecrusts that are broken every four years. None of the three branches are able to ‘promise’ anything long-term. Look at the state of our international treaties, for further corroboration.
NY Times Op-Ed Contributor:
Wanting the Old Main Street Back. NYT talks Las Cruces here, but there’s work being done on many levels in the state of New Mexico to revive downtown areas in their older, walking mode. Particularly, there is a thrust to revive the historical Spanish plazas, as communal spaces and aesthetic improvement. Would that Santa Fe could bar vehicular traffic around the Plaza, and approve a couple of sidewalk cafes ... as well as fit out the edges with planters, hanging baskets, ristras, etc. Other western cities do much, much more than Santa Fe does, and we’re a tourist destination! Covering historic Victorians with adobe just isn’t enough anymore.
NY Times Arts:
A Historic Discovery, in Beethoven’s Own Hand. Peering into the working mind of a musical deity.
NY Times Health:
Treated for Illness, Then Lost in Labyrinth of Bills. As we all know, the paperwork and cross-checking is getting beyond ridiculous. Even when approved, charges get disallowed after the fact. Tests get cancelled or altered without your or your doctor’s say-so. Having representative’s names and numbers, dates and times of phone calls, becomes vital for proving approvals.
SF New Mexican:
Testing under way for chronic wasting disease. For science, it sounds like a great idea. For saving human lives, eight to ten weeks of freezing meat before eating may be an unrealistically long lead time ... especially with the other financial challenges this coming winter. They should let people know when the meat is ‘clean’, not just when it’s contaminated.
SF New Mexican:
Lawmakers end special session in a giving mood. Tax rebates to help with home heating bills, in the next three weeks.
Local TV news tonight
is going bonkers. First, one station accuses the United Nations of broadcasting the murder of Smurfs to traumatize young children. You’d think Elmer Fudd shot dandelions at Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, instead of lead shot. Of course, no information about real UN news, such as the groundbreaking elections in Liberia, aid to Pakistan, and other good works [have to watch BBC World News for those items].
Then, even better, another station decides to broadcast about how all the current natural disasters presage the ‘end times.’ See my comment the other day.
No wonder I’m spending more time with my nose in books lately ...
How Eminent Domain Ran Amok. A great article. Long. “The Kelo decision is testament to the expanding use of police power by the state for the advancement of private interests that are often in cozy relationships with local municipal governments. To follow the path of the takings locomotive that has chugged across this country is to see how the meaning of private property has changed in the United States from its original promise as a place of sanctuary from outside interference to a contingent relationship in which property is private and unmolested only at the sufferance of local government.” My italics. Do read it, when you have time.
Bad News for Pro-Lifers. Conversely, good news for pro-choicers. I think it had to do with the framing of the partial birth abortion debate. The name itself, “partial birth abortion”, got my hackles up at the time, until I realized what this gobbledegook stood for. I think many people were drawn in by this, and couldn’t be heard in social circles promoting anything that might be construed as a “birth abortion.” Semantics. If ECPs were called “abortion pills”, rather than “morning-after pills”, they would have less support.
In the meantime, the differences in numbers may be individuals waking up to the current rhetoric, the opposition to even contraception ... and the hard realities of medieval religious dogmas, such as annual childbirth and early death.
What is this penchant America has for the creation of pseudo-Russian autocratic rulers for crises? Is it a manifestation of the ‘left wing media’?
Idaho on a shoestring ... sleep in a cave for $5 a night. Bats cost extra?