Closure list targets 33 major U.S. bases. “Major”? Hmmm. Some ‘large’, but not ‘major’, in my view. Cannon, in NM, if you look at its history, was reactivated post-WWII for Cold War TAC purposes ... a purpose that is now pretty much old history, with Vlad “Pooty-Poot” as our bosom buddy. If they’d closed Kirtland or White Sands, now *that* would be major. No doubt these closings will have major effects on the local economies; expect some bloodcurdling screams.
Flash cartoon, Fiore, The Corporation for Politicized Broadcasting.
CSM Weblog, Verbal Energy:
‘Christianism’ and ‘Christianists’. “The Portland Indymedia website posted a rant a while back against ‘Christianist ayatollahs.’ But the term looks like a useful way to denote the political Christians of the right. And it has a certain symmetry with ‘Islamist’: If Muslims of a political slant are ‘Islamist,’ then perhaps it makes sense to call Christians of a certain political slant ‘Christianists.’”
Something to read.
Robert Michels, Oligarchy. “For democracy, however, the first appearance of professional leadership marks the beginning of the end, and this, above all, on account of the logical impossibility of the ‘representative’ system, whether in parliamentary life or in party delegation.”
Thinking both of politics and weblog organization.
EPA: Closed military bases on list of worst toxic sites. I remind you of the NY Times article of the other day, the Pentagon requested that Congress loosen environmental laws. You recall that the Superfund Trust Fund went bankrupt? [link from Sierra Club.]
seems to be shifting opinions between pro- and con- Bolton so many times on the front page, their monitors must be swimming. Pick one!
NY Times, And Editorial:
Later: Hold on there, boys. You wouldn’t happen to be Republican Congressmen, would you?
Be careful when generalizing about NASCAR fans ...
Aircraft prompts brief White House evacuation. Curious. A Cessna 152 can barely take off with full fuel and two occupants (depending on their weight). Unless the passenger is carrying a very small amount of plastic explosive, all it will do is spray <37 gallons of 100 octane low lead gas all over a stone building and leave about a hay bale’s worth of aluminum. The engine, where most of the weight is concentrated, might make a dent in stone. The fuel is in the wings; most 152 crashes don’t explode or dissolve in flames. It certainly won’t collapse a building; this is no airliner. Biologicals? With two people in the plane, not enough to do more than kill a few birds. I feel this was a bit of an overreaction ...
[Written at 2:00; I forgot to hit “publish” before I left for a doctor’s appointment.]
I guess we’ll find out who’s been more thoroughly reviled in history, Nixon or Clinton.
Rumsfeld Seeks Leaner Army and Full Term as Defense Secretary. His goals for the armed forces have always seemed more anti-Republican: a leaner, more efficient military ... and weapons systems development that isn’t hogtied to pork barrel politics, but rather aimed at timely real-world solutions.
[Read the history of the B-1 Bomber sometime, the progenitor of today’s pork barrel weapons. Parts were purposely set up in different Congressional districts, to guarantee approval of the airplane.]
For all his mistakes with Iraq, dumping him now would probably gift us with a stereotypical “Big Military” DS.
Pentagon Is Asking Congress to Loosen Environmental Laws. No way, Jose; not for the nation’s most heinous polluter.
SF New Mexican:
For years, De Vargas Park has been a connection place, where anyone can find cheap labor for day work. The location just happens to be next to the NM Department of Labor, who have now made their parking lots off-limits.
NY Review of Books:
Humanitarianism Is Not Enough. Book review, ‘The Turbulent Decade’. “In particular it illustrates how wide the gap is between the sonorous resolutions of the Security Council and the situations that hard-pressed humanitarian workers and others often have to deal with in the field. It highlights the consequences of the Security Council’s periodic inability to act decisively in a critical situation, usually because of the opposition of one or another of its permanent members. Ms. Ogata’s book also reveals the understandable reluctance of governments to commit adequate forces to engage in violent and unpredictable situations that have little or no strategic interest for them. It demonstrates dramatically how much the UN’s performance in emergencies suffers from the absence of a highly trained, versatile, truly international, rapid deployment force that would be responsible to the Security Council itself and would therefore be instantly available when really needed, as it was, desperately, on several occasions ...”
Post mildly rewritten on further reflection, 5:11 PM.
Particularly hard questions at the end of the article.
If the Security Council gets tied in knots, what guarantees are there that this UN multinational force will ever be allowed to be efficacious in humanitarian or other crises? Would sovereign nations ever even get involved with a multinational force? Unless the UN can find a means to break the stultifying sovereign-nation self-interest inertia in the Security Council over humanitarian and other crises, I would hesitate to allow them sole validation of use of force. Yet there needs to be a system in place to prevent and answer wild-card sovereign actions. And one must appease the lunatic fringe who spend nights wetting the bed over fears of UN imperialism.
This is the Gordian knot that perhaps Mr Bush hopes Mr Bolton would slice through, rather than untie.
Given his record (and I think specifically of his behavior at the North Korean table), I know he’ll slice, but I fear the rope could never be gathered together again.
Or, to leave you with a pun on the subject of Mr Bolton cleanly slicing the Gordian knot of the United Nations ... “I’m a frayed knot.”
Energy boom is crowding ranchers. “The trend, causing tension across the American West, stems from the policy of “split estates” - where the owners of at least 50 million acres of private land have surface rights, while energy developers can own the mineral rights beneath or lease them from the federal government. That means scores of ranchers here in the Powder River basin may have little say over thousands wellheads that could soon proliferate.” Used to be, you owned the water, you owned the adjacent lands. The government is turning the tables; you own the mineral rights, you own the land. Could we see the rise of another Billy the Kid [Lincoln County War]? Like a burgeoning boeuf, I’m jess ruminatin’ ...
U.S. court dismisses Cheney energy task force case. ” He said the president may form a committee composed of only federal employees. The internal communications of such a group will remain confidential so long as the right to vote or a veto is not later given to nongovernmental employees, he said. Randolph said the energy task force met that requirement.” Judicial Watch comments.
Scientists snub Kansas evolution hearings. Rigged or not, if you don’t face down the Inquisition, the Inquisition will make your life hell. I would confront the opposition, not handicap myself or my cause.
NY Times Editorial:
Nature at bay. The Bush Administration seems to care more about the rape of nature, than nature itself. The Otero Mesa issue is an important one; if you’re at all familiar with the “Western Water Wars”, you’ll know that New Mexico has few options. When current water rights were set up, our neighboring states had similar numbers of congresspersons. Today, we’re grossly outnumbered. If we tried to renegotiate today, we’d get stripped of what little we have left. So we’re fighting for every drop we can.
Nuclear power sounds ‘great in theory’, but it has little effect on oil consumption.
Boom times for government contractors. Excuse the dry comment, but this is news?
“A group of 27 scientists, nuclear experts and former officials urged Japan Thursday to rethink a nearly completed plutonium reprocessing plant that could produce fuel for 1,000 warheads each year.” Like the world needs more processed plutonium. And where does the detritus get dumped?
Later: I had linked that last “get dumped” with W. Eugene Smith’s famous Minamata photograph. I’ve removed the link, and I’ll direct you to please read this article instead, “Tomoko Uemura, R.I.P.” I will not link the image again, and my apologies to the Uemuras. My intention was to link Japan, chemical dumping, and human rights via a uniquely impactful photograph.