February 06, 2007

Ice Cold World

It's gone from single digits to the minus teens in Madison over the last few days. Every time my roommate points this out to me, the hamster wheels just seize right up. I haven't been out of the house since I got back from D.C. Sunday night. I mean, I would have done, but my meeting got cancelled yesterday and there was enough food left in the fridge to stretch it for a day or so. But I think today tears it, I'm going to have to brave the Big Room. The fact that the globe is warming overall in no way diminishes my fear that I may spontaneously freeze to death here before tropical weather descends upon the great State of Wisconsin. At least the intertubes still work in the snow. (Snow! Ice is *falling from the sky* all over the place and not melting! Go ahead and laugh at me, I am.) So ...

Ampersand always has the coolest social justice link posts, with a smattering of international relations, religious issues, gay rights and a heavy dose of solid feminism.

Eschaton: Atrios explains why he regularly criticizes Joe Klein, a classic example of how the pundit welfare system has no basis in merit, good judgement or consistency of position. This is Klein being 'against the war' back when it really mattered.

Washington State Blogs: Horses' Ass catches the ambitious Luke Esser double-dipping, finds John McCain in a state of denial and asks Seattle voters to support school levies in their local elections. At Evergreen Politics, a plea for transit authorities to work on traffic bottlenecks, a real defense of procreative marriage for WA, and a collection of Libby trial links. Hominid Views writes about the Bush administration's plan to expand federal DNA databases, why the phrase 'Democrat Party' is really irritating and some good multimedia talking head rants. On The Road to 2008 brings us the NY Times' chief Iraq correspondent talking with Charlie Rose, talks about Exxon's record profits, shares a backgrounder on the court martial of Lt. Ehren Watada and the rejection of witnesses for the defense.

BBC: An Iranian diplomat has been kidnapped in Baghdad in the latest of what's become an escalation of aggression against Iranians in that country; while the U.S. claims that the use of official uniforms and ID was evidence of Iranian involvement in the recent kidnapping and execution of US military personnel from a government facility, the official storyline that's come along with this story holds that kidnappings conducted by people in official uniforms is so common in Baghdad as to be meaningless for the purposes of identifying perpetrators. A group of religious and charity organizations are pressuring Tony Blair to encourage the Bush administration to engage in talks with Iran. The neighborhood watch in Iraq. China, the world's second biggest generator of greenhouse gases, is blaming a brutal drought on global warming. Nepal's political unrest has opened the way for an increase in poaching and trafficking of endangered species from its many wildlife reserves and parks. The UK research community expects a huge boost in the productivity of their work from the opening of an enormous synchrotron microscope in South Oxfordshire. A portrait of two Pakistani 'honor' killers, an outbreak of bird flu near Islamabad and an armed attack at a Pakistani airport ends in the death of one attacker and the injury of the other three in a gun battle.

Common Dreams: Ralph Nader remembers Molly Ivins. Women in Afghanistan are a long way from equal, but they're being told that their safety and security are far, far down on the list of priorities. Why is it that so many people only tell the truth when they retire? Dick Cheney's investment fund manager criticizes the Bush-Cheney administration's energy and global warming policies.

Alternet: The threat of non-lethal weapons. A profile of David Axelrod, Barack Obama's top political advisor and a man who's ready to rumble. Annie Nelso claims that Prohibition was in part a way to kill alternative fuels way back when and says the country should be bringing on the biodiesel; good for recycling spare animal parts, used cooking oil, glycerin, seeds and all kind of other biological material. Unlike the eschatological fiction of Jenkins and LaHaye, it's the children that are left behind by Republican educational policies and funding deficits. An examination of outcomes would indicate that racial equality hasn't been achieved yet.

Hullaballoo: Sen. Feingold says that now is not the time for finesse on Iraq. Establishment Republicans fail the global warming IQ test on a massive scale, indicating their preference for the bulk of the human race to win a posthumous Darwin Award for irretrievably screwing up the ecosystem they depend on for, well, everything. The very useful delusions of Sen. Lieberman. How rightwing propaganda migrates into the mainstream of conventional journalistic wisdom.

AMERICAblog: The Texas GOP is going to fight the HPV vaccinations proposed by Texas' Republican Gov. Rick Perry to immunize young girls from the virus that causes cervical cancer. Snickers forced to pull homophobic ads from the web, but their explanation leaves a lot to be desired. Hillary Clinton caught confusing Iraq with 9-11, a rhetorical dodge that any sensible Democrat should be avoiding like the plague. Despite the filibustering and foot-dragging of Senate Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is determined to debate Iraq. David Broder, professional liar and chronically incorrect pundit, accuses Democrats of not liking the military.

Seeing the Forest: Challenge the conventional claims of market fundamentalism that corporatism and greed are really good for you, like vitamins or something. It shouldn't really be controversial, and it isn't among the well-heeled agitators of the political right, but activists need to make a living, too.

TruthOut: Bush's war budget proposal cuts healthcare to the poor and elderly by, among other things, trimming payments to care providers and children's services. The City of Orlando outlaws feeding the homeless; what would Jesus think? Nepal, which has long been caught in sort of a proxy war between India-supported Hindu nationalists and Chinese-supported Maoist rebels, is settling into increasingly dangerous ethnic faultlines.

Anecdotes from Nepal: A friend of mine is Nepalese and he and his Nepalese fiancee, both of whom live abroad, just returned home to celebrate their wedding with their families. They had to be taken back and forth from the airport in an ambulance. Their parents said an ambulance was the only moderately safe form of transportation in the capital of Kathmandu, where bus bombings and kidnappings for ransom are routine, if not daily, occurrences. Their friends abroad were told, begged really, not to come because the families said it was much too dangerous. This same friend explained previously that Nepalese are restricted when taking connecting flights through certain other Asian countries from leaving airports without very difficult-to-obtain permissions because there's a fear of a flood of asylum seekers from the war-torn country. Not that there's anything to see here. Move along.

Down by the Riverside motel,
It's 10 below and falling
By a 99 cent store
She closed her eyes
And started swaying
But it's so hard to dance that way
When it's cold and there's no music ...
- Hold On by Tom Waits

Posted by natasha at February 6, 2007 09:05 AM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |

Money talks. :::[Dick Cheney's money, Jeremy Grantham, talks. About global warming.]

Posted by: Wadard at February 10, 2007 05:38 AM