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In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 01:39:11 AM EST
Muslim graveyard vandalized - Jewish worshippers desecrate Palestinian cemetery, break tombstones, write 'Death to Arabs' on graves  - Israel News, Ynetnews
Dozens of Jewish worshippers desecrated a Muslim cemetery in a Palestinian village near Arial on Friday.

 The worshippers broke some tombstones, and wrote "Death to Arabs" on others. Noaf, a resident of a nearby village, said that the worshippers arrived at the cemetery escorted by soldiers.

 "Several of them entered a nearby Muslim cemetery, broke tombstones, and wrote things on them such as "Death to Arabs". I don't know exactly how many tombstones were desecrated. We were under curfew during their worship time, and they came and did this," he said.

 Rabbi Arik Asherman, head of Rabbis for Human Rights, denounced the incident. "As rabbis, we protest this desecration and are reminded of our pain when such acts are committed against us."

 According to an official IDF response, the entry of Jewish worshippers into the cemetery was authorized in order to allow them to visit the Yeshua Ben Nun tomb nearby.

 



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 01:41:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had a long comment prepared about the hypocrisy of this lunatic fringe, but it's too painful to post. The hypocrisy of those people who desecrated the cemetary is unbelievable.
by lychee on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 02:19:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Y'know, I still think that if Israel doens't stop their descent into demonisation of muslims and their treatment of them as untermenschen, sooner or later they will have significant politicians demanding a "Final Solution" to the palestinian problem.

These fascists are already baying on the fringes, they need to be wary.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 10:21:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Top Stories
  • "America is facing its worst summer drought since the Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression. Or perhaps worse still." "While some of this year's dry weather is cyclical... some of it portends more permanent changes."

  • "The Bush administration increasingly emphasized partisan political ties over expertise in recent years in selecting the judges who decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, despite laws that preclude such considerations... At least one-third of the immigration judges appointed by the Justice Department since 2004 have had Republican connections or have been administration insiders, and half lacked experience in immigration law".

USA
  • The U.S. military is making plans to be an ongoing "post-occupation" occupying force in Iraq.

    The centerpiece would be a reinforced mechanized infantry division of around 20,000 soldiers assigned to guarantee the security of the Iraqi government and to assist Iraqi forces or their U.S. advisers if they get into fights they can't handle. Second, a training and advisory force of close to 10,000 troops would work with Iraqi military and police units.
    Translation: 20,000 soldiers "assigned to guarantee the security of the Iraqi" oil. Interestingly -- "with only one major route from the country -- through southern Iraq to Kuwait -- it would take at least 3,000 large convoys some 10 months to remove U.S. military gear and personnel alone, not including the several thousand combat vehicles that would be needed to protect such an operation."

  • Gov. Bill Richardson would leave no U.S. troops in Iraq. "I would leave no troops in Iraq whatsoever... The difference between me and the other candidates is, they would leave troops there indefinitely, and I would not," he said.

  • Massachusetts' Gov. Deval Patrick "became the first governor to march in Boston's gay pride parade, days before an anticipated vote on a ballot question that could bar same-sex marriages."

  • Colin Powell now believes Guantįnamo Bay should be closed:

    If it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo. Not tomorrow, but this afternoon. I'd close it... And I would not let any of those people go... I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system. The concern was, well then they'll have access to lawyers, then they'll have access to writs of habeas corpus. So what? Let them. Isn't that what our system is all about?
    The only way to save yourself Powell, is to give evidence against the Bush junta. Powell has also twice given foreign policy advice to Sen. Barak Obama.

  • With Nevada's early primary, the state's gambling and entertainment industries are fundraising like never before. Since 2000, the gambling industry alone contributed $50 million since 2000. Small potatoes compared to other industries, but still...

  • "More than 26 million people worldwide have Alzheimer's disease, and a new forecast says the number will quadruple by 2050. At that rate, one in 85 people will have the brain-destroying disease in 40 years, researchers from Johns Hopkins University conclude."

  • Cindy Sheehan sold Camp Casey for $87,000 "to Los Angeles radio talk show host Bree Walker, who will preserve it as a peace memorial and keep it open to protesters."

  • "In choosing to recommend an admiral as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has for the second time given a high-profile job to someone from the Navy -- a service that has, for the most part, worked only on the fringes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." "The decision has caused some consternation within the other services, particularly the Army, which is doing the bulk of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. There also have been grumblings within the Air Force, whose only current regional command is in North America."

  • Sen. Mel Martinez, general chairman of the Republican Party, "criticized" his party's "presidential contenders Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney... saying their opposition to the Senate immigration plan he and President Bush have championed is 'wrong.'":

    I have to say, on this issue they are falling short... I think it's been too easy for too many people in the Senate and outside the Senate to simply criticize and find fault. No doubt that this is an imperfect product, but at the end of the day, what is your solution? What is your answer? ...The status quo is not good enough... And so whether a presidential candidate or a senator, they need to take the step beyond criticizing and offering a solution.

  • Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT-Warmonger) wants to "strike" Iran.

  • Alaska's congressional delegation will propose a seven-mile road easement through the 315,000-acre Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in exchange for adding "61,720 acres of protected wildlife habitat". The exchange "could become the nation's next big environmental showdown".

Africa
  • "The Hadzabe are believed to be the second-oldest people on Earth" and "one of the last remaining tribes of hunter-gatherers on the planet". They "number fewer than 1,500" and are on the "verge of vanishing" -- "unduly hastened by a United Arab Emirates royal family, which plans to use the tribal hunting land as a personal safari playground. The deal between the Tanzanian government and Tanzania UAE Safaris Ltd. leases nearly 2,500 square miles of this sprawling, yellow-green valley near the storied Serengeti Plain to members of the [Abu Dhabi] royal family, who chose it after a helicopter tour."

    "We want them to go to school," said Philip Marmo, who is Tanzania's minister for good governance and represents the valley in parliament. "We want them to wear clothes. We want them to be decent."

  • "Police in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, have defended their operations against the banned Mungiki sect, amid accusation they used excessive force."

  • "Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi urged the U.N. Security Council on Saturday to finance an African Union (AU) peacekeeping deployment to Somalia, so his troops can withdraw."

  • "President Idriss Deby appeared... to tone down Chad's resistance to deployment of an international military force on its volatile eastern border with Sudan's Darfur region."

Americas
  • "Two drunken soldiers shot dead six civilians, including a nine-year-old boy, after arguing with guests at a party in southern Colombia".

  • In Greenland, "the Jakobshavn Glacier... has doubled its speed in five years and every day dumps enough ice into the sea to supply 20 to 30 New York Cities with water." "Only in recent years did scientists conclude that sea levels are rising twice as fast as they had estimated, said H. Jay Zwally, a senior research scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md."

    "We are seeing things taking place in the ice now that weren't expected, that five years ago we didn't even know about," said Zwally, who will spend his 14th summer on the Greenland ice cap this year. "I think eventually Greenland will reach a point that the change is irreversible in the current climate."

  • "An estimated 3 million gays, lesbians, and transvestites paraded down the main avenue of Brazil's business capital Sao Paulo".

  • "More than one-quarter of... Rondōnia [State, Brazil] has been deforested the highest rate in the Amazon. Over the years, ranchers, miners and loggers have routinely invaded nature reserves and Indian reservations. Now a proposal to build an $11 billion hydroelectric project" on the Madeira River, which "may have the world's most diverse fish stocks, has set off a new controversy."

  • "Mexican and American officials are talking about how the U.S. government can do more to help Mexico battle drug trafficking" including training and intelligence information.

Europe
  • Admiral Sir Alan West, the former head of the British Royal Navy, " at the time of the Iraq invasion was so worried about the legality of the conflict that he sought his own private legal advice on justification for the war." He "approached lawyers to ask whether Navy and Royal Marines personnel might end up facing war crimes charges in relation to their duties in Iraq."

  • George W. Bush is welcomed by Albania. And, Albania is welcome to keep him.

  • Preliminary estimates give France's President Nicolas Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement "41.3 percent of the vote... a score that is expected to give the party between 360 and 470 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly... The main opposition camp, the Socialist Party, received an estimated 27.2 percent, putting it on course for 60 to 170 seats".

  • "Gordon Brown is preparing a radical shake-up of the Labour party designed to give members a say over policy and put them in the vanguard of community projects".

  • "The watchdog for teaching in England... call[ed] for all national school tests before the age of 16 to be scrapped."

  • "A gold-encrusted sword that Napoleon wore into battle in Italy was sold on Sunday for more than $6.4-million at an auction south of Paris."

Asia-Pacific
  • "Floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains in southern China have killed at least 66 people, left 12 others missing and forced nearly 600,000 from their homes... Four days of heavy rains have battered Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Fujian and Jiangxi provinces, affecting nearly nine million people".

  • Parti Islam se-Malaysia, "Malaysia's hardline Islamist party is reshaping its image ahead of widely expected early elections, trying to reach beyond its northeastern stronghold, but skeptics are looking for a true change of heart." The party is "banking on the younger leaders to lure back Muslim Malay support, but they still want "to turn multireligious Malaysia into an Islamic state".

  • "Suspected Islamic insurgents opened fire on a school bus... wounding nine people, including eight Muslim teenagers in Thailand's restive south".

  • "Southeast Asian nations are battling a surge in dengue cases, amid signs that climate change could make 2007 the worst year on record for a disease that often gets less attention than some higher-profile health risks."

  • "Research inside China found widespread abuse of workers producing licensed goods carrying the logo of the 2008 Beijing games." "Children and adult workers are being grossly exploited so that unscrupulous employers can make more profit," said Brendan Barber, general secretary of Britain's Trades Union Congress.

  • "House values across New Zealand grew 11.1 per cent more in the three months to May 31 than in the same quarter last year, ignoring efforts by the Reserve Bank to take the steam out of the property market."

  • "Dam levels are unlikely to rise significantly, despite up to 200 millimetres of rain falling on parts of Sydney and the Central Coast since Thursday. In a familiar refrain, the Sydney Catchment Authority said too little of it had fallen over the catchment area."

South Asia
  • Taliban "militants fired rockets on a district town... as President Hamid Karzai was giving an address to elders and residents during a visit to Ghazni Province," Afghanistan. "Afghan and NATO forces... killed 27 Taliban fighters in the Shinkay district of Zabul Province".

  • The number of tigers in India's Melghat reserve "are dropping steadily due to" human interference. "Villages inside the park are being relocated to avert further adverse impact."

Middle East
  • "With a thunderous rumble and cloud of dust and smoke, an apparent suicide vehicle bomb brought down a section of highway bridge south of Baghdad on Sunday, wounding several U.S. soldiers guarding the crossing and blocking traffic on Iraq's main north-south artery."

  • A "relative lull followed a day of heavy fighting" between the Lebanese Army and "the militant group Fatah al Islam" in the Nahr al Bared Palestinian refugee camp.

  • "Masked gunmen from rival Palestinian factions streamed onto the streets to fight their most intense battles in weeks on Sunday in the Gaza Strip, with the weekend toll rising to six dead and 59 wounded. Among the victims was a pro-Hamas Islamic cleric pulled from his home and shot several times in the street after a guard from the rival Fatah movement was shot and thrown to his death from a high building in Gaza City".

Space
  • The space shuttle Atlantis docked with the International Space Station. "A decision likely will be made in the next day or two" if "a peeled-back thermal blanket should be fixed" and if it should " done during one of three scheduled spacewalks or during an extra, unplanned one."

  • "The most massive star known in the universe has been discovered and 'weighed'... The star, part of a binary system, topped the scales at 114 times the mass of the sun."

Paleontology
  • A new "theory of how dinosaurs may have perceived sound" suggested "large dinosaurs' hearing was more sensitive to booms and thuds than squeaks and whistles... Brachiosaurus and Allosaurus probably could hear the deep-toned sounds of other dinosaurs' footfalls from miles away". But, "may have had little or no hearing at higher sound frequencies". Dinosaurs liked to crank the bass.

  • A "comet blast and firestorm could have dealt that death blow to the mammoth and more than 15 other species of large mammals" claimed scientists.

    "The shock wave would have spread across the whole continent," said Richard B. Firestone, a nuclear chemist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California who helped do the research. "This event was large enough to directly kill most everything instantly. Those that survived would have found their food sources devastated, their water polluted, all kinds of things that would have made it difficult to go on much longer."
    Yes, yesterday's OND claimed the woolly mammoths went extinct from inbreeding due to climate stresses.

By the numbers
by Magnifico on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 01:45:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The U.S. military is making plans to be an ongoing "post-occupation" occupying force in Iraq.

Sounds like The Enclave.

As for this

"with only one major route from the country -- through southern Iraq to Kuwait -- it would take at least 3,000 large convoys some 10 months to remove U.S. military gear and personnel alone, not including the several thousand combat vehicles that would be needed to protect such an operation."

it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 07:35:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well it's not like there isn't a precedent in this region

Kabul to Gandamak

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 08:11:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"We want them to go to school," said Philip Marmo, who is Tanzania's minister for good governance and represents the valley in parliament. "We want them to wear clothes. We want them to be decent."

We want them to learn to hunt from helicopters for entertainment like civilised decent people do, rather than running around and hunting for food like ignorant savages.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 08:07:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A "comet blast and firestorm could have dealt that death blow to the mammoth and more than 15 other species of large mammals" claimed scientists.

"The shock wave would have spread across the whole continent," said Richard B. Firestone, a nuclear chemist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California who helped do the research. "This event was large enough to directly kill most everything instantly. Those that survived would have found their food sources devastated, their water polluted, all kinds of things that would have made it difficult to go on much longer."

Yes, yesterday's OND claimed the woolly mammoths went extinct from inbreeding due to climate stresses.

But..I thought it was because they woulnd't fit on Noah's ark and so Noah's children had to bid goodbye to them and their dinosaur friends before The Flood.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 10:39:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Mammoth thing is interesting, but how about this?
The explosion may also have spelled the end for the Clovis culture, the prehistoric North Americans who hunted with distinctive stone spearheads that have been found in the bones of the fossils of mammoths and other animals, researchers said. While humans as a species survived the cataclysm, the Clovis culture and its relatively advanced stone tools did not endure.

"At many Clovis sites, like in Arizona and New Mexico, you get the Clovis tools up to the impact layer, and then they never go beyond it," Kennett said.



Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 10:51:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Powell will have to crawl on bended knee from one side of the continent to the other to atone for his silence during the commission of some of the worst acts of aggression since before International law was imagined.

Stupid, too-little, too-late nonsense like this are an insult to our all-too-vivid memories of every crime he covered up.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 10:42:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're talking about My Lai, right?

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 10:47:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That as well as everything else.

Interesting factoid : Calley was exposed only by a helicopter gunner, Ron Ridenhour, who was determined that he face justice. An interesting guy, who was part of the Milgram electric shock experiment. He was the only test subject who refused to administer any shocks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron...i/ Ron_Ridenhour


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 11:22:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The wrath of 2007: America's great drought - Independent Online Edition > Americas

America is facing its worst summer drought since the Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression. Or perhaps worse still.

From the mountains and desert of the West, now into an eighth consecutive dry year, to the wheat farms of Alabama, where crops are failing because of rainfall levels 12 inches lower than usual, to the vast soupy expanse of Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida, which has become so dry it actually caught fire a couple of weeks ago, a continent is crying out for water.

In the south-east, usually a lush, humid region, it is the driest few months since records began in 1895. California and Nevada, where burgeoning population centres co-exist with an often harsh, barren landscape, have seen less rain over the past year than at any time since 1924. The Sierra Nevada range, which straddles the two states, received only 27 per cent of its usual snowfall in winter, with immediate knock-on effects on water supplies for the populations of Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The human impact, for the moment, has been limited, certainly nothing compared to the great westward migration of Okies in the 1930 - the desperate march described by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath.

Big farmers are now well protected by government subsidies and emergency funds, and small farmers, some of whom are indeed struggling, have been slowly moving off the land for decades anyway. The most common inconvenience, for the moment, are restrictions on hosepipes and garden sprinklers in eastern cities.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 01:46:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The most common inconvenience, for the moment, are restrictions on hosepipes and garden sprinklers in eastern cities.

And thus nothing will be done for now.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 03:58:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Same in London and the English South East.

We have a drought and houses don't even have water meters: people pay a flat rate.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 04:30:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most houses built since 1987? or so in the South East do have a water meter in, particularly houses aimed at lower income families.

Strangely enough, articulate rich people have found ways around these planning regulations with some regularity.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 06:00:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In other words: metering for the poor, flat rate for the rich?

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 06:17:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Those lawns aren't cheap to maintain, and if they had to pay the full price they wouldn't be able to afford them.

So expecting them to pay makes no sense, clearly.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 08:08:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but in defence of the south East, it's only in the last couple of decades that rainfall patterns have changed to the extent that there are real threats to the aquifers.

That said, government has simply not reacted at all to the reality that they need to discourage development in the south east over this issue. That and the certainty that the Thames Barrier (or any proposed replacement) will be overwhelemed increasingly during this century means that any sensible country would be getting heck out of London, not encouraging even more.

In that context, water meters are like carbon offsets; missing the point entirely.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 10:56:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Down the line, though, there are serious questions about how to keep showers and lawn sprinklers going in the retirement communities of Nevada and Arizona.
Note the question is "how" not "whether".

It is certifiably insane to try to transpland the English grass lawn to Arizona, but that's exactly what the US suburban lifestyle is: certifiably insane.

When we lived in Southern California our landlady (who was a friend) told us that, since we didn't pay for water (!) we should just water the lawn as much as necessary. We were never able to keep the sprinklers running long enough to keep it green out of concern for the amount of wasted water, and it got green by itself every time it rained.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 07:41:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Across the West, farmers and city water consumers are locked in a perennial battle over water rights - one that the cities are slowly winning.

...

In the south-east, the crisis is immediate - and may be alleviated at any moment by the arrival of the tropical storm season. In Georgia, where the driest spring on record followed closely on the heels of a devastating frost, farmers are afraid they might lose anywhere from half to two-thirds of crops such as melons and the state's celebrated peaches. Many cities are restricting lawn sprinklers to one hour per day - and some places one hour only every other day.

The victory of lifestyle over food.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 07:43:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We really need to develop some alternative status signifiers that don't waste useful resources so stupidly.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 07:46:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And make resource wastage a source of social shame.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 07:49:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
precisely because it is obvious to everybody that it is waste?

As in: 'I know it, you know it, and you cannot do anything about it'?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 07:57:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, but we could move it into more useful waste of money, not resources like water. Maybe start a craze for intricate locally hand-crafted totem poles from locally grown woods.

The point about lawns was that in the 18th C (or whenever they originate - I forget) only the rich could afford them because they were labour intensive. Now almost anyone can afford them and they're not a good signifier of wealth at all: they've become a signifier of decency instead.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 08:09:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that the underlying currency isn't conspicuous consumption, so much as freedom from the constraints of nature, and from the influence of others.

Western culture is predominantly solipsistic, and what's valued isn't so much the acquisition of stuff for its own sake, but the fact that the stuff signifies distance from the physical and social world.

This is what neolibs call freedom. It's not about politics or free speech, it's about doing whatever you feel like doing without having to pay any attention to the consequences for other people.

Success means never having to say you're sorry to anyone, for any reason.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 08:15:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Southern California, the signifier of decency should be having drought-resistant plants in your yard. But as you point out, to be decent you have to be high-maintenance.

Other examples of the "English lawn": the tennis court, and the football pitch. And then the "Scottish hills" that Golf is played on. Golf courses are even more obscene, with their fake river meanders and sand banks. Especially in California, Arizona or Southern Spain.

Re: football pitch. I used to be horrified by the thought of artificial grass (as is used for American football). Maybe that's actually a decent solution.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 08:20:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Artificial grass is a decent alternative, assuming that the resource usage involved making it is sensible.

Golf is just an obscenity, except in areas where it's sort of close to the "natural" landscape. (Since the natural landscape in those parts of the world is pretty much trees coast to coast.)

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 08:31:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Lawn is well worth a read.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 09:28:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Approximately 50-70 percent of American residential water is used for landscaping, most of it to water lawns.

Eeep.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 09:35:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I guess in case of need they can make lawn-salad.
by Fran on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 09:36:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I like this one
Virginia Scott Jenkins, in her book The Lawn: A History of an American Obsession (1994), traces the desire to kill weeds historically. She notes that the current rage for a chemically-dependent lawn emerged after World War II, and argues that "American front lawns are a symbol of man's control of, or superiority over, his environment."
I think TBG is right and this is not entirely about status.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 09:42:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, some of it is our bizarre cleanliness/control fetish and/or our bizarre conceit that there is a dividing line between the natural and the human. But that doesn't need grass: gravel or something would do fine.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 09:47:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not the signifier that's the problem, it's the mindset it signifies.

You can change the mindset, but it's going to take time, and a massive and probably quite unpleasant retooling of the entire Western value set.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 08:10:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not a "Western" value set at all. Status competition is universal across mainstream human culture.

It is the signifier that matters.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 08:12:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but I'm suggesting there's a reason why one signifier is chosen over another.

And if you change that reason, it's easier to change the signifier to something less damaging.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 11:17:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
when I was in LA I was amazed at how the sprinklers would be on most of the night and in the mornings the roads would be running with water.

All I could think was "this is a desert area, where you're taking water from cannot possibly sustain this"
But LA was built upon the conceit of stealing water from the Central Rockies. Mulholland was a cheating shark and Central California is paying for it.

And now that the population is so huge there is the situation of you can either have the cities keep growing wastefully surrounded by desert, or you limit the waste in the cities and keep the agriculture.
I'm not sure that either is sustainable if these rainfall patterns continue, but if the city is preferred the crunch is gonna come a lot sooner.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 10:51:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scotsman.com News - Latest News - Russia calls for new economic world order

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Sunday for the creation of a new world economic order that gives greater clout to fast-growing emerging nations.

Days after attending a Group of Eight summit in Germany, Putin suggested that club was outdated and failed to reflect a shift in economic power away from the industrialised West to countries like his own.

"If 50 years ago, 60 pct of the world's gross domestic product came from the G7, now it's the other way round, and 60 percent of the world's GDP is produced outside," Putin said in a speech to a major economic conference.

He also took aim at financial organisations such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, saying they were created in "a completely different reality" and had lost relevance in the fast-changing global economy.

Russia is enjoying an unprecedented spell of economic growth that has enabled it to pay down its foreign debts and accumulate foreign exchange reserves of over $400 billion -- the world's third largest.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 01:48:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shorter Putin: you want to throw Russia out of the G8? Couldn't care less.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 04:13:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Immigration Judges Often Picked Based On GOP Ties - washingtonpost.com

The Bush administration increasingly emphasized partisan political ties over expertise in recent years in selecting the judges who decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, despite laws that preclude such considerations, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

At least one-third of the immigration judges appointed by the Justice Department since 2004 have had Republican connections or have been administration insiders, and half lacked experience in immigration law, Justice Department, immigration court and other records show.

Two newly appointed immigration judges were failed candidates for the U.S. Tax Court nominated by President Bush; one fudged his taxes and the other was deemed unqualified to be a tax judge by the nation's largest association of lawyers. Both were Republican loyalists.

Justice officials also gave immigration judgeships to a New Jersey election law specialist who represented GOP candidates, a former treasurer of the Louisiana Republican Party, a White House domestic policy adviser and a conservative crusader against pornography.

These appointments, all made by the attorney general, have begun to reshape a system of courts in which judges, ruling alone, exercise broad powers -- deporting each year nearly a quarter-million immigrants, who have limited rights to appeal and no right to an attorney. The judges do not serve fixed terms.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 06:59:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, if only the democrats in Washington could muster any sense of outrage over this. If they could only give even a muted signal that they suspect this might not be a good idea.

Instead, they acquiesce in a business-as-usual Beltway CW way that simply undermines anybody's confidence that they have any comprehension about why people in the rest of the US are disgusted with their government.

I guess that, like the Unitary Excutive, they like the idea so much they can't wait to do it themselves.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 11:00:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh good, more guns dept.:

U.S. Arming Sunnis in Iraq to Battle Old Qaeda Allies - New York Times

BAGHDAD, June 10 -- With the four-month-old increase in American troops showing only modest success in curbing insurgent attacks, American commanders are turning to another strategy that they acknowledge is fraught with risk: arming Sunni Arab groups that have promised to fight militants linked with Al Qaeda who have been their allies in the past.

American commanders say they have successfully tested the strategy in Anbar Province west of Baghdad and have held talks with Sunni groups in at least four areas of central and north-central Iraq where the insurgency has been strong. In some cases, the American commanders say, the Sunni groups are suspected of involvement in past attacks on American troops or of having links to such groups. Some of these groups, they say, have been provided, usually through Iraqi military units allied with the Americans, with arms, ammunition, cash, fuel and supplies.

American officers who have engaged in what they call outreach to the Sunni groups say many of them have had past links to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia but grew disillusioned with the Islamic militants' extremist tactics, particularly suicide bombings that have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians. In exchange for American backing, these officials say, the Sunni groups have agreed to fight Al Qaeda and halt attacks on American units. Commanders who have undertaken these negotiations say that in some cases, Sunni groups have agreed to alert American troops to the location of roadside bombs and other lethal booby traps.

But critics of the strategy, including some American officers, say it could amount to the Americans' arming both sides in a future civil war. The United States has spent more than $15 billion in building up Iraq's army and police force, whose manpower of 350,000 is heavily Shiite. With an American troop drawdown increasingly likely in the next year, and little sign of a political accommodation between Shiite and Sunni politicians in Baghdad, the critics say, there is a risk that any weapons given to Sunni groups will eventually be used against Shiites. There is also the possibility the weapons could be used against the Americans themselves.




The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 07:05:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kinda like statistics.

There's dumb, dumber and american military tactics

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 11:01:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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