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August 24, 2007
Miscellany

I've been informed by a Usually Reliable Source that my problems sleeping last night might have been connected to a huge storm that apparently moved through the area in the wee hours. (There was, not unusually, snow in the high country.) It must have been a doozie. Nothing wakes me up at night. (Although, clearly, I wasn't awake enough to comprehend what it was that woke me.)

And, speaking of storms, I've been thinking about New Orleans. Specifically about a National Geographic article I just read, detailing how the city, largely destroyed by floods and hurricanes 27 times since it was founded, is and will remain in danger. At first, I was all over the idea of rebuilding. Now? I'm not so sure it's wise.

Wild weather and flooding in the Midwest are claiming a lot of newsspace this week, along with light-hearted stories about how stranded partiers got 'hammered' on cheap drinks. Not so much attention to the 50,000 people displaced by flooding in Uganda.

Among the things I, myself, have wondered about recently has been why everyone got so up in arms about that athlete apparently being involved in some kind of dog-fighting ring. (I wasn't interested and paid little attention until I noticed the story kept coming back day after day.) Earl calls it hysteria (and blames the widespread news coverage on racism) and Sandra adds her two cents' worth that Vick would have been better off beating his wife. (And certain rightwingnuts even recommend it.)

All that aside, I think the BBC got it right. What we have here is yet another example of the increasingly violent nature of USofA society.

US forces battle Baghdad militia
I'm just saying. Four years later and we're still "liberating" the same city? Forgive me for mentioning how many of us in the world o'blog told you so back before the invasion.

I don't suppose the White House & Friends have any understanding of just why it's not working out. (I might suggest their--should I call it rampant Christian bloodthirst--more politely, their gross failure to offer the slightest lip-service to "cultural sensitivity" as a factor. Any Administration that could even begin to contemplate actually turning the USofA's armed forces into a Christian missionary force, and I don't for a second imagine that the "crusade" aspect didn't amuse a lot of the planners, was doomed to failure from Day One.)

(And, speaking of war, I see The Guardian taking Georgie to task for invoking the spectre of the war he didn't want to fight.)

I'm starting to remember why I gave up political blogging. This is all so depressing....

I dunno if I agree with this Yes, I'd have qualified (easily, I might add), but I've always had doubts about what I.Q. really measures, and iwhat value it really offers as a marker of superiority. Giving free higher education to those with high I.Q.s? Strikes me as of dubious worth. I'd imagine that Germany, like most countries, would benefit more in the long run from making better education available to the striving poor.

Those wacky Russians are at it again. Apparently the North Pole is now theirs.)

Also, from The Guardian, here's a funny to wrap up with. (#3 is my favorite.)

Posted by AnneZook at 08:49 AM


Comments

I have mixed feelings about the Vick story. I don't entirely understand the "racism" charge (though it's interesting that it's got so much more traction than the older Romney-tied-dog-to-roof-of-moving-car story), but fundamentally Americans are really funny when it comes to animals. We're abusive on an industrial scale (even to dogs), but individual acts of cruelty are treated more or less like child abuse.

I live in a part of the world where cock-fighting is still popular, and I suspect that dog fighting is as well, judging by the popularity of fighting-class dogs. I don't know that Vick's story has gotten the play here that it's gotten elsewhere, either: it's in the obligatory spots in the Sport section, but not highlighted the way it has been on NPR, etc.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at August 24, 2007 01:14 PM

It was all over the nightly news and seemed to be headlining a lot of the online sites I was checking, for much longer than I thought the story was worth.

I'm happy that people are so invested in protecting animals.

It's a bit of a pity they can't funnel some of that energy into caring about protecting kids or something. The story of the kid locked in a closet and starved to death got 1/10th the news coverage--maybe because a major sports figure wasn't involved.

Posted by: Anne at August 27, 2007 09:45 AM