Pony Party: Welcome to the Monkey House

levitra senza ricetta Sicilia Good morning!!

I hope those of you more familiar with DocuDharma will indulge me as I take a minute to explain what the heck a Pony Party is. 

Pony Parties should appear in the ‘Recent Essays’ section of your DocuDharma Front Page 3 times a day, 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. Eastern.  They serve as open fora, so feel free to ‘pimp’ an essay, say hello, vent, or throw up a plethora of ponies and pooties.  Basically, the floor is yours. 

They appear in the essay column, and due to their frequency and the additional open fora that will appear on the Front Page (more on that later), are meant to scroll away.  So please, don’t recommend the Pony Party essay.  I know it’s tough.  We’re nice people, and we like to give acknowledgment.  Trust me, we won’t take it personally.  But you know who might?  The person who gets bumped off of the Recommended Essays list by a Pony Party.  Put yourself in his/her shoes.

enter site On the Front Page, you will see

Also for your chatting pleasure-

Monday – Friday 6 am http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=buy-cialis-in-canada Muse in the Morning– Robyn Serven favors us with some art and poetry.  This is an Open Thread.

7:30 am http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=dove-acquistare-il-levitra-contrassegno The Morning News– I’ll be handling this for now.  This is an Open Thread.

4:00 pm follow url 4 at 4– Magnifico gives us just 4 stories of importance.  This is an Open Thread.

Monday – Thursday 12 midnight http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=levitra-cheap Midnight Cowboy– pinche tejano provides some late night thoughts.  This is a semi-Open Thread.

…as defined by our own ekhornbeck, here

.

[editorial note…as you can see, we here at DocuDharma have our priorities straight…we take our art and poetry before our news

propecia tablets prescriptions Since I ‘borrowed’ this morning’s title from the venerable Kurt Vonnegut, I’ll leave you with some of his words this morning:

vardenafil senza ricetta Sicilia “A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”~Sirens of Titan

order cialis on line “I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, ‘The Beatles did’.”~Timequake, 1997

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=vardenafil-20-mg-prezzo And since Kurt invokes The Beatles, some morning Harrison:

http://acrossaday.com/?search=cheap-real-cialis So, without further ado, the floor is yours…..
-73v, over and out

The Morning News

Buy generic clomid 25mg online From Yahoo News THE TOP STORY

Another powerful quake shakes Indonesia
By ANTHONY DEUTSCH, Associated Press Writer
16 minutes ago

PADANG, Indonesia – The second powerful earthquake in as many days shook western Indonesia Thursday, collapsing buildings in a coastal city and triggering tsunami alerts around the region. The latest quake was also felt in Malaysia and in Singapore where tall buildings swayed. It triggered at least one strong aftershock.

On Wednesday, a strong earthquake shook Southeast Asia, collapsing buildings, killing at least five people and injuring dozens in Indonesia. That tremor triggered a small non-destructive tsunami off the coastal city of Padang on Sumatra, the Indonesian island ravaged by the 2004 tsunami disaster. A tsunami warning was issued for wide areas of the region and nations as far away as Africa.

Thursday’s magnitude-7.8 quake rattled the same area of Sumatra.

From Yahoo News More Top Stories

Democrats reject general’s Iraq plan
By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer
18 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – A day before President Bush’s war address, Senate Democrats rejected a four-star general’s recommendation to keep some 130,000 troops in Iraq through next summer and sought legislation that would limit the mission of U.S. forces.

Their proposal was not expected to set a deadline to end the war, as many Democrats want, but restrict troops to narrow objectives: training Iraq’s military and police, protecting U.S. assets and fighting terrorists, Democratic party officials told The Associated Press.

The goal is to attract enough Republicans to break the 60-vote threshold in the Senate needed to end a filibuster. Democrats have proved unable to do that since they took control of Congress eight months ago.

Japan ruling party seeks new leader after PM quits
By Teruaki Ueno, Reuters
28 minutes ago

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s ruling party scrambled on Thursday to find a new leader and avoid a policy vacuum after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s shock resignation the previous day.

Abe had said he was quitting over the stalemate in parliament but senior officials said health problems were also a factor, and public broadcaster NHK reported that the prime minister had been admitted to hospital after medical checks.

Abe’s year in office has been marked by scandals involving cabinet members and a disastrous election defeat in July.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

No hate crime charges in torture case
By SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 45 minutes ago

BIG CREEK, W.Va. – Authorities decided Wednesday not to pursue hate crime charges in the kidnapping and weeklong torture of a black woman, instead going after the suspects, who are white, on state charges that carry stiffer penalties.

While federal civil rights or state hate crime charges remain an option, a state kidnapping count that carries a sentence of up to life in prison will provide the best chance for successful prosecution, officials said.

“As a practical matter, sentenced to life, what else can be done?” U.S. Attorney Charles T. Miller told The Associated Press.

Candidates’ divide on Iraq war widens
By AMY LORENTZEN and MIKE GLOVER, Associated Press Writers
41 minutes ago

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton pressed Wednesday for greater troop withdrawals from Iraq, while Republican John McCain sought to win the hearts and minds of voters in favor of staying the course.

After two days of congressional testimony from Gen. David Petraeus, the military commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, the gap between the positions of the candidates on the war, the campaign’s top issue, was as great as ever and may even be widening.

McCain, who has begun to inch back up in opinion polls after suffering serious setbacks to his candidacy this summer, spent his second day traversing Iowa in a bus festooned with a banner that said it all: “No Surrender.”

Ex-priest pleads guilty in fraud case
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 49 minutes ago

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A former priest pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his church by setting up secret bank accounts to pay for a life of luxury, including traveling around the world and buying a condominium.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay, who resigned last year as pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church, pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud. He faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and must pay restitution.

Prosecutors said Fay took between $1 million and $2.5 million over seven years, but the priest has disputed that. He admitted taking between $400,000 and $1 million.

I plead Stars Hollow on this story.

Ebola said depleting gorilla populations
By ERICA BULMAN, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 59 minutes ago

GENEVA – The most common type of gorilla is now “critically endangered,” one step away from global extinction, according to the 2007 Red List of Threatened Species released Wednesday by the World Conservation Union.

The Ebola virus is depleting Western Gorilla populations to a point where it might become impossible for them to recover.

Commercial hunting, civil unrest and habitat loss due to logging and forest clearance for palm oil plantations are compounding the problem, said the Swiss-based group known by its acronym IUCN.

Bush rating on Iraq improves, new poll finds
Reuters
Wed Sep 12, 8:37 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Approval of President George W. Bush’s handling of the Iraq war has risen, according to a poll released on Wednesday on the eve of a speech by Bush in which he is expected to endorse a plan for a gradual troop withdrawal.

Just 30 percent of Americans approve of Bush’s handling of Iraq, but that was an 8-point jump from July, said the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

The boost came primarily from Republicans, men and independents, NBC reported.

Russian government quits, Putin succession heats up
by Sebastian Smith, AFP
Wed Sep 12, 1:48 PM ET

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed his prime minister and government Wednesday, paving the way for the Kremlin leader to handpick a successor when he steps down next year.

The replacement of Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov with a barely known finance official, Viktor Zubkov, came three months before parliamentary elections and less than six months ahead of a presidential poll to replace Putin.

The lower house of parliament is expected on Friday to rubber stamp the nomination of Zubkov, head of the government’s financial crimes investigation agency and a former Soviet state farm manager.

British meat back in disease quarantine
by Robin Millard, AFP
Wed Sep 12, 4:40 PM ET

LONDON (AFP) – A new outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease among cattle was confirmed in Britain on Wednesday, prompting the European Union to reimpose a ban on British meat exports.ADVERTISEMENT

The new case was discovered close to a farm south of London where an outbreak was first reported last month.

Restrictions imposed then were only lifted four days ago and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) imposed a new England-wide ban on the movement of cattle, sheep, pigs and other ruminants.

Iraq hearings look beyond Bush presidency
By Howard LaFranchi, The Christian Science Monitor
Wed Sep 12, 4:00 AM ET

Washington – With the US commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, offering to make small reductions in US troop levels starting this year, and with no sign of a GOP exodus from US policy on Iraq, President Bush probably has the political space he needs to avoid a drawn-out battle with Congress over Iraq.

That means the big decisions about post-“surge” policy are very likely to be left to the next president. And that made Tuesday’s Senate hearings with General Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, US ambassador to Iraq, all the more telling, almost like a presidential debate – not least because five candidates for US president were among the senators offering their takes on Iraq.

Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker made the case for more time for the US escalation in Iraq before the Senate as they had before House committees on Monday, knowing that pressure from Congress for setting a timetable for a US withdrawal has subsided. The result was that the congressional discussion seemed to be more about post-Bush visions than short-term planning.

GOP hopes for Senate dwindle in ’08
By Linda Feldmann, The Christian Science Monitor
Wed Sep 12, 4:00 AM ET

Washington – If the Republicans had any notion they might hold onto the 49 Senate seats they currently control – or even, in their wildest dreams, recapture control of the 100-seat chamber – those thoughts have vanished.

The retirement announcements of Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and John Warner of Virginia put two safe Republican seats in play, and with strong Democrats waiting in the wings, they could wind up in the “D” column. There’s more than a year to go before the November 2008 elections, but political prognosticators are already predicting several Democratic pickups in the Senate.

“I can see [the Democrats] getting to 55, and if it’s a stretch, 56,” says Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia who tracks every race.

From Yahoo News Most Popular, Most Emailed

‘Killer bees’ descend on New Orleans
Associated Press
Wed Sep 12, 3:48 AM ET

MERAUX, La. – Africanized honeybees, a fierce hybrid strain sometimes referred to as “killer bees,” appear to have established themselves in the New Orleans area, the state agriculture commissioner said.

A swarm of the bees was captured about five miles from where demolition workers found a colony of Africanized bees in January, commissioner Bob Odom said Tuesday.

The most recent find was close enough to the earlier find that the bees might have come from the same colony. But they might also have flown ashore from a passing ship or barge, Odom said in a news release.

From Yahoo News World

Putin’s Surprise Power Play
By YURI ZARAKHOVICH/MOSCOW, Time Magazine
Wed Sep 12, 5:00 PM ET

A few hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin fired his cabinet on Wednesday, a savvy Russian official was sitting over lunch, predicting that just such a move was imminent. But like almost everyone else, he expected that the new Prime Minister – and thus heir apparent to Putin, who is barred by Russia’s constitution from running for a third term when presidential elections are held next year – would be one of his two deputy prime ministers. “Putin won’t be altering the succession pattern, because the people are used to this,” the official said. “He’ll nominate Sergei Ivanov as Prime Minister.”

Instead, Putin confounded expectations by picking financial-crime investigator Viktor Zubkov to take over from Mikhail Fradkov as Prime Minister. Zubkov is head of the Financial Monitoring Committee, responsible for overseeing the movement of money in Russia. Speaker of the Duma Boris Gryzlov hastened to give assurances that Zubkov would be confirmed without a hitch this Friday.

White House seeks tougher Iran sanctions
By Matthew Schofield and Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers
Wed Sep 12, 8:15 PM ET

VIENNA, Austria – Leading European nations on Wednesday stopped short of endorsing a United Nations plan to ease tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, and the United States called a six-nation meeting next week to discuss imposing tougher U.N. sanctions on Iran’s government.

The deal struck last month between Iran and the Vienna -based International Atomic Energy Agency calls on Tehran to answer questions about its past nuclear activities. But it doesn’t demand that Iran stop enriching uranium, as Western nations have demanded.

At a special meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors here, European nations offered tepid support for the deal.

U.S. officials confirm Israel strike on Syria
By Kristin Roberts, Reuters
Wed Sep 12, 7:06 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials on Wednesday confirmed Israel launched air strikes against Syria last week and said they were to target weapons Israel believes were headed for the militant group Hezbollah.

One defense official dismissed speculation Israel had aimed for any nuclear-related target. Two others said the target included weapons Israeli and U.S. officials have said Iran provides to Hezbollah through Syria.

“They saw a weapons flow,” one official said, referring to weapons caches intended for Hezbollah, which fired thousands of rockets into Israel during a 36-day conflict last year.

Iran leader denies interference in Iraq
By NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 25 minutes ago

TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday rejected the congressional testimony of the top U.S. officials in Iraq accusing Iran of interfering in its war-torn neighbor.

He also said the Islamic Republic could help in Iraq if the U.S. and British governments stopped alleging it is fighting a proxy war there by arming Shiite Muslim militias accused of attacking coalition forces and Sunni Arabs.

In an interview on Iranian state television, Ahmadinejad said Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker raised allegations of Iranian meddling solely because of the political debate within the United States over the war in Iraq.

From Yahoo News U.S. News

The Republicans Flunk Spanish
By JAY NEWTON-SMALL/WASHINGTON, Time Magazine
Wed Sep 12, 5:40 PM ET

To many casual political observers, it may have seemed remarkable that seven of the eight Democratic presidential candidates showed up in Miami on Sunday for the nation’s first Spanish-language debate. But the more extraordinary thing is that only one G.O.P. candidate is apparently willing to take part in a Republican follow-up.

The Univision debate showed the growing power of Latino voters; it also showed how that group – which has the potential to swing electorally crucial states like Florida, Nevada and New Mexico – is trending increasingly Democratic. Univision invited all of the G.O.P. candidates to the same forum next week. But only one, Senator John McCain of Arizona, accepted the invitation and the debate has been indefinitely postponed.

That kind of snub wouldn’t have seemed possible only three years ago. President George W. Bush won reelection in 2004, in part, due to historic Latino support for a Republican candidate. Fulfilling the dream of Karl Rove, his former top political adviser, Bush drew nearly 40% of the Latino vote, double that of any previous G.O.P. presidential nominee.

Petraeus Under Heavy Fire
By MARK THOMPSON / WASHINGTON, Time Magazine
Wed Sep 12, 5:40 PM ET

It took three hearings before General David Petraeus finally got asked the most important question: Is the Iraq war, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee inquired at Tuesday afternoon’s session, “making America safer?” Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, was uncharacteristically uncertain. “Sir,” he said, “I don’t know, actually.” For many watching, that answer was a stark indictment of the Bush Administration’s conduct of the war over the past four years, and the logic behind it. It may also have been taken as a slap in the face by family members of the 3,774 Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in this conflict.

But more critical than Petraeus’ unsettling answer was the questioner – G.O.P. Senator John Warner of Virginia, who recently announced his impending retirement after 30 years in the Senate. Earlier in his career, Warner had served as a Marine and as Navy secretary. While the courtly Virginian didn’t react openly to Petraeus’ answer, it plainly marked yet another demerit in the book of those lawmakers increasingly careful in weighing their support for the war.

Sixth Graders Take on Wall Street
By STEVEN GRAY/CHICAGO, Time Magazine
Tue Sep 11, 11:00 PM ET

On a recent afternoon at an elementary school on Chicago’s South Side, eighth grader Victoria Bills is sitting in the boardroom. A rendering of the New York Stock Exchange dominates one wall, fronted by a bear and a bull. On another wall are four clocks showing the time in London, Tokyo, New York and Chicago. It’s the first day of school, and Victoria is considering potential investments. In particular: How Mattel’s toy recall is impacting the company’s stock price.

It’s hardly a typical 13-year-old’s concern. But then, Ariel Community Academy is unusual. Its 420 students, nearly all black and about 81% from low-income families, are testing an intriguing proposition: Can teaching urban black kids finance and economics help some of them escape poverty – and shake African-American skepticism about Wall Street?

Despite the growth of the black middle class, the percentage of affluent blacks investing in the stock market is actually falling, while such investment by their white peers remains steady. That’s partly because blacks have historically relied on real estate as a primary wealth builder. Plus, blacks save far less than whites for retirement. That’s why John W. Rogers Jr., CEO of the company that backs the academy, says, “The issue of financial literacy in our schools will hopefully avert a crisis.”

US museum unaware of Kenyan request for maneating lions
AFP
Wed Sep 12, 6:51 PM ET

CHICAGO (AFP) – A US museum said Wednesday it has not received any request from Kenya to return the remains of two lions that killed at least 140 Indian workers in the 1890s before being shot by a famed British railway engineer.

Kenyan officials said Monday that they planned to use international protocols to repatriate the lions, which are considered part of the country’s heritage.

The killing of the railway workers by the infamous “Maneaters of Tsavo” over a nine-month period briefly halted the construction of the Kenya-Uganda line, a project so perilous it was dubbed the “Lunatic Express.”

US lawmakers vow tighter laws on Chinese-made toys
AFP
Wed Sep 12, 5:18 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US lawmakers on Wednesday vowed to enact stricter legislation to prevent potentially dangerous Chinese-made toys from being sold in America, as leading toy firms said safety checks were being boosted.

Lawmakers voiced concern at a congressional hearing over recent mass toy recalls by Mattel and other toy groups affecting millions of Chinese-made toys tarnished with lead paint or other safety defects.

“‘Made in China’ has now become a warning label,” Republican Senator Sam Brownback said at a Senate Financial Services and General Government subcommittee hearing on Chinese-made toys.

Raucous long goodbye for Tony Snow
By Tabassum Zakaria, Reuters
Wed Sep 12, 5:55 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House press secretary Tony Snow jousted with reporters in his final televised briefing on Wednesday, which turned raucous when reporters in back rows protested they were not allowed questions before it was called to a close.

“This is your last briefing. You want to go out well,” one reporter yelled.

“Please, be as rude as you want,” President George W. Bush’s spokesman said.

Life expectancy in U.S. rises to all-time high of 78
By Will Dunham, Reuters
Wed Sep 12, 12:44 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Life expectancy in the United States has increased to almost 78 years, the country’s highest on record, amid a downturn in deaths from heart disease, cancer and stroke, according to new federal estimates published on Wednesday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said preliminary figures for 2005 showed an increase in the U.S. infant mortality rate from the previous year, although it called the rise statistically insignificant. Black babies under age 1 remained far more likely to die than white babies.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics said in a report that a child born in the United States in 2005 can expect to live 77.9 years, up from 77.8 in 2004 and continuing a rise dating back decades. U.S. life expectancy was 75.8 years in 1995 and 69.6 years in 1955.

From Yahoo News Politics

Edwards buys ad to rebut Bush on Iraq
By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 43 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – In the clamor of Democrats assailing President Bush on Iraq, presidential candidate John Edwards has found a way to be heard after Bush addresses the nation Thursday night: He’s buying time for a rebuttal.

Edwards has bought two minutes of air time on MSNBC, scheduled to air after Bush’s 15-minute televised speech from the White House at 9 p.m. EDT.

Bush is expected to announce plans to reduce the American troop presence in Iraq by up to 30,000 by next summer, but say that he will condition those and further cuts on continued progress.

Romney challenges rivals’ experience
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer
Wed Sep 12, 8:02 PM ET

WASHINGTON – Republican Mitt Romney, a former one-term governor with a thin foreign-policy resume, argued Wednesday that the Senate tenures of his top Democratic presidential rivals don’t automatically make them qualified to address world affairs.

“Sitting on committees in Washington does not guarantee that someone has the skills to solve the problems on the international stage,” Romney told The Associated Press in a telephone interview while campaigning in Midland, Texas.

He suggested that his comments did not apply to GOP opponent John McCain, a four-term Arizona senator who Romney said has “led in many ways,” including his service in the Navy. Rather, he singled out Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

Petraeus says Iran involvement in attacks ‘clear’
AFP
Wed Sep 12, 2:18 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The top US commander in Iraq said Wednesday there was hard evidence of Iranian involvement in attacks on US soldiers but demurred on whether US forces should respond with operations inside Iran.

General David Petraeus said the evidence included captured hard drives that contained digitized items taken from the wallet of a US soldier killed in an assault in January in Karbala along with four other US soldiers.

“The evidence is very, very clear,” Petraeus told a news conference here. “We captured it when we captured Qais Khazali, the Lebanese Hezbollah deputy commander and others. And it’s in black and white.”

Six powers to discuss sanctions against Iran in Washington
AFP
Wed Sep 12, 4:21 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The six major powers working to resolve the controversy surrounding Iran’s nuclear program will discuss a draft UN sanctions text September 21 in Washington, the State Department said Wednesday.

The meeting will be held at the level of foreign ministry policy coordinators, said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

Nicholas Burns, the department’s number three official, “is going to be hosting next week here in Washington a political directors’ meeting of the P5+1 and I expect the meeting will be centered largely on discussions of what sanctions would be in the next resolution.”

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

The muses are ancient.  The inspirations for our stories were said to be born from them.  Muses of song and dance, or poetry and prose, of comedy and tragedy, of the inward and the outward.  In one version they are Calliope, Euterpe and Terpsichore, Erato and Clio, Thalia and Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Urania.

It has also been traditional to name a tenth muse.  Plato declared Sappho to be the tenth muse, the muse of women poets.  Others have been suggested throughout the centuries.  I don’t have a name for one, but I do think there should be a muse for the graphical arts.  And maybe there should be many more.

Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…

State of the Onion V

Art Link
Sensory Input

A Teacher

What more could
anyone want to be
than a studier
learning what one wants
or needs to learn
so that one can
learn more
each nugget of wisdom
parsed again and again
into 17 different contexts
just for the fun of it
joyously reading
for the knowledge contained
or just to view
the style
in which it was presented
levels upon levels
of viewpoints
and knowledge
always knowledge
deeper and broader
at the edge
of human experience
and beyond
forever knowledge
both profound and absurd
and eventually
for the lucky industrious few
getting paid to think
and help others
along their own paths
to enlightenment?
I am a teacher

–Robyn Elaine Serven
–February 22, 2006

I know you have talent.  What sometimes is forgotten is that being practical is a talent.  I have a paucity for that sort of talent in many situations, though it turns out that I’m a pretty darn good cook.  🙂 

Let your talent bloom.  You can share it here.  Encourage others to let it bloom inside them as well.

Won’t you share your words or art, your sounds or visions, your thoughts scientific or philosophic, the comedy or tragedy of your days, the stories of doing and making?  And be excellent to one another!

The Shock Doctrine — A Short Film by Cuaron and Klein

From the Harper’s Magazine website.

Alfosno Cuaron and Naomi Klein present a short film based on Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

At the end are options for viewing further video of Klein and her thesis.

The Shock Doctrine — A Short Film by Cuaron and Klien

From the Harper’s Magazine website.

Alfosno Cuaron and Naomi Klein present a short film based on Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

At the end, options are presented for watching further video of Klein and her thesis.

Beyond the Political Pleasure Principle

Midnight Cowboying – Osama Bin Laden: “War on Terror Has Jumped the Shark”

Kennebunkport, Maine  – Dissent was the word of the day last week when Osama Bin Laden received his copy of the script for his video released last weekend. After what was described as near total meltdown in his trailer on-location in Kennebunkport, Maine, Bin Laden at first refused to shoot the latest installment of the War on Terror.

“This is always what happens when a show fires its writers,” said a distraught BIn Laden, who has captivated the country’s fascination with his betrayal of a blood thirsty mullah. “I just knew when they let Karl Rove go, the quality of writing would just fall to the floor. I don’t know whose ratings are going to be worse, President Bush’s or ours.”

“Remember when Karl wrote that piece where I praised Kerry, like he was my best friend in the world and I wanted to basically get him a pony? America loved that episode. How else can you explain how a country would re-elect a cowboy who is afraid of horses?” Bin Laden continued, as make-up dyed his beard back to show quality black. “Man, I used to put the fear of God into Americans. Rove knew just how to push the audiences buttons, keeping them on the edge of their seats.”

Karl Rove left the show in early August, after creative differences with Producer Dick Cheney. This rift began when Cheney introduced the Saddam Hussein parallel plot that Rove said distracted from the main character Osama Bin Laden.

“I said it would dilute the brand,” Karl Rove remarked pool side at his new Texas home. “I told Cheney that building Saddam up too much might interfere with our pilot episode of 9-11. Sure enough, it happened.”

“Our fan base is losing interest now Saddam is dead. We are starting to bleed our core viewer ship to that ‘Mexican Menace’ knock-off,” sighed Roved, as he swirled his Old Fashion in his hand. “You just can’t keep the American people mesmerized by trying to scare them with their gardener. You need Arab Ninjas with nukes tied to their vests. That’s how you get eyeballs on your show.”

It was only a matter of time before Karl Rove was let go. He was a notorious lackey of then Executive Producer Dan Bartlett. But for over six years, Karl Rove penned what some critics call the greatest storyline ever to entrance the American public. The War on Terror also enjoyed incredible viral success, as every station in the land would rebroadcast each episode, sometimes days on end. Some networks like Fox News have devoted entire years of coverage to the War on Terror.

“Our ratings were through the roof,” said a smiling Bin laden, waxing on the glory days of when President Bush would call Osama to congratulate him on another great show. “Remember that subplot with Tommy Ridge? Where we got everyone to buy duct tape to protect them from Armageddon? We were golden gods back then, the War on Terror could do no wrong.”

“But look at this bullshit,” Bin Laden said waving around his marked-up script. “Who the hell wrote this? It’s like I’m reading the liberal platform off of the Democratic Party website. Where are the veiled threats? The obscure double meaning of words and ideas? Where is it that I call for my faithful to final take down the Great Satan now that he has been slowly bled to death?’

“Now I want them to embrace Islam? I mean, put some water skis on me, I am jumping the shark. Who am I Ditek? Why am I even talking about the U.S. mortgage crisis? Aren’t I suppose be talking how we will bring America to its knee? Instead I am giving a lecture best suited for high school economics. How about I stole a nuke off that plane that flew cross-country? At this point, I’d even take a Homer Simpson-style plot involving dumping Ebola-laced dead monkeys into city water supplies.”

Bin Laden then got up and pretended to water ski and then did his best Fonz.

“Look, I didn’t even know Regent University had a film school till I got the script. They totally ruined the War on Terror. They should stick to law or whatever else it is they do over there, because no way is anyone gonna buy this shit,” livid Bin Laden said on his way into the sound stage to shoot the piece. “Could you imagine what would happen if they sent this kind of tripe to the Department of Justice?”

The piece was released last weekend to luke warm reviews, some noting that the magic is just gone. Viewership is way down, with ironically only the Saddam fans still watching religiously. Maybe Osama Bin Laden was right, maybe the War on Terror has jumped the shark.

And for the ultra-dork core:

——

My Top 5 Favorite Things Today

1)  “NO, your other right hand”
http://bartcopnation…
(Look for it.)

2)  Bottle makes dirty water drinkable in seconds 
http://www.telegraph…

3)  Hold your feet! Korean baseball gets strange
http://www.clarynove…

4) Hairy ball theorem
http://en.wikipedia….

5) Marshmallow Factory
http://eatliver.com/…

This is an open thread.

Thank You, You Insufferable Bastards!

Just…….thank you!

To everyone who has worked so hard to make this place go and infuse it with such aw wonderful spirit. Countless people have commented today on how the blog…..feels! Nothing can replace that….and that is due to all of you who have been infusing madly away!

This DOES already feel like a very special place…and now we also have the people to fuel it with energy! How many people you ask?

Right now….540!

Special thanks go out to ek and OTB, of course….everybody now! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

But thanks to ALL of us, we want a special place….and we are ALL working our butts off to make this it! And there is no better feeling in the world than working hard for something you believe in and want to succeed! Well….except for stopping for the night and having a few beers and getting laid….

But that is always true!

So blessings….. and once again….thank you to all of you, “long timers” as well as all of you who have just come here for the first time!

Yay!

How to live with bitches

I hesitate writing this, because of the judgments passed on those who have too much, who need too much, who are not careful enough. But sometimes you just have to wallow in what you have and forget about the things you’re missing. Right now, I’m living the life of an animal maniac, in a household of five female dogs and two male dogs. I have three daughters living at home at this moment, too.

You think you can imagine chaos? I can describe it in granular detail more finely drawn than that pixelated image of God on your screensaver.

Why reclining, interrogating? Why myself and all drowsing? 
What deepening twilight! scum floating atop of the waters! 
Who are they, as bats and night-dogs, askant in the Capitol? 
What a filthy Presidentiad!

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Yes, I have seven dogs living with me now.

One: A nasty, smelly Chihuahua, Guy, who just two nights ago I almost lost in the dark; he’s blind and deaf and we walked around the block of the building I live in and he lagged and suddenly he was gone. Thought I’d lost him for good. That thing has a homing device so profound that he beat me back to the front door after I spent 45 minutes searching for the ungrateful vicious beast. How do you call a dog who’s blind and deaf in the dark? There’s no punchline for that joke. Ba-dum Dum.

I thought of offering you apothegms. 
I might have said, “Dogs bark and the wind carries it away.” 
I might have said, “He who would make a door of gold must knock a nail in every day.”

Carl Sandburg, Circles of Doors

In any event, I don’t know what happened – if he tired of my company or the direction I took with the other two dogs walking with us, or if he just got confused and said, “Fuck it. I am trotting with my tiny matchstick-sized feet and pea-sized brain back to the adobe now. I will leave some fleez at the door for you.”

Two: Josephine, a Pomeranian who is almost four years old and the love of my animal life as I masquerade in the role of The Doggess. She’s tiny, cream-coloured, fluffy, dainty, retiring – my complete and total opposite. 

Simætha calls on Hecate 
  And hears the wild dogs at the gate; 
Dost thou remember Sicily?

Oscar Wilde, Theocritus


Except when you have food in your hand and then she becomes a raging, whirling fur-spitting slobbering typhoon of such manifest proportions that she even scares the cat who outweighs her four times over. Then, then she becomes my mirror image.

Three: Leopold, my fox-colored Pomeranian mixed with who-knows-but-its-a-handsome-furry-fellow. Given to me with the assurance that he was a full-bred Pom; but like so many males, this turned out not to be true. Ooooh.

“Liberals are like dogs: The liberal holds that he is true to the republic when he is true to himself. (It may not be as cozy an attitude as it sounds.) He greets with enthusiasm the fact of the journey, as a dog greets a man’s invitation to take a walk. And he acts in the dog’s way too, swinging wide, racing ahead, doubling back, covering many miles of territory that the man never traverses, all in the spirit of inquiry and the zest for truth. He leaves a crazy trail, but he ranges far beyond the genteel old party he walks with and he is usually in a better position to discover a skunk.”

E.B. White


He does this funny dance where he backs up diagonally left and then diagonally right and paws the floor twice with each push-back. He looks like he’s doing the Pomeranian version of the Electric Glide at Showtime at the Apollo.

Four: Pugsley. She’s my oldest daughter’s pug, a year and a half old. Typical muscular pug personality – part comedienne, part bulldog, part baby. A grin as wide as Ms. PacMan. Eats cat shit whenever she can.

I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons.

Will Rogers

I love her to death, but only after I brush her teeth. Imagine brushing a pug’s teeth with an oversized toothbrush and Tom’s natural spearmint toothpaste with xylitol. I have strange obsessions.

Five, Six, Seven:
Bones, Wednesday, and Porkman.

“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.”

James Thurber

We have three of Pugsley’s puppies left from their birth at the end of June, post adoption of the fourth, Lucy. You keep puppies too long, you can’t give them away. I would only give them to good, responsible, safe homes, and so far, the only folks who have applied seem to think a new puppy for a two year-old is a good idea. I do not agree.


Porkman: So named because she was twice the size of the rest of the babies at birth; now looks like a miniaturized Ewok/Gremlin with the body of a Claymation hippo. Every single time I look at her lumbering about, ears flapping like Wright Brother’s canvass wings, bowlegs in a rolling gait galloping lowly across the floor, I laugh out loud with pure puppy heart-clenching delight. She is the most delightful critter born on earth in the last three months, I swear.

Wednesday: Perhaps the most normal-looking of the puppies – she’s a perfect match of a Pug and a Poodle (the breed of the children’s errant father). She’s black, curly-haired, perfectly proportioned, bear-nosed and bright-eyed, and with a great loving temperament. She crawls into and digs in the food bowl when it is empty, convinced that her digging will eventually cause the bowl to fill magically with manna from canine heaven. And it does appear – the Gods of Chow cannot resist such perserverance by one so small.

Bones Let an epitaph read: 
  He loved the straight eyes of dogs and the strong heads of men.

Carl Sandburg, Smoke and Steel

Bones: The runt, the slightly wall-eyed, gawky beauty queen. She is now the tallest and skinniest puppy with legs that are literally double the length of either Wednesday or Porkman. Her feet look like charcoaled, bent at the ankle, oversized Q-Tips. She’s not very good on navigating with them yet – her hind legs tend to run faster than her front legs, so she’s always angling across the room somewhat diagonally. When she turns and spins, her revolutions carry enough momentum that she gets dizzy. Her eyes turned out wacky, too. The vet believes that it is highly likely that she sees double most of the time. As you can see above, though, she knows she’s a star…

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.

Groucho Marx

There is no silence inside of chaos, either. And it’s never boring.

Wednesday Night Poetry and Whatnot Essay

Good evening all (especially to the hundreds who signed up today).

It is a cool night in the Philly suburbs. The lights are low and my eyes are tired, but I feel the need to post.

Down below, I will share some poetry, some youtube clips and the like (some my own, some of others).

Please share in the comments something of your own, something that makes you laugh, think, all the whatnot.

First up, one of my own…

Don’t listen to lying cowboys

we skipped stones over muddy waters
fishing for sunnies with stale white bread
while an evil Empire cast long shadows
over the world
with fear in the form of mushroom clouds
but, the skies were blue
over the muddy waters
of the lake
a turtle, a snapper,
breaks the surface
and quickly disappears
and our president
was a former cowboy
but only in the movies
and my bobber
cast trailing ripples
over the surface
nudged by a sunfish
nibbling on bread
and the specter of
nuclear war
cast trailing ripples
over a child’s mind
because the cowboy
Ron
told him
to be
afraid.

darrell gahm

and now, a video of mine, called “American Music”…

and here is one from Bukowski, quite possibly my favorite of his poems…

the strongest of the strange

  you wont see them often
for wherever the crowds are
they
are not.

  these odd ones, not
many
but from them
come
the few
good paintings
the few
good symphonies
the few
good books

and other
works.

  and from the
best of the
strange ones
perhaps
nothing.

  they are
their own
paintings
their own
books
their own
music
their own
work.

  sometimes i think
i see
them- say
a certain old
man
sitting on a
certain bench
in a certain
way

  or
a quick face
going the other
way
in a passing
automobile

  or
there’s a certain motion
of the hands
of a bag-boy or a bag-
girl
while packing
supermarket
groceries.

  sometimes
it is even somebody
you have been
living with
for some
time-
you will notice
a
lightning quick
glance
never seen
from them
before.

  sometimes
you will only note
their
existence
suddenly
in
vivid
recall
some months
some years
after they are
gone.

  i remember
such a
one-
he was about
20 years old
drunk at
10 a.m.
staring into
a cracked
new orleans
mirror

  face dreaming
against the
walls of
the world

  where
did i
go?

  -charles bukowski.

here is a pretty cool video someone made to a recording of Buke reading the above poem…

and finally,  a recent and relevant piece by Lawrence Ferlinghetti…

go with peace,
darrell

The four rules

In Samuel Shem’s wonderfully satiric look at medical education, he follows some students on the final leg of that education: Internship.

Most of the older doctors are what you might expect, although Shem draws them all as neurotic and funny, in very dark ways.  But one really has the truth in mind, and is intent on teaching the youngsters what life is really like.  He tells them the four rules of medicine. 

They are below the fold

1.  If what you’re doing is working, keep doing it.
2.  If what you’re doing isn’t working, stop doing it.
3.  If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything.
4.  Never call a surgeon.

Now, except for the last, are these not wonderful guides to politics?  And might the last not be “never start a war”?

In particular, I am thinking what would happen if Bush paid attention to these rules.

What he is doing isn’t working.  He should stop doing it.
He doesn’t know what to do, so he should not do things

and, of course…. not starting wars would be good.

Spin

I was a competitive swimmer as a kid.  In fact, I held a state record in one of my events.  Impressed?  Don’t be.  ‘Cuz it twarn’t nuthin’.  It was as insignificant a state record as anyone could ever hold.  Why?  Because I won the first event run in the first 25-meter pool in the state (before that, they were 25 yards).  That day, the competition was not fierce in my event, and it ended in a tie for first place.  My name was entered in the record book.  And a week later, it was gone for good.

So, you see?  It’s perfectly true that I held that state record.  But it’s equally true that upon closer examination, its significance is underwhelming.  All too often, crucial government pronouncements need to be examined closely to see if they have any more substance than my state record.

CRITICAL THINKING
One of the better classes I ever took in college was something called Data Analysis.  I use its lessons regularly.  In it, amongst other things, we learned that one of the seminal, oft-cited scientific papers proving that salmon navigate by magnetic orientation was fatally flawed.  The prof contacted the authors, and got them to send him their raw data.  They used two tanks for the studies, located in the field.  And, as it turns out, the effect was only seen in one of them – the one closest to their campfire.  Those ever-fascinating fish were orienting towards the light!  But the paper’s still cited today.  Looks like their sense of smell – shown in some other studies involving water diverted for a power plant – is much more what it’s about.

If you were giving a presentation, and that prof showed up with his calculator, it was enough to rattle you, no matter how well you knew your stuff.  If only more of our journalists had been required to take a similar class!

Like this damned business of deaths in Iraq.  Now, it’s only sectarian violence if they’re shot in the back of the head?  It’s garden variety criminality if they’re shot in the face?  Nice fiction.  And it’s not really a new game: The Nixon Administration (or was it James Watt under Reagan?) instituted a new legal definition of old growth forest, that trees of a much younger age were now defined as mature (aka “Old Growth”).  The arrogance of it all is breathtaking.  Like if you call something by a different name, then it doesn’t really count.

Of course, with the deaths in Iraq, it’s not spin, it’s lying!!  With the forest?  Maybe willful ignorance.  But maybe lying, too.

There are some laws you just cannot break, not even if you’re Dick Cheney.  Gravity for one.  And, unintended consequences for another.  And when it comes to dismantling the planet’s natural systems, no amount of legislating and pontificating will negate the reality on the ground.

LOS ALAMOS BURNING
I’ve had to deal with the Environmental Protection Agency through my work over the years.  Including in 2000, the year that a mega-forest fire roared through Los Alamos.  Let me say: The EPA is founded on a good idea.  Like the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, etc. – all positive legacies from the Nixon years.  But it got maimed and mutilated during the “go-go” Reagan years.  They couldn’t abolish it, so they did the next best thing (from their POV) – they mired it down in red tape and bureaucratic ineffectiveness.  Unlike the Republicans, who start cutting agencies they don’t like off at the knees right out of the starting gate, the Clinton Administration didn’t rush in to reverse the damage.  That presidency was drawing to a close – well into its 8th year –  when Los Alamos was burning.  And the EPA was still, in important ways, a travesty.  The case of the Cerro Fire, the one that burned Los Alamos, is a good illustrative example.

Los Alamos was where the first atom bomb was invented.  They tested it a few hundred miles away, down south, not so far from Socorro.  (The Trinity Site is open to visitors twice a year, for those who would like to consider an unconventional vacation destination.  And Roswell’s not far from there!  But I digress…)

All the lead-up experiments were here amongst the norteños, on a bunch of finger mesas overlooking San Ildefonso Pueblo along the Rio Grande.  In the early days of the Manhattan Project, they dumped all their waste – from motor oil to plutonium-contaminated material – in open unlined pits.  Sometimes, they set off small explosions which embedded uranium shrapnel in the Ponderosa pines which dominate the forested landscape around the Lab.

It’s hard to fathom why the neighboring Bandelier National Monument started up their “controlled burn” back in spring 2000.  Because it had been a very dry winter, and we were having one hellacious windy season, too.  It’s no gentle breeze that makes for a smoke plume like this:

But the folks at Bandelier had their reasons.  Arguably good ones, looking at the big picture.  The entire area was ripe for fire, and stewardship agencies had been racing against time to thin and do controlled burns reduce just the kind of fire that they inadvertently set loose across the landscape.  From the excellent Bill deBuys, in a High Country News essay that summer:

The physical culprits are well known: grazing, which removed the fuels that powered forest-thinning light burns, and fire suppression combined to jack up stand densities. The fire-starved pine zone shrank as pinon and juniper crept upslope and mixed conifer species crept down. Logging probably accelerated both trends; by removing big trees, it speeded establishment of over-dense, weedy cohorts. These were not accidental outcomes. The ultimate culprit was a way of thinking: the impulse to simplify.

STRONTIUM
Strontium shares many chemical characteristics with calcium, which is one row above it on the periodic table of the elements.  (The link is to a LANL full periodic table: clicking it could alert them to this diary.) Strontium-90 is a radioactive isotope, a product of the decay of uranium-235, and is common in spent nuclear fuel.  Because it is chemically similar to calcium and only slightly larger in size, it enters the same biochemical pathways as calcium – which is to say, into numerous metabolic processes, as calcium’s a central player in all sorts of cell signalling.

Strontium-90 had been taken up by the trees around Los Alamos over the years, from the shrapnel and from the soil.  It was in the smoke while the fire was burning through the lab, along with all kinds of other nasty stuff deserving big “Mister Yuck” labels.  But such things are classified…  This is a rural area, so not a whole lot of people were exposed, but I was one of the ones who was.  Home is right under that plume.

DOWNWIND
But, if you ask the government, there was nothing to worry about in that smoke.  I’m told there’s a general principle of emergency management that long-term effects take a back burner to the dictates of the emergency at hand.  Just like at the World Trade Center site after the towers fell.  The claim of “nothing to worry about” is less robust than my state record in swimming.  Such claims should always be doubted in crisis situations.  Actually, not just during crises, if you consider what’s happened to former uranium miners from Acoma & Laguna Pueblos who worked at (or lived downwind from) the Jackpile Mine.  Often, it seems best to be cautious with anyone from the government at all.

Here’s how it went down: After the fire started, EPA spent a few days on logistics, arranging for a mobile air quality lab to be brought in (from Alabama or Mississippi, IIRC).  But by the time it arrived, the fire had moved on, burning with a fury up around the Puye ruins above Santa Clara Pueblo.  The Lab’s contribution to the smoke was minimal by then.

I was working in a tribal environmental program, and so had the ear of EPA people available to take my calls.  The densest part of the smoke had been going over Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo (then known as San Juan), Picuris Pueblo, and right over Jicarita Peak, the highest point in the Pecos Wilderness, the southernmost part of the Rockies.  There was still plenty of snow left up above the timberline, and abundant soot had deposited thereon.  So, I suggested that EPA send people up to take samples of that blackened snow cap as the best way to find out what we’d all been breathing.  No dice!  These were air quality technicians, and they didn’t do snow, melted or otherwise.  That was a job for the water quality people, who had not been dispatched to this emergency.  So they sent dozens of people out (including plenty of “community relations” types), but neglected to collect the samples from the one place that could have told ’em what had gone on.  And they could have formed advisories about what would be in the water rushing down the mountains in the spring melt.  Water used for agricultural irrigation throughout the region.

So, no one sampled the smoke while the Lab proper was burning.  But an oft repeated scientific maxim is this: Absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.. The EPA emergency responders at Los Alamos pretended otherwise.

Oh, but wait!!  LANL had worked cooperatively with tribes and communities in the area, and there were sensors installed to record various “parameters” of interest.  And, as it happened, the one at Ohkay Owingeh/San Juan had just been checked, calibrated and certified as working properly just a few weeks before the fire.  Lo and behold, it recorded a big spike of radioactivity.  And the “experts” consulted and decided that the monitoring station was broken and didn’t work properly.  That data point was just discarded, La-Dee-Dah.  It never appeared in any articles or presentations about the fire from the authorities.

That fall, and the next year, there was some “unusual” stuff, like friggin’ Americium fer chrissakes, found in agricultural produce under the plume area.  Americium is a “synthetic” element, not known to occur in nature.  But no one was ever advised against eating locally-grown produce.

There was a public information meeting that spring, while the fire was still smoldering a little.  The Forest Service (USFS), the EPA and the NM Environment Department (NMED) all gave presentations. 

  • The forest service reviewed the air quality data from another fire, focusing on all the unhealthy stuff dumped into the air by any garden-variety forest fire
  • NMED gave us a standard litany related to domestic hazmat.  400 families lost their homes in that fire – homes full of synthetic carpet, paint, and various commonly used household products that put all kinds of toxic particles and fumes in the smoke.
  • Last was someone from EPA, and they reported the data from analysis of the air sampling they’d done.  They had found that there was nothing in the air samples to worry about.  They neglected to mention that they had taken no samples while the fire line was racing through the Lab.  Which makes their statement more disingenuous than my swimming record.

Clearly somebody wasn’t thinking about how these arguments would come across, strung together like that.  I’d heard all I needed to for my job, and was getting disgusted.  I almost walked out the door, but turned back as soon as left the room.  I raised my hand, and was recognized right away.

Your presentations would have us believe that bad toxic materials are released when a ponderosa forest burns, and when private homes burn.  But that the smoke that came out of Los Alamos was “clean”.  My question?  Do you actually expect that to pass the laugh test?

I didn’t really get an answer – they just changed the subject ASAP.  But that’s OK – it was a rhetorical question, after all.

DeBuys closes his HCN essay like this.  Always, it would seem, the people with valuable insights are much more modest in putting them forth than overconfident, strident ideologues:

Nevertheless, the debates will rage, and it will be interesting to see if anyone acknowledges the 600-pound gorilla frowning in the background of every discussion.  That gorilla is our ignorance. We don’t have complete answers to the conundrums we face. We really have not learned how to live in this place. Our land-management infrastructure (in which I include environmental and industry interests) is presently incapable of dealing effectively with the fuel and fire challenge. This inability is perfectly mirrored by the sustained lunacy of mortgagors, insurance companies, and the general citizenry.

How else should we characterize subdivisions and second homes in the piney woods – frame houses with shake or tar-based roofs, pine straw lawns, and doghair yards? Enforcement of a fire-savvy building code might have cut the losses in Los Alamos by half, but a town that leads the world in Ph.Ds per capita never thought the matter through. Good luck to the rest of us.

If we were to acknowledge the gorilla of our ignorance, we might start by putting aside the language of “land management.” We rarely manage; we mostly shove and bludgeon, or we walk away. A few noteworthy individuals have learned to nudge, and go with the flow, and if the rest of us wanted to be like them, we would approach every land treatment as an experiment, and we would experiment explicitly with different approaches in different places. We would monitor everything. We would expect to be surprised. We would become compulsive learners. We would study humility. We would agree that we are all in this together.

Thoughtful management?  Good luck on that!  Four years later, the following story was held for a couple of weeks, released in the hubbub the weekend before the Presidential election, where it was picked up by few news outlets:

Looking for a place to grow marijuana and live, rent-free, in a cave with all the creature comforts of home? Why not a canyon, tucked away within the 40 square miles of the nation’s top-secret nuclear weapons research facility in Los Alamos?

That’s where Roy Michael Moore, 56, was recently discovered living in a cave equipped with a glass front door, a wood stove, a bed, electricity-generating solar panels with batteries to store the power, and lights.

And this happened with security-conscious Republicans in charge!

From all I know of our flagship top secret weapons lab (beyond this whopper), its security measures are way short of stellar.  They’ve added vehicle checkpoints when you’re entering Los Alamos since then.  But curiously, none for those departing.  In some places, one mostly worries about what people might smuggle in.  And so, we have metal detectors at federal courthouses, and so on.  But Los Alamos? All the WMD-related stuff is already there.  You’d think they might want to protect against it leaving.  But what would I, just an ordinary citizen, know about that sort of technical stuff?

LIVE CULTURE BIOLAB
For all the billions being spent on high end security, I’ve long figured that someone who wanted to mess up the U.S. could travel around through drought areas with a Bic Lighter, and do immeasurable damage.  For a bio-attack, you’d infect someone who enters the country (while incubating), and send ’em to a conference with people from all over the country.

Speaking of bioweapons:  In early 2001, Los Alamos held hearings around the region about their plans to open a Biohazard Level 3 lab, which would keep live cultures of various potential bio-weapons pathogenic agents (anthrax, plague, influenza – 7 in all).  Oh joy!  A new 400-pound gorilla in the neighborhood!  My boss sent me to that meeting, asking for a report.  It was a lively three-ring circus.  But it is also a story for another day.  Suffice it to say that had they found a lab like the Los Alamos BioLab in Iraq, it would have been proof of WMD’s, fer sure!

Cross-posted

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