Today’s posting is mostly clippings. And interesting links. Starting with the most important...
See my new essay on "Beleaguered Professionals vs Disempowered Citizens" on my website.
Study: Human Hands Emit Light -- (Discovery Channel -- October 31, 2005)
Human hands glow, but fingernails release the most light, according to a recent study that found all parts of the hand emit detectable levels of light. The findings support prior research that suggested most living things, including plants, release light. Since disease and illness appear to affect the strength and pattern of the glow, the discovery might lead to less-invasive ways of diagnosing patients.
World Temperatures Keep Rising with a Hot 2005 -- (Washington Post -- October 25, 2005)
New international climate data show that 2005 is on track to be the hottest year on record, continuing a 25-year trend of rising global temperatures. Climatologists calculated the record-breaking global average temperature, which now surpasses 1998's record by a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, from readings taken at 7,200 weather stations scattered around the world.
Spain Gets First Tropical Storm -- (Political Gateway -- October 25, 2005)
Vince, the 20th named tropical storm in the Atlantic this year, is the first storm of its type to reach Spain in recorded history, claimed the National Hurricane Center. "The historical record shows no tropical cyclone ever making landfall on the Iberian peninsula," added one meteorologist.
Amazon Rainforest Vanishing At Twice Rate of Previous Estimates -- (Climate Ark -- November 1, 2005)
Loggers are cutting down trees in the Amazon rainforest at twice the rate of previous estimates, according to a new analysis of satellite images of the region. Earlier attempts to gauge the scale of deforestation were not sensitive enough to spot the occurrence of selective logging - the cutting down of individual trees without clearing the surrounding forest.
Mark Engler | Bush's Bad Business Empire
Mark Engler writes that the Bush Administration is making the world unsafe for Microsoft and Mickey Mouse.... Maybe George Bush and Dick Cheney aren't very good capitalists at all.
DeLay's Staff Tried to Help Abramoff
Rep. Tom DeLay's staff tried to help lobbyist Jack Abramoff win access to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, an effort that succeeded after Abramoff's Indian tribe clients began funneling a quarter of a million dollars to an environmental group founded by Norton.
Bush Appoints More Cronies to Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
Bush may find himself besieged by charges of cronyism, but that doesn't seem to have affected his picks for a panel assessing intelligence matters. President Bush last week appointed nine campaign contributors, including three longtime fund-raisers, to his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a 16-member panel of individuals from the private sector who advise the president on the quality and effectiveness of US intelligence efforts. After watching the fate of Michael Brown as head of FEMA and Harriet Miers as Supreme Court nominee, you might think the president would be wary about the appearance of cronyism - especially with a critical national-security issue such as intelligence. Instead, Bush reappointed William DeWitt, an Ohio businessman who has raised more than $300,000 for the president's campaigns, for a third two-year term on the panel. Originally appointed in 2001, just a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, DeWitt, who was also a top fund-raiser for Bush's 2004 Inaugural committee, was a partner with Bush in the Texas Rangers baseball team.
Oh... I would be encouraged by the recent defection of Brent Scowcroft to the dis-bush camp. After all, I have been saying that 200 decent conservatives could save us...
...except this is one of the chief guys to help decide in 1991 to abandon the Iraqi people to Hell-on-Earth when Bush-Cheney-Powell had Saddam in the palm of their hands.
Scowcroft's mealy excuses? "The UN did not give us authority to go to Bagdhad and occupying Baghdad would have been a quagmire."
Uh... the trick is to pose your dopey mistake vs something dopier. As if (for example) these guys pay the slightest heed to the UN except when it suits them.)
Saving the people of Basra, who were rebelling against Saddam at Geo. Bush Sr's radio request! would have taken another 20 hours. And in 1991, there really would have been flowers and kisses. No need to march on Baghdad! A protected Kurdish entity in the north and a protected Shi-ite entity in the south would have left Saddam with 25% of the population and no oil! And the 250,000 Iraqi army prisoners - culled of Baath Party cadres, could then have been sent marching north to take care of Saddam themselves, instead of what we did to them...handing them carefully into the arms of those same cadres.
Worst stain on our honor in 100 years. I am ready to welcome Scowcroft (who appears only to be defecting because W has personally snubbed him). I will even forgive. But I will not forget.