Recent comments by azurite

Whiskey wrote:

has given frats an extra degree of power over the social life of first-year female students.

I was glad the school I went to didn't have fraternities & sororities, although I knew that my mom (refugee) had been given a scholarship for college by a sorority. I'd had enough of cliques, snobs, harassment, the exclusionary nature of some groups/group think, by the time I got to college. Probably I was fortunate that I had a way of making friends outside of school, plus, after the first semester, a part-time job I liked.

(When trying to deal with a series of assaults on women, one Minister suggested that women should not be allowed on the streets after dark.) " Men are attacking the women, not the other way around. If there is going to be a curfew, let the men be locked up, not the women." attributed to Golda Meir

robj wrote:

Fraternity rape on campus, on the other hand, is no longer quite as safe as it once was,

did you read the Rolling Stone article? If anything, it seems worse then when I was in college--more heavy drinking and more treating women like shit/like they're just things to be used and abused. Drinking age in NY was 18 when I was in college, maybe that's part of the reason. Or maybe I was just out of the loop--I'd done most of what partying I was going to do in HS, was bored w/it by college, so didn't drink or drug much and avoided most booze parties.

University I attended had banned all fraternities and sororities--because of hazing incidents on college campuses--although the ban was lifted a number of years ago.

Outsider wrote:

Speaking of hawks, there has been a falcon making dives at the chickens lately. There are actually "falconers" who train falcons to hunt for them. Apparently you have to apprentice for years under a falconer to become one.

A friend got in touch w/some, hoping she could get one to "practice" at her place and catch (kill) some of the band-tail pigeons in her area. The pigeons ruin a significant percentage of cherries (she has 4 or 5 sour cherry trees, & 1 or 2 sweet cherry trees). They're wasteful/destructive, they will tear bits out of the cherries while they're unripe.

Unfortunately, the hunting season is wrong, the hunting season during the same time period as pigeon cherry depredations. Not sure if she's looked into getting an agricultural hunting permit. Sometimes a certain amount of hunting out of season is ok if it's to protect a food crop (w/a permit).

Some hawks (other then red-tailed) are gradually coming back into the area. Apparently many disappeared during/after the NFS aerial spraying of Agent Orange in the late 1970's/beginning of 1980's (in the Suislaw National Forest), plus state highway/county road spraying (even though the roads run along creeks/rivers and many herbicide labels warn against spraying near water). Quite a few species disappeared for awhile.

aClem wrote:

What I was looking for was the ratio of police killed by black males as opposed to white males, and to see if the ratio was similar (racially) to those killed BY police. I'm sure the data is somewhere to be found.

FBI — Officers Feloniously Killed

I didn't look to see if the FBI gave the race/skin color of whoever killed the officer or was convicted of doing so. May not always be known if, as stated that the frequency of death by ambush has increased.

edit to add: I'm wrong, FBI does list race when known, "15 of the alleged offenders were white, 11 were black, and race was not reported for 2 offenders." for 2013

aClem wrote:

Do you have figures on police fatalities by race of assailant?

ProPublica Analyzes 3 Decades Of Deadly Police Shootings : NPR

ResistanceIsFeudal wrote:

The winners are defense contractors, mercenary soldiers and arms dealers.

and extremists. Or, the barbarian horde (I include the defense contractors and arms dealers in "barbarian").

And of course, any of the TBTF banksters that profit therefrom.

ResistanceIsFeudal wrote:

we had to spend a ridiculous amount of money to attempt to assure ourselves it could never happen again.

So who won? The former friends (i.e, when the Soviets were in Afghanistan, US funded the jihad people)/now enemies or the US?

Seems like only the MIC and the terrorists have "won" in the sense of getting what they wanted. Taliban's got alot of power in Afghanistan and part of Pakistan (tribal region), and the 'theatre of war" has expanded to Yemen, and some of Africa, in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan. And neither the Patriot Act nor the DIA have been repealed.

ResistanceIsFeudal wrote:

An overwhelming barbarian horde wouldn't get far against a drone army and professional soldiers armed with assault weapons.

But remember how much was accomplished with box cutters, two fully fueled civilian jets. And with IEDs in Afghanistan and Iraq (despite use of drones).

arthur_dent wrote:

If someone slaps you around, it seems we accept that killing them is fair play.

A comment made by a community mediator trainer/instructor was that people in the US (or anyone who watches US movies, TV shows) are bombarded with images of people who resolve conflict through violence and/or (2) very rapidly (30 minute sitcom) and often in a way that makes the other person look bad. (3) believe conflict is "bad" or scary.

It sells well, even if it doesn't work well in reality.

It's seemed to me there's been a great deal of effort by the corporate media, et al, in the last 15-20 years, to increase the fear of the other, whoever the other might be, and the fears were exacerbated by a large influx of immigrants. I'm not saying the influx was bad, but that it seems in the US (historically) when immigrants approach about 20% of the population, nativist movements gain ground/strength. edit: w/the exception of Native Americans, who perhaps were either culturally not programmed that way or because they became ill & died too quickly & in too large numbers to react that way.

However, I think the majority of injury/death, if not by motor vehicle, is by one's nearest and dearest or formerly dearest.

And I think it's still not "accepted" for women to shoot men who "slap them around" of there'd be many more dead or shot up men then there are.

arthur_dent wrote:

the standards of Ghandi may not apply.

but that's how Ghandhi died, he was shot. I doubt if he wasn't aware of the possibility but it didn't stop him.

merchants of fear wrote:

Sharpton as long as they are technically legal in the eyes of a lawyer (such as yogi).
So the statement could stupid or unwise but there is no concern about that.

That's a lawyer's job, determining what is (arguably) legal and what's not, or the lawyers advise & present arguments, if someone disagrees (a state AG's office, the DOJ, someone who believes he/she's been slandered, etc.) then a judge and/or jury decides.

As for concern, that may show up when the attorney speaks w/the client.

Of course, there's always the alternatives of lynching, ostracism, police beating up someone, etc.(or National Guard shooting and/or beating--as has happened in the past) as crowd alternatives for "enforcing" a majority (or minority in the case of police/National Guard) consensus on what's acceptable speech and often peaceful actions/protest and what's not.

RE wrote:

rioters have lost theirs or never had any.

Or they don't believe they'll be "heard"/seen/noticed any other way, it's a very angry and frustrated response. - NY Times

ResistanceIsFeudal wrote:

Comrade, your only value to the State is in your ability to consume.

Destruction is consumption. Unpaid for (in money) consumption. Stuff certainly is consumed.

dilbert dogbert wrote:

Seems to me that any intelligent enemy would have all meetings in weddings

At least one wedding party has been bombed.

Looks like plenty of other people have been killed. http://rt.com/news/197100-usa-drones-pakistan-killed/

Perhaps you're forgetting the changeable status of these "terrorists" particularly in one region of Pakistan and how complicated life may be for people living in that region.

"An acquaintance had arranged a meeting with half a dozen young men from North Waziristan, most of them university students, who had lived through parts of the American drone war in their home villages and towns. In a coffee shop, we sat on plastic chairs in a semicircle and ordered soft drinks. The young men wore polo shirts and bluejeans. Most of them came from relatively privileged tribal families that had suffered during the Taliban’s rise to power in Waziristan. The students asked me not to identify them.

Some had come of age as Taliban volunteers. One said that, after 2001, when he was ten or eleven, he carried plastic buckets from house to house to collect money for the organization. Taliban warriors were seen as heroes. “Our parents went to the jihad during the nineteen-eighties,” a student said. He meant the C.I.A.-backed campaign against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. “Eight or ten years ago, we were all in favor of the Taliban.”

That changed. One young man described how the Taliban had kidnapped his father for ransom. Others talked of arbitrary rules and detentions once the Taliban asserted power, after 2007, when they were teen-agers. “We are between two extremes,” another student said. “We face regular forces and we also face irregular forces with long hair, beards, and their codes of conduct. It was very difficult to resist them. They imposed their own brand of Islam. If you did not coöperate, you were kidnapped, you were beheaded.”

The Taliban are “terrorists,” he continued. But he considered the United States a greater menace, because, as the world’s leading military power, it “controlled all of this, or could have.” But America pursued its own objectives, he said, mainly with drone strikes. “Our economy has been destroyed, our social structure has been destroyed.”

“The drones create a lot of misery in our area,” one student said. “So do the Arabs.” He meant Al Qaeda. “Why are the Arabs coming to our country? Why are they not fighting in their own countries? But we also say to America: If you say the Taliban are terrorists, yes, we agree. They are. But who created them?”

As night fell and we talked on, some of the young men acknowledged that the drone strikes they had seen or heard about from family members have been highly accurate. A few thought that drones offered a better way to bomb Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders in their home towns than F-16s flown by Pakistani pilots, whose bombing could be much more erratic, placing more local civilians at risk. But they also talked about the suffering their families had endured—kidnappings, homes abandoned under pressure—and their own struggles to obtain an education. In their telling, the relative precision of the aircraft that assailed them wasn’t the point.

Being attacked by a drone is not the same as being bombed by a jet. With drones, there is typically a much longer prelude to violence. Above North Waziristan, drones circled for hours, or even days, before striking. People below looked up to watch the machines, hovering at about twenty thousand feet, capable of unleashing fire at any moment, like dragon’s breath. “Drones may kill relatively few, but they terrify many more,” Malik Jalal, a tribal leader in North Waziristan, told me. “They turned the people into psychiatric patients. The F-16s might be less accurate, but they come and go.”

Predator and Reaper drones emit what, on the ground, sounds like a flat, gnawing buzz. (Locals sometimes refer to a drone as a bangana, a Pashto word for “wasp.”) “In the night, we have seen many times the missile streaking,” Ihsan Dawar, a Pakistani reporter from North Waziristan, told me. “It creates a whoosh-like sound coming out.”

The targeted killing of Taliban and Al Qaeda members had a boomerang effect: it spurred the militants to try to identify spies who might have betrayed them. Around North Waziristan’s main towns, Miranshah and Mir Ali, which took the brunt of the strikes, paranoia spread.

The Taliban blamed local maliks, government-subsidized tribal leaders who had long presided over the area’s war economy—smuggling, arms dealing, mining, and government contracting—often by engaging in corruption. Taliban gunmen seeking control of local rackets executed maliks and their family members in the hundreds. In local bazaars, the Taliban distributed DVDs of their socially superior victims confessing that they had spied for C.I.A. drone operators.

The confessions included elaborate narratives about how the agency supposedly distributed “chips,” or homing beacons, to local spies. The spy would toss a chip over a neighbor’s wall or into a Taliban jeep, to guide drone missiles to it. The men also confessed that the C.I.A. had given out special pens with invisible ink which were used to mark Taliban vehicles for destruction.

According to the accounts of former detainees, the Taliban tortured their prisoners, so the confessions can hardly be taken at face value. The Taliban also had a powerful motive to force the maliks to admit to spying: such confessions “take the edge off the revenge motivation of the malik’s tribe and family,” a researcher who grew up in North Waziristan and works in development in Islamabad told me. “People see the video and say, ‘Oh, well, if he was a spy tossing around chips, then he deserves to die.’ ”

Families in North Waziristan typically live within large walled compounds. Several brothers, their parents, and their extended families might share a single complex. Each compound may contain a hujra, or guesthouse, which usually stands just outside the main wall. In the evening, men gather there to eat dinner and talk war and politics. A rich man signals his status by building a large hujra with comfortable guest rooms for overnight visitors. The less well-heeled might have a hujra with just two rooms, carpets, rope cots, and cushions.

Taliban and Al Qaeda commanders moved from hujra to hujra to avoid detection. The available records of drone strikes make clear that the operators would regularly pick up commanders’ movements, follow them to a hujra attached to a private home, watch for hours—or days—and then fire. Many documented strikes took place after midnight, when the target was presumably not moving, children were asleep, and visitors would have returned home.
Cartoon“Tell me my origin story.”Buy the print »

North Waziristan residents and other Pakistanis I spoke with emphasized how difficult it would be for a drone operator to distinguish between circumstances where a Taliban or Al Qaeda commander had been welcomed into a hujra and where the commander had bullied or forced his way in. If the Taliban “comes to my hujra and asks for shelter, you have no choice,” Saleem Safi, a journalist who has travelled extensively in Waziristan, told me. “Now a potential drone target is living in a guest room or a guesthouse on your compound, one wall away from your own house and family.”

“You can’t protect your family from a strike on a hujra,” another resident of North Waziristan said. “Your children will play nearby. They will even go inside to play.” The researcher in Islamabad said, “There is always peer pressure, tribal pressure, to be hospitable.” He went on, “If you say no, you look like a coward and you lose face. Anyway, you can’t say no to them. If a drone strike does take place, you are a criminal in the courts of the Taliban,” because you are suspected of espionage and betrayal. “You are also a criminal to the government, because you let the commander sleep in your hujra.” In such a landscape, the binary categories recognized by international law—combatant or noncombatant—can seem inadequate to describe the culpability of those who died. Women, children, and the elderly feel pressure from all sides. A young man of military age holding a gun outside a hujra might be a motivated Taliban volunteer, a reluctant conscript, or a victim of violent coercion." Obama’s Drone War

Guess the solution is just to keep killing, and continue to say how "exceptional" The US is.

tg wrote:

we kill a lot of 'militants' and nobody complains because of the name

There have been "complaints" but no real action. - NY Times

I've seen at least one article that "states" or concludes that drones kill fewer "civilians" then other types of missile strikes, but . . . I've also read that the US agencies using drones categorize any male over 12 in the area of the drone strike as a militant or terrorist.

Since there's not even any (public) agreement on how many people have been killed by each drone strike, not sure how anyone besides some in the CIA et al will ever know.

But when you say nobody, I hope you mean nobody important, because people have and do protest their use.

GM'S SILENCE AIDED WOMAN'S CONVICTION: For 10 years, a Texas woman thought she was at fault for the car crash that killed her boyfriend - as did the court - but it turns out a defective ignition switch was the cause and GM likely knew the whole time. More from The New York Times: "She pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in October 2007, five months after GM had conducted an internal review of the case and quietly ruled its car was to blame. She served five years probation and paid more than $10,000 in fines and restitution. GM did not disclose its culpability when federal safety regulators asked about the cause of the crash in a so-called death inquiry. Instead, in June 2007, the automaker wrote to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it had not assessed the cause of the crash when, in fact, it had: A GM engineer had ruled just a month earlier that power to the vehicle had most likely shut off." Read more: Woman Cleared in Death Tied to G.M.’s Faulty Ignition Switch - NYTimes.com

Corporate cruelty.

Since corporations are "people" can the TX AG or the US DOJ now file criminal charges against the CEO, et al, of GM? Would they ever?

Vonbek777 wrote:

my youngest has wrapped herself up like a mummy in red christmas ribbon while taking her diaper off,

is she trying to be a red diaper baby? Smile Wink

Comrade Scott wrote:

I'll see yours and raise you one.

No statement of who paid for the research.

RoundUp Ready and the new Enlist (2,4-D "ready" so both Roundup AND 2,4-D will be used) pretty much require the use of herbicides and pesticides. I don't have links but I've read some other articles that indicate that the GM crops don't behave as promised (and that failure has been the basis for litigation, i.e., breach of contract), GM cotton's had that problem (not resistant to given pest as promised), not as drought resistant as promised, etc.

then there the issue re: not being able to save seed. That makes it much more expensive for farmers in poorer nations to use GMO as opposed to conventional seed--so there's goes the argument about GMO crops "feeding the world".

Also: it means standardization, both of crops (i.e., less growing of teff, millet, or formerly staple crops that suit the climate, etc., more of corn or wheat) and of genes of the crop. Standardization is how corporations make good profits, but it's not necessarily what works best in nature.

Since many of the pesticides/herbicides are petroleum products, their price goes up if oil/petroleum prices increase. Again, not exactly what you want if you are "trying to feed the world" unless what you want is to make the "world" dependent on narrow range of crops and a limited gene pool and on crops mostly grown by a relatively few nations (US, Argentina, China . . . ).

Diversity is far safer as the 1970's collapse of the US corn crop (best "technology" of the time a hybrid corn that many farmers had planted) due to finding out, in the field, that it wasn't resistant to some fungus. At that time, it was possible to find unhybridized corn in Mexico, i.e, corn w/genes the hybridizers needed to cross w/their non-resistant corn.

Monocropping is a farmers' gift to pests. As is no longer practicing crop rotation (nice for the fertilizer industry as well).

Also not sure why anyone would want a few corporations to essentially own a few staple crops.

edit to add: I've seen a few studies (sorry, no time to look for links) that indicate that organically grown (even lower use of pesticides/herbicides then GMO) can be as productive, less water is needed because the soil is in far better condition, and less loss of soil (reason your article cites no till method, soil loss is an issue in US and elsewhere).

Nytol

Comrade Scott wrote:

Indeed, many GMO require less spraying. That really is misleading.

which GMO crops would that be? More weed resistance means more pesticide used - WSU News Washington State University

poicv2.0 wrote:

Or is it better if I switch over to shoe polish or sniffing glue?

hash brownies (made w/dark chocolate, of course).

KarmaPolice wrote:

You cannot eat whole grains.

disagree. And again, what about fermentation?

Rickkk wrote:

stick to a Mediterrean Diet.

I agree. With excursions into the "Vienna diet" (chocolate, cream, good coffee & lots of walking). Wink

edit to add: I forgot that I like to eat some types of Chinese food (some Cantonese, some Szechuan, not familiar enough w/other regions to know if I like theirs or not), Korean & Indian.

KarmaPolice wrote:

That being said, a diet that is high in carbohydrates is inflammatory and obesity-inducing.

Simple or complex? Does that apply when the complex carbohydrates are eaten in combination w/monosaturated fats? When the complex carbs have been altered by fermentation?

Comrade Scott wrote:

I'm truly stunned he is stepping down, but I guess he wasn't that "commanding" and is a convenient sacrificial lamb.

I wondered if Hagel wasn't in favor of the renewed ramping up of use of the military that seems to be happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, and, I suspect, Africa.

Obama seems to be adopting the now traditional Chief Exec behavior of greater activity in foreign policy/military stuff when frustrated in the domestic arena. Given that post Vietnam Congresses seem unwilling (for whatever reasons) to cut DoD funding, much less demand/require fiscal/financial responsibility from the DoD, Chief Execs seem to be able to do as they please, pretty much, as long as they're attacking someone/protecting "national security".

KarmaPolice wrote:

The Dietary Intake of Wheat and other Cereal Grains and Their Role in Inflammation

Grains are inflammatory to the gut and cause a great deal of microbial disruption.

"Pollan shows us the folly of our decision to hire food corporations and other industrial forces as our live-in cooks. The consequences include the gluten intolerance that he suggests might be tied to modern flour cultivation and processing, and the compromised immune systems that might be related to our diet’s relatively recent absence of live-culture foods." ‘Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation’ by Michael Pollan - The Washington Post

Michael Pollan's book, "Cooked" provides a somewhat different perspective, you might want to take a look at it.

Mary wrote:

For the Defense Department, synthetic biology and its promise for infectious diseases are tools for national security and readiness, officials said.

Why does this sound like just another name for a Plum Island type facility in Africa--run by the military?

sporkfed wrote:

That will offset a declining birthrate.

And perhaps increasing infertility rate too? Genetic Causes of Male Infertility

skk wrote:

There perhaps shd be a second suit against the those involved in the first accident.

Loss of Services legal definition of Loss of Services

aClem wrote:

Pork and chicken here are quite good.

What I buy locally is good, if expensive, but I don't eat much meat so I spend more on local stuff I believe is good quality. Maybe cost is defrayed partly by the free manure/compost I get from one of the local farms I buy from Wink for veg garden, blueberries, etc. There's a stable that boards horses, plus therapeutic riding "school" on the farm property (as well at the stock animals) so plenty of horse manure/compost.

aClem wrote:

"Free Range" beef, here at least = plenty of gristle.

Wonder how old the steer/cow was. I've had grass fed here (OR) and it's just less fatty but tastes fine (although I'm not a connoisseur of beef as I don't eat much of it). The cattle were raised locally (down the road from a friend's place), were not very old (2 years maybe?) slaughtered & cut up by a mobile butcher. Buyer chooses how much will be ground, etc. I think how long the beef is aged is a factor in tenderness as well (am sure someone on HCN knows alot more then me about what makes beef tender).

Breed was Highland, I think. Easier care then some of the other breeds, I'm told. Another local farm raises Highlands too, maybe they do well in this climate.

Outsider wrote:

Just bought some grass fed beef yesterday. I would love a cow, but not right now I guess.

Where you are, isn't it pretty easy to buy half a steer from a local farmer? Or go to a 4H auction and buy a steer a 4Her raised for his/her project? Help support the local economy and all that.

bearly wrote:

The price of not having them is higher than the alternative

Proof?

What you seem to be saying is that the only way to have jobs in the US is to have a huge MIC. Forget consumer goods, infrastructure materials, etc., the only reason the US economy isn't much worse then it is is because of the MIC. Is that right?

adornosghost wrote:

Did it from the Bay to Chicago a while back.

Did it a few years ago, quite a trip. Still like the Empire Builder's route over the Rockies, through eastern MT the best, but the train's way off schedule for the past 6 months or more because of the oil tank cars, etc. I haven't taken the SW Chief yet though.

josap wrote:

Not sure who keeps all the chain restaurants in business, but it isn't anyone I know.

people w/children (fast food franchises target kids w/their advertising), and people who want inexpensive food that tastes the same no matter what town you're in.

skk wrote:

Maybe at 60 I shd step down from the Yamaha FZ1000 ahead of actually needing to.

If you've got the money (or connections) you might consider stepping up to a private rail car AAPRCO Inc.

Maybe you can't go quite as many places, but you'll definitely travel in style & comfort--while traveling through some canyons (Amtrak - Oops! We're having a problem with the page you requested..

sm_landlord wrote:

I finally made copies of various lawsuits that had been filed against them, and tied up their incoming fax lines with copies of the lawsuits.

I like the way you think. Cool

Rail News - Carloads climbed in all three North American nations last week. For Railroad Career Professionals

"The final elements of the decade-long, $275 million West Vancouver Freight Access Project (WVFA) are set to enter the construction phase at the Port of Vancouver USA."

""We're very close to completion of a project that will reduce rail congestion by 40 percent and help ensure our region’s businesses can compete in the global market," said Brian Wolfe, a port commissioner, in a press release."

and, "Meanwhile, the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility Joint Powers Authority's board (ICTF/JPA) plans to meet Dec. 10 in Long Beach, Calif., to review the preparation and future release of an environmental impact report for Union Pacific Railroad's ICTF modernization and expansion project.

The project is designed to help enhance the flow of intermodal cargo through the ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles. The 148-acre ICTF is operated by UP, which has proposed the modernization and expansion to more than double its annual throughput capacity from 725,000 to 1.5 million containers. The project would incorporate environmental improvements, including electric overhead cranes, cleaner yard tractors and ultra-low-emission locomotives."

Just think what might be possible if the US weren't bleeding billions/trillions to pay for F-35s, ongoing "military action" in Afghanistan, Iraq, drones in Pakistan, an increasing military presence in Africa.

Laborers Were Cheated Out Of More Than $200,000 On Port Authority Construction Job At JFK Airport

"Based upon court filings and statements in court, Fridman, 60, owned and operated Millennium Commercial Corp., a Brooklyn-based company that performed tile work. The defendant and his company, located at 200 Brighton 15th St., performed tile restoration work as a subcontractor on the renovation of the TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy Airport in 2009 and 2010. Under the Port Authority contract for the project and the Labor Law, the defendant was required to pay his employees over $50 per hour for Laborers and Mason Tenders and over $70 per hour for Tile Setters. Fridman was aware that he was required to pay the prevailing wages but still paid some of his workers as little as $10 per hour.

To avoid detection, Fridman filed false certified payroll reports stating he paid his workers the prevailing wages, and also issued paychecks to the workers that matched those payroll reports." A.G. Schneiderman Announces Conviction Of Construction Boss For Underpaying Workers On Project At JFK Airport | Eric T. Schneiderman

But . . . they had jobs, right? They must be entitled ingrates to have filed complaints Snark

sm_landlord wrote:

We have plenty of soil decontamination experts in Cali that learned their trade cleaning up after the fuel additive disaster.

Sounds good to me.

There's some urban farming already: Urban farming invigorates Detroit neighborhood | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

Detroit Urban Farming Gets Boost From New Michigan State University Agricultural Innovation Initiative

and Hantz Farms | Introduction

sm_landlord wrote:

Detroit? Two words:

Farmland Recovery

Might have to do some soil recovery first and/or some superfund work. Lead, other stuff.

At least it's got a reasonable amount of rainfall, no need to mine groundwater.

sm_landlord wrote:

Did you see the recent bit about US marshals dressing up in Mexican Marine's uniforms to chase narcos South of the Border?

Nope, but did read this: First Snowden. Then tracking you on wheels. Now spies on a plane. Yes, surveillance is everywhere | Trevor Timm | Comment is free | The Guardian

Then there's use of drones for surveillance. Wherever he is, J.Edgar must wish he were alive now and running the FBI.

sm_landlord wrote:

and seems to have driven some advances in wiretapping technology, but that's about it for the positives.

some advances in treating PTSD, TBI and design/manufacture of prosthetic devices--for the usual horrible reasons.

robj wrote:

unless we can come up with a convenient war.

When has the US not been in a war since the 1960's? The Korean war has never actually ended, so I guess I should have said the 1950's.

"It was a highway robbery but the bandits got more than they bargained for when they stopped a taxi in Guinea and made off with blood samples that are believed to be infected with the deadly Ebola virus." Bandits in Guinea steal suspected Ebola blood - seattlepi.com

" A plague outbreak has killed 40 people on the island nation of Madagascar, with 119 people diagnosed with the bacterial disease since August." . . .

"WHO said a national task force has been set up to manage the outbreak, with the cost of the project reaching $200,000. The international health organization said it is working with the Red Cross and Madagascan health authorities to control the disease.

The plague is a disease carried by rodents and spread by fleas. Humans are most often infected when they are bitten by fleas, causing swelling of the lymph nodes and sometimes pneumonia.

Combatting the disease in Madagascar has been made more difficult by a high level of resistance to an insecticide used to control fleas, according to WHO.

Early treatment and antibiotics have been effective in curing the disease, according to WHO." Plague outbreak kills 40 people in Madagascar - seattlepi.com