Cold wave grips Berkeley, but at least one blogger soldiers on
Snow on Mount Hamilton. Credit: Kat Wade
Dear God it’s cold this morning, I actually had to shut my window. Yes, sometime during the night the temperature plummeted to well below 50(10C) degrees! OK, I’d try and milk this further, but by now most readers are probably aware that Berkeley doesn’t really get all that cold. There was some snow dusted on Mount Hamilton some miles south of here, but they get the odd snowfall almost every winter. Still, it is annoying because my space heater blew up a few weeks ago. However, reading the headlines usually makes my blood boil, so here we go…
Wild Stork Found Dead. A wild stork has been found dead in Japan. His name was Hachigoro. This is headline news in Japan. I guess wild storks are big deal in Japan, still, I can’t imagine a dead bald eagle being headline news in the USA. Poor guy, and on the plus side, if a dead stork is headline news…it must be a slow news day. These days, a slow news day is a good news day. RIP Hachigoro. And yes, that a wild stork had a name is certainly curious, nu?
World Stock Markets Rebounding. After yesterdays big losses (the worst since 911,) world stock markets appear to be rebounding. Not terribly surprising, there are a lot of mechanisms in place to prevent a repeat of the 1929 crash. Still, as I have surmised, stock markets are more an indication of how the rich are doing ands not so much an indication of how economies are doing. I see them as more akin to the Oscars as real news. And no, I won’t be sinking so low as to blog about the Oscars, I have my pride.
Victory in Afghanistan. The PM of Canada has declared “victory” in Afghanistan. Since attacks by the resurgent Taliban have been increasing every year since the occupation of Afghanistan, this is certainly an interesting take on the situation. In fact western troops are suffering casualties in Afghanistan now at the same rate as troops in Iraq, it just isn’t apparent because there are far fewer western troops stationed in Afghanistan. Does this mean victory in Iraq will be announced soon? Again?
Baghdad Burning Updated. For the first time since Saddam’s “execution,” Riverbend’s blog from Baghdad has been updated. Incredibly depressing as usual, and highly recommended. Of course those who still believe in Bush’s “Good news everyone” fantasies should avoid it at all costs. As the gap between US propaganda about Iraq and reality widens, I fear that people’s brains might be damaged if they suddenly are forced to confront the reality of the quisling regime America has installed in Iraq. Of course most of these people actually thought that invading Iraq was a good idea. Heck, hundreds of thousands dead, millions of refugees, and some people still believe it was a good idea. I can only wonder what their definition of failure is, if they think this bloody mess is success.
Good News Everyone. OK, there is actually some good news out of Iraq. Both the US and Iran have agreed to participate in talks about the situation in Iraq. I can only hope that all the parties in question are sincere, or reasonably sincere. (This is international politics for God’s sake, so everything said must be taken with a grain of salt.) Maybe it’s a sign that Bush has realized that attacking Iran isn’t going to make the situation in Iraq any better. Maybe it’s cynical attempt to set up a situation where Bush can claim “diplomacy failed” to further legitimize an already planned attack. The talks begin March 10th, we’ll see what negotiating positions the various parties take then. If all one or more parties want to do is argue about how the tables in the conference room are set up, we’re screwed. Until then, I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic.
That’s it for today. I am writing some single subject posts for the weekend, I work Tuesday through Friday so it’s much easier for me to do these news summary posts on those days. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my readers, regular and otherwise. Comments are always appreciated, I try and address them all but I know I don’t always manage to find the time. Suggestions about future posts are always appreciated, and will almost always eventually be honoured. Don’t hesitate to bug me if I’m taking my sweet time! Once again, thanks and God bless everyone, daily readership now frequently tops 200 and my total page views will pass 20,000 any day now. Woohoo!
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and it s central to illustrating the post.)