Through Thick and Thin, Tuesday 25 September 2007
It’s been an interesting few days for Doug’s Darkworld. For some reason I had a spike of over 30 thousand hits late last week, more than 18,000 Friday alone. Since my previous daily record was something like 400 hits, this was quite a surprise. So let me take this opportunity to thank everyone for dropping by, thanks for leaving all the thoughtful comments, and I especially appreciate the fact that some people have even taken the trouble to promote or post Doug’s Darkworld links around the web. I have even been listed as an external link on this wikipedia article for example, I am truly honoured and appreciative.
Moving right along, the news of the day. I will be posting about President Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York, Bush’s speech to the UN, and related topics after all is said and done. The only comment I would make at this time is that the people who say Ahmadinejad is a dictator like Hitler are only demonstrating how little they know about Iran. Ahmadinejad has very little actual power in Iran, and less every day as a combination of his ill considered words and western demonization and propaganda strengthens the Iranian hardliners position. Freaking out about Ahmadinejad is not only missing the point, it’s actually making the situation worse. Of course some claim that the USA is deliberately trying to turn Iran into a failed state like Afghanistan and Iraq. I can only say that I still hope and pray that our government hasn’t gone that far over to the dark side, and that our failures in Iraq and Afghanistan are merely a sign of poor plans badly executed.
It is now all but certain that indeed a meteor struck near a remote village in Peru last week, making a crater some 14m (42 foot) wide and 5m (15 feet) deep. A handful of people were sickened by arsenic fumes kicked up in the initial impact as the meteor hit a patch of toxic soil. This is the first meteor to make a crater since the Wabar fall in the 1800s, and plans are already underway to turn it into a tourist attraction. Frankly, it’s just a muddy hole in the ground, so I can’t imagine the typical tourist is going to be too excited. A whole host of science types will be making pilgrimages there for years or decades to come though, the locals are going to be exposed to an interesting cross section of the world’s geeks.
The situation in Burma (Myanmar) is getting interesting. Tens of thousands of Buddhist monks have been publicly protesting against the military government that has been ruling Burma with an iron fist for two decades. Tens of thousands of other people have joined them. Exciting times no doubt, so far the government has issued warnings but not taken action. The world has expressed strong support for the protesters, time will tell. Usually in situations like this troops open fire on a few crowds, and everyone goes home. 3,000 peaceful protesters were shot the last time people dared take to the streets in Burma in 1998. Sometimes though for any number of reasons, a dictatorship is swept from power by expanding waves of protest. Burmese troops may be reluctant to fire on protests led by monks, so I hope and pray the later situation unfolds. Revolutions don’t always turn out OK, but when a government is a military dictatorship, almost anything is an improvement democracy and human rights wise.
In some final sad news, I’m sorry to report that a long time commenter on Doug’s Darkworld, Jack of the News Snipet blog, is taking a leave of absence from blogging due to ill health. My prayers and best wishes go out to him and his friends and family. While I disagreed with him many times, we also found much common ground and I have nothing but respect for the man. He is a principled person trying to do the right thing, if everyone was like that the world would be a much better place. God bless you Jack.
(The above image copyright © 2007 Doug Stych, all rights reserved.)