Category Archives: Politics

Nut Graph

Listening to Marketplace this morning on the way into work with the kids. Kai Ryssdal was talking about the Federal Reserve not raising interest rates, and I swear here said “For those of you in a hurry, here’s the nut grab, the Fed is not raising rates now.”

Huh? Did he just say ‘nut grab?’ While that would certainly get my attention, I have never heard that turn of phrase before, let alone coming from a broadcast radio announcer on public radio for chrissakes. Doesn’t seem like something that would get past the censors.

Well a little investigation – basically downloading the mp3 file and listening again and again – I think I just misheard him and he really said ‘nut graph.’ And while I still have never heard of nut graph before, Wikipedia does tell me this is actually a term used by journalists. It is a contraction of ‘nutshell paragraph,’ the leading paragraph of a story that encapsulates the essential information in a short sentence or two. Okay, that makes much more sense.

Still I like ‘nut grab.’ Seems more visceral and on point. Actually reminds me of another malaprop I had back in 2004 or so, when I heard about the governor of Iowa was running for president or might be a vice presidental candidate. I swear I heard his name was Tom Ballsack the first couple times it was mentioned on the radio.

Hmm, nut grab, ballsack… I sense a certain Freudian trend in my malaprops.

Episode IV: A New Hope

I especially enjoyed the crowd at the Inaugaration chanting “na na na na, hey hey hey, good bye” to Bush and Cheney. Good riddance you lousy bums. Go crawl back under whatever rock you emerged from in 2000. It takes my breath away when I think about the last decade, starting in 1998 with that impeachment debacle. We got the hell we deserved I guess. Hopefully the utter mess Republicans have left of our country and the world will serve as a wake up call for Americans.

Welcome, aloha and hafa adai President Obama.

Someone Should Be Held Accountable Part Two

The federal court wrested control of Guam’s solid waste program from the Government of Guam on Monday, basically saying that GovGuam is not interested in closing Ordot dump and that the situation is spiraling out of control. Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood placed the solid waste operations in receivership and gave a Virginia company the go ahead to develop a new landfill and close the festering sore of the current landfill. She was scathing in her scorn for GovGuam, DPW and the Legislature.

So a new landfill is on the way. Unfortunately this receivership into the hands of a private firm means the costs will skyrocket, and those costs will of course be passed onto me and other Guam taxpayers. Joy. Another banner week for GovGuam ineptitude.

Someone Should Be Held Accountable

So the Attorney General ordered the closure of Southern High School last week, after visiting the campus and discovering numerous health and safety violations. If the school is not brought into habitable conditions over spring break this week, the school will remain closed while repairs continue. Just click on that link above and look at the picture of Southern’s swimming pool. It is rancid. And the thing is, Southern has always been this way, since it opened over a decade ago. That pool has always been that way, the football field has always been a wasteland, the toilets screwed up. That school is a disgrace.

From the Halls of Montezuma

To the Shores of Tumon Bay…

The Marines are coming folks. 8,000 of them. Whether Guam wants them or not, they are coming because Japan doesn’t want them anymore and Uncle Sam can push around the territory’s government a lot easier than the Japanese now. And the Japanese are willing to pay big bucks to get rid of the Marines too. And the US government is very interested in developing Guam and an ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’ to counter a belligerent North Korea and the surging Chinese military interest in the region. And since Guam is a US territory with minimal representation in Washington DC, it is a great deal easier to deal with than Japanese or South Korean governments.

The Chicago Tribune ran a very good article on the coming invasion last week, and my sister is mailing me the article. But it is also available online, with a couple interesting videos. Or should I say one interesting video on the Pangelinan property next to NCTAMS and another not so interesting video of the Umatac fiesta. Check it out folks.

Continuing with the theme here… How about the Marianas Variety’s articles last week on the secret 1945 US memo on how Guam’s development and administration were subordinate concerns for the military in lieu of military decisions. Not a lot has changed in over 60 years I am afraid.

Development is kicking into gear for this planned relocation. New housing is being laid out, along with new infrastructure, and thousands of workers being recruited from the Philippines and American Samoa. An interesting rumor bouncing around the island is how the Leo Palace development near my place in Manenggon Hills is up for sale, and Dick Cheney is going to lead a group of investors in the purchase the property and then lease it to the military for housing. It was pooh poohed at first, but now I don’t know. Seems more like all the time.

And the big Marine move is scheduled to start in 2012.

Molly Ivins Dead At 62

Columnist and well know liberal Molly Ivins has died at the age of 62 following a long battle against breast cancer. She was one of the good ones folks, unabashedly Texan and not afraid to call out the crap on that jackass sitting in the White House.

Might as well throw in a plug for the American Cancer Society‘s Relay for Life. Please donate your funds to help in the fight against cancer. Here is the link to the Guam Relay for Life fundraising page.

More Random Links

Got a few more odds ‘n ends to mention.

  • Game making software – The software is free, but buy the book. And go forth and make a side-scrolling wonder my children.
  • The Book of Sand Hypertext/Puzzle – Yes, the Book of Sand.
  • The Interplanetary Bike Ride – It’s actually in Peoria, but it does promise to visit all the planets.
  • Searching for Sufis – Interesting essay on Sufism.
  • Watching Beirut Die – Chef, author and TV host Anthony Bourdain was in Beirut when the war started. He was filming a special on Beirut’s resurgence and the promise of peace. Oops.
  • Andrei Sakharov’s Prescience – Looks like Sakharov foresaw the internet and blogs by almost two decades.

    Far in the future, more than 50 years from now, I foresee a universal information system (UIS), which will give everyone access at any given moment to the contents of any book that has ever been published or any magazine or any fact. The UIS will have individual miniature-computer terminals, central control points for the flood of information, and communication channels incorporating thousands of artificial communications from satellites, cables, and laser lines. Even the partial realization of the UIS will profoundly affect every person, his leisure activities, and his intellectual and artistic development. Unlike television… the UIS will give each person maximum freedom of choice and will require individual activity. But the true historic role of the UIS will be to break down the barriers to the exchange of information among countries and people.

    This was written in 1974.

  • Imad Moustapha – Speaking of blogs, the Syrian ambassador to the US has a blog.
  • Why I Am Not A Christian – Classic essay by Bertrand Russell, his arguments against religion and God.

Tibet Tibet

Interesting synchronicity this week with Tibet. I picked up this used cd, Long Live Tibet, at the music store mostly because of the mesmerizing cover:

Long Live Tibet

Man, I love that photo of that girl. The album’s pretty good, featuring tracks for a number of artists; David Bowie, Pulp, Blur, Bjork, and Radiohead. Sort of a late ’90s hit parade.

This week the BBC chose to feature Tibet on their website too. An in depth look at the roof of the world and what’s going on up there. The photo essay on Tibetan nomads is well worth clicking through, but the real meat of the feature is a look at Tibet’s political future. China holds all the cards, and they are content to wait. The current Dalai Lama can’t live forever. When he eventually passes away China hopes that all this talk of a free Tibet collapses without his powerful presence and charisma to sustain it. After all, it seems so many are willing to kowtow to Beijing these days. Young Tibetans also sense a changing of the guard, perhaps from peaceful protests to violence.

What is inevitable is the political turmoil the Dalai Lama’s passing will create. China is certain to appoint their own successor, while the government in exile will likely choose their own. A similar event happened in 1995, when the Dalai Lama chose a Tibetan boy as the successor of the Panchen Lama. Chinese authorities selected another child, and the original boy disappeared, never to be seen again.

Some more links, to explore the issue further.

Scattershot Links

Time for a random smattering of links as I clear some tabs off of Camino:

  1. Scientists penetrate fossil magma chamber beneath ocean crust – drilling more than a mile through the ocean floor, geologists drilled through volcanic rock to reach an ancient magma chamber beneath the ocean’s surface. Remember that movie The Core? I wonder if it was like that?
  2. A survey of open source applications for Mac OS XFink and DarwinPorts, more software than you can shake a stick at. And it’s all free.
  3. Vibramfivefingers – A bootie with toes, it’s supposed to fit the foot like a glove. Looks freaky deaky to me.
  4. US Navy obsolete in War on Terror – Another example of that old aphorism that the military always prepares to fight the last war. The world’s most powerful navy has nobody to fight.
  5. More evidence for Nemesis? – That’s Nemesis, the undiscovered companion star of our Sun. The chief proponent of this theory says that newly discovered Sedna orbits in resonance with previously published orbital data for this undiscovered star.
  6. Nile explorers relate their adventures – Rousing adventure tale on the National Geographic website. Wonder how long before it is featured on the National Geographic Channel?
  7. Citizen Cope – Been listening to this guy a lot lately. Once I get my iBook back from Marianas Electronics I think I’ll pay a visit to the iTunes Music Store.
  8. Itchy ‘N Scratchy – Yeah, I got jafjaf. That reminds me, I need to go take my prescription for this.
  9. Odd man out in a cut-throat world – Now there’s a bookstore I wouldn’t mind working in for a few years.
  10. Kryptos confounds sleuths – because of a typo – The mysterious sculpture Kryptos adorns an atrium on the grounds of the CIA in Langley, Virginia. For sixteen years it has stymied cryptographers attempting to decipher the code encrypted across the undulating surface. Turns out there’s a good reason why: the artist made a typo.
  11. Surprise! Bugs at airport blamed on Yingling – Boy, I didn’t see that coming from a mile off.
  12. Warcraft III – Been thinking about actually buying a video game. Of course, it’s three or four years old, but it still looks cool. And it’s cheap…
  13. Nepalis celebrate – Looks like the king caved in and recalled parliament after several years. Hopefully this calms the situation in Nepal.
  14. The English laugh at our low gasoline prices – They pay $8 a gallon in merry old England for petrol.
  15. CNMI mentioned in Alternet – a look at Jack Abramoff’s dealings with the Northern Marianas and guest workers.
  16. Gas prices spurring ‘moped madness’ – I must admit, I’ve been thinking about buying a motorcycle. The incredible mileage is hard to beat, but frankly it would suck to ride a bike on Guam in August.
  17. Apocalysts now – Finally, how about a screed against George W. Bush’s religious overtones? Nothing like scaring the atheists and riling up the devout.

It’s Good For Glaucoma…

Legalize  ItOh man, I totally saw this chick standing on the street corner at ITC on Thursday. I was going to mention it earlier, but I totally spaced it. I was driving along and I saw them standing there with placards. Another political campaign function at the island’s busiest intersection I thought. Not quite. It was a few kids out advocating drug reform.

Yeah, Thursday was Hitler’s birthday, which for some reason is a big excuse to smoke pot now. The Wired article lays it all out. (I especially like the bit about how Deadheads were the first folks out there on the internet – ain’t that the truth. Say hello to the Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link folks…)

No, I didn’t grab that picture, it all happened too quickly for me to pull out my camera. That shot comes from the blog of the estimable DZer. I couldn’t help but laugh thinking about those dudes out there and that they were probably baked right at that moment.

Of course it was a shame that the FDA harshed their mellow the very same day and said marijuana has absolutely no medical use. Sounds like propaganda to me man, especially coming from the uptight Republican administration with a history of twisting science for political gain.