News commentary…

IOC admits Internet censorship deal with China | Reuters
And the IOC wonders why people continue to criticize their activities with regards to how they run the Olympics, especially these Olympics and their double standards between nations on Olympic related issues.

Nano-foods: The next consumer scare? | U.S. | Reuters While I am not overly concerned about the safety of nano-foods the engineering side of me wants testing to be done to ensure such food is safe. It’s the lack of proper testing (or none at all in some cases) that has lead to catastrophic degradation of health to millions of people in the past. It is precisely because of this lack of long term testing I avoid GM foods and now will likely try to avoid these so called nano-foods as well. At the very least the FDA should require labels identifying GM, nano- and irradiated food if nothing more than to let the consumers make an informed choice.

House approves benefits for military ‘sole survivors’ – CNN.com Sometimes the House does the right thing, even if some penny pinching geek in the Defense Department could not.

Analysis: Obama, McCain both have lobbyist ties – CNN.com Something for everyone to keep in mind this Presidential campaign.

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News commentary

Iraq Not Allowed to Compete in Beijing – AOL Sports Just another example of why the IOC and the Olympics mean nothing anymore. The corruption, abuse of power, and interference starts with the IOC.

Obama urges Europe to stand with U.S. on Afghanistan | Reuters I watched Obama’s speech. It wasn’t especially notable to be honest. Not bad, just not really note worthy, IMO. I was a little surprised at the relatively sedate response from the crowd to his words, though maybe that was more due to the perception put forth by the news media that Obama would be the equivalent of a political rock star in Europe so I expected more enthusiasm.

White House threatens veto on bill to sell govt oil | Reuters In this case the White House is correct. The reserve is there for genuine emergencies, not because some politicians want to sucker the U.S. population into thinking they’re doing something to solve the problem of high fuel prices. These politicians have forgotten the purpose of the oil reserve: to mitigate oil supply disruption caused by events like the oil embargo of the 70s, war, and natural disasters. None of these play into the current state of oil prices in the U.S. at this time. Had these jumps occurred in the early days of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars or after Hurricane Katrina there would be some justification. but not now.

U.S. wants counterterror funds for Pakistan F-16s | Reuters An on this the White House is wrong. Counter terrorism funds should not be diverted to military funding given that they were approved solely for counter terrorism and law enforcement purposes. Add to this two key factors: 1. Pakistan helped form and support the Taliban and has some politicians and military leaders that still support them and 2. the F-16s used have traditionally been used by Pakistan to counter it’s neighbor India in their on going territorial dispute.

News commentary…

Karadzic arrested in Serbia, worked as doctor | Reuters It’s good to see this man will perhaps finally face justice. Now if they could do the same to Mladic, perhaps some of the wounds of the last Balkan War can heal on all sides.

U.S. general warns against Russian bombers in Cuba | Politics | Reuters
Echoes of the Cold War eh? Besides even the Russian Defense Ministry is apparently vehemently denying the report.

Clinton vows to fight insulting abortion plan | Politics | Reuters Good. The redefinition to include taking away even simple contraceptives, as I’ve noted in previous posts, is unnecessary and an obvious last ditch attempt by ideological extremists in the Bush administration to subvert U.S. laws, the rulings of the Supreme Court on the abortion issue, and the rights of women. What I did not like in the article was slipping in a pro-Democratic Party support website that while against the redefinition changes is more aimed at electing DP candidates. Not all Republicans support the extremist views on abortion the RNC and the Bush administration hold.

Young adults face tough economic struggle: study | U.S. | Reuters I believe it given the economic struggles of my friends and myself. (And these are ones with the college education.) My non-degreed friends are definitely worse off. Locally, there’s plenty of low wage (read: minimum wage or near minimum wage w/o benefit of tips) service industry jobs but few of the higher wage manufacturing jobs. Of course things aren’t helped any with employers apparently wary about hiring because of their uncertainty in the U.S. economy.

Wolves

Judge Restores Protection for Wolves – AOL News
Good for the wolves. I was rather ticked off about the States back when they started making plans for hunting the wolves especially with their attitude that re-decimating the wolf populations to as low as 500 was somehow good for them despite there only being some 2,000. You need to have the proper ratio of predator-prey in order to restore ecological balance not just concentrate conservation and restoration efforts of prey species. After all, the lack of natural predators, like wolves, due to the interference of man has contributed the growing nuisance of coyotes in Arizona and elsewhere.

Has Barack Obama Accomplished Anything in the Senate » Propeller
If nothing else I get a laugh out of the partisan bickering amongst the commentators while feeling sorry for those jut wanting to keep to the facts. Though who is who is sometimes hard to tell. The general feel I got from the interview was no, Obama hadn’t really accomplished anything. Not that such a thing is negative given he is a junior Senator and therefor unlikely to have much influence in the Senate in the first place. That said I personally don’t htink he’s ready to handle being President but that will be for the American voting public to decide (assuming no voting irregularities arise like in 2000).

Solar LifePods

Solar LifePod’s day in the sun | Green Tech – CNET News.com
An interesting idea. The only questions I could see arising about them in Phoenix, AZ would be the effect they have on the city’s summer heat island effect and the dust and thunderstorms effects on the devices. If they contribute to the heat island or are incapable of dealing with minimal maintenance the harsh storms we get then they wont be much use in Phoenix, let alone Arizona as a whole.

I’d certainly love to replace the old early 80s system that was put on my house with the newer photovoltaics but can’t afford to right now.

Assorted news commentary…

Hearing set on imperial Bush presidency | Politics | Reuters
Meh. Conyers own words already indicate his bias and therefore any “hearing” would be worthless. Just the same old garbage that’s become common shrift for politicians to vent their own ineffectualness on the outgoing President. Bush may be an idiot, but Conyers is a moron for wasting tax payer money just like all the other idiots that have come to use threats of impeachment as a means of political vendetta and/or distracting attention away from their own questionable activities.

U.N.’s Ban pushing ahead with Kosovo handoff to EU | International | Reuters Naturally Russia is upset but Serbia is curiously silent aside from one protest from Serbia’s President Tadic. We’ll see how this goes, but I don’t see Kosovo willingly falling back under Serbian (or Russian) influence any time soon and more than likely eventually punting the EU should the EU interfere to much with the local government and people’s lives.

Pope says young inheriting scarred, squandered earth | International | Reuters While it’s good that religious leaders are finally interested in the environment beyond the old “god gave it to us, so let’s use it” attitude, I do have to question whether this is simple pandering by the Pope and RCC to prop itself up. I mean the issue of the environment and conservatism et. al. has been around a lot longer than I’ve been alive so I do have to wonder at the timing.

Plan to send Mideast refugees to Sudan draws protest – CNN.com Honestly I don’t know what to think of this. It boggles me. It seems incomprehensible to send refugees to a nation with as many problems as Sudan. What I don’t get is why not send them to the ersatz state of Palestine since they are Palestinian? The whole situation just seems…odd.

Schmidt: YouTube + ads = ‘holy grail’ | News – Digital Media – CNET News.com Meh. Of course Google is happy with in video ads so they can hock their useless wares and services that no one cares about or wants to see when trying to watch a vid. Just put the ad at the beginning of the vid and be done with it. If I want 24/7 commercials when I’m trying to watch a vid I’ll watch the various shopping channels on TV instead.

An other view on Obama

And I am reminded why I enjoy reading Sandmonkey’s blog . Being an outsider he cuts to the quick with a startling accurate and clear view on American behavior, thoughts, and politics. It’s an understanding that I’ve rarely read or heard from those in the Middle East. It’s not one necessarily shared by many even within the U.S.A.

Rantings of a Sandmonkey » Why Obama will fail! (Don’t let the title fool you into thinking he’s pro-McCain.)

I found myself agreeing with many of his comments and thoughts, though I still think McCain has a chance of winning the Presidency.