Friday, July 11, 2008


The Bonecrusher

No Gatlinburg stories just yet, just a couple NY Times articles. You do have log in to the NYTimes so use Bugmenot if you don't want to but they send you daily news emails and other cool things, so I would recommend becoming a member.

The first is an Op-Ed piece from John R. Miller
a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, is the former State Department ambassador at large on modern slavery.
It details how G Dub Bush wants to leave a positive legacy by reducing the modern slave trade. I don't know how many other positive legacies he'll leave but modern slavery is a damn good start. Except for the fact that his Justice Department is trying to file down the teeth of a new anti-human trafficking bill. It's a quick 2 page read but very interesting. Basically Bush's own Justice Department is fighting against his supposed legacy like this excerpt:
Should the State Department’s annual report on trafficking, which grades governments on how well they are combating modern slavery, consider whether governments put traffickers in jail? The Justice Department says no. Should the Homeland Security and Health and Human Services Departments streamline their efforts to help foreign trafficking victims get visas and care? No. Should the Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, State and Justice Departments pool their data on human trafficking to help devise strategies to prevent it? Amazingly, no.
Seems pretty cut and dry to me and the notion that some of these people (mostly women if you can call an average age of 14 a "woman") choose to be traded is ludicrous. Yes there are whores who choose to be whores and work in brothels but I can't imagine a 12 year old making the same decision. And what about the sex slave tourists?
Should the department prosecute the American sex tourists who create demand for adult human-trafficking victims in foreign countries? No. Should Congress make clear that there should be increased penalties for Americans who sexually abuse children abroad? No way. Should we give our courts jurisdiction over Americans who traffic human beings abroad? Certainly not. Should the attorney general include information in his annual report on his department’s efforts to enforce anti-trafficking laws against federal contractors and employees? No. Too “burdensome,” says the Justice Department.
Yikes. This is horrible and if Dubya wants to actually leave a positive legacy, he better head over to the Justice Department and break out some Texas style justice, via Connecticut and Yale of course.

The second is about a certain sport that is particularly crazy. The locals call it jumping. The most accepted name for the sport is rock jumping. As in jumping from rock to rock. But not just any rocks. These are Czech rocks and are very far away and tall. Marketa Hulpachova writes an article about rock jumping and California climber Cedar Wright who ventures over to follow in the footsteps of Oxygen and Petr Kops, who jump quite far and gracefully. The article is good but the video is much more impressive. You get to see some of the jumps performed by these athletes. Some might call them lunatics. I call it pretty damn cool.

I should be around this weekend but no promises. Happy Friday!

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