slowly, confusedly, and hopefully meditatively.
Nation’s precious Sriracha supply at risk
Hot sauce fans be warned. The Sriracha factory in Irwindale could be shut down after several complaints from nearby residents that the smell of the factory is so strong that it is causing throat pain, burning eyes and headaches.
Keep track of the latest over at L.A. Now, and follow reporter Frank Shyong, who’s hot on the trail of the alleged Sriracha dangers.
Just stuck my head into this torrent of pepper air for journalism. Slight pepper smell, not too uncomfortable. pic.twitter.com/fWlcGm4Y5m— Frank Shyong (@frankshyong)
Photos: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times
"Today, the day that Russian Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, several websites of the Russian Muslim community were defaced with a photo of a severed pig’s head with the Koran in its mouth."
"In the past months, though, the Western fawning over Malala has become less about her efforts to improve conditions for girls in Pakistan, or certainly about the struggles of millions of girls in Pakistan, and more about our own desire to make ourselves feel warm and fuzzy with a celebrity and an easy message. It’s a way of letting ourselves off the hook, convincing ourselves that it’s simple matter of good guys vs. bad guys, that we’re on the right side and that everything is okay."
~ Max Fisher, The Nobel Committee did Malala a favor in passing her over for the peace prize, The Washington Post
Happy Fourth of July
Now do something very American: Join Restore the Fourth for an Independence Day protest.
Via the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
This Fourth of July, groups of concerned individuals will be taking to the streets in dozens of cities across the United States in support of the Fourth Amendment. According to the official website, Restore the Fourth aims to end all forms of unconstitutional surveillance of digital communications by the United States government. The campaign calls particular attention to PRISM, a recently-revealed project of the National Security Agency that allows the government broad access to the Internet traffic and other electronic communications of many users – including many Americans. The Restore the Fourth movement has an active reddit community that is working cooperatively to organize protests across the country.
There are many ways to protest unconstitutional surveillance – including signing onto the Stop Watching Us site and calling your elected officials – but physical protests can be particularly effective at demonstrating public outrage. We’re glad to see the Restore the Fourth movement organizing protests across the country against unlawful NSA spying, and we hope these protests push elected officials to respond to the American people’s growing discontent with dragnet domestic surveillance.
And now back to our regularly scheduled fireworks.
President Obama just delivered a near hour-long speech on drone strikes and counterterrorism policy. There was a lot there; he announced, among other things, new steps the administration is taking to close Guantanamo Bay, changes in policies regarding drone strikes, and a more lenient policy for the transfer of Guantanamo detainees. He defended the strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki and the practice of drone strikes in general, but also acknowledged their limitations. You can read the full text of the speech here (Photo credit: AP) source
The very interesting question that has arisen as the U.S. has pioneered this technology is: What happens when the Russians, say, send an armed drone into Georgia to the south claiming that there’s a Chechen terrorist that’s hiding in Georgia? And they have no other way to kill him and so they’re going to kill him with a drone missile?
“It’s going to be a very interesting moment internationally and for the United States, because the Obama administration — if that’s who’s in power — is going to have to say, ‘We accept this because they’re doing exactly what we do,’ or they’ll have to somehow make a distinction between what the Chinese or Russians are doing and what we’ve done in the past."
"Karl Rove, founder of one of the biggest Republican groups, American Crossroads, recently said the group would spend $32 million to keep the party’s House majority. The group intends to spend money on research, direct mail and calls, and polling, along with ads."
~ from an editorial in today’s NY Times. American Crossroads is a Super PAC. That statement alone leaves me agape at the fact that people really believe this is a democracy. One worth replicating in other parts of the world no less.
from an editorial in today’s NY Times. American Crossroads is a Super PAC.
That statement alone leaves me agape at the fact that people really believe this is a democracy. One worth replicating in other parts of the world no less.
I’m currently in Dehradun and posted this over at the FJP this morning.
Daughters Are Precious
My morning reading in the Hindustan Times today. A new column by actor-activist Amir Khan. He writes:
Every conceivable reason that I have come across during our research of people explaining why they want a boy and not a girl as a daughter does not seem to make any sense to me. For instance, “if we have a girl then at the time of her marraige we have to pay dowry”, or “a girl cannot perform the last rites after the death of her parents, or near and dear ones”, or “the girl can’t take the vansh, or family forward”…All these are man-made reasons. We have created dowry and are now killing the girl child as if she is responsible for it. We have decided for ourselves that girls can’t perform last rites and then we say the girl is to blame.”
FJP: Agreed, approved, and happy to see this in a newspaper.
It’s a document with a pretty intimidating name, that’s for sure. Obama’s trip to Afghanistan early Wednesday local time seemed loaded with mystery — few knew he was there until he was actually there. He was there to sign a document that many watching the news had no idea existed until today. And the document itself is the definition of how a long-standing war will finally end, thirteen years after it started — at least as far as combat troops go. This document, just eight pages, was so important that the White House had to release a fact sheet to explain it to the average joe. What does it mean to you, anyway? Here are three things you should take from the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement:
- one The U.S. government will continue to help the Afghan government train its security forces even after combat troops leave the country in 2014, with the goal of giving the entire region stability.
- two The U.S. will continue to fund security and development efforts in the country, but not by default — the president has to ask Congress for a new round of funding each year.
- three This effort goes both ways — Afghanistan is on the hook to improve the transparency and effectiveness of the government, while respecting the civil rights of its people. source
» So what’s the end date? The end of the document says this clearly: “It shall remain in force until the end of 2024.” (It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time this end date has been bandied about.) Which means, at that rate, the events around the Afghan War will be completely said and done 23 years after it started, though combat troops should be long gone. Hopefully.