Amy Davidson, The New Yorker online, yesterday (excerpt is last 2 paragraphs)
We have heard a good deal from the N.R.A. in the last couple of months about how a gun defends a home. Wayne LaPierre, the group’s executive vice-president and increasingly unhinged public face, has been out talking about how everyone needs a gun to be prepared for a coming time of financial crisis and natural disaster. South Africa and the United States are distinct countries with different gun cultures, but people are not so different. The array of objects within arm’s reach can turn a moment of rage to something worse in any country. A gun in the house makes it more likely that domestic violence will lead to murder. (The Times has a story this morning about how living with guns has also been connected to dying by suicide.) Oscar Pistorius’s gun did not keep Reeva Steenkamp safe. Living in a house with many guns did not keep Kasandra Perkins safe when Jovan Belcher, the father of her child, shot her and then himself.
There is much to admire in the confidence that made Pistorius believe that he could challenge world running federations, and make them let him run. There was a clarity there, and inspiration, and the right kind of pride. (This morning, someone reportedly took a Nike ad with the line “I am the bullet in the chamber” off of his Web site.) There will be plenty of talk, too, about what brings athletes to both the highest levels of sports and to a place of domestic tragedy—publicity, pressure, even the unsettling question of performance-enhancing drugs and their psychological effects. That discussion is worth having. But what matters even more is what can happen in any home, in any room, with a man and a woman and a gun.
This past month a large crater was discovered in Yalmal Peninsula in Siberia. Scientist have been there to study it. They didn't come to any conclusions other then it was formed the same way a cork pops from a bottle. This is an area of tundra that is rich in methane gas. It is believed that the thawing of the permafrost cause the gas to escape blowing a hole. They have now found 2 other holes that are smaller. Methane is a more serious threat to global warming then CO2. This gives the scientist more sites to study and may lead to an explanation. The article includes interesting pictures.
They live in luxury villas in the Persian Gulf. They travel in private jets. They skim millions from the oppressed people of Gaza by taxing the tunnel trade with Egypt. They finance development in Qatar and other locations with their millions or billions. On US TV (Charlie Rose) Khaled Meshaal proclaims "I cannot live under this occupation". True. And of course they are not living under occupation. They are profiting like crime kingpins off of it.
f the US State Department's Victoria Nuland had not said "Fuck the EU," few outsiders at the time would have heard of Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, the man on the other end of her famously bugged telephone call. But now Washington's man in Kiev is gaining fame as the face of the CIA-style "destabilization campaign" that brought down Ukraine's monumentally corrupt but legitimately elected President Viktor Yanukovych.