Listened to the news in the car. Here are the high points:
* Oil gusher is still gushing. I found myself wondering if anyone would care about a highly dangerous and dirty “extraction” industry if it only killed people and spoiled habitats in West Virginia. I also wondered if miners would get more respect if they dressed in utility overalls so they kinda look like firefighters – like the oil rig guys.
* The first military tribunal since Obama took office is starting down in Guantanamo, only six months after Obama took office, promising to close Guantanamo and stop having military tribunals. It involves a guy who was fifteen years old when he (allegedly) threw a grenade that killed a US serviceman, during a US attack on the facility where he was (allegedly) making bombs. EIGHT YEARS LATER, he’s seeing the first glimmers of a trial – and they’re asking questions like “the confessions that we got from him (when he was 15) by telling him he would be taken to the US and raped over and over, can we use that now that he’s 23?” I found myself wondering “EIGHT GODDAMN YEARS?” Wow. Neither swift, nor fair, nor by anything even approaching “peers.” I guess he probably deserves it though – not having been smart enough to be born in the US.
* Obama nominated a supreme court justice. I have no idea what to think about that – but I hope she can counteract some of the crazy that’s been coming down from the bench lately. If life were more like The Onion, that would be fine with me.
* Europe apparently put forth a bailout that is larger than the one the US used two years ago – except that there’s no money to back it up – or something. We’re apparently supposed to judge whether or not that’s a good idea by watching the S&P 500 – which almost crashed due to somethingorother related to high speed automated trading earlier this week. I found myself wondering whether incompetence suffices to explain all of this – or if we need to invoke malice.
* The pope is edging towards saying unconditionally that child abuse is wrong. I found myself wondering how this is news or progress – and whether (if we’re airing dirty laundry) he might at some point admit that the evidence for the divinity of Jesus is slim at best and that christians would find addressing salvation in this current life a better use of their time than worrying incessantly about a hypothetical next one.
Then there was a nice human interest story about a family who has played drums at some kings tomb for the last 600 years. I liked that.