Mountains of Coal

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post about mountaintop mining in the USA. All mining has some impact, but the sheer destructiveness of this type of mining is astonishing – and that’s before you take into account the greenhouse impact of the coal. This article in the New York Times details the…

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The Speech

As the speech itself acknowledges, a single speech can’t resolve things.  But it is impossible to overstate how significant it would be if the vision President Obama expresses and aspires to in this speech is successful.  The text of the speech is here, or here for translations into 14 other languages.  It is worth taking…

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Alaskan Daily on Palin

It’s no surprise that Barack Obama is receiving the majority of newspaper endorsements in the USA, but I was a bit surprised to see this one from the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska!  But even more interesting was their assessment of their local Governor, Sarah Palin

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Race politics in US electoral contests

Beneath the focus on the Presidential contest in the USA, hundreds of other electoral contests are also taking place for Congressional and state-based seats. Reports about a couple of those contests recently caught my eye. These two links tell of Rashida Tlaib, a Muslim woman of Arab descent who has just won the Democratic primary for…

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Following the US Elections

I know some people complain about how much coverage the election President of the USA is getting in Australia, but it has the potential to have a very significant effect on the future of the entire planet, so I think it’s worth following. Even though Barack Obama now seems to be doing the inevitable tilting…

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Kentucky coal

Kentucky is fleetingly in the news today because of the US Presidential primaries, but I wish there was more attention being paid to the extraordinarily destructive coal mining that has been going on in that state day after day. There is a lot of debate about how to reduce coal consumption and reduce the greenhouse…

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The Promised Land

Friday April 4th marked the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. King’s legacy and impact is greatest by far in the USA, but he has become known around the world as a voice for human rights and non-violence.  This piece by Joseph Palermo at The Huffington Post gives an interesting perspective on…

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A watchdog on the media

The drawn out contest to determine the next President of the USA is an extraordinary process. I find some components highly laudable, and some of them less than ideal. One of the problems with such a very long process is the need for the media (and the general public to some extent) to constantly try…

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Silent Howl

One would normally assume things are more permissive now regarding what is considered obscene than was the case fifty years ago, but there is an example in the USA at the moment to show that is not always the case. Fifty years ago, a landmark court case in the USA found that Allen Ginsberg’s poem…

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US citizenship test

It seems like both the content and topic of citizenship tests fascinate lots of people. The YouTube video Lyn Allison did on the topic got a lot more views than usual, as well as generating some media coverage. Of course, it’s also given the Coalition party yet another reason to spend millions of taxpayers’ dollars…

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