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We’ve known for years that the Bush administration ignored and broke the law repeatedly in the name of national security. It is now clear that many of those programs could have been conducted just as easily within the law — perhaps more effectively and certainly with far less damage to the justice system and to Americans’ faith in their government. That is the inescapable conclusion from a devastating report by the inspectors general of the intelligence and law-enforcement community on President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program. The report shows that the longstanding requirement that the government obtain a warrant was not hindering efforts to gather intelligence on terrorists after the 9/11 attacks. In fact, the argument that the law was an impediment was concocted by White House and Justice Department lawyers after Mr. Bush authorized spying on Americans’ international communications.–“Illegal, and Pointless,” The New York Times
More and more Hispanics in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado are uncovering a secret Jewish ancestry, and a hidden health risk that sometimes comes with it. “Nothing survives but a name, a blood line, and curiously enough a tendency to contract certain auto-immune diseases,” said University of New Mexico adjunct professor Stanley Hordes – author of the book “To the End of the Earth: A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico”. “It’s absolutely fascinating to see the intersection between the historical and the cultural and the genetic and the genealogical,” Hordes said. Research shows Sephardic Jews held on to their religion in secret after leaving Spain and Portugal during the Spanish inquisition in the late 15th century, which eventually followed them into the New World. Many Hispanics are starting to find out there is more to their history than they thought. “Our family had been in the Pojoaque Valley forever and ever and ever,” said Albuquerque resident Bernadette Martinez. “We thought that we were just the descendants of Spaniards that came into New Mexico.” Martinez confirmed she has Jewish blood, through DNA testing three years ago. Father Bill Sanchez, a priest at the St. Edwin Catholic Parish in southwest Albuquerque, discovered his Jewish ancestry through DNA testing in 2001.”That’s when it was verified through science,” Sanchez said. “I say my ancestry is Jewish.”–“Hidden heritage exposes cancer risk,” Tim Maestas, KRQE.com
It’s a big-city big-game reserve for the lions, gazelles and jackals of the urban veldt. That proud, roaring figure in one of the prime circular red booths — isn’t that Vernon Jordan? And that band of underfed creatures with such hungry, all-knowing miens: that must be a herd of Vogue editors. They’ve come because Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair and one of the principal architects of this experience, summoned them. On top of everything else the Monkey Bar is his social pulpit, affirming his ordination as the high priest of a certain fame-focused, power-obsessed sect of Manhattan society. With his magazine sanctum doubling as a reservations office, Mr. Carter, the raconteur-cum-restaurateur, decrees who gets in and which table they occupy. And he fashions a fantasy New York where arrivistes bask in mutual recognition and reciprocal adoration, each mirroring the others’ sense of triumph, the unruly city edited down to one preposterously romantic room for the most unromantic of pursuits: back scratching and social climbing.–“Laws of the Jungle Apply,” Frank Bruni The New York Times
Estimated acres of forest Henry David Thoreau burned down in 1844 trying to cook fish he had caught for dinner:
The bombardier beetle, which can fire liquid at its enemies from its rear end at up to 300 squirts per second, was being scrutinized in the hope of building a better airplane engine.
London Fire Brigade investigators blamed a building fire in South London on a bird that carried a lit cigarette to its rooftop nest. “Smokers,” said neighborhood baker Richard Scroggs. “What can you say?”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”