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2009 July 21 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Changing Tactics In Iran

The BBC reports that there were Arrests at new Iranian protests

Iranian riot police are reported to have arrested a number of pro-reform protesters in Tehran after demonstrations turned violent.

Police clashed with hundreds of people marching despite a ban on public gatherings since the disputed election in June, Reuters news agency said.

In a new form of protest, activists were urged to turn off lights and domestic appliances at 2055 (1625 GMT).

They planned to switch on five minutes later appliances that consume large amounts of electricity, such as irons, toasters and microwave ovens.

Activist leaders hoped the resulting surge in demand could cause a power outage and cloak Tehran in darkness, allowing some the chance to protest on the streets.

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July 21, 2009   4 Comments

The Status Quo Likes The Obama Plan

On NPR’s All Things Considered today host Robert Siegel interviewed AMA President Dr. James Rohack. [link to audio]

At the end Mr. Seigel brought up Atul Gawande’s article in The New Yorker, The Cost Conundrum, about the hyperexpensive health care in the McAllen, Texas area, wondering what the AMA was doing to address the runaway costs of over prescribing tests and procedures.

Dr. Rohack immediately brought out the “defensive medicine/malpractice” defense, which Mr. Siegel countered by pointing out that Texas had already enacted “tort reform” which caps “pain and suffering” at $250K. The doctor mumbled something about how the AMA has groups studying the problem.

Just so readers know, the AMA only encompasses 30% of doctors, and those tend to be doctors with stock tickers in their offices. [I was paid to install the satellite antennae for those tickers, so I’m not just being snarky. It is one way of spotting medical office buildings in Southern California.]

July 21, 2009   2 Comments

Fires Still Burning In British Columbia

FireThe CBC covers another facit of the fires, Okanagan fire threatens forestry jobs

Hundreds of forestry jobs may have been lost as a result of the largest of three fires burning in B.C.’s Okanagan’s Valley, which destroyed thousands of truckloads of timber — and the damage is not finished yet.

The Terrace Mountain fire has been burning in a steep mountain area north of West Kelowna since Saturday, and firefighters say the rugged terrain has been impossible to attack from the ground and difficult to tackle from the air, even at the best of times.

After strong winds fanned the flames on Monday, the fire grew to 13 square kilometres [5 square miles] by some estimates, and firefighters say after three days, they still have only 20 per cent of the fire contained.

The industry was already beset by the US building bust which made the lumber prices drop like a rock. Add to that the plagues of drought and pine beetles, which made the fires more probable, and you have a recipe for hard times in the timber industry.

July 21, 2009   Comments Off on Fires Still Burning In British Columbia

Stage 16 – The Alps

Tour de FranceMikel Astarloza of Spain made his move at exactly the right moment and flew in to take stage 16 that ran through portions of the Swiss, Italian and French Alps. Franco Pellizotti of Italy scored major points in the climbs and picked up the red numbers for his efforts.

Cadel Evans was in good shape until the final climb, but slipped back. His slip was nothing compared to Tony Martin who had worn the white jersey and was in the top ten for almost the entire race to this point, he’s back at 34 after a terrible day.

1. Alberto Contador (E/Astana) 67:33:15 [yellow jersey]
2. Lance Armstrong (US/Astana) +01:37
3. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) +01:46
4. Andréas Klöden (D/Astana) +02:17
5. Andy Schleck (LUX/Saxo Bank) +02:26 [white jersey]
6. Vincenzo Nibali (I/Liquigas) +02:51
7. Christophe Le Mevel (F/Francaise) +03:09
8. Frank Schleck (LUX/Saxo Bank) +03:25
9. Carlos Sastre (E/Cervelo) +03:52
10. Christian Vande Velde (US/Garmin) +03:59
11. Mikel Astarloza (E/Euskatel) +04:38 stage 16 winner

More after the fold

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July 21, 2009   Comments Off on Stage 16 – The Alps