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Dispatches from Boulder the Damned
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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

So.....regarding the District Court decision on an aspect of the municipalization case late today.  

The City won, and the court was pretty clear that software is not included in Open Records, but the City 'should have' coughed up what was released Monday earlier and has to reimburse the plaintiff for the expense of getting it.  Not much, I wouldn't think, but we'll see.

The city apparently had this won from the start; the law is clear, it turns out.  Who knew?  You'd have thought the Daily Camera would have stumbled across that salient point, that being what the City claimed was the law in black and white was indeed the law. Somehow, that wasn't discovered till the verdict.

The plaintiff, Patrick Murphy, did a service, no doubt, but I suspect for the wrong reasons.  He is underwritten for at least $3k by an unknown individual in Boulder County, he's said, and we can suspect Xcel connections.

Here.

This illustrates, yet again, that the law has not caught up with technology.  I think Boulder, as a government, deserves ability to negotiate on a level playing field with Xcel, who doesn't have to release squat in comparison, even thought they're up and running and should have it before them. So, I like the verdict, but not the mechanism relied upon.  I do understand you work with what the law is, though, not what it should be.

That was too close, though, for me.  I hoped the City anticipated better than I thought it had yesterday, but the verdict seems to show they had it won from the start.  Since I have to believe the lawyer and whoever put up the cash knew it as well, then this should be viewed as simply a nuisance suit.  Fitzgerald, I think, was honest for the reasons he went at it, and the fact he destroyed a Bob Greenlee column in the Camera Sunday totally removes him from my suspicions over the actual point of the suit.

This is a variant of class warfare between residents of eastern Boulder, both city and county.  The road paving, religion, the Muni, Plan Boulder, the elitism - so called - between those west of Broadway and those East, all of these issues are behind the conflicts, not the supposed issues themselves.
Monday, January 05, 2015



The above is by Szodliget in Hungary.  It's one of those  shots that cannot, ever, be duplicated, and it has competition in the latest National Geographic collection and, I think, The Atlantic's photo section. Soothing.  Only selected as Photo of the Day for January 3.  I vote for the week, but, hey, others are able to have incorrect opinions.

Boulder, tomorrow, is going to be afire as a judge has asked the city to show cause why the info they have gathered to contest Xcel Energy in court, should not be made public under the Freedom of Information Act. Boulder is plowing ahead to take over the power grid, and is willing to face Xcel before the bar to get its equipment and rights for negotiated fees.  Xcel never thought it would go this far, and has floundered and bullied in recent tantrums officially and in its use of astroturf citizens who are against it.  

I believe the point is that if they present everything now, so should Xcel, who has produced near nothing except vague promises of near inaction to keep the city happy.  It is panic stricken if Boulder leaves, both because of the expense AND because it is a green light for other municipalities to do the same.  Boulder believes it has the right and nothing so far counters that claim.  At any rate, Xcel tried the same thing and failed, and now a citizen - undoubtedly supported by Xcel directly or not - is the plaintiff.  The city seems sure.

The thing is, of course, is that those in East Boulder tend to be conservative, very religious, and nowhere near as wealthy as Boulder in the main. Those outside the city in the County between Boulder and Longmont are more so.  Longmont, run by the KKK along with most of Colorado in the 1920's, hasn't leaned left till lately, mostly because Boulder was doing so well.  Boulder, who fought the Klan's power (the Daily Camera's golden hour) because of the University and Federal Labs and all sorts of high end jobs and science types, has remained less awash in the Blood of the Lamb. In any case, the city and the conservative elements are near always at odds, and the city wins most often, and as the age group of Boomers and older see themselves declining, they grow more desperate to win something, anything, against the City and the three women who are the County Commissioners.

So, the Municipalization of the City grid, whatever its merits, must be defeated.  The Commissioners need be defeated over a paving issue in housing developments. And, of course, all Commissioners and City Council Members must be voted out of office so the soothing sight of grey haired white men can return to their rightful role. Any any issue, no matter how trivial, which can be used to start a winning streak for the ever so Christian and conservative enclaves must worked towards that end.  

If the City wins tomorrow, as the County won last Friday over a major aspect of the paving case, the bitterness in the East will be horrific.  If they somehow win, their bitterness and rage will be worse, for it's mainly composed of class warriors seeking social revenge.  



On the cover is the newest Italian maritime disaster.  Despite the jokes from WW2 melded on to Mafia corruptions and else, Italy has as impressive a maritime history as England - certainly longer in duration - and they build beautiful ships.  Even their warships were lovely.  

By they're Latin, not Anglo Saxon, and so when the Titanic went down all panic was blamed on the Italians, and the term was used as a synonym for coward in the Titanic hearings in England and here.  There were incidents between then and the Andrea Doria sinking, which was more the fault of the Swedish ship than the Italian.  Smaller incidents, and then the Costa Concordia and now the ferry called the Norman Atlantic which suffered a fire starting in the auto area, and people were killed but vast numbers saved.  The Italian forces were all over this and with Greek help, did a good job.  But there will be questions, more because nobody can tell us how many were actually aboard that ship.

This is a Third World issue.  People atop trains, jammed into box cars, holding on to the carriage beneath.  Italy is not Third World. This isn't status, it's safety and common decency to know who the hell is aboard and if they're missing.

No tales of sabotage, but god knows that may well be the case or, worse, someone will insist it is.  They're going over the ship they towed to port to hose it down and find the dead aboard not recovered.  The entire rescue was done in a high velocity storm and probably nobody could have done a better job.  Italians feel the scrutiny, almost all undeserved.

But the Costa Concordia 'Captain' was a Lotharian asshole of the first water whose attempt to impress some women killed people. He says he hit a reef not mapped. Unlikely. And he and his crew were not the last off the ship.  Some, of course, remained aboard for months till found. But these few truths flame the myth.



Worse, of course, is the plight of Asian airlines, near all Indonesian or involving flights from Indonesia. They entirely lost a Chinese airliner last year, still not found, and they lost the one last week.  Push to shove, their pilots were insufficiently trained, and the claim they were not allowed to climb above a huge storm because there was too much traffic above them (over the Java Sea, recall......) strikes me as implausible.  If so, those routes need be redone to give pilots more options than 'steady on the course'.  I'll also bet they can't be sure who was on the plane either.  

France lost an airliner over the Atlantic last year, quickly found.  Pilot error.  There are too many planes in the hands of those not qualified.  Everywhere.  That needs to be policed by the UN.  



This afternoon a few miles east of me a trailer was overturned by wind on the Longmont Diagonal.  There was not a whisper of it here, not a leaf.  There are rumors of all sorts of new variations of tornadoes and downdrafts and other horrors for planes and vehicles at speed.  So, I'm curious.  But no word on how this happened.  Suspect is was not designed for the speed it had obtained, and lesser winds overturned it.  Still.....


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

HBO is cleaning house.  True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, and  The Newsroom have been completed with the lattermost's finale this Sunday.  It was flawed, but I enjoyed it.  Possibly age, possibly bad taste, possibly a strain of romanticism is responsible for my opinion.

But, I still think the show was better than most, with a great cast, and it hit topics that nobody else does, and if characters give monologues, well, so do Shakespeare's and most super heroes, something critics rarely mention.  And if you've worked in journalism as I did - sorta kinda - more rings true here than not.  

There was a dearth of activity - extras cost, of course - at ACN, and there was this odd correspondence between Andy Hardy's 'let's do a show!' and the presented excitement of doing a news program, with group claps before rushing from the office into the bullpen.  

What Sorkin writes may or may not directly reflect his views. I think they might just be the plausible views of the characters.  People - mostly of the Chickenhawk Right but sometimes of the Yet Closeted Gay Left - want to converse with Sorkin and win arguments based upon what may not be his views at all, on topics he put forward, and in a manner they cannot do or imagine doing with any other show writer.  Breaking Bad was a great show, but it did not attempt what Sorkin does with annoying regularity: like his shows or hate them, he has a gift for melding the trivial to great issues and making you talk about them.

The Newsroom started with a rant/speech that was homage to a fictional era of television news, run by 'great men' who kept us 'informed' and allowed the nation to become the best at everything for quite a while, leading to lead Will McAvoy's conclusion that we were no longer the greatest nation in the world. The character, albeit a Republican, is a romantic and loves olde musicals, which forms the back drop for several episodes. Musicals, once popular, are handy weapons in the hands of a skilled writer because they can be Metaphor Alert - Ham Fisted or mere reference to one of the few common frames of reference people middle aged and up have. Well.  Plus Glee enthusiasts.

But the Murrow era was not remotely like that, and we were monumentally misinformed.  Sorkin ignorant of that?  Gee.  My money is on 'no'.  McAvoy WAS the greater fool, title of Season 1's finale and the point of the entire first ten episodes, hammered into place by a final scene with the graduate from Northwestern and the Business Editor Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn).  She tells him, that Greater Fools should be revered and are needed, as the US gave them room to flounder to the profit of others but also to general benefit of the nation.  To a large degree the nation WAS built by greater fools.  And the season ends with another welcomed aboard.  

It IS corny.  And surprisingly moving, a Sorkin gift.



In the penultimate episode, many of these issues are raised, again, and those who write about The Newsroom feign being appalled. The episode was about rape and the network's sale and citizen journalists and the folk song "Shenandoah" and Skinner's death.  Couple of things.  Yes, it was corny if not 'over the top' for Skinner to die and serve as symbol of the Golden Age of Journalism dying with him.  Also, the couple hero-protagonists have lost in their 'quest' to improve something mentioned in the Constitution as rather important.

Critics bemoan the rendition of Shenandoah but I think, as usual, they miss Sorkin's point.  Or attempted point, or point he may never have thought of, but my regard for him is such, I think he chose it for this purpose.

Shenandoah, also "Across The Wide Missouri", at its earliest known conception was the haunting song of a guy  hot for an Indian chief's daughter, but he has to leave.  Sad.  But, as incredibly lovely as the melody, available harmony and sentiment, recall that women were bought and sold at young ages back then, willing or no.  This, today, is not romantic.  It's rape if not pedophilia.  So, whether the chief and the (probably) French trader/soldier could not agree to a price OR she rejected him and the father backed her OR he plans to kidnap her or another reason totally, it's not a song devoid of evil.

That it first appears before the door is shut behind the reporter and the young woman in her room and is the last sound heard on the episode does not strike me as inappropriate or randomly convenient, given discussion is about rape and its definition.  It's a reflection of those times, still with us, where women are units of currency.  How the characters in the show would interpret the song and that the audience would argue with them, strikes me as rather cunning and well done.  People seem to have missed that.

But then, those who miss it are entirely wrong about how women are presented in Sorkin. They're always incompetent, always dependent upon men, is the contention.  Who?  They're certainly no weirder than the men, often stronger, generally more self aware, and better people in general as well as higher ranking, smarter, and funnier.
Wednesday, November 05, 2014

This is a snapshot of a recent Maine sunset by sister in law Carol up on Porpoise Point, I think, and it has all the qualities I like of that school of British painting in the 18th and early 19th century.  It's a mood and sensual feeling of place, and that it actually exists, it's exquisite.  No horses, no duck pond, no adorable children in chiffon and lace, just a slice of a vision of sky and sea.  I've tried a gabillion times and never catch these shots right, and have a collection of the world's most boring photos that still remind me of what was there and I failed to capture.  But, I remember.

And, frankly, it's a mood I need now that the Democrats took it in the slats yesterday.  Here's Ed Kilgore on what happened.

There was talk going into the election that another key Obama demographic, under-30 voters, was suddenly tilting Republican, at least among the segment willing to vote in a midterm. But in the end under-30 voters preferred Democrats 54/43--again, very similar to the splits in 2010 and down six points from the 60/37 pro-Democratic ratio of 2012.

So despite talk of millennial “disappointment” with Obama, the best evidence is that their enthusiasm for him as manifested in 2008 and 2012 is not transferable to other Democrats — or is not exhibited in the mix of millennials willing to vote in a midterm. And the same may be true of the minority voters discussed above.

What are the implications, then, for the election cycle we have just entered? Some of the Republican advantage can be expected to melt away instantly due to the age and race/ethnicity differential for a presidential cycle. That shift will apply to downballot races as well. So a more favorable-to-Democrats electorate will vote on a Senate landscape as difficult for Republicans as this year’s was difficult for Democrats. The GOP will need all those wins from yesterday to survive Election Night in 2016 with a majority intact.


This makes sense, and since my commentary written this morning, everyone is now saying Hickenlooper won, but Beauprez only just conceded in time for the 1700 hour news cycle.  But elsewhere, it seems the Democrats defeated two gun nuts and have kept the state Senate and Legislature in their hands.  That's pretty good, given what we know.  Colorado made a huge error in birther, Tea Party, and liar Cory Gardner, but all in all is still moving Blue.

More from the Fix.

What remains upsetting is that the young and the Latinos did not vote as expected, by which is meant at all, and that has to piss us off.  College loans, abortion, all back on the table because of that.  Should have been put to bed/sleep decades back.

I'm also still appalled that Obama is not given the immense credit he is due, that Democrats didn't rally around him, and that nobody is ashamed at the grotesque ignorance they display when dashing him on the rocks.  The cartoon graphic below is accurate, but admittedly does not chat up the torture issues and the drone strikes for which he is responsible as he said he would be.  But, for the moment, just absorb all this:



I'm reluctantly willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt regarding Guantanomo and torture, given that you cannot just change complicated mechanisms designed to deal with complicated issues.  And we have to grasp and realize Stare Decisis - precedent rules - and would automatically stopping some things and doing others open up numerous cans of legal worms.  And all of this in the days of FoxNews, Twitter, and redefinitions of treason, security, and torture.  It IS complicated, but I worry a few easy roads were taken when we should have done something else.  

Regardless, Obama has been an excellent President to my mind, and I admire him for putting up with that god awful job.  If nothing else, just being elected and serving two terms gave African Americans a new vision of their native land, and that is a huge thing.  Huge, right there.  Not 'some day.'  It happened.  Twice.  Whites voted for him.  As they ought to have, but more should have joined in.



This terrific photo was taken by a Chinese satellite recently, and demonstrates how far China has come. I certainly understand the fears of such a huge population, but I'm happy they are welcomed and applauded for their accomplishments.  They hope to have a man on the moon within, I read, ten years, and that will be both unnerving and yet somewhat terrific.  They have serious environmental and food issues and not a few annoyed subservient people's in their borders.  And they're not, oh, Belguim in civics or law.  But they are bringing their people up and along about as well as could be hoped, and given the billions at issue, that's no small thing.  They have both socialism and capitalism working together which seems poison to many Americans except we do as well.  The most successful and largest socialist project ever has been the US Armed Forces, socialist because it has to be to work.

I remain optimistic.

The final graphic today is of the Windsors walking amidst a dry moat of artificial poppies, the flower that became the symbol of the Great War, which we reference as WWI.  It started a century ago last August.  Hundreds of thousands of British citizens of denizens of the Empire died in that horror, and for each death they devoted one fake poppy.  It's a beautiful and sorrowful image.  Philip's great uncle, Lord Louis, was forced to resign from the Royal Navy of which he was First Lord because he had German family, as did all the Windsors, who automatically and immediately changed the House name to Windsor.  He and the Queen grew up with many vets of the trenches and the battle of Jutland.  A century doesn't seem so long at my age......  


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

There's an election on Tuesday in Boulder as everywhere, and not enough Republicans to be election judges.  A list of 95 Republicans was provided by the GOP, but only five accepted the role. The GOP is claiming that Democrats are posing as Republicans  and so the election is fixed.  This all emerged at a rally for Republican Senatorial candidate Corey Gardner in Boulder last night, and about 120 people showed up.  Granted, Boulder is pretty much home turf for Gardner's opponent, Senator Mark Udall, and Boulder has long been a liberal Democratic stronghold, but the expected small turnout for Gardner melds nicely with the fact there are few Republicans about in Boulder County and those that exist couldn't be bothered.

Nonetheless the GOP County Chairwoman, Ellyn Hilliard, made the accusation that those fake Republican election judges are how Democrats supposedly steal elections. And granted, a Deputy to current Secretary of State Scott Gessler confirmed that state election officials visited the Boulder clerk's office and found some troubling inconsistencies with some election judges. Gessler is a Republican who has tried to scam voters to cover his political travels that aren't part of his job, and the guy who has made numerous absurd accusations about voter fraud and never found any. Gessler's dubious legalities and clear partisan motivations are among the reasons he doesn't dare run again.

Wayne Williams, the GOP Clerk and Recorder of El Paso County, is campaigning to replace Gessler. Now, all mail in ballots must be signed by the voter to make them valid in Colorado, which is then covered by the envelope flap. But to save money, Williams' county doesn't provide that minimal amount of paper on the envelope to cover the signature.  So now, anyone can see the signature and check to see party affiliation that voter holds and whatever happens, happens. That's an open invitation to voter fraud right there.

In the sixties during the pinnacle of the Civil Rights movement, Democrats got nailed justifiably as Limousine Liberals, rich enough to afford that mode of transport and to adopt minority group children to be raised by the help but never leaving them alone at home because minority kids will steal, as everyone in their lunch crowd knew. Restrained enlightenment or grotesque hypocrisy?  Gee, hard to say, but as Nixon flensed out the Dixiecrats to the Republican banner, the issues became clearer.

Still, Republicans are late to that transition in world view, and while they sorta kinda court minorities they don't really trust them and hope to limit their votes because the ethnics aren't primarily white and have the gall to think their citizenship as valuable as a Republican white, Protestant, male.  One of the problems in Colorado is that they still think and act as if Hispanics are a minority, when they're a major plurality if not a majority in much of Colorado and the southwest in general. A congressional race south of Boulder is about to feature the first political debate in Spanish between Mike Coffman and Andrew Romanoff, which should be a bigger deal that the media has allowed.

During the most recent Bush administration, the hubbub about voter fraud began and has become a supposed 'fact' to the doddering Boomer generation and any remnants of the Greatest above them. It isn't true.  Detailed investigations into more than a decade of elections provided exactly 86 cases of voter fraud, a statistical zero.  But the one unifying factor to the various bitter, resentful, and uninformed GOP is stone cold racism, made easier with a black President.  They have to believe that all blacks, Hispanics, and other groups cheat on elections.  How else could they win? After all, Republicans don't know anyone who doesn't vote the same as they do.

The election, insofar as polls go, will be close, although the usual pollsters who only call land lines and not cell phones and whose results always change dramatically in the week before an election, don't really hold much water anymore. It will also be ugly, as I sense Republicans don't really believe they can win without removing tons of lower income voters, and they seem to be on it nationally. Colorado's biggest newspaper, the Denver Post, has divided their tongue bath between Hickenlooper, a Democrat and sitting Governor, and Corey Gardner, the GOP Senate candidate who has been caught lying by reporters and at televised debates. I have nothing good to say about Gardner, and feel him undeserving of support from the Hygiene Auto Shopper, much less the Post. So, Tuesday is going to be interesting.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014



As you get older, Autumn still refutes its reality and fails to call attention to death, decay, eventual rebirth.  It's just too damned pretty to keep you depressed for too long, even in Colorado, where "the leaves" aren't as spectacular as they are back East with a deeper selection of deciduous trees.  I first came to Colorado in November of 1971, forty three years ago.  Can't quite say it seems like yesterday, but it doesn't quite feel like half a century either, but it's closing in.

And, autumn is a joy people around the world in the same latitudes can share, and we here have this in common with Russia and Japan and Europe more than, say, Florida, although they too blush and drop.  Obviously, I'm getting too contented and easily soothed after Boulder's year of lots of rain, snow, deep green summer and now a particularly bright and good Fall, the result of all that water. So, when National Geo sends out their more frequent and still stunning collections of photos, the wealth has been spread.



Photo above is in Japan, looking like upstate New York or England with the tightly packed trees and the smooth, wrinkleless pond with no wind.  It is such a contrast to imagine tourists snapping away their photos of that scene with one in south central Honshu, the big island, where equally innocent folks were hiking about Mt. Ontake when, without any of the expected warnings, the damn thing erupted.  So far, only 47 dead, but absent the quick response - and fearless- of the Army (yes, I know, 'Self Defense Force'......but really: Army) and forest ranger equivalent, many more toasted and gone.  There is a photo of a long line of these hardy souls climbing the damned thing to rescue the hordes still up there, and you can't deny it's less impressive than the NYFD and police during 9-11.  Climbing up into even odds of volcanic oblivion.  And with either smiles or that look of grim determination Japan has mastered over the centuries, on ancient vases and prints and the mugs of the young folks staring at the birth of a new caldara all around them.



Across the lake (if the Atlantic is 'the Pond') on the west coast of the United States, some rather more fortunate Japanese tourists on Mt. Hood were able to take this remarkable photo of the mountain at night complete with, I guess, a meteor and stars without end.  Hood, of course, is a volcano as well, and the entire western coast seems rather fragile to me as it has to others. Japan gets clobbered with some regularity, yet the US theater of operations for the Pacific Ring of Fire is so dormant it's rather creepy, since it suggests that when something goes over here it will be a lulu.  

Of course, that always leads to discussion of Yellowstone, because that is the largest functioning volcanic activity center in the Hemisphere, and we're with a century or two of being due for its explosion and the loss of the nation's breadbasket.  Millennia later, we'll have incredibly rich land again, but we have to survive to get there.  I'll be gone, so no need for anyone to be upset.  Only other people will vaporize and I save on cremation.



To be hoped, when it's all over and done, California will still produce spring meadows like the one above. Blue flowers must be rare, since it's always sort of shocking to see such beauty in unexpected hues.  Gack. Tone it down, knucklehead.  I'm sounding too twee.  This'll crop that......



Above is a photo few will recognize, but it's the Custer battlefield at the Little Bighorn, looking from what is called Last Stand Hill south towards Weir Pt.  It gives a pretty good idea of what ghastly ground it was for cavalry and why I don't think Custer was on the offensive or in any control when he ended up at the monument.  It's the newish theory that he was always on the offensive till the end, which serves literary Miniver Cheevys' inner needs more than fact.

Oddly, the battlefield is absolutely lovely, a great example of the Big Sky in Montana state.  From where Custer breathed his last, you can see the Rockies to the west, the Bighorns to the South, about 45 million acres of rolling field, and the Little Bighorn itself, reptilian river flowing north past where Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull and Gall and Lame White Man camped, and where now is a gambling casino, a cemetery, and eerie silence just about always.



Since vampires and now officially as scary as Casper and Ichabod Crane, the Halloween holiday needs to draw upon new horrors of the subconscious for costumes and tale.  The insect world humbly steps forward with these two entries for our consideration, both praying mantis and both beautiful and more scary the longer you behold them.  Upping their size to yours and their gaze upon you, I believe the desired effect is achieved.



Of course, there are somewhat less terrifying entries, including this of a butterfly so lovely it looks painted, with the faces of eagles on its wing tips.  It's these creatures, along with birds of paradise and baby mammals not excluding our own that probably first suggested that the powerful gods first imagined had bowler hats and neck ties somewhere in the closet, because they certainly had good taste when given the time to create.  


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

As the world grimaces and honors the dead and exploits of the Great War, now a century old, old arguments about its cause and ending and any actual point to the four years of horror are renewed, but with clearer heads and near all documentation now open to the public, a general consensus has emerged and is taught much the same in all nations.  This is progress, but slow.    

Here in Boulder, a much smaller ceremony concerning accuracy in history transpired this week.  It seems that in the first Gulf War in 1991, Kurdish rebels in Iraq fighting Saddam Hussein obtained a cache of documents from Iraqi secret police. This documents purportedly are clear evidence, says the Boulder Daily Camera, of Saddam's sadistic war against the Kurds, "describing torture, disappearances and the use of chemical weapons by the Iraqi secret police force against the Kurdish people." Five million documents on a computer disk. Somehow, the documents were housed at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

"There will be only a future for societies and countries if the societies come to terms with their own history, and reconcile their past," said a member of the Kurdish delegation. Coincidentally, the delegation mentioned that the Islamic State, the terror group de jour, is destroying Kurdish territory in northern Iraq. Yet Kurds, we are told, control their semiautonomous area defended by a Kurdish military force known as the peshmerga. These militiamen were among those who panicked and fled before the Islamic State forces, dooming Iraq and Syria to another era of rule by religious fanatics absent action by the West, which may only delay the inevitable. Yet, since the bombing started, the IS is retreating as Iraq military and Kurdish forces gird their loins and press them.  The situation in Syria is too convoluted, as government forces, whom we oppose, are faced with numerous rebel units, near all of whom hate each other, of which IS is just one.  Or two.  In any case, they all suck in Syria. Nobody seems to have a grasp on it, and it may be impossible.

Kurdistan, a notional geographic entity with not much support, also includes part of Turkey and part of Syria, this depending upon whose map your gaze falls upon. Kurds desperately want their own nation, but Turkey doesn't want to grant them any of their land, nor does Iraq, nor does Syria, unsurprisingly enough, even though the portions claimed are jam packed primarily with Kurds.  So, on the surface, it would seem the Kurds are deserving of regard and hope and maybe pressure for their own homeland, ruled by Kurds.

With that in mind, let us revisit that Kumbaya phrase utilized by the Kurdish delegation: "There will be only a future for societies and countries if the societies come to terms with their own history, and reconcile their past."  That seems to drip with Mandela's brush, calling for confessions and forgiveness and moving on. Mature and responsible.

But, one of the results of the Great War, entirely unintended, was the first of the modern near genocides, and this of the Armenians, another ethnic group jammed into the area between the Near and Middle East.  Primarily Orthodox Christian, something beloved by all orthodox Muslims and the Thugs Who Love Them, the Armenians were also rather fond of getting a homeland for much the same reason the Kurds were, inspiring a focused response by the Turks bordering on genocide in the actual sense and comfortably residing within its metaphorical and hyperbolic concepts. I prefer mass murder and Grand Theft Land, but whatever. As they arose from the Ottoman yoke and perfume show, the Turks utilized Kurds in the various slaughters against the Armenians, and the Kurds are not recalled having huge objections. Just one of the many delightful aspects of that section of the world.

So, I wonder how hard the Kurds are working to admit they participated in what many people, and certainly the Armenians, consider genocide.  The sad and awful thing is that near everyone over there has a history of mutual slaughter for the vengeful joy of it, and they'll all have to shut up, admit it, glower at each other, and eventually move forward. Not everyone will get a homeland politically separate from any other, but they certainly could have peaceful enclaves if there was commitment to it.  But until the Kurds, among all the others, want to own up to their own transgressions and just amass evidence of the transgressions against themselves, I'm going to refrain from tearful applause.  As St. Patrick is the first to note slavery is bad whomever the slave, whomever the slaver, we all with the Kurds need to admit that History demands everyone come clean, and no crime justifies another.
 
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