* The US Congress, apparently, is making a bit of an effort to preserve wilderness areas. Huh...
A confluence of factors is driving this wilderness renaissance: the shift in Congress from Republican to Democratic control; environmentalists' decision to take a more pragmatic approach in which they enlist local support for their proposals by making concessions to opposing interests; and some communities' recognition that intact ecosystems can often offer a greater economic payoff than extractive industries.* Argentine farmers clashing with police over a new tariff scheme on exports.
* David Luban on Hannah Arendt and 1968.
* BLDGBLOG on a mega-mall in China that never really happened.
Photo: South China Mall by Philip Gostelow for The National
And BLDGBLOG also finds some stunning long exposure photographs by Alexey Titarenko of crowds in Russia.
* Tom Engelhardt on the "Greatest Story Never Told": the story of the US "mega-bases in Iraq.
...these giant bases, rising from the smashed birthplace of Western civilization, were not only built on (and sometimes out of bits of) the ancient ruins of that land, but are functionally modern ziggurats. They are the cherished monuments of the Bush administration. Even though its spokespeople have regularly refused to use the word "permanent" in relation to them -- in fact, in relation to any U.S. base on the planet -- they have been built to long outlast the Bush administration itself. They were, in fact, clearly meant to be key garrisons of a Pax Americana in the Middle East for generations to come. And, not surprisingly, they reek of permanency. They are the unavoidable essence -- unless, like most Americans, you don't know they're there -- of Bush administration planning in Iraq.* Plus, more on abuses of detainees at Guantanamo - this time known innocents.
* Al Giordano's invaluable blog, The Field, has been censored and apparently wiped clean from its previous place at Rural Votes. Narcosphere is now hosting Al here. My blogroll is changing accordingly.
*And, finally, the "9 most devastating insults from around the world."