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The Daily Word in Madoff’s pants, hand hearts and whiskey

Family of civil rights lawyer Mary Han says police botched the investigation of her death.

Los Ranchos may get a plastic bag manufacturing plant that operates 24 hours a day.

Guv sent out letters to see whether immigrants with driver’s licenses still live in the state. She says more than a quarter of them were sent back by the post office.

Bernie Madoff’s pants can house your iPad.

Carlsbad is running out of water.

Tonight, Republican candidates will debate in Iowa. Gawker’s got your predictions.

More people are getting their tattoos removed.

Cybersex 2.0

The secrets of hand hearts revealed.

Robotic exoskeleton. Yhuuuuuusssssssssss.

Underwater volcano to erupt near Oregon.

American distillers may be rushing whiskey. Crisis?

An investigative report on the use of drones.

The top 100 sci-fi and fantasy books.

news

The Daily Word with an upcoming Anonymous attack, Ted Bundy's blood and a Chinese landlord scorpion attack

Anonymous is gearing up to attack Facebook this November.

The Congressional Supercommittee has been chosen.

North and South Korea exchange fire.

Glen Beck warns that the looting in London will spread to America, even though these looters don't seem all bad.

President Obama can't catch a break.

FBI agent discusses the West Mesa buried bodies case.

Missouri high school bans Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-5.

America is not ready for President Rick Perry.

Recently discovered vial of Ted Bundy's blood may help uncover more murders.

The Onion is starting a paywall.

I guess horsemaning is the new planking, but whatever happened to flanking?

Probably not a good idea to heckle Aziz Ansari.

Chinese landlord releases thousands of scorpions to chase away his tenants.

Thomas the Imperialist Tank Engine.

Ten crazy slow-motion videos.

Does Pluto have rings?

Tim Heidicker (of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!) saw a UFO.

Six things that were probably built by aliens.

Happy Birthday Rosanna Arquette!!!

V.20 No.24 | 6/16/2011
Spc. Adam Jarrell was stationed in Afghanistan for a year with New Mexico’s National Guard. During that time, someone hung a noose outside his sleeping quarters, according to a complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Courtesy of Adam Jarrell

News Feature

Return Fire

Soldier files a racism complaint about his superiors

Adam Jarrell has wanted to be in the military since he was a kid. So his treatment in Afghanistan came as quite a shock, he says. During his yearlong deployment, he was subject to racial slurs and threats of physical violence, according to a complaint. Jarrell says someone even hung a noose outside his sleeping quarters.

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V.20 No.21 | 5/26/2011

From the Foxhole

Adams on bin Laden

What if, instead of celebrating the news, President Adams sat in the darkness of his study, amid his books and papers, and considered that despite the news, the military occupations would continue unabated?

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News

U.S. celebrates news of bin Laden's death

President Obama announced tonight that al Qaeda's former leader was killed after a firefight with Navy Seals. He confirmed Internet rumors that Osama bin Laden's body was in U.S. possession. Many Americans are rejoicing, especially at Ground Zero.

The president said killing bin Laden was among his first directives:

" ... Shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat his network."

And he reminded viewers that the United States is not at war with Islam:

"I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own."

If you missed it, the full text of the president's speech is online.

Meet the man who may be in charge: Bin Laden's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri, is a surgeon who was born in Egypt.

Bill Moyers wrote up a quick rundown of al Qaeda's history. A few outlets are carrying bin Laden's obit.

President Bush, other Republican politicians and notables from around the world react.

news

The Daily Word 09.23.10: Bedbugs, rich people, Joaquin Phoenix

Rescue crews can't find a man pulled into a turbulent arroyo.

A meteor above Burque.

Some health care reform starts today.

Santa Fe's got bedbugs. And so does Albuquerque.

Sure. Blame it on a mockumentary, Joaquin Phoenix.

Blockbuster is dying. Netflix wins.

Ay. "The party of stop."

Obama asks Arab nations for peace.

Fancy people put booze in their fruit, too. (Not so much Everclear, though.)

A new dinosaur. Maybe even better than stegosaurus.

The richest people got 8 percent richer this year. What recession? Oh wait ...

V.19 No.37 | 9/16/2010

Bear With Me

I Left My Wallet in Ad Duluiyah

My brother did one tour in the land of the two rivers. He came back with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and a brain injury, all in the name of ... nothing.

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news

Ward 54

Estimates suggest the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will produce more than 1 million veterans.

In this week’s news section, I highlighted the lack of media coverage on veteran’s issues. I spoke with local members of Iraq Veterans Against the War in January after Kenneth Ellis III, who was being treated at the VA Medical Center for PTSD, was killed by Albuquerque police. He was pulled over for bad plates, and stepped out of the car with a gun to his head.

Romeo Rocha, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, said he hoped Ellis’ death would give PTSD more media attention. "It's still showing up, but it's not making headlines anymore,” he told the Alibi in January.

Even if American media isn’t focused on the issue right now, an Italian documentary at the Venice Film Festival follows three veterans who served in Iraq and how they were treated by the military. It’s called Ward 54, so named for the psychiatric ward of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In 2005, Mark Benjamin penned a piece for Salon.com that shined a light on the hospital’s neglect of PTSD patients.

Benjamin spoke of the substandard care for mental disorders caused by the war in a “Democracy Now!” interview:

“... the entire time that they’re at Walter Reed, the Army seems to be more bent on trying to determine that their problems were not, in fact, caused by the war and that, in fact, these soldiers were just crazy of their own accord.”

Though, as the AP story on Ward 54 points out, a report to Congress last month shows that these wars have produced significantly high rates of suicides for the U.S. military. More than 1,100 service members killed themselves between 2005 and 2009. The suicide rate is only going up in 2010.

news

The Daily Word 09.02.10: Another Gulf rig explodes, chain-smoking 2-year-old, no creator

Another offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded.

Hurricane Earl is growing and heading for North Carolina.

Stephen Hawking says God didn't create the universe.

Woman's body found on a NE Heights sidewalk. She was 30.

Pipe bomb in a Rio Rancho apartment complex.

Privately owned prisons in N.M. haven't paid fines for understaffing.

More people in N.M. don't like the boosted war effort in Afghanistan.

LANL OK'd to build a staging facility for nuclear waste.

Families say Santa Fe police threatened them with deportation when they wouldn't cooperate in an investigation.

Chain-smoking 2-year-old quits.

Look how much BP spent trying to clean up … its image.

Stop the press! Some women like having small breasts.

Have a DIY drink.

V.19 No.35 | 9/2/2010

Thin Line

How We Fail

We are a country at war. And not just with immigrants. Reading the news these days, who can tell which brown people absorb the most American vitriol?

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movies

Go to war, get shot at and live to tell about it

By now, pretty much all of us who are going to read the Rolling Stone article that caused General McCrystal to resign his post at the helm of the Afghanistan war have done so. The writer, Michael Hastings, is unlikely to write another piece like it for some time. He's just been denied an embed by the Department of Defense.

Luckily, journalists Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger (the guy who wrote The Perfect Storm) had a 10 month embed in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley back in 2008. They took with them video equipment and have directed a powerful war documentary, Restrepo.

I realize, a lot of people head to the movies to escape and Restrepo doesn't allow for that. Sure, it's in an unfamiliar world and about experiences that aren't, for most of us, everyday. But its story of a small group of soldiers who engage in gunfights every day and who, on more than one occasion, lose a member of their team is too real to ignore. One could easily say that of course it's too real, it's a documentary, but so was The King of Kong, and that sucker doesn't feel real at all. What makes Restrepo so powerful is that the filmmakers don't judge their subjects from a healthy distance. Instead, they climb into the foxhole with them as the same bullets whizz by their rolling cameras.

Restrepo opens tonight at the Century 14 Downtown and, because it's the downer flick of the year, probably won't be around all that long. That's a damn shame though. This movie is amazing and demonstrates, through a first hand account, of just how many resources are being wasted in Afghanistan. Despite having spent more than a trillion dollars on the almost decade old war, the troops in Restrepo don't have a lot of resources. (By the way, they're also not being paid all that great either.)

Whether you're for the war or against it, Restrepo, named after the base at which the troops are stationed (which, in turn, was named for one of those killed in the valley), gives a view of war most of us wouldn't want to see first hand.

History

Fat Man and Little Boy go camping in Chimayo

South Park

This Friday marks the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, with the anniversary of Nagasaki's bombing on Monday. To protest the continued procurement of nuclear weapons, Think Outside the Bomb are camping near Los Alamos. Their website, thinkoutsidethebomb.org has directions to the camp if anyone out there is looking to make their weekend in the woods more politically active.

If you're not real outdoorsy, check out John Hersey's Hiroshima. It's an amazing book, which appeared as an article in the New Yorker's August 31, 1946 issue. In fact, it was such a powerful story, editors dedicated the entire issue to it, forgoing their cartoons or any other articles.

Another of my faves about the aftermath of World War II is John W. Dower's Embracing Defeat. It's not an uplifting book but it creates a vivid post-war world in your mind.

Of course, 65 is often cited as retirement age (though that's not exactly true these days), which gives Think Outside the Bomb's protest a little more of a "Happy Retirement Fat Man and Little Boy" feel.

News

The Daily Word 07.23.10: Emcore gun update, squirrel beer and Darth Vader

Your big dreams of buying a movie studio cheap have been foiled again. Drat!

$60 billion will buy you more war though.

If that doesn't work, dress up like Darth Vader, he'll get the cash.

New trend: Intoxicants in random things.

Dating in NYC sounds creepy.

People wear ugly shoes. All the time.

As rapper Peaches teaches, Stay in school, 'cause it's the best.

The gun used at Emcore was legal.

Some haters crashed the Comic-con. Lame, dude.

V.19 No.26 | 7/1/2010
General McChrystal

From the Foxhole

Beyond the War Zone II

General Petraeus swapped for General McChrystal in Afghanistan

The names of the countries in which we are fighting no longer matter. This is what happens when war drags on interminably. It becomes enough to refer to the conflicts solely by the passage of time during which the dead and the bereft have multiplied insensibly.

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News

The Daily Word 05.28.10: Guns, war and the Valles Caldera

Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall introduced a bill that would give management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the U.S. Park Service.

Facebook is hard to break up with.

Like to shoot, but need friends? There's a social networking site to set your sights on. (Be careful, it just might be harder to leave this one.)

The unemployed may have a hard time paying June rent as Congress is set to take a Memorial Day break without passing an unemployment extension.

The New York subway system map gets a redesign.

North Korea continues to love the bomb.

$60 billion more has been allocated for the war.

Tyra Banks, still crazy.

Turns out the barber shop isn't the best place to hide out. Nice find Albuquerque.

No tornado in outer space? Boring. There is all this cool stuff though.

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