The morning cup: Friday, 10/8/10

You may have heard a reservoir at an aluminum facility in Hungary burst this week, killing five people and creating the worst toxic disaster in the country’s history.  The sludge reached the Danube River but government officials say it won’t harm the wildlife.  Huh?

Imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize today.  In response, China shut down all news of the announcement in the media and hinted at hostile relations with Norway as retaliation.  The situation strikes me as more proof that Fred Phelps will prevail in the Supreme Court case of Snyder vs. Phelps because we live in a country that values and protects free speech at almost any cost, no matter how much we dislike the message AND the messenger.  We DO live in a great country.

By now, you may have discerned that I’m fascinated by the Chilean miner story.  There’s hope the rescue operations may begin tomorrow when the drill reaches the trapped men.  Read Eva Vergara’s article from The London Evening Standard which explains the list of order for rescue of the thirty-three, one miner at a time.  Compelling.

Someone I once knew, a very good man who sadly fell into drug abuse, is now serving a fifty-year sentence in a California prison.  I have no hope he will receive much there in the way of rehabilitation, which means he’ll get out in twenty (let’s say) with little chance of creating a useful life for himself.  It’s no secret California spends more on incarceration than education.  The United States locks up more people per capita than any on earth.  Sasha Abramsky at Slate reports on the subject.

It’s official.  Kim Jong Un, son of Kim Jong Il, will be North Korea’s next leader.  There’s a surprise.  Will Un carry on his father’s puffy hairdo?

The adorable story of the week must be the panda twins born at the Madrid Zoo, through artificial insemination.  They’re so fluffy, I’m gonna die!

Speaking of twins, Minnesota is down two games to none against the New York Yankees.  Texas holds a 2-0 lead over Tampa Bay.  The San Francisco Giants try to give themselves a 2-0 advantage over the Braves when they play this evening, as do the Phillies against the Cincinnati Reds.  Check it all out on

Yesterday the good news was that job openings increased in August.  Today, we’re told the economy shed 95K jobs in September, far more than anticipated.  Okay, so the September lay-offs should apply for the August openings and everyone’s good, yes?  I know it’s not that simple.  It is that confusing.

Judicial authorities in France yesterday upheld the burqa ban, clearing the way for the law to go into effect next spring.  Fines will be imposed if the garment is worn in public places.

“Secretariat” opens this weekend, starring Diane Lane.  My girls don’t want to see it because they believe all horse movies have sad moments and animals get hurt.  Still, it’s getting some good reviews.

Meghan McCain wants you to know she has a Palin problem.  Read her interesting dilemma at The Daily Beast.

Live the day with veracity.

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  1. Mare says

    I love the joke I heard this week “that Kim Jong Il made it official that his son, Kim Jong Un, will be the next leader of North Korea. That did not sit well with his other son, Jeb Jong Il”….too funny! Sorry I don’t know the author. (Probably Dave Letterman)

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