Just another ghost in the machine.

This tumblr is science, world affairs, video games, technology, cinema, electronic & rock music, art, nature, writing, language, and introspection. Summary: the profound to the absurd.

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Kredu tiujn, kiuj serĉas la veron. Dubu tiujn, kiuj trovas ĝin. -André Gide

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kateoplis:

"The Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on September 3, 1964. But to understand the genesis of the act, you have to go back another three decades, to the 1930s. During the Great Depression tens of thousands of Americans were put to work by the federal government in national parks and forests. They cleared trails, erected shelters, and laid down mile after mile of pavement. The Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park was opened in 1933, Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park in 1939. The new highways opened up the parks to millions more visitors.

But the very success of these efforts troubled many conservationists, who worried that the country’s most majestic landscapes were being turned into so many roadside attractions. A group of them, including Aldo Leopold, got together to defend the national parks and forests against overuse. They called themselves the Wilderness Society, and their first mission statement denounced the roadbuilding “craze.”

“The fashion is to barber and manicure wild America as smartly as the modern girl,” it said. “Our duty is clear.” In 1924, while working with the Forest Service in New Mexico, Leopold had persuaded his superiors to designate 755,000 acres of the Gila National Forest as roadless wilderness. The challenge was to persuade Congress to give that idea national scope.

The Wilderness Act went through more than 60 drafts before it finally passed. It created a new category of federal lands that could be overlaid on the old like a transparency on a map. Congress—and only Congress—could place land in the new category. Once designated as wilderness, a tract would be off-limits to commercial ventures like logging and new mines. It would be available for humans to explore, but not with mechanized vehicles. Horses and canoes are allowed; mountain bikes have been ruled out.

“A wilderness,” the statute observed in surprisingly lyrical terms, is “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” The 1964 act set aside 54 such areas.

“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt,” President Johnson said after signing the act, then “we must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.”

Since Johnson signed the act, the number of wilderness areas has increased to more than 750. They range from the tiny Pelican Island Wilderness in central Florida, which is just 5.5 acres, to the immense Wrangell–St. Elias Wilderness, which at nearly 9.1 million acres is bigger than Belgium. All told, officially designated wilderness covers 5 percent of the U.S., an area larger than California. The newest wilderness area, part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan, was added just this past March.”

"There are 758 so far in 44 states, covering 5 percent of the U.S.—a total of 110 million acres. Wilderness areas are in national parks or on other federal land, but they have added protection: In general no roads, vehicles (even bikes), or permanent buildings are allowed.”

50 Years of Wilderness | NG

You know that post going around Tumblr that says that libraries are one thing that we didn’t screw up? Well that applies to designated wildernesses, too!

fiftyshadesofmacygray:

This made tear up for real.

(Source: thechanelmuse, via teemingturtles)

Beyond Torture: The CIA's Shameful Kidnapping of a 12-Year-Old Girl →

President Obama is letting the CIA play a major part in censoring a report on brutal human-rights abuses perpetrated by CIA employees. This has always been self-evidently absurd: No possible arrangement would present a bigger conflict of interest. What many Americans might not know is that the CIA isn’t just intent on covering up torture. It’s also averse to the public knowing more about renditions, a euphemism for kidnapping people and handing them over to violent thugs.

A rendition victim is now speaking out to highlight this aspect of the controversy. Today, she’s a 23-year-old college student working toward a degree in the humanities. When her family was kidnapped she was a frightened 12-year-old girl.

Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi was in power at the time. For years, he’d been hunting opponents of his brutal regime, including the father of Khadija al-Saadi, the 12-year-old. Her family fled to the United Kingdom and later to China. Around this time, Tony Blair’s government and the Bush administration were both trying to cut deals with the dictator, hoping to make him an ally in the war on terrorism. And Dick Cheney was still insisting that America had to operate “on the dark side.”

That’s how the CIA and MI6, its British equivalent, happened to participate in this particular rendition. The family, including our 12-year-old protagonist and her two brothers, age 11 and 9, were kidnapped and forced onto a plane in Hong Kong.

jannabelle:

Watch America’s prison population explode over the course of 34 years

jannabelle:

Watch America’s prison population explode over the course of 34 years

(Source: washingtonexaminer)

The ‘actions speak louder than words’ line is probably referring to the fact that the United States is supplying Israel a lot of the ordnance used to ultimately kill civilians.

"We tortured some folks." — Pres. Obama, in a press conference earlier today, commenting on the impending release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s "torture report", detailing CIA abuses during the Bush/9-11 era, which the CIA admitted very recently to actually trying to hack & spy on, after the CIA director said earlier this year they didn’t attempt to do so! #areyoufuckingkiddingme

The Leader of the Unfree World
Mass incarceration, perhaps the greatest social crisis in modern American history, is without parallel on a global scale 

"Although our level of crime is comparable to those of other stable, internally secure, industrialized nations,"the report says, "the United States has an incarceration rate far higher than any other country."
Some individual states like Louisiana contribute disproportionately, but no state is free from mass incarceration. Disturbingly, many states’ prison populations outrank even those of dictatorships and illiberal democracies around the world. New York jails more people per capita than Rwanda, where tens of thousands await trial for their roles in the 1994 genocide. California, Illinois, and Ohio each have a higher incarceration rate than Cuba and Russia. Even Maine and Vermont imprison a greater share of people than Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, or Egypt.

The Leader of the Unfree World

Mass incarceration, perhaps the greatest social crisis in modern American history, is without parallel on a global scale

"Although our level of crime is comparable to those of other stable, internally secure, industrialized nations,"the report says, "the United States has an incarceration rate far higher than any other country."

Some individual states like Louisiana contribute disproportionately, but no state is free from mass incarceration. Disturbingly, many states’ prison populations outrank even those of dictatorships and illiberal democracies around the world. New York jails more people per capita than Rwanda, where tens of thousands await trial for their roles in the 1994 genocide. California, Illinois, and Ohio each have a higher incarceration rate than Cuba and Russia. Even Maine and Vermont imprison a greater share of people than Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, or Egypt.

socialismartnature:

Breaking via ABC News: UN Human Rights Council votes to open inquiry into alleged war crimes in Gaza; U.S. is the ONLY “no” vote.
That’s because the U.S. is a direct accomplice to every war crime that Israel commits.

socialismartnature:

Breaking via ABC News: UN Human Rights Council votes to open inquiry into alleged war crimes in Gaza; U.S. is the ONLY “no” vote.

That’s because the U.S. is a direct accomplice to every war crime that Israel commits.

(Source: twitter.com, via estando)

mattymiller:

Raw

(via estando)

comedycentral:

Click here to watch The Daily Show cover the latest mass shooting.

Yup. And the argument that more people should carry guns in order to stop or deter these kinds of things seems even weaker in my mind after the Las Vegas shooting, when the guy trying to be a hero and carrying a concealed gun didn’t know the woman was with that Jerad Miller guy, and thus he got shot and killed from the side by her as he was confronting the gunman. Every-day citizens don’t have the training, the situational awareness to deal with these kinds of things, gun or no. It’s common sense to me. Even if everyone were armed, they’d be shooting each other in the ‘fog of war’. Even highly trained soldiers end up in friendly fire situations way too often, something that recently occurred again in Afghanistan.

(via dra-kena)

creepitrealhorror:

The Absolute Worst Person From Each State. This is cool.

creepitrealhorror:

The Absolute Worst Person From Each State. This is cool.

(Source: macabreproductions)