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For my 7000, The Daily Double of this F'd up World


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Story #1




I wonder if there is anything in the world that is NOT a concern to our national security...


A risk to radar? New wind farms may be delayed

The military is studying whether the turbines interfere with its radar systems. Some say the study is politically motivated.

Tom Meersman, Star Tribune


More than $500 million in wind farm developments in Minnesota face potential delays because of a federal directive to study the effects of wind turbines on military radar installations.

At least four wind projects in the state -- and more than a dozen elsewhere in the Upper Midwest -- have been temporarily denied safety permits from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Instead, the FAA has sent notices of "presumed hazard" that effectively prohibit construction until the wind farm proposals are reviewed further, or until the Department of Defense completes a study ordered by Congress earlier this year.


Wind industry officials criticized the policy as a "blanket action" with overly broad restrictions that are jeopardizing needed projects.


Defense officials say the postponements are prudent in areas where long-range radar that protects the country might be compromised by arrays of huge wind turbines. Others say the study is politically motivated as fallout from a controversial project on the East Coast.


"Our goal is not to put up roadblocks to these wind farms but to preserve the safety of our airspace and defense of our nation," said Eileen Lainez, a Defense Department spokeswoman.


Congress ordered the study about wind farms and their effects on military radar in a last-minute amendment to a national defense bill in January.


The language apparently was added because of a wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound in Massachusetts. Some residents of the Cape Cod area oppose the project on grounds that the machines will spoil their views and kill migrating birds.


The author of the amendment was Sen. John Warner, R-Va., who, the Chicago Tribune reported, has tried previously to block the cape project.


In March, the departments of Defense and Homeland Security issued an interim policy that they would contest any new windmill farms "within radar line of sight of the National Air Defense and Homeland Security Radars" until the study is completed.


Some opposed to the Nantucket Sound project, called Cape Wind, have strong environmental credentials, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. His uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., also has been an opponent, and the issue has created a rift among environmental activists.


Byron Christoffer, a farmer who lives 10 miles east of Worthington, Minn., received a letter from the FAA on May 24 that a 10-turbine wind farm he is ready to build is a presumed hazard because it is located in "the line of sight" of a radar installation near Tyler, Minn., 65 miles away.


"There are hundreds of turbines already operating between us and the radar station that haven't caused any problems that I've heard of," he said. "This doesn't make any sense."


Christoffer is frustrated that his 20-megawatt project in southwestern Minnesota faces an uncertain future. "It's a high mental stress situation," he said. "Our turbines are on the way from India right now. These things are $3 million apiece. We've got contractors ready to start work in 30 days."


Kevin Walli, a St. Paul attorney who represents Christoffer, said another small wind project in the area with four towers also received a letter. "It's not just developers, but a whole lineup of people who are affected by this," said Walli, including utilities that commit to purchase power, equipment suppliers, construction crews and financiers.


A larger wind farm known to be affected in Minnesota is scheduled to begin construction this summer southeast of Austin. That 100-megawatt, $150 million project would be built by FPL Energy, an independent power company based in Florida.


John Seymour, FPL's executive director of development, declined to discuss the situation in detail. "We did get a letter [from the FAA] and we do need to work through this," he said.


Officials at California-based enXco, Inc., also received the FAA letter about two weeks ago for a 205-megawatt wind farm the company plans to build near Chandler, in southwestern Minnesota. The project represents an investment of $320 to $350 million, according to enXco's Midwest region manager, Ian Krygowski.


Because the company is several months from groundbreaking, Krygowski said, he's optimistic federal concerns can be addressed.

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Story #2




Act stupid, say stupid, sell books, make money. It's the American way. Or Anti-American?


For Ann Coulter, there's really no such thing as bad publicity

Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press

Last update: June 13, 2006 – 8:01 PM


NEW YORK - In the 48 hours after Ann Coulter's comments bashing certain Sept. 11 widows hit the airwaves last week, searches for her name on Yahoo rocketed by 2,300 percent. Protests came from Sen. Hillary Clinton, New York's governor and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.

And her new book shot to No. 1 on Amazon.com, where it remains.


For those who practice the art of outrageousness, there seems little downside to upping the ante -- that's what their audiences want and expect. In other words, the old adage pretty much holds: There's no such thing as bad publicity.


In case anyone missed it, the furor centered on Coulter's remarks about four women who lost their husbands at the World Trade Center and later became active in the public arena, supporting Sen. John Kerry for president.


"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arrazies," the conservative pundit writes in her latest book "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," released last week. "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much."


Some wondered if Coulter had gone off the deep end. Others saw it as a well-honed marketing strategy. What's clear, though, is that in this age of the blogosphere, 24-hour cable TV and talk radio, it takes a lot to rise above the din. And when you've made a name based on being outrageous, you need to keep it up.


Although Coulter is a unique package -- the long blond hair, the little black dresses, the ideas delivered rapid-fire with stunning self-confidence -- there are others who have thrived via the art of outrageousness.


On the airwaves, Rush Limbaugh calls feminists "femi-Nazis," and "shock jock" Howard Stern once prayed that the prostate cancer suffered by an FCC nemesis would spread.


On the left, filmmaker Michael Moore of "Fahrenheit 9/11" has launched no-holds-barred attacks on President Bush, and Air America radio host Al Franken is the author of the not-so-subtly titled "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" and "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right."


"A patient, thoughtful, analytical person is made invisible in this world of sustained screaming," says popular-culture analyst Jerry Herron, a professor at Wayne State University. Today, he says, you need to be "an ideologue with a very nice haircut." Or, perhaps, with a little black dress.

Edited by MikesVikes
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