Monday, March 27, 2006

Peripheral Milit_Urb 3

Magical Urbanism: Shifts: Fortress Cape Town (pt 2)

"Thus, in the theoretical sense, we can understand Cape Town as being essentially two cities. One, a globalized, high tech center of corporate power, a playground for wealthy tourists, full of air-conditioned shopping malls, waterfront developments, world class beaches, and tourist attractions. Tourism creates strange priorities, as the city spends more on its gorgeous parks, a beacon for European, Australian, and American tourists, than it does on health care and education combined. This is in a country where fully one-third of the present population of 15 year-olds are slated to die in what Nelson Mandela calls the ‘New Struggle:’ AIDS. Privatization plays a key role in this city, as certain qualities of life are available to only those who can afford it. One of these qualities is most certainly physical safety. There has been a virtual boom in the development of the private security firm, evidenced by the proliferation of high walls, security systems, barb wires, electric fences, and, trying to maintain a friendly appearance, spikes disguised as ivy. This fear is driven by the stark reality of violence in Cape Town, emanating from the black and coloured townships sitting on the city’s edge. The perception of whites is that violence is a symptom of race, and not, much more accurately, a symptom of poverty. This is fortress Cape Town." - Magical Urbanism (Read Pt. 1 here)

Kurds take out anger on Halabja monument

"On 16 March every year since 1988, Kurds have gathered in the northern Iraqi town of Halabja to commemorate one of the worst atrocities of Saddam Hussein's regime: the gassing of some 5,000 of the town's residents. [...] But this year, the monument became a symbol for something else - the anger of local people at what they perceive to be corruption and neglect." - BBC (via)

New Naval Training Building Transforms Recruits Into Sailors

"Quietly rising under the radar and chaff of today’s starchitects and signature structures is a revolutionary ship-shaped building within a building that marks the beginning of a new genre of naval military training. Built around technology, theatrics and special effects, the project is the product of imaginative teamwork." - ENR (via)

Contractors Muddle On While Iraq Slips Close to Civil War

"Three years after the invasion of Iraq, some $8 billion has been spent on reconstruction and contractors have started 2,773 projects through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Project and Contracting Office in Baghdad, out of 3,047 planned. Although 2,144 are complete, most goals that were put up at the beginning of the reconstruction program are a long way from being met." - ENR (via)

U.S. Hiring Hong Kong Co. to Scan Nukes

"In the aftermath of the Dubai ports dispute, the Bush administration is hiring a Hong Kong conglomerate to help detect nuclear materials inside cargo passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere." - AP (via)

New US transit machines could detect explosives

"Hoping to thwart a potential attack on American subways similar to the London public transit bombings last July, the U.S government is testing ticketing machines that would detect traces of explosives on the fingers of someone buying a subway ticket." - Yahoo News

Airport Passenger Screening

"It seems like every time someone tests airport security, airport security fails. In tests between November 2001 and February 2002, screeners missed 70 percent of knives, 30 percent of guns and 60 percent of (fake) bombs. And recently (see also this), testers were able to smuggle bomb-making parts through airport security in 21 of 21 attempts. It makes you wonder why we're all putting our laptops in a separate bin and taking off our shoes. (Although we should all be glad that Richard Reid wasn't the "underwear bomber.")" - Schneier on Security

[Image: Canada : Saskatchewan, Confluence]

Sen. Leahy Gets Canadian Border Fence Idea Scrapped

"The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has eliminated what U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont called a "cockamamie" plan to consider building a fence or wall along the U.S.-Canadian border. "All a fence does is alienate the best neighbor the United States has," he added." - CR


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