Day: May 3, 2003

Pinned Climber Cuts Off Arm to Get Free

Pinned for five days by 1,000-lb. boulder, 48 hrs. after running out of water and determining he would die if he remained where he was, the 27-year-old hiker used a pocket knife to cut his arm off below the elbow, applied a tourniquet, rappelled 60 ft. to the bottom of the canyon, and was discovered while hiking out. He remained in serious condition at a Grand Junction hospital. NY Times One wonders whether the arm was irreparably injured already; whether he was able to feel pain by the time he did it; indeed, whether it was a rational decision or one made in inanition (and whether there is any point in asking these questions). [thanks, abby]

‘Everyone in This Room Is a Suspect’:

Nat Hentoff can scarcely conceal his enthusiasm that Conservatives Rise for the Bill of Rights! “A significant development in the movement to resist the Ashcroft-Bush dismembering of the Bill of Rights is the growing coalition between conservative groups and such organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union and People for the American Way.


This has been going on—with only marginal attention from the media—since the ACLU organized a broad-based, though unsuccessful, fight to defeat the first USA Patriot Act toward the end of 2001. And it was the conservative Republican libertarian, Dick Armey, then majority leader in the House, who stripped the Orwellian “Operation Tips” out of the Department of Homeland Security bill.” Village Voice

The Dixie Chicks & Civility

“During this crisis patriotism as practiced in the United States reached alarming levels of intolerance and violence. The right of the other to dissent was unceremoniously thrown aside. If we take what happened to the Dixie Chicks as an example, one is hard-pressed to justify or even comprehend the incident. One of the ladies said she was ashamed of Bush being from her home state of Texas. She said it while performing on a stage in London. Had the Chicks been living under Saddam, we know a priori what would have happened. But knowing they lived in the United States one thought that the debate would have maintained a semblance of civility.


Instead, they were attacked, taken off radio stations, and callers to the same stations spewed so much venom that it inevitably culminated in on-the-air death threats. Obviously, democracy is skin deep. I thought it was just foreigners like me who received death threats and viruses through their emails. I was wrong. This raises another issue: Could the Homeland security people tell the world why such people were not apprehended? Those who threaten to kill someone for reasons of ideology or a point of view are terrorists. No argument there. In this time of high security alert, it is amazing that such people get away with it. In all honesty, it is not very different from any petty dictatorship where the party clique and those close to power can do what they like when the rest are robbed of their basic rights.” — Mohammed al-Rasheed, Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

Shuttle-Biking:

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Terrible name, intriguing idea — ride your bicycle on the water with an ‘inflatable bicycle boat’ that fits in a backpack, weighs 25 lbs., and installs in 10-15 minutes, allowing you to clock 6 mph in the water. It basiclly consists of two inflatable pontoons and a propeller-rudder assembly operated by the bicycle’s steering and pedals. The floats inflate with pedal power.