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Chapters & Resolutions

Friday, Oct. 13, 2006 2:19 PM

Tower Records will be closing its doors. The chain has been sold to a liquidation group. "Going Out of Business" signs have been posted at all 89 Tower stores, and their employees have been told they will be laid off.

The Tower Records here in San Francisco has always been a landmark; the parking lot of the Columbus Street store is bordered by paintings of recently-released album covers, which I always found intriguing. (And those paintings would always remain relatively graffiti-free.)

The company points to an industrywide decline in music sales, the advent of online music, and intrusion into the market by big-box stores such as Wal-Mart.

Also joining the bankruptcy parade is liberal talk-radio Air America, which is filing Chapter 11.

Not much to say there, but I haven't been as impressed with the venture as others have. It requires there be an equal market for liberal voices on the airwaves as there is for the conservative ones.

It's also helpful if your programming is something other than a mirror-image of the very thing you claim to despise or refute.

The United Nations Security Council has agreed on the text of a resolution for sanctions against North Korea. The vote is scheduled for the weekend; Russia and China had voiced concerns about pre-emptive military action against the rogue state.

The latest draft authorizes only non-military sanctions and is self-inclusive, avoiding any talk of implied authority for military action at a later date, as with the problematic Authorization of Military Force passed by U.S. lawmakers.

Specific limits will be set for military equipment in North Korea's possession, including missiles, tanks, warships, and combat aircraft.

"There may be some additional changes to the text," remarked John Bolton, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. "But we do have unanimous agreement."

Initial sampling appears to show no evidence of radioactive particles that would be expected from a successful nuclear detonation, according to an unnamed intelligence official.

That raises questions as to whether or not it was a nuclear blast at all. The problem is, of course, detecting fallout from the blast, which experts admit can be a case of being in the right place at the right time.

I'm of the opinion that until it is disproven, we should consider the test as valid, and regard North Korea as having limited nuclear capability.

If Kim Jung-il is a nutcase, he's a nutcase with a nuke. If he's not, he's still got a nuke.

And you'd think the Bush Administration would have learned not to back people like Kim into a corner.

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