Broncos, Seahawks are battle-tested

Underneath this issue is a fallacy in human understanding of nature: the assumption that the environment and its creatures are brittle things whom the slightest disturbance will render extinct. The environment has survived ice ages, comet impacts and climate change far more dramatic than any that artificial greenhouse gas may cause. Inconveniently for Pacific Northwest environmental lobbyists, birds extremely similar to spotted owls are doing just fine on their own. So get rid of the evidence.

Max Bialystock's Dream Show: "Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark," the much-maligned musical, will close on Broadway after Christmas, then reopen in Las Vegas. Turns out Peter Parker and M.J. can just walk away. In a move after the heart of Max Bialystock, the producer in "The Producers," producers of the Spider-man musical claim it lost money though running two and a half years.

Buck-Buck-Brawkkkkkk: Miami leading 13-0 late in the third quarter at Jersey/B, the Jets faced fourth-and-goal on the Dolphins' 2. Don't wimp out! The field goal boomed, and that is all you need to know about the remainder of this contest, which at times looked like a preseason game on both sides of the ball. The Jets quietly are posting a disastrous season on offense, having failed to record a touchdown in four of their past seven games. Jersey/B leads the league in quarterback turnovers for the second consecutive season (Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith).

Before Jersey/B's fraidy-cat field goal, Miami twice went for it on fourth-and-1 and both times was denied. But the attempts communicated to Miami players that their coach was challenging them to win.

Calling All Snail Darters: Is it unfair to say that federal environmental rules are used not to protect the environment but stop economic activity?

Your columnist lives in prosperous, booming Montgomery County, in Maryland, where employment is high, public schools are strong and the population keeps swelling. Roads are clogged, which means not just inconvenience but greenhouse gases as cars idle in traffic. The county wants to build a light-rail system that would traverse the area of the worst traffic jams, providing an alternative to cars. The proposed line is being fought over the discovery of the rare Hay's Spring amphipod in a creek along the route.

That a life-form is small or little-known doesn't render it insignificant. But most likely few involved in this fight care about the tiny shrimp-like guy -- its discovery is an excuse to oppose development. People who own property in the area of the proposed light rail don't want construction noise and don't want a public-transportation system catering to working-class persons and immigrants. The situation is parallel to what happened in the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s, when people owning expensive exurban homes didn't want to get stuck behind log trucks on one-lane roads. If the goal is protecting the environment, logging (sustainable) and mass transit (reduces fossil fuel waste) are fine ideas. If the motivation is I've-got-mine-Jack, pretend you are deeply concerned with the Hay's Spring amphipod.

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