Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina - Indescribable Destruction

From Fox News: A casino barge washed ashore near Biloxi, MS.

The cable news networks and the internet are providing the best coverage of the unfolding disaster on the Gulf Coast.

A helicopter flyover (shown on MSNBC) around Biloxi, Mississippi, shows almost total destruction, with smashed homes and denuded trees stretching as far as the camera can see. Storm surge reached several miles inland, destroying homes, businesses, and bridges. One scene showed a long viaduct which had lost every single span. Farther down the Mississippi coast, a barge which had lain moored in the Gulf of Mexico now lay beached, inland of the coastal highway which was still passable.

In Mobile, Alabama, cleanup is beginning from the storm surge flooding that occurred there, but it appears that while serious, the damage is repairable, and losses comparatively light.

In New Orleans, chaos reigns. Reports of widespread looting and general lawlessness are common, and a dire need to continue search and rescue operations means that looting will continue for some time. It is rumored that the Lousiana governor will be asking for federal troops to assist in maintaining law and order.

Breaking New Orleans News: WWL-TV.

Looting continues in New Orleans
09:19 AM CDT on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - Associated Press

Looting broke out in some New Orleans neighborhoods today, prompting authorities to send more than 70 additional officers and an armed personnel carrier into the city.

Police say one officer was shot in the head by a looter yesterday, but is expected to recover.

The Times-Picayune reports today that a Wal-Mart in the Lower Garden District was looted, and the entire gun collection was taken.

Terry Ebbert, New Orleans Homeland security chief, says there are gangs of armed men moving around the city. Also, the governor's office reports looters tried to break into Children's Hospital.

On New Orleans' Canal Street, dozens of looters ripped open the steel gates on clothing and jewelry stores and grabbed merchandise. In Biloxi, Mississippi, people picked through casino slot machines for coins and ransacked other businesses.

In some cases, the looting was in full view of police and National Guardsmen.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

There has been little news from anywhere else in southern Louisiana. All Louisiana eyes appear to be on New Orleans.

The prospects of the Crescent City appear to be dismal.

An interview with the Army Corps of Engineers:
Answers from Army Corps of Engineers on unwatering New Orleans
11:28 PM CDT on Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Q.1. How long will it take to get the water out of New Orleans?

A.1. We are unsure. A number of factors play into this. First, Lake Pontchartrain is at roughly 4.5 feet above sea level and falling. The city is at a lower elevation so water will continue to flow into it until it equalizes.

Once the breach on the 7th Street Canal is closed, Pump Station 6 can pump 10,000 cubic feet per second.

Once the breaches are closed and all of the pumps are running, the pumps can lower the water level ½ inch per hour or about a foot per day. We can get the water level to sea level in four and a half days. The ½ inch rate assumes the late is at normal levels. That would create pumping inefficiency, as could trash in drains and canals that feed into the pump stations.

That’s a “Best Case” scenario. We don’t know the conditions of all of the pumps. Fortunately most of the pump motors and controllers are at an elevation greater than 5 feet and we hope they weren’t submerged. There could be other unforeseen problems.

We assume the pumps have not been submerged since most pumps are at an elevation greater than five feet above sea level. Pumps are operated and maintained by the local sewage and drainage districts.

Q.2. Why did the levees fail?

A.2. What failed were actually floodwalls, not levees. This was caused by overtopping which caused scouring, or an eating away of the earthen support, which then basically undermined the wall.

These walls and levees were designed to withstand a fast moving category 3 hurricane. Katrina was a strong 4 at landfall, and conditions exceeded the design.

Q.3. Why only Category 3 protection?

A.3. That is what we were authorized to do.

Q.4. How many other areas do you need to get water out of?

A.4. There are at least five ringed levees (areas surrounded by levees) that need to be emptied. New Orleans and Jefferson; New Orleans to Venice (Hurricane Protection project - Port Sulfur to Venice, LA); Chalmette Loop (lower 9th ward of Orleans Parish and Urbanized part of St. Bernard Parrish ); and, Plaquemines Parish non-federal levees have also been overtopped.

Q.5. What will be done to unwater these areas?

A.5. The unwatering plan will be used in these areas as well. Crews and equipment will be mobilized to breach the levees at predetermined locations and allow for gravity drainage into Lake Bourgne or other surrounding water bodies.

For more information, contact the New Orleans District Public Affairs Office at the crisis action center (601) 631-5328. Please also visit the New Orleans District website ( -- it's up once again.
More Information:
WWL TV, New Orleans

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hurricane Katrina - Update

From Fox News

The governor of Louisiana has now ordered that New Orleans be completely evacuated. Failed levees have led to widespread flooding and there appears to be nothing that can be done to stop it.

And water continues to rise.

From the Associated Press:
With conditions in the hurricane-ravaged city of New Orleans rapidly deteriorating, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Tuesday that everyone still in the city, now huddled in the Superdome and other rescue centers, needs to be evacuated.

"The situation is untenable," Blanco said, pausing to choke back tears at a news conference. "It's just heartbreaking."

The breach of two levees Tuesday meant the city was rapidly filling with water and the prospect of having power was a long time off, the governor said. She said the storm also severed a major water main, leaving the city without drinkable water.
"The goal is to bring enough supplies to sustain the people until we can establish a network to get them out," Blanco said.

FEMA is considering putting people on cruise ships, in tent cities, mobile home parks, or so-called floating dormitories, boats FEMA normally uses to house its own employees, said Coordinating Director Bill Lokey.

Lokey said he anticipated FEMA will set up a permanent office in the area.

Recovery will take so long, he said, that some workers could spend their entire career working on Katrina.

"This is the most significant natural disaster to hit the United States," Lokey said.

The devastation was enormous. One of the twin spans of Interstate 10 was broken into dozens of pieces between the pylons, stretched out across rising water like puzzle pieces. Only rooftops were visible in several neighborhoods and the occasional building was on fire. In relatively lucky neighborhoods, residents waded in the empty streets in knee-deep water.

Blanco, Lokey and others spoke to reporters after officials flew to New Orleans with FEMA director Mike Brown and other officials. They stopped at the Superdome, where Mayor Ray Nagin outlined the dire situation: hundreds, if not thousands, of people may still need rescuing from rooftops and attics, he said.

Blanco described the dedication of rescue workers who at midnight were told to take a break.

"They refused. They couldn't do it," Blanco said.

Blanco said rescuers were unable to get to people stranded, but safe, in one tall building because so many other people were "calling to them and jumping from rooftops" into the water to be rescued first.

Things were so bad, Nagin said, that rescue boats are bypassing the dead.

"We're not even dealing with dead bodies," Nagin said. "They're just pushing them on the side."

Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau, adjutant general for the Louisiana National Guard, said search and rescue teams were still picking up people throughout the city, leaving them on highway overpasses-turned-islands and on the Mississippi River levee to wait until they could be moved again.

They will eventually end up in the Superdome, where he estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people already have taken refuge and where rising water is threatening the generators.

Among the evacuees are 5,000 inmates from New Orleans and suburbs that need to be moved. Officials were trying to figure out how.

As the FEMA helicopter left, with Sen. Mary Landrieu looking out the window, a group of looters smashed a window at a convenience store off the interstate in Metairie and jumped inside.

Nagin described the looters as drug addicts ransacking drug stores and people looking for food.

Police chief Eddie Compass said police are mainly focused on search and rescue.

"We'll deal with looting afterward," Compass said. "Human life is our top priority."

Nagin confirmed one person died at the Superdome attempting to jump from one level to a lower one.

Nagin said 75 to 80 percent of the New Orleans area is flooded.

Nagin said there are two major breaks in levees -- one at Florida Avenue in New Orleans East and another on the 17th Street Canal, where two or three blocks of concrete levee blew out.

Because of the 17th Street Canal break, Lake Pontchartrain water is pouring into the city. Nagin said the pumps that normally protect the city are working, but since they send water into the lake it does no good.

He said the Corps of Engineers is trying to sandbag the break but he had no timeline for their efforts.

Hurricane Katrina's Wake

It appears now that the situation in New Orleans is worse than originally hoped yesterday. A levee has failed, and it is believed 80% of New Orleans is flooded.

Streets that were dry yesterday evening are now flooded.

And that is only New Orleans.

More Info:
Michelle Malkin
NOLA Hurricane Center

To help:

Donate to the Red Cross

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

I've been glued to the TV most of Sunday, following the hurricane news.

Right now (1:40 PM MDT - 2:40 PM in New Orleans) it appears that the worst for New Orleans is past, and the worst case scenario was narrowly averted. Just before it made landfall, the storm lost some intensity and jogged east, sparing New Orleans the full brunt of the storm and instead hammering the Mississippi coast.

So New Orleans lucked out, fortunately. But it was all too close.

And Mississippi is getting hammered. The storm center is now at least 60 miles inland, and is still a Category 2 hurricane. According to radio news reports, the storm is looking a lot like Hurricane Camille of 1969.

Flooding is expected all the way up into Ohio.

More Info:
National Hurricane Center
Drudge Report Hurricane Center

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Peace Through Superior Firepower

Happy Birthday, Bill!

Go here, then read the links. He's an interesting (and funny) guy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Rush Has A Point

I'm doing something a little unusual today - sending you over to a transcript from Rush Limbaugh yesterday - he made some excellent points I think you should see. Here are a cherry-picked few; I strongly recommend you read the whole thing. (If it is no longer available, and you want to see it, email me or leave a comment and I'll post more of it.)

What rogue, what scoundrel came up with the ridiculous line, "Tell the truth, Mr. President, all the news is not rosy in Iraq." Who comes up with these lines? Tell the truth, Mr. President, all the news is not rosy in Iraq? Well, I've heard Joe Biden use it. Of course, when Biden uses it, then it becomes fair game and a lot of people on the left start using it. But may I ask a question? Just where is all that good news that we're being flooded with? When they say, "Tell the truth, Mr. President, all the news is not rosy in Iraq," would somebody tell me where the good news is? Can you name for me a war hero? Can you name for me a successful mission? Can you name for me an inspirational act of courage or a noble act or a good deed that has taken place in Iraq, just one, that the mainstream media has reported on? Can you list any of the many signs of progress in country after country in the Middle East? You cannot, because they are not reported. So where is this good news?
Can you name a war hero? Are we allowed to believe in war heroes anymore?

...And so when you start suggesting policies or outcomes that would result in the defeat of our country and then people question your patriotism, and, "How dare you question my patriotism!" Well, you know, there are people who are going to start questioning your patriotism -- and it's about time -- and not your definition of patriotism. You can redefine all these terms so that you are exempt from the original meaning, you start saying, "Well, you know, patriotism. That's the precious right to dissent. I am being patriotic. I am criticizing my government. I am criticizing my president, because that's what the Founding Fathers did! Why, they criticized the king and they criticized Great Britain and they found for themselves what they want." Yeah, but all this falls apart and you people have absolutely zilch in common with the Founding Fathers. The Founding Fathers were builders! The Founding Fathers were constructors; the Founding Fathers were people with a vision for the betterment of all. You have nothing in common with the Founding Fathers.
That sums up why Kerry lost in 2004. The Democrats offered nothing in terms of new ideas; all they offered was "don't vote for Bush." And that is all they offer now.

The fact of the matter is, and it's becoming more and more obvious every day, the mainstream media appears to be little more than the National Enquirer, always looking for the most sensational events, always looking for the most outrageous, whether it has anything to do with the truth or not. They are looking for the larger story, and if something that pops up contradicts the agenda, it is ignored. Over 1,800 brave men and women have lost their lives in Iraq. The nation knows the name of only one of the parents, Cindy Sheehan. I ask you what kind of reporting is that? Over 1,800 brave men and women have lost their lives and the people of the United States know the name of one parent, Cindy Sheehan.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Checked Out Argghhh!!! Lately?

The good gentlemen over at The Castle have a couple of gems up today:

"Osama's Newsletter"
Second, it's not often I make a video address but when I do, I'm trying to scare the f*** out of most of the world's population, okay? That means that while we're taping, please do not ride your scooter in the background or keep doing the 'Wassup' thing. Thanks.
"Be Proud," quoting Ben Stein,
"He said it very simply: He said, we all ask God to help this great country. And we all ask God to do great things for this country and to go to work for the people we love. And God answers back, “Here on earth, my work is your work.” Your parents were doing that work. Be proud."

Now, to recap...
This war is worth it. No, not "so the fallen would not have died in vain" but to achieve what the parents of these children dedicated their lives to. The idea that freedom is worth fighting for, that it comes at a cost and we must be willing to pay it.

And the fallen aren't the only ones picking up the tab.

Monday, August 22, 2005

From The Non-Advocacy Community

Salt Lake City Mayor "Rocky" Anderson, in an email quoted by the Deseret News:

Anderson, a Democrat who serves in an officially nonpartisan office [HA! HA HA HA HA! - the Editor], sent an e-mail Friday to selected environmentalists, Democrats and a few of his top administrative staff. It said of Bush's visit: "Don't let him come to Utah and not see huge opposition, even in the reddest (most Republican) state. This would send such an important message. A tepid response will just send a message of apathy and resignation."

Anderson went on to write: "Let the Bush administration — and the world — hear from Salt Lake City!!! The advocacy community should be organizing the biggest demonstration this state has ever seen!"

Anderson's office provided a copy of the e-mail to the Deseret Morning News after it was leaked to the news media.

And here is the replies I would so desperately like to write in return, but I know wouldn't be read:

Reply 1:
Dear Mr. Mayor,
Get Bent.
Signed, Tyler, a member of the non-advocacy community
Reply 2:
By the way, what in the devil is an "advocacy community"? My interpretation is a bunch of self-appointed know-it-alls who know better than we, the unwashed masses, and therefore are the sole conservators of Truth and Light. In other words, a bunch of full-time whiners.

Reply 3:

Dear Mr. Mayor:

What are you thinking? Who appointed you Chief Guardian of Truth and Light (As Defined By Howard Dean), Utah Chapter?

Here's a message from those of us out here, in the non-advocacy community:

Want to have a protest? Resign. Do it with your own resources on your own time.

Otherwise, get back to work! The police will have enough headaches with a presidential visit without you going out and stirring up trouble, and having to babysit your sorry hide through the aformentioned trouble.

Answer me this: are burning these bridges and ticking this many people off really going to do any good for the city entrusted to you? Really?

Signed, Tyler, A Member of the Non-Advocacy Community

Well, at least my blood pressure is doing better now.

This is just petty grandstanding. The professional protestors have complained about so much for so long that I really don't care what they have to say anymore.

And in cold reflection, that's not a good thing. By so strenuously exercising their rights to assemble and speak freely, have they damaged them? Have they, at the very least, damaged those rights' impacts on their fellow men, and thereby those rights' impacts on the course of the Republic?

I don't know.

Another thing - right now, it's almost 11:00 PM, August 21, 2005. I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach about tomorrow. I've had it before and been wrong (more often wrong than right, fortunately) - but still. At the very least, Utah is going to end up looking like a bunch of morons. Again. The rotten apples defining the barrel.

Listen, my view on the war is probably already self-evident by now. I think it's worth the price, as high as it is. I don't want my decendants to live in fear, or in chains. I want them to be able to practice their faith, speak their mind, exercise their liberties.

And I don't want them to die because some entity hates those liberties, and what they make possible, enough to strike out and kill men, women, and children whose only crime was having lived.

It is my hope that my successors know peace. It is my prayer that they will be both worthy of and willing to defend the liberties guaranteed in the Constitution.

And my prayer for myself is that I will be.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Feeding The Crocodile

"An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last."
-- Sir Winston Churchill

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Promise of Joy

A Literary Interlude

So it was going forward as he had planned it, intervention on his terms, where and in such manner as he thought would be successful. The event was indeed in the hands of God. And supposing it would succeed, as he believed likely, what then for his frightened country and the shaken world?

He knew the answer.

Infinite pains, infinite patience, infinite struggle and strain. Infinite labor that would have to go on for years, decades, possibly generations before it could be said that a truly stable peace had finally been achieved.

And that, perhaps, was the key to it: the unceasing struggle, the fugitive joy, the recurrent pain, the endless, mostly heartbreaking endeavor.

"Let us," Lafe Smith had said, quoting on a dark and dismal night, "wear upon our sleeves the crepe of mourning for a civilization that held the promise of joy."

The promise of joy.

Not the easy certainty. Not the painless assurance. Not the comfortable guarantee.

Just - the promise.

That, perhaps, was all that the American experiment, all that any experiment in human governance that sprang from essentially decent motives, could hold out - the promise of joy. A promise always elusive, always fleeting, never quite captured, never quite achieved, here today, gone tomorrow, back again the next day - if you kept working and struggling and, above all, if you never gave up. If you hung on and kept trying, all of you, unto the last generation.

If his successors - for successors he still believed there would be - were strong, were determined, never lost sight of the essential goodness of the American experiment and the essential goodness of all other sincere and well-meaning peoples wherever they might reside on troubled Earth - then just possibly, somewhere far beyond his lifetime and maybe far beyong many other subsequent lifetimes, the promise of joy might sometime - somehow - someday - be kept for his country and all mankind.

But more likely that was all it was, or could ever be: a promise.

A promise forever worth the seeking - but only a promise.

All ye of faint heart and wavering will who seek the certainty of joy, he told them quietly in his mind, forget it.

It does not exist.

-- Allen Drury, The Promise of Joy

"They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right." Ronald Reagan

Monday, August 15, 2005

Echoes Of The Terrible Day

"Tapes make 9/11 'very real again' for families of firefighters," from USA Today:
By Martha T. Moore, USA TODAY
Mon Aug 15, 7:21 AM ET

The brown box arrived Friday at Kathleen Lynch's house in Amherst, N.Y., but it's still sitting on the kitchen table: 23 CDs with more than 15 hours of radio transmissions and transcripts of hundreds of personal accounts of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, which killed her brother, firefighter Michael Lynch.

" I don't know when or if I will listen to them. I just can't say," Lynch said Sunday. Even hearing excerpts on news reports left her "very disturbed. Very sad. It really brings it back. It makes it very real again."

A huge trove of information about the emergency response to the World Trade Center attacks, released Friday after a three-year court fight, is emotional material for the families of 341 firefighters and two fire department paramedics who died there.

"Anything that would shed light on something would be healing. But I know that it reopens wounds for a lot of people," says Russ Siller, whose brother Stephen, a firefighter, died at the World Trade Center. Stephen's body was never recovered. "Because we don't even know which tower he was in, it would be nice, it would be a good thing if we were to find something out."

Fire department radio transmissions and interviews with more than 500 firefighters and paramedics, conducted in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks at the direction of then Fire Commissioner Thomas von Essen, were released Friday as the result of a lawsuit brought against the fire department in 2002 by The New York Times and eight families of those killed.

The new material largely confirms what those families knew: The scene at the World Trade Center was one of chaos, terror and bravery.

The interviews reveal the horror and helplessness felt by many of the firefighters and paramedics. Trapped workers jumping from the highest floors of the Trade Center were a gruesome danger: Firefighter Daniel Suhr died after being struck by a falling body.

Twice, they ran for their lives from the collapsing buildings and choking black dust.

"It looked like a giant wave behind us," Assistant Fire Commissioner Stephen Gregory recalled. "I got down on one knee, I put my hands over my head to hold my helmet on. ... It got very black. It got very quiet. It was very peacefully quiet, so peaceful that I thought I was dead."

The new material is being reviewed carefully by family members who joined the lawsuit. They include Sally Regenhard, mother of a lost firefighter, who believes that faulty radios did not allow firefighters to hear orders to evacuate the towers before their collapse.

In the interviews, some firefighters say they were ordered out of the north tower after the south tower collapsed. Others say they were not told to leave but decided on their own.

"No one told me to get out," said Lt. Thomas Piambino, who had climbed to the 22nd floor of the north tower. "I don't know what it was. It was just the culmination of intuition or what. I just decided it was time to go."

Lydia Mozzillo, whose son Christopher died in the north tower, has begun listening to the recordings. "It's difficult. It is," she said Sunday. "Because you just picture in your mind where they all were. Try to wonder what floor they were on. Did they ever get the message to evacuate?"

Tapes of 911 emergency calls were not released, although the lawsuit ruling says they may be released if families consent. A log of calls to the Emergency Medical Service dispatch shows the desperation of the thousands of workers trapped inside the towers: "Female caller states they are stuck in the elevator. States they are dying."
I wonder what the press hoped to learn here, that was worth suing over. To remember? To remind us of that day? Or did they just want to loot the corpses one more time, to find more comspiracies and more conflicts in the human rubble of 9/11?

Does it still resonate for you? Do you still feel it?

Almost four years later, it still breaks the heart and enrages the soul. All of those people, murdered simply for existing.

And four years later, people still have the gall to say there is no evil in this world.

And that they somehow deserved to die.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Price Of Greatness

"The price of greatness is responsibility."
Sir Winston Churchill

America stands at an interesting crossroads. We have learned that war is hard and costly. (Many us already knew that, but from watching the evening news obsess over Cindy Sheehan, you's think America had never lost a soldier in war before.)

We are hated around the world for having taken our stand. Or is it because we have taken our stand too late?

It is better to be damned for trying than damned as cowards.

We would do well to remember one thing: as long as we exist, we will be a target for someone, regardless of what we do. The question before us is this: do we fight for a better world, or not? It really is that simple. Because there are people out there who have pledged their lives to make it worse. We either confront this evil or become it.

My choice has been made. What about you?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

None Dare Call It Treason

Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
Sir John Harrington, Of Treason--Epigrams (bk. IV, ep. V)

Andrew McCarthy at NRO:

In a sense, one can see where British authorities are coming from. The linchpin of treason is the allegiance a person owes to the realm. Treason is a crime, fundamentally, of traitorous intent. By making treason part of the law, a society announces that loyalty to country is a norm the departure from which — if it involves aid and comfort to an enemy — is an offense of the highest order. By enforcing that law, government renews that announcement, and society reaffirms the bond between the individual and the body politic.

Note McCarthy's phrasing here - Loyalty to country, not government. So all of the "Criticism is the highest form of patriotism", et nauseum, are kindly asked to shut up and keep reading.
Here, however, the norm has atrophied. Britain has failed to cultivate national loyalty as a fundamental aspect of Britishness. It has, instead, permitted a virulent strain of anti-British hostility to thrive in its midst. With such impunity, this enemy has unsurprisingly progressed (as its numbers have increased) from merely talking about jihad, to exhorting its execution, to, now, carrying out missions under its banner.

But most militant Muslims in the U.K. would no doubt say, quite convincingly, that they can’t be deemed traitorous because they were never loyal in the first place. The nation has failed to instill a sense of allegiance as a reciprocal obligation of enjoying the amenities of British life. For their part, the Islamists never pledged fealty ...jihadist loyalty extends only to the cause of establishing a worldwide Caliphate that hews to jihadist principles. For the militants, Britain has always been the enemy...

...In discouraging treason prosecutions, Lord Carlile, who reviews antiterror legislation, summed up the point, urging caution because “[t]reason tends to apply to war between nations.” The subtext is clear: An international terror network is not a nation, so adhering to one may not be treasonous. This, of course, is but a short distance from the argument — oft-repeated by opponents of post-9/11 military operations — that the current hostilities, which have resulted in thousands of military and civilian casualties, do not constitute a war because war, too, implies a conflict between nations...

...Moreover, if it’s not a war, then the laws and customs of war — such as those that permit detention of unlawful combatants because their uncivilized warfare targets civilians — do not apply. In that case, so the argument goes, the terrorists are mere criminal defendants, entitled to all the privileges that implies.
And that, almost four years after 9/11, is where we stand in the War on Terror, or whatever we call it these days. Despite the fact thousands of individuals have sworn to destroy us, to kill as many of us as possible, we can't even agree we're at war.

Friday, August 05, 2005

All Great Things Are Simple

"All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope."
Sir Winston Churchill

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Evil Ideas Never Die

Anti-Semitism just keeps coming back. One would think that a mere fifty years after the wake of that hateful ideology allowed a socialist dictator to warp a nation into conquering a continent and dedicate the full power of the Industrial Revolution to the production of Jewish corpses, humanity would have learned.

But as Paul Johnson relates in Commentary magazine, it has not. (Hat tip: NRO's Corner.)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Diamond Mines Aren't Forever...

The last diamond minds in the famous South African mining district of Kimberley are closing.

The closures...signal the passing of 134 years of rich history which, to some degree, defines Britain's imperial rule of southern Africa.
And so the past fades, piece by piece. Discovered before the Boer War, the development of the district and its exploitation would drive South Africa into the 21st century.

No more. Now, the owner, DeBeers, is consolidatingits investments, closing two other mines and investing in its first venture outside of Africa - the Sapp Lake mine in Canada's Nunavut.

Monday, August 01, 2005

What's In A Name?

Andrew McCarthy today at NRO:

There was a good editorial in Friday's Dallas Morning News on the administration's latest foray into politically correct self-parody: namely, what to call the, y'know, er, the thing over there, um, like in Iraq and Afghanistan (i.e., the enterprise formerly known as "The War on Terror.")

The W-word is apparently out. Wouldn't want to refer to a war as a "war"...

So, what to call it? Here's the current top candidate (you'll need to book some time to get through the whole thing): "The Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism."

Struggle? Fabulous! It'll be a real hit with the "Arab Street" we are so obsessed to impress with our pluperfect sensitivity. Memo to marketing: A common Arabic translation of the word "struggle" is JIHAD! You can just hear Al-Jazeera now (assuming you could hear in Arabic): "President Bush today proclaimed once again that he is determined to lead a 'global jihad' ..." Should play very well.

...Perfect: A war that's not called a war for fear of making people think about war, which is waged against an enemy who is not identified for fear of offending mass-murderers and the people who coddle them, and which occurs everywhere on the planet so no one is left out, but nowhere specific so no one is put in.
Read the whole thing.

The jihadists understand us better than we understand ourselves. We're in a fight with an enemy that has vowed to fight to the death and we're still worried about chipping our nailpolish.

Crossposted to The Wasatch Front.