The NY Times has an article today of excerpts from Port Authority workers in the WTC during the two hour period between the planes hitting the towers and their collapse.
You can see the game of cat and mouse going on between the U.S. and the U.N. over Iraq. This quote sums it up well:
Gen. John Abizaid, head of U.S. Central Command, waved off calls by American lawmakers to increase American troops in Iraq beyond the current 140,000, suggesting instead that Muslim allies send in more peacekeepers.
The U.S. won’t budge because it wants the U.N. to feel obligated to send in troops to save the Iraqis from the mess created by… the U.S. What a brilliant strategy! It certainly follows the KISS method (Keep It Simple, Stupid!). Hopefully the U.S. won’t be the ones left looking stupid…
A very amusing passage taken from a Christopher Hitchens article regarding the Ten Commandments “scandal”:
One is presuming (is one not?) that this is the same god who actually created the audience he was addressing. This leaves us with the insoluble mystery of why he would have molded (“in his own image,” yet) a covetous, murderous, disrespectful, lying, and adulterous species. Create them sick, and then command them to be well? What a mad despot this is, and how fortunate we are that he exists only in the minds of his worshippers.
In other Godless news, The Smoking Gun has excerpts from an interview of Arnold S. from 1977. I tried to pick a particularly good passage to post here, but I simply couldn’t choose. Check it out and you’ll understand why.
Oh great, Hong Kong is back inthe news over a new respiratory outbreak in a hospitol. That’s just what I don’t feeling like hearing about, given that I’ll be there next week.
Paul Bremer, current proconsul of Iraq, gave an interview with the Washington Post, in which he makes the following snide(editorializing at work) remark:
“What exactly is it that happens on the ground that makes things better if the U.N. is in charge of reconstruction?” Bremer said. “How does the situation on the ground get better?”
What happens? I’ll let this quote from the New Republic sum it up:
A new, robust Security Council resolution would provide political cover for potential troop donors, especially India, Turkey, and possibly Pakistan. But this would necessarily involve a bigger role for the U.N. in the political process. The last thing the Secretariat wants is for the U.N. to be used as an overgrown NGO, or worse, as a scapegoat–and a target for bombings like last week’s–should things go wrong.
In a nutshell, other reluctant countries would be willing to send troops and funding in to Iraq. Political cover would suddenly exist to de-Americanize the conflict, a potential positive, sweetening the pot with plenty of blame to be spread around should things continue to deteriorate. And, in fact, given the increased participation of many organizations that have had experience in similar matters in the past, the situation would be far more likely to improve, and sooner rather than later. The holiding back of an international effort for reconstruction is silly, especially given that, as Bremer himself said, Iraq will need “several tens of billions” of dollars from abroad in the next year to rebuild its rickety infrastructure and revive its moribund economy.
Good news for BBC fans. The BBC has decided to put as much of its content online, for free, as possible. This includes as much of its content from its archives as is feasible as well as all its new content generated. This may be the best attempt yet to make high quality content available online. And of all things, free. I would have considered paying for access to some of the BBC’s content, unlike much of the “programming” done here in the States.
There is something moronic about this situation. Apparently, death threats have been made on the lives of those who ordered the Ten Commandments display, containing the famous line “Thou Shall Not Kill”, to be removed.
The Christian Science Monitor sums it up as follows:
Federal District Judge Myron Thompson imposed daily fines of $5,000 on the state for contempt of his ruling – a decision upheld this month by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. For that, Judge Thompson has received death threats. Morris Dees, founder and director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who conducted a tough cross-examination of Moore, is also staying out of public view due to threats on his life. And security around Montgomery is high, in anticipation of violence from Moore’s followers upon the monument’s removal.
Granted, it doesn’t say “Thou shall not threaten to kill”, but please! Some people are beyond merely crazy…
There is an article from this weekend’s Washington Post about suicide in Japan worth reading.
TP has a summary of a Newsweek poll:
The Post also mentions a recent Newsweek poll in which 60 percent of respondents said that the U.S. was spending too much money in Iraq and should cut back its commitments there.
Should have thought of that before you all were so blindly trigger happy.
This afternoon I did take another trip down to New Brunswick and Piscataway, to check out the Route 18 Construction. It certainly has changed, and once completed will no doubt alter the character of the area very much. Unfortunately, I expect that the area around the “highway” will be less desirable than it was when it was a simple county road, but I’m told that’s the price of progress.
In other news, I’m disappointed that I’ve been unable to rescue an old Athlon 700 Mhz PC. I was hoping to use it to free up another computer for an install of Darwin.