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|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
The Weblog at The View from the Core - Thu. 11/17/05 07:43:42 AM
A handful of interesting, informative, and insightful articles.
News, editorials, columns, essays, et al.
"I wonder how well you have been sleeping these last nights? Mothers and fathers all over our beloved land are spending sleepless nights worrying again over their boys being sent to fight wars on foreign soil wars that are no concern of ours."
Talk about discouraging. All year long the negative numbers about the war rolled in like the tide. The President's approval rating in the Gallup poll bottomed out at 23 percent. Another poll showed that 43 percent of Americans thought it was a mistake to have entered the war. The enthusiasm from early victories quickly evaporated....
Apocalypse? by David Warren @ DavidWarrenOnline:
.... The recent riots in France remind me how quickly Europe is receding, in historical time; how completely its civilization has been undermined; how much is irretrievably lost. European Imperialism is retrospectively derided, but it was a manifestation of a European mission to civilize and Christianize all human life; to bring the light of Europe to every dark, pagan, and barbarous enclave. It is that light which is now mostly extinguished, just where it once blazed most brightly.
The cynicism that emerged in memoirs of the Western Front, gave colour to the literature and art of the 1920s, gave birth in turn, as I've come to think, to that nihilist "spirit of postmodernism". But this cynicism was not without plenty of precedent in the decadence of Europe before the Great War; and in the loss of Christian faith that had already cracked Europe's ruling classes. After a century adrift, we find a Europe which itself has gone pagan again, and is returning to barbarity....
Truth and Doodie by James Pinkerton @ Tech Central Station:
Welcome to the next installment of the continuing saga: Mary Mapes vs. the Blogs, in which, for good measure, she takes on reality, too. And at the same time, we can consider the rise, fall and possible comeback of Mapes as part of the ongoing power-struggle between the MSM (Main Stream Media) and the New Media (NM)....
Fuss and Feathers: Pandemic panic over the avian flu. by Michael Fumento @ The Weekly Standard:
"The indication is that we will see a return of the 1918 flu virus that is the most virulent form of flu," warns America's top health official. "In 1918, half a million people died. The projections are that this virus will kill one million Americans.... "
A quotation ripped from today's papers about an impending "bird flu" pandemic? No, the year was 1976 and the prediction of a deadly "swine flu" overshot the mark by 999,999 deaths (although dozens did die from the vaccine campaign). That's something to remember amid the current alarms. Another is that we've been here before with the identical virus over which the feathers are now flying, avian influenza type H5N1, which first hit poultry flocks in 1997. "Race to Prevent World Epidemic of Lethal 'Bird Flu,'" and "Hong Kong 'Bird Flu' Could be the Next Big Outbreak," blared the headlines then. The world death toll from that "wave"? Six. And let's not forget the outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) two years ago, which led to 750 stories in the New York Times and Washington Post one per death worldwide, as it turned out. The 71 U.S. cases of SARS, which resulted in zero deaths, did not "Overwhelm U.S. Health System," as CNN had predicted.
None of which is to say there won't be another flu pandemic. There were three in the last century, after all. But that gives us absolutely no idea when the next will come, nor whether it will be any relative of H5N1, nor what its impact will be. Two of those 20th-century pandemics weren't particularly severe, while the other was catastrophic. (Pandemic, by the way, does not mean "deadly epidemic" it means "worldwide epidemic.")
What we can say with confidence is that there is never such a thing as helpful hysteria. And the line between informing the public and starting a panic is being crossed every day now by politicians, public health officials, and journalists....
We are in danger of forgetting that waiting comes before wanting by Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks @ (ht):
The scenes of France in flames have been disturbing night after night of cars on fire, buildings ablaze, angry youth and embattled police.
This is not the first time we have seen how quickly societies can descend into chaos. It happened in the Netherlands after the murder of Theo van Gogh, in New Orleans after the hurricane and in the Lozells area of Birmingham during the recent riots. We are seeing the emergence of a new politics of anger.
The causes are simple: ethnic ghettos, immigrant enclaves, concentrations of poverty, unemployment and young people with strong feelings of exclusion and resentment.
We know also what will happen. There will be stronger policing; violence will become more sporadic; tempers will cool; measures will be taken. Lessons will be learnt. The attention of the media will turn elsewhere. Until the next time....
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|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
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