When I first heard about the proposed memorial to the heroes of Flight 93 at Shanksville, Pennsylvania yesterday, I thought it was a joke. But it isn't. Somehow, the stupid bastards organizing this thing want to make the memorial a sick homage to the crescent symbol of Islam.
"Crescent of Embrace" will feature a Tower of Voices, containing 40 wind chimes -- one for each passenger and crew member who died -- and two stands of red maple trees that will line a walkway caressing the natural bowl shape of the land. Forty separate groves of red and sugar maples will be planted behind the crescent, and a black slate wall will mark the edge of the crash site, where the remains of those who died now rest.
This reminds me of Bill Hicks' observation that, if John F. Kennedy returned to Earth in the manner of Jesus of Nazareth returning to a world of Christians wearing and worshipping crucifixes, how little he would wish to see people wearing miniature Mannlicher-Carcano rifles around their necks.
I certainly hope there is enough outrage expressed to scuttle this disgusting and ill-conceived memorial to people who were victims of the barbarity of Islam.
Think I'm overstating things? Read what one of the artiste-architects has to say about it:
"A crescent is part of architectural vocabulary. It's a generic form used in design," said Paul Murdoch, one of the winning architects. "We don't see any one group having ownership of it."
"Crescent of Embrace" features an arc of maple trees that will turn red each fall.
Murdoch believes it's unfortunate that the design is being interpreted that way.
"You can call it all kinds of things. We can call it an arc. We can call it a circle. We can call it the edge of the bowl. The label doesn't matter to us in terms of intent.
"We have no objection to calling it something else."
Murdoch did say they have no intentions of changing the design.
The design is offensive. Fuck it. It isn't going to happen.
Have a look at this over at Captain Ed's place: Fox News Channel's Major Garrett tells Hugh Hewitt that Louisiana's state department of homeland security would not allow the Red Cross or the Salvation Army into New Orleans to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
I was very specific with the American Red Cross, president and CEO Marty Evans, and said wait. Tell me clearly. Were you prepared to go in before the levees broke? Before water became an issue of any kind? She said absolutely. Were you denied access before the levees broke? She said we were denied access from minute one.
Okay, so we know that help was there and ready to move in, but that the people running the show in New Orleans didn't want to make the Superdome into a place where services would be provided, but as an evacuation hub. Well, what the fuck? If Nagin and the other morons weren't going to respond to the facts on the ground and recognize that people were not coming prepared to the Superdome, then what's the idea of blocking these world-renowned American NGOs from coming in to help? It's ridiculous.
Captain Ed sums it up:
The suffering and deprivations that caused the revulsion of the nation did not result from a lack of response from FEMA. While FEMA may have struck a few discordant notes, especially its tone-deaf chief Michael Brown, the truth is that they prestaged most of the necessary materials for the relief of New Orleans, counting on the city to follow its own emergency operations plans. When that failed, the key NGOs FEMA uses tried on several occasions to get the aid to the victims, only to have all their efforts blocked by Louisiana. The city failed to provide transportation to those who lacked it for the mandatory evacuation, and the state refused to allow the aid workers to go to the centers where the state and city urged the victims to congregate.
People want to bitch about governmental incompetence? Let them start with the dumbasses in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Getting Away with It...For Now Now Playing: "Get Back" by the Beatles
In tomorrow'sWashington Post:
A federal judge yesterday ordered former national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger to pay a $50,000 fine and give up his security clearance for three years as the penalty for smuggling classified terrorism documents out of the National Archives in 2003.
The sentence was much more severe than the $10,000 fine that Justice Department prosecutors and Berger's attorneys had jointly proposed after Berger pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge. But Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson said the punishment, which also included two years of probation and 100 hours of community service, would more "sufficiently reflect the seriousness of the offense."
Berger wasn't "severely" punished with this little wrist-slap.
No, his punishment is yet to come.
It is the judgement of History, which he tried to rewrite, that will punish him to the fullest extent.
Then Firebomb It
The Zarqawiites have taken over in Qaim, an Iraqi shithole near the Syrian border.
BAGHDAD, Sept. 5 -- Fighters loyal to militant leader Abu Musab Zarqawi asserted control over the key Iraqi border town of Qaim on Monday, killing U.S. collaborators and enforcing strict Islamic law, according to tribal members, officials, residents and others in the town and nearby villages.
Residents said the foreign-led fighters controlled by Zarqawi, a Jordanian, apparently had been exerting authority in the town, within two miles of the Syrian border, since at least the start of the weekend. A sign posted at an entrance to the town declared, "Welcome to the Islamic Republic of Qaim."
You know, with that many psychopaths concentrated in one place like that, it would make a beautiful target for our boys.
Witnesses in Qaim said Zarqawi's fighters were killing officials and civilians who they consider to be allied with the Iraqi and U.S. governments or anti-Islamic. On Sunday, the bullet-riddled body of a young woman dressed in her nightclothes lay in a street of Qaim. A sign left on her corpse declared, "A prostitute who was punished."
Yeah. They need to evacuate the friendlies and then vaporize that fucking toilet.
Via Professor Reynolds, have a look at Bill Whittle's extremely interesting post about which "tribes" the American people belong to in this age of societal stress and structural fatigue. Whittle writes:
Only a few minutes ago, I had the delightful opportunity to read the comment of a fellow who said he wished that white, middle-class, racist, conservative cocksuckers like myself could have been herded into the Superdome Concentration Camp to see how much we like it. Absent, of course, was the fundamental truth of what he plainly does not have the eyes or the imagination to see, namely, that if the Superdome had been filled with white, middle-class, racist, conservative cocksuckers like myself, it would not have been a refinery of horror, but rather a citadel of hope and order and restraint and compassion.
It's a great post. Check it out. But only if you aren't a dumbass.
Losing the Two-Front War
I'm disappointed that Antonin Scalia isn't going to get his chance to be Chief Justice of the United States. I can't imagine that he isn't very angry right about now.
But this tells you one thing about how weak the Bush Administration sees its current leverage on Capitol Hill: they don't think they've got enough mojo to fight on two fronts for the Supreme Court.
Getting John Roberts confirmed is in the bag. That's no fight at all. But getting Scalia into the Chief Justiceship at about the same time that they're trying to get an unambiguous conservative onto the bench is more than the Bush people are willing to do.
They're wounded right now and this is how you know they know it, too.
You'll Need to Remember This, Too, Okay?
This has been making the rounds, so I thought I would mention it, too.
Late Sunday morning, 28 August 2005, the Associated Press reported on a press conference given by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco in which Nagin called for a mandatory evacuation of the city.
The day before, Interstate 10 had been converted into a one-way northbound escape route for the entire city, but it was already a parking lot when the mayor and governor went before the cameras. My emphases:
Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.
"There doesn't seem to be any relief in sight," Blanco said.
Judging from that, I don't think President Bush shirked his duties in the precuationary stages. But he surely deserves to be criticized for his later inaction. I'm convinced of that already.
"We are facing a storm that most of us have long feared," Nagin said.
The storm surge most likely could topple the city's levee system, which protect it from surrounding waters of Lake Pontchartrain, the Mississippi River and marshes, the mayor said. The bowl-shaped city must pump water out during normal times, and the hurricane threatened pump power.
Previous hurricanes evacuations in New Orleans were always voluntary, because so many people don't have the means of getting out. Some are too poor and there is always a French Quarter full of tourists who get caught.
"This is a once in a lifetime event," the mayor said. "The city of New Orleans has never seen a hurricane of this magnitude hit it directly," the mayor said.
He told those who had to move to the Superdome to come with enough food for several days and with blankets. He said it will be a very uncomfortable place and encouraged everybody who could to get out.
Sounds like Nagin was right on about a number of things, but still didn't seem to make much of an effort to move people from the southeastern areas of the city northward on the buses available. Even if all they could do was dump people off in higher elevations, they should have at least made some effort.
And now I hear that there may be thousands of dead in the outlying areas of New Orleans. Is that even possible? Jesus.
My blogrolling compatriot Michael King made an observation a few days ago about how a pair of wire photographs of people wading through New Orleans had borne distinctly different caption language describing the very same actions ---as performed by whites and blacks.
The light-skinned chick found the food she had with her, but the black guy had looted his.
But, as Mike apparently suspected, context is everything.
Jack Stokes, AP's director of media relations, confirmed today that [photographer Dave] Martin says he witnessed the people in his images looting a grocery store. "He saw the person go into the shop and take the goods," Stokes said, "and that's why he wrote 'looting' in the caption."
And the caption on the photo from the other wire service (Agence France-Presse) was written by Chris Graythen, who says:
I wrote the caption about the two people who 'found' the items. I believed in my opinion, that they did simply find them, and not 'looted' them in the definition of the word. The people were swimming in chest deep water, and there were other people in the water, both white and black. I looked for the best picture. there were a million items floating in the water - we were right near a grocery store that had 5+ feet of water in it. it had no doors. the water was moving, and the stuff was floating away. These people were not ducking into a store and busting down windows to get electronics. They picked up bread and cokes that were floating in the water. They would have floated away anyhow.
We've all been fools if we've been believing that racial tensions in America had somehow gone away. New Orleans has done much to reignite some embers I thought had gone cold.
No Justice, No Peace
Via the Power Line comes this damning essay from Nicole Gelinas at City Journal. She ends thusly:
Was this week’s looting preventable? Failure to put violent criminals behind bars in peacetime has led to chaos in disaster. New Orleans’ officials had only the remotest prayer on Monday of coordinating police officers with no electronic equipment to rescue survivors while at the same time stopping looting before it descended into wholesale terror. Now, those uncoordinated police officers are themselves victims—according to multiple accounts, dead officers, their bodies marked with gunshot wounds, litter the city.
Armed marauders have now taken over every dry area of a deluged city. They’ve hampered rescue efforts: without wanton looting, there was at least a chance that individual police officers could have distributed food in stores to those who needed it most. And they’ve likely hampered rebuilding efforts down the road: they’ve smashed much of intact Uptown and the French Quarter, which will surely a pyschological barrier for those who knew that the storm didn’t destroy their homes and their livelihoods—fellow citizens did.
Mayor Ray Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco lost whatever fragile authority they ever had over New Orleans early Monday, as the waters still rose. The federal government was unacceptably slow at assessing a rapidly deteriorating situation. Now, no civil authorities can re-assert order in New Orleans. The city must be forcefully demilitarized, even as innocent victims literally starve. What has happened over the past week is an embarrassment to New Orleans—and to America.
When I made my typically oppressive and caucasoidal "law and order" arguments among my Leftist pals yesterday, to a person, they misunderstood my point: I don't care that someone steals a TV ---so long as such stupidity is punished by Darwinian death.
As I have said many times before, those who do not accept the moral imperative of capital punishment are themselves complicit in the murders, rapes, and robberies that plague our society. There has to be something wrong with you to oppose justice for the irredeemable. Who are you trying to impress with your equanimity and infinite tolerance?
Exterminating this class of sociopaths who prey on us is a great benefit to the vast majority of law-abiding and decent Americans. Why isn't it done? Because of the political pressure applied by liberal wankers who do not accept certain moral imperatives.
There's no question who needs a good killing, except in the minds of the liberal media elites who cluck and moan about American barbarity while a great American city suffers unimaginably ---even at this very hour.
Unimaginably Lovely; Therefore, Real Mood:
I saw a few minutes of Halle Berry on the Oprah show when I was flipping through the channels after work today and I simply must say that she has never looked more beautiful. Halle Berry is absolutely stunning with the white dress and the long, dark hair and the most perfect skin ever even imagined.
Can We Just Borrow the Army for a While? Mood:
don't ask Now Playing: "We'll Meet Again" by Vera Lynn
Not to be too judgemental or anything, but if the fucking Government isn't going to find some way to supply these poor wretches with at least some fresh water, can't they at least authorize the troops to shoot these TV-stealing firefighter-fighting subhuman motherfuckers?!?!
If you can't even protect the goddamned hospitals, what the fuck do you have? It isn't civilization, you dolts! It's Early Man.
Shoot them! With a gun! That's what the bullets are for, you twits!
The Cheap Veneer of Civilization Mood:
You know what I take away from this particular Battle of New Orleans? The very pessimistic view that huge swaths of this country could not really survive a man-made disaster on this scale.
That is, when the Submitters finally explode a radiological bomb in the middle of Manhattan or detonate a nuke in the middle of Long Beach, it will not surprise me to see the very most animalistic behavior among the survivors.
This is what we have, finally, when we do not respect ourselves and do not respect the law.
I wouldn't begrudge any man taking a loaf of bread or a bottle of water from some looted and waterlogged store there in New Orleans. I wouldn't care a bit if people are stealing clean pairs of underwear or shoes for their babies.
But stealing a goddamned TV? You should be shot on sight. Not because you're stealing, per se, but because you're too fucking stupid to live.
It is a symptom of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) that its victims believe that this President ---and other conservatives in his corner--- are the actual cause of natural disasters. Stupid and insane, but a real belief. If only we had signed the Kyoto Protocols, Hurricane Katrina would have never happened, see.
And the anti-Christian Left thinks it's other people who abuse Science for their own ideological purposes? What a crock.