Around the Web on 8-31-05

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I have the time to write tonight, but I'm leaving open the possibility that I won't, still being a little shell shocked over the storm that is our generation's Camille.

In any case, there is a lot of good stuff out there that I think is worth it to myself to remember later on and to my readers to look at themselves.

Two Good Reads on the War

Blair over at Secular Foxhole points to a good Capitalism Magazine article by Keith Lockitch which explains the crucial need for reinforcements in a war. No. Not more troops! Something more important than that: ideas.

The power that inspires righteous action--and which, by its absence, breeds discouragement--is the power of moral idealism. What has brought us to our present state is our leaders' moral weakness in response to the jihadists' moral zeal.
And while our side needs idealism to fight effectively, our opponents need to be taught what war really means. In other words, they must want to surrender because they realize their alternative is death -- not because it is a good tactical move. Amit Ghate at Thruch points to another Capitalism Magazine article, this one by J. David Lewis, on what it takes to win a war.
Surrender does not mean that an aggressor offers terms to stop attacking because he is weak. It means abject surrender, before an utterly overwhelming power, and the repudiation of the very idea of war through a brutal demonstration of what it actually means. Defeat has an existential and an intellectual aspect. Existentially, a nation's capacity to fight is destroyed; it cannot wage war now. But intellectually the culture gives up. Under the shock of overwhelming defeat a stunned silence results; voices once clamoring for war and the motivations they engender are decimated; and the nation never again arms for attack. Intransigence in the victor is vital; he does not accept terms, he demands surrender, or death, for everyone on the other side if necessary.

LA Times on Airline Deregulation

Gideon Reich over at Armchair Intellectual points out an interesting piece by the LA Times making, as he points out, an imperfect case for airline deregulation. But that's a huge shift for the paper.
The Wright Amendment costs California hundreds of millions of dollars in lost economic activity, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., which is lobbying for its repeal. It also illustrates a larger problem: government intervention that is hobbling the nation's airline industry, which is projected to lose $5 billion this year.

The article even calls my favorite airline, Southwest, "the nation's most successful airline." Southwest could be called, by the way liberals sneer at it, the "Wal-Mart of the skies." I agree that this is a groundbreaking piece.

Bush Blamed for Katrina by Nation that Gave us Hitler

Via Glenn Reynolds, I learned of two excellent debunkings of the inexcusable pimping of Katrina over the last couple of days by global warming demagogues.

Here's a sample from a roundup of German papers.
The toughest commentary of the day comes from Germany's Environmental Minister, Juergen Trittin, a Green Party member, who takes space in the Frankfurter Rundschau, a paper friendly with the Social Democrats, to bash US President George W. Bush's environmental laxity. He begins by likening the photos and videos of the hurricane stricken areas to scenes from a Roland Emmerich sci-fi film and insists that global warming and climate change are making it ever more likely that storms and floods will plague America and Europe. "There is only one possible route of action," he writes. "Greenhouse gases have to be radically reduced and it has to happen worldwide. Until now, the US has kept its eyes shut to this emergency. (Americans) make up a mere 4 percent of the population, but are responsible for close to a quarter of emissions." He adds that the average American is responsible for double as much carbon dioxide as the average European. "The Bush government rejects international climate protection goals by insisting that imposing them would negatively impact the American economy. The American president is closing his eyes to the economic and human costs his land and the world economy are suffering under natural catastrophes like Katrina and because of neglected environmental policies." As such, Trittin also calls for a reworking of the Kyoto Protocol -- dubbing it the uncreative title of "Kyoto 2" -- and insisting that the US be included.
Ah! Bush's fault! How original!

At least RFK Jr. gets points for creativity. Depending on how you read him, he blames Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour or God or a vast right-wing conspiracy of the two for Katrina.
As Hurricane Katrina dismantles Mississippi's Gulf Coast, it's worth recalling the central role that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour played in derailing the Kyoto Protocol and kiboshing President Bush's iron-clad campaign promise to regulate CO2.


In 1998, Republican icon Pat Robertson warned that hurricanes were likely to hit communities that offended God. Perhaps it was Barbour's memo that caused Katrina, at the last moment, to spare New Orleans and save its worst flailings for the Mississippi coast.
And note the pitch of global warming hysteria to the religious right. Expect more of the same in the future.

And now to the good stuff. I really enjoyed James K. Glassman's article at Tech Central Station. Here's the money quote, but read it all.

Katrina has nothing to do with global warming. Nothing. It has everything to do with the immense forces of nature that have been unleashed many, many times before and the inability of humans, even the most brilliant engineers, to tame these forces.

Giant hurricanes are rare, but they are not new. And they are not increasing. To the contrary. Just go to the website of the National Hurricane Center and check out a table that lists hurricanes by category and decade. The peak for major hurricanes (categories 3,4,5) came in the decades of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, when such storms averaged 9 per decade. In the 1960s, there were 6 such storms; in the 1970s, 4; in the 1980s, 5; in the 1990s, 5; and for 2001-04, there were 3. Category 4 and 5 storms were also more prevalent in the past than they are now. As for Category 5 storms, there have been only three since the 1850s: in the decades of the 1930s, 1960s and 1990s.
EURota goes into some more detail along these lines and provides graphs.

Update: And speaking of fallacies, the Resident Egoist discusses some fallacious economic arguments (anthropogenic global warming/cooling and the "broken window" fallacy) that are cropping up again due to the hurricane here and here.

Raymund Gets Writer's Itch!

Why in the world did Curtis Weeks drop our good friend Raymund from his blogroll? He's still blogging! Heh!

He Lives!

Just as I was about to post, my wife reported the following.... A fool New Orleanian I know who decided to ride out the storm (whether out of machismo or anticipation of looters I do not know) -- and who hadn't been heard from since the storm hit -- is still alive! He was sipping a beer on the roof of his son-in-law's house when he was found.

What a relief!

Hurricane Relief

And speaking of relief, I now know of an effort, thanks to Martin Lindeskog, to draw attention to various charities attempting to help the victims of Katrina. As a former Navy man and a native Mississippian, I am asking that you donate to the Armed Forces Retirement Home. From the TTLB Katrina relief page:

The Armed Forces Retirement Home is the facility to care for aging veterans of the US Military. The Gulfport MS facility was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina, and over 400 elderly vets must be transported to the AFRH facility in Washington DC. The AFRH is in need of donated toiletry items, or contributions to the trust fund used to operate the facility. The residents are old, many are ill, and they've lost the only home they have left. Some of them may not survive to return to it. They fought to defend our freedom. Isn't that worth a couple of cans of shaving cream and a bottle of shampoo?
To those who donate, thank you!

-- CAV


Today: Added Hurricane Relief.
9-1-05: Added Existence is Identity links.

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