Posted by: quiscus | April 19, 2011

April 18, 2011

1.  Larry Silverstein just made another $1.2 billion:

American Airlines and United Airlines along with two airport security firms will have to pay a $1.2 billion settlement for damage caused to property during the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.
Approved by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the deal settles numerous property-damage lawsuits that were filed after the terrorist attacks involving American Airlines Flight 11 and United Air Lines Flight 175 struck Towers One and Two of the former World Trade Center.
The other two defendants in the case were Globe Airport Security, which screened passengers boarding American Flight 11 in Boston, and Huntleigh, which did the same for United Flight 175. Under the agreement, American Airlines and Globe will pay 60% of the damages and United and Huntleigh will pay the remaining 40%.
The plaintiffs in the case are the owners of the World Trade Center and numerous insurance companies. They had originally sought $4.4 billion from the airlines and security companies.”

2.  “A moral wake-up call from World War II
If you’ve heard of George Bell, it’s probably because the German martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer addressed his last words to Bell just before Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis, on April 9, 1945. What is less well known is that Bell was the public voice of conscience against inhumane tactics used by British Bomber Command against Germany during World War II.

Bell was such an impressive and persistent voice against the “carpet bombing” of German towns — think Dresden — that I wish he were alive today to question America’s use of unmanned drones, piloted from thousands of miles away, to attack targets that are by nature uncertain and sometimes involve targeted assassination from the air.”

3.  “Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

4.  “Priorities in the Land of the Free

There are several points worth noting about all this.  First, imagine how the brain functions in a person who spends years and years flattering people and trolling for money in order to get to the Senate, then arrives and, after surveying all of America’s problems, decides they’re going to focus on stopping adults from viewing pornography and playing poker online.  What does it say about the character and judgment of someone who has those priorities and wants the U.S. Government to adopt them?

Second, Americans in general — and the Right in particular — love to boast about what a freedom-loving, liberty-demanding people we are.  Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.  The Rugged Individualists.  Yet one finds not a peep of protest from virtually anyone — and especially not our small-government, restrained-federal-power “conservatives” — over this attempt by the Orrin Hatches and Dianne Feinsteins of the world to get together and use the coercive force of law to dictate to adult citizens what they can read online and how they can spend their money for entertainment or profit.  If you’re someone willing to let Orrin Hatch and Dianne Feinstein make decisions like this for you — ones that are about as personal, private and consensual as it gets — then on what basis do you claim to oppose invasive federal government power and rail against “politicians who think they know what’s best for us”?  Tellingly, it’s a liberal Democrat, Barney Frank, who has been the most outspoken opponent of online gambling bans on the ground that it’s none of the government’s business how adults choose to spend their money on entertainment.

Third, how can any politicians be taken seriously when they claim that Terrorism is some sort of grave threat meriting multiple wars and civil liberties abridgments — homegrown Terrorism and sleeper cells and all that — while they simultaneously demand that scarce FBI and DOJ resources be devoted to adult porn and online poker?

Fourth, I once believed that the greatest myth in American political discourse was “The Liberal Media.”  I’ve realized I was wrong.  “The Liberal Media” is indeed an absurd, self-evident myth, but the greatest myth is that there is too little bipartisanship in Washington.  There is very little but that.

Fifth, one of the most reliable rules in Washington is this:  whenever there is some liberty-abridging, pernicious, authoritarian action taken in the nation’s capital, one finds the pro-war, ossified establishment oligarch Dianne Feinstein lurking behind it.  And that, of course, highlights the truth of the fourth point quite vividly.  That Donald Trump is a leading presidential candidate is an excellent symbol of America’s political culture in this era, but the image of Dianne Feinstein and Orrin Hatch gathering together to decide which websites adults should be allowed to visit and how they can entertain themselves is an equally appropriate one.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: