Friday, September 02, 2005

Some thoughts on what's in the news

The Wall Street Journal sends a daily e-mail which is called the "OpinionJournal Best of the Web." It is conservative in nature, often reflecting my own views. Today I want to comment further on some items they addressed.
Is Katrina Racist?
Al Sharpton showed up on Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" on MSNBC last night, and the pair sounded a theme that's becoming depressingly familiar in the effort to demagogue hurricane Katrina:

Olbermann: I actually heard a commentator this afternoon--it was that Limbaugh--suggest that the issue of class and race in those who were left behind in New Orleans was irrelevant, because, as he put it, those people were not forced to live there and they weren't bused into New Orleans. And I was thinking, A, this guy is even more clueless than I thought he was, which is saying something. But, B, there are people who actually believe that. How do you respond to them? How do you explain to them what the truth is? . . .
OK, Mr. Olbermann, why waste our time? You have already stated the "truth," you have come to a conclusion--perhaps a biased conclusion? You asked leading questions of the witness (an opposing trial attorney would be all over you if you used this line of questioning in a court of law). So much for a "unobjective" approach to journalism.
Sharpton: . . . The real question is not only those that didn't get out. The question is why has it taken the government so long to get in. I feel that, if it was in another area, with another economic strata and racial makeup, that President Bush would have run out of Crawford a lotquicker and FEMA would have found its way in a lot sooner.
Then there's the "Rev." (sic) Al Sharpton who never met an incident he couldn't put a racist label on--even if he supported an alleged rape victim crying "race," then cried "race" when her story was revealed to be false. So "Rev." (sic), why didn't YOU gather supplies and lead a caravan to help the city? What moral authority do YOU have to sit in a broadcast booth and denounce the lack of action on the part of others?
The Case for Rebuilding
Yesterday we noted the case for pessimism about whether New Orleans can come back from
the Katrina catastrophe. George Friedman of the Stratfor intelligence firm argues that it must:

The Ports of South Louisiana and New Orleans, which run north and south of the city, are as important today as at any point during the history of the republic. . . .A simple way to think about the New Orleans port complex is that it is where the bulk commodities of agriculture go out to the world and the bulk commodities of industrialism come in. The commodity chain of the global food industry starts here, as does that of American industrialism. If these facilities are gone, more than the price of goods shifts: The very physical structure of the global economy would have to be reshaped. . . .New Orleans is not optional for the United States' commercial infrastructure. It is a terrible place for a city to be located, but exactly the place where a city must exist. With that as a given, a city will return there because the alternatives are too devastating. The harvest is coming, and that means that the port will have to be opened soon. As in Iraq, premiums will be paid to people prepared to endure the hardships of working in New Orleans. But in the end, the city will return because it has to.
You know, in 1803 our government sought to buy New Orleans because of its vital role in world trade and American commerce. We came away buying the whole of the Louisianna Purchase. I'd say New Orleans has long been a center of American and global commerce. It isn't by chance that the Civil War's end was hastened once New Orleans fell to the Union forces.
Durbin's Curious Civil Rights Views
Sen. Dick Durbin, best known for likening American soldiers to Nazis, weighs in today with a Chicago Tribune op-ed in advance of the John Roberts hearings. Mostly it's liberal boilerplate, but one assertion got our attention: "Nowhere did the Constitution expressly give Congress the authority to pass the Civil Rights Act [of 1964]."
You know, had a CONSERVATIVE or a REPUBLICAN said this, he/she would have been denounced until that person would have A) apologized, B) resigned in disgrace, and probably even C) been shaken down by "Rev." (sic) Jesse Jackson to "help" (sic) minority organizations (i.e., his own minority pockets).

Have a happy Labor Day weekend!

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