imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Saturday, January 01, 2005| |
Friday, December 31, 2004
AND THE BEACH GOES ON
(L) An aerial view of Patong beach, December 30, 2004. One of the most powerful earthquakes in history hit Asia over the weekend, unleashing a series of tidal waves which devastated coastal areas of Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and tourist isles in Thailand, killing tens of thousands of people. REUTERS/Luis Enrique Ascui
(R) Aerial view of people sunbathing next to Patong beach, Thailand, four days after a tsunami hit the area, on December 30, 2004. One of the most powerful earthquakes in history hit Asia over the weekend, unleashing a series of tidal waves which devastated coastal areas of Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and tourist isles in Thailand, killing thousands of people. REUTERS/Luis Enrique Ascui
As always during such tragedies, the world has opened its collective pockets and the money is pouring in to help the devastated, even, and especially, nasty Big Businesses like … gasp! … the pharmaceutical companies.
8 WORLD CAN'T GIVE ENOUGH
Another $750,000 came from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which yesterday pledged a total of $3 million to South Asia disaster aid.
New York-based Pfizer Inc., the world's biggest drugmaker, has pledged $10 million in cash and $25 million in medical supplies. It also will match U.S. employee contributions to non-profit groups involved in the relief effort.
Other pharmaceutical companies are following suit.
Both Johnson & Johnson and Abbott Laboratories have pledged $2 million in donations; Merck & Co. made an initial donation of $250,000, and Bristol-Myers Squibb has pledged $100,000. All also plan to contribute medicine and medical supplies.
I agree whole-heartedly with Michael Fumento’s reasoning, but such actions beg for law suits. Which deep-pocketed conglomerates will get sued this time? After all, what good are tragedies if not ultimately for profit? Will the enviro-wackos come out in full force to protest the killing of mosquitoes?
8 FORGET POLITICS — SAVE LIVES
By MICHAEL A. FUMENTO
Draining the pools would be terribly laborious, especially since mosquitoes can breed in nothing more than a footprint. The best answer would be spraying with DDT. Unfortunately, environmentalists have demonized DDT based essentially on unfounded accusations in a 1962 book, "Silent Spring."
Yet notes Paul Driessen, author of "Eco-Imperialism" and a senior fellow with the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, "DDT is not only probably the most effective mosquito killer on earth, it's also been tested for literally decades and has never been shown to harm people." It's questionable whether it even has any impact on the environment. There are other insecticides available, Driessen observes, but "they don't have the repellency of DDT and a single DDT spraying lasts six months."
He says DDT should be sprayed on water pools, tents and on people themselves — as indeed was once common in Sri Lanka and throughout most of the world. "We need to ignore the environmentalists and concentrate on immediate health dangers," he says. Incidentally, by and large, environmental groups also oppose water chlorination.
It sounds trite, but every day truly counts. There is a tipping point with pestilence. Once a critical mass of illness is reached, the numbers explode.
The United States, other governments and private relief organizations must be willing to push the anemic Kofi Annan aside and deal directly with governments in the disaster areas. We can play politics later; the time to save lives is now.
I suppose the tourists are helping by supporting the local economy, but regardless if I had paid for my vacation or not, I would not go there right now. First of all is the question of adequate sanitation this soon afterwards. Secondly, it would be akin to vacationing at Ground Zero days after 9/11. The thing that struck me about this article were the nationalities of the tourists. Think of the headlines had these people been from the US: UGLY AMERICANS.
8 Ghouls rush in
An indignant Russian who arrived at the Novotel Phuket Resort on the day after the tsunami loudly complained that there was no champagne reception.
"I didn't want to go back to Belgium where it is so cold," Romain said. "And in this hotel, it's like everything is totally normal."
As bodies continue to wash up on Phuket's shores and are stacked in makeshift morgues, the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket is erecting big tents, installing cotton candy machines and bringing in caged animals in preparation for the gala New Year's Eve circus party it promised.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
KUM BA YAH … ANYONE? ANYONE?
U.S. President George W. Bush speaks on the phone with Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga in Crawford, Texas, December 29, 2004.
REUTERS/Eric Draper/White House Photo/Handout
The news I’d rather avoid is unavoidable. It’s everywhere and, to be painfully honest, it’s intrusive. There’s nothing I can do other than donate dollars … and pray. There’s always prayer. But wherever I turn, the news is there. The death toll stats increase even before you can say them: 20,000, no 30,000, no 40,000! As I was gathering news and links, the number was 100,000, and before I began to type, the number increased yet again. To what, I don’t know. How high can it go? Does it matter? I do admit to being morbidly fascinated with the videos. I want to see how high that wall of water was from a ground level view point, not one shot from a balcony which minimizes, almost sanitizes, the effect. How high was it? Was it like that scene in the movie “The Perfect Storm” in which the Andrea Gail was practically standing on its stern up against the wall of water?
I posted above two excellent sites … SEA-EAT and CheeseAndCrackers … which have posted the latest info including news and picture links, video links, relief efforts and donation sites.
The videos and the will-they-ever-end-stats are bad enough, but the anti-American bile is too much. You’d think we as a world could come together without all the venom. Yet others around the world are taking advantage of the tragedy to excoriate the US and President Bush once again. Christ, even an ex-prez can’t can his own (and his shrew of a wife’s) ambitions long enough to dig into his own bottom-less bank accounts.
8 Peggy Noonan’s Disturbances in the Earth was a gentle reminder that we, the world, are all in this together.
The other night at dinner a friend wondered aloud if this almost-world-wide tragedy would have an impact on peace. Would it remind us of all we have in common, and how precious life is? This reminded me of something Ronald Reagan used to say of all the conflicts in the world. He'd say that if the world were attacked by Martians tomorrow, we'd all come together, and it's too bad we couldn't manage to cut to the chase. This used to be taken as an example of his idiocy, but of course it's true. We would all drop our local and ancestral hatreds to fight shoulder to shoulder against the common foe. Years later, in true Reaganesque style, Hollywood produced the blockbuster "Independence Day," in which extraterrestrials attacked the earth and the world united in resistance.
(In a similar spirit, let me say that if Steven Spielberg went to the Mideast tomorrow, announced he was making a movie, and sent out a casting call for males age 12 to 30 he would immediately establish a new Mideast peace, at least for the length of the shoot. Because the only thing the young men there would rather do than kill each other is be a movie star. Hmmmm, a suicide bombing that raises my family's status in the neighborhood or a possible date with Cameron Diaz, let's see . . . Mr. Spielberg would also get a Nobel Peace Prize. I am actually not kidding.)
8 As is often the case, this tragedy has given other countries license to excoriate our good will. STINGY? Try a tsunami of giving.
At Amazon.com alone, more than 53,000 people had donated more than $3 million by yesterday evening after the company made an urgent appeal on its home page. Catholic Relief Services was so overwhelmed with Web traffic that its site crashed. Online donations to the Red Cross outstripped traditional phone banks by more than 2 to 1.
The online generosity was a key part of a massive U.S. response to the crisis in South Asia. From neighborhood coffee shops to large corporations, hundreds of thousands of people donated millions of dollars and a variety of goods. The relief effort ran the gamut from a tavern in Georgetown promoting a New Year's Eve bash called "Celebrate and Donate" to a San Jose coffee shop giving away free beans to anyone who donated $10.
8 And, of course, the tragedy has become the Classic Clinton bite-lip photo-op. Is there anything he wouldn’t use to further his ends?
Former President Bill Clinton was advised not to speak with the BBC about the tsunami tragedy by several staffers, according to one knowledgeable source. Clinton was told to coordinate with the White House and the Bush Administration, but chose not to.
The Bush Administration has been taking a public relations pummeling from the press for perceived lack of attention to the tragedy that has taken more than 100,000 lives.
As for Clinton, he has at his disposal -- or at least with a phone call to friends, such as Microsoft's Bill Gates -- access to more than $75 million in private funds intended for philanthropic use. But Clinton's charities have thus far not pledged a cent to aid those suffering due to the cataclysmic flooding, nor has he attempted to coordinate any private giving for the victims of the tsunami.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
8 OSAMA’S NIGHTMARE
MONDAY'S message from Osama bin Laden told us what he fears: a vote.
Condemning any Iraqi who goes to the polls as an infidel, the terror master hopes to derail the elections. He knows that every ballot cast is a defeat.
The upcoming vote in Iraq will be messy, at best. Sunni Arabs may stay home, intimidated by terror and poisoned by demagoguery. But that would no more invalidate the election results than a boycott by college professors would negate the legitimacy of a U.S. election. In a democracy, those who lack the courage or will to vote must bow to the ballots of those who take a stand.
8 The Amazing Kreskin predicts that the Yankees will win in ‘05. The media-happy mentalist, whose past prognostications haven't always been on the money, says the Yanks will reclaim baseball's biggest prize after sealing the deal to acquire Randy Johnson.
8 It’s All Politics siiiiiiigh
8 You may want to re-think any elective surgery you’ve got planned after reading Doctors Must Wash Hands. It's time to make hygiene a central part of medical care again.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TEXAS!
159 Years old today! Texas was an independent republic until it joined the Union on December 29, 1845, as the 28th state.
8 For all things tsunami, go to CheeseAndCrackers.
8 Is it possible Thailand decided NOT to issue a tsunami warning??? Imagine if the USA had done this!
8 American diver underwater during catastrophe
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Pat Hynes, from Crush(ed)Kerry, is scheduled to appear on Hannity & Colmes tonight at approximately 9:45 to discuss The Passion of the Christ, both from a "red/blue state" political point of view as well as the Oscarworthiness of the film.
Don’t forget to visit his site Passion For Fairness!
I’ve been trying to avoid the news because of the constant tsunami coverage … there’s a pun in there some place … because inevitably I find a gut-wrenching account involving children, and I simply can not take it. I’ll pray for them but don’t make me read the tragic accounts. However, I’m finding avoidance impossible, especially since I subscribe to online newsletters. They’re loaded with the news, and why not? I did find a few worth reading and posting. The first is an interesting first person account of what happened.
'THE HORRIFYING SCREAMS . . . I'LL HEAR THEM IN MY NIGHTMARES'
We had absolutely no idea what was happening. We just grabbed a cellphone and our identification, scooped up the precious children and sprinted from one end of the hotel to the other.
We finally got a look outside and couldn't believe our eyes — everything was under water and we had no idea how fast it was rising.
We escaped with our lives because a Club Med resort in front of our hotel acted like a breakwall.
Talk about biblical!
NEW YORK MIGHT FACE WATERY END
It hardly raised a ripple when it was reported over the summer, but news that a tsunami could one day hit New York is suddenly getting a second look.
Several months ago, geologists raised concerns that an unstable flank of a volcano in the Canary Islands off the coast of Western Africa could slide into the sea and send giant waves across the Atlantic at the speed of a jumbo jet.
Within three hours, the wave could swamp the west coast of Africa. Within five hours, it could hit southern England, and within 12 hours, it could build up enough force to wipe out the U.S. East Coast, including New York, Washington, Boston and Miami, according to a British researcher.
Even the glamorous are not immune to such tragedy.
Victoria's Secret model Petra Nemcova was dragged out to sea with her boyfriend by a devastating tsunami while vacationing in the idyllic beach village of Phuket, Thailand.
The supermodel stunner managed to hang on for dear life, grabbing a tree as the wall of water crashed through her bungalow and sucked her and her boyfriend, British fashion photographer Simon Atlee, out of the building.
Nemcova held on to the tree for about eight hours, despite having suffered a shattered hip, broken bones and internal injuries.
Atlee is still missing.
Nemcova, a Czech native, first hit it big with a spread in the 2001 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. From there, it was on to Victoria's Secret and supermodel status. She has also been a regular cover girl for Elle, Marie Claire and Vogue.
Monday, December 27, 2004
I didn’t receive a single present which needed exchanging, and I’d never return a gift. Okay, there is one exception this year: the optical mouse which came with my new computer. What a little bastard the thing is! Out of sheer desperation and frustration, I yanked the bugger out and replaced it with the old wheel mouse.
I spent most of my Christmas-with-family celebration in the closet with an eight-year-old princess. I had given her the Disney Princess Movie Theatre Storybook, and I spent the next 1+ hours in a closet while she read all five stories (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White) complete with slide show. This had to be performed in a dark area so the slide projector images could be seen, hence the closet. I received a standing O when I “came outta the closet.”
How was YOUR Christmas?
8 Most Annoying Liberal Pundit - Final Four - Only the Strong Survived
After tens of thousands of votes and 3 weeks, only 4 repulsive, arrogant, elitist, condescending, snide and truly idiotic liberal pundits remain. This "Final Four" does deserve credit for outlasting some truly despicable contestants.
8 Michael Ledeen writes in NRO that Yushchenko seems to have won, big big bigtime, in the Ukraine, and on a historic anniversary, too. It was only thirteen years ago yesterday that the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was voted out of existence.
That’s Mother Focker to you!
She says you sexually harassed her.
STOCKING STUFFER ON THE SIDE?
The Wife No Longer Has to Be the Last to Know!
In the NY Post review:
"A cheating husband can be exposed by the Christmas gifts he gives — and receives," Houston says.
One of the biggest giveaways is the "hidden gift discovered before Christmas that has now disappeared, but wasn't given to you. If no one else in the family received it, who did he give it to?"
A thank-you note or e-mail from a woman for a gift the wife has no knowledge of is also a tip-off.
So are gifts of a personal nature given by a female business acquaintance or "casual" friend, she says.
Expensive items that suddenly appear around the house after Christmas, which a husband tries to pass off as items he purchased, may mean an affair is in progress.
Houston began her research into spotting two-timing spouses nine years ago after she accidentally discovered her own (now ex-) husband's affair.