Monday, July 6

Happy Birthday, Not

12 shot at birthday party

There's always more gun violence going on in the US on any given day than a person could possibly keep up with, but in a report of one of today's colorful episodes, the following statements caught my attention:
Police around the country are increasingly seeing shootings with high-powered assault rifles.

"This is a sign of the times. It's no longer a .32-caliber," Timoney said. "We're finding dozens upon dozens of rounds, innocent people getting hit. It's just an awful situation."
I wonder if there's a connection between this "sign of the times" and the federal government allowing the ban on civilian ownership of assault weapons to expire in 2004. The journalist who wrote this report didn't think to mention it, but it's not as if such nationwide trends materialize spontaneously out of the ether.

Sunday, July 5

The Best and Brightest Now Dimmed

photo by terrette

Vietnam War Engineer Has Died

The early comments at the Times suggest that the deceased Robert McNamara is getting little love from the public, to wit:
Hell welcomes a new 'platinum tier' member. Robert, may you burn there slowly for eternity for the evil you so willingly brought to this world.
McNamara is dead, but according to the Wiki, 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange, resulting in 400,000 deaths and disabilities, and 500,000 children born with birth defects.
Judging from the tenor of the earliest posted comments, "de mortuis nil nisi bonum" has apparently been set aside for a special occasion.

At least McNamara, the Rumsfeld of the previous generation, found it in himself to do some soul searching. I, for one, can never see Rumsfeld mustering even the slightest blink of self-criticism. And McNamara went as far as to say that he was a war criminal and would have been prosecuted as such had the US not been victorious in WWII.