Singing for our suffer

And they call economics the “dismal science“!

A little perspective

John Burgess:

While most Saudi students are apparently taking the TSA’s revised security screening in stride, not all of them are. Saudi Gazette/Okaz report that some are very offended and that the National Society of Human Rights [NSHR] thinks them offensive to the dignity of Saudis. . . .

[A]nyone entering the US—of American or other nationality—can have his computer files checked. It’s not just terroristic materials that are the subject of searches; Child porn and other illicit materials are frequently caught. US courts have determined that the 4th Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches without probable cause, does not extend beyond the borders of the US. For travelers, the border starts inside the Immigration and Customs desks.

As for the NSHR, well… I do believe there are human rights violations taking place within the Kingdom which might more usefully take the focus of the organization.

John, is this the first time you’ve found selective outrage among in Arabia regarding “human rights”? 😉

Lighten up

Demogoguing disaster

From Michael Shaw:

This is a message to Anderson Cooper and CNN…

As American citizens concerned about the humanity of the Haitian people, the sensationalist and self-promoting tendencies of American media and the power of pictures, we urge you to: Please stop.

Read the whole thing!

The wrong message

One of the things I found so frustrating about “hanging out” online with conservatives is that so many of them didn’t realize that whatever it is that’s going to happen next that’s good for conservatives has little or nothing to do with the GOP leadership.  Conservatives and even old and discarded Republicans such as myself have and had every reason in the world to be pretty much disgusted with the political and ethical ineptitude of the party over the last ten years.

Unsurprisingly, given his “Army of Davids” theme, Glenn Reynolds gets this exactly right:

[W]hat the GOP apparat does is less important nowadays than it was. As I noted before, there’s a whole lot of disintermediation going on here — Scott Brown got money and volunteers via the Internet and the Tea Party movement, to a much greater degree than he got them from the RNC. Smart candidates will realize that, too.

As will the entrenched Republican leaders.  They will make every attempt to co-op this energy and this source of hope (not that I don’t remain skeptical about “tea party” meetups per se), and ultimately they will succeed on one level or another.  The question is, will independent, principled conservatives at least extract an appropriate price — not platform planks or sops, but fundamental change in how the party works on an ongoing basis?

It’s hard to be hopeful.  John McCain was so wrong in how he went about trying to unhinge money and politics, but he was so right about the scope and profundity of the problem.  Here Brown won in no small measure because he took everyone, including the GOP leadership, by surprise, and he may have a bit of fun for a while because he owes them very little (did you see the musical “Fiorello”?).

In the long run, history has never shown such a dynamic to be sustainable.  And yet, while we may dispair of completing the work, we are not free to abstain from it, either.  So let’s roll!

Scared of the truth

Did you hear about this travesty in Haiti?

Earthquake victims, writhing in pain and grasping at life, watched doctors and nurses walk away from a field hospital Friday night after a Belgian medical team evacuated the area, saying it was concerned about security.

The decision left CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta as the only doctor at the hospital to get the patients through the night.

Truly awful.  But check out this subtle spin in an excerpt from that CNN article quoted by Instapundit:

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who led relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said the evacuation of the clinic’s medical staff was unforgivable.

“Search and rescue must trump security,” Honoré said. “I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life. They need to man up and get back in there.”

Honoré drew parallels between the tragedy in New Orleans, Louisiana, and in Port-au-Prince. But even in the chaos of Katrina, he said, he had never seen medical staff walk away.

“I find this astonishing these doctors left,” he said. “People are scared of the poor.”

“Scared of the poor?”  General, they aren’t scared “of the poor” — at least not because they’re poor!

MSNBC:

The early reports of looting came as United Nations peacekeepers patrolling the capital said people’s anger is rising that aid hasn’t been distributed quickly, and the Brazilian military warned aid convoys to add security to guard against looting.

Toronto Sun:

Next to burning corpses, young men fight over the goods they’ve looted from the crushed shops in the city’s downtown core.

They lit the bodies on fire, one man explains, to avoid spreading diseases. Thick smoke and dust hangs like a dense cloud.

The men hit each other violently as they fight over aluminum bowls and computer bags.

Riots erupt. The stores are ravaged.

BBC:

Reports say scores of people went on the rampage in the town of Les Cayes, blocking roads, looting shops and shooting at UN peacekeepers.

The UN said its personnel had opened fire at some of the armed protesters.

For two days running, parts of Haiti have been erupting into violence triggered by the soaring cost of food.

Those doctors may not have done the right thing that night.  Or maybe they did.  Can we say, perhaps, that he who heals and runs away may leave to heal another day?  We weren’t there, and neither was General Honoré.  But he’s a military man.  I’m not one.  Doctors and nurses aren’t, either — they’re doctors and nurses.  They didn’t volunteer for martyrdom.

There’s nothing unique to a brick or shard of metal between your eyes that gets there via a poor man, as opposed to anyone else.  These medical people may or not be guilty of cowardice.  But as they surveyed the simmering crowd they decided to escape, it seems hardly unlikely that they were adding up the net worth of its desperate, madding members.

Cross-posted on Right Wing News.

Attorney Ronald D. Coleman