Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere
They were easy to spot at the bus stop. Serious. Neat in a painstaking sort of way. Very deliberate. Each afternoon a group of slightly retarded but functional young adults boarded the bus at a nearby interchange in a group on their way home. One had a daughter, but the man -- who in his mind would forever be a boy -- was single. He happened to live a short distance away from my mother. And there was a girl he had his eye on. One Valentine's Day I saw him in a long-sleeved shirt with a tie, a change from his normal working attire with a bunch of flowers, which he held beside his bag and badly folded copy of the Daily Telegraph. He was on his way to a date. And then he disappeared from view. Some months later I learned why.
His neighbors in a public housing development finally called emergency services after noticing his apartment, though lit, never had anyone come in and out of its doors. The paramedics found him long dead in his bed, cause of death unknown. His television set was still going.
It is the suffering of the children that most makes us question the existence of God. Al-Qaeda's attack on a pet market in Baghdad, which disproportionately killed pets and children raise the question of why the world is so cruel to its most innocent, unless it were cruel in itself. Fyodor Dostoevsky, in considering the Problem of Evil, tells the story of sadistic tradesman who whipped an overloaded donkey across his eyes. His description of how the poor animal struggled forward, stumbling sideways at once encapsulates the character of evil and of innocence. How can a world in which there is cruelty to donkeys and children be one in which there is hope? It's understandable that soldiers should die. But why, why should the children and the pets die for a few column inches of newspaper propaganda space?
ITT Federal Services International, a defense contractor hired to maintain battle gear for
troops in U.S. , repeatedly failed to do the job right. Iraq
Combat vehicles ITT declared as repaired and ready for action flunked inspections and had to be fixed again. Equipment to be sanitized for return to the
was found caked with dirt. And ITT’s computer database for tracking the work was rife with errors. United States
Formal "letters of concern" were sent to the contractor. Still, the Army didn’t fire ITT. Instead, it gave the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based company more work to do. Since October 2004, ITT has been paid $638 million through the Global Maintenance and Supply Services contract.
The American secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, flies to
Britainthis week to meet a crisis entirely of Londonand ’s creation. They have no strategy for the continuing occupation of Washington . They are hanging on for dear life and praying for something to turn up. Afghanistan Britainis repeating the experience of Gordon in Khartoum, of the Dardanelles, Singaporeand Crete, of politicians who no longer read history expecting others to die for their dreams of glory.
Every independent report on the NATO-led operation in
cries the same message: watch out, disaster beckons. Last week Afghanistan ’s Afghanistan Study Group, led by generals and diplomats of impeccable credentials, reported on "a weakening international resolve and a growing lack of confidence". An Atlantic Council report was more curt: "Make no mistake, NATO is not winning in America ." The country was in imminent danger of becoming a failed state. Afghanistan
Al Qaeda is gaining in strength from its refuge in Pakistan and is steadily improving its ability to recruit, train and position operatives capable of carrying out attacks inside the United States, the director of national intelligence told a Senate panel.
have been saying - to rightwing cries of "defeatists!" - for some time now. Is [Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Michael] Mullen one of those "phony troops"? Iraq
Meanwhile, SecDef Bob Gates can't even begin to guess roughly how many troops will still be committed to
in six months or a years time, despite the drop in violence. I wonder if he thinks, as many do, that the Surge's success will be temporary without radical positive action on reconciliation? It would certainly appear so. Iraq
has had its hardest winter in decades, with even the southern provinces blanketed in snow, sleet, ice, and fog for the last several weeks. The lengthy winter storms and unusually cold temperatures have brought China to a standstill, as the central government got caught unprepared for it. . . . China
will host the Beijing Olympics this year, and it has spent a fortune building the venues and the infrastructure for the games. It has left them little to spend on major emergencies such as the winter storms have brought. Just when China expected to press for completion on their Olympic public works, they will have to shift funds and attention to clearing roads and re-running power lines to a widespread area of their country. China
And once again, we're left wondering about the entire scenario of global warming. The upper
Midwestis having our coldest winter in ten years at the same time as the Chinese have gotten buried in snow and ice. Maybe didn't have the necessary preparations because they spent too much time listening to Chicken Littles. Beijing-- ED MORRISSEY