The Echo Chamber
Saturday, February 01, 2003
  10:56 AM

The Space Shuttle Columbia Disintegrated

Here is a link to Voice of America Streaming Radio.

Because we are at war and because there was an Israeli astronaut on board, there has been some speculation that sabotage was involved.

Actually, this is not likely. This shuttle was over 25 years old. The old airframe probably just broke apart during the stress of reentry. A bomb would have been set to go off earlier. Any other sabotage would have been noticed.

The only sabotage that I can see as possible is a computer virus or worm or some sort of malicious coding.

Instapundit is reporting that a Canadian interviewer suggested "American arrogance" led to the disaster.

Some Canadians never tire of kicking my country when its down. Canada should be ashamed. 

Friday, January 31, 2003
  2:26 PM

Its all about oil.

The rallying cries of the anti-war left are “It’s All About Oil,” and “No Blood for Oil.” I couldn’t agree more.

As the U.S. is preparing to liberate Iraq, its interesting to see who our friends are. Yesterday a letter signed by the leaders of eight European countries backed the U.S. stand against the Saddam. The eight are the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Here is the text of the letter.

Today there are cries that the European Union has been compromised by this step. They are calling the signatories the “Gang of Eight” (Italy says its part of the “magnificent eight.”)

The most notably absent signatories were France, Germany and Russia. Why didn't they sign? Because “It’s all about oil.” These countries are willing to trade the blood of innocent Iraqis (and, someday, Americans) for oil.

For Germanyfrance, if a war comes to Iraq its lose-lose proposition. If the U.S. gets bogged down in a Vietnam type quagmire, then a major oil source will be disrupted and the European economy could tank. If the U.S. wins quickly and decisively, it will gain effective control over huge oil reserves. The fact that Colin Powell has vowed that Iraqi oil will not be confiscated for the U.S. but will be reserved for the Iraqi people is of little comfort to Germanyfrance. They know the U.S. is not going to steal the oil. It’s a matter of influence. The U.S. will have great influence with a free Iraq. Europe’s ties are with Saddam’s Iraq.

So, yes, it is all about oil. And yes, there are those who would trade blood for oil. They lead Germany and France. A U.S. victory will diminish France and Germany and will make the U.S. even stronger – and this is just and good. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2003
  12:57 PM

State of the Union

Bottom line – it was a great speech. Here are the things that stuck in my mind. This is all from memory and is obviously paraphrased, so if you want direct quotes, go to the white house web site.

1. We have stimulated the weak economy out of recession and into slow growth with a tax cut. Let’s speed up the rest of the planned cuts to kick this recovery into high gear.

Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. Did anyone else catch Nancy Pelosi on the FoxNews broadcast? When Bush mentioned the tax cuts she was shaking her head and chuckling to herself. Is this really how the Democrats want to be seen on this – opposing tax cuts?
2. Medicare/medicaid needs a prescription drug benefit.

This is a good and compassionate idea. I have concerns about the cost. Will this include very expensive treatments that amount to heroic and experimental extension of life? You could literally spend tens of thousands of dollars buying a few extra tortured days for some people.
3. Trial lawyers are worthless scum.

I have a real problem with Bush’s constant targeting of my profession. This President, for whom I have great respect, thinks tort law amounts to a social welfare program. Tort law is about personal responsibility. Tort law has improved society in so many ways that the government has not had to deal with. A prime example: the safety of American products. You might want to thank a lawyer the next time you climb a ladder that doesn’t collapse under you.
4. Technology and progress are going to save our environment, not Green Peace.

Hydrogen power research for automobiles will get a big boost. Is this the same thing as the fuel cell cars that Bush cancelled the research on last year?
5. AIDS is killing Africa and we have the power to save millions.

This was perhaps the most moving part of the speech. I have a cynical notion that this might never have been proposed had Lott not opened old wounds. Could it be that God put Redneck Lott in power for such a time as this?
6. Allies are important, and we’ve got ‘em. But we are a sovereign nation so the UN, France, and Germany can all go ___(pick your expletive)___.

Nuff said.
7. Saddam has got to go. The biggest reason is that he has and is continuing to develope weapons of mass destruction, he harbors terrorists, and he hates the United States. Just in case you can’t connect the dots imagine another 19 terrorists armed by Saddam.

Bush was a little less straightforward than “Saddam has got to go.” But that message was implicit. I think Bush is waiting for Tony Blair’s visit this Friday before he turns up the rhetoric.
8. The course of history will be set by free people.

Looking back on world history, only within the last century has this possibility presented itself. Now its considered the destiny of mankind. This more than anything was the greatest single development of the twentieth century.
9. Freedom is not America’s gift to the world, but God’s gift to mankind.

We are not God. We are just one nation, under God. I think this is part of what Bush meant when he said, while running for office, that the U.S. should show humility in foreign policy.

Two neocons solving the world's problems

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