Monday, February 18, 2008

9/11 Really Did Change Everything

In looking for blogging fodder, I learned, courtesy of the Associated Press, that on this date in history ten year ago: President Clinton's foreign policy team encountered jeers during a town meeting at The Ohio State University while trying to defend the administration's threat to bomb Iraq into compliance with U.N. weapons edicts. On this very same date, five years ago: Declaring that America's security should not be dictated by protesters, President Bush said he would not be swayed from compelling Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to disarm

Makes you wonder how different the world would be if we had a competant President and NSC chief on August 6, 2001.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Bombing of Dresden

On this date in history in 1945, the allied bombing attack on Dresden commenced. Between February 13 and February 15, 1,300 allied bombers dropped 3,900 tons (that's 7,800,000 pounds) of explosives and incendiaries on the city, creating a firestorm in the center of the city that completely detroyed that section; it also killed somewhere between 24,000 and 40,000 civilians--the greatest number of civilians killed in an attack until August of that year (Hiroshima and Nagasaki).

Did that attack constitute a war crime? Since the victors of wars define that, and rarely charge themselves, that answer is self-evident. There were truth-tellers who survived that attack, however, including a young American prisoner-of-war, kept safe in an underground slaughterhouse by his captors.

That witness went on to write a number of well-received books, including the one adapted into the movie above.

Monday, February 11, 2008

How Many More Have To Die for This Woman's Incompentence?

Elaine L. Chao is the nation's 24th Secretary of Labor, proudly following in the wake of Frances Perkins, the first woman to hold this post. Except that Frances Perkins cared for the well-being of workers, and Elaine Chao could give a shit about them.

Under Sec. Chao, mining fatalies have spiked upward during her seven years in office. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), nominally in charge of promoting worker safety, has seen its budget continue to be slashed, despite the increase in worker injuries and deaths on the job in relation to the number of manufacturing jobs held in the economy.

Does Sec. Chao ever have to answer for her dismal performance in office. Has the New York Times or Washington Post ever questioned her when there is a workplace disaster? If somebody at those two newspapers cared about the fate of workers, maybe asking her those questions might be a place to start.