Friday, April 18, 2014

Mount Everest Disaster

I will never understand why some feel the need to conquer mountains, but once again, lives have been claimed by the world's tallest peak in an event where as many as thirteen sherpas were killed. Obviously, anyone attempting to surmount Mount Everest is assuming a risk. For those native to the area, the peak is a mixed blessing, as climbing and the tourism associated with it has provided a livelihood to many, but over the course of the years, so many mountain guides have died, unknown to most of the world and mourned little outside their families. The mountaineers with deep pockets will still come, and there will always be those who live in relative destitution who will risk their very lives to serve them. Is that exploitation? Maybe, but many of those deep-pocketed client climbers have succumbed too, up there on the mountain.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dereliction of Duty

A stunning allegation has been made in the South Korea tragedy that the captain was among the first people to abandon ship. If this is true, the captain's actions are beyond negligent. With so many teens aboard for the adult responsible for their safety to flee to save himself and leave them to the fate of drowning is a criminal act. It is unforgivable. Perhaps some of the more than two hundred missing have found air pockets in the stricken vessel and may yet be saved, but after all these hours have elapsed that does not seem likely. To read that passengers were ordered to remain where they were on the ship for thirty minutes after the event began and to read that only one lifeboat was deployed (the one the captain was on), while more than forty life vessels were available but not used to save others on the ferry is absolutely heartbreaking. If the allegations are true and hundreds have died needlessly, the ferry captain must never see the light of day as a free man again.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

South Korea Tragedy

South Korea has just suffered the worst maritime disaster in her history. Most of those missing in the water are high school students. Those in the flower of youth who should have so much life ahead of them have had it washed away. Almost three hundred people who were aboard are unaccounted for and presumed dead. Let us hope that more survivors may be rescued from the ferry. Today, our prayers should be with South Korea.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boko Haram Murders

Awful carnage has once again been inflicted in Nigeria. This time a bombing has killed at least seventy at a bus station in Abuja. When jihadists detonate a bomb in a place widely visited by the public, they are virtually certain to kill men, women, and children. The explosion killed Christians and animists, but also took the lives of faithful Muslims. This act is not part of "holy war" but of random, nihilistic violence. Those who have perpetrated this terror must be rooted out, and more important, the warped ideology behind them must be denounced by decent people everywhere and condemned by Imams as an unforgivable act.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Overland Park Murders

An unimaginable horror befell innocents in Overland Park, Kansas. A white separatist attacked people outside the Jewish Community Center and then drove a short distance to continue the attack outside the Village Shalom retirement community. A grandfather and his grandson died in the initial attack and an elderly woman was killed in the second assault. The assailant was reputed to be shouting "heil Hitler" as he was taken into custody. The shooter has now been identified as a former leader of the virulently Jew-hating Ku Klux Klan. Let us pray for the victims and for swift and certain justice for the cold-blooded murderer. It is sad that the authorities and Jews themselves have to be ever vigilant wherever they (we, as I am Jewish) gather.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ukraine Strikes Back

The Ukraine evicted Russian agitators from some government buildings yesterday. In asserting their sovereignty (and even in upholding order and the rule of law), Ukraine is unfortunately making a strategic blunder, because any force they employ against the separatists will be used by Putin as a provocation to invade and take large swathes of Ukrainian territory (if not the whole of the country). The Ukraine might have made a better decision to simply cut off the access of the occupiers to electricity and running water. By physically retaking the buildings, Ukrainian authorities have provided pictures for Putin to show Russia of ethnic Russians being abused. The Russian people are already inflamed and are committed to protecting their brethren across what most Russians believe is an artificial boundary. Most Westerners have no idea how dangerous Vladimir Putin is or how far Russia is willing to go to reunite what Russians consider to be their territory.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Just a Correction?

Are US stocks merely experiencing a correction or are we reentering recession (or even economic depression)? What tools are left to our central planners after quantitative easing and the Obama stimulus have failed? Will a leader emerge to pull government out of our wallets and off the backs of small business? You know Reagan is well and truly dead when you have almost all the Republicans in Congress acting like a doormat under our socialist leader. Barack Hussein Obama does not care about free market solutions to our economic problems or traditional concepts of the free enterprise system. To the extent that he cares about the economy at all, his concern is to enrich himself and his cronies and to expand the power and reach of labor unions that have backed him. Obama wants to cultivate dependency on government because that grows the power of the Democrat Party and his own power, but any improvement to the plight of or in the lives of the American people under Obama is purely incidental.