Friday, May 01, 2009

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish, Janet

Thanks Big J, I feel better already:

SPIEGEL: Madame Secretary, in your first testimony to the US Congress as Homeland Security Secretary you never mentioned the word “terrorism.” Does Islamist terrorism suddenly no longer pose a threat to your country?

Napolitano: Of course it does. I presume there is always a threat from terrorism. In my speech, although I did not use the word “terrorism,” I referred to “man-caused” disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.

Okay, if combating terrorism isn't sexy enough for her undivided attention, well then she better get busy on all those trendy new topics she's just bitten off. Here's Time Mag's latest (2007) Top-10 list of those man-caused disasters she'll be busy saving us from:
#1. Global Warming
#2. Brazil Plane Crash
#3. Southern California Forest Fires
#4. Yangtze River Dolphin Extinction
#5. Minneapolis Bridge Collapse
#6. Utah Mine Collapse
#7. North Korea Oil Pipe Explosion
#8. Siberia Mine Explosion
#9. Mozambique Munitions Explosion (huh?)
#10. Congo Train Derailment
I can see it now ... as a trendy ... um I mean goodwill ... gesture, we can send a US Coast Guard flotilla to babysit all those "functionally extinct" River Dolphins. As she'd know if she were properly versed in her Douglas Adams lit, the dolphins are gonna be fine. Humans are the ones in need of saving.

Then again, if people in general were properly versed in Douglas Adams lit, they'd better understand lot of things.

But I digress. Call me old-fashioned but I woulda thought these at least deserved a mention in Time's list:

-Zimbabwe ("The collapse of Zimbabwe’s health system in 2008 is unprecedented in scale and scope ... as of December 2008, there were no functioning critical care beds in the public sector in Zimbabwe." )

-Terrorism (Over 2500 dead in 2007 attacks alone)

- Assassination (for example, Rafik Hariri in 2005, Benazir Bhutto in 2007, João Bernardo Vieira in 2009)

- Collapse of Pakistan (no, this didn't start in 2009, or in 2007)

- Deforestation and Biodiversity Collapse (Governments across South America and Africa turn a blind eye to the rape o the Amazon and Congo river basins. On the bright side it seems to be slowing there. The same cannot be said for Chinese and Southeast Asian decimation)

(chart source:

- Genocide and war in lawless Sudan and Somalia

- Nuclear proliferation (particularly thanks to this "winner" who recently walked free)

- Oh yeah ... let's not forget the Evil Leaders League and their disregard of human rights and consequent deepening of poverty and hopelessness across nearly half the world's population and two-thirds of the alphabet ... from Afghanistan's Taliban to Congo's ... everybody ... to Iran's Ah-(throat-clearing noise)-madi-nejad to Russia's leader-whose-name-be-not-spoken-lest-I-end-up-in-a-gulag to the al-Saud plunderers of Arabia to Zimbabwe's Moogie. If properly provoked, I might even add the UN to the list, guilty of sitting idly by while this all continues year after year.

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