Heroes

Newsweek has reconstructed, as best they can, the events that took place on board United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11. There are still some unanswered questions, but by inteviewing the people who received phone calls from the passengers, reviewing the tape from the Cockpit Voice Recorder, and researching the backgrounds of the people known…

Falling stars

I’ve just come in from watching the Leonid meteor shower with my children. The peak was predicted for 4:00 to 6:00 a.m., so I set my alarm for 5:00 and we spread a blanket on the front lawn and lay down to watch the show. The weather was perfectly clear, which helped to make up…

Media drivel addendum

Retail sales shot up 7.1% in October. Yeah, American consumers are definitely cowering in their basements, all right. A closer examination shows even more evidence that we’re not the Nation Paralyzed By Fear that the journalists would have us believe. Sales of automobiles and parts skyrocketed by 26.4% in October. That’s the biggest October increase…

Kudos

Let’s hear it for Al Gore, who showed true statesmanship this week when he urged Americans to stop rehashing last year’s election. “The presidential election of 2000 is over,” Gore is quoted as saying. “And of course, right now our country faces a great challenge as we seek to successfully combat terrorism. I fully support…

Media drivel

Even before September 11, I didn’t hold the news media in very high esteem. But since then, my opinion of them has plummeted to an all-time low. Their hysterical, overhyped handling of the hijack attacks and the anthrax-by-mail story thoroughly disgusted me. Now, in the wake of Monday’s plane crash in New York, they’re busily…

Idiotwatch

Now that The New Republic has retired its Idiocy Watch feature, I’m going to steal the title (with a slight modification) and use it here to report dumb actions and statements that come to my attention from time to time. And I already have an introductory item. In an Associated Press article published today, Ireland’s…

Dust motes

Sitting in a status meeting this morning, I found myself staring at the particles of dust illuminated by the beam of the overhead projector. They were all moving in the same direction — toward the lens, like moths drawn to the light. And I realized that when I’ve watched dust in a projector beam in…

Sure, whatever

You would think that the Taliban had their hands full, what with the U.S. bombing them night and day. But they still found time last week to declare war on Australia. Somehow I doubt that the Aussies are losing much sleep over this.

Hope

But everything has an upside, even an apocalyptic war against the forces of darkness. Such a war tends to put everything else in perspective. Conflicts that once loomed large suddenly seem petty and insignificant, and it actually becomes possible to talk about ending them. In Northern Ireland, the IRA is laying down its weapons, and…

Rage

Anger for me has always been a temporary thing, something I could never sustain. No matter how angry I was at someone, no matter what the reason, after a day or so the tide would ebb and I would find myself ready to talk out the problem. Even if I didn’t really want to stop…