Relief, Gates, Pies and Probes

We had two marvelous tsunami fundraising events in both Toronto and Ottawa last night. Thanks to all who organized them and who came out to be a part of our efforts. Meanwhile, the crisis gets more complex, with new reports of discrimination with respect to aid receipt: in India, for example, low caste individuals are being denied relief.

Back to Iraq: as many of you have no doubt heard, the US has officially called off its search for WMDs in Iraq. So there goes the #1 (and #2 and #3) reason for the invasion. So why is this not a big deal? Why is this not bigger than Watergate, Monicagate and Iran-Contra put together? Thousands of American lives lost; tens of thousands of Iraqi lives lost; hundreds of billions of dollars spent; America’s reputation deeply scarred; and no one meaurably any safer. I ask again: why is this not a big deal?

Meanwhile, the knuckle-draggers write endlessly about the firings at CBS news in the wake of “Rathergate”. How is that for perspective? This is an excellent comparison between Rathergate and “WMDgate”.

Just a postscript to the Global Warming entry from yesterday… The two biggest and most cited climate change deniers are the late Julian Simon (an economist) and the living Bjorn Lomborg (a statistician). Here’s Bjorn getting a pie in the face:

Simon’s work is already well out of date, so the biggest amunition remaining to the deniers is Lomborg’s work, particularly his bestselling book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. But for any of you eager to cite this “seminal” work, please be aware that it has been refuted repeatedly by greater minds than mine. In fact, there are several websites dedicated to pointing out Lomborg’s errors; here is one of them.

Lastly, let’s celebrate over something, shall we? The European Space Agency has successfully landed a probe onto the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. This is something I used to fantasize about as a kid. Remarkable to actually see it happen in my lifetime. Can’t wait to see the images!