. . . it only seems fair that nature get some of its own back and teach us that there are forces greater than our own . . . James Wolcott

24,000 dead and counting is pretty damned horrible to contemplate. There’s nothing I can report about the quake and tsunami that hasn’t been reported, and nothing I can say that hasn’t been said, but that doesn’t mean I feel nothing. Justin wrote a damned good post on tsunamis last night, and the blogosphere has been covering this every step of the way. Michele Catalano notes that the U.S. media gave the Michael Jackson trial about as much coverage (and that was when the figure was at 11,000). Twenty times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq ought to count for something, even if they’re not Americans.
The numbers will only get larger.
I wrote more about the Florida hurricane than I did about this — and what set me off was hearing people say that people shouldn’t have been living there. One leftist (James Wolcott, quoted above) actually said he was rooting for the hurricane, but I’ll bet he’s not sounding that meme now. (And not because he doesn’t like to quote himself!) Anyway, I don’t call this an act of God, nor am I rooting for “nature.” We should all help the victims to the extent we can, and do a better job of preparing for future disasters. It could happen almost anywhere.
UPDATE: James Wolcott has indeed remained silent about nature’s lessons this time. Don’t ask me why.
UPDATE: Charles G. Hill speculates that Wolcott’s “champing at the bit for that killer asteroid to show up.” Does that mean Wolcott wants a greater impact than he’s already had?
MORE (12/28/04): It now looks like the numbers will reach 45,000.
AND MORE: Kevin Aylward has a link to this amateur video of the tsunami. (If that doesn’t work, Kevin has alternate links.)
EVEN MORE: Via InstaPundit, I see that according to science, Wolcott may be right:

“Wheels of thunder-wagons wake up Big Earth Spirit-Mother, make to crazy tingle in hairy child-place. She now go to water lair of Tai-Waku, make big angry love on tectonic plate,” said Novak. “Big Earth Spirit-Mother say, ‘if ocean rocking, don’t come a-knocking.'”
Although they disagree on the precise causes of the wrathful spirit world, scientists were largely unanimous in recommending immediate global regulatory action. Remedial steps suggested in the report include ratification of the Kyoto treaty, elimination of automobiles, volcanic altars for virgin sacrifices, creation of a sustainable urine-based economy, and improved faculty dental benefits.
“If not act now, it too late,” said report editor Paul Erlich of Stanford University.

Um, am I allowed to say “Ugh?”
MORE: I’m busy tonight, but the stuff in these links from Glenn Reynolds is absolutely appalling, and show how utterly corrupt (if not evil) science has become. Claims Jeff McNeely, chief scientist of the Swiss-based World Conservation Union (IUCN):

….people have started to occupy part of the landscape that they shouldn’t have occupied…. (via Powerline.)

Man is considered the enemy. Might as well put Wolcott in charge of the IUCN.
Seriously. Move over McNeely. (And why not? He’s about as qualified as Wolcott anyway.)
Back in the 80s, I heard equally intelligent (and equally compassionate) remarks when gay men were dying from AIDS by the tens of thousands….
AND MORE: The death toll is now 68,000 and counting. Factoring in disease and the fact that many are still unaccounted for, it could reach 100,000.
UPDATE (12/29/04): It didn’t take long to reach 100,000.
UPDATE (12/30/04): The count is now at a sickening 125,000, and even Hurricane Rooter James Wolcott is calling the tsunami “catastrophic.” (From Tim Blair, via Glenn Reynolds.) Well, there is a difference between a Hurricane and a Tsunami. I’m sure “Hurricane Wolcott” is aware of the differences, so I don’t see why I have to supply them here.
Oh what the hell.

  • TSUNAMI:

    1 oz Spiced rum
    1/2 oz Malibu Rum
    1/2 oz Rum Dark
    Fill with Pineapple Juice
    Float Grenadine

  • HURRICANE:

    1.0 fl. oz. of White Rum
    1.0 fl. oz. of Dark Rum
    0.5 fl. oz. of Triple Sec or Cointreau
    1.0 fl. oz. of Lime Juice
    0.5 fl. oz. of Sugar Syrup
    2 Dashes of Grenadine
    3.0 fl. oz. of Orange Juice
    3.0 fl. oz. of Pineapple Juice
    Ice

  • Sheesh! Do I now have to document and supply statistics for everything I say?