Combs Spouts Off

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Archive for September, 2019

It’s TLAPD!

Posted by Richard on September 19, 2019

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day! Please enjoy the day responsibly. You could run afoul of federal laws.

Aaarr!

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The story of The Falling Man

Posted by Richard on September 11, 2019

it was, to my mind, the most horrifying, gut-wrenching part of a horrific day: perhaps as many as 200 or more people plunging to their deaths at 150 miles per hour because that was better than the fate that awaited them if they stayed in the upper floors of the World Trade Center North Tower.

There was one iconic photo, taken by AP’s Richard Drew, that quickly became famous and then quickly disappeared. Hundreds of newspapers published it once, and many readers expressed outrage. It was just too horrifying, too painful; it was exploitative; this man had a family! All the photos and videos of people falling to their deaths disappeared. People don’t want to see them, to be reminded of what happened. It’s too disturbing.

And yet, I think we should see them. Those of us who watched at the time should be reminded. Those who didn’t, those who are too young to have witnessed that day, should know—and feel—what it was like.

Three years ago, Esquire published Tom Junod’s The Falling Man. It tells the story of that picture and its photographer. It shows that picture and others. It explores why this part of our history has been erased. It recounts the efforts to identify The Falling Man and suggests who he most likely was. It’s a long and grim read. I urge you to read the whole thing.

They began jumping not long after the first plane hit the North Tower, not long after the fire started. They kept jumping until the tower fell. They jumped through windows already broken and then, later, through windows they broke themselves. They jumped to escape the smoke and the fire; they jumped when the ceilings fell and the floors collapsed; they jumped just to breathe once more before they died. They jumped continually, from all four sides of the building, and from all floors above and around the building’s fatal wound. They jumped from the offices of Marsh & McLennan, the insurance company; from the offices of Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond-trading company; from Windows on the World, the restaurant on the 106th and 107th floors—the top. For more than an hour and a half, they streamed from the building, one after another, consecutively rather than en masse, as if each individual required the sight of another individual jumping before mustering the courage to jump himself or herself. One photograph, taken at a distance, shows people jumping in perfect sequence, like parachutists, forming an arc composed of three plummeting people, evenly spaced. Indeed, there were reports that some tried parachuting, before the force generated by their fall ripped the drapes, the tablecloths, the desperately gathered fabric, from their hands. They were all, obviously, very much alive on their way down, and their way down lasted an approximate count of ten seconds. They were all, obviously, not just killed when they landed but destroyed, in body though not, one prays, in soul.

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Eighteen years ago today

Posted by Richard on September 11, 2019

Eighteen years ago this morning, in the words of Rep. Ilhan Omar, “some people did something.”

On September 11, 2001, barbarians with box cutters — primitive 7th-century savages who could never build a World Trade Center or a 747, but whose insane ideology is dedicated to making the building of such things impossible — murdered 2,996 innocent people and changed Lower Manhattan from this:

Lady Liberty watching over the twin towers before 9/11

to this:

1st tower falls

Fleeing as the tower falls

Fleeing through the choking dust

Falling to his death

Never forget.

Flag still stands

Never forget.

raising the flag at ground zero

Never, ever forget.

9/11 tribute of light

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Must-avoid TV

Posted by Richard on September 4, 2019

My deepest sympathies to anyone having to spend time at an airport tonight. CNN’s climate crisis town hall is on the air. This won’t matter to most folks not at an airport, since very few people who have a choice of channels ever tune into CNN anymore.

I predict that CNN’s viewership will be even lower than usual for the next six or seven hours. Yes, that’s how long this ten-candidate tirade against capitalism, modernity, and progress will go on. Even hard-core environmentalists and socialists (but I repeat myself) are going to have a hard time staying conscious throughout.

Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown (emphases in original):

What’s a worse TV programming idea than six straight hours of Democratic campaigners talking climate change? Honestly, I’m not sure. But this is the fresh hell that CNN has planned for America this Wednesday night. And while, sure, you can choose not to tune in to this particular political pageantry, there’s no avoiding its fallout, as Democratic 2020 candidates compete to outdo each other with grand regulatory plans.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) wants a plan similar to the “Green New Deal” proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) and company. It would entail an initial $3 trillion investment over 10 years. That’s the same price tag we see for Sen. Cory Booker’s (D–N.J.) plan, which includes $50 billion for an Environmental Justice Fund and a promise to plant 100 million trees.

Julián Castro’s plan would cost $10 trillion and includes a plank to dismantle “environmental racism,” which is:

a type of discrimination where communities of color and low-income communities are forced to live in close proximity to environmentally hazardous or degraded environments, such as hazardous waste sites or pollution. To that end, Castro said he’d propose new civil rights bills like requiring all federal actions be reviewed for environmental and health impacts on low-income and marginalized communities.

Joe Biden’s plan is cheap in comparison, at a projected $1.6 trillion.

Biden, Booker, Castro, and Warren will all appear as part of the CNN climate extravaganza starting tonight at 5 p.m. EDT, along with Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.), Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), and Andrew Yang.

“Most candidates have the goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, although some aim to accelerate by a few years to 2040 or 2045,” notes CBS News. “Many candidates also hope to cut emissions by half by 2030 and get to net-zero emissions for electricity by that year,” and all have vowed to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords.

Actually, it might be a good thing if more Americans were aware that the Democrats intend to spend mind-boggling sums to reduce our CO2 emissions, crippling the economy and wrecking their household budgets, while India, China, and others are building over a thousand new coal-fired power plants.

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