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Monday: January 1, 2007

Now I Get It

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:38 PM GMT-0500

A week ago, various media noted “a very sad milestone: the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq has now exceeded the number of persons killed in the 9/11 attacks”, as Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy put it. I commented there that this was untrue, and wondered why the media had jumped the gun. Here is what I wrote:

Since when was the total death toll of 9-11 only 2,973? The project to memorialize all the victims calls itself Project 2996. According to Wikipedia, there are 2,973 confirmed dead and 24 more missing and presumed dead. (Which makes a total of 2,997, but a discrepancy of 1 is a lot less bothersome than a discrepancy of 24.) After 5+ years, it’s conceivable that one or two of the 24 missing may turn up alive, but surely the actual number killed is at least 2,994. (Wikipedia and Project 2,996 explicitly exclude the terrorists from their totals.) Apparently, the press couldn’t stand to wait another few weeks for the total dead in Iraq to exceed the actual total murdered on 9-11.

I even wondered if the media were (subconsciously, I hope) trying to ruin Christmas by announcing this on the 26th. Now I know why they did it. Today they are commemorating a different milestone, the 3,000th death. They could hardly have commemorated the 2,996th and the 3,000th separately, so lowering the number killed on 9-11 to 2,973 allowed them to mourn two supposedly different milestones a week apart.

Subtract One Sic and Add Another.

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:20 PM GMT-0500

Instapundit links to a post mocking ABC for adding “(sic)” to a soldier’s simple expression of faith in an afterlife (“I’ll see you again”). Too bad he (Instapundit, that is) titles his post “SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MEDIA” without any ‘(sic)’. If you want to write “so fleeting is the glory of the media”, you need to make the last word genitive plural: SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MEDIORUM. Of course, if Instapundit needs a sic, ABC has one to spare.

Simple Logic

Filed under: — site admin @ 6:26 PM GMT-0500
  • The League of Nations is universally considered a pathetic failure.
  • Italy and Japan left the League when criticized for invading Ethiopia and Manchuria, and Nazi Germany left in a dispute over rearmament (Hitler was in favor). Whether nations have become more shameless, or the criticism less stinging, no nation has ever quit the United Nations except as a result of division (Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union) or unification (North Yemen and South Yemen).
  • The League of Nations expelled the Soviet Union in 1939 for invading Finland. The United Nations has never expelled a member country for invading (or even for seriously threatening to obliterate) another member, though it did expel Taiwan for no good reason.
  • Ergo, the United Nations is a more pathetic failure than the League of Nations ever was. Q.E.D.