Haiti After the Earthquake


1. Heroism and Hypocrisy
2. Hypocrisy and Complexity

1. Heroism and Hypocrisy

There are three sets of heroes that have revealed themselves in the aftermath of the devastation in Haiti. They deserve our attention and praise.

The first heroes are the people of Port-au-Prince and other affected areas in Haiti. While the international efforts to get aid to Haiti have made the headlines, the people on the ground have endured unimaginable horror and desperation in the wake of the earthquake. The buildings in Port-au-Prince fell just before 5:00 p.m. Less than an hour later the sun set and darkness fell. Through that first long night and the days and nights that have followed, Haitians have pulled friends and loved ones out of the rubble, formed communities to share food and water and have led the call for faster and more effective aid.

The second set of heroes are the international aid workers who hit the ground so soon after earthquake. Whether they are nurses, doctors, medics, soldiers, police officers, or other recovery experts they are, no doubt, the first wave of an army of internationals that will pass through Haiti over the next 20 years. And there's is a terrible, terrible job. The accounts of the horrors of the first days are chilling. Amidst all the journalistic spectacle that followed the earthquake and the over-the-top first person narratives of reporters on the scene, the men and women providing aid have quietly and bravely dealt with experiences that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The third set of heroes is the people who have given so much money to international aid groups.

Reactions to the Xmas Bomber


1. The Laws of War and the "War on Terror"
2. The Law's Obligation to be Relevant
3. War on the Rule of Law

1. The Laws of War and the "War on Terror"

The first decade of the new millennium ended with an echo of how it had begun - with a terrorist attack on an airliner over American airspace. The reaction was swift, strong, and diverse. It ranged from increased security measures, including singling out specific countries and nationalities for increased scrutiny, breathless inquiries into how the intelligence and security systems failed, through to increased focus on the activities of groups affiliated with Al Qaeda in Yemen. Some recognition that there may have been an overreaction, at least on the part of the press, has finally started to creep into themedia analysis.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect is the return to the "war on terror". There were shrill cries from the right, led by the never-fading Dick Cheney, that Obama was "pretending we are not at war". The 23 year old Nigerian would-be bomber should be dealt with as an unlawful enemy combatant under the laws of war! It was an outrage, they argued, indict him under the criminal law, allowing him access to counsel and Miranda rights. Speed was of the essence in "interrogating" him to for intelligence.

Bush famously claimed that the United States was engaged in a War on Terror.

The Waning of the Golden Age


1. The Raw and the Cooked
2. The Half-Baked and the Full Monty
3. The Long and the Short

1. The Raw and the Cooked

The Radix's 2009 annual general meeting was held on Old Year's Night at a sushi bar in a world class city in the north. As I watched Gamma (over) indulging in sake, the sushi master delivered a series of small masterpieces. Tuna. Eel. Butterfish. Salmon. Cut briskly and with purpose and hospitality. And as Gamma lapsed into a light stupor, mumbling to himself about past wrongs and slights and days of minor glory long faded, I was washed over with the unmistakable feeling that I was living at the end of an age of opulence and diversity. I might as well have been sitting in Rome as the barbarians were gathering outside the gates.
In less than a generation most wild fish will be a delicacy. We have plumbed the depths of the oceans and have pushed most staple stocks to the very brink. While its a minor tragedy that I will struggle to find a restaurant that will serve me wild Salmon let alone a tasty Chilean Sea Bass, a far greater effect is being felt by the communities across the world that have, for generations, rested their economic and social orders on fishing.

But it is not about the fish.

The erosion of opulence and diversity is seen across Planet Earth. We have, it must be acknowledged, exceeded the carrying capacity of our planet. Climate change and its associated ills are not the problem but symptoms of there simply being way too many of us. And as we spill out of our teeming cities and claw the last of the oil out of the poisoned ground, we should acknowledge that the good times are over.

We will survive for a long time. We are are a tough and pernicious species.


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