Hugh Nicoll's Blog

patterns, poetics, polytexts

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Tsunami Toll

December 30th, 2004 · No Comments

“Full scale of the disaster” “unimaginable power” “A catastrophe” & the U.N., according to a BBC report I watched on television this morning, now fears that up to five million could die of disease and malnutrition in the aftermath of the December 26 earthquake. The initial reports triggered shock, horror, and recollections of how profoundly the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 troubled the imaginations of Voltaire, Rousseau, Kant, and the six year old Goethe. Such events force us toward reflection on the nature of the universe, knowledge, and evil. See, for example, the preface to Susan Neiman’s Evil in Modern Thought.

President Bush, meanwhile, remains on holiday in Crawford, provoking questions from Juan Cole, who links to a Washington Post article by John F. Harris and Robin Wright. The Post reporters note, among other things, that Bush has missed an opportunity to demonstrate sympathy and solidarity with the muslims of Aceh province, and that the U.S. is the among the least generous of the world’s wealthiest nations. The attempt to take a swipe at former President Clinton by Bush’s spokesperson elicited a hoot from Josh Marshall, and questions about “our priorties” from Mark.

Tags: General

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