The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, February 19, 2003  

The Latest Evidence

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge today urged Americans to assemble an emergency kit including a three-day supply of food, flashlights, batteries, medicine, and other supplies -- Don't forget the duct tape and pre-measured plastic sheeting! -- in preparation for a possible chemical- or biological-weapons attack.

Proving Secretary Ridge is as irrelevant as he looks, President Bush on Saturday urged his fellow Americans to "go about their lives," lives that, last I checked, rarely if ever included trips to Home Depot for third-rate protection against anthrax and ricin.

Question: My building forbids residents to cover their gigantic windows with plastic sheeting of any type. Is this rule suspended by fiat in the event of a terrorist attack? Or must I wait for approval from building management following the monthly meeting on rules, regulations, and rants?

May I install such sheeting, without the building's permission, when the president's morning flash card is ORANGE or must I wait until the eagerly anticipated RED card has been dealt?

Or must I wait until confirmation that such an attack has occurred?

Just asking. Trying to be prepared, you know.


Andrew Sullivan is calling the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), the "Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation."



Fodder for TBogg.


Matthew Yglesias, precocious undergraduate, issues his determination that Pope John Paul II is actively collaborating -- Actively collaborating! -- with the Iraqi government. (To be more specific, the phrase used in the post was "collaborate actively.")

A Goldhagen wannabe, I guess.

There are reasons adults pay no attention to college kids.

[Post-publication addendum (February 20): I did it again. I broke one of my cardinal rules of blogging: Don't blog while angry. I wasn't angry at the blogger in question when I wrote this; I reserve anger for serious matters, in this instance, my eyes. Yes, I was angry with my eyes, which have been beset by a mysterious and extremely painful infection that has me blogging without either my contact lenses or my eyeglasses. (I'm so nearsighted I can't find them. If you're in the neighborhood and care to search my apartment for me, please do.) There's nothing like writing with one's face two inches from the monitor to spark intolerable levels of frustration. Anyway, I realize now I was a tad harsh with young Matt, so I've toned it down a bit. Unfair of me to change course now? Perhaps. If you want to read the original text, let me know.]

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