Just back from touring a couple of “cottages” in Newport, Rhode Island. Built towards the end of the 19th Century, the larger houses there have ballrooms sufficient in size to secure entry into the “400 club”, for which one needed to have at least $3 million in ready cash (like $100 million today?) and a ballroom large enough to accomodate 400 people. More or less every week there was an enormous party in every house. This invites a comparison between Alva Vanderbilt and modern-day young people. Ask a member of an engaged couple any time within one year of the wedding to take part in an activity. “Oh no,” he or she will reply, “I am working on wedding planning.” But a woman like Alva Vanderbilt could plan a 100-person party in a heartbeat then go back to her work on women’s suffrage.
~ Archive for October 17, 2003 ~
The head of Malaysia complained that the world’s handful of Jews (estimated population 13 million) were keeping 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide in a state of ignorance, poverty, and illiteracy. Leaders from Islamic states around the world gave him a standing ovation. Most news coverage of the event have focussed on the Jew-hatred angle, which is hardly new. What to me is remarkable is that these guys aren’t ashamed at having such wimpy enemies. Muslims are at least 100 times more numerous than the world’s Jews and, thanks to some of the world’s highest growth rates, destined to be 200 times more numerous rather soon. Muslims control vast territories underneath which are half of the world’s petroleum reserves. By contrast the Jews have a resource-poor little territory the size of New Jersey.
Do we live in an age of wimpy enemies? In place of Ronald Reagan’s terrifying Soviet Union, George W. has a huge military bristling with modern weapons to wield against… Osama and Saddam.