Monthly Archives: June 2006

Capitalism v. Socialism on Vesey Street

7WorldTradeCenter.jpgThis post comes via TIA Daily and the National Review:

Not since I peered over the Berlin Wall from West to East in 1987 has the contrast between capitalism and socialism been as stark as it was last week in Manhattan.

On the north side of Vesey Street, real-estate developer Larry Silverstein led the joyous, May 23 grand opening of 7 World Trade Center—a sleek, sparkling, 52-story high-rise that replaces its namesake predecessor. That building collapsed in flames at 5:20 P.M. on September 11, 2001.

On Vesey’s south side, Ground Zero remains a grim, gaping cavity where the Twin Towers proudly stood until al Qaeda agents demolished them with passenger-filled missiles.

Four years and eight months after Islamo-fascists disfigured this country, Silverstein, a private entrepreneur, delivered a skyscraper that elegantly says, “The barbarians crashed the gates, but we repelled them, with our beauty and prowess intact.”
Yards away, a tangle of politicians and bureaucrats—dizzyingly misdirected by New York’s blundering GOP governor, George Pataki—has stalled, squabbled, and spun in circles. The distinction is staggering: Above, a palace of commerce; below, a canyon of tears….

As Silverstein said March 15: “I am a builder. That is all I want to do. And when the Port Authority has not stood in the way, that is exactly what I have done—without any delay.”

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Chemistry sets now illegal

Wired news is carrying a story on how an out-of-control Consumer Product Safety Commission has made chemistry sets illegal in an orgy of terrorist paranoia. This is a sad development indeed, as many of America’s great inventors got into technology experimenting with chemicals and home-made fireworks.

The chemophobia that’s put a damper on home science has also invaded America’s classrooms, where hands-on labs are being replaced by liability-proof teacher demonstrations with the explicit message Don’t try this at home. A guide for teachers of grades 7 through 12 issued by the American Chemical Society in 2001 makes the prospect of an hour in the lab seem fraught with peril: “Every chemical, without exception, is hazardous. Did you know that oxygen is poisonous if inhaled at a concentration a bit greater than its natural concentration in the air?” More than half of the suggested experiments in a multimedia package for schools called “You Be the Chemist,” created in 2004 by the Chemical Educational Foundation, are to be performed by the teacher alone, leaving students to blow up balloons (with safety goggles in place) or answer questions like “How many pretzels can you eat in a minute?”

The same political idiocy afflicts model rocketry.


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