In Other News. . .

VDH rounds up the various strange elements of August, 2005.
Speaking of oil, in August it seemed to have spiked at $70 a barrel, over doubling in price in about two years. For all the jihadist rhetoric about the West stealing Arab resources, almost no one has contemplated the new billions of dollars now in the hands of Middle Eastern autocracies, perhaps around $600 million a day in extra profits, or over $200 billion more a year.
Three questions come to mind: (1) Will the jihadists finally stop talking about oil theft and start worrying about the Arab world’s price-gauging of petroleum-hungry impoverished poor Muslims in Africa and Asia? (2) Will any of this money go to the Palestinians, who apparently are now asking the strapped Europeans and Americans to resume aid to subsidize Gaza? (3) How many of these plentiful petrodollars will be recycled to jihadists and arms merchants — and what would Saddam and the Oil-for-Food thieves have done with an extra $20-30 billion a year to play with?

P.J. O'Rourke visits the Biennale in Venice and doesn't like what he sees.
Like most sensible people, you probably lost interest in modern art about the time that Julian Schnabel was painting broken pieces of the crockery that his wife had thrown at him for painting broken pieces of crockery instead of painting the bathroom and hall. Or maybe you lost interest back when Andy Warhol silk-screened canned lunch for the kiddies and oddments from under the kitchen sink. There's been so much to be so uninterested in. And yet, astonishingly, modern art has gotten less interesting.

RTWT (subscribers only)to enjoy his mockery of our generation's naked emperors.

On the bioethics front, Wesley J. Smith has an "eeew" column in the Standard about the fight in Washington state over a bestiality law. Gross to read the details of the fight, but Smith rightly points out it's a debate over human exceptionalism: are we qualitatively different from animals or not.

And back to Katrina, you probably heard part of this Peggy Noonan column from yesterday, but it's worth reading it all. Especially what she says about looters at the end.
the whole story of our last national crisis, 9/11, was courage--among the passersby, among the firemen, among those who walked down there stairs slowly to help a less able colleague, among those who fought their way past the flames in the Pentagon to get people out. And it gave us quite a sense of who we are as a people. It gave us a lot of renewed pride.
If New Orleans damages that sense, it's going to be painful to face. It's going to be damaging to the national spirit. More damaging even than a hurricane, even than the worst in decades. I wonder if the cruel and stupid young people who are doing the looting know the power they have to damage their country. I wonder, if they knew, if they'd stop it.