Here are two unasked and unanswered questions of the day, actually now for about 2 days.
Egyptian Crisis as of 9:30 a.m.
The generals 47 hours ago gave Morsi 48 hours to meet the demands of the opposition, who have been out in the Cairo streets by the millions. We all heard his defiant speech and the generals’ rejoinder about protecting the country from “terrorists” and “fools.” But I found no reference to any negotiations going on between Morsi and the opposition, nor any commentary about whether anyone even knew whether there were such negotiations, or expected them to occur. I would have thought talking to the opposition might have been central to working toward a political solution.
Isn’t the news reporters’ and commentators’ job to highlight such a major gap even if they can get no direct data on it? I checked the NY Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, TV news and multiple websites. Just seems sloppy to me.
Arizona Fire Tragedy
The fire near Prescott that just killed 19 young men was clearly a terrible loss. Was it also profoundly stupid? Some questions that linger for me:
- Were there no firebreaks already cut through the forest? I thought firebreaks were routine, carved out by clearing wide paths with large machinery, and designed to contain blazes to a given area and slow down if not prevent spread? I heard no discussion of firebreaks on any network or website.
- If there were no firebreaks, why not? Economic issues? Sloth? We certainly have firebreaks in New England forests.
- If firebreaks, done in advance by heavy machinery, were present and failed, or were never installed because they were felt to be ineffective, why in the world would 19 men with shovels be able to clear enough brush and small trees under pressure of time and conflagration to make a whit of difference in the outcome of the fire?
- In this regard, does anyone really know the effectiveness of such firefighting teams in major conflagrations such as the Prescott fire, which covers roughly an area equal to 4 miles x 4 miles (about 10,000 acres)?
- Shouldn’t the public discussion of this tragedy include consideration as to whether any such teams should be involved? Looking at the immensity of the blazes, it seems to me a delusion that small teams of men could make any difference.
If you have any information or answers to these questions, please comment. I would love to learn. Or just comment so I feel less idiosyncratic in raising these ignored issues, which seem to me to be obvious and important in each of these cases.