The tornado deaths in Indiana only reinforce my hypothesis: Natural disasters don't kill people...poverty in the path of natural disasters is what kills. A mobile-home park was the worst-hit neighborhood in the path of the tornado.
Poverty is also the root cause of the riots in France. Yes, it started as a cultural thing, but the widespread violence is really about economics. High unemployment, which is caused more than anything by France's welfare state, keeps people from finding opportunities and moving up and out of poverty. It's not like this should be a new lesson -- poverty has aggravated practically every urban disaster in the developed world, from the breakdown in New Orleans to the riots in Los Angeles.
Urban violence took on another form when a restauranteur who went to peacefully protest the Chicago City Council's plans to ban foie gras came back to find his restaurant vandalized. It's astonishing how readily "protesters" of a certain stripe take to violent destruction. It never seems to be the pro-free-trade or pro-free-market types who break things.
A handful of other random things:
- Street gangs are getting into the loan business (for fraudulent purposes, of course)
- Warren Beatty may be running for governor in California
- The director of "Rome" says the BBC sexed up his miniseries...but HBO didn't.