Poor Iain Duncan Smith. I found this one via Sullivan: Madame Tussaud’s waxworks museum is not going to make a wax figure of him. This makes him the first Conservative Party leader in 130 years to be so snubbed.
Is it just me, or is "we have not got room for lifeless figures” a really bizarre thing for a spokesperson from a wax museum to say?
I really miss Betty Boothroyd. The current speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin, gave Tony Blair and Iain Duncan Smith a hard time on Wednesday for questioning the policies of each others parties during question time (we won't get to see it here in the U.S. until Sunday evening. Yes, I am a mega-geek. Prime Minister's Questions is my favorite TV show), saying "The policy of the Labour Party has nothing to do with the prime minister."
Excuse me. Isn't the Prime Minister the leader of the Labo(u)r Party, you know, the ones who are running the government? How is party policy not relevant to the prime minister? I know that there are rules and all for question time, and to be honest, I haven't read them thoroughly because they are very dull and I can say with a relative degree of certainty that I will never be a member of the British House of Commons (I believe this is largely in part because I am not British), and will therefore never need to know them. But isn't this guy pushing it just a bit too far? Someone who knows more help me out here.
So, I've decided to take part in the whole Andrew Sullivan book club thing. This is in large part because I have been reading nothing except crap since leaving college. It's sort of like a homework assignment, and I'd hate to let Mr. Sullivan down. This month it's Warrior Politics by Robert D. Kaplan. It arrived in my mailbox yesterday from Amazon (getting it is going to involve a trip to the post office, yet another painful reminder that the idea of federal employees taking over airport security is grossly frightening).
Being something of a film buff, I thought of starting a similar sort of thing, only involving movies. The first selection will be Dude, Where's My Car?. Let's watch it and discuss its merits. Anyone?
The greatest affront to even-handed and thinking persons available in the English language, the always amusing Guardian, had this to say today. Bush has "opted to blame the old enemies"? Excuse me, exactly when did we kiss and make up with Iran? As far as I knew, Iran was still considered a current enemy, and quite worthy of membership in the now-infamous "axis of evil" (isn't "axis of evil" a really fun thing to say? I talk to my plants about it all the time). And the assertion that Martin Woollacott makes that "Iran is by far the freest of the three nations" is like saying that Billy Hayes was by far the freest character in Midnight Express.
Here's an (unsurprisingly) stupid piece in the Nation about Ralph Nader. "America seems to be listening to what Nader is saying now" is the claim.
Newsflash to the Nation: no we're not. We never have. God willing, we never will. I don't think that a 2.7% of the popular vote in the last election is anything remarkable, especially if you consider that he got as many electoral votes as I did, and I didn't spend a single dime on my campaign. And I'll also bet that somewhere around 75-90% of that 2.7% were under the age of 22 and under the influence of dope in one form or another.
And it's no shock that "Ralph Nader condemns the trading of political favors for cash", given that - again, God willing - he will never be in a position to grant political favors and most of the people interested in the sort of politics he's peddling spend all of their extra cash on pot, Birkenstocks, and soy milk.
I've been perusing through the Soviet Archives (don't tell my boss - I'm supposed to be doing something called "work"). The things I've been reading make Darkness at Noon and With God in Russia look like Disney movies. I'm a huge admirer of Russian history and and her people, but this stuff is sickening.
French FM Hubert Vedrine is giving U.S. Foreign Policy a little tongue lashing. He calls the U.S. approach to fighting terrorism "simplistic" (as opposed to the grandly sophisticated and complicated approach of surrendering immediately) and stated that the Bush administration is "acting on its own interpretation and its own interests". Um, duh. It's the United States government. Does he think U.S. foreign policy should be made based on the best interests of France?
Someone just e-mailed me a petition urging that the area that is now Ground Zero not be rebuilt upon. No thanks. I think Jonah Goldberg said it best in one of the most notable post-9/11 articles I've yet read: "America will find an appropriate way to mourn. But if we must have a shrine or monument for our remorse, let's put it on the 200th floor, right next to the antiaircraft guns."
He argues that not only should we rebuild the World Trade Center, but we should rebuild it bigger. Agreed. Sure, we should view it as hallowed ground. But I fail to see how turning Ground Zero into a nice place for dogs to go poo will serve the memory of its victims in any positive way. It will only make us appear weak and completely lacking in resilience to our enemies.
Someone forward me a petition that sends a message to the good people of Kuala Lumpur, kindly explaining to them that they need to be prepared to give up their title. That one I'd sign in an instant.
The always-eloquent Jay Nordlinger wrote today that "the betrayal of the Cuban people by free people elsewhere is one of the most grotesque phenomena of our time. Maybe we can’t bestir ourselves to do anything to help the Cubans — but we can at least not rub their noses in their defilement and misery."
Well said, Mr. Nordlinger. Maybe Amnesty International should have a look around places in Cuba other than Guantanamo Bay? I've always found their disgustingly selective and politically-driven agenda to be a bit disturbing. After all the fuss about Gitmo, however, I've put my notable skills in the art of denial to good use, and have begun pretending that they just plain don't exist.
Juan Gato pretty much carries the title for the best Blog debut ever for declaring "Hey! A Blogger! Now my journey to loser is complete!", so I won't even give it a fight. But I guess I'd like to start out by giving the Benvenuto Cellini Award for Modesty to none other than Bill Clinton, for quipping at the Waldorf during the WEF "I wish we'd had just a few more months, then we'd have peace in the Middle East."
There has not been peace in that region since, well, forever. And this guy claims he could have cleaned up the whole mess in 90 days. Please, Mr. Clinton...go away.
Glen Reynolds suggested yesterday that "I suppose the only safe thing to do is to get the French running as much of Europe as possible, so that whatever delusion sets in will be ineptly managed." Forget inept. This is a terrifying prospect for reasons that can be summed up in two words: We SURRENDER.