The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Ben Bradshaw) : ...My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Baillieston (Mr. Wray) spoilt his argument about United States isolationism because he said that he had no confidence in the United Nations either. I do not know where that leaves us.
My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Kelvin made his familiar views known in his inimitable way. Some of the good points that he made on the middle east peace process would, I believe, carry more credibility if he had not made a career of being not just an apologist, but a mouthpiece, for the Iraqi regime over many years.
Mr. Galloway : Why do you not give way on that slander?
Mr. Bradshaw : We are not discussing—
Mr. Galloway : The Minister is a liar.
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. John McWilliam): Order. The hon. Gentleman must withdraw that statement.
Mr. Galloway : The Minister told a lie about me.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. The hon. Gentleman must withdraw that statement.
Mr. Galloway : Why? The Minister told a blatant lie about me. What else could I do. What else can I call it? I demand that he withdraws the allegation against me.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. The hon. Gentleman must withdraw immediately.
Mr. Galloway : An allegation of dishonourable conduct has been made against me by the Minister. It is an assumption in the House that Members are honourable gentlemen and ladies. His imputation that I am a mouthpiece for a dictator is a clear imputation of dishonour. He is the one who should be withdrawing, not me.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. I have no alternative, but to report this matter to the House. I must immediately suspend the sitting for 10 minutes.
"Slain soldiers were patriots, family men" is the story in the Washington Times. I think we owe it to our boys to read a little bit about them, and never forget the sacrifice that they and their families have made for us.
I would be perfectly willing to cut Monica a little bit of slack if she were willing to take the slightest bit of responsibility for the entire mess, but she won't. Sure, she was young at the time, but still old enough to know that engaging in a sexual relationship with a married man is wrong. The day she grows up and provides even the smallest of mea culpa sentiments, I'll stop using words like "slut" and "tramp". Until then, guard your jugular, Ms. Lewinsky. You're fair game.
The Norah Vincent - English Dictionary, cont.:
remarkable transformation = new haircut
mature, reflective, and witty young woman = dumb, spoiled, irresponsible slut
vast right wing conspiracy = seeking the truth
nominal vixen = useless tramp
A press release from the Universal Press Syndicate regarding the Ted Rall comic declares "Pushing the envelope of polite criticism is what editorial cartoonists do. Rall represents a point of view that will not be everyone's opinion. He is looking at a recent news events with the cynical eye of a satirist.''
1. I wouldn't have, for a second, described the cartoon as "impolite". Loud burping is impolite (which you might argue is a perfect description of all of Rall's work). Crass, thoughtless, revolting, filthy garbage in the poorest of taste, maybe. Impolite? No way.
2. He is looking at a recent news events with the bastard eye of an asshole.
3. I though satire was supposed to be funny?
Okay, I really mean it this time. Certainly, without a doubt, mark my words, I'll eat a live fish if this isn't the LAST update on the dullest political scandal ever: Peter Briffa reports that Stephen Byers is hanging by a thread. He covers the "soap opera" really well over at Public Interest. Iain Dale also has some great comments about Byersgate.
I was once told by a Brit that the one thing that sets British politics above American politics is that British politicians tend resign immediately at the slightest hint of scandal in order to avoid a media circus. It looks like Byers might be taking a cue from his "Yankee" counterparts on this one. Resign already, Mr. Byers. You're taking up valuable space in newspapers, which could be better utilized with stories about Posh and Becks, princes on dope, and soccer hooligans.
Bill Simon's got the Republican nomination in the race for governor of California. It's no surprise. With the vicious attack ads by Gray Davis against Richard Riordan, poor Dicky-boy didn't stand much of a chance. Also noteworthy - Gary Condit lost his reelection bid, term limits remain intact with the defeat of Proposition 45, and from the files of "Get Over It Already", Proposition 43 narrowly passed, promising Californians the right to have their vote counted.
The State Department's annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices is now available.
The headline "China Slams U.S. Human Rights Report" is hardly surprising, but has convinced me to take a permanent marker and write "Hey China, KISS THIS" on the back pockets of my jeans and face east at the coastline.
Reader Malcolm S. writes in, after chiding me for too much "vile Canada" stuff ("Yawn! Time to change the topic, miss"), that he's disappointed he hasn't seen any bloggers attack this nonsense written by Paul Kennedy in the Guardian. Mr. S. asks "I thought the whole point of blogdom was to deflate this kind of flatulent expert. Can you or one your blogger friends please squash this guy?"
With pleasure, Mr. S. I only hope I've done so to your liking.
From the Weekend Wanker (b.k.a. the Guardian Unlimited) dated March 3, 2002, a man capable of predicting the future with great accuracy, Mr. Paul Kennedy, asks "Has the U.S. lost its way?" Let's take an abridged look:
'By what right,' an angry environmentalist demanded at a recent conference I attended, 'do Americans place such a heavy footprint upon God's Earth?'
It's called "huge amounts of cash".
We comprise slightly less than 5 per cent of the world's population; but we imbibe 27 per cent of the world's annual oil production, create and consume nearly 30 per cent of its Gross World Product and - get this - spend a full 40 per cent of all the world's defence expenditures.
We also have higher standards of living, generally work longer hours, and can afford to spend more than twice as much on entitlements as we do on defense.
The sympathy of non-Americans for the horrors of 11 September was genuine enough, but that was sympathy for innocent victims and for those who had lost loved ones - workers at the World Trade Centre, the policemen, the firemen.
What? No sympathy for the people who lost their jobs, were left homeless, and are being made sick because they have to breathe in the aftermath of that horrible morning every day? How about the people who have had to relocate offices, have to drive an hour out of their way daily, and have been left emotionally scarred for life after witnessing something that awful?
Even as I write, a new email has arrived from a former student of mine now in Cambridge (and a devoted Anglophile), who talks of the difficulty of grappling with widespread anti-American sentiments. And this in the land of Tony Blair! It's lucky he's not studying in Athens, or Beirut, or Calcutta.
Anti-Americanism is not just the hallmark of Muslim fundamentalists, most non-democratic regimes, radical activists in Latin America, Japanese nationalists and critics of capitalism everywhere. It also can be found in the intellectual salons of Europe, perhaps especially in France, where US culture is regarded as being crass, simplistic, tasteless - and all too successful.
There's a word for folks who don't like success or the people who have acheived it: jealous.
But the overall impression that America has given of late is that we simply don't care what the rest of the world thinks. When we require assistance - in rounding up terrorists, freezing financial assets and making air bases available for US troops - we will play with the team; when we don't like international schemes, we'll walk away. My guess is that every American ambassador and envoy abroad these days spends most of his time handling such worries - worries expressed, as I said above, not by America's foes but by her friends.
Damn straight we don't care. U.S. policy is made with U.S. interests in mind, as it should be. Policy with the best interests of France or Italy in mind should be made in Paris, Rome, or Brussels.
Kennedy on the need for new Leadership: It would be a leadership marked by a breadth of vision, an appreciation of our common humanity, a knowledge that we have as much to learn from others as we have to impart to them.
It would be an episode of "Sesame Street".
Above all, it would be a leadership that turned openly to the American people and explained, time and time again, why our deepest national interest lies in taking the fate of our planet seriously and in investing heavily in its future.
Duh. Why do you think we jacked the defense budget up so much?
The article in its entirety is much sillier, with the usual references to the nobility of Wilson, FDR, and JFK, etc. If you find yourself overcome with the desire to feel superior or smarter than others, check it out. It's great for a laugh.
Juan Gato does a great job slicing up the Ted Rall "comic" and the cries of "censorship!" and "squelching of dissent!" that are certain to follow after all of the responsible people in the world have finished carpet-bombing the editors of NYT with complaints about it.
Little Green Footballs has a link that will take you directly to the page with all of the NYT contact information. Or you can send an e-mail directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: The illustrious VodkaPundit also has contact information on his site, in case you prefer getting your info from the bar rather than the stadium.
My ego is severely bruised: just 'cause I'm a soldier, I'm not vile. What do I have to do to persuade you the a Canadian soldier is just as vile as any other real Canadian? How about "If Canadians had led the attacks on Bin Laden's hide-outs, he'd be dead by now; with a confirmatory body"? Or, "the reason it took so long for the Canadians to arrive in Kandahar is that we're tired of sorting out things after the Marines have left"? Come on. please ...
I guess I'm doomed to accept my unsolicited role as Cana-dominatrix. Okay, Captain. You're vile, too. In fact, the entire Canadian Armed Forces are vile. All 362 of them.
John Cole had this to say about the "hunger strikers" last Friday:
Appears only a third of those who started the hunger strike are still on it. IMHO, this is a damn shame. I was counting on waiting a month or so and then unceremoniously dumping their dead bones into the bay to make a nice shark treat.
Nice! But if Bobby Sands and his crew from back in 1981 are any indication, we would have to have waited about two months. Most of those bastards lingered for between 50-60 days.
UPDATE: Thanks to Kristen K. for pointing out that the 1981 hunger striker that lived the longest lasted for 73 days.
Did anyone else catch Monica on HBO last night? I tried watching for a while, but it was too painful. At one point she mentioned that she didn't care if what she said on the program changed the perception that people have of her. Good. Then she won't feel bad that my perception of her has gone from dumb slut to dumb slut bitch with absolutely no concept of personal responsibility. No matter what she had done, she blamed it on her "frail emotional state", Linda Tripp, the FBI, etc. Monica finally had her chance to say to the world "I never should have gotten on my knees in the Oval Office and sucked the dick of the President of the United States", and she blew it.