I'm sick of Euro-weenies. I'm sick of EU bureaucrats pontificating from Brussels about the glory of their sophisticated social welfare programs. Well, good for you. But let me remind you of the reason why you can afford all of your nifty little projects to begin with: us. Most of my clients are European defense contractors, and all I ever hear from their end is how much business sucks. You know why? Because Europeans can rest easy knowing that when push comes to shove, we'll step in and take care of things. They don't have to spend extortionate amounts of their GNP on defense, because we do it for them. So the next time some EUnuch gets to bragging about his country's magnificent "cradle to the grave" schemes, someone should suggest to him why it is that his legislature can allocate money on milk for poor single mothers instead of having to earmark it for missiles and warships in order to survive.
He's (Donald Rumsfeld) quoted therein as saying, “The war on terrorism . . . will not end until terrorist networks have been rooted out from wherever they exist.” I suggest Rumsfeld begin with that most perfidious source of world terrorism, Langley, Va. Let us not forget that this country invented “terrorism” — the senseless massacre of innocent civilians for the gaining of purely psychological military and/or political advantage, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (And don't give me that old “it was wartime” line; so is this, as the administration has incessantly repeated.)
That's like 50 kinds of stupid, but I'll take him on a few points. The debate of whether or not Hiroshima and Nagasaki were "senseless" is probably going to go on as long as the human race does, so I'm not even going to touch that one. Gaining military advantage is pretty much the main objective of war, guy from Torrance. If the U.S. "invented" terrorism with the A-bomb, then what did the Japanese "invent" at Pearl Harbor?
And it might suit you and your ilk to consider that Langley, VA is also a perfidious source of the kind of stuff that protects your empty heads from being cut off by our enemies.
Has the war on terrorism become the modern equivalent of the Roman Circus, drawing the people's attention away from the failures of those who rule them? Corporate America is a shambles because deregulation, the mantra of our president and his party, has proved to be a license to steal. Yet to question our leaders' stewardship of the economy has been made to seem unpatriotic.
Enough, already. ENOUGH. This whole line about "I can't say anything bad about Bush, or I'll be charged as a bad patriot" line is tired. It belongs in the dust bin, along with all those jokes with the punchline "...or the terrorists will have won".
Although combating terrorism is of compelling importance--and should have been before Sept. 11--
Implication: they knew! And they did nothing to stop it! They let the WTC be destroyed for oil!
...one is likely to be branded a nut for daring to suggest that the administration might be using current security threats as a smoke screen to obscure our floundering economy.
Is there any doubt that the chicanery of Enron executives and that of a growing Who's Who of top CEOs has done more long-term damage to the U.S. economy than the efforts of anti-American terrorists?
And while sending in the Marines to clean up the boardrooms is not feasible, we ought to wake up to the reality that business greed is subverting the American way of life--and hurting the image of American capitalism and democracy--more effectively than the ploys of any foreign enemy.
Look, pal. Business greed is the American way of life. You're taking a few corrupt bastards and indicting the whole of corporate culture based on their misdeeds. Is it really that simple for you?
When even Martha Stewart is ethically suspect and her company's stock has plummeted--though not quite to the depths of Enron, Global Crossing, Tyco, Dynergy, Wal-Mart and Rite Aid--it is time to return to the wisdom of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Depression-era president who saved capitalism from itself.
Ouch. I'm gonna sue you for how bad it hurt when the water squirted out of my nose because of how hard I laughed at that one.
Wealthy from birth, FDR had a healthy awareness of the tendency of the upper classes to destabilize society...
Michael Gove, in the Times, on the "hopelessness" of suicide homicide bombers:
This ideology of death is not then the product of hope denied, but hope fed. Fed not just by money and arms from neighbours, but fed, above all, by the folly of the West. The hope that terror will bring concessions, the hope that the West is weakening, the hope that fanaticism will prevail, is daily reinforced. That hope is nurtured by movement towards a Palestinian state which is accelerated, not delayed, by bombing. It is encouraged by news that decisive action against one sponsor of terror, Iraq, has been delayed. It is supported by news that the world’s most energetic sponsor of terror, Iran, is to be appeased by the granting of EU trade privileges.
Oscar-nominated actor Will Smith, for example, in an interview with Barbara Walters, suggested that scientists concocted AIDS as part of a conspiracy to retaliate against black people. A surprised Barbara Walters asked, “But you felt that the government was . . . deliberately trying to make people ill with the AIDS virus? This is pretty serious stuff. Do you really feel that?” Smith provided this “proof”: “Well, good question. I firmly believe that it is quite highly possible that the AIDS virus is the result of genetic warfare testing.”
And I firmly believe that it is quite highly possible that there are tiny gnomes who live off of human brain cells alive and well and living in your head, Mr. Smith.
Sir Teddy Taylor says a beer-drinking culture has emerged at Westminster and alcohol consumption is increasing "by leaps and bounds". Many MPs "have difficulty in walking along the corridors in a straight line".
A note to anyone in or around the London area: I'll pay good money for photographs.
"The problem is that MPs are not finding the debating chamber at all interesting but they have to stay in the building to take part in votes," said Sir Teddy.
Jeepers. If these guys think debate in the House of Commons is boring, they should try Congress. You practically have to freebase methamphetamines just to stay conscious while watching those folks in action.
Dennis Turner, the Labour MP for Wolverhampton South-East, is chairman of the House of Commons catering committee. He said: "I do try a pint myself, but I have not increased my intake. And I don't know of any MPs who have doubled their intake."
Rather uncharacteristic of a Labo(u)r MP to address a problem without finding some way to blame it on the Tories.
In other British politics news related to alcohol consumption, it appears as though William Hague might have been lying when he said he used to drink 14 pints of beer a day in his youth. I don't care either way, but what I want to know is, what political strategist came up with that brilliant approach? "Forget that buttoned-up nerd who spent his school days studying hard and improving himself! Despite popular assumption, Wills was actually a raging alcoholic with a serious problem! Remember that speech he gave in front of Magster when he was just 16 years old? He was actually tanked out of his bloody mind! Just the kind of head of state Britain needs. Vote Tory!"
A native Belfast reader who prefers to remain anonymous sent in the following. He said it better than I ever could. I don't have anything to add.
"If the RUC were actively colluding with Protestant paramilitaries over 30 years of the Troubles and the best they could do was rub out Finucane and that other solicitor, Rosemary Nelson, then they get my vote as the least effective death squad of the 20th century. After all, the entire IRA Army Council and the entire leadership of Sinn Fein are still with us - which is more than you can say for the RUC officers and their families who were wiped out at their homes by car bombs and late night shootings. How did the IRA get their addresses? I know plenty of policemen; they travelled to work in civvies, they live in 'safe' areas: Who has been asking questions about how terrorists found out their addresses? Will we ever have an inquiry into these leaks?
"The IRA is a small organisation. Was the 1998 bombing campaign initiated by its spin-off group that culminated in the Omagh massacre approved by the main organisation? Did the IRA ever lean on the 'Real' IRA to force them to call off the campaign before Omagh? Was the ongoing terrorism a useful reminder to the Brits of what life would be like were the IRA not appeased? Republican discipline is legendary - Republican feuds are bloody and effective. If the IRA wanted its offspring to stop the bombing, the bombing would have stopped. It did after Omagh. Any chance of an enquiry into this collusion?
"'The dogs in the street' knew who the leadership of the IRA were - the fact that so few leading Republicans were killed in the Troubles (excepting those who killed themselves and one another) would suggest to me that rather than Mossad-style death squads roaming Ulster at will, collusion in Northern Ireland was sporadic, exceptional and ineffectual.
"That said, having only one crime to bang on about constantly makes for more effective PR than having hundreds to mourn. One Bloody Sunday. One Pat Finucane. You can base an entire campaign on these murders. The suffering of Enniskillen, Dropping Well, Teebane, La Mon to name a few of the mass murders is much more diffuse and difficult to pin down, particularly since it is deemed unhelpful to trace the killers.
"This one-sidedness, and believe me, the vast majority of Protestants see it as such, has eroded Protestant support for the peace process to the point where even my very liberal friends make a joke of it. I voted for the Good Friday Agreement. I didn't like the idea of the Provos hanging on to their guns and bombs, but I appreciated how difficult it would be for them to give them up at such an early stage in the 'Peace Process' (such as). I understood they would go eventually. I was wholly opposed to the release of paramilitary prisoners who had not served their full terms, but I was willing to hold my nose and vote for it, in the hope that my opposite numbers would hold their noses and realise that they too would have to put up with a lot of crap in the interests of peace. So the IRA haven't blown up Belfast or shot police reservists, or planted bombs under the family cars of businessmen contracted to clean RUC stations for a while. They haven't held a guy's family hostage and ordered him to drive a car loaded with bombs into a police station. They haven't planted bombs under bandstands before public concerts, in waste bins beside shopping centres, in hotels before wedding receptions for a few years. Is it really that hard to prevent yourself from doing that? Are you showing commendable and extraordinary restraint by not planning, building, priming, carrying and leaving a bomb in a bar filled with weekend drinkers? Is it really that hard to stop yourself from doing that? I honestly don't know how I would vote now. Belfast is a better place than it was 10 years ago. But will it be so good 10 years from now?
"When it suits it, the IRA likes to be seen as a force of nature. An inevitable response to history, that must be appeased to prevent it lashing out at its enemies. The IRA, however, is a collection of individuals. Do you have to pat people on the head constantly to thank them for not shooting anyone this week? (except drug dealers, petty criminals, rival gangsters...) Whatever will they need next?"