Saturday, May 12, 2001

The House has voted to punish the UN for its free vote to exclude seat-holder-for-life US from the Human Rights Commission. They'd also like Powell to figure out who didn't vote for us. Remember, humans have rights, small nations will do whatever the hell we tell them to, or else.

Molly Ivins uses a phrase for the Texas justice system I need to pass on before finding a context in which to steal it, because I don't want to forget it: the cowboy gulag.

Mother Jones's Bushwatch section on its website has a link to a Monday LA Times story, not picked up by either the NY Times or Washington Post, about the US's suspiciously fast expulsion of a Honduran diplomat and former general who could tell the truth about John Negroponte--Bush's designee as ambassador to the UN--and his role as Reagan's ambassador to Honduras in covering up death squad activities.

There was an interesting convergence of rhetoric this week in two very different (one would have thought) policy arenas. John Walters, Bush's nominee as True Czar of All the Drugs, does not believe in drug treatment, which he considers part of a liberal
"therapeutic state in which government serves as the agent of personal rehabilitation." Dick Cheney said something similar about conservation only being to make people feel good about their personal virtue.

I think the link here is the continuing Republican vendetta against the 1960s, despite the fact that environmentalism is a movement against reckless consumption and drug-use is in fact reckless consumption.

At Walters's confirmation hearing, I'd love for someone to ask him, if rehab only works in prison, shouldn't the same apply to alcohol, and shouldn't your boss have been sent away? Bush the Younger's alcohol use wasn't even a victimless crime, since he tended to drink and drive.

As bad an idea as school uniforms are in the US, there are other places where they should be a complete non-starter. The leader of the German Christian Democrats calls for school uniforms, saying they improve the children's sense of belonging and community. I think we've all really had enough of Germans' sense of belonging and community.

From the New Statesman, a competition.
Definitions of a 21st-century gentleman:

A gentleman is someone who only wipes his nose on his sleeve in private. [does doing it while driving your car count?]

A gentleman never argues with a lady in public. If she infers from this that she is being patronised and hits him over the head with her handbag, he will not hit her back.

A gentleman is a man who can play the tuba but does not--at least in public.

A gentleman is someone who stands and gives up his seat for a lap-dancer.

Switches off his mobile during sex, unless he can answer it without disrupting his performance.

Apologizes before he farts.

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