Tuesday, May 07, 2002

The comedian Reno is quoted as describing Dubya’s ad lib speaking as like a drunk trying to look sober. Today you could see him desperately trying to remember what you call the place where the Palestinians live, finally settling on “the Palestinian world.”

I assumed that Israel had forged the documents it claims link Arafat to terrorism. Instead, it seems that they just lied about the content of those document. Speaking as an academic, there’s nothing as annoying as shoddy scholarship.

Sharon pissed off the Bush admin by hinting to the ADL while in the US that the Bushies had helped him in preventing the Jenin inquiry.

We got trouble: and while Sharon is in the US a suicide bomber blows up a snooker hall. Which I wouldn’t have mentioned, but I wanted to make the We got trouble joke.

Hilariously, the Israelis and Palestinians were proposing to exile people from the Church of the Nativity to Italy without asking Italy first. Italy says no, meaning it wants a present. Like being the location of the proposed Middle East conference.

Sharon is now making demands about restructuring the Palestinian authority. I thought the Israeli army already did that. And where Powell proposes a conference in which neither Sharon nor Arafat go so they don’t have to meet, Sharon proposes that he go and Arafat not.

I’d been wondering why the US was planning to un-sign the treaty setting up the war crimes court, which seemed like an unnecessary symbolic gesture. But actually, under the Vienna Convention of 1969, if a country has signed a treaty, even if it hasn’t ratified it, it’s not supposed to actively undermine that treaty. So now we can.

The London Times claimed yesterday that Pim Fortuyn’s assassination robbed European politics of its innocence (that was an op-ed headline). Yes, innocence, that was exactly the word I was looking for to describe European politics. A Dutch paper applied the same phrase to the Netherlands, which at least makes more sense. Although if your assassinated politician is a racist, you might wish to rethink the whole innocence angle there too. He was killed by an animal rights activist, which makes it that little bit sillier.

If the NY Times seemed completely unsure what position Fortuyn actually held in the Rotterdam government, it also failed to explain how Chirac was able to just pick a new prime minister in what is supposed to be a parliamentary system (I don’t know the answer to this one myself). He will serve only 6 weeks, but plans to pretend to crack down on crime in a big way to secure the Le Pen voters, acting by decree rather than legislation. Explain to me again how this was a victory for democracy?

The Bushies have now *officially* taken the position that the 2nd Amendment protects the right of individuals, not in a militia, to own guns, evidently including machine guns.

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