Tuesday, January 28, 2003

And the State of the Union is...the envelope, please...strong!

In Davos, Colin Powell strayed from his script and used the words “great crusade.” You just may hear more about this. He also says again that Saddam is running out of time. If the Bush admin had a theme song, it would be the one from Jeopardy.

Another amazing scoop from the Guardian: “Arab World: US Flag Burnt in Protests.”

CBS says the Iraq war will start with a bombardment of 300-400 cruise missiles, in the first day, more than in the whole 1991 war. And the same again the second day.

The Comcast cable company refused to accept anti-war commercials to run on CNN in the DC region during the State of the Union address (obviously not actually during, but that’s what AP says).

If the US didn’t like Libya getting the chair of the UN human rights commission, I really don’t think it will be pleased in May when the chair of the Conference on Disarmament goes to Iraq (it goes alphabetically).

In preparation for war, many American soldiers are making deposits at the sperm bank (some of which have military discounts). Many of them are less afraid of being killed than of being Gulf War Syndromed into infertility.

From the Daily Telegraph: A convicted burglar has been given legal aid to sue the police for sending him a Valentine's card last year. Gary Williams, who has a 12-year criminal record, was one of 10 known burglars and car criminals who received cards from Brighton police. But when he opened the card, his girlfriend thought it must be from another woman. She was so cross that, before he could explain, she hurled an ashtray at him, and it went whistling past his head. Williams, 26, will go to the High Court next month to seek a judicial review of the actions of Ken Jones, the chief constable of Sussex. He is seeking damages, arguing that the card was malicious and caused him distress.

State of the Union address, some random quotes and sarcastic comments:

“No one was ever healed by a frivolous lawsuit.” Did he not see Patch Adams, in which Robin Williams taught us the healing power of frivolity?

Creepiest line to a secularist: “we will transform America one heart and one soul at a time.”

He said we should set a high standard for humanity by banning cloning. Makes it sound like an entrance test.

On Saddam Hussein: “If this isn’t evil, evil has no meaning.” That would be very worrying to Boy George, whose vocabulary is already pretty small.

Another word in his vocabulary that he trotted out several times is security. For example, he talked about a peace between a secure Israel and a democratic Palestine (on the same day that the first part of the BBC news at 3 was given over to a live broadcast of Sharon’s victory speech, which actually made me more nauseous than Shrub’s). And he would defend the “freedom and security of the American people.” Who precisely is threatening the freedom of the American people? No one, but you’re not supposed to look at the construction that closely. The problem is that security is a purely negative virtue, so he needed to pair it with a positive one. Or more positive, since freedom itself is only the absence of restrictions. Which is why the speech only offered freedom to Iraq, not democracy.

He actually brought up those damned aluminum tubes again, saying they were “suitable for atomic weapons production.”

Nothing about Osama. Guess Bush isn’t mad at him anymore.

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