Monday, March 03, 2003

Drunk upon the floor

British journalist Henry Nevinson, re the Black and Tans in 1921, but with perhaps some slight applicability elsewhere: “It is a terrible thing to feel ashamed of the country one loves. It is like coming home and finding one’s mother drunk upon the floor.”

Everybody says that the recently captured Al Qaida guy is a master of disguise, but no one explains why he was disguised as John Belushi when captured.

The last Caribbean who fought in Europe in World War I dies at 105.

A Martin Amis essay on Iraq and Bush, longish but with several quite good bits.

Ah, democracy. The US has evidently told the Turkish government to tell its Parliament to vote again, and this time get it right (arrogantly, the process of unloading military supplies in Turkey went on like nothing had happened). Why can’t they be more like the Bulgarians, whose Parliament offered bases and support without a single no vote? As a communist state, Bulgaria was the most sycophantic puppet of Moscow.

Speaking of countries that are only allowed democracies if they don’t produce governments and policies the US doesn’t like. Yesterday I noted that the US press had mostly missed Bush’s step back on the issue of Israeli settlements, saying nothing had to be done while there was violence and Arafat was in power, the wholesale adoption of Sharon’s ever-increasing list of demands, in other words. What I missed is that the next day Sharon told the Knesset that expansion of the settlements would be a priority--abandoning the pretext that his building boomlet was to accommodate “natural growth.” According to the Israeli defence minister, the current plan for a Palestinian state is 7 cantons based on the cities, with the rest of the West Bank annexed by Israel, with Israel controlling entry into the 7 bantustans.

Another regime change demanded by American conservatives: NBC is being pressured to fire anti-war activist Martin Sheen from The West Wing. Network execs have already demanded that Sheen explain his views.

A leaked Republican party memo on the environment says that they should pretend that there is no scientific consensus on the danger of greenhouse gases. Consultant Frank Lunz writes, “The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science.” He also says they should never use the frightening phrase “global warming,” but rather “climate change” (and yes, Bush stopped using the phrase last year).

The British advertising regulator bans a McDonald’s commercial because the image of a steak sandwich in the ad looked nothing like the ones they actually sell. A Holocaust on your plate--and the portions are so small!

Yesterday I mentioned text messaging. The BBC has had a competition, classic texts into text messaging.
For ex:

rm rm w4Ru rm? [Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?]

1nc mr un2 T brech dr frnds 1nc mr

0.5a leag 0.5a leag
0.5a leag onwrd
All in T valy o Dth
Rd T 600
"^ T LB!
"Chrg 4T gns" he sd
In2 T valy o Dth
Rd T 600

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

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