Thursday, April 22, 2004

Historic times

But for real high-level historiography, nobody can beat Dubya: “This is historic times.” Yes it am.

North Korea, which is big on slogans, such as “Each Korean must perform selfless feats to glorify the heroic deeds of leader Kim Jong Il. Burma Shave,” but the Times of London says this one appears in schools: “Try to grow taller.” One study, admittedly of refugees, showed the average 17-year old male North Korean is 5’0, compared to South Koreans, who are 5’8.

Bush says that the world owes Ariel Sharon a “thank you” for his unilateral Gaza/West Bank plans. Think Hallmark makes a card for that?

McDonald’s in Britain, under pressure from a moral panic over obesity even, ahem, larger than here, will include pedometers in its Happy Meals. It takes 5½ hours to walk off a Happy Meal, according to health campaigners, so get waddling!

Poland is considering pulling out of Iraq. According to the prime minister, “Yeah, I know we sent guys on horses against Nazi tanks, but we’re not completely stupid.”

In 1971 the Nixon White House was very concerned to discredit John Kerry (whose military records show he’s believed to have killed 20 Vietnamese, by the way). Said Chuck Colson: “Let's destroy this young demagogue before he becomes another Ralph Nader.” We should be so lucky.

Oh brother:

From the story that’s kept Belgium fascinating for what seems like years now: “Belgium's most notorious paedophile Marc Dutroux said yesterday that a 14-year-old girl who was kidnapped, raped and held in an underground cellar was not his intended victim.” So that’s all right then?

France expels an Algerian imam, resident in France 25 years, for telling a newspaper that he believed the Koran allows husbands to beat adulterous wives, although not on the face, and he added that Muslims should obey French law, which doesn’t allow for such beatings. The Interior Ministry says “The government cannot tolerate remarks against human rights and the dignity of women.” OK, wife-beating bad, dignity of women good, but let’s not talk human rights when we just bundled someone onto a plane for exercising his. Still in France: his two wives and 16 children. He’s probably grateful for the peace and quiet.

Speaking of human rights, war criminal Gen. Wiranto (who may not actually have a first name other than General) has been nominated by the former ruling party of Suharto to run in July’s presidential elections.

Suicide car bombing reaches Saudi Arabia. Since the country exports both oil and Islamic terrorists in great quantity, this seems like an inevitable Reese’s-peanut-butter-cup moment.

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