Sunday, August 22, 2004

It would be lovely

An interesting counterpoint to the military service or lack of it of those children of privilege, Bush and Kerry, is Prince William, who is talking about joining the military, but the Ministry of Defence doesn’t necessarily want the aggravation of trying to keep him from being killed while pretending they’re not coddling him. William, however, has said, "A career in the armed services would be the best thing at the moment because it would be lovely to recognise all the hard work that the armed forces are doing." I don’t need to point out the not-especially-martial word in that sentence.

"More than 40% of British adults have admitted comfort eating to mask feelings of sadness, tension or anger," according to the Guardian. I’ve eaten in Britain: comfort is not the word that comes to mind. In fact, the #1 cause in Britain of feelings of sadness, tension or anger is British cuisine.

Don’t know how I missed this story: "Unfortunately, my fellow Klansmen judged me solely on the colour of my robe. But I can’t help what colour my robe is, can I? It’s what’s inside that counts."

The hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners is in its second week, the number of strikers is over 3,000, the lack of interest by the rest of the world is almost total. I don’t even have enough information to tell you if I consider their demands legitimate, and I don’t know if they’re planning to carry the strike through to death. If so, a massive strike is precisely the wrong way to do it, because only a minority of people, however dedicated, are prepared to see their body consume itself. The high participation rate in the hunger strike, which is at least 3/4, and may be nearly all of the security prisoners, suggests that some prisoners were coerced or morally pressured into joining, which would be spectacularly immoral. The hunger strike is a tricky form of protest, ethically speaking, with rules that must be followed. In Gandhi’s words, "Fasting is a fiery weapon. It has its own science."

A WaPo editorial notes that the investigation of Gen. Boykin was designed to focus on petty technicalities without forcing Bush and Rumsfeld to denounce his blatant Islamophobia. One misstep in the article: "Such beliefs are the general's right, but when a senior defense official utters them in public, they undermine just about every value the administration is trying to project in this war." Not trying to project, pretending to project. Big difference.

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