Saturday, January 22, 2005

I support breast equality

When Arafat was alive, the State Department (and Thomas Friedman, who just thinks he’s the State Department) frequently issued fiats demanding that he say this or that... in Arabic. The charge being that he said one thing to the West in English and another to his own people. So what the WaPo story headlined “Arabs Say U.S. Rhetoric Rings Hollow” is really asking is, will the US say the same thing in Arabic that it says in English. Another article, “Bush Speech Not a Sign of Policy Shift, Officials Say,” answers that question with a resounding “No.”

In fact, Dan Bartlett insists, “it is not to say we’re not doing this already. It is important to crystallize the debate to say this is what it is all about, to say what are our ideals, what are the values we cherish.” In other words, it’s all about--and only about--re-branding. Which we all knew, but I didn’t expect to hear a Bushie admit it just a day later.

By the way, all those commentators who are so impressed with Shrub’s “bold,” “sweeping” proclamation of a crusade to end tyranny everywhere, his shift from opposing “nation-building” to advocating Utopia-building, should note that this is actually a narrowing of focus. After 9/11, Bush said he would “rid the world of evil” (like Kane in “Kung Fu,” I said at the time). So just restricting that to tyranny is really a step down.

Speaking of ending tyranny, the LA Times has an article about a public defender fighting for the right of women to go topless in California’s beaches and parks, where now only man-boobs are allowed free rein. Her slogan: “I support breast equality.” Women convicted of indecent exposure have to register as sex offenders.

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