Friday, June 22, 2007

They’re looking for power vacuums into which they can move their ideology as well as their strategies

From the London Times: “The Pakistani government minister [Religious Affairs Minister Ijaz ul-Haq, son of 1970s military dictator Zia ul-Haq] who claimed that the award of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie could justify suicide bomb attacks announced yesterday that he plans to visit Britain on a mission to promote interfaith dialogue.”

By the way, note to the Muslim world: these days knighthoods are purely honorific; they aren’t actually required to put on armor, get on a horse and join the Crusades.

The Pakistan Ulema Council responded by giving the equivalent of a knighthood, the title Sword of God to Osama bin Laden. That may very well require putting on armor, etcetera.

Poland is demanding greater voting rights in EU councils once they are restructured to account for new members. Currently, it has disproportionate power, but the new system will match population. Poland says it deserves votes proportional to the population it claims it would have had if not for World War II (66 million versus its actual 38 million), although it is proposing voting being weighted according to the... wait for it... square root of a country’s population.

Yesterday, Bush attended a fundraiser for Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama. He said to the attendees, “I thank you for your hard-earned money, which will make it clear to the people of Alabama that this guy is the right man to represent you in the United States Senate for six more years.” Because nothing makes someone’s senatorial fitness clearer than money. We know Republicans believe that, they just don’t say it in public as often as they did under, say, McKinley or Eisenhower.

Bush loves to talk about Al Qaida and vacuums, and it’s always comical gold: “And remember, al Qaeda and the extremists love chaos. They’re looking for power vacuums into which they can move their ideology as well as their strategies.” And then they’re all, hey dude, can you help me move my ideology as well as my strategies into my cool new vacuum, and I’ll like order some pizza?

For a man with a not-very-large vocabulary, he doesn’t actually know the meanings of all that many of the words he does use. On Democrats: “Well, first of all, you can’t raise enough money on the rich to whet their appetite.”

Do you think Bush would like a knighthood, a horse and a suit of armor? Would that Cervantes were alive to chronicle the adventures of the Knight of the Simian Countenance.

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