December 28, 2006

Some of my best friends are penguins

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Went to the children's bookstore, bought 'And Tango Makes Three' for my 6yo niece. Nice illustrations of penguins in Central Park Zoo. 'Touching and delightful variation on a major theme' - Maurice Sendak. 'Will delight young readers and open their minds' - John Lithgow. Sit down with said niece and my little daughters. The boy penguins, Roy and Silo, 'didn't spend much time with the girl penguins...instead Roy and Silo wound their necks around each other.."They must be in love"' Non-bigot zoo-keeper slips them an egg, which they incubate, hatch and parent. 'Tango was the very first penguin in the zoo to have two daddies.' So turns out the book is straight propaganda for homosexual adoption with the elegant twist that you can't know that until you read it. (By the way the happy gay penguin marriage was broken by a female called Scrappy tho that's not mentioned in the book).

So this is an impressively multilayered lie aimed at children. There's no evidence that the animals were homosexual. Male penguins incubate eggs. One of the penguins mated with a female. The animals were in an utterly artificial setting. The book is packaged to deceive.

By the way, can I have the beautiful word 'gay' back? It's a family name in my family, short for Grace. Lying to children is neither gay nor gracious.

December 25, 2006

The BBC does Mormon

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The BBC correspondent in Bubble, DC, is one of the most self-important people in the world, so "Is America ripe for a Mormon president?" should be definitive as dogma for bien pensants. The signal to snide ratio is about 50/50, but the piece shows the confusion in attitudes of a liberal who 'gave 10 minutes' to encounter real, decent people who subscribe to a worldview anathematized by other secular cardinals . He deals with the conflict by piling on against his version of the other Christian nuts who dominate America.

December 13, 2006

Le weekend

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I took a couple of grown up daughters and a couple of friends to Paris for the weekend. The 2.5 hour train from city-centre to city-centre is great, tho it would have taken as long to wait for a cab at Gare du Nord as the rest of the journey. Incroyable! My experienced nr.3 daughter led us down the Metro at midnight. What surprised me was how friendly the Parisians were. Smiles in every bar and eaterie, English spoken, quite other than the Paris of old. I believe it's a conscious change and I congratulate them.

December 12, 2006

'War on Terror' = 'Bunch of Inept Scuffles'

John Hawkins springboards off a story 'Brits Afraid To Use The Phrase, "War On Terror"' to conclude that:

the Brits of old are fading away and being replaced with people who have more in common with Spain or Italy than they do with their cousins across the pond. That's part of the reason that I think our "special relationship" with the Brits probably won't last much longer than Tony Blair's time in office.

I'll springboard off that with my British reply :

1. John Hawkins' understanding of the UK is probably based on filtered news. When PC stuff happens it's mocked and exposed and there's a strong British cadre in the war party, eg Melanie Phillips, Christopher Hitchens and Mark Steyn (I don't care about his passport, he's British).
2. The BBC and much of the bureaucracy IS screwed. Things can change fast though with the right leadership. Blair did a fine job on Iraq, but that policy stood outside a coherent conservative philosophy. Contrast Thatcher.
3. It IS amazing to me how feeble are voters and parties in the US and the UK. All 3 big parties in the UK are essentially anti-Bush in the most jejune way.

At bottom it's down to leadership within a credible philosophy. Bush, whom I much admire as a man, isn't credible on immigration or spending. Blair, Brown, Cameron (Conservative leader, the most pathetic creep of a politician I've come across) aren't credible as conservatives or patriots. But remember that when forceful leadership took us into Iraq, both electorates responded patriotically. The enthusiasm evaporated because the the post invasion policies ignored the regional context and were weak. Eg Syria and Iran needed terrorizing and al-Sadr needed killing. The Iraq conflict was successfully portrayed as a bunch of inept scuffles preceding an exit without honour. Bush and Blair needed to make it a war to the death with Islamofascism, fought like we mean it. WWII could never have been prosecuted as just a fight for Norwegian ports or Polish freedom.

The risible Insiders' Surrender Group report may provoke a rethink whether the 'War on Terror' is a war against an enemy who wants to kill/enslave us or a local operation in Iraq.

Melanie Phillips :

The ISG report, and his reaction to it, has now ruptured .. consensus management. The big question now is whether Bush has the capacity to follow through, to rise above his warring advisers and follow his moral instincts — to emerge from being a weak chief executive to become a world leader and statesman. In the dying fall of his presidency, does he have the wherewithal to go for broke? On this lonely and frail figure the fate of the free world now depends.

December 08, 2006

Deep pockets and long arms

God, I'm sick of politics. The only things that make sense are chess and sport. If anyone out there cares, here's a long interview with Jose Mourinho, the super-competent, super-confident manager of Chelsea Football Club. which is owned by the super-rich, super-shrewd Roman Abramovich. If you skim over the inside-soccer material (tho fascinating to me), there are insights of self knowledge and team management with zero therapy-speak. Mourinho is affectionately mocked as "The Special One". He'd been an average player who managed an unfashionable club, Porto, to victory in the Champions' League - aka the European Cup, the most prestigious title in club football - and is on track to make Chelski the top club in the world. Abramovich bought the fashionable but underperforming London club in 2003 and hired Mourinho in 2004. Chelsea then won their first English league title in 50 years, then did it again the next year. Abramovich has spent about a billion dollars on the club. It is hard to dream up a more fabulous life than his, a Jewish orphan who is now the richest Russian. He's 40.

The Utility of Useless

Do you remember the judgement of Anna Diggs Taylor against the NSA surveillance program with arguments so thin and embarrassing that it made the Administration's case for it? The Baker report does that for the Victory Strategy in Iraq, Iran and Syria. It holds up the unreality of ancien regime 'realism' for the world to mock.

God may not play dice, but he has a sense of humour to have timed this report to coincide with the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

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Bonnabel Wood