Wednesday, June 08, 2005

It just gets better as the Geldof Goat Rodeo shapes up!

Bob Geldof up the proverbial creek
Bob Geldof without paddle

Now Geldof calls up fleet for G8 armada:
Geldof yesterday sparked new fears of G8 chaos as he invited thousands of French protesters to descend on Edinburgh, promising a Dunkirk-style flotilla of small ships to carry them across the Channel.

Already reeling from Geldof's call for a "million-man" march through the city's streets, Lothian and Borders Police warned protesters to stay away if they had no accommodation.

And the coastguard service, which was not told in advance of Geldof's plans, also expressed concern that his armada would be crossing some of the world's busiest seaways.

One Scottish politician also said he was worried that Geldof's plan was being "made up as it goes along".
And pulled out of his ventral orifice.

On the rational side of things, Andrew Bolt weighs in:
Geldof has plenty of backing, and not just from lords of rock such as Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Sting and U2.

Britain's Labor Government is behind him, as is a coalition of church groups, unions and charities called End Poverty Now. Anarchist groups also plan to join his festival of anger.
Be there or be square, I guess. If you aren't too particular about the company you keep.
The official Live 8 demands -- endorsed by the Blair Government -- seem simple: "This without doubt is a moment in history where ordinary people can grasp the chance to achieve something truly monumental, and demand from the eight world leaders at G8 an end to poverty."

An end to poverty? How?

"By doubling aid, fully cancelling debt, and delivering trade justice for Africa."

Notice how none of the solutions involve African countries doing much themselves? But this always was more about us than them.

What a terrible fraud.

More aid might help Africa. Freer trade most certainly would. But nothing can truly help Africa until it helps itself -- by becoming as free, open and accountable as is the West.

But who wants to go to rock concerts to demand an end to African corruption? That's so . . . judgmental.
Tsk, in the best circles, it's not polite to mention the thugs!
Let Kenya be a warning.

The British High Commissioner there, Sir Edward Clay, has publicly accused corrupt officials of "vomiting on the shoes of donors", and named 20 big public projects riddled with graft.

In February, the US Ambassador, William Bellamy, backed him, saying the money stolen in one of those projects could have paid for enough anti-retroviral drugs for every HIV-positive Kenyan for the next 10 years.
That must be an ice water douche for ole Bob. More bad news in It's tyranny stupid!:
It's a notion that forms the foundation stone of the Africa Commission.

'Things are changing on the continent, with African governments showing a
new vision ... Africa, at last, looks set to deliver,' the commission's report gushes, while assuring us it has done its best to be 'blisteringly honest'.

To which, in 'blisteringly honest' mode, I can only say: utter balls.
Let's take a few examples. Uganda, say, where President Yoweri Museveni, who once said no African leader should spend more than 10 years in power, has now governed for nearly two decades and is set on amending the constitution to allow him to stand again. It's strange that the Museveni case doesn't weigh more on Geldof's mind, as Sir Bob was recently demonised in Uganda's press for telling Museveni to step down.

And then there's Kenya. True, the opposition won the elections there in 2002 and, for once, an old-style Big Man leader agreed to stand down. But the public mood has turned sour and angry, for the corruption of President Mwai Kibaki's new administration makes Daniel arap Moi's regime look almost restrained. The American ambassador to Nairobi worked out that the sums stolen could have paid for every HIV-positive Kenyan to get antiretroviral treatment for a decade.

Take Ethiopia and Eritrea, whose leaders are arms-shopping while relying on the international community to feed their drought-hit millions. Or Ivory Coast, where Laurent Gbagbo has encouraged the militias who support his presidency to talk the language of genocide. Or Ghana, where President John Kufuor's new administration, local commentators estimate, include more than a dozen members of his family. But enough.

The point is that there are precious few signs of this enlightened 'new leadership'. The fact that more African countries are run by nominally elected governments instead of military dictatorships obscures just how structurally similar the new administrations often remain to what went before. The elites that have sabotaged development since independence have adapted to the times, learning to play the democracy game with panache. Africa's lootocracies have reinvented themselves.
More by following the links, but I have one question that doesn't seem to have been asked: Can Bob Geldof be sued for damages caused by the Million Goof March?

It's the Third Way!

Cherie Blair

For pulling in big bucks while you are a politician in office. Hillary was on the board of Wal-Mart and doing all sorts of politically connected "legal work" while Bubba was Governor of Arkansas. Linda Daschle was a big bucks lobbyist while Tom was Senate Majority Leader. And Cherie Blair gives paid interviews while Tony is PM:
For weeks, Downing Street had been insisting that Cherie Blair's lucrative speaking engagement in the US was entirely a 'private' visit, in her capacity as a barrister and mother of four.

So it may have come as a surprise to her fee-paying audience yesterday when she was given gushing introductions by none other than the British Ambassador to Washington and Senator Hillary Clinton.
Her remarks came on another day of controversy when ambassador Sir David Manning's presence, in particular, led to renewed accusations that Mrs Blair is cashing in on her husband's status and pulling in favours from his political friends.

The row threatened to overshadow his talks with President Bush, as Shadow Commons leader Chris Grayling wrote to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw demanding to know why a British diplomat was supporting an entirely commercial event.

Mrs Blair was paid between £20,000 and £30,000 for the 90-minute interview at the John F Kennedy Centre in Washington DC. She later rounded off her 'private' visit with a stay at the British Embassy and dinner at the White House.
"There are strict guidelines which prevent ministers from making money out of their position, yet Mrs Blair is allowed to do so even though Mr Blair will clearly be a beneficiary of the money she makes.'

Despite Mrs Blair's interview with CNN anchorwoman Paula Zahn being billed as a sell-out, the 2,450-seat auditorium was barely half full for her talk.
It does sound like a snoozer. But heck, whatever works.
To date, Mrs Blair has made an estimated £170,000 from speaking engagements, including a 'charity' tour of Australia in February which earned her £100,000.
Just a little walking around money.

Here's some good news to start off your morning

TB seen in many aliens, study says:
A multidrug-resistant tuberculosis known as MDR-TB is persistent in California, primarily among its "foreign-born" population, and has serious financial implications for the state's public-health system, federal and state health officials said yesterday.

"Treatment for MDR-TB is very expensive -- ranging from $200,000 to $1.2 million per person, over an 18- to 24-month time period," said Dr. Reuben Granich, a lead investigator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a press conference in the District yesterday.
He added that 84 percent of patients infected with MDR-TB "were foreign born" and that those infected are four times as likely to die from the disease and twice as likely to "transmit the disease to others" than other tuberculosis patients.

The study did not categorize the "foreign-born" patients as illegal aliens, but says the patients in question characteristically did not complete standard TB treatment and were in the U.S. less than five years at the time of diagnosis.
Hmm, sounds like a duck.
"TB is a deadly airborne disease and a global public-health emergency. If we hope to accelerate progress and guard against resurgence of TB, we must employ innovative public-health strategies -- not border closings," Dr. Granich said.
With all due respect to the doc, it sounds like border control would be a pretty good strategy, but I'll bite - what does he recommend instead?
Overall, he said, the study underscores the need for better control of TB worldwide and the expansion of overseas screening programs.
Gosh, that's real practical - control TB everywhere else in the world to keep contagious illegal aliens from bringing it to the US. The doc then finished off his presentation with a chorus of Kumbaya. And remember, Californians, if you have to go to the emergency room, don't sit next to anyone with a cough!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Who knew anyone in the State Department short of Condi Rice had a spine?

Judge wants to question U.S. troops on Iraq deaths:
MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish judge wants to question three U.S. soldiers as suspects in the death of a Spanish cameraman who was killed when a U.S. tank fired on a hotel housing foreign journalists during the 2003 assault on Baghdad.

"It would be a very, very cold day in hell before that would ever happen," said a State Department official, who asked not to be named.
"I just cannot imagine how any U.S. soldier can be subject to some kind of foreign proceeding for criminal liability when he is in a tank in a war zone as part of an international coalition," the State Department official added.
The best part is the judge, Santiago Pedraz, is willing to come to USA to question them "as suspects for murder and for crimes against the international community." I expect this blog is a "crime against the international community" too. C'mon over, Santiago! You're sure to receive a warm welcome. Hot even.

Dang, that's scary!

John Kerry college photo

Via Wizbang!. The Lurch snap, at least. Oops - Jaws or Lurch? It's so hard to decide!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Mark Steyn:
According to the World Bank's Doing Business report, in Canada it takes two days to incorporate a company; in Mozambique, it takes 153 days. And Mozambique's company law has been unchanged since 1888. In the midst of the unending demands that Bush do this, Blair do that, do more, do it now, would it be unreasonable to suggest that, after 117 years, the government of Mozambique might also be obligated to do something about its regulatory regime?

Meanwhile, next door in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe's government is being given hundreds of thousands of tons of emergency supplies from the UN's World Food Programme. At the press conference, James Morris, head of the WFP, was at pains to emphasise that the famine was all due to drought and Aids, and certainly nothing to do with Mr Mugabe's stewardship of the economy. Some of us remember that during the 2002 G8 summit, also devoted to Africa, Zimbabwe's government ordered commercial farmers to cease all operations.

But still neither the UN nor his fellow African leaders will hear a word against Mr Mugabe. Listening to Mr Morris, the old monster must have laughed so hard his Chinese-made rubber penis fell off. (A popular Harare rumour, which I mention only in the hopes that old 1970s supergroups will organise a "Codpieces for Africa" fundraiser. It's outrageous that dictators should have to make do with these cheapjack Chinese models.)
Gosh, I'd contribute! But there's a serious punchline:
The issue in Africa in every one of its crises - from economic liberty to Aids - is government. Until the do-gooders get serious about that, their efforts will remain a silly distraction.

Drat those pesky little people!

In the land down under, Professor Bunyip spots a beauty:
The Parkville Asylum's Judith Armstrong works herself into a state of incoherent fury at those selfish French and Dutch voters who scuttled, at least for now, the EU Constitution.
...a clear majority of the supposedly civilised French and Dutch populations have put fear and self-protection ahead of global balance. If, as the adage goes, education is wasted on the young, it is tempting to wonder whether democracy is not wasted on voters.
Fancy that! They thought of their own interests, voted accordingly -- and now Armstrong wonders if democracy might not be "wasted" on those wretched little people, the ones just too dim to see matters as she does.
Those crude unsophisticated Aussies! In the USA the leftoids just unleash the lawyers and get a pet judge to declare that what the citizens want is unconstitutional or not in accordance with "international law."

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Dominique de Villepin - Surrender flunkey:
De Villepin has become prime minister just as the electorate has indicated its firm displeasure with the political elite, yet there is possibly no greater exponent of elitist government than this vainglorious strutter.
His poetry, self-published, is pretty average doggerel. Chirac's wife has nicknamed the new Prime Minister "Nero", on account of that emperor's execrable verse. In his prose, too, de Villepin favours the florid turn of phrase. Pseuds' Corner, in Private Eye, may have a significant new contributor on its hands.

Recently, in an essay on France's need for national confidence (which, note, is not quite the same thing as Euro federalism), de Villepin wrote: "Let us stop drinking from the enchanted waters of Lethe, which strike with amnesia those who want to quench their thirst, and let us dare to taste those 'fresh waters that run from the Lake of Memory' - as the words say on the golden bars of the disciples of Orpheus, that bard of metamorphosis and of ascending reincarnation."
This guy's full of more crap than a Christmas goose.

It's a steel cage match!

Those Euros sure know how to arrange an action packed wrasslin' spectacle! Tony Blair has deep-sixed the EU Constitution enraging Jacques and Gerhard who are still going for it. However, the dynamic duo have an ambush of their own for Tony and are trying to get the other EU countries to join in. But that's all part of the EU budget free-for-all and who knows whose side anyone is on?

Wait, there's more! From the first link above:
Mr Blair, who will seek to shift the focus of his administration on to poverty in the Third World this week during talks with President Bush, has told his closest allies: "Africa is worth fighting for. Europe, in its present form, is not."
And on this wackiness, Jacques is on Tony's side. but Gerhard isn't and the new wrestlers being dragged into the match from the other G8 countries aren't sure what the heck is going on but don't like it much. And even better, this part of the scrap has audience participation! Even some members of the audience that are really weird and scary are joining in!

Dang! Where's the popcorn and the beer?