Monday, September 25, 2006

[canada] chat up the governor-general direct online

А venir le 27 septembre 2006; le Bureau du Secrétaire du Gouverneur général. © 2006 Office of the Secretary to the Governor General: There you have it officially – you too can chat with the luscious GG Michaëlle Jean. The site will include forums, blogs and live chats with Mdm. Jean and her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond. The site will host a live chat with Ms. Jean between 7 and 8 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. Damn - i was hoping to run my own forum on that evening. Needless to say, there has been a certain amount of controversy in the land of the Maple Leaf and it remains to be seen how the thing pans out. Clive Davis and Tim Worstall eat your hearts out; this is the new direction of the blogosphere. Or not.

[princess diana] a tragedy [1995 interview transcript]

Very few can be dispassionate about this lady. I’ve just read Clive DavisRise and fall of a Princess and a Prime Minister and he comments on the film: Gradually, we come to see the events through the queen's eyes … [and why] … she is bemused by the modern-day notion of making a display of feeling. This was central to the whole issue of Diana – a headstrong young lady entirely unsuited to the rigours of royal life and to The Firm itself. This was her tragedy. Charles’ tragedy was to have to accede to the family’s wishes on Camilla. Therefore, the day Diana sat on her bed moping and Charles told her he would wait downstairs to attend to the day’s engagements, it was a clash of generations, lifestyles, upbringing and anything else you care to name. Full transcript of her 1995 BBC interview here, which reveals much, if you’re prepared to be dispassionate. She was simply tragic.

[middle-east] hamas castigates fatah

Hamas has cautioned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah that he has "no constitutional power allowing him to dissolve the Legislative Council. Hamas expresses deep surprise and disapproval of recurring calls by the Fatah Movement asking President Abbas to dissolve the parliament and hold new presidential and general elections," the statement said. Hamas then called on Fatah to focus efforts on forming a national unity government "and stop making losing bets and wrong choices which will not solve the problem but further aggravate it." Well, that seems promising - Israel must be watching this one like a hawk.

[two issues] well, i thought they were interesting anyway

How can I run blog round-ups on Wednesdays and Sundays when there's too much happening in between? Get yourself over to the P-G for as neat a piece of logic on the Swiss asylum thing as you'd hope to see: in particular, the UNHCR is frothing at the mouth at the suggestion that those wishing to claim asylum need to be able to show passports. Once you're done there, skip across to Clive Davis and the issue which Stephen Pollard himself is taking issue with : We should consider 'general well-being' as well as gross domestic product when measuring national success; big business has responsibilities to society as well as duties to shareholders; public-sector workers deserve respect; sometimes private enterprise might not have all the answers in public-sector reform; globalisation has losers as well as winners; kids in hooded tops aren't all bad.

[politics] nothing new in the corridors of power

For twenty years he has held a season-ticket on the line of least resistance and has gone wherever the train of events has carried him, lucidly justifying his position at whatever point he has happened to find himself. [Leo Amery on Herbert Asquith 1915]

[pope] stop apologizing - now!

Leonard Pitts Jnr., in the Houston Chronicle, makes a good point, two in fact: In the first place, clumsily framed as it was, Benedict's point was clear and unassailable: True religion and violence are mutually exclusive. In the second place, the violent response of some Muslims not only makes the pope's point but also slanders their religion more effectively than some centuries-old quote ever could. Now it’s my turn. The Big Guy in the Sky made the point that ‘you’ll know them by their fruits’. What are the fruits here? The Pope has vacillated, when the Christian world he represents expected firmness. I say this was no accident. I also say he might not be whom he claims to be. There have been some strange moves of late. Perhaps it’s just the crushing pressure of P2, which still paces the corridors, perhaps he’s just getting old. Whatever, it’s clearly wrong and the Imams do not respect it.

[samantha brett] the girl’s done it again

When Forbes Magazine recently published a story by Michael Noer revealing there's a certain type of woman to avoid marrying, shockwaves rippled through the dating scene. After all, if it wasn't hard enough to find a date already, Noer was now denouncing an entire group of eligible bachelorettes! He writes: "Guys: a word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career." Comment here.

[in brief] some nice news for a change

Fans of the Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond have raised so much cash for an air ambulance charity after his near-300mph dragster crash that he could have a new helicopter named after him. I think he’d be more delighted that the air-ambulance are getting the funds and may I go further – if he were aware of this amount being raised for the charity, it would buck him up no end – the power of mind over matter. In other words, it might just speed his recovery along.

[that interview] clinton on killing bin laden

You figure it: "That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now," Clinton said on Fox News Sunday. "They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try, they did not try." And further: "I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked, 'Why didn't you do anything about the Cole?' I want to know how many people you asked, 'Why did you fire Dick Clarke?" Wallace later countered that he was surprised by Clinton's "conspiratorial view" of "a very non-confrontational question". Clinton continued: "And you’ve got that little smirk on your face and you think you're so clever, but I had responsibility for trying to protect this country. I ... did everything I thought I responsibly could." On NBC's Meet the Press, Clinton said the biggest problem confronting the world today is: "the illusion that our differences matter more than our common humanity. That's what's driving the terrorism." In other words, Bin Laden and co are results of a process. Interesting thought but how to turn it to advantage?

[tony & hazel] anyone have a bucket handy

The only lines from the Guardian worth commenting on: Disappointing those who have criticised the "marketisation" of state services, Mr Brown will say that the public and private sectors must work together. Rivetting. Meanwhile: Hazel Blears has heaped praise on Tony Blair, telling delegates Mr Blair had been a "great leader" and an "inspiration" to the Labour Party. I can report that there is absolutely no evidence Tony and Hazel are an item, nor that they are joining John, Edwina, Sarah, Clare, Robin and Gaynor in Majorca for a naughty weekend in early October. That's just scurrilous scuttlebutt.