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11/18/2003 Archived Entry: "Bush's visit Part II"
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Here's some questions I'd like to hear asked at Bush's next press conference.
The Financial Times reports, "When Mr Bush and his wife Laura arrive at Heathrow [this evening], they will be whisked to Buckingham Palace [Buck House] and kept enclosed in a 'security bubble' designed to keep them clear of demonstrators and the threat of terrorist attack." The visit, planned months ago, had been expected to be a four-day victory tour "with Iraq relatively stable and its elusive weapons of mass destruction unearthed. What had not been anticipated was the present chaos and mounting death toll." Now, as the Guardian comments, "Mr Bush is to fly in...for the first state visit since President Woodrow Wilson in 1918, whose path was strewn with roses by a people grateful for his help during the war. There will be no such public welcome for Mr Bush, and protesters will dog his path until he leaves on Friday evening." Blair will undoubtedly sag with relief when the plane departs British soil. Already his image as Bush's "poodle" is being resurrected in the British media. Bush may be relieved as well. Even his ace-in-the-hole -- photo ops with the Queen -- may not have much re-election currency given the erupting scandal surrounding both Prince Charles' sexuality and how the royals have been handling various legal matters. The British press is so furious at being pre-emptively muzzled re: PC that they are likely to turn on anyone riding on the royal coat tails. (I wonder if PC will be in any of pics.) The entire trip is a lose-lose situation: the reputation of everyone involved is lowered by association with everyone else involved. The only people who "win" are the protestors who have a proximate cause around which to coalesce with renewed vigor: their hostility toward "The Cowboy." Last I heard, the organizers of the major protest march through London, planned for Thursday, have been finally granted permission to parade past key government buildings where Bush will be holding meetings. Bush may not see them but you can be sure they will be seen by the media who will seek them out rather than run, like the President. So much for the French being "cheese-eating surrender monkeys." Bush's sensibilities are so delicate that he can't even stand up in the British Parliament to deliver the speech he had requested and arranged because harsh words might directed his way from those unpredictable, whacky Brit ministers. (See yesterday's blog.) What a barbeque-chomping surrender monkey *he* is!
Meanwhile, other British factors may well influence the upcoming US election...and not in Bush's favor. Also from the Guardian: "George Bush will be served notice today that the deep hostility towards him in Britain has reached the Blair inner circle, when the former minister Stephen Byers launches a bid to destabilise the president's re-election campaign next year. On the eve of Mr Bush's state visit to Britain, Mr Byers, an arch-Blairite, will set out proposals to help Democrats in key swing states if the White House refuses to abandon punitive trade sanctions against the UK. Acting with the tacit approval of Blair supporters, who were enraged when Mr Bush imposed tariffs on imports of British steel to shore up his vote, the former trade and industry secretary will call for sanctions to be imposed on four key marginal states which the president will need to win." The states and exports to be targeted include Floride (citrus products), Wisconsin (apples and paper), Tennessee (chemicals), and Iowa (agricultural equipment). Bush will howl about the turpitude of Brits -- foreigners! -- who try to influence the elections and politics of another nation, of course. When I learned of his high-profile Presidential plans to visit families of dead British soldier -- more photo ops -- while, at the same time, steadfastly ignoring the families and corpses of American soldiers, I realized there was no bottom against which the man's hypocrisy will come to rest. And, so, even as troops are poised in Afghanistan and Iraq, ousting leaders and constructing new governments, he will denounce British meddling in American affairs... Among the many things for which I cannot forgive Bush, high on the list is that he makes me long for Clinton.
Yesterday I mentioned the "hidden" provisions in HR 3077, an education bill. To continue along that theme.... Kent Snyder of the Liberty Committee has written a fine piece on a Medicare bill currently before the House. He writes, "The Medicare prescription-drug bill is 1,071 pages. Members of Congress will not get a copy of the bill until Wednesday or Thursday leaving them only one or two days to read, study and understand it before casting their vote on Friday or Saturday. Most House members were barred from the closed-door negotiations, even though special interests were consulted along the way. Summaries of parts of the bill are being slowly and selectively released to members of Congress, the media and the public by the staff of the committee that wrote it. We will have only a few days to learn, in fact, what is in those 1,071 pages." Kent provides a link at which you can protest such railroading.
On a *much* happier note, I'm looking forward to reading Chris Sciabarra's freshly released SOLO monograph on Objectivism and homosexuality. I would say it is a "must read" but that's redundant; I've already mentioned Chris is the author. For those of you still hesitating, the following is the tract's announcement: AYN RAND, HOMOSEXUALITY, AND HUMAN LIBERATION: A New Monograph by Chris Matthew Sciabarra With a foreword by Lindsay Perigo. A SOLO Initiative, Published by Leap Publishing, Cape Town, South Africa. Release Date: 11 November 2003. Price: $9.95. Order from SOLO HQ. In this provocative work, an expansion of his five-part series that appeared in THE FREE RADICAL, Chris Matthew Sciabarra explores Ayn Rand's impact on the sexual attitudes of self-identified Objectivists in the movement to which she gave birth and the gay subcultures that she would have disowned. Sciabarra's study challenges Rand's conventional attitudes toward homosexuality and reclaims her legacy for a ~human~ liberation that is open to all rational men and women---of whatever sexual orientation.
Best to all,