Old and slightly suspect joke corner
Aaro on circumcision
Not a lot to say, just gradually playing myself back into the game after the summer lull.
(incorporating "World of Decency")
As I thought about the objections, I felt the temptation to shrug my shoulders and conclude that all that the happiness economists have done is to recast the old arguments between left and right without settling them. But that isn't fair. New ways of thinking produce new results. If the government goes ahead with the planned expansion of airports, protesters will now be able to put an exact figure on how much distress living under a flight path will cause - just as those who object to new commuter towns will be able to say that regular long-distance travel is a good route to mental distress.
If Gordon Brown wants any tips on saving Darfur, then he should ask Clooney, who discovered it as a worthwhile cause long ago.
IN INTERVIEWS to promote his new film Good Night, and Good Luck, a stern George Clooney has instructed journalists that we have "a duty to speak truth to power".
He's right. If I had been sensible, I'd have given-up this political guff and become a showbiz reporter years ago. The editor would then have paid me to fly to the Golden Globes in Los Angeles. And yesterday when Clooney picked-up his award for best supporting actor, I could have taken him at his word and bellowed, "Oi, George! You've got a pretty face but no talent."
As it is, I am stuck in London writing about the bloody Private Finance Initiative.
TO George Clooney's Syriana, whose incomprehensible plot left me more
shocked than awed. If I understood him, he was trying to say that America's policy in the Middle East was "all about oil".
Ah, so that's why America insisted on sanctions on Iraqi oil from 1991
to 2003. That's why Bush spent an enormous amount of blood and treasure overthrowing Saddam Hussein rather than allowing his friends in the Texas oil industry to cut a lucrative deal.
What got to me afterwards was that the reviewers ignored Clooney's
airbrushing of history and praised his "bravery". Dear me, it is not brave in liberal Hollywood to oppose Bush. The brave thing to do in liberal Hollywood is to make a film supporting American policy, which is why no one does.
ADVOCATING FOR ACTION. Not On Our Watch will work to focus international attention on the continuing carnage in Darfur, encouraging governments and international organizations to take meaningful action to protect the vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced. Where governments have remained silent, we are committed to working to render otherwise invisible atrocities, visible.
All-round good-guy Conor Foley writes about What's Left? over at the Guardian's Comment is Free. A sample:
Cohen's book has been very thoroughly "fisked" for factual errors, of which there are many, but I think that this is to miss its real point. The chapters on Bosnia-Herzegovina, for example, are so ludicrous that no one who knows anything about the Balkans would take them seriously. But that is not Cohen's intention. Asking him what he would actually do about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur is like quizzing a Militant paper-seller on the impact that "nationalising the top 200 monopolies" might have had on Britain's public sector borrowing requirement (PSBR). "It is a transitional demand, you idiot," I hear someone screaming from a historical dustbin.