Sunday, June 07, 2009

More random shots

This has been one of those double-whammy weeks: The busiest work-week of the month and the start of a cold that Nigel so graciously shared with me. All of that was intensified because the week was shortened by the holiday.

So, here are some things that I didn’t have time to post about this week.

National Party’s stumble

This week the National-led government lost its first minister to scandal-driven resignation. I never liked Richard Worth—he always struck me as an arrogant “I’ll do whatever I want” kind of guy—so I’m not sorry to see him go. Even so, I certainly didn’t pick him to be the first to go or, based solely on performance as a minister, was he necessarily the one who ought to have gone first. Still, good riddance.

The Republican Party is crazy

The US Republican Party, apparently without a clue or plan, and without a reason to legitimately criticise President Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, has decided to attack her by, well, being crazy. Republicans call her “racist”, say she’d be the most “activist” judge ever, and even declaring that the summa cum laude graduate of Princeton is “stupid”. Worse yet, leaders of the party that once demanded a “straight up or down vote” on Bush/Cheney nominees, the party that demanded an end to filibusters in the US Senate, are now urging a filibuster of Sotomayor’s nomination! Incredible.

But not as incredible as the Dark Lord himself, ex-“Vice” President Dick Cheney. In the midst of his “Reinventing the Past” tour, Cheney now says there was never any evidence of a connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks—despite having spent years declaring there was. Then, when only an idiot would still claim that, he fudged the issue, trying to imply there may have been a link. Only now, as he tries to create a new past for himself, does he finally admit the truth. That’s one crazy Republican—crazy like a fox.

Peaceful New Zealand

An Australian research group has ranked New Zealand as the most peaceful nation in the world, out of 144 evaluated. The Global Peace Index is based on things such as political stability, homicide rate, prospect of violent protests and military spending, among other things.

The top ten most peaceful nations are: 1 New Zealand; 2 (equal) Denmark and Norway; 4 Iceland; 5 Austria; 6 Sweden; 7 Japan, 8. Canada; 9 (equal) Finland and Slovenia. Australia was at 19 and the United States was 83. The ten least peaceful: Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad, Pakistan, Russia and Zimbabwe. The complete list is here.

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