Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Weasel Words, and other intellectual fodder

There are times where the news is pretty dry and tedious, and then there are days where you wonder just what it was that got put into the soil, because all sorts of interesting things a sprouting all over the place.

Let's start with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's "Glad to Work for an American Idiot" tour now proceeding through Europe.

Says Ms. Rice:

“As a matter of U.S. policy,” Ms. Rice said the United Nations Convention against Torture “extends to U.S. personnel wherever they are, whether they are in the U.S. or outside the U.S.”


Okay - in principle, this means that US Government Personnel (presumably this would include the CIA (extraordinary "rendition"), Military (remember Abu Ghraib?) and other services would be prohibited.

What's not so clear is the "contract security" forces such as Aegis and BlackWater they have on the ground in Iraq. Is a contractor "government personnel", or does the high command in the pentagon view them as "separate from"?

Then Rush Limbaugh claims that the 4 hostages held in Iraq this week might be a hoax. (and the right wing has the gall to claim that any left wing commentator that disagrees with them is a moonbat? - Limbaugh needs some serious medication to deal with those hallucinations he's having. I'm sure his perspective would be different if he was sitting in Iraq with a few loons point Kalashnikovs at him for the last ten days or say - giving you your choice of beheading techniques.

Closer to home, NDP leader Jack Layton made a swing through Quebec and stepped into the minefield of Quebec Separatism by suggesting that voters who had given up on Canada might as well "vote for the Bloc". Methinks he stepped in a fresh one there...

In yet another move that demonstrates a lack of foresight and grounding in reality on the part of the CPC, we have this little gem in which Harper claims that under his government, Canada will assert control over the Grand Banks regions that are outside of Canada's 200 mile territorial limits. Or is he planning to take his cues from his Uncle Bush down in Washington and simply start ignoring treaties and international conventions that Canada is signatory to? (Maritime law being one of the few areas of international 'law' that seems to be somewhat concrete)

The Liberals seem to be doing their level best to take the high road so far by avoiding the mud-slinging aspects of campaigning. Somehow, I expect this to change come the beginning of January. Expect to see a lot of material going after the Conservatives - in particular the unstated aspects of their campaign - or those issues where CPC MPs (esp. Mr. Harper) have written things in the past that are, well, regrettable.

One can only imagine what the world will deliver tomorrow...

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