Thursday, March 10, 2005

Unrelated News

A Very Clever Man
I have looked up something written by one of my all time favourite authors, Douglas Adams. I wish he was still with us. I remember reading this for the first time probably 15 years ago. It stuck in my mind as a succinct analysis of the problems inherent in a democratic system. It seems to me to be particularly appropriate to the current political climate both here and in the US. After a period of searching (I couldn't remember which book it was in) I have tracked it down. Here it is:

"To summarize: it is a well known fact, that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem."
Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Ch 28.

If you don't know what Douglas offers as an alternative I highly recommend that you read the book. In fact, read the trilogy of five. I can't offer a better solution myself, I'm just not that clever.

US and Iran
Several websites have reported that Scott Ritter, former weapons inspector in Iraq, has said that Mr Bush has signed off on orders to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities in June. I don't know if there is any truth to these reports but given what has happened in Iraq it certainly seems possible. Considering the abject failure of the US intelligence community with regard to WMD in Iraq it might be reasonable to assume that a more cautious approach would be in order. I found a report on Al Jazeera Online which seems a suitable link to post with this in mind.

An Edit on 27:03:05
- is the official Aljazeera online site. The link below may not be. I'm not sure what it is. I'd look at the site above and leave the one below well alone for now. Edit over.

U.S. panel faults intelligence on Iran’s nuclear weapons
I suppose only time will tell what the truth of all this is.

Agent Orange
It is well known that the US military used Agent Orange as a defoliant during the Vietnam war. The Guardian website is reporting a story from AP that a US judge has dismissed a lawsuit on behalf of 4 million Vietnamese citizens affected by this chemical. The story can be found in full at:,1282,-4856325,00.html
along with a web address for further information on Agent Orange. On this site I found a US government poster which can be viewed at:
(Not links, I'm apprehensive about too many links, especially to US sites.)
If you've looked these up you might notice a variation in attitude which is difficult to explain.

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