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Location: London, United Kingdom
Interests: i am interested in politics in general but particularly international relations and foreign policy. my political views fall somewhere in between Republican and Libertarian. i also enjoy reading and long walks on the beach... no, wait a minute...its not that kind of a forum...
Expertise: attempting to gain expertise in international relations...i do pretty well in regards to europe, the middle east and the americas but i am in possession of a globe and aware that there are other continents, i'm working on it.
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So its Thanksgiving and I'm still on this godforsaken island and I want to go home. Now.
In other news, this week was the State opening of Parliament complete with the Queen's speech which was mercifully short. In it she announced 32 new bills, the product of Blair and Blunkett, Inc. Most of them worthless, some of them disturbing, such as the ID card scheme. They seem to just brush off concerns about infringment of civil liberties and privacy. The Conservative party is currently sitting on the fence about the manner but I hope they take a strong line against the plan, though I doubt it. I also think it might be worth it, electorally and on general principle, to resume a policy of more serious objection to the ever increasing power of the EU. Oppose the Constitution directly and opt for renegotiation of all treaties, turn the organisation back into the economic integration it was intended to be, if you must keep it.
I attended a really interesting lecture at King's College, "The War on Terror in historical perspective." It was the first time I have seen Michael Howard in person, he was two rows in front of me. I really like the war studies department at Kings. I would consider attending graduate school there but as previously mentioned I am ready to go home, at least for a few years.
Sweden was fantastic, very picture-esque. I have a quasi-Marxist German professor of IR (an expert on China no less), during every course I have had with him he makes countless comments about how if someone disagrees with you in America they will just shoot you. But, so he says, if you disagree with someone in Sweden they will just look at you and say "how interesting, lets discuss it". This is presumably because they live in a nice welfare state where there is no violence or poverty and everyone is happy. (Ignore the extremely high suicide rate.) Anyway, my point in all this is while in a TGIFriday's in Sweden, an older gentleman at the next table asked if we were American. We said yes and the very next thing he asked us about was the election. Specifically who we voted for. He said this in a typical European tone of voice, implying that if it wasn't Kerry you are a moron. He didn't look like he thought the topic was "interesting". We steered things into more neutral territory shortly thereafter. And by the way, I saw more than one beggar on the streets of Stockholm.
On to other matters, the story about President Bush stepping into a scuffle involving his bodyguard was certainly interesting. But I imagine the Secret Sevice Agent in question is now extremely embarrassed by all the publicity caused by the incident. I mean, he has spent his entire career in the shadows. He's supposed to only show up in the spotlight if he saves the President's life (or if he fails to do so). I feel bad for him.
And it looks like January 30, 2005 is going to be the big day for Iraq. Here's hoping that all goes well.
Alright, it's been over a week and I can talk about the election now.
It occurs to me that sentenc sounds like I was one of the many people of the world upset by last week's result when in fact I was overjoyed. My guy won and I am genuinely excited by that and I hope he won't break any more conservative hearts in the next four years. I am also excited about the prospect of a Kerry-free world. He's not allowed to come back, right?
But what annoyed me was the post election coverage. It just went on and on. First there was denial by opponents. Then came advice to the losers. We are only now moving out of this phase. Yesterday Bill Clinton was "consoling" other Democratics and offering his own advice. Mostly it was repeating his experiences, be moderate and you'll win. Sounds sensible.
I never did hear where Terry McAullife disappeared to immediately after the election, should someone call the FBI? Obviously he can't continue on in his role in the DNC but it can't be Howard Dean, as some have been suggesting. Have they learned nothing? This is a man who was a front runner but ultimately ran out of steam before the primary season ended. Don't trust him with the future of your party.
Speaking of Dean, I propose that no one even mentions potential candidate for 2008 until after the midterm elections. At least not publicly. I don't even want to think about it right now.
Go forth and read. Jonah Goldberg of National Review has an excellent article, as usual. http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg200411100834.asp
In other news, the Russian parliament has voted against banning beer consumption in public. What on earth is going on in Russia? This is just a symptom of a deeper shift, drinking vodka and other hard spirits in public has already been outlawed. As has the use of people and animals in beer adverts, which can not be shown at all between 7 am and 10 pm. I always thought alcohol was the one thing no Russian government would try to take away from its people.
Well, I am off to Sweden for a few days. Hopefully the world will continue to spin until my return.
Thank God its over.
More later but right now I have a paper on citizenship that I completely forogt about due tomorrow. At least I can stop being so distracted by the election updates and waiting for word of the Kerry consession.
One last thought before election day, and its not even mine.
VIRGINIA POSTREL endorses Bush in terms that I completely agree with:
"I'm not picking a boyfriend here either, or, for that matter, an intellectual mentor. Given the current balance of power in Congress, there are only two things the president can significantly affect: foreign policy and regulatory policy. I prefer Bush to Kerry on both. It's a cold calculation.
Though I supported the war in Iraq, I never thought it would be easy. In fact, I thought things would be worse. It was a high-risk venture, requiring long-term commitment to secure long-term, strategic gains. I wish Bush had warned the public more about the inevitable difficulties, but I do not feel betrayed. I feel no need to lash out at the president.
Voting is an expressive activity, but it need not be emotional. Andrew Sullivan's invocation of "The deep emotional bond so many of us formed with the president back then" does not apply to me. Bush leaves me cold and always has. I never wanted to hang out with him, so I don't take our policy differences personally. I never idolized his leadership, so I don't feel he's failed me. He gets my vote in part because I don't identify with him. He's just a hired hand, and he's better than the alternative."
(thanks to Instapundit.com for bringing this to my attention)