September 3, 2012 – Week in Review

More Republicans, Harvard and, oh my god, Bob’s got something good to say about the Muslim Brotherhood and the UN!  At the same time!!  Here’s a look back at some of the more interesting stories from last week (yeah, I’m late, hey it’s a long weekend).

Where do they find these morons?

Last week’s Republican National Convention was marred by an ugly little incident in which two “attendees” were removed for throwing nuts at a black CNN camera woman and saying “this is how we feed the animals”.

Now, on one level, simply being that racist and offensive displays a profound level of stupidity on the part of the two offenders. But, given that you’re a racist, how stupid do you have to be, even by the debased standards of your average racist, to make racist comments like that to a CNN CAMERAWOMAN?   Was there no part of what passes for their brains that said “gee, this might not be a good idea”?  Somewhere their KKK Grand  Koogle… er…Keagle… er… Cyclops, whatever, is doing this…

I suppose for the two racists, it could have been worse.  Given that the number of female Black Republicans can be counted on a clumsy tinker’s fingers, they were lucky the woman in question wasn’t the OTHER Black woman at the convention, namely Condoleeza Rice, who probably could have called in some favours and arranged for their “extraordinary rendition”.

Speaking of Morons…

Did anyone catch this story about allegations of “academic dishonesty” (cheating, to the rest of us) coming out of Harvard.

According to the Harvard Crimson:

Harvard College’s disciplinary board is investigating nearly half of the 279 students who enrolled in Government 1310: “Introduction to Congress” last spring for allegedly plagiarizing answers or inappropriately collaborating on the class’ final take-home exam.

Now, the jokes almost write themselves with this one.  Cheating on an “Introduction to Congress” class?  That get’s you a “A”, right?  Demonstrates knowledge of the subject matter and all that.

Mind you, if the students involved are found guilty of cheating, they can take comfort that cheating at Harvard isn’t incompatible with a long and successful political career.

I’m starting to like these guys…

Iran was hosting the Non-Aligned Movement (“NAM“)  summit in Tehran last week. Hoping to use this summit as a propaganda tool,  Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei kicked-off the summit with a typically bombastic address describing the Arab Spring as an “Islamic Awakening”, ranting and raving about the United States and Zionist conspiracies, and defending the Assad government in Syria.  They had clearly hoped that Egypt’s new president, Mohamed Morsi, himself a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, might echo some of their sentiment.

So imagine their surprise, then, when he proceeded to call out Iran by explicit rejecting the substance of Khamenei’s speech.  Emphasizing the democratic (as opposed to Islāmic) nature of the Arab Spring, reaffirming Egypt’s commitment to peace and stability with Israel, and damning the Assad government in Syria (which sparked a walk-out by the Syrian delegation), Morsi pulled the rug out from under the Iranian government.  Adding insult to injury he pointedly rejected key tenants of Iranian religious doctrine.  His speech so appalled the Iranian government that the live broadcast was “interrupted” by advertising (and, according to Bahrain, Iran later mis-translated his speech to refer to Bahrain rather than Syria).  Read all about it.

Good for Morsi.  I still have my doubts about the Muslim Brotherhood, but this is the sort of international leadership that we haven’t seen from Middle-East leaders in decades.  If – a big “if”, to be sure – the Muslim Brotherhood is sincere in its commitment to democracy and peace in the Middle-East, this may be a sign that Egypt is willing to take a leadership role to achieve that.

And, along the same lines, kudos to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for similarly scolding Ayatollah Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for their lack of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (to say the least), their genocidal threats vis-à-vis Israel and their support for Syria.  Ban Ki-moon took a lot of flak (notably from our own John Baird) for his decision to the NAM summit, which criticism was fair in light of the UN’s proven track record of uselessness and the expectation of more of the same in Tehran, but given that Ban Ki-moon used the opportunity to send a strong (and diplomatically embarrassing) message to Iran, he should be congratulated for making the most of the opportunity.  Next time, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

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