Hats off to Harry
The following headline threw me for a moment when I first read it: ‘Massacre of 16 Civilians Spurs Calls for US Withdrawal from Afghanistan.’ Surely Harry Redknapp had not broken new ground and put his sporting nose into political affairs, thus crossing a line that many are not willing to see breached. Tottenham Hotspur demanding a US withdrawal and maybe even a British one if the logic is followed through? That would make Spurs even more radical than Sinn Fein.
Up until then I was of a belief that Harry’s interest in foreign affairs was restricted to tax matters and not war in Afghanistan. I even pondered that were he to get the England manager’s job that would add weight to his call. Not something Capello or Erickson would ever have considered. Needless to say I got it all wrong. Missing the full stop can tend to change the meaning of a sentence. Anyone recall the debate about the role of the comma in Peter Brooke’s claim about Britain having no selfish strategic interest in Ireland? A reminder that the need to pay close attention is paramount.
Harry, if he steps into Capello’s shoes, will have his work cut out getting England into countries rather than out of them.
Selling Snow to the Eskimos
The new Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has hardly surprised his audience with his announcement that he is willing to go to the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis. Where he might have caught it unawares was in his stated reason for considering such a visit: to sell the union to the Catholic party. What does he have in his bag of wares that he might possibly sell, which has not already been bought? He might as well have promised to go there in order to ensure that Friday will remain the day immediately preceding Saturday.
Selling the union to Sinn Fein is pushing an open door. The party support the partition principle, administer British rule, endorse the British Police Service of Northern Ireland, and implement the Tory cuts. What else is there about the union that he can sell? Well, he can try a bill of rights integrated into the union bill of rights rather than one specifically addressed to the North alone.
Slick Mick is clearly not a man without business guile. Like a shifty used car salesman he intends going to the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis merely to dupe the assembled sheeple, hoping to sell them something they previously bought. The thing is, he shall succeed and will depart the conference to ‘god save the queen’ ringing in his ears.
Boston Behaving Badly
Recently administrators at Boston College banned a lecture due to be delivered by William Ayers, a professor at the University of Illinois, forcing it to relocate. Ayers is a figure of some controversy because of a former association with the Weather Underground Movement. The body was responsible for a number of bombings and shootings in the 1970s. Perhaps too close for comfort is the belief that it was also involved in the killing of a Boston cop, Walter A. Schroeder shot in the back during a bank robbery in 1970.
It was left to none other than the flappable Jack Dunn to explain BC’s position. Dunn has sought to cultivate his law abiding credentials this year and has been eager to demonstrate his abhorrence for political violence. He has done this by demonstrating his willingness to assist law enforcement agencies whenever possible even to the cost of his university’s reputation and his own personal integrity: Goddammit, I don’t care how big a clown it makes me look and I may not appear purty because of it but I’m gonna stand shoulder to shoulder with the lawman, Yes siree. You hear me Elmer? Well, Elmer and just about everybody else heard Jack and concluded that PR stood for Puerile Rubbish.
Ayers is no stranger to controversy having generated plenty of it when it was disclosed he was associated with the election campaign of Barack Obama in 2008. His view of the cancellation was simple:
It's kind of a shameful thing to the administration because one can certainly understand why in Saudi Arabia or Serbia or China why speakers would be cancelled for a variety of reasons ... But in the US, in a democracy, that doesn't make sense.
There are a lot of things about Boston College that do not make sense. Jack Dunn being one of them.
Let's say the mob gathers outside the gate at BC and demands that they teach astrology, or creationism, or that the world is flat ... Should they then give in to the mob and teach those things? Absolutely not. So why should they do that with this?
Well, maybe not the mob Professor Ayers but if the Justice Department come running BC will appoint Ken Ham head of science. And it requires little in the way of explanation to point out the creationist crackpot he is.
Still, more straws on the camel’s back.