Monday, August 22, 2005

Two countries separated by a common language

This quote, regardless of its origin, speaks to the close relationship that the United States and Britain have had since the separation anxiety which made for a rather unpleasant war of independence leading to the foundation of the US.

For better or worse (often worse), the two countries have been tied particularly closely, both by their shared language and shared love of being insulted by comedians of another nation (see Izzard, Eddie). The last several years in this close relationship have been particularly ignominious for Britain as it has been tied ever more closely to the Monkey Boy's war on an idea. Why Tony Blair drug my home country into this war I'm not sure. Was it Monkey Boy's superior persuasive abilities? His peculiar charm and sophistication? I don't know. I would imagine there's something in it for some British oil companies down the road though.

However the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes by the London Met. Police just adds a bitter tarnish to the similarities between the US and the UK. Obviously the differences and similarities are more complex and more facile at the same time, but the behavior of the Met (offering a paltry sum as compensation for his death, Tony Blair affirming his faith in Met chief Ian Blair, despite the fact that the Met chief initially resisted an inquiry, and the support of the military in neutralizing Mr. de Menezes) seems eerily similar to that of the Cheney administration in their response to revelations that they'd lied about the threat of WMDs. They first withhold, and then gradually, removing their finger from the dam, the water rushes out and out, eventually engulfing and sickening those who trust public services.

Also, John Roberts certainly doesn't seem to be the best candidate for the Supreme Court. His claims that abortion was a tragedy do not seem the "fair and balanced" views of a prospective Supreme Court justice. Even more alarming are his views, detailed in the same Washington Post story, that a funeral for the fetus was the appropriate response to this "tragedy". While choosing to have an abortion may be a grueling process for the woman (and man) concerned, denying women this right should be dismissed out of hand. And documents that Roberts wrote while working for 41 should be made available to the public if this man wishes an opportunity to serve on the Court for the remainder of his life. If you wish the opportunity to serve on the Supreme Court, you better be ready to answer questions about your opinions to a high level of detail because you will be shaping life in these United States for a long time.


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