Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Shed No Tears for Kings

"The vice president will lead the presidential delegation to Riyadh to express condolences on the passing of King Fahd and the accession of King Abdullah," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

Well, Scott, it may be somewhat premature to mourn the accession of Abdullah, but I can assure you of one thing: I am not wetting my cheek over the passing of King Fahd.

First of all, he's a King, and we're Americans. We don't mourn the death of kings; we celebrate them (or have we forgotten about that?). Second, and more to the point, this guy was a crass and bigoted medievalist who oppressed and subjugated women, tortured and murdered men, and continually subverted and resisted democratic reforms in his fiefdom. Along the way, he made himself one of the wealthiest people on earth, took at least three wives and untold mistresses, and held the American economy and its government hostage at the point of a gas nozzle.

Whether Saudi Arabia lurches a little further toward a democratic society under Abdullah remains to be seen; but wouldn't it be a supreme irony for them to approach democracy just as we're abandoning it here in America?

In other news, John Bolton arrived at the U.N. today, and as he had promised, began demolishing the top seven floors. After a brief exchange of glares with Kofi Annan, he then turned to organizing his staff. Masochists from around the nation lined up to embrace the opportunity of working for the geopolitical George Steinbrenner.


And now I know one reason why I'm always shouting into empty space here: the Technorati organization has released its Weblog Inventory, and their findings are amazing. A new blog is appearing online every second; we're up to nearly 15 million of them; and their number has doubled since March of this year. I am in competition with millions of family photo albums, company picnics, and frat house spring break fables.

But the wonder is that there are so many truly good blogs out there, many of which you will see referenced around here. One of my personal favorites is Eric Alterman's blog on MSNBC. Check out his entry today, in which he compares Rafael Palmeiro's crime and punishment with some of the much larger lies fed to us by the lords of government—lies which have, of course, gone so far unredressed and generally unchallenged.

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