Oh, boy.

Now, at last, another method of laying claim to things you haven’t earned. It takes a really bankrupt culture to create a business that lets people exploit the fact that they had an ancestor of a particular ethnicity for personal gain.

Of course, we white folks have been doing it for years. But, leave it to us to find a way to circumvent those pesky affirmative action rules by discovering your 2% of African heritage that will allow you to make a mockery of the rules, and claim priveleges, nay, rights, that were hard fought and won. In return for the historic legacy of theft, slavery and death that we visited on the Africans and the First Nations, we’d like to give you…the shaft. Again. If you think that by not enduring the daily smackdown that life is to people of different ethnicities you are somehow entitled to the small compensations some of them have waited centuries for, well, you need to be euthanized. Now.

What troubles me even more is that this seems to continue the trend that preceives DNA as the defining factor in our humanity. We are sorted according to genetic risk by insurance companies, and now we are divided up into the sum of our ancestries, and letting that define us. Soon, you will have to have a certain percentage of African/Asian/European ancestry to gain certain benefits. People will be sorted by their genetic makeup, and only the ‘five percent ethnic or less’ group will occupy the top echelons of society. Is any of this sounding familiar?

I’m assuming that the marketing departments of the companies testing DNA for this purpose have come up with a really snazzy word to describe the process, but I have a better one: Eugenics.

Be afraid, folks, be very afraid…This isn’t over yet.


The things we do for love…

Sorry, I meant “The things we do to maintain our frail grip on power”.

Bernard “40-watt” Lord has pulled two little rabbits out of hats in the past month to maintain his very fragile minority government in New Brunswick. First he made Tanker Malley, an independent MLA and former Progressive Conservative, Speaker of the Legislature in order to buy his vote for the budget that barely passed. Tanker Malley, of course walked across the floor earlier this year apparently because he wanted nicer shit than the PC windshield scraper and votive candle set that everyone else got.

Now it appears he’s arranged a little love-trip for himself and Frank Branch, an independent MLA and former Liberal, though neither one of them have actually come out about their relationship as of yet. The trip doesn’t appear to be a honeymoon, they’re not apparently that comfortable in public yet, Lord is going to Montreal to attend a premiers conference and Branch will, um, carry his bag.

Naturally, the provincial Liberal party, cynics all, don’t buy my little love theory and suggest that Lord merely wants to make sure that it might be better to have Branch, who voted against the government on the budget bill, out of the province while he’s away so there won’t be enough Opposition MLA’s to burn his House down while he’s away. Liberals are so tawdry.

Spring is the season of love and beginnings…


The dilemmas that ruin sleep

Is it possible that the administration, that the “west”, has underestimated how close Iran was to enriching their own uranium?

The Iranian nuclear standoff has taken an ominous turn in recent weeks. Two weeks ago with great bluster and fury, George Bush and Condoleeza Rice made aggressive statements toward Iran, explaining that no options are taken off the table and that military strikes were still considered options if the stalemate could not be broken. How the stalemate could be broken otherwise is unclear to me, with the Iranian insisting that it is within their NPT rights to maintain a peaceful nuclear program, rejecting any offer of offsite enrichment or enrichment under the guidance of other countries, and the West not trusting Iran with its own enrichment facilities.

That is where the situation remained until Monday, when Iranian officials said that an important nuclear announcement would be made Tuesday. The administration response came from Donald Rumsfeld, who said that discussing military options was “get(ting) into fantasy land“and that the administration sought a peaceful compromise with Iran.

On Tuesday, Iran announced that it has successfully enriched uranium to the 3.5% purity required for peaceful power generation, two weeks ahead of the IAEA report to the Security Council on whether Iran has halted it’s research program into enrichment. Observers have suggested the announcement is part of an effort to present the Security Council with a “fait accompli” and changing the dynamic of future negotiations.

The announcement was declared a step “in the wrong direction” () by Scott McClellan, who then threatened further measures by the Security Council, a move stymied by Russian and Chinese hesitation in recent weeks.

Where does this go now? The US is in an unenviable position, trapped by the need to do something firm and the fear that any military intervention, even a quick strike at nuclear facilities, would spill over into an already unstable Iraq as well as endangering oil shipment through the narrow Gulf of Hormuz. As Mark Steyn points out (I think) in his tortured, self-indulgent prose, the time to act on this is now – Iran is a nation known to support terrorism, and promotes a radical Islamist political faith, and we might wish five years from now that we had done something to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. Of course, we might also wish five years from now that we hadn’t further radicalized the Mid East through our clumsy and callous mishandling of this affair. Thus are the dilemmas that ruin sleep.

Lefties and irresponsible peaceniks like me will unkindly point out that the Bush Administration has essentially asked for this kind of problem by voluntarily invading Iraq, destabilizing the region, and pinning a large component of their military, but saying that doesn’t help get us to a solution. I’m still staring at this problem and the only thing that comes to me is the hope that a new generation of Iranians will be more influenced by outside Liberal forces than by the regressive religious tendencies currently in power. Iran has made steps toward loosening the conservative’s hold on power in recent years and has made overtures toward becoming a real democracy; however these forces need time to work. The flip side of this coin is that that the Iranian people have a long history of nationhood, unlike Iraq, and are fiercely nationalistic. Direct outside intervention might not be welcomed.

Of course a military strike toppling the Iranian government could release the pent up forces of freedom. And forces of an allied west would march triumphantly into the streets of Tehran while a jubilant population throws flowers at their feet…

Haven’t I seen this somewhere before?