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Biography - F.A. Baron
Freedom to be Greedy
Farewell & Welcome
DA Response to Grenada
And, We were Misled
Local vs Privy Council
Thank You Dame Eugenia
Big Bad John
Travels and Travails
Trade Gap - USA & DA
In Case You Missed It
".. Your Love to Town"
Mad Men not to be trusted
Politics of Lies & Deception
Wide, Deep Transparency
Petrocaribe $ Bird Island
Nations Shall War No more
My Feeling of Insecurity
China, Admiration & Envy
Capitalism: Wounded ....
© Gordon Moreau
February 8, 2006 - The death of a pope and selection of his successor is a major event. Big media does the usual speculation and analysis. One expert on Vatican affairs said with great authority that any cardinal-candidate who appears too much to want the job will not get it. Oops!! thought I, if you crave that position of power or influence over a billion souls, you must put, or appear to put maximum distance between yourself and your own ambition. After all, by that sin the greatest angel fell.
The curious practice of distancing oneself is the subject of my contribution this week.
So you tread as if you own the place; and you probably do. What is worse, you treat others as if they came with your inheritance. There is a giant natural divide between you and say HIV/AIDS, or even cancer. Those things can happen but to everybody else. Then one day some test discloses that one of them is home, and you cannot accept any idea to the effect that your dolly house has been broken.
You land in Puerto Rico and you are in the luggage- or is it baggage, or garbage??... area. You would not give that dog a second look were it not wearing clothes that identified it as a member of the Customs of the government of the United States of America. It sniffs most bags including your own.
The exercise is uneventful. You and every mother's child has placed unbridgeable chasms between your hand luggage and any notion of cocaine. This is until the dog stops by someone's bag and refuses to proceed until the officer holding the leash does his duty. He spoke to the owner of the bag containing the offensive drug.
But what cocaine? It was an apple, American by birth and upbringing I suppose, imported from there to Dominica and purchased by a visitor. Genius that it was, the dog did not discriminate between home-grown Caribbean fruits and fruits native to the United States.
Then a Dominica woman remarked how good those dogs are: last night she saw on T.V. how a dog sniffed cancer in its owner's breast. She wants to buy a dog and train it.
Three publications ago I predicted that the Danes would fall over themselves in apology to the Arab world, if only because the effect of Islamic protests would hurt their pockets. But the backlash from the offensive cartoons was even greater.
A Bahrain company packaged its dairy products as "Danish milk….made in Bahrain." It felt the boycott immediately. Steps were taken to educate the buying public that its joint venture with a corporation from Denmark had long been terminated. The locals had acquired the interest of the Danish partner a decade ago.
Nestle took an "ad" on Arabic television putting optimum distance between itself and Denmark: Please, we are not from Denmark, we are a Swiss company. Even the BUSH regime and the BLAIR administration sought to distance themselves: yes to freedom of speech they said; but the cartoons were insensitive and provocative.
Last year Prime Minister ARIEL SHARON gave Palestinians a little of their land back. Later he suffered a big stroke from which he has not recovered. Former US Presidential candidate and king of the Republican religious right, Mr. PAT ROBERTSON said that God had struck down Sharon because he returned the land which was given to the Jews by God.
The Israelis stamped hard on Pat Robertson saying he was as outrageous as the Iranian President MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, who had expressed doubt about the extent of the World War 2 holocaust. Even PRESIDENT BUSH sought to put distance between himself and Robertson in that matter. Robertson apologized.
By the way, even Bush appears to have put distance between Bush and Bush. In his recent state of the union speech he declared that it would be wrong for America to pursue an isolationist policy. But when he began his reign in 2000 he was very isolationist. He abrogated international treaties/obligations (Kyoto). He ignored Africa. He dropped the Clinton effort of brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Prestigious "THE ECONOMIST" magazine published Bush's isolationism at the time.
There is an American popular view that China is to blame for its too favourable balance of trade with the United States; and that it is China's responsibility to redress that imbalance. Recently one knowledgeable fellow distanced himself from that bogus position.
You cannot eat your cake and have it, he said. Big American corporations, eager to exploit and reap benefits from cheap labour in China, invest there, transfer technology, manufacture there, and then export either their finished goods or their parts to the United States. Those companies include General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler.
Finally, if you love a farce, this one would have pleased you if the whole situation in Iraq had not been so tragic. If you are from England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales some people just group you as British. Should they?
An Irish journalist - MR. ROY CARROLL - was kidnapped in Iraq. Before his captors, he decided to "Irishize" himself as much as possible. He denied being British. He drew a map wherein he exaggerated the Irish Sea in his effort to distance himself from his "British" neighbours.
And it seemed to have worked. He was eventually freed. He told his story on "BBC Hard Talk."
You cannot blame Carroll. The Blair/Bush express and ostensible policy has been…"We will not negotiate with terrorists." Let the devil take the captive to hell.
Meanwhile, Arab who was damn dog has suddenly graduated to a rather more respectable Mr. Dog; thanks to his purchasing power.