Bloggers discuss the frank table talk between Bush and Blair at the G8 summit. They're also aghast at the Netherlands for giving the OK to a political party devoted to pedophilia.
Nostalgie de la Bush: Believing their microphones were turned off, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair engaged in some candid chitchat about hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah at the Group of 8 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday. Bush said Kofi Annan should insist that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad stop suborning the Lebanese terrorist group/political party. But most bloggers are all aflutter because of the executive's use of the word "shit" to describe the current situation.
New York media snarksheet Gawker heralds the four-letter word's first ever appearance in the New York Times: "[I]s the new policy to print foul language only when uttered by the president, or is it now open season for everyone on the staff? (For example, will Michiko Kakutani finally be able to write something like, 'Though Mr. Updike manages to extract a fair amount of suspense from Ahmad's story, he does so with the heavy reliance on unbelievable coincidence. Seriously, this book is a piece of shit.' And you just know she's dying to.)"
Joe Gandelman at the centrist The Moderate Voice writes: "Actually, although it isn't nice diplomacy, it's refreshing to see this because (a) it does cut out all of the buzzwords and niceties and (b) it is NOT any different from what Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or State Department bigwigs have said. Only they've said it for public consumption a bit more elegantly."
Tina at fuzzy and blue, perch of a "proud Democrat," is caught somewhere between Emily Post and a horrified Wodehouse aunt: "We have him rudely chawing away on a dinner roll while talking to Tony Blair non-stop (exposing the food in his gaping pie hole) while an open microphone picked up on the conversation … and Bush really shined as our stately leader by reportedly addressing Blair by yelling this across the room: 'Yo Blair!' "
At Informed Comment, leftist Middle East guru Juan Cole goes beneath the excremental layer into the substance of Bush's comments: "So, the whole blow-up is Syria's fault, for putting Hizbullah up to making mischief. … It is an astonishingly simple-minded view of the situation, painted in black and white and making assumptions about who is who's puppet and what the Israeli motivations are. Israel doesn't appear as a protagonist. It is purely reactive. Stop provoking it, and it suddenly stops its war. … It is a little window into the superficial, one-sided mind of the man, who has for six years been way out of his depth."
David Stewart at British Conservative is glad the Anglo-American conversation is taking place without cant: "And for the record, what Bush said in private was correct. It is shit that people are dying and it's time we focused media attention on the problem and the possible solutions and not whether George Bush speaks with his mouth full."
Brett at social democratic English blog Harry's Place thinks the proximate pounce on potty talk is silly aside from the ultimate issue, which is what is to be done in the Levant: "While some of the media is flapping over Bush's use of a four-letter word, it should be obvious that the governments of the US and the UK haven't been hoodwinked by those pushing the 'Israel is a Terrorist State' bullshit. Hezbollah attacked Israel, Israel responded. The Lebanese government admits it's impotent to deal with Hezbollah, so Israel is. It's really as simple as that."
Read more about the G8 eavesdrop.
Little Dutch boy blue:More fun in the Netherlands. A judge there has ruled that the Dutch party Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity Party (PNVD), which stumps to lower the age of consent from 16 to 12, has the right to exist on national ballots. The PNVD has only got three members, but many more opponents in cyberspace.
Conservative William Teach at Pirate's Cove says the decision is indicative of the "moral decay of Europe" and adds: "Granted, they will never be able to pass their agenda, but Democracy is not about letting everyone in. It is about free elections. Not everyone can vote. All democratic systems have age restrictions, to start with. Some have used other measurements, some which were bad for democracy, some which weren't. Would it be acceptable to have a Party whose sole purpose was to wipe out Blacks? No, it wouldn't."
Lake City, Fla., resident Stephanie at her MySpace blog anim8ted is torn: "I dont know how to feel about this. I'm all for free speech - but is this one of the times it crosses the line? Personally I find it horribly disturbing, but on the other hand, I mean, who really cares? They'll probably never get the number of votes they'd need to get anything done - well, as far as pedophilia goes."
At the way the ball bounces, Canadian Christian conservative Richard K. Ball poses an interesting question: "In Canada … the [party] that seeks to keep the age of consent at the already discounted age of 14, is dubbed 'the Liberals/NDP', who join with their friends at EGALE, the Liberal-funded militant homosexual-rights group in trying to keep the age of consent low. …Can a mere two years separate the ugliness of depraved pedophilia and the enlightened loftiness of 'Canadian values' so cherished by the Liberals and NDP?"
More religiously tinged disgust is registered by Mike the Geek at Austin, Texas-based The Waffling Anglican:"Promulgating of sex with 12-year-olds is the same as promulgating rape, consensual or not, and is a fundamental violation of human rights. It has no more legitimate place on the ballot than legalizing the killing of Jews or medical experimentation on prisoners. On the other hand, perhaps Holland could make use on another of its 'tolerant' policies and simply euthanize the members of the party."
Read more about the PNVD.