Monday, 17 March 2003


Laurence Simon of Amish Tech Support has helpfully translated the Palestinian Authority’s new civil defense website. Warning for the easily offended: there’s some bulldozer humor.

The Mox has belatedly posted her homeland security parody, too. It’s a hoot.

And so it begins

The VodkaMan will have live coverage of Bush's address. I'm a few minutes behind live TV on TiVo; I honestly don't expect anything new from this speech, though, and I don't expect the green light to be given tonight. But we shall see...

What happened to Chris Patten?

Conrad and Peaktalk ask the same question that I'd been wondering about: what happened to Chris Patten? The only conclusion I can reach is that spending too much time in Brussels has turned him into a Eurocrat drone. As Peaktalk reminds us, Patten once was relatively clueful:

There was a time when I deeply admired Chris Patten. That was when he was still Governor of Hong Kong. I met him a few times when I lived in Hong Kong, the last time when I picked up a few signed copies of his marvelous book “East and West”. You see, Patten was one of the people who promoted free markets and democracy as he so firmly believed in the theory that markets can flourish only in free societies where the rule of law guarantees freedom. That is why he set out to make some drastic changes in Hong Kong’s electoral process while that was still possible before the territory was handed back to China in 1997. He antagonized almost everyone at the time, the Hong Kong and international business community (who were afraid of missing out on deals with China), Hong Kong politicians (afraid of their new masters) and a variety of others who felt the need to be gentle with Beijing. Patten was at the time a lonely crusader supported by only a few. It was brave, it made sense and it was the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, Iain Murray thinks Patten is now eminently qualified to lead Oxford University. If so, let's hope they deprogram him when he crosses the Channel.