I don’t think this headline was supposed to elicit a guffaw

Obama awarded 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

This is full of money quotes. Bear in mind that the guy had only been in office for a week when the nominations were done.

[Chairman of the Nobel committee Thorbjorn] Jagland said he hoped the prize would help Obama resolve the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, last year’s laureate, said it was clear the Nobel committee wanted to encourage Obama on the issues he has been discussing on the world stage.

“I see this as an important encouragement,” Ahtisaari said…

And Wangari Muta Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist who won the 2004 Peace Prize, said the win for Obama, whose father was Kenyan, would help Africa move forward.
“I think it is extraordinary,” she said. “It will be even greater inspiration for the world. He has shown how we can probably come together, work together in a cooperative way.”

“Probably.” They’re giving away the Nobel prize on “probably” and “encouragement” now. To a guy who claims he wants to push for war in Afghanistan and has created international incidents in Honduras, Iran, Israel, and Poland.

Well, maybe this will encourage him to do something worthy of the prize, right? Like Yassir?

Where’s my prize? I could maybe unite some people.

Seriously though, I wonder what possible justification could be used for this other than shameless pandering.  It’s absurd to the nth degree, and the fact that the world is so publicly assuming the position for this hollow shell of a president – note that Nobel is not an American institution! – makes me nauseous for what the next three years will be like.

(EDIT: Even HuffPo thinks it’s absurd. When you lose Huffington…)

(EDIT) More prize quotes from around the web:

Continue reading I don’t think this headline was supposed to elicit a guffaw

233 years and counting

As of tomorrow, this nation has managed to remain (mostly) free of tyranny for 233 years. This is a remarkable feat. Given how fast the world has changed in the last century, it is even more remarkable. What we experience and take for granted now is nothing like what we had even ten years ago, much less fifty or a hundred.

But here we are. And many of us – especially those who consider themselves conservative or libertarian – are worried. In the last six months under President Obama we have seen incredible expansion of government power, spending, and influence in private business. The headlines seem ripped from an Orwellian or Randian novel – government takeovers of big business, closing down political enemies, while the best and brightest withdraw to avoid increasingly harsh taxes and penalties. This too, is nothing like we have seen – in the history of the country. And historically, we see that it is inevitable that every free country will eventually fall to tyranny. So we wonder – will these latest changes be the last straw? How much longer can we hold out?

I say, it doesn’t matter. For as long as there’s a shred of hope, we have to fight on for what we believe and for freedom in this country. Without that attitude being held by our forefathers, these would still be American colonies. And we must realize that though they may take a new form, the challenges we face are really nothing new.  As Solomon said, “there is nothing new under the sun.” And as was recently pointed out to me, the real issues are often masked by politics – what we are struggling against is not (merely) a different set of politics; it is a different set of worldviews. These worldviews are what gave us the mess we’re in now – Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are just symptoms.

Politics flows from the worldview of the culture – not the other way around. And so if you want to change politics, you will be much more assured of victory by changing the culture spawning the politicians than trying to convince the existing politicians to change their stripes. Changing the culture seems to be a daunting task, but it’s not as hard as you might think – every customer you greet, every corporate meeting, every church dinner and game night is a chance to influence those around you. Culture is nothing more than the views and interests of the people who create it – and by influencing those people, one at a time, you influence the culture as a whole. It was not until culture changed that politicians addressed the issues of slavery, of civil rights, of abortion, and most recently gay marriage.

Every shift in culture puts pressure on the government to react in order to hold on to the power that it has – so it is there that we will fight the battles. It is there that the war for this nation will be won or lost – in the hearts and minds of every American.

So now it’s your play. Ball’s in your court. What are you going to do? Who are you going to influence?

Nork’s Nukes

So yesterday we got to find out that North Korea has functional nuclear weapons. Relatively small compared to ours, but we saw what a bomb the same size did to Hiroshima. Hard not to get a little worried over this one.

They also test-fired two missiles, and then two more this morning. Obama’s reaction so far has been strong language and veiled, weak threats. It’s hard to see how this will do anything; after all, Bush tried this for quite some time and we ended up with a nuclear-armed North Korea. I think what will be more interesting are the more local reactions from China, Japan, and possibly Russia or India. They are certainly more imminently threatened by the weapons, and with Kim Jong-Il in questionable health, these weapons could ultimately come into play in a grasp for power by his potential successors.  While I doubt that we’ll see much in the way of serious response from Obama, at least anytime soon, it’s possible we might see something from the other regional governments – although it’s just as likely it will be in support of the Norks as against.