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My Favorite Quotes of the Day

  • @MaryRobinette Giving Obama the Nobel Prize for Not Being George Bush is one of the biggest pieces of pwnage in history.
  • @whump: Shorter Obama Nobel Rationale: the World is watching you and hope you listen to reason, instead of the neocons.
  • @DaveHolmes So, wait: YAY Chicago lost the Olympics, BOO our president won the Nobel, and it's the OTHER SIDE that hates America?
  • @randomfacebookcommenter: Think of it as the "Welcome back to sanity!" prize.


Oct. 10th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
And yet, the records are still sealed.

The procedures are just a framework. They show you how the shelf is built, but without the Ikea flat-pack boxes you've got no shelf.

You cannot know who was nominated (unless an individual nominator leaked their nomination). You cannot know who or how many people submitted Peace Prize nominations for Obama. You cannot know how the committee winnowed down their slate of thousands of nominations, or what they based their final decision on.

In 50 years the records surrounding this award will be unsealed. At least some of that information will be available then.
Oct. 10th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)

The issue and point is not at all related to "how the shelf was built" but rather when.

The Nobel Peace Prize nominations close in February. Period. Dot. End of line.


By the Nobel Peace Prize Committee's own procedures the "short listing" takes place no later than April.

Thus it was decided that Obama was possibly worthy of a Nobel back in February. It was then decided that he was seriously worth one a mere two months later. And now, barely half a year later, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has thrown the laurel at him.

What about all the other folks who's names were submitted for consideration? You know, the folks who actually did _something_ in order to be considered? Something other than "getting out of bed that morning?" We know of at least eight of them:



Sima Samar, women's rights activist in Afghanistan: "With dogged persistence and at great personal risk, she kept her schools and clinics open in Afghanistan even during the most repressive days of the Taliban regime, whose laws prohibited the education of girls past the age of eight. When the Taliban fell, Samar returned to Kabul and accepted the post of Minister for Women's Affairs."

Ingrid Betancourt: French-Colombian ex-hostage held for six years.

"Dr. Denis Mukwege: Doctor, founder and head of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. He has dedicated his life to helping Congolese women and girls who are victims of gang rape and brutal sexual violence."

Handicap International and Cluster Munition Coalition: "These organizations are recognized for their consistently serious efforts to clean up cluster bombs, also known as land mines. Innocent civilians are regularly killed worldwide because the unseen bombs explode when stepped upon."

"Hu Jia, a human rights activist and an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, who was sentenced last year to a three-and-a-half-year prison term for 'inciting subversion of state power.'"

"Wei Jingsheng, who spent 17 years in Chinese prisons for urging reforms of China's communist system. He now lives in the United States."


So, let's see now...

Sima Samar looks the worthy candidate, what with her being a "women's rights activist" and all. Oh, wait, she was doing that in Afghanistan? Oh noos we can't give it to her! Doing so might upset the Islamists and offend their sensibilities.

Ingrid Betancourt? Held hostage for six years? That's a lot of suffering. Oh, wait, she was held by Communist / Maoist "revolutionaires" and her rescue was a huge embarrassment to fellow leftist demagogue Hugo Chavez. Nope, she's out.

Dr. Denis Mukwege sounds pretty good but awarding it to him might point out the absolute hash Europeans have made of Africa.

Hu Jia and Wei Jingsheng aren't worth bothering with. Their activism and suffering has been in China - Communist China - so we can't have any insults to the PRC! And besides, Wei Jingsheng is obviously unworthy as he sold out when he moved to the US.

That leaves the Handicap International and Cluster Munition Coalition folks. Gosh, that should be a no-brainer! Over said, and done! Oh, wait, we've got this tingling feeling running up our legs! Could it be? Yes, let's give it to him and perhaps he'll grace us with his presence and that way we can swoon in person!

Seriously though, all of these folk - and this is just the few we know of - have done far more to deserve a Nobel Prize for Peace than Obama. Far more. To start, they've all actually done _something_.

Andy, tossing Obama this "honor" so soon into his presidency demeans the award, insults all the other candidates, and cheapens the achievement of all its previous recipients. And Obama's accepting it so eagerly - he, the guy who has been at pains to paint himself as the "Great Deliberator" - just shows him up for the malignant narcissist that he is.

Obama made a huge political mistake in accepting this award. It's a mistake that he's going to be ruing for the rest of his term. And rightly so.

Oct. 10th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, and I hear Beyoncé had a better video.

It's a myth that the Peace Prize is only awarded to people long after their work has been recognized as successful. Science and literature prizes, sure (and even then, sometimes the laureate's work is discredited after the award, like Wernstedt's Nobel Prize in Medicine for his theory that cancer was caused by parasites).

Nobel Peace Prizes, unlike the other Nobel prizes, often about the moment.

They have been awarded to recognize potential and encourage people to continue the recognized work.

They have been awarded to people who didn't even, in the end, succeed at the work they were being recognized for.

I'll let you dig through the laureates list. Look at what the prizes were awarded for, when the prizes were given, and what the end results were as shown by history. You will find other laureates who were nominated even less than a month after doing something. You will find laureates who ultimately failed at what they were attempting. It's an interesting read.

Hell, look at the Kissinger award; he was nominated less than a month after the truce he brokered, and by the time the award was announced he had (according to the year's other winner) broken that truce.

Edited at 2009-10-10 10:57 pm (UTC)
Oct. 11th, 2009 12:28 am (UTC)

Obama was awarded his Nobel for his "promise" to do something. Not his actually having done something, just his promise to do something.

Usually, you don't hand out awards for something as insubstantial as but a mere _promise_ of achievement.

Yet, that's exactly what the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has actually done.

And Kissinger? Well he and Lê Ðức Thọ had actually done something - they'd negotiated an end to the Vietnam war. Yeah, it didn't last. The North was lying through its teeth when it made its negotiations. But at least Henry _did_ something. He didn't just _promise_ to do something, he actually did it.

Obama? He got his laurel wreath for but a mere promise.

So, how's that work in the real world Andy? How about you go in to your job and tell them that you'll promise to do your work real hard if they give you an entire year's salary up front.

Andy, if you tried getting by in life like that folks would laugh in your face and you'd be pretty damn poor pretty damn quick.

Ah but this is the Obama we're talking about here, right? So, the common sense rules that apply to us common folk don't apply, eh?

Come on Andy, your attempting to defend Obama and rationalize this travesty is only covering you in the same muck he and they wallow in. You're better than that. I wish Obama was to but, obviously, he's not.

Oct. 11th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
A truce is a promise. The Nobel Peace Prize history is littered with promises, some carried through and some squandered. In many cases, that's what the award is about. It still comes back to the same thing. It's the Norwegians' award. They give it how they like. If you don't like it, loose your complaints to the wind or go and start your own award to show them how it's done.

Maybe you haven't figured this out. I'm just taking pleasure in seeing Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michael Steele and Alan Bolton on the same side of an argument with Al Qaeda, Hamas and the Taliban. It makes me laugh.

Edited at 2009-10-11 12:57 am (UTC)
Oct. 11th, 2009 01:05 am (UTC)

"A truce is a promise?" Oh come on. Your argument is reduced to word gaming? That's it?

Yes, Andy, it is the Norwegians' award to expend. But there's also an onus on Obama for accepting it.

He did not have to stoop and accept such honors unearned.

Yet, he rushed to do so.

You can listen to the talking heads all you want and laugh as much as you like. The basic points remain:

Of what value honors unearned?

Of what character he who accepts such honors?


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