Sugerhouse Event and Writing Excuses Podcast

Just a reminder, come out and see me and some authors at the Sugerhouse Barnes & Noble tomorrow from noon-3. Paul Genesse, John Brown, Mettie Harrions, and I doing a Q&A panel on writing, and then doing a signing.

Also this weekend, I’ll be recording some episodes of the Writing Excuses Podcast with Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells. I don’t know when those will air, but I will post as soon as I’ve got dates.

Barack won what? Seriously?

I woke up this morning to see this:  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091009/ap_on_re_eu/eu_nobel_peace

Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize…  I read the article, and found myself a little confused, but then I realized it was because I was looking at it as a knuckle-dragging, red state, hillbilly, clinging to my guns and religion.  I needed to open my mind to truly understand the brilliance of the Nobel Committee. Since we all know that much of my readership is also made up of illiterate, gun-toting, redneck hate-mongers, I figured I would do ya’ll (see how folksy I am?) a service (since I am a Wise Latino) and translate this for you. 

Below are quotes from the original article.  My interpretation is in bold.

OSLO – President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning (Ya think?) decision designed to encourage his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.

(So basically, he hasn’t actually done anything, but he’s talked about stuff a lot.)

Many observers were shocked (I’m sensing a trend) by the unexpected (AP writers love that thesaurus) choice so early in the Obama presidency, which began less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline and has yet to yield concrete achievements in peacemaking. (Concrete = Existing in our known human reality)

Some around the world objected to the choice of Obama, (I believe the actual objections were mostly phrased as some variant of “What the $@%!” or “Are you $#@*!ing kidding me?) who still oversees wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (Oversees is a loose term, since he’s only talked to the general in charge for 25 minutes in the last 6 months, and that was only after that had been leaked to the news) and has launched deadly counter-terror strikes in Pakistan and Somalia. (And don’t forget he didn’t prosecute the Navy captain who disobeyed his orders and had some pirates shot!)

The Norwegian Nobel Committee countered that it was trying “to promote what he stands for and the positive processes that have started now.” (By those standards, we really should give the award to Barney the Purple Dinosaur next year) It lauded the change in global mood wrought by Obama’s calls for peace and cooperation, and praised his pledges to reduce the world stock of nuclear arms, (Vlad the Impaler Putin also praised this. Poland could not be reached for comment) ease American conflicts with Muslim nations (By apologizing a bunch) and strengthen the U.S. role in combating climate change. (Hey, it worked for Al Gore)

The peace prize was created partly to encourage ongoing peace efforts but Obama’s efforts are at far earlier stages than past winners’. (As in, they actually, you know, did stuff first) The Nobel committee acknowledged that they may not bear fruit at all. (And in other news, the 2010 NFL Superbowl Trophy was preemptively awarded to the West Somunulbunt High School Junior Varsity Football Team, because they show lots of potential.  Go Badgers!)

“He got the prize because he has been able to change the international climate,” (We like it when you Americans are big pansies) Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland (Good Lord, did your mother hate you?) said. “Some people say, and I understand it, isn’t it premature? (ooohh, you know I was tempted there, gentle reader, but my mom reads this blog) Too early? Well, I’d say then that it could be too late to respond three years from now. It is now that we have the opportunity to respond — all of us.” 

The selection to some extent reflects a trans-Atlantic divergence on Obama. In Europe and much of the world he is lionized for bringing the United States closer to mainstream global thinking (No. He didn’t bring the American people anywhere, we still think this stuff is crap) on issues like climate change and multilateralism (and unicorns and magic fairy rainbow koalas) At home, the picture is more complicated. As president, Obama is often criticized as he attempts to carry out his agenda — drawing fire over a host of issues from government spending to health care to the conduct of the war in Afghanistan. (to socialized medicine, to wrecking the dollar, to hiring legions of pedophile and communists czars, for passing the biggest spending increase in human history, to deciding that returning vets are a bigger threat than Al Queda, to apologizing to a bunch of international assholes, to taking over banking, finance, and the auto industries, to knee-capping trade, and basically pushing a whole bunch of feel-good socialism down our throats in 9 months)

U.S. Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele contended that Obama won the prize as a result of his “star power” rather than meaningful accomplishments “The real question Americans are asking is, What has President Obama actually accomplished?” Steele said. (Steele was also quoted as saying, “Man, this is the same bullshit as when they gave it to that fruitcake Al Gore.”)

Obama’s election and foreign policy moves caused a dramatic improvement in the image of the U.S. around the world. (Which is a very important thing to judge a US president on.  Who cares if he does a good job here?) A 25-nation (Like Iran, Syria, and France. They probably didn’t include Poland, the Czech Republic, or Georgia in there or the other nations Obama abandoned for Putin to rape freely in the future) poll of 27,000 people released in July by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found double-digit boosts to the percentage of people viewing the U.S. favorably in countries around the world. That indicator had plunged across the world under President George W. Bush. (Clue bat suckers, the rest of the world wants us to be weaker than them. Of course they love Obama)

“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” Jagland said. (Not since Bono!)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has made no secret of his admiration (man crush) for Obama, called the decision the embodiment of the “return of America into the hearts of the people of the world.” (Hey, Nick, you just like him because for the first time since Napoleon, the French president is tougher than our own)

But Obama’s work is far from done, on numerous fronts. (Yes. He has not managed to entirely stamp out the free market or completely sodomize health care)

He said he would end the Iraq war but has been slow to bring the troops home and the real end of the U.S. military presence there won’t come until at least 2012. (He said what he needed to say to beat Hillary in the primary. What part of this comes as a shock to anybody?)

He’s running a second war in the Muslim world, in Afghanistan — and is seriously considering ramping up the number of U.S. troops on the ground and asking for help from others, too. (Because he got caught looking like an idiot, when somebody at the Pentagon manned up and leaked the facts on his pathetic approach to running a war. FDX had 30 more meetings about getting the Olympics to Chicago than he did about the war our soldiers were currently dying in)

“I don’t think Obama deserves this. I don’t know who’s making all these decisions. The prize should go to someone who has done something for peace and humanity,” said Ahmad Shabir, 18-year-old student in Kabul. (who herds goats for a living in a 3rd world hell-hole, but who is smarter than a bunch of elitist pricks in Norway) “Since he is the president, I don’t see any change in U.S. strategy in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Obama has said that battling climate change is a priority. But the U.S. seems likely to head into crucial international negotiations set for Copenhagen in December with Obama-backed legislation still stalled in Congress. (Because thankfully we still have a handful of people in there who do their stinking jobs and read these big ridiculous laws first)

Former Polish President Lech Walesa, who won the prize in 1983, (By actually doing stuff) questioned whether Obama deserved it now. “So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is still at an early stage. He is only beginning to act,” Walesa said.”This is probably an encouragement for him to act. Let’s see if he perseveres. Let’s give him time to act,” Walesa said. (Walesa then said “I risked my life standing up to the friggin’ Soviet Union. Those guys would have tortured me to death and murdered my entire family if they’d caught me. Barack took six months to pick a damned dog.  $%*! Obama! Barack Obama can kiss my sweaty Polish @&*%$ and then he can go to hell and die!”  Walesa has since sold his Peace Prize medallion on Ebay)

Last year’s prize winner, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, (who won because the Finns have not kicked the Russian’s asses recently) saw the award as vindication that Obama “is ready to seriously seek a solution to the question of Israel and Palestine,” he told Finnish broadcaster YLE. “Of course, this puts pressure on Obama. The world expects that he will also achieve something,” Ahtisaari said. (Ahtisaari continued, “But hey, whatever. Dude parties lock a rockstar, and we all felt really bad for him not getting the Olympics, so we figured we’d throw the guy a bone, know what I’m sayin’ G?”)

Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, which are awarded by Swedish institutions, the peace prize is given out by a five-member committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Like the Parliament, the committee has a leftist slant, with three members elected by left-of-center parties. (My goodness, that is a shocking revelation) Jagland said the decision to honor Obama was unanimous. (When a bunch of socialist are unanimous about how awesome you are, you might want to go back and reexamine your priorities)

The award appeared to be at least partly a slap at Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama’s predecessor for his largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. (Yep.  See, it is still Bush’s fault! Man, that never gets old) The Nobel committee praised Obama’s creation of “a new climate in international politics” and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage. (Because the UN has such a stellar track record for peacekeeping unless the US does all the heavy lifting and pays for everything)

“You have to remember that the world has been in a pretty dangerous phase,” Jagland said. “And anybody who can contribute to getting the world out of this situation deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.” (Hey, I haven’t killed anyone in, like, forever… Where the hell is my Peace Prize? By the way, I’ll take the cash equivalent)

Until seconds before the award, speculation had focused on a wide variety of candidates besides Obama: Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, (who stopped like six different genocides, this week alone) a Colombian senator (who found a cure for cancer), a Chinese dissident (who battled Galactus and saved the Earth) and an Afghan woman’s rights activist (who defeated former heavy-weight champion, Mike Tyson, with a brutal fourth-round knockout), among others. The Nobel committee received a record 205 nominations for this year’s prize, though it was not immediately apparent who nominated Obama.  (Hint: He lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and his grandmother was a “typical white person”)

“The exciting and important thing about this prize is that it’s given to someone … who has the power to contribute to peace,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.  (Jens continued, “And thank you for the giant bribery check, Mr. Soros. It is greatly appreciated)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who won the prize in 1984,(who is the South African guy who won the prize, who’s wife DIDN’T have flaming, gas-soaked tires put over their political opponent’s heads) said Obama’s award shows great things are expected from him in coming years. “It’s an award coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young president that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all,” Tutu said. “It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama’s message of hope.” (he forgot the Change)

Obama is the third sitting U.S. president to win the award: President Theodore Roosevelt won in 1906 (for being the first Progressive US president) and President Woodrow Wilson was awarded the prize in 1919. (the second Progressive US president… sensing a trend?)

Wilson received the prize for his role in founding the League of Nations, (and for generally being a racist dick.) the hopeful but ultimately failed precursor to the contemporary United Nations. (wait… hopeful but ultimately failed… so how does that make it any different than the UN?)

The Nobel committee chairman said after awarding the 2002 prize to former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, (the guy who makes Woodrow Wilson look like Ayn Rand)for his mediation in international conflicts, that it should be seen as a “kick in the leg” to the Bush administration’s hard line in the buildup to the Iraq war.

Five years later, the committee honored Bush’s adversary in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore, for his campaign to raise awareness about global warming.  (Holy crap.  So all you have to do to win the Peace Prize is somehow be a pain in George Bush’s ass?  1. Carter. 2. Gore. 3. Obama. So next year… Saddam Hussein? Stephen Colbert?)

In July talks in Moscow, Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed that their negotiators would work out a new limit on delivery vehicles for nuclear warheads of between 500 and 1,100. They also agreed that warhead limits would be reduced from the current range of 1,700-2,200 to as low as 1,500. The United States now has about 2,200 such warheads, compared to about 2,800 for the Russians. (Putin and Medvedev were later seen doing what witnesses described as “The Happy Dance”)

But there has been no word on whether either side has started to act on the reductions. (Dmitry Medvedev was quoted as saying “You go ahead with that…. We’ll just be parking all these missiles next to the Polish border, bitches! Ha ha!”)

Former Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, (because there is an important agency that nobody has ever heard of) said Obama has already provided outstanding leadership in the effort to prevent nuclear proliferation. “In less than a year in office, he has transformed the way we look at ourselves and the world we live in and rekindled hope for a world at peace with itself,” ElBaradei said. (“He sends naughty tingles down my legs. Did you see the picture of him with his shirt off surfing? Sweet Mohammed!” Elbaradei was quoted while reading the current issue of Teen Week) “He has shown an unshakable commitment to diplomacy, mutual respect and dialogue as the best means of resolving conflicts.”

(Larry Correia, director general el supremo jefe of the Atomic Nuclear Magic Super Agency of Salt Lake City said “Give a jerk-off a Peace Prize, and he’s still a jerk-off. Oh, and something about peace and love, and stuff.”)

Obama also has attempted to restart stalled talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, but just a day after Obama hosted the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in New York, (Try the bagels. They’re delicious) Israeli officials boasted that they had fended off U.S. pressure to halt settlement construction. Moderate Palestinians said they felt undermined by Obama’s failure to back up his demand for a freeze. (Speaking of Palestinians and the Peace Prize, didn’t Yassir Arafat get the Peace Prize for: “Not murdering any Jews lately”.)

Obama was to meet with his top advisers on the Afghan war on Friday to consider a request by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, (President Obama was quoted as saying; “Huh? General Mc who?”)  to send as many as 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan as the U.S war there enters its ninth year.   

Obama ordered 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan earlier this year and has continued the use of unmanned drones for attacks on militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a strategy devised by the Bush administration. (Going to where the bad guys are and killing them, a shocking new strategy never before seen in the history of warfare) The attacks often kill or injure civilians living in the area. (because we’re fighting scumbags who like to hide behind women and children. Normal, not-crazy people don’t do that.)

Nominators for the prize include former laureates; (dictators) current and former members of the committee and their staff;(terrorists) members of national governments and legislatures; (mobsters) university professors of law, (communists) theology, social sciences, history and philosophy; leaders of peace research and foreign affairs institutes; and members of international courts of law. (and for 2010 Go Roman Polanski!  And I would like to nominate Ida Amin for the lifetime achievement award!)

In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel stipulated that the peace prize should go “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.” (and paid for by his invention of good explosives that we can use for killin’, he he he)  

The committee has taken a wide interpretation of Nobel’s guidelines, (like when they opened up the gangster rap category and posthumously honored Tupac for bringing together both crips and bloods) expanding the prize beyond peace mediation to include efforts to combat poverty, disease and climate change. (Climate Change: The New Eugenics! Brought to you by elitists making the world a better place for the people we think are worthy of living. TM)

The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided not to inform Obama before the announcement because it didn’t want to wake him up,(Heaven knows the poor baby needs his beauty sleep) committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said.  “Waking up a president in the middle of the night, this isn’t really something you do,” Jagland said. (before departing to leave a flaming paper sack, filled with dog poo on the front steps of George W Bush’s house)

In related news Barack Obama has also won Dancing with the Stars, Britain’s Got Talent, Miss Universe, the Stanley Cup, the Oscar for Best Picture, and he has replaced Pluto as the ninth planet in our solar system. When asked to comment, President Obama was too busy blowing his nose on an original copy of the Constitution.  Spokesman Robert Gibbs explained that the President was still very upset that he let down Oprah.  

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