The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nobel Peace Prizes and Other Meaningless Awards

Yeah, I know...last night I wrote that I wouldn't post for a few days since we were about to leave for our long weekend in Charleston. But that was before the Nobel Peace Prize award to President Obama. I simply could not shut up.

We arrived here in this beautiful old city about an hour ago, and the hotel has an excellent WiFi system, so my little Asus Netbook was just waiting for my fat fingers to tickle its keyboard. And given the news out of Oslo, I simply couldn't resist. Anyway our friends are still on the road and won't arrive for another couple of hours, so it's either blog or check out the wine list in the hotel bar. I suspect the former will be more productive than the latter. Anyway, on to the Nobel award...

President Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is about as believable as my receiving the Nobel Prize for chemistry...because neither he nor I have ever done anything to deserve such awards. As I recall, I received an A in chemistry in high school and a B in plebe (that's "freshman" for you civilians) chemistry at the Naval Academy. After that I never touched another test tube or Bunsen burner. And that's it, the extent of my achievements in the field of chemistry. But, you know, I think it might actually exceed the president's accomplishments toward peace. So far he's done absolutely nothing except give speeches that criticize the nation that elected him to office. Indeed, since he took office both Iraq and Afghanistan have become more violent. North Korea and Iran have become more threatening. Russia and China have been rattling their sabers and have consistently ignored Obama's requests regarding sanctions against Iran, despite the president's appeasing overtures: no missile defense in Eastern Europe and no meeting with that crazy, and very dangerous, revolutionary, the Dalai Lama. Hugo Chavez wants to pursue nuclear weapons for Venezuela, entertains and praises Iranian and Palestinian terrorists, spews anti-Semitic rhetoric...and what does the president do? He tries to make friends with him. All of this, of course, endears Mr. Obama to the Europeans who in their gross stupidity have decided to commit continental suicide.

You know, now that I think about it, I've probably done more to earn that chemistry prize than I thought. Over a period of about 20 years I was paid well by a whole bunch of major chemical companies to do valuable management and marketing consulting and training. So I certainly helped the chemical industry more than President Obama helped bring about peace in the world.

This award to the President has done only one thing: devalue the Nobel Peace Prize and by extension all the other Nobel prizes as well. It's almost -- but not quite -- as absurd as Notre Dame University awarding that honorary degree. In the words of a friend of mine: "This is a very strange place."

Oh, yes, for another, more intelligent view of this award to the president, click here.

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