Rich Galen

I am desperately searching for something to write about that doesn't include the words "fiscal cliff."

Maybe we'll just cruise around the net and see what catches our attention.

First Topic

One of my regular gigs is on Jim Blasingame's "Small Business Advocate" radio program. I was on yesterday morning and we got into a discussion about Syria.

Jim asked me why 20,000 people killed by bullets, IEDs and artillery during the civil war had been largely greeted by yawns from the West but at the first hint of the Syrian government using saran gas against the rebels has raised alarm bells.

I said - incorrectly - that chemical warfare had been outlawed since World War I.

Turns out, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) webpage:

"The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (otherwise known as the Chemical Weapons Convention or CWC) was opened for signature with a ceremony in Paris on 13 January 1993."

Ok. So I missed by 75 years. Still …

As of today 184 countries are parties to the Convention. One of them is not Syria.

The other non-parties are Angola, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan and ... Egypt.

Where else do you get this stuff?

Next Topic

Speaking of Egypt, President Mohammed Morsi is overseeing what might be the beginnings of yet another round of demonstrations after he all but declared himself Pharaoh and then told the highest court it didn't have the authority to declare his actions unconstitutional inasmuch as there is no constitution in Egypt right now.

According to CBS News the anti-Morsi demonstrations that have left "at least six dead and 700 injured" are opposed to the "draft constitution hurriedly adopted by his Islamist allies in a marathon session last week."

Morsi spoke to the nation this week saying: ""It is my duty ... to protect institutions of the nation. I will always fulfill this role, no matter how much pressure or what the situation."

CBS reported "Opposition protesters jeered and raised their shoes in contempt."

I'm going to start carrying an extra shoe in my shoulder bag in case I need to raise it in contempt of someone.

How's that Arab Spring thing working out, again?

Last Topic;

Susan Page, writing in USA Today, looks at how attitudes have changed toward gays generally, and gay marriage in particular over the past decade or so.

"In 1996, a Gallup Poll found Americans opposing same-sex marriage by an overwhelming 68%-27%," she wrote.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at