The Nobel Prize is named after the dude who invented dynamite.  He was a Norwegian.  In order to keep the country of Norway relevant other than their fish exports, they award a Nobel Prize in various categories every year.  It is considered one of the most prestigious prizes in all the world.  I fully understand the prize in physics although I don’t understand physics.  Therefore, I assume that whoever the winner was in any year fully deserved that prize.  Likewise, I did fine in chemistry (cannot say the same in physics; I jumped out after the first test for Suburban Politics), and I assume the yearly winner in chemistry also deserved the prize.  However, when I read about the winner and their accomplishments, it certainly is not any chemistry I ever learned.  Medicine- likewise.  I’m not a doctor so I’ll assume the winner deserved it.

Then we get into the categories I am not so sure about like literature.  It would appear that one has to be some third world author to qualify and your book must be some stealth support of revolutionary political change.  You will not see Stephen King or Dr. Seuss ever winning this prize.  And they just need to stop awarding a prize in economics.  How many times and ways can you say that socialism is better than capitalism in face of evidence that proves the opposite?  Paul Krugman won the prize one year and that alone should be grounds for discontinuing this award.

That leaves the biggest joke Nobel Prize- the peace prize.  There is ample evidence, given the past winners, that this award needs to go.  First, if you want to get your name submitted- although you may not win- do two things: (1) slip the words “nuclear disarmament” in there and (2) somehow intimate that the United States is responsible for every malady in the world.

I am not going to go back and look at the weirdest winners since the prize was awarded, but look at the winners since 1990.  In that year, Mikhail Gorbachev won the award.  Sometimes they give the prize to a dictator who promises to stop being so mean, who signs some treaty promising not to be mean, or whatever.  In 1990, they gave the prize to a dictator who was not even a good dictator.  He received the prize because he presided over the “peaceful” dissolution of the Soviet Union and “ended the Cold War.”  Of course, they do not mention the role Reagan policies played in that chain of events.  Perhaps if Reagan had sent the CIA into Latin America the way Gorbachev sent the KGB into the Baltic states…  Oh wait; he did.

In 1994, Yassir Arafat, an avowed Palestinian terrorist leader turned Palestinian spokesman and negotiator, won the prize along with two Israelis.  The reason for this was obvious:  they signed the Oslo Accords which allegedly laid the groundwork for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.  First, obviously it did not work because there is not peace.  Second, it was signed in Oslo and Oslo is in Norway and Norway awards the Nobel Prize.  It isn’t that they really agreed with these people; they just wanted to advertise Oslo.

Three years later, Jody Williams, a Vermont activist, along with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, won the award.  This group managed to take the worst arguments of the gun control movement and elevate them to an international scale.  The fact is that the United States and most Western countries track their landmines and know where they are.  They are a defensive weapon.  But, I guess Williams and her organization never contemplated terrorism although they should have.  The 1994 winner was a terrorist.  Anyway, one wonders what they now think of terrorist ingenuity- a/k/a the improvised explosive device.

In 2001, Kofi Annan and the UN itself won the award for being awesome.  The awarding committee neglected to note the widespread graft and corruption in the United Nations and their Food for Oil program.  At least UN peacekeeping forces- those guys who wear the cute blue helmets reminding people not to shoot at them- were not accused of raping refugees in camps they were protecting.  So, one guesses there is that one feather in Kofi’s cap…

The following year, they solidified their standing in the Nonsense Hall of Fame by awarding the prize to…. Jimmy Carter.  Mind you, Carter maybe  should have won the award earlier when he brokered the Camp David Accords between Sadat and Begin.  Say what you will, Egypt and Israel have been at peace since and it bought Sadat a bullet in the head.  But, the award was for his continuing efforts at world peace which included interfering in attempts to control North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and incoherent ramblings against Israel that border on schizophrenia.

Al Gore won the award in 2007.  After losing to Bush in 2000, he went off to the forest to lick his wounds and came back an environmentalist.  That metamorphosis was awarded when Al Gore narrated a power point presentation- something every school kid in the fifth grade and higher is now required to put together and present.  But, this was no ordinary power point; this was about global warming which when it was pointed out the earth goes through cycles of warmth and cold became man-made global warming (or to make it sound more scientific, anthropogenic global warming) which after the “warming” never occurred turned into climate change because climate is longer and that gives its adherents more time to make predictions that won’t come true.

Then there is the obvious joke- the 2009 award to Barack Obama.  His contribution to peace?  He wasn’t George W. Bush.  Instead, he was a “citizen of the world.”  To prove that point, he then embarked on his Great Apology Tour of Muslim countries proving once again that the best shot at winning the Nobel Peace Prize is to screech some anti-American rhetoric.  It is even better if it is an American doing it.  This award was so bad that the leader of the Nobel Committee later remarked that he regretted giving the award to Obama.

Instead of wasting time contemplating and judging and voting on potential Prize winners in Oslo every year, when it comes to the Peace Prize, just put a picture on a dartboard, blindfold the thrower, spin him around ten times, then tell him to throw the dart.  Wherever it lands, you have your winner.  Instead of having them come to Oslo, just mail the award.  Better yet, have them come to Oslo and award them a stuffed teddy bear, the big kind you get at a state fair in Kansas or Missouri.  But then, that would be “too American.”