The Nobel Prize Committee should be in the business of conferring celebrity on unknown human-rights and toiling in the most god-forsaken parts of the world; the people who really need the attention (and even the money). It should be in the business of angering powerful tyrants by giving their victims a moment in the sun. Choosing Barack Obama, who practically orbits the sun already, accomplishes the exact opposite of that.This is the way small "l" liberals worth their salt (which ought to include, by the way, all respectable American "conservatives") used to think and talk and distinguish themselves from the pettiness and puerile servitude that marks the behavior of great manipulators and the great boot-lickers of the world. The conferring of this award to Barack Obama seems to be of a piece--as its opposite and equal reaction--with the rejection of Chicago for the Olympics. It begins to appear that the world believes we can be played.