[un oddities]

Gothamist reports on mysterious white powder at the UN, which it turns out was just flour.

They also link to the New York Post’s Page Six jab at “Hated Annan,” whose farewell party will, they say, be underattended. Keep in mind that the Post is ridiculously right-wing and provides no evidence for this supposed hatred beyond the annoyance of the staff union — and how often does the Post take the side of a union over someone who wants to cut jobs and reduce goldbricking — and the fact that lame-duck John Bolton won’t be attending (he also skipped Ban’s swearing-in and reception), but that could have more to do with how much Bolton is hated.

Don’t believe all the bullshit about Kofi Annan. He is not the saint some have tried to portray him as, but neither is he the corrupt and venal monster of the right wing (whose religious arm, let us recall, are huge fans of a series of novels in which the UN Secretary-General turns out to be the Anti-Christ). I have not read it, but I hear that James Traub’s new book takes a more nuanced view, arguing that Annan was a man of good intentions who was thwarted in many of them by the failings of the institution he heads. And remember, it’s the Member States, not the Secretary-General, that set the direction and mandates and provide (or don’t) the funds and resources to achieve them.