Monday, April 23, 2007

Canadian Iraq?

Is this editorial cartoon equally suitable for Canada's involvement in Afghanistan?

Why did Canada enter into the conflict in the first place? Do you remember? Are they fighting under the same rationale today?

What would victory in Afghanistan look like? What will it take to achieve it?

Was Canada left holding the bag when the U.S. decided to focus on Iraq?

Can less than 40,000 NATO troops from 37 nations accomplish what the Soviet Union couldn't with over 100,000 troops and unlimited brutality?

Are Stephen Harper's comments regarding Iraq any more insightful than George Bush's thoughts on Iraq?

What do you think, Canada?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Betting Against The Global Warming League

It's NHL playoff time, and the Tampa Bay Lightning are out in the first round. Despite having two of my favourite players (Lecavalier, St. Louis), I can never support a hockey team that represents a state or city where ice doesn't naturally occur.

Tampa Bay,Florida, Phoenix, Dallas, and San Jose--You're on notice.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bizarro America

Chapter 32: In Which Our Intrepid Hero Learns The 'Fake News' Is More Informative Than The Networks...

From Today's Editor & Publisher

A new survey of 1,502 adults released Sunday by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that despite the mass appeal of the Internet and cable news since a previous poll in 1989, Americans' knowledge of national affairs has slipped a little. For example, only 69% know that Dick Cheney is vice president, while 74% could identify Dan Quayle in that post in 1989.

Other details are equally eye-opening. Pew judged the levels of knowledgeability (correct answers) among those surveyed and found that those who scored the highest were regular watchers of Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Colbert Report. They tied with regular readers of major newspapers in the top spot -- with 54% of them getting 2 out of 3 questions correct. Watchers of the Lehrer News Hour on PBS followed just behind.

Virtually bringing up the rear were regular watchers of Fox News. Only 1 in 3 could answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly. Fox topped only network morning show viewers.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of the National Rifle Association

This is the first thing the White House had to say about the tragedy in Virginia today:

A White House spokesman said President Bush was horrified by the rampage and offered his prayers to the victims and the people of Virginia. ``The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed,'' spokeswoman Dana Perino said

What do you think, Canada?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

I was just about to thumb through a copy of Slaughterhouse Five to find one of my favourite Vonneygut passages. Thankfully, Atrios did my heavy lifting for me:

Here's a passage from Slaughterhouse Five, or the Children's Crusade:

"...Rosewater was on the next bed, reading, and Billy drew him into the conversation, asked him what he was reading this time.

So Rosewater told him. It was The Gospel from Outer Space, by Kilgore Trout. It was about a visitor from outer space, shaped very much like a Tralfamadorian, by the way. The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low.

But the Gospels actually taught this:

Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn't well connected. So it goes.

The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn't look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought, and Rosewater read out loud again:

Oh boy - they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!

And that thought had a brother: "There are right people to lynch." Who? People not well connected. So it goes".

It's up to Stephen Colbert to carry the satirical torch now.



Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Easter Wings


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How Old Am I?

I still remember the days when Will Farrel was funny.



Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Cyber Hunter-Gatherer

The quest: To increase the number of fresh, healthy greens in our diet.

The strategy: Googling veggies. The produce aisle is full of exotic green leafy stuff. Simply buy something new, take it home, and search for an online recipe.

Today's menu: Rapini, which tastes like a cross between swiss chard and broccoli. I cut it into two inch pieces and sauteed it with garlic, onions, tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds.

I've used the same approach with fish...fresh skate wings, anyone?



Friday, April 06, 2007

Fela Kuti Remembered Here


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

American Idiot

Lately, many of my Canadian friends have been asking the resident American about the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Here's my latest take...

John McCain's Campaign Is Over

...Well, not yet--but it should be. His recent field trip to Iraq underscores not only his detachment from reality, but also his complete disregard for the troops and the Iraqi people:

"...he told a talk radio host that there are "are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through." Then, when the claim was widely mocked, he went to Baghdad to prove his point, strolling around a local market. "I've been here... many times over the years... Never have I been able to go out into the city, as I was today," he said in a Green Zone press conference.

Of course, McCain neglected to mention that his outing was into an area just a "three minute" drive from the Green Zone. Or that he was wearing body armor, at the time. Or that he was accompanied by "100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead."

Read It Here:

Can anyone guess what happened the day after his stroll though the market?

Read it:

American Idiot, indeed. Did it ever occur to McCain that there might be consequences to his actions that aren't related to his presidential campaign?


Monday, April 02, 2007

The Spanish Power Tower

No, it's not someone's porn nickname, it's the future of solar energy, and it's happening now...

Europe has gained a new source of renewable energy with the inauguration of the continent's first-ever "power tower" at the centre of a field of mirrors near the southern Spanish town of SanlĂșcar la Mayor.
The 115-metre-high tower (377ft) is the key element in what is being hailed as the world's first-ever commercial power tower plant. Rings of huge mirrors laid out around it reflect and focus the sun's power, beaming it back up to the top of the tower where the intense heat is absorbed and transmitted to a steam-driven generator.

Read It:

The power tower will produce enough energy to power an estimated 6,000 homes.

When I was young, the conventional wisdom was that wind, solar, and geothermal energy could only meet the tiniest fraction of our energy needs. People who installed solar panels and windmills were considered crackpots and hippies. As the world moves toward intractable conflict over finite resources, the smart money will move toward renewables.

Goodbye, Quality!

After reading Dan Stout's recent Maufactured Environments post on the untimely demise of many a fine blog, I realize my own writing has come to a crossroads.

If my blog is to survive, I must give you my worst.

The problem I have is the same problem everyone else seems to have: I don't have the time or energy to come up with something good as often as I'd like. My ego would rather have me write well than often, so I write infrequently. What I've come to realize is the road to writing well travels down the road of self-abasement; in order to write well, one must write often. There is no other way.

Here's what I've decided to do:

I'll try to post something five days a week. Some days, you'll get my worst. I pledge to be a half-assed slacker blogger rather than an occasional blogger of higher quality. If I can't come up with anything, I'll phone in and post a youtube video or quote. This is my pledge to you, gentle reader.
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