Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

Contact me at revmod AT gmail.

Saturday, November 30, 2002

Speaking of morons...

Two stories had me yelling at my radio this morning. The first (and a link eludes me, but I'll add one when I find one) spoke about a meeting of anti-smoking activists trying once again to have the government ban terms like "light" and "mild" from cigarette branding and advertising. Because anti-smoking activists think smokers are fucking morons who won't be able to figure out Export A Green / Red / Gold / Silver.

Wasn't it the government who in the first place made the industry publish tar and nicotine information on the packaging? And then add carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, and benzene, to make the numbers go from clear to incomprehensible. Now to insure incomprehenibility, lets get rid of the most obvious indicators. I'm no fan of the tobacco industry, but it seems to me that some of the changes and rules pushed by these groups are designed, not to keep people from smoking, but to piss off the companies with arbitrary regulation that gains nothing healthwise.

The second story is even more dumbfounding:

A political scientist in Ottawa says the growing anti-war movement in Canada is based on a lack of understanding about why the world is lining up against Iraq.

Elinor Sloan, a political science professor at Carleton University, says when people start paying more at the gas pump because instability in the Middle East has driven up oil prices, fewer will be heading out to protest a possible war.


She said the U.S. and Canadian government's (sic) haven't explained the situation clearly enough.

You mean the impending war isn't a humanitarian effort? It isn't about terrorism? It isn't about weapons of mass destruction? Am I to understand that a war in Iraq would be about keeping the price of oil low? I sure glad she's cleared this up, because the anti-war activists I know will sure change their tunes knowing that. I mean, "No blood to protect civilian lives at home and abroad" has a certain rhythm to it... who's going to chant "No blood for oil"?

The real question is how this became a story in the first place. Was it simply to display how moronic professors at Cartoon U are? There's got to be some that are smarter than that. I'm glad she's smart enough to recognize the real reasons behind the war, but I think she's mislabelling "intentionally obscuring an unpleasant truth" as "bad communications strategy".

I said I wouldn't go into detail about my job hunt here, and I won't, but Carleton? I probably work cheaper than this shining star if you'd like me to pick up a class or two of hers. And cbc online? I'd be happy to pick up the red pen for you.

Full story here.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Some of my best friends are morons

So Francoise Ducros gets in trouble for being overheard having a clearly off-the-record conversation with another reporter or reporters. She speaks openly about her frustration in having the American government listen to reason and stop the damaging unilateralism it is persuing in Iraq. Some media sources have been calling this a "gaffe" among other, similarly-defined words. I prefer to think of it as an "intervention":

Hey, USA: we like you. You're our friends, and we care about you. We don't want to see you do anything to hurt yourselves, and others. We love you very much, and so you can trust that we're only thinking about your best interests when we tell you what we think you already know: your President is a moron. Now, I know you want to deny this, but the first step in actually beating this problem is acknowleging there is a problem. And while we'll be at your side (literally, your north side, all the time) the entire time you deal with this, the only ones who can solve this is you.
Die Another Day

Not bad. A little bit of Bond character development(!) at the beginning. The CGI was not so good, going from looking kinda crappy to looking okay but stretching the bounds of credulity beyond where even a Bond audience is willing to suspend their disbelief. And, seriously, I hate to pick nits, but if you're driving around on a huge Icelandic glacier, I think you should always use your traction enhancements, rather than saving them for something special like a short incline. I'm just saying, is all.

Monday, November 18, 2002

To those of you who were contesting my contention that Afghanistan is still an issue, check out the summary posted today by Tom Tomorrow.

Impressions on the NDP leadership candidates I met over the weekend later on today or tomorrow.

Friday, November 15, 2002

Chess score: Macfarlane - Cui (November 12, 2002)

Wow, do I suck at chess. What a lovely opening and middlegame, blown when I got too cute:

1. e4 e5 2. f4 d6 3. Nf3 Bg4 4. Bc4 Nf6

5. d3 Nc6 6. O-O d5 7. Bb3 b5 8. Nc3 Bc5+

9. Kh1 Nd4 10. Bxd5 c6 11. Bxf7+ Kf8 12. Be3 Qe7

13. Bxd4 exd4 14. Nb1 Bxf3 15. Qxf3 Kxf7 16. e5 Nd5

17. Nd2 Rhe8 18. Ne4 h6 19. Qh5+ Kg8 20. a3 a5

21. g4 Ne3 22. Rf2 Ra7 23. Nxc5 Qd8 24. Ne4 Rf8

25. g5 hxg5 26. Nxg5 g6 27. Qxg6+ Kh8 28. Ne6 Qd5+

29. Rg2 Nxg2 30. Qh6+ Kg8 31. Qxf8+ Kh7 32. Qf5+ Kh8

33. Qh5+ Kg8 34. Rg1 ??? Rg7 35. Qe8+ Kh7 36. Ng5+ Rxg5

The rest doesn't deserve comment, I don't think. 0-1.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

The richest dog, the most expensive truffle

I couldn't possibly describe this better, or at all, so I'll let August do it. This should be shared far and wide, and what's a blog without links to other blogs, anyway?

Monday, November 11, 2002

Well, so much for "every day"

It occurs to me, in the week of analysis following the American midterns, that I have a very different picture of "decisive" and "overwhelming" than others do. Perhaps some people are recycling the definition as used in Afghanistan, where the decisive victory by the US and its allies has resulted in some safety and control in Kabul, and very little or none outside. But, hey, it was so decisive that the United States has pulled virtually all of its humanitarian support out. I wonder if a neglected Afghanistan might turn into a problem again? Oh, wait... of course it will!

Regardless, I suspect those same commentators better keep their "decisives" handy for the morass that will be a war in Iraq.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Not much today... too busy fighting with html to write w-o-r-d-s. Hey, you Yank... go vote!

Monday, November 04, 2002

Why blog?

I need an excuse to write, every day. If you happen across this site, and you don�t know me, and you aren�t me, well, thanks for coming by. I�m happy to share all of this with you, but I never expected to see you here; I�m quite shocked, in fact.

I like the concept of blog. I like the Socratic method inherent in the conversation that takes place on the internet, though I wish there was a way of dispensing with the bad arguments, in favour of the good. When one writes, one tends to dig in with one�s arguments. I won�t. I won�t erase old arguments that I don�t care for any more, but I won�t be afraid to add to them, perhaps with the counter argument. I think, I change my mind, I explore new ideas, I write new ideas to wear them like clothes and see how they fit. I will believe everything I write while I�m writing it, though perhaps no longer.

This is not a diary; I will not describe my job hunt, or my breakfast, or my sexual fantasies. I will write mostly politics, with perhaps a smattering of film and television. The exception is that I will publish every chess game I play, usually with some analysis. If you have feedback about the chess, please be patient with me� I�m not very smart. If you have feedback about the politics, well, that�s the point, isn�t it? Just remember, abuse is not debate since it tends not to convince the abused.