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

Contact me at revmod AT gmail.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Long story short

If you aren't a big follower of American politics, here's the short version.

Valerie Plame was a CIA agent. Her husband, a former ambassador, investigated the Niger yellowcake claim, and wrote in the New York Times that the claim was false. Shortly thereafter, Plame was outed in the media as a CIA agent, ending her career and putting lives at risk.

Now, Ambassador Wilson says the leak came from Karl Rove. Yes, Karl Rove. "Bush's brain."

Things at the White House are spinning out of control.

I only think one thing is certain about this case: someone's going to jail.

Here's the full story, including lots of links. Here's the place to pick a perp-walking winner. Can you say schadenfreude?

Yeah, me neither.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Light blogging for a while

Of course, if past experience is any guide, my declaration actually means I will find a great deal I need to blog over the next several days.

Nonetheless, if you're finding the text here a little stale, I'm sure you can find some new and interesting tales on Jim Elve's blog.

Or for something a little more primal, just Howl.
More from the "race wars"

Remember my post from a few days ago, where I outlined why I thought Affirmative Action remains a good idea? I'm come across more.

Quick quiz. Who's more likely to get an interview for an American job: an honest black man, or a white felon?

Via Cursor's Media Transparency.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Robert Palmer, 1949-2003

You know, after not noting the death of Johnny Cash on this blog, I feel a little silly here. But as much as I enjoyed Johnny, and as much as his music has entered my adult life, he was just... you know, there while I was growing up.

But Robert Palmer was something else. The CBC's article on his death suggests he'll be remembered for the videos filled with identical attractive women with detached expressions on their faces. And that was certainly my introduction to him (despite having Doctor Doctor in my head from years before). But to me, Palmer changed while I did. As I lost interest in the "hard pop" music he was so successful with in the mid-eighties, he was experimenting with all sorts of genres. Despite the bad review on this page, this remains one of my favourite albums when I'm in the mood for some smooth-voiced crooning.

Like Cash and Warren Zevon, Palmer was doing interesting work, challenging himself to the end. He left us with a lengthy and varied discography.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Democracy watch

Florida's Gubernatorial race is back on, despite the court's serious concerns about the punch card voting system.

Thirty-seven states use electronic voting systems with questionable security.

You know how I like to vote? I like to use a pencil on a paper ballot. You know how I like it counted? By a polling clerk looking at it at the end of the evening, and saying, "Hey, look, one for the NDP! Weird!" And then adding a checkmark to a column. Tamper-resistant, fast, and reviewable by a judge, should it come to that.
Worst. Protest. EVER.

Young Republicans as Southern Methodist University tried to highlight their concern about affirmative action through a preferential-pricing bake sale this morning.

A sign said white males had to pay $1 for a cookie. The price was 75 cents for white women, 50 cents for Hispanics and 25 cents for blacks.
First of all, a dollar for a cookie is a pretty cheap. But just like college admissions, there's a whole lotta white guys here complaining about already getting a pretty sweet deal.

You know, back in my day at college, we used to do something similar. We charged men a dollar for a donut that only cost sixty-nine cents for women, illustrating that working women earned, on average, sixty-nine cents to every dollar a man earned.

And look! It's still true.

Women earn 72 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to the Census Bureau. African Americans are paid 78 cents for every dollar earned by whites and Latinos earn 67 cents, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics(These are all American statistics, but it was a US university, so I'm going to go with them - Don)
It seems the women, at 75 cents a cookie, were still getting ripped off! Huh! Perhaps the discount was too deep for black and latino students, but hey, it's not an exact science.

All of this is to illustrate the point of affirmative action. Opportunity is not equal for all people, for reasons quite apart from merit. Like those tasty Republican cookies, a college admissions system which recognizes and attempts to balance those discrepancies looks like an advantage for the otherwise disadvantaged. Like the donuts, it's really only an attempt to bring the scales closer to balance.

I saw, but didn't hear, some black students reacting to the protest during a CNN walkabout. Here's what I hope they said:

"You know, since I'm over six times more likely to be incarcerated than those pasty fellows at the table, since my children are far more likely to die as infants, and since I can expect to die six years earlier, I'm gonna have me a cheap cookie."

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

CNN reacts to Bush's speech

I love the caption line that has popped up under some interviews (since the closed captioning in my office isn't working, I have to read what I can):

"What do Americans want?"

Tough question. But from the sounds of it, my guess is someone else to pay for Iraqi occupation. And keep your stupid Frenchie opinions to yourself, mon frere.

Hey, good luck with that, America!

I would like to also point out that Bush reached out to other nations with his strong stand against slavery and the sexual exploitation of children. Way to go out on a limb, Dubya! While that's just fine, perhaps signing Kyoto and the landmine treaty would get you somewhere with the rest of the planet, too.
More fun with France

In light of Shrub's UN address today ("Hey, guys... Freedom Fries? We were just kidding!"), I thought it was worth mentioning the recent essay by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times (registration required, but lie all you want) that all the blogs have been talking about.

It's time we Americans came to terms with something: France is not just our annoying ally. It is not just our jealous rival. France is becoming our enemy.
Whoo-hoo! Damn, time for another cold war! Perhaps Jacques Chirac can stand picturesquely in this spot, declaring "Mr. Bush, tear down this wall!"

The best rebuttal to the Friedman essay that I've found is by Greg Palast, here.

Friedman calls voting a, "loopy symbolic transfer of Iraqi sovereignty." Friedman, Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein all have the same line: Iraqis aren't ready for democracy. Well, I suppose Tom Paine would have disagreed -- but, hell, he moved to France.


France's election suggestion was prompted by our Secretary of State, the pitiable Colin Powell who, on his boss Rumsfeld's orders, demanded the European Union pony up $5 billion cash to rebuild the parts of Iraq we bombed. (Dollars only, euros not accepted.) And, says the Rummy to Elderly Europe, "Send us 25,000 troops and put'em under US command." After all, didn't we graciously replace France in Vietnam after Dien Bien Phu? Apparently, Rumsfeld thought France would jump at the chance for another game of Colonial Quagmire.

My first fall reading material

Hang on, Sunny!
Disgusting, anti-democratic

I could come up with other ways to describe the farce at Calgary City Council yesterday, but how many names to we need? For those of you not here, Council was debating a motion to change the title of representitives from "Alderman" to "Councillor". Four Aldermen spoke to the motion, all in favour, and Council defeated the motion 11-4.

Put aside the reasons to keep or change the title. After all, City Council did. Seriously, there's a certain responsibility to debate motions you're going to defeat - for at least one member to read into the public record the reasons Councillors will be voting no. The ten (and the Mayor) who silently failed this motion, however, are not Councillors. They are not Aldermen. They have proved themselves to be empty chairs.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Forget the 2000 US election night

We here at the RevMod Decision 2003 desk would like to declare Paul Martin "elected". Notwithstanding some sort of bus-related traffic misfortune, Paul Martin will be the twenty-first Prime Minister of Canada, qualifying thousands more Canadians for free WestJet flights. All men. I'm just sayin'.

So, is there anyone in the country who didn't see this coming months ago? Is there something wrong with a system that has to be slowly but surely hijacked for a decade to get someone elected leader of the party?

My congratulations also go out to Ms Copps, who did her damnedest to make this a campaign about policy. Good try there, Sheila!

Once again, we are declaring Paul Martin "Elected".

Friday, September 19, 2003

An organization after my own heart.

Check out this set of revolutionaries

Yar, ya caught me! It's really just promotional material for some CBC programming this evening. But it's moderately funny.
Yar yar!

Krispy Kreme has been sailing uncharted Canadian waters recently, threatening the local Tim Horton's barges. Fearing inevitable keelhauling, Tim has responded by putting the wrong peg-leg forward.

Frozen doughnuts? Factory production? Scurvy dogs!

(I am seriously running out of pirate talk... sorry.)

What can a scurvy prairie boy like myself contribute to International Talk Like a Pirate Day?

How about The Last Saskatchewan Pirate?

"A swinging sword, a skull 'n bones, and pleasant company

I never pay my income tax, and screw the GST

Prince Albert down to Saskatoon, the terror of the sea,

If you want to reach the Co-op, boy, you gotta get by me"

Yarrrr, Metis.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Question of the day:

Why break the Saddam - 9/11 link now, after convincing 70% of the voters of it?

Tom Tomorrow asks the question I tried to answer yesterday. It occurs to me that my answer was tacked on, and went unexplained if you don't follow the links, so I'm going to spell it out.

Wesley Clark has been arguing for as long as the Bushites have been working toward war with Iraq that it was a bad idea. And in June, he told the following embarrassing (to the administration) tale, which I stealth-linked in the previous post (Click on Clark's name, get this page - click on "presidential candidate", get a whole different story):

CLARK: "There was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein."

RUSSERT: "By who? Who did that?"

CLARK: "Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, 'You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.' I said, 'But--I'm willing to say it, but what's your evidence?' And I never got any evidence."
This went severly underreported at the time, buut now that Clark is a presidential candidate, what are the chances this wouldn't come up?

Tom disagrees, it seems. His favourite guess can be found here, via here, but it doesn't involve General Wes. Compare and decide!

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

It's gotta be said:

Congratulations to Ryan Malcolm for winning Canada's most successful game show ever. CTV has a toaster-oven with your name on it.

Congratulations to Jenny Gear for approaching my personal list populated by such luminaries as Janeane Garofalo.

And finally, congratulations to Ben Mulroney for fully establishing himself as this generation's Jim Perry.
Another day, another motion

See those links scrolling along under the title? See the links to the Bill C-250 posts? C-250 has been the flashpoint issue for a lot of oddball concerns, and led to some strange but admittedly grassroots campaigning.

C-250 would amend the hate speech legislation to add sexual orientation as a protected difference. Essentially, anyone advocating genocide against homosexuals would have to make a visit to court, if this bill passes. Some of your more fundamental Christian leaders fear that they won't be able to mutter bible passages about Sodom and Gommorah on streetcorners any longer if this passes.

I hope that Parliament disagrees, and after yesterday's marriage vote, I'm hopeful it will. But let me remind you of one of the pressures that failed yesterdays vote: the tendency of government members to vote against opposition resolutions. I think this is going to fail today, but I think and hope it will come back as a government motion in the very near future.

Update: I'll be damned! They passed it... huge! Glad I wasn't betting on the result.
Hanging the crazy right out to dry - and yes, that means you, Cheney!

The linking of Saddam Hussein and al Quada went on for months pre-war. From the administration, it was always thinly veiled, so as to avoid a straight-out lie (an exception was when the Bushites thought they had evidence of a meeting between Iraqi officials and one of the hijackers... this evidence didn't hold up under scrutiny). But (and I'm bringing my recently-completed Franken book knowledge to bear, here) there were plenty of right-wing "media people" who would pick up the implication, and make it explicit, pushing that explicit connection into the public domain where the not-right-wing (which is not to say "left-wing") media picks it up.

On Sunday, the Vice-President repeated the claim on Meet the Press.

MR. RUSSERT: The Washington Post asked the American people about Saddam Hussein, and this is what they said: 69 percent said he was involved in the September 11 attacks. Are you surprised by that?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No. I think it�s not surprising that people make that connection.

MR. RUSSERT: But is there a connection?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: We don�t know. You and I talked about this two years ago. I can remember you asking me this question just a few days after the original attack. At the time I said no, we didn�t have any evidence of that. Subsequent to that, we�ve learned a couple of things. We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the �90s...


...we�ve had the story that�s been public out there. The Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack, but we�ve never been able to develop anymore of that yet either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just don�t know.
This continues a theme that the administration had been working on for a while:

March 16, 2003, Dick Cheney, Meet the Press: But the�again, I come back to this proposition�Is it [war in Iraq] cost-free? Absolutely not. But the cost is far less than it will be if we get hit, for example, with a weapon that Saddam Hussein might provide to al-Qaeda, the cost to the United States of what happened on 9/11 with billions and billions of dollars and 3,000 lives. And the cost will be much greater in a future attack if the terrorists have access to the kinds of capabilities that Saddam Hussein has developed.
Notice the casual linking, without explicit accusation? Smart and tricky!

So what's happening now?

Interview, Nightline, National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice:"We have never claimed that Saddam Hussein ... had either direction or control of 9/11,"

Pentagon Briefing, Tuesday: Q: There have been a number of public opinion polls that show a fairly sizable percentage of the public believes that Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11 attacks. Do you believe that?

Rumsfeld: I've not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that I could say that. We know he was giving $25,000 a family for anyone who would go out and kill innocent men, women and children. And we know of various other activities. But on that specific one, no.
Why back away from this claim now? Four words: Wesley Clark: Presidential candidate.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

What the hell is wrong with the American government? Part 3411:

Look, we understand you don't like Yasser Arafat, and there are good reasons for feeling that way. But Israel will only make the situation worse if they kill or exile him. Perhaps you should have taken the opportunity at the UN to help deliver that message, not to mention actually stand alongside the rest of the world for a change. You know, instead of making matters worse?
In defense of private enterprise

The Government of Canada produces crappy pot.
Living in the Caribbean might not be so bad

Reason one, essays by this prominent Canadian journalist get published there. Think he'd come to Cayman to speak? (On the other hand, this might be the wrong time for me to be headed there. I'm up for the justice fight, but who knows when "discrepancies" would be found in my work visa?)

Second reason: more obvious. Yes, that's snow, at least at the time of posting.

Does anyone really think the Reform Party Canadian Alliance is trying to have a legal impact with their motion on the definition of marriage? Clearly, they're mostly attempting to make a point. And that point is: the Liberal party is gutless.

The point is accurate. But the motion will, I suspect, go down in flames. All of those Liberals who are on the fence or leaning toward voting against gay marriage must surely be considering that giving themselves a black eye is not going to be helpful to their party, and to their reelection chances.

If the Reform Party Canadian Alliance had been serious about this effort, the first step should have been to talk to the NDP, and have the motion come from that bench, and in favour of gay marriage. That motion would probably fail, given the current tally, and the tendency of government members to vote against opposition motions. Would Jack Layton be into exposing the Liberals as the unprincipled poll-followers they are? Probably. I like the election ads: "The Liberals are opposed to the Charter of Rights. But the New Democrats believe in Trudeau's vision. What's happened to Trudeau's party?" And in the meantime, Stephen Harper would have its evidence that the Liberals are split, and that the government was merely being opportunist when they voted in favour of "the traditional definition of marriage" in 1999.

The Liberals have some trouble because of today's motion. They would have had a lot more trouble with the other. And, as I've argued before, I don't think the right for gay couples to marry is actually at risk from any motion in the House, so I think this is all about politics, and very little about law.

Monday, September 15, 2003

The heart of darkness

As I've been wandering the web looking for those thoughtful rebuttals (see previous post) that exist in my imagination (but apparently nowhere in reality), I've come across things that concern me deeply. This is the most disconcerting.

Edited to add: Yes, I recognize there's crazy Nazis and child porn and all sorts of way-worse nastiness on the web, but I don't tend to see it. And I didn't seek out gun-nut gags - I came across this while searching for serious discourse from the right. I think the other has to be sought.

Please do not leave links to such nastiness in the comments section - I will drop the comments if I can't weed out a post pointing to something illegal.

Further edited to add: I don't think every attempt at humour made by the right - even made by the same site - is not funny. I had a pretty good laugh at this, actually.

No, wait - no I didn't. It's sort of dull-witted. But at least I didn't feel offended and fearful that others might find it amusing. I can't say the same for the first link.
The last of my summer reading

On Saturday, I finally dug up a copy of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, and have been reading it in most of my spare hours since. Today, I thought I'd look for the rebuttals online. After all, the charges that Al Franken makes are pretty serious, and if I were Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, or Bill O'Reilly, I'd probably want to address each charge specifically and carefully. But then, I'm not a lying liar, afraid of being exposed as such.

Here's the best rebuttal I could find. The best rebuttal:

Fox News has become the highest-rated news network on cable because we feature lively debate and all honest voices are welcome. We don't do drive-by character assassinations, and we don't denigrate opposing points of view by launching gratuitous personal attacks. Fox's presentation is in the tradition of the raucous town meeting where passion and conviction are on display. We challenge people of all political persuasions.

It makes me sick to see intellectually dishonest individuals hide behind the First Amendment to spread propaganda, libel and slander. But this is a growing trend in America, where the exchange of ideas often degenerates into verbal mud wrestling with intent to injure. The poo-bahs at The Times know what a smear campaign is, but apparently, if it's directed at an enterprise the paper disapproves of, it's okay. I wonder how The Times' editorialists would react if their faces graced a book cover accompanied by the word "liar." Oh, right, they'd consider it satire.
Wait a minute. Drive-by character assassination? It's a book! And it's filled with detailed evidentiary arguments. Admittedly, the personal attacks are there too (check the title), but when Franken offers up a list of lies, and then calls the issuer of the lies a "liar", it can't simply be written off as an ad hominem argument.

Again, if I were one of the people fingered as a lying liar, I'd probably be addressing the specific examples Franken raises to disprove the general charge. I'll keep looking for that rebuttal, but until I find one, I have to assume Franken knows what he's talking about.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Come and knock on our door

John Ritter isn't actually dead after all. You see, Chrissy thought he was dead because of something she overheard Larry say at the Regal Beagle, but it turned out he was just banging Janet.

Yes, I am an unbelievable dick.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Two years later

A quick inventory on this somber day.

September 11, 2001 brought the United States the world's sympathy and solidarity. An unnecessary war against an unrelated country persued unilaterally, with a thumb in the eye of the UN for good measure, has spent all of that goodwill and more.

Meanwhile, the man believed to be primarily responsible for the murder of those three thousand people that Tuesday morning is still wandering around in the mountains, preaching hate to an audience more ready than ever to listen.

What should be a quiet day of reflection is thus transformed into reflection of the horrible foreign policy failures of the Bush administration, and reflection of the fact that as a result, the world is much more dangerous than it was when war on terror was declared.

Update: Osama bin Laden's mountain wanderings may not be as up-to-date as I implied. Who am I to judge such things?

Further update: I added a link, found via Tom, to illustrate the concepts of sympathy and solidarity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Another answer to my technical question

If RevMod 2.0 is looking a little plain, a little dull, blame the Web Page Analyzer. How long are you willing to wait to see my page? 24.56 seconds over a 33.6K modem?

Via WIFLblog (151.89 seconds!).

(Edited to correct the link)
Either out-of-date, or ahead of the next war

Via this post, the idiocyncratic Glob & Wail has introduced me to these fine works of political art.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Drug war update

In Edmonton's ongoing battle to fight the deadly scourge of tobacco, they have sided fully with alcohol.

The Keep it Simple club in Edmonton will not be getting any exemption to the new bylaw, which only allows smoking in establishments which hold a liquor license.

In related news, Vancouver closes its first safe injection site, because it was discovered that heroin users were occasionally smoking on the premises.

Wait a minute! No, it didn't! Despite a way more restrictive anti-smoking bylaw, the city of Vancouver is smart enough to know that public health bylaws should not attempt to take precedence over, for example, public health. What are your childhood traumas, Edmonton city councilors? Grow up and get your heads on straight. I fear when their one sanctuary no longer feels welcoming to them, some alcoholics turned regulars at this place will return to the bottle. I hope those ones hang around city hall, you dolts.
Once more, with feeling

I was half-tempted to delete my previous, tepid post responding to the US request that the UN join them in occupying Iraq, and replace it with this post. But I'll let my record of "me-again" punditry stand as a reminder not to post when work is too crazy.

But in the meantime, Jason Vest's excellent essay actually provides something new and thoughtful to the discussion. To wit, more and better reasons for the UN to avoid getting involved in this particular morass, as much as it seems to be the humane thing to do:

...in characteristic fashion, [the Bush administration] is defaulting to its arrogance-as-usual mode despite its ever-mounting problems. While this wrong-headed chutzpah would be cause enough for the UN to turn its back on the administration, there are two more important reasons not to accede to its ill-conceived terms.

The first is fairly obvious. Granting a patina of respectability and an infusion of deferential assistance to an occupier that doesn't know what it is doing in Iraq is only likely to make matters worse. Indeed, if the Pentagon's track record thus far is used as a barometer, the U.S. has done little to merit the primacy it so arrogantly insists upon.


[And the second reason is that] Accepting the US draft proposal essentially rewards the temerity of neoconservatives whose ambition is to re-fashion the United Nations to suit their imperial needs.
Okay, now I get to repeat myself: enabling.

Read the whole thing, particularly if you happen to be your country's representative on the Security Council.

Update: for more on the arrogance-as-usual mode, this essay puts it nicely in perspective. And the most accurate view, as always, can be found here.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Brother, can you spare 870 billion dimes?

The Iraqometer tells me the US has already spent $81 Billion on their war, so what's another $87B?

The more interesting part of the story, of course, is that without accepting any responsibility for the mess, he wants the rest of the world to clean it. What could I possibly add that I haven't already said here and here? And let me remind you again about this fine essay from the Guardian.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Hit me!

Some time today I'm going to pass the 5000-hit mark. Not bad for eight months of viewings - not a crazy huge crowd, but I like it here, a little quieter, a little lower-pressure. Thanks to all who came through the door, and a special thanks to those who sent them along.

And going by my recent hits, I may have Dave Pollard (no, not that one, Bill) to thank for sending #5000 through the door. Thanks for the very kind review, which has led to other new links in. I have some serious updating to do to my reciprocal link list, but I was kinda hoping to put it off until RevMod 2.0 was ready to roll. Guess we'll see.

Thanks also to Dave for inviting me to play the interview game, which is burning up the blogs. But I'm going to take a pass, because I feel like the less known about me, the better. Plus, I'd have to feign interest in other people who wanted to be interviewed, and I'm too much of a bastard for that.

To the new faces, glad to see you! Have a look around, drop me a note, leave a comment. I'll try to keep the self-repetition and "me-too punditry" to a minimum. Sometimes, it just can't be avoided.
What the hell is wrong with me?

I drove into work today, listening to the radio news, "tsk"ing at Jack Layton, and nodding my head to Stephen Harper.

First, to Jack Layton. Jack wants the entire NDP caucus to vote in favour of allowing same-sex marriage. That's well and good. Jack will enforce party unity on the vote. Not so good.

I haven't made a secret of my strong support for gay marriage. And the Ontario court of Appeals says it's a matter of equality and rights. However, I'm a firm believer in a resilient, strong democracy. Party discipline works against that principle, and I think should be used sparingly. In this case, with the other parties allowing freedom for their MPs, it makes the NDP look particularly bad to be cracking the whip. It's also worth noting that I don't think Parliament gets to say "no" permanently to gay marriage... all they'll get to do is spend a bunch of money losing at the Supreme Court, so I don't think Bev can do any permanent damage.

Now to Stephen Harper. He's accusing the government of "rigging" the same-sex court decision so that the government could make the change somewhat free of political heat. And I think his analysis is half-right. And half horribly, horribly wrong.

The idea that the Prime Minister bothered to stack the bench of the Ontario Court of Appeals is a little absurd. Stack it with Liberals, sure, but as the split in his caucus proves, not all capital-L Liberals are small-l liberals. And Canadian judicial appointees have a very good record of avoiding political influence once they reach the bench.

But the half he got right is the part about the Prime Minister being happy with the decision, and happy to take this opportunity to attempt a legislative change that he couldn't have easily initiated without the court decision. And it shows a certain lack of political nerve on the part of the Prime Minister. Considering he's headed out the door, that's actually quite a bit of lack.

It also shows a lack of judicial creativity on the court's behalf. Remember the good old days of the constitutional repatriation reference? Sure, Mr. Trudeau, you could patriate without the Premiers - but you probably shouldn't. That's what judicial creativity looks like, and we could use more of it in the country right now.

I guess this is the "moderate" part of my being a revolutionary moderate. I'll be back on the crazy leftie track soon.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

No means no

The United States has left the rest of the world in an impossible position. On the one hand, no country that didn't sign up for the war should be now enabling their pointless and stupid imperialist aggression. On the other hand, the citizens of Iraq have paid and paid and paid already for US and British foreign policy that was selfish, ill-thought-out, or aimless adventurism. So when Colin Powell asks the world to lend a hand, I'm torn:

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Wednesday specifically asked Britain, France, Germany and Russia to support a United Nations resolution that calls for a multinational force in Iraq, but with the U.S. firmly in control of the tiller.[Italics mine]
Maybe not so impossible... that makes it easier to decide.

Okay, here's the deal, America. Admit that the invasion was a mistake, admit that the deaths of hundreds of American troops and thousands of Iraqi civilians met no legitimate foreign policy objective, and accept responsibility for that error, starting with resignations. The President, the Secretary of State, and anyone who loudly advocated for the invasion in the first place... those would be a good start. How many jobs are three hundred young American men and women worth? How many more for the over ten thousand Iraqi soldiers, and over six thousand civilians? (Going by the September 11 calculation, zero firings to three-thousand odd dead converts to zero:infinity, no matter how high the numbers get in Iraq, but never mind).

Until you're willing to admit your error, the only term we could use to describe Canadian contributions to your efforts in Iraq is "enabling". Once you admit you have a problem, America, hey, we're here for you.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Light posting this week

The week after Labour Day is traditionally the busiest week of the year for my support desk. I don't expect I'm going to know much about what's going on, much less form opinions about it. But if you need a fresh SAP password, I'm your man!

I'll try to keep up, maybe post a few sentences here and there. But if I seem a little outdated, a little out of the loop, a little non-political, well, the good news is we're moving back into the high season for political activity, so it won't last.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Technical Question

When I look at the file on my FTP server that is this page, it shows 29K. The little bit of graphics along the left might be that much again. So why is my page such a slow pig to load? All the graphics are local on my web space host.

You might not notice it on any sort of high-speed connection, but on dial-up, it can take thirty seconds or more. Considering my goal of making my page accessible vs. fancy, this is a little disappointing.