Post No Bills
Welcome to the Me Show.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
  • The CRTC is letting RAI and other foreign-language broadcasters into Canada. The CBC had an excellent story this evening on the background to the CRTC decision - namely pressure on Canada from the Italian government on behalf of its state broadcaster (RAI). Regrettably, I'm having trouble finding a relevant link.

    The story was fascinating because (a) Canada's domestic laws are changing on behalf of Italy - and the process was not entirely on the up and up; and (b) the reason Italy cares is that the Italian electoral system is changing to give Italian expats special seats in the legislature, which means there will be people running for Italian office in Canada. It is a singularly wild example of the evolution of the Westphalian state system: transnationalism and the decline of territoriality as an organizing principle.

  • The right in Canada is always good for a chuckle. Here's - ooh, hey, there goes Mansbridge's ideological bias...

  • Friday, December 17, 2004
  • In the year 2014, the New York Times has gone offline.

  • Wednesday, December 15, 2004
  • Kevin Drum's got your missile shield update. Although it's not much of an update because, yeah, the missile defence doesn't work.
    The Missile Defense Agency has attempted to conduct the test several times this month, but scrubbed each one for a variety of reasons, including various weather problems and a malfunction on a recovery vessel not directly related to the equipment being tested.

    Really, you'd think a missile defence system would be all-weather.
    The military is in final preparations to activate missile defenses designed to protect against an intercontinental ballistic missile attack from North Korea or elsewhere in eastern Asia.

    Too stupid for words, really. "Final preparations", except this is the first test in two years, the first test to actually use the same kind of booster rockets that will be used in the real system, and, um, a total failure. And, of course, the likelihood of a surprise ICBM strike from North Korea or China is about nil. This is the Maginot Line of our time.
    "Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
    –General George S. Patton

  • Tuesday, December 14, 2004
  • New get your war on: page 43.

  • Sunday, December 12, 2004
  • So this will make you very angry: Clips of right-wing US pundits trashing Canada. Via Wonkette.

  • Tuesday, December 07, 2004
  • Signs of the Decline:

    Josh Marshall has them here and here.
    The Economist:
    If America keeps on spending and borrowing at its present pace, the dollar will eventually lose its mighty status in international finance. And that would hurt: the privilege of being able to print the world's reserve currency, a privilege which is now at risk, allows America to borrow cheaply, and thus to spend much more than it earns, on far better terms than are available to others.

    The Financial Times:
    Members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries have cut the proportion of deposits held in dollars from 75 per cent in the third quarter of 2001 to 61.5 per cent. ... Private Middle East investors are believed to be worried about the prospect of US-held assets being frozen as part of the war on terror, leading to accelerated dollar-selling after the re-election of President George W. Bush.

    One of the things that the 1970s oil crisis revealed quite starkly was that when it comes to international politics, America's oilmen have more in common with the Middle East's oilmen than they do with the their fellow citizens. The OPEC embargo of the US drove up oil prices, badly hurting the US economy and causing considerable disruption in the lives of many Americans. And the US Oil industry was happy about it.

    Every time I think Bush can't be that evil or that corrupt, he does something to prove me wrong. But here I go again:

    Bush can't possibly be so corrupt as to willingly tank the American economy just to drive up oil prices. He's done enough for the price of oil, hasn't he?

  • Sunday, December 05, 2004
  • It's like they wake up and ask themselves, "What shall today's evil deed be?"

    "Just about everybody agrees the Endangered Species Act is broken," said Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., a cattleman turned chairman of the House Resources Committee.


  • Give that man a prize.

    Kevin Drum has found a doofus in the US Congress. I know, I know, not an impressive feat, but really, read about him here and here.

    Democracy. It's, um... good for a laugh!

  • Thursday, December 02, 2004
  • Sharp divides:
    Nearly half of Americans believe a father must be master of the house. Less than twenty percent of Canadians agree.

    And from some of the idiotic abstinence-only programs they have down there:
    The curriculum also teaches: "The father gives the bride to the groom because he is the one man who has had the responsibility of protecting her throughout her life. He is now giving his daughter to the only other man who will take over this protective role."

  • moon phases



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