Today's survival tip of the day

Contained within the title today is a link to a site where you shall learn how to start a fire with only a pop can and an average chocolate bar. Don't ask me how. Just click the link. It might save your life someday.

And in other news, it's almost time for me to move to my apartment... I've almost finished painting it (with help from my good friend, Katie), and will be moving when I return from a trip to Ottawa to do some training for my union. So, May 3rd is the day of moving, and if you're free I'm always open to having some help... strong back's are even more welcome, as there are a few heavy things that need to be dragged in.



Wow... I feel uninformed

Am I the only one who has never heard of this? The Organization of American States.

Bush rewards his failures

From the Toronto Sun (link in title):

U.S. commission on Iraq just the latest surge in a Niagara of whitewash, Eric Margolis says

U.S. intelligence was "dead wrong" in its pre-war beliefs about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, a U.S. presidential commission reported 10 days ago.

And just as wrong about nearly every other charge levelled at Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

This column also used "dead wrong" over the past decade when attacking all the lies being manufactured about Iraq.

Interestingly, the many journalists and pundits who heaped abuse on my head and accused me of treason for daring to challenge the pro-war propaganda they so greedily lapped up have fallen strangely silent as the truth about Iraq emerges.

Still, let's recall that the prime mission of presidential and parliamentary commissions tends to be not fact-finding but sweeping scandal under the rug and deflecting blame from politicians.

After mouthing pious verities about needing better intelligence, the commission, appointed by President George W. Bush, amazingly found: (a) No one was really guilty of the Iraq intelligence fiasco; and (b) there was no White House political pressure on the intelligence community to justify the war.

So the mighty Niagara of whitewash flows on. The report made no mention of Bush's claims about Iraqi drones of death, Vice-President Dick Cheney's pressure on the CIA to declare Iraq a nuclear menace, or Condoleezza Rice's terrorizing Americans with talk of nuclear mushroom clouds.

It ignored evidence from senior Bush aides Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke that the president obsessively pushed for war with Iraq soon after taking office.

There was no mention of Doug Feith's Office for Special Plans, a covert Pentagon intelligence shop set up to funnel claims about Iraq to the White House and U.S. media produced by a cabal of pro-war neo-conservatives -- which was investigated for giving Israel classified material. No mention of patriotic CIA officers reportedly fired or demoted for refusing to participate in such activities.

No mention of how national security was corrupted, manipulated and distorted for partisan political gain.

The report called Iraq "one of the most damaging intelligence failures in recent American history."

But, amazingly, the whitewash committee found no one responsible for this disaster. Victory has a hundred fathers; defeat is an orphan.

Iraq just happened. Bad mogambo. A no-fault war.

This is the third preposterous whitewash foisted on credulous Americans.

Whitewash One was the 9/11 investigation.

That commission found no one responsible for allowing the worst attack on the U.S. since Pearl Harbor, though Bush and Rice were bombarded with warnings that an assault was imminent.

The awkward fact that then-attorney general John Ashcroft actually cut spending on terrorism right before 9/11 was conveniently ignored.

Whitewash Two: Torture scandals at Abu Ghraib and other U.S. detention camps. Seven senior military investigations found only a few cases of "minor misconduct" and "isolated abuse" by low-ranking personnel.

The torture of prisoners by electricity, freezing, drowning, sleep and sensory deprivation, beatings, dog attacks, and sexual humiliation were, claimed the Pentagon, all the fault of a few trailer trash sadists, though the chain of responsibility for these war crimes clearly ran right up to the secretary of defence.

Three whitewashes later, many Bush administration officials arguably guilty of monumental blundering or even possible criminal acts have instead been richly rewarded.

Donald Rumsfeld, accused Geneva Conventions violater, was renamed Pentagon chief. National Security Adviser Rice, asleep on guard duty on 9/11, became secretary of state.

Iraq war architect Paul Wolfowitz was forced on the World Bank as its new chief.

Loudmouth neocon buffoon John Bolton was nominated UN ambassador; faithful apparatchik John Negroponte was made intelligence czar. Only the CIA's hand-kissing chief, George Tenet, lost his job, albeit with a Medal of Freedom.

White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez, who wrote briefs justifying torture, was named attorney general. Poor bumbling Colin Powell went from secretary of state to deserved obscurity.

And the commander-in-chief of the whole fiasco, George W. Bush, was triumphantly re-elected by grateful Americans, proving that nothing succeeds like failure -- provided you wave the flag hard enough and keep the whitewash coming.


The Dream Machine has arrived!

Well... in parts, anyways... picture follows. Yes, I'm a nerd. Here's what's in there!


Three good links

1. You know darn well that I'm going to have to take one of these pictures.

2. Remember these pictures the next time you're looking at some babe (stud) in a magazine. Famous people are NOT perfect looking.

3. Memories of Sesame Street. A top 25 list, of which I remember a frighteningly large amount. Sweet.

From #3:

All of my better habits, or lack of bad ones, can be attributed to the advice I took from television characters. I buckle my seat belt because a crash test dummy that talked like Garfield told me I'd die if I didn't. I don't smoke pot because Michaelangelo got together with Baby Miss Piggy & Winnie the Pooh to tell me it was for dorks. And I eat & enjoy my green vegetables, because a unibrowed purple rabbit in a cape said that they're good for me. And they're good for you, so eat them, too.
Amen to that.


Well so much for visiting the US

As if they are trying to kill their tourism industry, the US is going to require Canadians to use a passport in order to enter the country. Yeah, good luck with that, guys. Guess I won't be travelling down south too much after the next couple of years!

Krista, how's this going to affect your family? Do you guys all have passports to begin with?


My dad's going in for surgery in June. With his condition (myotonic dystrophy), there's a greater than normal chance of complications... which include death. But there is good news. Since he's having his gall bladder removed, the chances of complications are much lower than if it were surgery above his abdominal region.

Nonetheless, it worries me. If you wouldn't mind keeping him in your thoughts, it'd be much appreciated, especially as June approaches.


I just want to clear something up...

Apparently some people think I hate the United States.

I don't.

In fact, I admire the country to our south for its successes in the past. Indeed the US has given a lot to the world, and there was a time when it did stand for freedom, liberty, and was a beacon for other countries' peoples. A role model, even.

My beef lies with the people who have control of the US right now. People like the Republicans, who seem hell-bent on destroying every tie with the international community that they have. People like George Bush who believe that there is no other way than his own when it comes to anything. The attitude that American's are the most important people in the world, bar-none. The increasingly fascist tendencies of the government, and its hypocritical spreading of "democracy" when it can't even conduct its own election fairly and without corruption. Then there's the distinct pro-(big) business policies which cut down every average citizen. The poor get poorer, while the rich get richer on their backs.

I have no ill-will toward the average American citizen. It's the tiny minority that seem to have taken control of the government and its policies that I take issue with. These people are ruining the world for everyone with their near-sightedness, and are not being held accountable for their actions. The US is turning into a sort of Big Brother state and it upsets me greatly. Indeed, I do not hate America; I mourn its decline, and I feel pity for the vast majority of its citizens. Things are not well.


I don't want to be insensitive to my friend, Tim, but I just thought I'd mention this idea. So, Tim, my apologies to you if this bothers you at all. Just let me know, I'll archive this post.

I'm thinking about trying fasting. I'm now of an age where I'm not growing anymore, so it's not as dangerous as it might be if I were still a pubescent teen!
Of late, I've been feeling very, well... yuck. Not very healthy, and just generally gross. I need to lose a few pounds from around my middle, and I've felt rather stationary in life, despite the amount of work and energy I put into things lately. I need a bit of a pick-me-up and a rejuvination in my life, so a fast might be the thing to do it.

As I'm moving soon, I think this might be a good time for me to do a clean-up of both my body, and my mind. Fasting seems to offer a lot of benefits in these categories, as it will give all my cells a chance to cleanse themselves, and it's a spiritual experience. Sounds good. Now to do some more research! If anyone has any good information about fasting, feel free to post it in the comments... links are much-welcomed! :)


My Prints Return from the Framer! (Part 2)

Believe it or not, that's an off-white overlay with a black underlay. The colour on my palm's camera is just a tad off in this one.

My Prints Return from the Framer!

They're back, and they're beautiful! :) I apologise for the quality of these pics... I only took a minute, and the reflection is just awful. If you're curious, they're in my brother's room for the time being, to keep them safe from my darling cats who like to destroy things that have paper or wood. I think they just don't like trees.

Just in...

This just in! They've found water on Mars, and they even have a picture for all to see! This is great news! (link in title)

Aha! I knew it!

Remember how I thought something like iMovies would be a good idea? Well, I was right! Sony's setting up with some other companies and they're going to do it!

"We want to set business models, pricing models, distribution models like (Apple Computer CEO Steve) Jobs did for music, but for the film industry," [said Arrieta], "I'm trying to create the new 'anti-Napster."

To that end, Arrieta said, his group plans to digitize Sony Pictures' top 500 films and make them available for the first time in various digital environments within the next year. He said the distribution for films like "Spider-Man 2" will go beyond just Movielink, the video-on-demand joint venture of Sony Pictures and several other major studios, which to date has hosted a limited library of Sony's movies.

For example, Sony plans to sell and make films available in flash memory for mobile phones in the next year, Arrieta said. It also will further develop its digital stores for downloading and owning films on the PC, he said in an interview. Sony's plans--and similar moves by other studios--are likely to avoid empowering any one technology company--such as Apple in the music equation--and allow studios to pocket more of the profits. The philosophy in Hollywood is "Define your own agenda or someone else will for you."