Ink & Paper

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Man, Tom Waits rules. The man is not appreciated nearly enough.

Saturday morning of a day off, this one scheduled, which is rather nice. Not too much to report, except that I am starting my last university class on Monday. I will be done diddily done by June 16, upon which I may just crack a smile. It should be okay, I hope.

Although I still think Geoff is an idiot, he has been replaced on the top of the most annoying people at work list by a lad named Andrew. This Andrew is one of those people who try to entertain without having any notion of comedic timing. And he is young, only 19, and it shows. Immature things like driving the piss out of our machines, right in front of the clubhouse, leaves me wondering if he wants the boss to yell at him. More likely, he's just an idiot. When I told him that it may not be a great idea to go racing past the pro shop at top speed, he replied that he likes to know the "limits of the machine." It's a goddam John Deere utility vehicle, it has plenty of limits, you idiot. "Oh look, it's tipping over into a pond and we don't have seatbelts, what an interesting limit, would you not say?" Grumblings throughout the shop suggest that I am not the only one bitter with this kid, but I suppose I'm the only one bitter enough to waste my Saturday morning writing about it.

So Rumsfield is under attack for not stopping the abuses at the Iraqi jails, which were known to the administration by mid-January. And testifying yesterday, Rumsfield cautioned that the public should brace themselves for more gruesome pictures coming out of Iraq. Interesting that despite the fact that thousands of Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the invasion and occupation, it is only with this prison fiasco that the administration is admitting warzone Iraq isn't the greatest place on earth. More shit incoming, clear the fan for landing please.

Goddam it Ralph Klein, you are one huge idiot. The other day you compared public auto insurance to the Chilean military coup of 1973, suggesting that the reason that Allende was overthrown and thousands of innocent Chileans were imprisoned/torture/killed, was because the democratically elected socialist Allende did not favour a corporate-owned Chile. You, Ralph, insinuated that Gen. Pinochet, who is now recognized as one of the most inhumane dictators of modern times, was forced to overthrow Allende and that the deaths of thousands because of socialism. When the hell are you,
A: Going to pick up a history book and realize that it was the Cold War-fightng US who back Pinochet, not the Chilean people, and
B: Start governing using common sense instead of ideology?

Edmontonians of Chilean descent, many of whom had to flee Pinochet, are planning a protest for Monday. Good for them.

It's shit like this that makes the NDP look more attractive everyday, even if their fiscal plans are somewhat muddy. At least their bottom line isn't the dollar sign. And most people will forget about Ralph's tirades and juvenile behaviour come election time. Energy rebates anyone? Dumb as posts, us Albertans.

Now I'm in a fighting mood. Maybe I'll go out and find some homeless person, beat the shit out of them verbally, tell them to get a job and throw some coins at their feet. Or perhaps I'll take a stroll through the hospital hallways, looking disdainfully upon the people lying in the hallways because there aren't any rooms available, and snort to myself that perhaps they shouldn't have gotten sick and had the audacity to use of health services in the first place. Or perhaps I'll go to a public school and help the kids study the mighty machine that is the USSR, from textbooks printed in 1985. Oh, the USSR collapsed? Well I'm sure the kids who come from the upper tax bracket will find that out when they start paying $8000 a year for university. Ah, the Alberta advantage, isn't it a progressively conservative wonderland?

Okay, calm down Jay, rest assured that in the future when Alberta has sucked all the oil out of the ground, you'll be one of the minority who can sit back in your old man rocking chair, hitch up your brown pants and say "I told you so." I've updated the links and now I'm going for a walk. Good day to all of you.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 10:07 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Well, I've been given an unexpected day off. And no, it wasn't because I ran down some golfers with my mower. I called the boss this morning and the course is frozen rather solid on account of the November-like weather we are having. Nice to have the day off, my first since I started last Monday, but now I'm up and bored. Maybe I'll go golfing. Nah, maybe not.

The Flames won. I usually don't care too much about hockey, but it is nice to see a small-market Canadian team doing well.

CKUA fundraiser is over, so they are back to regular programming, not the PBS-style programming that drives me nutso. Did you donate? I thought not. Content to live in a watered-down, bland music society are you? Going to get your barcode tattoo soon? If my insults are working you can still donate, just give them a call.

Speaking of calling someone, my brother just sold out and bought a cellphone. I guess this means people actually do call him, which strikes me as a little odd. So now he plans on driving his screaming kids to soccer practice in his Cheerio-infested SUV, swerving all over the road as he talks to Kyle about the latest episode of Debbie Travis's Facelift, or perhaps the latest Trading Spaces. "I can't believe they painted that room rusty red! It totally didn't go with the drapes! Oh my, what WERE they thinking? I also think Ty is hot, don't you Kyle?"

On a more serious note, what with all the noise coming from Iraq regarding the inhumane treatment of prisoners, I have but one comment. Why the hell is anyone surprised? The US is responsible for keeping uncharged people in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for the past 2+ years, so why is torture so far outside our realm of expected US behaviour? I'm not saying it was right, cause god knows it isn't, but to assume this kinda thing doesn't happen in war is rather naive. Lets look at this rationally. If I send 130,000 gunned-up and testosterone-driven troops into a country, occupying it for over a year of kill-or-be-killed mentality, it stands to reason that some of these troops are gonna be a little wacko and take out their frustration on prisoners. So don't tell me that this was unexpected or that the administration did not know or authorize the use of torture. If the US doesn't follow the Geneva Conventions in Cuba, it sure as hell won't do it in a warzone.

The thing is that we have pictures, which are worth far more than 1000 words. We have seen very little visual imagery from G'Bay, Cuba, so it seemingly slips under the radar. No violent images of a batllefield or civilians with missing limbs. Same thing (until recently) with the returning of dead soldiers to the US. No graphic pictures equals no uproar. That is why this prisoner-torture issue is so hot right now. Even the most ignorant can look at pictures and deduce that something is morally wrong.

Enough ranting for today. I'm gonna putter around the apartment for awhile and maybe go for a walk later on. Hope all is well and that you are waving at those oncoming motorists. If they wave back like they know you, you get 1 point. If they give you the finger, you get 5. Later.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 8:48 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Monday, May 03, 2004

Lots of stuff today. Firstly, if you are reading this, good luck to you Arwen, who landed in Greece yesterday. I think she's digging in the dirt, looking for old artifacts. Good on ya, Arwen!

Good time on Saturday afternoon, as Al and Cadrin showed up around 430pm for a bar-b-que, some beers on the back step, and a rather vicious session of cutting Al down. But he is a trooper and a good sport about it, so hopefully he won't stalk ad kill us like the dogs we are. Also good to see Cadrin this past weekend, as he blew through town, got hit on at the bar, and rolled north. And yes, massive arguements ensued about health care and politics.

Here's an article that was forwarded to me by Megan's mom. Be scared and enjoy!

Debate Over 'Nightline' Tribute to War Dead Grows, as McCain Weighs In

May 1, 2004, By BILL CARTER, NY Times

The decision by the Sinclair Broadcast Group to pre-empt a
broadcast of "Nightline" devoted to reciting the names of
every member of the military killed in action in Iraq ran
into a torrent of protest yesterday from viewers, media
watchdog groups, and one prominent veteran of the Vietnam
War, Sen. John McCain.

Senator McCain made public a letter he had sent to the
chief executive of Sinclair, one of the country's largest
owners of local television stations. He wrote that he found
Sinclair's removal of the "Nightline" news program from the
eight ABC affiliates it owns "deeply offensive."

"Your decision to deny your viewers an opportunity to be
reminded of war's terrible costs, in all their
heartbreaking detail, is a gross disservice to the public,
and to the men and women of the United States Armed
Forces," he added. "It is, in short, sir, unpatriotic. I
hope it meets with the public opprobrium it most certainly

ABC was able to secure alternate options for viewers in six
of the eight cities affected, including St. Louis, Mobile,
Ala., and Columbus, Ohio.

The controversy surrounding the "Nightline" broadcast comes
as the news media focuses increased attention on the cost
of the war. News reports have highlighted that more members
of the armed forces were killed in April than in any other
month of the war. Yesterday, at least two newspapers, USA
Today and The Washington Post, displayed rows of
photographs of the war dead. The New York Times published a
page of photographs of war dead on April 15.

Sinclair, whose top executives have made substantial
donations to Republican politicians and which has
editorialized on its stations in favor of the war in Iraq,
said earlier this week that the reading aloud of the names
of the war dead, accompanied by photographs, amounted to an
antiwar statement.

Yesterday, Sinclair's executives did not back down. For
most of the day it was impossible to get calls through to
the main number at the company's headquarters in Baltimore.
Company executives did not respond to messages left on
their individual voice mail systems.

But Sinclair released a letter from its chief executive,
David D. Smith, to Senator McCain in which he wrote that
"responsible journalism" requires that a discussion of the
cost of wars "must necessarily be accompanied by a
description of the benefits of military action and the
events that precipitated that action."

He added: "It is `Nightline's' failure to present the
entire story, however, to which Sinclair objects.
`Nightline' is not reporting news; it is doing nothing more
than making a political statement."

Last night, Sinclair planned to broadcast on its ABC
affiliates a debate about the issue.

ABC News executives declined to comment yesterday. Ted
Koppel, the anchor of "Nightline," said earlier this week
that the program was intended to honor the dead and remind
viewers of the human cost of war.

Sinclair's decision was attacked by some critics as
political. Media watchdog groups like Common Cause and Free
Press denounced it and said they would instigate challenges
to renewals of broadcast licenses of stations owned by

ABC made a late flurry of deals with other outlets in the
cities affected. Micah Johnson, the news director at WHNS,
in Greenville, S.C., a Fox affiliate owned by the Meredith
Corporation, said he contacted ABC about picking up

"I disagree with Sinclair," he said. "I think people should
decide themselves based on the program, not because a
particular group is making the decision for them."

I do say, I think the dam is developing some rather large cracks. Flooding to follow?

And lastly, some poetry courtesy of Mr. Gordon Downie, lead singer of the Tragically Hip:
An excerpt from Trick Rider (for C.) found in his book of poetry, Coke Machine Glow (2001)

Just make your friends
while your still young,
Before you can't see
through anyone

Somehow this seemed rather well suited to certain events this past weekend. I dunno, maybe no one ever sees anyone, truthfully. We all have that public face, that persona. It's what we have to do to insulate ourselves from others. No one is ever truly naked.

That's enough for today. Wave to strangers in oncoming cars like you know them.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 4:33 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


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