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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

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Scanner Photography

''is at the forefront of a new wave in photography, or what we should call new imaging.'' Kelly invites viewers to ''imagine a painter who could, like Vermeer, capture the quality of light that a camera can, but with the color of paints. That is what a scanner gives you. Now imagine a gifted artist like Matson exploring what the world looks like when it can only see two inches in front of its eye, but with infinite detail!''

Very, very cool

Intellectual Magnet Cities

If human capital is really all the capital there is then the idea of the intellectual magnet city makes perfect sense. Not that it is a new idea. Vancouver worriers back in the 1980's suggested Vancouver was becoming "an executive city".

Not that there is anything that can be done to stop the trend. The fact is that the excellent wine stores, interesting art galleries, brilliant restaurants require people with some taste to appreciate and support them. Those people have developed their taste as a result of their education. Not so much what they learned in classrooms; rather what they imbued by way of a college atomsphere.

Vanderhaeghe Runs

One reason I write is to get published and Rebecca at the Sun has done a handsome job of putting my Vanderhaeghe piece front and center in Books this week. I will put the piece up on my website later in the day.


U.S. warns pot plan to clog border

This is what is known as a business opportunity.

If the Americans, in the form of the bizarre Mr.Walters, stick with their war on their own kids, the biggest problem at the boarder will be Americans trying to get in for a weekend's recreational drug use.

If we ever manage to get to Galiano I have no doubt that there will be a little pot patch cultivated as a mortgage helper. The weird American attitude looks like it will keep the crazy War on Drugs going for several more years and, as 95% of the pot grown up here goes to the States, legalization will have theodd effect of decriminalizing while leaving the price more or less intact. Bikers will make out like banchees, but ma and pa grow ops will pull in tons of middle class dough.

Not at all a bad thing...You go Mr. Walters.

Parallel tracks

Powell's speech suggests that there is a lot more going on in Washington than the unrelenting war talk. It makes a good deal of sense to talk about democracy and free markets as part of a strategy of reducing the attraction of the Islamofascists.

I wonder if there is an Arab equivilent of George Soros willing to put private money behind the relative moderates in Iran, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon and even Saudi? Open societies are expensive to create by governmental action - but three hundred photocopies delivered at the right time can create the dynamic which leads to internal regime change.


al Quaeda and nerve gas

Not what I wanted to hear. The only silver lining to this cloud would be that it proves out the al Quaeda/Iraq link and that Iraq has not told the truth in its dislosure. Which are both dandy reasons for a quick and decisive regime change.


Joint Action

I fall asleep when pot is smoked in the same room.Which saves me from having to listen to the loony meanderings of stoners. But merely because something renders its user a dull conversationalist does not mean it should be illegal.

Mercifully, the Canadian Federal government has come around to this view and there is the possibility of decriminalization for simple possession. Which should lead to the elimination of trafficking and cultivation penalties.

For a few years at least, Canada will be a haven for US stoners who want to get high without risking serious jail time, the loss of their families and their livelihoods under the US Drug laws. How long this lasts is up to the American: but while it does there will be fortunes made cultivating pot and running it into the US. Prohibition redux. And remember that Prohibition lasted for a drunken decade in the US.

Cricket Rules

I had always wondered how to explain the rules of cricket....not that there is any great demand for such I just refer people to Kevin Guifoile's lovely piece...

BBC NEWS | Middle East | US frees missile-carrying ship
There comes a point and we have probably reached it when it is important to say to a semi nation like Yemen, "No, you may not have Scud missles. You have no need for them and we have no intention of letting you have them. So there."

Yes that is paternalistic; but there is no reason to allow the armament of unstable regimes. While there may not be any international law going to the question, it is likely time for Western countries to invent some.

Guy Vanderhaeghe Interview

Finished the 1700 word interview cum precis with Guy Vanderhaeghe and his new book "The Last Crossing". I will be putting it up on the site in thenext day or so. He is an interesting and very literate man. it show in everything he has written. There he sits in Saskatoon with his GG's just piling up. He really should have won this year as well but was overlooked. Largely, I suspect, because he already has won two.

A very nice guy.


Dutch intelligence says al Qaeda network recruiting

This sounds more like a cult than a terrorist organization.

""Those recruited in the Netherlands are mostly, but not exclusively, youths of Moroccan origin who were born in the Netherlands or moved here at a very young age," the report said.

"After the first contact recruits are isolated from their environments and indoctrinated. The recruitment process is completed with a testimony for descendants and a paramilitary training."

While cutting off the head will be useful, to eliminate al Qaeda will also involve effectively baring the recruiters from the West.

In some ways the West will tend to find itself faced with the same problem at a macro level as the Israelis have faced for twenty years at a micro level.


Al-Qaeda threatens new attacks -

Assuming for the moment that Abu Ghaith is, in fact, an al-Qaeda spokesman, he provides the justification for whatever military/intelligence efforts can be directed against these terroists.

Hellfires from Predators are dandy start; but there needs to be a fierce commitment to hunting down and killing the al-Qaeda where ever they can be found. The Empty Quarter, Pakistan, infiltrating in the Middle East: no matter where these sorts of threats have to be answered.

Finally One of the less attractive aspects of freelance journalism is writing pieces and then waiting for them to be published. The upside is that you have weekends like this one when three pieces run at the same time.

The Aczel piece is the start of four pieces - a review in the Sun, a full scale interview and review in the Times Colonist and a short review in the Edmonton Journal.

Of course the downside is I probably will not see print again until the New Year; but this is better than a stick in the eye.

Washington Gathers Own Evidence of Saddam’s WMD

I have no idea if the Debka Files report of assorted special forces covertly monitoring the Iraqi WMD is true. But I hope it is.

In a sense the Blix mission is window dressing, a fig leaf, to cover the intelligence assesment that Saddam does have WMDs. If Blix uncovers them and the Iraqis give them up then no war. If he is fooled, then the Americans need to produce proof. And a weapon and its crew would be a grand start on that.