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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

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EU and EU Tu

To no one'sgreat surprise the EU has not been able to agree on a super constitution for Europe. Old Europe in the form of France and Germany, with a couple of Benelux sidekicks, wanted to revamp the voting system to ensure, well, that Old Europe maintained a lions share of the power. The Poles and the Spaniards were having none of that.

Now there is talk of a "pioneer" group, read France and Germany and a couple of Benelux sidekicks, fast tracking towards unilateral acceptence of the political links embodied in the consitutional proposal. Which is, of course, their option. But it puts England in a rather unique position.

Of all of the EU countries England is by far the most forward looking of the larger nations. It has an excellent relationship with the United States and is developing close ties to a number of the Eastern European nations. Along with Spain and Italy, England might well become the dominant, or, in EU speak, the most influential of the refuseniks. And those refuseniks, clearly countires which fail to appreciate just how critically important France is in the scheme of things,would represent a majority of the population of Europe and a majority of the votes on the European Commission.


Bush'e Biggest Problem

The administration's fundamental problem is that it is not very good at dealing with people it can't stand. The men and women in this White House are exceptionally forthright. When they come across someone they regard as insufferable, their instinct is to be blunt. They seek to be honest rather than insincere, to not sugar things up but to let these people know how they really feel.

Sometimes you've got to be slippery to accomplish real good. The Bush administration is thus facing an insincerity crisis. It has become addicted to candor and forthrightness. It needs an immediate back-stabbing infusion.
david brooks, new york times
Little wonder the French are so baffled and annoyed.

Counting Heads

The Likud is publicly grappling with a prospect long raised by Israel's left: that within a few years Arabs are likely to be the majority in Israel and its occupied territories, and that they may switch from demanding their own state to demanding the right to vote in Israel, threatening its Jewish identity.

The result is a breathtaking inversion: Though the Likud's platform opposes a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River as a threat to Israel, some members of the party say they have concluded that only the creation of such a state can save Israel as a Jewish democracy.
new york times
One might wonder why the demographic facts of the Middle East took so long for Likud to grasp. The barbarity of the Pali terrorists is a much less significant threat than the miniscule Jewish Israeli birth rate compared to the birth rate of the Israeli Arabs and the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Israel can be a democratic Jewish State or it can become an increasingly un-democratic Greater Israel with boundaries larger than its Jewish population can support.

Recognizing the demographics does not mean capitulating to the terrorists; rather it means finding someone to cut a deal with who has the capacity to stand up to the Troll of RamallahTM and deliver a solution which the Israelis and the vast, peaceful, majority of Palestinians can live with. That person may very well be the King of Jordan. A potential solution to the problem of the Palestinians is to concede most of the West Bank and Gaza to what would become a greater Jordan. In return the Jordanians would agree to the demilitarization of both these areas and to the installation of serious security forces to root out the terrorists. The Troll would be pissed - but that would merely be a bonus.


Copy Cost

Michael Geist reports
The Canadian Copyright Board released its much anticipated private copying decision this morning. The Board froze tariffs on existing media such as blank CDs at their prior rates. It also added a new tariff on embedded memory on MP3 devices starting at C$2 for up to 1 gigabyte of hard drive space to a maximum of C$25 for hard drives of 10 gigabytes or more.
via politech (no link).

The Copyright Board indicates
CPCC has indicated that it collected roughly $7 million in 2000, the first year of the regime, and about $24 million in 2001. CPCC claimed during the hearing earlier this year that it expects to collect in the order of $28 million for 2002.
copyright board of canada
This beats the hell out of suing music consumers. A broader regime of some sort of levy on downloading in genera - rather than this indirect levy on music downloads - collected at the ISP level might also make sense and is being looked at in the context of a case before the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Long Goodbye

And don't let the door hit your ass on the way out Jean.

Worn Out

A report delivered to President Jacques Chirac on Thursday called for a new law banning the wearing of "conspicuous" religious symbols in French public schools ? large crosses for Christians, head scarves for Muslim girls, or skullcaps for Jewish boys.

The recommendation was the most striking in an official reassessment of how to preserve the principle of the separation of religion and state in France in light of such developments as the rise of a large Muslim population and a new wave of anti-Semitism.
new york times
Where the French want separation of Church and state to prohibit wearing any conspicuous signs of religious - or ethnic - identification I tend to think it is none of the state's business. The single exception is where the identity of the person is obscured and that identity should be revealed for a legitimate state reason - normally drivers licences.

I completely disagree with the entire Islamic notion of requiring women to be veiled. I think it is yet another reason why Islam desperately needs an enlightenment to haul it the hell out of the mediaeval villages in which the veil, honour killings and the occasional stoning are considered the path to God. But it is none of the states business what my kid or your kid or the kid down the street wears to school. Rude t-shirts, not very much, big pictures of pot leaves - all fine in public schools where there is no dress code. Now, if a school community, after much thought, deliberation and, ideally a vote, decides to go with a uniform as a condition of attending that particular school I have no argument. After all, the kid can switch schools.

However, where there is no dress code kids should be allowed to wear what they, their parents, their religion or Brittany Spears tells them to. The state should get on with solving actual problems and let kids figure it out for themselves.

Post Going Subscription

Colby Cosh, happily directing traffic to his column, puts up this fatal warning from the National Post,
Enjoy full access to this story during our trial period. After January 24th, 2004, complete access will be limited to registered 6-day National Post print subscribers.
. Much as I like Colby's material, the Post is a shell of its former self and even that shell is cracking. Requiring some sort of subscription for their online edition is just one more indication that Canwest has no clue at all about how the online world works, or, for that matter, how newspapers work.

All that charging for the Post's content online will do is ensure that people who want Canadian news will go to the Globe. (At least until it starts charging and, as the Globe pays attention to actual newspapers like the New York Times, it is not going to charge for current content anytime soon.) Which will lose the Post readers which will lose it potential subscribers and online advertising dollars. I suspect newspapering - and three packs of smokes a day - drove Izzy to his grave where the recent idiocies at the Post and the Southam newspapers are, no doubt, making him spin.


Payback II

George Bush poured fuel on the flames of the Iraq contracts dispute yesterday with a sneering dismissal of a suggestion by the German Chancellor that the decision to bar Germany, France Russia and Canada from bidding might violate international law.

"International law? I'd better call my lawyer," the American President joked in response to a reporter's question at the White House.
the indepentent
I hear Bill Graham, aka Our Lady PeaceTM,may be available as of about noon tomorrow.

Logic 101

Citizens in a democracy must know two things: how to argue and how to evaluate arguments (so as not to be duped, hoodwinked, railroaded, snookered, or browbeaten). There are two types of argument: inductive and deductive. The difference concerns the relation being asserted between premise(s) and conclusion. When one argues inductively, one claims that the truth of the premises makes the truth of the conclusion probable (or more probable than it would be without the premises). When one argues deductively, one claims that the truth of the premises is incompatible (logically) with the falsity of the conclusion. In other words, the premises entail or necessitate the conclusion. Induction is to probability as deduction is to necessity.
tech central station
Tech Central Station's resident philosopher, Keith Burgess-Jackson, offers a quick introduction to what philosophers call baby logic. (Don't even ask what adult logic looks like....)

It is not an easy read, but it is leavened with a good deal of what might be called wisdom,
(Philosophers care as much about how they persuade as whether they persuade. This, alas, is not true of lawyers, who are willing to commit fallacies to persuade jurors. It is why many of us who are trained in both fields chose philosophy over law.)
Read the whole thing, rinse, repeat; because even if you have a philosophy degree you need to run through this a couple of times.


Harvard University researchers have now topped that feat by truly holding light and its energy in its tracks ? if only for a few hundred-thousandths of a second.

"We have succeeded in holding a light pulse still without taking all the energy away from it," said Mikhail D. Lukin, a Harvard physicist.
san diego union tribune
The idea that you can stop light is as challenging as the idea we might be able to attain absolute zero.

For one thing, what is it that was stopped? Wave? Particle? For another, what would happen if you were to take this frozen light and, assuming you could extend its frozen state, could you send the frozen light through a double slit? What would it do? While the news reports focus on the utility of frozen light in quantum computing, it is far more interesting in fundamental physics. The report mentions that the light's energy remained. Imagine if it didn't. Imagine if you could cool the frozen light until you just had a bunch of energy depleted photons...wave or particle? Amazing!

New Blog added

I am actually going to be adding a few new blogs in the next couple of days but I just ran across trudeaupia via Debbye. Intelligent, well written and delightfully outraged which we need more of in Canada.


The Greens will Spit Up

But can solar power and wind power supply the energy needed to make hydrogen fuel? Not likely says, Jesse Ausubel, director of the Human Environment program at Rockefeller University. Ausubel does see one way to the carbon-free hydrogen economy -- nuclear power. Ausubel points out that power plants must be built to meet peak energy demand, which means that they stand wastefully and expensively idle during the night.

"Nuclear energy's special potential is as an abundant source of electricity for electrolysis and high-temperature heat for water splitting while the cities sleep," writes Ausubel. "Nuclear plants could nightly make hydrogen on the scale needed to meet the demand of billions of consumers. Windmills and other solar technologies cannot power modern people by the billions. Reactors that produce hydrogen could be situated far from population concentrations and pipe their main product to consumers." In other words, nuclear power plants will become the "hydrogen mines" of the future.
tech central station
If ever there was an irrational, deeply held, touch stone of Greenery it is that nuclear power is the very worst thing in the world. The thing is that it is also the cleanest, safest and most effective energy source humans have yet to discover. Combined with an economy making the transition to hydrogen for fuel, nuclear power could create a world in which oil doesn't matter. Any bets on the Green reaction?


The soon to be leaving Cabinet John Manley is "quite shocked" the the Pentagon decision to exclude Canadian companies as prime contractors in the rebuilding of Iraq. As he puts it,
"Given the urgings that I have received from U.S. officials, it would be very hard for us if they said Canadian companies cannot contribute. It would be difficult for us to give further money for the reconstruction of Iraq,"
Now, if you can figure out what those sentences actually mean...Fortunately Manley comes to the rescue with this model of clarity,
"To exclude Canadians just because they are Canadians would be unacceptable if they accept funds from Canadian taxpayers for the reconstruction of Iraq," Manley said
the toronto star
I would have thought that being the great internationalist humanitarians Manley and Co have decided Canadians must be, we would be giving our 250 million with no stings attached to be pissed away at the discretion of the UN - which has now fled to Cyprus; but I don't know this for sure. (If it is 250 millon: as of April we were in for 20 milion through the UN:
McCallum said Canada's contribution to the rebuilding of Iraq would likely be through civilian means, such as the $20 million Ottawa has pledged to the UN, the Red Cross and CARE Canada.cbc

The Wrong Man on the Wrong Issue

Al Gore's endorsement of Howard Dean for the Democratic presidential nomination is the clearest signal yet that party elders are determined to fight next year's U.S. election on the war in Iraq.

It's also a sign that Gore, a party heavyweight, has joined those angry, anti-George W. Bush militants who want to yank the Democrats away from the centrist positions he played a major part in crafting as vice-president during the Bill Clinton years.
toronto star
Political parties have an acute sense of when and where they have a chance of winning. It seems pretty clear that the Democrats are prepared to fight the next Presidential election as a spoiler rather than trying to win. Planning to fight an election against a war which will be barely a year old is a sure sign the Dems realize the current field does not stand a chance against Bush. So they are throwing this election to the activists. A kiddie crusade led by a robot and a man whose position on any given issue depends on who he last spoke to, the hourly polling results and a single beat of a butterfly's wings on the Ornioco River.

It's a sign because the one thing nearly impossible to do is defeat a sitting President on his conduct of a war. Even at the height of the Viet Nam war's unpopularity, Nixon was re-elected. The war in Iraq and the war on Terror generally are far from unpopular. Worse, from the Democrats' perspective, it is quite possible that between now and the election a) WMDs will be found, b) Saddam will be captured or killed, c) Osama bin Laden will be taken or killed, d) St. Louis will have a dirty bomb go off and lose several hundred thousand Americans to the horrible death of radiation poisoning. Everyone of these events, from horrific to delightful, would tend to create a boost for Bush and a huge downdraft for any candidate who could be characterized as soft on terror.

What's going on? The more cynical American pundits seem to see the hand of the Clintons. The argument being that rather than going for the economic and social issues which might win an election for one of the nine dwarfs, the Clinton dominated establishment of the Democratic Party has decided to let the left hang itself on Iraq. This ensures that the left will lose all credibility when it comes time to choose the real candidate, the candidate who will actually have a shot at the White House in 2008. That would be the Senator from the Great State of New York. (Who is, grudgingly, pro-war.)

Caution, Genius at Work

Chretien, speaking next, said that in the era of globalization, "the strength and influence of a nation are no longer determined by the number of cannons or missiles in its possession.

"They are measured by the civility and tolerance the nation demonstrates toward its international partners and its openness to dialogue with them."
Which would explain Canada's current world wide influence. We can chat with France. Cool. Only one more day Jean...Just one.


For anyone who is under the impression the americans are inclined to forgive and forget the idiocy of Canadian anti-Americanism here, live, hattip Debbye is the Fraser Institute's survey of Canadian exporters,
?As protectionist sentiment builds in the United States and even business friendly media run anti-trade features, this survey shows how much bad relations have cost Canadians in prosperity and jobs,? says Fred McMahon, principal author and director of the Institute’s trade and globalization centre.

The survey examines non-tariff, non-quota trade barriers: discriminatory use of regulations, border delays, and buy-national policies. The number of exporters who reported facing such barriers has dramatically risen from 45 percent in 2002 to 72 percent in the 2003 survey.
fraser institute
Once again a grateful nation salutes Jean and Our Lady Peace for ensuring that we have excellent relations with the economic powerhouse of Europe, France.

Losing the Peace

Gingrich argues that the administration has been putting far too much emphasis on a military solution and slighting the political element. ?The real key here is not how many enemy do I kill. The real key is how many allies do I grow,? he says. ?And that is a very important metric that they just don’t get.? He contends that the civilian-run CPA is fairly isolated and powerless, hunkered down inside its bunker in Baghdad. The military has the money and the daily contact with the locals. But it’s using the same tactics in a guerrilla struggle that led to defeat in Vietnam.
priorities and frivolities
While Iraq is a long way from a quagmire, there is no reason to believe that bungling at this early stage could not create one. Newt gets it right with, "The real key is how many allies do I grow?" There is no reason why the Kurds, Shi'ites, Marsh Arabs and a significant portion of the Sunnis cannot be converted into allies. A majority of even the Sunnis were terroized by Saddam; now the issue is convincing these people to work with the Coalition to actually create a democratic Iraq.

Part of the problem will likely be that the Iraqis have not had a civil society, with its habits of mind and practice, for several decades. The simplist matters of a secular democracy - traffic tickets, school boards, honest judges, the routine of voting, political campaigning - are all brand new. Good news that the free press is flourishing; but bad news that the Americans plan to prevent a census from taking place as a precursor to voting. Worse news that no bright light could not have come up with something a little more democratic than indirect appointments based on professional standing and ethnic/religious background.

To creat a democracy you have to create a civil society first. To do that you need to get into the habit of elections. However, those elections need not be for offices of any great power. the point is to create the conditions in which individuals see political activity as a) safe, b) rewarding (in a non-spoils sense), c) normal. Quite a job.


Energy and Security

Calpundit and Armed Liberal are debating energy policy and security. Interesting on both sides,
So here's the litmus test for hawks: if you think that after 9/11 liberals need to accept the need for a more aggressive military posture to fight terrorism, fine. But you need to be more willing to accept things like green energy ideas, serious conservation programs, and gas taxes, even if these are things you'd normally oppose.
cal pundit
The comments are a treat as well.

My sense is that for the West to wean itself from Middle Eastern oil is essential for security and for technological innovation. So long as there is relatively cheap oil sloshing around in the system, and CalPundit makes the point that cheap=Middle Eastern, there is very little economic incentive for people to aggressively pursue energy alternatives. Calpundit mentions windmills off Cape Cod - which I think is a terrible and, given the hurricane paths, impractical, idea - but geothermal, hydrogen and nuclear are all options which need to be aggressively implemented.

Its all about Coltan

The fun continues over at The Tyee. While my friend Andrew Burton puts the boots in on some delightful leftie's assertion that the US deliberately targets concentrations of three year olds.
They carpet bombed places where they knew the main population segment was children under the age of three." This statement reeks. What possible reason could the US have for bombing 3 year olds? Who would order it? and who would carry out those orders? And how do you end up with a population mostly made up of three year olds? Was this the famous day care section of Bagdad? I am reminded of Charlie Brown asking Lucy how she knew so many facts. Her reply; "I make 'em up."
Thank you Andrew and when are you getting your own blog?

Another happy(?) soul suggests the American motives are tainted. After suggesting that the posters have no idea what they are talking about and recommending a string of German conspiracy theory books, he pulls out Coltan as proof of American prefidity.

OK, I admit it, I wouldn't know Coltan from Woltan but Google makes everyone an expert...turns out Coltan is a rare mineral vital to building cellphones....who knew? But its connection to Iraq is just the tiniest bit obscure....its main source is in the Congo. My tinfoil hat is securely in place so I can't make out the nexus; but that is because I just don't have the facts.

In fact The Tyee offers a pretty good forum for the intelligent left to take a run at the issues of the day. I admit it is a little rude of me to comment simply because these people feel very strongly that they must be right, or, at least, not entirely wrong, or, in the worst case, their feelings should be respected. I don't play that game and neither do many of the people whose blogs I read and who will likely post the occasional comment. Essentially it is about differing notions of truth. On the left the overiding desire to prove Bush a prefiditous, lying, moron in the control of the "Big Corporations" is sufficient to allow otherwise fairly rational people to believe that American military types would deliberately target three year olds. It leads people who have faithfully contributed to Amnesty International for decades to ignore its reports on Iraq under Saddam in order to proclaim the higher truth, "It's about oil."

Rather like Iraq, The Tyee offers the opportunity to gather the soft lefties into a fuzzy mass and pick off their arguments as they appear. Flypaper I think the wily Americans call it. And, as Andrew puts it,
the Islamofacists are gravitating to Iraq and shooting at people who are paid to get shot at and who are very good at shooting back.
It's great fun, makes for a more lively discussion and, hey, some of the folks may actually change their minds.


A directive from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz limits bidders on those 26 contracts to firms from the United States, Iraq, their coalition partners and other countries which have sent troops to Iraq.

The ruling bars companies from U.S. allies such as France, Germany and Canada from bidding on the contracts because their governments opposed the American-led war that ousted Saddam Hussein's regime.
globe and mail
Boy, am I ever surprised....Thank you Jean and Our Lady Peace. Without your leadership we might have some friends down South. Now we don't. And who can blame the Americans. They did, and are doing, the heavy lifting and taking the casualties.


Kevin Michael Grace details the latest turns in the Reports Magazine/Citizen Center non-payment of employees case. The crux of the matter is that Link Byfield, the ex publisher of Reports magazine, is presuming to give the people of Alberta advice on how to manage the province's pensions while refusing to honour the wage claims of his ex-employees. Instead he is hiding behind a series of rather transparent legal screens. All of which suggest that Byfield is perfectly prepared to preach one thing while doing another. Not a good position for a person who seems to believe it his mission to evangelize for a social conservative agenda. And a position which will quickly alienate the many decent people who have been contributing their money to Byfield's Citizens Centre.



With a grain of salt; but if this guy checks out the WMDs argument will take a new twist.
"Forget 45 minutes," said Col al-Dabbagh "we could have fired these within half-an-hour."

Local commanders were told that they could use the weapons only on the personal orders of Saddam. "We were told that when the war came we would only have a short time to use everything we had to defend ourselves, including the secret weapon," he said.

The only reason that these weapons were not used, said Col al-Dabbagh, was because the bulk of the Iraqi army did not want to fight for Saddam. "The West should thank God that the Iraqi army decided not to fight," he said.

"If the army had fought for Saddam Hussein and used these weapons there would have been terrible consequences."
I don't think the WMDs matter from the perspective of whether or not the removal of Saddam was a good idea or justified. However, politically, it would be grand for Blair to be vindicated. Interestingly, Col al-Dabbagh states he's willing to give evidence to Lord Hutton....but where was he three months ago?

Uncle Cuddles

Saddam Hussein's government may have executed 61,000 Baghdad residents, a number significantly higher than previously believed, according to a survey obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

The bloodiest massacres of Saddam's 23-year presidency occurred in Iraq's Kurdish north and Shiite Muslim south, but the Gallup Baghdad Survey data indicates the brutality extended strongly into the capital as well.

The survey, which the polling firm planned to release on Tuesday, asked 1,178 Baghdad residents in August and September whether a member of their household had been executed by Saddam's regime. According to Gallup, 6.6 percent said yes.

The polling firm took metropolitan Baghdad's population -- 6.39 million -- and average household size -- 6.9 people -- to calculate that 61,000 people were executed during Saddam's rule. Most are believed to have been buried in mass graves.

The U.S.-led occupation authority in Iraq has said that at least 300,000 people are buried in mass graves in Iraq. Human rights officials put the number closer to 500,000, and some Iraqi political parties estimate more than 1 million were executed.
Over at The Tyee
I am having a running battle with what bloggers normally refer to as idiotarians on the virtue of taking out Saddam. Needless to say the murder estimate will do nothing to change the minds of the true believers.


As Commonwealth countries moved Sunday to continue the 20-month suspension of Zimbabwe from the prestigious Commonwealth group, a statement came swiftly from Harare announcing Robert Mugabe's country is withdrawing from the organization.
It was quite clear Chirac pal Mugabe had no intention of restoring meaningful democracy to the sad little country he terrorizes. Now his issolation is complete by his own hand. When he dies, retires or is assasinated re-admission is possble. On the other hand it may well be time to pack in the Commonwealth and move on.

Culture Wars

Darren Barefoot writes on the subject of why Euros don't like/hate America,
For European nations (I discussed the subject with the people of several western European countries), it had nothing to do with prosperity (they're pretty prosperous over there). Universally, it was two areas: foreign policy and cultural export.
I commented: Having knocked about with Euros of various political types over the years, I'd add a couple of elements to their perception of America.

First, they cannot quite grasp that there is a large, beautifully educated and highly cultured class in America which is delighted to make money rather than dispair. Second, and this is more recent, the Euros are beginning to realize that their own nations have made horrendous mistakes post WWII. In particular the rock in a sock birth rates, unaffordable pension schemes, declining productivity, unintended immigration consequences and technological implosion have all left the Euros wondering how the hell the cowboys could have got so much, well, right.

You don't have to love Americans to realize that America has done rather better since WWII than Germany, France, Italy or England. And that bothers the Euros more than they can say.

America winning the Cold War has meant that these former Great Powers are now middling at best. Nice to have onside; but trivial compared to China, India, Pakistan or a host of other nations. The triumph of English as the language of technology, commerce, and movies the masses actually want to see, even though this was really the fault of er, English, has not been easy to take either. The shrillness of the Euro's denuciations of America as barbaric, uncultured and plain ignorant seems to be the inverse of the importance of Europe in the scheme of things.

The truth is that the opinions of a bunch of washed out, aging, anti-technological, semi-socialist, militarily impotent, ex-Powers don't matter much and the Americans are not in the least shy about pointing that out.

Success is envied not popular. The failed statists of Germany or France are cling to the happy thought that the cowboys - most of whom are better educated than their critics - will somehow fatally shoot themselves on the way to the corral. When they don't....then they are unpopular, even hated.

Worst of all, the intellectual and political elites in Old Europe seem utterly unable to stop their own ignorant populations from watching American movies, listening to American pop and, quelle horreur, filling up at MickyD's. In the trans-Atlantic clash of civilizations, the Yanks keep winning where it counts: in the popular cultures of Old Europe.

Blogs as Websites

OK, it is obvious; but I wonder how long it is going to take for people to catch on. Out here on the left Coast we have just seen the launch of The Tyee. A sort of Left light webzine which is a paying market for freelancers and edited by David Beers. What is amazing is it is set up as a conventional website. Darren Barefoot, commenting on the lauch, points out that there are very few links and there is no apparent content management software system in place. While I think that all may come, the truth is that the entire concept of a static webzine is very, very old.

Perhaps the best example of a static page magazine I can think of are my friends Linda Richards and David Middleton's January Magazine. Simple, graphically excellent and ideal for the post an article a day production speed which JanMag uses to cover the book world. Positively zippy compared to old media. But beavering away out in the toolies are people like Jessa Crispin's Bookslut where the blog builds current buzz which draws readers to the magazine. I'm not at all sure what works in bookland where the idea of breaking news is not all that critical. But in current affairs there is really no reason at all not to organize a new magazine around a central blog.

Blogs are, in essence, the new websites. You can, as I do, link to whatever you want by way of longer content; but the site's success is all about the blog. The constantly updated material. I'm hoping that Beers gets this and is planning on having a blog at TheTyee. Otherwise it is likely to be about as interesting and as influential as, say, (Which is a must read if only to prove that there really are lots of people who have not yet got the memo....Left, at 11:00.)


Following Debbye's lead, I just installed Haloscan comments. So fire away. The last time I had comments, no one did and they took forever to load. So we'll give this a month and see what's up.


Learning to count

"We are approaching a point," Mr Olmert said, "where more and more Palestinians will say, 'There is no place for two states between the river and the sea. All we want is the right to vote.' The day they get it, we will lose everything." Mr Olmert's bombshell drew protests from the hardline right. Settler leaders threatened to hound him from office.
the independent
As the Troll of RamallahTM repudiates the very flawed Geneva parallel negotiations and Hamas says it refuses to agree to a comprehensive ceasefire, the Israeli Deputy Deputy Prime Minister notices the elephant in the living room.

I will find a piece I wrote a year or two ago about the demographic morass Israel is confronting. The Palis are out breeding the Israelis about 6:1. Which means Olmert has a point. Cut a deal now or be overwhelmed later.