CLINTON WAS NEVER THIS BAD…

Greetings,

This isn’t going to be the most positive posting in the world, so bear with me.

I’m struggling to find the words these days to describe what’s going on with the Bush administration. I can’t quite figure out how the American people can stand for this. This is beyond partisan politics or anything to do with questions of whether the Republican Party endures a moral rot at its core. I don’t really know anymore.

But this? When a member of the White House’s inner sanctum is charged with perjury, uttering false statements and the like, you either rejoice knowing that the true nature of the Bush administration is coming out into the open, or feel really awful. Awful because, well, people re-elected these guys. I’m happy knowing there’s at least still a semblance of democracy left in America these days and that justice will be done in due course. But at the same time, it feels like Scooter is merely the fall guy for a much larger, much more twisted political scandal here.

Does anyone remember Clinton being impeached for having an affair? That seems positively quaint today.

Let’s list of the litany of things Bush and his neo-con colleagues have done:

* The normally dignified Colin Powell lied to the U.N. about the weapons of mass destruction issue;

* Bush himself lied in his State of the Union address about Saddam buying massive quantities of uranium, which led to the entire mess of Valerie Payne being outed by someone (or someones) in the White House as a CIA agent;

Man, I could keep going… New Orleans… Iraq… massive federal deficits… 9/11… there’s just no point. It’s pretty much all been said before.

Come on people. Did Clinton ever do anything like this? Sure, Clinton routinely authorized the bombing of Iraq for years and authorized a strike on a Sudanese aspirin facility. So let’s not let him off the hook either. But I’m starting to wonder: what will it take to make people recognize this kind of government is truly bad for America?

10th ANNIVERSARY: It’s the 10th anniversary of the 1995 referendum in Quebec. Unfortunately, very little has changed, I think. The sovereignty movement is still very much alive and we’ve got a long way to go to address these issues in Canada.

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE MASSEY

Greetings,

Well it’s been a mix of good and bad news. First off, the bad news (get it out of the way first, it’s easier).

Due to budgetary concerns, my CBC.ca column is not being renewed. I’m bummed about it, but it’s largely out of my hands. At the same time, I did get 15 columns up there. And I’m plenty busy, so it’s probably best that I focus on other stuff. I had a good run.

I can’t really get into the good news that much (at least, not yet) but when I do, it will get posted on here. Needless to say, it’s a really awesome opportunity that will let me move out of the Business/Technology mode. It’s pretty cool.

STEPHEN LEWIS: I’m such a geek. You see, I’m into this whole “intellectual” thing with speakers, public intellectuals, et al. The Massey Lectures fit into this whole theme. I love them. Last year I was all over it with Ronald Wright’s lecture. I wrote three articles around his lecture on A Short History Of Progress, as well as a radio piece. This year’s Massey Lecturer is none other than Stephen Lewis. His lecture is called Race Against Time.

AVIAN FLU AND DIATRIBE

– BBC News
Poor little things.

Greetings,

Not to make your Friday a lousy one, but here’s a potentially scary piece of news: the European Union is taking some pretty radical steps to eliminate any chance of the Avian Flu (also known as your friendly H5N1 strain, pretty friendly to humans but when it mutates… ) invading and potentially combining genetic traits with a human flu virus to create the eventual pandemic.

Personally, good on them for doing this, but does this even stand a remote chance of stopping the pandemic? I don’t think so.

SOME LITTLE THINGS: My hit totals on this blog are actually doing ok, all things considered. I’m sure if I exclusively talked about lewd stuff the totals would be higher, but you know, whatever.

Funny thing happened with the Queen’s Alumni Review. I neglected to mention this before (lots going on, brain overflows with minutia), but a special item of interest was mentioned regarding me (or rather, a creation of mine) in last month’s edition. Diatribe Magazine. I can’t quite believe my creation of that newspaper worked out so well. Here’s the story.

Late April, 2001. I’m winding down my fourth year, applying for Honours (remember, spent five years at Queen’s, switching degrees mid-gear will do that) and finishing up lots of odds and ends. Undergraduate Review is being distributed, and I’m looking for a new challenge the coming year. I’ve just been hired to edit the Queen’s Encyclopedia. It then dawns on me one night: why not just start a new publication? I was a founding editorial board member of The United years earlier; it would be more than just a “fun thing to do” or a vanity project. I wanted to do something that would leave a legacy of my own. I know, sounds egotistical. But it’s true—back in 2001, I wanted to do something meaningful that would contribute to my over-all career ambitions and provide a media outlet on campus that, I felt and still feel, addresses a need for political discussion and cultural discourse.

So it goes. Send in the application for club approval, club space, grant money. All go forward. At the time, I thought the publication would be mostly online with some printed editions here and there. Then I began to realize, over time, the web would be an integral part of the publication, yes, but the print edition would have a broader impact on campus. So then went the big rush for ads to pay for the paper. First edition goes off really well. It’s printed, paid for and hits the streets. After what felt like weeks of assembling the staff, making the paper with one computer and finally shipping it off to the printers, it was done.

Then it got harder.

Advertisers simply couldn’t spread the wealth around that much. The Journal and Golden Words pretty much had the advertising market at Queen’s locked up (makes sense too, they had multiple editions every week) and the original goal of eight issues that year (I was pretty ambitious) was scaled back to four. Second issue prints, barely, and production is halted come exams until the New Year.

Fast-forward to February 2002. We get a grant and some generous support from throughout the Queen’s community for the publication. But I know there’s no way the paper will survive beyond my years at Queen’s if there’s no sustainable and predictable source of revenue. Enter the AMS referendum. At this point, I was working on multiple other things around campus, working two part-time jobs and trying to finish off a degree. So it was stressful.

Referendum and election day. We publish an issue that justifies our existence with an ad saying vote Yes for our opt-outable fee. Votes happen. I help out and count votes for Diatribe.

Three days pass. I’m barely sleeping at this point, not to mention three mega-essays coming up. Then I get the call. We won.

Diatribe publishes a final issue that year. It’s cemented in the Queen’s community. The paper, while going through some financial difficulties here and there, won the second referendum last spring. It’s now assured to last to 2008.

Anyway, long story short, the paper got mentioned in the Alumni Review. I think that means the paper’s made it. Key thing to remember: while I got it going, it really couldn’t have become established without the people involved (including the folks in charge of it now).

BOND GOES BLOND AND APPLE GOES WILD

Greetings,

Ok, now that I’m starting to get over my cold (yup, told you had a strong immune system) my brain isn’t so clogged. See, promised I wouldn’t leave this blog collecting dust.

DANIEL CRAIG: He’s blonde. He’s British. And man was I ever wrong that Eric Bana was going to get this role. All things considered, this is a bold move for the 007 franchise and probably a good one. After all, while Pierce Brosnan was an awesome James Bond, the series is really starting to show its age after the unfortunate business of Die Another Day. What, you don’t think a James Bond movie can flop with Brosnan, Halle Berry and the exceptionally attractive Rosamund Pike (who’s going to be in the new Doom movie)? Well, guess what. I say radical steps are needed here, and Craig is about as radical as the 007 series can get.

APPLE: Ok, I love you as a company. You do great things for computing the world over. But this isn’t fair. A video iPod? It looks so cool. Cool in a very “wow, this is f*****’ cool.”

Did I mention it’s cool?

HAPPY DAYS AT LAST AND AN ANNIVERSARY!

And we’re back!
Greetings,

CBC: It’s been a happy last couple of days for me. First off, the CBC deal. I’m so happy about this, I can’t even begin to tell you. I’m so glad the lockout is over. It’s a wonderful feeling. Tod Maffin deserves a medal for his efforts with CBCUnplugged.com. He’s a most remarkable man and he’s given the CBC a brand new perspective on the role of digital media at the place. CBC.ca, the many, many blogs that emerged out of this lockout, Shelagh Rogers‘ Caravan tour that has and will continue to fundamentally change her show Sounds Like Canada, and lastly, of course, podcasting has come of age. After all the acrimony, bitterness and division, I think this could usher in a new age with the CBC: a renewed commitment to the goals of public broadcasting. Cheers!

ANNIVERSARY: It is my blog’s two-year anniversary. I can’t believe how much I’ve written on this site. I did a check and I’ve written almost the equivalent of two books. Now if I could only get down to actually writing a real book.

FREELANCING: My freelance assignments are really picking up steam now. I’ve got six projects on the go. I’m really enjoying them too, it’s a great feeling to really love what you do.