Apr. 9th, 2006

rfmcdonald: (Default)
I'd like to announce my participation in the interesting new group blog Demography Matters, a blog devoted to the exploration of population issues as they are likely to influence the evolving world. I suspect I'll be outsourcing a lot of my population-related posts there.

In the meantime, Demography Matters and felow contributer Claus Vistesen's Alpha Sources can now be found on my blogroll.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
I was heading south, Vermont Square to my right, when I saw a pair of bicyclists speed by. He was trim slim and tall in a green windbreaker, leaning back on the seat and holding onto the handlebar with one hand, complaining about his health to his partner: "I'm so out of shape, I can only do ten chin-ups."

It was a bright spring day today, if perhaps not the best weather in which to wear long shorts. The increased insolation is to blame for this: I was pleased by the warm golden light of the early evening, visible even as late as 6 o'clock from the 511 Bathurst streetcar that I took south from the Bathurst TTC station to Queen Street. The wind might have cut at my calves a bit, but it looked warm.

That apparent warmth may be why I saw the photographers outside of the Beer Store on Queen and Markham. It was a bizarre sort of advertising shoot, something featuring a woman in short shorts and a white fur coat standing next to a man dressed in actual pants, a clothiers' dummy torso between them with a knife embedded in its heart. If I ever see the photo online, I'll surely link to it.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
I was joined by [livejournal.com profile] larkvi and [livejournal.com profile] acrabtree and L. for the latest installment of the Counterfactual Threats Analysis Group, held for the first time at our new location at Second Cup on Bloor and Lippincott, one block east of Bathurst. chatting about varuious Green parties and Alec Guinness' misfortune at being reduced, in the public imagination, to "the guy who played Obi-Wan Kenobi."

Later came an adjournment to play SJ Games' Munchkin. All I'll say is that pragmatic cooperation is a working strategy, that, and I won.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
Seymour Hersh's recent article in The New Yorker, "The Iran Plans", is exceptionally disturbing.

One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that "a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government." He added, "I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’"

Hersh goes on to describe the Bush Administration's intent to insert tactical nuclear weapons into the campaign in attacks against Iran's nuclear infrastructure, the nuclear attacks being only part of a broader air strike aimed against Iran's military and scientific infrastructure, this air strike (in turn) being part of an effort to dismantle the Iranian nation-state.

Again, I say that this must not happen.
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