Where's Nunc Scio?
Here at Nunc Scio, we believe in taking care of our valued readers. Although there are only four of them, they can be both a vocal and cranky constituency.
These 'Nunc Scions' may have noticed a distint lack of posting going on. If such a thing were possible, the site would be covered in digital cobwebs, musty strands of code collecting in undusted and unseen corners.
Why? Simple. The London School of Economics apparently thinks I need to be "assessed" and "graded". They have decided six exams would be a fun way to accomplish this goal. So I'm hunkered down in the trenches, feverishly trying to pass. Unless Stephen Harper really does start eating babies, or Jack Layton becomes a 200ft giant made entirely of zinc, Nunc Scio will be on hiatus. Look for more posts and general inanity on June 14th.
By way of evidence, here's a picture of me 4 hours before my MC408: 'Theories and Concepts in Media and Communication'. Good times. If you replace 'good' with 'sleepless' and 'times' with 'pain that never ends'.
Harper Tries to Curse Ignatieff: Liberals Fear His Dark Magic
You might thing the most important thing that happened during the vote to extend the Afghanistan mission was, well, the vote to extend the mission in Afghanistan.
According to Macleans, you're wrong
The real fireworks started shortly after when Harper crossed the floor, picked his way through the Liberal benches, and shook Michael Ignatieff's hand. A nice little, "thanks for the support, Mikey"? Not hardly. Harper is actually giving his skills as a political witch doctor a run for their money. Shake the hand of the pro-war, pro-American, and Liberals run screaming in horror. Or so the theory goes.
I'm not sure if Harper's motivation was as sinister as Macleans suggests. But if it was, I offer two observations:
1. Stephen, you're not magic. Stop trying to influence a rival party's leadership campaign. Or, at least do it in a bit more subtle way.
2. If this was a ploy, it may actually benefit Ignatieff. Did Harper shake the hand of any of the four other leadership hopefuls that voted with the Conservatives? No? Hmmm. I wonder who the CPC is most worried about.
3. Hilarious that S-Harp's
Parliament Hill nickname is "Shrub". You know, as in "little Bush".
I don't like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He's a dangerous theocrat, and his grasp of subtlety and diplomacy is downright primordial. But damn it, he makes an occasional good point. Like today in Macleans
, where he accuses Western nations of taking a hypocritical line on nuclear weapons. It's pretty hard to order another nation to stop a nuclear weapons program while sitting on a huge pile of nukes yourself. Say, for example, I had a whole bunch of apples. You say:
"Can I have some apples?"
"Alright. I'm going to grow some of my own."
"Sorry, you can't."
"Because I said so."
"But you have a tonne of apples of your own. Why do you get to have apples and I don't?"
"That's not an answer."
"True." [I then punch you in the face]
Of course, apples can't destroy the world, but you get the idea. What we have here is a classic Hobbbesian race to the bottom. If one nation has nukes, everybody wants them. Instead of building domestic arsenals while threatening to bomb anyone who enriches uranium, why not try to eliminate nukes altogether? Oh right. Realpolitik.
Still, these kinds of obvious questions seem particularly important nowadays, since we appear to be teetering on the brink of another arms race
. Awesome. Remember the early nineties when we thought the risk of nuclear annihilation was behind us? Yeah, good times.
Dolphins have names?
According to The National Academy of Sciences
, they do. Today dolphins join man as the only other species known to recognize aural identity information. Of course, their 'names' are actually long, complex whistles, but that's still pretty sweet.
Which raises once more the age-old question: Man v. Dolphin- Who Will Triumph? If at some point they manage to develop firearms, I think its safe to say we're screwed. But, in our defense, we do wear clothes. Lousy decadent dolphins. Swimming around naked.
Zarqawi: The Lighter Side
Hilarious! The US Military has released a rollicking new video
showing Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi demonstrating his comedy skills. In one frame, he can't figure out how to fire a machine gun. In another, he trots around in jaunty tennis shoes.
The War on Terror has entered a new and exciting phase: Mutual Assured Mocking (MAM). How will Zarqawi respond? Some 'yo mama' jokes about Barbara? Maybe some hidden camera footage of Bush II reading the bible...upside down!? The possibilities are endless.
I can't help but wonder, though...the United States has spent a lot of time and money terrifying its own population about the threat of terrorists like Zarqawi. And now, they want everyone to think he's the fundamentalist equivalent of the Keystone Cops. I mean, not that I'm surprised to see the Bush Administration employ contradictory strategies. But still, it makes you wonder if they have any idea about anything at all...
World Press Freedom Day
Today's a day worth remembering
I know a lot of folks are pretty skeptical about the media these days, but for every Bill O'Reilly or Geraldo Riviera (real name: Gerry Rivers), there are 10 professionals working to advance democracy, often at great risk to themselves
and their families.
I'll be lighting a candle at St. Bride's (The Journalist's Church) here in London today. I encourage everyone to spend a few minutes thinking about the contribution journalists make to our democratic societies, and if you have any thoughts about World Press Freedom Day, please leave a comment.
Welcome to 21st Century Politics, Folks
There's bound to be some partisan teeth-gnashing and finger-pointing after today's revelation that Stephen Harper approached the NDP
over a two year deal to support the Conservatives crumbly minority.
Liberals are bound to point out the irony, and dyed-in-the-wool conservatives will get all jittery about the encroaching red menace. Both miss the point.
Ideological political parties are dinosaurs. We live in an age of low party identification and mediated politics. Successful parties are electoral
parties- that is, the ones that are able to cobble together the most attractive collection of policies every four years. Hence the remarkable success of the Liberal Party. They're a little bit country and a little bit rock n' roll, so they attract the greatest number of voters across old ideological distinctions.
So, is Harper selling out? Is he playing a cynical game? Probably, but his attempts to woo the NDP aren't part of his rat-like politics. In approaching the NDP, Harpy is demonstrating a little political maturity. If he ever wants to form a majority, he'll need to oust the Liberals from the political centre. And that means playing nice with the lefties. Ending Liberal political supremacy means, essentially, becoming the Liberal party. And nobody is better at being Liberal than the Liberals.
Coup Season II. Or, "It's beginning to look a lot like Cuba..."
Hat tip to Bolivian President Evo Morales: if you're serious about not kowtowing to the United States, you might as well go big or go home.
Or, in this case, nationalize your huge natural gas industry
. Oh, and evict a multinationals while you're at it. With armed soldiers.
A gutsy move, to be sure. And if Bolivia is able to control the profits from its natural gas reserves, that's a lot of money for infrastructure, schools, health care and development. But man, Pat Robertson will be pissed.