Archive for the 'Society' Category

Laura Bush on her husband and his fight against ‘tyranny’

Monday, May 2nd, 2005 • 12:55 am

You’ve probably heard about Laura Bush’s “performance” during the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner last Saturday. The choice quote was: I said to him the other day, ‘George, if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you’re going to have to stay up later.’ Am I the only one who found the […]

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Terri Schiavo: The intellectual dishonesty of the Christian right

Thursday, March 24th, 2005 • 1:01 am

I am not particularly interested in American politics these days, but occasionally there are things that really make me mad. For the past week of so, we’ve been subjected to daily coverage of the Terri Schiavo case. And now that the tube has been removed and that Terri Schiavo is slowly dying, what do we […]

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The Globe And Mail: Ian Brown vs. Doug Saunders

Monday, March 14th, 2005 • 5:26 am

Canada’s national newspaper The Globe And Mail recently featured a series of articles by columnist Ian Brown on the current surge of Christian fundamentalism in the United States. These were very long articles that were obviously supposed to be an illustration of the kind of in-depth reporting that can only be found in lengthy newspaper […]

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‘Made in USA’ by Paul Graham

Wednesday, November 24th, 2004 • 7:53 am

This is an interesting article by writer Paul Graham (author of Hackers & Painters) on America and man-made stuff — from cars to cities to computer software. It uses Apple as an example of a company that has managed to strike a balance between the “quick and dirty” approach that prevails in American manufacturing and […]

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Powerless in Nova Scotia

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004 • 2:13 am

We have a major power outage happening here in Nova Scotia and it is not pretty. The storm didn’t seem to be particularly nasty, although it was quite early. (Typically Nova Scotia gets 6 cm of snow in November on average. This storm alone dumped up to 45 cm of snow in some places.) Yes, […]

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Political genius

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004 • 11:54 pm

Direct quote from The Proteus Operation by James P. Hogan (1985): “The root of genius lie in the ability to make decisions, the will to stand by them and act in the face of adversity, and the nerve to see the action through unswervingly to its completion.” Sounds familiar? Guess which character actually utters these […]

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Four more years

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004 • 9:40 am

Well, it had to happen, didn’t it? There were obviously (just) enough paranoid crazies in America to elect George W. Bush and his clique for a second term. For most of the international community, it’s going to be four more years of constant head shaking in disbelief each time this administration does or says something, […]

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New York Times magazine article on ‘our national eating disorder’

Monday, October 18th, 2004 • 11:31 pm

The New York Times magazine has an excellent article by Michael Pollan titled “Our National Eating Disorder“, which covers everything from the Atkins fad to the “French paradox”. As a French national living (and eating) in Canada (now a Canadian national too), I can only confirm the fundamental difference between a North American society driven […]

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The one question John Kerry should ask about George W. Bush

Thursday, September 16th, 2004 • 7:34 am

Things are not looking too good for the Democrats’ candidate in the 2004 US presidential election at this point. Poll results show that Bush is leading by 7 to 10 percentage points. The low blows about Kerry’s involvement in the Vietnam War appear to have done their job, regardless of how shameful and unfounded they […]

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Gene Weingarten (Washington Post): ‘Fear Itself – Learning to live in the age of terrorism’

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004 • 2:49 am

There are tons of articles written about terrorism these days, but I find that this article by Gene Weingarten published in the August 22 issue of the Washington Post is particularly good. I don’t really like the title (possibly chosen by editors and not by the author himself), which is rather oxymoronic: If the main […]

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How to force drivers to use their blinkers when turning

Sunday, August 8th, 2004 • 10:54 pm

I don’t have to do much driving. I live in the country, and my daily commute is a 10-second walk down the hall to my home office. But the little driving I do is enough to make me ponder whether we are really doing everything we can do to make our roads safer for everyone. […]

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Athens 2004: Where’s the critical coverage?

Sunday, August 8th, 2004 • 10:34 pm

Unlike billions of people on this planet, I have next to no interest in the Olympics. To me, the whole thing has been irreparably tarnished by doping issues and commercialism. What I find really disappointing, however, is the abysmal media coverage. Yesterday evening, for example, the BBC News reports on BBC World praised Athens for […]

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Canadian elections: Minority government for a majority of socially progressive voters

Monday, June 28th, 2004 • 11:36 pm

It is of course rather difficult to analyze the results of yesterday’s elections here in Canada. Paul Martin got the tap on the wrist that he deserved for all the scheming that led him to the position of being the Prime Minister without having been elected to that office. He also got a whack on […]

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Canada: Paul Martin and those deaths

Friday, May 28th, 2004 • 3:23 am

The big news yesterday in Canadian politics (yes, we too are in an election year) was NPD candidate Jack Layton accusing Paul Martin, the current Liberal prime minister and candidate to his own succession, of being responsible for the deaths of homeless people because of his drastic cost-cutting measures when he was Minister of Finance […]

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Le professeur d’économie Pierre-Noël Giraud sur le capitalisme et la gratuité

Monday, May 17th, 2004 • 6:01 am

Je recommande à tous ceux qui s’intéressent aux questions de piratage des fichiers numériques la lecture de l’article « Un spectre hante le capitalisme : la gratuité » publié par Le Monde le 6 mai 2004. Morceau choisi : Comme toute tentative de s’opposer aux libertés nouvelles qu’offre la technique, ces méthodes seront au mieux inefficaces, quand elles […]

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