John Robson - April 2nd, 2013
In response to the gathering storm caused by North Korea’s insane belligerence and nuclear weapons program, abetted by its only real ally the People’s Republic of China, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon just deployed the biggest weapon he has, his mouth, and declared that the “crisis has already gone too far.” Oh well then I guess everyone will just stop. I mean now that we hear those words…
In case that gum-flapping merely seemed useless, Ban followed it up with an attempt to do harm by offering an inane misdiagnosis of the problem: “Nuclear threats are not a game,” he said. “Aggressive rhetoric and military posturing only result in counter-actions, and fuel fear and instability.”
Note that this assessment implies blame lies equally with both sides, too atavistic to break out of the spiraling cycle of mistrust. As opposed to it being the fault of North Korea’s insane dictator and tyrannical political system.
This misdiagnosis is not just useless. For if it’s really a cycle of misunderstanding, deterrence contributes to the problem and appeasement is called for to deescalate tensions. Whereas if the crisis has its origins in the psychotic belligerence of Pyongyang, threats and mobilization of military assets are clearly essential.
Oh well. Probably no one is listening anyway.
John Robson - April 1st, 2013
Former Reagan budget director David Stockman has a full-blown conniption in the New York Times about “quantitative easing” (a.k.a. “governments printing money like there’s no tomorrow”, as I observed in today’s Ottawa Sun) in the United States… and not without reason. If they keep it up, tomorrow’s going to be pretty grim when it arrives as dates on the calendar tend to do.
John Robson - March 28th, 2013
You know the saying that if you’re inside the fishbowl the outside world looks distorted? Someone needs to mention it to whoever wrote the press release saying:
Mr. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, will take part in a photo-opportunity to celebrate the naming of Thousand Islands National Park. This Thursday, Parks Canada is giving members of the media an opportunity to take pictures of Mr. Brown unveiling the new sign.
Be still, my beating heart.
Oh, by the way, all those round glassy-looking objects you think you see out there? It’s not the result of you looking through fishbowl glass. It really is how our eyes get when we hear that you thought this was so noteworthy you spent public money preparing and distributing it.
John Robson - March 27th, 2013
So even the Newfoundland and Labrador budget contains pie charts showing where they get their money and where they spend it. They haven’t exactly gone out of their way to draw attention to it; you have to click “Download Statements and Exhibits” inside the “Budget Speech” webpage then plough through to page x which you’re not very likely to do unless you’re (a) looking for it and (b) not easily discouraged. And to be honest their 2013 budget, brought down yesterday, is a worrying set of documents in many ways including its ghastly focus-grouped name “A Sound Plan, A Secure Future”. Still, they do eventually share this key information in a very user-friendly format.
Remind me again why the federal Finance Ministry doesn’t.