Bulletin Archives

Jan 2003 - Dec 2003

Return to current bulletin.

Sunday December 28, 2003

Ahhh, the waning days of 2003. We have so much to back upon, none of it good. Geopolitically, it's been a crappy year. Personally...... well, you'll get my personal look-back on the first entry of the new year, as always.

Hope you had a happy holiday. Me, I contracted food poisoning while I was in Philadelphia last weekend. As a result, this was the first Xmas during which I actually lost weight. I'm making up lost ground now, though. I tells ya, there are few things more unsettling than being a brown-skinned foreign traveller in the USA during an orange terror alert, and having an unexplained fever and delerium! I was very eager to get back home ASAP.

Speaking of brown skin and all that, my Globe and Mail article came out last Tuesday. You can read it here. They gave me a whole page! A whole page! That was quite unexpected. Feedback has been universally positive, for which I am grateful. As well, the Chowk website has reprinted the article. Their interface alows readers to discuss the article, so to read that discussion click here.

Okay, I got stuff to do-- now that I'm vertical again and not gushing substances from various unnamed orifices. Don't know if I'll manage another entry before the end of the year, so happy 2003, etc.

Saturday December 20, 2003

"Banning staunch allies like France and Germany from rebuilding Iraq is not only foolishly vindictive and ham-handed, it is downright stupid, a condition now epidemic at the Pentagon's highest civilian echelons." -Eric Margolis

Greetings from Philadelphia, the supposed city of brotherly love. It really is a beautiful and fascinating place, with lots of fatty meaty foods to be purchased from street vendors. I'm off to Naomi's and Karan's wedding in a few hours.

I went to Independence Hall (formerly the Pennsylvania State House) yesterday. It's the site of the First Continental Congress, the meeting that gave birth to the Constitution and the idea of the United States of America. I highly recommend this historical exploration.

The park ranger who was our guide looked just like Sammy Davis, Jr., and even had a penchant for bad acting. As he told the story of the Founding Fathers' debates, he would launch into long quoted speeches, and acted out their doings. All very entertaining.

There were, however, two events that you will find interesting, I'm sure. The first is that the ranger, at the beginning of the tour, asked all non-US citizens to stand up and identify ourselves. This was in a group of over 100 people, mind you, at the centre of one of this country's most hallowed patriotic shrines. It was meant well, of course, as a way of welcoming foreigners. But it gave everyone pause. Finally, a Taiwanese couple stood and were reluctantly applauded. But no one else --not me!-- volunteered for such identification. In modern America, many do not feel comfortable in advertising their foreigner status.

The second troubling point was the ranger's version of American history, the one we all know about from watching Schoolhouse Rock. I find it interesting that American and British versions of the same event (the Revolutionary War) could differ in such fundamental ways.

In the ranger's version, the colonists seceded after "they were beaten down by unfair tax after tax" without representation in the British parliament. The British version, taught to us Canadians, is that every single tax was repealed by the British upon complaint from the Americans... all except one, the Stamp Tax. Whether it was the Stamp Tax alone which was sufficient to push the colonies to rebellion is unclear to me. But it is nonetheless interesting that versions would differ on this subtle, though, in my mind, critical point.

My Treo 180 continues to goof up on me. For some reason, it refuses to register with the US cell networks, thus denying me a phone while I am in the USA. Very disconcerting. The only solution their tech wizards can offer is to completely drain the battery then re-install all my software. I've been draining now for 10 hours. It still isn't done. Ack.

You will note that this site has a new feature: News From Deonandia, accessible by clicking on the News item in the main menu. We'll see how long that lasts.

The big news is that my feature article in The Globe and Mail will be published on Monday, Dec 22. So run out and buy a copy! They had asked me for something about the negative aspect of being a young and/or 2nd generation immigrant. Warning: the editors insisted on a personal slant, so it gets kind of maudlin at times. Once I see what kind of final edits they've made, I'll reproduce the article on this site.

With all this PR comes attention. And so I'd like to bring up another topic. Occasionally, I get a random email from a supposed school kid trying to do a report on me or people like me. At least I hope they're kids. Here's a hint for all of you: when approaching a stranger who has information you need, don't just launch into a series of personal questions. Say who you are, what you are doing, then ask nicely if you can ask such questions. Otherwise, continue to expect a cold reception.

I'll be back in Toronto on Tuesday, ready to watch The Return of the King. Sigh, it's finally somewhat cool to be a Tolkien geek. Until then, I highly recommend that you click here.

Wednesday December 17, 2003

Well, they caught Saddam. Since this is officially a Bush-hating website, my stance is one of sadness, since the tyrant's capture gives further credence to my very sad suspicion that the Boy Emperor will be elected to another term in office. Who's gonna beat him? Howard Dean? Nuh.

Here in Canada, we have a new Prime Minister. All I will say about Paul Martin today is this: he has a funny voice. But that seems to be a prerequisite for the PM's office.

Here's a treat for you. Don't open it at work, though. Click here. And while we're doing treats, check out this little animated GIF:

So apparently Subway is trying to ban one of its Sikh managers from wearing a turban at work. Is this really the 21st century? It feels as if we keep going backwards in time. I tell myself the wave of bigotry that currently besets the world is a dying gasp, a final stumble backwards before the great leap forward. Tell me I'm right.

Speaking of racism, etc., yours truly has been commissioned to write a feature essay for the The Globe and Mail on immigration and racism. I've already written it and sent it in, so once I get the okay, it will be available at The Podium. The artice is scheduled to run during Christmas week.

I'm off to Philadelphia tomorrow and will be back Monday night. I will endeavour to update this site from the city of brotherly love (yes, that sounds very gay), so stay tuned.

Thursday December 11, 2003

"All we have to do is cut the apron strings from Israel and pull our troops out of the Middle East, where they have no business being anyway, and Middle East terrorism directed toward us would evaporate overnight. We have no natural conflict with the Arab world or it with us, and most assuredly Islam is not our enemy." -Charley Reese

This link courtesy of my friend Neil H. It's pretty self-explanatory: Babes Against Bush

Look at me, I'm running with scissors!

Nothing too important to report today. Oh, I have a lot of my mind, and a slew of op-eds to write. But my consulting responsibilities are keeping me quite busy for now. And let's not forget the novel. No reviews yet, but friends who have read it continue to respond positively, causing me to issue a prolonged and audible whew! My publisher is presently arranging media appearances for me; watch this space for updates. If you know of a venue near you that would like to host an appearance by yours truly, do let me know.

I will be in Philadelphia on the weekend of the 19th. So if you'll be around.... good for you.

Saturday December 6, 2003

Hurrah! My things from Washington finally arrived from storage today. Surprisingly, I haven't really missed any of my belongings since I moved nearly four months ago. The lesson here: you don't need a lot of stuff. I want to plug the moving company again: Empire Moving out of Montreal. These guys really impressed me with their professionalism, efficiency and kindness.

My old buddy from Washington, Neil Hrab, has recently moved back to DC. In honor of his move, I have just spelled "honor" in the American style, and am plugging this article by Neil about World Sousveillance Day.

Eric Margolis has this article on the ousting of Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze. I think it's worth a read.

Last installment, I talked about Abdul Rahman Khadr. Well, it seems that his lawyer Rocco Galati has quit his high profile cases, due to death threats from either right wing fanatics or, as Galati suspects, American or Canadian intelligence agencies. Galati claims he was weeping at the press conference, not because his life had been threatened, but because "we now live in Colombia."

Of course, I don't know if the threats were real, or who might be issuing them. But, like Galati, I am saddened by their implication: justice can be intimidated into non-action.

Monday December 1, 2003

Today is World Aids Day. I was supposed to be in Guyana doing my AIDS thing there on behalf of CSIH, but that trip has been postponed until February. Probably a good thing, since I'm not in a travelling mood right now. My AIDS fact for the day: the number of people killed worldwide by AIDS will soon exceed the number killed by the Black Death. That should give you some historical context.

In other disease news, a news SARS vaccine is being stockpiled in Canada. I think this is a bit of an overreaction. We should be focusing our immunization and stockpiling efforts on the flu, which is the real seasonal communicable killer in Canada.

So alleged terrorist Abdul Rahman Khadr had problems returning to Canada. Apparently, Canadian embassies in Afghanistan and Pakistan were reticent to grant him a passport; his grandmother in Canada had to hire a local lawyer to get the process done.

This is outrageous. Regardless of what the man may or may not have done, and what he may or may not do in the future, he is a citizen of Canada. As such, he is always legally entitled to return to this country, and legally entitled to assistance from Canadian consular centres around the world. This is doubly concerning since allegations of his wrongdoing are entirely those of a foreign power, the USA. This should concern every citizen, since we are all vulnerable to foreign charges and accusations, with or without basis. The one constant of citizenship should always be the right of return. I fear yet again that this is another step on the slippery slope toward two-tiered citizenship, which necessarily has racist overtones.

On a lighter note, conratulations to my friends in Washington, Naomi and Karan, on their upcoming marriage. I will try to be there! And don't forget to sign up for the Joke of the Day!

Sunday November 30, 2003

To start us off today, here is yet another story of unfettered greed.

Remember by big article on SARS earlier this year? I found this discussion about the article on a right-wing website. Quite interesting reading, actually. The message: if you write professionally, you never know who's reading your crap, and how they are responding to it.

And while we're ego-stroking and navel-gazing, I found this column on the wrestling website Raja, which cites one of my columns. Similarly, here and here, wrestling fans discuss my wrestling columns in a Yahoo! discussion forum.

Is there a lesson here? Not that I can see. Except that if my legacy is going to consist solely of a few references on a Yahoo! mailing list and a right-wing discussion site, I'd better get my ass in gear and kick-start my career.

Enough auto-fellatio for one day. Don't forget to buy my book! And do consider signing up for the New Joke of the Day! We'll talk again in the final month of 2003.

Friday November 28, 2003

Well, Wednesday night was the launch of TSAR's 2003 line-up, including my novel, Divine Elemental. All went well. Special thanks to all those who stayed until the end to hear/see me. An extra special thanks to Andrew Currie for filming the whole event; I'll be sure to post video clips when they become available to me.

The big news is that, after a one year hiatus, I've decided to re-launch the Joke of the Day service. If you weren't around for its original incarnation, here's a summary. From 1990 to 2002, I mailed out a joke every day to over 200 subscribers. The jokes got pretty damned dirty. I lost as many disgusted subscribers as I got new ones. But the fun ended when the administration of the mailing list got too complicated for me to handle.

But now I've turned to Yahoo! Groups to manage the list for me. This allows subscribers to add or remove their email address, and even hide their address from me and other subscribers. The jokes will begin to be mailed out as soon as I've received a "critical mass" of subscriptions. Let me remind you that subscribers are never spammed. Confidentiality is the key. So if you'd like to subscribe, click on the button below:

Altneratively, visit my new Joke of the Day page. Note that this is not the same as my regular Mailing List, which you can subscribe to in order to keep abreast of the "serious" doings in my life and on this site. Ahhh, the magic of self-promotion.

Tuesday November 25, 2003

"Times are a-changing, and the world is not about to let America impose its will on everyone else without resistance." -Charley Reese

As always, Brother Margolis has well-founded criticisms of American foreign policy in the Middle East. He's always worth a read. Mind you, word is that he's been turfed off his regular panel slot on TVOntario's Studio 2. If anyone has some good gossip on this development, nerds like me want to hear it.

Always on the lookout for what others are saying about me, I was happy to discover this site dedicated to Caribbean authors, with a page all about little old me.

Not to sound like a broken record, but tomorrow night is the launch of Divine Elemental at the Gladstone Hotel. Come on down! I'll let you buy me a drink.

Since the year is almost over, I've decided to take a look at the 2003 hit counts over at Deonandan.com's sister site, The Podium. Here are the top ten:

  1. Review of The Book of Secrets, with 259 hits
  2. The Source of the Rage, with 255 hits
  3. Restaurant Etiquette, Part I (by Kevin Hilditch), with 234 hits
  4. Guyana, with 207 hits
  5. Profile this!, with 202 hits
  6. Review of English Lessons and Other Stories, with 200 hits
  7. The Podium's Movie and Video Reviews, with 190 hits
  8. My Sep 20, 2002, wrestling column, with 152 hits
  9. The Coming Plagues, with 170 hits
  10. The Podium's 2nd Poll: "The 20th Century's Media Moments", with 128 hits

Stats are courtesy of Webstat.com. See you tomorrow night!

Saturday November 22, 2003

So Herr Bush is in Britain. Poor, poor Tony Blair. His career is now officially over. Read about it here.

This week was the launch of Desilicious. All went well. But, man, were those martinis overpriced!

I just came from Book City where I discovered --much to my surprise!-- copies of Divine Elemental already on sale! It looks pretty good, and after half an hour of reading several key chapters, the only typographical error I found was in the Acknowledgments section.

The book's official launch is this coming Wednesday night at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto at 7:pm. Come on down and help me get drunk!

Sunday November 16, 2003

Some tidbits:

  1. Eric Margolis writes about the forgotten Ukrainian holocaust.
  2. Farai Chideya points out the racist double standard in American media. Blonde and white Jessica Lynch got all the attention, you see, while Shoshanna Johnson, a black woman who had the same experience as Lynch in Iraq --and worse-- has been ignored.
  3. And here is an excellent rant by Molly Ivins about the hipocrisy of the right wing.
  4. A friend sent in this gem about fake George Bush $200 bills actually being accepted by dumb-asses.
  5. Another friend has pointed me to an incident concerning a suit against the Iraq government filed and won by US Gulf War vets who were the victims of torture. And yet the White House has blocked those vets from receiving their money, since all monies owned by the Iraq government can supposedly best be spent by re-building Iraq. The truly amazing part of this story is the dance routine performed by White House spokesman Scott McLellan in response to questions about this blockage. Read the text of his stupidity here. It's about halfway down the page.
  6. The new Guyana Project Website is up and running.
  7. This coming Thursday night is the launch of Desilicious at the Tangerine Lounge in Toronto (647 King St. W.).
  8. And next week on the 26th is the launch of Divine Elemental at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, 1214 Queen St. W. at Dufferin. Other books by TSAR Publications will be launched the same night, by authors Rita Nayar, Wayson Choy, Rienzi Crusz and fellow Guyanese-Canadian Cyril Dabydeen. There's a cash bar, so do come down, get drunk and buy lots of books!

Tuesday November 11, 2003

"Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!" -Augustus Caesar

The above quote is apropos of nothing, except that I just finished watching all 13 hours of I, Claudius for the first time in decades. The best part was seeing Patrick Stewart with a full head of hair. He looked like a bald man with a wig, which is what he probably was.

Of course, it's also apt to mark Remembrance Day with a quote about one of the biggest massacres in ancient military history.

I forgot to mention some time ago that my moving experience with the Internic Moving Company was a positive one, despite online warnings not to deal with moving brokers. I would not hesitate to use them again. The client company that actually did the move, Empire Movers (based in Montreal), were especially polite and efficient. Consider that a plug.

On another note, this Bulletin is now hosted by Freewebs.com. Hopefully, you won't notice a slowdown in service. I know, this file is growing large and unwieldy. Just hang on until the end of December, when the 2003 Bulletin file gets archived and we get a fresh new --smaller!-- file for the new year.

Well, it seems our southern neighbour's monkey president is at it again. He is attempting to gut the Endangered Species Act in favour of his corporate bum buddies, and in favour of several questionable and morally circumspect military projects. I'm not one for petitions, online or otherwise, but if you're opposed to gutting the ESA, consider signing this one.

Speaking of leaders who are likely evolutionary throwbacks, Toronto is finally free of its embarassing functionally retarded mayor Mel Lastman. David Miller was elected the second ever mayor of the Toronto "megacity" last night. He got my vote. Now let's see if he can deliver....if any mayor really can, since the fortunes of a city like Toronto are pretty much determined in the provincial seat of power in Queen's Park, and not really in City Hall. These days, City Hall is only good for traffic court and gay weddings.

The launch of TSAR Books' 2003 Fall lineup of books, which includes my novel, Divine Elemental, will take place on Wednesday, Nov 26th in Toronto. Not sure of the venue yet, so watch this space for details.

And don't forget: the Toronto launch of Desilicious, that anthology of "erotic South Asian literature" which includes my short story, "Destroyer of Worlds," will take place Nov 20th in the Tangerine Lounge at 647 King St W. Do come if this sort of thing interests you. I don't want to get your hopes up, but at such events refreshments have been known to be served.

Well, that's enough self-promotion for today. Tune in tomorrow for a fresh round of self-promotion.

Wednesday November 5, 2003

"George Bush was not elected by a majority of voters in the United States. He was appointed by God." -Lt. General William Boykin, the new Undersecretary of Defence.

Goobers both. (Um, Boykin and Bush, not Bush and God.) Boykin is also the dude who said (about Osman Atto, a Muslim):

“Well, you know what I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol.”

Mr Boykin is unaware that Muslims do not worship idols, and that the Islamic and Judeo-Christian gods are in fact the same. I guess, like his President, the good General considers illiteracy a point of pride.

Some unrelated thoughts:

  • Congratulations to Moyez Vassanji whose novel The In-Between World of Vikram Lall just won the 2003 Giller Prize. The Giller is Canada's top writing award. This is Moyez's second Giller. He was, in fact, the prize's very first recipient, for his masterpiece, The Book Of Secrets.
  • Moyez and his wife Nurjehan Aziz also just happen to be the owners of TSAR Books --my publisher! Even before this relationship, I was a big fan of the works of Vassanji.
  • TSAR has hired a publicist for this season's line-up. So if you would like to invite me to present at an event you are sponsoring, contact Ms. Helen Buttery 'cause it's her job now.
  • Speaking of publicity, I've updated my Media page.
  • And speaking of updates, this very bulletin finally has most of its links fixed after the unplanned move from Bravenet's server. (Remember? Censorship?) So you can finally see all the pics below that have been missing for the past three months.
  • Apparently there's a shortage of epidemiologists in the USA, which explains why I'm off to Connecticut to meet with Pfizer today.
  • There is likely a shortage in Canada, too, which explains why I'm also off to meet with the Ontario Ministry of Health in a few days.

"In the abstract, 'terrorism' is a terrible thing; everybody deplores it; nobody supports it. Why then is terrorism such a growth industry? Because its definition is not agreed. It depends where you stand. Terrorism has, thus, become a much abused, highly fungible term. "-Simon Tisdall

Some more unrelated thoughts:

  • Get this: developing nations will now be denied US aid unless they agree to exempt US citizens from war crimes prosecution under the new International Criminal Court. Oddly, this doesn't anger me as much as it might. Aid has always been a political tool; at least now the bloom is off the rose, and the citizens of wealthy nations can stop demanding gratitude for the alms they offer which, in truth, are nothing more than further attempts to coerce and control.
  • I now have high cholesterol. And high blood pressure. Great, two new pills to take every day for the rest of my life. Getting older sucks. The good news is that there are always new treatments.
  • Why is it that when I had long hair, I met too many women who preferred short hair on men, and now that I have short hair again, I keep meeting women who lament my loss of long hair? Sheesh.
  • Speaking of women, if I meet one more single woman who complains she can't meet a guy, and yet who carelessly brandishes a ring on her wedding ring finger, I'm going to slap her. (Metaphorically, of course, since I deplore violence... he quickly adds for legal purposes.)
  • I'm thinking of pitching a basic epidemiology course to the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies. If anyone has any thoughts on the issue, do share them with me.
  • An open letter to codeine: I love you. Very much.

Monday November 3, 2003

"The light that optimistic George Bush sees at the end of the Iraq tunnel is probably an onrushing truck, loaded with explosives." -Eric Margolis

Silly chimp.

You'll be relieved to know that I am no longer Jennifer Lopez. I had to leave that particular tag line up for more than a week because I've spent the last week in Ottawa, where I attended the 10th Canadian Conference for International Health. But now I'm back in Toronto with a fresh cold!

No word yet on when my new book will be launched in Toronto, but reports suggest sometime at the end of this month. Watch this space for more details.

However, Desilicious, an anthology of "erotic South Asian literature" --which includes my new short story, "Destroyer of Worlds"-- will be launched in Toronto at the Tangerine Lounge at 647 King St. W. I'll likely be there, so maybe I'll see you.

I'm off to Boston and Connecticut this week to meet with Pfizer. If anything fun happens, I'll be sure to report it here!

Friday October 24, 2003

Seen on a Sears ad in a Toronto subway: "In the eye of the storm I am still Jennifer Lopez."

What the hell does that even mean?

Someone asked me what I thought of the anti-semitic comments made recently by Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. Haroon Siddiqui reflects my position well here.

It seems that my friend Albert Howell is running for mayorm of Toronto. I don't know how serious his bid is, but he's having his own "debate" tonight at the Second City, with local comedians playing the roles of the other candidates.

I've made some big changes to the Guyana Project's test site. Do have a look.

Looks like I'll be in Fredericton, NB, for a book signing at the University of New Brunswick in March of next year. Watch this space for details!

Thursday October 16, 2003

Waaaaah, I'm sick! Being sick sucks for a lot of reasons. For me, it means not being able to work out for more than 2 weeks. When you have a taste for donuts, as I do, exercise assumes particular importance. This happens just as new reports suggest that exercise helps to preserve brain function, and that brain function starts to decline at age 30. We old-timers can't afford to screw around!

You may have seen this already. But, in case you haven't, be forewarned that it's pretty gruesome. It's actual footage of the tiger attacking Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy. You can access the video here.

The two federal rightist political parties in this country have merged into a new Canadian conservative party. Yep, the reactionary rednecks of the west have united with the penny-pinchers of the east. Or, in other words, fashion-free straight white men from across the nation have put aside their differences and are joining forces so they can lose the election with a single undivided compassionless platform!

Seriously, what does this mean for the Canadian political landscape? In the short term, not a whole lot. The Liberals are winning the next election. In the long run, I think it's a good thing. It means the new single right-wing party will actually be more centrist than the previous Alliance, and that's good for everybody. Canadian politics are boring, so I'll stop there.

...But not before my public service announcement for those of you living in Ontario who are tight with the Liberal party. If you have the experience and are looking for a high-ranking political job within the New Provincial Order, visit this website: recruitingsecretariat.on.ca.

Here is an interesting story about a man who might be going to jail because he taught his dog "Adolf" how to do the "Hitler salute" on command. The best part was Rotten.com's comment that the dog should have been named "Rumsfeld."

Speaking of Darth Rumsfeld, Here is a report of how the US military has been bulldozing ancient date palms and lemon trees to "punish" Iraqi farmers for not revealing the names of members of the Resistance. Just ask yourself: if this was a Hollywood war movie, which side would be portrayed as the more heroic: the stoic farmers or the bulldozing soldiers looking for "collaborators"?

Updates to the Guyana Project website continue to be made. I invite you all to visit the primary site (www.csih.org/what/guyana/indexguyana.html) and a new test site, which I host to work out the kinks to the updates. The test site is here: guyana.deonandan.com. If you have a moment, do let me know what you like/dislike about the updates.

Speaking of Guyana, I will likely be there on December 1st for World AIDS Day. Not quite sure what activity we will be sponsoring. But when I know, so will you.

The Divine Elemental page has been updated, as has the Media page. Yep, I'm gearing up for the big book launch!

That's all I have for you today. Hey, I'm sick; give me a break.

Tuesday October 14, 2003

"Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in 'mission creep,' and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, there was no viable 'exit strategy' we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome." - George Bush, Sr. (A World Transformed, 1998)

The above quote sent by Good Ol' Nojjy Boy. Speaking of things sent in, here's a personals ad from Craig's List in Toronto:

Disabled man wanted by two women
Posted on: 2003-09-27, 6:21PM

Able-bodied bisexual female couple would like to meet a good-looking man for friendship and sex, who is either paraplegic, an amputee, or uses crutches/braces. Drinks, non-penetrative fun, brunch?

Damn, them paraplegics get all the action. And brunch!

What have I got for you today? Well, it seems this site's disclaimer went missing for a while. It's now back where it belongs.

And I was cleaning out my old files when I discovered a summary of my standardized test scores! I include them here for your erudition, and to show that I am not afraid of displaying my occasional mediocrity. For you American readers, we Canadians don't take SATs.

Friday October 10, 2003

"[Edward Said] was, in this ideologically divided world, a genuine intellectual and a genuinely compassionate man... To be hated by both Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is probably the greatest endorsement a man of peace could wish for." -Charley Reese

Shame on me for not having publicly noted the passing of Edward Said before now. I've oft quoted him. He was a true giant among informed commentators, and we are all diminished for his passing. His lasting lesson: that one can have idealogy without fanaticism.

I'll follow one Charley Reese quote with another:

"The probability is high that [the Iraqi people] will drive us out and Overthrow whatever puppet government we leave behind. The question is how many billions of dollars and how many American lives we want to spend teaching George Bush a lesson he should have learned at the library."

Reese is one of that handful of self-described conservatives who frequently get things exactly right, which is why I enjoy quoting him (and Eric Margolis). Reese recently remarked on an unnamed "neoconservative female dunce, acting as a junkyard dog for the Republicans." I like to think he was talking about my favourite bitch, Ann Coulter.

Reese, like myself and Margolis, cited that Hermann Goering quote from Nuremberg, the one about misleading the people by fabricating enemies. There was some concern that the quote itself was fabricated. However, I'm pleased to report that those unsung heroes of myth debunkage, Snopes.com, confirm the authenticity of those particular words.

Well, the California gubernatorial elections are over. Arnold won. I'm not going to comment on Governor Conan until he actually does something; who knows, he might be okay at the job. However, I am very concerned by the recall process itself. Gray Davis may have made some poor decisions in office, but he committed no crimes. His government and all his officials were freely and legally elected by the people of California: that's the price you pay for free elections. No freely elected government should be terminated prematurely without a clear indication of criminal scandal. To my eye, that a recall process exists at all is a failure of democracy. A recall mechanism quashes any lingering incentive for a government to make creative, bold policies. Term limitation is already in place as a control; most jurisdictions don't need a recall process.

Remember my recent op-ed about sexism on a VIA Rail train? Well, a VIA product manager actually contacted me to discuss the event. Of course, he was more concerned about the train being overbooked than about any "isms" displayed in their policies. But at least they took note.

Tuesday October 7, 2003

"Maybe that the Madonna/ Britney kiss was still kind of hot, in that way that your mother slipping you the tongue can be hot. Not!" -Bruce LaBruce

Okay, Air Canada has a sale on flights to DC. Even with reduced rates, can I afford a weekend there in my present fund-impaired state? Hmmm.

Here is a personal blog from a fellow named Kenny Smith, who apparently started his site after having been (partially) inspired by this site. Very cool. Makes me think I should make a greater effort to sound erudite in this space. So, in the interest of erudition, do read my latest op-ed. Apparently, it was published in the Ottawa Citizen last week, though I have no evidence of that yet.

Yesterday I went to the eye doctor. Hadn't been in five years. Since my last visit, they've instituted a new service: retinal photography. The best part about this is that I got to keep the photo, which I present here for your enlightenment. Any opthalmologists out there are invited to inspect my retinas and inform me of any impending disease. (See, aren't I clever? Using my site to solicit free medical advice.) Click on the pic for a larger version:

Tuesday September 30, 2003

"President Bill Clinton was impeached by a Republican-controlled Congress for lying about sex. President George W. Bush and aides lied the United States into a stupid, unnecessary colonial war that has so far killed more than 305 Americans and seriously wounded more than 1,400. It has also cost many thousands of Iraqi dead, and $1 billion US weekly. Lying about sex is an impeachable offence; lying the nation into war apparently is not." -Eric Margolis

Amen, Brother Margolis.

Some people took exception to last Friday's bulletin, specifically the "good monkey" vs. "bad monkey" paragraph. It was suggested that if I want to be "taken seriously" I should not write such "insane drivel." Here is my response: this ain't the fucking Drudge Report. If you want detached commentary without the profanity and primate analogies, go to my op-ed page. And remember, ye gets what ye pays for.

Speaking of which, I do have a new op-ed there. Do check it out. It will be published in The Ottawa Citizen this coming Thursday.

Friday September 26, 2003

"President Bush and his neo-conservative handlers led America into these twin disasters [Afghanistan and Iraq] precisely because two of the key organs of democracy - an independent, inquiring media, and assertive Congress - failed miserably to perform their duty." -Eric Margolis

And, as Brother Margolis explains, CNN's Christiane Amanpour was derided by Faux News as a "spokeswoman for al-Qaeda" because she dared note that US media was self-censoring. Some say that there is a sense that the media has begun to turn on the would-be boy emperor, but I have yet to fully see it. The US mainstream media are snivelling cowards; they will wait until the public opinion polls swing against the President before unleashing their muzzled criticism. Just wait and watch.

It's been suggested that I should comment on The Shrub's hat-in-hand appearance before the UN, where he had to ask for help in occupying Iraq. Here's my commentary: BWAHAHAHAHAAAAHAAAAAAAHAAAAAAA!

History will recall this period as being that crucial time in the evolution of human civilization when we finally woke up and realized we're just a bunch of monkeys in business suits; nothing has changed since the jungle. This is what I conclude from watching the US heartland continue to thump their Bibles and line up to suck Dubbya's coke-shrivelled dick. No one learns anything from the past; no one seems able to see the world in anything other than "good monkey" vs "bad monkey" social economics. Yes, I just made that up. Feel free to use it.

Regarding local politics, we in Ontario were recently treated to a debate between the candidates for the province's Premiership. After two years in Washington, local politics seems so hick to me now. The sad part is that all three party leaders came out looking like fools. I find myself horrified that I am most (politically) attracted to the Green party and their sensible leader, Frank de Jong. I'm not foolish enough to actually vote for them, though.

(I really can't take a politican named Frank de Jong too seriously. Sounds too much like that Dutch physical comedian, Freak de Jonge.)

Speaking of debates, I caught part of the monstrously large California gubernatorial debate. The most fun part was listening to Arnold Schwarznegger pronouncing "gubernatorial." For my money, Arianna Huffington kicked some serious butt.

Change of topic in 3..2...1.... My old friend and playwright Allan Stratton finally has his own website. Do visit it.

Speaking of websites, I've updated the job search section of this site. So if you're in health care and are unemployed, do have a look.

And speaking of writers and such, the final final edits of my new book have been submitted, and the little beasty has gone to press. Look for it at a bargain bin near you!

I will be in Montreal this coming weekend. If you're around, do let me know.

Friday September 19, 2003

"Apparently, Duran Duran is back, looking pretty good for a bunch of withered Eurofags." -Neal Pollack

Who says all I ever talk about is international politics? See, I can talk pop music, too. Sort of. Aw heck....

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." -Reich Marshall Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg trials

I love that quote. It's amazing how many people fail to learn from history. Reading the transcript of the Nuremberg trials should be mandatory for every citizen of a Western democracy, especially those of the USA. And I mean transcript, not the movie. So few of us take the time to appreciate history without letting an "artist" interpret events for us. The ability to identify propaganda should be reflexive second nature to all of us. Yet, of course, it is not. But at least it seems that the American public is waking up to the fact that it has been duped by the would-be boy emperor.

Now wait a minute. Many of these same people now claiming they were duped (Democratic Senators and Congressmen, I'm looking at you) are the same ones who enthusiastically voted monies to fund the Shrub's imperial ambitions. Claim deception all you like, but I --and everyone else in the world-- hold all of them responsible for the havoc and suffering they have wrought. But I'm not going to mention any names here. *Cough* Ted Kennedy *Cough*.

On the personal front, what have I got for you today? Check this out, boys and girls!

Friday September 12, 2003

Yesterday every media outlet in the world had something to say about the anniversary of September 11.... 2001. Since they've got it well covered, I'd like to turn your attention to September 11, 1973. On that date, 30 years ago, US-backed terrorists overthrew the peaceful and democratically elected government of Chile.

Ohhhh, some of you are saying, Ray is bashing the US government again. But listen: there's a connection between what the Nixon administration (which included Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld!) did back then, and what happened to innocent people on 9/11 of 2001. By overthrowing a popular democratic government in favour of a brutal murdering dictator (General Pinochet), the world learned to see the USA as a regime whose rhetoric of freedom and opportunity only applies to its own interests, while pain and repression are its goals for the rest of us. That's the vision digested by Al Qaeda; and given the events of 1973, it's difficult to argue with that interpretation.

The Pinochet "government" went on to murder thousands.

"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people," Kissinger said of Chile at the time. No wonder people like Osama bin Laden feel no remorse about punishing similarly "irresponsible" people.

"It is not a part of our country's history that we are proud of," Colin Powell said of the Chile affair. Yet why are Cheney and Rumsfeld rewarded with wealth and power, instead of being prosecuted like the criminals they are?


In other news, my new book will be launched on November 26 or 27. So if you're in Toronto then, do attend. Check this space for more information.

Speaking of books and such, here is a great little ongoing column about grammar tidbits. Also here is the website for the First Words literary contest. Apparently, I was a finalist for the contest (whose judges include Salman Rushdie, and whose prize is a meeting with a top literary agent), but had to withdraw my entry when it, you know, got bought by a publisher.

Once again: Grrrrrr.

Thursday September 4, 2003

Well, here I am in Toronto, and boy do I feel claustrophobic. It does feel like a giant step backwards, even though my rational brain knows better. Alas. A line from Seinfeld seems particularly poignant: "Elaine, bald men with no jobs and no money who live with their parents don't approach strange women."

Here's a little anecdote for ya. We were about to cross the US-Canada border from the USA to Canada when US Customs boarded the train and interrogated everyone Gestapo style. What did they ask of each passenger? "Where were you born?" Can you believe this? We were leaving the fricking country. I really wish the average American were more concious of the degree of brown-shirt behaviour to which their officials have begun to stoop.

I'm a little depressed and directionless these days, people. So send me lots of email reminding me of how wonderful I am. I thank you in advance.

Friday August 29, 2003

This bulletin is no longer hosted with those puritans at Bravenet. Instead, it's being hidden in one of my Geocities accounts. As a result, all of the f@cks and sh!ts have been returned to their natural fuck and shit states. To celebrate, I watched the South Park movie again.

As a result of moving this page, some of the relative links might not work. If you can't find a page linked from here, do let me know.

So this is the last day that I have access to my cable modem in Washington, DC. So this will be my last update for several days. The movers came and took my things two days ago, and I've been sleeping on the floor and living on my cheapo laptop ever since. (It's actually been quite releasing living without a TV or other such distraction.) I leave the USA for good in two more days. The very last of a line of successful Deonandan parties will happen tomorrow night. If you're in town and I know you, do drop by. (If you're a hot babe and I don't know you, drop by anyway.)

Ironically, here's what my horoscope (from Astrocenter) says:

Today you could decide to make some changes to your home, RAY. Even if you rent an apartment, you'll be in the mood to improve your living space. It could be time to rearrange some furniture and create a better flow of energy. Or maybe you'll want to add some new paint or some fresh carpeting. Even a houseplant or two could brighten the place up a bit. So do some experimenting today.

My time here has been bittersweet. (I had planned on writing a long summary retrospective of my DC sojourn, but that will have to wait for my 15 hour train ride "home.") Clearly, I hated my job and resented having my career stuck in neutral. And I was unsettled for several months upon first arrival, since I'd broken up with a girlfriend to move here. But on the plus side, I've met some truly wonderful people here, whose images are preserved in my photos section. (Which reminds me, a photographic retrospective of my time in DC has been added to my pics.)

Washington is a beautiful city with a magnificence worthy of the imperial capital. There is erudition on every corner, importance at every turn, and an appreciable classical aesthetic sense at every intersection. Everywhere one goes, good conversation is to be had. I think it's because the capital attracts the best and brightest in the world; here, the bar is truly set very high. Don't believe me? I'm a Ph.D. who's written two books.... and I'm ordinary here. It's been an inspiring, humbling and invigorating experience. Oh yeah, and the women are really really hot, too.

Having said that, it's time to move on. Washington is not a place where one should settle. And in my heart, I am Canadian, and have always intended to settle in Canada. (This is not to say that I'm heading off to settle... oh never mind.) I return to Canada at a time when my involvement with the Canadian Society for International Health has been stepped up a couple of notches, and when my latest and most important book is about to be launched in Toronto. The time is truly right.

But for all intents and purposes, I'm unemployed. So if I see you in Toronto, you're buying the drinks!

Monday August 25, 2003 --again

For the first time ever, I give you two bulletin updates on the same day! Why, you ask? Because it seems that my new webhost, Bravenet, has gone all Big Brother on me and has ordered me to "clean up the profanity" on my website, or else they'll yank my site without a refund! Being newly poor, I have no choice but to bend to their wishes. But let me tell you, I don't like it. When my year-long subscription with them is over, I will certainly be seeking more liberated grounds, unless they've re-thought their censorship policy by then.

In the mean time, all the naughty words have been edited. From now on, you'll see a lot of sh!t and f@ck, but none of the blatant stuff, which, I'd like to remind everyone, is how the whole f@cking world speaks. Not sure yet whether "asshole" is considered a naughty word. I'm sure my new hosts will tell me shortly.The lesson here is to read the terms of service of your webhost very carefully before signing on. So I guess this is my fault for not reading the fine print.

On the plus side, Bravenet offers some spiffy code, which I have employed to alter my photo on the main page of this site. Move your mouse over the photo to see what I mean.

***UPDATE*** - after some email exchanges with a Bravenet rep, it seems my site is still offensive to them. They object to my use of the words "nipple", "erotic", "bitch" and "anal sex." Now, I've only used "bitch" on this site to describe Ann Coulter, and I can see how someone might find that offensive. But, really now, those other words are all found in the dictionary! They're permitted in highschool essays! (I know; I've taught highschool, remember?) And yet a webhost won't let me use them? Keeeerist. Don't be surprised if this site is suddenly yanked without warning, 'cause there's no way I can go a whole day without using the word "nipple."

Monday August 25, 2003

The pics from my recent trip to Guyana are finally posted.... HERE.

Thursday August 21, 2003

Remember the Bikram yoga class I went to on Monday? It seems someone stole $15 from my bag while I was in class. Stupid yoga people.

Yesterday, I lost yet another set of sunglasses on the subway. Stupid sunglasses. Stupid subway. Stupid sun.

Long time readers of my self-indulgent dribble will recall that my current internet, phone and cable provider is the ever-fucked Starpower Communications. My experiences with them have involved:

  • Being stood up TWICE by their tech people
  • Having my internet service cut out with no explanation or apology
  • Having all my services mistakenly disconnected because their moronic tech people can't read street addresses

Well, they've done it again. I just got visit from a Starpower tech informing me that all my services had been disconnected. She told me this while observing that I was still watching cable TV and surfing the web. My attempts to explain to her that, (a) my service isn't scheduled to be terminated for another week and (b) clearly my service has not been terminated, fell on deaf ears. You see.... she turned off someone else's service and mistakenly came to my apartment. fucking morons. I am soooo happy to be rid of them soon.

One week and counting. So much yet to do...

Tuesday August 19, 2003

"The practice of the midnight knock has arrived in the United States after having been discredited with the fall of the Soviet system - and people are not even aware of it." -Akbar Ahmed

And thus, I am not entirely heartbroken about my impending return to Canadia.

The power of the Internet never ceases to amaze. Thanks to the viral screed of blogging, I am now able to work my Venetian blinds... just in time to close them before I move out.

Last night I tried Bikram yoga for the first time. Now, I've been dabbling in yoga for 20 years, and have tred a variety of styles in the USA, Canada and India. But Bikram is the most challenging I've yet encountered. What's so hard about it, you ask? Standing semi-naked in a room of mirrors, being presented from all angles with new focused perspectives on my expanding gut. Sexy!

The big news for today is that Deonandan.com and Podium.on.ca have both been moved to a new site: Bravenet! The transition was pretty much seamless, so you probably have not noticed a change in the quality of service. The change was made necessary by my impending physical move.

For those of you in Ottawa, I will be in your fair ville for the 2003 Canadian Conference on International Health in October. So say hello!

Friday August 15, 2003

As an incredible power outage holds most of Ontario, New York, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania in utter blackness, all I can say is.... I had nothing to do with it! Good thing I didn't go to New York as I'd planned. I'd be hot and miserable and probably lost somewhere in midtown.

Important lessons learned from this crisis:

  1. Energy is everything. Civilization is based upon resources, will, organization, intellect, vision, conquest, compassion.... all that fun stuff. But modern civilization is nothing without energy. If deprived of energy for a week, we'd descend to the Stone Age very quickly indeed.
  2. Energy isn't everything. Yes, power is our major concern. But from a crisis planning perspective, it's not the lack of energy that will kill us. Rather, most cities depend on electricity to do more important things... like pump water. A city deprived of electricity for more than 24 hours will quickly dehydrate.

I smell an impending op-ed.

Here's a shameful bit of news. New York, among the dingiest of cities, remains civil and calm despite being plunged into utter blackness. Ottawa, on the other hand, is reporting looting. fucking Canadians.

Moving continues to suck. I did find a convenient online store for getting moving supplies: Moveout.com. Now to actually start putting my crap into boxes. (While I'm plugging websites, check out CostOfWar.com.)

The proofs for my new novel finally arrived. Now comes the arduous process of reading over every last word.

This site will move to Bravenet any day now. If all goes well, you won't notice the change. But there might be some glitches in service, so hang in there.

Tuesday August 12, 2003

It's my birthday! Yesterday, I looked in the mirror while I was working out and suddenly realized (to my horror!) that for the first time in my life, I actually look my age! Yep, I'm 36. All 156 pounds of me. My birthday is shared by such luminaries as George Hamilton, Erwin Schroedinger, Terry "Red Rooster" Taylor, Rosa Aguiar, the late Jon Donald and MS-DOS!

You may recall that exactly one year ago today, I posted my year-long horoscope from Astrocenter. (You can view that forecast here). Well, none of it came true. So fuck you, Astrology! (For completeness sake, my new horoscope is available here.)

Speaking of "fuck this" and "fuck that", it seems that the Ontario Ministry of Health has blocked its computers from accessing this site because of "inappropriate content." That's much too sad to be funny.

Back to my birthday. I am now closer to 40 than to 30. That sucks ass. But, as happens every year on my birthday, this evening will see the climax of the annual Perseid Meteor Showers. That's right, folks: the Heavens themselves proclaim my birth. (And that of Schroedinger, Hamilton, Aguiar, Donald, Taylor and MS-DOS.)

In other news, the penultimate final official version of the Guyana project's website is now posted. Have a look!

In other other news, one of my yet unpublished short stories will be included in a very interesting anthology of "erotic South Asian literature", called Desilicious. Publication date is the same as that of Divine Elemental, so it's going to be an exciting Fall for me.

Ive officially bought web space over at Bravenet. So this site will be moving there shortly. Sigh. I hate moving.

Monday August 4, 2003

The countdown to my departure from DC is at T minus 25 days. Give or take a day or two. I'm not a detail person, and all the minutiae are really bogging me down. Getting a moving quote for shipping my crap to Toronto has been problematic, but I got a good one from an online mover, Internic Moving Services, for $850. If anyone out there can do better, do let me know.

I also have to figure out how to manage my webspace cheaply, since my current broadband provider is also my webhost and my phone and cable provider, Starpower. I'm leaning toward renting webspace from the unsung heroes of private webmastering, Bravenet, and dropping down to a dialup connection, perhaps using the services of Coppernet. But that means getting all my highspeed business done first. So many details.

Before I forget, happy birthday to Naomi Lefkovitz (who is also wisely marrying a Guyanese dude) and Sean McLoughlin (who, as far as I know, is not into dudes, Guyanese or otherwise).

Here's some exciting news. My publisher has put in the mail the editorial proofs for my new novel. After I sign off on them, the dang thing goes to press. Exciting and terrifying, my friends. Exciting and terrifying.

Latest wrestling column is archived here.

Tuesday July 29, 2003

Back from Guyana and enjoying day #2 of my, um, unplanned extended vacation. This involves a lot of gym time and planning complicated dinners.

Yep, they let me into the country despite my questionable passport. It didn't require the sheaf of supporting documentation I carried, just a wink and a flirtatious smile to the ticket girl.

Guyana was an interesting experience, my first field gig as an "international health consultant." Mind you, this involved mostly endless meetings and frantic precis writing. As the young kid and low man on the totem pole, I'm still on a steep learning curve with respect to our project ("Public Health Strengthening in Guyana"). But I found it both exciting and meaningful work. New photos will be posted soon, as well as the official project website. So stay tuned for updates.

My role was to develop the project's communications strategy. This involved generating some PR. So I was interviewed by a couple of newspapers and a TV station, and even hosted a press conference. For the latter, thankfully, more senior members of our team were present to field the tougher questions.

At the TV studio, however, our appearance was followed by an interview with Guyanese gay hookers. This is a sector of society rarely if ever glimpsed by the mainstream, so it was a unique opportunity to interact with people who, after all, are among the prime targets of our health project. I think you'll enjoy the photos, once I get them posted.

Speaking of gay hookers, here's an update on the Shrub's "altruistic" $15 billion anti-AIDS donation. (See the Bulletin entry for July 15 for the first installment). Not only is $1 billion being knocked off that amount to pay for sending troops to Liberia ('cause, you know, it's all Africa, after all, so why not mix up peacekeeping with health interventions?), but recipients of these funds can no longer refer to prostitutes as "sex workers." Apparently, this term offends young President Retard. In Guyana, we've taken to calling them "Bush technicians" instead.

(As my time in the USA grows short, you might find my tongue getting a tad looser.)

This past Sunday was also my open-air "address" at a Guyanese picnic in Queens, New York. I cut it short since it quickly became clear that everyone was drunk and not particularly interested in hearing about AIDS and filariasis. Still, it goes on the resume, 'cause I'm nothing if not a c.v. whore.

Saturday July 19, 2003

Remember those "big changes in Watland" I kept promising over the past year? Well, half of those changes came to pass yesterday. I resigned from my position at Social & Scientific Systems, Inc, and am overjoyed (though a bit shell-shocked) about my new freedom. Of course, this also means that my time in Washington --and indeed maybe in the USA-- is now quickly dwindling. Stay tuned for part two of "big changes in Watland," due in 1-4 weeks.

In the mean time, I am busily packing for my supposed trip to Guyana tomorrow morning. As you know from yesterday's Bulletin entry, my arrival there is in no way assured. But I must prepare as if it is. I have some very important meetings in Georgetown to help set up Canada's big public health programme. It's a grand moment in my career and it would suck so much if a taint of bureaucracy prevented it from happening. So keep your fingers crossed for me.

In the summer issue of this glossy magazine Anokhi Vibe, there's a section where they ask a bunch of quasi-famous South Asians what it means to be South Asian. Guess what? They also asked me! Yep, I'm in the same spread as such luminaries as Dr. Sanjay Gupta, D.J. Bally Sagoo and Monika Deol. Yay me. If you're curious about what I said, my bit is extracted here.

Also, if you're in the New York City area next week, July 27, I'll be giving a talk at the annual charity event of the Windsor Forest Public School Adoption Program, somewhere in a park in Queen's. Sorry, that's all the info I have.

Oh yeah, new wrestling column is here.

Friday July 18, 2003

Of course there's always something to ruin my week. My big trip to Guyana, to help initiate a $5 million HIV/AIDS/TB public health programme, is scheduled for Sunday morning. Get this: Guyanese entry requirements include the possession of a passport that does not expire for at least 6 months past the date of departure. Mine expires in September. See the problem?

Now, I had attempted to get an emergency passport renewal. I sent off my application 3 weeks ago to Ottawa. But they have no record of having received it! I can't simply jet off to Ottawa to do it in person because the application I sent them contained all my original ID. So I'm screwed. Sort of.

Luckily, I still have my (still valid) passport, and am now armed with letters of support from the Canadian High Commission in Guyana, the Executive Director of the CSIH in Ottawa and the WFPSAC (the charity group I will be addressing in New York next weekend). Will this be enough? Who knows. The grandest plans of pirnces and kings are often undone by the persnickety attitudes of low level bureaucrats.

So there's an even chance that, instead of arriving in Georgetown as planned, I will be either stranded in Miami or sent to a South American jail cell to be bartered for cigarettes by large men named Pedro and Jorge. In either case, my question is this: who the hell is trying to sneak into GUYANA that this kind of ridiculous policy is needed?

I have an arm full of expensive Yellow Fever vaccine and a belly full of anti-malarial drug. If this ends up being all for naught....Grrrrr.

Thursday July 15, 2003

By the way.... "blog" is short for "weblog."

"President Bush and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice yesterday placed full responsibility on the Central Intelligence Agency for the inclusion in this year's State of the Union address of questionable allegations that then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was trying to buy nuclear materials in Africa." - The Post-Gazette

So it's Tenet's fault now? Whatever happened to "the buck stops here"? This idiot administration is unbelievable. Their cowardice knows no bounds. Remember that incredible assertion that the Iraq war was a "preventative war"? Think on this:

"The surviving Nazis based their defense [at Nuremberg] on the claim of 'preventative war,' claiming a need to protect Germany from a pending Polish attack. They were the last, until Bush, to use that rationale." -Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

And before we start lauding the Shrub for donating $15 billion to HIV/AIDS relief in Africa, let's think about this:

  1. receipt of the money is still dependent upon conforming to certain right wing moral beliefs
  2. a goodly chunk of the money will remain right here in Washington, DC, under administrative costs
  3. receipt of the money is dependent upon --get this-- agreeing to import American genetically-modified foods

Un-fricking-believable. I'll try to have one more update before I head off to Guyana this weekend. So stay tuned!

Thursday July 10, 2003

Well, guess whose computer is infected with viruses? If you guessed me, you'd be correct! You win nothing!

That's right, my poor beloved Landru is down with a cybercold, hence the delay in updating this Bulletin. (I'm updating it from my office computer, which is supposedly safe.) So if any of you has received a suspicious email from me recently, do be concerned.

My good friend Andrew Currie left today for Bosnia to entertain Canadian peacekeeping troops there. (He's a comedian, not some kind of man-whore. To the best of my knowledge.) For those curious, he's set up a special blog to chronicle his travels in the former war zone.

Speaking of travels to a war zone, yours truly is gearing up for a big trip to Guyana, the land of my birth. Guyana is not technically a war zone, but its capital city Georgetown is widely recognized as one of the most dangerous capitals in the world, due to its out-of-control street crime and burgeoning kidnap-and-ransom industry. You may recall that I was there for 24 hours three years ago. But then I had either government or private escorts taking care of me. This time, I'm travelling with the CSIH in a consulting capacity, to help set up a really big $5 million HIV/AIDS/TB program.

Alas, internet access is not reliable there, so I will not bother to set up a remote blog.

So, until I disinfect my home computer... bye-bye.

Thursday July 3, 2003

"...under a national crisis, ordinary, even able and extraordinary, men can delude themselves into the commission of crimes so vast and heinous that they beggar the imagination." -Judge Heywood from Judgment at Nuremberg

I leave it to the discerning reader to realize the relevance of that quote.

Want yet another reason to despair? Click here. Man, people are stupid. Note that I didn't say American people. Anyone from any country would be just as misinformed if subjected to the same media anemia as are Americans.

And while we're on the topic of stupid people, they don't come much dumber than Ann Coulter, who remains a favourite (though somewhat played) subject of this Bulletin. Well, Ann's stock has (rightly) fallen so far that, instead of another syndicated column, she is now featured in... her own blog! Ha ha ha!

Have you checked out the cover of my new novel? I like it! It was designed by a fellow named David Drummond, whom I've never met nor heard of, but he's all right by me.

Canada Day was yesterday. Of course, I attended the embassy's celebratory barbecue (which consisted of chicken burgers and white bread.... and nothing else). I like the DC embassy and its staff. They've been pretty good to me. However, why is it that every single social event they sponsor, including the Canada Day festivity, must feature a musical act.... from the Maritimes?

I'm not anti-Maritimes. In fact, I lived in Nova Scotia briefly 10 years ago, and loved every second of it. But I really am tired of lazy official cultural delineations which, when required to define "Canadian music", reflexively turn to faux-traditional Celtic music. It really is wearying.

I'm testing out a new feature to this Bulletin, a bit of script which allows you the reader to leave a comment on any topic on which I post. This service is sponsored by HaloScan. I don't know how well it will work, if at all. But do try it out and we'll all learn something! Click on the "comment" link below to say something.

Tuesday June 24, 2003

Spent this past weekend in New York city, attending the annual convention of the South Asian Journalists' Association. A swell time was had by all. Peter Jennings was there, as were several other notables. I particularly enjoyed meeting some former "embeds" from the war in Iraq, and a fellow who works in the US Treasury Department. His insights into the state of the US federal bureaucracy were most telling. Apparently, morale is quite poor in some key departments, such as Treasury and Justice, where fanatical Executive direction is running roughshod over workers' principles. The Bush White House, you see, is not interested in analysis and perspective, but only in handpicked evidence which supports their pre-formed conclusions. I leave it to you, the informed reader, to appreciate the implications.

Voyage to New York was undertaken on one of the Chinatown bus lines that form an "underground" discount travel network between the Chinatowns in major US cities. It's quite the adventure, since there's always a battle afoot between competing lines, and that battle sometimes escalates to actual physical violence. But you can't beat $15 between Washington and New York.

The author photo poll is plateauing, it seems. Photo #1 appears to be in the lead. I have thus selected that one for my publisher's promotional catalogue, and will reserve for a later date my selection of a photo for the actual book.

I have, however, received an image of the cover of my new book. But the publisher has asked that I hold off posting it until they finalize some details. It looks great, though. The artist --a fellow named David Drummond-- has done an excellent job. So check back here soon for the final version!

Sunday June 15, 2003

"Former president Bill Clinton was impeached by Republicans in Congress for lying about sex. President Bush appears to have misled the American people, deceived Congress, violated the UN Charter, blown billions of dollars and many lives - both American and Iraqi - on a phony war, and will likely be re-elected. " -Eric Margolis

I am soooooo tired. I think it's the humidity. Humidity sucks.

One of the interesting things about keeping a web bulletin is the oportunity to look back at the last few days and evaluate what has happened. However, today is one of those strange times when I look back at the past week and realize.... nothing happened. At least not to me.

Except... I got my new author photos done (by Tine De Marez). I've narrowed the candidates down to three pics, and need your help in selecting the final one that will grace the back cover of my new book. So please click here and vote for the photo you think is most appropriate. (Most appropriate in Wattese means "the one that will get Ray the most chicks.") Thank ye. Please vote only once.

Hey, Canada is having its own lame version of American Idol. You'd have to be Canadian to appreciate the comedy inherent in this endeavour. I leave it to Scott Feschuk to summarize:

"[This show is] the premiere of the Canadian version of the popular American singing competition. Sadly, this means the winner will receive the Canadian version of fame and fortune."

The "Canadian version of fame and fortune" means a few appearances at shopping malls, being spoofed on poorly rated CBC comedy shows and the obligatory national anthem performance at an amateur hockey game.

I'm off to Guyana next month to publicize our $5 million HIV/AIDS project, and to train some clinicians in basic epidemiology. OKay, that's sort of news, right?

Me go now.

Saturday June 7, 2003

"I'm not reading this. This is bullshit!" -Colin Powell, supposedly when given intelligence on Iraqi WMDs.

Surprise, surprise. There were none. Watch the apologists scramble. Meanwhile, the traditional totalitarian May Day displays of military might are back, just in the wrong country.

Spent this morning doing the Race For the Cure, then rewarded myself by sleeping until 6:pm. Ahhh, I love my life.

Speaking of which, it seems likely I will be accompanying a team from CSIH to Guyana in mid-July, to start work on establishing our big HIV/AIDS/Tb project. Sweet.

Random tidbit: how can I rag on Keanu Reeves for being an airhead when he goes and does something as good as this?

Martha Stewart is indicted for stock fraud. Heh heh. I like this quote from Bob Warren over at the Babble discussion forum:

"Can't wait for the 10 tips on how to make your jail cell look like a million bucks. Or how about the proper way to fold the orange jump-suit... "

My latest column is now up on The Podium. It's all about handwashing. Yep, you read that right. It'll find a home in a major daily by the end of the week, so do stay tuned.

I'll leave you with a couple of classics to ponder:

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." - Plato

"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." - Voltaire

Monday June 2, 2003

What a week! Spent it at the annual meeting of the Global Health Council. A truly edifying experience which has reinvigorated my love of international health, and even of epidemiology. A big thing to say, I know. More op-eds on related topics will be forthcoming.

Relatedly, I'm still working with the CSIH on the big HIV/AIDS project in Guyana. The interim website is parked under the Deonandan.com domain here. Have a look and do send me your comments.

Well, remember that big SARS article? Well, not only did it garner me an interview on CFRB radio (where I was so nervous I screwed up some facts, not the least of which being the date of the 1918 Spanish flu), but I also got a request for an interview on live TV on CBC Newsworld. (Un)fortunately, the interview was cancelled at the last minute, but might still be rescheduled... but I'm not holding my breath.

In other news, click here. It seems some bookstores are already selling my new novel, Divine Elemental (for $CAN18.95), even though I've yet to deliver it to the publisher. Ain't the corporate world grand?

Big changes in Watland are still afoot. Stay tuned.

Tuesday May 27, 2003

I thought "magical Pygmy meat" would be the Bulletin tagline to carry me to the end of this week. But a couple of fortunate events occurred which compelled me to make an unscheduled posting.

Remember my SARS article which appeared in The Toronto star on May 20? Well, it turns out they put in the online edition on May 20, but it wasn't published in the print edition until yesterday, May 26.

It seems it attracted a lot of attention, because yesterday morning (which was a federal holiday here in the U.S. of A.) I was wakened by a phone call from CFRB radio in Toronto. It seems I was to be interviewed on-air live... in 20 minutes.

Now, I've been on the radio a few times before. The first time, I was a special "lay" political commentator during the 1995 Ontario provincial elections, on CBC radio. Then, I was interviewed on both CHRY and CKLN, and again on CBC, due to the surprising success of my first book. But this was different... this was going to be on the topic of epidemiology, my supposed profession, something I'm supposed to be an expert on. And with only 20 minutes notice. Man, was I nervous.

Anyway, you can download the interview (in MP3 format) by clicking here, thanks to the helpful technician and producer at CFRB, in exchange for me plugging the CFRB website. Like I'm doing now. And now. And one more time, now. Download it soon 'cause I will likely move the file as soon as I find space for it elsewhere.

Friday May 23, 2003

On the verge of a long weekend, and of course I've forgotten to get myself a plane ticket out of here. So I'm stuck in DC while the monkey president yammers on about some kind of terror alert. Cripes.

Want to know what real terrorism is? Try these stories:

1 - A traffic judge in New York state calls a Lebanese woman a "terrorist" when she challenges her parking ticket. The Honourable Judge Asshole should be sent to Guantanamo.

2 - The Bayer drug company dumped a shitload of possibly HIV-contaminated drugs into the Third World. Howzat for bioterrorism?

3 - Afghan civilians are now peeing uranium! Sounds to me like the US military is now in the "dirty bomb" business.

4 - And just to really scare the shit out of you, Congolese militants are now hunting and eating Pygmies! Mmmm....pygmy...

There. In a warm happy place now?

Monday May 19, 2003

"It's just ugly fat until you put a nipple on it." - Unknown plastic surgeon

I am convinced: San Francisco is the coolest city on Earth! This past weekend, I was there to run the 12km Bay To Breakers race. As you may know, the run is known for its high freak content and for the variety of costumes and, um, theatrical elements brought by runners and watchers. A sample:

  • a bunch of emcees spinning records, but only actually playing opera for an old lady dancing the hula
  • ballerinas in tutus pirouetting in sync on top of a hill (very surreal to see when you're huffing and puffing)
  • lotsa lotsa fat naked people (and a precious handful of goodlooking naked people)
  • a different band at every corner, including a very good Police cover band
  • dudes dressed as: Big Ben, various ribbons, fish, mermaids, condoms, ancient Grecians, Aztec princesses....

Well, you get the idea. Easily, the most fun I've ever had running. My thanks to my good buddy John Roxburgh for inviting me to take part.

Well, my SARS article was supposed to be published in The Toronto Star last week Monday. Then they bumped it to Friday. Then they bumped it to today. But it's not in today's issue, so it's being bumped again. At this rate, by the time they find space for it, it will be obsolete.

Update: it has been published in the May 20 edition. The direct link is here.

Okay, those "big changes in Watland" spoke of are still afoot. I'll let you know when things are settled.

Tuesday May 6, 2003

"Yes, America had the liberation of the Iraqi people in mind when they bombed the hell out of the country. And Anna Nicole Smith married for love." -Bruce LaBruce

It's a rough week for a lot of reasons, none of which I will discuss in this public forum. But I will say that there might be some big changes in Watland in the coming weeks.

My latest wrestling column is now posted. I know, wrestling sucks these days. But a man's gotta do yadda yadda. While you're at it, check out George Bush's resume.

Also, I have a new serious column about the SARS epidemic at The Podium. You can read it by clicking here.

OKay, gotta run.

Tuesday April 29, 2003

"There is a definitely a whiff of anti-intellectualism - so characteristic of fascist states - in the air. Beware of bully boys who worship the military and scoff at museums and libraries. Beware of people whose limited brains see everyone as either an ally or an enemy. Beware of people who can't tell the difference between patriotism and military conquest. Beware of people so stupid and ignorant that they accept anything and everything the political and the media demagogues tell them." -Charley Reese

Back from Toronto, land of SARS. Don't believe the hype! There's nothing to be nervous about up there. Goddamn sensationalist media. *Cough* *Hack* Time for an op-ed on the matter.

Speaking of op-eds, my article on water wars has been picked up by the progressive website Rabble.ca. An updated version will appear there in coming weeks. Writing for sites like that one is a lot of fun, since the articles often spur a great deal of online debate on the message boards. As a writer, it's very gratifying to see.

Check out this excerpt from National Security Presidential Directive 17, a document signed by George W. Bush just before he invaded Iraq (emphasis mine):

"The United States will continue to make clear that it reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force - including potentially nuclear weapons - to the use of [weapons of mass destruction] against the United States ..."

"Potentially nuclear weapons"? Hell, my dick is potentially a nuclear weapon if you irradiate it long enough. They mean "potentially including nuclear weapons." This is a legal document, people. It's been drafted by supposedly the best neocon legal minds this half-wit adminstration can muster. And still this glaringly fucked-up, legally ambiguous grammar? Lord save us.

On a sad note, I and everyone connected with this site convey our deepest condolences to my good friend Andrew Currie and his family, for the death of his father this past weekend. This comes weeks after the death of my cousin-in-law, Anita Kobeer. The two have something in common: both terminal cases were made more tragic by the uncompassionate manner with which Toronto hospitals were forced to handle them, due to the SARS crisis. A op-ed beckons...

Thursday April 23, 2003

What, no opening quote? What's the world coming to?

No news to report, no smarmy cynicism in which to bathe. Instead, I'm off to my home town of Toronto, against which the World Health Organization has issued a SARS travel advisory. Sounds like a place in need of yet one more clueless epidemiologist!

(Hell, between my possible Lyme disease, hypertension and hundred other ailments, what's SARS gonna do to me?)

See you next week.

Wednesday April 16, 2003

"...[the adminstration of George W. Bush is] overly reaching, overly aggressive, overly secretive, and just plain corrupt. I don't trust these people." -Ronald Reagan, Jr.

Never in my life did I expect to be supporting the statements of a man named Ronald Reagan. Wow.

Remember that big news image of throngs of Iraqis cheering while the statue of Saddam was pulled down? Here is an interesting addendum.

The same site has this fascinating mini-documentary on the biased war coverage by various TV news stations. It's really worth a look.

Okay, these bulletins have been getting increasingly more political over the past few months, and for good reason. But I think it's time to tone things down for a while before I have an aneurysm. So let's end with a quote from the Internet's greatest wrestling writer, Chris Hyatte... just so we all remember that the world is 99% bullshit.

"There's no girl I can't win over. Problem is... I always get bored and chase them away. It's no problem. We all die alone, kids. All of us. So I say get yer pecker in as many holes as you can. F*ck them before they f*ck you. And NEVER open up your heart too much; it always leads to trouble. Trust me on this. (The irony is, having an attitude like this will get you more poon than you could possibly believe)"

On that note, read my latest wrestling column!

Thursday April 10, 2003

"I'm afraid electing Bush president was like handing a loaded gun to a 6-year-old." -Charley Reese

Good news! My publisher, TSAR Books, will publish my new novel this coming Fall, rather than pushing it to next year, as was expected. The novel is so far titled Divine Elemental, and you can read about it here.

Meanwhile, an expanded version of my article on water wars, The New Oil, will be a feature essay in next month's India Currents Magazine. You can read the article by clicking here.

On to the politics... the military conquest of Iraq is almost over. The difficult "peace" now begins. Of course, despite my anti-war stance, I am happy that Saddam is gone. How sad is it that I have to say that? That's how far the conservative diktat of "divert and confuse" has gone, where denying war is (deliberately) mistaken for support for the "enemy."

It is understandable that many Iraqis are happy about Saddam's departure. But my opposition to war has never had anything to do with whether or not the Baathists need to go. It has to do with the disingenuous reasons for going to war, and the impact of the dawning era of American colonial occupation of the region. The corporatization of the entire world is almost complete. Are you aware that the military camps in Iraq are named for oil companies? In their defence, at least they no longer hide their loyalties.

The deception tack of this administration nauseates me. The continuing demonization of pacifist opposition infuriates me. This is a government, after all, that used its Security Council veto to sustain Apartheid: not exactly a shining moral example. In these maddening times, it's nice, at least, not to be alone. US political mainstay George McGovern does an excellent job of making the appropriate arguments, while novelist Arundhati Roy makes a simply brilliant case. I'm working on an op-ed to better flesh out my position, so stay tuned.

"[It is] recognizable that America does have a hierarchy of life, with pretty blondes at the top, black Americans and Native Americans further down and the rest of the world trailing hopelessly. Which might help explain the unseemly rush to war." -Deborah Orr

Fear of SARS continues to ravage my hometown of Toronto. In fact, this past weekend a relative finally succumbed to cancer, but her children were not permitted to be with her at the end because of the hospital's fear of SARS infection. I'm all in favour of prompt public health responses, but there must also be room for compassion.

On an egotistical note, I was amused to find this paper by a Stanford undergrad, which cites my Kashmir article and refers to me as a "media critic." Well, I suppose that's accurate, unlike this paper, which makes several factual errors about me. I'm not complaining, though; it's nice to be noticed.

As a Messianic president continues on his slow slide from mere stupidity to dangerous delusions of actual grandeur, I leave you with this thought (guess who he's talking about):

"There is a word for this combination of military celebration, disdain of objection, intimidation of dissent and abuse of sentiment. The word is fascism." -Mark Kingwell

Monday March 31, 2003

"The premise of US Foreign policy is pretty much: We act, no one else reacts, except according to our script. We bomb; you feel shock and awe. We invade; you strew flowers and welcome us." -Rick Salutin

My latest article, The New Oil, has been expanded and will appear as the feature essay in May's issue of India Currents Magazine.

More good news. TSAR, the publishers of my first book, have offered to publish my new novel, Divine Elemental. As I've yet to sign a contract, I'll refrain from celebrating just yet. But it's pretty much a lock that the book will be in stores within a year.

This weekend, I shacked up in a cabin in the Virginia wildnerness with a group of Europeans. Loads of fun, even though my fitness level was pushed to its limits (damn athletic Europeans!) and even though I found an insect buried so deeply into my chest that I needed pliers to pull it out! Ewwwww!

The weirdest part of the experience was the enormous freak snowfall the next morning. It was so deep that we had to leave one car behind, and have a park ranger escort us down the mountain while he delivered emergency rations to stranded hikers. I bring it up because the (very cool) ranger took the time to rant about the "idiotic decisions" of his President. It was reassuring to hear an American with a badge and a gun express my political views.

Speaking of which, you've heard me rant enough about the blatantly hawkish war coverage by (American) media. This website provides a humourous summary of the various TV news offerings. And in response to the very weak harpings of a certain faction about the supposed democritization of Iraq, this word from the Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, is particularly stirring:

"I don't think Iraq needs a democracy brought on the wings of Tomahawk (missiles)."

This site is particularly interesting. It's coverage of the invasion of Iraq from the point of view of Russian observers. To say the least, it's markedly different from what you see on US television. Meanwhile, the Iraq body count website is a useful port for keeping toll of the civilian deaths occurring in the war.... again, something of which you surprisingly don't hear enough ion American coverage.

I will leave you here. Gotta go inspect THAT BUG I PULLED OUT OF MY CHEST!!! This final passage from The Sociology of Imperialism (NY: Meridian Books, 1955 [1919]) is food for thought. Remember, all empires are essentially the same...

"There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome's allies; and if Rome had no allies, then allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest - why, then it was the national honor that had been insulted. The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors, always fighting for a breathing space. The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, and it was manifestly Rome's duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs. They were enemies who only waited to fall on the Roman people."

Wednesday March 26, 2003

This from Sgt. Mike Brady, a US soldier in Iraq, part of the great moral liberating force:

"What we should do is go in there and kill every last soul."

It's amazing how the pro-war types like to associate any anti-war sentiment with implied support for Saddam's regime. Indeed, "distract and confuse" has long been the sole (successful) strategy of the far right in this country. If you're confused, Sometimes it's best just to listen to the only people who count in this conflict, the Iraqi civilians. Some of them welcome the invasion, others fear its long term implications. Clearly, I remain in the latter camp. The following quote from Mustafa Mohammed Ali, Iraqi civilian, is worthy of contemplation:

"We don't want Saddam, but we don't want them [the Americans] to stay afterwards...They're entering under the pretext of targeting Ba'ath, but they won't leave."

A very clever man, George Monbiot, has this to say:

"Those of us who oppose the impending conquest of Iraq must recognise that there's a possibility that, if it goes according to plan, it could improve the lives of many Iraqi people. But to pretend that this battle begins and ends in Iraq requires a wilful denial of the context in which it occurs. That context is a blunt attempt by the superpower to reshape the world to suit itself."

As I've long maintained, Iraq will become a permanent American "protectorate" as part of the Bushite quest for full spectrum global dominance. Another possibility is that Iraq will be crushed and abandoned. Remember Afghanistan? Remember how it was supposed to be rebuilt after being torn down? Well, the rebuilding part has somehow been forgotten. Ahhh, the signs of empire are everywhere. But is it an empire in ascendance or in decline?

"Another document obtained by the Herald, written by Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis Libby, called upon the United States to 'discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role'." -George Monbiot

Meanwhile, on the domestic front, people with French names are being harrassed. I'm not making this shit up. Satire is truly dead, now that real life has become unbelievably tragicomedic. Is Paris the enemy now? All part of the old "distract and confuse," eh?

Remember, in order to build an empire abroad, one must first create a fortress at home. Signs above US highways ask citizens to report "suspicious behaviour" to the office of Homeland Security, whose number is probably 1-800-GESTAPO. All over the country, nosy provincial types are indulging their most inspired McCarthyist fantasies. Here is an account of such stupidity.

Well, if not snooping and snitching on your fellow citizens, what then is the solution? Let's try not freaking the fuck out! And instead of bombing foreign countries, how about we try to not piss of the world all the time? Charley Reese spells it out this way:

"If we allow our government to pursue perpetual war, then we will lose our freedom altogether. It might be true that the first casualty of war is truth, but the second is individual freedom - especially the freedom to dissent from the war government's policies. That's why we must elect people who will eliminate terrorism the only way it can be eliminated - by correcting the injustices that cause it."

Did you watch the Oscars? Me neither. Michael Moore's interesting rant notwithstanding, it was another nauseating spectacle of privileged self-congratulation. I bring it up just so I can quote John Doyle: "Bombs kill people and flatten cities. The American entertainment industry kills entire cultures." Ha!

But while we're on the topic of entertainment, US war coverage sickens me. Fox is the worst offender, with its rah-rah cheerleading mentality. CNN, of course, is simply ecstatic and relieved to finally have a war to cover. Only ABC even approaches the tonality appropriate for something as disgusting as war. I'll stick to the CBC and internet coverage, thank you.

"First, I have decided to observe a strict embargo on watching American television network coverage of the 'war.' Any useful information that could be gleaned from such, would be far outweighed by the cost to my mental health and sanity of being exposed to the gleeful belligerence and ignorance of organizations that serve as nothing more than extended infomercials for the US government and its weapons of mass destruction." -Ali Abunimah

Before I forget, I have yet another new column online, this one about the importance of water as a political resource in international conflict. You can read it here.

I'll leave you with this very important quote from Samuel P. Huntington. I really wish the hard right of this country would learn to appreciate its truth:

"the West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."

Friday March 21, 2003

My latest political column can be read by clicking here. It's about the imperial war on Iraq, of course.

"What has come to trouble me most over past weeks is the suspicion that if the hanging chads in Florida had gone the other way and Al Gore had been elected, we would not now be about to commit British troops to action in Iraq." -Robin Cook, resigned British MP

"An empire is at its weakest when it appears to be at its strongest because it is at that moment when the Rumsfelds of history are tempted to reach for too much too quickly. This is one such moment in the history of the American Empire." -James Coghlin, letter to The National Post, Mar 18, 2003

"The target of this war is not Iraq. The target is the entire world order, and Iraq is simply collateral damage." -Rahul Mahajan

The invasion of Iraq has started. The bastards have started to ruin the world. The Bush administration has pissed off the world. The amazing thing is that only months ago, teenagers in Paris were carrying American flags, and the US national anthem was being sung in foreign capitals, including Ottawa. Frankly, The Bush adminstration scares the world, and not in a good way. It is mindboggling that anyone could have squandered so much global good will in so short a time and with such abandon.

Meanwhile, the US military strives to control the media, even subtly threatening the independent war press. On the plus side, here is an open letter from Michael Moore to "Governor" Bush.

On the ridiculous renaming of "French" foods in America:

"If those nabobs worried more about the Constitution and their duty and less about what fried potatoes are called, several thousand human lives might be spared. This is a serious time and no time for adolescent sulking because an old ally doesn't want to jump off a cliff with us." -Charley Reese

And, in these very black times, from the sole enlightened voice of a truly shitty newspaper (The National Post), these words from the eminent Dr. Mark Kingwell:

"There is also, just for the record, the cold comfort of knowing that all empires crumble when hubris and militarism alienate even their closest allies, distant wars entangle them in bloody conflicts, and popular leaders are exposed as self-serving frauds. I'm not saying this is especially good news, just that it is history's lesson."

Monday March 17, 2003

"You know, I could run for governor, but I'm basically a media creation. I've never done anything. I've worked for my dad." -George W. Bush, 1989

Still don't think the impending war in Iraq is mostly about oil? In 1998, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz urged President Clinton to invade Iraq because Saddam was a hazard to "a significant portion of the world's supply of oil." Yet the gullible masses still believe this twaddle about disarming a shattered nation who are barely a threat to themselves, let alone the USA.

That essentially sums up the deviousness of the neocon influence on present US policy. The purveyors of today's militaristic world-throttling are signatories of the New American Century, a group founded during the Clinton years, dedicated essentially to global American imperial extension. Many of these people are now members of the Bush administration. They lucked out with the court appointment of a dull, impressionable and fanatic President. The result is naked imperial ambition, something that should disgust all of us who admire the original tenets upon which the USA was founded.

"Lots of people think it and won't say it, but I will say it: The United States is seeking to control the world. That's why we are seeing the reaction in so many countries." -Perez Esquivel, Nobel Laureate

Here's a nice little op-ed from the NY Times on the debacle that is Bushite diplomacy, and how the people might finally be waking up to it. Then again, there persists a willingness here to forgive all kinds of official crap, the bloodthirst boils so fiercely:

"Last weekend's announcement that the U.S. government had relied on fake and false evidence in the attempt to secure approval of its upcoming invasion of Iraq was, by and large, met by a collective yawn from the American people, especially the members of Congress. It's just one more example of the depths of moral depravity to which our nation has fallen." -Jacob G. Hornberger

Here, my friends, is an unabashedly brilliant essay on the rapid decline of American reproach in the wake of this Iraq debacle. I highly recommend reading it.

Have you heard? The latest local idiocy involves renaming "French fries" and "French toast" to "Liberty fries" and "Freedom toast." This is done officially in the easteries of the White House and Congress. I can't make this shit up. Apparently, the French are ruled by a brutal despot, too, and are stockpiling weapons of mass destruction in their anti-Zionist Osama-supporting crusade. I even heard on the news a movement to rename the "French kiss" to the "star spangled smooch."

I think the French should rename anal sex, "being Yankeed."

Thursday March 13, 2003

"Every major channel now employs retired generals, former CIA agents, terrorism experts and known neoconservatives as 'consultants' who speak a revolting jargon designed to sound authoritative but in effect supporting everything done by the US, from the UN to the sands of Arabia." -Edward Said

Pro-war bias in the US media is spelled out brilliantly by Bruce LaBruce here.

I think I discovered why I now have high blood pressure. When Bush the Younger gave his little orchestrated "press conference" last week, my brain nearly popped out of my head. It's sickening to watch this country be fed stage-managed misinformation. The softball questions should have been a giveaway.... even these seemingly impromptu sessions are poisoned by planted questions and filtered stances. Where was Helen Thomas? It's sickening. In fact, The Shrub cancelled a speech at the EU recently because they couldn't guarantee him a standing ovation.

Why isn't the American public made aware of stories that are shocking the rest of the world? Like how the Bush government is spying on its supposed allies on the UN Security Council? And how about little facts about the hypocritical US treatment of Israel, summed up nicely here?

Oh, by the way, the last time France used its veto on the UN Security Council was in 1989, when it blocked the condemnation of the US invasion of Panama. The last time the USA used its veto was last December to prevent condemnation of Israel for having attacked UN workers. In fact, the US has used its veto more frequently than any other country except the USSR. So lay off the French already.

Want to hear more about Bush "trying to avoid war at all costs?" Well, the US government is already taking bids from contractors to rebuild a post-war Iraq! Unbelievable! Guess who's won the contract for managing the oil fields? Dick Cheney's old company. Why is none of this leading the prime time news on CNN? Have all of this country's real journalists been shipped off to Guantanamo?

Time's a-wasting. This country is going to kill thousands of people in another country.... not because of "weapons of mass destruction" and not because of any potential threat the Iraqis might pose to world peace or American security, but because:

  • Iraq is a geopolitical pivot. Control Iraq and you influence the whole region
  • Occupying Iraq will help guarantee Israel's safety and access to water
  • Iraq contains the world's 2nd largest oil reserves
  • Iraq has plentiful fresh water, an asset to be used to effect further control over the region
  • The US economy needs a kick in the pants

Oh yeah, and let's not forget... Saddam wanted to kill Bush's daddy. So, remember, this is not an action to protect the world. Rather, it's an imperial action to maintain the power, wealth and influence of the USA and its allies. At the price of human life.

Next time, we'll discuss the Project for the New American Century. How do you spell Conspiracy Theory, kids?

"What kind of democracy allows its leaders to take it into war without fully specifying the reasons?" -Tom Wicker

Tuesday March 4, 2003

"It has become apparent that those of us who supported Bush made a mistake. I'm beginning to believe that a philanderer and a liar is less dangerous than an upright but ignorant man who thinks God has appointed him to rule the world." -Charley Reese

Beware of Internet insecurity. By some manner --I believe via a trojan horse virus that snuck into my computer during an overhaul last month when my firewall was down-- someone gained access to my PayPal account and stole $1000! To their credit, the authorities at PayPal responded quickly and efficiently, and all might yet be resolved.... I hope. And before any of you get any ideas, all my passwords have been changed!

On the same day, I discovered that someone in Malaysia was using my credit card number --to the tune of $7000! So imagine me waking up Monday morning to discover that I was $8000 poorer. And you wonder why I have high blood pressure?

My latest wrestling column is available here. Note that I rag on the Ultimate Warrior, who is an utter tool. Some readers have taken exception to my stance, but I maintain it. Based on his ill-reasoned political proclamations, the man is a moron.... who would have thunk it of a 'roided meat-head?

Had a big party last weekend. Why do I mention it here? Because it marked the first continuous transmission from the WatCam! Here's a still from that evening, with my old highschool friend Mieke (who was visiting from Russia) hanging a wooden mask on my wall:

David Suzuki used to say something about how government is overly represented by lawyers and business people. And since people tend to see the world through their own professional filters, the topics deemed most revelant to political leaders tend to be of a commercial or judicial nature (as opposed to, say, environmental concerns). I'm not necessarily a Suzuki follower, but on this matter, I'm in full agreement. "Captain of industry" does not necessarily equate with "social/political leader." I talk about it more here. But here's some support from Bob Wallace:

"The only thing I know beyond all doubt is that there are two types of people who should never be allowed political power: the typical back-slapping, glad-handing politician, and business people."

"People may think that men like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld know what they're doing, but they don't. Both are businessmen from the same mold as [Robert] McNamara - humorless, totally serious men without imagination or wisdom."

This commercial mentality betrays the Western imperial view of the rest of the world. Here's a nice little article on the perils of imposing democracy disengenuously. To wit, in the words of George Monbiot, "The men who run the world are democrats at home and dictators abroad." The temptation is to conclude that perhaps this "democracy" thing is a fleeting concept not long for this world. On that note, I end this transmission with a word from Norman Mailer:

"My long experience with human nature - I'm 80 years old now - suggests that it is possible that fascism, not democracy, is the natural state."

Monday February 24, 2003

What an asshole:

"The successful prosecution of the war would be good for the economy." -Lawrence Lindsey, White House advisor

Of course, he's an asshole who works for and represents a whole host of other assholes, so what are you gonna do? So sad that these days the most profound quips issue not from respected intellectuals-cum-advisors, but rather from the mouths of comics:

"Is it me, or is every leader of every country in the world right now a giant dick?"-John Stewart

Or from the syndicated columns of gay pornographers:

"How cool is Nelson Mandela? Lately it seems that it's only elder statesmen -- particularly the black ones -- who have enough guts to speak out against the madness of King George." -Bruce LaBruce

They (they meaning neocon hawkish assholes, Lawrence Lindsey being one of them) decry the anti-war majority as naive appeasers. When we dare draw a link between another Gulf War and --horrors-- oil, we're accused of being overly simplistic and, ironically, disingenuous. You know what? We know there's a dictator involved here (the Iraqi one, not the American one), and we know there are wider issues dealing with Iraq as a strategic geopolitical pivot, blah blah blah. And we even know that there's this ever so wispy and tenuous link between Iraq and terrorism (both words are spelled with "R"s, you see). But, God forbid, let's not forget the fucking oil! Linda McQuaig spells it out here.

Current Bushite post-war plans for an "interim" Iraqi government involve the positioning of an "American of stature" (i.e., a former governor or ambassador) to serve as imperial autocrat of this new American colony. (Why not drop the pretense and just proclaim George W. as Emperor already?) Colin Powell puts our oil-snoopery to rest by promising that the Iraqi oil fields will be "put into trust" by "responsible agents" until such time that "the Iraqi people" can exploit them to their tastes. Who will be the trustees, you figure? Dick Cheney? Haliburton Oil? Geez, at least try to be less transparent, boys!

Why am I so incensed? People are about to be murdered. Innocent non-soldiering Iraqi civilians are about to get bombed. Their assets are about to be stolen. All, really, to make some rich people even richer. Am I being insensitive to the Iraqi people's burden of dictatorship, their quest for freedom? I'm more concerned for their quest for food. The best way to improve their plight is to stop killing them, and to lift the barbaric sanctions which have cast that country back into the Stone Age. Want a synopsis of the evils of these sanctions? Read this.

And for you Americans or Brits reading this, who believe that being hawkish is somehow being patriotic, let a flag-waving crotchety old Southerner set you straight.

What is up with American --and more so British-- politicians who disregard the protests of their majority? Who is it they truly represent: the voters or their campaign contributors? Is this the democracy they're supposedly so eager to spread to the rest of the world? I love this very poignant quote from Rick Salutin, from his recent brilliant column:

"Scorning the views of those who elected you isn't a sign of courage; it's a sign of who you really feel beholden to."

Remember my Ted Turner story from Feb. 10? If you're curious, here's the story Simon Houpt eventually wrote about Mr. Turner. Apparently, it's been picked up by a score of U.S. media outlets.

I'm working on setting up a "Watcam" for live broadcast on this site from Casa Deonandan. Hopefully I'll have it up and running before a certain soiree this coming weekend.

My latest wrestling column is up. Speaking of wrestling, one of my favourite performers has recently died. Rest in peace, Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig.

"People have been asking me whether I'm a good guy or a bad guy. I tell them, 'I'm not a good guy or a bad guy, I'm a hell of a guy." -Curt Hennig, 1958-2003

Wednesday February 19, 2003

Tired of Western media portraying anyone from another culture, especially Muslims, as aliens from another planet? Rick Salutin has a nice article on how terrorists' families are just as dysfunctional as everyone else's.

It seems that the whole world, with the exception of some oily dudes in DC, are fed up with the disingenuous rush to war against Iraq. Wanna hear something creepy? That famous British "dossier" on Iraqi crimes was copped from magazine articles! Read about it here.

Lew Rockwell is a bit of a nutcase, and he says a lot of things that make me cringe. This is not one of them.

DC is buried under a couple feet of snow. As a Canadian, I want to say, "wimps!" But, really, it is a lot of snow, and the capital is shut down. Traipsing through downtown is like walking on the moon, with bewildered Southerners gazing up with a look that says, "What is this strange white substance falling from the sky?" Entire cars are buried, and the roads are deserted.

Of course, with my great luck, I chose the worst night possible to have to rush myself to the hospital. Don't worry, I'm still alive and kicking. Well, alive and lounging, more accurately. But it was a lesson in preparedness, and in our dependence on city services. Getting a cab in such an environment is like flagging down lunar rovers, driven by alien ghosts, on the Sea of Tranquility.

Washington's response to a major snow storm? Bomb Iraq, of course. Magical segue time...

So I'm selling all kinds of crap on Ebay:

So bid early and bid often. I need your money!

Friday February 14, 2003

Happy Valentine's Day! For those who care.

"North Korea told U.S. officials that it is no longer bound by the anti-nuclear agreement. Who do these people think they are, the United States?" -Dan French

Want to read something funny? Here is a transcript of a recent "interview" between acclaimed right-wing asshole Bill O'Reilly and peace activist Jeremy Glick. O'Reilly, you see, proclaims a platform of free speech above all else, yet he hypocritcally ends the interview with, "Shut up!Shut up!" Heh heh.

Now, I might lean to the left, but I'm no P.C. thug (if there really is such a thing). Here is a disturbing story about a California supreme court ruling about the nature of rape. Draw your own conclusions, but I think cooler heads (no pun intended) need to prevail, particularly those heads better schooled in basic hormonal biology.

While I'm taking potentially unpopular stances, have a read of this excellent article by Rick Salutin. It's about child pornography laws. I hereby go on record as saying I agree with everything Salutin has to say in this case.

A common complaint on this site is the epidemic of corporate consumption and consolidation, particularly as it relates to mass media. As I've said before, the media is not necessarily right- or left- biased, but rather state biased. Here is an interesting chart showing who actually owns what in the media world. It's a nice segue from my Ted Turner story, too.

Want more evidence? Even CNN's Wolf Blitzer has begun shilling for the state.

My transformation into an elderly curmudgeon continues nicely, as I find myself agreeing with that prolific curmudgeon Charley Reese, especially in this article. Reese talks about how our Western society is "over-entertained."

Back to international politics. These days, it's hard to find balanced commentary that doesn't quickly descend to ideological bias. Heated temperaments will do that. Here is a nice exception, by Jeffrey Simpson, about how both sides of the Israel-Palestine struggle are fucked.

This should be required reading for anyone visiting my website. Read the whole thing; the kicker is at the end. While I'm at it, I will also plug Eric Margolis' most recent column.

Ever more so, the Right of this country sheds its facade of decency and reveals a core of hatred and pettiness. A North Carolina Republican congressman has now stated support for the WWII internment of Japanese Americans. Amazing.

It doesn't end there. A high-ranking black member of the Republican party claims he's had enough of his party's good ol' boys mentality and is bailing. Read about it here.

Enough preaching for today. Wanna hear something cool? Click here. It's the theme song of the old Gummi Bears cartoon.... in German! There's something genuinely creepy about Germans trying to sounds cute.

Monday February 10, 2003

Recently got back from a week in Guatemala, my second trip there. Dig this photo of me on top of a Mayan pyramid in the lost jungle city of Tikal. I actually dropped my Treo 180 from the top of the pyramid (at a height close to that of the Washington monument). Luckily, I caught up to it after it had bounced only a few steps. But, miraculously, it remains undamaged! Time to hit up Handspring for an endorsement deal!

Here's a pic of the central park of Antigua, the old city of Guatemala. That's the volcano Agua in the distance, and a 400 year old building on the left, which used to serve as the capital of the entire New World. Lovely place. All the pics will be added to my photos section real soon.

After 18 hours of continuous travel from Central America, I arrived in DC Saturday night in time to accept an invitation from my old friend, Globe & Mail arts critic Simon Houpt, to attend a press screening of the Ted Turner-produced civil war epic, Gods & Generals. It was a deeply flawed and overly lengthy film, but that's not why I bring it up....

In the men's room during the intermission, whom did we encounter than none other than Ted Turner himself! Learning our origins, the man sang a few bars of O Canada! and introduced his leggy consort: "This is my girlfriend. She's French. She wants me to make films about Napolean." Hanging out with Simon is never boring.

And yes, Ted Turner pees without an entourage, and he did wash his hands afterward.

Saturday February 1, 2003

"Originally, I was the only female with long blonde hair. Now, they all have long blonde hair." -Ann Coulter, 6/6/00

Ha ha! What a stupid bitch.

Okay, I'm off to Guatemala for a week. Check back with you as soon as I find a cyber cafe...

Wednesday January 29, 2003

"One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." - Charles Austin Beard

Yayyy! My computer, named Landru for very geeky reasons, is working at around 97% normal health. Of course, no sooner did I finish that sentence that a weird noise erupted from its innards. Sigh.

Before I begin, I wish to remind everyone that I tend to choose my words very carefully. When I say something is "interesting," I mean just that. That is not tantamount to an endorsement of content or of spirit, merely that it is.... interesting. When I support someone's stance, I will say it outright. Got it? All right then...

As I write this, we await the 214th State of the Union address from the moron in the big white mansion. Now is a good time to recall some recent developments in Moronville. Many reasons have been put forward for going to war against Iraq. But, for the first time, the amelioration of the US economy has been openly discussed as a reasonable rationale for bombing innocent thousands:

"'An attack from (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein or a surrogate of Saddam Hussein would cripple our economy,' Bush told reporters at his Texas ranch. 'Our economy is strong, it's resilient, we've got to continue to make it strong and resilient. This economy cannot afford to stand an attack.'"

Unfricking believable. Now the "right" of Westerners to consume calories and drive SUVs is sufficient reason to commit mass murder. How is this different from the actions of Saddam or other mass murderers? It's all about the oil, baby, as Arianna Huffington well summarizes:

"Because of the corporate takeover of our democracy, Washington has remained firmly stuck in the Dark Ages of energy policy."

If we learn to live within our energy means, we won't need to bomb the bejeesus out of oily nations. In fact, how many people realize that seizing the oil fields is the Pentagon's priority?

Meanwhile, that weasel Ari Fleischer continues his little dance. But at last, this country's intellectuals are standing up to him and dancing him into the corner. Helen Thomas does a good job of it here. The world finally becomes emboldened enough to wake up to this imperial nonsense. And, as always, Charley Reese is man enough to spell it out:

"Our American service people take an oath to defend the United States, not to serve as legionnaires on the outposts of a global corporate empire."

My regular readers will know that Robert Fisk is a man I admire greatly, especially in these warring times. He shines with this article, with this one, and with his latest opus. Fisk really should be required reading for anyone curious about the world. And yes, this is an endorsement of content.

Another of my regular inspirations is a man some consider a bit of a wacko, but whose writings I tend to agree with, and whose authority is well documented, Eric Margolis. This article discusses Bush's failure to recognize the importance of the European voice.

Meanwhile, former UN arms inspector Scott Ritter gets an old sex investigation publicized. Does this sound too convenient for anyone? Recall that Ritter was one of the loudest and most authoritative voices against the war on Iraq, way before it became a fashionable cause. I smell a federal rat!

What kind of logic does a war on Iraq require? Try this example.

Besides the oil, the Moron has his filial revenge schtick pushing him to war. It's so Greek you can almost here the chorus filling in the back story! Very telling is information revealed in David Frum's book. Sure, Frum is an embarrassment to both Canada and DNA, but he has now confirmed many suspicions.

"In his first meeting with Bush, soon after the inauguration, [David Frum] reports that the president had only one firm policy item backed by real conviction: 'his determination to dig Saddam Hussein out of power in Iraq.' This was six months before 9-11, and two years before weapons inspections. Why should anyone take seriously the idea that Bush is waiting for Iraq to comply with anything? Though Iraq was not discussed much during the campaign, the secret plan for vengeance was always there." -Jeffrey A. Tucker

And what's with this current hijacking of Western government by Christian fundamentalists? It so resembles the addled Reagan era, wherein that President --in the words of Pierre Trudeau-- saw communists under his bed. The current President sees terrorists and divine guidance under his bed and inside his murky closet. Well, how about this? By the interpretations in this article, Jesus Christ himself was a terrorist.

I will give the last word to a forum poster over at Rabble.ca, someone named Rebecca West. I've always felt that the media suffers from neither a rightist nor a leftist bias, but rather a statist bias. But now I prefer West's take:

"It occurs to me that there is no real right-wing conspiracy within the US media as Noam Chomsky might claim. They are simply a bunch of lazy, fatuous dickheads who're too busy giving each other blowjobs to do the work required to accurately present information to a frightened public that's hungry for the truth about the world around them."

I was about to close up today's bulletin when I caught the opening of the Moron's State of the Union address. He's proposing $1.2B for developing hydrogen powered cars and reducing American dependence on foreign oil. HE's also promising a new, generous international AIDS relief programme. I'm going to reserve commentary until I see where this goes. Colour me sceptical.

Monday January 27, 2003

Auuugh! My apologies for the lack of updates on this page. My computer has lain on my living room floor in several parts for many days, and is only now starting to behave like his old self. Updates to come soon.

Monday January 13, 2003

"Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it. Tell them something new and they will hate you for it." -George Monbiot

Ooooooh, I have such a headache. I'll keep this short.

My newest short story, "A Memory of Flowers and Coconut," has just been nominated by Pagitica Magazine for the Journey Prize. Funded by the estate of James Michener, the Prize is given to the best short story written by an up-and-coming Canadian writer, and is considered one of the most prestigious writing awards in the country.

Honestly, I don't have a realistic shot at winning, given the outstanding quality of contemporary writing in Canada. But it's an enormous shot in the arm for Pagitica to have so honoured me. I still gots it, baby!

In other writing news, my latest wrestling column is up. This one is a bit insider-y, so non-fans might not get a lot out of it.

Bye bye.

Monday January 6, 2003

I've been going over the hit stats for this website and The Podium, as provided by Webstat. Here are some interesting findings:

  • Since beginning dedicated hit monitoring, Deonandan.com has averaged 900 page views per month.
  • Just six days into January, this Bulletin has already been viewed 42 times this month. (More, now that you're reading it.)
  • Consistently, the Download page has been among the top 3 most popular pages every month, even though there's no longer a direct link to it from the main menu. If you're one of the people visiting that page, please let me know what's so interesting about it!
  • The Bulletin, Download and Resume pages are consistently the most popular hits
  • Over at The Podium, the Rushdie article is presently raking in the hits.
  • But, historically, the Racial Profiling and Guyana Travelogue articles are consistently the most popular

Okay, that's enough self-involvement for one day. It's a new year, but the same issues still plague our world. Judy Rebick has an interesting article on why anti-semiticism is not a concern of the Left. Meanwhile, the ever-quotable Eric Margolis, as always, well reflects my own thoughts regarding North Korea's present powerplay:

"By revealing his nuclear arsenal and kicking out UN inspectors, Kim Jong-il was in effect telling Bush, 'You want a war? Try one against a real opponent, not almost defenseless Iraq. We've got nukes, germs, poison gas, missiles galore and a million tough troops. Remember your "axis of evil" tirade? Here we are, the Asian third of the axis. Come and get us'... The macho Bush administration, suddenly faced by a real and dangerous opponent in North Korea, clearly does not know what to do - except bomb Iraq."

Talk to youse alls later....

Friday January 3, 2003

Well, well. It's a new year already. The older we get, the faster they seem to come, no? If you missed my last update, you can access it, as well as my online logs for the past 4 years, in the archives.

To get the plugs out of the way, my latest wrestling column can be found here, and my latest "serious" article can be found here.

As is my tradition, this space will now list the things of the past year for which I am thankful. Now, it sometimes gets a little mushy, so hold your nose and bear with me. This year the following events were most important to me:

  • Starting an exciting new job in an exciting new city in an exciting new country at an exciting point in history. (Remember, I'm an epidemiologist in Washington, DC.)
  • Watching my friends and peers become grown-ups. (Christmas brunch this year had almost as many children as adults! And some of them were even home-owners! The adults, not the children.)
  • Celebrating the 70th birthday of me beloved Pa, and finally getting the chance to tell him all the wonderful things he means to me, before... you know.
  • Finishing writing my first (and perhaps last) novel. Don't know if it sucks or rocks. But at least I did it. How many people can say that?

Here's hoping 2003 is a profitable, healthy and happy year for everyone of us. Especially me :-)