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follow the leaders?

in the wake of the latest photos from abu ghraib (WARNING- this may not be something you want to open at work or in the presence of children), you would think that the american government would finally be putting it's seriously sorry face on, at least for the cameras.

instead, the sorry press attache/ flack who drew the short stick that morning went out to answer questions armed with this response: it's unfortunate that the photos (which were taken in the same time period as the original photos of prisoners at the prison facility in iraq) are now being circulated.

no, it isn't. there are many words to describe the latest round of photos and "unfortunate" isn't anywhere on the list. repulsive. nauseating. profoundly depressing. "unfortunate" doesn't cut it. and it certainly doesn't cut it when what you're saying is that it's unfortunate that people are seeing the photos, implying that it's more a problem that the acts are known than that they happened in the first place.

it would be nice to think that the people who say they want to rid the world of tyranny could hold themselves to a higher standard than the tyrants they are decrying.

i'm sure someone will swing for this, too, and i'm sure it won't be anyone in a position of actual authority (as per usual). someone needs to explain to the american government (a very different animal than the american people, i would like to point out) that leadership does not come so much from imposing one's will as from setting an example and taking responsibility for the consequences of one's actions.

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the world at war?

in my semi-smug but genuinely curious way, i posted a question on my facebook page earlier: how much of the world has to be at war before it counts as world war iii?



the first response i got raised the very legitimate point that this is the sort of question that gets answered by historians, once the haze of the present has faded. the other important factor is that people don't just declare war on each other the way that they used to. major powers entered both the of the world wars with the blessings of their own parliaments, whereas conflicts since world war ii have happened in coded language, sometimes circumventing the political process in the interests of expediency. president reagan never declared war on the nicaraguan government in the eighties, for example, but the united states was clearly in a state of armed conflict, even if most of the arms were being carried by their proxies, the contras.

whether or not we are living in a world at war is a tricky question. despite what…

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

diet diary, part 2

so the battle with the bulge continues. i'm actually becoming used to the pace, although for some reason my stomach still seems to think it needs far more food than it actually does.

week days, when eating is more of a functional than a festive activity, are fairly easy to cope with. weekends are a challenge, especially living in a city that has as many good restaurants as toronto. i'm not restricting myself to the home, but i am finding that i have to pay careul attention when i go out. last night, i overindulged on injera atthe ethiopian house. injera (the soft, moist, spongy bread that serves as food and cutlery in ethiopian cuisine) makes food fun by forcing you to eat with your fingers. it's hard to exercise restraint in such conditions.

when i first moved to toronto, i was expecting to find it much as i remembered it from years ago- with a dearth of good eating places. apparently, things have changed. there are great places to eat just about every kind of food you&…