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Sunday, August 24th, 2008
3:07 pm - 2008 Olympics -- Bill Moyers

I'm still choking on a full article about the Olympics, which I'll probably never finish, but until then it feels like I should at least post some required viewing. Anyone who has spent any time out with me drinking, during or since the opening ceremonies of the Olympics knows that I have less than total respect for the games, or the West's passive approval of growing fascism and slave labour; that may go a ways in explaining why I'm having so much trouble trying to get a couple coherent sentences together without dissolving into a frothy mess of disconnected cursing.

At a minimum, I think it's safe to say that our standard cowardice, hypocrisy and criminal neglect for the principles we claim to hold dear is nothing short of breathtaking. But don't worry about all that, Michael Phelps broke several world records, including the most gold medals won in a single Olympics for ... swimming really, really fast. No, I mean really fast. In an enclosure of water he can get from one end of the enclosure to the other really, really fast.

I'm assuming that if he's still alive Ji Sizun will join us in our pathetic cheering as soon as the Chinese police stop torturing him.

BILL MOYERS: With a small group of media was in tow as protection, Ji went to police headquarters to file his request [for a permit to protest]. One of his friends had come here just days before to seek permission and he vanished.

Right away, Ji was treated as a suspect. For three hours, he was interrogated in a closed room. He emerged defiant and frustrated.

JI SIZUN: We had a heated discussion. They won't approve anything. They won't even accept my application.

BILL MOYERS: As Ji left, plainclothes police kept him under surveillance.

This is one of three parks in Beijing that the government set aside for demonstrations. We didn't see a banner, picket sign or protester in sight. In fact, all these days into the Olympics, the government has yet to permit a single demonstration in any of the official protest zones. Except for strollers, the park was empty, because China claims that only 77 applications were filed, and all but three were withdrawn, says the government, because the petitioners had their complaints satisfied. Those other three? "Oh", says China, "turned down on technicalities." Nothing is as it seems.

Two days later, Ji went back to the police station to ask about his missing friend. Witnesses said Ji was led by plainclothes policemen into a dark sedan, then gone...disappeared.

Monday, April 7th, 2008
11:24 pm - Ryan (presumed spelling)
Posted from Jimmy's World.

Grey haired and disheveled and wild he tells me how he can sell me pot on the right day if I "look him up".

Ryan (presumed spelling) is jokingly "self employed" on or about the corner of Duluth and St. Laurent; and he works his corner for ten dollars to get access to the Salvation Army shelter and a hot meal. He asks if I have any spare change while I fumble with my ipod earphones trying to stuff them into my pocket. I hope the change I have there doesn't make too much of a noise while I do.

I get the impression that fully erect he would be taller than me, but instead he stands hunched a half foot below my eye-line impassionately making his pitch with a cigarette dangling precariously from his mouth. He tells me how taking marijuana in a tea will defeat the normal paranoia the the drug seats me with; the excuse I use to refuse his offers to sell some to me. He tells me how he likes to drink some tea, "throw his guts up," and then take some Valium to go to bed.

I offer another negative to his offer to deal for me as I notice a burn scar on his face. I ask as innocently as I can think of how he has ended up in a tattered jacket, unkempt beard and a seemingly good natured state of homelessness.

"LSD" he says. "I got in a car and I killed a guy. I don't even remember it." He continues, "I've been guilt tripping ever since."

I stupidly tell him that he's not doing himself, or anyone else any good at the moment with the intent to suggest he move on. I instantly regret it. He doesn't seem to take it as an insult any more than I meant it to be one, though it was.

Curious about the US recession, the effects of which on the Canadian economy I haven't followed, I ask how "business" has been going.

"I was asking down there [Avenue des Pine and St. Laurent] and a guy took out a ten so I could stay at a shelter; some other guy just walked by and took it saying 'thanks' and walked off."

His English is smooth and clean, and he seems like someone I could hold a conversation in with.

I ask him if things are going worse for him lately and he stops for a second to think. "Yes, I think so." Then launches into another pitch about how he could use a meal from the shelter.

Ryan. He works St. Laurent near Duluth with a dirty face, wild hair and clever eyes. Ryan, a hunched man my dad's age killed a guy, and has been guilt tripping ever since.

I hope he spends the money on food and not beer. I hope he can find the other end of that "guy he killed" somewhere other then the bottom of a pint, or in the bottom of a toilet after a cup of a doped tea.

I think I'll order in; after all, it has been a rough night.


Friday, July 27th, 2007
12:23 am - Animal Housing Update

Just a short update, a very long time in coming. The Animal Housing project is not dead in the slightest. I’ve been trying to contact the author of the Gazette story to organize some kind of unified movement towards replacing the shelter which was destroyed, but my correspondence has fallen into some kind of black hole. The nature of that black hole in uncertain. It may be purposeful, or it may be bureaucratic.

Regardless of the reason, I think it’s time to give up on unifying with any kind of established structure for the purpose of rallying. That leaves us to find a path on our own. This effort isn’t over, it just stalled. It is stalled in a way I don’t intend to become stalled in again.

What we need now is an intelligent way forward, and a solid goal. I’ll be looking into individual organizations to find out where an infusion of money would be best allocated to do the most good, but what I’d really like is to find out what the community thinks would be a good way to proceed.

Please comment on this thread with any ideas you may have about the best way to progress with respect to fund raising, or fund dispersal. If anyone has any general comments, now would be a great time to raise them.

This isn’t over.

Friday, June 22nd, 2007
4:44 pm - A Call to Action: Progress: One Thousand!

We're less than 20 hours in and already we've hit one thousand in commitments thanks to Joe, Margaret, Andrew, Robert, Valentine and others. Also, we already have one large corporate sponsor which has offered up free advertising once our ducks are in a row.

I'll post updates as things progress. Let's keep this ball rolling. Thanks again to everyone who has already signed on. Tell your friends.

Find out more.
Thursday, June 21st, 2007
9:24 pm - A Call to Action: Benefit for Montreal Township Animal Shelter
From JW

Humans like to kill humans, steal from each-other, rape, lie and pillage, but cats and dogs are just cats and dogs. They just love us.

Marlboro, the cat.

Buzz, the cat.

Grizzly, also, the cat.

Notre Dame de Stanbridge - Amidst the collapsing tin roof, the few blackened walls that remained and the water bowls covered in ash, it was the cat’s charred skeleton that stood out.

What was once a refuge for this cat, and as many as 150 others, burned down yesterday morning, killing most of the feline population.

I intend to reach out to local Veterinary clinics and businesses and to the Gazette to try to secure donations, ideally matching donations, but I’d like to have a semi-meaningful private commitment to show a seriousness to the cause. That means you. I’m willing to commit $200.00 CAD up front, and additionally I will match the largest private commitment up to another $100.00, or more depending on response. Every cent of every dollar will be applied directly towards reestablishing a shelter to replace this one lost. I will be investigating whom exactly that will be because as the story says, “Perret isn’t planning to rebuild the shelter”, but I think we can convince her otherwise. If not, I’m sure there is an appropriate end point personality we can find to pick up the torch.

This uncertainty means that I’m only asking for a commitment, not actual monies at this point. It is my intention to be entirely transparent about what money goes where when transactions actually take place. No, you don’t get any kind of tax rebate, just the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you’re a decent human being.

You can make a commitment by commenting on this story, or emailing me Jimmy/Aaron Cameron. Your donation will be highlighted and its virtue extolled to the best of my meager abilities.

Please take a moment to look at your own loved dog or cat, and think of their being stuck on the street because no suitable shelter exists to take care of them. The shelters opened and run by people like Claudine Perret give refuge and medical attention to thousands of orphaned, abandoned or otherwise homeless animals every year and they deserve our support. This shelter’s damage has been estimated at approximately $75 000, but the damage its loss will do to the resident animal population is much greater than can be expressed by a number.

For those who own fewer pets than is considered socially uncomfortable (oh, something like 3), can inquire about adopting an animal by calling 450-296-4219.

We all talk about doing something for our community, let’s actually do something this time. Comment here or email me, Jimmy/Aaron Cameron.

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
7:14 pm - The War In Iraq: The Fifth Estate & Frontline, Beginning to Endgame

The Fifth Estate brings us The Lies that Led to War, a CBC documentary which covers the lead up, and selling of the war. Originally aired March 7th 2007, this film pulls no punches while they look more deeply into the horrific acts of Saddam at Halabja in 1988, the source of Bush's mantra: he gassed his own people. Thankfully they add the important, but missing, appendage "... with our help".

After this refresher on the beginning of the mess in Iraq, take a look at Frontline's analysis of the 'Surge' and the decisions which led to its implementation: Endgame. In the eyes of many non-partisan officials the Surge is the last best hope for any kind of victory in, or even a graceful withdrawal from Iraq.

If you really feel like a depressing hundred hours or so, Frontline has a full listing of all of its films covering the War on Terror. That page is a treasure-trove of fantastic resources to learn more about the family of military conflicts which will speak to history books about our morality, civility and in many ways, our sanity.

Friday, May 18th, 2007
4:06 am - Because We Need Reminders, and Heros
From Jimmy’s World

June 5th 1989. In the mist of a gloomy morning true heroism was captured on film and has become an indelible symbol of courage and the purity of the human spirit that we should never allow ourselves to forget.

My wonderful girlfriend, Ayria got me a poster of the event which hangs on my wall, and that I look at every day, but that I rarely process for the act of pure strength of will it represents. In an environment more hostile that any of us can possibly understand a single man stood against the ultimate symbol of oppression and the weaker of us could only watch and hold our collective breath. Civilization faintly hoped that a country prison might change.

The Tank Man is a symbol of what we should all try to be in the face of terror and oppression, but he wasn’t alone in his courage. Tiananmen Square, Beijing, and indeed more than 400 Chinese cities had become a seething mass of protest. Humanity en masse crystallized into an act of pure hope which was met by a military which was at times paralyzed by its own contemplation of what it is to be human, and at times succumbed to all the worst darkness of the human soul.

Thousands flooded the streets standing up for everything that is right about civilization and the evolution of society, only to be crushed under the wheels of dictatorship. Crushed, but not forgotten.

Please take 90 minutes of your life to learn more about the massacre at Tiananmen Square. It’s one of the largest symbols of victory and defeat that we will ever encounter in our lives, and it should speak to us about how we lead our lives. Speak to us every day.

China is a dichotomy of progress and regression, and should enter our minds in the same thought as Darfur, globalization, appeasement and most importantly, Taiwan.

China; 1,313,973,713 people and counting. One billion, three hundred thirteen million, nine hundred seventy-three thousand, seven hundred and thirteen people... one billion, three hundred thirteen million, nine hundred seventy-three thousand, seven hundred and thirteen of us... in need of democracy.

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007
5:34 pm - Religious Extremist Jerry Falwell Dead at 73
Original from JW Religion

All I can say is that I hope you were right and there's a Hell, Jerry.

Also, make sure to catch BoingBoing's listing of Famous Falwell quotes.

Friday, May 11th, 2007
3:19 pm - ABC Nightline Debate -- Proving God’s Existence
Original on JW Religion

Entirely a rehash of the older arguments made by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort on their site, The Way of the Master, the debate is still interesting to watch. I think the initial rebuttal by the The Rational response Squad was powerful, but was followed up by a somewhat rambling response by the tremendously attractive, but largely inarticulate Kelly (last name forthcoming, since no one seemed to want to mention it). It seems clear that she was uncomfortable with the audience, and it seems unfortunately equally clear that her attire was chosen with ... intent. Still, it’s very interesting to see what could be considered a rational debate, even if short.

The first part embedded, the continuation is linked.

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Unfortunately the QA doesn’t seem to be available.

Friday, April 27th, 2007
2:58 am - Freedom of Religion
Original on JW Religion

The Onion, of all sources, brought to my attention the recently rectified exclusion of Wicca from the ‘official’ religious symbols allowed on the tombstones of veterans. The military is always slow to move on things like this, and they have since corrected their mistake, after extensive legislation of course; but what strikes me is that the most openly religious leader that the United States has ever seen had this to say about the the religion that wasn’t his:

I don’t think witchcraft is a religion, I would hope the military officials would take a second look at the decision they made.
-- George W. Bush, 1999 during an
interview with “Good Morning America”

I think any commentary I could make would be unnecessary.

Thursday, April 26th, 2007
8:16 pm - Call For Correction, The CBC: "MPs, environmentalists slam greenhouse gas targets"
Original on JW

The assertion in the second paragraph of the story MPs, environmentalists slam greenhouse gas targets claims that the new legislation would require "most of Canada's industries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 18 per cent in three years," while in fact the legislation calls for an 18 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas intensity, not emissions.

This important distinction is acknowledged in the CBC's own story, Industry grumbles but says it can meet emissions targets, and I believe it should be acknowledged here as well. Intensity based greenhouse gas targets versus absolute targets is one of the most argued and misunderstood nuances of the environmental debate and I believe great care should be taken to highlight the difference whenever possible.

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007
8:01 pm - Series Premier on PBS: Bill Moyers Journal
Original on JW

Tonight PBS will air the first episode of a new series called Bill Moyers Journal called Buying the War which will apparently be available online after airing tonight. This documentary will tackle the War in Iraq and seeks to hold responsible the press for its reprehensible behaviour during the run up to the war.

How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported? "What the conservative media did was easy to fathom; they had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked. How mainstream journalists suspended skepticism and scrutiny remains an issue of significance that the media has not satisfactorily explored," says Moyers. "How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?"

Bill Moyers, president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy has been retired for the last two years but returns to PBS tonight which is causing a mini-spectacle in the right wing media already trying to discredit Moyers before the the episode even airs. For anyone curious to hear more about Moyers and the premier Democracy Now! has extensive coverage of the premier and a lengthy interview with Moyers which aired this morning.

Friday, April 20th, 2007
6:19 pm - Reorganizing the Afterlife
Original on JW Religion

For quite some time now the Catholic church has been investigating ways to strike limbo from the afterlife because of the understandably negative effect it has on converting people in regions of the world where infant mortality is high. This is particularly true in Africa where HIV/AIDS infection rate is tremendously high and many young children, and young adults are infected with the disease.

Unfortunately the Catholic church has stood steadfast in it's absolute refusal to accept or endorse the use of condoms which have a demonstrably positive effect on infection rates whenever used in concert with abstinence policies. Rather than reform its policies, however, with respect to responsible sexual practices the Catholic church has been desperate to reorganize the entire afterlife so parents aren't faced with the condemning their sick children to eternity in limbo. Furthermore, the church is desperate to make the change appear internally consistent within the scripture, something which is next to impossible to do.

Unsurprisingly the church refers to studies, commissions, research and other stealth pseudo-scientific constructions to give it's slow policy shift the cloak of legitimacy when ultimately what is really happening is a policy shift to increase membership. This is visible even in their own carefully chosen words:

Pope Benedict and his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, had urged further study on limbo, in part because of "the pressing pastoral needs" sparked by the increase in abortion and the growing number of children who die without being baptized, the report said.

Please consider the Catholic church's ghoulish and steadfast refusal to move into the 20th century of reproductive reality and save real, tangible lives while it is simultaneously, and cynicallyis willing to finagle changes to "perfectly true" doctrine to increase its membership the next time you are passed the collection plate.

You can learn a lot more about HIV/AIDS from the in-depth and powerful 240 minute film: The Age of AIDS on Frontline. Also, right here on Jimmy's World there are many guest submitted papers on HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh.

Thursday, April 19th, 2007
3:22 am

We should always remember, as trite as song lyrics are.

Oh I marched to the battle of New Orleans
At the end of the early British war
The young land started growing
The young blood started flowing
But I ain't marchin' anymore

For I've killed my share of Indians
In a thousand different fights
I was there at the Little Big Horn
I heard many men lying
I saw many more dying
But I ain't marchin' anymore

It's always the old to lead us to the war

It's always the young to fall

Now look at all we've won with the sabre and the gun

Tell me is it worth it all

For I stole California from the Mexican land
Fought in the bloody Civil War
Yes I even killed my brother
And so many others
And I ain't marchin' anymore

For I marched to the battles of the German trench
In a war that was bound to end all wars
Oh I must have killed a million men
And now they want me back again
But I ain't marchin' anymore

It's always the old to lead us to the war

It's always the young to fall

Now look at all we've won with the sabre and the gun

Tell me is it worth it all

For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky
Set off the mighty mushroom roar
When I saw the cities burning
I knew that I was learning
That I ain't marchin' anymore

Now the labor leader's screamin' when they close the missile plants,
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore,
Call it "Peace" or call it "Treason,"
Call it "Love" or call it "Reason,"
But I ain't marchin' any more.


Wednesday, April 18th, 2007
2:13 pm - New Film: Frontline: Gangs of Iraq

Frontline put a new film, Gangs of Iraq, up on the Frontline PBS site.

Gangs of Iraq is an expansive look at the growing sectarian violence in Iraq. So far it's painful, depressing, visceral, and very graphic. Required watching for anyone with an opinion about the US occupation in Iraq... so everyone.


Thursday, March 29th, 2007
3:18 am - Jimmy's World, God, libN2L-4, n2l5, Life2130, orange, Orange (Again) and Onyx
From JW

Is that all? This post is amazingly overdue so I'm going to try to cover everything as quickly as I possibly can. One thing at a time, so here we go:

Jimmy's World

Jimmy's World isn't actually dead. It looks dead, and it acts dead... and if one was to measure usefulness, or recentness, or value it would seem dead. It isn't. Trust me. Jimmy's World suffers from misfire problems. I've started at least 30 articles and written several pages only to realize I have neither the time nor the inclination to do the research necessary to cover the ground I wish to cover with the credibility that I feel I need to have. That is, I run the site like kindergartner but demand the accuracy of a university thesis. This results, somewhat predictably, in nothing ever being finished and published.

I have no solution for this. I state it only for the limited value of acknowledging it. Solutions are in the works, but, well, don't hold your breath.


I have no idea where to find the time to work on this project, but it has the potential to piss off too many people for me to just let it go. See Jimmy's World above for where this site sits. Not dead, just in carbon freeze.

The Unfortunately Esoteric Tale of libN2L-4, n2l5

LibN2L-4 is the backbone of Onyx and is a beautiful mess of poorly thought out dependencies, inappropriately categorized functionality, needlessly verbose code and really, really cool stuff. LibN2L-4 gave birth to DynVars, the ResourceManager and countless other really awesome chunks of code that I am going to labour very hard to finally give legs to. Enter n2l5.

The revised name, n2l5, is a symbol of where libN2L is going in the near future. It will be an improved, but smaller and more streamlined version of everything LibN2L-4 meant to do. The prefix 'Lib' is extraneous, the final 'L' of the acronym stands for library. A standing sentinel of duplication which had no business being there to begin with. The dash was syntactical complexity for no perceivable reason, a sign of ideology over reason. The four represents a fourth generation, when we all know that a fifth generation is bound to be better. You see how n2l5 fixes all these horrible mistakes.

In seriousness n2l5 will seek to cut the fat of LibN2L-4 and simplify the syntax while focusing on the functionality that should be in an underlying library. Where does that culled functionality go, you ask?

orange, and Orange

Orange was a codename assigned to a new game meant to occupy the Life2130 universe circa 2060-2100 shortly after the First Solar War as a sort of SimCity in space. The game lives on in a semi-mature design phase, renamed to ... something and Orange moves forward as the engine that will drive the games to come. Orange is the glue that LibN2L-4 inappropriately sought to be.

Designed and developed to simultaneously support Onyx, Onyx: Free Trader, Life2130 and orange (the first iteration): Orange will be the environment which will connect the power of n2l with the assets of already designed games. It will combine function with design.


Life2130 is evolving yet again. Yeah, I'm not talking about Life2130 yet.


The current codebase was declared dead as of 1:17am March 29 2007. the new codebase was born 1:17am March 29 2007. Onyx is dead, long live Onyx.

While long have I whined about the technical inadequacies of Onyx, particularly the physical and graphical inadequacies, on paper and in implementation Onyx had always been intended to pad my resume with game development goodness. It has totally and completely failed to do so. Now I realize I don't even want a game development job, and irregardless Onyx never fit the bill since as much as I may be proud of everything it was and everything it could do it simply doesn't look formidable enough to be worth anything.

Onyx was a failure and a success. I'm proud of what I accomplished on some levels, but what I accomplished has no externally visible value to speak of. Finally recognizing and fully digesting that fact leaves me with the inescapable conclusion that I need to close the book on Onyx the implementation and decide how I want to tell Onyx the story, if I want to tell its story.

Onyx the story is a story of the years 2108 to 2148 in the Life2130 universe and not 115,762 lines of C++, 71,541 lines of definition files and 850 meg of data. Realizing and accepting that lets me tell the story and divorce myself from the learning experience.

From this moment on Onyx will be restarted in concert with other projects and it will be back better, stronger and more descriptive of the universe it occupies.

And so...

And so JwGames moves forward. To define this turning point one needs to really define Onyx as an experience. How does one define Onyx? Onyx was a painful, bloody and crushing experience. Onyx was a vessel into which was poured the ill-conceived and outdated objectives of an extinct set of childish goals. Onyx became bitterness and cynicism crystallized. Onyx was a horrific, life-adjusting mistake. Onyx was and is a war that occupied 1370+ days, nearly 15% of my life and resulted in failure.

Onyx is an opportunity, and it sure as fuck isn't over yet.

Monday, December 11th, 2006
3:13 pm - Bob is Born Again
Posted from JW Religion

Here's a quick little post to try to get this ball rolling. I've actually started working on the site again and have added site wide keywords like you can see below this post. Soon these will be integrated completely into the religion site as well as Jimmy's World, which'll mean some really cool tools for accessing all sorts of data.

There's also a few legitimate, real live posts coming down the pipe too! I know that may be impossible to believe, but it's true! Have faith.

Remember kids, always read Bob the Angry Flower

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006
9:38 pm - Onyx -- Not Dead Yet

Wow. Onyx. It's been a really, really long time since I've posted anything. Long time and long overdue.

I wasn't going to, but I've decided to get back to work on Onyx 'full time' as much as a side project can be full time. I'm in the middle of some unrelated work at the moment, but once that's under control I'll get back to doing some more bug fixes and making some new maps. The biggest thing I'd like to actually get working is the first campaign. It was disappointing to do the earlier releases without any plot at all.

I'll try to get something up before the end of the month, but to be honest that doesn't seem likely. Most likely I'll look at getting a fairly full new release out before Christmas. I'll send an email out to the old beta testers when something is ready to go, and of course I'll post here as well.

Also, thanks to those who have been supportive and patient through this news black hole.

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006
9:59 pm - Hire Me!

Somebody get me a job! Anyone with a line on a development job either in C++, PHP, or Perl, I'd love to hear about it. Something in Ottawa would be good, but Montreal would be better.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can toss me a bone, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006
12:53 am - Onyx Normalized

I've cleaned up the Onyx site to put the proper links on the download page and I've merged the beta pages into the documentation.

For now, that's it.

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