January 27, 2005

Pot: Kettle, you look a little off-hue

"Moments later, Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine criticized the Times for missing an antiterrorism demonstration in Baghdad that an Iraqi blogger photographed and posted. The Times ignored this story, Jarvis claimed, because it ghettoizes news gatherers who aren't professionals."

Jack Shafer, Slate. This is of course the Jeff Jarvis who ignored that same Iraqi blogger's desperate pleas for justice for his cousin who had been murdered by an American patrol, for TWELVE whole months, long after every media outlet in the States had run something on the case.

Posted by BruceR at 04:10 PM

Army the senior service?

A piece in the Globe today says the government is set to emphasize the army and de-emphasize Canada's other armed services, except where they support the army.

One suspects it's the next step in the path outlined last year by Richard Clarke, and started upon by Canada's sensible but wacky previous defence minister, John McCallum. Too bad about those subs and fighter aircraft we're increasingly likely to mothball now, though. Also note the implicit and significant assumption that the Canadian military is a subsidiary adjunct to "foreign aid." We discussed Canadian military altruism here.

Posted by BruceR at 10:46 AM

This is how you do restructuring

The British Army announced last month the amalgamation of all its remaining regular army Scottish units into the new five-battalion "Royal Regiment of Scotland," with a common tartan and cap badge (each battalion will still have a different hackle, however). The tartan, for those curious, will be Black Watch (Government), the original uniclan soldiers' tartan (and one I once wore as a young army reservist). I've always admired the way that the British will defend any military tradition, right up to the point where it becomes an operational or recruiting burden, and then unceremoniously chuck it without a glance back. The move is part of a cut from 40 undersize regular infantry battalions to 36 larger, more indepently capable ones, with additional reductions in armour and artillery.

The Canadian army, which has a couple dozen Scottish tartan-clad reserve units that have resisted any amalgamation for decades, can only gape in awe.

Posted by BruceR at 10:31 AM

Things that suck

My Palm PDA is dead again... SUDS (Sudden USB Death Syndrome). Basically a static charge fries the USB circuitry. It's a known design flaw in all the 500-series, and if it happens to you once, it'll happen again. In Canada, SUDS regularly kills off Palms when the dry winter weather hits and we all go around on the carpet wearing sweaters. Your choices are basically to switch to a serial-port cradle (now almost completely out of stock) or switch to the Tungsten-series Palms, which don't have the flaw. Oh, well.

Posted by BruceR at 10:08 AM