As the weather warms and my heart lightens a bit, it’s important to keep rampant optimism in check. Why? Well, a wise man once said that wisdom brings sadness – and I’m inclined to agree that knowledge built upon sober reflection and consideration will bring seriousness where it should be; that is prominent in our minds. Much better to live your life seriously that frivolously…

Dick Cheney is making a good case for him to be put away for reasons of insanity. Only a madman could be in a city while a 40 year-old woman blows herself up in an attempt to take as many others with her as possible and say that things are going well.

If you want to get an idea of how much the Iraq has cost the US, take a look at this chart.

The Bush mismanagement of the US economy is having a number of knock-on effects. Some are quite direct like the fact that tourists in Amsterdam are unable to change dollars at small exchange counters. Some are more general and wide-reaching, such as those documented in this article about the malaise affecting the general state of American management.

The Iraq War / Global War on Terror has changed the way the US tries to run the world. Certainly a remote drone dropping bombs on civilian homes would never be tolerated in our countries, so why is it a matter of policy when applied to others? The wider ramifications are scary indeed. This article sums things up rather well, but this and this take in some of the wider issues such our personal freedoms and choices that are being eroded. It also says something that the best journalism on this subject is coming out of Canada, rather than the US.

An example of how an invasive affront to personal freedom takes place nowadays on a daily basis – workplace urine tests.

Despite the cold winter, glaciers are still melting at record rates.

Another good article on the culture war taking place in England – this time over the local pub.

Thinking of moving to Japan? Get ready for the possibility of not being able to eat want you want. Even soy sauce and sake may be out of the question. Also, don’t get sick.

Should I go back to Australia? Sydney would be nice if I want to commute for four hours a day. Even unions are starting to push for this time to be included as part of the work day.

At least someone may be soon producing an affordable electric car.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, Henry F**kin’ Rollins.