"What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote
in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes
his own self-interest as he sees it... which for the majority translates as 'Bread and Circuses'."
- Robert A. Heinlein

In Roman times, free Bread and Circuses entertained the masses. I hope you find your time
here both entertaining and informative.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Sorry about the nuclear test"

For all of you who have ever had to swallow your pride and apologize for something, this post should make you feel better... Can you imagine being the leader of a nation and have to tell a Chinese newspaper, "sorry about the nuclear test?" How embarrassing is that? Well apparently that's just what dear Kim has done. Does this shed more light on whether NK's test went badly? Can you imagine pulling off the most sabre-y of sabre rattlings, and then apologize for it if your gamble actually paid off? That's what I thought... Now, if I was a prince who decided to test a nuke, maybe I would go ahead with it, and then propose to come back to talks, but only from a position of strength, "Yeah, I tested it, it worked, now let's talk and don't treat me like a petulant child." But no, I wouldn't apologize. Interesting.

Kim, if you really want to prove you're a leader to be reckoned with now that you say you're in "the club," you need to make sure you have a sufficient, and in fact, excessive number of empty mind shafts. Because no megalomaniac can tolerate a mine-shaft gap.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Scary Movie 7: Google Style

Wow, you're very lucky, two posts in one day! And this one even has footnotes!

Since YouTube, after its recent acquisition by Google, has decided to flag this video for objectionable content,1 drastically cutting its viewership, I thought I'd put up an alternative lin. Click here if you want to see the Scary Movie version of Democratic foreign policy missteps under Clinton. Oh wait, Google owns Blogger now too... Scheiß! Will they censor this post as well? Larry and Sergey, please don't be offended. Now that I do have your attention though, one word of advice: Please use your admittedly excellent search engine to find the top result for "censorship." "It is most commonly applied to acts that occur in public circumstances, and most formally involves the suppression of ideas by criminalizing or regulating expression. Furthermore, discussion of censorship often includes less formal means of controlling perceptions by excluding various ideas from mass communication."2

Is trying to make people think, no matter how over the top one's methods, objectionable? Yes it is, at least to those who fancy themselves political or technological Übermensch. Thank you Google, for protecting me from having to consider concepts that hurt my little feelings or make my brain hurt. Good thing you flag all videos tagged "Stripping..." as well.3 Oh, you don't, do you?? Damn, at least sexy videos will keep the minds of America's youth off of more pressing issues like security, and dare I say it, freedom of speech. Thank you YouTube, please, give us more stripping and less thinking. America needs it.
____________
Footnotes:
1:News Report on Google Censorship of Conservative Media on YouTube
2: Censorship - Wikipedia
3: Note: Links do not suggest an endorsement of any external linked content by the author, nor moral aggreement with said content. Viewer discretion is advised.

Not with a bang but a brown-out...


"Not with a bang but a brown-out..." that might be T.S. Eliot's estimation of how Kim Jong Il's egocentric policies will come home to roost. Not in a nuclear confrontation or west-led coup d'etat, but when his starving people realize, as did the peoples of the Soviet Bloc, that their leader will sacrifice them for his own political aggrandisement. Since satellite photos are so cool, here's one Donald Rumsfeld revealed earlier this week, showing the disparity between North and South Korea, with power being shut off in the North after 9PM. But what's the little dot? Oh, it's North Korea's capital, where power is maintained, presumably so Kim can still have that late night film-fest with his enormous DVD collection. Maybe all that nuclear research should have gone into nuclear power so Koreans can actually turn on the lights, instead of being funneled into nuclear brinksmanship.