Thursday, August 31, 2006

What really matters in life

The government of China has started cracking down on the practice of the "funeral striptease", according to Nice to see that the Chinese government has the same strong instincts for identifying important issues as our own rulers.

The cremation of Baldur on his ship Hringhorni is still the coolest funeral of all time. But this is a close second.

You know what makes me want to buy a new car? Divorce! Hat tip to Radley Balko.

You know, on this blog, I've talked about injustice. Senseless wars that kill innocent people. Stalinist famines. Police state oppression. Ruthless exploitation of the public by corporations with government-granted privelegs. But you know what the greatest injustice of all is? I just found out that the new Iron Maiden album, which won't come out here until September 5th, is already out EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE GODDAMN WORLD. I hate this country.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Link round-up

Excellent post over at Knappster about the foolishness of the idea of a "citizens dividend" (welfare for everyone, basically) from a practical standpoint. The probable effects of the idea are so obvious that I'm frankly baffled how anyone who professes a desire to reduce the state could support it. Anyway, Thomas Knapp puts it more eloquently than I could.

This probably isn't of interest to anyone who isn't a metal fan, but Brian W. Doss has a great post over at The Verse about the suckiness of the mainstream media's coverage of the genre.

At his new blog Pro Libertate, William N. Grigg has a great new post called "The Madness That is War Patriotism." One of the best descriptions of America's post-9/11 madness that I've read.

While our rulers send SWAT team raids against unauthorized gamblers and seek to crush online gambling to save us from gambling addiction, Radley Balko relates this news story of a New York woman who spent six thousand dollars a day on the state lottery, fueling her gambling by embezzling over two million dollars from her employer. Another reminder that anti-gambling laws aren't about protecting public morals, they're about making sure the state gets all the swag.

At, Eric Margolis has written a powerful remembrance of Stalin's victims. Worth reading, even if you already know the relevant facts.

Sad news: voice actor Tony Jay has died at 73. If you share some of my nerdly interests, you might remember his excellent voice acting from such games as Icewind Dale, Fallout, the Legacy of Kain series, and what is possibly my favorite game of all time, Planescape: Torment. Rest in peace.

From Brad Spangler comes this little gem. Just click the link and see.

Apologies for the fact that I have yet to produce that Alastair Reynolds review I mentioned a while back. I found George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones at a used book store, curiosity got the better of me, one thing led to another, and I kinda sorta…Well, all I can say is that you shouldn't become fixated on a four-thousand page fantasy series when you've got something else you were planning to read. Or if you were planning on getting anything else done. Or coming into contact with sunlight.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

An intellectual casualty of war

Could someone please tell me what the hell happened to Thomas Sowell? I turn my head for a few minutes, and while I'm not looking the man turns from one of America's most interesting and insightful thinkers to mindless warbot. (Though, to be fair, he does continue to produce some worthwhile material mixed with the dreck.) Perhaps I shouldn't be shocked- he's hardly the only person to lose his mind after 9/11- but I had always considered Sowell to be several cuts above the Horowitz's and Boortz's of the world.

This depresses the hell out of me, because Sowell was essential to my early political development, especially with the books The Vision of the Anointed and The Quest for Cosmic Justice. Indeed, with the possible exception of Hayek, there is probably no one else who was more important in making me a libertarian. It's awful to see him reduced to this. It's like finding out that the girl you were in love with in high school has gained two hundred pounds and developed an interest in facial scarification.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Thought for the day

Something occurred to me while reading the news about Castro's illness. I've thought for a long time that a lot of socialists were basically throne-and-altar reactionaries in Enlightenment drag Thus, I probably shouldn't be so surprised that communist states, those bastions of egalitarianism, have taken on the form of monarchies. Who rules North Korea? The previous ruler's son. When Castro became incapacitated, who did he put in charge? His brother. The fact that these two state's full names are the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" and the "Republic of Cuba" makes it all the more absurd. It's probably only a matter of time before Nong Duc Manh has himself declared Archduke of Vietnam.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Chicago summer heat+No electricity=FUN!

Meant to update last night, but the climate intervened. I lost all electrical power for the better part of last night and had to crash elsewhere so I wouldn't die of dehydration in my sleep. You want to know what's maddening? Sitting in your boiling candle-lit living room and looking out the window to see that THE PEOPLE ACROSS THE GODDAMN STREET STILL HAVE POWER.
Actual content of actual interest coming up soon.

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