We flatter ourselves that our idols are clever because they are not made out of wood, but silicon
Spengler offers a meandering review of a new English translation of a "20th-century classic" of Hebrew literature, And from There You Shall Seek, by Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik. Isaiah, Goethe and the great god Google figure prominently.
A man came to the caliph claiming to be a prophet, goes a 9th-century joke. "By Allah, you are a stupid prophet!" exclaimed the caliph. "That," the prophet replied, "is why I was sent to people like you." That God might send a stupid prophet to a stupid people is one thing. But what if the prophet were sent by a stupid god?
Ron Moore describes the idea as "a little too cute" but I rather like this alternate ending to Battlestar Galactica.
"Cut to the present-day in Central America where there are these enormous mysterious mounds that archeologists have not been able to understand (it may have been South America, I can't recall the exact location, but these mounds really do exist). Someone is doing a new kind of survey of the mounds with some kind of ground-penetrating radar or something and lo and behold, we see the outlines of the Galactica still buried under the surface."
Janet Daley makes a point that should be obvious to Marxists. A technical term for the mistake is reification - Verdinglichung, actually - i.e. treating a social relationship as if it were a thing.
Those who talk of "overthrowing" capitalism are determined to depict it as a system of government in a precise parallel with socialism, when in reality, capitalism is not a system in the ideological sense.
It is, if anything, an anti-system: the aggregation of human behaviour as it goes about fulfilling particular wants and needs. It can be described in anthropomorphic terms, such as "ruthless" or "benign" but of itself has no motives and no objectives. (Gordon Brown is more than usually fatuous when he insists that markets need to have "values": only people have values, methods of exchange do not.)
We could also usefully deploy the word "irony" except such would be to lend credit the protesters have not earned. Not one in a hundred Marxists has bothered to read Marx let alone attempted to make sense of the gaping pot holes in his logic.
It was a nightmare scenario: A scientist accidentally pricked her finger with a needle used to inject the deadly Ebola virus into lab mice. Within hours, members of a tightly bound, yet far-flung community of virologists, biologists and others were tensely gathered in a trans-Atlantic telephone conference trying to map out a way to save her life.
Less than 24 hours later, an experimental vaccine — never before tried on humans — was on its way to Germany from a lab in Canada.
Iranian Air Defense: Unknown Aircraft, you are in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself.
Aircraft: This is a Unites States aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace.
Air Defense: You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft.
Aircraft: This is a US Marine Corps FA-18 fighter. Send ’em up. I’ll wait. overheard on a Europe-Dubai flight
Air Defense: … (Total silence follows.)
Ron Howard is set to bring The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft to the silver screen.
Yet another indie graphic novel is headed to the big screen. Image Comics' The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft, created by Mac Carter and Jeff Blitz, is being developed for Ron Howard to direct at Universal. The fictionalized tale borrows elements from Lovecraft's life, such as his own bouts with writer's block, and transforms his darkest nightmares into reality when he comes across a book that puts a curse on him and lets the evils he conjures up loose on the world. Universal picked this up because its take on classic horror fits in well with their monster movies like Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy and the Wolf Man.
A flea, with legs finer than a human hair, can pull up to 700 times its own weight! A flea can lift up to 60 times its own weight! A flea can jump over 150 times its own height! When we build circuses on Mars, or asteroids one day, then we'll perhaps witness similar dexterity, but for now - consider a humble flea
* Disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda terrorists and their safe havens in Pakistan
* Triple US aid to Pakistan to $7.5bn over 5 years
* Help Afghan govt rely on itself while better and more honestly ensuring its people’s security
* Build up and train the Afghan security forces
* Boost civilian govt in Pakistan and strengthen economic opportunities for Pakistanis
* Urge UN to take a lead role in generating world assistance for Afghanistan and Pakistan
* Overhaul the way US foreign aid is managed, funded and allocated
* Set up a new contact group on Afghanistan, including Iran
* Ensure that aid to Afghanistan is accompanied by steps to ensure greater govt accountability
* Send US engineers, agricultural and other experts to Afghanistan to help counterparts
* Encourage Afghan govt in its efforts to convince moderate Taliban to lay down their weapons
* Strengthen efforts to build Pakistani security forces capable of defeating terrorists
This looks remarkably sensible to me with the following caveats: i - how does this strategy deviate from the Bush administration's or, indeed, from what a McCain administration might have done, ii - what is that $7.5b going to be spent on in "Pakistan", and iii - vague pronouncements about foreign policy "overhaul" somehow contrive to say nothing and leave me fearful of some farcical linkage between the jihadis and support of Israel.
Former NASA astronaut Thomas Jones, a veteran of three spacewalks before retiring from spaceflying in 2001, thinks the odor could stem from atomic oxygen that clings to spacesuit fabric.
"When you repressurize the airlock and get out of your suit, there is a distinct odor of ozone, a faint acrid smell," Jones told SPACE.com, adding that the smell is also similar to burnt gunpowder or the ozone smell of electrical equipment. "It's not noticeable inside the suit. The suit smells like plastic inside."
The smell, he adds, only occurs on a shuttle or the space station after a spacewalk and is unmistakable to astronauts working with the spacesuits and equipment that was used in the vacuum of space.
A comment left at yesterday's political cheesecake post by the inimitable Taylor & Company should school me to link with greater care. Talk about beauty and the beast, they're both; a veritable confectionery selection of "moonbats and criminals".
The Marxist APRA, the Marxist MPLA, terrorist-connected Sinn Fein, the defiantly old-labour socialist (and former Nazi-collaborating) Austrian SPÖ, the Peronist Justicialist party, the fringe Party for the Animals...
The Russian-Estonian woman was bounced from chair of the Estonian European Movement for embezzling 40,000 Euros.
One of the Swedes is consistently on record being highly critical of Israel, even saying that it should be prosecuted for war crimes.
The Angolan is the daughter of the country's Marxist President-for-life (since 1979).
One of the Finns was a member of the European Parliament and spent her time there watering down banking regulations. She is now leaving to become Managing Director of the Federation of Finnish Financial Services, a lobbying group. She was awarded a "Worst conflict of interest" award by some wag group at the "Worst EU lobbying Awards".
With a few notable exceptions it is a laundry list of kleptocrats and failed ideas dressed up in beautiful outer garments.
A recently constructed section of the controversial US-Mexico border fence expansion project crosses previously pristine desert sands at sunrise on March 14, 2009 between Yuma, Arizona and Calexico, California. The new barrier between the US and Mexico stands 15 feet tall and sits on top of the sand so it can lifted by a machine and repositioned whenever the migrating desert dunes begin to bury it. The almost seven miles of floating fence cost about $6 million per mile to build.
Pro-tip: The Spice must flow. Best take care not to prevent on Worm migration. Also, those suckers are like a vacuum cleaner on lint when it comes to sucking up illegal immigrants so fair dues.
You know you elected the wrong guy when your President is well to the left of the Czech prime minister. Though admittedly Mirek Topolanek appears to be something of a fluke this is only because the word Europe has become synonymous with France.
Referring to Obama's high-spend plans to lift his country out of recession, Topolanek said: "The United States did not take the right path. All of these steps, these combinations and permanency is the way to hell. We need to read the history books and the lessons of history and the biggest success of the [EU] is the refusal to go this way".
The US plans to pump $1trillion into its financial system by buying up treasury assets and mortgage securities, along with a $787bn economic stimulus package of tax rebates, health and welfare benefits. But many EU leaders have urged member states to exercise fiscal restraint on government spending, rejecting calls from the US for more stimulus deals.
Budget restraint and stiffer banking regulations appear to have sheltered Canada from the first, worst effects of the current mess. Obama, by contrast, seems determined to reward failure.
The first rule of censorship is that you cannot talk about censorship
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is now threatening $11,000 dollar a day fines for linking to sites on its internet blacklist. So much for my escape-to-Australia plan.
The Australian communications regulator says it will fine people who hyperlink to sites on its blacklist, which has been further expanded to include several pages on the anonymous whistleblower site Wikileaks. Wikileaks was added to the blacklist for publishing a leaked document containing Denmark's list of banned websites.
The move by the Australian Communications and Media Authority comes after it threatened the host of online broadband discussion forum Whirlpool last week with a $11,000-a-day fine over a link published in its forum to another page blacklisted by ACMA - an anti-abortion website.
The new Star Trek trailer includes at least one spoiler; an irritating, gratuitous addition to the back story of two of the main characters. I would like to say it is sufficiently irritating for me to give the film a pass but - let's face facts - I am going to see it anyway.
And the thing is set to premiere in Sydney, Australia, for no apparent reason.
The Australian premiere has disappointed Trekkies in the town of Vulcan in Alberta, Canada. Leonard Nimoy, 77, who first portrayed the Vulcan Mr. Spock, had joined a campaign for the movie premiere to be held in the small farming town. But the campaign proved unsuccessful, partly because the town has no cinema.
Someone get the Alberta Human Rights Commission on the phone.
The cynical among you may think posting a suggestive image of Grace Park is a shameless bid for traffic. And you would be right. I can only imagine the raised eyebrows as I link to yet more cheesecake photos of scifi babes; take this generous collection of Battlestar Galactica actresses, for example.
Sixty thousand staff working in UK transportation, shopping centres and public buildings are to be trained as amateur terrorist-watchers.
There are fears they will swamp the police and security services with spurious alerts or single out law-abiding British Muslims, which could also inflame religious tensions.
Also inflaming religious tensions, British Muslims massacring their fellow citizens at home and Her Majesty's armed forces abroad.
Not that I am in favour of the scheme. Until recently, we used to call armed, vigilant citizens "the general public". These days you can be entrusted with the responsibility to report on your neighbours to Big Brother but heaven forbid you should be entrusted with a firearm to protect yourself from them (your neighbours or Her Majesty's government).
When you can no longer write the words you want to write, play the music you want to play, wear the clothes you want to wear, learn the things you want to learn or love the people you want to love then yes the jihadis have already won. That is not only their plan; that is the entirety of their religion. To take all the small pleasures in life and replace them with slavery and rape both here and in the hereafter.
That goes double for playing the games you want to play. Take cricket, for example. Such is the new normal.
England and South Africa have emerged as the front-runners to host the second season of the Indian Premier League after the BCCI decided to shift the tournament out of India. The decision followed days of inconclusive negotiations with the Indian home ministry and various state governments over the security arrangements for the 45-day tournament which clashed with the forthcoming general elections in India.
Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, said the tournament had been relocated "because of the extraordinary situation existing this year."
This is a shameful decision; a sickening decision. There is a difference between foregoing small pleasures in favour of a productive self-discipline and foregoing small pleasures out of cowardice or indifference. When we have decided nothing whatsoever - not even our freedom - is worth the fight we will almost be right; not about small pleasures but about ourselves. We will have proven we are not worth fighting for.
There is an exception to this rule: We may sometimes have to forego our small pleasures due to the exigencies of war. Fair enough. But by all means then let us make war.
George Galloway has not been denied entry to Canada for fear of what he might say. George Galloway has been denied entry to Canada in accordance with the law, viz Section 34(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which bans those who provide material support for terrorist groups.
I would prefer Galloway was arrested at the airport and tried for crimes against civilization but I will take what I can get. My heart pumps purple piss for his freedom of speech. His freedom of speech is not at issue.
Well, it's dumb and they play it for absurdity laughs, but two of the points are irrefutable
1) Canada wouldn't be able to routinely underfund its military if it weren't so very close to the heart of the American security umbrella; and
2) It's ridiculous that the CF can barely keep its critical trades recruiting and logistics act together long enough to wage war for a decade.
This is, after all,. the second time we have taken an "operational pause" in the past six years. Meanwhile USN and USAF have been flying and fighting in the Gulf since 1991, no operational pause. Of course they are also suffering from a lot of airframe aging, so maybe they should have.
Given my build up to Zack Snyder's film adaptation of Watchmen, Flea-readers might be forgiven for wondering why I have taken this long to comment on success or failure of the project. I think he did a brilliant job, actually, and Snyder's ending - while not canonical and therefore abomination - is actually a more elegant solution to the plot than Moore's own. There is a limit to what any adaptation can accomplish and I believe it is a mistake to nitpick oneself out of enjoying the thing. Not a gripping critique, I realize, and one reason I have taken so long to offer it. But there is a bigger problem.
I am a great admirer of Alan Moore, obviously. Not only for his work as a transformational comics writer but also as an interpreter and popularizer of the work of Aleister Crowley. That said, Moore falls into the same trap as many - perhaps most - intellectuals: simple-minded anti-imperialism coupled with cultural condescension toward the United States.
These views can be as simplistic and ugly as Moore's wrong-headed, crude assessment of American values by way of comment on the American comics industry or they can take a subtler form. Take Moore's appearance on Flea-fav Prisoners of Gravity. Ruminating on Watchmen, Moore poses an hypothetical about how the public would really react to the presence of heroes among them. Would they be grateful for their saviours or would they fear and resent them?
Ask yourself how the free people of the West think about the American military that shields them - particularly since the barbarism of 9/11 - and the question answers itself. It is a shame Moore's attitude reflects the fear and resentment he warned against decades ago. Given the fate of comic book writers in the Dark Ages barbarism on offer as an alternative to what we have got, Moore's anti-Americanism creates an unfortunate subtext to all his work.
Not so for Zack Snyder's Watchmen (small spoiler here). The twin towers of the WTC still dominate New York's skyline in Moore's alternative 1980s. They are not an accident. They are a visual counter-argument to lazy criticism of American civilization; a visual rebuke of the idea it is the best of all possible worlds or nothing.
"This is a huge year for Wolverine as he proves why he's arguably one of the most popular characters in the world," explained Joe Quesada, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief. "He's not just popular with fans but also with artists, as evidenced by how many of today's top comic artists jockey for a chance to draw him. This got us thinking: what if Wolverine had been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years? What great, classic artists would want a crack at drawing a Wolverine cover?"
Vincent van Gogh, C.M. Coolidge, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Rene Magritte and Edward Gorey takes may be found here. I quite like Salvador Dali's effort pictured above.
In an attempt to work out how many editions of The King in Yellow are to be found between the 1895 first edition and my copy published in 1902, I stumbled across a controversy as to quite which edition is the first (I gather there were three 1895 printings). There is a strong case to be made for the Salamander edition, apparently.
There are those who feel that the Neely's Prismatic Library was the first edition (Salamander) and others who feel that the similar edition with the butterfly on the back is the actual first edition.
What is probably the most compelling evidence for which is which is the change in text between the two versions. This text change makes the Salamander version stand alone from the Butterfly version despite the fact that the Butterfly version has thicker, better paper and the feel of a cut paper edition.
Follow the link for details. More about my 1902 edition once I have sorted out the identity of its original owner to my satisfaction...
Viking longboats were so effective, so quick, there was nothing a crew could do to prevent them from coming aboard. So let them.
If it was impossible to prevent the Vikings from boarding, why not build ships where the crew could fight them after the pirates were on deck? This simple concept led to a ship known as the Cog, or cog-built ships.
Ironically, the general design was adapted from the Vikings own merchant vessels, but there were two changes that proved to make all the difference. The European ship builders constructed little wooden forts in the front and rear of the ship. They called these wooden castles the "stern castle" for the one in back, and the "forward castle", or "fo'c'sle". Quaint names that echo with past blood and terror.
The idea was to let the Vikings come aboard if they so chose, while the crew retreated to their forts. The pirates would be out in the open, vulnerable to any sort of attack, while the crew fought from relative safety.
Study on a Possible Israeli Strike on Iran's Nuclear Development Facilities
Some bright sparks have belatedly, almost noticed Israel is entirely capable of addressing Iran's nuclear ambitions. What the think-tank boys can't tell us is if Israel - and by extension, the West - is still interested in defending itself from physical annihilation.
Israel is widely assumed to have Jericho missiles capable of hitting Iran with an accuracy of a few dozen metres (yards) from target. Such a capability would be free of warplanes' main drawbacks -- limits on fuel and ordnance, and perils to pilots.
Extrapolating from analyst assessments that the most advanced Jerichos carry 750 kg (1,650 lb) conventional warheads, Abdullah Toukan of the Center for Strategic and International Studies said 42 missiles would be enough to "severely damage or demolish" Iran's core nuclear sites at Natanz, Esfahan and Arak.
And a small note to the propagandists at Reuters: There is an excellent reason Israel's strategic air bases are located near population centres. It is the same reason Israel's remote trackless wastes are located near population centres.
"Iran is a test case for this new philosophy of the right to civil nuclear power with sanctions for rule breakers," Brown said, adding it had "the same absolute right to a peaceful civil nuclear programme as any other country. "Indeed the UK and the international community stand ready to help Iran achieve it."
So... if I cannot build an atomic weapons industrial base in my backyard, I can take my grudge to the nearest human rights commission.
French Defence Minister* Herve Morin claims an August presidential election in Afghanistan could be just the ticket for opening "dialogue" with "moderate elements" within the Taliban.
“We have to talk to those who want to talk,” Morin said. “Within the Taliban, there are those who are on Jihad, who are in a war against the West ... there are also students who want the strict application of Sharia law.”
Herve Morin, you ignorant slut, jihad is the strict application of sharia law.
Mayan carvings of cosmic monsters, hidden in the jungle for 2,000 years
Mud People. Wood People. Then the gods made Flesh People and you know the rest. Or at least so much as can be contained in a gelatinous colloidal suspension, garnered by a limited meat-based sensory apparatus and synthesized by an ideology of children's fairy tales laughingly dressed up as science.
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."
The people cede their power to Leviathan only so long as Leviathan wants the job. When Leviathan sleeps our default setting is a war of all against all.
Many Israelis who have lost loved ones to terrorist attacks have protested the government's plan to release terrorists who have murdered in exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. On Monday, brothers Meir and Shvuel Schijveschuuder issued an ultimatum: If the terrorists are freed, bereaved families will take the law into their own hands and kill the terrorists in revenge.
Meir and Shvuel made it clear that they would go after all released killers, and not only those who attacked their family. “The plan is to reach each and every one who has Jewish blood on his hands and to give them a field trial – the meaning should be clear,” Shvuel said.
Third-placed Alyona Kirsanova, 22, posted photos of herself in a black bikini against a backdrop of giant cooling towers. The women, dubbed “Russia’s nuclear bombshells”, were competing for the prize of an all-expenses-paid holiday in Cuba. The winner was Ekaterina Bulgakova, 25.
Next up for historical revisionism: rehabilitating the Vikings. Dr Maire Ni Mhaonaigh, whose name appears to be a silly leftist contrivance on the part of someone who pretends to ethnicity (hey doctor, the alphabet called, you forgot your "u"), believes Britain has much to learn from the Viking example of positive immigration. Her colleague, Dr "Fiona" "Edmunds", believes we are naive for assuming a "simple opposition" between "Vikings" and "natives".
Most probably because her home has not been "burned to the ground" and her family "raped" and "enslaved". An honorary Viking comments.
You also don’t divide a country into two parts if the two cultures get on together. This happened in England, with the country being divided by a line drawn along Watling Street, the old Roman road stretching in a straight line from London to Angelsey in Wales. North of Watling Street was called the Danelaw.
If you have a separate law for any part of your country, you have in fact divided it up into two countries. A good present-day example of this is of course Cyprus, and we all know how well the Greeks and Turks get on together. You can imagine what will happen when Sharia law rules the roost in certain areas of our cities.
Well meaning Irish academics are urged to move to Luton. But if they are named Maire or Fiona they might be prudent to dress modestly.
Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism.
Clay Shirky addresses all too thinkable technological change as newspapers meet the internet and go splat. The underlying logic of the problem - or rather, the underlying logic of denying the problem - is applicable to so much more than paper and ink.
Revolutions create a curious inversion of perception. In ordinary times, people who do no more than describe the world around them are seen as pragmatists, while those who imagine fabulous alternative futures are viewed as radicals. The last couple of decades haven’t been ordinary, however. Inside the papers, the pragmatists were the ones simply looking out the window and noticing that the real world was increasingly resembling the unthinkable scenario. These people were treated as if they were barking mad. Meanwhile the people spinning visions of popular walled gardens and enthusiastic micropayment adoption, visions unsupported by reality, were regarded not as charlatans but saviors.
When reality is labeled unthinkable, it creates a kind of sickness in an industry.
Substitute "country" for "industry" and you have Canada's body politic. And much of the West, for that matter.
It is not only the Swat Valley that has been conceded to the Taliban. For many in the West, there is nothing to surrender - no patriotism, no pride, no history, no civilization - so why not get it over with. The nullity they have made of modern life makes the prospect of a new Dark Age appealing to them.
As to their sisters and wives and daughters - let alone their daughters' daughters - to hell with them. Such is the selfish logic of a suicide.
In Italy, three members of a Brescia-based Maghrebi family (father, mother and eldest son) were accused of beating and sequestering their daughter/sister Fatima because she had wanted to live a "Western" life.
In the first trial, the three were sentenced for sequestration and abuse. The court acknowledged that the teenager had been "brutally beaten up" for having "dated" a non-Muslim and, in general, for "living a life not conforming with the culture" of her family. But on appeal, the family was acquitted because the court deemed that the young woman had been beaten for "her own good."
As to what possesses The Jerusalem Post to spell sharia, "shari'a" is anyone's guess. It is a dangerous precedent. In Canada, we surrendered our apostrophes to the French and look at the state we are in now.
His employers say he has passed all criminal record and security checks and works only parttime and during peak periods, when the airport is busiest. So that's all right, then. Best to avoid Luton at Bank Holidays and half-term, though, just to be on the safe side.
Airport officials insist: 'He would be in a supervised environment at all times.'
Somehow, I doubt that's the kind of 'supervised environment' most of us would like to see him in. That would involve orange jumpsuits, armed guards, razor-wire and large dogs.
Morena Baccarin is set to play a lead in ABC's reboot of V.
V is a re-imagining of the 1980s miniseries about an invasion of aliens known as Visitors and the resistance against them. Baccarin will play Anna, the leader of the Visitors who is remarkably knowledgeable about human culture and media manipulation.
I am still expecting a) to be told Earth deserves to be conquered and her water plundered by aliens due to "our" (by which we are all meant to understand "their", i.e. "neoconservative") human plundering of Earth's natural resources, b) ham fisted comparisons of the occupation of Earth with the occupation of Iraq (e.g. Baccarin telling us we are either with the Visitors or against them), c) overt apologetics for Nazism and jihadism (expect the human resistance to deploy suicide bombing as a tactic by episode three at the latest), or d) some combination of the above and fresh abominations I have yet to conceptualize.
Japan joins a growing international fleet of the clueless off the coast of Somalia. The mission: anti-piracy. Which I gather has something to do with providing pirates with directions back to their home ports.
The two destroyers are due to set sail Saturday for the Gulf of Aden from a western Japanese port, the defence ministry said. The ships are expected to arrive in waters near the Suez canal in about three weeks.
I will trade you one flotilla from any navy of the 1920s - armed with 1920s technology - for the entire United Nations task force. This is not an engineering problem. Our grandfathers knew how to deal with pirates.
Let's say you're a defense-company marketing executive. And you want to make a splash at the Indian defense ministry's annual air show. Do you: (a) buy expensive gifts for New Delhi's generals; (b) treat the press to Kingfishers and samosas; (c) produce a Bollywood-esque video featuring bare-midriff girls, flower-draped missiles, and the catch phrase "dinga dinga dee?"
Nelson: “Order the signal, Hardy.”
Hardy: “Aye, aye sir.”
Nelson: “Hold on, that’s not what I dictated to Flags. What’s the meaning of this?”
Hardy: “Sorry sir?”
Nelson (reading aloud): “‘England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.’ - What gobbledegook is this?”
Hardy: “Admiralty policy, I’m afraid, sir. We’re an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil’s own job getting ‘England’ past the censors, lest it be considered racist.”
SF Gospel argues there are at least four Alan Moore stories slightly more deserving of praise than Watchmen. The best argument is for "Watchmaker", i.e. Watchmen issue #4.
If I have one complaint about Watchmen, it's this: it doesn't live up to the promise of this, its single best chapter and possibly the best single issue of a comic ever created. The rhythm of Dr. Manhattan's melancholy origin story is simply perfect, and in his time-detached reminiscences we get a glimpse inside the mind of a god. Here is a part that's greater than its sum.
Robert Kaplan has a go at Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat and the "brightest star" in the BJP. For all I know, Modi may be completely reprehensible but with Kaplan keeping The Atlantic's Sullivanesque editorial line in mind this is not the article to convince me. For example, Kaplan makes a couple drive by comparisons of Modi with Adolph Hitler only to half-heartedly dismiss them. This is not just a problem for Godwin's Law; it is Sartrian "bad faith" passing for journalism.
There is a recurring trope - one I had thought dead - in Kaplan's argument. It is difficult to say if his assessment of Gujarat or the legacy of the Mahatma beats the equivalent Wikipedia entries (though once suspects their content to be eerily similar) but one gem of socialist editorializing stands out.
But the spirit of India has undergone an uneasy shift in this new era of rampant capitalism and of deadly ethnic and religious tensions, which arise partly as violent reactions against exactly the social homogenization that globalization engenders.
It gets worse. This is the Kipling of today's United States military? Kaplan forgot to throw in global warming/"it's all about oil"/some such other canard. Though I suppose what was published was already more than enough apologetics for one subordinate clause. In Obama's America, we are back to "globalization" as the pre-9/11 intellectual grievance of choice. Inshallah.
In summary: reading is more trouble than it's worth, and lying about reading is even more pointless. Far better to glance at the cover and skip to the end every time. In fact, if you'd done that with this article, you could've got on with your day a bit quicker without listening to me burble on. Sorry about that. Now go away.
Muslims in England hurling abuse at Her Majesty's forces returned "home" from the battlefield. Blood pressure warning upon reading, indeed.
Waving placards with slogans saying: 'Anglian soldiers: Butchers of Basra,' and 'Anglian soldiers: cowards, killers, extremists,' and 'baby killers,' they were hemmed in by police as the parade passed. The protesters were then given a police escort after angry supporters of the soldiers - known as The Poachers - turned on them, shouting 'scum' and 'no surrender to the Taliban.' In the disturbance that followed two people were arrested - but neither of them was a protester who had harangued the troops.
It's a long article and it only gets worse, except for the part where someone threw bacon on the Muslim protesters, that was pretty cool. In a just world those 'protesters' would have their immigration status checked and anyone not a subject of Her Britannic Majesty would be returned post haste to whatever particular hell hole they were spawned in. Alas, it's not a just world and this type of shit is all the evidence we need to be reminded of that.
Williamson said police studies of TV surveillance footage had documented how two masked Real IRA men armed with assault rifles waited in bushes across the road as off-duty, unarmed soldiers walked out of their fort to collect pizzas from two Domino's Pizza couriers. He said the attackers fired more than 60 bullets in about 30 seconds, closing quickly on foot to fire rounds point-blank at the prone victims.
In its statement of responsibility the Real IRA said it deliberately shot the Domino's workers because they were British "collaborators" providing food to the enemy.
You seem to be unclear on the concept of 'debate'. The idea, since around the time of, oh say, Aristotle, it to derive truth. I do not believe the point of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, for example, was to 'foster more bipartisanship.
Step 1 - Acquire Star Trek cologne.
Step 2 - Vaseline on the camera lens.
Step 3 - ???
Step 4 - Profit!
Genki Wear, known for its licensed science fiction jewelry and perfumes, has produced what might be the most unusual Star Trek product ever: Star Trek colognes and perfume based on the original 1960s television show. ...
There are three fragrances planned for 2009 with the monikers "Tiberius" "Red Shirt" and "Ponn Farr."
It is part of my culture to laugh at people with silly beards
A Muslim police officer claims he was forced out of his job by colleagues who made fun of his beard. Trust me, you need to see the beard. In my humble opinion, he should sue his barber; the police were trying to do him a favour.
And there are some small details he might have forgot to mention to the tribunal.
Mr Iqbal had only recently returned to work after a nine month leave of absence on full pay owing to depression when he was sacked for poor performance in August last year. He says he was the victim of untrue allegations, such as failing to report a rape claim. He insists the woman complained only of harassment at the time.
Neat trick that: Nine months on full pay and a return to work after you have been fired.
As to the woman, British law requires four adult male Muslim witnesses for a rape allegation to stick. The temptress should consider herself lucky she is not up on charges for shaming her family.
The interception took place at an altitude of 80 km over the Bay of Bengal. The Dhanush missile was destroyed in its path in both a direct-hit and detonation of the warhead of the interceptor, which is an advanced Prithvi missile.
Dhanush was simulating the trajectory of ballistic missiles with a range of 1,500 km, similar to Pakistan’s Ghauri.
Remember: "Scientific consensus" once sneered at and dismissed ballistic missile defence as an impossible Star Wars fantasy. Not that the Empire were experts on the subject either, but something to keep in mind the next time some neo-pagan half-wit tells you global warming climate change is settled science.
Iain Martin is unhappy at the reception of Britain's Prime Minister at the Obama White House. The resulting post is a breath of fresh air. Or at least a first whining puff as a continent wide gas bag of false expectations starts to deflate over Europe.
The comments are amusing. I post a representative example here for your edification.
Iain understands the Obamas perfectly. It would probably be difficult for those outside of the US to recognize how rapidly the Obamas, and the money behind them, are dismantling the American dream, but, the world should be on notice. The Obamas are nothing more than a couple of chip-on-their-shoulder-limousine-liberals who coasted through the US affirmative action policies, attaining education and jobs out of reach for most US citizens, only now living out their fantasies to co-opt the true suffering of the black men and women they had only read about.
We are being forced to live out the fantasies they had mused upon the steps of Princeton and Harvard, that perhaps they had walked arm and arm with the real men and women who brought racial equality to America. This couple, their handlers and their lackeys are a juggernaut of adolescent and theoretical policies squarely focused on a misguided pursuit of reparations for crimes never committed against them. They are dangerous people not just for the US, but, any country that may need our support.
God help us all and pray that America rids itself of them in the 2012 election.
The USN is selling Sea Shadow and its floating dock. One caveat: A marine museum is "a bloodthirsty, paperwork ridden, permit-infested, money-sucking hole..."
It's big, black and looks like a cross between a Stealth fighter and a Batmobile. It was made to escape detection on the open sea. The other is known as the Hughes (as in Howard Hughes) Mining Barge. It looks like a floating field house, with an arching roof and a door that is 76 feet wide and 72 feet high. Sea Shadow berths inside the barge, which keeps it safely hidden from spy satellites.
The barge, by the way, is the only fully submersible dry dock ever built, making it very handy -- as it was 35 years ago -- for trying to raise a sunken nuclear-armed Soviet submarine.
Quite a bit more there about the barge than the Batmobile which is probably as it should be.
NASA wants your opinion in naming the International Space Station’s Node 3 – a connecting module and its cupola – before the two segments travel to space and are installed on the orbiting laboratory. The name should reflect the spirit of exploration and cooperation embodied by the space station, and follow in the tradition set by Node 1- Unity- and Node 2- Harmony.
The Five Principal Exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration
Re-reading of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire*, I found myself considering that classic fan question: If wizards can use magic, how is it the Weasley's are poor? Megan McArdle hits most of the obvious economic highlights/plotholes of the J.K. Rowlings' oeuvre, dismisses the "I am expecting too much from a children's book" defence (quite right, too) and throws in some class war smears for good measure.
McArdle is not alone. Ilias Yocaris has considered the anarcho-capitalism of the wizarding world; worth the read a self-parodying Le Monde editorial. Daniel Levy and Avichai Snir, by contrast, have put together a less than edifying sounding round up of the political economy of Harry Potter (perhaps the full text of "Popular Perceptions and Political Economy in the Contrived World of Harry Potter " is a better read).
An intractable problem? Far from it. Rowling, perhaps conscious of fan concerns, provides an answer. Stephen Morris explains in reply to a discussion of Harry Potter and monetary policy**.
In her article, Ms McArdle asked a question that has puzzled many of us: "Why are the Weasleys poor?" Well, now we know. It's because of the five Principal Exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration. In addition, some of the other apparently irrational behaviour that upset Ms McArdle has become more explicable now we know the real motivations of the actors. We can't blame Ms McArdle for not knowing all this. After all, the five Principal Exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration weren't revealed (or invented?) until the final book. However, it does serve to illustrate the danger of believing that our set of assumptions is complete. It is sometimes said that, if someone from medieval times were to suddenly find themselves in the modern world, it would appear to them to be magical. Looking at our electric lighting and heating, our medieval time traveller might be tempted to ask the question: "Why is anyone in this magical world cold or sitting in the dark?" Once again, our medieval friend's assumption set is not complete. He or she would not know about the Law of Conservation of Energy, that the magical electricity must be transformed from other kinds of energy.
Sea trials for the INS Shivalik, India's new stealth warship*, have been delayed by up to three months as the Obama administration sorts out who its friends are. General Electric has been ordered to halt work on the gas turbines Shivalik needs for a quick turn of speed.
Vice Admiral HS Malhi (Retired), chairman and managing director of Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), which built the Shivalik, has confirmed to Business Standard that GE has received instructions to stop operationalising (making ready for operations) the two new LM 2500 gas turbines that it supplied for the Shivalik. GE has told MDL that there could be up to three months delay, while the new US administration reviews its military relations with several countries. India is not alone in facing this ban; GE has been told to stop work even with close US allies like the UK and Australia.
"There's just something incredibly creepy about it," Proyas said. "Look, I think the whole concept in the story is this parallel universe that exists on the other side of a mirror. I think that's really quite fascinating. I know there have been quite a few stories done about that and a lot of films done with that concept, but it's something that I'm really excited to explore, just this universe that exists in the looking glass."
Confronted with medievalism, Toronto police - as usual - choose to do nothing. Allegedly.
Tonight at the U of T [Israeli Apartheid Week] event, two Jewish students were assaulted by the Palestinian “Security” team for being “disruptive” (asking a legitimate question “does Israel have a right to exist”) The Palestinian “security” smacked a student in the head and grabbed him by his neck, while another “security” officer told a second Jewish student to “Shut the F**ck up or he’ll saw his head off”…All of this was done in a crowded lecture room with over 100 witnesses!!
I was there, there are no pictures, filming and taking pictures was prohibited (they seem to have a problem with the general public hearing what they say) it was reported to the police who chose (as usual) to do NOTHING…
One unanticipated (to me, at least) benefit of the election of the new President is watching the first of many nations delirious with support for Barack Obama thrown under the bus as it suits the man's purposes. Take the UK, for example. After Obama rolled out the less than welcome mat for the Queen's first minister of oh-God-don't-sit-me-next-to-him, at least one Telegraph columnist has had enough.
We get the point, sunshine: we're just one of many allies and you want fancy new friends. Well, the next time you need something doing, something which impinges on your national security, then try calling the French, or the Japanese, or best of all the Germans. The French will be able to offer you first rate support from their catering corps but beyond that you'll be on your own.
That was some short honeymoon. My heart pumps purple piss at the thought of the Obama administration; so little time in office, so quick to squander the goodwill of the French. I mean the English. As-Salam Alaikum.
This exclusive full interview with real life Lara Croft - 23-year-old gymnast Alison Carroll - is strangely mesmerizing. I notice the channel is advertising "How To Talk To Women" alongside Tomb Raider: Underworld.
Now composing my own note: "Dear Alison, The name is 'Lara' not 'Laura'. Best, The Flea".
Remember these words if asked: Alison Carroll makes a great Lara Croft because of her "gutsy attitude". Both of them. And she has "SAS training", apparently.
The following is presented for the edification of Flea readers - and stray Jawas - concerned by potential costume and equipment inaccuracies.
The question of whether a Muslim woman can wear a niqab -- a veil that shows only her eyes -- while testifying against men accused of sexually assaulting her will be heard next week. The woman was ordered to testify by Justice Norris Weisman at a preliminary hearing last fall to ensure the defendants could face their accuser in court.
She removed her veil to get a drivers license. She can remove her veil in court.