Friday, April 27, 2007

$100 laptop adds Windows; now $175

Well what'd you expect from the brother of a war criminal?

...folks are already selling very decent refurbished laptops for $400. Right now.

This price increase to earn Microsoft more profits while at the same time protecting Microsoft from Linux is a massive scam - a massive fraud committed against all the people who have been pushing for this project to be a success. To have the price of the laptop shoot up 75% is disgusting. Who knows what kinds of things kids around the world would have done with Linux and other operating systems - in particular, the kids in Africa. Now they're going to have Microsoft and its shitty Windows operating system forced upon them just like colonialism has been forced upon them for decades. Can't believe I ever bought into the idea that Nicholas Negroponte would actually attempt to do something decent. No wonder the Media Lab kicked his ass out.

...good for them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dae Han Min Guk!?

So, went to Korea to see some World Cup action in 2002 and did a lot of 'Dae Han Min Guk!' chanting, and it was really fun and exciting. But a new Foreign Policy article has me thinking again. Primarily related to the Virginia Tech massacre, committed by a South Korean citizen, the article touches on Korean nationalism:

South Koreans like to boast that theirs is the world’s most ethnically homogenous country. Fending off invaders for thousands of years—first the Chinese, then the Japanese, and most recently, one another—Koreans have fought hard to defend their distinct identity. The result is a scrappy, sometimes chauvinistic national character that is often shorthanded as han minjok, meaning “one race, one bloodline.”

'Han minjok' seems to be the same thing as 'Han Min Guk' - it's just a variation on the transliteration from the Korean alphabet. The whole 'one race, one bloodline' thing is a bit, uh, what's the word I'm looking for...racist, no? Seems that way to me. And the "world’s most ethnically homogenous country" boast (if true) would fit in well in America, on any of America's right-wing/racist hate speech radio programs/stations.

And it doesn't seem to be the same thing as chanting 'USA! USA!' - as fascist and horrible as that is, too - but at least it's not racist, or not outwardly racist. There's kind of a built-in bigotry that nationalism brings - say, where white American folks chanting 'USA! USA!' think they're inherently better/smarter/stronger/faster/etc than white French folks - but bigotry, while horrible, is not racism. Racism is saying that your race - your bloodline/color/etc - is inherently better than another. This is my dispute with the 'Dae Han Min Guk!' chant.

I don't like thinking I could be in the same company as the Rush Limbaughs of the world.

Am I wrong on this?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Suicidal Tendencies - Send Me Your Money

Atheism is hot these days. Just ask this guy.

I just ran across an old-school Suicidal video that was too good to pass up:

More suicidal here, and here.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stanford Living Wage CommUNITY Day 2007

Let's go:

On April 15th, Stanford will celebrate "Community Day," inviting the broader community to come and witness the variety of organizations, programs and resources that make Stanford the rich and diverse place it is.

At the same time, we will hold "CommUNITY Day" to express that the "Stanford Community" includes the workers!

CommUNITY Day will be an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the role of workers in sustaining and contributing to our community.

CommUNITY Day will also express that Stanford must not just recognize the workers, but respect them. This means following through on its promise to provide a Real Living Wage to all campus workers.

Come join us for games, food and performances that will be fun for the whole family! Bring your community organization or religious congregation!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

America Sucks

Hang around me long enough and you'll hear me express sentiments to this effect. Most people are at least surprised, if not completely taken aback - even people who have traveled. I can't understand how they don't see what I see. Well, Chris Hedges sees what I see:

The Gilead Baptist Church, outside Detroit, is on a four-lane highway called South Telegraph Road. The drive down South Telegraph Road to the church, a warehouse-like structure surrounded by black asphalt parking lots, is a depressing gantlet of boxy, cut-rate motels with names like Melody Lane and Best Value Inn. The highway is flanked by a flat-roofed Walgreens, a Blockbuster, discount liquor stores, a Taco Bell, a McDonald's, a Bob's Big Boy, Sunoco and Citgo gas stations, a Ford dealership, Nails USA, The Dollar Palace, Pro Quick Lube and U-Haul. The tawdry display of cheap consumer goods, emblazoned with neon, lines both sides of the road, a dirty brown strip in the middle. It is a sad reminder that something has gone terribly wrong with America, with its inhuman disregard for beauty and balance, its obsession with speed and utilitarianism, its crass commercialism and its oversized SUVs and trucks and greasy junk food. It is part of our numbing assault against community and connectedness.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Portovert, Pervert, etc.

If you were going to start a new magazine, what would you name it?

How about, something that sounded strikingly similar to the word 'pervert'?

The Boston Marathon is Pathetic

At least, the people who run it are. They couldn't even get it on a national tv station - like ESPN2. I mean, there are how many millions of runners in the U.S.? 10? 20? 40? more?

Even soccer games are televised on tv these days!

The race happens on a Monday morning. Worker bees are dying for an excuse to not start working until Monday afternoon. And The Boston Athletic Association sells the broadcast rights to the marathon to Versus. Seriously - don't ask, because I can't tell.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Josh Wolf is Out!

He had to give up his video, which has nothing on it, but he doesn't have to testify. Glad he's finally out.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Blair uses sailors as bait

Bush needed some pre-summer tension-building from an outside partner - and Blair delivered perfectly - he gave a dozen or so of his troops to Iran:

Iranian state television aired new video Sunday showing two of the 15 captured British sailors pointing to a spot on a map of the Persian Gulf where they were seized and acknowledging it was in Iranian territorial waters.

Britain's Foreign Office immediately denounced the video, saying it was "completely unacceptable for these pictures to be shown on TV."

Bushco will stay cool for the summer, then the propaganda blitz will crank up again in late August, just like how they delivered the Iraq War.

What I'm more curious about, though, is what commander sacrificed his own men 'for the greater good'? Those orders had to come down from on high. Maybe they were typed or written somewhere, but probably not - at least, not explicitly. Still, someone knowingly put those men in a compromised position. Who is the British commanding officer responsible for sending those men into captivity? We deserve a name.

...would like to add that use of the term 'hostage' in referring to those held by Iran is completely illegitimate, unless we also refer to the thousands held by the U.S. in Iraq as hostages. And the folks we got locked up in that other torture haven, Gitmo. And the thousands of Palestinians that Israel has locked up in its torture chambers.

Not to mention - and this is a big one - the U.S. kidnapped an Iranian diplomat. That person is an official member of the Iranian government, and the U.S. kinapped him and had held him hostage for two months already, by the time this new hostage crisis occurred. On the scale of seriousness of breach of international law, if kidnapping an unarmed civilian is a '1', then kidnapping a diplomat is a '10'.

Bush decided to let the diplomat go - Blair had done his duty - we don't need to kick this thing off for another few months. In fact, if it happened too soon, the American public wouldn't buy it. We need a few more months of CNN/Fox/MSNBC/CBS/NBC/NYTimes/USAToday/WaPo/WSJ propaganda to prepare our minds for the next invasion.

...fixed typo.

SFist tries to be relevant

What would possess a website to have a little laugh at the expense of a murdered young woman?

Scandal galore on Houstonist this week: Killer Barbecues Ex-Girlfriend's Remains! Senator Offers Women Cash for Their Babies! Man Fakes Kidnapping To Slip Ball and Chain! Antique sofa miraculously preserved! Hard-Working City Bloggers Get Screaming Drunk!

Is there something funny about a young woman getting strangled, chopped up, and then barbecued?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Gitmo Justice

The Gitmo tribunals are a joke:

The first Gitmo trial has ended, but not before the defendant was stripped of two of his attorneys. Detainee #002 entered a guilty plea and will serve 9 months in an Australian prison. In return, he signed a statement stipulating that he had never been tortured or mistreated by the Americans -- despite previously reporting being beaten and deprived of sleep during his more than five years at the prison. The agreement bars him from suing the U.S. government for alleged abuse, forfeits any right to appeal, and imposes a gag order that prevents him speaking with news media for a year.

And the U.S. government is full of sick, evil bastards.

The Guardian Gets Indignant

And rightfully so:

I share the outrage expressed in the British press over the treatment of our naval personnel accused by Iran of illegally entering their waters. It is a disgrace. We would never dream of treating captives like this - allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has been proven that smoking kills. And as for compelling poor servicewoman Faye Turney to wear a black headscarf, and then allowing the picture to be posted around the world - have the Iranians no concept of civilised behaviour? For God's sake, what's wrong with putting a bag over her head? That's what we do with the Muslims we capture: we put bags over their heads, so it's hard to breathe. Then it's perfectly acceptable to take photographs of them and circulate them to the press because the captives can't be recognised and humiliated in the way these unfortunate British service people are.

Snoop rips O'Lielly