Sunday, January 25, 2009


Noah, with a little help from mom, celebrated with the rest of the world at the inauguration of Barack Obama. As you can see, he is very excited...he never thought he'd live to see the day a black man was elected president.

Though Noah admits he, like the rest of us, was caught up in the raw emotion of the event. He's still a little skeptical about whether Obama can translate his souring rhetoric into real, tangible policy changes.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Deja vu

Let's sketch an outline:

Country A, a rich nation, keeps on getting hassled by Country B, a poorer, smaller nation. Some wouldn't call B a nation. B has had a long history of aggression against A, and vice-versa. After a while, in the name of 'security' for its citizens, Country A invades B, causing many casualties we can watch on the news and You-Tube. After a while the violence stops, aid comes in, and people forget about the whole incident.

That's the basic outline of both the Russian-Georgian, and Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There were a few notable differences, one (R-G) involved the invasion of a semi-autonomous state (Ossetia) by two countries, one to take it back and the other to supposedly stop 'ethnic-cleansing', as many of its citizens were pro-Russian. The other was to cease rocket fire into their country.

Despite how similar these conflicts might be, our nation decides to side differently in each case. The lowly small country Georgia, and the rich invading country Israel. Why? This makes no sense to me.

How do we, as a nation, so easily come to the conclusion who is justified and right in their actions? I can't. I honestly don't know what to believe anymore. We're supposedly in the 'information age', but most of the crap on the internet is light years away from true, honest, information. Pictures are photo-shopped, wikipedia gets edited, casualties are made up. I dare you to try any objective research...what you get is plenty of stories...a Palestinian Dr. who lost his three girls, kids getting shot in the head, schools getting bombed.

But the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'.

I'm not so jaded and cynical that I distrust all media. A good website that sources their data is It hasn't been updated in a while.


This video was #1 on digg yesterday:

I can't believe this. Mr. Waggle-arms and bloviate didn't have any clue about the history of this conflict, then gets all hyped up over something HE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN at the outset. This is what passes for the freaking news?

Israel raided Hamas fighters in November (link), and more importantly never got rid of the blockade (link)...but Hamas never stopped firing rockets into Israel (link). All of those were part of the cease-fire agreement. As cliched as it sounds, neither side is without sin. What's frustrating is that both the MSM, and the internet counter-culture (digg, youtube) both paint their side as justified, and the other as evil and misinforming.

What's undeniable is that Hamas are a bunch of thugs, and millions of Palestinians are suffering, and have been for over a year.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Good stuff found in 2008

Bye-bye 2008. I'm kinda sad to see it go. Not only does it mean yet another year, but actually, I really enjoyed '08. Delpcon, Backbone/tornado trip, flood, Noah.

Some quick 'cultural' goodies I found interesting this past year:

In music, it seemed to me that there was a lot of high quality musicianship again after five years of lo-fi bands like Moldy Peaches, Kimya Dawson, Tapes n' Tapes etc. having a monopoly in my headphones. Peltgrande has an excellent post pointing out some really good ones. Here are a couple I liked that weren't listed in his blog:

This is a Fleet Foxes cover from a duo who appear to have time-traveled straight out of 1975.

This song started my new addiction to synth music and incomprehensible lyrics.

Although I can't (or don't) read like I used to, I still find it fun. Two years ago I set a goal to read through the "Top 100" Science Fiction stories. I've completed almost 30% of them, and have a long way to go. This year I got Hyperion at the used book store.This book is great. Much like Dune, it drops you in the middle of a universe and doesn't hold your hand trying to describe every little detail of culture, technology, or politics right away (I'm still not 100% sure what the 'Hegemony' is). Because of that you can delve into a great story that much quicker. Plus, this author seems to have researched everything. Poetry plays a huge part, as does CSI and family.

Only 14 more days till BSG!