Category Archives: News

Dawn among the ruins

At first glance it almost seems like an ash-covered survivor is surveying the ruins of her home. Then you realize it’s a silly statue put up by some bourgeois dumbass who decided to buy an expensive house in an area where forest fires are common. Still, it’s an interesting photo. The top half is very picturesque, with light streaming among the barren trunks of trees. It could almost be a winterscape. The bottom half of the photo shows a lot of crap the humans brought up.

By the way, if you don’t know much about the fires beyond the fact that they’ve been out there, you might want to check in on the LA Times. They’ll tell you everything you want to know about where and how they started, where they’re burning now, and how the prospects for control look. They’ve also got some amazing photos, satellite shots, videos, and all sorts of other things, including a link to So far this looks like a nicer traffic map than TANN’s.


Howard Kurtz does a run down (“A Blogger’s Apology“) of the controversy surrounding Gregg Easterbrook’s blog about Kill Bill. Easterbrook hates the violence in the movie and thinks Tarantino is a hack. Fine. Then he says this:

Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney’s CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence.

Sounds pretty bad, right? It’s almost as though he’s setting up Jews as being particularly greedy, even more so than their Gentile counterparts.

Was there outrage? Lots of it. And he got fired from his ESPN job (ESPN is owned by Disney).

But finish the paragraph before firing off your angry email:

Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice. But history is hardly the only concern. Films made in Hollywood are now shown all over the world, to audiences that may not understand the dialogue or even look at the subtitles, but can’t possibly miss the message–now Disney’s message–that hearing the screams of the innocent is a really fun way to express yourself.

So what he’s saying is that just because the others do it, doesn’t make it right for a group, particularly when that group should be particularly sensitive to a particular issue. By the same logic, blacks shouldn’t make movies that glorify violence just because white people do, too.

Okay. Let’s get back to the issue at hand.

So let’s first admit that this anti-“violence in the media” rant is really tired (I mean, that’s why we chose not to give Tipper Gore or Joe Lieberman a bigger soapbox for their anti-Hollywood crusade, right?)–not to mention unsupported by research–and Easterbrook’s prescription for what cultural/religious/ethnic groups should or should not do is really pretty stupid… but the basic question is, was his statement a sign of antipathy toward Jews?


But if any of my Jewish friends care to comment, you know where to send the email.

Right to an Attorney Comes at a Price

Right to an Attorney Comes at a Price (

Can I have the right not to have an attorney in my residence? I guess I’ll have to consult the attorney.

…a new Minnesota law that requires poor people to pay as much as $200 for this privilege is under attack by public defenders and some judges, who contend that it undermines the 40-year-old legal tenet established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Gideon v. Wainwright.

Minnesota is one of a growing number of states facing enormous budget deficits that are beginning to charge indigents for their constitutional right to legal representation.

And I thought the administration’s economic policies and attack of civil liberties were two separate things. Okay, maybe I’m stretching here, but it’s still a terrible thing.

China Sends Man Into Orbit, Entering U.S.-Russian Club

China Sends Man Into Orbit, Entering U.S.-Russian Club

BEIJING, Wednesday, Oct. 15 – The Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou 5 blasted off from the Gobi Desert on Wednesday carrying a single astronaut. The launching left government leaders jubilant yet also anxiously awaiting his safe return so China can stake its claim as one of the world’s elite space-faring nations.

The launching took place about 9 a.m., according to the state-run television network, CCTV. At about 9:30, the network showed a videotape of the rocket soaring to the heavens.

The Shenzhou 5, or Divine Vessel, is expected to orbit Earth 14 times before returning after a voyage of roughly 21 hours.

If successful, the mission would make China the third nation to send a man into space, coming more than four decades after the Soviet Union and the United States accomplished the feat at the height of the cold war.