Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hipster Ipod

The Cedrik Series: Al's Picks

Cedrik needs to find music to keep from being bored, so Bob and I are going to post bands and stuff we like.... I like more pussy indie rock crap whereas Bob's likes hardcore thrash metal etc. I hope you enjoy Cedrik!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rebecca Black > gaga, kesha, whatever other crap kids like

Just goes to show that anyone can do what garbage acts like gaga,kesha, and whatever else my step-kid listens too, do. God damn I hate the youth......

-Grumpy Al

Sneak Peek at Nick Fury movie!

I am pretty excited! Though I thought they changed Nick Fury into a black fella?

tom lennon, really?...

so apparently Tom Lennon and Ben Garant wrote the Pacifier and Taxi?! i knew about Night at the Museum and Herbie: Fully Loaded, but c'mon guys... The Machine, starring Vin Diesel? i guess maybe there's a reason that the three funniest members of the State branched off together to form Stella...

apocalyptic disappointment

so the world didn't end today... bummer. i was kind of looking forward to wandering the earth in purgatory for all eternity. at least all the Christians would have been gone...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hama Rules: Shed a Tear for Syria

Spring time for Egypt and Tunisia.... winter for Libya and especially Syria.

The west has come to the aid of the beleaguered and unorganized rebels of Libya who took the example of their east and west neighbors to overthrow their despotic rulers. Tunisia will probably come out ok, and I hope the same goes for Egypt. Libya's, now, civil war seems to be a draw so far, who knows what will become of the old guard there, but Libya is strategically and economically valuable to the west, particularly Europe and even more particularly Italy, so it was no surprise that the EU was going to take the lead in pushing for intervention in favor of the rebels since Gadaffi has always been such a dick.

Syria on the other hand.... well not many (western) nations are very interested in Syria. Syria became an independent country for the first time in its history in 1944, taking advantage of the weak and fascist Vichy government, establishing a republic shortly after the free French and British forces occupied the territory.

The first few decades of Syrian independence would be marred by perpetual political instability and humiliating losses in wars against Israel. In 1970, the Baathist party (not unlike the former Iraq regime) would take power and hold it to this day, first under Hafez Al-Assad and later his son (and current ruler) Bashar Al-Assad.

It is under Bashar that the world got to witness how Syria deals with political dissidents, when in 1982, in response to an ever growing Islamic-fueled insurgency (Sunni majority ruled by Alawite minority), the Baathist crushed the rebels (The Muslim Brotherhood) with such brutality, that in the end the city of Hama (Syrian city and Muslim Brotherhood center of activity) was basically wiped off the map, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 20,000 - 40,000 Syrians, the vast majority of whom were ordinary civilians. Thus we get the term "Hama Rules" which basically means if you rebel against the state, you and everyone around you will be liquidated.

29 years later the Arab Spring began in little Tunisia and spread all throughout the Arab world, meeting with varying degrees of success. But Syria's rebellion has taken a much darker tone than the rest. Syria's government, with its Hama Rules Doctrine, responded just like they were expected to, with raw brute force. As I write this, the death toll is nearing the one thousand mark and the rebellion does not seem to be subsiding any time soon, meaning there will probably be many more deaths before this is over.

There has been no talk of intervention from the western powers and it is doubtful that any is forthcoming for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the fact that Syria has very little oil and therefor is of little concern to the world (unfortunately), though a western intervention would probably turn real ugly and further alienate the west from the ever important Arab world.

My pessimistic guess is that in the end, not much is going to change in Syria unless the Arab world joins the western nations in putting pressure on the Baathist to get the heck out of Syria, or at least chill out. If war crimes were a real thing, than the Baathist of Syria would be seriously pooped, though they might be charged with crimes against humanity or something similar, nothing will ever come of it aside from angry words at the U.N or something like that.

So speaking as an American, I wish Syria luck, since that is the most I can do. I would love to go to Syria someday since it is so rich in history, but, for the most part, Syria is not very welcoming to Americans :(.

Good luck my Syrian friends, I hope all your deaths will not be in vain, and who knows, maybe someday we can be friends, I know you do not like me much, but I still like you.

What planet are you from Mr. President?

Pre-67 borders? The Israelis did not conquer those territories because they were land hungry, they were sick of getting shot at! There are still bullet wholes on buildings facing the old city of Jerusalem when the then Jordanians (pre-67 the West Bank/East Jerusalem was Jordanian territory) would take shots and any unlucky Jew who happened to be walking in site of the old city walls. Did the Jews fire mortars (placed on hospitals/orphanages/schools) ? No. Just as the armies of 3 Arab nations (and their other Arab allies minus Lebanon) were mobilizing and preparing to invade/destroy Israel, the Jews took back the initiative and struck them first in a lightning blitz that was so successful that the war was over in 6 days!

Little tiny Israel managed to completely annihilate the large alliance of Arab states using crappy French arms and now America (President anyway) wants them to hand it back? Is he really that out of touch with reality?

My guess is probably...

I bet not ALL cops are jerks....

84-year-old man allegedly beaten by police officer after calling 911 | The Raw Story

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Electric Cigarette That Saves Money

The Electric Cigarette That Saves Money

Green Smoke Sale!

Say what you will about Nascar but I will take the 12% discount! Green Smoke is by far the most superior e cigeratte currently on the market and I would reccomend it to anyone who wants to make the switch from nasty old timey analog cigerettes for the 21st century e-cig!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Forced Assimilation in inter-war Europe?

But the development of social policy had a darker side as well: safeguarding the “quality” as well as the quantity of the nation’s human stock—as doctors, scientists and policy-makers recommended—implied reducing the dangers to public health. These were not only slums, poverty and malnutrition; they also encompassed the physically and mentally ill, who were shut away, sterilized or even in the extreme case killed for the greater good of society. Juvenile delinquents or the sexually promiscuous were also seen as jeopardizing family stability and public order. And sometimes the threat to the nation was defined even more broadly in terms of an entire class—as in the so-called “social problem group,” which supposedly existed in inter-war Britain—or in terms of race. The Third Reich combined biological anti-Semitism with a highly efficient state apparatus to produce the most modern form of this kind of racial welfare state in Europe.

Mazower, Mark (2009). Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century (pp. 77-78). Vintage. Kindle Edition.

As all the players of the Great War tackled the issue of identity following the mutilation of their old identity before the war, Germany, probably the most profoundly scarred of all the players, expressed its desire to find itself in such a radically higher degree than the others (WW1 alumni).

By the time the Nazis came to power, Germany had convinced itself that it was not the fault of the Germans that they suffered defeat, but of dangerous foreign influences that had permeated into the relatively liberal 2nd Reich. As a consequence of this new understanding of German Nationalism, you start to see insane programs like this (which were not uncommon in other countries, including the USA, but not to such a murderous degree as Nazi Germany).

Some blame Wilson's 14 Points for inspiring these sorts of forced assimilation programs, but I bet Wilson did not mean for such things to occur and was just ignorant of the facts on the ground.

What do you think Cedric?

Monday, May 16, 2011

First day of Prague/Berlin School thingy!

Hurrah! Like 3 weeks of class, 3.5 hours a day, 4 days a week. For today I got to read a brief (and sadly oversimplified) history on world war one and a little excerpt from one of the few non-non fiction books I have read in the past few years, "All's Quiet on the Western Front", so that is all well and good. Especially since I LOVE world war one! LOVE that war! Totally my favorite!

Must be a foreshadowing of the doom and gloom that lay ahead, not a lot happened in Prague, though I guess it is 1918/19 that they first gain independence, though that is only going to last until 1939 sadly.... poor Czechs....

Green Smoke Changed my life and the lives of my loved ones

Geez this ad is a little old....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Battle Dawn aka BD

Battle Dawn is this game I play, it kinda sucks but Ishan and Zerion are playing so I have to play too for some reason.  I think my BD record is something like 1-5.   BD is a pretty crappy game that requires one to be glued to the computer for uncomfortably long amounts of time, i really hope I can get away with not having to be near an internet connection long to pull off my river adventure before June 6th.....       June 6th being the day (or sometime near that date) when i depart for Europe,   while in Europe I doubt i will have much time at all for BD stuff.... but i shall see....   i hope I can keep this up...

The beginning.... (of the end, of all life as we know it)

First post.....    I dedicate this first post to Ishan and Zerion,  my two bestest friends in the whole world.   Tis sad but true....    why sad?   Because they are both just some kids I play some crappy internet game with.   Zerion, The Norwegian, aka Yngve, is kind of a jerk.   Ishan is great!   If I were to end up in India some day, he would totally probably hang ten and maybe skate with me.  But Zerion, not so much.

Fantastic first post.