Friday, April 27, 2007

More LOSTblogging

I used to be an avid fan of the ABC drama LOST. Unfortunately, the show jumped the shark at the end of season two only to rapidly decline in quality over the course of season three. Last wednesday's episode (season three, episode 18) was so lousy that, for the first time ever, I gave up on an episode part-way through. The awful and increasingly cliche features of this episode include
  • Pointless flashbacks: The episode had 20 minutes of Sun-Hwa Kwon's flashbacks just to find out that her husband Jin becoming a gangster was basically her fault.

  • Answers to mysteries that have already been solved: In this episode, we discover from two seperate incidents that the island has mysterious healing properties. Thus, the mystery whose answer was first deduced in the first ten minutes of season one, episode one received yet more overwhelming confirmation.

  • Character damage control: Apparently Juliet went from zero to psycho a little to fast in the previous episode, so in this episode they made a point of bumping up her human-to-lizard ratio a bit. In a rare burst of human empathy, Juliet even demonstrated facial expressions!

  • To be fair, there was one good element in this episode, which was mobster Jin getting in a fight with Mikhail and winning. I was expecting Jin to "pull a Worf" and get completely humiliated by Mikhail, but it never happened.
Of course, the real reason for the general decline of LOST over season three is that the show's producers have been systematically deconstructing the "mythology" of seasons one and two. For example, the Others were invisible butt-kicking forest ninjas in seasons one and two, but over season three they've gradually settled down to become regular, relatively average people who live in nice houses and join book clubs in their spare time. And yet, LOST hasn't hit rock bottom quite yet; we still haven't gotten an episode in which all of the flashbacks are from the polar bear's point of view.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Welcome to Opposite Land.

In Opposite Land, everything is the opposite of reality, so the best way to stabilize Iraq would be to remove our military support:
So we should leave. Soon. Let the Shia and tribal leaders and the Kurds confront al Qaeda. It's about time they did. And they have as good a reason as we do and far better knowledge of the enemy and the terrain. Until they own this war against Islamist terror, it won't be won. And by continuing to stay, we postpone the day when they have to fight for their own country and their own religion - and win the war we cannot win for them.
By this logic, we should be arming al Qaeda against the Iraqi government. How are the Iraqis going to become death-defying, butt-kicking fighting machines if they don't have the toughest terrorist bad guys in the world to push around?

By the way, have you ever noticed that it became much much more urgent for the Democratic Party to get our troops out of Iraq ever since President Bush decided to start shutting down sectarian militias with "The Surge"?

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Joker for President?

Friday, April 20, 2007

A few easy pieces

  • The Daily Dish A-Team discusses the secrets of the Chinese political system (Author's italics and included link):
    China's Secret Files describes in vivid detail how Li Ruihuan, a member of the Third Generation and a prominent liberal, was outmaneuvered in his effort to remain remain in power. Of course, Li was a "liberal" only by the standards of the CCP. He believed in the supremacy of the CCP, and in a broadly authoritarian political system. But because he was concerned first and foremost with Party corruption, he advocated "external checks" on Party members, including competitive elections up to the provincial level.
    Obviously this guy is the "Joe Lieberman" of the Chinese ruling party.

  • Did you ever notice that the liberal media assumes that banning guns will eliminate gun crime, but that banning abortions will supposedly cause a spike in "back-alley" abortions?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Nancy Pelosi may not believe in the devil, but the devil believes in her.

It turns out that the Iranian Parliament is ready and eager to chat with United States Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:
A top MP said on Friday the Tehran parliament would favour talks with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after her controversial visit to Iran's ally Syria, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

"We are ready for talks with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi," said Mohammad Nabi Rudaki, deputy head of the influential national security commission in Iran's conservative-dominated parliament.

"Parliamentary talks can discuss bilateral problems and bring US, European and Iranian nations closer. They could also consider Iran's peaceful nuclear issues," he said.

But Rudaki added that "this willingness does not mean a resumption of political ties with the occupying and bullying US government."

Pelosi's office said on Wednesday she had no intention of visiting Iran after a top US lawmaker signalled she might be interested in doing so.
In the annals of modern diplomacy, there are few things more humiliating to the recipient than the infamous "please allow us to host you in luxury as you cravenly promise to appease us" offer coming from a totalitarian regime. And in case you were wondering, Mohammad Nabi Rudaki's slip "bring US, European and Iranian nations closer" proves that this is a snow job. How, exactly, are personal meetings between Iranian ministers and an American Congresswoman supposed to bring "European and Iranian nations closer" if Nancy Pelosi isn't expected to sell out to the Iranian regime?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

LOST is lost.

Here is tonight's conversation about the latest episode of the television show LOST.

Question: So, what would be the one thing that the show LOST could do that would piss me off more than anything else?

Answer: An entire episode showing flashbacks from season one entirely from the polar bear's point of view.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Who wants to be the next President?

In any normal time, that is what this job would amount to:
The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation.
The liberals have already started with the rather obvious snarky comments:
The Washington Post reports that the White House wants to appoint a war czar to run the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but they can't find anyone to do it. Someone needs to tell Steve Hadley that position is filled, it's the Commander in Chief, unless the decider's become the delegator.
Normally, one would think that generals would be leaping at the chance of wielding power to enforce a grand strategy on a global scale, so the fact that no general wants to touch this position with a 10 foot pole seems a little odd. Of course, the comments from some of the generals considered seem to indicate that they've bought into the liberal position that American forces in Iraq are just totally screwed, which more than anything else only proves that these generals are the wrong ones for the job. It could also be that, with the ungoing Constitutional crisis over the supplemental war spending bill still unresolved, these generals are waiting to see whether the President or Congress wins before sticking their necks out. This also indicates that these generals were dead wrong for the job.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A few easy pieces

Blogging has been light lately, mostly due to nostalgia for "Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar". So here are a few easy pieces to keep things moving along.

The Don Imus scandal:In case you haven't heard this a million times already, Don Imus is the latest victim of a wave of irrational media outrage over comments made on his radio broadcast. And the total number of people who are disqualified from becoming Senate Majority Leasder has increased by one. Personally, I'm at the point where I'd rather sit through another Michael Jackson trial rather than go through yet another of these over-inflated scandals.

Twitter:The newest big thing on the internet is Twitter, a program that lets you post 140 character blurbs about your daily activities at any time. Call it microblogging if you wish. Yes, twittering is not that different from my "easy pieces", but at least I try to write these things in English instead of IM goobledygook.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A stupid conspiracy theory

Roger Simon points out a conspiracy theory that has gained some traction with the Left recently (author's hyperlinks; hat tip: Instapundit):
I wonder what the Kossites will think when they read (if they bother to) Omar Fahdil's wry account of the search of his Baghdad house by US troops last night. Last week, after the Fadhil Brothers were quoted by President Bush, several choir members at the Daily Kos started singing a full-blown oratorio (accompanied by various backup performers in the MSM) asserting that Omar and Mohammed must be CIA agents or the like. They couldn't possibly hold such pro-democracy views on their own. After all, they're Iraqis!
Obviously this is a stupid conspiracy theory to believe in, if only for the reason that people are jumping to the conclusion that the CIA must be involved. Doesn't the Daily Kos crowd know that the CIA hates President Bush as much as they do? In the future, any conspiracy theories that we're expected to take seriously are required to have the pro-Bush stooges taking orders from the Gonzales Justice Department.