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Month: June 2006

Truth, Justice, and all that stuff

by David Veksler David Veksler 9 Comments

The proudly American Superman whose famous slogan inspired this blog is dead. Meet the new, multicultural “international” Superman:

But in the latest film incarnation [of Superman], scribes Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris sought to downplay Superman’s long-standing patriot act. With one brief line uttered by actor Frank Langella, the caped superhero’s mission transformed from “truth, justice and the American way” to “truth, justice and all that stuff.”

“The world has changed. The world is a different place,” Pennsylvania native Harris says. “The truth is he’s an alien. He was sent from another planet. He has landed on the planet Earth, and he is here for everybody. He’s an international superhero.”
Dougherty and Harris never even considered including “the American way” in their screenplay…they penned their first draft together and intentionally omitted what they considered to be a loaded and antiquated expression…

…the long-standing member of the Justice League of America seems to have traded in his allegiance to the flag for an international passport. “He’s here for humanity,” Dougherty says.

Give us money, or we'll rape our women

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

This BBC article talks about how sexual violence in war is increasing. The article does not provide
an explanation, but I can think of two: (1) the massive amounts
of aid being sent to Africa is being used to fund ethnic wars,
and (2) the world is actually more peaceful than ever, so it is
the most savage (African and Islamic) civilizations which are
still waging wars are getting all the attention. The
interesting part is this:

Sexual violence has also been linked to development
funding. Cases in Gaza and the West Bank have increased
significantly since the EU and the US cut funding after
January’s election of Hamas, Luay Shabaneh of the
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics says.

In other words, we should not cut off funding to
terrorist groups because when they don’t have the money to
commit violent acts against us, they will commit violent acts
to their own women. And of course Kofi Annan ” urged donors to
“provide the backing required” to deal with the problem.”

CBS responds to FCC censorship

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

From Digg: CBS was recently hit with a record fine of US$3.3 million, courtesy of the FCC. CBS affiliates are now protesting the fine:

There were no true complainants from actual viewers,” the stations said. To be valid, complaints must come from an actual viewer in the service area of the station at issue, the filing said.”The e-mails were submitted … because advocacy groups hoping to influence television content generally exhorted them to contact the commission,” the CBS stations said.

Whatever happened to the v-chip? It’s been installed in new televesions since 2000, but the FCC has apparently decided that Americans are too incompetent to use it.

$125 Giveaway Competition to ObjectivismOnline Contributors

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

I have a new
Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Elite
($99 list) and a $25 Amazon gift certificate. The prizes will
be given to the two largest contributors to the website.

There are no conditions, and no time limitations – just
make a significant contribution to the content of the
website, and they are yours. (Definition of “significant”
is entirely up to me.) You can contribute to the Wiki,
essays, links, or propose something entirely new. (Forum
posting does not count, unless your posts significantly
affect the overall forum quality.)

Stop "Net Neutrality" now!

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

The following message is brought to you by The Future.. Faster industry campaign.

This week, the Senate is poised to vote on the issue of “Net Neutrality,” which is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and threatens the Internet freedom we now enjoy.

It is up to YOU to stop it. Please click here to contact your legislators, and demand they oppose “Net Neutrality.”

The Internet has been successful to date because the government has maintained a vigilant, but hands-off approach that has allowed companies to innovate in direct response to the evolving wants and needs of their customers.

A consumer’s Internet experience is today unimpeded – in the absence of virtually any regulation of the Internet – because there exists a powerful consumer mandate for Internet freedom. “Net Neutrality” supporters want to change all of that, putting the federal government in charge of how consumers use the Internet.

With Congress set to vote on “Net Neutrality” as early as Thursday, it is imperative that you contact your legislators right now and tell them, Say NO to “Net Neutrality.”

Existing net neutrality bills are solutions in search of a problem.

In a new communications era defined by multiple choices – multiple communications pathways – consumers simply will not continue to purchase service from a provider that blocks or restricts their Internet access.

When consumers have choices in the marketplace, consumers have control. Consider the following:

  • There is vigorous competition between DSL, cable modem, wireless, satellite, and other Internet access providers.
  • In some areas free Wi-Fi access is available.
  • In others, access over power line is becoming available. This competition directly benefits consumers – and the latest evidence is the announcement of $12.99/month DSL service from AT&T.

Unnecessary regulatory or legislative intervention in marketplace activities would stifle, not enhance the Internet. Laws are inflexible and difficult to fine-tune – particularly when applied to technologies that are rapidly evolving.

The last thing that consumers need is government regulation of the Internet, disguised as “Net Neutrality.” Please click here to tell your legislator, Vote NO! on Net Neutrality.

God can't help you now

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

KIEV (Reuters) – A man shouting that God would keep him safe was mauled to death by a lioness in Kiev zoo after he crept into the animal’s enclosure, a zoo official said on Monday.”The man shouted ‘God will save me, if he exists’, lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions,” the official said.

“A lioness went straight for him, knocked him down and severed his carotid artery.”

Adobe can’t eat its cake and have it too

by David Veksler David Veksler 1 Comment

Microsoft has just announced that it is removing PDF features
from the next version of Microsoft Office because
will sue it for antitrust violations if it does
. The
key to the success of Adobe’s PDF format is that it
is free of any licensing restrictions, so anyone can
implement PDF readers/writers. Microsoft’s
competitors have – both operating system vendors
like Apple and Linux and competing office suites like
Star Office and However Microsoft
isn’t allowed to – not because Adobe has any
legal right to prevent it, but because Adobe claims that
it won’t be able to compete with Microsoft if
Microsoft makes PDF features available for free like most
everyone else does. Adobe
charges $449
for Adobe Acrobat – something it can
only get away if Microsoft isn’t allowed to compete with
it. In effect, it is saying “anyone can use our format
and compete with our products… unless you actually
present a competitive challenge.” Microsoft expects Adobe
to sue anyway because it will offer its own portable document
format instead of selling Adobe’s products for them in its own
software. (Meanwhile, anti-Microsoft advocates continue
blasting it for rejecting “open standards.”) You
can bypass Adobe and get free PDF creation software