Monday, March 19, 2007

To carry the story over from Thursday... I ended up driving into State College to pick up the last few weeks' worth of manga from the 'Swap and ate at Ponderosa. Steak & a good, long ransack of the buffet. Five courses of beef!

Skip Beat volume 5. They're now advertising it as "by the author of Tokyo Crazy Paradise". That's great and all - I've heard good things about Tokyo Crazy Paradise & even read a couple scanslated chapters of it - but that itself is the problem. I read them in scanslation. Nobody's published Tokyo Crazy Paradise in English, although there was a rumor for a while that Viz had the license. Why are you advertising a manga in its fifth volume in the English market with a comic which isn't even available yet? Oh, well. Maybe it's a hint that they're getting ready to publish. Tokyo Crazy Paradise looks like fun - it's sort of like Burst Angel with a cross-dressing heroine & bishie yakuza.

Last volume of Please Save My Earth. Eh, it doesn't end all that well. All that drama & elaborate Rashomon-style flashbacks, and it all kind of deflates in a trainwreck of a climax. It bore more resemblance to a classic Takahashi pileup than the conclusion of a proper reincarnation drama. The coda was fairly sweet, though. If the author had only resisted the temptation to have the whole cast in on the climax, it would have been a much, much better finale. As it was, she managed to make the ending of a series in the twenty-first volume feel rushed and slap-dash. Meh.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Well, heck. I almost forgot. Today's the fifth annual International Eat An Animal For PETA Day. I'll have to stop at the Burger King tonight & get myself around a triple-decker.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Walking in to work earlier this week, during that last semi-big snowfall, I made the discovery that while rain might roll proverbially off the back of ducks, snow does not do the same. It's somewhat odd to discover the local waterfowl happily paddling about in Spring Creek during a snowstorm, backs heaped about an inch high with piles of fresh fluffy late-winter snow. Shame I didn't have a camera with me...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I don't really do ACW blogging much anymore, but since Dimitri doesn't have comments and I don't have his email address on hand, this is the only way to comment on a recent item on his blog, which notes a letter-writer's peculiar quote of Lincoln claiming to have incited the war, and an even more peculiar quote from Karl Marx describing the war as "a tariff war", and turning upon a "Northern lust for sovereignty". I don't know about the Fox letter of Lincoln's quoted, but the Karl Marx cite is a deliberate distortion. It's from one of Marx's wartime newspaper essays, and as I thought when I read Dimitri's post, the sentiment is not Marx's own. He was characterizing the view-point of a class of London newspapers, noting contemptuously:
It is characteristic of this discovery that it was made, not in Charleston, but in London. Naturally, in America everyone knew that from 1846 to 1861 a free trade system prevailed, and that Representative Morrill carried his protectionist tariff through Congress only in 1861, after the rebellion had already broken out. Secession, therefore, did not take place because the Morrill tariff had gone through Congress, but, at most, the Morrill tariff went through Congress because secession had taken place.

Karl Marx was strongly pro-Northern in sympathy, as even a cursory reading of his wartime writings on the subject will reveal. He considered it a war of capitalist against feudalist, and naturally chose to approve of the more dialectically advanced antagonist.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Wow, this is pretty ugly stuff - the Cherokee Nation is threatening to purge its roles of Cherokee "freedmen" - members of the tribe who draw their line of descent from freed ex-slaves of Cherokee ownership. I honestly thought we were past this sort of stone racism. Admittedly, it seems tied up in petty tribal politics & it looks like the main goal is to narrow down the number of people with a claim to a part of the gambling pie, but come on, really.

I didn't think the Cherokee were all that big into gambling, though - isn't there too many of them for something as inherently limited as reservation gambling to pay off? I mean, the economics make sense when you're talking about a pocket-sized tribe like the New England remnants, but a three-hundred-thousand-member group like the Cherokee? The money'd be like a drop of ink in a rainbarrel, even if they did purge everyone with a slave ancestor.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Wheee. Obama's descended from slaveholders. Whoop-de-friggin'-do. I'd be willing to bet that at least 80% of all American blacks are descended from slaveowners. The only novelty in Obama's case is that the lineage is from his white, American mother, and not the father from which he gets the pigmentage which makes him "black" by racemongering standards. The discovery of slaveowning ancestors probably gives his "blackness" more cultural credibility.

I haven't found any evidence of direct-ancestor slaveowners, but some of the New York Thorns in the richer, Episcopalian families were. The New Jersey line we're descended from were modest country folk, and were lucky if they owned land, let alone other people.

Via K.J. Lopez at the Corner.
Huh. The Pakistanis coughed up a Taliban minister. If they're going to produce an al Queda or Taliban target every time a prominent American official visits, then we need to send Cheney over there at least once a fortnight for the foreseeable future. Well, at least until they run out of ISI-subsidized malefactors to sacrifice on the altar of false-hearted alliance. Not as if the vice president seems to be doing anything else of value these days, other than playing clay pigeon for opportunistic Afghani terrorists.
There's something about the Right Stuf's 25-for-$100 sales that brings out the bumbling moron in yours truly. Last time around, I screwed up while ordering & forgot to ask for the free shipping, and had to beg and plead via email to get that amended. This time I missed the coupon code box (where you're supposed to enter "abundance10" or "abundance25" to get the respective 10-for-$50 or 25-for-$100 deals) and ended up ordering almost $700 worth of DVDs I only sort-of-wanted for full price.

Damn, I hope they straighten that order out. It'd be nice if their ordering interface was a tad more forgiving of errors & mistakes. Betcha they'd have less of a customer service load if you could cancel or amend orders prior to processing. As it is, if you've given the system your credit card information, you're stuck until the customer service staff get back to you on your problem.