Wednesday, December 14, 2005

AROUND THE WEB ON 12-14-05

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn.

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If you haven't been to Armchair Intellectual lately, you should stop by. Gideon Reich's most recent entry discusses a Charles Krauthammer column I recently mentioned in passing here.
[C]ontrary to Krauthammer's claim there's is no justification or need for demonstrating "the moral superiority of the new Iraq" and certainly not via a trial of a mass murderer. Dr. Yaron Brook at ARI states the case most clearly in a press release from December 2003[.]
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Bubblehead has a nice post up about his personal hero, RADM Fluckey, who commanded the USS Barb during WWII. He quotes the citation for Fluckey's Medal of Honor.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Barb during her 11th war patrol along the east coast of China from 19 December 1944 to 15 February 1945. After sinking a large enemy ammunition ship and damaging additional tonnage during a running 2-hour night battle on 8 January, Comdr. Fluckey, in an exceptional feat of brilliant deduction and bold tracking on 25 January, located a concentration of more than 30 enemy ships in the lower reaches of Nankuan Chiang (Mamkwan Harbor). Fully aware that a safe retirement would necessitate an hour's run at full speed through the uncharted, mined, and rock-obstructed waters, he bravely ordered, "Battle station torpedoes!" In a daring penetration of the heavy enemy screen, and riding in 5 fathoms (9 m) of water, he launched the Barb's last forward torpedoes at 3,000 yard (2.7 km) range. Quickly bringing the ship's stern tubes to bear, he turned loose 4 more torpedoes into the enemy, obtaining 8 direct hits on 6 of the main targets to explode a large ammunition ship and cause inestimable damage by the resultant flying shells and other pyrotechnics. Clearing the treacherous area at high speed, he brought the Barb through to safety and 4 days later sank a large Japanese freighter to complete a record of heroic combat achievement, reflecting the highest credit upon Comdr. Fluckey, his gallant officers and men, and the U.S. Naval Service.
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Two bloggers I follow are each tracking different controversies surrounding Wikipedia, the free internet encyclopedia. Both could have significant legal ramifications. First, the Gaijin Biker looks at a class action lawsuit against Wikipedia.
On the whole, Wikipedia is perhaps the most useful, accessible, diverse collection of information on the Internet. However, because (until very recently) anyone could add to it anonymously, some people doubted the accuracy of its information. And when a prankster posted a fake entry claiming his boss was involved in the assassination of JFK, the accountability of its editors for libelous content came into question.
But that's small potatoes compared to what Zach Oakes has been blogging lately. He quotes an organization I have not heard of before (and haven't had time to vet).
It has come to the attention of the Parents for the Online Safety of Children (POSC) that there is an underground cabal of pedophiles who edit wikipedia, trying to make wikipedia a distribution center for pedophile propaganda.

...

Since wikipedia allows pedophiles to edit wikipedia pages and view the IP addresses of children freely, we recommend that you use filtering software to block wikipedia from access in your household or school.
If this is true, I plan to boycott Wikipedia, too. Oakes followed up today, mentioning an entire blog, devoted to the controversy.

Stay tuned.

Update: The lawsuits appear to be related, and the POSC nonextistent.

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Andy Clarkson keeps linking to Scott Holleran's movie reviews over at his blog, The Charlotte Capitalist, and until yesterday, I have kept forgetting to go back and read them. This review of Brokeback Mountain is very well-written and is making me seriously consider watching this movie, which I was probably going to pass up.
It is tempting to see Brokeback as too plain and a so-what factor creeps in, yet it's like one's first visit to the mountains, working its way into the mind only after the fire's put out, the tent's packed up and you're halfway home. Buried in realistic characters, wrapped in a taut script, the story of Jack and Ennis calls upon the distant memory of a deeply held romance, straight or gay, unrequited or unfulfilled that can rise without warning; a love, as Emmylou Harris sings on the soundtrack, that will never grow old.

In the most powerful scene, a visit to one lonely, loveless house, Brokeback redeems its tragic theme: that a single human life has value, that to value is to love, and to love is the nature of man. Lee brings earthly wisdom to a subject that is demanding, relevant and thought-provoking, letting men behave like men, roughhousing, hiding under hats, harboring untold desires and wanting to live happily ever after.
In today's intellectual atmosphere, where rational discussion of homosexuality is often drowned out by attacks on Western culture, heterosexuality as such, and even the desire to have children, I will admit that I figured all the hubub I'd been hearing about the movie was just so much cacophony emanating from the nihilistic left. Thanks to Holleran's review, I see that the movie deals with themes which transcend sexual orientation, and now, I will probably watch it.

And if the movie lives up to that review, Holleran's reviews might become my first stop when deciding which movies to see.

On the other hand, one pundit linked to by Myrhaf might disagree with Holleran on Brokeback Mountain. Be that as it may, see his entry on why Hollywood's box office receipts have been so bad lately.

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And speaking of Myrhaf, he makes a nice connection here between the famous "Broken Window" economic fallacy described by Frederic Bastiat and leftist economic fallacies, making for a succinct answer to a liberal email titled, "A Day in the Life of Joe Republican."

Hint: The government breaks lotsa windows.

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Amit Ghate
reviews a blog I plan to spend some time becoming acquainted with when I get a chance, The Dougout.
In perusing a relatively new blog, The Dougout, by Grant Jones (former contributor to the Fiftieth Star) I was impressed and/or informed by several posts.

This post describes an organization aimed at divesting from any companies trading with terror-supporting countries. This is a direct link to the organization in question.

This post has interesting figures on the Maoist Death toll, and points out some unrepentant groups still pushing this enormously evil philosophy.
There's more, so stop by Thrutch.

-- CAV

Updates

12-19-05: Update added to Wikipedia section.