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Trash Cannes

The film The Edukators received a 10-minute standing ovation at the Cannes film festival. It could even win the top prize – the Palme d'Or award. Here is the plotline of the story:

The first German film to compete in Cannes in 11 years, it tells the story of three idealistic youths who break into rich people's villas and move their furniture around, leaving behind notes with messages such as: "You have too much money."

This England

After spending a week in the US, in Washington DC, and discovering the size of American banana splits made from frozen custard, I got up this morning, back in England, to discover a huge pile of mail staring back at me. Can I really have got this much mail in just one week? Oh yes.

And most of it was from the government. Quelle Surprise. Read more »


Troy: The film that launched a thousand trips to the restroom

Well, OK, so it dragged a little in parts, but for my money Troy was well worth the six dollars I paid to enter an air-cooled cinema complex in Reston, Virginia, to see it, after a hot day rambling along the US National Mall, in Washington DC. This day-trip had rather remarkably included a motorcade glimpse of that modern-day Agamemnon and Caretaker-King of Kings, George Dubya Bush. But more about him, later. Read more »


Double Down?

Not if taxes double up.

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The state of Michigan is proposing increasing the gaming tax from 18 percent to 36 percent. Downtown Detroit casinos warned that doubling the tax would "force them to close table games and food outlets, which would result in layoffs."

Who's the big winner tonight? Neither the workers nor the consumers.


It's Censorship!... Or is it?

An article by FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) blares this headline: Michael Moore Film Faces Disney Censorship. This is referring to a situation whereas Disney is disallowing its subsidiary, Miramax, to distribute Moore's film Fahrenheit 911. In his usual martyr role, Michael Moore states: Read more »


Too posh to wash

You may think the US health system is a socialized mess, but just try using the UK state monopoly National Health Service. Well, no, don't. I wouldn't wish the UK's health service on even my fondest enemy. The phrase producer-led was almost invented for this parasitic body, the NHS, which now employs well over a million people. Read more »


Kick him in the Ralls

I'm a week late on this topic, so this isn't exactly breaking news...

I was going to comment on political cartoonist Ted Rall, and his inaccurate and sick cartoon in which he calls Pat Tillman an "idiot", "sap", and implies he's merely a racist whose only goal was to "kill Arabs". But the folks at A Small Victory cover it well enough whereas I don't have much more to add. Read more »


The Hanover Street Shoe-Shine Boys

This essay is reprinted in its entirety with permission of its original author OWK.

Now it wasn?t too long ago (or so I allow myself to believe), that I embraced the mantle of manhood, and went in search of my first job. I got one too. It was an acceptable job as jobs go, but it didn?t pay me all too much. It was just an honest day?s wages, for an honest day pumping gas. Read more »


Socialism and Individualism

Many people have trouble understanding what socialism really is. We tend to fall for the line that it derives from an alternative view of economics, but that alternative view is simply a side effect of a more fundamental difference in view regarding human nature. Socialism literally does not believe in the existence of individuals or more precisely it views humans as mere components of society. It was not originally defined in opposition to capitalism. Socialism has always opposed individualism. Read more »


Idol Chatter

OK, I admit it. This is the first season I've caught the hit karaoke/talent competition American Idol, and I've been a faithful watcher each week. I highly doubt I'll wind up buying the CD of whoever wins this competition - it'll likely be more semi-bland Top 40 pop similar to that of previous competitors - but the show can get quite addicting.

Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, even a seemingly safe foray into a sugary pop show like Idol can't escape the spector of race and racist allegations. Read more »


Sim City: The Anarcho-Capitalist Edition

I recently got hold of a copy of Sim City 3000: UK Edition, to taste my first ever experience of The Sims computer game franchise.

And it was just great to be told, after I had planted my first water pipes firmly in the ground, that as the City Mayor I had to provide all of the city's education, police, health, transport, recreation, and fire needs, and pay for them all out of general taxation, otherwise the Sims would avoid my city. Read more »


Wise Pacifism

I am pacifist. I have met many pseudo-pacifists out there and I wish to provide you a basic understanding of pacifism because people operate too much from stereotypes formulated by observing the pseudo-pacifists in action. Read more »


45 and counting...

I usually don't do 'birthday announcements', but figured I'd tip my hat to the lead singer of one of my favorite bands closely associated with the 1980s British "new wave" scene. Robert Smith, singer and guitarist for the Cure, turns 45 years old today.

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Read more »


Laugh 'till It Hurts

[onion]http://www.theonion.com/
[strawman]http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/straw-man.html

From this week's "Onion":onion:

p(quote).. *Libertarian Reluctantly Calls Fire Department* Read more »


Lessons from Columbine

Yesterday, April 20, marked the five-year anniversary of the Columbine massacre. I hadn't seen this column from Reason Online until they re-published their 1999 column today. It was written shortly after the slayings, and contains some of the best points of view I've read on the subject since the tragic day. Read more »


Asian Free-Market Seeds

Lawrence Reed, from the Michigan-based Mackinac Center of Public Policy details his recent travels to Korea, China, and Vietnam. He returns with stories of both Austrian economics and free-market think tanks that have been sprouting up throughout the region. The column is definitely "glass half full", and gives an optimistic outlook of the trio of Asian nations.


Honesty in Politics?

[onion]http://www.theonion.com/news/index.php?issue=4015&n=1
It would be "refreshing":onion, wouldn't it?


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Post Lost

Although Neal Boortz comes across as a bit too pro-Bush and pro-Iraq War for my tastes lately, his morning column pointed out an interesting piece of journalism that reeks of something that goes beyond just a little spin. Read more »


Is Authority Real?

p(quote). Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the bootmaker.

p>. -- Mikhail Bakunin, _God and the State_

p(quote). By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes to be his duty against the influences of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.

p>. -- Lord Acton, _History of Freedom_

p(quote). Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.

p>. -- Francis Bacon Read more »


In Soviet Union, Trivia Pursues YOU!

From the General Knowledge Trivial Pursuit(r) game, volume six, comes this question, in the category of "Science and Nature":

p(quote). What four-letter word do cyber-slang slingers use for "web log"?