Saturday, January 01, 2005

New Year, New Blog 

Happy New Year! To commerate the occasion, I'm moving: with the new year comes a new weblog, Plum Blossoms. It's still under construction, and I don't have all the affiliation links up yet, but I'm proud to be the owner of a domain name and looking forward to this new project, which will combine my political rants with my old personal web diary.

Webmasters: please either change your existing links to this site to the new blog, or just add a new one (the old content will probably remain here until the Earth spirals into the Sun). And if you don't have a link, now's a good time to start. ;)

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Don't Mix TV and Politics 

Sometimes, you've just got to park the politics at the door. Otherwise, you'd just be driven to be as mad as the other people.

Take television. I love television. I don't buy the so-con "corrupting our children" stuff too much (it might do that, but decent parenting should make this a non-issue lesser issue than it's made to be), and I buy even less the liberal "consumerist anti-people culture" bull. I watch TV and I watch it religiously.

But when you deal with either southern California or NYC, you're going to deal with liberals. Crazy liberals, the ones that believe the world revolve around them. Take my favourite shows, The O.C. and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Three of four of the young stars of The O.C. were visible Kerry supporters: Benjamin McKenzie, Adam Brody, and Rachel Bilson. I'm don't know about the (relatively) old actors like Peter Gallagher, Kelly Rowan and Tate Donovan, but the lack of information speaks higher for them than the more visible political affiliations of the aforementioned younger actors. And thankfully, it appears that Mischa Barton is much too glamourous to get politically active.

But The O.C. is nothing compared to L&O: CI, which is essentially the one-man show of Vincent D'Onofrio. This would be fine, if he wasn't (supposedly) losing it since Kerry lost the election. This sort of behaviour, of course, is the sort that really makes me shake my head. Look, I love CI, but there's no way that you can produce a show with an actual lunatic as the lead.

I suppose it could be worse: I could live in France, where most of the news media is shipping in bull by the truckload and tempting our minds with beautiful newscasters.

Mélissa Theuriau

At least she works for LCI, which, while French, doesn't appear as ridiculous as, say, Le Monde. Think of it as MSNBC en français.

So yah, park the politics at the front door before sitting in front of the boob tube. If you want to be informed, go online.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

No Cure for Stupidity 

Look, the idea of making drugs in America, shipping them to Canada, and then buying them back to America from Canada was pretty dumb in the first place. But some people are happy to sell snake oil, so we all waste time trying to convince the happily converted that Canada is not the world's biggest source of "cheap-o-rays".

Thankfully, if there's one thing Canada is good at, it's going bananas over Americans acting in their self-interest (even if the plan doesn't actually work). The most obvious result of Americans flocking to buy sold-in-Canada, made-in-America drugs is that Canada will run out of drugs. So Ujjal Dosahjh, the Health Minister, has flatly told the US to stay out of our medicine cabinet.

Yet I wonder if the long-term ramifications of this news is actually beneficial to anyone. Drug companies may be swimming in profits, but it's profits built upon an increasingly unsustainable and socially unbeneficial foundation: imitation drugs for non-deadly conditions. You know, the drugs that are featured in all that spam you get in your mailbox these days. Instead of developing new treatments for Parkinson's and ALS, drug companies are stifled by the FDA and patent process into developing ED drugs and marginally better cold tablets.

Most drug markets in the world are heavily government regulated in pricing or profit margins. And I'm not talking about Third World countries: this is Canada and the EU and other well-off places that have similar costs of living to the US and can actually afford more expensive drugs. The result, unsurprisingly, is that the largest burden of drug costs are on Americans. A US scheme to reimport Canadian drugs, and the corresponding failure to accomplish its objectives, might cause enough of a shock to do two things:

Instead, we have now probably only convinced a small proportion of the pro-reimportation ostriches into realizing the folly of their scheme, while the rest of the developed world continue to get away with paying pennies for drugs at Americans' expense.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas 

A slightly late but still not actually late wish for a merry Christmas to all.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Here's Johnny 

I'm back to blogging now, after my last exam today. Okay, maybe not really "back", since I've been so out of the loop I don't know what to think about anything in the news now. So I'll just complain about how pathetic was the finale of The Apprentice (damn that's three hours I'll never get back), and that the third season looks even worse.

Actually, I won't write about the crappiness of the finale, 'cuz someone else (from MSNBC, no less) already did. The opinions expressed in the article are pretty much the same as my own, although I preferred Kelly more, ever since Jen's credit-stealing stunt in the Levi's catalogue task.

Well, I will miss Raj. He's the only contestant I liked in this season. And you got to love that web site of his.

Speaking of web sites, I've registered a domain name and I'll be getting a hosting plan tomorrow. The new blog will merge my political and personal blogs into one, although it'll most likely be more political than anything else. Plus I'll have some personal photo galleries and other things. But everything's going to be hush-hush until I'm done.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

In The ROC 

Property of Jocelyn Wang.  http://www.paowang.com/blog/jocelyn/archives/001575.html
Events, past and present, under this flag:
December 11, 2004: Pan-Blue parties hold their majority in the election for the 6th Legislative Yuan.
December 13: 1937: Japanese troops enter Nanjing, initiating a three month orgy of murder, rape and pillage.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


From the National Park Service at http://www.npswapa.org/gallery/album13

Apologies for the much-belated notice, but I'm not going to be blogging for a while, not until Dec. 16 at the earliest. I have six final exams, of which I have finished one as of this time. Five days of exams from yesterday to the upcoming Saturday, plus next Thursday. Yah I don't think there's much time for anything else.

I'm contemplating getting my own server and domain name. Recommendations for hosts are welcome (e-mail me; I'm still checking).

On a different note, today is the anniversary of a Day of Infamy, which brought America into the world's struggle against tyranny. Her contribution was essential to victory, and I thank those who sacrificed so much for the sake of future generations.