Friday, November 30, 2007

Boycotting the Beijing Games

I'm boycotting the Beijing Olympics. No, I have not been invited to participate, nor was I ever really planning on attending.

Normally I'm kind of opposed to boycotts. In the modern economy, revenue streams can be very complicated and corporations are often wholly- or partially-owned subsidiaries of some other company. The goals of many boycotts are ambiguous and the message intended to be sent and the means by which it will be sent are often unclear. Furthermore, the time span for most boycotts is vague: if the boycott's goals are not achieved in a timely manner, will it drag on indefinitely?

To address such questions, I figured I'd post a small manifesto for my Beijing Olympic boycott:

What is to be boycotted?

Coverage of the Games, in print or on television, including the opening and closing ceremonies. Any merchandise is also out.

How long will the boycott last?

The length of the Games, 8-24 August 2008.

What is the goal of the boycott?

I am under no illusion that the infinitesimal amount of money the Chinese regime will lose due to my boycott will go noticed. Nor am I under the illusion that millions will flock to my side, creating a mass movement that will in some way harm the regime. (Though I must confess that, if this happened, I would not be opposed.)

Instead, this boycott is aimed at educating fellow Americans about the evils of the Chinese regime. Inevitably there will be get-togethers to watch the opening ceremony; I plan on being in the next room telling folks why I'm not watching the TV. The list of reasons is so extensive I struggle to find the right place to start:

* The Chinese regime has supported the military junta in Burma for years; had the Chinese wanted to stop the suppression of monastically-lead pro-democracy demonstrations this year, it could have. It didn't.

*The Chinese regime conducting ethnic cleansing in Xinjiang, intentionally conducting nuclear tests upwind of population centers of Turkic Uyghur populations, releasing violent criminals into Xinjiang to help kill of the Uyghurs, and settling large numbers of heavily-armed ethnic Han Chinese to drive them out.

*The Chinese regime is destroying Tibetan culture, to such an extent that the Dahli Lama has threatened not to reincarnate himself in Chinese-controlled Tibet, so oppressive is the environment.

*The Chinese regime and its various state-owned industries stealing American commercial secrets left and right. This is not free trade, this is industrial espionage, intellectual piracy. Under the guise of winning jobs for their own people, the Chinese regime demands that most products sold in China be made in China; this allows them to copy any and every design for products made there. (And have no doubts, they are copying with a vengeance.)

*The Chinese regime routinely hacks American networks, trying to steal military and political secrets from the government and contractors.

*The Chinese regime is busy subverting South Pacific island nations, as it tries to out-maneuver Taiwan for diplomatic influence in the region. This subversion has included - but is not limited to - support for the coup in Fiji.

*The Chinese regime has armed the Taliban, thereby threatening the lives of Afghans, Americans and their other allies, and delaying democracy and development in that nation.

*The Chinese regime suppresses democracy at home, heavily censors the internet (including this website), makes use of slave labor, oppressing the Catholic Church, poisons its own rivers and engages in more abuses than I have time to type.

*Oh, yes. And the Chinese regime has displaced 1.5 million of its own people to build the Olympic Park in Beijing. And you thought use of eminent domain was out of control here...

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two pounds of coffee is the new bottle of wine.

I was reading the DCist, and came across this article. I knew that coffee was big, but not this big.

Check out the article.
Rather than bringing a bottle of a nameless, never-tried bottle of Pinot Noir to your holiday parties, bring something the hosts will actually remember that it was you who brought it. Bring something that they'll be thankful for the morning after two too many egg nogs or a night of putting up with the relatives in town for Hanukkah. Bring them Joe....

I don't know if I fully agree. But it's something to think about anyways

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Et tu, Carson?

Just when you thought you knew him, Carson Daly turns out to be a bigger ____ than previously thought. (I invite all Quincy Blog readers to fill in the blank in the combox.) Looks like he's going to cross the picket line:

NBC's "Last Call with Carson Daly" is about to become the first late-night talk show to defy the writers strike and resume production.

Technically, Daly isn't a member of the WGA -- would he qualify? -- but that doesn't mean he isn't bound by ancient strictures of honor, compassion, solidarity, and coolness. Nope, Carson Daly is too cool for coolness, and he has just poked a finger in the eye of the good guys.

Since this is the Quincy Blog, I guess I should also link to Rerum Novarum.

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Keepers of the Lost Ark?

A fascinating piece in the Smithsonian.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Jay·hawk·er (jā'hô'kər) n.

Jayhawker: Guerrilla fighter from Kansas during the American Civil War, who often clashed with pro-slavery partisans (Bushwhackers) and Missouri militia units.

Organizers of the Jayhawkers included James H. Lane (R) and Charles "Doc" Jennison (pictured). Jennison's raids into Missouri were thorough leaving five counties in western Missouri wasted, save for the standing brick chimneys of the two-storey period houses, which are still called "Jennison Monuments" in the areas. Lane and his band of militants wore red gaiters, earning them the nickname "Redlegs", or "Redleggers". This moniker was often used interchangeably with the term "Jayhawkers" (although it was sometimes used to refer specifically to Jayhawkers who refused to join units officially sanctioned by the US Army). Lane's attack on Osceola, Missouri, inspired the Clint Eastwood film The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Within Kansas, the Jayhawkers were not always popular because, in the absence of federal support, they sometimes supplied themselves by stealing horses and supplies from farmers.

The Jayhawk is the official mascot of the University of Kansas.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Original Thanksgiving Proclamation

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God -- to obey his will -- to be grateful for his benefits --- and humbly to implore his protection and favor: And whereas both Houses have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a DAYof PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be--That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions--to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

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Rust in Peace

It is with some sadness that I write a heartfelt good bye to my car of four years. We have gone from the Pacific to the Atlantic together. You have been a faithful companion, and I will miss you. We don't always understand why the Lord takes away those we love but we have to trust that it was his plan for that minivan to take you from me. May you live on in that great scrap heap in the sky, (or Jersey as the case may be.)

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Re: A new figure

Here is a photograph which shows what I actually look like:

Sola Scriptura Strikes Again

Nation & World | For polyamorists, three's not a crowd; it's just the start | Seattle Times Newspaper

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The Ethanol Effect: When Alternative Fuels Go Bad

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

A new figure

You may notice a small change to the upper right hand corner of this website, which you have come to rely on for all of your quincy related information. No your eyes are not playing tricks on you. We are getting a new house mate, and I have finally had time to sit down and put together a proper image. I'm sure that you will all give him a warm welcome when he finally gets himself out to the east coast.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Great Concert!

Last night we at the quincy house were blessed to host a concert by musician Mike Mangione and his band. Thanks to everyone who came out and made the concert such a success.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

If you notice people being a little more edgy than usual...

Perhaps you have found that around the district tempers have gotten a little shorter. Well the reason may be the recent surge in Cocaine prices. The Washington Post reports that dealers are cutting cocaine quite a bit, and the national price of cocaine has risen 44% from January to September.

It's getting harder and harder to find the drug,

On a recent weeknight patrol, Officer Alvin Lytel was hunting for drug activity in Southeast Washington. He drove to 30th and Hartford streets, a spot normally filled with small-time dealers who shoot dice while they wait for cars with Maryland and Virginia license plates to drive up from nearby Southern Avenue to buy crack.

"These streets are empty out here," Lytel said, patrolling four spots in an hour before he found one with activity.

One must wonder what this is going to do to the legislative efficiency of our capitol.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

90's Coffee


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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Minnesota's Finnish guests find a rude airport welcome

Minnesota's Finnish guests find a rude airport welcome