Tag Archive 'video'

How Fascism Happens

All it really takes to get you to ignore the concentration camps right in front you of your eyes and turn you into a robot, is to say “hey, look at this.” That certainly wasn’t the purpose of this video, but it’s a sobering byproduct.

Sphere: Related Content

Penalty of Vision

One of the finer moments from Carl Sagan’s old Cosmos series, the .

Sphere: Related Content

Nixon and Kissinger in Watchmen

The newish montage for the screen version of Watchmen, has a fine scene of the Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger characters about mid way through it (video). Looks like they finally found an actor who could do the nose.

Sphere: Related Content

Flight of the Flightless

Boy, I love this for the Washington state secret tax on the poor lottery.

Sphere: Related Content

Editing Obama

Pretty neat video visualization of edits to the Barack Obama Wikipedia entry from 2005 to election day.

Sphere: Related Content

Laid Off By Lehman: One Broker’s Story

Heh, heh, heh.

Sphere: Related Content

A Childhood Dream of Death

Equal to the horror of this, is the futility.

Sphere: Related Content

Biden: Clinton Better

says Hillary Clinton would have been a better pick than himself. A little amusing naturally, but I’m impressed by the candor and humility of it. Fine characteristics for a serving vice president who is expected to exert substantial influence on foreign policy.

Sphere: Related Content

Bomb Philosophy

9/11 Denial comedic interlude of the day. I’d say we’re approaching a existential moment with Andrew Kornkven and those of similar sentiment. One in which absolutely everything becomes a manufactured illusion to justify hidden purposes. A cynic might observe that it’s a pointless moment if so, given that in the end the bomb actually knows a purpose for its existence, whereas the “truthers” are very clearly still in search of one.

Sphere: Related Content

Sarah Palin in the Green Room

Sarah on babysitting, energy independence and CS Lewis in the Charlie Rose Green Room:

Sphere: Related Content

New Media and “Defending the Ridge”

Because the blogosphere and all its scions have much more prominence, and arguably more influence, with respect to this year’s election, I’ve been lazily paying more attention to how new media is tackling the subject at hand. I think the following presentation is a prime example of what new media can offer, and foreshadows the power of the medium to come:

Disregarding the substance of the video for now, I have to say that the exchange between these three women is extraordinary. Not only is their banter free-flowing and natural, it’s exactly the sort of conversation that I would expect of reasonably well informed patrons of a local bar. Again, it’s not the substance of the arguments presented, but the way in which they’re presented.

Personally, I tend to think of the interchange of ideas on any blog (particularly in the comments section) as a virtual reality version of barroom conversation. With my buddies, it’s referred to as “defending the ridge” where “the ridge” is that omnipresent elbow on the bar where three, four or even more people can hang on to this strategically important territory by maintaining an engaging, yet suitably sociable conversation. Being in the DC area, it’s inevitable that such discourse will turn to politics. So, the more natural and inviting the banter is, the easier it is to “defend the ridge.”

One can always just park themselves at the elbow, but sooner or later breaches in the defense appear only to be exploited, typically by buxom, yet willowy, young women brandishing credit cards of dubious provenance (i.e. suspect boyfriends) and flirtatious camaraderie with the bartenders. Such is life.

The point is, when the conversation is heady yet light-hearted enough, the ridge is better defended and the night progresses in a much more enjoyable fashion than otherwise.

The clip above reminds me exactly of those exchanges. The three women are obviously comfortable with one another, and the camera, which lends them a professional air. But they speak with a clarity that’s natural to “the ridge” in any bar, where opinions fly fast and loose, and a premium is placed on brevity and wit.

If more political coverage was of the same caliber, I think the electorate would be more engaged. As it stands now, the MSM and its affiliate cable progeny, basically offer the same PhD and old-hat, insider baseball as the be-all-end-all of political analysis. Don’t get me wrong. I love hearing from the likes of Larry Sabato, Michael Barone and Frank Luntz, and I think they have a lot to add to the conversation. But let’s be honest. The people who read QandO and other political blogs are already in the realm of “political junky.” You all know exactly who each of these people are. The vast majority of the electorate doesn’t, nor do they much care. But I’d bet they’d watch the video clip above.

The fact is anybody can be drawn into a political conversation when it’s conducted on terms that the average person can relate to. While I may find Larry Sabato’s election prognostications fascinating, sometimes I don’t want to ruminate on the exact scientific designation of the tree’s sap, nor upon what the American Indians used to do with it. Sometimes, all I want to talk about is the health and wealth of the forest. The clip above offers that kind of analysis. My personal opinion is that more of the same would be a boon to the voting populace. And down that road is a better informed electorate.

So hats off to you, Ana Marie Cox, Glynnis MacNicol, and Rachel Sklar. Well done and I look forward to more.

Crossposted at QandO

Sphere: Related Content

The Pirate Army

CCTV video capture of Russian soldiers robbing a Gori bank at gunpoint. While plunder has a bit of an enduring tradition in the Russian army even in modern times, this is pretty extreme. I’d be abusing the event as metaphor, as no army is immune to such temptations, but it does seem that the duocrat’s war has a certain peculiar comprehensiveness to its criminality. (via: Lesterblog)

Sphere: Related Content

Those Vultures

Sphere: Related Content

War Crimes Live

Georgian television reporter Tamara Urushadze gets shot by a Russian sniper as she delivered a live report near Gori. Tough girl, she finishes the report without a tear.

Sphere: Related Content

McCain’s Turks vs. Obama’s Armenians?

Tsitsernakaberd (photo: Adam Lederer)

Just when bewilderment at the spectacle of Steve Cohen going absolutely berserk on an Armenian film crew had started to subside (they were trailing him over his opposition to recognition of the 1915 Armenian genocide), I read that an Armenian socnet war is on the make.

Due to the perception that Obama is stronger on the issue of recognition (even though he endorsed Cohen), ethnic Armenians have apparently become strong supporters of Obama over the genocide issue, while Turks are lining up behind John McCain in default opposition.


Sphere: Related Content

Targeting the “Original Maverick”

(photo: WBEZ Chicago Public Radio | site)

Obama’s newish mocking McCain’s “original maverick” slogan is fairly good. As Ken Wheaton notes, all the time McCain had to spend trying to convince the GOP he was a loyal Republican, unfortunately produced a lot of pro-Bush statements on videotape. Also, I like the Rovian touch of attacking McCain’s strength: experience.


Sphere: Related Content

Life Under Stalinism

of victims of the Terror recounting their experiences at the hands of the secret police. The levity that many exhibit in revisiting the systematic decimation of human dignity they experienced, is the ageless strength of Russia as a nation. The inhuman brutality they describe, is the curse of that great and unfortunate nation’s state.

Sphere: Related Content

Pay Any Price

The Club for Growth has a clip of Mitch McConnell’s struggles to find a price for gasoline which is high enough to persuade congressional Democrats to authorize expanded oil drilling. A bit of a theatrical exercise of course, but there is a certain discomfort in seeing Ken Salazar casually reject $10 a gallon as insufficient.

Sphere: Related Content

F–k It.

. (via Adverbox)

Sphere: Related Content

Paris Politics Part II

Uh-oh, Paris doesn’t like John McCain. But wasn’t that sorta the point? It’s amazing how McCain has cheapened the process through involving her though. However…perhaps not entirely for the bad. The 10% of the world that wasn’t paying attention to this election just started watching.

Sphere: Related Content

Exposing a Media Fantasy

Jon Stewart hilariously ridicules the notion that McCain’s advertising contains hidden racist and sexist messages.

Sphere: Related Content

China & Russia: Models and Modalities

Francis Fukuyama chats with Robert Kagan on a number of interesting things: Flash | WMV | MP3 (via: The American Interest).

Of immediate interest is Kagan’s notion that the the emergence of global multipolarity induces an imperfect, baseline bipolarity of ideological division in diplomacy, between the West and the surging authoritarians of the “New East.”

In the opening minutes, Fukuyama argues that while the recent diplomatic concord on Zimbabwe between China and Russia might suggest this, the two reborn Eastern powers have certain fundamental divisions of world-view which impact alliance structure, due to their historical relationship to power. He argues that China has traditionally perceived itself as a kind of destination for power and politics. The mandate of heaven makes China the imperial center of the universe, of which the rest of the world can only envy in political sinocentrism.

Whereas Russia –increasingly animated today by Soviet nostalgia– may again begin to see itself as a kind of departure point for power and politics. In Russia at least there is a political tradition of the country serving as a aggressive universalist tutor for the developing world. Perhaps Moscow could even perceive itself in the way Lenin saw the role of Russia in the context of international revolution. Lenin after all, went so far as to argue that the Soviet Union could not survive absent a world revolution driven by his exportable political principles.

In essence, Fukuyama seems to be wondering whether Russia could be an internationalist while China remains a nationalist,with both representing not dissimilar models for authoritarian power, but presumably finding difficulty in unified action at the United Nations and elsewhere.


Sphere: Related Content

Dissonance Control in Political Paranoia

Bird watcher
(photo: companyink)

After writing about the Ronpaulist fear mongering of Jordan Page, and then reading Lance’s splendid post on the latest contheorist pandering of Glenn Greenwald, a common insight has reoccurred to me: the absurd amount of cognitive dissonance conditional to political paranoia.

This is something Christopher Hitchens explored quite adeptly last year at the “Four Horsemen” chat with his three fellow atheist luminaries, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris (, skip to 8:17). In a response to a point by Dennett, Hitchens argues that the stress of cognitive dissonance is the inevitable state deriving from belief in political unreality, and furthermore, that this condition exists and persists on purely survival grounds (seems true in miniature too).

I’d add that it’s the compartmentalism that political paranoia necessitates in an open society that is the most conspicuous betrayal of its essential cynicism. Something especially apparent when you run into it face to face.

Sphere: Related Content

Defending the Second World War

Here’s a five part Uncommon Knowledge segment featuring a superb pairing of Christopher Hitchens and Victor Davis Hanson, to discuss the new World War II revisionism led by Pat Buchanan. While it’s an entertaining exercise for a Saturday, I’ll warn you that there’s a certain weakness to the discussion, given that both Hanson and Hitchens are in agreement. It’s left to poor Peter Robinson as host to present the revisionist case.

But, Robinson probably does as well a job as Pat Buchanan could. As Hitchens and Hanson both deftly demonstrate by different courses, Buchanan is advancing arguments which are largely indefensible and occasionally even crazy.

Part One of Five:


Sphere: Related Content

Viral Wal-Mart

Anti-Wal-Mart hysteria seems to have curiously abated somewhat since the corporation started giving more generously to the Democratic Party. Not an uncharacteristic phenomenon for the centralized extortion tactics –er, “grassroots activism” of such campaigns.

But there are still some people creatively fighting the not-so-good fight against your freedom to choose where to shop. This is a good example. A fascinating little animation showing the viral growth of Wal-Mart locations since 1962.

The poster describes the visualization as “worse than AIDS in Africa,” and thereby demonstrates only an incredible capacity for delusional inhumanity. But while some like he will recoil in horror at the vision of Wal-Mart’s geographic expansion from a humble rural backwater to national predominance, to me it’s entirely impressive and worthy of congratulation (for both Wal-Mart and the critical animator).

Sphere: Related Content

Touring the Low Road

The Obama campaign has a new video response to McCain. It’s an interesting approach. The heart of the ad is the beginning, in which quotes from major pro-Obama media editorials are superimposed over McCain, calling his (unspecified) criticism “baseless,” “baloney,” etc.

Since there is some evidence in the polls that the positive press attention Barack has been receiving may be having a counterproductive effect, might it be unwise to let your press advocates perform your defense in your own ad? Given the situation, it might seem like a further blurring of the separation lines between independent media and political campaign. Naming the spot for a line taken from a profoundly and explicitly partisan New York Times editorial can’t help either.

This ad may hint that a system of mutual reinforcement has emerged between the Obama campaign and certain media organizations that is essentially ineluctable and indissoluble. If so, the more pressure and stress that is put on that relationship as symmetry, the more brittle and uncomfortable it may become for both parties. Were I McCain, I’d attack that point harder than he is.

Sphere: Related Content

The Muffin Mogul

The power of capitalism in a lovely little ad by Nexus Productions for the Royal Bank of Canada:
Quicktime Video via Motionographer.


Sphere: Related Content

Sonny Landham Falls

Looks like the Libertarian Party of Kentucky has dumped Sonny Landham, previously their clinically insane pick for US Senate. Good for them. Even if given the psychopathic nature of Landham’s views, I feel a little like I’m congratulating them for breathing.

While the Obama campaign might like to think that the LP could pose a serious threat to John McCain in Georgia, the Landham misadventure only reminds me yet again of the extraordinary amateurishness that seems to characterize almost all Libertarian Party political campaigns. There’s simply no excuse for failing to properly vet a candidate you intend to challenge for the seat held by the Senate Minority Leader.

As a former Hollywood actor and convicted criminal, it wouldn’t have been particularly difficult to uncover Landham’s violent imagination or deplorable associations with rightwing hate groups. A simple YouTube and Google search might have sufficed in fact.

Speaking of which, if you’ve never seen the deranged Bircher-style videos that Landham did while a member of the white supremacist/neo-Confederate organization the ‘Council of Conservative Citizens‘, it’s well worth a watch. The strangely tense and badly rehearsed panel discussion scene seems like something lifted out of a lost David Lynch film: .

Supplemental: I must say I do appreciate the fact that Landham hasn’t disowned himself and begged for mercy from the mob, in that axiomatic ritual of insincere contrition we’ve all grown accustomed to. His quote to the Associated Press: “My views are still the same, I make no apologies for them.”

If you think about it, that’s quite a rare response. Crazy, but commendable for its candor.

Sphere: Related Content

Hot Water and Civilization in Ukraine

In much of the former Soviet Union, urban heating is still managed at the block rather than per-building level. This is causing some protest from a population growing accustomed to a new ethos of individual convenience. Something we’ve always taken for granted in the the largely non-centrally planned West.

Sphere: Related Content

Thuggery for Obama?

Wow. They beat the crap out of this elderly school teacher, because she chanted for Hillary at the Rules & Bylaws Committee meeting: . (via FDL). I suppose that’s one way to put down internal insurrection. Not a very good one though in a building full of cameras.

Sphere: Related Content

Harriet and the Spies

Politics makes for strange bedfellows. Vowing to vote McCain, an outspoken, paranoid and hopefully drunk Hillary supporter gets tossed out of the Democratic Rules & Bylaws Committee meeting, raving about race and CIA surveillance: .

Sphere: Related Content

Bill Clinton’s Laws of Politics

Bill Clinton

from 2004. Bill Clinton:”If one candidate is appealing to your fears and the other one is appealing to your hopes…” You know where that’s going. Ahem. Clearly these were not carved in stone.

(HT: BigDog)

Sphere: Related Content

Pecking Order

. Who will win in the ultimate battle for barnyard supremacy?

Sphere: Related Content

Pompeii Against Allah?

Pompeii mosaic
photo: Martin Dixon

Here’s a grim laugh for your Friday morning. A Muslim which preposterously seeks to explain the death and burial of Pompeii and Herculaneum in the 1st century, as the result of the wrath of Allah against the decadent Roman empire. The video marvels at how people were struck down with little warning by the eruption of Vesuvius, and cites the Quran as evidence of divine retribution. Particularly offensive is the implication that slavery was a uniquely Roman institution. Something that no doubt would come as a great surprise to slaves who suffer to this day, under cruel ownership by devout Muslim masters in Africa and Saudi Arabia.

Sphere: Related Content

Errors in Modern Gender

Alan Finch

Meet Alan Finch (). Alan became Helen Finch at 21, through sexual reassignment surgery…and then became Alan again when he was thirty. As you can see above, the results of his original surgery were extraordinarily effective. But Alan has decided he was misdiagnosed as suffering from gender identity disorder, and is now suing the clinic that treated him for “surgically mutilating” him. Alan claims what he needed instead was simple psychotherapy. While a tragic predicament, it’s abhorrent that someone should seek to punish physicians for what was clearly an unforced free choice in a free society. Plus…I do get the nagging feeling in looking at Alan’s photographs, that we may be hearing from him again in ten years, suing his psychotherapist.

Sphere: Related Content

Pick Flick

HT: All of it

Sphere: Related Content

A Boy and His Hero

You don’t have to be Colombian for this to touch your heart.

Sphere: Related Content

The Warden

Col. Sanders

I am really enjoying the cinematic PETA ads depicting KFC’s Colonel Sanders as an evil prison warden abusing anthropomorphic chicken men. in particular is hilarious. The premise and message is too ridiculous to take seriously as any kind of political message, thus it transcends its purpose to become genuine entertainment. One wonders if they intend to adapt Col. Sander’s Asian personas anytime soon. I hope so. I’d personally enjoy Samurai Sanders making a chicken sandwich with a katana.

Sphere: Related Content

The Practicality of Barack

Wanna-be Cuban guerrilla

At some point along the way Obama became the pragmatist’s choice. Hillary used to own that territory when concerns turned to electability, but that’s all over with now. Perception is as PoliticalBuzz puts it, “Obama is someone who can rally a broad base.” Combining the leftist base with the moderate infrastructure is always difficult. But this time both may be able to consolidate behind Obama. See Judith Gayle for a representative example of the shift that’s going on among progressives. However, the bearded, bereted, , perhaps isn’t the best image to preach the message of electability.
(HT: Ben Weyl)

Sphere: Related Content

Deceptive Introductions

 Red Heat Moscow

Isn’t it unfortunate when a truly awful movie has a truly .

Sphere: Related Content

Barren Politics

Michael Bloomberg

The vacuous Draft Bloomberg movement has made a . I have no idea how this is supposed to make me support him. I’m not sure they even know why they support him. No policy proposals, no platform, no definable ideology, no ideas at all. At least Ross Perot had plans and proposals (and lots of charts). Silly though it was, the Draft Perot movement could at least come up with reasons to support him. The Bloomberg people have absolutely nothing. “He was an entrepreneur and a mayor and…time is running out, sign the petition!” Predictably, so far only about 8,200 people have decided they want a candidate with no ideas, no purpose and the charisma of a rock.

Sphere: Related Content

Asking for it

Camel tease

Never tease a camel: Video.

Sphere: Related Content

Signal to Noise


If like Keith and myself you were in doubt as to whether there were boos among the introductory applause for John McCain at CPAC (apart from this obvious moment), be not in doubt.

Sphere: Related Content

Berlusconi Comeback

Silvio Berlusconi

Italy’s President, Georgio Napolitano, has called a snap election after the collapse of the leftwing coalition government last month. This paves the way for a remarkable comeback by conservative Silvio Berlusconi, who is running ten points ahead of his center-left opponent in polls. (BBC Video Report)

Sphere: Related Content

Ouch, Ouch, Ouch.

Barack Obama supporter on Hannity

of Sean Hannity asking Frank Luntz’s group of Democratic Obama supporters to name one (1) specific accomplishment of their candidate. They all fail embarrassingly and resort to offering Obama’s personality characteristics as achievements. One young girl does manage to meekly submit “community organizer,” which may be a valid allusion to Barack’s accomplishments on behalf of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago in the 1980s. The rest…ought to be ashamed of themselves. Anyone this uninformed about who they intend to vote for, should probably not be voting in an election to begin with.

From: HotAir

Sphere: Related Content

Fighting the Death of Germany

You Are Germany

75% of Germans believe that their society is hostile to children. That’s a toxic attitude to combine with an appalling 1.3 children-per-woman fertility rate. Well below the replacement rate, the country is literally dying out over time. To attack the problem, a consortium of German advertising agencies and media firms have launched a €30 million campaign Du bist Deutschland (”You Are Germany”), to try to promote tolerance for children: Video report. What is one to think of a country that hates its own future, and has to be pleaded with to tolerate the only instrument for the perpetuation of its cultural patrimony?

Sphere: Related Content

A Witness in Mauritania

Israel Matzav has a of a report on the Al Qaeda attack on the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania. You have to lament for the investigation when your eye witness refers to the scene of the attack as “the embassy of the Zionist Entity.”

Sphere: Related Content

Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre

Video of why I should have been a French pilot. Somewhat NSFW. Some tabloid back story on the scandal.

Sphere: Related Content

Baby Polar Bear

Painfully cute video. Fair warning.

Sphere: Related Content

Counter Coulter

of Ann Coulter endorsing Hillary Clinton and pledging to campaign for her. Perhaps a worse political catastrophe for Team Hillary than drivers licenses for illegals.

Sphere: Related Content

Get rewarded at leading casinos.

online casino real money usa