URLs du Voting

Here's irony for you: it's increasingly tough for me to get all excited about politics just before an election.

  • For one thing, as they say, no matter who you vote for, the government always gets in. Russell Roberts reminds us what that means.
    A woman asked me if there was anything I thought government did better than the private sector. Sure, I replied. Killing people.
    His Exhibit A is "Theory, Evidence and Examples of FDA Harm" from http://www.fdareview.org. It's not just vegemite, mates!

  • As a related treat, Greg Mankiw offers a column he wrote for Fortune magazine back in 2000—that they refused to run:
    As election day gets close, get ready to hear the usual exhortations about voting. … responsible people all agree that everyone should be encouraged to vote. It's a national disgrace, the hand-wringers say, that millions of eligible voters fail to turn out in presidential elections. Voting is a civic responsibility, they tell us, because democracy works best when everyone participates.

    The problem is, this isn't true. Sometimes the most responsible thing a person can do on election day is stay at home.

    Read the whole thing to find out why.

  • On the other hand, Orson Scott Card has not gotten all above-it-all and cynical, and he has a pretty strong recommendation for you and me:
    There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that's the War on Terror.

    And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

    If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

    Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case -- if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

    But at least there will be a chance.

    The remainder of the essay is a strong big-picture view of the War on Terror, and if you've overdosed on the mainstream media's negativism, it's a bracing change of pace. (Via LGF.)


[Amazon Link]
(paid link)
stars] [IMDb Link] The "Genre" description for this movie at IMDB is "Comedy/Horror/Sci Fi" which is dead on. It's very funny, and if you can stand lots of gore and bad language, you'll laugh a lot.

Nathan Filion, ex-Captain Mal from Firefly, is the primary hero, a small-town cop finding himself well over his head when he's called upon to save the world from invasion by zombie-creating space slugs. He's perfect in this role. He's aided by Elizabeth Banks (playing the wife of the initial infectee) and Tania Saulnier (the only member of a farm family to escape zombifcation); both prove to be more resourceful than might be expected.

Jenna Fischer, Pam from The Office, has a small role; it involves adopting a twangier accent and bigger hair. Trivia: in real life, Ms. Fischer is married to James Gunn, the writer/director of the movie. And she seems so normal.

Also, you'll want to hang on through the credits for the final scene. (Which is kind of a cliché for films of the genre, but never mind.)

Last Modified 2024-02-03 7:49 AM EDT

District B13

[Amazon Link]
(paid link)
stars] [IMDb Link] This is a French action thriller, set in a near-future Paris where large sections of the city have been walled off and anarchy allowed to reign within. It's all very dirty and gritty in there, and life is fast and cheap. A resident vigilante teams up with a (might as well say it) renegade cop against a local crime lord who has gotten his hands on both the vigilante's sister and a neutron bomb.

The main attraction here is the hyperkinetic action sequences, which aren't at all believable but nontheless fun to watch. Our heroes are impossibly acrobatic, devastating fighters, and dead shots. The bad guys, in contrast, took their shooting lessons at Imperial Storm Trooper Academy.

The plot is mediocre, but the dialog is witty. It's in French, dubbed in English, but very few of the dubbers seem to have French accents; subtitles were fine.

Last Modified 2024-02-03 7:49 AM EDT