Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

"Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative"

The Washington Post has an interesting article about China's military build-up. It's an interesting read if you have an interest in security. US defense spending has long dwarfed the rest of the world, but now that China has the best-growing economy (the US trade deficit reached an all-time high in February) in the world, they can afford to spend extravagantly on their military and space programs. I've been hawkish about China and their military for years now (and had disagreements with many people), and I wonder if this news will spur people to start taking the People's Liberation Army seriously, or if everyone will stay wrapped up in their own ego and ethno-centric blankets.

The Guardian has an editorial from Monty Python's Terry Jones about the recent UNICEF report that Child Malnutrition rates in Iraq are actually higher than they were before the war. This recent report is of course disheartening, and also baffling. I won't pretend to be an expert on the subject (particularly pertaining to questions about evidence collection methods for reports before the war and after, questions which should be asked), however I think just about anyone would agree that this shouldn't be happening.

In other news, which a different segment of the population probably won't take too well, Britney Spears has reported via her website that she is now pregnant. Young men everywhere are sobbing.

EA and the NCAA announced today that they've signed an exclusivity deal for NCAA football games. In this case, I can't complain all that much about the exclusivity. I mean, EA already has the NFL license (which I have complained a lot about and I think is both a travesty and a slap to the face of NFL fans), so why not allow them to get the NCAA Football license too. In a situation opposite of the NFL one, the consensus has been that EA produces the top NCAA Football game anyway. I for one commend the NBA for not going exclusive.

Red Storm Entertainment announced today on the Ghost Recon website that Ghost Recon 2 PC has been canceled. Initially I thought that it was a terrible move, but they also mention that they expect to have Ghost Recon 3 out in the 4th quarter of 2005.

In more negative news today, LexisNexis has reported that its files may have been breached, exposing personal information of approximately 310,000 people. Government and businesses have been far too lax on protecting information, and this is just another instance. According to a report for the Federal Trade Commission, in 2003 almost 10 million Americans were the victim of identity theft. Business is doing little to help in this matter, and the government should take a much more pro-active stance on this issue, especially considering that so much information is available electronically now. While I do believe that the argument "you can never stop all of the hackers and criminals" is correct, that doesn't mean that the government should not make an effective deterrent to stop these people from continuing their activities.

To finish with a nice dose of positive news, the IMDB is reporting that France's Culture Ministry has changed the rules for what makes a movie a "French" movie. Now films which are produced in France, in the French language, but with partial American funding, are eligible to be qualified as French. Apparently this became an issue after "A Very Long Engagement" was denied French-Government funding, but Oliver Stone's historic-epic (and apparently epically bad) Alexander was given government subsidies. Americans get a bad rep and press for calling French Fries, which are attributed as being Belgian, Freedom Fries, but this sort of thing is OK with people in France? I could rant about that for a while.


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