Quotulatiousness

January 19, 2018

Assassination Attempt on Lenin – Chaos in Romania I THE GREAT WAR Week 182

Filed under: History, Military, Russia, WW1 — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 06:00

The Great War
Published on 18 Jan 2018

This week in Russia, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin was almost killed by sharpshooters in Petrograd and the Constituent Assembly meets. Tensions rise as Russia issues an ultimatum to Romania, with an order for their King’s arrest. There are also machinations in Finland and some action on the Western Front.

Playboy sues Boing Boing for … linking?

Filed under: Law, Liberty, Media, Technology, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

I thought this sort of legal stupidity went out with the 90s …

A few weeks ago we were shocked to learn that Playboy had, without notifying us, sued us over this post (we learned about it when a journalist DM’ed us on Twitter to ask about it). Today, we filed a motion to dismiss, asking the judge to throw out this baseless, bizarre case. We really hope the courts see it our way, for all our sakes.

Playboy’s lawsuit is based on an imaginary (and dangerous) version of US copyright law that bears no connection to any US statute or precedent. Playboy — once legendary champions for the First Amendment — now advances a fringe copyright theory: that it is illegal to link to things other people have posted on the web, on pain of millions in damages — the kinds of sums that would put us (and every other small publisher in America) out of business.

Rather than pursuing the individual who created the allegedly infringing archive, Playboy is pursuing a news site for pointing out the archive’s value as a historical document. In so doing, Playboy is seeking to change the legal system so that deep-pocketed opponents of journalism can shut down media organizations that displease them. It’s a law that they could never get from Congress, but which they hope the courts will conjure into existence by wiping us off the net.

It’s not just independent publishers who rely on the current state of copyright law, either. Major media outlets (like Playboy!) routinely link and embed media, without having to pay a lawyer to research the copyright status of something someone else posted, before discussing, explaining or criticizing it.

The world can’t afford a judgment against us in this case — it would end the web as we know it, threatening everyone who publishes online, from us five weirdos in our basements to multimillion-dollar, globe-spanning publishing empires like Playboy.

As a group of people who have had long associations with Playboy, reading the articles (really!) and sometimes writing them, we hope the judge sees it our way — for our sakes… and for Playboy‘s.

Day 4 Cuban Missile Crisis – Soviet nukes ready to strike the US

Filed under: Americas, History, Military, Russia, USA — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

TimeGhost
Published on 6 Nov 2017

On the 19th of October 1962, the Soviet nuclear forces on Cuba are working on getting the warheads for their SS4 missiles combat ready. In Washington, President John F. Kennedy faces off with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including General Curtis LeMay (his arch enemy), who demand more freedom for military action.

The ineffectiveness of the NFL kneeling protests

Filed under: Football, Liberty, Media, Politics, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

In the Wall Street Journal, Shelby Steele explained (among other things) why the NFL protests went nowhere and seemed to have so little positive effect … unfortunately, that essay is behind a paywall, so Rod Dreher has pulled out some key excerpts:

… Steele reflects that black protest has lost its power to change minds in our culture. Steele says the self-defeating nature of the NFL kneeling protests — they have not only failed to change minds, but have ended up hurting the league. He says that unlike Martin Luther King and the civil rights protesters, these wealthy players took no serious risks. Nevertheless, because black protest has in the recent past been so incredibly effective, it makes sense that they would follow this model:

    It is not surprising, then, that these black football players would don the mantle of protest. The surprise was that it didn’t work. They had misread the historical moment. They were not speaking truth to power. Rather, they were figures of pathos, mindlessly loyal to a black identity that had run its course.

    What they missed is a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.

    Of course this doe not mean there is no racism left in American life. Racism is endemic to the human condition, just as stupidity is. We will always have to be on guard against it. But now it is recognized as a scourge, as the crowning immorality of our age and our history.

    Protest always tries to make a point. But what happens when that point has already been made — when, in this case, racism has become anathema and freedom has expanded?

Steele goes on to say that black Americans, victims of four centuries of grinding oppression, weren’t ready for freedom.

    [F]reedom put blacks at the risk of being judged inferior, the very libel that had always been used against us.

    To hear, for example, that more than 4,000 people were shot in Chicago in 2016 embarrasses us because this level of largely black-on-black crime cannot be blamed simply on white racism.

Steele makes the interesting and important point that freedom “is a condition, not an agent of change.” It doesn’t mean things get better for you automatically. It only means that one has the liberty to change one’s life. And with freedom comes responsibility.

What “killed” the most tanks in World War 2?

Filed under: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, History, Military, USA, WW2 — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Military History Visualized
Published on 22 Dec 2017

This video discusses what killed the most tanks in World War 2. Was it anti-tank guns, mines, planes, hand-held anti-tank weapons, mechanical breakdowns, etc. Also a short look at the problems of the term “kill”, e.g., mobility, firepower and catastrophic/complete kill.

Original Question by Christopher: “What destroyed the most tanks during WW2: infantry, planes, anti-tank guns, or other tanks (I’m not sure if tank destroyers needs its own category or not).”

QotD: Political correctness

Filed under: Liberty, Politics, Quotations — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

Theodore Dalrymple, “Our Culture, What’s Left Of It”, FrontPage Magazine, 2005-08-31.

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