The parties are advised to chill.
Mattel, Inc. v. MCA Records, Inc., 296 F.3d 894, 908 (9th Cir. 2002)

Thursday, August 31, 2006
Vocabulary Word Of The Day


From Beerfest.

I'm going to have to remember that one.

Posted 7:46 AM by Tony

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

How did I miss this? In the SF Chronicle:

The Democratic-controlled Legislature is on the verge of sending Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a bill that would create a state-run universal health care system, testing him on an issue that voters rate as one of their top concerns in this election year.

On a largely party-line 43-30 vote, the Assembly approved a bill by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, that would eliminate private medical insurance plans and establish a statewide health insurance system that would provide coverage to all Californians. The state Senate has already approved the plan once and is expected this week to approve changes that the Assembly made to the bill.

To view the bill, SB840, see here.

I'm a bit concerned, since I do not want to change my own insurance plan for one provided by the state government.

Posted 7:41 PM by Tony

Monday, August 28, 2006
That's Poetic

Via Instapundit, it appears that Saddam Hussein is being made to watch South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.

Hey, doesn't that feature Saddam and Satan as homosexual lovers?

Oh yeah:

Satan: How come you always want to make love to me from behind? Is it because you want to pretend I'm somebody else?

Saddam Hussein: Satan, your ass is gigantic and red. Who am I going to pretend you are, Liza Minelli?

Posted 6:54 PM by Tony

Thursday, August 24, 2006
That Got My Attention

Pluto is no longer a planet. Not all that interesting, but the choice of words in the SF Chronicle article made me laugh:

Pluto was shafted by the world's astronomers today, demoted to the lowly status of "dwarf planet" and leaving the solar system with its original eight true planets plus countless other objects that must now be called "small solar system bodies." . . .

[ . . . ]

Ceres, round and firm and fully packed, is the largest object in the asteroid belt where thousands of rocky chunks mostly orbit the sun between Mars and Jupiter, and many astronomers wanted to call it a full-fledged planet. But now it's only a dwarf planet, the IAU decided.

Suddenly, I want to go to Broadway.

Posted 10:10 PM by Tony

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Lessons Learned

I'll be honest - I didn't really pay detailed attention to the recent Israel v. Party of God (Hezbollah) clashes. What I did wonder, however, was how long Israel could last, since the IDF has historically relied on large call ups of reservists in its wars. Here's an inkling (via Jerusalem Post:

I have known Danny (a pseudonym) for many years but never have I seen him as angry as now. He is a commander of a reserve battalion in the armored corps and a moshav farmer in civilian life. His epaulets rank him as major. Tall, muscular, bulky, in his late forties, he cuts a dashing figure speeding in his armored jeep through a curtain of diesel fumes and whirling dust alongside his clanking, snorting column of Merkava tanks returning to base from Lebanon.

Danny is angry at the last three chiefs of staff - Ehud Barak, Shaul Mofaz, and Moshe Ya'alon - for having neglected the land forces in favor of the air force, for sacrificing ground mobility on the altar of high-tech wizardry, and for squandering tank specialists in the nooks and crannies of the intifada.

Danny is angry at them for slashing the army budget by 13 percent, and for downgrading the reserves by a whopping 25 percent. To be in top form, a tank reservist needs a five-day refresher exercise each year. Most hardly got that in the course of three years, others in the space of five, and yet others none at all.

Danny is angry at the rushed fashion his reservists were mobilized, with depleted provisions, outdated equipment, and insufficient supplies. Their transition from family normality to a place of hazard and death was too abrupt to allow for battle conditioning. His reservists, living by a bond that is impossible to describe and impossible to break, had too little time to pound themselves into front-line discipline through tough exercise, ruthless discipline, and absolute obedience. Some were so out-of-shape they caved in under the grueling stress.

DANNY IS angry at the lack of aptitude of the younger enlisted recruits. Tankists by designation but drafted into the intifada as foot soldiers by necessity, their stance was not that of tank crews but of crack commandos. Full of drive and guts, they know more about tracking down terrorists in the labyrinths of the refugee camps in Jenin and Nablus than a tank's maneuverability, technology, and self-protection mechanisms in Lebanon.

Read the rest.

Posted 8:31 PM by Tony

Sports I Know Nothing About

There are just some sports I pay little attention to - cricket is definitely one of them. Maybe it's because I'm an American, but my knowledge of and interest in the sport can be written in highlighter on the head of a pin.

But this is pretty darned interesting.

Posted 8:05 PM by Tony

Quick Thought

Is it just me or does he look like he needs to take a dump? Well, I hear his talent's pretty execrable, anyway.

Posted 7:12 PM by Tony

Sure, Like They Deserve To Be Heard

South Korea's ruling Uri Party (or, as they're getting to be known around here, among other places, as the Urinal Party) came to power, along with president Roh Moo-hyun, partly on the basis of anti-Americanism. (See generally the Korea Liberator posts, also here). Now, in the midst of US-ROK Free Trade Agreement negotiations, several Uri Party members want to slide in goods made in Kaesong, North Korea as part of the agreemetn:

A group of 35 governing Uri Party lawmakers Tuesday called on U.S. President George W. Bush to include products from an inter-Korean industrial park [13 ROK companies operate there now, with ten more to follow] in a free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the U.S.

In a letter sent to Bush, Rep. Song Young-gil, who heads the National Assembly's ad hoc panel on the FTA, and other legislators said the U.S. should not exclude products made in the inter-Korean border city of Kaesong considering the significant symbolic meaning of the joint business project between the two Koreas.

[ . . . ]

The lawmakers also reminded Bush of the U.S. government¡¯s Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs) program, which greatly benefited Middle Eastern countries that signed peace treaty with Israel. Introduced in 1997, the QIZs program has applied conditions of U.S.-Israel FTA to imported products from Jordan and Egypt, they said.

Give me a break. Jordan and Egypt, despite their problems, are not North Korea. The Uri legislators' request would end up enriching a regime known to be hostile to the US, including not just missile firings, but involvement in counterfeiting American currency. Moreover, despite the Uri's failure to acknowledge it, and in the face of the brotherhood nonsense it peddles, the North Korean regime continues to oppress untold numbers of the Uri's fellow Koreans. (generally HRNK) While those people may be content in their complicity, I don't see why we should also provide material assistance to the North. (I realize this sounds over the top, but I'm pissed.)

I'll bet that this is one thing that we're not going to budge on.

On a side note - I'll be damned if I buy Hyundai if I can at all help it.

Posted 8:06 AM by Tony

Thursday, August 17, 2006
Maybe It's The Contrarian In Me

I don't know why, but I always feel a bit suspicious when I see something that appeals to my own biases. (And let's not kid ourselves, everyone has their own biases or prejudices. This BBC bit goes towards one of mine, antipathy against baby boomers:

Now, as the boomers become "ageing hipsters", we're constantly being reminded of their achievements.

They gave us rock 'n' roll (which might explain the recent book, Baby Boomers and Hearing Loss), mod cons, the space race, computer science, and a rebellious disregard for the stiff-upper-lipped attitudes of earlier generations.

But did the baby boomers also leave behind a negative, even destructive legacy?

With their thirst for "stuff" - bigger houses, better cars, tastier grub - did they give rise to a culture of selfish consumption?

And by challenging old-fashioned moralism, did they inadvertently nurture a climate of promiscuity - even fuelling the spread of STDs?

I suspect that the truth is somewhere in the middle, and perhaps leaning more toward the negative. Then again, like I said, I have my biases.

What I'm concerned about, though, is that we're going to have a large population of self-absorbed elderly, who generally tend to vote in relatively large numbers, leading to a concomitant increase in entitlement spending. Which I (among others) are going to have to pay for. Which is upsetting, since I suspect I pay much, much more in taxes than I receive in government services as it is. Ugh.

Posted 5:54 PM by Tony

Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Just Not Caring Any More

You know, I was going to write about Korean reaction to Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi going (again!) to Yasukuni Shrine, but frankly, I could give less of a crap about Korean opinion these days. Particularly in light of South Korean President Roh's demand for withdrawal of US wartime control (as long as the actual handover happens after Roh leaves office), the South's continued supineness to the North, its attempt to have goods manufactured in Kaesong covered by the US-ROK FTA currently undergoing negotiation, and amnesty for indicted acquaintances (Roh's built himself up as a reform politician, albeit with anti-American tendencies).

And finally, the last reason I could give a damn about Korea's reaction to Yasukuni these days (Stars and Stripes, via Chosun Ilbo; see also the Marmot:

The film, called “The Host” in English, has broken South Korean box office records. More than 6 million tickets were sold in its first 11 days, according to a Yonhap News Agency report on Monday.

The movie also drew promising reviews at the Cannes Film Festival this spring for its mixture of humor and horror. It’s scheduled for a U.S. release later this year.

But the film isn’t all fiction: It capitalizes on a court case from a few years ago that pitted the morgue director for the U.S. military in South Korea against the nation’s courts and environmental groups.

In early 2005, Albert McFarland was sentenced to two years’ probation and a suspended jail sentence after being tried in absentia on charges that in 2000, he ordered two morgue workers to dump about 192 16-ounce bottles containing a formaldehyde mixture.

The film’s director, Bong Joon-bo, has said he relied on the McFarland case as a plot device but he declined to call “The Host” a political satire, according to Yonhap. Bong declined an interview with Stars and Stripes through the movie’s production company, Chungeorham Film.

[emphasis added]

In comparison, in 2003, 29 timber companies allegedly dumped 271 tons of formalin into streams feeding into the Han River.

So it's harder and harder for me to care what Korean opinion is like these days.

Posted 5:43 PM by Tony


From IMDB, on Expats, an upcoming movie set in (and to be filmed in) Korea:

Jeremy is quickly lured into the darkly seductive underworld of Pusan, the modern Casablanca. When they discover Korean gangsters never carry guns, they hatch an outrageous plan - to rob them.

"Pusan, the modern Casablanca"? Now _that's_ a comparison I've never heard before.

Posted 1:30 PM by Tony

Friday, August 04, 2006
Pasty People

I thought this article in the Chosun Ilbo was a bit interesting:

Controversy surrounds an Internet-born neologism for terminally shallow women, "doenjang-nyeo." Doenjang is of course the soy bean paste that is one of the cornerstones of Korean cuisine, and -nyeo is the female suffix. But the true origin of the term, it seems, was not the unoffending paste but in the exclamation "jyaenjang" used to express dissatisfaction and roughly translating as "Damn!" But this was softened to the more palatable culinary reference.

[ . . . ]

The hapless gochujang-nam clearly exists at the other end of the economic scale from the unattainable doenjang-nyeo. "To save a mere W300 (US$1=W965), he takes the neighborhood bus instead of the city bus. Eating at the school cafeteria is a waste of money, so he heads to the nearest convenience store.” A Netizen called Lee Da-hye demands on a website, "There are plenty of guys out there that are wrapped up vanity too. Why are they only attacking the women? I'm concerned that we may now be seeing the emergence of neo-chauvinist thinking."

[ . . . ]

Some feel it is Korean men's "army complex" that is at the heart of the doenjang-nyeo hoo-ha. "While we are struggle through two years in the military, girl students go on backpacking vacations, or study foreign languages,” complains Kim Jae-won, who has finished his military service and returned to his studies. “It seems it’s borne out of feeling among men that they are being treated unfairly because women get to enjoy campus life more." In other words, it could be linked to a sense of reverse discrimination after employers started to abolish extra points for male applicants who had served in the military. In our survey, 46.3 percent of male students agreed that reverse discrimination is starting to emerge both on campus and in society as a whole.

I don't know if this is for real or not, but I find societal issues like this pretty fascinating.

Posted 5:07 PM by Tony

Unintended Consequences?

NASCAR appears to be fully behind the Talladega Nights movie, if this is any indication.

Yet, I can't escape the suspicion NASCAR's enthusiasm for the movie is going to bit them right in the rear, if this SF Chronicle review is any example (but see, surprisingly, the NY Times):

"Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" is a pretty funny comedy and a slick juggling act. Taking place in the world of NASCAR racing, the picture attempts to benefit from the popularity of the sport while showing contempt for the culture surrounding it. Thanks to the laughs, and there are plenty of them, "Talladega Nights" may end up creating no resentment within NASCAR circles, but there's no mistaking it: This is a decidedly blue-state take on a red-state phenomenon.

Don't get me wrong - I plan to see it. But I just can't this suspicion.

Posted 5:04 PM by Tony

An Orange County native trapped in the SF Bay Area. Email at

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