Archive for October, 2010

Wikileaks…Double-Edged Sword

October 18, 2010

Wikileaks LogoSo wikileaks.org is about to blow the whistle on US activity overseas, once again.  The last thing I heard out of Wikileaks was the Afghan document dump.  By the by, the documents can be found here…when Wikileaks finishes its “scheduled maintenance”…or when the founder finishes his court obligations and retires.  Wikileaks was put on the map, so to speak, when the community released a leaked video from an apache helicopter showing Reuters photojournalists being gunned down.  Needless to say, the video cast unfavorable light on certain US rules of engagement.  The video is labeled, Collateral Murder.  I wrote a more detailed blog about it last semester—it can be found here.  The soldier believed to be responsible was supposedly arrested, but (as of June, 2010) has not been charged.

Pentagon Wall PlaqueThis month, Wikileaks is about to release 400,000 documents pertaining to the US involvement in Iraq.  Naturally, the Pentagon is a little edgy about the situation.  I enjoy a whistleblower as much as the next guy, but there are certain details, contained within those documents, Wikileaks should opt to leave out—such as names of informants, as the article points out.

Hopefully, the leak will serve to expose unacceptable, immoral practices (should they exist) without rendering current acceptable procedures obsolete.  Just in case, a 120-member committee has been assembled by the US military to deal with whatever may come.  I guess we will just have to see what surfaces.

A Deck of Cards…but a Cool One.

October 15, 2010

Sentinel CardsAll right, so I was was surfing the Web the other day when I happened across Theory11.com.  What initially arrested my attention was the playing card section—specifically, the Sentinels.  The video on the linked page is illogical—everyone in these videos happen to walk around with playing cards in their pocket, should the need to pull some next-level slight of hand stuff arise.  I want the cards because of the secret societies-related imagery.

The Web site also sells materials instructing the slight of hand tricks mentioned earlier.  Apparently, this is called, cardistry.  Whenever I think of sleight of hand movements, I automatically remember the movie, Smokin’ Aces because of a character, Buddy Israel (played by Jeremy Piven).  Israel is a Las Vegas magician, so he is constantly utilizing cardistry in his movie appearances.  It is a great action flick with an awesome cast, including Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Ben Affleck and Alicia Keys (to name a few).  Looking at the DVD on the shelf, I think I am going to watch it now.  You can find Hulu clips of the movie here.

Smokin' Aces DVD Cover

It’s a Video Game

October 4, 2010

Medal of Honor: VanguardThe developers of the upcoming game, Medal of Honor, have changed the multiplayer opposing team name from “Taliban” to “Opposing Force.”  For having teams of creative people at its disposal, Electronic Arts certainly did not strain too much to develop that name, did they?  This BBC article claims the change came because Electronic Arts received complaints from friends and families of fallen soldiers.

I can understand how it could be considered distasteful to make it possible for a teenager to wreak havoc under the digital representation of a Taliban soldier, but I must also say I think there are other issues with more merit for concern.  Now, people will be (digitally) blowing “Opposing Force” heads off, rather than unloading into Taliban soldiers.

On a side note—is this Medal of Honor related to the game series, by the same name, for the original Sony Playstation?  I remember playing the first Medal of Honor game for hours on end when it was released.  After reading the wiki page I linked to, I found out the new game is a continuation of the series—question answered.

Ah, Overseas Terrorism

October 4, 2010

Predator DroneI was cruising the U.S. and Canada portion of the BBC website, where the largest headline read, “US Issues Travel Alert for Europe.”  Okay.  Good thing I’m not planning on vacationing across the ocean anytime soon.  A click-through led me here.  According to this accompanying article, the C.I.A. has been suspecting an attack for a while, and has been raining hell on the mountains of Pakistan with unmanned firepower.  The U.S. is also trying to push Pakistan to search for al-Qaeda operatives (such as, but not limited to, Osama Bin Laden).

I’m so tired of hearing about Osama and al-Qaeda…I’m willing to entertain a friend’s notion that Israel did it.  My eyebrows raised when he suggested that.  I love a good conspiracy theory.  For the hell of it, he changed his Xbox 360 name to suggest this…it was flagged, and he was warned to change it before the F.B.I. started looking at him—he was told that by whichever department provides Xbox Live support, I think.  That interview may have to be a blog of its own at a later date…maybe.

And I just realized I did not update the status of my parking ticket, as I said I would do in an earlier post.  It was reduced to a warning.