Monthly Archives: March 2011

Камаедзiца — Elite Belarussian Metal For Your Prussian Crusades

Камаедзiца or… “Kamaedzitca” is a Belarussian metal band that is chalk full of the typical Pagan/Folk themes but, for whatever reason, tends to also merit ‘black metal’ being attached to it. I am not sure why… That is just what you do when you do Pagan & Folk Metal; you arbitrarily throw in ‘Black’ to the tagging of the band. Then so be it.

This album is particularly worth sharing because the production quality is good, as is the use of folk instruments. The vocals are incredibly dynamic and I just enjoy the structure and melody of the songs.

The album has a very powerful feeling and if you dim the lights, knock back a beer and think of medieval Eastern Europe it is what I imagine to be a perfect soundtrack for the Baltic Slavic pagans fighting off the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century…

(Basically, this is the soundtrack to the Prussian crusade, give or take a few guitars.)

You can download it here.

US Millionaires Don’t Feel “Rich”

I would like to apologize on behalf of all people making less than $100,000 a year and with no assets other than small personal belongings — we should grovel at your feet more to fix this problem:

America’s fat cats are convinced a million dollars won’t get them very far these days, according to a survey conducted by Fidelity Investments. The investment firm found that roughly 42 percent of more than 1,000 millionaires surveyed do not consider themselves to be “rich.” The average survey participant was 56 years old and had a mean of $3.5 million of investable assets, and all respondents had at least $1 million in assets—but many participants said they needed $7.5 million to feel truly wealthy. “Every person in the survey is wealthy,” said the president of Fidelity’s National Financial unit. “But they are still worried about outliving their assets.”

MSNBC

The fact that you could immediately retire in nearly any nation, never work a day for the rest of your life and live like a King seems irrelevant.

Perhaps we other Americans need to somehow behave in a way that is more pathetic to make the people who own us feel more rich & satisfied with their millions.

Or perhaps they can pull an Angelina Jolie and begin collecting children from 3rd world countries that they visit in order to be able to remind themselves of their privilege and elitism each day that they wake up.

Parrot Democracy

Here is an idea…

A lot of people vote, but are uninformed about politics and do not make an effort to be informed.

We should make it a law: “Only people who own a parrot can vote,”

The parrots would be free, and so would the pet food. But when you went to get your parrot food, you would be forced to spend 2 hours reading and watching videos about current events that dealt with political & economic policy.

You’d go home and feed your parrot, and each day you fed your parrot,  you could think about the political situation as a whole…

This way:

(1) Only people who cared about our democracy would vote. Lazy people, uninterested people, would just avoid parrot ownership.
(2) All voters, all parrot owners, would be informed enough to cast a vote.

(3) We could put a parrot on our flag, and that’d be a cool flag.

This is not really serious… But hey, it’s something to think about.

Arabic Agricultural Dream

Last night I dreamed I was somehow involved with learning agriculture in the Arab world. I remember we had three choices for our final project; one of them involved growing 100 bushels of Chickpeas in Syria or Iraq, and the other involved meeting with Arab trade consulates to ‘establish trade ties,’ and the last involved founding an Arabic Friendship society.

I was doing some preliminary research by going to a very rural part of the world. The people present there were all Korean, and I remember we were speaking Korean. I had brought along three friends (Chad, Sean, Jon Dunbar and Morgan). I was alerted by Morgan that Chad, Sean and Jon were all arrested.

I was led to a very small shed and behind a wall of chicken wire Chad, Sean and Jon were all laying on their sides bound with barbed wire at the wrists and ankles. I asked why they had been arrested and I was informed that it was because one of them was kissing a girl in public.

I remember leaving the tent with Morgan and wondering, “How on Earth am I going to get these guys out of here?”

I contacted the Korean government and they said,

“This is, indeed, very crazy, but you are in a very small town somewhere far away. We are going to send some people to get them out, but you need to find a way to distract the locals and the crazy police officers so they do not kill them before we get there.”

The rest of the dream consisted of me walking around rice paddies trying to think up how to free them from their strange predicament.

I came to no good ideas and then I woke up.

I then spent the first 30 minutes of consciousness thinking of ways to distract the authorities, and my best idea was to try to challenge the local police to a drinking contest or to start a string of arsons around the town while avoiding arrest.

Either way, that’d definitely be a more interesting Tuesday than today.

You Had A Debate About Limiting Free Speech?

This is really funny:

UCLA announced Friday that it would not discipline or further investigate the student who released a controversial online video in which she complained about Asian students’ behavior and mimicked an Asian language.

But later in the day, the student, Alexandra Wallace, announced that she was withdrawing from UCLA because of death threats and because she had been “ostracized from an entire community.” In a statement released to the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student newspaper, she apologized for offending Asians and called the video a mistake.

Wallace’s three-minute video had triggered a national discussion about racial stereotyping and what authority, if any, colleges have over students’ speech and opinions.

LA Times

Are you kidding me?

Someone making racist remarks is enough to inspire you to have a debate on whether or not it is proper for a college to have AUTHORITY over student’s opinion and speech?

Where have you been living — China?

You idiots…

You just missed the whole point of the last 200 years of American existence.

I am disappointed with you.

You do not deserve free speech or democracy — go straight to your room, no dinner, no TV.

Libyan Hopes Fading

Ha:

Libyan strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi has seized the moment to use his open air space to obliterate rebel forces, raising concerns that the Obama administration and U.N. Security Council are missing their opportunity to check Qaddafi’s progress, in particular by establishing a no-fly zone over the country.

With the Libyan rebellion almost wiped out, U.S. defense hawks and Qaddafi critics fear that America’s leadership has faltered in the most critical moment of the Arab liberation movement.

“Mr. President: Our window of opportunity to support the Libyan people is closing quickly. And this country has a choice to make,” Sen. John McCain said Monday on the Senate floor as he introduced a resolution calling for the no-fly zone. “Are we going to take action to support the people of Libya in their fight for freedom? Or are we going to stand by, doing more than nothing but less than enough, to achieve our stated goal of Qaddafi leaving power?”

Fox

This is a pretty interesting time — we did not properly fight against the Gaddafi regime and show our support to the rebels.

Why?

(1) Western people are too irresolute and weak to offer up support at the risk of loss even when the cause is just.

Since the Vietnam war, the Western people are weak and do not deserve their position of political hegemony over the world any longer. We have not been able to do proper things — we haven’t been able to police the world, a fundamental duty of someone who has power.

What do you call a person who allows evil to happen in their presence when they could prevent it from occurring?

(This is an argument many commonly use against God, so perhaps some of the leftists and libertarians can understand this point)

(2) We have no perceived benefit from helping them. We are only profit orientated.

But I do not really know.

Either way — it sucks.

1/3+ Of US Income Now Social Welfare?

This seems to be quite alarming:

 Government payouts—including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance—make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn’t taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement.

Even as the economy has recovered, social welfare benefits make up 35 percent of wages and salaries this year, up from 21 percent in 2000 and 10 percent in 1960, according to TrimTabs Investment Research using Bureau of Economic Analysis data.

“The U.S. economy has become alarmingly dependent on government stimulus,” said Madeline Schnapp, director of Macroeconomic Research at TrimTabs, in a note to clients. “Consumption supported by wages and salaries is a much stronger foundation for economic growth than consumption based on social welfare benefits.”

The economist gives the country two stark choices. In order to get welfare back to its pre-recession ratio of 26 percent of pay, “either wages and salaries would have to increase $2.3 trillion, or 35 percent, to $8.8 trillion, or social welfare benefits would have to decline $500 billion, or 23 percent, to $1.7 trillion,” she said.

CNBC

Is this even accurate?

It seems that there is some major issues facing the US economy and I cannot even wrap my brain around this statistic right now. It seems quite astronomical.

How Do You React To Embarrassment?

When you do something embarrassing, how do you react?

My reaction has always been to smile as widely as possible and begin laughing. Admittedly, I do turn red, however, I attempt to be the first person to laugh and smile at my faux pas.

I remember once walking down some stairs and I began falling in front of a crowd of like 30-40 people. I feel down six or seven stairs and badly twisted my ankle; it hurt like hell and people were looking on very concerned and my overreacting friend was by my side in an instant asking me if I was OK loudly and in a concerned voice; other people were cooming up to try to offer aid because I was now bleeding from an elbow. However, I distinctly remember laughing as I was falling, and laughing as I was rubbing my ankle, while no one else was really that entertained by it.

Another time while drunk an attractive woman was laying down, resting her head on my shoulder. She was resting a hand on my thigh and it seemed all the signals were right. She turned her head to me and my only reaction was to kiss her on the lips — she began pulling away suddenly like, “WTF?” and again, I just began laughing louder than anyone at the table. I’ve been asked by mutual friends if I was making a joke all along, and I had to admit that I was not, but again, good scenario.

Once, on the first day of class, a class that was 70% women, I was sitting in a row of about 5-6 women, and someone obviously in our section of the class farted kind of noisily and it did, indeed, smell bad. Even though it was not me, I did begin laughing loudly…

I noticed one of the girls on the right side turning bright red, and then a girl on the left side looked over at me with a look of disgust as if I was the one who farted due to my obnoxious laughter, and I suddenly realized… Everyone must think that I farted! But I didn’t!

During group discussion time I really wanted to just explain to these women in a matter of fact way that “Look, I did not fart. It was someone else. I just found it to be funny. However, in order to make it less embarrassing for the person who farted and to show that I am a gentleman that will even the playing ground,” (I pause dramatically and give a wink to the girl who turned red), “I will fart at the soonest possible opportunity in order to lessen the shame and guilt of the person who had farted.”

I never made this statement, nor did I ever purposefully pass gas in the class, yet it seemed that in a rational world such a proposal would have been met with approval as a fair and democratic method to ease the environment and clear my good name.

(I would like to note that after six years of military service I generally have no shame in the passing of gas. If you would ever like me to fart publicly or to urinate on your passport, these are two fields where I am well experienced and will gladly oblige you.)

Afterthought: Embarrassment is a necessary emotion but it is also useless if you do not revel in your moments of embarrassment. It helps teach you about guilt & honesty.

Honest people who fall down, honest people who accidentally kiss other people and honest farters are the true gentlemen of today’s world, and we should all endeavor to laugh every time these happen.

Never let a good fart get in the way of a good day.

Arafel – For Battles Once Fought (Israeli “Folk” Black Metal)

Arafel is an Israeli ‘Folk Black Metal’ band, whatever that means, and it transcends the genre quite well and is quite pleasing to the ears. I really enjoyed the music and think that it is listenable to a wide range of people so I think you would not be displeased if you gave it download. 

No extremism or craziness — normal quality recording, not the usual guttural punishment that I prefer. It’s a sweet album that came out right in 2011. 

I hope that you enjoy the sound. 

link

이미자 hit collection (Korean Oldies, Trot)

I know some of you out there have an interest in classic Korean music so over the next few weeks I hope to upload some of the better pieces of my colleciton.

이미자 (Yi Mija) was a terrific singer; her songs are smooth, mellow and her voice often drifts away into a very emotional tide that seemingly clashes a bit with the background. Very lovely voice.

My favorite tracks are 한 번 준 마음 인데 and 잊을 수 없는 연인.

All tracks should be listed in Hangel as well as the singer’s name for those of you who are purists out there — if you do not receive them int hat way, let me know.

 

Download