Currently reading…

Mao’s Last Revolution by Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals. An extremely interesting book that focuses on Mao’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976.

Currently reading…

The Private Life of Chairman Mao By Dr. Li Zhisui, who was the Chairman’s personal doctor from 1954 all the way to his death in 1976. A fascinating insider’s view into the Mao the man and into the politics that ruled China during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

Currently reading…

Survival in the Killing Fields by Haing Ngor, whom some of you may remember as the actor who played journalist Dith Pran in The Killing Fields. A vivid first-person account of what it was like to live in Cambodia before and during the infamous era of the Khmer Rouge, during which some 25% of the country’s population was killed.

Currently reading…

Mao’s Great Famine by Frank Dikotter. This is not the first time I’ve read about the effects of China’s Great Leap Forward in the late 50s and early 60s, but this certainly has highlighted not only the direct effects of the famine itself but also its origins and also the secondary effects by which the GLF had such a devastating impact on the Chinese countryside.

Nothing is ever as it seems with North Korea

The DPRK made it to the world cup and beating expectations, but their fans are a little odd — but then they would be, as they’re not actually North Koreans, but rather Chinese volunteers paid by Pyongyang to attend the games and cheer loudly.

Well, that’s just his answer to everything.

South Korea has officially blamed North Korea for the sinking of the warship Cheonan, and now North Korea is mobilizing for war. So what would John Bolton do about it? WWJBD?

  1. Demand an aggressive restart to the six-party regional talks
  2. Bomb North Korea
  3. Bomb Iran
  4. Option 3 again.

This is of course a trick question as both 3 and 4 are correct. John Bolton would deal with North Korea by bombing Iran… or did he just dredge up an old Word doc and lazily change all mentions of “Iran” to “North Korea” except for that last one? It’s one thing to bomb another country out of malice or incompetence, and another to do so because you’re too lazy to double-check your own documents. Sometimes it seems to me that the only thing standing between John Bolton and an ICC tribunal for crimes against humanity is access to power. Good thing no one’s dumb enough to give this batshit-insane psycho any.

Too big to fail, indeed.

What if they built a mall, at the time the world’s largest, and (almost) no one came?

Now that’s some serious souvenir money.

The sports world is abuzz with Cristiano Ronaldo’s acquisition by Real Madrid for a record-setting 96 million Euro transfer fee, but I think the real important story of the day is the capture of two Japanese citizens in Italy who were bound for Switzerland with $134 billion in possibly-counterfeit US securities in $500M and $1B denominations.

Interesting how this story keeps getting blacked-out in the mainstream press, don’t you think? Methinks I detect Kim Jong-Il’s hand in this. North Korea has been turning out high-quality counterfeit US money for over a decade, and it was only a matter of time before they started working on the really valuable stuff. Still, it’s only speculation at this point. Still, is anyone in the market for shady $500M US bonds?..

More documentaries…

Here’s what I’ve been looking at recently in my quest to seek out all the interesting documentaries on the web. Just three today, but they’re well worth it.

Continue reading “More documentaries…”

Weird videos file, continued.

To keep the streak of weird videos going, here’s one entitled Dancing Man Wearing a Horse Mask Cooks Wild Mushrooms. And you know what? It delivers on that title.