Bird Flu, Massive Online Gaming, Stalin, Jesus, Ashcroft, Neo-Nazis

by Mike Shea on 25 February 2004

I have a new Mobhunter article, Who Is Loral, Anyway.

According to the Mike Shea Threat Levels the Bird Flu Epidemic is a worthless news item. 22 people in Asia have died of the Bird Flu. During this same period, tens of thousands have died in car accidents. Stop driving before you even mention Bird Flu. Want to see an epidemic? Look at the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. Between 20 and 40 million people died in one year.

There is a very interesting article on the difficulties of establishing a successful Massive Online Roleplaying Game. Microsoft scrapped its plan to bring out a massive online game called Mythica stating We were looking at the market and really determined that we couldn't be competitive


Good News: the Universe May Not Be Dying: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cosmologists had a bit of good news on Friday -- they are just about twice as certain as they were before that the Universe is not going to be ripped apart.

There is an interesting article about the Stalin's war against Germany in World War 2. After numerous History channel shows, I've become more and more interested in Soviet involvement in World War 2. There is a lot I didn't know about World War 2. The Nazi attack on Russia was probably the reason Germany lost the war. Russia lost fifty million soldiers fighting the Germans. Russian military raped two million German women as part of their own "war of terror". One hundred thousand women were raped at the fall of Berlin and ten thousand of those died, many to suicide. Though Stalin is now known as one of the great monsters of our times, an icon of true evil, he was our friend and ally during World War 2. Without him, we may not have won.

The New Yorker had an interesting review of The Passion

"one somehow doubts that Gibson will make a sequel in which he reminds the audience that in later centuries the Church itself used torture and execution to punish not only Jews but heretics, non-believers, and dissidents."

Ebert also had a four star review of Passion

"The MPAA's R rating is definitive proof that the organization either will never give the NC-17 rating for violence alone, or was intimidated by the subject matter. If it had been anyone other than Jesus up on that cross, I have a feeling that NC-17 would have been automatic."

There is an interesting and disturbing article on the background of John Ashcroft.

"Some of these powers are vested in what Congress ultimately called the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, better known as the USA Patriot Act. "I remember thinking that it was rather Orwellian as a name," Vet Dinh, until recently Ashcroft's assistant attorney general for legal policy and chief author of the act, muses these days. His tone is wry, but disapproving. Dinh, a Vietnamese-born refugee of 35, thinks "the subject matter was dramatic enough" without that little touch."

There is a funny and disturbing article on Arianfest, a neo-Nazi gathering in Phoenix.

"The atmosphere inside Aryanfest was that of a Renaissance Fair gone over to the dark side, with "Heils" in place of "Huzzahs." Costumed attendees wore Iron Cross medallions and black bomber jackets emblazoned with swastika patches instead of studded leather armor and princess dresses. A Nazi memorabilia dealer hawked SS patches and framed photographs of Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Rudolph Hess in the parking lot. Next to the stage was a picnic pagoda, serving as the Aryanfest day-care center, where little white children in skinhead clothes colored in white power coloring books. Directly next door to the pagoda was a tattoo booth, where the incessant high-pitched buzz of a tattoo gun sounded from behind a blue tarp curtain. Beside the Panzerfaust merchandise stand was the Women for Aryan Unity booth, which sold child-rearing guides and White Nationalist Baby magazines, including one containing a simplified biography of Hitler suitable for bedtime stories: "He was a lifelong lover of animals and children ... He is invincible and victory shall one day be his."