David Knights' Weblog

September 30, 2010

Movie Review: The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s struggle for freedom (2010)

Filed under: General,Politics — dknights @ 6:11 am
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The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s struggle for freedom is a documentary  film about the current situation in Tibet and its struggle for independence from China.  Specifically the film covers the Tibet situation and the uprisings and protests that occurred both inside and outside Tibet in 2008 in the run-up to the 2008 Bejing Olympics.

Since the filmmakers are Tibetan, the point of view of the film is rather obvious, with the Tibetans cast as the oppressed and occupied peoples and the Chinese as the evil occupiers.  Central to the story the filmmakers are telling is the Dali Lama, the political and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.  The Dali Lama is generally treated very well in the film, though a major theme running thru the film is a subtle criticism that the Dali Lama lives comfortably in India and spends time jetting around the world, while the people of Tibet are oppressed and struggling under the Chinese regime. 

This criticism is somewhat muted in the film by the fact, that the Dali Lama is both a spiritual and a political figure and that his spiritual beliefs may prevent him from taking some steps that a pure political leader might encourage.  The filmmakers, while themselves not necessarily critical of the Dali Lama, certainly give voice to many in the Tibetan community who are.

The pacing of the film is somewhat slow by western standards.  The film felt every bit of its hour and ninteen mintue running time.  The movie does a good job of laying out the current situation in Tibet from the Tibetan point of view and woudl be a good primer for someone unfamiliar with the situation.  However, the films slow pace is likely to make it a bit ponderous for most western viewers.

Read the New York Times review here.

September 29, 2010

Discovery of social networking information

Filed under: Legal,Technology — dknights @ 6:54 am
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A cutting edge area of the law is the still developing question of how much of a person’s social media postings (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) can be discovered in connection with a lawsuit.  As usually happens, different courts have answered the question differently.  Read here.

September 28, 2010

Spitfire mania

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:54 pm
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Jim Bates, the Ohio attorney and former Canadian has once again caught Spitfire fever.  Read about it here.  Can’t wait to see this one finished.

September 26, 2010

Governments in action

Filed under: General,Politics — dknights @ 6:51 am
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Part #1

and

Part #2

September 24, 2010

The caffeine defense comes to Kentucky

Filed under: Kentucky,Legal — dknights @ 6:53 am
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The story is here.  I doubt it will work.

Update: Guilty.

September 23, 2010

Our government masters (Part…infinity)

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 6:37 am
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Read the story here. What else can I say?

September 22, 2010

A bill I can support

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 6:06 am
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I don’t care if the sponsor is a Rebuplican or a Democrat, I can support this bill.  I hope more folks do.

September 21, 2010

Magazine review: RT Vol. 32 #3 (Summer 2010)

Filed under: IPMS,Modeling — dknights @ 6:50 am
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I know I am repeating myself when I say that RT, the magazine of IPMS/Canada and the Journal, the magazine of IPMS/USA are the two best modeling magazines out there today, but it is true.  That should embarrass the publishers of the “for-profit” magazines, but it doesn’t seem to.  If I were a publisher of one of those magazines I’d be offering the editors of RT and the Journal a job and would be scouring every issue in order to recruit new writing talent.  Luckily for the members of IPMS no one in the professional magazine industry seems to be that smart, so we will go on benefiting from their lack of initiative.

This issue of RT, oddly enough, has all but one of its major articles written by American members of IPMS/Canada.  I know that folks in the states make up a significant minority of IPMS/Canada members.  However, they seem to be holding up their end of the deal by contributing articles to RT.  In fact, one of the articles is by the 2nd VP of IPMS/USA, Ron Bell, who has been a long time member of IPMS/Canada as well.

For the 72nd scale modeler, there isn’t a lot in this issue.  There are a set of decals for Canadian Mustang I in 72nd, 48th and 32nd scale.  Also there is Ron Bell’s article on building a 72nd scale Canadian armored car and an article on converting a B-17 to a civilian post-war photo-mapping version.  As usual the issue is a class act, from beginning to end.

September 20, 2010

Did the police overreact?

Filed under: General — dknights @ 6:24 am
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Here is the story.  There is more here and here.

I don’t want to pass judgment without more information, but the police shooting a West Point graduate and decorated former army officer under these circumstances raises serious questions.  I hope that a full and fair investigation occurs.

September 19, 2010

Lawyers behaving badly (part 2)

Filed under: Legal — dknights @ 4:13 am
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I would have thought that sleeping the wife of your client was understood to be unethical.  Apparently some lawyers did not know that.  Like this one, and this one.

And then you have the prosecutor hitting on an abuse victim.

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