The Rise of “Militainment”

A Financial Times article describes how video game technology has replaced or supplemented military training across all US service branches. The costs are lower, the training prospects better, the exercises far safer, but there is a hidden danger: when a gamer makes the transition from video game war to real war, how can he understand how the stakes, and the consequences, have changed?

How The Republican establishment and the Tea Party movement teamed up to bring down Obama’s health care plan

The nascent Tea Party movement continues to show its reach and influence, and the Republican Party is learning how to align itself with and harness the energy of the movement to push its agenda. Scott Brown’s defeat of lethargic Martha Coakley in Massachusetts was a strategic triumph that caught a distracted and stretched Democratic Party completely off guard. Either this defeat will wake up the Democrats and spur them to rally around some legislative reforms that appeal to the “working man” for a series of quick wins that restore the faith of the voters, or it will cause them to fragment even more and sustain sweeping losses in the midterms. I can’t say I’m optimistic about their chances, and it is disappointing that neglect of the economy has once again put the kibosh on badly needed health care reform, doubly unfortunate as unemployment stays historically high.

Walk Away From Your Mortgage!

A columnist in the New York Times Magazine argues that in our current economic climate, with rampant speculation, risk-taking, strategic bankruptcies, failures, and all sorts of other destabilizing and socially detrimental actions being undertaken by large corporations, homeowners have no “moral obligation” to stick with their underwater mortgages. Many people are choosing to walk away from their houses and mortgage payments, and I tend to agree that it is only fair for the little guy to play the same sort of games so popular among greedy hedge funds, investment bankers, and the rest of the people who have done so much to destroy our economy and hurt so many people.

Another Challenge for Ethical Eating – Plants Want to Live, Too

The Times argues for plant welfare. That’s my gut reaction whenever I hear talk about the awfulness of humans killing animals for food, clothing, or supplies. We have to eat something, and, animal cruelty concerns aside, animal protectionists never stop to explain why are animals more deserving of life than plants.

Google Voice App Blocked From Apple iPhone

Not the least bit surprising, but still utterly stupid and wrong. Apple is blocking Google’s amazing and innovating new Google Voice service from working on the iPhone, by blocking both Google’s custom application and any other third party application that supports the service. Maybe it is time for regulators to step in and enforce neutrality.