I’m not one for graphic novels but the Critic and Piri both mentioned in a previous thread that they were reading Watchmen and really enjoying it so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m a few chapters in so far and damn, it’s good.

(Question for graphic novel fans, but are Frank Miller and Alan Moore the only two people who write them or does it just seem that way because Hollywood keeps making movies based on their work.)

Oh, and thanks to those who suggested I read The Big Sleep. I’ve now got enough Chandler novels to keep me busy for most of August.


Finished Watchmen this morning. Damn, that book sucked me in and didn’t let go until I was finished. I’m posting this thread to the top for those who missed the discussion on Friday. Lots of good suggestions in the comments.

War in South Ossetia

From The Big Picture:

On Thursday, August 7th, Georgian armed forces entered into the breakaway region of South Ossetia to assert Georgian governance of the region – a de facto (yet largely unrecognized) independent republic that has support from neighboring Russia. Russia responded on August 8th by sending its own military into Georgia – not only into region of South Ossetia – but also into the nearby breakaway republic of Abkhazia and deeper into Georgia itself. Many Airstrikes and ground skirmishes have taken place since, with several parties calling for a cease-fire, but no agreement as yet. Those paying the highest price for the war are the South Ossetian civilians, which may have suffered (depending on who is reporting) between 100 and 2,000 deaths to date.

Answering Questions on Border Laptop Searches

The Dept. of Homeland Security’s blog has a post about the laptop search policy that surprisingly allows comments. Here are some samples:

Put it simply. I will not be entering the USA at any time soon, as I cannot vouch for the safety of any data on my electronic equipment. Much data that is carried about on laptops is privileged, confidential or secret – letting a random search occur leads to the possibility of it becoming available to people it should not be available to.

No-one clever enough to be planning attacks would be using a laptop to transport that data around. Especially not an unencrypted one. Much more likely that secure servers are used hidden on the internet.

Laptop searches are invasive, and damaging to the USA.

Like the majority of DHS’s encroachment on our rights, this is not a sensible security measure, and it never will be. You can only wave the specter of ‘the bad guys’ in front of our faces so many times before we get tired of hearing it.

You claim to believe you’re protecting us from the .001% of people who hope to do us harm. And in the process, you’ve helped tear apart the values and freedoms that once made this country special and unique in the world. We have no greater enemy than those who would destroy this country in an effort to protect it. We’d rather take our chances with ‘terrorists’ than give up our privacy to paranoid overzealous fools.

RESIGN! I mean it. RESIGN! You have failed! You should be ashamed of yourself.

This illegal search of laptops terrifies me. Not because I am a criminal afraid of being caught, but because of the blatant corruption of our laws and constitutional rights.

I feel like we have finally slipped into a science fiction novel. 1984. Brave New World. Minority Report. Pre-crime. Guilty before innocent. The death of personal rights.

You, Jayson Ahern, and all your complacent employees, should be ashamed. How dare you invoke 9/11 as an excuse to destroy our country by poisoning our laws. Our founding fathers would be outraged and deeply disturbed by the death of the 4th Amendment.

(via J-Walk)