Saudi Arabia declares online satire punishable offence

“Producing and distributing content that ridicules, mocks, provokes and disrupts public order, religious values and public morals through social media … will be considered a cybercrime punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of three million riyals ($800,000).”

The President is proud to be corrupt!

“Trump’s tweet is so blunt one is almost tempted to look for deeper meaning. He’s saying the U.S. Department of Justice should be most concerned not with enforcement of laws but with aiding the Republican Party. Plenty of politicians are corrupt, but few announce it proudly from their Twitter accounts.”

This is kind of a smoking gun, in a way. Investigators normally have a difficult time proving “corrupt intent,” but Trump just puts it all out there on Twitter.

Glitzy property projects and financial crises tend to go hand-in-hand.

It’s probably not statistically valid, but certainly an interesting observation that unusual property projects presage a financial collapse. The two are not cause-and-effect, but there is some logic to it. Whenever property values are so elevated that traditional development projects become unprofitable, people have to find a better way to get a return on investment – like building enormous skyscrapers on a relatively small piece of land, or (in the specific case mentioned in this article) creating new inexpensive land in the form of artificial islands.

Continue reading “Glitzy property projects and financial crises tend to go hand-in-hand.”

“M*A*S*H” cast still ‘family’ 35 years after its record-breaking finale


It doesn’t seem like that long ago, but the survivors are all at least 75 years old today. Father Mulcahy, Major Winchester, Major Burns, Trapper John, Colonel Blake and Colonel Potter have passed on.

I think it would be interesting to do a M*A*S*H special, setting it in the Reagan years, about 35 years after the Korean War, so that the characters would be the right age. Hawkeye, B.J., Hot Lips, Radar and Klinger are all still alive. It would be interesting to theorize what happened to the characters’ lives after the war.

Sadly, my favorite character, the great Colonel Flagg (Edward Winter), has passed on. Let’s remember some of his great moments:

The 6 Most Jaw-Dropping Train Routes in the World

This is really just a blog to hype travel services, but in my younger and more vulnerable years, to cite F. Scott, I used to dream of taking the Orient Express or the Trans-Siberian Railway.

I have to admit having lost enthusiasm for sitting in place while a fascinating world flashes by.  I think that’s probably because my entire life has consisted of just that.

Despite having lost my youthful enthusiasm for riding trains and giant ships, I am still mesmerized by the sight of their passing. God only knows why, but the sight of a serpentine train coiling through a valley or a massive freighter barely squeezing through a narrow lock still causes me to interrupt my life.