“It’s a sad day for freedom,” Marco Rubio told Bret Baier after President Obama announced he would normalize relations with Cuba. Not a sad day, senator: a sad year.
If there was a theme to 2014, it was Obama’s persistence in bailing out dictators and theocrats from political scrapes and economic hardships, his tenacity in pursuit of engagement with America’s adversaries no matter the cost to our strength, principles, credibility, or alliances.
A while back, during one of Barnes and Noble’s frequent half-off Criterion Collection sales, a friend on social media snarked, “half off a DVD, or still way more than the cost of a subscription to Hulu, where you can stream every Criterion disc.”
The joke, like much great humor, was equal parts funny and sad. Funny, because it’s true, of course, and reveals something about a society that is slowly but surely giving up on physical media. Sad, because its very truth reveals how much we have lost in the drive to elevate content—digital data, bits, ones and zeroes compressed as much as possible in order to offer cheap and fast downloadability—over every other concern.
When the horror cult classic Faces of Death (1978) was first released on video, the cassette cover came with a warning: “This feature contains graphic depictions of autopsies, dismemberment, physical cruelty, human combustion and electrocution. It should not be viewed by children, the elderly or the squeamish.”
Perhaps something similar should have been done with Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found. Or at the very least smelling salts could’ve been tucked inside, considering such anecdotes as the early exploits of Viennese phrenologist Joseph Rosenbaum who, in 1808, decided he needed the skull of a recently deceased actress, Elizabeth Roose, for his collection.
The federal government issued a warning Friday about additional cyber attacks using the malicious software from the Sony Pictures cyber attack.
Russian strategic bombers conducted a third circumnavigation of the U.S. Pacific island of Guam last week as other bombers flew close to Alaska and Europe, defense officials said.
Two Tu-95 Bear H bombers made the flight around Guam, a key U.S. military hub in the western Pacific, on Dec. 13. No U.S. interceptor jets were dispatched to shadow the bombers.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has toy lasers and lightsabers in its sights, issuing guidance to regulate the toys on Friday.
“Many a kid (and parent) who has seen Luke Skywalker battle Darth Vader with a lightsaber thinks lasers are cool,” the government said in a blog post.
The National Labor Relations Board took another step toward eliminating the franchise business model on Friday, opening the doors for unionization at some of America’s largest employers.
Virginia state delegate Joe Morrissey, who is in jail after he pleaded guilty to charges relating to a relationship with his teenage office assistant, has finally agreed to resign, but announced that he will run in the special election to be held in January.
The Obama administration’s normalization of relations with Cuba has handed the Communist government an economic lifeline, critics say, just when its traditional foreign patrons are suffering from their own domestic troubles.
A nonprofit group run by an Obama administration appointee and funded in part by federal taxpayers may have violated federal law by supporting Democratic mayoral candidates in California, according to a legal complaint filed this week.
In Denmark at the start of the 19th century, a young archaeologist named Christian J. Thomsen was given the intimidating task of organizing a growing horde of ancient objects being stockpiled in preparation for the eventual foundation of a National Museum of Antiquities. As David W. Anthony relates in his splendid The Horse, the Wheel, and Language, Thomsen made the decision to separate and display his collection in three large halls: one for objects made of stone, one for objects made of bronze, and one for those made of iron.
There’s a lesson for filmmakers in the fact that Peter Jackson’s best foray into Middle Earth was also his smallest.
The Obama administration is stalling the release of a key report detailing U.S. covert action in Iran due to concerns that information about America’s activities there could harm ongoing negotiations with Tehran over its contested nuclear program, according to officials in the State Department’s Office of the Historian.
North Korea dispatched covert commando teams to the United States in the 1990s to attack nuclear power plants and major cities in a conflict, according to a declassified Defense Intelligence Agency report.
The DIA report, dated Sept. 13, 2004, reveals that five units of covert commandos were trained for the attacks inside the country.
According to the report, the “Reconnaissance Bureau, North Korea, had agents in place to attack American nuclear power plants.”
Unions may be pushing for President Obama’s massive minimum wage hike, but many seek special carveouts from existing wage laws, according to a new study.