30 November 2005

Haters!

This post from the always funny Go Fug Yourself, has me bothered.

I love me some Sean Young.

(Maybe it's the tallness, maybe it's the craziness, or maybe it's remembering her in Blade Runner)

And to defend the outfit, this was taken outside of the National in Westwood, CA for the Brokeback Mountain premiere. She was probably going for a little bit of a nostalgia vibe given that the film is set in the summer of '63.

(looking at it again, nevermind, rip away Fug girls)

Good economic news? Must be faulty data.

This recent jump in new home sales has defied experts' expectations.

Those same experts cite a 47% jump in the sales of new homes in Western states from Sept to Oct as evidence that these numbers must be wrong.

I don't dispute that the numbers may be wrong.

What has me somewhat baffled is that I don't recall past articles on housing numbers speaking about how unreliable the statistics are.

Is it a matter of bias where they simply refuse to trust good news while Republicans are in charge of the government, or are they voicing skepticism to warn the markets not to read to much into these numbers lest poor choices are made based on faulty data.

But again, that raises the question that if these numbers have always been B.S., why do they get reported so breathlessly (especially if they portend dooooooooom)?

Also, is there an unreported Katrina angle to these numbers? A significant number of existing homes have disappeared from the market, and an unusual amount of folk have been displaced. Given that the stats show decreases in existing home sales and increases in new home sales, might these displaced people have had an impact?

I wonder if insurance companies, and land speculators are quietly buying up lots in the effected areas. Plenty of the displaced will be disposed to take offers so that they can build new lives in a different part of the country. The press is focusing on those that stayed and are trying to rebuild in the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in New Orleans since that's more dramatic. But, there might be a portion of the displaced that realize the job market isn't rebounding soon, wasn't very good to begin with and if the option to move is there then moving is the best option.

It's all idle speculation on my part based on no data whatsoever, guess I'll be getting a job as a reporter at the NYT, LA Times, or WaPo with those habits.

A New recruiting tool?

Will art schools, like Otis, use this article in their recruitment literature?

(Come for the art, stay for the . . . . . . .(fill in your own blank you pervert))

Not as bad as it sounds

This article from WaPo about proposed changes in TSA procedure isn't a bad thing in my opinion.

First, filtering out the small things that pose a slight threat will allow screeners to focus on the big things that pose a major threat. Given the small time allotted to checking each passenger, a more focused screening would lead to better results.

Second, if the bad guys can bring in potentially dangerous objects, so can the good guys (or guys who given the chance will do violence to bad guys). Instapundit's common refrain of a pack, not a herd applies.

Third, the entire mindset of flight crews has been altered forever by 9/11. There will never be another hijacking of a U.S. based flight. The procedures to mollify hijackers to protect the passengers was based on the assumption that hijackers goal is to extort money or get somewhere. That assumption has been shattered. Besides the upgraded doors, you have pilots who are instructed to risk passenger injury to protect cabin integrity. The only possible vector for a hijacking now would be turncoats in the flight crew and that's unlikely (unless you write Hollywood pictures in which case it's your startling twist).

And did I mention how much I love the name of the reporter who filed this article, Sara Kehaulani Goo.

28 November 2005

You won't see Sir Mix-A-Lot complaining

I am struck speechless by this article.

Maybe not speechless, maybe I should just quote the great sage:

[Intro]
Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt.
It is so big. *scoff* She looks like,
one of those rap guys' girlfriends.
But, y'know, who understands those rap guys? *scoff*
They only talk to her, because,
she looks like a total prostitute, 'kay?
I mean, her butt, is just so big. *scoff*
I can't believe it's just so round, it's like,
out there, I mean - gross. Look!
She's just so ... black!

[Sir Mix-a-Lot]
I like big butts and I can not lie
You other brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung, wanna pull out your tongue
'Cause you notice that butt was stuffed
Deep in the jeans she's wearing
I'm hooked and I can't stop staring
Oh baby, I wanna get wit'cha
And take your picture
My homeboys tried to warn me
But with that butt you got makes me feel so horny
Ooh, Rump-o'-smooth-skin
You say you wanna get in my Benz?
Well, use me, use me
'Cause you ain't that average groupy
I've seen them dancin'
The hell with romancin'
She's sweat, wet,
Got it goin' like a turbo 'Vette
I'm tired of magazines
Sayin' flat butts are the thing
Take the average black man and ask him that
She gotta pack much back
So, fellas! (Yeah!) Fellas! (Yeah!)
Has your girlfriend got the butt? (Hell yeah!)
Tell 'em to shake it! (Shake it!) Shake it! (Shake it!)
Shake that healthy butt!
Baby got back!

(LA face with Oakland booty)
Baby got back!

[Sir Mix-a-Lot]
I like 'em round, and big
And when I'm throwin' a gig
I just can't help myself, I'm actin' like an animal
Now here's my scandal
I wanna get you home
And ugh, double-up, ugh, ugh
I ain't talkin' bout Playboy
'Cause silicone parts are made for toys
I want 'em real thick and juicy
So find that juicy double
Mix-a-Lot's in trouble
Beggin' for a piece of that bubble
So I'm lookin' at rock videos
Watchin' these bimbos walkin' like hoes
You can have them bimbos
I'll keep my women like Flo Jo
A word to the thick soul sistas, I wanna get with ya
I won't cuss or hit ya
But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna *fuck*
Til the break of dawn
Baby got it goin' on
A lot of simps won't like this song
'Cause them punks like to hit it and quit it
And I'd rather stay and play
'Cause I'm long, and I'm strong
And I'm down to get the friction on
So, ladies! {Yeah!} Ladies! {Yeah}
If you wanna role in my Mercedes {Yeah!}
Then turn around! Stick it out!
Even white boys got to shout
Baby got back!

Baby got back!
Yeah, baby ... when it comes to females, Cosmo ain't got nothin'
to do with my selection. 36-24-36? Ha ha, only if she's 5'3".

[Sir Mix-a-Lot]
So your girlfriend rolls a Honda, playin' workout tapes by Fonda
But Fonda ain't got a motor in the back of her Honda
My anaconda don't want none
Unless you've got buns, hun
You can do side bends or sit-ups,
But please don't lose that butt
Some brothers wanna play that "hard" role
And tell you that the butt ain't gold
So they toss it and leave it
And I pull up quick to retrieve it
So Cosmo says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that!
'Cause your waist is small and your curves are kickin'
And I'm thinkin' bout stickin'
To the beanpole dames in the magazines:
You ain't it, Miss Thing!
Give me a sista, I can't resist her
Red beans and rice didn't miss her
Some knucklehead tried to dis
'Cause his girls are on my list
He had game but he chose to hit 'em
And I pull up quick to get wit 'em
So ladies, if the butt is round,
And you want a triple X throw down,
Dial 1-900-MIXALOT
And kick them nasty thoughts
Baby got back!

(Little in the middle but she got much back) [4x]

Rappers can squeeze many words into a few minutes.
And don't hate me cause you're hearing this tune in your head right now, blame Sir Mix-A-Lot, not me.

(and lyrics taken from AZLyrics.com)

Boo, Effin, Hoo!


I don't have any sympathy for bribe takers regardless of party affiliation. You'll excuse my lack of sympathy for this blubbering mass of humanity pictured here.

I can't mention this jerk without also illustrating AP's usual reporting excellence and fairness by quoting the end of the article,
" Cunningham's pleas came amid a series of GOP scandals. Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas had to step down as majority leader after he was indicted in a campaign finance case; a stock sale by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is being looked at by regulators; and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff was indicted in the CIA leak case."

(Events like these make my Modest Proposal almost sound reasonable )

Which story is reality based? (part 2)

This may have to become an ongoing series.

Again, same facts different conclusions.

Who's right? The pessimistic AP, or the optimistic Bloomberg.

(all praise due to Drudge for putting these links next to each other up top)

(Drudge pointed out the glass is half-empty story, and the glass is half-full story, guess I'll have to find the George Carlin option on my own (the glass is too damn big))

Which story is reality based?

Which sounds more reasonable, this analysis of the data, or this one?

(needless to say, the Boyz, are my boys, Chicago in da HOUSE)

(And if you didn't see Thomas Sowell on FNC this weekend, for shame)

Defiant!

Anyone doing a 'Defiant Saddam' count on CNN.

I've only heard one since 4amPST, but then it's only 4:05am so I'm sure they will have more chances to mention his 'defiance' (I mentally replace 'defiant' with 'petulant, delusional, scared, childish, evil' Saddam, that works much better for me)

Public Schools, or Indoctrination Centers?

Noel Epstein has an Op-Ed in the Washington Post about the nature of public schools in the United States.

This piece is adapted from his upcoming book The American Kibbutz. Kibbutzes were a product of Israeli socialism and zionism and were designed to inculcate national and religious pride and a specific set of values.

The implications from his article is that the American public school system has filled a similar function here. He ignores the more troubling aspects of these implications.

Who decides what values are inculcated? Are schools the appropriate venue for this indoctrination in a pluralistic society (we are far different from Israel which is specifically organized around a single religion, and we've never been as socialist as Israel was at one time).

Recent posts at Althouse about teachers in Wisconsin and a teacher in Vermont suggest that there is an eagerness to instill a particular set of values in students from the youngest in the system to the oldest.

Up through the 50s a white middle-class monoculture steeped in Christian values was the official prescription for all students and regions (it was never as simple and unified as the nostalgia industrial complex would have people believe). With the break-up of this starting in the 60s, the 'parent' function of schools should have also receded, but instead it seems to have increased alarmingly.

It's my opinion (and it's mostly a very unpopular I concede) that the current system is so corrupt, so ill suited to efficiently impart knowledge, so beholden to teacher's unions, and so eager to instill a vague secular humanist, PC, multi-cultural stew of socialism and superstition that the only solution is to kill the beast completely.

End public school education, it's a failed experiment in it's current form. It's failing the poorest the most, and the functions of the system could be provided far more effectively by leaner, more modular, more responsive, more diverse, and more relevant private schools.

What sounds radical now, may sound like common sense in a decade, it wouldn't be the first time.

Entertainment Story?

Carina Chocano (I almost typed Cochina for her last name, but that would be wrong) was given a few column inches to snipe at Army recruitment.

She does know she is the film reviewer at the L.A. Times, doesn't she?

To summarize her argument, these recruiters want to make military service sound like a great chance to improve yourself, learn skills, build character and serve your country, what a bunch of evil jerks.

They should be telling the deluded, testosterone fueled, poverty striken ,foolish, and misled youngsters that they will end up broken, soulless, disfigured or dead if they even for a moment consider military service.

(and did I mention that they included this in the Entertainment section?)

UPDATE: Guess I'm not the only one who noticed and was upset with the L.A. Times about this. Winds of Change puts things into perspective, Classical Values updates his post to add this to the litany of MSM attempts to disillusion our troops, and the Blogfather pointed the way to both of them. They offer substance where I only fight snark with more snark. I bow to their wisdom.

Okay, guess I'll attempt some substance, too, since I feel a bit sheepish for having gone for only sarcastic indignation. MSM/Liberals/and the people who quote them all are still very disappointed that a larger anti-war movement hasn't cropped up in light of the continued battle against terrorism. Their great hope and dream would be a reconstitution of the Draft (evidenced by Rep. Rangel and the hoax EMails that circulated before the '04 election).

I believe the movement to block recruiters from high school and college campuses and the complaints about tying funding to access that the NCLB bill included dovetail with this belief that a new draft is the best way to thwart pro-military sentiment. If recruitment is made so difficult that the only way to maintain an adequate fighting force would be through conscription then a whole new set of anti-war talking points would flourish. Putting a front page above the fold article in the L.A. Times Calendar section (where presumably they have a higher youthful readership than any other section) is just another front in this ongoing liberal offensive. Having a film reviewer write the article is a way to both say this isn't serious and the situation is so serious that opposition is welling up from all angles (just depends what spin you want to add to the article that day). The other bloggers were right, snark isn't enough to battle this sort of crap.

Luckily the alternatives to the MSM are flourishing, multiplying and standing vigil with a global satellite system of BS detectors that also have an offensive capability to shoot lasers of truth from space-based weapons platforms to disinfect the steaming loads of excrement like what Ms. Chocano unloaded on the Calendar section in today's L.A. Times.

UPDATE, Part TWO: Fixed links, tried the trackback thing, did something wrong, will have to do some reading to figure out what went wrong.

27 November 2005

Another Country wants into the Club

The still small club of nations with nuclear power plants (and the potential to provide material for nuclear weapons) has one more potential entrant.

I have trouble believing that these developments will lead to anything good. If they follow the Brazilian model of development, allow frequent, full and free access for international inspectors, and develop power plants that don't produce weaponizeable material then this will be OK. But, Chavez is just the kind to play games and use nuclear power generation as a threat and negotiating tool on the world stage. That would be unacceptable and must be thwarted.

(but Pat Robertson's still an idiot for calling for Chavez's death)

Greatest Films (A list of the lists)

Here are separate links to the finished lists:
2-10 of Hearts, J-A of Hearts, 2-10 of Clubs, J-A of Clubs, 2-10 of Diamonds, J-A of Diamonds, 2-10 of Spades, J-A of Spades, Jokers.

And a straight, no links list of the films follows:

Hearts: Crimes of Passions, The Moderns, Matador, The Blue Angel, El Amor Brujo, Written on the Wind, Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx, Devdas, Ghost World, Tampopo, Heavenly Creatures, Blue Velvet, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Clubs: The Thief of Bagdad, The Roaring Twenties, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Wild Bunch, Kill Bill (vol 1&2), Patton, The Big Sleep, Spartacus, T2: Judgement Day, In Harm's Way, Battle Royale, Kung Fu Hustle, The Master of the Flying Guillotine

Diamonds: Jaws, Quick Change, The Third Man, Cleopatra, Fantastic Planet, The Empire Strikes Back, La Belle et la Bete, Steamboat Bill, Jr., L'Age D'Or, The Seven Samurai, The Bicycle Thief, Goodfellas, Citizen Kane

Spades: The Lavender Hill Mob, The Big Clock, The Lady Eve, Vertigo, Run Lola Run, The Incredibles, Duck Soup, Amores Perros, Ridicule, Double Indemnity, Life of Brian, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Dr. Strangelove

Jokers: El Topo, Team America:World Police


Strange list, I know, and many omissions that others would put on (where is Gone With the Wind, where is Casablanca, where is Wizard of Oz, where is Ishtar???) It's my list, it's my blog, feel free to add comments though, either at the original posts or in this summary. Hope you've been humored and informed at the very least by my humble list.

That took longer than expected, and including all those links to IMDB almost felt like work. (life before IMDB is a distant unpleasant memory, what an amazing resource that is)

Greatest Films (2 Jokers) 9th and final post of an ongoing series

No deck is complete without Jokers. They transcend all, trump all, yet are often left out when dealing most games. These two films embody that.

Joker, El Topo, Alejandro Jodorowsky (dir)
A mess, an exsistentialist, surrealist, absurdist, psychedelic Western. I'll let Pauline Kael speak for me:
"The movie may seem bewildering, however, because the narrative is overlaid with a clutter of symbols and ideas. Jodorowsky employs anything that can give the audience a charge, even if the charges are drawn from different systems of thought that are -- *as thought* -- incompatible.... Well, of course, you don't need erudition to draw on matters religious and philosophical that way -- any dabbler can do it. All you need is a theatrical instinct and a talent for (a word I once promised myself never to use) frisson. Jodorowsky is... a director for whom ideas are sensuous entities -- sensuous toys, really, to be played with. By piling onto the Western man-with-no-name righteous-avenger form elements from Eastern fables, Catholic symbolism, and so on, Jodorowsky achieves a kind of comic-strip mythology. And when you play with ideas this way, promiscuously -- with thoughts and enigmas and with symbols of human suffering -- the resonances get so thick and confused that the game may seem not just theatre but labyrinthine, 'deep': a masterpiece."- Pauline Kael

Unfortunately this is a tough film to find due to a rights ownership dispute with the owner vindictively keeping this film out of circulation. It can be found though, I suggest you find it. (looking at various message boards, the fight may finally be over and a proper DVD release of this and Holy Mountain may happen in 2006)

Joker, Team America: World Police, Trey Parker (dir)
The greatest puppet film about counter-terrorism ever made. Includes, almost, the most explicit puppet sex ever filmed (Peter Jackson owns that title with this film). Includes an extended (and I mean really, really, really, really, really, really extended) vomitting scene. Includes searing song parodies. Plus the most cogent explanation of the importance of supporting the military and their mission in the most scatalogical terms imaginable. Time will look more favorably on this film than audiences did during its release.


UPDATE:

For ease of navigation, and just in case anyone comes to any of these individual posts randomly, I'm adding a link to each of the nine posts within each posts.

Summary
2-10 of Hearts
JQKA of Hearts
2-10 of Clubs
JQKA of Clubs
2-10 of Diamonds
JQKA of Diamonds
2-10 of Spades
JQKA of Spades
Jokers

Greatest Films (JQKA of Spades) 8th of an ongoing series

Jack of Spades, Double Indemnity, Billy Wilder (dir)
The Noir film that beats them all. Again with the Stanwyck worship, she owns the screen in this film. Edward G. Robinson in support chews, gnaws, and then spits out the scenery with such professional aplomb that you would have hoped to have seen a whole picture just about his life (cause nothing is more exciting than insurance).

Queen of Spades, Life of Brian, Terry Jones (dir)
Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life's a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the right side of life...
(Come on guys, cheer up!)
Always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the bright side of life...
(Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
Always look on the bright side of life...
(I mean - what have you got to lose?)
(You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing!)
Always look on the right side of life...

King of Spades, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Russ Meyer (dir)
Hard to describe this one to the uninitiated. Russ Meyer is an amazing cinematographer, has a way with language, and is one of the most American of all directors, oh, and he was also thoroughly, completely, unabashedly, obsessed with large breasted women. It's got violence, big breasted women, vast open spaces, weak men, violent women, and did I mention big breasted women?

Ace of Spades, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Stanley Kubrick (dir)
Peter Sellers unmatched performances, Stanley Kubricks intelligent direction, Sterling Hayden's perfect portrayal of a crazed military man, George C. Scott's manic energy, and Slim Pickens straddling a missle. I would be able to say more about this film but those commies flouridate the water hereabouts and well my essence does get sapped from time to time.



UPDATE:

For ease of navigation, and just in case anyone comes to any of these individual posts randomly, I'm adding a link to each of the nine posts within each posts.

Summary
2-10 of Hearts
JQKA of Hearts
2-10 of Clubs
JQKA of Clubs
2-10 of Diamonds
JQKA of Diamonds
2-10 of Spades
JQKA of Spades
Jokers

Greatest Films (spades 2-10) 7th in an ongoing series

Spades represent a refinement of wit and skill. They derive from the tarot suit of swords and as a sword is a fine tool, films that are represented by spades are witty, skillfully constructed and able to cut to the bone.

2 of Spades, The Lavender Hill Mob, Charles Crichton (dir)
A skillful comedy, not as darkly humorous as The Ladykillers (don't even let a stray thought of this cross your mind), or as thoughtful as The Man in the White Suit, but of the Alec Guinness comedies from the 50s this is the best. Sir Alec has few equals when it comes to comic acting. The script is smart, the film breezy, and the caper enjoyable. That they are desecrating this film with a remake also just speaks to the corruption of current day Hollywood.

3 of Spades, The Big Clock, John Farrow (dir)
This is one of my favorite, man wrongfully accused, films. Elsa Lanchester has a small but excellent supporting role. Charles Laughton is always a fantastic heavy, and Ray Milland at the center of this holds everything together.

4 of Spades, The Lady Eve, Preston Sturges (dir)
I love me some Barbara Stanwyck. Henry Fonda holds up his end of the bargain, too, but this is her film. No other actress could be so formidable and so vulnerable simultaneously. The supporting cast is outstanding, it's a nearly perfect romantic comedy (shhhhh, don't tell any producers our else you'll be seeing a remake of this as the next Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie project)

5 of Spades, Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock (dir)
I could have filled up most of this deck of cards with Hitchcock films. This one though resonates on so many levels and he pushes Jimmy Stewart so far outside of his usual comfort zone that this has to be the one that stands for all the rest.

6 of Spades, Lola Rennt, Tom Tykwer (dir)
Fractured, repetitive, yet mesmerizing. (The Simpson's version was pretty good too). It's a bit arty for art's sake but don't hold it against this well filmed, well realized film. (and Franka Potente holds the whole thing together, hard to imagine a better performance given this role)

7 of Spades, The Incredibles, Brad Bird (dir)
What the hell is that film doing here? Well Pixar films have been the most consistently good major studio films since their inception. Not a single stinker and many classics amongst them. This is the best though. From the throwback modern architecture to the playful manipulation of the conceits of the superhero genre this film fires on all cylinders. Plus the anti-PC, pro-Libertarian message (at least some have argued) doesn't hurt in my book.

8 of Spades, Duck Soup, Leo McCarey (dir)
Best Marx Brothers film? Probably, inspired madness regardless. A series of stagey set-pieces stitched together with a thin plot. But still freakin' awesome. 'Nuff said.

9 of Spades, Amores Perros, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (dir)
A confluence of coincidence, this one does it right. So much right with this film, can't think of anything wrong with it. Hard to put in words what's so right about it though, just see it already (unless you have a low tolerance for bloody violence).

10 of Spades, Ridicule, Patrice Leconte (dir)
Sweet Jesus this is a damn fine film. A film centering on the courtly arts of wit and ridicule wouldn't be anyone's conception of a thrilling, exciting film, yet that's what this is. The use of language in this film is stunning (and the English subtitles may be one of the best translation jobs ever in film as this is conveyed despite the difficulties of translating English from the original French). Fanny Ardant, and Jean Rochefort in major supporting roles doesn't hurt either.



UPDATE:

For ease of navigation, and just in case anyone comes to any of these individual posts randomly, I'm adding a link to each of the nine posts within each posts.

Summary
2-10 of Hearts
JQKA of Hearts
2-10 of Clubs
JQKA of Clubs
2-10 of Diamonds
JQKA of Diamonds
2-10 of Spades
JQKA of Spades
Jokers

Greatest Films (JQKA of diamonds) 6th of an ongoing series

Jack of Diamonds, Shichinin no Samurai, Akira Kurosawa (dir)
Always high on lists of greatest all time films, and for good reason. A simple story, well executed. Birthed a few very good imitators (the western version, The Magnificent Seven, and the Roger Corman produced space version, Battle Beyond the Stars). If you haven't seen it for yourself, get thee to a rental store (or netflix queue). There's a lot more to this film than swords and samurai. Words are inadequate when faced with a Kurosawa film, see this movie if you haven't, and if you have, watch it again.

Queen of Diamonds, Ladri Di Biciclette, Vittorio De Sica (dir)
This is the choice that reveals me as someone who has taken a few too many cinema classes. It's one of those films that you 'should' like. It's a film that has flaws and drags at times. But the moments that are real, the moments that transcend, and the sea change in how characters are represented on screen that this film represents all conspire to elevate this film to one of the most important films of all time. When watching this film, think about how different it is from all that preceded it.

King of Diamonds, Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese (dir)
What do you mean I haven't included Goodfellas on this list yet? Oh right, here it goes, slotted in amongst the classics. It is a classic, it's a violent, profound, funny, compelling sprawling messy terrific ride. (and if I didn't list this film I would have to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life worrying that Joe Pesci was creeping up on my ready to do violence to my person, wouldn't want that)

Ace of Diamonds, Citizen Kane, Orson Welles (dir)
Another predictable pick. I'm a hack. But, this really is a great film. Every time it's on TCM I can't not watch it. My favorite scene is watching the young Orson play the old Kane as he smashes the posessions in that awful room after his second wife leaves him. That scene encapsulates everything that is right with this film and everything that film has the potential to convey. The camera sits steadily from a low perspective, as if the inner child that Kane releases with his tantrum has left his body and is now you the audience viewing his fit of violence. Also Welles' physicality in the scene perfectly describes an aged, formally strong, now beaten man who has no words, no thought, just rage. It's a perfect melding of camera, script and performance and carried all on the shoulders of one oversized personality portraying another oversized personality.



UPDATE:

For ease of navigation, and just in case anyone comes to any of these individual posts randomly, I'm adding a link to each of the nine posts within each posts.

Summary
2-10 of Hearts
JQKA of Hearts
2-10 of Clubs
JQKA of Clubs
2-10 of Diamonds
JQKA of Diamonds
2-10 of Spades
JQKA of Spades
Jokers

Gutsy Radish in Gunma

In light of this article on memory, you may want to avoid clicking on this link.

(What, you clicked anyway, oh well, how can you ever forget what you've just read, it's just too bizarre to forget. Why would people care? Why would it make the news? Don't people remember what curiousity does to cats? Will I stop with these short interrogatives? How much longer will you put up with this lame joke? Am I ever getting around to making a point? O.K. I'm done)

My point is that if remembering only what's important is the key to having a good memory then articles about gutsy radishes are bound to squeeze out more information from a person's already overtaxed squishy grey bits.

(And as usual the experiment doesn't automatically lead to the conclusion as described in the press reports)

How do you say "mall rat" in Arabic?

This article from Newsweek International writes on the growing trend of mall construction in developing nations.

This whole global economy thing really is benefitting more folk than it exploits. How to spread 'mall culture' deeper and farther across the globe will be up to corporations not governments. States that rail against the U.S. and its culture on the one hand, while employ U.S. firms to build lavish palaces to consumerism on the other, will seem hypocritical in the eyes of the local population.

Also, the access to the fruits of prosperity and the prosperity that this access helps accelerate will help create a more peaceful globe.

You don't need to 'imagine' world peace hippie style, you need to build world peace one trade partner at a time.

What he said.

On the one hand why link to an Op-Ed where you agree with everything they say?

On the other hand, why not voice your approval for well considered discourse that seriously considers more than one point of view?

Since I am now out of hands (I'm no Shiva Nataraj, those extra limbs would come in handy from time to time though) I'll add my $.42 [2 cents doesn't go very far, and besides 42 is a very special number and 21 times more than 2 (so this opinion should be 21 times more potent than a 2 cent opininion, unless you account for inflation in which case you'd have to determine when the 'two cent' phrase originated and then calculate the inflationary rate since then, and in all probability my 42 cents is probably less potent than the old time 2 cent opinion, oh well)].

China poses a threat, or more precisely the oligarchs in charge of China. They may even one day lose their minds and attack Taiwan or Japan. That's the worst case scenario that's also the least likely (they'd have to be suicidally nuts to do so), thankfully. More likely the struggle between reformers and the status quo will continue with both sides having victories and setbacks for decades to come.

Events in Harbin will be a catalyst for a crackdown or reform, if I were to bet cash money I'd bet on crackdown in the short run (now to six months from now) but the dissent and anger stemming from this wound causing agitation and eventual reform long term (my crystal ball is too cloudy to determine the time frame).

Dude, it's just like Vietnam, Dude (part 274)

The Democratic Party, evidenced by this Newsweek article, seems to be slouching slowly towards Starship Troopers land (first all candidates should be combat vets, then all voters).

If Kanye West can say President Bush hates black people then I can say the Democrats hate the troops.

It's pure, obvious, cynical political exploitation on their part. It's not going to work. They won't attract more moderates if the veterans they stand up for election are from the activist fringe of the party and any veteran they push who proclaims moderate stands will be eviscerated by the activists. The article even speaks to these same concerns.

2006 will be an interesting election and the Media are already ramping up their spin machines 11+ months from election day.

What the public swallows for a time, and what they actually choose to digest as they make their choices in the privacy of the election booth will most likely be two different things.

The Democrats have to root for failure and scandal from now till election day, cause if the economy continues to improve, the troops continue to defeat the terrorists abroad and prevent attacks domestically, and a few Democrats find themselves charged with corruption their fevered dreams today will become bitter memories the Wednesday after Election Day.

25 November 2005

The obligatory Boooosh is destroying the universe question and answer

You’re doing some work on the Colbert Report. You play someone named Russ Lieber.

Yeah, I’m like Colbert’s foil, a left-wing talk show host who is a bit of a buffoon. He’s the stereotype of the Madison, Wisconsin, lefty hardcore vegan type.

Is that really that far away from your own liberal political views? What are your thoughts on Bush, the Sequel?

This has been, from the beginning, an arrogant, duplicitous administration, and it’s stocked with arrogant, duplicitous people from his father’s administration, and there was no reason to think in 2000 that it wouldn’t be like this. I’m not surprised. It’s really gotten very far away from a system where the individual has any kind of say in government. But hopefully we’re waking up a little bit and addressing some of these things.


This from a Radar Online interview with David Cross. (via Defamer, the Eva story at link is pretty damn funny too)

We get it already, Boooosh is everything that is wrong with the world, and with your miserable life.

And lest I forget, conservatives are crazy if they see liberal bias throughout entertainment and the media.

Some problems are universal

Who hasn't been to see a doctor to only be more confused about your condition after you leave then before you arrived.

Seems that problem was more common than I thought.

(it always feels good to know you aren't alone)

24 November 2005

The turkey was already there.

Sometimes Op-Ed writers make the job of criticizing them far too easy.

David Ignatius uncorks a doozy of a revisionist fantasy that doubles as an attack on Vice-President Dick Cheney's defense of current interrogation practices.

This paragraph at the end, I think, is especially off base:
We must stop behaving as if we are in a permanent state of war, in which any practice is justified by the exigencies of the moment. That's my biggest problem with Vice President Cheney's anything-goes jeremiads against terrorism. They suggest we will always be at war, and so it doesn't matter what the world thinks of our behavior. That's a dangerously mistaken view. We are in a long war but not an endless one, and we need to begin rebuilding the bridges to normal life

Mr. Ignatius is almost reasonable throughout this whole piece, but his conclusions are wrong. The idea that we were a paper tiger and that we can be wearied into turning victory into defeat (like in Vietnam) is one factor behind Al Qaida's growth in the 90s and their continued attacks in Iraq.

Every moment, and every statement that a public official of the U.S. government makes must convey in the strongest possible terms that we will fight, that we will hunt down terrorist, and that we will be resolved to win a long hard war. Any less will give evil hope. Any less will damage our country far more than Abu Ghraib related P.R. problems. I personally think the Vice-President is wrong in his defense of the current position, but I don't believe for one second that he is losing us any true friends, or manufacturing any new foes with his words. Let our enemies fear us, let's encourage that fear, let's place so much fear of our might out there that the next generation of jihadis will decide that 72 virgins aren't worth it. That's what the Vice-President and President are doing and I say keep on keeping on.

In the opening paragraph Mr. Ignatius wrote, "I liked to give a sentimental toast when the turkey arrived at the table" well sorry, but judging from this piece the turkey was already there.

UPDATE: linked to wrong article, now fixed

Yeah that's me. Watcha gonna do about it?

Don't mess with men in hats (or plaid) Posted by Picasa

23 November 2005

The article where Craig Whitlock jeopardized his job

What could Mr. Whitlock have done that was so bad?

Well in a lengthy front page article in the Washington Post about a terror hub cropping up in Belgium, he failed to mention Iraq or blame the U.S. in anyway.

That's unforgivable, judging from the other articles he has written, I'm sure he will soon make ammends for this horrendous oversight.

But will Uma be there?

Our long national nightmare will soon be over.

Finally, Oprah will grace David Letterman with her formidable presence and consent to appear on his miniscule little show.

Can peace in the Middle East be far behind?

Where even Liberace won a libel case because he was accused of being gay

Terri Hatcher is suing The Daily Sport over allegations of 'sex romps' in her hippie bus.

I'd be angrier about them reminding everyone that she drives a hippie bus.

And I don't know the merits of this case, she may have truly been libelled and deserves damages, but British courts are notorious for the ease with which a plaintiff can prove libel.

(most famously, Liberace winning against a tabloid that accused him of homosexual behavior)

An excess of protestations

Why, newsweek, why?

Throwing out there a quick little piece on porn you have to pretend not to care and the reporter feels compelled to give himself some ironic distance from the output of those hard working auteurs over the hills in Porn Valley.

Well with this closing quote and snarky aside:
"This is a landmark achievement in our business," says Paul Fishbein, Adult Video News president. "The production values are incredible—if you took the sex scenes out, it [still] looks better than a lot of independent films that make it to the big screen." We'll have to take his word for it
I think the reporter (I'm talking to you Mr. Daniel McGinn) doth protest too much.

(and for the curious here is a NSFW link to the mentioned title Pirates)

(and judging from the cover art way too many surgically altered blondes for my taste, so I guess I'll have to say I'll have to take his word for it, also)

Because it's about time Hollywood took a strong stand against corporations

Syriana out today in limited release is described in the closing of Kenneth Turan's L.A. Times review thusly:
This overarching focus on enhancing reality is in the service of making us believe that what we're seeing on screen in "Syriana" just might be happening at this very moment, that a shadowy, amoral cabal of untouchable Washington power brokers might be pulling the strings that control the world.

This is conspiracy-theory filmmaking of the most bravura kind, but if only a fraction of its suppositions are true, we — and the world — are in a world of trouble.
What a load of whatever substance you most wish to stay far away and upwind from.

I'm sure a right of center example of 'conspiracy-theory filmmaking' would get a fair shake from Mr. Turan (and I'm fairly certain that was a flying pig I saw cross my peripheral vision the other day). I'm just as sure all the positive reviews for this film are based on the movie and not the message so even people who don't believe that Haliburton/Exxon/(insert evil corporate entity here) are the font of all evil will love the bravura performances and sharp writing,. . . . . . .or not.

Studs will have to look elsewhere for employment

This is disappointing news.

(and I was just about to drive out for an interview, oh well)

A fool and his money. . . . . . . .

Don't click on the photo gallery associated with this article on a full stomach.

(you've been warned)

They don't want anyone 'practicing' but they didn't say they'd refuse men who have reached 'perfection'

The first paragraph of this article says it all:
The Vatican is ordering seminaries to bar candidates for the priesthood who "practice homosexuality," have "deeply rooted homosexual tendencies" or support "gay culture," according to a document published Tuesday by Adista, a Catholic news agency in Rome.
My take on this is that requiring celibacy amongst the priesthood is an experiment that has failed and should be reversed (the church allowed priestly marriage for centuries, no reason they can't change their minds now)

UPDATE: Rereading this, I realize that there is a whole semi-screedy second half to this post missing.

I believe many of the problems the Catholic church has regarding sexuality and femininity stem from being run by an all male, all (presumably) celibate clergy. They would be much better served by being inclusive and realistic in their precepts regarding married clergy and female clergy. They also need to rethink their positions on birth-control and homosexuality. They are dead wrong on both issues, and there is very little in the way of textual support within the bible to justify their wrong-headedness on these issues.

But I ain't Catholic, or even Christian, so it's not really my place to say or judge what they do.

What's worse than getting beat by a girl? (getting beat by a Korean girl)

Michelle Wie's second tournament as a professional is her first as a professional playing against men.

The Casio World Open is on the Japanese men's tour.

Given Japanese views of Koreans, and women for that matter, if she finishes close to the top or even wins the tournament there will be no joy in Kochi.

(but I don't think anyone will go so far as to commit seppuku)

LATimes misses a major point in a business article, I'm shocked, shocked I say

This article from the L.A. Times covers many of the reasons for the decline in the growth rate of DVD sales.

Something that the article misses, but that I think is an important phenomena is that DVDs aren't High Def, and all those people with their fancy new systems know that HD-DVD and BluRay DVD are just around the corner.

The titles with the biggest decline are the cinephile DVDs with the higher price tags. Why buy a Standard Def product this year when you know a super-duper ultra special deluxe HD edition will be released in 6-9 months. (like Kill Bill for instance, the current available version lacks special features and surely QT has in mind a combined cut like his original intention for the theatrical run).

Both groups supporting the two competing HD formats seem committed to reasonably priced players and claim manufacturing cost for the new disks won't be greater than the current generation, so higher initial prices should drop to the $20-25 priced to sell price point by Christmas '06 (plus with two formats a pricing war will be probable, neither Sony nor Toshiba want to be Betamaxed this time around).

22 November 2005

Boobies!!




via Instapundit I followed this link to Clive Davis' comments on the importance of being bosomy.

I'm thoroughly dissappointed. Not with his commentary. He had the perfect opportunity to post a picture of a voluptuous lovely, and instead he posts a tiny picture from the current Pride and Prejudice.

I won't make the same mistake. Enjoy.

(all pics from Danni.Com, site definitely NSFW and as if you didn't already know, the ladies are from top to bottom, Erica Campbell, Aria Giovanni and Brandy Talore)

19 November 2005

Quien es mas macho?

Who doesn't love a rousing game of, quien es mas macho? (name two celebs and decide which is mas macho, e.g. quien es mas macho? Ryan Seacreast o Clay Aikens? (didn't say these were easy))

On the front page of today's L.A. Times webpage they seem to be playing that game. In a box with the title, "Back in the Saddle" they have articles and pictures of Kenny Chesney and Madonna.

The clear choice for mas macho is Madonna, sorry Kenny.

That's how you right an Op-Ed

They clepe us drunkards is the title to an Op-Ed in the Telegraph regarding the new law to extend drinking hours beyond 11pm.

You can't go wrong quoting Shakespeare (Hamlet for the title, and Othello in the body of the article).

And you wouldn't expect a sentence like, "The net effect of the legislation will be to make a lot of young people somewhat sicker, uglier, rowdier and more sluttish." supporting the new law, but support the law they do.

UPDATE: how many times did I look at that title and not notice the error, wait, maybe it's not an error, maybe it's an ironic attempt to suggest that this editorial is unusually right thinking and libertarian for the Telegraph. (or maybe I posted it while sloshed, I report, you deride)

Tell a joke, save the world.

I have my doubts about exercises like this. It's too much like those awful Captain Planet cartoons that Ted Turner peddled (the voice actor credits read like a DNC donors list).

Love NYT articles with quotes like these, though:
Laurie David, the executive producer and wife of a certain "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star, is making it her life's work to draw attention to the growing risks of the earth warming through unchecked emissions of carbon dioxide. She flips the finger at people driving gas guzzlers. She holds seminars and fund-raisers in her home. She sponsors a Web-based "virtual march" on Washington (www.stopglobalwarming.org) that has drawn more than 150,000 participants. She arranged with Fox News to present a serious hourlong show on global warming earlier this week.
Well, she flips the finger at drivers of gas guzzlers, she's doing her part to save the world (and will she fly commercial, instead of jetting about in private jets? (so far the answer has been NO)).

Also of note, she worked hard (at least according to the reporter, my guess is that there will plenty left in) to keep out the Bush, Republican, and Oil company bashing and presumably any comic who strayed off the script (I'm talking to you Mr. Maher) will most likely be excised from the televised show.

Wonder if there will be demands to go nuclear like our French and Japanese allies?

(still the best carbon free alternative available, and there are some great designs whose safety studies are available for perusal at the IAEA website that also double as desalination plants (2.2MB PDF at link))

I agree with OJ?

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with OJ Simspon.

I'm not a lawyer, and since there have been high profile examples of criminal not guilty verdicts leading to guilty civil verdicts, I'm sure it's within the rules as currently interpreted.

The fact that OJ or Blake aren't sympathetic and probably deserve the civil penalties they received doesn't change my opinion that this is a flaw in the law system that should be changed.

Trying a person for substantially the same crime in civil court that was previously adjudicated in criminal court seems plainly and baldly unfair. I don't understand why there isn't more outrage at this. Maybe it only happens to the obviously bad, but somehow I doubt that, I bet some small fries have been mistreated in this way as well.

Pre-War Intelligence; Post-War Stupidity

Sorry few links, no facts, just observations and ramblings, follow along if you dare.

I've been re-reading Cryptonomicon recently (It resonates differently after reading The Baroque Cycle).

Its plotlines about cryptanalysis got me thinking about the current debate over intelligence. That book makes a pretty convincing case that intelligence was a deciding factor in the Allies swift victory in WWII (less than 7 years from the invasion of Poland to the VJ day)

In WWII the good guys had an amazing and comprehensive amount of intelligence. Yet huge errors that killed thousands more fighters on our side than seemed necessary in retrospect were made throughout the conflict. They had most of the important codes of the bad guys, and the bad guys were too arrogant to adjust to the facts as they presented themselves. The scene in Cryptonomicon where Admiral Yamamoto realizes that his communications have been compromised just as he's being shot out of the sky is comical.

The current mess isn't nearly as funny.

Collecting intelligence in Stalinist states (like North Korea, Syria, and formerly Iraq) is virtually impossible. When the state makes paranoia a part of the very structure of all human interactions than foreign 'wet' intelligence doesn't work.

Yet critics of the administration behave as if failures to collect perfect information in this atmosphere was part of some nefarious plot to deceive the U.S. people (ignoring the fact that these failures and false assumptions span Clinton as well as Bush's administrations and were reinforced by foreign intelligence, as well).

To paraphrase Sec. Rumsfeld, you go to war with the intelligence you have, not with the intelligence you wish you had. We still wouldn't know if Saddam had stockpiles of WMD had we not invaded. Inspections would have NEVER been conclusive. Saddam played too many games and the UN inspection regime was too reliant on being guided around the country by Iraqi minders to ever feel confident that the absence of evidence was truly evidence of the absence of WMD (and lest I forget to mention, WMD was one of many justifications for invasion, it wasn't the only case, or the strongest case for toppling a vicious dictator in charge of one of the world's largest militaries).

With the sanctions falling apart, and with European countries eager to sell Saddam whatever he was willing to buy, those WMD that weren't there in 2002 would surely well be on there way to being produced in scary quantities by 2006 had there never been an invasion.

The sanctimonious and wrong-headed bleating of many Democrats who now want to pretend that they were fooled into voting for the war would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

The polls would suggest that their bleating has drowned out the truth for the moment, hopefully that can be corrected before election time, and should the American people continue to listen to the bleating of sheep they will find themselves at the mercy of wolves.

Here's hoping that bloggers and projects like OSM.org will serve a sheepdog function and prevent the American people from becoming potentially victimized sheeple.

And one more lesson from WWII, how much better would the world have been had Hitler been strongly opposed and even fought in 1935 instead of 1939?

(and another thing to consider, what kind of insurgency would the Nazis have mounted had they been crushed before they really got started? Without knowing what the alternative would have been, early intervention might have seemed like a costly mistake that lead to a low-grade insurgency. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?)


UPDATE: I've been carnivalized. (Yipee). All those clicking through and reading this, stick around, look around and drop words of encouragement, or tell me where to stick it, just let me know what you think.

Glenn Reynolds wrote, "Immodest Proposals draws a Neal Stephenson connection, based on Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon. (I loved that book, but I find this comparison troubling.)"(He's being his usual inscrutable self, was he troubled by what I wrote, or by the difficulties of intelligence collection in Stalinist states? and, Hey, nobody else managed to trouble him, that's a victory in itself in my book)

Greatest Films (diamonds 2-10) 5th of an ongoing series

Diamonds, they are forever right? (if you buy debeer's propaganda) This should be the classics then (or not, I have odd taste, alright).

2 of diamonds, Jaws, Steven Spielberg (dir)
The first summer blockbuster, defines a genre and a straight line can be drawn from that film to all the crappy summer films that followed, but still worth seeing anyway.

3 of diamonds, Quick Change, Howard Franklin, Bill Murray (dir)
One of the best (and funniest) heist films. Jason Robards gives especially great performance and the script is really sharp.

4 of diamonds, The Third Man, Carol Reed (dir)
Damn, this film kicks so much ass! how's that for a review/description.

5 of diamonds, Cleopatra, Cecil B. DeMille (dir)
Claudette Colbert, still the best of the film Cleos. Sure she's too old, and sure she probably doesn't look the part, but she can act and hold the screen like few women ever could. I say this version has aged better than that other one that birthed a city (Century City, that is, Fox spent so much on the Taylor version that they had to sell a bunch of real estate).

6 of diamonds, La Planete sauvage, (aka Fantastic Planet), Rene Laloux (dir)
The best trippy animation film of all time (even better then Miyazaki's in trippiness, but many of Miyazaki's pictures are better otherwise).

7 of diamonds, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Irvin Kershner (dir)
The best of the six so far (I don't believe that there won't be more episodes, if he's bothering to 3D-ize all six episodes he'll probably also start thinking about the money that can be made letting some else complete the last 3 films in the triple trilogy). A touchstone in American culture, really, nuff said.

8 of diamonds, La Belle et la Bete, Jean Cocteau (dir)
All films should start with a title card that says, "Once upon a time". Never heard the Philip Glass operatic version of the film, already pretty perfect already.

9 of diamonds, Steamboat Bill, Jr., Buster Keaton, Charles Reisner (dir)
Maybe his best work, maybe not, but still full of greatness. Many great comic set pieces, he was the greatest physical comic in an age of many great physical comics. You can have your Lloyd, or Chaplin, I'll take the Stonefaced one anytime.

10 of diamonds, L'Age D'Or, Luis Bunuel (dir)
See it. Be it. Live it. You will never be the same.



UPDATE:

For ease of navigation, and just in case anyone comes to any of these individual posts randomly, I'm adding a link to each of the nine posts within each posts.

Summary
2-10 of Hearts
JQKA of Hearts
2-10 of Clubs
JQKA of Clubs
2-10 of Diamonds
JQKA of Diamonds
2-10 of Spades
JQKA of Spades
Jokers

18 November 2005

Greatest Films (clubs JQKA) 4th in an ongoing series

Been awhile, but I like to finish what I start, even if belatedly
(more manly club movies)

Jack of Clubs - In Harm's Way, Otto Preminger (dir)
John Wayne being John Wayne, Kirk Douglas being a badder version of Kirk Douglas, and Patricia Neal (who has a well structured lived in sort of hotness that needs to be better appreciated). Pearl during the war, basically a manly soap-opera, but solid nevertheless.

Queen of Clubs - Batoru Rowaiaru, Kinki Fukasaku (dir)
Fukasaku-san's bloody crazed epic (Battle Royale is the English title, the sequel's not nearly as good) of high school kids forced to kill or be killed. Plus it's got Takeshi Kitano as the teacher and Chiaki Kuriyama (aka Gogo Yubari of Kill Bill fame) as one of the students (no lethal ball on chain action though). It's a bloody gory mess, but it's an exciting bloody gory mess that is very entertaining.

King of Clubs - Kung Fu, (Kung Fu Hustle in the U.S.) Stephen Chow (dir)
Funny, action-packed, and has heart. Even James Lileks declared this a masterpiece, what more do you need?

Ace of Clubs - Du Bi Quan Wang Da Po Xue Di Zi, (aka The One Armed Boxer II, also aka The Master of the Flying Guillotine) Yu Wang (dir)
Great Kung Fu picture, plus fuzz guitar. Yu Wang wrote, directed, and stars, but Kang Kam's eyebrows are the real star of this film (oh and that flying guillotine contraption, too). This film inspired so much that followed it's hard to describe how important this film. This is the Joyce's Ulysses of Kung Fu films, honest.



UPDATE:

For ease of navigation, and just in case anyone comes to any of these individual posts randomly, I'm adding a link to each of the nine posts within each posts.

Summary
2-10 of Hearts
JQKA of Hearts
2-10 of Clubs
JQKA of Clubs
2-10 of Diamonds
JQKA of Diamonds
2-10 of Spades
JQKA of Spades
Jokers

12 November 2005

Advice for Glenn Reynolds

He needs my advice (and he could probably use the extra traffic from people coming over from my site to visit his).

(ouch, I put my tongue so far inside my cheek that I almost poked a hole in it)

Anyway, his post from today about the position Republicans find themselves in got me thinking. The GOP could, and should, use the unpopularity of the current Congress to their benefit.

Run real opposition to the current crop of congress-critters in the primaries. This isn't the time for party unity, if party unity means supporting pork-loving, bible-thumping, weak-kneed demagogues that have put personal political survival ahead of a positive plan for this country.

I'm a Republican, and I lean far to the libertarian fringe within the party on most issues (legalize everything, privatize most gov't agencies, focus the federal gov't on defense and let the states be the 'laboratories of democracy' they were intended to be). Find those candidates with those views and use the power of the internet to promote those candidates. The primaries are the time that the politics of big-money and personal destruction can be countered and thwarted. I think the general voters are ready for a new and improved message from the GOP that reflects a focus on better government at home and security abroad. Encourage independents and libertarians to join the GOP, and encourage the GOP to behave in a more libertarian manner while still respecting the social conservative christians within their ranks. These groups need not be enemies.

I fired off an e-mail to the Blogfather and I'm not delusional enough to expect a response. But just in case, here is a post to welcome the hoped for Instalanche.