29 March 2007

The Dangers of Watching Insufficient South Park

Had Rosie watched more South Park, specifically this episode, she might have stuffed a sock in it.

Please, move with your spouse to Iran, and see how they treat you.

On the one hand, if she moved there, she might be surprised at how gay people (gruesome images at link, but bear witness, and don't forget) are treated in Iran.

On the other hand, there is no other hand, it's phenomenal that her BDS is so strong that she is willing to trust the Islamic Republic of Iran more than she does the British government.

This sort of insanity goes beyond the current resident at 1600 Pennsylvania, woe be unto the next resident, regardless of party.

There are too many people who believe in magic, and think that the government can prevent all bad things from happening. This sort of magical thinking leads to an insane cognitive dissonance when confronted with negative events. In this magical land, if the government is all powerful, all knowing, and all capable, then all bad things that happen, only happen with the complicity of the government.

The absurdity of this is beyond my imagining, but there's little else to explain the "truthers" or the reaction to the aftermath of Katrina. Sure the current administration has screwed up, all administrations screw up. Government is inherently feeble at many things, it's made up of people, and people are fallable.

Rely on yourself where you can, help others if you have the resources, and stay out of everybody elses way, whenever possible.

Government's main task should be to facilitate self reliance for the many, charity by choice and not by force of the tax code, and prosperity for those that are willing to invest in themselves and others, if a government program runs counter to those ends, then it needs to be carefully examined.

The Rosies of the world believe so strongly in governmental interference in all aspects of life, that they can't fathom the concept that government isn't the best means to all ends.

Hat tip LGF

P.S.: I'd be surprised if ABC doesn't demand YouTube yank the evidence of this insanity, I'd also be surprised if The View doesn't run into sponsor troubles soon.

And cause I can't resist, here's the entire text of a recent post regarding this issue over at r blog:

anderson cooper
wake up

False flag operations are
covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other
organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by
other entities.

the british did it on purpose
into iranian waters

we will be in iran
before summer
as planned

come on people
u have 2 c
know u can

What Do You Get . . .

. . . if you take an entire season's worth of 24 style plot holes, contrivinces, absurdities, and overused tropes, combine them with the judicious use of fart jokes and "snukes"?

You get another fantastic episode of South Park.

Just watch it for yourself, Comedy Central repeats it often enough.

(oh, and Hil-Dog is featured prominently)

Whatever Happened to Name, Rank, Serial Number?

BBC analyzes the current crisis between the UK and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Maybe this will be the turning point where folks around the globe realize that we aren't the bad guys.

Here's hoping.

Pres. Ahmadinejad is evil, the Mullahs are evil, the Iranian people do not deserve to be mistreated the way they have been by this gross perversion of a government that has ruled over them since their 'revolution'. Despotic regimes eventually fail, they always do, unfortunately they are often replaced by other despots, and generate misery for their populace in the process. One of the key ways to make their populace forget their misery is to manufacture conflict with an outside force.

The current regime in Iran is in serious trouble, and there are signs that a real revolution may happen sooner than later. Of course, it has to be sooner than when it can be reasonably inferred that they are truly capable of producing their own nuclear weapons, cause that's something that in no way shape or form can be considered acceptable so long as they are run by religious zealots whose stated goal is the elimination of another nation and all its people. Iran isn't run just by Holocaust Deniers, but Holocaust Enviers, and that's sick as well as dangerous.
And, this post (by Guest Poster, Terra, Sol, the post's title which I pay homage 'aka' steal, with my own) at Samizdata, doesn't think much of how the captured personnel have acquitted themselves so far.

Also, maybe the crazed cowboy reputation that our nation has achieved may not be such a bad thing.

Judging by the majority of comments left at the above linked BBC article, a surprising number of Brits wish for their nation to 'cowboy up' on this one.

One simple solution would be to show the Iranians the true value of having your very own nuclear weapons (which despite all the EU togetherness, both France and Britain maintain their own separate nuclear arsenals), and making sure in the process that Iran is set back decades from that goal of getting some of their own. A nuclear armed British sub being spotted in the eastern part of the Black Sea may not be such a bad idea (so long as the Russians are given fair warning).

The threats of minor bullies must be met not with stern words, but with bigger threats backed by real actions.

Prime Minister Thatcher understood this when provoked by Argentina, Prime Minister Blair seemed to have understood this earlier in his tenure, but has lately gotten a bit wobbly.

If the message boards at places like the BBC are an indica, then the British people are ready to be less wobbly once again.

Hopefully, The Iranian people will see where this path will lead and murder the Mullahs for us. Kill them now, or be killed by them later (either directly, or in a suicidal war Iran can't win), the choice is theirs.

If They Raise That Curtain, They'll Lose the R Rating They Fought So Hard to Get . . .

I Thought This Contest Was Already Over . . .

. . . I had assumed (wrongly) that the all time worst use of song for a commercial (or series of commercials) was the flogging of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines using Iggy Pop's ode to smack life, "Lust for Life", but I was sadly mistaken.

What could be less appropriate than that, you ask.

Well, I'm here to tell you, that I think Wendy's has outdone RCCL.

Seriously, Blister In the Sun, to sell freakin' hamburgers?!?!?!?

It takes 3 exclamation points and 4 question marks to express my incredulity at this turn of events.

Have they ever actually listened to the lyrics of this song?!?!?!?

So from now on, I'll associate Wendy's hamburgers with 'stained sheets', and I won't even know why.

I don't fault Gordon Gano for making a buck, however (assuming he owns the pub rights to that song, I'm pretty sure he does).

Looks like this campaign has been going on about 6 weeks or so, but my ire has been taking awhile to rise to the surface.

Come to think of it, when I saw them live at the Palladium in Hollywood back in 1986 (3 bands played that night, opening was Phranc, Femmes followed, Fishbone finished, good times, good times indeed), I thought to myself, 'self, I seriously hope 20+ years later that there song will find its way into a Wendy's commercial'.

And through the magic of YouTube, here's three clips, first, a performance from back in the day, then some PYT doing her own fan video to the song, finally a performance from this year.

26 March 2007

Monica Goodling Takes My Advice

In the wake of the Libby verdict, I made the following suggestion
From now on, if you know that the charges against you are primarily political in nature, just STFU!!!

Orin Kerr posting at Volokh seems puzzled by this. After all, if nothing was done wrong, why plead the 5th? Libby hadn't done anything wrong either, until the investigation began, and he was proven in court to have answered questions untruthfully. He's a legal scholar, I'm not, so he might be more right than I am on this. But I don't think so. I think the current political climate makes sworn testimony even on innocuous seeming matters tangential to the primary investigation very dangerous.

Perjury traps are the "new black" it would seem.

"Governing While Republican" is now enough of a reason to cast suspicion on any official, so long as the subpoena power rests with the other party.

GWR is the "new DWB".

But, thanks for reading my blog, Monica Goodling, feel free to comment next time you drop by, comments are always welcome.

(unless you came up with the STFU strategy on your own, which is more likely, but just the same, good luck with all this)

Is This a Good or a Ba-aa-aa-aa-aa-aad Thing?

Sheep/Human Chimera.

I always expected pigs to be the most likely vehicle for grow your own organ storage devices. But if sheep work, great (I guess).

I guess all those shepherds who tried accomplishing this "the natural way" (I swear I remember reading or hearing that gonorrhea was originally a disease in sheep), were going about it all wrong.

Also, is it a matter of time before some German restaurant (I say German, cause this sort of thing always happens in Germany (or Florida)), specializes in farm animal/human chimera dishes?

25 March 2007

More Resulting Madness

Well, my repicks did worse than my original picks.

Icepick likes them Gators, and I can't say that I blame him. But, I think rather than jumping on their bandwagon, I'll ride the UCLA bus all the way to the Championship. The following are my final revision for my far too specific predictions on the rest of this madness.

Funny how two ones and two twos in the Final Four can totally screw up your brackets.

UCLA 64 Florida 58 (Bruins avenge their terrible title performance from last year by playing stiffling defense for 35 minutes, only to let Florida back in the game, but they'll prevail in the end).

Georgetown 84 Ohio State 81 (in OT) (Hoyas use their frontline to contain Oden, and in a tightly contested battle the entire way, prevail on some big time pressure baskets in OT)

setting up a Monday match-up of

UCLA 62 Georgetown 55 (Again, UCLA's defense makes another great offense look terrible, but their own offensive woes keep them from running away with the game. It'll be ugly, but it will be victory, and another championship banner for the Bruins).

But, I will say that USC with their super duper freshmen will be the team to beat in 2008 and will most likely win it all (but no undefeated season, the PAC-10 is too difficult a conference for that to happen).

All We Need Is a Constitutional Amendment, and a Time Machine . . .

Sounds good to me. (imaginary bumper sticker via Lileks)

I Haven't the Words, So I'll Borrow Someone Elses

Ever since I read the post at Cathy's World that her condition was grave, I have wanted to write something, yet finding the right words was impossible. As each update, and each tribute poured in from around the Internet, I felt inadequate to the task of adding my own small voice to this litany.

I didn't know her, but she was as profound a presence as possible for someone who I haven't met.

I don't know her daughter, yet my concern for her well being and future happiness is deep and sincere.

I don't know any of her friends personally, but I share their grief.

So, rather than stumbling through more bad prose, I'll let a few of the greats speak for me . . .

John Donne

Holy Sonnets, X

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so ;
For those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy picture[s] be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou'rt slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,

And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke ; why swell'st thou then ?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more ; Death, thou shalt die.

W.B. Yeats


SWIFT has sailed into his rest;
Savage indignation there
Cannot lacerate his breast.
Imitate him if you dare,
World-besotted traveller; he
Served human liberty.

What Yeats said about Swift, can easily be applied to Cathy Seipp, she served human liberty, with soul and wit, no higher praise can be bestowed on a person.

"Intuition is the sum degree, inborn"

Agree or disagree?

(quoted from this film)

23 March 2007

And Yet, Andrew Sullivan Still Hasn't Produced That 300 Review . . .

It's Not Easy Being Green (Or Cheap) . . .

NO IMPACT MAN, has gotten a great deal of attention lately due to a NYT article.

Althouse has at him (appropriately tagged under 'lameness'), though not with nearly the same venom as Gawker does (not once, but twice).

Regardless of what you think about global warming (sorry GLOBAL WARMING!!!, I mean), this guy clearly is an ass (and a poorly wiped one, at that).

But his blog is fascinating in a totally unselfaware sort of way. I don't think this guy understands the impact his descriptions of his life have on those not within his orbit, or sympathetic to his cause (thus his confusion about his bathroom habits having a bigger 'impact than any of the other manifestations of his 'commitment').

One of his earliest posts on his blog was about getting rid of all the distractions 'aka' electrical devices. Makes sense from a 'not part of the solution, then part of the problem' extremist position, I suppose, but that's not what's remarkable about the post. Not even the thinly veiled intimation that what he was really after was some more nooky from his wife (he's after more non-electric distractions, if you catch my drift). The most interesting part of the post wasn't even in the post, but in the comment section. Someone sympathetic with his cause was curious about how he 'disposed' of the various eeeevil electical devices, and when it came to his 52 inch TV, here's what NO IMPACT MAN had to say,

The TV was moved out by two large men and taken to the house of our child-minder's assistant as a gift.

Let that sink in a bit. Isn't that wonderful. Not only do two working writers who presumably could set their own hours and do something radical like raise their only child themselves, but besides having a 'child-minder', said 'child-minder' has an assistant.

So let me get this straight, one 2 year old has at least 4 adults (2 parents, 1 'child-minder', 1 'child-minder's assistant') involved in her care.

My mind boggles.

He's begging for funding for a film (scheduled for a 2009 release to coincide with the book's release), I say give him all the money he wants or needs, this film will do more to make the environmental nuts look like the nuts they are to the general public than any project that the most eeeevil oil company executive could ever dream up. So if Exxon is smart, they'll funnel some money his way through some third party to hide their involvement.

I'm getting the sense from this fella, that he's just a pommy git who married some Upper Eastside money, but I could be wrong.

I suspect that the film that gets made won't be the film he expects. If only Terry Zwigoff were involved, then it'd be a masterpiece about a quirkily obsessed freak who doesn't understand the depths of his freakitude. But I'm sure there will be plenty 'Scenes from a Chilly Marriage' included (yes, I'm dropping in a Bergman in a post where I call attention to the pretensions and elitism of an enviro-nut, what of it? He's alive, maybe he'll take over as director . . . ), and maybe it will be cut into a cautionary tale on how too much zealotry, regardless of the cause, is a dangerous thing.

A Super Size Me (a stupid stunt, stupid conclusions, and stupidly successful, but undeniably entertaining) study about seeking an exaggerated lifestyle of maximum impact might be more fun, and instructive. That could show the little things people can do to cut back much more effectively than a 'greener than thou' documentation of one zealots attempt at green purification and green mortification. By courting 5th Ave. asceticism, he loses any hope of communicating to anybody outside of that Upper Eastside bubble.

First the Gaiaists brought back indulgences (a la Carbon Offsets), now they promote a green take on mortification.

Given the Gaiaists seem so intent on imitating pre-reformation (and early post reformation) Catholic dogma and practice, can a Gaiaist Green Inquisition be far behind?

(You know Al Gore would make a great Torquemada Verde)

(did you expect an Inquisition reference in this post?)

(I know, nobody ever expects the Spanish Inquisiton)




(given the title of this post, you probably were expecting the following video)

Barack Obama . . .

or Barack O'Bama?

(via Drudge)

20 March 2007

When the First Sentence Is Blatantly False, It's Hard to Credit the Rest of the Article

An influential American magazine has named London the global capital of the 21st century.

First off, New York magazine, influential?!?

Hardly, the articles referenced (but not linked) in the article I quote above cover a whole host of issues, and are the usual mix of vapid NYC-centric aging hipster drivel you'd expect from a glossy like New York Magazine.

The problem with all these articles is that they are looking from the top down. They examine the changing views within the financial and cultural 'elites'. But that's to be expected, publishing is a very top-down industry, and as they are presented in the media London and NYC are both very top-down cities. The little people just don't matter.

London is in deep trouble so long as they refuse to address the radical elements within their multi-culti stew. The 2012 Olympics, rather than a crowning glory for an international city on the rise, may be the moment that the facade is torn away and all the rot is exposed.

If you must find a "World Capital" for the 21st century, then look no farther than right here. Los Angeles is the future, in all its confusing sprawl, its uneasy and somewhat balkanized neighborhoods, its chasm between high and low, and its embrace of both. The fluidity with which you can move (even with the traffic jams) both in physical and conceptual spaces in Los Angeles is unmatched in NYC or London (or Paris, or Cairo, or Chicago, or Tokyo, or Shanghai, or any other pretender to the throne). We are unburdened by history in Los Angeles, and that's an important trait this century. Here we blur all the lines between ethnicity, culture, art, commerce, high, low, loud, quiet, nature and artifice.

I don't get the sense of other places being as organic or as artificial as Los Angeles. The sense of LA being something and being nothing at the exact same time isn't something you get from other cities, and this sense is a very 21st century phenomenon. LA was a placeless place before the idea of placelessness even started forming. The local Indians called this "valley of the smokes" and we are as ethereal and ill defined as that would suggest.

The next 100 years or so will be about placelessness physically combined with a sense of place virtually. The real "world capital" of the 21st century is on the internet, anyway. To talk about an old construct as quaint as a 'city' is so 19th century.

So NYC can envy London, while they both ignore Los Angeles, but in the end none of these places will be as relevant as the communities people build beyond the notion of physical space.

And really, if place doesn't matter, given the choice, wouldn't you rather the place that you spend your time physically be where you have 300 days of sunshine, the offspring of aspiring stars and starlets (people are prettier here, get used to it), and all the best cooks Mexico has to offer?

19 March 2007

My Man Crush Deepens

Sen. Fred Thompson . . .


However, I think Neal Stephenson's Op-Ed in the NYT regarding 300 was better (unsurprisingly), as are James Lileks' ruminations mixing in his thoughts on 300 and participating in counter protests against anti-war protesters.

From the Thompson piece
I must say that I’m impressed that Hollywood took on a politically incorrect villain. Must have run out of neo-Nazis. So now these sensitive souls in Iran think that Hollywood is part of a U.S. government conspiracy to humiliate them into submission. I can only wish we were that effective.

When President Thompson opens up his Office of Propaganda, I'll be first in line to sign up. Teach me Farsi and let me at 'em, the Mullahs won't know what hit 'em.

Also, from MEMRI, here's the video of the (hilarious) "news" clip from Iranians television regarding the film 300.

18 March 2007

Resulting Madness Round 2 Edition

More mad results, I predicted 5 PAC-10 teams in the Sweet 16, only 3 made it (but it took 2OT to knock Washington State out).

My Sweet 16 predictions were like this

Arizona v Maryland
Oregon v UNLV
Kansas v SIU
UCLA v Pittsburgh
Texas Tech v Washington St
Ohio St v Long Beach St
Louisville v Memphis

The actual Sweet 16 looks like this:

Florida v Butler
Oregon v UNLV
Kansas v SIU
UCLA v Pittsburgh
Vanderbilt v Georgetown
Ohio St v Tennessee
Texas A&M v Memphis

The highest seeded team advancing is 7th seeded UNLV. All the 1 seeds, three of the 2 seeds, and three 3 seeds have advanced.

If I were allowed to repick my picks at this point, my predictions for the rest of the tournament is as follows

Florida over Butler
Oregon over UNLV
Regional Final Oregon over Florida

Kansas over SIU
UCLA over Pittsburgh
Regional Final UCLA over Kansas

USC over UNC
Georgetown over Vanderbilt
Regional Final USC over Georgetown

Tennessee over Ohio St
Memphis over Texas A&M
Regional Final Tennessee over Memphis

That's right, the NCAA Final Four is going to look like a PAC-10 Tournament semi-final.

UCLA will beat Oregon and USC will beat Tennessee leading to an unexpected crosstown rival Championship game.

USC will continue their string of upsets and win the National Championship

I'm In Lurrrrrvvvvvvv

So how would a possible Thompson campaign be distinctive? "Politics is now one big 24-hour news cycle, but we seem to spend less time than ever on real substance," he muses. "What if someone harnessed the Internet and other technologies and insisted in talking about real issues in more depth than consultants would advise? What if they took risks with their race in hopes that the risks to our children could be reduced through building a mandate for good policy?"

* * *

"Audits have shown we've lost control of the waste and mismanagement in our most important agencies. It's getting so bad it's affecting our national security."

* * *

Mr. Thompson says that while a senator he was long concerned with U.S. intelligence failures. "The CIA has better politicians than it has spies," he says, referring to the internecine turf wars that have been a feature of the Bush administration.
A key problem, Mr. Thompson notes, is a general lack of accountability in government, where no one pays any price for failure. When asked about President Bush's awarding the Medal of Freedom to outgoing CIA Director George Tenet after U.S. intelligence failures in Iraq became apparent, he shakes his head: "I just didn't understand that."

* * *

The challenges, he says, are numerous. On Iraq, he admits "we are left with nothing but bad choices." However, he says the "worst choice" would be to have Osama bin Laden proven right when he predicted America wouldn't have the stomach for a tough fight. The costs of Iraq have been high, but they could be even higher "if we have another stain on America like that infamous scene from Saigon 1975 in which our helicopters took off leaving those who supported us grabbing at the landing skids."


(hat tip Instapundit, all this pulled from this WSJ article)

17 March 2007

Should I Be Really Pleased, Or A Bit Depressed

Yesterday, I got about as many hits as I had total in the previous 4 months.

16 March 2007

Kobe, 65, Ho Hum

65 points in an OT victory over the Portland Blazers. 24 out of 30 Laker points total in the 4th quarter.

FGM-A 23-39
3PM-A 8-12
FTM-A 11-12

in 50 minutes of fighting through picks on defense, running around the court to get free on offense and making turn around jumpers from behind the 3pt arc. Sick! Sick!! Sick!!!

His game tying shot in regulation, and his game sealing shot in OT were insane three pointers that no human being has a right to even think about attempting let alone making.

The stat line is mind blowing, yet watching it is even more impressive.

And I was ready to stick a fork in the Lakers and declare their season over if they lost this game.

They came very close, it took a superhuman effort from an insanely talented player to pull off a victory at home against a lousy team.

That's not good.

Before this game, they had lost 7 in a row, and that was after a few other long skids. They've been in a tailspin since just before the All Star Break. But, the have enough games left to fix what's broken, and the games they have left are mostly against teams with worse records than the Lakers, so they should be able to win most of them.

Still, I thought the Lakers had evolved past being Kobe and everyone else, but sometimes if Kobe being insane is what it takes, then that's what's going to happen.

The Lakers will need consistent effort from all their players if they're to maintain their playoff seeding and have any chance of beating any of the 3 Western Conference titans (Mavs, Suns, Spurs) that they'll face in the first round.

Still, if they manage to defeat any of those teams in the first round, then the sky's the limit.

The Results of Madness (March Style)

First round is over, how'd I do?

Midwest 6-2
Arizona and Notre Dame let me down. That messes up my 2nd round pick of a Arizona over Florida upset, also, oh well. I had Arizona getting all the way to the Elite 8, so I'm screwed.

West 5-3
Villanova, Gonzaga and Duke let me down. I had all those teams losing in the 2nd round anyway, so long as the teams that beat them lose as well, the West won't look so bad for me.

East 7-1
Texas Tech let me down. I have them going all the way to the Elite 8, so another screwed regional.

South 6-2
Long Beach State and BYU didn't get it done. I had Long Beach St. winning one more round, so I'm only slightly screwed in the South.

So, no perfect regions, and a total for the 32 games of 24-8. That's respectable, but not great. Also, I already have 3 games in the next round where I'm definitely wrong, and 2 games in the round after that, so things aren't looking good the rest of the way. At least all my Final Four picks are still alive.

I'm sure there's a few folks who can't say the same (and I'm talking to you, all you Cameron Crazies, who despite a mediocre for Duke standards team, you probably still picked them to go all the way).

My prediction of few upsets panned out. The highest seed to win were the two 11 seeds, Winthrop and VCU. Otherwise the only higher seeded team to beat the lower seed were three 9s beating 8s, and those matchups are usually coin-flips (as well as their seeding) anyway.

It's Time For Mr. Sullivan To Come Out of the Closet

Sullivan needs to come out, and soon.

Which closet you ask? The folks having viewed the film 300 closet, that's which closet.

Can he say with a straight face (or even an honestly gay face), that he hasn't already seen this film numerous times?

I think he's just crafting which side of a variety of issues he wants to use this film as support for.

Does he join the left in calling it homophobic, fascist and racist?

Or does he join the right and call it a rousing return to patriotism and inambiguity in Hollywood filmmaking?

His one (fence straddling) post on this film promised that should he see it, he'd review it, and he's had plenty of time to go out and catch a screening. I have trouble believing that a film featuring so many hard abs and thrusting spears wouldn't immediately pique his interest.

On a similar note, would the promise of hot chicks running around half naked mixed with rousingly old fashion storytelling get my ass into a theatre seat?

Hollywood, I think you know the answer, so make it happen, again and again, and when I mean hot chicks, I don't mean Charlize Theron in fetish wear in a toned down PG-13 version of a bizarre Eurocomic, I mean a kick-ass version of Wonder Woman with plenty of sister Amazons also running around in their mostly naked glory, and go ahead and embrace the R rating, and while you are at it, throw in a little sapphic love play, I won't mind a bit.

(the likelihood that Wonder Woman will kick any sort of ass has been greatly reduced now that Joss Whedon has been kicked off the project)

15 March 2007

A Modest Proposal On Injecting the United States Constitution With New Vigor

Antiquated, written by stuffy entitled land owners, the U.S. Constitution is becoming increasingly constrictive in its effect on the American polity.

Look at Europe, most of their countries have nothing that resembles our Constitution, or especially our Bill of Rights, and they live lives far superior to our own (I know they are superior, cause they endlessly feel the need to remind us Americans of their superiority).

But, given that the Constitution has within it the mechanism for its constant maintenance and renewal, it's well past time to attack that document with all the skill and cunning that the modern world can bring.

The need for the formation of a cabal of intelligent folks to decide the best shape for a new document that will better guide all the other less intelligent folk populating our good and green nation is readily apparent.

The number of folks should be limited, too many cooks spoil the broth, and when the broth being cooked is as important as the guidance of this country, we better make sure those cooks make Wolfgang Puck look like Shemp Howard.

Here's my suggestion for the lucky 13 people who will shape our future. The list is unordered, these folks are not necessarily the best and the brightest, instead they are the folks who bring enough different voices to the table that their collective chorus will sound like America.

Matt Stone: One of the South Park guys help write our constitution?!? Yes, why not. The mind that can come up with "manbearpig" and "Blame Canada" and "Team America" is the kind of mind that we need deciding our future.

Victor Davis Hanson: To shape the future, a knowledge of the past is key. Hanson is the right kind of historian to bring sense to this project. He'll keep the 13 from following too many of the latest fads and bring a perspective that stretches back to our classical origins.

Oprah Winfrey: No cabal of important folk would be complete without Oprah. She already runs this country practically anyway, so why not give her a hand in writing the rules?

Jerry Brown: Current California Attorney General Jerry Brown has a lifetime of public service, an active and curious mind, a willingness to think outside the box (way, way, way outside the box), and experience at every level of government.

Steve Jobs: I personally hate the cult of Apple and all they stand for, but Steve Jobs is a smart man, and his politics aren't as lockstep liberal as you'd expect. He'd make sure that the design for the new constitution would be really, really, really cool.

Donald Hollenbaugh: Distinguished Service Cross recipient, enough said. He'd probably beg off this cabal, but he belongs more than anyone else.

John Wooden: Coach has slowed physically, but his mind is still spry. A constitution informed by his pyramid of success wouldn't be a bad thing. But hurry up, he's not going to be around forever. If they don't get around to doing this in time, the Coach slot could be filled by Phil Jackson instead.

Trey Parker: What, you'd thought I'd let Stone alone help write the constitution? They are a pair, and go together.

Gayle King: Again, just like you can't have Stone without Parker, you can't have Oprah without Gayle.

Andrew Sullivan: He's a limey, he has a changeable mind, and he'll likely denounce the document 5 days after help writing it, but his input would be appreciated.

Christopher Hitchens: Another limey, a socialist even, but I think with enough liquor in him, he'll come up with some great ideas and especially fine prose for this document that will require a rhetorical style that can sing for the ages.

Shigeru Miyamoto: This dude is seriously brilliant. He's been designing amazing video games for decades now. So what if he barely speaks English, this guy will bring it.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Seriously, she embodies the spirit of our founding fathers better than anybody else I can think of. She'll bring a real perspective on the kinds of horrors caused by a lack of the kinds of protections a well written constitution can provide. And she's hot.

I realize these suggested folks might surprise and anger some, but you try and come up with a better and more representative 13, bet you can't do it.

UDPATE: Hello, Instapundit readers! Thanks to Prof. Althouse for the link, I guess I should expand the list to 15 and include Prof. Althouse and Prof. Reynolds on the list, and given that Prof. Althouse's specialty is Con Law, and Prof. Reynolds has a really hot wife, they seem like they're both extremely qualified to assist in writing a new constitution. But why stop at 15?

Per the suggestions in the comment section, let's go ahead and expand the list to 21 folks, and yes Mike Judge and Scott Adams would be perfect additions (for the reasons already stated in the comments). On top of those gentleman, and the two good professors mentioned above, I will modestly suggest these four folks . . .

George Clinton: We live in a funky country, and we need a funky person help bring the funk, the whole funk, and nothing but the funk to the process of producing a document to help guide the next 250 years or so (plus as I suggested before, One Nation Under a Groove should be our National Anthem).

Michelle Malkin: Cause including her would just drive all sorts of folks crazy.

Salma Hayek: First, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans are grossly underrepresented on this list. Second, she's Salma Hayek. Third, she's Salma Hayek. Fourth, she's Salma Hayek.

Tammy Bruce: Half-Irish, Half-Italian lasses are also grossly underrepresented on this list, plus from her website's description of herself, "Half-Irish, Half-Italian, Half-Troublemaker", and in many ways, that is a good description of our nation itself. We are a nation of people made up of 'three halves', and usually 'troublemaker' is one of them (and that's a good thing, progress isn't made by folks who are always trying to avoid trouble, just ask the Swiss).

There Are Rabbit Holes, and There Are Pestilential Filthy Warrens . . .

John Noonan posting at Michelle Malkin linked to some YouTube clips of a Lisa Ling National Geographic special on North Korea, I noticed that there were other links to a YouTube site for Songunblog.

This is fascinating stuff. It seems to be from a committed and honest true believer in the glory and great works of the Kims, both the Sung Il and Jong Il varieties.

It's enough to make anybody with a functioning cortex ill.

In the most recent blogpost over there (about Yankee Imperialism, naturally), I noticed the first commenter felt the need to pile on the America hatred even thicker than the Kim lover.

It's too good to quote, and it's just a rehash of his post at one of his many blogs.

Notice something about his CV?

"A PROUD MEMBER OF THE REALITY-BASED COMMUNITY--Assistant Professor of Journalism at Roosevelt University in Chicago, 23 year veteran of the television industry, 18 years with NBC News' "Today" program. "

No media bias (or academic bias), indeed.

Unreconstructed Marxist/Stalinist/Maoist and "the reality-based community" can coexist in cozy comfort.

Isn't that interesting?

Speaking of commie bastards, those commie bastards have decided to try and ruin St. Patrick's Day by designating that as a day of action, expect papier mache, ranting speeches, and in Los Angeles at the corner of Hollywood and Vine performances by Ozomatli and Jackson Browne.

14 March 2007

Beware the Ides of March Madness

Tomorrow is the Ides of March, but most folks who are geeked up about it aren't interested in Roman history.

Rather, it's dancing time.

Here are my fearless predictions.

Five Pac-10 teams will make it to the Sweet 16.

Only one team (Long Beach St) seeded worse than 10 will win in the first round (a lack of upsets in itself would be an upset given the usual trend).

Now, on to the brackets.

Midwest 1st round
1 Florida over Jackson State
8 Arizona over Purdue
5 Butler over ODU
4 Maryland over Davidson
6 Notre Dame over Winthrop
3 Oregon over Miami (OH)
7 UNLV over Ga Tech
2 Wisconsin over 15 TAMU-CC

That's right I'm picking every top seed to win, that never happens, but I think in the first round this region will be upset free

Midwest 2nd round

Arizona over Florida
Maryland over Butler
Oregon over Notre Dame
UNLV over Wisconsin

Two upsets in the 2nd round predicted. Arizona is a very talented team, and I believe they'll pull it together tournament time. Teams don't repeat any more, and I think Florida is ripe for a letdown.

Midwest 3rd Round and Regional Final
Arizona over Maryland and Oregon over UNLV, followed by
Oregon over Arizona

Oregon will make it to the Final Four by beating Arizona for the 3rd time in 4 meetings. They're a good team with some talented players, and they showed by winning the PAC-10 Tourney, that they're playing their best ball at the right time. Picking a 3 seed to win a region shouldn't be seen as a stretch, but I think most other folks probably figure Florida won't be challenged in the Midwest, but obviously, I think that's wrong.

West 1st Round

1 Kansas over Niagara
9 Villanova over Kentucky
5 Va Tech over Illinois
4 S. Illinois over Holy Cross
6 Duke over VCU
3 Pittsburgh over Wright St.
10 Gonzaga over Indiana
2 UCLA over Weber St.

I only have two lower seeds winning, Gonzaga and Villanova. UCLA looked awful in the PAC-10 Tourney, but they're more talented than the team that made the Finals last year, and I think Ben Howland will push this team all the way back to the Finals, again.

2nd Round
Kansas over Villanova
S. Illinois over Va Tech
Pittsburgh over Duke
UCLA over Gonzaga

All the lower seeded teams will win in the 2nd round in the West. Gonzaga won't avenge last year's disappointing ouster at the Bruins hands, and Duke isn't that good this year, so expect a 2nd round exit. Va Tech might screw me up, but you got to love the Salukis, just cause they're the Salukis (and they'll play solidly in the Tourney despite being upset in the MVC Finals)

West 3rd Round and Regional Final
Kansas over S. Illinois and UCLA over Pittsburgh setting up UCLA over Kansas

These should all be good games, but expect the UCLA versus Kansas showdown in the regional final to be the best game of the tournament. Could go either way, but I'm leaning on believing in the hometown team, I can't help myself (it worked well last year).

East 1st Round
1 UNC over E. Kentucy
9 Mich St. over Marquette
5 USC over Arkansas
4 Texas over N Mexico St.
6 Vanderbilt over Geo Wash
3 Wash St. over Oral Roberts
10 Texas Tech over BC
2 Georgetown over Belmont

No big upsets in this region either. I think Knight will have Texas Tech playing well, and they could pull off some surprises (like Elite 8 type surprises)

East 2nd Round
UNC over Mich St.
USC over Texas
Wash St over Vanderbilt
Texas Tech over Georgetown

I don't think any of these picks would surprise anyone, except for the most talented team in college basketball getting bounced in the 2nd round. Georgetown just doesn't feel like a team ready to do what they should be capable of doing, and I think Texas Tech is just the right team to make them look bad.

East 3rd Round and Regional Final

UNC over USC and Texas Tech over Wash St setting up UNC over Texas Tech

UNC is good, real good, like making it to the finals good.

South 1st Round
1 Ohio St over C Conn St.
8 BYU over Xavier
12 Long Beach St over Tennessee
4 Virginia over Albany
6 Louisville over Stanford
3 Texas A&M over Penn
7 Nevada over Creighton
2 Memphis over N Texas

My only team worse than a 10 seed winning in the first round is Long Beach St. They are athletic, well coached, and capable of scoring in bunches. They'll play inspired offense for 2 games then get cold and lose, but hello Sweet 16 for the 49ers.

South 2nd Round
Ohio St over BYU
Long Beach St over Virginia
Louisville over Texas A&M
Memphis over Nevada

Two upsets in this round with Louisville beating higher seeded Texas A&M, and Long Beach St shooting lights out for two games in a row.

South 3rd Round and Regional Final
Ohio St over Long Beach St and Louisville over Memphis setting up Louisville over Ohio St.

Ohio State is at times great, other times mediocre, likewise for Louisville, but I have trouble picking against a talented Rick Pitino coached squad. Despite losing to Pittsburgh in the Big East Final, I think they'll put together a good Tourney and make the Final Four. Ohio State has plenty of talent, and might make this pick look really foolish, but I doubt it.

Final Four

UCLA over Oregon and UNC over Louisville

If things pan out this way, two of the most successful franchises in college basketball will meet in the finals. Expect Oregon to put up a fight, but be overwhelmed by UCLA's defense. Likewise, Louisville will play well, but when UNC plays well, not many teams in college hoops can match them. I expect UNC to play well throughout the tournament.


UNC 74 UCLA 56

Another finals disappointment for UCLA, and another game that will end up being kind of a letdown after an exciting tournament. If UNC puts together the kinds of games they are capable, they ought to be able to dominate all 4 teams they eventually face. They may not dominate, but they will win.

Go ahead and laugh at these picks, they're sure to be wrong in spots, but that's what March Madness is about, being horribly, tremendously wrong. . .

. . . and gambling. . .

. . . and calling in sick to work . . .

. . . and actually getting sick while faking being sick, only to have to go into work feeling like death on Monday because you don't want to skip 3 consecutive days from work lest the boss think you are dying or looking for another job . . .

12 March 2007

Iceberg!? Pish Posh, Let's Work On What's Important, On To the DECKCHAIRS!!!

Time Magazine's turn to rearrange their deckchairs.

Good luck, it didn't work so well for the Titanic crew, but maybe you'll have better luck.

(and I don't think there's any record of actual deckchair rearranging on the Titanic, but sometimes the old memes are the best memes)

11 March 2007

Turn That Frown Upside Down (If This Doesn't Do the Trick, Nothing Will)

More Than a Hint of Malthus . . .

. . . contemplating the runaway Global Warming (true believers always capitalize the term) crowd, I'm getting the sense that they have more than a hint of Thomas Malthus in them.

When it comes down to it, Malthus was saying the wrong kind of people were having the wrong kind of babies in the wrong kind of places, and that as a mercy to them and the misery that would be caused for all of humanity, they must be stopped.

When it comes down to it, the Albertus Goracles of the world are saying that the wrong kind of people are using the wrong kind of energy in the wrong kind of places, and that as a mercy to Gaia, we must cripple the global economy to prevent the profligate wealthy lifestyle enjoyed by folks in the USA, Canada, Japan, and Europe from spreading any further.

What they have in common is a hatred of humanity (in the guise of a deep desire to 'save' humanity), a distrust of technology, and a blind certainty that things now are as they will ever be.

Also, both Malthus, and the Gaiaists have made leaps of illogic based on incomplete data and dismiss contradictory evidence.

Wikipedia isn't always reliable, and certainly their Global Warming entry presents its conclusions with more authority than they deserve (and leaves out most criticism over the degree that human influence can be blamed). But on Malthus I have less reason to believe they are misrepresenting him, his supporters, or his critics.

Hot-button political issues I guess become less controversial after a century or two.

How ridiculous the current Global Warming madness will seem from 200 years hence won't be known until then.

Will they have only been harmless human hating cranks who were just finding an excuse to feel superior to those around them?

Or will they get control of the economies of a few major countries and send the global economy into a global depression that creates an order of magnitude more misery than even their most alarmist predictions regarding the effects of warming could cause?

Time will tell, in the mean time, stories like this one (via Tim Blair) are still good for a laugh.

Also, these folks are the only honest environmentalist.

And this list of 20 Ways the World Could End has 19 ways other than Global Warming that could lead to human extinction.

I think we're more resilient than that, about the only ones that could effectively get rid of us would be the total loss of atmosphere or the whole planet being sundered apart. Beyond that, we'll innovate our way around any of the worst case scenarios and share whatever space we have left with the cockroaches and rats.

I Agree With Rep. Kucinich?!?

No, really.

Also, did the Las Vegas Journal hire me to write its editorials, and I just don't remember?

(hat tip Drudge, on both links)

10 March 2007

Succinct Film Reviews: 300 Edition

300, a bloody mess, but a fun, entertaining, manly bloody mess.

300 is a film unlike most films today, that doesn't pussyfoot around when it comes to moral issues. It is painted in comic book colors, with comic book emotions, and states its comic book ethos with conviction and clarity.

This troubled many of the reviewers, leading to insinuations of homophobia, fascism, and racism from various folks (just follow the rotten reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, you can see for yourself).

That can be found if you want, yet the opposite was the intent. This film isn't a great film, yet it is memorable.

It is a shockingly moral film, despite the nudity, blood, and mayhem. At its core it is a call for free people to stand and fight against tyranny, regardless of the odds. It is also a recognition that when free people willingly die for freedom, that often, their example can serve to reverse any defeat in a single battle.

Many reviewers claim there is no bigger political message in this film, but they're wrong, what they mean to say is that they didn't get the political message they wanted from this film.

The concept of steadfastness in the face of human losses isn't popular in some corners of our culture. The concept that warriors who choose the warrior life, do so because they welcome the possibility of a meaningful death in hopes of sparing those at home hardship, is also anathema.

Victor David Hanson does a great job of putting this film in context, his words do so better than I can.

Frank Miller believes in freedom, believes in fighting, and believes that in certain cases, the world of comic books is indeed the world in which we live.

I'm surprised this film is doing as well as it is. It seems on track to do huge numbers this weekend for a non-sequel, non-big name actor picture. People aren't just responding to the visual style, as I'm sure will be claimed in the aftermath of the big grosses. Sin City did this better on a visual and storytelling basis, but that film didn't do huge business. Of the live action + blue screen movies, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was the best looking, but it was a horrid mess of a script.

300 I suspect will be this generations Red Dawn. That film was dismissed as a terrible film (which it is), stupid beyond belief, yet for folks of a certain mindset, it fired the imagination and became an aspirational cultural touchstone.

300 will be consumed in a similar fashion I believe. The lack of ambiguities, the clear disdain it has for 'realist' who wish to capitulate to tyranny, and the good old fashion homosocial (and homoerotic) bonding depicted is enough to give most young men a bit of a chubby (thankfully they mix in enough nude and semi-nude women so the guys won't feel too sexually confused at their tumescence).

It will be interesting to see if the film continues to do big business, or was it just a big weekend followed by diminishing returns. I suspect that the film is far too pro-war and pro-military for 'coastal' types who would otherwise enjoy the spectacle, and it might be a bit too homoerotic and bizarre for 'fly-over country'.

This tension might help the film in the long run. There's something to please most audiences (at least violence and mayhem loving audiences), so if you are willing to engage the film as spectacle, you won't be disappointed no matter the perspective you bring with you to the theatre.

08 March 2007

Sen. Edwards Is A Vapid, Preening, Pretty-Boy (with Great Hair), Who Is Skipping the Debate Due to a Lack of Ideas . . .,

. . . but he's using Fox News participation in said debate as an excuse.

If all the other candidates show up, how is his 'standing up' against Fox News really going to accomplish anything?

And why are folks worrying about this debate crap in early March, anyway?

I say debates shouldn't be between candidates. Instead, send your policy wonks to have a 'wonk off'. Have seperate 'wonk offs' for each policy area. An added bonus is that this 'wonk off' would expose which 'wonkers' a candidate would most likely nominate for key cabinet position.

I'd prefer seeing a bunch of 'wonkers' discussing real policy issues rather than the 'wankers' (aka candidates), talk about stuff that they barely understand and only are able to speak about because of cram sessions with their team of 'wonks'. Plus if an especially 'wonky' candidate decided to go it alone and show up to all of the events as his or her own 'expert', I think that would be excellent information for folks to form an opinion about said candidate (both positively and negatively).

Also, by demanding that a news service Edwards deems biased against 'progressives' stay away from hosting a Democratic Party debate, isn't he tacitly admiting that most of the other news outlets are biased towards 'progressives'?

(hat tip Drudge)

All This Proves Is That "Progressives" Spend Approximately 34.7% of Their Time Scouring Over Gay Porn Looking For Conservatives

Having a past doesn't get you kicked out of the Conservative movement (even a gay porn past).

That more than anything must really bother the 'progressives'.

(hat tip Instapundit)

I guess I should admit I have a gay porn past, too.

Not in front or behind the camera, mind you.

Instead, I did view some gay porn in an English/Film Studies class while at college (it was a short film regarding the depiction of Asian males in gay porn and how they are invariably positioned in the 'bottom' role, so to speak).

Who says UC Riverside is the most conservative of UC campuses?

07 March 2007

A Formula for Discerning the Attention Worthiness of an Althouse Comment Thread

This is not a criticism of the Althouse blog itself. It's a frequent read with me, and there are times when the comment section is fun and stimulating.

But there's also times when the 'tit for tat'-ness gets way out of hand.

A scientifically derived formula for determining the quality of a comment thread can be described as follows:

# of unique commenters

# of comments

The closer to one the better. The closer to zero, especially on large threads, the poorer. There are times when there can be 100+ comments, yet there seems to be only 10 or 15 unique commenters. That isn't good, or helpful, or particularly interesting. Recently, many threads have approached a value of somewhere between .10 through .15 (I made those numbers up, but it sure seems that way, dunnit?)

Like Gresham's Law, the bad comments (and commenters) tend to drive out the valuable comments (and commenters).

Ideally, no thread with more than 50 comments should ever have a value of less than .40, but alas, the greater the total number of posts, the less likely that it is a melliflous melding of many voices, instead it tends to be the shrill shriek of a few very loud, but very unmelodious egotistical and parasitical jerks. Some folks confuse volume and certitude with cogency and correctness.

These parasites tend to get there fill and move on, or get so crazed as to step over a line that shouldn't be crossed, and slink away for awhile. Of course, sometimes they stay away, other times they come back in a new guise, but whether or not it's a new infestation, or an old one trying to make a comeback, these parasites are a problem for a popular blog that attempts to allow voices from a wide spectrum a welcoming place.

When things get like they are now, not commenting on posts that touch on subjects that will send certain folks on a spiral of 'tit for tat' seems like the only reasonable option, as any comment, no matter how interesting, will get lost in the shuffle.

I frankly don't see the attraction that the parasites have for Althouse, it would make more sense if they were trying to suck some of her traffic towards their own blogs, but most of the parasitical commenters don't blog themselves, they just seem to desire to bring down the comment section of a blog whose viewpoint they disapprove.

The worst offender presently, is a classic bore. Should someone choose to write a textbook on how not to engage in debate, then object lesson one would be that particular commenter's recent performance (and the folks who insist on engaging said troll, do themselves no favors (myself inclusive), either).

I don't envy Prof. Althouse and the choices she's confronted with. Either let things continue to devolve, and watch what you created tarnish a bit, or go back to moderating comments for awhile and deal with that hassle.

In summary, people suck (especially the parasites).

06 March 2007

“First urge will be to rip your clothes off, throw you on the ground and love the hell out of you.”

I'm pretty sure if you desire to do something to the point where you feel compelled to describe it entailing, clothes ripping, ground throwing, and "the hell out of"-ing, the act you are attempting to describe isn't best defined as "love".

She's an astronaut, I think more appropriately something along the order of, "I'm going to ride your 'love rocket' and send us both back into orbit" or some such nonsense. My sentence would be a play on the fact that they are both astronauts, and that at the time the email was sent, he was currently in orbit. I expect better out of our astronauts than email exchanges that would sound dopey and embarrassing coming from horny high schoolers (my replacement suggestion is pretty dopey as well, admittedly).

That one word, love, just seems so out of place with the rest of the sentence quoted in the NYT article on this important national newsworthy story.

Words that I could have accepted in its place,
SCREW (if you insist on not swearing)
SCHTUP (you can't ever go wrong going yiddish)
GRIND (doesn't fit precisely, but dirty enough to not sound too odd)
BALL (still a bit quaint like using the word 'love', but raunchy nevertheless)
BANG (similar to 'ball', but I think slightly higher on the raunchometer)
RIDE (given the rest of the description, 'ride' would be a perfectly acceptable non-swear word to use and still convey the urgency and forcefulness of the message, the idea of being 'ridden' appeals to most men, so ladies, when in doubt, go ahead and "ride 'em cowgirl")

and of course

FUCK (really, that's the only word that fits with the rest of the sentence, context matters, and sometimes you just have to go with what you mean and fuck all the euphemisms, fuck them hard, fuck them like you mean it)

If she really wanted to emphasize her oversized and desperate need for his 'attention', then I think changing the above quote to the following would have suited her purposes better, "First urge will be to rip your clothes off, throw you on the ground and fuck the fuck out of you". By doubling up on the word, "fuck", she'd definitely make him notice, and suggest to him that whatever naked fun they are soon to have would be of the most uninhibited manner. The sentence as she wrote it makes it sound like she'll start of agressive but then lose her nerve and daring at some point during the anticipated liaison. Women who are reluctant to talk dirty properly, also often have hang-ups regarding acting dirty properly (though not always, sometimes the total opposite is true, the one's who can't even say the mildest of euphemisms can be the wonderfully nastiest of freaks, but to be fair to the dirty talking women, I've never been personally disappointed by a woman who could talk dirty well).

He Was Brain Dead Long Ago, His Body Finally Caught Up . . .

. . . said the ex-English Major forced to read his crappy work.


To apply his pet theory

  • The original Baudrillard has ceased.
  • The counterfeit Baudrillards continue to represent 'Baudrillard-ness' for most 'consumers' of his philosophical production.
  • From a few counterfeits they have reproduced themselves exponentially at campuses across the globe.
  • The simulated Baudrillards "or third order simulcra" are now the only Baudrillards that anyone knows, the copies of Baudrillard are now and forever more, more real than the 'real' Baudrillard ever was or ever could have been.

Another Ugly, Brutalist, I'm Sorry MODERNIST, Building Gets The Death It Deserves, NYT Critic Appalled, Naturally

Mid-century Modernism in architecture was mostly about the brutal, the inhuman, and the ugly. A squat, ugly, concrete monstrosity that I doubt is viewed with affection by any sane person will hopefully get the death it deserves.

The building threatened is admittedly less ugly than most of its contemporaries, but just cause it has been around awhile, doesn't mean it's worth preserving.

My rule of thumb for architecture, if it was built between 1960-1980, probably best to tear the sucker down. Some seriously ugly buildings were erected in that time frame (at least locally, in your area, your mileage may vary, but I doubt it).

Scary Thought For The Day

Given the assumption that the Democratic Party is the "Home Team" for most journalist. What's with the schizophrenic treatment of the two Presidential Nominee front runners?

(Drudge FLASH on a hit piece aimed at Obama coming soon from NYT, which had been Obama-Lovin' Central until now)

Reading the actual article, it seems like they have to stretch pretty far to make everything sound as shady and tawdry as possible. It doesn't sound like any influence was peddled, or favors cashed in, but there does seem to be a hint of quids and pros and quos going on.

Is this a sign that there are opposing camps within newsrooms? Is it like Iraq, with Sunni (Hilary) and Shi'a (Obama) neighborhoods, with an enclave of Kurds, too (Edwards)?

The amount of damage they're inflicting will come back to haunt them. Once the primaries are over, they'll have to turn around and pretend that whichever Democratic candidate walks away with the prize was perfect all along (ignore all those hit pieces from before).

That's not the scary part, the scary part is that the one big time Democrat who continues to be coddled by the MSM without nary a story about certain inherent contradiction and inconvenient truths is THE GORACLE.

Might it be possible that they are chopping down all the candidates to force THE GORACLE to step forward and save the country from having to do the unthinkable (from the MSM standpoint), and elect a Republican . . .

NMT: 06 MAR 07 Arcade Fire --- Neon Bible

Another Tuesday, more new music. This week it's the new Arcade Fire release, Neon Bible. I hear the kiddies really love these folks, right now. If all the cool kids are into them, then I best give them a listen (and I did like their first full length album, quite a bit).

I'm processing my thoughts, I'll have a full write up for this album (and last week's) by tomorrow.

Schadenfreude (Bugatti Veyron Edition)


My Guess Is "A"


Doesn't Everybody Walk Around With a Magnet and Wires In Their Rectum?


Oh, well.

Then this fella might have been up to something.

Favorite lines from the article
"He was secreting these items in a body cavity and that was a great concern because there were also some electric wires associated with that body cavity," Larry Fetters, security director for the Transportation Security Administration at the airport, told reporters.

(hat tip Drudge)

UPDATE: (07 MAR 07; 1:25am (what the hell am I doing still up and posting?))

Tammy Bruce wins, her post on this subject kicks my post's poor, sorry rectum. She slips in the perfect South Park reference to cap off the story. I'm not worthy of even linking to her post (but link I shall, anyway).

Dick Cheney Should Resign (And George W. Bush, Too)

But not for the reasons you're thinking.

Make up any excuse you want, the blod clot, fatigue, family, but I think the country would be better off if every two term President resigned early in their 7th year in office.

Pick a successor, make them President, and take the lame duck pall off the presidency that lingers after each President's second midterm election.

If President Clinton had stepped aside and annointed a President Gore early in 1999, Gore would have most likely won easily.

If President Reagan had done the same, much of the damage caused by his second term scandals would have been mitigated (but either way, he would have been followed by a President George H.W. Bush).

If President Eisenhower had decided to golf full time sometime in 1959, there may never have been a President Kennedy, and President Nixon would probably have deftly kept us out of Vietnam, or fought the war full on to victory, he certainly wouldn't have been as half-assed with regards to foreign policy as Kennedy and Johnson were.

So, given that the current President Bush is a wounded lame duck, and Vice President Cheney expresses no interest in ever being President, appointing President Giuliani sometime before May 1st would energize the Executive Branch, and give the Bush Administration a hand in shaping the next administration.

The reason I say a President Giuliani is because he is the only person interested in the job after the remainder of this term that would be acceptable to Congressional Democrats, as well as rank and file Republicans.

If he wanted to be truly audacious, he would pick Senator Lieberman as a successor. That confirmation battle would be some entertaining viewing.

Otherwise, President Rice for 20 months, or President Thompson, or President Gingrich would be fun, too, but each of those folks might not have an easy time getting through the Congress (actually Thompson would probably sail through confirmation, but the Congress would block Rice or Gingrich).

But, first a Cheney resignation, followed by a quick confirmation hearing, followed by a Bush resignation would lead to a more effective and robust Executive Branch.

The Democratic Party wouldn't know what hit them.

Term limits forces this on Presidents. If they want to take command of the continuity of the office rather than leave it up to the vagaries of partisan politics, then giving a favored successor most likely to continue their policies (or even someone with different ideas, but the vigor to make them happen) a leg up in the next election is the way to go.

A lot can happen in the 21+ months left for President Bush, but I think someone who has the opportunity to continue beyond that 21 month period would be in a position to be a much more effective leader.

From Now On, It's Plead the 5th All The Way, Baby

Denis Collins said, "We asked ourselves, what is HE doing here? Where is Rove and all these other guys....He was the fall guy."

He said they believed that Vice President Cheney did "task him to talk to reporters."

He said, "some jurors said at one point, 'We wish we weren't judging Libby...this sucks."

Asked about Vice President Cheney not testifying, he said, "Having Cheney testifying would have been interesting." And when the defense opened the trial by suggesting that Libby was scapegoated by the White House, "I thought we might get to see President Bush here."

He also said that they found Tim Russert of NBC "very credible" and the defense "badgering" Judy Miller may have hurt them as some jurors developed "sympathy" for her. Even though she admitted having a "bad memory," the fact that she had notes counted a lot in her favor, he said.

Collins, a journalist who has written for The Washington Post and other newspapers, described the jury's painstaking deliberations. He said there were several "managerial types" on the jury and they spent many days just assembling post-it notes in some kind or "buildings blocks" fashion. They did not take an immediately straw vote.

The above from Editor & Publisher (typos included, I think this piece will get polished some soon, so my quotation will probably look different from the final copy, be interesting to see if the content changes as well). So it's OK that the jury was hoping to have bigger fish to fry, but settled on frying Libby, anyway? It's OK that many of the main witnesses were journalist and you have a journalist on the jury? Something doesn't smell right about this verdict. Sure sounds like they were glad they were able to punish anybody connected with the Bush Administration for anything, guilty or not. Also seems like the Libby defense team should have demanded this trial be held in a different venue where the jurors were less likely to be steeped in DC gossip (which is the 3rd favorite currency behind, money and influence in that town).

Let's remember that he wasn't convicted for leaking, but he was convicted for lying in the course of an ongoing prosecution, his defense for lying was that he told the truth as he remembered it. Seems very difficult to prove one way or the other on this one. Yet, a jury of 'his peers' (or at least his enemies peers), had no trouble discerning the difference between an honest mistake and an outright fabrication.

After this trial, and the Martha Stewart trial (which this strongly resembles), and the Clinton impeachment, it's crystal clear that your best bet is to plead the 5th from the very start, don't cooperate on anything, if you don't say anything you can't be trapped into claims of later lies. There is no compelling reason or compelling force to cooperate with prosecutors if they are going to prosecute you for things you say during an investigation.

Exercising your 5th amendment rights against self-incrimination are supposed not to hurt you in court, but shouldn't that also mean that some reasonable amount of leeway be given to folks who ignore their 5th amendment rights and cooperate?

This sets up overwhelming disincentives for cooperation while putting all the incentives on clamming up.

Had Martha just clammed up, their investigation against her would have fallen apart, as it did even after she spoke, had Scooter shut up, they had nothing tying him to Plame, until he spoke, and even then it was tenuous and wasn't enough to prosecute on, and as far as President Clinton, he tried to claim Executive Privilege to prevent being deposed, but once deposed, he could still have exercised his 5th amendment rights like any other citizen (and clearly should have in retrospect, would have saved everyone a lot of trouble).

From now on, if you know that the charges against you are primarily political in nature, just STFU!!!

(and that goes for everyone, regardless of party affiliation)

05 March 2007

I Know Our City Is Run By Some Pretty Squirrelly People, But This Is Ridiculous

Afraid that a population explosion among squirrels in a city park could pose a public health risk, Santa Monica officials are ready to try a proven method of dealing with the problem: birth control shots.

Plans call for squirrels in Palisades Park to be injected with an immuno-contraceptive vaccine to stunt sexual development. Breeding season runs from February to April, but the inoculations will take place this summer when the squirrels are most active outdoors and easier to trap.

Santa Monica would be only the second city in the state, besides Berkeley, to try the immunization program.

From today's LA Times. Seriously folks, if you can capture the critters for birth control shots, you can kill them just as easily.

Squirrels hereabouts don't just have the potential to carry any old disease, they are potential carriers for the Bubonic Effin Plague for godsakes.

I really don't think a risk of having an outbreak of the Black Death is acceptable because some folks in this city think they have to be more humane in their efforts to control the population of these bushy tailed vermin.

Anyone surprised the only other city to be this stupid in California was Berkeley?

Also, the idea that birth control truly has been a 'proven method' seems doubtful. If it's such a 'proven method' why has the only city to try it been Berkeley? Most likely it's just a method 'proven' to appease the crazier of the craziest lefties within cities that are heavily infested with active lefties. My hunch is that the UC Davis 'study' cited in support of this wasn't done by an expert in the field of pest control, but instead by some animal activist masquerading as a scientist.

This part of the article gets to the heart of why they feel it's necessary to be so stupid

Squirrel overpopulation in Palisades Park has been an issue for the last 20 years. But the debate over what to do with the estimated 1,000 squirrels in the coastal park reached a boiling point in 2005, when the city set out poison-filled traps. Joining with other activists, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals complained to City Hall that the method was painful and illegal.

"Poisons cause immeasurable suffering and prolonged deaths for the animals who ingest them," the group contended.

In February 2006, when cited again, the city tried pumping poison gas into the deep burrows where the squirrels live.

After more public criticism, City Manager P. Lamont Ewell denounced the action, saying, "as a person who loves animals, my goal is to avoid having to reduce the population of squirrels in this manner ever again."

I prefer the approach in Riverside County, it's legal to shoot the squirrels outside of city limits, so long as it's with .22 or less caliber rifle. That's probably not practical here in densely populated Santa Monica, but at least it recognizes that these vermin are just rats with a better press agent. And really, I'd love to see a group like the Riverside Varmint Callers here, but that's also impossible.

Many assume that all of California is as 'blue state' as Santa Monica and Berkeley, but the truth is, there are plenty of folks in the non-coastal counties living the reddest of 'red state' lives right here in the Golden State.

The closing quote from the article says it all, what the journalist doesn't convey is whether the jogger quoted was being derisive or admiring of our city's 'progressive edge'

Resident Mike Sheldon, who was jogging in Palisades Park recently, said he for one was not surprised by the city's action.

"Only in a city like Santa Monica would you expect this kind of behavior," Sheldon said. "Even our squirrels are living on the progressive edge."

04 March 2007

This Is News?!?

I may have to start excluding Drudge from my daily (sometimes hourly) rounds.

With news flashes like this, he must have run out of news.

FLASH: Bush goes out to dinner tonite - at Karl Rove's house... Developing...

Things I Didn't Expect to See Today, But In Retrospect Shouldn't Have Been Surprised At All

Kids walking down the street in costume?

On March 4th?

Oh, right, Purim.

Happy Purim folks.

Break out that gragger, and MAKE SOME NOISE!!!

UPDATE: (05 MAR 07; 11:10am) Also, speaking of Purim . . .

Kat Dennings: Purim Video!!!

I Know It Might Make Me Sound A Touch Homophobic, But I Really Hope Not Too Many Fans Are Inspired to Dress Like the Characters From the Film

A pack of tourists and a museum docent fanned out in front of "Leonidas at Thermopylae" in the Louvre a few months ago. Spotting Jacques-Louis David's 1814 oil painting of a buff, naked warrior king preparing to lead 300 Spartan troops into battle, a cheerful young American said: "Awesome. I just made a movie of this."

"Really?" said the docent. "… what does it look like?"

The young man shrugged and smiled. "It basically looks like this."

"Well, those men are all naked," the docent said after a long pause.

"Yeah," the man replied. "That's kind of what the Spartans were all about."

Seriously? Doesn't sound like he's joking. Won't stop me from seeing this film it looks interesting enough. Even the latest breathless bit from Drudge about possible political messages embedded within the picture won't keep me away.

300 looks like entertainment, pure and simple, if there's more, I'll survive, all I ask is that I'm entertained along the way.

The quote from the Drudge 'developing story' would seem to be at odds with the above linked LA Times article, here's the Drudge bit

Snyder, who said he intended neither analogy, suddenly knew he had the contemporary version of a water-cooler movie on his hands, the NY TIMES plans to report on Monday. "But the danger is that an accidental political overtone will alienate part of the potential audience for a film that needs broad appeal to succeed," reports the paper's Mike Cieply. Is the film a thinly veiled polemic against the Bush administration, or is it slyly supporting it?

Meanwhile in the LA Times article the politics of the story are framed this way

But reality did intrude slightly as the studio and filmmakers considered the contemporary resonance of the film. "There was a huge sensitivity about East versus West with the studio," Snyder said. "They said, 'Is there any way we could not call [the bad guys] Persians? Would that be cool if we called them Zoroastrians?' "In the seven years he worked on the film, he said, "the politics caught up with us. I've had people ask me if Xerxes or Leonidas is George W. Bush. I say, 'Great. Awesome. If it inspires you to think about the current geopolitical situation, cool.'

Those two quotes would seem to be at odds somewhat, and if they try too hard to be 'sensitive' about the East v West thing, then they've probably ruined the pictures. Hopefully they only pay lip service to that 'sensitivity'.

It's a comic book for crying out loud, the villains are supposed to be villainous and the heroes heroic, to play it any other way and you end up with a muddle along the lines of V for Vendetta.

Clearly, the USA is more easily morphed into the ovewhelmingly superior force of the Persians versus the gutty little (and doomed) Spartans. So to apply current geopolitical realities to that past would be to suggest that the doomed, but striving terrorists, dying but inspiring subsequent generations are the modern Spartans.

If this picture really goes there, then it will be a box office disaster.

I doubt it does, Frank Miller himself is semi-right wing, definitely pro-War on Terror and takes the current threats against our culture very seriously.

He's cooking up for release later this year, Holy Terror, Batman!, and to quote the Wiki,

According to Miller, the comic is a "piece of propaganda" in which Batman "kicks Al-Qaeda's ass."

Enough, said. So I don't think Miller intended 300 to be anti-American propaganda, but we'll see what message (if any) ends up on the screen. Listen to Frank Miller expand on his thoughts regarding patriotism and 9/11, and why he's inspired to show Batman kicking some Al-Qaeda ass. It's astounding that he's the unusual one in the artistic community for wanting to depict the bad guys as the bad guys.

"When it comes to romance, the important thing is to win the argument.

And the winner, as well as sole nominee for "worst advice, ever", goes to Scott Adams.

Congratulations Mr. Adams, that degree of wrongness is rarely achieved.

Your wife must be a lovely, patient, and understanding soul (or a gold-digger, but I prefer to assume the former rather than the latter).

03 March 2007

Succinct Film Reviews: Zodiac Edition

75 minutes of a good movie (too bad it ran for 163 minutes).

Longer film review, Zodiac, David Fincher's latest doesn't know what it wants to be, and that damages the film overall.

Does it want to be a fetishistically exact play by play of the original Zodiac's crimes?
Partly, but that could have been covered in 30 minutes.

Does it want to be a incompetent cops 'out-thunk' by a motivated outsider movie?
Partially, but it doesn't quite go far enough in that direction, mostly it just blames bureaucratic intransigence and due process for keeping the cops from catching Zodiac.

Does it want to be a fun little period drama evoking the place and time that was late 60s and early 70s San Francisco?
Some, but again, the other elements fight against this, plus it doesn't feel particular authentic. It's rare for a period piece not to exhibit clues as to the time the film was actually made. This was clearly a mid 2000s picture about the 1970s. That fact hampers this film's ability to transport you out of this time and get you to sufficiently suspend your disbelief to watch the story unfold.

Also, another quibble is that this film had way too many actors in it.

Don't all films have actors in them?

Yes, but every damn role isn't played by a known face. This cast has the likes of Brian Cox, Donal Logue, Elias Koteas, James LeGros, Dermot Mulroney, Chloe Sevigny, Anthony Edwards, John Mahoney, Ione Skye (uncredited), Mark Ruffalo, Philip Baker Hall, Clea Duvall, Adam Goldberg, and Roger Rabbit. Lesser known character actors filling all those roles would have been just as effective and less distracting.

And speaking of Roger Rabbit, why doesn't he work more often? His 'creepy guy' in this is the best part of the picture. Charles Fleischer is a pretty damn good actor, yet his non-voice over credits of late seem rather slim.

Also, Jake Gyllenhaal just doesn't sell the nebbishy, obsessive, socially inept ex-Eagle scout well. He's miscast in this and it damages the whole picture.

Robert Downey, Jr., as Robert Downey, Jr., does a decent job of playing Robert Downey, Jr. (you mean he wasn't playing himself, oh, well, you could have fooled me).

The ads before the film were pretty awful as well. One crappy suspense/horror film after another was trotted out. In summary

Rednecks making snuff films starring upscale couples=Vacancy
Saw/Grudge/The Ring/Magic*100 with ventriloquist dummies=Dead Silence
High school Rear Window=Disturbia
High school DOA (with a supernatural twist)=The Invisible
Patsy framed for attempt on President, fights back=Shooter
God is back, He's out for blood, and this time, It's Personal=The Reaping
A Condescending Look at Trailer Park Paranoia/AIDS Parable Masquerading as Horror Film=Bug

All I can say is, this was a lousy movie to start my 2007 film viewing (no other film released in 2007 got me interested enough to sample). Hopefully next week's 300 will be better.

UPDATE (04 MAR 07; 11:00am) Just remembered one more film that was previewed (7 previews, is probably about 4 too many), Bug, and added to the list. It's William Friedkin's latest, but he's always advertised as "from the director of The Exorcist", judging from the imdb profile on the film, and the fact that it's based off of an off-Broadway play, the ad campaign is highly deceptive. But, on the plus side, Ashley Judd plays 'trailer' really well, and looks kind of hot doing it. Also gleaned from imdb, this play and screenplay was written by Counterguy from the classic Seinfeld episode that gave us Festivus.

02 March 2007

I Remember Seeing That Movie Opening Weekend, and the Audience Back Then Also Found It Comic

The U.S. really is a different and better place now, at least as far as crime is concerned, than it was 15 or 20 years ago. I rented "Falling Down" for Maia a few weeks ago, just so she could get a little of the sense of dread we all lived with in the '80s and '90s and don't anymore. But she thought it was a comedy.

Referencing the above, from Cathy Seipp's most recent post, I can't imagine reading Falling Down as anything but a darkly comic revenge fantasy. It was absurd, then, it's even more so now. That picture was back when Joel Schumacher made good bad movies, rather than the awful bad movies he now makes.

I found it to be the typical Hollywood liberal interpretation of their conception of what kind of seething rage sits in the heart of all white men. I don't think they expected the Michael Douglas character to be received as sympatheticaly as he was.

Hollywood does that from time to time, I'm sure they thought they were making Patton to be a repulsive nearly fascist thug, whereas most Americans just saw a great American.

Alec Baldwin has made his career lately out of playing politically incorrect heavies, and/or comic foils.

Funny how lefty actors always seem to play these kind of roles.

Back to Cathy glad to see her latest post, sorry to hear of her travails, but I expect to see her recovered and posting up a storm in due time (and till she's feeling better, sporadic posting is understandable).