Friday, June 29, 2007

 

Pure Drama



I always find out about these things after everyone else in the world already knows about them. Which is why I am probably the last person in the world to have sat and laughed and laughed and laughed while watching this five second clip over and over:


If I hadn't seen and enjoyed Kill Bill so much, I might not have appreciated this "remix:"


Good times!

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McFAT 17



It's the seventeenth installment of the McFAT, MCF's question and answer test for fellow bloggers.

1) What was the first swear word you learned?
(You can, of course choose to censor your answer.)


I vividly remember an incident from my childhood when I swore in front of a large group of adults, although I thought at the time that I wasn't swearing. It all comes down to context:

When I was a kid, my parents, who were Christian fundamentalists, took my sister and I to church regularly. I remember begging them at some point when I was about six to let me start attending "grown-up church" with them instead of going to the kids' sermon. Eventually they gave in.

I remember being amazed once I started hearing the grown-up sermons at how much cussin' the preacher usually did. Specifically, he used the word hell very frequently. I'd always thought of hell as a swear word since I'd typically only heard it used as an expletive, followed by instructions not to repeat what I'd heard said. So I was quite concerned about all the cussin' that our preacher was doing.

I remember asking my mom about it and I remember her explaining to me that it was OK for the preacher to say hell because he was actually talking about hell and not swearing. Well, the concept of context was lost on me. All I came away from that conversation with was it's OK to say hell.


Fast forward about a week or so to a hot summer day at my grandmother's house. I'd been outside playing with my cousins and I came inside and informed everyone that it was "hotter than all hell" outside. A hush filled the room. I was instructed to quit cussin' and I'm willing to bet I got spanked in the bargain.

This was my first lesson in context. What I learned was this: Never trust grown-ups.


2) If you could have a functioning version of any comic book character's accessory or vehicle, which would you choose and why?

The Tumbler. Nothing else is close. Now, I suppose I might be fudging the answer here a bit because the Tumbler is actually a cinematic reimagining of the Batmobile, but I still have to go with it. There's just nothing cooler. Man, how awesome would it be to have that thing? Of course, I'd get all kinds of tickets for the way I'd drive it. Now, wait, scratch that. The cops could never stop me in the Tumber. Mwa ha ha ha ha ha!


3) What is your least favorite exercise?

I don't like the part where you get off the couch and do stuff.


4) Can you keep a secret?

Wouldn't YOU like to know.


SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION: What is my middle name?
(I probably won't answer this one, but it will be fun to see what people say...)


Well, the two most common American male middle names are David and Wayne. I'd like to hedge my bets and guess both of them, but I suppose I'm supposed to guess one name … so I'll combine them and guess that MCF's middle name is Wayvid. Michael Wayvid Whorenelli. For Senate.


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Thursday, June 28, 2007

 

Ugly News About Thompson



The, um, objective and unbiased reporters in the MSM are really starting to get vicious about Fred Thompson. Check out this churlish item from ABC News:
Fred Thompson, a likely Republican presidential candidate, on Tuesday defended his work as a Washington lobbyist, telling The Associated Press that lobbying is an important part of life because "government's got their hands in everything."

...Thompson, who likes to cast himself as a political outsider, earned more than $1 million lobbying the federal government for more than 20 years. He lobbied for a savings-and-loan deregulation bill that helped hasten the industry's collapse and a failed nuclear energy project that cost taxpayers more than a billion dollars.

He also was a lobbyist for deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was widely criticized for endorsing "necklacing," the gruesome practice of execution where gasoline-soaked tires are thrown over a person's neck and set ablaze.


Good Lord! Sounds terrible. Reading that did give me pause, I have to admit. I'm glad to see, though, that Thompson brushes the charges off at his blog. His response is an audio file and you can load it in a new window by clicking here.

I wish, though, that he'd be a little more specific about these charges. (Give me specific info I can use to defend your {almost} campaign, Senator Thompson. Those charges are really ugly.) I've become a Thompson booster of late and I'm only inches away from that all-important Official SouthCon Endorsement. I'd like to have reason to believe, though, that Thompson hasn't really worked shamelessly for Haitian dictators before I put up the old "Thompson '08" banner in my sidebar.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

 

Movies, Blogs, Etc



I think I might take film geeks down soon. Wendy has lost all interest in blogging, and assures me that she'll likely never blog again, at least not at film geeks. I haven't had the drive to write reviews for film geeks in a long time. The heavy metal blog I started a while back is languishing, too. I've learned about myself that I will occasionally get the urge to start new blog x, convinced that it will be a fun hobby, and then I lose interest as soon as I've set it up.

Wendy and I saw two good movies over the last several days. Right now we don't have any of our kids, so we've had the chance to see some movies we'd otherwise not get to see.

1408 turned out to be a pretty good, somewhat scary horror film. Have you noticed, by the way, that the best horror movies of the last several years have been PG-13 films? The R rated horror films are all gore and gratuitous nonsense. The horror films that actually involve good acting and interesting stories end up rated PG-13. 1408 is a good example of that trend, like The Exorcism Of Emily Rose and Signs and The Sixth Sense. John Cusack pulled of a compelling performance, which was pretty important in a film that amounted to a one-man show about regret and redemption. I'd give 1408 three out of five stars. It's nice to see that there are still people in Hollywood who realize the difference between genuinely frightening stories and pointless gorefests.

The movie I have to enthusiastically recommend, though, is Knocked Up. Oh, it's not for everyone. There is a fair amount of raunchy humor, the movie earns it's R rating. This is the new film from the folks who made The 40 Year Old Virgin. Knocked Up kept us laughing for the whole duration of the film, and the story was really enjoyable. The best thing about the movie is that the characters were all likable people who were celebrated in the film for doing the right thing. They weren't perfect people, and some of them had to make major changes over the course of the film, but they were believable and likable characters. Without realizing it, I found myself really rooting for them, hoping that the story would treat them well. The story was about a guy and a girl who managed to get themselves pregnant on a one-night stand, and then were faced with the difficulty of doing the right thing over the next nine months.

I really enjoyed the film, and not just because it was funny. The two main characters never considered abortion, and the people in their lives who suggested abortion were portrayed as immature, selfish or just plain mean. Instead of aborting the child for convenience's sake, the new mom and pop decided to try the old fashioned thing; getting together for the kid's sake and trying to make it work. It might seem unbelievable to some people that something like that is even possible, but it really played believably in Knocked Up. It isn't that far fetched, after all; I mean, two people who share the same priorities when it comes to the really important stuff already have a head-start on other couples. I liked both of the main characters a lot, and Seth Rogan, the slacker Albert Brooks of his generation, is emerging as an unlikely but highly likable movie star. As a film that kept me laughing and just generally made me happy all the way through, I have to give Knocked Up five out of five stars.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

 

Hits On Thompson



The lefties must be trembling a bit about Fred Thompson, since the "vast left-wing conspiracy" against him is kicking into high gear.

Classic smear politics; the first strike is to try to separate Candidate X from Candidate X's base. The lefties are trying hard to drive a wedge between Thompson and conservatives. Newsweek recently ran a story about Thompson in which they indicated that he was soft on core conservative issues, like abortion and campaign finance.

But as Andy Selepak points out for Accuracy In Media, it ain't necessarily so:

According to Newsweek, ... Thompson's answers to a number of surveys in office "could be viewed as supporting abortion rights."

What exactly were his pro-abortion responses he made on these surveys? According to Newsweek, "on a 1994 Eagle Forum survey, Thompson said he opposed criminalizing abortion."


You mean that Thompson doesn't want every woman who's had an abortion thrown in jail? GASP! Well, he just can't really be a conservative pro-lifer! I mean, EVERYBODY knows that all us conservative pro-lifers want every woman who's had an abortion thrown in jail!

Except that we don't. But, of course, since that's what the media says about us, that's what the lefties all believe ... and, of course, they think that Thompson's unwillingness to throw women who've already been through the heartbreak of abortion into prison simply must mean that he's at odds with the pro-life movement.

Nice try, Newsweek, but if you're going to try to imply that Thompson doesn't share our pro-life values, you oughta learn just what pro-life values actually are.

Selepak continues:

Thompson's view about when life begins has also evolved since 1994. Newsweek reported that in a recent Fox News interview he said "he's always been against abortion, but that the issue has 'meant a little more' since he saw the sonogram of his 3-year-old daughter." Thompson added in the interview, "I'll never feel that same way again. Not only is it in my head, it's in my heart now."

In the end, the article acknowledged that his Senate voting record included votes to block federal funding for abortions and in support of a partial-birth-abortion ban. The National Right to Life organization gave him a 100 percent rating.


Wow, accuracy from Newsweek. Wonders never cease.

The article attempts to tarnish his campaign before it even starts, in the eyes of Republican voters, by portraying him as anti-conservative. But Thompson isn't pro-abortion and never has been. He has expressed concerns about his vote on McCain-Feingold, and in refusing to play partisan politics in a corruption investigation, Thompson showed the signs of a fair and decent man―the qualities admired in a leader by both conservatives and liberals.

Thompson may not be a "southern-fried Reagan," but he is definitely not Newsweek's mis-portrayal of him either. Like all candidates, the American people still need to learn more to determine who should be the next president. But, what the American people don't need is a misinformation campaign by the media to take down a candidate because he could defeat the Democratic nominee.


Step one in the Thompson attack schedule is going to fail because conservatives know more about our own people than lefties do. Step two will be the usual scare tactics: "Thompson wants to take away all civil liberties, throw old people into a ditch to die and reinstate the draft!" You watch and see.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

 


Oh, dear Lordy Lord the stories I could tell about the day I've had:

Someday I'll find humor in all of this.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

 

Go Ahead, Fred!



I like the looks of this:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson earning support from 28% of Likely Republican Primary Voters. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani attracts support from 27%. While Thompson’s one-point edge is statistically insignificant, it is the first time all year that anybody but Giuliani has been on top...


Yeah, my support for Thompson is growing exponentially. The more I learn about the guy, the better I like his (soon to be) campaign.

Meanwhile, Kristine has a Hillary video with a cringe factor of about 15 on a ten scale. Geez, Billary is the creepiest celebrity couple in history.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

 

Gotta Love National Lampoon



Alright, it's no Lawrence of Arabia, but it'll have to do:



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Culture Wars Re-Examined



There is an interesting and worthwhile piece in the current National Review, written by libertarian Brink Lindsey. In A Farewell To Culture Wars, Lindsey argues that the current problems within the American conservative movement are due to the conservative focus on social conservatism. Lindsey offers advice to the modern American conservative, advice to the effect that conservatives should abandon the causes of social conservatism and focus on the free market and national security.

This isn't surprising, since that's basically the libertarian position on everything anyway. Lindsey's advice to conservatives is really just "Become libertarians."

Ramesh Ponnuru's brief response to Lindsey's argument is laudable, although he doesn't go far enough in defending social conservatism. I agree with both Lindsey and Ponnuru that the heart of the conservative movement is a defense of inherently liberal causes. I agree with Ponnuru about the flaw in Lindsey's advice: Lindsey says that, by focusing on social issues, conservatives are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Alright, but one man's bathwater is another man's baby. Ponnuru argues that there's validity to the social conservative perspective, but he stops short of addressing the very real shortcomings of American secular leftism.

So, yes, a conservative defense of basic liberal concepts is vital. American conservatism is often at it's best when it's defending democracy, free speech, the rights of the individual, and other inherently liberal concepts. What the social conservative opposes in the modern day, however, typically isn't classic liberalism. What the social conservative opposes is rampant secular leftism. There are critical differences.

Classic liberals and social conservatives agree, for instance, that tolerance is important. We must tolerate a certain amount of bad behavior from those around us. Social conservatives and classic liberals can agree about that. The problem is that American secular leftists want to redefine tolerance. Here's what I mean: It is tolerance, for example, when I insist that, although I find homosexuality to be abhorrent and unnatural, I don't believe that basic human rights should be denied to homosexuals. They should be as free as I am. Now, that's where tolerance stops, but it isn't enough for secular leftists. Those who insist that society must redefine marriage so that it's a contract between any two people aren't advancing the cause of tolerance. They're simply promoting a secular leftist agenda. There's a difference between a defense of the homosexual's basic human rights and the contradiction of logic, biology, and all of human history in order to make homosexuals feel better about themselves.

Beyond that, the social conservative isn't bound to tolerate behavior that's threatening to the welfare of others. That's why social conservatives oppose abortion on demand; it's the taking of human life in the name of convenience.

As with "gay marriage," those who advocate abortion on demand are basically arguing that one's chosen lifestyle trumps everything. Biology, accountability and logic, to the secular liberal, are what you make of them. That's nonsense. Social conservatives would do well to step up their dedication to these issues, not pull back from them.


Beyond the basic arguments against secular leftism, there's another reason why social conservativism is more important now than ever. In The Enemy At Home, Dinesh D'Souza argues convincingly (if controversially) that American secular leftism represents a grave international threat to America. That's because the most effective recruitment tool available to terrorist groups is the visage of American secular leftism and it's resultant culture. It is true, like it or not, that America is seen as decadent and even evil by traditional cultures the world over. This is especially true in Muslim countries where even the most complacent citizens are likely to respond with outrage to blasphemy, abortion, flaming homosexuality and immodesty. If terrorist leaders like Osama bin Laden need to convince traditional Muslims that America is a force that threatens their culture, he only need point out America's cultural exports. This is especially easy with Muslims who already live (or have lived) in western society, where American cultural exports are prevalent. From Brokeback Mountain to Madonna to TV shows like The Real World, traditional Muslims find much to despise in America. Unfortunately, many of them have become willing to respond with violence against a culture that they believe is hell-bent on destroying traditional values.

That is not to say that Bin Laden doesn't take issue with America's presence in the Middle East or with American foreign policy in general. He does. But remember that he draws the support he needs from a pool of young Muslims; traditional and profoundly religious people who are often acquainted with America through her cultural exports.

On the surface, it seems ironic. If the radical Muslim threat is aimed primarily (or even partly) at secular leftist culture, why aren't secular leftists enthusiastic supporters of the war on terrorism? Well, remember that American secular leftists see Muslim terror groups as a distant, intermittent threat. Leftists believe that the real enemies, the people that they hate the most, are social conservatives. In the mind of an American secular leftist, social conservatism and it's figurehead George W. Bush must be brought down at any cost. That's why they root against America in the war on terror. To them, it's "Bush's war." Any defeat for Bush is a victory for secular leftists, and they're willing to sacrifice American troops and damage American interests abroad. To the secular leftist, that's a small price to pay for what they see as a greater victory.

Social conservatives face a demanding and complex struggle, caught between secular leftists and the radical Muslims who see secular leftism as reason enough to despise the west. The cause of social conservatism requires greater dedication and clearer thought now than it ever has. In short, Lindsey is wrong. Social conservatism isn't a hindrance to the American conservative movement. It is the main front of the battle. True enough, conservatives might gain votes by abandoning social conservatism, but at what cost? What does it profit a man if he gains the House and Senate but loses his soul and the whole world?

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What's Next? Salmon Kool-Aid?



Ever have one of those days when you couldn't chose between a salad and a soft drink? Well, why choose?
As the summer begins to sizzle, we can think of no better way to slake our thirst than with a icy cold carbonated beverage. And if you're in Japan, now you can keep cool with a cucumber-flavored soda.

"Pepsi Ice Cucumber" hit the stores this week, but it doesn't actually have any of the green gourd in it. Instead it has been artificially flavored to resemble "the refreshing taste of a fresh cucumber," said Aya Takemoto, spokeswoman of Japan's Pepsi distributor, Suntory Ltd.

"We wanted a flavor that makes people think of keeping cool in the summer heat," Takemoto said. "We thought the cucumber was just perfect."


Let's put Pepsi Ice Cucumber to the You Tube taste test, shall we?




Yum! I don't know about you, but I can't wait until Pepsi Ice Cucumber is on our shores. Green flavor! That's what my summer's been missing.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

 

Found My Candidate?



I've been pretty ambivalent about the current crop of Presidential hopefuls. Believe it or not, I would consider voting for a Democrat if he talked sense and was reliable on ..... Oh, what the hell am I saying? A Democrat talking sense??!? Ha ha!

Anyway, the current crop of Republican candidates all strike me as a pretty lame crew, but one guy who is about to announce his candidacy seems to be speaking my language.

The more I hear about Fred Thompson and from Fred Thompson, the more I like him. I can really see me supporting the guy eventually.

Here's a YouTube clip, Thompson with Chris Wallace a while back:



Now, granted, I have my days of disgust with the war in Iraq, and I sometimes throw up my hands and say "It's not worth it, bring the boys home." I realize, though, on a deeper level, that we can't abandon Iraq. It's just difficult to stay focused on reality when all you hear day in and day out is gloom and doom. I admit, I had a MSM relapse earlier this month and started getting my news from network TV again. It was a mistake, it won't happen again. Not everyone reporting on Iraq has the same bias and the same agenda as the MSM and those in DC and in the Green Zone.

Ultimately, though, I think I just wrote my "abandon Iraq" post on a grouchy day.

Anyway, I think Thompson could both make sound decisions on Iraq and communicate them to the American people much better than the current President. That might be part of the problem; maybe most of the problem: Dubya just can't communicate.

Thompson's positions are solid conservative common sense on the other issues, such as taxes, abortion, stem cell research, abortion, commerce, immigration, abortion, gun rights, abortion, abortion, trade and abortion. (I admit, I often tend to be a one-issue voter. As much as I like Rudy Giuliani, I could never vote for him.)

The only thing I disagree with Thompson on is the death penalty. He supports it. And, let's face it, until my personal pick for the ultimate candidate (Michael Steele) decides to run, solid conservatives who oppose the death penalty are gonna be hard to find.

Anyway, yeah, Thompson is solid. Hopefully he'll announce soon. If you want to check into his record and opinions, here are some good resources:

Fred Thompson's YouTube Channel

I'm With Fred (Close to an official campaign page)

Fred Heads

Draft Fred Thompson (A discussion board)

The Fred Thompson Report (Thompson's ABC Radio podcast)

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

 

Happy Father's Day



It's rare that items from the Roanoke Times editorial page appeal to me, but the one linked here did: I'm both a stepfather and a stepson, so John Long's column about a stepfather-in-law that he never met struck a chord with me.

Our Fathers are where we find them, and sometimes biology isn't a factor at all. Happy Father's Day to you and to yours.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

 

No Justice. No Peace. No Surprise.



Today there was a move toward justice in the case of the three Duke lacrosse team members who were accused of raping and beating a black stripper in March of 2006.

As you no doubt know by now, those accused college students didn't rape or beat anyone. Nonetheless, they were dogged and persecuted relentlessly by Durham County's Democrat District Attorney Mike Nifong, even as the case against them crumbled. Nifong lied, misrepresented evidence, manipulated witnesses and brought an indictment against the students without even interviewing the alleged "rape victim." His actions were clearly political in nature, motivated by his desire to win black votes during a hotly contested local primary.

Just a few minutes ago, a legal disciplinary committee found Mike Nifong guilty of his egregious and reprehensible misconduct. Nifong has been disbarred and will probably never practice law again. Now, God willing, Nifong will have criminal (or at least civil) charges brought against him. Losing his license to practice law isn't enough. Nifong should face the very fate he tried so hard to rig for the Duke lacrosse players: Lafong should face jail time.

Of course, Mike Nifong isn't the only scumbag in this case. Here's a list of other people who need to be brought to account for their crimes.

Crystal Gail Mangum
Meet the lying stripper (and career criminal) who falsely accused the Duke lacrosse team members of raping her. Crystal Mangum is walking, talking trash and she deserves to serve time for the heinous false charges that she brought against those three boys. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has said that it is "not in the best interest of justice" to charge Mangum for her crimes? Why not? WHY THE HELL NOT?? Falsely accusing a man of rape is just about the closest thing that a woman can do to actually committing rape. Charges like the ones she brought will hang over these three boys for the rest of their lives. They've been hounded and threatened and dogged for more than a year now, all because this woman lied. She should have to answer for that.

Duke President Richard Brodhead
Dick Brodhead just couldn't wait to see the three lacrosse players swing for their crimes. While one of the students had already graduated before the false charges were brought, the other two were suspended right away. Brodhead told WRAL TV that "if our students did what is alleged, it is appalling to the worst degree. If they didn’t do it, whatever they did is bad enough." Nice, huh? Whatever they did is bad enough, even if they didn't do anything. Great job backing up your students, there, Dick. In January of 2007, after it was obvious even to comatose people that the accused students were innocent, Brodhead allowed the two suspended students to return to Duke, saying "We have decided that the right and fair thing to do is to welcome back (the two students) to resume their studies at Duke for the spring semester." No, that's not the right thing to do. The right thing to do is wait until they're convicted and then and only then should you suspend them. Of course, doing the right thing isn't as important as doing the politically correct thing. Right, Dick?

Academic Wildman Houston Baker
After the false charges were brought against the three Duke students, English Professor Houston Baker wrote an emotionally unhinged letter to the school Administration, demanding to know "what have Duke and its leadership done to address this horrific, racist incident alleged to have occurred in a university-owned property in the presence of members of one of its athletic teams?" Baker was ready to precede the administration and the very rule of law by convicting the lacrosse team of barbaric racism: "Receiving emails and telephone calls of concern from friends nationally and internationally, we have been deeply embarrassed by the silence that seems to surround this white, male athletic team's racist assaults (by words, certainly - deeds, possibly) in our community … Young, white, violent, drunken men among us - implicitly boasted by our athletic directors and administrators - have injured lives." Except, of course, they were innocent. I'll be waiting for Baker's letter of apology to those he's falsely accused, but I won't be holding my breath.

Protest-Happy Whack Jobs
Now, God knows that college students aren't the kind to march, protest and generally raise hell without a good reason (nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!), but many members of Duke's student body just couldn't wait to get out in the street waving signs and demanding the heads of the accused lacrosse players. Signs featuring pictures of the three students were crafted into wanted posters, declaring them guilty of rape simply as a matter of fact. Members of the New Black Panthers (AKA: The Black Klan) came to Duke wearing combat boots and military fatigues and looking for whitey's blood. One of the Black Panthers whispered to one of the accused students that he was "a dead man." The Panthers weren't allowed on campus itself, but they did protest outside of the lacrosse team members' residence, looking very spiffy and GI Joe-ish in their cute little outfits. So when will they be apologizing? Not today? Oh, I suppose their schedule is full. After all, there are other 20-something white boys all over the world, and all of them need harassing.

Al Sharpton
Do I even need to mention this putz? We all know what Al Sharpton is all about. He's made a career out of bringing false charges of rape and kidnapping, provoking violence, making threats, telling lies and race bating. So it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that Big Al weighed in on the Duke rape charges, too. Sharpton went on the Bill O'Reilly program on Fox News and proceeded to offer analysis of the DNA, the prosecutor's case, and the racist elements of the so-called "rape." Of course, Al isn't going to apologize for anything he's said or done here. He's never apologized for any of his offense, and there's no reason to start now.

It all comes down to this: Giving allegations of rape against Duke students to the media was like throwing raw beef to hungry dogs. The American media just loves this kind of thing, it fits right into their leftist agenda. All the elements were there, all the sensationalism: Rich boys assaulting a poor woman, white boys assaulting a black woman, (any boys assaulting any woman, for that matter). The media ate it up and had these boys convicted in the court of public opinion before they knew what had hit them. And, of course, all the usual suspects chimed in. The riff raff from academia, media whores, the we'll-protest-anything crowd, and, of course, crooked politicians in the DA's office. Nobody ever asked if these boys had actually done anything before the accusations started flying. And once it turned out that they were innocent, everybody just lost interest.

More must be done. Disbarring Mike Nifong was a good start. Let's hope it's just a start.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

 

Garbage Scan



Ever since the wonderful, brilliant, beautiful Yellow Ledbetter video showed up on You Tube, there's been a lot of discussion everywhere about funny and infamous misheard song lyrics. Yellow is one of the biggest You Tube videos ever. I've heard it discussed on the radio, on TV, at work, etc.

This is a collection of a few misheard lyrics. Let me qualify this by saying that this video is nowhere near as funny as the Yellow Ledbetter video, but you might see a few things here that make you grin. And each of them is, supposedly, an honest example of what someone thought the lyrics were.



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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

 

I Am Legend



The new Will Smith movie, I Am Legend, is a remake of The Omega Man. Well, remake might not be the right way to say it. They're both from the same source material, Richard Matheson's novel. I am the one weirdo in the whole world who doesn't much like Will Smith. But I have to admit that the trailer for I Am Legend looks really good. As amazing as a decimated London was in 28 Days Later, this vision of an abandoned NYC is really something:

Throw in the prereq bloodthirsty vampire zombie monster things and this could be a big ol' messy, fun film.

My one complaint is that, based on the trailer, the score seems to be a ripoff of my all-time favorite movie score, Requiem For A Dream. I know that sometimes studios will "borrow" music from other films for movie trailers, but that doesn't seem to be the case, here. This is not the actual music from RfaD, this is just a snippet of a blatant ripoff.

And just in case you're on the same wrong track that Wendy was, no, this movie is not about Grammy winning singer/songwriter/pianist John Legend.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

 

The ShawSKANK Redemption



I haven't written much about the Paris Hilton jail fiasco because ... well, I don't care. When she was ceremoniously released from jail the other day, I thought "That figures." I heard that Sheriff Lee Baca had released her due, in part, to a "medical condition" and I thought "I guess her system locks up if she goes more than two days without doing coke and blowing a rich stranger." Big deal.

Then I found out that Paris had been thrown BACK in jail and ... man, I gotta admit, I haven't stopped giggling yet.

I don't know about you, but I look at the picture of Paris below, in a patrol car headed back to lock-down, and I have to think "That's hot."



By the way, I hereby nominate Judge Michael Sauer for the title of Supreme Coolest Dude Who Ever Walked On The Friggin' Planet Earth.

And I nominate Sheriff Lee Baca for the title of Schmuck Of The Moment. As it turns out, this let-the-rich-girl-loose garbage isn't even the worst of his recent offenses:

Just last month, Baca raised eyebrows by approving five new reality shows based on the doings of his 9,000-employee department, including its crime lab, patrol cars and homicide unit.

Last year, Baca's Homeland Security Support Unit -- a 50-member team of business leaders who included political donors -- was a subject of inquiries after it was revealed that they received official-looking badges with Sheriff's Department emblems and photo identifications bearing Baca's signature. Attorney General Jerry Brown's office said Friday that a legal opinion on the matter of whether state agencies can issue official-looking identification is now pending.

Maybe the attention will end up costing this moron his job and the good people of LA will get a new Sheriff who's interested in ... what is it again? Oh, yeah... ENFORCING THE DAMN LAW.

Oh, yeah ... if you're curious, here's the document that Judge Sauer signed to send Paris back to jail. Even the handwriting is sexy:


Turns out, that little piece of paper trumps the pieces of paper that the Hilton clan had tried to use to get Paris out of jail:


And, last but not least, I'll wrap up with my favorite piece of video from this debacle... this is a press conference wherein it's announced that Paris has to go back to jail. If you listen closely, you can hear the actual audio of my reaction to the news. (This video is 25 seconds long and shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes to load, even if you recently had to go back to dial-up.)


Look, I know that it's wrong to draw pleasure from someone else's suffering. Even a spoiled, rich, slutty brat who represents everything that's wrong with the world deserves peace of mind. I know it's wrong for me to be enjoying this.

Sorry. Can't help it.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

 

The Last Stand

Wednesday was the 63rd anniversary of D-Day, the largest and most important amphibious invasion ever mounted.

The June 6th, 1944 allied invasion of Normandy in France decisively turned the tide of World War Two in Europe and virtually insured the defeat of Nazi Germany, which was simply stretched too thin to fight a war on two fronts. The allied forces that invaded Normandy faced tremendously difficult odds. Germany boasted that it's defense of France from amphibious assault was impenetrable. An allied preparatory exercise before the invasion (called Exercise Tiger) was a disastrous failure, confirming the difficulty of allied communication during such a large-scale invasion. Even the weather seemed to be plotting with the Axis powers, with storms that made the trip across the English Channel especially difficult for the invading allies. Nonetheless, American, Canadian and British forces (combined with the efforts of the French Resistance) mounted the invasion and simply hoped for the best. Failure would leave only the potential for a political solution to World War Two. Essentially, the failure of the Invasion of Normandy would amount to a shabby but real European victory for Hitler.

American, Canadian and British troops marched into Hell on June 6th, 1944. When the few remaining survivors are interviewed today, invariably they say "I didn't expect to be alive at nightfall." It's obvious from their eyes that they mean it. Each of them thought that the invasion of Normandy was a suicide mission. Each of them knew that the free world as we knew it hinged on that invasion. Each of them was willing to try.

Because of the successful Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944, France was ultimately liberated from Nazi domination. Overwhelmed by the Russians to the east and the allies to the west, German forces were defeated. World War Two ended, order was restored to Europe.

It's been 63 years and, frankly, nobody cares anymore.

The generation that fought World War Two has been called The Greatest Generation. That's not entirely accurate. I'd say that a better name for our grandparents would be "The Last Great Generation." If it's an exaggeration, it's only a slight one to say that "they saved the world." It is, however, no exaggeration to say that their children and grandchildren lack even a tenth of their wherewithal.

Our grandparents. The last generation that was capable of any meaningful unity. The last age that could do what needed to be done rather than wallowing in politics and relativism. God bless them. May they forgive us for the way we've wrecked the freedom that they won for us. May they forgive the selfishness of their children, the indifference of their grandchildren, and the eventual surrender of liberty.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

 

Whitest Kids



There's a new sketch comedy show on Fuse TV called The Whitest Kids U Know. I'd describe it as a cross between The Kids In The Hall (as far as style is concerned) and The Tom Green Show (with regard to content), and South Park (in terms of subtlety). The show is patently offensive, extremely immature, and clearly wrong in many ways. I'd say I laugh at ... oh ... about 67.4% of their sketches.

Here are the three funniest sketches I've seen on the show so far. This first one will be particularly funny to anyone who's ever deliberated over a tattoo:


Pretty funny, huh? Of course, nobody would actually ever get a tattoo like that, would they?

Then there's this bit which make me cackle, too, in spite of myself:


Oh, here's some cool info... one of the Whitest Kids, Trevor Moore (the one getting the tattoo in the first clip) is a homeboy. His bio at the Whitest Kids site says he's from Virginia, and according to Wikipedia, he got his start with a local TV show in Charlottesville, a city near and dear to my heart. How cool is that?

I'll wrap up with one last skit, an obvious parody of shows like Jackass and Fear Factor, that made me laugh out loud. Don't worry, it's not what the intro makes it seem like it's going to be, but it is very funny and probably a very little bit NSFW:



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Monday, June 04, 2007

 

Sexy Panda



The difficulty of breeding Giant Pandas in captivity is detailed in the following presentation:

Hat tip to Unseen, who lead me to Mediocre Films, where I found the clip above.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

 

Nessie Lives! (?)



New video, shot by an amateur scientist (whatever that is) in Scotland is the most recent "evidence" to support the existence of the Loch Ness Monster:

I'm skeptical, because that's my nature, but I think it would be awesome if it did turn out that there's an unusually large animal in Loch Ness. How cool would that be? Fuhgedaboudit.

This most recent Nessie siting reminds me of Incident At Loch Ness, an amazingly entertaining film that's a collaboration between Werner Herzog and Zak Penn. Incident At Loch Ness is a totally original and enjoyable film. It's a hoot. If you're interested, the film geeks review is here.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

 

Junk



On our PC desktop there's a folder called Junk. It ends up frequently full of ... well, junk. I right-click-and-save funny stuff that I come across on the net, and I end up deleting it all once every couple of months. This time I decided to post a few graphics that cracked me up before I deleted them.









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Friday, June 01, 2007

 

Bush Disappointment Syndrome



Charles Krauthammer coined the phrase Bush Derangement Syndrome as a way of summarizing the conditions of people who can't mention the current President without screaming and ranting about Hitler, theocracy and lies.

Of course, I don't suffer from Bush Derangement Syndrome, but I will admit that I've come down with a serious case of Bush Disappointment Syndrome. If you don't know, Bush Disappointment Syndrome affects conservatives exclusively. It's symptoms include

My fellow conservatives, it's time to face the fact that our boy has pretty much dropped the ball. Of course, it's no great surprise. Dubya was never the brightest shining star of the American conservative movement. We elected him in 2000 because … well, who else was there? We reelected him in 2004 because the Democrats refused to nominate their only viable candidate, Joe Lieberman. The Democrats hated Lieberman because, to paraphrase Mr. Spock, "in the insane political party, the sane man must appear insane."

Things look bad for the Republican party right now, with the President's approval rating lower than dirt. Recent polls show that Dubya is less popular than paper cuts and only slightly more popular than hemorrhoids with paper cuts.

I have to laugh when I hear liberals imply (or flat-out say) that Bush is just Dick Cheney's puppet. I laugh and I say "I wish that were true, since Cheney is a solid conservative."

I'm not as sure about Dubya's conservative credentials.

We all know that he's spent money like crazy, he's managed Iraq with a fist of pudding, he's aligned himself with Ted Friggin' Kennedy on immigration … heck, even his most popular policies (No Child Left Behind and the prescription drug benefit) are classic big-government liberalism. The truth is, in those areas, neither Gore nor Kerry would have been worse.

I can hear some of my fellow conservatives now, gnashing their teeth and demanding to know if I think I could have done better. Well, no, probably not. But this is the blogosphere, so I hope you'll tolerate a bit of Monday morning quarterbacking on my part.

I admit that I am happy with Bush's tax cuts, of course. He was right, cutting taxes did reenergize the economy. A nation that can afford to spend 148 million bucks on a weekend movie doesn't have a lot of money woes worth mentioning. But if you're gonna cut taxes, you gotta cut spending. Uncle Ron taught us that, and Uncle Ron was right.

I'm also bugged about some forgotten promises from the 2004 GOP Convention. I remember a lot of talk about an "ownership society" during Dubya's speech then, and I remember that the speech left me feeling … well, energized. I especially liked the idea of Social Security privatization. I'd love to have some control of the money going out of my check for Social Security each month. Dubya sounded like he was really serious about pushing that option for me, but he just let the issue drop somewhere along the way. Damn it, Mr. President. I've got thirty-odd more years in the workforce ahead of me. You couldn't keep up the fight for four years?

When it comes to Iraq, let's face it. It ain't working. The surge, in spite of some initial progress, doesn't look promising at all. It appears that we've put our fighting men and women in a bad spot. They fought with one arm behind their backs for three years, and we only gave them more of what they needed when it was too little, too late. At this point, I'd advocate a Will Munny policy with regard to Iraq. Here's what we oughta do: First, we get out of the UN and tell them to take their dog and pony show elsewhere. Then we announce that we're getting our guys out of Iraq, but we qualify the statement like Clint Eastwood's character, Will Munny, in Unforgiven: "All right, I'm coming out. Any man I see out there, I'm gonna shoot him. Any sumbitch takes a shot at me, I'm not only gonna kill him, but I'm gonna kill his wife, all his friends, and burn his damn house down." In other words, we'll be back with big ol' bombs and stuff if anyone here takes a crackshot at the US. And that goes for all of you America-hating types. (You hear me talking, France?)

Hell, let's face it. We tried to do the right thing in Iraq. They hate us anyway. They always have, they always will. We tried the nation-building thing, we tried to foster democracy in barren soil and it didn't work. We've cast our pearls before swine. They don't want democracy. They want to kill each other in the sand. Fine. Whatever. If they ever show signs of actually trying democracy, I guess we should come back and help. Meanwhile, there are situations in Darfur, Iran and North Korea that might require US military attention soon. Especially Darfur, where the genocide is just beyond the pale. Lets bring our troops home and get them some rest, because we're gonna need them again. And sooner, rather than later.

Now, I admit, Bush 43 has done some things very well. He's rock solid on the right to life, and I admire and respect him for that. He has my gratitude. Of course the tax cuts did prove to be just what the doctor ordered, and there's no way any Democrat would have handled 9/11 better than Dubya did. Credit where credit is due.

But I'm afraid that Dubya's lasting legacy will be a virtual lock on the White House for the Democrats in '08. And won't that be a blast? It'll mean more government control of health care, a dream come true for everyone who's ever wished that a hospital was more like the DMV. It'll mean higher taxes for people who've gotten sick of bringing home so much of their pay during this decade. It'll mean fewer young people dying on the battlefield … and a whole lot more young people dying in the womb. And in test tubes. And in embassy bombings, for that matter.

Oh, well. At this point I'd say there's nothing to be done about it. I guess my generation needs to learn some things the hard way, and maybe we'll need to elect our own version of Jimmy Carter in order to do so. But I'm gonna remain optimistic. We all remember who followed Carter. Maybe my generation has it's own version of Reagan out there somewhere, taking it all in, making careful notes and learning to lead.

I hope that Dubya and I both live long enough to vote for him.


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