Wednesday, September 30, 2009

re: Polanski (A Little Sanity)

Now that’s more like it:

Speaking to reporters, French government spokesman Luc Chatel said: “We have a judicial procedure under way, for a serious affair, the rape of a minor, on which the American and Swiss legal systems are doing their job.”

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner have written to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton calling for Polanski to be freed.

But the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has distanced himself from the move by asking his ministers to show “greater restraint” in defending him.

He added that despite a “leading Polish director” being involved, it is still a “case of rape and of punishment for having sex with a child”.
French film-maker Luc Besson, who directed the 1994 movie Leon, has also refused to lend his support.

Speaking to French radio station RTL, he said: “I have a lot of affection for him, he is a man that I like very much ... but nobody should be above the law.”

Of course, some of the useful idiots show up in the story, too, but we’re focusing on the positive here…

Read the rest.



And, yes, I know that technically I’m wrong, but I’m devoting this small portion of my life to the proper misspelling the word zomby (and then raising zomby hordes in hopes of conquering the world, but that’s another story entirely). I’m also technically wrong about the pronunciation of GIF, but the right way just makes me sound like I want to make a sandwich.

Just sayin’.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thigpen to Miami

Just a few weeks ago, someone predicted this. Well, at least half of this.

While Broncos fans are, mostly, pleasantly surprised by the team (and the rational fans are worried about how much tougher the schedule gets), KC Chiefs fans can’t be anything but horribly disappointed in their team. So much movement in the off-season, so many strategic acquisitions, and so little change in results. Rough stuff, Chiefs fans.

Only Scary Countries Arrest Folks who Drug and Rape 13 Year Old Girls

Who knew that in France quaaludes, champagne, and raping little girls is all the rage? Forget Thailand, pedophiles of the world, France is the place that you want to go. Well, at least as long as you’re an admired artist like Roman Polanski.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner called the apprehension a “bit sinister. A man of such talent, recognized in the entire world … all this just isn’t nice.”

French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand told French news media, “In the same way that there is a generous America that we like, there is also a scary America that has just shown its face.”

And this wasn’t just some minor breach of etiquette or confusion on the part of the director and while her age is certainly a part of the story, had she been 18 this still would have been rape. Roman Polanski is a rapist.

The victim, Samantha Geimer, was a ninth-grader when Polanski told her mother he wanted to shoot pictures of her for a French magazine. He gave the girl alcohol and drugs and raped her as she pleaded with him to stop.

He’s a man who raped a little girl and then fled the country. He was warmly embraced by his adopted country, allowed to continue to make movies, and even awarded by his peers for those films. He did something utterly unconscionable and was never made to pay the cost for those actions--and, regardless of how good those movies may have been, I am baffled by the sympathy for the man.

It’s far, far past time that he paid for his crimes.

Read the rest.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Love the Return of the VRWC

The return of the VRWC can only bring an extra sprinkling of funny into our lives, so I applaud Clinton for helping the nation stay in a good state of humor.

Bill Clinton says a vast, right-wing conspiracy that once targeted him is now focusing on President Barack Obama.

I think that the vast, right-wing conspiracy that Bill Clinton is referring to--folks who want Obamas policies to fail--would be known traditionally as the Republican party. Add to them some libertarians and moderate and conservative Democrats, and, boy, that is a vast conspiracy.

Just sayin’.

Read the rest.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Observe and Report: The Ten Point Review

  1. If anyone but Seth Rogan had played the role of Ronnie, a seriously unhinged security guard, it might have been a horrible movie. His likability is the only thing that redeems the violent, delusional loser.
  2. And beware: there are things in here that will make you wince. Not least of which is the occasional bit of male, full-frontal nudity (and not in a way that many folks are bound to find aesthetically pleasing).
  3. More, though, it’s the darkness of the humor and the savagely cruel life of Ronnie that will set the viewer on edge.
  4. Yeah, it’s funny, but it’s mean, too. Sometimes, really mean.
  5. There’s a scene in which a police officer announces, “I thought it was going to be funny. It’s just kind of sad.” Well, it really is a funny movie in places, but that line is one of the more memorable moments because its not far off how the audience is starting to feel. Laughing at the lovable loser (see Paul Blart, Mall Cop for an example) can be awfully fun. This just feels little too honest to be full-on funny, though.
  6. It’s the difference, pardon the cliché, between laughing with someone and laughing at someone. Only someone truly cruel likes laughing at someone like Ronnie, who isn’t a horrible soul but most certainly is a failure as a human being by almost any standard.
  7. Beautifully shot.
  8. The occasional violence has a nasty, vicious feel. That’s not a complaint. The cruel edge helps to maintain the dark, broken tone of the whole thing. That is, it maintains that tone except for where it dives fully into insane bouts of silliness (as in the big mall fight scene wherein we learn that Ronnie wields one mean Maglite).
  9. Supporting characters vary wildly between poorly rendered cardboard cut-outs and ridiculously effective counterpoints to Ronnie.
  10. By the end--maybe an overly positive end--I was pulling for Ronnie. I wouldn’t invite the guy out for drinks, but I wanted him to wake up, wise up, and start getting better.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Riotous G20 Protestors Just Giving the Gift of Love

The anarchists, progressives, and morons concerned citizens who are protesting capitalism by destroying the occasional Boston Market and wearing nifty bandanas like little, spoiled children who have no idea how mommy and daddy paid their college tuition aren’t striking out from a place of anger. No, every broken window and every rock thrown is just a love letter to capitalism.

No idea at all why some folks are getting their molotov cocktails in a twist over a handful of passionate, rambunctious youths.

I wish I had a nifty bandana.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wed. Morning Questions (The Ralph Nader Edition)

Have you ever sat back and thought to yourself, “That Ralph Nader sure is one unstable kook?”

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blowing Up the Moon Fever Has Gripped the Entire Country

We have the technology, the time is now, science can wait no longer, children are our future. America can, should, must, and will blow up the moon.

Watch from about 1:20 in (and God bless Mr. Show).

When I was a boy, blowing up the moon was just a beautiful dream…

(For the embed challenged, check it out on YouTube. And this moment of hilarity brought to you by Instapundit. Fair warning: if you watch the whole thing, there are a few NSFW language here and there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If You Click Only One Link Today…

...Make sure it’s this link.

From Jerry D’s comment in the previous post. Thanks, Jerry!

Broncos v/ Bengals: Capturing the Moment

Drew Litton has a pair of cartoons that capture the Broncos win rather well. Check them out here and here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

From the “Things Obama Should Have Said On the Record” Files, the Kanye West Edition

It would be a rare area of complete agreement between Obama and me if he were to say it on the record.

ABC’s Terry Moran set the Twitter-sphere all aflutter when he wrote:

TerryMoran: Pres Obama just called Kanye West a “jackass” for his outburst at the VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’S presidential.
from Terry Moran - 6:39 PM (1 hour ago)

We’ve reached out to Moran and will update this post when we learn more.

Because, let’s be honest, Kanye is a jackass. And a jerk. And a self-satisfied bore.

RIP, Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze will live on in those late night movies that you probably didn’t like when they were first released, but that you’ll happily stop and watch when you’re suffering from a nasty bout of insomnia and you’ve surfed your way through two-thirds of your cable channels. Road House and Dirty Dancing, for example. And, happily, he’ll live on in some good movies, too, like Donnie Darko and (okay, I’m not sure it’s good, but, damn, it’s good) Red Dawn.

Patrick Swayze, the hunky actor who danced his way into moviegoers’ hearts with “Dirty Dancing” and then broke them with “Ghost,” died Monday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

“Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months,” said a statement released Monday evening by his publicist, Annett Wolf. Swayze died in Los Angeles, Wolf said, but declined to give further details.

Sympathy goes out to his family and friends. He seemed to be a genuinely nice guy who handled his cancer with more grace than I could manage.

Read the rest.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Broncos v/ Bengals: An Ugly Start to the Lost Season (Updated)

The Broncos weren’t as horrible as some of us might have expected, but that doesn’t mean that they were anything like good.

Originally, I was going to note that the Broncos defense looked to be pretty good today right up until it really counted. Nursing a hard-fought 6 point lead near the end of the game, the Broncos defense, which had harassed, sacked, and out-worked a Bengals offense through a good bit of the game, let the Bengals put together a great, touchdown scoring drive. In fact, the defense hardly put up a fight in those last few minutes, never pressured Carson Palmer, and left receivers open in the flat with tons of room to run.

It was one of just a couple of really good scoring opportunities that the Broncos defense gave up all day. It didn’t hurt that through much of the rest, the Bengals were working hard against their own success--whether it was a bobbled snap on a chip-shot field goal or dropped passes by Coles, the Bengals were inconsistent and bumbling, giving the Broncos D the chance to work through their early mistakes and put together some really good plays. Certainly there were too many long third down conversions and some ugly play, especially in the secondary. But it looked better than through most of last year--the sacks, the interception, and some good upfront play by the defensive line kept the game manageable.

Right up until when it counted most. Which is where I thought it would end.

The Broncos offense simply wasn’t good throughout the day. Knowing the Broncos quarterback, Kyle Orton, who isn’t known for his accuracy on the long ball in the best of times, was still nursing an injury, the Bengals defense put pressure on from the beginning. There was very little respect for the long pass and a smart focus on dominating the line. The Broncos running game was mediocre and the passing game was mostly ineffective. Like the Bengals, the Broncos were burdened by their own bad decisions. In particular, dropped passes (Brandon Marshall’s miss on a well-thrown long pass from Orton was particularly galling as Marshall spent much of the game looking completely unprepared for regular season play--and that’s a purely dumb self-inflicted wound from a guy who thinks he’s worth the really big money) and ugly penalties made most of the Broncos drives short and ugly.

So, losing by one point with less than a minute left on the clock, only one time out, and bad field position, it looked like the Broncos day was over and that they would be on the losing end of a truly ugly opening game. That probably should have been the end.

But the Bengals had one really good mistake in reserve. With the Broncos trying to work the sidelines on a long pass, hoping to get Prater (who hit field goals from 48 and 50 today) in position for a last-second kick, Orton aimed at a well-covered Marshall. Three Bengals defenders converged, one of them tipped the ball, and the ball popped up and over to an attentive Brandon Stokely. Stokely, smart player that he is, turned on the burners (okay, that’s probably overstating it--but he got every ounce of speed left in his body moving down the sideline and leaving defenders chasing him and desperately hoping that he would stumble or fumble or something. Which he didn’t. In fact, he smartly turned right at the goal line and burned off seconds while waiting for the defense to catch up.

Let me say this in big, bold letters: BRANDON STOKELY IS ONE SMART PLAYER. Not only does he put himself in position to make a play (in an interview after the game, he said that he was watching carefully so that he could make a block if Marshall had caught the ball or to make a catch if the ball was tipped), but he had the clarity of mind to burn off a little extra time to make it harder on Palmer, who has a big arm and a good receiving corps.

When the Bengals got the ball back, there were only five seconds left on the clock, which proved to be just enough time to throw a very long interception.

It wasn’t pretty, but it’s nice to see the Broncos get their first win under Josh McDaniels. It also showed that the Broncos aren’t working from absolutely nothing; there is some talent on this team and they might well be able to surprise a few people this year. The defense truly does look better and, while quarterback will continue to be a big question for the team, there is enough running, receiving, and blocking talent on the team that they should be able to put together a credible offense.

They have a long way to go to being good, though, and some of the decisions made by McDaniels are confusing. For example, how does Payton Hillis get so few looks in a game like this? Throughout the pre-season, Hillis proved himself to be tenacious, punishing, and efficient in running and catching the ball. On his one catch today, he caught the ball for what looked like very little gain, put a little move on the defender, and then bulled forward for 6 yards. The play ended up looking good, but it had more to do with Hillis than it did with the play call. When your offense is having a tough time putting up the yards, how do you leave this guy on the sideline for so much of the game?

It was better to watch a win than it would have been to watch a loss, but hope and change don’t build winning teams. It takes folks doing their jobs and coaches tapping into their players’ talents, two things that were largely lacking this week for the Broncos.

Update: Amen, brother Combs, amen.

Yes, Yes, I Wish I Had Been There

Robert Hayes was there.

Steve Green was there.

Lots of other people were there, too, although damned if anyone has a good count.

I, however, was not there. At all. Which makes me sad.

Re: Placebo

I love the ad.

Friday, September 11, 2009

CNN, Coast Guard, White House: A Whole Mess of “Seriously?”

Okay, in what world would today seem like a good idea to hold a Coast Guard training exercise where uninformed observers might just get the wrong impression? Seriously, guys, that was a bad idea.

The Coast Guard refused to apologize Friday for a training exercise it conducted on the Potomac River that sparked panic and confusion soon after President Obama crossed a nearby bridge on his way to the Pentagon to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Coast Guard Chief of Staff Vice Adm. John Currier told reporters that the was holding a normal training exercise, as it does every day, and an operational commander at the scene didn’t see a reason to cancel just because it’s an emotional day for many Americans.

And in what world would it seem like a good idea to run a story about that exercise without first checking to make sure that it wasn’t just an exercise, knowing full well just how that kind of story would play on 9/11? Seriously, guys, that’s the kind of stuff that bloggers are supposed to do, not members of our sober, responsible mainstream media.

And why in God’s name would the White House press secretary want to continue to be such a jerk when dealing with the issue? While I think CNN had a little hysterical (not the funny hysterical, the screaming and running in terror hysterical) lapse, I can’t imagine how that kind of a training exercise wouldn’t attract a little attention. Especially on 9/11. Seriously, Mr. Gibbs, you need to grow some people skills.

Responding directly to a CNN reporter’s question about whether the public should have been notified about a training exercise, Gibbs was harshly sarcastic: “If anybody was unnecessarily alarmed based on erroneous reporting that denoted that shots had been fired, I think everybody is apologetic about that.”

When another journalist noted that the Coast Guard was holding a news conference to take questions on the morning’s events, Gibbs jabbed: “Hopefully CNN will go.”

None of which changes the fact that I hate truthers. God, I hate truthers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Motorola’s New Phone Looks Nice

Motorola’s new Cliq, an Android-based, iPhone-fighting, consumer phone aimed at the social-networking set, looks awfully nice. I’m a little unsure about the home-grown interface (Motoblur), and build quality will be important, of course, but I’m curious to see if this phone can revive Motorola’s image in the market.

Make Your Voice Heard

Organization for America is calling on its members to call their representatives and voice support for the Democrat’s health care reform ideas.

I’m hoping that those of us on the other side of the aisle won’t let our voices be drowned out. So, if you have a chance, call your representatives and let them know what you think. This fight is far from over. For anyone living in Colorado’s 7th District, here is a little contact information:

Sen. Mark Udall at 202-224-5941
Sen. Michael Bennet at 202-224-5852
Rep. Ed Perlmutter at 202-225-2645

For everyone else, you can use this to find your reps. And, yeah, in reference to that link: like sex in public places, sometimes it’s more fun this way.

Mr. President, You Haven’t Changed My Mind

Firstly, Mr. President, you argue in bad faith. When you assert that I and my fellow Republicans oppose health care reform because we want to score cheap political points, you are wrong. We oppose bad reform because we disagree with you over the proposed solutions. Most Republicans, and most Americans, want reforms, but we disagree wildly on what the best fixes should be.

Either you misunderstand our disagreement or you are intentionally miscasting it for, well, your own cheap political points.

With the country sinking in a hole of debt, I think this is a wonderful time to be skeptical of big, new government programs. While you, again, try to score cheap political points by tying the last administration as the bad guy whenever the debt question comes up, there are two things to realize: most of us understand that President Bush definitely helped the budget problems along, but most of us also understand the role that your administration has had in compounding the problems.

We don’t trust you with our money.

While we do our best to convey our opposition to things like the public option, you do your best to minimize our concerns by telling us to stop bickering. Let me explain something: voices are being raised because a sizable portion of the population is pretty sure you stopped listening. Instead, we are being told, in so many words, to “get out of the way.” With all due respect, Mr. President, I’m not much in the mood to get out of the way.

We don’t trust you to hear our voices.

The issue is compounded whenever I hear you talk about calling people out for spreading misinformation. While standing up and heckling isn’t much my style (at least, not outside my own home), I sympathize mightily with the sentiment because it seems that you are the one trying to mislead us.

When you tell us you’ll listen to constructive criticism and look at alternative plans, we know you aren’t telling the truth because you’ve continue to work to minimize our voices. When you tell us that you won’t sign onto a plan that will raise the deficit, we don’t believe you because it’s just another empty campaign promise, really, and the follow up that you’ll promise to make cuts to balance out new expenses if you prove to be wrong is simply laughable. Actually, it would be laughable coming from nearly any politician this side of Ron Paul, but from you it’s downright hilarious.

We don’t trust you to tell us the truth.

The left is absolutely right about one thing: Americans do want health care reform. That doesn’t we want the reform that they are selling, though, and it doesn’t mean that we have to sit down and shut up just because we are the minority party. To paraphrase one Van Jones, some of us have to get a little uppity.

Saddling the country with new debt and new regulations before we’ve even emerged from this recession is suicidal, and I don’t believe that he can achieve what he wants to achieve without adding new debt. Regardless of the feel good factor--and, yes, it would be lovely if we could live in a world where all the medicine and health care you needed was cheap and abundant and there weren’t any lines to get the good stuff--the reality is that government programs pretty much always cost more and do less than they were intended. If you want efficiency, then get government out of the way; if you want bureaucracy, long lines, confused consumers, and legislation that makes it harder to run your business, then, yes, more government is the answer for you.

You can keep pushing for this, Mr. President, but we will push back. We won’t be intimidated by union thugs or talk of “punching back twice as hard.” We won’t be shamed into submission for opposing legislation that would be harmful to the economy or to our health care system. And we don’t apologize for offering up our own solutions.

And let it be known: if it comes to a vote and the reform package is wrong, we damn well won’t vote for anyone, be they Republican or Democrat, who votes for that package. For a lot of us, this is the line.

Some other voices:
Bob Hayes on health care co-ops.
Doesn’t seem that De Doc trusts our government overly much, either (although this post is from a few weeks back).
A political cartoon on Protein Wisdom captures my thoughts nicely.
Thoughts from Rove via Sama. (And, as an aside, Sama is using Feed a Fever as his RSS Reader. Which is fun to say out loud.)
Roger Fraley has some thoughts.
Distributed Republic is, ahem, skeptical.
And then there’s the football-shaped, stuffed french toast issue. Which might have nothing to do with health care today, but give it a few years to harden some arteries.


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