Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bush Assassination?

The photo above is a scene from a docudrama that is scheduled to premier at the Toronto Film Festival. The film, entitled D.O.A.P., takes the form of a historical "look back" at the consequences of Bush's assassination (which, in the film, takes place in Chicago in October, 2007.)

If you follow the D.O.A.P. link above, note the languages the film is being released in.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Class of '08

In political time, eons will pass between now and the 2008 presidential elections. Events have a way of changing any political forecasts. However, barring any major catastrophes or upheavals, the next Republican presidential nominee will be Newt Gingrich.


The Democrats probably will seize control of one or both houses of Congress in November. They will use that status to cause President Bush a considerable amount of grief over the next two years. Several Democrats have indicated that they will seek impeachment for either Iraq or the FISA wiretaps. (The real reason is retaliation for Bush’s winning the election in 2000.) Democrats will also seek to curb the President’s ability to wage the war on terrorism, as well as his appointments to the judiciary.


Republicans cannot win elections without the support of conservative voters. While not actually applauding the Republican defeats, conservative voters will sit by with their arms folded, nodding and saying "Uh-huh. I told you so." The Republican party is paying the price for neglecting its conservative base. Under Republican control, government spending has exploded; Congress is unable and unwilling to pass conservative legislation, national security is compromised by open borders. The reason for voter disdain is the Republican reluctance to fight Liberal Democrats for the things that are important to Conservatives. The Republicans have not demonstrated the backbone that the conservative philosophy requires.


President Bush’s low poll numbers reflect the dissatisfaction that Conservatives have with his lack of conservative governance. They have also been disappointed by the lack of decisive action and results in Iraq. Many respondents in polls who are unhappy with how Bush is handling the war don’t want America to leave Iraq. They’re unhappy because America is not hitting our enemies hard enough.


Given these circumstances, Conservatives feel they have been abandoned in Washington by both Congress and the President. Although we have had six years of Republican dominance, the Conservative agenda has not been served. If anything, it has taken a battering as the Democrats - united and staying on message - use the media to tear down religion, family values and other core Conservative beliefs. The Republicans have not fought well, despite having every advantage.


In 2008, however, Conservative voters will have a chance to start fresh with a new candidate. Rudy Giulani and John McCain are the frontrunners for the Republican nomination. However, Giulani is pro-choice and supports abortion rights, and John McCain has shown a willingness to compromise rather quickly. Neither of these candidates meets the smell test that Conservative voters will apply.


The two candidates who most closely match the job description are George Allen and Newt Gingrich. Allen is perhaps the most conservative of the bunch, and could be the darkhorse in the presidential race. The election is a long way off, however, and he may not make it through the primaries without a gaff that could cost him dearly in the media frenzy that would surely follow. He also lacks the name recognition nationally that Gingrich enjoys.

Newt Gingrich, despite his negatives, is the leading candidate who meets the criteria. His negatives are powerful indeed, including his failed marriages and accusations of corruption. However, on many fronts he is dominant.

1. Name recognition. Gingrich brought the Republicans to the majority in Congress in 1994. He led a conservative Congressional agenda for several years. He had a best-selling book in 2005. While promoting his book he has had the chance to keep his name on voters’ minds. Best of all, the mention of his name produces knee-jerk screaming by Liberals. Frustrated Conservatives who have been itching for a showdown will find this appealing.

2. Organization. Besides the traditional Republican machine, Gingrich set up a website and organization in connection with his book. Using this method, he built his own network that is ready to move when he gives the word. His opponents may lack this type of well-run political organization.

3. Record. Gingrich’s history is in actions, as well as words. He walks the walk. He received credit for the 1994 Republican victory, as well as much of the success Republicans have had since then. Gingrich’s adherence to conservative principles has been consistent.

4. Ideas. Gingrich outlined his thoughts in his 2005 book, Winning the Future. He addresses the key issues that resonate with Conservatives - the war on terror, religion, immigration, patriotism and personal responsibility. Gingrich is also articulate and a brilliant debater; he can present his arguments coherently in either public debates or soundbites.

After two terms of seeing how the blind (and unsuccessful) pursuit of "compromise" and "bipartisanship" has served their interests, Republicans are in the mood for a tough, smart, articulate Conservative who will fight for what they believe. Courage, loyalty and victory are what they want. I believe Newt Gingrich is the candidate who can deliver.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Pulitzer Prize Winner

Some of the best writing for a local newspaper is by Ken Towery in the Floyd County Hesperian-Beacon.

From his bio:
Ken Towery is a Pulitzer-Prize winning Texas newsman. He broke the Veterans Land Scandals that eventually saw the state's Land Commissioner go to prison. He is also a Purple Heart veteran, having been wounded on Corregidor, in the Philippines, during the early part of World War II, and was a Prisoner of War of the Japanese for some 3 1/2 years. He was Deputy Director of the United States Information Agency during the latter days of the Cold War, and was appointed to two five-year terms on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by former President Ronald Reagan and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He is author of the book, The Chowdipper, a political and military memoir. He has owned the Hesperian-Beacon since 1983.
Not bad for a small-town newspaper, eh?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Original Ugly American

Here's the setup: Marvel Comics has been around for 50 years or so. A lot of their characters are stale, and keeping all the storylines and continuity were eating up current writers. They remedied this by coming out with the "Ultimates," new versions of old characters.

The Ultimate Avengers -- Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Widow, the Wasp, Thor, and Giant Man -- fought aliens who had been around since World War II, where they posed as Nazis.

At one point, Captain fights an alien, struggling not only to win, but to survive. The alien asks Cap if he wants to surrender.

Captain America's response does us all proud:





Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hallmark Doesn't Make a Card for This

"They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." -- Civil War General John Sedgwick, shortly before being killed by a sharpshooter's bullet.
August 15, 2006: The UN negotiates a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah.

Headlines from the morning:
"Hezbollah holds 'banner of victory'"
"Iran, Syrian leaders laud Hezbollah ‘victory’"
"Iran president hails Hezbollah victory"

Headline from the afternoon:
"Israeli forces kill Hezbollah leader"

"Too bad Hallmark doesn't make a "Sorry your dodgeball coach got killed by two tons of irony" card. -- Peter La Fleur, Dodgeball (2004)

It's Not Easy Being Green

"When green is all there is to be,
It could make you wonder why...."
-- Kermit the frog, It's Not Easy Being Green

Through no fault of my own, I'm becoming sort of an "anti-Global Warming theory" expert and spokesperson. I didn't start out with that in mind, but the global warming proponents keep posting and printing and putting out their side, so I'm forced to rebut them and their illogic on an "as needed" basis.

Luckily, there are people more qualified than I to argue my points. The latest salvo was an editorial by Peter Schweizer in USA Today on August 10. In his column, Schweizer illustrates how Al Gore, while telling the rest of us that we should live a "carbon-neutral lifestyle," lives a luxurious carbon-filled life of his own. Three mansions, including a 10,000 square foot home in Nashville, suck up energy. Also, utility companies in his areas offer alternative energy generated by "clean" wind power -- at a cost of a few cents per kilowatt hour in addition to the usual rates. Clean energy that Gore has decided not to pay extra for. Read Schweizer's column for details.

I'm not actually anti-Global Warming, per se....but I am against someone telling me what I should do (and trying to pass laws to force me to do it their way) based on bad science and bad thinking.

All I'm trying to do with these tidbits is to arm you with information so that you can defend yourself when you're confronted by enviro-Nazis. Fight the good fight.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

Great trick football play

What every guy wishes his team had done while he was playing.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Quiz: Life Masks

A life mask is a mold made of a living person's face or head (as opposed to a death mask -- despite how creepy they look, the masks below were cast on living people.) For years movie makers have used life masks to create special effects makeup. The website of the Society of Amateur and Professional Special Effects Makeup Artists (www.sapsema.org) links to a collection of life masks belonging to "fxman." As I browsed the photos, I realized that I could hardly tell who some of them were, even though they were famous. Goes to show how much lighting and makeup can change a person's appearance.

Here's a quiz to see how well you can do. How many of the celebrities below do you recognize? Answers at the bottom of this post.

1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9.
10. 11. 12.


ANSWERS

  1. Muhammad Ali
  2. Humphrey Bogart
  3. Robin Williams
  4. Keifer Sutherland
  5. Julia Roberts
  6. Danny Devito
  7. Mel Gibson
  8. Robert DeNiro
  9. Bob Hope
  10. Jim Carrey
  11. Sean Connery
  12. Tommy Lee Jones


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Another Gang of American War Criminals


There's a video of an ugly incident involving American soldiers again. So far it hasn't been in the headlines, but the mainstream media can't be far behind.

Apparently the story goes like this: the American government recruited a gang of thugs and criminals whose assignment was to go on a murderous rampage. The military was even afraid to use regular soldiers for the crime. Assassination was the mission the entire time.

The mission was discovered and several of the American soldiers were killed....but not before they committed the crime which was captured on film.

A group of unsuspecting partygoers, including women and civilians, were locked in a room, and explosives detonated in and around the room, killing all inside. The victims' panic and fear were captured, as well as the offenders making their getaway.

The video of this incident may be available to you.

It's called The Dirty Dozen, starring Lee Marvin.

This movie was made in 1967, and any guy of the proper age will still get choked up describing the scene where Jim Brown runs for the getaway truck, dropping grenades into the vent pipes. You strain each time you see it, hoping that maybe this time.....

The movie was set in World War II, but in the 1960s we still accepted this scene without qualms, even cheering for the guys to get away.

If this scene were to happen today, all the Americans would be accused of war crimes, and probably convicted and punished. Americans don't accept civilian casualties anymore.

But in 1967, we cheered for American soldiers. We cheered for them to win, because that's what Americans did. Nowadays, there is a huge chunk of the American citizenry who want war -- if it's necessary at all -- to be precise, perfect and limited. Mistakes and "collateral damage" are not permissible.

On June 6, 1944, Allied forces endured approximately 9,000 casualties, of which about one-third were fatalities.

From 1940 - 1945, there were over 400,000 U.S. military deaths, and another 700,000 non-mortal wounds.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004615.html

Looking at these numbers, you don't conclude that everything went according to plan. And while these are military casualties, I haven't seen any investigations into the numbers of civilians that got caught in the crossfire. That number would probably shock all of us.

Of course, "Any man's death diminshes me, for I am of mankind," so I'm not making light of any of the numbers I've mentioned.

But what has happened to American guts and backbone since 1967? Do we understand winning anymore? Do we understand about paying the price?

Are we supposed to be ashamed of Lee Marvin?

Chick Saga Continues

Several concerts on the Dixie Chicks'"Accidents & Accusations" tour have been canceled after slow ticket sales, according to this Associated Press story .

The album's done okay, and there's a documentary coming out on them, so I guess they're not hurting for money. But it's nice to see some lingering effects of their hubris.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Yes, the video below is a repeat

Better Than Qui-Gon Jinn vs. Darth Maul

I finally was able to post the video itself rather than a link. I've gotten a lot of good suggestions for other videos. Thanks to all who contributed.

Ryan vs Dorkman

RYAN WIEBER VS. MICHAEL "DORKMAN" SCOTT

What began as a friendly rivalry between two effects artists explodes off TheForce.Net's FanFilms Forum and into the real world in a lightsaber battle royale.

Originally created for the forum's lightsaber choreography competition, this fight to the death will decide once and for all who is truly most skilled with a saber.

There can be only one.

See the 5 minute epic for yourself.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

All Celebs Should Be This Cool


In a letter on their website, rock group Steely Dan accused actor Owen Wilson of stealing the idea for his recent bomb "You, Me and Dupree" from their Grammy-award winning song "Cousin Dupree." They cite a couple of similarities and then ask him for an apology.

In the coolest response ever, Owen responded with this press release:

"I have never heard the song 'Cousin Dupree' and I don't even know who this gentleman, Mr. Steely Dan, is. I hope this helps to clear things up and I can get back to concentrating on my new movie, 'HEY 19.' "

"Hey Nineteen" was a hit off Steely Dan's 1980 album Gaucho. And Steely Dan is a group, not a person.