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This page mirrored 12/18/2005
Then and Now: Same, Yet Somehow Different.
About 60 years ago this country was locked into a war that had never even seen an attack on the United States (Hawaii was a territory, not a state). Thousands of Americans died in that attack, however, and that's all it took to unite the nation behind a cause to, in effect, crush the transgressors.
And that they did.
But it wasn't just the American armies that fought the war. I'll say it again, the country was united. Everyone played a part.
Victory gardens, war bonds, Rosy the riveter, even the Tuskegee Airmen. Everyone was united for the common good, until the mission was accomplished.
And people knew the difference between knowing when to shut the hell up, and when their free speech was being suppressed.
Can you imagine such a government campaign in today's divided, ultra-partisan country? The air would be filled with cries of IMPERIALIST FASCIST NEOCON FIRST AMENDMENT FIRST AMENDMENT! When in fact it's nothing of the sort. It's all about just shutting up for the time being and keeping American soldiers, and civilians, from getting killed in a time of war. It doesn't matter if you don't "approve" of the war. Your congressman probably voted for it, so show your disapproval by voting him or her out of office... don't take out your post-election angst on the young Marine or soldier by killing him for doing his duty. Because that's what "Loose Lips Sink Ships" was really all about. Talking about troops positions, ship schedules, code breaking, or any other sort of intelligence that will end up in the newspapers (which also, once upon a time, pretended to be on America's side), or the ears of a spy.
It has nothing to do with suppressing anyone's freedom of speech. It's about keeping Americans alive... though of course that entire campaign assumed that the reader cared about American lives. I don't think that's such a given, any more.
There is so much indifferent apathy among Americans these days concerning those who would like to see America burnt to ashes that it is boggles the mind. The same people who claim to be "for the troops but against the war" have parties when milestones of troop deaths are reached, evidenced by the recent "2000 troops dead" parties of a few months ago. These people are not "for" anything except ghoul politics. I really don't know what kind of wake-up is needed for these types of people. It is ironic, I think. 9/11 shocked the country into unity for about 2 weeks, but it's been mainly quiet since, and certain factions of America force themselves to forget what it felt like, and convince themselves it was a fluke. The irony comes when you realize the best way for the extremists to win this war is in NOT attacking us again. Taking out an American city will just reforge our steel... ignoring us and letting selfish, lazy assholes become complacent is how to fracture our resolve and have half of our legislators crying every single day for an "exit strategy."
It's a sad, sad day for America.
In the 1944 presidential election, Republican Thomas Dewey was running against sitting "New Deal" Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Dewey was governor of New York and was privy to certain amounts of military intelligence, including scandalous information that the military at Pearl Harbor had already cracked Japanese codes prior to Dec 7, 1941 and yet did not anticipate the attack. This information would have been damning to the FDR presidency and may have been enough to get Dewey elected. However, if this information had been made public as part of a presidential campaign it would have alerted the Japanese who would obviously change their codes.
General George C. Marshall contacted Dewey anonymously and asked him, for the sake of the war effort and American lives, to not use the information.
Dewey agreed, Dewey lost the election.
As for me, I say...
October 20th, 2005
Ted Stevens threatens to resign if the Senate "discriminate(s)" against Alaska by not funding a combined $453 million in Alaska bridges.
November 9, 2005
Ted Stevens refuses to swear-in oil company executives. Oil executives then lie about having taken part in Cheney's energy task force.
December 6, 2005
Ted Stevens hosts indecency hearings. Nothing says fun like government testimony about "shooting c** into women's faces." Well, OK, that sounds a little fun - but why are they spending our money on it? And who wants them to solve the problem?
Oh, and guess who's third in line to the Presidency?
PS, it's Pearl Harbor Day.
Layers upon layers, like an onion. Or an ogre.So word on the street is that Russia is going to sell some missiles and other armaments to Iran, the jewel of southwest Asia.
Bad, right? That was my first gut instinct, too.
Then I remembered 1991, the last time America faced a massive military that was composed of Soviet-built weapons: in that war, Russia gave America the information needed to reduce the effectiveness of Soviet-built surface to air missiles. Codes, or operating frequencies, or some such... I don't feel like looking it up.
Russia has no love for Islamic theocratic states, but everyone loves money and a boost to the economy for the voters in the home jurisdictions. I have no reason to believe that if it came to a shooting war in Iran that Russia wouldn't hand over vital intel, again.
So better Russia supply Iran than, say, China, which to my knowledge has no history of aiding the United States militarily since World War II (though at least then we'd know that the Chinese weapons were built from stolen American technology... which is good and bad at the same time).
We order from Papa Johns, online, about twice a month. Very recently they added a "delivery charge" of $1.00 ($1.50? something like that) to delivery orders.
As far as we're concerned, "delivery charge" better be going straight to the delivery person, because we now pay that much less in tip.
But small tips are going to get us black marks with the drivers and they'll start shitting in our pizzas, right? But I'll be damned if I'm going to give a regular-sized tip on top of that extra dollar or two getting taken off the top.
Does the "delivery charge" go straight to the driver?
Do the drivers understand that means smaller tips at the door?
Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.Harry Potter movies, like other movies that were books first, have to be reviewed from two perspectives: by those who have read the book, and by those who have not.
Though the HP movies thus far have been enjoyable, I am the latter.
Technically the movie is just fine. It has a beginning, middle, and end, the acting and actors are serviceable, and the CGI, when used, is not too cartoony. This film is a little darker than the previous three, and I feel it deserved its PG-13 rating... not for the reasons cited by the motion picture ratings people (I've heard it was for some dark ritualistic scenes), but because... damn... they're killing kids and stuff. Not gonna say who! Ha!
As a non-reader of the book, though, the movie had a lot of elements that I just didn't understand. Ordinarily I don't need to have every element of a fictional universe explained to me - things feel more established when there are dark corners - but some plot elements were never explained, and reoccurred throughout the movie.
Namely, who are the "Death Eaters," what's their deal, and why do the do what they do? I mean, by the end you get the sense of who they are, but their seemingly random acts through the movie were left unexplained, at least to me. Perhaps a second viewing would illuminate some of the dark corners.
Additionally, this movie felt much like the previous three... I hope we have an arc of conclusion to which we are traveling.
99% of the people who go to this movie are expecting the 4th Harry Potter movie, and that's exactly what they get. As such, I give this film 9 thinly-disguised-Tolkein-ripoffs out of 10.
NON-SPOILER discussion thread. - NO SPOILERS! I MEAN IT!
SPOILER DISCUSSION. Ye be warned.
At last count, 16 states prohibit scalping, and 7 require a "broker license" to resell tickets to events.
If I want to buy all the milk in a grocery store, and resell it, there is no law. If I want to buy all of a certain type of in-demand car (say, Toyota Prius) and resell them, there is no law. If I have a reservation at an in-demand restaurant, I can even sell that to other people.
What about tickets makes them special?
Movie Review (from a hippy perspective): The Lion King.A celebration of freedom-hating dictatorships.
The movie begins with music intended to stir the spirit as the "subjects" of the kingdom are introduced to their next non-elected heir, given power as a birthright and not granted by the citizens. All are made to bow in fealty, one assumes under threat of punishment, as the lackey of the government presents the precious new bundle of emperor from what looks like a palace in the middle of the undeveloped isolation.
Just as I was wondering what would happen to any citizen who failed to bow and scrape properly, I found out. The King himself went and threatened his brother who had failed to show "proper" respect. The King is domineering and threatens and bullies his brother by threat of violence... a safe bet considering he is about twice the size of the one he is threatening. That's some good leadership ability, right there.
One day the young Prince decides to call on his uncle, and like his father lords over him with, "Guess what/someday I'll be king, ha ha too bad for you." Scar, ever the patient soul, suggests to the young prince that perhaps he should visit some of the subjects he will soon be controlling, mainly out in what looks like the ghetto-portion of the kingdom... the so-called 'Elephant Graveyard.'
Off goes the young prince (against his parents wishes, who would prefer he not learn about the people their system oppresses), betrothed in tow, and soon meets the supposed "villains" of this film, the hyenas. The hyenas are given funny Mexican accents, are portrayed as stupid and laughing stock, and are even tinted in darker hues just in case there is any final question that these guys aint white.
The reason the king didn't want his son visiting this ghetto area is apparent: the system ignored them, disenfranchised them, and kept them in poverty until all they know is the violence of oppression that the system teaches them. They exert their power in the only way they know how: violence. They attack the prince, the symbol of the authority that has failed them. Of course, the movie presents this situation as if it is the oppressed who are wrong, and the dictators who are the victims. The king makes an appearance to directly suppress the people, who only want their voices heard, in order to save his non-elected heir from the peoples' wrath. The irony is thick; the people, through direct government policy, know only oppression... and they are punished for learning the only lesson the government decided to teach them. The people obviously were directly oppressed, and never had a chance to fit into or thrive in the established system.
Scar, the king's brother, observes all this, and can not ignore the injustice he sees that is inherent in the system. He hatches a plan to free the oppressed peoples from under the thumb of the monarch, using the only asset he has, his intellect. He stages a fairly bloodless coup and removes the ruling family from power, and rightly distributes the wealth of the land to all, for the first time in living memory.
The young prince flees his peoples' wrath in fear, setting up shop with the denizens of a nearby tropical kingdom. It is from here they gather their strength in the shadows of the jungle and plot the return to power, and subsequent re-subjugation of the people. They wait until the fledgling government is at its weakest, then they launch their attack.
They take a scorched-earth approach, literally. Fires rage with destruction as they make their advance; if they can't have the land, no one will. The people put up a mighty struggle against the oppressors, but the problem is that their entire military, the lions, were too well favored under the old dictatorship system. The moral of this story might as well be 'might makes right,' for all the justice that is served up. The weak citizens of the pride lands soon fall under the onslaught of the ferocious, stronger lions.
Simba the Usurper gives his uncle one chance to bow before him in slavery; when Scar refuses to live in chains, he is burned alive as an object lesson to the others. The legitimate government soon falls apart, and the military retakes control. The movie shows this as a "a peace once again reigned" moment, but only a red-state-living fool thinks that world peace can be achieved through rule of force. One assumes that sequels will deal with the rising insurgency problem as the freedom fighters continue the war the only way they can: from the shadows.
Pure propaganda. Watch this movie only as an object lesson.
A Glimpse of God: Why does He hate Indiana?God struck Indiana and Kentucky with his vengeful wrath early in the morning as punishment for their sinful, immoral style of life. When will these people learn?
The regular DTMan readers (as far as I know) all have active accounts on the forum, and with that forum membership (free, by the way) one is allowed to have their own customized titles and avatars.
But not this month.
This month we're going to screw each other over by giving other people the titles and avatars WE think they should have.
For the month of November, you can give someone else a new title and avatar for $2, payable through PayPal (link is on the top, and right). You can change your own avatar and title for $1.
This means that if you want to give me an avatar of a horse's ass and a title that says, "Yeah, I'm full of it..." two bucks gets it done. If someone else does the same to you, one buck gets it erased or changed.
How to play:
Send me an email with the person you want to screw (or say it is for yourself), the image you want to give them (keep it under 200x200 pixels), and the title you want them to have. Tell me that the funds have already been sent via Paypal. When I receive confirmation of the funds I will apply the requested changes.
Easy and fun for the whole... basement, or wherever you happen to live.
A few years ago when I still read somethingawful.com, they used to play this little game. Honestly don't know if they still do. Got banned in 2000.
Yesterday (post closed-door session):
Yesterday (post closed-door session):
December 13, 2004:
Describing the filibusters as intolerable, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has hinted he may resort to an unusual parliamentary maneuver, dubbed the "nuclear option," to thwart such filibusters.- Washington Post
So Frist gets his panties in a wad when the Democrats want to use parliamentary rules for their own purposes, but believes they are the only choice when the benefit him. Even if using such a rule effectively changes the rules of the Senate, by allowing simple majorities, instead of 60-vote super majorities to end debate. Ah, Frist, you pussy. Why not join your buddy Ted Stevens and just take your ball and go home if you don't get your way?
Of course, if you reall want to help America, give it what it really needs. Have all 100 of you go home.
I don't watch TV news, unless you count the Daily Show. Instead, I pretty much get my news online through a variety of sources. When Bush nominated Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, reactions were swift.
This is a needlessly provocative nomination. Instead of uniting the country through his choice, the president has chosen to reward one faction of his party, at the risk of dividing the country.- Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont
The initial review of Judge Alito's record shows that there's a real chance that he will, like Justice Scalia, choose to make law rather than interpret law and move the court in a direction quite different than it has gone.- Senator Charles Schumer, D-New York
We are extremely pleased.- James C. Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family
Well, from the sound of things, I figured I'd research his opinions and find a bit to react to myself.
Maybe I'm missing something here, but there just doesn't seem anything to get that excited about. Is he the Libertarian-minded people's-rights ideal I'd like? No. Is he a god-loving, abortion-banning zealot? No.
Alito has stated that there is a "right to privacy" in the Constitution. A lot of the decisions we see now aren't Brown v. Board of Education of Roe v. Wade style changes, they are the details. At what point do precedents cover so much that the Supreme Court just doesn't make any large decisions any more?
Today, the president's tax reform panel submitted two proposals. These proposals are "revenue neutral," meaning that overall tax revenue will be unaffected. Here is a quick breakdown of the highlights of each proposal, along with what taxpayer segment is the winner:
Generally, I think the proposals above are OK. They don't do enough to simplify the tax system. Most of the benefits are to the upper middle class and rich, but they also pay the most taxes. There is no discussion I have seen about payroll taxes, whatsoever, so poor are a bit more screwed overall.
Cost of compliance is a big issue to me. At $150 billion per year, that's 1.2% of our entire national GDP, and more than 33% of the amount our country spends on its military each year. I know that simplified compliance would make life worse for a lot of tax accounts (like Mommy Dearest, my uncle and my wife), but their talents can be used much more efficiently in our economy. Instead of tax planning, let's talk about investment planning or wealth management. Let's use that $150 billion to build new companies and new ideas.
These proposals are a small step towards that $150 billion, but at least they are a step in the right direction
Weekend Movie Reviews.
After several weekends of weddings and
various other social functions, I was able to relax this weekend
and enjoy some pop culture. Considering the date, I tried to
stick with a certain theme. All of the movies below are
available now for rental:
Begins – Ok, so this isn’t exactly a “Halloween”
movie, but it does match the theme. Essentially, this is a take
on D.C. Comics’ reinventing of its characters in an attempt to
make them more accessible to a new audience. In this case, the
comic was called Batman: Year One. In this film, Christian Bale
gets his turn in the Bat tights, and while I normally think
he’s wooden in his performances, that sort of act works for
Bruce Wayne. To make this version more appealing to a new
audience the studio made the sets grittier than the previous
Batman movies and cast a boat load of big name character actors.
I guess they were trying to offset Bale’s acting. Morgan
Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary
Oldman, Rutger Hauer and Liam Neeson all put in good
performances as usual, and Cillian Murphy shines as Scarecrow
despite his youthful appearance. Katie Holmes was in the film as
well, but I can’t take her seriously anymore (not that I ever
did) for obvious reasons.
Anyway, the film was decent and the action
was better than what I expected. I’m not sure about the sets,
I thought a few characters were completely pointless, Dr. Crane
was a bit young, and I’m begging anyone who makes a sequel to
not try to reinvent The Joker. Jack did it perfectly.
7 out of 10.
Oh, and D.C. Comics should leave their characters’ origins alone. Ditto for Marvel.
Ring 2 – The Ring was a decent horror flick that scared
the shit out of my wife so I figured this would be good viewing
for Halloween weekend. I wish I had those two hours back. The
storyline follows the same mother and son from the original as
the scary little girl torments them some more. While the
original was a fresh vision of horror, this is crap. Everybody
seemed to phone this one in and it seemed more like a Lifetime
movie than a horror movie.
2 out of 10.
of the Dead – George Romero is back making zombie flicks.
This movie has a standard horror theme in the walking dead, but
these aren’t your dad’s zombies. In fact, I’d classify
this film as an Action-Adventure/Horror as there aren’t really
many scares, but there is a lot of action. Back to those
zombies, let’s just say they’ve apparently evolved and I
can’t really say that I care for the changes. Without getting
into specifics or spoilers, I just think monsters should be
monsters and it’s a bit late to start changing the rules of
classic horror staples. Aside from that, it’s not a
particularly great film, but it’ll entertain horror and zombie
2 out of 10 for normal folk.
5 out of 10 for zombie/horror fans.
P.S. Mr. Romero tries to make some
political statements in the film, but it only goes to prove that
he knows as much about politics as he does about film
Tension – An Indie film that had some good buzz which is
why I rented it. “Best horror film in years” proclaims one
reviewer. Well, I’d have to say that reviewer hasn’t seen a
horror film in years. High Tension is a huge disappointment and
yet I have to recommend it to film lovers. Why? Because it’s a
car crash of a production and it shouldn’t be missed by people
who get into the work behind the film.
High Tension has good production values and
starts off really well as far as the storyline goes. The problem
comes late in the film when the writer tries to throw a major
event at the viewer. Anyone with an IQ above 50 will immediately
recognize that it’s total bullshit. Not only does it make the
established characters and storyline complete bullshit, but
it’s lazy writing. Anyone remember Scream 2 when one of the
killers was literally introduced to the audience during the last
scene? This is similar only far, far worse.
I don’t know who to blame for this huge
mistake, the director or writer. The film was decent until that
point which makes it even worse. I mean they serious wasted at
least one cool kill and a few great horror moments that
haven’t been done before by putting in this single plot point.
I strongly urge any huge fans of the movie
business and/or people who enjoy Ed Wood films because they’re
so badly made to check this one out. Horror film fans might like
a couple of sequences and kills. Everyone else will hate it.
0 out of 10 for casual film goers.
3 out of 10 for horror film fans.
5 out of 10 for movie/Ed Wood fans.
Spoiler thread here.
Gordon recently handed the keys to Leisher but I managed to sneak a copy of them.
I'll be posting from time to time on whatever seems post-worthy, but most of my background and interests are in economic issues. Healthcare, inflation, oil, possibly even housing prices.
Gordo is awesome and way cooler than I am.
I approach the left-side door. It is a heavy, industrial-strength door, so I open it with force... and the pneumatic door hinge had been removed, for cleaning, apparently... I caught a blonde woman square in the back with a metal door handle.
I felt very bad. I apologized three times, sincerely... the blonde woman had a "That really hurt" look on her face, and one of her friends said, "Oh, she's all right..."
But then I was going to be late for the lecture, and I left.
I feel really bad about it. I bet she has a good bruise.
Good thing the nursing school in in that building (which is probably where they were headed).
It was all like WANG! with a good, meaty thump.
It makes every single person who manages to successfully use it feel like they are smart.
Yes, I made the mistake of reading some fark comment threads, today, where a very large percentage of the below-averages aggregate when they figure out there's an internet beyond AOL and Livejournal. I imagine they'd flame me for my opinion, but know what? The only thing worse than being flamed by farkers is not being flamed by farkers.
I've learned in the last few weeks what a luxury it is to have enough energy to think about politics or pop culture or basically anything that isn't directly related to the care of a newborn baby.... namely, puke and feces.
I don't want to take DTMan down a path of "Here's what my baby did today!", but the problem is that almost all of my energy is invested in what the baby is doing at any given time. This means that I haven't had a single DTMan-worthy thought in the last 4 weeks, and therefore posting has been all but nonexistent.
Site cofounder Leisher now has the keys to this page, and I've directed him to take over for a while... until this little protocol converter (he converts dairy products into shit) acquires some semblance of an auto-pilot, and I can get a little rest and get my ganglial synapses firing again.
Give Leisher encouragement... he has a little protocol converter of his own at home, albeit a little older than mine. But he's currently in better shape than I.
Update (1341; 10/22/2005): Dictionary Dave wins. His submission and the correct answers are in the Feedback thread.Welcome to the new financial quarter, and that can only mean one thing: a new 16-color movie contest.
As always, what follows are scenes or depictions from various movies that I drew with only 16 colors. Your job: figure out the movie. The first person to post correct answers in the Feedback thread gets all the mad props and the word to your mother.
You can be obvious and just post guesses, but I will only say whether you are right or wrong... I will not say which movies were right or wrong. But then you give your answers away to everyone else... unless you deliberately post a few incorrect movies to throw anyone else? Play Survivor-style.
Anyway, here they are... again, submit submissions in the Feedback thread.
Things that got linked.
More on the MSM’s inability to understand the Gaming Industry.
Cleaning the Stalls
Bringing Down a Nation
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