9/30/2005 06:09:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Much to my surprise, my article on the Patriot Act in the November issue of Reason has been excerpted in today's DC Examiner. In the paper edition (not online) there's a 600-word condensed version of the article in the op-ed pages. It should stick around newstands all weekend, so pick it up.|W|P|112811827880172122|W|P|Weigel omnimedia|W|P|9/27/2005 01:21:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|As in 2004 and 2003, I plan on ranking all the 2005 movies I saw this year. Much to my surprise, I've only seen 22 movies so far. That's 11 less than I saw in both previous years (although the 2004 total has probably bulked up to 40-something, with all the DVDs I've seen). I've got some catching up to do, and apart from the fall/winter movies that are supposed to be worth a damn, I'm vaguely interested in these:
War of the Worlds
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Ring Two
Kingdom of Heaven
Bad News Bears
The Constant Gardener
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
The Upside of Anger
Lord of War
The Devil's Rejects
Lords of Dogtown
The Great Raid
Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Missed them all in theatres (although at least three are still playing). Right now, here's how my 2005 ranking shakes out.
21. Diary of a Mad Black Woman
20. The Dukes of Hazzard
19. Fantastic Four
18. Four Brothers
16. Cinderella Man
15. Kung Fu Hustle (Gong Fu)
14. Sin City
13. Wedding Crashers
12. The Brothers Grimm
10. The Exorcism of Emily Rose
9. Hustle and Flow
8. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
7. The Aristocrats
6. Downfall (Der Untergang)
5. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
4. Batman Begins
3. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
2. Land of the Dead
1. Grizzly Man|W|P|112784222908606593|W|P|2005 movie round-up: the preliminaries|W|P|9/29/2005 05:01:00 AM|W|P|
-Rich9/29/2005 01:31:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|The more I thought about it, the worse it was compared to "Shaolin Soccer." So it suffered it a bit whereas "Unleashed," which I expected to suck, benefitted from expectations.10/03/2005 07:53:00 AM|W|P|guile|W|P|i love zombie movies..9/25/2005 04:28:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I've seen a good number of DVDs lately, but got frustrated after a minor crash destroyed my first review. Third time's a charm - here are some short reviews.
"Palindromes" (Todd Solondz, 2004)
This disastrous flop ($500,000 at the box office) probably signals the end of Solondz's career, at least for a while. Good thing. I like Solondz's movies (they include "Welcome to the Dollhouse," "Happiness," and "Storytelling," two of which I saw on dates) but I honestly don't know how much sicker he can get outside of collaborating with Alice Cooper.
The story is simple yet gimmicky. Aviva (ha ha, a palindrome, get it?) is a pubescent girl who wants to have a baby, so she goes on a series of twisted adventures in the hopes of getting knocked up. In each "chapter" (announced by title cards) she is played by a different actress, and at one point, a different actor. These actors vary by race and age (Jennifer Jason Leigh, for example), but all portray Aviva the same way, quiet yet naively flirtatious. But the real verve of the movie comes from the other performances, particularly Ellen Barkin as Aviva's mother. There's an absolutely chilling scene where she convinces Aviva to get an abortion by tenderly relating the story of how she aborted her second pregnancy, and how if she hadn't, "I wouldn't be able to buy all these nice things for you." There's also the fundamentalist Christian who has molded her deformed foster children into an N*Sync-type pop group, and the pedophile who accidentally shoots a little girl in the head while trying to assassinate an abortion doctor. (Don't worry, he kills the doctor, too.)
Some successful black humor aside, there's really not much to this movie - it disturbs you, but so does any given volume of "Faces of Death."
"If Lucy Fell" (Eric Schaeffer, 1996)
I have previously discussed my powerful, soul-deep loathing of actor/writer/director Eric Schaeffer, the human colostomy behind the sitcom "Starved." When I decided I hated him, all I knew was that he was a modestly unattractive, scary-eyed man who created a TV series about (in part) his romantic prowess. But I got into some deep background, and it turns out he's been making movies AND TV series about his romantic prowess (and occasionally wittiness) for twelve years. "If Lucy Fell" is his second movie, the first to get a major release, and coincidentally the first to tank. (If you're having trouble following my remarks on Schaeffer's looks, he's the dude in between Elle MacPherson and Sarah Jessica Parker on that poster. Yeah, I know.)
Schaeffer plays Joe, an artist and kindergarten teacher living in a spacious New York City loft with his platatonic college pal, Lucy (Sarah Jessica Parker), a psychiatrist. Every day Joe wakes up and peers out his window to the apartment next door, inhabited by a hardbodied woman named Jane (Elle MacPherson) who has frequent sexual visitations. One day Lucy reminds Joe that she's turning 30 at the end of the month and years ago they had sworn that if neither of them could find love by age 30, they'd kill themselves. So they paint a giant calender on a spare wall to count down the month and swear to find mates.
It's so depressing to watch this unfold. Thanks to his pact with Satan, Schaeffer manages to cast some funny, talented people in idiotic roles. A young Scarlett Johansson plays a precocious girl in Joe's art class, and future Sopranos star Dominic Chianese plays a bitter old man who sits outside the local convenience store. Most uselessly, Ben Stiller plays a silly yet famous artist named Bwick Elias who is introduced with the single clumsiest bit of exposition in this movie or any movie ever. Joe and Lucy are walking and talking, and she reaches her destination and crosses the street. Joe looks down and he's holding a copy of People magazine that he didn't seem to have before. This cover of People - JFK Jr, Princess Diana, Laci Peterson, People - is dedicated to Bwick Elias, who is apparently so famous that he doesn't even need a subheadline. Upon reading the cover, Joe says: "Bwick Elias. Whatever."
In the end Joe dates Jane (his pick-up line is "I know you're extremely attracted to me") and Lucy dates Bwick, and then each of them realize they loved each other all along, and they make out on the Brooklyn Bridge. I hate this movie and want to run over Eric Schaeffer with my car.|W|P|112768123983188973|W|P|Movies|W|P|9/25/2005 12:01:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|But tired. Woke up at 8:30 am today to move some friends (the town being Wilmington, DE) into a new house. Finished at 6 pm. And I was not the only one helping.
A related issue: Why do people own cats? I think I have enough dander in my lungs right now to mold my own kitten.|W|P|112762097019256452|W|P|Still a blogger|W|P|9/25/2005 12:47:00 AM|W|P|Dean Mc|W|P|The cats had yet to really exist in the house, you have new carpet fuzz or maybe drywall dust issues.9/25/2005 09:12:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I don't know, I was doing fine in the new house but totally shredded in the old apt.9/25/2005 02:34:00 PM|W|P|Patrick|W|P|Although I don't know this cat or this house, I agree with Dave. Cats are pervasive. They walk in a room and own it.
But I'd also buy the drywall. People move in, open the windows, then the newness turns to normal.
So, my bet = cat + drywall.9/24/2005 02:35:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Gee, the shrill pro-war minority is really grasping for straws in criticizing mainstream Americans.
(Seriously, guys. The goofy/evil causes of ANSWER were well-covered back in 2003. Now that they're representing the Iraq war position of a solid majority of Americans, you need new ammo.)|W|P|112754385444440858|W|P|Cheap shot theatre|W|P|9/24/2005 07:58:00 PM|W|P|John Tabin|W|P|ANSWER's view is that we should bug out of Iraq immediately. At the very link you cite, we see that this view is shared by 30% of those polled. Care to revise your statement?
People who are out protesting the war are still in a tiny minority. There's no excuse for covering them as if they represent a broad-based movement.9/24/2005 10:01:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Yes, but that links goes to (among other stuff) the Gallup poll that has 67% saying they "disapprove of the way George Bush is handling the situation in Iraq" and 59% saying "the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq," both concepts shared by the protesters and disputed by Instapundit et al. The support for those answers when the war began were 26% and 23%, respectively. When the war began, everything the protesters said was a fringe position, but today quite a few of their views have majority support.
I think we're talking past each other on the media coverage question. I definitely think the media should note that anti-war group X was founded by Stalinists and pro-war group Y is a conservative astroturf group.
BTW - I ended up chosing the other location for the get-together Tuesday, but I hope you can make it.9/25/2005 02:38:00 PM|W|P|John Tabin|W|P|Come on, Dave. People who are out protesting aren't the ones who are simply having second thoughts about the war; they want to pull the troops out now. And anyway, Instapundit's point was about the coverage, and apparently you basically agree with him.9/24/2005 01:56:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I haven't been blogging much - for the excuse, I'm going with "busy." Just signing in to comment on my first experience with evite. I'm having an informal birthday party on Tuesday, so I used this service to craft an invitation and create a guest list and RSVP mechanism. The RSVP thing is going to be interesting to watch - I'd be surprised if more than half of the people I invited actually click an option, and more surprised still if I don't monitor it every few hours. It seems like most people don't actually fill out their evite forms even if they show up a party, but, still. Interesting to see this list in real time. The last time I threw a party, I emailed a list of 50+ friends to a sangria-soaked bash at my apartment in Evanston. Owing to a combination of rain and the finals week dateline, it was pretty much a bust. Coming so soon after a super-successful birthday party five months earlier, it really sucked. But I don't think anyone actually RSVPed to either.|W|P|112754201036949453|W|P|Not dead yet|W|P|9/19/2005 11:45:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|It's nice to see that my departure from Northwestern robbed the school of columnists with anything interesting to say. This bit is only going to funny to one or two people, but sometimes those one or two people deserve a blog post.
I used to spend my time as the Co-director of College Feminists and I had a two-year long stint working on safety issues in ASG. Now I fill my afternoons with magnetic poetry, Diet Pepsi and divinity school applications. You read correctly; I want to be a minister. It’s not too often you run across a Unitarian/sorority girl/Canadian/Seattleite like myself, and I’m ready and willing to speak my mind.I'm fairly certain it's not too hard to find these people in Canada or Seattle, actually.|W|P|112718810860667771|W|P|Simply divine|W|P|9/20/2005 01:56:00 AM|W|P|Casey|W|P|As someone to whom this was funny, I say: Good point. Personally, I think this columnist's nadir came in her debut today, when after producing a bland but generally accurate list of gripes about NU, she offers the following suggestion:
"I implore students to vote in the next campus-wide election and let the Associated Student Government know when things are awry."
As yes: ASG to the rescue, everybody! Seriously, if I had a problem at Northwestern, and Joe Allbaugh had a college roommate besides Brownie, one who was so stupid even Allbaugh couldn't get him a government job, I'd call THAT guy before I called Northwestern's student government.9/20/2005 02:30:00 AM|W|P|9/26/2005 11:14:00 AM|W|P|Tim|W|P|There's "funny ha-ha," which is someone being clever and witty, and there's "the other funny," the kind that drives otherwise normal people to alcoholism in an effort to drown the overwhelming desire to take a machete and a belt of hand grenades to the Daily office.
I'm glad to see the Forum page will remain funny for another quarter.9/18/2005 03:13:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|The aspirations of Instapundit-approved bloggers aside, it looks like German voters have swung neither to the right nor the left in today's elections. In 2002, the vote broke down like this:
LEFT - 51.1%
Social Democrats - 38.5%
Greens - 8.6%
PDS - 4.0%
RIGHT - 45.9%
Christian Democrats - 38.5%
Free Democrats - 7.4%
In 2005, it's breaking down like this:
LEFT - 50.8%%
Social Democrats - 34.2%
Left Party - 8.5%
Greens - 8.1%
RIGHT - 45.4%
Christian Democrats - 35.4%
Free Democrats - 10%
In other words, if the exit polls hold up, the three major parties of the Left - ranging from mainstream socialists to anarco-communists - can form a majority. And a grand 1% of Germans have changed their political sympathies.
UPDATE: Ah, apparently Schroder doesn't want to work with the Left Party. Whatever. My point is that the left/right makeup of Germans has not budged in 3 years. Considering the impressive hype for CDU leader Angela Merkel, that's pretty weak. In her first campaign as Conservative leader, Margaret Thatcher increased her party's vote from 35.8% to 43.9%, and Labour and the Liberals fell from 39.3% and 18.3% (a total 57.6%) to 36.9% and 13.8% (a total 50.7%). This is more impressive than it looks - the Liberals at the time were a centrist party having little in common with the diehard socialists of Labour. Liberals actually cast the deciding votes to throw out the Labour government and call the election that was won by Thatcher. For the next 18 years, the Conservatives held a rock-solid 42%+ of the vote, dominating most of the country outside Scotland, Wales, inner London, and the north. By comparison, Merkel has grown Germany's conservative base from 39% to ... uh, 35%.|W|P|112707171924674157|W|P|What's German for "Meh?"|W|P|9/15/2005 12:04:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Andy Sullivan posts a shocked-sounding link to this story, and I imagine it'll shock a bunch of other people who'll link to it and gasp at the liberal perfidy.
Only days after the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, a Duke professor is trying to explain the motivations of the tragedy’s organizer—jihadist Osama bin Laden.
Bruce Lawrence, professor of religion, edited and wrote the forward to the book Messages to the World—The Statements of Osama bin Laden. The text, which goes into print today and will arrive in bookstores in the fall, is the first to include the translations of the Arabic writings of bin Laden.
The book features a collection of 22 speeches and interviews given by the leader of the terrorist organization al Qaeda between 1994 and 2004.So: What took him so long? This is a terrific idea and a necessary book.
A way to think about it - one of the key insights of Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" was that "Mein Kampf" could have prevented World War II. In it, Hitler explicitly lays out his goals if ever he were elected chancellor of Germany - conquer Europe, kill millions, enslave millions more. As Shirer repeatedly writes, in exasperated tones, if Chamberlain et al had just asked a German translator about the book in 1934 or 1935 (or even 1938), they would have known his actual designs and could have throttled the Wehrmacht in its crib.
I'm not sure if a book published by Verso is going to rip the lid off anything, but this is clearly the right direction to be taking in our analysis of bin Laden. And it only took four years!|W|P|112680095553520524|W|P|Reading is fundamental|W|P|9/15/2005 01:57:00 PM|W|P|John Tabin|W|P|Yes, by all means bin Laden's writings should be published. But what's got people upset is what Sullivan quoted-- that the guy says bin Laden "sounds like somebody who would be a very high-minded and welcome voice in global politics." I guess there's a way to charitably interpret, but I'm surprised that you'd completely sidestep it.9/15/2005 03:28:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Yes, that's true that the "welcome voice" quote was the point of Sullivan's link. I was trying to pre-empt the criticism I imagine will come after this book simply for existing - the university right down the road from Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, took tons of guff for making incoming freshmen read a PC book about Islam after 9/11. But the professor's weird respect for bin Laden is worth mentioning ... I'll update the post.9/14/2005 06:57:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Bill Clinton is to Toni Morrison as George W. Bush is to Ben Stein.|W|P|112673870921839501|W|P|SAT question/answer|W|P|9/11/2005 06:43:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Sorry, just moved to a new apartment and don't have regular web access. I was SUPPOSED to have access - there was a Cox cable service in place, which my roommate Jim was making use of. But as luck would have it, it burned out on Friday, and won't be fixed until Tuesday.
If I'm invisible online, this is why.|W|P|112647872067608165|W|P|Unblogged|W|P|9/07/2005 01:58:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I'm asking because I don't know: Has anyone made a list of "the top 40" or top-whatever most important people in blogs? Those lists always seem to crop up when an industry or fad really takes off - Hollywood stars, doctom millionaries, Christians.|W|P|112611600506709496|W|P|Media bullshit question|W|P|9/07/2005 03:53:00 PM|W|P|John Tabin|W|P|Truth Laid Bear has rankings by links and by traffic, and Right Wing News has done more than a few lists based on asking righty bloggers to rank, e.g., the best blogs, best liberal blogs, most important blog, worst conservative blogs, etc.9/07/2005 03:55:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Ah, I've seen some of that stuff. I'm wondering if there's a glossy list like that Time "evangelicals" list I linked to, though. Like, top bloggers being profiled one-by-one, accompanied by them posing in front of vistas and modern art &c.9/07/2005 12:28:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Should've finished this yesterday, but, no tears!
"The Brothers Grimm" (Gilliam, 2005)
I knew this movie would fail financially when I saw the first trailers and said, "Meh." Because I adore Terry Gilliam movies - when drafted into those bull sessions about the "best directors of all time," I usally name him, because I enjoy everything he's ever done. And initially, this movie looked like a commercial sell-out that wouldn't work. Turns out it's a commercial sell-out that didn't work! But it's also a pretty fun movie.
The very Germanly-named Jacob (Heath Ledger) and Will (Matt Damon) Grimm are scam artists who travel the French-occupied territories of their homeland creating "ghosts" and the like with human marionettes, then collecting huge fees to "destroy" the threats. (Incidentally, that "French-occupied Germany" thing, which appears in a dateline early in the movie, is one of the funnier gags I've seen this year.) They're captured by French soldiers who draft them into an actual mission - something is killing children in a tiny village outside an ominous forest. Hijinks ensue.
There's a lot here that works - it's very surreal and dreamy, and if I was a 14 or 15 year old kid watching my first Gilliam movie, I think this would drop-kick "Star Wars" to become my new favorite thing. But there's an abundance of annoying characters and mistaken identity situations, and a whole bit about Jacob Grimm wanting to solve this mystery because it's "in the book" that ... yeah, it doesn't work. Definitely one of the lesser Gilliam movies, but better than I expected.
"Eurotrip" (Schaffer, 2004)
A piece of shit cash-in of the "nubile teens get in adventures" genre.
"Grizzly Man" (Herzog, 2005)
Here's another movie I was lukewarm on, but this one completely blew me away. Instantly my favorite film of 2005.
Timothy Dexter was a handsome, athletic kid from New Jersey who threw out his back in college and lost a swimming scholarship. Crushed, he moved to Los Angeles to become an actor, where he changed his last name to "Treadwell," claimed that he was from a remote Australian village, and started talking in a lispy accent. But he failed at that, too. It wasn't until age 33 that he found an actual purpose in life - he began camping in remote parts of Alaska, studying and "befriending" bears. He spent 13 years at this, living with bears in the summer and spending the rest of the year touring schools to "teach" kids about our furry friends. At the end of his 13th summer, in 2003, he and his girlfriend were mauled and eaten by a bear.
That's the "story" of this documentary - yes, all of that insane shit really happened. It's told out of chronological order, but completely smoothly, via footage that Treadwell shot in Alaska and Herzog's interviews with locals, friends, and experts. I've already spoiled the story, so I won't spoil the human drama, philosophical questions, and frequently funny moments that make the movie so gripping. Just see it.|W|P|112611485798651234|W|P|More movies|W|P|9/07/2005 11:49:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Oh, Drudge. Oh, National Review. Dudes.
CNNUSATODAYGALLUP POLL: ONLY 13% BLAME BUSH?
Wed Sep 07 2005 10:42:26 ET
A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of 609 adults taken September 5-6 shows:
Blame Game -- 13% said George W. Bush is "most responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane"; 18% said "federal agencies"; 25% said "state and local officials"; 38% said "no one is to blame"; 6% had no opinion. -- 29% said that "top officials in the federal agencies responsible for handling emergencies should be fired"; 63% said they should not; 8% had no opinion.18% of people say the feds bungled the aftermath of Katrina, and 13% say Bush bungled it. Quick question - who's in charge of the federal government? Whose staff and agencies are going to be investigated for months to come?
Jonah Goldberg says:
I guess the folks at the Daily Kos feel like they're taking their crazy pills if the new CNN-USAToday-Gallup poll reveals only 13% of Americans said George W. Bush is "most responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane."First of all - taking crazy pills? Second, the issue here is not whether George Bush himself is to blame for what happened in New Orleans. The issue is, how's he handling it? The answer is, shittily. 42% say he's doing a "bad" or "terrible" job in "responding to the hurricane and subsequent flooding" compared to 35% who say he's doing "good" or "great."
A little context. On September 14-15, 2001, Gallup asked people: "Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the events surrounding the terrorist attacks that occurred in the United States this past Tuesday?" Ninety-one percent of people approved. Only 5% disapproved and 4% had no opinion.
I mean, come on. Spinning this stuff as a win for Bush is like Julie Nixon Eisenhower telling her dad that millions supported him at the end of Watergate.|W|P|112611039673930426|W|P|If you want Tinkerbell to live, clap harder|W|P|9/06/2005 01:31:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Lots of trips to the cinema and HBO-playing-in-the-backround this week.
"The Day After Tomorrow" (Emmerich, 2004)
After much prodding from friends who remembered my love for end-of-the-world movies (Hi, Laurel!), I finally caught this blockbuster from last summer. It has a fine high concept, heavily politicized at the time of release - our much-abused environment revolts, and the earth undergoes a massive climate change manifested in a "superstorm" that freezes the Northern Hemisphere. Dennis Quaid is the Professor Frink character whose warnings to the government go unheeded, and Jake Gyllenhaal is his son who's visiting New York w/ an academic decathalon team. (He's accompanied by the lovely future Mrs. Emmy Rossum-Weigel, who unfortunately isn't given much to do beyond look adorable and otherwise be the future Mrs. Emmy Rossum-Weigel.)
It's much better than it has any right to be. Apart from a silly, unneccessary scene involving some wolves and killer frost, the special effects are terrifying - even more so post-Hurricane Katrina. All of the right beats in the Apocalyptic genre are hit - characters lose their attachments to material things, roles are reversed (there's a wonderful scene where Americans illegally cross the Rio Grande into Mexico, escaping the storm), millions die.
UPDATE: More movies here.|W|P|112603102768212477|W|P|Movies|W|P|9/07/2005 01:50:00 AM|W|P|Ellen|W|P|See, I thought this was more a classic of the "So Bad It's Fucking Hilarious" genre. I thought the plot was a total crock, the acting was horrid, and the special effects were terrible. Of course, I might just be bitter about having spent ten bucks to see it in the theater.
It's likely much more fun when you're not spending the entire movie thinking of better ways you could have spent your money.9/07/2005 06:56:00 AM|W|P|9/07/2005 09:39:00 AM|W|P|Laurel|W|P|Wow...two Laurel-initiated works of entertainment finished within two weeks. Good work, Dave!
Okay, I admit I enjoyed this movie probably more than it deserves to be enjoyed (but Ellen might have a point--I saw it for free on HBO :*)9/05/2005 03:37:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|
Y'all niggas crazy!|W|P|112594913914714774|W|P|Shorter Steve Sailer|W|P|9/05/2005 05:38:00 PM|W|P|9/05/2005 07:36:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Why would someone post a snarky anonymous question and I assume I'd actually answer it? Funny, that.9/05/2005 08:14:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|On second thought ... that IS the type of question I imagine other people asking me about the post. So - Sort of. I'm not arguing against Sailer's points as much as making light of the ill-advised racial metaphors in the piece. Among them: "poorer native judgment" and "tribe's representatives." Sailer is saying some controversial things in this column, but they're obscurbed by punny racial language.
And then there's the part where he says "when you get down to it, Japanese aren't blacks" - and then rolls out not Japanese crime statistics, but Asian-American crime statistics.9/05/2005 09:02:00 PM|W|P|
I don't think you know what "metaphors" and "punny" mean, based on your usage.
Do you have evidence countering Sailer's claim that blacks have poorer judgment than whites? Sailer has extensive documentation supporting his claim at isteve.com.
What do you have?9/05/2005 09:49:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Yeah, who cares if we mix up Japanese statistics with statistics for Americans of Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian and Hawaiian descent? All those people look alike, anyway.
Post your name or a web link/email if you want to start a dialogue here.9/05/2005 10:31:00 PM|W|P|9/05/2005 11:10:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|... or, I guess you can run away.
Just to make this easier in future - if you're a creepy bigot and want to discuss issues at DW-i, please use some kind of name or contact info.9/06/2005 01:14:00 AM|W|P|9/05/2005 12:35:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|What's with people (Rich Lowry, in this case) saying this poll is great news for Bush?
Two-thirds in this ABC News/Washington Post poll say the federal government should have been better prepared to deal with a storm this size, and three-quarters say state and local governments in the affected areas likewise were insufficiently prepared…
Other evaluations are divided. Forty-six percent of Americans approve of Bush's handling of the crisis, while 47 percent disapprove.That's not good. For starters, any kind of semi-competent handling of a natural disaster results in a fat poll bounce for the handler-in-chief. Witness Bush's small bounce after the tsunami, or Jeb Bush's Democrat-enraging bounces at the end of Florida's hurricane seasons. Now, breaking even in a poll like this? That's like getting a stack of lottery tickets with winning numbers, then instead of collecting the winnings, recycling the tickets for paper and collecting the nickel reward from the recycling station.
Secondly, I think there are going to be high-profile hearings on the way the government handled the hurricane. Yes, the hearings will probably destroy the career of Louisiana's Democratic governor. But they will also cast a spotlight on the response of White House and FEMA, whose semi-intelligent director Bush praised on live television. And this spotlight will shine months from now, after all the White House's spinning.|W|P|112593863938500967|W|P|Silver linings|W|P|9/04/2005 11:08:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Holy shit. Is that Matt Taibbi sitting behind Sean Penn in this picture?
I usually hate hotlinking, but it underscores the theory. Here's Sean Penn, and the guy behind him.
Here's Matt Taibbi.
I'm going to read the hell out of Rolling Stone when his story comes out.|W|P|112588991211217631|W|P|Zelig|W|P|9/07/2005 09:51:00 AM|W|P|Jon|W|P|Answer: yes.9/04/2005 12:14:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Hey, did you know the main suspects in the Natalee Holloway case were released today?
You forgot Natalee Holloway existed, didn't you? It's okay. I forgot Aruba existed.
It's not cold to stop and appreciate the re-centering of our priorities when a calamity strikes. One of the few delights of this period has been the way it brought FOX News anchors to life. Shepard Smith always struck me as a half-empty leaking douchebag, but his performance on the ground in New Orleans was positively Herculean. I even sense a change in the coverage of the Supreme Court battles, so recently pitched as a "total war" (the "judges war," in Pat Buchanan's logy neologism) that now seems ... sort of mundane. The very sick conservative William Rehnquist will be replaced by a healthy conservative? OK. Back to the hurricane.|W|P|112585093414947386|W|P|The little things|W|P|9/03/2005 11:59:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Wonderful, another month of pundits and journalists speculating about a Supreme Court choice whose identity they have no way of knowing. (Remember Edith Clement? Ha, ha.)
Now, here's something for my conservative readers:
And for the liberals:
UPDATE: A thought: Rehnquist is gone, but O'Connor said she'll serve until Roberts is confirmed. But's let's pretend she's tired and takes some time off. The current, unretiring Supreme court majority is Stevens, Souder, Ginsburg, and Breyer. Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy make up the conservative minority.
If you kids want to retry Roe vs. Wade or Bush vs. Gore, now's the time!|W|P|112580677131601006|W|P|Wheeeee|W|P|9/03/2005 04:56:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|John J. Miller:
By the way, there's a good reason for conservatives to see March of the Penguins while it's still in theaters: Holden's article reports that it recently became the second-highest grossing documentary in film history. It just passed Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine. The one movie still in front of it? Fahrenheit 911. Wouldn't it be nice to see a bunch of penguins dislodge it from the top spot?If that happened, the number one docuentary in film history would be ... wait for it ... a French movie.
A surprise hit documentary about penguins has overtaken Amelie to become the second most successful French film at the North American box office.
The Fifth Element remains France's top film, making $66m (£36m) in 1997.
March of the Penguins made $6.8m (£3.7m) at the weekend, taking its box office total to $37m (£20m).
Luc Jacquet's film about the penguins' mating season is also the second most successful documentary in US box office history after Fahrenheit 9/11.It seems pretty unlikely that MotP will top Fahrenheit - after scoring a number of $7-9 million weekend grosses, it's set to make around $2.5 million this weekend for a total of $60.5 mil. That's a little more than half of what Fahrenheit made.
So, is Miller happy that the biggest documentaries of all time are - in order - a Michael Moore film, a French film, and a Michael Moore film? Who has the heart to tell him?|W|P|112578151856569336|W|P|Semblable, mais sans cigare|W|P|9/02/2005 03:04:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Well, someone had to do it - Greg "Kerry won!" Palast has composed a paen to Huey Long.
Seventy-six years ago this week, Huey Long was shot down, assassinated at the age of 43. But the legacy of his combat remains, from Social Security to veterans' mortgage loans.
There is no such thing as a "natural" disaster. Hurricanes happen, but death comes from official neglect, from tax cuts for the rich that cut the heart out of public protection. The corpses in the street are victims of a class war in which only one side has a general.
Where is our Huey Long? America needs just one Kingfish to stand up and say that our nation must rid itself of the scarecrow with the idiot chuckle, who has left America broken and in danger while he plays tinker-toy Napoleon on other continents.And so on. I bring this up because I was re-listening to Randy Newman's classic Good Old Boys album, featuring the song "Louisiana 1927," in which Newman's ill-educated narrators shit all over President Calvin Coolidge.
President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, "Little fat man isn't it a shame
What the river has done
To this poor crackers land."It's worth remembering that in 1924, the party of George Bush and Tom DeLay was led by the former governor of Vermont (Coolidge) and a congressman from Massachusetts (Frederick Gillett). The party of John Kerry and Howard Dean was almost entirely a southern and urban-ghetto party, and its most steadfast states in the electoral college were South Carolina (97% Dem) and Mississippi (89%). (Of course, it would have been closer if certain citizens had been allowed to vote.)|W|P|112568867468573232|W|P|Kingfish|W|P|9/06/2005 10:53:00 AM|W|P|Jesse|W|P|Who built the hiiiiighway in Baton Rouge?9/01/2005 07:13:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|One of the plusses of my current job situation is that I'm able to drive only a few miles a day, and some days don't have to drive at all. When I was in the car today, I caught part of the Laura Ingraham show (en route to a track) and part of the Michael Savage show (to and from the supermarket). If the 15-20 minutes I heard were at all representative, the opinions of ordinary, talk-radio listening Americans on the 2005 Flood are as follows.
1) The government - local, federal, whatever - is pathetically incompetent.
2) Why is our National Guard in Iraq, again?
3) Why didn't the government declare martial law and shooting-looters-on-sight before the hurricane, just in case?
4) The hurricane struck New Orleans because of the 100 million babies killed by legal abortions.
5) The looting in New Orleans is the end result of a moral decay that started with legal abortion.
Now, if you're one of these guys who thinks Roe v. Wade is responsible for what's happening in New Orleans, here's what you do. Take a surgical knife and cut your vas deferens, then close it. Your genetic material needs to be contained and quarantined, stat. If you think this and you're female, consult a doctor - that's a more complicated procedure.
This opinion seemed totally crazy at the time, but I think it's an offshoot of a widely-held belief - New Orleans is structuraly fucked, and many of its inhabitants are inhuman brutes who should be shot on sight. There's a really frightening hint of this in a Survey USA poll taken overnight which suggests 31% of Americans don't think New Orleans should be rebuilt, and only 30% think if it is rebuilt, it shouldn't be with public money. And there's a breakdown by race. 79% of blacks think it should be rebuilt, and 77% of Hispanics think so. But only 59% of whites want it to happen.
I keep hearing that this is a Christian nation. Can we start seeing some proof, already?
UPDATE: Just heard Franklin Graham on "Hannity and Colmes" say the looting "is what happens" when you "take God out of the schools." Sorry, Franklin. It's castration for you.|W|P|112562151583456860|W|P|Exterminate the brutes|W|P|9/01/2005 10:04:00 PM|W|P| cheap computer on interest free credit; pay whenever you want.9/01/2005 11:56:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|And let's castrate the programmers of comment spam, while we're at it.9/02/2005 01:12:00 AM|W|P|Pat "Souljacker" King|W|P|Dave, that was MY comment. Let's not be so quick to dismiss links to USEFUL PRODUCTS
as spam until we contact everybody we know to confirm none of them anonymously posted it. |W|P|Your blog is creative Keep up the great work. I'm sure you'd be interested in How to buy & sell |W|P|Me creepy bigot me run away! |W|P|Doesn't seem worth it, Dave. |W|P|East Asian-American crime stats are very similar to Japanese crime stats (i.e., very low). So it's eminently logical for Sailer to bring them up, as he's discussing *biological* differences in rates of violent crime. |W|P|Is there an argument against Sailer's thesis here? |W|P|What a terrible movie. Every time I thought, "Well, it *could* happen", something preposterous would occur. Storms that big don't just pop up. That much snow would have to come from a too-huge source of moisture. Dick Cheney would never see the light. Bah. |W|P|Heh. I wish Northwestern didn't make me want to shoot myself in the face. |W|P|Man, you liked Kung Fu Hustle way too un-much.