Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
MODEL OF MODERN JOURNALISM,
[pause for effect]
My personal favourite: "Books have been written, documentaries have been made,...there are some things that seem to suggest...that there was some doubt..."
Passive voice alert [responsibility for what has been stated can be said to have been avoided on the part of the person deemed to have been speaking]: "some things seem to suggest" -- ah, nothing like modern journalism for specificity, accuracy, directness, and courage.
Nice try, Katie. Condi schools her, in every conceivable way.
Condi: perceptive, persuasive, pertinacious, perspicacious, pertinent, and occasionally pert
Katie: perky. toothy. bespectacled [nice try].
Also arrogant, irrelevant, ignorant, inarticulate, forgettable.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Even as President George W. Bush's reputation is on a rocket ride to rehabilitation, the "History" Channel is running the 2006 "mockumentary"-- or rather, Euro-Hollywood-leftist sick fantasy snuff film -- Death of A President. (no link provided -- find this crap on your own time)
When this piece of drivel was produced in 2006 and garnered the Big Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival, I had tried, unsuccessfully, to get in for a Festival screening, standing in a block-long line with some of the most obnoxious people I'd ever had to listen to while trying to mind my own business and read a book. The film was so controversial that showings and admissions were very limited, and it was cloaked under the code-name D.O.A.P. in all advertising materials. (The story of my failed attempt is recounted here.)
Tonight, when I would have been much better off sleeping, I came into the movie just moments before the pretend assassination. In spite of all the sensational reports at the time of its Festival showing, I was still unprepared for the dominance of actual documentary film footage of the real persons whose lives were being embroidered upon and re-written in this sinister and malicious fantasy. I find it astounding that this footage was made available, even by liberal news organizations, for such a disreputable project.
I don't intend to finish watching it -- half an hour is sufficient to catch the drift -- but it's also surprising that the target of the film seems to be not so much Bush himself, but rather the once-popular (now demonstrably silly) left-wing nightmares about the long reach of the Patriot Act.
The film-maker fantasizes not only the most wild extremes to which the new Evil President Cheney would stretch the act after the assassination, but even the routine jack-booted outrages already being committed when Bush was still in charge.
By the way, The Evil Cheney -- I mean the real guy -- plays a major role in the film (with words and names being put into his mouth by tape-splicing tricks). Betcha anything nobody asked his permission, or gave a flying fig-newton about any right he might have to control the use of his own image -- like, say, NFL players have when they appear for a few seconds in the background of a Russ Feingold political ad. Bottom line on the movie, though, is that the Patriot Act is the real star/villain of the piece.
The pay-off, of course, is that an innocent Syrian is railroaded and convicted under the Evil Cheney regime with its desire to see international terrorist conspiracy under every bed. Then when they figure out that the likely assassin is actually (wait for it!) a distraught Gulf War veteran whose son had been killed in Iraq, they drag their feet and leave the Syrian on death row -- because, hey, the Syrian had gone to summer camp in Afghanistan, and anyway the Gulf War veteran killed himself, so what's the hurry?
Ironically (wait for it!) the veteran's other son, another Iraq veteran, was detained and held briefly as the initial suspect in the Bush assassination, just because he was in the area, having participated in an anti-war protest.
ISN'T THAT AMAZING?!!
At the time of the film's release, then-President Bush did not respond publicly. He is currently having the last laugh, enjoying the fruits of a dignified retirement and a successful book. Neener neener neener, snuff-masters.
Woops! Movie's over. The "History" Channel has now moved on to the secret plan of Washington D.C. as a series of Masonic symbols.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Having been through about four tree stands in as many years, with last year marking the first time in my decades of Christmas tree raisings that the entire tree, fully decorated, went over onto the floor, I decided to make one more stab at buying a stand, willing to spend serious money, to relieve myself of a history of headaches.
So I bought one of these:
Ah, what a breeze! Easy to attach, easy to raise, easy to secure and to move around. Love it. It's "Santa's Solution Steel Arm Stand" and it's yours from Canadian Tire. 25 clams. (Neener neener, Amercanos.)
The Festive Season is upon us -- time to gather with friends, examine the interior moral landscape, give thanks for all good things, and celebrate the birth of [BLEEP].
Welcome to Ryerson University, pride of the Canadian post-secondary system, where, in order to show respect to the diversity of cultures and beliefs on the campus, the word "Christmas" and any acknowledgment thereof are to be publicly banned.
Because showing respect for anything Christian would be....disrespectful. Got it?
Anyway, those of us who feel free to celebrate the birth of
have a hard time wrapping our brains around the thousand natural shocks and zillion little uglies of the real world, amid this season of joy.
But something, I suppose, must be said....
OH WHAT SHALL WE DO
WITH THING ONE AND THING TWO?
They set out to screw both with me and with you.
I'm feeling so awkward," moaned PFC Brad.
The Army has no right to make me feel sad.
I've no choice but to do something badder than bad.
How else to resolve my old issues with Dad?"
And so we begin this deplorable saga --
Brad downloads our lives on a disc labelled "Gaga".
And far, far away, in the smug land of Wiki,
Our Bradley and Julian meet for a quickie.
Young Brad takes a document dump, like a traitor;
Assange takes a leak, with more crap to come later.
Now poseur Assange claims that he is our savior --
So what if folks die from his loose-lipped behavior?
And what a surprise! This good citizen spright
Is withholding some stuff till the time is just right.
He's under arrest for some sexual freakies
Which give a new meaning to the word "Wikileakies".
If he isn't set free, runs his nastiest threat,
He'll release information, the worst we've seen yet.
Such a deep devotee of political purity,
He'll sit on the goods to ensure his security.
Whatever foul consequence may come to pass,
Young Julian's first cause is saving his ass.
Meanwhile back in Quantico, PFC Manning
Considers what sort of defense he is planning.
This fey little Benedict Arnold in khaki
Gets used to surroundings all hopelessly tacky.
Keep fluffing the pillows and moving the chair;
Decide if the pencil should go here or there.
The decor is by far the least of your fears --
For these are your digs for the next 50 years.
And what lies ahead for Assange we can't guess
When our own DOJ is a hell of a mess.
By any assessment Assange is a spy,
A global assassin who spits in the eye
Of each humble earthling from Darby to Joan
Whose lives are expendable, seen from his throne.
If he should escape from a life in the clink,
Will he bother to visit his "Sancho", ya think?
Brad Manning's a "hero" according to Jules,
But I betcha he's just one of Julian's fools.
He'll grow old and gray in a Leavenworth cell
While Mr. Assange keeps right on raising hell.
Oh what shall we do with Thing One and Thing Two,
So determined to screw both with me and with you?
We must throw the book at them, the Big Book of Laws,
And give the next venomous leaker some pause
Before he or she lays the world's workings bare
And endangers all people, with nary a care.
Slam the door, turn the lock, throw the key down the well,
And tell all such traitors to go straight to Hell,
Where demons with pokers and breath like a fart
And sulphurous smoke-pots that sting like a dart
Will twirl the entrails and munch on the heart
Of posturing slimebags who think they're so smart.
Amen and Merry Christmas.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
DAMN, DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!
TSA RESCUES MY LOST CELL-PHONE
AT SAN DIEGO AIRPORT
BOMB SQUAD NOT INVOLVED
Yes, friends, the saga of the velvet glove continues: following a small Perrier water accident which caused me to shuffle my shopping bag, I shuffled my cell-phone into the seat cushions at Gate 22 -- a fact I did not discover until we were landing back in T.O. five hours late,r when the assembling of my travel goods did not yield the phone in any of my carry-ons.
I had been back in the house less than an hour, having dumped out all relevant bags and faced the horrible truth, when the phone rang and a sort of Grandpa McCoy voice* on the other end was asking me if I knew anything about this phone they had found at friendly Lindbergh Field. When I laid claim to it, the man said he would be taking it directly to the Lost and Found, and that I could call them on Monday at the number he provided.
Damn, he was cordial! How dare he?
When I phoned Lost and Found the next day, the gentleman was cordial-plus, retrieved my phone and asked me the skill-testing question: When I open the phone there's a picture -- what is it? A brand new baby!, I reply. We then exchange all the pertinent information, and they will hold the phone for 90 days until the designated family member can pick it up.
Cell phone found abandoned at airport gate -- probably by cleaners or another passenger, turned over to authorities, and probably x-rayed and examined. Not hammered to bits, blown up, or put into the crusher. Just sent to Lost and Found with a "Please look after this bear" tag on it.
This is not your father's TSA. It isn't even last week's TSA. I would have understood completely if they thrown a bucket of cold water over my phone instead of using it to call me. I'm inclined to believe that the bucket of cold water has been thrown on the infamous gropers and peepers of the San Diego security screeners.
My phone, by the way, is a 2003 model that was obsolescing even as I bought it. I was planning on getting a new one sometime this fall anyway.
Not to put too fine a point on it, the phone is junk.
Can we hope that the TSA in San Diego has gotten the message?: Don't touch my junk.
*[watch the clip -- it's a classic]
Sunday, November 28, 2010
THEY'VE GROWN ACCUSTOMED TO MY FACE
Here I am at the globally infamous San Diego Lindbergh Airport, known for its draconian fascist Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (virtual waterboarding of the Naughty Bits) and I was ready for a fight, or at least an invasive pat-down. Instead, we find the lines short, the agents civil, the X-ray of Evil in very limited use (though I did see lanky blonde subjected to it) and by the time we got to the brink of The Sorting, there was a belt across the entrance to The Machine of Nudity, and we were whisked through in mere moments without so much as a friendly arse-pat.
Furthermore, there's a recorded message from the glolbally infamous John Pistole, current Top Dawg at the Transportation Safety Administration, extolling the virtues of his 50,000-strong staff, which appears to be set to run about every five minutes, but so far 4 out of 5 times somebody has hit the kill switch before he's gotten past introduding himself. Guess they figure this announcement is just another form of harassment.
Well, crap, is all I have to say. I was primed to offer myself as a Human Sacrifice in the interest of transportation consumers everywhere. But, even though the threatened Thanksgiving Eve Opt Out Day O' Rage was a bit of a bust, the general outrage and the horror stories of TSA dolts drunk on power seems to have brought about detente between passengers and State Gropers, at least here in Globally Infamous San Diego.
So much for my free mammogram.
Now the most annoying thing about my five hours in the air will be the number of times my movie is interrupted by pilots and flighty attendants giving me information I don't need. in two languages. And the fact that the in-house Air Canada announcements being made in the airport are the only ones with a sound quality slightly worse than the crackles we remember between Earth and Apollo 13. Sheesh.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I thought these things had come to an end because the makers of the movie Downfall thought that their territory was being violated. Maybe they've finally figured out that this is the best free advertising scheme any human being could ever have devised.
The latest instalment in the Downfall parody chronicles, perhaps the edgiest one ever.
Michael Ramirez, greatest living editorial cartoonist, strikes again.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Peter Noone, eternally youthful,
still and always
Herman, with Hermits
Marco Rubio, new Senator
from Florida, of Cuban
descent, with bundles
NO LONGER CATHOLIC
Mark Steyn, columnist
to the world, some sort of
Protestant, loathed by
anti-semites who don't realize
that his last name is actually
Afrikaaner. What a Boer.
ALSO NO LONGER CATHOLIC
Sarah Palin, whose parents seem
to have bailed on the Church
when she was quite young.
But is the Pope Catholic? Does
the Mama Grizzly do things in
the woods? (like eat the
namby-pambies for lunch)
Still a fisher of men, I'm
This is all very important news to people for whom this is very important news.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
The [London] Times Literary Supplement arrives on our doorstep every week, and I use it to make myself expert about books I'll never read. Recently I even had a foray into the Letters to the Editor section, got published, got answered back, all very satisfying.
In a summer issue someone named Sudhir Hazareesingh reviewed Christopher Hitchens' autobiography Hitch-22. The follow-up issue (September 3) just came before my eyes this week, and the Letters page made me smile. Hitchens himself had some darts to shoot at the review of his book, but the prize zinger came from another reader, Gunde Green, hailing from Glenview, Illinois. He [she?] writes:
Sir, – Perhaps Professor Hazareesingh, in his review of Hitch-22, can clarify his comment that:
"Hitchens also shows no sense of nuance or measure when it comes to Islam: he has no conceptual apparatus to make sense of Islam’s complexity and diversity, as well as the very real potential of its democratic incarnation . . . ."
Is this in reference to Islamic beheadings, stonings or hand amputations?
Nyah nyah nyah nyah!
I ISSUE A CORRECTION
(I think it's my first)
Apparently the rumors of a 34-ship escort for the President's Indian safari have been greatly exaggerated. Okee-fine. Point taken. [The story about the coconut disarmament, however, was absolutely true.]
The more important point to be made is that Mr. Obama has danced and dallied and Israel-bashed his way through an excursion to a country whose relationship with the United States was brought into magnificent bloom by President George W. Bush in a way which has been far misunderestimated and under-appreciated (and under-reported) in the public and media mind.
But this relationship has actually deteriorated since 2008, due to the current President's neglect of America's friends, even as he bows and scrapes to her enemies -- one of the prime examples (England is another) of Obama's rank failure to do as he promised, that is, to boost the world's regard for the United States.
How's that hope and change working for everybody?
Thursday, November 04, 2010
New voices will be bouncing around the the halls of Congress, and may be saying interesting stuff like this:
On the other hand, this is really disturbing:
...Bishops from the Middle East who were summoned by Rome by the pope demanded on October 23, 2010 that Israel accept UN resolutions calling for an end to its 'occupation' of Arab lands...Mmmm, sounds like the recent Vatican Synod of Middle Eastern Bishops was a real winner. Who lets this stuff get so out of hand? (And where's Malachi Martin when you really need him to be sniffing around behind the arras?)
...Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros, Greek Melkite archbishop of Our Lady of the Annunciation of Boston, Massachusetts has stated that "[t]he Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands." Furthermore, Bustros said that "[w]e Christians cannot speak of the 'promised land' as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people. This promise was nullified by Christ[.]" And finally, Bustros affirms that "[t]he Palestinian refugees will eventually come back and this problem will have to be solved."
[hat-tip American Thinker, where there's lots of other good stuff to read]
QUESTION: WHO'S MINDING THE STORE?
The Imperial Presidency of the Alinsky Apostle goes on apace, as Barack Obama and 3000 of Rabbit's Friend & Relations head for Mumbai (or "Bombay" as once was), and in addition to fleets of cars and planes and floors of hotel rooms, it appears that 34 warships are deemed necessary for his protection out in the nearby seas. (Wouldn't they be more useful off Baja California?.......)
But even the warships couldn't cope with the coconuts.
[hat-tip the Drudge man]
ANSWER: Joe Bite-Me.
[hat-tip: the genius of Michael Ramirez]
Monday, November 01, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
OBAMA DOES STEWART
"Bless you, my son -- be healed."
There's been just enough chatter about the President's latest and deepest dip into triviality and degradation of the office -- that is, his desperate bid for the yout' vote via an appearance on The Daily Show with now-I'm-silly/now-I'm-serious Jon Stewart -- to compel me to dial it up on the internets and watch it post-facto.
The President's entrance met with hormone-driven rock-star screaming on a ridiculous scale, and he then sat down at a Hollywood game-show-ized Romanesque desk, whose classic symmetry was marred by a strange extra panel sticking out to the left to cover the lower half of the seated guest, like a modesty barrier in front of the toilet in a prison cell -- is there something about the seated President that the public shouldn't see? Does he instinctively kick his shoes off, to reveal white socks, or something like that? That was weird.
Then Stuart posed the first questions of what was, weirdly, kind of a velvety "j'accuse", generally challenging Mr. Obama on what his fan-base had been led to expect during the Hopey Changey Yes We Can campaign, and on the degree to which his administration has proved disappointing. Who knew?
That Obama became a bit testy and poked his finger back at Stewart was not weird, but entirely to be expected. As was the fact that Obama, unscripted, once again proved himself a long-winded bore. Despite being in the presence of The One We've Been Waiting For, even Stewart got impatient for an opportunity to speak as the vacuous platitudes and lame excuses rolled on and on.
For genuine weirdness, however, nothing topped the President's parting shot:
"...the other thing that might have made a difference is if you had held the Rally to Restore Sanity two years ago..."[Stewart and fellow fake newsman Stephen Colbert are holding some Irony Festival on the capital mall on Halloween Eve. Whatever.]
What does that even mean? Two years ago was the election/national-bong-fest-and-hot-flash which swept Mr. O into office. Is he trying to tell us that a Rally for Sanity in 2008 would made a difference in who won? and we'd now have President McCain?
Not a bad idea, that -- on his worst day, McCain wouldn't have unraveled the nation like his opponent has.
My best guess is that the President was trying to be funny.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Try for a moment to imagine the fallout if this had been said by a high-profile politician who was all-white instead of only half-white [racially speaking, dontcha know].
Try to imagine whether even half a dozen years ago you would ever have believed that the following words would be uttered on an American campaign trail, by someone who fancies himself fit to be the sitting President of the United States. But hey -- this is the one we've been waiting for. On his recent stump visit to Rhode Island, dragging out yet again his "Republicans-drove-the-national-car-into-the-ditch" metaphor, President Obama is only half kidding as he extends the image, to claim:
...we can't have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class up in front. We don't mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.Well, shiver my post-racial timbers.
Republicans: the new second-class citizen, the new three-fifths of a person. These tea-baggers really need to learn to know their place and not get so uppity as to think they have any business running the show. That's something better left to the experts, with all their science and arguments.
Isn't this a great new way to get your point across? Forget the reductio ad Hitlerum et Nazium. Bring on the "Let's make our enemies Jump Jim Crow." Oh, and who are these enemies? We report, you decide. Mr. Obama will help, as he spreads cheer and enthusiasm among his base:
And if Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, we’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us, if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s gonna be harder — and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2..."Yes, we can"? Or "Yeah, you better!" Apparently this is what now constitutes a Democratic leadership charm offensive. Good luck with that.
DEMOCRATS of AMURRICAH:
FEELING A COLD WIND
FROM THE GREAT WHITE NORTH?
Who'dda thunk it? In perennially liberal Ontario, and even more devoutly liberal/socialist Toronto, the once-unthinkable has occurred. The citizenry appears to have had a Tea-fit, and today voted in as mayor a chubby, rough and tumble populist with a colourful background but a devotion stopping the perennial waste of gobs of money on endless trivialities, which Torontonians finally find attractive.
Welcome, Rob Ford, to the big chair on city council (still populated by a lot of libs, but about to be both shaken and stirred). A sign of the times, perhaps, a shot about to be heard round the world south of the 49th.
There's no real Tea Party movement in Canada ('cause there wasn't one in 1773), but there's never been any shortage of folks drinking their cuppa on a frosty morning.
Sorry, but would it be possible for you to kindly not, you know, sort of tread on me, eh?
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Well, he truly is a liberal type, and I don't see him evolving into a neo-con any time soon [the popular definition of a neo-con being "a liberal who has been mugged by reality"] -- nevertheless Juan Williams, respectable journalist, historian of the Civil Rights movement, and decent rational man, has most certainly been mugged, battered, worked over, dead-fished, sat upon, spat upon, and ratted on by his former employers at National Public Radio.
It is all too easy to believe (Williams himself and others have since observed) that NPR was just waiting for an opportunity to cut him loose, basically because he is a rational human being instead of a leftist ideologue, and he has the almighty gall to be comfortable putting the F and B in "Fair and Balanced" over at FoxNews: the ultimate sin against the MSM creed.
They saw their opening when he made a completely personal revelation about feeling unnerved at the prospect of getting on a plane with fellow passengers decked out in full Muslim array -- not because he felt proud of it, or even justified, but simply because he is a real person having the same kind of very normal responses one can expect from informed Americans in the wake of the 9/11 massacres.
Cue the bloodhounds. Top and middle brass at NPR barely took time to draw breath before making Williams walk the plank, without so much as a face-to-face meeting with any of them, or a chance to reflect on Williams' prestige and reputation or his eleven years of service to the network. All just seepage under the bridge. Twenty-four hours after his live-TV off-the-cuff musings on the dreaded O'Reilly program, Williams was National Public History.
About that bridge that his career seeped under?: call it a Bridge Too Far. The backlash against this brainless drive-by career and character assassination [one of his bosses tossed off a remark about how Williams should keep these sorts of feelings between himself and his head-shrinker...] has been swift and bipartisan. Put Juan Williams among the top five names nobody could imagine being on any sane person's pundit hit-list.
Oh, wait --- that was "sane" person -- I forgot we're talking about NPR, an "independent" broadcaster that seems to be for sale cheap to George Soros, and that may now be gunning for Mara Liasson's smart & liberal "Washington-helmet-head..."
Listen (doo-dah-doo), do you want to know a secret? (doo-dah-doo) Do you promise not to tell? (woe-ooh-woe-oh....): Juan, you're not alone. I sat in a hot and crowded airline waiting area where a man lounged around wearing a ridiculously heavy parka, with his face totally swathed in a kaffiyah (the classic Arafat-style black and white head-scarf) revealing only his eyes, niqab-style -- and I couldn't take my eyes off him.
He eventually fell asleep on two seats, and when we were finally called to board, I was massively relieved to see that he was not getting on our flight -- had he done so, I would have been a complete nervous wreck the whole time.
So there. This is life at the dawn of the 21st century.
Ms. Barbara Boxer is the junior senator from the Left Coast, a decades-long politico of sterling intelligence (i.e., you could fit her brain into a silver teaspoon), who be-clowned herself last year, when she scolded a Brigadier General of the Army for calling her "ma'am" (as respectful military personnel are wont, and mandated, to do), because she preferred to be called "Senator" (presumably as a poor substitute for "Your Goddessness").
Those who would just as soon not send her back to the Senate for another round of embarrassing verbal flatus, have produced the following ad to memorialize that Special Moment with Brigadier General Walsh. Gustate et videte:
In the clearing stands a Boxer... who carries the reminder of every glove that laid h[er] down...
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
AND, PERHAPS, OF IMPORTANCE
Liberal-leaning newspundit Mark Shields declines for the moment to talk policy, and takes a reading on the psychology of the present administration. He checks his dampened litmus paper and detects trace elements of PURITANISM.
Read A Joyless Capital. And don't you dare laugh.
And we all know how well that Puritan-thingy turned out, don't we, Goody Proctor?
Friday, October 08, 2010
I think these guys have succeeded musically, lyrically, visually, and politically.
I LIKE IT.
It's Jamie Teachenor and Ben Clark, and they rock.
[Hat-tip Hugh Hewitt]
Thursday, September 30, 2010
MEDAL OF HONOR WINNER'S FAMILY INVITED TO WHITE HOUSE, THEN REFUSED ENTRY
Apparently a little kid [Vernon Pawlik] in a t-shirt (sporting his grandpa's picture) isn't dressed well enough to accept an invitation to tour the White House after his grandfather's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.
Apparently it all had to do with some sort of White House "dress code" (nobody seems to be able to find a copy), which would prohibit the too-casual under-dressed from entering the hallowed halls. Unless, of course, one is.....
... some White House/Congressional staffer's kid who likes the Yankees:
...or some [usually minority] kid giving Michelle O a photo-op:
...or an "Indo-American" female DJ during Indian culture week or something:
...or a crepe-necked ingrate Paul McCartney setting up a musical intro to his trite and gratuitous stab at the purported illiteracy of George W. Bush:
...or Desiree Rogers, former White House Social Secretary -- ya know, that office which is supposed to vet the invitations and determine what, if anything, constitutes the White House dress code:
Don't worry, Vernon -- even if Important People on the President's Staff think you look too sloppy to be seen in YOUR White House, we know you are definitely one of the cool kids.
DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA: FORGET WALTER CRONKITE
When you've lost JON STEWART, you've lost America. Watch as the fake newsman eviscerates the fake constitutional law professor. Then click on Video #2 (as it were) over on the right, and watch a yawning kid do likewise.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Hit the "expand" icon in the in corner, because (appropriately enough) the resolution remains perfectly clear and in focus. It's better than a quart of my sister's coffee.
And it's only tea....
I've been waiting for someone to dredge up the "five more days till we fundamentally transform the United States of America" quote -- it's one of a handful of burned-on-the-brain memorable phrases from the Hopey-Changey campaign.
SOMEBODY IN THE VATICAN HAS BEEN
WATCHING THE NEWS
[How often does that happen?]
"Islam will sooner or later conquer majority of Europe" -- Allah Ach-du-lieber !
[major hat-tips today: Gateway Pundit]
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
THIS IS NOT THAT STORY
The New York Times (the New York Times!) reports what it means to suffer for your art, really suffer. Remember this the next time some Hollywood lickspittle groan about the hardships of location shooting.
A Director's Many Battles to Make Her Movie. [Hint: the director had to take over the leading actress role. I'm guessing you'll never read a reason quite like this one.] The film will be called The Black Tulip.
[hat-tip: Big Hollywood]
Saturday, September 18, 2010
September 18, 2010
On this partly sunny day on two sides of the planet we witness some grand Catholic narratives, not unrelated -- beginnings and endings, bookends in a sense. My television screen shows me thousands of people lining the streets of London, England, cheering on the present Pope as he makes his pilgrim way around various sites and encounters, all leading to tomorrow's Mass of Beatification for John Henry Cardinal Newman, England's great man of letters and holy priest, famously ex-Anglican turned Catholic.
Now concluded, over there in the Greenwich time zone, are the Mass at Westminster Cathedral and an evening prayer vigil under the open skies of Hyde Park, the former a polyglot affair of English and Latin, with quite glorious music provided by hoards of men and boys, everyone sporting blood-red under the magnificent Giotto-esque painted crucifix.
The doubters of just a few years ago could not imagine this beady-eyed scholar (Papa Ratzinger), with his long term as whip-hand of Church discipline, ever inspiring the gathering of such crowds, especially of the young, as compared to his warm and personable predecessor, the "rock-star" Pope John Paul II. But his whip-hand has fitted itself comfortably around the shepherd's crook, and he has moved forward with a charity as uncompromising as his faith -- and the crowds have massed, even in this land where much quieter expressions of Catholic faith once brought a sentence of death.
To his great credit, Pope Benedict has not hesitated to refer to these martyrs, many of whom met their grisly deaths just up the road at Tyburn Tree. Ostensibly, one of the aims of this visit is to strengthen ties between the Catholic Church and its Anglican love child, in the name of Christian solidarity facing off with creeping secularism. It is impossible to speculate how real might be this prospect of ending five centuries of enmity. But it is fairly certain that this pilgrimage will play its part in the flood of new beginnings to be seen everywhere in the Church, leaving the doubters to fume and sputter.
Over here, on this side of the planet, in the unglamorous west end of Toronto, a few score people gathered today to bid farewell to one of the Church's great warriors. In a truly splendid Tridentine black-vestment Requiem, author and activist for faith and life Anne Roche Muggeridge was sung and prayed into her everlasting rest. I never met her, for by the time I met her husband and some of the children, she was already in the iron grip of early onset Alzheimer's, in which darkening prison she served a sentence of many years, always the recipient of the love and care of a family she no longer knew.
In her warrior days she was the author of two books [Desolate City, and Gates of Hell] chronicling what she saw as a coordinated attack on the life and breath of the Church she loved. For many years I purposely avoided reading the books, because I knew they would be a concise compendium of horrors I had lived through and felt powerless to counter. But in recent times, various friends had urged me to give them a try, because in showing how terrible things once were, they would unwittingly tell the story of how far we have come in turning a new page.
Difficult as they can be to find, I laid hands upon the two books from internet book sellers within half an hour of reading of Anne Muggeridge's death. And I will soon set myself the task of seeing how grim the world once looked, and how prescient Ms. Muggeridge was in seeing the cracks of light on the dark horizon.
Requiescat in pace, courageous lady, and a merry meeting with your dear John, whom I knew a bit and much enjoyed, and proudly sang to sleep just a few years ago.
As I understand it, today has been informally declared "Pray for Christopher Hitchens Day."
Have a go. Couldn't hurt.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
The American conservative punditry class professes itself shocked -- SHOCKED!-- to have heard Karl Rove trashing the newly-elected Katie-Couric-perky Republican nominee for the coming Delaware Senate race, Christine O'Donnell. He let rip with his bash-fest on Sean Hannity's FOX News program, talking of the "nutty" things she has done, and casting a piercing eye on her college loan history -- basically dismissing her as a person and pronouncing her next election already lost (apparently his failed prediction of a Castle victory not giving him any pause).
The reaction was swift and sweeping: King of all Media Rush Limbaugh himself, a huge Rove admirer, was non-plussed at Rove's barrage of poisonous little darts ("little" being the operative word: the remarks were nasty and cutting, and the targets were spectacularly off-centre).
Suddenly the wide conservative/Republican world was questioning the perception, loyalty, and ultimately the usefulness of the man dubbed "The Architect" for his engineering of George W. Bush's political victories.
Some of us have been questioning everything about Rove's reputation as a political genius, for a very long time. I think I pretty well nailed it here -- five years ago, you'll notice.
Get with the program, world. Time for Mr. Rove to be shufflin' on down the road.
All this is not to say that Ms. O'Donnell is necessarily some kind of prize as a candidate -- she may yet prove to be an underperformer extraordinaire.
But the idea that opting for the proven RINO would have been preferable, and the implication that the voters are too stupid to know what's good for them or to exercise their judgment and roll the dice on a new direction, are offensive beyond words -- a sign from all quarters of the political class that they are tone-deaf to the times, and will soon find themselves paddling around in the wake of a political tide that has passed them right by.
Mr. Rove has proved himself tiresome, in addition to being no genius. I suspect we will see less and less of him as the season goes on.
POPE B16'S LITTLE RED SHOES
TREAD THE HEATHER ON THE HILL
His Holiness Pope Benedict makes the first official state visit of a Pope to Great Britain in 500 years. Mass in Scotland opens with a welcome paying tribute to St. Thomas More and various martyrs of the Reformation. Ooh-rah.
[He needed a haircut. I loved the look.]