Saturday, October 17, 2009

Movie Review: Where the Wild Things Have Relationship Problems

where-the-wild-things-are-spike-jonze-gandolfini-review-sendakjpg-7461d8aa6f517189_largeThis review will not take long. Darling wife and I took our three young children and a neighbor kid from across the street to a movie followed by Five Guys for burgers.

We saw Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze's tragically flawed adaptation of the Maurice Sendak classic. Perhaps you like watching depressing movies about relationship problems between people who refuse, idiotic, to change. Then you might like this movie. Perhaps you like watching a movie with the message that your friends are waiting until you slip up, at which time they will eat you up, cannibal-like. Then you might like this movie. Perhaps you like movies that speak the unselfconscious symbolic language of children while carrying a lesson that relationships cannot last, that marriage ends in divorce and mutual alienation, that only relationships between simpletons like Ira and Judith can last, and that on a more basic level relationships are just a bummer. Then you might like this movie. Or perhaps, like me, you recognize the seductive beauty of the movie, and hate it for the psychic poison it delivers to the defenseless minds of kids.

We will not be buying it on DVD.

Did I mention that while rushing to the bathroom to pee, our 4 year old Sugarlump vomited her popcorn all the way down the carpeted hallway behind the theater? And that after cleaning up and returning to our seats she curled up in her daddy's lap and went to sleep? That made the rest of the movie more bearable.

We finished the evening at Five Guys with the best burgers and fries the kids ever ate. That's what they said. Evening saved.

Other reviews: NYT, Tech Banyan, Entertainment Weekly, HuffPo, NRO


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Friday, October 16, 2009

Moncton's Warning: Beware Copenhagen in December!

All hands alert!

I don't have anything to add because this is so shattering there is nothing that can be added. If this extract scares you then you have to read the whole thing. And then we all shall have to do something.

At [the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in] Copenhagen, this December, weeks away, a treaty will be signed. Your president will sign it. Most of the third world countries will sign it, because they think they’re going to get money out of it. Most of the left-wing regime from the European Union will rubber stamp it. Virtually nobody won’t sign it.

I read that treaty. And what it says is this, that a world government is going to be created. The word “government” actually appears as the first of three purposes of the new entity. The second purpose is the transfer of wealth from the countries of the West to third world countries, in satisfaction of what is called, coyly, “climate debt” – because we’ve been burning CO2 and they haven’t. We’ve been screwing up the climate and they haven’t. And the third purpose of this new entity, this government, is enforcement.

How many of you think that the word “election” or “democracy” or “vote” or “ballot” occurs anywhere in the 200 pages of that treaty? Quite right, it doesn’t appear once. So, at last, the communists who piled out of the Berlin Wall and into the environmental movement, who took over Greenpeace so that my friends who founded it left within a year, because [the communists] captured it – Now the apotheosis as at hand. They are about to impose a communist world government on the world. You have a president who has very strong sympathies with that point of view. He’s going to sign it. He’ll sign anything. He’s a Nobel Peace Prize [winner]; of course he’ll sign it.


And the trouble is this; if that treaty is signed, if your Constitution says that it takes precedence over your Constitution (sic), and you can’t resign from that treaty unless you get agreement from all the other state parties – And because you’ll be the biggest paying country, they’re not going to let you out of it.
Read the treaty. Read the rest of Lord Moncton's remarks. If this is signed and passed, it will be the greatest act of BETRAYAL that has ever been committed on the American people. We all must act, every one of us, doing whatever we can.

This must not stand!


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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Limbaugh the Sequel: Is it Possible to Embarrass the NFL?

After the NFL has made a mockery of itself by obsequiously scraping its forehead against the ground on which DeMaurice Smith, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton walk, it is up to NFL fans to find out if it is possible for the NFL to be embarrassed any more. Remember, this is the league that welcomes people convicted of homicide, rape, burglary, wife-beating and dog-fighting back into the players' ranks. Yet it is also the league that refuses to let a conservative radio personality and lover of the game of football become a minority owner of a team, using vile, racist quotes invented out of whole cloth to smear him.

The question begs to be asked. Can fans embarrass the hell out of the NFL? Not by throwing ice-balls at opposing teams; Not by booing lustily at little kids; Not by wearing nothing but body paint on their torsos in midwinter; But can fans embarrass the hell out of the NFL by making a spectacle of rejecting the new NFL determination to goose-step to the drumbeat of the race hustlers and slanderers of the progressive left?

Some have proposed cutting up team jerseys and sending the pieces to Roger Goodell's office. Some have proposed canceling your NFL Sunday Ticket. Those are good, and they hit at the wallets of these hypocritical leftist slimeballs, but they are not embarrassing enough. Embarrassing an organization as big and wealthy as the NFL with all its television time and bootlicking local sports reporters requires strategic planning.

Don't just cut up your stuff. Don't just cancel. Make a spectacle of it!

How to Make a Spectacle

Let's say you have an NFL collectible. A coffee cup signed by Steve McNair. A jersey signed by OJ Simpson. A drink cozy or cooler that used to belong to Bret Favre. A framed limited edition photo of Joe Namath. You get the idea.

Choose one item that wouldn't kill you to destroy it. Ready? Get out your video camera. Film yourself getting ready.

Start by expressing what you believe in your heart:
  • in America's freedoms.
  • a man has the right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty.
  • vile accusations need to be proved, and if unproved are nothing more than slander and libel.They should not be passed on by so-called journalists without any even minimal level of checking or vetting.
  • people have the right to use their money in any legal way they like.
  • we should judge a man, not by his political party, not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.
  • our own experiences are better guides than wild rumors spread on the internet.
  • the NFL has crossed its fans with its pandering, slavish subservience to those who slandered and libeled a man who was making a good faith business offer to get into the NFL owners' business. This is the same NFL, mind you, that happily welcomes dog-torturers, wife-beaters, rapists, and those convicted of homicide back to the players' ranks.
Isn't sports about truthful calls, fair play, and trust? Clearly this league has no respect for the truth. Clearly it has no respect for fair play. Clearly it cannot be trusted. And if it cannot be trusted, how can its games be trusted?

Film yourself saying those things in your own words. Film this whole process. That is how you multiply your protest and make a spectacle of it. Upload the whole package to Youtube. Send faxes, letters, emails to your local newspaper and TV station letting them know what you are doing.

Announce that for the reasons given you are going to destroy this valuable NFL artifact. But you are selling the right to save it or destroy it on Ebay in case there are other people who care about this. Make a long bidding period, 2 weeks or longer if you can. Sell the fate of the collectible to the highest bidder, who can either bid to have you destroy it (run it over with the biggest, meanest looking vehicle you can find, or have it torn to pieces by wild animals or by being torn in half by two big pickup trucks with trailer hitches), or buy it from you to save it from destruction. Start the bidding at $1 with a reserve of the cash value of the item and no buy-it-now price.

Did you send the announcement to your local newspapers and TV stations? Do it.

Film the plans and the destruction on video. Upload it to Youtube if the local news doesn't pick it up. Blog about it.

Embarrass the hell out of Roger Goodell!
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why do Federal workers make so much money?

The Business Insider asks the question that is almost never asked.
An interesting detail from John Mauldin's latest economic note:

The average federal worker makes $75,419 a year, while the average in the private sector is $39,751.

Why is that, exactly?  Is it because Federal workers are 80% better than private-sector workers?

Somehow I doubt it. I think it has more to do with progressives giving taxpayer money away to other progressives, just like their progressive universities give honorary degrees away to other progressives.


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Central Concepts from David Cameron's Speech to the Conservative Party

The Guardian recently analyzed David Cameron's speech to the British Conservative Party Conference for the popularity of his applause lines. I've extracted in popularity order all the lines that got more than 15 seconds of applause, while excluding the introduction. The interesting thing to me is that all the most popular lines are based specifically on conservative principles.

David Cameron's conference speech, 2009

Speech order
Applause, seconds

48 And when we look back we will say not that the government made it happen... ...not that the minister made it happen... ...but the businesswoman made it happen... ...the police officer made it happen... ...the father made it happen... ...the teacher made it happen. You made it happen. 166.68
9 Let everyone in this hall show their appreciation to the men and women who fight for us 50.12
23 Thirty years ago this party won an election fighting against 98 per cent tax rates on the richest. Today I want us to show even more anger about 96 per cent tax rates on the poorest. 40.59
26 Excuse me? Who made the poorest poorer? Who left youth unemployment higher? Who made inequality greater? No, not the wicked Tories… you, Labour: you're the ones that did this to our society. So don't you dare lecture us about poverty. You have failed and it falls to us, the modern Conservative Party to fight for the poorest who you have let down. 36.56
43 And if we win the election, we will have as the strongest voice for our country's interests, the man who is leading our campaign for a referendum, the man who will be our new British Foreign Secretary: William Hague. 19.53
16 Next year, Gordon Brown will spend more money on the interest on our debt than on schools. More than on law and order, more than on child poverty. So I say to the Labour Party and the trades unions just tell me what is compassionate, what is progressive about spending more on debt interest than on helping the poorest children in our country? 19.15
36 So when I see Ed Balls blow hundreds of millions on so-called "curriculum development" on consultancies, on quangos like the QCDA and BECTA like every other parent with a child at a state school I want to say: This is my child, it's my money, give it to my headteacher instead of wasting it in Whitehall. 17.47
29 We've got to stop treating children like adults and adults like children. 17.43
18 Pensioners don't want pity. They just want to know that if they've lived responsibly, they'll be looked after in their old age. 16.91
35 Today let us honour their memory and send our thoughts and best wishes to all those, including Margaret Tebbit, who still bear the scars of that terrible night. 16.06
41 That's why ID cards, 42 days and Labour's surveillance state are so utterly unacceptable and why we will sweep the whole rotten edifice away. 15.75
12 I know what sustains me the most. She is sitting right there and I'm incredibly proud to call her my wife. 15.69
21 we will give back to the Bank of England its power to regulate the City powers that should never have been taken away. 15.5
20 In Britain today, there are entrepreneurs everywhere – they just don't know it yet. Success stories everywhere – they just haven't been written yet. We must be the people who release that potential. 15.38
34 The police aren't on the streets because they're busy complying with ten different inspection regimes. The police say the CPS isn't charging people…because they have to hit targets to reduce the number of unsuccessful trials. And the prisons aren't rehabilitating offenders…because they're focused on meeting thirty-three different performance indicators. This all needs to change. 15.04

I'm not going to worry about the exact duration of the applause lines. For instance, the most popular line measured by applause duration was the very last line in the speech. The audience wasn't necessarily applauding for that line, but for the whole speech. On the other hand, no politician would conclude a speech to his own convention with a line that was not guaranteed to resonate with the listeners.

Paraphrased, here are what the popular applause lines in the speech were all about.
  1. The government will not fix things; the people will fix things. Individual freedom.
  2. We appreciate our military who fight for us. National self-defense.
  3. Taxes don't just hurt rich people; they hurt poor people too. Taxes are too high.
  4. The failures of the bureaucracy must be blamed on the people who controlled the bureaucracy when they failed. That has always been the Left. Personal responsibility.
  5. Our country's freedom is endangered by the EU; our best leader in opposition to creeping EU dominance will be my foreign minister. Rule of law and a representative government.
  6. A crippling national debt created to benefit unions destroys our country's safety nets for the poorest among us. Prudence.
  7. Too much so-called education money is spent on consultants and politically connected NGOs. Prudence.
  8. We need to stop treating children like adults and adults like children. Individual freedom, rights and responsibilities.
  9. Retired workers don't want pity and government handouts, just to get the pensions they have earned. Rule of law.
  10. Let us honor those who have suffered. Kindness.
  11. Government surveillance and regulation has gone too far and we will sweep it out. Individual freedom. Rule of law.
  12. My wife sustains me. Marriage and family.
  13. Banks have been prevented by City government from making prudent financial decisions and we will stop this. Free market. Rule of law.
  14. We will unleash the entrepreneurs and new businesses that have been kept down by the left. Free market. Individual freedom.
  15. Police aren't on the streets because they are complying with politically correct paperwork that prevents them from keeping the streets safe. This needs to change. Prudence.
And finally, the top line that wasn't quite 15 seconds was, "This big government has reached the end of the road." This is classic red meat, though not so much a statement of principle.

In my opinion, these lines express ideas that are popular in the US as well, not just among US conservatives but among independents and even Democrats. Conservatives in the US need to take these popular lines and use them, or lines like them.

In related news, a word cloud for Cameron's speech can be found here.


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Friday, October 9, 2009

10/9/09 list of interesting articles

Heading up the news today, Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for What again? AP analyzes something for once.

How about Obama's war record?

"Classy" White House calls Joe Scarborough an A---hole for laughing at President Pantywaist's Nobel Peace Prize

Tom Coburn proposes to dump Political Science research funding since it's pure Marxist propaganda. I can live with that. Marxists protest.

Safe Schools Czar wrote forward to the compleat idiot's guide to pedophilia. I fixed the book title to clarify it.

Too late to watch, an actual documentary actually airing on PBS actually praised capitalism actually lifts poor from poverty, actually defeats tyranny

Youtube seminar on basic online video production/shooting the video

White House advisor on Muslim affairs says Sharia law not such a bad idea

Al Qaeda Video on how to Make a Butt Bomb

Cass Sunstein defends communism, says America too racist for socialism and its universal racism

Karl Marx, the end of the world, and communist eschatology

Kevin Jennings vs. Mark Foley: Battle of the Pederasts

Another case of actual vote fraud, this time from a transvestite prostitute and con-man who ACORN got to vote nine times in the same election

NASA bombs the moon. Take that moon monsters!

Global Taxation without Representation: G20 Discusses Taxing the Whole World

White House finally admits its obvious unreasoning, deranged hatred for Fox News


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Is the Fix in for Boeing on the Tanker Competition?

Quin Hillyer seems to think so, and so writes in the American Spectator.

The Pentagon is playing dirty pool on behalf of the already-dirtiest pool players from Boeing, with regard to the huge (179-plane, about $40 billion) air refueling tanker contract that Northrop Grumman Corp. and EADS won fair and square last year before it was stolen away from them.

As a reminder: The swiping occurred after Boeing launched an unprecedented and underhanded political-hardball campaign after Northrop won the contract with a bigger, more versatile, more efficient plane. Boeing's bid also was some $3 billion more expensive (or $42 million more expensive per plane) than Northrop's for just the first 64 planes. And Northrop's offering would support, it believably claims, some 48,000 American jobs at 230 supplier companies in 49 states, compared to 44,000 new jobs that Boeing claimed it would create. The Northrop plane also could start coming off the production lines sooner than Boeing's, by all accounts.

Yet after Boeing strong-armed politicians and the Pentagon, the Seattle- and Chicago-based company filed a formal protest, alleging more than 100 irregularities in what already had been the most open, public, analyzed contract award in Pentagon history. (The award actually itself was a re-do; at first the Air Force was to lease planes from Boeing, but Sen. John McCain led an investigation which found such serious shenanigans that several Boeing executives and Air Force personnel were convicted in a sort of kickback scheme.

The rebid was a pure partisan decision that favored Democrat Washington state over Republican Alabama and Mississippi, still recovering from Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina. And with the newly issued rules preventing the Northrop bid from being evaluated for its greater capability while giving Northrop's pricing data to Boeing without reciprocating to Northrop with Boeing's pricing data, it is clear that the bid is as dirty and unfair as the Air Force can make it. Will people go to jail again over Boeing's shenanigans? Maybe, maybe not. Democrats seem to get away scot free with these things. Should they? I'm leaning to yes.

And yes, I still work for Northrop Grumman, though not for the tanker effort. I work in the same region that would supply the workers for this project, so no doubt some of my neighbors would work there. I'm blogging this on my own time. And yes, I'm bitter. I see another decision that was made on the basis of facts overturned because of dirty Democrat party politics. And it makes me sick for my country.


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10/8/09 List of Interesting Articles

Jobless rate will affect Democrats' 2010 Prospects. Duh.

Maxine Waters says Charlie Rangle isn't alone: Many Democrats are Crooks

US Senate healthcare plan (Baucuscare) would cost $829 Billion and cut 10-year deficit by $81 Billion. For those who can't add, this means it will increase taxpayer costs and fees by $910 Billion. (behind member firewall)

The Taliban bombed the Indian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 17 and injuring more than 60

In an interesting segue from the previous story, according to Attorney General and projecting coward Eric Holder, Violence is the 'American Problem'

Israeli Foreign Minister astonishes world with bracing splash of reality: people who think Israel and Palestinians can reach a deal "do not understand reality and are sowing illusions."

UN Climate report confuses Arctic with Antarctic

Dems running away from the Ghost of Speeches Past

Scrappleface: Obama to lobby academy for Michael Moore Oscar

Baucuscare will raise marginal tax rate to 70% or higher, on people between 1x and 2x the poverty level

Have Environmentalists ever actually been for anything they claim they are for? Their hated fast breeder reactors would have reduced pollution by 35%


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10/7/09 Roundup of Interesting Stuff

Yes, Virginia, ACORN threw out all Republican voter registrations as invalid because "there is no such thing as a black republican"

Kerry-Lugar Bill is incredibly insulting to Pakistan. "Allies" in Pakistan are not happy.

Iraqis are getting cynical about voting. Fear the "turbans" will take over and steal the people's freedom away soon enough.

Thank God for Vaclav Klaus, the only man in the way of the EU steamroller

Archbishop Chaput discusses why it was wrong for Notre Dame to honor Obama with an honorary degree

Egypt killed all the country's pigs because of swine flu fears, and to spite their Christian owners. Now what to do with all the daily garbage the pigs used to eat?

"Let me dispel these ridiculous rumors once and for all and set the record straight: Under my plan, seniors are going to be killed the way they want to be killed, end of story," said the president, who acknowledged that "wiping out" the nation's elderly population has always been his No. 1 priority. "If your grandmother would rather be euthanized in the privacy of her own home than be gutted and hanged on a high school soccer field, she is entitled to that right."

A Sarbanes-Oxley to Cripple American Small Business

50 Examples of Government Waste

Vox Day agrees with George Will about Barack Obama

The French Battle Flag looks like the flag of Benin with a white background

Go for Capitalism or Go for Broke: Michael Moore vs. Michael Covel

What went wrong with Congress?

Ay Caramba! Kevin Jennings wants Pro-Homosexual Curriculum for Kindergartens

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The coming storm.


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Why Settle for the Lesser of Two Evils?

President Barack C'thul'hu Obama

From iowahawk's NEA grant-fest.


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