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Saturday, October 11, 2003
 
THE YANKEES/RED SOX FIGHT

Absolutely ridiculous. The pitch was nowhere near his head.

Also, the proper response for when a guy like Pedro has a short, bald, old guy like Zimmer charging him isn't to throw him to the ground, it's to put his hand on his head and hold Zimmer out of range as he ineffectually flails his arms at you. That's what cartoons and the 3 Stooges have taught me anyway.

And for the record this is coming from a guy rooting for whatever team is playing the Yankees.

 
MOVIE REVIEW: KILL BILL: VOLUME 1

There's really not much to explain about the plot of Kill Bill. Assassins played by Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, Vivaca A. Fox, and Lucy Liu, and led by David Carradine as Bill do quite a number on "The Bride" (Uma Thurman) on her wedding day. They beat the *&#$ out of her and leave her with a bullet in her head. Four years later The Bride wakes up from a coma and sets out to kill all of them. That's really all you need to know.

This is "The 4th Film By" Quentin Tarantino. (Which raises the question of whether Volume 2 will be his 5th or still his 4th.) It's been called "indulgent" and it certainly is, but that's why you go to see a Tarantino film. You don't go to hear the story, you go to experience what Tarantino has put together. One entire "Chapter" of the film is done in Anime. One overhead shot follows The Bride to the restroom using the most astonishing, breathtaking angles. One astounding fight scene (There are many.) takes place essentially between the silhouettes of the fighters in front of a backlit blue Japanese screen. These scenes don't need to be presented the way they are to tell the story, they're presented that way to tell the story the way Tarantino wants to tell it. There are precious few directors who can outshine the stars and put their own stamp on a film and Tarantino is certainly one of them.

That being said, Kill Bill: Volume 1 isn't a pleasant film. Blood spews everywhere. It gushes from severed limbs (and there are a lot of severed limbs). It is grossly exaggerated blood, almost comedic at times, but let's just have this act as fair warning, the more of your snacks you finish before the movie starts the better. I have a fairly strong stomach, but after a while I was putting some serious thought into whether I should be finishing off my Twizzlers at that moment.

I enjoyed the movie. It is a Tarantino movie though and if you don't like Tarantino movies in general or wouldn't care for a VERY bloody samurai movie I imagine you'll have some problems with Kill Bill: Volume 1.

3 1/2 out of 4

Friday, October 10, 2003
 
YA WANNA SEE SOME HATRED?

Try the Democratic Underground thread on Rush's addiction. Heck, they even want to throw the doctors who treated his hearing loss in jail.

 
LOOK WHAT WE'RE DOING TO THE IRAQIS

Electricity is now back to prewar levels. Factories are producing more thanks to the electricity and "In terms of security, women and families can feel safe shopping after dark."(USA Today)

It's not all good though. "'Now the children will not leave the house,' says Lamia Younis, a mother of four. 'They just sit at home all day watching satellite TV.'"(Again, USA Today)

Geez, 6 months and we're already turning them into couch potatoes.

 
AUSTRALIAN PAPER ON THE KAY REPORT



[David Kay] says he's "amazed" the media thinks his search has failed.

Did journalists actually read his report, which lists startling new evidence of Saddam's weapons?

Says Kay: "This is information (that), if it had been available last year, would have been headline news." He's now certain "we're going to find remarkable things" in the future, too.
...
[B]ut what did the ISG actually find?

Answer: Plenty, including "significant information" that the Iraqi Intelligence Service after 1996 worked on biological and chemical weapons, and set up "a clandestine network of laboratories and facilities within the security service apparatus". These could be "activated quickly to surge the production of BW (biological weapons) agents".

Says Kay: "This network was never declared to the (United Nations) and was previously unknown." His report even shows a picture of lab equipment found hidden in a mosque.
...
IRAQI witnesses agreed Saddam had wanted to make many more biological, chemical and even nuclear weapons the second the UN took its eye off him.

"When Saddam had asked a senior military official in either 2001 or 2002 how long it would take to produce new chemical agent and weapons . . . he responded it would take six months for mustard," Kay says.
...
THE pattern of Saddam's deception and evil intent is absolutely clear.

But UN inspectors, Kay suggests, would have battled to find anything in Iraq, and once they'd given up, Saddam was free to spread a new technology of death beyond his borders.

"We have found people, technical information and illicit procurement networks that if allowed to flow to other countries and regions could accelerate global proliferation."

Which is precisely the reason the Coalition leaders gave for going to war.

Read the full report, and you'll see why the headlines last week should have read "Iraq war justified". So why were you told the opposite?

-- The Herald Sun

That's why we went to war.

 
PEACE PRIZE

I'm sure you know by now that Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi won the Nobel Peace Prize this morning. Gotta say, it's nice to see it go to somebody for a reason other than they ticked off the US.

Thursday, October 09, 2003
 
THE LIBERAL 2ND AMENDMENT

A good cartoon.

 
QUESTION AND ANSWER

J. David Chadwick had a chance to ask Secretary Rumsfeld the following question:

JDC -- Mr. Secretary, I'm [J. David Chadwick]. My question is, considering that we still have troops in every area that we have conducted operations during the Clinton administration, why is this operation in Iraq viewed negatively in the press as a Vietnam- style quagmire?

Check out Rumsfeld's answer.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003
 
JOHN WELLS HAS RUINED THE WEST WING

It's now nothing more than a tired ER retread. None of the snappiness it originally had. None of the wit. Nobody's life was in danger. Just unnecessary angst.

On the plus side I think the Angel folks have handled the W&H/Spike transition quite well.

 
NOW THE REAL QUESTION STEMMING FROM THE ELECTION

What do the Dems take away from the recall debacle?

The Dems are saying that this is misdirected anger. That people really are angry with Bush and just voted Davis out by mistake. That people are fed up with Bush's "tax cuts for the rich" and crappy economy.

The problem with this thinking?
1) If the voters of California really wanted their taxes raised as a fix they had the clear choice of Bustamante. Bustamante essentially ran on a platform of "I'll raise taxes". The voters seem to want solutions other than "If elected I'll take more of your money".

2) The Dems are putting themselves in a really bad position if they're putting their election chances next year on the possibility that the economy still sucks. The economy's turning around. We gained jobs last month. There's really no reason to believe that the economy will still be bad 11 months from now.

If the Dems take away from all this that the voters want everyone in power out, regardless of the opponent's positions, they're in trouble. Not that I have a big problem with that though. :)

 
GOOD NEWS

The crazies who claim to have clones a human are saying now they're growing new arms for an Iraqi boy. Riiiiiiiight.

 
THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT?

Cubs in the NLCS, Sox in the ALCS, Kennedy's standing behind the newly elected Republican Governor of California... Satan must be feeling a bit chilly.

 
DOES ANYBODY ACTUALLY TAKE JESSE JACKSON SERIOUSLY?

His interview with Chris Matthews earlier was simply nonsensical.

Jackson: What's important are Issues A and B.
Matthews: But why would you support Issue B? I would think someone like you would oppose B.
Jackson: Issue B isn't important here. What's important is Issue C!
Matthews: Wait, you just said that Issue B is important.
Jackson: No I didn't.
Matthews: *Rolls eyes*
Jackson: What's really important is more taxes for the rich!

Tuesday, October 07, 2003
 
AN OPEN LETTER TO PAUL KRUGMAN

By Arnold Kling.

 
SULLIVAN ON WHY WE WENT TO WAR

I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't include a blog post with a Simpsons reference.

A reader sums up one way in which the anti-war left is still fighting the war - by trying to create a new narrative of the pre-war. Of course, the analogy is from the Simpsons. The argument about the war is a little like Apu's citizenship exam (my reader paraphrases from memory):

Exam Giver: 'What was the cause of the Civil War?'
Apu: 'The split between abolitionists and secessionists had come to a head in in The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 when...'
Exam Giver: 'Just say slavery.'
Apu: 'Slavery it is, sir!'

'What was the reason given for the war against Saddam?'
'Well, the previous Gulf War's truce required Saddam to give up all WMD research and development and weapons, and U.N. Resolutions ... '
'Just say we said he was on the brink of killing us with nukes!'
'Weapons it is, sir!'

So we get the baldfaced untruth that the war was because Iraq posed an 'imminent' threat. It wasn't. Or that it was about a causal link between Saddam and 9/11. It wasn't. Or that it was based in intellgience from Niger. It wasn't. Technically, the war was a continuation of the last one, and was fully supported by umpteen U.N. resolutions, including a 15-0 Security Council vote to force Saddam to comply.
-- Andrew Sullivan


 
WHY DOES THE WORLD HATE US? DENNIS MILLER

According to Elton John anyway.


"Americans are always asking why the rest of the world hates them," John said after singing his first song, "Tiny Dancer." "Well, the reason is Dennis Miller."

"You've all gone mental if you liked that," John said, before looking at the floor and shaking his head in disgust.

-- Las Vegas Sun


Monday, October 06, 2003
 
IRAQI TOY DRIVE

The toy drive for Iraqi children started by Chief Wiggles now has a name (Operation Give) and it's own web site.

Sunday, October 05, 2003
 
GEEZ, ALL THAT EFFORT...

I'd just like to take a sec and point out that I did in fact address the question of why we went to war when we did in the post entitled "WHY DID WE GO TO WAR WHEN WE DID?"

To quote myself:

The only way we ever would have had the whole world on our side is if Saddam had actually used his weapons. If France and others had their way inspections would have continued indefinitely. In a world where WMDs are as attainable as they are we can't afford to wait until the threat is "imminent" and Bush laid that out leading up to the war.
...
The threat was not imminent, but it was still a threat. France et al were completely unwilling to do anything firmly. There was no "If Saddam doesn't come clean in 3 months then it's ok." There was only "If Saddam doesn't come clean in 3 months then we can get back together and discuss it further." We attacked when we did because it appeared those opposing our timetable weren't opposing when we were doing it, but that we were doing it at all. Might it have been better if we had waited for a better postwar plan? Sure, but that's 20-20 hindsight talking. There was not a single person, either pro or anti, talking before the war about the postwar plan.







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