Thursday, March 29, 2007
Out of the 800 something posts I have written so far, the most recent spam comment was submitted to an eighteen year old post concerning ... the proliferation of spam.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson appeared to throw cold water on a possible presidential bid by former Sen. Fred Thompson while praising former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is also weighing a presidential run, in a phone interview Tuesday.
"Everyone knows he's conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for," Dobson said of Thompson. "[But] I don't think he's a Christian; at least that's my impression," Dobson added, saying that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect with the Republican Party's conservative Christian base and win the GOP nomination.
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Thompson, took issue with Dobson's characterization of the former Tennessee senator. "Thompson is indeed a Christian," he said. "He was baptized into the Church of Christ."
In a follow-up phone conversation, Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger stood by Dobson's claim. He said that, while Dobson didn't believe Thompson to be a member of a non-Christian faith, Dobson nevertheless "has never known Thompson to be a committed Christian—someone who talks openly about his faith."
In other words, it's not enough that the Republican Candidate is a Christian and holds true to Christian values, but he also has to be obnoxious about the fact (the better to reflect Mr. Dobson's character). Christian fundamentalists, while maintaining that people should follow the whole Bible and not just parts, are they themselves guilty of cherry picking. How else to explain Dobson's actions and words when compared to the sixth chapter of Matthew:
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.Of course, Dobson's not really in a position to be picky right now with the Republican candidates. If he thinks Gingrich has a chance of even getting onto the Republican ticket, much less into the White House, then he's more deluded than I thought.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
|What American accent do you have? |
Your Result: The Midland
"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.
|The Inland North|
|What American accent do you have?|
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
And I don't use the term "nice" lightly. Despite all the blowhards that are currently the voice of the Republican party, there are some good guys in there. I'm happy to say that a number of them are in Florida.
Yeah, I know. Florida: Red State. 2000 Election. Yeah, that Florida.
Both our previous mayor (John Delaney, who now presides over my Alma Mater UNF) and current mayor are Republicans. But they aren't the Republicans we've grown used to and tired of in the past seven years. They aren't social policy Republicans who abuse their power and whose character is defined by their arrogance. They are Republicans of a bygone era. In short, they are people I can respect. Our new Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, also falls into this category. He hasn't exactly been chummy with the President (He notoriously blew him off late in his campaign), and he's taken some nice first steps in his new office (primarily his move to get rid of the flaky touch screen voting machines).
With every good Republican there is a bad one, of course. Katherine Harris reared her scary head in the elections last year, as did local-boy and insane homophobe Randall Terry. Thankfully, the people of Florida were sane enough to send these two people back to wherever they came from.
And then there's Jeb. He who helped give the 2000 Presidential Election to his dear brother and perhaps change the history of our country irrevocably for the worse. Yet, believe it or not, I even like Jeb, and I'll give you an example why I feel this way.
During the 2004 hurricanes, it was a tough time for most Floridians. All five hurricanes seemed to choose different paths so that maximum coverage could be achieved and that no part of the state went untouched. During the moments when we did have power, Mrs. Mosley and I watched breaking news updates on television. There we saw state officials and weather experts give the latest information and instructions for how to best handle the crisis.
Jeb was there, too. He gave his assurances that the state was on the job and that things were being handled. He would then hand the microphone over to another official and step back into throng of people around the podium. And Jeb seemed to be there for every one of these updates, which were frequent. He seemed to actually be sweating the travails of his state and the sincerity of his concern showed. That means a lot to people going through a crisis, and I know that my opinion of him went up during that ordeal.
Just compare that to his brother's performance during Katrina (whose feeble imitation of caring spoke as loudly as his inaction in terms of his regard for Louisiana) and the difference is day and night.
None of this is to say Jeb is perfect. There is still the 2000 Election legacy as well as his mishandling the Terry Schiavo case back in 2005. But taken as a whole, I have to say that his character puts a lot of his fellow party members to shame.
Back in December, George Bush Sr. memorably broke down in tears when recounting Jeb's handling of a previous political defeat. I know I'm not the only one to think that, perhaps, Bush 41 was thinking at the time "It should have been you, Jeb. It should have been you". Yeah. Pity, that. Because, if that's what he was thinking, then half of his tears were probably over the fact that Dubya has ruined the chance of any other person named Bush from ever sitting in the White House for a loooong time.
When Dubya took office in 2001, Republicans got high and mighty about him bringing "integrity" and "character" back to the White House after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. After all that has happened in the past six years, all they can really claim now is that the blowjobs have stopped (and even that I'm not 100% sure on).
Anyway, I'd like to extend my congratulations to John Peyton. Also, and this is a bit belated, but I'd like to say goodbye to Jeb. I won't give him some backhanded lesser-of-two-evils compliment, but I'll genuinely say that I grew to like him as governor. He did his Pappy, and his adopted State, proud.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
A reporter approached Rove to ask him what he thought of rumors that former Missouri Sen. Jack Danforth could replace embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. "How about you go over there and do your job," Rove replied, pointed back to the media pool.Uh, Karl, I hate to break this to you, but asking questions and obtaining facts is a reporter's job. You're little delusion (that reporters ought to stay where you tell them and print what you say to print) is no longer the case. Shoulda enjoyed it while it lasted.
And on a side note, the latest update in this scandal was Bush stating that Rove would grant congressional interviews, but not under oath. Why? I've never understood this concept. All this does is make people believe that you'll be fudging the truth as much as possible and outright lying when necessary. For an administration and a political party that are so damn fond of the Christian right, they are sure awful scared of placing their hands on Bibles.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Does Bush really fail to recognize that even the most pro-Western Iraqis might have mixed feelings, to say the least, about America's intervention in their affairs—that they might be, at once, thankful for the toppling of Saddam Hussein, resentful about the prolonged occupation, and full of hatred toward us for the violent chaos that we unleashed without a hint of a plan for restoring order?
Bush may have had a political motive in making these remarks. He may have calculated that Americans would be more likely to support the war if the people for whom we're fighting thanked us publicly for the effort. By the same token, their palpable lack of gratitude, and the war's deepening unpopularity at home, might have heightened his frustration and impelled such peevish outbursts.
But this peevish imperiousness is precisely what's most disturbing about Bush's incessant concern with the proper level of fealty. The word that he repeatedly uses when discussing what he wants from nations he thinks he's helping—"gratitude"—implies a supplicant's relationship to his lord.
As Stanley Renshon, a political psychologist at the City University of New York Graduate Center (and generally a Bush supporter), puts it, "Gratitude is something you give to somebody who's superior. It's very different from, say, appreciation, which is something that equals give each other."
Apart from his view of Iraq, Bush may have a point when he complains that America gets too little credit for its generosity (though this is hardly new). He doesn't acknowledge, however, that governments give aid or go to war for their own interests, not just for the interests of others, and therefore don't generally require thank-you notes. Nor does he seem to realize, whatever his motives, that nobody likes a whiner—that donors who demand bowing and scraping are often resented, if not despised.
Not to put the president on the couch, but personality probably plays some role here. I remember watching a White House press conference (looking it up, I see that it took place on April 5, 2004), where an Associated Press reporter started to ask Bush a question without first uttering "Mr. President," the customary preface when addressing the leader of the free world. Bush snapped at him: "Who are you talking to?" The reporter corrected his discourteousness, reciting the honorific, before restarting his question.
It was a startling display of a president who seemed insecure in his authority, bitter that some piddling reporter wasn't treating him (the president of the United States, damn it!) with the proper respect. The same complex may be triggered when piddling nations don't repay his good intentions with the proper "gratitude."
But this tendency reveals something deeper, and more worrisome, than some hypothetical character quirk. It reveals a basic misunderstanding of foreign policy and of the modern world.
In many of his pronouncements, President Bush seems to believe that because America is a good and generous nation, everything done in its name is, ipso facto, good and generous—and that the peoples of the world, if they're honest about it, will view our actions as good and generous, too.
Bush and his team also came into office believing that America had emerged from its Cold War victory as the world's "sole superpower" and that it could, therefore, bend other nations' will by merely flexing some muscle. They didn't realize that the end of the Cold War made America, in a certain sense, weaker. As long as there were two superpowers, the nations belonging to one bloc or the other often felt compelled (or forced) to go along with their protector's interests even when those interests conflicted with their own. With the collapse of the Soviet Union as a common looming enemy and a fulcrum of pressure, nations feel freer to go their own way, with far less regard for what America might think about it.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Developers have turned a house into an island in China after the owner refused to move out.
The villa now stands alone in a 30ft deep man-made pit in Chongqing city, reports Jinbao Daily.
The Chongqing Zhengsheng Real Estate Company wants to turn the area into a £40m 'Broadway' square, including apartments and a shopping mall.
But the owner of the villa says he won't move out unless the company pays his price - the equivalent of £1.3 million.
"The villa owner refuses to move, so the real-estate developer has had to dig out all around it to force him to," says a saleswoman at Weilian Real Estate Sales Company.
"He wants 20 million yuan, or he'll stay till the end of the world."
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Would I were so wise when they keep announcing sequels to the films I adore.
I do have my justifications for believing these could be better than a normal jaded moviegoer would imagine. One is if the material for the sequel already existed in book form, which is why I cut Be Cool some slack (though that didn't keep it from sucking, apparently). Another is if the original cast comes back for the second one, (See Ocean's 12. On second thought, don't).
And it is with these examples in mind that I'm treating the recent news of a pair (?!?!) of L.A. Confidential sequels with guarded anticipation. Here's the lowdown:
The creative team and original stars from cult movie LA Confidential are in talks to re-team for a sequel to the movie, going head-to-head with another sequel starring George Clooney. Director Joe Carnahan is also directing a follow-up to the film based on author James Ellroy's book White Jazz. According to entertainment website Tmz.com, another sequel is being planned by the film's original director Curtis Hanson. Hanson's version wouldn't rely on the plot of White Jazz and would instead pick-up where LA Confidential ended. The sequel would reunite original stars Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Kim Basinger, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in LA Confidential.So we have the original writer and his book attached to one and we have the original director and stars attached to the other. This makes it very complicated and distressing. If only they could combine these two projects into one so that all the original talent was involved. This is not likely to happen, though, and so we fans of the original film will remain very nervous until these two films hit the theaters.
It's been a decade since we saw Ed Exley and Bud White lugging pump shotguns around, and I'd love to see them back in action again. But the character development that made the original so great may not be easy to follow up on, especially since one of them is no longer supposed to even be in Los Angeles.
For my part, I'm putting it out of my mind. Better to reminisce about the past. The first time is always the most memorable.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
"I know that there’s going to be a lot of disappointment with this, but there is an ongoing criminal proceeding. Scooter Libby’s attorneys just announced that they are going to ask for a new trial, and that they are going to, failing that, they would appeal the verdict. And so our principled stand of not commenting on ongoing legal investigations is going to continue."So, she's saying the White House wants to keep their mouths shut about the investigation and prosecution of White House employees who can't keep their mouths shut. Got that? Good to see they are continuing their "principled stand" when it comes to covering their ass, yet they couldn't do as much when our National Security was at stake.
Monday, March 05, 2007
I'm not going to go the common liberal route and lay all of this at the feet of George W. Bush (Though he does bear some responsibility. As one of his oft mentioned heroes once said: "The buck stops here"), but in an age where Conservative Republicans use "Supporting the Troops" as the all-purpose club against Liberal Democrats, they now have one more shame to live down to go with all their others.
They sullied that name. And it may never be the same.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Apparently it's no longer news to the Associated Press and Reuters that a lead conservative voice at THE lead conservative conference, a conference attended by all the GOP presidential candidates (save John McCain) and even the vice president himself, publicly called a lead Democratic presidential candidate a "faggot." And it's not news that the lead gay and lesbian civil rights group in America, and the head of the Democratic party, have called on the GOP candidatees, and the veep, to condemn her hateful comments. No, no story there. But I do hear that Anna Nicole Smith is still dead and Britney shaved her head. Oooh, how exciting.
I don't even need to make the comparisons to whether the Associated Press, Reuters and the rest of the mainstream media would find it newsworthy if Michael Moore or Barbra Streisand, attending the lead Democratic political conference, called a leading Republican presidential candidate the n-word, or a slur for Jews, or Latinos, or any other minority. Hell, the mainstream media was all over the story that Barbra Streisand told some heckler to go shove it - yes, that was apparently news - but a top conservative voice publicly calling a top Democrat a "faggot" at the most important annual meeting of the GOP base, in a month that the word faggot and anti-gay bias has been in the news repeatedly, no, that ain't news.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
You can only expect so much from a food court salad (though the recent trip to Saladworks was an exception) and so here I have a untossed salad in a Styrofoam take out container. The lettuce is roughly chopped with no really huge pieces. The cheese is plentiful and tasty, though obviously not fresh. The croutons are your standard out-of-the-box variety, but still good. The chicken is definitely the highlight here with some sort of mesquite-flavored marinate. It's not fresh off the grill, but it is juicy and flavorful. Finally is the dressing, served in a separate container, which is a Caesar/Ranch blend and tangy enough to compliment the chicken.
As I said before, this is the only really healthy place at the Landing (which is close to where I work) and the optimum place to go for those watching their weight. Though the Chicken Caesar is not of sit-down restaurant quality and is not as light as other salads, it would be a refreshing change of pace for anyone who wants to avoid the warmed-over fare elsewhere in the food court.
I can kinda see what Boyle was shooting for here, but it just doesn't work. The wackiness that pervades throughout is irritating far more than it is entertaining. Delroy Lindo and Holly Hunter play a pair of cupid-like angels (known as "Jackson" and "O'Reilly", respectively) forced to do more nasty work. Though O'Reilly seems to be enjoying the change of pace, Jackson is still very green. In one scene, they are negotiating the price of retrieving a kidnap victim and Jackson overplays his part a bit:
Jackson: "Naturally, we operate a sliding scale whereby if we only bring back part of your daughter we only get part of the money."
O'Reilly: "That's enough, Jackson."
Jackson: "No, I mean if he's cut her ears off, and we can't find them, well we'll knock a couple thousand off the tariff. More for a limb, obviously."