Thursday, July 31, 2008

when good is called bad...

Dems attack Sen. Coburn for delivering babies for free

How afraid is the Democrat leadership of truly maverick conservative GOP
Sen. Tom Coburn, who is waging war with Hapless Harry Reid over binge spending
and secrecy?

They’re so afraid of his effectiveness that they are trying to kneecap
him with bogus Ethics Committee complaints about his practice of not charging
for delivering babies at the Muskogee Regional Medical Center. Coburn continues
to serve as an OB/GYN in Oklahoma.

read my mind: If Sen. Coburn were aborting babies for free instead of
delivering them, he’d be getting awards instead of ethics complaints.

Heck, if he were aborting babies for free, he'd likely be a hero of the Dem, pro-choice, and fems (maybe not really of Planned Parenthood, though, as it may take away from the profit margins they may get from the mall abortion outlets).

Really, this is the best 'scandal' the Dems can come up with? The guy must be saint, in that case.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

movie review--the x-files--mulder is mulder, scully is house

When I saw last year that this summer there would be an "X-Files" movie coming out, I was quite happy about the prospect. "The X-Files" numbers among my very favorite TV serieses, and the hope of a continuation of it, even in movie form, was a nice hope indeed.

The summer has seen some very good movies so far. Sadly, I cannot put "I Want to Believe" really among those.

It's not awful. It's not garbage. It's actually pretty interesting, in it's ways. should I put didn't feel much like an X-File. If anything, it seemed more like one of those investigation shows, like a "Law and Order" or a "Criminal Minds", with a bit of "House" thrown in when it came to Scully at the hospital.

The movie does bring us in after the events of the series' end. It's been a few years, Scully is now a doctor at a hospital, and Mulder is still in hiding from the FBI. That same FBI comes to Scully looking for Mulder to help them find a missing agent, with the offer that all will be forgotten if he helps. Scully convinces him to do so, and they are off.

Perhaps one problem with the movie is that it tries to do too much. There are things about hospital ethics, doctor-patient relations, experimental cures and stem cell research, a pedophile former priest and far-reaching consequences to his actions, what prayers God hears and what sins He forgives, and the creepy people performing Frankenstein-like experiments in the scrap yard.

Which brings up another problem, the feel of the movie. The usual X-Files episode succeeded in bringing about such things as creepiness, drama, a sense that things are not just not normal, but not normal is an way that is not easy to say--conspiracies within conspiracies, strange creatures, aliens, cover-ups.

The movie tried, I think, but it didn't really have that. We do see the one patchwork man, but only on an operating table. To go with the Frankenstein theme, it would be as if the villagers burned down the castle before the monster rose and did havoc. It may be smart of them, but it makes for a not-as-interesting movie.

On the plus side, there was Mulder and Scully. And they brought back Skinner, too. Nothing is said about the others from the end of the series, no mention made of what happened to Reyes or Doggett or Kirsch.

No alien bounty hunter roaming about. No black oil roiling over people's eyes. No mysterious lights in the sky. No Gibson Praise. No supersoldiers. And I guess Cancerman is still dead.

It's not a bad movie, it's just...unsatisfying.

Friday, July 25, 2008

movie review--the dark knight--'24' lite

For those of you who need your '24' fix after the writer's strike put a stop to the coming season, I can recommend "The Dark Knight" to you.

Granted, Batman isn't Jack Bauer. In fact, I think if Batman were to ever meet Jack Bauer, he would start whimpering. Well, maybe not, that's probably an exaggeration.

Rather, think of "The Dark Knight" as Bauer lite.

The movie has many of the elements that make '24' so very much worth watching. Crises and dilemmas, explosions, races against time, moral and ethical questions, impossible choices, looks into the high cost of doing what is right, betrayals and people changing, good people who are killed or twisted.

It's shorter, so there's not the many layers of conspiracy that a '24' season has, but it does have the twist in the middle, where it looks like it may be over but is only just starting to fire up.

There are times when Batman shows how far he will go to try to find his enemy, in this movie the Joker, and stop his havoc. Although he doesn't seem to have planned it, he lets Dent pretend to be him in order to lure out the Joker. An interrogation gets rather rough. In the leadup to the finale he uses a form of city-wide spying technology to find where the Joker is hiding.

And the parallel's continue even into the life of Wayne. His 'job' comes between him and Rachel from the first movie, he is given the choice of whether to save Rachel or Dent at one point (and unlike in 'Batman Forever', he is not able to be both), and his use of the spying tech may have driven a friend from him.

And finally, in the last scenes, we see him taking the fall for crimes he didn't commit, in order to preserve the reputation of a man who had been heroic until becoming deformed. Perhaps that is the most Bauer-ish thing he did.

This is a very good movie, with lots of stuff going on in it, and lots of things one could point out. I'll mention in passing the idea of how choices take a role--Rachel must choose between Bruce or Dent, Batman must choose to save Rachel or Dent, two ferry boats full of people must choose which will die. And in a twist to that, Dent in the end, as Two-Face, gives up making choices and relies on the flip of his coin.

I don't know if I can say it's better then, say, 'Iron Man'. I do think it's much more intricate and not an simplistic. It's very different, and is well worth watching.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

be afraid...

Richard Simmons — Congressman?

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Fitness star and effervescence extreme Richard Simmons is on Capitol Hill today, tackling the issue of childhood obesity and pushing for increased school exercise programs. But as he testifies before the House Education and Labor Committee, the 60-year-old is nodding toward that celebrity siren song: political office.

In a half-serious, half-jocular tone, Simmons described his approach to the hearing, saying, "I want to have the respect of a congressman, I want to talk like a congressman, and maybe, someday, I'll be a congressman."

Ok, when and how did he turn 60???

"After this congressional hearing, I will go home," Simmons said, "I will talk with my Dalmatian dogs, I will pray to God and then I'll see what else I can do to help."

Yeah, if that doesn't strike into your heart, I'm not sure what will.

Monday, July 14, 2008

perhaps all reason has not left us yet

Bush to Lift Executive Ban on Offshore Drilling

It's a very short article, maybe because it looks to be recent news (see, who says I don't do cutting edge :-)).

The White House says President Bush is planning to lift an executive ban on offshore oil drilling.

In a Rose Garden statement on Monday, the president plans to lift the ban. But by itself, the move will not lead to more drilling off America's coastline.

So, it may not be enough to finally start the drilling, but one can hope it will be a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

when real life is stranger then fiction

A father undermined

A Gatineau judge's bizarre attempt to undermine a father's authority sends a frightening message to all parents: When it comes to raising children, the state knows best.

Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier of the Quebec Superior Court sided with a 12-year-old girl who challenged, in court, her father's decision to ground her. The girl had been living with her father -- the parents are divorced -- and he forbade her to attend a school trip after she disobeyed his instructions to stay off the Internet.


This was hardly an instance of cruel or arbitrary authority. There was no abuse involved, not even close. The father, it seems, used clear and consistent warnings, letting his child know that there would be consequences for inappropriate behaviour. This is how you raise responsible children who understand the results of their actions. It is an approach to discipline that should be encouraged, not outlawed by the state.

Although such a thing is not yet here in the US, I fear it will only be a matter of time. And while the paper does say that the judge's decision was "aberrant" and unlikely to be followed, one can wonder if that will really be so.

At the least, it's another foot in the door, and there are those who would not mind forcing that door open even further.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

enter the thought police

Toddlers who dislike spicy food 'racist'

The National Children's Bureau (this is from a UK newspaper, but given how the left in the US seems to like the bad decisions made in Europe, well, just wait a bit...), which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.

This could include a child of as young as three who says "yuk" in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.

Wow, I'm glad I didn't have those people behind me when I was in other countries. Let's be honest, a lot of the food I had in my time in Russia was very good, but some things just weren't to my taste. The one kind of soup, for example, which was served cold. I tried a few times to eat it, but eventually had to give up. Or the fish gelatin dish, a delicacy where I was I think, but one I couldn't develop a taste for at all.

And if these people actually did some thinking (not that I expect too much of them), they would realize that children are just as likely to say "yuk" to foods of their own country as to foreign foods. Very likely their responses to foods have less to do with any culture behind the food as to things like how the foods look, smell, the child's own tastes in foods, any tempermental issues the child may be having at that time, or whatever.

Warning that failing to pick children up on their racist attitudes could instil prejudice, the NCB adds that if children "reveal negative attitudes, the lack of censure may indicate to the child that there is nothing unacceptable about such attitudes".

Nurseries are encouraged to report as many incidents as possible to their local council. The guide added: "Some people think that if a large number of racist incidents are reported, this will reflect badly on the institution. In fact, the opposite is the case."

So, yeah, report your local toddler to the nearest authorities if they refuse to eat something from a foreign land.

Why does this seem like these people are only trying to create a problem, and then have people report incidents so that they can justify their own existence?

But it's still scary. This whole 'thought police' thing would be ridiculous if I didn't think they were serious about having people report incidents to the local council, and the more the merrier.

Monday, July 7, 2008

movie review--hancock--a bit of a mess

"Hancock" is a mess. Some, I know, haven't like it. I remember hearing last week a person on a local radio station who gives brief reviews of movies, and his take on "Hancock" was rather low, a mere one-and-a-half out of five stars.

My take on it is a bit higher. I actually enjoyed it, and thought it pretty good. Not great, but worth a viewing.

The character of Hancock is indeed a mess when the movie begins. He's obviously a 'good guy', but of a rather rough sort. He's obvious out to get the 'bad guys', but his methods are clumsy and destructive, and his way with people not very good. For example, in one scene he saves a man from being killed by a train, but in doing so causes the train to wreck, and while it looks to have been only a freight train, it was still quite a wreck.

The man he saves is some kind of PR guy, and in return for the save he tries to help Hancock improve his image and people skills. That is one big part of the rest of movie, and the other is how this encounter with the PR guy leads to another encounter with someone like Hancock.

In one sense, Hancock is like a Superman with an attitude problem. He flies, he's bulletproof, though he doesn't seem to have things like x-ray vision or heat rays. He isn't an alien, and is much older then he appears, but doesn't seem to know what exactly he is due to a head injury and amnesia.

One way in which the movie is a mess is that it doesn't explain things very well. We never really learn what Hancock is, or the others like him, or really what their role was suppose to have been.

There is quite a bit of language in the movie, little of it really bad. There is some crass humor. There is no sexual stuff that I remember, except one thing at the beginning.

The part of the story where the PR guy tries to persuade companies to give away their products, such as medications, is one of interest. I don't know how much money such companies would put into research, or how much testing would be needed for such things to be approved, but it does strike me as naive to expect such companies to give away their work for the little reward of putting a certain logo on their other products.

The rights and wrongs of company's policies, charitable works, and how to really help people, are beyond the scope of a review such as this. Suffice it for now to say that 'Hancock' is rather simplistic in this regard.

All told, though, it's a pretty good movie. Maybe a little more thought could have been put into the story, but it doesn't really take away from it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

liberal arrogance over DC gun ruling

Don't Shoot!

"Don't shoot -- I want to grow up," read the protest sign an 11-year-old boy held in the wake of 30-plus shootings of Chicago schoolchildren this school year.

Typical liberal tactic--bring out the kids who don't have the ability to grasp the issues (just don't show the ones butchered in abortions, that's just distasteful).

The affirmation of the individual's right to bear arms must also be countered by us

Wow, there's is one of the most crystal-clear examples of liberal elitist thinking I've ever seen. Thank you, ma'am, for showing us so succintly how low and mean you think of us, and how you think it's your job to protect us from ourselves. Such arrogance is rarely accompanied with such candor these days.

ok, maybe we now need to ask, what ISN'T offensive

Because when we can't have pictures of puppies without offending Muslims, then what can we have?

Muslims outraged at police advert featuring cute puppy sitting in policeman's hat

A postcard featuring a cute puppy sitting in a policeman's hat advertising a Scottish police force's new telephone number has sparked outrage from Muslims

The advert has upset Muslims because dogs are considered ritually unclean and has sparked such anger that some shopkeepers in Dundee have refused to display the advert.

Coming up in the news in the next few months, they'll starting protesting shops that sell calendars with pictures of puppies.