Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Conservative Charm Offensive

Republicans and those other conservatives they continue to woo are quite a lovely group, except for all of their positions and statements...and so much else.

There is the great hope Sharron Angle and her great ideas. She has finally done an interview (vid at link) where she has walked back some of her claims, and tried to justify others, including the kinda sorta dismantling social security. It is great to see her face challenges to her claims.

Boehner wants to join Sharon Angle in going after Social Security, the nation's social safety net. Still with the myth that system is broken and doomed...and in the way of war. Love Boehner's frankness. It is great to see how full of it a loathsome Reps are at heart.

And the Senate continues to choose the needs of the rich over the survival of those that are poor or in straits, between jobs. What champions. George Will loves this position, holding that unemployment support is not stimulative. Those poor people will never work if they aren't starving on the street...guess we know how will picks his manor staff. Will continues to amaze with his clear detachment from reality. But it is the conservative axiom, to help the poor is to weaken the workforce. Now, of course, when their is an oil spill and conservative jobs go bye bye, they really love that socialist support mechanism...cause...

Conservatives are so much those of the people...just richer and safer and able to ride out their ideologies impact. Lucky them.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dog doing his thing

Here is a cute video of a dog blind since a pup, and suffering other ailments, out playing fetch in the backyard. Lacks a sense, but living life and happy.

Finding the Gold Monkey

Don't know if it makes me sad, a nerd, or just old...but I am giddy that the Tales of the Gold Monkey series is available now on DVD.

It was a short lived, but fun action show, with a bit of comedy from the late 80's. It starred Stephen Collins. Along with his adventurer pilot were spies, barmen, mechanics, tricksters, and all sorts you expect in a fun pulp tale.

Personally I loved the show, as it gave some of the period fun much like what was available through Indiana Jones, and other pulp adventure stories.

This show takes place in that fun magical near nonexistent time of the 20's, where major war was seen as a memory, and adventure, mystery, and  the future were exciting.

I do really like this particular period. It is, as said a magical time. The big memories (world wars) of the age are around it, a decade out from WWI, which colors most every character in stories, but is far enough in the past that most have moved on and have built lives again, had kids, lived their dreams, etc., but it is part of the background forever. And another war is looming. Scary Germans. Aggressive Japanese. Officious Italians. And so on. And the tales that is told is smack dab in the center, the world oblivious of what is to come.

For stories like Gold Monkey, it is a story of the South Pacific, drawing on a variety of Pulp (with natives, traders, explorers, etc.), and the history of expanding Japanese power, and the colonial interest. Another shows I love that's like this is Tailspin. It also took this time and made it playful use of the related tropes. I loved the island home and its defenses (large guns guarding high mountain walls with a narrow pass for planes to get through), Baloo and his plane, and definitely that version of Shere Khan (an enjoyable Charles Foster Kane/Lex Luthor with big claws). It is a fun show to take a chance to catch when you can.

Then other tales that used the period are Anastasia (animated), which used a fantasy evil wizard with a lost princess and a mystic and wondrous Europe that never really was. I really liked the film. It had good animation, and I enjoyed the songs. Also it gave us a 1920's fairy tale. We need people to play with fantasy in history in this fun way more often.

As well, there is the Universal Horror series, like Dracula, Wolf Man, Frankenstein, etc. On into the war years these also made use of this long gone idea of a foggy Europe that was fool of werewolves, not Nazis. But it is an impossible time, kinda Victorian and kinda modern (for the day). It marks are ideas of the sorts of movies til this day.

Crimson Skies offered a alternate America of the time, with a disrupted nation, with sky pirates, zeppelins everywhere, and independent and fun states and site.

It is a fun period to enjoy. So I am glad to have this series out for me to enjoy again after all these years.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New season of Warehouse 13, YIPEE!

I am eagerly anticapting the new seasons of scifi fun with new Eureka, and Warehouse 13. Both of which will be crossing over into each others series this summer. Both are starting up in the coming weeks.

Here is a fun bit dealing with one of the artifacts held in the warehouse.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rush standard class act and Beck's self love society

These two are charmers.

Following on the Beck example Limbaugh decided he needed to ridicule Obama's one daughter. I am startting to wonder if there other daughter is starting to feel slighted by the far right. Here for more or listen to the ass below.

Then Beck haw been on a role in a number of ways, but to see him declare himself great is a marvel. He is a great man, as he writes fiction, he is great as he is a truth speaker, or as his god talks through him to others.

But to see him declare that he is a new Martin Luther King Jr? Come on. He will be apart of the reclaiming of the Civil Rights Movement.

Really. He will reclaim it? Much like his country...when was the movement taken? While conservatives barred blacks and others from drugstore counters, while they were barring them from schools, or while they were setting dogs on blacks and others striving for civil rights? That is just lame on his part.

He compares himself to King, to Parks, and to Ghandi. And it makes me laugh. Because I could imagine him being around them in there day, and bringing them on his show. On the show he would yell at them for what they did and spoke out for. He would also be sure to challenge them as potential communist. Then, of course, he would be sure to challenge them on whether they were terrorist, or going to be trying to kill or harm people like him. Really cringe worthy media. NO doubt. But he has his little dream. Like the one were Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine would be his equals and respect and revere him...and not at all pants him, mock him, and denounce him as a troubled man.

So watch for 8-28 when he reclaims civil rights...for white people? I don't know...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bad texting advise from Mitchell and Webb

Another vid from Mitchell and Webb, and BBC Comedy.

Jason Bateman - Prom Date

Bateman gets to team up with his old TV bro Will Arnett for an odd little short promoting Orbit gum.

It is odd, quirky, and a real laugh.

Orbit Dirty Shorts gives us - The Prom Date

We do need more Arrested Development. Or, at least, to bring the cast back together with the writers of the show to do some good comedy.

Being a wonder, Wonder Woman

The top tier of women heroes, and in the top tier of the DC Comic heroes, she doesn't always get the respect she deserves from the fan base. More focus is put on her outfit, her looks, and how she sometimes gets seen as a dominatrix type. Not fair for a character with so much potential.

Here you can find a good list of collected stories of Wonder Woman to get into the character and her continuing story.

DC Women Kicking Ass

And some cool shoots of the warrior and inspiration for plenty of young girls.

She is cool, when written well. A vast pool of potential.

More Mitchell and Webb

Some more from the Comedy pages of BBC.

Pit Ponies - The excitement never ends.

Knobshead Morning Visited - The tricks of the temperature knob and showerhead.

Scientology is not pro-Choice.

There is no choice, only the rules. And the team players will enforce those rules, no matter what you think.

The troubling story of what happens to Sea Org members that become pregnant.

Vid from story.

Reading Orphan Annie?

Have you been reading Little Orphan Annie? Probably not as it has been cancelled from the last of the papers it was carried in. Bye to that era.

Here is what was going on.

Yeah. Held by a Genocidal ex-soldier and lost.  Remind you of the red dressed kid with the dog?

Read more.

Good luck Annie. You will need it.

Conservatives and Feminism

There has been a new push for the idea of this being The Year of the Woman. Cue the fanfare. And it is a little odd as it is not as if women don't win primaries, and then multiple ones. Though this time the newbies are Reps, and that may be why. They are good at getting media to run in their preset rings. This is a push by Reps to push up minority members for government to try and seem more big tent, though we have not seen yet if this is more change or ploy. So we will see, and as we do the media is thrilled to have a new event for the moment to chat up.

This has also been a time that Palin continues to try and put herself up for a role as feminist extraordinare. She doesn't really get what feminism is or feminist are eager to work for. She definitely has no record to prove her claim, other than the one from birth stating she is female.

Is that enough. Femocracy looks at this in a series of post that just started. Look at the feminists and the conservatives.


And I've watched as Sarah Palin was first declared the final nail in the coffin of "liberal" feminism, only to pull a 180 and become the reviver of a "new kind" of feminism, as dubbed by the media. After the victories of Nikki Haley, Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman and Sharron Angle, I've watched as women candidates winning became the culmination of feminism's efforts, yet was a "huge blow " to feminism since the outcome helped Republican women. And I've held off writing about it, mainly because the majority of commentators did what the media practically exists to do now, which is to vacillate wildly between extremes with little measured commentary or careful analysis. (I may be biased, but I think the only thoughtful commentary I've read is on websites with a feminist bent, or op-eds by actual feminists, who really focus on these issues and are better positioned to be experts on this sort of thing.) Since this is important to so many women, to the whole country really, I thought it wiser to take a step back, watch it unfold and think about it more deeply. That is, until I read Ross Douthat's column today and decided maybe it's time to formulate my own perspective.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Conservative Bad Sportsmanship Olympics

The World Cup is here. Time for some football, or soccer. The varying nationals from across the world are vying to be the winner of the cup. And over the passed so many cups, USA has been in the running, not in the long run, but their is hope.

So with America taking on the world for glory, honor, and bragging'd think conservatives would be racing to join in. But if you have seen the reaction to the Olympics...their team spirit is meager at best. Hell their Christmas spirit only persists so as to force it on to others.

So the World Cup...not eager? Worse, they are going after it like it has oil it wants.

From Media Matters their is a collection of the attacks, one more loopy then the last.

Beck looks at the World Cup like Obama. Nobody wants it! Go away! We don't like you!  Yeesh! Could Beck be more pissy? The answer is yes, but this is lame. How dare soccer exist! How dare they compete! How dare any American would be involved! But those 3 sentences do fit the opinion of some many of us about Beck.

Liddy (the thief, liar, and advocate of murdering federal agents) calls the game primitive and unAmerican. Meaning lying, thieving, and threatening people's lives is true Americana. And the guest on his show called soccer a game of the violent and unruly.  How much cheaper can you get in trying to imply the lesser humanity of those outside your own borders? This is a lovely look at the face behind the dull mask of conservationism.

And the temp Limbaugh went further down the road of conservative minds declaring soccer the game of the poor. Really. First, huh? American football or baseball, the sport of kings? Hockey, the game of the urban elite?Yeah, many kids who love and play soccer around the world are poor. So? My dad was a poor kid cobbling together a ball to play with, and that makes the game bad? The multitude taking sticks to stand in as the edges of goals are lame? Are the kids finding a stick to act as a bat proof of the lameness of baseball. Or is that part of its greatness?

This is just what conservatives are up to these days. You can't just disagree. You have to hate your opponent. You can't just hate your opponent.  You have to hate and fear everyone not you in the world. And you can't just hate the person you have to hate the sport that there young kid plays and anything and anyone tied to it. There is little that is not sick or messed up with modern conservatism. It is hard to understand how they let themselves get here, or how they can go back to sanity,

BP Fat Cats

Respectful Insolence points to this cute and funny vid:

Those fat cats.

The Cantina just got weirder

Adidas ad using Star Wars.

Hate when the kids come during Spring Break.

Friday, June 11, 2010

That pious reaction to gays

It is odd to see how the more ethical and moral see homosexuality.

Andrew Sullivan:

Here's a charming editorial in the official paper of the Archdiocese of Boston arguing in defense of barring the children of same-sex married couples from Catholic schools. One of the uglier passages:
The third reason is that it seemed a real danger that the boy being raised by the same-sex couple would bring to school something obscene or pornographic, or refer to such things in conversation, as they go along with the same-sex lifestyle, which--as not being related to procreation-- is inherently eroticized and pornographic. He might expose other children to such things, as he might easily have encountered them in his household.
Really? One wonders whether the author has ever spent any time with a married same-sex couple with children. Well, one doesn't wonder. But here's the real kicker:
It was inevitable that either the teacher, or some parent, would deal with the two men in such a way as implicitly to teach my son, or other children in the class, that there is nothing wrong with same-sex relationships. But this is scandal: that is, leading a “little one” astray in some serious matter by the example you set.
Yes, this is what "leading a 'little one' astray" conjures up in the mind of a theocon in the archdiocese once run by pedophile protector - and curia member - Bernard Law. More reaction here.

Abusive priest aren't a problem. The presence of a child aware of how complicated sexuality, love, or family is...a horror.  Lovely.

Then we have our representatives. One congressional chairman, and a Dem, is disturbed about informing kids about gays.  He pondered, "what will mommy and daddy have to say"?  When kids have question...they might need answers...and then then parents will need to teach and share their values and understanding...again...


And the idea of sex ed in school where it would be handled and inform kids in a calm and honest manner, that is a HORROR!!! as well.  I can't help but see these people as plain scared of there kids being informed about how other social structures work, or how their own bodies operate.  EEK!

Maybe it is time for them to just say that they are scared of change, differences, and things they do not understand.  Maybe then those with some more compassion can help them out.

David Mitchell and Authenticity

David Mitchell's Soapbox allows him to spend a few minutes wittily discussing things that confuse and vex him, while give us all a laugh.

This week he is troubled by the quest to be authentic.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A Hypatia tale

I do want to see this film, Agora, a nice tale about the historical figure, Hypatia.

Mitchell and Webb hijinks

Here are some humorous vids done by Mitchell and Webb for the BBC.

Almeratron - Less than Meets the Eye

Flightless Bird - Evolution might have been a bad idea.

Whitening America

Roger Ebert wrote a very nice piece considering the new controversy in New Mexico, where a school mural is under attack for having racial diversity.  The attitude of many local residence to the mural and the diversity in town and in school is a sad reminder of how we are truly not in a post racial world.  You see a push is going to whiten the mural and remove all that unnecessary ethnicity.

Ebert gives us some good thoughts to read through and reflect on.

How would I feel if I were a brown student at Miller Valley Elementary School in Prescott, Arizona? A mural was created to depict some of the actual students in the school.
Let's say I was one of the lucky ones. The mural took shape, and as my face became recognizable, I took some kidding from my classmates and a smile from a pretty girl I liked.

My parents even came over one day to have a look and take some photos to e-mail to the family. The mural was shown on TV, and everybody could see that it was me.
Then a City Councilman named Steve Blair went on his local radio talk show and made some comments about the mural. I didn't hear him, but I can guess what he said. ...

Sacrifice the Weatherman!

Armstrong and Miller sketch on the plight of weathermen and the public voice at the BBC.

Text now on sacrificing the weatherman.

Blocking moves

Juan Cole takes note of another attempt to circumvent the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

This time from a Jewish group in Germany.

What I found interesting is how Israel seems to be actively working to prevent Jewish immigration to places like Germany.  It seems strange to try and force everyone of  the Jewish heritage that wants to immigrate to feel obliged to go exclusively to Israel.  Currently the Jewish population of Germany is burgeoning, which seems to trouble officials in Israel.

Seems like a strange attitude.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Holmesian Skeptism

Among the enjoyable aspects of the latest variation of Holmes is the maintaining of his skeptical and logical view. As he faces the fear of many that demonic forces are at work, he looks beyond it all to the truth. It is nice to see, as it is in the case of the Baskervilles and of the Sussex Vampire.

Another one I didn't know before now is within the 1944 film, The Scarlet Claw, with Bail Rathbone. He faces an assumed phantom out to ripe the throats of his victims.

Best is how Holmes enters the story. In Quebec, he is meeting an Occult Society. He is talked down to by the groups leader. He is seen as a skeptic. He is closed minded. He won't see the facts. Sound familiar. Holmes takes it all with humor and calm repose. He tries to make clear that he wants to just see facts, as without them there is no reason to believe the idea of the supernatural. And when he is given "proof", that a bell is known to have wrong in a given village, then the next day sheep were found murdered, he is unimpressed. In fact he deduces the events that would follow the tolling bells, heck as a lover of scary stories many of us could. He excepts that the bell did ring. He accepts the sheep were slaughtered. But how that proves the supernatural? Well? That action only confirms the true believers contentions about him.

It shows me why I have loved the character, and like this outing all the more. As Rathbone's Holmes does say, "It is elementary, my dear Watson." A skeptical Holmes is a great Holmes. We need more!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Oz is gonna blacklist you

AMERICAblog notes the changes to access that are coming to Australia.

The government's $128.8 million Cyber Safety policy includes forcing internet service providers to block access to a secret blacklist of website pages...
A new policy to enact a listing that all providers must use. A secret list? Why secret? So people won't complain, or know the focus?
Web pages will be nominated for blacklisting by Australian internet users who come across illegal or ''unacceptable'' websites.
Great so people will nominate. Almost Athenian. So a site that gets a complaint is all it takes to be wiped from the Aussie net? Wow. How is this considered good?

Sinkhole or Superweapon?


It looks like a doctored image, but it is not.

Guatemala City, rain, and sink hole.

And not being able to see the bottom just plays with your head.

So the Silurians striking, the Mole Men in revolt, Mole Man seeking the FF, Darkseid enacting a plan?

Just the environment doing its thing. But always a bit creepy to imagine opening before you or under you.

How she learned to love not being respected.

Hathor Legacy took note of a pretty sad case of a woman who ran afoul of traditional marriage.

See she thought she was "feminist" about her relationship, which she seems to mean she actually expected to be respected, and treated with equality.

A female graduate asked to speak about what her time at SCSL meant to her, said she had felt that she was “pretty much all right” when she came to SCSL and came to get closer to god and learn about faith.  “But,” she said, “I used to be kind of a feminist about relationships, because when I was a child, I saw women being weak in relationships and I decided I didn’t want to be like that, and then when I went to the marriage class, I learned how marriage works best when the man is the head and women are submissive and that’s not being weak.”

What a great thing marriage classes are. You learn so much, like how to not look your husband in the eyes, and walk behind them. It's just better that way...apparently. I guess some guys will stop hitting you if you do. Not really a good argument.

But it reminds me of so much from conservative thinking. Women should be at home. Women need to focus on kids. No gay families. No birth control. No ability to choose and control what happens with ones (ladies only) body. It is a strange patter, by which I mean troubling. Some in society need to change, for conservatives. And those people (in order of needed change) are women, minorities, men who don't want to "restore" society, Just charming.

It's all just charming.

Newt Gingrich: The Crap Historian and His Friends

Not a historian of crap, I can respect them. But Newt Gingrich, who claims to be a man of knowledge and thought, has proven himself just that a crap historian. I won't comment on his alternate history fiction, as I have never read it. But in dealing with politics he seems to deal with yet another alternate reality. He should leave it in the fiction isle.

But he does not, he peddles it at podiums, on TV, and in the papers. He is so quickly to throw out comparisons to Nazis. Beck does to, but he is an acknowledged twit. Gingrich likes to play as the better man of conservatism.

Gingrich: “The Secular Socialist Machine Represents As Great A Threat To America As Nazi Germany”

Wallace: You also write this on the screen: “The secular socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” Mr. Speaker, respectfully, isn’t that wildly over the top?
Gingrich: No, not if by America you mean….Just listen to President Obama’s language. He gets to decide who earns how much. He gets to decide when it’s too much.

This is all just crap. Obama decides how much you or I make? Bull. Maybe he's worried about the bonuses of those poor BP execs. Maybe he is scared for the owner of the Massey mines, and his estate. Maybe he is worried about having to pay his own taxes. Pathetic playing up of fears.

And secular socialist? The two chimes of our modern conservatives. Evil secularist, not good Christians. Socialist, not true Capitalist Conservatives. Oh, those banes on us all.

Really, Newt? This is what you peddle. What a sad weasel he is.

PZ Myers has some good thoughts on this lot. Read the quote he has from Sinclair Lewis. It is amazing how apt it is in comparison to today.

The book can be summarized in this misattributed quote (Lewis didn't actually say it, but it is a perfect description of our situation):

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.
Look at America today, and we're seeing this phenomenon in progress: think tanks, ideologues, and religious fanatics are insistent that we are a Christian nation — when we are most afraid of external threats, what do they do? Entangle the country deeper in the web of the sacred. ...

A wrapped in the flag, with a cross over the shoulder? That is Newt, that is Beck, that is O'Reilly, that is Hannity, and so many others. They cry out for their Christianity, their Christian nation, and their Christian god.
They do harp on and demand special respect for it all...for the sake of all Americans. And when the other is acknowledged, or when faith is not heralded is just the right manner, it is a true state offenses. Ridiculous. And also not new.

Also I like that Myers notes the history that goes along with this religious fervor. Like with the National Day of Prayer, God on money, etc. It is of interest to me as so often I see the pious seek to talk about the various presidential proclamations or Congressional declarations requesting prayers goings back through the centuries. And it is true, these request have been made. But the National Day of Prayers, and other pushes to acknowledge Christianity have come from the likes of the Cold War terror and paranoia, not the wishes of the Founding Fathers, despite some wishes that it were otherwise. These choices made in government during the middle of the 20th century were wrong, made in error and out of fear. Lines were crossed. And for some pious it is a fear they hold as they lay down for the night...the lines may be recrossed...and the country may truly be a secular one, that won't put there interest over that of the whole.

Quack Toon

A funny little comic strip look at the UK Anti-Vax Quack Andrew Wakefield.

The Facts In The Case Of Dr. Andrew Wakefield


From a list:

6 Supposedly Ancient Traditions (That Totally Aren't)

Thanksgiving, The Pledge, Bushido, etc.

Trouble on the waters: Flotilla edition

Troubling business on the3 way to Gaza. A series of ships were heading to Gaza with the stated claim of giving relief support to an embargoed people. Israel responded poorly to this, and sent forces to stop them. Dropping troops on a ship fighting broke out leave around 19 of those on the ship dead.

Some coverage:
There is a move to portrait Israeli forces as victims, attacked as they boarded the ship. But the trouble is that the boarded a private ship, in international waters, in violation of no laws. And they boarded armed intent on taking over the ship. They started in the wrong, and proceeded to escalate. 

Video has been released to show how those aboard acted. And they were definitely violent in reaction to the Israelis. But the Israelis were highly trained, highly disciplined, highly armed, and highly resourced opponents. They had all the advantages. They could sink the ships, knock out there propulsion, tow them off, give political pressure, etc. But they flew out, threatened and dropped down into a throng of angry and resentful folks. They sought a fight, or to scare.

The trouble is that Israel wanted to show its strength and resolve. And they have. But it has been in a way that has created disgust and anger in many places around the world. Turkey has now turned upset, as the originator of the ship, and some of its nationals injured. And there is news Americans were aboard and at least one was injured. And the UN will be meeting on this.

It will be curious to see how Israel changes its reaction and stance, and how its allies and enemies as well.