Saturday, March 04, 2006

Clever and silly

I just saw about the last half of "40-year Old Virgin" and thought it both. I guess Monty Python, dare I say it, is the holy grail of clever and silly. I've always been interested in the "funny." Greg Weingarten at the
Washington Post does it for a living.

Mothers of Plaza de Mayo

get screached at by Bono.

Hope I'm not just echoing Lowry...

But, I think this Indian/Pakistan thing is big. On the order of Nixon opening China Big.

Lowry's column is here. I have the advantage over Rich in that I'm listening to the Pakistan news conference now.

Re: Hagiography

At least get through the parts on the Patco Strike, Iceland and the"tear down this wall" saga, if you can. The last wasn't her, as you indicated, but her insight is great. I think hers might have been Challenger...but I'm not certain, it's late.

I'm looking at 3 acres 13 miles east of Austin tomorrow but still think I can swing the Houston fete. Should I go ahead and order the tix? Are we a couple?


That is the only one I've seen...and I liked it a lot. Probably the best I saw last year except for the under-appreciated "The Upside of Anger."

Friday, March 03, 2006

Re: Oscars (2)

LJ, many con writers agree with your take on Crash. (Having not seen a movie not rated G in the last four years, I'm in no position to comment.) The same writers are predicting hideously low ratings.

You haven't lost the tape, have you?

I read this story and remembered something I'd forgotten about. Just checking. I'm sure everything is cool. [LJ: Email me immediately re same.]

Re: Oscars

Way back when Scooter and LJ and I were hanging out together we had Oscar parties and ballots. I can't remember if we put money on it but I doubt it. Anyway, the winner was invariably a girl who had seen few if any of the nominated movies. I think she read a lot of the pop culture magazines and was a fiend for old and offbeat movies. I guess that combination informed her take on the nominations. Happy birthday Cindy.

Re: Noonan

I was unable to get very far into her hagiography of Reagan but intend to try again. But it was not because of her writing, which is sublime. She publishes a column every Thursday (usually) at OpinionJournal and it's the first thing I read in the morning (followed immediately by Coulter). (Talk about a contrast.)

Scooter: I heard an interview the other day with the speechwriter who penned "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." I know Peter Robinson is responsible for "axis of evil." Are there any memorable phrases or speeches Peggy is known for? I would love to see her speak and I know she does speaking engagements. I think I would have heard if you had, but have you ever? Let's find a close one and go. Slightly off topic, how much have you saved towards the NR Houston bash?

It's Oscar time!

I admit, I love watching the Academy Awards. Always have. And I'll be watching this Sunday night. Who looks good, who looks bad. Who makes a fool of themsevles making an acceptance speech. Who gets cut off, who doesn't. Who tries to make a political statement. How many "dub-ya" jokes there are. I'm a sucker for all of it.

I haven't seen "Brokeback Mountain", so I can't comment on whether it should win Best Picture or not. Nor have I seen "Good Night, and Good Luck". The other 3 nominated films ("Capote", "Crash" and "Munich") I have seen and I thought "Crash" was the best of the 3.

Will America, especially middle-America, tune in? I say yes, of course. No way we could say to Oscar...."I wish I knew how to quit you".

Hispanic Vote, today and tomorrow

From today's World Magazine online:

Mr. Carrillo [member of the Texas Railroad Commission] notes, though, that "inertia" can get in the way: "My parents and grandparents were Democrats, and that's how we as a people have always voted," even though the Democrats now stand for social principles most Hispanics oppose. How to break through? "The GOP needs to look for, hire, train, and retain more highly qualified Latino candidates."

One such candidate is Mr. [Alex] Castano [in March 7 GOP primary, ultimately pitted if successful against Jason Earle, son of Ronnie Earle], whose mother came to the United States as a poor Argentine who spoke broken English. Since he understands "what it's like to be considered a second-class citizen," what he sees as Democrats' treatment of Hispanics particularly frustrates him: "They take us for granted." He says the Democratic message is, "You poor, dumb Hispanics. Here's a handout, so give us your loyalty and your vote in exchange." He says that Hispanics don't see themselves as "victims" and don't respond well to being classified that way.

If Reagan could capture 47% of the Hispanic vote in '84, we've done very poorly since following up. Full disclosure: Although I don't live in Alex Castano's district, he is a friend and a member of my church.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Current Subhead

Whatever one thinks of her politics (I usually embrace but have had a few qualms of late), there is no more lyrical a columnist than Ms. Noonan. Ms. Liebau agreed, not with the lyrical part, but the substance.

Re: She Sells Sanctuary

OK. I see at Amazon that it's The Cult. I can't get the audio to play. Can you post it here or send it to me so that I know what you're talking about? This "Homage" you speak of: was I ever there?

Update: LJ sent it to me and I listened. Don't recall ever hearing it before. Maybe because it doesn't sound like the kind of thing I would have danced to. This is more my kind of thing.

More unintended consequences

Here's a couple of ideas I could have gotten behind as a CLL. (LJ, you might find these attractive.) First, set a decent minimum wage, one where people can actual live above the poverty line: a "living wage" if you will. Second, make it illegal for employers to arbitrarily fire employees. Sounds like a reasonable way to protect workers, right? Well, actually no. South Africa has enacted these two proposals and its unemployment rate has shot to 26% officially and is probably higher. The very people the "do-gooders"* in South Africa sought to help have in fact been put out of work. Sowell explains how and why.

*Mona Charon's book is full of examples of this phenomenon.

Google "Love Johnson"

Guess who's number four?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Simpsons and 1st Amendment

From the AP:

"The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just one in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms."

Wasn't my thought, but the Simpsons should have an episode on the 1st Amendment, then everybody would know what it says. My guess is right of redress is least known.

Because I have nothing today...

I've got my first tomatoes... Never had fruit this early before.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Online Novelist James Aach posts at SSJ

In response to my post about the assault on capitalism (poorly titled) and the need to go forward with nuclear plants, James Aach let me know about his online novel Rad Decision. It can be read here at no cost.

I haven't had time to read it but reviews can be read here.

Thanks, James. As I suspect is true of most bloggers, I wish I had the sticktuitiveness to get a novel completed.

British Historian Paul Johnson on the Assault on Capitalism

From my new hero on today's JWR:

"One of their [enviromentalists] biggest successes has been to halt the building of nuclear power plants in the U.S., Britain and other countries. This has seriously increased the destructive impact of the oil shortages brought on by China's and India's industrialization. At the same time environmentalists, claiming that global warming is the result of industrial activity, seek to force compulsory limits on greenhouse gas emissions, which will hugely reduce industry's efficiency and profitability. This frontal attack on the production and profitability of the capitalist system is, in its own way, as dangerous as Marxism was."

What the heck are we waiting for? Why aren't we building? This is just nuts.


So I'm taking a walk yesterday afternoon around my neighborhood, listening to my iPod as I do. And during the walk, one of the greatest rock-n-roll songs of all time comes up..."She Sells Sanctuary". And as the first cords of the song come through my earphones, I begin to drift back...back....back...

a Saturday night
lower bar area

When I hear the beginning of the song, I head to the upstairs dance floor.

Ah, those were the days....

Monday, February 27, 2006

Eight Below

I know, I know but I love dogs. Mediocre acting, mediocre script, questionable directing (awfully sunny for one of Antarctica's worst winters) and overly anthropomorphized dogs. Still, couldn't get the tears to stop in last 15 minutes.

As I think about the movie for those with little ones, it might be a decent way to introduce the idea of (to use the big, scary word) DEATH to the kids. I won't ruin the ending but the overall theme of the movie is uplifting while still dealing with the uncomfortable.

Re: Golden Age of Longhorn Sports Continues

OK, I have to toot the horn of my beloved Razorbacks. Yesterday they won the 2006 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championship. The conference title is the 78th in Arkansas’ history including its 13th SEC indoor championship in 15 tries since entering the SEC in 1992. The Hogs have also won 40 of 44 SEC championships combined in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field in that span.

And to show that this isn't just a SEC thing, here are some stats that might be of interest:

* 26-consecutive conference titles in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track combined from 1987-1995.
* 67 conference championships in the last 72 events Arkansas has entered since 1981-82.
* 12-consecutive NCAA indoor track championships (1984-1995), the longest string of national titles by any school in any sport in collegiate history.
* 31-consecutive league cross country championships (1974-2004).

And finally:

John McDonnell, the UA Head Track coach, has won more national championships (41) than any coach in any sport in the history of college athletics. The next highest is 26 by Pat Henry, former LSU and current track coach at Texas A&M.

In Arkansas, if they DON'T win an SEC and/or NC in track, it's big news. If they could just translate this success to football....

Golden Age of Longhorn Sports Continues

From today's Daily Texan:

"The fifth-ranked Texas swimming and diving team dominated the field at the Big 12 Championship this weekend in Columbia, Mo., taking their unprecedented 27th consecutive conference title."

Prayers for the Assassin

Picked up my copy yesterday and am having fun with it, but have to say that book cover above is the worst cover ever. It is not just a paper cover wrapped around the book, it is the book. Are they trying to market to graphic novel readers?