Saturday, December 09, 2006

“You just made an enemy for life!”

This may be the greatest monologue ever. God bless the brilliance of the Simpsons.

Friday, December 08, 2006

No more Reindeer Games

My comrade Jams at The Poor Mouth has a great piece up concerning a leading Czech advertising firm that has launched an anti-Santa Claus campaign. Check it out, or pay the piper.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Horowitz plays Scriabin

One of my favorite composers, by one of the modern world’s greatest pianists. Simply wonderful.

Monday, December 04, 2006

High Five Imperial!

I was born and raised in California’s Imperial Valley (it’s a small farming community on the Mexican boarder, about 140 miles east of San Diego), so I was excited when I stumbled upon this at IMDB:
“A scene shot for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was removed after a sheriff's deputy working at the Imperial County, California jail figured that he and his colleagues were part of a ruse and ordered Sacha Baron Cohen and his crew out, according to today's (Monday) Los Angeles Times. In the footage, as Borat is being shown the jail, he remarks, "I like-a this place. ... Very nice. When you make all the mens do a pyramid, can I be on top?" (A reference to the infamous Abu Ghraib photo.) Sheriff Harold Carter later threatened to sue if the scene was included in the movie. While it did not make the final cut of the movie, the excised scene has been uploaded on YouTube, the Times said.”

We were already represented as crop-duster flying idiots in Independence Day with Will Smith, I am glad we now get to act like asses in a good movie!

New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

I find it a bit ironic that a number of folks, who claim to champion free speech and freedom, unequivocally give a pass to Hugo Chavez. His increasing control over Venezuela, its economy and its media is well documented and should scare free loving people everywhere.

Yes, the man is popular and he was re-elected by a large margin yesterday. I also don’t think putting the massive number of poor people within Venezuela first is a bad thing. That does not change the fact that Chavez is a military strongman who has little respect for a free and vibrant press. Just because he spouts some socialist rhetoric and gives some oil money to the poor does not excuse this.

But like Castro, so many militant leftists who despise the military in the U.S. slobber over Chavez and other “Jefe Maximos” because they “stick it to the man”. Performance has replaced ideological viewpoints. He's suppressing media criticism and things are going to get much worse on that front. The oil money eventually won't be enough to bankroll his promises. His railing against the U.S. is the timeworn tactic of directing the people's attention away from one’s own dictatorial agenda.

I have more than one friend who sees Chavez as nothing short of a savior, and that frightens me to no end. Castro, Peron, Pinochet, and now Chavez are totalitarians, regardless of their specific ideology, and that should mean something amongst the left. Sadly, it does not.

The Huffington Post, which seems to be infested with totalitarian leftists, produced the following comments:
“One day we will understand. Ask if the East Germans are better off since they have removed the wall - think not.”

The Soviet system was popular and positive? What world did this kid come from? I guess if you see history through such a skewed lens, Chavez looks like Jesus.
“Don't believe the lies about Chavez in our mainstream media. There is no censorship of media in Venezuela.”

The most common tactic used by an individual in denial: just claim that all the criticisms against your guy are conspiracies by those big bad corporations (or Jews, or liberals, or whatever). Just stick your fingers in your ears, cover your eyes, and put your head right up your bum.

Marc Cooper hit it right on the head when he said:
“What is being threatened are the already unreliable institutions of Venezuelan democratic society. Let's be clear that the corrupt political establishment that pre-dated and to a great degree produced Chavez should be given credit for that. But Chavez has contributed to the slide.

Just a few days ago, Chavez publicly dedicated his coming to victory to Fidel Castro, hardly the most re-assuring thought for those who value open, civic society. Some months ago Chavez also raised the possibility of re-writing the constitution to allow for unlimited successive re-election. Not a happy thought.

In the short term, Chavez is also threatening to shut down privately-owned TV stations after his re-election. And, please dear Chavistas, don't waste any breath telling me how irresponsible and right-wing these stations are. Whatever their political color, you don't shut them down by mandate. If silenced, they will only be replaced by electronic versions of those pasta packages i.e. instruments of wall-to-wall state propaganda.”

Update: Just another reason why having only state run media is a bad idea. The pro-Chavez paper titled El Diario de Caracas states “Israelis are lying when they say they are the favored people of God; on the contrary, because they are always at war and without their own land, it seems that they are marked for having destroyed Jesus Christ.”

Now imagine a world where only totalitarians have the right to speak.