Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for the ‘Anything Else’ Category

Mickey Mouse Must Die!

Posted by Ryan on September 16, 2008

Just when they’ve been a little bit quiet lately, one of the old world-jihad ilk has come up with this: “Satan’s soldier” himself, Mickey Mouse must be killed “in all cases” under shariah law according to Sheikh Muhammad Munajid, a former Saudi diplomat in Washington DC. 

Why, you ask? 

Because mice are impure creatures and should be killed, even the cartoon ones.  Positively portraying mice, as Disney does (in the face of shariah law, mind you) is corrupting our youth. Tsk tsk, all of you, tsk tsk.

But think about this…

Loveable al Aqsa children’s show mouse, Farfur, is already dead

Very tragic. 

“What next?” we thought.  “How can they top that craziness?” we pondered.  “Where do we go from here?” they pined.

Well, now we know — Mickey Mouse is the next target of jihad! 

Pic from the American Conservative.

Posted in Anything Else, Religion, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

Posted by Ryan on September 15, 2008

Perfect actress for Saraccuda by the way.

Palin’s people responded:   “[Palin] thought it was quite funny, particularly because she once dressed up as Tina Fey for Halloween!”

Awesome.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Barack Obama, Meet Gianna Jessen

Posted by Ryan on September 15, 2008

Gianna Jessen, survivor of a botched saline abortion on April 6, 1977, and her story are showcased in the recently launched “Born Alive Truth” website with the help of Jill Stanek

The site and the campaign are highlighting Obama’s horrid position on the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which he did NOT support — that’s beyond pro-choice and into just plain sick. 

I heard an ad on the Sean Hannity Show  today, along with his interview with Gianna Jessen herself.  Both were very powerful and really brings this point home.  She’ll be interviewed on Hannity and Colmes tonight as well.

UPDATE:  Here’s the ad mentioned above:

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Election 2008, Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

“Time For Some Campaigning”

Posted by Ryan on September 6, 2008

I was reading an email link a friend sent me as I sit through what’s left of Tropical Storm Hanna and got a good laugh.  Though it’s been around for a month, I just saw it and would like to share.  So, here’s a little “Jib Jab” fun for your Saturday afternoon.

WARNING: She Who Must Not Be Named cameo in the video.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

An American Carol

Posted by Ryan on August 20, 2008

On October 3, David Zucker is going to release the film An American Carol  picking fun at filmmaker “Michael Malone” (read Michael Moore) who wants to ban July 4th.  The film’s story is in the model of “A Christmas Carol.”  Bill O’Reilly makes a cameo, as does a number of others from the trailer.  Ultimately, I’m surprised they found enough actors in Hollywood to film this thing!

Posted in Anything Else, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Movie Review: Star Wars — The Clone Wars

Posted by Ryan on August 16, 2008

George Lucas obviously wants to make more money and milk the Star Wars universe a little bit more with the release of the new Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie.  I make that statement for two reasons: it’s a good movie with a “Star Wars” attached to it, thus the money will flow; and the film’s concept takes us back to a period already handled with an animated series, bookended between Episodes II and III which also deals with these events in a reasonable way.  (How about a movie or something about the period between the Clone Wars and Episdoe IV?  I’m sure that’s on the horizon once the Clone Wars has been exhausted.)

All that aside, I think the film was pretty good.  It’s purpose is to launch a new animated series on the Clone Wars’ theme.   The action was top-notch,  the animation was smooth and cool, and though targeted towards a younger audience, I enjoyed the character interactions.  Plus any movie with Samuel L. Jackson borrowing his voice to be a bad-ass Jedi has to have some quality (Now, I want you to go in that bag and find my [light saber]. Which one is it?  The one that says bad motha f*****).

I did not like the narrator replacing the opening crawl — it didn’t seem truly Star Wars-ish at first.  I also was not impressed with the concept of a padawan for Anakin.  “Ahsoka” reminded me of an overbearing and cocky Millennial most of the time.  Plus, there were a few other plot inconsistencies involving her, Ventress and Count Dooku.  That being said, kids will love this film, and hardcore Star Wars fans who have gotten over the prequel concept should at least enjoy the fighting.  B- in my book.

Posted in Anything Else, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Not Pretty Enough to Sing in Chinese Games

Posted by Ryan on August 12, 2008

The opening ceremonies of any Olympic games are full of spectacle.  Now, we usually assume that this spectacle does not include lip-syncing the host country’s patriotic songs, but we are dealing with China here!  It’s not that little Yang Peiyi (on the right) isn’t talented, it’s that she’s not as pixie-like as Lin Miaoke according to Chinese officials.  I think that’s a little harsh to tell a seven-year-old girl who has talent.  

My other issue is this: China has 1.3 billion people and they can’t find a cute kid who ALSO sings well?  That’s a totalitarian work ethic, I suppose — just fake it (which is as normal as reading/watching/or getting online news in China).  But, this isn’t good PR for the PRC, thus I’m surprised they even admitted it.

AFP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, International Relations, Politics, Pop Culture, tyranny | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Isaac Hayes Dies at 65

Posted by Ryan on August 10, 2008

Isaac Hayes is the second significant entertainer to die in the last three days!  Well-known for his work on the Shaft soundtrack and as the voice of “Chef” on South Park, Hayes was found dead near his treadmill at about 1pm today in Memphis, Tennessee.  He was 65.

Hayes was a highly influential, Grammy-winning musician whose impact stretched across the decades and music genres.  He was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and won an Oscar for the Shaft Soundtrack in 1971.  He eventually quit South Park because SP railed on Christians a bit too much for Hayes, (it’s true, SP farcically loves hitting Christians, especially Mormons and often Catholics too) who was a Scientologist. 

Entertainer, songwriter, and civil rights activist Isaac Hayes will be sorely missed.

AP photo

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Pop Culture, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bernie Mac Succumbs to Pneumonia

Posted by Ryan on August 9, 2008

Prominent entertainer Bernie Mac died today at the age of 50 from complications brought on by a tough bout of pneumonia. 

Bernie Mac eventually lived the American Dream through hard work, dedication, and a little bit of luck.  Born into a poor neighborhood with a tough upbringing, he did what he needed to do in order to excel in his career, which included being a street performer, working the club circuit for decades, before finally breaking through in “The Bernie Mac Show” which aired over 100 episodes from 2001-2006.  He’s been in numerous movies and shows both in front of and behind the screen. Recently, Mac came under fire for taking his act on the campaign trail, perturbing “The One” and his campaign with some R-Rated language while warming up a crowd.

His unique style and humor will definitely be missed.

AP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Happy Birthday Barack Obama!

Posted by Ryan on August 4, 2008

On this August 4, Happy 47th Birthday to Barack Obama.

Really

Well, that’s funny — 

Having seen the signs, I swore his birthday was on December 25th:

Pic found on World Net Daily.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Morgan Freeman Injured in Car Crash

Posted by Ryan on August 4, 2008

Seventy-one year old actor Morgan Freeman was involved in a one-car accident late last night in Mississippi.  He was airlifted to a nearby hospital and is in “serious condition” with injuries to his shoulder and arm.  

In his latest work, Freeman plays Lucius in the blockbuster sequel The Dark Knight.  He’s a major film icon, being in such films as Million Dollar Baby, Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy, Deep Impact, Glory, Amistad, Batman Begins, Along Came a Spider, Lean on Me and numerous others.  His politics is typical of Hollywood, as he has endorsed “The One” Barack Obama, but again, politics stops in instances like this.  We hope he can continue to grace the screen with his supurb acting for years to come!

AFP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Trailer Released

Posted by Ryan on July 31, 2008

Released yesterday, it’s only the teaser trailer, but it looks really good.  I like the darkening tone and somber mood, plus the actor playing the young Tom Riddle seems like a really good fit (I believe it is actually Ralph Fiennes’ nephew).

The HBP is one of my favorite books in the series (I like Four and Seven as well, though all seven play a necessary part of the story and are all entertaining).  I’m hoping this film will be better than the last one.  I wasn’t too much of a fan of the OOTP movie because they edited so much that as one who’s read the book, I had trouble seeing things connect properly — it was very disjointed and missed some important points they’ll have to explain later.  Hopefully they’ll make this one better, more focused.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

State-Run Health Care in Oregon Can Kill

Posted by Ryan on July 28, 2008

…if you want it to! 

A major problem with having state-controlled health care as a “right” is that they can deny you access or care if your situation is not in the state’s economic best-interest.  We’ll see loving ol’ grandmas and thirty something drunks fighting over access to livers — maybe grandma or the lush will die waiting for the operation, possibly making the government’s decision easier.  We’ll see people being denied care for choices they made in life, like smoking, drugs or trans-fat laden fast-food (it’s already “banned” in California).  And don’t forget those pesky staph infections!  

Crazy? 

Well, recently the State of Oregon offered 53-year-old Randy Stroup a simple solution to his prostate cancer:  since Randy didn’t have health insurance and his prostate cancer treatment is very costly for state-run health care, he can opt into their unique assisted-suicide plan!  The slippery slope of our culture’s devaluation of life continues.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, economy | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Is Bush Batman?

Posted by Ryan on July 28, 2008

Apparently, a number of op-ed articles have hit the Internet regarding Christopher Nolan’s new film, the box-office shattering The Dark Knight, and how Batman allegorically plays the role of George W. Bush (some say Batman is Dick Cheney or a generic conservative hero)! 

A friend tipped me off to this concept last night and I looked around the Internet finding that this notion has been proliferating, even to the WSJ Online!  It makes a lot of sense to see The Dark Knight as an allegory of the War on Terror and about Batman as the man who few people like as the one who has to make the hard choice to blur the lines in order to achieve victory — aka GWB to some. 

Leftist blogs are wicked upset that a movie with such a black-and-white treatment of morality like this one can make $300 million in just ten days while their beloved anti-war flicks quickly sputter and die quick deaths!  In The Dark Knight, terrorists (The Joker’s crew) are the remorseless fiends who fight for no discernible reason beyond the joy of it, and the good people have very tough choice to make on how to defeat them.  It mirrors reality.

Given the box office success of this film, perhaps the American people still yearn for a no nonsense ass-kicker rather than an international ass-kisser in their leaders.  This bodes well for McCain down the stretch, with less than 100 left until my birthday, which happens to be Election Day this year.  But will people make this connection and understand its implications?  Will the baggage of the last eight years show up on Election Day and turn American into an Obama Nation?  Who knows?   If the allegory holds however, then it’s the Republicans and Bush who must take the hit for having made hard, sometimes unpopular, choices which have nonetheless made all of us safer.

Pic from Rick Rockwell.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

“He Ventured Forth…”

Posted by Ryan on July 25, 2008

The latest piece from Times Online editor, American Gerard Baker, first came to my attention about an hour ago and it’s a doozy! 

His latest op-ed is absolutely awesome.  Baker takes the media’s open desire to make Barack Obama the Savior/Messiah and completely pokes fun at those who have this view (he also calls Gordon Brown, Gordon the Leper!) through colorful and biblical-style language.  I don’t think the New Yorker crowd will misunderstand this satire, but one never knows.  Here’s a sample from the beginning:

“And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.”

I wish Obama would have “ventured forth” to the wounded troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, but that would have seemed “too political.”  The Pentagon simply told him not to bring his media and campaign troglodytes, but he could go as an elected official, rather than a candidate.  He chose not to go.  However, he made it to the gym though.

AP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Europe, International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, Religion, The Iraq Front, UK Politics, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Movie Review: The Dark Knight

Posted by Ryan on July 20, 2008

WARNING: No true spoilers, just a lot of “insider baseball” in regards to the fantasy genre. 

Thus far, Christopher Nolan’s take on Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One series is leaps and bounds better than any of those goofy Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney movies, which all seemed too comic-like to be taken seriously.  I never liked any of them because (this may sound strange) they seemed too much like I was watching a comic book movie. 

But Batman Begins was entirely different from my point of view — it had heart, an interesting and deliberately developing storyline, characters you care about, and great action which didn’t strain the “plausible impossible” too too much, as some of the earlier versions of Batman could (think of Batman jumping out of a missile with Robin after ducking Mr. Freeze’s trap before reengaging the chase after dropping six miles on sky-surfing blades without a scratch in Batman and Robin:  a little ridiculous even for fantasy!).

Nolan continues the series about a year after Batman Begins. The Dark Knight lives up to and surpasses its predecessor in terms of action and an intricately weaved storyline that leaves you with a sense of real danger for our heroes.  I’m not ready to say that this movie was the best thing ever, as some have said, but it’s the best movie I’ve seen this year by far.  Heath Ledger’s Joker is worth the price of admission; he’s both more creepy and lucid than Jack Nicholson’s rendition back in 1989 — they aren’t even on the same planet.  Oscar-worthy?  They’d give one of those things to anybody these days, so the late Heath Ledger will probably get one just for having died (that’s not to say his performance wasn’t worth an award, he was great, but the Academy is mostly out of touch with their audience and the insiders will demand the award be given to him nonetheless… plus think of the viewership at next year’s Oscars).

Comic books are really just morality tales, including “graphic novels” (the 21st Century way of describing a “comic book”).  So, in Batman Begins we are treated to a tale about how to conquer our fears and using our strengths to do and be better than what we think we’re capable of.  My take is that The Dark Knight simply continues that theme with an extended lesson.  The enemies in Batman Begins were sinister but had rules: Ra’s Al Ghul and his minions had a shrewd but ancient warrior code, the Mobsters had one’s basic code about not messing with the Big-Guy, and the Scarecrow functioned in the real world as a psychiatrist and crony and let go of those rules only when with the psychotic inmates or his victims.  Ledger’s Joker has no rules.  Give such recklessness, the question is: how far will the good people go to defeat such evil?  The Dark Knight explores this concept from everyone’s point of view.  We’re beyond fear in this movie — it’s what to do now that good people are afraid: ally with the evil for a temporary benefit, bend the rules to slow the evil down, or become like the evil thing itself.  No one in Gotham City can come to grips with the Joker:  even the Mob looks weak and impotent next to the Joker’s recklessness.  Our heroes need to look inside to defeat this menace, and not everything there is peachy or easy.  That’s what makes this movie stay true to the magic of the original — it’s not about the car crash, it’s about handling the ride.

I also love sagas when they introduce the insidious third party.  Like The Matrix series had the Merovingian and his crew of tertiary programs floating between the world of men and the machines, The Dark Knight’s Joker is a tertiary interest between the Cops and the typical Bad Guys who, unlike the Merovingian, is not just floating — he’s destroying everything on both sides (like the viral Agent Smith in this The Matrix analogy)!  He’s destroying it for its own sake, not for any common reason like power or favor which normal people could understand.  Sometimes that’s the problem with evil — there isn’t any understanding it, no matter how hard we may try.

I give this movie a solid A+/A (like a 96%) for entertainment value, storyline, and morality.  You should see it, especially if you liked the first one or want to forget about those ridiculous ones from the 1980s and 1990s.

Pic from Movie Web.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Media Bias, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Elisabeth and Whoopi Discuss the “N-word”

Posted by Ryan on July 19, 2008

On an episode of this week’s “The View” the ladies were discussing Jesse Jackson’s hypocritical use of the “n-word” in the same interview where Jackson voiced his desire to castrate Barack Obama.  For some reason Fox News didn’t release the part of the film in question to the public, but it leaked anyway. 

Either way, this exchange broke out between the ladies, mostly Whoopi and Sherri versus Elisabeth, about the use of the “n-word.”  As usual, they seemed to gang up on Elisabeth, although I believe she has the moral high-ground in this argument: 

In my opinion, either it’s a good word or a bad word, but playing the “it’s our word” game is not only a complete violation of the First Amendment if use of the word leads to legal repercussions (which it does in certain circumstances, sometimes even when the word itself is not even used!), but it’s simply not playing fair.  Also, adding an “a” or an “er” to the end of the word should make no difference if in principle it’s a bad word either. 

Yet, it does make a difference, at least to my students, their music, and some in the media.  Should it, though?  Elisabeth says no, and based on principle I’m in solidarity with her on this one.  I wonder what Jesse Jackson would have to say about all this?

Posted in Anything Else, Blogroll, Culture, Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

InBev to Buy Anheuser-Busch

Posted by Ryan on July 14, 2008

The Belgian brewing company InBev is going to buy Anheuser-Busch for $52 million.  While many details are still being negotiated, the deal will probably become reality.  If that is the case then, in my opinion there are two different ways of looking at this:

1.  This is a dark day for America.  As the Belgians buy-out the largest beer producer in America, America is a weaker, sadder place… we can’t even brew and market our own storied/historic beer without help from those pesky Europeans!  Selling our souls for $52 billion?  Anheuser-Busch is a company which even survived Prohibition the honest way!  I guess there is a price one could set for selling out to the Man — a Belgian man in this case. 

2.  Woo hoo!  To this beer snob, Bud sucks (always has) and Belgian beers are world-renowned for their flavor and potency.  So, even though under the new management Bud will still suck, in the eyes of the world we’ll get a little more international “street cred” when soliciting our crappy beer to others.  InBev brews Stella Artois and Becks (meh) and Anheuser-Busch owns 50% of Corona.  Ultimately, this could signal a marked improvement to the average beer Joe Sixpack consumes.  Though this in no way will affect my own drinking habits, I believe this “sell-out” is an upgrade!

Reuters photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, economy, Europe, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

I Knew Theodore Roosevelt and Senator, You’re No TR!

Posted by Ryan on July 13, 2008

Well, the first part of that isn’t entirely true, but I did spend fifteen months writing a rather long historiographical thesis on Theodore Roosevelt back in college.  In that work I used some of John McCain’s campaign rhetoric from early 2000 as evidence of TR’s increasing influence amongst politicians of both parties today (I also quoted from BJ’s 2000 State of the Union Address where he name-drops TR).  Back in February 2000 McCain unsuccessfully tried to make himself out to be the heir of both TR and Ronald Reagan, and he’s trying it again in 2008

We can laugh at McCain’s “Reaganesque” boasts as shallow and empty, but why’s he stuck on TR?  Most people only know a few things about TR: trust-buster, Mt. Rushmore, those teeth, the “Teddy bear,” conservation.  Like his Reagan comparison, McCain is being very selective with how he chooses to connect himself to TR:

  • TR’s domestic policies laid the philosophical foundation for modern “big-government” in his cousin’s New Deal two generations later — not very Reaganesque in my opinion. 
  • TR was a “conservationist” not a “preservationist”, meaning that TR would have been OK with drilling in ANWAR since the footprint is so small (preservationists, on the other hand, want humans completely out of undeveloped areas).  McCain’s still being difficult on that issue.
  • TR was described as a “maverick” for bucking the era’s MSM by not fitting their typical Republican stereotype.  Yet, TR understood politics, alienated some, but still had most of his party enthusiastic about him and mostly adhered to the party’s platform.  No conservative is enthusiastic about McCain and McCain doesn’t seem to care — he’s more interested in growing the party 1970s-style by making it resemble the Democrats.  Plus, TR’s being a “maverick” eventually led to a party split in 1912 which gave Wilson the presidency.  Why should any self-respecting Republican embrace a maverick like that today?  McCain’s obviously being selective here.
  • Instead of trying to get along with fractious immigrant groups, TR firmly believed and articulated that “hyphenated Americanism” is un-American and unpatriotic.  McCain wants to coddle 12-15 million illegals and still hasn’t proposed making English the official language of government, a highly popular position with the general public.

However, TR had an unabashed pro-American foreign policy like Reagan.  Maybe that’s an area where McCain’s rhetoric can get away with the comparison.  But don’t be fooled!  McCain does not have the clear vision of a Ronald Reagan, nor the vigor or political climate that made TR such an influential politician.  We have a Ford, not a Lincoln; we have a McCain, not a Reagan.

AP photo.  National Photo Collection, Library of Congress.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tony Snow Dies at 53

Posted by Ryan on July 12, 2008

Former White House Press Secretary, radio talk-show host, moderator of “Fox News Sunday,” and former speechwriter for Bush 41, Tony Snow finally succumbed to the colon cancer he had been battling for a few years now when he died at about 2am Saturday morning at Georgetown University Hospital.  Although they had removed his colon a few years ago, the cancer nonetheless spread to his liver last year.  He leaves behind a wife, three children and many friends and admirers.

I’d been watching Tony Snow ever since my local cable finally carried Fox News back in 2000.  It was kind of awkward watching Chris Wallace take over for him as the moderator of “Fox News Sunday” a few years later.  Also, I remember Tony Snow filling for Rush once in a while when I was in college (Sean Hannity would also fill in from time to time, which happened to be my first exposure to both Hannity and Snow — thanks Rush for recognizing talent!).  As Press Secretary, it was so refreshing to see Snow strike back at the MSM who was unsuccessfully trying desperately to embarrass him and the White House like they did so effectively to Scott McClellan.

Like Tim Russert, this death is a huge loss to the media and culture as both were taken from us with so much potential left to be realized.

AP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Blogroll, Culture, Media Bias, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wasting Money Telling People About Cleaning up After the Wasted

Posted by Mike on July 1, 2008

One thing that bothers me even more than wasteful government programs is the way government often wastes money advertising wasteful government programs. Actually, what really bothers me is being caught off guard by a photo of an oversized vomiting sea cow. Thankfully this masterpiece advertising the fact that government will clean up your puddle of yack was funded by our British friends’ hard earned tax funds and not ours. Small comfort to those of us who, um, enjoyed that photo for free.

On a lighter note, if there is any truth to what was implied by today’s rumor, then this hag would be one heck of a step up for Alex Rodriguez.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Europe, Politics, Pop Culture, Sports, UK Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

I’d Go Where Matt Went

Posted by Mike on June 28, 2008

These videos are just cool. The story of how they came about isn’t bad either.


Posted in Anything Else, Culture | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Top Colleges For Conservatives

Posted by Mike on June 27, 2008

While perusing the Corner earlier today, I was pleased to see that All American Colleges has published a guide for the top 50 schools for conservatives, old-fashioned liberals, and people of faith. I was even more pleased with the cover. I know many of you will agree. 🙂

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Religion, Rhode Island | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Nancy Pelosi on the Price of Gas in Her Own Words

Posted by Ryan on June 27, 2008

Here’s a quote from San Fran Nan on the issue of high gas prices back in the summer of 2006:

“With skyrocketing gas prices, it is clear that the American people can no longer afford the Republican rubber-stamp Congress and its failure to stand up to the Republican big oil and gas company cronies….

Democrats have a common-sense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices by cracking down on price gouging, rolling back the billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, tax breaks and royalty relief given to big oil and gas companies, and increasing production of alternative fuels.”

That was when gas was at $2.91 a gallon.  Well, gas is currently at $4.08 just 18 months into the Democrat control of Congress.  There are many reasons why gas is high, the price of oil being one reason, but in the world of American politics, one takes credit when times are good, but also gets blamed when times are bad.

So, where are the Republicans hammering the Dems on this broken campaign pledge?  Not only do Republicans have a definite edge on the drilling solution, but using the Dems own words against them would help to unify the RNC’s voice nationally on this issue:  “Can we afford another Democrat Congress?” and so forth.  The press isn’t going to call the Dems out on this issue so we have to do it — this is finally an issue that the Republicans poll better than Dems this year!

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Imus Controversy Over Pacman Jones Comments

Posted by Ryan on June 24, 2008

Obama can throw his “typical white” racist grandma under the bus and the LA Times calls it his Abraham Lincoln moment.  That’s OK.  It’s being frank about race, but the microscope surrounding Don Imus has unearthed another controversial racial comment that is resulting in a new round of haranguing against the popular radio shock-jock.

Here’s the radio excerpt in question:

Imus says that this was taken out of context and that he was defending the NFL’s Pacman Jones, inferring that Pacman was being picked on the police for being black.  Either way one looks at it, this isn’t as flagrant as his comments on the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team back in April 2007, which cost him his job. 

However, Imus has to know that there are some out there looking for any gaffe of slip-up so they can take Imus down for good and keep racial issues in the headlines during this election year. 
 

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Early Down’s Alert Brings Up Abortion Issue

Posted by Ryan on June 21, 2008

A new antenatal test currently in trial stages can indicate whether or not a couple is going to have a child with Down’s Syndrome at about the seventh week of gestation.  Some believe this would definitely lead to increased abortions of those children.

We’re beginning to enter that world we all talked about 10-15 years ago when we asked “what if” science could find out things like this for the benefit of new parents before the child is born, or even change characteristics to create cafe-style children looking like we want them to, etc.  We’re not at the latter point yet, but probably will be within our lifetime. 

Yet, in this particular scenario (and most other ones of this nature) the child gets left behind.  It’s Down’s today, but what if tomorrow it is homosexuality or susceptiblility to multiple sclerosis or even (to some vein parents) an unwanted recessive eye color?  Isn’t this what the Nazis tried to do — weed out the weak in society for the strength and convenience of the living? 

Yet, shouldn’t the parents know everything they can about the health of their child before he or she is born?  It’s a potentially slippery slope when we start gauging the value of a child before he or she has a chance to be born if that means terminating those who are deemed weak or inconvenient after a couple initially had the intent to keep the child.

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Coldplay Plagiarism Controversy

Posted by Ryan on June 19, 2008

Coldplay’s new album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends debuted in America Tuesday and will predictably become a huge hit.  However, there is a potential plagiarism charge levied against the British superband.  Apparently the new Coldplay single (and title track) sounds a lot like the American band Creaky Boards song “The Songs I Didn’t Write.” 

I was once in a college band and know the controversies which arise from bands in the same genre swiping this or that lick or riff from other bands.  My band was innocent of that stuff because we weren’t trying to be too contemporary (we sounded like Tool meets Rush when at the time everyone wanted to sound like 311), but many bands in the area which had a very similar sound always used to complain about this band or that band stealing their music.  It was very tough to watch sometimes. 

In truth, copyrighted material like a song must be intentionally lifted and the notes/arrangement must be nearly identical to have a case in court, otherwise Paul and Ringo have quite a case against OasisVanilla Ice’s swipe of “Under Pressure” was a sampling he gave credit to but also took without permission, hence legal issues arose.  I think the Creaky Boards song and the Coldplay tune are somewhat similar, but Creaky Boards doesn’t have a case in my opinion since they two songs have different arrangements and lyrics.  They are somewhat similar, but not the same.

Hats off to Creaky Boards, though!  This is a great way to get one’s band in the news– all publicity is good publicity in music and the arts when one’s trying to break through.

AP photo.

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A Celtics vs. Lakers Final

Posted by Ryan on May 30, 2008

Tonight, the Boston Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons 89-81 in Game Six of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Championship game.  The Celts will now play for the NBA Championship for the first time in 21 years (that was 1987 for those of you with a public school education).  The kicker is who they are playing: the Los Angeles Lakers! 

Whoa…  I can’t believe it!  Where am I? Or more importantly, when am I?

If there ever was a classic NBA match-up to bring many old fans back, this is it.  I count myself in that category.  The NBA has been very unexciting to me since Michael Jordan finally retired.  I was mainly rooting against the Chicago Bulls back then, but Jordan was something special to watch and the Celts weren’t very good.  Just last year the Celts only won 24 games (this year they had a league-leading 66 wins!).

In fact, Boston fans haven’t had much reason to cheer for the Celtics over most of the last two decades because they have pretty much have stunk.  Hence, my interest in pro-basketball has waned considerably, replaced by a renewed interest in Big East College Basketball instead (Go Friars!).  However, a chance to see the Celts play their storied rival, the LA Lakers for the NBA Championship next week is just plain awesome!  I’ll watch every game and bask in all the history the commentators will relish in!

AP photo.

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Ban WiFi in Public Areas?

Posted by Ryan on May 25, 2008

That’s just what a Santa Fe group wants: the ban of WiFi service in public facilities like the library, city hall, and eventually stores.  They claim that since some people have real allergies to certain electrical fields (“electro-smog”), like those emitted by WiFi and cellphones, keeping WiFi in public areas risks discrimination in a way that violates of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I empathize for those people with those allergies, but I have WiFi and I love it, like my cellphone.  Should I get permission to stay home from work everyday there’s tree pollen in the spring, which I happen to have some allergies toward?  I know that trees can’t help it, but my boss can!  Is he discriminating against me because I have to work while sneezing, rubbing watery eyes, and teaching through a hoarse voice? 

No.  I have to cope, take allergy meds on the bad days, suck it up, and continue to be a cog in the wheels of American capitalism.  These folks should be targeting doctors to find meds and cures which allow them to take part in life, not minimize life for everyone else, claiming discrimination.  Do these folks work for the Obama campaign?  They’d fit right in.

Pic from WiseWiFi.net.

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Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Posted by Ryan on May 23, 2008

NOTE:  A FEW LIGHT SPOILERS:

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull  (2008 ) was a damn great flick, following in the serious, yet sometimes tongue-in-cheek, pulp action of the originals!  It was full of fun and outrageous death-defying action sequences, mystical plot twists, and of course the commies are the bad guys this time! 

In fact, the Russian Communist Party is not too happy about the movie’s portrayal of Soviet Communists in 1957.  Note to Comrade:  get over it — your predecessors were well-documented monsters and we know you aren’t anymore!  Marxist-Communism as a way of life has been exposed as a failure currently rotting on the ash heap of history.  The movie simply elaborates on already existing stereotypes of Soviets in the post-Stalin/pre-Sputnik period.

Back to the flick.  I enjoyed the fun and quickly accepted the unusual premise they through at us.  If you didn’t, the tone of this overview will not match yours.  Indiana Jones still rocks as an older professor.  I really enjoyed seeing Indy back in action.  George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have earned every dollar that their film makes this and in subsequent weekends. 

So, I don’t want to say anymore because there are things about this film that can be spoiled.  In short, I haven’t been this satisfied with a movie in a long time.  Both nostalgia and the film’s sense of fun (plus I love seeing commies as the bad-guys; the Nazis were getting old in these films) have earned an unabashed A for this film in my opinion.  If you have other thoughts after seeing the flick, comment using as many spoilers as you want– there is much to discuss.

Official movie picture printed in the Boston Globe.

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