Monday, March 31, 2008

Jessica Simpson Hospitalized

The eye is going to close out the month with a combination of continuing themes: Jessica Simpson and bad health. not my bad health this time. I am actually holding all this patchwork together for now. This clasp itches like mad, though. Thanks for asking.

Simpson checked into Cdars Sinai hospital on Friday with feeling feverish and achy. I would say she was feeling achy, breaky, but I am saving that joke for when Billy Ray pushes miley Cyrus too far into her $ 20 million a year empire and she goes all Britney Spears on us. simpson was suffering from a mild kidney infection and spent the weekend hospitalized.

Dallas Cowboy fans were enormous upset their whammy took effect six weeks too late to do their team any good. Terrel Owen was seen crying yet again. Tony Romo was fine as usual since, you know, he still gets to sleep with Simpson once the antibiotics work their magic. apparently that was this morning, because she was released a day earlier than expected.

And the beat rolls on...
Quick Thought(s)

If Hillary Clinton thinks she has as many superdelegates in the bag as she seemingly believes she does, you would think some of them would endorse her tit for tat with the ones coming out regularly for Barack Obama.

Here is one for the irony fans: Clinton is delinquent in pay her employees' health insurance. Did she not read her own massive legislation all those years ago? Too busy dodging snipers with Chelsea in tow, I will bet.

Anyone who thinks the superdelegates are going to follow Joe Klein's advice and hand the nomination over to Al Gore is living in a dreamworld. why the heck would you want Gore anyway? Obama is Gore with personality. Besides, Klein just wants material for Primary Colors II.

Conversely, anyone who believes John McCain can turn a significant number of blue states red in November is also floating on a cloud of delusion. I am going to vote for him, but i am only one of about 45% of the electorate who will do so.
Father Upset by Lindsay Lohan's Career Choices

Michael Lohan, father of shall we say “troubled” young star Lindsay Lohan, is upset his daughter has agreed to play a member of the Manson family in the upcoming aptly titled Manson Family. Michael is fearful his daughter will ruin her career by taking on such a role. No word on whether he is fearful Lindsay will destroy her life indulging in the drugs and alcohol that have caused her to crash more than one car, clash with police, and force a stint in rehab. Her mother, Dinah, is too busy filming her reality show to weigh in, but Hollywood parents tend to have blinders about such things when their kids become living, breathing ATM machines.

Michael has a point in his own way. Lindsay’s best success was in family friendly movies like Freaky Friday and Mean Girls. On the latter, Lindsay began a friendship with writer Tina Fey who prompted the Saturday Night live cast to stage an intervention for Lindsay regarding her drug and alcohol use, incidentally. There is more there in family friendly films than just career advancement, no? Playing a member of the Manson family could shut the doors to such roles in Michael’s mind, but I imagine those doors have already been shut. More on that in a minute.

I am not entirely certain Lindsay is not just taking what she can get. Her last film was a sadistic, sexually charged film in which she starred as a stripper. I Know Who Killed Me flopped in spectacular fashion, scooping up more Razzies than any film to date, even though viral marketing prominently featured Lindsay in a string bikini dancing suggestively on a stripper pole. While that should have attracted a prurient crowd of gawkers, it did not. Nor is it a good way to promote one’s self for more family friendly fare.

Really, just how far from family friendly can you get with a film about Charles Manson? There is an entire cult of personality still surrounding that deranged murder. Do a Google search sometime and look through some of the websites devoed to him. Virtually all are maintained by kids too young to remember what horrible crimes he committed and had others commit in his name and are too enamored with the freak to care.They market paraphernalia, write him fan mail since his address is prominently available on just about all of them.

A number of metal bands have even recorded a couple songs he wrote, joining the ranks of the Beach Boys as rock and rollers who have. I am not sure how Manson’s fans go from a guy who hung out with the Brian Wilson and is falsely rumored to have auditioned for the Monkees link him to hard thrash metal with any degree of innocence without glorifying his murders no matter how they clain to appreciate his “vision.”

I am curious if Lindsay might become something of a folk hero to that crowd. But I also thought it was peculiar for Jodie Foster to take on the role of Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs, a movie essentially about a serial killer becoming obsessed with her. Considering her unwanted association with would be presidential assassin John Hinckley, it struck me as odd she would want to put herself through it. But it turned out to be a good career move. It was a big hit and netter her an Oscar. But I cannot forget she jumped into the light hearted Maverick soon afger and avoided the Lambs sequel like the plague, so maybe there is something to shedding the association.

I am getting ahead of myself here. Manson Family will definitely be miles behind a film starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins directed by Ridley Scott. I would go so far as to say Lindsay is barely hanging on by the nails to the “B” list of celebrities. Sure, she has had some hits years ago, but she was never really that bankable. She has already proven to not be a box office draw in thrillers like Manson Family promises to be. In spite of Hollywood’s reputation for turning a blind eye towards their stars’ substance abuse, they do not risk big projects on people like that. Even the biggest stars have to seek public redemption afterwards.

Too bad Lindsay seemingly has no one other than Tina Fey pushing her in the right direction.If I were her father, I would worry less about how to brighten her future in family films and more about whether she will live to see her thirtieth birthday.
Shared Prosperity

Barack Obama has been tossing the term “shared prosperity” about quite a bit as of late. It resonates with folks as the economy slides towards recession. I hope the idea is not the cornerstone of the Obama economic plan for a couple reasons. The first being it is a simplistic platitude I would be embarrassed for voters to fall for and two, it is a seemingly benign socialism.

I imagine the idea of shared prosperity puts images of the haves and have nots being made more equal. But no one quite imagines how that would work. Then again, who needs to worry about the details, even if the devil is in them? It is the final result that looks so pretty. Remember that everything looks good on paper. It is the final result one has to measure by. In that regard, may I suggest looking towards the results of other visionaries who advocate shared prosperity like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez?

I do not believe if Barack Obama or by some curse (Heh.) Hillary Clinton were to become the next president, the united States would be well on its way to a socialist utopia. I am not even convinced Obama and Clinton are not money grubbing yuppies promoting class warfare because they are eaten up with guilt over success. John Edwards certainly had a case of it. The country’s slide towards socialism is going to be a slow one. Ironically, the biggest steps towards that end will come from conservatives. Bush’s prescription drug plan from 2003 was the largest social entitlement program since LBJ’s Great Society. Clinton could not come anywhere near passing such a thing during the health care “crisis” of the early ’90’s.

Here is the reality of how it is all going to be chipped away from you. There is no inherent economic difference between between a spending increase anda tax cut. It is the same amount of money either way. The difference is a philosophical one. Do you feel better putting your own money to use as you seefit or allowing the government to do so? I choose the former, but for some strange reason, many choose the latter. As that second group listens to the empty promises of pols like Obama, and grows `in number, we are going to be in deep, deep trouble.
Lost Island Map

Welcome to DHARMA Island. This map covers sites and events from the first three seasons of Lost. You have to estimate the sites of fourth season happenings. the map can be enlarged for better viewing.Some of this map seems dubious. Desmond's boat being so close to the Lostaway's camp sounds strange. Did no one explore into the rocks towards their east for two months? You also have to wonder about some of the travel times being consistent over the course of the show, but that has always been a source of amusement, no?

either way, it is a pretty neat reference for those who are Lost.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Blood from a Turnip

That is the only way I can describe the news cycle as of late regarding the 2008 race for the Democratic nomination. Nothing remotely exciting has happened in nearly a week, but the media has to fill hours upon hours of coverage and punditry like it has been one of the most profound periods in the election. Never mind that once the dust gas settled and we have a Democratic nominee, no one will even remember any of the drama.

Do not believe me? Fred Thompson had a chronic health concern. Rudy Giuliani sounded like a senile old man embellishing his war experience when he actually had none. Mitt Romney claimed he marched with Martin Luther King when he did not. Mike Huckabee promised to run the Constitution through a Jesus filter. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden were candidates at one point not too long ago. How much of this stuff do you even recall? A couple bits there got about as much hand wringing as Jeremiah Wright.

Have you heard enough about him yet? Hillary Clinton thought you had not and it hascost her in the polls while Barack Obama is on the rise. Her fib about her Tuzla Tussle that Never Was is hanging in the air, too. Both issues were the talk of the Sunday morning shows, but there was not a solitary new thing said about either one.

But there is good news for those whose eyes are glazing over because of the hyped coverage. While there was earlier gloom and doom that Clinton was going to do phenomenally well in Pennsylvania, there is a good chance now Obama could be allocated enough delegates for him to magnanimously allow Clinton to have all her disputed delegates from the punished states of Michigan and Florida and still be comfortably ahead. If he were to do such a thing, it would effectively kill Clinton chances when this thing gets handed over to the super delegates

She is not going to drop out anytime soon, but I am goig to rescind my earlier prediction that when she does finally do so, she will have a future as Senate Majority Leader. I now believe too many of her colleagues support Obama for her to effectively run the Senate. She is stepping on way too many toes, but then again, that is how the Clintons generally operate while still expecting to be placed in charge.
Opening Day

It is spring, when a young man's attention turns to two important things: love and major league Baseball. I have posted enough celebrity bikini photos as of late to cover the former, so here is my contribution to the latter. forget Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and any other nasty blights emerging over the winter and play ball!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Measure of a Man

Was it just my experience, or did the news that American deaths in Iraq reached 4,000 this week fall through the cracks? I understand from a cold, calculated viewpoint 4,000 deaths in a five year old war is a success. For all our casualties, American forces have yet to suffer a platoon level defeat. There were many brigade level defeats in Vietnam, much less platoons. But even writing that gives me an uneasy sense of callousness. Deaths are deaths. That is 4,000 broken families that will never be whole again and it does not even count the tens of thousands of wounded-- we are talking about blinded, limbless, and paralyzed soldiers here --for whom life as they knew it has completely ended.

Is there any particular outrage? Dick Cheney made two statements this week in regards to the announcement of the 4,000 casualties. The first thing he was Bush endures the greatest burden. That is such an idiotic statement it does not merit further discussion. Just read the last sentence in the first paragraph of this post again. The only thing I can add is shame on Cheney for declaring such a thing. The second statement was this isan all volunteer military who knew what they were getting into when they signed up. In a way, I have to agree with him, even though he sounds like an uncaring jerk for saying it. The thing is, we have largely ignored both sentiments from Cheney.

Again, I have nothing more to add about the first, but the second is largely our fault. Yes, indeed it is an all volunteer military full of men and womwn who knew exactly what they were doing when they signed up. But they are there to fight on our behalf, so we bear a great deal of responsibility to choose the battles they fight extremely carefully. Not to mention we ought to show a bit more concern for the consequences of those battles for all parties involved.

I am not even talking about the hows and whys we got into the war, or any accusations of war profiteering by US companies. Heck, I am a cynic. I know a war has to be sold to the people in a democracy and that no country ever goes to war unless industry is going to make a buck off it. I am talking more about the tribal warfare our armed forces are currently in the middle of. There is an election coming up in October for Iraq. The minority side, led by Sadr, does not have the numbers to win, so they have decided to slaughter the opposition Unfortunately, a large part of the american trained Iraqi army just fled for their lives in battle earlier this week. It is going to get worse before it gets better. Someone really needs to take notice before we lose another 4,000.
Earth Day

Have you beaten a global warming alarmist with a switch of rain forest wood yet?
Paris Hilton on Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton was selected as a judge in the Miss Turkey beauty pageant. She sat down for an interview with the Turkish press in which she claimed, among others things, she does not pay attention to the lies told about her because she is a good person, believes she is a self-made woman, and calls herself a good role model for all those things. Well, oh, my. Where to begin with all that? My answer nay surprise you, but i do not think her critics ought to be chopping her up so brutally.

Is Hilton a good person? It beats me. I do not know what honestly motivates her. She is famous more for a sex tape than being part of the born rich, Lucky Sperm Club, so there is at least one strike against her for being both a good person and a role model. I would not say she is self-made, either. Her grandfather built his $ 2.3 billion hotel chain from the ground up. She has been in an awful movie, an even worse reality show, and a Burger King commercial on top of the sex tape. Not exactly competing with Oprah Winfrey in the empire building department there, is she?

But you know what? I have a soft spot for Hilton. She made a stupid mistake with the DUI, but she paid for it and has not gotten in trouble since. I recall when she was hauled back off to jail after her early release in tears and calling for her mother how she was a life line from the legitimate media in down. I understand Americans like to see the shallow rich suffer, but I could not help but feel for her. It was evidence of our national callousness. I am not saying there should have been candlelight vigils, but could we have at least not mocked so brutally?

I think Hilton is a lot like Jessica Simpson. She is dumb as a pickaxe, but her heart is in the right place. She did visit an African orphanage last week. You and I are not doing that. For better or for worse, those kids knew who she was, good role model or not. Yes, she embarrasses herself with a constant lack of self-awareness as well, but I am willing to cut her some slack. I know how stupid and/or demented I would look if television cameras and various paparazzi followed me around 24/7. Or maybe I am just getting soft in my old age.

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's a Bird! It's a Plane!

No, it is millions of dollars to the heirs of Jerry Seigel and Joe Siegel, the creators of Superman.:
LOS ANGELES — Time Warner is no longer the sole proprietor of Superman.

A federal judge here on Thursday ruled that the heirs of Jerome Siegel — who 70 years ago sold the rights to the action hero he created with Joseph Shuster to Detective Comics for $130 — were entitled to reclaim their share of the U. S. copyright to the character. The ruling left intact Time Warner's international rights to the character, which it has long owned through its DC Comics unit.

And it reserved for trial questions about how much the company may owe the Siegel heirs for use of the character since 1999, when their ownership is deemed to have been restored. Also to be resolved is whether the heirs are entitled to payments directly from Time Warner's film unit, Warner Brothers, which took in $200 million at the domestic box office with its Superman Returns in 2006, or only from the DC unit's Superman profits.
I cannot describe how much this is going to change the comic book industry. Companies like DC and Marvel operate almost exclusively on a work for hire basis and retain the copyrights to any characters created by their salaried employees and freelancers. Needless to say, creations like Spider-Man and Batman have brought in millions upon millions of dollars for the companies while their creators have had to move on to others mediums to make ends meet. That is going to drastically change now.

The entire article is here.
Campaign Sparring

Patrick Leahy came out today urging Hillary Clinton to quit seeking the nomination and endorse Barack Obama already like he has. He was very harsh about it and later backed off his strong statement. I imagine he had a moment of clarity. When Clinton does eventually head back to the senate full time, she is bound to make a move to replace Harry Reid as Majority Leader. One assumes Leahy would quickly find himself in the doghouse if that were to occur. It is always nice to see a politician follow his principles.

Do you want to know how irrationally enamored the press is towards anyone who can packaged liberalism in a cute way? Today Chelsea Clinton told some reporters her mother will make a better president than her father did. That is a throwaway line she would be expected to make regardless of truth. But a pundit I heard this afternoon speculated Chelsea was subtly implying Hillary does not have the moral failings Bill has. Oh, come on. Do they really think Chelsea was trying to say he mother is not a dishonest, sex crazed crook like her father was? I am pretty sure she was just playing for the cameras, people.

John McCain has finally come out with a campaign ad. It is only running in New Mexico. I understand why there is only one ad since he only raised $ 11 million last month, but I have not the foggiest idea why it is running in New Mexico. It is a swing state, but with Bill Richardson backing Obama, it is probably not going to swing McCain’s way. Regardless, McCain is emphasizing his POW status yet again in it. He needs to make a better attempt at addressing economic issues instead. We already know about his war experience. What we do not know is what he is going to do about the recession we are fast sliding into.

Speaking of that ad, it is narrated by Powers Booth. Booth played cult leader Jim Jones in a television movie years ago, the brothel owner on Deadwood, and a crooked Vice President who stole the White House (from a black man, no less) on 24. How appropriate isall that for McCain?
Governor Rudy Giuliani?

I was a rudy Giuliani guy there for a while. It was fun while it lasted, but I quickly realized Giuliani had sorely misjudged the lasting impact of 9/11. He assumed we were living in the Post 9/11 era when, in fact, we are living in the Iraq War era. Either of those should amount to killing the bad guys being a high priority for Americans, but we cannot pit blinders on to economic troubles, either. Giuliani could have solved that problem by running more on his record as mayor, but by the time realized his old strategy was not working, John McCain had risen too far.

I suspect Giuliani is a politician whose time has come and gone. I am not so sure he sees it that way. According to this New York Post article, Giuliani plans to run a campaign for governor of New York should the current Governor Patterson have to resign under scandal. Bear in mind there is no special election planned, Patterson is popular in spite of scandal, and the NYP is a newspaper that gets it wrong almost as often as Pravda Even parakeets feel embarrassed to pop on it.

But it would not surprise me too much. It is probably the move Giuliani should have made to begin with, although I suspect he would not have beaten the then popular Spitzer in 2006. In the NYP article is true, then Giuliani has visions of serving out Patterson‘s term, running himself in 2010, thern jumping into the 2012 presidential race with more clout. Would it work? I doubt it. It would especially be problematic if the slowing economy destroys his chance to prove his fiscal skills in state government, much less if he can forget 9/11 as much as the electorate has..
New Torchwood Music Video

Here is a music video for the Torchwood episode "Dead Man Walking." It has so far been my favorite episode of the season. I watched the installment three days after I got out of the hospital last month. I was still in pain and dazed on Percodan which probably enhanced the experience of Owen Harper being not quite dead yet, but literally battling the Grim reaper in the climax. Quite creepy, really.

If anyone is keeping score, the episode was written by Matt Jones who also wrote "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit" for the second season of Doctor Who. Those two rank right up top the list of best DW episodes. The Doctor encounters old scratch himself, so it appears Jones has a fascination with death and the afterlife.

Anyway, enjoy the video. it is set to Kate Rusby's rendition of the Irish folk ballad, "Unquiet Grave." The song gives me chills every time I hear it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's My Party...Honestly. It Is

John McCain was raising campaign money today with his former opponent for the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney, along side him. Their appearances together have fueled (hopeful?) speculation McCain will choose Romney as his running mate. I have my doubts. They did not appear to like each other during the campaign and while Romney has since praised McCain at every opportunity since dropping out of the race, McCain appears strained. About as happy as he was to get Bush’s endorsement at the White House a couple weeks ago.

Truth is McCain was raising money in Salt Lake City, Utah and needed devout Mormon Romney by his side. While he may still be tapped for the Veep spot, I think McCain will make a more nuanced choice. Maybe not a better one, mind you. I heard Joe Scarborough suggest he might pick Joe Lieberman. All the surrounding pundits chuckled a minute and then realized McCain might just be maverick enough to do it. I think there is a place for Lieberman in a McCain cabinet instead. I am pretty sure anyone else with any political savvy thinks that is where he will wind up instead of on the ticket.

Speaking of wacky party choices, the Libertarians have their presidential nominee- Mike Gravel. I imagine the ron Paul devotees are disemboweling themselves en masse tonight with the news. Can anyone just walk into Libertarian Party headquarters and become its nominee? Gravel came in dead last seeking the Democratic nomination. Today he left the party claiming it had abandoned the ideals of FDR. Now there is a head scratcher for you. The legacy of FDR is a growing welfare state, large military complex, and international interventional. Exactly how does the Libertarian Party exemplify those ideals? For that matter, what makes Gravel think the Democratic Party does not?
The Law is an Ass

While we are on the subject of why wasting three years of my life studying law was the worst decision I have ever made, witness the story of one Juan Manuel Alvarez. In 2005, Alvarez made several failed attempts to end his own life. Finally, settled allegedly settled on a full proof method. He drove his Jeep Grand Cherokee to some railroad tracks in Glendale, California and parked right on them. For good measure, he soaked the Cherokee in gasoline.

What happened next is in dispute, but apparently Alvarez had a change of heart and quickly escaped the Cherokee. He left it on the tracks, however. While he escaped harm, the train collided with the parked vehicle, killing eleven people and injuring 200 to varying degrees, but many seriously. Alvarez is now charged with eleven counts of murder, one count of arson, and numerous other offenses relating to the injuries train passengers suffered. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Considering Alvarez’s criminal negligence for disregarding the safety of everyone on the coming train, I say he probably deserves it if found guilty.

But there is the kicker about being found guilty. Alvarez’ lawyers are going to put up a temporary insanity defense. Specifically they are going to argue alvarez believed the train would hit his Cherokee, destroy it and him, and then go along its merry way with no further effects. The sequence of events that lead to the train crashing were unforeseeable to Alvarez.

Can you believe that? I cannot, but lawyers, who have graduated at the top of their undergrad schools and went on to probably graduate at the top of their law schools, are going to argue that with straight faces. Temporary insanity. It essentially means the defendant went crazy, did something bad, quickly recovered, assures everyone it will never happen again, and therefore needs to be let off the hook to return to his normal life. Meanwhile, eleven people are dead and 200 are maimed.

Maybe it is too harsh to say if alvarez is guilty, he ought to be executed. His lawyers are certainly going to first play on the jury’s sympathies and then absolutely numb their minds with months of testimony if they get the vibe that is not working. The trial is expected to last three months at the quickest. Insane or not, temporarily or not, or just plain mean spirited or stupid, Alvarez needs to be locked up where he cannot endanger anyone else.

You know the most unsettling part for me? If Alvarez came to me with that set of facts and asked me to devise a defense for him, I would do exactly what his lawyers came up with. It bemuses me to think about what I almost became.
The Economics of Celebrity Parenting

Why is family law the last refuge of law school graduates who cannot find a job? Because it is an incredibly nasty business. In many ways, worse than helping put criminals back on the street. Your client ar, in many ways, just as despicable as the perp who will hit an old lady across her head for the ten dollars in her purse. When put in certain situations, people will use every weapon in the arsenal to suck a former loved one dry. They will especially use the kids if at all possible in their schemes.

Case in point: Heather Mills. The former Mrs. Paul McCartney has hired a time of accountants to prove McCartney is worth much more than he claimed during divorce proceedings. Evidently $ 48.6 million just does not stretch as far as it once did in the United Kingdom, what with its confiscatory tax policies and all. But what is Mills’ rationale for all this?She does not want their daughter, Bea, to live two different lifestyles..

Rather nasty argument there. Yes, she is using her daughter as a weapon to get more money, but she is doing it by subtly claiming McCartney will become a treat parent. That is a situation in which the non custodial parent takes the child for weekend visitation, does all sorts of fun and/or expensive outings, and then returns the child to the custodial parents who has to deal with all the day to day affairs of raising a child. You know, the mundane tasks and the discipline. It can make a child become more attached to the treat parent rather than the other. It is a sign of parental immaturity to become a treat parent, but in this case, it is evidence of Mills’ immaturity. Does she really think she has the right to live the high life because McCartney is even wealthier? Not only that, but using her daughter is a perfectly rationale thing to do?

Goodness, woman. You were awarded $ 48.6 million. Let it be.
Torchwood Music Video

A music video for the episode "Reset," which reintroduced Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Uncomfortable Truths

Even before the whole Tuzla, Bosnia fantasy trip of Hillary Clinton’s took hold in the media, her favorability ratings were dropping. Some of it has to do with her harping about Jeremiah Wright, a matter people appear to have given Barack Obama a free pass on, but most of it has to do with Democrats really, really warming up to Obama since Clinton is old news.

But all is not lost for Clinton. I have not been able to find a link, but it has been reported on more than one television news show (if it is on television, you know it has to be true) 28% of Clinton voters will not support Obama if he gets the nomination. That is to say, a third of the people who want to vote for Clinton will either vote for John McCain or stay home in November. That is a remarkable number.

But here is the best part: David Gregory had a pundit visibly squirming this afternoon when he asked her who these Clinton enthusiasts were demographically. She hem hawed a bit and finally said the most loyal Clinton backers were older white woman. Gregory immediately shifted gears because he realized what she was actually saying: Obama was right in his speech last week when he claimed his white grandmother was racist. Older white women do not trust a young, black man and will not vote for him.
The World is Watching

The world is paying attention to the Democratic nomination process. Apparently, the entire planet has accepted the idea whoever wins the nomination will beat the bejebus out of John McCain come November just like most of our country appears to think. This article from the Wall Street Journal notes Barack Obama is popular in Europe and Africa, Hillary Clinton is big in Mexico and China, and McCain just took a trip to the Middle East. No word on whether the Middle East appreciated the gesture. I guess not.

I can make a couple other observations. I can understand Obama’s popularity in Africa since he spent many of his young years in Kenya. But his popularity in Europe strikes me as a sign he is way too liberal to suit me. I already had that notion foor perusing his voting record in the Senate, but when Belgium thinks he is the cat’s meow, it seals the deal for me. It does not surprise me that China is fond of Clinton. They appreciate the loyalty of someone who has been bought and paid for.

You know what really gets me about all this? I understand the United states is the world’s sole super power, so international attention will be focused on us. But since we are the de facto leaders of the international community, should we not be a little less self-absorbed? The average guy on the street of Nairobi, Kenya or Beijing, China has a rationalized opinion as to which candidate of one of our political parties ought to win and most of us cannot name the leaders of our closests allies. If you asked the average American if he likes David Cameron or Gordon Brown, he is likely to look at you puzzled and answer that while he watches American Idol, he really does not know the contestants’ names.
Jessica Simpson

She looks pretty classy here, save for the peek at the side boob, which gives the photo a certain peekaboo feel. Regardless, I thought I would share. You can make up your own mind why you enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hillary Clinton Aims for the Knees

You know, Hillary Clinton really is not getting blasted for misrepresenting her experience in Bosnia. It has been the main topic of the day, but does not appear to have the legs the Jeremiah Wright story had against Barack Obama. I am considering that from the left and right, while I have to note the conservative pundits are not paying much attention because they are still obsessed with Wright.

Maybe the right is cutting Clinton some slack because she is still keeping the Wright story alive. Today she held a press conference surrounded by the editorial board of the same Pennsylvania paper that made a concerted effort to prove Vince Foster was murdered on her behalf. In other words, the paper that was the centerpiece of the “vast rightwing conspiracy” she once accused of trying to bring her husband down, a claim I thought was incredibly unfair considering all bill Clinton was doing to bring himself down.

Or maybe the press is just assuming Hillary is being a tried and true Clinton. Anything either of them does that would normally destroy any other candidate only makes them more popular. Perhaps the media believes making hay of it is futile. Or they just want to keep her in the race to see a bloody battle. It is interesting, because I got the distinct vibe from the Sunday morning news shows the effort to save the press’ effort to salvage Obama campaign from its self-inflicted racial quagmire. Surely they arenot going to let Clinton coast through the primaries?

One animus democratic operative thinks they are not. He or she has taken the media to task for perpetuating the idea Clinton cannot win the nomination. To which several opinion outlets replied that of course she can, but only by some major Obama collapse probably brought on by Clinton herself. The anonymous source went on to suggest that is exactly what she is going to do, as the only way she can defeat Obama is to use a Tonya Harding tactic.

You may recall, however, while Harding clubbed her main rival, Nancy Kerrigan, in the knee, she wound up still being beaten by her in the 1994 Olympics. But Clinton should take heart. As you can see in the above photo, Harding eventually got to box and defeat one of Bill Clinton’s (many?) objects of adulterous carnal affections, Paula Jones, on one of FOX’s lowest points (that is saying something) Celebrity Boxing. So, even if Clinton follows Hardings’ lead, but still oses the nomination, she has the chance to beat the living snoit out of Paula Jones. Perhaps that will serve as some consolation.
Torchwood "Exit Wounds" Spoilers

There will be a week long hiatus before Torchwood airs its second season finale, “Exit Wounds,” While there does not appear to be any connection between the finale and the first episode of Doctor Who’s fourth season, the episode has been moved up to April 4th, one day before the fourth season premieres. Cross promotion, one assumes. Some spoilers have emerged about the finale. I am about to write about them in full detail, so if you wish to remain a virgin, skip the rest of this post.

Capt. John Hart returns as a prisoner of Jack’s brother, Gray. Gray was captured and tortured for years by the aliens who invaded Jack’s home world. He hates Jack for living him behind and seeks revenge. Grey buries jack alive and goes` about trying to destroy Cardiff with a Weevil invasion and hunting down Torchwood. Along the way, Owen and Tosh are killed. Thanks to some quick thinking by John, Jack is able to escape by returning to the past and being hidden by past versions of Torchwood until this moment. Jack defeats Gray and puts him on ice. John hart wanders off, apparently leaving open the possibility of returning. The episode ends with Jack, Gwen, and Ianto mourning the loss of their comrades.

No word on whether the rumor of Martha Jones replacing Owen is true, but I would certainly like to see Freema Agyeman return. I will probably think even more so when I have to tolerate Catherine Tate as Donna, the Doctor’s new companion, for an entire season. I understand she is very popular in the United Kingdom, but I cannot for the life of me understand why her screeching comedic style is so popular. What a difference the ocean between us makes, no?
Berkeley v. the Marines

Just what kind of Marine could you recruit out of Berkeley? One shudders to imagine.
Hillary Clinton in Tuzla, Bosnia

Remember last week when she said she landed in Bosnia in 1996 under sniper fire? It was a little less dramatic than that:I will give her some credit, though. She had to sit through a Sinbad comedy routine which is almost as bad as being shot at. You have to love b0th the Clintons. They not only shape reality to suit their needs and expect us to buy into it, but bless their hearts, so many of us actually do.

Nice to see that without Dan Rather's personal agendas getting in the way, CBS will investigate a Democrat and back it up with facts. Kudos to network news. Still somewhat relevant in this day and age.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Slow News Day

As far as I am concerned, it is a slow news day. I could not find much of anything to merit its own post. You can pretty much assume when I start the day posting Leah remini in a bikini, there is not much of substance forthcoming. It is kind of like dangling something shiny in front of a redneck. A distraction from the fact I got nuthin’.

Nuthin’ unusual, anyway. The ne governor of New York has admitted on top of having a long extramarital affair, he used to snort cocaine as well. What in the world is going on in New York? I had hoped sex, drugs, and rock and roll was just the Clintons, but apparently it has infected the rest of the democratic Party. Of course, since the people like Patterson and disliked Spitzer, he is going to get away with it.

One who is not going to get away with it is Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. The mayor has been indicted on perjury, obstruction of justice, and impersonating Huggy Bear from Starsky & Hutch. The last one is the most criminal, in my opinion. No one can replace Huggy Bear. He is the real pimp daddy.

In all seriousness, I would like to say something profound about the number of Iaq war dead reaching 4,000, but I am at a loss for words. I have seen Dick Cheney in Israel claiming Bush has faced more of the war’s burden than the families whose sons and daughters have died in the war and Keith Olbermann frothing at the mouth in an antiwar in his usual unreasoned manner, so I am honestly not big on joining in either side of the issue at the moment. History is always the best judge, which is too easy for me to say since I am not going to be killed on a sand dune outside Samarra antime soon.
Leah Remini

Because for seven years, she made us believe a fat UPS delivery guy could land a woman like her. For that, Ms. Remini, we salute your little Scientrologist heart.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Torchwood--"Fragments"

I am a sucker for origins stories even when, like here, virtually every time the characters first meet, they dislike each other. For whatever reason, “Fragments” reminded of the West Wing two part episode “In the Shadow of Two Gunmen.” there, too, a near deadly attack prompts characters to reminisce on how they came together. Some of the revelations here are puzzling in light of what we have seen before, but I will get to that in a moment. Overall, I liked the episode.

The team, sans Gwen who overslept, investigates alleged alien activity in an empty building. Instead of aliens, they come explosive devices which goes off at close range, yet none are particularly injured. They are, all trapped, however. While stuck, each one of them remembers the time he or she came to join Torchwood.

Jack is captured by the 1899 version of the team because he has been going around Cardiff talking about the Doctor. He hunts down a blowfish alien for them like the one appearing in the season premiere. He reluctantly joins the team when a fortune teller informs him he will not see the Doctor again until the 21st century. He has to begin recruiting a new team once one member goes crazy over millennial anxiety and kills the rest of New Year’s Eve, 1999.

Toshiko recalls stealing plans from a research facility on behalf of terrorists who have her mother prisoner. She is arrested by UNIT and locked away indefinitely under new terrorist laws. after some time, Jack makes her an offer: work for him with her technological skills and he will wipe her criminal record away in five years. She agrees.

Ianto helps Jack subdue a Weevil, then hounds him for a job. Jack knows Ianto used to work for Torchwood London and wants no part of him. After Ianto helps Jack capture the Pterodactyl, he relents and offers Ianto a spot on the team. Owen remembers how he was engaged to a young woman who was apparently in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. There is no way someone so young could suffer from that disease, so Owen demands further tests. They reveal a tumor that must be operated on immediately. During the surgery, some commotion develops and Jack shows up. The tumor was actually an incubating alien. Owen’s fiancee is dead. Jack offers him a chance to battle aliens and hopefully keep this sort of tragedy from happening again.

In the present, Gwen shows up with Rhys to save the trapped team. He is back to his good natured self rather than the screeching jerk he was last episode. It is revealed Capt. John hart was behind the attack. He has Jack’s missing brother, Gray, and plans to destroy Jack’s life, bit by bit…

I did like the episode even if there were some head scratching moments. Most center on the episode, “adam,” in which Tosh and Owen in particular relive defining moments in their lives, but neither are about becoming a traitor or losing your fiancee to an alien attack. It seems odd to not think of those as the most pivotal moments in one’s life, no? All of this does explain why there was no camaraderie on the team last season, though. Tosh was drafted, Owen is emotionally dead and cynical about love, and Ianto had the ulterior motive of saving his girlfriend, Lisa, from becoming one of the Cybermen. No wonder they never really came together. It was pretty clear last season Gwen was the conscience of the team. Obviously her arrival saved them, symbolically then and literally now.

Rating: **** (out of 5)
Torchwood--"Adrift"

Torchwoodappears to be developing a theme of having a Gwen centered episode every year in which marches off on some holier-than-thou crusade the rest of the team could not care less about and always winds up broken hearted at the end. Oh, yes-- and every guy she meets goes completely ga ga over her along the way. Last season’s installment, “Random Shoes,” was the worst of the year because of its corny elements. “Adrift” was this year’s worse for so many reasons, it is hard to articulate them all, but I shall give it ye olde college try.

First, a quick recap. A teenager named Jonah suddenly vanishes while walking home. Since the united Kingdom is a police state with cameras everywhere, his literal disappearance is caught on film. Gewn’s old partner, Andy, alerts her since this is torchwood’s forte. By the way, he is madly in love with her, although we have never been given the slightest hint of that before. He remarks Gwen has become as clinical about these things as she once accused jack of being. After meeting the grieving mother, Gwen takes on the case. She eventually discovers the Rift works both ways. It has been snatching up people for years.

Jack adamantly leans on Gwen to drop the issue, but she will not. Ianto secretly helps her discover a remote light house where she learns Jack is keeping a number of the supposedly missing people. He finally opens up to her that people have gone and returned, but those that do are sick beyond salvation. She meets Jonah, who is now forty years older and terribly deformed by his ordeal. Against Jack’s wishes, Gwen brings Jonah’s mother to see him. It is a tense reunion that gets worse when Jonah’s real sickness is revealed: he has gone completely mad by his ordeal. He screams at the top of his lungs twenty hours a day with no relief. So that is why they are locked up. Jonah’s mother tells Gwen she made a mistake by bringing her here. She would rather have kept hope than know the terrible truth.

I have no idea what they were trying to accomplish with this episode. Every character came across as an out of character unlikeable jerk. Gwen and Rhys screech at each other about starting a family. Gwen screws Andy over any number of times apparently because being part of torchwood makes her so much better than he is. Jack comes across as a hypocrite, first by not telling families their loved ones are alive when he has been weepy about his missing brother all season, then not euthanizing the hopeless returned humans or painlessly freezing them like the team has done for the last two seasons. Not to say either of those is the best solution, but they are in tune with the character. Throwing them all in dank, dark cells until they die does not strike me as caring for them in any compassionate sense.

The whole episode just irked me. I got the impression the writer was trying to be meaningful, but there was no significant message there at all. The only clever bit I got was the allusion to the Biblical Jonah being swallowed up by a whale and this Jonah being swallowed by the rift. Clever is not an apt word for that. Cliché is more appropriate.

Rating: * (out of 5)
Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Stand Up and Shout

I did not fill out an NCAA bracket and I am proud of it!
The Writing on the Wall

The rumblings about Hillary Clinton’s ability to win the Democratic nomination which started from the ground up after her resurgence last month has finally reached the mainstream media. I have speculated in the past the media kept the myth Clinton could still win as a way of creating drama where there is none. Perhaps they were already bored with the idea of a john McCain versus Barack Obama match up. Whatever the case may be, they cannot ignore the writing on the wall any longer. The first undeniable sign was the revelation Obama actually won Texas, negating half Clinton’s comeback.

For whatever reason, Clinton fails to see it, but there is simply no way she can win without some dirty tricks at the convention which would alienate half the party and cast her as Cruella de Ville. I see even that scenario as a fantasy of people who despise her to begin with and believe she always has some cutthroat, Machiavellian plan to assume absolute power. I am not one of those people. I think she is downright pitiful at this point. No is no compelling reason, since she wants it badly enough, to run for president again in 2012 or even 2016, but she is willing to burn all her bridges because she wants it now. She is really embarrassing herself.

In order to pursue her lost cause, she has to ignore that she has lost the pledge delegate count, lost the popular vote count, and will ultimately lose the super delegate count. Bill Richardson’s endorsement of Obama yesterday solidified that for me. While it is blatantly obvious Richardson wants to become Obama’s secretary of state, the fact that he is willing to come out after a fairly long dry spell of super delegate loyalty declarations says the opportunists sense it in the air whose caravan they need to hitch their wagon to.

Even Clinton’s own campaign would like to stop. I have never seen that sort of thing happen before, but some are even willing to publicly say Clinton has no shot at winning. But you know, if by some miracle she does, she would have to have Obama as her running mate. I do not see any way around it, but I do not see either candidate agreeing to the idea, either. Looks like Clinton loses even if she wins.

It is not that Clinton would make a bad Democratic president or a worse one than Obama. The further along we go, the less I like Obama. Not that I would have ever voted for him to begin with, but I believe he is making himself look much less presidential as he goes along. People are uncomfortable talking about race and thanks to Jeremiah Wright, the issue has become front and center and will probably stay that way a good while. The more people get to know Obama, the less they like him. It looks like the democratic party may have itself yet another John Kerryesque case of buyer’s remorse when it is all said and done.
Torchwood Music Video

Here is a music video for the episode "Adam" set to "Climbing Up the Walls" by Radiohead.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Paris Hilton Visits African Orphanage

Am I, the epitome of the cold hearted cynic, skeptical of all things celebrity, going to give Paris Hilton props for doing a very good thing? Remember this date, because, yes, I am. Hilton is in South Africa with her new boyfriend, Benji Madde of Good Charlotte. The band is kicking off a world tour in Johannesburg this weekend. Hilton visited the orphanage and was immediately swamped by the children who recognized her right away. That is actually kind of depressing.

Now that I think of it, it was twenty-two years ago that Paul Simon toured with a group of singers from South Africa to protest apartheid and promote his Graceland album, not necessarily in that order. Now they have fallen from Simon to Good Charlotte? That is quite a collapse. Maybe they can call Hilton a woman with diamonds on the soles of her shoes in some fit of nostalgia.

Anyway, Hilton signed photos of her bikini clad self and posed for photos without ever requesting the disinfectant you have to assume she would normally insist upon in such circumstances. Before she left, the children presented her with an ostrich scarf. That is nice. Sounds itchy, but nice. PETA would hate it, therefore, I like it. Oh, I like the whole thing. Kudos to Ms. Hilton.

UPDATE: Have a visual aid:
Passportgate

Is anyone calling it that yet? I figured it was only a matter of time before someone dubbed the whole non issue “Passportgate.” I first heard about it last night when I flipped on Countdown. Keith Olberman is an entertaining, if somewhat unhinged moonbat, soul. He and his fellow punidits were quite convinced there was some sort of Republican dirty tricks going on in spite of the fact passport records do not show much more than which countries the passport holder has visited, how long he stayed, and any trouble he might have needed a consulate’s assistance to deal with. The last might be juicy, but I doubt Barack Obama has had any serious run ins.

The pundits kept alluding to an incident in 1991 when the white House allegedly ordered Bill Clinton’s passport data to be searched. They were supposedly looking for Clinton’s antiwar activities in Moscow during a trip there while he was attending Oxford. I have only the vaguest memories of that. Honestly, I remember Hunter S. Thompson’s wild eyed accusations regarding the Bush Administration’s treachery over the alleged searches more than anything else. I believe the White House was cleared of any connection to the searches, but feel free to correct me in the comments should you deem it necessary.

The point is this is nothing but three contractors unwisely satisfying curiosity. The only real issue if why the state department was so incompetent in dealing with it. Three separate contractors accessed the information on three separate occasions starting in January and running through last Friday. Obama was not informed his privacy was violated until yesterday afternoon and even then, his Senate office was informed, not the man himself. That is not only incompetence, but a below minimal amount of courtesy to the Senator.

But guess what? That proves a failure of bureaucracies to work properly and the left just cannot accept that government does not work all that well. So they have to manufacture a conspiracy to fill a 24 hour news cycle and hope they can bring down-- who exactly? I assume there was underlying implication that Bush, McCain, or at least the RNC was involved, but at least had the good sense to not pass that one off overtly. I doubt even they could have done it with a straight face.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lost--"Meet Kevin Johnson"

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse wanted to end the half of the strike shortened season with the last episode figuring it would be a better cliffhanger. I have never been a big fan of the Korean lovwe birds, but perhaps having the final scene before the hiatus be Jin’s (most likely empty) grave would have tided fans over until April 24th. I further agree tonight’s ending was not much to chew on. However, the bulk of the episode certainly was. There is loads to talk about here. Fans will definitely be dissecting this for for the next month.

It starts and ends apart from the main story. Locke has gathered together his people so that Ben and Miles can reveal all. Miles admits he and the freighter crew have come for Ben. They have orders to kill everyone on the island once they have him, so locke has to convince everyone Ben needs to be protected. Ben knows the crew is eventually coming for him and pulls alex aside to warn her. He insists she take Carl and her mother to the temple that has only been mentioned once before, if I recall correctly. Danielle does not trust Ben, but to protect her daughter, she agrees.

On the freighter, Sayid and Desmond awaken to a brawl outside. Someone else has tried to leave the ship, but the captain nearly beats the guy to an inch of his life to keep him on board. Whatever sickness that has been affecting the crew’s mental states is getting worse. Sayid finally yanks Michael aside to get the story of why he is here. Thus begins one long flashback to Michael’s days after he left the island.

He is not doing well. In fact, he tries on several occasions to commit suicide. At some point, he confessed to Walt he murdered Ana-Lucia and Libby in order to save him. Walt goes to live with his grandmother and refuses to see his father. The estrangement pushes Michael over the edge. He is stopped from shooting himself by tom, fresh off the island. Michael wants nothing to do with him until he realizes that tom is correct about the island not wanting him to kill himself. No suicide attempt works.

Michael catches up with Tom in a hotel room where Tom is..uh, hanging out with his boyfriend. Yes, when Tom told Kate she was not his type, he actually did mean he was gay. Anyhow, tom explains that Charles Widmore planted the fake plane at the bottom of the ocean and filled it with corpses from a graveyard in Thailand. He did so to throw everyone off the trail of the real Oceanic 815. Tom wants Michael to join the freighter expedition, then blow up the ship before it reaches the island, takes ben, and kills the remaining Lostaways. In order to save his friends, he agrees.

He waivers once on board. Half the crew thinks they are on a rescue mission. The other half seem ready for war. Michael is finally convinced to blow up the ship when he realizes a good chunk of the creware gun toting mercenaries. But the bomb he is supposed to use turns out to bea dud from Ben, who contacts him a short time later and requests he sabotage the radio room and the engines. Reluctantly, Michael agrees yet again. Sayid reacts violently to thestory. He forces Michael over to the boat captain and tells him everything.

Meanwhile, alex, Carl, and Danielle make it to the temple. They are attacked by poison darts. Carl and Danielle are apparently killed while it is still up in the air whether alex will be killed as well. I am betting not. Ben probably planned this to get Danielle and especially Carl out of the way. I suppose we will have to wait until april 24th to know for sure. I suspect most fans will be griping Danielle and Carl do not qualify as major deaths. Lost does have a way of over hyping certain events.

But Michael’s time as Kevin Johnson certainly gives us a lot to think about in the meantime. That he keeps hallucinating Libby is a nice touch. She even appears to urge him not to set off the bomb. Is that guilt or the smoke monster actually appearing? Old Smokey does appear to havea vested interest in protecting the island. At this point, I am not certain who the threat to the island is. Tom said only some of them could leave the island, but for some reason, they cannot stop Widmore themselves? Is Widmore really the main bad guy? He has been a jerk to Desmond, but Ben has proven the psychopath. Not everything about Tom’s story adds up It was certainly hinted, however, Sayid was making a mistake by exposing Michael. So many questions, so few answers thus far.

Rating: **** (out of 5)
Stiff Drinks

Massachusetts State Rep. James Fagan has an interesting proposal in the spirit of blue laws. Rep. Fagan would like to cut the commonwealth’s legal driving limit to a blood alcohol level of .02, effectively creating a zero tolerance law for alcohol consumption for any day of the week, much less Sunday.

Currently, the legal limit is .08 in Massachusetts. A blood alcohol level of .02 can be achieved by an average sized person nursing a beer for an hour. Anyone honoring the customary two drink minimum at many clubs would legally be considered an extremely dangerously drunk driver.

So one might assume Rep. Fagan is motivated to promote this extreme step towards promoting temperance by some sense of religious piety or a strong sense of social morality? You might think that be you would be wrong. You see, when not dreaming up strange new laws, Rep. Fagan is a DWI attorney.

I guess you could call his proposed bill an employment act, if you enjoy being cynical about such things.
Environmentalist Paul Watson Shot

The above photo is Richard Dean Anderson of Macgyver and Stargate SG-1 fame along with Capt. Paul Watson, founder of Seashepherd, a charity which prevents the clubbing of seals and the illegal hunting of whales. Anderson is a board member of the organization. I do not pretend to know all the dynamics of the conflict between environmentalists and whalers, but a recent incident in which Watson was shot by Japanese whalers deserves attention.

I have posted a YouTube video of the incident below. There is some colorful language, but cut the guy some slack. He was shot, for heaven’s sake!. The story goes his ship, Steve Irwin, which is a nice touch, was patrolling the waters off the coast ofg Australia. Japanese whaling vessels have allegedly been illegally hunting in the southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. There have been a number of confrontations between Seashepherd ships and Japanese vessels in which the Japanese have fired flares at the Seashepherd ship. This time around, someone also fired a bullet.

Because of past confrontations, Watson knew to wear a Kevlar vest for protection. Still, as you will see in the video, he is putting his life at risk for something he believes in. for what it is worth, I am a conservationist, not an environmentalist. But I respect wildlife sanctuaries and certainly do not think either side should go out guns blazing in a conflict of economics versus the environment. I certainly did not realize the dispute was this violent. The old incident of France sinking a Greenpeace boat was still a laugh line to me. Have a look at this video: Anderson will be appeared at several Stargate related conventions to support the organization. I offer up the link above to do with as you see fit.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Torchwood--"From Out of the Rain"

I can almost flip a coin between ‘From out of the Rain” and “Dead Man Walking” to decide which is my favorite episode of Torchwood ever. There was a completely cool noir vibe to this one, very stylish and creepy. It probably has a lot to do with my fondness for vaudeville and how moving pictures killed off the vaudeville performers. I was well aware of the history of the demise of American vaudeville, but not so much about it in the United Kingdom. It was a personal treat to get that perspective. Plus, this episode was just really creepy-- in a good way.

Ianto, Gwen, and Owen go to the reopening of a grand old cinema, The Electro, because increased rift activity has coincided with relaunch preparations. The electro plans to show film of a traveling circus from the turn of the century, but there is something odd about the film. Short snippets repeat constantly, but audiences feel compelled to watch anyway. the circus performers are actually called the Night Travelers. They are trapped on screen, but can be freed by being viewed by an audience. The ringmaster and the mermaid escape by and attack a number of people in Cardiff by literally stealing their breath, but keeping them alive, which is their modus operendi.

The two plot to revive the rest of the troupe by forcing the theatre owners to watch the rest of the film. Torchwood realizes they are all still made of celluloid, deide to film the troupe, then expose the film to sunlight, killing them and reteiving the captured breath. The plan works against the troupe, but through a mishap, only one of the comatose victims can be saved.

I liked the vibe of the episode. It reminded me a lot of a favorite Tales from the Crypt episode, “Dig that Cat. He’s Real Gone.” Therewas a subtle nod to the episode with Jack revealing he was once investigating the Night Travelers undercover as the man Who Could Not Die. You may recall that was the plot of “Dig that cat,” too. I also am impressed with the ending. I doubt you could ever have an American show in which all but one victim dies and it is still considered a happy ending. Those Brits are a cynical lot, no? still, quite good.

Rating: ***** (out of 5)
Barack Obama's Speech

I wanted to wait a while before commenting on Barack Obama’s speech yesterday, mainly because it was over hyped as the most important civil rights speech since Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. If anyone honestly thought that before or after the speech, they seriously need to gain some perspective. Obama is articulate and has the same skills at holding a crowd’s attention as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton had. The skill might even take him to the White House. But I think this speech took him aa couple steps back from that lofty goal.

To be honest, giving the speech in the first place was a bad idea. Obama, who is a relative neophyte, but understands political calculations, should have condemned Jeremiah Wright in an interview to the press and been done with it. There was a huge bruhaha when Bush kicked off his South Carolina primary campaign at Bob Jones University in 2000. The school’s racist and anti-Catholic policies came to light. When bush realized they were a liability, he condemned them and never associated with BJU again. Afterwards, the only people who wringed their hands over it were liberals who were not going to support Bush anyway. By condemning Wright, Obama would have alienated moonbat liberals (but not really. Who else are they going to vote for?) and black supremacists. Everyone else would quickly forget. Say, who’s winning American Idol?

But now Obama has added race into the mix. Up until Tuesday, he was ableto talk about the economy, the war, and health care. Now he is going to have to address his idea of a “more perfect union.” Monday, he was a presidential candidate who happened to be black. Today, he is the black presidential candidate. Talking about race scares people. It is a subject in which even the most tolerant walk on eggshells to avoid offense and the racists get purple faced angry over. Now that discussion isgoing to linger until November.
Clasping for Air

I have just had my one month post operative check up. Everything is going swimmingly, but I have to keep wearing this freaking clasp for another six weeks or so. The exact orders were to wear it "more often than not," which translates to, "Well, you do not have to bathe in it, but otherwise..."

Small price to pay in order to avoid another surgery, though, no?
Reese Witherspoon

Sometimes I need to class up this joint.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Caprica Greenlit

The Battlestar Galactica prequel featuring Grandpa Adama and the creation of the Cylons begins filming this spring.
Do Overs

Do you ladies and gentlemen find it amusing the new governor of New York, David Patterson, just admitted a long extramarital affair upon taking the oath of office? I am mildly entertained considering Eliot Spitzer (I have finally spelled that correctly) resigned over having extramarital affairs. But the best part is yet to come. No one is going to seriously expect Patterson to resign. Not because he admitted his affair, worked it out with his wife, and put it all behind him, but because New Yorkers like Patterson and despised Spitzer.

You see, if you have an affair and people like you, you get record approval ratings, survive an impeachment for breaking federal laws, and might even get a high five from frat boys assuming any have enough brain cells to realize you are Bill Clinton and that actually means something. If they do not like you, you get a one way ticket back to Podunk, New York and separate bedrooms until your wife decides Lorena Bobbitt was, in fact, a nit case. You can get away with anything as long as people like you.

So Patterson will get a fresh do over with his marriage and the people will give him a shot in Albany. What is not going to get a do over are the primaries in Michigan and Florida. There does not seem to be a fair way of doing it without changing the dynamic of the campaign. You may recall Hillary Clinton won both, but neither she nor Barack Obama campaigned due to the two states violating DNC rules by moving their primaries up. If you seat the delegates as is, Clinton has an advantage. If you have a do over, Obamamania is in full swing now as opposed to the first time around. Would that be fair? I think fairer than seating delegates as is, but no one asked me.

Ultimately, rules are rules and Michigan and Florida broke them. It will be strange to not have the two state at the convention, but it will be a warning for the future. Plus, Clinton supporters have an inconclusive argument for why she lost if Obama gets the nomination. Similar circumstances from the 2000 general election never prompted Al Gore to run again, but with Clinton, who knows?
"I Cried for You"--Katie Melua

Monday, March 17, 2008

Heather Mills Awarded $ 48.6 Million

...and she is still mad since Sir Paul McCartney is worth an estimated $ 1.6 billion. repeat after me: she loves you no, no, no. So, yeah, she is a gold digger.

I guess we all miss Linda McCartney still, huh?
Torchwood & Doctor Who Spoilers

Some interesting tidbits have emerged regarding Torchwood, which ends its second season in April and Doctor Who, which begins its fourth season the same month. avoid the rest of the post if you wish to remain a virgin.

James Marsters returns as Capt. John Hart in the season finale. He sends Jack Harkness back in time to wrap up the running plot thread of Jack's missing brother Gray. While Jack is gone, the team faces an invasion of Weevils. Word is certain cast members will not survive. logic says Owen bites the dust, but there could be a few surprises there, too. the deaths lend some authority to rumors the show is going to be revamped for the third season. Whether that means FreemaAgyeman joins the cast remains to be seen, but I can hope.

Meanwhile, Jack Harkness will also appear in the Doctor Who season finale, along with Rose, Jackie, Mickey, Martha, Donna, and sarah Jane, not to mention Davros and a load a Daleks. There is apparently an image floating about of Jack helping a wounded doctor into the TARDIS, but i have yet to find it. If I do, it will probably show up here.

Interesting times ahead before the good doctor goes on his nearly complete hiatus for 2009.
Happy St. Patrick's Day

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Barack Obama's Pesky Associations

Barack Obama has denounced rev. Jeremiah Wright’s fiery anti-American statements from the pulpit and wright has resigned from an African-American outreach committee attached to the obama campaign. Obama has said all the right things to distance himself from his longtime friend and spiritual advisor. He claims he has only heard the reverend speak a social gospel in twenty years of attending Wright’s church and most everyone accepts that as the truth or at least say they do. It should be a non issue to everyone accept 525 groups who are going to maul Obama with it on behalf of John McCain when he Hillary Clinton is finally bludgeoned in the nomination process.

It is a non issue to me as well even though I do not believe one word of obama’s denial of ever having knowledge of Wright’s anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, and black supremacy. Obama knew full well. He asked Wright not to offer up a prayer in Springfield, Illinois at the evnt in which Obama announced his candidacy for president precisely because he knew. But like I said, that does not matter to me. I have all ideas obama joined that church for political gain just to please his constituency. I would like to know his attendance record at services versus the number of naps he took during sermons. That might shed some light on how much he knewabout wright’s actually viewpoints.

When I was in college, there was a huge megachurch called Shandon Baptist. Everyone who was anyone went there. By that I mean the executive officers of the state and half the legislature. They would all solemnly march in with Bibles tucked conspicuously under their arms, with the legislators often hiding their bloodshot eyes from playing video poker and having trysts with their interns all night while their wives were back in farm country watching Walker, Texas ranger and changing diapers. Gov. David Beasely used to nod off during sermons. His wife would elbow him hard when he did so. He would pop right back up on cue and hope no one saw him. It goes without saying most of these bozos were not even Baptist.

I saw all that to prove I earned my cynicism on the sincerity of politicians’ piety honestly and from experience. Hence, I trust Obama is not anti-American, anti-Semitic, or a black supremacist. He would be all of those things if he thought it would get him closer to the White House, but so would Clinton and McCain. Heck, they would both be fitted for dashikis before nightfall. I imagine that is why pundits on the right and left, while still dragging the issue out until something more interesting comes along, are not taking it too seriously.

All that said, someone is going to connect the dots eventually. On top of Wright’s inflammatory statements, we have Obama only reluctantly denouncing Louis Farrakhan’s endorsement. Wright and Farrakhan, though of different religions, are birds of a feather. Then we have Obama’s wife has said she was embarrassed by the united states up until her husband’s run for president, yet she still fears he will be assassinated by racists, whom I assume she thinks is potentially any white man. There is a pattern there that even if Obama does not espouse the beliefs himself, he is certainly showing poor judgment by at best mildly denouncing them, at worst offering up tacit approval. It calls into question his judgment. Is that the kind of guy you want making presidential decisions?
Jessica Simpson is in Kuwait

Jessica Simpson and her boobs are entertaining troops stationed in Kuwait. I really do not have much else to say about it. the above photo is not even related to the trip. I just assume that after having nothing but a sand flea circus to watch for six years, even Jessica simpson must be enjoyable.
Torchwood Music Video

I have been lax on making these lately. I am very far behind on both my usual Torchwood and lost videos. But better late than never, right?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cut and Paste

By the way, I had surgery exactly one month ago today. It seems like much longer.
Manufacturing Drama

Do all these television pundits really think controversies regarding Geraldine Ferraro and Rev. Jeremiah Wright will have any legs or are they just desperate to fill air time? Wright may show up in some 525 advertisements, but come on. do we not have some other news to talk about? tucker Carlson even wasted his final show *sniff* on the two issues.

Meanwhile, John McCain is traveling overseas looking quite presidential during the Obama/Clinton seinfeldian slap fight. He will be in Iraq urging the powers that be to get theiracts together as a McCain Administration may not mirror the Bush Administration's iraq policy. I am liking McCain more and more, you know.
Evangeline Lilly

Just because.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ashley Alexandra Dupre Singing Career Takes Off

Remember kids, if you want a successful singing career, forget American Idol. Become a hooker instead and maybe you, too, can be a star and even take down a governor or two.

Donna Rice really screwed up by not marketing the method when she had the chance.
Paternal Instincts

Speaking of celebrity fathers with questionable character, let us check in on Eddie Murphy, shall we? it seems he is punishing his new daughter, Angel, by shunning her because he hates her mother, former Spice Girl, Mel B.
“What was supposed to be a casual relationship ended with her having his baby and taking him to court for millions,” a source told The National Enquirer.

A source said: “He says he will have to wait until Angel is older before he can get to know her without any interference from her mother.”
So she was supposed to be a quick trust, but tricked you by getting pregnant? boo hoo. now your daughter has to suffer for it. Murphy is one peach of a guy, no?
All About the Benjamins

So why did Britney Spears' father so desperately want conservatorship over her? Probably because she is worth $ 120 million.
Inconvenient Truths

Yesterday wound up a television blogging day. I try not to do those much, but on occasion, that is all there is. I write this blog by the seat of my pants 99% of the time. I have absolutely no clue what I am going to post when I pop my eyeballs open in the morning. Often the eye is a victim to boring news cycles like now. There is not much out there that has caught my attention, at least not enough to merit individual posts. A lump all might be in order.

There is a lull in the Clinton/Obama slap fight as far as I am concerned. I heard Geraldine Ferraro’s statement the other day claiming Obama would not be this far into the presidential race if he were a white man. Being a white male from the Deep South, I would not comment on her statement if you promised me twenty minutes alone with a naked Reese Witherspoon if I tossed in my $ .02 worth. But I will give you some food for thought. If a white guy from Chicago, who has a law degree but has never practiced in any significant manner or has any private sector experience whatsoever, ran for Congress but lost 2-1 in the primary because he was such an unknown quantity, then used his connections with the Daley political machine to win a state senate seat, then ran virtually unopposed save for an extremely unpopular, carpetbagging firebrand for statewide office only to rack up no significant lrgislative accomplishments for his first two years other than have the most liberal voting record in the US senate, declared one day he wanted to run for president. How far would he get?

Yers, Ferraro made the biggest mistake in politics. She forget voters want to be lied to, no matter how adamantly they may say otherwise. You see, just because something is true does not mean you can say it out loud. Now if you will excuse me I probably will have to begin dodging sharp, pointy objects now…

Oh, it also appears Obama’s minister has made a lot of racist and conspiratorial statements from the pulpit. I do not mind. It is nice to see Republicans are not the only party who have to hitch their wagons to religious nut jobs in order to secure votes. Obama still has a long way to go to compete with John McCain’s paling around with John Hagee, though. Hagee believes Russia and China (the Gog and Magog of Ezekial 38) will invade Israel over food. Then Jesus will lead an army of angels and what not to defeat them at the Battle of Armageddon. Somehow the United States can spur this on by warring with Islam and republicans seem much better at running wars than Democrats. Hence, Hagee has endorsed McCain. Does that not make you sleep better at night?

On a more personal note, those of you who have been reading me a while may recall my cat, Boo, often shuns me after I have been in the hospital a while. I am not sure if I have a stench of illness or if she has a sixth sense that things are not right or maybe she is just mad I have abruptly left without informing her. Who knows? This time around was no exception. I had surgery nearly a month ago now and it has only been in the last week and a half Boo has acknowledged my existence. The kitty treats helped considerably. Yes, buying love is awful, is it not? If I were a governor, I would have to resign right now….

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lost--"Ji Yeon"

I have generally found episodes centering around the Kwons some of the least interesting of the series. Maybe it is the domestic vibe around their story or the fact that Jin’s redemption (a prominent theme for Lost) was well on its way to compleion in the first season while we did not learn what a cruel deception Sun was capable of until last season. Both felt forced. But I thought tonight was interesting, albeit the weakest installment of the season. It was no surprise to anyone paying attention over the last few months the Kwons would round out the Oceanic Six, but I did not see that ending coming at all.

Sun is fearful the freighter crew are not here to rescue the Lostaways. She confronts Daniel, who reluctantly tells her it is not up to him. Sun decides she cannot trust them and makes with Jin to move to Locke’s camp. Juliet intervenes, reminding Sun she will die in three weeks just like the other pregnant women if she does not leave the island. The Kwons are both determined to go, so Juliet reveals to Jin sun had an affair. The revelation causes Jin to stay on the beach and Sun, fearful of losing him, to change her mind as well. Bernard convinces Jin to go back to Sun by telling him Rose wants to live the island, too, even though he fears her cancer will return if she does. Jin reconciles with Sun, who has since been convinced by Juliet to get off the island whether she trusts the intentions of the freighter crew or not.

On the freighter, Desmond and Sayid learn by a note passed on by Ben’s spy not to trust the crew. Like we did not already know that. Strange things are going on. A woman commits suicide right in front of the pair with no one in the crew trying to prevent it. They are informed there has been a rash of such behavior among the crew because of the close proximity to the island. But they cannot get away because Ben’s spy keeps sabotaging any effort to leave.

Desmond and Sayid are shown a startling surprise—the black box of Oceanic 815 recovered from the bottom of the ocean. Naomi was correct. There was a planefull of passengers placed at the bottom of the ocean to divert rescuers from the island. Where did the 324 corpses come from? Evidentally Ben had something to do with all of it. Where did he get the resouirces and who are the 324 dead people? Do you get the impression when we finally discover why it is so important for the island to remain hidden, we are going to feel let down because of all the tense build up?

We have flashforwards and flashbacks tonight. Each of the Kwons seemingly parallel one another. A very pregnant Sun Sun goes labor while Jin is in a rush to buy a toy panda and get to the maternity ward. The twist is Jin eventually is revealed to be heading to see the Chinese ambassador’s hospital suite where his wife has given birth. Jin offers him the panda on behalf of Pak Industries. But Jin's story is revealed to be taking place in the past as he tells a nrse he has only been married to Sun two months. Meanwhile (seemingly), sun gives birth to a baby girl. Jin never arrives. Later, Hurley shows up at the Kwons’ to see the baby. He and Sun then head out to the cemetery where Sun visits Jin’s grave.

Here is the big one--Jin's tombstone says he died on September 22, 2004. It was late December on the island when Sun was only three months pregnant, so she does give birth until 2005. Jin does not make it off the island. If that is true, who is the final member of the Oceanic Six?

Rating: *** (out of 5)

UPDATE: All right. There has been a debate since "Eggtown" whether Aaron qualifies as one of the Oceanic Six since he was born after the plane crash. Since it was advertised this episode would reveal the rest of the Oceanic Six and Ben would not want his survival publicized, Aaron must be counted. So the Oceanic Six are Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Sun, and Aaron.

UPDATE II: If Michael is in the coffin as I suspect, then he could be number six instead of Aaron. That leaves the question of what happened to Walt, however, which is not to say something bad has not happened to Walt.