30 November 2009

Another Day, Another Crummy Iraq/A-stan Movie

Opening Night for "Brothers"

Not sure what it is about Hollywood, but when it comes to war movies about Iraq and Afghanistan, they seem to crank out more duds than a Chinese fireworks factory. This latest installment is called "Brothers" and is a remake of a Danish film from 2005 about the stereotypical Marine that comes back home and goes bonkers. Pretty dull and contrived stuff. Here's what Blackfive has to say:
More likely, I think, is the possibility that this is just another Big Hollywood movie that stereotypes soldiers or Marines as angry (because the military is where people go when they can't get into prison!), humorless men (which is why they don't go to college!) who scream a lot, beat up on family members, hate hippies (because they hate their own latent homosexuality!), throw dishes for no good reason at all, and beat up on women and little brothers.
It's not that all of the good coming home movies were "pro-war", but rather the characters in them seemed a lot less phony in movies like The Best Years of Our Lives and Born on the 4th of July. I mean, seriously, Tobey Maguire's character is looking like he's auditioning to be the third Bushwhacker in Wrestlemania V.

Maybe if the production didn't look like it belonged on Michael Moore's Youtube page, it might be worth seeing. But until more vets start becoming filmmakers and more involved in the creative arts, I predict we're going to see turd after turd on the touchy subject of the modern veteran. If the VA can actually figure out how to pay out on the GI Bill, perhaps we could have some decent war movies hitting the big screen.

26 November 2009

Obots in the Media Gettin' Desperate

The same water-carrier at TIME who tried to label all conservatives nihilists is back with another ridiculous defense of this horrendous Obama administration, which still continues the cult of personality one year after the election. Here's what Joe Klein offers up:

The most obvious pattern, however, is the media's tendency to get overwrought about almost anything. Why, for example, is the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall demolition so crucial that it requires a President's presence?
So that's sort of the level of cognitive dissonance we're at in the media and how far they are willing to revise history: Berlin wall coming down - not a big deal, but the President pardoning a turkey - that's huge!

Great News: Two Yahoos Break Into the White House

Can't imagine why two derelicts breaking into an event with the President of the free world and the Prime Minister of the world's largest democracy would be such a big whoop. From NY Times:

In fact, the couple — Michaele Salahi and her husband, Tareq — are Virginians who have been auditioning for a possible role in a different housewives TV franchise: “The Real Housewives of Washington.”

They swept past the camera crews and followed the trail of other bigwigs attending the dinner.

But neither Mr. nor Mrs. Salahi, best known in the Washington area for promoting wine and polo in Virginia, were on the guest list for the event, a fact first reported Wednesday morning on the Washington Post Web site.

A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the Salahis had not been invited nor seated for dinner.

It was not clear Wednesday night how close the Salahis got to Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, or to the guests of honor, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, and his wife, Gursharan Kaur.
This type of nonsense might be common in LA, but in DC these theatrics threaten national security and cost the taxpayers money. It goes to show that DC is becoming the new home of the glamorous and self-indulgent as they mooch off the wealth of the rest of the country. What a shame.

24 November 2009

Achtung! Nice Guys Finish Last

Ouch! You know your foreign policy strategy is in dire straits when the Europeans accuse you of being too much of wimp. First it was the French President Sarkozy saying Obama was being soft on Iran, now the Germans are saying Obama is Jimmy Carter II. From Der Spiegel:

The mood in Obama's foreign policy team is tense following an extended Asia trip that produced no palpable results. The "first Pacific president," as Obama called himself, came as a friend and returned as a stranger. The Asians smiled but made no concessions.
No word yet on whether or not MSNBC is going to condescendingly criticize our German allies like they usually do for Obama's detractors. But, in defense of President Obama, there's really not much he could do to influence the Chinese on anything, since they are effectively financing our over-consumption and we the people will not elect politicians who will get our fiscal house in order. Perhaps Der Spiegel is just saying welcome to the club of nation-states that are burdened with a massive entitlement complex and a geezerly population. At least we'll ride out the Decline of Western Civilization in solidarity.

16 November 2009

One Acceptable Reason for the Obama Bow

Someone needs to contact Gibbs about the whole bow to the Japanese Emperor row. Because in the Hot Air comments, someone has come up with an excellent excuse that any guy can sympathize with. If Obama was sporting a major boner, then it would be acceptable to hunch over at that ridiculous an angle.

In Defense of Populism

Generally, Christopher Hitchens has some pretty interesting things to say, but I thought this dull criticism of Sarah Palin was a bit routine with the same tired attempts to summarize the "teabaggers" as imbeciles who can't think for themselves. And I'm not Pro-Palin either. From Newsweek:

The United States has to stand or fall by being the preeminent nation of science, modernity, technology, and higher education. Some of these needful phenomena, for historical reasons, will just happen to concentrate in big cities and in secular institutions and even—yes—on the dreaded East Coast. Modernity can be wrenching, as indeed can capitalism, and there will always be "out" groups who feel themselves disrespected or left behind. The task and duty of a serious politician, as Edmund Burke emphasized so well, is to reason with such people and not to act as their megaphone or ventriloquist.
It's not a bad thing that there are well-educated people on the East Coast. What's a bad thing is the same boneheads that fucked up the economy are the ones trying to establish new policies that will benefit a group of our "betters" in Wall Street and Washington. That and a dollar falling into post-Soviet Union ruble status is enough to create a large group of pissed-off Americans.

President Obama
told a group of Chinese students that the free-flow of information is an important way to hold the government accountable. It's certainly allowed a lot of ordinary people to realize how awful everything is in Washington and Wall Street.

11 November 2009

Veterans Day

Maybe if our society understood that going to war is a shared responsibility among the nation, we wouldn't be treated to such nonsense in our Op-Ed pages on Veterans Day. Today's turd is from David Ignatius, who, having an apparent change of heart from his Harvard days, once referred to the "needle-popping" Army in an article about why Mao would make a decent President:

Through all its own difficulties, the military has kept its stride. That sense of balance comes partly from the fact that soldiers are anchored to the American bedrock. This includes the stereotypical small towns in the South and Midwest that have military service in their DNA. But it also counts plenty of hardworking, upwardly mobile Hispanic and African-American families in urban America who produce some of the best soldiers I know.
Great. All the military folks David Ignatius "knows" are probably the people he called the cops on when they drove by his country club. As long as the nation's elite continue to see military service as something only poor, desperate rubes would take part in, we're going to have a pretty fucked up republic.

So this Motorhead tune is for all the vets out there, because it seems appropriate. I don't really think it's anti-war or anti-religion necessarily, but it's kind of a harsh criticism about the leaders of the world making everyone else doing all the sacrificing:

Nobody gives a damn about anybody else,
Think everyone should feel the way they feel themselves,

Rich men think that happiness is a million dollar bills,

So how come half of them O.D. on sleeping pills,

Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, you all know what I mean,

What's the use of a cry for help, if no one hears the screams,

No one hears the scream,

No voices in the sky, confusion blinds the eye,

Can't take it with you when you die,

No voices in the sky,

The ones who dedicate the flags to make you brave,

They also consecrate the headstone on your grave,

Ritual remembrance when no one knows your name,

Don't help a single widow learn to fight the pain,

Politicians kissing babies for good luck,

T.V. preachers sell salvation for a buck,

You don't need no golden cross, to tell you wrong from right,

The world's worst murderers were those who saw the light.

09 November 2009

Wall Street Descends into Cartoonish Super Villainy

The CEO of Goldman Sachs

Not long ago, Godman Sachs was famously called the Great Vampire Squid Wrapped Around the Face of Humanity. Well that squid certainly has some good connections with the CDC to get this many H1N1 vaccines when health care workers and the military are up in arms about the shortage. From Guardian:
New York's health department confirmed that vaccines had been shipped to banks - Citigroup, which asked for 7,200 doses, received 1,200 while Goldman Sachs, which applied for 5,400, was given 200. A spokeswoman said distributing vaccines in workplaces would "alleviate stress and pressure from community healthcare settings and hospitals"
The NYC health commissioner tries to defend this egregious blunder by saying the boobs on Wall Street are going to distribute it to at-risk employees. After the events of the last few years, I would place Wall Street execs that took bailout money somewhere in line between the surviving cast of Three's Company and the Fluffers' Union on the scale of national priorities. Not even Robert Gibbs would defend this ridiculous policy.

06 November 2009

Fort Hood Massacre

Not much to say. It's all very sad. And I think that sadness is captured pretty well in this image that was part of an MSNBC slideshow.
People in the military are accustomed to mentally preparing for danger and carnage abroad, but you just never really expect it on the homefront. I'm not going to speculate here, since the facts are still coming in, but Noah Shachtman has some eye-popping statements that the shooter made previously. And I'm a bit surprised that David Neiwert is criticizing "wingnuts" for being so judgmental, because I'm sure if it was a white guy, he would've talked about how Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin made him do it, which Crooks and Liars has been known to do.

The guys at This Ain't Hell got a hold of his Officer Record if you are interested.

05 November 2009

Say What? Sex Change Operations in Obamacare

This is one of the Miss Tiffany contestants from 2009 in Thailand, and it's probably one of the hottest babes that's actually a dude you've ever seen. Thailand is world-renown for its Katoeys (transgender/transvestite peoples), and they often work in the bars of Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket to save up for that expensive surgery, which Thailand is also well-known for. But, according to some culture warrior types, the new Obamacare plan may allow for taxpayer dollars to pay for these types of operations in the States. From Politico:

A senior aide to a Republican senator said that a public insurance plan could easily end up covering sex-change procedures if that’s not specifically banned in the bill.

“It's not that hard to imagine that a new federal health plan crafted and implemented by this administration would cover sex-change surgeries. Anything not explicitly prohibited in the bill is effectively on the table. Most Americans probably would prefer that their tax dollars not pay for or subsidize transgender surgery,” the aide said.
The obvious libertarian take on this issue is that people can live their life however they want, just don't expect me to pay for it. But as government increasingly gets mixed up in every facet of human existence, it puts the libertarian in an ethical dilemma where you are forced to side with either progressives (who want to spend everybody's money, as they see fit) or social conservatives (who want to tell everybody how to live, as they see fit). There isn't really a viable position one can take in this case, and a true libertarian alternative isn't going to come around in this lifetime or the next the way things are going.