Sunday, August 31, 2003
Apparently Arnold Schwarzenegger is a womanizing bastard, at least according to this article in Salon.
But then came John Connolly's Arnold exposé in Premiere. The article catalogued allegations of all sorts of boorish behavior, almost all of it directed at women, beginning in the early 1990s and continuing into the new century. During the filming of 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," Connolly alleged, Schwarzenegger fondled costar Linda Hamilton in a limousine and stuck his hands into the blouse of a female crew member, pulling out her breasts for the amusement of himself and a few of his friends. During the filming of 1996's "Eraser," Connolly alleged, a guest on the set happened upon Schwarzenegger performing oral sex on a woman in his trailer. As Salon reported last month, Schwarzenegger allegedly looked up from his work and uttered a line that has now become an inadvertent trademark of the Schwarzenegger campaign. "Eating," he reportedly said, "is not cheating."
Class-sy, let me tell you.
But I really don't care if Schwarzenegger is a complete boor or not (just like I didn't really care about Bill Clinton's antics). I do think that Grey Davis, a nortorious dirty fighter, will immediately pounce on this issue and use it to his advantage. Davis has more than enough ammo to come away with this dubious election in the end.
Friday, August 29, 2003
Sometimes George W. Bush reminds me of Charles Foster Kane.
Let me explain.
In Citizen Kane, the greatest American film of its era, millionare publisher Charles Kane is caught cheating on his wife with a would-be singer. Tabloids report on this incident with the headline "Charles Foster Kane caught in Love Nest with 'Singer'". Charles then marries the woman and builds her an opera house in an attempt to "take the quotes off the word 'Singer'", to quote another character in the movie.
Sometimes I feel like the Bush administration is trying to take the quotes off the words "Iraq is a 'breeding ground for terrorism'".
N A J A F, Iraq, Aug. 29— A massive car bomb exploded at the Imam Ali mosque during prayers today in this holy city, killing 75 people, including one of Iraq's most important Shiite clerics, a hospital official said.
A survey of Najaf's medical facilities showed 75 dead and 140 wounded, many seriously, said Dr. Safaa al-Ameedi, chief doctor at the central hospital in the city, 110 miles southwest of Baghdad.
I was definitely against the war in Iraq. However, if you're going to tear down an entire society, you have a responsibility to rebuild it properly. Which I can't help but feel we've been having some trouble doing.
Thursday, August 28, 2003
I've finally hooked up the computer and have sweet, life-sustaining internet access. Sure, my body aches from hauling furniture upstairs for a week straight, and sure, I have to leap over stacks of boxes to get anywhere in this apartment, but it's alright because the computer is finally back online.
I may never move again.
Regular posting to resume tomorrow. I'm taking a Tylenol PM and going to bed.
Saturday, August 23, 2003
It's hard to have hope for either Israel or Palestine when you read things like this.
But even compassionate mothers here have their limits when it comes to accepting that their side just might be as much to blame for violence as the other's side.
"Who is responsible?" said El Jarusha. "The Jews are responsible. They are the ones who launch shells and rockets on the Palestinian people. Hamas is not responsible."
Leibovitch is equally convinced that her side is victimized more than the other. "They call people that killed people, innocent people, 'innocents,' " she said, her voice rising. "They call them 'martyrs,' which is not the meaning. The meaning is 'killer,' the meaning is 'terrorists.' The meaning is 'shameful.' "
These two women both had their innocent children killed by militants on either side of the conflict. The article quotes the two mothers expressing feelings of empathy towards each other for the loss they have felt. And then the two women both are reduced to hateful invective when asked which side is responsible for the terrible situation their region is in.
It's depressing, and decidedly unplucky of me, but the Palestinian/Israeli situation really confirms my Atheism for me.
Both of these groups think God is on their side. They both seem wrong to me.
*Added* I wanted to clarify that I don't think religion is the cause of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. It seems to be a conflict over power, which I pointed out in a previous post. It's just that each side uses God as both an excuse and rallying cry, which is depressing to me.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
Circle I Limbo
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow
Circle IV Rolling Weights
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled
Circle VI Buried for Eternity
Circle VII Burning Sands
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement
Parents who bring squalling brats to R-rated movies
Circle IX Frozen in Ice
Via Red Letter Day.
Saturday, August 16, 2003
The Fox News website may or may not have made a serious gaffe. Blah3 has a screenshot showing an image of the NYC skyline...that seems to include the fallen World Trade Center towers!
Now, I don't see the big antenna that was on top one of them, but isn't that exactly where they used to be in the New York City skyline? Look here for yourself. Creepy, in either case.
*Update* Well, apparently they're not the Twin Towers after all. Still a creepy picture though.
Friday, August 15, 2003
You know it's bad when the electricity-free Iraqis are giving us survival tips.
Here are some tips from the streets of Baghdad:
SLEEP ON THE ROOF. Without power -- and hence without air conditioning -- Iraqis have taken to climbing up stairs in the hot nights. Some install metal bed frames on rooftops, while others simply stretch out on thin mattresses. "It's cooler there," said Hadia Zeydan Khalaf, 38.
SIT IN THE SHADE. Many Iraqis head outside when the power's off. "We sit in the shade," said George Ruweid, 27, playing cards with friends on the sidewalk. Of the U.S. blackout, he said: "I hope it lasts for 20 years. Let them feel our suffering."
Well, we already knew that the Iraqis weren't exactly enthused about our presence there. But "I hope your suffering lasts for 20 years?" That's just mean.
I have retitled this blog. Because, really, anyone who's fair and balanced wouldn't want to read a blog that wasn't also fair and balanced. But that's perfectly fair and balanced of them. To be fair and balanced about it, I wouldn't want to read a blog that wasn't fair and balanced either. What's with all the fair balancing, you ask? Well, because I am fair and balanced I will tell you, so that those of you who are not yet fair and balanced can become fair and balanced. Think of how wonderfully fair and balanced we will all be together! Anyway, here is a fair and balanced link describing, in a fair and balanced way, why I am being so fair and balanced today.
Plucky Punk's Fair and Balanced Land...Plucky blogs, you decide.
**Fair and Balanced Update** Fair and Balanced blog Blah3 has the fair and balanced master list of other fair and balanced bloggers who are, shall we say, getting in touch with their inner fair and balancedness today. I wish them all a happy, fair, and balanced weekend.
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
James T. Kirk
An impassioned commander with more respect for individuals than for authority, you have a no-holds-barred approach to life and its obstacles. "I don't believe in the no-win scenario." James is a character in the Star Trek universe. STARTREK.COM has his Starfleet record.
Via Whom Gods Destroy. If you'll excuse me, I have to get in a fight with a sexy green-skinned person until my shirt get ripped off.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
I don't think I'm old enough to really remember the heydey of "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland, but this article got me thinking.
The strange, compelling saga of three Irishmen in a Colombian court dates back to August 2001, when Martin McCauley, James Monaghan and Niall Connolly were arrested in the Colombian capital of Bogota as they stepped off a plane arriving from a region of the country held by FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
Colombian prosecutors accuse the three middle-aged men of training FARC rebels in the use of explosives and terrorist tactics. They are also accused of holding false papers. If convicted, they could get up to 20 years in a Colombian jail.
The three Irishmen, for their part, have vigorously denied the charges, saying they were in the South American nation to study the peace talks between FARC and Colombian government officials, which have since ceased. They have also expressed concerns over the fairness of the Colombian justice system.
I know next to nothing about this particular situation, and am ready to share the concerns over the fairness of the Columbian justice system, but really the article got one big fat question stuck in my head.
"The Troubles" are a conflict that has roots in British Colonialism. The opposing sides are divided by religions that, from an Athiest's point of view, are more similar than not. An oppressed minority on one side of the dispute used terrorisim to attack a better-off majority on the other side. Innocents die. There are even financial ties to Islamic dictatorships.
At the height of the Troubles, one of the key supporters of the IRA was Libyan President Col. Muammar Qaddafi, who assisted the organization with cash, arms and training in camps across the North African nation.
"It was Qaddafi's way of getting back at Britain," says Eunan O'Halpin, professor of modern history at the Dublin-based Trinity College. "There were, for example, large consignments of Semtex [explosives] shipped from Libya to the U.K. and around 1987, French customs intercepted a hundreds of tons of arms bound for the IRA."
It reminds me alot of a conflict all the way on the other side of the world.
So why isn't the IRA considered a "Catholic Terrorist Group"? Why don't people like Ann Coulter use the IRA as an example of the inherent violence of Catholocism? Are the Irish considered fundamentally incompatible with peaceful democracy? Et cetera?
Is it because the violent acts of the IRA have nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with the teachings of Catholocism?
Is it because the IRA just happen to be Catholic? If they were Hindu would they not object to their current situation?
Do many of the xenophobes here in America find it easy to see that "The Troubles" are really about power and not religion or culture because the people involved have peaches-and-cream complexions and not olive ones? If you can see a different reason, please, spell it out to me.
I feel like I've been trying to make a similar point since 9/11/2001. I'm sure it's getting tiresome by now.
**ADDENDUM** Thanks to Jeanne for the link. Read her story about her own experience trying to get through customs, and check the comments section for spirited debate between Tacitus and myself.
Monday, August 11, 2003
Your parents probably had different ethnic backgrounds and now they're
almost certainly divorced, or at least they argue all the time. You mostly just wish
they'd leave you alone instead of using you as a pawn in their tortured conflict with each
other. Instead, you've become the battleground for a fight that doesn't really feel
like it's yours. You'd rather just go fishing. But that doesn't look likely in
the immediate future. Just keep cooking with olive oil and you'll live longer, at least.
the Country Quiz at the Blue Pyramid
That one really is impressively accurate. But the Cyprus flag looks weird on a white background.
I've never liked Californians. Especially the rich ones. They tend to buy vacation homes in Placitas (a very posh little village right outside of Albuquerque. Val Kilmer had a house there.), and drive their SUVs very slowly all over town. I blame California for Albuquerque's recent smoking ban in restaurants. Californians tend to think things like, "Teeny little cigarette...disgusting. Big fat stinky cigar...sexy and cool!"
Their taste in Mexican food is horrible. Too much cilantro. And they never eat green chilie.
However, when I hear things like this...
Schwarzenegger leads the long list of hopefuls, with 42 percent of poll respondents saying there is a good chance they would vote for him.
Also in Schwarzenegger's favor is that 72 percent of respondents think his campaign should be taken seriously. More than half -- 52 percent -- say he would do a better job than a career politician.
I can't help but feel a little bad for them. I mean, the man never even played a politician in a movie!
I think if the citizens of California manage to elect this heart patient govenor, instead of taking an oath of office, the person holding the Bible (or whatever it is they swear you in on) should ask Schwarzenegger, "Govenor, what is best in life?"
To which Conan, I mean the Govenor, would respond, "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the women!"