, 2007




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Burt Prelutsky

Tuesday 5/30/07
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a running commentary by our trusted contributors...


[Streetsweeper] 12:05 am [permalink]
Streetsweeper's Cinema Sweepings
Miss Lonely Hearts by James Bowman The most gruesome moment of Todd Robinson's gruesome film Lonely Hearts doesn't make it onto the screen. This is a bit of a surprise. From its opening credits -- over still photos of murder victims in 1940s-style clothes and Police Gazette-style photos lying where they fell, in pools of their own blood -- to its final, graphic depiction of execution by electrocution, the movie is not otherwise characterized by reticence. Most memorable to some, perhaps, will be a scene featuring what may turn out to be a classic splatter shot as a naked woman sitting astride a man is shot in the back of the head, so that her blood sprays over her partner. There seems not to be much, in other words, that Mr. Robinson is likely to stick at. Yet at his film's climax, the hero, Detective Elmer C., "Buster," Robinson (John Travolta), gingerly lifts the lid of a wooden crate that recently contained a child's tricycle and peeps inside. Instead of seeing what he sees, we see him moan, close the lid and stagger away to be sick. [more at American Spectator]


[Richard S. Lowry] 12:33 am [permalink]
Lowry at Weekly Standard The Story of Jessica Lynch What really happened in Nasiriyah. by Richard S. Lowry - TODAY, THE HOUSE Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chaired by Henry Waxman (D-CA) conducted a hearing into "misleading military statements" that followed the death of Pat Tillman and the ordeal of Jessica Lynch. I cannot speak of the Pat Tillman incident, but I can speak to the story of Jessica Lynch.

[Streetsweeper] 12:05 am [permalink]
Streetsweeper's Cinema Sweepings
: A Thriller That Pales in Comparison Disturbia borrows from Rear Window, but doesn't do much else. by Thomas Hibbs - Sitting atop the box office in its opening week, the thriller Disturbia is, as contemporary thrillers go, pretty good; until its histrionic ending, it manages to build suspense and to deliver a few genuine scares. With a credible and sympathetic performance by Shia LaBeouf, the talented young actor from Holes, The Greatest Game Ever Played, and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Disturbia follows the observant eye of Kale Brecht (LaBeouf), who is under house-arrest for punching a teacher and whose boredom leads him to begin following the daily lives of his neighbors, one of whom is the object of his adolescent fantasies, while another is engaging in highly suspicious activities. [more at National Review]


[Julia Gorin pundit/comedian] 12:05 am [permalink]
Koreans Ashamed? For What? Koreans have been expressing shame and regret over the actions of Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-Hui:

“I’m too shameful that I’m a South Korean,” wrote an internet user on the country’s top web portal site, Naver — among hundreds of messages on the issue. “As a South Korean, I feel apologetic to the Virginia Tech victims.”

And some fear retaliation from Americans:

This first reaction was followed by concerns about a potential backlash against the Korean community in the United States, and against Korea as a nation….[Koreans] feared Koreans residing in the United States would soon be targets of reprisal attacks in an ethnic conflict.

While a sense of shame is refreshingly rare, I guess those feeling ashamed and worried about an American backlash haven’t noticed that killing Americans is the most politically correct act that a person could engage in — not to mention a savvy PR move. In fact, if the Korean had killed a few more of our peeps, Americans would take an increased interest in South Korean culture, and travel to South Korea would increase. We’d start adopting Korean ways, and insinuating the Korean legal system into our own. In no time at all, we would absolve Cho Seung-Hui of his actions and impugn ourselves for them, so that more and more Koreans would be encouraged to emulate him. We would simultaneously start passing laws to prevent ourselves from encumbering this form of political expression. And Koreans would still have a long way to go before Americans found this troubling or even noticed that there’s an epidemic. [Gorin Glob]


[Streetsweeper] 12:05 am [permalink]
Streetsweeper's Cinema Sweepings
: Virginia Psycho We’ve seen this movie before. by David Kahane
- Out here, we’re hunkered down. We know what’s coming. As we say in the business: We’ve seen this movie before:

You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul.

We know the transformation scene. It’s Travis Bickle and his guns in Taxi Driver, Sylvester Stallone, girding his loins in Rambo, Arnold Schwarzenegger oiling his guns in Commando.

It’s the scene where the hero, or the anti-hero — or even the “villain” — has had enough. Off come the street clothes, on comes the superhero mufti. In this case, the backward baseball cap, the photographer’s vest stuff with ammunition, the black gloves, the ninja clothes. The claw hammer. The martyr pose. The two mismatched handguns.

The worm turns. [more at National Review]


[Streetsweeper] 12:05 am [permalink]
Streetsweeper's Opinion Sweepings
: Defending the Cops But shame on NBC. by Jack Dunphy -
I have long since lost count of how many shooting scenes I have been summoned to over the course of my police career, but the figure must be well over 1,000. Having accumulated this grim experience, I feel qualified to answer some of the criticisms being heaped upon the Virginia Tech administrators and campus police in the wake of Monday’s horrors.

There persists on the news channels and on the Internet the belief, a false one in my opinion, that “locking down” the Virginia Tech campus after the first two murders were discovered at 7:15 A.M. would have prevented the deadly rampage that followed at 9:45. In their failure to do so, critics argue, the school’s president and police chief share some measure of responsibility for the carnage and deserve to lose their jobs.

This is preposterous. [more at National Review]


[Streetsweeper] 12:05 am [permalink]
Streetsweeper's Opinion Sweepings
: The New Big Brother by Pat Sajak - George Orwell’s 1984, the frightening tale of a totalitarian society led by Big Brother, was inaccurate in at least three major respects: first, the time frame was too early by about twenty years; second, Big Brother is not a product of totalitarianism, but of freedom; and third, he is not an agent of government. We are Big Brother. And, make no mistake: we are watching!

Thanks to cell phone cameras, email and Internet sights such as YouTube, we have become self-appointed spies keeping close watch on everything our neighbors do. It isn’t the government surreptitiously taking pictures in our public bathrooms and posting them; it’s our fellow citizens. It isn’t the government using unauthorized recordings of private events and streaming the videos around the world; it’s our fellow citizens. It isn’t our government making people reluctant to exercise their right of free speech; it’s our fellow citizens.

This Brave New World has come about without any deliberation or debate, and there is absolutely no recourse. [more at Human Events]


[Streetsweeper] 12:05 am [permalink]
Streetsweeper's Cinema Sweepings
: Daratt by James Bowman - Michael Novak, the scholar and theologian, points to a particular medieval story -- best known to English speakers as Chaucer's Tale of Melibee from The Canterbury Tales -- as the cornerstone of modern liberal society. In the story, a man seeking revenge for terrible wrongs finally has his enemies in his power, but he is prevailed upon by his wife not to take vengeance. If Professor Novak is right, we should take Daratt (or "Dry Season") by the Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun as being among the more hopeful artifacts to come out of the Islamic world in recent years. [more at American Spectator]


[Streetsweeper] 12:05 am [permalink]
Streetsweeper's Cinema Sweepings
: Something to Watch The TV Set is better than most TV - by Louis Wittig | In the beginning, television wasn’t so great. Quality flickered match-like in an endless void. Then in 1999 God said “Let there be Tony Soprano.” And for the first time in 50 years, we saw: TV could be really good. In a few weeks The Sopranos will be gone. It’s fitting, then, to look back and ask why network TV was (and most of it still is) so profoundly, relentlessly mediocre. The TV Set, a lampoon of the television industry’s annual production rite—pilot season—and all its glorious, inevitable shmuckery, is a witty answer.

Mike Klein (David Duchovny) is one of the thousands of writer/producer/director/creator-types who have brilliant ideas for the next Friends meets Two and a Half Men meets Deadwood hit. Each spring, the networks buy hundreds of these concepts, tweak them a little for marketability (thus squeezing out any extant originality), spend millions making pilot episodes, then throw 90 percent of them away and pick up a handful for their regular schedule. Mike’s project is The Wexler Chronicles, a loveable, half-hour quirk-comedy he based on his brother’s suicide. And the PDN Network loves the show. Absolutely loves it. They just need a few small changes. [more at National Review]


[Richard S. Lowry] 12:33 am [permalink]
Jessica Lynch Revisited: I read day before yesterday that Congressman Henry Waxman is going to call Jessica Lynch to The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the Hill as part of an investigation of the Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch incidents.


I have written the congressman and many media outlets to let them all know that the story of her ambush and eventual rescue is laid out in detail in my book, "Marines in the Garden of Eden." I would be willing to bet that no one associated with the investigation, both on the Hill or in the media, will actually read my account.

The Jessica Lynch media fiasco is an excellent example of the 21st Century American News media gone awry. Initial media reports were that Jessica was a hero, fighting to her last bullet. Then, the media subjected us to 15 seconds of film of her rescue to glamorize the event - over and over again. Both of these incidents served to give the impression that the U.S. military was using Jessica as a propaganda puppet.

The military continues to be saddled with this bad rap because of irresponsible, sensationalist reporting. Then, because of the nature of our 24/7 news rating wars, no one in the media took the time to return to study the events enough to sort out the truth.

I fear this Congressional inquiry will be little more than a witch hunt. Maybe I will be surprised and someone will actually take the time to understand what really happened in the ambush of the 507th Maintenance Company. Let's all watch and see. The public hearing will be on April 24th. [go to Lowry index page]

[Allan Wall] 12:02 am [permalink]
Carlos Slim Now World’s Second-Richest Man: Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest man is now worth 53.1 billion, and has thus replaced Warren Buffet (52.4 billion) as the world’s second richest man. This puts Slim less than four billion dollars away from the world’s richest man Bill Gates,at 56 billion.

When Forbes published its annual billionaire list (issue of March 8th, 2007) Buffet had $52 billion and Slim had $49 billion. But since then, Slim’s Carso Grupo Telecom increased its value by 15%, and Slim’s America Movil increased by 4% after announcing a move into the Italian telecoms market. This bumped Slim’s worth up to $53.1 billion dollars, making him the second wealthiest man on the planet.

Such wealth in the hands of a Mexican could be an employment-creating asset for Mexico. And yet, despite all of Carlos Slim’s billions, the Mexican Mega-Magnate only provides employment for a quarter of a million Mexicans (in contrast, Wal-mart employs 1.7 million Mexicans in Mexico).

Naturally, Slim’s underwhelming contribution to Mexican job creation doesn’t stop him from bashing the border fence and lecturing the U.S. on its own immigration policy.


[N.X. Winter] 12:05 am [permalink]
New interview with Burt Prelutsky [Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco] available online here


[Steve Finefrock - scriptwriter] 12:05 am [permalink]
More youtube on Crichton... smarter than Gore Here he talks about the human genome project! And Complexity Theory.....


[Steve Finefrock - scriptwriter] 12:05 am [permalink]
A commander's view of Europe This from "Americanization of Emily" by James Garner [Okie-Stan native], to Julie Andrews.  Note the transcription uses "Ms" instead of "Miss" -- how we try to apply modern feminist sentiments to a film made before the term was coined, and which he didn't use [just listened to a tape of the speech -- this transcription at imdb is absolutely accurate, save for the use of "Ms."].

It serves well as a retort, still valid, to the ever-lasting European=biase by liberals, who want us to be like them.  And written by Paddy Chayefsky, no less!

Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001258/> : You American haters bore me to tears, Ms. Barham. I've dealt with Europeans all my life. I know all about us parvenus from the States who come over here and race around your old Cathedral towns with our cameras and Coca-cola bottles... Brawl in your pubs, paw at your women, and act like we own the world. We over-tip, we talk too loud, we think we can buy anything with a Hershey bar. I've had Germans and Italians tell me how politically ingenuous we are, and perhaps so. But we haven't managed a Hitler or a Mussolini yet. I've had Frenchmen call me a savage because I only took half an hour for lunch. Hell, Ms. Barham, the only reason the French take two hours for lunch is because the service in their restaurants is lousy. The most tedious lot are you British. We crass Americans didn't introduce war into your little island. This war, Ms. Barham to which we Americans are so insensitive, is the result of 2,000 years of European greed, barbarism, superstition, and stupidity. Don't blame it on our Coca-cola bottles. Europe was a growing brothel long before we came to town.


[Streetsweeper] 12:05 am [permalink]
Streetsweeper's Cinema Sweepings
: Double Trouble Grindhouse offers plenty of guts, but not enough glory. by Peter Suderman “Car accident,” “zombie,” “scar,” “machine gun,” “amputee,” “machete,” “gore,” and “limb.” Shout-outs from a particularly horrific game of charades? No, they’re selections from the Internet Movie Database’s list of “plot keywords” for the movie Grindhouse, and they’re a pretty fair indicator of what you’ll find in film, a double-feature throwback to the coarse, dirt cheap exploitation flicks that played in dingy downtown theaters in the 1970s. Directed by two titans of trash cinema, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, these two feature-length films (which come complete with the delightfully cheeseball titles Planet Terror and Death Proof), collectively serve as a send-up, homage, parody, and celebration of the proudly rude movies that made no bones about getting right to the meat of their grisly genre kicks — and flaying it in a dozen different ways while doing so. [more at National Review]


[Found in the ebag] 12:01 am [permalink] "First in the Nation" City Protects Residents and Employees from Illegal Aliens, Adopts Basic Pilot Program to Screen its Employees and Contractor Employees for Eligibility to Work in the United States As a first in the nation, the City of Mission Viejo (California) has adopted the federal government‚s Basic Pilot Program to screen both its own employees and the employees of its contractors for their eligibility to work in the United States, it was announced by Carl Olson, Chairman of State Department Watch, a nonpartisan foreign policy watchdog group."We applaud Mission Viejo‚s city council in its decisive action to protect its residents and employees from harm from illegal aliens," Olson stated. "It is the first city government in the country that has reported using the Basic Pilot Program. They took the extra step to require all contractors who do business with the city to use it too." The measure passed unanimously on March 19 upon a motion by John Paul Ledesma that won the support of the other councilmembers Gail Reavis, Lance MacLean, Patricia Kelley, and Frank Ury. Mission Viejo is a community of 100,000 situated in southern Orange County. Its website is www.cityofmissionviejo.org. Operated by the Department of Homeland Security, the Basic Pilot program is a free online system available to all employers to verify the eligibility of employees to work in the United States. It is run in coordination with the Social Security Administration. Its website is https//:www.vis-dhs.com/EmployerRegistration. The first school district to adopt the Basic Pilot Program was West Covina (California) Unified School District at the initiative of board member Mike Spence. Thousands of private employers already use it too, such as Dunkin‚ Brands with its Dunkin‚ Donuts stores, Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlors, and Togo restaurants. Government agencies are not immune from employing illegal aliens with fraudulent documents. The City of Los Angeles found five illegal aliens working for over three years in jobs ranging from management analyst to water sampling technician. Many local government bodies in Southern California have heard presentations about the Basic Pilot Program by State Department Watch chairman Olson. "We expect to make them believers," Olson commented. More background on the campaign is on the website www.statedepartmentwatch.org.


[Streetsweeper] 12:05 am [permalink]
Streetsweeper's Opinion Sweepings
: Terror in Our Midst by Ben Stein On September 11, 2001, about 3,000 fine human beings were killed in New York City, Virginia, and Pennsylvania by Moslem fanatics. So far, there have been no other large-scale attacks by Moslem terrorists on American soil.

However, in the five and a half years since September 11, 2001, there have been roughly 40,000 killings by gangs and gang members in this United States of America, mostly in the African-American and Hispanic sections of large cities. Huge swaths of major American cities, especially my home city of Los Angeles, are "no-go" zones for law-abiding people from outside the neighborhoods and even police go into them reluctantly. The innocent women, children, old folks and non-gansgsta men in the communities are living in a nonstop reign of terror. [more at American Spectator]


[Julia Gorin pundit/comedian] 12:05 am [permalink] Life Imitates Julia’s Jokes, IV Since 2004, I’ve been saying that soon Holocaust education at schools will have to start taking into account Muslim (in)sensitivities. The “joke” went: After all, Hitler may seem like a villain to little Shlomo, but little Qudsia may see things differently.Or, of course, it could happen because of Muslims’ Holocaust denial hobbies, as everyone is reporting today:[UK]Teachers drop the Holocaust to avoid offending Muslims

Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Governmentbacked study has revealed. It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

It found some teachers are dropping courses covering the Holocaust at the earliest opportunity over fears Muslim pupils might express anti-Semitic and anti-Israel reactions in class.

The report said teachers feared confronting ‘anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils’.

Like I said the other day, the Muslim thinking on this is “If I can’t have a Holocaust, nobody can!!”

Meanwhile, at least one UK school pulled books from the curriculum if any of the characters involved pigs, and I think other UK schools have followed suit. So there you have it. The new England: No Jews or Pigs Allowed. [Gorin Glob]

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