Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I finished my first book
by Elmore Leonard yesterday: 52 Pickup. It certainly earns the descriptor, "hardboiled." I can see why so many of Leonard's books have been made into films: Get Shorty, The Big Bounce, Be Cool, Rum Punch aka Jackie Brown, Mr. Majestyk.

Yeah, Mr. Majestyk was a book. Who knew that the Charles Bronson film about a melon grower fighting union thugs was a book?

Anyway, 52 Pickup was an excellent read. A few plot quibbles, but excellent, nonetheless. I can see why articles and discussion on great writing, especially dialogue, eventually get to Elmore Leonard.
FoxNews is reporting that
Dick Durbin apologized on the Senate floor last night. I'm trying to find a full text, but here's a segment from the FoxNews article.
"More than most people, a senator lives by his words ... occasionally words fail us, occasionally we will fail words," Durbin, D-Ill., said.

"I am sorry if anything I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time. Nothing, nothing should ever be said to demean or diminish that moral tragedy.

"I am also sorry if anything I said cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military ... I never ever intended any disrespect for them. Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line to them I extend my heartfelt apology," Durbin said, choking on his words.
Reads like a non-apology apology, doesn't it? "Some people are mad at me, so, without saying I actually did anything wrong, I'm going to say I'm sorry some people are mad at me." He didn't say that he's sorry he compared U.S. troops to Nazis and Gitmo to the Gulag. No, he's sorry people got hot and bothered by his comparison.

David, with regards to your post on
Mr. Excitable, I was particularly impressed with the juxtaposition of the more recent quote saying, in effect, we should be better than the terrorists in our treatment of prisoners, with the earlier quote saying that we should "show them the same mercy they showed to the men and women who showed up for work on September 11." Hmmm.

If Sullivan really believes we should show terrorists the same mercy they showed the passangers of the four jetliners crashed on 9/11, then we could slit their throats, slam them into buildings and set them on fire and still be okay. Blasting hip-hop music seems far less serious than that and easily falls within the standard he set previously.

He is a little flip-floppy, isn't he?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The list of those that are screwing up America
over at Right Thinking is a lot different from the list at Right Wing News.

I think Lee at Right Thinking is correct: the combination of both President Bush's and the GOP-led Congress' lack of conservatism is doing more to harm the country than anything else. Right Wing News' list is just a bunch of the most-hated lefties, which is different.
Proof we are more logically consistent than Andrew Sullivan
over at Best of the Web under the "Mr. Excitable" topic.

Now, I can see where a person can change his opinion 180 degrees over time, but within three days? Impressive.
What is the alternative?
Essntially, the problem in Washington DC comes down to this. Democrats can't be trusted with the nation's security. Republicans can't be trusted with the liberty of the citizenry. Neither can be trusted with our money.
I have In Your Honor on order. This review gets a prize for it's high usage of "rock", made me laugh:
Now, the Foo Fighters rock. They rock hard. And they're good at it. As time has gone on, their albums have rocked harder and harder, but never to the point of approaching the metal end of the spectrum. They just rock.

When I'm hardcore coding, I need my music loud, and I need it to rock. Disc 1 is the essence of exactly what I'm looking for - it's as if Dave Grohl was inside my head when we he put the tracks together. I've listened to it twice so far, and...Oh man. To put it simply, it just plain [bleep!] rocks so hard, it's unbelievable. It's not super heavy, it just rocks. I'm in love.
Rock on.

Monday, June 20, 2005

A common Gitmo myth
corrected by Michelle Malkin.
Law & Order had a plot line
a few years ago about a girl that kidnaps her own sister, drugs her, and offers her up for rape. This woman appears to have been the inspiration for that plot.

She's involved in the rape and death of three girls, and she only received a 12 year sentence? Man.
I have to agree with
William Kristol's op-ed at the Weekly Standard. Democrats should pressure Durbin to step down:
Why not put the burden on the Democrats? When Sen. Trent Lott made a far less damaging, but still deplorable, statement two and a half years ago, his fellow Republicans insisted he step down as their leader. Shouldn't Democrats insist that Sen. Durbin step down as their whip, the number two man in their leadership? Shouldn't conservatives (and liberals) legitimately ask Democrats to hold their leader to account, especially given the precedent of Lott?
I read some of the reader comments
on the post about Fred Phelps to which David, via Instapundit, makes mention. Some are trying to refer to Phelps as a right-wing fundamnetalist whack-job. Not so! Phelps is a Democrat. He's run for Governor of Kansas before, and always as a Democrat. He's a left-wing fundamentalist whack-job. Such creatures do exist.
Saw Batman Begins last night.
Wow. I used to think that the first Batman with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson was pretty darn good, but this one beats the snot out of it. This new one follows in the vain of the Spider-Man movies in that it takes itself seriously, sets the story in a (mostly) realistic world and spends a good amount of time on character development. To give you an idea, Bruce Wayne doesn't show up in the Batman suit until half-way through the film. And none of the thugs dress like clowns or circus performers or whatever.

This film isn't supposed to tie-in with the previous four (was it four?) at all. For example, recall in the first one that it was a young Joker that killed Bruce's parents. Well, not in this one. That's just fine with me. I was never a regular reader of the comic books, so I don't know what the official origin is.

My only complaint is the casting of Liam Neeson as Bruce Wayne's mentor. With his warrior/philospher ways, his talk of using emotion as power and his use of a sword, all that was missing was for him to count Bruce's metachlorians. That's not the film's fault - I just think of Gui Gon Jinn whenever I see Neeson, particularly whenever he has a facial hair. But still, they could have made the parallels a liitle less obviuos. So I guess it is their fault afterall.

And this isn't a complaint, just an observation, because I'm not sure about the film's intent: if they were trying to make the Bruce/Rachel thing as engaging and important as the Peter/Mary Jane thing, they failed. Maybe that wasn't the goal. Maybe Rachel is supposed to have only passing interest for Bruce. If that's the case, then I believed it. But if she's supposed to be a serious love interest, then, well, they failed.

But these are minor issues. I say it rivals Spider Man 2 as the best comic book movie ever.

Oh, and I still think a freedom-loving, individualistic Batman v. statist Superman movie would be awesome, as long as Batman wins that is. Whether he wins by beating Superman or by getting Superman to see things his way to take on the bigger threat, I don't care. But Batman must win.
Fred Phelps
has popped back up in the blogosphere.