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Sunday, July 31, 2011

 
"Flying Squirrel" In The News

No, not Bullwinkle's pal - a cool wrestling maneuver.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

 
Alec Baldwin Flip-Flops

He was for tax cuts before he was for tax hikes.

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Battleship: The Movie

Yes, it's supposedly based on the board game - although the two seem to have as much in common as Jimmy Buffet and Warren Buffet. Check out the musings at Transterrestrial Musings.

I thought of some other board games that could be made into movies:

Candy Land: Tim Burton could have a field day with this.

Monopoly: With Owen Wilson as the dog, Angela Lansbury as the thimble, Alan Rickman as the top hat, Tommy Lee Jones as the battleship, Jane Curtin as the iron, Robert Downey, Jr. as the man on horseback, and Wilford Brimley as Uncle Pennybags.

Ouija board: The people who gave us The Blair Witch Project oughta be able to come up with something workable.

Risk: Lots of CGI opportunity for this one.

Twister: Already been done.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

 
Rest In Peace

In The Agora contributor David Darlington passed away.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

 
Cory Maye's Homecoming

Radley Balko has photos and more photos.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

See my July 5 post on his tale.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

 
Who's On First?

Volokh conspirator David Post doesn't want Alabama v. North Carolina to show up on the bar exam.

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All You Need Is The Force

Hah.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

 
No, This Is Not A Teaser For Jurassic Park 4

An Argentinian zoo requires visitors to sign waivers releasing the zoo of any liability if visitors are eaten.

This zoo allows visitors to get up close and personal with the feral attractions. It reminds me a bit of the SNL sketches where Joan Face (Jane Curtin) interviews Mr. Mainway (Dan Aykroyd) about his latest excessively unsafe entrepreneurial venture. One was a line of children's Halloween costumes, which included "Johnny Human Torch" - a bunch of oily rags and a match.

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When Taxidermy Goes Wrong

Yiiiiikes.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

 
This Angers Me To No End

The sociopaths who assaulted Kenneth Gladney got off scot free.

At Tea Party protests, always travel in groups. Learn self-defense. Invite the Guardian Angels to show up. Train all available video cameras on the counterprotesters.

And somebody out there please urge Ken Gladney to run for office.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

 
Today's Israel Policy Lesson

The Topography of Defensible Israeli Borders

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

 
A New Nation Is Born

South Sudan declares its independence. Best of wishes to all. And nice hat, President Kiir.

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One Reason To Like Warren Buffet

Here.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

 
Public Service Announcement

If you get a phone call, and the person says he or she is with "The Phone Company" - using that exact phrase - ask which phone company. Every time I do it she hangs up (it's always a "she" in my case). Don't give any personal information to people making unsolicited calls in any case.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

 
Cory Maye To Win His Freedom

In 2001, police had conducted a raid on his duplex apartment. According to Maye, they did not identify themselves as police. He shot an officer who died from his wound. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The sentence was reduced to life imprisonment in 2006.

Radley Balko's report on various irregularities surrounding the case brought national attention. Last year a new trial was held. Maye agreed to plead guilty to a manslaughter charge, carrying a sentence of ten years - which he has already served by now.

In a letter to Balko, Maye explains why he agreed to the manslaughter plea:

We just felt that regardless of the facts and evidence that pointed in my favor, there was the possibility that one or more jurors could not see it my way, causing a mistrial. That could leave me sitting here another nine months or more, or longer if it keeps repeating that way.

This is Mississippi, and some people refuse to let go of their old ways from the old days. I just didn’t want to put my family through any more heartache, and didn’t want to have to wait any longer. It was take a chance of a mistrial, or grab hold of my future and be the man/father/friend that I can be, and that my family loves and misses.

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Slow-Motion Fireworks

Check it out.

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Monday, July 04, 2011

 
Odes To Liberty

Original posted July 4, 2002. Every year a change is made:

2003 Original image of WTC replaced with mini-collage of WTC, Liberty Bell, and the flag raising on Mount Suribachi.
2004 Image of young girl celebrating the liberation Iraq; LOTR quote.
2005 Iraqi girl image replaced by Iraqi voter; Cathy Seipp quote via Samizdata.
2006 Viktor Frankl quote
2007 Oriana Fallaci quote
2008 William F. Buckley quote
2009 YouTube video, scene from "John Adams" miniseries
2010 Tea Party protest sign
2011 YouTube video essay of the Battle of Yorktown

--

The scene from "John Adams" shows the meeting of the Second Continental Congress, at which the vote for independence from Great Britain is conducted, and (at 3:07) the public reading of the Declaration of Independence.



The Declaration formally proclaimed our independence - the Battle of Yorktown won it.



 photo UnitedWeStand.jpg Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I've watched all your suffering
As the battle raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

Dire Straits, "Brothers in Arms"

"Then I will live in Montana, and I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck, or possibly even a recreational vehicle, and drive from state to state. Do they let you do that?"

Vasili Borodin (played by Sam Neill), The Hunt for Red October


"'We hold these truths to be self-evident... That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights... That among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness... That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men ...'. And this paper that from the French Revolution on the whole West has copied, from which each of us has drawn inspiration, still constitutes the backbone of America. Her vital lymph. Know why? Because it transforms the subjects into citizens. Because it turns the plebes into people. Because it invites, no, it orders the plebes turned into citizens to rebel against tyranny and to govern themselves. To express their individualities, to search for their own happiness. (Something that for the poor, for the plebes, means to get rich). The exact contrary, in short, of what the communists used to do with their practice of forbidding people to govern themselves, to express themselves, to get rich. With their practice of installing His Majesty the State on the throne."

Oriana Fallaci, The Rage and the Pride


"With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."

Martin Luther King

"There is an inverse relationship between reliance on the state and self-reliance."

William F. Buckley

"The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden - that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time."

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


 photo IraqiVoter.jpg"Funny that the same people to whom diversity is a holy word so often bemoan diversity of opinion as divisive. But in a democracy, politics are naturally divisive: you vote for this candidate and someone else votes for that one; you vote yes (or no) on a proposition and other citizens disagree. What's not divisive? Saddam and his 99.96% of the vote. That's how it went during the previous Iraqi election -- an illustration of the Latin roots of the word fascism, which actually means a bunch of sticks all tied together in one big unhappy unified bunch, and not (despite what many assume) any variation from p.c. received-wisdom regarding gay rights, affirmative action, bilingual education, etc. This election was different because it was divisive, which means it was better."

Cathy Seipp (Samizdata quote of the day, February 01, 2005)


"It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened. But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn't. Because they were holding on to something...That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for."

Sam Gamgee (played by Sean Astin), Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers


"[W]e recognize that we are living in the middle of the most overwhelmingly successful experiment in human history. Not perfect. Just the best place in the world to live in, that's all."

Jay Manifold


"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered! My life is my own."

Number Six (played by Patrick McGoohan, "The Prisoner" TV series)


"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country."

Theodore Roosevelt


This Tea Party protest sign illustrates Roosevelt's musings on patriotism - and the powers of the citizen as exercised via the ballot box:


 photo WeCanSeeNovember.jpg


"So this Jefferson dude was like, 'Look, the reason we left this England place is 'cause it was so bogus. So if we don't get some primo rules ourselves - pronto - then we're just gonna be bogus, too."

Jeff Spiccoli (played by Sean Penn), Fast Times at Ridgemont High


"Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

Alexis deTocqueville, Democracy in America Vol. 2


"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way"

Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning

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