May 9, 2007

Couldn’t Help But Notice (050907)

Filed under: Environment,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:08 am

There’s been a lot written aboutthe 16 words” (which remain true, and always will).

Kathleen Parker wants to know about these 27, stated very recently:

And, you know, believing the president when he said he would go to the United Nations and put inspectors into Iraq to determine whether they had WMD.

The trouble is that the following 20 words were uttered in July of 2003 by that very same person’s husband:

….. it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons.”

We know that Hillary’s husband was right. Everyone needs to know that Have-It-Both-Ways Hillary is not.

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Democrat Kirsten Powers’ comment on the “sky is falling” reaction of her party’s presidential candidates to the Supreme Court’s partial-birth abortion ruling deserves further notice (Wall Street Journal link requires paid subscription; Michelle Malkin also excerpted the quote):

It needs to be said that there is no constitutional right to crush a living human’s skull and suction out its brains, no matter where that life may reside — inside the womb, or partially outside the womb, as is done in the so-called partial birth abortion. It’s immoral and contrary to the values of the Democratic Party, which prides itself on standing up for the weak and voiceless.

Of course, this calls for the SOB Alliance-mandated picture of Ms. Powers:

Powers102306

Must follow the rules, y’know.

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Mark Steyn, at The Corner last Saturday (HT Instapundit), on the route the UK has taken in growing an intrusive, yet more dangerous, nanny state (link added by me):

If George Bush put a microchip in your garbage under the Patriot Act, there’d be mass demonstrations across the land. But do it in the guise of saving the planet and everyone’s fine with it. Meanwhile, to encourage recycling, garbage collection has been halved from weekly to fortnightly. As a result, flies swarm and rats gambol. One of the biggest causes of improved health and life expectancy over the last 150 years has been what we now regard as simple hygiene: clean bathroom facilities and waste disposal. Between Miss (Sheryl) Crow and Her Majesty’s Government, we seem determined to reverse that.

On top of that, it’s a monumental waste of time, as recycling is (almost) all BS. Freedom lost, and nothing (or worse) gained. Who thinks the ACLU will defend us if the garbage microchips are proposed here?

This One’s a Keeper: Hollywood’s Missing Movies

Filed under: Business Moves,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:03 am

It’s from June of 200, but as true today as it was then.

Kenneth Lloyd Billingsley at Reason Online (HT David Boaz at TCS Daily via Instapundit) posed a question for which there is no good answer: Why have American films ignored life under communism?

The column is a must-saver to the hard drive:

….. in the decade since the Berlin Wall fell, or even the decade before that, no Hollywood film has addressed the actual history of communism, the agony of the millions whose lives were poisoned by it, and the century of international deceit that obscured communist reality. The simple but startling truth is that the major conflict of our time, democracy versus Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism–what The New York Times recently called “the holy war of the 20th century”–is almost entirely missing from American cinema. It is as though since 1945, Hollywood had produced little or nothing about the victory of the Allies and the crimes of National Socialism. This void is all the stranger since the major conflict of our time would seem to be a natural draw for Hollywood.

Though of global dimension, the conflict encompasses millions of dramatic personal stories played out on a grand tapestry of history: courageous Solidarity unionists against a Communist military junta; teenagers facing down tanks in the streets of Budapest and Prague; Cuban gays oppressed by a macho-Marxist dictatorship; writers and artists resisting the kitsch of obscurantist materialism; families fleeing brutal persecution, risking their lives to find freedom.

Furthermore, great villains make for great drama, and communism’s central casting department is crowded: Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hönecker, Ceaucescu, Pol Pot, Col. Mengistu–all of cosmic megalomania–along with their squads of hacks, sycophants, and stooges, foreign and domestic.

All true. But the main reason to read, and save, the column is its all-in-one-place recitation of the history of Hollywood’s near-romance with the single most brutal idea of the 20th century.

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UPDATE: I apologize to Cornfed at Chief Cornstalk of Ohio for accidentally nuking his comment (hopefully a link back is sufficient penance), which was simply “Doctor Zhivago.” The longer article actually addressed that:

A few English-language films have drawn on this remarkable material, especially book-into-film projects based on highly publicized works, among them One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (a 1971 British-Norwegian production) and, of course, Doctor Zhivago (1965). But many other natural book-to-film projects remain untouched, from the story of Stalin’s daughter Svetlana (who left Russia for the West) to works by such high-ranking defectors as Polish Ambassador Romuald Spasowski (The Liberation of One), KGB agent Arkady Schevchenko (Breaking With Moscow), and persecuted Cuban poets Armando Valladares (Against All Hope) and Heberto Padilla (Heroes Are Grazing in My Garden). In light of the most recent revelations concerning the espionage of Alger Hiss, Whittaker Chambers’ Witness is another obvious candidate.

Plus, the article’s intro focused on “the decade since the Berlin Wall fell, or even the decade before that …..” Doctor Zhivago managed to sneak in before communist-inspired and financed opposition to the Vietnam War grew; I don’t believe the film would have been made if it had been proposed in 1967.

Positivity: Kevin Johnson’s Post-NBA Career

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Stanford Social Innovation Review (paragraph breaks added):

15 Minutes with Kevin Johnson

During his 12-year NBA career, first with the Cleveland Cavaliers and later with the Phoenix Suns, Kevin Johnson was one of basketball’s leading playmakers. The three-time NBA All-Star is one of only four players to average at least 20 points and 10 assists per game in three different seasons.

In July 1989, shortly after the close of his second season, Johnson returned to the inner-city Sacramento neighborhood where he grew up. He launched a nonprofit afterschool program housed in a portable classroom on the grounds of Sacramento High School.

Today, Johnson’s nonprofit has taken over the entire high school, and then some. Johnson retired from basketball in 2000 and began focusing all of his discipline, energy, and intelligence on his 11- year-old nonprofit. Under his leadership, St. Hope has blossomed into a full-fledged community revitalization project: St. Hope Public Schools, a pre-K to 12 charter school district serving 2,000 students; St. Hope Neighborhood Corps, which trains young people to be community leaders; 40 Acres Art Gallery, which sponsors exhibitions, films, lectures, performances, and classes; and St. Hope Development Company, which has generated more than $11 million in development projects, creating 14 businesses and 282 jobs.

Go here for the interview.