Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Things That Make Me Want To Hurl

Michael O'Hanlon.

Saw him spouting this crap on BBC this morning. What an asshole.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Not surprising

As expected, the U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana struck down the Obama administration measley six-month moratorium on NEW deepwater drilling:
A federal judge struck down the Obama administration's six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, saying the government rashly concluded that because one rig failed, the others are in immediate danger, too.
Yeah, go figure. How "rash"! Also not surprising is this:
Feldman's financial disclosure report for 2008, the most recent available, shows holdings in at least eight petroleum companies or companies that invest in them, including Transocean Ltd., which owned the Deepwater Horizon. The report shows that most of his holdings were valued at less than $15,000, though it did not provide specific amounts.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Books to Film

Hope all of you dads out there had a great day yesterday! I did the obligatory watching of To Kill A Mockingbird - obligatory not necessarily because it was Fathers' Day, but obligatory because whenever it shows, I have to watch it. It's fun to browse that page at IMDB; for instance, I like the comments people leave about which scenes always make them cry. I agreed with most of them, but was surprised at the ones that were missing: I always tear up during Atticus' summation to the jury when he says, "In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe Tom Robinson." (Did you know that Gregory Peck did that scene in ONE TAKE?? That Oscar was well-earned, I tell you what!), and I also always cry when, near the very end, Atticus extends his hand to Boo Radley and says, "Thank you Arthur. Thank you for my children." Good Lord, I cry just writing about it!!

Speaking of tears, those were real tears that Brock Peters produced in his incredible testimony scene when, having been asked by Atticus if he had raped Mayella Ewell, he responded, "I did not, sir." Gregory Peck said that, during the filming of that scene, he couldn't look directly at Peters because he was in danger of losing his own composure, which is not surprising. Also, I didn't know that Brock Peters had delivered the eulogy at Peck's funeral.

So, this morning I was thinking about good books-to-movies transitions and here is my spontaneous, not-very-extensively-thought-about list. I also started thinking about what I think are some of the WORST books-to-movies transitions. All very subjective, your suggestions welcome!

Good (or great) books made into good (or great) movies:

Yes, TKAM has to top this list.
The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II
The Grapes of Wrath
The Exorcist
Howard's End
The Shining, and while we're on Kubrick, we might as well add A Clockwork Orange

I'm sure there are many that I am forgetting. Let's see what comes up in the comments! Meanwhile, here's my short list (so far) of good/great/moderately good books that were made into terrible (or at least, disappointing to me) movies:

Practical Magic
The Cider House Rules
Blood Work
UPDATE: How could I forget The Prince of Tides? I just can't warm up to Barbra Streisand. Like Liza Minnelli, I can appreciate her talent, but her personality just rankles, and it has to be a really, really good movie for me to get past my dislike of those two Stars. (Cabaret managed it, but I can't think of another example. But I digress!)

And this is a special category, I didn't like either the book OR the movie:

The Bridges of Madison County

New Blog

Photojournalist and friend, Vic, is traveling in Haiti and has started a blog about it. Enjoy!

Summer's here!

Happy Summer Solstice, everyone! Since I can't go to Stonehenge to celebrate, I'm going to have to make do with some Beach Boys music:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And it's not even Israel!

Anyone else remember wingnuts screeching about how treasonous it was for the POTUS to apologize for America to a foreign country? Is there anyone with even a shred of sanity left in the Republican Party?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stay classy, BP

Housing clean-up workers in corrugated steel boxes, and then there's this:
I've seen some pathetic excuses for cleanup out here—were the workers on Elmer's at least making some progress? "They're not being effective out here," Elmer said. "Two days after your article, they bused in twice as many workers, so they're up to 120 guys on Elmer's now, but I can't see any considerable difference. They're only working five sites and it's eight miles of beach. No one seems concerned about cleaning it up. The contractors are getting their money; they don't care. They've got all these people out there, but they're not accomplishing anything."

Oh, wait. Not nothing: "They've brought in prostitutes." No one knows who the "they" that brought in the pack of hookers is, but the gals have definitely arrived, and you can buy time with one for $200. It only took someone a whole month even to figure out that it would be lucrative to sell sex to guys earning 44 hours of overtime a week and living in camps and converted 18-wheelers.

If they believe their own rhetoric

Someone's been sinnin', and God spake.

Me, I wish God would get busy and smite a few more of these eyesores around the country. There's a huge one I have to pass every day on my way to work...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Good news - AL is back!

And since April, no less!

Now I wish Hilzoy would return. They are both fine writers whose clear and intelligent posts are welcome relief from so much drivel that is found in most traditional outlets.

A new generation of DFH's

My 17-yr-old son is sporting a new bracelet with a slogan on it that says: MAKE TACOS NOT WAR - DIAZ.

We chuckled about the fact that we have no earthly idea who "Diaz" is, but his sentiments are certainly fine!

Monday, June 14, 2010

As if they didn't have enough to worry about

There's a passage in the 2006 movie, Blood Diamond in which - and I'm paraphrasing because, surprisingly, it's not included in the quotes at IMDB - Danny and Solomon are walking through a village that has just been decimated by RUF troops and they encounter an old man who starts away in fear at the sight of them, and Solomon speaks to him in his native language to reassure him, saying essentially, "Don't worry brother, he (referring to Danny) just wants diamonds, like everyone else." The old man, surrounded by the corpses of his fellow villagers, responds, "First they came for the gold, now it's diamonds. God forbid they ever find oil here!"

So, yeah, say a prayer for Afghanistan.

Friday, June 11, 2010

No wonder he left the Republican Party

It looks like Gov. Crist of Florida actually has a functioning heart AND a brain! Kudos to him.

Okay, I won't call you a racist. How 'bout I just call you an a......

I know you're all wondering what ol' TexasFred's been up to lately. Well, shock of shocks, he's worked hisself up into a frothy snit over an AP story about the recent murders of Mexicans by border control agents. Btw, did you know that the Associated Press is one of those islamocommieterrist-loving entities wholly owned by George Soros and employed by SocialistMuslim Barack Hussein Obama in his quest to destroy America?? Yeah, well, according to Fred:
The AP is a left wing hack source and they are playing on the sympathies OF the bleeding hearts.
Apparently, "bleeding hearts" are just dumb enough to fall for crafty media tricks such as that which is found in this quote from the AP story:
The killing of the Mexican by U.S. authorities – the second in less than two weeks – has exposed the distrust between the two countries that lies just below the surface, and has enraged Mexicans who see the death of the boy on Mexican soil as an act of murder.
There! Did you see it?! Outrageous! Or are you one o' them gullible Bleeding Hearts not endowed with Fred's finely-honed and keen perceptive skilz. Let's let him explain it to you:
Look at how the AP reference the dead Mexican a ‘the boy’. That’s a media ploy and an attempt to garner sympathy for the poor child that was brutally murdered by those vile Americans.
Tricky bastards! How dare they call a 14-year-old male Mexican a "boy" and try to hoodwink us into feeling "sympathy" for this unarmed Not-Adult shot dead by a no-doubt God-fearing Second Amendment-defending border control agent!! I'm sure Fred has a large repertoire of much more appropriate names to call such entities. "Boy" indeed!

But, mind you now, Fred is not a racist. Nosireee. I'll spare you any more references to the rest of his post. You're welcome!

So, I was thinking about Fred and his gang of totally non-racist deranged idiot commenters when I came across this wonderful response by Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican to a letter in the New York Times. Read and enjoy.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


As I recall, this is exactly the point that Ralph Nader was making when he ran as an Independent against both George Bush and Al Gore in 2000, and was roundly reviled for essentially robbing Gore of needed votes and tipping the scales in favor of Bush. It's possible, I suppose, that we might be having this same conversation had Gore won, but somehow I doubt it. It just might be that we needed to experience the horror of a Bush administration, and the subsequent horror of a so-called "centrist" who protects the status quo, to fully understand how bad the corruption in Washington has become.

80 years?

That's how long it has taken for Texas to question whether or not it's a good idea to have a dormitory on the main campus of their state university named after a proud Klansman. Will it take another 80 years for us to question whether or not we should have a library named after a proud war criminal?

UPDATE: They need to rename that dormitory the Barbara Jordan.

Why Labor Hates Management, Reason #....

Because they get paid ridiculous amounts of money to come up with shit like this:
GM Bans 'Chevy' -- Tells Workers: It's Chevrolet
And I love how the story slips this little revelation in at the very end:
Some cynics have noted, however, that the new consciousness about Chevrolet versus Chevy brand names coincides with a change in advertising firms at GM, the thought being that maybe the memo is a clever strategy to gin up a lot of free media attention, including in the blogosphere.

An advertising firm wouldn't do something like that, would it?
The theory being, I suppose, that any attention is good attention? Ask Toyota about that. One wonders if the workers at GM are in on the joke. Probably most of them are shaking their heads and laughing it off, which is good - I mean, comic relief is something. But management couldn't come up with a way to get attention without demeaning its workforce?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Department of How Not to Do It

There was much pearl-clutching and taking-to-the-fainting-couch yesterday when Obama donned his Chicago gangsta persona and declared that he was going to determine "whose butt to kick." Well, while we are all anxiously waiting to find out exactly who is to be the dreaded recipient of the President's boot-to-the-rear, the oil industry can relax - It's not them. H/T Digby.

RIP Marvin Isley

One of the all-time great Motown groups.


Now here's an idea worth getting behind! And maybe the only good thing to come out of this travesty is that it brings global attention to the urgent need for just such action. More here. H/T Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Oh for heaven's sake. I hope it was a voluntary move for her (though I doubt it) and who could blame her if, at age 89, she's simply sick of the whole sorry business that calls itself "journalism" these days. May she move on to more enjoyable pursuits.

Meanwhile, Dick Cheney and his trained chimpanzee remain free to roam around the country being "glib" about their war crimes and no one bats an eye. But let anyone say anything untoward about Saint Israel and all hell breaks loose. What bullshit.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


The catastrophe in our Gulf of Mexico is as devastating as 9/11 with a clearly comparable economic impact and loss of life; marine life this time, as opposed to human, but we will all be affected.

It's small comfort that we at least have a president in charge this time who is considerably more mature, but we'll take what comfort we can get. President Obama has not delivered on the Change that he promised his supporters, and that disappointment is, I'm afraid, going to cost more than votes in November. But we can probably rest assured that he won't respond to this crisis by starting a war with, say, Slovinia. That's something.

And I'm sorry to be such a sourpuss on this first weekend of summer vacation, but I can't mention Obama and Bush and promises-of-Change-not-delivered without noting that this asshole would not be able to strut around the country being "glib" if Obama hadn't shirked his moral and official responsibility and given the little war criminal a pass. And that's going to cost us all, too.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Don't want to think about why this was necessary...

My local community college feels it must add this signage to the trash can in the men's room:

Public Relations

Uh huh, yeah, because she did such a bang-up (no, DON'T excuse the pun) job with Cheney's PR, didn't she? Heckuva job!