Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

Venezuela imports US$3 billion worth of Cuban surveillance equipment

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

First, The Lives of Others (full movie):

Since the Cuban Communists were trained by the Stasi, they have the tools Maduro wants:

a. Cuban Information Technology Penetration in Venezuela (emphasis added):

[In 2011,] The year after Valdes’ trip, El Nacional published a special edition detailing that the Venezuelan government had granted Albet S.A. the contract to provide and administer the software to manage SAIME’s functions. SAIME’s functions include creating and issuing electronic identification documents (ID cards and passports) and maintaining a civilian registry. The software also manages databases for:

• Public and private registries,

• Centers to analyze information,

• Educational software,

• Project “Alba Guardia” database which keeps track of oil rigs managed by PDVSA, Venezuela’s national oil company,

• The President’s communication office,

• Any information pertaining to the country’s prison, security, emergency and
hospital systems. [7]

It is particularly alarming that a non-Venezuelan company manages the country’s civilian registry and has the ability to issue personal identification documents. It does not only violate Venezuelan sovereignty but it exposes the personal information of every Venezuelan citizen to Cuban authorities.

b. Castro Sells “Security Software” to Venezuela

According to El Nacional newspaper, last year the Castro regime exported over $3 billion in “security, citizens databases and communications interception software” to the Venezuelan government.

The transactions were conducted through Albet, a Cuban state-owned company linked to the University of Information Sciences (known as “UCI”), an entity created by Castro in 2002 to form the regime’s “cyber-warriors.”

The UCI is located at a “former” Soviet espionage and communications interception base.

A former Venezuelan government consultant recently described Albet as “a camouflage of Cuba’s G2.”

Ironically, Cuba maintains the lowest Internet connectivity rate in the Western Hemisphere and one of the lowest in the world.

But it’s #1 in control.

No wonder people are leaving, Cuba reports highest outflow of citizens since 1994

In Betty Jo’s podcast

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

celebrating her 6th anniversary: Six Years of Movie Fun!

Pro-bono Depardieu

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

The trailer for Welcome to New York is no longer available on YouTube, but Gerard Depardieu played the part of Dominique Strauss-Kahn for free,

He’s doing it for the pleasure of working with Abel Ferrara.

And perhaps a cut of the ticket office, no?

Maybe not.

Dèdè

said he took the role because he does not like Strauss-Kahn. During an interview at the time, Depardieu called the former IMF chief “unpleasant” and “arrogant.”

Considering his current avoirdupois, if I were a casting agent, I’d suggest that he play a nice guy, send him a fleece jacket, & have him star as governor of NJ.

This roundup has been brought to you by the letter “Q”

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Q at the movies:

(That last one looks rather familiar…)

Q at the weather service:

 

In other news, not only have the oceans stopped rising, the fat has melted away: White House Credits ‘Let’s Move’ for Halting and Reversing Childhood Obesity Trend

The press release does not include any data to bolster the claim.

And George Galloway’s a firm supporter of human rights:

Hillary Clinton To Charge $200k Per Lecture. In case you missed it,

If you could play it for her,

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

And a question,
Rick, at the end: heroic and self-sacrificing, or just another guy who didn’t want to commit?

(Yes, it’s symmetry day here.)

Play it, Sam,

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

In Betty Jo Tucker’s podcast right now

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

talking about Hugh Jackman!

Sunday morning Suo Gan

Sunday, January 6th, 2013


Yesterday I was watching Empire of the Sun, which is a troubling movie in many levels (but not quite as troubling as JG Ballard’s other works), and the Welsh lullaby Suo Gân punctuates a key scene of the film.

Bryn Terfel performs my favorite version of Suo Gân. You can buy the MP3 from Amazon, but it was also used in this beautiful short film, The Dinner Guest by Joe Gleason, to great effect:

Here’s Bryn, with a piano accompanist,

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany. May God bless you and your family and loved ones.

Julia Child makes boeuf bourguignon

Sunday, September 16th, 2012


It’s been a very hard week, even when I had a wonderful birthday, so the other day, after a friend mentioned the movie, I took some time to watch Julie & Julia, which I missed when it first came out.

Yes, it’s a chick flick.

I must have been the only blogger on earth to not know that Julie Powell blogged her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking , an endeavor that brought her fame and movie rights. This is yet another thing (like coming up with Ninja Turtles action figures named after Renaissance artists) I wish I had thought of first; would blogging my way through Cocina Criolla bring me movie rights? And, if so, would J-Lo want to star in it?

But I digress.

The movie is two stories in one, Ms Powell’s, and Mrs. Child.

What a revelation it was.

While I have been known to do Julia Child’s “Bon appetit!” falsetto at times (two glasses of Malbec help), watched her on TV, and bought The Book (no way I’d cook all 524 recipes, thank you) I knew very little about Julia Child. It turns out Julia was a very strong woman who worked for the [warning: annoying audio starts when you click on the next link] Office of Strategic Services – the movie doesn’t dwell into that – during war, traveled the world, married a great guy and had a fabulous marriage, and persevered in bringing about a literary (and culinary) masterpiece.

Best of all, Julia was resilient, fun, and terrific.

Compared to larger-than-life Julia, poor Julie comes across as self-absorbed and whiney. Paul Child is interesting, strong, and supportive; Julie’s husband pales by comparison. The movie also takes a few jabs at Republicans, a distraction that has nothing to do with anything other than perhaps Paul Child‘s career in the Cold War years.

In all, you wish the movie had more Julia and Paul.

Purists will also notice that the movie’s boef bourguignons (there are at least three) have lots of carrots and celery cooking in the stew, while the recipe in The Book (volume 1, page 316) only has 1 sliced carrot. Julia’s TV recipe in the first show of The Frech Chef omitted the carrot altogether,

“Bon appetit!”

Dude!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Who is this guy?

Is he a Dude wannabe?

No, it’s Ralph-pronounced-Rafe Finnes (his little brother is Joe, pronounced “Joe”; and no, they do not have a brother named Dalph-pronounced-Dave), preparing for an upcoming role.

Unfortunately, the part Ralph-pronounced-Rafe got is Charles Dickens, since there is no sequel to The Big Lebowski in the works, and, besides, only this guy is The Dude.

Maybe Ralph-pronounced-Rafe could make it to the next Lebowskifest (Seattle, August 10-11). All he needs is a bathrobe.

For those of us who remember The English Patient, here’s a tear-jerking moment,

Blogging on more serious matters shall resume shortly.