1. A beginning; a start.
2. A ceremony at which academic degrees or diplomas are conferred.
The day on which such a ceremony occurs.
1. A beginning; a start.
2. A ceremony at which academic degrees or diplomas are conferred.
The day on which such a ceremony occurs.
X-Men: The Last Stand opens this weekend, and much to my surprise Bryan Singer didn’t direct it. This is probably a big mistake.
I’ll go to any movie that has Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in it.
Today’s video is Hugh‘s interview. After that, scroll down and watch Patrick Stewart’s interview.
BTW, even after decades of going to Broadway plays, the one most extraordinary stage performance I’ve had the privilege of seeing was Patrick Stewart when he gave a lecture at Princeton University some 11 years ago. And, as my friend said, “for a 60-yr old short bald guy, he’s really hot!”
Hugh’s easy on the eyes, too.
(clarification: At approx. 5’8″, Patrick Stewart’s not really short. He’s just shorter than I. Hugh’s 6’+)
On more serious matters, on to the cartoons,
The genius of a good cartoonist is that with a good cartoonist, like a good poet, brevity is the soul of wit.
Throw Hastert from the train. And while you’re at it, throw Murtha, too:
Shakespeare’s Richard III,
whose quote, Talk’st thou to me of ‘ifs’? Thou art a traitor: Off with his head! comes to mind when one reads about poisonous bunch-back’d toad Galloway (via Allah).
and yet more movies, this time for propaganda,
Al Gore documentary rekindles political career. Or maybe not.
Al should take his pseudo science and put it in his lockbox. That way it won’t get wet when the water rises.
Update: Al now says he went to Cannes when he was 15 to study the existentialists – Sartre, Camus. What a crock of hooey.
Not that Cannes is known for its philosophical depth, but as Betsy asks,
Is that what it takes to win over a red state, the goal of any victory-seeking Democrat in 2008? I doubt it.
Today’s other articles from Maria
Hamas looking to fly planes into buildings: Terror leader details goal to carry out 9-11-style attacks, ‘possibly against skyscraper’. Meanwhile, back in NYC, Fleet Week air stunt freaks out New Yorkers.
For your inner X-men geek fantasy: Being invisible ‘a possibility’.
Taxpayers are responsible for more than $500,000 per household for unfunded financial promises made by federal, state and local governments. How the debt breaks down:
Program Liability per household
Social Security $133,456
Federal debt $42,538
Military retirement benefits $25,443
State-local debt $16,395
Federal employee retirement benefits $14,256
State-local retirement benefits $13,257
Other federal $1,956
Take my advice and plan accordingly because you can’t expect any kind of retirement benefit to come from the government.
The recipe of the week.
At the blogs,
friend of this blog Philomathean posts on A House Divided, where a physicist found out that
there are not many shades of gray in the political blogosphere,
which you probably knew, but what makes this finding interesting is that he studied a huge network. Read all of Philomathean’s post.
NOW IT SEEMS that for the AP, the fact that Iraqis laugh at their government is bad news.
I’m not the only former ACLU supporter who has turned against them. As Jay said, what better time than Memorial Day weekend to get behind this cause?
As always, All Things Beautiful has a great post.
The Anchoress is underwhelmed by the prospect of The Vaginal Speculum Spectacular and other such things.
Change of plans, due to this: Trains halted between New York, Washington. I’m thankful I’m not stuck in a train somewhere.
Meanwhile, at the train destination, Pakistani Loner Convicted in NYC Bomb Plot
Inside the Islamic bookstore where he worked, Siraj unwittingly recounted for a paid police informant rumors among radicals that U.S. soldiers were sexually abusing Iraqi girls.
“That was enough for me,” the Pakistani immigrant said in one of a series of secretly recorded conversations played at a trial in federal court. “I’m ready to do anything.”
. . .
Siraj, 23, was arrested on the eve of the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York on charges he wanted to attack a subway station in Herald Square.
Today’s articles from Maria
Bert Prelusky’s Psychoanalyzing the loony left
Hillary tries to Razzle dazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
The Museum of Modern Art will be hosting the Dada exhibition from June 18 to September 11, 2006, with member previews starting on June 16.
Clive Davis has a post on the exhibit, where he links to Martha Bayles‘s review of the show when it was at the National Gallery of Art. Martha approached Dada with the necessary irreverence Dada demands from the viewer, unlike the pompous tripe it usually gets from Museum Curators, especially when it comes to contemporary art:
As you walk through these last two sections, keep an eye out for Francis Picabia, a true Dadaist but also a true artist. His intricate forays into mechanical drawing and parodies of commercial illustration are practically the only things worth looking at in these rooms. But that is the point: Picabia, not Duchamp, is typical of Dada. This exhibition is that rare phenomenon, a blockbuster that lays bare the intellectual and aesthetic bankruptcy of the contemporary art scene. The lesson is subtle but unmistakable: The majority of Dadaists were engaged in the old-fashioned business of creating objects, and most of the objects they created can, with some stretching, be called beautiful. Not only that, but when they got up to mischief, they did so with panache.
If they were alive today, they would not be endlessly recycling the same old Dada doodoo. They’d be doing for the art world what your Dadioguide is now doing for you: Pointing to the exit.
* Pun fully intended.
And in further art news, Duchamp painted a moustache on the Mona Lisa, but don’t miss ‘The Ciphere of Leonardo.’ Don’t try to drink coffee while you read it.
Now, isn’t this precious?
“Even though you are far from Mexico, you are an integral part of Mexico,” Fox said. “We will never forget you. We love you.”
No, he didn’t end by saying “now send money!”
Via Maria, Dr. Sowell writes on Bordering on fraud
The immigration bill before Congress has some of the most serious consequences for the future of this country. Yet it is not being discussed seriously by most politicians or most of the media. Instead, it is being discussed in a series of glib talking points that insult our intelligence.
. . .
How many times have we heard that illegal aliens are taking “jobs that Americans won’t do”? Just what specifically are those jobs?
Even in occupations where illegals are concentrated, such as agriculture, cleaning, construction, and food preparation, the great majority of the work is still being done by people who are not illegal aliens.
. . .
Another insult to our intelligence is that amnesty is not amnesty if you call it something else. The fact that illegals will have to fulfill certain requirements to become American citizens is supposed to mean that this is not amnesty.
But let’s do what the spinmeisters hope we will never do — stop and think. Amnesty is overlooking (“forgetting,” as in amnesia) the violation of the law committed by those who have crossed our borders illegally.
The fact that there are requirements for getting American citizenship is a separate issue entirely. Illegal aliens who do not choose to seek American citizenship are under no more jeopardy than before. They have de facto amnesty.
Yet another insult to our intelligence is saying that, since we cannot find and deport 12 million people, the only choice left is to find some way to make them legal.
Rather than making threats, Mexican officials should warn their own people about the consequences they will face if they trespass into their northern neighbor’s yard. But because they desire for their citizens a life not to be found under their own government, they act like coddling parents and neglect their own duty. They then demand that their U.S. neighbor provide that which they are failing to provide themselves.
Update: Mayor Bloomberg proposes:
1. Reduce Incentives.
2. Increase Lawful Opportunity.
3. Reduce Access.
4. Get Real.
BTW, Dan posts on Bob Kerry’s comparing Senator McCain’s speech at the New School to Tiananmen Square, yet another item Google vanished from its Chinese web search.
ACLU Disappointed By Committee Vote of Support for General Hayden. The ACLU statement “expressed its alarm” over Gen. Hayden’s approval as head of the CIA, but “takes no position on Hayden’s nomination.” The Vulcans would have loved the logic of that statement.
Today’s articles from Maria
After reading Bob Kerry’s ridiculous comments, small wonder that Mort Kondrake considers Bush-hatred a threat to national security. He has a point:
Bush-hatred has reached such intensity that CIA officers and other bureaucrats are leaking major secrets about anti-terrorism policy and communications intelligence that undermine our ability to fight Islamic extremism.
Here in The Principality one has to tread carefully when saying anything positive about the POTUS, lest one wants a heated argument, to say the least.
Dennis Prager’s article, Harry Reid and the end of liberal thought, left a word out of its list of one-word descriptions of what liberals are for: diversity. The only diversity that counts to a liberal is PC-approved diversity, not any kind of diversity that has to do with diversity of opinion. And even then, diversity of race, ethnic, religion, or national origin is to be “embraced” (another liberal-friendly term) if, and only if, the said “diverse” person toes the PC line. I speak from personal experience. For instance.
Update 101 Ways to Experience Diversity, if you have a LOT of leisure time. One question, did Spike Lee’s agent come up with that?
Following up on my post re: Chavez saying that Oliver Stone was making a movie about him, Oliver Stone denies plan to make film about Venezuelan president.
Reuters and the WaPo weren’t as skeptical; they’re not used to one of those things the charismatic-leader-helping-the-poor-offering-free-health-care-education-adult-literacy-and-job-training-initiatives-that-help-millions-of-VenezuelansTM comes up with when he’s running at the mouth in public.
In addition to the other indicators of phoniness, consider these:
* He has a profile page at military.com. On it he claims to have three combat parachute jumps (stars on his jump wings. Sorry, Jessie, but no one in 3d Bn made three combat jumps in 2001-05.
* He claims to be Special Forces qualified. (Claiming to be a “Special Forces Ranger” is almost a sure way to spot a phony. But, if he was SF and Ranger qualified, he would not be an E-4, unless he was busted. Although he claims to have an SF scroll, he does not list SF as his unit.
* He claims to have two CIBs. He would not have been awarded two CIBs for service between 2001 and 2005.
* He claims to have been w/ the Rangers in Fallaujah. To my knowledge, 3d Ranger Bn. was not in Fallaujah.
* He claims to have been shot, wounded w/ shrapnel and stabbed (multiple times), but only claims one Purple Heart.
* He claims to have been w/ the Rangers in Iraq for 16 months. Some reporter should ask him which company he was with and how long their tours were. The Rangers don’t go for one year tours like other Army units. And, public reports show that some of 3d Bn’s time has been in Afghanistan, not Iraq.
Didn’t take long for the blogosphere to unmask a fake.
I’ve only known one man who was a retired Ranger, and his bearing was the same as that of a former Marine, or a former policeman. It showed. This pseudoRanger has never been.
As The Opinionator put it, Ever Notice How Frauds and Reincarnation Are Alike?
I started with a quote, and am ending with a quote: That Macbeth’s story Stands not within the prospect of belief.
Update: The Daily Brief has a Memo
The stories we read in today’s headlines of Islamic terrorism against innocent civilians and slavery under Islamic regimes are nothing new. Just as the current Islamic regime in Sudan enslaves it’s southern Christians, and gives them the choice of “convert or die,” the Islamic armies that overran the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe gave their captives the simple choice of conversion, death, or slavery. Two hundred years ago American sailors sailing the Mediterranean faced the same choice when their unprotected ships were captured by the Islamic “Barbary Pirates” of North Africa.
Slaves in Barbary fell into two broad categories. The ‘public slaves’ belonged to the ruling pasha, who by right of rulership could claim an eighth of all Christians captured by the corsairs, and buy all the others he wanted at reduced prices. These slaves were housed in large prisons known as baños (baths), often in wretchedly overcrowded conditions. They were mostly used to row the corsair galleys in the pursuit of loot (and more slaves) – work so strenuous that thousands died or went mad while chained to the oar.
During the winter these galeotti worked on state projects – quarrying stone, building walls or harbour facilities, felling timber and constructing new galleys. Each day they would be given perhaps two or three loaves of black bread – ‘that the dogs themselves wouldn’t eat’ – and limited water; they received one change of clothing every year. Those who collapsed on the job from exhaustion or malnutrition were typically beaten until they got up and went back to work. The pasha also bought most female captives, some of whom were taken into his harem, where they lived out their days in captivity. The majority, however, were purchased for their ransom value; while awaiting their release, they worked in the palace as harem attendants.
Many other slaves belonged to ‘private parties.’ Their treatment and work varied as much as their masters did. Some were well cared for, becoming virtual companions of their owners. Others were worked as hard as any ‘public’ slave, in agricultural labour, or construction work, or selling water or other goods around town on his (or her) owner’s behalf. They were expected to pay a proportion of their earnings to their owner – those who failed to raise the required amount typically being beaten to encourage them to work harder.
Putting together such sources of attrition as deaths, escapes, ransomings, and conversions, Davis calculated that about one-fourth of slaves had to be replaced each year to keep the slave population stable, as it apparently was between 1580 and 1680. That meant about 8,500 new slaves had to be captured each year. Overall, this suggests nearly a million slaves would have been taken captive during this period. Using the same methodology, Davis has estimated as many as 475,000 additional slaves were taken in the previous and following centuries.
The result is that between 1530 and 1780 there were almost certainly 1 million and quite possibly as many as 1.25 million white, European Christians enslaved by the Muslims of the Barbary Coast.
The idea of white slavery, overshadowed by the unarguable brutality of centuries of the trade in black slaves, is now mainly dismissed as the stuff of Victorian novels, while the “Barbary corsairs” became pantomime figures. The terror of the pirate raids remains a vivid folk memory on Mediterranean islands, but it has largely been forgotten that they also raided as far north as the coast of Scotland, in search not of ships or gold but human booty.
However, academics are re-examining the subject, with startling results. Linda Colley’s recent book, Captives, draws together hundreds of accounts of capture by pirates, and the desperate pleas to parliament for help from those left behind.
In all likelihood, the ethical issue of 2008 won’t be Whitewater, the pardon of Hillary’s brothers’ clients, the FALN terrorist pardons designed to win her the Hispanic vote or the theft of White House china.
Indeed, the issue may post-date the publication of Podhoretz’s excellent book. It might turn out that the Emir of Dubai has funneled millions in income to the Clintons through billionaire Ron Burkle and the Yucaipa Corporation. Possibly the emerging connection between the budget items Hillary has earmarked in Congress and her campaign contributors will be fodder for the 2008 campaign. Or we may end up focusing on the almost total lack of legislative accomplishment during Hillary’s Senate tenure, including little more than renaming post offices or courthouses
Another book review in the Post, SCREAMING AT THE U.N., gets low marks for not being thorough enough,
Shawn does not tackle U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan with sufficient determination. Annan’s anti-U.S. bias over Iraq and his self-serving statements on the Oil-for-Food investigation, in which he has sought to exonerate himself from having insufficiently separated personal and professional interests, are subjects worthy of lengthier treatment.
Shawn’s lack of argument also means that he does not properly explain Chinese, French and Russian behavior over Iraq. The easy answer is that these countries were motivated by greed and were bribed by Saddam. Yet Iraq was about more than just money.
In Iraq, China, France and Russia could make their influence felt and be the dominant external powers, for once ousting American influence. Better still, they could inflict damage on the United States by proxy by undermining the sanctions and the American bid to contain Saddam.
Speaking of China, last night John Batchelor had Jed Babbin talking about Babbin’s new book, Showdown : Why China Wants War with the United States, a chilling look at China’s possible strategy. As regular readers of this blog know, I’m interested on the subject.
Today’s video, also via Maria,
Raid on the Reactor
In a lighter vein,
Last night was 24‘s season finale. Blogs4Bauer was watching.
As one of the commenters said, Jack Bauer joins cast of Prision Break.
It’ll be a long wait until January, 2007.
Update: Not Charles and Marty
In showbiz news, One hoped, for decency’s sake, that her trousers were made of sturdy stuff. Not a good review, but a good review, via Drudge.