Monday, December 31, 2012

Retro New Year's Eve: Let's Start The New Years Right

Retro New Year's Eve: When Harry Met Sally

He should have stopped talking before trashing Robert Burns.

Django Unchained: Movie Review

If you liked Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction, Spaghetti Westerns and Blacksploitation films from the seventies, and the scene where Sonny dies in The Godfather, you will really like Django Unchained.  It is completely over the top, with every bullet hitting flesh an arterial shot (and it is a fair criticism to disagree with that as an artistic statement).  I get a little annoyed with attempts to pass rural California off as the South, but it was entertaining.  And the film got Spike Lee all fired up.

And it even had some serious moments (warning: this is a spoiler):
Samuel L. Jackson refuses to answer question when interviewer refuses to say "n-word."
Jammie Foxx and Samuel L. Jackson coach DiCaprio on saying the "n-word."
Raaaaaacist Django action figures? 
Now this is BSC:  Samuel L. Jackson's character "Stephen" is Clarence Thomas?  The left have lost their friggin minds.
This is an interesting take on Django...
This is correct too:  Since Tarantino's frame of reference for just about everything is cinema, Django Unchained is not about slavery or racism, but about slavery and racism in movies...   
Friday Fashion Fail...

Parenting Fail: Pregnant Daughter of Doctor found with explosives and weapons with her Occupy Wall Street boyfriend...

Parenting Fail
Happy New Year!

We have the dynamic of kids of privilege deciding they want to embrace the romanticism of revolutionary spirit.  Sort of like Les Misérables, but without any Christian redemption, morality, or grace (think of terrorists Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, or college poster child and sadist, Che Guevara).  What I  would like to see is how these kids went wrong.

Then I saw this story about how bullying is the mechanism for terrorists finding and recruiting suicide bombers.  That is probably a different dynamic than the story above.  But it is obviously an important one to understand.

And it also seems to be a big factor in youth shootings here in the USA.  It was reportedly a factor in 12 out of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s.

We have our work cut out of us in 2013!

The Other McCain notes this has to be blamed on sneaky Tea Party extremists!   Did anyone blame George Bush yet for this?
Ace of Spades notes the boyfriend/father of her child wanted to blow up the Washington Square arch in NYC

Happy Tax Year! Take advantage of the coming death tax!

Lava reacts after fall...

This is just an interesting video (and no person falls in despite the title).  Metaphor?

New Year's Eve: Strange Days

Retro New Year's Eve: Boogie Nights

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A weekend movie suggestion for John Boehner...

I won't bother with book suggestions (like Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, etc.) since I doubt he could read them in time and he probably wouldn't understand them anyway.  I think we could find many examples, but I would start with having him watch A Bronx Tale...  And oh yeah, stop crying.  Because a leader who cries is neither feared or loved, just mocked.

Democrats mock Boehner as "Weeper of the House"

Retro New Year's Eve: Sunset Boulevard

Maureen Dowd is so scary in this movie!

Jimmy Cagney in White Heat: Top of the World!

Remember Piers Morgan is laughing all the way to the bank by making money off the blood of children.

It is insane and BSC.  Piers Morgan's ratings are terrible:
Less than a year and a half after the debut of Piers Morgan Tonight, CNN’s prime-time line-up just delivered its lowest rated month in two years. Morgan is earning roughly a third of the viewership that his predecessor Larry King was bringing in toward the end of his run, andHannity, which airs at the same time on the FOX News Channel, routinely more than quadruples Morgan’s ratings. Even FOX News’ 3am show, Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld, consistently attracts a larger audience than Morgan.
And while his attacks on the Second Amendment are nuts and absolutely wrong, we do not deport people for exercising free speech (even annoying Limey idiots like Morgan).  And CNN is paying him millions.  And he is crying like a little girl that he may go back to the UK if the USA does not change its gun laws?

Unfortunately for us, as much as I love and respect Mark SteynThe Blogmocracy, and American Power, Piers Morgan is never going to voluntarily leave, at least not while we are giving him attention. He is a shameless whore and liar, an opportunist taking advantage of a tragic crime.

The only way to get rid of Piers Morgan is to ignore him (like most did prior to the Connecticut shootings).

Piers Morgan:  Making money on the blood of children...
The story gun control advocates do not want to talk about...

Smitty at The Other McCain
King Shamus says it well:
The truth is, Piers Morgan loves American money more than he hates American guns. His pristine moralism ends when he cashes his check. He won't be going anywhere until he's swindled all the money he can wring out of the credulous left-wing marks who hire him to get sub-MSNBC ratings.

Renée Armand: The Morning After

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Sugar and Corn Lobbies: So why does Home Depot sell Mexican Coca-Cola?

The Shark Tank wonders why Home Depot sells Mexican Coca-Cola?  
Because the corn lobby wants to keep corn demand high and that includes having high fructose corn syrup king of sweeteners.  And the cane sugar lobby wants to keep protective tariffs and subsidies in place so a few can make a killing growing sugar cane in the Everglades.  

Pat Toomey wrote at Red State about ending the sugar program. It came close, but recent attempts to end this nonsense failed.  Politicians of either party will not vote against their own state's economic interests, even if they know the country will be better off if they did so.  Which shows how hard it is to get rid of such programs once they get entrenched, both parties will fight to protect their state's special interests.  The end result is sugar is much more expensive in the United States than in Mexico.  

It is cost effective for the Mexicans to make their soft drinks with cane sugar.  In the United States most soft drink companies (there are a few small exceptions) use high fructose corn syrup.  That is why Mexican Coke tastes better.

Related nonsense:  Are we going over the Milk Cliff (or Milk Fall)?

Life and Death and Road Kill: The Turtle Experiment

A Clemson Student found that there are more cold blooded behind the wheel turtle killers out there than you might think...

Still, as this video below shows, the results and conclusions may be more mixed.

Forget the squirrels, break for turtles!

Are we going over the milk cliff?

One of the things that might happen if the fiscal cliff negotiations fail is milk prices jumping up in price and perhaps even doubling.  That is because the arcane 1949 law that over regulated milk prices would kick in.
We need to reduce federal involvement in agriculture and ranching...
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: "I do think if we went over the milk cliff it would actually be a good idea. [If] people actually saw the milk price double, it would be less abstract than watching a debt clock. They would finally understand that we have the insane laws, that acquire barnacles over the decades. And the farm laws are the worst. They are all kind of pressure, special interest favors, pay offs which make no economic sense. I'd like to wipe them out and start all over again, and it would be good if the law expired. People would actually be awakened to how insane our system is and how much we really need tax reform. It wouldn't be an abstraction, it would be real."
 We need to allow market forces determine prices, not complex layers of government bureaucracy.  

Vintage Hollywood Rule 5 New Years

  Rule 5 and New Year's Eve!  Start the year right!
Ann Miller ringing in the New Year
Happy New Year Shirley!

Rita Hayworth

Veronica Lake

Myrna Loy

Monroe with some playwright dude...
Myrna Loy with Asta and William Powell 

Kate Hepburn

Liz Taylor
And even though there are no guarantees the New Year will be better than last...

Happy New Year!
Clara Bow

Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt: What are you doing New Year's Eve

Friday, December 28, 2012

Rule 5 Second Amendment

Rule 5 is about celebrating things that are good in the world...

And if they manage to take your guns, the knives are next on their list!  

A beach photo you wont see from Charles Johnson...
OMG:  Is that tobacco she is holding!  
Illegal in the District of Columbia (except if you are David Gregory)
A girl should always have protection on a date...

The moral decline and collapse of western civilization...

Small Dead Animals had this.  This is more about the economic decline...  Dark blue represents the strongest economic growth over the three periods, orange and red represents the weakest.

There is still a little hope for North America, and maybe Australia, but Europe and Japan look like they are in a death spiral.  What is surprising is the strong growth in Mexico and Puerto Rico.  

ASPCA to pay Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus $9.3 million dollars to settle lawsuit...

Elephants never forget!  
Payback can be pricey sometimes:  
[The ASPCA] will pay Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus $9.3 million to settle a lawsuit the circus filed after courts found that activists paid a former circus worker for his help in claiming the circus abused elephants. 
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Friday it was not admitting any wrongdoing in settling the lawsuit. The New York-based animal rights group was one of several involved in a lawsuit filed in 2000 against the circus' owner, Feld Entertainment Inc., claiming elephants were abused. Courts later found that the animal rights activists had paid a former Ringling barn helper involved in the lawsuit at least $190,000, making him "essentially a paid plaintiff" who lacked credibility. 
Two courts agreed the former barn helper, Tom Rider, wasn't credible and didn't have a right to sue. As a result, they didn't address claims the circus violated the federal Endangered Species Act by allegedly chaining the elephants for long periods and allowing trainers to use sharp tools called bullhooks. 
The Vienna, Va.-based Feld Entertainment Inc. sued the animal rights groups and Rider in 2007, accusing them of conspiring to harm the company's business and other illegal acts. The lawsuit claims the groups were working together with the goal of permanently banning Asian elephants from circuses. 
Friday's settlement covers only the ASPCA. Twelve other defendants including The Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Welfare Institute and The Fund for Animals are still involved in the lawsuit. 
The ASPCA said in a statement that "this litigation has stopped being about the elephants a long time ago" and that officials decided it was in the group's best interest to resolve the lawsuit after more than a decade.
The RICO lawsuit will continue against Humane Society and other defendants and attorneys who were involved.   

Sweet Baby Jesus: Now they want to ban kitchen knives!

You really cannot make this stuff up!

Who are the "chefs" supporting such a ban?
Okay, Bourdain has some crazy eyes here.  Maybe I
should have picked a less scary image...
This one is probably better!  

h/t:  Ace of Spades HQ

The story that gun control proponents do not want to talk about: The hero of the Clackamas Mall shooting

Why is this story not getting more attention?    Instapundit noted it a few weeks ago and I linked it at the time.  But I have heard very little about it since.  I think we know the reason: because those who promote gun control in the media do not like this story.

Johnny Lydon on Judge Judy

Rod Stewart: Auld Lang Syne

Ella Fitzgerald: What are you doing New Year's Eve

Thursday, December 27, 2012

RIP Norman Schwarzkopf

We are losing a generation of heroes.  Charles Durning.  Daniel Inouye.  Now Norman Schwarzkopf.

RIP General Schwarzkopf
In 1966 he volunteered for Vietnam and served two tours, first as a U.S. adviser to South Vietnamese paratroops and later as a battalion commander in the U.S. Army's Americal Division. He earned three Silver Stars for valor -- including one for saving troops from a minefield -- plus a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and three Distinguished Service Medals. 
While many career officers left military service embittered by Vietnam, Schwarzkopf was among those who opted to stay and help rebuild the tattered Army into a potent, modernized all-volunteer force...

Moe Lane reports: Lisa Jackson out at the EPA due to stealth secondary email account...

A most telling post by Da Tech Guy Peter Ingemi...

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” Plato

“Education is teaching our children to desire the right things.” Plato

There is some hidden symbolism in this...

The fiscal cliff and all of that.

h/t:  Ace at AoSHQ and David Thompson

Our sacred traditions are being eroded one by one...

Republican leadership needs to stop acting badly...

Worst death scene ever...staring John Boehner.  It doesn't have to be like this.

Rick Santelli is not acting when he says he is upset about the fiscal cliff...

Fiscal Cliff: It is time Republicans had the bravery to just say no to the Democrats...

Boehner and our GOP elites are desperate not to be branded as causing the government to go over the fiscal cliff.  I understand why they are worried, because the fiscal cliff is scary.  And the GOP has not been explaining its position very well.  But as scary as that is, it is time to realize that compromise with something that is wrong is not a correct option.

Which sets up a Separated at Birth:

Barack and Harry and...
Thelma and Louise

We need to remember...
Reminder: Barack and Harry are the ones driving off the fiscal cliff...

TOM:  Winners write history (we need to start acting like winners).
John Boehner and our GOP elites needs to stop acting badly...

Will newly discovered Comet Ison be awesome in 2013?

Great Dane cuddles with Baby...

The Pogues: If I should fall from grace with God...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What you could end up paying in taxes in 2013 if we go over the fiscal cliff...

News you can use from the NY Post:  We are a nation of fiscal cliff dwellers:  

Cliff Dwellers: could we end up like they did...

Bnei Menashe: Lost Tribe of India Jews return to Israel

The Bnei Menashe are returning to Israel
Are they really a lost tribe of Israel?   It is a fascinating story.  Here is some history on the Bnei Menashe.  Chin-Kuki-Mizo people emigrated from east Asia into north eastern India during various waves over about 6000 years. They were head hunters and animists. Christian missionaries who encountered them in the 19th century noted their beliefs mirrored many Old Testament stories.
While we are preparing for the Sikpui Feast,
The big red sea becomes divided;
As we march along fighting our foes,
We are being led by pillar of cloud by day,
And pillar of fire by night.
Our enemies, O ye folks, are thick with fury,
Come out with your shields and arrows.
Fighting our enemies all day long,
We march forward as cloud-fire goes before us.
The enemies we fought all day long,
The big sea swallowed them like wild beast.
Collect the quails,
And draw the water that springs out of the rock
In 1951 one of their leaders had a vision they were really Jews and one of the lost tribes of Israel.

There are efforts to see if the Bnei Menashe have the genetic markers of other Jewish populations.  Some tests show no markers.  Although there are some questions on the test methology.  Interesting that one of the proponents of the Bnei Menashe's status is a Jewish guy who grew up in an Irish neighborhood in Manhattan:
Halkin's love affair with the story of the lost 10 tribes goes back to his childhood. "I grew up in Manhattan, in a largely Irish neighborhood, and the Irish kids always made trouble for us," he says. "We would run away from them, or else we would fight with them and lose. Once, one of my friends told me that there was an enchanted place called Brooklyn, where Jewish kids beat up gentiles.
Ann Althouse notes there are a lot of candidates for "lost tribes of Israel."  As far as the theory of the Irish being one of the lost tribes of Israel, I would not recommend discussing that loudly in an Irish bar (I was once having a beer in a bar in New York years ago and a Portuguese guy came in and loudly discussed this theory--and he might as well have been discussing in the 1980s how great Maggie Thatcher was for cracking down on Bobby Sands and the IRA). And that bar was in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan, where perhaps Hillel Halkin (noted above) grew up.  

New Years news you can use: Asparagus helps prevent hangovers!

It really is good for you!  
And the good thing, I love asparagus!  

David Gregory: Gun Outlaw

Opps:  Just possessing a magazine like this in the District of Columbia is a crime...
Legal Insurrection reports:
It may be even worse for Gregory and NBC News. According to an e-mail received by The Patriots Perspective website, which originally broke the Gregory story, NBC News had inquired whether it was permitted to use the magazine and was told that it was not permitted. The authenticity of the email has not been verified.
The D.C. law is ridiculous and over the top, but it is the law. We need to force them to play by their own rules.

More from Breitbart, Politico, and Ace of Spades.

W.J.J. Hoge
TOM:  NBC-Nothing But Criminals
David Gregory is also a hypocrite priss.
TMZ:  Did Gregory get permission to use the magazine as a prop?
A tale of two investigations:  You get treated better if you are in the media...

I am an evil blogging cow, but David Gregory is an evil clown...
Barack Obama looks out for his friends...

A winter message to you all...

Dr. Who: The Feast of Steven (Animated)

Irish Rovers: Good King Wenceslas

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Les Misérables: A movie review (updated with spoilers)

Samantha Banks as Eponine
Don't believe the negative reviews.  If you liked Les Misérables the play you will almost certainly like the Les Misérables the movie (I liked the novel, play and now the movie).  It sticks very close to the original book (as in the play, not the Victor Hugo novel), but is delivered in a series of close up shots, with the actors singing on the set (rather in a sound studio after the fact).  While some may find this jarring, it does give a perspective to the work that you cannot get in a live performance short of being able to wander around the stage.  Some of the sadder scenes are made all that much more intimate.  The theme of redemption and grace remains.

This only works because the performances and production quality are mostly top notch.  Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway give amazing performances.  Samantha Banks is great as Eponine (both singing and in acting).  Even Russell Crowe's Javert is decent (granted he did not have the singing chops, but I had low expectations going in and thought he pulled it off by acting).   Tom Hooper does a great job with the directing, cinematography and in creating 19th century France.  I was only mildly disappointed in Sasha Barron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter--and they were still okay as the Thénardiers (just not as good as some of the theatrical performances I have seen).

The film is over the top and lavish, but in the end it works.  I am sure it will be a commercial success and will become a classic.

Cameo Note:  Colm Wilkinson, who played Jean Valjean in the original West End and Broadway runs, plays the Bishop of Digne, who inspires Valjean to become a better man.  Some of the critics of this film may be confused by a Catholic priest is a positive roll.  Then again, Les Misérables was panned by the elite critics in 1862 when it was first published.
Émile Bayard, 1883, Cossette engraving for a later edition of Les Misérables
The historic backstory to the novel, play and film.

This review is very good (caution spoilers):

Here is a different perspective:  A review by the Anchoress (actually two other reviews that the Anchoress contrasts).
Here is a slightly more critical review (very funny)

And The Belmont Club notes:  Do you hear the people sing?  

It is a crying shame...

WWII Era Dancing

RIP Charles Durning

Great character actor.  WWII Hero, A Ranger who fought at D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge (a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts).  RIP Charles Durning.

Durning saw some action...

He was among the first wave of U.S. soldiers to land at Normandy during the D-Day invasion and the only member of his Army unit to survive. He killed several Germans and was wounded in the leg. Later he was bayoneted by a young German soldier whom he killed with a rock. He was captured in the Battle of the Bulge and survived a massacre of prisoners.
In later years, he refused to discuss the military service for which he was awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts.
“Too many bad memories,” he told an interviewer in 1997. “I don’t want you to see me crying.”
Tragedy also stalked other members of his family. Durning was 12 when his father died, and five of his sisters lost their lives to smallpox and scarlet fever.
The only thing you can say is thank you.  

Blackmore's Night: I Saw Three Ships

Andre Rieu: Handel Messiah Hallelujah Chorus

Nat King Cole: Hark The Heard Angels Sing

The back story on The Christmas Song.  

Jewel: Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Johanna Kurkela: Jouluyö Juhlayö, Finnish Suomi Silent Night

Kings College Cambridge: Oh Come, All Ye Faithful

Loca the Pug

The Pogues: The Story of the Fairytale of New York

A fascinating story.  Pour yourself a libation (although there is a point that stopping makes sense).  Enjoy.  Merry Christmas to you all.

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl: Fairytale of New York


It was christmas eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me: won't see another one
And then they sang a song
The rare old mountain dew
I turned my face away and dreamed about you
Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I´ve got a feeling
This year´s for me and you
So happy christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
Where all our dreams come true.

They got cars big as bars
They got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It´s no place for the old
When you first took my hand on a cold christmas eve
You promised me broadway was waiting for me
You were handsome you were pretty
Queen of new york city when the band finished playing they yelled out for more
Sinatra was swinging all the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night.

And the boys from the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out for christmas day.

You´re a bum you´re a punk
You´re an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy christmas your arse I pray god it´s our last.

And the boys of the NYPD choir's still singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out
For christmas day.

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can´t make it out alone
I´ve built my dreams around you

And the boys of the NYPD choir's still singing Galway Bay
And the bells are ringing out
For christmas day.

The story behind the song...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Be Thankful...

While there is certainly bad news out there, and we may not like the direction things are going, overall for people on this planet it has been the best year ever.  I am not entirely sanguine about the future.  We have some serious challenges.  There are huge risks.  But we should be thankful for what we have and reach out, if you can, to those who need our help and assistance.

Merry Christmas to you all.  

Game Theory: Tit for Tat

Jack Klugman RIP

Octopus in Tomato Sauce Christmas Eve

Slow simmered octopus in tomato sauce is delicious...

Make your favorite marinara sauce with a cleaned and sliced octopus.  You put the sauce and octopus on slow and cook it around an hour and a half on the stove.  Alternatively, it will probably take several hours on a slow cooker (because it will take time to get up to heat).  Slow cooking is the key to tender octopus.

Like squid, prepping the octopus by making sure all the ink is out of it is important (unless you want your sauce quite dark).  I add currants and golden raisins to the sauce, along with some chopped fennel bulb (and tops).  You use the sauce for pasta and then eat the octopus as the second course.

Here is an Anthony Bourdain found recipe (from Portugal) for simmering the octopus till tender, then grilling it. 
Mario Batali has a similar grilled version of octopus.
And here is Stanley Tucci doing octopus potato salad.
These would work too.