Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bin's Burkha Bimbo

Wondering where they'll spend Christmas this year

Quick, who are we talking about? She's...

1. Rich
2. Not bright
3. A bit of a diva
4. Dabbles in "progressive" politics
5. Opposes the War on Terror
6. Has a thing for younger men
7. Changes husbands like Elizabeth Taylor
8. Buys Botox by the truckload

Any ideas?

If you guessed Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, Natalie Portman or Demi Moore, you're warm. If you guessed Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton, you're red hot.

Meet Osama's daughter-in-law, Jane Bin Laden -- a white, comically self-absorbed, British liberal who bears a striking resemblance to what we on the Right refer to as the "typical Hollywood liberal."
"Jane has some strong political views of her own, albeit ones based on a hazy understanding of history. She says she is proud to be British. I ask her if she is proud of the so-called War on Terror being waged in her name.

'No, I am not proud of that, in the same way that I am not proud of the situation with the Irish, or when we went into the Falklands. Why should we have the right to take over countries and not give them back? We are a very arrogant nation.'
Low watt, high maintenance, anti-Bush... All she needs now is a development deal with the Weinsteins.

Seriously, though. Conservatives are always being slammed for pointing out how Western Liberals and and Middle Eastern Jihadists sound identical at times, particularly on the War on Terror. The nexus has never been clearer (or more amusing) than this article.

I won't spoil the fun by commenting further on this. Read and enjoy.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Siskel & Ebert (& Roeper) online

As great as a some of the recurring guest hosts on "Ebert & Roeper" have been in Roger's absence, I really miss the true Godfather of Movie Geeks' keister wedged into his regular seat in the balcony every week. Have to say, I still miss Gene even more.

So if you're like me, you've circled this Thursday, Aug. 2, on your calendar in heavy-point red Sharpie after the show's major announcement this week.

Roger himself (while a long, long way from returning to TV as far as I can tell) will host an online chat at 5 p.m. PST to launch a new video archive of every episode of the show in existence going back to the "At the Movies" debut in the 1970s.

It seems we'll be able to search by actor, director, movie title, etc. Sounds too good to be true. But they haven't yet referred to this as a premium service or not, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Log onto the Website here Thursday to be part of the fun.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Preacher rides again

Do you feel lucky, sinner?

And in the "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" category, we have this heartwarming story on what you get when WWJD meets the NRA. Love it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cherry's ripe for '24'

The next Maggie Thatcher...or Mrs. Bill Clinton?

'24' was undeniably a letdown last season. The story was uninvolving, the format tired and the casting unmemorable. And as nice as it was to have evil VP Powers Boothe on board, junior G-man Ricky Schroeder made it a net loss. Even Chloe was zero fun this time around.

Then there was the undercurrent of liberalism that reversed several seasons of the Red State mindset that had made the show so popular.

All this coming off what many consider the show's best season since the first. I did, and for once not because of Jack. It was the ultimate dysfunctional first family -- the Logans, played with understated energy and wild abandon by Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart respectively -- that had me tuning in to the last tick of the clock.

It would have been tough to top that killer tag team, but the show didn't even try -- instead putting Wayne "Weenie" Palmer in the Oval Office and not even having the common decency to keep him dead after an assassination attempt.

One casting confirmation for next season came out earlier this week, suggesting we might have something worth watching again.

Cherry Jones has signed to play the first female President in U.S. (and Jack Bauer's) history. It's a clear nod to the possibility of Hillary as... as... I can't even bring myself to say it.

Not sure which direction the show will take her politically, but it's an intriguing development. I've only seen Jones in M. Night Shyamalan's films, but she was memorable in both.

She could make either a fine, competent and convincing Lady Commander-in-Chief or a believable facsimile of what Hillary would be. And either one could be fun.

The article also addresses the murky politics of the creators.

"In a February article in The New Yorker magazine, [executive producer Joel] Surnow described himself as a rare conservative in Hollywood. But show producers say they hold a variety of political viewpoints and deny '24' takes a solely conservative approach, the magazine reported."

It's confusing in Wayne's World sometimes

Monday, July 23, 2007

"In Praise of Xenophobia"

The way we were

It's been calm seas for more than a week here after some welcome travel and family events, but the winds are blowing again with this, the final installment of my immigration trilogy.

This one comes courtesy of Graybrook. It's a killer, well-researched piece on the subject largely free of the rabid hyperbole and rabble rousing you'll find on other sites...like the one you're reading right now.
"Today’s multiculturalist and xenophoric 'Americans' deny that there is such a thing as a uniquely American world view or at least that there should be such a thing. Yet their unflagging exertions to destroy the 'citadel of our liberty and sovereignty' only prove that it exists or once did..."
Good point. I've always thought it funny that the same people who claim we're merely a changing nation of immigrants without any fixed culture are the same people who take to the street en mass whenever we allegedly try to "impose" it on other cultures via commerce or war.

The essay goes on to outline the differences between our Protestant-based system of government and both Islam and the Latin American mindset.

On the latter:
"..Again, as always, this world view has its basis in religion, and at its heart is the concept of sacerdotalism, a doctrine basic to the Roman Catholicism which has molded Latin American culture. "Sacerdotalism is the establishment of a rigid hierarchy that separates man from God, the interjection of a ‘priestly’ class between man and God, through whom the ‘layman’ must go to reach God" (William A. Simpson). Carlyle viewed this doctrine as the polar opposite of Puritanism.

A sacerdotal mindset gives rise to a polity in which a hierarchical government is the foundation of society. It is predisposed to the maternalism of the socialist state. 'In Latin America, the female runs the household. She educates the children and manages the finances. As a result, the Latin American family is matriarchal. Whereas the father is distant, the mother is ‘linked with love and proximity’ and has a greater influence on the children" (One Hundred Years of Solitude/Cien Anos de Soledad : The Buendía Family).
This is what I was talking about regarding the "strong man" tendencies toward demagoguery and "benevolent" man-of-the-people dictatorship often found in political history south of our borders.
"...This foundational aspect of Latin American culture has vast implications for change as its influence spreads throughout traditional North American culture. It is a foreign element which can elementally altar this nation..."

...if we are to preserve our admirable character as an American nation and culture, we must be vigilant in examining the influences and impulses which may be anathema to our common spirit. For this reason, we may rightly be xenophobic. We must hasten to say that we do not fear foreigners per se. Indeed, we may welcome foreigners who yearn to embrace our founding principles and contribute their own hues to our already colorful national complexion — those immigrants who, in Eric Hoffer’s words, will 'love and cherish it.' "
Be sure to take the time to read this. Link again here.

"We speak only English from now on, mama. We are Americans now. "
--A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hollywood gets religion (like a punch line)

Larry wants to be like Mike

I heard a film producer on the news yesterday talking about the grumbling among documentary filmmakers against Michael Moore. They want the Academy to create a new category to better fit the type of entertainment he actually makes.

A lot of documentary makers see Moore splice interviews and edit out of context and wonder why they're not allowed to do the same thing, said the man whose name escapes me because I hadn't considered blogging him at the time.

But today Lionsgate announced a distribution deal for the new Bill Maher/Larry Charles documentary on religion. And ladies and gentlemen, if you thought Moore's bastardization of the genre was egregious, just wait until Maher's rabid, illogical, self-important hatchet job debuts on too many screens than its actual audience will justify.

From the press release:
"The documentary follows Maher as he travels around the globe interviewing people about God and religion. Known for his astute analytical skills, irreverent wit and commitment to never pulling a punch, Maher brings his characteristic honesty to an unusual spiritual journey. The film will mark Charles’ first feature project since the critically acclaimed, wildly successful BORAT. "
Larry 'Borat' Charles... Ken 'Civil War' Burns... It's all the same, right?
" 'It’s an honor and a privilege to be working with Larry Charles and Bill Maher, two of the sharpest, funniest minds in show business,” said [Lionsgate master pimp] Ortenberg. ... "We feel this film can play as broadly as a Michael Moore film, and it’s sure to be as provocative, informative and entertaining as any documentary in recent memory...' "
I knew it. Michael Moore was the butt double for Ken Davitian during that naked brawl sequence!
" '...Certainly, the promo reel that the sales team screened at Cannes generated enormous enthusiasm among acquisition executives across the board.' "
"Said Maher, 'Comedically, the topic of religion is hitting the side of a barn – it’s literally hard to miss. This movie will make you laugh so hard you’ll pray for it to stop.'

Observed Charles, 'Nietzsche said God is dead, but he didn't see the grosses for PASSION OF THE CHRIST.' "

It is indeed a man of faith who thinks Bill Maher and the guy behind "Mad About You" will bring in the receipts Jesus and Mel Gibson did once upon a time.

Hey, I'll be the first to admit "World Religion" is an excellent subhead for comedy. But something tells me few aboriginals, Native Americans, Africans, Jews or rain forest dwellers will get skewered here.

Nor will there be much footage earning the too-outrageous-to-stop Maher a fatwa like the one that ended Theo Van Gogh's career on a bloody sidewalk in Holland-istan.

We'll see some New Agers (Shirley MacLaine types, not Green Party members), maybe some Buddhists (but not the Dali Lama), Wiccans... A shot or two of those freaky rat worshipers at the Karni Mata Temple...

The other 97 percent of the film will focus on Catholics, Methodists, Charismatics, (white) Baptists, conservative Presbyterians, Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox...pretty much anything with "orthodox" in name or practice.

Better get in line now to avoid the crowds. And if you find yourself next to Bill Maher in L.A. traffic during a lightning storm on the way to the theater, pull back to a safe distance and get ready for the Fourth of July.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"...by the Don's early liiiiight!"

Turns out I have more to say on the topic of my last post. Mainly to some of the objections invariably raised against addressing the "non-problem" of mass invasion by millions of untraceable foreign nationals.

Don't fall for the "we can't deport 18 to 20 million people" mantra.

I.C.E. officials proudly announced a few months back that 250,000 illegals had been sent packing in the past year. A quarter million. During wartime and with token congressional funding.

Close the border, fund I.C.E. like it's a priority, and the job will get done. (Take down every Wal-Mart from Fresno to Yakima simultaneously, and the job's half done already.)

"But that would take years."

Not when Juan figures out our jackbooted thugs are in fact coming for him this time. And even if it does take a decade or two, think of all the real Americans the effort will employ. We end illegal immigration and unemployment in a single move!

"Round people up? You sound like a Nazi."

We're not talking about concentration camps. We're talking about sending people home to the return address on their drivers licenses. Their real drivers licenses.

You want to hear Hitler in Bavaria circa 1923? Listen to Latino leaders salivating over how they command the future of the state (see Fresno Bee story, previous post).

"But won't my $2 box of strawberries will cost $3 if they all leave?"

A dollar extra for strawberries is a bargain to keep your country. Like they said in Team America, freedom costs a buck-0-five.

"No one else will do the work!"

Just watch those summer-job high school and college workers come out of the woodwork when the price is right. It's called capitalism, and it won't be denied. The market always corrects itself.

And if farmers have to pay a decent wage for a change -- if it hurts a little at first -- they have no one to blame but themselves for cheating in the first place.

Besides, I haven't seen a poor farmer since 1984. Maybe now we know why.


Call me a racist if you like. I really don't care anymore. But for the record, I'm a culturalist. Like my friend and co-worker Humberto, who the day he swore in as an American citizen told me, and I quote...
"F--- America. In my heart I'm Mexican. I came here because it's a better way for my family."
He told me this as a friend, incredibly intending no offense. He didn't want to cause trouble, he simply felt like he had just betrayed his true home by swearing allegiance to the U.S. Constitution and had to get it off his chest.

Humberto wasn't such a good friend after that. But at least I started to wake up to the reality of the "melting pot" rapidly cooling down around me.

That was back in 1994. This is 2007. With whole neighborhoods de facto Mexican colonies already back then, the deportations have to kick into overdrive ASAP today.

It's not about race. It's the fact that a minority can't assimilate a majority. People with skin darker than mine are welcome...but only in numbers small enough to turn them into my countrymen, not the other way around.

"Jose can you seeee...!"

Latinos are already the dominant ethnic group in Los Angeles, Fresno and several other counties in the state, but in the years to come, that domination is going to mushroom, according to California Department of Finance projections getting some attention this week.

The numbers are staggering.

The Central Valley alone will have more people than Los Angeles by 2050, the vast, vast majority of them more apt to fly the flag on Cinco De Mayo than the 4th of July.

Meaning that if my family stays here in Fresno, by the time our baby girl turns 20, she'll be one of just 1,952 Gringas left in Fresno County her age, compared to 5,701 Latinas.

Is this a problem? It is if you don't like the idea of your retirement home becoming a living history museum for Spanish-speaking kindergarten field trips.

It is if you're smart enough to do the math and realize the old "they're taking our jobs" objection is just a Quinceañera or two from inevitable reality.

Then there's the gulf that exists between the American political tradition and that which has universally prevailed south of the border since colonization. I studied the history of Latin American politics at Fresno State. The Old World, conquistador mentality that has animated their political life for generations has invariably produced entitled aristocrats, demagogues, tyrants and blood-soaked revolutionaries.

American Democrats are happy to fill the demagogue slot, of course. Imagine Hillary as a latter day Eva Peron. Like John Lennon said, it's easy if you try.

Bottom line, our Protestant Reformation ideals produced leadership like George Washington and Ronald Reagan. Latin America? Try Gen. Santa Anna, Juan Manuel de Rosas and the Institutionalized Revolutionary Party of Mexico.

But I digress. Back to how completely screwed we are.

Bear in mind these projections are based on a "Hispanic [illegal immigrant] baby boom" happening today, for those already here. Given the fact our fearless leaders intend to do exactly jack about the immigration problem, these ratios are probably too conservative.

All because George Bush was raised by a sweetheart of a Mexican nanny and brother Jeb married into la raza.

As usual, Victor Davis Hanson put it well in a recent column following the defeat of the bipartisan amnesty bill:
Americans were brought up on lectures about the sanctity of the law. We were supposed to revere the Social Security system. Yet when the government discusses millions of phony Social Security numbers used by illegal aliens, it is usually in the cynical sense of whether that con enriches or bankrupts the system — not whether such rampant fraud is legally and morally wrong.

Most citizens fret if they leave the house without their driver's license. They get nervous when their car registration or proof of insurance is lost — and so grow irate that millions of others on the road don't or can't share their concern.
And there are about to be maaany more of those cars on the road.

Meanwhile, the only Latinos off the road are two U.S. border agents railroaded and currently wasting away in solitary confinement courtesy of Dubya's handpicked legal team.

Viva America, amigos!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Operation "Vegas Freedom"

Did you catch the details in this weekend's story of the shooting rampage in Las Vegas?
"A 'distressed' gunman on a balcony at the New York-New York casino opened fire on gamblers below early Friday, wounding four people before he was tackled by off-duty military reservists. A fifth person was hurt in a crush of people fleeing the casino..."
One of the reservists recounts the confrontation here:
"...The gunman passed [24-year-old Iraq veteran] Lampert on his right, about 20 yards away, then turned to look at him. Lampert saw a 9 mm pistol and observed the man attempting to reload.

'He said, `I'm going to ... kill you,' Lampert said Saturday. 'We made eye contact and I took off after him. I just kind of dumped him.' "
So let's break it down:

1) A psycho who is not a veteran opens fire on innocent people.

2) Veterans who are not psychos take out disturbed civilian courtesy of their combat-honed sense of duty and physical training.

3) Vast majority of chicken-hearted civilians trample someone in the rush to save themselves.

But I thought George Bush's war only turns people into psycho gunmen or maladjusted Post-traumatic Stress Disorder civilian types. Now you're telling me, no? It's just the opposite? You mean Hollywood lied to me again??


Also thought it was fitting the gunman's police photo bore a resemblance to Saddam's dazed-and-bedraggled mugshot after he was pulled from his hole by the same kind of guys on duty in Iraq.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Don't blink...

Not as funny as he looks

War, Inc.
, huh?

Gee, wonder what the moral of this one might be.

And if the title isn't subtle enough for you, check out the trailer here, complete with Humvee rolling up to a newly erected Popeye's Chicken franchise somewhere in the Middle East. And those forced-confession videos that terrorists force you to make right before cutting off your head with a hacksaw? An untapped gold mine of laughs ideal for romantic comedy. Because you just gotta laugh, right?

I'm actually okay with this one for the simple fact that when comedy misfires as spectacularly as this (think Chevy Chase's talk show... The career of Al Franken...) all you really need to do is get out the way and let it do what it do.

Seriously, this has to be the lamest idea since It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown. Or John Cusack in America's Sweethearts.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

God bless America

Happy Independence Day to everyone here at home and in particular to those bleeding red, white and blue right now overseas.

After raising Old Glory outside this morning, I opened the local paper and came across a full page reprint of the Declaration of Independence. It was a beautiful layout, and it's been years since I read this world-changing document in it's entirety, so I did. What a thrilling read it remains to this day. Turns out there's no better way to get into the spirit of the 4th.

So click here for the full text and here for a fascinating look at an early draft of the Declaration with its congressional revisions in place. Then go out and enjoy those fireworks in the spirit in which they're truly intended.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Breaking news

With those millions of downtrodden illega -- er, undocumented workers -- pushed back into the cold shadows of America again, it appears Hollywood is once more at a loss as how to raise their own children while maintaining that active So Cal lifestyle. Luckily, the new global economy provides the solution yet again.

Report: Many U.S. Parents Outsourcing Child Care Overseas

And since we're all about the international happenings around here, enjoy this bonus news item from Europe. Finally a crisis the UN can handle on its own. Maybe.

Liechtenstein Successfully Tests Teeny Tiny Nuclear Bomb

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Loder unloads on Michael Moore

Yes you are, my friend

Kurt Loder has written a standout review of Michael Moore's Sicko more suited for the Wall Street Journal or National Review than MTV. I haven't bothered to watch MTV itself since 1984, but for some odd reason, in Loder they have arguably the most erudite film critic working today. ("Arguably" as in good luck convincing Richard Schickel he's not the man.)

In a point-by-point dismantling of Moore's latest fraud-fest, Loder kicks the tires and looks under the hood, raising and answering the questions Moore skirts regarding the reality of socialized medicine abroad.

"...Moore is also a con man of a very brazen sort, and never more so than in this film. His cherry-picked facts, manipulative interviews (with lingering close-ups of distraught people breaking down in tears) and blithe assertions (how does he know 18 million people will die this year because they have no health insurance?) are so stacked that you can feel his whole argument sliding sideways as the picture unspools. ... There are a number of proposals as to what might be done to correct this situation. Moore has no use for any of them, save one.

As a proud socialist, the director appears to feel that there are few problems in life that can't be solved by government regulation (that would be the same government that's already given us the U.S. Postal Service and the Department of Motor Vehicles)..."

Too many great quotes in this piece to even begin posting them here. Just click here now. Read it, commit it to memory, print it out and send it to school with your kids for show-and-tell, etc.

Also makes a fine companion piece to Libertas' excellent skewering of the film here.