Saturday, October 18, 2003

Here's a class act

Kobe's Angels
Thirteen-year-old boys dream of girls like these. American girls, clean-scrubbed, innocent faces traveling in an even dozen, cruising the streets in wifebeaters, underwear and the occasional trucker hat. They are young, hard-bodied vixens who are students, servers, surfers and just plain local hotties, OC’s version of barely legal Girls Gone Wild with shirts on. And they are everywhere: spreading out through the Orange County swap meet, walking down Main Street in Huntington Beach, guzzling beer at the International Street Fair in Orange.

They call themselves the Kobe Girls–"Kobe" as in "Bryant." What’s intriguing about the girls’ fashions–other than the almost complete lack thereof–is what’s emblazoned across their private parts. The girls are promoting the merchandise for and website
And what's the story behind this "spontaneous " outpouring?
After other business failures, two guys with an entrepreneurial air that reminds you of the young Joe and Gavin Maloof (owners of the Sacramento Kings), Michael McClain of Newport Beach and Joey Franco of Anaheim Hills came up with the idea while brainstorming strategies to "show support for Kobe and make money off of it."
But the boys don't have all their eggs in one basket. Besides the underwear and amateur cheesecake at, we are entranced to find:
And even after the trial is over, McClain and Franco say they are making plans for their next projects, including an expanded female-clothing line and a contingency plan if Kobe is convicted: the Save Kobe crew has purchased the domain for
Usual Suspects Alert!

Maddy the Weasel-Pleaser
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, busy plugging her new autobiography, went to Paris to give the French a thumbs-up for trying to obstruct President Bush's efforts to depose Saddam Hussein.

"It's difficult for me to be in France and criticize my government," said Albright - who then went on to prove that it really wasn't so hard at all.
Especially not for a bloviating crapsack like Maddy.
"But I'm doing so," she said, "because Bush and the people working for him have a foreign policy that is not good for America, not good for the world."

And she went even further, saying France was "a little bit right" to oppose the Iraq war.

Now, we understand that controversy helps sell books.

But to declare - in the heart of Weasel-land, no less - that George Bush's foreign policy is "not good for the world" not only sows confusion among our allies (not to mention our enemies), it's patently wrong on the merits.

And Albright herself has little standing to criticize anyone's Iraq policy.
No excrement, Sherlock. Follow the link for a chronology of the cleaning woman's screw-ups with Saddam.

And then there's Bubba.
It would be too much to expect Bill Clinton to publicly disavow Albright's nonsense, even though - unlike most Democrats - he has firmly defended the president's decision to finally move against Saddam.

Instead, Clinton - no doubt with an eye toward the 2004 campaign - is claiming that he warned Bush that Saddam Hussein was a less-compelling threat to America than Osama bin Laden.

It's revisionism at its best.
And bovine excrement at the least.
And reason to be thankful that Team Clinton is no longer around to further muck up U.S. foreign policy.
That too.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Sprightly Senior Citizen Alert!

Grenade Dropped Off In Police Station's Lobby:
MOUNT DORA, Fla. -- The Mount Dora Police Department was evacuated Thursday night after an 85-year-old woman walked into the station's lobby and dropped off a grenade, according to Local 6 News.
Well, at least there weren't any hanging chads.
Today's hoot (if you like black humor)

From Gweilo Diaries:
Channel 4 (UK) travels to the Yangtze to look at the corruption surrounding the building of the Three Gorges Dam:
Xiang Tian San: "They told us to move up the hill and re-locate over there. They tore down my old home. My wife was inside at the time and she was killed. And they didn't give us enough compensation. So we've not got a new house. Only this shelter I built."
They demolished his house with his wife still inside it!?! That seems pretty bloody careless, even for a communist.
Another Testimonial for Socialized Medicine!

Fake blood gets woman hernia op
A woman mixed cranberry juice with crumbled biscuits to simulate her own blood and get herself admitted to hospital.

Trizka Litton phoned 999 and called an ambulance, claiming to have vomited blood.

She was admitted to Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry, where she underwent surgery to correct a serious hiatus hernia.
She faked being ill because she was ill? How's that work?
Mrs Litton said she had no choice as she had been waiting seven months for an operation.

She told The Times newspaper: "I carried a heavy burden of guilt and shame at being forced to cheat and lie.

"But that vanished when doctors told me just how near death I had been."
She was told that she needed surgery in 2001 after coughing up large amounts of blood.

Her stomach had been pushed up into her chest cavity and was pressing on her heart and lungs.

However, her surgery was cancelled three times in three weeks, and finally she decided to take matters into her own hands in November last year.
The Times has more details and even consulted a makeup artist:
Julia Cruttenden, the principal of Greasepaint, an international school for stage, television and film make-up, said that she normally used washing-up liquid or golden syrup with red and yellow food colourings and a dash of coffee. Ms Cruttenden, who has been making fake blood for 25 years, heats the ingredients slightly to get them to mix.

She said: “Cranberry juice on its own might be a bit pink. You might get a nice congealed and scabby-looking blood with biscuits. Using biscuits might just work; I’ll have to try that.
It's a medical breakthrough!

Just Call Me 'Your Imminence'

Jonah Goldberg at - 'Imminent threat' is revisionist spin:
Jimmy Carter never used the word "malaise" in his "malaise speech." Abraham Lincoln never said, "God must have loved the common people, he made so many of them."

And George W. Bush never said that the threat from Iraq was "imminent."

He never said it. Seriously. Not once.

Teams of rhetoric inspectors have been pouring over Bush's comments, utterances, speeches and gesticulations for about as long as we've been looking for WMD in Iraq and, to date, nobody has found a shred of proof that the president - or anybody in his Cabinet - ever once said Iraq or Saddam Hussein posed an "imminent" threat to the United States.

In fact, one of the only good finds on this score actually says the complete opposite. In President Bush's State of the Union Address last January, he said:

"Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late."

This is important because the favorite talking point of Democrats and liberal pundits right now is that the president "lied" when he said that Iraq posed an "imminent threat."
Jonah is too polite to say "lying crapsacks."
And New York Times columnist Paul Krugman hyperventilated: "The public was told that Saddam posed an imminent threat. If that claim was fraudulent, the selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American political history - worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra."

Ted Kennedy offered the most infamous summary: "There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership, that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud."
Hmmm, lying and drunken crapsacks.

But the best part is:
That debate was about Iraq's ongoing, globally undisputed and flagrant defiance of U.N. resolutions and the need to be pro-active against anything like another 9-11. Read the actual congressional resolution authorizing force. It's mostly about Iraq's defiance of the United Nations.

Indeed, numerous Democrats, including Senators Kennedy and John Kerry, opposed the resolution authorizing the use of force precisely because it wasn't hinged to an imminent threat from Iraq (Kerry ultimately flip-flopped and voted for the resolution anyway). Senator Robert Byrd even offered an amendment requiring that imminence become the standard for war. After a debate, he lost.

In other words, Kennedy & Co. objected to the war before it was launched because Bush wouldn't say the threat was imminent and now they're peeved because Bush "lied" when he said the threat was imminent. That's laugh-factory logic.
True, but expect it to be repeated ad nauseam by the usual suspects and their media flying monkeys.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

What a surprise

Polipundit notes something odd about Weasley Clark's release of his military records to the NY Times - the records don't cover any period when Weasley was in a "senior command position."

He also covers the Democrat presidential wannabes and their positions on Iraqi redevelopment and Weasley shines there too. From a WaPo editorial:
Most astonishing is the response from retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, whose position is that he's taking no position on the grounds that he's running for president, not Congress. Mr. Clark writes persuasively in his new book that "we must transform a successful military attack into victory by helping the Iraqi people use this opportunity to establish representative government and . . . political and economic freedoms." Now Mr. Clark's press secretary, Kym Spell, says, "Just as he would not ask John Kerry how he would have commanded troops in Kosovo, we don't think it's in John Kerry's interest or anyone else's to be demanding of us how he would vote in the Senate." This is leadership?
It is when the leader is Weasley.
And while we're on the subject

Hey, Po' Boy, Meet Some Real Heroes
The rest of the country may clamor for po' boys and hoagies, grinders, subs, wedges or torpedoes, but New York knows what really constitutes a gigantic sandwich, and what raises the hero above those pretenders; what makes it gastronomic royalty.

Let there be no misunderstanding by those who have never ventured to New York, or by those who have come lately, or by those who diet. The hero is a sandwich of cured Italian meats. These are layered into a forearm's length of fresh crusty bread, often with a few slices of Italian cheese and a condiment or two atop them — pepperoncini, yes; roasted peppers, yes; mayonnaise, an emphatic no. Also, perhaps, a splash of vinegar, certainly a drizzle of olive oil. Some ground pepper, a sprinkle of salt. But no more. No sun-dried tomatoes sully the interior of a true hero, no pesto, no Brie, no fancy pants ingredients at all.

A hero, at least for today, is cold. (We will return to the subject of hot heroes — your pillowy meatball sandwiches, mighty chicken parmigianas, lengths of hot sausage and pepper — at a later date.) It is made by Italians, most often, in family run stores, and is usually served wrapped in paper, to eat outside somewhere. A hero has working class origins. It is lunch in tubular form.

In 1936, Clementine Paddleford, the legendary food writer on The New York Herald Tribune, unwittingly named the sandwich, saying, "You'd have to be a hero to finish one."

I have disproved that theory more than 100 times in the last month.

What's with all this food stuff? I must have been spending too much time over at Little Tiny Lies.
More than I wanted to know

107-Pound Woman Wins World BBQ Eating Title
CORINTH, Miss. -- A 107-pound Virginia woman ate her way to a championship after she out-gulped seven males in the World Champion Barbecue Eating Contest.

Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, of Alexandria, swallowed 23 barbecue sandwiches in 12 minutes to claim the title, $2,000 and the honor of wearing the champion's belt for a year.

"Sonya is the only one who can actually fit into the belt," joked David Baer, one of the announcers and director of business development for the International Federation of Competitive Eating.

Spectators were stunned by the performance of the petite winner, who never paused Friday night as she stuffed down bite after bite of wet barbecue sandwich.
I'm feeling a tad bilious.
Thomas entered the contest with a recent victory in the World Champion Chicken Taco Eating Contest where she swallowed 43 tacos in 11 minutes. She also holds the female world record for eating 24 hot dogs in 12 minutes and for eating 68 hard-boiled eggs in 8 minutes.
Urp! I couldn't find any photos of Sonya, but why does this remind of one of those photos of snake a who has eaten a mouse? Thin, with a big lump.
Everything that's not nailed down alert!

Davis wants Senate OK for list of appointments
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Gray Davis is urging the Senate to return to the Capitol before he leaves office to confirm a list of last-minute appointments that would name some of his top aides to jobs with six-figure salaries, according to a Senate Democrat.

Legislators are wrestling with whether to reconvene. Legislative aides say some are supportive, but that others are worried such appointments would smack of backroom dealing and would make an easy target for Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has portrayed himself as an outsider ready to clean up Sacramento.
The amazing thing is that any of the sleazoids in charge of the California legislature would care about how they look to the citizens..
Ruh Oh!

Access Denied:
A LOT of candidates now use the Internet for direct interaction and Web chats with voters, but Sen. Hillary Clinton has a special twist - you have to pay to play. Clinton did a live online chat yesterday, but to participate, you had to first raise $1,000 for her.
Sheesh! Can you imagine an Internet chat with Hillary? That's got to be a real thrill.

On the other hand, it might go like this (naughtiness converted to asterisks):
OnlineHost: Hillary1 has entered the room.
xxxxxxxxxx: Who in here considers themselves a internet Goddess
Ewook2: hi Hillary
OnlineHost: Bobby11283 has left the room.
Hillary1: HI EW!!!
OnlineHost: FH2DaWaves has entered the room.
Ewook2: how so??
xxxxxxxxxx: do you think you are internetically divine?
Bmr10908: Oh hell, not again..
OnlineHost: HEDA911 has entered the room.
Ewook2: sure why not. I can do anything from AOL..
Ewook2: Be quite or ill call a guide
xxxxxxxxxx: What would you say if i told you were a clueless loser?
Hillary1: F*** A GIUDE, ILL GIUDE MY FOOT UP HIS ASS!!!!!!!!!
Guide XXX: Hillary1: profanity is a violation of AOl's Terms of Service
Guide XXX: please stop NOW and review them at KEYWORD: TOS
xxxxxxxxxx: Hahahha. Guess she told you Mr. Guidey-Poo?
Guide XXX: xxxxxxxxx, you don't need to contribute to this discussion.
OnlineHost: Hillary1 has left the room.
Ewook2: I am an intrnet Goddess man. I know some good warez sites
Ewook2: ooops. didn't see that Guide in here.
xxxxxxxxxx: Damn guide, you punted her rather quickly. getting good with
xxxxxxxxxx: that thing or something?
Guide XXX: :) listen carefully and you'll hear her land..
xxxxxxxxxx: *plop* Would you TOS me if i wanted you to, for no reason?
Guide XXX: LOL, why would you want to be TOSsed?
xxxxxxxxxx: I've been spending too much money on the Clintons, if you TOS me, then
xxxxxxxxxx: I can hack on and save lots of money.
Guide XXX: LOL. AOL is virtually hackproof now, you know.
xxxxxxxxxx: Yeah, and cascade gets dishes virtually spotless, but there's
xxxxxxxxxx: a smudge on this dish...
Guide XXX: I wouldn't recommend trying it. If you were caught, you'd be banned
Guide XXX: from the Clinton's presence forever, what would you do then?
xxxxxxxxx: Retire on the money i saved, probably.
Ewook2: Hey xxxxxxxxx. let's go private
xxxxxxxxx: nah, I don't do that on the first date, man. sorry.
Guide XXX: Well, you guys be good and page me if you have any more trouble!

Sorry, it ain't worth a grand. (And apologies to America Offline.)
More of that dang chilling of dissent in Hollyweird!

Ben Affleck engages in attack on Dubya:
Ben Affleck gives as good as he gets. The scorn that critics heaped on his movie "Gigli" is nothing compared to the actor's withering review of President Bush's performance.

"The Bush administration has continued to push a dangerous right-wing agenda which has included increasing encroachments on civil liberties, particularly with the questionable and aggressive use of the Patriot Act," Affleck fumed on Tuesday night when he accepted a Spirit of Liberty award from the People for the American Way, a liberal political action group, in L.A.
Yadda, yadda.

No word on the Imperial Storm Troopers dragging Benji off stage.
Walt is spinning in his grave

Disney Allows PETA to Use ‘Nemo’ While Promoting Vegetarianism
( - Disney has agreed to let animal "rights" activists use images from its animated family film "Finding Nemo" to encourage children not to eat fish. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has obtained permission to use stills from the Disney/Pixar movie - which has taken in over $337 million at the box office - in its campaign to promote vegetarianism to youngsters. A "pro-fish" PETA spokesman told Ananova that the organization plans to use characters from the film in posters, leaflets and other materials. "We were delighted to see our tagline, 'Fish are friends not food,' in the movie" when a shark attended a support group for vegetarians, the spokesman said. "We hope that after seeing "Finding Nemo,'' children will agree that fish belong in the ocean, not on dinner plates."
It must be cool when the shark falls off the wagon.

And lest you think PETA is a just a bunch of whacky vegetarians, they have seem to have some strange chums - PETA Bankrolling Terrorist Group ELF:
WASHINGTON, -- As the frightening images of a massive August 2nd arson are seared into the minds of San Diego residents, many are left to wonder just who the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is and who pays its bills. As law enforcement begins to look for answers, members of the public should know that the shadowy ELF enjoys financial backing from at least one tax-exempt, above-ground group -- the activists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). A recent federal income tax return filed by PETA shows a $1,500 cash payment to the "North American Earth Liberation Front." And Rodney Coronado, a convicted arsonist who previously received $70,400 from PETA, was in San Diego on the day of the University City arson.
Coronado spent 57 months in federal prison for firebombing a Michigan State University research lab. When ABC News's John Stossel confronted PETA President Ingrid Newkirk earlier this year about her organization's financial support of Coronado, she said that he is "a fine young man."

"Federal law enforcement has already shut down several American nonprofits because of their financial ties with overseas terrorists," said David Martosko, Director of Research at the Center for Consumer Freedom. "Terrorism is terrorism, whether it's international or domestic. PETA is funneling money to terrorists, and they shouldn't be treated any differently."

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Is It Time to Shoot the Staff at the Guardian?

And the horses they rode in on.

(Hat tip: Best of the Web)

UPDATE: The Guardian has pulled the assassination rantings. See Thursday's Best of the Web.
While it isn't naked protestors, you have to work with what washes up on shore

Clark streaks to lead among Democrats. Luckily, there were no photos!

Controversy marks unveiling of 40-foot-tall naked sculpture:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--A privately funded 40-foot-high bronze sculpture of five naked women and four naked men has been unveiled on public ground in Nashville, Tenn., and some are questioning why such "artwork" is acceptable while a display of the Ten Commandments is not.

The $1.1 million sculpture, called "Musica" and placed in the center of a roundabout on Music Row in downtown Nashville, is meant by the sponsors to provide tourists with a sense of the different types of music that have emerged from Music City.

But some observers note there is no obvious connection between naked sculptures and music, and the sculpture would violate the city's obscenity laws if it were not categorized as "art."
The photo in the article has it still under a tarp, but you can get the idea here.

I don't know art, but I know what I like!

James Taranto, in Tuesday's Best of the Web, links to the latest Twilight Zone news:
Dispatch From the Porn Belt
A Common Council committee in Milwaukee (Gore by 39.43%) is backing a local establishment's request to be designated a "Center for the Visual and Performing Arts," reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. That would put the establishment "on a par with the Milwaukee Art Museum or Marcus Center for the Performing Arts."

The establishment? The Club Paradise Gentlemen's Club, a nudie bar. If the designation goes through, the club "may soon cater to underage customers, as long as they don't drink alcohol."
They actually have a couple of paintings by a "nationally known artist", but I like this touch:
There's also a tasteful mural of a nude woman in orange and red on the wall behind one of the stages, right next to a neon sign that says "Table Dancing Available."
I wonder if they have a gift shop?
It's tin foil beanie time, kids!

Anne Applebaum goes to the Frankfurt book fair:
It was also hard not to notice how much the chatter about books in Germany reveals nowadays about the mood in Germany. As in the United States, many of the books that have recently found their way to the top of German bestseller lists concern Sept. 11, 2001. Unlike those in the United States, many of them also argue that the Bush administration was responsible for Sept. 11. One book, by a former German government minister, argues that the planes that hit the World Trade Center may have been secretly steered from the ground. Another -- translated from the French and titled "The Appalling Lie" -- says that the Pentagon was never hit by a plane at all but was instead deliberately blown up with a bomb. Germany's establishment press has studiously debunked these theories, to little avail: Recently, an opinion poll showed that one in five Germans believe them.
I'd be laughing harder, but the difference between these wingnuts and the Democrat presidential candidates is only a matter of degree.

Follow the link for Anne's main point - "According to another opinion poll, more than a third of the Germans now think of themselves as "victims" of the Second World War ...".
I should have known

From CNN's Chinese launch could signal new space race:
In a sense, the Chinese began the space race.

The Chinese invented rockets in the 13th century, and used the so called "fire arrows" to fend off invading Mongols.

According to Chinese legend, the first person to attempt a trip into space was a 16th century man named Wan Hoo.

Wan, desiring to reach the moon, supposedly strapped 47 rockets to a wicker chair and had 47 assistants light the fuses.

Not a trace of him was found.
How do you say "Hold muh beer and watch this" in Chinese?
Flying Monkey Alert!

Hugh Hewitt gets a laugh out of limousine liberal, Sen. "Jay" Rockefeller, caught with his panties down - Sen. Jay Rockefeller looked shocked:
He had expected to say anything he wanted and escape without challenge.

But Fox News Channel's Tony Snow had a different idea. Snow thought it might be interesting to stick to the facts for a change.

This Sunday past, Sen. Rockefeller took a play from the Terry McAuliffe playbook and simply invented a convenient history. He told Snow and a national television audience that President Bush has alarmed the nation with a speech warning that an attack from Iraq was imminent.

Snow coolly played a tape of the president's State of the Union speech where he in fact said exactly the opposite. Bush warned the Congress that the United States could not wait for a threat to become imminent, to appear suddenly and without warning.

Snow then read from a speech that Rockefeller himself had given, one in which the West Virginia Democrat had proclaimed the threat from Iraq to be imminent.

Sen. Rockefeller was exposed and embarrassed and babbled on incoherently about what an average American should have inferred from the president's speech. I think he was close to proclaiming psychic powers when the interview – mercifully for him – ended.

Finally, a Democratic critic of the president had been obliged to confront the facts. It doesn't happen too often.
And the punchline:
Democrats and their allies in the media are attempting the biggest spin since Clinton's declaration of chastity toward Ms. Lewinsky. They are saying that David Kay has produced no proof of Saddam's threat. From that premise, they launch into attacks on the war in Iraq, even when those attacks, like Rockefeller's, depend on obvious lies.

It doesn't take much to expose this tactic and to demonstrate the agenda.

But it does take questioners willing to embarrass powerful Democrats, and it does take a press corps willing to read the reports that brave men and women have prepared.

The American voter will not be fooled by the double talk and posturing of Democrats eager to return to power by any means. But it remains alarming that elite media are so intent on assisting in their return that they will ignore and distort even chapter and verse on the evils of Saddam's regime.
More like disgusting.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Report from an alternate reality

James Brooke from the NY Times Service fills us in on the S. Korean film scene - Korean films find new lot of bad guys:
The daughter of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il, is pouting in the suite of a luxury hotel in Seoul. She has just learned that Daddy has arranged a marriage for her in Pyongyang to a boring old nuclear scientist.

Not for the Dear Leader's teenage princess! Donning a tight white blouse and a hot-red miniskirt, she eludes her amiable North Korean police chaperone, and runs away to a disco, where she shouts in English, "Let's party!"
All goes swimmingly in the movie Whistling Princess until the Americans, dressed in black, arrive at a rock concert. As the princess kisses a hunky Seoul rocker, with a unification ballad reaching a crescendo, the Americans blow up the place with hand grenades and rocket launchers.
Sounds like a good idea to me.
"I thought I took a creative stance, changing the Americans from good guys to bad guys," said Peter Lee, the filmmaker, in the office of his film company here. "Actually, I like the US. I visit the US two times a year."
Swell - I'm certainly impressed.
Such is the world of South Korean cinema, which has seemingly embraced the government's Sunshine Policy, started in 2000 to extend an open hand to North Korea. No longer are North Koreans portrayed as devils; that role now belongs to the Americans.

These new films are popular among young adults, feeding their anti-American politics. Last December, when Whistling Princess was released, Gallup Korea, a polling firm, found that 75 percent of South Koreans in their 20s had a negative view of the US, compared with only 26 percent of Koreans over 50, the generation that lived through the Korean War.
The article has more on the new films including this beauty:
In the most acclaimed film, Joint Security Area, soldiers from North and South fraternize across the Demilitarized Zone, playing cards and drinking. Six million South Koreans -- or 20 percent of the country's adults -- saw the movie in theaters. And it was shown nationally on TV on July 27, the 50th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.

"I wanted to say North Koreans are the same human beings as South Koreans, we should see North Koreans as brothers," said Park Chan-wook, the 43-year-old director of the movie, which has won virtually every South Korean film award. "I didn't have any intention to make a movie which repeated those anti-Communist themes of my school years."

While older South Koreans have denounced the movie as naive and unrealistic, the film has had an enormous impact on current attitudes. Last spring, during joint military maneuvers near the border, several American soldiers complained that their English-speaking South Korean liaison soldiers said they would not fire on their Northern "brothers."
But there's one little problem, of course. The "brothers" are in the tight grasp of one of the world's primo wingnuts as some of the older film makers realize:
Meanwhile, Shin Sang-ok, a renowned director of the Korean War generation, said he has had no luck finding financing for his project, a dramatization of fighting in North Korea near Heungnam Port that allowed for the evacuation of 100,000 refugees and 105,000 troops to safety in the South. About 5,000 American and South Korean troops were killed.

Unlike the younger filmmakers, Shin knows North Korea. In the late 1970s, he and his wife, Choi Un-hui, say they were kidnapped in Hong Kong on the orders of Kim Jong Il. They had to make movies for Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim Jong Il. "In each movie, there has to be a minimum of three appearances of praise of Kim Il Sung," said Shin, who made about a dozen movies in the North in the 1980s. "There cannot be love themes in the film, because love is only with Kim Il Sung, not between a man and a woman. Film is considered the ultimate political tool in the North, because behavior and consciousness can be moved by film."

Shin was jailed three times for trying to flee, before he and he wife finally succeeded in escaping in 1986. "I want to make the Schindler's List of North Korea," Shin said. "People there are suffering like the Jews in Auschwitz. The entire country is a gulag. I want to make a hit with such a movie feature. Then the world will know that North Korea is a land without human rights."
Might be a tad hard on their delusions.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Time for a pity party!

The AP's Rachel Konrad has a story on the differences between various parts of California in the recall election - As south cheers, northern California liberals mourn Schwarzenegger win. The most humorous are from the usual crop of Kool Aid drinkers in the Bay area, but this one takes the cake:
Nearly seven out of 10 voters opposed the recall in Marin County, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Bustamante received 48 percent of the vote, compared to 32 percent for Schwarzenegger.

Marin County author Anne Lamott, whose novels often depict loss, says she cried herself to sleep after Tuesday night's election. But she woke on Wednesday and renewed her liberal values.

"I will keep registering voters and taking care of the poor and sending money to the ACLU, and marching for peace, in the hope and belief that we can get our country back from the rich oil men who have sold our country out," Lamott said.
Please, don't anyone ask Anne about the cause of Paul Wellstone's plane crash! My last tin foil beanie wore out and I haven't made a new one yet.

There's a snap of the sensitive one here.
Spin, Howie, spin!

William Safire comments on Dean's Urban Legend:
The persistence of a quotation he insists is an "urban legend" is evidently infuriating Howard Dean.

At lunch last week in the Washington bureau of The Times, the reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg identified herself and started to ask a question. Dr. Dean immediately interrupted: "I want to quickly jump on you for a sec here," he said sharply, and referred to an article she had written based on an interview with Senator John McCain in which yesteryear's maverick took issue with a reported remark of Dr. Dean's.

"I never said that. I never said that," the man from Vermont insisted. "McCain claimed I said that on television. We called the station and said we never said that. This is the problem with LexisNexis. It's great, but it circulates urban legends and creates them and I had never said that. . . ."

What was the "that"? Dean angrily denied being "soft on the death of Uday and Qusay. That was something McCain said, and it got quoted in my story and I've been a victim of it ever since. McCain said I said it. We talked and called the station and said we never said any such thing."

What horrendous McCain smear was quoted in my colleague's story? Here's the passage in The Times, coming after McCain said that Dean's national security positions "are way out of the mainstream":

"For instance, Mr. McCain cited Dr. Dean's remark that `the ends do not justify the means,' in reference to the death of Saddam Hussein's sons. `I was astounded,' the senator said. `The ends were to get rid of two murdering rapist thugs and the means was the use of American military intelligence.' "
Poor baby! Hmm, but what did Deano actually say?
Before joining Dean in castigating McCain for putting words in his mouth, I went to Google and keyed in "ends justify the means" and "Dean." To my astonishment, amid the 368 hits was this Associated Press dispatch by Holly Ramer from Manchester, N.H., dated July 22, 2003:

"Questioned about the deaths of Saddam's sons, Odai and Qusai, in Iraq, Dean dismissed suggestions that it was a victory for the Bush administration. `It's a victory for the Iraqi people . . . but it doesn't have any effect on whether we should or shouldn't have had a war,' Dean said. `I think in general the ends do not justify the means.' "

On the day this A.P. story appeared, McCain was asked on MSNBC for his reaction to Dean's reaction to the killing of Saddam's murderous sons: "I am astonished. A lot of people have compared me with Governor Dean. I could not disagree with him more to say that the ends don't justify the means. . . . Mr. Dean does the nation a great disservice when he doesn't recognize how wonderful an event this is and how important it is to the morale of the troops."
Game, set, match. Although as Safire observes, the spin will change from "I didn't say that" to "taken out of context."

Mr. Poor Impulse Control is going to have to watch those Freudian slips.
Lurch is having a flashback!

Kerry Says Bush, Cheney Must 'Apologize' Over Iraq:
WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry said on Sunday President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should apologize for misleading the American people about the war in Iraq and called the international fighting force there a "fraud."
Woohoo! Next thing you know, he'll be throwing someone else's medals over the White House fence.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Today's hoot!

The Guardian says Doubts tearing France apart:
At the FNAC Etoile in Paris, more a multi-storey literary warehouse than a bookshop, the shelves are buckling under the weight of ammunition for a political and social war. With titles such as French Arrogance, Falling France and French Disarray, this is heavy-calibre weaponry that is being trained on France's political elite in a war that has broken out over the very soul of the country.
And the government has its knickers twisted.
Having recently emerged battered from national education strikes and months of street demonstrations over reduced retirement benefits, Jacques Chirac's administration is looking on with dismay at media encouragement for right-wing intellectual claims that France is now the weak man of Europe, mired in hypocrisy nationally and internationally, indifferent to popular needs such as care of the aged, and shaken by the aftershocks of vain defiance of the US-led war in Iraq. In short, that France is going down the pan.

'Reading these books, France is in agony, powerless and irretrievably condemned to decline,' Dominique de Villepin, the suave but widely mistrusted Foreign Minister, complained over two pages in Le Monde last week, comparing today's prophets of doom to anti-republicans who collaborated with the Nazis.

Equally piqued by France's depiction is the Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who sought out America's Time magazine to complain about state-educated French intellectuals 'scrutinising French society while perched on the summit of a pyramid' and obsessed with 'declinism'.
Best line:
Both pale into insignificance alongside L'Arrogance française, where the journalist authors, Romain Gubert and Emmanuel Saint-Martin, state: 'With our sermons, our empty gestures and our poetic flights, we (the French) have pissed off the planet. Worse: we make them laugh.
I thought it was American unilateralism that was pissing off the planet? Who knew?
It's a quagmire!

Dawn bomb damages barracks in Nice
Primary Snooze

The other day I commented on Weasley Clark's dismal poll numbers in New Hampshire, but then a few days later a national poll came out with Clark still the leading Democrat. Over at the Washington Times, Donald Lambro explains it in Clark leads the pack but not in the right places:
Wesley Clark may be leading the Democratic presidential pack in the national polls, but he is far behind the front-runners in the crucial early state races that will heavily influence, if not decide, who will become the party's nominee.

With behind-the-scenes support from former President Clinton, the retired four-star general from Little Rock, Ark., who was supreme commander of NATO forces, catapulted into the lead in the national polls right after he announced his candidacy last month and has held that position ever since. Three weeks after he entered the contest, he is still drawing 22 percent in the national Gallup Poll — outdistancing his four top rivals who have been campaigning for more than a year.

But national polls are largely irrelevant in the state-by-state delegate-selection contests that usually turn on county-by-county, street-level politics that narrowly appeal to each state's local, cultural and political interests.
In particular, he is running fifth in both Iowa and New Hampshire. The trick for all the candidates is to survive the early primaries and right now Clark is ill-positioned to do so despite his national poll numbers.
Election Hijinx Alert!

Geist cries foul over Madden ad:
Television commercials for Democratic state Senate candidate Fred Madden have been boasting that he's endorsed by the South Jersey Taxpayers Association.

But the Courier-Post has learned:
- The group was formed two days before Madden's TV ads began airing Sept. 19.

- The group has only three members.

- The members are Collingswood banker Gerard Banmiller, his daughter and his wife.
Another one that goes right past me

From the Telegraph - Yes, I was shocked by Kill Bill, admits censor - but only by Uma's feet:
It's full of blood and violence but something rather more innocent has upset the national film censor in Quentin Tarantino's latest epic: the sight of Uma Thurman's feet.

Untroubled by the incessant killing and the 150 gallons of spurting blood depicted in Kill Bill, Sir Quentin Thomas, the president of the British Board of Film Classification, passed the film uncut for nationwide release this weekend.

In an interview with The Telegraph, however, he confessed to being appalled by the condition of the leading lady's feet. "There was quite a lengthy shot of them and they did not look very nice," said Sir Quentin, in remarks that will no doubt bemuse the legions of male admirers of Thurman, one of Hollywood's most glamorous female stars.
There's something the matter with her feet? Who knew?

The only elucidation provided is:
In one of the opening scenes of Kill Bill, Thurman's character, The Bride, who is in a coma, is seen trying to will her toes to move so that she can walk again. The lingering shot of her toes has been seized upon by some critics as evidence of the director's foot fetish.
That's it? Sheesh, don't tell him about this!