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DennisQ
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Acting in movies requires projecting a kind of presence to make the scene believable. But I've never seen a war movie in which the actors get it right. There's always too much of one thing; not enough of another. I never get the feeling of soldiers; it's always an awareness of actors-playing-soldiers . . . badly. Name the movie, and I can sit through 10 minutes of it. Some of them don't get even that much time. The worst war film I've ever seen is Platoon. It was wrong about everything, and it was so deadly serious that I just couldn't watch it. It was even worse than Apocalypse Now, which says a lot.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2010 on The Children's Crusade at BAGnewsNotes
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The gun is pointed at the wearer's foot. That's appropriate for a Republican at a Tea Party gathering. It's just a matter of time before the volatile elements within the Tea Party discover that they hate each other more than they hate Democrats. Libertarians are pro-choice; free enterprise corporatists hire illegal aliens; isolationists oppose interventionists; and everybody wants to cut taxes that pay for programs they don't use.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2010 on Tea Sequiturs #1 at BAGnewsNotes
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I think it was the Kumbaya remark that got to her. Kumbaya is the right wingers' ace of trump when dealing with progressives. The Tea Party gatherings are all about feeling good. They're outdoor events on warm Spring days and you can bring your grandchildren. You can dress up in old time costumes and shout slogans. It's a lot cheaper than Disneyland. However, Tea Party organizers knew that they're dealing with volatile elements. For instance, there's no way the Pro-Lifers are going to cut deals with orthodox Libertarians. It's not going to happen; they'll both revert to being mainstream Republicans. The Tea Party events are the right wing counterpart to the quasi-religious gatherings of the student Left. They get together and they sing Kumbaya. And they go home feeling good.
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2010 on Tea Party Demographics at BAGnewsNotes
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I'll believe that the Tea Party represents a political movement when they start doing the things that politicians do - make workable deals with other politicians. The Tea Party people get out on a warm Spring day with signs supporting causes that conflict with each other. Don't want government making personal decisions for you? Sounds like you're pro-choice. Want strong defense and lower taxes? Ask Bush how he did it - by running up big debts on the national credit card. If the Tea Party were led by real politicians, they might have to be taken seriously as an actual movement. But they're led by entertainers, people who don't care about political feasibility. Sarah Palin once had a real job, but she quit because there was too much money to be made on the speaking tour. Now she talks in glittering generalities, knowing that there's no chance she'll have to pay for government services when there's no money coming in. It's all wishful thinking, coming from people who denounce liberal gatherings as Kumbaya songfests.
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2010 on Tea Party Demographics at BAGnewsNotes
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I like the fact that Dick Cheney is back in his undisclosed bunker. Even his pizza delivery guy doesn't know where he is.
Toggle Commented Apr 14, 2010 on Obama's Summit at BAGnewsNotes
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Obama's background in community organizing informs his unique style of leadership. Everybody has to have a stake in the stability of the outcome; otherwise the next wave will just wash away whatever was accomplished. Republicans mis-read his overtures to them as weakness. They were wrong, and now they're trying to figure out how to stop the guy. The picture shows Obama leaning forward to hear what the Koreans have to offer. Korea's not a nuclear power, but the picture shows that Obama wants to bring the whole world on board. President Lee's animated hand gestures show his appreciation that Obama is paying such close attention. I can't imagine Bush leaning forward to hear anybody, much less the president of Korea.
Toggle Commented Apr 14, 2010 on Obama's Summit at BAGnewsNotes
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Has it always been the case that governments used the police as their private army? I think the police should be independent of political pressure; i.e., if they're asked to do something illegal, they should refuse. However, during the 2004 Republican convention in New York, the cops pre-emptively arrested potential demonstrators and held them in jail until the convention was over. The above photograph is subtly connected to the official portrait of the Supreme Court farther down the screen. The majority of the justices were selected not for their fidelity to the law but for their conservative leanings. Roberts and Alito lied through their teeth when questioned about their judicial philosophy during their confirmation hearings. Such questions ought to be fair game - that's what the Senate needs to find out. Instead they acted they never heard of Rove v. Wade. These two judges were too ambitious for power to be bothered with telling the truth under oath. As a society we'll have to decide whether might makes right. Remember Roberts' statement that a judge is like an umpire calling balls and strikes? But such objectivity has not characterized his tenure. And instead of being judicially modest, the Roberts court has reached widely to reverse long-standing precedents. How long will the rule of law continue to prevail when the police and the courts themselves regard such questions and niceties to be dispensed with? President Obama has done little to reverse the excesses of the Bush administration.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2010 on That Feudal Feeling at BAGnewsNotes
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These helicopter pilots don't deserve anonymity. I'd like to find out more about them, like, for instance, how did they get to be so cold-blooded? Do they come from ordinary families? Do they have wives and children? Are their parents ordinary middle Americans? It's been said that these guys will come home and become the backbone of the right wing movement. That's a comforting thought, compared to the possibility that some of them may think of themselves as Democrats or even liberals. It's a possibility! Adolf Eichmann was just an ordinary guy who came home from work and kissed his wife.
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There doesn't need to be a firestorm, especially if you're at peace with your own decision. It really isn't anybody's business except your own. If the only reason you stick with the Church is keeping peace within the family, it's possible that there are other family members who are looking to get out from under the burden you are collectively imposing on yourselves. The Church ought to have been more responsive to the dismay that ordinary believers are experiencing. Instead, Cardinal Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals, complains that the Church is under attack by gossip! New York's Cardinal Dolan compared the Pope's suffering with the suffering of Jesus. What gall! If you continue to stand with these skunks, you encourage them. What are your moral responsiblities here? Surely they're larger than averting a "firestorm" within your family.
Toggle Commented Apr 5, 2010 on Vatican Wash at BAGnewsNotes
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People are free to walk away from the Catholic Church. There's no penalty for giving it up. The Church is more sensitive to defections than people realize. Paul VI was so roundly criticized for Humanae Vitae - his encyclical about birth control - that he completely stopped writing encyclicals. He never wrote another one. It used to be that the Church would not allow divorce. Divorced people went elsewhere. The Church denies changing its teaching on divorce, but there are plenty of divorced Catholics. Don't think the Catholic Church has done enough to punish pedophile priests? Obviously it's not holy enough for you. There are lots of other churches that would love to have you.
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2010 on Vatican Wash at BAGnewsNotes
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The earrings match the nail heads. Très chic.
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Bondage freaks will love this picture, but it's far too modest. If she wore a sexy outfit instead of martial arts garb, the meaning would be clear. And I'll say it - the wide-open mouth suggests a blow-up doll. Good Friday is at the opposite end of Lent from Ash Wednesday. The ashes remind the faithful that we are dust and we will return to dust. Good Friday is a reminder that living flesh is meat. Roman crucifixion was slow, painful, public and humiliating. The word excruciating derives from the Latin word for cross. This picture portrays a woman as meat. It doesn't say so directly, but the connection between flesh and sexuality doesn't need to be explicit.
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The president does many things just because his advisors tell him that's what he should be doing. This particular picture doesn't look Obama-ish; I wonder whose bright idea it really was. There are so many things coming at the president all at once that it doesn't make a difference how good his political instincts are. Eventually he does things because one of his handlers insisted. It's not a particularly appealing picture. What's he doing there? He's striding towards the plane as if he were - what? Greeting the pilot? It looks as though somebody said, Get a picture with a jet plane, the flag, and Obama striding purposefully. The result is an amalgamation of these elements, but it doesn't seem coherent. Somebody said a platypus is an animal designed by a committee. That's what this picture reminds me of.
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2010 on Going to War Over Oil at BAGnewsNotes
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I'm surprised she's still around. We learned more about that family than we needed to hear. Then again, things are not looking up for the Republicans. Sarah's at least pleasant to look at - maybe that's what's keeping her in the public eye. Whatever it is, it's certainly not her ideas. What's this picture about? She seems to be reacting to something with her little old me persona. She is pleased, delighted and flattered. It looks like one of these "Caption this picture" photos.
Toggle Commented Mar 29, 2010 on Not Joking at BAGnewsNotes
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In football terms, Obama has certainly established the running game. He's now in a position to advance his agenda incrementally and get easily re-elected in 2012. Republicans' only hope of changing that outcome is to somehow force Obama off his game. The emphasis on violence seems calculated to get a pre-emptive response from the Left. Then Republicans will position themselves as the force of stability. Nixon did that in 1968. The failure of that approach is that there isn't the kind of craziness on the Left that would create such an opportunity for Republicans. Perhaps the GOP is cooking up a domestic "false flag" operation, an ugly incident that will then be blamed on Democrats. It's something that Karl Rove would do, and then brag about it later on in a book with a title similar to his current one, Courage and Consequence. What chutzpah.
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2010 on Violence? I'm Shocked! at BAGnewsNotes
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There's nothing new about restricting the kinds of pictures - if any - that can be taken inside a hospital. I located a discussion from 2003 on Photo.net about this very issue. Some say the restrictions come from HIPAA; others say the policies are set by individual hospitals. However, it's clear that censorship, if you can call it that, isn't new. http://photo.net/leica-rangefinders-forum/0067Bs Cameras aren't prohibited inside the Veteran's Hospital, but you're warned not to take pictures. By contrast, pocket knives and screwdrivers aren't allowed in at all.
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Gasho, this is what you want.
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2010 on Health Care. (Exhale.) at BAGnewsNotes
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Let the Republican finger-pointing begin. I'd start with the party's over-rated leadership. Is Mitch McConnell really as politically savvy as his supporters insist? John Boehner is a good looking man but he doesn't seem to have any finesse. His speech to the House was a real dud, especially given the importance of the situation. Perhaps he couldn't have changed any votes at that late stage, but it bothered me to hear him slur his words. Was Boehner drunk? This isn't the first time he's sounded like that. One Republican after another weighed in for freedom, dignity, and American values. But today's GOP is not the party of Edmund Burke; it's the party of expensive wars and invasion of privacy. Do they think we'll forget George Bush after only a year?
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2010 on Health Care. (Exhale.) at BAGnewsNotes
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Eventually somebody is going to carry through on the threat of violence, and everyone who egged the shooter on will deny it. Bill O'Reilly regularly called for the assassination of Tiller the Killer until somebody actually did it. When one of these people finally becomes unhinged enough to take a shot at a politician, we'll hear the Tea Party people deny the clear meaning of slogans seen at their demos. What? If Brown can't stop it, a Browning can? Does that refer to a Browning pistol?
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We disagree about the victim status of guys who get themselves killed in a stupid war. You can stretch the word victim the way Reagan did at Bitburg when he described the SS as victims. But the ordinary sense of the word victim rules out people whose own decisions lead directly to their situation. You might argue that these young men are victims of their environment; i.e. there was nobody around them to wise them up about the reality of war. Even that is a stretch . . . but it supports my point that these bedroom "shrines" reflect an awareness of guilt.
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2010 on The Shrine Down the Hall at BAGnewsNotes
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These fat old dudes who are threatening to use a Browning pistol are deluded. Sounds like they actually believe guns will achieve what democracy can't. Incidentally, the Browning website celebrates young Zac Cooper, 13, who said said to be "the newest member of the Browning family." His mission is to get young people away from video games and cell phones to discover the joys of killing animals for fun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUsBC434tqk&feature=player_embedded
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Maybe it's just me, but I don't think it's a good idea to join the military when you don't have to. These young men's lives had to be really screwed up before they'd even consider doing something as foolish as joining the Marine Corps. Surely they didn't think it was all glory. These bedrooms are inside solid, stable middle class homes. There's no particular reason these young men should strike out on their own in this particular way. Surely the parents know how dangerous it is to join the military. I suspect there's a guilt component in these shrines. Maybe the parents forced these kids out, essentially denying them a home. But now that the corpse has been returned and buried, the parents seek absolution for their own participation in contributing to these young men's senseless death. Friends don't let friends drive drunk. Parents should call the Marine recruiter and tell him to leave their kid alone. It works! My sister-in-law did it.
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2010 on The Shrine Down the Hall at BAGnewsNotes
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How is Washington going to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons? That country needs the bomb because Israel already has it. Mutual Assured Destruction means that Israel will never use the bomb on Iran. The Israelis never met a war they couldn't justify. Washington should be working to end the Mideast arms race by threatening sanctions against Israel, not just Iran.
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I thought the guy in the top pic was wearing the Cuban flag. Turns out it's similar but the red white and blue colors are in different places. Cuban Flag
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The man with the rifle is The Man With the Hoe: Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground, The emptiness of ages in his face, And on his back, the burden of the world. Who made him dead to rapture and despair, A thing that grieves not and that never hopes, Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox? Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw? Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow? Whose breath blew out the light within this brain?
Toggle Commented Mar 15, 2010 on A Moment's Rest at BAGnewsNotes
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