Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Spidey-Sense Tingling

With its release on DVD yesterday, and since the wife hadn't seen it, I ended up re-watching Spider-Man 3 last night. My thoughts? Watch this:



In the movie's defense, I didn't dislike it as much the second time, for whatever that's worth.

(Special shout-out to your friend and mine, Brian Hall, for sending this my way.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

No such thing as 'Islamofascism'

Paul Krugman explains why, and also tells us why the Junta's current run-up to a war with Iran is a bad, bad, bad idea.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

UPDATED - Phoning It In

You can practically set your watch to it. Another week rolls around, and with remarkable predictability, the Democrats in Congress talk a big fight and then scamper away like scared rabbits. This week the talk has been the battle with BushCo to restore some semblance of privacy and accountability to Americans by way of the RESTORE act, which aims to roll back some of the spying powers Congress simply handed over to Team Bush this past summer (because he said please, I guess).

One of the biggest sticking points coming from the Figurehead was his frankly ridiculous demand that any bill he received contain immunity for any telecommunication companies that might have allegedly done anything illegal (not that they did), such as, say, handing over their private caller records to the government without a warrant or just cause (not that they did). In other words, Bush wanted retroactive immunity for any potential crimes that might have been committed, all the while maintaining that they did nothing illegal.

Seems this was an easy fight for the Dems to put up, right? Not so, says Glenn Greenwald, as he lays out how the so-called opposition has sold us out yet again.

UPDATE: Looks like there's at least one lion among the lambs, with Senator Chris Dodd placing a "hold" on any FISA legislation that includes amnesty for the telecom companies. Good for him, and make sure you fill out Dodd's petition here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

UPDATED - Beam me up, Shaunnie

And continuing our Star Trek news-train this week, Simon Pegg, the British comedian of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame has been cast as constantly-beleaguered Enterprise engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott. To be honest, Pegg would never even have occurred to me for Scotty, and I'd figured the role would go to Stargate: Atlantis doc Paul McGillion, but I can dig it.

Oh, and Harold (as in "& Kumar") is the new Sulu. Oh my.

Read all about it here.

UPDATE: And here's a nice compare-and-contrast of the new actors and their TOS forebears, with two rather large "Kirk" and "McCoy" sized holes yet to be filled. Click the pic to enlarge.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Letters From Limbaugh's Legions

In case you didn't think Rush Limbaugh's standing could sink any lower following last fall's shameful attack on Michael J. Fox, last week saw the Right Wing blowhard dismiss military servicemen or veterans who stand in opposition to Bush's war as "phony soldiers." Once his comments hit the mainstream, what followed in lieu of an apology was instead a display verbal gymnastics worthy of any Olympic athlete as he hemmed and hawed and tried to make out like the poor victim of a vast conspiracy who dared to, you know, quote his exact words in context.

Anyway, following Limbaugh's comments, the group VoteVets.org, founded by some of those very same "phony soldiers," took him justifiably to task. In retaliation for daring to criticize Limbaugh and The War (presumably in that order), here are some of the letters VoteVets received from the brave, noble Americans who Limbaugh numbers among his faithful fanbase. He must be very proud.

From THE ONION...

Cost Of Freedom At All-Time High

WASHINGTON, DC—According to a report released Monday, the cost of American freedom has soared from its previous 1779 high of bravery, sacrifice, fighting for what's right, and 25,071 human lives, up to a record bravery, sacrifice, fighting for what's right, 321,932 human lives, personal privacy, peace of mind, honor, liberty, comfort, and $14.2 billion. Even as it reaches unprecedented levels, most Americans have no choice but to pay for the intangible commodity.

"I suppose you need freedom," said Nancy Holstrom, who was forced to send her two eldest sons to Iraq last month to help defray rising freedom costs.

Government officials said they are committed to exploring all viable alternatives to freedom, including converting to a military dictatorship.

Green-skinned to Green-blooded

The news on the latest big screen Star Trek production has slowed to a crawl since the announcement awhile ago that both Leonard Nimoy and Heroes' Zachary Quinto would be playing Spock. Yeah, there came word that that the roles of Chekov and Uhura had been filled, and that auditions are ongoing for the part of Scotty, but nothing big casting-wise has come out until yesterday's word that the villain has been cast, and they're this close to having the 2008 issue Captain Kirk signed and delivered.

Playing the villainous Nero is Aussie actor Eric Bana, late of Marvel's Hulk movie franchise and last seen in May's blink-and-it's-gone Lucky You. While we don't know a whole lot about the plot, indications are that Bana's character is a time traveling Romulan (the green-blooded, pointy-eared cousins of Mr. Spock's Vulcan race) out to do no good by mucking with the timeline of Trek standbys Kirk and Spock.

Next up is actor Chris Pine, whose dubious claim to fame up to this point is playing himbo to Lindsay Lohan in last year's floptastic Just My Luck (maybe these guys should just stay away from movies whose titles involve the word "luck"...). Pine is in negotiations to suit up as James Tiberius. Not having seen him in anything up to this point, I can't say anything about the guy's acting abilities, but if he has director JJ Abrams' confidence, that goes a long way with me.

More, of course, as it develops.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Conceding Conscience

From the New York Times:

Democratic Concessions Are Expected on Wiretapping

Here, yet again, is your Democratic opposition at work.

Since the Dems took the reins of congressional power in last year's midterms, powered largely on the promise of a much-needed change of direction both internationally and domestically, the story of this Democratic majority has been disappointment after disappointment as they accede to the administration's wishes on issue after issue after pressing issue. It'd be one thing if they actually went to the mat and got taken down, but more often than not they either don't even try.

Such is the case with the recent update to the FISA law, which would give the government expanded legal powers to wiretap and eavesdrop on citizens. Before the summer recess, congress largely folded once again for fear of being labeled soft on terror and gave the administration everything they wanted (and then some). Still, despite all this, they promised -- promised! -- that once they returned from break they'd fight to have the newly-minted law repealed and restored to its previous restrictions. Well, based on today's news we can already see how well that's working out.

Rudy's 9/11 Response(s)

It's become fascinating in a car-wreck kind of way to see how many different ways Rudy Giuliani will incorporate mention of September 11th into the most seemingly-unrelated queries or discussions. Here's a list of some of the most extreme examples.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Highly Recommended Reading

Over the past few weeks, the neo-cons in the Bush Junta and their enablers in the media (i.e. Fox News) have begun to really ramp up the propaganda as they try to ensure the inevitability of a military confrontation with Iran. For those of you who think such a thing couldn't possibly happen after the catastrophic quagmire of Iraq, Sy Hersh pulls back the curtain to give us a peek inside the Administration's plans to sell yet another illegal war to the docile Dems and the public at large.