Saturday, June 05, 2004

Neocon VS. Decepticon

It's that time again...

The following is a (mostly) weekly feature which pits the leaders of Washington's "new conservative" movement against Cybertron's most feared villains. Remember: Your vote matters!


Name: Douglas Feith

Title: Undersecretary of Defense for Policy

Is The Result Of Six Construction Vehicles Combining To Become A Single, Giant Robot: No

Defining Moment: In Bob Woodward's Plan Of Attack, Feith is described by Gen. Tommy Franks as "the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth."

Famous Quote: Feith defined the Oslo treaty between Israel and Palestine as, "one-sided Israeli concessions, inflated Palestinian expectations, broken Palestinian solemn understandings, Palestinian violence and American rewards for Palestinian recalcitrance."


Name: Devastator

Title: Constructicon

Is The Result Of Six Construction Vehicles Combining To Become A Single, Giant Robot: Yes

Defining Moment: In the midst of fierce fighting at Autobot city, Devastator breached the Autobot defenses and withstood an attack from the Dinobots.

Famous Quote: "Wait! The Constructicons form Devastator! The most powerful robot! We should rule!"

And here are your previous installments of Neocon VS. Decpeticon:
Wolfowitz VS. Megatron
Perle VS. Starscream


Friday, June 04, 2004

Why Should You Care About My Opinion?

Answer: You shouldn't. But read this film review anyway.

Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban

What's Good: All of the kids, but especially Radcliffe, Watson and Grint, continue to improve as actors; while the adults, Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith among others, maintain a level of excellence. The story-aspect is the most compelling of the three films thus far and the special effects are impressive as always. Plus, unlike the previous two films (directed by Chris Columbus in a pristine, hands-off fashion resulting in Home Alone meets Harry Houdini) this one has style. Director Alfonso Cuaron leaves his mark all over the Harry Potter franchise.

What's Not So Good: Director Alfonso Cuaron leaves his mark all over the Harry Potter franchise. Too much of a good thing can be bad and that's what happens here. Trading style for substance, Cuaron cut out large chunks of the story to focus on what he saw as the prevailing theme: Harry's transition from child to adolescent. The result is a leaner film and better looking film, but one that ultimately may hurt the franchise. Cuaron leaves several elements key to the overall story (the story behind the Marauder’s Map, the relationship between Lupin, James Potter, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew, etc.) to be explained in the fourth movie: The Goblet Of Fire, adapted from the book of the same name, which is already nearly three times as long The Prisoner Of Azkaban.

This Was Cool: The hippogriff looked almost real.

This Should Have Been Cooler: Harry's patronus spell, which produces a stag composed of light. Sure it looked good but it never did anything.

This Just Frightened Me: The dementors searching the Hogwarts Express.

Overall: This is a movie definitely worth seeing, and the best of the Harry Potter series thus far. However, that title is earned almost by default, due to the fact that Columbus never really tried to do anything with the franchise. Cuaron, on the other hand, tries hard, often too hard in fact, to leave his mark. The ideal director for these films would be a mix of both Cuaron and Columbus, with equal parts of Cuaron's style and Columbus's respect for the framework laid by the adapted work.

Additionally: JK Rowling needs to get to work, and fast. These Harry Potter books are like crack and if I don't get the sixth one soon I'm going to go nuts.


Thursday, June 03, 2004

So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

President Bush has accepted the resignation of CIA Director George Tennet. Tennet announced he will be stepping down because of personal reasons. He will retain his post as CIA Director until July. For some time, convential wisdom has been that Tennet would be leaving, however the announcement was expected to come closer to the election. This is all I can find online thus far.

WASHINGTON - President Bush said Thursday that CIA director George Tenet has resigned "for personal reasons" and that his deputy will temporarly lead America's premier spy agency until a successor is found.


Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Sound And The Fuhrer

Tucker Carlson is at it again. The co-host of CNN's Crossfire has made a habit of criticizing MoveOn.org for a pair of ads, submitted in a contest which netted over 1,500 entries, that compared President Bush to Hitler. Here's Tucker from yesterday's episode of Crossfire, suggesting that because George Soros helps to fund MoveOn.org, Mr. Soros has therefore compared Bush to Hitler, and is thus representative of extremism in the Democratic party.

CARLSON: The biggest fund raiser for Democratic causes in the United States, George Soros, compared the president to Hitler. Nancy Pelosi, your leader, accuses him of being responsible for the deaths of servicemen in Iraq. You see no extremism on the left?

Nevermind the blatant disingenuousness and misleading nature of Carlson's statement; more interesting is that just last month, and in the finest traditions of the pot calling the kettle black, Mr. Carlson himself compared Democrats to Nazis.

CARLSON: Now, Tad, as you know, part of what it means to be Democrat is to count people by race, much like the Nazis did.

So Tucker, seen any extremism on the right lately?


And We're Back!!!

Apologies, apologies, apologies...

Sorry for the Memorial Day Weekend disappearance. Armed with my trusty laptop, I had every intention of happily blogging from Ocean City throughout the long weekend. However, it was not to be, as some sort of substandard phone service kept me from connecting to the internet. Again, a thousand apologies, and I hope to blog my way back into your hearts as the summer progresses.