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Showing posts from March, 2006

How Borders Ignores the Record of 9-11

People going to Borders book stores asking for the now-infamous banned Motoon issue of Free Inquiry magazine can also ask another question: "What books do you have on 9-11?"

Answer: you will find almost none. That was my conclusion after I visited a huge Borders location in New York, on 57th Street and Park Avenue. Just a few miles from Ground Zero, the store carried not a single book devoted to 9-11 in its first-floor section of New York books, "All Things Local." The ONLY fleeting reference to 9-11 was in FDNY: An Illustrated History.

I wanted to be fair to Borders, so I asked a sales associate where I could find 9-11 books.

She couldn't point me to a specific section, but she mentioned 102 Minutes by New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn. She suggested I look in Modern U.S. History and the politics sections.

I spent at least 30 minutes scouring the shelves of history, politics, and even photography. Surely, I thought, a New York Borders would kee…

Cherchez La Femme: The Return of Adrienne Barbeau, My Most Dangerous Woman

I've known some dangerous women in my life. They combine killer looks with personalities that threaten to chew up any man who cross them. They have hard romantic histories, burdened by bad men that leave them vulnerable and hard-shelled at the same time. Relationships with them promise passion and ferocious high-decibel drama. Dangerous women can cause men to act in strange ways, perfectly captured in the French phrase cherchez la femme.

Growing up in the 1970s, I decided, in my murky adolescent mind, that the ultimate Dangerous Woman was Adrienne Barbeau, co-star of Maude and then featured in lots of b-movies. Something about her grabbed my imagination in a way no other actress of that era did. So imagine my delight to learn she's now starring in the play, "The Property Known as Judy Garland" at New York's Actors' Playhouse. I can now buy a ticket to enjoy my dangerous woman, seen at her most deadly, below.



On Maude, Barbeau played Maude's single-mom daugh…

News from the Near Future: Yale to Award Honorary Degree to Sirhan Sirhan

April 1, 2006: Yale University has announced it will award an honorary degree to Palestinian-American activist Sirhan Bishara Sirhan.

University president Richard Levin told a press conference, "Sirhan is an outstanding representative of the Palestinian people, a true fighter for the rights of Palestinians to live peacefully in their own homeland. Tragically, he has been a political prisoner of the U.S. government for almost 40 years, simply for acting on his beliefs. While we cannot give back to Sirhan those lost decades of his life, we can give him an honorary degree, suitable for framing."

Speaking via telephone from his home at the Federal penitentiary in Corcoran, Calif., Sirhan said, "This is a great day for the Arabs, the Palestinians, and everybody who ever donated money to Yale University. Their investment is paying off, as Yale extends the ivy branch to victims of political repression such as myself and my spiritual brother Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi." The d…

Suppress Without Mercy the New Trotskyites (in HR)

An article in HR Magazine last month, "Detecting Hidden Bias," is a most intriguing read. The subhead deftly captures the story's essence: "You may not see it, but it’s probably lurking among your managers—and perhaps even in you."

The article discusses the malign menace of unseen, nigh undetectable bias in human resource departments. Despite the lawsuits, training, online courses, seminars, conferences, and sensitivity efforts, the threat remains -- more dangerous than ever:
According to analysis conducted by a Harvard University-led research team, it is entirely possible that you and your manager are biased—and that you don’t even know it.

Such hidden biases can be disastrous for the employees who suffer as a result of them; they also can damage businesses by leading managers and employees to make flawed business decisions in a number of areas, including hiring, promotion, training opportunities and project assignments. For HR, the task is clear, but daunting: …

A Light Unto the Nations, Still

This is an amazing story. The text is not available via a link to the Independent in the UK, so I'm placing the text here. The message is that beyond the bickering, the intermarriage, the hyper-organization and sub-organization, Judaism has a message for the world that retains enormous, if understated, appeal.

--------

Matthias Goering says: "I used to feel cursed by my name. Now I feel blessed."

The 49-year-old physiotherapist, a descendant of Hermann Goering, Adolf Hitler's right-hand man, is wearing a Jewish skullcap, with a Star of David pendant round his neck. After being brought up to despise Jews, he has embraced their faith. And although he has yet to formally convert to Judaism, he keeps kosher dietary rules, celebrates shabbat and is learning Hebrew.

In a Jewish restaurant in Basle, Mr Goering enthuses about Israel. "It feels like home," he says. "The Israelis are so friendly." Even when they hear his name? "Yes, they say they're …

"The Godfather" Video Game: The Search for Consequences

March must be Mob Month: the new season of "The Sopranos" begins tonight, and Electronic Arts (EA) is releasing a video-game version of "The Godfather" on March 19.

The game sticks close to the book and movies, using the real voices of some characters. Set in New York between 1945 and 1955, the game
will offer gamers countless choices for solving the family's problems with brutal violence, skillful diplomacy, or a cunning mixture of both. From mob hits and bank heists to drive-bys and extortion, step deep inside the world of The Godfather -- where intimidation and negotiation are your tickets to the top. Players will use their powers of loyalty and fear to earn respect through interactions with characters in the world. Decisions made by the player in the game will have lasting consequences, just as it was in the mob underworld featured in The Godfather fiction.
As the father of a game-playing adolescent, the game's point makes me queasy. Let's focus on the…

PARODY: MTV's "Spring Break Gitmo" Names Cindy Sheehan as Guest Bachelorette

MTV's smash new show, "Spring Break Gitmo," will feature Cindy Sheehan as its first bachelorette in its "Terrorist Dating Game" segment. In the first episode, three terrorist-bachelors will battle one another to win the affections of Cindy, along with valuable prizes.

Ashton Kutcher and Courtney Love host the program direct from balmy, palmy, party-down Guantanamo Bay. Each week the show will feature a sexy celebrity bachelorette. Here's the premise: After qualifying rounds, three contestants will compete in several events that measure their courage and stamina. For Sheehan's segment, the wacky challenges include:

-- Wearing Cindy's panties on their heads

-- Spending 24 hours straight logged on to Daily Kos and Democratic Underground

-- Playing the Roy Cohn role in humorous skits written by Tony Kusher

The highlight of the segment -- filmed before a boisturous crowd of detainees and drunken college students -- comes when Cindy lobs hilarious questions …

HUMOR: H'wood Homophobes Nix Dix Pix; Chix-Lix Flix Clix?

America reeled last night as the hidden homophobes of Hollywood denied "Brokeback Mountain" its rightful Oscar for Best Picture, instead giving the precious little statuette to "Crash," some movie about race relations in Los Angeles with a title that sounds more like a "Super Mario" racing game.

While Ang Lee got the Oscar for best director and somebody named Gustavo Santaolalla won an Oscar for best score for Brokeback Mountain, the film's supporters expressed outrage at the revenge of the heterosexists.

"The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences could have sent a very powerful message about the acceptance of gay cowpokes," asserted one observer. "Instead, the academy honored a picture about different ethnic groups getting on one another's nerves."

Director Lee, however, plans to leverage his Brokeback success into related projects. He's now developing a splashy musical comedy about gay mullahs in the Middle East, with …

Mullah's Version of "Get Up, I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine"

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, performed the classic version of the song "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," with the powerfully poetic lyrics
Fellas, I'm ready to get up and do my thing
I wanta get into it, man, you know...
Like a, like a sex machine, man,
Movin'... doin' it, you know
Can I count it off? (Go ahead)

But James Brown had better watch his back, 'cause this unidentified mullah looks likes he's ready to throw down and challenge for the crown of the New Godfather of Funky Moves. Check it out, oh kafirs.

I Love It When Psychiatrists Talk Dirty

Dr. Sanity puts a certain Venezuelan strongman on the couch for gentle probing under the headine: "Chavez: A Case of Castration Anxiety?" She writes,
It is striking, though, how Chavez perfectly embodies some of Freud's early concepts relating to paranoia and castration anxiety. He would make a good case discussion.

Katrina and Free Speech: Making the Connection

I just found this riveting counter-conventional wisdom discussion of the Katrina rescue efforts by Lou Dolinar. It illustrates what I call the "Flight 93" approach to problem-solving: Get off your tuchus and act, don't sit around waiting for some distant group to rescue you. As the story shows, this applies to members of the government themselves, who acted well on their own initiative. Dolinar writes:
Largely ignored by the agenda-driven national media, one of the largest rescue operations in history saved more than 50,000 people by boat and helicopter. In this Dunkirk on the Mississippi, Coast Guard and other military units, volunteers, and state and local first responders delivered thousands from death by drowning, dehydration, heatstroke, fire, starvation, and disease. The three goats of Katrina — FEMA’s Michael Brown, Gov. Kathleen Blanco, and Mayor Nagin — had little if any role; in fact, because local communication was wiped out by the storm, they may not even have…

Speaking Out for Free Speech in New York

About 100 stalwart supporters of Denmark and free speech gathered at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in New York today. Blasting the total lack of interest from mainstream media in an event in a city integral to the Terrorist War, the demonstrators drew approving honks from truck drivers and others on 2nd Avenue. The photos below give a flavor of the event.





One highlight of the event involved moving comments from Lisa Ramaci-Vincent, widow of murdered journalist Steve Vincent. "I came to warn you first-hand of the dangers of Islamic extremism," she said. Ramaci-Vincent is shown below.



In keeping with the country in the spotlight, the event featured some strong expressions of solidarity with Denmark and its culture of cheese and Vikings:





UPDATE: Mary's report contrasts our demo with the anti-cartoon Muslim demo from two weeks ago.

One of the many Protest Babes, Pamela of Atlas Shrugs, takes video that appeared on the Internet.



Excuse me, where might I find the Danish soccer fans?



Ah, h…

The Good, the Bad, and the Offensive: Ideas for Placards at a Pro-Danish Demonstration

I'll be attending a pro-Danish demonstration at UN Plaza tomorrow from 12 noon to 1 pm in New York, outside the Danish consulate. I hope to take lots of great photos of people -- thousands of people, I hope -- raising their voices in defense of Western values.

I've done my part by suggesting text for placards that my fellow Sons and Daughters of Liberty can wave around and, in need be, shove into the snouts of counter-demonstrators. Here you go:

What part of "freedom of the press" do you not understand?

1st Amendment + 2nd Amendment = Victory over Terrorists

Live Free or Die: Good for New Hampshire, Good for America

The Little Mermaid Does NOT Wear a Burkha! (great Photoshop possibility)

A Danish a day keeps Sharia away

Kufirs for Freedom

Hands off the Vikings

We're a Christian nation, but we won't turn the other cheek

The 7th century does not come after the 21st century

Free speech > Religious intolerance

Free speech rulez, repression droolz

Freedom is just another …