June 30, 2006
— Ace Like this. A philsophy class with some materials on-line. Exploring questions of identity and consciousness, through the, um, Spiderman Clone Saga.
A lot of excerpts from it (just the most important parts, without all the bullshit), going all the way back to the famous death of Gwen Stacy. Starting here.
Sorry if that was a spoiler. But, you know, it's like 30 years old by now.
I didn't read this stuff at the time, but my best friend, who'd I'd gotten hooked on Spiderman during the Hobgoblin years, did, and told me the basics. I thought it all sounded pretty dumb, so I stayed away.
But, if you care, there it is.
The other night I was reading a recap of this controversial chapter in Marvel history. Controversial and largely hated, it seems.
I don't know what they were thinking. To compete with big "event" stories that were all the rage in the mid-nineties (and coming much more frequently than necessary to offset the huge decline in the comics market), Marvel decided they'd make their big Spiderman event the revelation that Peter Parker was a clone of the actual Peter Parker. And they actually intended to end the storyline by replacing the clone Peter Parker (the one whose stories readers had been following for 20+ years) with the real Peter Parker (whom they'd never heard of before, and who was calling himself not Peter Parker but "Ben Reilly").
And they saw this is as a smart way to get him out of his marriage to Mary Jane (another "event"), which they now found was really putting a crimp in his dating life.
Well, anyway, you won't be surprised to learn they eventually waved a magic wand and reversed all this silliness, but they really were, apparently, intending to retire the Peter Parker everyone knew in favor of his clone-brother "Ben Reilly." Because Ben Reilly was single, could still date, and thus seemed younger to readers.
It's amazing to me I'm not running the media yet.
— Ace Israel apparently got a motivational speech from the Alec Baldwin character in Glengarry Glen Ross.
You know what it takes to fight terrorism? It takes brass balls to fight terrorism.
ISRAEL last night threatened to assassinate Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh if Hamas militants did not release a captured Israeli soldier unharmed.
The unprecedented warning was delivered to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a letter as Israel debated a deal offered by Hamas to free Corporal Gilad Shalit.
It came as Israeli military officials readied a second invasion force for a huge offensive into Gaza.
Hamas's Gaza-based political leaders, including Mr Haniyeh, had already gone into hiding.
But last night's direct threat to kill Mr Haniyeh, a democratically elected head of state, sharply raised the stakes.
Waaaah... but if we do things like this, we lose to the terrorists!
No, if we lose to the terrorists we lose to the terrorists. If we kill the terrorists, we win.
Another Israeli Soldier Captured, Militants Claim: Kill three or four members of the terrorist cabinet, then.
— Ace I haven't watched these amateur political documetaries/horor films yet, but with a title like that, they get a link sight unseen.
Update: Skip directly to Episode 2.
— Ace The Hollywood Reporter.
I didn't link any of this because, to me, it was like Berkeley voting to impeach Bush. Sort of a dog bites man. What did you expect? It's a bunch of very anti-American Hollywood art-fags* who are uncomfortable with patriotism. And who, in fact, despise anyone who is remotely patriotic.
But a lot of people want to discuss it, so here.
Thanks to Roy for the AQIS tip. Thanks to whole bunches of people for mentioning the basic story.
* Yeah, Bryan Singer is gay, but that's not really what I mean by "art-fag."
Thumb In The Eye: It occurs to me that this was a deliberate provocation, or at least a deliberate attempt to make Superman repudiate America.
I know, big deduction: the writers say as much.
But I guess my point is that there was no need to have this line in the film at all. I don't remember it from the various Superman movies; it's a hard bit of dialogue to work in, isn't it? It began as a narrator's exposition about Superman; it's hard to actually work in Superman declaring he fights for truth, justice, and the American way, isn't it? Even if one agrees with the sentiment, and conceives as Superman fighting for those goals, it's a bit... well, bombastic. Usually heroes aren't so immodest. Even the godlike ones.
So, if the writers didn't like the line, there was an obvious way to avoid it: Just don't include it. No one would have missed it.
But they spoofed the line in a not terribly funny break-the-fourth-wall sort of joke, and then compounded that by announcing the politics behind their decision.
Why? Why not just not feature the line at all?
Because, as usual, they feel that being high-paid entertainers in a glamorous industry just isn't enough. They have to send messages, too.
Why can't they just make movies, instead of contriving manifestos?
Photo used without permission. Uploaded here not to steal it, but so as not to seal WESSA's bandwidth.
— Ace Bonus: Pam Anderson takes it off for PETA. But this isn't exactly terra incognita at this point. Thanks to Craig for the video.
Britney's nude in Vanity Fair, which means, of course, she's covering her boobies with her hands and is pregnant to boot. Not sure how it became a rule, but apparently skin-pics become tasteful and classy if you're pregnant and covering your boobies with your hands.
Some good parody photoshops, too, like one of a nude manatee saying: "Look at me! I'm an attention whore!"
There seems to be an argument about whether or not she's attractive. Come one, pregnant or not, she's cute. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but not ugly.
One guy responds to the silly "Britney is soooooo ugly I just can't take it" brigades with this: more...
— Ace Finally.
He reports the MSM parroting more absurd charges from Islamists -- like five US soliders gang-raping an Iraqi girl and then murdering her.
Islamists seem to get a lot of their propaganda against the West from our media. Here, it seems someone just watched Casualties of War with Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn. I'm pretty sure they just got their new charges from that movie, because I really doubt the quote attributed to one of the US soldiers accused in the rape: "Fini boonies, most ricki-tick, gang-rape number-one GI!"
— LauraW. Better Late Than Never
John Bolton's Moustache has had numerous "host beings" throughout history, including Doc Holliday, Jack the Ripper, and Rosie Perez.
The real reason John Bolton's Moustache had a hard time getting appointed to being the Ambassador to the UN was because of his prolific but little known career in adult movies under the name Bolt Johnson's Moustache.
Feng Shui or fengshui is the ancient Chinese practice of placement and arrangement of space to achieve harmony with JBM.
-Steve in hb
Spurwing Plover was a tenured professor of astrophysics at CalTech until he saw John Bolton's Moustache in his Mercedes' rearview mirror.
Indigenous Amazonian warriors rub their arrow tips on John Bolton's moustache before going hunting.
John Bolton's Mustache started off gray. It turned white after defeating the Balrog.
There are actually Nine Moustaches of Power, but John Bolton's is The One Moustache That Binds Them.
Homeland Security wants air marshalls to carry guns because giving them a piece of John Bolton's mustache is too crazy and dangerous.
John Bolton's moustache took the long jump gold medal in 1968 in Mexico City.
-Dave in Texas
According to noted journalist Larry Flynt, John Bolton forced his wife to perform embarrasing menages a trois with his moustache.
In Mexico, John Bolton's moustache is called "Pelo del Diablo" and a festival is held in its honor each year to keep its wrath from destroying villages and taking lives.
ITS A FACT:
In June of 1939, Dick Cheneys Cock gave John Boltons moustache a Filthy Adolph-- nine months later, Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked his way out of Boltons face.
-Amish Moustache ride
"Paradise Lost" isn't really about the fall of Satan from heaven. It's about the time John Bolton shaved his moustache.
As always, there will be no prizes.
June 29, 2006
— Ace This will probably annoy you.
Thanks to JackStraw.
— Ace Quietly (the media wouldn't want to alert the terrorists!) Iraq has hit a post-Saddam peak for oil production and exports.
For more than two years the attacks came like clockwork. As soon as the military secured and workers repaired the pipelines from Iraq's northern oil fields, just when the valves were about to open, insurgents would strike. But roughly three weeks ago they suddenly stopped, letting crude oil flow freely from Iraq's vast reserves near Kirkuk.
Perhaps insurgents feared reprisals in Salahuddin province, where pipelines from Kirkuk flow to the country's largest refinery in Beiji. Maybe terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death disrupted a chain of command that ordered the attacks, military officials said.
Whatever the cause, the U.S. forces welcome the change, even if history since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 has shown the free flow of oil in Iraq is only temporary at best.
"I just hope that it lasts long enough where people start realizing 'Damn, we're making money. We could be rich like Kuwaitis," said Army Lt. Col. Craig Collier, deputy commander of the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. "But what is really going on? We don't know."
In the past three weeks, Iraq has exported 6.2 million barrels of crude to Turkey from its northern fields. Total exports from Iraq in that period, including the oil fields in the south, have increased to 2.5 million barrels per day, the highest level since the invasion, the Oil Ministry reported.
— Ace We're going to need a Michael Corleone sort of accounting at some point.
Thanks to RocketsBrain.
— Ace That seems to be what this Arianna Huffington moonbat is saying.
As it's inconceivable that liberals could lose any election, it must be the case that the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections were stolen. He's kind enough to give us one more chance to demonstrate we're not cheating -- by losing -- and then he wants to go Ukrainian on us.
— Ace First quarter growth revised up to a sizzling 5.6%.
Once again, the predictable headline:
Economy Growth Boils in 1st Quarter but Has Flashed Signs of Cooling Since Then
Of course it's cooling, morons. Only developing nations are able to sustain such high growth rates for more than a quarter or two.
And how much is it cooling? Well, down a positively chilly 2.5% to 3% rate of growth, better known as "solid growth."
Fresher barometers, however, suggest the economy is slowing.
In a separate report, the Labor Department said new claims filed for unemployment benefits last week rose by 4,000 to 313,000 -- a bit more than economists were expecting.
Analysts believe economic growth in the April-to-June quarter could turn out to be half the pace of the first quarter's. They are predicting growth in the range of 2.5 percent to 3 percent. High energy prices and a more moderate housing market will play roles in the expected slowdown.
"I think the economy is moving from a boil to a simmer," said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research.
Damn, the economy will merely be "simmering" in the next few months. Let's all hang ourselves in the garage.
— Ace While the left has its talking points -- of course terrorists knew their money was being tracked, etc. -- the most immediate harm comes via our skittish allies. While foreign governments are hostile to the US, they're positively sweethearts compared to the anti-Americanism of their populations. Poland is often cited as a key US ally, and it is; but the Polish people are much less eager to assist in, say, Iraq than their government is.
When it is exposed that foreign institutions are governments are cooperating with the despised US, public pressure will be brought to bear, and may limit or end cooperation with the US.
The New York Times alerted the anti-American popuations of Europe that their banks were aiding the US and that their governments were looking the other way. Will they now continue to look the other way?
A former federal prosecutor who handled major terrorism cases, Andrew C. McCarthy, said he believed that the greatest harm from news reports about such classified programs was the message that Americans could not keep secrets.
"If foreign intelligence services think anything they tell us will end up in the newspapers, they'll stop sharing so much information," said Mr. McCarthy, now a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington.
Is the Times outing classified information for the purposes of keeping Americans informed, or for the purposes of keeping Europeans and Al Qaeda terrorists informed?
— Ace Via Confederate Yankee comes this from SCOTUSblog:
Even more importantly for present purposes, the Court held that Common Article 3 of Geneva aplies as a matter of treaty obligation to the conflict against Al Qaeda. That is the HUGE part of today's ruling. The commissions are the least of it. This basically resolves the debate about interrogation techniques, because Common Article 3 provides that detained persons "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely," and that "
o this end," certain specified acts "are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever"including "cruel treatment and torture," and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." This standard, not limited to the restrictions of the due process clause, is much more restrictive than even the McCain Amendment. See my further discussion here.
This almost certainly means that the CIA's interrogation regime is unlawful, and indeed, that many techniques the Administation has been using, such as waterboarding and hypothermia (and others) violate the War Crimes Act (because violations of Common Article 3 are deemed war crimes).
If I'm right about this, it's enormously significant.
— Ace Anthony Kennedy. What a guy.
In his own separate opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer said, "Congress has not issued the executive a 'blank check.'"
"Indeed, Congress has denied the president the legislative authority to create military commissions of the kind at issue here. Nothing prevents the president from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary," Breyer wrote.
All right then, go back to Congress, ask for the power.
June 28, 2006
— Ace Very interesting article about how persistent political losses cause mutations in one's thinking, until one becomes messianic, paranoiac, and, well, basically batshit crazy.
It happened to the John Birchers in the 1950's. It's happening to the left now.
[The typical aging Kos reader has] been on the political and cultural losing side all his adult life. Hes tired of it. And hes found a website which, at last, makes him feel empowered. He is, in short, the typical member of the so-called netroots: the left-wing movement, organized around blogs, that seeks to take back this country from its usurpers. The netroots is a movement born of desperation and a sense of embattlement at being on the losing side of historical forces. It sees itself as the inheritor and the guarantor of true American tradition and identity, and it seeks to restore those things to their rightful primacy in national life. Critically, it choose to not merely fight its foes, but emulate them. It sees the prime virtue of its enemies as their ability to win, and if they can just crack the code if it can grasp the very methodology of victory then they will turn the tables, and victory will be theirs.
Sound familiar? It is to us. To the left, its all very exciting, and all very new. And so we see the self-proclaimed netroots go through a trajectory very much like what the Birchers went through, albeit in highly compressed time. The elements are all there: the resentment, the conspiracy-mindedness, and especially the leaders with stupefyingly poor judgment married to Napoleon complexes. Ive noted before that they are frank proponents of outright mimicry of the mechanisms of GOP ascendacy. Add to this the horrifying, alienating statements ranging from the mockery of dead Americans at war to the derision of political opponents personal sorrows. Add to this the demonization of the very people who should, in a sane world, be their friends The New Republic chief among them and the formula is complete. Messianism and paranoia marry to make this.
— Ace On the plus side, it can't have been terribly effective if the Palestinians need to tell people they fired it.
The group had recently claimed to possess about 20 biological warheads for the makeshift rockets commonly fired from Gaza at Israeli towns. This was the first time the group had claimed firing such a rocket.
The al-Aqsa Brigades have fired one rocket with a chemical warhead at southern Israel, Abu Qusai, a spokesman for the group, said in Gaza.
No comment yet from Israeli officials. Scientists, I'm sure, will determine if a chem warhead was indeed fired.
In a way, I hope it's true. Because I don't think that Jews living in a state created after the Holocaust are going to appreciate attempts to mass-murder civilians with poison gas.
There needs to be some clarity. For too long the Palestinians have been protected from the natural consequences of their own brutality and bloody-mindedness, allowed by the Western world to make war while pretending at peace. This has only infantilized them, shielding them from the rightful consequences of their actions, encouraging them to become more vicious.
At some point there has to be a war to resolve this, a real war, with the other side fighting back. And one side needs to be decimated and humilated. That's how peace is made. Only when people truly feel the horrors of war are they willing to give it up.
— Ace On FoxNews.
No word on whether Israel will use the captured terrorists as bargaining chips.
I say: Do it. I'm sick and tired of hearing we can't use their tactics against them. Or that we'll "become them" if we do.
Do we become snakes when we decapitate them with hoes? I don't think so.
— Ace Paul Bettany has been approached to play the Crown Prince of Crime for the Batman sequel.
Meanwhile, Robin Williams is all but wearing a Catwoman-suit to lobby for the part, and raves about graphic novels to demonstrate his comics-cred.
And he worked with director Chris Nolan before, of course.
It's nice that Robin Williams can discuss the comic Arkham Asylum, but really, look at the two pictures. Is it even close?
Sorry, hate to be a dick, but the Joker's thin. Bettany even looks like the Joker, without makeup.
And Joker doesn't say "Nan-noo nan-noo" when he kills people.
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