September 30, 2008
— Ace I knew if I clicked on this review I wouldn't be disappointed.
Religulous is directed by Larry Charles, whose credits include Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and many episodes of HBOs Curb Your Enthusiasm. And the movie has the same loose, on-the-road structure as Borat. Much of Mr. Mahers film is extremely funny in a similarly irreverent, offhanded way. Some true believers at least those who have a sense of humor about their faith may even be amused. But most will not.
In a small journalistic coup Mr. Maher interviews a Roman Catholic priest in front of the Vatican, who laughingly agrees with him that the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church are nonsense that are not to be taken literally. Mr. Maher, unfortunately, doesnt press him on why he wears priestly vestments and presumes to exert religious authority.
His strategy is to coax most of those subjects who are true believers to appear foolish as they offer stumbling, inarticulate responses to his friendly interrogations. The majority of his subjects are easy targets. One such sitting duck is José Luis de Jesús Miranda, a nattily dressed Miami preacher who declares that he is the second coming of Christ and claims that his Growing in Grace ministry has 100,000 followers. Like the fulminating televangelists whose ministries the film glosses over, he comes across as a greedy, self-satisfied charlatan with a fondness for gold.
When Mr. Maher asks Senator Mark Pryor, an Arkansas Democrat and fervent evangelical Christian, why faith is good, he stumbles for an answer. Returning later to Senator Pryor, Mr. Maher suggests that many evangelicals look forward to the end of the world, when it is prophesied that Jesus will return. The senator doesnt dispute him.
John Westcott, a former homosexual who is now married and the director of Exchange Ministries in Winter Park, Fla., an organization whose mission is to reorient sexuality, can only smile when Mr. Maher reminds him that Jesus never addressed the subject of homosexuality. At a Christian theme park where the passion of Christ is re-enacted in a tacky musical pageant, the actor playing Jesus compares the Holy Trinity to the three states of water: liquid, ice and vapor.
When Religulous turns from evangelical Christianity to Judaism and Islam, its tone becomes uncertain and its rhythm choppy. An attitude of glib condescension is inadequate to address clashing religions that have turned the Middle East into an ideological cauldron. Jihadism and Orthodox Judaism are red-hot topics that Mr. Maher addresses too sketchily to convey the same authority he brings to Christianity.
Ah. Such glib condescension was adequate for Christianity, but not Islam. Which must be taken seriously and displayed reverently.
And have no doubt: the author is playing coy here, but it's only the impieties cast at Islam that bother him.
— Ace It's legit, I'm told.
Squidoo's giving away $80,000, to charities chosen by those who visit and, um, chose the charity of their, um, choice. So click over, select Soldiers' Angels, click, and done!
They don't even want an email for spam. Just a click.
Thanks to Brett and Kaptain America.
— Purple Avenger Spray painting a republican club building.
...A likeness of the Illinois senator, in purple spray paint, was stenciled on the front window and outside columns of the Third Avenue headquarters overnight Friday...I'm hoping for a lot more of this kind of thing.
— Ace Actually, I take this as fairly positive news. Four points isn't much of a lead at all.
(That said, if McCain/Palin led by 4, it would be monstrous and I'd be declaring the election over. Why the difference? Shut up, that's why.)
In the WaPo poll from last week, Obama led by nine.
If this shift is real -- and I don't know if it is -- what could account for it? Supposedly the public thinks Obama won or at least tied the election. All history suggests the public will blame the Republicans for the financial crisis, even though the Democrats created and nutured it.
Obama was talking up the bailout today, sounding better than McCain (and no, I don't say that because I'm pro-bailout; McCain was also pro-bailout, Obama just sounded smoother and better at defending it). But that couldn't have impacted the polls.
So I'm baffled.
— Ace Not sure if she's going to be on more; they're in commercial break.
— Ace McCain release:
ARLINGTON, VA -- Today, Doug Holtz-Eakin, McCain-Palin 2008 Senior Policy Adviser, issued the following statement on the SEC's plan to relax mark-to-market accounting requirements:
"John McCain is pleased to see that the SEC has finally decided to permit alternative accounting methods to mark-to-market accounting for securities where no active market exists. There is serious concern that these accounting rules are worsening the credit crunch, making it difficult for small businesses to stay afloat and squeezing family budgets. In March, John McCain called for a meeting of accounting professionals to discuss whether mark-to-market accounting was magnifying problems in the financial markets."
In March, John McCain Called For A Meeting Of Accounting Professionals To Analyze The Current Mark To Market Accounting Systems. "[I]t is time to convene a meeting of the nation's accounting professionals to discuss the current mark to market accounting systems. We are witnessing an unprecedented situation as banks and investors try to determine the appropriate value of the assets they are holding and there is widespread concern that this approach is exacerbating the credit crunch." (John McCain, Remarks, Santa Ana, CA, 3/25/0
Good article on mark-to-market, noting that this change can substantially alleviate the credit crunch.
Ed Morrissey errs when he says "don't get too focused on ACORN, the problem is Fannie and Freddie." Yes, it was Fannie and Freddie guaranteeing all these horrible mortgages that allowed banks, or so they thought, to take these risks.
But ACORN, the Congressional Black Caucus, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Barack Hussein Obama all worked together to build the bomb. Separating ACORN from Fannie is like saying Al Qaeda could never support Shiite extremists.
This was an inside-outside operation from the getgo -- ACORN providing external "grassroots" demands for these mortgages, the government empowering them to do so, ACORN pressuring banks to make the loans, government sponsored entities Fannie and Freddie removing the risk (or so it was thought) from the loans.
They all worked together on this. They're all on each other's speed dials. ACORN forges up fraudulent voter registrations to help Democrats steal elections; Democrats propose giving 20% of all revenues (not profits, revenues) from the bailout to ACORN, etc.
As this Fannie executive says -- We're all part of "the family."
The Trillion Dollar Man: Obama advisor Jim Johnson pledged one trillion to back these shit mortgages as Fannie CEO.
And made a fortune doing so. Hey, on paper, he was making money. All those new mortgages, and he dipped his beak into every one.
Who cares if the mortgages default three years after he leaves. Not his problem.
— Ace The post read only that the Democrats' fingerprints were all over this crisis, and linked to Gateway Pundit.
But that conflicted with The Narrative. Which is now, officially, hate speech.
— Ace Miami's loving this guy.
Williams told The Miami Herald for Tuesday's editions that when players were given Friday off, "Automatically your mind, which is so constrained since training camp began ... says, 'I'm free, what can I do?' "
"So there was definitely an urge," he said. "But I just thought about what I have to lose, and it was easy. The urge didn't last very long."
Since 2004, the Dolphins running back has played only 16 NFL games, including three this year. If Williams were to smoke marijuana again, he would likely be out of the NFL for good because he already has violated the league drug policy four times.
"There's no space, no wiggle room for me," Williams said.
He said that doesn't scare him, because he feels he's in control and on the right path. He said he successfully fought off the latest urge to smoke by meditating instead, which gives him the same "feeling of being free" as marijuana.
And you know what helps relax you for meditating? Pot.
Thanks to Dave at Garfield Ridge.
— Ace "Salutory:"
The bail out will take place simply to avoid that depression. But depressions have some salutary effects - the scoundrels go belly up, the weakest get purged. And, in the wake of the disaster, people demand strict regulation of the money lenders to keep their greed in check, and government spends money on the real economy to put people back to work.
Geraghty wonders if the idea that the Democrats are actually engineering this to usher in a new era of socialism is really that far-fetched.
Via Hot Air's Headlines.
— Purple Avenger Heh, I like roller coasters. The scarier, the better. This one was pretty scary at the end... The year date stamps appear in the lower right corner of the video. It took me a while to notice them first time through. more...
— Ace See, they didn't have enough time to "vet" a 30 second spot before.
Now that the ad has run its course, they have time to "vet" it and decide they're not going to run the ad that its producers aren't paying them to run anymore.
Well! I had no idea Marcia Brady supported The One.
This is a game-changer, my friends.
Creepy: The Obama Youth, I mean. Not the Brady Bunch.
You know, if any of you do subscribe to gay gossip site and antisemitic newsletter and soap-opera fantasia diary The Atlantic, right about now would be a good time to cancel your subscription, and inform them of the reason.
— Ace 49-43. The eight-point lead Obama opened over the weekend and held on Monday was, I hope, just a blip.
— Purple Avenger Can't say that I blame him. Embrace the suck, go with the flow.
Skys falling, Israels about to nuke Iran, Palins getting dumped and Obamas already won by a landslide, depending on who you listen to and when. Screw it, Im Britneyblogging...
— Ace It's obvious, but it's been inchoate, so props to Jeff for putting this into form.
McCain does need a stronger campaign theme. And this is the one he needs. more...
— Ace It should be noted that non-hostile deaths (accidents, death by natural causes) are up -- 17 for September.
But hostile fire deaths are down to 7, lower even than July's count of 8.
Knock wood -- there are just a few hours left in the day in Iraq.
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