Sunday, June 29, 2008

Review: Get Smart

I went into this movie with fear and trepidation. Fear, because I was forking over 36 minutes of my time to pay for this film, plus popcorn money. Trepidation, because this movie had all the signs of having all the funny parts in the trailer.

My concerns were unwarranted.

Get Smart is a funny, adventurous, well scripted, scored and acted affair, and it carries itself well despite a shaky plot. Having never seen the TV show, I can't compare the two. It's a series of jokes strung together well enough that you forget it's a series of jokes, and thats all we can ask from an action comedy.

It's clean as a skinned potato on the language front, and with very little objectionable content anywhere else. It's consistently humorous in an intelligent fashion, and enjoyable despite some pretty snarky political shots, although those went both ways.
I probably won't pay to see this again in theaters, but I wouldn't be surprised if my family wound up with it on DVD.

Not that this is become a movie review site, I just haven't found a lot of news that interests me at this time, and subsequently no posts on news I don't care about. Thanks for sticking around folks.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Review: Wall-E

I journeyed to a midnight showing last night for Wall-E with a group of fellow youth, and after some film mishaps with melting celuloid, we watched the movie.

It starts slow and never picks up. While Pixar has done a marvelous job creating a sense of wonder and fallen majesty with the earth, it is seldom engaging.
Essentially, a large corporation has over run earth and made dump of it, and sent humanity away while they clean it up. What isn't clear is the incentive for the earth to be a dump, nor for the company to clean up.
So after 700 years, one lone robot remains, and cheerfully cleans earth. His name is Wall-E, and his friend is a cockroach. Only Pixar could manage to make us sympathize with a cockroach, but they do.
After a while, a different robot, Eve, is dropped on earth and scans for life. Wall-E and eve fall in love. After various exciting times, they deliver a plant to the mother ship, and the computer fights returning to earth.

As a kids movie, I imagine it will succede. It's clever, well animated, and cleaner then a bottle of bleach. I somewhat enjoyed it, but I'm not paying to watch it again.
Nemo, Incredibles, Monster's Inc and Toy Story are far better products.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Exciting times at Martin Memorial Medical Center

This is a listing of the effect of illegal immigration on the healthcare services. You don't have to watch the video, but just leave it playing while you go do something else on line.

One Guatemalean has cost almost $250,000, One mexican citizen has cost $1,500,000, and their largest problem is ongoing treatment, such as dialysis.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Feds plan market earthquake

...and government intervention in the market will once again rear its ugly head.

AP: "The mortgage aid plan would let the Federal Housing Administration back $300 billion in new, cheaper home loans for an estimated 400,000 distressed borrowers who otherwise would be considered too financially risky to qualify for government-insured, fixed-rate loans.

In 83-9 vote puts the plan on track for Senate passage as early as Wednesday, but President Bush is threatening a veto, and Democrats are fighting each other over key details. Those challenges will probably delay any final deal until mid-July."

Democrats, you procede down the path of Marxism.
Republicans, I will not forget this. I can't work up my ire today, the world is to great a place for that. But this will come back to haunt us.

And with exciting stuff like this happening around us in america, who really has cause to complain about the economy? Heck, we have cheap food, low cost energy, the internet, we're surrounded by items that would astound even those of a hundred years ago, freedom to speak and worship as we please, and right to a trial by our peers.

Friday, June 20, 2008

New York, New York & Blithering Idiocy

I was going to take this post and tell ya'll how wonderful the city of New York is, and that the statue of liberty is pretty big, and that the Incredible Hulk is actually an incredible movie.
But circumstances dictate that I post differently.

The fuel crisis in our country, and really the world is one caused by rapidly rising demand, lack of refining capacity, and only limited growth in oil production.
I don't think it matters a dime where we buy our oil from. It's a global commodity that will be bought, so it doesn't matter where it comes from. So 'buying from Iran' doesn't concern me, nor should it. In reality, we get the majority of our petroleum from North America, be it the US, Canada or Mexico.

But, the solution to this problem is not restricting growth, but rather opening new refineries and expanding drilling to the greatest extent possible. ANWR is there, but it's impact would be minimized by the sheer volume of oil consumed in the US each day, and the limited capacity that can be kicked out of the frozen north.
The real oil is in the Outer Continental Shelf, which is past the 5 mile state water control and up to 200 miles from the coast. Over 75bbl of economically recoverable oil, compared to the 12bbl in ANWR.
So we drill. McCain's nuclear power plant idea is wonderful, but will have limited impact on fuel prices in the next 5 years.

What really has me steamed is the House Democrats response, which is so blatantly in line with Carl Marx, it's astonishing that they sally forth from their leftist lairs and herald it as a solution.
"We (the government) should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market." - Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), member of the House Appropriations Committee

Because the government runs things far more efficiently then the market.
Because those refineries don't belong to the people, they belong to the government.
Because monolithic mercantile monopolies benefit everyone.
Because building new ones is just not an option.
Because this is 'in the interest of the American people, not major corporations.'

Sorry, but as Calvin Coolidge said, 'The Business of America is Business.' When the government starts taking shots at companies, private enterprises fulfilling a valuable role in the market and peoples lives, we need to be worried. Very worried.
Despite the powerful and lingering reminder of the Soviet Union and the Bolshevik revolution, and the millions of dead Russians lying without gravestones, the communist ideals still march on. I don't think this will actually happen this year, or even this decade, but the idea that an elected official would voice opinions such as these is truly disturbing.

(Reposted to mainatin top spot over The Incredible Hulk review

Review: The Incredible Hulk

I went into this movie with trepidation, because the first Hulk movie directed by Ang Lee in 2003 was atrocious. After being blown away with the marvelous Ironman, I was expecting mediocrity or even worse, boredom from The Incredible Hulk.

What we have is something entirely different, a blazing locomotive of comic book dialog, plot, and most importantly fierce action.
Where Spiderman was a mostly introspective look at a young man growing up, Incredible Hulk is a man dealing with the beast within, and the world having to deal with him as well.

If you're not familiar with the basic story, here it is:
Dr. Bruce Banner is transformed into a raging monster, aka The Incredible Hulk, by a bad science experiment. When he's angry or his heart rate goes up, he transforms into this monster, who is somewhat animistic in thought processes. One of the few people who can calm him is Dr. Betty, a fellow researcher whom he loves. The world fears him, and generally tries to capture or destroy him. As a man, Dr. Banner is a brilliant scientist, respected by those who don't know his inside. As a beast, the Hulk is a force of nature, well nigh invincible.

The Hulk character has always walked a fine line, a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on a gargantuan scale. From a development standpoint, making Bruce Banner a likable hero is difficult, as his Hulk form is quite destructive.
In this movie, they struck the right balance. The Hulk scenes were brutal and intense, and the rest of the movie was peppered with the necessary introspection that was hit and miss.
Will I see it again? Definetly.
Buy the DVD? I think I will.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Houston and a bit'o live blogging

Thoughts from the convention:

This is big. About 5500 delegates and more miscellaneous people scattered about the seemingly endless teeming mass of humanity gathered together to celebrate the uniquely American past time of politics and peaceful conventions.

So after some heavy handed tactics by the chairman of the convention, whom a colleague of mine has likened to a ‘Castro style handling of the issues’, and more caucuses to decide upon who can actually vote tomorrow, the day is finished. My friends and I are now heading out for dinner, and we’re coming back for a Ron Paul ice cream function.

Ice Cream Social:

Big, it seems as if a third of the convention is present. Terrible music is emanating from the back wall of the Great Ballroom of the Houston Hilton. It seems remarkably similar to what we mock on early episodes of American idol, yet continues to bore into my auditory systems with reckless abandon. The ice cream itself is spectacular, with Blue Bell as the base and a bazillion toppings to adorn it.

As of now, Ron Paul himself is strangely absent, but my sources indicate it’s possible he will suspend his presidential campaign tonight. Maybe that is why heavy servings of alcohol are present, to drown the potential sorrows of the moribund Paulites.

Ah-ha! The music has changed to somewhat good guitar country, and there was much rejoicing.

Being a page at these conventions has pros and cons. Being involved with such a process is a blessing, and seeing the machine of politics painfully turn its cogs is in fact inspiring. But long periods of boredom, filled with an abject sense of powerlessness to alter the situation do begin to wear on the mind. That’s where card games with fellow pages come in handy, which we spent a good 3 hours all told today playing.

Oh, music changed. It’s an old folksy singer wailing about voting Ron Paul. Not inspiration, but it’s got a nice tune. A bell just rang through the air, presumably the liberty bell, announcing the presence of another Ron Paul promoter. And again.

Judging from the response in this room, the majority of these supporters are on a more radical anti-war crusade then a domestic crusade.

Here stands the man himself, and the crowd is deafening. Ron Paul chants are taken up across the room; this man is literally a hero and living legend to many. Incredible. Now he mentions Texas, and the room explodes with sonic shockwaves quite literally shaking trays nearby.

Apparently, there are 22,000 new precinct chairs in the country, and Ron Paul is glad. He’s also emphasizing the movement factor of this campaign, and its grass roots strength, rather then as a presidential campaign. Crowd likes it.

So apparently there’s another candidate who talks about change. But Ron Paul talks about real change. I agree.

Paraphrase of statement: ‘I am absolutely convinced that we do not have to give up personal liberties to establish our security.’ Eh? What have I given up?

Bridges are falling down? What the heck? Are we still railing about nutzy bridge collapses in Minnesota? *grumble about red herrings*

Strange announcement from Ron, he’s apparently hosing a parallel event in Minneapolis, and all the delegates are coming. Is this the formation of a new party?? The platform shall be the constitution, as he just stated. The Campaign for Liberty shall be its name.

He does bring up a good point. Movements start small and hungry, as this one is. In the words of Orson Scott Card, ‘Most people want to be left alone, that is why history can be affected by astonishingly small numbers of people.’

Ahhh… I will swear upon a bible that he’s been babbling for the past 12 minutes.

He’s done now… this is the strangest thing. He essentially just left his constituents without guidance, which I guess is how this entire campaign has been run. I don’t know what lasting developments will come from this, but it was an interesting experience.

Did I mention I love this stuff?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Houston or Bust!

I'm heading out this morning for Houston, the steamy, smoking, starbucks infused city located in the center of the blazing texas sun, which is incidentally hosting the 2008 Texas Republican Convention.

I'm working as a page on the floor, and back in '04 officials told us texas' convention is larger then the national one.

So ha. Texas is big. :D

I may or may not post while I'm there, it is likely that I will do at least one post however. But if it comes down to a post or an Astros game, I'm taking the greatest game ever played without hesitation.

Friday, June 06, 2008

500 page Global Warming Bill Tanks in Face of Expensive Fuel...err, reality.

The Crypt: "With little chance of winning passage of a sweeping 500-page global warming bill, the Senate Democratic leadership is planning to yank the legislation after failing to achieve the 60 vote threshold needed to move the bill to the next stage.

After a 48-36 vote on the climate change bill, the Senate is likely to move on to a separate energy debate next week. The legislation collapsed for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the poor timing of debating a bill predicted to increase energy costs while much of the country is focused on $4 a gallon gas.

On top of that, a number of industrial state Democrats like Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio were uncomfortable with the strong emissions caps that would have created a new regime of regulations for coal, auto and other manufacturing industries. Republicans, for the most part, held firm against a bill they said would cost billions in regulations while pushing the cost of gas higher.
"The message is clear: the majority can’t abandon this bill fast enough," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "On the one hand, the majority says climate change is the most important issue facing the planet. Yet they’ve rushed the debate on that topic and brought the bill to a premature end. They brought it down before we could vote on gas prices, on clean energy technology, or on protecting American jobs."

Sanity yet remains in the halls and chambers of our elected government, and it has been some time since I was reminded of that fact.
This screwball envirofascist legislation was denied, and I applaud Bush for stating well in advance that he would veto this if it passed. Good to see some real spine in the republican party, and a heart yet beats in the House of Representatives.
It's also nice to see the far left go nuts as their side backs away from 'the most important issue facing the planet' EDIT: I can't find a peep on the Huffington Post or the Daily kos on this...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Myanamar jacks up aid

BBC: "US Navy ships are due to leave Burma's coastline because of the continued refusal of the government to allow them to help victims of Cyclone Nargis.

The navy said it would withdraw the four ships, carrying helicopters and landing craft, after 15 failed attempts to convince the regime to let them in.

French and British navy ships have also been withdrawn after being refused permission to operate.

Cyclone Nargis left more than 133,000 people dead or missing."

Such undeniable evil, and such a love for humanity.
This is why America is important to the world, we are willing to fight and bleed and die for nations and then when nations can't take care of themselves, we're ready to help them recover. Yet the arrogance and hubris of a junta has denied this.

Not much to be done, but keep the people in prayer.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama's got nothing

AP:"This is not a decision I come to lightly ... and it is one I make with some sadness," Obama said at a news conference after campaign officials released a letter of resignation he sent to the church on Friday.

"I'm not denouncing the church and I'm not interested in people who want me to denounce the church," he said, adding that the new pastor at Trinity and "the church have been suffering from the attention my campaign has focused on them."

The one redeeming quality Obama still commanded, at least in my mind, was his steadfast loyalty in the face of withering political pressure. He stuck to his guns and defended his friends, even if they were radical nuts.
Now? Barak quits and leaves his friends behind, and goes one giant step farther into the political morass of presidential politics he claims to want to change.
What a wiener.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Various Christians

The Cult of Christ, run by Matthew the Dyspraxic Fundamentalist has done a pretty sweet run down of different christians.
Yes, it's stereotypes. But I think they're pretty sharp and an accurate portrayl of how the grace of God runs through all people.

The Gospel Incarnated in Subcultural Form

Christian Hippie
Christian Skinhead
Christian Punk
Christian Biker
Christian Republican Voter