Monday, March 27, 2006

Hannity and Levin Tag Team Alec Baldwin- Hilarity Ensues!

I caught the tail end of Sean Hannity discussing his radio encounter with Alec Baldwin last night while on the way home from work this afternoon. Unfortunately, I missed the beginning of the segment and was only able to gather that Alec Baldwin is a total buffoon; a fact of which I was already well aware. Fortunately, NewsMax has posted a partial transcript of the smackdown.

Here's a snippet:

HANNITY: Are you the guy that said of our vice president, while we're at war, while we're leading troops in harm's way - are you the reckless, third-rate Hollywood actor who said that Dick Cheney is a terrorist? Are you the guy . . .

BALDWIN: Yes I am.

HANNITY: ... who said to stone Henry Hyde to death? Are you the guy who said our president is a CIA mass murderer? I wanted you to come on the program and defend that, you gutless coward.

BALDWIN: At first I thought this was a joke. But you can hear all the acid venom spewing hatred. It is Sean Hannity. [END EXCERPT]

The exchange got even hotter when Mark Levin joined in.

LEVIN: We've only just begun - are you 40 or 50 pounds overweight now?

WHITMAN: Oh, C'mon now . . . .

HANNITY: Once and for all you need to be challenged. You want to call our vice president a terrorist - fine. You want to talk about stoning people to death, say it on my program. If you want to be irresponsible and call our president a mass murderer while he's at war leading troops in harm's way ...

BALDWIN: And what are you gonna do about it, Sean Hannity?

HANNITY: You don't have the courage to answer questions.

BALDWIN: And what are you gonna do? And what are you going to do about it, Sean Hannity. If I come on your program, what are you going to do?

LEVIN: He's going to show that you have a two digit IQ - that's what he's gonna do.

BALWIN: What are you going to do?

LEVIN: I just told you - you've got a two digit IQ.

According to the NewsMax account, Baldwin left the studio shortly thereafter. Typical Alec Baldwin if you ask me. He spouts his nonsensical, incoherent, and disgusting rhetoric with a bullhorn right up until the precise moment that he is called to defend it, then runs into the woods with his tail between his legs like a coon dog that just treed a skunk. What a coward!

Be sure to read the whole thing.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Amazing Tornado Survival Story!


(Via Kansas City Star)

FORDLAND, Mo. — Matt Suter can’t get the tornado out of his head — or his ears.

Every time a late-night freight train thunders past, Suter wakes up and remembers the vicious twister that pulled him from his home March 12 and landed him in a pasture — a quarter-mile away.

Suter’s harrowing encounter has brought him sudden fame, with national media exposure. One tornado expert said he knew of no one who traveled as far as Suter did in a tornado and lived to tell about it.

“It’s a pretty awkward record to have,” the 19-year-old senior at Fordland High School said.

The soft-spoken Suter did not court attention about his experience, which was not reported publicly until a week after it happened...

“The window busted, and the door got sucked out,” Suter said. “I looked at my grandmother, and the walls were like Jell-O. The trailer was rocking back and forth. I jumped between the coffee table and couch, and I remember the trailer tipping.”

His grandmother, Linda Kelley, said Suter had hollered at her in the trailer, and when she came into the kitchen “I turned around to look at where he was, and that whole end of the trailer was just gone.”

A large heavy glass lamp struck Suter on the top of his head, knocking him unconscious, he said.

When he came to, Suter found himself in a soft, grassy pasture. Last week a global positioning satellite device used by National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Gaede measured the distance at 1,307 feet from the trailer site.

I suppose everyone wants to have their 15 minutes of fame, but Suter's claim to fame is that he has been thrown further by a tornado and lived to tell about it than anyone else in recorded history. I'm sure he's probably thinking there must be an easier way. I know I would!

Read the whole thing.

Update: Commenter Axe at nails it by pointing out that Suter will never lose the "I've got it bad" argument: "Junior, what do you mean it's too hard? I've run home barefoot down a gravel road after being thrown a quarter mile by a tornado--don't tell me it's too hard."

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Bar Patrons Being Arrested For Being Drunk?

(Via Reuters)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - Texas has begun sending undercover agents into bars to arrest drinkers for being drunk, a spokeswoman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said on Wednesday.

The first sting operation was conducted recently in a Dallas suburb where agents infiltrated 36 bars and arrested 30 people for public intoxication, said the commission's Carolyn Beck.

Being in a bar does not exempt one from the state laws against public drunkenness, Beck said.

The goal, she said, was to detain drunks before they leave a bar and go do something dangerous like drive a car.

"We feel that the only way we're going to get at the drunk driving problem and the problem of people hurting each other while drunk is by crackdowns like this," she said.
"There are a lot of dangerous and stupid things people do when they're intoxicated, other than get behind the wheel of a car," Beck said. "People walk out into traffic and get run over, people jump off of balconies trying to reach a swimming pool and miss."
She said the sting operations would continue throughout the state.

While I applaud the goal of keeping drunk drivers off the streets, this seems about as ridiculous as them going into a church and snatching worshipers out of their pews for listening to the sermon.

I’m no advocate for public drunkenness or drunk driving by any means, but I think they’re missing the point. The patrons of these establishments are more than likely there to drink alcohol, so finding a drunk inside shouldn’t be much of a problem. Inside the bar is where I want them to be. The threat to the general population begins when they leave.

Here’s a better idea: Assign an officer to a random bar parking lot in an unmarked vehicle and have the officer sit there and wait on the drunks to come to him. Trust me, they will!
A lot of bars hire folks they like to call “bouncers”. They’re job is to card people on the way in and throw (and I mean throw in the literal sense) unruly patrons out of the same door. Those are the ones you’re looking for in the sting operation anyway, and by doing it this way you can save a whole lot of effort. I’d also be willing to bet if you tipped the bouncer, they’d probably even put them in the car for you.

As for the polite drunks, stop them on the way to their cars and give them an opportunity to take a Breathalyzer test before getting into their vehicle. If they refuse, make them walk home, call a cab, or risk being arrested as soon as their car moves. If they have a designated driver with them and that person is driving, then you’ve still accomplished what you’ve set out to do: Keeping drunk drivers off the road!

I just think it’s a bit silly to go into a bar on a sting operation to find drunks. As long as they’re inside the establishment, they’re not driving and they’re not officially in public no matter how you twist the definition. They are in an enclosed bar that is in public, but as long as they’re inside, they’re not bothering the rest of us.

Nail them when they leave to go to their cars or roam the streets, not while they’re inside and not threatening the rest of us.

And by the way, if the problem were as bad as the picture painted here (which it may in fact be), another solution would be to make bars and alcohol illegal. Of course they won’t do that because they would lose the huge chunk of tax revenue that alcohol and alcohol related businesses generate and if they know history, they will also know that making alcohol illegal won’t solve the problem either. It will, however, practically ensure they will cease to generate revenue from it and that’s a risk they’re not willing to take.

By running sting operations, they are punishing lawful business owners by making a scene inside the very establishments they generate revenue from. It really doesn’t matter whether one agrees with the morality of the business in question or not. As long as the business is being operated legally, they should not be subjected to tactics that will surely have an effect on their bottom line. The punishment should fall on those who lack personal responsibility and pose a true threat to our safety.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

BREAKING: U.S. and Iraqi Forces Launch Massive Air Assault in Countryside North of Baghdad

HT: Stop the ACLU via Drudge

Stop the ACLU is following the latest developments of Operation Swarmer, the most massive military air assault in three years:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- In a well-publicized show of force, U.S. and Iraqi forces swept into the countryside north of the capital in 50 helicopters Thursday looking for insurgents in what the American military called its "largest air assault" in nearly three years.

There was no bombing or firing from the air in the offensive northeast of Samarra, a town 60 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. All 50 aircraft were helicopters - Black Hawks, Apaches and Chinooks - used to ferry in and provide cover for the 1,450 Iraqi and U.S. troops.

The military said the assault - Operation Swarmer - aimed to clear "a suspected insurgent operating area" and would continue over several days.

Residents in the area of the assault reported a heavy U.S. and Iraqi troop presence and said large explosions could be heard in the distance. American forces routinely blow up structures they suspect as insurgent safe-houses or weapons depots. It was not known if they met any resistance, but the military reported detaining 41 people.

Dr. Rusty Shackleford posts the following Department of Defense press release:

Iraqi and coalition forces today launched the largest air assault operation since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom in southern Salah Ad Din province to clear a suspected insurgent operating area northeast of Samarra, military officials reported.

"Operation Swarmer" began this morning with soldiers from the Iraqi army's 1st Brigade, 4th Division; the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team; and the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade conducting a combined air and ground assault to isolate the objective area, officials said.

Attack and assault aircraft provided aerial weapons support for the operation and also delivered troops from the Iraqi army's 4th Division; the "Rakkasans" from 1st and 3rd Battalions, 187th Infantry Regiment, of the U.S. Army; and the "Hunters" from 2nd Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army, to "multiple objectives" according to a Multinational Force Iraq statement. Forces from Iraq's 2nd Commando Brigade then completed a ground infiltration to secure numerous structures in the area, officials said.

More than 1,500 Iraqi and coalition troops, more than 200 tactical vehicles, and more than 50 aircraft participated in the operation, according to the MNF-I statement.

Initial reports from the objective area indicate that a number of enemy weapons caches -- containing artillery shells, explosives, materials for making homemade bombs, and military uniforms -- have been captured.

The operation is expected to continue for several days as a thorough search of the objective area is conducted, officials said.

Operation Swarmer follows closely the completion of a combined Iraqi and coalition operation west of Samarra in early March that yielded substantial enemy weapons and equipment caches.

The name Swarmer, the MNF-I statement explained, was derived from the name given to the largest peacetime airborne maneuvers ever conducted, in spring 1950 in North Carolina. Soon after this exercise, the 187th Infantry was selected to deploy to Korea as an airborne regimental combat team to provide Gen. Douglas MacArthur with an airborne capability.

Personally, I believe the use of overwhelming force to root out these terrorist cells is long overdue and I hope we'll see more of it in the days ahead. While it's noble to do everything possible to limit civilian casualties to the extent possible, I also think it's important to pull out all the stops and show these thugs exactly who they're dealing with.

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Update 3/17: In the interest of full disclosure, the timestamp does not match the time this post actually went live. I composed the post and attempted to publish at the noted time, but apparently Blogger was having some server issues and it errored without publishing. I suppose it goes without saying that the story is no longer "Breaking" as the post title indicates. It went live this morning around 7:45AM without modification, but I felt that a time change would be inappropriate considering these were my thoughts last night and not this morning. I normally send TrackBacks to sources I cite, and they were not sent for the same reasons mentioned above. If you happen to see a link from your site that doesn't have a TrackBack associated with it and you normally see one, this is the reason for it. Much thanks, as always for stopping by.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Al Qaeda's Last Warning

I received this information via Jay at Stop the ACLU. I am not in a position to make an assesment as to the validity or authenticity of the threat, but I do feel the American people should, at the very least, be aware of it. I, along with many others, am wondering why the mainstream media has not seen fit to report on this.


There Will Be Two Operations in the U.S.

"Despite the fact that the New York, Washington, Madrid, and London expeditions have been carried out a few years back. The search for clues on how they were conducted in such a successful manner is still going on and reports upon reports are still being written about them. However, the next expedition might not find someone who can provide analysis for. The top intellects, strategists, and analysts, will be totally clueless as to how to explain what occurred. Let me also inform you that we are talking about two operations, not one. The scale of one of them is larger than the other but both are large and significant. However, we will start with the smaller, and temporarily put the larger on hold to see how serious the Americans are about their lives. Should you value your own life and security, accept Muslims' demands, but if you shall prefer death (over giving in to Muslims' demands). Then, we, by the grace of Allah, are the best in bringing it (death) to your door steps.

Bush and His Clan are Incapable of Protecting You

"Do not put your hopes on Bush and his clan, they are incapable of protecting you, and if they think they are, let them foil or stop the two upcoming operations, and punish those who are responsible for them. But if they could not identify and foil the devastating events coming your way, you must ask yourselves: How long will we continue allowing ourselves to be slaughtered with full advance knowledge of our fate?

"Let me now inform you why we opted to inform you about the two operations and your inability to stop them before they are carried out. The reason is simple; you cannot uncover or stop them except by letting them be carried out. Furthermore, the best you could do would be to accelerate the day of carrying out the operations. In other words, if we schedule the operation to take place tomorrow, the best you could do is to make it happen today.

"The operations are ready to go, we are just waiting for orders from the commander in chief, Osama Ben Laden (may Allah preserve him). He will decide whether to strike or to hold. We swear by Allah that there are so many tricks and tactical maneuvers that will make your heads spin, by the grace of Allah. You will be brought to your knees, but not until you lose more loved ones and experience significant destruction.
"Now is the time to wake up and dust off this state of complacency and ineffectiveness to save yourselves and your loved ones from catastrophes sure to come your way. Remove war mongers from positions of power and throw them in prisons, where they belong. Rid yourselves of 'the Jewish pests' that brought nothing to you but adversity and loss of lives and wealth. They have deceived you for many years, it is time now you turn the table on them and make an example out of them.

"This is the last warning you will receive from us. Consequently, if you ignore it, we regret to inform you that we will carry out devastating operations against the States of America and we will not show mercy whatsoever, you would have brought destruction to yourselves. Do not ever forget, you have rejected the truce which was offered to you by Muslims; you have supported the thieves of the white house and blessed their adventures. Therefore, you get nothing from us short of similar treatment; for only blood for blood.
"May Allah facilitate a way for us to spill the blood of the occupiers and cut off the heads of the aggressors. Allah has full power and control over all of His affairs, but most mankind knows not.

Again, I can't vouch for its authenticity, but one would think this would have created a blip on someone's radar screen.

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Update on "An Open Letter To Hollywood"

On Monday, March 6th, I wrote a post that referenced "An Open Letter to Hollywood" by Father Jonathan Morris, a Fox News contributor and blogger. His blog can be found here.

Father Jonathan posted an update yesterday on the overwhelming and positive public reaction to the letter:

In less than 48 hours, my inbox was bogged down with more than 1,900 e-mails. 1,823 of these (see, I read your e-mails!) were oozing with praise. The praise was not for me — it was for the principles we share.

I was one of those 1,900 e-mails and I can personally verify that not only does he read the e-mails, he replies to them. The reply I received was a sincere and refreshing departure from the all to common auto-generated replies that have become the norm these days.

He also points to this Nielsen study that shows, at the very least, that the major Hollywood studios are aware of the declining sales figures and know the types of films that generate the largest audience:

Hollywood movie ticket sales around the world dropped by 7.9 percent last year to 23 billion dollars, with the US box office accounting for nearly 40 percent of the haul, a study showed.

Movie ticket receipts in North America dipped by six percent in 2005 to nine billion dollars, according to a study by the ratings statistics firm Nielsen Entertainment/NRG that comes as movie-goers increasingly stay out of cinemas...

Most movie-goers in 2005 went out to catch family films, with movies rated PG-13, meaning that children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult, accounting for 85 percent of the most watched films in 2005.

Father Jonathan concludes with this point:

Our principle won out: Moviemakers have a responsibility to society. Making movies that reflect the values of Americans, instead of the values of the very sick sub-culture of Hollywood, will send people to theaters and also line moviemakers’ pockets with gold. This admission from Hollywood studios is democracy at work.

I agree with his point that moviemakers have a responsibility to society and can't argue that his letter struck a nerve. Our principles have won out, and if Hollywood still viewed themselves strictly as a business, this would be enough to affect the desired change. The problem is that Hollywood wants to change the culture and the business end of the industry has taken a backseat to this agenda.

My concern is that Hollywood won't take their responsibility to society seriously until their very survival depends on it. They would much rather continue pushing their agenda than admit their views are not those of mainstream America. There is no doubt in my mind that the entertainment industry believes mainstream America simply hasn't become "enlightened" yet, and when they do the sales figures will take care of themselves. This, of course, reflects their own ignorance of the America that exists outside of Los Angeles and New York.

I do believe Hollywood will eventually get the message. It won't be because it is the right thing to do, it will be because it is the only option left to ensure their survival. They don't have to reinvent the wheel, they simply have to make a product people will buy.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Celebrating A Year In the 'Sphere

One year ago today, I created and wrote my first post for Palmetto Pundit. It actually had a different name for the first couple of weeks, but I finally settled on Palmetto Pundit. My first post was a rant about Social Security and it was awful. Of course, Harvey of Bad Example says the first post should be bad, so I guess I passed an early first test even though I didn't know it.

There’s a story behind my entry into the blogosphere that I would like to share with you. I’ll let you be the judge as to whether it is interesting or not:

On March 9, 2005, I stayed home from work to take care of my 21-month-old daughter, when she was sick. The virus she had made her weak and she slept a lot, so I decided I could either watch soaps or surf the Internet. I chose to surf the Internet and happened to find Blogger. I had heard of blogs and was somewhat aware of their significance, but I knew very little about them. When I saw the word “Free”, I decided to give it a try. So, whether you enjoy Palmetto Pundit or hate it with a passion, you can blame my daughter. If I hadn’t had all that free time I probably would have never started blogging.

My entry into the blogosphere certainly hasn’t changed the world, but it has changed my life. I’ve always loved writing and blogging has given me the opportunity to do it without keeping up with a bunch of spiral notebooks or word documents. I could now rant or comment on practically anything, click publish, and I was part of the discussion. It has given me the opportunity to get things off my chest that have often gone unsaid and been a great stress reliever. I now have my own personal Wayback machine that allows me to go back in time and see what was on my mind on a particular day. Is there anything cooler than that?

Here are 12 Things I’ve learned about blogging this year:

1. Some of my best friends are those I’ve never personally met. They are the ones who stop by regularly, drop me an email to let me know when I get something wrong and check on me to make sure I’m ok when I don’t post as often as usual. Bloggers are some of the nicest, most considerate people in the world and they genuinely care about other bloggers.

2. I have relatively few loyal readers and return visitors, but I wouldn’t trade one of them for a huge list of occasional readers. Loyal readers are more precious than gold.

3. It’s ok to give your opinion, but it’s also ok if no one cares or agrees with it.

4. If no one is reading your blog, don’t take it personally. There’s probably a blog out there somewhere that you aren’t reading either.

5. There are millions of blogs out there, so if one of the big fish links you just once, you’re ahead of the curve. Don’t expect it to become a regular occurrence because it probably won’t.

6. Shouting Glenn Reynolds name from the 50-yard line of Neyland Stadium will not cause an Instalanche, but it just might get you arrested. Besides, he probably won’t be able to hear you over his blender anyway. Don’t blog for the professor, blog for yourself.

7. If you aren’t doing it for yourself, your lack of passion will be obvious.

8. If you write with passion and no one reads it, it doesn’t matter. Someday when you look back on what you wrote, you’ll still be proud of it and will appreciate the effort you put into it. It is a snapshot of your thoughts from that particular day; so make sure you get it right. It will matter to you regardless of whether it mattered to anyone else.

9. Don’t post just for the sake of posting. If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say it. You had a life before blogging, and you should still have one now.

10. I have run ads on my blog for over a year and have yet to make one red cent from them. I doubt I ever will. Money is great and I’ll take all I can get, but that’s not why I blog. If it were, I would have quit the first week.

11. Your blog is about what you think. Decide your position on each issue before you read someone else’s take on it. Don’t follow the herd to get recognition, follow the herd because you belong to the herd. I doesn't make you wrong to be outside the majority, it makes you honest. Be true to yourself first.

12. Always provide a link to another person’s work when you cite it, even if you are criticizing it. If you forget, correct the mistake and apologize immediately. Update your post to reflect the mistake. The author will appreciate your efforts to make things right and your readers will respect you for it as well.

This isn't an exhaustive list to be certain, but they are some of things I've found to be extremely important. Actually, number 6 was intended as a joke but the last sentence really is true.

I would also like to offer my thanks and gratitude to a number of folks who have helped me along the way:

Jay at Stop the ACLU: He was one of the first to ever leave a comment on my blog and offered a lot of early support. We started blogging within months of each other and even though his blog has become wildly successful and influential, he still finds the time to drop by from time to time and leave a comment or say hello. Thank you, Jay for recognizing the value of upstart blogs and taking the time to pay attention to mine. It has meant more to me than you’ll ever know.

TranSient: He also was one of the very first people to visit my blog and it is an absolute rarity that I don’t find his tracks in my referral logs. He’s also a Clemson fan, so I know he had a decent upbringing. Although we’ve never met, I consider him to be a true friend.

John in Carolina: John is one of the most gracious and thoughtful bloggers I’ve ever come across. He has personally thanked me for every link I’ve ever given him. I’m not talking about providing a return link as a goodwill gesture either. He actually composes an eloquent, well thought out e-mail and deposits it in my inbox without fail. He is truly a class act. You won’t find a ton of links in his sidebar; they’re all in his posts. He is a pure blogger who obviously does it because he loves it.

Michelle Malkin: Not only is she the best blogger in the business, she also taught me a valuable lesson about humility and she probably doesn’t even know it. When my blog was about 10 days old, she linked one of my posts and my hit counter went through the roof. Being new to blogging, I thought I was hot stuff, but when the post moved off of her front page, my hits dropped like a rock. This taught me that you have to be true to yourself and blog because you love it, not because you crave attention. What you attempt to add to the discussion with your own style and originality is much more important than the number on your sitemeter. You alone are responsible for driving yourself to be the best you can be, and while recognition is a great feeling, it is not what determines your long-term success. It is a lesson that has been invaluable to me ever since and one I was glad to get early on.

Mike’s America: Mike is also a South Carolina blogger (Hilton Head Island) who has been a good friend to this blog. He is a frequent visitor who leaves a ton of comments on my posts and has added a lot to the discussion here. He asked for my input and included me in his recent tribute to Ronald Reagan and I was truly honored that he asked me to be a part of it.

Joshua Gross: He runs The Body Politic , and is a frequent visitor of this blog. He always finds a way to include me in his weekly roundup and I am extremely grateful for the additional exposure he gives to Palmetto Pundit every week.

These are just a few of the folks who have made an impression on me during the past year. Everyone in my blogroll deserves a mention because I consider them to be valuable sources of information and all have made an impression on me in some way during the past year.

Ironically, this is also my 300th post. Not a lot, but 300 more than I ever dreamed I would write.

Thanks for reading and here’s to another year!

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sheehan Arrested...Again!

Mike's America notes the arrest yesterday of Cindy Sheehan in New York. As disturbing as it is to watch the continuing antics of the former media darling anti-war protester, it is not nearly as disturbing as this photo:

Mike points to the photo as evidence that "Muther Sheewitch" is not on a hunger strike. I agree based on the evidence, but I'll withhold further comment on the photo, being quite gifted in the girth department myself. It's that whole pot calling the kettle black thing, if you know what I mean.

I can, however, say I told you so. This woman absolutely defies logic! I've never in my life seen someone so desperate to extend their 15 minutes of fame that they would go to such outrageous lengths just to remain in the spotlight. I was right when I said she would rapidly become a non-story, but I totally misjudged what her reaction would be when it finally happened. I honestly thought she would have figured it out by now.

Note to Ms. Sheehan: If the only way you can continue to receive press coverage is by getting arrested and the only newsworthy photographs of you reveal abs that more closely resemble a pony keg than a six pack, then you should really consider the reality that your 15 minutes are officially over.

This is not a hint or a warning sign: It is a fully cocked, open palmed, five fingered, slap in the face. The press now considers you a laughingstock. They didn't publish this picture by accident, they did it on purpose. Give it up and seek professional help. It's over!

See also: Gina Cobb and Chickenhawk Express.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

An Open Letter to Hollywoood

I stumbled across this while on the Fox News website today. It was written by Father Jonathan Morris and is entitled "An Open Letter to Hollywood". In the letter he points out a concept that should be obvious to anyone in the business of making money, but apparently is too tough for the Hollywood crowd to comprehend. That concept is simply to give the customer what they want.

Here's a sample:

Dear Hollywood,

I’m writing on behalf of all Americans. It’s been a while since you’ve been in touch with us. You haven’t called, you haven’t written, but you keep sending films. Just thought I would drop you a line...

But I do have one question. What’s your idea of “good film?"

These were your favorite films this year, along with their ranking in box-office ticket sales, and number of Oscar nominations:

• Brokeback Mountain: 27th place, 8 nominations
• Crash: 49th place, 6 nominations
• Good Night, and Good Luck: 90th place, 6 nominations
• Memoirs of a Geisha: 45th place, 6 nominations

I didn’t want to see any of them, and I haven’t seen any of them. And judging by the numbers, neither did anybody else. These “masterpieces” were playing to mostly empty theaters for most of their theater run.

"March of the Penguins," nominated in the Best Documentary category, actually grossed more money than any of the Best Picture nominees...

Some will object: "Hollywood is just entertainment." I respond: "If that’s so, this year it entertained very few." Others will object: "Hollywood is just a business." I respond: "Not a good one, at least not this year." Still others will chime in: "We’re just reflecting what’s already out there." I respond: "You’re great people, but remember, you live in a subculture that has been sick for a very long time — lots of demons. Change the angles of your mirrors, and see new realities. Then let them shine."

Anyway, Hollywood, if you’re still reading, keep this in mind. Your overall box-office receipts have been falling steadily over the last three years, and two-thirds of all films still lose money. Something has to change. There are lots of ideas out there. Some make money. Some don’t. Leave Hollywood and Malibu for a while and get back in touch. Write to us. Call us. Visit us. Ask us what would be a reflection of what We The People really think and what we’ll pay to see.

God bless, Father Jonathan

You really owe it to yourself to read the whole thing. The difference between what Hollywood thinks is great cinema and what America thinks is great cinema are on opposite ends of the spectrum and Father Jonathan hammers the point home using the facts.

The real question is:

Will Hollywood listen?

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Light Blogging

Blogging has been light lately. I've had too much to do and too little time to do it for most of the week, so blogging has had to take a back seat for a few days. Will be back soon. Thanks for stopping by.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Manifesto Against Islamism

From 12 brave intellectuals at the Jyllands-Posten

MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism

After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.

We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.

The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.

Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man’s domination of woman, the Islamists’ domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.

We reject cultural relativism, which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of “Islamophobia”, an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.

We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.

We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.

12 signatures

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Chahla Chafiq
Caroline Fourest
Bernard-Henri Lévy
Irshad Manji
Mehdi Mozaffari
Maryam Namazie
Taslima Nasreen
Salman Rushdie
Antoine Sfeir
Philippe Val
Ibn Warraq

HT: Stop The ACLU, Michelle Malkin
Graphic Credit: Junkyard Blog

I am in agreement with Jay about the wording of the manifesto. I too believe the use of the word secular is not intended to imply the elimination of religion, but the freedom to exercise the religion of your choice or the choice to not be religious at all. The point of the manifesto, in my humble opinion, is to respect the rights and opinions of others regardless of whether you agree with them or not. It is about refusing to tolerate intolerance!

Add my name to the list.

Stop the ACLU notes these folks who are already on board:

Rusty Shackleford
Atlas Shrugs
Vince Autmorire
Tim Blair
Bryan Preston
Captain’s Quarters
Small Town Veteran
A Tic In The Mind’s Eye
Anti Idiotarian Rottweiller
Eureka Iron Works
Bad Hair Blog
Protein Wisdom
Gateway Pundit
Bright and Early
Sister Toldjah
Blue Star Chronicles

If you want your name added, leave a comment or TrackBack to Stop the ACLU's post here. If you would like me to post your name here as well, I'll be glad to add it. Just send a Trackback or post a comment on this post. I'll continue to check the post at Stop the ACLU and if I get any names he doesn't already have listed, I'll notify him. As Jay pointed out, the list needs as wide a distribution as possible.

Update: Blue Star Chronicles has an extensive link round up as well.

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