Misc Commentary For March 23, 2006

— Is it wrong that I wouldn’t mind seeing this movie?

“When U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited this city last month, Egyptians had an unusual choice: watch her on TV as she expounded on issues of war and peace in the Middle East, or go to a neighborhood movie theater and see her portrayed by a look-alike actress belly-dancing and placed in “adult” situations.

The film in question is “The Night Baghdad Fell,” which depicts Egyptian obsessions with war, sex and the United States. Wildly anti-American, it has done a brisk business for two months, a long screen life for Egyptian-made films. In “Night,” Egyptians fret about a U.S. invasion of Egypt and the potential destruction of their capital. Americans are bullies, rapists and mindless killers.

By the way, “The Night Baghdad Fell” is a comedy.”

Ok, I’d only want to see the Condi belly-dancing scenes, but still….

— For the first time in American history, the President has mentioned blogs. I have a feeling it won’t be the last time. From George Bush today:

“One of the things that we have to value is that we do have a media… there’s blogs, there’s Internet, there’s all kinds of way to communicate which is literally changing the way people get their information and so if you’re concerned I would suggest that you reach out to some of the groups that are supporting the troops, that got internet sites and just keep the word moving.”

— I received a media copy of Hitler’s Legacy, a documentary about Nazi Germany. There was a lot of Hitler footage and it also spent a lot of time on Leni Riefenstahl. The movie was a bit chaotic, but there were some really fascinating sequences in it.

For example, they showed clips from an anti-semitic film called The Eternal Jews. It was particularly creepy because they were simply showing smiling Jewish children and raving about how evil they were. Another memorable sequence in the documentary featured a short from Vichy France that showed Popeye and Donald Duck bombing France. Then there were the French athletes, among others, “heiling” Hitler at the Olympics and Frenchmen striking American POWS whom the Germans walked past them. Let’s just say it didn’t present a very pretty picture. Overall, I’d give it a B for the rare footage, even though, as I mentioned before, they could have tied everything together a little better if you ask me.

— Most of you have probably heard about the whole Claude Allen story. Here’s a guy, who, if he’s guilty, has ripped off Target and a few other stores with a refund scam. If this is true, there’s one question that immediately comes to mind:

Why in the world was a guy who was making $161,000 a year risking his career, his reputation, and even his freedom all in order to bank a tiny fraction of his yearly salary?

— I’m thinking about starting to use a RSS Feed Reader. Any suggestions of which one I should try out?

Alan Moore, the writer of the V for Vendetta graphic novel on the movie:

“It’s been turned into a Bush-era parable by people too timid to set a political satire in their own country. In my original story there had been a limited nuclear war, which had isolated Britain, caused a lot of chaos and a collapse of government, and a fascist totalitarian dictatorship had sprung up. Now, in the film, you’ve got a sinister group of right-wing figures — not fascists, but you know that they’re bad guys — and what they have done is manufactured a bio-terror weapon in secret, so that they can fake a massive terrorist incident to get everybody on their side, so that they can pursue their right-wing agenda. It’s a thwarted and frustrated and perhaps largely impotent American liberal fantasy of someone with American liberal values [standing up] against a state run by neo-conservatives — which is not what “‘V for Vendetta’ was about. It was about fascism, it was about anarchy, it was about [England]. The intent of the film is nothing like the intent of the book as I wrote it.”

— “The Return of Chef!” show on South Park last night was sort of so-so. Using old clips of him speaking was funny, as was the death scene, and the veiled mockery of Scientology, but — I don’t know — it seemed a little forced to me. Why come up with a “Super Adventure Club” instead of just mocking Scientology openly again?

— Speaking of Scientology, Kabbalah, and these other wacky cults celebrities seem to get tangled up with — here’s a theory: these celebrities, like Madonna and Isaac Hayes, figure out there’s something missing later in their lives, realize that it’s religion, but to become Christians seems too plain, too run-of-the-mill. So, they pick an exotic faith like Scientology or Kabbalah or even the Nation of Islam, because it makes them feel special and different from the masses. Just a thought…

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police cannot search a home when one resident invites them in but another tells them to go away, provoking a strong objection from the new chief justice about the possible impact on battered women.

The 5-3 decision put new limits on officers who want to search for evidence of a crime without obtaining a warrant first.

….The court’s liberal members, joined by centrist Anthony M. Kennedy, said that an officer responding to a domestic dispute call did not have the authority to enter and search the home of a small-town Georgia lawyer in 2001 even though the man’s wife invited him in.

Janet Randolph called police to the home in Americus, Ga., and – over her husband’s objections – led the officer to evidence used to charge Scott Randolph with cocaine possession. That charge has been on hold while courts considered whether the search was constitutional.

…”The law acknowledges that although we might not expect our friends and family to admit the government into common areas, sharing space entails risk,” Roberts wrote in a dissent that was almost as long as the main opinion.

Justice David H. Souter, the court’s only unmarried member, wrote the majority opinion. “We have to admit we are drawing a fine line,” he said

…”This case has no bearing on the capacity of the police to protect domestic victims,” Souter wrote. “The question whether the police might lawfully enter over objection in order to provide any protection that might be reasonable is easily answered yes.”.

Are we getting into a situation here where whether the police can search a home depends not only on the crime committed, but on which people are home and giving them permission? What if there are 5 family members? Do all of them have to give permission to search? What about friends? Cousins? Grandparents? This ruling is pure hair splitting that’s almost guaranteed to produce a lot of confusion.

— A chilling quote from RWN advertiser Claire Berlinski’s Menace in Europe : Why the Continent’s Crisis Is America’s, Too which I’m currently reading and, so far, enjoying:

“A policy widely applauded for its tolerance in fact permits Dutch doctors to kill deformed newborns, the retarded, and a great many elderly people who have specifically indicated that they have no desire to die. According to the Dutch government’s own investigations, an average of sixteen people in the Netherlands are killed each day by their doctors without their consent.”

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