Archive | August, 2009

Obama's helmetless ways draw fire

28 Aug

Just when you thought the level of political discourse was elevated, someone has to knock it back down.

Obama’s helmetless ride around Martha’s Vineyard has drawn ire from those with too much time on their laptops. Instead of dissecting every shred of behavior the president shows, how about seeing this for what it is: a dude without a helmet. That’s all.

From Politico:

“Yes, I know, President Obama is on a vacation, riding a bike, at a slow cadence, so what if he is not wearing a helmet, right?” wrote Martha Castro, a California doctor, on her website.

On Babble.com, a website for parents, Josh Loposer write, “Truly despicable isn’t it? What kind of example is he setting for the nation’s youth?”

David Mozer, director of the International Bicycle Fund, told the New York Daily News, “Most bike accidents just happen. Bicycles up and turn over by themselves, and head injuries are a possible consequence of that. … It would be great if the president set an example.”

Credit the townhall crazies to LaRouche

25 Aug

Lyndon Larouche is louder than the average bear.

This 86 year old political figure has a legion of followers, one crazier than the next. Like Barney Frank recently told a Larouchite at a townhall, “What planet do you spend most of your time on?”

Among some of his theories:

  • The Queen of England is a drug smuggler.
  • Obama’s healthcare reform is exactly the same as Hitler’s programs in 1939.
  • The UK wanted Obama to turn the US into a fascist state.
  • Miley Cyrus is Hannah Montana.

(The last one is actually my theory–still working on it).

More about him at the NYT.

Tarantino Politics

24 Aug

Before deciding whether to go see Inglorious Basterds or not, you should ask yourself: Did I watch Reservoir Dogs more than once? If yes, then please, go see Brad Pitt act by the way of his chin; if no, then I am afraid you are better off hanging on the edge of your seat watching hamsters trying to save the world (spoiler: they do!). Tarantino’s movies are not for everyone. They aren’t even an acquired taste. It is like dairy: the tolerance for it is in you or it isn’t–not to mention the joy of a full glass.

Even though many are calling IB a slight detour for Tarantino, borrowing a bit of coffehouse leisure from French masters such as Goddard, it is undeniably a Tarantino baby. The dialogue, the characters, the sense of justice, it is all trademark, as true now as it was with Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs. The characters are so hip we end up loving their crude ways; they talk with a beat and a hidden smirk; everything around them is a whirlwind of guns, drugs, and money, and only their cool will save their hides.

(Spoiler Alert)

All that said, Inglorious Basterds brings Tarantino to new ground: historical revisionism. What if the Nazis weren’t so invincinble after all, maybe they were a bunch of dim-witted, self-absorbed hot heads (maybe they were). Maybe Hitler met his end not in a bunker, years after savoring dominance, but in a theater, while taking a break from his breezy first victory lap.

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Public Option Continues to Confuse

21 Aug

You’d think that after endless number of townhalls held by Congresspeople, the President, and political organizations the debate would circle around what would happen if it were enacted, the consequences of the act. Unfortunately, politics doesn’t bend that way.

Distortion and yelling are more common in the current national debate than compromise and clarity. Instead of tackling what is there, dissidents are using What Ifs and I Heard That (insert crazy conspiracy theory here) to further their argument against this proposed change.

One of the shadiest elements of Obamacare is the public option. The idea of a government-run healthcare system scares people–even though influential conservative Bill Kristol admitted to Jon Stewart that they can actually be pretty good at that sort of business.

Some voters and pundits claim it will be mandatory for all Americans to sign up to gov. healthcare; others think the government will have an unfair advantage over the private sector, with its “unlimited resources.” If the government felt like it, they say, they could pour billions upon billions of dollars into their system and outspend other (private) competitors into oblivion. Taxes will rise like a flood at the gate! Well, no, not really.

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Governor Schwarzenegger's Japanese Commercials

20 Aug

There is very little I can add to the title of this post that will do the video below any justice. I only want to mention two things:

  1. Please, please, please, do not stop watching this until the end. It seriously gets more and more ridiculous/amazing as it goes on.
  2. I call this man my governor. Only in America.

Enjoy:

Barney Frank and the gift of laughter

19 Aug

Zing!

Lessons from watching people eat

19 Aug

Frank Bruni, a NYT’s food critic, passes on to his readers some of the lessons he has learned from dining and wining the last five years. Some of his guests do some wHining of their own:

“My pork loin is much, much better,” she proclaims, with a resounding emphasis on the word “my” and no hint of recognition that the loin wasn’t her pick: the critic randomly assigned it to her.

While others have some interesting (i.e. hypocritical) cardinal rules they live by when it comes to selecting their fuel:

My friend K. swore off veal, citing her sorrow for calves that would never grow to be (slaughtered) steers, but she ate young chicken and the littlest of lambs. She also ate foie gras, though animal rights advocates have protested the treatment of the ducks used to make it more vociferously than they have the lot of those calves.

As a vegetarian, I often hear people say they are also “vegetarians,” even though they still eat chicken and fish…Sure.

To each their own.

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