Ghost Hunters – Home of Mark Twain

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November 30, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Celebrities, Entertainment, Fantasy, Mystery, Popular Culture, Supernatural, Suspense. Comments off.

Politico: Obama urged to cite moral obligation to Afghani people, especially women, in West Point speech on war in Afghanistan…

The UN National Human Rights Committee (click image for their page) was quite concerned in April 2008 to note many Afghan girls were still not attending school. I have not heard anything from them on how these girls will survive attempting a single day of school without US troop protection while Obama considered withdrawal of forces. The concern for human rights seem to be quixotic.

FINALLY. Someone begged, borrowed or stole a clue and these people are understanding WHY we are there. We are not there only for AQ, we are there to stop the Taliban from murdering, maiming, raping and brutalizing the women and children of Afghanistan. We made a committment, these girls have braved death to attend school under our watch. We must not abandon them now.

Our previous posts on our missions in Afghanistan and the need for more troops and a FIRM commitment to the people, and the urgent need to protect these women and children, a message someone FINALLY seems to have gotten through the Obama bubble, here.

Politico:

As President Barack Obama prepares to make the case for sending more troops to Afghanistan, some allies are urging him to return to a line of argument little heard since the Bush years: the United States has a moral obligation to protect the Afghan people, particularly women, from the Taliban.

Obama ran on a promise to restore cold-eyed calculations of national interest to American foreign policy, a reaction against President George W. Bush’s tendency to cast a confrontational foreign policy in terms of the freedoms it would achieve for nations that did not have them. And he has governed without the public appeals to human rights that marked American foreign policy ventures from Kosovo to Iraq.

But realism has proved, at times, a hard political sell. Bloodless talk about “engagement” has left the Obama administration without a compelling story to tell or argument to make. And its emphasis on process has only increased the pressure for more tangible results.

In Afghanistan, the White House was reluctant to play up the Taliban’s excesses and the plight of Afghan women while it considered withdrawing from an active role in the country’s governance. But as Obama moves toward sending additional troops – reportedly more than 30,000 more – to the country, supporters of the policy are urging him to stress human rights in an effort to revive support for an increasingly unpopular war….

Yeah, wouldn’t want to stress the brutal conditions women under the Taliban face when we withdraw when he was ready to back out of our committment, but now he feels a bit better about using the moral argument about women’s rights, which are BTW human rights, as HRC said in Beijing over a decade ago.

I have no idea how neoprogs square their ACLU concern for the human rights of Gitmo prisoners with abandoning the women of Afghanistan to the Taliban, but they do, they call it realism and pragmatism. I call it utterly disgusting and amoral, an abandonment of our duty to humanity.

That is the needle they are threading, if he raises the moral obligation we have, he will be hard-pressed to cut and run later when he takes political heat (his handmaidens in the lamestream media would be eager to assist but we loud mouthed bloggers would take note andTeam O hates that). And his own political survival is IMO of paramount importance to him, thus the presence of Emanuel and Axelrasputin at war cabinet meetings.

November 30, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Armed Forces, Hillary Clinton, Obama Administration, Pentagon, Politics. Comments off.

Krugman: the trillion dollar boondoggle stimulus was not BIG enough, so let’s spend a few hundred billion on a WPA jobs program for the low skilled, but under no circumstances should you cut taxes…

Utterly backwards. The boondoggle spendulus failed (EPIC FAIL!), so they want to dilute hundreds of billions more by pouring it through government’s oh so inefficient hands again. I think it is intellectually dishonest of Krugman to suggest if the stimulus were only BIGGER it would have done more to stimulate job creation., No matter how BIG they make it, the pockets of those who do NOT create jobs would be filled that much bigger we would STILL not have created jobs. Where did all that money go? The way it was STRUCTURED not the AMOUNT was the problem. The proof is that 2/3 of it are unspent and they have already GIVEN UP on getting any jobs from it.

If they would simply stop the overregulation and taxation and do something like a PAYROLL TAX CUT that goes DIRECTLY to WORKERS with no government mishandling, we would be doing much much better..but the academics and govt lackeys would prefer ANYTHING over giving us back OUR OWN MONEY to spend OUR OWN WAY.

Krugman is among those invited to Thursday’s jobs summit on Mount Obama so we can expect more of this kind of thing from their jobs bill. More state bailouts thereby allowing the states to continue to avoid the real job of CUTTING SPENDING and STATE GOVERNMENT PAYROLLS AND BENEFITS which is where all the bleeding is happening across the country on state balance sheets….

Krugman:

(…) So our best hope now is for a somewhat cheaper program that generates more jobs for the buck. Such a program should shy away from measures, like general tax cuts, that at best lead only indirectly to job creation, with many possible disconnects along the way. Instead, it should consist of measures that more or less directly save or add jobs.

One such measure would be another round of aid to beleaguered state and local governments, which have seen their tax receipts plunge and which, unlike the federal government, can’t borrow to cover a temporary shortfall. More aid would help avoid both a drastic worsening of public services (especially education) and the elimination of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Meanwhile, the federal government could provide jobs by … providing jobs. It’s time for at least a small-scale version of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration, one that would offer relatively low-paying (but much better than nothing) public-service employment. There would be accusations that the government was creating make-work jobs, but the W.P.A. left many solid achievements in its wake. And the key point is that direct public employment can create a lot of jobs at relatively low cost. In a proposal to be released today, the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank, argues that spending $40 billion a year for three years on public-service employment would create a million jobs, which sounds about right.

Finally, we can offer businesses direct incentives for employment. It’s probably too late for a job-conserving program, like the highly successful subsidy Germany offered to employers who maintained their work forces. But employers could be encouraged to add workers as the economy expands. The Economic Policy Institute proposes a tax credit for employers who increase their payrolls, which is certainly worth trying.

All of this would cost money, probably several hundred billion dollars, and raise the budget deficit in the short run. But this has to be weighed against the high cost of inaction in the face of a social and economic emergency….

November 30, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Obama Administration, Politics, Taxes, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. 3 comments.

CNBC: Treasury Mortgage Modification Plan Update

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November 30, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. Comments off.

Dr Who – Dreamland Episode 1

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Episode 1 : Dry Springs, Nevada, 1958. The Doctor befriends a young waitress, Cassie, and her friend, Jimmy, at a diner. The Doctor activates an alien artifact and, after finding further signs of alien activity, the US Army intervenes and takes him and his new companions to the mysterious Area 51 in Roswell, where they find out about Operation Fallen Angel. Will Operation leader Colonel Stark succeed in making the curious trio forget what they have just seen?

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Parts 3-7 after the break:

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November 30, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Celebrities, Entertainment, Fantasy, Fiction, graphic art, Horror, Mystery, Popular Culture, Sci Fi, Supernatural, Suspense. Comments off.

Chelsea engaged! Congratulations Marc and Best Wishes Chelsea!!!

Chelsea and Marc

I met Chelsea briefly last January (I shook her hand and babbled effusive praise at her) and she is a lovely young woman. May the happy couple have a long and happy life together!

NYDailyNews:

…A Clinton spokesman confirms that the only child of former president Bill Clinton and current secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, is engaged.

Matt McKenna tells ABC News that Clinton, 29, is set to marry longtime boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky.

The duo is believed to have gotten engaged in New York over Thanksgiving, McKenna says. They sent out this announcement via e-mail on Nov. 27:

“We’re sorry for the mass e-mail but we wanted to wish everyone a belated Happy Thanksgiving! We also wanted to share that we are engaged! We didn’t get married this past summer despite the stories to the contrary, but we are looking toward next summer and hope you all will be there to celebrate with us. Happy Holidays! Chelsea & Marc.”

Mezvinsky is the son of former Rep. Ed Mezvinsky (D-Iowa) and former Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, (D-Pa.) He and Clinton met in Washington, and their relationship blossomed at Stanford University….

(YES! Marc IS the son of the Marjorie who lost her seat in ’94 after the tough carbon vote! She lost her seat but gained a daughter in law 🙂 )

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November 30, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Celebrities, Popular Culture. 2 comments.

Doctor Who Series 2 – cut scenes

Have I mentioned how much I will miss David Tennant? I WILL MISS DAVID TENNANT!!!

Courtesy of drwhotardis999

Dreamland interview and promo clips after the break:

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November 30, 2009. Tags: , , , . Celebrities, Entertainment, Fantasy, graphic art, Horror, Mystery, Popular Culture, Supernatural, Suspense. Comments off.

Horror: Paramount lands distribution for ‘Area 51’, the new film by Oren Peli, creator/director of ‘Paranormal Activity’

Kewlin.

Variety:

Paramount Pictures has landed U.S. distribution rights to “Area 51,” the Oren Peli-directed follow-up to the sleeper hit “Paranormal Activity.”Deal puts the studio back in business with the creative and financing team behind “Paranormal Activity,” the $11,000 film that’s grossed more than $106 million since Par began rolling it out in September. Peli had a much larger budget to work with on this extraterrestrial tale than he did for his ghost story, as sources said he brought the film in at a shade under $5 million.

…The film employs the “found footage” narrative structure that Peli used in “Paranormal Activity” to tell the story of three teens whose curiosity leads them to the notorious Area 51 portion of Nellis Air Force Base in the Nevada desert….

…Studio and financiers confirmed the deal and said they were pleased to be teaming once again. The film will find its way into theaters some time in 2010. “Moviegoers everywhere demanded to see Oren Peli’s spectacular debut and we are excited to show them what he’s created next,” said Par’s Goodman.

Molner said the deal illustrated the fertile ground in creating moderately budgeted franchises that have become some of Hollywood’s biggest hits.

And ORIGINAL, don’t forget the ORIGINAL part!

“These films show that real franchises can be successfully launched from the independent side of the business — not something the marketplace necessarily believed five years ago,” he said. “As financiers, we’re very lucky to create value in ownership with major distributors like Paramount Pictures and the enviable talents of Jason, Oren and IM Global.”…

LatinoReview has SPOILERS! MASSIVE SPOILAGE PEOPLE!

Area 51 Script Review

Do you remember the first Saw film?  There was an excitement and fear that kept you on the edge of your seat and your fingers over your eyes.   Do you remember going to the second or third or fourth film and realizing that it was just a rehash of the same plot?  This is only the most recent series of films to follow the trend of taking ideas that worked in one film and beating them to death mercilessly in subsequent sequels.  Well, in many ways Paranormal Activity is to the first Saw film as Area 51 is to the first sequel.  Today, I got my hands on a recent draft of Oren Peli’s script and, from the first page until the end, I just kept thinking to myself, “Is this really just going to be Paranormal Activity with aliens?”

It was.

I’m not saying it’s a terrible thing.  I enjoyed Paranormal Activity and I’m not opposed to alien films in general.  It’s just that I fear that every year Halloween will roll around and we’ll have another low budget supernatural thriller, shot on a handycam, from the mind of Oren Peli.  Two years from now we’ll be seeing a fake documentary about a group of people looking for the Loch Ness Monster or, god forbid, vampires.

The “script” for Area 51 reads much like I imagine the “script” for Paranormal Activity did.  It’s basically a scene-by-scene breakdown with a list of various props, actors, and the general interactions between the actors and their surroundings.  There is no written dialogue, but within the action descriptions are general ideas that the actors will be using to improvise their lines with on set.  Unlike Paranormal Activity’s single location, Area 51 is far more expansive in its setting…..

If you like your films with plenty of SPOILAGE go read the whole thing!

November 30, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Entertainment, Fantasy, Film, Horror, Mystery, Popular Culture, Sci Fi, Supernatural, Suspense. Comments off.

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