Saturday, July 31, 2004

What a Party!

From The Federalist E-Digest:

As John Kerry ended his speech last night, here is what America -- and the world -- heard on CNN as DNC Convention Director Don Mischer orchestrated the final fainfare: "Go balloons, go balloons! Go balloons! I don't see anything happening. Go balloons! Go balloons! Go balloons! Standby confetti. Keep coming, balloons. More balloons. Bring it- balloons, balloons, balloons! We want balloons, tons of them. Bring them down. Let them all come. No confetti. No confetti yet. No confetti. All right, go balloons, go balloons. We need more balloons. All balloons! All balloons! Keep going! Come on, guys, lets move it. J*sus! We need more balloons. I want all balloons to go, g*dd*mmit. Go confetti. Go confetti. More confetti. I want more balloons. What's happening to the balloons? We need more balloons. We need all of them coming down. Go balloons- balloons? What's happening balloons? There's not enough coming down! All balloons, what the hell! There's nothing falling! What the f*** are you guys doing up there? We want more balloons coming down, more balloons. More balloons. More balloons."

I can't wait to have professionals like this running our country!

Friday, July 30, 2004

The Joys of Public School

In Billings, Montana, a 10-year old girl was forced to participate in a sexually explicit study at her school. The survey asked questions about genital growth and development.

The school district assured the girl's mother that an opt-out form had been sent home. But she claimed not to have received one. The mother spoke with the principal, making it clear that her daughter would not participate in any more surveys of this nature, but two days later, the child was forced to undergo another such survey.

Folks, if this offends you and makes you angry--GOOD! That's exactly what it should do. I can't imagine why anyone would want their child in public schools. Those who do should expect more of the same filth in the future.

Unholy Doings in the Holy Land

Thursday, July 29, 2004

An Open-Door Policy that Leads to a Closed Casket

An independent border-watch group, American Border Patrol, demonstrated our government's preparedness for killers sneaking into our country, by having two of its members spirit a briefcase across the border,from Mexico to the U.S. The briefcase was a fake WMD.

Their entry went undetected.

At this time, I'd just like to publicly thank the Department of "Homeland Security" for its competence, and its decision to take illegal immigration and terrorism seriously.

Cartoons: Then and Now

When I was a kid (no dinosaurs did not still walk the earth), cartoons actually had meaning. Don't get me wrong. I realize some were stupid and silly. But these seemed in the minority. Most had strong morals underlying the fun. Heroism, honor, integrity, courage in the face of evil, kindness, mercy--these were just a few of the traits exhibited. Even the Looney Tunes cartoons had witty, sarcastic dialiogue, designed not just for the amusement of children, but also adults.

I have two neices and three nephews, and I spend a lot of time in their presence. So cartoons often drone in the background. Occasionally, I pay attention to what I'm watching. Most of today's animated tv shows are frivolous and stupid, with no values or morals at all. Few elevate the finer virtues of humanity. All too often, they degrade and appeal only to the lowest common denominator of society. They revel in potty humor and vulgarity, or in the sheer joy of being a complete fool. They use inappropriate language and wallow in the grotesque. A few examples: Ed, Edd, and Eddy; Fairly Odd Parents; Courage the Cowardly Dog; Johnny Bravo; Grim and Evil--I could go on and on.

A few good cartoons still play, but most are reruns from years ago. The garbage has spilled out of the landfill and taken over kids' tv shows. All the more reason to turn the tv OFF.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Secession and the Constitution

Was secession constitutional? This is a sticky question, tackled by many folks over the years. I have no simple answers, but here's my take on the subject:

Since Lincoln admitted his paramount concern was keeping the Union together, determining the legality of secession is extremely important. Answering this question will shed light on the rightness or wrongness of launching the Civil War.

Shortly after Lincoln's inauguration, some senators and representatives made separate proposals to amend the Constitution in a way that would outlaw secession. As Walter Williams asks in his article from December, 2003, why was this necessary, unless secession was legal at the time?

In addition, Williams states:

But there's more evidence. The ratification documents of Virginia, New York and Rhode Island explicitly said that they held the right to resume powers delegated should the federal government become abusive of those powers.

There's more evidence. At the 1787 constitutional convention, a proposal was made to allow the federal government to suppress a seceding state. James Madison, the father of our Constitution, rejected it, saying: "A Union of the States containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a State would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound."

Professor Thomas DiLorenzo, in his revised "The Real Lincoln," provides abundant evidence in the forms of quotations from our Founders and numerous newspaper accounts that prove that Americans always took the right of secession for granted. Plus, secession was not an idea that had its origins in the South. Infuriated by Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the first secessionist movement started in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and other New England states.
Interesting points, no?

Admittedly, the Constitution allows for putting down insurrections and rebellions, and prohibits states from entering into confederations--but all of these criteria refer to states which still are part of the Union. The Confederate States of America considered themselves no such thing. They left the Union and became a separate country. This distinction must be understood. Rebelling within the framework of the United States of America, or making treaties and entering leagues with other nations while part of that Union, and breaking off from the Union altogether, are separate and very different things.

So an assumption that secession was legal existed up to-- and even after-- Lincoln's inauguration. Proposed amendments prohibiting its legality failed, never making it into the Constitution. From the beginning, the Union of the states, and the entering of those states into the whole, had been voluntary.

Was Lincoln right to wage war against the South and keep the Union together at all costs? Was the Confederacy wrong in seceding? I don't know the answers to these questions. Both are debatable, since we have no alternate timelines to visit for comparisons and contrasts.

But from a strictly Constitutional and legal perspective, I believe Lincoln was wrong in using the federal government's power to preserve the Union forcibly. Put another way, regardless of your view regarding the South's reasons for seceding, its parting with the U.S.A. was lawful and Constitutionally protected.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Democrats just can't let the 2000 election go. They're still complaining about supposed uncounted votes. What a surprise!

Recount! Recount!
That's our cry!
'Cuz in '04
 it's do or die!
Tally the votes
and rake 'em in!
Vote three, four times--
just win, win, win!
Can't let Dubya
sit on our throne.
Won't throw the Right
another bone.
So swarm the jails,
crack-houses, too,
shelters and bars,
even the zoo!
Illegal aliens, sign right here.
Kerry will kiss your arse next year!

Art Defined

"All great art is the expression of man's delight in God's work, not his own."
--John Ruskin, Victorian art critic and social commentator

I just thought this was an excellent and succint definition of that which makes art transcend the merely mundane, becoming an amazing spectacle to behold.

Compare this description to what is currently considered "art." Quite a contrast, huh?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

I'm a Lowly Insect!

According to its statistical report, I''ve moved up in the world, from an Insignificant Microbe, to a Lowly Insect, on The Truth Laid Bare.  Viva la evolution!

I'm overcome with emotion. Sniffle.

Saturday, July 24, 2004


Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Isn't That Nifty?

Planned Parenthood, our country's exemplar of moral fortitude, now has its own clothing line. The inaugural item for sale: a t-shirt that says, simply:


Saying women should have the right to abort unborn children is one thing. Openly showing pride in such an act is another.

I believe the word "demonic" best describes PP's new idea.


American Pride

Isn't John Kerry a truly great American?

Always willing to help his fellow man. And you thought he wasn't a patriot!

Friday, July 23, 2004

What is Truth?

That's a question for the ages, a question most people have pondered at one time or another. Philosophers have devoted untold weighty tomes to the subject, and Pontius Pilate made this inquiry of Jesus.

My definition is simple: Truth is that which is known to all humans, undebatable in its surety; the seed of certainty that God has planted in each of our hearts; the spindle upon which the whole world turns, and our anchor in times of puzzlement. We can rely on it, just as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Just as sure as God loves us, and involves himself in the affairs of humankind. That is truth. I hope my feeble definition sheds a little light.

That said, I've often heard the secular argument that truth is simply what "society" has decided to live by. But one finds no satisfaction in this belief, since it brings unsolved problems to the table, and dredges up more questions than it answers.

For example, why did society choose certain mores, and reject others? If society runs more smoothly utilizing these beliefs, what is the explanation for this? And if, indeed, time and practice proves these rules good and useful, are they not at least tethered in truth?

To dig a little deeper, and to choose a different angle of attack against this rationale, let me make one important point very clear. There is no such thing as "Society."  This is a simplistic misnomer. Humanity is not cobbled together in one grand community. Humanity finds itself fractured into numerous societies (plural), separated by geography, religion, culture, language, and other factors. These individual societies differ drastically, yet all find certain beliefs collectively true.

Just to use one illustration, no human subgroup anywhere believes in the general virtue of murder. A universal denunciation of this sin exists amongst all racial, national, and regional groups.  Should we believe--as the secularists do--that this is a colossal coincidence, or should we accept that mankind has the ability to know and comprehend truth, that this is a perfect example of that understanding?

Thursday, July 22, 2004

"Walk Like a Man. . ."

har har har! So the Theory of Evolution is true, after all! Hyuk!

What's next, kicking back in a smoking jacket with a nice cigar?

John Edwards, the Brilliant

From WorldNetDaily: Presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards says foreign leaders are "frustrated" with President Bush and want to see a new face in the White House – though he says they won't say so directly.

"I was, just a few weeks ago … in Brussels at a NATO meeting with a whole group of NATO ambassadors and hearing their perspective on this," he told CNN's Larry King on his program last night. "I just believe that these countries around the world, whose cooperation and alliances we need, believe that in order for them to have a fresh start with America, we're going to need a new president to do that. Now, they're not going to want to say this very vocally, of course, but the reality is that in order for us to re-establish old relations and to establish new relationships, I believe we need a new president."
Continued Edwards: "They didn't say that directly. What they said was they're very frustrated with the way this administration has dealt with them.
Can you believe this clown? Hey, John, you ambulance chaser, I just have one tiny comment:


Last time I checked, we don't elect our leaders on the basis of what some leftist twit in France or some other snob-world country says. We are a sovereign nation, and we will not have our leadership dictated to us by those who envy or hate us. Don't like it? Then get the heck outta here! I'll help ya pack with a smile on my face.

By the way, John, I'm sure that's not a whiff of bias I smell, right? Couldn't be, since you're running for vice president on the Democrank Party ticket. Nah, didn't think so.

Sad But True

Let me share a true story with ya.

My mother works as an RN at a local hospital. She has told me many stories of her tough experiences, but this one may shed some light on the issue of what happens to our tax money (i.e., income stolen by the gov't.)

A couple of days ago, she spoke of a boy who came here from Mexico, illegally, and got a job doing construction work. He has no family in the states, and speaks not one word of English. After being in the U.S. for over two years, he suffered a head injury on the job. Emergency transports brought him to the hospital. The government got involved, and decided to send him back home--but only after paying every penny of his medical expenses, including his treatment at an expensive rehabilitation facility, which specializes in head trauma victims.

Now for a second story.

The hospital received another patient with a head injury. This time, it was a little girl from Virginia, and her accident caused brain damage. The doctors who cared for her assured her insurance provider (medicaid) that the services of a rehabilitation center were needed direly. But her provider refused funding of such therapy, so she now has to forgo this needed, beneficial care.

Just to sum up: The first case involves an illegal immigrant, who received complete taxpayer-funded care for his injuries. The second involves a girl born in the U.S., who cannot receive the same quality of care. Is something wrong with this picture?

Don't get me wrong. I'm against our government confiscating money from taxpayers and then using it to pay for anyone's medical expenses--American citizen or not. This is what I like to call legalized theft. But regardless of your take on that issue, I believe we can all agree that taking care of someone who shouldn't even be here--while refusing to care properly for our own--is reprehensible. Thus you have your wonderful, just government at work, folks. Isn't that grand?

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Potty Rage

First Road Rage, now Potty Rage. What'll they think of, next?

Express Lane Rage, of course. When you go to Wal-Mart, better go packin', bub.

A Time to Sing?

Arab women stand by and joyfully sing their hearts out as black women are raped by militia members.

This is happening in Sudan, right now. Can you believe this?:
During an attack on the village of Disa in June last year, Arab women accompanied the attackers and sang songs praising the government and scorning the black villagers.

According to an African chief quoted in the report, the singers said: "The blood of the blacks runs like water, we take their goods and we chase them from our area and our cattle will be in their land. The power of [Sudanese president Omer Hassan] al-Bashir belongs to the Arabs and we will kill you until the end, you blacks, we have killed your God."

The chief said that the Arab women also racially insulted women from the village: "You are gorillas, you are black, and you are badly dressed."

The Janjaweed 
(a government milita group) have abducted women for use as sex slaves, in some cases breaking their limbs to prevent them escaping, as well as carrying out rapes in their home villages, the report said.

Pickled Russian Airline

This story cracked me up. Apparently, some drunken male flight attendants roughed up a passenger, for complaining about lousy service.

Does this little tale validate or decry the stereotype that Russian=sot?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

John Kerry and Aborted Principles

Recently, Kerry made these remarks:
"I oppose abortion, personally. I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception. But I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist...who doesn't share it. We have separation of church and state in the United States of America." 
Folks, this is called moral relativism. What's right and true and pure and good for me, may not be for others. His statement offers no hint of a universal truth, no mention of what abortion entails. Why is abortion wrong? Because a human child's life is being terminated? If you believe that, the question is: How could you not vote against it? With his own words, Kerry has proven that he is not a man of principle. He admits his intention of continuing to vote in favor of a practice he finds repugnant.  To make matters worse, he blanketly indicts his fellow Protestants and Jews as groups which are pro-abortion.
This has nothing to do with separation of church and state. It has everything to do with what is morally right and wrong. If science can prove conclusively that the termination of a pregnancy is the killing of an unborn child (and this has been done), then it's not a matter of opinion or religious conviction. It's a matter of fact. Putting political expediency above truth does not a virtuous leader make. Quite the opposite.

Mystery Animal Sighted in Maryland

Here's an interesting little mystery. Looks like a young hyena to me. Or maybe some sort of wild pig. Can't be sure.  Check out the picture and decide for yourself.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Rape and Sudan

Militias are using rape as a tactic in the genocidal conflict in Sudan. Such tactics are designed to create the maximum degradation of the populace imaginable. Murder runs rampant through villages and streets. But does anyone care? Not at all. Both American political parties are too mired in skullduggery to worry about it. The lefties froth and rave about reparations for slavery--an institution dead in this country for almost 140 years--yet they remain mute and nonchalant to the plight of the innocent, to the flaming racism, to the enslavement of thousands, occurring as you read this in that pitiful African nation. What a monstrosity.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Planned Parenthood XXX

Ahhhhh, what a wonderful, helpful organization. They're only concerned with the health and well-being of families, right? Nah, they don't have an agenda. Uh-uh.

Forced Abortion in China

According to this article, Bush has decided to withhold $34 million from the U.N.'s Population Fund, over forced abortions in China.  Known as gendercide, this policy has resulted in the deaths of 50 million girls, since females are the primary targets of abortion.
I'm glad that even Bush has his limits. Of course, this isn't nearly enough. We should shun any country whose government favors such evil, despicable actions. Mr. President, how 'bout revoking their "most favored nation" trade status, if you're serious about what's right?

Presbyterians Side With "Palestinians"

Isn't this beautiful? The Presbyterian Church, a large Protestant denomination, has decided upon siding with the "Palestinian" Arabs. After all, becoming comrades with those who blow up pizzerias and discotheques with nail-bombs, and gun down women and children intentionally, just makes sense, doesn't it? To my knowledge, this is the first Christian denomination to band together in favor of a terrorist organization's demands.

UPDATE: I was informed that this story refers to the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., only one of many sub-denominations within the Presbyterian Church, and the most liberal one, at that.  Of course, all Presbyterians do not agree with the above decision.

Dinosaurs and the Bible: Part 2

Recently, I read a book, entitled The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved!, by Ken Ham. This easy-to-read volume speculates on the disappearance of dinosaurs from a young-earth Christian perspective. And no, I didn't get my beliefs from this book. Rather, it validates and defends what I've believed for years.
I considered the following facts highly interesting:
  1. Explorers recently found two live elephants in Nepal that have the characteristics of mammoths. These features were: unusually sloping backs, reptilian appearance of the tails, swept-up foreheads, and a large, dome-shaped hump on the top of their foreheads. The existence of these beasts had circulated for years in rumors. Evolutionists generally consider mammoths to have been extinct for at least 10,000 years, if not as long as 30,000 years.  Source: Weiland, Carl, "'Lost World' Animals Found!" Creation ex Nihilo, Vol. 19 (1), 1996.
  2. Scienctists in Australia found living trees that they thought became extinct at the time of the dinosaurs. The tree, nicknamed the Wollemi Pine, is known from fossils classed as Jurassic Period relics (150 million years ago).  Source:  "Sensational Australia Tree. . .Like 'Finding a Living Dinosaur'" Creation ex Nihilo, Vol. 17 (2), 1995.
  3. There have been present-day sightings of what appear to be dinosaurs. For example,  over 40 people have claimed sighting plesiosaurs off the Victorian coast of Australia in recent years.  Source: Melbourne Sun, Feb. 6, 1980.
  4. A strange animal, eerily resemblant of an Apatasaurus, has been sighted many times in the Republic of the Congo, and has been dubbed Mokele-Mbembe. This has been widely reported, and discussed in Cryptozoology Magazine and Science Digest, among others.
  5. Even Indian cave paintings in Arizona depict humans and dinosaurs.


I could go on, but you get the picture. These evidences do not prove conclusively a young-earth. But they do contradict standard evolutionist propaganda, and leave the doors wide open for further scientific inquiry. What fascinates me is the utter refusal to even address such concerns by most in the science community. How much of the above has been commonly reported? The secular scientists' attitude is: That which does not legitimize or correlate with my worldview is to be ignored and marginalized. Isn't this the antithesis of the true definition of science?

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Laughter: The Best Medicine

A few corny ones for all you nuts:

Five out of four people have trouble with fractions.

The thing about retired gardeners is they just don't get around mulch anymore.

Grapes don't say anything when stepped on--they just let out a little whine.

The trouble with most political jokes is--they usually get elected.

Clones are people, two.

Thank goodness I'm not on stage. It's hard to get tomato stains out of clothes.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Spider-Man 2

Yep, folks, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is back in action. And this time, he fights the evil Dr. Octopus.
Now that we've covered the plot, let's move on.
I enjoyed this movie, for the most part--lots of action, humor, and good special effects sequences. No complaints, there. And Tobey Maguire pulls off the character very well.  Doc Ock made an interesting villain, too, being more complex than the Green Goblin. And his metal tentacles looked great. Best of all was the theme of sacrifice and putting the good of others above one's desires. I know the first movie explored this some, but the second film digs much deeper into this conflict of the soul. Throughout the movie, Spidey wars with himself: should he forget about being Spider-Man and live his own life, or should he put aside his wants and dreams for the greater good of humanity. We need more movies that explore such topics, so I loved this.
Unfortunately, this movie suffered from some lousy script-writing, near the end. I have no idea what the director was thinking, but Mary Jane (Spidey's supposed girlfriend) is one of the most annoying, ditzy, pea-brained women on celluloid. Remember what an idiot she was in the first film? The second continues this trend, only worse. About two-thirds of the way through the movie, she and Peter Parker have a nice little conversation in a diner, a back-and-forth of moronic proportions. And again at the film's end we see her perform an act of utter meanness with a blissful smile on her face harbored only by the truly self-absorbed. The most fascinating thing about this flick is: Why in the heck does Pete love this ding-dong, anyway? Other than her looks, she has absolutely nothing going for her. Her intellect would make a gnat blush in embarrassment on her behalf. Back in the old days, movie heroines were strong-willed, intelligent, no-nonsense people, self-reliant and respectable. Apparently, in this new era of film-making, women only make good characters if they are narcissists. Yep, women's lib has carried us far, eh? Right into the era of absurdity.
Though entertaining and worth watching, this movie did not hold up to its predecessor. In his review of the film, Roger Ebert said this was the best super- hero film since the original Superman, with Christopher Reeve.
All I can say is: Rog, put the bong down, and back away. No, run! 


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

At my wifey's request, I've decided to review this movie. I watch movies fairly often, but I don't spend as much money as you might think. I rarely go to the theater, but I do rent. Sometimes, I even check 'em out of the library (free). We took this one in at the local drive-in. It was a two-for-one deal (Spider-man 2 was the other flick), at $5 per person.
I've liked the Harry Potter series of films, since the beginning, but I've never read the books. So I can't comment on whether the movies are true to the novels.
Part three has all the earmarks of the first two: spellbinding special effects, mythical or magical creatures, and nonstop action. The audience experiences the killer tree from the earlier films, a werewolf, time travel, a hippogriff (a beast resembling the cross-breeding of an eagle and a horse), and creatures called dementors. These last look like the grim reaper, or maybe the black riders from Lord of the Rings.
The time travel sequence in particular engages the audience, being my favorite scene in the whole series, to date.
There are a few differences between this flick and its predecessors. It's a darker, more melancholic movie, for one. Also, the focus lies more on Harry and his closest friends, rather than secondary--but important--characters, such as Hagrid and Dumbledore.
For all its high points, the film does have flaws. In the beginning, Harry wreaks a cruel but well-earned vengeance on an evil relative, which has no resolution whatsoever. We never see what becomes of the object of his wrath. Rather, the film briskly moves along to the next act.
Additionally, this film leaves lots of loose ends and unanswered questions, making it obvious that a sequel waits in the wings. Whereas the first two installments come to conclusions of a sort, this one simply finds a place to stop, until the next time. Perhaps with all the zillions of dollars the franchise has raked in, the producers felt more comfortable leaving the end open.
All in all, an enjoyable visual feast, with an interesting story. None of these films reach the lofty heights of brilliant film-making that most of their fans proclaim (and I'm including film critics), but all are well worth the time, providing plenty of fun. In the TV trailer, one film critic gushed that this was the greatest fantasy film ever made. This statement is patent nonsense, as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Wizard of Oz, and a handful of others are superior. But you will have a good time going to see this one.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Dinosaurs and the Bible

This is a tricky subject, but I'd like to explain my view. Many people find necessary an acceptance of evolutionary thinking, which in turn influences their view of the Bible and its teachings. One reason for this is the saturation of evolutionist thought in our society.

However, my personal take is a biblical one. I do not subscribe to the Theory of Evolution (that's right folks--it's a theory, not a proven fact), theistic evolution, or the Gap Theory of biblical teaching. These latter two incorporate evolutionary explanations into their worldviews.

But what, you may ask, does this have to do with dinosaurs? Well, I've digressed enough. I've harbored the belief for years that dinosaurs, like any other animal, were created by God during the sixth day of creation--with all other land animals, and Mankind. After Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden, the world began running down and falling apart. Later, Man's iniquities grieved God so much that He pondered their destruction, and carried it out in the Great Deluge.

Prior to the expulsion from Eden, dinosaurs lived in harmony with humans. Afterward, this coexistence ended. At the Flood, all the dinosaurs not represented in the ark's occupants perished. That's right! I believe dinosaurs made it onto the ark! And why not? Nothing in scripture leads me to believe otherwise.

The Post-Flood era becomes more tricky. What became of dinosaurs? No one knows for sure, though many plausible theories abound. Perhaps climatological changes did them in (i.e., the Ice Age). Perhaps they simply died out over a long period of time, as many species do. We have concrete evidence that many animals become extinct, for a variety of reasons. And we do live in a fallen world, after all. So I believe dinosaurs shared the planet with Man, at one time.

Why am I convinced? Because Genesis teaches that death came into the world in a curse from God, as a direct result of Man's sin and rebellion. Man came first, then sin, then death. But evolutionists teach that dinosaurs lived, breathed, and died tens of millions of years before the first human appeared on earth via evolutionary processes--that death always has been a part of nature. This is in stark contradiction to the Bible.

So, you may accept Genesis and reject evolution; or you may accept evolution and reject Genesis. But the two conflict, so you cannot accept both. Our Lord didn't leave us that option.

(More to come on this topic, later)

Mystic River: A Review

I hesitated in renting this movie. After all, the cast is peopled with leftist loonies, such as Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon. Had the actors and rave reviews been its only claims to fame, I would've left it to its fawning fans. But CLINT EASTWOOD directed this one! This simple fact overcame my misgivings, and away went my cash.

Unfortunately, I found disappointment in this flick.

The Pros:

Eastwood is, without a doubt, a very good director. He did a great job in bringing all its elements together and making an interesting movie. The story was emotionally engaging, and the acting propelled the film along beautifully.

The Cons:

The above successes notwithstanding, this is perhaps one of the most depressing movies I've ever seen, filled with bitterness and rage and sorrow. I came away feeling drained and unsatisfied, hollow in the tragedy it portrays. But this in itself was acceptable, if morose. The final nail in the coffin was the characters' unrealistic and inhuman reactions to death and murder near the movie's end. I found myself shaking my head, unable to believe the behaviors of certain people, sure that real human beings would never act in such a fashion. (At least, I hope not). Also, some of the people did things for inexplicable reasons. This may be true to life, but it's annoying on film.

In short, if you like movies that are gut-wrenching and interesting, go see it. If you like movies with a little sunshine after the rain, shun this one like the plague. And bring an umbrella.


I Have Returned!

I'm back, and I had a great time. I realize that I neglected the blog a little longer than planned, but here I am, fingers limber for typing and ready for action.

Myrtle Beach was great. The beaches were lovely, the nights cool and breezy, and the humidity was much less fierce than days in my native Tennessee. Trust me. Here, you can cut the air with a knife, it's so thick and muggy. Kinda like breathing in a wet paper bag. Ugh.

Anyway, there's nothing quite like the feel of sand between your toes, the cawing of seagulls, the lapping of water at your feet, and the endless vista afforded by the vast ocean. If you've never been to the beach, I recommend it as a must. But don't go in early July, if at all possible. . .it's too dadgum crowded!

Sunday, July 4, 2004

Gone to the Beach

I'm leaving at the crack of dawn, tomorrow. My destination? Myrtle Beach, South Carolina! Time for a little vacation, with my family. Please hold all my calls, until my return. In the mean time, may all of you have a great week. I'll return to posting and ruminating, next Sunday.

Independence Day

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! If you're planning to shoot off fireworks, tonight, please, a few helpful tips:

1.) Don't light them and put them in your mouth. Big no-no.

2.) Don't tie bottle rockets to cats' tails. Very mean.

3.) Do not put roman candles on birthday cakes--unless ya just don' like cake.

These handy tips might help you enjoy your evening. You might even end it with all ten fingers intact.

God bless.

Saturday, July 3, 2004

Super Patriot

Representative Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) claims Bush has Bin Laden in custody, just waiting for the right moment, politically speaking, to thrill the public with his capture.

Now, I don't trust or like Bush, but this sounds absurd, considering its originator's character. McDermott is the same fellow who traveled to Baghdad in 2002 and had an interview beamed live to the States. In his attack on Bush from the safe confines of Iraq, he insisted that Saddam deserved the benefit of the doubt; and in the next breath, he said Bush was not to be trusted. I'm paraphrasing, but you get the gist of it, I believe. This is treasonous, regardless of your opinion of Bush.

True to form, his current news-making comments were also made outside the U.S., in India.

Mother Mary, Give Us Abortion On-Demand

I'm not a Catholic, and I don't pray to Mary. But many Catholics are wonderful people, and I admire their dedication and respectfulness to our Lord. That said, this is a mockery and a grotesque distortion of the Catholic branch of Christianity.

Feminists praying to Mary for blessings in their pursuit of unrestricted abortions. Just reading this story made me feel dirty. Pardon me while I go take a shower.

Country Boys (God Bless 'Em)

Nearly half of all the lives extinguished in combat come from rural areas, according to this story.

I don't find this hard to believe, since I think patriotism tends to burn stronger in rural areas, or the South. Living away from cities, in less confined area, gives one time for reflection upon what it means to be an American citizen, and how we won all the freedoms we possess. Ours is a flawed country, but we'll not find improvement, elsewhere.

I'm sure liberals read this story in horror, stunned that so many poor, country folks are going off to war. We must bring back the draft!, they say. We must have equality in the ranks. Whatta loada hooey! I'll just quietly remind them that our military is all-volunteer. Naturally, those volunteering will come from areas culturally in-step with the defense of our great nation. We don' neeed no steeenkeeen draft!

Friday, July 2, 2004

U.N. to the Rescue

It seems a Texas Congressman has requested that the U.N. send "election observers" to ensure that a fiasco along the lines of the 2000 election doesn't occur.

Tom Kilgannon, president of Freedom Alliance, a group dedicated to protecting American sovereignty, admonished Johnson and her colleagues.

"Your appeal to the secretary general is alarming and embarrassing," he said. "As a Member of Congress sworn to uphold the Constitution and represent the people of the United States, it is disturbing, to say the least, that you would entrust the most sacred act of American democracy - our presidential election - to an international institution, which is unaccountable to the American people and mired by scandal and corruption."

Tom, you took the words right outta my mouth. What a joke. Since when is the U.N. competent in any endeavor it undertakes?

Marlon Brando, R.I.P.

Marlon Brando, 80, passed away last night of undisclosed causes. Regardless of your views of his personal life, he was a great film actor. Don't believe me? Check out "The Godfather," and "Apocalypse Now." I'm not crazy about the latter film, but his acting skill in this one cannot be denied. He played in films only sporadically in his later years, but movies were always better for his presence in them. He will be missed.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Dynasty of Evil

Ah, China, our beloved trading partner, who modestly accepted our Most Favored Nation Trade Status. Well, it seems they enjoy arresting people and carting them off to labor camps without trials, torturing prisoners, and trafficking in their organs after executing them.

On the Fourth of July, when you buy an American flag that has MADE IN CHINA stamped on its miniature pole, please remember this story.

WMDs Found

Polish troops discovered sixteen or seventeen undeclared warheads, filled with mustard or sarin gas, in the past few days, according to Donald Rumsfeld.

As I have suspected all along, time, effort, and patience vindicates us. The interesting question is: How many WMDs will we have to uncover and excavate before the liberals in our society admit their wrongheadedness?

Horatio Hornblower: My Review

Recently, I reviewed Master and Commander. I was informed summarily that this movie is not the equal of the Hornblower movies. Eager to test this hypothesis, I rented and watched the first three films. My conclusion? My advisors were correct.

If you love historical dramas or swashbuckling action flicks, these are for you. If you like witty dialogue and rapier-keen repartee, these are for you. If you like intricate plots and good acting, these are for you. If you like movies that accurately portray life at sea, these are for you. If you like Errol Flynn's filmography, these are for you.

Amazingly, these made-for-cable-television films have much more complex storylines than Russell Crowe's movie. The characterizations are better, as well, and much more detailed. The acting equals that of Master and Commander. In fact, Crowe's film trumps the Hornblower saga in only two ways: its musical score, and the special effects. And even these are well-done for the purposes of Hornblower's exploits.

All in all, a wonderful series that I intend to delve into further. Click here to learn more.What're you waiting for?! Don't take my word for it! Go see for yourself!

Horatio Hornblower: The Movies

Taking the suggestion of my friend, Res Ipsa, I rented these from my local library. Made by A&E Network, starting with the first installment in 1999, these movies are well worth your time.

A brief synopsis:

The first movie, entitled The Duel, begins in 1793,with the Napoleonic Wars in full-swing, and Hornblower first joins the crew of H.M.S. Indefatigable ,as a 17- year-old midshipman. He quickly earns the admiration and respect of most of the crew and the ship's captain in engagements with the French and their Spanish allies. Unfortunately, he also earns the enmity of a fellow crewmember, who seethes with jealousy over Hornblower's rapid rise. This hatred returns to haunt him, throughout the picture.

The second, The Fire Ships, deals with life aboardship, unrest amongst the crew, threats of starvation from scarce rations, an outbreak of plague in which Hornblower proves his mettle, and ruthless attacks on the British by the French.

The Duchess and the Devil, the third film, involves Hornblower's attempts to outwit the Spanish, which ultimately fail. He and his crew fall into their hands and are imprisoned. I don't want to give away any more, but suffice it to say that the movie wraps up with great action sequences and a rescue during a storm.

One brief note of interest: These films are based on the 11 novels about Horatio Hornblower, written by C.S. Forrester, the first being published in 1937. To date, A&E has made 8 films, I believe, with more to follow.