Monday, June 28, 2004

The Unkind
I know the Left wants their own Rush Limbaugh, but looking at it from afar has the Right been well served by having Rush to begin with? As PJ O'Rourke asks in the latest issue of The Atlantic, "When was the last time a conservative talk show changed a mind? Michael Moore is a great showman and profiteer (most successful gasbags of punditry are). His moves to build up buzz over Fahrenheit 9/11 have been well orchestrated. Like Rush Limbaugh, his movie won't change a single mind. The Hate Bush crowd will buy up tickets galore and gorge themselves on the ample servings of red meat dished out. The curious will also attend and be entertained - Michael Moore movies are entertaining - but I don't think minds will be swayed. Those who loathe Bush will probably agree with the points put forth in this movie. Those who agree with Bush's policies will probably not agree with the POV of this movie (but may find the candid clips of Bush entertaining all the same). Here is an interesting review of Moore's latest by film school graduate Tim Wilkins and here's a critical review offered by columnist Chris Hitchens

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Yellow Journalism
So if the Bush administration concocted the idea of a connection between Saddam's Iraq and Al-Queda (as many media outlets are pushing that notion), why then (back in the pre-Bush era of 1999)did both The Guardian and CNN report on meetings that took place between Iraqi envoys and al-Queda representatives - meetings where Saddam extended an offer of asylum to Bin Ladin and his group?

It is amazing to me the extent to which the major media will ignore its own previous reporting on the subject - for the purpose, as it appears to me, to paint Bush in the worst possible light and encourage his defeat in the upcoming election.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Why has global anti-Semitism been on the uptick for the past few years? It's because of the UN.

Monday, June 21, 2004

End of Days
The latest edition of Dover Community Notes includes a story about a local business that deals in caskets. I found it humorous that one particular model of coffin was called the Dover. Now don't get me wrong, I love my town and have great respect for it, but if given a choice would I really want to spend my "death years" eternally residing in Dover? I mean certainly Copacabana or South Beach would be preferable, or how about in Fenway? For the golfing inclined, one could rest for eternity in the Augusta or the Pebble Beach. Michael Douglas could spend his death years tucked away inside the Catherine Zeta-Jones (Lord knows he spends enough time in her already). Seriously, the Dover casket just isn't enticing to me. I need more choices.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Big Sky Country
I've been able to get in a few hikes these past few weekends, building up to higher and higher peaks and ever widening vistas. Back in May I had a nice warmup hike up Mt. Blue Job (located near Rochester, NH). The hike to the summit was short and not particularly steep and the views from here were obscured by trees and cellular transmission towers. However, there is a stretch on the northern slope of Mt. Blue Job that is spectacular - a large expanse of open acreage the result of fires and livestock grazing. To get views like this up in the White Mtns. one usually has to hike pretty high up in elevation, however for the visitor to Mt. Blue Job they are within easy reach.

Two weekends ago, I hiked up popular Mt. Chocorua. The summit cone is very rocky with numerous ledges to navigate. The challenge is worth it though. The views are broad, the weather is warm, and the journey takes your through some inspiring and primitive landscapes.

Building up steam and strength, my wife decided to test out her new foot (freshly healed from a break suffered earlier in the winter) and we both ventured to reach the 4000' plus peak of Cannon Mtn. Anyone who has ever driven through Franconia Notch is well aware of the imposing cliffs that scar the southern slope leading off Cannon's summit. Another defining feature of the peak is the aerial tramway that transports visitors from base to summit in minutes. We decided to ascend on foot and traveled the steep path known as the Hi-Cannon Trail. Indeed, the climb was steady and continuous, yet in no time we were treated to some awesome views of the neighboring Franconia Ridge. In one place, a ladder was required to ascend a brief pitch of cliff that impeded the trail. Once above this challenging section, the trail levels out and offers astounding views of the surrounding lakes and terrain. Hiking in the month of June is a mixed bag, the downside is that bugs tend to be quite bothersome at this time, but that is outweighed by the glory that accompanies the blooming of alpine flowers. We hiked down from the summit and reached the parking lot that marked the end of our day hike. We were not too interested in racing home after having enjoyed such a great day, so we decided to enjoy a nice cold beer along the shores of Profile Lake - relaxing under the soaring towers of the Eagle Cliffs.

I love this Granite State.

The Hall of Justice
I scanned and uploaded new pictures taken on our Memorial Day weekend trip to Philadelphia. This picture of Independence Hall is pretty good I would say

Fast Food Junkie
"But by the end of this film, McDonald’s was starting to seem kind of dangerous and exotic, like an opium den in Shanghai, and I was craving a Big Mac."
--Jack Neely of Metro Pulse Online reviews the movie Super Size Me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Quote of the Day
Democratic civilization is the first in history to blame itself because another power is trying to destroy it.
—Jean-François Revel, 1970

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Theorists, Pundits, Social Critics and the like often say that we are slaves to marketing and advertising. Our tastes, values, and attitudes are grafted into us through incessant advertising. They say, ultimately, that the people who control the ads control our minds.

I believe that we have an opportunity to test and observe whether this boilerplate is true. Many of the fast food providers are in the process of redefining their images - offering and promoting healthier menu options. Salads seems to be the big thing, McDonalds has the adult happy meal salad, and even Dominos Pizza is promoting salad. So if the advertising for fast food is salad-centric, will we follow in kind and think of fast food as salad-centric? Will salad sales soar? Will increased demand for lettuce, tomatoes, cukes, and carrots cause shortages in these items? Will their prices rise in relation to the demand? It's very possible of course if we all have salad on our minds because of the amped up advertising. Mmm. I'd like a supersized salad please...

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Gipper Wonka
As a kid, I thought it was cool that then-President Reagan had a jar of jelly beans at his desk and at cabinet meetings. That probably had a great influence on what type of politics I embraced.

Friday, June 04, 2004

New York Needs a Rest
We saw The Day After Tomorrow last weekend, and while the politics and science are laughable, the movie does score as a decent disaster pic. One thing though, if these movies are supposed to show global disaster I wish they would show significant footage of other cities getting waxed. I mean, do we have to see New York City getting toasted over and over again? I'd like to see Big Ben get vaporized, or better yet the Eiffel Tower turn into a sea of molten metal. Surely the Colosseum of Rome can be the appropriate site of a black hole explosion (implosion?)or the gateway to a wormhole that releases deadly alien spores. The Sydney Opera House could serve as lunch for a massive sea creature awakened from its Pacific ocean slumber. Why not have the Great Pyramids dissolve into a furious sandstorm? Better yet, imagine how entertaining it would be to see a huge tsunami wipe out the thong clad beachgoers of Rio?

I'd say the best scene of global destruction ever to be shown in a movie occurred in Mars Attacks when aliens destroyed the statues of Easter Island with a bowling ball. Now that was cool.

For You Who
Something provocative