Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm Not a Republican, but...

A coworker had a political cartoon on her cube wall that pointed out that Fiscal Conservatives Reagan, Bush, and Bush all presided over budget overruns while Clinton was underbudget (it of course left out Carter who was also over budget).

The secret to Clinton's budget win was the fact that he gutted the military and intelligence agencies, and then when multiple terrorist attacks (the Cole, that New York flight that was shot down by SAMs and was then covered up) came, he did nothing except hand wave and run cover ups.

Bush 2's overruns began when he had to rebuild the military, and the anemic CIA couldn't keep up with their job, making 9/11 possible, which really broke the bank.

In each case, world events dictated presidential action that exceeded budget plans. Except Clinton, who ignored them.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fireproof - The Sum is Greater than the Parts

(With thanks to Mrs. S.)

SPOILER WARNING - Don't read further if you don't want to know much about the movie before seeing it.

Sherwood Productions is doing a very good job of re-defining Christian movies to full blown evangelical, didactic films. Strong messages, clear and compelling presentation of the Gospel, with flashes of brilliance.

I very much enjoyed the movie, with the understanding that the elements would be weaker than an A or even a B movie. I'll forgive a lot just because the effort is undertaken by talented beginners with magnificent hearts.

That being said...

I don't like Kurt Cameron as an actor. I never believe him because he doesn't have continuity of emotion, jumping like a jackrabbit from one emotional state to another without sufficient motivation. I expected his performance to be as bad as it was in the Left Behind *ahem* films. And at first I thought I was right, but as the film progressed it was clear the problems of the first act were the director's more than Cameron's. He gave probably the best performance of his life, which isn't saying much. The old Cameron peeked out several times, but overall he did okay.

The Kendrick brothers are improving, but they have a long way to go. The direction was often brilliant in moments, but between on-the-nose direction and a straight-line script, the comprehensive showing was great for a C (for Christian) movie, but not for an A movie (which they are not, so it's perhaps an unfair comment). A multi-layered plot would have been helpful, I think the script has structural flaws (underdeveloped B plot, absent C plot, and a pathological need to tie every bow with a double-knot).

Erin Bethea did a great job, overcoming the direction, as did the Lieutenant for the most part. The script has some wonderful moments, great messages, and deep insights. These guys are talented at the scene level, not so hot on the sequence or beat level. Steadily improving, though.

The ending was a low-stake affair with no ticking clock. The rom-com station moment was really nice, but it hadn't been foreshadowed so it came off a little cheesy. The final reveal was over the top and over expressed.

Nonetheless, there is a lot more to love than dislike. Great concept, great story, great moments, great message. Definitely worth seeing. We had people sobbing at the showing we saw, not just tears but wracking sobs, which speaks to the need this movie fulfills. Further, where most movies have to earn your loyalty, this one gets it going in... you're so on their side you'll forgive anything; a magnificent achievement. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Panicked Republican Spam

I've been bounced several spam-mails about the rumor that after the VP debate, Biden will drop out of the race and be replaced by Hillary. The spam calls this "shameless manipulation!"

I think it's just more of the same from both sides of the ticket. Palin, no matter what you think of her, was a blatant move to secure the Mid-West states. No one seems to care if people are qualified; the only way McCain won the nomination was because people voted by who could win, not who would should win.

Nor was it coincidence that McCain didn't announce Palin until after Nobama announced Biden. Character or not, Palin isn't qualified to be VP (just as Obama isn't qualified to be president); she was chosen as a tasty conservative woman to court the vote that McCain couldn't, not because she can run the country (having said that, I think Palin's got the right people-first take on things; she just needs more seasoning before going national). Her selection was made to catch Osama flat-footed, and BOY did it work. Even Biden said that in light of this, Hillary should have been the VP nominee.

What I don't understand about this rumor is why wait until after the debate -- Biden has to worry about being too tough and hitting just the right note, while Hillary could just bash away at Palin like a hockey player on steroids.

This whole election has been shameless manipulation.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

An Amendment to Get Behind

I admit to struggling with any Marriage Amendment. Amendments are to protect rights not abridge them. Which is why I am fully behind the Colorado Equal Rights Personhood Amendment that protects the rights of the unborn.

Now, I just wrote a long post on my problems with illegalizing abortion, which makes my support of the CERPA seem hypocritical, but it's not. A law is directed at the mother; the amendment is directed at, and protects the rights of, the baby. A law allows us to pass it and dust our hands free. An amendment forces us to continue to protect the baby after it's born; it becomes incumbent on the people to fortify the post-birth infrastructure (my biggest complaint with the Pro-Life movement).

My difficulty has always been with the legal response to abortion never the right. The right to life is expressly proscribed by the Constitution and it's been ignored by the masses. I don't want to force women not to abort, I want to call them to uphold the liberty of our birthright (and perhaps that should be fertilization-right).

A hundred and fifty years ago, black people were not considered "human" and that horror was corrected. It is the EXACT SAME horror that allows people to believe a child is not human. Constitutional amendments are a source of culture change, which we desperately need. We need the day when a law isn't even necessary.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I am an inveterate fingernail chewer. However, you have to hold your jaw in a certain way that I can't until the incisions in my wisdom... gums, I guess... heal. I now have finger nails and they're driving me crazy. I miss the physical habit, and I don't like having nails that project off my fingertips. It's like a constant awareness at the edge of consciousness.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I'm not seeing the appeal of drugs

I had three teeth cut out Friday. It was the first time I'd ever been knocked out for surgery (took awhile since my veins kept collapsing). Once they got the feed working, I got groggy fast and thought I wasn't going under, but apparently I had because the surgery was finished. I spent the rest of the day in bed under the influence of Vicoden and SuperIbuprofen. And all of Saturday. I didn't have much pain just lots of nausea (threw up three times Friday night). In fact, whenever I took Vicoden it felt like I had the flu. Why people like this stuff, I have no idea. It makes my brain feel like it comes unmoored and is just floating around in my head, which, come to think of it is what all drugs seem to do to me.

We watch House on DVD, in which the main character is addicted to Vicoden - presumably to get rid of the pain in his leg. My college roommate was a pothead. I just don't get the appeal. A guy at work offered to buy any Vicoden I had left for 2o bucks....

I think most of the anesthesia has flushed through my system. I'm still using the Ibuprofen, and this is the best writing I can do at the moment. Down with drugs. Just say no. Or even "what for?"

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Tell us your SQUIRREL Stories!

I have two; one from a loooong time ago and one from last Saturday.

It's the afternoon and Grizzly, our white haired chi, goes insane. He's barking so fast and so furiously that we're afraid his heart would explode... it seems a squirrel is trapped within our pool enclosure. It took awhile to find him but all we had to do was look up. In his panic, Mr. Furry Tail had shot up the screen and climbed up under the the porch roof. Once he stopped, he was in trouble. His little claws hooked through the mesh, he is too afraid to move. Suspended perilously 16 feet in the air, he doesn't move for ten minutes.

Finally, determining it would be harder to get his skeleton down, I resolve to help him. I put the leaf basket on the pool hook and reach up to scoop the hapless creature. No soap, he skitters away. Without the speed to clear the beams, Mr. Furry Tail plummets to the earth...

...fortunately straight into the pool. A perfect two point landing from the 16 foot high dive. Before I can even lower the pole, the demoralized rodent scrambles out of the deep end, his tail no longer fluffy, and scampers out the torn panel and up the tree. It was a near thing; he entered the pool six inches from the edge.

Second story. I'm a teenager on my parents back porch and Bear, our dimwitted hound, is chasing a squirrel in a ragged path across the yard. At top speed the squirrel is running around the yard table trying to keep away from the dog, however, the squirrel was faster than Bear and all of a sudden, the squirrel is chasing the hound who scampers across the yard with the squirrel in hot pursuit. Wonder what he would have done if he'd caught him...

I think the dog was embarrassed, as well he should be.