Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Week in Entertainment

Live: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Met with Michael Volle doing a wonderful job as Sachs. Then The Last Ship (with Sting), which has a beautiful score but a story that can't quite make up its mind what it is (though I like Meg's choice).

DVD: Guardians of the Galaxy - quite enjoyable. Dancing Groot at the end, yay!

TV: Modern Family - "Haley's first drink", she slams it down, looks around and says "ooo it burns". "OMG, we're gayncient." The Middle ended so sweetly. The Mentalist - oh, dear, the "woman in jail" trope, but it wasn't too bad. The Newsroom - I have to admit I did not see those deaths coming, and I still don't even understand one of them. The Librarians was a good shake-down episode. Next week will be cool: Bruce Campbell as Santa Claus? Oh, yes.


Read: The Rise of the Spider Goddess, in which Jim C Hines gives the MST3K treatment to his own first novel, which richly deserves it. A couple of 1920s mysteries about an Inspector Pointer. Hard to believe all the stuff they did - breaking and entering, wearing disguises to trick people into giving them evidence, setting up suspects, flat-out stealing stuff. Amazing. Also, the second book slides into a Fascist vs. Communists sub-plot that comes out of nowhere. Weird. Began reading Greenstar which is funny sci-fi.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

She wasn't Shane

Clue: Eric Knight touched hearts with the 1940 novel imploring this dog to "come home".

Answer: "What is Lassie?"


NO! It wasn't "Lassie, come home" - imploring her - it was "Lassie Come-Home" - a phrase for a dog that came home after it was sold, a form of cheating the buyer. In fact, the boy Joe was made to tell her NOT to come home (though it didn't stop her).

Note the hyphen on the book jacket. Yes, the movie dropped that, but the clue was about the novel.

Alex, your clue is WRONG.

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2 Comments:

At 11:30 AM, December 13, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

In fairness, it was the clue writers who erred; Alex merely read the clues.

 
At 9:51 AM, December 15, 2014 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

But it's his show. (I didn't say HE was wrong.)

 

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Bild mee?

More purposeless eye dialect in today's Rose is Rose. Given how utterly commonplace and normal the kid's pronunciation is, I find some amusement in picturing the father's weird and probably horrible accent.

kid says 'bild mee a snohmahn, dadee'

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Can we at least fire them?

And another, this from Baher Azmy, Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights:
The notion that torturers should be shielded from any consequences for their actions only makes sense in a society in which human rights and constitutional protections have been demoted – no longer our highest values, they are now repeatedly expendable whenever the specter of “national security” is raised. It is a culture that gave rise not only to impunity for torture, but also to the brazenness with which the CIA hacked Senate Intelligence Committee computers, the imperiousness with which Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress, and the audacity with which President Obama refuses to fire either him or CIA Director John Brennan for these plainly illegal acts.

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Only one man

A link. A depressing, enraging link, from Peter van Buren, a man who's had his own problems with the State Department:
The one man in the whole archipelago of America’s secret horrors who went to jail is former CIA officer John Kiriakou. Of the untold numbers of men and women involved in the whole nightmare show of those years, only one.

And of course, he didn’t torture anyone.

The charges against Kiriakou alleged that in answering questions from reporters about suspicions that the CIA tortured detainees in its custody, he violated the Espionage Act, once an obscure World War I-era law that aimed at punishing Americans who gave aid to the enemy. It was passed in 1917 and has been the subject of much judicial and Congressional doubt ever since. Kiriakou is one of six government whistleblowers who have been charged under the Act by the Obama administration. From 1917 until Obama came into office, only three people had ever charged in this way.

...

America just didn’t wake up one day and start slapping around some Islamic punk. These were not the torture equivalents of rogue cops. A system, a mechanism, was created. That we now can only speculate about many of the details involved and the extent of all this is a tribute to the thousands who continue to remain silent about what they did, saw, heard about, or were associated with. Many of them work now at the same organizations, remaining a part of the same contracting firms, the CIA, and the military. Our torturers.

What is it that allows all those people to remain silent? How many are simply scared, watched what happening to John Kiriakou and thought: not me, I’m not sticking my neck out to see it get chopped off. They’re almost pathetically forgivable, even if they are placing their own self-interest above that of their country.

But what about the others, the ones who remain silent about what they did or saw or aided and abetted in some fashion because they still think it was the right thing to do? The ones who will do it again when another frightened president asks them to? Or even the ones who enjoyed doing it?

The same Department of Justice that hunted down the one man who spoke against torture from the inside still maintains a special unit, 60 years after the end of WWII, dedicated to hunting down the last few at-large Nazis. They do that under the rubric of “never again.” The truth is that same team needs to be turned loose on our national security state. Otherwise, until we have a full accounting of what was done in our names by our government, the pieces are all in place for it to happen again. There, if you want to know, is the real horror.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"I can't breathe" - yes, you can talk

You've heard it. In the last few days you've probably heard it a lot. You might even have wondered wasn't it true, even though he died.

"If you can talk you can breathe."

Well, it's not true. Here's why.
Once the lungs begin to exhale, they collapse, but if you they are being pressed down on by body weight, they may not be able to re-expand. They then continue to collapse, forcing out the Functional Reserve Capacity of air, but not drawing in a new breath. So, your suspect may be pleading for breath, they may actually be incapable of drawing one in, and the reason is you. If someone is saying they cannot breathe, you need to believe them, because you might be killing them.
And there are actually good comments (sprinkled, of course, with some crap. For instance:
If airflow is cut off completely, of course you wouldn't be able to speak. But airflow does not have to be cut off completely in order for you to suffocate.

Anyone who has pulled a pillow over their head at night to block out excessive noise or light knows that the pillow allows air to flow. But it's still possible for someone to be murdered with a pillow. It will allow air through. It just won't allow enough air through. A murderer kills their victim by being persistent in using the pillow to prevent the victim from getting enough air.
Read it. Remember it. Tell it.

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1 Comments:

At 10:08 AM, December 11, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Even simpler: Exhale completely, hold your nose, then repeat "I can't breathe" as many times as you can. I was surprised by how long I could still do that.

 

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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Good try, but

This is pretty funny.

Category called "What's Killing You" - they had to name the lethal weapon in a movie, and she got "Transformers". "What is a robot?" "Be more specific," says Alex. "What is a robot that... turns into ... something that kills you?" she said.

(It was "decepticon" that they wanted.)

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Apocalypse now?

"I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that if Dianne Feinstein, Lindsey Graham, and the director of Human Rights Watch all think the report is necessary to prevent the United States from committing the same egregious mistakes in the future, then that countermands the magical thinking needed to accept the worst-case scenarios regarding its publication."

Oh my sweet baby deity. Are you telling me I agree with Lindsey Graham on something?

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At 2:33 PM, December 10, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

I was thinking it might be more like Lindsey Graham was agreeing with YOU :-) Bear in mind that Graham was a Navy JAG, which might affect his view on torture. Also, one of his closest Senate allies is John McCain, whose attitude on torture is well-known and based on experience.

 

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No, no it's not.

family prays 'thanks jesus for the food' migrant worker in the field says 'de nada'Here'a a rather common misconception:
DEAR AMY: I very much liked your suggestion to “Bill” regarding a pre-meal blessing for multi-faith /non-faith gatherings, and have another to offer.

It goes like this: “We wish for peace, food, and happiness for people all over the world. Thank you for our food. Amen.” It’s simple, all-inclusive, a message of heartfelt wishes, and an expression of our own gratitude. -- Amen
It may be simple, but it's not "all-inclusive" if "non-faith" people are meant to be included. Just who are you thanking?

Maybe if you said "we're grateful for our food". But "Thank you" has a "you" in mind. Unless you say "Thank you, farmers and harvesters and butchers and shippers and shopkeepers", I kind of think your "you" is you sneaking your god into the blessing. Don't you?

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Monday, December 08, 2014

They simply cannot.

medieval wolf at a fold with an hilarious facial expressionThis is just hilarious. It really is. They so cannot handle it right now.

For example, "This wolf has just had ENOUGH of today and wants it to be over."

There are 43 others. Go now!

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Sunday, December 07, 2014

The Week in Entertainment

Live:Newsies, an exciting, high-voltage performance, even though a fake charismatic leader and a predictable love story is grafted onto the real ones. (By the way, "The strikers demonstrated across the Brooklyn Bridge for several days, effectively bringing traffic to a standstill," according to Wikipedia, so that's an old tactic.) Those dancers are working hard.

TV:The Mentalist started its new (and final) season with a good, solid story - no Red John, no secret cabals, just an intriguing case and a new agent. Jane and Lisbon are cute together and don't take over the plot, at least not in this ep. The Newsroom continues to be excellent. Will's dilemma is powerful. Saw Red  which I hadn't seen before. Amazing how Morgan Freeman is the one that died. When will they cast him in the Malkovich role and vice versa. I had vague memories of watching the original The Librarian, but only that, so I watched the three movies before The Librarians premiered. I liked it pretty well - it will give me a Christian Kane fix if nothing else, and I did like the team. I'll be watching it again.

Read: Marriage Can Be Murder, a nice first entry in a period murder series. A bit too much of the "oh, I'm so unsuitable for him" but only a bit. Then I read the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, which was wonderful.

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