Across the Universe


 Across the Universe

OK, the last thing I want to do is oversell this thing. That said, it’s the most fun I’ve had with a movie in years.

The kids are all wonderfully appealing and their sense of the music is terrific.

So far as I’m concerned, Julie Taymor walks on water.

The Hills Are on Fire


I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. We have too much water in some regions of the world, too little in others.

We need to build an aquatic equivalent of the information, transportation and electrification grids to manage the flow of water.

Otherwise, climate change will continue to accelerate, along with all its attendant death, destruction and evangelical dementia:

  • California burning.
  • Climate change and Darfur
  • This guy thinks it’s false, ergo it must be true…

The Open Society: Irony Rises, Feels Much Better

Not so fearless, apparently

I admire George Soros. He passes as a philosopher among businessmen and his Open Society Institute has done great good in the world.

In college, I avidly read Karl Popper’s masterful work on The Open Society and Its Enemies. In brief, an open society sustains a free market for ideas and their unfettered expression. A closed society tries to stifle same for reasons religious, political and/or ideological.

We are an open society on good days. China is not. The USSR was not. And neither, apparently, is the Huffington Post, where the following item appeared the other day:

Dept. of Misdirection: With Iraq a Disaster, GOP Goes Crazy Over a Newspaper Ad

I attempted to reply in their house blog that Soros had seen fascism up close in his youth — and that perhaps this early scarring had something to do with the ad targeting Petraeus, which was remarkably tone deaf and tellingly juvenile.

I argued, quietly and calmly, that to call the Iraq war a disaster does not make it so. That, to fill a bubble with the refrain does not make it so, though it may deafen us to what we might otherwise hear.

I stated that the left had acted to balance the right, that our soldiers were coming home, that we can all take a measure of comfort in the implications.

That the war is over, that it ended the moment Al Qaeda began to attack the Iraqis. (Would that all our enemies were so stupid.)

I reminded that the Iraqis, their neighbors and the rest of the world are now free of Saddam & Sons. That Iraq has held elections, forged a constitution, and created a fledgling democracy.

It was too much. They didn’t want to hear it. They refused to air it. They declined to give a reason why. (I asked.)

None of which is important. Except insofar as it highlights a larger picture, wherein the left & right continue to shout past one another, neither hearing what the other has to say — and so unwittingly limiting their audiences, preaching to the choir, filling their echo chambers with sound and fury that comes to stand in for original thought and authentic emotion.

We all suffered a major trauma six years ago. The word, ‘trauma,’ is related to the German traum, meaning ‘dream.’ Those who have been traumatized behave as though they continue to relive a nightmare wherefrom they cannot awaken, often thrashing about in an effort to call attention to their plight.

I want to wake both houses and alert them to the dangers within and without. While we squabble among ourselves, the world moves on.

Israel has just now bombed Syria, on suspicion of nuclear activity abetted by N Korea.

France is talking about war with Iran.

The political structure of Pakistan is wobbling.

The polar ice caps are crumbling.

Our economy gives evidence of another meltdown.

Our people are putting on lard like they expect an extended privation.

Our homeless children are showing up on porn sites everywhere.

Millions more have no health insurance and meanwhile a billion dollars no longer qualifies you at Forbes.

Wake up.

Bush must face trial over Iraq

Not so sure about the Easter BunnyTEHRAN (AFP) — Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday that US President George W. Bush had been defeated in his Middle East plans and would one day stand trial for “atrocities” committed in Iraq.

He also said he thought Hillary Clinton’s new look was “rather fetching,” and wondered aloud as to just “how married” she was.

Khamenei’s withering personal attack on the US president in a Tehran prayer sermon to mark the onset of the Muslim holy month Ramadan came one day after Bush once again accused Iran of undermining the Iraqi government.

“I have a firm belief that one day this current US president and the American officials will be tried in a fair international court for the atrocities committed in Iraq,” he said.

“I also believe, contrary to popular opinion, that one day pigs will fly and that unicorns will be found living on the dark side of the moon.”

Observers noted that an early recording of Pink Floyd could be heard from behind the speaker, who giggled at odd intervals in the course of his remarks.

US Media Ignore Al Qaeda Torture Manual

I propose that sensible moderates everywhere do whatever they can to shatter the echo chambers on both left and right:

lgf: US Media Ignore Al Qaeda Torture Manual

This kind of groupthink is inexcusable. I watched a normally sensible guy interviewing Charles Krauthammer the other day. Krauthammer was arguing, rightly, that the recent turnabout in Anbar was huge. The interviewer said, without so much as a thought, OK, maybe it is a slight improvement — or words to that effect.

I wanted to reach through the TV screen and repeatedly slam the guy’s head into his desk. Meanwhile, subgenius politicians continue to drone on about our failure in Iraq.

Try to keep up, kids. Iraq and the Middle East have never known democracy as we do. It took centuries for us to evolve our practices. Trying to shake-n-bake a modern state in the region is just going to take more time than MTV might have you believe.

Al Jazeera (English)

 Al J logo

 “Let the winds of doctrine blow me.” (Milton)

Conservatism is not, strictly speaking, synonymous with stupidity. Nor is liberalism, properly understood, a metaphor for perversion.

Edmund Burke was a conservative and he was no dummy. Gandhi liberated an entire people and he is no doubt on a fast track at the Vatican.

Conservatives wish to preserve that which is best in our traditions, including freedom of speech — which was once a radically liberal cause.

Liberals want to enlarge the sphere of our best traditions, to afford the protection of law to those whom conservatives would prefer to exploit, if not own outright. In order to do so, they are perfectly willing to shout you down.

I was watching a liberal program last night. It was all about the burgeoning Arab media, a field wherein Al Jazeera is clearly out in front. I learned that a conservative “think tank” had succeeded in banning Al Jazeera from US airwaves.

“Brilliant!” I thought. “Surely peace and understanding between our peoples can only be served by fostering ignorance of them on our side. Those consultants are worth their weight in gold. Surely the framers of our Constitution did not intend for freedom of speech to be extended to the heathen, who have no understanding of the liberties enshrined in that document.”

Satisfied with my analysis, I turned to Fox News, where I learned the most recent wrinkle surrounding the death of a prominent bimbo with remarkable knockers.

“How could the story become more sordid?” I wondered, though not for long.