Above the Fray

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Movie Snark

Just for fun, I would like to point y'all to a site that features irreverent film reviews. Every Sunday, she rips into one of the oldies or one of the newies.

ALERT: lots of snark, but that's what makes it so amusing doncha know....

It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Scientist

Like Hollywood filmmaking, scientific research has grown prohibitively expensive over recent years; and mad science, once a quaint cottage industry, is now the sole province of evil multinational conglomerates or shadowy government agencies. This means that without grants or corporate sponsorship, the criminal misuse of basic and applied research is now beyond the reach of the average small businessman.

As a result, today’s mad scientist is no longer an outcast visionary, no longer a demented genius laboring in secret to avenge himself upon the world. Now he’s just an employee with a 401k. But there was a time, not so long ago, when the typical mad doctor worked out of a one-man laboratory; occasionally assisted by an unpaid university student from Wittenburg or a hunchback on flex time. In that far simpler era, it wasn’t necessary for the fledgling mad scientist to labor in a high-tech facility a hundred feet below Area 51. All he needed was a finished basement, a 220-volt outlet, and the aspiring madman was ready to jump in and start reanimating corpses.

Sadly, those entrepreneurial days are over...

Second ALERT: during the week, she rips up the writers at Town Hall, and other PPPundits of the right. Avoid if you have a right leaning short fuse..

World O'Crap The Ape Man (1943)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

New Orleans and Theatre

This is hard to believe:

War and Piece::

Dutch viewer Frank Tiggelaar writes:

There was a striking dicrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and reports of the same event by German TV.
ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged event.

Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time.

The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves, said ZDF.

Here is a press release from someone that is there.

Senator Mary Landrieu reports that the big levee-fixing operation she watched with GWB yesterday turns out to have been merely a show for the cameras.

Landrieu Implores President to "Relieve Unmitigated Suffering;" End FEMA's "Abject Failures"

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., issued the following statement this afternoon regarding her call yesterday for President Bush to appoint a cabinet-level official to oversee Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery efforts within 24 hours.

Sen. Landrieu said:

"Yesterday, I was hoping President Bush would come away from his tour of the regional devastation triggered by Hurricane Katrina with a new understanding for the magnitude of the suffering and for the abject failures of the current Federal Emergency Management Agency. 24 hours later, the President has yet to answer my call for a cabinet-level official to lead our efforts. Meanwhile, FEMA, now a shell of what it once was, continues to be overwhelmed by the task at hand.

"I understand that the U.S. Forest Service had water-tanker aircraft available to help douse the fires raging on our riverfront, but FEMA has yet to accept the aid. When Amtrak offered trains to evacuate significant numbers of victims -- far more efficiently than buses -- FEMA again dragged its feet. Offers of medicine, communications equipment and other desperately needed items continue to flow in, only to be ignored by the agency.

"But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe.

Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment.

The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast -- black and white, rich and poor, young and old -- deserve far better from their national government.

"Mr. President, I'm imploring you once again to get a cabinet-level official stood up as soon as possible to get this entire operation moving forward regionwide with all the resources -- military and otherwise -- necessary to relieve the unmitigated suffering and economic damage that is unfolding."

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

Arthur C. Clarke

And so it goes..

Thanks to: Kevin Drum, Mark Kleinman, and Avedon Carrol