Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rick McGinnis: Movies focusing on despair

...There’s a deleted scene in the 1973 film The Exorcist where the two priests, exhausted from their battles with the demon possessing a young girl, try to understand why the Devil would choose an innocent as his battlefield. “I think the point is to make us despair,” says the older priest, played by Max Von Sydow. “To see ourselves as animal and ugly. To reject the possibility that God could love us.” 

Obviously most of us will never find ourselves lost at sea or adrift in space, but movies aren’t made for the tiny or even non-existent minorities that will ever experience these calamities. Loss, isolation, the imminent threat, and fear of death – these are all things we can understand, however, and spectacles like All Is Lost and Gravity take us to where we can confront those terrors in the safety of a theatre seat or our living room couch. This might be the greatest gift films offer us....  (Be warned - spoilers at the link about Gravity for those who haven't seen it.)

Weird Canadian Munchausen Jews to honor author who inspired Kansas City Jew-hating murderer

Independent Jewish Voices, which supports boycotts of Israel and canards about that country, was formed for the expressed purpose of trying to deflect charges of antisemitism towards the hateful campaign against the Jewish State. The group was founded by 9-11 conspiracy theorist Diana Ralph in part with funds from anti-Israel campaigners in the United Church of Canada. The group includes non-Jews among its membership to boost it minuscule numbers.

Ironically, Independent Jewish Voices' positions actually match the Canadian government's definition of antisemitism. So rather than stifle accusations of antisemitism being the motivation of their Gentile comrades, it reiterates that Independent Jewish Voices is a witless band of Munchausen Jews; that is Jews (and some pretending to be) who primarily identify as such for the purpose of vilifying Israel and other Jews as a way of garnering attention while serving their own pathological personal demons.

As if determined to make their depravity abundantly clear, Independent Jewish Voices' latest project is bringing fanatical author Max Blumentahal to Ontario to promote his anti-Israel book Goliath.

Blumenthal was cited by the neo-Nazi Kansas City murderer Frazier Miller as one of his inspirations, writing in an online posting: "Jew journalist Max Blumenthal exposes and explains this attempt by a foreign government Israel, to buy the presidential election for the neo-con, war-mongering republican establishment."

With the Kansas City murders still fresh, one wonders if the motivation for Independent Jewish Voices is sensationalism or as an expression of a continuing determination to prove their stupidity knows no bounds.

h/t Sassy

Quentin Tarantino's Gawker Lawsuit Dismissed But Can Be Refiled

Quentin Tarantino has suffered a setback in his effort to punish Gawker for linking to a copy of his unproduced screenplay The Hateful Eight.

A federal judge in California has granted the gossip website's motion to dismiss the director's copyright infringement lawsuit. But the court is allowing Tarantino to refile the case if he makes key changes.

About seven-in-ten Americans believe alcohol is more harmful to a person’s health than marijuana and 5 other grass facts

A new Pew Research Center survey found a broad shift in the public’s views on the nation’s drug policies, with many in favor of shifting the focus of government efforts from prosecution to treatment for use of illicit drugs. The survey also attracted much attention for its findings on attitudes about legalizing marijuana and views of its use. Here are six key facts on public opinion about marijuana:

1. Support for marijuana legalization continues to grow

Ontario Liberal cronies paid millions in publicly funded deals

A gap in transparency has allowed millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded contracts to be awarded to friends and allies of political operatives in Ontario without the checks, balances and disclosures that accompany a public tendering process.
A Globe and Mail review has found a pattern of payments, about which little information is available, involving a tight circle of advisers that surrounded former premier Dalton McGuinty during his time in office. Among them were payments of more than $50,000 in the same year to two different companies in the name of the former premier’s campaign director; money repeatedly directed to a high-profile strategist through his then-wife’s business; and more than $300,000 paid to a former chief of staff shortly after he was pushed out of his job.

Related:  Ontario NDP support down, PCs and Liberals tied: poll

h/t Sassy

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Justin Trudeau - the clueless, would-be Prime Minister

Prince Bonehead
OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau walked off with a skateboard under his arm Wednesday when asked about an international study that contradicts his claims Canada's middle class has faltered under the Harper Conservatives.

The New York Times study found Canada has the richest middle class in the world, with incomes surpassing those of our American counterparts for the first time ever.

Rob Ford speaks out against hike for municipal politicians' salaries

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford spoke out against the possibility of council pay raises Wednesday, ahead of a debate at the city’s executive committee on giving councillors a 13-per-cent salary hike.
The committee will look at two options presented by city staff Wednesday: to either maintain salaries at the current levels adjusted for inflation, or to raise the mayor’s salary from about $177,000 to $200,000 and councillor salaries from about $105,000 to $119,000.
When asked Wednesday what he’d like to see the committee do, Mr. Ford – who is running for re-election and has made spending at City Hall a key campaign platform – said “nothing. Do you get a 13-per-cent raise? No.”

Toronto's dwindling anti-Israel creeps still cling to support for terrorists

About a dozen slimy fanatics gathered across the street from Toronto's Israeli consulate last week to shout about how Israelis are Nazis. I've seen these creeps up close and personal, which is a lot closer than anyone wants to be to them.

Jonathan Halevi notes the number of organizations "endorsing" the types of demonstrations he describes. But he didn't mention that the standard, transparent trick these activists use is to form numerous organizations, all with essentially the same membership, to make it appear they have far more support than they could ever actually muster.

From Halevi's blog:
Coalition of Canadian pro Palestinian organizations sided with Palestinian “political prisoners,” most of them are convicted terrorists, including suicide bombers captured alive and mass murderers. Demonstrators called Israelis “Nazis” and warned that “Zionists are taking over the Canadian government.” 

The Palestine House marked the “Palestinian Political Prisoners' Day” in series of events, including a demonstration in front of the Israeli consulate in Toronto (April 17, 2014), vigil dedicated to Palestinian political prisoners in front of the Israeli consulate (April 18), panel discussion and a movie screening at United Steelworkers Hall (April 19) and letter writing night at Beit Zatoun (April 20). 

The demonstration was organized with coordination with the following organizations Beit Zatoun (a cultural and activism centre in Toronto purporting “to explore issues of social justice and human rights, both locally and internationally”), Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), Canada Palestine Association (CPA), International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), Independent Jewish Voices (IJV), Not In Our Name (NION), Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QUAIA), Stop the War Coalition (STWC), United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine/Israel (UNJPPI), Women in Solidarity with Palestine (WSP).


Obama hands Iran another billion dollar payoff

The United States has released $1 billion in cash assets to Iran in April alone under the interim nuclear deal aimed at ratcheting back Iran’s nuclear program, according to the White House.
The Obama administration unfroze Iranian assets totaling $550 million on April 10 and another $450 million on April 15. The United States has now released $2.55 billion to Iran since February, when the scheduled cash infusions first began.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Upholds Michigan’s Affirmative Action Ban

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a Michigan constitutional amendment that bans affirmative action in admissions to the state’s public universities, in a fractured decision that revealed deep divisions among the justices over what role the government should play in protecting racial and ethnic minorities.

The 6-to-2 ruling effectively endorsed similar measures in seven other states and may encourage additional measures banning the use of race in admissions. States that forbid affirmative action in admissions decisions, like Texas, Florida and California, as well as Michigan, have seen a significant drop in the enrollment of black and Hispanic students in their most selective colleges and universities.

More at The New York Times 

h/t Doug D.

New data on asteriod hits on Earth

A visualisation of new data showing the surprising frequency at which the Earth is hit by asteroids has been released.
The finding was made by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation, which operates a network of sensors that monitor the Earth around the clock listening for the infrasound signature of nuclear detonations.
Between 2000 and 2013, the sensors detected 26 explosions on Earth ranging in energy from one to 600 kilotonnes - but these were not caused by nuclear explosions, but rather by asteroid impacts.

Post-Secondary Education Myths

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Guardian proves, yet again, it's the second dumbest excuse for a newspaper on the planet

The latest in WTF??? from the press' exemplar of idiocy:

Stupid stuff people do in movies all the time but never do in real life

The trailer for Paul Haggis' new movie Third Person just came out, and I noticed a scene where Mila Kunis smashes a bunch of vases with flowers in them.

Which is the sort of thing that happens pretty often in movies.

Have you ever gotten mad and started smashing plates or vases or glasses in your own home?

Maybe this is some sort of common practice that I was just never exposed to, but I've never intentionally done that out of rage at something entirely unrelated to ceramics or glassware.

Because I know I'd get stuck with a big clean-up after if I were ever dumb enough to go on one of those rampages.

Am I the only one who, when they see this happen in a movie, thinks it's really stupid, or is this some fun way of expressing oneself that I'm missing out on?

The hooded face of racist evil, alive and well in Pennsylvania

The Ku Klux Klan has started offering its services as a neighbourhood watch in some American cities, but they claim not to be racially motivated.

"It's not targeting any specific ethnicity," imperial wizard Frank Ancona told "We don't hate people. We are an organization who looks out for our race."

Robert Fulford: The BDS smokescreen

 ...Like the great majority of Americans in the film industry, Johansson is a liberal Democrat. She took part in the last three presidential elections and raised money for Barack Obama. Unlike many who fall into that category, she also thinks for herself.
The May issue of Vanity Fair carries a cover story about Johansson. The author of the piece, Lili Anolik, asked her how she explains why she has been viciously criticized for the SodaStream ads. Johansson answered, “There’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there.”

That line has been widely quoted, and for good reason. It’s a rare example of candour from someone in her position. Johansson, at least in this instance, doesn’t hesitate to call things by their name...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Right Not To Vote

There are a few times that I didn't vote because there wasn't anyone worth casting a ballot for. That's an important right. Ezra Levant raises the critical point that it's not necessarily good for democracy to pressure people who are ignorant of issues and uninterested in voting to decide how the country should be governed. 

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dead at 76

Carter died today in Toronto after a long battle with prostate cancer. According to the CBC report, he was already cremated and there are no memorial service plans.