Anyway, I am glad at least one person noticed that Emil Jannings was NOT in "Pandora's Box"...it was Fritz Kortner. My apologies to Fritzie.
Just west of the Shakespeare Bridge, along Franklin Avenue, the neighbors got together about five years ago to dig out the unattractive concrete median and fill it with plants. It's lush now, and I enjoy cycling past it every day. At one end, an American flag was hung up after 11 September, and there it's been up until last weekend. As I was riding across the bridge and past the median, I noticed that the Stars & Stripes had been replaced with a Canadian flag! It finally disappeared today, but it's shocking to think that some of my neighbors are thinking along those lines. I mean, Los Feliz is a liberal neighborhood, but...
If you're looking for a Christmas gift for a friend or relative, how about a home computer? Back in 1954 they anticipated our current high-tech revolution, as the enclosed photo demonstrates (thanks, Helene). And I couldn't resist throwing in the appropriate cartoon as accompaniment.
So anyway, I was up late last night watching a tribute concert to George Harrison. Boo hoo, I almost started crying. I guess that makes me an old hippie. But I'm not just crying for George Harrison. I'm crying to see all the progress we've made since I was born in 1965 get wiped off the books. Even that great liberal tool of change, the creaky judicial system, is a target:
Future of 9th Circuit under Review
By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos
Washington - For many conservatives, the words "9th Circuit" mean more than just a federal appeals court in California. The words embody everything they think is wrong with liberal activism, West Coast politics and the judges who tried to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance.
And why not, when 19th century ideas reach to the highest court in the country?
Scalia Says Religion Infuses U.S. Government and History
By Vera Dobnik
The Associated Press
New York - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Monday that a religion-neutral government does not fit with an America that reflects belief in God in everything from its money to its military.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but for the last few days I've been researching a question on the history of fascism in this country...and it's chilling. The same players are in the game 70 years later. Think I'm kidding? Hitler had moral values on his side too (thanks, Geri):
God is with us....Hitler's rhetoric and the lure of moral values
Speaking of Der Führer, I see that Josef Göbbels' old summer-house on the Bogensee is for sale. Some Germans (silly Germans) want to turn it into a museum. Sigh, if we were all rich, all my dear American, Canadian, French, Spanish, Swiss, Austrian, Irish etc. friends, we could pool our money, buy it, and turn it into a fabulous arty disco hotel that would embarrass the hell out of the Germans. How about (thanks, Richie) CLUB NAZI-SCHOTZI?
Life sucks, until you're the German Propaganda Minister and you have to poison your whole family, even your fucking dog.
Here's my one bit of good news: The Palestinians officially apologized to the Kuwaitis (even though the Kuwaitis had made a policy of treating the Palestinians, who do their menial work, like shit) for supporting the Iraq invasion of the country in 1990. Aw, it's so nice to see Arabs getting all kissy kissy. When they all get together and decide to kick out all the Westerners, we'll be regretting it.
World Photos - AP
AND on with the screed...pretty soon I'll have another information source to spice up your long days:
'French CNN' to Challenge U.S. View of World Affairs
By Jon Henley
The Guardian U.K.
France is to launch a French-language news channel next year in a long-awaited attempt to challenge the dominance of the American view of world current affairs, the prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, said yesterday.
We can all practice our French together. Yah, right. Meanwhile, as I watch the dollar drop with temerity, I will keep providing you evidence why the euro could well be the world's benchmark:
New Economic Power for 'Old Europe'
by Mark Schapiro
The Bush Administration has interpreted its victory in the 2004 election as a mandate to take its free-market policies to further extremes. It is signaling its determination to unhinge US industry from what remains of regulations limiting the poisons in our water, our bodies and our air. But while they are newly emboldened at home, the Administration and its corporate allies are looking warily across the Atlantic to Brussels. Here, in the capital of the European Union, an unprecedented challenge to longstanding practices of American industry is unfolding.
This article can be found on the web at:
The Canadians aren't waiting around. It's war (thanks, Sergei)!
Canadian authorities arrest US president George W. Bush
Well, maybe not.
But we even if the Canadians didn't arrest George Bush and the euro isn't the world currency yet, the preconditions continue to accumulate. Visualize the next five years...and try not to squint:
The following appeared on Boston.com:
Headline: Polls: Europe negative on Bush re-election
"International resentment of the United States has spilled over to include bad feelings for the American people, too -- at least in three European countries that opposed U.S. policies in Iraq."
Our adventure in the Middle East, win or lose, Saddam or not, is a disaster:
Sunnis vs. Shiites and Kurds: Mayhem in Iraq Is Starting to Look Like a Civil War
By Edward Wong
The New York Times
We're going into more trouble with our eyes wide open:
2 C.I.A. Reports Offer Warnings on Iraq's Path
By Douglas Jehl
The New York Times
We've completely destroyed any reputation we had for fairness or justice with these people:
Fallujans Pose Challenge to Iraq Gov't
The Associated Press
U.S. Admits the War for 'Hearts and Minds' in Iraq is Now Lost
By Neil Mackay
The Sunday Herald
Don't believe me, get it from the horse's mouth (thanks, Geri):
Blog from Fallujah
And we haven't done right by our soldiers either; look for plenty of damaged men and women on our streets in the next few years:
`Scrounging' for Iraq War Puts GIs in Jail
By Aamer Madhani
The Chicago Tribune
Reservists court-martialed for theft; they say they did what they had to do.
Look at the amazing number of soldiers who would risk jail rather than support this illegitimate cause:
Deserters: We Won't Go to Iraq
The Pentagon says more than 5,500 servicemen have deserted since the war started in Iraq.
Our neighbor to the GW North might provide the same kind service they did for us in the 1960s and 1970s, which is one we owe them still:
An American Deserter Seeks Political Asylum in Canada
By Carole Duffrechou
Enlisted in the Army, soldier Jeremy Hinzman has refused to serve in Iraq out of moral conviction. From our special envoy to Toronto.
What is the answer of the Pentagon? Armor their vehicles? No, they'd rather keep playing with "Star Wars" missile defense or this joke waste of money, which my friends outside the US should be alarmed about; this is supposedly a secret plan to create military platforms in low Earth orbit:
Senators Slam Mystery Spy Project
CBS News Online
Meanwhile, other crises continue across our sorry planet unabated. This mess is still going on, and in the end millions will die while we sit on our thumbs:
U.N.: Chaos in Darfur; Law and Order Collapsing
By Evelyn Leopold
It's high time for some INTERNATIONAL LAW AND JUSTICE, and that means for EVERYONE:
Is It Time to Transform the U.N.?
By Julian Borger
In a clear rebuff to Bush's doctrine of preemptive action, a panel recommends sweeping changes to respond to terrorism and rifts over Iraq.
Americans of the lowest intelligence would rather eject the UN and risk World War III:
UN Out of US, Petition Drive Says
by Susan Jones(CNSNews.com) - A conservative group has launched an effort to kick the United Nations out of the United States. Evidence of corruption at the U.N. and its failure to support the U.S. war on terrorism prompted the group Move America Forward to launch a petition drive, which it is advertising in a new TV commercial. Move America Forward describes the United Nations as an organization that is impeding freedom for the long-suffering people of Iraq and blocking eradication of the world...
Go to http://www.CNSNEWS.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=\Nation\archive\200411\NAT20041122a.html to view the full story.
Without the UN, frankly, human life on this planet is not likely to survive:
To Defend the UN
Le Monde Editorial
Some Europeans actually agree with ejecting the UN from New York...if they can have it for themselves. They're already recommending the headquarters be moved to Geneva (although I disagree; in all fairness, it should be in Northern African, the geographic center of world population):
There is no more time for debate; the first member of the UN to be lost to global warming is merely a few years away:
We Are All Tuvalu
By Kelpie Wilson
t r u t h o u t Perspective
"We once again appeal to the industrialized countries, particularly those who have not done so, to urgently ratify and fully implement the Kyoto Protocol". Tuvalu, having little or nothing to do with the causes, cannot be left on its own to pay the price. We must all work together. May God Bless you all. May God Bless the United Nations. TUVALU MO TE ATUA."
But the dying old oil men and their ignorant young puppets in our government will have none of it; they'll keep pumping black gold until they drop:
The European Union and the United States continued to clash on Tuesday on the future of climate change negotiations once the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012, ahead of ministerial-level talks in Buenos Aires.
Bush Sets Out Plan to Dismantle 30 Years of Environmental Laws
By Geoffrey Lean
The Independent on Sunday U.K.
But don't worry, be happy...and pop bubblewrap while it's still around to relieve stress. After it's gone, we can use the virtual kind (thanks again, Geri):
Back by popular demand: the insane version of Virtual Bubblewrap
Vive le screed!
15 December 2004