In case you haven’t heard. And here’s the background.
Archives for November 2006
Well now; this is pretty funny. Hilarious even. I’ve seen most of their four seasons of episodes, but this one from season two on recycling got by me.
Whenever my wife or my parents ask me what I would like as a gift for some occasion like Christmas or a birthday, my response is always the same: "You don’t have to get me anything, but if you do, surprise me." In this regard, I love surprises, and most of them have been very pleasant and unexpected over the years.
Yesterday, when my wife asked, I thought about it for a few seconds and replied: "an Xbox 360." Yep; I want me an Xbox for Christmas, dammit. Good thing I asked before I read Karen’s scathing assessment, though I must confess that I’ve said or thought a lot of those same things about gaming — often about certain family members. But see, we recently had some work done on our cabin in the mountains, adding a bedroom, half bath, and an entertainment room — primarily to get the TV out of the living/dining room area where people are congregated when we have family over, especially at holidays and such.
We’ve got a pretty large wide-screen HDTV, but no cable or dish; just a growing library of DVDs, of which, some of my favorites are WWII documentaries, video encyclopedias, and news clips from that era. We also have a library of lots of books, many of them large-format pictorial histories of things as broad "the world" or as narrow as "skyscrapers." The idea is to be able to get beneficially into something enlightening and educational in an hour or two — especially if you’re a guest for only a day or two. Of course, I absolutely forbid lending anything out.
I think a game console will be a good addition, and in fact, I also want to add a real pinball machine and a refurbished original classic Asteroids arcade game, in time. Given that I have not a single game loaded my my computer other than the ones that came installed (and I never play), I doubt I’ll get hooked. But who knows?
I was getting ready to leave for the holiday on last Wednesday morning when I got wind of the story Tuesday night. No time to do it justice. Now, at this point, Radley Balko — whom I’ve often characterized as the world’s most important blogger — has done so much legwork that’s it’s pointless to do anything but provide you with a bunch of links to his entries.
Essentially, a 92-year-old woman living in Atlanta, GA, had her house broken into in the middle of the night by several armed men. Though she got off five shots in her attempt to defend herself and her home from whatever terror she was able to surmise in a spit-second, and all five shots connected, the 90 to 100 shots fired by the intruders killed her.
For more details, here’s a roundup.
- Radley’s initial entry.
- News link, with links to related stories and video. In particular, check out the video reaction of neighbors, which I note goes off quite differently than when police gun down some predatory thug who happens to be black and the race-baiters come flying out of the woodwork.
- Radley’s fist update. Still not a lot of specific details.
- Summation of the press conference by the Atlanta Police. Unsurprisingly, any facts even remotely germane to rendering a judgment as to the propriety of the police actions are "under investigation." Those facts won’t be released until this story is an old memory that only a few remember.
- The police begin covering their asses, as usual. And why not? After all, when a lone cop or small group engage in illegal activities such as dealing drugs or being on the take, it’s fairly common for that to be exposed and prosecuted by other police. But when far worse actions by police — like massive assault raids leading to murder — occur, they are a consequence of policy, and that, people, is never exposed or prosecuted by police. Never. Radley raises a whole host of other questions and addresses neighbor reaction.
- Radley must again deal with the likes of conservative (you can say that, again) police-apologist and authoritarian sycophant Patterico, a Los Angeles County prosecutor. Nothing surprising. Just as above, Patterico would find it easy to condemn the same actions if they were carried out by cops acting alone. But what happened is a matter of police and prosecutorial routine, and that must always be protected. It’s a livelihood — a just-doing-my-job — for far too many to allow the life of a mere 92-year-old black woman to call into question the very foundations of such an empire. After all, these guys have pensions and 401Ks, don’t you know?
- More Patterico here, here, here, and here.
- Yea, where are the pictures of the G.I. Joe clad "drug warriors" standing behind the fruits of their bust?
- Well I don’t suppose you can blame them. Everything calls for a "federal investigation," nowadays. Most typically, it’s the feds calling for a federal investigation. Investigations are great for "officials" at all levels, because, you know, they "can’t comment" on an ongoing one. By the time it’s done, it’s ancient history. Pretty convenient device, eh?
- Legally, you’re screwed. All of you.
- Of course, this sort of thing is just an "isolated incident."
- Oops, another "isolated incident, just another unfortunate cost of war.
No need to concern yourselves, though. I mean, how can anyone really complain, and what are the odds, anyway? She got 92 good years on the planet. What’s everyone so excited about? The cops were just doing their job.
How ironic, that in the year of Kathryn Johnston’s birth, in 1914, a law would be passed that would ultimately serve as her death warrant 92 years later as a "civilian casualty."
First, it should strike nobody as surprising that I’d blog about how I liked a Bond film. I pretty much like them all — some better than others — and can think of a whole lot of worse ways to spend a couple of hours. I believe the principal element that draws me to Bond films, as with other such films, is that I really like plots that take place in several exotic locations throughout a story.
What would a Bond film be without at least two or three jaunts to some remote and exotic part of the planet?
Mercifully, my dad and I were able to escape the house filled with way too many people and steal away for three hours to go see the first showing, just after noon. I must say that I liked Casino Royale easily as much as any Bond film I’ve ever seen. For my entertainment, Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Connery, and if he puts in such performances in subsequent films, he might even eclipse the great Sean. Not that I’ve done any great analysis, or thinking about it, but all attempts to duplicate the gentlemanly class of Connery have failed, with perhaps Roger Moore being the closest to get it right. Daniel Craig, in that sense, is an admission that the unique quality of Connery just can’t ever be matched, and so they’ve just given up and given us a Bond that clearly makes up for it with his own unique style, passion and character.
I just was not disappointed in the slightest. It’s really a classic sort of spy thriller. No special effects to speak of, almost no gadgetry, both a classic and modern Aston Martin, and lots of great physical stunts. They’ve gone back to basics, and it works.
Toward the end of the film, as Bond is recovering from a serious beating, we see him at a private hospital of sorts on the shores of a lake. I leaned over to my dad and said that it sure looked a lot like Lake Como (Wikipedia), which my wife and I just could not pass up while driving between Florence and Paris, via Switzerland, this summer. We even ended up driving up one side of it to Belagio, looking for a hotel in the evening but ended up heading back down to the village of Como to find a place right on the southern shore. It’s one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen (and I grew up around Tahoe), particularly in how the shoreline has been nearly completely rendered to the divine, artistic, landscape-architectural use of man.
Anyway, yes, and quick search revealed that Lake Como was the location in the film. You’ll see what I mean in some of those really choice shots.
Needless to say, I highly recommend the film for good old action-packed suspense.