~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Monday, May 21, 2007

An economist walks into a bar...

(Via: JC)

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"A depressing tale"

The Flight 93 Memorial has been a complete debacle. Jonathan Last reports on the latest round of foolishness:

At the end of this bridge of economic assumptions, the commission decreed that "because of the anticipated low economic benefits that would result," the impact of leaving the temporary memorial as is would be "major." Such is the logic of bureaucracy.

The Department of the Interior was satisfied by the arguments of the commission. The planning for the permanent memorial proceeds apace; the Flight 93 National Memorial Capital Campaign has been launched. It needs to raise $30 million before ground can be broken, and, as a practical matter, there seems to be no way to change course now.

Mark Steyn comments:

A true Flight 93 memorial would honor courage, action and improvisation, but reflection, healing and wetlands are the best we can manage. Go to any Civil War memorial on any New England common, and marvel at how they managed to honor their dead without wetlands and wind chimes.

The best practical outcome we can hope for is something akin to the Vietnam Wall (also considered stupid and filled with inappropriate conotations during it's design phase) with its thousands of visiters daily who come away feeling edified, design quibbles notwithstanding. But Mark and Jon are right. The bureaucratic machine is slowly killing our monuments.

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Canadian journalists to Mike Moore: How dare you portray our healthcare as perfect?

However, they do have magic fairies who reattatch severed digits in exchange for "nothing at all:"

While justifiably demonstrating the evils of an American system where dollars are the major determinant of the quality of medicare care a person receives, and where restoring a severed finger could cost an American $60,000 compared to nothing at all for a Canadian, [Michael Moore's new documentary] Sicko makes it seem as if Canada's socialized medicine is flawless and that Canadians are satisfied with the status quo.

This stuff just writes itself, I tell ya.

(Via: HA)

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Stray thoughts...

... on a campaign ad produced a quarter of a century before I was born.

*** Since deleted without much explanation by the Tuber folks. This is getting annoying. The whole point of this blog post compares the two vids. Sorry, guys. ***

Rod Dreher considers this bit of celluloid history and wonders...

I wonder how different our politics would be if a draft had caused a large number of Americans to have to serve in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan, instead of our volunteer army.

I wonder, too. But the question's a bit obvious, is it not? And in any case, America won't support a return of the draft anytime soon, so it's all a bit academic. Back to the video... um, is it just me, or does Ike say, "nukular"? And listen to the narrator of the ad. It's been a half century since that particular accent carried such authority. Today we have commercials parodying a wholly different affectation:

Come to think of it, this Geico ad also parodies the "real-person-not-an-actor" authenticity that the Eisenhower ad tried to utilize in '56. It's a parody two-fer!

I'm looking forward to that day in the future when I will explain to young kids how this Geico commercial was the very pinnacle of ironic sophistication, back in the day. That and flying cars. Still waiting for flying cars.

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The Limits of the Libertarian Impulse...

Too much stuff happening offline for me right now. But I want to come back to this topic soon.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

"Nothing but overplotting and overstuffing with bustle and incident"?

Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest, as summarized by Ace of Spades.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Michelle isn't making the case

... for privatizing the PBS. Rather, she's harping on the fact that public dollars went into the making of Islam Vs. Islamists, a now controversial documentary not aired by PBS. I'm on record as saying PBS is a quality product that deserves a fair shake in the competitive marketplace. I'm sympathetic to CPB's position that the film in question just isn't up to PBS snuff.

Then again, PBS isn't always up to PBS snuff. For all I know, Islam Vs. Islamists is another "American Experience" episode like this one. Interesting subject matter. Terrible, terrible execution. Dear sweet God, what a dog that one was!

If Islam Vs. Islamists is that bad, then I can see why it was witheld. Of course, I won't know until I actually watch the thing, and it's not yet available on Goo-Tube, which leads me to suspect that the film in question is a big, steaming pile of crap, and the debate surrounding it is just more of the same.

You know what? All controversy would just go away if this were a private enterprise sold to the likes of say, The History Channel.

Privatize PBS. It's too good not to do so.

UPDATE 5-10: Roger L. Simom, a TV and Film insider, (and whose opinion I trust because I've been reading him for years,) reviews the film here. Roger says PBS's explanation that the film isn't good enough just doesn't wash. The film quality is plenty high.

Giving PBS even more benefit of the doubt, this leaves them just one more exit strategy before I'm forced to accuse them of quashing this project for political reasons:

"We [PBS] are hoping to see “Islam vs. Islamists” broadcast as a stand-alone special under the Crossroads banner (where it will join three other Crossroads films already so-designated) on public television stations across the country... Public broadcasting officials have expressed concerns that the film may not comply with established PBS standards."

When independent, knowledgable critics like Simon say yes, the "standards have been met" by this film, PBS had better broadcast the thing as a stand-alone, or release the filmmakers from their contract in order to persue commercial distribution. Anything less is an admission of bias against content, not quality.

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