"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." The Statue of Liberty (P.S. Please be so kind as to enter through the proper channels and in an orderly fashion)
- Name: John
- Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Published: April 21, 2006
The as-yet-untitled "Star Trek" feature, the 11th since 1979, is aiming for a fall 2008 release through Paramount Pictures, the Viacom unit looking to restore its box-office luster under new management, the trade paper said.
The project will be directed by J.J. Abrams, whose Tom Cruise vehicle "Mission: Impossible III" will be released by Paramount on May 5. Abrams, famed for producing the TV shows "Alias" and "Lost," will also help write and produce.
Daily Variety said the action would center on the early days of "Star Trek" characters James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and first outer-space mission.
The paper described "Star Trek" as Hollywood's most durable performer after James Bond, spawning 10 features that have grossed more than $1 billion and 726 TV episodes from six series.
The 10th film, "Star Trek: Nemesis," bombed at the box office on its December 2002 release, earning just $43 million in North America. Last year, Viacom-owned broadcast network UPN pulled the plug on the low-rated series "Star Trek: Enterprise" following a four-season run.
[Note by Republicus: This is beautiful. I was reading obituaries for Star Trek not too long ago.
We're seeing a generational passing down of late 20th Century American popular culture and mythology into the 21st, a renascence rejuvenated by new technologies that were only hinted at--if not actually envisioned--when Star-"Too-Cerebral"--Trek made it's first televised run in 1966 (in color!).
One could say that this is just an example of Hollywood being out of ideas and re-cycling old stuff and banking on aging American nostalgia, but that's being cynical and ignores the mythical nexus with the process that is not saddling a worn-out culture with old, tarnished goods to reminesce by, but conserving--while reinvigorating, rebooting-- our cultural heritage for new generations with good-as-new resurrections.
Batman Begins went back to the beginning, and is good as new.
James Bond goes back to his beginning in Casino Royale.
Kirk meets Spock.
And the first war of the 21st Century has our soldiers going back to the very beginning and stomping through the Garden of Eden trying to root out snakes, in the land of Genesis (and it's about time).
Haven't we seen all these movies before?
And yet all is new.
Republicus feels as young as Creation.
And so should you.]
Friday, April 21, 2006
Dead Dinosaur Gunk Going Gold
LONDON (Reuters)— Oil (i.e. dead dinosaur gunk) rose to a new peak of $75 a barrel on Friday as investment funds snapped up crude futures and tension mounted over Iran's nuclear intentions.
This must be affecting the macroeconomies of the oil-consuming world in very insidiously-erosive ways.
Every consumer product runs on, or is accompanied by, or is made with, oil.
Plastic--ubiquitous plastic--is a petroleum product.
People have "worried" about Real Estate being "the backbone"--or driving force-- of this economy.
That's fine with Republicus, as American Real Estate is one of the few remaining durable goods that are produced domestically, built, bought, and inhabited right here.
But calling it "the backbone" belies the importance of the circulatory system--the blood-- for the health, sustainment, and growth of the economic leviathan, and that blood is oil.
The Fed has recently announced that they are finishing up their incremental raising of the interest rate (an announcement which caused a rally on Wall Street).
The recent, successive raises, of course, were counter-inflationary measures, and although Republicus can swear that he is spending more on staples like groceries and clothing than he has before, who is he to argue with the nation's top economists insisting that inflation has been at nearly zero for years?
There's no argument that the gas bill and gasoline purchases are higher, but that's not what petroleum derivatives are limited to.
Indeed, think of any product--any product-- to realize how instrumental petroleum is to the multi-sectional symphony of our--and to the rest of industrialized world's--macroeconomy.
The vegetables you eat that were planted, grown, and gathered from your backyard garden?
Where did you get the seeds? How were they packaged? What was involved in the process of making the little metal hand-shovel you prize for it's rustic simplicity? If you're not a nudist, you must be wearing clothes to dig around in your backyard, probably with synthetic fabric woven in somewhere, and wearing rubber-soled shoes.
All the items you purchased that were required to create your backyard Eden--the seeds, the tools, the clothes on your back and the shoes, and even the Real Estate--required some petroleum derivative in their production and for their distribution.
All the creature comforts we take for granted, and the definitive attributes of modern life--heated and air-conditioned homes, hot & cold running water, transportation--rely on petroleum to function.
And everything plastic is made with petroleum.
Of course, profit-driven industries and businesses pass on all production costs of the goods & services they supply to the consumer. That includes the taxes they have to pay (which have been lowered by the Bush Administration) and their own gas bills and the price of the petroleum derivatives needed for manufacturing and distribution.
The administration's supply-side tax-cuts have most certainly played a part in suppressing inflation, though the individual income tax cuts--not dramatic but not infinitesimal, either, as the critics belittle-- have most certainly contributed to the consumer's liquidity in subtle but significantly enough ways (which invites inflation), and there has been an added concern for inflation by the concurrent printing of more paper money at the Treasury and providing too much liquidity.
With all things considered (that never are in rhetorical, partisan soundbites), the formulae and number-crunching at the Fed that determines the sufficient level of interest to maintain vigor and encourage growth in a complex macroeconomy that is the wealthiest in the world and at the service of a nation that is ranked 3rd in population among all nations (4th if the populations of the nations in the European Union are combined) must resemble rocket science.
But there is the trade deficit (which, along with the National Debt--which itself is large-- plays its own insidious mishief on all sorts of variables that end up, one way or another, sooner or later, picking your pocket), and calculated into that figure is petroleum imports.
And so, the spike in oil prices--and, make no mistake, the spike will continue to climb-- will reverberate across the entire macroeconomy as microeconomies everywhere begin hemorrhaging cash just to maintain previous levels of operation, and receiving needed transfusions by raising prices.
How can inflation remain suppressed if oil hits $100.00/barrel?
Iran--and oil-industry "insurgent" saboteurs in Iraq--know this, and are willing to play havoc with the oil markets and incite economic chaos...
...in the hopes of forcing economic collapses.
Of course, the Blame-America-First Democrats ignore all of that and simplify the problem--to a stupefying degree--by laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of the "powerful, corporatist, and greedy price-gouging" boys-on-the-board of the American-bannered oil industry (i.e. Bush's buddies).
The price-gougers are in the Middle-East, not Texas.
And as for left-wing environmentalist activists who have choked the American oil industry with regulations and blocked exploratory drilling but now shrilly complain about increases in oil-based cost of living, Republicus says to them: Well, the caribou are happy that they--though not American citizens--have been succesfully immunized to eminent domain seizures by your very efforts, and that, apparently, should be all that matters.
The good news in all of this is (1) that the top-level economists in the administration know this as well, and let's hope their rocket science solutions precludes the need for the rocket scientists in the Pentagon to provide their own solution, and (2) the fundamentals of supply and demand themselves may preempt any catastrophes by the simple fact that there's only so much consumers are willing--if not able--to pay for anything, and a dramatic seachange in the market may be triggered that will spur the weaning off of our "addiction to oil" (as President Bush admitted) and accelerate the pursuit of development and marketing of alternatives.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Was It Something I Said? :(
“Businesses owned by blacks see upswing…segment marks 45% increase”
USA Today Business section, April 19, 2006
04/20/06 FOX Poll: Gloomy Economic Views; Bush Approval at New Low
More Americans disapprove than approve of how George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Congress are doing their jobs, while a majority approves of Condoleeza Rice. President Bush’s approval hits a record low of 33 percent this week, clearly damaged by sinking support among Republicans.
Well, anyway, there you have it.
Ignore the suggestions--if not assertions--that "At last! America has woken up to what the Bush-haters have been saying all along, wa-ha!" and that "Oh, I'm a Pepper, and he's a Pepper, and she's a Pepper, and wouldn't you like to be a Dr. Pepper too?" (i.e. a Bush-Hater), because Republicus doesn't think that the disgruntled 10-15% of erstwhile Bush-approvers are ready to vote Democrat any time soon, but simply are recoiling from a political spectacle that has been Jerry-Springerized (while enjoying the highest standard of living in history).
That's fine with the Democratic strategists and their enablers and lackeys in the media and grassroots blogosphere.
After all, they were the ones who incited all the hooting noise and chair-throwing to begin with, because their strategy at hand is to apply downward pressure on Republican voters and, by making them sick and tired and turning them off, suppress any enthusiasm for the mid-term elections while fanning their own base on the sly in the plan to flood the voting booths with a torrent of angry Bush-haters (who thrive on political mayhem).
Republicus will venture a prediction: The mid-term elections will have a record turn-out of Democratic voters.
If Republicans manage to still be sitting pretty, that will be accomplished by the highest total turnout in history (i.e. reciprocal Republican participation).
The DNC is not making the kind of noise the importance of these midterm elections warrant, because that would tip-off and alarm the grass-roots Right that a blitzkrieg at the voting booths is quietly being organized for a coup d'etat that hopes to destroy the Bush Administration and redeem and equilibrate the Clintons for '08 with one fell swoop: the submission of Articles of Impeachment.
The beneficiaries of all this will indeed be, of course, the Clinton's (Two Impeachments back-to-back? It's a wash! It's de-stigmatized).
If the mid-term elections are a blow-out for the Democrats because Republicans stayed home, Republicus can assure his readers that those very Republicans/conservatives will be pulling a Mcaulay Culkin (above) when they realize they've been hoodwinked and they see the grimacing and grinning faces of James Carville and Paul Begala once again in their livingrooms (if not outside their very windows) every night, harping and gloating about how "America Has Spoken!" and "A Mandate For Impeachment!"
RNC Chairman Mehlman knows about all this, and must mobilize the troops by communicating what's at stake, but the poll numbers indicate he's got a steep hill to climb.
Republicus' primary concern all along has been for success in the war, and such a trumpeted "mandate" and a succesful run for Impeachment won't be doing the mission any favors whatsoever.
But, of course, any significant disaster (there has been none to date, only several setbacks typical of warfare) caused by an inspired Tet Offensive of sorts by the "insurgents" (if not the mullahs in Iran) can be blamed on the architects of the "doomed-from-the-start" operation, who would also be blamed for any cyclical downturn in the economy, which will then cause the Democrats to assert that Bush's tax-cuts were responsible for the downturn, and re-peddle the myth that Clinton's 1993 historic tax-hike was responsible for the Tech Boom in the late 1990's, and another tax-hike would be the responsible thing to do!
And someday, America, living through another Democratic malaise with high taxes and a de-moralized military and surging, unanswered Islamic insurgencies everywhere--all of which, of course, were "inherited"-- you will look back on the first half of the first decade of the 21st Century and realize: "You know, despite 9/11 and all those other disasters Bush inherited in his first term, and behind all the noise telling me that that I was working and raising my family and enjoying creature comforts during "The Worst Economy Since The Great Depression" that my parent's generation could only dream of, and that America was slouching towards Mediaevalism with it's own Taliban presiding and "attacking" scientific progress, those were good days for me and my family-- although we couldn't keep up with the pace of technological innovation, and the breakthroughs in science occurred with such regularity, I took them for granted."
Mark the words of Republicus: You better appreciate what you have today, because, although there's always room for improvement, things could be a hell of a lot of worse (and are for most of the people of the world).
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
The Bush-Hater Is A Race-Baiter
(from top: Lil' Rascal Buckwheat, Representative Cynthia Mckinnon, President Bush as Buckwheat, monkey-montage of President Bush)
Republicus was recently visited by blogger John Roper
(http://johnpatrickroper.blogspot.com/ ) and Republicus returned the courtesy by paying him a visit.
He noticed that Mr. Roper had just opened his own blog and Republicus saw fit to leave a few comments to get the ball rolling for the fellow blogger.
The posts are comprised of visuals which speak for themselves.
One such post was called "Buckwheat Cloned!" and consisted only of the picture of Representative Cynthia Mckinnon above.
Republicus gasped in astonishment and "LOL"-ed.
Just compare the top two pics of Buckwheat and Representative Mckinnon to see what Republicus found humorous: The expression and hair-do of the congresswoman most certainly evokes Our Pal Buckwheat's in that picture (and Buckwheat was called a "she" in his earliest appearances, if memory serves).
Enter Lee Harvey (swooping in like a moonbat out of hell):
To recap, Lee Harvey was banned from Republicus for causing another guest--Kelly--to leave because of the offensive, lowbrow tactlessness he directed at her. However, Republicus felt bad soon thererafter and reinstated his privileges at Republicus, provisionally: That he apologize to Kelly and stop the damn importation of lengthy, lefty opinion pieces (he could feel free to provide links to them if he felt that strongly about their opinion and was too dense to communicate the gist of them himself).
But, rather than apologizing to the woman, he decides instead to appear as "Anonymous" here and there and carry on venting his two cent's (if not penny's) worth under the guise of some mystery man.
Fine. He makes the job of Republicus easy by providing the same examples of easily-diagrammed and de-constructed liberal-think, anyway (as you shall see here), and at least there was no more importation of the opinion pieces.
Furthermore, his decision to skulk around anonymously rather than having to apologize to Kelly just confirms his own skullduggery.
Meanwhile, he lurks and carefully watches who's coming and going at Republicus and spies to see who they are and where they're coming from like a typical nosey liberal who needs to know everyone's business.
Clicking on Mr. Roper's name, he sees the Buckwheat post and decides that Roper is a "bigot." Then he sees that Republicus visited the blog and--"A-ha!"--left the "LOL" comment at that post, so Lee Harvey rushes back to "out" Republicus as a "racist" in the last post (which has since been deleted because Republicus was informed that it was another chain-email hoax), in his determination to slander and discredit him (he has called Republicus stuff like "twisted," a "fascist," "blind," and now "racist").
Lee Harvey said nothing at Mr. Roper's blog, but decided to do his slandering at Republicus, calling him "lowbrow" and both he and Mr. Roper--Republicus' guest-- not just "racists," and not just "incredible" racists," but "patent" racists" in his characteristic, over-the-top hyperbole meant to be taken seriously, all because Mr. Roper posted the above bad hair-day pic of Representative McKinnon and titled it "Buckwheat Cloned!" and Republicus, astonished, LOL-ed (which, if not innocuous, is bad manners, but "racist?").
But get this:
1) Representative Mckinnon, in that pic, with that expression and hairdo, does, in fact, bear a striking resemblance to Our Pal Buckwheat's own expression and hair-do.
Yes. It's an objective observation.
2) Ironically, while calling Mr. Roper and Republicus "incredibly racist" for making the comparison and "LOL"-ing, respectively, Lee Harvey fails to see that he is playing the same reverse-racism race-card that Representative McKinnon played to justify why she struck a U.S. Capital Building security guard who didn't recognize her and asked her to stop at a checkpoint.
She has since apologized.
Will Lee Harvey apologize?
3) Look at the third pic that has made its rounds on the Internet:
It's President Bush as Buckwheat!
Is that "O-tay," Spanky?
If so, why? Why is it o-tay to to put the POTUS' face on a rascally ragamuffin who happens to be African-American, but it's not o-tay to chuckle about an expressive resemblance between that very ragamuffin and a U.S. Representative, who's also African American--unless, of course, it is you who is engaging in racial discrimination?
4) The fourth pic is a montage of Bush's facial expressions compared to a chimp's, which raised lotsa laughs from the childish Bush-hating crowd for quite some time, with Bush being called "monkey Bush," or "Simian-In-Chief" or some such for months (until the historical ignoramuses that are the Bush-haters caught wind that Abraham Lincoln was called "Ape Lincoln" and so dropped any inconvenient comparison with one of our greatest presidents).
Did Lee Harvey have a problem with that?
But what would Lee Harvey say if the chimpanzee montage was with Representative Mckinnon?
And what about Representative Mckinnon's lawyer, who in the midst of an argument on Hannity & Colmes-- wherein he insisted that the incident with the congeresswoman was racially motivated-- called Sean Hannity a "rich white boy"?
What the hell is that?
Then he conceded that he didn't know how "rich" Hannity was, but left the part about "white boy" unretracted.
But if Hannity called the lawyer a "black boy" (or even a "rich black boy"), well, Hannity would be out of a job, understandably as that sort of thing should not be tolerated given the actual and tragic racial discriminations in relatively recent American history that created exceptional sensitivities, but shame on the lawyer's own insensitivity to the glaring double-standard and his failure to lead by example.
Meanwhile, how many times has Lee Harvey characterized the Bush administration (which is the most ethnically diverse in American history)--and Republicus himself--as "anglo-fascists?"
Plenty of times.
BUT THAT'S O-TAY!
Monday, April 17, 2006
Breaking News: White House Sponsors Pagan Fertility Festival And Indoctrinates The Children!
According to Bede (c. 672 - 735), writing in De Tempore Ratione ("On the Reckoning of Time"), Ch. xv, "The English months", the word "Easter" comes from Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, who presided over the month of Eostremonat, which corresponds to our April.
Bede goes on to write that the predominate spring festival in 2nd century Europe was a boisterous, celebration of fertility in honor of the Saxon Goddess Eastre, whose sacred animal was a hare.
The hare is often associated with moon goddesses, who themselves presided over the reckoning of time ("month" etymologically refers to a full cycle of the moon).
And, of course, mating season--i.e. Springtime-- is when life begins to "multiply like rabbits," a "res-erection" (if you will) after the death-like impotency of winter.
Pagan fertility festivals at the time of the Spring equinox were ubiquitous. It was believed that, at this time, male and female energies were in harmony, with the egg and the hare together respectively representing the god and the goddess.
The colored eggs are even more ancient than the Saxon Eastre, existing in ancient Rome and Greece as symbols of rebirth and fertility, and figuring in the festivals of resurrected deities.
(science has since demystified the Great Mystery of reproduction and today's "Eastre eggs"--it seems-- are no longer symbolic but actual, conceived in chemists' laboratories, laid by factories, and encapsulized in the little fertility "eggs" of Viagra and Cialis.)
Over a thousand years later, like children today eagerly awaiting the arrival of the magical elf Kris Kringle (a.k.a. Santa Claus) at the winter equinox, children in Germany awaited the arrival of Oschter Haws, an egg-laying rabbit.
That German tradition is what popularized the 'Easter bunny' in America, when introduced to the melting pot, cultural fabric by German settlers in Pennsylvania.
Today, Neo-pagan and earth-based religions have embraced these symbols as part of their religious practice, worshipping the fertility aspects of spring as did their ancient, pagan forebears (although they call themselves--get this--"New Age").
So, apparently, it's okay to have a president allow pagan religious traditions to be carried out on government property (i.e. the annual White House Easter Egg Hunt)...
...just don't you dare say something like "Merry Christmas!" or "Christ Has Risen," because that would favor one religion over another and compromise the separation of Church & State!