Monday, December 31, 2012
I recall some excitement in the liberal blog-o-sphere about the film, a chance for science and other such things to get a respectful examination. But, it turned out to be a disappointment. The DVD commentary is good though. Commentary tracks on the issues mixed. The source material might help one understand the intent here. Wish it was done better though.
The Redskins QB is not 100%, but the Dallas team as a whole is ailing and its QB returned to form -- after getting a prime chance to come back from 11 down via two key penalties, Romo had one final turnover that basically sealed it. 3-6 to the playoffs? They deserve it.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
I thought this first starring film role for Mae West sort of lame. She was around forty and honestly sorta looked it. She had that distinctive voice but really didn't seem to have enough energy (her songs didn't impress) and the film overall was a bit "blah." People at the time liked it though, making the studio some $$$, but other films at the time were more risque.
That "TD" by Seattle vs. the Packs didn't help the Bears in the end, but the extra loss cost the Packs a bye. [Seattle might have got in anyway, if tiebreakers worked out.] All things being equal. Top seeds: Denver/Pats and Falcons/SF. Seattle's competition will be decided by the final game. Packs/Viks? Rematch. Other WC match-ups: Texans/Bengals & Ravens/Colts.
NYJ started Sanchez after their third stringer finally admitted to concussion symptoms. Fans just got a headache. Pathetic last 1/4 of season. NYG beat up the Eagles, but not winning ONE game out of Steelers/Bengals & Ravens/Falcons took things out of their hands. Detroit lost after showing some mid-game life. Shocker there. Giants eliminated. Texans could have cost themselves a bye. Viks win, they in; lose, Bears in. Some seeding also still open.
Part of the sibling (sic) team behind Cloud Atlas and other top Hollywood films recently was honored (as she says in eloquent remarks) for being herself so well -- that is, coming out as transsexual ("transgender" is used, but with a sex change operation and all, "transsexual" to me is the proper term). The often forgotten part of GLBT.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
The contraceptive mandate litigation continues. I care more about the religious employee myself, who truly has a substantial burden when denied coverage to a possible range of preventive services. Surely, some quite sincere religious claims can be made against many of them too. The interests of the employees are ten times more serious in my book.
The Giants need the Lions actually to win a game, um I mean beat the Bears, who need to win and have the Packs beat the Vikings to get in themselves. The Giants need both the Bears and Viks (and the Cowboys) to lose, plus to beat the Eagles. With Vick playing for a contract and the head coach on the way out, that won't be easy either. Oh well.
I enjoyed The Lucky Ones about three rather different soldiers on leave. The Lucky One from the author of The Notebook (young leads were great) etc. started fairly well and nice to see the lead of the t.v. show Mercy (involving a former combat nurse with issues) again. Zac Efron was able to handle a dramatic role and Blythe Danner was appreciated. Still, got bored of this romantic drama about a troubled Iraqi vet before the big "reveal" occurred.
Friday, December 28, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Overall, I enjoyed this film, particularly the early scenes when we get a raw look at the mental health of various characters. The acting, including the mom and Julia Stiles (in a small role, looking properly worn by events), was very good. The film goes in a certain standard Hollywood film direction that is a bit disappointing, but doesn't ruin it as a whole.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Monday, December 24, 2012
No more lives torn apart / That wars would never start / And time would heal all hearts / And everyone would have a friend / And right would always win / And love would never end, ooh / This is my grown up christmas listMerry Xmas.
Turns out, Tebow told coach Rex Ryan and coordinator Tony Sparano he didn't want to be used in the gimmick formation this week.The media is really laying on the pissed off St. Tebow theme, but really: I understand he was brought as a gimmick, to sell seats etc. But, this would require actually using the guy some along with selling jerseys and personal appearances. He was barely used. Was he that bad in practice? Denver managed to use him. Jets really screwed things up this season.
If you want to hear the gospel stories related to Christmas you can obtain a few here (and more written versions) or check the Peanuts Christmas special. BTW, as to Jets and those "two championship games," one playoffs was thanks to the Colts giving a game away or they would have three non-playoff seasons. So, getting old. Giants have two rings. Get a pass.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Based on a book with more material (the good DVD commentary by the director references a long book but Amazon has it under 200 pages), this is a charming comedy/drama about a good-hearted sailor (James Caan) falling in love with a barfly single mom (Marsha Mason). Good cast, some familiar faces in support. Sorta right time for it. Looks great.
After a special teams screw-up, it looked good for awhile (14-7), but the Jets third stringer ran into the wall. Meanwhile, the NYG scored less points, their playoff hopes on life support. Bengals/Colts in. Bears/Viks alive. Steelers/Miami/Saints out. Seattle leading [in].
Calvin Johnson had to settle for having a record-breaking night in yet another Detroit loss.
Saturday it might be, but it was MNF, underlined by the lameness of the match-up. Detroit, again, showed a bit of life but lost in the end, repeatedly unable to score TDs. Falcons clinched #1 seed. Will it choke again in the playoffs? SF/Sea (SNF) should be the game.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
It’s understandable for fans to want immediate results, and for the media to pounce on a team they see as being down. However, throwing money around recklessly and spending on mediocrity is what put the Mets in the situation they’re currently in.OTOH, there is this as to their OF situation (not good), implying it's around mid-March.
I checked this book out after looking at the author's (who came here as an undocumented alien as a child though her story is different than the characters here) autobiography. Quite good though one of the parallel stories is basically a "how worse can it get for her" account.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Lame movie. Another "I'm old" movie ("over the hill" movies from him go back at least 20 years, e.g., Unforgiven) from Eastwood (not directed by), just a whole lot less enjoyable. Baseball and Amy Adams fall along the way, doubly unfortunate. Justin Timberlake was actually okay. The script, not so much. The boorish prospect was particularly heavy-handed.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Tired of Prof. Volokh's one-note responses on his blog regarding gun control, particularly since someone with his scholarship should be able to provide more well-rounded remarks. Don't know how current owners will be handled, but this is yet another conservative gun owner supporting an "assault weapon" ban. Let's see what the Biden task force does.
Reports are (St.) Tebow will look to be traded (he's due to leave either way) if he is not offered a shot in the last two (meaningless) games. Uh huh. Guy was misused all season and this is what does it? Jets need a real back-up, but talks of getting Vick are inane. Yeah, they need more drama. BTW, Sanchez should have been benched before his final screw-up.
Various responses. Jack Balkin suggested what would happen if Bork was confirmed over Scalia. I think Kagan was right the first time: the Bork hearings were how things should go and he lost on the merits, even if (shocking!) there was some harsh rhetoric from advocates. He was wrong and quite shrill after awhile, but added to the conversation. Not sure if staying on to have someone in control was horrible re: the "massacre." His views are the issue.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Mets Acquire Outfielder Collin Cowgill in Trade With AthleticsNot surprising. The team will find some spare parts as place-setters, including in the OF, for 2013. Meanwhile, NCIS pretty good so far, including a nice "squirrely" guest star. (Mystery wasn't great, but the guest stars and Tony subplot were nice, including the look into his apartment with a fish named after his old (murdered) colleague.)
Tradition trumped suspense Monday as members of the Electoral College cast the official, final votes in the 2012 presidential election, a constitutional formality on President Obama's march to a second term.Not seeing why it matters in Arizona, where he didn't win, but birthism popped up.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Gene Rosen had just finished feeding his cats and was heading from his home near Sandy Hook Elementary school to a diner Friday morning when he saw six small children sitting in a neat semicircle at the end of his driveway.The last sentence is heartbreaking. The video seems to be an example of an appropriate means to provide humane video to stories of this sort.
The Republican governor of Ohio, who to my knowledge is fairly consistently partisan on the usual suspects, has shown some commendable judgement on commuting death sentences. Not an immediate issue on the federal level, but Obama has been deficient in use of pardon power generally. For context, Ohio is up there on the execution chart.
The teenage lead in this film actually has already been in a few things (including Kick Ass), but only saw her in Dark Shadows (boring film, turned it off). She's quite good here as a naive "trailer trash" sort of teen that runs away and meets some troubled characters (including Blake Lively , also quite good). Goes on a dubious turn late. Alec Baldwin has a bit part he seems to have taken mainly to underact. Good "making of" segment.
The prayer vigil last night was touching, particularly the man who gave the Muslim prayer and had trouble holding it together. He followed a young boy giving a prayer in Arabic, who only stumbled a bit. Meanwhile, SF survived blowing a 28 point lead, beating the Pats -- I would have punted at the end there, myself. Had a shot to stop them out of field goal range.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Yes, determining what to do is much more complicated and social norms will have to be addressed as well as scholarship that from my vantage point (see also, deterrence and the death penalty) only takes us so far and needs to be fine tuned. The ostrich approach won't do. Also, murder rates as a whole have gone done significantly while "rampage violence" has seemed to go up. I say "seem" since even that has been challenged. It is all very hazy.
I am reading said book and it overall makes a good case, though I wish it would have cited Acts 15 (sexual morality one of the limited rules Gentiles need to follow). Still, even he basically has to admit Paul has wrong-headed ideas of what is "natural" -- you really can't get around that his view on proper sex roles are wrongheaded. But, yes, the Bible as a whole promotes sexual equality and love and even the "bad verses" are not anti-gay as such.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
In short, I read Obama's comments as early evidence that his administration is prepared to adopt an evolving public health approach to these matters rather than a rigid crime and punishment view. I hope I am right in this assessment, because that is how I think these complicated and contingent social and legal issues should be considered.We'll see.
Details are starting to come out regarding the mass murder yesterday and it underlines the importance of waiting for the facts. For instance, if it is not even his guns, it is that much harder to keep them away from those unfit. This doesn't change the value of using tragedy to, carefully as possible, have a smart conversation about reasonable gun policy.
Friday, December 14, 2012
We always hear "today's not the time," but why not? Yes, we can't deal with the specific event with instant solutions, but how about other ones? Time passed. Still, there is just so much we can do. Guns, however, have been taken off the table except to expand gun rights. Inane. Guns as much as other major things should be subject to sound regulations.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
She has an extended article in this collection in honor of Justice Stevens and the last ten or so pages on the Obama Administration (see also, here on Libya) is well worth reading alone. Wish she was leading the OLC. Her reference to the 13A / abortion rights was sound too.
Wright will donate 1 percent of his base salary to the New York Mets Foundation, and the charities will be jointly chosen by him and the team.More details here. I say we make this standard. The overpaying, a norm this off-season, of players surely make it pretty painless.
the Republican offensive -- led by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Bob Corker, and Kelly Ayotte -- was based on literally nothing.Like Dawn Johnsen, if less important on a symbolic level (and perhaps merits), the Republicans got their piece of flesh. I don't want Kerry now to be chosen so the Rs can suddenly get all bipartisan and shit. Screw that. Obama has something of a free pass now, so find someone else. As with this unsurprising result, the reverse won't surprise me.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.12/12/00.
The proposals continue to temper the "war on drugs," particularly marijuana. Good Rolling Stones article, including how state attempts to regulate/tax can be targeted. After all, that's the point of national power -- local discretion is decreased some. But, this only increases national discretion. See also, NYT on (selective) mass incarceration. Interesting times.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
What would happen then? Well, for one thing, presumably the Second Circuit decision is vacated also. Windsor herself still wins the case, because, with the executive not defending DOMA, and the BLAG lacking standing, she gets a default judgment.Doubt a complete punt, but that's something. Read whole thing. I think the Administration's position here (enforce/don't defend) is sound (if applied sparingly) and don't see the logic in the courts rejecting the Administration in effect honoring the spirit of Cooper v. Aaron. [Update: OTOH, Prop 8 is more complicated. I lean toward allowing standing, but see here.]
This is the 50th anniversary of this powerful film of two mentally troubled teens who find a special connection at a residence treatment center. "David" is played (well) by someone too old for the role. His psychiatrist (the author of the source material is one) later played Franklin in 1776. Distinctive voice. "Lisa" is great too. David's dad is also very good.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Today, on Human Rights Day, as we mark the 64th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the inter-American human rights system – guardian of the world’s first international human rights agreement – faces an unprecedented threat to its independence and authority.More here and here. Family planning as human right here.
The Bears were hoping for something of a miracle -- the Packs have been beating Detroit at home for years and Detroit has been losing, including after winning early, for some time this season. More of the same in snowy conditions. Detroit looked good, slipped up and lost in the end. Texans/Pats close week. Two tough games for the Pats to see how good they are.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
The NYG whipped the Saints but the other teams in their division won on their last possession, two at the buzzer, one in OT. Colts came back, Viks hurt the Bears, Chargers finally won (even with Ben back) and the Seahawks won 58-0. Skelton didn't do it, huh?
Saturday, December 08, 2012
Friday, December 07, 2012
I admit it -- this "cougar on the prowl" photoshoot caught my eye. Like the simple outfit, long hair and glasses, Demi. I like how this review of a somewhat tired film (seems to be a trend this week, it depends what your "thing" is) respects its good aspects (few films don't have something worth watching) while making a larger point, like a good review does.
Perhaps, the 18th is the true day that lives in infamy, not an attack on a military target of a nation that was doing war-like things to them economically though Japan in bad form was secret about planning it. On that, and other issues (e.g., raising taxes), Last Word's segments last night with George Takei are timely. LD has his moments.
Other than signing Wright until his late 30s, the Mets really didn't do anything yet, and I agree this is okay. Just making stupid expensive moves to make them has been totally played. Not that fans unreasonably are wary given past failures. Time will tell.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Chris Hayes last night had someone who noted that the early policy of the Obama Administration to only target violations of state law regarding medicinal marijuana was complicated in California because of the lack of clear state policy. Toss in comments earlier that those under 21 and who smoke in public (not allowed by new laws) are major targets of state police and the whole picture is somewhat confused. Details very important.
Finished up the Daria DVD set by watching the third of four parts, which covers mostly the Fourth Season, which is when Daria and Tom (Daria's friend's bf) slowly fall for each other. Various other good character goings on, the cartoon characters here more open our concern than many real life shows. Still wish Jake (like Quinn) had a few more good moments.
I found the last two episodes pretty good, the last one providing a chance for the younger partner to have a subplot of his own. The show can be pretty silly at times, but the episodes were well written. And, the mom, to be honest, looked pretty good in a slip.
I finished Lois Lowry's book Son, which is reportedly the final book in the "Messenger" series of which I read one other book (a character pops up here). Overall, I enjoyed it, though found the ending a bit weak. Not sure how much it ties things up. Also, found the "Claire" parts (about 2/3) more interesting. Still, I'd recommend it.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
A fairly typical case. He killed a couple during a home invasion, a compatriot getting life as a Mexican national that raised consulate issues. Such a somewhat arbitrary difference of treatment occurs a lot. The apparent borderline mental health issues also are fairly standard. To me, this is a good case for life imprisonment. Not a killing a cop or torture sort of thing.
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
They spell his name wrong, but my senator is involved in a new coalition in the NY Senate as discussed here, a senator "you can count on" to join with Republicans, apparently. I'm actually willing to consider some thinking outside the box -- our legislature is something of a mess, but I don't recall Klein asking us first about this sort of thing. [Update: OTOH, he ran -- don't recall this I admit -- on both party lines.] Tad dubious though.
Richard Clarke had a good op-ed supportive of drones over the weekend. Yes, the drones aren't 2001 self-aware flying robots. I think more clarity is necessary but some of the rules are on record. IF we target people, it is less lethal than various alternatives. Wary about the targeting though sorry Rachel, killing American citizens (ask Grant about that) isn't shocking on its own. More on the other (non-lethal) stuff the U.S. is doing would also be helpful.
Last Word highlighted Costas' comments and it is sad that reasonable gun regulation and use is removed from the political discourse. LD noted handguns aren't going to stop tyranny in the 21st Century. Guns are used for various purposes, including self-defense. And, if we consider the matter, for better or worse, our armed society does check the government.
Bob Costas (who I find a bit of a blowhard), after noting he often disagrees with the guy, cited a columnist that noted that if the KC player didn't own a handgun, it's likely two people would still be alive. The comment on "gun culture" is fine but guns aren't just going to disappear. Owning a gun isn't really the problem here. It's the abuse of them.
First, Justice Breyer described as a “unicorn” the mythical lawyer who might say “I think I’ll stay silent on this unsettled legal point, hoping that the law will become clear by the time I appeal.” Justice Kagan, and later even Justice Scalia, agreed, and Justice Breyer expanded the category to include hippogriffs (another imaginary creature).Another re-cap that makes one want to listen. [She was rough but I think okay.]
Monday, December 03, 2012
I saw very little of the MNF game since I don't find this sort of teeth pulling aggravation fun. Yet again, the Giants give themselves little wiggle room in December and if anything a harder path ahead. Betting man says they will do it again, but you know, it's sorta tedious.
“Good evening to you, and how you be? Steve Somers here and you there.” That’s how Steve Somers begins his nightly call-in show — his schmooze, he calls it — on WFAN, New York’s sports radio station. He’s been saying this for 25 years, and it’s a ritual greeting as reassuring to his listeners as the call of a muezzin.He's charming. Good NYT piece.
Breyer lost almost everybody in the courtroom, though, with trying to draw some meaning out of a couple of English cases he had read, from the eighteenth century. Only Justice Scalia understood enough of Breyer’s point to put it down with a dose of sarcasm.Sounds like a good oral overall.
USSC did not decide on any SSM cases but Justice Sotomayor had another notable solo dissent of denial of cert., this time to underline the importance of providing mitigation evidence in a death penalty case, not to "explain" as much as to understand if the penalty is "deserved." Its importance to a jury was also discussed in Anatomy of An Execution.
Only those with a certain need are given a license to carry concealed weapons in NY and Heller/McDonald winner Mr. Gura lost in the second circuit. It's not the home, meets compelling state interest under intermediate scrutiny and there is more supportive history. Reasonable to me, though not slam dunk, if the law is not applied arbitrarily (can see as applied challenges here), but the USSC will have to clarify the rules at some point.
Phils QB of the future has a good SNF performance but a late fumble decides the game in favor of Dallas. Thus, Giants still need to win tonight to be comfty. Mets have signed Wright for a long term deal, paying him more than he is likely worth, but that's what one has to do. How's Toronto, Mr. Reyes, btw? Will Dickey be used for parts? Depressingly practical.
Sunday, December 02, 2012
In an ugly game, fans saw the Jets' third string QB and "won" 7-6. Steelers third stringer won too. Lions found a way to lose again. Bucs also lost a close one, SF had a lot of things occur to lose vs. the Rams again, barely not having another tie. Seattle won in the end, Packers/Bears now tied. And, Dallas is behind at the Half again. Giants tomorrow.
Saturday, December 01, 2012
After a few false starts into a good book, which is cited as a conclusion of sorts to a series that includes (taking the one I read) Gathering Blue. Lois Lowry (not just for teens!) again takes us into a dystopian world where something as basic as loving your newborn is a shocking thing. Only half-way through, but quite good.
I thought Silent House annoying, but the lead actress has a better, if still somewhat disjointed (again intentionally) project here as a victim of a cult. Still, hello, she's obviously screwed up. How can the sister and husband just watch her? The film also basically just ends.
I was working with someone else on a few facebook pages (a sort of private project) and can see it being rather addictive. Commenting, likes, editing, the works. The same as to Twitter. Nothing profound saying that, but it is amazing after awhile. Ditto with blogs.
The USSC is deciding what SSM type cases to hear so it is back to the standard arguments on blogs -- see, e.g., my probably ill advised repeated comments over at Volokh Conspiracy. I feel compelled to beat the dead horse, but I guess you have to do so when the principles are important enough. Still as with years of PPACA arguments, it is sooooo tiresome.