November 25, 2004

Our Turkey Day

Posted by Jeremy Brown

We are staying in a lovely undisclosed hotel in Manhattan very near the Empire State Building which is lit up in red and green. It used to be lovely browns and oranges this time of year, but Christmas comes increasingly early these days.

Anyway, we can see that majestic but lonely skyscraper right from our hotel window and, though I have now been living in rural Massachusetts as long as Ilived in the Big Apple, it makes me teary with pride in this Gotham of my youth (must end this sentence because I have run out of nicknames for NYC).

We had a wonderful feast with the family and my parents courageously ate the sugar-free cheesecake I made for them thought it tasted like drywall joint compound (granted a smooth, high grade brand. For the sugar eaters, Cara's gorgeous apple pie was a smashing success. She couldn't have done it without moral support from me, of course.

I am blogging this from the hotel using the TV internet and I haven't figured out how to copy and paste text, so I'll give you my take on a couple of stories of the day off the top of my head (hey, it's a holiday post; they can't all be gems).

I see that one of the brand new floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving parade was SpongeBob Squarepants. I like that very much. I thought America would lke to know that.

Looks like a hold has been put on the Ukranian election results. While knockng on wood, I think we can stop rocking anxiously in our cushy, faux Queen Anne rocker/recliners now. Maybe.

And Colin Powell's source for the Iranian nuke report has been called into question in some capacity I can't qute recall. A lot of folks enjoy pointing out that he has been in this sort of situation before. But from where I sit, it seems to me that the world pretty much recognized that, while Iraq probably had some sort of chemical or bio weapons way back when (though no one really expected as little as was found) it was pretty widely understood that the Bush Admin was milking that angle to an extreme. It gave people like Kerry something to hide behind so he could vote thumbs up on the war authorization.

When it comes to Iran, no one who has been paying attention has any doubt that the Mullahs have an active nuclear weapons program. So, while the precise details may or may not be as Powell reports, no serious person can say that this is a tale wagging a dog. It's fairly clear, when it comes to resolving an accurate picture of what has really been going on with Iran's nuclear program, the world is playing catch-up.

Posted by Jeremy Brown at 9:55 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

The Meaning of Thanksgiving

Posted by Jeremy Brown

The best Thanksgiving sentiment I've seen so far today can be found on this blog of this Englishman. Suddenly I find myself in the holiday spirit.

Happy Thanksgiving then to all Americans: Atheist, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan...all those who don't consider themselves under the thrall of a fatwa to the contrary.

But I must load the car and drive now.

Posted by Jeremy Brown at 8:56 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

November 24, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all have a good one, even if you don't celebrate this American holiday.

Cara and I are heading down to Manhattan tomorrow to see my family.

UPDATE: If you were a little confused by the next sentence, it's because I meant to post that over at my own blog. I've got to watch out our it will all come crumbling down. What I meant to say is that I will be blogging here every, but at my own blog, maybe.

I'll keep blogging here, as best I can, and will certainly be blogging at Michael Totten's.

Posted by Jeremy Brown at 9:23 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

Ukraine Links

Posted by Jeremy Brown

I admit I don't know much about what's going on in Ukraine. As I read up on it I'll post some links that seem useful. Here are a few to start with:

A fistful of Euros has numerous links for more information.

Pora, a student pro-democracy organization in Ukraine has a website with frequently updated information (via Harry's Place who also have a number of posts to scroll through)

Instapundit is a good place to scroll through in search of links to people blogging this story.

If you have any links to suggest please add them in the comments.

Posted by Jeremy Brown at 9:15 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

Two Filmmakers With Eyes Open

Posted by Jeremy Brown

Readers of this blog are probably aware that blogger, novelist, and filmmaker Roger Simon has not failed to understand the message stabbed to the freshly slaughtered body of Theo Van Gogh. Aside from Hollywood's collective lack of shock and outrage over the violent act itself, why has there been so little (read none) evidence of American filmmakers recognizing that war has been declared on the free expression of ideas through film (that being just for starters)?

And we're not talking about a need to grudgingly tolerate the freedom of people to make films bearing reprehensible ideological messages, we're talking about a man being brutally murdered because he made a film exposing the oppression of women. You'd think this would merit even the most token expression of solidarity against the silencing of artistic and political speech from 'progressives' in the Hollywood film industry.

Well Roger, as far as I'm concerned, is Hollywood now. By moral default. And so is a screenwriter named Bridget Johnson. Here's Johnson from a WSJ article that Roger links to today:

Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh's short film "Submission," about the treatment of women in Islam, written by female Dutch parliamentarian and former Muslim Aayan Hirsi Ali, had aired in August on Dutch TV. Van Gogh was riding his bike near his home when a Muslim terrorist shot him, slashed his throat, and pinned to his body a note threatening Ms. Ali. This appears to be an organized effort, not the act of a lone nut; Dutch authorities are holding 13 suspects in the case.

After the slaying, I watched "Submission" (available online at ifilm.com) and my mind is still boggled that 11 minutes decrying violence against women incites such violence. There've been many films over the years that have taken potshots at Catholics, but I don't remember any of us slaughtering filmmakers over the offense. You didn't see the National Rifle Association order a hit on Michael Moore over "Bowling for Columbine."

One would think that in the name of artistic freedom, the creative community would take a stand against filmmakers being sent into hiding à la Salman Rushdie, or left bleeding in the street. Yet we've heard nary a peep from Hollywood about the van Gogh slaying.

Johnson identifies as a conservative and speaks of a growing conservative culture within Hollywood. I applaud Johnson for speaking out on this issue. But I don't want liberal filmmakers to evade this. This is an issue that should not fall prey to the division between Left and Right.

I consider myself a liberal (though I'm still scratching my head over what the hell has happened to my liberal friends, where they have gone) and I'm still outraged that Roger Simon is the only liberal in Hollywood whose voice has been audible on the Van Gogh murder and what it portends. In light of this sort of failing on the part of liberals, I am much more comfortable in the company of conservatives like Johnson who are willing to pick up some of the core principles my comrades have left to rot. But I'm not fully content with that. It's time for my fellow liberals to wake the hell up.

Posted by Jeremy Brown at 12:25 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

November 23, 2004

Michael’s Latest on Tech Central

Posted by Jeremy Brown

Check out Michael's latest column on Tech Central Station. It's an important subject that is not all over the blogs at the moment. This one's about Belgium's banning of the popular right wing political party, Vlaams Blok. Michael ties this in to the larger picture of a Europe at an uncertain crossroads, the unpopularity of discussing the growth of Islamist fundamentalism in Europe, and the dangers of a liberal society unwilling to think its way out of the false dichotomy "between left-wing fantasy and right-wing lunacy."

Or read it and tell me how my teaser is missing the real crux of the piece. But read it.

Posted by Jeremy Brown at 8:31 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

Zeroing in on Zarqawi?

Posted by Jeremy Brown

If this is true and leads to a capture it would certainly help to set an optimistic tone for the January 30th elections:

Kirkuk - Security forces were on Tuesday focussing their hunt for Iraq's most wanted man, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, on an area in north-central Iraq after receiving a tip-off, an Iraqi national guard officer said.

"We received concrete information from very reliable sources that Zarqawi was transferred today (Tuesday) to Tuz Khormatu and is heading to Baquba," staff brigadier general Anwar Hamad Ameed, the national guard chief in the northern city of Kirkuk, told AFP.

He gave no further details.

I don't know whether he's a myth or a composite, but if so he is a myth and a composite responsible for some of the most horrific acts of murder it is possible to conceive of. (Hat Tip: Roger)

Posted by Jeremy Brown at 4:44 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

Autorantic Virtual Moonbat

Posted by Jeremy Brown

At Harry's Place I found an oracle of wisdom you simply must visit: a moonbat robot. You can ask it any question about any subject. Read the FAQ's below, but then go ask some questions:

QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Is the AVM a "he" or a "she"?

It thinks gender is a social construct, and will be extremely offended if you assign it a sex. So, go ahead and do it.

Does it matter what I type?

Not much. Other than occasionally sneering at some word or phrase it doesn't like, the AVM largely ignores all inputs, and rants about topics at random, just like a real moonbat.

I'd have posted it here, but I don't want to turn Michael's blog into a whimsical funhouse, or rather, I don't think that was my mandate.

UPDATE: Actually, what am I saying? Michael's the one who posted a picture of Rudy Giuliani in drag just before flying off to Libya for Turkey Day. But one feels a pull to be over-formal when guesting on someone else's blog; I think I have a small sense of how Michael felt guest blogging on Instapundit.

Posted by Jeremy Brown at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

November 22, 2004

Thesis Question for PHD Candidates in English Lit.

Posted by Jeremy Brown

This one is chiefly for those specializing in 19th century English writers, but anyone can play:

If you can call someone a little Dickens and expect blushing and giggles, then why do things turn so ugly when you call someone a little Trollope?

Ok, that was just to prove that Michael is on vacation this week. I will now return to serious blogging. I invite your comments though.

Posted by Jeremy Brown at 1:13 PM | Permalink | Comments Off
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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