#navbar-iframe{opacity:0.0;filter:alpha(Opacity=0)} #navbar-iframe:hover{opacity:1.0;filter:alpha(Opacity=100, FinishedOpacity=100)} Ed's Daily Rant: 09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002

Because face it.
I'm right, and you're wrong.

Monday, September 30, 2002

I'm sure some of you have heard about the Ganske Harkin taping controversy. Well it looks like all the effort that the conservatives used to try and smear Harkin for something he didn't do ("This is worse than Watergate folks", bellows Rush the Hutt) backfired. Harkin has now opened up a a 20 point lead.

Signs of the Apocolypse:
The Moonie Times gets it right and calls Bush on a lie. A lie that is repeated as fact by the major news media. (thanks to Atrios for picking up on that)

Sunday, September 29, 2002

A specific listing of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Reagan and Bush sold Hussien in the eighties is documented here in a Senate report done in 1994. Just remember that the next time Bush talks about how evil it is that Saddam has these WMD's, that his father is the one responsible.

Friday, September 27, 2002

Welcome to my new weekly item!

Right Wing Rant Watch.

I am a member of a number of political discussion groups. They cover numerous topics and points of view. However there are 2 that I am a member of that are full of rabid right wing conservatives who think every Democrat is scum and Clinton was responsible for 9/11, etc...

Why dio I subsciribe to such groups? Well 2 reasons. 1, I am fascinated at how their minds work. Seeing that kind of fevereshly blind bias and hatred up close is fascinating. and 2. they crack me up.

So every friday I will give you some choice selections of responses given to me by my friends at the Yahoo Rush Limbaugh mailing lists! First off is Mark (he's one of the best!) and his response to my posting of a salon article in May that urged the Bush White house to come clean and revael exactly what it knew before 9/11. Note that the article contained the following line:
Certainly, we shouldn't jump to conclusions, or simplistically insist the recent news means Bush could have prevented those 3,000 deaths on Sept. 11.

Here is Mark's response:
Ed you should be ashamed.
Accusing Bush of ignoring specific intelligence for personal gain is a serious
You have no proof,no morals and no honor.
You and your party are scum.
Cry all you want about my name calling.
"Hypocritical sissy"
You're implying the president is a traitor and complicit in mass murder.
My use of colorful adjectives will never compare to your left wing slander.
You sir are the traitor.

Mark M.

Next week I'll show how Mark's belief in the truth was tested when he revealed that Clinton was a murdering rapist!

It's about friggin time.

After gettiing rolled by Bush for almost 2 years, the Dem's are starting to grow some backbone.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Will Rush apologize for the completly false and nasty lies he spread about Senator Tom Harkin now that they have proven to be completly false?

I'm sorry if I cant't let Bushs remark go, but It has been driving me crazy for days. The fact that he would say something so low and disgusting, the fact that no conservative will speak out against it. If Clinton had said that, Ollie North would be screaming from the rooftops, Bill Bennett would write a quckie book about it, Rush Limbaugh would dedicate a months wortth of shows to it. But since it was THEIR draft dodger who said it, they dissmiss it. I recently was in a debate with a conservative who not only defended it, but launched into a tirade about how Daschle should shut up ebcause he never served in uniform. He was of course unaware Tom Daschle was a first lieutenant in the United States Air Force from 1969-72. IT's like they just shut out any fact's that get in the way of their dogmatic thinking.

And know it seems that the President and his slimy Press Secretary will not apologize for it and will even refuse to answer questions about it. Here are excerpts from a recent press briefing transcript:

The President, whenever he talks about homeland defense on the stump, says something to the effect of the Senate is more interested in special interests than in the interests of the security of the American people. On Monday, and at least one other time this month, he has said instead that the Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington, and not interested in the security of the American people. When he said that Monday, and he said it in Kentucky, did he misspeak? Or does he really believe that Democrats are not interested in the security of the American people?
MR. FLEISCHER: Ron, this is a policy debate, where people have said of the President, in terms of his positions on these flexibility measures that I just cited, they have differences with the President. And the President has differences, and he's working with the Democrats and Republicans to bring people together so that we can have a homeland security department. And that's where the President is on this.

Now, in terms of what the President said, I'm aware of the debate that is taking place on Capitol Hill, and the accusations that have been made about the President on this. And now is a time for everybody concerned to take a deep breath, to stop finger-pointing, and to work well together to protect our national security and our homeland defense.
[more Ari-babble]
Q I appreciate that. But the question wasn't about what Senator Daschle said; it's what the President said in that speech and in one in Kentucky, where he says -- I'm taking his words literally -- "the Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington, and not interested in the security of the American people." Did the President mean to say that the Senate is not interested in the security of the American people, or did he misspeak?

MR. FLEISCHER: There is no doubt about it. If this does not pass into law because special interest provisions will have prevailed, the Senate will not have acted in the best interests of the American people. And the interests of the special interests will have been put ahead, and the result will be that the Senate will not have acted in that interest, for the national security.

Q Sorry, I don't want to be argumentative here, but you're not responding to the question, because that's not what the President said. The President said, "the Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington, and not interested in the security of the American people." Did he mean to say that the Senate is not interested in the security of the American people, or did he misspeak? It's one of the two.

MR. FLEISCHER: The President is stating the fact that unless and until this passes, the Senate will not have acted in the interests of the security of the American people. Homeland security is just that; it is the security of the American people.

Q That's not what he said. He said, "the Senate is not interested in the security of the American people." He didn't say "if" or "whether" or "but."

MR. FLEISCHER: He made that --

Q He said, "the Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington, and not interested in the security of the American people." Did he mean to say that, or did he misspeak?

MR. FLEISCHER: I think there's no question that in the event that this does not pass because the special interests, who are fighting to take away the flexibility that every agency currently has in terms of the President's ability to act for national security -- if that is deprived and taken away from the President, and rolled back, then the President's conclusion will have been that the special interests prevailed over the security of the American people, and that in that Senate action, that the Senate action will have shown, by failure to pass it, that the special interests prevailed over the security interests of the country.

Q Will that show that special interests have prevailed over the interests of the American people? Or will it show that, again, in the President's own words, "the Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington, and not interested in the security of the American people"?

MR. FLEISCHER: We won't know until the vote takes place.

Q But does he stand by that remark or not? He didn't --

MR. FLEISCHER: I think it's clear --

Q -- he didn't qualify it. He said --

MR. FLEISCHER: What the President wants to --

Q -- "the Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington, and not interested in the security of the American people." Does he stand by that comment, or not?

MR. FLEISCHER: What the President is trying to do is bring the Democrats and Republicans together, as he said in the rest of his remarks, when he said that this is not a partisan issue, it is an issue vital to our future. It will determine how secure we will be. And there's no getting around the fact that if the Senate does not pass it --

Q That's why I'm wondering if he misspoke --

MR. FLEISCHER: -- that the security of our country will not have been protected.

Q That's why I'm wondering if he misspoke, because it doesn't jibe with what he said a couple sentences later.

MR. FLEISCHER: I can only interpret it for you as I have.

After reading that, I need a shower.

THis is the kind of person, according to Bush who doesn't care about the security of the American People. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Democratic Senator from the State of Hawaii;

Inouye was leading a platoon of the 2nd Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, near the town of San Terenzo, Italy in April, 1945, when it came under fire from a bunker manned by die-hard Italian Fascists fighting for the Germans. There was no cover on the hill, so Inouye crawled up alone to reconnoiter. As he was taking out a hand grenade, he was hit in the stomach by machine-gun fire. He was knocked down but managed to get up, pull the pin, run to within five yards of the nearest of three machine guns, and throw the grenade inside the position. As the gunners struggled to their feet, he raked them with his Tommy gun. While his men were pinned down by enemy fire, Inouye, bleeding from the stomach, staggered farther up the hill and threw two more grenades into the second enemy position. He fell again. Dragging himself toward the third machine-gun position, he stood up and pulled the pin from another grenade. Just as he was about to throw it, an enemy rifle grenade smashed his right elbow. His men ran to help him, but Inouye ordered them back. With his good left hand, he tossed the grenade and destroyed the position. With his right arm flapping at his side, he started finishing off the enemy survivors with his Tommy gun. Then he was hit in the right leg and fell down the hill. He refused to be evacuated until his men were deployed in defensive positions. Twenty-five enemy troops were killed and eight captured in the action.

For this action Lt. Inouye was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart with cluster and the Congressional Medal of Honor, The highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.

Stay tuned for more people who are not interested in the security of the United States.

This says it all (thanks to Maxspeak)

I've always bee amused at the conservative pundits propensity to paint Gore as a liberal. I understand that in an election year all objectivity drains from their minds and they will do whatever it takes to win, but still, this one always infuriated me.

Clinton was not a liberal. He was a moderate. And Gore is even more conservative than Clinton.

Lets look at Gore's record on some of the issues:
Opposes partial birth abortion
Believes in fiscal responsilility and paying down the debt as well as a 500 billion dollar tax cut
Opposes gay marraige
Favors a victims rights law
Suports Faith-based crime prevention via clergy outreach
Supports the death penalty
supports mandatory three strikes laws
Supported huge increases in defense spending
Advocates mandatory teacher testing and removing tenured teachers who fail
Supports the teaching of abstinence education as part of a sex education class
His "holding the entertainment industry accountable" phase.
Supported V-chip
Hard liner on Castro
Huge supporter of free trade and helped pass NAFTA
Opposes tariffs
Supports Voluntary school prayer

Now sure you can come back and say "what about this" on any number of liberal positions he's taken, but noone can advocate the preceding positions and be considered a liberal.

He is and was a moderate.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

The perfectly named Dick Armey:
"I always see two Jewish communities in America. One of deep intellect and one of shallow, superficial intellect. Conservatives have a deeper intellect and tend to have 'occupations of the brain' in fields like engineering, science and economics. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to flock to 'occupations of the heart,'"

Wait, it gets better. Here is Dick responding to attacks in what he must have considered "damage control":
"Liberals are in my estimation just not bright people. They don't think deeply; they don't comprehend; they don't understand...They have a narrow educational base, as opposed to the hard scientists,"

Armey is a former Economics Professor at the, get this, University of North Texas. Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure its a nice little school. I'm sure when he called Barney Frank "Barney Fag" his broadly educated buddies at UNT thought it was hilarious. But give me a choice of a scholarship at and one at the nonthinking, non understanding, and narrow educationally based MIT, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc., and the UNT, guess where I am going?

My guess is since he's retiring he's in his "I don't give a flying f*&k" mode and saying whatever belligerent bone headed thing that pops into his oh so broadly educated and deep thinking mind.

At least I hope thats true.

The so called liberal media is STILL covering Bush's ass.

As Democratic congressional leaders negotiated Wednesday with President Bush on a resolution that would authorize him to use military force against Iraq, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle angrily accused Bush of seeking to reap pre-election advantage from the debate over Iraq and demanded that he apologize for implying that Democrats were not interested in the security of the American people.

Implying? Here is, once again, exactly what Bush said:
"The Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington and not interested in the security of the American people."

He didn't imply anything. He flat out said it. And I cheered Daschle's speech. To read it is not enough. He was truly pissed, as he should be. See it here (choose play video link).

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

This week Gore gave a speech where he took the Administration to task on its obsession with a war in Iraq. It was quite good. Here are some excerpts:

The vast majority of those who sponsored, planned and implemented the cold-blooded murder of more than 3,000 Americans are still at large, still neither located nor apprehended, much less punished and neutralized. I do not believe that we should allow ourselves to be distracted from this urgent task simply because it is proving to be more difficult and lengthy than was predicted.
Great nations persevere and then prevail. They do not jump from one unfinished task to another. We should remain focused on the war against terrorism.

Moreover, President Bush is demanding, in this high political season, that Congress speedily affirm that he has the necessary authority to proceed immediately against Iraq and, for that matter, under the language of his resolution, against any other nation in the region regardless of subsequent developments or emerging circumstances.

We are proposing to cross an international border. And, however justified it may be, we have to recognize that this profound difference in the circumstances now compared to what existed in 1991 has profound implications for the way the rest of the world views what we are doing, and that in turn will have implications for our ability to succeed in our war against terrorism.
To begin with, the doctrine is presented in open-ended terms, which means that if Iraq is the first point of application it is not necessarily the last. In fact, the very logic of the concept suggests a string of military engagements against a succession of sovereign states--Syria, Libya, North Korea, Iran--none of them very popular in the United States, of course, but the implication is that wherever the combination exists of an interest in weapons of mass destruction, together with an ongoing role as host to or participant in terrorist operations, the doctrine will apply.

Meanwhile, Bush was at an elementary school:

(thanks to Bartcop for that)

George W. Bush June 8th, 2000 a month before he kicked off his "Change The Tone Tour"
"Above all else, we must call a truce to the "politics as combat," where differences of principles give rise to the unprincipled attacks on character."

Bush in a speech September 5th:
"The Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington and
not interested in the security of the American people."

All Hail!

Buffy is back and all is right with the world again.

It is quite simply, the best show on TV right now.

Like I always say, If Brent Bozell hates it, it must be good! (Imagine if 7th Heaven started using the word "piss". The funny thing is Brent doesn't realize how subversive that show really is)

Monday, September 23, 2002

Now that we have declared we have a new "Hitler", lets try and analyze exactly how he got to be who he is.

For a refresher course in History, look here.

"They need to be very cautious not to seek political advantage by making incendiary suggestions that have been made by some today that the White House had advance information that would have prevented the tragic attacks of 9/11. Such commentary is thoroughly irresponsible and totally unworthy of national leaders in a time of war,"
Dick Cheney, May 16th, 2001 (Keep in mind that at the time NO prominnt Democrat ever said Bush knew 9/11 was going to happen and did nothing. The aptly named Dick was engaging in good old fashioned Mcarthyite smear tactics)

From today's NYT:
Senior Republican Party officials say the prospect of at least two more weeks of Congressional debate on Iraq is allowing their party to run out the clock on the fall election, blocking Democrats as they try to seize on the faltering economy and other domestic concerns as campaign issues.

So saying that Democrats who suggest that Bush knew 9/11 was going to happen for political gain is a bad thing (keep in mind other than the loony Mckinney, NOONE made the suggestion), yet trying to create a war for the express purposes of winning a reelection is OK?

Thursday, September 19, 2002

He did it again. The Daily show last night excoriated Bush on yet another horrifying abuse of the English language. He said, and I quote:
"There's a saying in Tennessee...There's a saying in Texas, maybe it's a saying in Tennessee. Fool me once, Shame on...(5 second pause)...Shame on me....(pause)...You can't get fooled again."

You can listen to the whole excruciating thing here. But you will lose the absolute look of blank stupidity on his face during the 5 second pause when he realizes he forgot the rest of the saying.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Anyone familiar with the "blogoshphere" knows that Mickey Kaus has had sand in his vagina over the New York Times for a while now. He is just obsessed. Today he came at them yet again because they called Pete Domenici a "hard liner". In order to back up the assertion that Domenici isn't a hard liner he cites 2 sources. The first is his "D" rating from the Gun Owners of America in their most recent survey. Let's take a look at the other grades to that survey:
Lott C-
Helms C +
Thurmond C-
Hatch C-

Any questions?

But wait, he doesn't stop there. He also cites, as "proof" that Domenici isn't a hardliner, the fact that he got "relatively mixed reviews from Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform". So if a rightwing group that advocates a flat tax among other things gives you a mixed review that makes you a mushy liberal? It seems George Bush received "mixed reviews" from them as well. But then again he really is an enemy of the taxpayer.

Grover is also the head of the Islamic Institute which has ties to a group called American Muslim Council and it's leader Abdurahman Alamoudi (Norquists lobbying firm has also done lobbying work for him), who said the following:
"I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas. Anybody support Hamas here?...Hear that, Bill Clinton? We are all supporters of Hamas. I wished they added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah."

On the country of Qatar, which is against having the "war on Terrorism" include groups like Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Hezbollah, Grover said this:
"Qatar has taken great strides to enshrine values of universal suffrage, a free press, and human rights. She really means it on being a reliable ally."

I have a feeling Grover would consider Genghis Khan a mushy liberal.

Bash the NY Times all you want on some vendetta, I don't care. I think the great grey lady can handle an internet blogger hurling pebbles at it, but dude, try and at least make a coherent argument.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Is the combover in politics becoming obsolete?

After the recent good news that New Hampshire Senator, and right wing Elian Gonzalez media whoring right wing nutso, Bob Smith retired he took with him probably the most godawful comb over to ever exist in America.

And now Guiliani has gotten rid of his combover and gone with a combed back look.

Call me crazy but how can you really trust a politician with a combover? Before he has said a word to you he's already lied.

For another wierd "front back" combover, check Joe Biden. That one is just plain odd.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Buzz Aldrin is the shizznat.

Jeb Bush is a scumbag.

In yet another election scandal under his watch, he blames the citizens of Florida for being stupid. Oh wait, he blames Florida Democrats. Grandmothers, mothers, veterans, servicenmen and women, cops and firefighters.

According to their Governer, They are stupid.

"Before scope of the problem became apparent Tuesday, Florida's Republican governor framed the problem in partisan terms. Bush referred to the rival party that now has been snakebit by election foibles in two straight major elections.

"What is it with Democrats having a hard time voting -- I don't know," Bush said."

Gee Jeb, thats about as insulting and unfair as saying...

"Whats with the Bush family raising a bunch of crackheads and drunks?"

I refuse to engage in the already overly maudlin and hyped 9/11 aniversary. To me its all a contest of whch news network can come up with the most somber graphic and 9/11 "theme" music while repeating the image of a few thousand peoples mass murder ad nauseum, followed by commercials from Frito Lay where they say they "honor the dead", and by the way try our new Bar B Q Blast nachos.

Turn off the TV and go to church or something.

Instead I'll mention some good news I never thought I'd hear. Christopher Reeve is getting sensation back in his body. He can breathe on his own for over 90 minutes a day, has sensation in his fingers and toes, and can feel pressure.

Lex Luthor can kiss his ass.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Jeb Bush's daughter is a crack head. But thanks to Jeb's cronies, she won't have to worry about those pesky things like "laws". After all, if they can rig an election, whats a little drug felony?
From the Sun Sentinel:

"ORLANDO -- Gov. Jeb Bush's 25-year-old daughter was found with crack cocaine at a rehabilitation center, police said Tuesday.

"A staffer who had been filling out a statement for the officer ripped the document up and threw it into a trash can after talking to a supervisor, but the officer retrieved the torn paper and tagged it as evidence, she said. Its contents were not released."

Saturday, September 07, 2002

Maxspeak, via Atrios, forwarded this explosive article about a Republican congressman who reportedly met with Taliban leaders in 2001 before 9/11 (which would have been illegal). It also quotes a report which implies that Congressman Rohrbacher felt that the Taliban were not a threat to the U.S., not terrorists or revolutionaries, and that he felt they would develop a "disciplined, moral society" that would not harbor terrorists.

Pretty fantastic stuff eh? Especially since Rohrbacher is one of those far right wing, Clinton caused 9/11, type Congressmen in the classic Dan Burton mold.

However I recieved an email from an (admittedly very conservative) acquaintance of mine who hasd this to say.

The OC Weekly, and Scott Moxley's stories in particular, are not credible sources. I have personal experience with Mr. Moxley fabricating quotations and implying blatantly false assertions about organizations I have been involved with. In one article, on an organization organized as a PAC (which means all its financial information is filed with the county registrar and Secretary of State every 6 months), Mr. Moxley asked the executive director who the organization's big donors were. Her reply was "I wish we had some. All of our donors are listed on our FPPC filings." Moxley instead reported that she "could not recall the names of any of her organization's big contributors". The woman Moxley accused of running a "highly partisan source" on behalf of the GOP was a longtime staffer to Democrat State Senator (now Congresswoman) Diane Watson. [Watson appears to have lost a nonpartisan race a decade ago for L.A. County Supervisor due to election fraud by ballot machine tampering - unless you want to believe that in certain precincts in Watts, Bruce Herschensohn pulled as many votes as Barbara Boxer and lots of people chose to skip the county supervisor's race and vote Yes and No on the same local measure.] Moxley also falsely claimed that members of the organization's honorary advisory board (who take no part in its decisionmaking) were members of its board. Another OC Weekly employee has admitted that Moxley, when he needs quotations from "experts" for a story, will go to his coworkers and tell them that he needs a quotation on some point, and ask them to think of something pithy he can put in from an "expert". BTW, the OC Weekly fell for a Betty Bowers-style joke a couple of years ago, excerpting the press releases of a fictitious anti-makeup group as if they were real, and even naming the organization's supposed head to their annual list of the "most dangerous people in Orange County".
The OC Weekly is a cross between a standard left-wing paper and the Weekly World News.

Well I can't verify every word of that but I've never known this guy to lie, so then that seems to at the very least call into question the stories veracity.

But then I hear that Josh Marshall (a real and reliable Journalist) chimed in on this a while ago and basically said that the story IS true to a certain extent, but not as incriminating as the OC Weekly made it out to be.

Seeing as how Rohrbacher is up for reelection, you'd think some journalists out there would start asking questions and find out what exactly happened?

Friday, September 06, 2002

Yeah sure technically its molestation and everything, but still, I wish I went to that school at 14.

Maybe someone should start a defense fund.

Ding Dong the witch is dead

After getting bitch slapped hard for nominating extremist Judge Pickering to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, you would’ve thought Bush wold have learned his lesson. He didn’t, and nominated another hard right extremist judge by the name of Priscilla Owen. The Senate has now rejected her as well. Maybe this lesson will sink in. Don’t nominate extremists and there won’t be a problem.

Now you might say “just because the liberals say she is a extremist doesn’t mean anything”. Well she was criticized by Bushs own general counsel for engaging in “an unconscionable act of Judicial activism”. Which is odd because Bush during the campaign decried liberal judges who he thought were “judicial activists” and he favored “strict constructionists”.

This snippet from the NY Times op ed is telling:
But what is particularly disturbing about her approach to judging is, as Mr. Gonzales has identified, her willingness to ignore the text and intent of laws that stand in her way. In an important age discrimination case, Justice Owen dissented to argue that the plaintiff should have to meet a higher standard than Texas law requires.

So to heck with what the LAW says, I’m going to rule on what I WANT the law to say.

Good riddance.

Unexpected good news!

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 — The nation’s unemployment rate unexpectedly improved to 5.7 percent in August and companies added 39,000 new jobs for the fourth consecutive month.

Just ignore previous post. move along. Nothing to see there.

Brace yourself for another bumpy day. Of course its nothing more tax cuts can't fix!

Sept. 5 — After a week of mixed data showing an economy literally running on fumes, financial markets are braced for the monthly employment report Friday, and the news is not likely to be good.

THE GIANT U.S. ECONOMY, with its 130 million workers, probably added just 30,000 to 50,000 jobs last month, not nearly enough to keep up with typical growth in the labor force. The unemployment rate likely will inch up to 6 percent from 5.9 percent, matching an eight-year high.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

The Bond Project: You Only Live Twice

Fade back to the mid sixties. We are in a small office in Pinewood Studios. Present are the producers and writers of "You Only Live Twice". They are in a jam. Having absolutely no coherent story to work with, they need to figure out a way to have Bond elude the people chasing him. Someone pipes up:

"Hey, what if we have like, a big helicopter with a magnet just sticks to the car and drop them in Tokyo bay? We can say that it’s a tactic that they use during chases!" (This is not a fantasy; it’s on the DVD extras)

Does it make sense? No. Is it a ridiculous idea? Yes. Does it in any way fit into the storyline whatsoever? not even tangentially. Does the fact that Bond watches this through a camera in the car in a shot that can only be from a helicopter above the already incredibly conspicuous helicopter flying, in broad daylight mind you, over Tokyo bay, make any kind of sense, even in the most "suspended disbelief" action film kind of way? Nope.

Welcome to the creative minds that brought us the enduring pile of crap that is You Only Live Twice. How ridiculous is it? Let me put it this way, it is apparent that the entire notion of what is commonly known as a 'script" or things like "plot" are now considered liabilities that get in the way of action set pieces that use no logic, and huge science fiction sets that serve no purpose.

The film starts on a somewhat strong note, with Bond apparently being "killed", and then completely and utterly falls apart minutes later, never to recover. After being recovered from his underwater grave by divers and brought aboard a submarine, he is brought into M's "office" which has been moved, inexplicably down to the last detail, into teh bowels of a Naval submarine. Why is never explained which is probably a good thing because it, like practically everything else in this film, makes no sense whatsoever.

A sinister force has stolen (in yet another cheesy and ridiculous scene earlier) a US space capsule. The United States (who are portrayed as morons) think it was the Russians and vice versa. The British, since the Americans are so stupid, think it was a third party, and that they are located around Japan. So Bond is sent on the case. His first stop is to meet with a contact named Henderson.

Minutes after their initial meeting he is murdered by assassins. Bond races outside to catch then and fights one to the ground. In what is probably the perfect example of how utterly weak this script is (written by Roald Dahl no less, probably on one of his famous acid trips), Bond then puts on the surgical face mask (??), jacket and hat of the Japanese assassin and, pretending to be hurt, crumples into the back seat. He is then not only driven right into the enemies lair, but CARRIED by the driver who apparently has no clue that the diminutive Asian assassin has transformed into a 6'3" Scotsman.

I can't go on talking about the plot. It just gives me agita. Suffice it to say this movie sucks. Hard. Even Connery has a glassy eyed "give me my check and let me get the hell out of here" look to him (to catch another version of this look, see his performance in Highlander 2). Donald Pleasance, who plays Blofeld, is a milquetoast. The Bond women cannot act, and some cannot even speak English. The gadgets are horrifyingly stupid. (The sight of bond on a mini copter with that idiotic hat is laughable) The plot incoherent, action set pieces dull, special effects are horrible (especially after the high point they achieved in Thunderball, which won them an Oscar) and the huge centerpiece set, a fortress built into a volcano, populated with a futuristic tram and monotone jump suited henchmen, uninspiring and silly.

But the true and enduring tragedy of this film is this. It was Connery's last picture before his contract was up. He was only available for a short time, and the Producers had to scrap their existing plans, which was to film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", and instead rush this one into production. And the next film in the series, with onetime Bond George Lazenby, was in my mind the greatest Bond film ever made. With the only criticism is a bland performance by Lazenby.

If only.......

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Here's a math figure to wrap your head around. Bush has spent 42% of his presidency on vacation.

I get 2 weeks. And I haven't gutted any environmental laws yet...

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