Friday, July 14, 2006

Doing Our Best Tom Hanks Impression

Jabs and I are off-site today, preparing for (and traveling to) certain manful pre-marriage rituals that must be carefully and drunkenly observed. Out of tradition, of course.

I'll try to pop in earlier in the day and leave a smattering of inane commentary, but no guarantees. In the meantime, scroll down and feast your peepers on the sheer enormity of reading material we offer here at Codemorse.

There's the usual postings, the newly-added (and still growing) "Best" of Codemorse section, our selection of fellow friendly bloggers, our links to some of the more entertaining sites on the web, and of course, our peerless archives.

If you're a regular, why not poke about? If you're new to the site, Wilkommen. Click on an archived month in the sidebar and gorge yourself on all things Codemorse.

Departing with The Hammer

Posted by Jabawacefti

I humbly take my leave now, but will depart with a note from the incomparable Hammer on the current Mid-East conflagration.

I promise to try and keep my name out of the Police Blotter; however, there are no guarantees.

Aranofskyed

The Fountain is reviewed. HERE.

Discuss

1. You are told that in three days' time, you will lose either your hearing, or your eyesight. You can choose which one it will be. Which do you choose, and what do you do in the three days you have left with both senses?

2. You are told by the government that Korea has developed bio- weapons capable of being launched into America's heartland. Unlike - arguably - Iraq, there is no doubt as to whether or not they're being honest. They present irrefutable evidence, and announce that America is going to war against Kim Jong Il. Do you enlist?

3. You are told that Paramount Pictures is interested in making a movie of your life. They haven't yet decided on the creative team, and in an unheard-of moment of collaborativeness, ask you if you'd pick the stars, director, and writer. Who do you pick? Why?

4. Beatles or Stones?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

"Broken" Wizards


Some hoity-toity film critic types will tell you that the only good films are small, personal, character flicks. The sort of film where depressed people sit around and don't talk about their infidelities, or do talk about their infidelities, but in preciously-set kitchen scenes and "awkward" party talk.

I tend to subscribe to a larger world-view. And that's why I await Beer Fest with the sort of excitement that Roger Ebert probably reserves for french impressionist cinema. You can check out the trailer here.

Those poor souls who've never seen Super Troopers may not understand the allure of five grown men in a Beer-drinking competition, but I can assure you, the "Broken Lizard" group (who also brought us Club Dread, which grows funnier with each viewing but cannot hold a candle to the lowbrow/highbrow brilliance of Super Troopers) are kind of geniuses.

Do yourself a favor and rent Super Troopers this weekend. Ingest something fun beforehand. Then try not to cry laughing as you watch.

(poster image courtesy of joblo. Trailer hosted by Maxim - but don't hold that against these guys. You gotta promote, no?)

Is Someone Getting The Best, The Best, The Best, The Best Of Us?

Posted by codemorse

UPDATE

Jabs and Scott have their noms in. The rest of you? Put yer backs into it, ya scurvy dogs!

Original Post

Still waiting for some nominations on the "best" of codemorse (has that word ever been more subjective than it is in this sentence?). Two noms do not a sidebar make.

Come on, folks. It's not like we're asking you to cure cancer. Just our boredom.

Surf the archives and post the links to your favs in the comments section. Pretty please?

Obama Takes On Kos?

Posted by Jabawacefti

What's the liberal world coming to?

Unholy Trinity

Posted by codemorse

Starting next week we'll be welcoming a third commentator to the hallowed halls of Codemorse.

Please welcome Scott to the Codemorse family with the usual bottle of champagne and wedgies. He's been a long-time frequenter of our comments section and his own blog, Wrandom Wramblings, reports on religious, political, and technological points of interest.

He'll be shoring up our mighty defenses with postings on the latest in today's technology - what it means for Joe and Jane Sixpack, and how it'll affect the way we live and the way our government governs. He'll also be dropping some science on us with his thoughts on religion, politics, and whatever else he feels like.

This expansion is the first step toward Codemorse 2.o, which will launch later this summer in a glorious and possibly dangerous explosion of unhindered and uncensored thought.

Bring your safety glasses.

Syria - Making Friends and Influencing Negotiations

Posted by Jabawacefti

You know it's not good for Syria, when Egypt agrees that it is to blame for the escalation in violence.

Diplomacy as Futility

Posted by Jabawacefti

Robert Kagan, author of Paradise and Power, describes his take on diplomacy with respect to Iran:

Let's imagine, and this is purely hypothetical, that President Bush has already decided that he will not leave office in January 2009 without a satisfactory resolution of the Iranian nuclear problem. Let's imagine that he has already determined that if he cannot obtain Iran's agreement to dismantle its nuclear weapons program voluntarily and verifiably, then he will order some form of military action to destroy as much of that program as possible before he leaves. Let's imagine that he has resolved not to end his two terms in office the way Bill Clinton ended his, by leaving every major international crisis -- from Iraq to Iran to North Korea to al-Qaeda -- for his successor.

Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that Bush had made such a decision. What would he be doing right now? The answer is that he might be doing exactly what he is doing.

Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Oh My!

Posted by Jabawacefti

Michael Ledeen discusses Iran's centrality in the current escalation of fighting in the Middle East:

Iran has been at war with us all along, because that’s what the world’s leading terror state does. The scariest thing about this moment is that the Iranians have convinced themselves that they are winning, and we are powerless to reverse the tide. As I reported here several months ago, Khamenei told his top people late last year that the Americans and Israelis are both politically paralyzed. Neither can take decisive action against Iran, neither can sustain prolonged conflict and significant casualties. Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader said, the terrorists are all working for Iran, and we will expand the terror war.

Discuss

Posted by codemorse

1. You are given the chance to construct your party's Presidential ticket for 2008. You are told to select a President and Vice President from inside the entertainment industry. Increasingly, politics has become a media-driven enterprise, and your opponents have realized this. They are assembling their own ticket, from the same pool of people. Because you've recently died and come back to life, you now have the ability to see into the future, and know that in three years time, Kim Jong Il will lauch a massive attack on American soil. You also know that no one will believe you if you try to warn them.

Who do you choose, and why?

2. You are drinking whiskeys down at the local dive bar when the drunk beside you turns to you and tells you that he knows whether or not there is a God. You have no reason to believe him, yet you do believe him, implicitly. Whatever he tells you will be the honest truth.

Do you want to know?

3. You are given the opportunity to pick the song played at your funeral. what do you pick, and why?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

For Everything Else...

Monthly internet subscriber fee: $20

40 of Phat Boy malt liquor to ease the pain of news surfing: $3.50

Hearing Adam Carolla (Adam Carolla!) verbally bitchslap the Nameless One: Priceless.

Guess Who Killed Fidel Castro?

Posted by Jabawacefti

Courtesy of Jonah Goldberg, one of the greatest things ever.

From Planes to Trains

Posted by Jabawacefti

After the horrific terrorist attacks in India, where over 150 people were ruthlessly murdered, we now have to worry, how do we stay safe from a train attack?

Great.

I guess when school children are a reasonable target, as in Beslan, anything goes.

Lying Is Unacceptable, Say Big Fat Liars

Posted by codemorse

From CNN.com:


In a new Associated Press-Ipsos poll, over half of respondents said lying was never justified. Yet in the same poll, up to two-thirds said it was OK to lie in certain situations, for instance, protecting someone's feelings.

So, we're lying about whether or not lying is acceptable?

That makes my head hurt.

Extreme Nazi Makeover (Auschwitz Edition)

From CNN.com:

The United Nations has agreed to rename Auschwitz concentration camp to stress that Nazi Germans, not Poles, were responsible for the world's most notorious death camp, Poland's Culture Ministry said on Wednesday. "Auschwitz Concentration Camp", a U.N. heritage site, will be renamed "the Former Nazi German Concentration Camp of Auschwitz", the ministry of culture said in a statement.

....Warsaw objects to references to "Polish gas chambers" at the "Polish concentration camp" in foreign media. Nearly 3 million non-Jewish Poles died at Nazi hands, and Poles see themselves as victims of the war....

This month, Jewish and Polish officials marked anniversaries of two massacres of Jews carried out by Poles before and after World War Two, and some accounts say Poles assisted the Nazis at Auschwitz, where 6,000 died every day during 1944.

But Poles say their fellow nationals risked their lives to hide Jews. Poles are the largest group awarded Israel's Righteous Among the Nations title for helping to save Jews.

Interesting.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Defending Zidane

Posted by codemorse

UPDATE!

Katanga provides us with this link to Zidane obliterating the Death Star with the power of his mighty cranium!

Arrrrrr!

Original Post:

From Sports Illustrated:


Zinedine Zidane is not a flopper or a whiner or a moaner. I have never seen him pull one of those scenes from the last act of La Boheme, enacting his death tableau on the field after the merest brush of contact. I haven't seen him lying there at death's door while they go through with the most ridiculous of all dramas, the entry of the stretcher.

Imagine if the NFL were like that. Half a dozen stretchers called for during the course of the game, whereupon the nearly deceased leaps off it, shakes off the very fingers of the Evil One and trots back onto the field. Maybe Zidane was tired of all this, of this travesty, which rewards all the things that we were once taught were cowardly, but can be used to great advantage in this game.

So Zidane slammed a guy. He lost it. Writers all over the world are competing with themselves to heap scorn on France's greatest player. You know something? I don't blame him for getting sore. Almost every time I could find him on the screen, he had someone tugging at his shirt, tripping him or messing with him in some sneaky way.

The problem is he doesn't hit the canvas as the rest of those prima donnas do. So the ref must figure nothing is happening. Sure, he should have held off on the head butt, but to put the defeat of his team on his shoulders is a reach.

Amen, Dr. Z.

"Flopping," that most detestable of strategies, makes me angry enough to headbutt someone. Is it any wonder that Zidane indulged? I love the World Cup, and I have since Jabs first schooled me on it, but I've detested flopping for just as long.

It's just such a sissy move. I don't care how "dramatic" or "strategic" it is. It's a distraction from the skills that soccer requires, and it's an affront to sportsmanship.

No Gay Marriage = Rational?

Posted by Jabawacefti

Volokh asks a particularly pertinent and timely question: Is it rational to exclude gay couples from marriage? The question is based on the New York Court of Appeals decision not to overturn the New York legislature's limit of marriage to between a man and a woman.

Volokh, not surprisingly, provides valuable insight on the Court's decisionmaking:

For decades, homosexual life has been medicalized and pathologized by doctors, sexologists, psychiatrists, and politicians. Only 33 years ago, homosexual orientation was still officially a “disorder.” Gays, especially gay men, were denounced as hopelessly promiscuous, unstable, histrionic, and self-absorbed. Above all, this medico-political consensus held, homosexuals were dangerous to children and should be kept away from them. From the outset of the gay-marriage movement, a vocal opposition argued that the supposedly innate instability of homosexual relationships disqualified them from marriage.

Now, in the most important judicial decision yet rejecting a claim for gay marriage, we are told that gay couples may be kept from marriage not because they are unstable, but because heterosexual couples are unstable. Implicit in this view is that gay couples don’t have as large a need for the “inducement” to “make a solemn, long-term commitment to each other.” (p. 6) Implicit also is that gay couples are likely to plan more responsibly for the upbringing of their children. We thus have less reason to worry about the children gay couples are raising. Is the New York legislature listening?

Why, Zizou? Why?

Posted by Jabawacefti

Anyone following the World Cup that watched the World Cup final is still asking themselves: Why in the world would Zidane do that? Why?

About eight years ago, I was with my two best friends in France during the '98 World Cup. Zidane was inspired. He was incredible. A magician, they said. And it was true.

After an early exit in 2002, France came back in '06 with a fire. On the wings of Zidane again. Until the moment.

He was actually the reason I started to follow international soccer (or football, futbal, etc.). He was magnificent. I just can't believe he just head butted the guy like that. It's not as if he was 20 years old and it was simply youthful anger. The dude is 34. He's supposed to be an adult. Who has faced this sort of baggering during soccer games throughout his career. Ugh. I can't believe it.

In any case, I am choosing to remember the glorious Zidane that I remember from '98, and that from the Brazil game in '06. His skills were unmatched. And I'm sad to see him go. Despite what he did. Which just feels strange. Like it didn't really happen. Because it couldn't have. Could it? Am I dreaming?

Anyone who has played any sport recognizes that there's trash talking. Your mom's a @#$@%! Your dad sucks @#$@#%! I had sex with your girlfriend last night! If you have played sports, I'm sure you've heard all of them. I certainly did. Including one or two off color anti-semetic remarks to a colleague of mine (not that I condone that). But you never react. Because that's when they win. I always assumed Zidane knew better. Oh well. Goodbye Zizou. Or perhaps, au reviour.

Whither Lieberman?

Posted by Jabawacefti

Rich Lowry speculates on the fate of the Democratic party as it attempts to purge Lieberman:

A Lieberman loss could signal a turning point as significant, in its way, as the rise in the GOP of the Goldwaterites, who vanquished the liberal Rockefeller Republicans, or the ascendancy of the McGovernites, who sent the old hawkish Scoop Jackson Democrats packing. Unfortunately, there aren’t many Lieberman-style hawks left in the party to begin with, which is Lieberman’s problem.

"Best Of"

That's the title of Codemorse's newest sidebar section. We're going to be highlighting some of our favorite posts from the past year and we'd like you to help choose them!

Regular readers of this site are already aware of our archives. Scroll down a bit. You'll see all our posts helpfully sorted by month. We'd like you to nominate your favorite posts in the comments section below. While you're surfing at work, take a few minutes to peruse our sordid history. Silly or serious, long or short, it doesn't matter as long as it's a favorite of yours. What's made you laugh? What's made you think? What's made you cry out to the heavens and curse aloud the family name of Codemorse?

Let us know. Your suggested posts will be included in Codemorse's "Best Of" section, along with a gratified shout-out from us for your participation.

A Pattern Emerges *UPDATED*

Posted by codemorse

Update:

I've added a truncated version of this post to Libertas' site. You can read it here.

Original Post:

While poking around our archives in search of posts for the new "Best of Codemorse" section I came across an argument I'd had with a member of Libertas, the "conservative" film site. I'd been making the point that the word "terrorism" can be liberally applied, depending on your motivations for doing so.

This was a looooooong argument, marked by logic and common sense on my end, along with laughable personal attacks by the "conservative" who chose to engage me.

I'd have made that argument a link in the "Best of Codemorse," but I can't. Want to know why?

Because they've erased me.

If you click that link, you'll be directed to the comments page where I made my argument. You can still read a.acacia's responses to me, and you can see Scott, a regular here at Codemorse, stepping in occasionally to defend or clarify me.

What you won't see are any of my posts. They've been summarily deleted. With the exception of the first posts I made, my argument has vamoosed. This isn't the first time Libertas has decided to erase what they don't agree with. A discussion on Tim Robbins and George Orwell's 1984 resulted in my comments disappearing, then mysteriously reappearing after I posted about it here.

First, Debbie Schlussel decides that my AIDS statistics are inconvenient. So she deletes me. Now, Libertas has decided that my argument was too offensive for the eyes of anyone who bothers surfing the archives of conservative film sites.

But they can't erase my presence entirely without also deleting acacia and Scott's posts. Take a look and then let Libertas know what you think of cowards.

Shameless Hucksterism

Posted by codemorse

Yes, we're still accepting donations, no matter how small. Yes, we've recieved precisely none thus far.

Tappin' that little "donate here" button over to the right will help ensure better and more frequent posting from the folks here at Codemorse. If you read the site regularly, why not drop a few bucks on it?

Stemming From Ignorance?

Posted by codemorse

From the Denver Post:

President Bush will likely cast the first veto of his presidency if the Senate, as expected, passes legislation to expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, White House aide Karl Rove said today....

"We were all an embryo at one point, and we ought to as a society be very careful about being callous about the wanton destruction of embryos, of life," Rove said. Recent research, he said, shows that researchers "have far more promise from adult stem cells than from embryonic stem cells."

....Castle and DeGette have requested a meeting with Bush to present their case. "I still hold out hope that the president would give us that courtesy for a meeting," she said.



Jesus. He won't even meet with them. This line of research has enormous R&D potential. It has the potential to save significant numbers of lives. And the President will not even meet these folks.

Oh, how Karl Rove loves to lie. According to Rove, recent research shows more promise from adult stem cells than from embryonic stem cells. Really, Karl?

The NIH (that's the National Institute of Health) seems to disagree with you:

Human embryonic stem cells are thought to have much greater developmental potential than adult stem cells. This means that embryonic stem cells may be pluripotent—that is, able to give rise to cells found in all tissues of the embryo except for germ cells rather than being merely multipotent—restricted to specific subpopulations of cell types, as adult stem cells are thought to be.

And all that talk about how we shouldn't "destroy" human life for research? The talk that makes it seem as though scientists are secretly harvesting live babies?

Well....
Normally, blastocyst-stage embryos that are left over after successful in vitro fertilization would not be used but be destroyed.
As in, naturally destroyed. As in, these cells are useless once fertilization has occured. So, what Rove appears to be saying is that cast-off human cells without potential for their own life are more important to him - and to Bush, and to the rest of their supporters - than the life of that Uncle you've got with Parkinson's disease.

The opposition to stem cell research appears based around the theologically-grounded and shakily-defensible notion that even though the cells used for research would be destroyed anyway, that we're somehow interfering with the sacred process of creation against God's will.

That's ridiculous. It seems equivalent to saying that every time you masturbate you kill a child.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Arrrr, Matey

Posted by codemorse

Well, that settles it - I have no taste. If you listen to the critics, that is.

Pirates of the Carribean 2: Dead Man's Chest is rip-roarin' fun in the style of an 80's fantasy-adventure. I mean that in the very best way possible.

Having seen the film and read the reviews I can confirm that once again all the nit-picky stuff everyone else seems to have hated simply didn't matter to me. The "non-ending"? I have no idea what people are complaining about. The lack of time spent on the development of character? That's a strange complaint, given how much each character's individual arc progresses here.

None of those criticisms ring particularly true to me. Mostly, it's because I was generally too busy having fun to notice any of that. Pirates is the sort of film I wish they'd made twenty years ago, when I would have utterly freaked out at the endlessly inventive parade of bizarre monster fish and scurrilous piratical types and demanded an immediate trip to Toys R Us. It's a gloriously unabashed kids movie with every stop pulled out.

And there's nothing wrong with that. If you're looking for high-adventure and a return to the quality fantasy fare of the 1980's (see: Neverending Story, Indiana Jones, the Goonies, etc, et al) then you're probably going to love you some Dead Man's Chest (why does that sound so creepy?). Granted, my enjoyment was undoubtably boosted by seeing the film with my brother, who taught me later that evening what it means to throw down like a man and drink til you're setting off fireworks.

But apparently, you've already seen this, so no convincing is necessary. Jesus, did this thing make money.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Request

Posted by codemorse

I've been writing music on and off now for about six years. Before I entered the deep hell that was law school, I did the whole in-a-band thing. We had a blast, playing clubs like CBGB's and the Elbow Room, opening for one or two bonafide one-hit-wonders, and generally whooping it up.

Recently, I've picked up the guitar again, and I've got a handful of potentially good songs that I'd like to record later this year. I've no idea how you might describe my sound, though my former band's most oft-applied label was "funk/folk". What I'm wondering is whether any regulars here at the site would:

a) like to hear a few of them, and give comments/critique/unabashed praise, and
b) happen to own a cassette player.

I've been waiting on a mic to do some home recording, but for the time being, I'm mic-less, so any demos I send would be on old-fashioned tape.

I'd really love to get some feedback, and my current schedule doesn't exactly allow for a lot of playing out. If you're interested, send me an email to the codemorse account with your name and address, and I'll send you a tape. In return, I'd love it if you'd take at least one full listen, write up any thoughts you might have, and send them via email back to the codemorse account.

Any takers?