getting ready to meet with john edwards

I found myself sitting here tonight, alternating between video clips of Nicky Hilton sitting in a parked car and Katie Holmes buying what might be a sweater, and it occurred to me that maybe I owed it to my daughter to do a little more with my life… So, I arranged to take the morning off from work tomorrow, I accepted the invitation to meet with former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards, and I began working on my list of questions… Right now, thanks to links provided by Jim, I’m watching Edwards on The Daily Show and reading a transcript of an interview he did with another blogger a few days ago… If you have any questions that you would like answered, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Posted in Politics | 13 Comments

did chevy chase curse our city?

I really hope that no one in this audience answers yes to this, but I have to ask…. Does one of you happen to have a copy of the 1997 Chevy Chase film Vegas Vacation? And, if so, would you mind playing it for me over the phone?

You see, Shanster just mentioned in the comments section that part of this film may have been shot here in Ypsilanti and I need to either confirm or deny it… I don’t want to come off as an alarmist, but if I find out that Chevy Chase was ever here, even for a moment, I’ll have no choice but to start a campaign for a citywide exorcism. (I hate Chevy Chase.)

(If they really did film here, I suspect it was only long enough for a brief chuckle at the expense of our beloved, but unfortunately designed, water tower. And, if that’s the case, I think that the producers of the film at least owe us an apology.)

Posted in Ypsilanti | 5 Comments


I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Dear Leader, caving in to pressure from the extreme right, yanked Harriet Miers’ nomination for the Supreme Court this morning… Yes, as much as he would have loved to have had his personal attorney on the high court (to be his eyes and ears during the now quite probable impeachment proceedings), it seems that he felt he needed the support of his rabid, lunatic base even more.

Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way, puts it this way:

It’s an astonishing spectacle. The unelected power-brokers of the far right have forced the withdrawal of President Bush’s own Supreme Court nominee, before a confirmation hearing has even been held. President Bush’s complete capitulation to the far-right interest groups is astounding. The ultra-right wing dominance of Republican Party politics is complete, and they have dealt a terrible blow to an already weakened President and his administration… Right-wingers are openly saying they elected Bush to put a battle-ready ultraconservative on the court to replace the moderate Sandra Day O’Connor, and they’re demanding a new choice — bipartisanship, moderation and mainstream Americans be damned.”

Apparently the evangelicals didn’t believe Bush when he whispered to them by proxy, “Trust me, she’ll do whatever I say when it comes to mandating our beautiful culture of life,” and they let him know it. The little monsters that he and Rove created turned on him and he didn’t like it one bit. It didn’t matter what Rove told Dobson. No assurances, it seems, could overcome the fact that they wanted someone who they really knew they could count on when it came to overturning Roe v. Wade — someone — pardon me for being so blunt – without a pussy. (They’ll say it that it’s because she didn’t have a background in “constitutional law,” but that’s just code for “she doesn’t have a cock.”)

It’s just wasn’t enough that Miers made it this far in life without having children, or, probably, sex. There’s still too much danger that she might, once she’s sworn in, decide that it’s her job to protect the rights of women – Bush and Dobson be damned.

So, know it’s official, in case you had any doubt at all – our President is the bitch of the far right, and, in order to prove it, he isn’t going to hold anything back with his next nomination, which many feel could come as early as tomorrow. (The thought being that the administration might want to deflect some of the press that would otherwise be obsessing on the indictments of key White House personnel that are also expected tomorrow.)

Some, like our friends over at America Blog, are looking forward to the ensuing battle. They’re convinced that when Bush offers up a nomination that will appeal to the far right, that the majority of Americans will recoil in horror and then lash out like they’ve been unwilling to before. Essentially, they’re thinking that this is going to be the moment when the Republicans in power reveal who they really are, and send the moderates scurrying to the left. I’d like to think that’s the case, but I don’t know. Either way, it’s going to be war, and it’s going to be ugly.

Tomorrow, I get the feeling, might be one hell of a day.

Posted in Observations | 9 Comments

the night of the hunter

I was going to blog about politics tonight (word is that indictments will probably come down from Fitzgerald tomorrow), but I just stumbled across a Metafilter post about one of my favorite films, Charles Laughton’s only directorial effort, The Night of the Hunter, and I’ve decided to head into the other room and fire up the VCR instead… And, in case anyone in my family is wondering what I might want for Christmas, I think this book about the filming of the movie sounds like a pretty good bet.

I don’t know if anyone will want to, what with all the excitement over the indictments, but if you have a favorite scene in the film, and feel like sharing, leave a comment. I think mine own personal favorite is the sequence when the kids are in the boat, floating silently down the river, while watching Robert Mitchum’s sillouette against the evening sky… or, better yet, how about that shot of Shelly Winters at the bottom of the lake… What a fucking brilliant film.

On a somewhat related note, Brett and I were recently talking about the possibility of pulling together a little Ypsi film festival (I’m lobbying for an outdoor one this spring) and I can’t imagine a better film to include.

Posted in Art and Culture | 18 Comments

selling evolution

While I was sitting here reading the ACLU page on Intelligent Design and its implications for religious freedom in the U.S. I received two emails that each related to some degree. The first, from Kez, included the image from the Onion that I’ve copied here, and the second one, from a reader named Jessica, contained a link to a great evolution-themed ad from the folks at Guinness. And, somehow, the combination of all of these things has left me feeling a bit more optimistic than usual. The people on our side of the debate, I just realized, aren’t only more intelligent, but they’re more creative. Sure, the other side has fear, a few Biblical passages and a couple of “museums” with dioramas showing men frolicking with playful dinosaurs, but we’ve got an overwhelming advantage when it comes to people who can actually create things. Surely that has to count for something.

And, as for the Guinness ad, it has me inspired to start writing to other companies, asking them to incorporate the general concepts of evolution into their ads whenever possible. I read a great article a few years ago about the whole “designated driver” concept and how it was popularized in great part thanks to the fact that several influential television producers got on board and agreed to work the phrase into plots of their popular shows. (I can’t recall, but there may have been government money behind the initiative as well.) What if, I’m wondering, something similar could be done now with evolution? What if we could convince several producers to champion the cause? It might be worth pursuing.

Posted in Church and State | 41 Comments


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