imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Saturday, March 04, 2006
51 ... Y'MEAN IN DOG YEARS?
A certain superhero enthusiast will harness all of his super powers in order to blow out 51 candles today. Wish Pat HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
THE GUY WHO TAUGHT MOUSSAOUI TO FLY
He's called Clancy and he lives right across the border in Pennsylvania. Although he found Moussaoui to be "genial," Clancy had his doubts about his student from the beginning. He no longer gives interviews, but his wife spoke to the local press.
Wellsboro man is key witness in 9/11 trial
"Well, Clancy was uneasy about Moussaoui from the beginning," Sheilah said. "He was uneasy because (Moussaoui) hadn't even soloed in a single-engine airplane, and here he was paying all this money to learn to fly the biggest jet airliner, the 747-400.
"The second thing was that he had this superficial knowledge of the airplane," she said.
"He obviously had studied the manuals. This stuff didn't add up. It just didn't compute."
Clancy instructed Moussaoui in two ground-school sessions and noted that his student didn't make much progress. Nor did Clancy think he ever would.
Then he went to the people who ran the flight academy.
"And he said, 'There's something wrong here,' " Sheilah said. " 'And what are we doing?' And they dismissed it.
Clancy found out that Moussaoui had paid his "tuition" with 68 $100 bills. That raised yet another red flag. Clancy walked into a meeting of company executives.
"If a customer came in and wanted to pay with $100 bills, they would have him scrutinized immediately," Sheilah said. "That's when the line came out, 'He paid the money. We don't care.'
"Clancy said, 'You will care if he tries to hijack a plane and there's a paper trail back that shows he was trained here,' " Sheilah said.
Friday, March 03, 2006
WITH ALL DUE RESPECT ...
Oh, God, I'm already in mourning.
They come here to toast the dead. Ever since Big Pussy got clipped at the end of season two, the Sopranos cast has convened at Il Cortile [pictured below], a little joint in Little Italy, to bid a proper farewell to members of the family who’ve been snuffed out and tossed into the purgatory of auditions and callbacks. Whacking parties, they call them.
“Oh, man, it is a constant worry,” chimes in Tony Sirico, who in person comes off a lot like Paulie Walnuts: the sarcastic hostility, the slicked silver wings in his pomaded hair.
“The fact that you don’t know if you’re going to live or die creates an intensity that shows up in the work,” adds Steve Van Zandt, the guitarist of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band who plays Silvio Dante, Tony’s consigliere.
When I bring all this up a few days later with Chase, he tells me he’s aware of the irony: that the anxiety he creates in his actors bears more than a passing resemblance to the way Tony manages his workers. “If I call to thank them for a Christmas gift, I can hear it in their voice,” he says. “They’re thinking, Oh, no. What’s he calling for? Is this the end? ” To soften the blow, he’s devised a procedure to deal with the soon-to-be-deceased: He finds the actor at a script reading a month before the scene, calls him into his office, and breaks the news. Since the rest of the cast doesn’t get the script until a few days before shooting, the dead man walking must take a vow of silence.
“Hey, write this down,” Schirripa demands. “Contrary to what a lot of people believe, we are not gangsters. People come up to you and say, ‘Hey, my cousin Johnny is in the can. Don’t know if you know him—little Johnny from Avenue U?’ I’m like, How would I know him? I have a fucking college degree! I’m an actor!”
8 New York asked six different writers to "imagine a fitting conclusion," and they thought of plenty, from Meadow Soprano Must Die to Arrivederci, Mrs. Soprano, not to mention the ubiquitous dream sequence and Christopher Goes All Judas.
Which brings me to this question: How would you like the Sopranos to end?
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
THE PARTY'S OVER
Bourbon Street this morning.
Shrove Tuesday is history; it's now Ash Wednesday.
"Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return."
According to Algore's Doomsday Prediction, there are 9 years 333 days left before civilization is toast.
8 This should piss off a hungover media: Bush makes surprise visit to Afghanistan
8 Rush nailed the MSM perfectly.
CBS Produces Bogus Poll to Make News: The mainstream media … are drive-by shooters. This is exactly what they are. They pull up to a congested area; they spray a hail of bullets into the crowd, causes mass hysteria, mass confusion, mistakes and misinterpretation. Sometimes people or their careers actually die. The mainstream media then smirks and pats itself on the back, says, "Look what we can do," and they ride away unnoticed in the excitement. They are never blamed; they are never held accountable. In fact, they are lauded, they are held up as heroes, mostly by themselves. But they are. They just troll around looking for any issue they can to get everybody all worked up, creating hysteria. It is like a drive-by shooter. It's like road rage every day. That's what the mainstream press has become.
Ralph Peters is in Baghdad and has written two excellent pieces, both of which expose a lazy, biased media.
8 First, THE SEWERS OF BABYLON
The Risalah slum is home to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis no one ever cared about. No one. Until the U.S. Army arrived. And tried to make their lives better.
By the way: I didn't see any of our self-righteous critics in the Risalah slum.
For all the bad news you hear — much of it viciously skewed — Baghdad is a city of hope. And it isn't thanks to Saddam — or to those in the West who opposed a tyrant's overthrow.
8 And second, NO WAR IN THE STREETS
THE reporting out of Baghdad continues to be hysterical and dishonest. There is no civil war in the streets. None. Period.
Terrorism, yes. Civil war, no. Clear enough?
The bombing made headlines (and a news photographer just happened to be on the scene). Here in Baghdad, it just made the average Iraqis hate the terrorists even more.
You are being lied to. By elements in the media determined that Iraq must fail. Just give 'em the Bronx cheer.
8 Speaking of a lazy, biased media, how much attention will they pay to this story?
Ethics Allegations Against John Conyers: Among the allegations is that, while on the government "clock", Conyers made members of his (taxpayer funded) staff tutor his child. What's really interesting is that Conyers is an outspoken opponent of school vouchers, but allegedly has no problem using govt. money for the education of his own child - who by the way goes to a private school with a tuition of over $17,000 per year.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
FAT TUESDAY QUICKIES
That's supposed to be Dick Cheney. I know, pretty bad, and what's with that pose? However, none of their action figures are very good.
AN ARMED VP FOR EVERY HOME
JUST when Dick Cheney thought it was safe to rear his "aimless" head, someone goes and immortalizes the veep's quail-hunting mishap in an action figure. HeroBuilders.com yesterday launched a "You Don't Know Dick" doll, complete with shotgun, scowl and "retractable-spike kick shoes" - just like the pair 007 villain Rosa Klebb sported in "From Russia with Love."
8 Always check with AnkleBitingPundits concerning poll results.
The Latest MSM Garbage Poll: None of this is to say the President's numbers aren't hurting right now, mainly because of the Dubai Port deal. Nor does it mean the turnout in 2004 will be the same as this year's midterms. But for anyone to think this poll is a harbinger for 2006 would be foolish. First the President isn't on the ballot. But most of all because this poll is not even close to reflecting who's going to turnout, and it certainly won't be a more Democratic electorate by a 10% margin. That much I can guarantee.
8 Speaking of Dubai, Rush has posted another hilarious parody, this time involving the port deal . Listen to the very last line :~)
8 Missed last night's episode of "24"? Blogs4Bauer has the blow-by-blows and latest kill count.
8 Ear cleaning: A mind blowing experience h/t MH
8 Fat Tuesday links: Bourbon Street webcam (cam #3 works), and Rik, my favorite American blogger (still) in Italy, has posted oodles of picture he and Virginia took when they went to Carnivale in Venice.
Monday, February 27, 2006
IN A COMMUNITY NEAR YOU
There is an Islamic Center in our community -- in Big Flats, actually -- between Corning (NY) and Elmira (NY). It's an unassuming looking building on the main street in a tiny village. It could have been a house. I imagine people pass it all the time without realizing what it is. Many of the local Muslims are professionals: doctors and scientists, plus many entrepreneurs. Like everyone else, most are nice and some are not. I worked with one, a teenager at the time, who was rather shy and had a quick wit.
This article appeared on the front page of our local paper.
Local Muslims explain why cartoons depicting Muhammad led to violence
Osmanzai said the ban on images depicting Muhammad was handed down by the prophet himself so followers of Islam would not worship him.
“We follow his teachings very closely. Islam has certain lines you can't cross,” Osmanzai said. “We don't say anything bad about the prophets, not just Muhammad, but others such as Moses and Jesus.”
“We want things to happen in a peaceful manner,” he said. “It's only a small number of people who are reacting violently, but the media is not doing us justice by the images they portray.”
But, Osmanzai said the reactions are indicative of how Muslims felt after seeing the images.
“I don't agree with the violence, but we all feel the same outrage,” he said. “Many people's frustrations have reached a boiling point.
“Some religions teach that if someone strikes you in the cheek, you turn the other one toward him,” Osmanzai said. “But our religion allows us to be outspoken. We will defend Islam.”
Local Muslim Naeem Parvez noted that most of the violent protests have taken place in the eastern part of the Islamic world, where there are more people with little or no education and where violent demonstrations are a part of everyday life. In Western nations, particularly throughout Europe, the protests have been more peaceful.
When I read that last line about the "more peaceful" protests in Europe, I figured our local Muslims are either ignorant or in total denial.
Needing to wake up, West just closes its eyes
In five years' time, how many Jews will be living in France? Two years ago, a 23-year-old Paris disc jockey called Sebastien Selam was heading off to work from his parents' apartment when he was jumped in the parking garage by his Muslim neighbor Adel. Selam's throat was slit twice, to the point of near-decapitation; his face was ripped off with a fork; and his eyes were gouged out. Adel climbed the stairs of the apartment house dripping blood and yelling, "I have killed my Jew. I will go to heaven."
Is that an gripping story? You'd think so. Particularly when, in the same city, on the same night, a Jewish woman was brutally murdered in the presence of her daughter by another Muslim.
This month, there was another murder. Ilan Halimi, also 23, also Jewish, was found by a railway track outside Paris with burns and knife wounds all over his body. He died en route to the hospital, having been held prisoner, hooded and naked, and brutally tortured for almost three weeks by a gang that had demanded half a million dollars from his family. Can you take a wild guess at the particular identity of the gang? During the ransom phone calls, his uncle reported that they were made to listen to Ilan's screams as he was being burned while his torturers read out verses from the Quran.
Useful links ...
8 Is there an Islamic Center near you? Check this enormous listing.
8 How peaceful is The Religion of Peace?
8 I posted this same article yesterday on L.com.
HILLARY-CARE MODEL IS DYING
Russell Roberts reports on
The Death of the Canadian Model:
The New York Times reports that the Canadian system is imploding. A recent Candian Supreme Court decision allowed private health care (oh, the shame, the horror) and as a result, Canadians tired of waiting for radiation therapy, eye surgery and hip replacements have turned toward private alternatives springing up under the new legal environment.
MONDAY MORNING FLOTSAM
8 Does PAGE SIX read blogs?
Feb. 23rd: Urban Elephants posted YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING.
Feb. 24th: GOP & the City linked to Urban Elephants with Got Interns?
Feb. 26th: PAGE SIX picks it up. GUESS WHO NEEDS INTERNS!: BILL Clinton is looking for interns - 25, to be exact.
8 Looks like Slick is bored and craves more limelight.
Bill Clinton's (secretary) general tendencies: A couple of years ago, when the United Nations was stricken with a public-relations paralysis that is exclusive to pencil-pushing bureaucrats who have dictators programmed on speed-dial, the "Clinton as SecGen" talk made the rounds, then died down. It's back again – with a vengeance.
8 Down mammary lane with Slick. I clipped this from Cindy Adams' column on 2 April 1993.