12-31-03 (02:09)
  • updated movies list.
  • a teenage customer came up to me and said "i was wondering if you have a movie called 'eddie,' it's really old - it came out like six years ago." i wish people had a better sense of perspective. i'm sure it'll come with age. at least i hope it does, for her sake.
  • half way done with fast food nation.

  • 12-30-03 (00:44)

  • i've been listening to a lot of omd at work lately. they've got some decent stuff.
  • updated movies list.

  • 12-29-03 (22:57)

  • updated movies list.
  • saw some of die hard on television tonight. what a sad sight. pan and scan AND edited for a network. all the cursing was gone, the beautiful 2.35 anamorphic widescreen was reduced to 1.33 full frame, the beauty and cinematic grandeur effectively reduced to the look of a tv production. of course the acting and amazing script still stand, but pan and scan for a film like die hard is just so sad. there's an early scene in the film where john (willis) and holly (bedelia) see each other for the first time in six months. they're in holly's office and ellis and mr. takagi have been showing him around the place. holly is on the right most edge of the screen with her two co-workers in the middle and john is on the left most edge of the screen. this is a fantastic example of the importance of widescreen films being shown in their original format. here are two long separated lovers (she's been in la, he's been in ny and they've had marital problems) who are also physically separated on the screen. she has been using her maiden name because "it's a japanese company" and they think married women aren't good workers, as she explains later. so within this one frame you have the embodiment of her new job (ellis and mr. takagi) between the two of them. not only is the framing perfect, but so is bedelia's acting. she has a nervous smile and awkward shuffling way about her hands and feet. of course if you watch the tv version it's two or three people in the frame and willis' character is lost. it severely damages the artistic and technical integrity of the scene.
  • i laugh at anyone who buys "full frame" dvds. in a few years when everyone has widescreen televisions (thanks to the government HDTV mandate) those people will be absolutely thrilled to find that a) they don't get all of the movie b) now they have bars on the right and left of their screen.
  • "full screen" or "full frame" should be outlawed terms for described cropped versions of films. the full screen or full frame, to my thinking anyway, should include the entire frame as intended by the director. also, for people with widescreen televisions, full screen is a complete lie. it neither fills their entire tv screen nor does it show the entire movie frame as intended. sorry for the rant, but this issue really gets to me because of the amazing level of ignorance in the general population.
  • here's a great early review of mine:
  • "11-28-00 The Lady Eve - entertaining flick with henry fonda and barbara stanwyck. barbara stanwyck is a classic biatch. i liked the movie. it was funny. i should review movies for a living because i'm a fucking genius. up."
  • barbara stanwyck is cool.
  • couldn't get to sleep until 530am last night. at least i got a good amount of reading done.
  • the worst thing that happened to mtv may have also been one of the best. puck. yes puck, from real world three - san francisco. even though that season was the best real world to date (i'm being serious here) i think that it led to the downfall of mtv. puck, i think, was an accident. after puck the producers realized how they needed to craft their shows from there on. the rest of mtv's programming became about shock and awe (i couldn't resist). i'm not an mtv historian or anything, but i think that's where the change occurred.
  • it isn't often that i agree with the academy, but in 1992 i think they got it right by awarding picture to unforgiven and director to eastwood. reservior dogs is a fine film and may be more entertaining, but unforgiven is a better film. something i didn't know. al pacino was nominated for best supporting actor in glengarry glen ross and best actor in scent of a woman, both in 1992. he won for best actor and hackman beat him for best supporting actor (unforgiven).
  • reading more pleasant stuff about our world...this from "fast food nation"...it talks about the small business administration (sba) and how its supposed to help small businesses with loans and the like. "in 1996, the sba guaranteed almost $1 billion in loans to new franchisees. more of those loans went to the fast food industry than to any other industry. almsost six hundred new fast food restaurants, representing fifty-two differend national chains, were launched in 1996 thanks to government-backed loans." this comes right after talking about how burger king got loans to open 13 new experimental locations in new york. 11 of them failed and the burger king franchisees defaulted on the loans. the taxpayers ended up footing the bill for what was essentially burger king testing out marginal locations. schlosser also points out repeatedly that franchisees (individuals who buy the rights to operate a franchise location) default on their loans or go belly up more frequently than individuals who open their own business. which begs the question...why is the government subsidising franchise locations for burger king and othe franchises when it could direct that money to people who want to open joe's burger stand instead? additionally franchisees "are not covered by the laws that protect independent businessmen. and although they must purchase all their own supplies, they are not covered by consumer protection laws. it is perfectly legal under federal law for a fast food chain to take kickbacks (known as 'rebates') from its suppliers, to open a new restaurant next door to an existing franchisee, and to evict a franchisee without giving cause or paying any compensation." that partially explains why in a lot of places you'll see a mcdonald's a few blocks away from another mcdonald's. the chain doesn't care about the individual franchisees...the more locations it has the better, because more locations means more sales for them and they get a cut of the sales. he reveals all sorts of little tricks that chain restaurants employ. it's pretty sickening.
  • new beastie boys record expected in the middle of next year. possibly as early as may 2004
  • need to sleep.

  • 12-28-03 (01:26)

  • updated movies list.
  • work early tomorrow.
  • still don't have ten albums for my top ten. i only saw fit to put three movies on my top ten of 2003. there are good films that came out this year (spellbound, capturing the friedmans, etc), but i'm waiting for a lot of them to come to dvd.
  • type in "miserable failure" on google.com and click on "i'm feeling lucky."

  • 12-27-03 (01:17)

  • updated movies list. watched three more films today, including another flaherty film. as long as i've been into documentary film it amazes me that i only discovered this guy earlier this year. but i've made up for lost time by buying three of his films since october.
  • here's one of the better bush in 30 seconds ads.
  • i built my dvd case today. when i decided to build another case (a few weeks ago) it was sort of an impulse decision so i wrote down the measurements rather quickly. as a result the masonite backing that i got wasn't wide enough. also some of the wood i got was cupped a bit. as a result the dvd case is less than stellar, but it does the job. if i had my own shop i could have fixed the problems, but with limited space and tools there wasn't much i could do. live and learn i guess.
  • "Coldplay star Chris Martin has announced he is taking a year off - because he's thinks people "need a rest" from him and his band." sounds about right.
  • "Movie beauty Natalie Portman is keen to reprise her debut film role in a sequel to cult favorite Leon. The actress, 22, first came to international recognition in her acclaimed performance as an assassin's 11-year-old pal in the 1994 film, which starred Jean Reno in the lead role. And now Natalie has confirmed the long-awaited sequel is ready to roll, and she can't wait to be involved - despite needing a break following years working on the Star Wars trilogy. She says, "The script's really great, and worth delaying a vacation for.""
  • i love reading these lame news blurbs about people in the entertainment industry. they had another one about a tiff between teen actors lindsay lohan (freaky friday) and hilary duff (lizzie mcguire). so sad. my sister said that she knows a guy who was hilary duff's boyfriend and that hilary duff is a big time pothead. there's my contribution to pile of shit some people call news. i also like how they refer to people. for example natalie portman is "movie beauty natalie portman" and tom cruise is usually something like "hollywood hunk and eligible bachelor tom cruise."
  • in case you were wondering that bit about my sister knowing a guy, etc. is true.
  • here's a review on The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover

  • "Summary: The worst movie ever made.
    I've read some reviews and am so glad SOME people agree with me. This movie is awful! In fact I am giving it the award of: worst film ever made. What an honor! And not an easy thing to achieve either, with so many millions of movies out there. Yet, "cook,thief, wife and lover" has pulled it off! I've seen alot of films but never seen anything as bad as this.
    Many have mentioned how disgusting some of the scenes are here. I agree, but mere disgust in a movie wouldn't be to bad as long as there was a reason for it. This movie went beyond disgusting, and the insult was it had no point to it, because the plot was standard only more vicious then this plotline would normally be.
    Everything was elevated in this movie-the level of disgust, the meaness, the shock value-WHY? What were the filmakers thinking? "Let's make a film that shocks people and makes everyones' stomach turn"?? I doubt it actualy, but watching this your just left with that thought-WHY!!! This wasn't art or great filmaking, it was shock for shock value-big deal.
    Whoever voices negativities about the violence in "Kill Bill" oughta have a look at this film because anything Tarentino does looks tame next to this and at least there's a POINT to Tarention's violence-the man is a genius and makes great films-Violent maybe but great-but seriously Pulp Fiction this ain't. It's so bad, I'm amazed critics-ANYcritics reviewed it so positvely and if I'm not "artistic" enough to get it, my loss I guess(not!)"
  • sometimes reviews from imdb.com are so funny. my review is here (as always).
  • how about this one for Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

  • "Summary: Big lump of saccharine best left in the video shop
    Thirty plus years on it's hard to imagine a world that could have created a film as indigestible, unbelievable, and starry-eyed as this one. Only the wettest of bleeding heart liberals will find sustenance in this absurd paean to the American Dream. A sad farewell for Spencer Tracy, and a sleepwalking performance by Sidney Poitier. The less said about Hepburn the better."
  • ouch.
  • watched some of the new rage against the machine dvd today. it reminded me of the time i went to see michael moore in santa cruz. he was telling the story of when he went to wall street with rage against the machine and they played a show on the steps of the stock exchange which caused them to close early. when he mentioned rage against the machine the crowd gave an applause. i thought it was pretty cool that rage against the machine got an applause.
  • read over some updates from february 2001 (it is my most prolific month) and i don't remember writing about 90% of the stuff that i read. it's actually pretty fun to read over some of my old musings. i say some insightful, silly, funny, depressing, and mundane things. it was a pivotal time for me...i had a girlfriend for the first time in a quite a while, i was in the nietzsche class, and i was planning my trip around the country. i was doing a lot of learning and that kept my mind turning, which is good. i also had plenty of time to write so i could just spill my thoughts onto the screen. i'm glad i did.
  • i should sleep or something.

  • 12-25-03 (23:34)

  • interesting news out of florida.
  • saw the tail end of the lakers game tonight. any time i get to see those guys lose is a good time, but to see them lose to houston is even better. i like houston for a few reasons. i like the way yao ming plays the game. i like jeff van gundy as a coach. and they have jim jackson (a one-time king).
  • the kings lost by eight, but our two best scorers (webber and stojakovich) were out of the game so that's not a huge surprise.
  • tonight i applied a coat of polyurethane to the wood that will comprise my second dvd case. will assemble tomorrow.
  • two of the first three chapters in the newest franken book are dedicated to ann coulter. they're titled "ann coulter: nutcase" and "you know who i don't like? ann coulter." in both chapters he shows the hypocrisy of ann coulter's writings...on the one hand she'll say "political 'debate'  in this country has become insufferable...instead of actual debate about ideas and issues with real consequences, the country is trapped in a political discourse that resembles professional wrestling." (that's from the first page of her book slander) franken points out that she follows this up with statements like "liberals hate society" or "even islamic terrorists don't hate america like liberals do." she also has a tendency of lying, misrepresenting or just not doing her homework. franken cites several examples..."she was born in 1961. or 1963. depending on whether you believe her old connecticut driver's license (1961) or her newer d.c. driver's license (1963). ann claims the d.c. license is correct, which means that when she registered to vote she was sixteen. that, of course, would be voter fraud. either way, she lied on at least on of her driver's licenses, a government i.d., which is a violation of federal law under the patriot act." he'll also point out more important lies...like when she says "that newsweek washington bureau chief evan thomas 'is the son of norman thomas, a four-time socialist candidate for president.' actually, norman thomas was the socialist candidate six times, running first in 1928 with a radical proposal for something called "social security." it's odd that coulter understates the number of times that thomas was the socialist party nominee, because that would make her argument that much stronger. if norman thomas had been evan thomas's father. which he was not." he goes on in detail about other times when coulter has lied or misrepresented things. he has a list of ways in which to lie "how to lie with footnotes #6: just make shit up...from page 134 of slander: 'even during the media's nightly flogging of iran-contra, reagan's approval ratings fell only 5 percentage points, from 80 percent to 75 percent.'" here's what the article she quoted in her endnotes actually reported: "in last month's gallup poll, reagan's approval rating fell from 63 percent to 47 percent." in this case she quoted an actual story, but just made up new numbers. what the fuck?
  • more on the book another time.
  • work went pretty slowly today, but i was getting paid double time and i learned that my raise went through so helped ease the pain. people would come in and, while they were buying something, chat with me or another employee. a lot of times the conversation would start with them saying something like "i can't believe you're open today." or "it's too bad you have to work today, are you at least getting paid more." on the one hand that was very nice of people to not take it for granted that we would be open, on the other hand if  people like them didn't come in on christmas i wouldn't have to come in to sell them stuff. joe brought us food which was nice since almost all of downtown was close.
  • updated movies list. i've watched more movies that were new to me this year than i watched movies of any kind (new or old) in 2001. 2001 was a down year for me (movie wise) because of the trip around the country.
  • was looking at some of my updates from last month here's one i liked: "had the tv on while i was preparing dinner and i heard a story about "drugs and crazed rhetoric being used to dupe american teenagers into killing people." i naturally assumed that the story was an expose on the military during the vietnam era. turns out it was a story about a movie being made about charles manson. oh well." i also, in another update, called the board game trivial pursuit a petty endeavor. i thought that was clever.
  • getting off work at 8pm tonight was nice.
  • as best as i can figure given the cost of a barrel of oil (about $20, 14 of which is profit) and the likely number of barrels that iraq has (at least 300 billion), iraq has at least a few trillion dollars worth of oil it could use for infrastructure and paying off its debts (currently in the area of 120-150 billion dollars).

  • 12-25-03 (00:20)

  • updated movies list.
  • "Movie actress Naomi Watts is looking forward to shacking up in New York, because she'll be near her best friend Nicole Kidman. The Ring star is searching for a suitable apartment in the city and is keen to live near her photographer brother Ben Watts. Naomi says, "I'm very excited about buying an apartment here. I love New York, and my brother lives here, and I'd like to be close to him". Watts is currently earning kudos for her role in 21 Grams and is currently slated for the lead role in the upcoming remake King Kong."
  • i quote that story for three reasons...first why is there a story (or blurb, i suppose) about where naomi watts is going to be moving?
  • second, i want to see 21 grams - should be good.
  • third, i think that peter jackson is directing 'king kong.'
  • "Yes... you read that right. Three of the cast of TV's Seinfeld have declined to participate in the production of the DVD release of the series, because they're not being offered a share in sales of the discs. Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards were offered recording fees only, and so have jointly decided to boycott the production. The DVD is being produced by Castle Rock for distribution by Columbia TriStar, however due to complicated ownership of the show, Time Warner, Columbia TriStar Television, Castle Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David will all take profits from the DVD release. Frankly, we can't blame these three for feeling a little put off. Complicated ownership or not, the sales of old TV shows on DVD is arguably the fastest growing segment of the market right now. A lot of other people are going to make money on this... why shouldn't all of the featured cast share in that? Reportedly, Jerry Seinfeld is hoping to talk with them next year, to convince them to participate. You can bet, however, they'll be a little skeptical given that Jerry's already got a nice piece of the pie lined up. Here's a link to more on this at CNN and the New York Times (requires registration). Seinfeld: The Complete First Season is being tentatively planned for release in December of 2004. There's no word on how this boycott will affect that schedule, but we'd certainly hope that Castle Rock doesn't decided to just push ahead without these three."
  • that confirms what i reported here a few months ago...namely that the series was in the planning stages. it's pretty lame that the studios wouldn't hook up the rest of the crew. seinfeld easily has the best ensemble cast in television history. i don't think they should make as much as larry david or seinfeld, but they should certainly get a cut of the dvd sales.
  • it's really funny to me how hypocritical some people can be. corporations often tout the advantages of the free market economy, but when bad times come along they beg the government for bailout money. in other words, when things are fine they want the government out of their way, but when 9/11 happens everyone's got their hands out. or how about george bush being all about states' rights in alaska (where they support his attempts to drill and log forests), but all about the federal government superceding the states when the florida state supreme court voted to extend the time allowed to perform recounts. the reason i mention this is because i was reading "fast food nation" last night and it mentions walt disney's "opposition to socialism and to any government meddling with free enterprise (yet) relied on federal funds in the 1940s to keep his business afloat." or how about how bush is supposed to be a republican, but has expanded the government in an almost uncomprehensible way (with the creation of the department of homeland security) and pushing through the "patriot" act. of course he's also cut pension benefits for soldiers and rumsfeld has hinted that in the near future the pentagon is going to close several military bases around the country.
  • how about rumsfeld talking about the connections between the corporation brown and root (now kellog, brown and root - KBR) and LBJ. brown and root contributed millions of dollars to LBJ's political campaigns and during the vietnam war received government construction contracts. their history dates back further...LBJ also helped them get a large contract for the construction of a dam while he was in congress. rumsfeld spoke out against the vietnam contract "why this huge contract is not being adequately audited is beyond me. the potential for waste and profiteering under such a contract is substantial." fyi: according to npr this contract was the first private contract of its kind and size...normally this kind of work was done by government employees. maybe rumsfeld figured out how much money could be made through such an arrangement and changed his mind over time.
  • this is priceless.
  • i hope to compile some highlights from the franken book this weekend. i also want to build my second dvd case this weekend.

  • 12-24-03 (01:23)

  • it's officially xmas eve. the good thing about not having anyone around for xmas or having and plans (other than work) is that i won't have any trouble falling asleep the night before.
  • updated movies list.
  • in the last three months (actually less since december isn't over yet) i've watched 120 films. there's been a pretty large increase in the last quarter of the year (jan. through march i watched 74 films). film has become such a central part of my life over the last few months. i've always liked movies and i've always watched "a lot" of them, but things are different now. even when i was in film class i wasn't as into film as i am now. i wish i had enough money that i could just watch movies, listen to music and read all day.
  • it's raining again.
  • i was supposed to get a raise last month and i've asked joe about it several times since, but i haven't gotten any real answer from him. last wednesday he said he'd "have a definitive answer by tomorrow." what a lying liar.
  • i think i'm officially over modem connections. one of these days when i'm rich i'm going to make the jump and it'll be grand.

  • 12-23-03 (01:06)

  • i've been watching a bunch of commercials online over the last couple days. goto bushin30seconds.org to see some pretty decent anti-bush spots.
  • updated movies list.
  • i'm bored and cold.
  • it seems to me that the privatization of war contracts is undesirable. first, let's ask why anyone would say it would be desirable. i think that the only real argument for privatization of things in general is efficiency. the private sector, motivated by profit, does things more efficiently. some might say it's because they don't trust the government to do a good job, but those people don't have a clear concept of history so let's just work off of the efficiency argument. as a quick aside, though, i don't trust the government all that much, but i trust the large corporations (enrons, bechtels, halliburtons) of the world far less. i think that the biggest hole in the argument in regards to war contracts specifically is that they are done on a cost plus profit margin basis. that is, the corporation reports to the government what the cost is and then adds a predetermined percentage of the total as their profit (it's often a variable margin depending on "performance" and the range is usually 2-7percent). quick math quiz - what's seven percent of a dollar? now what's seven percent of a billion dollars? okay, now, does it make more economic sense for the coroporation to do things effieciently or really slowly and jack up the prices of, say, gas along the way? so, as far as i'm concerned, the efficiency argument, in these cases, goes out the window. add to that the fact that privatized companies are likely to be less secure. do remember that the bush administration's reason for denying france, germany and others the chance to bid on contracts in iraq was "security." i'm guessing that the screening process for becoming a federal employee is more strict than that of a major corporation. it's a lame excuse anyway, but if they're going to use it then so will i. the last thing that makes me think these contracts should be federally run is that the current system creates a dangerous conflict of interests. cheney helping out his old buddies is the obvious example. other corporations getting in on it by making contributions to the bush campaign is just a matter of time...it's probably already happened. i'm not saying that running things federally will eliminate all the problems, but it's better than what we got. plus, worse comes to worst, government institutions, i feel, are more accountable than corporations.
  • it would be interesting to look at the stock prices of halliburton et al a month before november 2000 and then a month after the supreme court stopped the recounts in florida thereby handing the election to bush/cheney.
  • if i was in a hipster indie band we'd release albums with the same album title, but our band name would change with each album, rather than vise-versa. we'd be so hip and intelligent.
  • i need to watch die hard again sometime soon.

  • 12-22-03 (01:03)

  • updated movies list. 316 total/208 new (to me).
  • listening to the newest chris clark album (again - i got it a while back, but let it sit on my desk for a couple months). it's a good cross between the cut up beats of prefuse 73 and the abstractness and melody of autechre. good album.
  • "Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson has now said in interviews that he expects The Return of the King: Special Extended DVD Version to be MORE than 4 hours and 15 minutes long"
  • i'm slowly adding to my top ten lists. i'm not going to have a top ten films of the year and that is sad.
  • i've started to look at my dvd collection as eventually being a library. at least three times in the last week i've wanted to view specific scenes in three separate films (planes, trains and automobiles, dead alive, and south park) and because i own them i was able to revisit the scenes that i was thinking of. having that luxury is very nice.

  • 12-20-03 (02:45)

  • updated movies list.
  • watched the first two lord of the rings movies in their extended versions.
  • looked over some old reviews that i've written for movies. this year, by far, has been my best year for reviewing films. not only have a watched more, but my reviews are longer, more in depth and make more interesting points. i'm proud that i've taught myself a thing or two about a thing or two.
  • applied for the job today. i spent two hours last night working on a cover sheet that outlined my qualifications relative to the requirements posted in the job's description.
  • speaking of job applications...here's george w. bush's resume...

  • Past Work Experience
    Ran for congress and lost.
    Produced a Hollywood slasher B movie.
    Bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas; company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.
    Bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. Biggest move: Traded Sammy Sosa to the Chicago White Sox.
    With father's help (and his name) was elected Governor of Texas.

    Accomplishments in Previous Positions
    Changed pollution laws for power and oil companies and made Texas the most polluted state in the Union.
    Replaced Los Angeles with Houston as the most smog-ridden city in America. Cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas government to the tune of billions in borrowed money.
    Set record for most executions by any governor in American history.
    Became president after losing the popular vote by over 500,000 votes, with the help of my father's appointments to the Supreme Court.

    Accomplishments As President
    Attacked and took over two countries.
    Spent the surplus and bankrupted the treasury.
    Shattered record for biggest annual deficit in history.
    Set economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.
    Set all-time record for biggest drop in the history of the stock market.
    First president in decades to execute a federal prisoner.
    First president in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.
    First year in office set the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in U.S. history.
    After taking the entire month of August off for vacation, presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.
    Set the record for most campaign fundraising trips than any other president in U.S. history.
    In my first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their job.
    Cut unemployment benefits for more out of work Americans than any president in U.S. history.
    Set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.
    Appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any president in U.S. history.
    Set the record for the least amount of press conferences than any president since the advent of television.
    Signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any president in U.S. history.
    Presided over the biggest energy crises in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption was revealed.
    Presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history and refused to use the national reserves as past presidents have.
    Cut healthcare benefits for war veterans.
    Set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously take to the streets to protest me (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind. (http://www.hyperreal.org/~dana/marches/)
    Dissolved more international treaties than any president in U.S. history.
    My presidency is the most secretive and unaccountable of any in U.S. history.
    Members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history (the 'poorest' multimillionaire, Condoleezza Rice, has an Exxon oil tanker named after her).
    First president in U.S. history to have all 50 states of the Union simultaneously go bankrupt.
    Presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud of any market in any country in the history of the world.
    First president in U.S. history to order a U.S. attack and military occupation of a sovereign nation.
    Created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history of the United States.
    Set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases, more than any president in U.S. history.
    First president in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the human rights commission.
    First president in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the elections monitoring board.
    Removed more checks and balances, and have the least amount of congressional oversight than any presidential administration in U.S. history.
    Rendered the entire United Nations irrelevant.
    Withdrew from the World Court of Law.
    Refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. prisoners of war and by default no longer abide by the Geneva Conventions.
    First president in U.S. history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. elections).
    All-time U.S. (and world) record holder for most corporate campaign donations.
    My biggest lifetime campaign contributor presided over one of the largest corporate bankruptcy frauds in world history (Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron Corporation).
    Spent more money on polls and focus groups than any president in U.S. history.
    First president in U.S. history to unilaterally attack a sovereign nation against the will of the United Nations and the world community.
    First president to run and hide when the U.S. came under attack (and then lied saying the enemy had the code to Air Force 1)
    First U.S. president to establish a secret shadow government.
    Took the biggest world sympathy for the U.S. after 9/11, and in less than a year made the U.S. the most resented country in the world (possibly the biggest diplomatic failure in U.S. and world history).
    With a policy of 'disengagement' created the most hostile Israeli-Palestine relations in at least 30 years.
    Fist U.S. president in history to have a majority of the people of Europe (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and stability.
    First U.S. president in history to have the people of South Korea more threatened by the U.S. than their immediate neighbor, North Korea.
    Changed US policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
    Set all-time record for number of administration appointees who violated U.S. law by not selling huge investments in corporations bidding for government contracts.
    Failed to fulfill my pledge to get Osama Bin Laden 'dead or alive.'
    Failed to capture the anthrax killer who tried to murder the leaders of our country at the United States Capital building. After 18 months I have no leads and zero suspects.
    In the 18 months following the 9/11 attacks I have successfully prevented any public investigation into the biggest security failure in the history of the United States.
    Removed more freedoms and civil liberties for Americans than any other president in U.S. history.
    In a little over two years created the most divided country in decades, possibly the most divided the U.S. has ever been since the Civil War.
    Entered office with the strongest economy in U.S. history and in less than two years turned every single economic category heading straight down.

    Records and References
    At least one conviction for drunk driving in Maine (Texas driving record has been erased and is not available)
    AWOL from National Guard and deserted the military during a time of war.
    Refuse to take drug test or even answer any questions about drug use.
    All records of my tenure as governor of Texas have been spirited away to my father's library, sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
    All records of any SEC investigations into my insider trading or bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
    All minutes of meetings for any public corporation I served on the board are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
    Any records or minutes from meetings I (or my VP) attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.
    For personal references please speak to my daddy or uncle James Baker (they can be reached at their offices of the Carlyle Group for war-profiteering.)

    12-19-03 (02:45)

  • "In his memoirs. A World Transformed, written more than five years ago, George Bush, Sr wrote the following to explain why he didn't go after Saddam Hussein at the end of the Gulf War: 'Trying to eliminate Saddam ... would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible ... We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq ...there was no viable "exit strategy" we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world." Going in and occupying Iraq, thus untlaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.""
  • updated movies list.
  • applying for another city of davis job tomorrow.

  • 12-18-03 (01:31)

  • updated movies list.
  • "In a sharply worded ruling issued just hours before the start of the winter snowmobiling season in Yellowstone National Park, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan nixed the Bush administration's plans to allow nearly 1,000 snowmobiles in the park every day.  The 49-page ruling pointed out that a Clinton administration plan, which would have phased out snowmobiles over three years and banned them completely this winter, was based on a decade's worth of studies, while the new plan was based on an environmental impact statement "conspicuously timed with the change in administrations" and "completely politically driven and result oriented."  Under Sullivan's ruling, limited snowmobiling will be allowed in the park this winter and none next winter.  National Park Service employees expressed relief at the ruling."
  • i didn't know a judge could do that, but i'm glad it happened.
  • finished the al franken book (lies and the lying liars who tell them - a far and balanced look at the right) today. highly recommended. it cuts through a lot of the rhetoric that many of the neo-cons employ. it is very well researched and comprehensive. franken makes lots of really good arguments and, unlike many of those on the right, back them up with solid analysis and research. it's startling to see how many times bush and his lovers flat out lie and contort facts and get away with it...mostly. maybe this weekend i'll go over the text and provide some examples and excerpts from the book. hopefully he'll come out with another next september or october (right before the election).
  • Rated PG-13 for brief language and a drug reference. that's from a documentary about soul music. A drug reference? pretty funny.
  • james baker (ex-secretary of state) went to italy recently to ask them to relieve some of iraq's debt (iraq has debts in several countries including france, u.s., and a lot in russia). i don't claim to understand how the world works, but it seems to me that if iraq starts selling it's oil regularly it should be able to pay off whatever debt it has (approx 120 billion). i've heard that iraq has several trillions of dollars worth of oil that it could unload and use to decrease its debt and invest in infrastructure. i don't think james baker has ever lobbied the IMF to help jamaica with its debts. i just seems unfair.
  • jeff kravitz brought up a good point - if bush's goal with iraq was to stabilize the region by bringing democracy to the region, why didn't he start with one of our allies (e.g., jordan or egypt)?
  • going to start "fast food nation" tonight.

  • 12-17-03 (00:43)

  • it's really cold right now. it's supposedly 42, but the low for today is 34 so i'll go with that.
  • eco transportation.
  • updated movies list. 309
  • watching lotr: return of the king on saturday. must avoid previews or overhearing conversations between people who have seen it at all costs.
  • while working on my top ten films of the year i only found four movies i consider good enough to be on the list. that's pretty sad. i think the problem is two-fold 1) i don't watch movies in the theater very often 2) this was a bad year for movies.

  • 12-16-03 (02:06)

  • updated movies list. watched another 30s movie tonight.
  • the kings game last night was awesome.
  • luke and nic visited me at tower tonight. that was nice.
  • listening to the new plastikman (richie hawtin) album. it's good stuff.
  • joe horn (receiver for the saints) apparently placed a cell phone call while in the endzone after scoring a touchdown on sunday. makes owens's stunt look pretty tame.
  • my fantasy football teams are really lame right now.
  • trying to straighten out my top ten albums these days. my number one album this year probably would have been my number 4 or 5 last year...kind of a weak year for music.

  • 12-15-03 (01:17)

  • updated movies list. there are some films that are lauded for purely academic reasons. as is usual with me, i can't be so one-sided in my interests.
  • my grandfather broke his hip today. he's probably sick and tired of having people fawn over him by now. i like my grandfather and hope he doesn't die soon.
  • if anyone knows of any good atypical christmas songs let me know. i'm looking for stuff like run dmc's christmas in hollis or james brown's santa claus goes to the ghetto.
  • [Quote from Alfred Hitchcock when accepting the American Film Institute Life Achievement award] "I beg permission to mention by name only four people who have given me the most affection, appreciation, and encouragement, and constant collaboration. The first of the four is a film editor, the second is a scriptwriter, the third is the mother of my daughter Pat, and the fourth is as fine a cook as ever performed miracles in a domestic kitchen. And their names are Alma Reville (his wife)."
  • ""The paperback is very interesting but I find it will never replace the hardcover book -- it makes a very poor doorstop." - hitchcock
  • saddam has been found and that's good, but of course the ends don't justify the means. even if iraq becomes a model for democracy in the next 20 years our actions were founded on the most dangerous doctrine i can think of - that of unilateral (or near unilateral) preemption.
  • christmas is near.
  • bought wood so i can build another dvd case.

  • 12-11-03 (01:30)

  • i have a lot of respect for the way the utah jazz play basketball. jerry sloan is a pretty underrated coach and the whole franchise does a good job of being consistent contenders. they lose two of the greatest players in the history of basketball and continue to stay competitive in a tough division.
  • updated movies list.
  • got the new paris album today. i've liked him ever since i heard "bush killer" which was made during the first bush presidency. his new album is just as political and incendiary. went to allmusic.com to read his bio and here's a bit of what i found: "One of hip-hop's most militantly Afrocentric radicals, Paris struggled for most of his career to find acceptance for his fiercely political music, which drew from the provocative intelligence of Public Enemy and the gut-level rage of early Ice Cube. Born Oscar Jackson Jr. in Illinois on October 29, 1967, Paris earned a degree in economics from the University of California-Davis (near the San Francisco Bay Area); but hip-hop appealed to him more, and he founded his own record label, Scarface....Paris spent four years away from the studio. When he returned with Unleashed in 1998, he'd largely abandoned his trademark political fury in favor of watered-down G-funk and gangsta clichés. He retired from hip-hop not long after and put his economics degree to use as a successful stockbroker." yet another good hip-hop artist who came through uc davis and apparently when music wasn't working out for him he had the tools to do something else. obviously he came out of retirement (probably inspired by the second bush presidency) since he just released an album.
  • updated cdlist. year.
  • updated movies i own list.

  • 12-10-03 (01:44)

  • "Population growth is expected to slow dramatically over the coming decades, but the number of people on the planet is still likely to reach 8.9 billion by 2050, up from 6.3 billion today, according to a new U.N. report released yesterday.  Granted, that's not the sort of runaway growth experienced during the 20th century, when the world's population nearly quadrupled, but that's still 2.6 billion new people on what many feel is an already cramped planet.  By 2300, the population level is expected to stabilize at 9 billion. That's notably smaller than U.N. forecasts from just two years ago, when demographers predicted a population of 9.4 billion by 2050.  The slowdown in growth will likely be driven by women bearing fewer children;  fertility rates have dropped from about 6 children per woman in 1900 to about 2.7 children today, and they're expected to fall further.  On a darker note, the AIDS epidemic is also a factor in the slower population growth."
  • updated movies list. 300, so far.
  • raining quite a bit right now, but hasn't rained during the day all that much. that's the best of both worlds.
  • tomorrow's my thursday.

  • 12-09-03 (01:03)

  • updated movies list.
  • michael vick is so good it's silly.
  • i hate cold weather, but i'm still jealous of johnny because i'd like to see antarctica.
  • today was decent. had a busy day at work so that made it go by quickly. whenever bryce works we talk about movies most of the day so that's pleasant.
  • good double features: dersu uzala/nanook of the north. branded to kill/ghost dog. american movie/friends forever. i'll come up with more later.
  • hope to finish the al franken book by the end of the month.
  • by the end of the year i'll have watche more than 312 movies (barring some unforeseen catastrophy) which averages out to more than six movies a week.

  • 12-07-03 (23:33)

  • updated movies list.
  • kings won a tight one tonight.
  • 12-05-03 (01:46)
  • updated movies list.
  • another good episode of radio parallax was on today. download here. 14megs (link valid for one week)
  • also the last panic attack show was pretty interesting for those interested in law. download here. 14megs (link valid until next tuesday)
  • did all my christmas shopping today. spent a lot of money and put it on the old credit card which doesn't accrue any interest for a few months so that's the good news, the bad news is that i'm very broke right now so i don't forsee paying that off for a couple months.
  • i've tried putting together a wish list, but all the things i want are things that i could get a lot cheaper at tower (cds/dvds/books). i'm not sure what i want outside of that kind of stuff. a house, more time, a better job, a watch and a plasma tv. only one of those is reasonable and it's not easy to shop for a watch for someone.
  • as much as i've complained about working at tower, it is very nice to get deep discounts on the things i like the most. being able to do all my christmas shopping while at work, and save a bunch of money in the process, is definitely a nice perk.
  • you know what's funny? i mean besides asking a question like "you know what?"...when people give instructions like "go to the nursery and buy me a tree." then you ask them "what size" and they reply "oh, not too big and not too small." the word "too" is subjective, when i ask "what size" i'm asking you to define what is between the two "too"s. but usually when an exchange goes like that the person who is receiving the "not too big and not too small" instructions just goes along with it and says "okay." i don't mention this because anything specific happened, but it's always seemed nonsensical to me. almost like when people say "i could care less" when they really mean "i couldn't care less."

  • 12-04-03 (22:43)

  • "Mark Twain once famously commented that rumors of his death had been greatly exaggerated.  Much the same could be said of the Kyoto Protocol on global climate change, which was pronounced dead by gun-jumping news sources (Grist among them, we regret to say) when Andrei Illarionov, chief economic advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, predicted that his country would not ratify it. Yesterday, however, the Russian government said it was still "moving toward ratification," providing worried environmentalists with a measure of hope.  The treaty cannot go into effect without the support of 55 countries that account for 55 percent of the developed world's 1990 carbon dioxide emissions -- an equation that, in the absence of U.S. support, requires Russian participation.  But according to a news analysis in The New York Times, the treaty has the potential to permanently alter international energy policy whether or not it's implemented."

  • 12-04-03 (01:36)

  • there are several simple common sense measures that can be taken to clean politics up. they fly in the face of "freedom" so they probably won't be adopted in the near or distant future, but here are a few ideas: no more "patriot" acts or "clear skies" initiatives. refer to such legislation using numbers. like it or not, people are retarded and if they hear that their senator voted down the patriot act they're not going to be pleased. publicly finance elections. draw district lines using rectangular shapes so as to severely limit gerrymandering (like the stuff that went down in texas earlier this year). it's about getting the politics out of politics.
  • i told melanie the other night that being a political science major sucked away my soul quicker than it would have happened otherwise. i mean it's inevitable that the world would have eventually sucked me dry, but being a political science major hastened the process. of course i'm only half serious.
  • updated movies list.
  • tomorrow is my friday. plan on relaxing and watching lots of movies this weekend. if i have a good weekend i can get to 300 and the rest of the month will just be icing.

  • 12-03-03 (02:50)

  • "The Kyoto Protocol on climate change received a presumably fatal blow today, when Russia announced that it will not ratify the agreement in its current form.  Without Russia or the U.S. on board, the treaty will not have buy-in from at least 55 countries that account for 55 percent of the developed world's 1990 carbon dioxide emissions -- the only terms under which it can take effect.  "In its current form, the Kyoto Protocol places significant limitations on the economic growth of Russia," said Russian economic advisor Andrei Illarionov as he explained the country's decision, but many experts disagree that the treaty would hurt Russia's economy.   Today's news is a serious blow to climate negotiators convening this week in Milan, Italy, to discuss Kyoto's future.  Some hold out hope that Russia will change its mind, but others acknowledge that the treaty will have to be renegotiated or nations that have signed it will have to go it alone."
  • sad stuff.
  • updated movies list. saw another good movie tonight. i feel like i'm finally beginning to understand film in a greater context. i wish i had purchased the textbooks for my film class...or studied for that matter. oh well, i'm schooling myself now and that works well enough. 288 this year.
  • "Criterion's editions of Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca, Notorious, and Spellbound and Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs will be available only through December 31, 2003. These titles will be out of print and unavailable come 2004. Wrong Men and Notorious Women: Five Hitchcock Thrillers 1935 - 1946 is also available only until the end of December."
  • get them while you can...and get an extra one to sell on ebay a year from now...keep it sealed.

  • 12-02-03 (00:55)

  • "A huge forest-protection initiative will get off the ground in Canada today, aiming to put half of the nation's northern boreal forests -- some 650 million acres -- off-limits to logging and development, and to ensure that activity in the other half is carefully controlled and eco-friendly.  A coalition of energy and timber companies, native communities, and environmental groups today will announce their commitment to protect the boreal forest, and their intention to persuade others to join their effort, including the provincial and federal governments.  This is being billed as the largest conservation agreement in the world:  Canada's boreal forest stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to Alaska, covering about half of the nation's landmass and providing habitat for more than a billion birds and large populations of caribou, bears, wolves, and other wildlife.  The scale of the deal is overwhelming even to participants.  "I'm scared," said Bill Hunter, president of Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., a big pulp mill and key player in the agreement.  "But if this works, man, oh, man, what a model it will be for the world.""
  • updated movies list. really this time.
  • bought a new mouse the other day. finally went optical so i won't have to worry about it wearing down so quickly.
  • back when i was listening to his show i noticed that rush limbaugh used a rage against the machine song as the intro to his show (at least) once. i don't care what else the guy has done in his life, he should be shot for that alone.

  • 12-01-03 (01:12)

  • updated movies list.

  • listened to portions of autechre's album 'incunabula' and remembered its greatness. it's one of the most beautiful albums i own.