May 25, 2005

I've Been Tagged

Blackfive is playing tag and I'm it!

1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video:

Hmm - somewhere in the vicinity of 60 to 70 I think. It would take too much time to count them - but I'm not a huge collector of DVD's

2) The last film I bought:

House of Flying Daggers - I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but it's sitting on the counter waiting for me to open it.

3) The last film I watched:

Rush Hour... Jackie Chan makes me laugh.

4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no
particular order):

Pirates of the Caribbean - it's fun it's frivolous and Johnny Depp is a tremendous actor

The Fifth Element - having fun saving the world what more could you want

The Incredibles - excellent animation terrific story

The 39 Steps - well I had to pick at least one Hitchcock movie and this is my favorite

The Thin Man - ah to live in one of the most lovely un-pc world ever created. I need to get the rest of these on DVD but they weren't out yet last time I checked. I should look again.

5) Tag 5 people and have them put this in their journal:

The Cheesemistress
Sissy Willis

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 01:15 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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The Insidious Nature of Slander in the Media

When the news reports first came out about Eason Jordan's slander against the military ( remember... the little closed door speech he gave in Davos about the US Military intentionally targeting and attempting to kill journalists) I knew then, this was only the beginning. The uproar that followed caused Jordan to resign from CNN, but hasn't caused him enough grief to release the tape of his speech.

Then it was the turn of Linda Foley - President of the Newspaper Guild. Her remarks about the US Military (not the troops mind you, just the US Military). Have caused the next wave of indignation and rightly so! There is no truth to these accusations whatsoever - and Ms. Foley's odd twist to the story makes her look incredibly stupid.

But, what the news media is aiming for with these things is NOT coherence, it is NOT the truth - it's the repetition of a lie over and over again until people start to believe it. This is the tactic used during the Vietnam War so very effectively. Calling the troops "baby killers" repeatedly lying about the troops torturing and killing innocent civilians (thank you John Kerry for perpetuating that little bit of hatred).

At one time, when the MSM had a monopoly on information sources, there was no good way to get the message out that such heinous lies were being told. That is not the case in today's world. Today we have the internet and we have extraordinary people with wide reaching audiences to spread the word about this attempt to remake the news. The latest effort in that direction is now underway MediaSlander is set to roll out and knock down the MSM types who continue to spread these lies.

Blackfive is one of the founding members of this group and he says the following:

I don't really care for what the motivation is...I just want them to give the military a fair shake. No suppositions, no lies, just the truth. I want them to do their job.

We gave the MSM time to react to Linda Foley. With the exception of a few sources, there wasn't much out there. Maybe they agreed with her, didn't care, or thought it wasn't newsworthy...

We just couldn't sit there and let her comments stand.

As usual go read the whole thing. Unfortunately, every time the lie is repeated, far too many people only remember the lie itself... not the fact that it's a lie. Like the baby killer meme - once it's said often enough and spread around enough too many people (who should really know better) start to believe it.

Of course there will always be people who believe anything bad about the US Military, but for those who only take the most peripheral of interest - there needs to be some counter argument presented. I am hoping, with all these wonderful bloggers aboard helping to spread the word, they can at least stem some of the damage that is being done.

I will be adding them to the blogroll. This is definitely an effort worth pursuing. With any luck they'll get people to think a bit before accepting the lies. It will be an uphill road, but the fight is worth it.

Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 11:51 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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The Gentle Art of Correction

Harvey has been putting up occasional posts about the art of blogging in order to help those who want to start a blog but need some help to make it more reader friendly. Or those who read blogs and wonder at the behind the scenes things that don't make sense to them.

Today he is taking on the subject of how to notify a blogger about a needed correction in spelling or grammar. For some people this is a touchy subject and I agree it's far better to err on the side of extreme politeness lest your correction be mistaken for criticism... it might be taken that way anyway - some people look for the worst in everything.

We all make mistakes in spelling and grammar - even the vaunted MSM with all their editors and checkers will have mistakes slip through. It's not something to be ashamed of... unless of course the post is criticizing someone else for a spelling or grammatical error.

But this post did make me think about more comment netiquette.

For instance leaving a comment telling the blogger that they made a mistake and they are stupid or ignorant... yet failing to point out the mistake. This type of thing will certainly make me very angry. I have no problem with people pointing out errors (the scariest people I know are those who claim they never make a mistake!)- I do have a problem with people calling names, saying there's an error, and then NOT saying what the error might possibly be. Obviously, at least it seems to me, if I've blogged something, I am of the opinion that what I'm saying is correct - this means, if you find an error, you need to elucidate it for me... To say there is an error and then not say what it is - makes you look like a troll out to make trouble.

And last of all, people need to remember, if they send a blogger email... it may possibly be blogged and ridiculed, especially if the emailer has an especially hilarious mistake. See SarahK for an extremely funny example she received that other day.

Posted by: Teresa in Weblogs at 08:22 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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May 23, 2005

It Boggles the Mind

I had no idea what how to categorize this post until I thought about it for a few minutes and decided it certainly belongs under "education" of which many people seem to have none...

I was over at Homefront Six where she is posting about meeting a woman who had no idea what a "pliers" was! At first I had to reread it and was trying to figure out how in the world this happens... when I remembered a little tidbit of information my sister threw out at me once - a number of years ago.

My sister was married at one time to a guy in the Air Force. They were stationed in Okinawa when Desert Storm rolled around. There were a number of troops deployed from Okinawa to the Middle East. The next time my sister and her husband were home on leave, she was telling some stories... the one that sticks in my head to this day...

The military bases set up classes for wives of deployed service personnel... why? Because they needed to learn how to write checks and pay bills! Yes folks - these women had NO IDEA how to write a check to get money for living expenses - no idea how to pay even basic bills!!! So, I guess I'm not quite so shocked when I think about someone not knowing what a pliers might be... I would think someone could manage to go their entire life without needing to use them... although how they manage to open some of those soda bottles is beyond me!

Posted by: Teresa in Education at 05:45 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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The Dangerous Liberal Agenda

I'm sure most of you have seen or at least heard about the op-ed piece written by Keith Thompson that appeared yesterday. He takes the ultra left leaning liberals to task for their completely warped view of the world and does an admirable job of it. He is NOT saying he's no longer a liberal... he is saying he's a liberal in the older sense of the word - not the nearly pathological rage filled get Bush at any cost meaning.

Not surprisingly, this was picked up by Rush Limbaugh, who congratulated Thompson on seeing the light. The general result of this sort of publicity for someone who is liberal leaning, is to turn around and run full tilt in the opposite direction... back into the arms of the rabid left. But Mr. Thompson shows himself to be a man of great character. He called into Rush's show and spoke with him during one of the segments. This may be just about the bravest act this man could have committed, I was very impressed.

Interestingly enough, Keith Thompson's piece reads very much like an extremely short version of Bill Whittle's latest essay, Sanctuary. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Naturally, Bill's essay is much longer than Keith's - after all, he is not constrained by column length. This leaves him free to follow a flow of thoughts through to its conclusion. If you have about an hour to spare - please take the time to read it.

Both of these men have written eloquently about the extremism on the left. (Please understand that I know there is also extremism on the right - this should go without saying, but I figure it's better to let people know I know these things.) I think if you read them carefully, you can pick up much that will show up extremism in any venue.

Hat Tip Instapundit for Keith Thompson and Blackfive for Bill Whittle

Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 12:36 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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May 22, 2005

A Plethora of Idiocies...

The end of last week must have taken place under a cloud... one that disperses brain cell death rays. We have, in no particular order, three stories that make me shake my head and wonder about the reasoning capacity of people who should certainly know better.

First there was Linda Foley, President of the Newspaper Guild, claiming that the US Military is targeting journalists in war zones... there was video available for this little foray into fantasy land and the added bonus of hearing...

..."I was careful of not saying troops, I said U.S. military. Could I have said it differently? There are 100 different ways of saying this, but I'm not sure they would have appeased the right."...

I don't think Linda has to worry about appeasing the right - she'll need to explain why we should ever buy a newspaper again when one of their prime representatives tells us there is a difference between the "US Military" and the "troops".


Then we had the President/CFO of Pepsico, a major American corporation, give a speech for an MBA commencement. Instead of telling the graduates how they could work to achieve what she has managed, Indra Nooyi decided she needed to tell us just how grossly disgusting she finds the US...

However, if used inappropriately –just like the U.S. itself -- the middle finger can convey a negative message and get us in trouble.

Yes folks, we are the middle finger and we stick it to the world! She even gives a little story about one boorish American who had to make a scene in a foreign country when things were different than they are here in the States... of course we all "know" that not a single person from another country ever ever ever does the same thing over here... right? Um... sure Indra...

Too bad Indra didn't give an example of any other country in the world (especially a Middle East or African country or even China which seems to be her favorite country to show up Americans) where she could have worked her way up to the position she holds here in the bad ole US of A... You see, now that she has achieved so much - we are pond scum - not fit to be seen as doing anything good for anyone. I understand she has apologized - sorry, but my middle finger just doesn't want to retract.


Last of all was the story of Six Flags making the big announcement...

This year Six Flags has put on season passes to all 30 of its U-S amusement parks a notice that it reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone convicted of a sex crime.
The company says it won`t run background checks on all visitors but if they`re seen acting inappropriately a park could run a check and throw them out.

Oh boy, don't you just feel safer already? Gosh this just sounds soooo good on paper - but once you stop to think about it for a moment... exactly where does it get you? Ummmm... no where, no where at all. If someone is committing a crime, the police should be called - whether it's a sex crime or robbery, or even plain old assault... or how bout murder? If they are being disruptive, they should be thrown out of the park... period. Having this extra clause on the back of a season ticket does NOTHING to make anyone safer. It just makes some people feel good. This time, instead of the liberal air dreamers, it's the conservative side.

Unless you can check every person coming into the park, run instant background checks, AND have ESP... you are not going to keep criminals out of amusement parks. Six Flags is talking about season tickets... what about daily tickets? What about criminals who either haven't been caught yet, or this is their first offense? No, like I said, it plays well with people who just don't stop to think how idiotic it is in practice. Nice idea - no practical value.

After reading about all that - I decided to take the weekend off from blogging. After all, we should all take time away from the idiots periodically.

Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 06:52 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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May 20, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes

Unbelievable... this is the 40th week! This week your host is Jordana of Curmudgeonly who has done an outstanding job. Get ready to make out your lists - then head over to find some outstanding food and drink. Now that's the way to start the weekend! (And I actually got it posted on time this week! Amazing)

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 04:12 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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May 19, 2005

I've Been "Nannied"

It's not too often that I look at my referrer logs (sorry I just forget to do it), but I was browsing through the pages of my stat counter today and found out that some poor soul had been blocked from my site by Net Nanny!

This makes me wonder what I've written that is so offensive that the Nannies would be out to get me! (sadly it doesn't show the page that was being accessed) I think I keep things pretty much PG here. I don't want to get someone in trouble because they browsed over here from work and the content was questionable. Not to mention, other people do questionable content MUCH better than I do. *grin*

Maybe it's a good thing I don't look at my stats... it's going to really bug me... trying to figure out what I wrote that the "Nannies" don't like... what a hoot!

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 11:06 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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How Much Do You Really Want to Watch DVD's?

The logic of this is quite simply lost on me.

Here's how the system might work:

At the store, someone buying a new DVD would have to provide a password or some kind of biometric data, like a fingerprint or iris scan, which would be added to the DVD's RFID tag.

Then, when the DVD was popped into a specially equipped DVD player, the viewer would be required to re-enter his or her password or fingerprint. The system would require consumers to buy new DVD players with RFID readers.

Seems to me the movie industry might want to consider the fact that alienating their audience won't help them make more money. What is the ultimate cost of this type of move? Sure you might stop some piracy... at least until someone figures out how to get around it. (and yes they will figure it out - that is a given) But the real problem is that you will make your customers angry.

Accusing (even indirectly) someone who is actually shelling out the money to buy your product, of being a thief is not a good way to win friends and customers. And let's face it, is Hollywood putting out a product that is worth going to all that trouble? What happens if you stop the movie in the middle to hit the bathroom or talk on the phone? No, not even my favorite movies would be worth all that trouble.

If they do decide to go with this system... look for a gut wrenching drop in the number of DVD's being sold. Hollywood thinks they are invincible, that people will always want their product. So, bring on the fingerprinting and RFID tags - let's put it to a test.

Hat Tip Slashdot

Posted by: Teresa in Film at 09:46 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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The Notification Stakes

A couple of weeks ago I was blogging about teens and abortion and medical permission for invasive procedures.

Now New England Republican has a story about how this same issue changed the outcome of the governor's race in Massachusetts and is having an impact on confirming judges.

Go have a look - seems I'm not exactly the only person in this country who wants to be able to have a say in the medical treatment of my children... what an amazing thing!

Posted by: Teresa in Medical at 08:56 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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