Moon– Me Vida Local Video

Being married to a space cadet who has scores of books about the Apollo mission, I wanted to see the movie, Moon. It played briefly in Providence and I didn’t get out to see it, but it finally came to Acme Video on DVD.

It’s pretty good, minimal explosions and some smart ideas. Sam Rockwell basically does a solo performance playing himselves (there’s a whole warehouse full of hims). Kevin Spacey is GERTY, a cousin of HAL from 2001-A Space Odyssey, but with a smiley face. He’s really sinister.

Anyone seen it? I liked it. I’m kind of cranky about recent sci-fi movies where the aliens either act just like people or look like runway models painted blue. Here there’s no space aliens, just an alienated human being who ends up as an illegal alien.

And let me add Acme Video to the list of unique, friendly Rhode Island businesses.

Me Vida Local List–
Acme Video
Silver Star Bakery
United BBQ
Stamp Egg Farms
East Side Prescription Center
Yacht Club Soda
Mangiarelli’s Fruitlands
Four Mile River Farm

Bearing False Witness

Forgive me my trespass, Steve Benen of Political Animal, for pasting so much of your post here, and readers, Washington Monthly is the place to go for Steve’s update on what’s happening in politics.

I don’t usually rip off so much of someone else’s writing, but this post concerns Pat Robertson. Pat Robertson is in my opinion an international criminal who uses religion as camouflage for his steady accumulation of personal power. [Kmareka's legal department says that the First Amendment still allows human beings to have an opinion. I'm so grateful. Thank you, Supremes.]

If Robertson was following Christian morality he might be constrained by the Ten Commandments. Namely, the ninth. The Bible, interestingly, doesn’t say straight out that it’s a sin to tell a lie. God’s Commandment is– ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor’. ‘Bearing false witness’ is perjury. It’s a malicious lie that ruins a life. It’s the provocation that gets someone killed.

It’s the lie that puts a target on an innocent person. It’s the claim that the suspect was running away when he was shot in the back. It’s the false accusation of rape that justifies the lynching. It’s the lie that precipitates a war.

I believe there is a special place in Hell where the 700 Club is the only news playing. Pat Robertson is assuring the faithful that the Devil isn’t such a bad guy. Pat scares them with apocalyptic visions until they decide that the Devil they know is their buddy.

Maybe he calls up the unclean spirits of the slave owners who used lies and propaganda as effectively as the whip. More effectively–because deception requires way less energy than coercion.

So here’s a take on the CBN ‘News’…

THIS WEEK IN GOD…. First up from the God Machine this week is a report from radical TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, which religious right activists and many on the far-right quickly embraced, but which didn’t stand up well to scrutiny.

CBN reported, in an apparent “exclusive,” that five Muslim-American soldiers at Fort Jackson in South Carolina “were arrested just before Christmas and are in custody. The five men were part of the Arabic Translation program at the base.” If true, it’s the kind of development that would likely have broad political and policy consequences. Except, as Marc Ambinder noted, CBN appears to have gotten it wrong.

[T]he Army says it’s not true. No one has been arrested. The National Security Council was not aware of any arrests, a spokesperson said.

Let me express a humble nurse’s opinion of interpreters. We adore them. We are grateful to have them. Our job is hazardous to our patients and our license when we have to grab Marina in Maintenance or the grandchild to interpret. A very good interpreter I worked with told me she was exhausted by the end of the day. I understood, because I was exhausted too. It is very hard work to communicate vital information accurately across language and culture.

Broadcasting lies against hard-working Arabic interpreters, Americans in service no less, who are protecting our country and their fellow service members by facilitating communication– that would be contrary to our national interest and security. Unless you think our national interest is in precipitating total war in the Middle East, and our security is in qualifying for The Rapture.

The Armageddon Agenda is a deeply Un-American fifth column hiding in plain sight. Don’t mess with my interpreters, Pat Robertson, or you’ll hear from me. Whether it’s the professional interpreter, or Marina in Maintenance, or the little grandchild, or an Arab-American in service– you are saving lives. We, on the ground, know what you do and how much you are needed.

Party at Everyman

Rhode Island, birthplace of the diner, is going nationwide this Monday, February 22.

Everyman Bistro will host a viewing party, starting at 8:30, to celebrate the appearance of the Libery Elm Diner on The Food Network at 10:00pm.

Music will be provided by The Killdevils, Lucky 57, and Mark Cutler and Friends. I count myself as one of Mark Cutler’s friends. Though I’m not a musician I love listening to him.

Details and directions are here.

Massachusetts, What Have You Elected?

Joe Stack, by his own standard, was a failure…

He slammed his plane into the building – the last, desperate move by a man overwhelmed by personal and business failures, trying to strike out at enemies all around him.
“Nothing changes unless there is a body count,” he wrote.

He planned his blaze of glory for the beginning of the work day, when offices would be full, but he only took one life and left one man badly burned in the hospital. Not enough pain and devastation to set a record.

And pretty sad by Oklahoma City standards…

It is estimated that 646 people were inside the building when the bomb exploded.[83] By the end of the day of the bombing, twenty were confirmed dead, including six children, and over one hundred injured.[84] The toll eventually reached 168 confirmed dead, not including an unmatched leg that could have belonged to a possible, unidentified 169th victim.[2] Most of the deaths resulted from the collapse of the building, rather than the bomb blast.[85] Those killed included 163 who were in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, one person in the Athenian Building, one woman in a parking lot across the street, a man and woman in the Oklahoma Water Resources building, and a rescue worker struck on the head by debris.[86]
The victims ranged in age from three months to seventy-three

In 1995 President Clinton made a statement recognizing the sacrifice of the federal workers. He said, “They served their country, and they served well.”

I told my friend, who is a civil servant, and I saw tears come to her eyes.

So far it seems likely that Joe Stack was an angry, isolated man suffering from suicidal depression. But he did not strike out randomly. He followed a script written by terrorists domestic and foreign and left a manifesto on the internet.

So now is a time for leaders to condemn this attack on Americans– targeted because they are working for our government. This is a test of patriotism. This is a test of character for politicians elected for being ‘anti’ the government they campaigned to be part of. This is a time to remember Vernon Hunter, murdered while he was working for us, murdered by a man who never looked him in the face. It’s a time to think of all the other people injured and terrorized. This is a time for eloquent words that powerfully condemn violent acts and the demagogues and opportunists who encourage and enable them.

This is Senator Scott Brown…

Scott Brown: Well, it’s certainly tragic and I feel for the families and obviously being affected by it. And I don’t know if it’s related, but I can just sense, not only in my election, but since being here in Washington, people are frustrated. They want transparency, they want their elected officials to be accountable and open and talk about the things that are affecting their daily lives. So I’m not sure there’s a connection, I certainly hope not. But we need to things better.

Massachusetts, you elected an empty suit. Weak and vague at best, appeasing the more violent wing with a covert endorsement at worst.

This is the Senator who will hold outsize influence in votes that will affect health care, employment and the environment. This is a man who can not even talk straight when a domestic terrorist attacks his fellow Americans. Don’t expect him to stand up for you.

MORE: A 28-year-old Iraq War veteran risked his life to rescue people from the fire.

AND YET MORE: Daily Kos contrasts the timid silence of the right wing commentators with the kinds of things they say when the terrorist is not a white, male Christian.

Talking Back to Sarah Palin

I don’t watch Family Guy, because even though Seth MacFarlane is local, he seems to have been deeply affected by Garfield cartoons. I just can’t get past that. Sorry.

He’s also offensive. I watched part of one episode and it struck me as creepy-racist-misogynist and I only lasted a few minutes. Sorry– I can’t justify it in an argument, it was just an impression. Maybe I’m wrong. Just an opinion.

We don’t all think alike. Sarah Palin took a recent episode of Family Guy as a slam on people with Down Syndrome. Andrea Fay Friedman, the actress who did the voice for the cartoon character, thinks otherwise. She herself has Down Syndrome, but she is an adult and too large to carry around as a prop and old enough to speak for herself. So read what she says here.

You may agree with her or not, but it’s good to remember that people with Down Syndrome are not God’s innocent angels sent here to teach us something about life, but actual people who have their own lives to live. Trig Palin will grow up, and I hope he will have a good life. Sarah Palin better hope she doesn’t pick up the NYT some day and see a best-seller called, ‘Drafted–My Life on the Campaign Trail When Mommy Went Rogue’, or ‘Going Rough–Missed Naps and Noisy Crowds in Days that Made History’. At least it’s not ‘Vice-President, Dearest’ –not yet.

Daily Kos has the startling news that Sarah Palin’s grandson receives health care coverage from socialized medicine.

TOUGH WEEK: Palin came in third runner-up in the Conservative Popularity Awards Convention (CPAC) Pageant. It seems unfair. She has way better hair than Ron Paul, who might want to consider having a little work done– nothing drastic, just a little lift. Mitt Romney is tough competition. I think he’s encased in some kind of impermeable wrinkle-proof plastic. He’d better wear Kevlar under the suit though, because Sarah Barracuda does not forgive or forget. Except for things Rush Limbaugh says or things she needs to not recall in testimony.