URLs du Jour


Just a couple goodies today:

  • The CEI OpenMarket blog passes along an estimate:
    WashingtonWatch today listed thecost of the farm bill (H.R. 2419) just passed by the House last Friday. It seems like the average American family will pay $2590.27 for this bloated program that the Democrats — in pushing it through — claimed had "something for everyone."
    You can check how your Congressperson voted on this travesty here. Both New Hampshire representatives, Carol Shea-Porter, and Paul Hodes, voted Aye.

  • The winners of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, where contestants submit "bad opening sentences to imaginary novels", have been announced. In keeping with this blog's title, here's the runner-up in the "Vile Puns" category:
    The droppings of the migrating Canada geese just missed the outdoor revelers at the inaugural Asian math puzzle competition, marking the first time that dung flew over Sudoku Fest.
    Many more at the link.

Last Modified 2013-04-22 12:51 PM EDT

The Good Shepherd

[Amazon Link] [2.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

This movie is a heavily fictionalized account of the early years of the CIA. There are a lot of big stars involved, who were apparently hoping that it would be a career-enhancing prestigous film on the order of The Godfather.

That doesn't seem to have worked out. The characters are relatively colorless and unsympathetic. Various dirty deeds are done, with ambiguous responsibility. Moral equivalence between the Soviet Union and the West is pretty much assumed. It's all very John Le Carre.

Matt Damon plays an allegedly rough approximation to James Jesus Angleton. One thing I didn't understand: his enemies come into posession of incriminating photos. Instead of attempting blackmail, they just toss them over the transom to the Mrs. Does that make sense?

If there's a big lesson, it seems to be that the combination of power and secrecy is inherently corrupting, and doesn't do your family life any favors either. Fine. But it takes a loooong time—two hours and forty-seven minutes, it says here—to teach it. I took a brief nap in the 1946-1947 timeframe.

Keir Dullea plays Angelina Jolie's dad—I guess they couldn't get Jon Voight.

Last Modified 2012-10-19 5:48 AM EDT