URLs du Jour

2009-08-14

  • Captain Ed notes a couple stories from Now Hampshire that detail the unwillingness of NH Congresspeople to meet with their constituents during their August "recess". Congressman Paul Hodes and my own Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter will (however) appear at the "Blue Hampshire Bash" in Concord on August 24. Congresswoman Shea-Porter also was scheduled to speak today at "Netroots Nation" in Pittsburgh, PA, sponsored by a host of unions, MoveOn.org, and other usual suspects.

    It's likely that neither Carol nor Paul will face any tough questioning from the right at either venue. Captain Ed makes a trenchant observation, which I will steal quote:

    Maybe this makes more sense for both. After all, they clearly don't believe they answer to voters in their districts. They answer more to the unions and hard-Left activists at these functions. New Hampshire voters have a chance to realize that, perhaps for the first time, as Hodes and Shea-Porter run away from them.

    Lord knows that it would be nice if a lot more voters finally figured that out.

  • Pun Salad, and many others, liked Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's WSJ op-ed on health care policies that would favor personal responsibility and free markets over government dependence. (If you haven't read it, it's still recommended and it's here.)

    Probably unsurprisingly, some Whole Foods customers are upset, according to this ABCNews story.

    Joshua has been taking the bus to his local Whole Foods in New York City every five days for the past two years. This week, he said he'll go elsewhere to fulfill his fresh vegetable and organic produce needs.

    "I will never shop there again," vowed Joshua, a 45-year-old blogger, who asked that his last name not be published.

    I'm not an organic sort, but this makes me wish the nearest Whole Foods wasn't 40 miles away. If you've got one nearer, and you're more tolerant of what Mackey said, you might want to go in and pick up some PranaBar Shakti Blueberry Chia nutrition bars or something.

  • Betsy Newmark reminds us that Hillary Clinton is always ready to act like a partisan hack even while abroad.

  • And last, but not least:

    I'm a little too lazy to flag myself, but you have my permission to do it for me.


Last Modified 2012-10-05 4:27 PM EDT

Rio Bravo

[4.5
stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

It's the fiftieth anniversary of the release of Rio Bravo. The movie was made as an angry response to High Noon; Howard Hawks and John Wayne felt that Gary Cooper should not have gone around begging the townspeople to help him, and they were disgusted by the final scene where Coop threw his badge on the ground. So they decided to "do it right".

John Wayne plays Sheriff John T. Chance, who's jailed sadistic murderer Joe Burdette. But unfortunately, Joe has rich brother Nathan on the outside. Nathan's unscrupulous and rich, vows to break Joe out of prison, and mobilizes a gang of professional killers to make that happen.

Chance only has two guys on his side: there's "Dude" (played by Dean Martin), an alcoholic teetering on the edge of self-destruction. And there's "Stumpy" (Walter Brennan), an old crippled man who's physically and chronologically challenged. So things are looking grim. Enter two unlikely allies: "Colorado" (Ricky Nelson), a gunslinger, and "Feathers" (Angie Dickinson), a beautiful card player.

There's a lot of sheer super-manliness here from John Wayne. But there's a considerable amount of humor too.

The only sour note—sorry, Duke—was Ricky Nelson, who had no discernable acting talent. (I remember Ricky from The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet; even by my low standards when I was nine years old, I thought he was a lousy actor back then.) To make up for it though, Dean Martin has one of his best performances ever.

In addition to the normal links above, interested fans will want to check out Leo Grin's adulatory essay at Big Hollywood, interesting in its own right, and a rich source of links to further reading.


Last Modified 2012-10-05 4:26 PM EDT

The Sign of Four

[Amazon Link]

Back to Victorian London we go for the second Sherlock Holmes mystery. As it opens, we have the classic scene of Holmes injecting a seven percent solution of cocaine into his arm, to Dr. Watson's continued disgust. But, Holmes explains, it's his only solace when his mental faculties are not employed in the art of deductive crime-solving. This may be a reason why The Sign of Four isn't assigned reading in a lot of schools.

Fortunately for them both, the lovely Mary Morstan arrives at 221B Baker Street. Watson is immediately smitten <spoiler>by his future wife</spoiler>; Holmes is immediately intrigued by her tale of her missing father, and the mysterious yearly gifts she's been receiving: lustrous and valuable pearls. Now she's been called to a meeting with the shady gift-giver—will Holmes and Watson accompany her?

Well, sure they will. Before it's over, we have a locked room mystery, plenty of colorful characters, an exciting chase on the Thames, a lurid tale of betrayal and murder in India, and much more. Lots of fun.


Last Modified 2012-10-05 4:26 PM EDT