All the Time You Know She's Smilin'

… you'll be on your knees tomorrow:

  • Good video from the Golden State Minutemen, where a California constituent confronts her Congresscritter, Pete Stark:

    My only complaint is that the civilian doesn't shut up and let Stark just babble on incoherently in a manner that might even disquiet his most mindless supporters. Let me transcribe her key question about ObamaCare:

    "If this legislation is Constitutional, what limitations are there on the Federal Government's ability to tell us how to run our private lives?"
    Stark has no answer other than (paraphrasing): there aren't any limitations. None he can think of anyway. One would think that might even bother some Democrats.

    Were I a GOP strategist, I would make sure that simple question is asked of every Democrat candidate for high or low office, and YouTubing the response.

  • The NYT, in one of its rare displays of good sense, put Edward Niedermeyer from The Truth About Cars on the op-ed page, and he gives the Chevy Volt a sound thrashing.
    For starters, G.M.'s vision turned into a car that costs $41,000 before relevant tax breaks ... but after billions of dollars of government loans and grants for the Volt's development and production. And instead of the sleek coupe of 2007, it looks suspiciously similar to a Toyota Prius. It also requires premium gasoline, seats only four people (the battery runs down the center of the car, preventing a rear bench) and has less head and leg room than the $17,000 Chevrolet Cruze, which is more or less the non-electric version of the Volt.
    Bottom line: if you're a rich Democrat who's eager to waste some money in attempting to demonstrate your support for the corporate welfare promulgated by your party, by all means, buy a Volt. Don't bother to thank the rest of us taxpaying schmucks who are subsidizing your symbolism.

    I love the accompanying graphic (which I filched, click for full size):


    The Truth About Cars is here. For more, see (usually semi-liberal) Slashdot's linkfest "Electric Car Subsidies As Handouts For the Rich." And good old Iowahawk comments as well, contrasting the great old car songs of the past with the two minutes and twenty-three seconds of pain that is the "Chevy Volt Dance."

  • Good entry at the Freakonomics blog interviewing the Street-Fighting Mathematician. I chuckled at this little (oldie but goodie) joke on numerical accuracy:
    In a natural-history museum, a guide was showing the visitors an ancient insect preserved in amber. "How old is that insect?" asked a visitor. "1,000,007 years," said the guide. How can the age be known so precisely, the visitors wondered. "Because it was 1 million years old when I started here 7 years ago."

Last Modified 2012-10-02 3:41 PM EDT

Terribly Happy

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Another Netflix-predicted-I'd-love movie. And it's not bad.

A little town on the vast, flat prairie is getting a new Marshal, Robert. Robert looks like a young James Franciscus gone prematurely to seed. He's on leave from the big city due to (initially) unspecified misbehavior, and has been reassigned to this (putatively) little burg where nothing ever happens. But Robert soon meets a Damsel in Distress, abused by her husband. Said husband is the Town Desperado, from whom the Upstanding Residents cower in fear.

Ah, sounds like a western! But no, it's set in a remote corner of present-day Denmark, it's very dark and moody, and many Ø's in the subtitles have slashes thrøugh them. I'm nøt kidding abøut the vast, flatness; everything seems tø be apprøximately three tø five inches abøve sea level and mud is an ømnipresent metaphør.

All is not as it seems: the Upstanding Residents are not all that upstanding, and in fact are kind of creepy. The Damsel has some psychological issues, as does Robert. The Desperado is a complex character; he and Robert develop their own off-kilter relationship. Central to everything is the bog just outside town, into which inconvenient people disappear now and then.

Without spoiling too much, the movie twists and turns in unexpected and unpleasant ways; it's not everyone's cup of Tuborg.

Last Modified 2012-10-02 3:40 PM EDT