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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

From Bucharest to Baghdad
In OpinionJournal today, the US Ambassador to Romania compares Iraq today to Romania almost 15 years ago. About Romania, he says:
The effects of the one-party system Ceausescu built are still being felt today. But the mentality of Romanians is on the mend. Younger Romanians, who have grown up in a free society and studied and worked in the West, are beginning to return to the land of their birth, bustling with entrepreneurial energy and new ideas. Corruption, still a problem, was once accepted as the "grease of commerce" here. It is now criticized across the political spectrum and was the issue that proved decisive in the election of the new president. (italics mine)
That last sentence is most heartening because Romania wasn't going anywhere until "equality under the law" became the ruling principle of society. It's that kind of widespread commitment to the principles of freedom and equality that will carry Iraq to democracy. I hope the commitment is there in numbers.
Some critics say the Iraqi people are not capable of democracy. Many said the same of Romanians in the early 1990s. On the contrary, Democracy will succeed in Iraq--but only if the free nations of the West stand with the Iraqi people, support and help them the way we did the people of Romania, Bulgaria, East Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Baltics, and now Ukraine.

The people of Romania know that the road to a free society is long and it is tough. But as they will tell you on the streets of Bucharest today, democracy is the only way to go. If the world's free nations show the same steadfastness in Iraq that we showed in Central Europe 15 years ago, the people on the streets of Baghdad today will have the same opportunity to start their journey.

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Re: Chariots Of Fire
Craig, I agree that Chariots Of Fire should have been represented and the quote you picked is a great one. If I may, I'd like to add to it.
I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.
Here's another, "Then where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within."

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Welcome Aboard, Craig
Please allow me to take a moment to welcome Craig to Banterings. It will be great to have your West Coast, surfer-dude perspective on the world. Blog on, dude!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Dr. Callahan, I Presume
You've got to read this tale of deceit and chutzpah. It's hilarious, infuriating, disgusting, and scary. And amazingly, it's a follow-up to the loss of all those White House emails during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. I never thought I'd hear another word about that. (Hat tip: Viking Pundit)

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Islamist Murder In Jersey City?
This is a new story to me, brought to my attention by the inimitable Powerline boys. A Coptic Christian family in Jersey City was brutally murdered. The father had been very vocal about his beliefs in an internet chat room devoted to the Middle East. In response he was threatened, "You'd better stop this bull---- or we are going to track you down like a chicken and kill you." And it looks like they did.

Powerline updated the story yesterday.

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Monday, January 17, 2005

More Proof of Global Warming
More proof of global warming.

Or not.

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Friday, January 14, 2005

: : : Banterings : : :
My wife recently heard an essay by Ben Stein that she had me read. If you remember, Ben Stein was the teacher in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" who uttered the memorable quote, "Bueller. Bueller. Bueller..." Anyways, she heard his last essay that he wrote in his series "Monday Night at Mortons." Here is the link (this browser doesn't seem to let me do a hyperlink).
When he began writing a number of years ago his job was to comment on the stars that he would see at this upper class Hollywood restaurant. This final article, written in December 2003, highlights the change in his perspective on life and on who are the real stars. It also highlights what seems to be a spiritual revolution in his own life as he makes statements like this: "In a word, we make ourselves sane when we fire ourselves as the directors of the movie of our lives and turn the power over to Him." Read it in its entirety and enjoy!

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: : : Banterings : : :
: : : Banterings : : :

Alright, let's see if this works from my iMac! The key quote from Chariots of Fire is sorely missed in this list: "When I run I feel His pleasure!" (Eric Liddell)

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Big Hitter, The Lama
There are few movies with more well-known quotes than Caddyshack. Bill Murray's narrative about his experience with the Dalai Lama is one of the great soliloquies in movie history. Full quote and photo.

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Top Movie Quotes (61-93)
The next set of quotes up for review comes from movies beginning with the letter C. There are some classics in this list - Caddyshack, Casablanca, Chinatown. I've listed the quotes below, but if you know how to follow a link you can see the entire list here. As always, if there's a quote missing (maybe from Cabin Boy (1994), or Chariots of Fire (1981), or Conspiracy Theory (1997)?), let's hear about it.
  • I'd love to kiss you, but I just washed my hair. - Bette Davis (CABIN IN THE COTTON)
  • Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole! - Bill Murray (CADDYSHACK)
  • Be the ball. - Chevy Chase (CADDYSHACK)
  • Ah, but the strawberries! That's, that's where I had them. - Humphrey Bogart (THE CAINE MUTINY)
  • His eyes have made love to me all evening. - Greta Garbo (CAMILLE)
  • Come out, come out, wherever you are! - Robert De Niro (CAPE FEAR)
  • Play it, Sam. Play "As Time Goes By." - Ingrid Bergman (CASABLANCA)
  • Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine. - Humphrey Bogart (CASABLANCA)
  • Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. - Humphrey Bogart (CASABLANCA)
  • We'll always have Paris. - Humphrey Bogart (CASABLANCA)
  • Here's looking at you, kid. - Humphrey Bogart (CASABLANCA)
  • Round up the usual suspects. - Claude Rains (CASABLANCA)
  • Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. - Humphrey Bogart (CASABLANCA)
  • For the first time in my life, people cheering for me. Were you deaf? Didn't you hear 'em? We're not hitchhiking any more. We're riding. - Kirk Douglas (CHAMPION)
  • Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown. - Joe Mantell (CHINATOWN)
  • She's my sister! She's my daughter! - Faye Dunaway (CHINATOWN)
  • You'll shoot your eye out. - Melinda Dillon (A CHRISTMAS STORY)
  • Good night, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England. - Michael Caine (THE CIDER HOUSE RULES)
  • Rosebud. - Orson Welles (CITIZEN KANE)
  • Hi, Curly, kill anyone today? - Billy Crystal
    Day ain't over yet. - Jack Palance (CITY SLICKERS)
  • As if! - Alicia Silverstone (CLUELESS)
  • I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it. - Margaret Avery (THE COLOR PURPLE)
  • What we've got here is failure to communicate. - Strother Martin (COOL HAND LUKE)
  • The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle. The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true. - Danny Kaye (THE COURT JESTER)
  • The dingo took my baby! - Meryl Streep (A CRY IN THE DARK)

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Friday, January 07, 2005

Re: Top Movie Quotes
How 'bout this idea: We come up with 2 lists. One contains the quotes we think are top 100 material, like:
"I love the smell of napalm in the morning." (Apocalypse Now)

"Nature," Mr. Allnut, is what we are put into this world to rise above. (The African Queen)
And the other list has the "honorable mention" quotes, for instance:
Laugh while you can, monkey boy! (The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension)

Shut up, Big-booty, you coward. You are the weakest individual I ever know. (The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension)
Whaddya think?

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Top Movie Quotes
Doc Hes King (can I call you 'Doc' for short?), you ask how many are "in" so far? First, I have a procedural question. Should we try to predict what will be on AFI's list this summer, or should we come up with a list that we like?

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Lil' Nicky Coleman
This Nick Coleman flap is fun. Powerline has been pestering the Star and Sickle as well they should be. They point to this interesting little exchange on NRO.

But then it just keeps getting better.

So it would appear that Coleman can dish it out, but he can't take it. And when pressed, he can't even admit that he was talking about whom he clearly was talking about. He is indeed a "nasty, little man".

And the Star and Tribune just looks like a big, horrible rag of a paper in all this, doesn't it? I love how the editor that Powerline spoke to can't even enumerate the responsiblities and ethical standards of their columnists.

For what it is worth, I don't subscribe to any newspaper.

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Okay, On to Movie Quotes
So far, here are the movie quotes that I really like:

  • FARMER HOGGETT: That'll do, pig. That'll do. (Babe) (This is actually a great movie, and a great line.)
  • ROSE SAYER: "Nature," Mr. Allnut, is what we are put into this world to rise above. (The African Queen)
  • Hey, hey, hey. Don't be mean. We don't have to be mean because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are. (BB)
  • "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." ( Apocalypse Now)

For the record, on cheesiest lines, I liked "You had me at 'Hello'". I loved the Notting Hill, though I agree that line was cheesy, and should have been much better. Four Weddings and a Funeral tread lightly upon me, and I can't remember much of it, or that line.

How many have we put "in" so far?

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Catching up Some more
Here are the anagrams for "Nick Hodges" that I liked:


But the best on of all: DOC HES KING

I know we say it all the time, but I'll say it again: Mark Steyn rocks.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Abortion Madness
This is the kind of thing that happens when you have legal abortion. A pair of teens, parents of an unborn child both agree to kill their baby by repeatedly hitting the girls stomach with a baseball bat. But here's where the law gets, uhm, ...strange. Though both were willing participants in the act, only the boy committed a crime! The girl broke no law, and indeed, as the story notes, the law in question specifically excludes the mother from criminal liability in this case.

Abortion laws create all kinds of strange situations like this. Consider the quandry requiring us to pass specific laws allowing for two murder charges for the murder of a pregnant woman. Or how about the need to pass a law protecting living, breathing infants who somehow survive an abortion. The Leftists even opposed passing this law!

Abortion is so very strongly supported in many quarters because it give power to women -- there's no doubt about that. For instance, if a man gets a woman pregnant, there is no way for him to "get out of it" and choose not to support the child. He's in it for 18 years and nine months. But a woman can easily "get out of it". Strange dicotomy, eh?

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Calvacade Of Losers
In today's news we have lineup of sad, sorry, lttile people:
  1. Richard Gere: "Hi, I'm Richard Gere, and I'm speaking for the entire world." Not for me, bucko. Maybe the entire world of LOSERS.
  2. Amber Frey: Released her book, Witness For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson. The babysitter was prepared to spend the night with Amber's daughter when Scott and horse-face met on their blind date. LOOOSERRRR.
  3. Laser Man: Pointed a laser beam into the cockpits of a jet and helicopter, claimed he was just looking at stars with his 7-yr old daughter. Of course, he first blamed his daughter. He faces the possibility of 25 years in prison. LOSER. LOSER. LOSER.

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Larry Norman
Sad news:
Christian Rock pioneer Larry Norman's health continues to deteriorate ... Norman, dubbed the "Father of Christian Rock," who was once heralded by Time magazine as "the most significant artist in his field," suffered a severe heart attack in 1992, and has reportedly been plagued by consistently poor health ever since.
My brother had Norman's In Another Land back in the 70's. That was a great album. Here's his website.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Argos Johnny
Hugh Hewitt linked to the Internet Anagram Server, further validation that the internet is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I put my name in and out came a long list of possibilities. Some of these are interesting:
But just call me ARGOS JOHNNY.

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Mark Steyn writes that "American stinginess is saving lives." What? How could our few pennies for the tsunami relief effort make any difference whatsoever? I mean, it took Gearge Bush 3 days to make a public statement, for cryin' out loud! Well, apparently we are helping. There's photographic evidence here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. But I do want to include a snippet of Steyn's piece ...
If America were to emulate Ireland and Norway, there'd be a lot more dead Indonesians and Sri Lankans. Mr Eddison may not have noticed, but the actual relief effort going on right now is being done by the Yanks: it's the USAF and a couple of diverted naval groups shuttling in food and medicine, with solid help from the Aussies, Singapore and a couple of others. The Irish can't fly in relief supplies, because they don't have any C-130s. All they can do is wait for the UN to swing by and pick up their cheque.
Mark Steyn, ladies and gentlemen!

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Nick Coleman and the "PowerTool" Blog
Good grief, Nick Coleman is a bozo.

I've been having a lot of fun tracking what is going on between Nick Coleman, "columnist" (a term I use loosely here) and the guys at Powerline. Nick wrote a hatchet job on them, and the Powerline guys naturally didn't take it lying down. This link has links to all the relevant posts and the article itself, as well as a very nice take down of Coleman's "writing".

I was inspired by the email link at the bottom of Coleman's "article", and so I sent him this:

Nick --

Finally got around to reading this pile of baloney:

And I must say it is easily one of the most childish, silly editorials I've ever read. Reads like a temper tantrum of a four year old.

Wanted to make sure you saw this excellent piece about your, uhm, "writing":

I'm amazed you get paid to write such crap.

Nick Hodges
St. Paul

Looking forward to seeing what he has to say. ;-)

Added: And while I'm at it, check out this load of horse manure. This guy is a piece of work.

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Monday, January 03, 2005

"Who's Your Daddy"
I just went here and sent this message:

Please, please don't show the horribly offensive and utterly tasteless show, "Who's Your Daddy". I'm quite sure you can find something else much better to show during that time slot.

Thanks --

Nick Hodges
St. Paul, MN

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Sunday, January 02, 2005

Vikings Question
The season is on the line. It is 4th and five at midfield. You need two scores, and your team allegedly has a powerful offense. Your defense has to stop them on a three and out either way - much more than that means the ballgame anyway.

Why do you punt?

As far as I can tell, Mike Tice punted the game away at that moment, rather than going for it. Stupid call.

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Catching Up
Okay, I admit it, I've been a lazy slacker about blogging. I have an array of usual excuses -- busy, etc. -- but I think the main reason is that I've been a bit burned out on blogs. The election season was quite frenetic with blog reading and writing, and I think that I needed a little time to defuse the tension. Of course, Bush one, which means that I don't have a sever case of PEST, and I'm thankful for that. I confess that I will miss John Kerry. It isn't often one gets to see such a blowhard up close and personal like that. Especially an orange one.

So, okay, with all that said, here are a few items for general pondering:

  • Count me among those that pretty much gets his news from or via blogs, and who almost totally ignores the MSM.
  • I'm stunned by the carnage left by the tsunami this past week. I'm almost as stunned by the chutzpah it takes for a UN official to call us "stingy" in our response. Then I thought about it. Guy works for the UN, so he's a lefty, and the lefty can only see help as coming from the government -- thus he forgets all private donations. Our government's efforts (excluding things like the Carrier Battle Group, though, that ain't cheap) probably will be dwarfed by the amount of private donations that will come pouring in. In the end, that UN official will look like the moron that he is when us donations of money and materiel will be greater than everything donated by all the rest of the world, not to mention the sanctimonious Europeans.
  • Why is it that we say that Spiderman's "secret identity" is Peter Parker? Isn't it the fact that Peter Parker is Spiderman that is the secret?
  • My Vikings Prediction: A loss, and victories by the Rams and the Panthers to deny the Vikings the playoffs.

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