Conservative Poker Fan in "The Biz"

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Some Countries Are Choosing

In this post, I mention the thought put forward by Hugh Hewitt that countries involved with terrorism will have two choices according the The Bush Doctrine, the Saddam option or the Qadafi option.

Recent events, I believe, show a measurable move towards the Qaddafi option by some countries. Lebanon is actually rebelling against one of the countries that has to decide, and so far Syria is playing ball. True, Hezbollah was able to muster 500,000 "protestors" (I'm of the belief that a lot of those people were brought in from Syria), but the freedom lovers responded with at least 800,000 of their own. Now word is that the Syrian secret service is, indeed, moving out of Lebanon with the armed forces, which is crucial if the elections in May are to be held with any kind of real meaning.

As Jon Stewart of the Daily Show has even acknowledged, the Bush Doctrine for the Middle East is working. Iraq has a parliamentary government in place that is negotiating with words over the makeup of the new government, Syria is pulling out of Lebanon, Qaddafi has disarmed, and the Palestinians are actually talking peace with Israel.

This could get good.

Wow, I Suck

I knew it had been awhile since my last posting, but 2 months?! That's freakin' ridiculous!

Now, it's back to real life, so see you in another 2 months....maybe. Of course, I know that nobody reads this besides myself, so when I feel like reading something, I'll be sure to write something.



Thursday, January 13, 2005

Culture war in a nutshell

In Atlanta, a judge has ruled that a sticker inserted in science books proclaiming that evolution was "a theory, not a fact" somehow rises to the level of establishing religion in the school district. Judges have been doing this for years, but we rarely get the details of how many people it takes to make this type of thing happen. Well, the AP slipped this time, and the following paragraph appears in the article.

The schools added the stickers after more than 2,000 parents complained the textbooks presented evolution as fact, without mentioning rival ideas about the beginnings of life. Six parents of students and the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites) then sued, contending the disclaimers violated the separation of church and state.

So 2,000 parents complain about there being not a single mention of creationism and get a sticker put in the textbooks explaining that evolution is a theory, and not a fact. Then a whopping 6 parents get the ACLU involved and are able to convince (though I doubt it took much) a judge that the sticker represents the establishment of religion; they may use the term "separation of church and state," but that's not the constitutional basis for challenges, or shouldn't be, at least.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Remember Beta vs. VHS?

I'm not sure if anyone else out there remembers this, but there was a time when Beta tapes and VHS both held about 50% market share among the consumers. Of course today VHS has been declared the winner for over a decade, though DVDs are quickly making VHS tapes as obsolete as Beta tapes. The main reason VHS won out over Beta was because Sony, the inventor of Beta, pulled an Apple Computer on everyone and wouldn't allow anyone else to manufacture Beta tapes. At the same time, VHS tapes could be made by anyone, and were. So what you had was TDK, Maxell, and a dozen other companies pumping out VHS tapes and having to compete against each other. Well, competition leads to lower prices; lower prices lead to more people buying VHS than Beta, which leads to Beta being used only in Hollywood because of it's higher quality image.

Well, get ready for another no-holds-barred media content conflict. High Definition is the land of the new frontier. DVDs today, on a big screen HD TV, look fantastic but actually don't utilize the entire HD capabilities of the TV. Welcome to the world of High Def DVDs.

There are currently two competing standards for this new type of DVD; DVD-HD and Blu-ray HD DVD. DVD-HD was developed by Toshiba and Blu-ray was developed by none other than Sony. Both types of players are expected late 2005/early 2006, so you'd think the studios would want to get together and make a decision as to which type of High Def DVD they'll be using.

Well, the studios have done just that....kind of.

You see, Warner Home Video, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment have all thrown their hats behind DVD-HD. Meanwhile, Disney has just thrown their backing to Blu-ray and joined Sony Pictures (under the Colombia banner) and the soon to be Sony owned MGM library.

In a slight twist on the Beta vs. VHS tale, Sony has actually gotten support from about 90 manufacturers eager to do business the Blu-ray way. DVD-HD has some support as well, but not to that degree.

This story still has many chapters to be written, but as of right now I'd say don't doubt the Mouse House; Blu-ray will win.


One of the things that seems to perpetually perplex people about me is my love of heavy metal music. I'm not talking about Bon Jovi heavy metal, I'm talking about Living Sacrifice heavy metal, REAL heavy metal.

The ferocious riffs and unmatched musicianship of the finest heavy metal bands simply speaks to me on some unseen, pure vibe level that can't be described.

Knowing that, it is with sadness that I learned of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's death today. Reports I've read indicate that just 30 seconds into a show, a disturbed individual jumped onto the stage and shot Abbott four times, resulting in his death.

Abbott was the guitarist for Pantera and brought the artistry of riffs to a new, heavy level. To my ears, it was the introduction of "crunchiness" to heavy metal and forever changed the course of metal.

His personal life was pretty much unknown to me, though I do know he spoke out against drug use. The other "night life" activities of his are, for certain, not what I'd espouse as an example to follow, but the metal world has lost one of it's brightest, and loudest, voices.

Monday, November 15, 2004

We sell merchandise now!

I have waited for this day since starting with the company.

My boss has created some really cool projects besides the well known writing he's done for the movies. One of the things many of us have wanted for quite awhile was to have merchandise available of some of those projects.

Well now we do. Click on over to and you can check out some pretty cool merchandise.

Yeah, yeah, shameless plug.

Polar Express - In 3D

This past weekend I was able to take my daughter to see "Polar Express." Luckily for us, there's an IMAX 3D theater close by and they were showing Polar Express in the theater.

The only other time I had seen an IMAX 3D film was 2 years ago when I took my daughter to see the 3D film my boss had created, "Santa vs. the Snowman 3D." The 3D effect generated through the IMAX system was stunning.

They are no less stunning in "Polar Express." Let me put it this way; I saw "Polar Express" Friday night. Saturday afternoon me and the family went to see "The Incredibles" (another great film). One of the previews before "The Incredibles" was for "Polar Express." As I watched the trailer, all I could think was how much better it looked in 3D.

If you have an IMAX theater nearby playing "Polar Express" (3D or not), I can't recommend you seeing it highly enough.

The State Department gets an overhaul

As you can see, I haven't posted in quite awhile, so that should tell you just how important I feel it is that Colin Powell has resigned as Secretary of State and has been replaced by Condoleezza Rice.

Powell is a great American and true public servant, but his views as Secretary were much too moderate for my tastes given the current state of the world's affairs.

Rice brings an absolutely sterling record to the job and is much less likely to be willing to bend her views towards so-called "internationalism," for which Powell is being given much praise from some European countries.

The one thing I will forever be grateful to Colin Powell for is his remarkable presentation to the U.N. regarding Iraq. Though it appears that much of the information the presentation was based might have been faulty (I actually lean more towards the theory that WMD's were moved), his presentation brought full attention to the danger Hussein posed. I have no doubt if many, many high ranking people in some of the countries in opposition to the war were not on the take in the "Oil-for-Food" program, those countries might very well not have been in opposition at all mostly due to Powell's presentation.

For that, I am grateful Powell was there; for all the praise he is receiving from certain European countries, I am grateful he has resigned.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Hughposium #4

Another addition to the Hugh Hewitt driven symposium, and this one is much more practical:

Vox Blogoli IV: Why vote for Bush, and what's wrong with Kerry?

Hugh wants to limit responses to 250 words but this election is so clear cut on the issue at hand, I can limit mine even further:

I am going to vote for President Bush's re-election because I have no doubt whatsoever that he will use America's might to fight and kill the terrorists abroad so my family can be safe as possible at home.

What's wrong with Kerry is that I'm not at all sure he'll do the same....

Sunday, October 17, 2004

So what did Sadam do, cuddle?!

I get very, very angry when people ascribe to America those things that it is so obviously trying to fight.

The Powerline folks, in this post, take the appropriate action of highlighting a few people who must live in a parallel universe.

If the U.S. is currently humiliating and causing suffering of the Iraqi people, as this group of Einsteins is apologizing for, what in the world do you call what Sadam did to the Iraqi people?!

The left has, for quite some time now, engaged in using language to describe the opposition that is so far over-the-top as to be funny; except it's not funny. Recent examples include Al Gore's "digital brown shirt" comments (among many others), and now it's manifesting itself in the urge to apologize to the Iraqi people for freeing them from the brutal, despicable dictatorship of Sadam and almost guaranteed suffering for another generation or more under the rule of his psycho sons.

When did it become necessary to apologize for freeing a nation of 25 million from a homicidal tyrant? I'll tell you when; when the French and Germans don't say it's okay to do so. This is what will happen should we allow America to be subject to "global tests." We'll end up apologizing for spreading liberty.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Hughposium the 3rd

Before I get to Hugh Hewitt's question for the weekly symposium, I'm sure anyone that visits the site and looks around will notice that the last time I posted was in response to Hughposium #2 (I think that's what these weekly questions should be called, at least). I have made no secret that this blog was created because of the great work that Mr. Hewitt has done on his blog and radio talk show. This is also another indicator of the power of the blogosphere, I believe. This is a new incarnation of sending a letter to the editor, except almost every letter can get published without a filter. I don't know about you, but I always sense a trend in the letters chosen to end up in the newspaper or magazine every week. There's two letters published supporting the left's view (isn't it interesting that center-left just doesn't sound right? For another time, perhaps), and then there's a churlish, often angry reading letter supporting the center-right's view. It never fails to end up with this type of formula of "two left, one angry right" letter. With the advent of and current surge in popularity of blogs, those letters can now be written with a guaranteed form of distribution. More importantly, the information will get to the world unfiltered; however many right leaning letters are written will be "published," and the same on the left. You'll never convince me that the dead tree media will ever be happy about this situation.

On to this week's question:

Weekend Symposium 3: How deep a hole have John Kerry, Mary Beth Cahill and the Edwards dug for themselves? How lasting the damage?

My feeling is this; the initial hole dug by Kerry was probably not that deep. He definitely crossed the line but if all he had done was make mention of the Cheney's daughter in the debate then, after hearing some huffing and puffing from certain media outlets, made an apology for offending anyone, I don't think it would have had much staying power as an issue.

But Kerry, and those around him being the condescending, arrogant group that they are, decided it was a good time to bust out some shovels and keep digging. First was Cahill's simply unbelievable edict that somehow a candidate's children were "fair game" in a campaign; since when!? This is simply not done, and for Cahill to proclaim that it is and will be done was astonishing. So she decided to join Kerry and jumped in the hole, shovel in hand.

And then there was, in my mind, the most cynical moment of this whole ordeal. After Lynne Cheney spoke out about what a cheap shot the remark was, Elizabeth Edwards got on a radio show and in a very (do you see it coming?) condescending way opined that Mrs. Cheney's reaction sadly shows how "ashamed" the Cheney's are of their daughter. In a word; WHAT?! The Cheney's reaction (Dick Cheney responded later on) was wholly unrelated to their daughter's situation and was entirely focused on the despicable remarks made, now not just by Kerry but also Cahill and any other apologists out there (hello Josh Marshall). What I find particularly galling, and I think this is where the lasting damage is going to occur, is that the Kerry campaign decided to use the wife of their vice-presidential candidate to try and shift the focus from Kerry's out of line remarks and onto the Cheney's reaction to those remarks (and don't try to tell me using Elizabeth Edwards in this way wasn't the plan that was come up with and was a coincidence of an interview gone awry....everything in these campaigns is planned and re-planned). How cynical do you have to be to weigh the political fall out and decide using the aggrieved wife's counterpart on the opposition ticket is the best way to try and throw up a smoke screen?

This is where the Kerry campaign brings out the Earth moving equipment and stays in the hole for good. As has been noted by Mr. Hewitt, an overwhelming majority of Americans, 64% as polled by the Washington Post, felt that Kerry bringing up the Cheney's daughter was out of line. Even 4 out of 10 voters voting for Kerry said it was out of line. With that many people understanding what a cheap stunt it was, how do you think those people are going to feel when they find out Elizabeth Edwards considers their reaction, which matches Lynne Cheney's reaction, actually reveals how ashamed they are of the Cheney's situation, not how out of line Kerry's remarks were?

Friday, October 08, 2004

Symposium the 2nd

In what I think can turn into an invaluable source of opinion on the major issues of the day, Hugh Hewitt has sent out another question in what appears will be a weekly symposium on his blog. This question again involves John Kerry's answers to questions, but the question Mr. Hewitt is asking is much less political and much more philosophical, but philosophical in a way that will shed light on the politics of John Kerry.

"What do Kerry's answers to today's press inquiries tell us about Kerry's worldview and character?"

For a list of the questions Mr. Hewitt is referring to, go here (it's a long post, so keep scrolling).

Where to begin, really. The first answer Kerry gives has three distinct points; 1)That President Bush fired a General of the Army for having a dissenting view, 2) that Iraq might someday become analogous to Lebanon of the early-mid '80s, and 3) that Kerry has a better plan for dealing with Iraq.

The first point, if you read the Hugh Hewitt link above, is obviously a falsehood so easily checked that it amazes me Kerry would try and sneak it in to an answer that had very little to do with the lie he's trying to pass off. What we can take from this, in regards to Kerry's worldview and character, is that he has no problem in peddling falsehoods and/or conspiracy theories (remember his oil comment in the first debate?) in order to win. Not a good start.

His second point, in which Iraq could become another Lebanon, is a crucial view into John Kerry's world. Retreating from Lebanon is widely considered one of the few foreign affairs mistakes that President Reagan made. In essence, the U.S. gave in to terrorists, which helped embolden them much as President Clinton's later retreat from Somalia brought forth the now infamous "paper tiger" analogy for the U.S. from bin Laden. What Kerry has now done is set up a situation in which he can simply proclaim that we are in the same situation in Iraq as we were in Lebanon, use Reagan's name to try and deflect any criticism, and proceed to withdraw the troops despite his recent proclamations that he will hunt down and kill terrorists. This comment, compounded with his nuclear bunker-busting comment in the first debate, shows that Kerry is not just living in a 9/10/2001 world but is actually closer to living in the 9/10/1971 world. Kerry did not trust American might back in 1971 (witness his Senate hearings testimony), he did not trust American might during the Cold War (he voted against virtually every weapon system that was brought up), he did not trust American might during the first Persian Gulf war (he voted against it), and he still doesn't trust American might.

The third thrust of Kerry's answer gives us a very disturbing look at his character. I don't know if anyone will remember this, but in a long ago "Peanuts" comic strip, Charlie Brown walks up to a child and screams at them "BELIEVE IN ME!" He then walks up to another child and screams "BELIEVE IN ME!" He walks up to a third child and screams "BELIEVE IN ME!" In the final panel of the strip, he's talking with Snoopy (if my memory is correct) and asks, "Why won't anyone believe in me?" You can almost hear Kerry demanding that people understand just how much smarter he is than the rest of us and that, doggone it, he has a plan for Iraq that we should let him implement; don't you understand?!!? He has a plan! BELIEVE IN HIM!

The other answers he gives continue the theme of Kerry as 1971 Man. His almost childish response, "Al Qaeda is in 60 countries. Are we invading all 60 countries?" simply teems with condescension and shows an utter lack of understanding as to exactly what type of war we're currently engaged in. I think Hugh Hewitt put it best; "The Bush Doctrine is simple: If you are a nation with WMD or an ambition to have WMD, and you have a relationship with terrorists, you have the Saddam option or the Qaddafi option. Pick one." If more countries pick the Qaddafi option, then no, Mr. Kerry, we won't have to invade all 60 countries; but the question is, will you wage war against even one of these countries, or will you instead try to turn them all into Lebanon and simply turn tail and run?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

A little something for everyone....

The issues regarding the debate and who won and why the won have been circulating for sometime now, but I want to bring to everyone's attention this article from Dennis Prager that is so powerful in it's simplicity. I don't think I've read an opinion on the debates like this one before, and it makes complete sense upon reading it.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Congrats to the Dodgers....It's about time!!!

The Dodgers are in the playoffs after one of the most unbelievable comebacks I've ever seen, which happened to be topped off with a game ending grand slam from Steve Finley.

Congrats go to the Dodgers and their newest owner, Frank McCourt. I bring up McCourt to make a point and spotlight the guy in a positive. I, like almost everyone else, was a little wary of McCourt when he was buying the team. Rumors of finance problems persisted throughout the entire process and the Dodgers were basically handcuffed during the offseason because of it (can you imagine Vladimir Guerrero as a Dodger?!). But the sale was finally completed and McCourt took over the team.

Over the past two weeks, as the season was winding down and the playoff drive was in full gear, I have become a huge fan of McCourt's. What solidified my respect was a shot of him at PacBell Park when the Dodgers took 2 of 3 from the hated ones (otherwise known as the Giants to those non-Dodgers fans). It wasn't just the fact that he was at the game in the first row, but there's a great shot of him obviously yelling "Aw, c'mon!!" when a call on a close play at first went against the Dodgers.

The man showed that he really cared about my Dodgers, and that's a great thing to have in an owner.

Dreamworks hits another homerun

Casting away fears that the Shrek franchise would be the only hits to come from its animation division, Dreamworks came up with the biggest October opening weekend in history with "Shark Tale." As noted in this article, Dreamworks is working towards an IPO offering for its animation division (a $650 million offering, at that), and the performance of "Shark Tale" should do nothing but help that endeavor.