Tuesday, June 28, 2005

chinook shot down in Afghanistan

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
Back in the 1980's, following Pres. Carter's lead, Pres. Reagan continued to arm the Taliban and their mujahadeen allies to fight the soviets. CIA was there instructing them how to use the shoulder fired anti aircraft rockets. Russian choppers were shot down on a regular basis. Now a US Chinook was shot down, in an identical way. There are alot of people on these big helicopters - 15-20. Benazir Bhutto, former PM of Pakistan, warned about giving supplies to the taliban - she feared the US was making them too strong, and she had to deal with islamic fanatics in her own country. She was one of the last truly civilian leaders of Pakistan - we should have listened to her advice. Not only that, we should have supported her more - pakistan could have avoided its military dictatorship. Isn't there a way of protecting slow moving helicopters from rockets? Could they fly higher, giving them more reaction time? Accompany them with some fighters, maybe a harrier or an A-10 that can maneouver better? Do we have enough troops in Afghanistan? Watch the movie Kandahar - it gives a frightening portrayal of Taliban Afghanistan, and the living conditions of the people. I think the people of Afghanistan are better off without the Taliban, in terms of abstract freedoms, but the quality of their lives are no different. Maybe we should have supported the Russians when they invaded Afghanistan: after all, they were concerned about their security from Islamic extremists in Chechnaya. But it was the cold war, and we always opposed the USSR in a knee jerk fashion. Carter had to do something when the soviets invaded (yeah! he cancelled the Olympics!) or else the opposition would crucify him here.
UPDATE: supposedly the chinook was accompanied by other aircraft who witnessed the attack and subsequent crash. I still can't figure out how a grenade could down a chinook, but the news says it was a lucky shot so maybe it was. I just don't believe the news. The crew all died, and the green beret team that they were recusing had two dead, one survivor, and supposedly one captured who was later executed. A massive airstrike was carried out on the region in response.l

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Lions rescue, guard young girl in Ethiopia.

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
The national symbol of Ethiopia, the black maned lion. Here is a story - unbelievable but true - about a young girl kidnapped by men, one or who wanted to marry her against her will. They beat her until a pride of lions, three of them, emerged from the bush. The lions chased her abductors away, then guarded her until police arrived. Supposedly, the wimpering from the girl sounded like a lion cub, and the lions assumed these evil men were hurting a cub. Read about it here. Lions don't have souls?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bhutan movie: Travellers and Magicians

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
Wow! A fantastic movie, the only feature film ever made in Bhutan. Beautiful scenery. Beautiful story. A young, minor government official seeks to escape his small village. He loves America: he wears his hair long, wears a denim gho, a traditional Bhutan dress (no one wears a denim gho - one of a kind - like blue jeans - american, get it?) He listens to American music, plays the air guitar etc. His superior is annoyed by him - tells him to get a haircut. He gets some time off to go to a festival in a nearby city, but he really is planning to leave Bhutan and go to his Dreamland, America (he has a friend who will get him a Visa, sketchy deal). But he misses his bus! He hitchhikes and runs into other travellers - an apple man, a monk, and an old man and his young daughter. The monk tells a story, about a magician student who also dreams of a better life...well, I won't give the story away, but the monk is very wise. What is remarkable is the beauty of the countryside. The young man was living in a paradise, only didn't realize it. What a metaphor! Supposedly a soundtrack is coming out soon - the music is incredible. A must see!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Email your future self

The existentialists explain that we are all works in progress, and we are actively making our future selves. Well, now you can email your future self. The possibilities are limitless: You could remind your future self about your misgivings on your weekend date. You could check in with yourself to see how that new job you are about to begin has worked out....

Kansas tornado

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
This is a real photo from NASA. They were studying tornadoes in Kansas and the sun was shining (lights up buildings) but there was a terrible wall cloud forming. A rainbow appeared, then a white funnel cloud dropped down from the sky. What a picture! It looks like the tornado is attached to the rainbow!

What it's like to crash a rally car in water

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
You have to see this video - awesome! A rally car loses control around a curve and ends upside down in water. The drivers are remarkably calm.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Canada! A liberal paradise!

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
For those of us who thought about moving to Canada with George W's reelection, think about this: Dick Cheney (yes, Dick F***ing Cheney - see video below) is thinking of running for President in 2008! If not him, then Sen. Bill Frist! What a choice for republicans voting in the primary, Cheney or Frist! Ok, so Canada is beginning to look better all the time, eh? Check this page about Canada - it tells you everything you need to know!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Third Man

third man
Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
This classic film is playing sunday night at Regent sq theater in squirrel hill. If I could only find someone to go with me....this takes place in Vienna, after WWII. The city is occupied by allies, including soviet union. Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton) arrives in Vienna to visit his old friend Harry lime, but harry turns out dead. Holly investigates - is Harry really dead? Why would he want to stage his own death? The music is amazing (zither music). The city is depressing, the populace weary of war, weary of refugees, weary of the occuping armies. Holly falls for Harry's old girlfriend, Anna (Alida Valli) - will she fall for him? Holly is a western novelist, a nice, harmless person - will he get the girl? Orson welles plays Harry and his appearance in the film is amazing - what an entry! Dont forget, Orson and Joseph starred in Citizen Kane, so they know each other well. The part at the end, on the ferris wheel, is classic: see the people from up here? They look like ants. You can step on ants and feel nothing - thats how Harry feels about humans. Harry is evil. Even though goodness triumphs in this movie, it is bittersweet: the film ends on a sad note, the people of Vienna are no happier, Anna is morose, the commies are still in Vienna. Great film!
Here is trivia: Josephy Cotton finally does get the girl, in Walk Softly, Stranger, he appears again with Alida Valli and this time she falls in love with him. Alida Valli is still alive, had a film appear in 2002 with Miro Sorvino (Angel of Death).

turtles can fly

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
This is by far the most depressing, painful movie i have ever seen. In fact, this was shown at the 3 rivers film festival last fall, and it sounded so depressing, I purposely avoided seeing it. But, it played again at Regent Square theater, and I went to see it not realizing what it was. This is a movie about children in a refugee camp on the Iran-Turkey border just prior to US invasion of Iraq. The main character is Satellite, so named because he knows how to hook up a satellite dish to a TV so the village elders can get information on the war (they cant speak english so they cant understand the news shows - they dismiss the news as propaganda anyway). Ironically, the only person they understand on the news is Saddam Hussein speaking! Satellite organizes the refugee children to dig up land mines to sell to arms merchants for money. He is rewarded for his success in hooking up the satellite by being given an abandoned armored personnel vehicle to live in. (there are abandoned military vehicles all over). The poverty is hard to describe. Other characters are Henzov and Agrin, a brother and sister, who have a younger "borther" to care for: a blind toddler. Agrin wants to leave the camp: she cant, because she cares for Henzov who is armless, and the blind baby. Throughout the film she considers different ways of committing suicide. One reviewer said to view this movie at home, turn down the sound, and just read the subtitles, that way you dont have to listen to children crying and weeping for 2 hours. Henzov is armless, but he digs up land mines for resale with his mouth - yes, he disarms land mines by unscrewing them with his teeth. Satellite gets injured toward the end, (guess how), and his crying is endless...he is crying for all the pain he has endured for so long...its unbearable. The movie ends with no hope - the village elders are disengaged - they have given up any control over their lives. The americans pay no attention to the refugees - they move silently through the camp. This is a crazy, cruel, meaningless adult-created world as seen through the eyes of children. What horror we humans can create?! See this movie only with you support group.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Pulp Fiction cartoon

For those of you who want to replay the movie Pulp Fiction but only have 30 seconds to watch it, check out this cartoon. Its very creative and cool.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Lynne Cheney's lesbian novel

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
IN 1981 Lynne published "Sisters," a novel about two women who move west and deal with the frontier. One sister actually has an affair with her sister, then after her sister dies she has an affair with her dead sisters widowed husband. So we have lesbian love, adulterous love, bisexuality - wow! Lynne's been holding back! It is out of print and rumor has it that the republicans are buying up copies on ebay. The canadian publisher wanted a second edition to capitalize on Lynne's notoriety as first VP lady, but she refused. Here is an excerpt:
"The women who embraced in the wagon were Adam and Eve crossing a dark cathedral stage -- no, Eve and Eve, loving one another as they would not be able to once they ate of the fruit and knew themselves as they truly were. She felt curiously moved, curiously envious of them. She had never to this moment thought Eden a particularly attractive paradise, based as it was on naiveté, but she saw that the women in the cart had a passionate, loving intimacy forever closed to her. How strong it made them. What comfort it gave.

The young woman was heavily powdered, but quite attractive, a curvesome creature, rounded at bosom and cheek. When she smiled, even her teeth seemed puffed and rounded, like tiny ivory pillows.

Let us go away together, away from the anger and imperatives of men. We shall find ourselves a secluded bower where they dare not venture. There will be only the two of us, and we shall linger through long afternoons of sweet retirement. In the evenings I shall read to you while you work your cross-stitch in the firelight. And then we shall go to bed, our bed, my dearest girl."

Lynne is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, some BS appointment she received. She has written a 30 pg "book" on how academia is populated by communists and feminists who are brainwashing our children (that is considered "research?") and a childrens book on America (A is for Arabs, we only like the ones with oil) that sort of thing. Then she wrote a novel about a Pres who dies while porking an intern (where did she get that idea?) and his party keeps his death a secret so the VP can win the Wisconsin pres primary (?!) That novel was co-authored (a co authored novel?) So her senior fellow position is BS.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Katherine Harris, or Cruella de Ville

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
The person who helped steal the Florida election for George W. was elected to the House of Representatives, and has announced her candidacy for US Senate. She has a MPA degree from Harvard's Kennedy school, so she is no dummy. She is ruthless: watch this video about her purging the voting lists in Florida.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
Here is a video that shows VP Dick Cheney delivering Scarface's speech at the Republican National Convention. It is funny because it fits so perfectly!
Don't forget that VP Cheney used the "F" word to Vermont's Senator Leahy (probably the most liberal senator in the US senate). So maybe this is really the way cheney would speak, if given the option!

karenna gore

karenna gore
Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
So my son nat and I were at the Belle Meade plantation in nashville (see below) and he drove me past Al Gore's house. Nice house. We saw a young woman, in her 20's, jogging as we drove to the house, and passed her again as we returned. "That's Al Gore's daughter" I told my son. "No way" he replied. Well, here is her picture, the eldest daughter, and it really did look like her.

Belle Meade Plantation

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
My son Nat drove me to the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville when I visited him for his graduation from Vanderbilt Univ. Belle Meade was a equestrian farm, and very recently was a working farm. There are some good displays about the slaves who worked there - I imagine this was a very paternalistic plantation, where slaves were "family." Troublesome slaves (like those wanting their freedom!) were simply sold, not whipped. But you can imagine who would buy a would be run away slave - those truly hideous plantations down in mississippi and louisiana, where thousands of slaves would work in the fields. There was even a geneology display for the slaves and their decendents.