Tuesday, March 30, 2010

LOST-It Only Ends Once

Forget everything I said previously about what I thought about who the potential candidates are to replace Jacob, and conceivable MIB. I have a new, even more compelling theory, based on what seemed to be an almost throw-away line by Sun in last week's Richard Alpert-centric episode.

Before I go into that, however, a few words about that episode.

We finally learned a lot about Richard Alpert last week, though any reveal concerning him wasn't exactly earth-shattering. We did learn why he never ages. Jacob did not possess the power to restore to life his lost love Isabella, nor did he have it within his means to forgive "Ricardo" his sin of accidentally killing the doctor who refused to heal her of the tuberculosis that eventually claimed her life. Since Riccardo could find no one to forgive him for this sin, he opted for the one gift Jacob could bestow-eternal life, a life that unfortunately would keep him eternally separate from Isabella.

We also learned how the statue of Tiawaret was destroyed-a gigantic tsunami wave crashed the Black Rock into it, while somehow leaving the Black Rick itself intact. We'll just assume for the sake of argument that the wave actually gets the lion's share of the credit for smashing the statue, and the Black Rock just helped it along.

We saw how the island was explained as a cork in a bottle which contained the evil of the Smoke (by the way, could MIB, and Jacob as well, possibly be Djinn?). MIB symbolically destroyed the bottle, telling Jacob that the latter would see him "sooner than you think".

Finally, Riccardo, now convinced that he has been dead and in hell all along, digs up the crucifix necklace that had belonged to Isabella from where he had buried it after the MIB had given it back to him, having found it after the wreck of the Black Rock, the ship on which Riccardo had been destined to voyage to a life of slavery in the "New World", a previous bit of good fortune he had experienced due to his rudimentary at best knowledge of English, and his strong, white teeth. (evidently his lush eyebrows were not a factor).

Anyway, having dug up the necklace, Riccardo proclaimed that he was now ready to accept MIB's previous offer, provided it still stands. That's when Hurley appeared, and convinced him that Isabella was still with him, relaying her messages to him. Riccardo was convinced to stick with the good side. It probably was not that hard a sell. MIB had previously scanned Riccardo's mind and presented an illusion of Isabella, which told him they were in hell and the devil was after them. She run and was seemingly attacked by something Riccardo assumed was the same smoke monster that had earlier destroyed the ship's crew and Captain Whitfield, plus what few of the slaves were left that Whitfield himself had not run through with his sword.

MIB appeared and convinced him the devil was-Jacob, of course. When Riccardo went with the dagger, given the same speech by MIB as Dogun had earlier given Sayid, he got his ass kicked. He was then almost drowned by Jacob, which convinced Riccardo he was still alive after all.

Riccardo now has the mission of acting as an intermediary between Jacob and the Others, and anyone else Jacob brings to the island, including the survivors of Flight 815, all of whom Jacob would prefer to avoid. He wants them to make the right decisions of their own initiative. He thinks they have that capacity. The MIB does not. He thinks all mankind is by nature evil, violent, and corrupt.

It all goes back to the season five finale, "The Incident", where MIB and Jacob were engaged in conversation outside the statue, both watching the approach of a ship that may or may not have been the Black Rock, depending on who you believe.

MIB declared that "it always ends the same", that they come, they fight, they corrupt, they destroy, etc.

Jacob's response was telling.

"It only ends once", he replied. "Everything else is just progress."

It only ends once. In other words, this "game" has been going on for, presumably, centuries at least. All of which begs the question-and it is an important one-

Why would Jacob and MIB appear-in 1867-to Richard, a Spanish prisoner and slave with a rudimentary at best knowledge of English-as two English speaking Americans? Would this conceivable be the true forms of two entities who have existed for centuries, if not thousands of years?

The obvious answer to this would be that the forms of Jacob and MIB are themselves former candidates-chosen replacements of previous replacements, all of whom have taken on the mantle, for a limited time span, of what I hold to be two different sides of the same schizophrenic personality, the life force of the island.

You have the coldly calculating, shrewdly rational Jacob, in an ageless conflict with the primal, emotional, contained rage and chaos of the MIB.

So, if it only ends once, it stands to reason that the coming end will be more than just which candidate replaces Jacob, and presumably which of the other candidates replaces MIB. Whoever replaces him (or them) this time around will finally bring the ages old contest to an end. But how? Will MIB be killed, or destroyed, his vast terrible energy broken up and dissipated?

I don't think so. For one thing, while that might sound reasonable (even obvious), its a bit too pat of an answer. I think there's more to it than that. I think that the goal will turn out to be to establish a resolution to the on-going conflict that will entail re-integrating the two sides of the personalities of this schizophrenic entity.

To that end, I remind those who watched last week's episode of what might have been the biggest reveal of the evening, yet one that went so fast, if you blinked, or farted, or burped, you might well have missed it.

That reveal, which had nothing to do with the Riccardo saga-

Sun identified herself as a candidate.

Whoooahhh! Think about that. Sun-identified herself as a candidate. That is a significant development.

Previously, we only knew that one of the candidates was named Kwon, and that the Kwon in question might be Sun, or it might be her South Korean mobster husband Jin. Not even Illana expressed a knowledge of which one of the two was one of the six candidates, and some have even speculated that the candidate might be Sun and Jin's child.

But let's think about this. All of the candidates have one thing in common. They have daddy issues. Sun does, but insofar as I am aware, Jin does not. He was simply a hired thug of Sun's Korean mobster father, who more or less arranged for the two of them to marry.

However, there is another point that might be even more pertinent. And that is-what if both of them are the true candidates? What if Sun ends up being the candidate to replace Jacob, while Jin ends up being the candidate to replace MIB-or vice versa?

Remember, even though Sun and Jin were forced into a marriage, they grew to love each other, and have sought each other for three years, ever since they were separated by events on the island.

Remember also, that when MIB takes on a form, he seems to also adapt the personalities, and well as memories, of the form he takes. This was on full display in episode four of this season, when False Locke (Smokey in the form of John Locke) on being reminded by the unknown child who confronted him that he could not kill somebody, went into a rage and screamed "Don't tell me what I can't do!"

So there you have it. If Sun takes on the identity of Jacob (or MIB), and Jin takes on the identity of MIB (or Jacob), does it not stand to reason both Jacob and MIB will adapt the same personalities, emotions, memories, etc., as these two prospective candidates?

If this is true, could this not help but lead to a re-integration of the two warring personalities?

Remember-It only ends once. Everything else is just progress.

For that matter, it could well be that the other candidates are yet not out of the picture in the grand final scenario. With the island now transformed into a veritable hidden paradise, they too could have a role, as candidates for other missions. Hurley could be a replacement for Riccardo, who might finally find peace and salvation, and go off to spend eternity with his beloved Isabella. Sayid, hopefully healed of the darkness taking him over, could be a replacement for Dogun, whom he killed, as Temple Master. Jack could be the new leader of the Others. And so on.

Tonight's episode, the tenth of the season, will be Sun and Jin-centric, so maybe we'll see some more clues that might shed more light on things.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Idiot's Guide To Political Correctness

A lot of people are up in arms over the recent treatment Anne Coulter received at the University of Ottawa, where she had been scheduled to appear as part of a speaking tour that took her to various places in Canada. Unfortunately, due to security concerns, her speech was canceled. Prior to this, she received a communication from one Francois Houle', an official of the University, in which she was oh so politely advised to refrain from hate speech-defined in part as speaking against any recognized group-on pain of prosecution, fine, and possibly incarceration. After sending the e-mail, he leaked it to various Canadian press and government officials.

I am as appalled as anyone about this, but I am by no means surprised. Nor would I be surprised were this to happen to her during a speaking engagement in almost any place in Europe. Nor would I be surprised if, during an appearance in China, North Korea, Venezuela, or Cuba, she were arrested and sentenced to a labor camp.

Nor would I be surprised if, during an appearance in Iran or Saudi Arabia, or any number of places in the Muslim world (read-any of them) she were arrested and put to death by beheading or stoning-whether the appearance in question was as part of a speaking tour or merely as an immodestly dressed tourist.

Plainly speaking, it is a hard, cold, brutal world we live in, and if you don't like it, the obvious recourse is-don't even go there.

Citizens of those countries have less recourse, but they do have some options-they can leave, they can rebel, or they can learn to live with it.

While what happened in Canada is maddening-infuriating, even-it is not my country, so I don't get a vote. The people in Canada can change things if they want to, which evidently, they would prefer not to. That's too bad.

However, as enraged in principle as I am at stories like this, it is nothing in comparison to the outrage I feel when the elites of these countries, individually and collectively, express the wish that their "values" should in some way be imposed on my country.

But even more to the point, is the outright disgust and enmity I hold towards any here in this country who, for whatever reason, wants to turn this country into a mirror image of Canada, or Europe. Or anywhere else.

Luckily, that can't happen here. Or can it? What we have, that those nations don't have, is a constitution in which freedom of expression is enshrined in the Bill of Rights, specifically in the First Amendment. We also have a tradition of respect for both majority and minority rights-and opinions, both spoken and printed.

Unfortunately, we also are to a great extent controlled by a major political party who seems to think the Constitution can be tweaked to mean anything at any given time, according to the convenience of the moment. It has not been that long ago that a sizable portion, possibly a slim majority, of these so-called Americans honestly believed that the Second Amendment referred to an actual militia, and not the right of private citizens to keep and bear arms (as though Amendments 1 plus 3-10 were meant to limit the power of the federal government, yet for some unknown reason Amendment 2 was meant to strengthen the federal government at the expense of the states and states citizens). Those who believe this are not as significant in numbers as they once were, but they are still around. And waiting.

So too are those who want to change the context and spirit of the First Amendment. It won't be long before someone, somewhere, will stand up for the rights of these University of Ottawa student rioters. After all, they too were exercising their freedom of expression. Anne Coulter was merely outnumbered, and outshouted. Or she would have been if she had been allowed to speak. She also may have been seriously injured or killed, but that's beside the point.

Canada believes in equality, to be sure. It just seems that some people are more equal than others, certainly when it comes to speech and expression.

It's almost irrelevant to me what Canadian policy is in regards to these matters, or what the attitudes of Canadian citizens are regarding them. What happens here, on the other hand, in the United States, or what may happen here at some future date, concerns me very much.

Is this what we want our country to be? I damn sure don't, nor would I ever accept it as long as I lived. Luckily, the First Amendment-for now, at least-guarantees that my rights of freedom of speech and expression cannot be infringed, by either a majority, or by a loud and vocal minority. It cannot be infringed, by the government, or by the states, or by the rabble.

Thankfully, when it comes to this, we do not get a vote.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Now Comes The Law Of Unintended Consequences

Rob Taylor at Red Alerts has a compelling post up about a recent article from the New England Journal of Medicine, concerning a survey conducted sometime before the passage last night of the Senate Health Care Bill by the House of Representatives. What it basically states is that, such a bill will likely result in close to one third of American doctors leaving the medical profession, either taking early retirement or in some cases leaving in the prime of their careers.

It could have been worse. Had the bill contained a public option, of the kind wanted by most Democrats (though not enough of them to overcome Republican opposition) the percentage of doctors leaving the field would be something more like a little more than forty percent. I shudder to think of what it would have been like with single-payer.

When all is said and done, I doubt it will be that bad, at least not at first. Doubtless it will be bad, but I tend to think most doctors are far too tied up in paying off their mortgages and medical school loans to seriously consider walking off the job. At least, not right away. However, somewhere down the road, this could be a possibility, and I have no doubt it could result in as many as ten or even twenty percent of doctors quitting, in many cases precisely because many of them will no longer be able to meet their financial obligations under any scenario.

But it could get even worse. We are talking here about the number of currently practicing physicians who might or might not leave. The most unnerving possibility is later down the line, when enrollment in medical school, and so new entries into the medical profession, takes a steep dive of ten, twenty, even thirty percent or more. Nor is it likely that all of these reductions will be made up by immigrants. In fact, passage of this law will probably reduce those numbers considerably as well. In the meantime, we have a significantly aging and ailing population. Rationed care may well have never been a considered factor or plan in drawing up this bill, but harsh reality might nevertheless make it a foregone conclusion.

There are some things that might be done to stem the tide of defections of currently practicing physicians, things that might not be popular, but may yet be unavoidable. A federal law mandating the ability of doctors to renegotiate the terms of their loan payments and mortgages might be one example. An increase in the number and amounts of student loans, with guaranteed locked in rates of low interest. All of this of course would serve to add to the deficit, and may do little to reduce the numbers of those leaving the medical profession, and more importantly, encouraging new students to enter medical school.

This is going to sour real quick. It would have been a far better approach to work piecemeal toward health care reform. However, that would not have been in the short-term best interests of those who actually control the Democratic congressional majority. This is not just an entitlement, this is or will be a giant, Byzantine structure equal in size and bureaucracy to the largest of cabinet departments. Who will run this thing? How?

By ramming this massive bill through into law, by its nature limited debate. It was intended to discourage transparency, but that proved more difficult than the proponents had hoped. Had they approached the problem one aspect at a time, it would have heightened transparency and allowed more room for substantive debate. Of course, that's the last thing Obama and the Democrats wanted. Had they done that, reform would have looked more like what the people actually wanted. As it stands now, we now are faced with the first case of the federal government mandating that US citizens will now be forced to buy a commercial product, or face fines-possibly jail time.

For this reason, as many as thirty states are in the process of filing suit against the federal government.

We might well be faced before long with the looming of a potential constitutional crisis. We might even see a constitutional amendment somewhere down the road.

It's not over yet.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Hypocritical and Conniving Obama Administration

A number of points about the recent dust-up over Vice-President Biden's visit to Israel, and the "humiliation" visited upon him by the announcement of the issuance of building permits in East Jerusalem. But first, a little background. There are two different definitions of East Jerusalem. To Westerners, East Jerusalem generally means Arab East Jerusalem. To Arabs, however, specifically to Palestinian Arabs, East Jerusalem entails an entirely different meaning. Though it would include Arab East Jerusalem, it also encompasses that part of Jerusalem which is east of the "green line"-in other words, any part of the area taken by Israel in the 1967 war.

So, with this in mind, which part of East Jerusalem do you think the recent announcement during the Biden visit was concerned with? Arab East Jerusalem, or the entirety of East Jerusalem that is east of the "green line"?

The answer-neither. That's right, neither nor. Ramat Shlomo, the neighborhood-the JEWISH NEIGHBORHOOD, incidentally-that is slated or at least was the subject for the announced future housing units, is-in NORTH JERUSALEM. A JEWISH NEIGHBORHOOD at its core. It is not now, nor has it ever been, a part of East Jerusalem, nor is it a part of the territories taken by Israel in the 1967 war, nor, finally, is it an Arab neighborhood, but a Jewish neighborhood.

So what is all this about? I don't know, but I suspect its an attempt to destabilize the current Israeli government with the goal of bringing down the coalition headed by Netanyahu, the current conservative Prime Minister. It may also have to do with appeasing the Arab, and especially, the Palestinian Arab populations, who, far from being appeased, have started protests and even riots in Jerusalem in response to the controversy.

Here's the main problem, as I see it. The American left, including the majority of politicians, bureaucrats, and office-holders of the Democratic Party, see the Israelis as responsible for the lion's share of the problems in the Middle East. Not just in their own neck of the woods, if the truth were known, but probably for the entire region. It doesn't hurt that possibly a majority (certainly a large and vocal segment) of the rank-and-file Democratic voters in the US sees Israel as the major problem and obstacle to Mid-East peace.

However, here is another important point to remember. The earlier promise by the Israelis to refrain from building any further settlements, did not apply to Jerusalem, at least not to those sections of Jerusalem that are Jewish neighborhoods, which is exactly where Ramat Schlomo is located-again, it can't be stressed too much, in North, nor East, Jerusalem. Their agreement to refrain from building future settlements simply applied to territories taken in the previous wars-Gaza, the West Bank, and the Golan.

So what does this all mean? It means that Obama, Biden, Clinton, and everyone else pursuing this reckless disregard for the facts, and for regional stability, and for the sake of our decades long alliance with the Israeli government and people-are frankly full of shit. They are playing geopolitics with an aim of establishing a position of solidarity with a group of people (in this case Fatah, but also, looking at the long-term, Hamas and Hezbollah) with a history of terror, murder, and corruption. If they can cause the current Israeli government to fall and hopefully be replaced by a more liberal government, one more to their liking, so much the better.

Very much more of this and the whole thing could unravel. Bear in mind, the Palestinians are not being unduly pressured by the Obama Administration to make concessions, only obliquely encouraged to come to the table and to not conduct terror or otherwise assault the Israeli citizens. The Israelis get the smackdown-the Palestinians are presented with "pretty please". And they are responding to this, again, by staging riots.

And the whole thing, the entire scenario as presented by the American media and by the Obama Administration-is a lie, a complete fabrication.

It's beyond disgusting.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lost Tonight

Just a quick note about tonight's Sawyer-centric episode-we saw at the end of last week's episode, the imminent return to the island of Widmore, who was the head of The Others prior to Ben, who replaced him and drove him from the island. As we have seen, there are two alternate time-lines going on. One of these involves what is going on, on the island, as it involves the lives of the main characters as we generally know them. The other, "sideways time", deals with what would have happened if the survivors' plane had never crashed on the island, and they went on living their lives per usual, free not only of the island, but free from the influence and lifelong interference of the mysterious Jacob.

However, it's important to remember, these time lines are all going on in the same earth universe. It is not two different world's coexisting side by side in two different dimensions, or "alternate universes". Now, in the current Fox series, Fringe, that is exactly the case. In that series, there are two different alternate universes on two different earth dimensions, or two different planes of existence, if you will. They are very much the same in almost every way, but they are also very different, due to different choices and events that have occurred, which has contributed to subtle and not too subtle differences in the two dimensions, the two alternate realities.

Again, it's important to stress that the situation in Lost is different from that of Fringe. In Lost, we are dealing not with two alternate realities, in two different dimensiona. We are dealing with a wrinkle in time that has created two alternate time lines, but each one coexisting in the same dimension-the exact same time-line. This is due to Juliette's successful explosion of "Jughead", a nuclear bomb which at least temporarily sunk the island, apparently after the survivors were sent off to another time, thus saving their lives. Of course, they are not aware that Jughead actually was detonated. The whole point of this was to prevent the electromagnetic discharge which caused the survivors plane to crash. Which, this was possible due to the fact the survivors, or "Losties", had been sent back to that time (when they first arrived) by the same electromagnetic energy.

Which brings me back to Widmore. When he finally meets one, or some, or all, of the Losties, will he even know who they are? Will he remember them? In other words, which of the two concurrently existing time lines is he now a part of? Is he a part of the time line of the current Lost survivors? Or is he instead now a part of, and been influenced by, the new time line created by the explosion of Jughead?

I guess we'll know the answer to that when he sees one of more of the Survivors and says, "who the hell are you people"-or something to that effect.

Update-Well. so much for that. Maybe I should have wrote tonight's episode, which was in some ways the worse one so far this season. Sawyer, a cop? Really? So why would he have helped Kate get away from the cops in the season premiere. You know, sometimes when you write a surprise element, just for the sake of surprise, you need to cover your bases.

Still, there were some good elements in tonight's show. Sayid just sitting there looking forlorn and resigned while the crazed Claire had a knife at Kate's throat, until she was saved by Smokey Locke-who a little later almost chokes up while explaining to Kate how his mother was as crazy as Claire and how that was the cause of so many of his own problems. In sideways time, it was seeing Sawyer (though here he doesn't use that name) still after the man who caused the murder-suicide of his parents (who, remember, in sideways time has a good relationship with the real sideways time John Locke, though we are still in the dark as to how this Locke version is in a wheelchair).

Otherwise, not much going on of note. Miles, who is Ford's partner in sideways time, is even more annoying than on the island. Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't consider it a big favor to be fixed up with somebody that wants to hop into the sack the first night I meet her. From friends like that, I need no favors. Then he declares their partnership over because he lied about a round trip to Sydney? I would say good riddance, but again, that's just me. Other than the Sawyer folder, and the bump into sideways Kate at the end, most boring sideways storyline of the season. Of course, I had high expectations.

The island wasn't much better, other than those parts I already mentioned. The confrontation on Hydra Island and the lead-up to the "deal" with Widmore was pretty much standard. Evidently, nothing's changed for Widmore, as he referred to John Locke as being dead. From that, it would stand to reason that it is the same old Widmore, with the same past history. Of course, it could still very well be that his story could be the one that eventually intersects the two parallel story lines, seeing as how he is the only one going freely back and forth, to and from island.

Next week-we learn the history of Richard Alpert. A few points here. Alpert was probably blessed by Jacob with immortality in order to avoid his message being diluted through the years, a distinct possibility if he is unable to communicate directly with average persons on a consistent basis. Also, it would stand to reason that, if Alpert is one of a very few people blessed with the ability to communicate, and to see, Jacob, then the young child we saw in episode four could not have been Jacob, seeing as Alpert couldn't see him, yet Sawyer could. I'll probably end up being wrong about that too.

ONE MORE POINT-This was some really shabby writing, when you stop to think about it. Why was Jodi Lynn O'Keefe's character arrested at the beginning of the sideways time segment? No clear-cut answer there. Why was she even being investigated? Ditto. Did Ford and Miles go to all that trouble to set up a sting to catch her pulling a gun on somebody? To charge her with falsely accusing them of trying to conduct a scam, even though that was precisely what they were doing? Was she wanted for extortion, robbery, or anything at all? And if so, what exactly did she do in this segment that provided them the evidence they needed to arrest her? Just doesn't make sense. Hopefully, whoever wrote this turd of an episode was either having an uncommonly bad day, or this is the last episode they'll be involved with.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Muddy Waters

I don't think the Coffee Party people are getting the point of the Tea Party movement. It started as a way of protesting the growing government, increasing debt, specter of increased taxes and regulation, and ever intrusive presence of the federal government in ever more areas of people's lives. Its not likely that any significant number of them are going to be wooed over to a movement-if that's what it really is-that proclaims big government and government spending to be a good thing. Yet, that seems to be the impetus behind the idea, which started as a Yearbook rant by a Democratic activist/operative and turned into a petition to start a corresponding party which has been promoted by a puff piece coverage on CBS News and hailed as an example of how the two different major factions of American political discourse might get together and agree on common goals.

Well, that's not likely, to say the least. I'll go on record once again as reminding everyone that I initially had reservations about the Tea Party movement, but this was basically due to the fact that it seemed, at first, like it might turn into the type of confrontational, in-your-face style of protest disruptions that so turned me against the Left in general, and the Democratic Party in particular, during the Bush years.

Happily, this turned out not to be the case. The Tea-Party people have turned out to be restrained, responsible, and yet effective as critics of government and as potential watchdogs of both political parties-not just Democrats, but Republicans as well.

To be sure, there are those factions within the movement that seem determined to bring them in line with the great GOP "tent", and to that end, Sarah Palin, wrong-headedly in my opinion, appeared at the last Tea=Party convention in Nashville trumpeting the need to keep America in the forefront of protecting the world and to that end keeping our military strong.

Which up to a point is fine. I don't disagree with that, though I do call bullshit on some aspects of it (NATO, for example). The main point is, this has nothing to do with the Tea-Party, and in fact it is vital to cut waste in all aspects of government spending, not only including the military, but especially the military.

Now I do also understand the concerns some might have that the Tea-Party could, potentially, split the Republican Party at a time when it, and the nation, can least afford for that to happen.

However, the way to prevent that eventuality is not for the GOP to vainly try to drag the Tea-Partiers back into line with their agenda. It is for them the GOP, to face the harsh realities of the day, reform themselves, and get in line behind the Tea=Party movement, with all it's hopes and aspirations. Thankfully, it is that aspect of the Tea-Party, that element that will hold all political parties accountable, and will hold all politicians feet to the fire (yes, even Palin's), that is the majority sentiment of the party.

This is not the case with the Coffee Party, which is nothing but a publicity stunt designed to bring Democrats and Independents back in line with the by-gone days of the "Hope and Change" snake-oil of Obama's Democratic Party.

It won't work. We've already woke up, and we can smell that coffee from a mile away.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Attention Whhaat?

Lindsay Lohan can cry to her mother all she wants, I just don't think she has a case. She has filed a 100 million dollar lawsuit against E-Trade, claiming that she has one name recognition-like Oprah or Madonna-and that the commercial in question is obviously an attack of some kind on her. For its part, E-Trade claims they just picked one of any number of currently popular baby names, in this case one that is also shared by one of their employees. I know that I've seen the following commercial numerous times, and it never occurred to me that it might be a kind of parody of Lindsay.

But, even if it was inspired by her antics, the key here is, it would be classified as a parody by federal law, the vagaries of New York state law notwithstanding. In which case, the outcome of this projected case, assuming it ever sees the light of day in a New York State courtroom, is pretty much a foregone conclusion in the long run. In fact, this is a matter of settled law, as decided in The Supreme Court Hustler Magazine versus Fallwell, better known by its film name The People versus Larry Flynt.

In fact, you could easily make the case that Falwell's complaint had far greater merit than Lohan's. Following is the reproduction of the ad parody from Hustler, in which Falwell waxes poetic about the day when, drunk on Campari, he and his mother had sex in the outhouse-for the first time. Unlike the work of political cartoonists going all the way back to Thomas Nast, when he skewered the corrupt New York Boss Tweed, there was no truth to the parody. Still, it was ultimately decided in favor of Flynt by an 8-0 vote, with Justice Kennedy declining to cast a vote.

Whether this is nothing but a play for attention, or whether Lohan is suffering from some kind of drug induced haze or otherwise is just naturally some kind of paranoid schizophrenic, possible suffering delusions of grandeur and/or persecution, it seems pretty plain to me that she has no case. Too bad she can't see it. And for her mother to encourage this-even referring to the now twenty-three year old woman as a child-goes a long way towards explaining Lindsay Lohan's current mental state.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

While Toyota keeps yammering away about how floormats are the likely cause of the problem of sudden acceleration of so many of their vehicles-despite the fact that the problem strangely enough seems insurmountable by the simple process of brake override-I think I should point out that, until the problem is finally solved, its not only Toyota drivers who are in danger. It's anybody who happens to be on the road in proximity to anybody driving a Toyota. I'm no expert, but it sounds like a computer problem to me, or possibly something to do with the transmission. Whatever the case, somebody better fix this problem, and fast.

The good news for me-I'm not good at identifying makes and models of all the different vehicles out there, so I don't have to worry about suffering a panic attack every time I see a Toyota.

The bad news-I drive in a constant state of anxiety.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Possibly The Craziest Story Ever Told

Because it's just too damn good to pass up, I copied, from the blog Covert History, this rabidly stupid tale of how Sarah Palin, in order to gain some kind of political advantage out of the alleged myth that she had given birth to a child afflicted with Down's Syndrome when she obviously had not, found herself in an awkward situation when the original child died. After a round of discussion with her advisers, she somehow procured a replacement child similarly afflicted, and then went the extra mile of burying the original in her back yard.

So, what happened next, you ask? Read on if you dare.

This tragedy was increased when the neighbor’s Rottweiler, Guenther, apparently dug up the baby’s remains and when neighbors saw the dog running down the street with its dreadful prize clamped in its jaws, law enforcement and animal control people were called. After a wild chase and the use of tranquilizer darts, the dog was asleep on the sidewalk and the horrified officials were left with the half-eaten remains. These would have normally been turned over to the county medical examiner but the Governor’s rank and political aspirations resulted in a reburial. A bucket of cement was used to fill the hole dug out by Guenther (who later regained consciousness and was turned over to his owners with the instructions to not ever let him out of the house again without a leash.)

This incredible tale, originally an obscure post printed in the June 14th 2009 edition of the website TBR News, apparently inspired the investigative talents, otherwise known as the fevered imaginations, contained in the blog The Immoral Minority, which is the product of an Alaskan blogger who goes by the screen name of Gryphen, and who has seemingly devoted the entirety of his time and resources to blogging about the supposed crimes, indiscretions, and dangers posed by the former Alaskan governor and Republican vice-presidential candidate. Nothing is too sordid as to be beyond her manipulative grasp, according to Gryphen, who insists not only that there have actually been two, and possibly even three Trig Palins, all afflicted with Downs Sybdrome and none of whom actually were birthed by Sarah Palin-he claims he has discovered proof to this effect due to an apparent abnormality of the ears of the first Trig, which is not apparent in any of the other supposed incarnations.

This guy actually has a large following, judging by the comments section of his blog, but I'd like to know who he's fronting for? Are we to believe that he spends his time blogging so extensively about Palin due to some misguided loyalty to his version of the truth? Or is he simply a mouthpiece for some rabid left-wing progressive faction of an Alaskan political entity? I have followed him off and on, and I seriously believe he is tied up with the Green movement, basically, although I have nothing in the way of proof to go on.

I do think though that it offers a good glimpse into the mindset of someone who is so ideologically compromised that there exists no boundaries of decency or good taste.

What no one has as yet managed to explain-what's so great about having a child afflicted with Down's Syndrome to begin with, and what could possibly be the advantage in undergoing such subterfuge, and to such ridiculous lengths, in comparison to the fallout if the truth ever did manage to leak out?

I don't discount all conspiracy theories. I myself have always maintained that the best way to denigrate someone who proposes a conspiracy is to, well, call them a conspiracy theorist. I personally always believed JFK died as the result of a conspiracy, and still do. I probably always will.

But then there are those conspiracy theories that are rightly derided-the 9/11 truthers, the birthers, etc. A good rule of thumb is, if a conspiracy theory makes tales of alien abductions seem sane by comparison, it's probably either a purposeful lie, or some kind of insane delusion, or both.

This Trig Palin tale fits the bill on both counts. I don't think even Andrew Sullivan would buy this nonsense. Well, at least not to this extent.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


I'm not clear whether there's ten more episodes of Lost total, or ten plus the two hour series finale, but whatever the case, this is the year the series ends and most, though not all, questions are answered.

At the end of season five, which saw the Losties stranded via time travel back in time prior to their original crash on the island, Juliette (originally one of The Others) successfully set off a nuclear device which managed to forestall the release of electromagnetic energy which caused the crash. It worked, though they don't know it on the island, and they know even less in the "sideways time" where they now also live parallel lives, though evidently in the same dimension, each group completely unaware of the other, parallel existence.

In the fifth episode of this season, we saw something that was previously unrevealed, either to us the viewers or to the survivors. A huge lighthouse with the unusual function that it shows, from within mirrors high up inside the top, aspects of the viewers life. Or it did until Jack Shepherd smashed the mirrors in a fit of pique after one of them showed him a glimpse of his childhood home.

The fact that this lighthouse has presented itself would seem to suggest that, after Juliette exploded the bomb, the entirety of the island's inhabitants were doubtless whisked away from that time to another, and it would seem to be sometime in the past, when the lighthouse was yet present. Possibly before any of their births. On the other hand, they should have run into The Others by now, so maybe not. All we know is someone is coming to the island, and I for one wonder whether this might herald the first approach of The Black Rock, the ship that first brought The Others to the island sometime around 1850. If so, is this an opportunity to completely change the history of the Island? And what exactly is the Island?

I have long suspected the Island is itself a living, breathing, sentient, even conscious entity, with feelings and a will to live, and that Jacob and the Man In Black (now False John Locke) represent two sides of it's personality. One of them, Jacob, is coldly rational and logical, while the other, Jacob's nemesis, represents its more primal and emotional side. The latter wants to go home (wherever home is) while Jacob's motives remain for the most part unclear, aside from protecting the island, and keeping Smokey contained therein, perhaps eventually destroying him.

But what if the true goal is to integrate the two sides of the personality into a functional whole, something the more erratic, emotional, "smokey" side would tend to reject?

The island can move from place to place via its unusual electromagnetic qualities, and it has been strongly hinted that it is or contains the life force of an ancient Egyptian goddess, Tiawarat. However, the statue of the goddess might well have been erected by ancient inhabitants due to a misunderstanding of the island's nature, at a time when it held its position somewhere within the Red Sea area.

As for who will be the candidate to replace Jacob, my guess is it will eventually be either Sawyer, with Jack Shepherd eventually replacing Smokey, or it will be Hurley who will eventually reign supreme as the newly and finally integrated personality of the two. Or perhaps the island's power will somehow be dissipated and it will become-nothing but just another island. Who knows?

One thing I am fairly certain of, is Dogun is not dead. He was murdered by Sayid, yes, but remember, Sayid drowned him in the sacred pool of the Temple, and left him there. Assuming Dogun managed to purify the previously polluted waters, this should be sufficient to bring him back, after some time.

As for other things, such as the significance of Aaron, or the yet unborn child of Sun and Jin, the identity of the child who presented himself to False Locke and Sawyer, and other mysteries too numerous to mention, and many of which may well be left unresolved, we'll just have to wait and see.