Friday, November 28, 2003

No More Chris Moore

'Greenlight' gets red light from HBO

Apparently two box office flops was enough for HBO. Bravo is interested in picking up Project Greenlight , though, so it might come back someday.

Having seen both PG movies, I hope they do this again. Neither was incredible, but seeing a movie get made and then watching it on the big screen is kind of cool. Maybe they can find some real talent to promote the series and dump Ben Affleck.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving

I doubt there will be too much new content over the weekend. Between the turkey, decorating our house for Christmas, the John Williams/Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert, cutting down the Nelson Christmas tree in Oregon, and trying to make a significant dent in my shopping list, this should be a busy few days. For the fact that I can do all those things without first driving six hours tonight, I am very thankful.

Have a safe and happy holiday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

'Tis the Season

More mall-weary shoppers go online

The mad dash has begun. With only a month until Christmas, it's time to hit the mall--or is it? Last year I managed to do about a quarter of my shopping online. How much did you buy online? How much holiday shopping will you do online this year?

Monday, November 24, 2003

Three for One

A boatload of new content has been posted at 290MOVIES.

The Time Grows Short

Slams on Dean Make Him Stronger

If they want to beat Howard Dean, the other Democrats had better do it now. They tag-team him at every debate and his poll numbers show no erosion. The article above, from Newsday, compares him to Ruben Studdard--the opposite of what people thought was needed for the job, and yet, he's on top.

Meanwhile, the HRC has enough funding to start running full-page ads in major newspapers, including the ones you can find here. I challenge you to read this one and not be affected. Imagine loving someone--and not knowing if the hospital would even call you if he or she were dying there? Imagine knowing that even staying together in old age would be a monumental challenge. Imagine feeling second-class every day of your life.

This fight won't be won by people like me. It will be won by people like you. Please, if this issue comes up at your Thanksgiving table, don't keep quiet. The country is at a crossroads; there's never been a more critical time to win over the hearts and minds of Americans on this issue.

Thank you.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Oh, A-Rod

Red Sox or Yankees, A-Rod insists

For $25 million a year, I think I would work anywhere that would take me. Alex Rodriguez is a good player, but he's a baby who doesn't make his team better. He's lucky that the Rangers are stuck with his contract, and he'd be even luckier if they could find someone to take him. He shouldn't be naming only two teams he's willing to play for. For a contract valued at a quarter of a billion dollars, he should play wherever they tell him to play.


Polls Finds Mass. Gay Marriage Ruling OK

Conservatives who have spent the last few days calling the Massachusetts ruling legislating from the bench should take a look at this poll, which shows that people in the state agree with the ruling. Could it be that the judiciary is only doing what the legislature would do anyway if it had the courage? Maybe this article by Robert Reich is right--maybe this issue will end up hurting Bush more than helping him.

Friday, November 21, 2003


Those few of you who have met Raider, our pet rabbit, will be amused to learn that we found out yesterday that he's now a grandpa. Yes, his kids had kids--with one another. He's the paternal and maternal grandfather of three new bunnies that came into the world this week.

And some people think my behavior is deviant.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Black and White

Marriage Quiz

You should really take the quiz above. Feel free to comment on the results below. I think you'll be surprised...


New content has been posted at 290MUSIC. And because I like lists, here are a few more that I discovered today: Amazon's top 100 of 2003 and Rolling Stone's top 500 of all time!

Equal Time

Protect traditional marriage

Looking for fair and balanced? Here you go. Click above to read what the Family Research Council has to say about the ruling Massachusetts.

Here's what I find most objectionable: "Other research has shown that same-sex relationships lack permanence and fidelity. Therefore, if such unions are recognized as 'marriage,' those values will be further stripped from the ideal of marriage that is held up to our children."

Yes, indeed. We're the ones who are dragging marriage into the toilet. We're the ones with the 50% divorce rate. Clearly, we're going to make matters worse.

Yeah, right. Isn't it convenient for the moralists who run their campaigns based on family values that their crusade demands nothing of the voters they seek except blind rejection of other people? Crusaders for the Right demand no sacrifice of their constituents; they seek only to lay blame for the "end of the world" on people who won't vote for them anyway. They make my life their campaign issue because examining the indiscretions of corporate criminals and industrial polluters--people who are actually doing harm to their fellow citizens--wouldn't be a winning issue. Or so they say. What they mean is that it wouldn't be easy--it would demand of voters that they think about the issues rather than voting based on a knee-jerk reaction. I long for the day when someone runs a difficult campaign, tackling issues that matter--and wins.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Welcome to the Rational World

Mass. court cuts through the homophobia

This article by Derrick Jackson comes from the Boston Globe and is therefore as close to the source as can be. I love his answer to the conservatives who have been saying, over the past day and the past decade, that gay marriage will be the end of civlization: "Railing about gay marriage in a society where half of straight marriages end in divorce is gutter politics that exploits one of our deepest remaining strains of bigotry."

And if you're super rational, check out the analysis of economic, legal, and logistic benefits for couples in Massachusetts. Isn't this the way things should be everywhere?

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Scathing Review

New content has been posted at 290MOVIES. Read it before you rent a movie.

All New

The Wellstone memorial is over, but the green lives on in this new design. I hope you like it. I find it appropriate that I was asked to change the color on the same day that the NTSB determined the cause of the plane crash that took Paul Wellstone away from us.


Here's a bit more about what today's ruling in Massachusetts means for people living there, and what it could mean in the future for people elsewhere. Please, comment below. I'll be writing an essay about this topic very soon and I'd like to address your concerns.

Weekend in New England

Massachusetts Rules State Can't Deny Gays Right to Marry

Baby, let's go to Boston.

I'll be following this story with great interest. It's good news, of course, but it also means that gay marriage is a campaign issue now, and that the Federal Marriage Amendment is going to be seriously considered. Maybe it's too early for this phase of the culture war in the United States; maybe we'll lose a dozen years of progress because of this ruling. We're about to find out.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Ready to Retire

Scalia Lashes Out at Supreme Court Judges

I'm starting to wonder--is Antonin Scalia getting ready to retire from the bench?

I can't imagine any other logical explanation for his recent smattering of outbursts, both written and verbal, regarding his fellow justices. The Supreme Court is known for its collegiality; the nine justices usually stick together even when they disagree, and certainly don't get as vicious as Scalia did today and has during speeches and in his dissent to Lawrence v. Texas .

Either Scalia thinks he can continue to work with--and, he hopes, persuade--these people every day despite the tongue-lashings he delivers on a more and more frequent basis, or he's so sick of being in the minority when he believes he's clearly right that he's spiraling out of control and on his way out the door. Frankly, that kind of anger can cause an aneurysm.

For his own health, maybe Scalia should put aside his robes and go to work for a conservative think tank. There he can plot out a course to "take back the country" from the "crazy liberals" he works with right now.

Role Reversal

The Limits of Eloquence - Did Bush mean a word of his speech about democracy? By Michael Kinsley

I consider Michael Kinsley, the founder of Slate, one of the brightest minds in America. This insightful, incisive piece explores the Bush foreign policy and how the rationale it now garbs itself in is remarkably similar to the ideas that Bush attacked during his debates with Al Gore. The quote below should give you an idea of what to expect. (For those of you who dislike the tone, I promise this is also the bitterest passage in the article.)

"One way to show your respect for democracy is to state your beliefs when running for office and then apply those same beliefs when you're elected. Democracy becomes pointless if there is no connection between the policies that citizens think they are voting for and the policies they get. In this case we actually do seem to have the policies that a majority of voters thought they were supporting. But we cannot count on election theft and broken promises to cancel each other out every time."

Check out how the next paragraph ends.

Turns Out They Don't Hate Us

U.S. Expats in UK Hit by Wave of 'Anti-Bushism'

Everyone's heard that you should be careful in foreign countries because being an American can make you a target. Guess who's taking the blame?

It's not hard to understand; a distinctly "We don't need you" attitude toward European allies has made Bush our least popular president worldwide in quite some time. And while I know the foreigners who dislike Bush don't live here and don't vote, there's little doubt that the choices of American voters have more to do with the fate of the rest of the world than those of any other citizenry.

Maybe we should make that argument at the U.N. and claim we need relief funding to better educate the American electorate. If a Democratic candidate for president used that as his rationale--and then used the money to finance his campaign for office--there are a lot of countries that would think long and hard about paying.

Let There Be Content

My apologies for taking a longer-than-announced hiatus. It's been a busy four days! The Ten Commandments judge is out--it was fun to see his sullen face splashed on every airport monitor on Thursday. I have a slew of articles to post as soon as I can, and many movies to discuss--Alex and Emma , Finding Nemo , and The Matrix Revolutions --in IMAX.

For now, bask in the bizarre glory of this.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I'm going to Oakland for work later today. I won't be back until very early Saturday morning. Don't expect any updates until Saturday afternoon...

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Senator Franken

I can't imagine a better man to challenge Norm Coleman than Al Franken. (Click on Al's name to read the story in the Pioneer Press .)The former Saturday Night Live star and author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right , who has dedicated most of his time to political works of one sort or another over the past several years, is considering a run for Senate in his home state of Minnesota in 2008. His passionate chapter regarding the life and death of Paul Wellstone in the aforementioned book convinced me that Franken would be a fitting successor.

Plus, politics would be fun again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

We Can Use the Cash

Billionaire Soros takes on Bush: Ousting president 'central focus of my life,' he says

You and me both, pal.

Good to See

Matthew Perry Returns to 'West Wing'
It's good to see the show get good press. Check out this list of ten things critics like about the post-Sorkin show.

Back to Normal

The comment server is back in action. Resume fire.


Something is wrong with the comment server today, so comments been temporarily suspended to allow the rest of the site to load properly. I'll bring them back as soon as possible so you can all get back to telling me how wrong I am.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Sign Here, Please

Sign the Petition

I don't ask for much, but if you could sign the petition above, that'd be great. Thanks.

A Snail's Pace

Sorry it's taken so long. Another review has been posted at 290BOOKS.

So Much Sadness

Monarch Butterfly May Face Climate Threat

Get ready for more news like this. It's one thing to cause the demise of our own environs--global warming is slowly but surely sinking coastal cities like New Orleans--and quite another to wreak havoc on other species.

Back to Dean

Chicago Tribune | Appeal to South cuts across race

Well, our boy went and decided to keep fundraising for the rest of the primary season, which means I can't stop talking about him just yet. The link above will lead you to another interesting take on Dean's remark heard round the world, this time from a black columnist who has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. This wasn't Dean's first use of the flag as a symbol, but it's interesting to see how different the reactions are now that he's the frontrunner.

Also interesting is Paul Krugman's take on this.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Old Men and Young Women

Not a Womb In the House

No, this isn't about the latest Richard Gere movie. It's more on our theme: why do old men feel qualified to decide what young women can do? Enjoy.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Don't I Feel Smart

Image of Men Signing Abortion Ban Assailed

Today Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, made the same point I made yesterday about the signing ceremony for the partial-birth abortion bill. This could turn out to be the perfect year to finally have a woman as the face of the Democratic party in Congress.

Here's a quote from the article that I hope presages some aggressive campaigning:

NARAL Pro-Choice America put the photo of Bush with male lawmakers on the home page of its Web site. The group's communications director, David Seldin, e-mailed the Internet link to reporters Friday under the subject line, "A Picture for the Ages."

"If we had the money we'd put it on TV every day from now till the election," Seldin said in the e-mail.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Buy Order

Another new review has been posted at 290MUSIC. Check it out.

Wrong Symbol, Right Idea

Dean still holds a strong hand

This is a pretty decent analysis of the fallout from Dean's Confederate remark. To reiterate here what's been going on in a comment brush fire for a few days now, I don't think Dean was right to use that symbol to represent the voters that he, rightly, hopes to bring into his column for 2004. As he said, he doesn't understand why white Southern voters who make less than $25,000 a year "keep voting Republican against their own economic interests."

It's unfortunate that he made the remark, but even more unfortunate that he could make it and people would know exactly what he meant. The reason why this remains an issue is that the Republicans have been flying the rebel flag for years to sucker these very same poor white Southerners into "sticking with their own color" come Election Day. When people are done casting stones at Dean, and he wins the nomination anyway, I hope they'll pick up some bigger rocks to throw at the GOP's cynical strategy and the people behind it.

That Makes Sense

Bush Signs Anti-Abortion Bill

Yeah, these are definitely the people who should decide what a woman can and can't do.

Is it just me, or does Bush look fake in this picture?

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Riding the Bench

There were several good developments on tonight's so-so episode. To wit:
--Sam--Sam!--called to tell Josh to "roll with the punches." Could it be? Are the writers actually acknowledging the existence of characters AFTER they leave the show?
--Will is doing a good job in his new post and Leo took the time to notice--in between rants.
--Donna totally gets Josh. She ran interference for him throughout the episode, protecting his ego and his image. Who else would have found a way to make Ryan useful by sending him as a backup dinner mate? And at the end, there was a reason why they played that stirring music--Donna had found the way to help Josh recover. She stood by him and showed him the way that he can still be useful and do something meaningful, even as he's being benched. That rainy day file of hers will save his life. But no, she's not on the right level for him to love her, right? Amy would have slept with him--at best. And while I don't dispute the therapeutic benefits that might have had, Donna's contribution was far more important and long-term.
--Charlie finally got more lines! Oh, wait--that was in the disaster relief PSA after the show. And even there he got the least lines among the three of them. "Three," by the way, was one of the inspired sentences Dule Hill got to deliver tonight. To his credit, he did it well.
--CJ told the President he needs to get back to leading. If only she would have added, "Because I'm sick of listening to cranky old Leo scream and shout and bench Josh when he authorized the strategy with Carrick and maybe he needs a vacation and maybe we need a vacation from him so please, please, Mr. President, lead again and stop letting him run the White House and the country. I'm scared--of him."
--Amy did what she should do on the show--she called on the phone and didn't appear.
--Bingo Bob made a nice save at the meeting with the Congressional folks. He knew the right tone and language to use. Maybe he can be helpful after all?

And the bad? Abby is still gone. Danny is still gone. Fitz is gone for good. They haven't hung the French guy in the Rose Garden yet for letting Zoey's drink get spiked. No one knows how Zoey was found. And the writing still stutters at times. But I care about the plot. So it's going OK. Keep it up, Johnny.


Another new review has been posted at 290MUSIC.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Rivals Seek to Block Dean Endorsement

It's starting to look desperate for any Democrat who isn't named Dean. You know you've got your opponents scared when three of the prominent candidates running against you team up to thwart you. Edwards, Kerry, and especially Gephardt have good reason, though: if Dean gets the endorsement of a labor union with 1.6 million members, he'll have all the troops on the ground he needs to take on all comers. And Gephardt's union man strategy will inevitably fail.

I predict this: it doesn't matter whether they stop the endorsement or not. The SEIU has already indicated that they'll endorse Dean or nobody, and that tells you everything. This is Howard's race to lose. If he avoids a major gaffe--like the Confederate flag episode could have been--he'll cruise.

Speaking of the flag incident--in which Dean said he wants to bring Democrats who still have Confederate flags on their trucks back to the party--I understand the sentiment, but have to agree with Gephardt's chiding of Dean. Nevertheless...this is an election that needs to be won, and that will mean winning at least one Southern state. Unfortunately, you can't do that without getting at least a few guys with a rebel flag on their pick-up to vote for you.

Couldn't we have just let the South go? If it weren't for the whole slavery thing, which clearly had to be stopped, I'd be tempted to see what the world would look like if the Confederacy was its own nation. The remaining United States would be a very different, much more liberal country. Oh, the capital might have to move--DC would be on the border--and we'd have to import more cotton and oil without the fields of Texas to supply us. You know what? It just might be worth it.

Six Percent More...

More Voters Deciding Not to Support Bush

44% of voters say they plan to vote against Bush a year from now. That's a big number in a poll that still has a lot of uncertainty in it, including an opponent. That's 44% who don't know who they'd be voting for and still prefer that person to Bush.

And it's six percent more than the people who plan to vote FOR Bush. Which is, in electoral terms, a landslide.

Bush still leads when faced off with a candidate, but that will change: most people still don't know who the Democratic candidates are. There's still a year to get to know them.

Bush had better hope he can find a solution to Iraq soon. If another helicopter gets shot down this time next year, his political career--still only a dozen or so years old--is over.


Stephen King Finishes 'Dark Tower' Series

At long last, I can pick up and finish the fourth book in King's very good, and long overdue, Dark Tower series. A year from now, he says, he'll have published all seven books.

Monday, November 03, 2003


A new review is available at 290MUSIC.


By the way, the archives are back to normal. If you're put off by what I'm posting today, you can go back and revel in the glory of my August posts...when I had nothing to do but blog. What a time it was...

Unwelcome News

A few weeks ago I was pleased to hear that Bob Graham of Florida had chosen to leave the race for the Democratic nomination. Today's news is not cause for the same sort of celebration.

Graham's departure from the Senate next year leaves another open seat for Democrats to defend without the benefits of incumbency. More importantly, it strips the Senate of another reasonable voice.

Next year's elections are looking more and more critical. If the GOP extends its margin in the Senate and Bush retains the presidency, the impact on tax laws, the environment, Social Security, and the future of the Supreme Court will be catastrophic. It doesn't look good...

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Time to Confess // let it all out

This is a fascinating little site. Take a look.

And no, I haven't posted any confessions, so don't go trying to guess which one is mine.

I've Found It

Welcome to History 2.0

This article is an interesting take on something that hasn't gotten that much attention yet--Amazon's new and remarkable "search within the book" technology. As Steven Levy points out, the digitization of more and more published works makes it easier and easier for researchers to find what they're looking for--and do it fast. For someone who's seeking sources of information for an article or research paper, for example, the search process will be shortened even further than it was by the advent of online periodical databases.

Levy's right: this small step for Amazon is the start of something major for the way we as a culture think about information.

Saturday, November 01, 2003


A new review has been posted at 290MOVIES.


The structure for 290BOOKS is complete (for now), and includes a rolling list of the books I've read over the past year. If you'd like to hear about one in particular, please let me know.

A Note on the Archives

There is apparently a problem with the archives right now. Hopefully Blogger will fix it soon. In the meantime, you're stuck with the current content.


New content is now available at 290BOOKS.

Well Isn't That Odd

Gay rodeo rounds up new sponsors

I had no idea there was such a thing as the International Gay Rodeo Association. What's next? Gay marriage?