Spinoff Online has more details, including Ben Kingsley as ... Mandarin? A pic of ... the Iron Patriot?? This is starting to sound a lot like Spider-Man 3 -- in other words, there's too freakin' much going on.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Be sure to check out my buddy Carl's new comics blog, Carl's Comics! Very well written stuff!
Chris Matthews is pissed that people still bring up his "thrill up my leg" comment.
Ain't that a damn shame.
Jim Treacher: "Why does Donald Trump keep saying Obama was born in Kenya, when even Obama has stopped claiming that?"
I recently pulled out another long box from the basement and snagged a certain dozen issues -- twelve of my favorite issues of all time: Avengers Forever #s 1-12. I've previously discussed AF here at Colossus (best trade paperbacks ever), and with good reason: It's simply a beautiful thing.
That is, if you like continuity.
For the uninitiated, [comics] continuity is essentially the maintenance of a character's (or group's) tapestry of history. In other words, something that was established in a character's past cannot just be arbitrarily ignored by a future writer. There must be some explanation for any change. Marvel used to be known for its fairly strict adherence to its universe's continuity; this, however, has changed quite a bit in the last decade. Writers and editors felt that continuity "strangled" the ability to tell good (new) stories. While this is true to a degree, fans of a character certainly do not want a good story to ignore basic foundations of that character.
At any rate, former ultimate comics fan-turned writer extraordinaire Kurt Busiek, back when continuity still actually mattered, scripted AF, a continuity geek's dream come true. And he does it all with such pinache and kick-ass action that you may not even notice. The more casual Avengers fan may not find AF his/her cup of tea, however, precisely due to the constant connections to the team's history and minutiae, so be forewarned. But at least give it a couple issues to see!
The plot, in a nutshell, is that Earth's Mightiest have been deemed a threat to the future of the very universe itself, with Rick Jones as the key focal point. Indeed, the series opens up with a scene from (one possible) future where the Terran Empire rules supreme, with a descendant of Jones leading the Galactic Avengers Battalion against some rebels from a nearby planet. (The planet just happens to be Yondu's, one of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, as the continuity geek will recognize immediately.) Longtime Avengers foe and sometimes ally Immortus is charged with preventing such futures, and decides that offing Rick Jones is the best bet.
But hold everything! Immortus' other self, Kang the Conqueror, puts the kibosh on that idea -- with not just a little help from the Kree Intelligence Supreme and Jones himself. Indeed, one of the major plot points is the "latent power" -- now dubbed the "Destiny Force" -- within all humans that Jones first manifested way back in the Kree-Skrull War. Jones now uses this power to bring forth several Avengers from the past, present and future to assist in thwarting Immortus' machinations.
Busiek masterfully ties together loose threads and likewise explains head-scratching plot ideas which were never answered/resolved. For instance, John Byrne went a bit ape-sh** "disrupting" continuity when he had the reins of The West Coast Avengers in the late 80s. He had popular Avenger the Vision completely dismantled and then rebuilt sans emotions, and "undid" his origin as being the Original Human Torch rebuilt. Not a problem for Busiek. Then there was the universally-loathed "The Crossing" from the mid-90s where Iron Man was apparently brainwashed by Kang and made his pawn. Eventually, IM was killed and replaced by a teenage Tony Stark. There were a ton other unanswered questions from that arc, but again -- not a problem for Busiek.
Every few Avengers Forever issues (on the back cover) Busiek provides meticulous footnotes for all his continuity references! It's unreal. Kurt also did this in his also-magnificent Marvels published a little while after AF.
While I absolutely love Busiek's love of comics and appreciation of fans and character history, you might recall I have an issue with his personal politics. Well, not so much his actual politics, but his outspokenness about such and how he responds to criticism of it. As I wrote in the link above,
If you're in the entertainment business, you run the risk of alienating a certain portion of your fanbase if you insist upon making controversial statements or taking up controversial positions on issues. This in no way means you have to shut up; however, you need to be aware that freedom of speech does NOT mean there's freedom from criticism -- or freedom from consequences.
At least Busiek doesn't infuse his stories with less-than-clandestine political posturing like too many of his contemporaries do ... I certainly gotta give him that. And, despite how I feel about how he personally handles political issues, I certainly would not refuse to purchase a good future Busiek-penned story. (He's done quite a few thoroughly awesome ones; I highly recommend the previously mentioned Marvels, especially the X-Men segment, and Superman: Secret Identity.)
This page has all the covers to Avengers Forever, as well as its own synopsis and commentary. (Interestingly, the cover to my issue #4 is different from this site's. I suppose there were variants.) And since I neglected to mention it already, the artwork in AF is simply dazzling. Carlos Pacheco's pencils and Jesús Merino's inks are at the top of their game. Their attention to every detail is jaw-dropping.
UPDATE: Busiek graciously has linked to this post via his official Facebook page. Thank you, Kurt!
By now I'm sure you've heard/read about Massachusetts US Senate candidate (and self-proclaimed originator of the Occupy movement) Elizabeth Warren's claims that she is a Native American. After some curious folks began checking out these claims and found them wanting, Warren is miffed, claiming her family is "being attacked." All this simply adds to the hilarity; her justifications, such as they are, would get an average joe laughed at in a heartbeat. The fact that Warren is an elite academic makes this all simply gut-busting.
Finally, Warren said, “I am proud of my family and I am proud of my heritage.”
Hiller followed up: “Does it include an Indian background?”
Warren replied, “Yes.”
“How do you know that?” Hiller asked.
Warren responded, “Because my mother told me so."
I wonder if Warren would accept such a source on a research paper from one of her Ivy League students. I can see the footnote(s) now:
1 My mother said so. (Dinner conversation with family and Asian-American neighbors, April, 2009.)
And then there's also this gem: "She also referenced a photo of her grandfather who had 'high cheekbones.'”
I think this ridiculousness can best be summed up by this classic Mad TV skit titled "The Octoroon." At least this guy had one-eighth minority blood, not a measly 1/32!
Comics Alliance, in its report that original Iron Man director Jon Favreau will be making a cameo appearance in the second sequel as Happy Hogan (he will not be in the director's chair this time out), notes that perpetually tanned actor George Hamilton's son Ashley will be in the villain's role as Firepower.
Firepower is yet another David Michelinie/Bob Layton-era Iron Man villain whom I roasted here almost five years ago. Speculation will remain as to just how big a role Hamilton's Firepower will have considering that the "Extremis" storyline is supposed to be front and center, not to mention better known actors Ben Kingsley and William Sadler also have starring roles.
For me, this belongs as an entry to Overlawyered.com (to whom I sent a tip, by the way): Some enterprising attorney -- with a very catchy name, too: "Skippy" Weinstein -- thinks the sender of some text messages should held culpable for an auto accident that the recipient of the texts got into:
David and Linda Kubert of Dover, N.J., initially sued Kyle Best of Wharton, N.J., after he veered head on into them on Sept. 21, 2009, as they rode their motorcycle. Each lost a leg in the wreck, and Best pleaded guilty earlier this year to using a hand-held cellphone while driving, careless driving and failure to maintain a lane in Montville (N.J.) Municipal Court.
But the Kuberts' lawyer, Stephen "Skippy" Weinstein, amended his lawsuit to include Shannon Colonna, then 19, as someone who aided in Best's negligence even though she wasn't in the vehicle.
Cell phone records revealed during the suit's discovery process show the pair exchanged more than two dozen texts during the day but stayed off the phone for about five hours while Best worked, Weinstein said.
Colonna said she essentially wasn't certain if Best was driving or not. Her attorney says "The sender of the text has the right to assume the recipient will read it at a safe time," and that "It's not fair. It's not reasonable. Shannon Colonna has no way to control when Kyle Best is going to read that message."
I totally agree with Colonna's lawyer. If "Skippy" succeeds in his novel theory (they used that term on a radio news report this morning), will this mean that any text sent by someone will have to include the warning "Do not read this if you are driving"? Still, that wouldn't have prevented this accident as Best smacked into motorcyclists by merely checking who had sent the text message, not by reading it. To wit: Isn't it incumbent upon the recipient of a text to exercise good judgment as to when to read it? If I get a text while driving, I never check to see who sent it let alone read it, sometimes only checking the sender while at a red light (and never reading the message).
UPDATE: The aforementioned Overlawyered.com notes that today the judge in the case has dismissed "Skippy's" contention that Colonna should be liable for damages.
The non-Council winner was The Other McCain with Brett Kimberlin Saga Takes a Bizarre Turn, Forcing Me to Leave Maryland.
Full results are here.
The Black Eyed Peas star attends climate change talk in a helicopter, "producing the same amount of CO2 most people do in a month."
Barack "Chutzpah" Obama: Mitt Romney hasn't "spent time working in the real world."
... you have selective entrance exams and/or can get rid of any disruptive student you wish. Let's be honest.
NAACP President: "America more racist now than in Revolutionary Times."
As you may have heard about by now, DC Comics, in what only be rationally explained as a cheap publicity stunt, has announced that one of its "iconic" characters will come out of the closet. The question remains -- who will it be? And, does anyone really care? DC has made known only that it's a "major" character and a male.
You can most probably forget about it being DC's most iconic -- Superman or Batman. Not to mention, what DC considers "major" and "iconic" doesn't necessarily mean he's such to you or me. Robot 6 notes that all of DC's clues about him seem to indicate it's a character who "hasn’t yet appeared in the New 52" which to me, then, means he's he's indeed neither "major" nor "iconic."
Newsarama notes that Northstar, the Canadian mutant who now is apparently a member of the X-Men, will marry his partner in issue #51 of Astonishing X-Men. Erroneously, however, writer Vaneta Rogers says this is a superhero "first." But DC's openly gay Midnighter and Apollo of the super-team The Authority tied the knot about a decade prior. Northstar came out back in 1992, but his homosexuality was hinted at a decade before that in the early days of the Alpha Flight book. Creator John Byrne, in part of Northstar's origin story, had James Hudson, aka Alpha Flight leader Guardian, tell him (and I'm paraphrasing from memory here ... that 1984 issue is buried in a long box in my basement) "You had it all -- money, fame, girls ... but the girls didn't really interest you much."
At any rate, like major character "deaths" in comics these day, I could really care less about all this stuff.
The topic this week: “Jeremiah Wright: Fair Game In 2012, Or A Distraction Better Avoided?”
And the non-Council nominations are here!
It's a heckuva lot more qualifying than being a community organizer, that's for sure.
Courtesy of this The Hill article exonerating US Senate candidate from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren for her bogus claims of Native American ancestry:
Elizabeth Warren might be excused for wanting to be Native American. She can claim an old American soul, going back generations in Oklahoma. In the heartland it is almost universal for those who have been there for a few generations to claim Indian blood; that is, to wish it were there even if it isn't. It is not so much a lie as it is the acculturation of personal and regional American myth; the fabric of old-soul American consciousness. "Our spirit will walk among you," said Chief Joseph. Indeed it does. Indians come to us as dream guides, spirit guides and, like Sacagawea, actual guides to our most important journeys at once physical and metaphysical.
So Warren's claim to be "part Indian" is correct in mythical terms. Every old-school white Oklahoman is in this regard even if this in nominally not true.
Warren in that regard brings a fresh, classical Americanism from the heartland back to us in Boston where we still have tendencies.
Indeed; or, one could say an Indian "came" to Ms. Warren and "guided" her to fabricate Native ancestry so that she would delight the "progressive" academics at Harvard and elsewhere, who would then immediately hire her because of her "desired" ethnic background.
I don't think I've ever read a bigger bunch of self-righteous bullsh** in my life. Writer Bernie Quigley has to win the "Most Laughable Media Excuse Ever" award for this absolutely, gut-bustingly unintentionally hilarious piece of drivel.
Newsbusters' PJ Gladnick asks "Are you prepared, Bernie Quigley? Are you prepared for your inevitable coronation as national laughingstock?"
If asked, Toot [Obama’s maternal grandmother, Madelyne Payne Dunham] would turn her head in profile to show off her beaked nose, which, along with a pair of jet-black eyes, was offered as proof of Cherokee blood.
That's from pages 12 and 13 from The Messiah's book, Dreams of My Father. And, as we also noted yesterday, the mainstream media wasn't who picked it up. As with practically anything to do with liberal Democrats, that's left to the right-wing new media (in this case, Breitbart).
And, like the case of Elizabeth Warren in the Massachusetts US Senate race, Obama has no way of proving this:
But, as we all know, family lore does not Cherokee ancestry make, and following the line back, neither Franklin McCurry’s parents, grandparents, nor great-grandparents were Cherokee, based on all available records.
What a riot. So, we've learned Obama himself is the original Birther, and now, like the original Occupier (Warren), he claims Indian ancestry -- all to prop himself up in the eyes of his politically correct racial bean counting academic overlords.
Again, no -- I am not saying Obama was born in a foreign land; this just further proves the notion that The Messiah was embellishing his résumé right up until the point (2007) when he decided to become a contender for the presidency.
At least he never claimed Native American ancestry. Well, as far as we know. You don't expect the mainstream media to investigate the president, do 'ya?
This woman teaches social studies, if you can grasp that. I sure couldn't, listening to her "facts" and "justifications" in this [mostly audio] video.
More on this lunacy here.
Can't believe this cretin was the GOP US Senate nominee back in 2006. He did, keep in mind, though, vote for Obama in 2008 and donated $250 to his campaign. He supposedly was asked to scram from the DE GOP after that. Well, duh.
Yep -- the whole planet. Can't wait to hear the explanation for that. Not to mention how fifteen years later no technology is still able to function.
And, of course, the trailer shows how one man seems to know what happened ... and he gets killed. But, there's this mysterious medallion that apparently can make technology work which the dead guy "downloaded" before the EMP hit. Can you say "government conspiracy?" But of course. How "original."
Color me bored.
"Father" has 30 kids, wants state to "help" him pay support:
This is the most plausible theory to me:
Roger Simon speculates that the reason the president refuses to release transcripts from college is that they might reveal his claim of foreign birth. That is certainly a possibility. Falsifying information in order to receive financial assistance is fraud. And while the statute of limitations would mean that Obama couldn't be prosecuted, it would end his political career.
For the clueless out there: Notice it says "his claim of foreign birth." Simon (and I) are not Birthers; far from it. As noted here, it is highly likely Obama embellished his background for the same reason Massachusetts Democrat Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren did: it delighted the "progressive" academics with whom the two chose to surround themselves.
Karen Tumulty lives under a rock:
Don't understand how the birther thing persists. Obama's mother never set foot in Africa. Did they find him under a cabbage leaf?
No, ma'am. Obama just employs literary agents who are willing to make his background appear "more exotic." (Tumulty worked for Time before joining the WaPo. Little surprise, then, why she's so clueless.)
The far-left "media watchdog" group and Delaware's own Senator Chris Coons (D) (thanks, Christine O'Donnell!) says that we all should ignore scandals like that of the Solyndra solar company, because it would "... overshadow 'scores of success stories surrounding American clean energy companies.'"
Coons, who spoke during the Media Matters-organized call, chimed in by applauding the liberal messaging group’s work.
“I’m grateful for what you [Butler] and Media Matters do year in and year out to help set the record straight” about American energy policy, Coons began.
“This is a moment where if America’s going to lead [on energy policy], we have to work together,” Coons continued, referring to “work[ing] together” with private sector energy companies through government assistance.
“I do just want to say thank you to Media Matters and others on this call for not allowing over-hyped partisan investigations to become the only story about these big changes in the clean energy economy,” Coons said.
"Over-hyped." Right. Like throwing away half a billion dollars at Solyndra. Or $3.1 billion to First Solar which used it to create more jobs overseas than here at home. That's the current "progressive" Washington mindset -- wasting billions of your money is "over-hyped." And these same "progressives" then have the nerve to get angry at guys like Facebook's Eduardo Saverin for leaving the country so he doesn't have to see his own millions pissed away down the drain.
Once again, thank you very much, Christine O'Donnell.
The non-Council winner was Mark Steyn with The Spirit of Geert Wilders.
Full results are here.
Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama's then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii."
The booklet, which was distributed to "business colleagues" in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton & Dystel.
It also promotes Obama's anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White -- which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead.
Here's the Obama bio used in the booklet:
Breitbart was never a Birther, nor does this bio contradict Obama's birthplace as being Hawaii. Nevertheless,
the biography does, however, fit a pattern in which Obama -- or the people representing and supporting him -- manipulate his public persona.
And what's more, the agency used this Obama bio ... until 2007.
UPDATE: Miriam Goderich assumes blame for the mistake:
You're undoubtedly aware of the brouhaha stirred up by Breitbart about the erroneous statement in a client list Acton & Dystel published in 1991 (for circulation within the publishing industry only) that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me -- an agency assistant at the time. There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more.
Funny how this "simple mistake" hung around for sixteen years.
Democratic Senators Chuck You Schumer of NY and Bob Casey of PA are miffed -- MIFFED! -- at Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin for renouncing his American citizenship to avoid paying a huge amount of taxes ($67 million) on his Facebook profits.
"It's infuriating to see someone sell out the country that welcomed him and kept him safe, educated him and helped him become a billionaire," said Senator Charles Schumer at a news briefing. "We plan to put a stop to this tax avoidance scheme."
"We simply cannot allow the ultra-wealthy to write their own rules," Casey said.
"Mr. Saverin has benefited greatly from being a citizen of the United States but he has chosen to cast it aside and leave U.S. taxpayers with the bill. Renouncing citizenship to simply avoid paying your fair share is an insult to middle class Americans and we will not accept it," he said.
I love how these House of Lords dolts impugn someone for dodging that kind of hefty tax bill. Here's a clue, idiots: Stop spending OUR money like drunken sailors and maybe guys like Saverin won't do what they did. And Mr. Casey? Who's been leaving US taxpayers with the bill, you a-hole? YOU have. You, Schumer, and everyone in Washington. We currently have over a trillion -- TRILLION! -- dollar deficit, and over $15 trillion in debt. And those are both the result of YOUR actions.
And dig how Schumer attempts to make Saverin feel guilty. First, how did the US keep Saverin safe from ... Brazil?? And how did it "help" him become a billionaire?
Look, if I were Saverin my own values wouldn't permit me to do what he did. Maybe it's because I'm American and Saverin is originally from Brazil. But I sure as hell wouldn't be happy with that immense tax bill knowing that guys like Schumer and Casey could give two sh**s about how they spend my money.
Sarah Palin, whom Matthews mercilessly mocked as a potential wreck of a "Jeopardy" contestant, is laughing her ass off right now.
ABC is reporting that Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, was indeed pummeled in a scuffle with the victim in the tragic encounter this past February. He had a broken nose, two black eyes, lacerations on the back of his head, and a back injury. Martin's autopsy revealed that he had bloody knuckles. Unbelievably (or, believably, given the current Justice Dept.), Eric Holder's department is considering hate crimes charges against Zimmerman ... which could, theoretically, lead to the death penalty.
Hate crimes charges?? Based on what? Merely because Martin was black? There is virtually nothing else known that could substantiate such charges; MSNBC did its level best to make it appear that "white Hispanic" Zimmerman was racist, but that turned out to be a debacle. And yet, where is the DOJ in this case? Or this one? Or this one? Or when the New Black Panthers put a bounty on George Zimmerman?
We've already heard testimony that Holder's Justice Department acts any way but race neutral. And hate crimes statutes are traditionally selectively enforced -- like the two white reporters in Norfolk, police and media are reluctant to consider such for fear of "stirring the race pot." Of course, it doesn't matter when it works the other way (i.e. the Martin incident), though! Delaware's largest newspaper as well as others won't even report the race of crime suspects out of the same ridiculous politically correct concerns.
What a sorry joke.
UPDATE: Reason has more:
1. There is very little evidence that Zimmerman hates black people, let alone that he shot Martin because he hates black people.
2. In the absence of a legal justification (such as self-defense), killing people should be a crime, but hating them because of their skin color should not be. By treating crimes more severely when they are motivated by bigotry, hate crime laws effectively punish people for their beliefs.
3. Federal hate crime laws are even worse, because they expose defendants to double jeopardy (although the courts deny this reality by calling it "dual sovereignty"). The federal investigation means that even if a Florida jury acquits Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter, he can be tried again for the same crime (killing Martin) under a different label (a possibility I noted two months ago).
I actually changed my position on #2 years ago. I don't have much of a problem with adding a "degree" of severity to a crime if it was indeed motivated by some sort of bias -- racial, religious, ethnic, etc. After all, there are degrees of murder, manslaughter, etc. But the main problem with hate crimes laws, in my view, is what's not mentioned by Reason: their selective enforcement. See the links above.
UPDATE 2: Hans Bader dissects the third issue noted by Reason above.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Courtesy of James Taranto (via Soccer Dad): "Obama is under the mistaken impression that America's symbol is the bald ego."
Local TV station KOB channel 4 in New Mexico has the story about dozens involved in a voter fraud case -- falsifying signatures and voter records -- for Jacob Candelaria's state senate seat.
The KOB report does not mention Candelaria's party affiliation.
Why do you think that is? Correct -- he's a Democrat, natch.
No freakin' wonder Democrats are always worried about any measures designed to stamp out voter fraud. They need it to win.
Via Screen Rant: Check out director Ridley Scott and the stars of the upcoming film discuss the premise of what could rival The Avengers for box office supremacy this summer:
If you're an Alien fan and want to read a spectacular [what now is an] alternate history story in the Alien-verse, seek out Mark Verheiden's Aliens: Book One from Dark Horse Publishing. It details what happens after the 1986 sequel Aliens, and features what was supposed to have been the plot to Alien 3 -- Earth being overrun by the Aliens. Verheiden continues the story in Book Two and concludes it in Earth War. I wrote up a summary of these excellent stories at my now-defunct Comics of Rhodey over three years ago.
From their 1999 New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera, here's Los Amigos Invisibles' "En Cuatro" which has been played at every concert of theirs I've been to (and that's a lot) ... mainly because it never fails to get the crowd jumping up and down and dancing!
Harold Minkwitz says that a "strong central government is the solution":
Form a government to “promote the general welfare” is in the first line of the Constitution. That empowers the “Affordable (Health) Care Act.” Sorry, all you “confederates,” your idea has failed twice in this country.
A strong central government is the only system that works. Look at Afghanistan, a loose system of “ungoverned tribal territories.” “The Articles of Confederation” really worked well for this country.
Where to start? A strong central government is also a feature of North Korea, Cuba, and the old Soviet Union. And they worked out really "well," too, didn't they, Har? Not to mention, the Founders themselves recognized that the government under Articles of Confederation was too weak; this, as any civics student knows, led to the creation of the Constitution. But this by no means created a "strong central government" -- it created a stronger central government, one out of necessity stronger than that under the Articles. But the Founders would be aghast at how their Constitutional system of federalism has been so incredibly weakened over these many decades.
Harry, by ludicrously claiming that the line about the "general welfare" in the Constitution permits the legality of ObamaCare shows himself to not be a very good student of civics.
I'd recommend Harry read the superb alternate history story "The West is Red" by Greg Costikyan to assist him in discovering how ass-backwards his contention is.
Newsarama (as usual) has the list:
10) Operation: Galactic Storm. The team finds itself in the midst of a war between the alien Kree and the Shi'ar. Consider me bought.
9) Lost in Space-Time. This is a West Coast Avengers yarn that I am [unbelievably] unfamiliar with! Newsarama says it might be the best time-travel story in Earth' Mightiest's history, so I think I'm gonna have to track these issues down ...
8) The Serpent Crown Saga. One of my favorite Avengers arcs ever, if only because it came out when I was really getting into comics back in the day, and because it had the team battling it out with the Squadron Supreme. IMO, this story would only be worth doing if the alternate Earth's super-team were in it. But I think that'd wishful thinking ...
7) The Infinity Gauntlet. Well, um, this is the odds-on favorite for the sequel considering the first post-credits special scene ...
6) House of M. No thanks. Ugh.
5) The Korvac Saga. I'm totally game for this. It could work perfectly -- Korvac gains incredible power in the future and travels back in time as a "god" with the goal of liberating humanity from "destiny." If done as well as Jim Shooter wrote it back in the late 70s, it would be one damn kickin' film.
4) Under Siege. The plus side of this would be a lower budget film because all the action takes place right at the Avengers' home base. Could have the Red Skull in place of Zemo tantalizing the captive Capt. America and trashing his 60+ years worth of lock box memories.
3) Civil War. This could indeed make for quite a slam-bang sequel; however, if the politics in the film is as it was in the comics, I won't be caught dead in the movie theatre.
2) Ultron Unlimited. This would rock non-Avengers fans perfectly as it's a Terminator-like horror yarn where the insane, indestructible robot decimates an entire country ... and threatens the whole planet.
1) The Kang Dynasty. (See left.) In a movie, this'd be like the Korvac tale noted in #5: the time-traveling future human comes back to the 21st century to take over and rule like a king. If the depth and scope is like Kurt Busiek's 2001-2002 story arc, we certainly won't be disappointed!
The WaPo in the early 70s: True investigative reporting that brought down a president.
The WaPo in 2012: Fictitious hit pieces that smear a candidate based on something he did in high school.
UPDATE: Joshuapundit has the final word on the WaPo's nonsense.
UPDATE 2: How did the WaPo miss all these?
The non-Council winner was Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion with Cruel irony in Elizabeth Warren’s Cherokee saga.
Full results are here.
And it'll only get worse. As in even more ridiculous.
UPDATE: Heh -- where's the WaPo on this? Looks like once again Obama's own words come back to bite him, and his complicit MSM. Anyone recall the "dog" story? Yep, straight out of Obama's memoirs, too. Has anyone in the MSM even bothered to read his books? Especially before they publish ridiculous stories like today's on Mitt's HS days?
UPDATE 2: Oh ho! Looks as if Obama didn't only bully just little girls in his younger days, but other blacks, too, who didn't fit his idea of what it meant to be "black."
Wonder if the WaPo feels just a bit silly now.
Yours truly wasn't able to participate; nevertheless head on over and check it out ... because most of the Council is smarter than me anyway!
My buddy Vic Holtreman's site, Screen Rant, details the results of a recent Internet poll compiling the greatest films of all time. Here's those results:
1. Citizen Kane (73 points)
2. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (61)
3. The Godfather (57)
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark (53)
5. Casablanca (48)
6. 8½ (44)
7. Back to the Future (44)
8. 2001: A Space Odyssey (43)
9. Bicycle Thieves (41)
10. Vertigo (40)
Vic and SR editor Ben Kendrick offer up their own choices, too.
I don't know if I could actually put my faves/greatest in order, but I certainly can name ten:
Always subject to change, natch.
That is: A federal government mandate forcing schools to make kids exercise for 60 minutes a day. Because, y'know, obesity is a nationwide problem that requires government to step in.
In his report, [NBC's Robert] Bazell proceeded to detail the dictates of the health panel: "...requiring at least 60 minutes a day of physical activity in schools. Public and workplace policies that encourage people of all ages to exercise more. Industry-wide guidelines on marketing food to children, including healthier choices for kids in restaurants and having healthy food available at all public events."
It's bad enough we have kids testing left and right due to suffocating federal mandates; now we're magically going to make kids engage in physical activity for an hour during the school day. The thing is, this isn't too much of an issue for a lot of kids already, being that many are involved in sports activities. But for those kids who perpetually refuse to even get dressed for gym class by merely bringing in a parent note? How will these lofty "health advocates" work their way around that? And will phys ed teachers now be evaluated on how fit their students are?
UPDATE: Ed Driscoll offers NBC some advice:
NBC itself is in a perfect position to do so, by refusing all advertising from beer manufacturers, fast-food retailers and junk food purveyors. Not to mention banning coverage of sporting events where these products are sold by concessionaires. Think they’ll do so?
If you didn't know this MSNBC meme by now, you live in a cave: Obama Held To Higher Standard On Gay Marriage Since He's Black.
But of course.
UPDATE: MSNBC contributor Keli Goff should take a gander at just who has an problem with gay marriage.
Newsarama has moved up its previous article of the Top Ten Avengers Villains to coincide with the blockbuster film. Here they are, along with my indespensible commentary:
10. TASKMASTER. He was created by Iron Man writer extraordinaire (and Delaware resident) David Michelinie.
9. KORVAC. One of the greatest "cosmic" story arcs of all-time, spectacularly scripted by Jim Shooter.
8. SCARLET WITCH. Ugh. She was recently made evil and trashed her own team. Give me a break. Terrible story, and terrible choice for #8.
7. NORMAN OSBORN. I didn't really follow the whole story which involved everything from "Civil War" to "Secret Invasion;" nevertheless, Osborn was killed way back in Amazing Spider-Man #122 anyway, so he's just another lame brought-back-to-life plot device for writers who've run out of actual ideas.
6. THANOS. Pay attention, Avengers neophytes! If you didn't know who that smiling dude was after the first set of credits in the Avengers film, well, now you know. Get ready for the sequel, natch.
5. KREE/SKRULLS. Always formidable enemies, the "Kree/Skrull War" from 1971 is widely considered to be one of Earth's Mightiest's greatest epics. ... possibly the greatest.
4. THE MASTERS OF EVIL. When they seized Avengers Mansion in the mid-80s, it quickly became one of the most memorable stories in the title's history.
3. LOKI. Worthy really only because he brought the team together in the first place -- way back in 1963 in the comics, and in 2012 in the kickin' feature film.
2. KANG. A tormentor of the team since issue #8, this time-traveler has been responsible for more Avengers distress than anyone. Save perhaps for ...
1. ULTRON. Originally created by Ant-Man/Giant-Man Hank Pym, this evil robot (above left) quickly rebelled and evolved itself into Ultron-5 and created the iconic soon-to-be-hero the Vision. Virtually impossible to kill (due to the "Ultron Imperative" implanted in whatever nearby computer tech), he perhaps most notably wiped out an entire European nation until a battle-weary Avengers finally managed to stop him.
The network has picked up the new sci-fi series, which
is described as an epic adventure thriller in which a family struggles to reunite in a post-apocalyptic American landscape: a world of empty cities, local militias and heroic freedom fighters, where every single piece of technology — computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights — has mysteriously blacked out … forever.
The article further notes that "all forms of energy mysteriously cease to exist." Which may cause you to ponder: There's no more wind? No more water? No more coal to dig up? No sun???
Yeesh. I can't wait to hear the "explanation" for this one.
For this week's non-Council article for the Watcher's Council vote I submitted "Don't Pick Up" by the Chronicle of Higher Education. This was before I read about the news that the publication axed one of its writers for, among other things, "causing distress" to some readers for daring to opine about the apparent mediocre academic aspects of Black Studies dissertations.
Here's how the Chronicle's editor, Liz McMillen, rationalized the firing:
We now agree that Ms. Riley's blog posting did not meet The Chronicle's basic editorial standards for reporting and fairness in opinion articles. . . .
Brainstorm writers were able to post independently; Ms. Riley's post was not reviewed until after it was posted. . . .
In addition, my Editor's Note last week inviting you to debate the posting also seemed to elevate it to the level of informed opinion, which it was not. . . .
I sincerely apologize for the distress these incidents have caused our readers and appreciate that so many of you have made your sentiments known to us.
By saying "we now agree ..." McMillen essentially admits that she buckled under to the complaints of the perpetually aggrieved -- usually academic "diversophiles" who, like Elizabeth Warren, view all of society through the lens of gender, ethnicity, and especially race. But most disturbing is the last sentence -- that McMillen feels the need to apologize for any "distress" the article may have caused anyone. Now, I wonder -- would the Chronicle have acted similarly if one of its writers opined positively about hackish programs such as these? Cheeyeah, don't bet on it. And just look at the titles of the dissertation titles that the fired Chronicle writer in question, Naomi Schaefer Riley, highlighted:
One is titled " 'So I Could Be Easeful': Black Women's Authoritative Knowledge on Childbirth." Another is a denunciation of blacks who deviate from the leftist party line: "conservatives like Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, John McWhorter, and others," in the words of the Chronicle's report. (We know McWhorter and would describe him as a man of the center left.) A third argues that "the subprime lending crisis . . . highlighted the profitability of racism in the housing market."
I wonder if the Chronicle would fire these dissertation writers (especially the latter two) for their distress-inducing screeds if they were employed by the publication.
Of course, I support the right of a private entity to hire or fire whomever they choose. However, higher education is supposed to be about a free exchange of ideas -- not an exchange of ideas that are "distress-free." If that were the standard, then the vast majority of humanities professors' jobs might be in jeopardy because their political views could cause "distress" to a majority of their captive student body. That is, if "progressive" higher education used a thing called "consistency." But as we all know very well by now, only ideas that cause "distress" to "historically aggrieved/oppressed" groups are subject to scrutiny and censorship.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Wilmington, Delaware, is ranked as the third "porniest" city in the entire country.
Men's Health derived the rankings based on the following criteria:
the number of DVDs purchased, rented, or streamed (AdultDVDEmpire.com); adult entertainment stores per city (StorErotica.net); rate of porn searches (Google Insights); and, for fans of soft-core, percentage of Cinemax-subscribing households (SimplyMap).
Well, as anyone could probably tell to you if they've traveled down the route 13/40 corridor, the adult store total is pretty high ...
As in this guy? Well, Sean Hannity said last night that he had him back on his radio show the following day and offered him a job ... which the OWSer promptly turned down. The reason? He does not want any job that doesn't pay between $80-$100,000.
I'm serious. This is what we're dealing with with this idiots.
Look what former Newsweek magazine chief Jon Meachum does to Bill Clinton's Obama web ad quote:
I take what President Clinton says in the ad seriously: “Look, he knew what would happen,” Clinton says of Obama. “Suppose the Navy SEALs had gone in there and it hadn’t been bin Laden? Suppose they had been captured or killed? The downside would have been horrible. But he reasoned, ‘I cannot in good conscience do nothing.’ He took the harder, more honorable path and the one that produced, in my opinion, the more honorable and best result.”
Note the bold text. The actual quote is "The downside would have been horrible for him" -- the "him" being Barack Obama. Now why would Meachum want to excise those words? Is it because they make Obama look like me-first "it's all about me" egomaniac? Of course! Aside from the idiocy of the ad implying that Mitt Romney wouldn't have done precisely what Obama did in ordering the OBL raid, these words epitomize our president. It's. All. About. Him. (Hilariously, the actual web ad appears in Meachum's article which includes Clinton's full sentence.)
And the mainstream media, like Meachum, will do all it can to make The One look as good as he can.
Be sure to check out Hans Bader's latest. Well worth the read.
Certainly not surprising that our own Wilmington News Journal isn't alone in omitting key characteristics from crime reports; it's almost like adding a racial category when certain politically correct situations warrant, like "white Hispanic," eh?
Be sure to check out the "physical descriptions" of the girls.
(h/t to Rhymes With Right.)
Y'know, I've read back through some of my past movie reviews and thought, "Does anyone really care what I think about them?" I hope some do, but I came to the conclusion that I don't think my opinion warrants a long, drawn-out verbose opinion piece. So, let's keep this short and simple!
SPOILERS BELOW THE FOLD!
The film is probably just what you'd expect: A lot of snarky one-liners, with attempts to give equal time to all of the main characters. Story takes a back seat to all-out action, but the story is good enough that you won't disappointed.
Robert Downey Jr. steals the show. By far the best actor of all the Marvel superhero characters, he doesn't disappoint. He's just like he was in Iron Man and Iron Man 2 -- showing off his brain power and snappy patter at every opportunity. And a new twist: Stark and Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) are an item now! Very cool.
Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) possibly stole the show. I read one review (can't find the link now) which stated Renner was sorely underutilized; I agree. His actions sequences, in my view, were hard to top. He truly epitomized what Hawkeye is ... and should be. Wow.
Joss Whedon knows his comics. The team was just what any Avengers-phile expects: A collection of egos which sometimes explode at the wrong times. How many issues of Earth's Mightiest have you read which show a few team members battling each other? Yep, quite a few. And the scuffle between Iron Man and Thor (and ultimately thwarted by Capt. America) exemplified that to a perfect tee. Whedon did a masterful job of giving each character his due, and the interactions between each was next to perfect. A little testosterone tension between Cap and Tony Stark? Yep. The Hulk and Thor? Done. Sexual tension between the Black Widow and Hawkeye? Sure.
The Chitauri were mere cannon fodder. This is a shame since in the comics (The Ultimates, actually) they actually had infiltrated Earth hundreds of years ago in their clandestine attempts to gain power here. They were shape-changers, essentially the Ultimate Universe Skrulls. In the film, the were reduced to Loki's lackeys, there merely for the Avengers to beat the crap out of. It worked, but for those who wanted a more in-depth story, it's disappointing.
There will be a sequel. You don't have to wait through all the closing credits to find this out; we see the defeated Chitauri all pissed off licking their wounds and verbally pontificating that Earth (and humans) are strong, not weak. When one of them mentions "death," we see a looming large character slowly turn his head and eerily smile -- Thanos. HOOO boy!
I'm not that big a fan of Sean Hannity, but he totally throttles this Occupy moron:
Her grandfather had high cheekbones. I'm not joking. Sadly, neither is she.
If the voters of Massachusetts vote this total lemon into office, I think I may just give up on humanity altogether.
Background on Warren is here.
The non-Council winner was City Journal/Joel Kotkin with The New Class Warfare.
Full results are here.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Delaware's new incoming secretary of education has a whole three years teaching experience ... in phys. ed.
Three. Years. And he's gonna be in charge of education. For the whole state.
I don't know if the word "unbelievable" is adequate enough.
So reports Spinoff Online:
First, word is that Leonard Nimoy will appear as Spock Prime, even though he’s supposedly retired from live-action acting (when he appeared on a recent Big Bang Theory episode, it was in a voiceover).
Next is one that a lot of people might expect, but the site asserts that Benedict Cumberbatch is in fact playing none other than Khan, a role he won after a powerful audition tape filmed in a kitchen. Rumors have swirled about Khan’s involvement in the sequel since it was announced, and gained momentum when Benicio del Toro was in the running to play the film’s bad guy. However, Abrams remained dodgy about the villain’s identity. TrekMovie’s sources insist the film’s story will not be a rehash of Khan’s first appearance in the “Space Seed” episode, but rather something entirely new.
No word on whether alternate/reboot Kirk Chris Pine will have a scene like this.