"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

Buy The Amazon Kindle Store Ebook Edition

Buy The Amazon Kindle Store Ebook Edition
Get the ebook edition here! (Click image.)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Heading Off To G-FEST XV!

I'll be heading off to G-FEST XV in Chicago (actually Rosemont, Illinois next to O'Hare International Airport) this coming Wednesday. I don't expect to get there until around 7:00 PM local time.

It will be interesting to fly during this energy crisis. What charges the airline (American Airlines) will be charging me for? How many check-in bags are allowed without charge? Any charge for carry-on? What's the charge for food and drinks? This'll be very interesting.

Wednesday will be generally free, although we'll be having the mini-film festival that day starting with Matango at 1:30, followed by Destroy All Monsters at 3:00. Then, a break for a few hours before Godzilla vs. Gigan at 7:00, which will be followed by Orochi, The Eight-Headed Dragon at 8:30. The only film I am particularly interested in seeing is Orochi, so maybe this time I will spend the day down in downtown Chicago. I've been to every G-FEST in Chicago since 2002 and never visited downtown or the waterfront of Chicago. Maybe this time I finally will (on clear days, one can see the Sears Tower in the distance from the hotel).

Friday is when the convention actually starts, so I'll be kept busy through Sunday.

Sunday's highlight for me is the awards luncheon where Haruo Nakajima will finally be awarded the Mangled Skyscraper Award for his career as a monster suit actor. This has been something I've been nagging "the powers that be" for the past several years.

It will be interesting to see and meet Don Frye (poor guy, he's almost been forgotten over the excitement of Nakajima's long-awaited return to G-FEST) from Godzilla Final Wars. Don Glut, last year's Mangled Skyscraper awardee and August Ragone, the author of Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters (if you haven't bought this book yet, you should) are also going to be on hand for the convention with their own sessions. August will gladly sign your copy. Great book, with lots of information and photos!

I'll be returning to Los Angeles on Monday, July 7 and reality. I will be bringing my laptop to the convention, primarily for downloading photos from my camera to clear out the data card and to assist one of sessions (sure hope my Power Point works).

See ya when I get back!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

G-FAN #84

G-FAN #84
Summer 2008 Issue Summary

by Armand Vaquer

G-FAN #84 is hitting mailboxes and newsstand shelves around the world. Here is a summary of some of the treats the issue contains:

News: Several items are noteworthy in the world of kaiju, including the passing of Akemi Negishi, the young mother from "King Kong vs. Godzilla."

G-Mail: Several pages of readers' comments are presented.

Roland Emmerich is put under Brett Homenick's interview microscope as Emmerich remembers his work on the TriStar "Godzilla" (1998).

Brett also interviews actor and voice-actor James Hong, superhero anime singer Ichiro Mizuki, actor Rhodes Reason (part two from G-FEST XIV), director and screenwriter Ib Melchior and gaijin actor Andy Smith.

A photo collection of director Jorg Buttgereit's visit to Japan while working on his latest monster documentary, "Monsterland." Buttgereit will continue filming this documentary at G-FEST XV this summer.

Friends & Foes of Godzilla continues with new artists.

Hugh Hefner's nightmare? Mike Bogue takes a retro review of hare-raising 1972 feature, "Night of the Lepus."

Kenju Shimomura presents a profile on special effects wizard, Shinji Higuchi.

Allen A. Debus tackles the changing nature of kaiju in prehistoric monster stories in "Prehistorical Daikaiju Evolution."

Rex Summeral returns in Part 2 of "Troubles With the Yurei of Kaiju" by Skip Peel.

Mike Bogue and Todd Tennant present Part 2 of "Tales of King Komodo."

Steve Agin reports on the latest monster toys (perhaps some can be found at G-FEST XV's Dealers Room) in "All Monster Toys Attack!"

A report by Armand Vaquer on Atomic Comics' "Godzillafest" held in April in Phoenix, Arizona titled, "Godzilla In The Desert."

All the above can be found and more. That's it until the Fall, 2008 issue (#85).

2nd Amendment Victory!


2nd Amendment Victory! Finally there's a Supreme Court decision that I enthusiastically support. I also agree with the decision concerning the death penalty involving the raping of a child, only because the crime does not fit the punishment.

But the decision today supporting gun owners' rights to keep and bear arms was one I can rejoice over. But I should note, while this is a great decision, there were four justices who dissented with the position that the 2nd Amendment isn't an individual right. That is why it is so important that the Constitution be protected by judges who are strict constructionists. This is also a reminder that liberals should not be put into the position to appoint judges.

Breyer, Ginzburg, Souter and Stevens, all liberals, dissented.

The decision was written by Justice Antonin Scalia and it is unambiguous and written in a way that anyone can understand.

WASHINGTON (Associated Press) — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by "the historical narrative" both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Obama and the Bradley Effect

Obama Smoking

The Obama presidential campaign crowed over a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll that shows Obama with a 12% lead over Senator John McCain.

But before the Obamanation counts their chickens before they hatch, one must remember the 1982 campaign of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African-American Democrat, when he ran for California Governor against George Deukmejian.

Many late polls showed Bradley leading Deukmejian. However, on election day, Bradley was unexpectedly defeated. This defeat came after voters told pollsters that they preferred the black candidate.

In this year's California Primary, Obama lost by a landslide 10 percentage points after a late survey showed him ahead by 13 points and other polls gave him a smaller lead. They began to fear that The Bradley Effect had resurfaced.

Now we are seeing Obama with leads over McCain, but before the Obama partisans begin measuring the White House draperies, they need to remember that polls involving major black candidates, considered shoo-ins, have a tendency to be badly in error.

Should this happen again, Obama's chickens would be (as his former pastor said) coming home to roost.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Selling of the Messiah

Obama progress

The so-called impartial media has chosen sides in the presidential campaign. They've given Obama a pass on a whole host of issues and they've also ignored how the graphics the Obama campaign resembles old communist propaganda posters. Here's an interesting article comparing them.


Feel free to pass the link on.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The "Great Seal" of Obama

The "Great Seal" of Obama was unveiled by the campaign and then promptly pulled as it received a lot of derision (even some from his own campaign). But, once the toothpaste is out of the tube, it's very hard to get it back in again.

Great Seal of the Messiah

For some reason, it reminds me of Charlie Chaplin's parody of Adolph Hitler in the classic The Great Dictator.

Great Dictator

Barack Obama: a four-star phoney

Empty Suit

Senator Barack Obama gave a fundraising speech before 600 Democrat fat-cats where attendees paid between $500 and $2,300 to Barack Obama for America. He spoke for around twenty minutes to his disciples and point out the difference in issues between his and John McCain's views surrounding the economy, health care, the war, and his political philosophy.

Then he injected a discordant note, “Most of all we can choose between hope and fear. It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy. We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid. They’re going to try to make you afraid of me.” The day before, he told reporters that Republican 527 groups will run negative ads during the election. Funny thing, there are no Republican 527 groups (in comparison to the ones the liberals have).

The Obama claimed that the Republicans’ message bring up the his race. “He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black? He’s got a feisty wife,” Obama told a cheering crowd.

“We know the strategy because they’ve already shown their cards. Ultimately I think the American people recognize that old stuff hasn’t moved us forward. That old stuff just divides us,” he proclaimed.

This is all from a guy who claims that he's a "uniter, not a divider." The interesting thing about this is that the only people who even mentioned his race were fellow Democrats and himself. Former President Bill Clinton complained that Obama injected "the race card" prior to the North Carolina primary and he saw the documentation proving his claim that the Obama camp planned to do this.

This so-called "uniter" is nothing but a four-star phoney. It is true that the GOP campaign will bring up the fact that he is inexperienced. That is fair game! He
is inexperienced and has no accomplishments under his belt and never managed anything in his life. And he expects people to elect him to run the biggest superpower in the world?!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Always: Sunset on Third Street 2

Always 2

Always: Sunset on Third Street 2

Always: Sunset On Third Street 2 is a pleasant movie follow-up to the 2005 hit released by Toho Co., Ltd. It is based on the manga by Ryohei Saigan.

Set in 1959 Tokyo, the movie continues the story of Ryunosuke Chagawa, a struggling writer who suffers from writer's block. He is the guardian of Junnosuke Furuyuki whose birth father (a very rich man) wants to take custody of his son, but Junnosuke is very happy living with Chagawa. The theme of their story is that love is more important than money. It is also the story of his undying love for Hiromi, a burlesque dancer who performs as "Betty."

The movie also is about the Norifumi Suzuki family, who lives across the street from Chagawa. Suzuki runs an auto repair shop and his wife Tomoe is the family's moral backbone. They take in niece Mika, an ill-mannered and spoiled rich kid whose father's business went bankrupt. It is a jarring change for her go from her former wealthy lifestyle to life with an auto mechanic's family. Eventually, she adjusts and learns to like her second cousin Ippei (and vice-versa).

The movie is generally a light comedy but also has a lot of pathos as the different characters struggle with life's situations. Chagawa falls victim to some con artists who prey on his desperation to win a prestigious literary prize. Just when it seems that all hope is lost for a happy ending, the movie pulls out some happy resolutions. Some may fault the movie for being overly optimistic (the line, "if you work hard, good things will happen to you" is repeatedly spoken), but it is a nice diversion.

All this takes place in a working-class Tokyo neighborhood under the shadow of Tokyo Tower.

A CGI Godzilla makes an cameo at the beginning of the movie following a "TohoScope" logo card. The special effects department did a great job in capturing the look of 1950s Tokyo, complete with streetcars.

The movie has been released on DVD-Region 2.

My grade: A-.

The Players:

Shin’ichi Tsutsumi - Norifumi Suzuki
Hiroko Yakushimaru - Tomoe Suzuki
Kazuki Koshimizu - Ippei Suzuki
Maki Horikita - Mutsuko Hoshino
Hidetaka Yoshioka - Ryunosuke Chagawa
Kenta Suga - Junnosuke Furuyuki
Koyuki - Hiromi Ishizaki
Fumiyo Kohinata - Yasunari Kawabuchi
Tomokazu Miura - Dr. Takuma
Masako Motai - Kin Ohta (called "Granny")

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bill Ayres and Barack Obama

There's a new book out, "The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate" by George Marlin which should be an interesting read. For a review of the book, here's a link: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=26432.

Why is this here? Marlin was interviewed today by Hugh Hewitt and he mentioned that he interviewed Bill Ayres (the unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist connected to Obama). He was also unrepentant when Marlin interviewed him (about 2-3 years ago) for about two hours for the book.

He also has the tapes of his Ayres interviews. Those may be released before November. This should be very interesting!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Remember the polar bear when you buy gas!

Remember the polar bear when you buy gas! Before the Bush Administration unwisely declared the polar bear an "endangered species," they were warned that doing so would give the environmental extreme fringe an opening to cause further mischief. Sure enough, an environmental extremist group has indicated that a lawsuit will be coming.

Talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, an environment attorney, has posted this interesting article on this upcoming lawsuit. The link is here:

Hugh Hewitt's Townhall

Remember this each time you buy gasoline.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Audacity of the Democrats

From Americanthinker.com

June 07, 2008

The Audacity of the Democrats

By Rocco DiPippo

There was a pre-Lewinsky time, before moral relativism blurred America's vision, when associating with people like Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers would have automatically excluded someone from attaining the highest office in the land. Back then, anyone with well known connections to such America-averse personalities would have been rejected by a super-majority of the electorate during primary season and almost certainly blocked by the Democratic Party before they could have gotten to within a mile of the White House. But those days -- when patriotic, true liberals like Joe Lieberman were considered typical Democratic Party politicians -- are gone. Now politicians like Lieberman are banished to the Party's periphery and leftists, not liberals, like Denis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders, Jim McDermott, John Kerry, (who served in Vietnam), Jim McGovern, Patrick Leahy, Richard Durbin, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have replaced them.

Until recently in our history, a President Barack Obama would have been an impossibility. But given the political and ideological climate that exists today in America, the ascension of a leftist like Barack Obama into presidential politics makes perfect sense. Beliefs like domestic terrorist William Ayers's and racist, anti-US preacher Jeremiah Wright's are no longer met with utter scorn or a trip to behind the woodshed, but are embraced, promoted and defended by many Americans. Think MoveOn, International ANSWER, think hordes of young neo-communists and their indoctrinating, puppet-master Marx-spouting professors. Think Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchill and his acolytes. Think NYU, Columbia, The New School and Harvard. Most importantly, ponder the makeup and direction of the Democratic Party leadership. Like Barack Obama and his radical friends, it is appallingly far Left.

Ideological descendants of Marx and Rousseau now lead the Democratic Party and they have turned it into a disloyal opposition to an increasingly accommodating GOP. They have molded the Party into a force working stridently and unashamedly against a Commander in Chief during wartime. They have made it a den of treachery devoted to American defeat in Iraq. They preside over an institution advised and influenced by moneyed, non-governmental groups and individuals with unquestionably anti-US agendas who help make the Party a pseudo-intellectual sinkhole filled with perverse, tried-and-failed ideas repulsive to the majority of Americans. Those ideas are shaped into agendas which are then forced on the public by an activist leftwing judiciary and by a major media and arts consortium shot through with utter disrespect, indeed contempt, for traditional American values, religions and institutions.

The Democratic Party has devolved into a club for the illegitimately aggrieved, the self-absorbed, the self-hating and the perpetually pissed-off. It is a sanctuary where solipsistic malcontents and their disjointed causes find refuge and support. It has long ceased being an earnest gathering of broad minds where man's timeless problems are examined against the backdrop of the Constitution and solutions to them proposed based on the actual realities of the human condition. It is now the political province of the intellectually deceased, where frightened, lock-step ideologues and other small men and women concoct and promote divisive, destructive, weird and cowardly policies developed within a not-so-quaint, quasi-Marxist stricture of gender, class and race.

So what does all of that have to do with the propulsion of Barack Obama to within a whisker of the Presidency? Everything. It could not have happened without the existence of a substantial, organized, internal anti-US Left and the approval and guidance of the Democratic leadership I describe. Obama is in step with that radical element and with that leadership. His views reflect their views, and he is now a central figure in the deceptive, destructive strategy to restore the Democrats to power, a strategy that has been in play since the US Supreme Court declared Albert Gore the loser of the 2000 presidential contest. "Don't call me a liberal," says Obama. In a precise, lawyerly sort of way he is being honest - he truly isn't a liberal, but he is a leftist.

At a glance, Obama's quick rise in the world of presidential politics is puzzling. His background, including his personal and political associations, is antithetical to the historical stature of the American presidency. It could also be said that given his non-traditional upbringing, his schooling in radical politics and his seeming preference for friends and mentors who view America disdainfully, he is antithetical to the traditional American Experience itself. Obama is young and he has less than one Senate term under his belt. Neither quality is particularly presidential. Questions of patriotism dog him, as do questions about his religious and ethnic heritage. Many of the people who tutored and supported him through his personal and political journeys from the backwaters of Indonesia to the main stage of US presidential politics are contemptuous of the US. Some of them publicly express outright hatred of the country Obama now seeks to lead.

So why is so controversial a candidate even in the running to be president?

Because he reflects his Party's leftist agenda, has unique, prodigious manipulative talents and equally impressive Hollywood attributes. These are indispensable in closing out the dangerous, deliberate game the Democrats have been playing with America's security and its perceived stature in the world. It is a game that has been going on beneath our noses since the election of 2000. Its object is simple: the acquisition of power regardless of cost to the Nation. It is something the American people must be reminded of, made aware of, before they enter the voting booth in November.

A strategy of contention vs. the risk of irrelevance

The opening event setting the stage for Obama's ascension was the contentious 2000 election. When Bush was declared its winner, Democrats fumed that the election had been stolen by the Republicans. The promotion of that canard within leftwing and media circles and the personal quality of the resentment of Bush it provoked within the Democratic Party is important to mention, since a similar canard that morphed from it and became popularized -- "Bush Stole the Election," -- became the base justification for the future blizzard of untruths used to disparage the President. It also provided justification for the widespread disrespect and abuse President Bush endures to this day, disrespect that would be far more deserved if he had indeed illegally assumed power.

Less than a year after the 2000 election was finalized, September 11, 2001 arrived. In the baleful blink of a jihadist's eye, most of the issues that normally occupy the American polity in peaceful times were swept off the table. Issues that normally help Americans differentiate between the two major political parties and define those party's respective agendas -- health care, taxes, the environment, social programs and civil rights -- took a far-distant back seat to two far more pressing matters: Exacting justice for the 911 atrocities and protecting the homeland from additional attacks.

Since the American electorate historically views Republicans as being more competent and trustworthy than Democrats in matters of war and security, and since all other issues that Democrats could normally use to make political hay with had been blasted off the table by 911, the Party was facing the threat of irrelevance. There was another factor that did not bode well for the future political fortunes of the Democratic Party in the wake of the 911 attacks: George W. Bush had become an extraordinarily popular president.

Whatever patriotism was stoked within the hearts of Democratic Party leaders by that September Day of Infamy was likely tempered by an unsettling reality: If America stayed united behind George W. Bush and the Republicans during the coming military response to 911, the Democratic Party would be out of power for a long time.

As the wreckage of the Towers was being scoured for the remains of the murdered, the Democratic Party faced an extended stay in the political wilderness. It must have been an extraordinarily bitter pill to swallow, especially on the heels of its having lost the presidency by a tattered handful of contested votes. As things stood, Democrat prospects for winning it back anytime soon looked grim. Americans did not switch horses in the middle of a war -- unless they perceived a war to be headed towards defeat. This was especially true after the 911 attacks. The Democratic Party, with its conflict-averse, Vietnam-era mentality would be naturally unattractive to a war-time electorate seeking vengeance for the mass murder of its brothers and sisters. Pragmatically speaking, the only hope the Party had then, in terms of making inroads with post-911 American voters, rested on a single option: overlaying the US military response to 911 with a template -- the rhetoric, look and feel of the Vietnam debacle of years earlier, portraying those directing and supporting the war and those fighting it on the ground, as corrupt, inept and malevolent.

As the Democrats weighed their narrow, post-911 political options and saw a grim future, at least a few of them might have considered Jimmy Carter's triumph on the heels of Vietnam and Watergate, and felt a flicker of hope.

A Vietnam strategy develops

Soon after 911, as America shifted into a wartime footing, leftists in academia and in the Legal Left began testing the waters of dissent by deconstructing Bush and the Republicans and blaming American foreign policy for the 911 attacks. Several professors at major Universities openly proclaimed their wishes to see America defeated and disgraced. One of them, Professor Nicholas DeGenova of Columbia University, announced to those attending a ‘peace' conference at the school shortly after the 911 attacks that he "wished for a million Mogadishus," a reference to the loss of 18 US serviceman during a mission to capture a warlord in Somalia in 1997. DeGenova also said, "the only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military," and referred to patriotism as a form of white supremacism adding that "My rejection of U.S. nationalism is an appeal to liberate our own political imaginations such that we might usher in a radically different world in which we will not remain the prisoners of U.S. global domination." Since DeGenova is an American collecting an excellent salary at a prestigious American university, it is puzzling who he meant by "we."

When the Democratic Party joined the academic Left's undermining of the Administration's military response to 911, a lethargic Republican public relations machine and inarticulate President were no match for the polish and reach of the influential leftwing media assisting the Democrats. Within months of 911 the Party and its media assistants began manufacturing anti-Bush, antiwar propaganda with impunity. Prominent leftwing intellectuals spoke openly of America's culpability in the 911 disaster even as the Towers still smoldered and the Nation wept, sowing seeds of doubt and divisiveness amongst a population that had been traumatized and then unified by the terrorist attacks. The press began chipping, then hammering away at the Administration's war policies and its domestic policies regarding security. When the debate on whether or not to invade Iraq came, there was no doubt which side of the discussion the press -- and most of the Democrats -- would be on.

Predictably, the historically anti-US, European socialist Left closed ranks with the Democrats and the academic Left. It also fell in line with the neo-communist-organized antiwar movement in America that was taking shape. With the first wave of antiwar street protests, the Democratic Party's mission to reacquire power lurched into high gear. That mission would be accomplished at the risk of weakening America's security and at the expense of her standing in the world.

Shortly after the US invaded Iraq, Party leaders and their friends in the media started kidney-punching America, pounding away at the wartime president, deriding his administrators and his policies, harping on and grossly magnifying each setback in Iraq.

On the home front, every Bush policy designed to protect America from further attacks was framed and presented by Democratic Party leaders and leftwing 527 groups as direct assaults on the US Constitution and as being destructive to the Bill of Rights. The press followed the Party's antagonistic lead, flooding the news with disproportionate coverage of subjects like Abu Ghraib, Haditha, US so-called torture and rendition; so-called domestic spying; the so-called rights of terrorists in Guantanamo; the so-called evils of the Patriot Act; the so-called lies of George W. Bush; the so-called warmongering of Dick Cheney and the so-called greed and evil of defense-related corporations like Halliburton.

The effect was to frame isolated incidents of US atrocities and other malfeasances that occur in any war as emblematic of the entire Iraq enterprise. A narrative of an administration hell-bent on imperialistic conquest, spying on Americans and shredding the Constitution concretized within most American and international newsrooms. And who can forget the endemic, Left-generated conflation of the Bush Administration with the Nazis and the invention and promotion of theories that Bush and Cheney planned and directed the attacks of 911 to advance a secret desire of turning America into a fascist state. Those theories were boosted by prominent leftists, including respected author Gore Vidal, who wrote a book promoting such a theory. The collective message of the anti-Bush noise machine was clear and diabolical: The President of the United States was a bigger threat to world peace than men like Osama Bin Laden were. Bush was more evil than Adolf Hitler.

The withering attacks on the Bush Administration took their toll. Bush was slowly becoming a pariah, even within his own political party. His approval ratings, burdened by the vicious attacks on his character and constant attacks on his war policies, sank like a stone.

By the 2004 election, the Democrats' strategy of throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Bush was poised to render results. But a lackluster campaign by a wooden candidate, John Kerry, and serious attacks on Kerry's credibility and patriotism by 250 decorated war veterans caused the Party's presidential effort to fail, but just barely.

In spite of that loss, or perhaps buoyed by the closeness of it, the Democrat assault on America's President and on America's war-time morale intensified as the 2006 congressional elections approached. Efforts to stabilize a post-Saddam Iraq were sputtering and support for Bush and Republican politicians sagged in direct proportion to every real, over-reported and media invented setback there.

It is common knowledge, supported by history, that war is fraught with uncertainties and surprises that cannot always be planned in advance for. It is the side in a conflict that best adapts and adjusts in response to those vagaries that usually wins. The slaughter of 5,000 US soldiers at Omaha beach in a single day during WWII was not trumpeted by the US media to America and to the world as evidence of imminent US defeat against the Nazis, nor did US politicians of that era cry for withdrawal from the larger battle when disasters like Omaha Beach and Corregidor happened. They did not publicize enemy successes during the vicious battles of Guadalcanal nor did they pronounce defeat whenever Americans suffered setbacks while fighting the fanatical Japanese. But throughout every phase of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts nearly every negative event, every disaster or perceived disaster, exploded across the front pages of the major US papers and was broadcast by Democrats from the halls of Congress as evidence of Bush's malevolence, stupidity or incompetence and as evidence of impending American defeat. Michael Yon, the Iraq conflict's Ernie Pyle, best sums up the result of that grinding media assault on the Iraq War and its American leaders:

"Enemy dominance of the media battle space translated quite directly into military setbacks. Terrorists from many countries swarmed into Iraq to be part of the victory they saw happening on the TV screens."

Deliberately or not, the Democratic Party and the leftwing media, with their endless criticisms of the Iraq conflict, and their endless public comparisons of that war to Vietnam, sent a direct message to the rag-tag army of ultra-violent terrorists in Iraq who were detonating car bombs in crowded marketplaces, beheading and mutilating civilians and killing American and Coalition soldiers: "Keep the violence up just a bit longer. We'll take care of wearing down America's will to win from within, just like during Vietnam."

Even violent, under-equipped sociopaths facing the most powerful military on earth know a gift horse when they see one, and react accordingly.

On the other hand, nearly every bit of positive war news was whispered in quiet sentences or totally ignored. Today, with the Iraq venture steadily closing in on success, the amount of news about Iraq has slowed to barely a drip. That is quite telling.

Under the deliberate, massive media barrage of negative news about the war and hampered by a lack of coherent strategy with which to counter it, Republican prospects for the retention of Congressional majorities in 2006 looked shaky at best. Then the Congressman Larry Craig sex scandal broke and the Republican majorities in the House and Senate were lost.

In less than five years, the Democratic Party had gone from being an increasingly irrelevant political minority to controlling both houses of Congress.

A Strategy Emboldened

Buoyed by the 2006 election success of their Vietnam-era strategy, Democrat leaders and other leftists began openly calling Iraq an ‘unjust' war, an "unwinnable" war and relying on the short memories of most Americans to hide the fact that many prominent Democrats had actually voted to authorize it. Jesse Macbeth, Jimmy Massey, Scott Beauchamp and other antiwar frauds who admitted faking tales of atrocities committed by US soldiers were praised by the press and the Democrats as heroic dissenters against the evil Bush war machine, their false tales of butchery and bloodlust spread far and wide. Widespread, positive coverage was given to antiwar, anti-American, pro-terrorist activists like Cindy Sheehan, who was sanctimoniously christened America's "Peace Mom" by leading Democrats and the leftwing media, while true American heroes, patriots like Paul R. Smith and Jason L. Dunham, both Medal of Honor winners, both killed in the act of protecting America from her enemies, received virtual media silence for their heroism and sacrifice and little public acknowledgment from Democrat politicians.

The press and the Democrats did however publicly acknowledge American soldiers when they were killed, when they spun tales of atrocities, when they groused or when they returned home and fell through the cracks. They wanted Americans to be ashamed of their soldiers, to be ashamed of the Commander-in-Chief, to be ashamed of America itself. They needed America on its knees -- disillusioned, angry at its leaders and their policies -- hopeless, sick of hearing about the war and demoralized because then, out of desperation, they would naturally look to Democratic politicians for relief.

The technique of creating discontent and "talking all things Bush down" paid big dividends for the Democrats in 2006. Devoid of credible ideas and solutions, they had nevertheless worked a strategy leading to the re-acquisition of at least some of the political power they had lost during their wilderness years after the Reagan Revolution. The 2006 election confirmed the effectiveness of their "destroy Bush" election strategy. And so the Democratic Party's attacks on Bush and the Republicans increased to a ferocious level, even as Iraq turned a corner towards security and political stability.

When to the Party's dismay the Bush troop surge took hold and the situation in Iraq began improving, the Democrats' defeatist rhetoric reached a desperate, farcical crescendo: "The war is lost," (even though objective measurements indicated that it was being won) crowed many Democrats, including prominent ones like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha, Edward Kennedy, John Kerry and Barack Obama. Prominent Democrat John Murtha publicly tried and convicted US Marines involved in the Haditha incident before those Marines even went to trial. "Bush lied us into war" became the catch-phrase of almost the entire Democratic Party leadership, even though before the war had commenced many of those same Democrats had access to the same information that the Bush Administration used to justify it.

Power at any cost indeed, even at the defeat and humiliation of one's own country.


Now the 2008 election is upon us. Whether it is Iraq or Afghanistan, the economy or the overblown dangers of anthropogenic global warming, the Democratic Party and its media shills continue crafting and pounding home messages telling us that our national problems, real and imagined, are caused by Bush and the Republicans, They tell us that due to Bush and his policies, our nation is an evil one, our nation is hated by the world, our nation is fractured into pieces, our nation is murdering innocents, our nation is the world's biggest polluter, our nation is a den of racism, our nation is stingy, our citizens are impoverished, our economy has been destroyed. Collectively, this endless stream of buckshot propaganda adds up to a single, powerful and demoralizing statement: America has come apart at the seams - and George W. Bush and the Republicans are to blame for it.

Though the Democrats and their media shills are responsible for creating that illusion, Bush and the Republicans are to blame for generally ignoring or responding weakly to the Left's relentless assault on America's war-time morale. Instead of using the power of the White House pulpit to broadcast a steady, convincing message on the importance of presenting a unified national front in the face of totalitarian Islam, America is instead often treated to incongruous platitudes like, "Islam is a religion of peace." Instead of a forceful, direct calling-out of the Democratic Party, the State Department and CIA on their numerous subversions of Bush policies, those subversions are usually referred to by the White House as "disagreements."

Because of the Administration's seeming refusal to conduct investigations leading to the indictment of those leaking classified security information to the press, and thereby to the enemy, the Democrat-leftwing press consortium has been given implied consent to inundate America with torrents of articles and highly publicized tell-all books from former government officials, some revealing sensitive war-time information, most of them highly critical of America's Commander-in-Chief -- all published while American soldiers and civilians were, (and are), on the ground in combat areas, directly in harm's way.

With the exception of the Vietnam War, never before in America's history have such things happened while hostilities were ongoing. And what happened during Vietnam was tame in comparison. Worst of all, due to the subversive Democrat-media barrage, and crippled by its public relations ineptness, Bush and the Republicans could never quite convince the American people of a simple reality: that they are all in the fight of their lives against an implacable, dedicated, totalitarian death cult, one seeking nothing less than America's utter destruction, and that the fight demands focus and sacrifice from all Americans. Instead of rousing, convincing, patriotic speeches, the public was usually treated to lame utterances from Bush like, "Its hard work . . . we're working hard . . . we're making progress."

The end result of the inability of Bush and his PR team to own and promote the Big Ideas necessary to have focused America on the prize of victory in Iraq and on a greater victory over the worldwide forces of totalitarian Islam, is best summed up by three, short sentences written on a whiteboard in a US Marines barracks:

America is not at war.

The Marine Corp is at war.

America is at the mall.


It is no wonder the American electorate has slipped into a foul mood -- little wonder why it seems that its heart is not in the fight against the totalitarian theocrats who threaten it. For seven years Americans have been pounded with messages that their country and its leaders are unjust, warmongering, and evil and hated by all -- it deserves whatever evil it gets.

America now has serious doubts about itself. Its citizens have been pummeled with those terrible messages for so long now, that many of them believe them to be true. They are vulnerable to the Democratic Party's sudden mantra of Hope and Change and Progress. In a nutshell, here are the mechanics of the crude, hate-based initiative the Democratic Party and its media wing have forced on America since 2001:

1) Invent, inflate, and over-report bad war news. Tie all bad news to Bush and/or Republicans. At the same time, ignore or downplay good news as it relates to Bush, the Republicans or the war(s).

2) Create the illusion of widespread, honest dissent to Bush policies by giving plenty of airtime to leftwing groups and individuals historically antagonistic toward the projection of US, and only US, power. Fail to report the true agendas of those groups -- when covering antiwar, anti-Bush protests and events, make sure to meticulously portray antiwar marches as spontaneous gatherings of mainstream, mom and pop Americans.

3) Downplay, ignore and disparage American success wherever you find it.

4) Exalt in, sympathize with and mythologize America's enemies, vilify and deconstruct its protectors.

5) Downplay America's generosity and righteousness. Recast a mission that includes saving a nation from a murdering brute and his rapist, sociopath sons as a brutal occupation in the pursuit of American Empire.

6) Fill the Nation's airwaves, from sea to shining sea, with questionable and sometimes outright false tales of Bush-related misery, butchery, fraud and waste.

7) Foment as much national anxiety and hatred of the Republican leader as money and can buy. George Soros and other moneyed leftists will fund you. Give airtime and print coverage to leftist radicals and Democrats who call Bush a war criminal. Present those radicals and their crazy plans to try President Bush and Vice President Cheney for "war crimes" as worthy of consideration.

8) Provide coverage to leftwing intellectuals and scientists making anti-Bush statements. Present them as legitimate, non-partisan experts in their fields. Publicize their specious, politicized findings, present those findings as non-partisan, accurate and objective.

9) Present major news coverage of every antiwar protest you can find, whether it draws 100 people or 10,000 people, ignore all pro-US, pro-Iraq War, pro-troop rallies completely or portray their attendees as violence-prone, fringe-lunatic jingoists.

10) Blame a hurricane's aftermath on Bush. Give news coverage to racists and Democrat crackpots who say Bush and Cheney actually caused the hurricane and blew up levees to kill African Americans. Keep that Bush-hate buzz alive at all costs.

11) Give airtime and print coverage to groups and individuals accusing George W. Bush of having engineered and directed the 911 attacks. Remember, it is not the credibility of accusations that count in shaping public opinion now, but the seriousness and sheer volume of accusations that do.

12) To sow further strife, anxiety and confusion, continue stoking the fires of racial tension and class warfare.

13) Once the onslaught of lies, moral relativisms and crazy notions have created a self-sustaining, luciferous, widespread unhappiness and confusion, dangle a fat bait of silence and tranquility -- of Hope, Change and Progress -- crowning your deceptive achievement by hooking the same fish you made hungry.

That is the immoral, destructive strategy used by the Democratic Party, even as our soldier sons and daughters have been fighting and sometimes dying to protect us, in the years since 911 to recapture power it unjustly covets as its Divine right.

Now, a master psychological fisherman, Barack Obama, dangles a bait of salvation. As a highly experienced practitioner of Saul Alinsky's radical arts, he is perfect for the job. Those who know Obama well, like Mike Kruglik, who helped train him in Alinsky's methods would agree:

"He [Obama] was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation. . . As with the panhandler, he could be aggressive and confrontational. With probing, sometimes personal questions, he would pinpoint the source of pain in their lives, tearing down their egos just enough before dangling a carrot of hope that they could make things better."

It is truly audacious of the Democrats to entice us with their slick-tongued messiah, one who appears out of nowhere and graciously offers to scrape clean and sanitize the same plate of defeat he, his party and their assistants in the media served to America for nearly eight years in the middle of a war. Soon we will see if a majority of the American electorate accepts that offer, or if it rejects it, sending the Democratic Party back to confront the same irrelevance it risked the safety and security of our nation to avoid.

Rocco DiPippo, an American Thinker contributor, spent time in Iraq as a civilian contractor. He currently lives throughout the Middle East.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Citizens for McCain

From John McCain.com

To: Fellow McCain Supporters

From: Senator Joe Lieberman

Date: June 5th, 2008

Today, I asked Senator McCain if I could create and chair a new grassroots organization, "Citizens for McCain."

Citizens for McCain is an organization within the McCain campaign for people who put country before political party and support the candidate for President who has a proven record of bipartisanship.

As you know, I caucus with the Democrats as a United States Senator and was the Democrat Party's nominee for Vice-President of the United States against President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

But first and foremost, I am an American. I have an obligation to do what I think is best for our nation regardless of political party. My love for this country and strong belief in John McCain's character, judgment, and willingness to work with leaders of both parties has convinced me to support him for President.

I have worked with John McCain for many years in the U.S. Senate and know from experience that he can unite Democrats, Republicans and Independents like no one else in this country. He did it in the United States Senate and he can do it as President of the United States.

But we need help from McCain supporters such as you to reach out to Americans who are not currently involved in the campaign. Will you help us by recruiting your friends, family, and co-workers who may not consider themselves members of the Republican Party and ask them to join the Citizens for McCain organization?

I am confident we will find many Democrats and Independents who, like John McCain and me, put country before political party and will support a leader with a real record of bipartisanship.

Time and time again John McCain has put his country first. He refused early release when he was held captive in Vietnam. He continued to put his country first as a national leader in the U.S. Senate. He put country before party when he fought to pass campaign finance reform, sought a bi-partisan solution to the immigration problem, and consistently supported pro-environment policies. His courage to stand up to the failed Iraq war plan of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and lead the fight for a new strategy in Iraq will go down in history, and it saved American lives. These were not always the easy things to do. In fact, they were usually very difficult, and often threatened his political career. But John McCain did what was right.

He said it best in his speech in New Orleans on Tuesday night:

"(The American people) know I have a long record of bipartisan problem solving. They've seen me put our country before any President -- before any party -- before any special interest -- before my own interest. They might think me an imperfect servant of our country, which I surely am. But I am her servant first, last and always."

The phones at the campaign headquarters have been ringing with disaffected Democrats calling to say they believe Senator McCain has the experience, judgment, and bipartisanship necessary to lead our country in these difficult times. Many of these supporters are former supporters of Senator Clinton.

Senator McCain has had a very good working relationship with Senator Clinton and will continue to do so in the future. In the same New Orleans speech he said:

"Senator Clinton has earned great respect for her tenacity and courage. The media often overlooked how compassionately she spoke to the concerns and dreams of millions of Americans, and she deserves a lot more appreciation than she sometimes received. As the father of three daughters, I owe her a debt for inspiring millions of women to believe there is no opportunity in this great country beyond their reach. I am proud to call her my friend."

I am proud to call John McCain my friend and ask you to help our friend become the next President of the United States.

Please forward this email to your lists today and ask your friends, family, and coworkers who do not consider themselves Republicans to join me in filling out the Citizens for McCain form today.

Thank you for your willingness to help me expand this new organization. Together, we will make history.

Friday, June 6, 2008


G-FEST XV is less than a month away. It is expected to be one of the biggest G-FESTS as we have the original Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima attending and who will be receiving this year's "Mangled Skyscraper Award." This will most likely be the last time Mr. Nakajima will attend a North American convention. So don't miss out on this opportunity!

We are also pleased to have Don Frye from "Godzilla Final Wars." Joining Mr. Nakajima and Mr. Frye will be Robert Scott Field ("Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah"), writer/producer Don Glut (who received last year's "Mangled Skyscraper Award") and author/tokusatsu expert August Ragone. Mr. Ragone will be available at the Clawmark Toys booth in the dealers room to sign your copy of his new book: "Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters." If you don't have a copy, you can buy them at the convention!

We are very pleased to present the North American theatrical premiere of "Godzilla vs. Biollante." This screening is exclusive to registered G-FEST attendees only! We will also be screening "Godzilla x Mechagodzilla" (2002), "Attack of the Mushroom People" ("Matango"), "Orochi, The Eight-Headed Dragon," "Godzilla vs. Gigan" (Nakajima's last Godzilla appearance), and "Destroy All Monsters." The last four movies will be screened in a special mini-film festival on July 3. All movies will be screened at the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, Illinois.

The convention sessions will begin on Friday, July 4 at the Crowne Plaza O'Hare International Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois. The hotel is conveniently located near the Chicago O'Hare Airport. Shuttle bus service is available through the hotel to and from the airport. The convention will wrap-up on Sunday, July 6. Mr. Nakajima will be receiving the "Mangled Skyscraper Award" at the awards banquet on Sunday.

Video gaming, Godzilla Jeopardy, Minya's Room (for small-fry), a giant dealers room, costume contest and parade, video contests and many sessions are the highlights of the convention.

For more information on G-FEST XV, be sure to go to www.g-fan.com. Don't miss out on a very special convention!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Obama: Messiah Complex

(Picture credit: DoublePlusUndead)

It was interesting to see the reaction to Barack Obama's clinching of the Democratic presidential nomination. Supporters and media talking heads were practically gushing that this win was akin to the Second Coming of Christ, resulting in the resurgence of the "Messiah Complex" issue.

This cult of personality is dangerous. Adolph Hitler had a personality cult thing going for him when he rose to power in post-World War I Germany. We know how historically disasterous that turned out to be.

Before the flap over Rev. Wright's racist remarks, Obama had the press deeply in his pocket. One NBC reporter admitted that his legs tingled when hearing Obama speak. MSNBC's Chris Matthews swooned, "This is bigger than Kennedy. Obama comes along, and he seems to have the answers. This is the new testament." (Nothing like an impartial press, eh?) I never agreed much with Bill Clinton, but when he said that Obama was getting favored treatment by the press in comparison to what Hillary was receiving, I think he had a valid point. But after the Wright flap, many have found that there was not much in the way of substance behind the soaring rhetoric. Indeed, his resume is "as thin as piss on a rock." His remarks in San Francisco about Americans "clinging to their bibles and guns" also didn't sit well. This resulted in a comeback (albeit too late to do any real good) in the fortunes of Senator Hillary Clinton.

Obama's nomination victory speech declaring that the poor would be fed, provide jobs for the jobless and halt the rise of the oceans fed into this Messiah Complex charge. And this was said after he proclaimed that he was "humbled" over his victory. His comments certainly weren't very humble. They sounded more like he would be Moses parting the Red Sea.

This worries Paul Krugman of the New York Times. He observed that Obama's campaign is "dangerously close … [to] a cult of personality."

Supporters of Obama have also been called "disciples." Another biblical metaphor. There were reports of fainting "disciples" at Obama's rallies.

While Obama can deliver a good speech, but when he doesn't have his telepromptor in front of him, he is a terrible speaker. His senate rating shows him to be the most liberal U.S. Senator. I never thought anyone else could be more liberal than Ted Kennedy. His associations of the unrepentant former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Phleger and convicted felon Tony Rezko are especially troubling. Each time these people were exposed for what they are, Obama claimed each time that person "wasn't [that person] I knew." Does he really expect people to swallow that?! It definitely calls to question Obama's character. It may even expose him to be a liar without Bill Clinton's charm.

My main concern is that Obama has no real experience to qualify him to be president. He's no more qualified than my local sushi preparer! His only claim to fame is as a community organizer, a state senator and a freshman U.S. Senator with no accomplishments under his belt.

This will be an interesting campaign. Will the media's swoon over Obama pull him over the finish line in November? We shall see.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Universal Fire: Classic Films Lost

Dovetailing my blog from yesterday, here's what the Los Angeles Times published today:

Classic film prints lost in Universal Studios fire

Destruction of the copies could affect several upcoming screenings at museums and other sites.

By John Horn and Susan King

Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

June 4, 2008

In addition to the ruined "King Kong" attraction and the burned New York street scapes, the Universal Studios Hollywood fire has claimed another casualty: perhaps hundreds of classic 35-millimeter film prints, the studio said Tuesday.

The prints were high-quality copies of decades-old movies, not original masters, which are stored in a Philadelphia vault, the studio said. But the loss of the copies in Universal's scorched vault building, which the studio had not yet quantified, could affect several upcoming screenings of classic films at museums, festivals and repertory theaters.

"It's a real shame. The timing couldn't be worse," said Bernardo Rondeau, the coordinator of film programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. As part of July's "The Discreet Charm of Charles Boyer" program, LACMA was scheduled to show the French-born actor's 1941 film "Hold Back the Dawn."

The print of that movie, which was originally released by Paramount but is part of Universal's archival collection, was being transferred from New York's Lincoln Center to the Los Angeles museum and may have been in the Universal vault when the predawn blaze broke out Sunday.

Making new film prints can cost $5,000 or more each and take months to produce.

The fire also claimed about 5% of Universal Music Group's recordings, primarily big band and jazz recordings on the Decca label, and video copies of Universal movies and television shows. Universal Music Group is no longer part of the NBC conglomerate but rents storage space from the studio.

LACMA's Rondeau said the museum was nearly finished preparing the schedule for its July 11-26 festival and still planned to include "Hold Back the Dawn" on the slate, hoping that the film was spared or that a substitute print could be located.

In an e-mail sent to several dozen film exhibitors Monday, Universal said the "fire destroyed nearly 100% of the archive prints kept here on the lot. Due to this we will be unable to honor any film bookings of prints that were set to ship from here. Over the next few weeks and months, we will be able to try and piece together what material we do have and if any prints exist elsewhere."

Jan-Christopher Horak, the director of UCLA Film and Television Archive, said that in addition to the uncertainty surrounding "Hold Back the Dawn," the status of several other classic film prints was murky but not as bad as once feared.

"Initially, with the flood of e-mails [asking for prints], the situation seemed more dire than it turned out to be," Horak said. "Universal did find prints on some stuff."

American Cinematheque, which operates the Egyptian Theatre and Aero Theatre, had booked prints of "Her Jungle Love" and "Aloma of the South Seas" (both Paramount films with Dorothy Lamour), and now Universal will not be able to provide the 35-millimeter prints, Horak said.

"It is upsetting," said Horak, who once worked at Universal. "I feed bad for my colleagues at Universal. I was in that vault. It was filled with stuff. It's going to take quite a while to assess what really was lost."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Universal Fire: King Kong & Godzilla Up In Smoke?

Sunday's fire at the Universal Studios backlot destroyed New York Street, Courthouse Square, the King Kong exhibit and a video storage facility.

It was reported that hundreds of videos were saved from the burning building by firemen and most of what was there were duplicates. However, much of what was lost involved music recording masters from the last century from artists including Bing Crosby, Judy Garland and others.

In addition, Universal sent out this message yesterday (June 1):

It is with great sadness that I must inform you that yesterdays fire destroyed nearly 100% of the archive prints kept here on the lot. Due to this we will be unable to honor any film bookings of prints that were set to ship from here. Over the next few weeks and months we will be able to try and piece together what material we do have and if any prints exist elsewhere. For the time being please check your rental confirmations and look under shipping instructions. If the print was set to ship from the studio then your date is now canceled. If the shipping
instructions say ship from Deluxe then those dates are still good. Please call either myself or Dennis Chong with any questions. I can be reached for the next two days at xxx and you can reach Dennis at xxx. I will be back in the office on Wednesday.

Paul Ginsburg
Vice President NBC Universal Distribution

Last year while assisting in the planning for G-FEST XIV's film screenings, I dealt with Mr. Ginsburg in arranging for the rentals of King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes. I was told at the time that they only had one archival print of each and didn't want the "heads or tails" of the films cut for mounting on a projector platter. We were told that since the Pickwick Theater did not have an older reel-to-reel projector, we would be unable to use the prints. As this was the case, that's why we had to screen the movies via DVD and still paid Universal for the screening rights.

If Mr. Ginsburg's message above is correct, then it is likely that both archival prints are lost. Naturally, Universal still has digitalized versions of both films that were used to create the DVDs. But the loss of the two archival prints would be devastating. This will be further looked into.

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