A new hope

New Line has hit another snag on the road to Hobbiton.  They've settled their despute with Peter Jackson, but now Tolkien's estate is suing New Line for, get this, promises the studio didn't see fit to keep.

Part of the lawsuit seeks the right to terminate any future New Line production of Tolkien's works - including The Hobbit and its, er, "sequel."  I hope this wins.  There's been enough trashing of the material already.

h/t Libertas

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Yep, amazing

It is amazing more hockey players don't get this sort of injury - being slashed in the neck by a skate.  All kinds of stuff can happen in hockey though. 

Back when I played (as a kid) in the no-checking age-range, I slid into the boards with another kid and broke his leg.  I gave myself a mild concussion another time because my helmet was on too loose, was looking only at the puck and slammed, helmet-to-helmet, into another kid doing the same.  Looked like a crazed barbarian with dried blood all over my face for the rest of the game.  Now I have a scar right between my eyes.

Not to make light of Zednick's injury, but it's more amazing stuff like this isn't more common.  You don't really except people's feet to come at your head, rising shots going 80 to 100 mph are a different matter.

But it's also hockey, and they've got themselves some batshit crazy to live up to.

h/t Moron of the Year HQ

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The larger point

Ed Driscoll points to this piece by Tony Campolo:  The real danger in Darwin is not evolution, but racism.  I'll forego a look at Campolo's background as it's irrelevant to this - read the Wikipedia entry if you're interested.

Campolo ends his piece with something that begins to get at the most salient point:

Regardless of how we got here, we should recognize that there is an infinite qualitative difference between the most highly developed ape and each and every human being. Darwin never recognized this disjuncture.

Darwin's failure to "recognize this disjuncture" isn't what makes Darwin dangerous.  What makes Darwin dangerous - the same thing that makes anything dangerous - is how people choose to use Darwin.  The fact that Darwin chose to use his findings to promote "the elimination of 'the negro and Australian peoples,' which he considered savage races whose continued survival was hindering the progress of civilization" does not make the idea of evolution intrinsically racist, and it certainly does not make the theory of evolution wrong.  It makes Darwin's application of the theory absurd.

In other words:  "Guns don't kill people.  People kill people."

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The Daily Dose

He calls it The Bleat.  He's wrong.  It's sweet, sweet heroine.  Today's dose fits the mood Romney's speech set earlier.  I don't know if Lileks was trying to pull a Henninger without once mentioning the Great Rift.  I don't care.  He's my pusher, and I'll take my fix.

Love of country must always be qualified these days, lest anyone think you are unaware of slavery, insufficiently regulated railroad stock offerings, Lester Maddox or the attempt by Philip Morris to conceal the addictive nature of cigarettes.

(Side note: the existence of stupid people in America is a touchy subject, and not easily explained away. It would seem to suggest that some people are smarter than other people, which could conceivably have an impact on their ability to succeed – but there are so many stupid people living in comfort that this almost implies that the bounty and opportunity of the country are sufficient to lift the leakiest dinghies if the occupants bail and plug, and that can’t be true. It is also unacceptable to suggest that some people do not succeed because they aren’t smart, since that suggests that merit is rewarded, and that can’t be true. Merit has nothing to do with America; it’s all about white male privilege. Do not be fooled by the rise of Hillary and Obama; put them together, and what do you have? White. Male.)

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Ecumenical II

The HotAir headlines had a link to Daniel Henninger's piece, McCain or the Wilderness, and it exemplifies in reverse my previous post. 

I have always thought nose plugs would be necessary come November.  None of the GOP candidates offered a well-rounded Conservative perspective, but I and others would have happily pulled the lever for the apparently "pure" Giuliani.  He turned out to be a dud.  Next.  Thompson.  Dead on arrival.  OK, then.  Romney, the used car salesman who, though a flip-flopper, managed to flip and flop his way to my views.  Personally, I like it when someone, especially someone vying for my vote comes around to my way of thinking.  Call me crazy. 

Right.  You already have and, frankly, it isn't a persuasive argument.  You'll have to do better, and you will have to do it because McCain simply hasn't been able to.  Henninger apparently understands that - perhaps Roger L. Simon should take notes.

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Telling people they have a syndrome because they have principled positions that don't mesh with a particular candidate is not a workable means for getting people to ignore those disagreements and vote for your candidate.  It's called condescension, and coming from a magazine like The Weekly Standard does not make it any less irritating.

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Red Wings vs. Super Tuesday

The Wings won most of my attention tonight.  Franzen scored first then gave up two goals.  Then, with 1:20 left in the third, Cleary made a lucky goal from an absurd angle to tie the game.  1:37 into overtime Lebda slammed his third goal of the season home to win a game the Wings should have lost.  Should have lost?  Let's put it this way:  Datsyuk came into this game with 6 penalty minutes on the season - he left with 10.  They couldn't catch a break, and wouldn't have taken advantage of a break anyway.  Just a bad game.  Happens.  Still, they won.

Some pundits are now saying McCain has to make a deal with Conservatives.  The dubiousness of either McCain coming to us or us taking him seriously is obvious (wish I could be at CPAC though).  But here's a deal I'd agree to:  Whenever McCain gives a speech, Mark Levin does simultaneous color commentary.

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Perjury just isn't sexy

But confessing your sexual adventurism from a church via video to the newly ordained public while your wife holds your hand is.

We really don't give a damn about how difficult it was to explain your mindless behavior to your sons.  We don't care that your wife hasn't kicked your bum ass out.  We'd much rather take your suggestion about respecting your family's privacy.

Rather, we shouldn't care and we should leave your victims alone, but sex sells and we love misery.  Even better for you:  This whole fiasco you've caused, the $9 million you've let slip away can be spun as being about sex.  Wives and kids make good shields afterall, and betrayal becomes easier and easier the more you practice.

You may have to forsake the Hip Hop Mayor persona though and convert to the Metrosexual Mayor.  Hell, you've used a church and the faith it represents.  A few agonized, theatrically held back tears couldn't hurt.  Besides, aren't you supposed to be bangin' the bitches as the Hip Hop Mayor?

So much like the hyped Super Bowl in Detroit.  Just another one night stand.

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I once thought the GOP nomination would end at the convention.  Depending on how Super Tuesday goes I guess that could still be the case; however, it seems unlikely now.  Giuliani is out, and will endorse McCain - which is as absurd as Hunter endorsing Huckabee or the prediction that Huckabee supporters would break for Romney if Huckabee dropped out.  I still can't wrap my head around that last one.  Huckabee supporters breaking for McCain seems more likely to me.  Even so, the reverse is certainly not true - Romney supporters wouldn't break for Huckabee if Romney dropped out - I think.  I wouldn't anyway.  Yet, I'm told Huckabee is taking votes away from Romney.  Crazy.

I once thought the 2008 presidential election would be thrown into the House of Representatives.  If the country is as divided as advertised and if the candidates can rally their voters, this may still happen.  Even if voter turnout is the lowest in American history it could still happen and that would be all kind of stupid. 

That brings me to my brand new prediction.

If Hillary and McCain are the candidates, voter turnout will hit a record low.  Both have high negatives with the base of their respective parties.  In effect, we'd be voting against one or the other, and that's no way to cast a ballot.  Despite what the national polls say at the moment McCain simply cannot win that sort of election.  The momentum would clearly be on the side of the Democrats.  Blame Bush, blame the war, blame McCain's Maverickism, blame whatever.  The fact is, Democrats and Conservatives would be voting against McCain.  Or staying home.

So, McCain is now the likely Republican candidate - that's what I'm being told.  We'll see if Limbaugh unloads in a few minutes - more so than he has already.  Then we'll see if that even matters.  I tend to agree with Allah at HotAir:  Limbaugh doesn't have much left except to explicitly endorse Romney, but he's already done that by the process of elimination.  If that fails, if McCain wins, if Medved is correct in saying talk radio is pretty much irrelevant then why is Medved still doing talk radio?  There can't be any satisfaction in doing something you know to be meaningless.

Limbaugh's show is starting now.  He starts it in his usual upbeat style.  "This is no time to quit."  Indeed.  Even if we lose the primaries, and then the general there's always the next one.  There's always time to reassert what we know to be true.  We lick our wounds, find our voices, and jump back into the fray.  As we've always done.

To steal a thought from Bryan at HotAir, a little pick-me-up - using the quote on his post though.

This does prove one thing - yet again.  Limbaugh, and the rest don't need a Democrat in the White House to make a living.

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+1 Romney

It's over.  Finally.  This part of the Endless Election anyway. 

I have no idea how Michigan will go.  I have no special insights into the minds of Michiganders.  And I live here.  I'm a Michigander.  But that's OK seeing as the people who are paid to know don't seem to be earning their pay.  Michigan has many problems.  Everyone knows that.  The rhetoric of populism, then, should be persuasive to Michigan voters.  Then again, maybe we've finally woken up.

This vote should have been for Thompson.  I couldn't bring myself to throw this ballot at a candidate who doesn't seem to want to do anything with it.  That, afterall, would only help McCain or Huckabee - both of whom have no business, along with Paul, of being on the Republican ballot. 

Romney, at least, strikes me as more of the same - which isn't all that bad.  Though most of Michigan may go for Dianne's choice:  Skip the whole damn thing.

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Teh Neo-Conzis r stealin mah kookies!

I think I've become addicted to that Lew Rockwell blog. I just can't get enough of it now. You have to love this stuff.

I'm not surprised to see the Neo-cons (emphasis on "cons") pull out all stops here.

All the stops for what? Paul's chances of winning?

Here, listen to the lyrics.

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Uh, guys...

The New Republic's James Kirchick wrote a piece about the darker side of Ron Paul:  Angry White Man.  Read the whole thing, or excerpts at Hot Air (also with a link to Kirchick being interviewed by John Gibson) or Pajamas Media if you want, but all of this stuff could have been easily figured out without Kirchick's expose of Paul's past newsletters.  This is merely icing on the cake for Paul's detractors - making TNR's (yes, that TNR) involvement irrelevant.

The thing I don't get are comments like this from Ace at AoSHQ:

Ron Paul lives in a strange, dark, demon-haunted world. If this stuff is true -- and I assume it is -- it's about time for supposedly-sane Ron Paul boosters like the crew at Reason to admit what this man really is and what he represents. If this is "libertarianism," I want no part of it.

Where have you been?  You obviously haven't spent any time in Michigan.  Back in high school I played a bit in libertarian circles - went to a Gun Stock rally, occasionally listened to Mark Scott (an obituary on Lew Rockwell's blog), went to some LP meetings, got Jon Coon to talk to my high school political science class, and got all hopped up on this "freedom" rhetoric.  But freedom of or from what?  No one knew.  It was just freedom - which is why Ron Paul has, as Andrew Walden writes, an "odd alliance" of supporters.  Communists, Fascists, racists, anti-Semites, and believers of any sort of conspiracy theory*.  Walden's listing of Paulinistas mirrors my own experiences with "libertarians" in the mid-90's when the frenzied talk was of the United Nations invading and taking over the United States - amongst other things.  Nevermind that sort of inane talk was between overweight, middle-aged men in orange camo tramping through the woods with Bud Light and high-powered rifles trying to read The Turner Diaries.

Freedom, man.  Unqualified, unconditional.  Anyone who preaches that is as dangerous as someone preaching populism.

Kirchick's article is nothing new and not surprising, but hopefully it will help put Ron Paul into the same category as Lyndon LaRouche.

Update:  Seeing as I linked Rockwell's blog above I figured I'd read a bit.  Seems the posters over there are a bit upset about Kirchick's "hit piece."  So, naturally, they attack TNR itself. 

The New Republic was founded by Herbert Croly, a "Progressive" who believed that the Constitution should be abolished in favor of the will of governing elites.

In the context of knowing where TNR is coming from it makes sense to point this out.  It explains why TNR might go after a Republican candidate; however, it doesn't explain why it would go after Ron Paul.  Paul is clearly anti-war - ostensibly one of the most important issues on TNR's roster.  Plus, Paul is helping to tear the Republican Party apart - something I'm guessing TNR has some interest in doing.  Taking down Paul, then, isn't in their own interests.  Boosting Paul would be.

It also neglects the fact that the Paulinistas, as described above, are from all over the political field.  As seen in the Andrew Walden piece and at the biography page of Karen De Coster - who Rockwell quotes in the Mark Scott obituary I linked above.

I am a CPA and freelance writer who is devoted to the causes of liberty, individualism, and the free market. I embrace the right to keep and bear arms; recognize the superiority of the Articles of Confederation; subscribe to a motley assortment of minor conspiracy theories; and believe that government is evil, immoral, corrupt, and unnecessary in a free society.

I wonder, what exactly is a minor conspiracy theory?  Your neighbors tossing their leaves into your yard?  Nevertheless, these are the people who populate Ron Paul Land where shadows take physical form and goblins steal your cookies.  Excelsior!

(By the way, just how can you believe government is unnecessary in a free society and believe in the Articles of Confederation - a type of government?)

Also, the post at Rockwell just before the attack on TNR"Pimply-Faced Youth" Admits He's a Liar.  Apparently, Kirchick first claimed Paul was a homophobe then said Paul wasn't a homophobe in an email to a blogger at Gays & Lesbians for Ron Paul.

This episode illustrates the lack self libertarianism has that I noted in my original post.  While the Rockwell blog describes TNR as having "a view that the political elite need to tell everyone else what to do, and use lethal force against people who resist" it links to a blog, in order to attack Kirchick, that described TNR as having a "history as a bastion of high-minded political discourse."

Anything to anyone.  And they wonder why they're not taken seriously.

Update2:  To expand on that "government is evil, immoral, corrupt, and unnecessary in a free society" and the "anything to anyone" insanity.  How about:  Government, despite its inevitable faults, is necessary for a free society and in order to create a government as free as possible of flaws we must use concretely defined terms.

Case in point:  Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO gets a not-so-vague death threat from a, er, freedom-loving goon.

There's gotta be consequences to what you people are doing. Hannity got chased off the streets... he's lucky that's all that happens. Rudy got locked in a bathroom in a boat in MI. The revolution is real, not symbolic... I wouldn't smack at a hornets nest.

The media is generating hate and their own version of blowback. In America, blowback lead to 9/11. What will your blowback lead to? We're really starting to hate you folks.


*I don't think all of Paul's supporters are creeps.  Some - maybe most - might just be the "leave me alone" types without any ulterior motives.  I don't even think libertarianism is necessarily a bad thing.  I do think it's pretty much undefined and so may mean anything anyone wants it to mean - just like unconditional freedom.  Communists, Fascists, and racists all believe in freedom from or of something afterall.

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The Christmas Truce, 1914

I wonder if at some point on Christmas Day 1914 the question wasn't asked:  Why don't you Germans go home?  Stop trying to invade these countries, leave the countries you've already invaded, go back to your homes and your families and celebrate this holiday as it should be celebrated - stop being a threat.

The Christmas Truce does say something about humanity, but it isn't that we'll choose peace at the cost of defeat.  As the quick end of the truce and the next five years of terrible fighting point to:  Not wanting to fight doesn't mean we won't.

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A bigger picture

There's something to note about the Romney marching with MLK flap regarding the larger political picture.  As Jonah Goldberg wrote here:  "...your Republican dad led a march in racially polarized Detroit timed to coincide with MLK's Selma march..."  It's high time the Republicans took this issue back - phrasing it, as it was phrased then, in terms of human dignity.  Afterall, what's the more dignified stance:  Dependence or independence?  Romney, if he could speak on his feet, could capitalize on this history.  Any candidate could, but it's something that resides in the very heart of Conservatism, and Conservatism is ostensibly the core of the Republican Party.

That is, a campaign platform based on human dignity - as opposed to this sort of hodgepodge of talking point issues.  That would, of course, require someone, in the vein of Reagan, who could explain and communicate the ideas with a bona fide belief in those ideas - faking it wouldn't, and shouldn't work.

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Just say no


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Just leave it alone...

New Line and Peter Jackson have kissed and made up.  The Hobbit will, unfortunately, become a film.  Maybe I'll be the only person to say this, but please just leave it alone.  Don't make it into a film because stuff will inevitably have to be cut out - as it was in the Lord of the Rings films.  It will look great, I'm sure - also like the Lord of the Rings films - and it will follow the basic storyline. 

Even so, essential elements of the story went missing - entire scenes that pushed the characters along and changed them forever, and the characters themselves were fiddled with (sometimes making them unrecognizable).  Aragorn was not a reluctant leader.  Gimli, Meriadoc, and Peregrin were not merely comic relief.  The Hobbits did not come home to a Shire that had magically remained untouched by the wider world - killing any notion about no trouble finding you if you don't go looking for it.  Nevermind the encounter with Tom Bombadil or the Dead Men of Dunharrow (i.e. the "radioactive scrubbing bubbles"").

Books generally don't translate well into films.  The best that can be hoped for is an attempt to stay true to the underlying themes of the story.  While LoTR looked magnificent, it strayed pretty far from that hope.  Just leave The Hobbit alone.

And, uh, The Lord of the Rings was the sequel to The Hobbit.

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Apparently, there is no crime...period

Little girl brings steak knife to school so she can eat her leftover steak for lunch.

And then, of course, THE WORLD ENDEDED!!11!11  Assessments were needed so the little girl was escorted to the "assessment center" (yes, that's a direct quote - say it again, "assessment center").

Marion County School Spokesman Kevin Christian:  "Anytime there's a weapon on campus, yes, we have to report it..." because little girls eating steak are wicked threatening.  Also, our programming doesn't allow for deviations. 

IF sharp THEN freak out ELSE freak out.

Oh, right.  The story - linked at Drudge.

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I took a class on journalistic style and grammar a couple years ago - I survived, it was interesting, and I learned to lose my fear of hyphens.  Also, I had the opportunity to visit the Detroit News/Free Press for some reason.  I really don't remember any of it, but Ace at AoSHQ constantly reminds me of one topic that was brought up:  Headlines. 

It was a big question - how to write a headline?  Wording, length, and everything else.  It even got into the minutia of font size.  The common sense rule:  If it doesn't grab a reader's attention, it's worthless.  It doesn't have to be over the top and it should actually reflect the story beneath it, but if it doesn't get someone to read the story (that is, buy the paper) then it's just a waste of space.

In that vein of thought, Ace should be hired to write newspaper headlines.  Latest evidence:  50 Taliban Die Due To Complications Arising From Having The Shit Kicked Out Of Them.  In comparison, the headline of the AP story Ace linked to:  Over 50 Taliban killed in 2-day battle.

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Whatever the title says.

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We're #1!!!

Detroit beat out St. Louis for most dangerous city in America according to crime rankings by Congressional Quarterly.  Flint came in third.  Gnashing of teeth ensues.

The fact remains:  Those rankings are based on FBI crime statistics culled from locally-kept statistics.  Lower the Detroit Metropolitan stats, and we'd move down the list.

Meanwhile, we're still pointing fingers and expecting handoutsSomebody do something to save us.

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