Friday, February 29, 2008
that being said, i thought i'd highlight one artist in the group whose work i love. Meredeth Turshen is an artist, teacher and writer living in Hoboken, NJ, and teaching at Rutgers University. She exhibits regularly with Viridian Artists and Ceres galleries in New York City and with hob'art. Her artwork explores line and color non-figuratively in abstract compositions, and draws inspiration from nature, landscape and still life, as well as the human figure. You can view her artwork, writing, and current events on her website.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Toward the end of the debate there was a question regarding Minister Farrakhan and could have been troubling for him. It stuttered a bit and then Clinton tried to hit him and he refreshingly answered it honestly, recovering and even scoring some points with the audience.
Tim Russert, I thought was outright unfair in some instances to both candidates and I think this is a situation where MSNBC tried to be part of the dialogue instead of asking questions. I thought it a bit shameful. It is gotcha politics and has nothing to do with the candidates. Russert did it with Clinton as well on the Iraq situation and she rightly shut him down.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Now, I do not totally support Nader's run and I am a big Obama supporter, but if we think the democrats platform speak to what he is saying we are living in la la land.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Best Actor - Daniel Day Lewis (by a long shot)
Best Actress - Marion Cotillard ( La Vie En Rose - also by a very long way)
Best Supporting Actor - Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild)
Best Supporting Actress - Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)
Best Screenplay (Juno)
Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood)
Best Film (There Will Be Blood)
#10 - Knocked Up
A startlingly honest film about relationships. Maybe the greatest source of criticism for the film was how could the darling woman fall for Seth Rogen? Which is fair, but aside from that it was laugh out loud funny, sensitive and what I think many films are not doing these days, it reaches for the best in us.
#9 The Diving Bell and Butterfly
At first I thought it hard to love this character which tragedy befalls him and he makes lemonade out of lemons. But, the film stays with you because how horrific the tragedy is and how much this man made out of his situation in so little time. The camera work was also effective in giving one empathy. Powerful stuff.
#8 The Savages
This is a film that also stays with you about two flawed, albeit likable siblings who must take care of a father who never took care of them. Also, trying to find the best in humans, going above and beyond what is asked of us, or maybe what is required of us. But, the film gets at the heart of humanity, loneliness and family with all its flaws and of course its joy.
The best musical film I have ever seen. The first of two beautiful Irish films. Set in Dublin, a marvelous love story that is not typical and leaves one with a sense of beauty. The music is astounding (Falling Slowly should win best song) and the actors are believable. Made me want to move to Dublin.
#6 No Country for Old Men
Scary as hell. In other years it may be the best film of the year. The Coen Brothers are masters and Josh Brolin shows his ability to act. I thought the film let us down with the Brolin character, but that is probably the point, the senseless violence leaves us all breathless. A tough movie to take. Have a drink afterwards.
I left this film quoting Ellen Page and Michael Cera. They were so cute together and so likable. Again, like Knocked Up one has to suspend some belief, but instead of the film saying this is the way things are, it is saying this is the way things should be. Flawed families that stand by one another and do the right thing. More characters in film should be like Ellen Page, extraordinarily intelligent, sarcastic, yet vulnerable thinking she has the answers, but all the time learning from the people around her.
#4 Michael Clayton
I loved this film, mostly because it takes down corporate America. Talk about fantasy, but it had you on the edge of your seat the entire film. Clooney is great and is getting better every time out. All the performances are superb. A thriller that delivers.
#3 The Wind That Shakes the Barley
I saw this film at the beginning of the year and it stayed with me the entire year. It teaches us that many times the incitement of the terror is much worse than the terror itself. Great performances all the way around including strong and soulful performances by the women that fought beside the men (in the early 1900's) which one does not see often enough in film. In the Irish tradition (as is so in the African-American tradition) the women are the driving force. Poverty teaches us that this is how it has to be.
#2 No End in Sight
One has to accept the fact that we went to war (though, I never bought it for a second) and could have helped rather than hurt. But, this film shows the incompetence of the Bush administration and the callous disregard it showed for the people of Iraq and our soldiers. It makes the case clearly, concisely and powerfully. The best documentary of the year by far.
#1 There Will Be Blood
There Will Be Blood is the best film I have seen this decade, maybe ever. It is a sprawling tale of greed and evangelical ambition, maybe the two most powerful and destructive forces operating in America today. Daniel Day Lewis is phenomenal as is Paul Dano.
Overrated films of 2007 include Atonement and Away from Her. Julie Christie's performance was wonderful in Away from Her, but I never bought the story at all. It just seemed forced to me. La Vie en Rose was a good film, but confusing at times, but the performance by Marion C. was so good many feel it should be in the top ten. Not me, but worth the viewing.
Friday, February 22, 2008
I thought the debate was a tie. Barack did very well, though at times seemed to go through the motions. I did love his immigration arguments (as well as Hillary), his belief in changing the system and why he can do it and the fight on the plagiarism charge (which is simply preposterous). See why below and why Hillary did the same thing. Anyway, they both did well and I don't think it will change things.
Keith's wrap-up on the debate which is near perfect.
And certainly Hillary's best moment in the debate. Was it conciliatory or was it a new day in the Clinton campaign? I am not sure. It may be her best moment in the campaign, although at first I thought it was a little pandering, but then she did score. Although, Talking Points Memo says she took the line from her husband in the 1992 campaign.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The tattoo in the above picture reads:
Walk peacefully in heavens streets, you've done your time in hell
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Camp Clinton is already capitalizing upon this.
So, I went and looked up his accomplishments for the two years + he was there before running for President. It is not that bad. Of course, his life as a community organizer, civil rights lawyer, Law Professor and state legislator should also be taken into account, but here is what I found: Another caveat is this is probably written by an Obama surrogate, but that is the point, isn't it?
Obama took an active role in the Senate's drive for improved border security and immigration reform. In 2005, he co-sponsored the "Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act" introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). He later added three amendments to the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act", which passed the Senate in May 2006, but failed to gain majority support in the U.S. House of Representatives. In September 2006, Obama supported a related bill, the Secure Fence Act, authorizing construction of fencing and other security improvements along the Mexico–United States border. President Bush signed the Secure Fence Act into law in October 2006, calling it "an important step toward immigration reform."
Partnering first with Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN), and then with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Obama successfully introduced two initiatives bearing his name. "Lugar-Obama" expands the Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept to conventional weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles and anti-personnel mines. The "Coburn-Obama Transparency Act" provides for the web site USAspending.gov, managed by the Office of Management and Budget. The site lists all organizations receiving Federal funds from 2007 onward and provides breakdowns by the agency allocating the funds, the dollar amount given, and the purpose of the grant or contract. In December 2006, President Bush signed into law the "Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act," marking the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor.
As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In August 2005, he traveled to Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan. The trip focused on strategies to control the world's supply of conventional weapons, biological weapons, and weapons of mass destruction as a first defense against potential terrorist attacks. Following meetings with U.S. military in Kuwait and Iraq in January 2006, Obama visited Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. At a meeting with Palestinian students two weeks before Hamas won the legislative election, Obama warned that "the U.S. will never recognize winning Hamas candidates unless the group renounces its fundamental mission to eliminate Israel." He left for his third official trip in August 2006, traveling to South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Chad. In a nationally televised speech at the University of Nairobi, he spoke forcefully on the influence of ethnic rivalries and corruption in Kenya. The speech touched off a public debate among rival leaders, some formally challenging Obama's remarks as unfair and improper, others defending his positions.
In the first month of the newly Democratic-controlled 110th Congress, Obama worked with Russ Feingold (D–WI) to eliminate gifts of travel on corporate jets by lobbyists to members of Congress and require disclosure of bundled campaign contributions under the "Honest Leadership and Open Government Act", which was signed into law in September 2007. He joined Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in sponsoring S. 453, a bill to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections, including fraudulent flyers and automated phone calls, as witnessed in the 2006 midterm elections. Obama's energy initiatives scored pluses and minuses with environmentalists, who welcomed his sponsorship with John McCain (R-AZ) of a climate change bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds by 2050, but were skeptical of his support for a bill promoting liquefied coal production. Obama also introduced the "Iraq War De-Escalation Act", a bill to cap troop levels in Iraq, begin phased redeployment, and remove all combat brigades from Iraq before April 2008.
Later in 2007, Obama sponsored with Kit Bond (R-MO) an amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Act adding safeguards for personality disorder military discharges, and calling for a review by the Government Accountability Office following reports that the procedure had been used inappropriately to reduce government costs. He sponsored the "Iran Sanctions Enabling Act" supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry, and joined Chuck Hagel (R-NE) in introducing legislation to reduce risks of nuclear terrorism. A provision from the Obama-Hagel bill was passed by Congress in December 2007 as an amendment to the State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill. Obama also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to provide one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries. After passing both houses of Congress with bipartisan majorities, SCHIP was vetoed by President Bush in early October 2007, a move Obama said "shows a callousness of priorities that is offensive to the ideals we hold as Americans."
I certainly do not agree with all of it, but he was busy.
It is strange to advocate for this - as someone who does not really want to be married, but it is clearly a human rights issue, one that is preposterously overdue in the Garden State.
Al-Sadr's followers have claimed the U.S.-Iraqi raids, particularly in the southern Shiite cities of Diwaniyah, Basra and Karbala, are a pretext to crack down on the wider movement, which has pulled its support for the Washington-backed government.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
This strategy was confirmed to me by a high-ranking Clinton official on Monday. And I am not talking about superdelegates, those 795 party big shots who are not pledged to anybody. I am talking about getting pledged delegates to switch sides...
"I swear it is not happening now, but as we get closer to the convention, if it is a stalemate, everybody will be going after everybody’s delegates," a senior Clinton official told me Monday afternoon. "All the rules will be going out the window."
This is really unbelievable and unprecedented. Do we forget how thirsty for power the Clintons were and are? Though, I don't believe these tactics will work, it makes me think that my support for Mrs. Clinton will be in serious jeopardy if Obama fails to win the nomination.
Check Daily Kos for more.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
yummy sushi village
The sushi quality is pretty good and it is pretty reliable. The price is very reasonable especially for the quality of the food. The atmosphere is fairly low key and for the NYU crowd. They have a sushi eating contest that is worth checking out, but beware that if you don't finish, u r gonna have to pay for all the pieces that u pick to eat.
avenue a sushi
Their special boats are a great deal. You get lots of sashimi and oysters! I didn't expect to get oysters but i enjoyed those little morsels very much. The uni, which is the yardstick i use to measure the quality of a restaurant's sushi, did not disappoint. You get a lot of food for the value and the fish is very fresh. The only criticism that I have is that the bathroom could have been cleaner but i think that one should overlook it simply because the food is amazing and u can't beat the value.
We came here because we heard that the chef formerly worked at nobu. We wanted to eat at place with nobu quality, but without the high costs. We ordered the omakase and the chef was willing to reveal what he was going to include in his omakase, unlike other restaurants, which like to play hide the ball. Although we had to wait awhile for our food, we were treated to complimentary edamame and miso soup. Our omakase was worth the wait. The arrangement of the fish was on ice cubes in a big bowl. The sashimi pieces were very fresh and there was plenty of it. Sometimes, sashimi can be overwhelming, but the arrangement here was just right. Also there were some original pieces in there. Next, came the nigiri pieces, which were equally fresh and innovative. This was all for $60 per person.
and, a word to the wise...
The food is simply gross. The rice crumbled apart immediately and the fish tasted frozen and unfresh. Also, there was an omnipresent fly lurking around the window, near where I ate. Do not come here for good food.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
House Intelligence Committee Chair Representative Silvestre Reyes (TX- D) Strongly Worded Letter to the President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500
Second, NSA can use its authority under the Protect America Act, enacted last August, to conduct surveillance here in the U.S of any foreign target. This authority does not “expire” on Saturday, as you have stated. Under the PAA, orders authorizing surveillance may last for one year – until at least August 2008. These orders may cover every terrorist group without limitation. If a new member of the group is identified, or if a new phone number or email address is identified, the NSA may add it to the existing orders, and surveillance can begin immediately. We will not “go dark.”
The proper course is now to conference the House bill with the Senate bill that was passed on Tuesday. There are significant differences between these two bills and a conference, in regular order, is the appropriate mechanism to resolve the differences between these two bills. I urge you, Mr. President, to put partisanship aside and allow Republicans in Congress to arrive at a compromise that will protect America and protect our Constitution.
Member of Congress
Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Here are the democrats who voted for the dreadful new FISA bill and are willing to sell our constitutional rights down the river so to speak.
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jim Webb (D-VA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and of course the sellout Lieberman. Maybe Jim Webb isn't the gem we all think him to be. Our rights sacrificed and the phone companies pocket books protected.
For the record Clinton did not vote and Obama did against immunity.
"Those who wish to sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." - Benjamin Franklin.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Lantos was a powerful figure on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he had been the senior Democratic member since 2001 and its chairman since 2007.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
in her own words, read celeste's take on her religiously inspired work--
Growing up Catholic in northern New Jersey meant taking my religion very seriously (or at least making sure it appeared that way on the surface). As a young child in North Jersey, however, a vital part of being Catholic meant letting everyone else know you were Catholic. This was obviously not done by practicing or abiding by the rules of Catholicism, but in religiously inspired personal decor and embracing the accessibility of going to church or confession once a year around the holidays. This plastic idea of fulfilling one’s Catholic duties as a young boy or girl by materially exhibiting the icons of the religion led to the most superficial and misunderstood displays of Catholicism I have ever encountered. This series, based on my experiences growing up in this environment, is meant to capture the exploitation and convenience of calling oneself “Catholic” in a modern-day society.
celeste also has a series on medication and portraits... this month her work is part of an exhibition at the visual arts center of new jersey... see more of her work at juxtapoz, then catch her 2008 solo show at phoenix gallery in nyc (where she just won a 2008 fellowship)!
stay tuned for my Q and A with the artist...
Democrats will be busy in four states this weekend as they try to choose between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton as their party's presidential nominee.
Louisiana primary: 56 delegates; Polls close at 9 pm ET.
Nebraska caucuses: 24 delegates; Caucusing may end as late as 9:30 pm ET.
Washington caucuses: 78 delegates; Caucusing may end as late at 9 pm ET.
Maine caucuses: 24 delegates; Caucusing may end as late as 6pm ET.
See you at 9 PM
Here is the comment and following is the apology.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
According to Human Rights Watch, 2,380 people in this country are serving life sentences for crimes they committed before they turned 18. That makes the United States an extreme global outlier. Sentencing juveniles to life without parole is at odds with international law; the vast majority of the world’s countries ban the practice.
Lazale Ashby, 23 of Hartford, Connecticut was recently sentenced to death in this small moderate northeastern state for a crime he committed at the age of 18 and 3 days. Four days before he would have been eligible for life in prison. A child's (the Supreme Court said we cannot kill teenagers anymore) brain development makes them less able to resist impulses among other very important factors in young adults. Do we not share some of this blame?
I knew Mr. Ashby when he was a young 14 years old, a client of mine in a therapeutic after school program, in 1998. A troubled young man to say the least, but what do we gain by committing murder? What do we gain by imprisoning all of these children? It is high time we have a policy that reflects what is happening in our society, in our urban communities and to our children.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Nancy Holt, Robert Smithson's widow, recently sent an email out detailing specific threats to Smithson's masterpiece, Spiral Jetty.
Click here to read full article.
If you want to send a letter of protest to save the beautiful, natural Utah environment around the Spiral Jetty from oil drilling, the emails or calls of protest go to Jonathan Jemming 801-537-9023 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please refer to Application # 8853. Every letter makes a big difference, they do take a lot of notice and know that publicity may follow. Since the Spiral Jetty has global significance, emails from foreign countries would be of special value. Deadline for comments is extended to Feb 13.
Photo credit George Steinmetz September 2002