Tag Archives: current-events

Some Recent WSJ Headlines That Intrigued Me

I used to think that all actors and actresses wanted to see themselves on the screen as soon as they were shown.

Apparently that is not so, and one apparently had never seen herself even 20 years after starring in an epic series.

That would be Meadow Soprano.

I mentioned in a past post that for screenwriting, the first decade of the 2000’s was an amazing time. Most of the great shows were on cable TV.
The Sopranos was about a typical New Jersey middle class family, with one exception.

The father was a Mafia crime boss.

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Has it come to this?

Posted by lex, on June 5, 2006

Is it true?

Does this really reflect a “broad strata of Canadian society”?

Not to pre-judge, because fair is fair, and accusations don’t add up to proofs. Three hundred pounds of suburban ammonium nitrate or no. But for the arrest list below to be trumpeted as a “broad strata” of Canadian society, it just seems to me, you know: Otherwise.

From the several times I’ve been up there. See for yourself:

Fahim Ahmad, 21, Toronto

Zakaria Amara, 20, Mississauga

Asad Ansari, 21, Mississauga

Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, Mississauga

Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, Mississauga

Mohammed Dirie, 22, Kingston

Yasim Abdi Mohamed, 24, Kingston

Amin Mohamed Durrani, 19, Toronto

Steven Vikash Chand alias Abdul Shakur, 25, Toronto

Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21, Mississauga

Saad Khalid, 19, of Eclipse Avenue, Mississauga

I don’t know, gentle reader – it’s late, and I’m tired. But there’s a common thread in there, if only I could tease it out.

Pretenses aside: Good Lord, but the world has become a deeply silly and unserious place. When earnest public servants can stand in front of the microphone in a high functioning democracy and say – without an apparent trace of irony – that the arrests of the people named above reflect “a broad strata of Canadian society” then we’ve come to a very bizzare junction. But when everyone in the press nods their heads and agrees, yes, of course: Very broad. When that happens?

Snakes on the plane, man. Snakes on the plane.

But maybe it’s just me. Maybe things have changed since last I visited.

Who can say?

Has it really come to this

Oh, Canada.

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Speaking truth to power

Posted by lex, on May 20, 2006


Seems very fashionable these days. It’s “brave,” you know. So long as, when you say the word “brave,” your definition is expansive enough to include conventional definitions as well as the emergently popular standard of self-referential acts of guerrilla performance art taken without the least whiff of attendant consequence.

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Posted by Lex, on September 7, 2005

Your Navy has moved thousands upon thousands of Katrina refugees across the country (with press accounts attributing their efforts to the Air Force, so it goes) and this is how we get press: *

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The Boldness of the President

The Boldness of the President

Posted by Lex,  on Fri – July 23, 2004 at 03:01 PM

An outstanding op-ed in the New York Sun today dealing with how the domestic distractions that WJC had to deal with in his struggles with a special prosecutor left critical foreign policy and security decisions to a man not elected to manage them, and manifestly not up to the task – Sandy Berger.

… according to the (9/11) commission report, Mr. Berger was presented with plans to take action against the threat of Al Qaeda four separate times — Spring 1998, June 1999, December 1999, and August 2000. Each time, Mr. Berger was an obstacle to action. Had he been a little less reluctant to act, a little more open to taking pre-emptive action, maybe the 2,973 killed in the September 11, 2001, attacks would be alive today.


You’ve got to read this one .


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George Floyd and the MPD

I’ve had some questions about this from the beginning. The video seen around the world is really damning towards the 4 officers who, having Floyd under restraint and control, suffocated him.

Or to put it more accurately, one who suffocated him while the other 3 did nothing.

The question that I have had from the beginning is what – or who – protected Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck that killed him?

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Seeing Where Satan Lived

In the 70s and 80s, Sacramento had some notorious serial killers. I suppose by definition if you are not a run-of-the-mill murderer and kill multiple times seemingly randomly then you are notorious. We had a little old lady, Dorothea Puente, who owned an old Victorian house on F Street and rented out rooms. There’s a lot of Victorian homes at what we call “Midtown”, most with the front door leading up some steps about 8-10′ or so.

Until the levees were built on the Sacramento River, Sacramento would flood on a regular basis. The Sierra snows would melt in the spring, and where the river goes to the San Francisco Bay through the Carquinez Straits, like a funnel there is only so much water that can get through in a given time frame.

It had to go somewhere, and in the Sacramento Valley, that which didn’t immediately go through the Straits went…out into the Sacramento Valley. Sometimes for miles, which gave the Valley some of the richest agricultural land in the world.

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People Acting Stupidly?

In the upcoming weeks, I will probably get some time off and was going to travel overseas for a coupla weeks.

Always wanted to see Manaus for some reason. It was, before the 1920s, a true boom town . I envisioned seeing the opera house, where the world’s opera companies made the long journey up the Amazon to perform. People would send their laundry to Paris to be cleaned. Although perhaps my imagination was too detached as the population today is over 2 million. But the rubber boom, which died in the 1920s with the rapid development of more efficient rubber plantations in Southeast Asia, made Manaus for a time one of the richest cities in the world. The thought  just came to me that for a time,  Manaus was the Virginia City of South America.

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The Newspaper Business

From just a year or 2 from the 1849 gold rush, Sacramento was a 2 newspaper town. Well, 2 that I know of that survived.

Actually there were up to 60 newspapers but only 2 survived.

Mark Twain, in his classic book Roughing It, honed his writing craft first at Virginia City NV, working for the Territorial Enterprise, then at Sacramento, working for the Sacramento Union.

In that book, he is known for his quip about San Francisco weather, writing that “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco“.  Less remembered was his observation of Sacramento weather:

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China at 70

Growing up throughout the Cold War, the beginnings, height, and end, I have strong memories of China under Mao.

I can remember a China isolated and considered an international pariah by the West. If you were from the West and found yourself in China you generally disappeared.

And life under Mao Zedong was extremely harsh for most Chinese. Historians sometimes wonder who killed more of their own people – Hitler or Stalin?

Chairman Mao is usually left out.

Through the 1966 Cultural Revolution, I have read that during his reign while of course no exact count exists, up to 100 million Chinese were killed since the revolution in 1949 to enforce his Communism.

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