Yet today, accounts of UFOs have plummeted and for the most part, flying saucers have become a source of public amusement. Contrast the aforementioned films with the current Men In Black film franchise, featuring Tommie Lee Jones and Will Smith, which has earned over $1 billion, spawning video games, amusement park rides, a television series and rap recordings - all based on a tongue-in-cheek premise.
I was rather surprised when I looked up some weeks ago at the TV screen at the gym and saw the headline for Fox News Channel’s coverage — which was rather extended — of the conviction of Adis Medunjanin: “Bosnian-born Immigrant Convicted of Planning to Attack NYC Subways.”Not only was “Bosnian” unabashedly specified (as opposed to the favored, but by now busted, “formerYugoslav“), but it was the first friggin’ word. As I’ve beensaying a lot lately, it seems like more and more people in the West are increasingly getting fed up with our Balkan clients, and are covering for them less and less.
Paul McCartney sang, “We’re so sorry, Uncle Albert.” Likewise, Mitt Romney may grieve by ignoring the clear slam-dunk Republican candidate for Vice-President. If Florida’s Marco Rubio is inexplicably bypassed, the GOP’s weeping and wailing will make Uncle Albert resemble the Sunshine Kid.
Being born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth can give a young man a sense of entitlement or a sense of noblesse oblige. Michael Kranish and Scott Helman’s biography of The Real Romney unintentionally reveals that in Mitt’s case it has done the latter and, moreover, that his serious Mormonism played a central role in insuring that his horizons would not encompass merely his modern day “nobles.” This has been particularly important given his extraordinary talents strong will. Reading the book, I, a 2008 McCain voter, found myself in a position similar to that of Elizabeth Bennett as she was contemplating Fitzwilliam Darcy’s portrait, as a son, husband, father, friend, businessman, governor, “how many people’s happiness were in his guardianship! - How much of pleasure or pain it was in his power to bestow! - How much of good or evil must be done by him!” Increasingly, I came to realize that the man not only can be trusted but that he did not have “any inappropriate pride” but just enough to make sure he achieves his goals without sacrificing his honor. As in Darcy’s case, by his deeds you shall know him.
Throughout the history of western civilization, long hair has been a symbol of many things: strength, beauty, singularity, sexuality and rebellion against authority to name a few. Think of Samson, Botticelli’s Venus, Rapunzel, Lady Godiva, the Beatles, hippies, Farah Fawcett and Jennifer Aniston - two women whose careers were launched largely on the basis of their luxuriant manes and iconic hairstyles. Short hair for men in our times has been traditionally associated with the military, law enforcement and conservatism; for women, it has been a symbol of liberation, athleticism, lesbianism and androgyny. Shorn hair is most often associated with treason, punishment and prisoners, which brings me to the case of Rodney Alcala, a convicted serial killer from California who has been extradited to New York to stand trial for the 1970’s murder of two women here.
It turns out that someone at the State Department knew all along that Croatia never answered for its Nazi past and shouldn’t just sail into the EU un-scrutinized and unreformed. Unfortunately, it’s a bit late. This former Under Secretary of State, Stuart Eizenstat, might have spoken up when Croatia was put on the fast-track in the mid-2000s, or even as late as last year, when the final stage of accession began; Croatia will be an EU member by mid next year.
In reading the brief interview with Diane von Furstenberg in the Wall Street Journal (6/21), I was struck by two remarks she made. The first concerned her love for China, where she has opened several stores: “I love being here, and really truly, if I were younger, I would live here.” I found this disingenuous (read: phony) coming from a woman with homes in NYC, Connecticut, Paris and the Bahamas - all places associated with great luxury and high society. Ms. von Furstenberg, now married to mega-rich Barry Diller, was originally married to Egon von Furstenberg, a German prince who was heir to the Fiat fortune. At the time of her first marriage in 1969, Diane Halfin was a Jewish girl from Belgium whose parents had sent her to finishing schools in Switzerland, Spain and England (read: sent her to mingle with the wealthy). Diane, now a philanthropic do-gooder for politically correct causes, doesn’t strike me as the kind of gal who’d be comfy in China where dissidents are punished immediately and summarily and where the western concept of human rights has little to zero application (read: A Chinese equivalent of DVF wouldn’t have the freedom to express a similar thought about choosing to live here).
Commentators discussing current racial tensions in America often refer, almost nostalgically to the 1960’s civil rights movement, a historical inaccuracy since it was neither a monolithic movement, nor confined to the 1960’s.
Ride a bus or subway in New York City and you’ll hear and/or read that message over and over, emphasizing how important our vigilance is in the war against “terror.” The terrorists we are scared to name, the ones who murdered almost 3,000 people on 9/11, were all bearded men. The police force in New York City, our nation’s first line of defense against terrorists, is clean-shaven. Without consciously thinking about it, we are used to seeing law enforcers with open faces and we associate that with their accessibility. The New York City Police Department makes accommodations for hiring religious individuals by allowing a beard no longer than one millimeter, approximately 1/3 of an inch. Fishel Litzman, a 28 year old Chasidic Jew, was fired from the police aademy when he refused to trim his beard. He is currently appealing that action in federal court, claiming that it is a violation of his legally protected religious freedom.
Interesting piece in today’s Jerusalem Post about self-hating Jews. Of particular value is the psychologist’s perspective in the piece that, just as an abused child will sometimes internalize the abuser’s hatred as an attempt at self-protection, so will individuals among groups who have been abused and marginalized.
Maybe it’s an intentional attempt to break the reform movement, or maybe it’s just evidence of an instinctual male fear of losing societal supremacy, but in either case, women are being targeted in ugly assaults in Cairo, Associated Press reports. Too blatant even to be ironic, A.P, reported that “a mob of hundreds of men assaulted women holding a march demanding an end to sexual harassment Friday,” with the attackers overwhelming the group’s male guardians “and groping and molesting several of the female marchers in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.”
Well we knew it wouldn’t be long. If nationalists win a Serbian election, it follows that there will be an article in the Washington Times by Croatian-supremacist Jeffrey Kuhner, as usual angling for a new war against Serbia — by making the argument that Serbia wants it. As a typical rapist would.
The reaction to Mayor Bloomberg’s demand that sugary soft drinks be limited to 16 oz cup size has been surprising. Some of the same people who support measures restricting individual rights in favor of group safety or health (banning smoking in public places) were outspokenly opposed to this rather innocuous suggestion. First, let’s establish that this will apply only to drinks sold in public entertainment venues such as movie theaters and stadiums; people who wish to gulp more than 2 cups at a time (16oz) will be free to do that at home and in theaters if they just purchase another cup. If you are a moviegoer, you know that the smallest cup of soda an adult can buy at a multi-plex costs $4.50 and gives you as much liquid as 3 bottles from an old fashioned six-pack which used to contain a mere 6.5 ounces each. How many times have you found yourself emptying several bottles of soda into a pitcher before watching a movie on tv? Now let’s consider the experiments that have already been done concerning portion control, namely, that giving people smaller sized plates at a cafeteria or buffet results in their consuming fewer calories. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so do people who like to eat - they tend to fill and consume whatever size container they’re given. Those who don’t, probably don’t have weight problems but 6l.6% of Americans are either overweight or obese.