Matthew Modine Reveals His Inner Dingbat

I don't need to ask Osama Bin Laden anything, other than whether or not he'd like me to kick his ass into oblivion or cut off his head with a rusty shovel:



“Imagine if somebody were to really sit down with Osama Bin Ladin and say, ‘listen man,what is it that you’re so angry at me about that you’re willing to have people strap bombs to themselves, or get inside of airplanes and fly them into buildings.’ That would be the miracle if we can get, sit down and talk to our enemies and find a way for them to hear us.” – Matthew Modine



There's a reason why you shouldn't go to actors or celebrities for political insight. Now, were I an actor or a celebrity, fine, you could still come to me for advice and information. But, my acting and celebrity activities would detract from my brilliant analysis, and, in the end, I'd end up half-assing everything. I refuse to do that. I also refuse to allow myself to be blinded by ideology or a misguided sense of being fair and reasonable. Some things you just don't need to debate.


For example, a man who starts a terrorist organization and sends ignorant followers out to die isn't a reasonable person, and debating such a person has to sort of begin with this premise--what is it about killing innocent people that you don't understand? The thing I hate to have to point out to you is this--at what point did Mr. Bin Laden extend to the multitude of his victims the courtesy of a sit-down and a chat?


Some of our enemies talk to us on a daily basis--that's what we call "diplomacy." You extend diplomacy to the reasonable and the not-so-reasonable. You don't extend that courtesy to a stateless killer who demonstrates fundamentalist tendencies and homicidal beliefs. At that point, no, you don't reason with the unreasonable. You don't negotiate or banter with people who have made up their minds to conduct themselves like animals. You need merely to destroy them. Making a concerted effort towards understanding them would legitimize their insanity.

Has China Started to Slap Back at Google?


I don’t blame the Chinese for taking a swipe at Google. My reaction is, “what took them so long?” You’d think that, by now, Google wouldn’t work anywhere in China. When outages like this happen, it’s easy to speculate as to what might have actually happened:



Google has said that a problem that meant that Chinese users of its service were unable to access search results on 30 March was due to a technical error.


Many reports had speculated that the block may have been put in place by the Chinese government.


Earlier this month Google stopped censoring its search results in China in defiance of the government.


The company now redirects Chinese users to the uncensored pages of its Hong Kong website.


A spokesperson for the firm said the “lots of users” had been unable to access the Hong Kong site today.


“This blockage seems to have been triggered by a change on Google’s part,” the spokesperson said.




Or was it?


Both sides are just big enough to confuse the facts and play public relations games. Why should anyone care if Chinese citizens can’t use Google? Well, it’s not so much the search engine as it is the almost indispensible products like Gmail and Blogger that are really of so much value. Without them, you might as well stop trying to dissent against your own government.

It's Called Foot Powder



Allow an old man who uses foot products to explain this to you:



Lindsay Lohan was leaving a friends house in Los Angeles on Saturday when a generous amount of unidentified white powder started shooting out of her shoes. In some angles, it appeared there was smoke puffing out of her feet, and upon closer inspection, you can see her shoes and ankles are covered in the substance.


Last week, she took a tumble onto a cactus while wearing similar high-heeled shoes. She has blamed pushy photographers and not intoxication for the fall. She later joked that she should "start wearing more flats." Could this all be a simple case of too much baby powder in an attempt to keep her accident-prone feet dry? The cactus incident may have driven her to take steps to stay on her feet, but this string of odd episodes raises other concerns.

The 'Mean Girls' actress has admitted to drug use in the past and recent reports of increased partying have been a cause of concern among her friends and Hollywood observers. An unnamed friend tells TMZ, "If she doesn't get help soon, she's going to die."



Now, that could be baby powder, or it could be foot powder, and it could also be an undisclosed white powder that will make someone fly for days. I make no secret of adoring Lindsay Lohan; I refuse to let people tear her down without trying to defend her in some way. Lindsay might be looking to pick up an endorsement deal. Now, is foot powder a classy product? Not really, and it could lead to a Megan Mullally situation, where a classy lady endorses a crap product. I would like to see Lindsay avoid such a thing; cash flow being what it is, Lindsay might not have a choice.


My guess is that a servant used too much foot powder in her stanky shoes. It happens to me on a regular basis, especially when I can't get good help. I need a thin application of foot powder applied regularly to my feet and to the instep of my leather boat shoes just to survive a hot afternoon. If not, the shoes begin to turn on me, and I hate throwing out shoes just because they smell. If I could wear socks, this wouldn't be a problem. Alas, I cannot.


One day, I'll tell you that secret. Til then, you'll just have to speculate.

Megan Mullally Needs a New Agent


Megan Mullally's Ad for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
People have to eat, and I don't blame Megan for doing an ad; I just wish that she had people working for her who could have steered her away from what has to be one of the worst products ever. They used a great photo of her, however, and if the product itself had any class, this would have been a better ad. Sadly, the product and the celebrity are on different planes.

Megan Mullally Needs a New Agent


Megan Mullally's Ad for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
People have to eat, and I don't blame Megan for doing an ad; I just wish that she had people working for her who could have steered her away from what has to be one of the worst products ever. They used a great photo of her, however, and if the product itself had any class, this would have been a better ad. Sadly, the product and the celebrity are on different planes.

Sandra Bullock Dances With Karma, and Karma Steps on Her Feet


Sandra Bullock


When I was on my hiatus and break, this story hit like a firestorm, and I completely and utterly missed it:



In the wake of a scandal that has rocked her marriage, Sandra Bullock is quietly determining her next move, say friends.

Stunned by revelations that her husband Jesse James cheated with tattoo model Michelle McGee, Bullock "needs time to grieve and process what has happened," a close friend tells PEOPLE in its new cover story, on newsstands Friday.

The friend says Bullock, 45, learned of her husband's betrayal just eight days after her triumphant March 7 Oscar win.



I don't think People should have run such a chiseled and harsh photo of Sandra to accompany this piece; I think they should have found something softer and more hopeful. Didn't something similar happen to Hilary Swank when she won her Academy Award, just not to blatantly awful and public?


It might be safe to say that her marriage was irretrievably broken by Mr. James, and that there probably isn't a man out there who could earn back her trust. You have to give Sandra credit for trusting a man who was previously married to one of the most notorious porn stars in modern American history (yes, Janine Lindemulder) and who has a colorful past. If he had just been able to keep it in his pants, this could have been a much different year for Sandra.

What's Bar Refaeli Up to These Days?


Bar Refaeli


I gather that Bar Refaeli has either dumped Leonardo Di Caprio or he has dumped her; either way, who cares? She's beautiful, and she should never be dumped.




Bar Refaeli

Bar Refaeli
Bar Refaeli has a few more pictures here...

Hey, It's not the All Star Break, but it's Still a Break


Since the inception of this blog, and the three or four different versions of it that have existed, I have only taken short breaks to attend The Masters. This year, I'm probably going to attend The Masters, but, before that, I'm going to take an extended break. From now until the end of the month or so, I'm not going to blog. I'm going to concentrate, and think, and come up with brilliant ideas. I'm going to put the full weight of my considerable talents to thinking, which I haven't done in years. Oh, that's not as bad as it sounds. For long stretches of my life, I have subsisted on snap decisions and bald-faced rage, without any thinking being done at all. Thinking is overrated. Doing is underrated.


Now would be a good time to point out that my blogs are like beacons of hope in a world possessed by mediocrity and fear. I have a few things that I like to call The Best of the Blog. If you have stomach that, you can run with billy goats and feast on anything, sir. You can trip through Celebrity Disaster and then find yourself on a sports tangent with Talking Smack About Sports. I am a Gentleman Bounty Hunter, you know, and I do like my Safe For Work Hotties.


When I come back, I hope I'm not rusty and boring. If so, I'll probably demand more of myself. I may search for scapegoats and look for a dingbat to take the fall, but I won't tolerate boring. Not here or anywhere else.

The End of the Road for Bajaj Scooters

Bajaj Scooter


It’s a sign that globalization is happening—once people can afford a better product, what they used to settle for becomes obsolete. That’s what has happened to the Bajaj scooter, once a transportation mainstay for India:



Later this month, Bajaj’s last scooter factory will roll out its last scooter, ending an era in India’s transition from dreary socialist behemoth into a consumerist powerhouse. And those one-time icons of middle-class achievement will be left to secondhand dealers and armies of sidewalk mechanics.


Because in modern India, modest dependability just isn’t enough.


“People have more money to spend today,” said Pradeep Tyagi. He sells used motorcycles in the New Delhi neighborhood of Karol Bagh, where dozens of used-car and motorcycle dealers — and a handful of scooter shops — are jammed into a few narrow lanes. “No one wants to spend that money on a scooter.”


Wander among the neighborhood’s tiny, dusty shops and it becomes clear how India’s aspirations have changed.


Because while India still has desperate poverty — more than one-third of the population lives on less than $1 per day — it has also become a nation of fierce consumers, its buying habits nurtured by a growing economy, easier loans and relentless advertising. In places like Karol Bagh, that means people who once would have aspired to scooters now want motorcycles. And everyone dreams of cars.



This is what I do not get about people who sneer at “green” technology and getting smarter about making things that are self-sustaining. How can you not see that there are people all over the world who want what we have here in the West? How can you not see that if you put fifty or sixty million cars on the roads of India in the span of a few years that it won’t have a tremendous impact on our environment? How can you not see that there’s money to be made here? Where is the car that gets seventy miles to the gallon and would be perfect for the Indian market? If Ford or GM had a car like that, wouldn’t it be smart to be at the top of that game?


Perhaps it is the traveler in me; I don’t know. I just don’t see how people can be so ignorant. The transition of India from a bicycle and scooter nation to a nation of cars and people owning two or more cars is happening. Shouldn’t we have cleaner, better cars to sell to them right now? Or should we just go back to thinking no one else should have it so good?

I Always Drop Everything When There is News About Jennifer Love Hewitt


Jennifer Love Hewitt


We are thirteen nautical miles off Nevis, moving to the Southeast at a slow seven knots and we are waiting to see what the issue with the electrical system amounts to. The Admiral Hassenpfeffer has had intermittent power failures all morning. Mr. Peej has been all throughout the engine room, and, in careful consultation with the engine room crew, his official explanation is "gremlins." I have accepted that, but, when we get to Nevis, we will call on board someone who might have a better grasp of the issue. Let's hope we can find someone who knows how Father had the system re-worked in 1976. Remember now, this is either a French or Italian corvette, with a keel laid down in the 1930s, and she was taken by the Germans, overhauled, and turned into a fleet raiding surface vessel that ended up abandoned in North Africa in 1943. She has been through a great deal.


But, as it stands, not as much as poor Jennifer Love Hewitt:



After a year-long romance, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jamie Kennedy have broken up, a rep has confirmed exclusively to PEOPLE.

No further details were available.

Though some in the blogosphere called them an unlikely couple, Kennedy and Hewitt regularly gushed over each other.

When Kennedy first confirmed the romance in March 2009, he told Ryan Seacrestduring a radio interview, "I'm in love!" Describing his costar on Ghost Whisperer, Kennedy said: "It's like, 'Wow, you are hot. You can sing, you can dance, you're like, so smart and, wow, you can cook pasta fagioli, too.' "



I ordered the ship to come to a halt, and we shut down all of the electrical systems and recycled all of the power after a two hour cool down period. I have no scientific reasons for doing this; I just wanted to bring everyone and everything under my control to a halt. I forbade speaking, and I had everyone go to their bunks and reflect on the sadness that is the love life of an American treasure. A few members of the crew from St. Thomas burst into tears because they thought Jessica Simpson had died. When we finally explained what had really happened, they felt better, but they still wanted me to power up the vessel and call out on all radio channels and confirm that Jessica was still alive, and so we did and it took a half an hour before a Coast Guard cutter out of Miami confirmed for us that Jessica was fine.


I get a little tired of that whole "this channel is for emergencies only" lecture. Well, what constitutes and emergency in your little navy world, sir? Do you know when saying "yadda, yadda, yadda" is appropriate? When a man wearing lieutenant-commander rank starts lecturing you on a radio network that rarely provides any useful information to you anyway, that's when.


In my life, an emergency is when a young lady's love life and well being is the subject of national media attention. It's when a broken heart and a tender heart are torn apart by the loss of a boyfriend over the weekend before St. Patrick's Day and the start of March Madness. Even Miranda would fit into that category, were she to actually start trying to attract a decent man. One thing you can count on when it comes to Jennifer or Jessica--they shave their armpits and legs. Miranda? Who knows? I refuse to ask her when she's moody. As much as I would like to write about her love life, she still has enough passwords to thwart me.

We Are Not Governed By Any Aspect of the Declaration of Independence


Whenever someone cites the Declaration of Independence, try to remember that there is nothing in that document that currently governs this nation; the Constitution is what governs us. The Declaration of Independence was used to explain the reasons for the American Revolution to the King of England. Nothing in it is binding or legal as we currently govern ourselves. The Declaration informs the Constitution but it is not the legally binding document. It’s a great way of illustrating the ignorance of pundits, though. Few, if any, know anything about the Republic for which it stands.


That doesn’t stop people from trying to use it, however:


Good God, What Are You Thinking, Donald?


Melania must be confusing the Donald with her womanly charms...


Have a look at this, and then tell me who wins:



"Celebrity Apprentice" is back, with a weird group that includes Daryl Strawberry, Cyndi Lauper, Bret Michaels, Sharon Osbourne, Sinbad, and best of all, disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. Please get him and Donald Trump in the room, because all that hair and all that ego is bound to cause some kind of weird disturbance in the Force. (March 14, 9 p.m., NBC.) 



Do you see anyone--anyone--on that list who could win? I do not. The Donald is getting poor advice. I don't know if I blame Melania, but I sure like posting old photos of her.


I see a list of people who have had success and failure and infamy and the usual downfalls and pitfalls and I see no winners. I see a ridiculous D-list farce. Where's Kathy Griffin when you need her? Where's the little fellow who was in the Austin Powers films? Where's Erik Estrada and the dude who signed on to do all of those Free Credit Report Dot Com ads?

The Irish Turn Away From the Catholic Church


While I don’t have a problem with religion, I certainly prefer secular societies that know the proper place of religion in their politics and culture. Ireland seems to be reaching that point as well, and, just so you know, the proper place to me is separate and distant. Your government should never be religious-based, and your religion should never be based on taking control of the government.


The overwhelming influence of the Catholic Church in Ireland is well known; seeing Irish priests kiss the ring of the Pope shouldn’t elicit anything other than delight in the faithful. In point of fact, the opposite has happened—many Irish citizens are angry that the current Pope has done nothing to help address the sexual abuse crimes committed by members of the church:



Andrew Madden, the first person in Ireland to go public about his abuse by a priest, described the meetings at the Vatican as “a complete waste of time” and the greatest act of window dressing he had ever seen. Abuse survivor Marie Collins saidit was an insult that the resignation of bishops didn’t even make the agenda. Additionally, she said it was deplorable that the pope’s statement was “so far away from accepting that there was a policy of coverup.”


Of course, it’s not unusual for bishops to kiss the pope’s ring, and the Vatican has always been heavily male and ornate. The difference now is that Irish Catholics, after decades of alienation from the church, are finally nearing a breaking point.


Not so very long ago and for the great majority of Irish people, their Catholicism was synonymous with their national identity. To be Irish was to be Catholic. It was something of which most Irish were very proud.


In the latter part of the 19th century, the church grew to become the most powerful civic institution on the island, controlling most of Ireland’s schools and the greater number of its hospitals.


This allowed the church unparalleled influence throughout most of the 20th century in what is now known as the Republic of Ireland. That continued to be the case until the latter decades of the last century when its influence began to wane due to increased affluence and a better-educated population. With the events of the last few years, church leaders can no longer ignore the extent to which they’ve lost control of Irish society.



In this way, the scandal doesn’t really mirror what happened in the United States. Going back at least twenty years, legal cases have been brought against the church in the United States. Accountability has had a long, tough road in the United States but, at the very least, many victims have had a chance to appear in court and see their abusers punished. The church has withdrawn priests and hid them; in Ireland, they simply refuse to acknowledge the crimes.


This has to figure into how the church approaches the issue of priest sex abuse. In a country where there is a highly developed legal system or a small number of practicing faithful, the chances of the criminal code being applied to the church and then issuing a severe punishment is fairly high. In Ireland, the church is very closely tied to the government and the culture. Not only does this account for a lack of accountability, it also accounts for the possibility that the problem will never be solved or dealt with. That means more victims, more coverups, and more obstruction.

The Germans Aren't Afraid of Shoeless Fools and Pretend Ninjas

See if you can figure this out, because I certainly can. Despite the threat of terrorism, you have a Western democracy coming down on the side of privacy, rather than panic and fear. Sadly, it's not the United States.

Vast amounts of telephone and e-mail data held in Germany must be deleted, the country's highest court has ruled.

The constitutional court overturned a 2008 law requiring communications data to be kept for six months.

The law - designed to combat terrorism and serious crime - required telecoms companies to keep logs of calls, faxes, SMS messages, e-mails and internet use.

But nearly 35,000 Germans lodged complaints against it, arguing that the law violated their right to privacy.

Responding to the thousands of formal complaints, Germany's constitutional court described the law as a "particularly serious infringement of privacy in telecommunications".

In contrast, political calculations and a stunning lack of cojones seems to prevail in this country:

President Obama signed a one-year extension of three sections of the USA Patriot Act on Saturday without any new limits on the measures that many liberal groups and Democrats said were necessary to safeguard American civil liberties.

The provisions allow the government, with permission from a special court, to obtain roving wiretaps over multiple communication devices, seize suspects’ records without their knowledge, and conduct surveillance of a so-called “lone wolf,” or someone deemed suspicious but without any known ties to an organized terrorist group.

The Patriot Act drew heavy criticism from Democrats – Obama even once saidit needed to be dialed back – during the Bush administration. But experts suggest that a string of foiled terrorist plots over the past year combined with the Democrats' falling ratings amid the healthcare debate blunted any move to reform the act, which was passed in the wake of 9/11.

“We’ve stopped 28 terrorist attacks since 9/11,” says James Carafano, a homeland security expert at The Heritage Foundation. “The Patriot Act has been a big part of that."

He says the only disappointment regarding Obama’s extension of the three temporary provisions is that “it was only for one year.” That, he says, may have been done “so they won’t get beat up so much on the left.”

Well, I wouldn't use that number 28 so freely. Many of those were pretty half-assed. At least two or three of those involved people who couldn't even afford adequate footwear, and at least one of those involved a self-described American ninja, I believe.

I won't bother to go and dig up all of the things President Obama said against the Patriot Act; I won't even bother to go see what Glenn Greenwald had to say about it. Shame on the Republican Party for foisting it upon us. We should have kept things the way they were; what better way to tell the men with rags on their head to go pound sand. These colors may not run, but they'll shit themselves seven shades of brown over the idea of someone thinking there might be a terrorist talking in the open on his cell phone in Grand Forks about going to Tuscaloosa to buy a gallon of paint from a man from Spokane. The Patriot Act only works if the terrorists are abject fools with a talkative streak and no operational security, sir.

I will just point out that, at one time, you couldn't get elected dogcatcher in this country without having a position on privacy and on protecting the rights of Americans to be safe from unlawful search and seizure. Now, you can pretty much bet on the fact that millions of Americans will sign away their firstborn and every halfwit databit of their private information just so that there's no chance whatsoever that they won't have to think about being attacked by a terrorist.

Boo! Are you scared, sir? I hope not. Cowboy up.

Posted via web from An American Lion is on Posterous

The Germans Lead the Way on Privacy


See if you can figure this out, because I certainly can. Despite the threat of terrorism, you have a Western democracy coming down on the side of privacy, rather than panic and fear. Sadly, it’s not the United States.



Vast amounts of telephone and e-mail data held in Germany must be deleted, the country’s highest court has ruled.


The constitutional court overturned a 2008 law requiring communications data to be kept for six months.


The law - designed to combat terrorism and serious crime - required telecoms companies to keep logs of calls, faxes, SMS messages, e-mails and internet use.


But nearly 35,000 Germans lodged complaints against it, arguing that the law violated their right to privacy.


Responding to the thousands of formal complaints, Germany’s constitutional court described the law as a “particularly serious infringement of privacy in telecommunications”.




In contrast, political calculations and a stunning lack of cojones seems to prevail in this country:



President Obama signed a one-year extension of three sections of the USA Patriot Act on Saturday without any new limits on the measures that many liberal groups and Democrats said were necessary to safeguard American civil liberties.


The provisions allow the government, with permission from a special court, to obtain roving wiretaps over multiple communication devices, seize suspects’ records without their knowledge, and conduct surveillance of a so-called “lone wolf,” or someone deemed suspicious but without any known ties to an organized terrorist group.


The Patriot Act drew heavy criticism from Democrats – Obama even once saidit needed to be dialed back – during the Bush administration. But experts suggest that a string of foiled terrorist plots over the past year combined with the Democrats’ falling ratings amid the healthcare debate blunted any move to reform the act, which was passed in the wake of 9/11.


“We’ve stopped 28 terrorist attacks since 9/11,” says James Carafano, a homeland security expert at The Heritage Foundation. “The Patriot Act has been a big part of that.”


He says the only disappointment regarding Obama’s extension of the three temporary provisions is that “it was only for one year.” That, he says, may have been done “so they won’t get beat up so much on the left.”



Well, I wouldn’t use that number 28 so freely. Many of those were pretty half-assed. At least two or three of those involved people who couldn’t even afford adequate footwear, and at least one of those involved a self-described American ninja, I believe.


I won’t bother to go and dig up all of the things President Obama said against the Patriot Act; I won’t even bother to go see what Glenn Greenwald had to say about it. Shame on the Republican Party for foisting it upon us. We should have kept things the way they were; what better way to tell the men with rags on their head to go pound sand. These colors may not run, but they’ll shit themselves seven shades of brown over the idea of someone thinking there might be a terrorist talking in the open on his cell phone in Grand Forks about going to Tuscaloosa to buy a gallon of paint from a man from Spokane. The Patriot Act only works if the terrorists are abject fools with a talkative streak and no operational security, sir.


I will just point out that, at one time, you couldn’t get elected dogcatcher in this country without having a position on privacy and on protecting the rights of Americans to be safe from unlawful search and seizure. Now, you can pretty much bet on the fact that millions of Americans will sign away their firstborn and every halfwit databit of their private information just so that there’s no chance whatsoever that they won’t have to think about being attacked by a terrorist.


Boo! Are you scared, sir? I hope not. Cowboy up.