Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Hat-tip to Dom over at Bettnet for posting his own review of this film. It forced me to create my own post which I had intended to do last week. So, my review is down below.

(Hey, Ang!...... yeah, you...... this is a perfect movie for you to rent.)
I must say that I have been affected by a hauntingly beautiful little independent film entitled, "Once". It's a very small budget film set in Dublin about a busker (that's Irish/English for "street musician") who has a chance meeting with a young woman who is also a musician. We end up following their lives and the burgeoning relationship between them through the course of a week.

The movie is presented in an atypical musical fashion in that though there is singing and performing throughout the movie, the characters do not break out into song like Judy Garland singing "Over the Rainbow" in "The Wizard of Oz". Instead, the music (all original and written for the film) is used as a story catalyst and as a window into the hearts and souls of these two people, revealing to each other (and to the audience) the details of their past relationships. And as they form a bond between them they eventually head into a recording studio to record some of their inspired songs.

The two actors (who are both really musicians who just happen to be able to act) are relative novices to acting. The music is simple, yet soulful and heart-wrenching. Glen Hansard (the male lead) is the lead singer of the irish band "The Frames" (and whose only other acting role was in the film "The Commitments") and his music is captivating. Marketa Irgolva (the female lead) had never acted before this film. She brings not only her classically trained piano playing, but also beautiful vocal harmonies and an equally soulful acting performance.

I highly recommend renting (if not buying) the DVD. Also, pick up the soundtrack (make sure to get the "Collector's Edition" version of the CD which includes a couple extra tunes plus a "Making of..." DVD). If you go to the official website there is streaming audio of the soundtrack as well as quite a few short videos on the film, the actors/musicians, and the making of the movie.

You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Santorum on McCain (not pretty)...

EWTN link to a Catholic News Agency story:

Santorum Alleges Sen. McCain Unreliable on Pro-life Issues

Washington DC, Jan 14, 2008 (CNA).- Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has attacked Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain of Arizona for hindering social conservative issues, arguing that McCain is a poor choice to lead the effort to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Speaking to radio host Mark Levine on Levine’s Thursday night radio show, Senator Santorum cited Senator McCain’s compromises in congressional debates about Supreme Court nominations as evidence the Arizona politician was not a strong pro-life candidate. Santorum, who is now a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said of McCain, “this is not a guy who would give me a lot of confidence that he would appoint the judges who are necessary on the court to overturn Roe v. Wade, who would be strict constructionist judges.”

McCain’s largely pro-life record, Santorum claimed, concealed other problems, such as McCain’s support for embryonic stem cell research and his vote against a Federal Marriage Amendment.

Further, Santorum alleged that during his tenure in the Senate McCain did not provide the necessary support to discuss and vote on social conservative issues on the Senate floor.

Santorum disclosed what happened behind the scenes when he held meetings to gather votes for proposed legislation, telling Levine, “That discussion is held in private, where you’re jostling and jockeying to get your legislation into the queue so that you can have your time on the floor to get something done.”

“And I can tell you, when social-conservative issues were ever raised — whether it was marriage or abortion or a whole host of other issues — there were always the moderates who said ‘no, no, no, we can’t: they’re divisive, divisive, divisive.’ And more often than not, John McCain was . . . with them” in preventing votes on such issues.

Campaign finance reform was another area in which Santorum thought McCain was a weak candidate. Santorum said that the McCain-Feingold campaign reform bill, whose regulations have hindered some pro-life political campaigns, was “an affront to personal freedoms and liberty.”

Santorum called Senator McCain “solid” on the Iraq conflict, but said to Levine that the Arizona senator “was the one who was out there blocking our ability to adequately question… detainees… He did not come down on the side of what I think is appropriate and proper for the kind of war we are fighting today.”

Senator Santorum also attacked McCain’s support for immigration reform, stricter environmental policies, smaller tax cuts, and medical drug re-importation.

An even more detailed case against McCain here (a must read).

Friday, January 11, 2008

Watched the SC Republican debate last night...

Fred Thompson was one fire last night. Made Huckabee look like a fool, while overshadowing everyone else. Flopping Aces has a nice list of blog & news links for the round-up. Plus, today he's picked up the endorsement of Human Events magazine (major coup, there).

My one sentence summations of the six candidates:

Romney is the Bill-Clinton-slick politician with John-Edwards metro-sexual self-obsession.

Huckabee is Gomer-Pyle-as-G.W.Bush (more big goverment mixed with social conservativism).

McCain is the angry-old-man disguised as a hip-maverick.

Guliani has been riding his 9/11-America’s-mayor-coattails to threads for far too long.

Ron Paul is Ross-Perot-redux only less sane.

Meanwhile, Fred is the tortoise in the old tale of The-Tortoise-&-The-Hare. And the one true common-sense conservative in the bunch.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Apologies to MasterCard...

Doing laundry at the local laundromat on a Saturday morning?..... $8.50 (in quarters)

Patiently struggling through guitar lessons every Saturday afternoon?..... $95 per month.

Spending a Sunday morning with a friend at a sports bar eating a breakfast burrito and a decaf coffee while watching the Giants beat Tampa Bay?..... $15 (including tip).

Talking on the phone with a beautiful woman into well after midnight on a Sunday night?............. priceless!

Bin Laden's bodyguard captured?...

Potential reeeeeally good news on the WoT front:
The alleged security coordinator and bodyguard for Al Qaeda terror chieftain Usama bin Laden was arrested in Pakistan sometime last week, the influential newspaper The Nation reported Monday.

Amin al-Haq, 48, also known under the alias Dr. Amin Ah Haq, was arrested last week in Lahore during a special police operation and is being interrogated by Pakistani intelligence, the newspaper reported citing an anonymous law enforcement source.

Pakistani officials have not yet confirmed the arrest.

Amin al-Haq was part of the Afghan delegation flown to Sudan in 1996 to bring bin Laden to Afghanistan. Amin al-Haq is believed to be an active member of the Hizbe Islami Afghanistan party, which joined the Taliban movement in 1996.

The U.S. froze Amin al-Haq's assets after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Story & Video on Fred Thompson...

First, a breath of fresh air from a candidate who's not totally consumed with wanting to be president.

Then, watch the Iowa video that Fred Thompson aired throughout the final week leading up to Thursday's Iowa caucus.

Combine that with this official endorsement (pdf file) by the National Right to Life organization, and that's the reason why I made my first political contribution (modest as it was) this election season.