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jberryhill's Journal
jberryhill's Journal
January 23, 2014

What the Sochi Olympic threats are about

In the event you were wondering just what these folks are upset about...


Although there is no legal continuity between the Russian Empire and the modern Russian Federation, and the concept of genocide was only adopted in international law in the 20th century, on 5 July 2005 the Circassian Congress, an organization that unites representatives of the various Circassian peoples in the Russian Federation, called on Moscow first to acknowledge and then to apologize for Tsarist policies that Circassians say constituted a genocide. Their appeal pointed out that "according to the official tsarist documents more than 400,000 Circassians were killed, 497,000 were forced to flee abroad to Turkey, and only 80,000 were left alive in their native area".[30] Other sources give much higher numbers, totaling 1–1.5 million deported and/or killed. The movement has since been campaigning for the recognition of the "Circassian Genocide". Nevertheless, the Circassians view the memory of the brutal expulsions and killings by the hand of Russia and the suffering they caused as a central part of the Circassian identity. Circassians have also taken issue with the 2014 Winter Olympics, to be held in Sochi, the Black Sea coast city and the supposed site of the final expulsion of the Circassians.
January 21, 2014

Spoiler rules for Olympic events

Can someone dig out the ones we used before?

January 12, 2014

Schoolgirl Hitchikers - on Netflix

It's long been rumored that Sonny Bono had considered an acting career and, using an assumed name, had played roles in foreign films to try it out.  This film may be an interesting clue to that rumor, but maybe not, since associating this film with anything involving a clue is something of a stretch.   Cluelessness is a central theme of the film as a trio of madcap jewel thieves search for their missing booty in all of the wrong places.  While they find plenty of booty along the way, the jewels or anything else of value remain elusive. 

The mystery begins within moments of hitting the play button, as you realize that Schoolgirl Hitchikers does not actually involve a school, hitchhiking or even the two actresses depicted on the cover art image provided by Netflix.   That the  Netflix capsule description also includes misinformation about this dubbed French title makes me wonder if they actually watched it which, I admit, they may not be paid enough to do.   But, hey, you're paying to subscribe and, as they say, they can't all be winners.  There is, after all, only one Oscar each year for best foreign film, and director Jean Rollin clearly had given up hope in 1973.  

There is some hiking, and there are some cars, but not at the same time. If you are looking for a  low mileage vintage Peugot,  Datsun B210 or a Dodge Dart, have I got a deal on three for you, none of which were driven more than 20 yards on the grounds of a French Chateau.  I puzzled over why the word "chateau" seems to combine the words for "cat" (chat) and "water" (eau), and why don't I don't stop watching Netflix to seek some real entertainment by, say, changing the kitty litter.    There's only so much life that can pass you by in 79 minutes, but here again the Netflix description is at odds with the actual 120 minute run time of the film.  It's entirely possible that this is not the film it's supposed to be, and I mean that in more ways than one.  

Fans of French interior design will appreciate many of the country chateau  details, in particular the rosewood chifferobe,  brilliant cinematic use of a stained glass bedecked gazebo, a selection of richly detailed wallpapers and how even a threadbare oriental rug can really just pull the whole room together.   The dude abides, and he abides in the parlor long beyond you will have figured out whodunit, and turned to the more disturbing question posed by this film, which is more of a "why done it".   
January 11, 2014

My annual three minutes of Fox was a hoot!

I can never understand how people can watch Fox News for any length of time to report "OMG [insert some crazy Hannity nonsense]" but once every couple of months or so my wife and I play a game of "watch Fox until someone says something stupid". It usually takes less than a minute.

Bill O'Reilly's angle on Christie was pretty funny, though, but he sent me rolling into laughter in a discussion with Geraldo Rivera in which he said something approximating:

"Look, he had a bad person on his staff! We've all had problems with staff members!"

Yeah Bill, especially the ones who don't want to get into the shower with you and a falafel!

Billy's got this thing all figured out. The US attorney looking into this is a Democrat. Therefore, the result of any investigation will be corrupt.

January 8, 2014

Bridgegate has reached the critical "what did he know and when did he know it" phase

Okay, so he claims to have found out the facts today about a situation the press was needling him about several weeks ago, and went with "rogue staff".

That is an easier step taken early on in these things. If he had gone with "rogue staff" initially, then it is easier to avoid:

"what did he know and when did he know it"
January 5, 2014

Where can I get fresh rhino horn?

Unless you are a member of the authoritarian "anti-woo" crowd, you probably know that rhino horn has been a traditional medicine for hundreds of years. While the scoffers deride, with their blind faith in government propaganda, what the Chinese have known for centuries, I keep an open mind about these sorts of things.

As is well known by millions of people not brainwashed by big pharma brainwashing, rhino horn can be used to treat high fever, impotence, and a host of other illnesses.

Most recently, the authoritarians have made it difficult, using the force of law, to get reliable supplies of rhino horn. Unable to win the argument rationally, the authoritarians have resorted to the use of government force in order to prevent people from using this natural remedy.

Even if the authoritarians are right, they still haven't shown that taking rhino horn is harmful, but their controlling mindset can't tolerate a little harmless fun.

Has anyone figured out a way around the government control of imports in order to get a consistent supply of this amazing treatment?

(And if you can't find me some rhino horn, I'll settle for tiger bone)

January 2, 2014

"That Kind of Girl" - On Netflix

What comes around definitely goes around in this surprisingly watchable cautionary film about syphilis which, we are told, was approved by the British Medical Board - the film, not the disease, although it's a close contest. Before there was a Jerry Springer Show there was the cinema, and this lushly shot tour of London, its clubs and nearby countryside is Jerry Springer done right.

This is the film that dares to ask, "What do you think of Hitler?" It was either a popular pick up line in the early 1960's or a code phrase used to activate post-war Austrian agents to attempt to bring Britain to its knees one more time.
There are worse things than syphilis or Hitler, and this film is not one of them. But if you wondered why Wargames' "Professor Falken" (John Wood) gave up on humanity, you'll soon find out, since it was apparently among his early jobs to hand out "You've got the clap!" greeting cards for British youth to send to their loved ones and not-so-loved ones.

The main causes of syphilis appear to be creepy ad executives, jazz, nuclear disarmament, and upper glass girls who won't have sex with their boyfriends. But wait, how does not having sex lead to syphilis, you ask? Simple. Because if girls who don't have VD refuse to have sex with their boyfriends, then their boyfriends will have sex with girls who do have VD, so that when you find out and have sex with him to get him back... you'll get syphilis. You'll also get pregnant. Which leads to the signature catchphrase of the film - "I’ve never been to the doctor to tell them I’m an unmarried mother and the man who got me pregnant has VD!” Well, there's a first time for everything, and vice versa.

Unlike US films of this genre, in which everyone goes blind, mad, and disgraced, this film proceeds to a happy ending - the other kind - with a bit of the British stiff upper lip and assorted other organs. By the end, you'll be rushing out to make sure you have enough postage stamps to support an active sex life.

Of interest is that many people do not know the origin of the "peace" symbol as the stylized acronymic logo of the UK Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Among the many little surprises in this film, aside from the primary one, we are treated to a look at the goings on of the CND of the time.

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