Daily Archives: September 26, 2009

TV Review: ‘The National Parks: America’s Best Idea’ Ken Burns Goes Camping, and Has Photos

Posted by Buellboy and Audiegrl

Horace Albright, then Yellowstone’s superintendent, dining with friends in 1922 in an image from Ken Burns’s series, “The National Parks,” which begins on Sunday on PBS.

Horace Albright, then Yellowstone’s superintendent, dining with friends in 1922 in an image from Ken Burns’s series, “The National Parks,” which begins on Sunday on PBS.


New York Times/Mike Hale—Ken Burns’s new opus for public television, a six-night history of America’s national parks, contains quite a bit of contemporary footage — more than we’re accustomed to from the maker of “The Civil War” and “Jazz.” Along with the usual archival photographs and blurry home movies, there are frequent high-definition color views of the majestic scenery in parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, Acadia and Denali.

An interesting thing about those images, though: there are no people in them. Also no roads, parking lots, metal railings or refreshment stands. Bears gambol, clouds rush by, but it’s not until the last 10 minutes of this 12-hour documentary that we see contemporary people in the parks (though there are people in the archival images). And then they’re in fast motion, like Keystone Kops capering down the paths, or like those clouds scudding over the Grand Canyon.

There could be thematic reasons for this. One of the central conflicts traced in the film is between the notions of preserving wilderness untouched and preserving it for the recreation and education of as many people as possible. Mr. Burns may be casting a silent vote with his lonely vistas.

But they also reflect a central feature of the Ken Burns aesthetic. Not that he doesn’t like people, exactly. He just doesn’t like mess. Visually and intellectually, he likes order: clear compositions, clear stories, clear heroes and villains. He doesn’t like clutter, and he doesn’t like surprises. (He never met a twist of history that he couldn’t heavily foreshadow a half-hour earlier.)

More @ New York Times

Watch the Video Excerpt: The National Parks, Americas Best Idea Coming
Ken Burns’s latest documentary begins on PBS on Sept. 27.

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Filed under Culture, History, Media and Entertainment, TV Shows, Uncategorized

Comedy Tweets: How 140 Character Limit Can Mess With Your Real Life

Posted by HershelWellingtonIV

What if you were limited to 140 characters not just on Twitter but in your regular life? Would it cause all sorts of embarrassing situations in the workplace? Probably, but it probably wouldn’t end as well as this video imagines it to.

(NSFW VIDEO)

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President Obama’s Saturday Youtube Address 09/26/09

white house gov logo
WhiteHouse.gov— In this week’s address, President Barack Obama recounted the progress made this past week in advancing America’s national security and economic prosperity at the United Nations and the G-20. The administration established the U.S. as a leader in the pursuit for clean energy, and agreed to reform the global financial system to prevent another crisis. Also, the President joined the first meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in nearly a year, chaired a meeting of the UN Security Council, which passed a resolution to secure loose nuclear materials, and stood in agreement with our European allies and Russia that Iran must not acquire nuclear weapons.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
September 26, 2009

This week, I joined leaders from around the world at the United Nations and the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh. Today, I can report on what we achieved—a new commitment to meet common challenges, and real progress in advancing America’s national security and economic prosperity.

As I said at the U.N., over the past nine months my administration has renewed American leadership, and pursued a new era of engagement in which we call upon all nations to live up to their responsibilities. This week, our engagement produced tangible results in several areas.

In Pittsburgh, the world’s major economies agreed to continue our effort to spur global demand to put our people back to work. We committed ourselves to economic growth that is balanced and sustained— so that we avoid the booms and busts of the past. We reached an historic agreement to reform the global financial system—to promote responsibility and prevent abuse so that we never face a crisis like this again. And we reformed our international economic architecture, so that we can better coordinate our effort to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

We also established American leadership in the global pursuit of the clean energy of the 21st century. I am proud that the G-20 nations agreed to phase out $300 billion worth of fossil fuel subsidies. This will increase our energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combat the threat of climate change, and help create the new jobs and industries of the future.

In New York, we advanced the cause of peace and security. I joined the first meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in nearly a year—a meeting that even nine months ago did not seem possible. And we resolved to move forward in the journey toward a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

We also took unprecedented steps to secure loose nuclear materials; to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to seek a world without them. As the first U.S. president to ever chair a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, I was proud that the Council passed an historic and unanimous resolution embracing the comprehensive strategy I outlined this year in Prague.

To prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, the Security Council endorsed our global effort to lock down all vulnerable material within four years. We reaffirmed the basic compact of the global nonproliferation regime: all nations have the right to peaceful nuclear energy; nations with nuclear weapons have the responsibility to move toward disarmament; and nations without them have the responsibility to forsake them.

The United States is meeting our responsibilities by pursuing an agreement with Russia to reduce our strategic warheads and launchers. And just as we meet our responsibilities, so must other nations, including Iran and North Korea.

Earlier this year, we imposed tough, new, sanctions on North Korea to stop their efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. And we will continue to stand with our allies and partners to press North Korea to move in a new direction.

This week, we joined with the United Kingdom and France in presenting evidence that Iran has been building a secret nuclear facility to enrich uranium. This is a serious challenge to the global nonproliferation regime, and continues a disturbing pattern of Iranian evasion. That is why international negotiations with Iran scheduled for October 1st now take on added urgency.

My offer of a serious, meaningful dialogue to resolve this issue remains open. But Iran must now cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and take action to demonstrate its peaceful intentions.

On this, the international community is more united than ever before. Yesterday, I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our European allies in condemning Iran’s program. In our meetings and public statements, President Medvedev of Russia and I agreed that Iran must pursue a new course or face consequences. All of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany, have made it clear that Iran must fulfill its responsibilities.

Iran’s leaders must now choose – they can live up to their responsibilities and achieve integration with the community of nations. Or they will face increased pressure and isolation, and deny opportunity to their own people.

These are the urgent threats of our time. And the United States is committed to a new chapter of international cooperation to meet them. This new chapter will not be written in one week or even one year. But we have begun. And for the American people and the people of the world, it will mean greater security and prosperity for years to come.

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Filed under Democrats, G20, Media and Entertainment, Middle East, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Republicans, Uncategorized, United Nations, Weekly YouTube Address

Boehner Makes a Bogey

House Minority Leader John Boehners PAC spent $550,000 on travel and entertainment expenses around the country, more than any other lawmaker, according to a ABC News/ProPublica analysis of disclosure data. In the past three years, Boehner has travelled to Palm Springs, CA; Boca Raton, FL; and Scottsdale, AZ to raise money for his PAC

House Minority Leader John Boehner's PAC spent $550,000 on travel and entertainment expenses around the country, more than any other lawmaker, according to a ABC News/ProPublica analysis of disclosure data. In the past three years, Boehner has travelled to Palm Springs, CA; Boca Raton, FL; and Scottsdale, AZ to raise money for his PAC

For people who love golf, the chance to play at the five-star Greenbrier resort in West Virginia is a dream come true. Especially if someone else pays for it. That was the case this summer for two powerful members of Congress, House Republican Minority leader John Boehner of Ohio and Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia.

Accompanied by top corporate lobbyists , the two golf-loving Republicans spent a luxurious weekend at the Greenbrier, the kinds of cozy gatherings new ethics reform laws were supposed to curb.

“You’re seeing the quintessential Washington insider pay-to-play game,” said Meredith McGehee, Policy Director at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.

  read the whole story here:

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Filed under Democrats, Economy, Media and Entertainment, Money, Republicans, Sports, Transparency, Uncategorized

True Crime TV: LAW & ORDER Season Premiere Features Torture Prosecution

Posted by Audiegrl

Detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson)

Detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson)

When young war veteran Greg Tanner is found murdered in a Hudson University parking garage, Detectives Lupo and Bernard connect the murder to law professor Kevin Franklin, an attorney who formerly worked for the Department of Justice. But when the case is brought to court, it seems Tanner may have been more affected by the war than his discharge stated. Lupo and Bernard find that the pieces start to fit when Franklin’s memos from the Bush Administration are leaked.

Watch a clip of the LAW & ORDER Season 20 premiere “Memo From the Dark Side”

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44-D True Crime: Former Reality Show Contestant Brian Lee Randone is Charged with Killing His Girlfriend

TrueCrime-490X136
Posted by Audiegrl

You all might remember us covering another reality show murder case last month. Ryan Jenkins a self-professed millionaire and contestant of VH1’s “Megan Wants A Millionaire” was accused of killing his wife, Jasmine Fiore in LA, and then fleeing to Canada where he committed suicide. My post “True Crime: Have Reality TV Shows Gone to Far?” suggested that reality shows needed to employ more thourogh vetting processes, before more people get hurt. Here we go again….

Brian Lee Randone

Brian Lee Randone

AP—A self-proclaimed preacher who was on the TV beauty pageant “The Sexiest Bachelor in America” will be arraigned next week for allegedly torturing and murdering his girlfriend, an ex-adult movie actress.

Brian Lee Randone, 45, was charged last week with one count of murder and one count of torture. He was scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 29 and faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Randone remained jailed Friday on $2 million bail. Robison did not know whether he had an attorney.

Randone was arrested on Sept. 11. Prosecutors said he beat and choked Felicia Lee during a domestic dispute at their apartment in the foothill community of Monrovia, northeast of Los Angeles.

He then dialed 911 to report she was unconscious, investigators said.

“It appeared to be torture prior to the murder,” Sgt. Brian Schoonmaker, a homicide detective working the case, said Friday. Lee apparently suffered dozens of injuries in the 24 hours before she died, Schoonmaker said, but he did not provide details.

More @ Associated Press

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Filed under Media and Entertainment, True Crime, TV Shows, Uncategorized

Update: From Smiling Coffee Vendor to Terror Suspect

posted by GeoT

Terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi

Terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi

For years, he was a fixture in Lower Manhattan, as regular as the sunrise. Every morning, Najibullah Zazi would be there on Stone Street with his pastries and his coffee, his vending cart anchored to the sidewalk.


He was the smiling man who remembered a customer liked his coffee large, light and sweet. He had a “God Bless America” sign on his cart. He was the doughnut man.

But prosecutors say Mr. Zazi, 24, who worked blocks from ground zero, was just as furtive an operative as the Sept. 11 hijackers when he traveled to Pakistan last year for terrorism training and returned to the United States with a plan to build bombs using beauty supplies and backpacks.

In fact, law enforcement officials, who fret about how to seal the borders of a free society from terrorists, say they find in Mr. Zazi a particularly harrowing challenge: a homegrown operative who travels freely, who is skilled with people, who passed an airport employee background check, who understands the patterns and nuance of American life so well that he gave multiple interviews to journalists for whom access and openness rarely seem like a disguise. read more here:

video report from:

from CBS NY:

Zazi ‘Intent’ On NYC Terror Attack For 9/11
Suspect Ordered To NYC By Denver Judge Friday

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