Friday Open Comments

Monica Bellucci won the highly coveted 2017 Virna Lisi Award this past Tuesday evening in Rome.  Today’s bonus photo is in honor of Virna Lisi, a great actress who, in 1965, delighted teenage boys around the world by popping out of a cake wearing nothing but whipped cream in How to Murder Your Wife.

Thursday Open Comments

Angelo Codevilla at American Greatness has initiated a four part series on terrorism.  Anything Codevilla writes is worth taking the time to read. An excerpt from Part 1:

Focusing on these differences—especially in the light of the recently released Osama Bin Laden documents and their emphasis on al-Qaeda’s latter-day relationship with Iran—invites us to cut through the establishment’s parrot-chorus of “what everyone knows” about terrorism and to unravel the complexity what we are really up against. The following is the first of a four-part attempt to do this.

Far from idiots or zealous amateurs working from Afghan caves, the men who planned and ran the 9/11 attack forged passports, and used the international banking system, sophisticated intelligence, and logistics. With the sole exception of Mohammed Atta, they did not expose themselves to danger. So good was their security that, to this day, we do not know who most of the hijackers were: The names on the passports they used to board did not match the security camera photos and, whereas Atta sent the remainder of the money from the plot to an account linked to Bin Laden—openly—the world’s banking sleuths have been unable to determine from which accounts the money had come.

Wiping out records of money transfers is akin in sophistication to producing and altering passports—the kinds of things done not in Afghan caves, but by sovereign countries’ intelligence services. Though we don’t know who provided the passports with which most of the 9/11 hijackers came to America, we know that Saddam’s Iraq provided the ones with which Ramzi Yousef and Abdul Rahman Yasin came to America for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and that the crew who organized 1993 ran 9/11 as well. We know that, unlike the “idiots” who have hit us since, these people had no history of Muslim devotion. They were professionals, with the resources of sovereign countries’ intelligence services.

Read the whole damn thing.

Wednesday Open Thread

If you haven’t read the Tinseltown Travelogue series, you certainly are missing something.  Part 3 has been posted and Patrick Courrielche with Adryana Cortez concludes with some hilarious and impressive pranksterism by a growing movement of Americans no longer willing to passively accept the open hostility of the American entertainment industry.

In an apparent response, U.S. moviegoers began shunning Movie City with its pocketbooks – with the Right turning away at a much higher clip. By 2016, domestic ticket sales have fallen by over 250,000,000 tickets per year from its 2002 high – a downward trend that started before the proliferation of social media, the third screen, or streaming services…and a decline that happened with an increase in population, quantities of movies made per year, and number of operating U.S. theaters.

If not for foreign box office and broadcast revenues, Hollywood would be 1/3 the size it is today.

That could have been it – a single-day, perfectly executed protest starring two products of Hollywood. But it wasn’t to be just a one-day soiree…it was scheduled to last the entire length of President Trump’s term. There are possibly only two people with the composure to keep a protest of that length civil. The Dalai Lama was busy. Shia LaBeouf wasn’t – and he was destined to show Hollywood the lengths to which some on the right are willing to go to seek revenge.

After Jaden kicked off the protest, Shia joined in, setting off the kind of media fanfare that we’ve all come to expect for anything anti-Trump. “Shia LaBeouf Launches Four-Year-Long Trump Protest Live Stream With Jaden Smith,” screamed a Variety headline. “Shia LaBeouf Kicks Off 4-Year Anti-Trump Live Stream,” added Deadline. Instead of just pointing out the usual “what if we did this to Obama on the day of his inauguration” hypocrisy, the opposition reacted more aggressively. In a matter of just twenty-four hours, Trump supporters from 4chan, the wildly (and sometimes perversely) politically incorrect online chatroom that gave birth to the infamous hacker group Anonymous, coopted the live stream and began triggering Shia so hard that by day five the confused actor was arrested for reportedly attacking a man that was his own supporter.

but that’s not all,

The anonymous users of 4chan, or “anons” as they call themselves, often operate like a mercenary intelligence agency – analyzing satellite imagery, audio, and various other online data sources to attack their targets…not unlike the characters from Mission Impossible. For kids that have both grown up on the Internet and learned to hate Hollywood right back – this activity is their version of escapism…replacing traditional TV shows and films. The anons took Shia’s new live stream as an invitation to capture the flag – and were determined to take it down and replace it at all costs…even if it meant breaking a few laws.

Hundreds of anons began the arduous task of analyzing the live stream for clues to its whereabouts. Within minutes they pulled up images of Shia at a diner in Greeneville, Tennessee just days before the feed went live. But their biggest hint came moments later. Contrails.

Tuesday Halloween Open Comments

I’ve come across several web sites that consist of two sentence horror stories.

“I told my neighbor I had to shoot their dog in self-defense. Actually, he was just too good at digging up bones.”

“The deepest part of the ocean is 10,916 meters. According to our instruments, we should have passed that 3 kilometers ago.”

“As we stood there in the desert, I wondered – why had we dug more graves than bodies?” [Okay, that’s ONE sentence.]

How well can we do? I’ll start:

“While one a haunted house tour, my friend jokingly dared me to a staring contest with a painting of the house’s original owner. The painting lost.”

“I kept seeing my curtain moving out of the corner of my eye, and it was keeping me awake. I got up to close the window – and it already was.”

“The neighbor’s adorable newborn girl was missing, so I volunteered to dog sit for them. The next day, the dog vomited, and I knew what had happened to their daughter.”

“For long weeks I prayed fervently for hours every day for salvation, skipping meals, work, sleep, and my social life. Hillary still won.”

“I wanted to borrow my friend’s backhoe. Southern Tragedy told me she had to hose it off first.”