Tuesday, January 30, 2007

He should have been home by now

This is my 200th post on this blog, and I thought I would use it to pass on some good news for a change.

Today I received some E-mail from Pierre, Robert Secher’s dad. He wrote me to pass on news that his son would be awarded the Bronze Star posthumously by the Marine Corps. When awarded for bravery, it is the fourth-highest combat award of the U.S. Armed Forces.

His bravery and dedication was apparent to all of us who had the privilege to know him while he was on this earth. I am glad the Marines have decided to make it official.

This medal will certainly validate this honor. However, I have always thought that the best indicator of respect was the hundreds of people who showed up for his service in Memphis, Tennessee this October. You could see it in all of their faces.

The assembly of men in red jackets (pictured below) is a veterans group from our last three wars. They traveled great distances to attend Robert’s service, and I believe the look on their faces tell the whole story.

Click to enlarge picture, and then guess who has had too many bacon double cheeseburgers since the last time he put on his red jacket?

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Don't fuck with Chuck

Alongside Democrats Joseph Biden and Carl Levin, Chuck Hagel proposed a non-binding resolution to the Democratic-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, which rejected Bush's current policy in Iraq." The resolution concludes "it is not in the national interest of the United States" to deepen U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

This is not the first time that Chuck Hagel has voiced his concerns on this important issue. Chuck Hagel has a long history of questioning the Bush administration.

It dates back to August 18, 2005, when Hagel compared the Iraq War to Vietnam, and openly mocked Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last throes."

In November 2005, Hagel made a much-publicized statement saying "To question your government is not unpatriotic -- to not question your government is unpatriotic."

Now he has added this doozie to the mix.

I have to admit ... I like this guy's integrity.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007


As a native New Yorker, I must say that I was really moved by today’s cover of the New York Daily News. (Pictured Below)

Ceasar Borja Jr, the brave son of a New York City policeman, is asking President Bush to address the issue of chronic sickness developing in Ground Zero workers who courageously responded after the events of 09/11/2001. We all know how George Bush likes to wrap himself up in that date like it’s his personal security blanket.

Ceasar’s father finally died from pulmonary fibrosis less than three hours before his son was to attend President Bush's State of the Union address as the guest of Sen. Hillary Clinton.

"I just want the President to look in my face and see how important it is that we get help," 21-year-old Ceasar Borja Jr. told Daily News reporters yesterday. "I want him to hear how my father died a hero, and how there are many other heroes who are continuing to die and who need help."

Last night a Bush spokesman said the White House is "aware of the request" but has not agreed to a meeting.

For those of you who do not know, many New Yorkers are very sick after the September 11th collapse of the WTC towers. Many response workers who desperately dug the ground looking for their friends and co-workers are now experiencing mysterious lung problems. As many as 14,000 people who worked there after the attacks have reported breathing problems. However, the sickness is not exclusive to the men and women on the debris pile. For example, the students at nearby Stuyvesant High School are also developing asthma at an alarming rate.

Ground Zero symptoms can include, coughing, wheezing, and sore throat. Over the years, many WTC workers, and downtown residents discovered that these symptoms have eventually developed into lung disease and in some cases, caused irreversible lung scarring and even death.

The air at Ground Zero contained toxic dust, pulverized (alkaline) cement, glass fibers, chemicals, fumes, asbestos and other toxic elements and was inhaled by all who were present. These airborne particles (Pictured below) entered the respiratory tract.

Volunteer workers and residents of lower Manhattan were lied to about the quality of the air following September 11th, 2001. A report showed that the White House had "convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones" by having the National Security Council control EPA communications after the September 11 attacks

A key player, who was guilty of knowingly spreading these lies to the public, is Christie Todd Whitman. Whitman was appointed by Bush as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in January of 2001.

1) As head of the EPA, she challenged the validity of a government-commissioned report suggesting a human contribution to global warming.

2) Whitman appeared twice in New York City after the September 11 attacks to inform New Yorkers that the toxins released by the attacks posed no threat to their health.

The key word in Environmental Protection Agency is PROTECTION Christie. You protect both the environment from us (Exxon, Bush family, etc.) ... and us from the enviornment (Toxic dust, asbestos, etc.).

That sounds easy enough ... doesn't it?

To her credit, I guess it makes the job a lot harder when you are deep in someone's pocket.

Leave it to a broad from NJ to fuck up NYC and it's residents. We can only thank God that she retired to "spend more time with her family". I just hope, for her children's sake, that she can handle the sippy cups.

If this bitch were hit by a crosstown bus tomorrow, I would smile like the Cheshire Cat.

I think we can all look to this young man as an example of honor and bravery. I am not a very religious person, but I firmly believe that wherever his dad is, he is very proud of his son. I am quite sure that Ceasar Borja Sr. is looking down on his boy with a big smile, and realizes that his son has now become a man.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

"The Decider"

A U.S. military helicopter crashed Saturday northeast of Baghdad, killing all 13 people on board, a new blow to American efforts in Iraq as U.S. and Iraqi forces prepare for a major security operation to pacify the capital and surrounding areas.

The military said the crash was under investigation. The brief U.S. statement lacked the customary comment that the aircraft was not shot down, indicating it may have come under fire by insurgents.

After several hours, reporters were finally able to reach President George Bush for a statement on these tragic events. In light of this bad news, Bush now says he is going to reconsider his recent decision to increase American troop levels in Iraq by 20,000.

Instead, he has decided to send an additional 20,013 troops.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Is bullshit an alternate fuel source?

This week the Union of Concerned Scientists published a new report stating that between 1998 and 2005 Exxon-Mobil gave nearly $16 million to organizations working to create confusion over global warming science. The report is only the latest in an increasing number of statements condemning the oil giant for funding disinformation campaigns, but this one may have been the straw that broke the camels back.

Exxon Vice President for Public Affairs Kenneth Cohen has announced that the the company now accepts the reliability of global warming science and has announced the end of their funding to organizations that deny climate change science, such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) who were made laughably famous for their near parody "CO2 - They call it pollution, We call it life" television ads.

These television ads almost belong on Saturday Night Live.

Exxon now says they ready to work with policy makers on regulations, which they anticipate will be coming soon.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Fat Cat

Hercules a.k.a Goliath (Pictured below) recently made the national news when, on a mission to steal food from Justin Timberlake's craft service table, he got stuck in a doorway.

I think I may have finally found a cat that could possibly hold his own against my own cat Manhattan (Pictured below).

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

The Pentagon announced yesterday that it has abandoned its limit on the time a citizen-soldier can be required to serve on active duty overseas. This is a major change that reflects an Army stretched thin by longer-than-expected combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is excellent news for Martin O'Keefer (Pictured below). He will be back reporting for active duty in the Al Anbar province, just as soon as he can remember where he put his teeth.

All kidding aside ...

This is Chief Warrant Officer Margaret Murray (Pictured below) She stands 4 foot, 8 inches tall. Her M-16 assult rife is nearly as big as she is. She is 55 years old, and headed for Iraq in a few weeks.

This is truly pathetic.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I guess you had to be there

Late last year I was given the opportunity to 1st AD a one day film shoot at Silver Cup East stages. It was to be a "secret project" that MTV was doing with Justin Timberlake. All of us in the crew were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, so we would no be able to let the cat out of the bag. At the time of the shoot, it was a major secret that Justin would host the EMAs.

The final cut of the promo is below.

I have nothing against Justin Timberlake whatsoever. He was extremely professional, and a very nice and decent guy to be around. I also think he has a great deal of talent in many different areas. As an example of this, a few days ago I posted a skit from his last appearance on SNL.

What did bother me, was the rider that was provided to us for Justin.

For those of you you don’t know what they are, a rider is a required list of several items or conditions that a celebrity must have if you are going to work with them.

Justin's rider contained a list of no less than 50 food items that must be present for the film shoot. The list contained over a half dozen different beverages (Fiji Water, juices, sodas), several fruit bowls, snack chips of several types, several kinds of breakfast cereal, white and wheat bread, peanut butter, jams, turkey, frozen yogurt, chocolates, candies and the list goes on and on. When all was said and done, we spent over $400.00 on his craft service stations. In the end he ate a small part of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a BBQ meal that we ordered for him and his entourage. This formal working meal cost another several hundred dollars.

Let's be real here for a moment. The guy makes Twiggy look heavy.

He doesn’t need that much crap for a 4-6 hour workday. Most of the food listed above was either wasted or taken home by stage employees.

Again … I don’t want to vilify Justin Timberlake. He is certainly not the only celebrity with a rider. I have worked with David Bowie (Very cool guy), Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Busta Rhymes, etc. They all have some kind of list.

Here is a list of 200 celebrity riders courtesy of the

Please note Gnarls Barkley’s request for Magnum condoms, and also how reasonable David Bowie’s list is.

Smoking Gun doesn’t mention this, but I can tell you that Whitney also asks for Popeye’s Fried Chicken, Heineken beer, Freixenet Champagne and blue corn chips. She also used to want a separate dressing room a long way from the main stage to keep the sweet smell of burning …. Um … perfume … away from shoot. The whole crew was also told not to look her directly in the eyes. Also not mentioned is vocalist John Tesh’s rider, which simply asks for a WWF action figure in his dressing room. He just wants to make sure you are reading it.

If you are Ziggy Marley, and you only eat tofu and special foods, I can see the need for this kind of list. However, most of the time these riders are wasteful to say the least.

If any of you make it big in life, please try to keep your ego in check.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sticks and Stones

BAGHDAD, Jan. 2 — Iraq’s Shiite-led government said Tuesday that it had ordered an investigation into the abusive behavior at the execution of Saddam Hussein, who was subjected to a battery of taunts by official Shiite witnesses and guards as he awaited his hanging.

They are worried that Saddam's feelings were hurt before they snapped his neck with a rope?

Iraq may be struggling to model its fledgling democratic government after the United States, but they certainly have successfully learned from us how to have a pointless investigation that will lead absolutely nowhere.

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