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There are many who bemoan Hollywood’s tendency to cannibalize itself with endless sequels, prequels, and reboots. I am not one of them.

Film is a child of theater. Part of the pleasure in attending a new production of a play you have seen before is considering the take of a fresh group of artists on the same old material. We wouldn’t fault a theater troupe for yet another production of Romeo & Juliet. So why fault filmmakers for remaking an old film? Quality is certainly affected by source material, but not determined by it.

What annoys me isn’t the preponderance of rehashed properties in Hollywood, but the poor execution of so many of them. For every Batman Begins, it seems there are a dozen Superman Returns.

It’s only been four years since Spider-Man 3 hit theaters, and less than 10 years since the original. Yet we’re already about to see a reboot. Unfortunately, the more we learn of the forthcoming Spider-Man film, the less likely it seems to become that rare derivative which will transcend its predecessor.

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Chris Matthews is just sure that if he yells loud enough, his fantasies will come true.

While ridiculing others for lack of historical, geographical or scientific knowledge, Chris reveals himself to be nearly illiterate on all 3 counts.

He has:


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Jane Fonda has a lot of nerve, no shame and, evidently, a mutated irony gene.

Or perhaps old age is finally catching up to the faded beauty, and her memory is failing…

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My wife and I have been fruitful and we have multiplied, including a pair of now 7-year old twins. And, as a result, I get a steady dose of kids’ shows, particularly the Disney Channel. And one reoccurring segment on Disney is a promo for a group called Friends for Change.  This is charity group formed by Disney in 2009 as a “green” initiative to promote environmental activism among the channel’s viewers.  The promos consist of various groupings of the channel’s stars (The Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, etc…I know them all!) telling their viewing audience what they can do to be pint-sized Captain Planets: plant a tree, take shorter showers, ban incandescent bulbs from your house (or, if you have already done so, harass friends and neighbors to do the same), and research ways to make you own, natural household cleaners. What fun for the whole family!

What is noticeably absent from the Friends for Change promos is any acknowledgment that the foundation for the whole movement they support (i.e. man-made climate change) is falling apart. While many of the claims of the eco-alarmists are being discredited and their so-called solutions are shown to be nothing more than politically motivated snake oil, the Green Left is moving full-steam ahead and targeting the less intellectually discerning: the young.  The hope is that if they indoctrinate the next generation, it will carry over into adulthood and there will be less need for pesky little things like facts. If Disney has its way, the battle will be won without and need for ammunition.

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One question: Who threw the first punch?

Most of us know a disingenuous apology when we hear one. The sincerity of a mea culpa is generally revealed by whether it is focused upon the offended party or the offensive behavior. Saying “I’m sorry you took it that way” does not fully own up to an offense. Likewise, the inclusion of excuses within an apology indicates an offender hasn’t fully accepted responsibility for their behavior.

Even so, a less than sincere apology is perhaps better than none at all. Likewise, in the aftermath of the horrendous shooting spree in Arizona and the stunning witch hunt that has followed in the media, an attempt by some left-wing television commentators to moderate their tone is better than the blatant double-standard employed by many of their colleagues. In particular, Jon Stewart has broken from the leftist herd to concede that political rhetoric cannot be blamed for Jared Loughner’s shooting rampage. Still, Stewart has not completely let go of the “toxic vitriol” meme. He still seems to assert that political rhetoric may have influenced Loughner, even if it did not directly cause him to kill.

Like an insincere apology, this concession leaves us rather cold. Still missing from Stewart’s assessment is the moral distinction between speech and action, and the plain sense which informs the “reasonable person” standard in common law. Stewart’s instincts push him in the right direction. However, he never quite reaches the relevant philosophical destination.

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