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Las Vegas: Satan Vacations Here
by Victoria Alexander
May 9, 2011
TDH Column No. 250, Osama bin Laden Is Dead, The Dalai Lama Justifies UBL's Death, Thor, and more...
TDH. Bill Clark, who runs FromTheBalcony.com and generously hosts TDH, informed me that this week's column is number #250! We began on July 18, 2005 with this column: Gordon Novel on Michael Jackson, Breck Wall on Jack Rudy, Tibet, Who's Your Daddy: Part 1, Marie Antoinette, and more http://www.fromthebalcony.com/devilshammer.php?id=1
"Now that bin Laden's dead, can we put shampoo in our carry on? Can I keep my shoes on? Can we bring all the troops home?" Michael Moore
Osama bin Laden Killed. Is it American justice to shoot an unarmed man in the face instead of bringing him back to the U.S. to face a court of law? Bin Laden didn't have a weapon or Internet service! And, apparently, he never went left his
prison compound. How do we know bin Laden never left the grounds? The CIA was watching the place for months!
Is timing everything or was this conveniently just the moon in the right position?
First Donald Trump, rebel rouser and possible Republican presidential contender, forces President Obama to finally release his long-form birth certificate. Then, on Saturday, at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner, the President mocked Trump mercilessly. Host Seth Meyer continued the humiliation with constantly referring to Trump as having a fox on his head.
Then came Sunday's breaking news that the President would give an important message to the American people. We waited around an hour as the tension and excitement built. NBC-TV had to interrupt Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" on the East Coast to make room for the President's address to the nation.
Donald Trump does not like to be publicly humiliated. I can't wait for Round 2 – Trump will get even with Obama.
So we now know that Osama bin Laden had been living in Pakistan for the past 5 to 6 years in a million dollar dump and Obama knew about the compound's high-value resident since August 2010. Two of bin Laden's children attended a neighborhood school!
Bin Laden's compound was 8 times larger than anything in the military neighborhood and had 12 to 18 foot high walls and surrounded by barbed wire. When the American soldiers landed inside the compound and blasted their way into the first floor, bin Laden was on the second floor with 9 women and 23 children. He must have known there was an assault happening on his compound. What was he doing while his son and trusted couriers were being killed?
White House press secretary Jay Carney acknowledged that bin Laden did not have a weapon during the 40-minute raid. Carney said that resistance did not require a firearm.
Was bin Laden captured years ago and living as a well-protected prisoner waiting for the right political moment to be served up or killed?
Remember Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar? After the assassination of a presidential candidate, the Columbian administration moved against Escobar and the drug cartels. Eventually, the government negotiated with Escobar, convincing him to surrender and cease all criminal activity in exchange for a reduced sentence and preferential treatment during his captivity.
Escobar did turn himself in. He was confined in what became his own luxurious private prison, La Catedral. La Catedral was a prison overlooking the city of Medellin. The prison was built to specifications ordered by Escobar, under agreement with the Colombian government. Escobar would surrender to authorities, serve a maximum term of five years, and the government would not extradite him to the U.S. In addition to the facility being built to Escobar's specifications, he was also given the right to choose who would guard him, believing to have chosen guards only loyal to him. The prison was believed to be designed more to keep out Escobar's enemies from assassination attempts, than to keep Escobar in.
The finished prison was often called "Hotel Escobar," or "Club Medellín," due to its amenities. La Catedral featured a soccer field, a giant doll house, a bar, jacuzzi, and a waterfall. Escobar also had a telescope installed that allowed him to look down onto the city of Medellín to his daughter's residence while talking on the phone with her.
Like bin Laden, Escobar continued, while under house arrest, his criminal activities. When the government attempted to move Escobar to another jail, Escobar's influence allowed him to discover the plan in advance and make a well-timed, unhurried escape. In 1992 United States joined the all-out manhunt for Escobar. Escobar was killed on December 2, 1993.
In 1989, Forbes magazine declared Escobar as the seventh richest man in the world, with an estimated personal fortune of US $25 billion. What happened to his cash-only fortune and why didn't Escobar have a sure-fire escape plan?
Back to bin Laden.
Here is a report published on October 18, 2010 on FoxNews.com.
Report: Bin Laden, Zawahiri Hiding in Pakistan. Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are believed to be hiding near each other in relative comfort in northwest Pakistan, a senior NATO official told CNN on Monday.
The two men are believed to be living in homes near one another and are protected by members of Pakistan's spy agency, the ISI, and locals, the network reported. Pakistan strongly denies protecting members of the terror network.
"Nobody in Al Qaeda is living in a cave," the unnamed official was quoted as saying. http://www.foxnews.com/
The Dalai Lama in Long Beach, CA. TDH reader and friend, Joe Buchman, was there and TDH thanks him for his report.
Joe writes: "After cancelling a speech in Long Beach, CA on Sunday May 1st due to a reported sore throat, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was present at Cal State Long Beach on Wednesday morning May 4th to receive an award from Amnesty International for his years of work for universal human rights.
The award was made somewhat more salient by His Holiness's initial comments that the killing of Osama Bin Laden a few days earlier was perhaps a justified "countermeasure."
Among the highlights of his talk was his recollection of a conversation with the Queen Mother in the 1990s. The Dalai Lama had asked her, as one who had lived through and witnessed nearly all of the 20th Century, if her experience was that humanity was getting better or worse. Without hesitation she responded that humanity had improved significantly over the course of her nearly 100 year lifespan. He later drew a similar comparison regarding the Chinese occupation of Tibet – things were getting better, young Tibetans were embracing their culture. He also related his experience of a Buddhist community which in the past had been conquered by Muslims -- the forefathers of Muslims who today live in peace and friendship with their Buddhist neighbors.
After ending his talk with thanks to all present for their work for Human Rights, the Dalai Lama headed off the stage while the audience in mass stood for his departure. Seeing someone in the front row, His Holiness turned away from his escorts, approached the very edge of the stage, and kneeling with his head below the level of the stage greeted an audience member in the front row that was apparently confined to a wheel chair. While his conversation could not be heard, the audience remained standing, almost reverent and perhaps more impressed by that simple act than the words he had spoken earlier."
The Dalai Lama's U.S. schedule is: Minneapolis on May 8; Dallas, Texas on May 9; Fayetteville, AR on May 11; Newark, NJ on May 13&14, and Washington DC from July 6 to 16. More information is available at his official website: http://www.dalailama.com
Joe also brought me a fantastic poster (pictured) honoring the event. Photo credit: JB API-BIC.
Movie Review. THOR. Branagh gives Thor a Shakespearean pathos.
After attending CinemaCon in Las Vegas, I now know that in the very near future all movies will be filmed in 3D. Even independents. Even your cell phone videos. This is according to the Gospel of James and George. Cameron and Lucas, that is.
So, how can I access THOR's 3D? Through my state-of-the-art custom Marchon 3D glasses, except for a few out-of-focus scenes, the 3D was fantastic.
First, the casting. Chris Hemsworth was also at CinemaCon. Thinner, leaner, tall, and groomed to perfection, Hemsworth was very personable, smiling and answering those typically meaningless questions from the press. Accessible, he made every other male star in attendance look like Don Knots. Ryan and Chris, your superhero franchises are in trouble.
Why wasn't Chris Hemsworth chosen as Superman?
Famed as a Shakespearean actor and director, Kenneth Branagh was an unusual choice to spearhead THOR. Yet, now it seems perfectly right. Branagh gives the story a potent family drama with Shakespearean rivalry at its core (but no Lady Macbeth). And then there is the dimension of illegitimacy – always a nice, thorny touch. As I have said many times before, an actor needs his director to fall in love with him and Branagh gives Hemsworth the glow of stardom in every scene he's in. Well, as a theatre director, Branagh knows how to get a performance out of his main object of desire.
There will not only be a THOR franchise, but Branagh has redefined what a teen heartthrob should look like – no delicate, troubled youth confused about his sexual impulses.
How boring is life on Earth? Well, we get a look at dreary life without gods and goddesses, by being introduced to astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), assistant Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) and Dr. Erik Sevig (Stellan Skarsgard). They are in the New Mexico desert studying atmospheric disturbances. Jane has a theory about a wormhole or a bridge to another universe.
Luckily, we quickly move to the glorious golden world of Asgard, inhabited by a race of people who once walked the Earth and then left leaving Mankind to think of them as gods to be worshipped. They find this hilarious.
Thor (Hemsworth) is the hot-headed son of Asgard's king, Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Odin's presumed heir, Thor's older brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston, pictured), has been passed over to take the throne. Thor's celebratory ascendancy is marred by an attack by their enemies, the Frost Giants. Thor wants to mount an attack on them in reprisal, so he gathers his posse: Sif (Jaimie Alexander), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Fandral (Josh Dallas), and Hogun (Tadanobu Asano). Off they go flying through a portal to the ice kingdom of Jotunheim, ruled by the giant Laufey (Colm Feore). King Odin is not amused; in fact, he might have said, as Commodus famously said in GLADIATOR, "It vexes me. I'm terribly vexed."
Odin must mount his horse and go through the portal to bring back Thor and his warriors and asks Laufey for a truce. Odin doesn't mention rebuilding Jotunheim. Angry at Thor, Odin banishes him to Earth without his ceremonial wardrobe and his mighty, too heavy hammer, Mjolnir. Odin puts a condition on the hammer, so Thor has to work on his sensitivity issues.
Where are the women of Asgard?
So Thor lands on the hood of Jane's SUV. Back on humdrum Earth, Jane is slightly amused by Thor, while Darcy acknowledges just how hot Thor is. Thor doesn't answer many scientific questions – that is clearly not his strong suit - but Dr. Erik figures out that Thor is the real deal rendered over time as a Norse myth.
Thor has to find his Mojo – I mean his Mjolnir!
The entire production is gorgeous and somehow Branagh brings emotional context to the story. And it certainly helps that Thor wears royal robes and not a jumpsuit.
I prefer Thor on Asgard and his evil brother Loki is a first class villain. Why not spin him off? Don't villains need understanding? After all, Loki had a tough childhood, especially since his faux-mother (Rene Russo) and faux-father clearly favoured big, beautiful blond Thor.
The production is first-rate and magical. But why is New Mexico so ugly? I lived in Santa Fe for a few years and not all of it is barren desert. There are the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains.
If you would like to contact me about this column, or be included on my private distribution list for a weekly reminder, just email me at Masauu@aol.com.
The Devil's Hammer claims no credit for any images featured herein unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyright to its respectful owners. The Devil's Hammer is in no way responsible for or has control of the content of any external web site links. Information on posted here may contain errors or inaccuracies; the column's writer does not make warranty as to the correctness or reliability of its content. If you own rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear in this column, please contact me via e-mail at Masauu@aol.com and they will be promptly removed.
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