Sunday, December 28, 2008
I gave in and rented The Dark Knight yesterday. I have no new insight to a film that received far too much attention. For me it was just another Batman movie only too long. You can take only so much of dark sets, multiple explosions and shootouts, and paper-thin cartoon characters. I might have passed altogether on this movie but for the hype around Heath Ledger. I thought he was very good. I thought the weird makeup he wore effectively brought out what the maniacal personality of the Joker much better than Jack Nicholson in 1989. Was it an Oscar performance? Depends on who he is up against but likely not. Will he win? Likely yes. The Academy are suckers for posthumous awards.
The Israeli Air Force on Saturday launched a massive attack on Hamas targets throughout Gaza in retaliation for the recent heavy rocket fire from the area, hitting mostly security headquarters, training compounds and weapons storage facilities.
Yesterday's offensive began eight days after a six-month truce between Israel and the militants expired. The Israeli army says Palestinian militants have fired some 300 rockets and mortars at Israel over the past week, and in recent days, Israeli leaders had threatened to launch a major offensive.
Israeli warplanes rained more than 100 tons of bombs on security installations in Hamas-ruled Gaza on Saturday, killing at least 230 people in one of the bloodiest days in decades of the mideast conflict. The government said the open-ended campaign was aimed at stopping rocket and mortar attacks that have traumatized southern Israel.
More than 400 people were also wounded. Most of the casualties were security forces, but Palestinian officials said at least 15 civilians were among the dead. Israel launched air strikes on Gaza for a second successive day on Sunday.
For the first time, Israel attacked not just militants ordering or taking part in operations but members of the security forces and any buildings connected with them.
Every known police station, arms store and headquarters building in Gaza, which has been ruled by Hamas since June 2007, was attacked, regardless of whether they were occupied. A passing out ceremony for new police officers was struck, killing around 40 cadets.
The IDF has also begun mobilizing tanks and reinforcement infantry troops to the Gaza region in the event a ground incursion is ordered. In an interview with the British SKY network, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that ground forces would indeed enter the Strip if the move was deemed necessary by Jerusalem.
For now, Israel's defense minister says he's striving for a lesser, temporary objective _ to deliver such a punishing blow to Hamas that the Islamic militants will halt rocket attacks on Israel.
But Israel's offensive, launched just six weeks before a general election in the Jewish state, is fraught with risks. The horrific TV images of dead and wounded Gazans are inflaming Arab public opinion, embarrassing moderate Arab regimes and weakening Hamas' rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. However, it will bolster the chances of the ruling party (Kadima) over the rival right wing party (Likud) who are ahead in the polls.
Israel also risks opening new fronts, including unrest that could destabilize the Abbas-ruled West Bank and possible rocket attacks by Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas on northern Israel.
Another one of those sickening incidents that make you wonder about humanity. We have not only road rage to contend with but movie theatre rage on Christmas Day yet.
A South Philadelphia man enraged because a father and son were talking during a Christmas showing of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button took care of the situation when he pulled a .380-caliber gun and shot the father.
A Philadelphia man who was not identified, told police a man sitting near him told his family to be quiet and threw popcorn at his son. After exchanging words, James Cialella, 29, allegedly got out of his seat to confront the family when the father got up to protect them. That's when the victim was shot once in the left arm, sending others in the theatre running to safety.
Cialella then sat down to watch the movie. Police arrived a short time later and arrested Cialella and confiscated his weapon. So Jim when people bug you, instead of moving to avoid them, just shoot them.