Last night’s 84th Annual Academy Awards proved to be relatively entertaining, particularly since there were a number of first-time winners. The iconic Hollywood event was hosted this year by famed comedian Billy Crystal, a nine-time host of the Academy Awards. Eddie Murphy and producer Brett Ratner reportedly quit in November over criticism that Ratner made controversial remarks about gays. Crystal got the show off to an excellent start with a montage full of stars including Justin Beiber and George Clooney, who planted a wet kiss on Crystal. Crystal also did his usual goofy song to introduce best-picture nominees.
The rigors of a presidential campaign leave a candidate little time for reading and less time for thought. But if Rick Santorum has a few spare moments in a hotel room in Michigan, Arizona, or somewhere in between, he might consider asking a senior campaign advisor (presidential campaigns apparently have no junior advisors) to find him a copy of Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy's book about U.S. Senators who risked their careers and reputations by standing with longstanding and firmly held principles against the demands of a short-sighted and frequently erroneous pragmatism. The former Senator from Pennsylvania might peruse, for example, the stand taken by Senator and future President John Quincy Adams when Adams became a political pariah by opposing the sentiments of his party and his region and defending President Jefferson's embargo on trade with Great Britain.
In a shocking case out of Pennsylvania, an American judge has thrown out an assault charge against a Muslim immigrant based on Sharia law.
Fast-paced Act of Valor focuses on a band of Navy SEALs [elite Sea, Air and Land clandestine commandos] working to prevent a Ukrainian-born mastermind terrorist's team of suicide bombers from entering the U.S. and fanning out to major cities. Featuring themes such as bravery and sacrifice, it also stresses the need for religious tolerance in a way that seems aimed at Muslim extremists. The plot is arguably sympathetic toward the U.S. wars in the Middle East, which may well rankle viewers weary of America's endless and expensive foreign interventionism and imperialism.