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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2007!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 380  (Vol. 8, No. 27). This edition is for the week of July 2--8, 2007.


Happy Independence Day!
Scooter Libby's "pardon"
The 60th Anniversary of the Roswell Incident
New Feature:   Readers Comments!

THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEW
by Mike Smith

"Transformers"

Special Feature:
by Andy Lalino

An interview with Frank Granda Jr. of UNIQUE VIDEO!
ODDSERVATIONS
by Andy Lalino

Crazed Conspiracies

Hot July New Wave Concerts

MIKE'S RANT
by Mike Smith

I Love Rock and Roll .... Oh Lucky Day .... Scooter .... Reunited .... Whatever Happened To -- ? Chapter 24: Roy Scheider

ScooterGate
On Monday, Lewis "Scooter" Libby was told by a judge he could not delay his prison term until after his appeal. Less than five hours later, the President commuted Libby's sentence, removing the 2½ years of prison time, but leaving the conviction and the $250,000 fine. Needless to say, a media firestorm erupted. On the left, those who think his sentence shouldn't have been commuted and Libby should do hard time. On the right, those who think the President didn't go far enough and should pardon him outright.

Libby became the face and the name attached to the Valerie Plame CIA operative leak. It should be emphasized that there has been no arrest for the leak itself (the goal of which was suspected to be the harrassment of an agent against the war), Libby's conviction is for perjury and obstruction of justice. The President commented that he thought the sentence was excessive, not that Libby was innocent. That, however, comes as little consolation to those who believe Libby was the fall-guy for higher-ups who want to remain hidden.

This Week's Crazed FanPoll Results
Do you think the President's commuting the sentence of Scooter Libby was the right thing to do?

  • Yes, I agree with Bush that the sentence was too harsh. 16% (4 votes)

  • No, Libby should've gone to jail and served the full time. 58% (14 votes)

  • No, Libby should serve some jail time, maybe not 2½ years, but something. 20% (5 votes)

  • I have no opinion on this at all. 4% (1 vote)

    Total: 24 votes. Thanks for voting!

  • One could argue that sentences for other crimes were softer, or whatever, but that's not even really what's central to what, in my opinion, has everyone in an uproar. What has caused the outrage is that, once again, King George appears to juggle the laws of the land to support his personal agenda and his cronies (and this case, if not his whole presidency, reeks of cronyism, it practically defines it) and side-step protocol. It also recalls the recent episode where Dick Cheney startled everyone with the announcement he no longer had to answer uncomfortable questions because the Vice-President was now a separate branch of government! But I digress...

    Regarding Libby, I did say Bush "appears to" side-step laws. He is within his rights to commute/pardon whoever he wants and no goverment agency or branch, even up to the Supreme Court, can overturn it. And yes, I've been reminded that Bill Clinton had issued three or four hundred pardons at the end of his reign. But despite the natural compulsion of conservatives to avoid doing anything remotely Clinton-like and with as many political black eyes as Bush has sustained, particularly the last two years, it looks like, basically, the President is just throwing any remaining political caution to the wind as his approval ratings hang low and his days in office dwindle to a close.

    Post your thoughts on this topic


    Letters to the Editor The "UFO Crash at Roswell" Celebrates its 60th Anniversary

    Part America folklore, part conspiracy theory, yet with dogmatic political and scientific adherents on both sides of the fence, the most celebrated UFO event in modern history, that which has come to be known as The Crash At Roswell (aka, The Roswell Incident), in fact, celebrates its 60th anniversary this week.

    At or near the 4th of July, 1947, Farmer "Mac" Brazel walked out to a remote location on his ranch and into history books when he discovered the now-classic "debris field", strewn over an area roughly 100 yards wide and a quarter-mile long.

    Suspecting it to be the remains of a "flying saucer" (the term was only coined two weeks earlier after Kenneth Arnold's classic, and well-documented sighting near Mt. Rainer, Washington), calls to local authorities resulted in a temporary lockdown of the ranch while all materials were confiscated and all witnesses silenced. The debris was whisked off by the military to....somewhere.

    The case was explained away as a "weather balloon" and forgotten. Decades would go by before the incident was rediscovered by author Stanton Friedman whose late-'70s books, along with Charles Berlitz's, repopularized the case. A late '80s episode of TV's "Unsolved Mysteries" put it back on the map nationally.

    The official Air Force explanation of the UFO "crash" changed at least once more. In the late '90s, it was reported that the infamous debris field was from a then top-secret project named "Mogul", a high-altitude balloon train, developed to spy on Russian nuclear tests. It had apparently gotten lost and come down in New Mexico during a violent thunderstorm. OK, not really a "weather balloon", but pretty close.

    While that buried the topic for some, a miniature UFO industry grew around the legend and around Roswell, NM, itself. Further, every so once in a while a mysterious "deathbed confession" will emerge, claiming somebody in-the-know saw alien bodies (as in the late Walter Haut's announcement, made by his family, post-mortum).

    The Roswell 4th of July is more than Independence Day...it is also their version of an other-worldly Mardi Gras, where all things alien parade down Main Street!


    Readers' Comments
    We welcome your quick comments on any current issue of PCR. Comment posting is closed for this issue. To interact after archiving, please use the Message Board or write a Letter to the Editor!
    Comment posting is closed for this issue of PCR
    Ron Canova [09-07-2007 17:29] 
    Love the website....Keep up the great work and graphics...very cool! Ron
    simon lynx [09-07-2007 10:04]  
    hey nolan, thanx for the birthday shout out, hope to see everyone in the next few months. i've been busy printing t-shirts. HINT HINT, keep the orders coming.
    Odds [08-07-2007 19:22] 
    Yes, Uncle Nole, Unique Video pics are on the way. Should get them by Mon. (tomorrow), Tue. or Wed.
    Nolan [08-07-2007 18:40] 
    Mandy! How sweet of you to post. Thanks so much. Miss you, too.
    mandy osborne [08-07-2007 14:18]  
    hey uncle nolie love the website miss you .....this is my comment sorry
    Nolan [08-07-2007 11:54] 
    Odds: Yes, the interview with Frank was great. Are you still planning on sending any pictures?
    Re: Roswell. I hadn't any heard firm plans about a theme park there, only speculation like you heard. I mean, the whole TOWN is basically a theme park, everything in it is alien-oriented for tourists. Do they really need a separate park for that?
    Odds [08-07-2007 10:06] 
    Chris,
    Glad you liked the interview. I strongly recommend getting down to Unique Video as soon as you get the chance. Where else are you going to find a video store that has shelves devoted to Argento, Waters, H.G. Lewis, Jess Franco, and Jean Rollin? It's an incredible experience, and a great resource for a Cult Movie Watcher. I'll be renting some movies tomorrow. Thinking about getting "Wizard of Mars", possibly a Mondo title, and an exploitation title.
    Odds [08-07-2007 10:03] 
    I heard Roswell is planning an alien/U.F.O. theme park. Not sure what the latest is on that. Wasn't a local designer tapped to help design the park?
    Cwoods [08-07-2007 05:25] 
    This is a pretty cool feature added to the home page. I enjoyed the interview that Andy did with Frank Granda Jr. from Unique Video. I actually never been to the store but hope to go there and visit very soon.
    MAD MATT [07-07-2007 17:11] 
    I think the UFO shot down the weather balloon because it was invading their airspace...
    Mr. X [07-07-2007 10:49] 
    Awesome to hear about that Nolan.
    Odds [07-07-2007 07:27] 
    Congrats, Nole. Hi Lonnie & Matt.
    Nolan [07-07-2007 05:37] 
    Sometime during the early morning of July 7, 2007, this homepage hitcounter reached 200,000 hits!!! That, of course is not the total hits to the site, never was (that's in the millions), but it is a benchmark for this homepage I'm rather proud of....Yay me!
    Nolan [07-07-2007 04:57] 
    MATT...thanks!
    MAD MATT [07-07-2007 01:23] 
    WOW-N-STUFF!!!...It's the child of the message board and the chatroom...looks good...
    Nolan [06-07-2007 12:23] 
    Lonnie! Welcome aboard and thanks for posting.
    Lonnie Dohlen [06-07-2007 11:52]  
    Right on Guys !RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRr
    Nolan [06-07-2007 11:43] 
    Odds: Again, no. Area 51 is in Nevada, not New Mexico. I seem to remember, however, there were nuclear tests conducted in New Mexico. I'm not arguing in favor of aliens. As I said before, the Mogul spy balloon train had traveled way off course.
    Odds [06-07-2007 11:26] 
    Well if the crash happened on private property in and around Roswell, isn't that where the air testing base is/was (Area 51)? Wouldn't that qualify as "near the base"?
    Nolan [06-07-2007 11:11] 
    To Odds. No. The wreckage came down on private property, nowhere near a military testing ground. It had drifted way off course.
    To Droogie: Thanks, glad you like it.
    Odds [06-07-2007 09:48] 
    Yes, but what you're saying is that a UFO possibly crashed on or about the same site as a military testing ground which had a confirmed test landing result. I think that's too much of a coincidence.
    Droogiedurango79 [06-07-2007 09:27] 
    good idea i like the new comment section.
    Nolan [06-07-2007 09:07] 
    Odds, thanks for the support. I agree that many UFO reports over the years were very likely secret aviation tests. However, the official Roswell "refutation" you're noting actually combined two events: one from 1947 (the original debris field) and later tests from the early '50s (the mannequins used for field practice the army tried to pawn off as the "Roswell aliens"). The debris in the famous pictures with army officer Jesse Marcel is positively a "Rawin target" used in high-altitude experiments. The "gray" area regarding Roswell still remains the spurious reports of "alien bodies". That is, reported...but never confirmed.
    Odds [06-07-2007 08:59] 
    Nole,
    Enjoyed the Roswell 60th retrospective, but remain skeptical. I've seen a couple of UFO docs on the Roswell crash, and it seems to me that the debris was indeed a high-altitude weather balloon with life-like (human) mannequins as test "pilots". If the mannequins were burned or broken during the free fall, they could have appeared "alien-like". I'm sure a UFOologist could refute this, but they haven't really done as good a job as to convince me otherwise. Also note that these UFO sightings tend to take place near test flight facilities, which leads to the conclusion that many UFO sightings are actually aviation tests.
    Odds [06-07-2007 08:53] 
    Nice that Ed Tucker checked in with the "Blood of Dracula's Castle" update (in PCR's "Letters to the Editor"). Maybe the werewolf footage was one of Don Glut's old Super 8 films!

    Oh, and Blesi's MySpace excerpt had me in tears!!!
    Nolan [06-07-2007 06:51] 
    Excellent! Our first comment. Thanks, Andy. C'mon everybody, try it out.
    Oddservations [06-07-2007 06:34] 
    Let's see if this works.
    Nolan [06-07-2007 03:55] 
    Testing. Yes, it seems to be working now.
    Nolan [06-07-2007 03:54] 
    Testing, testing.
    End of Comments    


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    "Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "La Floridiana" is ©2007 by William Moriaty    "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova    
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