Chip WoodThank goodness for a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, last week. I had day-long duties as the master of ceremonies — which meant I was not able to watch Barack Obama’s seven-hour healthcare summit on TV.

When Najibullah Zazi pled “guilty” to “plotting a suicide bomb attack on New York City subways with al Qaeda training” last week, the Feds assured us yet again they’d thwarted "one of the most serious terrorist threats to our nation since September 11, 2001, “as Attorney General Eric Holder put it. No wonder anyone with even a shred of decency cries for an end to the War-on-Liberty-Disguised-as-a-War-on-Terror: the case against Mr. Zazi is about as substantive as a politician’s promise.

Hollywood is gearing up for the 82nd annual Academy Awards, set to take place on Sunday March 7th at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. This year, Kathryn Bigelow’s Hurt Locker and James Cameron’s Avatar are expected to be the big winners, having received nine nominations each. Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds is a close second with eight nominations. The year 2009 boasts an impressive lineup of films, and as expected, the competition is fierce.  Competing for the coveted best-picture award are Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire, A Serious Man, Up, and Up in the Air.  Of the 10 nominees, Avatar and Hurt Locker are considered the front-runners.

Mark BoalIf you have not yet had the opportunity to watch Mark Boal’s Hurt Locker, you are depriving yourself of a powerful cinematic experience. Apparently, the awards committee for the Academy agrees considering the movie has been nominated for several awards, most notably, best picture. Unfortunately for producer Nicholas Chartier, if the movie receives the coveted award, he will not be present to witness the event.

Sam L. BlumenfeldWould you believe that Russia has become more anti-Marxist than the United States? Actually that isn’t hard to believe since the Russians suffered under Marxist-Communism for 70 abysmal years and have no desire to repeat it. But Americans are so ignorant of Marxism that they can’t even recognize it when it is being imposed on them by their Democratic political leaders. No Republican at the recent Summit dared call Obama, or Pelosi, or Reid socialists.