Wednesday, March 16, 2005

We The People

C-Span did its Washington Journal live from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia (the video is here) on March 4th. The first segment of open phones was to ask what viewers thought the Framers would think of their Constitution today. And I was pleased that not one called thought they'd be pleased. Most felt they'd be outraged, a few thought they'd be disappointed. "Appalled" and "rolling over in the graves" was the general consensus.

I was bothered by Richard Stengel, the CEO of the Center, when he was asked by a caller how the Federal government could have an education department under the Constitution when it is silent on the subject of education. His response is that the Constitution is silent on a lot of things and there can be a Department of Education because the Constitution doesn't bar it. Huh? I guess he's not familiar with the Bill of Rights, particularly the Tenth Amendment which limits the Federal government's power by assigning every power not assigned to the Federal government to the states and the people.

This is a man whose job is educating the people on the Constitution and he doesn't know it himself.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Running the Red-carpet Gantlet

With the Oscars now a distant memory and the jostling for next year's awards already in earnest (the smart money is on Vin Diesel for best actor for The Pacifier), I wanted to pass along a scene from my novel, where my intrepid hero attends the Academy Awards:

"This is the moment I've been dreading," Joseph said to his wife as they headed down the red-carpet.

"Be brave. I'm right here with you," reassured Angel.

"And now on the red carpet we have George Huddleston, who's up for best original screenplay. He's only twenty-two! I've got panties older than that!" shrieked the interviewer, a real live harpy who have survived thousands of years only to find herself a television personality. America, what a country!

"My name is Joseph and it's adapted screenplay I'm up for."

"The card says 'George', George."

"I know my own name, Joan."

"I'm sure you think you do, George. So about your original screenplay--"

"Adapted," he said, but she paid him no mind.

"That's the Little Richard story, right?"

"Uh, no."

"Tutti Frutti, right?"

"The book was called Cosi Fan Tutte, If You Can."

"That's what I said, Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti. It's a Mafia picture, set in Ohio."

"Please?" said Joseph.

"The Cosi Nostra. For a writer you don't know your own material."

"No, Joan. I guess not," he said, furtively looking for an escape.

"This must be your lovely wife, Angie. Wonderful to meet you."

"It's a pleasure to meet the woman responsible for Rabbit Test."

"That animal is dead to me--dead! Let us never speak of it again!"

"I'm sorry."

"S'alright. Who are you wearing?" she asked Joseph.

"I have no idea."

"Men!" she exclaimed, throwing up her arms. "What about you, Angie? Valentino?"

"Rachel McGarrett, custom made," she said, dropping the name of her mother, Angel having sensibly recycled a prom dress.

"It's fabulous! I love it! You must give me her number."

"She'd never speak to me again if I did."

"Hah! I know the feeling. I'm as popular in dress shops as dry rot and mildew! So George--"


"--what was it like working with Little Richard?"

"Indescribable," as it never happened.

"Oh! Oh! Oh! There's your sister Sally. Come over here!" she ordered. Salix, Joseph's cousin, ascended the platform. "Give us a kiss!" They air kissed each others cheeks. "Now that is a marvelous, simply fabulous dress," she said. "Of course, it helps if you have the right equipment," she said as she cupped her breasts. "Don't change them."

"Our creator's handiwork."

"They're real and they're spectacular. But don't get me started on Him."

"Not on speaking terms?" asked Angel.

"You make just one little pact--one!--with the competition and you are dead--dead!--to him. Sally, you don't much look like your brother."

"I guess not."

"Thank goodness," he said.

"I loved the song you two did, even if I don't speak Yiddish anymore." (The song was in Latin.)

"Oy gevalt!" said Salix.

"So what award are you presenting tonight, George?"

"I'm not."

"Then just what is it you are going here at my ceremony?"

"I'm up for original screenplay."

"Adapted," she corrected. "Any last words before I shove you off my red carpet so I can speak to the legend herself, Miss Pia Zadora?"

"Are you drunk?"

"As shikker as a Kennedy behind the wheel. But I have some smooth X to even it all out," she said, popping some pills right there. "Scoot! I've got real celebs to harrangue. Pia, darling, you were incredible. I wept during your death scene. Or I would have it I still had tear ducts. Anyhow," she continued as Joseph and company headed to the Shrine Auditorium.

"Well, Joey, for once the worst is not yet to come," said Salix.

"Who else needs a drink?" he asked.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

All the Orthography That's Fit to Print

The New York Times did its duty in building our word power yesterday with its front page story "U.S. Checkpoints a Deadly Gantlet" by John Burns. That's how it appeared in the national edition, but it appears under a different title in the linked story.

"Gantlet"? Huh? I immediately wondered who the copy editor was who let that misspelling slip through--and on the front page, no less. But then I had my doubts and pulled my trusty dictionary. There it was, gantlet being a variant spelling of gauntlet. (In addition, gantlet is also the name of a Y-shaped piece of railroad track allowing two tracks to converge and run together.) A gantlet is where one passes through a dangerous narrow place subject to assault while a gauntlet is the glove in suits of armor that one throws down to make a challenge. (The American Heritage College Dictionary, however, puts both words under the spelling gauntlet.)

A piece in the Columbia Journalism Review here says that gantlet and gauntlet are two different words entirely and they should not be confused. And a class for copy editors at the University of Richmond specifically lists the two words in its syllabus.

I'd never noticed it before but a Google-aided search of the Times's site reveals the spelling "gantlet" is not a rarity in its pages. For example in "Lapses Feared in 2000 Vetting of Kerik" by Kevin Flynn and William K. Rashbaum on December 17, 2004, appeared the sentence "White House officials have said they relied in part on the assumption that Mr. Kerik had already run a gantlet of city background checks before becoming police commissioner." And in "Paying a Price for Doughnuts, Burgers and Pizza" by David Gonzalez on January 25, 2005, was another appearance in an alliterative couplet: "It is no accident that one of the best views of this gastronomic gantlet is from the steps of the very place where it has led more than a few unfortunates: the Ortiz Funeral Home."

Just when you thought you knew your native tongue it leaps out and bites you with its intricacies.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Actually, Not

And the Erich von Stroheim Award goes to . . . Richard Curtis!

Yes, for his bloated, meandering, plotless, pointless, humorless, romanceless romantic comedy Love Actually, whose running time as released of one-hundred thirty-five minutes (cut from two-hundred ten) put me in mind of the notorious Greed.

The film presents a web of Londoners, all apparently entrants in the Kevin Bacon Sweepstakes for all are a degree of two from one another, a cinematic equivalent of Winesburg, Ohio. With at least nineteen principals (the number credited in the main titles), I had trouble following how everyone was connected and certainly did not begin to care about any of them. But how could I? There are so many of them their introductions are cursory and none can be accused of having even the shadows of a third dimension.

Certainly there are amusing ideas here. Hugh Grant inhabits Number 10, "no nappies, no teenagers, no scary wife" he notes, in contrast to the present occupants. King of the British Geeks Colin Frissell (presumably Rhys Ifans, who played the same part, more or less, in Curtis's Notting Hillwas unavailable), who couldn't get arrested in London, becomes a chick-magnet when he flies to America's Dairyland, Wisconsin. Rowan Atkinson's solicitous jewelry salesman reminded me of John McGiver's turn in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

A series of loosely connected stories can work, as in The Simpsons' clever "Thirty-two Short Films About Springfield" episode, but only if one knows (or can know) the characters. Curtis has enough material to keep the cast of EastEnders busy for months. (An alumna of that show, Martine McCutcheon, is in Grant's employ, and who he finds himself smitten with.) As a film, however, it is all too much.

What's more troubling is that a film so gung-ho about love should be so utterly devoid of it. Not one of these relationships seemed in the least loving or even natural. Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson as an old married couple, perhaps is exempt from that criticism, but there's no chemistry at all between anyone else, the cloying and contrivedly musical selections' efforts notwithstanding. (Speaking of which, this is a film featuring everyone from Joni Mitchell to Kelly Clarkson to the Bay City Rollers to Wyclef Jean to the Beach Boys, a soundtrack as schizo as the film it accompanies.)

All this musical nonsense puts me in mind of Randy Newman's "Political Science". As a serial recidivist with this sort of film (he's also given us Four Weddings and A Funeral and Bridget Jones's Diary), might I suggest we put Newman's musical suggestion into practice: "Let's drop the big one and see what happens." Maybe with Curtis's flat as ground zero, our long transatlantic nightmare can be over.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Anchors Aweigh

I'm generally against change because it usually makes things worse, but I was pleased to see a special order speech in the U.S. House this week by Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican of North Carolina, who has introduced H.R. 34 (available here as a PDF file), which would rename the Department of the Navy the "Department of the Navy and Marine Corps". Jones spoke about this on March 1, 2005, in the House. See the PDF file of his remarks (in the center column) here.

I applaud this legislation as it would accurately reflect what the agency does. And on that note, the Department of Defense itself would be better served by assuming the Department of the Army's old name: the Department of War. As we've seen in the past five decades, DOD does little defending and a lot of war-making abroad. That name would accurately describe its activities. Plus "the War Department" simply sounds better. But they have no sense of euphony in Washington for the original name of the DOD was the "National Military Establishment", an unfortunately chosen acronym. (Go ahead, pronounce it.) Jones's bill previously passed the House but died in the Senate. Let's hope he gets it on the statute books this Congress.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Today in History Dept.

Seventy-three years ago this week was the kidnapping of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. That incident is revealed in Philip Roth's over-praised novel The Plot Against America (2004) to have been behind the presidency of Charles A. Lindbergh Roth concocts.

I read the book, which is up for various awards and is likely to be a Pulitzer finalist, because of its alternative history about the 1930's, a period that interests me greatly. I was under the impression from the press that the politics were the central element, but rather it focuses on the family of a character called Philip Roth, who live in Jersey City, New Jersey. In Roth's fictional world, Charles Lindbergh decides to enter politics, an isolationist opponent to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's efforts to manoeuver us into the war in Europe. Lindbergh wins the Republican nomination and chooses Burton K. Wheeler, a Democratic senator from Montana, as his running mate, then wins the 1940 election.

Roth posits that Lindbergh as president not only would engage in friendly (i.e. peaceful) relations with Germany, but he would actually import their treatment of Jews to America. Absurd, but what bothered me most of all was his depiction of one of America's great United States Senators.

Burton Kendall Wheeler (1882-1975) was born in Massachusetts and, after law school at the University of Michigan, set up his practice in Butte, Montana. (Thus the clever title of his memoir, Yankee From the West.) When Wheeler arrived in Big Sky Country, Montana was practically a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anaconda Copper. It was the biggest landowner and employer in the state. It owned most of the banks and newspapers. And it owned the legislature.

Wheeler, a dedicated Progressive, fought the company on the side of the small miners and the workers. He won a seat in the legislature and was appointed United States Attorney by President Wilson. After an unsuccessful bid for the governorship, he was sent to the Senate in 1922 where he continued to fight for the little guy, work that earned him the enmity of the Justice Department when he uncovered scandals and the Bureau of Investigation (then as now a den of iniquity and repression) attempted to frame him to cover-up the government's lapses. He served as LaFollette's running mate in his 1924 presidential bid against Coolidge and Dawes and Davis and Bryan.

When FDR was elected, Wheeler was 110% behind the New Deal. There was scarcely a member of Congress more behind the President's program. But in 1937, the Democrats having made substantial gains in the 1936 elections, Roosevelt decided to take on the one branch of government that had not surrendered to him. His proposal to pack the Supreme Court with like-minded cronies raised Wheeler's hackles and he was one of the Senators instrumental in killing the plan. At one Judiciary Committee hearing, Wheeler dramatically produced a letter from Charles Evans Hughes, the chief justice himself, stating that the court was fully up to date on its docket, showing that Roosevelt's claim the measure was simply to speed up justice and ease the workload on the justices was nonsense and was exactly what his critics said: a power grab.

That was Wheeler's first break with the President, though he still supported his domestic measures. The second break was on the international front where Wheeler adamantly opposed Roosevelt's efforts to get us into the war in Europe, Wheeler being an isolationist. (Wheeler's famous line was the President had a "triple-A foreign policy, one which will plow under every third American boy," a reference to the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, a New Deal program that paid farmers to plow under their crops.) Wheeler voted against the President and a few days before the attack on Pearl Harbor was thought to have leaked the administration's Pacific war plans to the press (though this was never proven). The war turned public opinion and when Wheeler sought re-election in 1946, he was defeated in the primary. He remained in Washington practicing law until his death.

In Roth's book, President Lindbergh vanishes, whereupon Wheeler assumes the role of acting president. He locks up Mrs. Lindbergh, turning into a dictator who goes after the Jews. Impossible. Wheeler all his life fought for the downtrodden. He was a committed progressive who simply believed, as most Americans did at the time, that we had no business involving ourselves in these foreign conflicts. For Roth to depict Wheeler in this manner is a libel on a great American. It is disappointing that Roth hasn't been called on the carpet for this lapse. Either he is ignorant of history or cynically hoping everyone else is.

For Wheeler's official biography and a photo, click here. For The Wall Street Journal review, see here. And The American Conservative's review "Heil to the Chief" here is exactly right on the outrageous depiction of Wheeler.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Unidentified Flying Field

Peter Foy, the master of stage flight who developed the rigging which let Mary Martin soar as Peter Pan and Sister Bertrile take to Puerto Rico's skies as The Flying Nun, is dead reports The New York Times.

Sure it was a silly premise but The Flying Nun was a good show in a decade of silly premises (e.g. Bewitched, My Mother the Car, Green Acres) because Sally Field was--and still is--a good actress. Not having seen her turn on ER, the last thing I saw her in was Absence of Malice, borrowed from the library, where she plays a reporter who runs a story fed to her by the cops saying Paul Newman was involved in a murder, their effort to flush out the real killers. The movie doesn't work for me--especially the leads' romance--but as always she's interesting to watch.

I was disappointed that ABC so quickly axed her Supreme Court drama The Court (2002), killed after only three weeks. (CBS's competing court drama, First Monday, lasted only a little longer that same season.) How do you dramatize the Supreme Court? They sit all day in their marble temple reading. Not a lot of action there, especially since the melodramatic William O. Douglas is long gone. You can make a drama out of anything but it is hard with material such as this. ABC didn't even give it a chance.

Maybe ABC could repent with a Flying Nun reunion film. Sister Bertrile ought to be Mother Superior material by now.

As Tommy Lee Said So Eloquently Sang

The weekly edition of Variety (February 14th issue) carried a disturbing review by Robert Koehler of a film that debuted at the Santa Barbara Film Festival on February 6th. The Moguls is about a group of small town folks who decide why can't they make a porn film of their own. Okay. That's got possibilities. I can hear the pitch: "Jenna Jameson gets naked with Garrison Keillor." But look at this cast: Jeff Bridges, Ten Danson, William Fichtner, Tim Blake Nelson, Joe Pantoliano, Lauren Graham, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Steven Weber, and Eileen Brennan. Aside from the incomprable Lorelai Gilmore, is this a company we want to see deshabille? I think most audiences would pay for them to stay fully clothed.

Carmella DeCesare, the brunette Buckeye who is the reigning Playboy Playmate of the Year, told her hometown Cleveland Magazine (January 2005 issue) that nudity is "not a disrespectful thing. It's how secure you are with it." I'm with Julia Sweeney, America's favorite former androgyne, who wrote in her God Said "Ha!" (1997) "I'm not ashamed of my body, I just don't see any reason to not cover it up as much as possible. I'm one of those people who think those garments the Amish women wear are a great idea for everyone regardless of their religious affiliation."

Mike D'Angelo dissected Natalie Portman's peek-a-boo in Closer in the February 2005 issue of Esquire, a piece captioned "Everybody Get Naked: The thinking man's argument for more on-screen nudity. Tastefully done, of course." D'Angelo found Portman hypocritical. She shot nude scenes (she plays a stripper) but then successfully argued with director Mike Leigh to cut them. "Her spasm of retroactive modesty is downright unconscionable," he writes. "If Portman had the slightest doubt about her willingness to let the world see her gyrating about in her birthday suit, she should have turned the role down . . . ." Agreed. Cinematic nudity is almost never necessary but it's cheating to do what she did.

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, a portrait photographer who is a contributor to Vanity Fair magazine, found that the porn stars he photographed for his book XXX were more comfortable and natural naked.

The best response to nudity surely was from Charles Kimbrough as the strait-laced Jim Dial on Murphy Brown. Paula Cale, before becoming the sister on Providence, for a time was Mondale (think MTV's Kennedy), a young anchor on FYI brought aboard to lure young people to the show. Mondale for a press photo shoot posed naked in one of the anchor chairs a la Christine Keeler's famous photograph. The rest of the gang were outraged. What's the big deal she asked? "We're all naked beneath our clothes," said Mondale. Jim Dial recoils in horror. "I'm not!" he insisted.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

United States' Rights

"Power without responsibility, the power of the harlot throughout the ages," was the first thing that came to mind upon hearing of the Supreme Court of the United States' ruling in Roper v. Simmons, the Missouri case involving a seventeen-year old murderer. This absurd ruling says that the Eighth Amendment's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment" now prohibits the states from executing sixteen and seventeen year old killers. The Eighth Amendment has been in force for two-hundred thirteen years now and the Supremes only in 2005 discovered this fact.

The demographic affected by this ruling can drive, give blood, have consensual sexual relations and marry. In California, they can be emancipated and considered adults in the eyes of the law--see this article for one example. In Ohio, seventeen year olds have the vote in primary elections. They can marry, and join the service. Under canon law, the age of reason, the time at which children are responsible for their actions, is seven. Seven.

The ruling yesterday is an extension of the infantilization of our young people. The ages of consent and marriage have been delayed, today's young people somehow being less competent than their forebears. Likewise look at the changes with driving licenses and the drinking age. At eighteen, a man can hold public office or go fight in Iraq, but he isn't responsible enough to buy a bottle of Bud? Who is kidding who here?

The decision came from the Gang of Four (Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer), joined by Anthony M. Kennedy, the opinion's author. They were opposed by The Usual Suspects (William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas), joined by the Great Compromiser herself, Sandra Day O'Connor.

Mr. Dooley famously noted that the Court paid close attention to the election returns, but Justice Kennedy's opinion continues down the road of rewriting the Constitution by substituting "evolving standards of decency" and "the weight of international opinion" for the word and intent of the Framers. This phenomenon, which we well saw in Lawrence v. Texas, the consensual sodomy case, is just as dangerous as what Mr. Dooley saw.

It is the role of the Congress and the state legislatures to take the pulse of the nation, not the courts. (I got straight A's in Constitutional Law so you can trust me on this.) Justice O'Connor, for once taking a principled stand, noted that were she still in the legislature, she being the only member of the Court who has ever faced the voters, she would vote against these executions. But in her judicial capacity, she correctly said she could find no justification in the Constitution for making the ruling the majority issued. It also occurs that if a consensus is to be the driving force for the court's rulings, then Brown v. Board was wrongly decided and Roe v. Wade ought to be swiftly overturned. And the Supremes ought to do something about O.J. Simpson and a few others about whom a consensus on their guilt or innocence has developed.

And just what is this "international consensus"? Most of the countries of the world are repressive regimes which have no respect for the rule of law or human rights, some of them the best friends of the American government, e.g. Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The creeping internationalization of our domestic law, founded on so-called norms drafted by an European elite, oft unelected and out of step with their own peoples, is a very threat to the entire international order which, since the Peace of Westphalia three and a half centuries ago, has been predicated on the assumption that the nation-state is sovereign and ought to control its own internal affairs.

A term of art such as "cruel and unusual punishment" must have had a specific meaning to those who wrote and approved the Bill of Rights. The Eighth Amendment, like the other nine amendments, was sent by the First Congress to the States for ratification on September 25, 1789. Ratification was completed on December 15, 1791. The proper study for the Court would be the records of the First Congress, which drafted the Amendment; of the ratifying legislatures, which pondered it; of what the members of those bodies said and wrote; and of what the British courts, whose rulings are at the fundament of our legal system, had decided. What the European Court of Human Rights or the government of France thinks today is utterly irrelevant to the present situation. We might as well as Britney Spears or Sean Penn to weigh in while we're at it.

As Justice Scalia wrote, the Court has been setting itself up as today's moral arbiters, our answer to the Roman censors. If this continues, not only are the United Sates no longer of the masters of their own destinies, but we the people and the election returns we generate are meaningless.

Case materials are here (scroll down to October 13) and here.

Coverage in The New York Times is here and here. Coverage in The Washington Post is here. Coverage in The San Francisco Chronicle is here.

Some other views are here from a blogger and the American Bar Association.

Styling by the DWP

Jon Stewart on The Daily Show Monday night had the best comment on Adam Duritz of The Counting Crows, who performed their best song nominee on Sunday's Oscars, that they Academy had denied Sideshow Bob (ne Terwilliger) the recognition he deserved. The obviously have the same stylistic: the electric company. See a photo here.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Lost in Translation

One way to spot a foreign film from its trailer is how none of the characters will be allowed to speak in it, distributors well aware that, except for a small circle of people who read Stanley Kauffman's reviews in The New Republic, Americans don't like foreign films.

That bit of conventional wisdom came to mind when I saw the trailer for Sahara, the adaptation of the Clive Cussler novel, on E!'s Coming Attractions show Sunday morning. Penelope Cruz, who is untelligible in English, is in the picture. She's clearly shown and identified. But she is not heard at all. The lead is Matthew McConnaghey, who I can't see him as Dirk Pitt, Cussler's oceanographer adventurer, a sort of aquatic James Bond. Someone such as George Clooney or Pierce Brosnan is who I pictured in the role.

I used to read Cussler's novels but his prose has become increasingly bloated and unreadable. In the New York Times's "Making Books" column, Cussler was once quoted saying he didn't believe in a lot of editing to his books. It clearly shows. Apparently all the publisher must do anymore is run spell check and send it to the typesetters. One of Cussler's problems is his unbelievable dialogue. His scientists are supposed to be brilliant, experienced men. But he shoehorns awkward exposition into their mouths, e.g. "Al, you will recall how we foiled the Japanese plot to explode nuclear bombs in rental cars across America and my many relationships with beautiful Members of Congress, which has prepared us for this latest adventure in the AGD-2343 submersible vehicle, which you invented in 1995 to search for mahi-mahi and . . . . "

One of Cussler's books was previously made into a film, Raise the Titanic (1980), which was such a colossal bomb wags noted it would have been cheaper for the studio to lower the ocean. Richard Jordan starred as Dirk Pitt, Jason Robards was his boss, Admiral Sandecker; and M. Emmet Walsh was Dirk's partner, Al Giordano.

An Oscar Trivia Question

Only three films have ever collected all of the top four Oscars (best picture, actor, actress, and director), namely It Happened One Night (1934), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991). But usually a film which gets one of these will get at least one more. For example, at Sunday's Oscars, Million Dollar Baby collected three of the top four awards (picture, actress, and director) and in 1998 Shakespeare in Love collected two (best picture and actress). It has been a long time when each of the top four went to different films. When was that?

Never Went Broke Dept.

Yet another salvo in the War of the Wrights was launched today. An article in the Winston Salem Journal reports that the Aviation Heritage Foundation, a Dayton, Ohio-based group dedicated to the memory of the Wright Brothers, conducted a survey last month stating that forty percent of Americans thought that the Wrights, Dayton's most famous sons, invented the airplane in North Carolina, the state they made their first flight in because of its steady winds. Only fourteen percent knew they were from Ohio.

This is the latest in a long-running rivalry as aviation is a bit of a sore spot for the Buckeye State. Ohio was so disturbed by the North Carolina license plate (which boasts that state was "First in Flight"), it changed its own plates to "Birthplace of Aviation." Then when the U.S. Mint came calling it put the Wrights and Neil Armstrong (a native of Wapokoneta, Ohio) on its state quarter. It is only a matter of time before Ohio takes advantage of the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction to sue the Tarheel State for false advertising. Just because you don't have a leg to stand on doesn't mean you can't get a lawsuit going. That's the American way and we can at least take comfort that when America's factions fight they generally do it with polls, pleas, press releases, and plates.