- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Screen gems

“Sen. Hillary Clinton has gotten cozy with a Turkish-born businessman whom some have described as anti-Semitic.

“Clinton’s campaign Web site identifies Mehmet Celebi as one of her ‘HillRaisers’ — someone who has raised at least $100,000 for her presidential bid. This despite Celebi’s controversial producing credit on ‘Valley of the Wolves: Iraq’ — a 2006 movie that depicted a Jewish doctor removing the vital organs of civilian prisoners to sell to wealthy transplant patients overseas.

“ ’In accordance with the old anti-Semitic canard, the movie portrays Jewish-American doctors as forcibly harvesting organs from Muslims to give them to Jews,’ noted Detroit lawyer and columnist Debbie Schlussel observes on her blog. Clinton spokesman Jay Carson didn’t get back to us for comment.”

Richard Johnson, writing on “Odd Film by Hillary Backer,” Feb. 11 at the New York Post’s Page Six column

Upping the ante

“Stock certificates and notarized wills aren’t the first thoughts that leap to mind when you set out to buy your sweetheart a Valentine’s Day gift. But in many ways, financial presents can be the best way to show you really care.

“Take stocks: Flowers will wilt and chocolates will melt away, but shares in a flower-delivery company or a confectionary maker will, hopefully, retain their value and even grow over time. Keep adding to the pot each holiday, and you’re sure to build something more lasting. The same holds true for other financial decisions that couples need to make, such as estate plans and funeral arrangements.

“Attending to those today will do more to protect your relationship than a hamper full of revealing lingerie. And if you need to feel sexy about it, you can still go over those papers in bed. With Valentine gifts, it’s the thought that counts. So why not put something extra into it?”

Steve Kerch, writing at the Personal Finance Daily column, Feb. 11 at MarketWatch.com.

Fizzling out

“You may have thought cola wars had fizzled out, with every possible variety having now been invented. However, Pepsi is reopening hostilities by launching a new ‘healthy’ option.

“Pepsi Raw is said to be made from natural ingredients and contains no artificial preservatives, colors, flavoring or sweeteners. Traditional Pepsi contains fructose corn syrup, sugar, artificial colorings, phosphoric acid, caffeine, citric acid and natural flavors. In comparison, Pepsi Raw has only natural ingredients including apple extract, plain caramel coloring, coffee leaf, tantaric acid from grapes, gum arabic from acacia trees, cane sugar and sparkling water. It is paler in color and less fizzy than other cola brands.

“By replacing corn syrup with cane sugar, Pepsi claims it has managed to reduce the calorie content of a 300 ml bottle, from around 126 calories per serving to around 117 calories.”

Jaya Narain, writing on “Clash of the cola companies,” Feb. 11 at the Daily Mail of London

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