Friday, October 17, 2014

Albert Camus and the Ebola Plague

The Ebola virus that has terrorized West Africa and is currently spreading fear in the U.S. has an interesting precedent in a book written long ago by the late French writer, Albert Camus.  This book is called "The Plague" (in English) and is interesting because of its parallel with the current Ebola outbreak.

There is an interesting psychology at work in the book, and it serves as a warning to what may be happening today.  The Camus book is about an epidemic of bubonic plague that afflicted the city of Oran in Algeria more than a half-century ago.

The reactions to the first case of plague that wracked Oran were very similar to what Americans are experiencing today from their government.  The city officials first reaction was to reassure the citizens that everything was under control, and there was no need to be afraid.  Of course, the plague progresses until it decimates the city and imprisons its inhabitants.

There's a great deal more in the book than the tiny bit I've mentioned here.  It's well worth reading, and I would call it one of the quintessential books of all time.  Aside from the grim terror of the disease itself, it is the psychology of the people and the government of Oran that is most interesting.

Hopefully, we'll do a little better than Oran did in the 1950s (I think) but, nonetheless, it's taken the Obama administration and the U.S. medical system far too long to take the Ebola epidemic seriously.  And while the medical establishment, after some grievous mistakes, seems to be rising now to confront the danger, it doesn't help that a certain politician (guess where) wants us to believe that an "Ebola Czar" (a lawyer, to boot) will quiet the fears caused by the administration's weak knee-jerk reaction.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Last Chance: A Novel of Betrayal and Redemption

It's a big business.  Narcotics, drugs.  For some, it's recreation.  Is it such a big deal if you want to hang around your TV set on a rainy day and smoke a blunt?  No, it's not.  But pot isn't the whole story.  And while some may be loathe to admit it, the use of any chemicals for recreational purpose leads to more adventures in la-la land.  Personally, you want to kill yourself?  You should be free to do it, so long as it's alright with your ma. But that's not the point either.

The point is that billions of dollars flow out of the U.S. every year and into the hands of people who want to do us in.  Coke, heroin, methampetamine.  Some of the weed is grown in Humboldt County and lots of the methamphetamine is made in the U.S. but lots of it comes from outside the country.

 You may think that's okay, at the same time you bitch about corruption, about how you're the victim of him or them or the white guys, the black guys, the immigrants, the government, a whole list of oppressors imagined or real.

I know people who have trafficked in illegal drugs.  I can't tell you any more than that.  Some are dead, killed by drugs. Others are dead, killed by bullets. I can live with all of that.  The thing that changed my opinion, the thing I can't live with, is sending billions of dollars to people in other countries who want to take away your freedom, who want to violate your children, to corrupt your government.

I can't name names.  I only know a little but that little is a lot. The important thing is that the billions of  dollars that flow out of the U.S. are enough to impact the economy as a whole.  The dollars are used to buy American institutions, businesses, allegiances, and governments.  U.S dollars are used to buy heavy weapons for terrorist groups in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia,  and in places like Afghanistan.

So I wrote a book about it.  A fiction book.  I can only tell the truth by lying about it in fiction.  The name of the book is "Last Chance."  Take a look.  Click on it. Maybe you don't like the cover.  Maybe you don't like the title.  Never mind, read the book. I think you'll find it interesting.

You need to realize how much and what the billions of dollars sucked out of you is doing to the country. And other countries.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Last Chance: International Intrigue, Political Corruption & Personal Heartbreak

Last Chance is a sprawling tale of international intrigue, political corruption, and personal heartbreak. From the murder of a street level drug dealer in New York City, “Last Chance” takes you to the heart of a battle between the cocaine cartels of Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia and a desperate American government. 

When Victor Saronna, ex-Army Airborne Ranger, finds himself enmeshed in the narco underworld of crime and drugs, he finds the allure of profit and power too appealing to resist. But when he's forced to kill or be killed, his luck at staying in the game is about to change. Now, he is making a deal with the DEA and their CIA cohorts to stay out of jail – but it may cost him his life.

Sandra Genova, the gutsy and attractive prominent reporter for the New York Inquirer, is offered a chance to interview Saronna – a move engineered by his street-smart lawyer. And when she is offered the opportunity to travel to South America to report on escalating levels of violence at cartel cocaine production facilities, she's shocked to find Victor at the center of a series of targeted assassinations and attacks.

In other words, go to Amazon and buy the Kindle version of my book for only $2.99.  It's fiction, but it's true fiction, if you catch my drift.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Ray Price Baltimore Ravens Scandal

You knew about it and so did everyone else.  The story surfaced a couple of months ago with a video of Baltimore Ravens running back throwing his then girlfriend around outside an elevator in an Atlantic City casino.  ESPN tells the story properly if you want a detailed read right here.

If you're like me, you thought the first video was plenty ugly but quickly put it on the back burner of your mind.  The great mahouts of the NFL would figure it out.  And the Jersey prosecutor would sort out the details.  Ho-hum, time goes by and you think the matter's resolved.

And now this, the TMZ video of what happens inside the elevator.   Janay goes for the high block and Rice gives it to her hard with a big left hook.  She goes down like she's been dropped off a tall building.  Then he tosses her around, arranging her this way and that way like she was just another crack-ho.

And then as the crap blows up in his face, he marries her so she can't/won't testify against him.

I heard the Ravens coach Harbaugh today and he sounded liked an idiot.  The NFL commissioners also sound like idiots.  And because the prosecutor also sounds like an idiot, it has become hard to find anyone in the happening who does not sound like an idiot.

If there is an idiocy reality show that connects with this, I would say that the prosecutor would win it.  When you've got a video of a full-scale bludgeon assault, you don't need the former girlfriend/wife of convenience to testify anything.

And it doesn't matter the poor abused young woman doesn't want to press charges.  This was a violent assault--aggravated assault in police legal terms.  If a guy like Mike Tyson gave a shot like that to a female, he'd have gotten 25 to life with no chance of an alternative track other than prison.

And why would that be?  Because boxing is boxing and you expect such things from boxers but not from football heroes.  Football heroes are the people you would like to be.  They attend college.  They get fat pro contracts worth millions. They have press agents and reps whose only business is to make them smell good no matter what they do.  But there is no way to make the NFL commissioner smell good, nor the Baltimore Ravens coach, nor the prosecutor who swooned before the Football Gods.

I'm not dictating that Ray Rice should get 25 to life.  All I'm saying he should be processed through the system as most anyone else would be except sports celebrities.  And then, after a jury has watched the video and come to a conclusion, the verdict should be rendered.

If at that point the sentencing authorities wanted to apply some enlightened remediation of the sentence, that would be quite another thing than how this is being handled now.  As things stand, you're supposed to be an idiot too, and fall under the spell of every jock-worn sports cliche and feel sorry for the fool.

This was purely disgusting.  You can't do this to women.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Over Hillary and Dale: The Biggest Mistake

I am watching Democrat and Republican pundits handicapping Hillary Clinton's chances of being the next president of the United States.  Everyone is on the same page about her slipping popularity.

One pundit blames her high-flying lifestyle being juxtaposed to claims that she and Bill "struggled" after leaving the White House.

Another claims that it is her perceived insincerity which accounts for her slide in popularity.

While both characterizations have merit, I think the pundits have underestimated the determination of certain Americans to have a female president at any cost.  This is the same group of people who voted for President Barack Obama (twice) because it was, to them, most important to have a non-white president at any cost.

I think it is plain to everyone that we are not, under the Obama administration, in an era which stands any chance of being called "America's finest hour."  The economy lags.  Jobs for young people are rare or non-existent.  African-Americans are suffering more than ever.   Foreign policy is a complete mess.  The countries of the world have lost a great deal of respect for America and don't hesitate to say so.  It seems that everyone is glad to see America get its Obama "comeuppance."

Which brings me back to Hillary.  She's much smarter than the pundits would like to admit.  She's too smart, in fact, for her own good.  Having been upended  and outmaneuvered in the 2008 elections by Barack Obama and the Utopian dreamers who invented him, she thought that her best chance of being president was in taking the Secretary of State job.  This would be the type of experience that would give her depth, gravitas, and the aura of being a 'great lady.'

Except for Benghazi, that might have worked.  Given the widespread American disinterest and large-scale ignorance of foreign policy, that might still have worked.

Hillary lately assailed Barack Obama's mess of the Middle East--Syria, Iraq, and also Afghanistan (not an ME country but same incompetent drift).  This is reflective of her knowledge of having made a mistake and a wish to separate herself from the Obama mess.

This is a big problem than cannot be resolved no matter how many public media appearances Obama and Mrs. Clinton make to hug it out .  Hillary should have sat it out and baked cookies (meaning she could have maintained a clean public persona by engaging in humanitarian affairs) and waited for 2016.  She would have been better off.

So 2016 is a good opportunity to put the country right except that Republicans have a habit of forming circular firing squads.  That Rand Paul, that Libertarian version of Hillary, stacks up well statistically against her is an indication of American confusion.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sierra LaMar: Hard Case for the Prosecution

In California two years ago, a fifteen year old girl named Sierra LaMar disappeared while walking to her bus stop.  Not long after, police had a suspect in mind:  Antolin Garcia-Torres .  Police have not revealed how they connected Sierra LaMar to Garcia-Torres, but they have linked his DNA to Sierra's clothing found not far from where the presumed victim lived. 

The DNA alone will not result in a conviction as there are many ways Sierra LeMar's DNA can intermingle with that of another person without her being dead.   To be blunt, the defense may perhaps claim that Sierra had sex with Garcia-Torres and that he dropped her back off at the bus stop. 

The term "presumed victim" is used here because no body has been found and defense attorneys are sure to argue that she is still alive, perhaps kidnapped by someone else, or perhaps a runaway.   This is a typical and very common quandary posed by cases in which habeas corpus is a major factor.  Habeas corpus--if you've accused my client, then you must produce the body--quite literally in this case.

No body, no crime, the defense attorney will say.  So what do the police have on Garcia-Torres, besides her DNA on her clothing?  The answers may come when the grand jury transcript is released to the public in accord with a judge's order. 

The defense attorneys for the accused have tried to have the transcript sealed, but grand jury transcripts are typically part of the public record.  The San Jose Mercury pressed for the information and got it.  The transcript will be released very soon.

What distinguishes this case from a host of others is that, without a body, the state has intimated that it will seek the death penalty.  If what the police say is true, that Garcia-Torres is charged with the attempted kidnap of two other women,  it's very likely he will be found guilty.

The death penalty?  Well, without a body, that will be a stretch for any jury in California.    

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bergdahl Kidnapped by Aliens from Outer Space, Two-Star General Will Conclude.

From Fox News comes a report that the Army just appointed a two-star general to 'investigate' the Bergdahl affair.  In itself, that means what I predicted all along, that the Obama administration was in a pickle trying to figure out how to whitewash Bergdahl's desertion.  This investigation, favored by the Susan Rice who publicly described Bergdahl as a hero, is the solution you're expected to swallow hook, line, and sinker.

Appearing with Judge Jeanine Pirro was retired Col. Hunt who had a sober read on the situation, as does everyone else who has dutifully served in the military.    Bergdahl's desertion is a done deal, a fact.  There is no glossing over this, no need for investigation. As Col. Hunt said, if you walk away from your post and don't come back within 30 days, you're a deserter.   It's black and white.  It's impossible to come up with any kind of other scenario without saying something to the effect that aliens took control of his mind and body and walked him off.

Essentially, this is what the announced investigation will conclude.  The aliens won't be from outer space.  They will come from the volumes of real and fantasized pseudo-scientific psychological jargon you can find in any college library.

Uh, okay then.   Aliens embedded themselves into Bergdahl's mind and whisked him away.   That's all there is to it.  Frankly, I don't give a much of a damn what happens to Bergdahl, but I do care that the administration coverups of nearly everything are criminal and dangerous to America. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Obama Failure to Strike Status of Forces Agreements with Malaki Leads to Iraq Chaos

You can't blame Bush any more, Obama.  Even your closest advisors say that the Iraq you "inherited" was in a state of calm that had not been witnessed before the time of Saddam Hussein.   You felt that way yourself, apparently, because you decided to immediately withdraw U.S. Troops entirely from the region without even leaving a small residual force in place.  Against all advice and opposition, you surrendered Iraq to chaos.

It's difficult to consider the impact of the lack of leadership you displayed in Iraq.  To announce a time line for U.S. withdrawal was perhaps the worst decision, a political decision designed to appease your pacifist left-liberal supporters.  Of course, ISIS would take the opportunity to plan strategy, organize, arm,  and wait for the U.S. withdrawal so it could effect an assault on Mosul, Tikrit, and other key Iraqi cities.

If there is any good news, it would be the surge of the Peshmerga Kurd troops into Kirkut, their historical center.  You can understand that they have as much a right to claim that, especially with the government troops fleeing it, as the Russians had to claim Crimea. 

It's chaos, and President Obama has no answer for it.  The answer should have been ready and waiting before you announced a pullout timetable.  Now there are no operatives or troops on the ground and we are reduced to getting vital information from news outlets which are as clueless and opinionated as you are.

Fortunately, CNN --your unofficial dispatch offices-- will trumpet that you are considering alternatives.  And considering alternatives. And considerating alternatives.  And consulting, And studying.   All of this is what you've done with Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan as you destabilized these countries and others. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

‘No’ Didn’t Mean ‘No” in Bergdahl Tradeoff - Yahoo Voices -

No" means "no" except when you're talking to the Obama administration about prisoner exchange-when "no" could mean anything at all. Even "yes."

Press Secretary Jay Carney was quoted in a June 21, 2013 news briefing saying that the Obama administration would make no decision on trading Guantanamo detainees for absconded American soldier Bowe Bergdahl "without consulting with Congress and without doing so in accordance with U.S. law."

Then suddenly as a bolt from the sky, President Obama suddenly appeared, arm in arm at the White House with the mother of the absconding soldier and the bearded dad spouting prayers of thanks to the Taliban in Arabic and Pashto, to say that Bowe Bergdahl had been freed.

Click on the link below to read more:

‘No’ Didn’t Mean ‘No” in Bergdahl Tradeoff - Yahoo Voices -

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fox Series “Gang Related” Premieres to Mixed Reviews - Yahoo Voices -

Fox Series “Gang Related” Premieres to Mixed Reviews - Yahoo Voices -

We're Giving You This Special Gun Because You're a Hero Cop

There's a mawkish, corny, and ridiculous scene where the chief, as a tribute to Lopez' greatness, gives him a Kimber .45 knockoff of the legendary Springfield 1911. The scene is typically gun clueless, aimed at liberal Hollywood gun control types who actually believe this will be the pistol that tames the barrio. Okay, I have a bias-I'm a Sig-Sauer and HK kind of guy. And I see Kimber as a target competition .45, not the best tactical weapon.

(this is a mere excerpt -- click on the link to read at least one line about hot Israeli actor Inbar Lavi) 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

In Praise of the Death Penalty - Yahoo Voices -

In Praise of the Death Penalty - Yahoo Voices -

Hit the link to read the full story:

The death penalty is supposed to be a punishment, not a therapy. Capital punishment has the other purpose of ridding society of people who would, often after being released from prison, attack, torture, terrorize, and kill innocent members of society.

What is a justice system if it yields to the advantage of murderers, rapists, child killers, and their apologists?

I wonder why there is such media indignation in the botched execution of Clayton Derrell Lockett in Oklahoma this week. Lockett had been released from prison only months before. He had received a seven year prison term in 1992 and another four year prison sentence in 1996. Among his crimes were threats to kill state witnesses who would testify against him.

Unfortunately, the state had to wait until Lockett actually killed, kidnapped, and tortured someone before law enforcement could permanently protect its citizens from mayhem, torture, and sadism.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Obama to Samsung: the Selling Stops Here - Yahoo Voices -

Obama to Samsung: the Selling Stops Here - Yahoo Voices -

So why should the White House now draw a red line in the sand and threaten legal action against Samsung Corporation for tweeting a photo of the president with the Boston Red Sox team and with star David Ortiz? The White House statement from press secretary Jay Carney sounds a lot like that well known scene in Casablanca where Captain Renault is "shocked, shocked" because "gambling is going on in here!"

Friday, March 14, 2014

Vanished Flight 370 Looks like Foul Pay, Walks like Foul Play - Yahoo Voices -

Vanished Flight 370 Looks like Foul Pay, Walks like Foul Play - Yahoo Voices -

Yesterday, there were opposing points of view between the Malaysian government and the Wall Street Journal regarding the seeming disappearance of a 777 passenger jet. Looks like the Wall Street Journal wins this one. The newspaper of record was first to report (from unnamed sources) that Malaysian Airlines flight 370 kept flying as long as four hours after it dropped from radar. In disputing the WSJ report, the Malaysian government was engaging in a bit of sophistry if not outright Three Card Monte.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Malaysian Government Disputes WSJ Report on Mysterious Flight 370 - Yahoo Voices -

Malaysian Government Disputes WSJ Report on Mysterious Flight 370 - Yahoo Voices -

At this point, it may seem to the average reader that Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 might not exist. Ships, planes, and helicopters, aided by radar and satellite images, have scanned miles of ocean and land masses in search of the plane.

The disappearance of MH370 with its 239 passengers and crew has baffled experts and frustrated media reporting. It's almost as if every entity involved in the search is living in a different universe.

The level of desperation is such that the search efforts have been extended to crowd sources. Yes, that's right. You can log on and do your part in searching for debris within vast expanse of ocean and land images collected by Chinese satellites.

The latest and most jarring report is that the search area could range for thousands of miles beyond the aircraft's flight path and well beyond the current search areas. This report, from the Wall Street Journal, holds that the plane kept flying for hours after it dropped from radar and stopped sending locator signals.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bartiromo Debut Likely to Beat Down CNBC with FBN Morning Business News Slot - Yahoo Voices -

Bartiromo Debut Likely to Beat Down CNBC with FBN Morning Business News Slot - Yahoo Voices -

Maria Bartiromo, the fire-breathing Dragon Lady of business and economic news, premiered this morning on the Fox Business Network. From her former post on CNBC, Bartiromo encapsulated the day's economic news on Closing Bell with an authority befitting a queen. Bringing Bartiromo on board with Fox was quite a coup for FBN.

Aside from the experience she brings, Bartiromo brings a loyal audience and a network of global business connections that a Secretary of State would envy. On her first broadcast this morning, the reporter broke the story of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's investment bets on American technology companies like Twitter, Square and AOL.

Damned with faint praise, perhaps, but the tough "Money Honey" Brooklyn babe is not to be underestimated-not face to face anyway. She deftly manages interviews that would have other reporters slavishly repeating what they have been told by powerful financial brokers.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Aluminum Body Full Sized Pickups: Let the Games Begin - Yahoo Voices -

Aluminum Body Full Sized Pickups: Let the Games Begin - Yahoo Voices -

You see women in hip-hugging jeans stepping out of them in Malibu and lugging paintings in and out of art galleries in Manhattan. You see soccer moms and dads everywhere carrying both team members and equipment together on the same trip. Military people often buy pickups because, with the mobility required of service people, they can throw much of what they own into the back and get rolling. While the pickup truck market yet has room to grow as more and more people realize the inherent value in owning one, drivers who rely on them for making a living are driven to carry housing mortgage sized finance contracts or go to the used car market.

Monday, February 10, 2014

This Week's Volkswagen Tennessee Vote Tests UAW Strength - Yahoo Voices -

This Week's Volkswagen Tennessee Vote Tests UAW Strength - Yahoo Voices -

The U.S. economy depends a great deal on auto manufacturing for its strength. But in 2008, two of America's largest car companies, General Motors and Chrysler were in the tank. The U.S. government stepped in and taxpayers became temporary and unwilling owners of both GM and Chrysler. Ford, the third major American carmaker, bailed itself out in the old fashioned bootstrap method of mortgaging their own property and making a narrow escape.

And more... click on the headline to read the rest.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Beatles on Ed Sullivan Represented a Cultural Tipping Point - Yahoo Voices -

The Beatles on Ed Sullivan Represented a Cultural Tipping Point - Yahoo Voices -

FIRST PERSON | In 1964, when the Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, American culture was perched on a ledge and ready to tip over.

I was in high school, trying to fight for my place in a mixed rat pack of greasers and preppies. As the former, I sported a leather jacket, a ducktail, and the original Brylcreem.

Everything seemed locked in, tidy, foreordained. It seems strange now, when I look back, to think that music changed all that. Two of the more significant musical events of that era were Elvis Presley and the arrival in the United States of the Beatles.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Federal Death Penalty and Clay N.Y. Murder, Child Rape Conviction a Perfect Fit - Yahoo Voices -

Federal Death Penalty and Clay N.Y. Murder, Child Rape Conviction a Perfect Fit - Yahoo Voices -

Federal Death Penalty and Clay N.Y. Murder, Child Rape Conviction a Perfect Fit - Yahoo Voices -

Federal Death Penalty and Clay N.Y. Murder, Child Rape Conviction a Perfect Fit - Yahoo Voices -

The Onondaga County DA agreed to a defense deal in the David Renz rape/murder case.  People in Central New York are angry.  They say Renz was a popular guy in school and is only making excuses for raping a ten year old girl and killing her mom.  Here's some background on why the District Attorney could have made a slam-dunk for capital murder.  Below is what this is all about.  Click on the link to read the full account.

COMMENTARY | Upstate New York citizens are palpably angry over the murder of 47-year-old school librarian Lori Bresnahan and the rape of the 10 year old child accompanying her to a gymnastics class at a suburban mall. Indeed, the type of crime of which 29 year old David J. Renz is accused even incites the outrage of common criminals.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, CNY Killer David Renz Await Separate Capital Punishment Decisions - Yahoo Voices -

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, CNY Killer David Renz Await Separate Capital Punishment Decisions - Yahoo Voices -

What's this about? Capital murder, Boston's Marathon Bomber, and the David Renz horror.

The Central New York case of David Renz is one such case which continues to provoke a great deal of public anger and outcry. Renz pleaded guilty in July to stabbing to death 47 year old Lori Bresnahan after abducting her and her ten year old daughter outside a shopping mall in Clay, New York. According to investigative reports, Renz cut away the child's clothing with the same knife he used to murder her mom, and proceeded to rape the child.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Remains of Lost NYC Boy Avonte Oquendo Identified - Yahoo Voices -

Remains of Lost NYC Boy Avonte Oquendo Identified - Yahoo Voices -

From New York City comes the news that the remains of a body
washed up on the edge of the East River are indeed those of fourteen year old autistic
teen Avonte Oquendo.  Avonte vanished
last October from his Long Island City school  leaving his family racked with worry but never
giving up hope. 
 The case has nagged at authorities
and family members for months.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

NRA-ILA | Hollywood Hypocrisy: Director Weinstein Aims to Attack NRA with New Film

NRA-ILA | Pride and Prejudice? Hollywood Mogul Aims to Attack NRA with New Film

Wherein a well-known Hollywood producer/director tacks this way and that as the mood suits him.  Guns might have saved the day for some of the Nazi holocaust victims during the Warsaw uprising of Polish Jews.  Weinstein admits this, yet he would have taken their guns away in the years leading up to Hitler's extermination camps.

Hey, the guy makes movies so what does he know about real life?  If that's not ironic enough consider that Hollywood hardly ever makes a film without gratuitous gunplay.  In face,extraneous gun play in movies is likely what sends unstable people off their rockers on American streets and in American schools. 

Bottom line.  Weinstein would take guns away from responsible people while promoting gun violence to whackos through excessivly violent film.  I guess there is a plot shortage and a dearth of creativity in Weinstein's neighborhood.

Anyway, hit the link. It's an interesting news report about Weinstein's appearance on the Howard Stern Show. Incidentally, Howard Stern is a gun owner and has a carry permit.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Spectacular Now - Have Some Drinks on Hollywood

One of the Los Angeles movie blogs (LA Screenwriting?) was touting the people who wrote the script for this movie.  (possibly a cousin?  you never know)  So I'm interested in reading film scripts these days for the reason that I'm trying to write two of my own. 

All I've figured out so far is that there is a handsome 18 year old protagonist who has a hot GF, that he has a nice smile, and a flask in the back pocket which he keeps swigging from.

It's all kind of funny, you know, ha-ha -- and if we don't know that, the 'hero' Sutter reminds us constantly about how much fun drinking is.   I thought we were done with all that.  It's so yesterday, so outre, so corrupt. 

Yeah, we know people drink and we know the business of Hollywood isn't to launch a prohibition campaign but please....  drinking is a boring, cheap way to get laughs unless you're in the 9th grade.

I'm not too enthusastic about reading the rest of the script  but I probably will.  The screenwriter has some talent, no doubt, but the big question is why is he throwing good money after bad. 

Is this movie funny?   Anyone see it?  If the script has a redemptive turn at some point, I might.  But so far it's drech (sp).  What's that Yiddish word?

Correct Me If I'm Wrong But. . .

The U.S. handoff of the Middle East to Al Qaida and ISIS is nearly complete. 

The forces of terror have taken over in Iraq and that especially insults the men and women who fought and died there.  What's the U.S. policy?  To snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?   Now ISIS and Al Qaida are back and that's only because the current administration, including Hilllary Clinton, had the cut and run strategy on their mind all the time.  Worst of all, the Iraq pull-out didn't have a stable Iraq in mind at all.  The objective of the current administration was strictly political, to fulfill one of President Obama's campaign promises.

Yeah, we know:  "The tide of war is turning. . . " or something like that.  Hollow words, borrowed elsewhere no doubt, to the families and the troops who lie in quiet military cemeteries.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Year-End Film Releases Require Audiences to Write Their Own Endings - Yahoo Voices -

Year-End Film Releases Require Audiences to Write Their Own Endings - Yahoo Voices -

Movies and novels have had ambiguous or abrupt endings since time immemorial. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that several of this season's movie releases bring the audience to the end of a cliff and just stop there.

Among the current movie offerings that don't need "Spoiler Alerts" are "August: Osage County," "Llewyn Davis" and Robert Redford's "All is Lost." None of these films have definite endings, in much the same way that the last "Sopranos" episode left audiences wondering whether Tony got whacked or not. Sudden, abrupt endings, where the audience is left to write its own conclusions, will enrage some people. Perhaps the movie companies should release these films with a disclaimer.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Canadian Prostitutes Pitch Shut-out to Supreme Court - Yahoo Voices -

Canadian Prostitutes Pitch Shut-out to Supreme Court - Yahoo Voices -

Youth Unemployment: Food Servers Need Not Apply

The youth of today, defined as those between the ages of 16 and 24, might want to move to France. There, Socialist President Francois Hollande has launched an ambitious project wherein the French government has offered to pay 75 percent of a young unemployed worker's salary for three years. In so doing, the French government hopes to create 150,000 additional jobs for youth within the next two years.

Meanwhile, back in the ole U.S.A., the Huffington Post reports a study that counts "almost 6 million young people (within that youth age group) are neither in school nor working." That translates to a 15 percent unemployment rate among youth in America, compared to a 25 percent unemployment rate in France.

If this is recovery, then why are we working as waiters and waitresses? 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lenin Statue Tumbled in Ukraine as Protests Mount - Yahoo Voices -

Lenin Statue Tumbled in Ukraine as Protests Mount - Yahoo Voices -

The photo shows a white-haired, bewhiskered man of prodigious strength wielding a 20-pound sledge hammer to split in half a statue of Vladimir Lenin. The man is surrounded by a crowd estimated in the newspaper to number almost half a million people. This is in Kiev, capital of Ukraine, December 2013.

Those who might think that Ukraine's problems are uninteresting might consider that world champion heavyweight boxer Vitaly Klitschko, a protest leader, was on hand to stare down a police phalanx as he might have stared down an opponent during the preliminaries of a title shot, according to the newspaper account. More to the political point, Ukraine faces economic threats from Putin and Russia in the face of weak support from Europe and the U.S.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holiday Brandy: 4 Parts Clarified Satan

It ocurred to me recently that I am an unsophisticated imbiber.   I literally cut my teeth on red wine, and it dawned on me that is all I know anything about.

Okay, I know a little Tequila, a little Vodka, and some general things about beer.  But Brandies are a form a wine (I learned recently on the internet) and I remembered liking them.

So I Googled and Yahooed and otherwise looked around at Brandies.  I won't bore you with the details, as you could do this so easily yourself.

However, I came up with some amusing stuff about brandy, the most amusing commentary coming from the writer Ambrose Bierce. 

"What is brandy," Bierce asked himself.

Here's that man's definitition.  It's funny, if a little bit Puritannical. 

Brandy, n. A cordial composed on one part thunder-and-lightning, one part remorse, two parts bloody murder, one part death-hell-and-the-grave and four parts clarified Satan." ~ Ambrose Bierce

Alright, maybe it's not so ha-ha but at least I'm not taking myself so seriously these tragi/comedic days in our history.  If you want to know more about brandy, here is one of the sites I recently visited.

Read more at Buzzle:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Actor George Clooney Kicks His Tesla to the Curb as Musk Defends the Brand - Yahoo Voices -

Actor George Clooney Kicks His Tesla to the Curb as Musk Defends the Brand - Yahoo Voices -

The Huffington Post quotes Clooney in its colorful headline: "'Why Am I Always Stuck On The Side Of The ****ing Road?" The Daily Caller was a bit more gentle in telling of Clooney's enthusiastic early support for the car.

"I was one of the first cats with a Tesla. I think I was, like, number five on the list."

You've gotta' love Clooney for his "first cats" locution. He and comic Dennis Miller are the only surviving celebrities who can get away with a 60s hipster "cats" self-characterization without being ridiculed.

Clooney auctioned off his car for charity. It was a good buy.  He didn't drive it much.  When you have a choice between a 12 cyl Ferrari and a battery powered metal stamped shell, you go with the gusto.

Don't call Clooney an anti-technology Luddite. In his own words, he was "number five on the list" for getting an electric Tesla Roadster.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

JFK Assassination: the Death of Simplicity - Yahoo Voices -

JFK Assassination: the Death of Simplicity - Yahoo Voices -

Until the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November of 1963, my life was simple, pleasant, and full of prospect.

Mr. Metzgar, our next door neighbor in the summer of 1963, used to pay me half a buck to cut his 1/3 acre lawn and I was glad to get it. Our small town in Northeastern Pennsylvania was not exactly a hub of world economic activity but there were plenty of factories where a blue-collar high school graduate could get a job that paid enough to feed a family of four.

My dad worked in a Ronson cigarette lighter factory where he operated a metal stamping machine which, at one point, cut off his thumb. The job foreman did a good job of gathering the missing digit and packing it on ice. The factory did a good job of getting my dad to the hospital. The docs did a fair job of sewing it back on. It was misshapen, useless, and nerve-dead but we marveled at the medical miracle.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pointless Murder Claims a Young Teacher’s Life: Fourteen Year Old Arrested - Yahoo Voices -

Pointless Murder Claims a Young Teacher’s Life: Fourteen Year Old Arrested - Yahoo Voices -

A fourteen year old was charged today with the murder of 2nd year math teacher Colleen Ritzer. Ritzer's body was found in the woods near the Danvers High School in Danvers, Massachusetts, and police quickly ruled the death an obvious homicide.

Both the accused and the victim were reported missing on the same day. Fourteen year old Philip Chism was later found walking alone along a main highway in a nearby town, taken into custody, and charged with murder.

Police had begun their investigation on the basis of information found at the school, including blood stains near one of the school's second floor bathrooms and on surveillance footage taken from the school's video system.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stand Up for Your Boys, Ladies and Gentlemen - Yahoo Voices -

Stand Up for Your Boys, Ladies and Gentlemen - Yahoo Voices -

"Boys will be boys" has no meaning any more, even when it has a strong basis in physiology, biology, and adolescent development. You'd have to be blind not to notice the behavioral and developmental differences between adolescent boys and girls, especially in a school setting where pressures and expectations of boy children often exceed the capacity of their development to meet them.

That's another way of saying that society these days often seems obsessed with taking the boy out of the boy. Meanwhile, the entire purpose of school sports is to recognize and develop natural physical and emotional traits with the intention of turning out life "winners" rather than life "losers."