Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway
Source: YouTube

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Hookup Shl: Video: HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher: New Rules Dead Man's Party: The Power of Language in Politics

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The Republican Party learned a long time ago, lets say back in 1993-94 when they were planning a   takeover of Congress, that they represent a lot of ignorant Americans whom they need to keep them in power.  These people collect the public assistance, that the party likes to bash, to support themselves because they are too dumb to finish high school and get the skills that they need to be successful in life.

I mention this because the GOP, led by political wordsmith Frank Luntz, are the masters of the word game in politics, something that Democrats have only caught on to since 2005-06, when they saw their opportunity to finally win back Congress.

So, as Bill Maher said, the estate tax is the death tax.

To quote Representative Michelle Bachmann, same-sex-marriage and pornography are threats to national security, not just immoral.

Gun regulation is complete state-control of firearms in America.

Health insurance expansion and a Patients Bill of Rights are a government takeover of health care.

To the rest of the country, which finished high school and gets its news from some place other than the Washington Times or FOX News, these charges are garbage.  But to uneducated Americans, who don't know any better, it looks completely reasonable to vote Republican in election after election to keep those immoral Democrats from taking over.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Thom Hartmann: Video: Time to Fire Drug Enforcement Agency Director Michelle Leonhart! The Stupidity of the War on Drugs

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I have a better idea than Thom Hartmann's. How about firing the whole damn Drug Enforcement Agency and replacing them with something more intelligent, and easier to understand and explain like the U.S. tax code.  Damn straight, bring them all in, starting with Director Michelle Leonhart, and say, "You're fired!  (Quoting the Donald.) We can't afford your stupidity anymore."  With a national debt of around seventeen-trillion dollars we can't afford to spend fifty-billion dollars a year on this stupid War on Drugs.  It's is as stupid as one person spending a million dollars a year on bubble gum.

I don't know this for a fact but I believe this is my first ever satire about the stupid War on Drugs, which we know is not real because of all of the dangerous legal narcotics in the country. I'll check my blogger files for anyone who is actually interested in knowing if this is my first War on Drugs satire or not. And if you really need to know that than you probably are up late every night watching the Home Shopping Network and simply do not have enough constructive things to do with your time.

If we wanted a real War on Drugs, not only would alcohol and tobacco be illegal today but also addictive prescription drugs as well. If you want to assess the damage that narcotics have done in this country, start with the legal drugs first.  There are millions of Americans who use dangerous narcotics   but aren't in jail because the drugs that they use are legal. Some of them are smart about how they use them.  They don't get addicted to them.  Others, like the DEA, are not so bright and really mess themselves up, as well as innocent people with whom they interact.

I actually agree with Thom Hartmann on something, for the first time in 2014, I believe, but I could be wrong. When a Democratic Administration that is supposed to be a liberal Democratic Administration (the jury is still out on that) uses the same drug warrior propaganda as the drug warriors on both the neoconservative right and paternalist, statist left, you need to bring those people into your office and say to them, "You're fired!  We can't afford you anymore."
American & Mexican Drug Warriors

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Young Turks: Video: Panel: Kissing Representative Vance McAllister Caught on Camera

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat

Perhaps the new way to describe the Christian Right in America is to call them the "Do What I Say Not What I do Right."  Perhaps the so-called the "Family Values Coalition" (which has as much meaning as "jumbo shrimp") should be called the "Moral in Public Coalition" or the "What We Do in Private is our Business and what other Americans do in Private is our Business Too Coalition."  Because of our morality and honesty we know best how each and every American should live their own lives.  How about "The Give Me a Break Coalition?"

There's a powerful religious/political block in the United States called the Christian Right or Religious Right. A lot of these people, despite their bigoted views, are otherwise good people.  They are loyal to their spouses, loyal to their kids, volunteer for their communities, help the less-fortunate and a lot of other things that make people good. This voting block, at least in the South and rural America, is usually big enough to decide whether Republicans are politically successful or not.

But here's a perfect example of why religion shouldn't be mixed with politics.  I'm not saying that religious people shouldn't be active in politics but that when religion gets mixed into your political philosophy, or becomes your political philosophy as with the Christian Right, it becomes a big problem. Then your politics tend to oppose the constitutional rights of other Americans.  They have constitutional rights to live their own lives as they choose, because of the rights of privacy, free speech, and freedom of religion, even if their choices go against your religious beliefs.  Attempting to encode your religious beliefs in law, as in "Right to Life," infringes the constitutional rights of citizens who do not agree with you.

But I can't end this post without addressing the hypocrisy of politicians who claim to live by moral or family values.  What does that mean?  That's like hearing Republicans say that they believe in individual freedom and responsibility.  Individual freedom and responsibility for whom to do what? They tend to leave out the answers to these questions when speaking in public.  In private, they do what makes them happy and try not to get caught.

Maybe the so-called Moral or Family Values Coalition should say we believe this is how other Americans should live their lives.  If you don't live your life as we tell you to do, we are going to label you as immoral or Un-American, even if we do the same things you're doing.

The Republican Party needs this religious fringe because they can't be politically successful without it.  They have to pretend to care about their issues or they'll not win elections.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Agatan End: Video: HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher: New Rules About Religion Collection

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Atheism is a belief, or even a faith, that there is no God, there is no religious higher power at all. George Carlin didn't call himself and atheist because atheism is a belief or a faith that God doesn't exist. Technically, that would qualify George as an agnostic which is my religious affiliation.  I know so little about religion that my knowledge wouldn't fill a shot glass. But I do know that agnostics don't know if there's a God or not.  That is different from believing one way or the other.

I don't give a damn about people's religion, including Atheists. (Sorry Bill Maher.)  Just keep your religion out of my face, especially, if you believe your religion tells you to make the lives of other people miserable if they commit certain acts of which your fundamentalist tight ass doesn't approve.
As for you fundamentalist Atheists,  people who are not only not religious but put down people for being religious even if they are good decent people, learn something about the First Amendment.

People have the right to be religious or not and to say whatever the hell they want to about it.  Live and let live and your life will be hell of a lot better even if you're going to hell for not believing in God.  If you believe you should get on fundamentalist Christians because you don't like their politics,  keep in mind that fundamentalists Muslims are just as far to the Right on cultural issues.  Maybe you should spread your hate to them as well.

Monday, 7 April 2014

TYT Sports: Video: Rick Strom and Brett Erlich: Top 5 Lakers of All-Time

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

You could make a very good case that both Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Earvin Johnson are among the best basketball players of all time.  Kareem played most of his career for the Lakers and Magic, his whole career.  That, alone, puts them in a tie for greatest Los Angeles Laker of all time.  Then, for 3, 4 and five there are plenty of other great Lakers to choose from.

For the rest of the list, I would start with Big Game James Worthy who was a franchise caliber player in the prime of his career.  He would have been the best player on almost every other team in the NBA.  He played with the Lakers for nine seasons with Magic and seven seasons with Kareem.  He almost won games 6 and 7 against the Detroit Pistons in the 1988 NBA Finals on his own and was the MVP of that Finals.

So I would go with Kareem and Magic at one without being sure who's one and who's two and then I go to Big Game James at three. Then I'm looking at Jerry West at four and then Kobe Bryant, Jerry West or Elgin Baylor at five. Shaquille O'Neal is not on my list because after he played half of his career with the Lakers, it went  almost completely downhill.  He wasn't even the best Laker of his era.  He dominated, the 2000s, a very weak era for NBA big men.  Shaq has some big strikes against him.

Jerry West and Kobe Bryant finish off my list.  Jerry's not only in the top five or ten players of all time but perhaps the best NBA general manager of all time.   He built the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s. So I would put him at four and then go to Kobe Bryant, the best all around NBA player post Michael Jordan.  He was the best player since Michael retired up until Lebron James arrived in Miami to play for the Heat. Oh, by the way, Kobe's won five NBA Finals as well and, without the injuries late in his career, he's perhaps still the best player in the NBA right now.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Movie Clips: Rear Window 1954- A Man Solves a Murder Case in a Wheelchair From His Apartment

Source: Movie Clips- Actor Jimmy Stewart-
Source: The New Democrat

Rear Window might be the best not so believable movie I've ever seen. . It's about Jeff (Jimmy Stewart), a photographer  in a wheelchair with a broken leg solving a murder, practically. on his own.  He gets some help from his girlfriend (Amazing Grace Kelly) and his nurse (Thelma Ritter).  It's not, you know,  the most believable plot ever written.

Jeff has a friend (Wendell Corey) who's a lieutenant in the NYPD.  The lieutenant is the only person in the movie who has any real life, detective or police experience.  Jeff has a theory about how a supposed murder goes down in the apartment across the courtyard from his.  The lieutenant doesn't believe Jeff's theory.

The movie takes place in Greenwich Village in the middle of one of those famous humid heat waves  they get every summer.  Jeff has nothing to do all day but to look out the window, talk to his nurse (Thelma Ritter) when she comes by to check on him, and, of course, hangout with his hot sexy baby-faced girlfriend (Grace Kelly) when she comes by at night.

From his window, Jeff notices some strange things going on in the apartment across the courtyard.  A woman who's sick and confined to her bed is suddenly missing.  Her husband (Raymond Burr) does strange things at night.  He goes out with a suitcase when it's raining and comes back shortly thereafter.  Jeff thinks there's something suspicious in the suitcase, like the body parts of the missing wife. He wants his detective friend to look into it.

All the while, Jeff thinks his girlfriend is too perfect for him, his job being very stable.  He's always traveling.  He thinks that they would both be better off keeping things as they are.  She wants to marry him and that is not a commitment that Jeff wants to make.  He just wants to recover from the broken leg and go back to work and have his girlfriend available.

This movie stretches credibility but it is very well written and has a great cast, Jimmy Stewart, Wendell Corey, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr and others.  It has a lot of great humor, especially between the lieutenant and Jeff.  The cop sees his friend as an amateur sleuth, at best, and makes fun of him.   He's doing his best to show that Jeff only has a theory and a weak circumstantial case.  It becomes a great murder mystery.
Movie Clips: Rear Window 1954 Trailer

Friday, 4 April 2014

Movie Clips: To Catch a Thief 1955- Grace Meets Charm

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

To Catch a Thief is neither the best Alfred Hitchcock movie of all time nor the best Cary Grant movie of all time but I believe it is the best Grace Kelly movie of all time and that includes Rear Window and Dial M For Murder.  It showcases all of her great talents, the hot baby-face, her great sex appeal, her charm, her wit, and her dramatic abilities.  She was the perfect actress for Alfred Hitchcock because he wanted serious movies that were humorous.  Cary Grant was perfect for him as well.

Cary Grant plays John Robey, a retired jewel thief living on the French Riviera. He was so successful as a jewel thief that he doesn’t have to work anymore.  Every time there’s a string of jewel robberies in his new home, law enforcement suspects him, which is exactly what happens in this movie. A new cat burglar strikes Mediterranean France, the legal authorities bring him in for questioning, and he escapes from them.

Robey concludes that the only way to get out of this is to find the real burglar himself.  Thats where Grace Kelly comes in.  Her character, Francy, is the daughter of  a woman who owns a lot of very expensive jewelry and they just happen to be vacationing in the south of France at the time of these new jewel robberies.  Robey needs them to play decoys to get the cat burglar to strike again.  He befriends them, believing they are the next targets.

John Robey’s plan here is to catch the real cat burglar when this person strikes his target so he can get in the clear and move on with his life.  There are a lot of great suspense and action scenes in this movie as well as Cary and Grace taking a lot of humorous verbal shots at each other.  Once she learns that Robey was a cat burglar, she believes he’s still in business and tries to use this to start a romance with him but his goal is to catch the real thief, even if that means using innocent people like this mother-daughter duo.
Movie Clips: To Catch a Thief 1955 Trailer