Showing posts from February, 2013

Congressional Reform

Every poll I can find says that a majority of Americans (depending on the poll, between 40 and 55%) agree with the President's proposals of cuts plus taxation to deal with the current fiscal issues. Those same polls show that Republican leadership is receiving between 20 and 30 percent (most of the more recent polls have this closer to 20 than 30). Of note is that Republicans are also giving Republican leadership the cold shoulder. These polls go on to show that the majority of Americans do/will blame the Republicans for any consequences resulting from this latest fiscal impasse.

So, a pretty significant number of Americans want a balanced approached to the fiscal issues, they want to keep programs in place and "close loopholes" as well as raising taxes, and they blame the Republicans for this stand-off. The majority has spoken...

And yet, John Boehner and his cronies refuse to believe this and continue to play brinkmanship with the President over this. I say, "Good…

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I was fairly excited to watch this movie; what a let-down. It is nowhere near as good as LotRs. It is bloated, uses too much CGI (even when real effects would suffice and be better), and is way, way, way too long (which sounds the same as bloated, but is different; see below).

It is bloated in that they took a simple adventure story and added a whole bunch of extra stuff from other books into it. And those parts were primarily to "add tension" where none was needed or to connect it further to the LotRs trilogy -- also not needed. Every scene with Radagast and the giant white Orc could have been cut (saving about an hour of running time) without interfering at all with the story. Actually, quite the contrary, it would have kept the story better-focused on the dwarfs tale and their adventure. Similarly, completely changing the Stone Giants scene to add action was needless, felt long, and had no real impact due to how early it comes in the film -- you know that none of the dwar…

Talking Out of Both Sides

The Republicans talk out of both sides of their mouths, and they think the American public is too dumb to notice or too stupid to look up the facts. From one side of their mouths they say that they long for the days of Reagan's Republicans and conservative agenda. They point to history and say how Reagan led America out of an economic downturn and back to prosperity. They cite his great works and his Reagan-onomics.

From the other side of their mouths, they decry what Mr. Obama is doing as President and they dismiss his objectives. They call him a socialist (they should look up the term before wrongly using it). They claim that spending money and bigger government never solved any problems for the middle class. They claim that prosperity will somehow just magically appear if we take all the restriction and government away.

But the truth is, and I have mentioned this in multiple posts in the past, that Mr. Obama is following the Reagan playbook almost step-by-step. Reagan spent mor…

Scammin' Sam

Just had a call from "Sam," claiming to be from MasterCard and, due to my excellent credit rating and years as a customer, he can offer me a "low, low" interest rate on my MasterCard.

Conversation, as close as I can remember it (or understood it; his Indian accent was very thick and we didn't have the best of connections):

Me: Well, shoot, Sam, that is awesome news!
Him: Now, to be safe, I want to verify I'm talking to the right person. Are you John ****?
Me: Yes.
Him: Are you at postal code ****?
Me: Yes, I am.
Him: Great, great. Now I just need you to verify with me a few points about your account.
Me: Well, hold on a minute, Sam. You know, there are a lot of scammers out there. I don't want to get taken for a ride, if you know what I mean. Do you have my account information up?
Him: Yes, of course I do. But I can only do so much. My job is only to verify you are who you say you are. I need to transfer you to a secure account representative.
Me: I hear you, Sa…


Another athlete used the word "gay" to refer to something recently. Another actor referred to something as "retarded" recently. Both of them had to publicly apologize for doing so. There is talk of rehab. At some point, I'd like someone in the 35+ age range who is "caught" saying one of these words to respond with something like:
"Yes, I used the term 'gay'/'retarded' in reference to something I didn't care for. When I was growing up, these terms were used as mild pejoratives and it has been ingrained in me for many years. While I apologize for those who are now offended by those words, it is tough for this old dog to learn this new trick. Language has changed a lot since the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, when political correctness was non-existent or in its infancy and people were free to use more language more colorfully. Because of this, I may slip up and use them, or other words that have since become passe or offensive, again. It …