Hello Obama, Goodbye George

The World Applauds

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In four days, the world will witness a historic barrier-shattering event: The inauguration of Barack H. Obama as the forty-fourth president of our once great country.

I say once great country because our country is no longer great. Through the petty self-serving intrigues of the, thank God, outgoing administration, the United States of America has been brought to its knees. Because of the indifference, carelessness, values myopia or fear of the electorate we have twice elected what Miami Herald columnist, Leonard Pitts derisively termed a ‘really awful president.’ The result of this misappropriation of votes has been eight years of controlled governmental chaos.

I truly hope those with the vision of a blind man, who voted for G.W. Bush are injured as much as I have been by the election of this not even mediocre individual. Ironically, G.W. is looking for history to redeem his Presidency, but as Mr. Pitts points out, it ain’t in the cards. Instead, look for the long list of missteps and misdeeds of this administration to grow and grow as the media and history examine this ‘truly awful presidency.’ gb-dc

Barack Obama ran for election as a medium of change and what a change it will be. Think about it, Bush and Obama are direct opposites and all the things Bush lacked Obama has. The semi-aristocratic white Bush versus the poor black

Obama, born and raised by a single white mother. Obama is charismatic, eloquent, even tempered, logical, values ability over party hacks, is a born leader, empathizes with the common man and is smart—very, very smart. Maybe the most intelligent president ever.

So America, take heart, we may have been knocked down, but we’re not knocked out. Change is coming. You can sense it, feel it, smell it. On January 20th we will see it. For the first time in eight years, our president will be a leader. And keep you fingers crossed, a savior.

How do I spell change. That’s easy, C-O-M-P-E-T-E-N-C-Y.

January 16, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . economy, George W. Bush, Obama, politics, President, President Bush. Leave a comment.

Too Much Clout for Iowa (and New Hampshire)! Too much Power for Evengelicals!

Am I mad. You bet I am. Every four years, two people get nominated to run for President of our fair country–all fifty states. Do I have any say in who gets nominated? Hell No! Do you have any say in who gets nominated? Not unless you live in Iowa or New Hampshire or possibly South Carolina. That’s right. The caucuses and primaries in two, sometimes three, rarely four under populated, relatively insignificant states, for better or worse (usually worse) always choose our candidates for president. The other ninety-seven percent of the population can go to hell.

Now, if you happen to live in one of the three or four deciding states, please don’t take what I say personal, you lucky dogs. I personally think the time for a national primary has arrived, but assuming things aren’t going to change, you people have an obligation to choose the best candidate for the rest of the country and frankly you haven’t. In hindsight one could argue that in 2000 and 2004 you gave us the worst candidate and Iowa, in 2008 you may have done it again. Mike (Huckster) Huckabee?

Ahhh. The Evangelicals. I’m about to ruffle some feathers here. It never ceases to amaze me how selfish this group can be. To the detriment of everything else their main concern always seems to be social issues. They got their man in 2000/2004 and look what it got us, two wars (one unprovoked and unwarranted), two trillion in additional debt, three, soon to be four dollar a gallon gas, disdain around the world, tax relief for the rich and an epidemic of corporate greed and fraud to name a few.

To the Evangelicals, think about it. Do social issues have anything to do with prosecuting a war, dealing with national emergencies, dealing with our former friends and enemies overseas, dealing with the energy crisis, curbing our national debt, providing affordable health care, or dealing with terrorists?

Mike (Huckster) Huckabee? The only candidate that has stated he believes in creation. Forget billions of years of sedimentary and fossil evidence. Forget Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons. For this man, the earth and life upon it began seven thousand years ago. (sometime after the first pyramid was built.)

Yes, Mike Huckabee is likable and charismatic, but I think we’ve learned that charisma doesn’t run a smooth government. The man was an apprentice to Jerry Falwell. He was a preacher for chrissake. Evangelicals, if you want to be taken seriously, go do some good in the world and stop trying to shove your religion down my throat.

January 4, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . candidate, ethics, Evangelicals, fairness, George W. Bush, lobbists, overated, Overzealous, politicians, politics, President, President Bush, primary, pro life, science, Terrorism. Leave a comment.

The Bush Legacy

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The Bottom Line
Where previous books I’ve read on the Bush adventure have taken us to and briefly beyond our initial occupation, Fiasco takes through 2004, with in depth analysis of the insurgency.

The brand new book by Thomas Ricks’– Fiasco, provides the reader with an informative assessment of the conception, planning, prosecution and aftermath of the unprovoked invasion of Iraq. Intentional or not, Fiasco ends up as an indictment of, not only the Bush Administration, but the military itself for extremely poor judgment at the least and malfeasance at the most.

Ricks goes into some detail lining out to chain of events, naming the patrons of the war and their motives, along the way, which led to the war. He also describes the planning, or mis-planning if you wish, of the war, but the majority of the book centers on the immediate aftermath of the invasion, from April of 2003 through 2004. Ricks lays out the argument that during this period, Phase IV of the war (the aftermath) was so bungled that we were within an eyelash of turning victory into defeat. He also maintains that this mishandling was so endemic and pervasive that the outcome is still in doubt.

Summary

Ricks postulates that the Iraqi war was contrived by neo-conservatives led by Paul Wolfowitz, justified by handpicked intelligence, much of which had been discounted. He goes on to say the military planning was altered time and again by the overbearing Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield, who at one time proposed an invasion force of ten thousand men.

Then after the successful invasion, despite a flawed plan, which totally by passed the ultimate enemy and the backbone of the future insurgency — the Fedayeen, our troops throughout the country stood by as witnesses to the greatest act of thievery in the history of the world, as looters stole Iraq. This was the result of having too few boots on the ground, a fact that haunts us (the military) to this day. A result of the widespread looting of Iraq, besides requiring billions to replace, was that it set a tone for lawlessness in Iraq. It also made our troops appear indecisive, which they were.

Ultimately, the biggest sin the military committed was a sin of omission. Purposely or not, they refused to recognize the character of the war they were in (with Rumsfield’s help) as an insurgency and act accordingly. The lessons of the insurgency we fought in Viet Nam seem to have been lost as a bad dream and the military insisted on fighting a brutal conventional war. This was a major error in strategy.

Last but not least, the tactics used by our military lost the backing and respect of the Iraqi people and fueled the fire of the insurgency, which the generals refused to fight as such.

Conclusion

As a newspaper reporter, Ricks’ writing takes on a news reporting style of writing — very compelling, very smooth and very easy to read. While the writer does perform an occasional analysis, the book seems to center around hundreds of quotation bites and the author’s attendant explanations and elaborations.

Of course, this means that there are many opinions mixed in with the reported facts and history. Still, I give these opinions credence for two reasons — the high quantity of similar views within the book and the fact that these views mirror conventional wisdom and other publications.

Being an opponent of the war, this book was a vindication, of sorts, for the deductions I had arrived at. The Bush Administration took us to war with a marginal war plan and no plan whatsoever for reconstruction, disengagement or exit. I find it incongruous that the Administration is constantly saying the Democrats had no plan for Iraq, when they, themselves, had no plan.

By the way, according to this book, Jay Garner the one time reconstruction czar, who was unceremoniously dumped after two weeks, originally voiced the one plan the Administration keeps harping on — “we’ll stand down when they stand up,” in an unapproved speech: a speech for which he was chastised, but from which their big plan evolved. The plan of course was poorly implemented and has yet to bear fruit.

The true irony of the war was that the approach the Administration took toward the war. The parsimonious use of troops, telling the generals to expect redeployment in a matter of months and trying to fight the war on the cheap, actually had the opposite effect by adding to the longevity of the war and running the cost into the hundreds of billions.

I give this book a five star rating.

November 18, 2007. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . attack, Baghdad, Cheney, George W. Bush, Iraq, Islam, liberators, lies, politics, President Bush, Rumsfeld, Saudi Arabia, Shiite, slam dunk, Sunni, Syria, Terrorism. Leave a comment.

Whatever Lola Wants! An R Rated Review

The Bottom Line
A good movie if you and your significant other wish to set the mood for what goes on in the movie.

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Softcore as opposed to hardcore, is a mild form of pornography – pornography defined as: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement – wherein the actors and actresses, either naked or partially clothed, engage in, what at least for appearance sake are, simulated sex acts. Hardcore, is of course, the graphic celluloid recording of actual sex acts in detail and usually focusing in on the actors genitalia.

I don’t know about this particular movie but many softcore films have been shown on late night cable movie channels, like Cinemax and Showtime. Not that hardcore films are hard to get but one of the advantages of softcore films is that they are easier to obtain and carry less of a social stigma, if one tends to feel guilty about watching such things, especially since even mainstream commercial movies, occasionally, have the equivalent of softcore scenes.

The reason I say they are easier to obtain is that they are readily available for sale on websites such as Amazon and Ebay and many can be rented from Netflix and Blockbusters. This particular movie was rented from Netflix.

Frivolous Lola

It seems to be a leading lady in a Tinto Brass film you must:

• Be young and attractive
• Have an exceptional sensuous body
• Not be shy about nudity
• Exude a cheerful, lighthearted persona
• Act loveably naughty.

That has been the case in the previous Brass films I have watched and reviewed and Frivolous Lola is no exception. Rumor has it that the inscrutable producer of erotica met the vivacious young actress, Anna Ammirati while examining her body. The body of her car that is, after being involved in a traffic accident with her. It doesn’t matter whose fault it was, the outcome was inevitable – Anna gallivanting around with little or no clothing in his next movie. Anna is reputed to have entreated the enigmatic director to feature her in his next movie and a enchanting match was born.

The Plot

Lola is a carefree lass in an unnamed village in Italy of some notoriety and gossip. Her mother who grew up there, left years before but returned with a handsome paramour, Andr’e and a vibrant sexually precocious teen daughter, Lola.

Lola is a virgin a condition she dislikes. She is engaged to the son of the village baker, Masetto, whom she wants to deflower her. Masetto would like to wait for their wedding night and this frustrates Lola.
A sub plot of the movie is Lola’s relationship with her alleged father, Andr’e. They both find each other intriguing and therefore, attractive.

The Story

The story revolves around Lola’s efforts to get Masetto to make love with her and thus take her virginity. She tries various tricks, including making him jealous by coming on with other men. There was even a scene in a tavern where she is jitterbugging with three soldiers, sans her panties, with flashes of her genital folds and pubis.

Lola’s alleged father Andr’e fascinates her. He is somewhat of a leach with prurient instincts and she is drawn to and fanaticizes about him. She makes a couple unsuccessful attempts to seduce him.

In the end Lola does trick Masetto into deflowering her – her term and at their wedding the next day a scene takes place between Lola and Andr’e where you are left wondering, no believing that they also have sex.

In hindsight it may be a take on that old song of the fifties, “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.”

Cast

Anna Ammirati …. Lola
Patrick Mower …. Andre
Mario Parodi …. Masetto

Susanna Martinkova …. Michelle
Antonio Salines …. Pepe
Francesca Nunzi …. Wilma

Director

Tinto Brass

Report Card

Story – B
Acting – A-
Directing – A
Cinematography – A
Cast – A-
Erotic factor – A+
Entertainment factor – A

Conclusion

Lola is indeed frivolous and afew other adjectives ranging from adorable to bratty. Her self-centered thoughtless behavior is nothing short of tawdry. If there are women that behave so flippant, I wouldn’t want to be engaged to them. Yet, as a viewer there is something winsome about her frolicsome, lighthearted, even compelling behavior.

As with other Brass movies I have viewed a typical theme permeates Frivolous Lola. Nothing is shameful to her. She with the overactive libido was born to enjoy life and she resents anyone that wants to rein her in, while her man is supposed to go along with her indiscretions

Frivolous Lola is an exercise in exhibitionism. The movie seems to be a memorial to Lola’s or is it Anna Amirati’s shapely figure with voyeuristic peeks at her genitalia. The story seems incidental, it is merely a vehicle to attain the desired effect.

I do not mean to sound like this is bad. Contrary, it is good. I found the movie to be funny entertaining and stimulating – one of his best and one of the better erotica movies available.

The lovely Anna Amirati was uniformly naughty and loveable. Her body was adorable and her acting endearing. Supporting actors, Packtrick Mower and Mario Parodi did well too.

The film was shot in what appeared to be the Italian countryside. The sets and costumes were colorful and the cinematography was first rate. Rating 4.6 stars

November 12, 2007. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . erotic, Humor, naked, review, sex, Softcore. 3 comments.

The Bush Legacy continues – Bush’s Five Biggest Lies

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The Five Biggest Lies was not the first book I’ve read on George W. Bush and or his misadventure and it probably won’t be the last. Obviously, from the title, one can deduct that this is not a book that praises the forty-third president. The book is well written and planned and is generally about what the title describes – the five major fallacies that were given as the rationale for the unprovoked aggression of Iraq. It is basically set forth in an outline style, starting with an introduction, then a chapter on the reasoning and methodology behind the deception. The deceptions themselves follow, with a chapter allocated to each lie, followed by the conclusion.

The chapters outlining the five lies are titled by the lies:
1. Al Qaeda’s ties to Iraq.
2. Iraq’s Chemical and Biological Weapons
3. Iraq’s Nuclear Weapons
4. The War Will Be a ‘Cakewalk’
5. Iraq as a Democratic Model
6. Conclusion

Al Qaeda’s ties to Iraq

The authors methodically expose this deceit pointing to the fact that all of the prewar suppositions regarding an alleged tie between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein had previously been discredited. Yet, as in the pattern of other falsehoods, these lies mysteriously found their way back into the conversations and speeches of administration officials.

Iraq’s Chemical and Biological Weapons

Another stretch by the administration that had been debunked previously, even as the administration members continued to talk about Chemical and Biological WMD. They shamelessly continued to use this discounted intelligence as a pretext for invasion. Even though the United States and the UN had Hussein in a box, in control of only a third of his country and was unable to reconstitute chemical and biological programs; the administration pointed to this phantom program as a grave world threat.

Iraq’s Nuclear Weapons

This may have been the largest and most damaging of the fabrications. Everything that the administration put forward to justify their mushroom cloud scenario had already been discredited numerous times and in many ways, yet the people in Rumsfeld’s personal intelligence gatherers, whose only purpose was to dig up intelligence that would support the administration position, wouldn’t let it die. This despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said there was no evidence of any kind of WMD in Iraq and weapon inspectors had come up empty. Vice President Cheney in no uncertain terms said they were “Flat wrong.” Well, the head of IAEA ended up with a Nobel Peace Prize and we ended up with a quagmire.

The War Will be a ‘Cakewalk’

Here again the administration’s leading Hawk, VP Cheney was head cheerleader for invasion by going on TV and saying the war would be a “cakewalk.” Others treated the invasion in a cavalier manner as well. The administration planned on reducing troop levels to 30,000 troops within three months.

The authors point out that this may be the only inadvertent lie, with administration officials truly believing their own hyperbole in this case.

Iraq as a Democratic Model

This is, of course, the back up rationale for the invasion of Iraq, but it was the primary policy on a position of expansion and policing, which authors put forth in the conclusion.
The authors don’t disagree with the idea of a model democracy in the Middle East but it is generally conceived that if such an event were to occur it would have to be nurtured, not imposed from the end of a gun.

Conclusion

The authors postulate that the invasion of Iraq was the first salvo in a new grandiose, radical foreign policy of deterrence by aggression. In doing this the administration made numerous assumptions, all of which turned out to be fallacious. Instead the results of the invasion had the opposite effect, bogging us down in Iraq, helpless to confront other developing mischief in the globe, ie. Iran and North Korea.

My Thoughts

This book only deals with the lead up to the war and the very beginnings, having being published in October, 2003, yet the authors seem quite prescient, having correctly predicting the present situation in Iraq.

Like the other similar books I have devoured, it is meant to be informative and factual. It is probably directed at the average Bush supporter who seem to shun being confused with facts and therefore would not be caught within a mile of such ‘dreck.’

Therefore this book and others like it serve as kindling, inflaming the passions of those of us that believe Dubya is, at best, a study in mediocrity. It reinforces our incredulity that this man was re-elected. I don’t know about others, but it makes be mad at the voters that voted, with whatever stupid reason in mind, for Bush. I can truthfully say, not a day goes by that I haven’t marveled at the fact that this man is our President.

October 20, 2007. Tags: , , , , , , , . attack, Baghdad, Books, Cheney, George W. Bush, President, President Bush, review, Rumsfeld, slam dunk, Terrorism, Vice Presidency, Watergate. 3 comments.