It’s Like Being Shot With Your Own Gun

wall-stI have been conspicuously quiet about economic downturn, aka Twenty-first Century Depression, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care. Au contraire, I care a great deal. Millions of dollars worth. Yes, a year ago yours truly owned a financial statement stating a net worth in the low seven figures. Not bad, but keep in mind the majority of the balance sheet was in real estate and I’d been plugging away at my chosen career—home design and building for thirty-five years. So in essence, it really wasn’t that much for years of hard work, but then again, unlike the banks, I’m a conservative kinda guy.
data
On the other hand, one year later my balance sheet is in the negative high six digits and growing. In other words I’m being water boarded in a sea of red ink and being sued by a bank who was involved in this mess to boot.

But this isn’t about me. It’s about the banks and by extension the mortgage companies and by further extension, the investment banks. I think it’s safe to say they got not just you and me, but the whole country in a pickle—a giant dill pickle—and unfortunately not just us. The whole world economy is in the toilet as well, thanks to these fast and lose loaners of our money. That’s right folks, these purveyors of calamity strangled us with our own money. It’s like being shot with our own gun.
14banks.cityroom
Our money? True story, it’s not their money they were recklessly giving away over the last fifteen years or so. Banks have very little of their own money and what they do have is supposed to be kept in reserve for times like these. That’s how banks operate—OPM, other peoples money. Your money, my money. I’ll give you an example. Take a fictitious bank. Some guy, call him Mr. Doe thinks he knows how to run a bank and decides to open one. He gets a federal or a state charter and then solicits investors to back him (buy stock) to raise enough money to meet reserve requirements. Then he rents, buys or builds a building and after hiring employees opens his doors and voila, he’s a bank, wise in the world of finance. We the customers, then make deposits in the form of savings and checking accounts in his bank. The bank takes our money and loans it back to us and other customers in the form of car loans, business loans, credit cards, etc.
FILE USA MORTGAGE CRISIS FREDDIE MAC
The thing is banks are supposed to be a good thing. They’re supposed to take our money and make strong, prudent loans charging a few percentage points more for the loan than they pay their depositors and indeed some banks did and still do operate that way. That two – three percent margin is supposed to cover the bank’s operating costs and what’s left over is profit. That’s the way it’s supposed to work and when it does it’s a good thing helping the community and everyone in it grow and prosper.

So what went wrong? I’m not sure, but one thing is for sure, greed is involved along with excess. Every so often, unless held in check by regulations, greed will raise its ugly head and bite us in the rear end, like the saving and loan crises did in the eighties. If you remember, the savings and loan institutions exclusively made non-conforming, non-government backed home loans. When they were wiped out after a round of pigging out after being de-regulated, banks and other investment groups took up the slack in home loans. As it turned out this was tantamount to letting the fox guard the hen house. Only the hens was our money. Oh, sure our money was insured by the FDIC, but the country and world was not insured against recklessness. In fact it was estimated at the beginning of the year that the financial institution sponsored economic sinkhole cost the citizens of our country eleven trillion in net worth. That’s $36,666 for every man, woman and child.

Isn’t life grand?
The Reluctant Republican

September 8, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Atrocity, dishonest, economy, politicians, politics. 4 comments.

Republican Tricks

Hi everyone, It’s that time of the month again and I’m buried in deadlines and edits so I asked a friend of mine, Bobby Bright, to write a guest blog for me. He’s quite opinionated so if he steps on anyone’s toes, I’m sorry,

Hello all you wonderful people, I’m Bobbi Bright, standing in for Dee. I promised Dee I wouldn’t write aboutGB 1 religion so I’m going to write about the next best thing. The most devious, misleading, intolerant, self serving, organized group in America today—Republicans. No, not the stupid rank and file republicans who voted the worst president in history, George Dubya, into office twice. They’re just dupes, pawns of the nefarious, so called, brains of the party. As Dubya, the titular head of the party, rode off into the sunset in disgrace after eight years of chaos, and self-destruction; who’s should assume the mantel of spokesman for republican party, but that tower of mis-information, the man Al Frankin called ‘that Big Fat Liar,’ Rush Limbaugh. And how about Sarah Palin? Does the word bimbo comes to mind for you too?

Just for the record, I know there are some good, big-hearted people in the republican tent, my friend Dee is one, though he claims to be an independent, having left the party in the nineties for philosophical reasons. I’d like to direct a question to the ordinary republicans, the ones who got swift-boated or scared into voting for George W. Bush. If you make under a hundred thousand dollars a year, wtf are you doing in the ‘me first’ party. Are you crazy? Do you think this party is going to raise you into prosperity?

Enough about republicans in general. This vent is more about ignorant, arrogant people who think they can twist, turn and rework a kernel of truth to their advantage. Republican strategists love to blow a little point up into a big point while ignoring comparable larger points that might lead to them. Health Care is a prime example. How many times have you heard these pretend paradigms of fiscal responsibility harp about the trillion dollar health care program. Folks that’s a trillion dollars of which four hundred billion is accounted for over ten years. That’s sixty billion dollars a year for a program that will help all Americans. Middle East Blow up DollNot unappreciative Iraqis, not Afghans, but Americans. For those who don’t know, the hard costs of the useless Bush war of choice is almost double the health care cost at one hundred ten billion a year.
That’s what gets my blood boiling. These hypocritical savers of our purse strings are blowing two billion dollars a week in a foreign war that has killed or maimed forty thousand of our youth while bemoaning a two billion dollar cash for clunker program that will help consumers, car dealers, auto manufacturers, the economy, banks, cut oil dependence and toxic emissions. And you want to know something? Estimates show the Bush war will ultimately cost three trillion in ancillary costs. That’s three billion, million folks. I could go on and on, but I keep getting off the point.

Republican leadership seldom does anything on principal. Mostly, they work for advantage. They see people with a different point of view as the enemy and when they think the enemy is vulnerable they strike. To them, the uppity black man from Illinois is the enemy and as worthy a goal as it might be, they see Health care as his Achilles heel—and they’re going for the jugular.

These wild under informed people showing up at August town hall meetings across the country at the urging of right wing blogs and commentators are an example. The misinformation they are disseminating to this hapless group is despicable. Outlandish rumors that reform will promote euthanasia, cut Medicaid, or bring about a government takeover of health care are being purposely spread alongside equally ridiculous claims that Obama is a Muslim, and was really born in Kenya instead of Hawaii.

I’m patiently waiting for the day when a major republican politician stands up and admits that recent Republican policies have been disastrous. Policies that cost the country three trillion dollars on an useless war, brought the country to the edge of ruination by failing to monitor rampant greed, thereby costing the taxpayers two trillion in remedial programs and ultimately cost the taxpayers eleven trillion in lost net worth.

Hmmm. That’s sixteen trillion dollars. Health care reform kinda pales in comparison. Doesn’t it?

August 9, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . dishonest, economy, George W. Bush, Obama, Palin, politicians, politics, religion, Republicans. Leave a comment.

Hello Obama, Goodbye George

The World Applauds

obama

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.

The McCain-Palin Brownshirt Rallies

The McCain-Palin Brownshirt Rallies

It appears as if the Republican Party is on its way to massive losses in a few weeks, and based on the spectacle of what has now come to constitute a McPain-Palin Bloodlust rally, it justifiably couldn’t happen to a more despicable lot of characters.

Drowning in a sea of flop sweat, McPain and Palin have now resorted to the ugliest kind of campaigning. Their rallies are over-the-top hatefests set to inflame and rabble-rouse. They certainly have the rabble all right, and they certainly are prone to rousing.

Never mind that the only way McCain could ever pull this out was by attracting Independents. Now he simply takes refuge in fanning the hatred amongst the base, making the wildest of charges against Obama and throwing a series of rallies just short of lynching parties.

These malevolent exercises in execration have all the civility of the Brownshirts running amok in Jewish neighborhoods in the 1930s. They have become the stuff of feature stories in national papers.

McPain and Palin have urged the crowd on, and merely smiled and waved as their false charges against Obama have been met with blood-curdling screams of “Kill him!”, “Terrorist!” and “Treason!”.

How long before they start setting Obama afire in effigy?

Some might say it is just the usual rightwing lunatics being the loyal cultists they always have been. That’s the problem. These rallies have become so incendiary, it isn’t hard to imagine one unbalanced lunatic taking it upon himself to eliminate the problem. The problem being Obama.

Just in the past six months we have seen two prime examples of the legacy of rightwing hatred, not to mention talk radio. First we had the cultist who worked himself into such a rage in Tennessee that, in his own words, since he couldn’t get to any “liberals” in positions of power, he decided to simply go to a Unitarian church where a children’s play was in progress, and put his shotgun to use on a few local progressives.

After all, if they had been Republicans, if they had been real Americans, they would have been at a real church, not the Unitarian variety. By the time he was done exercising his First and Second Amendment rights, two innocents were dead and two more wounded. Police found his library consisted of books by Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly.

This was followed by the fellow who became so angry at “liberals” that, the price of gas being what it is, he simply drove to the headquarters of the Democratic Party Headquarters in Arkansas and shot the party chairman dead. Never had met him, didn’t know him from Adam. He was a Democrat and that was reason enough to end his life.

Look at some of the faces of rage at these McPain-Palin hatefests and ask yourself who next will be on a mission to deliver justice to “that one” .

Back in the day I remember attending a debate where a Republican mocked the Democratic representative asking him if Michael Dukakis was really the best the Dems could do.

The Democrat debater, paused, a pained look crossed his face, and then he stated, “probably not”. He went on to note that much of the best had been eliminated not by ballot but by Smith & Wesson.

He went on to note that JFK, Medger Evers, Fred Hampton, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Allard Lowenstein, George Moscone, Harvey Milk and others all may have presented a better effort if they had been allowed to live to give it a try.

When was the last time a NeoCon was murdered for his beliefs. Not just last time, any time? What does that tell you?

What irresponsible and criminal behavior the McPain camp is engaging in right now. It is akin to yelling fire in a crowded venue. It even led lifetime Republican and Bush speechwriter David Frum to note:

“Those who press this…line of attack are whipping Republicans and conservatives into a fury that is going to be very hard to calm after November. Is it really wise to send conservatives into opposition in a mood of disdain and fury for the next president, incidentally the first African-American president? Anger is a very bad political adviser. It can isolate us and push us to the extremes at exactly the moment when we ought to be rebuilding, rethinking, regrouping and recruiting…A big part of Obama’s appeal is his self-command. It’s a genuinely impressive quality. Let’s emulate it. We’ll be needing it.”

And now even Cindy McCain has turned into an insulting hissing piss-bull. Hey Blondie, it’s bad enough that you never leave John-Boy’s side, as if you’re his service dog, or at least his assisted-living attendant, but the last thing the country needs is hearing from the beer baroness constituency.

This is all tied into a larger picture I have discussed here lately. The Republican party’s attempt at dumbing down America. How perfect that they recruited Sarah Palin as part of the effort. The woman who can’t remember the name of one magazine or newspaper she reads.

It is extraordinary that the GOP has spent the past eight years trying to make “elite” a pejorative. Only when the head of your party is dumber than a bag of rocks (Is our children learning?) do you have a vested interest in making stupid-good, smart-bad.

The elite used to signify the best the country has to offer. The Elite Eight in the NCAA basketball tournament. The Navy Seals…elite. The Blue Angels…elite. Advanced learning classes…elite. Magna (inappropriate term) laude…elite.

But the Orwellian newspeak folks that allow the environment to be ravaged under the (no laughing) “Clean Skies Initiative”, are simply up to their tricks as usual.

When your party has been exposed as ideologically bankrupt, criminally incompetent and often immoral, the best you can do is try and put lipstick on the pig.

Just like Chairman Mao’s indoctrination classes. Re-educate the populace to think that learning is an evil, that education is corrosive, that using the full capacity of your mind is intellectualism, a taint to be avoided at all costs. Thinking will just get you into trouble.

That’s why even conservative columnist David Brooks, whom has been in the tank for John-Boy and Sarah since the get-go has seen enough. Said Brooks on Wednesday:

“Sarah Palin represents a fatal cancer to the Republican party. When I first started in journalism, I worked at the National Review for Bill Buckley…He thought it was important to have people on the conservative side who celebrated ideas, who celebrated learning. And his whole life was based on that, and that was also true for a lot of the other conservatives in the Reagan era. Reagan had an immense faith in the power of ideas. But there has been a counter, more populist tradition, which is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely. And I’m afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices.”

A “top level Republican party official wrote Jay Carney of Time Magazine last week regarding this trend as it relates to Palin and noted:

“She really is what Bush pretends to be — she ‘s a true anti-intellectual. We don’t need to read or even learn because that just fills our heads with confusing ideas and facts and figures. We feel. Bush plays at this anti-elite stuff but he’s Harvard/Yale/Andover, all of that. She is really a celebration of a glorious know-nothingness that is truly dangerous. She’s terrifying and represents a streak of the Republican party that is a permanent minority. It’s not that she is an idiot that bothers me. It’s that she celebrates non-learning and anti-knowledge. She celebrates ignorance. Terrifying.”

Said Joe Klein of Time Magazine:

“But seriously, folks, I’m beginning to worry about the level of craziness on the Republican side, the over-the-top, stampede-the-crowd statements by everyone from McCain on down, the vehemence of the crowds that McCain and Palin are drawing with people shouting “Kill him” and “He’s a terrorist” and “Off with his head.”

“Watch the tape of the guy screaming, “He’s a terrorist!” McCain seems to shudder at that, he rolls his eyes… and I thought for a moment he’d admonish the man. But he didn’t. Yes, yes, it’s all he has. True enough: he no longer has his honor. But we are on the edge of some real serious craziness here and it would be nice if McCain did the right thing and told his more bloodthirsty supporters to go home and take a cold shower. But McCain hasn’t done the right thing all year. His campaign is appalling, as the Times editorial board said today–and more, it is a national disgrace.”

Said conservative columnist George Will:

“Time was, the Baltimore Orioles manager was Earl Weaver, a short, irascible, Napoleonic figure who, when cranky, as he frequently was, would shout at an umpire, “Are you going to get any better or is this it?“…that is the question about John McCain’s campaign…the McCain-Palin campaign’s attempt to get Americans to focus on Obama’s Chicago associations seem surreal — or, as a British politician once said about criticism he was receiving, “like being savaged by a dead sheep.”

Said conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan:

“I’ve come to the sad conclusion that McCain’s brand was just that. His real core is about power and ambition, divorced, when necessary, from principle or patriotism. You learn who people really are when they are asked to do the right thing when it might hurt them, not when it helps them anyway. We just learned something that has always been true about McCain. It isn’t pretty.”

It is ironic, but so typical that John McCain, the man who falsely presents himself as Mr. Bipartisan, Mr. Work-Across-The-Aisles will have done such a criminally irresponsible job of dividing the country, inflaming petty hatreds and potentially inciting violence, when President Obama takes over.

As one columnist pondered, “Sometimes, I try to imagine what it will be like for John McCain when this campaign is over, and he realizes how completely he has destroyed his character and his honor. I cannot imagine that it will seem worth it come December.”

As that aforementioned Times editorial noted (and keep in mind they endorsed McCain over all his other rivals):

“Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have been running one of the most appalling campaigns we can remember. They have gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record — into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia.

(Palin’s) demagoguery has elicited some frightening, intolerable responses. A recent Washington Post report said at a rally in Florida this week a man yelled “kill him!” as Ms. Palin delivered that line and others shouted epithets at an African-American member of a TV crew.

We certainly expected better from Mr. McCain, who once showed withering contempt for win-at-any-cost politics. He was driven out of the 2000 Republican primaries by this sort of smear, orchestrated by some of the same people who are now running his campaign.

In a way, we should not be surprised that Mr. McCain has stooped so low, since the debate showed once again that he has little else to talk about. But surely, Mr. McCain and his team can come up with a better answer to (our) problems than inciting more division, anger and hatred.”

It seems appropriate that McCain addressed a crowd the other day by calling them “my fellow prisoners”. Fact of the matter is, he is still in that bamboo cage. The fact that he has been re-fighting the Vietnam War ever since is proof. He left physically but never arrived home.

We liked to think he hadn’t been broken by his captors. Now we know better.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I think McCain is down to seeds and stems,” – Rick Hertzberg

This Blog was contributed in it’s entirety by FILMEX

October 11, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . candidate, Democrats, dishonest, economy, Evangelicals, McCain, mental illness, Obama, Palin, politicians, politics, President, religion, Republicans, Vice Presidency, Wall Street. Leave a comment.

The Far Right Just Doesn’t Get It

There’s a saying I occasionally hear that goes something like this: Republicans are great at running campaigns and winning elections, but after they win, they don’t know how to govern.

Taking a hard look over the last eight years only adds to the credibility of the saying. Yes, the Republicans won two hard fought elections, which were followed by what could easily be described as eight years of chaos.

This Republican led stewardship of the country has led us to the precipice of collapse. The Bush administration has us on the brink of a depression reminiscent of the Republican led depression of 1928.

Has the gross malfeasance of the last eight years given the Far Right pause? Have they discovered contrition? Do they finally understand that the government works better with an intelligent President and legislators? Do they now realize that cronyism instead of qualified appointments can backfire. Is it now apparent to them that the overall health of the country trumps pet issues like gay marriage and right to life? After all what does it gain them to make abortion illegal if they loose their country?

I once read that Osama bin Laden’s plan for America isn’t to destroy us overtly with invasion or attacks. That would be well beyond their abilities. His plan is to destroy us financially from within. Given our current situation I’d say his plan is working with the help of our President and Wall Street.

So the question is, do we dare give the Republicans four more years? Four more years that could actually push us over the cliff.

Hint: If you’re interested in saving this country, elect the most intelligent candidate.

September 29, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . candidate, Democrats, economy, erotic, McCain, Obama, Palin, politics, President, President Bush, Republicans, Wall Street. 1 comment.

Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Worst Movie Ever

Once again I must set the record straight (no pun intended). Despite the overwhelming abundance of glowing reviews, Kiss of the Spider Woman for me is the all time leading celluloid drag (no pun intended, really). It is literally the movie both my wife and I use to epitomize the the absolute worst, the bottom of the barrel (npi).

Now I’ll admit it’s been a long time since I’ve seen this movie but there have been very very few movies, after spending spending seven dollars to get in and more in sundries, that I have walked out on but walk out before the end of this loathsome movie, I did.

The Boring Plot

Kiss of the Spider Woman is primarily set in an Argentinian prison cell at some unknown time (probably the sixties). The incarcerated occupants are Luis Molina (William Hurt) an insufferable drag queen and Valentin Arregui (Raul Julia) a firebrand political prisoner who at first is wary of his homosexual cellmate but eventually understands him and finally accepts and befriends him.

At first Molina, who is sometimes seen with makeshift turbans, shawls and other effeminate paraphernalia, merely seeks Valentin’s respect of what he is and his lifestyle, but he is obviously attracted to the virile revolutionary and secretly covets a romantic liaison. Molina weaves his web on Valentin by occasionally entertaining himself and Valentin with his view of old movies, (presented in the movie as flashbacks) one of which is a Nazi propaganda film, which the fanciful queen misinterprets in terms only of romance. These Flashbacks contain Brazilian starlet Sonia Braga who is apparently the namesake of the movie – The Spider Woman.

Credits

Directed by
Hector Babenco

Writing credits (in alphabetical order)
Manuel Puig novel
Leonard Schrader

Cast (in credits order) complete, awaiting verification
William Hurt …. Luis Molina
Raul Julia …. Valentin Arregui
Sonia Braga …. Leni Lamaison/Marta/Spider Woman

SUMMARY

The word of the day is Boring. What’s that old saying, “like watching grass grow,” this was perhaps the most boring movie I have ever had the mispleasure (is that a word?) to see. Almost all of the acting was dialogue and the dialogue was slow, repetitive, suggestive and full of double entendres, none of which were clever. They exchange ideas of masculinity, of sexuality and politics. The relief from the boredom in the form of the sepia toned flashbacks were confusing, irrelevant and disjointed. Molina’s interpretations of these flashbacks were warped, contrived and self serving.

Yes their are subplots. Molina has been offered freedom in exchange for information from Valentin and Valentin who is slowly being poisoned by his captors is taken out periodically for tortuous interrogations but that still doesn’t save this movie. Overall this movie was a dreadful effort with no redeeming qualities. Final rating, 0 Stars

CONCLUSION

I must confess to a certain amount of ambivalence. Not about the movie itself but whether I should write a review about this abysmal movie in the face of such adoration for this movie by other reviewers and the public in general. It was after all up for several Oscar nominations and William Hurt did walk away with an Oskie for best actor and the acting was indeed good. I have no more idea why so many people loved this movie than why the recent election went the way it did. This is a case of one person’s treasure is another person’s junk or in this case many people’s treasure is one man and wife’s junk and junk it is!

For me it is mind boggling that anyone could like this movie. I know some of you may shrug and think that I’m a homophobe. Well I’m not. One does not have to be a homophobe to not like a movie involving a blatant homosexual any more than you’re a bigot if you didn’t like a movie about blacks or Jews or Whites or whatever. Bad is Bad but if any real homophobes happened to see this movie I’ll bet it reinforced their convoluted view of gays. To them it was probably like waring garlic around a vampire.

August 23, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Argentina, gay, homosexual, insurgents, kissing, movie, politics, prison, queen, rebels, reviews. 1 comment.

One Person’s Slant on Reality Shows

A couple weeks ago, I threw a question out to some of my readers, to wit; Reality Shows–love ’em or hate ’em? We’ll most people that answered, they didn’t like them, but one young lady’s answer caught my attention. She too, didn’t like them, but she didn’t like them with emphasis. Therefore I decided to give you, my other readers a chance to read Nanette’s diatribe.

I hate the damn things! Whatever happened to good television shows with a plot? Where are the sitcom? I found my 13 and 16 year olds watching one of many they watch one Sat and I just went off. I told them girls, this is not reality.
Reality is loosing your job, wondering where you next meal is coming.
Reality is trying to deal with the price of gas to get to work.
Reality is deciding whether to pay for said gas to get to work or save the money to buy groceries.
Reality is knowing you can’t get to work without buying the gas and if you don’t go to work you can’t pay for the gas to get to work. Are you still with me?
Reality is working you fingers to the bone and not getting paid for your pound of flesh that you gave at the office.

Reality is knowing that at no time during my day will a billionaire, a hot farmer or Flava Flav (God forbid) rush in to sweep me off my feet. I will not be voted America’s next top model, top chef or idol. There will be no dancing of the stars across my office. I will not need to know who the mole is because we’re all just survivors here. And to top it all off, I don’t think I can dance, I know that I can. Even if America has not told me that I can.

That’s reality. Just wanted to make my case. Sorry so long winded.

Nanette

God, I love it? Wouldn’t just love to see Nannette tear into Darth Cheny and G.W. Shrub? Go get ’em Nanette!

June 27, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , . George W. Bush, Humor, politics, President, President Bush, Reality Shows, satire. Leave a comment.

A BOOK REVIEW 4 U – SMOKE SCREEN by Kyle Mills

smoke-screen.jpg

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another edition of Book Review 4 U. Today we will be reviewing a book by Kyle Mills called Smoke Screen. Mills, you may recall startled many readers with his initial novel, Rising Phoenix, with the novel idea of poisoning the nation’s illegal drug supply in order to curtail it’s use. Smoke Screen is Mill’s sixth book and whereas his previous books were all mystery thrillers, this one shoots off in a new direction.”

“With us this fine Saturday morning our usual panel members ET and Pamela Anderson. Et of course is our resident Science Fiction expert and Pamela doesn’t know that much about books but she sure is nice to look at, right ET. Gimme three! That a boy! The gentleman in the middle is of course ET’s long time interpreter Hailey Comet and last but not least is our two guest panel members, Film Maker, Michael Moore and Comedian Jerry Seinfield and Mike, please don’t worry about that chair. I of course I am your host, If you don’t recognize me, my name is William Jefferson Clinton. I used to work for the government but now I’ve got a real job and I’m loving it.”

“As usual I’ll read the fly leaf of the book, giving everybody a feeling for the book and then we’ll have our usual comment from our resident Epinionator Dee Dawning and then we’ll open things up for discussion by our panel. Sorry ET but this one isn’t your favorite, Science Fiction but it is a good book, isn’t it? You haven‘t read it yet but you‘ll read it on the commercial break.”

“Gee Bill, I wish I could read that fast. It took me a week of solid reading to get ready for this one”

“Well baby you know you don‘t have to contribute. You just have to sit there like you do, doing your thing.”

“I know Billy boy but I want to contribute for a change.”

“Okay, let’s move on. Here’s what the dust jacket, fly leaf has to say.”

“Through an inexplicable series of unwanted promotions, Trevor Barnett has become the lead spokesman for the tobacco industry just as it’s on the verge of extinction. Plaintiffs’ attorneys have finally found the weakness they’ve been searching for and filed a $200 billion lawsuit that the industry will be unable to appeal.”

“America’s tobacco companies react by doing the unthinkable – they close their plants and recall their products from retailers’ shelves. Trevor is charged with the task of going on national television and making the announcement: Not another cigarette will be manufactured of sold until the industry is given ironclad protection from the courts.”

As the economy falters and chaos takes hold, Trevor becomes the target of enraged smokers, gun totting cigarette smugglers and a government that has been off from one of it’s largest sources of revenue. Soon it becomes clear that this has always been his function – to take the brunt of the backlash and shield the men in power from the maelstrom they’ve created.”

“There’s more but I think the audience gets the idea. We now have Mr. Daumco on the phone to get his analysis. Good morning Mr. D. I hope it‘s not too early for you back in Arizona, after all it is six o’clock there isn‘t it?”

“No Problem, I’m up with the quail and cottontails”

“Good, if I may get right to the point, what did you think of Smoke Screen?”

“Well Bill, I really loved it. Up until this book, Kyle Mills has been a serious novelist but on his latest novel, Smoke Screen he has displayed a latent jocularity and borrowed from the masters of tongue in cheek humor to put out a subtlety droll and amusingly clever book. He succinctly tells an excellent, witty story, doesn‘t get too detail oriented doesn‘t try to foist his superior vocabulary on the reader, so you don‘t need a dictionary next to you”

“What I like about Kyle Mill‘s books, which I like to varying degrees, is that he comes up with some seriously different and interesting plots. He‘s not the only one that can do that, of course but it seems like some major authors rehash the same plots only on a more massive scale.”

“I read a bio on this guy and he doesn’t even have a background in writing, he just tried it, managed with difficulty to get his first book published and now he’s off and running. I’m impressed and I‘m impressed with his writing as well. He doesn‘t waste words. His writing is direct, he doesn‘t meander off in other directions and he‘s smooth. This book is less than 350 pages, when 500 plus is the apparent norm.”

“Great, thanks again Mr D for your insights. How’s that book of yours coming along?”

“We’re getting there. Thanks for asking, Bill”

“You’re welcome, good luck. So what do you rate this book?”

“Sorry Bill, I thought that was obvious – Five big ones!”

“Wonderful. We‘ll take a break now and when we come back we‘ll hear what our panel has to say”

_______________

“Ok Panel, let’s talk about Smoke Screen.”

“Yes Pamela.”

“I loved it, it was humorous and droll and clever and ah…………..oh yeah succinct and I give it five stars.”

“Hmmmm, ok ET how did you see it”

“Mr ET thought it was very good but he would like to have seen some sex scenes and for it to take place in space but he still gave it five stars”

“I see, sex scenes huh, I thought you guys were unisex, oh well Mike what did you think? Mike, hello Mike!”

“Sorry Bill, I was just noticing a spot of dirt on Pamela‘s ……..never mind. What did you ask me Bill?”

“What we‘re here for, your evaluation of Smoke Screen.”

“Oh sure, I thought it would make a great movie, though I wouldn‘t let the bad guys, I mean tobacco guys off the hook. You know there are so many bad guys. Everywhere you look bad guys. Look what happened to you, scandalous,”

“Michael!”

“No no, not you, the way you were treated. You‘d think you started a war or something.A”

“Michael!”

“Yes, yes, sorry I digressed. I thought the book was super. I really liked the union guy. I laughed so hard at what he said about Trevor‘s father that I lost my cigarette and burned the couch. Five Stars, definitely five stars.”

“Thank you Michael. How about you Jerry?”

“Good book Bill, but I don’t think we’ve said enough about the characters and the excellent character development. Michael mentioned the pragmatic Union leader, Larry Mann but we also had Trevor’s anti tobacco activist, love interest Anne, the calculating corporate guru, Paul Trainer, Trevor’s always partying, fair weather friend Darius and of course Trevor’s suppressive, conniving father Edwin Barnett.”

“The whole time I was reading Smoke Screen, I couldn’t help but remember another humorous book about the tobacco industry by William Buckley’s son, Christopher Buckley, titled Thank You for Not Smoking and the writing style also reminded me of Carl Hiassen’s work.

“All in all I thought it was a clever, slightly sarcastic story with some real funny lines. I may have to borrow some for my act. Just kidding. I‘ll make it unanimous, Five Stars.”

“Thanks Jerry. So there you have it, Smoke Screen by Kyle Mills. Buy it!”
smoke-screen.jpg

February 28, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . addictive, addicts, author, Bill Clinton, Books, celebrities, dealers, Humor, legal drugs, Novel, politics, review, satire. 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.