Thursday, August 30, 2012

Evidence of Republican racism

I've previously written that some Republicans have become racist. Well the other day at the Republican National Convention, some Republicans have made my point.

CNN camera woman Patricia Carroll was pelted with peanuts from some convention attendees. They said to her, "This is how we feed the animals." Welcome to the modern Republican Party.

Stephen Colbert rips Ann Romney

Stephen Colbert makes fun of Ann Romney and her claim at the Republican National Convention that she and Mitt were struggling and poor. The Romney campaign though doesn't care about facts so I'm guessing she can tell whoppers too. Colbert reminds viewers that she told the Boston Globe that the Romneys didn't need jobs since they could sell stocks. I feel so sorry for them.

Stephen Colbert on Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan lately has been denying author Ayn Rand's influence but in 2005, he indicated that Rand is his inspiration. Just so you know, Rand's philosophy is laissez faire on steroids. It's about the positives of being selfish. Anyway, here's Stephen Colbert doing a piece on Ryan and Rand. And he interviews a Rand expert, Jennifer Burns, to find out why Rand is so popular among the right wing.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Stephen Colbert on Todd Akin

Stephen Colbert is back from vacation. And here is his take on Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Missouri) comments about not getting pregnant from rape comments. By the way this insane theory is not fringe for the today's Republican Party. I previously posted a Rachel Maddow story where she cites a bunch of Republicans who believe this nonsense. Anyway enjoy Colbert's video comment below.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

God speed Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. He was an Ohioan. Taught at the University of Cincinnati and lived here in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Indian Hill, Ohio) He passed away yesterday. Now, he begins another great journey. But his acts here on earth have uplifted all mankind. God Speed Neil Armstrong.

ABC story.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Those crazy Birthers, Part Thirty

While campaigning in Michigan, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has now embraced the racist right-wing of the party, the Birthers. Romney commented on his birth in Michigan and made this "joke" to the delight of the Republican crowd.

"No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."

Romney later told CBS that it was a joke about he and his wife. Really? It's obvious the joke was about President Barack Obama since many in the Republican Party question his American birth. As a joke, it's a shot that takes into consideration those racist beliefs. I mean he's not making fun of the Republicans who believe in this stuff. Romney is taking a shot at Obama. And he is now embracing racism.

Here is Ed Schultz on the Romney's new embrace of the Republican Party's racist right-wing views.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This is how Republicans view women and rape

I've previously wrote about Rep. Todd Akin's (R-MO) view that a "legitimate" rape ("legitimate" is his word) causes a woman's body to stop a pregnancy and this view is not far from the Republican mainstream. Don't believe me? Ed Schultz just did a piece on Republicans, rape and abortion. He points out that vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan sponsored a law that would define rape as "forcible." I'll agree with President Obama. Rape is rape. Now the Republican Party platform does not give an exception for rape for a woman to get an abortion. Women watch Ed Schultz's video. He uses the Republicans own positions to show where they stand.

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Republicans on rape and abortion

Maybe you've heard Rep. Todd Akin, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Missouri, comments on whether a women can get pregnant from rape. If not, here is the quote,

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,... If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

That quote is related to the new Republican mainstream position of no exceptions to rape and incest regarding abortion. By the way, this is not the first insanely stupid comment by a Republican that when a woman is raped, her body internally stops a pregnancy. In 1988, Pennsylvania state representative Stephen Freind said this about what happens when a woman gets raped. It causes her "to secrete a certain secretion” that generally kills sperm.

Rachel Maddow shows this radical right-wing position on abortion exceptions to rape is now the new normal for the Republican Party. She cites everyone from Akin above to Sarah Palin to now Republican vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, have supported this radical position.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

The new Mass Effect 3 endings review

By now, you've heard or downloaded BioWare's response to gamers complaints about the Mass Effect 3 endings. I've been playing a ton of multi-player and have finally gotten around to playing the new endings. Warning. Spoilers ahead.

The extended endings now feature four endings. I've previously gone over the three endings. But with the new endings, we're going to go over them.

1. The Rejection Ending. BioWare allows you to reject all the choices at the end. But that comes with consequences. You see, the battle against the reapers is lost. And the galaxy's advanced races are harvested. However, remember that Liara has created a computer record for future races. You see the program at the end. And if you watch the new stargazer scene, you realize in the distant future, other races have found it and used it successfully to defeat the Reapers. Both the ending and the new stargazer scene are included in the video below.

2. The new Renegade Ending or Destroy Reapers Ending. The new ending is more triumphant but remember, it's likely the cycle will begin again. And you can forget about EDI, you've destroyed all synthetic life. Her name is one of the dead on the Normandy's memorial. Note that the ending is narrated by Admiral Hackett.

3. The new Paragon Ending or Control Reapers Ending. There are some who consider this the Paragon ending. I don't. But in this ending, you control the reapers and get them to back down. However, the new ending indicates your Shepard is some type of god. You don't have a body. But you oversee the future like the Star Child from 2001: A Space Odyssey. And note that you narrate the new ending. EDI also survives.

4. The new Synthesis Ending. I've always considered this the true Paragon ending. After all by creating combining synthetic life and organic life, you gain true peace. And you know for sure that EDI will live. EDI narrates.

The review.

Let me first say I'm glad that BioWare did not drastically change the endings because some loud fans complained. They were wrong about the original endings not having significant differences. I mean if you choose the synthesis ending, you're creating new life forms of combined organic and synthetic life. If you destroy the Reapers, you also kill the Geth and EDI.

But I want to say about the new endings, that's more like it. I've complained that the old endings were lacking in exposition. For example, we didn't know how the crew got on board the Normandy and why Joker was trying to pilot the ship away from the energy pulse. How your crew gets aboard the Normandy is shown before you transport to the Citadel. There's even a shot of you flying through a port in the Citadel. And the Normandy is not stranded on the two moon planet. That's cleared up by a shot where the Normandy is taking off from the planet.

When you confront the Catalyst, you will get more dialogue. You get more information about the Catalyst, the Reapers and the beings that created them. Good stuff.

As for the specific endings, you get more fulfilling conclusions. You get real explanations as to the future after you choose an ending. Even though I liked the original endings with reservations, I'll say these new endings are an improvement. Great job BioWare.

But did we get any new information? Yes. On the Paragon ending, we learn that Shepard is alive but is kind of a incorporeal spirit. On the Renegade ending, there's a comment that the Mass Relays were damaged. I thought they were destroyed in the original endings. So, now I'm guessing there could be a sequel. But probably not with Shepard since there is only one ending where Shepard is alive, i.e. with a human body.

I recommend that you get the new endings, especially if you hated the old endings. They don't cost you anything. If you liked the old endings, you'll get more depth to the story. You will find it very satisfying.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Expendables 2 review

In The Expendables 2, Sylvester Stallone plays a gay man trying to convince his conservative lover's parents to accept a homosexual lifestyle. Jason Statham plays his lover. This touching film should remind everybody of "The Kids Are All Right." Um, okay that's not the plot. The Expendables 2 is the action packed, don't spare the ammo, sequel to the 2010 movie of the same name. If you suffer from low testosterone, you won't need to see a doctor after watching this movie. But be prepared to endure the geriatric dose.

The movie starts out with the Expendables, a group of mercenaries, attacking a base in Nepal where criminals are holding a Chinese businessman. The Expendables are composed of leader Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Billy the Kid. (Liam Hemsworth) If there is a Guinness Book of Records for most people killed in the first fifteen minutes of a movie, The Expendables 2 would smash the record. The carnage is so intense that I started to laugh hard after about five minutes. Anyway, after about two hundred guys are killed, leader Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his partner Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) rescue the businessman and Trench, (Arnold Schwarzenegger) another mercenary.

After a successful return to New Orleans, CIA operative Church (Bruce Willis) has another mission for Ross. The Expendables are to go into Albania to recover a safe from a crashed airplane. On the mission, Yang is replaced by Maggie (Yu Nan) who is an expert in code breaking and computers. When the find the plane, Maggie is able to recover the contents of the safe which is a hard drive which contains the location of of weapons grade plutonium. However, a criminal gang led by Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) intercepts the Expendables and steals the hard drive. Knowing that the safety of the world is at stake, and seeking revenge for the death of a teammate, the Expendables chase Vilain to the mine which contains the plutonium.

Look, everyone involved in this movie know what they've got. You've got an Avengers of eighties action heroes. And with all those manly men, it has gallons of testosterone. But with action heroes from the eighties, it also means they're also old. Director Simon West, writers Richard Wenk and Sylvester Stallone know all of that. There's a lot of humor in this movie, some of it intentional and some of it unintentional. I mean they named the bad guy Vilain. And Billy the Kid's hurting because his old army unit killed his dog. I'm not kidding about that. But the need to cram so much in less than two hours also hurts the movie. I mean Chuck Norris literally pops in from nowhere with no explanation of why he's following the Expendables around. We all laughed at his appearance. And how does that Expendables old seaplane fly into hot spots without the foreign country's radar from detecting them?

While there are some excellent action sequences, one should view The Expendables as a comedy. This time Schwarzenegger and Willis are given guns to shoot. With Arnold, there are nods to Terminator and Total Recall. I laughed hardily when you see Arnold firing his huge machine guns, next to Stallone and Willis also with guns blazing. The Expendables is a one silly, dopey but fun action comedy. The grade is B.

Okay, check out this satirical dig at the franchise. It's The Expendables, the Musical. (Caution clips have comical over the top violence.)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reds' Todd Frazier blasts a huge home run

The beat goes on for the Cincinnati Reds. They won again last night, beating the New York Mets, 6-1. The victory pushes the Reds seven games ahead of the second place. Pittsburgh Pirates.

Since Reds first baseman and best player, Joey Votto went down, Todd Frazier has been filling in for him. Along with outfielder Ryan Ludwick, they've been carrying the Reds. Fraizer's been hitting at .286, 15 HR, 49 RBI and has a .884 OPS. He's also hitting .282 with RISP. Clutch. Well, last night against Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey, Frazier launched a prodigious home run. It traveled 474 feet and hit the Cincinnati Bell riverboat deck in centerfield. Pretty good for a former pitcher. He was a pitcher for the 1998 Toms River, New Jersey Little League team that won the championship. Was the winning pitcher and went 4-4. (Wikipedia article.) Let's hope that Todd Frazier's championship run extends to the Major League Baseball World Series.

Here's the video of Todd Frazier's gigantic home run. As Reds manager Dusty Baker would say. It was big, man. Try huge, Dusty.

Another Romney lie

You've been hearing this from the mouths of Repulbican presidential nomineee Mitt Romney and his vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. The talking point? President Obama will cut Medicare by 716 billion dollars to pay for the Affordable Care Act. If you haven't heard Obama actually say this, you would be right. It's a made up fact.

So where did they get this made up fact? I'll let Politifact explain it for you.

"While the health care law reduces the amount of future spending growth in Medicare, the law doesn't actually cut Medicare. Savings come from reducing money that goes to private insurers who provide Medicare Advantage programs, among other things. The money wasn’t "robbed." We rated the statement Mostly False."

There's some irony here. Politifact says,

"Ryan's budget relies on the same $700 billion in savings from Medicare that Mitt Romney and other Republicans have been attacking Democrats about.

Ryan has confirmed that, and we rated it True."

So it seems that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are running against Paul Ryan.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cincinnati Reds are a team of destiny

The Cincinnati Reds are winning without Joey Votto. If you recall, Votto has a torn left meniscus. He's likely not to return until late August. Yet, the Reds are not treading water. They're flourishing. The Reds have gone 20-8 without Votto.

Last night the Reds were playing the New York Mets. For eight innings, they looked dead. They weren't driving in runs with runners in scoring position. But in the bottom of the ninth, up came a struggling Jay Bruce. Reds manager Dusty Baker could have sat him and pinch hit. But Baker believes in Bruce. And Bruce paid him back. Bruce hit a walk off three run home run. This is not unusual this year. The Reds fight and find ways to win. Dare I say it? The Reds look like a championship team.

Here's the story. Video of Bruce's homer below. By the way, it was an opposite field shot. Good for Jay Bruce.

What you didn't know about Paul Ryan

Here are things we are finding out about Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. One he cries about government spending yet as a congressman from Wisconsin, he voted for all the major spending bills. Bush tax cuts. Two wars. The Medicare prescription bill. The bank bailouts. I found that out from Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, folks. Two, he coauthored an anti-abortion law that mandates pregnant women seeking an abortion to endure an ultra-sound. Talk about government on your back. Got that from Rachel Maddow. You can become enlightened from liberal television. Check out the videos below.

Jon Stewart examines Paul Ryan's support of government spending with some Twilight flavoring.

Rachel Maddow uncovers Ryan's co-authorship of mandatory ultrasounds.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Expendables, the musical

Just in time for the release of "The Expendables 2" is this song from the musical based on the movie and its predecessor. It features vocals from Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Produced by Jon and Al Kaplan with clips from both movies. Enjoy this future Tony Award winning show as Stallone sings about his views of the PG-13 rating. :-)

Robert Pattinson interview with Jon Stewart

Last night, actor Robert Pattinson was on the Daily Show to be interviewed by host Jon Stewart. I watched it to see his opinion on the Mitt Romney's pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate. Sadly, Pattinson did not give it. Okay, this is a shameless effort to drive up the traffic for my blog. What movie was this guy in? Oh... Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (2005) ... Why are you looking at me?

Here's the Pattinson interview.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ryan Ludwick rejuvenated

Where would the Cincinnati Reds be without outfielder, Ryan Ludwick? (Pictured.) The Reds' best player, Joey Votto, left with a torn meniscus on July 16. On July 17, he had surgery on his left knee. Votto was the Reds best hitter with batting average, driving in runs and more importantly hitting with runners in scoring position. And just recently, he had surgery to remove loose cartilage. Don't look for Votto to return any earlier than August 24.

With the Reds leading the Central Division, it looked like a Reds free fall was going to happen. But before the start of the year, the Reds signed outfielder Ryan Ludwick. He had an All Star year in 2008. But injuries slowed him down in 2009. In 2010, he was traded to the San Diego Padres and was forced to play in that Grand Canyon of a baseball park. Then he was sent at the trade deadline in 2011 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. His offensive numbers drifted downward. Things did not look good for the rest of his career.

But signing a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Reds rejuvenated him. He came to the team with a chance to play regularly and at Great American Ballpark. Unlike San Diego, fly balls do not die in the outfield. A well hit ball leaves the yard. Ludwick has gotten his groove back. He's a clutch hitter and after a slow start, he's hitting .272 with runners in scoring position. He's given the Reds hits and RBIs when the team needs a hit. Check out his numbers. Since Votto left the lineup, Ludwick has hit .341. with 8 HR, and 27 RBI in 85 AB. Here's the breakdown from Lance McAlister of ESPN 1530, AM radio.

"The Ludwick Factor
.266-.335-.555-.890, 21 HR, 63 RBI.....44 extra base hits, 36 singles
On pace for 30 HR, 89 RBI
.890 OPS 2nd highest of career, highest since 2008 (.966)
.555 SLG 2nd highest of career, highest since 2008 (.591)
21 HR 3rd highest of career
Since Votto injury: .341-.404-.729-.1.134, 8 HR, 27 RBI in 85 AB
Since May 25: .300-.362-.643-1.005, 17 HR, 48 RBI
Prior May 25: .191-.276-.362-.638, 4 HR, 15 RBI"

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fear and ignorance

There's a couple of themes I see from today's conservatives. They are fear and ignorance. Think this is the ramblings of an old liberal? Well, here's the proof.


Congresswoman and former Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) accuses the Obama Administration of Muslim influence. She aims at Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. There is no credible and direct link between Abedin and the Muslim Brotherhood. The only direct connection is that she is a Muslim.

Now Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich defends Bachmann and McCarthyism.


University of Arkansas study shows conservatives engage in low effort thinking.

Texas Republicans oppose the teaching of critical thinking. They later backtracked but some Republican had to type this in the platform so it was definitely on the radar for them. It's not a typo.

Fox News viewers are the less informed than people who don't watch news. (Fairleigh Dickinson University study.)

Conservatives get facts wrong on foreign policy. Dartmouth University study.

Does this mean I think conservatives are dumb? No. But what drives their thinking are fear and ignorance. Don't think. React. That's no way to make decisions.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The direction of the Republican Party

Today, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney chose as his running mate, Cong. Paul Ryan. (R-Wis.) With this pick, it's clear which direction the Republican Party is heading, if not already obvious. It's a far right course. First, as suspicious as conservatives are of Romney, after all he once supported abortion rights, Romney has tacked to the far right. He calls himself severely conservative. And his presidential views clearly reflect that.

But what about picking Paul Ryan? He's famous for the Ryan Budget. It's a budget that would gut Medicare with a voucher system, slash aid to the poor by cutting food stamps and weaken Medicaid. This budget which Romney called marvelous is a vision of where the Republicans want to take us. Yeah, Romney is backing away from it but do you really trust him? He says one thing while running for one position then changes when it's politically expedient. So Romney has picked somebody to the far right.

But who does Ryan appeal to? Independents? Nope. He leans too far right for them. Moderates? Ditto. I mean his budget plan is so draconian that Catholic Bishops called it, "this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good." And by the way, moderate is a dirty word for the modern Republican. Ask Meghan McCain. Liberals? Boy, I think the last liberal left the Republican Party in the seventies. Women? Both candidates are strident anti-abortion. And Romney wants to kill Planned Parenthood, which does more than just provide abortions. What about African Americans? Well, Ryan's views on the poor as reflected by his budget and his love of Ayn Rand certainly keep him from appealing to them. Hispanics? They clearly are not as conservative as Ryan as exemplified by the huge gap of support between Romney and Obama. There is one group that Ryan appeals to. Conservative white males. A block of voters that Romney already has.

The pick reflects where the Republican Party is today. There was no way a true moderate could have won the nomination or been chosen as the vice presidential nominee. Former Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and the father of the conservative movement would find him out of place in today's Republican Party. You see Goldwater supported abortion and gay rights. Today's Tea Party dominated Republican Party would have no one like Goldwater. He would be too liberal for them.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Stephen Colbert takes on Bachmann and Gingrich over alleged Muslim influence

Stephen Colbert parodies Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) desire to investigate government officials for possible Muslim influence. Specifically, she is concerned about Huma Abedin, aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. There are no connections to the Muslim Brotherhood for Ms. Abedin. Then he goes over former House speaker and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's defense of Bachmann and McCarthyism. What?! Folks, Gingrich won the South Carolina primary and at one point was leading the polls for the Republican presidential nomination. Oy. Anyway here's the piece with an interview of Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) who's is a Muslim. Funny stuff on a sad topic.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ryan Lochte talks about peeing in the pool

Okay, you've heard that swimmers will pee in the pool. Yuck. Anyway, U.S. swimmer and Gold medalist at this year's Olympics, Ryan Lochte, did this hilarious video for Funny or Die about peeing in the pool.

Jon Stewart rips Republican voter ID laws

Yesterday, on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart slammed Republican voter ID laws. Stephen Colbert went over this stuff in June. Folks, there is a microscopic amount of voter fraud. Have you noticed these laws are coming into being at this moment of time? It's because the Republican voter base of white males is shrinking. The voter ID laws effect these groups, minorities, the poor, young and elderly people. It affects the people likely to vote Democratic. Anyway, here are Jon Stewart's video pieces.

Star Trek's Patrick Stewart and Simon Pegg in a Funny or Die video

Sir Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Simon Pegg (Star Trek- 2009) are in this recent Funny or Die video. Stewart plays a ticket scalper. With a nice assist from real life swimmer Ryan Lochte and Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams. Funny stuff.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stephen Colbert on the Olympics

Last night, Stephen Colbert did a story about events at the Olympics. He went over the insanity at Fox News when they complained about gymnast Gabby Douglas for wearing a pink uniform when she was doing her routines. Not patriotic enough for Fox News. Then Colbert goes over a rower's special salute during his medal ceremony. Hilarious stuff.

Fighting with Conservative Angry White Guys

So, I'm at a bar and this young white guy comes up to me to start a conversation. He's a regular at this bar and knows me. Let's call him Conservative Young Angry White Guy or CYAWG. He says to me, "Bernie, I've talked to many liberals and they can't say one thing that Obama has done for the country." I take his challenge and here's how the conversation basically went.

I said, "Killed Bin Laden."

CYAWG says, "Any President would have done that."

"Not correct. Obama made it a priority. Stopped Great Depression, Part Two."

"But look at the unemployment numbers."

"Shut up and listen. You asked me if I could name a thing that Obama did for the country. Whether you agree or disagree is not the basis for your question. And what about saving the U.S. auto industry?""

"You liberals get the facts wrong."

At this point, I lose it. So I run out to the car and grab my laptop.

With laptop, I say this, "It's you conservatives that get things wrong. Let's look at something minor. Rush Limbaugh says that the bad guy in the new Batman movie is a liberal plot. It's to demonize Romney's old company."

CYAWG, "Yeah, I heard that."

"Well look at this."

I point to the Wikipedia page on the Batman villain, which shows Bane was created way before Romney was running for president.

"Well, I didn't know that."

I then point out the harm that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has been doing by accusing Secretary of State Clinton's aide Huma Abedin of being linked to the Muslim Brotherhod. She has no relation to that organization.

"It's just McCarthyism."

"What's that?

Incredulous, I say, "You know, Senator Joe McCarthy.

"Never heard of him. It's okay to investigate people."

"What? You never heard of Senator Joe McCarthy from the fifties?"

"Not really."

Now, I'm about to blow a gasket. I show CYAWG an article about Texas Republicans not wanting to teach critical thinking. He seems surprised but not impressed. And then he really throws gasoline on the fire. A fire which CYAWG started.

"Well, Glenn Beck says this about Obama... "

"You're a fan of Glenn Beck?"


"Let's talk about global warming."

I punch up the Wikipedia's article on it. At this point, a bald, older guy comes up. We'll call him, Conservative Old Angry White Guy. (COAWG)

COAWG, says, "You liberals. It's a religion to you guys. It's Al Gore's religion."

Folks, you know Al Gore is going to figure in this somewhere. I mean I can mention global warming and some angry conservative will bring up Al Gore even if I didn't say his name. And by the way Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. Sigh.

COAWG, "You should shut up."

"Dude, you jumped in this conversation. Don't tell me to shut up when you came into the conversation."

I then show him the article and the fact that an overwhelming number of scientists agree that global warming exists.

COAWG, "You should shut up."

"Don't tell me to shut up, buddy. Don't ever tell me to shut up. You got into this conversation."

Sigh. I realize these guys are going to worship ignorance. So I stop and play some jazz on the jukebox. This is what drives me nuts about conservatives. They ignore facts. They let their fears, and beliefs guide them. It's all knee jerk.

Crazy Steve King, Republican Congressman from Iowa

Congress Steve King, Republican Congressman from Iowa, has been known to make crazy comments. (See his comments about President Obama.) Recently, King
made a crazy comment about regulating dog fighting. Great comic fodder for satirist Stephen Colbert. Here's his hilarious video piece.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Two Angry White Guys

Two angry white guys are making noises that President Barack Obama is a foreigner and evil. More than a year after Obama released his long form birth certificate, super rich guy Donald Trump is making noise that the birth certificate is a fake. He tweeted that a source told him that it's a fake.

And what story about angry white males would be complete without rocker Ted Nugent. In an interview, he says, "Obama represents everything that is bad about humanity[.]" Put this on top of calling Obama's administration, "evil."

This has to stop. I fear the day when an angry white male tries to hurt the President. Think this is far fetched? Look what happened at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. A white racist man killed six Sikh people. President Obama was born in the United States. He is a citizen. You can disagree with his policies but Obama is not evil.

The motive for the Wisconsin shootings

While law enforcement and the media hint at the motive for the killing of six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, I'll go ahead and name it. Racism. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the alleged shooter, Wade Michel Page was Skinhead and a member of racist white power rock band. The band had heavy metal and punk stylings. No surprise. You wouldn't expect them to play jazz standards, would you? The band was called "End Apathy." And Page formed the band because he wanted to “figure out how to end people's apathetic ways [.]”

I think it's obvious what happened here. Page was an angry white man. He sees the terrorist attacks on 9/11 as a war not by a tiny fraction of Muslims but an attack by all Muslims. The fact that white people are no longer a majority must inflame his fear, anger and hatred. To a guy like him, it's the end of the white race. In his own way, he had to end the apathy. So, he took action. It didn't matter that Sikhs are not Muslims. He saw turbans, beards and dark skin. Hatred has no logic or intelligence.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Total Recall review

It was 1990 when Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the mind blowing, science fiction thriller, Total Recall. Directed by Paul Verhoeven, it featured the over the top action that he is known for. Of course, there were plenty of Arnold one liners, all delivered in his monotone, muscle bound Austrian accent. But even Arnold's bad acting could not smother the intelligence of the story. That's because it was based on Phillip K. Dick's short story, "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale." Now here comes a remake starring a better actor, Colin Farrell.

In this year's version, it's the future. After a "chemical" war, the earth is divided into two areas. They are the The United Federation of Britain ruled by Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) and the Colony. The film starts out with a dream sequence where Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) dreams of a failed escape from government troops with a woman later known as Melina. (Jessica Biel) He wakes up and the reality of the moment is that he is married to Lori. (Kate Beckinsale) He has a dull job of making security robots.

Quaid decides to go to Rekall, a company that implants memories. Rekall employee (John Cho) convinces Quaid he should be implanted with memories of being a spy. A test on Quaid fails, and McClane accuses him of being a spy. At this moment, the police break in and kill all the employees of Rekall. Quaid instinctively beats up the police and kills them. Quaid, now a fugitive, must find out who he really is.

The first thing you notice about this movie are the production values. This movie looks like a cross between Minority Report and Blade Runner. And you can't find fault with the actors. It's a good thing that Beckinsale can act because you would certainly hear the accusations of favoritism since she's director Len Wiseman's real life wife.

But a good movie is more than pretty pictures and easy on the eyes actors. It requires a good screenplay and direction. And this remake lacks both. First, director Wiseman heaps action sequence on top of action sequence. It became boring. But he worst part of this movie is the incoherent screenplay by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback. If you didn't watch the first movie or read the short story, you would be lost. There is a lack of exposition and any dialogue that makes you care about the characters. I mean when Quaid goes to Rekall, you don't know why or care. And how did the police know Quaid was at Rekall? And why did Quaid go to seek the help of the resistance leader, Matthias? (Bill Nighhy) Don't know and don't care.

The 1990 version was about things not being what they seemed. That movie featured mutants, Mars, and alien life. Len Wiseman's version makes a bad decision by straying far from the source material. This new movie makes no sense. There is one homage to the older movie. There's a scene of a three breasted woman, just like the 1990 version. But it makes no sense since this version is not about mutants. It's a cheap nod that I'm sure Wiseman thought the audience would love just like a catch phrase. Instead, it's comes off cold and cynical.

Considering the source material, I'm going to be harder on this version of Total Recall than the run of the mill movie. The 1990 version was smarter. This one is diluted. The grade is C.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

If you're an American, you dream big

Two years ago, teenage gymnast, Gabby Douglas, moved from Virginia to Iowa to be coached by Liang Chow. She wanted to elevate her game.
She did more than that in this year's Olympic Games.

Douglas won with her teammates the Gold for the team woman's gymnastic Olympic title. Today, Gabby Douglas won the Gold for All Around gymnastics. It's the biggest prize for woman's gymnastics. What I've seen of her is a unique blend of athleticism, power, artistic grace and joy. If you're an American, you dream big. And sometimes those dreams come true. Here's the story.

No moderates in the Republican Party

Look, I've written many times that there are no more moderates in the Republican Party. (Here's an example of one of my posts.) Yesterday, Chris Matthews covered this in a video piece. Watch carefully the portion that discusses the Texas Senate primary and the ad that accuses a fellow conservative Republican of being moderate. Folks, you wonder why there's no compromise in Washington? That's the reason. One cannot compromise if you're a right-wing conservative.

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The Reds at the trading deadline

Now that the trading deadline has come and gone, what does the Cincinnati Reds trade for Kansas City closer Jonathan Broxton mean? Well, first the team which is first in the National League Central believes there was nothing out there in terms of leadoff hitters to trade for or the prices were too high. It also means that the Reds are comfortable with their offense. And for good reason. As I write this, the Reds are twenty two games over .500. They may not have a leadoff hitter but folks, the Reds are winning without their best player, first baseman, Joey Votto.

But why get Broxton? The Reds are in very good shape in the bullpen. Closer Aroldis Chapman has been dominating. I think it goes this way. The Reds know they have an excellent chance of making the playoffs. Chapman is unproven in big game situations. Yes, he did play for Cuba where baseball is a religion. But this is the major leagues. Chapman was a starter. A closer has a different mentality. Broxton is an experienced closer. This year, he's got twenty three saves and a 2.21 ERA. He was two time All Star. If Chapman falters, look to Reds manager Dusty Baker to go to Broxton.

Here's the story of the trade.

Broxton made his debut yesterday. He pitched a one, two, three eighth. Just the way the Reds wanted it.

Stephen Colbert lampoons dressage

Let's face it. It's hard to take the sport of dressage seriously. It's a horse dancing competition. And it belongs to the super rich since the amount to annually do the sport can run into the six figures.

That's why Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is full of horse poop when he wants to say he understands the problems of the working person. You see his wife, Ann, has a horse in the Olympic dressage competition. Stephen Colbert did a piece on dressage the other night and it's very funny. Check it out.