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Thursday, October 31, 2013


Most of the liberal crowd will stick to Obama’s coattails regardless of how much he screws up this once great country.  We all know the local ones from the early days of the AZ Central blogs so they can be dismissed as non-entities.  As Christ said “Forgive them Father; they know not what they do” or something like that.

Now, the big boys with well known names are coming down hard on the big “O”.  One guy in particular caught my eye this week with his jaw dropping comments.  Washington Post writer Richard Cohen’s column is carried in the Arizona Republic and this week’s entry was a doozey.

In a column entitled “A Question of Competence” Cohen compares Obama to the worst team in the history of baseball; the 1962 New York Mets.  Casey Stengel, the old guy who managed the New York Yankees to greatness in the 1950’s, was the unfortunate manager of the hapless Mets.

Cohen mentions that Casey once asked his team:  "Can't anybody here play this game?"   He goes on to say “That phrase kept coming at me recently as I watched the impressively inept performance of the Obama administration in both foreign and domestic policy. On a given day, this administration makes the '62 Mets look good.”  Whoa!  Cohen goes on with a carefully crafted dialogue breaking down the errors of the Obama administration.  Read the whole column here.

Cohen is a serious guy among other serious guys from the left and right who now see the light; especially after the debacle that is the Affordable Care Act.  Most of them looked the other way concerning the IRS snafu, Benghazi, Syria, Fast and Furious, NSA, etc.   But, the health care screwups have hit home for many and are not being overlooked.

 At the same time the entertainment business has been having a field day with items like the Jon Stewart interview with Kathleen Sebelius, the hilarious “Saturday Night Live” skit and the jabs from the late night guys.

Charisma can only take you so far if you are basically an inept individual.  Obama did a great con job on many susceptible people by promising the world and redistributing the wealth of the makers to the takers.  As time has gone by, more people are now realizing that he is basically an empty suit.  One would think that the president would know the definition of “shovel ready jobs” or know that the Marine Corps is not the Marine “Corpse.”  Knowing such elementary terminology should be second nature to someone in his position.

So, now the birds are coming home to roost.  Other than in appearance, Obama eerily reminds me of Robert Redford in his 1972 film “The Candidate.”  After he wins election to the U. S. Senate, his first words to his manager are “What do we do now?”

Friday, October 18, 2013


Bill Goodykoontz, the movie reviewer for the Arizona Republic, recently listed what he considers to be the best thriller films ever made.  They are not in any particular order and I agree with him on some of them.  I also think it is hard to pick from such a large selection so I will add a couple of my own to complement his list.

A word of warning:  I lean toward older films as I think they have the best stories and acting plus I am a nostalgia freak.  So, if you expect to see anything with Leonardo DiCaprio or Vince Vaughn you will be disappointed.

Three films on Bill’s list that I would immediately cross off are “Fight Club” (1999) with Brad Pitt, “Memento” (2000) with Guy Pearce and “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) with Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.  All three were snoozers to me as they delved into psychological situations that I don’t look for when viewing a movie.  As the great film producer Samuel Goldwyn (1879-1974) once said:  “If you want to send a message, use Western Union.”

The rest I can agree with starting with “Touch of Evil” (1958).  Orson Welles is great as a crooked police captain in a U.S.-Mexican border town (actually filmed in Venice, California).  It’s great film noir stuff with a fine cast of character actors plus a gorgeous thirty-one year old Janet Leigh playing the wife of Mexican (Mexican?) narcotics officer Charlton Heston.

“Rear Window” (1954) with Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, and Raymond Burr is classic Alfred Hitchcock fare and I hope everyone has seen it by now.  Jimmy is a bit of a voyeur as he convalesces from injuries received while performing his job as a photo journalist.  Kelly is beautiful; Burr is typical Burr of that era.

“The Third Man” (1949) with Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, and Alida Valli.  Film noir mystery and espionage in postwar Vienna with great zither background music throughout.  Valli is gorgeous!

Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in 
"Double Indemnity" (1944)
“Psycho” (1960) Low budget with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Simon Oakland.  Is there anyone who hasn’t seen this film?  More classic Hitchcock with great musical score by Bernard Herrman.  Plus, it relates to Phoenix although not one frame was shot there other than a few exterior shots (click here for more on that).

“Double Indemnity” (1944)  Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson.  Fred is insurance agent who falls for floozy Stanwyck and her scheme to kill her husband for insurance dough.  Robinson should have gotten Best Supporting Actor for role as insurance investigator.  Great 1940’s dialogue and music.

“Bullitt” (1968)  What can I say other than it’s  one of Steve McQueen’s  best and has the car chase which thankfully didn’t really destroy that beautiful ’67 Dodge Charger!

“Dirty Harry” (1971) How can you not like a young, badass Clint Eastwood saying, “I know what you're thinkin', punk. You're thinkin' did he fire six shots or only five? Now to tell you the truth, I've forgotten myself in all this excitement."

Last but never least is “North by Northwest” (1959).  It’s more Hitchcock but I think that when it comes to the thriller genre, he was the best.  Great ending on Mount Rushmore and nice to know that Martin Landau overcame his fall off the mountain to continue his nice career!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013


A friend from Pennsylvania on Google+ posted this the other day and I liked it so much I want to pass it on. My normal blogs are about 500 words and this is about twice that length but I think once you start reading it, you won't consider it too long.

It concerns one man's way of proving to the naysayers the folly of Obamacare:

I was in my neighborhood restaurant this morning and was seated behind a group of jubilant individuals celebrating the coming implementation of the health care bill. I could not finish my breakfast. This is what ensued:

They were a diverse group of several races and both sexes. I heard a young man exclaim, “Isn’t Obama like Jesus Christ? I mean, after all, he is healing the sick.” 

A young woman enthusiastically proclaimed, “Yeah, and he does it for free. I cannot believe anyone would think that a free market wouldn't work for health care.” 

Another said, "The stupid Republicans want us all to starve to death so they can inherit all of the power. Obama should be made a Saint for what he did for those of us less fortunate.” 

At this, I had more than enough. I arose from my seat, mustering all the restraint I could find, and approached their table. “Please excuse me; may I impose upon you for one moment?” 

They smiled and welcomed me to the conversation. I stood at the end of their table, smiled as best I could and began an experiment.

“I would like to give one of you my house. It will cost you no money and I will pay all of the expenses and taxes for as long as you live there. Anyone interested?” 

They looked at each other in astonishment. “Why would you do something like that?” asked a young man, “There isn’t anything for free in this world.” They began to laugh at me, as they did not realize this man had just made my point. 

“I am serious, I will give you my house for free, no money whatsoever. Anyone interested?” 

In unison, a resounding “Yeah” fills the room. “Since there are too many of you, I will have to make a choice as to who receives this money-free bargain.” 

I noticed an elderly couple was paying attention to the spectacle unfolding before their eyes, the old man shaking his head in apparent disgust. 

“I tell you what; I will give it to the one of you most willing to obey my rules.” 

Again, they looked at one another, an expression of bewilderment on their faces. 

The perky young woman asked, “What are the rules?” 

I smiled and said, “I don’t know. I have not yet defined them. However, it is a free home that I offer you.” 

They giggled amongst themselves, the youngest of which said, “What an old coot. He must be crazy to give away his home. Go take your meds, old man.” 

I smiled and leaned into the table a bit further. “I am serious, this is a legitimate offer.” 

They gaped at me for a moment.  “I’ll take it you old fool. Where are the keys?” boasted the youngest among them. 

“Then I presume you accept ALL of my terms then?” I asked. 

The elderly couple seemed amused and entertained as they watched from the privacy of their table. “Oh, yeah! Where do I sign up?” 

I took a napkin and wrote, “I give this man my home, without the burden of financial obligation, so long as he accepts and abides by the terms that I shall set forth upon consummation of this transaction.”
I signed it and handed it to the young man who eagerly scratched out his signature. 

“Where are the keys to my new house?” he asked in a mocking tone of voice. 

All eyes were upon us as I stepped back from the table, pulling the keys from pocket and dangling them before the excited new homeowner.

“Now that we have entered into this binding contract, witnessed by all of your friends, I have decided upon the conditions you are obligated to adhere to from this point forward:

“You may only live in the house for one hour a day. You will not use anything inside of the home. You will obey me without question or resistance. I expect complete loyalty and admiration for this gift I bestow upon you. You will accept my commands and wishes with enthusiasm, no matter the nature. Your morals and principles shall be as mine. You will vote as I do, think as I do and do it with blind faith. These are my terms. Here are your keys.” 

I reached the keys forward and the young man looked at me dumbfounded. “Are you out of your mind? Who would ever agree to those ridiculous terms?” the young man appeared irritated. 

“You did when you signed this contract before reading it, understanding it and with the full knowledge that I would provide my conditions only after you committed to the agreement.” 

The elderly man chuckled as his wife tried to restrain him. I was looking at a now silenced and bewildered group of people. 

“You can shove that stupid deal up your a** old man. I want no part of it!” exclaimed the now infuriated young man. 

“You have committed to the contract, as witnessed by all of your friends. You cannot get out of the deal unless I agree to it. I do not intend to let you free now that I have you ensnared. I am the power you agreed to. I am the one you blindly and without thought chose to enslave yourself to. In short, I am your Master.” 

At this, the table of celebrating individuals became a unified group against the unfairness of the deal.

After a few moments of unrepeatable comments and slurs, I revealed my true intent. 

“What I did to you is what this administration and congress did to you with the health care legislation. I easily suckered you in and then revealed the real cost of the bargain. Your folly was in the belief that you can have something you did not earn, and for that which you did not earn, you willingly allowed someone else to think for you. Your failure to research, study and inform yourself permitted reason to escape you. You have entered into a trap from which you cannot flee. Your only chance of freedom is if your new Master gives it to you. A freedom that is given can also be taken away. Therefore, it is not freedom at all.” 

With that, I tore up the napkin and placed it before the astonished young man. “This is the nature of your new health care legislation.”

I turned away to leave these few in thought and contemplation -- and was surprised by applause. 

The elderly gentleman, who was clearly entertained, shook my hand enthusiastically and said, “Thank you, Sir. These kids don’t understand liberty .” 

He refused to allow me to pay my bill as he said, “You earned this one. It is an honor to pick up the tab.” 

I shook his hand in thanks, leaving the restaurant somewhat humbled and sensing a glimmer of hope for my beloved country.

Remember... Four boxes keep us free: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box. 

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the American Government
take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."

Henry Ford