Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Movies 2014

Looking back at 2014 movies, here's a link to 2014's top 100 box office films. I find it very interesting that most titles represent family-oriented pictures rather than blood/guts/explosions/sex "R" rated films. I've seen nineteen of the top 100 movies, with several more on my "to see" list.

Among the movies on my wish list is the inspiring true story Unbroken; I hope finds a place on the list before the clock strikes midnight on December 31.

A clock striking midnight is such a quaint image nowadays--how very 20th century of me. Let's say before the LED screen digital time clicks to 12:00 AM...which is actually a nonexistent time, since 12:00 is either noon or midnight, not AM or PM. No wonder 1942's Casablanca remains my favorite movie of all time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas to All

Enjoy Christmas time!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Colorless Crime?

Two NYC police officers sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn were shot and killed today. I've read over two dozen of the reports flooding onto the Internet, and I can find no mention of race pertaining to either the murdered policemen or to their executioner.

I might well be wrong, you can call me crazy, but the color-neutral media coverage so far leads me to believe that the killer was black and the cops were not. Interestingly, many of today's articles still mention the "white officers" and their chokehold on "black man, Eric Garner." So if the cops had been black and the murderer white, all the news stories would be screaming that fact by now. We'd probably have mobs already forming in the streets.

We'll see how long it takes for personal descriptions to surface in this oddly colorless atrocity.

So here we are. All the media, government, and cultural race agitation has brought us to two slaughtered cops five days before Christmas. I hope Eric Holder, Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, their lapdog media minions, and all of the anarchist demonstrators across the country are satisfied with today's work.

I wonder if the nation's hate-driven dividers ever pause for a moment in pursuing their race-baiting agenda to remember that, regardless of a person's race, everyone's blood is red.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Rule for Good TV

Rule 5: You don't waste good.

~ Gibbs Rules

For more than a decade, there is only one television show that I simply can't miss: NCIS.

Because of NCIS, I never watched a single episode of American Idol. It was scheduled opposite NCIS--no contest, you should pardon the expression (and I don't feel I missed anything). In the early years, the sizable chunk of hard-core NCIS fans kept the show viable during "Idol's" blockbuster run.

NCIS features smart, well-written scripts with an imaginative and interesting ensemble of characters that has evolved considerably over time. Yes, it's formulaic, but it's hard to name a TV drama that isn't. The difference with NCIS is that the characters are more interesting than the plots, which are top notch. From taciturn team leader Gibbs, to historical tidbits buff "Ducky"--Dr. Mallard, the medical examiner who talks to all his corpses--to movie trivia expert/womanizer/wisecracker Agent DiNozzo, to amped-up Gothic laboratory princess Abby, personal backstories continue to unfold at a tantalizingly slow pace throughout the seasons.

As an example, "Gibbs Rules" are still being revealed, and not sequentially. We're still learning them, with some fan complaints of redundancy or skipping numbers. I don't mind the gaps or repetitions; I like how the characters repeat the applicable rules in various circumstances. Last night's episode, which featured team computer geek McGee learning from Rule 51: "Sometimes, you're wrong," pulled on the heartstrings while both working a case and keeping the Christmas spirit. The script actually made a reference to the birth of Jesus, talked about the "second chance" it gave mankind, and featured McGee opening doors on his Advent calendar. Bravo!

My Rule 1 for good television: Tune in to CBS at 8:00 p.m. Tuesdays for NCIS.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Goodwill Under the Sword

"And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not."

It's difficult to feel too much of the Christmas spirit in the midst of so much terrible evil in the world. From Australia, to Pakistan, to Iraq and Syria, the devil is having his way with the world.

The Christmas story tells of angels who sang of peace on earth to men of goodwill. As defined in Merriam-Webster's 11th Edition Collegiate Dictionary, "goodwill" means "a kindly feeling of approval and support: benevolent interest or concern." Hacking the heads off school children is definitely the opposite of that definition, as is butchering hostages and murderous shooting sprees.

The world is in very deep trouble today at the hands of a profound and expansive evil, radical Islam. Whether it's Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS, or any other catchy name, this darkest of evils is not going to stop destroying until it is defeated. That battle is going to be a very tough, very lengthy undertaking--we're talking generations. It's going to take the resolve of many people of goodwill, from many nations, all of whom have the courage to fight this good fight.

God bless them, every one.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Selfish Vengeance

I don't know how to define "torture" anymore. As with "racism," the word has been so overused that it's practically meaningless now. But I doubt that any person the U.S. has interrogated was ever beheaded, crucified, dismembered, or disemboweled. Someone should send the United Nations that memo. (I maintain that the U.N. building should be turned into the world's largest parking garage.)

I agree with former Senator Bob Kerrey that the "torture" report fails our country. As he points out, there are no recommendations contained in it. What, then, is the purpose of releasing the report? This puts Americans in danger across the world, as well as at home. Why publish it at all? What possible good can come of this action?

Politicians--in this case, Dianne Feinstein--never cease to amaze me with the depths of their egotism and stupidity. Here we have the outgoing chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee (there's an oxymoronic descriptor), clubbing the country over the head as she sulks out the door. It's as though she's wagging her finger at the voters who recently crushed her party: "Remember, America, how terrible things were under the Republicans and President Bush." It's pure vengeance, applied during her waning days of power. The release of this report before the Senate reverts to a Republican majority in January shows that Feinstein is perfectly willing to throw U.S. embassy personnel, intelligence operatives, and military personnel under the bus to assert her moral superiority. It's difficult to imagine a more disgustingly selfish motive.

President Obama has chimed in with "When we make mistakes, we admit them." Excuse me? When did this know-it-all ever admit a single mistake in the past six years of his train wreck of a presidency? George Orwell would have trouble believing what we're watching unfold in our government today.

When people start dying over this "torture" report, the blood will be on Feinstein's self-serving hands. I wonder if she'll ever admit that mistake.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Remember Pearl Harbor

This outstanding, in-depth article, linked here, recounts the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 73 years ago today.

On Friday, I heard an interview with a man who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. He said there are less than 50 survivors still living. These December 7, 1941 survivors are national treasures, and today we pause to remember and honor them.

Photo from the Pearl Harbor website

Thursday, December 04, 2014

A Recipe for Peace

Dennis Prager has launched a flash course in the Ten Commandments on his "Prager University" webpage. At about five minutes per Commandment, these are fast and informative lessons in a time-tested, foolproof instruction manual for a better world.

Whatever your beliefs, you will benefit from watching each of these brief, engaging videos. With all that is happening in our nation and the world, there could not be a better time for this reminder on how to make life better and more peaceful...for everyone.

Monday, December 01, 2014


"I have a dream..."
~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963

"Burn this b*tch down"
~ Michael Brown's stepfather, 2014

Oh dear. In the wake of the Ferguson political and media circus, it's apparent that race relations have devolved into a less-than-uplifting state over the past fifty years. In fact, just in the past five years there has been a dramatic decline in goodwill among the races. It's part of the "change" that has occurred on President Obama's watch. Sure hope he's proud of it.

The rest of us, meanwhile, have to deal with the destruction and hatred that has been agitated across the country. In the midst of reading coverage online, I stumbled across the video linked here and below: "Will the Real Black Americans Please Stand Up." Some salty language, which I don't use in this blog; but in this case, the departure was worthwhile in the big picture of an important message.

Bravo, young man. You understand that the Ferguson aftermath is not a questions of black vs. white--it's a matter of right or wrong, good or bad. You are the "hope and change" we've been waiting for:

Will the Real Black Americans Please Stand Up (Video)