Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bush doesn't know left from right hand.... how many days are left until inauguration???

Pres. Bush says, "...the left hand now knows what the right hand is doing...." and of course he is holding up the wrong it is in david letterman's top ten list.

Ed Wood died for Hollywood's sins!

Just finished watching the movie "Ed Wood," starring Johnny Depp and Martin Landau (academy award best supporting actor). Ed Wood made B type sci fi films in the '50's, they would be the second movie following the main movie at the drive in. The movies were horrible. His most famous (I use the word famous in contrast to his infamous movies) is Glen or Glenda, a movie about a gender bending man, based in large part on Ed Wood, who liked to cross dress (he supposedly wore women's panties and bra into battle in WWII - he was thankful he wasn't wounded!) What I liked was Depp's sympathetic portrayal of Wood, you couldn't help but like Ed Wood. Wood also was very compassionate toward Bela Lugosi, the famous silent screen vampire. The movie was directed by Tim Burton, and had his touch evident. Ed Wood's worst movie (and this was a close competition) was Plan 9 From Outer Space, financed supposedly by some elders from a local methodist church who wanted to use the "profits" from the film to produce numerous biblical movies. Here is the film in total, Its a little over one hour. But the film about Ed Wood starring Depp et alia is great, funny, sweet, a labor of love for the actors and director, and martin Landau as Bela is absolutely brilliant.

Vanderbilt wins its bowl game! Coach Bobby Johnson deserves this win!

Vanderbilt won a bowl game for the first time in exactly 53 years, with Bryant Hahnfeldt kicking a 45-yard field goal with 3:26 left Wednesday for a 16-14 win over Boston College in the Music City Bowl.

Vanderbilt hadn't even played in a bowl since 1982 and the victory gave the Commodores (7-6) their first winning season since then, too.

Best Twilight Zone ever: The Hunt (watch the episode)

Here is an interview with author of my favorite Twilight Zone script. The episode is called "The Hunt" (I think) and its about an old man and his coon dog goin' hunting, and the dog follows a raccoon into a pond, the old man tries to rescue the dog and.....well, no spoilers here. Absolutely one of the best Twilight Zones of all time.

"...a man, well, he'll walk right into Hell with both eyes open. But even the devil can't fool a dog! "

Here is the whole episode on CBS Twilight Zone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Protests against Israeli attacks in Gaza: take off your shoes!

In Dearborn, Michigan, about 1,000 protesters marched against Israeli military action in Gaza, action aimed at Hamas police but resulting in many civilian deaths (including several school children). One protester carried a sign saying "Dearborn, take your shoes off!" a reference to the action of an Iraqi protester who threw shoes at President George W. Bush during his recent visit to Iraq. Its stunning that in our global village, an incident involving one reporter in Baghdad who was overcome with emotion and threw his shoes at Pres. Bush could turn into a symbol of resistance around the world.

Dozens of Iranians in the country's capital Tehran have held their own shoe-throwing rally in protest at US President George W Bush.They were showing support for the Iraqi journalist who threw his footwear at the American leader in Baghdad.The protesters waved their shoes in the air before throwing them at posters featuring caricatures of Mr Bush.

In Greece, Some beat shoes against photographs of US President George W Bush, an AFP photographer said. "The Greek police did its job very well," an Israeli embassy offical said.

In Australia, "They have trampled on our soil, so it's appropriate that we throw our shoes back at [Israel]," he said, balancing his young son, Adam, on his shoulders.

In Jordan, Demonstrators burnt American and Israeli flags, while some beat a poster depicting American President George W. Bush with shoes.

And in New Hampshire, students at a high school made a memorial, featuring shoes. (see picture).

The journalist, Muntadar al-Zaidi, is due to go on trial in Iraq, accused of assaulting a foreign head of state.

KGB agent predicts dissolution of United States (this is for real)

For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument -- that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. -- very seriously. Now he's found an eager audience: Russian state media.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Public access TV presents, "Henrietta and Merna," singing their way into your Christmas hearts

Here is my Christmas gift for you, loyal blog reader. Henrietta and Merna sing, "Go tell it on the Mountain."

The Wilhelm Scream: this is fascinating, incredible, and funny as hell!!!

In political film I used to show "Blow Out," a Brian de Palma movie starring John Travolta as a sound effects guy who has to come up with a great murderous scream, can't find one, but by end of movie he accidentally records his finacee's scream while she is being murdered by a serial killer (I know, this sounds complicated) - in any event, this post is about the so called Wilhelm Scream, a movie scream unleashed by a private in the cavalry who gets shot with an arrow. The scream is so perfect, it is used by other movie sound technicians, and eventually is put into movies "secretly" by sound tech's as a tribute to movie history. Here is an explanation of the scream
, and here are examples of the scream, and here are movie scenes that SHOULD have had the Wilhelm scream, but didn't (this is piss in pants funny). Thanks Noah for finding this for me!!!

Was the Night Before Christmas, as written by Ernest hemingway

Here it is, james thurbers parody of the Night Before Christmas, as Ernest Hemingway would have written it. You know, the journalistic style that Hemingway perfected: " I hate the rain. Sometimes I see me dead in it." short sentences, newspaper style.
(BTW, Hemingway's house in cuba is still there, along with his cats. If tourism is normalized with Cuba, I want to visit his house and meet his cats.)

It was the night before Christmas. The house was very quiet. No creatures were stirring in the house. There weren't even any mice stirring. The stockings had been hung carefully by the chimney. The children hoped that Saint Nicholas would come and fill them.

The children were in their beds. Their beds were in the room next to ours. Mamma and I were in our beds. Mamma wore a kerchief. I had my cap on. I could hear the children moving. We didn't move. We wanted the children to think we were asleep.

"Father," the children said.

There was no answer. He's there, all right, they thought.

"Father," they said, and banged on their beds.

"What do you want?" I asked.

"We have visions of sugarplums," the children said.

"Go to sleep," said mamma.

"We can't sleep," said the children. They stopped talking, but I could hear them moving. They made sounds.

"Can you sleep?" asked the children.

"No," I said.

"You ought to sleep."

"I know. I ought to sleep."

"Can we have some sugarplums?"

"You can't have any sugarplums," said mamma.

"We just asked you."

There was a long silence. I could hear the children moving again.

"Is Saint Nicholas asleep?" asked the children.

"No," mamma said. "Be quiet."

"What the hell would he be asleep tonight for?" I asked.

"He might be," the children said.

"He isn't," I said.

"Let's try to sleep," said mamma.

The house became quiet once more. I could hear the rustling noises the children made when they moved in their beds.

Out on the lawn a clatter arose. I got out of bed and went to the window. I opened the shutters; then I threw up the sash. The moon shone on the snow. The moon gave the lustre of mid-day to objects in the snow. There was a miniature sleigh in the snow, and eight tiny reindeer. A little man was driving them. He was lively and quick. He whistled and shouted at the reindeer and called them by their names. Their names were Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen.

He told them to dash away to the top of the porch, and then he told them to dash away to the top of the wall. They did. The sleigh was full of toys.

"Who is it?" mamma asked.

"Some guy," I said. "A little guy."

I pulled my head in out of the window and listened. I heard the reindeer on the roof. I could hear their hoofs pawing and prancing on the roof.

"Shut the window," said mamma.

I stood still and listened.

"What do you hear?"

"Reindeer," I said. I shut the window and walked about. It was cold. Mamma sat up in the bed and looked at me.

"How would they get on the roof?" mamma asked.

"They fly."

"Get into bed. You'll catch cold."

Mamma lay down in bed. I didn't get into bed. I kept walking around.

"What do you mean, they fly?" asked mamma.

"Just fly is all."

Mamma turned away toward the wall. She didn't say anything.

I went out into the room where the chimney was. The little man came down the chimney and stepped into the room. He was dressed all in fur. His clothes were covered with ashes and soot from the chimney. On his back was a pack like a peddler's pack. There were toys in it. His cheeks and nose were red and he had dimples. His eyes twinkled. His mouth was little, like a bow, and his beard was very white. Between his teeth was a stumpy pipe. The smoke from the pipe encircled his head in a wreath. He laughed and his belly shook. It shook like a bowl of red jelly. I laughed. He winked his eye, then he gave a twist to his head. He didn't say anything.

He turned to the chimney and filled the stockings and turned away from the chimney. Laying his finger aside his nose, he gave a nod. Then he went up the chimney. I went to the chimney and looked up. I saw him get into his sleigh. He whistled at his team and the team flew away. The team flew as lightly as thistledown. The driver called out, "Merry Christmas and good night." I went back to bed.

"What was it?" asked mamma. "Saint Nicholas?" She smiled.

"Yeah," I said.

She sighed and turned in the bed.

"I saw him," I said.


"I did see him."

"Sure you saw him." She turned farther toward the wall.

"Father," said the children.

"There you go," mamma said. "You and your flying reindeer."

"Go to sleep," I said.

"Can we see Saint Nicholas when he comes?" the children asked.

"You got to be asleep," I said. "You got to be asleep when he comes. You can't see him unless you're unconscious."

"Father knows," mamma said.

I pulled the covers over my mouth. It was warm under the covers. As I went to sleep I wondered if mamma was right.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Its a Wonderful Life, revisited! !

I almost saw a film at regent sq theater, "It was a wonderful life," I thought it was the old movie starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, but it was a film about six women who are homeless over christmas. a downer. But here is what Its a Wonderful Life would be like this christmas - with the meltdown. God bless George Bailey, too bad he doesnt exist anymore.

It's traditional during the holiday season to watch the great Frank Capra movie "It's a Wonderful Life," and this year, the film is particularly relevant—it can help us to better understand our current economic malaise and the mortgage credit problem that is at the center of the crisis.

In one of the most famous scenes, there's a run on the Bailey Building and Loan, a small bank owned by George Bailey, the tortured character played by Jimmy Stewart. As depositors clamor to get their money back, Stewart tells them, "You're thinking of this place all wrong, as if I had the money back in the safe. The money's not here. Your money's in Joe's house, that's right next to yours. And in the Kennedy house and Mrs. Macklin's house and a hundred others. Why, you're lending them the money to build. … Give us 60 days."

In the language of finance, Bailey is explaining that the Bailey Building and Loan made and held "whole loans," mortgages that have not been securitized. Its liabilities are the deposits the bank's depositors have come to withdraw, and its assets are the highly illiquid mortgages that it holds as a result of lending money to the town's residents to build their homes in Bedford Falls.

If the movie were remade today (and let's hope it's not), here's what would happen in Bedford Falls. A different George Bailey—played, say, by Brad Pitt—would have "originated" home loans in Bedford Falls. Pitt would have then sold those loans to Freddie Mac or to Fannie Mae or to another loan aggregator. Each of those loans would then ultimately have been "securitized" into one of many "tranches": cut up into many slices based on the risk of repayment of each chunk of the loan. The various slices from thousands of loans all over the United States would then be pooled, again by potential risk of default, and that pool would issue a mortgage-backed security that was "rated" by one or more of the federally sanctioned ratings agencies: Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch. (In the current crisis, those investments had cryptic names like "GSAMP 2006-S5 A2" and "WAMU 2007-HY6 2B1.") The idea behind the pooling of loan slices is a powerful one—by sorting the payments to those supplying capital into specific risk categories, it is possible to lower the cost of capital to borrowers.

Now, what would the Bailey Building and Loan do with the proceeds it receives from selling the loans that it originated? It would buy securities that would be held as assets on its balance sheet and, depending on the risk and value of those securities, it would continue to originate more loans. So far, this all seems well and good. The securitization has lowered the cost to borrowers and made the assets held by the Bailey Building and Loan appear to be more liquid—instead of lumpy whole loans, its new assets are securities that, at least in theory, can be sold and that are priced in the market.

The problem is that while the Building and Loan would buy securities such as treasury bonds, it would also likely buy small amounts of a lot of mortgage-backed securities, such as the above-mentioned GSAMP 2006-S5 A2 and hundreds of other such securities. These securities aren't heavily traded in markets, but the top category of these offerings typically was treated by bank regulators as extremely safe—likely to return the full value of the investment made in them with interest—because of their very high investment grade ratings. When housing declined in value throughout the United States, many mortgage-backed securities became imperiled, and as a result, many of the nation's banks became insolvent.

So in the presence of a run, in our remake, Brad Pitt might say this: "Why, don't ask for your money back right now when the housing market is in decline. You know that money isn't in the safe; it's invested in GSAMP 2006-S5 A2 and WAMU 2007-HY6 2B1 and the like. I can't give you your money back unless and until those multiyear-duration securities get repaid (if they ever do) or if they somehow revert back toward par value and I can sell them. Since they're trading at cents on the dollar, they have a long way to go. Just give me 60 days, and maybe the Treasury will bail me out."

Jimmy Stewart told his depositors that he knew that their investment in the Bailey Building and Loan was "good," even though its assets were not liquid. This is because he knew the location of each home held as collateral, the occupant-borrower, the prospects for repayment and more. All that Brad Pitt's George Bailey could ever know is that he bought securities rated highly by each and every one of the three government-endorsed rating agencies, and that the investment banks that underwrote them thought those securities were sound investments. Nothing more. He'd have no idea who the borrowers are, where the homes are located, what their condition is or whether they are even occupied, much less the likelihood that a particular borrower could weather the storm.

The contrast is what makes a new viewing of "It's a Wonderful Life" compelling this holiday season—it's a reminder of a simpler time, and simultaneously a stark reflection of what went wrong in the current crisis.

Cher in 1971 singing Oh Holy Night - oh my god....!

Each Christmas on the Letterman show Paul Schaffer gets to talk about, and sing, his favorite excerpt from the Sonny and cher Christmas special, featuring cher singing "oh holy night." Paul describes the setting, Cher in a victorian costume, her hands in a muff (this always gets a laugh), and then he does cher singing oh holy night - it is so funny. the funny thing is I remember it! This was cher during her gypsies tramps and ? period, and her voice was...ah....untrained I guess. here is the special, cher sings oh holy night about 4 min into it. and yes, I used to watch this: my friends bob beyer and bev groppe used to watch it in college, every week i was over to watch it with them. They would feed me. good friends. Really good friends.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Le Concorde: touch and go!

I remember the endless touch and go's I've done as a student pilot and struggling private pilot, but this is amazing, the Concorde doing a touch and go in the rain at an air show. These pilots are the best. Can you imagine the concentration in the cockpit? the pilot and copilot checking on procedure, the pilot using the rudder to keep the plane straight, and before the front wheel can hit the pavement, they agree, all set, lets take off again. Amazing. I screamed and jumped up and down in my seat when I saw this - must be a pilot thing, or some guy who flies cessna 150's imagining what it must be like to do a touch and go in the Concorde ( like me...).. BTW, Richard Branson of Virgin airlines offered to buy both concordes, (only two i believe were flying when retired because of the paris crash) but the said no. Liability or something I guess. BTW, was in Continental airlines that settled with owners/victims of Concorde because their plane preceding the Concorde take off lost something off wing, the part was on runway, Concorde ran over it, punctured wing, fuel tank, the end. Why the hell didnt they DRIVE a follow me truck over the runway before the Concorde took off to make sure there was no debris on runway (duhhhhh). I saw concorde take off once at Kennedy Airport in NYC - awesome, almost like seeing god (not the God, but one of the gods...)

Bush helps shoe economy in Turkey: order your shoes now!

When a pair of black leather oxfords hurled at President Bush in Baghdad produced a gasp heard around the world, a Turkish cobbler had a different reaction: They were his shoes.

“We have been producing that specific style, which I personally designed, for 10 years, so I couldn’t have missed it, no way,” said Ramazan Baydan, a shoemaker in Istanbul. “As a shoemaker, you understand.”

Although his assertion has been impossible to verify — cobblers from Lebanon, China and Iraq have also staked claims to what is quickly becoming some of the most famous footwear in the world — orders for Mr. Baydan’s shoes, formerly known as Ducati Model 271 and since renamed “The Bush Shoe,” have poured in from around the world.

A new run of 15,000 pairs, destined for Iraq, went into production on Thursday, he said. A British distributor has asked to become the Baydan Shoe Company’s European sales representative, with a first order of 95,000 pairs, and an American company has placed an order for 18,000 pairs. Four distributors are competing to represent the company in Iraq, where Baydan sold 19,000 pairs of this model for about $40 each last year.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Miller High Life : "Don't mess with the high life!"

I love the guy who polices miller high life beer. I like it when he takes back the beer, because he doesn't approve of the people drinking it, or of the menu its served with. click the above link and you can search for yourself more high life commercials - some are laugh out loud funny. But the black guy who rants is priceless - check out the other you tube videos he is on.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bush dodges shoes: new video game. The Press Sucks.

The press in US has been clueless ever since the Bush administration started the invade Iraq campaign. No investigative journalism: the Valerie Plame affair (the outing of a CIA agent who is married to a former diplomat husband who exposed the quest of Iraq for nuclear material to be a fabrication by British intelligence) was uncovered by Congress, and the resulting trial, the press was clueless. weapons of mass destruction,11 years after sanctions against iraq, press clueless. Iraq a threat to American security after 11 years of sanctions, not researched or questioned by Press. Now this: ``It's obvious that (Bush) could have been hit in the head with a shoe,'' said a secret service agent. and then this I quote:

While Bush wasn't harmed, the incident was reminiscent of John W. Hinckley's failed attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981 . Hinckley slipped into a crowd of reporters outside the Washington Hilton , and when Reagan emerged from a speaking appearance, the 25-year-old drifter fired six shots with a .22-caliber handgun, hitting Reagan in the chest, permanently disabling presidential press secretary Jim Brady with a bullet to the head and wounding a Secret Service agent and a police officer.

What? Some guy threw his shoes at the President, to shame him. how is this like a psycho nut mixing with a crowd and shooting at Pres reagan? How is this anything like that? is the press brain dead?

An Iraqi citizen threw his shoes at Pres Bush and said goodbye you dog: have you any idea how many Arabs would like that opportunity? Bush wasnt hurt, he wasnt even hit, in fact he waived off secret service intervention because he knew he was safe.

I give up on the American press. brainless.

Old Shoes thrown at Pres. Bush -Wag the Dog Re visited!!!

Arab reporter throws his shoes at Pres. Bush. It could have been worse, the President could have been apprehended, imprisoned, and interrogated at Abu Grahib prison. The ultimate insult in Islam is to show the bottoms of your feet to someone (as you are sitting down, thats why feet are tucked in under you when you sit on floor in Arab countries). Now all across mideast are demonstrations wanting to free the journalist who threw his shoes, and demonstrators are throwing THEIR shoes! This reminds me of the movie Wag the Dog, (see picture) where a sex scandal requires the President's staff to distract the media a few days until his re election is over, and so his staff stages a phoney war with Albania, but the CIA expose it and they have to end the phoney war, but a few days are left until the election, so they come up with explanation that one soldier is left behind, a Sgt Shoemaker, and soon they compose a fake blue's song about bringing back old shoe, and they throw old shoes all over DC,(see picture) and soon the nation is focused on special operations to bring back Old Sgt Shoe....but he's "dead," so a funeral down Pennsylvania Ave is conducted, complete with riderless horse, Sgt shoes dog walking next to caisson,....anyway, their boy gets re elected --- so now reality mimics make believe, an Arab journalist throws his shoes at Pres Bush, an ultimate act of civil disobedience and now all over mid east "shoes" have become a symbol of resisting American Empire. Could Hollywood make this up any better? I even heard that a crowd of Iraqi boys threw shoes at a convoy in do you respond if you a re a soldier to boys throwing shoes? Brilliant tactic when you think of it........

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Is it going to rain today?

Hey whats the weather I mean quick!!! This gives you an immediate answer. or try this!

Caroline kennedy for Senator from NY !

Here is a link to barnes and noble and Caroline Kennedy's books. Caroline is of course the surviving daughter of John and Jacqueline Kennedy. Her dad was assassinated, her mom died of cancer, his brother John died in a plane crash, and her other brother Patrick died shortly after birth. She alones survives. She is an attorney, I dont believe she has practiced law but has written good books on civil liberties (check the above link). I am reading her edited book on Christmas, poems, songs, short stories, and Dr. Martin Luther King's christmas sermon 1967, literally delivered christmas eve - remarkable sermon, King talks about the many dreams he has for his country, also in a prophetic voice (he would be killed 4 months later). Anyway, Caroline is amazing, a great mom, intelligent, poised, elegant, but also concerned for the rights of all Americans. Rumor is, she may be appointed Senator from New York, replacing Hillary when she is confirmed as Sec of State. she would be a great choice, NOT because of her name, but because of what she has done with her life. She was born a celebrity, because of her parents, but never exploited that status. Unlike Paris Hilton, an uneducated, wealthy brat, Caroline took her education seriously (Radcliffe now harvard, and Columbia Law), has been a wife and mother, and a serious intellectual author of books (like her dad) on law and civil liberties, in addition to being an editor (like her mom) who has edited books on poems, and of course Christmas. yes, Caroline Kennedy would be a great Senator - she is probably too liberal for me, but her character is above reproach, and when we have trash like the governor of Illinois using politics for personal enrichment (see below) we need someone with character and intelligence contributing to our Senate.

Lock him up and throw away the key!

This guy should be sent to prison and have the key thrown away. After watching election videos about really good, honest young candidates wanting to change their communities for the better, like Cory Booker (Mayor, Newark NJ) and Jeff Smith (Senator, Missouri State legislature) this guy should be locked up the rest of his life. Absolutely terrible - this corruption and the need for raising millions of dollars to wage a campaign is what keeps talented young public servants from running for office. Reform politics! there is also some danger with this guy, his fund raiser also raised funds for Pres. Obama, I hope this doesnt somehow reveal improper fundraising by Pres Obama - I didnt vote for Obama, but I believe in his sincerity and I support his efforts to return the US to the beacon of hope it once was for people all over the globe.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on Tuesday on charges that he brazenly conspired to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder.

Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field, according to a federal criminal complaint. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper's editorial board who had been critical of him fired.

A 76-page FBI affidavit said the 51-year-old Democratic governor was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps over the last month conspiring to sell or trade the vacant Senate seat for personal benefits for himself and his wife, Patti.

Otherwise, Blagojevich considered appointing himself. The affidavit said that as late as Nov. 3, he told his deputy governor that if "they're not going to offer me anything of value I might as well take it."

"I'm going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain," Blagojevich allegedly said later that day, according to the affidavit, which also quoted him as saying in a remark punctuated by profanity that the seat was "a valuable thing — you just don't give it away for nothing."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The emanuel brothers: Rahm and Ari, my kinda peoples!

With the nickname "Rahmbo" and a disposition likened to that of a mobster, Emanuel, though widely respected for his moxy and get-it-done record, isn't exactly Mr. Nice Guy. A dynamic mix of talent and brawn -- he was offered a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet company and volunteered for the Israeli Army during the Gulf War -- Emanuel's the real-deal pitbull Democrat (lipstick not included).

What follows is a list of the five most infamous Rahmbo tales. It's the stuff legends are made of:

1. Mailing a Dead Fish

Emanuel is known for his panache for treating donors right. He sends them cheesecakes from Eli's, the famous Chicago bakery. But the one pollster who notoriously ticked off Rahmbo received a 2 1/2 foot decomposing fish in the mail -- ripe, stinky, and to the point.

2. Fundraising the Bugsy Siegel Way

His foray into fundraising started in Chicago while campaigning for Mayor Richard Daley's reelection, when Emanuel raised a record number of donations. His sales pitch was simple enough: He'd tell contributors he found their offers so low it was embarrassing and then hang up on them. Mortified, the donors were shamed into calling back and giving more.

3. Nearly Losing His Finger

When he was a senior in high school, he sliced his finger while working at Arby's. But instead of seeking medical attention, he decided to celebrate prom night by swimming in Lake Michigan. The bone and blood infection that resulted was so severe it practically killed him. Scrappy and determined, even at death's door with a fever of 106 degrees, he pulled through, only losing part of his finger.

4. Threatening Tony Blair

Never a mincer of words, Emanuel didn't couch his meaning when he offered Tony Blair counsel just before the then British prime minister appeared with President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal: "This is important. Don't ---- it up."

5. Knifing the Dinner Table

The most infamous Rahmbo story of them all is the one that begins with the dinner the night after Bill Clinton was elected in 1992. Among those present at the dinner table was ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, who watched while an overwrought and clearly exhausted Emanuel began ranting at a long list of Clinton "enemies." As he shouted each name, he stabbed the table with his steak knife: "Nat Landow! Dead! Cliff Jackson! Dead!" Apparently, others joined in.

and here is info on brother Ari: (above left picture)

Up until Rahm Emanuel was offered the Chief of Staff position in Barack Obama's cabinet, his younger brother Ari, the cantankerous Hollywood talent agent, was considerably better known. Most famously -- or perhaps infamously -- Ari Emanuel is said to be the inspiration for the abrasive, determined Ari Gold character on HBO's Entourage, played by Jeremy Piven.

"With Ari, it's all about the bottom line," said writer Aaron Sorkin, creator of the television drama "The West Wing," whom Ari Emanuel represents.

"In a business deal, he's going to try to kill for you, and its just going to be about putting as much money in your pocket as he can, until you tell him that there's something else that's important to you."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Revealed! Mall shooting in Iowa could have affected Presidential election!

This video is really twisted, but makes an important satirical point. This obsession with stereotyping voters and simplifying the election reduces the election to its lowest common denominator. And this video shows this. But it really is funny......

Wal Mart Worker Trampeled to Death: Bush gives Award

Bush gives an award to shoppers who are dedicated to shopping during our war against terror:

A worker died after being trampled by a throng of unruly shoppers when a suburban Wal-Mart opened for the holiday sales rush Friday, authorities said.

At least three other people were injured.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in Bentonville, Ark., would not confirm the reports of a stampede but said a "medical emergency" had caused the company to close the store, which is in Valley Stream on Long Island.

Nassau County police said the 34-year-old worker was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 6 a.m., an hour after the store opened. The cause of death was not immediately known.

A police statement said shortly after 5 a.m., a throng of shoppers "physically broke down the doors, knocking (the worker) to the ground." Police also said a 28-year-old pregnant woman was taken to a hospital for observation and three other shoppers suffered minor injuries and were also taken to hospitals.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mc Cain jokes with Goldwater

Great John McCain story!!! John meets Barry Goldwater in Arizona, and Goldwater tells him:"You know, if I had been elected President in 1964, you never would have been held in a Vietnamese prison camp," to which McCain replied, "You're right Barry, it would have been a Chinese prison camp." Get it? very funny. McCain has a sense of humor way out on the edge.

(Goldwater retired as US Senator from Arizona in 1986, McCain replaced him in Senate). McCain haters say that Goldwater didn't like him, the McCain is not a true conservative, blah blah, but Goldwater and McCain got along ok.

Hillary Clinton, Goldwater Girl

Sec. Of State Clinton was once a supporter of Barry Goldwater for President in 1964. her family was affluent, father a doctor, and she embraced her family's politics. By the time she reached Wellesley College she became an anti war activist on campus, and wrote her senior paper on Saul Bellow, a social reformer, intellectual, and Trotskyist (communist). I have seen her picture with some goldwater supporters as a young girl, but can't find it on the net. this picture is not of her, but this is how she looked when dressed up as a Goldwater girl.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

If you must eat Turkey, try to find a Kosher turkey.

Here is the Gov. Sarah palin interview, just after she pardoned the Alaska turkey, she goes outside for an interview, and behind her, is the guy who slaughters the turkeys. He puts them in this funnel, positions it and engages a automated slicing blade, and then holds it while is bleeds and empties all its blood the trough underneath -- you can see the turkey (the second one) shaking as it bleeds to death, the guy has to hold it down so it doesn't struggle.

My problem: look at how the camera person positions the interview so you can see the slaughter behind. Of course, sarah can't see it, because it is behind her. so she was kinda set up by the camera person.

Yeah, she prepare the family turkey, just like millions of women across the country. If you are vegetarian, I guess that's gross, but my point is the press really exploits her and sets her up.

BTW, animal rights activists said that the slaughter of the turkeys in the video is more humane than most slaughter houses. There are other videos about turkey abuse, some guy somewhere else grabbing and throwing turkeys in a cage, shoving them in. In contrast, these turkeys are being bled to death, but it can really get much worse in the big industrial slaughter houses.

I really do know Sarah Palin, she lives here in western PA. Since I know her I feel I can understand her. I really don't know Hillary Clinton, on the other hand (don't get me started).

BTW, I am doing a vegetarian thanksgiving. Here is a site that shows how turkeys are hatched, raised, and slaughtered.

I have no plans, maybe help out with the townships turkey meal (for elderly).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Carla Bruni - first lady of france on Letterman Show

here is the First Lady of France singing on David Letterman show, just one more reason to visit France!

She was very sophisticated, and sang very well. We are stuck with Barbara Bush!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

get the dirt off your shoulder

get that dirt off your by Jay Z (listen) and then listen to Pres. elect Obama speak in North Carolina after a debate with hillary clinton If Obama listens to Jay Z, and understands how to apply him to a rally, and still sound Presidential (and making Hillary look the fool), then I am sorry that i didnt vote for him! Good luck Obama, and yeah keep that dirt off your shoulders and you will be a good leader. I am actually looking forward to some "Obama" change in DC.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Great movie shown at Regent Sq theater as part of the 3 rivers film festival. I had to see butch cassidy, a 35 mm film, shown with full screen. I sat in the back to see the whole effect, academy award for cinematography. i was there for Paul newman, my friend. I couldn't help but cry when this part was shown, Paul newman and Katherine Ross and the bicycle scene. he was such a great actor, and a good man.

BJ thomas by the way is a great singer, none of his hits ever showed off his range or ability to interpret. the burt bacharach song doesnt give justice to his voice. he sings gospel best.

I thought Paul newman's best movie was "nobody's fool," from the novel by Richard Russo.

Great movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - thanks Paul!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

red state blue state

here is red state blue state from univ of michigan

The Republicans CANNOT win the west and south and elect a president. William Jennings Bryan carried the west and south for the Democrats in 1896 and 1900, and lost big time. FDR expanded the Democratic party, to include great lakes industrial states, NY and California.

McCain won more counties than Obama. However, Obama won the counties with the most votes.

There is still a rural urban split that was apparent in past elections. Sarah Palin talked about the small towns, and she is right; that is where Republicans have their greatest strength. But they need urban areas too, where there are lots of voters.

The Republicans will have to find a way of combining rural areas with urban vote. The status of the so called Christian evangelical right wing is also in question: male self identified evangelical christians for Obama easily outvoted those for Mc Cain. The Republicans will have to find a way of getting james Dobson out of the Republican party. The southern born agains are ruining the Republican Party. Ever since 1994, when Newt took over the House, the republicans have had to put up with these right wing moralistic voters - most Americans dont like them, dont like their candidates. W. Bush understood them and how to use them to get votes. But along with those votes comes the moralistic expectations of their supporters. The Shiavo case in Florida really alienated most Americans from the james Dobson's of America. Remember Sen. Frist from Tennessee? he looked at videos (he is a doctor) of Terry Shiavo and claimed she had brain functioning. Her autopsy revealed her brain had shrunk, she had to consciousness at all.

What happened to the party of Lincoln, or Teddy Roosevelt?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

"The Year of Living Dangerously" featuring young mel gibson before he went nuts

This is a great film and its now showing on TCM. film is about Sukarno's rule in Indonesia, in 1965, during an attempt of communist overthrow. Sukarno was no commie, and his right wing death squads executed thousands of those commie red bastards. It goes beyond that, Indonesia occupied by Japanese, happy to be rid of british rule, but they hated the japanese. Now japanese out, Indonesia granted freedom by british (thanks, mate) and Indonesia spills over with nationalism, national socialism, perhaps we could call it Fascism, as a reaction against british colonialists, japanese occupiers, and now communist 5th columnists (treason from within, backed by chinese or russian communists). My knowledge of east asia intrigue is limited, shall we say. anyway, this is an australian film, very ambitious, up there with Gallipoli and
Breaker Morant, and has a love story between Mel gibson and Sigourney Weaver. they are both young, beautiful, and it was filmed before they forgot how to act. Mel went on to make his crazy jesus films in aramaic (which is great if you are an archeologist in jerusalem and you actually KNOW aramaic) and Sigourney went on to film ghost busters and Alien. Anyway, the love story is great! the political intigue is great! the executions of commies way too realistic (VP cheney would love that part). Great film

"Come back to me..." Atonement the movie.

"Come back to me," Cecilia whispers to Robbie. Atonement is a movie I have been watching on HBO - the first time I saw it I was almost in shock at the ending. I mean it hurt.

The scenes of Robbie in France, and finally Dunkirk. and the troops arriving back home in england - They were saved, they returned to their past lives, to their loved ones. Actual footage of the Dunkirk survivors.

And then Brionny's interview. She is old, has a disease of the brain, she will soon be suffering from dementia, will forget who she is, will wither away in a nursing home. So she writes her last novel, something she must "atone" before her mind is lost. And then she explains the real ending, the real life ending of Robbie and cecilia, and that is when I gasped. I have seen painful movies before, in fact, I drive to pittsburgh to watch heart breaking films (one from england I forgot i will research and update blog when I find it). But here I am in my apt, and suddenly this movie takes an incredible turn.

and then the scene of robbie and cecilia on the beach...(it is called Redcar beach) -so absolutely beautiful. Here is the scene, but dont click it if you havent seen it, SPOILER ALERT.

I plan on watching again, several times, it is full of nuances, the director placing small details to subconsciously draw you into the plot, each scene designed to affect emotions. A well thought out movie, edited perfectly. The acting, off the charts.

Pefect picture for political film, but too many students have probably seen it. Is there atonement? What about atonement for lost love? Or atonement for the crimes and inhumanity of war?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where we live slideshow - the urban poor of the world, and it can only get worse

Where we live. I swear I will never complain about living in slippery rock again. In many ways after watching this slideshow, slippery rock is a piece of heaven.

Law and Order episode, with chickens

Believe it or not, I swear I already saw this episode!!!

"Obama is Beautiful World" japanese video

I don't understand this video , other than this might be one more reason NOT to vote for Obama. I am still confused about Obama, in 2004 he was an Illinois state senator who spoke at the DNC, in 2006 he ran for US senate, the republican in general election withdrew since his estranged wife was suing him for divorce and revealing that he forced her to participate in kinky sex swapping in NYC.....then Alan Keynes was Republican nominee, even though he really isn't an Illinois resident, Alan was so right wing even Illinois republicans abandoned him, then Alan's daughter's blog was discovered, she is gay, he has disowned her, makes alan look like a fanatic (i mean jesus, she's his daughter, what happened to a father's love?). So Obama won, without really having to campaign. I liked him taking on the Clintons and whipping their asses, but i have no idea what he would do as Pres since he has no record. he has as much experience as Sarah Palin.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Palin for Pres in 2012? come on, just play Bingo.

Some are already talking about it. In careful terms. If John McCain loses next week, Sarah Palin “has absolutely earned a right to run in 2012,” says Greg Mueller, who was a senior aide in the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes.

Jaysus! News sources are listening to aides to Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes about 2012? Yeah, they were really sucessful with their own candidates...Losers!

Not only that, but one cable station actually has Pat Buchanan as a full time analyst - that's like having Alexander Kerensky as a full time commentator on the Russian revolution (he was PM for a brief time before Lenin took over, he died in 1970 in a small apt in Brooklyn...).

Sarah Palin as a candidate in 2012? That assumes that the McCain race is doomed (probably is). But the point is these damn journalists (some actually have a degree in journalism, but alot do not) who know next to nothing about politics or elections or public opinion, have already decided that McCain is gone, so they are looking for spin, any kind of spin, to report on other than the current Pres race. I can't see Palin as a Pres a VP to appeal to the far right wing of the party yes, but a candidate, no.

Don't forget, running for Pres means raising hundreds of millions of dollars. McCain has trouble keeping up with Obama, I am sure that Palin could not raise the money for any kind of viable presidential campaign.

In the meantime, relax by playing Palin Bingo....and there is no truth to the rumor that Palin's next child will be named "Bingo>"


* Track (1989)
* Trig (2008)


* Bristol (1991)
* Willow (1995)
* Piper (2001)

to bad voting really doesn't matter unless you live in certain counties within Ohio.

Is this true? One of my former students just told me this (my son). Does your vote really doesn't matter unless you live in certain swing states? Mathematically, yes. In 2004, Bush won the electoral college vote on the basis of 130,000 votes in Ohio, which gave him all the electoral votes from Ohio. So the 3 million votes Bush won over Kerry (who remains a "douchebag" as they say in France....this is from SNL skit....) didnh't matter: the 2004 race was decided by those 130,000 republicans from Ohio.

Will you be allowed to vote? On slippery rock univ campus, students registered to vote but some put down wrong address: their address decides if they live in the borough, or in the township. Part of the campus in on the borough, the rest on the township.
so students may show up at the wrong polling place. Some students put down their dorm address, but also included the univ address as a permanent address - this means they claim to live in the township but live permanently in the borough.....which means the polling judges might tell them "figure out where you live next election, and then we'll let you vote..."

Then it depends if your vote will be counted: don't forget, in pittsburgh, they still use those big metal vote machines that operate with computer cards (the kind of cards they used back in the 50's and 60's). If your chad is hanging, or just dimpled, your vote won't count.

So even if you register to vote, show up on election day, you might be denied the right to vote or have your vote thrown out.

Or, there may not be enough voting machines at your polling place, so you might have to stand in line for hours, in some cases in Ohio in 2004, 3 - 5 hrs. Oddly enough ( ! ) there were too few voting machines in heavily democratic polling places in Ohio in 2004, because the Republican secretary of state ordered too few (oops! My mistake! Sorry we can't hold the election again....)

And then there is the Ohio case: If Pennsylvania goes to McCain, he has a chance of winning. Ohio is a swing state too. As are 1 or 2 counties in Maine: Obama is ahead in Maine,but Maine/'s electoral votes are awarded on the congressional district plan, not winner take all. So McCain can lose Maine, but still win one of their congressional districts, so he would get one electoral vote.

What happens if it comes down to one congressional district in maine? then your vote only counted if you lived in that one congressional district.

And THIS is why some political scientists go into mathematics and game theory - because votes only count under certain conditions in certain places.

Everyone clear now? So be sure to vote on election day, if you live in Ohio, Pennsylvania, or in one county in Maine!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Duke Univ Weekend

I drove to Duke Univ for the weekend, eldest son Nathaniel had an interview with the MBA program. His friend Zack gave us the grand tour, even got us free food (BBQ and Beans) and football tickets. (Duke lost to Miami). the mileage on the MR2? 1242. I took highway 501 from NC to Lexington VA, and toward lexington 501 goes through the mountains - it was dark, and I threw the transmission down for the curves, the car was amazing, the tires never slipped, no squealing, the car performed like it had velcro on the tires, so that tells me I could have gone much faster. Great weekend, good to see Nathan, fantastic university.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Burn After Reading - Coen Brothers Strike again !!!

Burn After Reading is so funny, I mean, I had to stifle my laughter so as not to miss the dialogue. I cant spoil it for anyone, just be assured that this movie really takes some strange turns ("lots of ins and outs"). The coens are incredible writers - they must feed off each other somehow. My colleague Daniel McIntosh has got to see this - we saw the french satire OSS 117 and that was funny, but Burn After Reading is off the chart. I cant tell you what's funny without ruining it - suffice it to say its great.

(I was so depressed saturday night, esp after Vanderbilt lost to Miss State, and on top of that I saw "Atonement" a second time on HBO, cried once again at the end - what an incredibly sad, heart breaking ending, "come back to me" whispers Keira Knightly, and the older Briony invents an ending which somehow atones for the terrible mistake she made as a child...)

Sooooo, I was definitely in for a funny movie sunday night, and I wasn't disappointed. Go see Burn After Reading and laugh your ass off!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mos Def reveals how dumb Bill Maher is...

I like Mos Def, but not more than any other rappers, until I saw him on bill maher, and he told off maher. Bill maher has this thing about Islam and the Koran, calls it a violent religion, appeals to nut cases and so forth. Bill, read the bible some time, skip over the first four books of old testament, because after the first four, the reading gets really violent, I mean, jews killing hittites, not just in battle, but I mean killing everyone, children, burning whole villages, the violence in the bible is numbing. Even the first four books are full of incest, child rape. Any way, here is Mos Def putting maher straight, BTW, Mos def first studied Islam when he was 9, he converted when he was 13, so he knows what he is talking about. He also says, he doesn't believe the planes brought down the towers, or that OJ is guilty, but he does believe in Big Foot. He is funny, but he is making a point. That's Cornell West next to him, Princeton Prof, and Cornell understands what Mos Def is talking about (Cornell is an intellectual, but he still walks the talk...)

Clayton Bigsby, White Supremacist

Clayton Bigsby, white supremacist. classic dave chappelle skit. I like the part where the man's head blows up. Also that Clayton divorced his wife when he found out she was white, because.......dear god I just found another one, this is really offensive, dave chappelle as the spanish pixie convincing a customer to buy leopard seat covers and the jesus air freshener....we are all going to hell for this one

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Grace is Gone most popular film this semester

Grace is Gone has been the most popular movie in Political Film so far this semester, more students wrote about that film than any other. Amazing, given that the film was never released other than to a few independent theaters to test the audience. Other than that, it went straight to video, I guess, i haven't seen it in any video stores. great film, I love the ending. beautiful. One student who is in music education learned the theme song on piano and played it for her studio class - now that's a positive sign - she loved the film and the haunting music score (written by clint eastwood - i checked on clint eastwook on and he has written many songs for films. Dont forget he has appeared in musicals, so he does sing and he is very musically gifted). "To live in hearts you leave behind, is not to die, Grace."

Vanderbilt 14, Auburn 13

Incredible game, Vanderbilt beats Auburn 14-13 with their backup quarterback. Mackenzie Adams is the backup, but my son nathaniel (a Vandy football letterman) explained to me at the beginning of the season that both Chris Nickson and mackenzie are very good, emphasis on VERY good. Vandy is 5 and 0, and finally has got its program moving. Recruitment should be further helped with this season. Bobby Johnson deserves this, (coach), he has kept up trying to build this program, heart breaking seasons (3 yrs ago, a loss to middle Tenn state from a blocked field goal, then a loss to Florida due to an excessive "celebration' after a touchdown) so he is long overdue for some breaks, like the turnovers they have had, and Auburn's failure to make a point after touchdown last saturday.