Friday, December 15, 2017

Movie: "Lady Bird," fantastic!

Movie Lady Bird is great, funny, touching, beautiful. Great script, great acting, authentic.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ernst Udet's (Famous German Ace) portable bar

Ernst Udet was a decorated Ace in WWI, and an early member of the Nazi party (he made a deal with the devil: Hermann Goering said he would buy two Curtis Hawk's from the US if he joined). Udet loved to party hard, and would fly after a few shots of courage, so he had a cabinet maker construct a portable bar making certain the contents would be unbreakable. Udet became disillusioned with WWII and what he predicted was the destruction of the Luftwaffe. He also was taking large quantities of methamphetamine washing it down with Cognac. He became despondent and died in 1941. Here he is between the wars flying in an airshow in Chicago, showing his dead stick loop and landing.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?

So the movie Arrival, has received mixed reviews. Audience members hate it, or love it. The movie is not so much about aliens, as it is about humans. How we think. We think linearly, time is a line. I have taught statistics, so I have drawn the "line" many a time in class: the line has a slope, an intersect, and an equation. But in this movies we learn that time is not linear, and that is the key to understanding this movie. The Aliens understand this, and they patiently teach us this (through Amy Adams, who is amazing in her role.) If we only thought non linearly, how would that change our lives? Our world? A beautiful movie of philosophy. This should be shown in every Freshman philosophy class. Philosophy is about thinking, and exercising our minds not to think linearly would be a good beginning for any budding philosopher.

Monday, December 04, 2017

"Christmas Evil" slasher movie one night only at the Hollywood Theater, Portland

Yes the classic film, Christmas Evil, will be playing on December 25th, at the Hollywood Theater in Portland. This theater serves wine, beer and pizza, so plan an entire evening of Christmas celebration!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Mr. Roger's receives his Emmy

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood won four Emmy awards, and Rogers himself was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1997 Daytime Emmys,[33] as described by Esquire's Tom Junod: Mister Rogers went onstage to accept the award—and there, in front of all the soap opera stars and talk show sinceratrons, in front of all the jutting man-tanned jaws and jutting saltwater bosoms, he made his small bow and said into the microphone, "All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are. Ten seconds of silence." And then he lifted his wrist, looked at the audience, looked at his watch, and said, "I'll watch the time." There was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn't kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch, but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked. And so they did. One second, two seconds, three seconds—and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved, and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier. And Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said softly "May God be with you," to all his vanquished children.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

"See the violence inherent in the system? I'm being repressed! Great Monty Python skit. Just as applicable for consumers shopping on Black Friday. An orgy of materialism, pointless consumerism, buying crap they don't need at prices that still preserve the concept of "surplus labor" - if they weren't making a profit off the labor of others, why would they be selling it? Because the're nice guys? Because running a discount mart is their hobby? To make money! That's the point. And once an American family makes about $75000 per household, any further increase in money does not equal a proportionate increase in happiness. True.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Here's a throwback Mark R. Daniels picture, when I had color in my hair. And when I wore civil war battlefield ties (?).

This was at a national conference where all three of my books were on display. A trifecta so to speak. Pictured is my editor from ME Sharpe. I think she liked me because I was one of her few academic authors who had a sense of humor. She telephoned me once, on a conference call, and asked me if I could come up with a "sexier" title for my Terminating Public Programs book. So I immediately said, "I wanted to call it Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, but someone beat me to that title." Hearty laughter followed. they weren't expecting that. We added "An American Political Paradox" as a subtitle, sounded better.

Just a warning: I grew my beard and hair out, so I look different now.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Celebrate the passage of the 18th Amendment Prohibition Nov 16 at Round Robin Bar Willard Hotel

The Willard Hotel, Washington DC, where Gen. Grant arrived in 1864 with his son, he was given a small room at the very top (attic) of the Hotel. Then he signed in: Lt. Gen. U.S. Grant and son. Bang, he got a suite. He was not recognized (he often wore a private's uniform with his general's rank showing, confusing but so cool.) Anyway, when Grant was President the rumor was that deals were made in the lobby of the Willard Hotel, that is, payoffs etc. That is where the term "lobbyist" comes from. Of course now Pres. Trump has his own hotel, down from the Willard a few blocks (Trump hotel is closer to Lincoln's Waffle Shop than the White House) and I am sure that Trump International Hotel is now the center of lobbying. Anyway, the Round Robin Bar is known for the location where the drunks in Congress congregate and their James Bond Martini is direct from the books of Ian Fleming: Its 3 parts gin, one part vodka. Its also called the Vesper Martini and here is the link for the recipe.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Lt. Col. Oliver North, Nixon apologist

So here is an editorial by Ollie North about how Ken Burns gets his facts wrong about Vietnam. The editorial is essentially written from Nixon's perspective. No depth here. he even mentions the "silent majority" backing Nixon. For those of you not familiar with the silent majority, Nixon claimed he was supported by a majority of people who were patriotic but not demonstrators, so they appeared silent. Yes, the white majority of America is the silent majority. Wait, weren't they in control? yes they were. Nixon was speaking for himself and the power elite running the country. When John Kerry ran against Bush-Cheney, I remember Lynn Cheney saying something to the effect "we didn't demonstrate in the street like that." Of course not, your husband was working for the White House, with numerous exemptions from military service. I could start on a rant about how clueless our leaders are, Bush, Cheney and the ignorant Condolezza Rice, but I wouldn't know when or where to stop. Old Condolezza should be skewed in academic circles, but I have never seen a political science article critiquing her service as national security advisor or Sec of State.

trying to find a high school friend killed in Vietnam

I only know his nickname, The Batman, he loved the TV Batman series. Nice guy. upper classman. On the same CTA bus as me. Always funny, polite, nice guy. Joined army after graduation and was killed within less than a year. Not much mentioned at High School about him. Found a list of those servicemen (and women) killed in Vietnam from Chicago: 955 names! I had not idea. I could not recognize his name.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

hungry cat
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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Original Ad for the Gun Oswald used to kill Pres. Kennedy

Here is the ad for the gun Oswald used to kill Pres. Kennedy. Third down on left, Italian carbine.  the Gunsmith for Klein's Sporting Goods was contacted by FBI the next day, ordered to test fire an identical gun in their firing range (the basement).  Gunsmith said the carbine had a delay in firing, making it difficult to hit an aimed moving target.  The delay didn't matter on a stationary target, with no wind.  But a moving target would be hard to hit.  He said it was a crap rifle.  He also said Oswald was "very, very lucky" to have hit two of three shots (and Pres. Kennedy very unlucky).  What he really meant, is Oswald probably couldn't have done it.  Mystery continues.  I have visited the book depository (now a tourist spot) and looked out the window that Oswald was at: there are two yellow X's on the street where the bullets hit.  It is a perfect ambush location.  That Oswald just happened to be at a perfect ambush location and just happened to make two very, very lucky shots is quite a coincidence. 

border customs

Now that I am required to have Medicare, even with my supplement I have found internet sales to be much more affordable.  But my latest purchase was seized.  Controlled substance means prescription.  I am prescribing myself, after all I completed a graduate level pharmacology and psychopharmacology class.  What we need is regulation of phamaceutical prices in the US.  Our medications cost more than any other country.  If I lived closer to Mexico I'd drive there and buy a supply.  By November I can get on my hospital's group insurance even though I am over 65, and opt out of Medicare at least while I am employed.  My health care costs are doubled since turning 65.  Luckily, I have a half pension and income to live on.  I don't know how a person can survive on just social security, but many retired Americans do that.