Monday, August 16, 2021

Do not underestimate us.

When I was a senior in high school, I was in the cast for the Spring musical, Bye Bye Birdie. One of the dance numbers involved the leading lady enticing the members of a men's social organization to dance. The choreographer was one of the girls gym teachers.

The guys involved in a dance, and the leading lady for that matter, had a problem. Every day for most of two weeks, the choreographer would come to rehearsal with a completely new routine. We were high school students, not professional dancers. I doubt even professionals would have taken too kindly to coming in every day and having to start to scratch. We finally rebelled.

The choreographer got into a huff and said, "Well, if you think you can do a better job, be my guest."

She had shown us so much over the two week period that we sat right down and actually started working on a cohesive routine. Sheepishly, the choreographer came back to work with us.

Events of the past few months made me think about that experience. The events of the past few days have driven the point home.

The United States is currently under a figurehead brain-addled senior citizen who should be off somewhere in retirement -- not ostensibly the President of the United States. Questions about election larceny are scoffed at by those who want to control the lives of American citizens.

I don't call Washington a swamp. I call it a cesspool. A swamp can be an interesting place. A cesspool, on the other hand, is a holding tank for, well, you know what.

Cesspoolians do not realize is that much of American is still occupied by hard working people who appreciate the gift of Freedom that has been bestowed upon them -- and they are ready, willing, and able to fight for it. The overlords assume that because the Beautiful People and the Main Stream Media (which have been bought and paid for) make up a chorus of well-wishers ohhing and ahhing at the emperor's latest purchase from the haberdashery, they think that they have much more support than they really do. Because people who support Donald Trump are heavily silenced by social media, those who like to think that they run things believe that there is little support of the man or what he represents.

The overlords have done what it can to emasculate the American military -- the same military they hope to quell any uprising. They fail to realize that even still many in the military are patriotic Americans, and many civilians have also served in the military. 

Finally, many in the left-wing media are realizing that the current resident of the Master Bedroom in the White House is an abomination. Mitt Romney even looked at his schedule and realized that he was due to make a statement that might, if you ignore the man's track record, make him appear to be a conservative American.

There may be rough times ahead, but there will be a day of reckoning. Just as the cast of my high school play did, we will make the overlords listen. The sooner, the better it will be -- for them.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Farewell

 Farewell, my sweet Mama-Lou.

I already miss you so very much. Life wasn't always easy for you, but you had many good years and good times too. You were a wonderful mother to all your children. 

You raised us to be strong, and we will all go on. I will go back to writing and playing music, and all the things you loved about me, and encouraged me to do. 

I was crying on the deck when I heard a crash from my living room. I went in to find a painting on my wall had fallen. I thought "why in the world has this fallen? It's never fallen before." As I picked it up to rehang it, I knew.


Thank your for letting me know you are in a better place. I love you.

My Mama with my son and granddaughter, 2 weeks ago.




Mom as a little girl.


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Accepting the unacceptable

There was a movie released in 2004 that tracked the downfall of German dictator Adolph Hitler as seen mostly through the eyes of one of his secretaries, Traudl Junge. You may not know the film by it's name, Downfall, but you probably aware of a scene from the movie that has been the basis of many parodies over the years. 

 An example of those parodies is this one, a parody about the parodies. 

 

 

Here is the orginal scene showing the orginial subtitles and a little extra footage to show more of the context. 

 

An early scene in Downfall shows Hitler hiring Junge based upon her being a native of Munich, a city with which Hitler has a strong connection. He brings her into his office and softly pets his dog. He then has Junge take dictation at a typewriter. He speaks so quickly that she makes a mistake and stops. She is upset. He see what has happened and goes to the young woman and tenderly comforts her. 

To me, that is a very important scene. Is the point of the scene that Hitler was really a wonderful human being who has been misunderstood by history? 

Absolutely not. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

I finally got around to seeing it.

 Last week I finally got around to seeing a movie that I have known about since its release in 1976. This film is somewhat ironic as it is the story of an aging gunfighter who is dying of cancer -- played by an actor who himself would die of cancer three years after the film's release. Although John Wayne had cancer surgery a few years before this film was made and would later  die of the disease, he was considered cancer-free when this film was made.

I will start off with the negative -- the ages of the actors playing the main characters.

James Stewart (Dr. Hostetler) turned 68 the month after filming wrapped up. Not that there is any problem with someone almost 68 being in a movie, it's just that his character says he has been practising medicine for 29 years. He looks like he is 80. Did he have a mid-life change of career?

James Stewart (Dr. Hostetler) Photo: Paramount/edgecenterarts.com

 

Lauren Bacall (Bond Rogers) was 51 during the filming. I have no objection at all with actresses getting older. She still looks good. However, her character lived in a house with electricity, a telephone, and indoor plumbing. She was not Mrs. Ingalls living in a little house on the prairie. Mrs. Rogers had been widowed for about a year. Her husband died at age 41 of a stroke. Either Mrs. Rogers had robbed the cradle when she got married or Bacall looked too old for the part.

Lauren Bacall (Bond Rogers) Photo: Paramount/theaceblackblog.com

 

Ron Howard (Gillom Rogers) turned 22 during filming. His character was 20, so no real problem.

Ron Howard (Gillom Rogers) Photo: Paramount/YouTube.com

 

John Wayne (J.B. Books) turned 69 the month after filming ended. The film ended on the character's 58th birthday. However, Wayne looked like he could have been someone who lived a hard 58 years, so again, no problem.

 

John Wayne (J.B. Books) Photo: Paramount/Gritty.com

 

While it may be a bit unusual to start out a discussion of a film pointing out problems, I did it for a particular reason: I would not have cast anyone else in those parts. They were excellent.

Not only were they excellent, but I don't think I have ever seen Wayne or Stewart any better. Wayne was sick before filming started and that seemed mellow him for the part. He did not have his booming "Lemme tellya Pilgrims" presence that he usually brought to a role. After Books gives Gillom some shooting lessons, Wayne gives a little heart to heart advice to the youngster in a soft, fatherly voice. Normally John Wayne played John Wayne. In this film he played J.B. Books

Gillom and Books Photo:Paramount/YouTube.com


James Stewart was also very believable. He did not have his usual "Wahl, gosh" persona that he normally brought to a role. His "suggestion" to Books was a very powerful scene -- one that could have easily been ruined by overblown acting. The story is that Stewart, being hard of hearing, missed some of his cues. That threw off Wayne. That may have brought some vulnerability to the two seasoned actors -- and that made their performances absolutely  amazing.


The Shootist was directed by Don Siegel who, among other things, directed Dirty Harry and the montage scenes in Casablanca. The film starts out with a number of scenes in black and white showing the history of Books. The reason these scene were in black and white (with yellow text giving the dates of when the events were to have taken place) was because Siegel used clips from old John Wayne movies to show the younger Books. Those scene were in black and white. It is not often that a director is able to provide a backstory to a film's main character by showing clips from old films of the actor who plays that character.

The film takes place in 1901. Books had seen a doctor in Colorado who gave some unwanted news. Rather than take that doctor's word for it, Books travels to Carson City, Nevada to see Dr. Hostetler who had saved Books' life fifteen years before. Hostetler is the only doctor that Books trusts. The news is the same.


The doctor tells Books that he can get a room in the house of Widow Rogers. Books tries to keep his identity a secret but it is soon revealed. While a romantic love affair does not develop between Books and the widow, a love affair of respect does.


The film does have a John Wayne ending as Books takes Dr. Hostetler's suggestion and also tries to do a little housekeeping for the town at the same time.


The Shootist is not a traditional western film. It marks the end of the western era as it leaves kicking and screaming. The film is a character study of people who are an anachronism in the new age.



Monday, May 10, 2021

An Inspring Video

 I understand that Andrew Klaven may be an acquired taste. His humor can be a bit over the top to some people. That being said, he made a video that is truly inspiring. He is not trying to be funny. He is speaking from the heart, and he speaks with a message that everyone should hear.


I hope you enjoy it.



Sunday, May 9, 2021

Quiz Time

 Here are a couple of pictures. Identify what is going on in each photo.


1. What is going in this picture from Alberta, Canada?



A. A notorious organized crime figure is being arrested.

B. A murder suspect is being arrested.

C. A Christian Minister from the former eastern bloc who previously told police and a representative of a Health Department who wanted to inspect his church for COVID violations to leave unless they had a warrant is being arrested.

 

2. What is going in this picture from Quebec, Canada?


 A. Police are at the scene of a fire and are conducting crowd control.

B. Police are at the scene of a bar fight and are trying to maintain order.

C. Police in Montreal are in a Jewish neighborhood ticketing Orthodox Jews who are out on the street after dark after the Sabbath has ended.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Taking Care of Business

We don't normally make a whole post by just pointing to a link. This is an exceptional exception.  Tal Bachman (son of Randy, the Bachman of BTO, hence the post title).  Tal was featured as a guest columnist on Mark Steyn's blog today, here he hammers and truly nails it. 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Beware the person driving the van

Years ago I read a warning to American tourists, especially those traveling to cities in third world countries. There had been reports that Americans would be walking down the street in a large city and street thugs would try and force the tourists into a dark alley where they would be robbed and assaulted. At that very moment, a "Good Samaritan" would drive up in a van and tell the tourist to get in and the driver would help the tourist escape.

As you might imagine, the street thugs were merely the setup people. The person who was really going to rob and injure the tourist was the driver of the van.

Today we have street thugs in the form of the Democratic Party and we have a van driver in the form of the Republican Party.

Japan attacked Pearl. Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941. The Japanese signed their unconditional surrender on Sunday, September 2, 1945 -- a span of 1365 days.

As I write this it is Thursday, February 4, 2021. The next Presidential election is Tuesday, November 5, 2024 -- a span of 1370 days. While we were able to defeat the Japanese in a world war  and the Germans in even less time during the same war, we are told that we do not have enough time to get a new party up and running.

We are told that what we should do is reform the Republican Party, to nominate strong candidates who will do what needs to be done to "Make America Great Again," not that anyone in power in the current Republican Party would even dream of using that phrase.

Meanwhile the party is searching high and low for the next wimpy candidate that they can shove down our throats. Today came the news that House Republicans have voted to keep Liz Quisling Cheney in her #3 position in Republican House leadership.

With friends like that, who needs enemies. 

There is a school of thought that says, "I don't mind being beaten, I just don't like losing." In other words, if I give it my best and the other guy beats me, that is one thing. However if I put up a pathetic performance and I lose to a mediocre opponent. than I am upset. The current Republican Party is a bunch of willing losers. They like talking a big game in order to get elected but, for the most part, never deliver on their promises. Any Republican who makes a strong effort to actually deliver is treated like a leper and is ostracized from any position of importance in the party at the first possible moment. Newt Gingrich put forth a good effort as the Speaker in the House in the 1990's but then became a footnote in history. Donald Trump did more to deliver on his promises than any President in recent history with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan but is now being shunned with all the might that GOP leadership can muster.

Meanwhile we are supposed to be happy with soundbites from the latest version of Trey Gowdy the party can dredge up. They may sound good, but they never go anywhere. A nation does not live by soundbites alone. We need action to back up those soundbites.

The problem with third parties can be categorized in one of two ways: 1) a party that represents fringe elements that will never win an executive position or a significant number of legislative seats, or 2) a vanity party started at the last minute by someone who could not get nominated by either the Republicans or the Democrats.

The Democratic Party is a danger to the United States. Currently they are trying to do a purge of the military as have dictatorships in the past. The Republicans are about as useful as the piles found in the middle of cow pastures.

We need to start a new party. Maybe such a party would not win the election in 2024. It is questionable that anyone but a Democrat will ever win a Presidential election again now that Democrats know they  can steal such an election and threaten anyone who questions their victory with social isolation and perhaps, given enough time, prison sentences. Democratic leaders and supporters have already suggested that  people who supported Trump should be "deprogrammed" and have their children taken away. Meanwhile, few in the Republican Party are challenging such rhetoric. Some are even quietly nodding in agreement.

We need to stand up now.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Everything I know about the stock market I learned from Eddie Haskell.

 Years ago I watched an episode of Leave It To Beaver where Eddie Haskell explained the basics of the stock market to Wally and the Beav. That enlightened me about a few things regarding Wall Street, but there is still much I do not know. For instance, if Bob buys 100 shares of stock in an initial public offering at $10.00 a share and he sells it two years later at $15.00 a share, it seems that Bob gets his original $10.00 back plus an additional $5.00. All the company ever got was the initial $10.00 which they still have in some form or another. So if a company originally sold $1,000,000 worth of shares, then all they will ever get is the original $1,000,000 even if the value of that stock goes to $100,000,000.

What has me thinking about this is the current situation with GameStop, AMC, Nokia, Blackberry, etc, causing ulcers in hedge fund operators. What hedge funds do is a process called "short selling."

What is short selling, you ask? As I understand it, it works like this. You know your friend Bob has 100 shares in Conservative Kitchen Table, Inc. You go up to him and ask, "Hey Bob, can I borrow those 100 shares of Conservative Kitchen Table, Inc.?"

Bob says, "Yeah, here you go." You then go and sell those 100 shares -- that you do not own -- and you sell them for $20.00 a share, bringing in $2000.00. You know that the stock is on a downward spiral. You wait for the stock to go down a bit then you buy the shares back at $15.00 a share, or $1500.00 total. You then bring the stock back to Bob and say "Thanks for letting me borrow the stock" and pocket the $500.00.

Or something like that. If you look up "short selling" on the internet, just about everything you see reads something like this:

The Lord created the earth in six days, and on the seventh day He created short selling. It is the fuel of the economy and provides liquidity and is the grease that keeps the the country moving forward. Blessed be short selling.

Such a practice is dependent on the value of the stock going down. If the stock goes up, you are up a creek that looks like a horse stall that has not been mucked out for a while -- especially if the value of the stock skyrockets.

That is a simplified explanation and may not be an entirely accurate one, but at least it gives you an idea.

What has happened with GameStop, AMC, Nokia, Blackberry, etc., is that people have gone out and actually purchased those stocks, driving them way up. This left the hedge funds having to cover their transactions -- which they are in no position to do. I heard that one hedge fund actually went bankrupt.

Of all the nerve! We can't have the great unwashed do such a thing. To combat this, the Powers That Be have ruled that no one can buy those stocks -- they can only sell them. I don't know how you can sell a stock if nobody can buy it, but what do I know? The purpose of this is so the stock prices will plummet so the wise denizens of the Powers That Be can sleep easy in their mansions while many Americans get to sleep in because the small business they used to own or work for is no longer in operation because of the lockdowns that only seem to apply to the average Joe and Josephine. Well, it does apply to the members of the Powers That Be if they have reason to believe there is a camera around. Other than that, forget it.

It is as if they are able to change the rules of how things work because it suits them. I don't know where they got the idea that they could do that. It's not as if a Presidential election was stolen by changing the rules at the last minute in an ethically challenged manner.

I am certainly open for a better explanation of how short selling works, but the rancor the recent events have caused tends to indicate that my explanation may not be that far off.


UPDATE: This video explains the situation fairly well. The meat of the video is maybe ten minutes long but it is worth watching.