Free HBO Weekend

Stumbled on the fact that Dish was offering free HBO last weekend Friday night when while watching Tiger baseball my DVR started recording “Real time with Bill Maher.”

This gave me the chance to watch a couple of movies and of course Bill Maher.

Of the movies viewed, “The Campaign” with Will Ferrell was most interesting to me.

While the movie as a whole was sophomoric at best. Excessive foul language and sexual innuendo, the message was interesting and may be eye opening to some. Story line was about two brothers trying to buy a federal representative in N. Carolina.

The brothers (Moch brothers) were looking at using this control to increase their already obscene profits.

Movie takes an interesting, albeit unrealistic, turn at the end.

Is this an example of art imitating reality? Check it out and let me know what you think.

Also got a chance to watch about 15 minutes of John Oliver’s new show, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” The segment I saw had Oliver lambasting Dr. Oz for pushing “magic” dietary supplements. Also went into some detail on how this industry and their lobbyists are getting away with doing nasty things in their pursuit of massive profits.

Again the message was good but, I thought the delivery was lacking compared to what I have seen from Oliver on the Daily Show.

One other thing I took away from watching a few movies this weekend is: it appears movie producers feel violence and profanity and sex are the things that sell tickets. Every movie I watched seemed to be overloaded with these three themes. Makes no difference if they add to the story line or not, they have to be part of the movie.

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A good day!

Yesterday lovely wife and I joined up with her older brother and his wife. Picked up her 90 something year old aunt and went to meet a cousin that we haven’t seen in years.

When the seed of this meeting was first planted a few weeks back at another family gathering I thought it was going to be a ladies only gathering. Wife’s brother convinced me that men were indeed welcome at the party. So of course I went along for the ride.

Does anybody want to guess where a group of senior citizens from different parts of the state would decide to meet?

If you said a casino, you were correct. 🙂

We took secondary roads north to the casino in Standish, Mi. and riding shotgun gave me an opportunity to take in the sites as we travelled north. This is a bonus for me and I liked it. Anybody want to drive next trip? Go for it.

Spent more time in casino than I had expected but it worked out ok for me, I play blackjack and came home with some extra money.

I had thoughts of playing for a couple of hours and then having lunch and then heading home. This worked to the point of having lunch, the heading home part was delayed. 🙂

We did stop at the Turkey Roost for a nice dinner on the way home. Only problem with this stop was they were out of cherry pie and it looked ummm so good. I settled for lemon pie which was tasty but not the cherry pie I had envisioned throughout my meal.

We then stopped in Pinconning for some cheese, good stuff there also.

After dropping off Aunt G. we came home, collected the chicken eggs giving some to the brother and his wife.

Later we settled in to watch the Tigers break their 7 game winning streak to a walk off homerun bottom of the 11th.

Other than that it was a good day, hope you all had one too.

Monumental Canadian Land Rights Decision

Good News from our neighbors to the north.

notestoponder

Today’s announcement of a unanimous 8-0 ruling by The Supreme Court of Canada in favor of the Tsilhqot’in first nations land claim appeal – nothing less than astonishing. Aboriginal leaders wept, overwhelmed by the unexpected victory ending a decades old dispute.

The ruling settled aboriginal claim to 440,00 hectares of land near Williams Lake in the B.C. interior. Tsilhqot’in First Nations people took a 2012 B.C. Court of Appeal decision (one giving rights to hunt,trap and trade in traditional territory provided they name specific places their people once lived) to the Supreme Court, arguing their people were “semi-nomadic” and the Court of Appeal decision ignored centuries old tradition.

The decision written by Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin recognized semi-nomadic land claim titles, removing “continuous occupation” as a requirement, giving First Nations people the legal right to use and profit from traditional lands. In future, this decision will apply to all disputed…

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What the hell is going on here?

 

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the civil rights legislation which gave voting rights to many southern people who had been denied those rights for years.

In Washington D.C. elected representatives from both parties joined hands and sang “we shall overcome”. At the same time right-wing radio radicals were in a rage at the fact that the people of Mississippi had used that right to elect their choice to serve them in the U.S. senate.

Also in Washington a holy war is brewing within the Republican Party as the export-import bank’s formal authorization expires September 30. Hard liners in the Republican Party consider this agency to be corporate welfare and want it ended.

Personally I am against corporate welfare and agree with the idea but, Nancy Pelosi is pushing to keep this agency open and functioning. This agency provides low-cost loans to foreign business to purchase American made products. Boeing aircraft is one of the largest beneficiaries from this among U.S. corporations.

However, when one takes into account the fact that many countries have similar agencies one must wonder if keeping the agency open is only fair play in the world market.

For more detail on this go here….

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/26/government-shutdown-export-import-bank_n_5531851.html

Radical right wingers continue to blame Obama for the crisis created by the masses of children crossing the border. Overlooking the fact that this policy was put in place by George W. Bush and previous administrations.

And on the world front. U.S. war mongers are putting their support behind joining Syria and Iran in the holy war in Iraq.

Yes sir, McCain and Graham want WAR. It is very profitable, makes no difference whose side we are on as long as we can have a “good” profitable WAR, business is good.

So my friends, please help me understand the complexity of these issues. My head is about to explode. 😉 thank you.

What do we do with the children?

 

A tea party supporter put this meme on Facebook with the statement; “this is just wrong.”

https://www.facebook.com/numbersusa/photos/a.179875468735823.47226.129255907131113/734537289936302/?type=1&theater

My question in response; what do you suggest we do with these children?

These children are victims, they are being exploited for profit. In their home country they are being told to come to the United States and seek political asylum. They are then charged large sums of money to obtain assistance in getting into the United States.

And once in the United States they are again being exploited by tea party folk being used as a political tool.

This is a shame. It is beyond my comprehension as to how they are being convinced coming to the hostile environment in the United States would be better for them than staying where they are and struggling to survive there. But I have no personal experience as to the conditions in their home countries.

Going to the link we find suggestions such as: “put them up in your house obummer, send them back to where they came from” and so on.

I believe they will be sent back to their state of origin but in the interim they should be treated humanely.

Some of these children are as young as 3 or 4 years old. What part of your Christian training tells you to treat them as mere political pawns?

Again I hang my head in sorrow.

Meanwhile in Michigan

Detroit began cutting water to 150,000 residents that are behind in their payments. This of course is creating an uproar from both sides of the political spectrum.

Liberals are lamenting about the inhumanity of it all.

Conservatives are looking to Governor Snyder to hire 150,000 emergency managers to take control of the budgets of those derelict residents.

Snyder is consulting with his propaganda wing (Mackinac Center of Midland, Mi.) as to putting the correct spin on this bold move.

He is also talking with Republican legislators about taking the few million dollars this will cost out of the state’s road fund. (If the people want smooth roads let them pay tolls.)

Speaking of the propaganda wing, they are continuing on their effort to eliminate unions in Michigan. This summer they will be providing MEA members with information packets designed to assist them in opting out of union membership.

This of course comes on the heels of the Republicans dark of the night right to work(for less) bill which Snyder gleefully signed into law before the ink was dry. Pleasing the Koch brothers and the DeVos family to no end!

At this point I would ask all members of the MEA that are considering taking advantage of this option to take a long hard look at their current pay and benefits packages. Remember it, because if the rich folks pushing this effort succeed, your current package is the best it is ever going to get. If you think the cuts you have taken recently because of austerity were nasty, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Once the union is destroyed, management will begin nickel and diming you to poverty.

No water in Detroit, no living wage for teachers, I tell you, if it weren’t for the great lakes and the “just the right height” trees, Michigan would be a ghost state for sure.

Get a job, get two jobs. Hell, get three jobs!

 

This was the Paul Harvey, simple solution offered by one last week when the topic of people living on welfare and food stamps came up.

Someone in the group expressed his opinion that people receiving these benefits were just a bunch of lazy bums sucking on the government’s teat.

Again I hear the all too familiar rant of the hard-working middle class “why should I have to pay taxes to support those bums and their addictions?”

And again I respond with “The Koch brothers, the Devos and the Snyders of the world have done an excellent job of convincing you that your woes stem from having to support those less fortunate than you. All the while they continue to amass fortunes through tax schemes and favorable rates written to benefit them at our expense.” Divide and conquer at its finest.

And again my words fell on deaf ears.

“I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.” – Jay Gould

While I admit we do have a problem with 2nd and 3rd generations growing up with the expectation of government providing them with a living, I do not for one minute think telling them to get a job is the solution to this problem.

This problem can be alleviated with education. Educate these young people, show them the possibilities available to them, they do not have to live their lives on assistance, they too can be successful contributing members of our society.

And we must also educate the people as to the benefits of providing such an education. A thousand dollars spent educating the young saves many thousands in prison expenses at a later time.

And guess what? One of the first things Republicans do when winning power is cut funding to education.

So my friend, stop bemoaning the small amount of your tax dollars that are going to those less fortunate than you. Instead focus on the large amount of your tax dollars that are going to support tax cuts for the very rich.

The billions, perhaps trillions of dollars being sucked out of our economy by the Kochs, DeVos and Snyders of the world is never reported on. None of us has stood in line behind one of these dudes watching them transfer monies to an off shore account to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, but it happens daily.

So my friend next time you are complaining about the daily struggles of maintaining a lifestyle in today’s economy, do not look down on those with less than you. Look up, for it is there that you will see the actual reason for your struggles.