The Beaver a serious movie

mel-gibson-jodie-foster-beaverI was lucky enough to have recently viewed Mel Gibson / Jodi Fosters “The Beaver”. The idea sounds ridiculous. A man on the brink of a complete mental breakdown / illness finds himself taken over to some extent by a beaver puppet. The beaver (himself) turns his life around only to eventually take over his life. It’s a story of one man’s fight to stay sane.

He is losing his family. A wife that can’t stand his depression any longer and kicks him out.  His oldest son hates him and post notes of similarities they have in order to be less like him. Then there is his youngest son who simply wants his father’s attention.

The film starts rather depressing and only gains in its dark descent. If you were looking for a feel good movie this probably isn’t it. It is however very good.

For all his faults Mel Gibson once again shows he knows good films and can put on a great performance. Jodi Foster should be given great credit for continuing with this project and the release with Mel having so many problems at this time.

I only wonder how much of his personal life Mel was able to channel into this character.

For me, this was a movie well worth seeing.


Was Hurricane Irene overhyped?

IreneThe National Hurricane Center is getting a bit defensive as many suggest that hurricane Irene was overhyped. In fact the NHC was pretty accurate it seemed to me. The path the NHC predicted was followed pretty darn closely. Did the hurricane maintain the high winds predicted? No, but the potential was there.

It’s tough to be the predictors and I don’t think they did a bad job. The overhyping as usual was in the media. There is nothing wrong with pointing out the potential threats but the over the top reporting was at best silly and worst potentially dangerous. The danger comes from creating an atmosphere where the public simply ignores the warnings, a crying wolf situation or in a potential panic.

Shouldn’t reporters be the non-emotional fact seekers? Just give us the facts and information in an even calm tone. When you don’t know what will happen say so with the potential outcomes explained.

Then the viewers can make a reasonable decision.

It’s not just a problem with weather but everything reported these days. The downside to the 24 hours news cycle is the constant “news alert”, “breaking news”, excitement on every subject all day long. We ignore it after a while.

News should be serious and factual, calmly communicated and with details that matter.

Oh yeah and get rid of the “experts” unless they actually are experienced in the area they are commenting on and have something worthwhile to say. This would of course limit the number of expert commenters severely.

Side note: Seems like a common problem with these storms are power lines. But then if we continue to use above ground, wood poles I don’t think we can expect much less. For as advanced as we think of ourselves some things are really backwards.

Did the union lose this round

The Verizon / Union strike is a great example of how much influence the unions have lost. This was a strike that quickly turned nasty as all union activities do these days. This put the union at a negotiating disadvantage. They lost the popular support right from the beginning. The days of blind union support are gone.  The threats and violence are backfiring.  Putting their own children in danger isn’t having the effect they unions thought it would. 

The AP is reporting that after only two weeks the union workers will go back to work as negotiations continue.

Is this a win for Verizon or the union? I say Verizon won but I also think the workers who actually want to work won. The union bosses lost. While they top union brass will claim victory and say Verizon has changed its position.  The fact is they looked like thugs and again they had to give in.

We don’t need no stinking laws….

Bowing to pressure from immigrant rights activists, the Obama administration said Thursday that it will halt deportation proceedings on a case-by-case basis against illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria, such as attending school, having family in the military or having primary responsible for other family members’ care.

The move marks a major step for President Obama, who for months has said he does not have broad categorical authority to halt deportations and said he must follow the laws as Congress has written them.

But in letters to Congress on Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she does have discretion to focus on “priorities” and that her department and the Justice Department will review all ongoing cases to see who meets the new criteria.

Laws are for some and not others. 

This isn’t really too surprising as Obama sees his presidency falling apart. It’s just one more payoff in the long list. But even at that it’s like all the rest of this administrations decisions and is half-A&*ed (hearted).

With pressure from immigration groups the administration has made a move to placate the “La Raza” left. But they haven’t actually come out with a plan. Does anyone seriously think this will change anything? Outside of a few high profile cases the immigration issue hasn’t changed much and we continue to avoid making any real decisions.

The empty suit continues to prove that he has no plan on anything. Well maybe he has plans for the next vacation.

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Lots going on.

Yes the posting here has been sparse.  I’ve done a bit of traveling lately.  Spent some time in the DC area and drove back last weekend.  It was a nice drive but long.  I took the I-70 route.  I couldn’t believe I ran into zero rain.  Usually somewhere along the way I’d hit at least a thunderstorm or two. 

What you really notice driving across this country is that we are still a very rural nation.  Large swaths of land filled only with trees and fields cover a great deal of our space. 

I should have some more posts up by this weekend. 


…Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis believed Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was behind the assassination of her husband, according to tapes recorded by the former first lady just months after President John F. Kennedy’s death, the Daily Mail reports…

…Kennedy-Onassis thought gunman Lee Harvey Oswald — long believed to be a lone assassin — was part of a larger conspiracy involving Johnson, according to the Daily Mail.

The tapes, which were recorded with historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., also reveal that Kennedy-Onassis had an affair with actor William Holden in retaliation to her husband’s reported indiscretions, the Daily Mail reports…

Not the Camelot one usually thinks of.

31 US and 7 Afghan die in crash

Kabul: A total of 31 members of the US Special Forces have died in a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan along with seven Afghans, a statement from Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s office said Saturday.

"The president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai expressed condolences over a NATO helicopter crash and the deaths of 31 members of US special forces," the statement said.

The crash late Friday represents the biggest death toll in a single incident for international forces in Afghanistan since the start of the war in 2001.
Seven Afghans were also killed in the crash, the statement said, taking the total death toll in the incident to 38.

The Afghan defence ministry said they were also special forces.


WASHINGTON — The Associated Press has learned that more than 20 Navy SEALs from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden were among those lost in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

The operators from SEAL Team Six were flown by a crew of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. That’s according to one current and one former U.S. official. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because families are still being notified of the loss of their loved ones.

One source says the team was thought to include 22 SEALs, three Air Force air controllers, seven Afghan Army troops, a dog and his handler, and a civilian interpreter, plus the helicopter crew.

The sources thought this was the largest single loss of life ever for SEAL Team Six, known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group.

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It’s not fair….

KABUL, Afghanistan — Thousands of Afghans who have worked with American troops and diplomats here, often at great risk, have become stranded for years in a murky wait to emigrate to the United States, despite government efforts to speed them from potential threats in Afghanistan.

Why should we allow them to come to the United States? We are there fighting for their country. If they come here what is left in Afghanistan? We fight daily with ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) should all of them be allowed to immigrate? Just some of them?  By what standard? 

It most likely won’t be the ANA fighter who immigrates but the politically connected and maybe a few interpreters. 

Should Afghans understand their way forward is in Afghanistan not the United States? Or perhaps the United States should understand our way forward is in the United States and not Afghanistan.

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The debt crises

Has the bi-partisan debt deal really averted a catastrophic disaster? How would we know? In the era of “let no crises go to waste”, I have my doubts about the whole sorted mess.

The problem is that I just don’t trust any politician. It doesn’t matter if they are Republican or Democrat. What I see is perhaps the worst political class in our history. These are not elites; they are the worst of our society. Many I believe would be common criminals had they not found their way into the political ring. Oh wait, what am I saying? Some are criminals now and still remain in the Washington inner circle.

The deal they’ve created neither solves the problem or truly cuts the spending. It may slow the spending growth some and hopefully awaken the country to the need to use common sense.

Ok, I know that last part is wishful thinking.