Friday, February 20, 2009

Random Thoughts and Comments 2/20/09

Been down with a kidney stone again. Getting to go for a ride on the lithotriptor next week to get things cleaned up and have me back to 100%. Apologies for delays in posting.

The revisionist history is beginning in earnest. An article by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post today talks about a conference that was attended by NeoCon and Iraq Strategy Guru Richard Perle in which he not only denied that there is a neoconservative movement, especially in foreigh policy but he also accused those who say there is, (everyone), that they are anti semitic since many of the people espousing neo con theory are Jewish. Talk about stretching things! Does Perle realize that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others are all Christians? Ok enough said on this. I recommend reading the article at

The initial fight over the Stimulus package is over now. My guess, based on what I have been reading by people who have been right about this thing all along is that this package is not enough and we'll be back at the counter needing more money in a few months. Why people think business tax cuts are going to matter at this point is beyond me. This stimulus package has to be a bottom up affair. So much of what we are going thru right now is psychological and if people start spending money, some of that psychology is going to shift. Business is going to invest and banks and going to invest when they see a situation that is advantageous for them, not when they get a tax cut. I urge you to contact your elected representative and let them know to eliminate tax cuts for business and the wealthy as we move thru this mess. They are the ones who created this disaster and they need to pony up and take responsibility. So far I'm not seeing that happen.

I've seen some of the nominated films, not all of them. Here's my opinions based on what I've seen:
1. Benjamin Button - cute but in a corporate way, very soulless. A pretty boring guy who had the body of a young man after living a life. Something many of us have wished for at one time or another, to have a young body and the life experience in our mind. I thought the movie really missed an opportunity to say something fairly profound about life.
2. The Reader - Kate Winslet is excellent in this movie as is David Kross as the young man and Ralph Fiennes as the older version of the same man. This movie asks some difficult questions, not only about having a broken heart and love and it's nature, but also about going along to get along, about not standing up about accepting fascism/totalitarianism. A powerful film, Winslet is great as the Damaged Hanna.
3. Slumdog Millionaire - Cute, shallow, well crafted story, but in the end perfect for most american movie audiences. It really doesn't ask anything and it feeds into the American Dream of escaping your poverty by using your wits and becoming rich and getting the girl you love! It's a nice movie but by no means to the best. It'll probably win because it's a feel good movie and it stars minority actors. The Academy loves to reward/make political statements when it's as easy as this.

Enjoy the telecast of the Oscars on Sunday.

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