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The United States is Not At War With Islam !

May 14th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
For some strange reason Pakistan is angry with us (U.S.A.) for raiding Bin Laden’s compound and killing him. We should be angry at Pakistan for harboring a mass-murderer and the most – wanted man since Hitler.
If you ask anyone who lives outside of the United States and who lives in a predominately-Muslim country like Iran or Syria, you will discover just how much he or she HATES us. This is not good news!
The reality is that we are not at war with Islam but if you look at the way things are at face value:
We are still at war with Iraq.

We are at war with Afghanistan.

We are strategically bombing Libya

We have forces in Pakistan.

We are overtly racist when it comes to Muslims in this country. (I have seen it m movies and TV and I see it in real life every day.)

We give more aid to Israel than to any other country.

There are approximately 1.5 billion people in the world or roughly, 20% of the world’s population is Muslim. It is not good to have that many people wanting to kill you. Bear in mind, India and Pakistan already have nuclear weapons, and you had better believe the other Islamic countries are trying to get them.
First of all what scares me is that people, Americans and apparently Muslims alike (when you consider Pakistan’s reaction to our killing Bin Laden.) believe that Bin laden was an Islamist. He was not a peaceful, loving religious man he was a KILLER! Bin Laden misinterpreted the Koran just like any other fundamentalist. There are Christian Fundamentalists too – David Koresh, the Branch Davidian leader, who was responsible for the deaths of nearly 100 innocent men, women and children. And. Let us not forget Jim Jones, the leader of the People’s Temple, who was responsible for the horrible mass suicide killing nearly 1000 people.
People are people. We human beings do not like people who are different from us. We used to kill each other over political ideology (communism and democracy). Now we kill each other over religion. Listen to what our founding fathers declared because they nailed it squarely on the head of the nail. It’s imperative to keep religion separate from government procedure and policy decision-making. Keep RELIGION out! On the other hand, let me rephrase this – keep thy religion to thyself.
Now it’s your turn. WHADAWETHINK? Do you have any solutions to assuage the enmity Muslims have toward us? I know that we Americans must stop being overtly racist towards Islamists. And shame on the entertainment industry in this country for stereotyping Muslims. We all have to get along and live and let live.
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Film Review: Greenberng, 2010 – Directed by Noah Baumbach

May 13th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
The standard for rating a movie is the four star method. Using this standard, I rate ‘Greenberg’ , Directed by Noah Baumbach (one of my favorite directors) 3 and a half to even 4 stars.
Before I even begin my review, I have to just say that Ben Stiller is without question one of the finest film actors out there. He is not just a great comedic actor but he is also an outstanding dramatic actor as well.
I loved the movie ‘Greenberg’ and in fact, I know someone in real life who is exactly like the main character – Roger Greenberg. I watched the movie for the third time last night and perhaps it wasn’t as good as the first time I viewed it (maybe because I was pausing and taking notes for this review) but nevertheless, what a fine and realistic black dramatic comedy this film is.
The movie begins showing a typical middle-class family in Los Angeles preparing for a trip of some kind. You soon find out that they are going on a business trip to Vietnam. (How odd to hear the name “Vietnam” and for me what sticks in my mind is that long and awful war – I am 47. How things change, obviously for the better in this case). The proprietor’s assistant, Florence (Greta Gerwig) and the soon – to – arrive – from – New York- brother – Roger Greenberg are going to take care of the house and handle all of the family’s affairs including taking care of the dog. (The dog plays quite a significant role in this movie – you will see what I mean.) The family also informs Florence that Roger Greenberg is not quite right in the head and that he was recently released from a mental hospital. Nevertheless, the family assures her that he is harmless and she has nothing to worry about and he will probably be spending most of his time building a doghouse for Mahler (the dog).
Now this movie falls under the genre of comedy/drama but be advised the humor is dark, deadpan, subtle, understated, and weighty. This is not a laugh out loud movie like say the movie ‘The Hangover’. Your more than likely response will probably be not of laughter but rather you may feel a sense of incredulity, pity and perhaps some sadness. I.e. Roger is socially retarded and he probably has Asperger’s disease but he’s completely functional and makes a living as a carpenter. This is definitely not a movie which bashes people who are socially inept because as you will see Roger can handle himself and can very often be mean-spirited.
In addition to being a social misfit, Roger suffers from arrested development. Roger is very immature. For example, when Roger and an old friend attend a barbeque/party, Roger seeing all the children around, makes a comment “what is this a kid’s party?” Obviously, he’s not cognizant of the fact that he’s 40 years old and most of his old friends have kids. Roger also wants to restart his old band and get back with his old girlfriend from 20 years ago.
There are no special effects and certainly, there is no sidesplitting laughter but it is rather a slice of life focusing on two people. I read one review that stated that it is a story about 2 lost souls – Florence and Roger. I disagree completely; Roger is the only “lost soul” here, Florence is perfectly normal except that she is shy and perhaps suffers from a low self-esteem. (Hey unless you’re Mr. or Ms. Popularity, most kids her age suffer from identity problems.)
I have a notebook full of scenes I particularly liked but I will not spoil it for you. Go see the movie. I loved it and if you are interested in a slice of life, this movie is for you. Let me just leave you with something roger says to the 20 something crowd that throw a party at the house. Roger is mean, socially inept ,  immature, oh and he writes lot of complaint letters (watch the movie – this is funny) but he does have some insight. I.e. Roger asks the young people what it is like growing up now, having been raised by us (the “cool,” tail end of the baby-boomer generation). Roger goes on to say that this generation is too confident, insensitive and disrespectful toward older people. He shares with the youngsters that despite the fact that Roger is old enough to be their father, the kids have no respect whatsoever and Greenberg quips “I’m older and smarter than you kids but yet you talk to me in a blithe and condescending manner.”
So WHADAWETHINK? If  you haven’t seen the movie, see it. If you have, what did you think of it? I look forward to lots of comments.

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Movie Reviews: ‘Panic’, 2000 – Directed by Henry Bromell

May 12th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

I am a film aficionado and have probably reviewed maybe 3 films on my blog thus far – NOTE: I’ve only been blogging for 6 months – anyway a fan of my blog enjoyed my reviews so much that he suggested  that I do more film reviewing.(Who knows maybe Roger Ebert will hire me). I do not want to abandon the great stuff (lol) I already write about but I figured since I watch on average a film a night, why not write about them ? Here is the thing – I do not go to the cinema and generally speaking don’t like mainstream movies. I am a true film lover. In addition, there are only about 3 dozen movies that were made before 1970 that I liked (Hitchcock, Bergman, Fellini, and a few others.) Since I don’t go to the cinema and since I don’t have to see them immediately (we have a large hi-def., flat-screen TV which we can pause to go to the bathroom and eat the food of our choice, etc.) it’s perfect. Lastly, if there were never a movie made again, there still would be an over-abundance of great films to watch. This is a coincidence but Rotten Tomatoes first review was ‘your Friends and Neighbors’ and so was mine except Rotten Tomatoes reviewed it immediately (1999) and I reviewed it a couple of months ago. Not to sound immodest but I think  my review is longer and so much better. The comments are better than mine are however –I’m just a baby they’re huge.  If this takes off for me I promise to review movies as soon as they come out. Anyway, here we go! I have two notebooks full of movies I’ve seen since I was a teenager. I ‘ve watched close to 5,000 films. What I’ll do is watch a movie I haven’t seen yet and review it or I‘ll go back to one of the movies I’ve seen, watch it again and write about it. Also I won’t spoil the movie for you – no spoilers.
Okay you know the rules so the first movie I am going to review is ‘Panic’ because I ended up watching it last night (DVD from Netflix.) I never heard of the director (Henry Bromell is more of a TV guy than Film) but the cast was awesome – William H’ Macy (Fargo – need I say more), Neve Campbell (as pretty as a girl can get and she knows it but that’s part of the appeal), Donald Sutherland (Truly one of the all-time greats and probably under-rated. He is way better than his son) and John Ritter (another fine actor who died too young; although I hated him in that inane sit-com back in the 1970s ‘Three’s company).
The film begins with the wonderful William H. Macy shown having a therapy session with his psychologist (John Ritter). It’s apparent that it’s not his first session because he says that he feels a little lighter in his step because he has met a beautiful girl (Neve Campbell)l in the waiting room of the therapists office and he’s starting to fall for her. The movie then snaps back to that first meeting when he and Neve met. She seems to be your typical early twenty something girl with just a touch of neurosis and he on the other hand seems awkward and emotionally undeveloped, almost childlike (he is probably fortyish) and it somehow makes him endearing. Their conversation and the way they interact is rather “cute”. It is interesting that when Sarah (Neve’s character) is asked by her co-worker and friend if she thinks he is cute, Sarah responds and says not at all, “He’s beautiful. He has the saddest blue eyes I have ever seen.)
Alex (Macy’s character) has divulged to Dr. Parks (Ritter’s character) the fact that he is a kills people for a living and doesn’t very much like what he does. What’s prodigiously curious is that he dislikes it for reasons most people wouldn’t quite understand. The fact that he is killing people he does not know for money doesn’t faze him much (he’s even bored by the whole thing). Oh and he also works for his father – it’s a family business- yes it’s a black comedy not unlike Fargo. Alex is a very unhappy man because his parents forced him into the business. Yes Mom knows too but that’s it (she actually helped Donald Sutherland with starting the business. The revelation of this part of the movie is just a little over the top for my tastes. There is actually a moment when mom scolds Alex for his yearning to get out of the business – very unrealistic and silly but still a watchable film)
This isn’t a great movie and the film is not without flaws but I enjoyed it nevertheless. Macy is perfectly cast as the sad man who is dominated by his father. In addition, Sutherland is funny as the super macho dad. I won’t give any more of the plot away, at this point I’ll wrap up, and now it’s time to tell you to go see the movie. It’s not great but I promise you won’t be bored.
WHADAWETHINK ? Have you seen ‘Panic’? It’s curious that I’m reviewing this mediocre film because I have probably seen every great film ever made. Having stated the aforementioned I am still glad I watched this movie.

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Conversations With My Father

May 12th, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor

He’s a palpable presence,
Nodding in agreement
Or smiling in approval.
He doesn’t mind
The flowers I never bring.
I remember his favorite
And that’s enough.
He takes the load off my mind
And weighs it in both hands,
Says I need to stay balanced
To be happy.
I don’t have to answer,
Kicking the turf
With the point of my shoe-
He knows what that means.
He points to the wooden bridge
Up the road that connects us.
One day there will be no need
To cross over.
We can speak on my terms
The way we did before.

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The Secrets of Making Millions of Dollars Blogging

May 11th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

The Huffington Post usually ranks # 1 in terms of making money. However, they have millions of dollars to invest and over 7000 writers. Because they have the resources and manpower they have the capability of making lots of money.

What if you work alone or are a husband and wife team like us – then what? Well I want you to take a look at this site, peruse it for a while and then come back.
Well, what did you think? Ree Drummond, the founder and creator of The Pioneer Woman, made over a million dollars last year on her blog alone; not to mention the fact that she has published a half a dozen cookbooks or so.
As you can see, she is a Susie Homemaker who lives on a ranch, dishes out recipes and talks about her husband and children – banal stuff – wouldn’t you say? Well, she attracts over 23 million visitors per month and 4.4 unique visitors. There was actually a piece in the ‘New Yorker Magazine”. I read it and I was shocked to read that this ordinary woman made so much money and I couldn’t help feeling a little envy. It was probably the same feeling New Yorker staff writers get when they see how much success J.K. Rowling, the ‘Harry Potter’ author enjoys.
Why is she so successful? For one thing, she has been doing it for 6 years (she started out just like you and I) but she was persistent and the site caught like wild fire. #2 – she has a specific niche – she is a Susie Homemaker in addition to being a cowgirl. #3 the Susie Homemaker stuff is big these days just look at Martha Stewart. #4 – She has a beautifully designed site. That is it!

To sum up very quickly on how to run a successful blog:

 

  • Have a specific niche.
  • Hire a Web Designer and create a beautifully designed site.
  • Add new material everyday.
  • There is no such thing as making money from nothing. I won’t get into it here but there are reams of information on the different types of advertising programs e.g. Adwords, Adsense, SEO Marketing, the social networks and lastly good content on stuff people are interested in.
I am very proud of WHADAWETHINK, honestly even if I were not involved with the site, I would read it every day. I’m not making the $$ The Pioneer Woman is making but I have only just begun and besides I’m not doing it for the money (I mean I need to eat), I love this site, I enjoy writing about different topics and I love my readers.
Speaking of putting food on the table, I get paid if you click on to the Amazon widget shown here. I get a small percentage of what you purchase. I have an ad displayed and you certainly don’t have to purchase this but as long as you are on Amazon and you arrived there from clicking onto my widget, I get credit.
Note: I have Whadawethink T-shirts. If you want one let me know, they’re only $20.00.

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What is Consciousness? And Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing ?

May 10th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

Unless there is life in some distant far off galaxy, there was nothing or I should say nothing conscious, 10 million years ago. It is hard to fathom that there was no life at all; some philosophers have even argued that if no one saw the tree fall then the tree did not fall.
I am 47 years old and I was born on July 4, 1963. When I was a child, I often asked my parents what life was like during the fifties or even earlier.  I am paraphrasing but mother said something to the effect that it was just as if it is now except there was no internet, TV, cell phones and all the other modern conveniences. Our culture, values and of course, the news was different but I was searching for something deeper. What I really wanted to know was if being alive or consciousness was any different.
How did I just pop into existence (I know my parents had sex – which is hard to fathom – lol) with ready-made parents and a ready-made world with a history and billions of people conscious just like me. How was it possible that the world existed before my consciousness? Many people allay their fear of death by thinking in this manner – ‘Hey the earth and sun were around way before I came into being and I was just peachy keen”. The reality is that your atoms have always been here except they just were not organized in such a manner to be you – not yet anyway. The same thing happens when you die, your atoms break up and go on to be something else, however your consciousness is gone forever.
There is an infinite number of potential life or possible forms of DNA. However sadly (if you enjoy being alive. Jean-Paul Sartre the grim, French existentialist said “What is life but an unpleasant interruption from non-existence”) only a few billion of us burst into consciousness.
We live in what scientists call a closed system and therefore our atoms have always existed all the way back to the big bang. Nevertheless, what was before the big bang? No one knows. If you say God created the big bang then the logical next question is who created God ?
The world-renowned genius and theoretical physicist (he sadly suffers from ALS) once said that people who believe in God, just do not want to do the math. He claims that scientists will have all of the answers to the big questions in a hundred years or so. Questions like 1. What is consciousness? 2. Why is there something rather than nothing? 3.Who am I ? 4. Is there life on other planets? 5. When I die, will I ever experience consciousness again? 5. We all know that nature has two basic instincts – the will to survive and the desire to procreate. Doesn’t this suggest that there is a purpose or higher meaning to life? When I ponder over these heavy questions, I sometimes feel that I am on the verge of becoming enlightened or losing my mind.
The Universe is approximately 14 billion years old and is expanding (hey – what’s behind the universe hahahaah – another imponderable) and scientists have concluded that it is the space that is expanding not what’s inside of it – matter (stars, planets, people, etc.). I will end this blog by asking – if there is a God, what was he doing the day before the big bang? (or if you’re a fundamentalist, before he created Adam and Eve?)
I hope you enjoyed this blog, it was fun writing. So WHADAWETHINK ? If you want to treat yourself to something, kindly hover over the widget, click and shop. That’s it. It looks exactly like you went straight to amazon (user id and password) but my code is embedded and I get a small commission for anything you purchase. So thank you in advance.

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May 9th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

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Why Do Men Cross Their Legs Like Women ?

May 9th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
Now as you can see in the pictures, Reagan and Gorbachev are enduring excruciating pain to pander to the female electorate. The women wearing skirts are sitting as they should, and the 3 men on the beach are are crossing their legs the way God intended them to cross them.
This is a very silly blog but perhaps maybe one of my readers will provide a satisfactory answer. A woman crosses her legs one knee over the other because she naturally wishes to cover up her private area when she is wearing a skirt. However, why do men do this? I see males crossing their legs in this fashion on ‘Meet the Press”, ‘David Letterman Show’, ‘The Today Show’, ‘Charlie Rose’ and on any other program.
I see men crossing their legs effeminately not just on TV but in real life everywhere, I go. I personally do not cross my legs like a girl because it is very uncomfortable; I have muscular legs and furthermore it invariably squeezes in an area I do not want to be squeezed (uncomfortable AND painful).  I suppose a man crossing his legs is supposed to mean that one is refined, sophisticated, urbane, and intelligent. Moreover, I do see white –collar men doing this more frequently than blue-collar men.
This is a short and to the point blog – WHADAWETHINK ? Are you a man who crosses his legs like a girl? Do you find it comfortable ? I suppose if one has thin legs, it is not uncomfortable, but for the rest of us, is getting your – @#$(8* – squeezed worth it?
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Grammarmarks.com is Coming Soon !

May 7th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

Whadawethink is adding another site on grammar. If you have a question or are unsure about whether or not your interoffice memo is grammatically correct, there’s only one place to go – grammarmarks.com (not ready yet)
One of our fun features will include difficult words or phrases of the day. Here is an example:

· Many people misspell the informal expression- “He’s a shoe-in (meaning sure winner) to win the election.” The correct spelling is shoo-in.
· “There are less people in the building.” This is incorrect – proper usage “There are fewer people in the building.”
The rule for the latter is if the noun is countable use few. If it is not countable like water or speed, use less.

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The Proverbial Mother Lode

May 7th, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor

First, I would like to say Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and women who are not mothers per se but of motherly nature; nurturing figures in the lives of fuzzy creatures known as “pets”. I fall into the category of the latter as expressed by my husband who once asked me, “Why are your children so furry?” to which I replied, “They’re your children too”.
My mother is 83 years old. She is still, thankfully, active and outgoing to a certain extent; does her own shopping, drives her own car. Her eyesight is probably a lot better than mine is. (At her age I’ll be like Mr. Magoo driving, for all you baby boomers who recall the cartoon show, crashing into haystacks and the like without a clue as to what was going on. I’m not sure but I think he might have started the whole road rage thing.) Upon reflecting on her younger role as mother, I began to associate proverbs she has repeated time and again with how I still relate to present day events. In other words, what she hammered and drummed into our silly little skulls as kids eventually stuck, as was the intended purpose.
Wikipedia describes a proverb as “a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated which expresses a truth based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity.” This being said, here are some proverbs Mom has uttered over the years that echo for all time:
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” – This was always said in the company of my older (and only) sibling and myself and directed to the person in particular who was speaking at the time. I can only imagine the banter of exchange between us that prompted this oft-repeated phrase. To this day, I still bite my tongue before saying anything unflattering about anyone; unless of course it elicits the desired response in the form of unadulterated and spontaneous laughter (a remark solely meant to be funny and not mean spirited unless the person is disliked by everyone in the room. Or directed at a celebrity figure who doesn’t know me from adam, say someone like Trump or is it Frump).
“One hand washes the other. Two hands wash the face” – This is one of my favorites. As a child I always thought of a rabbit or a chipmunk washing its face which is just about the cutest thing on earth. Obviously at the time,its entire meaning totally escaped me. Of course, I’ve since learned that if I help you, you’re bound to return the favor, right? Then why is it I’m always washing my own face? And I’m tired of using both my hands to wipe the smile off yours. It’s a nice concept but I’ve concluded that the chipmunk image isn’t very funny after all.
I think Mom used to make up some proverbs as she went along, improvising. I never heard anyone else’s mother proclaim, “It’s easy to say the words but not so easy to take them back”. Then again, in her native German tongue it could easily have gotten convoluted. I think it may be along the same lines as “Choose your words wisely for one day you may have to eat them”. How many times have we eaten crow? No one likes the taste of it but it’s so often on the menu. If I ever open a restaurant I’ll be sure to serve “crow” as one special entree. Or open a Bed & Breakfast called” Crash and Crow”. Who knows? It may turn out to be a gold mine and something to crow about after all.
I cannot conclude this article without mentioning the mothers of some notorious figures such as bin Laden. Did she never tell him “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?” as witnessed by his recent demise. Lucky for us he never listened to his mother.
So…………whadayathink? Was Mom right in her constant referencing of the proverb? Or did we suffer long term damage as a result? Will we follow the same pattern in teaching our own children? Will they suffer neglect if we don’t?

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