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‘Killing Them Softly’ is A Different Type of Mob Movie

July 28th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

Godfather I and II, ‘Good Fellas’, and ‘The Sopranos’  HBO series definitely rank way up high on my favorite all – time list of mob stuff. However, the truth of the matter is, I was “burnt – out” on the La Cosa Nostra and all the other organized crime orbradandtonyganization films/shows, etc. after I saw Good Fellas (I loved that movie & watched it over and over) back in 1990. Though I certainly had my fill with the mafia in 1999, I nevertheless got hooked on ‘The Sopranos’, who didn’t? We all knew that after viewing  the very first episode or pilot, this was a gem and a masterpiece in every respect i.e. writing, acting, production, etc. and it was so different which is a good segue for this blog.

‘Killing Me Softly’ is a different, sort of slow – moving film & be forewarned, that if you’re looking for the hardcore mobster action flick, though there are some nasty intensely violent scenes, this movie is definitely not for you. However, if the concept of the banality of evil (Hannah Arendt) resonates with you, then I think you may appreciate this film. I also believe that if you think that some people are dealt a lousy hand of cards in life, forced into ugly situations and therefore have no other choice but to commit the most heinous acts imaginable, then I also think this movie maybe cathartic and something you should certainly Netflix. Oh & yes the movie is brimming with political and corrupt corporate America allegory so you might need a thinking cap.

The reason I personally finally watched this movie was because it was James Gandolfini’s last film he made before he died. I loved James Gandolfini and I thought he was a tremendous talent, the likes of whom we will never see again. I am also a huge fan of the great character actor,  Richard Jenkins who happens to be part of the cast. Here’s the story in a nutshell: 3 pathetic lowlifes rob a mob poker card hangout/Of course they’re found out/the 3 losers and “Markie” – the guy running the card gig (Played by Ray Liotta) must go.  Gandolfini’s character, Mickey, is a washed up – alcoholic – incompetent whore – mongering assassin, which incidentally he plays brilliantly, and just can’t pull it off. Because of Mickey’s ineptitude, Brad Pitt’s character, Jackie Cogan is forced to make all the hits himself. The dark humor here is that Jackie Cogan is as sociopathic as it gets but sometimes you might think he’s a nice guy because he doesn’t like to see people suffer unnecessarily (hence the title of the film) which is why Mickey is called in to begin with. The question is whether Jackie has genuine empathy for his victims or is it just the fact that it’s an inconvenience to have the guy you’re about to kill – cry, piss his pants, pray to Jesus, etc. right before he dies.

  This movie has classic and I mean classic dialogue and here’s just a taste from Jackie at the end of the movie regarding the myth of Thomas Jefferson and our so – called “noble” founding “bull – shit artists” fathers:  “My friend, Jefferson is an American saint because he wrote the words All men are created equal – words he clearly didn’t believe, since he allowed his own children to live in slavery. He was a rich wine SNOB who was sick of paying taxes to the Brits. ..yea, so he wrote some lovely words and aroused the rabble & they went out and died for those words, while he sat back & drank his wine and fucked his slave – girl …this guy (Jackie points at a bar TV screen with Obama spewing another one of his BS speeches about equality) wants to tell me we’re living in a community, don’t make me laugh ! I’m living in America & in America you’re on your own …America is not a country, it’s just a business – NOW FUCKEN PAY ME !!! ”  Check this out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zK-b0INu1k

So WhaDaYaThink ? What Do you think ? I read the comments on Netflix (about a 100 or so) and people either absolutely love the movie or despise it. The problems with the film are 1. The one actor is Australian (I think) and hard to understand 2. The street lingo is off the charts & 3. It’s a thinking man’s film, so you have to fill in some gaps. I watched the movie twice before I blogged just to make sure I got it. Not to give away too much, but check out how bad – ass Brad Pitt is here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK7fvqeLnq0

 

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“The Jury Finds The State of Florida Guilty For Allowing George Zimmerman To Carry A Gun”

July 13th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

zim2

Wouldn’t it be great if this were in fact a true statement ?

George Zimmerman should not be on trial and in an ideal world the irresponsible individuals who legislated the lax gun laws in Florida ought to be. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood security guard, and not even an officer of the law, was well within his rights to be armed with a gun and as a result a 17 year old boy, Trayvon Martin  is dead.

Furthermore, sadly, Mr. Zimmerman, 28, may be found guilty of second degree murder and have to spend a long time in prison because of careless and thoughtless law makers. Had this legislation not been on the books, which legally permitted Zimmerman to own and carry a gun, maybe the worst scenario we’d have on our hands is a street fight. So instead of maybe a bloody nose, some scrapes and bruises we have a dead boy and a young man who may have to remain in prison until he’s an old man.

This case is just another reason why we ought to ensure that we make gun control a priority in this country. So, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? I earnestly don’t believe there is a man or woman in this country who hasn’t at one time or another become so enraged about something that for a split second  he or she has felt like killing someone over typically something inane and stupid. Fortunately, most people are not insanely paranoid and therefore we don’t usually feel compelled to arm ourselves to the teeth when going to our local supermarket.

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Enjoy Your New Home – O.J.

July 11th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

I know there is a whole lot going on around the globe (here – the Zimmerman trial & privacy issues, etc. Internationally- Egypt and so much more)  and perhaps the O.J Simpson story is just old news, but I have to let everyone know that I am gloating over the 33 year prison term Simpson was slapped with for stealing sports memorabilia. God bless the judge, the Nevada parole board, etc. for handing down this otherwise draconian sentence had the individual not been O.J. Simpson.

Mr. Simpson is now 66 years old, looks absolutely awful, and he’s never going to get out of prison. This is poetic justice: Simpson viciously kills two young people and gets away with it, and then does something absolutely stupid like stealing baseball cards and for all intents and purposes gets a life sentence and will never see the light of day.

Here is a man who had absolutely everything and I mean everything i.e. fame, all the money in the world, famous friends, an amazing career as a player and a great life after his playing days and he couldn’t control his jealousy and his obsession with his ex – wife and well the rest is history.

So WhadaYaThink ? What do you think? This sort of reminds me of what we did to Al Capone. No we couldn’t nail Capone for murder and racketeering but we got him instead on tax evasion.

O.J. Simpson Seeks Retrial In Las Vegas Court - Day 5

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The Central Park Five – What A Sorrowful Tragedy !!!

May 30th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

Ed Koch was mayor of New York back in 1989 and the city was an absolute mess – dirty, dangerous, peak of the crack epidemic and brimming with racism; there used to be a saying back then that a young black male in N.Y.C. was among the most endangered species in America.

Remember how scary and disgusting the city was in the ‘80’s? And, how about the hatred, racism and crime ? (Wow how much ink was spilled on the Bernard Goetz case – sadly most white people didn’t blame Goetz for blasting away the would – be perpetrators and quite frankly, well … do you blame him ???)  It was a time for the insanely haves (on Wall St.) and the sickeningly poverty – stricken have – not’s, i.e. black people in Harlem and the outer boroughs who had no other way to survive other than to steal, rob, sell crack, etc. to survive (we’re talking human beings here folks … the super, lilly – white rich I don’t think even to this day understand that you can’t dump on people and expect there not to be repercussions and consequences).

Anyway, the film/documentary to see is Ken and his daughter Sarah Burns’ The Central Park Five – just a first – rate, 5 star film about the grossly unjust indictment and conviction of 5 innocent poor black youths (ages 14 – 16) who were convicted of raping a 28 year old white investment banker jogging in Central park, only to be later found that the thing was a sham. Yes, the white woman was sadly raped and beaten by one man (a serial rapist) but the 5 black youths had absolutely nothing to do with it, yet they were convicted and all of them served out their full sentence without a shred of physical evidence except for coerced testimony illegally eked out by the despicable New York homicide unit who lied, fabricated, and whose mission was to ameliorate the savage racist climate which existed in the ‘80’s. Remember the big Donald Trump posting a full page ad in the New York Times clamoring for the death penalty for theses innocent kids – DISGRACE and SHAME to you Mr. Trump !!! (Do you think Trump would have given a rat’s ass if the victim was a poor black woman???)

Well, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Also shame on the prosecutor, Elizabeth Lederer, who knew damn well that there was no evidence at all on these poor, black kids but proceeded anyway only to further her career.

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Not Only Am I Pro – Death Penalty, I’m Anti – Lethal Injection Because It’s Not Harsh Enough

April 29th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

Can anyone think of a better way to exit this life than to have a great meal, lie down, go to sleep and pass away without pain or any sense of awareness? I have known the most wonderful, law – abiding human beings agonizingly suffer for years with cancer and yet knowing this our society or some people still find the putting to death of sociopathic murdering fiends to be inhumane. A disclaimer, let me be clear here, yes I am pro death penalty but we must be absolutely 100% certain that we have the right guy. If there is even a scintilla of doubt, we should commute the sentence until we know for sure.

Quite frankly, I think for a monster like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ,  one of the the 2 Boston Marathon killers, lethal injection is not punishment enough. This sicko’s malicious and cowardly act killed 3 people and injured 264. I would not object at all if we meted out punishment that bordered on cruel and unusual i.e let him stew in an 8’ by 10’ or rather 6’ by 8’ cage and then electrocute him rather than the usual lethal injection because I think the former is painful & more befitting to the heinous crime he committed.
People know me as a liberal which I proudly acknowledge but my motto is that All Life is precious and each and every one of us is uniquely special, so if some twisted fiend elects to terminate a special, precious, and unique human being, then he, she or rather it must be put down !!!

So Whadayathink ? What do you think ? Some of my very good liberal friends disagree with me on this issue and are somewhat surprised that I hold this view but I am always pro – victim; you take a life then we as a society have a right to protect ourselves. Another objection I hear is that capital punishment is not a deterrent, which I concur, but these anti – death penalty folks are missing the point.

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Sadly, All We Can Do is Hope

April 16th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

What an absolutely senseless tragedy this Boston Marathon bombing is – and such a bizarre target! How can we possibly protect ourselves from such evil acts? The sad truth is, we can’t. Israel has been living with this reality and now we have to carry on with the knowledge that there are people who are full of hate and want to harm innocent people; there is no place on the planet where one is absolutely 100% safe from terrorism.
This has been the first terrorist attack since 9/11 (again we still don’t know who did this and why) and though I’ve always contended that the W. Bush presidency was one of the worst administrations in history, it however gets an A+ in terms of protecting us against terrorism. Who knows how many potential terrorist attacks Homeland Security thwarted – just remarkable. However, the thought of attempting to protect the entire nation against some lunatic[s] machinations and a target happens to be the finish line at the Boston Marathon, it almost seems like an exercise in futility.
Magdalena and I attended a Bluegrass concert on Long Island on Sunday in which there were approximately 75 – 100 people present and the truth of the matter is if someone wanted to blow the place up, there would have been no way of stopping it. Some sort of explosion wasn’t on my mind and I’m assuming nobody was thinking about terror here. The only time I think about a possible attack is when I’m on the subway, railroad, perhaps driving over the George Washington Bridge, etc. If we worried about bombs when going to a picnic or a gathering or event of any sort, what kind of a life would one have?
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? I also must applaud all the incredibly heroic folks who assisted the wounded by providing clothing for tourniquets, given blood and more. Some of these heroes were the runners themselves – can you imagine going out of his or her way to help other people after having run 26 miles. As always, when some national tragedy occurs we see the absolute worst and best in mankind. Prayers and thoughts for the deceased, wounded and their families.

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George W. Bush and Dick Cheney Guilty of War Crimes ???

March 20th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
Tomas Young, a patriot and courageous man, at the tender age of 21, joined the army 2 days after 9/11 because he felt it was his duty to go after the terrorists who murdered  some 3,000 + of his fellow citizens. Instead of being deployed to Afghanistan to fight Al Qaida, he was sent to Iraq which incidentally, as we all know now,had nothing at all to do with 9/11 (not to mention no WMD).
Tragically, Tomas was hit with shrapnel that shattered his spine and left him paralyzed from the chest down; a young man’s life snuffed out just like that. War is hell & sadly necessary but the real issue at hand here is that Mr. Young was sent to the wrong country and was fighting people who had nothing to do with the very reason he enlisted in the army to begin with. Here is what Tomas had to say in an open letter to Bush and Cheney:

I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation, and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.”


Tomas Young is just another victim of a prodigiously long list of innocent victims. So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? I know it’s ludicrous to even think that Bush and Cheney would be put on trial for war crimes. However, the facts are the facts – and the W. administration flat out lied to the American public and thousands of brave men and women have paid the price with their lives.
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Isn’t it About Time That We Legalize Marijuana???

March 13th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
My body chemistry doesn’t react favorably to the ingestion of weed, I get paranoid, so I don’t smoke it; however marijuana is in fact less dangerous than most drugs including the legal ones – tobacco and alcohol. I don’t like it but that’s me, others however love it and don’t abuse the substance … so let’s decriminalize, regulate and tax the stuff already. For most users, marijuana is no less of an issue than having a glass of wine with dinner; one would be shocked to learn the number of fashionable, cultured, and very high – functioning high society folks who enjoy a little innocuous weed now and then.

There is not a whole lot of downside (pot has been labeled a gateway drug to more dangerous ones – which is certainly debatable) and a plethora of upside. The first and most obvious benefit is the economics of  it all: 1. This country will save around 7.7 billion $$ on eliminating the enforcement of  the illegal drug status 2. The other awesome benefit if mary jane is regulated, decriminalized, etc. we can tax the good (lol – pot – a good) and reap in almost 3 billion dollars.

The other positive aspect of  legalizing pot is the fact that there will now be regulatory control, which means the consumer will get exactly what he or she is paying for, hence a safer and better product. Furthermore, if in fact marijuana is decriminalized the price will be slashed dramatically and the profits will be garnered by law – abiding merchants. Marijuana also has medicinal properties and cancer patients have maintained that their quality of life has increased…. I can go on further with the pros and cons of decriminalization (and there are many more, which I certainly invite the readers to contribute) but I think you get my point.

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? One other factoid is that pot is a uniquely different drug in terms of – you either like it or you don’t; as I stated in my first paragraph I don’t like the way it makes me feel so I don’t smoke it – period. So, let’s make marijuana legal already, this may in fact mend (or @ least help) our crippled current economy.

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Our Judicial System is Flawed

February 26th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
I just finished watching ‘Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory’ over the weekend and I am still sick about how terribly flawed our current judicial system is. For those of you not familiar with the renowned documentary, ‘Paradise … Purgatory’ , this is the third and last film of the trilogy documenting the arrest, wrongful imprisonment, and eventual release of the “West Memphis 3″(after spending nearly 20 years sitting in prison).
I won’t go into detail about the three esteemed documentaries (must see if you haven’t already) and in this blog I want to raise just one prodigious flaw in our system of justice: the insistence of the prosecution to hold innocent people in prison and overturn an initial ruling, even when there is overwhelming evidence proving innocence i.e. DNA. Not just in this case, but over and over again, I read in the paper and hear about so many people who are innocent, yet are still held in prison – simply because the state and the entire prosecution team doesn’t want to admit they are/were wrong. This is absolutely INSANE !!! We are talking about real human beings who are not guilty of the crime for which they were incarcerated and rotting in a cell because somebody is concerned about their career.
My opinion is that if any given individual is found to be not guilty by virtue of compelling evidence such as DNA, he or she ought to be released immediately !!! I know the law is complex, precise, and full of red tape but this is a no – brainer. Let these people out, then cross your T’s and dot your I’s afterwards.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? What drives me crazy is thinking about what kind of person[s] can sleep at night knowing, because you won’t admit you were wrong or made a mistake, there is a person in an 8 by 10 cell. Please, let us do something about this.

Take a look at the pictures I’ve posted here – the before and after mug shots; these innocent kids, now middle – aged spent most of their life in prison.

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Numbers don’t Lie

February 20th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
I knew we led the industrialized world in terms of gun deaths and injuries but quite frankly I was shocked to find out how MANY people are killed or maimed from guns – deliberate or accidental:
Believe it or not, this country, U.S.A., has more guns than the actual # of people living in this country. Approx. 310 million firearms versus 305 million residents. (btw, that’s not including the military)
Per criminology census in 2010:

. 358 murders with a rifle
. 6,009 murders with a handgun
. 1,939 unreported gun deaths (I don’t really get this one.. if  it wasn’t reported, how do they know ??? but anyway, this is an official census.
. 66.9% of all homicides in U.S. were perpetrated with a gun.


Now non-fatal injuries in 2010:
52,447 deliberate gun related injuries

23,237 accidental gun related injuries

Suicides with a gun in 2010
19,392


Total for 2010:  27,698 gun related deaths
75,684 gun related injuries
So that’s more causalities in this country in one year than all the casualties we suffered in 10 years in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Oh yeah, we don’t have a problem with guns in this country – it’s only worse than 2 war zones. So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ?

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