How do we fix an obviously broken system? Frontline, the greatest PBS in-depth documentary television program ever, shared with us the scary truth this week about three facts: 1. It is prodigiously expensive to keep an (alleged) bad guy in jail or prison (wayyyyy more expensive than helping a poor person via welfare for example. It literally costs the state millions of $$’s for each inmate) 2. 90 % of the guys incarcerated are not killers and rapists. In fact, most prisoners have just been dealt a really lousy hand in life. The prisons and jails are full of poor, unskilled, and more often than not – BLACK folks whom society has abandoned and simply tossed away like trash. There are scores of people who would like nothing more than to just blot them out (ummm … whether this is your sentiment or not, the bottom line is that you the taxpayer are paying for their incarceration … an obscene 1 – 2 million dollars per inmate). 3. REHABILITATION is a joke!!! Besides, the majority of our society is more interested in retribution than rehabilitation.
There are more young women than young men in graduate school, more female breadwinners, and more women in high – level executive positions than there ever have been in the history of this country. We have gay marriage, a black president and there is a greater than fair chance that our next president in 2016 maybe a woman i.e. Hillary Clinton. Though the United States is still in the middle of a horrible recession (thanks to greed and sub-prime mortgages), this nation has made tremendous strides in terms of equal rights and civil rights.
Just try to imagine how unspeakably bad & unfair it was for blacks (separate water fountains & bathrooms, back of the bus nonsense, & scarily literal lynching), women were treated like Barbie dolls … etc. LOOK how far we’ve come in just a half a decade. It is nothing short of miraculous!!! We as a country have accomplished so much in such a short period of time, but … The irony (or maybe it’s no coincidence) is that the republicans are more right wing than ever – why ???
I am a white male, and I am a liberal, and I couldn’t be happier with the progress this country has made in terms of the aforementioned yet in some respects, there is some sort of appalling backlash afoot. On the other hand, perhaps this is just the natural order of things when profound change occurs.
I will certainly elaborate in the future on each and every issue but you know the under 500 word blog format. So, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Incidentally, over the weekend, as we all know… Donald Sterling, the owner of the L.A. Clippers, made the most hateful and racist remarks I’ve ever heard. So perhaps we’re in a 1 step forward, two steps back time – I hope not !! What do you think?
As I write this, reedit appears to be the hottest and fastest growing social networking site to date. So let’s see what we now have: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram … too many to count. For my money, LinkedIn is by far the best in terms of utility, quality, and content and unlike the other networks; LinkedIn is necessary for business professionals regardless of what industry one works in. This reedit is just another social networking site in which members can write & tell tales and stories and the world gets to comment or vote on whether it’s cool or not. More gossip, oh boy – just what we need.
Is this it ??? Our children have not yet found a cure for a single virus, not even the common cold (forget about cancer). Yes, of course, I’m certainly aware of the fact that this is no small task but… this “generation millennial” seems entirely consumed with “selfies” and societal image and popularity and seemingly have managed to conjure, build, and create every conceivable social networking spot under the sun. Where are our priorities???
These kids e.g. Zuckerberg, Weiner, Ohanian know code and algorithms & are so unfathomably brilliant but their focus is all in 0’s & 1’s i.e. digital. Yes, technology and computers are essential (Hey, bioinformatics) but how many social networks do we need? The young people are standing on the shoulders of giants – so do something! And okay, to be fair biotechnology is hotter than ever and indeed we have made tremendous progress in terms of understanding our biology, the human genome, disease, and essentially who we, homo sapiens are. However, it’s not enough!!! My goodness, not only do we not understand consciousness in the most general and facile way, we have not even scratched the surface of what it is to be conscious but we can instantaneously & in real time send pictures and tell lame stories about one’s boring, non – eventful day.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Young geniuses, use your monster brains to cure disease and perhaps prolong a better quality of life instead of wasting it all on how popular you could be! The possibility of extending our lives beyond our wildest dreams may someday not be science fiction.
All right. I’m pretty much going to let the attached video speak for itself. Let me just say this….WOW!
This took place in…..where else…..the magical land of Ireland. Seems the fairies have been at it again causing this to go viral.
The usual wedding scene. And then shock waves…..
I love the sly smile. The way he transitions from ordinary clergyman into ROCK STAR and back to clergyman. Just goes to show…..never under estimate a man in a robe. Whatever our station in life, if you’ve a talent, for God’s sake, use it.
Watch Rev. Ray Kelly’s surprise gift to the stunned couple. I think he bears a slight resemblance to Eric Clapton, don’t you? Or has Eric had another side gig all this time?
Click on or cut and paste the link and enjoy!
Last year we confirmed Higgs Boson (the god particle) and just last week scientists discovered gravitational waves or what they perceive as faint echoes of the immediate aftermath of The Big Bang. In Layman’s terms (I’m not an astrophysicist either) we now know precisely of what happened a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang (actually I just learned this yesterday, but it wasn’t really a bang, but rather an unfathomable expansion or inflation).
Physicists are excited beyond words with these amazing discoveries as they should be and it truly is mind – boggling that we know as much as we do, but I’m still not SATISFIED. I want to know what happened BEFORE the Big Bang.
This is what we have so far: The Big bang started out as a sub – atomic particle that was so small it’s almost impossible to even fathom the size ( so even with the most powerful microscope in the world, what one sees or actually observes is the reflected light which is wavelength in shape; the wave is approximately 10,000 times the length of the atom itself – & we’re talking smaller than an atom) . What happened next was the sub – atomic particle swelled to the size of a grapefruit and then exploded or as I stated earlier, it didn’t really explode, it just started expanding and inflating at a speed the human mind cannot possibly comprehend; some have even suggested that things were moving FASTER than the speed of light. Another blog, because you can’t go faster than the speed of light, right ? 186,000 miles per second. 671 million miles per hour….or can you?
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Do you think we’ll ever get the answer to what happened before the Big Bang ??? Will we ever be able to wrap our human minds around the concept of nothingness? What about infinity?
Incidentally, we also know that our universe is 13.9 BILLION years old. I say our universe, because now we have things like string theory, which suggests we have multiple universes (most people think we have 12 but others think the # is much higher).
I think the reason I dislike Chris Weidman so much, is the fact that everything has come so easily for him; he simply is a freak of nature. He began wrestling as a child and simply cake – walked his way through NCAA Division I wrestling as a young adult. If he pursued the wrestling path, I guarantee he would have medaled and even won the GOLD. What drives me crazy, is that after only 3 months of jiu – jitsu training, he entered the EAST Coast Grapplers tournament &WON (How is that humanly possible ???) One might say that he used his wrestling skills to win the event but the fact of the matter is he submitted all 13 opponents – WHAT ??? (If people aren’t familiar with jiu – jitsu, it usually takes about a year to submit a white belt in live action). Weidman decided to give MMA and ultimate fighting a shot on a whim and won 10 consecutive fights. Unbelievably (but deservedly, since he was destroying everyone he faced) he was actually granted a title shot against the greatest mixed martial artist to ever step into the cage in Anderson Silva. Well we all know what happened – Weidman beat Silva soundly not once but twice just to ensure the 1st time wasn’t some sort of fluke. Chris Weidman is now the Middleweight champion of the world in MMA & quite frankly I can’t see him losing for a loooooong time.
The finest and best American actor I’ve ever had the great pleasure of seeing was far and away, Philip Seymour Hoffman. I’m a film aficionado, and I certainly have a plethora of awesome talent on my list of immortals e.g. Robert De Niro & Al Pacino before they sold out, John Cazale, Newman, Hoffman, Brando, Redford, the amazing Jack Nicholson…. on & on.
However, here was Phillip Seymour Hoffman whose nuanced acting ability, subtlety, and range just simply swept you away, making it impossible to become unglued and detracted from the always-stellar performance from this rather short, overweight, unattractive and certainly non – leading man appearance.
When I Netflix a film, the most important variable I look for is “who directed the film ??? ….” 9 times out of 10 the director is the “Man” – he or she is essentially the author (auteur) and driving force behind any film or movie. Occasionally an actor can steal the show and turn a horrible movie, script, etc. into a classic or even a masterpiece. Two films come to mind (not classics but most definitely cult) 1. Al Pacino’s remake of the classic ‘Scarface’, – completely over – the – top, but Mr. Pacino made Brian De Palma’s film an all – time classic cult film (Incidentally, Mr. outrageous – over – the top, Oliver Stone wrote the script – lol) 2. There is absolutely no movie what so – ever without Jack Nicholson in ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ & even ‘The Shining’ (although the most brilliant and genius director – Stanley Kubrick directed this).
I can hardly compile a list of my favorite Phillip Seymour Hoffman films, because he was brilliant in all of them but I’ll attempt to give you my top 3:
2. “The Savages”
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Thank you Phillip Seymour Hoffman for forever enriching my life and R.I.P. July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014.
How interesting, mind – boggling, and quite frankly bizarre is the FACT that most people concern themselves with politics and which political party one is affiliated with rather than really getting down to the very root of who (or what) is really in charge of matters and ultimately who is in fact controlling the world. Secondly, what I find fascinating is that though corporations are of course comprised of people, the reality is that Microsoft, Apple, IBM, and Google don’t really exist in the truest sense of the word.
When I was in college, I was lectured to by a very astute professor who stated that the most powerful corporations run itself and noboby is irreplaceable; yes, certainly you need personnel and brilliant people, but the aforementioned corporate entities have prodigiously deep pockets and can certainly attract the best and the brightest.
Any average person can figure this out if you just sit and think about it: Corporations employ lobbies, lobbies in turn exert their profound influence on politicians and lawmakers, and then the politicians ultimately con you into voting for him or her. Along this road and path there are a lot of favors and backroom deals that will of course be reciprocated.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Incidentally, corporations care about only two things which is 1. to first survive and then 2. grow as big as it can possibly get at all costs and without concern or care for you or the planet (extracting fossil fuels, dumping toxic wastes into our waters, fracking, etc.) & the fuel which turns the corporation into a finely – tuned, well – oiled machine is – MONEY and lots of it. $$$ doesn’t talk, it screams.
Many people have compared perhaps the latest recent media sensation in Joe Rogan to Howard Stern. I was a regular Howard Stern fan back in the 1980’s and now that it’s 2014 and I’m 50 years old, I’ve now moved on (Listen, I’m really an NPR, WNYC geek, but I still like Rock ‘n roll, sort of down – to – earth radio or pod casts, so ….) I suppose the comparison is made because they curse, stand for the common person, and are both in tune to the world of comedy and relief in this unfair and hard world.
Well for starters, much to my dismay, Howard Stern has blatantly revealed to all that he’s a fake/phony/fraud!!! Howard stern came from a world of privilege and was raised by caring, loving, and educated parents. That non-sense about having to “tough” it out in Roosevelt, on Long island is a joke – please !!! I live on Long Island, I’m familiar with Roosevelt and though yes, there are minorities I doubt he had any more problems than your average High School kid. Joe Rogan on the other hand came from the school of real hard knocks – being raised only by his mom while dad took off (BTW, Joe has not been in contact with his biological dad since he was 6 years old) in Newark, NJ.
Howard Stern’s father owned a radio studio, sent his son (Howie) to Boston University, and the spoiled, rotten, rich kid – Daddy got him a gig on radio and the rest is history. Joe Rogan came from absolutely zero, never went to college (though he’s incredibly brilliant less the grammar – lol) and studied martial arts and stand – up comedy (BTW, Stern doesn’t even know how to do stand – up – WTF???). Joe is now the regular color commentator for every major UFC event (at which he’s absolutely stellar), has his own Podcast, and still does stand – up.
Joe Rogan doesn’t have guests who are strippers or porno stars but rather – scientists, psychiatrists, some hippie – potheads – lol (but they’re smart), and any other person who has something interesting to say (not just celebrities).
This is just part 1, but I just want to get your initial thoughts. WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ?
Would you confess to committing a crime (not just a misdemeanor but also a felony like murder or rape) that you didn’t do? Certainly not !!! One might say, that most sane and rational people would not under any conditions admit to a crime of which they had absolutely no part and I agree, however, there is a phenomena called interrogation – induced false confessions which sadly and outrageously has led to the indictment, conviction, incarceration, and even death of completely innocent people e.g. mentally – ill, uneducated, poor, etc. YES, indeed it happens all too frequently and the bullying and coercive tactics of law enforcement officials has to cease immediately!!!
I’m certainly not suggesting that cops want to arrest innocent people, however there is unspeakable pressure coming from the press, public, and everyone else to get the bad guy ASAP, hence interrogators will resort to the most despicable tactics e.g. Sleep deprivation, lying to the purported suspects about being released, encouraging suspects to admit to a crime they didn’t commit, etc.
I think the most notorious case is the Central Park jogger case (everyone must see Ken Burns’ ‘Central Park Five’) in which 5 innocent black boys admitted to raping and leaving for dead a woman who was young, white, educated, and worked on Wall Street as an investment banker. The tragedy even prompted the clownish Donald Trump to pay for a full-page ad in the New York Times demanding that the boys be put to death. Fortunately, because of the advent of DNA, the boys were exonerated, but sadly not after having spent many years in prison – years in their prime, which they can never get back.
What I find prodigiously unbelievable is that these false forced confessions are still happening TODAY, 2014 in this country to our own citizens (of course to the poor, uneducated, and the neglected). I don’t have the exact # of these miscarriages of justice but I know it’s substantial. Let’s stop this type of coercive interrogation and call your congressman.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? I honestly don’t think that law enforcement wants to “hang” an innocent guy, but when there is pressure, anything can happen.