Bad Movie of the Week

Number 239 of a series

This title shot explains how I came to review this movie. The name of the movie is Albuquerque, which is the most prominent city in New Mexico. But the scenery is nowhere near Albuquerque; rather it’s in another state, Arizona. Specifically the scenery is from Sedona, where I was all of last week. In the town there is a series of plaques along a scenic walk, each one explaining something of the local culture. One plaque lists all the movies filmed in the region, and one of these is this, based on a book by Luke Short. The movie came out in 1948 and is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, where I obtained these screen shots. Details are from Wikipedia.

The film stars Randolph Scott as Cole Armin, a former Texas Ranger, coming to Albuquerque to work for his uncle, John Armin (George Cleveland). That’s where the story gets interesting.

But first viewers are treated to more of that famous Red Rock scenery, for which Sedona is famous. This is Bell Rock, a sandstone formation, several hundred feet tall, which stands alongside Highway 179. A few years ago Jim Eng and I went about 200 feet up, where we obtained some fantastic photos.

More of the Red Rock scenery as we see a stage coach heading toward Sedona, rather, towards Albuquerque.

The opening scene introduces one of the most colorful characters to grace western movies during my childhood. Here is George “Gabby” Hayes as Juke, the driver and also a top notch mule skinner. For the uninformed, “mule skinner” means driver of mule teams.

Tragedy strikes quickly as three gunmen stage a holdup. Cole has been entertaining fellow passengers, including the striking Celia Wallace (Catherine Craig). But Cole is without his weapon, and he has to surrender meekly as the bandits take Celia’s money ($20,000) and shoot one of the passengers. There follows a dramatic scene where the flurry of gunfire spooks the horses, and the coach goes tearing off along the desert road with a young girl, Karolyn Grimes as Myrtle Walton, trapped inside. Cole borrows a loose horse and overtakes the coach, saving the day for all but the dead passenger.

Cole’s life as a hero is short. When the remains of the stage coach run arrives in Albuquerque, and Cole discloses his kinship with John Armin, a decided chill sets in. John Armin has a reputation as a ruthless, even criminal, businessman. When the local sheriff, Ed Linton (Bernard Nedell) shows a lack of interest in catching the culprits, Cole’s suspicion grows. It turns out the sheriff works for John Armin.

John Armin is an old man, confined to a wheel chair, and needing a younger man, such as his nephew, to take over and run his freight hauling business. Also working for Armin is the brutish gun slinger Steve Murkil (Lon Chaney, Jr.), billed as “Lon Chaney” in the titles.

Cole quickly figures out he does not want to work for his uncle, and he throws in his lot with sweet Celia’s brother, Ted Wallace (Russell Hayden), who runs a rival freight business. When the Wallace freight business begins to show some competition, John Armin brings in outside help in the form of the smashing Letty Tyler (Barbara Britton). Letty arrives on the coach and proceeds immediately to the offices of the Wallace freight company, where she comes upon Ted being robbed by a masked man with a gun. Letty immediately whips her own weapon from her handy purse, and gets off two shots, scaring the bandit away. She is awarded with a job at the Wallace company. Not known, but ultimately suspected by Cole, is that Letty’s pistol was loaded with blanks.

As a plant for Armin, Letty brings him inside information on his competition.

But one part of that information leads to an attempt to bushwhack Ted, who suffers a disabling wound to the leg. Letty has gone sweet on Ted, and she ultimately unloads the details to Cole. I’m cutting out a chunk of plot detail and getting to the crux.

The Wallace company bids on a contract to carry ore from an isolated mine in them there mountains, and Armin sends along one of his plants as one of the drivers. The shipment comprises ten loads and ten drivers, and when the Armin guy arrives at the mine he hightails it back to town on a horse, previously stashed for the purpose. Cole must take the place of the absent driver, and he is not actually a mule skinner.

The route down the mountain is treacherous, and Cole’s wagon has been sabotaged. On the steep road the brake must be applied constantly, and somebody has cut partly through the brake lever with a saw. When Cole pulls harder on the brake lanyard, the lever snaps, and there are tense moments before Cole hauls out his trusty bull whip to snag the remaining part of the lever and apply the brake.

Getting down from the mountain is only part of the hazard. Armin prepares his cadre of gunslingers to ambush and annihilate the Wallace company when the wagons arrive in town. Letty gets wise to the scheme, and she makes Armin a deal he cannot refuse. She comes behind him as he prepares to watch the shootout from his office window, and she places her pistol, now with live ammunition, at the back of his head. The moment the shooting starts she is going to pull the trigger.

But Letty has alerted Ted and Cole of the ambush, and the drivers arrive in town with their load and also with their own men hidden in one of the wagons. There is one massive shootout in the streets of Albuquerque, and the Armin gang is wiped out. After the smoke clears they find Armin slumped in his wheelchair with a hole in his head.

It’s wedding bells for two of the couples, and the movie ends happily, along with this improbable plot.

Big complaint: Amazon’s copy of this video does not play well. Inadequate rendering of the video stream results in low quality video. Most apparent is the smearing of images containing motion.

It’s interesting to compare a move with the book that was its basis. The book is Luke Short’s Dead Freight for Piute, and I obtained a copy for comparison. Nowhere in the book does the word “Albuquerque” appear. So much for realism. Of course, the book does not mention Sedona.

A practice I have observed previously involves a movie studio acquiring the rights to a book, throwing away the plot, and retaining the title. This may not be the case here. I have not read the book, but the opening pages are encouraging. The book starts with Cole and Celia on the coach to somewhere, and bandits rob Celia of her money. We can suspect there will be a close parallel between the book plot and the movie.

Most disturbing of all is the huge gunfight scene. A contingent of seasoned gunmen ambushs a wagon train as it pulls into town, and they are completely defeated by the freight men. The outcome of the battle is grotesquely lopsided. How much of that are we supposed to believe?

Lon Chaney, Jr. was the son of the more famous Lon Chaney, known as “The Man of a Thousand Faces.” Four years after this release Lon Chaney, Jr. appeared as a washed up gunfighter in High Noon with Gary Cooper.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a series

A man was in a terrific automobile accident, and he wakes up in a hospital bed. The doctor comes in to see him and exclaims, “Ah, I see you are awake. What can I do for you?”

The man replies, “Tell me, am I badly injured?”

The doctor calms the man down. You have a number of injuries from which you will soon recover. Unfortunately your penis was completely severed and destroyed in the fire from your accident. However, I do have some good news. We have developed new technology, and we can now generate a replacement penis. The bad news is the replacement costs $1000 per inch. The good news is you have been awarded $9000 damages by a court. So, you can spend the money as you see fit. Maybe you should discuss this with your wife. I see you have been married for over 30 years, and this may be something of great importance to the two of you.

So the doctor leaves, and later in the day he checks back with his patient. “Have you discussed the matter with your wife?” he asks.

“Yes, I have,” the man replies.

“What have you decided?” the doctor asks.

“We’re getting new marble counter tops.”

Media Research Center

Number 7 in a series

Repeating myself: I tap into conservative media streams to bring you stuff you might otherwise miss. Here is something that reveals what conservative readers find worth their concern. It’s from CNS, which seems to be an arm of the MRC. That CNS is pushing the story indicates it’s something that gets conservative readers up in the morning:

By Patrick Goodenough | September 21, 2018 | 4:42 AM EDT
Right. We’re talking Christians and Muslims here, folks. Spit out your chaw and pull on your boots. The world is about to change. Here’s more of the story.

(CNSNews.com) – The proportion of Christians to Muslims among refugees from around the world admitted to the United States has changed significantly in FY 2018, with Christians comprising seven in ten new arrivals, and Muslims fewer than two in ten.

With ten days of the fiscal year to go, a total of 21,561 refugees have been resettled since October 1 last year, of whom 15,278 (70.8 percent) are Christians and 3,333 (15.4 percent) are Muslims, according to State Department Refugee Processing Center data.

The story features a photo of “Christian refugees from Syria and Iraq, in Jordan.” But wait. These people don’t look like you folks from the mid-west. They are dark complected and they’re wearing strange clothing. Better stay on the alert.

(Of the 53,716 refugees resettled in FY 2017, 56 percent arrived during the Obama administration and 44 percent during the Trump administration.)

And in FY 2016, 44.5 percent of the 84,994 refugees resettled in the U.S. by the Obama administration were Christians and 45.7 percent were Muslims. That was the first time in a decade that the total refugee intake from around the world included more Muslims than Christians.

People, this is what American conservatism is about. It’s something that does not seem to have changed in my lifetime, stretching back to the 1940s. Are we ever going to be able to advance the clock?

This is your President speaking.

Number 149 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

“These law enforcement people took the law into their own hands when it came to President Trump.”

Who would have thought? Thank you, Senator Graham, and thank you, Mr. President, for parroting his words of wisdom. Some people are taking the world entirely too seriously.

People Unclear

This is number 53 of a series

Here I go again. I subscribe to some outlandish mail lists for the purpose of bringing entertainment to my readers. Today there’s a double header—two from Republican entities soliciting donations. Read them first, then I will comment:

House Conservative Majority HQ <info@nrccvictory.com>
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com
Sep 27 at 10:35 AM
Crooked Hillary just accused President Trump of putting our democracy in crisis.

RIDICULOUS.

Trump isn’t putting our democracy in crisis. He’s putting our country first.

If we want to combat Crooked Hillary’s attacks and defeat the radical left, we must reach our critical FEC End of Quarter deadline BEFORE MIDNIGHT.

[Next One]

Newt Gingrich <contact@campaigns.rnchq.com>
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com
Sep 27 at 9:38 AM
Authorized By Trump Headquarters

John,

President Trump won in a landslide because he promised you he would fight for you and defend you from our enemies.

He’s fulfilled that promise since Day One of his Administration.

With only 40 days until the election, it’s time for our Party to recall the lessons of President Trump’s campaign and get TOUGH against the intimidation tactics of the Left.

…Because if we don’t, everything could be lost.

Let’s take the first one.

So much for the crooked Hillary bit. Now the second one. “President Trump won in a landslide,” Do I need to say more? Some people, after all that has come down the pike in the past two years, remain unclear on some very critical issues.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 131

There is a large segment of modern society, reinforced by a headstrong gun rights organization, that holds to the belief that more guns available to the public makes for a safer world. Others are inclined to disagree:

Officers arrived to the scene at the intersection of South Meadowbrook Drive and Skyline Drive just before 5:30 p.m. Saturday, where they found Widman suffering from a gunshot wound. Police and paramedics tried to save the woman’s life, but she was pronounced dead about an hour later at a local hospital.

Police say that Widman was driving northbound on South Meadowbrook Drive with a friend when she stopped at a red light and got out of her car to approach the driver in the car in front of them. Witnesses say they heard a gunshot and saw the woman collapse in a parking lot.

The gunman left the scene, driving away northbound on Meadowbrook Drive.

According to some logic, the woman should have approached the other car with her gun already drawn. That way there might have been two dead people when the police arrived.

This is your President speaking.

Number 148

And now a few words from the President of the United States:’

We need a President who isn’t a laughing stock to the entire World. We need a truly great leader, a genius at strategy and winning. Respect!

Truer words never came out of our president’s mouth:

Donald Trump bragged about himself to the United Nations. The UN laughed.

Updated 3:42 PM ET, Tue September 25, 2018

Which brings us to Tuesday morning — and Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” Trump said, as he does.

“So true,” said Trump, clearly caught by surprise by the laughter. “I didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK,” he added to more laughter and some applause.
To clarify

Diplomats Say They Were Definitely Laughing At Trump At The UN

Yes, if the world was not laughing at us before, they are now. Thank you, President Trump. In less than two years as President of the United States you have made the world laugh again.

Bad Movie Wednesday

One of a continuing series

This one came out in 2016 from Universal Pictures and is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, where I obtained the screen shots. It’s Snowden, about the short, eventful, career of Edward Snowden. Details are from Wikipedia.

The opening scene shows the closing days of the drama, as renegade NSA contractor Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) approaches Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Quinto), a journalist for The Guardian, and documentarian Laura Poitras (Melissa Leo) in an upscale shopping mall in Hong Kong. Snowden is carrying a Rubics cube, by which I interpret he was to be identified. Snowden has left his contract job in Hawaii, taking with him a micro SD card of stolen data. He intends to release it to the world.

There follows a flashback of Snowden’s previous life, beginning with his abortive military career. He trains at Fort Benning, but washes out after breaking both legs.

He finds his niche in the CIA, which takes him on after he demonstrates extraordinary skills in qualifying exams.

From that point through 2012 Snowden moves from working for the CIA to working for Dell on an NSA contract. During this time he becomes aware of computer surveillance of such power it has the ability to snoop on anybody and to ruin peoples lives. Additionally he becomes disenchanted while observing the nonchalance with which combat drone operators accept collateral damage as part of the way of doing business.

Finally, he leaves Dell to work for an NSA contractor in Hawaii, and he uses his access there to load a micro SD card with pilfered data. He smuggles the card out of the facility by hiding it in the Rubics cube.

After the Guardian and Wikileaks publish the data, Snowden becomes a hero to many and a pariah to those who have the power to crush him.

From Hong Kong, Snowden makes his way to Russia, where he remains to this day, unable to travel without a passport that will protect him from the United States Government.

Oliver Stone directed this, and he also directed JFK, which famously portrayed the murder of President Kennedy as a vast conspiracy. By that measure we expect to see some of the same kind of treatment here, and we are not disappointed. Snowden is depicted as an earnest and conflicted individual, and there is no doubt that is how he sees himself. A turning point for him, also depicted in the movie, is NSA Director James Clapper’s skirting the issue of gathering data on American citizens. I have previously addressed this:

When all committee members had used their allotted five minutes, Chairman Feinstein opened for a second round of questions on camera before we’d adjourn to the closed hearing. Only Senators Feinstein, Angus King, and Ron Wyden had “round two” questions, hers on Hezbollah and Senator King’s on extremism in North Africa. Senator Wyden’s seemed to come out of left field:

And this is for you, Director Clapper—again, on the surveillance front. And I hope we can do this in just a yes or no answer, because I know Senator Feinstein wants to move on. Last summer, the NSA director was at a conference and he was asked a question about the NSA surveillance of Americans. He replied, and I quote here, ‘‘The story that we have millions, or hundreds of millions, of dossiers on people is completely false.’’ The reason I’m asking the question is, having served on the committee now for a dozen years, I don’t really know what a dossier is in this context. So what I wanted to see is if you could give me a yes or no answer to the question, does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?
 
Clapper, James R.. Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence (p. 207). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

The movie depicts Snowden as a prime mover and shaker in the cyber intelligence business, and indications are that he had some credible chops. Wikipedia indicates he tested about a 145 IQ, which is about par for a Ph.D. candidate, but not stratospheric. The movie shows him stealing his trove of data while working in Hawaii, but indications are he obtained the major part of his load before going there.

I watched this drama play out five years ago and saw (still do) Snowden as a self-appointed majority of one. Nothing much has come down the pike since to dispel my notion.

The Comical Conservative

Number 10 in a series

I love The Comical Conservative. They are a constant source of mirth that daily brightens my life. I troll their Facebook feed when I need fresh material. They don’t generate a huge amount of original material, but they do peruse the sources and post choice items. Here’s the latest from Chicks on the Right:

Things haven’t been going too well for Obama lately. He had a rough 2016 watching the American people say no to his legacy and say yes to Trump’s promise to destroy it. Over the last few years, Obama has been running around desperately trying to repair his image but the damage has really been done. Trump will be his legacy. Obama’s policies created the climate for Trump. You know that has to frustrate him deeply.

Recently, Obama was giving a speech and he appeared to lose his cool with a couple of kids.

Barack Obama wasn’t happy those young whipper snappers apparently weren’t hanging on his every word (about himself) on Friday.

“I’m talking to you, young people!” he snapped, pointing his finger with a stern look at some kids attending his rally for Pennsylvania Democrats.

“You! Pay attention!” he lectured with the air of a disappointed parent.

And that’s what goes for rude behavior in some circles. And that is what I find so amusing—watching fans of Donald Trump grasp at straws.

Wacko Right Wing Religious Fanatics Say The Darndest Things

Number 19 of a continuing series

Yeah, we get a lot of that. It comes from all directions. Here is Islamic nut case Zekir Naik:

The Moon Reflects sunlight, its a miracle

He continues on the theme of modern science in the Quran, and strives to be even sillier. He next claims humans only discovered that the moon reflected sunlight 100-200 years ago. Er no, that has been known for thousands of years prior to the existence of the Quran. The Greek philosopher Thales wrote about the moon reflecting the sun in 585 BC.

There’s more. It’s proof that American evangelical Christians don’t hold a lock on stupid.

The Government You Paid For

Number 46 of a Series

Hillary Clinton promised to eliminate coal mining jobs. Donald Trump promised to make coal great again. Coal mining states voted for Donald Trump. Coal miners now have the government they paid for:

“If this is unraveled some mines may again go back to ignoring conditions that can lead to disasters and deaths,” said Joe Main, Obama’s former head of mine safety.

Main led efforts to strengthen the pattern of violation rules, pointing out that serious violations dropped significantly after the 2013 reforms. The Trump administration is currently negotiating a settlement with the Ohio Coal Association and Murray Energy, which sued to stop the rules.

Worker advocates say they are highly concerned about the Labor Department’s decision.

“‘Significant and substantial’ violations are referred to that way for a reason — people die, people lose limbs,” says Phil Smith of the United Mine Workers of America, which sent a letter to the Labor Department questioning the decision to change its safety designation. “Every mine safety law on the books is written in a miner’s blood.”

“President Trump has already put his disregard for coal worker safety into action by refusing to enforce the rule against a West Virginia mine operator repeatedly cited for endangering mine worker safety,” said Charisma Troiano, press secretary for Democracy Forward, a liberal advocacy group in Washington. “Not only are President Trump’s broken promises on worker protections potentially unlawful, they could have dangerous and deadly results.”

Marco Rajkovich, Trump’s nominee to chair the mine safety review commission, has a long history of defending coal companies that have committed safety violations. He is still awaiting Senate confirmation.

Full disclosure: my father was at one time a member of the United Mine Workers of America.

This is your President speaking.

Number 147

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

The Democrats are working hard to destroy a wonderful man, and a man who has the potential to be one of our greatest Supreme Court Justices ever, with an array of False Accusations the likes of which have never been seen before!

“Never seen before?” Sure you have. Here is something for you to bring up the next time you decide to get on your high horse and lecture others on what is right and what is wrong:

Brett Kavanaugh’s page in his high school yearbook offers a glimpse of the teenage years of the man who is now President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee: lots of football, plenty of drinking, parties at the beach. Among the reminiscences about sports and booze is a mysterious entry: “Renate Alumnius.”

The word “Renate” appears at least 14 times in Georgetown Preparatory School’s 1983 yearbook, on individuals’ pages and in a group photo of nine football players, including Judge Kavanaugh, who were described as the “Renate Alumni.” It is a reference to Renate Schroeder, then a student at a nearby Catholic girls’ school.

Come to think of it, Mr. President, Bret Kavanaugh may the ideal Supreme Court pick to have your name attached.

Dying to Believe

Number 124 in a series

An all to often gift of unreason is early death. The Friends of the Truth Church in Japan provides a tragic reminder:

Apparent Mass Suicide Stirs Japan

By John Burgess

November 3, 1986

An apparent group suicide by seven Japanese women that followed the death of the founder of their small religious cult has dominated newspapers here and drawn attention to the role of suicide and cult religion in Japanese society.

A man out for a morning walk discovered seven charred bodies yesterday morning on a beach in Wakayama prefecture. Nearby was a plastic container of kerosene, which police surmised the woman used to immolate themselves.

The women were identified as members of a tiny church called the Friends of Truth, which is headquartered about 500 yards away from where their bodies were found. They ranged in age from 25 to 67, included the wife of the cult leader, and by some accounts were each related by blood to her.

We could consider these people were mentally ill, but then the same would have to be said of the billions who daily invoke unseen and unheard beings to direct their lives.

People Unclear

This is number 52 of a series

I write this series because apparently there are a few out there still unclear on some basics. Did I say “a few?” Excuse me. What we seem to have is a national disgrace. Let’s go to the video tape. NRA spokesman Grant Stinchfield appears to come to the defense of President Donald Trump as he scolds Congresswoman Maxine Waters for denouncing said president. He says:

What did the National Newspapers Association give Maxine Waters? A leadership award. Apparently to the violent left and the media that serves them, leadership is calling on an all out assault of anyone who supports President Trump.

All right. We see it there. A political opponent of President Trump is calling for Trump’s impeachment, and the crowd, representing newspaper publishers, is cheering. Newspaper publishers are supposed to show some deflection when it comes to taking sides on political issues. Really?

Let’s examine a few facts. Lest Stinchfield give the impression that this crowd includes CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc., be yourself disabused of the notion. This is the National Newspaper Publishers Association, an organization of sheets serving America’s black population and organized in 1940. Additionally, not clear in the video is who was in attendance. Publishers are not reporters. A number of media outlets covered the event and reported much the same as NRATV. Check some links.

And more.

Not noticed in all this—why are Grant Stinchfield and the NRA holding back on denouncing this president? Is it possible Stinchfield and the NRA are some of the “nice people” who won President Trump’s praise last year? Some people definitely remain unclear.

Quiz Question

Number 171 of a continuing series

Here is another from Martin Gardner.

THE EFFICIENT switching of railroad cars often poses frustrating problems in the field of operations research. The switching puzzle shown is one that has the merit of combining simplicity with surprising difficulty.

The tunnel is wide enough to accommodate the locomotive but not wide enough for either car. The problem is to use the locomotive for switching the positions of cars A and B, then return the locomotive to its original spot. Each end of the locomotive can be used for pushing or pulling, and the two cars may, if desired, be coupled to each other.

While working on the problem, assume that both cars are far enough east along the track so that there is ample space between each car and switch to accommodate both the locomotive and the other car.

No “flying switch” maneuvers are permitted. For example, you are not permitted to turn the switch quickly just after the engine has pushed an unattached car past it, so that the car goes one way and the engine, without stopping, goes another way.

Post your solution as a comment below.

People Unclear

This is number 51 of a series

I posted one of these just yesterday. I sign up for mail from conservative groups and campaigns, and what I get is a constant sense of amazement. Here is from a recent solicitation for contributions:.

NRCC HQ <info@nrccvictory.com>
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.comFirst: Nancy Pelosi raked in over $90 MILLION DOLLARS for the Democrats.

Then: Crooked Hillary maxed out donations to 19 Democrats running for Congress.

Now: President Obama is raising loads of cash in an attempt to overthrow Trump’s Conservative majority and inject his own failed big-government ideas.

Don’t let the liberal swampy elites get away with buying this election. Help Conservatives meet their critical FEC End of Quarter goal NOW!

That last bit of bold text is a link to a page that will take your donation.

First, let me accept on faith that Nancy Pelosi raked in over $90 million for Democrats, that Hillary Clinton really did max out donations to 19 Democrats, and that President Obama is raising loads of cash to overthrow Trump’s conservative majority. That’s a throwaway.

Let me beard down on “Crooked Hillary.” That is what’s rich, and it is the sort of thing that gets me out of bed each morning, reaching for my trusty Android tablet to see what’s coming from conservatives today.

There’s going to be more. Keep reading.

Bad Movie of the Week

Number 238 of a series

This came out in 1999, and somewhere I watched it through. Anyhow, it’s now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and I brought it up on my computer to capture some screen shots. It’s The Blair Witch Project. Details are from Wikipedia.

The big deal about the plot is the footage was supposedly found a year after the characters went missing in the Maryland outback. It’s a scary movie where everybody dies, so you know that catastrophe is always about to strike, and you sit on the edge of your chair waiting for doom.

To keep up the appearance of authenticity, the producers have left in what are the supposedly unclipped ends of the video clips. Such as this:

The problem is, many sequences have the appearance of having been clipped, removing blurry and off-subject frames, which normally appear when you pick up the camera and hit the record button before you bring the view finder up to your eye, but when it suits the whim of the editor. Here are a few more frames to illustrate. We see the recording started when the subject is not ready, and the camera is not centered.

But this sequence, showing the guy saying goodbye to his mom, seems orchestrated. We do not see the mom, nor do we hear her. No need for another actor on the payroll.

And they are on their way to oblivion.

Camera starting up, they guy is not yet ready to speak his part.

There is a story. The guys have to admit to the girl they forgot to bring the map. It is the prelude to the tragedy that is beginning to unfold.

The final scenes show the three, individually, at odds with something unseen. We watch the rambling video as the three seek out their nemesis. We hear a noise and watch the scene blur as a camera falls.

Fade to black. Of course.

This is your President speaking.

Number 146

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!

“Immediately filed with local law enforcement.” Words that will live in infamy.

People Unclear

This is number 50 of a series

Ever since I retired, one of my jobs has been to be on the receiving end of thought-provoking and oddly incongruous communications, such are political appeals. I somehow got myself on an email list promoting the Republican Party, more recently renamed The Party of Trump. Here is the latest:

Newt Gingrich <info@nrccvictory.com>
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com
Sep 21 at 6:40 PMLet me be clear.

If the Democrats take over Trump’s majority they’ll try to:

– Raise your taxes
– Repeal Trump’s successful agenda
– Implement a failed socialist-style health care system

You MUST help make sure this nightmare scenario does not happen.

Up front: I’m dead sure Newt Gingrich did not compose and send out the above. This was surely done by an earnest campaign operative for the Republican Party, as evidenced by the appeal to monetary donation that immediately followed. Sum total: whoever thought this up is unclear on a number of points.

  • I would very much like for Democrats to take over Congress.
  • I would not object to raising taxes. Implicit is that this is about income taxes.
  • I very much would like to repeal President Trumps agenda, successful as it supposedly is.
  • You can call it socialist-style or you can call it dog do, but that does not change what it is.

Some explanation:

Republicans in Congress have demonstrated a lack of public responsibility in kowtowing to Donald Trump’s foolish whims. They need to take some time off the job and get out to talk to the people they represent. I would like to vote them out.

Income taxes are a major source of the revenue that supports the government. In case Republicans didn’t notice, the government was rocking along just fine before the election of Donald Trump, the economy was doing well, and defunding the government by erasing a major source of income for operations has not only produced a considerable spike in deficit spending, but the way it was engineered shows a troubling preference to people in power at the expense of those with little power. It is a shameful insult to the people our politicians are supposed to represent.

Repeal Trump’s agenda? Where can we start? Can we start with a Secretary of Education whose policies work toward undermining public education? Can we start with a Secretary of HUD who seems to favor cronyism over competence in hiring for his government staff? Or the dismantling of international agreements with countries that have worked diligently with us for decades? Newt, what were you thinking?

Call it what you like, but the Affordable Care Act is a major step toward bringing this country into line with the civilized world with a goal toward ensuring we have a healthy and long-lived citizenry and work force. And Newt is against this?

Newt, look at the photo at the top of this posting. That’s one of your guys. That’s one of the people who helped craft the policies this president is implementing. And Paul Manafort is not alone. As of this writing at least five others of Trump’s team have either entered guilty pleas or have been convicted of crimes against the American people. This is besides an ominous list of others who came aboard the new administration, apparently to salve their egos or to bolster their personal wealth. People in Trump’s administration who have stepped up to their responsibilities have been dismissed by this president. And you want voters to continue to support this train wreck? I must, at this time, decline.

Somebody out there does not get it, and one way to send them the message is to pension them off in November.