Thursday, February 28, 2008


This is one of those movies that sticks with you. Although it's a crime drama, so much more. And, for me, it does what a movie is suppose to do or it has what a movie is suppose to have; some sort of redeeming purpose. And, for me, it was not the ending that I would have written but it was plausible. It's very hard to say what I mean and yet convey a sense of the movie. The basic story is the kidnapping of a little girl: her little life and history is a mother who is a dope head among many things. The mother basically has stolen a drug dealer's money and he has retaliated by stealing the daughter. Pretty straight forward. NOT. The twists and turns keep you on the edge. What you think and what the movie portrays is not it at all.

I can't reveal much or I'll spoil the movie. Casey Affleck is great in an academy award performance, whatever that is. He reminds very much of William Hurt in how he underplays his role, very effective. He is gentle but tough. I saw him in the Jesse James movie and wrote the movie off as too ethereal when in fact, it was more his acting method.

Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman are outstanding as is everybody in this movie. No weak role. What fascinates me always about Morgan Freeman is that you can see him in any role and he makes you think the one he's playing is just who he is.

Ben Affleck's directoral debut is very impressive. His ending, given the situation and the decisions made were very, very intuitive (imaginative).

This movie is really also about ethics and ethical decision making (deciding what is right and wrong). We come to the truth and decide how best to handle the truth. Many of us in various ways come to those situations on occasion, maybe not in the same dramatics of this movie but generally in living life.

Another thing that I liked about this movie was it educated us which I think movies can do while entertaining. For most of us middle or upper middle class types, we are never exposed to the underbelly of life like presented in this movie; big cities where drugs are so pervasive, kids living in squalor, not much of a chance in life--perverts, a way of life that is far removed from us. See this movie, worth your time. Sad, dramatic, thought provoking.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I think Hillary ought to concede. Although I've been a supporter as I think we need a woman; however, her downfall has been other women--(IN MY OWN FAMILY)--they don't like her and Barack's support seems to reinforce the idea that his candidacy is more a movement than one person, i. e., the big crowds.

To be honest, it has been a mystery and so I think, "Hillary, give it up." Plus, I will admit, I always saw "Bill" as an asset. My rational mind tells me that he would be part of a Hillary presidency. And, is that all bad? When he was president, I was never a big Bill fan but objectively which I always like to be: Bill left us with a gigantic surplus and no war. We now have two wars and the biggest deficit in history that we will be living with for years in ways that none of us can even know now; if that doesn't make any difference to people, then they should vote for John McCain who says we'll stay in Iraq for a 100 years if need be. I really am an Independent and always vote for the person but honestly feel that the Democrats need a landslide to turn the country around. Obama may simply be the catalyst.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


But what our leaders can do is screw up so bad that us old goats end having to defend our homeland, door to door. Did you hear that the Army extended the age to enlist from 36 to 42 years old just a few months ago.

There was nothing more demoralizing and gut wrenching to me in Nam and even to this day than when we were ordered back into villages that we had just fought in and won and many had died for just a few weeks earlier. You can't even begin to imagine the hopelessness we all felt as we spilled our blood over and over on the same damn spot endlessly. Talk about the killing fields, how about calling it "a young man's Country's butcher fields".

And now, God help us, a 100 years more in IraqNam !!! As much as I respect Sen. McCain as a Nam war hero and POW, I still have to ask: What kind of total insanity is this? War is hell but continuous war is hell on earth.

GP, Sergeant, retired, Vietnam Class of 67-69

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I figured I should knock this out since the Academy Awards are upon us. I saw the movie several weeks ago and it fits in the same category as No Country For Old Men; good movie, very well done and holds your attention but doesn't do it for me. I like to come out of a movie with some measure of both feeling OK, good would be better; and thinking that there is a lesson to learn. I fully understand that most go for entertainment, not me. I go as movies mirror life and I'm always asking myself, what is there to learn from this movie? Answer: not much. Daniel Day Lewis is good no doubt about it. As an early oil baron, one kind of sees how it was so cut throat in the beginning and remains the same today and yet so very human. DDL's son was merely an object to be used--how can anyone not grant mineral rights to this kind, family man who promises that once we get the oil, all prosper. NOT!

I dont' know if there is a book to compare the movie too but would like to have seen the other contributing characters developed a bit more. And, the religious aspect of the movie was quite surprising; a very primitive, "snake handling" kind of religion that took the Scriptures literally and made them worse. What is scary is that there are people in the world like this. An eerie like Elmer Gantry type personality with less sophistication but more madness--a twist that I can't tell you about. Very interesting. Not a movie for entrtainment but one for pondering. I'm sorry that I couldn't go out and discuss it with someone.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


It looks to me like Barack is going in and I think I agree with what the NY Times said Sunday: Barack has become a movement. I could vote for him, not my first choice but will have to say that it appears that he's brought all kinds of people to him that ordinarily might not vote.

And, of course, he will never sway those like my brother who is in that right wing category but just the way it is. Not much to be said about it. I can live with it and hope most Democrats can. One side of me says that he has been crowned by the media and so this is it. But, then I'm not so sure. I like what he says; ideas of change, and I don't think any of us can deny that he has bridged the racial thing. At first I thought, "wow, this is racial in itself, 82% of blacks voting for him" and yet, in those places where that has been the case, you have all these others voting. And, I think I can understand. If I were a black and saw a guy like Barack: articulate, smart, standing a chance to be president, let's do it. And, I think that it says tons for our country that here we have a black and a woman who stand a good chance of being president.

What I truly hope for is that we don't get to the convention and it not be settled: to really change this country, we need a Democratic landslide and if we don't get it, who knows what might happen. The thoughts of electing another Republican is onerous to me.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Can you imagine this? A convicted drug user puts the bad mouth on an authenic war hero and 13.5 million people apparently agree with him. I am amazed. Yes, we are talking loudmouth Rush Limbaugh putting the bad mouth on John McCain because he isn't conservative enough.

This has to be one of those "only in America" things. This is scary. It is scary for America. Most of us know that talk radio thrives on shouting half truths about various issues. And, they usually get enough non thinkers to listen. But, 13.5 million? I don't know anybody who would admit, at least to me, that they listened to the egotistical and self centered blowhard. A couple of times when I have been listening to him way back when, I was amazed that people would call into his show to be insulted. This was before I realize that it is part of the shtick for guys like Limbaugh, Michael Salvage and even those like Judge Judy or Dr. Laura--do they go for insult training somewhere.

But, I will have to say that Limbaugh is beyond the pale. I wouldn't vote for John McCain because of his Iraq views but he is a bona fide American hero. Rush Limbaugh only exists because of our great country and it has been heroes like McCain who have made it possible for those like Limbaugh to spout off such insults.

The guy says to his listeners, "Folks, can we agree, just between us, has it not been brilliant how strategically I have inserted myself in this campaigh?" Meaning insulting McCain. He is so arrogant that he says, "People listen to the program just to drink as his rantings trough." And, there are 13.5 million people who listen to Limbaugh, carried on 600 stations and supposely has the nation's largest talk show audience. Scary. The guy's got an 18 carot gold microphone that he uses to spew his discourse to his 13.5 million minions.

Limbaugh must be living right or something. In Florida, he had his maid carrying in oxey condrin in wheelbarrows and somehow skates out of going to jail. Scary, scary. And, to top it off, the guy has a sleek G4 jet that he drives around the sky made possible by a 300 million dollar contract to shout and badmouth a hero.

If McCain were to say something like this: Rush Limbaugh is an idiot and I'm wary of the 13.5 million people who listen to him. I might even vote for him.