Jun 25, 2010

The BP Oil Crisis

I have been pondering the BP oil crisis for quite sometime now. Trying to think of exactly what I can add to the conversation. Then I read my dad's blog on the topic and felt as though my mind had been read. You may say, "Like father like son", to which I would add, "Have you ever met the two of us"? Nevertheless his sentiments are mine. The entry below is completely my dad's from his blog: A Time For Truth. If you enjoy his writing I have a link to his blog below the article. The opinions expressed in the rest of his articles do not necessarily reflect the views or writings of Randumblog, but the one writing them has helped shape me into the man I am today. I love you Dad.


No Leadership

Oil continues to gush into the USA Gulf Coast area, fouling everything it touches. Death and Destruction are visible on every side. Now for over 60 days the onslaught has continued and one must wonder how much longer before it can be stopped. A look at the US government response is eye opening. The main actions taken are lot of hot air and getting lawyers involved to see who can be held accountable along with possible criminal charges. The offers from other nations willing to help are ignored or just refused. Blaming BP for the problem and strong arming them into setting up a fund to pay damage claims run by the government seems to be the priority. Now nothing wrong with making sure damages are taken care of BUT the focus needs to be an all hands on deck approach in working to stop the oil from continuing to flow before it starts to cause damage to other nations and destroy the ocean's eco system for years to come. The sad thing is that the US government encouraged the deep water drilling with no viable data in how to handle a ruptured pipe problem at such a depth. Now we have the problem and no workable plan to fix it in a reasonable time frame. No leadership from Washington DC, and BP without the power and resources needed to fix it before it became a major problem. The one time a problem is large enough to actually need our government to step in to coordinate the containment and clean up effort and all we get is talk about paying for damages and who should be blamed. There is a time for everything and now is the time for action to stop the flow of oil and after that has happened THEN it will be time for blame, investigations, liability, and paying for the damages. If the government cannot answer the bell for this issue how can it be trusted to run the health care system effectively for over 300 million people. That is another nightmare waiting to happen. We vote in those who have not only had no experience in the real world, but no clue as to how to lead in a critical time. Is it any wonder why excuses seem to be the rule of the day by those who are blinded by their ideology even while walking in darkness. Interesting times are upon us indeed.

My Dad's Blog: A Time For Truth

Jun 24, 2010

Toy Story 3--Official Review

I was not looking forward to seeing Toy Story 3 when I first heard it was coming out. I thought "Oh No! they are going to kill a great movie series". I always hate when a sequel stinks so bad that they sour the movie(s) before it.

One example was Meet the Fockers, which was so terrible that I don't really have any desire to watch Meet the Parents anymore. Before "Fockers" was released I counted Meet the Parents as one of my favorite romantic comedy movies. Did you know they are actually making a third movie? Well they are not getting any money from me.

. . . Rabbit Trail . . .

Let's get back to Toy Story 3. When I saw the trailer I thought, give me a break, Andy is in college and still has all of his toys from his toddler years (Etch, Mr. Spell, Wheezy etc.). Then I saw the movie. Boy was I wrong!

--Spoiler Alert--

Most of the toys have already been sold or thrown out. This includes Bo Peep (sniffle). The three remaining soldiers decide to parachute out of the window rather than facing the trash can. It is emotional from the get go. The toys reminisce about their glory days when Andy played with them and even try to get his attention by hiding his phone.

I almost fell apart completely at the end. I fought a lump in my throat so big that to give in I would have been audibly annoying to others around me. Meanwhile the tear faucets were on with every adult in the theater (and very few kids). The emotional subject matter is above them in much the same way as the first 5 minutes of Up.

I think that it should have received a PG rating rather than a G. --Major Spoiler Alert-- The scenes with the freaky Big Baby (who my kids loved), the incinerator that threatened their lives, and the part where Lotso is fastened to the truck are definitely not scenes for a G movie.

If Toy Story had been a newer movie and not the CGI pioneer that it was then I would say Toy Story 3 was the best of the Trilogy. It has Toy Story 2 beat by a long shot (since it never explains how Woody doesn't know about Woody's Roundup or being and "old family toy"). I especially enjoyed the Return of the Jedi like scene where Big Baby tosses Lotso into the dumpster. Ken is also a new hilarious plus to this film.

I am not a fan of the Day and Night Pixar short at the beginning. The message of diversity was okay but the focus on living it up by lusting after girls or running to Vegas was also not G content. It was by far the worst of the shorts that Pixar has made.

This movie is definitely worth seeing. We saw it in 2D and it was awesome! I think the 3D craze is overrated and over-inflates and misrepresents where a movie lands on the highest grossing film list (i.e. Avatar). See it how you want, but make sure to see it. It is the best movie so far this year.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the Monkey RULES!

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Jun 8, 2010

A Former Prequel Basher Speaks Out!

I am unashamedly a Star Wars fan. Usually the only difference between others my age and myself is that I like all of the Star Wars saga. I will admit that when Episode 1 was released I was quick to be a prequel basher (not knowing how it would all tie up in the end). However, now 11 years, 3 movies, and two "official"(the Samari Jack version is not canon) Clone Wars seasons later I have become quite the fan. Now, as a recovering prequel hater, I have a few corrections to add to the logic of prequel bashing. Note: If you are one of my regular readers, but not a Star Wars fan then this blog will read like gibberish. You may stop reading now if that is you.

Well let's get started with Qui Gon's training of Obi-Wan. Yoda did instruct (not train) Obi Wan as he did all younglings. Qui Gon had to be there to learn the path to immortality because Darth Vader did not seem to know what Obi Wan meant by "Strike me down and I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine".

There are those who would keep Yoda on the sidelines as an Orko like character. How can Yoda train Jedi in all areas when those areas include swordsmanship if he is not capable of fighting himself? He is feeble in the prequels (walks with a cane) but when he relies on the force he can do greater things.

Midi-Chlorians are necessary to answer the question of why the force is strong in Luke's family. He told Leia that his Father, he, even she had it. She heard his cry in Bespin and answered when even Obi Wan did not. Somehow it is hereditary, but only the use of it not the force itself.

Contrary to popular belief, the expanded universe books are not canon. The clone army does not have to be evil cloned Jedi army. Lucas cannot be expected to bend his story around more than a hundred books. The Clone army as a secret army is a great plot because Sidious is behind the separatists who hate Palpatine (they don't know its him) and he is behind the clones as a means to start a war that weakens the Jedi to the point where he can destroy them and declare martial law.

The plot is so much deeper than the original plot where Ewoks defeat the Empire with rocks or that a concentrated laser blast can destroy a planet in a few seconds. I almost forgot to mention that Han gets frozen with his arms tied to his sides but once frozen his hands are up. You've also got the remark by Obi Wan about the Jawas deaths by saying "Only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise..." when they clearly have terrible aim in all 3 movies.

Can we also answer how Luke's torpedos do a 90 degree turn to blow up the death star? Why were the controls for the Rancor's metal door inside the enclosure? When did Luke learn to use his light saber? What about how many times the Millennium Falcon rolls over in space with the unseatbelted passengers standing behind Han and Chewie without a scratch.

Prequel bashers say the dialogue of the battle droids is silly but what of C3POs comic relief or chewbacca's 3 different sounds being understood by Han as a complete language. The fact that a droid army almost took over helps to explains why C3PO and R2D2 were not admitted into the cantina and were referred to as "their kind".

Bashers also love to hate Jar Jar Binks. Jar Jar and Qui Gon's interaction is the prequel's version of Han and C3PO's relationship. They are the only ones in the movie annoyed by these characters and everyone else is sympathetic.

Let's not forget the fact that Leia's home planet is destroyed and ten minutes later and for the rest of the trilogy she is fine and content not to mention it. At least Anakin is torn up about his mother's death.

The true and only missing link between the trilogies is why Leia says that she remembers her mother as beautiful. Unless this plays into something the Force allowed. Since it goes unanswered we will have to assume that it is indeed a gap in continuity.

The bottom line is that we like the magic of what we have grown up with. Kids today prefer the prequels and accuse the original trilogy of being to slow. There are some who are brainwashed by older fans into liking the originals better. My children however do not fall into that category even though I do.

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Jun 7, 2010

My Take on Illegal Immigration

There has been an awful lot of talk about immigration lately and I have been asked by several of you to weigh in on the matter. Right out of the gate I want to remind everyone that unless we are Native Americans, then immigration has played a role in our families coming to this great land. Legal Immigration has been and always will be healthy for this country.

It is illegal immigration that poses many problems. These problems are amplified by multiculturalism and political correctness. We are becoming a country with no real sense of itself or of what it is to be an American. Don't get me wrong--I am not against being proud of ones roots, but our political system and business world should not have to accommodate every cultural background. People come here for opportunities. This is a package deal. The opportunities are great because the country is great.

Cultural nostalgia is one thing, but let's not forget that there are existing cultural practices that actually encourage the poverty of nations that people may be fleeing from. One such practice would be India's sacred cows. Cows walk the street protected from slaughter even while there are people dying of starvation. Make no mistake about it--a country's successes are directly attached to its culture.

There has been a lot of negative press lately for Arizona. I for one am proud of Arizona for saying enough is enough. Our federal government is in charge of immigration policy and Arizona is simply a state that is trying to uphold that law. What we should be complaining about is the growing number of "sanctuary" cities who have adopted ordinances banning police from asking people about their immigration status. These cities include: Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Detroit, Jersey City, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Aurora, Colorado, Baltimore, Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Portland, Maine, and Senath, Missouri. These cities are effecting their own immigration policies that are opposed to congress and are in violation of the U.S. Constitution which gives states and localities the freedom to pass laws in areas that are not express powers given to the federal government.

The largest problem is not the illegal immigrants themselves, but those behind their reason for coming. Businesses will pay a wage slightly higher than one can make for the same job in Mexico. Higher wages are the draw for illegals to enter the country. We need to spray some Round Up on this problem to get at its root. Businesses should be able to provide proof of legal status for all employees. When found to have hired an illegal immigrant the fine should be so large that the business would almost fold completely. After several businesses close others will see that cheap labor is not as inexpensive as it used to be. While we are at it, we can fine banks that give accounts and mortgages to illegal immigrants.

We must continue to realize that this is not a racial issue. This is a matter of law. This great social experiment called "America" will fail if not based on the rule of law. My hope for America is that we will continue to have people from all over the globe want to live here so much that they will follow proper legal channels to come here.