Archive for the 'Commentary' Category



Today’s Sarah Palin Comment???

Surprisingly, this arrived in my Spam folder!  I had no idea Ms. Palin followed my blog.

I’ve be mindful your stuff previous to and you are just too excellent. I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you’re stating and the best way during which you assert it. You make it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to stay it wise. I can not wait to read far more from you.

Wow!  I can hardly wait for what she has to say next!   —   YUR  😉

Another Bonus Quote!

English: Riverside Press Cambridge logo from A...

English: Riverside Press Cambridge logo from A Treasury of War Poetry (2nd Series), ed. by George Herbert Clarke. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Again, from the Thought for Today:

Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’  Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”   —   George Herbert, English author (1593 – 1633)

(I wish I had seen this quote years ago!  Great advice for almost anybody, in almost any situation.  Except maybe in going to war.  We all know how that worked out in Iraq!  Be well and do good, friends.)   —   YUR

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Bob Knew

 

English: Created by Phil Scoville on June 25, ...

English: Created by Phil Scoville on June 25, 2005 Downloaded from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/philscoville/21528732/ This picture is free to share and remix with proper attribution under the following license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is possibly the very best reason to get married. And, once you’ve achieved this, probably the strongest argument for staying married.   —   YUR

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S i m o n T o c c l o

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure…

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Cryptoquote Spoiler – June 1st, 2013

English: Flower of Arctotis sp.

English: Flower of Arctotis sp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love.”   —   Max Müller

Friedrich Max-Müller, by George Frederic Watts...

Friedrich Max-Müller, by George Frederic Watts (died 1904), given to the National Portrait Gallery, London in 1900. See source website for additional information. This set of images was gathered by User:Dcoetzee from the National Portrait Gallery, London website using a special tool. All images in this batch have been confirmed as author died before 1939 according to the official death date listed by the NPG. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Our first Max Müller quote since I’ve been posting the spoilers!  Very interesting fellow, this Max.  We seem to see eye to eye on what I love to call the evolution of religion.  Check it out:  “Müller derived his theory that mythology is “a disease of language”. By this he meant that myth transforms concepts into beings and stories. In Müller’s view “gods” began as words constructed in order to express abstract ideas, but were transformed into imagined personalities. Thus the Indo-European father-god appears under various names: Zeus, Jupiter, Dyaus Pita.  For Müller all these names can be traced to the word “Dyaus”, which he understands to imply “shining” or “radiance”. This leads to the terms “deva”, “deus”, “theos” as generic terms for a god, and to the names “Zeus” and “Jupiter” (derived from deus-pater). In this way a metaphor becomes personified and ossified.”  — from Wikipedia.  I’ve always said that it all started around an ancient campfire one night, when one hunter – who could do more than grunt, and had a little more imagination – explained to the others why the hunt either went well, or went poorly that day.  Thus was born the concept of the spirits.  Given time, the spirits were later personified into gods, and eventually economized into the concept of the single god.  Then of course, from there all hell breaks loose.  It’s just unfortunate that logic and reason don’t stand a chance when they come face to face with tradition and indoctrination.  Be well and do good, friends.)   —   YUR

It’s Gotta BE Candice as American Idol!

  

English: Mariah Carey performing live in Las Vegas

English: Mariah Carey performing live in Las Vegas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK.  So I threw this out there two minutes before Ryan Seacrest read the results of the votes.  Why?  I don’t know.  I’m not really a fan of American Idol.  I never really cared for the concept, from the get go.  Too much Pop, too much of what they – laughingly – call “R & B”, too much Country, and not enough Rock,  for my tastes.  I rarely miss the show though, because it’s one of those spousal participation deals.  My wife loves the show.  She needs to have someone as a kind of a sounding board.  That’s me.

Don’t get me wrong though.  I have to give the producers a lot of credit, for the set up of the show.  The huge cattle-call auditions in various cities around the country, showing  a decent mix of young people with legitimate potential, and those quirky, deluded oddballs who have no business opening their mouths – let alone sing – makes for compelling television.  Those first few weeks is their hook.  (Even my son will watch – parts of the first few weeks – for the people who either totally suck, or are there for their 60 seconds of fame/infamy.  And he call the show the musical holocaust!)    They throw in some heart warming stories to endear certain contestants to the viewers.  They play up some early favorites and point out the difficult divas, all to build up the notion of:  We gotta vote for our guy/girl! . . . and hope that the other guys don’t get enough votes.  I know they’ve generated tons of revenue for AT&T, Ford and Coca Cola!

The other thing they DID well was the judging system.  I say did because this year the judging was unwatchable.  Initially, they had the three judges, and it was largely a good cop/bad cop set up between Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.  Paula went out of her way to be nice to anyone who was even borderline talented, and Simon was brutally honest, to the point where he he’d infuriate a large portion of the live audience.  I always found his honesty to be refreshing.  Randy Jackson usually played the joker.  After a number of seasons Paula left, then came back, then left again, and Simon eventually grew tired of the show and left.  There were some decent replacement judges over the last few years, but it’s never really been quite the same since Simon left.  J-Lo and Steven Tyler were entertaining as judges, and Randy even attempted to play the heavy at times, but I thought the show lacked legitimate criticism.  Now, I long for those days.

This year they went with four judges, and the show lost its focus.  I don’t know if it was all honest, or at least partially contrived, but the “feud” between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj was not even remotely entertaining to me.  Not in the least.  And, four judges is just too many.  It seemed like two thirds of the show was the judges, and only one third was performance.  That might have been okay had the critiquing actually been honest criticism, but it was generally over the top fawning over mostly mediocre singing.  I thought all the guys basically stunk, and only a few of the girls could sing.  Not surprising that the two I liked best – from day one – made it to the finals.  There were a few times where Nicki would buck the nice-nice trend, and tell people their performances were weak, but that seemed to be more early on.  Keith Urban was too much the pretty boy, loving the limelight, and telling everybody how special they were.  Randy went back and forth from his usual Yo Dogs and She’s innit to winnit! to the occasional I wasn’t feelin’ it and It wasn’t your strongest performance.  And for me, Mariah Carey was pretty much unwatchable, as a judge.  She’s beautiful and a talented singer, and all, though not my style.  But as a judge, there was way too much faint praise, the occasional gutter-sniping . . . retribution(?), and she just seemed to go on forever . . . and ever.  Later on you realized that the main reason Mariah and Keith were there was to promote their latest CD/tour.  Maybe Steven and J-Lo did the same thing, but they were a little more subtle about it  . . . and they were just better judges.

Bottom line, there really were only two strong contenders, pretty much from day one.  I liked them both, but grew a little cool to Kree when I thought she disrespected Harry Connick Jr.  I thought Randy disrespected him too, but I think Randy was kind of trying to defend Mariah by arguing with Harry over his comments on just singing simply and not always doing runs.  Then, you had a handful of  pretenders, who showed occasional flashes of talent.  The rest of them likely wouldn’t have made it through auditions . . . had Simon still been on the show.

Congrats to Candice Glover, though!  She is a true talent, and deserved to win!

—   YUR

Cryptoquote Spoiler – 11/03/12

English: Oprah Winfrey at the White House for ...

English: Oprah Winfrey at the White House for the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”   —   Oprah Winfrey

Hurricane Sandy 2012 (from Weather.com)

Hurricane Sandy 2012 (from Weather.com) (Photo credit: Canadian Pacific)

Count your blessings, people!  If you need a reminder of how good you actually have it, think about the people who have lost EVERYTHING, due to Hurricane Sandy.  So many shore towns in New Jersey have been totally devastated.  But also cities such as Hoboken, New Brunswick and Jersey City were severely damaged by flooding, and MANY are still without power, and, of course, heat.  Parts of Staten Island were decimated, and hundreds there have been left homeless.  The death toll for New York City alone is up to 41, with 19 of the fatalities coming from Staten Island.  Manhattan’s Lower East side was also hard hit.  I have friends in Long Beach, Long Island who lost everything to flooding.  And, much of Brooklyn and Queens were totally wrecked by this freak storm, especially The Rockaways.  But the worst of the worst is Breezy Point, NY.  While these people were dealing with the rising flood waters, and the 70+ mile an hour winds, a monstrous fire broke out.  The high winds carried the burning embers to so many rooftops, resulting in the eventual, inevitable, total loss of over 100 houses.  Hundreds of people there have absolutely nothing to go back to, including – ironically – many FDNY and NYPD members.  In the spirit of counting your blessings, please consider making an emergency contribution on behalf of all who were adversely affected by this horrible “frankenstorm”.  Here are a few organizations that I think would be the most appropriate for your consideration:

The American Red Cross

The Salvation Army

Feeding America

New York Cares

The National Firefighters’ Endowment

and for all our affected furry, finny and feathered friends:

The Humane Society of the United States

The American Humane Association

North Shore Animal League America

Whatever you can spare, I know it will be greatly appreciated.  Be well and do good, friends.

—   YUR

A 9/11 – 11 Year and 1 Week Anniversary Bonus!

Library sign designed by Jessamyn West

Library sign designed by Jessamyn West (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Thought for Today:

We want the facts to fit the preconceptions.  When they don’t fit it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions.”   —   Jessamyn West

(A little ironic that she died in 1984.  Not ironic that she was an American Quaker.  I wonder what she would make of the world today???  Be well, do good, and keep asking questions, friends.)   —   YUR

PS.  Perhaps this quote has been mis-attributed.  There is also a living Jessamyn West, who designed the above sign!  Hmm!      YUR

Spam Message of the Year!

. . . Well, so far, at least!

SPAM! [don't buy]

Every single day I receive varying amounts of spam, which WordPress is very good about filtering out, from the legitimate comments.  Usually, the spam is full of complimentary praise, designed to get you to accept it.  But, it’s always so non-specific to the post that it’s allegedly commenting on, and the English is generally very suspect..  Other times the spam is just a mish-mosh of letters, numbers and symbols, mixed in with the occasional words and phrases.  However, every so often you get a spam message that doesn’t fit the mold.  I received this one the other day, and for some reason, I feel compelled to share it with all of you!

“if the buffalo in my head could speak german i would not know a god damm thing. What i do know is that the language of art is out of this world. 977229”   —   Wollin@aol.com

How wonderfully quirky!  It’s both strangely cryptic, and semi-poetic.  Again, the English – and the spelling – is very suspect, in parts, but it has a whimsical quality to it.  I have no idea whose email address this is, and very likely it has been cloned/hacked, but if someone wants to write to this person . . . feel free!  No, I’m just kidding!  You’d either be just adding to this person’s misery, or you might even open yourself up to being hacked/cloned.  Just enjoy this for the random nonsense that it is.  Be well, do good . . . and search for hidden beauty, friends.   —   YUR

2012 Oscar Baffler

Actor Tom Hanks, center, points to 250 veteran...

Image via Wikipedia

This morning they announced all the nominees for the 2012 Academy Awards.  All the expected actor, actress (both supporting and leading), director, and picture names came up, as one might expect.  With all the other awards shows, that precede the Oscars, there usually are no noticeable surprises when they read off the list of nominees.  Occasionally, there might be a glaring omission.  A well reviewed movie, with an A-list director and/or cast, that somehow doesn’t make the cut.  But this time, in the Best Picture category, there was a glaring addition.

Somehow, the movie Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close received a Best Picture nod!  From what I’ve heard and read, there were no outright pans or slams of this movie, but merely tepid reviews.  Roger Ebert gave it a 2 and ½ out of 4 stars, and used the word “contrivance” in describing it.  Leonard Maltin also said the story was “contrived”.  Rex Reed called it “labored and muddled” and even used adjectives like preposterous and manipulation in describing the story.  Tim Lammers – I’ve never heard of this reviewer before – gave it a 2 and ½ out of 4 stars, and even the website Rotten Tomatoes gave it only a 5.8 out of a possible 10.  By all accounts, this is the most wishy-washy reviewed movie ever, to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.  So, why put it up for consideration?

It does have an extremely likeable cast, in Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock (arguably America’s Cinematic Sweethearts), John Goodman, Zoe Caldwell and Max von Sydow.  And, apparently a strong performance by newcomer Thomas Horn, as the young son searching for some meaning in his father’s (Tom Hanks) death, at the World Trade Center, on 9/11/2001.  But, only Max von Sydow is nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category.  From what I’ve seen, it received no other nominations.  So, what gives?

The movie doesn’t seem to have any kind of political message.  There’s no controversy, or anything.  And 9/11 is still a very controversial subject, both here and especially abroad, despite the Story Closed attitude, that both the US government and the dutiful corporate media show it.  Could it be that the movie’s blandness fits in with the Let’s get on with it attitude that so many want for the issue?  I don’t know.  I haven’t seen it.  And, based upon the true reviews, the ones that came out prior to this unexpected nomination, it’s unlikely that I will watch it.  Nothing personal.  I’m a fan of all the major actors in it.  It just seems to be a very non-compelling movie.

The movie’s nomination is the surprise of the awards season.  At best, it’s just a puzzling little oddity.  At worst, the “contrivance” and “manipulation” of the situation make it more than a little suspicious.

Keep thinking, friends.

YUR

A Letter from JoAnn

President-elect Barack Obama walks with the Su...

Image via Wikipedia

This Letter to the Editor appeared in my local newspaper and was written by a friend of mine.  She is a very talented writer, and we share a number of political viewpoints.  I think that many of you will enjoy it.  Please feel free to post comments.   —   YUR

Although pleased regarding the decision to withdraw our troops from Iraq, we’ll still be there in large measure in a so-called diplomatic presence requiring independent contractors.  

Corporate influences will still be paramount and coddled by this burgeoning community called “The Green Zone.” Meanwhile, the people of Iraq live in the unimaginably dangerous rubble of war.

President Obama boasts of fulfilling his Promise. But he fails to recognize the spirit and implications of that promise.  Lying by omission is at the heart of the cancer that continues to plague our ability to shape our future. The Obama Administration has thrown us a bone. I’ll be happy to have the troops back among us, but don’t expect me to celebrate while I’m still choking on the lie.

Corporations that seek ultimate influence over governmental power have disqualified themselves from leadership in our Democracy. We must: Reinstate Glass- Steagall regulations; junk hackable computer-scanner voting machines; reverse the damaging Citizens United Supreme court ruling ; deny more bailouts for corporations or banks; kick out Supreme Court Justices who betray the job description; and put our arms manufacturers to work making America green.

We’re internationally applauded for our past struggles for human rights, not the proliferation of corporate greed at the expense of the people who have made this country great.

JoAnn Wendl


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