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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hillary Clinton in Parody of movie "Mr. Brooks"

FADE to Black Screen and opening theme music to movie “Mr. Brooks” followed by narrative.                                                 
NARRATVE (O.S.)
The hunger has returned
To Mrs. Clinton’s brain.
In never really left.
The desire for public service.

INT. CAR – NIGHT

Hillary is driving.  Her PERSONAL ASSISTANT sits in the front passenger seat.

                                                                                                HILLARY
                                                                                (praying)
                                                                Oh God, God grant me the serenity to accept
the things I cannot change…

In the rear seat appears BILL CLINTON.

BILL
                                                                 Why do you fight it so hard Hillary?
                                                               
                                                                                                HILLARY
                                                                ….the courage to change the things I can…

                                                                                                BILL 
Come on, you’ve been a good girl for a long time.
You know you want to do this.
                                                                               
                                                                                                HILLARY
…the wisdom to know the difference.  

INT. CAR – NIGHT

                                                                                                BILL
                                                                It’s not like it’s your first race.  You already ran
before.  You know how to organize it. Come on.

                                HILLARY
No.


                                BILL
You’re the freakin’ Woman of the Year.
You deserve a treat!

                                HILLARY
No Bill.  I said no.

                                BILL
Well I heard you. But you don’t mean no.

                                ASSISTANT
What’s wrong?

                                HILLARY
Uh, Nothing.

                                ASSISTANT
You’re frowning.

                                HILLARY
Oh, I was thinking about 2008.  We came
so close.

                                ASSISTANT
It’s still not too late to enter the race.

                                BILL
There having a caucus tomorrow.  There’s no
harm in just stopping by.

                                HILLARY
No means no Bill.

                                BILL
Please, pretty please. (laughing).

                                HILLARY
Yeah.  I think I might do it.

                                BILL
                (clapping his hands)

SIX MONTHS LATER

INT. CAR - NIGHT

It is a rainy evening.  Hillary Clinton is behind the driver’s seat.   Bill sits next to her in the passenger seat. They are looking across the street.  Looking for someone.

                                                                                                BILL
                                                                I don’t see them.  Maybe they won’t show up.
               
                                                                                                HILLARY
                                                                Maybe….wait.  There they are.

They gaze at several of the Democratic CANDIDATES running for President.

                                                                                                HILLARY
                                                                They don’t see us.  Maybe I should pull
                                                                Over and pick them up.

                                                                                                BILL CLINTON
                                                                Nah, just honk.  Maybe they’ll step out into
The debate traffic and knock themselves out.
Save us the mess of doing it.

                                                                                                HILLARY/BILL
                                                                (laughing simultaneously)

Hillary blows the car horn.  The candidates see her and then step off the curve.  We hear a loud screeching sound as a truck swerves around the candidates.

Hillary and Bill observe.

                                                                                                HILLARY
                                                                Wow! 
                                                                                               
                                                                                                BILL
                                                                Almost.

The CANDIDATES trot over to Hillary’s car and cramp themselves into the rear and front seats.

                                                                                                CANDIDATE 1
                                                                It’s coming down hard.
                                                                                                HILLARY
                                                                It should be sunny tomorrow, at least for me.

                                                                                                CANDIDATE 1
                                                                                (giving Hillary an envelope)
                                                                My list of where I want to be an ambassador.

                                                                                                CANDIDATE 2
                                                                                (giving Hillary an envelope)
                                                                My cabinet preferences.

                                                                                                CANDIDATE 3
                                                                You know I like the Supreme Court.

                                                                                                CANDIDATE 4
                                                                You know what I want.

                                                                                                HILLARY
                                                                Thank you gentlemen.

                                                                                                CANDIDATE 1
                                                                Just beat that A hole.  Destroy him.

                                                                                                HILLARY
                                                                Does it bother you if I destroy him?

                                                                                                CANDIDATE 1
                                                                No.  An A hole is an A hole.

Hillary and Bill laugh simultaneously.

Mr. Brooks theme music comes back on.  A montage of shots shows Hillary attracting huge crowds and winning the election.

                                                                                                NARRATIVE
                                                                The hunger has been satisfied

                                                                At least for the time being….

Monday, October 26, 2015

Why Are People Turning to Violence/Terrorism?

Last week I heard a brief news report that two high schools students had been arrested for plotting a shooting spree at their high school.  These students were not planning an original act.  High school shootings have happened before.  These students were going to conduct a copy cat event that has received widespread attention in the media before.

Throughout history individuals have turned to acts of violence as a means of making a statement; as an extreme method to express their disagreement; or simply to just get attention.  These actions have represented their way of voicing their "views" or "feelings" toward issues or subjects.  Or these events represent those individuals making their mark in their life.  They may have been ignored all their lives and given no attention.  Maybe it's attention that they craved? They have chosen to use violence as being their historical event and contribution to society. Their violent actions have been both against people who they disagree with and against innocent people.

Why do people turn to terrorist acts and why do they inflict violence onto those not even involved in the subject matter or issue?  Well I've never spoken to a person who carried out these acts so I do not have any first hand knowledge of their reasons.  It is disturbing that in these United States of America we do have individuals pursuing alliances with violent groups.  We've heard news reports of young people attempting to leave the country to join ISIS.  Plus the myriad number of shootings at various public places across the country.  For the assailant to have murdered innocent people raises questions of whether they were stable mentally?  Did the assailant value the lives of people?  Why do they commit suicide after committing these heinous acts?

One thing seems common.  They are copying actions taken by others and reported through media. So what should the media do?  Would it be better if the media did not mention any personal information about those who commit these acts of terrorism?  Should the media not publicize their name or share a photograph?  What is gained by sharing with the public the assailant's personal information?  Their was one event recently where the sheriff in a town refused to even say the murderer's name.  Maybe that is the way to go.  Don't give these murderers any publicity.  Don't feed information that can be copied by others to commit similar crimes.

But these acts of violence seem to fall into the mental illness category rather than the "terrorist" category.  Terrorists appear to have some type of political/religious agenda behind their actions.  Terrorists give up on discussion and dialogue as an answer to disputes and turn to violence.  The violent acts by themselves do not result in disputes being resolved.  The violent acts escalate the dispute to an even worse level.  The acts of violence result in innocent people being harmed or killed.  How do terrorists rationalize the taking of innocent lives?

Terrorism appears to be the result of people giving up on peaceful means of resolving conflicts.  Terrorists don't want to commit to the political process. Or they may have been turned away from the peaceful process because they did not get the results they desired.  If an individual has a point of view that they believe matters and that viewpoint is ignored, what is the result?  Some may walk away and live their life as they choose. Others may believe violent acts are the answer. Maybe we have to relook at our institutions and processes to ensure they don't push people out the door into the terrorist lane.  A person excluded from a process will find other means to make a statement.  Unfortunately violence or terrorism appears to be the process many are taking to express disenchantment or their views.

No, we can't all agree on everything.  But maybe we can compromise to the point where acts of terrorism are not even an option.  Or maybe we need to simply agree to go our separate ways and respect each other's views.  Neither of us gain from the violent acts of terrorism.  Violence has been a method used by people throughout history.  But, violence has been shown time and time again to not be the answer.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Expectations of Our Leaders

The Democratic Party first Presidential debate was yesterday. I caught a few glimpses of the last hour. I still recall the comments of one of my college professors.  He said it doesn't really matter overall who wins an election.  Problems will generally not be solved based on which political party comes out on top.  I think he was partly correct.  Solutions to problems are difficult when there never is one solution that fits all people.

So what should we expect from our leaders and politicians we elect to various offices?  We elect people to carry out the business of government.  They are our elected caretakers.  They are to ensure the governmental systems operate efficiently and economically.  Especially if public services are delivered from governmental offices.  While we go about our daily business, working at jobs, taking care of our family etc., we expect office holders to do all the correct things so we also don't have to come home and worry if public funds are being spent properly.  We don't want to worry about the details of plans to pave roads and what precautions our government is taking to ensure we are safe in our homes.  So we delegate to others by voting people into office whom we believe will ensure our collective needs are being taken care of.

The "caretaker" role is therefore at the foundation of our expectations.  We want the system of public services to run smoothly.  Keep the water clean and flowing to our homes.  Keep us free from those who may want to invade our homes.  Keep order in the community.  When it snows, plow our streets.

After the "caretaker" role comes the "problem solving" role.  If there are issues that need to be resolved we want action to solve problems.  But when the "solution" brings about increased costs on us in the form of additional taxes, we pause and care even more about how a problem is solved.

We also want our leaders to behave.  We don't want to hear about their personal idiosyncrasies getting in the way of performing their duties.  Plus we don't want to be embarrassed by poor personal judgments they make that turn into public fiascos.

We definitely do not want leaders who take public funds and use it for personal needs.  Or don't use political influence for private gain.

Let's face it.  Public service is a sacrifice.  You sacrifice personal desires to do work that will benefit a range and hopefully a great number of people.  Our leaders speak for us. They advocate for us.  They express outrage for us.

One thing we definitely want from our leaders is action.  Do something.  Don't just talk about a problem.  Figure out the options to reducing the problem or even better solve the problem.  Then if you want to run for re election again, we will more than likely vote you back into office.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Indigenous People/Native American/Columbus Day

As America gets older and the landscape of people inside its boundaries change, our perspectives tend to change also.  Columbus Day was once revered as the day to celebrate the discovery of America by a European explorer.  That well meant proclamation has been overcome by a truth that was ignored years ago.  People and a civilization were already in  place when Columbus and his crew ventured into the north american territory.

Now more people acknowledge that Native Americans were here before Europeans settled into this land.  Now nicknames such as "Redskins" are no longer welcomed. So tomorrow Columbus Day will receive mixed recognition.  Those of Italian descent might celebrate the day.  In schools teachers will be faced with the dilemma of telling students the truth versus continuing the myth of who discovered America.  In the year 2015, the truth should prevail.   There is no shame in acknowledging that a race of people were already here when Columbus arrived.  North America and South America were inhabited by people at the same time European culture existed.  The limitations of travel and communication created a void between that already being a recognized fact.

What we can do is just acknowledge the fact that Native Americans did exist and were the caretakers of the land before Europeans came.  Europeans were the first immigrants. There is no record that as Europeans landed on shore they were met consistently by Native Americans who told them to go back home.  Such an act would have helped prolong the culture and wide spread existence of Native Americans, but for some reason they did not collectively act to repel those invading their land.  The result is what we have today.  A nation where some people today are attempting to keep immigrants from neighboring Mexico out of the country.  Truly ironic.  But such is human nature.  Those in power want to maintain that power.  People recognize when they have a good thing going and for self preservation try to keep others from getting what they have.  You should thank Native Americans for not having that view many years ago.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Volunteer's Story

Over the years I've learned that when you attempt to volunteer time to assist with a cause, it does not always mean your volunteering will make conditions better.  For some reason the organization you volunteer for may not follow up and call you back.  Then you wonder, well if they really needed help why isn't anyone contacting me?  You've offered your valuable time and skills only to be met with silence.

For the past six years I've been a volunteer with an organization whose mission involves providing mentoring to youth from elementary to high school age.  It is a non profit organization.  They have been funded by the United Way for several years to help run one of the mentoring programs to provide in school mentoring.  But the inability to provide evidence that the mentoring program was effective resulted in reduced funding from United Way. Other than anecdotal stories the organization could not provide any qualitative evidence of the positive impact of the mentoring program on the students.

As a volunteer I attempted to assist in supporting a mentoring program by doing administrative tasks.  Making copies, preparing articles about the mentoring program to be published on the organization's website. taking photographs.  I even created a Facebook page to help promote the activities of the mentoring organization.  The article was never published, although other articles about the organization's programs were.  The Facebook page attracted about 22 people into following the activities of the mentoring organization.  That was 22 more than who followed the organization's website.  I recently tried to inform the followers on my page to follow the organization on their page.  Not many followed over to the new website.

I attempted to provide advice on how the program could be improved.  What I learned is that those who are in charge of an organization have their own vision and really don't want input from volunteers.  So I decided to pull back and let them do what they wanted to do.  If I could provide any help to their efforts I tried to help.  But, ideas, thoughts.....those I know are not welcomed or desired.  It's best to try to be efficient.  If your ideas and efforts are not wanted, don't waste your time.  Re dedicate your time elsewhere into an activity where your efforts are wanted.

Drug Commercials with Cartoon Characters

There seems to be a trend in video commercials to depict prescription drugs using cartoonish type characters.  I've seen several commercials where a person is dressed in a costume as a pill with feet, hands and in some cases eyes.  The cartoon like character is depicted somehow as being the companion and friend of the ill person who needs the pill to be better.  Then in the background the announcer runs through a lengthy list of the negative side effects of the drug.  But, you never see the cartoon character acting out those side effects such as suicidal thoughts, stroke, internal bleeding, depression, etc.  Now seeing the cartoon character acting out those symptoms would make the commercial even more dramatic!

I wonder what small kids who see these commercials think of them?  Do they see them as funny? Does it give kids a favorable opinion of pills as something harmless like candy?  So why not swallow a couple of these comical pills and see if the pills make them smile and laugh?  The pills are funny in the commercials so they have to help you be funny in real life right?

There was one commercial which depicted the bladder of a woman and how the bladder controlled her life.  This was based on the fact that the woman had to use the restroom often due to the limited ability of her bladder to retain water.  Have you ever actually seen someone walking around with their bladder by their side?  I didn't know bladders could even live outside our bodies.  I also didn't know they had big sad looking eyes, arms, and legs.

Come on advertisers.  You can do better than that.  Don't demean the intelligence of your audience by depicting your pharmaceuticals as cartoon characters.  It reminds me of the pharmaceutical sales people who routinely come to doctors offices attempting to sale their drugs.  Pharmaceutical pimps. Out for a profit.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

News Flash: Vice President Biden Announces his Presidential Campaign Strategy

In Las Vegas, Nevada to give a speech, Vice President Joe Biden surprised folks at the MGM Grand Hotel when he broke out into song and dance in response to a question from a News reporter about his  Presidential campaign prospects.  Biden had just finished a speech to a full house of convention goers.  While walking towards the exit flanked by his Secret Service detail, a reporter asked him “When do you plan to announce whether you’re going to run for President?”

Biden responded by singing the George Gershwin classic song “Bidin My Time” accompanied by an orchestra that surfaced out of nowhere in the lobby of the hotel.  Here are the lyrics as song by the Vice President in tune to the Johnny Hartman version of the Gershwin classic song “Bidin’ my Time”.

            Vice President Biden:
 I’m Biden my time,
That’s the kind of guy I am,
While Hillary grows dizzy,
I keep busy
Biden my time.

I’m Biden my time,
That’s the kind of guy I am,
There’s no regrettin’
I keep settin’
Biden my time.

Next year, next year
Somethin’s going to happen
This year, this year
I’ll just keep on napping

I’m Biden my time
Cause that’s the kind of guy I am,
While Hillary grows dizzy,
I keep busy
Biden my time.

(music/dance chorus)

Next year, next year
Somethin’s gonna happen
This year, this year
I’ll just keep on nappin’
Cause, I’m Biden my time,
Cause that’s the kind of guy I am,
While Hillary grows dizzy,
I keep busy

Biden my time!!!!!