Sunday Roast: Labor Day — More than a sale at the mall

I know it’s a day early, but it’s just a short video on Labor Day, from the History Channel, so take a few minutes to watch it.  I’ll wait!

Hey, isn’t it AWESOME that the State of Oregon was the first to legalize Labor Day as a holiday in 1887?  I’m not sure I’ve said this before, but I love Oregon!!

Labor unions fought hard for the workers, and we can thank them for the eight-hour work day, weekends, better wages, safer working conditions, pensions, and more.

Unfortunately, corporate America/the ruling class/the 1% succeeded in making “union” a dirty word, and pitted workers against one another to help them forget that unions protect the workers themselves, and severely diminished unions in this country.

So enjoy your day off on Monday, even if you have to hit the mall for back to school supplies, but while you’re there, spare a thought for those who worked so hard to get you that day off — and all your other days off.

This is our daily open thread — Talk among yourselves.

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015: Watery Tart, Eh?

Hmm…do some of these lines from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” seem familiar?

Woman: Oh. How do you do?

King Arthur:  How do you do, good lady? I am Arthur, King of the Britons. Whose castle is that?

Woman:  King of the who?

King Arthur:  King of the Britons.

Woman: Who are the Britons?

King Arthur:  Well, we all are. We are all Britons. And I am your king.

Woman:  I didn’t know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective.

Dennis:  You’re foolin’ yourself! We’re living in a dictatorship. A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working class…

Woman:  Oh, there you go bringing class into it again.

Dennis:  Well, that’s what it’s all about! If only people would…

King Arthur:  Please, please, good people, I am in haste. Who lives in that castle?

Woman:  No one lives there.

King Arthur:  Then who is your lord?

Woman:  We don’t have a lord.

Dennis:   I told you, we’re an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to be a sort of executive officer for the week...

King Arthur:  Yes…

Dennis:   …but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting…

King Arthur:  Yes I see…

Dennis: …by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs…

King Arthur:  Be quiet!

Dennis: …but by a two thirds majority in the case of…

King Arthur:   Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!

Woman:  Order, eh? Who does he think he is?

King Arthur:  I am your king.

Woman:  Well, I didn’t vote for you.

King Arthur:  You don’t vote for kings.

Woman:  Well how’d you become king then?

[Angelic music plays… ]

King Arthur:  The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.

Dennis:  [interruptingListen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony…Oh, but you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.  [emphasis mine]

I dunno – right now in these “United” States, it seems as good a system as our own.  So…

watery tart

This is our daily Open Thread – go ahead, sound off!

The Watering Hole, Monday, April 14th, 2014: For Reals?

“Believe it or Not: ‘Heaven is for Real’ a Community Conversation-Starter.” This intriguing headline in the local Southeast-Brewster Patch e-newspaper caught my eye yesterday. (I’ll get back to that later.) Until I read the article, I was unaware of both the book, and now a movie, based on a supposedly true story relating a young boy’s experience during emergency surgery. The boy just happens to be the son of a pastor.

[DISCLAIMER: My mind’s personal jury is still out on the issue of near-death experiences and the like. There’s so much uncharted territory in the human brain, there could be a section that might be labeled “Here there be visions.”]

From an article in the Christian Post:

Heaven Is For Real opens in theaters on April 16 and tells the story of the Burpo family, whose son Colton experienced a vision where he traveled to heaven and met Jesus when he was just 4 years old. [Wait – he met Jesus when Jesus was 4 years old? Damn, I wish people knew how to write clearly!]

The details Colton shared with his father about heaven include the fact that people do not age there. Todd Burpo decided to break this down from a theological standpoint.

“Adam and Eve were created to never die and once they sinned the punishment for sin was death so they started aging,” he explained. “We know in heaven there is no sin [we DO?] so if you go to a place where there is no sin, why would the consequence of sin be there?”

If you scroll down past the crap-ads, there’s a video and other related links (if you’re interested.) Fun comments after the article, too. For instance:

ArmoftheLORD 3:45 PM on April 11, 2014
If you want to learn about heaven or Noah learn how to read the bible for your sake. The bible interprets itself and therefore not subject to anyones subjective flight of fantasy. Jesus does not ride a rainbow horse.”

Tammy Roesch 7:46 AM on April 12, 2014
ArmoftheLORD – Excellent post! This story is so contrary to the Bible….but sadly….many people fall for the unbiblical things it teaches, because that is what they want to believe…rather than studying the Bible for themselves and finding out the truth….

ArmoftheLORD 10:21 AM on April 10, 2014
garbage in garbage out. The bible is the final authority on the life after life afterlife not Tod Burpo

Bob Wierdsma (Moderator) 6:08 PM on April 10, 2014
ArmoftheLORD – Of course. But Jesus still is the way which Todd confirmed

[“Of course.” Really? Amazing how they’re so SURE of their “facts.”]

From Wikipedia regarding the original book, “Colton also claimed that he personally met Jesus riding a rainbow-colored horse and sat in Jesus’ lap, while the angels sang songs to him. He also says he saw Mary kneeling before the throne of God and at other times standing beside Jesus.” Wiki mentions a bit more in their section about the upcoming film: “He talked about looking down to see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn’t know what to believe. In Heaven, Colton says he met his miscarried sister whom no one had ever told him about and his great-grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born. He shared supposedly impossible-to-know details about each. Colton went on to describe the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how “reaaally big” God and His chair are, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help people.”

Now back to the Southeast-Brewster Patch:

“[The movie] tells the story of Burpo’s son, Colton, who said he left his body during an emergency appendectomy around age 4 and visited Heaven. His parents, Todd and Sonja, believed the story after Colton described details about his great-grandfather and miscarried sister about whom he didn’t know…

Besides meeting family members who had passed, talking with angels and seeing Jesus ride a multicolored horse, Colton shared this about the community in Heaven:

“It’s a lot like Earth in many ways, but everybody there would help you out just because they wanted to help you out and not because of their own interests,” he said. “So that’s a pretty good community.”

My favorite comment after this article, with all of its misspellings, etc.:

Joe Rubalcava April 13, 2014 at 04:59 PM

“J Michael you do not understand God word very well. I Not trying to be critical just want to enlighten you and some of the orthers. God created every one, but all are not his children. To be a child of God in the old Testament you had to except God by faith. Since Jesus Christ in the new Testament, you must except Jesus Christ as you Lord and Savior, to be come a child of God, just not his creation. The only way to have the Holy Spirit with in you , is to except Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, read John 17 : 6 – 8 1 Corinthians 2: 9- 16 the Holy Spirit is your helper to gives you the knowledge of God word. With out the Holy Spirit in you, yo can read the Bible but you will not get much of any true understanding of what you read. Michael you were right when you said God has unconditional love of everyone all the way to you death bed, but if you do not except his free gift to except him as you Lord an savior and die in that state he will not except you at that point and you will suffer eternal separation from him. Those who did except his free gift and excepted him as Lord and savior will have everlasting life with him. God said he hopes no one would parish, and that why he gives you all the way until right before you death to except him, but he will not force anyone to except him, he give you the free will to do it or not, and if you don’t you will not at that point be excepted by him. You made a comment that God does’ t need a middleman, and your right, but he does use them. The Holy Spirit to teach you and give you understanding if you ask him, once you have excepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and earthly men as pastors and priest and just some ordinary every day people who believe in God, to keep reminding you why you need to turn to God and except Jesus Christ. I hope this might be able to give some clarity to what some may not understand about God’s ways and word.”

(In an aside: On the sidebar on The Christian Post website, I discovered that there is an annual “State of the Bible Survey” – who knew? I have no idea who The American Bible Society spoke to in their latest “State of the Bible Survey”, but one ‘statistic’, if accurate, could be scary: “56% of America remains Pro-Bible.* *People who believe the Bible is the actual or inspired Word of God with no errors.”)

This is our daily open thread–what’s on YOUR mind?

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, January 30 – Mad Men

Cool. Makes you wish for the good old days. Or not? How was it really in the 1960s for:

Women

One in 5 women with children under 6 and nearly one fourth of women whose children were over 16 held paid jobs in the Sixties. Their pay, however, was 60 percent of the male rate.

I guess we are still fighting over that equal pay thing.

Gays

Police activity against gay men was rife throughout the 1950s. Many homosexuals were blackmailed, although only a fraction came to the attention of the police. The film Victim of 1961 brought these issues to a mainstream audience. It starred Dirk Bogarde as a repressed, married homosexual taking on the blackmailers who drove his partner to suicide.

African Americans

On May 2, 1964, Dee and Moore were hitchhiking from Meadville, Miss. and were picked up by James Seale. Seale and other Klansmen took the two men into the surrounding Homochitto National Forest and tortured and interrogated them about a possible influx of guns in Franklin County meant to arm blacks against their white attackers. Later the same day, several of the Klansmen put Dee and Moore in the trunk of a car and hauled them across the Louisiana state line, 100 miles north to a spot on the Mississippi River. Then they dumped the men into the river, weighting their bodies down with a jeep engine block and pieces of railroad track.

Environment

Despite many efforts to keep the environment clean, some 200 million tons of pollutants were filling the air each year, and clean air in many cities had been replaced by smog. The earth, air, and water were deteriorating as construction of highways, malls, and housing developments caused the destruction of fertile, irreplaceable farmland. Disposal of wastes was another dilemma to be dealt with. Burning could release poisonous gases into the air, and burial could cause harmful decay.

People with Disabilities ?

[…]In the mid-1960s, most of the developmentally disabled patients admitted to large state facilities were children under the age of 12. States offered virtually no support to families hoping to keep their sons and daughters at home and no education for those children living outside institutions.

So Mrs. Burns handed over her son to an institution in Gainesville, Fla., two hours from Daytona Beach, where she and her husband were living at the time. He was screaming and crying and clinging to her legs. She was crying, too. He was just 8 years old.

 

We have come a long way since I was growing up in rural Bavaria.To me it was not paradise. I welcome the changes that happened since and am glad that I do not have to refight the battles that got us here and which were only started then. Color me paranoid, but I think shows like “Mad Men” set the atmosphere for taking us back where we do not want to go. I enjoy watching, but sometimes I shudder at the thought.

This is our Open Thread. Add your thoughts!

Sunday Roast: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

On this day in history, December 23, 1954, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was released.

I loved this movie when I was a kid, but I enjoyed Jules Verne’s book even more.  During the giant squid attack scene, I remember thinking that on the interior shots, it looked like the squid was waving.  Well, I was only about ten when I read the book and then saw the movie. 😀

I was also crazy for that old show in the 60s, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

This is our daily open thread — What was your favorite childhood  movie?

Sunday Roast: Inside Job

Inside Job is a 2010 documentary film about the late-2000s financial crisis directed by Charles H. Ferguson. The film is described by Ferguson as being about “the systemic corruption of the United States by the financial services industry and the consequences of that systemic corruption.”

After watching this film, I better understood what happened to cause our economy — and economies all over the world — to collapse.

We know what happened.  We know how it happened.  We know why it happened.  No consequences have been issued, except for the fallout that rained down on regular people like you and me.  All of the banksters involved are still in place, in one form or another, and they still have enormous power over us and our economy.

This.  Could.  Happen.  Again.

It’s a virtual guarantee.

This is our daily open thread — Discuss

The Watering Hole Tuesday February 14th: 1900 – What we gave up.

I spent all of Saturday evening into Sunday night watching one of the great epic pictures of all times. Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Novecento” 1900. The whole movie takes about six hours to watch and it is 6 hours of cinematic bliss.

Some 45 minutes into the picture I realized that it would never be possible to make a movie like that today for several reasons which can yet be summarized into one. It is honest.

It is honest about Sex and Love.

It is honest about Rich and Poor

It is honest about Courage and Cowardice.

During the train station scene above, by far not the most important of the movie, it struck me. Workers and peasants have sent off their kids to learn, they have fought, suffered and died. They have organized and worked hard for our freedom and prosperity. For us.

We threw it away. We sacrificed it for empty promises. We’re no better off than before their struggles. And lest we realize it, we will not be shown a movie just like that. Not today. The padrone is still here.

This is our Open thread. Honestly.

The Watering Hole: March 18 – Science Fiction = Science Fact

Many should remember the fiction of Jules Verne. Much of what he wrote about is fact today, to cite but two – submarines and space flight. His methods seem today a bit primitive but cell phones in the 50’s weighed about as much as a toaster does today.

Now lets space forward to 1966 when Star Trek debuted. The Communicator represented the ultimate in an information device within the capacity of human imagination at that time.

Now we have both the iPhone and the Droid that each put that device to shame. Either can allow any individual to communicate with most anyone else in the World and to access the entire wealth of human knowledge.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.
Continue reading

The Watering Hole: February 10 – The Basis

This is a family saga in 3 parts.

Finding Nemo

Part 1: Back when my granddaughter was just 2, her family was moving. My spouse and I took on the responsibility of entertaining her during the transfer to the new home. We decided to let her take in a movie as part of the transfer. We choose “Finding Nemo” as a nice diversion. We even went to K-Mart and got a boat cushion that would raise her enough in order to see the movie. With a box of popcorn and a tippy of cola, she was on edge for the entire movie and talked about the movie well into the evening.

Part 2 comes tomorrow – the story then is heart rending.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.

The Watering Hole: January 27 – “Don’t Call Me Shirley”

Leslie Nielson began his career as a serious actor, but with Airplane! became one of the best deadpan comics in cinematic history.

I did weekend stand-up in the Borscht Belt during the mid to late 60’s, but could never have come close to meeting his delivery! That job paid in two nights, twice what my 9-5 did in a week. The under lying problem was benefits – I knocked up my wife after we got married and my employer did not appreciate Improv.

A comic is ultimately responsible for his family’s medical expenses and future. My spouse could not feature living out of a hotel room for three nights per week with a new-born. The choice was correct, the Belt dimmed by 1982.

If you desire, you can pick through all the YouTube references and reconstruct “Airplane!” in its entirety.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to add your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.

A Road not Taken

I happen to believe Jimmy Carter was one of your best Presidents in the 20th century. He is a warmhearted, intelligent and perspicacious man. It is a tragedy, that he wasn’t allowed a second term. The world would be a better place if politicians like Carter ruled it. The documentary above is tracing the destiny of the solar panels Jimmy Carter had installed at the White House in 1979. Reagan dismantled them as soon as he became President. If you have a chance to watch the doc, please do.

Film director Roman Polanski arrested in Zurich

Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski

Internationally renowned film director Roman Polanski has been arrested in Zurich yesterday night on an arrest order dating back to 1978, when Roman Polanski was indicted and convicted for rape of a minor.

Polanski was supposed to be guest at the Zurich Film Festival tonight where he would have received the lifetime achievement award “Golden Eye”.

Update will follow as available.

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A double round of Linkin Park & a little Tantric on the side

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWJCkDx2COE]

Music from The Matrix Revolutions: Linkin Park – Songs:  Shadow of the Day, What I’ve Done.  Fantastic editing, impressive video by IIGortII.

Hellboy Music Video: Tantric – Song:  Down and Out.  Another masterpiece by IIGortII.

Putney Swope

One of the most amazing movies of the 1960s was Putney Swope (written and directed by Morton Downey SR.) A stuffed-shirt WASP New York ad agency is taken over by a newly-elected Black board chairman and a coterie of 60s Black Power types. They proceed to overturn the status quo of advertising, including this commercial for Face Off (the clip starts with the end of another commercial).