2012 in Review

December 30, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 13,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Eastwood says his convention appearance was ‘mission accomplished’

September 7, 2012

“President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Eastwood told The Carmel (CA) Pine Cone this week. “Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle…

Eastwood concludes with; “A lot of people are realizing they had the wool pulled over their eyes by Obama,”

Clint Eastwood at Republican Nation Convention 2012

Here is the complete text of the wide ranging interview with Editor Paul Miller:

AFTER A week as topic No. 1 in American politics, for- mer Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood said the outpouring of criticism from left-wing reporters and liberal politicians after his appearance at the Republican National Convention last Thursday night, followed by an avalanche of support on Twitter and in the blogosphere, is all the proof anybody needs that his 12-minute discourse achieved exactly what he intended it to.

“President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Eastwood told The Pine Cone this week. “Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, butI was aiming for people in the middle.”

Breaking his silence

For five days after he thrilled or hor- rified the nation by talking to an empty chair representing Obama on the night Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for president, Eastwood remained silent while pundits and critics debated whether his remarks, and the rambling way he made them, had helped or hurt Romney’s chances of winning in November.

But in a wide-ranging interview with The Pine Cone Tuesday, he said he had conveyed the messages he wanted to convey, and that the spontaneous nature of his presentation was intentional, too.

“I had three points I wanted to make,” Eastwood said. “That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politi- cian who’s not doing a good job. But I didn’t make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it.”

Eastwood’s appearance at the convention came after a personal request from Romney in August, soon after Eastwood endorsed the former Massachusetts governor at a fundraiser in Sun Valley, Idaho. But it was finalized only in the last week before the convention, along with an agreement to build suspense by keeping it secret until the last moment.

Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign aides asked for details about what Eastwood would say to the convention.

“They vett most of the people, but I told them, ‘You can’t do that with me, because I don’t know what I’m going to say,’” Eastwood recalled.

And while the Hollywood superstar has plenty of experience being adored by crowds, he said he hasn’t given a lot of speeches and admitted that, “I really don’t know how to.” He also hates using a teleprompter, so it was settled in his mind that when he spoke to the 10,000 people in the convention hall, and the millions more watching on television, he would do it extemporaneously.

“It was supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I’m Joe

Citizen,” Eastwood said. “I’m a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there.”

Eastwood is a liberal on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion, but he has strongly conservative opinions about the colossal national debt that has accumulated while Obama has been president, his failure to get unemployment below 6 percent, and a host of other economic issues.

“Even people on the liberal side are start- ing to worry about going off a fiscal cliff,” Eastwood said.

Last minute decisions

But what — exactly — would he say to the Republican delegates about the $16 tril- lion national debt and 8.3 percent unemploy- ment rate?

Friends and associates weren’t as much help as he had hoped.

“Everybody had advice for me, except the janitor,” Eastwood said.

Early Thursday morning, when Eastwood left San Jose Airport on a private jet headed for Florida, he was still making up his mind. And even with his appearance just a few hours away, all Eastwood could tell Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades and his aides, was “to reassure them that everything I would say would be nice about Mitt Romney.”

It was only after a quick nap in his hotel

room a few blocks from the convention site, Eastwood said, that he mapped out his remarks — starting with his observation about politics in Hollywood, then challeng- ing the president about the failure of his eco- nomic policies, and wrapping up by telling the public “they don’t have to worship politi- cians, like they were royalty or something.”

But even then, with just an hour before he appeared on stage, it still hadn’t occurred to Eastwood to use an empty chair as a stand-in for the president.

“I got to the convention site just 15 or 20 minutes before I was scheduled to go on,” he said. “That was fine, because everything was very well organized.”

After a quick trip through airport-style security, he was taken to a Green Room, where Archbishop Dolan of New York sought him out to say hello. Then he was taken backstage to wait for his cue. And that was when inspiration struck.

“There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down,” Eastwood said. “When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea. I’ll just put the stool out there and I’ll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn’t keep all of the promis- es he made to everybody.”

He asked a stagehand to take it out to the lectern while he was being announced.

“The guy said, ‘You mean you want it at the podium?’ and I said, ‘No, just put it rightthere next to it.’”

Then, with the theme song from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” as a musical introduction, and a huge picture of him as Josey Wales as the backdrop, Eastwood walked out to tremendous applause.

“The audience was super enthusiastic, and it’s always great when they’re with you instead of against you,” he said. ‘Enjoying themselves’

Speaking without any notes, Eastwood recalled the good feelings the whole nation had when Obama was elected, but said they had been dashed as the economy stayed in the doldrums despite massive stimulus spending. He decried the “stupid idea” of closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and putting terrorists on trial in New York City, joked about Vice President Joe Biden’s intellect and quizzed empty-chair Obama about what he says to people about his failed economic policies. He pretended Obama told Romney to do something “physically impossible” to himself, said it’s time to elect a “stellar businessman” as president instead of a lawyer, and, as a final point, told the people, “You own this country.”

When an elected official doesn’t “do the job, we’ve got to let ‘em go,” he said, and the crowd ate it up.

“They really seemed to be enjoying them- selves,” Eastwood said.

Originally, he was told he could speak for six or seven minutes, and right before he went on, he was asked to keep it to five, but he said, “When people are applauding so much, it takes you 10 minutes to say five minutes’ worth.”

Also, there were no signals or cues of any kind, so “when you’re out there, it’s kind of hard to tell how much time is going by.”

He also said he was aware he hesitated and stumbled a bit, but said “that’s what happens when you don’t have a written- out speech.”

As he wrapped up his remarks, he was aware his presentation was “very unorthodox,” but that was his intent from the beginning, even if some people weren’t on board.

“They’ve got this crazy actor who’s 82 years old up there in a suit,” he said. “I was a mayor, and they’re probably thinking I know how to give a speech, but even when I was mayor I never gave speeches. I gave talks.”

Backstage, it was all congratulations and glad-handing, he said. And then he returned to the Green Room, where he lis- tened to speeches by Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney. It wasn’t possible for him to watch the media coverage of his presentation.

But the country was listening as the television reporters and commentators covering his speech reacted to it. And they hated it.

“I have to say, as a fan, a movie fan, this was exceedingly strange. It just seemed like a very strange, unscripted moment,” said a shocked Andrea Mitchell on NBC.

“That was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen at a political convention in my entire life,” said Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, barely concealing the condescension in her voice.

Bob Schieffer of CBS said it was “a big mistake to put Clint Eastwood on before Mitt Romney.”

On the Washington Post website, reporter Chris Cillizza wrote that “‘awkward’ may be the kindest term we can think of ” to describe Eastwood’s speech.

“He hemmed. He hawed. He mumbled. He rambled,” Cillizza wrote.

And on CNN, Piers Morgan said Eastwood was “going bonkers” on the stage and said his presentation “looked like complete chaos.” He pressured his guests with questions like, “Weren’t you in pain while he was up there?”

But Eastwood wasn’t aware of any of it, and after the speeches were over, Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, came backstage to thank him.

“They were very enthusiastic, and we were all laughing,” Eastwood said.

When he went outside to his car, a large crowd cheered and chanted lines from his speech.

An overnight rebellion

Back at his hotel, Eastwood had a room service dinner and went to bed. The next morning, he got up early and went straight to the airport, still unaware that his appearance was the No. 1 political topic in the nation.

“I read the Tampa newspaper, and every article said some- thing negative about the convention, but there wasn’t much about me,” Eastwood said.

He had no idea that overnight, a rebellion had erupted online against the media’s condemnation of him, with thousands of bloggers, Twitterers and commentators calling him, “a genius,” “1,000 times more brilliant than the media,” and saying he’s “only gotten better with age.”

They also started posting their own versions of Eastwood’s empty chair in droves (“eastwooding”), and, on YouTube, replays of his remarks at the convention were being viewed millions of times.

Even into his 80s, Eastwood has an unprecedented record of success in Hollywood, and is still making two movies a year. He’s currently starring in “Trouble with the Curve,” and is about to direct a remake of “A Star is Born” — things he obviously couldn’t do if he were a befuddled senior citizen. To locals who know him, the idea that he is uninformed or senile is laughable.

Nevertheless, the bitter criticism has continued.

On Tuesday, Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, called Eastwood “the perfect icon of the Republican tea party: an angry old white man spewing incoherent non- sense.”

Eastwood said people, including reporters, who were shocked by his remarks “are obviously on the left,” and he maintained that, while many Americans didn’t like the way he handled his convention appearance, millions more have something else on their minds.

“A lot of people are realizing they had the wool pulled over their eyes by Obama,” Eastwood said.

The Carmel Pine Cone

It’s All About the Teeth: Becoming Long in the Tooth, Etc.

July 12, 2012

Unfortunately for many when one is said to be “long in the tooth” that person is often short of tooth, or teeth to be more precise. And, as you age it is often the case that replacements must be had for teeth that have been cast or extracted. I suspect that in time science will have figured a way for humans to grow new teeth just as we did as youngsters when we cast off our baby teeth.

But for now I for one must deal with the process of obtaining artificial replacement teeth; i.e. dentures. Some people fall for the lure of the single day total extraction and instant dentures approach. Perhaps my dentist is old school but he says the instant procedure is fraught with fitting problems down the road. So for me it is out with the old and several weeks sans teeth until proper new ones are made.

I asked my youngish, but never the less old school, dentist what was done with the extracted teeth. Do people ever want to save them? I asked because I had read about ancient customs of people saving their cast or removed teeth (more about this below), even being buried with them. He said that he had heard of that custom in his country (somewhere in Latin America, I forgot to ask where). Anyway, he went on to say that extracted teeth must handled as hazardous medical waste. Given today’s price of gold I suspect some patients would like to recover the precious metal to offset their dental bills!

Old superstitions and customs regarding teeth:

Although it was “unlucky to count your teeth,” according to Sidney Addy’s Folk Tales and Superstitions (1895), it was also “the custom in Derbyshire for people to preserve their teeth in jars until their deaths, after which the teeth were put into their coffins and buried with them. Mothers would also preserve the teeth of their infant children and keep them in jars. It is said that when you go to Heaven you will have to account for all the teeth that you have upon the earth. A man said that his grandmother used to call out at a funeral, Have you got his teeth in the coffin?”

Vance Randolph’s Ozark Superstitions (1947) pointed out that astrological signs determined when locals’ teeth were pulled, “even when they were in considerable pain. Hillfolk generally agree that . . . extractions go best in Aquarius or Pisces [and] old-timers say that it is better to pull a tooth in the morning than in the afternoon no matter what constellation the mouth’s in.”

In Folklore Notes on the Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders (1879), William Henderson offered a curious superstition involving childhood tooth loss: “My Sussex correspondent tells me of a young woman of that county who remonstrated against throwing away children’s cast-teeth, declaring that, should they be found and gnawed by any animal, the child’s new tooth would be like one of that animal. In proof of her assertion, she used to cite a certain old Master Simmons, who had a very large pig’s tooth in his upper jaw, the sad consequence of his mother having by accident thrown one of his cast cast-teeth into the hog trough.”

Source: Courtesy of  author Jeffrey Kacirk who compiles the “Forgotten English” day calendars and has written several books about the English language and peculiar words in the lexicon.

Independence Day 2012

July 4, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

May 28, 2012

Go HERE for enlarged image

So You Thought Standing to Nurse Was Only for Baby Hoofed Mammals!

May 11, 2012

Does Time magazine’s breastfeeding cover go too far?

Read more here…

 Following the Time Magazine controversy comes this brilliant parody courtesy of Rush Limbaugh’s staff:

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The Talk: John Derbyshire Stirs the Pot

April 9, 2012

John Derbyshire

John Derbyshire, lately of the National Review, but recently dismissed from that magazine, has penned a piece titled “The Talk-Non-Black Version”. “The Talk”, as you probably know, is the obligatory cautionary remarks certain black parents make to their teenagers about the dangers of the white world. Derbyshire has submitted his version of cautionary words to be directed to whites.

John Derbyshire’s piece for Taki Magazine  the other day (April 5) has caused a firestorm of criticism and controversy. It even resulted in Mr. D’s dismissal as a contributor to National Review. He discusses “The Talk” which conversation is considered obligatory to certain parents of black teenagers. Derbyshire however offers an alternative; “The Talk: Non-Black Version”.

National Review editor Rich Lowry said the piece is ” maddening, outrageous, cranky, and provocative… is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation…”  and would never have been published in his magazine. However, a careful reading of Derbyshire’s observations and caveats yields no small amount of useful information and it cannot, I believe, be characterized as racist as many, not including Rich Lowry, are claiming. Politically incorrect to be sure, but not racist. Here is one of opinions that  what Derbyshire has written indeed racist; from Mark Adomanis writing at Forbes (April 9):

“…what made Derbyshire’s piece so unusual, and what resulted in his summary dismissal, was not the fact that it dealt with race but that it did so in a uniquely bullheaded and crass way: it wasn’t a racist dog whistle so much as it was an out-of-tune racist marching band.”

Here is the article in its entirety: Link to Taki’s Magazine

                          The Talk: Nonblack Version

Taki's Magazine

There is much talk about “the talk.”

“Sean O’Reilly was 16 when his mother gave him the talk that most black parents give their teenage sons,” Denisa R. Superville of the Hackensack (NJ) Record tells us. Meanwhile, down in Atlanta: “Her sons were 12 and 8 when Marlyn Tillman realized it was time for her to have the talk,” Gracie Bonds Staples writes in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Leonard Greene talks about the talk in the New York Post. Someone bylined as KJ Dell’Antonia talks about the talk in The New York TimesDarryl Owens talks about the talk in the Orlando Sentinel.

Yes, talk about the talk is all over.

There is a talk that nonblack Americans have with their kids, too. My own kids, now 19 and 16, have had it in bits and pieces as subtopics have arisen. If I were to assemble it into a single talk, it would look something like the following. (to read more see page 2 link below)

Pomp and Nonsense: Starring Obama & Cameron

March 16, 2012

British Prime Minister David Cameron raises fawning obsequiousness to new heights as he recounts his “guy’s night out” with “President Barack” in an address at last evening’s state dinner. Obama  proposes a toast to “her magidy” (that’s what he said, then corrects himself) her Majesty Queen Elizabeth…to our dear friends David and Samantha (Cameron)…(raises glass but does not drink) Cheers Everyone! Waiter whisks away glass and prepared notes from lectern and P.M. Cameron rises to speak.

Cameron’s remarks begin at 8:15 on the video. “(Obama) has pressed the reset button on the moral authority of the entire free world” (14:33 on video) Cameron then proposes a toast to Obama and the first lady, and actually drinks.

Such pomp and nonsense totally obscures the fact that Britain is quite nearly finished as a nation of any importance and we here in the U.S.A. should redouble our efforts to ensure we do not emulate Britain’s descent into the quicksands of political correctness and other follies of liberalism.

Preliminary Report by Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Obama B.C. & Selective Service Documents

March 1, 2012

This is the complete text released today, by World Net Daily, of Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s investigation into certain documents relating to Barack Obama. The stated conclusion is that probable cause exists to believe that both the most recent birth certificate and the Selective Service registration pertaining to Obama are forgeries. Here is link (PDF) to an interesting and somewhat technical analysis of the birth certificate.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

“President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate released by the White House on April 27, 2011, is suspected to be a computer-generated forgery, not a scan of an original 1961 paper document as represented by the White House when the long-form birth certificate was made public,” Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said at a press conference today in Phoenix.

This is the major preliminary finding of a six-month ongoing Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse law enforcement investigation into the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate and his eligibility to be president.

Having developed probable cause to believe the long-form birth certificate was most likely a computer-generated forgery, investigators began examining other evidence of President Obama’s life history.

Investigators additionally have developed credible evidence suggesting:

•    President Obama’s Selective Service card was most likely a forgery, revealed by an examination of the postal date stamp on the document;

•    Records of Immigration and Naturalization Service cards filled out by airplane passengers arriving on international flights originating outside the United States in the month of August 1961, examined at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., are missing records for the week of President Obama’s birth, including the dates Aug. 1, 1961 through Aug. 7, 1961.

Beginning in October 2011, the Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse, consisting of former law enforcement officers and lawyers with law enforcement experience, examined dozens of witnesses and hundreds of documents, as well as taking numerous sworn statements from witnesses around the world.

In August 2011, 250 members of the Surprise, Arizona, Tea Party, residents of Maricopa County, presented a signed petition asking Sheriff Arpaio to undertake the investigation.

The Tea Party members petitioned under the premise that if a forged birth certificate was utilized to obtain a position for Barack Obama on the 2012 Arizona presidential ballot, their rights as Maricopa County voters could be compromised.

The Cold Case investigators further determined that the Hawaii Department of Health has engaged in what Sheriff’s investigators believe is a systematic effort to hide from public inspection whatever original 1961 birth records the Hawaii Department of Health may have in their possession.

“Officers of the Hawaii Department of Health and various elected Hawaiian public officials may have intentionally obscured 1961 birth records and procedures, to avoid having to release to public inspection and to the examination of court-authorized forensic examiners any original Obama 1961 birth records the Hawaii Department of Health may or may not have,” said Mike Zullo, the lead investigator in Sheriff Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse.

The Cold Case investigators have not yet determined who, when, or precisely how the long-form computer-generated birth certificate released on April 27 may have been forged, but investigators say the evidence contained in the computer-generated PDF file released by the White House as well as important deficiencies in the Hawaii process of certifying the long-form birth certificate establish probable cause that a forgery has been committed.

The Cold Case Posse investigators advised Sheriff Arpaio that the forgers most likely committed two crimes: first, in fraudulently creating a forgery that the White House characterized, knowingly or unknowingly, as an officially produced governmental birth record; and second, in fraudulently presenting to the residents of Maricopa County and to the American public at large a forgery the White House represented as “proof positive” of President Obama’s authentic 1961 Hawaii long-form birth certificate.

“A continuing investigation is needed to identify the identity of the person or persons involved in creating the alleged birth certificate forgery, and to determine who, if anyone, in the White House or the state of Hawaii may have authorized the forgery,” Arpaio said.

Among the evidence released at the press conference were five videos the Cold Case Posse produced to demonstrate why the Obama long-form birth certificate is suspected to be a computer-generated forgery.

The videos consisted of step-by-step computer demonstrations using a control document.

The videos were designed to display the testing used by the investigators to examine various claims made by supporters of the April 27 document.

The videos illustrate point-by-point the investigators’ conclusion that the features and anomalies observed on the Obama long-form birth certificate were inconsistent with features produced when a paper document is scanned, even if the scan of the paper document had been enhanced by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and optimized.

Additionally, the videos demonstrated that the Hawaii Department of Health Registrar’s name stamp and the Registrar’s date stamp were computer-generated images imported into an electronic document, as opposed to actual rubber stamp imprints inked by hand or machine onto a paper document.

“That we were able to cast reasonable suspicions on the authenticity of the Registrar stamps was especially disturbing, since these stamp imprints are designed to provide government authentication to the document itself,” Zullo said, stressing that if the Registrar stamps are forgeries, the document itself is likely a forgery.

The investigators also chronicled a series of inconsistent and misleading representations that various Hawaii government officials have made over the past five years regarding what, if any, original birth records are held by the Hawaii Department of Health.

“As I said at the beginning of the investigation,” Arpaio said, “the president can put all this to rest quite easily. All he has to do is demand the Hawaii Department of Health release to the American public and to a panel of certified court-authorized forensic examiners all original 1961 paper, microfilm, and computer birth records the Hawaii Department of Health has in its possession.”

Arpaio further stressed the Hawaii Department of Health needs to provide, as part of the full disclosure, evidence regarding the chain of custody of all Obama birth records, including paper, microfilm, and electronic records, in order to eliminate the possibility that a forger or forgers may have tampered with the birth records.

Arpaio went on to say the President should also authorize Kapiolani Hospital, the birth hospital listed on the Obama long-form birth certificate, to release any and all hospital patient records for Stanley Ann Dunham Obama, his mother, and for the newly born Barack Obama, in order to provide additional corroboration for the original 1961 birth records held in the Hawaii Department of Health vault.

“Absent the authentic Hawaii Department of Health 1961 birth records for Barack Obama, there is no other credible proof supporting the idea or belief that President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, as he and the White House have consistently asserted,” Zullo said.

“In fact, absent the authentication of Hawaii Department of Health 1961 birth records for Barack Obama, there is no other proof he was born anywhere within the United States.”

Arpaio concluded the press conference by suggesting a congressional investigation might be warranted and asked that any other law enforcement agency with information referencing this investigation be forwarded to his office.

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

December 22, 2011

A Child’s Christmas in Wales (MP3 19:42)
Click link above and listen as Dylan Thomas reads his delightful Christmas story….

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas (1914-1953). Read it on line here and listen (above) to the author read the story.

One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six….


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