Changing Views

Because my kids never, ever want to watch anything I want to watch, yesterday I told Sam he could pick any movie on Netflix, as long as it was in English. I’ve done that before, and we usually wind up watching some hideous crime show or a police drama.
He selected Terminal with Tom Hanks. I’d seen it before and not hated it. Tom Hanks is almost always enjoyable to watch, and it’s sort of a cute story, as I remembered it.
But, as I was watching, it seemed more and more an indictment against U.S. Customs and Immigration, and the American mentality as a whole. They treated the guy as a criminal, and couldn’t even locate a translator for
him, although when they needed somebody who spoke Russian, they called on him, I guess because they thought the two would speak the same language, i.e. foreign.
It reminded me “As Good as it Gets” with Jack Nicholson. The first time I saw it I thought it was funny. The second time I saw it, I thought a bit deeper. This was a story about how if you’re a waitress and your kid is chronically ill, you are shit out of luck in the USA unless some creepy old rich guy becomes obsessed with you and pays all your bills. But, presented as a romantic comedy.
The USA is not just falling apart now. It’s been rotten to the core for a very long time and people are just beginning to realize it.

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More About Russia

As anybody who knows me already knows, I am a big advocate of the Green Party. Their platform is virtually identical to Bernie’s platform, and the emphasis is on saving the planet, it’s right there in their name. I am rather fond of planet Earth, and I am a greater patriot for it than any specific country on it.
So, I was just on a comment thread a couple of minutes ago where some fool was saying “They aren’t a big tent party. There purpose is not to win but just to disrupt elections. And they’re backed by Russia.”
Well, they are a big tent party, all you have to do is go to their website and you’ll see they have positions on everything from Black Lives Matter to taxing the Billionaires. They are big tent, they are fucking huge tent. As far as winning goes, that still depends on the people. If everybody voted for who they liked, and read something more than what is in the papers, the Greens would win in a landslide.
But it’s the Russia comment that bugged me. We are hearing this more and more, and the Democrats have not even officially picked a candidate yet. There is absolutely zero evidence of it, and plenty of reasons for disbelieving it.
Russia has not been the Soviet Union, has not been a communist state, has had no ideological beef with the U.S. since 1989. Russia and the U.S. could be allies, could be trading partners.
Putin is probably far more concerned with politics in Ukraine and Georgia than he is with what’s happening in the U.S.
Also, no interference is necessary. It is pretty obvious that the U.S. is imploding all on its own.
Yet, we’re hearing this Russia, Russia, Russia shit even earlier and louder than we heard it in 2016. Why?
It’s because the Democrats know that they might well lose the election and they don’t really care, they get to stay rich and in the game, but they are going to need somebody to blame the loss on. So, Russia.
It’s all bullshit.

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China, Russia and the U.S.

I just saw an article saying that China is trying to interfere with the election to help Biden, and Russia is trying to interfere to help Trump. I’m skeptical, for a couple of reasons, but wouldn’t completely rule it out.
First of all, I tend not to believe anything that starts “U.S. intelligence says…” because we know that they just lie all the damned time, and for the most part aren’t even intelligence agencies, just propaganda agencies. If they just paid a bit more attention to information that’s publicly available on the internet, they’d probably have a better idea of what’s going on than they get by relying on their network of inept spies.

According to NPR: William Evanina, who leads the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said that the U.S. government has assessed that China prefers President Trump losing the election, because Beijing considers him unpredictable, while Russia is working to undermine Democrat Joe Biden.

“Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters’ preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people’s confidence in our democratic process,” he said.
However, he goes on to admit that he’s seen no actual evidence of that. So, he’s just guessing.
I suppose it is possible, although Russia and China (like the U.S. and every other country) also have domestic issues to worry about, which probably preoccupies most of their attention.
The U.S. is actually the nation most likely to interfere in another nation’s electoral process. (see Bolivia, just for the most recent example)
In any event, the governments of Russia and China at the moment, as well as most of the American people, are probably watching these elections and saying “What the actual fuck is going on here?” You have two mentally challenged, clearly incompetent individuals, competing to be the most powerful man on Earth, and either one will be a disaster. Russia and China, most probably, are just watching in amazement as America collapses.
I doubt they’re lifting a finger because they don’t actually need to.

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Joe’s Latest Gaffe

The problem with a dumb statement like “The Black Community isn’t diverse like the Latino community” is that it gets people talking about it and they forget that two days ago he called a reporter a junkie (except he pronounced it ‘joney’ and he also had a great deal of difficulty with the word ‘fitness’) as he was busy dodging a question about why he wouldn’t take a simple Alzheimer’s test which Trump has already taken, and that in turn shifts attention away from that time he said “If you don’t vote for me, you ain’t Black” which in turn shifts attention away from the time he forgot the word ‘constitution,’ which in turn shifts attention away from the time he talked about how much little black kids loved touching his hairy legs and how he just loves kids sitting on his lap.
It’s a Trump thing, as long as people are talking about the dumb thing you said yesterday, they stop talking about the dumb thing you said two days ago.
Now, the weird thing is, I know what he meant when he said the Latino community is more diverse than the black community. They come from different nations, speak Spanish with different accents, and don’t think of each other as all belonging to the same culture.
But, it was a godawful stupid thing to say, there was no real reason for it, and I’m enjoying watching him flounder.

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Binge Day

Yesterday Helena drove Isabel out to a lake where she’ll be spending a few days with her friend and her friend’s family, and Sam was working, so I had the flat largely to myself which, of course, meant Netflix binge day.
I watched three films, one by plan (Enemy at the Gates) and the other two on a whim, just because they popped up on the screen and I was curious, and then the 1st episode of season 2 of the Umbrella Academy, which I’ll give a chance but I suspect it may have already jumped the shark and this might be as bad as season 2 of Stranger Things.
Enemy at the Gates was a good movie. I think it might have been even better if it had been made in Russian, with Russian actors, for added realism, but that’s O.K. It was Hollywood, it was not a documentary. If you like war movies, and have nothing else better to do, and haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth watching. Otherwise, it’s not. No new ground broken, no historical views changed. War is hell, but watching it is fun. We are a horrible species.
Star Trek, the one with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto which is just called Star Trek, which I think is pretty darned arrogant considering that none of the other Star Trek movies dispensed with a subtitle, not even the very first one, which was at least Star Trek: the Motion Picture.
Believe it or not, I hadn’t seen this one, although I enjoyed ‘Into the Darkness’ very much. And I still haven’t seen the last one.
It was a great film and I think Chris Pine makes a far better Captain Kirk than Shatner ever did. I also like Zachary Quinto’s version of Spock. Not that I think he’s a better actor than Nimoy. I think the part was better written. He’s far more developed. Not just a sidekick. Like most things Star Trek, I give it multiple thumbs up, as much as the timeline will allow.
The third film just popped up on my Netflix feed and I figured “eh, what the hell.” It was a Seth Rogen thing, and I’m not a big fan of Seth Rogen. He’s sort of like today’s version of Woody Allen and not in the best way, but in the way of “total loser dude hooks up with girl who’s way out of his league and this could only possibly happen because he wrote the movie,” and that’s exactly what happened here. Charlize Theron played the Secretary of State and presidential candidate who fell for him. But, it did have some good laughs, some attempts at social commentary which weren’t more over the top than other films of this genre, and Bob Odenkirk (best known as Jimmy McGill) was funny as the totally clueless president. I’m still not a Seth Rogen fan, but the scene where he gets her stoned and then she has to negotiate a hostage release was pretty comical, in a Cheech and Chong sort of way. On a scale of 10, I’ll give it a 6.5.

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