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Can We All Agree – 8/20/16 edition

August 20, 2016

Can we all agree it will take more than one dramatic photo of a dazed little boy, to force the warring factions in Syria to stop fighting and get serious about ending a war that no one can win?

Omran, a Syrian boy, awaits treatment. (Mahmoud Rslan/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Omran, a Syrian boy, awaits treatment. (Mahmoud Rslan/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Can we all agree the actions of Ryan Lochte and his fellow swimmers are probably the biggest unforced error in Olympic history?

Can we all agree the whole episode just takes the spotlight away from the spectacular performance of the athletes?

Can we all agree the actions of distance runners Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino should be the story that gets the most attention?

Usain Bolt wins the 100 meter race at the Olympics. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Usain Bolt wins the 100 meter race at the Olympics. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Can we all agree the United Nations should be embarrassed that it took them 6 years to admit their soldiers brought cholera to Haiti?

Can we all agree that we have no interest in getting a ride from one of Uber’s planned driverless cars in Pittsburgh? Maybe they knew a SF judge was going to reject their proposed settlement with drivers?

Can we all agree that it would be a lot more comforting to wait five years for the Ford fleet to become available?

Can we all agree the only reason Donald Trump went to visit Louisiana flooding victims was to embarrass the President?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s “teleprompter regret” didn’t come close to an apology?

New Zealander Nikki Hamblin helps fallen U.S. athlete Abbey D'Agostino. (Ian Walton / Getty Images)

New Zealander Nikki Hamblin helps fallen U.S. athlete Abbey D’Agostino. (Ian Walton / Getty Images)

Can we all agree Mr. Trump needs to look no further than this week’s news from Washington state, to see the impact of his hateful speech?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s latest campaign reorganization is probably his last gasp? Or maybe it’s a death rattle?

Can we all agree the change was inevitable once the word got out about Ukraine’s secret payments to campaign manager Paul Manafort?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s plan for increased vetting of Muslim’s entering the country, is just wrong on every level? Even conservatives are dismayed.

Can we all agree that adding Roger Ailes to your list of advisors, probably won’t win you any female votes?

Can we all agree real panic has set in with the GOP, as they ponder losing control of both the House and Senate?

Can we all agree, if Hillary Clinton is elected, she and her husband should give up any role in their foundation and maybe even close it down?

Can we all agree a judge’s decision forcing Mrs. Clinton to submit written answers to questions about her use of a private email server, will uncover few new facts and just keep the issue alive – which is exactly the point?

Can we all agree the Obama administration’s explanation  about the money paid to Iran, when hostages were released, is still just linguistic gymnastics?

Can we all agree, that with no rain due until November, California firefighters have their work cut out for them?

Can we all agree the Justice Department’s decision to gradually eliminate using private prison firms for inmates should be copied by the states?

Can we all agree that. if Kamala Harris is elected as California’s next senator she will be featured at the 2020 convention and will find her way on to the presidential ticket in 2024? You read it here first.

Can we all agree there probably won’t be many young ‘snowbirds’ vacationing in Miami this winter?

Can we all agree the GOP is now getting another black eye from it’s own candidates for not approving any money to fight the Zika virus?

Can we all agree, if former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling runs against Elizabeth Warren for US Senate, it will be a replay of the Trump campaign, just on a smaller scale?

Can we all agree the Social Security Administration’s plan to get seniors to confirm their identity by using text messaging, had to be dreamed up by an out of touch millennial?

Can we all agree that we don’t understand the French ban on Burkinis at the beach?

Can we all agree it’s one thing to steal  DNC emails but quite another to hack the NSA?

A Burkini bathing suit on the beach

A Burkini bathing suit on the beach

Can we all agree this may be the week the California drought was declared over, but we still have water problems?

Can we all agree, it’s easy to understand the frustration in Milwaukee, but they may have chosen the wrong incident to express their emotions?

Can we all agree the former Pennsylvania Attorney General needs to understand that all is fair in politics, unless you break the law?

and finally:

Can we all agree David Brooks and Jennifer Rubin, two conservative columnists,  could speak for all of us?


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My “Force Awakens”

December 24, 2015

Filed under: Movie Review — Tags: , , , — admin @ 4:53 am

Last week I included 6 links to newspaper reviews of the new Star Wars sequel. All of them pretty much praise the new flick. This week my wife and I saw the movie, so I can write my own review. The movie looks like it will make a billion dollars for Disney, so one bad review probably won’t hurt.

John Boyega-the latest Star Wras hero

John Boyega-the latest Star Wars ‘hero to be’

While it’s entertaining, “The Force Awakens” has several problems. First, is the gulf in acting talent between the old stars (Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher) and some of the newcomers, second is the believability of the script and third is the dialogue.

Luckily, in my dreams the night after seeing the movie, I had some ideas.

In my version, Harrison Ford, is trying to organize a read-through of script changes, attempting to fix some of the issues that I criticize in my review. Of course I take over the part of Finn –the rebellious storm trooper played by John Boyega.

The real -life rehearsal takes place as I’m trying to type my critique for my blog on an old Smith Corona typewriter that I recently loaned to a friend who wanted real “typewriter typeface” for her holiday cards. Remember it’s a dream sequence.

No one says any of this had to make sense, which is my main complaint about “The Force Awakens” – there are just too many plot twists that are not believable. The trick in creating great science fiction is that the viewer (or reader) suspends reality, but there are no obvious incongruities that force you to question the new reality.

For example, the evil First Order, can make a battle planet, but they can’t seem to neutralize four rebel characters roaming their new high-tech weapon? I know the plot line has been used before in a galaxy far far away, but this time it was just too contrived.

The joy of the older Star Wars episodes was that they presented an escape from reality that was at least semi-believable. The new version is not, and the dialogue is often tortured – to the point of being painful. Boyega is, by far, the least capable actor, and since the conclusion leaves his fate up in the air, we can hope that he does not recover, and a new “new star” is born.

There are a number of other examples in the same vein, but it would just be piling on to mention them. Let’s hope my new version gets made and this review becomes unnecessary.



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