Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Derek Hough!

To say I love me some Derek Hough would be an understatement. Yesterday, he and dance partner actress Shannon Elizabeth, were eliminated from the Dancing With The Stars competition.
Derek Hough, (pronounced, huff) dancer/choreographer and a former World Latin Dance champion is so talented I can hardly stand to watch him. This guy vibrates with energy and excitment. His technique is flawless and his personality shines through every single movement.

Derek's talented younger sister Julianne is also a professional on the show and won the dance championship with speed skater Apollo Anton Ohno in the 2006 season.

Derek and Shannon dance the Samba.

Last Season Derek Danced with Jennie Garth. Check out this sexy Cha-Cha.

Marlee Matlin has long been a favorite of mine. I love her spunk and she is always so naughty. Always. It was amazing how beautifully she danced in spite of being profoundly deaf. That girl's got the music in her!
Marlee was eliminated last week. I'll miss Derek and Marlee on the show.

Marlee and Fabian Sanchez dance the quickstep.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hillary Hangs On

Senator Hillary Clinton won PA by 10% so far. It's not enough to make a difference in the mathematical possibility of her getting the nom, but it's a win. So the Democratic race continues in earnest. The "silly season" will crank up to high gear now, I suppose.
After that despicable waste of time called a debate last week, I was totally disgusted and disappointed in Hillary, ABC News, and in Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulis, two journalist I liked and trusted.
Hillary Clinton showed me she has no clue about taking the high road or elevating the conversation and couldn't catch a hint if it was gift wrapped and handed to her, which it was. And believe me Hillary, John McCain will not afford you any such courtesy. (The super delegates noticed all this seeing as how she lost 6 the next morning.) It was a week ago so I won't rehash the Rev. Wright, Weatherman, flag pin, bittergate, sniper fire, silliness. Nor will I blog on about the many stupid " will you promise" questions aimed at getting sound bites for the future. 52 minutes of pure foolishness. If they have another debate, maybe they can get Jerry Springer to moderate. Nuff said.

Bush or Clinton III?

Alec Baldwin's column over at the Huff Post expressed my feelings almost to a point. It is crystal clear that neither McCain or Clinton will change Washington or even want to.

Bush Three Is Wrong -- Is Clinton Three Any Better?
Alec Baldwin
Posted April 21, 2008 09:23 PM (EST)

I had once considered John McCain an ultimately acceptable choice for president.

I thought that, compared to the other Republicans in the field earlier, McCain was a man who had lived a serious life. He had faced serious problems and offered respected solutions to issues such as campaign finance reform. McCain was a war hero, a US Senator and maverick in a party that often didn't know what to make of people like John McCain.

But mavericks don't make it to the highest echelons of the GOP. That is how we got stuck with this Bush. In order to ascend to the highest ranks of the Republican Party, you have got to realize that the current size and scope of the budget of the federal government is the greatest opportunity for the personal enrichment of the upper class in this country since the turn of the previous century or the period around World War II. As much as any industry that brings its products to market, selling your goods and services to the US government, and particularly the military, is a chance to make staggering and heretofore unseen profits. The current budget of the US Defense Department is the most shameful misappropriation of American tax dollars in our nation's history.

There are cycles in American history wherein the richest and most powerful people who actually own and run this country make there greatest effort to elect a true corporatocracy candidate. They literally steal the election, if need be. They install their witless, pliant factotums and they start skimming. They order even more expensive things we don't need. They relax regulations to the point where there are essentially no regulations at all. They might even start a war, if the can get away with it. If questionable people happen to be in the country taking flying lessons without learning how to land and you don't bother to investigate them, you increase the chances you may get away with it.

There are periods in American history when the haves just knock the have-nots to the ground and say,"Enough." They push the government into greater debt. They sign unconscionable mortgages for future generations. They lie and tell the American people that to get out of the convoluted military quagmire would only threaten us more. Threaten our children. Their future.

When their friends run into trouble, they bail them out. No, I mean we bail them out. They decide. We simply do the paying. Bill Clinton killed welfare as we knew it. Maybe its time had come. I was hoping that both Clintons would have condemned the Bear Stearns deal in the harshest terms. No such luck.

John McCain has changed. He drank the Kool-Aid, the one they served as baby formula in the Bush home all those years ago. McCain will be Bush Three. I was wrong about him. He has velcroed his lips to the ass of the elephant and he's gonna keep kissing until a second term would end.

But, if Bush Three is wrong, terrifyingly wrong, then is Clinton Three any better? Who do you think really has the guts to stand against the most potent special interests who truly care more about the dollar than the flag? We don't have a draft in this country in order keep politics out of military policy. For too many Americans, the truth is that, "My child isn't over there. That's all I care about." The fact that there has not been one great, national day of protest against this war will surely come back to haunt us all.

Who will end this war?

Obama will end this war.

I encourage the Democrats of the state of Pennsylvania to cast their vote tomorrow for Barack Obama.

I sweated this a lot. I admire both Bill and Hillary. But the shame and disgrace of how we have treated our own fighting men, not to mention many innocent people in Iraq, weighs more heavily on me now.

This country is in deep trouble. We not only need something effective, we need something new. I believe Obama will bring that more that Mrs. Clinton.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Olympics, Torched?

I do not agree with messing with the Olympic torch runners to protest China's effed up human rights practices! My feeling is, the torch and the Olympics do not represent only China. Olympics, is a super-duper diplomatic opportunity for people of the world (including those of us at home) to come together and get to know each other.
Cliche? Yes, so.
But, I also feel the Olympics and activities around the Olympics can be an appropriate time to bring world attention to issues of injustice. We do have the right certainly, to carry signs and march and chant and blog. Heads of State can resolve to speak on it, stay home from ceremonies or use the opportunity to meet with foreign leaders about it. Athletes should have the right to wear armbands, hats backwards, black gloves or whatever symbols of solidarity, to opening ceremonies.

But, I do not believe we should stop or tackle torch runners, disrupt ceremonies with violence, be disrespectful to fellow athletes or moon the host nation.
The Olympic commitee knew China's human rights history when they chose Beijing.

So now some say the U.S. should boycott like we did in 1980. I can't help but know that the friendships and bonds formed and the understanding of different cultures gained by participating, far out weigh any symbolic gesture of a boycott.
We didn't boycott the 1936 Berlin Olympics where Jesse Owens and other black athletes disproved Hitler's idiotic super race supremacy theory and won the respect of many German athletes and citizens.

The 1980 U.S. boycott of the Moscow Olympics was a part of a diplomatic package of warnings after Russia invaded Afghanistan. 62 nations joined in the total boycott while some boycotted the opening ceremony parade and others marched under the Olympic banner. The boycott was a grand gesture with little diplomatic result. The competition went on, and the athletes were in my opinion, the ones harmed.

In 1984, the Soviet Union block nations boycotted the Los Angeles Games. The world is run by such grown ups, isn't it? You don't come to mine, I won't come to yours.

Hypocracy rules as usual.
I fully understand the seriousness of the issues in Tibet. I want to protest China's horrid treatment of their own people who lost their homes to make way for new Olympic structures. Poor people, who were neither relocated or compensated for their property and are now homeless.
China wants to show through hosting the Olympics, that it's ready to join the world community. We absolutely do need to let China know that while they prepare to showcase their country, the global mainstream they want to be a part of, knows about, does not approve of, and will not accept the inhumane behavior perpertrated by their government.
But why tackle the torch runners when every damn thing in the U.S.A. is made in China. We aren't tackling Walmart greeters or Saks store clerks. We aren't marching on corporations that outsource jobs to China etc. And we aren't having "Made in China" bonfires. So why focus the protest on the Olympic torch runners? Running the torch is a rare honor for many folks across the nation and the world. Having held an actual torch myself, it's quite a once in a lifetime thrill.

I don't mean in any way to say that the Tibetan issue or Afghanistan invasion are not issues that warrent strong protest and action. and I even admit to being conflicted about boycotting. I just believe that the Olympics should be as politics free as possible. Naive? No. I just feel the good of having the Oympics outweighs the bad of not participating. The athletes have worked hard and will hopefully spread good will. And we can still find a way to get the message home.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Bette Davis was no Sissy

Yesterday was the 100th birthday anniversary of star, Bette Davis who said;

"Getting old is not for sissies."


"If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it."

You got that right sister!

We watched All About Eve and Jezebel, two of my favorite movies.

I can't tell you how many hours my family and I and now Monica and I have settled down to a good Bette Davis movie. It's not only enjoyment of the the great lady in great pictures, but good memories surrounding the watching of her films. Watching a Bette Davis movie when I was home sick from school was better than chicken soup. My mother could always be convinced to let me stay up to watch the Late Show movie if it was Bette Davis. I remember Monica and I hunkering down in our first tiny apartment on a cold winter day, baking cookies and watching Bette Davis.
We have both been run ragged for the last couple weeks, so we're gonna crash today and watch a couple Bette Davis flicks. I love that lady!

Bette Davis became the first woman to secure 10 nominations for the Best Actress Oscar, and in the intervening years, only Katharine Hepburn and Meryl Streep have surpassed this figure.

Some of my favorites:
So Big...1932, Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex...1935, Jezebel...1938, Dark Victory...1939, The Great Lie...1941, Now Voyager...1942, Watch on the Rhine...1943, Mr. Skeffington...1944, The Corn is Green...1945, A Stolen Life...1946, All About Eve...1950, The Virgin Queen...1955, A Pocketful of Miracles...1961, Whatever Happened to Baby Jayne?...1962, Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte...1964, The Nanny...1965.

Some pics and facts from some of my favorite Davis films.


The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

Dark Victory

Now Voyager

Watch on the Rhine

All About EVE

''My first feeling, of compassion for this misunderstood talented woman, (Margo) was quickly replaced by a robust attraction, an uncontrollable lust. I walked around with a hard on for three days''-Davis's husband, Garry Merrill.-

Marlene Dietrich, Susan Hayward, Claudette Colbert and Gertrude Lawrence were all asked to play the part before Bette Davis.

The Virgin Queen

Whatever Happened to Baby Jayne?

Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte

Bette Davis

Friday, April 04, 2008

Dr. King-The Radical

Forty years ago today Dr. King died in Memphis after being shot on a motel balcony. Twice a year, on his birthday celebration and on the anniversary of his death we pause to look at this man and his accomplishments and do the obligatory connecting of the dots from his era to the present. We sing "We Shall Overcome" and talk about how brave he was and marvel at his oratory skills. A great American.

But we don't celebrate his full legacy. The last years, a gift of perhaps his most profound perceptions for America's future, have been ignored and forgotten both in our celebrations and in the minds of Americans.

But, the Martin Luther King I remember in his last few years was more than a civil rights activist, dreamer and preacher. He was a dissenter, a revolutionary, a rebel.
Dr. King decided he must “move beyond the prophesying of a smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent.”

In about 1965, he began an analysis of American institutions that threatened to upset the status quo. Dr. King began to call for “a radical revolution of values” in the United States. This is the Dr. King never mentioned in our January and April remembrances. We only celebrate the sanitized image, the champion of racial harmony.

Julian Bond said on a King Day celebration:
"Today we do not honour the critic of capitalism, or the pacifist who declared all wars evil, or the man of God who argued that a nation that chose guns over butter would starve its people and kill itself. We do not honour the man who linked apartheid in South Africa and Alabama; we honour an antiseptic hero. We have stripped his life of controversy, and celebrate the conventional instead."

We forget that when he began to speak out against the war and criticize U.S. government policies, he was vilified, wiretapped and discredited by the same people who had praised and honored him.
"I criticize America because I love her. I want her to stand as a moral example to the world."-MLK

On April 4, 1967, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave the same warning about America as Rev. Wright gave in 2003. Dr. King said:

"Don't let anybody make you think God chose America as his divine messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with justice and it seems I can hear God saying to America "you are too arrogant, and if you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I will place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't even know my name. Be still and know that I'm God."

The same Dr. King that is claimed as one of the greatest Americans, is the same man who warned the American government and U.S. big business about "capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries."

The greatest nation on Earth, becoming the greatest two-faced looter and scavenger on Earth. We shake hands and give arms to known scoundrels and dictators when it suits our purpose, only to turn on them, denounce them and wage war when it does not.

The same Nobel Peace Prize winner that America proudly holds dear, condemned American aggression, criticizing in 1967;
"The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - my own government."

Time Magazine called it "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi."
The Washington Post wrote that "King has diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people."
He was called a left wing crackpot, an invitation to the White House was rescinded and he fell off the most admired list. He had come full circle. The jeers that turned to cheers were back to jeers again.

Now it's cheers again for Dr. King. But is cheers without the whole story.
Would it disturb the pristine King celebrations too much to recall and examine his messages of human rights outside the realm of black civil rights? Of course it would.
After reading his writings from those years, I think If America had listened to Dr. King's perspectives and solutions, we could have avoided some of the domestic and world problems we now face.

So, just as I know you can't judge someones life by a few video clips, I hope we can begin to appreciate and celebrate the fullness of Dr. King's message and life. Considering the ongoing racial problems, another war, the struggling economy, and our scary global situation, it's Dr. King the dissenter, the rebel who is not afraid of telling hard truths, that is more relevant today, not the saintly dreamer on a mountaintop.
He was in my opinion a true patriot, especially at the end.

This is brilliant.
Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
By Rev. Martin Luther King
4 April 1967

"America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood." - MLK

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Rice and Buchanan on Race

Monica Roberts posted these words from Condoleezza Rice' March 28 Washington Times interview. She was asked about the Rev. Wright hoopla and Sen. Obama's speech on race. Well, these comments from Condi surprised some of her conservative buddies.

Secretary Rice said:

"I think it was important that he (Obama) gave it for a whole host of reasons,"

The United States still has trouble dealing with race because of a national "birth defect" that denied black Americans the opportunities given to whites at the country's very founding.

Black Americans were a founding population. Africans and Europeans came here and founded this country together — Europeans by choice and Africans in chains. That's not a very pretty reality of our founding.

As a result, descendants of slaves did not get much of a head start, and I think you continue to see some of the effects of that.

That particular birth defect makes it hard for us to confront it, hard for us to talk about it, and hard for us to realize that it has continuing relevance for who we are today.

America doesn't have an easy time dealing with race, and added that her own father, grandmother and great-grandmother had endured terrible humiliations growing up in the segregated south and yet they still loved America.

What I would like understood as a black American is that black Americans loved and had faith in this country even when this country didn't love and have faith in them —and that's our legacy."

Now, FOX News pundit Pat Buchanan.
Mr. Buchanan opens his dialogue on race with a long response entitled,
A Brief for Whitey posted on his site 3/21/08.

First on Rev Wright:

"How would he justify not walking out as Wright spewed his venom about "the U.S. of K.K.K. America," and howled, "God damn America!"
My hunch was right. Barack would turn the tables.

Yes, Barack agreed, Wright's statements were "controversial," and "divisive," and "racially charged," reflecting a "distorted view of America."

But we must understand the man in full and the black experience out of which the Rev. Wright came: 350 years of slavery and segregation."

Pat obviously didn't listen to Wright's speeches or know his bible.
"God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme." (the second sentence in Rev. Wright's sermon is a direct paraphrase from the Old Testament when God warned the Israelites to not be so haughty as to think they were as powerful as God.)

Pat continues, leaving out Obama's acknowledgement of white resentments and black responsibilities.

"Barack then listed black grievances and informed us what white America must do to close the racial divide and heal the country.

The "white community," said Barack, must start "acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination -- and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past -- are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds ... ."

And what deeds must we perform to heal ourselves and our country?

The "white community" must invest more money in black schools and communities, enforce civil rights laws, ensure fairness in the criminal justice system and provide this generation of blacks with "ladders of opportunity" that were "unavailable" to Barack's and the Rev. Wright's generations.

What is wrong with Barack's prognosis and Barack's cure?

Only this. It is the same old con, the same old shakedown that black hustlers have been running since the Kerner Commission blamed the riots in Harlem, Watts, Newark, Detroit and a hundred other cities on, as Nixon put it, "everybody but the rioters themselves."

Was "white racism" really responsible for those black men looting auto dealerships and liquor stories, and burning down their own communities, as Otto Kerner said -- that liberal icon until the feds put him away for bribery.

Barack says we need to have a conversation about race in America.

Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation. White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to.

This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:

First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.

Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.

Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the '60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream.

Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks - with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas -- to advance black applicants over white applicants.

Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.

We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude?

Barack talks about new “ladders of opportunity” for blacks.

Let him go to Altoona and Johnstown, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for “deserving” white kids.

Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America? Is it really white America’s fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?

Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself?

As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence. Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?

Is Barack aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

We have all heard ad nauseam from the Rev. Al about Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case and Jena. And all turned out to be hoaxes. But about the epidemic of black assaults on whites that are real, we hear nothing.

Sorry, Barack, some of us have heard it all before, about 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars ago.

Well now, how 'bout that. I could tell him where his gratitude is but I won't because I am a proponent for this dialogue on race in our country. I do appreciate his honesty.
His long response is proof positive why America needs to have this out.
Buchanan takes Obama's speech as a lecture to whites rather than a challenge to Americans that will benefit all of us.
So, he concludes that Barack Obama's speech is just another black hustle. Black Americans are a bunch of immoral beings that have only thanked white Americans for all their generousity and kindness by swindling, looting, raping, robbing, and stealing opportunities and jobs from them. He uses the invitation to dialogue to fall back on old stereotypes, feed fear, and advance his political ideology. The sad thing is that Pat Buchanan actually believes his distorted truths. He also seems to think he is speaking for the white race.

Tech Support

(Dustin posted this. It's so funny)

Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance -- particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed undesirable programs such as MLB 2.5, NFL 5.0, NBA 3.0, NCAA Football and Basketball 4.0, Fly Fishing 6.5, and Golf Clubs 7.1(and possibly NASCAR 400.0 or 500.0 and Texas Hold 'em2007). Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.
What can I do?
Signed, Desperate

Dear Desperate:
First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System. Please enter the command: 'I Thought You Loved Me.exe'and try to download Tears 6.2 and don't forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.
As a final backup program, you might try Bun-In-The-Oven (BITO) as a long term solution. Keeping mind that BITO can come in versions 1.0, 2.0, 3.0,etc. and requires you to sign a 9 month installation agreement followed by a 18 year maintenance contract. You should make sure your Husband 1.0 operating system is compatible with the BITO version before you install this program. But remember, overuse of the above applications can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, or even crash, leaving you with no operating system.
Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources).
Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.
In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Food 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.
Good Luck