Friday, May 26, 2006
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Saturday, May 20, 2006
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2006 11:18 AM
Subject: Review of Da Vinci Code
Thought you'd like to see the review I wrote on Yahoo about the DVC. I saw it last night, very good, and needlessly slammed by critics per usual. Enjoy:As an avid Dan Brown reader, I of course was one of the first in line to view the Da Vinci Code. My friends and I, all who had read the book, weren't expecting much from the movie, not only because of the poor reviews it was given by critics but the identical reviews it was given by close friends of ours. Everyone kept stating "if you read the book and enjoyed it, this movie will frustrate you and leave you unsatisfied."However, I found this to be quite the contrary to my actual experience of the movie. Ron Ho wards' directing was phenomenal. His grasp of the knowledge that Brown stuffed into his award-winning novel was flawlessly portrayed. Admittedly, there were a few points in the movie he may have skipped over or changed--for example, using the cellular phone to find information on the Knight's tomb was much less intense than Brown's original use of the library, however it was possibly more believable considering their time constraints. I also thought that the character of Sophie Neveu could've been played harder and less like the doe-eyed Sophie we saw. But overall, I found Howard's choices to be tasteful and helped the movie flow seamlessly.As for the other actor's portrayls, I felt that Tom Hanks nailed his character of Robert Langdon to a T. I heard that many felt his performance was lacking and that Ian McKellan stole the show as Teabing. While Teabing's excessive character turned-bad guy was a perfect role for McKellan, I hardly felt that it overpowered the role of Langdon. Perhaps because Langdon was the only real NORMAL character, not excessive in any light as a college professor, that many were put off by Hanks' performance, but what I saw was the everyman and how he would react in such a situation and that is often harder to act than a character with eccentric personality traits.I feel that the problem that many critics and viewers had with this movie is that they were expecting such a great novel to turn into an epic movie like Lord of the Rings, Narnia, or even the Matrix. However, I think that we've been thrust into this mindset so often today that we forget a good movie can be UNDER three hours long and still have a fully developed plot with interesting characters. Whether the subject-matter offends you or not, everyone has to admit that this movie was impressive and true to the story.
CK:I hope they post it. I saw the reviews, looking for some insight, on MSN and most of them seem to be KneeJerk Christians with political and religious axes to grind. In fact, it appeared that less than half of the derogatory postings came from people that had actually SEEN THE MOVIE, which I would think is one of the first criteria for a review. While I consider myself conservative, I am getting really peeved with people that have to inject their religious opinion into EVERY FREAKIN SEGMENT OF LIFE. There is such a thing as FICTION, just as there is such a thing as OPINION. Qualified opinions are those that review an actual event or production as it is, not as they think it is meant to be. It makes me want to scream out loud. Don't sweat the small stuff.
Friday, May 19, 2006
But, the same man who jokingly calls himself "Hitler" and who leads the Iranian nation seems to be following in some less that illustrious footsteps. It seems he wants Christians and Jews and others that are considered heathen, to be marked by wearing a badge of their religious affiliation. I read "Night" and "Diary of Anne Frank" as well as other holocaust related stories. I am not Jewish, but it wasn't only Jews that suffered in the long-run. Catholics, Gypsies, homosexuals, the infirm, the retarded, the disabled...these were all targets. Doctors and lawyers in ethics classes often discuss the "slippery slope" as a theory that one act would make it easier for the next to occur. That has been the hurdle to assisted suicide-the question being at what point are we "assisting" too much? In this case, there is a LONG history of pogroms organized and local, national discrimination and total obliteration. The Christian church isn't absolved of this as it is still living out the numerous innocents killed by the Inquisition and the now resulting diaspora of Hispanic Jews that immigrated to New Spain, where their family traditions were those of the Jewish faithful, although publicly for protection, they claimed Catholicism. Should we as people who KNOW about the Holocaust and the previous instances of attempted destruction of the Jewish people, stand by in silence while once again the machine of death rears its head in the form of an Iranian demagogue that dares to claim that there are people subhuman to him? I don't think so. And if we do stand by and allow this to happen in Israel, when we went to Yugoslavia to save Muslims there, then the United Nations and the European Union and all the various treaties and contracts will mean NOTHING. Remember, one of the basic tenets of the devoutful Muslim is that they don't have to honor contracts or promises with infidels. And the term infidel could mean anyone they don't agree with. In a civilization where eye for an eye is the norm, is it wise to allow them the technology to take that attitude on an international scale?
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Below is my response:
I am sure the family featured on you Sunday front page in regards to the illegal immigration situation is perfectly nice. But there are some issues that your writer chose to avoid. For example, it’s stated that the father uses a Social Security number that isn’t his. That’s illegal. And if it is a number belonging to someone else, it could endanger that person’s retirement funds if income isn’t declared under that social security number for tax purposes. Further more, it could be preventing a surviving spouse or family the money that is theirs due to payment into the system. Is this nice? At that point it becomes identity fraud. So now there are two laws are broken, immigration and identity fraud.
Add to that the whole taxation issue. If they live in a single family home, their rent may cover the education of their children. However, if their children merit special services such as special education, ESL, free meals or any other program that is federally mandated but not funded, then the impact comes back upon the children who are here legally in the form of diminished programs and services and larger class sizes. It isn’t just a coincidence that the school systems that are struggling financially are those with a large population of children from families that have chosen to come here illegally. When in-state tuition is offered to people here illegally, the burden to make up the difference in the form of higher tuition and fees is the average student who is here legally or who was born here. The flooding of aid programs by students here from outside of the country has made it increasingly difficult for the average student to get any student aid. Shouldn’t we be looking out for our own kids first? Wouldn't that be nice?
Consider automobile insurance. It's estimated that 20% of the drivers in Texas are unlicensed and have no insurance. I know families that defer the driving Rite of Passage until kids are 17 or 18 due to the high cost of insurance. The uninsured driver clause is part of what drives up the costs. If you get hit by a citizen, you may have some legal recourse,but if you are hit by a drivers with a fake ID and no insurance, then YOU will be paying the deductible AND the higher insurance rates as this scenario is enacted thousands of times in a year. So were these "nice" immigrants driving themselves to work and school legally? Or are they part of the protest against confiscation of cars involved in wrecks when no proof of insurance is given? Is this nice?
Look at Parkland Hospital, or any other large county hospital where many of these people go for routine medical services. Many of these illegal workers do not receive any insurance through their work and a simple delivery of a child may run up to $12,000. That comes directly out of the taxes paid into the hospital district and is further impacted because surrounding cities often send undocumented workers there for services. Parkland is not permitted to turn them away, nor should they be, but to make this as if there isn’t any negative financial impact is glossing over the issue. Is it nice to get medical services that your own native country won't provide and then not pay for them?
Additionally, our economy works on the principles of supply and demand. If there is a supply of workers willing to work off the books for less than minimum wage, employers will use that to pad their profits and workers who are here legally may end up without jobs. Many of the jobs that are taken are the entry level jobs needed for high school and college student graduates to get experience to move onto other jobs within the economy. An underground supply of workers undercuts our young people and creates a situation where they either do without a job and return to school or they end up working several jobs just to make ends meet and pay off student loans.
Finally, where is the discourse on how Mexico has abdicated its role to provide education, health and welfare and other economic opportunities to their own citizens? Instead it appears as if the Mexican government is content to send their people here to earn money that is returned to Mexico. The United States is being used as a social safety valve and perhaps if some of the people in Mexico would stay there and create a climate of change from the corruption and graft that has become commonplace along the border, there would be no need for them to leave their homes and come here illegally.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Monday, May 01, 2006
Oh BTW...to all those national businesses that closed in "solidarity" today...I didn't miss you guys today, so I guess you won't miss my dollars in the future. Take that Tyson, and Hacienda Ranch. I make better guacamole anyway.....
AND...I don't think it's a coincidence that this protest occurred on what is traditionally a "Workers Day" in Communist countries. I guess it's time to rerack all those Che Guevara T-shirts at the local Gap.....