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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rant #1,909: The End



Last night's terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, signifies the end of the politically correct era, the official end of an era where too much was allowed to pass by us without anything being done about it, where we, as a supposedly civilized society, turned away from things where action should have been taken because we did not want to offend people.

This type of idiotic behavior was spearheaded by our leaders, who wanted to please rather than lead.

That era is officially over, and it took an act of grand proportions to show us this.

Last night, at a concert in Manchester attended by young people, a coward suicide bomber exploded himself at the end of Grande's concert, killing at least two dozen people and injuring hundreds more.

From the report I have heard, the bomber was not actually a concert goer, but exploded himself in the foyer of the concert hall, where many parents waited for their children to leave the concert.

Thus, he was not scrutinized by security as would a concert goer be, for what he brought into the arena.

There is plenty of video of what happened, and I am sure they will find out who did this horrible act.

Grande is, understandably, inconsolable at this point, and people are stunned that such an incident could happen at such an innocent event.

Don't tell me that the bomber didn't pick such a venue and such a concert to not make a statement. He knew the world would sit up and notice such an act, where youngsters were the prime target.

People who do such things, and factions that sanction such acts, must be obliterated off the face of the earth.

Being PC against certain factions is over.

Coincidentally, and perhaps purposely, the bomber did his evil deed when President Trump was in Israel, and where a meeting with the Palestinians was planned for today.

I guess the bomber was probably making a statement about that meeting, too, and took out several kids to prove his point.

Now is the time for world leaders to galvanize their efforts against people who would do things like this.

Put aside the basic differences the countries have with each other, and get down to business, together. Weed out terrorists and their backing organizations. Educate those who would joint these organizations that what they are doing is wrong.

An international coalition must be formed to remove these groups from the face of the earth, by any means possible.

Sure, I am jumping the gun a bit, assuming that the terrorist was someone who was backed by these organizations. He could, in fact, have been a lone wolf.

But the actions of this coward demonstrated the actions of those organizations, and how they unleash their terror, so the assumption is probably a good one.

A statement has been made by the terrorists. They don't care who they attack, as long as they produce carnage.

It is time for the world to make a grander statement, that being that these organizations will be found out and obliterated off the face of the earth.

And the lesser impact of this attack is that every concert venue, every stadium, and every arena in the world will now have extra security, akin to what they have at airports.

It is going to be that much more difficult to get into a concert or a ballgame that you have a ticket for, and no one should complain.

Yes, the PC era has officially ended, and world leaders must undo all the damage they have created in the past by looking away from potential problems with certain people.

People must be less concerned with protecting the "rights" of those who have no rights, and more concerned with protecting their families, our country, and our world from those who would attack us and attack our way of life.

And we must be vigilant in doing this, and doing it the right way, without mincing words or actions.

Enough is enough.

The PC era has ended, and unfortunately, it took a heinous, cowardly act to alert us to this fact.

We are in World War III right now. And it is so different than any other war ever fought that people are not aware of it, because it does not follow the pattern of any other war ever fought on this planet.

What a shame, and what a tragedy.

Rant #563 (August 19, 2011): Hatred's 20th Anniversary



This is the 20th anniversary of one of New York City's darkest days, and since it made international headlines, one of the worst days in the history of this country.

In Crown Heights, Brooklyn, rioting erupted after Gavin Cato, a seven-year-old black kid, was run over by a driver from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Lubavitch community. After striking the boy, the motorcade stopped, the driver checking out what he had done. He was beaten by an angry mob. (I was corrected on this point by someone who regularly checks out this blog.)

A few hours later, once word spread in the community that the child had been killed, there was rioting in the black community, and a group of black teens attacked--and one fatally stabbed--rabbinical student Yankel Rosenbaum.

The mayor at the time, David Dinkins--New York City's first and still only black mayor--did not read the situation correctly, and fewer than needed police were there to stop the rioting and bloodshed, and this mess was often cited as leading to Dinkins' political downfall.

The Rev. Al Sharpton rose to prominence during this incident, and was one of the main rabble rousers, fanning the flames of hatred in this community while at the same time becoming a national figure.

Crown Heights had already been something of an explosion waiting to happen prior to this incident. With boombox-carrying black kids walking on the same streets with ultra-Orthodox Jews, the two communities basically eyed each other as the enemy, and this incident put everything into perspective.

Now, 20 years later, the incident has, reportedly, served to make the community somewhat closer, although there are still rumblings that haven't died down.

Programs were started almost immediately after this incident to get the two communities together in ways that would not interfere with their own ways of life. I remember news reports that basketball leagues were set up where Orthodox kids could actually mingle, for probably the first time, with black kids living in the same area.

There were also numerous groups set up for adults to begin a dialogue of healing.

The dialogue started, and an uneasy truce was drawn up, which pretty much exists to this day.

However, 20 years ago, that incident divided the city, destroyed the political career of the city's mayor, and took a bite out of the Big Apple that it took years to just partially repair.

Although unnecessary deaths like these are despicable acts, perhaps the legacies of Cato and Rosenbaum have made these communities understand that if they are living in the same neighborhood, they don't necessarily need to like each other, but they need to get along.

Rabble rousers aside, it appears as if each side has learned its lesson.

But there remain hard feelings, especially when it comes to Sharpton. Norman Rosenbaum, Yankel's brother, has decried Sharpton's participation in a panel discussion of the incident and on relations between blacks and Jews which is being held at a Long Island synagogue. Rosenbaum said that it was insulting that Sharpton participate in such a forum since he showed such a lack of sensitivity 20 years ago.

Sharpton subsequently bowed out of the forum. Although defending his actions in Crown Heights, Sharpton acknowledged that "his language and tone has been questioned and at times has been over the line ... . Clearly, the Al Sharpton of 2011 is not the Al Sharpton of 1991."

And there are still some hard feelings about those involved in the deaths and the riots, and the way the legal system has handled these cases.

I guess the real lesson to be learned here is to never forget Crown Heights, because there might be another Crown Heights just around the corner.

You never know.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rant #1,908: X Divided By X


Happy Monday (not really)!

Last week was a pretty slow week, wasn't it?

And this slowness was shown on the Internet.

This famous math problem from a few years ago reared its ugly head once again, and once again, I don't get what the problem with this thing is.

Here it is, and I will give you a moment to get the answer:

6/2(1+2)=?

I got the correct answer right away, but I wonder if you did?

This is confounding so many people, both when it was first posted and now, when it was posted again, that it has become something of a viral "sensation", for people who look for such senations.

And again, I don't get it.

Let me tell you how I arrived at the answer.

First do the "6 divided by 2" part of the equation.

The answer is 3.

Put that number on the side for a moment.

Then do the second part of the equation.

(1+2) equals 3.

Then bring back the original number 3 that you came up with, so the equation now reads like this:
3(3)=?

Multiply the 3 times 3, and what do you come up with?

You come up with 9, and thus, 6/2(1+2)=9.

I have read that many people have come up with the number 1 for the answer, and I simply cannot figure that out.

You have to figure this out as a multi-part equation to fully get this, which I think is confounding some people, leading to the incorrect answer.

Take it step by step, and you will see how relatively easy it is to get the answer.

This is not Abbott and Costello's famous "13 x 7=28" routine.

Nor is this brain surgery. Any kid who has taken even basic math should be able to get this.

Why us older folks are having such a tough time is anyone's guess.

I don't even have one of my flip end sentences for this Rant, because I just cannot believe that people are having trouble understanding this and coming to the correct answer.

It's all in the numbers.

Classic Rant #562 (August 18, 2011): Bachmann Poses For Calendar ... No, Not What You Think



Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann will appear in a 2012 calendar put out by a nonprofit conservative women's group.

The "Great American Conservative Women" calendar, organized annually for the past seven years by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, features a full-page photo on its December page of the Minnesota congresswoman in the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.

And no, she doesn't pose in the altogether.

Bachmann is, without a doubt, the best looking candidate ever to run for President of our country. Sorry Sarah Palin, but in my mind, Bachmann has you beat hands down.

However, Bachmann may also be the most uninformed about cultural events candidate ever to run for President of our country, too.

Her lastest error was saying earlier this week on August 16 that it was Elvis Presley's birthday, when, in actuality, it was Elvis Presley's death day.

She tried to explain that mistake away, tried to cover herself, but hound dog! It didn't work.

And if she doesn't know the difference between a birthday and a death day, what does that say for her competence to run our country?

Maybe you have to give her a pass on her errors. She represents Minnesota, the state that gave us, several years ago, former professional wrestler Jessie "The Body" Ventura as its governor.

But again, Bachmann is good looking, so in our world of video-bites, she always comes out ahead.

Whether she comes out ahead when running for President is anyone's guess.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Rant #1,907: Talk Talk

Back at my perch ...

I am happy to be back here. A day without a Rant is like a day without sunshine.

Today, I am going to look at how CBS is going about promoting its 2017-2018 TV schedule, and it is something that we should all be aware of--not the schedule, per se, but how they are promoting this schedule.

To me at least, it is a great turnoff.

This is the time of year when the networks promote their respective upcoming TV schedules. In with the new, out with the old, and since the current season is ending, it is time to talk about new shows for the fall.

CBS does this too, and that is all fine and good. But they are covering their new schedule as if it were a news story, which it is not, and that is not good.



It is promoting this new schedule on its local and network news shows, which really is kind of self-serving brown-nosing, and to do it on the CBS This Morning, which promotes itself as the only one of the network's morning shows that is actually all news, makes the whole thing even more ridiculous.

As I was home a bit later yesterday because of what I had to do in the morning, I caught a bit of the promotion on this newscast, and they had in attendance Chuck Lorre, the producer of the network's "Mom" show, along with actress Allison Janney, one of the show's stars.

"Mom" is one of those shows that is for the time, a show that exists because network television is just so bad. It is about how a group of female recovering alcoholics copes with everyday life, and while it is popular, I have watched several episodes--my wife likes the show--and every episode tends to deal with two subjects--alcohol/drug abuse and sex--you know, the typical themes of today's TV sitcoms.

However, what do I know, the show is quite popular, and the two guests came on the show to promote the new schedule.

If that was the purpose, that was all fine and good, but then, as is the norm with Hollywood today, politics crept into the conversation, I guess since they had the network platform to do so.

The duo were asked about the Emmy Awards, since the nominations come up soon, and both Lorre and Janney noted that this year, they were not going to expend the time and the energy--and the money--to push the show for an Emmy nomination.

All fine and good, but that is when things went political for no reason.

"We aren't going to openly campaign for an Emmy Award this year, and we decided to use the money that we would have used to promote our show in another way," Lorre said (paraphrased by me).

He continued, "We decided that the money that we would have used to promote our show for the Emmys would instead be donated to Planned Parenthood, which is a much better cause."

Janney is a statuesque woman, and throughout the interview, you could see that she was wearing a T-shirt, but you could not quite see what it said, since she had a jacket partially covering the words on the shirt.

Once, this announcement was made, she proudly opened her jacket to show that she had the message "Support Planned Parenthood" across the shirt. It was as if she were just waiting for this moment.

And no, neither Lorre or Janney spoke about the amount of taxes the show would save by making such a large "charitable" donation.



The two female anchors of the show--Nora O'Donnell and Gayle King--kind of took this lightly, but the male anchor of the show--Charlie Rose--seemingly knew that they had been had, that this was more a political pronouncement than a sneak preview of the network's new schedule.



Maybe they all had been had, maybe they all knew what this was going to lead up to, but whatever the case, why does Hollywood feel that everything they do needs to turn into a political discourse, seemingly because the American public is, in their eyes, too stupid to make their own choices?

Look, Hollywood has always been seeped in supporting causes, but it has run rampant today. You can't turn on a talk show, an entertainment show, an awards show or a news show without being harassed by a political bent.

Isn't entertainment supposed to be relaxing? Why must everything Hollywood does be punctuated by politics?

And by the way, this is not a Rant against Planned Parenthood. I personally support a woman's right to have an abortion ... this is a Rant against Hollywood's continued elitism, using the incredible podium that they have been granted to make political statements that have no place in the topic at hand.

Enough is enough already.

Have we all forgotten how to have fun and relax?

I will do just that this weekend, hopefully, without any more political nonsense to ruin my Saturday and Sunday.

Speak to you again on Monday. Have a good weekend.

Classic Rant #561 (August 17, 2011): Beauty Loves the Privileged Life



Salma Hayek is truly one of the world's most beautiful women. The Mexican actress is good looking, has a smashing figure, and I guess she feels she can say what she wants, since she has never had to worry about money.

As a child, unlike many in Mexico, she was raised in a wealthy family, and as an adult, she is married to a multi-millionaire if not billionaire, and she, herself, makes plenty of money.

But to rub it into the faces of her fans is another thing.

"I never understood the point of being privileged if you don't get to have the privileges," Hayek says in the September issue of Allure.

The use of the word "privileged" her strikes a dischord with me.

What exactly does she mean by the word?

Does she mean that since she has always had money, she is above others who don't?

Does she mean that since she has money, she deserves to get perks that others don't?

Maybe she means something else, but I guess when you have never had to worry about money, you get like that.

Yes some people are privileged, and some people are lucky, and some people are both.

And even more people are neither.

Hayek needs to come down to earth a bit.

I am sure she puts on her bra just like the other ladies, so what makes her more special than anyone else?

Sometimes, people of wealth kind of lose their sense of reality. They don't know what it is to work hard--and I mean a 9-to-5 job, not working on location in some exotic locale--and they just don't seem to breathe the same air as the rest of us.

Although in actuality, they do.

I am not knocking Hayek's talent or beauty. She has a lot of both.

But don't talk down to the masses. It has been proven time and time again that money doesn't bring true happiness. Maybe by saying this she is trying to convince herself that she is happy where she is now. Maybe she's not.

But her comment comes off as being very, very smug.

And that's not a beautiful thing.

Go count your money and stop pontificating about being privileged.

We would be extra privileged if you would just shut your mouth and act.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rant #1,906: This Door Swings Both Ways

This past Saturday was a horrible one in my neck of the woods.

We were hit with a nor'easter, we got socked with rain and wind and cold, and the best place to spend the day was inside.

My son and I were supposed to attend a game at Yankee Stadium, but happily, the game was postponed. We will be going later this season to two games to make up for the one game we missed (a story for another time).

Anyway, with little to do but to plant myself in front of the TV, I found a film on Daily Motion--a site much like YouTube but one that is often more liberal in what it will allow to be shown--that I was quite surprised at, one that really kept my attention and one that I would recommend to you.



It is called "Day of the Nightmare," and stars John Ireland and Elena Verdugo and several other actors and actresses who few people probably ever heard of, like the fetching Beverly Bain, who plays the tortured wife.

The 1969 black and white film--which appeared to be shot probably at least three or four years before that date--takes the "Psycho" vibe of several years before and moves it to the next level.

No, it is nowhere as good as the Alfred Hitchcock film, but don't dismiss it totally; it definitely has its merits.

The film--written by Leonard Goldstein and directed by John Bushelman--is set in California, where a relatively newlywed couple--two years of wedded bliss--have set up shop.

The husband is an artist, and he has his studio well away from his home, a several hours drive away.

His wife understands this, and accepts the fact that her husband will be away from home for long periods of time.

What he is doing in his studio is another matter.

Yes, he is sketching, but he is also sexing with his models, behind his wife's back.

And we are talking about kinky sex.

Why is he doing it?

The story comes to a head when there is a report of a murder in the building that he has his studio in, and through trial and error, he becomes the prime suspect. The wife catches wind of this, and because she loves her husband and believes his every word, she tries to prove, in her own mind, that he did not commit the murder.

This leads to a number of twists and turns, all climaxing with a "Psycho"-like ending which I am not going to reveal to spoil the fun for you should you want to watch the film.

I just love movies like this. They push the envelope for what one could actually see on the screen, but this one goes over the edge on a few occasions. I will bet that yes, it was shot a few years earlier, but was held back because you could show much more in 1969 than you could in 1967.

Ireland plays a police detective who tries to get to the bottom of the case, while Verdugo has a small role as one of the alibis the husband uses to try to prove that he wasn't involved in anything.

This is one of those films that is definitely under the radar, but once you see it, it is a film that quite frankly, you won't forget, due to the subject matter and the story and how it evolves.

No, the acting isn't top rate, and the film appears to have been made on a real tight budget, but as a relic of a different time, this is one of those films which gets away with a lot, and has a lot to say.

I highly recommend it, and you can find it at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x204ldi_day-of-the-nightmare_shortfilms

I have something to attend to tomorrow, so I will have to skip a day here. I will speak to you again on Friday.