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Monday, December 28, 2009

'New Rainbow Rockford Files'

I have just discovered the plot line for the new 'Rockford Files'. By discover I mean that I just came up with the amazing idea.

So this is the whole deal. It seems that in the future, due to California's liberal definition of marriage, Jim and Angel are finally able to bring their relationship out of the shadows. After the two hour very special wedding episode the happy couple adopt three young boys. These young boys form the nucleus for the 'New Rainbow Rockford Files' you see one is Asian, the other Hispanic and the other African American. It is a can't miss and I think I see an Emmy in the future.

Monday, Dec 28, 2009

Good morning everybody, I hope you all had a good Christmas weekend and that the rest of the week is a good one. I know people are not done traveling around for the year so I hope the roads stay clear and everyone is safe for the rest of the time.

I normally do not address entertainment news on this blog. I have another one that I do not write on anymore where I tried to cover stuff like that back when I was unemployed. Needless to say now that I am working full time it is hard for me to be active on this one everyday though I try my hardest to keep it up. But, back to the matter at hand, I heard this morning on the radio that Hollywood is planning on remaking 'The Rockford Files' and I just do not know what to think. Well I know what my first reaction is and that is "How dare they?" In fact I was a little surprised at the intensity of my response.

In this particular case if I am understanding what I heard correctly they are remaking this as another television show. I think I would almost prefer a movie better. I enjoyed the film versions of both 'Starsky and Hutch' as well as 'The Brady Bunch'. But those were both played pretty heavy for the ironical comedy value and I do not see 'Rockford Files' making that work. Though my friends who also grew up with and love the show can get each other laughing pretty good talking about the show and bringing up things we remember about it. For me, one of the things I remember the most is an particular episode where some kind of tough guy was chasing Jim down and he ran into a bathroom. Now it was pretty common for Rockford to get knocked out or beaten up. That seemed to be a running joke on the show. But, in this case, Jim had a trick up his sleeve. He spread some liquid soap on the floor and then took roll of coins out of his pocket. Well the hoodlum came in and as he slipped on the soap Jim just cold-cocked him. The roll of coins blew up and Jim took off. I remember laughing and I still laugh thinking about it.

I think a main reason why the idea of a remake bothers me is that other then John Wayne there is not another actor that I enjoy watching like James Garner. I love him in the old 'Mavrick' series as well as his work in 'Support Your Local Sheriff'. I almost forgot to mention 'The Great Escape'. I think it is because as a child every time I turned on the television it felt like he was there. He is one of the last remaining old time actors and I think in some way George Clooney reminds me of him. I think they are different kinds of actors but they both have a certain likability.

Well my post took a strange turn today but that happens sometimes. I hope you all enjoyed a little trip down memory lane. If you get a chance this week watch a film or television show with James Garner. You will not regret it. Do not watch 'Tank' you will regret that but watch a different one.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday, Dec 15th, 2009

I am writing from the office this morning. I drove in which was probably a mistake but I made the choice to drive in my car and deal with the headache of traffic as opposed to taking the train and walking two blocks in the rain. I probably should have walked in the rain. It isn't like I do not have a rain coat or anything. Also having grown up in Oregon I am very aware that rain does not make you melt. So I think I opted for the mental stress of driving in the rain as opposed to the minor physical stress of walking in the rain. I think that is pretty lame on my part. I am going to have to try to get back on track. (hee,hee) Excuse me for a moment I believe my tasty, tasty coffee from Stumptown has finished brewing.

Ahhh. There we go. I know I have told you before about how much I love coffee so I will not bore you with the details. But just know that as I type it is coursing through my body and filling me its power!!! Though today the power does not mean a whole lot. I have lots of bits and pieces popping around in my brain but nothing that I can get focused on enough to write anything coherently about.

One thing I read about last night was about Mormons running for political office and the article talked both about Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck. I found it pretty interesting as it addressed also the amount of Mormons that work for the federal government in foreign service positions. It seems that the CIA recruits regularly at Brigham Young University (BYU) because their graduates fill a couple of different criteria. One being that they speak a foreign language and the other a college degree. This happens so regularly in fact that some countries have expressed concern about people returning to the country in foreign service positions after first being there as missionaries. So I found that a little bit fascinating but I try to not mix religion and politics. Though it is often hard to not.

What else? Oh yes... it seems that Glenn Beck has once again opened his mouth and inserted his foot. He compared his skepticism about climate-change to Galileo's struggle “to enlighten mankind that the earth wasn’t flat.” I have a couple of problems with this. The first being that Glenn Beck is in no way like Galileo. I am not even sure why he thinks he can justify thinking of himself this way. The other is that during Galileo's time everyone already knew the earth was round. To put it as simply as possible Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. Galileo lived in 1564-1642 so I just have to wonder does he even write anything beforehand or is it all off the cuff. Because it isn't like this is the first time he has gotten basic history wrong. Just one example is his often misquoting of President Theodore Roosevelt and his famous line "speak softly, and carry a big stick" when Beck repeats it he says "Walk softly and carry a big stick".

Now I realize everybody makes mistakes. I do it often and I often will use a word incorrectly in a sentence hoping for a laugh or because I just was not taking the time to think before I spoke. The difference between myself and Mr Beck is that I do not have millions and I think it is millions of listeners an watchers and readers hanging on my every word. I do not have people repeating what I say like it is the gospel. I would like to think that if I was ever in that position I would have a team of researchers as well as some editors to help me make sure everything that I was saying on the air and writing in a speech or in a book was correct. Otherwise why would I do it?

I would hope that if his dog and pony show continues that he would spend some time on fact checking and getting things correct. Because as far as I am concerned he just seems like another entertainment personality and will most likely end up hosting Family Feud in another 20 years or so. But I could be wrong. Perhaps it is going to be Palin-Beck in 2012 or Beck-Palin. If so the world should be an interesting place.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, Dec 14th, 2009

Monday morning and the world is rolling along. The Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi got hit in the face over the weekend with a thrown statue. It seems that initially people thought he had been punched and I know there have been incidences of people being hit in the face with pies in Europe but I think this is the first time anyone has been statued.

I am not poking fun by any means at this because the Prime Minister broke his nose and was pretty shaken up by the attack. But it makes we wonder if I had ever been so upset to strike out at a political leader. I have been in a few fist fights over the years. I do not think I have had more fights then what is normal for boys growing up. So I can understand getting upset and squaring off against someone but this seems to be completely different then that. The obvious difference that the PM and the statue thrower did not square off and raise fists in the approved Louis L'amour style. Also the statue thrower was mentally ill so it is probably wrong of me to try to find a rational reason for the attack. But that does raise an interesting point. If someone strikes out at a leader are they by definition mentally ill? If you opinion is that they are then how do you account for differing political rebels over the years who have struck back against standing governments?

I know for a fact that in the case of the American revolution they built basically a legal case against the King of England that would allow them to begin the fight. So I would think it would be hard to make a case calling them mentally ill. Though I am sure there were people who did not believe in the cause and would have argued passionately that they were insane to even attempt such a thing. I sometimes wonder how upset I would have to be to take up arms against the big G Government. I know there are people very upset right now about the Obama administration just like there were people on the other side very upset about the Bush administration. There are also people very upset about the nature of Government in America and feel that the two parties are just different sides of the same coin.

I wonder what that would do to the world or America in general if there were to be another revolution in this country. I think that one of our strengths in America is that we have an election every four years and that helps us to not build to so much anger and frustration that violence is the result. It is going to be interesting to see what happens in the future as we move forward politically.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Ringing Silence of the Crickets!

*chirp, chirp* Can you hear that folks? It is the sound of nothing. That is right no response at all. I did not think I asked that hard of a question. I thought it was a pretty simple one actually. But, I understand people are busy and have a lot going on with the holidays and their daily lives. So I will forgive them this one time. But, if I am transgressed upon just one more time then the forgiveness will not be forthcoming. Now, as for Joel and Sherry, or Sherry and Joel because we all know ladies come first, I give them each a gold star and move them to the front of the class. I hope the rest of you realize what an honor this is for both of them and will strive to achieve the same. As for the others well "Your revolution is over! Condolences. The bums lost."

But back to the 2% tax idea. It is interesting to me to note that Sherry doesn't like the idea because she thinks:

"it's reasonable to ask those that make more to pay a higher percentage"

She also raised a good question about the absence of deductions and what that would mean for people with children as well as would it apply to corporations or just the workers. Both of these are valuable questions and ones that I do not have the answer to. I am in agreement with her on it being reasonable to ask people who make more to pay more. But, I think that the way the tax code is and the presence of deductions makes it so those that make more can often afford the lawyers they need to use the deductions to pay less then those who make less. One benefit I see of the flat-tax model is that with out deductions the wiggle room gets taken out. 2% is 2% and no amount of dancing is going to change that. So while it might be hard for some to pay that amount. I would think that for others we might actually be collecting more then they currently pay.

Now Joel coming at this from a more conservative position then Sherry states that:

"I would only support a flat tax if it replaced the system already in place. I cannot support more taxation, I can support a different type of tax, just not more."

That is a valid point Joel makes. He does not have a problem with taxes in general, he has a problem with the poor use or in some cases criminal use of these funds. I am in agreement with Joel on this, I feel that there are provisions in the Constitution that allow for the support of the populace and that the way this happens is by taxation. The differences for most of us come in to play when we start talking about the specific things that the money goes for.

When I think about the way we are taxed in the great state of Oregon I feel that if we were to drop the personal income tax and replace it with some form of a VAT or a Sales Tax we might just be better off in the long term. Now, that is just a hunch and I have not done extensive research on the issue but I would be willing to be educated so please feel free to let me know how I wrong I am please do so.

That is it for today. I hope everyone where ever you are has a good day and please feel free to join the conversation.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A little more time.

I just wanted to thank Joel and Sherry for sharing their thoughts yesterday on the topic of the 2% flat tax. I am hoping that a few more people will throw their hat in the ring so I am going to hold off today on addressing my thoughts as they compare to theirs. So please folks if you are jumping in and reading please feel free to address yesterdays topic either on this blog post or the other but I would love to hear from you.

I think both Joel and Sherry raised some interesting points and were a fine example of the difference in thinking between a conservative and a liberal to use two really broad sweeping general words that do not really address who they are as people. But I am steering this train so I get to to use any words I want to. So get over it!!

Seriously though. Please add in let me know what you think and lets talk about it.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Glenn Beck and his 2% Flat Tax Plan

So on Dec 4th Glenn Beck was on the O'Reilly show and he floated the idea of a 2% Flat Tax tied to a balanced budget amendment that would go directly to the deficit for nor more then 10 years and would be a Constitutional Amendment. It was interesting watching these two, I will just use the word personalities, talk to each other. The exact words were that if we guarantee no more spending we need a tax to fix the deficit.

The first thing that I found surprising was that these two conservative personalities would put the idea of a flat tax out there. Now on the surface this sounds like a pretty good idea. But, I am not so sure. After I thought about it for awhile and read some things and talked to a few people I wonder how good it actually is. Putting aside the idea that it is odd that two leading conservative television hosts would advocate for more taxes. I found it odd that the amount infrastructure that would be needed to administer a flat tax is enormous. I was talking to my friend Steve about this idea and he raised an interesting point.

Steve said that regardless of whether or not you liked the idea of more taxes for what ever higher purpose. That the need for states and communities to have to develop a system to collect the flat tax revenue makes the idea a poor one. He countered with "why not, since the system is already in place nationwide to collect Federal Income Tax, why not just add 2% tax to that and earmark it strictly to go to the deficit." Steve thinks that the core base viewer for Beck and O'Reilly would not like them advocating for more taxes.

The more I think about it I think he is correct. Even if it is just on the logic side of things as how do you put together the infrastructure to collect that VAT. In some areas you would just be creating more government and we all know that the Beck style Conservative does not want to create more government.

There are lots of problems in America and one of the major ones is the deficit and how do we get out from under it. So, while it is interesting to hear figures throw out new ideas this one is not a workable one in my opinion. I also would like to hear from my readers. Do you think this is workable? What would work better? Why do you think we are in this position? Are we going to ever be able to actually get out of this hole? Please let me know your thoughts.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Monday, Dec 7, 2009

Good Morning folks, just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that I will not be writing today. I have to take care of some things this morning so I will be driving into work. But tomorrow I want to talk about something that Glenn Beck and Bill O'reilly (sp?) both floated last week and that is the idea of a 2% nationwide VAT earmarked in Becks case or tied to a balanced budget amendment and with a deadline of I believe 10 years. So I wanted to talk a little bit more about that and hopefully hear a little but about peoples thought on a VAT or Value Added Tax. So I will talk to you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tuesday, Dec 1st, 2009

Good morning, I hope everyone is well today. I am doing pretty good the morning after my birthday. I did not do much in the way of celebrating. I went to dinner with some good friends and that was nice. But overall this was not how I expected to be spending my 40th birthday week. I had envisioned a trip to the Oregon Coast and staying in a nice beach house or something along those lines but that did not happen.

I am going to do my best to not dwell on my family problems or keep going back to what is going on in my life but I ask you to bear with me because there are going to be times when that kind of thing just happens. It may happen more over this month with the holidays and everything going on. I just hope that I do not bore you with my complaining.

I heard an incredibly sad story this morning on the radio it was about the 15 year old girl in Richmond California who was gang raped outside of her homecoming dance earlier this year. The NPR show talked about the town itself and had a reporter who had grown up there go back to Richmond and talk to a few people including a couple of the students from the school itself. One of the students said "We do not want this to define us." My first thought was I can understand that but when a girl gets attacked for two hours and no one calls the police or even tries to intervene it is hard to not blame the whole school and the town for what went on.

The talked to a school councilor who said that in places that are poor or hard scrabble that it is easy to pick someone as an other and that they lose their humanity. That this often happens where men gather. She used that phrase twice. "Where men gather." I am not sure what she meant by that. Are all men to blame for the actions of a few young men? Anywhere there is injustice or crime in the world rape happens. That does not excuse it nor does it make all men culpable for the actions of a few men. Are all men just a few steps away from being a rapist if the opportunity strikes? I hope not. I certainly do not think that I would be capable of such an act. In fact I am unable to imagine myself being so out of control that this would happen.

So who is to blame? Do we blame society? Do we blame the families of the boys? Do we blame the girl for how she was dressed? Or MTV? Do we get philosophical and blame the fallen nature of man? Maybe the boys are just bad apples and regardless of their upbringing would have been rapists at some point. We all know that rape is not a crime committed solely by the poor. But what drives a person to cross that line?

These are the thoughts in my head today as I ride along on the train. These are not fun thoughts but they are my thoughts. It makes me sad that people are victimized all over the world for all kinds of reasons and I know that the only one whose behavior I can be sure of controlling is myself. I just hope I can be a member of society that gives back and does not take away. I hope we all can be that person and we all can look out for others who are being preyed upon and hurt. If we can all do these things then maybe just maybe we can make the world a little better for those around us.