Sunday, September 6, 2020

You Democrats voted for this, now live with it

We have now passed the 6 month mark of the introduction of the COVID-19 virus into the U.S., and are approaching 200,000 deaths as a result.  Mind you, these numbers are suspect as quite a few observations have documented that many deaths that have been attributed to the virus are in fact due to other factors.  One recent observation was a young man who was diagnosed as having COVID-19, was asymptomatic and subsequently got into a motorcycle accident and died: the official cause of death? COVID-19.  Yes, these numbers are as reliable as the sworn oath of a sumo wrestler to lay off of the all-you-can-eat buffet at Golden Corral.

Our response to 'flatten the curve', in order to keep the plague from overwhelming our hospitals was to shut down the economy.  That worked, as far as any reasonable observation can attest.  OK.  The curve was flattened.  Success. Now, politics rears its ugly head, and we now see a red state versus blue state continuation of government intervention of the Wuhan virus.

Red state politicians see the devastation to our once record setting economy that the shutdown has caused, and are easing restrictions, with cautions put forward.  Blue state policies?  Continue with crushing shutdowns of businesses that are simply wiping out once thriving businesses in their own communities.  Red states are opening up, blue states are closing down.  It is clear to see that the blue state governors and mayors of Democrat controlled cities see political advantage to keeping people from making a living: apparently, they seem to think that these poor downtrodden constituents will blame their woes on Republicans and particularly Donald Trump in the up coming elections.

News flash for all of you Democrat voters out there who voted in these tyrants who are now telling you that you can't make a living: it's YOUR fault that you are broke if you live in a blue state, county or Democrat controlled large city.  The plurality of you and your liberal neighbors who put these power hungry ogres into office deserve the government you elect.

You elected these guys who are now killing your businesses, not your Republican neighbors who were in the minority.  Now live with it.

I suspect that come November, there will be a backlash against the political interests of Democrat governors such as Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) and Gavin Newsome (D-CA).  Their once cobalt-blue unassailable majorities may see some cracks.  

Monday, August 17, 2020

Universal mail-in ballots a guaranteed dumpster fire

 With any luck, President Trump will prevail in discouraging this dumb idea of a universal mail-in voting scam.  The Democrats are licking their chops at the prospect of this, however, as the opportunity for fraud, malfeasance and skulduggery are enormous.

Almost no state has a thoroughly scrubbed and up-to-date voter registration roll, and to simply mail everybody on this list a ballot is a lead pipe cinch to have ballots wind up in the wrong hands.  There are dead people, cats, dogs and goldfish that are on these lists.  And you can bet your bottom dollar, you can bet the farm, you can bet your life savings that these ballots will be harvested by Democrats.

Once harvested and in the hands of Democrat hucksters, they are opened and screened for exactly how the voter/corpse/cat/dog/goldfish voted: if they voted Republican, they go right into the trash.  If, however, these ballots have the right boxes checked, namely votes for Democrats, then they are submitted.  If a ballot is undeliverable, that would also be a Democrat vote.  See how all of this works?

Once these universal mailings of ballots go out, and come back to be counted, you can be fairly certain that every dead person/dog/cat that got a ballot is voting for a Democrat.  As the old joke goes, grampa was always a staunch conservative, and voted for Republicans all of his long life.  At age 92, grampa was called home to Jesus, and he has been voting Democrat ever since.

Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are going to push this mail-in ballot scheme as hard as they possibly can: millions and millions of Democrat votes hang in the balance.  And zero Republican votes.

A complete dumpster fire, if you ask me.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

"The Assistant" - a critical review

I just finished watching Hulu's proprietary film "The Assistant," featuring Julia Garner as Jane, an aspiring film producer early in her career following her graduation from Northwestern University and a few paying interships within the industry.

The film follows Jane (no last name), a lower level assistant to a powerful entertainment figure who is never shown or identified other than "he", "him" and "his" throughout a stressful day in their Manhattan office building.  As a low level assistant, Jane's job consisted of answering phones, taking messages, making coffee, fetching lunch, cleaning up the crumbs on people's desks after lunch, and other menial jobs associated with being on the bottom of the corporate ladder.

The writer and director of this film, Kitty Green, obviously based this entire plot upon the malfeasance that Harvey Weinstein oozed while sliming his way through the entertainment industry via his company Miramax.   

Jane's day was jam packed full of degrading moments: all the elevator scenes (of which there were many) always had the important stiffs get on and off the elevator first, of which most were men.  Courtesy of course suggests that women are allowed this, but not in Kitty Green's world.  Nope, the pig beastly men just treat poor Jane like a baby treats a diaper.  When a gorgeous model shows up for an audition, Jane is asked to show them into the audition, and the good looker jams her coat into Jane's arms, much like Meryl Streeps ' character Miranda does to her underling in"The Devil Wears Prada," and Jane is expected to wash the dishes and coffee cups of her superiors while they jibber jabber about all things movie-related as they pretend she is not there.

Essentially focusing on the endless little indignities that Jane suffers throughout this never ending day, the big shot executive has the gall to hire a cute little waitress from Boise Idaho, without a lick of movie industry experience or a high falutin' Ivy league college degree, to help Jane work the phones.  During the course of her initial hiring, this former waitress from Boise is put up in a luxury hotel, and later on Jane learns that her pig of a boss also books himself into this hotel later on that evening.  The office chatter confirms that this happens all the time, no big deal.

Jane's tolerance for these never ending insults is just too much for her, and she approaches the human resources guy with her concerns about the situation.  To her frustration, the HR guy sums up her complaint as 'bullshit,' crumbles up the notes he took and tells her on her way out, "don't worry, you're not his type."  And then he promptly calls her boss and tells him about their conversation.

Her day ends up in silent despair, as she walks back to  her apartment in the closing scene.  What?  The boss doesn't get his come-uppence?  No satisfaction for the way Jane is treated throughout the day?  The movie ends leaving the viewer thinking "what, that's it?" 

Kitty Green suggests without putting it out there that such is the life of virtually all young women in the workplace: they are abused, mistreated and maligned by male jerk bosses, and nothing is ever done about it.  And Kitty Green would be right: although only in a sliver of our society: the entertainment industry, which she works as a writer/director.  Everybody in the country knows that this industry is the filthiest, slimiest, dirtiest most corrupt businesses in the United States.  The casting couch as been around for at least a hundred years or more.  And the downfall of Harvey Weinstein has not caused all of those casting couches to disappear.  Hardly.  More of them spring up every day.  

Kitty Green sees, like we all see, the human condition.  People are not perfect, and some are downright evil.  And pretty people, or talented people who have been doted on by everybody from their kindergarten teacher all the way through their high school football coaches or beauty pageant officials, think of themselves as above everyone else, and often treat everybody like crap.  It is the human condition.  

But more so in Hollywood than anywhere else.  It has been said that the measure of a person's character can be seen by how they treat somebody who cannot possibly improve their position or help them, such as waiters, bellhops, cashiers and others in the service industry.  

Kitty Green's "The Assistant" is not an expose on life in the corporate world.  Far from it.  Watching this movie just reaffirms that people are flawed, and that life is not fair.  Or, in the words of President John F. Kennedy: "loif, loif's not fay-uh."

And to that I would say, 'duh.'


Sunday, July 19, 2020

What makes a 'bad cook?' Let me count the ways....

Some of the worst cooks I know think they are 'good cooks,'  my Aunt Sally leading that list.  She thinks some of her fare should be in the "Joy of Cooking" or a Betty Crocker cookbook.  She really does.

Sad to say, Aunt Sally does everything wrong in the kitchen.  Absolutely everything, to include:

1.  The worst transgression a cook can make is to serve food that is supposed to be hot cold.  A juicy steak is no good cold.  Nor are french fries, pizza or any number of other hot dishes.  Aunt Sally figures that just cooking it is good enough, put it aside and wait for the other stuff on the stove to get done, then serve it all up the same time.  No.  Don't do that.  Timing is a crucial part of good cooking.  Pay attention to the cooking time on the dishes you plan to serve, and time them to come off the stove or out of the oven simultaneously.  To do otherwise makes you a bad cook.

2.  Substitutions of ingredients on a proven recipe, never a good idea.  Cooking is nothing more or less than chemistry; all the ingredients interact together chemically to produce the desired effect.  To change anything, and I mean ANYTHING to include ingredients or quantity of ingredients in a proven recipe is to ruin it.  Margarine is NOT a substitute for butter.  It may look the same, but chemically it is nowhere near butter.  Splenda, or other sugar free products are NOT a substitute for real sugar, and skim or soy milk is nothing like whole milk.  Not the same stuff at all, and these different ingredients act completely different when heated.  They are NOT interchangeable.  But you can't tell Aunt Sally that.  

3.  Fresh ingredients are critically important to good cooking: it really matters when you use fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and breads.  Frozen green beans are NOT a reasonable substitute for fresh green beans.  And canned green beans should be outlawed in any recipe, they are complete junk.  Frozen leftovers should never be used in a proven recipe, but don't tell Aunt Sally that, her world will be turned upside down.  She actually thinks that previously cooked (well done) and then frozen sirloin steaks are a good idea to serve to guests when re-heated in the microwave oven.  No, no that is certainly not a good idea.  I know this to be true from personal experience.

4.   Cookware and stove tops can make or break the difference between good and bad cooks.  Having some good quality non-stick pots and pans in inventory is a good start.  Aunt Sally has no such equipment; all her cookware was purchased at some point during the Reagan administration.  Some of it was at one point Teflon non-stick, but all of that has since been scrubbed off: well, almost all of it.  There are still a few flakes of the stuff in every mouthful of her fare.  To make matters worse, she has an electric stove top.  Controlling the temperature of these electric elements is virtually impossible, and to suggest she pop for a gas stove top is akin to waving a crucifix at Dracula, or telling a sumo wrestler that he can only eat at the salad bar at Golden Coral. Let's just say words will be exchanged, heated words.  She's going to be buried with that decrepit old electric stove top, as she will never willingly part with it.

If you want the stuff you cook to be edible, just keep things simple: follow the recipe exactly with no substitutions, serve it up at the right temperature, use fresh ingredients and cook it in cookware from this century on a gas cook top, and likely your food will be considered 'tasty.'  Break any of these rules, and you qualify as a 'bad cook.'

Just like my Aunt Sally.  

Sunday, June 28, 2020

No need for law and order anymore

It's true.  Who needs law and order?  Only the privileged few, that's who.  And they can afford to pay their own security costs, so no need to worry about them.

And what about the rest of us?  Exactly who will come to our defenses when looters and rioters are smashing our store front windows, looting all of our inventory, and then burning down our businesses to the ground, which we put our heart, soul and life savings into?  

Well, nobody with a gun, that's not the way to solve problems in society today.  No siree Bob.  We should all understand that anybody who breaks laws these days simply is misguided or uninformed as to how things work.  Rather than sending an armed policeman, it would be just as effective in sending in a social worker who will explain to the misinformed citizen (or illegal alien) just how Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs works.  

Problem solved.

If you buy into all of this 'defund the police' foolishness, then you agree with me here.  And you deserve to move to CHAZ/CHOP in Seattle, where they can shoot you and nobody will come to help you.  Just the way you want it.

For the rest of us sane people, we all understand that when you have a very small percentage of miscreants with guns take over a section of a large city, that cannot stand.  There will be no reasoning with these types, and I can see that there will be more than a few of these criminals who will die when the rest of us take back our streets.  

Reasoning with these scumbags will get you the same results as trying to logically and diplomatically solve your differences with the Wolf Man.  If you disagree with me, try it and see how things work out for you.

Good luck with that.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Fredd's Choice Awards: Top 10 films ever made

These flicks have everything a red blooded American could ever ask for in a film: Good guys wasting bad guys, or in the case of The God Father, bad guys wasting good and bad guys. Note the absence of any over riding love interests in the Top 10: I relegate those movies to the "Chick Flick" genre, and therefore they are absent here.
Without further ado, here are Fredd's selection of the Top 10 Films Ever Made in descending order:
10. Robocop. Set in the future in crime-ridden Detroit (no change from the present), police officer (portrayed by Peter Weller) is gunned down by scumbags, dies and his corpse is refitted with state of the art weapons, computer brain and great lines: 'dead or alive, you're coming with me.' Unbeknownst to Robo's creators, a bit of his human memory containing morals and ethics flickers within the computer brain, and in the end the bad guys get theirs. A true feel good flick, this film is one for the ages.
9. Electra Glide in Blue. Good hearted motorcycle cop (lead role by Robert Blake decades before he became a murderer) is promoted to detective, then is witness to lawlessness by his mentor. He rats his boss out, returns to his motorcycle beat and meets an odd end. The photography in this movie is outstanding, considering its age (1973).
8. The Unforgiven. A brilliant Clint Eastwood film (he played the lead and directed this one) about justice meted out in the old west town of Big Whiskey. Gene Hackman is also outstanding as the small town thug sheriff 'Little Bill,' who also gets his in the end. Great lines throughout, such as 'a man's got to know his limitations.' Also, Little Bill to Clint's character: 'you just shot an unarmed man!' To which the great reply goes 'well, he shoulda armed himself.'
7. Jaws. Another great movie, where primordial monster shark devours any and all hapless New Englanders who splash about in its waters. Best line: Roy Scheider to vessel skipper Robert Shaw, when spotting the beast in their 20-something foot fishing vessel: 'we're going to need a bigger boat.' Indeed.
6. The Godfather. Need I say more? Some say this is the best ever, I say phshaw. It is indeed a good flick, with the bad guys portrayed as having a twisted sense of moral virtue in their murderous pursuits of money and power, but the best ever? Nope. Great line: "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
5. Kelly's Heroes. Another Clint Eastwood jem, a savvy U.S. WWII soldier gathers a team of other greedy GI's to snag a fortune in gold from a bank behind enemy lines. Star studded, and memorable performance from Donald Southerland as 'Oddball.' Catchy little sound track of 'Burning Bridges' is well done in conjunction with the entire production.
4. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Russell Crowe does a truly superb job as commander of a British War ship of the line during the Napoleonic War era, and historical attention to detail is magnificent in every way. The relationship between the ship's doctor and the captain is also engaging. Great lines at the captains dinner table, including the 'weevil' joke. A real keeper, this one.
3. The Outlaw Josie Wales. I have included this one (yet another Clint Eastwood beauty) because of the righteous vengeance wrought upon so many wicked and deserving adversaries. Josie loses his family to a merciless and brutal raid on his homestead while he is away in the Civil War fighting for the Confederacy. When he returns to find the slaughter, watch out. This film has got to be the record holder for most killings by one guy (I lost count after the 'Gatling Gun' segment). Chief Dan George also hilarious in his role as Indian side kick.
2. Fargo. The Cohen Brothers can really come up with some sick stuff at times, but put it together in a most compelling fashion. Homey, pregnant northern Minnesotan police officer tracks down homicidal maniacs hired by moron struggling car salesman trying to pull off hostage scam, things go completely awry.
1. Shane. This film, although dated (1953) has everything a great film requires: good guys (Alan Ladd) prevail over slimy bad buys (Jack Palance) in this sod busters vs. cattle barons setting based roughly on the Johnson County War in Wyoming circa 1892, and was primarily filmed in the spectacular Grand Teton setting near Jackson Hole. Great film effects, and the attention to historical detail merits mention. Just a great feel good flick, this one will definitely stand the test of time.
You will note that all of these films (with the exception of Shane) are from the 1970's on. Some might say that this list suffers from the 'error of recency' where the rater will favor more recent films than those 'great' films of the past. Not so, since a great flick absolutely must be filmed in color (Technicolor was the gold standard going way back). "Citizen Kane," for example, was left off the list: black and white just doesn't cut it with Fredd. Sorry. That, and any films with romance as the main attraction must be included in a 'Chick Flick' category, not 'Greatest Ever.' So, you see, if you disagree with my list, you are simply wrong.
That, or your choice is in the Top 20, where I have omitted the 11 through 20 films simply because my fingers are getting tired of typing.  This post is around 11 years old, but bears re-posting..

Friday, May 29, 2020

Communities need to hire better police

Minneapolis is on fire currently.  Another police brutality case erupts into civil unrest, and the community is suffering mob violence over the perceived injustice as a video lays out yet another bad decision by a bad cop.

No, I haven't seen everything leading up to this video of a Minneapolis police officer holding down an African American suspect, knee to his neck, all the while the suspect pleading with the officer that he can't breath.  The suspect died shortly thereafter.  It would be hard to overcome this video in a court room, but I will have to say that this is awfully hard to watch as this callous rogue cop slowly suffocates this guy as he begs for his life.  Just awful.

Look at the cost of this bad hire.  This cop, who has had lots of disciplinary action taken against him over his fairly long career, is another example of how a poor hiring decision can cost a community dearly.  This bad cop should never have been hired in the first place.  Give a thug a little authority, and everybody knows what will happen: they will abuse that authority, and brutalize the public.

Minneapolis is symptomatic of the hiring process in many larger metropolitan areas: they have budgets, the budgets are tight, and they can't offer the kinds of salaries to their police force that would attract more talented individuals.  College grads are likely not attracted to positions that start with annual salaries as low as typical rookie policemen/women.  Accordingly, communities are getting non-college trained folk, and although many of these people entering the police academies would make perfectly fine grocery baggers or landscape laborers, giving some of these unimpressive rookies a gun and discretion to make life and death decisions on the spot requires a higher caliber of personnel than a ditch digger or a gas station attendant.  

We can all see on our TV screens the result of bad police decisions, as we watch Minneapolis burn.  Time to jack up the salaries and qualifications of America's law enforcement personnel.  We can't advance a polite society when we have brutal thugs wearing badges killing us willy nilly.  

Time to wise up.