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. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

"We're all in this together..."

Yes, we've all heard our betters tell us this, over and over.  And they seem to believe what they are telling us.

"We are all in this together."  And in the next breath, our betters tell us to stay at home, no beach outings, no haircuts, just sit.  And in the breath after that, they instruct their chauffeur to warm up the Bentley because they have an appointment at the hair salon, just for them ((Lori Lightfoot (D), Mayor of Chicago)).   

When asked why she can get her hair done, but nobody else can, she replied "I'm on national TV every day, I need to look good and I take my personal hygiene very seriously."  Next question.  In other words, I'm special and you are not.  It's OK for me, but not for thee. So shut up.

About that same time, our corpulent Illinois governor, J.B. Pritzker (D), is telling us the same thing: 'we are all in this together.  Accordingly, I am asking you to stay at home and save lives.'  Even as these words are escaping his meaty jowls, his sister is jetting off to Florida on her private plane to see relatives.  When asked about this double standard, he replied that he is insulted that this reprehensible question was even brought up, next question.  In other words, shut up.  I'm important and you are not.  It's OK for me, but not for thee.  Or words to that effect.

And what about our betters shutting down businesses left and right, telling us all to stay home and save lives.  Subsequently, all revenue for these businesses comes to a screeching halt, and all of these small businesses are suddenly insolvent, dead broke.  Our betters in government, however, are getting paid direct deposit on time and in the manner in which they have become accustomed.  "We're all in this together," as they cash their paychecks and we proletariates declare bankruptcy because these well paid government types tell us to stay at home, save lives.  We're all in this together, remember.

We voted for this?  Unfortunately, we did indeed vote for this.  I am using the Royal 'We', because I did not vote for this.  I voted for Republicans, and yet my Republican candidates did not prevail at the ballot box, at least not here in The Land of Lincoln (Illinois).  The Democrats in power now did, and they seem to truly believe that whatever they think is good for their constituents is what they will enforce with the ham-fisted power of their offices.  Just for the record, whatever Democrats think is good for all is almost never good for anybody except themselves and their cronies.

Notice in Red states that want to open up commerce sooner rather than later, things are getting better.  Also notice in Blue states with Democrat governors (Michigan, New Jersey, New York and California leading the charge), draconian state mandates of lock downs continue until, well, forever (until a vaccine is found and available for all).  In other words, years.

But above all else, just remember 'we are all in this together.'

Sunday, April 26, 2020

No sympathy from me for under capitalized businesses

As Grampa always used to tell all of us, 'you need to save some money for a rainy day.'  Well, as usual, Grampa was right: it's raining cats and dogs right now, and those that saved that money for that rainy day are doing OK.

I am somewhat surprised, however, at just how many businesses there are out there that can't endure a bad month or two in a row without going bankrupt.  There's a ton of these under capitalized folk that have been living paycheck to paycheck for, well, decades.  Yes, our own elected government officials have screwed up the economy to hell and back by mandating shutting down commerce so that old folks don't die.  

Then again, we have been ensuring that all of our old folks live in the lap of luxury since the Great Depression era and good old Uncle FDR who ensured that there was a goodly amount of our nation's wealth was transferred to old people, this has been going on for almost a century or so now.

But as for the younger generation who can't rub two nickels together during hard times, this will generate very little sympathy from me.  Going bankrupt because you can't pay your employees or rent for a month, that is just not the way that our fore bearers suggested it be done.  

It seems that restaurants are the bulk of these failures, and in general terms this has always been the case.  They say that 90% of all restaurant start-ups fail for whatever reason: bad food, poor service, shoddy equipment and environs, if people don't enjoy what you are providing, you are toast.  As it should be.

Our federal government is now shoveling out helicopter money to all of these under capitalized businesses by the trillions of dollars; now I (a tax payer) am on the hook for bad business models, and I am not happy about any of this.  The employees?  Unemployment benefits are available, also at my (the taxpayer) expense, which is reasonable under the circumstances since the government is the reason that they are unemployed in the first place.  

Of course, that is a topic for another day.

Moral of the story?  Always listen to Grampa.  Unless he is talking about that huge fish he caught back in the day, don't bother listening to any of that, it's all hogwash.  Other than that, Grampa knows what he's talking about.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A few holes in an Ancient Alien theory

Zecharia Sitchin has several books out about mankind's beginnings based on his study of the cuneiform tablets dug up from the ancient Sumerian haunts in the Middle East.  Accordingly to his theory, the 'Those who came from the Stars,' the Annunaki, traveled from the Orion constellation to earth many thousands of years ago in order to mine gold here on earth.

Once they got here, they determined that the labor required to obtain the gold was just too much for their alien hands, and so they co-opted a local species of ape (our forebearers) to make it smart enough to do the slave labor involved in mining the gold, and once they trained the slaves, they could kick back and just count the ingots that their slaves dug up.

Or words to that effect, that's the Sitchin theory.  Now, I can buy that these aliens may have appeared eons ago, and that they may have had a hand in altering the DNA in our ancestors to some extent, but what I don't buy is that they couldn't figure out how to extract gold from our planet without help.

This is a civilization that traveled through space hundreds of thousands of light years away, and once they got here, they climbed down the ladder from their space ships with a pick ax, a pan and a shovel and got frustrated at how hard gold mining was.

Gimme a break.  These guys given their technology could have melted a mountain or two with their ray guns, contained the resultant lava in their tractor beams, isolated, refined and extracted the gold from the lava, all from the comfy confines of their environmentally controlled space ships.  No need to get their hands dirty, or maybe their tentacles, whatever.

For them to monkey around with the DNA of some aboriginal primates, wait a few generations for these primates to wise up enough to take orders from the Annunaki masters, that really doesn't square with common sense.

A guy can only swallow so much malarkey.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Italy is NOT the United States

Not even close.

I've spent quite a lot of time in Italy.  Not recently, but the times have not changed all that much.  My first sojourn into this backward country was a real shocker, however.

As a young soldier in the U.S. Army, I took a 30-day leave to travel around Italy along with two of my army buddies.  We took the train from Munich, West Germany and headed south to the land of wine, pasta and sunshine.  What a heaven on earth to spend a long vacation, or at least that is what I figured would be the case.

The train trip was uneventful, until we got off at the train station in Bolzano in the northern part of the country.  I had to relieve myself and went into the public restroom facilities at the train station.  This is where the stark differences between Italy and western civilization diverged: the urinal was just a ledge against the wall, and the "toilet" was simply a couple of concrete wedges to place your feet located in between a 6" hole in the floor.   And toilet paper?  None to be found.


I was a 21 year old corporal (actually what is called a Specialist 4th Class, same same), and had been in the service for 2 years by then: I knew how to cuss like a sailor, spit and hawk loogies with the best of them, and how to generally act like a miscreant.  But this took me by complete surprise.  What the hell was this?  I might as well have looked for a stand of bushes, it would have smelled better; the fetid stench inside this 'facility' would have made a buzzard puke.

The whole country is filthy.  The restaurants, the buses, the cabs, the people.  Filthy dirty.  And we adjusted to this culture quickly.  We rented a car, and noticed that nobody obeyed the street signs, stop signs, and drove on the sidewalks if they needed to, which they all seemed to.  

When in Rome, as they say.  So we threw out all of our western politeness that our mom's taught us, and actually had a pretty good time down there.  What the hell.  In 1976, we could buy a 750 ml bottle of white wine for approx. 25 cents, as the lire to the dollar exchange rate was quite attractive at the time.  We lived like kings for a month.

Now the place is ground zero for the Wuhan virus.  It is spreading like wildfire, with no end in sight.  I am not shocked.  Their health care system is probably no different than their train station restrooms: let's just say they are 'lacking.'  

Just like their justice system.  They treated a shy college kid, Amanda Knox, like she was Charlie Manson.  They trumped up ridiculous charges of her murderous rampages (of which she had nothing to do with), and kept her in jail for the better part of two years before she was finally exonerated.  Yes, justice in Italy is probably very similar to health care in Italy.

I can't say that I can see much hope for them in their fight against this viscous scourge.  They are just not the types to prevail if they can't even provide toilet paper in their restrooms.  They can't even provide toilets in their restrooms, much less toilet paper.

Of course, things may have changed since I was there.  Probably not, though.