Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fredd's Top 10 Chick Flicks

1). Sleepless in Seattle. This one tops the list of chick flicks because it follows the basics of all chick flicks, and deviates not one bit from the chick flick script: handsome leading man (Tom Hanks) falls in love with attractive leading lady (Meg Ryan) after his son reads one of the letters sent in by the throngs of women who swooned over his phone in call about being lonely after the passing of his wife on a radio talk show. When anyone thinks of a 'chick flick,' Sleepless in Seattle immediately comes to mind, for good reason. Did I mention that they lived happily ever after? 2) Message in a Bottle. Kevin Costner (handsome but grieving leading man) falls in love with attractive leading lady after she finagles her way into his life after reading the love letters he wrote to his departed wife and then put in a bottle and throws into the sea. This is a classic chick flick in that they drag every bit of emotion out of both of these characters and at the end there is not a dry eye in the theater. This one rates very high on the chick-flick-ometer. 3) The Way We Were. Ask any chick, and they will rave about this movie, namely for the theme: handsome leading man (Robert Redford at his handsomest, and that's saying something) walks into attractive leading lady's life (Barbra Streissand), they fall in love, but don't live happily ever after since they part ways and the regret of unrequited love fills the theater. This one is for the ages, and for good reason. 4) Romancing the Stone. Handsome leading man (Michael Douglas), shows up to rescue attractive love interest (Kathleen Turner) in the jungles of Columbia, and in the end they cruise their sailboat in downtown Manhattan, presumably to live happily ever after. Chick flick theme all the way. Danny Devito plays an excellent scumbag, and lots of action, none of it too violent, as chicks rate this one high. It sticks to the chick flick script. 5) Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. This wonderful chick flick departs from the standard plot: handsome guy sweeps into town, falls madly in love with beautiful leading lady, live happily ever after, etc. etc. Nope. Chicks love this movie because Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino portray arguably the stupidest dolts that ever graced the big screen, (other than Jim Carey and Jeff Bridges in 'Dumb and Dumber'), and most women feel immeasurably superior to these two self absorbed and narcissistic idiots. One line stands out: "You know, even though we've watched Pretty Woman like thirty-six times, I never get tired of making fun of it...I just get really happy when they finally let her shop." A real feel good movie, watching these dopes stumble through life without a clue. 6). Somewhere in Time. This truly great chick flick sticks to what makes all great chick flicks: handsome leading man sweeps into town, falls madly in love with the beautiful leading lady, and they live happily ever after. And Christopher Reeve doesn't let time get in the way, he travels back through time to find Jane Seymoure, time be damned. Filmed at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, this one is a chick flick for the ages. 7) Officer and a Gentleman. This outstanding chick flick pays homage to the tried and true chick flick theme: handsome leading man (Richard Gere) sweeps into town, falls in love with distraught woman (Debra Winger) and they live happily ever after. Guys like Lou Gossett Jr's depiction of a demanding drill sergeant, and if they ever spent anytime in the military, they knew Lou hit the nail on the head with this Oscar winning role. While Gere's love interest is not technically 'distraught,' she is not exactly happy working in a northwestern factory on the assembly line, but the ending is as chicky flicky as they come, chicks all dig this one. Trust me. 8) Thelma and Louise. This great chick flick makes the list even though it diverges completely from the commonly accepted chick flick theme: handsome leading man sweeps into town, falls madly in love with distraught woman and they live happily ever after. Not even close. Portrayed by Susan Sarandon and Gina Davis, two women go on a mayhem spree and in one particular scene, execute a rapist at close range with a hand gun, which all chicks appreciate. Great ending, and although happily ever after doesn't enter into the picture, most chicks love this flick because these two women rule, if only for a moment.
9) Dave. This one gets a two-fer, in that not only is it a great chick flick, but it uses politics (I love these films) as the prime venue for setting up the classic chick flick theme: leading man sweeps into town, and falls madly in love with the distraught woman and they live happily ever after. In a scheme hatched by an evil White House Chief of Staff (portrayed most excellently and evilly by Frank Langela), Dave (Kevin Kline) body doubles for a stricken president, and the First Lady finds out when she notices that the president has stopped acting like the arrogant politician she married. Chicks will eat this one up, and it certainly makes for a great date movie.
10) Dances with Wolves. Basic theme is of a cavalry officer denouncing his rank and joins a tribe of Sioux Indians circa 1865. Although there are plenty (or should I say 'heap big') scenes that involve war and violence in general (which are decidedly NOT chick flick criteria), this film for the most part follows the classic chick flick format of romantic leading man sweeping into a despairing woman's life and (of course) they fall madly in love and live happily ever after. Well, Kevin Costner (who starred and directed this film) swerved off the reservation a bit (pun intended) when the ending diverges significantly from the happily ever after thing, but still much of this movie tugs at the heart strings, and rates among the best chick flicks out there.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Retire in style, all on the public dime

Picture the idyllic setting of your mountain lodge on a scenic lake, your Ranger bass boat (with twin 220HP Mercury outboard engines) tied up to your private dock, and you puffing on a $10 imported cigar getting ready for a day of fishing, just you and this natural splendor. This is the way retirement should be, without a care in the world.
Most of us would think that this guy put in his 35 to 40 years in the corporate rat race, squirreled away as much money for retirement as possible, put that money to work for him in a diversified portfolio, and aggressively managed it so that he could one day live his dream in his Golden Years.
A few of these scenes of blissful retirement were acquired in just that manner. But this guy above is a New Jersey public employee union retiree, who through years with his collective bargaining agreements coercing ever more lucrative retirement benefits from the state coffers and was able to throw in the towel at age 49 and look forward to collecting $3,800,000 during his retirement, although only contributing $124,000 during his brief working years.
Doing the math, it just doesn't add up very well, does it? These unfunded retirements for millions of public union employees are burying most states in the U.S. in red ink, all the while these retirees live the high life, all on the public nickel (or the public $3,000,000 more accurately). How long has this been going on? Quite a while, ever since public employees were allowed to unionize during the Kennedy administration in the early 1960's.
Alexis de Toqueville, in his book "Democracy in America" predicted this in 1835, saying that (and I paraphrase here) when the citizenry discovered that they could vote themselves largess from the public trough, the future of our republic would soon crumble. And he has certainly been proven correct 175 years later: New Jersey is broke, California is even more broke, and these public employee unions bear the lion's share of the blame. Their greed and arrogance has brought the Garden State to its knees, and now a brave, newly elected Republican governor is showing the backbone needed to change directions.
I wish Gov. Chris Christie all the best in his endeavors to reign in this madness. The state, county, city, village and township governments in New Jersey have been put on notice that living the life of Riley on the public's dime is no longer the 'American Dream,' and these moochers in the public unions better start cutting back their lavish lifestyles, or find another line of work.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


How can President Obama look us in the eye with a straight face and tell us that we all need to 'start getting serious about living within our means,' and in the very next sentence propose a $3.7 TRILLION DOLLAR budget for fiscal year 2010?
Estimates (which are always really poorly done) of revenues flowing into the treasury coffers this year range from $2.2 to $2.4 Trillion dollars, assuming that Obama doesn't kill our economy even further. Doing the simple math, that leaves us with a deficit this year of about $1.4 TRILLION DOLLARS.
Just this year. Our government is completely out of control, as there is no responsibility anywhere to be seen in Washington D.C. It just doesn't exist anymore. Any fool, rube or hayseed that just fell off the turnip truck knows that this level of spending is going to destroy our economy in short order. We just don't have this kind of money, and there is nobody in the current 111th Congress with any spines whatsoever if they pass this budget.
Now, Obama wants to put together a deficit committee to get to the bottom of this mess, and fix things. Right. This sophomoric maneuver is no more subtle than eccentric ol' Uncle Fredd imploring young 5-year old little nephew Billy to "aw go head, Billy, just pull my finger..." He thinks that the American voting public is as dumb as a couple of thousand bags of hammers.
This stupid committee is going to get nothing done, other than to give Obama some cover to continue to spend money like a drunken sailor, and to push through various taxes (such as the hated Value Added Tax) to satisfy the findings of this committee. Even a fourth grade 'C' student can tell Obama that to get this deficit under control, spending has to be curbed, and curbed with some muscle.
This entails that many entitlements need to be cut back, and the recipients will be caterwauling like stuck pigs, but we JUST DON'T HAVE THE MONEY! We don't!! Entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits and food stamps are obvious candidates for the ax, and the 'third rail' theory be damned.
To think that the money fairy will continue to fly in, wave her wand and suddenly out of the sky a few trillion dollars falls into our hands (year in and year out) is just ridiculous. We have got to stop living in Fantasyland, and put an end to this crazy spending.
Because if we don't, I can tell you that a happy ending is nowhere on the horizon. This is the real world and not a fairy tale, and we, our children and grand children will all end up as beggars and vagabonds rather than riding off into the sunset in a pumpkin.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


If you are like me, you often wonder why liberals think the way they do. How can they possibly believe what they believe without either being stupid or evil? Since in any human population, we all fit into well defined and proven areas of a bell shaped curve (see 'The Bell Curve' by Herrnstein & Murray), the notion that all liberals are either stupid or evil just isn't possible. Herrnstein & Murray document that most of us fall within 1 standard deviation from the mean, and that would include a majority of us normal, law abiding, regular Joes and Janes out there. The more removed from the norm, like criminals, thugs, retarded folks, dummies, CBS reporters, etc., the fewer there are of them. There's just too many liberals out there (way too many, if you ask me), and that would blow the bell curve all to smithereens. And saying that with liberals the bell curve is not bell shaped is like saying that the earth is flat. The bell curve is a fact. Live with it, or join the Flat Earth Society, I hear the meetings are real interesting, in a doofus sort of way.
So there has to be another explanation as to why liberals think as they do. From this point, after ruling out stupidity and evil, we are left with two possibilities: 1) that their way of thinking is right. Yes, we have to consider the possibility that conservatives are the ones who are messing up our country, beggaring our future as conservative ideas allow the feds to spend our kids' and grand kids' money on government programs, etc. Lots of historical evidence, economic data and pure common sense as well as anecdotal evidence would rule this out. That leaves the other explanation: 2) that these liberal folks are not stupid, evil, or even right: they think their philosophy will make our country into a paradise on earth, or more accurately a Utopia if we would just let their elected liberal politicians get it done. In other words, they are good hearted but misguided.
Now, I am not talking about all liberals, mind you. Obviously there are stupid liberals (Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi), evil liberals (Ted Kennedy) and even right liberals (Harry Truman, kind of). And of course you could say the same thing about conservatives, namely that we have stupid conservatives (Olympia Snowe), evil conservatives (Jack Abramov) and wrong conservatives (Olympia Snowe gets a two-fer here).
I recently read a comment on one of Silverfiddle's posts (Western Hero, "Deficit-of-Knowledge") where some liberal bleeding heart wrote "Social Security should at least be means tested," and ''the idea that we help the elderly from early death, starvation, and end of life poverty, is a good one." Of course, reading drivel like this sent me into a rant about how wrong this pinko is to mandate that we all let the government take our money and give it to those less fortunate, and I lectured him on his view that he suggested we alter the moral of the story of 'The Grasshopper and the Ant' fable. I usually try and not get goaded into useless arguments such as this one, since I will never change any liberal's way of thinking, but this poor sap was just spewing the liberal line so thickly, I coudn't help myself.
Liberals think like this because they believe that we can all live without pain, suffering and violence if we just try. In their Utopian world, trying to make sure that nobody lives in poverty is an admirable goal, since nobody likes to see anyone suffer. Accordingly, they truly believe if they elect liberal politicians that tell them that if elected they will fight to achieve Utopia, then they have done their part to better us all.
That's a great way to go through life, thinking that if we all could just sit down with each other and sing 'Kumbaya,' nobody will ever suffer again.
Children think this way. Children have been read fairy tales by their moms and dads at bedtime, and dream of the happy ending for all of us. Most importantly here, children are never asked exactly who pays for these happy endings, because we as parents don't want to spoil the youthful innocent moment. Then, alas, these children finally grow up and find that the human condition is such that this Nirvana, Utopia, or Never-Never Land is just not possible on this Earth. Such children become conservatives.
I truly believe that liberals are just children at heart, have never grown up, and don't care to think about who ends up paying all the bills to achieve Utopia, but these immature liberals unfortunately have the ability to vote.
Not much of a happy ending, huh?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Compromising with liberals like Obama

Consider the ficticious transcript from C-Span of the following liberal idiotic proposal from the House floor: Democratic proposal on unemployment: (currently speaking is House Majority Leader Stenny Hoyer) ‘During these trying times, we are seeing unemployment rates of nearly 10%, and things do not seem ready to turn around anytime soon owing to Republican obstructionists blocking our efforts to turn the tide. Extended unemployment benefits are costing this great nation of ours billions and billions of dollars. Accordingly, we propose to eliminate through the facilitation of thermo-nuclear techniques the following metropolitan areas that have been reporting the largest outflows of unemployment disbursals. This proposal will save the treasury 287 Billion dollars annually, or 2.87 Trillion dollars over the next decade, and the President expects to see a bill on his desk no later than next week. It is our intention to deliver on his request with a bi-partisan bill we can all support’ (huge wave of applause here from the left side of the aisle). Proposed Metro Areas for elimination: Albany NY, Buffalo NY, Trenton NJ, Cleveland OH, Pittsburg PA, Portland ME, Berlin CT, Providence RI, Hackensack NJ, Patterson NJ, Hoboken NJ and Camden NJ. Republican response to the proposal now on the floor of the House: (Minority Whip Eric Cantor currently at the podium): ‘Madam Speaker, the minority position on the proposal at hand is that it will create nuclear fallout that will wreak havoc onto neighboring states, and this does not even consider the massive casualties that the Democrats seek to cause in the name of saving tax payer dollars. We are unified in our opposition to this bill on humanitarian grounds, and the bill as written has no support of our party at this time.’ ABC Anchorman George Stephanopoulos: ‘Well, there you have it; Republicans at it again obstructing Democratic efforts to save tax payer dollars. Again we see Republicans rebuke the extended Democratic hands of compromise as the ‘Party of No’ throws a monkey wrench into the president’s agenda yet again with their mean spirited partisan politics of obstructionism. Back to you in New York, Diane….. ' ___________________________________________________
President Obama is on the attack against the GOP these last few days, accusing them of playing politics and chastising them for not meeting the president half way on any of his dreadfully destructive policies such as Cap and Trade, Health Care Reform, Card Check, and on and on… The above analogy is extreme, but the point is valid: what would be the compromise in the scenario above? Remove Trenton and Hoboken from the list, and nuke the other metro areas and show at least some savings on unemployment disbursals and provide the president with his bipartisan victory? And in the real live America we all live in today, we would obtain the same disastrous results by adopting any, and I mean ANY of Obama's hare brained liberal nostrums in compromising on any of his Marxist agenda. Moral of the Story: compromising on how much destruction we can levy on Americans gives us only destruction in the end.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Don't feed the hippies

Is anyone else tired of getting hit up by hippies to help save the planet? Anybody at all? They have been at it since the early 1970's at least, when in Oregon a bunch of liberal biologists opined that continued logging on federal forests would kill off the spotted owl, as their only habitat known to mankind was in the ancient old growth forests. Hippies and liberals in general flocked to these ancient forests, chaining themselves to old growth Douglas fir trees, chanting 'save the spotted owl, we're all on this planet together'...etc.
Together, these liberals, hippies, bums and general malcontents persuaded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prohibit further logging, and the Bureau of Land Management subsequently halted all logging in federally controlled forests in Oregon. Which, unfortunately for the logging industry in the Great Northwest, meant that virtually half of the state was now off limits to logging.
Considering that Oregon at the time was a state whose entire economy was essentially based on logging and wood products and services, this was a disaster for working families in Oregon, and unemployment soared within a year to 25% or more, with teen unemployment nearly 75%. While the liberal tree huggers in Oregon (where this moniker was born) were ecstatic at the news, much of the workforce in Oregon left for other parts of the U.S., seeking employment that was simply nonexistent in the Beaver state. Your author Fredd here was one of those displaced workers, who had to choose between either starving or going elsewhere for employment.
I had a bad taste in my mouth for all things green ever since. Nothing these green idiots touches ever enriches anybody's lives, to include their own, other than the smug smirk on their faces because they were able to 'stick it to the man.' Owing to the huge success of throwing Oregon's economy into the toilet, the liberals had gained valuable experience as to how to throw many more wrenches into capitalism. The playbook was written, and it works every time. Find some obscure slug, worm, insect or other parasite or vermin, arbitrarily declare that capitalism and private property rights in its environment will cause the vermin's extinction, and presto chango: more havoc wreaked upon the local economy whose only crime was, well, living life.
And they are hard at work today, seeking other economies to wreck, and with this proposed cap and trade bill, they will have reached their Nirvanna: wreck the U.S. economy. The liberal basis in their quest to destroy our way of life is the same as it was in Oregon lo these many decades ago: a false and bogus assertion that we are destroying the planet, this time by that dreadful poison carbon dioxide.
And what of their bogeyman of decades ago in Oregon, the meanie loggers who threatened the world's only known habitat of the spotted owl? Logging has changed considerably since those long forgotten times, and has scaled down to proportions almost unrecognizable from their glory days. And that precarious existence of the spotted owl? It turns out that this creature can live almost anywhere, and not just within the confines of ancient old growth forests, as photos have been taken of a pair of spotted owls nesting in the neon "K" of a suburban K-Mart sign.
My advice to anyone who feels pressure to buy a Prius, recycle all manner of garbage, and in general reduce their carbon footprint: tell the hippie applying the pressure and pushing this bogus crap to get a job.