Good Night and Good Luck

filmmaking, politics 1 Comment »

goodnight_officialposter.jpg.w180h267.jpgDespite the title, no.. this is not my swan song. Far from it. Instead it refers to a wonderful film of the same name that chronicles the conflict between Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1950s. It’s both absorbing and amazing, and is startling relevant in the times we now live. I quote now from a speech Murrow made in 1958 which is also in the film:

“Our history will be what we make it. And if there are any historians about fifty or a hundred years from now, and there should be preserved the kinescopes for one week of all three networks, they will there find recorded in black and white, or color, evidence of decadence, escapism and insulation from the realities of the world in which we live. I invite your attention to the television schedules of all networks between the hours of 8 and 11 p.m., Eastern Time. Here you will find only fleeting and spasmodic reference to the fact that this nation is in mortal danger. There are, it is true, occasional informative programs presented in that intellectual ghetto on Sunday afternoons. But during the daily peak viewing periods, television in the main insulates us from the realities of the world in which we live. If this state of affairs continues, we may alter an advertising slogan to read: LOOK NOW, PAY LATER.

For surely we shall pay for using this most powerful instrument of communication to insulate the citizenry from the hard and demanding realities which must be faced if we are to survive. I mean the word survive literally.”

I strongly urge you take time out and see it, and hope to read your reactions to the film here.

A Peso for your Thoughts…

politics, video 4 Comments »

It might be just me but I found the clip below which ran recently on a local TV station outrageous. The Federal Reserve along with local banks and credit unions want to take the sting out of sending money south of the border by offering services that make it easier and less expensive. Over 5 million people send money back to Mexico on a regular basis.

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If someone has earned the right to be here, I have little problem with them sending money home. But to those who are here illegally, I feel strongly that they are taking advantage of the system, and suspect that group in particular is who the Federal Reserve is targeting. To them they aren’t illegal aliens breaking the law… no.. they’re an untapped market. Why should Western Union have all the fun?

But tell me this, isn’t taking your paycheck and then spending it “here” a big part of keeping those economic wheels turning?

A peso for your thoughts…

Pause and Reflect…

media, politics, video No Comments »

We began with Shock and Awe. And we all were shocked and awed by its swiftness and its efficiency.

Unfortunately nothing since his been swift or necessarily, efficient. Granted there is progress, as Iraqis vote today on their new constitution. But support for the war has waned, and its impact on how we handle crises at home has become startling clear. Many of those who initially supported the war have lost their appetite as it takes a toll on our nation’s psyche.

So when incidents like this week’s staged interview with the troops occur, it’s a good opportunity to Pause and Reflect. Be sure to watch the video below.

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I wished it ran unedited, and without commentary, because as it speaks volumes. But I am sure some of you will be quick to remind me that these events are often staged, a practice — that I find dishonest and repugnant — both parties frequently engage in. But I find the current administration’s repeated and blatant attempts to sway public opinion using troops (including firefighters in the Katrina aftermath) as props… disgusting, This, coupled with a cabinet and congress riddled with scandal, adds to a growing sense of incompetence and malfeasance on behalf of this administration.

But that is simply my view. Watch the video. Take a moment. Pause and Reflect.