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Chris James

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Everything posted by Chris James

  1. Okay, first let me tell you that I don't watch television anymore, not even for the news. But I saw a blurb on this new miniseries program that begins tonight, February 27th, and it looks like something I might find entertaining. http://time.com/4683144/when-we-rise-review-abc/ I guess we can thank ABC in advance for having the courage to say things other networks will not touch. Fronting a program that contains LGBTQ issues in this day of Trumpian hatred is a brave move. He will not watch it, he will probably hate it without watching, and that might be enough to get me to view the program. Find it on your local ABC network, except perhaps in communities and states where the local broadcasters are too cowardly to allow us to view programming that they find controversial. Let's hope there aren't too many cowards out there. In the early reviews most viewers are disappointed that the cast is lacking in gay and lesbian actors. If the story, set in 1970's, is about gay characters then where are the gay actors? It remains to be seen what the producers have done to the script written by Dustin Lance Black. But this retrospective about the gay movement in San Francisco, and the events surrounding the Stonewall riots in New York, speaks to a gay community that needs to remember its history.
  2. Fake news from Fox News, and now they take it one step further: https://www.yahoo.com/news/fox-news-swedish-security-advisor-heads-scratching-001838409.html Nothing worse in a news program than a non-expert, especially when he is commenting on a non-news story. This is consistent with the way Fox News spreads disinformation and bolsters the Trump propaganda machine. I agree with James and his circular reasoning argument. Corporations and government can always find talking heads to mouth reasonable sounding arguments that are totally false based upon the premise that they are always right and truthful. Just like adding manure to the spreader, we end up with shit being flung across the news landscape but without the smell being attached.
  3. The Federal government is backing away from transgender student rights, allowing states to set their own bathroom rules for trans people. These actions only cater to the dumb factor in our society. In the Trump world I think the issue is just too complicated for the simple minds that are in charge, what a shame. It would be too easy for gay men and lesbian women to ignore the T in LGBTQ society since it is such a small segment of the population, but this is about minority rights and needs to be addressed. I could probably use the men's bathroom in a public place without ever knowing if the person behind a closed stall door is male, female, or even transgender. The scare factor injected into this situation by the hate filled right is that trans people will be there to observe and molest children. The absurdity of that statement is not supported by any evidence, just the fears of heterosexual persons who have a track record for such molestation. But trans students have enough derision heaped upon them and setting up special bathrooms for the Trans kids only paints the individual as different for the rest of the mob. I can truthfully say I empathize with the Trans community, although I do not understand their needs because I am already a gay male. This is not an issue that is going to be solved by laws written by a majority who lack understanding. In the new Trump society is seems okay to be racist and anti-immigrant. What chance do transgender kids have? But they need support from the gay side of the equation because if we ignore the dumb factor, "they" will be coming for us next.
  4. Another Solsticeman achievement. I always enjoy those days of the week when Dude posts a new story...its like opening a present. To my delight Jeff has begin to post a new historical saga, and his choice of subject matter will keep the readers enthralled for weeks. This seems to be a naval story that slipped between the cracks of English history. At least I have no recollection of events in this time period when English governance changed so rapidly. Cromwell and Charles Stuart are quite familiar in regards to events that took place on land, but a sea story approaches this history from a different angle. I have no doubt it took Jeff many months to assimilate the facts that bolster a story like this, and I welcome all his hard work for our benefit. So off to Chapter Two when it arrives, and my thanks to Jeff for enriching the enjoyment found at AD.
  5. Thanks, Gee. This headline has pretty much given me the only smile I've had all week. Marriage seems to be a major building block in our society so a gay marriage effects every gay person out there, or not out as may be the case. For gay youth to see gay adults in a loving and committed relationship has to effect the adolescent mindset to counteract the ignorance and hate. A long time ago I began to feel that if gay relationships could be acceptable then the haters would have nowhere to turn in their self loathing little lives. AD and its authors are constantly seeking to reinforce the model that gay is good, being gay is just fine, and must be accepted by a thinking society. The hate for gay people comes from ignorance and fear, as if what I am and what I do will end the reality of heterosexual life as they know it. I would gladly absorb as much hate as possible to give a gay kid a break from such a destructive cycle in their lives. Not all gay men want to get married, and I can only speak for gay men, the lesbians are on their own. But setting an example by raising a family makes heroes of gay parents, and all parents for that matter. We need more heroes.
  6. I admire Leonard Pitts, I wish I had his way with words. http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/4955019-155/leonard-pitts-the-education-gap-between There is a great deal of truth in his opinion pieces, and it is shameful when you realize how right he is. There is not one thing more important in society than education...not one thing. I know we can sit back and laugh at the ignorant statements by the Trumpanzies we see quoted in the news but they must be embarrassed as well, and so they call these reports fake news. I have always thought that a degree certificate doesn't meet the requirement of labeling someone intelligent. Trump has college degrees and not a lick of common sense. If they had a degree in narcissism then he would be top of his class. But there is a lot to be said for common sense and it isn't taught in the classroom. The old propaganda adage that if you repeat something often enough that people will begin to believe it is true applies to much of what spews forth from the White House these days. But with the horrible collection of clowns Trump calls his advisors and cabinet we are left wondering whose words are leading the pack? Hard to tell when one day Trump says I did this and then spends the next week in denial of those statements. But real news, and by that I mean facts well vetted, will not be an issue for long...Trump's budget is going to eliminate finding for National Public Radio. Perhaps he expects Fox News to fill the void, or not. The Twitter president is proving himself to be nothing but a tweet...or is that a twit?
  7. So today Trump confirmed it....he gets all his intel from Fox News. Taxpayers should be cheering. We can now do away with the NSA, CIA and DIA, think of all the money we will save. Of course, we will soon be invaded by Swedes looking to get away from all the terrorists in their country. Did Trump forget to take his meds again?
  8. Words have significant value in society. They can share the love or heap on the derision. The United States is filled with words these days and some of them lead to violent activity. Foreign visitors, residents, no matter the age or ethnicity, are being verbally assaulted on the streets "Because Trump says we can." Trumps latest ploy of attacking the press as dishonest lying scum is just another page from the Nazi playbook, which I am sure Trump advisor Steve Bannon had memorized years ago. The image of Trump standing before a large crowd of cheering supporters will be repeated again today as he holds a campaign rally in Melbourne, Florida. When they start yelling "Heil Trump" you will know it is time to abandon ship. (Not too many miles from Disney's Fantasyland which would be a more appropriate setting for a Trump rally....no wait, they are gay friendly these days). The serious business of government is not being handled by this president, probably because he has no idea how it works. Flying off to a country club every weekend for golf is hardly presidential, just very expensive for the taxpayers. Of course, once there he can rally his adoring supporters and stoke his ego while perhaps discussing secret memos from the CIA or who to pick for his cabinet. We know his old golfing buddies are just filled with information on the right way to run our government and make deals, especially the old retired Mafia types. It is unfortunate that the highest ranking member of our government is not vetted properly. Trump needs a mental exam which I doubt he would pass. Trump does himself no favors by living in the White House alone while his son and wife reside in New York. I do have an image in my head of him wandering the hallways of the White House in a bathrobe and tweeting at 3 am. The nut case in chief belongs out on the lawn with the squirrels. All I can ask is how did we allow this to happen? We gave gone from G. Washington who could not tell a lie to D. Trump who does nothing but lie.
  9. I have never heard of anything this idiotic before, but only Donald Trump could think up something this stupid: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-kicks-off-his-2020-reelection-campaign-on-saturday/ar-AAmZwyo?li=BBnb7Kz Its bad enough that he seems to spend every weekend in Florida playing golf as if his job in Washington doesn't exist. (and these trips cost Palm Beach County 1.5 million a visit) Recall if you will the number of times President Obama went off to the golf course and the Republicans were up in arms because he wasn't doing his job. Can you imagine them criticizing Trump for this? But the absurdity of him now going about the country running for re-election in 2020. What the hell is that all about? No doubt the infantile mind we now have in the White House loved the campaign he ran last year. Just like in the early days of adolescent masturbation, it seems he is out there stroking himself again in front of the public. The point is that the Trump administration is already a mess and yet the boss seems to be on the verge of running away. Maybe Trump should just remove the government from Washington and place it in Florida at his country club. This moron needs to be kicked to the curb in short order. I think the GOP is beginning to see the writing on the wall and realize their time will soon come to join the Big Fail. Outsourcing our government to India looks better every day. I bet they would even read the Constitution before taking over.
  10. Can't wait to see Trump's off the wall response to Kathleen Parker's newest bit of opinion: she should only be so correct. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/trump’s-two-year-presidency/ar-AAmPfaZ?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp
  11. Meanwhile...back at the wall: http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/trump-border-wall-to-cost-dollar216-billion-take-35-years-to-build-internal-report/ar-AAmNQtl?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp The sign in the photo says it all....Trump had to get his name on it.
  12. Having just endured our new president's mangling of the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day by ignoring the fact that Jewish people were involved led me to read this new book. WHY? is a wonderful study of a complex issue. Although much has been written about the Holocaust, most of it describes what happened and fails to specifically address the issue of why. Author Peter Hayes is well qualified to write on this subject and I found his book easy to read. Although it is filled with details that are familiar you don't have to be a historical scholar to appreciate the information he imparts. Professor Hayes had the desire to analyze what made the Jewish people of greater Europe, Asia, and specifically Germany, become the target for such intense hatred. It is too easy to say that Adolph Hitler and his 'final solution' was the action of a madman and a sociopath, although that is part of the answer. As Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies at Northwestern University, and a member of the academic committee advising the National Holocaust Museum, Professor Hayes has access to all the information he might need to answer the question why. This is an important book in that it details the reality of the thinking behind the death camps and the governments who either supported the destruction or chose to ignore the events that led to the murder of millions of people. The author's insight of how the homosexuals fared in the camps is enlightening, but they were just one of many non-Jewish groups rounded up to serve the Nazi vision of racial purity. In light of the recent crisis in the Middle East it seems unconscionable that any nation would refuse the plight of refugees to escape the destruction in their homelands. In the path of events leading up to World War II, the nineteen thirties in Europe, and specifically the activities in Germany, were known to Western nations. Reports from politicians, aid agencies, and military sources all became aware of the early stages of the Holocaust. As institutions these entities felt helpless to do anything about the round up and incarceration of the Jewish population, but they had their chance and failed to act by not accepting refugees. In the decades following the war, written documents from the archives of governments tell an incredible horror story. The culpability of the nations, the Church, and even the owners of the major business corporations tells us how easily the Third Reich set their plans in motion to eliminate a religious minority. The propaganda, the lies, and the great effort to conceal the true nature behind the Nazi death camps was all part of a grand design by Hitler and his followers. The historical revisionists would have us believe that the Holocaust never happened, and yet the Nazis archived millions of documents that say otherwise. The book is only three hundred and fifty pages long but the information it contains, and the way it is presented, give the reader a substantial glimpse at the answer to the book's title. Just understanding the why does little to alleviate the horror perpetrated on the Jews. It is something best remembered in light of the Syrian conflict, the rise of ISIS, and the genocide of thousands in Africa. Allegiance to a cause is not always the best way for society to evolve, and knowledge is a powerful tool to prevent another Holocaust. I recommend this book to anyone who seeks the knowledge of why the human race always seems to be teetering on the brink of disaster.
  13. This is a story with such great appeal to anyone with a knowledge of history. Douglas has his cast of characters sailing off into a world crisis and blissfully unaware of what lies ahead. The building tension will keep the readers coming back week after week, and that desire for more is exactly what author's strive to achieve. Kudos to Douglas. I have no idea how many chapters it will take for Douglas to tell his story, and I am not sure I want to know. But from clues he has given me in our correspondence it seems China Boat is on its way to becoming an epic novel. It takes courage and tenacity to assemble the words and ideas for such a long story, and my level of patience at the keyboard doesn't encourage me to write something this grand. I may read a thousand or more pages in a book, I just don't want to write one that large. I hope everyone reading the story has the patience to follow along. At least we are given an ever increasing glimpse into the private lives of the characters and those attributes are presented so nicely I don't feel voyeuristic at all...well, maybe a little. Looking forward to the next chapter.
  14. You are judged by the company you keep, and although this can be said about our insane resident of the Oval Office, it seems it also applies to the men and women our new president has chosen to advise him. Steve Bannon has no political experience, unless you count his days defaming President Obama from a right wing website. He did study politics in college, but it seems he slept thru the lectures. Now he sits as advisor to the least experienced president we have had in modern history. How will this affect the administration of the United State? I read this and shuddered: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/steve-bannon-were-going-to-war-in-the-south-china-sea-no-doubt/ar-AAmwFbi?ocid=spartandhp Not that any news source can be taken at face value, but this sounds like something Bannon would say even several years ago. The biggest mistake of Trump's administration will turn out to be the lack of knowledge and experience in the mob around him. Perhaps they would be fine if the job was selling real estate or planning a television show, but that is not the case. We have an executive order crisis in hand. Who told Trump to renew the push to build the Keystone XL pipeline at a time when the U.S. is experiencing an oil glut and gasoline supplies are overflowing the storage facilities? Perhaps the former Exxon CEO who is now a cabinet member, no conflict of interest there. An opinion piece in the local news asks is Trump 70 or 7. He calls the Mexican president and threatens to send in U.S. troops if that country doesn't clean up all the "bad hombres" they have. He spends a phone call with the Australian prime minister telling him how to run that country and bragging about his high numbers in the election. Trump isn't acting his age, he's a petulant child on the loose. Perhaps he is off his meds. Do they still give Ritalin to irrational children? The doctor who gave Trump a passing grade on his last physical looks and talks like one of the lunatics in the asylum. Go to war with China and Trump will see how the big boys play rough. He probably isn't man enough to appreciate the irony.
  15. I hope we all know that The Onion is nothing but satire, humor sometimes at its best. The original "fake news" site has always been so good it almost sounds real, and that is often scary.
  16. I like that idea, Cole. Nothing like a president who knows nothing. But he has Steve Bannon, the right wing tea party lunatic to tell him what to think. But wanted to share this. Trump's immigration ban is supposed to save us from terrorists sneaking into the country. Well I have news....they are already here. Just look at the statistics in the following article: https://www.yahoo.com/news/many-terrorist-attacks-u-carried-150056041.html Without a doubt the most dangerous terrorists in this country are Americans...U.S. citizens.
  17. Our less than illustrious new president has stirred up the hornet's nest with his new executive orders on immigration from what he sees as the seven deadly nations around the world. (read that as Muslim nations). Foreign persons from these locations are being refused admittance to the Unites States. ( although he has decided to give foreign Christians a slightly better deal). This includes foreigners who have green cards and have been residing here for years. If they were overseas doing their jobs for American companies....well, too bad, they won't be allowed back. Typical of this condition were two Muslim gentlemen who were on flights into New York on Friday. They were detained without warrant, not allowed to see their lawyers or family, and may at this point be deported back to their country of origin. The ACLU and several other organizations have filed suit in a N.Y. Federal Court demanding immediate release of these men and a lifting of these sanctions. Less than a week in office and Trump is already facing legal opposition. At the base of this issue is that no one on Trump's staff seems to have the legal knowledge of what a mess this would cause. Not that Trump would listen to advice, he seems to be on a roll and creating a disaster of his own making. Trump started off the week with his wall order, which will cost the American taxpayers about 25 billion dollars...before cost overruns double that price. But since Mexico will not play Trump's game he plans a 20 percent tax on all imports from Mexico. Financial experts feel this will cost American business owners up tp 500 billion dollars in revenue. That will add to the howl of indignation. And finally, Trump insists we resume building the Keystone XL pipeline. With a twist, he insists all the material to build the pipeline must be made in the USA. Sorry to tell him, that industry doesn't exist anymore. If only US pipe is used it might take 20 years to get a large enough supply out of American mills. No matter that the movement of oil from Alberta to Gulf of Mexico processing facilities isn't needed to meet demands in the country, we have a surplus. But the Big Oil plans are to put the processed oil on ships and sell it overseas for larger profits...all paid for by the American taxpayer. All this sounds like a typical Trump bunch of nonsense. At some point I expect the courts to shut down some of these things, or at least cripple the big money grab for Trump and his business friends. Next month we will see a new phase of the Trump Follies as the court in D.C. hears the case against the new Trump hotel. It seems Trump & Company owe the contractors about 2 million for work done under pressure and they responded with a mechanic's lean on the property. Stay tuned for the clash.
  18. Tom Lehrer was quite a genius at songwriting. My mother's Catholic friends roared with delight when I played them The Vatican Rag.
  19. I just finished asking Addym Kerris how many shrinks would it take to declare Trump insane. He replied that if they work for the government we'll never get a truthful answer.
  20. Perhaps you watched the interview on ABC last night. David Muir tried to get Donald Trump to make sense, but no one can do that. Here's the recap: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/in-his-first-major-tv-interview-as-president-trump-is-endlessly-obsessed-about-his-popularity/ar-AAmfSFs?li=BBnb7Kz The words Trump spoke were his usual off kilter babble that he kept steering back to his inauguration attendance and how much he is loved. The petulant child in him was all over the screen, especially when he entered his new playpen, formerly known as the Oval Office. The only thing missing in those images was the throne this deluded demi-god might sit on when he holds court, but perhaps it is still being constructed. Trump, often referring to himself in the third person, displayed the portraits of past presidents he has hung on the walls, and in the running dialogue he managed to compare himself to Andrew Jackson. Trump thinks Jackson was one of our greatest presidents but thinks perhaps his own presidency will overshadow that piece of history. Let's hope not: Jackson was the genocidal monster that was responsible for the death of tens of thousands of Native Americans. Overall, I hope ABC has a special vault to keep the record of this interview. It will be interesting to roll it out in ten or twenty years in an effort to explain the insanity of this election. They can show it in series with the Trump impeachment trial coming soon to a television screen near you. But perhaps that won't happen since Trump seems to be keen on dismantling government agencies right and left...Congress must certainly be worried about their jobs when Trump seems about to declare the Constitution null and void, sit in his throne room, don his crown, and share home movies with Vladimir Putin.
  21. A sweet little story, almost a vignette or a trailer for what could be a much longer story. But that is not what Cole had in mind, and I get it. Once an author fleshes out the characters, sets the plot in motion, and begins to write, the ending is a foregone conclusion. In Drawing Me Out I think Cole says all he wants to say, and needs to say to give us a pleasurable experience. No need to flog every word in the dictionary once his thoughts have been conveyed in such a meaningful fashion. Well done, Cole.
  22. We are all aware that a new phase of politics has commenced in the U.S., the Trump Times. I almost said Trump Years but I am always hopeful he won't last that long. Not sure I should laugh about it, but here goes: Decades ago the denial of facts, otherwise known as the truth, was easier to accomplish. Information was shared by the words that appeared in news sources and in books, sometimes days, weeks, and months after the events happened. Now almost everything that happens is shared almost instantly on such a broad scale. Doesn't mean what you see in a Twitter is true, but the thoughts are there for a while until challenged. Our new President to be is an info junkie, and from what I read he seems to believe most everything someone Tweets. His quick responses to anything negative someone posts about the Trump family is indicative of the way The Donald thinks...or doesn't think. Hs own statements often fail to pass the smell test, and he certainly ignores anything he might have said if it is over 24 hours old. This is going to be a major problem. Speaking about his reactionary brain functions....a look at this new intelligence scandal being proffered for us to consume. Trump in a bedroom romp with naked underage ladies who are engaged in watersports. Disgusting? Certainly would be, if true. Could this be just another taste of Russian meddling? I give you some background from the real news: http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/01/11/509305088/a-russian-word-americans-need-to-know-kompromat?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news There is a lot of secrecy surrounding Trump's past, and once he occupies the White House he will become a target for all sorts of misinformation. Remember the days when gays were not allowed to participate in our government because we might be blackmailed and end up revealing state secrets? I believe we are going to enter a new phase of spying on our government, only this time the gays won't be the target of anything but discrimination. But just ask The Donald, he'll deny any problems exist...roll the tape.
  23. Texas cat owners beware...something about this stinks. http://theweek.com/speedreads/671898/man-spent-3-days-jail-because-cops-thought-cat-litter-meth
  24. I went to a small high school, attended a small college, and lived most of my life in small towns. It would take a very large bribe for me to live in a major city.
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