The Force Awakens- Real McTeag Review

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Ok, so reviewing a Star Wars movie is a No Win Scenario, something I truly love, so here goes.

Im trying to be spoiler free, or at least very low spoiler, knowing that read on

I enjoyed The Force Awakens in some ways, there definitely are moments of win,  but in many ways its a story of missed opportunities. I would say that its comparable to Jurassic World as far as entertainment value. Its pretty fun, but has scenes that make you laugh the wrong way. In the case of Jurassic World for instance, who among us didn’t spit out their soda whenever Bryce Dallas Howard used tech talk? “We have a Phase One Real World”. Not exactly “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”, not that you have the right to expect it from a sci fi horror movie. The truth is both movies are Trope fests.

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Perhaps the blandest First Order aligned creatures we see. A near copyright infringing Harley Quinn Type and  huge reptilian walrus man knock off.

My point in comparing them is for that for 20 bucks we still got enough high energy entertainment from a reliable franchise ( lets forget about the second one) in a slightly updated form. In this case though there’s nowhere near the nostalgia for the original series and the original characters are for the moment at least.just gone.

On to Episode 7. My first issue is huge, its about 25 minutes too long and a lot of suck is packed into that wasted time. If he had dedicated just 5 minutes of it to enabling dialogue JJ Abrams movie is markedly better. like half star better.

Lets for one moment consider Director and de facto new creative overlord of the Star Wars Franchise, Generalissimo JJ Abrams. He’s able and been great in his career to be sure. At the same time he made a fool of himself and enemies of the Trek fans with that trainwreck Into Darkness and a truly condescending directors commentary from his Trek movie 1. If you listen to it you can never unring that bell. He wanted Trek to be Star Wars so badly he made it look very similar every chance he got. A great example is how rei’s motorcycle is very much something that you’d see in his trek movies as is Han Solo’s new ship. A more endor type speeder bike approach would’ve been cooler and still made sense as she lives on a scrap yard desert planet.

Movies have changed and Star Wars has changed with them. Flawed Star Wars beats no Star Wars, but this one didn’t need to be so flawed.

The fact is that JJ has now made the same movie 3 times in a row. Star Trek, Into Darkness and Episode 7 have so many similarities its a blog post of its own. Briefly- Painful death of parent/ father figure, bad guys with death stars, Creature Cantinas of an Episode 4 sort of feel. Similar looking props, similar looking costumes, Snow combat, undermotivated villains and occasional poor treatment of beloved characters.His movies have become reliably sort of erratic.  Lately he’s been a combination of semi great and then suddenly he’s a trope addled lens flare addict.

Movies have changed and Star Wars has changed with them. Flawed Star Wars beats no Star Wars, but this one didn’t need to be so flawed.

Star Wars The Force Awakens is a hard movie to really nail down in the moving goal posts of Star Wars Fandom. The Phantom Menace was a movie people turned into the highest grossing film in the series by a comfy margin until Episode 7. It took till the video release until people sort of unified on the growing internet and started savaging it. We can’t assess this movie fully til we see if it sets up the next one well. Here’s how i see it as of now–

The Open- hey, you miss the 20th Century Fox Fanfare, what can you do?   The main theme is also perhaps a touch slower. The cinematics are great, but then the credit sequence from his first Star Trek movie ensues as the landing craft aka Federation Shuttles, depart the Non Imperial Cruiser. They look the same inside and out. OUCH!

Things improve pretty quickly though, Max von Sydow was an excellent touch. BB8 manages not to offend as he is literally rolled out for the first time.

The First Order promptly show they have an inferiority complex but are willing to do on the job training to catch up to the old Empire by just massacring people (to make their troopers hard apparently). Kylo Ren makes a pretty creepy and violent first appearance. Make what you will of his costume. Neither helped not hindered the movie.

Of the new characters

Fin easily is the best. A solid performance and he has that Star Wars urgency that benefits the movie. No issues. You’re instantly on his side. He might even be the straw that stairs most of whats good in this movie.

Rei will hopefully improve and become less uninteresting. Her backstory is just right off the shelf. More annoyingly she apparently proves that the darkside is actually NOT  a faster easier path to power because on some sort of Jedi Instinct that’s believable til she keeps matching and sometimes besting Ren in melee despite his years of training and embracing of the Darkside. Abram Overkill on that one

BB8- they pulled him off well and he has the least amount of what I call “The Abrams Overkill”. (JJ Abrams directs in superlatives. You have a moon sized death star? Fuck you, we have a planet sized Star Killer!). He manages not to offend and occasionally entertains. He also probably has the single funniest gag in the movie

Kylo Ren- Ren is either mysterious or just confusing. I guess we’re supposed to believe he has too much of his dads crusading nature and moms morality in him? A very likely “Psycho Ranger” (tropes!) who could switch sides. The problem with that is after what he’s done no franchise fan will forgive him and he’s got “Season 1 Bad Guy” written all over him if you go by Tropes.

Why he keeps his helmet on what appears to be a bed of hot coals when not in use is another head scratching moment later. Killing his ass early in movie 2 might make everyone pretty happy.

Ginger Haired Tarkin Type- No real complaints except his huge nazi style speech sounds it was written by JJ Abrams lawyer. Whatever, he’s button pushing killer by remote control and shores up the Non Empires cold bad jerk image. In the Trope Guide he is known as “The Mad Scientist”. Well cast and played

The First Order- Well hey they couldn’t just call them the Sith or JJ gets less for the toys. The Non Rebel “Resistance” also play by the same rules. Whatever, we knew how Abrams works when it comes to protecting his merchandising rights from his Star Trek behavior.

star-wars-force-awakens-han-solo-chewbaccaHan Solo – Not bad but Abrams went in a somewhat different direction than I expected or would’ve liked to have seen. After making Captain Kirk into Han Solo JJ Abrams finally gets the real Han Solo but mostly uses him as Indiana Jones, complete with an awesome weathered leather jacket and a pretty funny gun joke. I would’ve expected he’d have shown the “Han Shot First” quality and  made him just a little more ruthless. He is supposedly ruminating over serious personal disappointments. Maybe he was really just trying to combine all the goodwill Harrison Ford has, its was briefly off putting but not movie killing. Another more charitable way of looking at it would be that he reverted to his post unfreezing comedy relief Solo from Return of the Jedi and its just the way he is now.

The Falcon- Lots of win, some suck. Way too crash-y. Hand solo would’ve woven through obstacles to a certain extent before just plowing through anything beyond the snowbanks they mogul over. The slightly different, lower profile sensor dish makes sense and looks great. For the most part the foley art (sound) of the falcon is consistent with how we’re used to the Falcon sounding.

General Leia- She still shines through. Somehow she just does, and shes pretty amazing in the sequences with Han. The Rebellion, now the New Republic, are aggressively exporting democracy these days. In other words, they’re more less the George W Bush administration waging a war of choice by proxy against the first order. This is fine as the Old Republic was also a war machine and a mess at the end when we really see it. It comports well though its occasionally awkward.

Po- Po has potential and is well played. Sadly its just a bunch of convenient plot devices to bring him back into the movie. When he reappears his face is pretty covered by the new bulky X Wing helmets and I was didnt recognize him while he’s doing some pretty cool dogfighting. Hey, its not like he has a distinctive voice.

Supreme Leader- UGH! on this character they screwed the pooch bad. No grease. Someone says it’s Andy Serkis, Im not even interested enough to check. Someone let me know in the comments. If true why they bought in an amazing physical actor to play a guy who sits in a chair is something maybe the next movie justifies. He lacks the awesome voice of Ian McDiarmid, the best bad actor this side of Shatner. He also looks like a Peter Jackson Monster mixed with Prometheus cast offs. Had he been named Corporate Commander it would’ve bee more appropriate and at least funny. He has a totally unimaginative name. Even King Something or other would’ve been better than Supreme Leader. The Star Wars cartoons are higher quality than this aspect as far as writing.

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Chewie- They got him pretty much right. No issues. He also gives Kylo Ren something to think about after he douches out and gets all Hamlet.

The New Republic- While they take a devastating hit from the First Order that’s sure to lead to all out war, from what we get they are aggressively backing insurgents into the First Order and seem to be the initiators of the conflict. Not exactly a Peace and Justice oriented government. Sounding much like a Reagan-esque or Bush 1 or Bush-Cheney America. Military adventuring would seem beneath the standards of the Old Republic, at least until it becomes seriously decayed and co-opted in Episode 2.

The final combat scene is as great as it is frustrating. While superior to the way the Obi-Wan/ Qui-Gon verse Darth Maul fight was cut, its infuriating as the plot holes sort of come at you- since they knew they would destroy the sun why does no one on the First Order side have an evac plan for a planet now presumably about to begin hurtling through space with no star to hold it in an orbit, presumably losing atmosphere?  Could we have been thrown a few lines of enabling dialogue to shore up why the bad guys decided to build a weapon that could seemingly be fired only six times? Mention the star is unique and regenerates would have done it and if I can think of it whats Abrams excuse? Also, just a funny aside, are they now as broke as the Soviet Union? How many of their kidnapped brainwashed army did they lose? Not bad for an attack that seems to feature roughly 16 X-wings.

The jedi combat is great, but undercuts the idea the Darkside is the quicker path to power. This can be fixed in the next movie, right now its an unscratchable itch that I worry will just be blown off. Like lets just find out they retarded Ren’s training on purpose and i’ll be happy. Anakin complained about it enough.

Finally in the most annoyingly convenient plot device in the history of movies with sound; the breaking up of the Genesis planet, umm i mean the Star Killer Base, simply puts the good guys on one side of the sudden opening in the earth and the bad guys on the other. At this point though the fact a decent jedi jump would vault the new chasm falls by the wayside, no one bothers and Kylo Ren shuffles off pounding his pancreas to stay angry (it took me a long time to realize this is why he did this).

John Williams- He’s written better soundtracks. There’s long pauses in the music, its sort of very unStar Wars. His music is a character of it’s own and often eased rough dialogue and enhanced the story telling. Maybe Abrams felt like i do when he heard it and just minimized it? By going with the non Empire “First Order” Abrams assures us we only hear a reprise of the Iconic and plot cementing Imperial March very briefly and mildly when we see the melted Vader mask.

Finally, there are notably, very few cinematic wipes, (i only counted one) a standby of all the other movies and a homage to early sci fi i always enjoyed. Too bad. I held  off this point for last for good reason, the film still works well enough without them. Other rabid fans of the other movies may take it a little harder. I’m not devastated but there’s no not mentioning it.

Overall- See it, its tied with a couple of the other movies at third best. Its not Phantom Menace, but don’t let anyone tell you its as good as Empire or A New Hope. Its just not.

 

 

 

 

Eulogy

  • I know that if everyone had a father like my father there’d be No Sorrow in this world. And have no sorrow for my Father. Remember him whenever you see any man whose greatest pleasure was simply to be with his family
happier times

my dad on one of his happiest days, crazy shirt & all

 

  • thanks to the NYPD honor guard for escorting my father, he was proud to be counted among such a fine group of professionals. He rose quickly to the rank of detective because his life and actions were in keeping with the highest virtues of the department. Honesty, Bravery, Loyalty and Dedication. He was especially proud of the people he worked with and was a team player. He was incorruptible.
  • I suppose the biggest case he worked on was Son of Sam where he was part of the team that matched up the parking tickets, which is what cracked open that terrible case and bought a measure of justice. That guys still in jail.
  • More amusingly he was also was part of the police detail for the Beatles at Shea Stadium. I’m sure he considered them a bunch of british weirdos and couldn’t wait to go home, have a beer and listen to the clancy brothers. Ask my Uncle Jerry to tell you that story. He embraces the beatles later in life.

 

  • My Father’s gift was not some kind of unique quality to him, it was simply that he  had the characteristics and qualities of all good men, but in greater proportion.
  • Upright and true. Charity was his hobby. He was always looking to help his fellow man and derived pleasure from it. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus from age 17 which was where a lot of his charity happened.
  • My father never let obstacles prevent him from fulfilling his goals, he was his own worst critic. He also wasn’t afraid to ask for help when he needed it. Emotionally, my mother was his rock and he was always thankful for her
  • bought home a yellow rose to my mother every payday and some other days too just because he had class and appreciation. When i started working he told me to make sure i also bought a rose for my mother every payday. Thats the sweetest rent i ever had.
  • He graduated high school in 1957 and became a Bank Teller! Thats impossible to imagine. I gotta imagine he hated it too because he turns around and joins the Army. Ironically this keeps him OUT of Vietnam, He loved his country and served well but always expressed gratitude that he had been spared any kind of combat. The worst thing he fought was boredom in the Azores thankfully.
  • I’m glad he decided he would have a family rather than joining the clergy and that he chose us as that family. he was a truly great father and he enjoyed being a husband and a dad. Maybe that’s why he was so good at it
  • My dad was a man of actions and few words.
  • It was my dads faith and honesty that first caught the attention of my mother. Then she also noticed he was quite handsome with a self assured air and boundless optimism. Cool as a young Steve McQueen.
  • Their love grew and endured through 48 years and would have lasted forever.
  • My father knew true love in his life and my mother never left his side during his many trips to the hospital, advocating for him, especially after he no longer could do so for himself. she deserves a medal. Certainly no one ever meant it more when they said ‘I Do”. Everyone should know this kind of love, few are so fortunate. Her dedication over his long decline and many medical problems was nothing short of heroic. She never put herself first and made sure my dad was as well taken care of as possible. She was Guardian to his dignity.

 

       To think of my dad in his happiest days would bring to mind the 1970’s where he had cool sideburns and some of the greatest, loudest, craziest suits ever, plus some super psychedelic ties. Every once in awhile some disco sunglasses to go with it too. He carried his service revolver in a sort of monogrammed Flower Power holster that must’ve freaked criminals out if they could take their eyes off his crazy ties! My dad could do things with maroon that just should never have happened. In the summer he’d pair kelly green shorts with a hunter green polo. He looked like Conan O’Brien but with a sorta catholic school haircut and the suits of Tom Willis from the Jeffersons! Funny, goofy, filled with mirth. He came home every day smiling and you’d never know he had such a stressful job.  Sometimes in his sheer passion for life he could show great levity,like shouting the chorus of “Talk About Pop Music” out the sunroof of his car, with that brooklyn meets boston  irish american accent, just filled with happiness. And always the greatest joy on his face when he would be anywhere near my mother, his Queen. Later in life my sister and i would get him cool hip hop sort of tee shirts that together with his brooklyn hat and love of overisized jeans made him the first ever Ironic Dresser.

 

 he literally glowed with happiness when my sister keri was brought to us by the kindly Father Peter Higgins, completing his family of choice. He was Living his dream and was so fulfilled.  The road to this adoption hadn’t been easy or cheap, he didn’t care he loved being a dad and couldn’t get enough.

I want everyone to know how great it was to be his son and to have him as my best friend, it’s the only way i knew him.

  • I can still remember hearing the distinctive sound of his VW Bug approaching from a block away and running downstairs excited that my dad was home just because he was so loving and pleasant. I can still see him getting out of that car shouting greetings to all kids and and their parents. he loved all you kids so greatly like honorary  little nieces and nephews.  I think maybe this was because he was a happy approachable adult who was still always a kid at heart.  We had such outstanding families on the block. The Scalises, Burkes, Pumas, Rizzutos, Santomeros and Gregories just to start and more. He was a big part of what made our block such a great place to grow up. If you stretch it out to childs and rose you have so many quality people, even as far away as poorly named pansy avenue.

 

  • he promised me when i was about 6 he would always be there for me and he always was. I could tell him anything He was caring and dedicated as a father. If his idiot son and his friends wanted to play their guitars all night that was fine by him, he never complained he needed to sleep… and we werent always that good either!
  • Three people who taught me the meaning of cool as a kid were Captain Kirk, Harrison Ford and my dad.
  • The only two people i ever heard my father speak ill of were Felix Milan and Daryl Strawberry. Apparently “Lack of hustle getting paid big bucks to play a kid’s game” was something he just couldn’t stand. That’s a complete list. Sometimes he loved Strawberry too, so maybe only Milan or possibly Billy Martin if he hadn’t been fired yet. 
  • Loved words and prose, a big reader and occassional finisher of books
  • He loved everyone but chose his friends carefully, be honored to be among them

 

 So many great memories growing up, him taking me and my cousins denise and michelle to see the 1976 king kong at the bellerose theater and he was so great no one cared the movie redefined awful.

He would take me and my uncle paul all the way to new jersey to see the devils despite a perfectly good hockey team 20 minutes away. i think he just wanted an excuse to meet up with jerry and my uncle ron and still see a game. He loved to be surrounded by family and friends at a game.  We saw the ‘Mickey Mouse Game” where we beat Edmonton! He always said ‘The Devils are the only Irish owned team in the league and pat verbeek is a great player!” Lets go devils, i will always think of him when i see the logo. The Jets too. He was loving out Irish qb this year.

 

He was above all things a lover of life. He danced well, sang badly, laughed loud at any joke and delivered his own jokes so poorly it was actually funnier than the joke itself if told well

 

In 2000 we went to yankee stadium for a game against the hated red sox.. me, my dad the closet yankee fan in full brooklyn dodger war gear, my uncle paul and dads close friend frank smith all went and it’s a memory that sort of crystalizes all of it. My dad danced to his own beat just like every day. After convincing him a 40 gallon fishing cooler was never gonna make it into yankee stadium my uncle paul and i snagged a flyball near the bullpen manny ramirez hit during BP. Minutes later it bore the signature of derek jeter and dad and i cherished it ever since.  He was enjoying the day just because he was with some of his favorite people. True to his unique nature he gave me and my uncle paul a 90 minute heart attack during his “short cut” through the south bronx and uptown manhattan. Frank accepted his fate stoically. So we we were all gonna die, no sweat. My Uncle and i were as scared as little girls. Dad laughed like a jackal at us, that was my dad.

He never stopped laughing.

Remember my Father, Keep him in your hearts, always.

 

 

 

(NOTE- the bartender at the after party was, in the greatest of coincidences, a surviving victim of Son of Sam.)

 

the duality of facebook and the rise of Anti Knowledge

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Social Media. Its one of those things in life, we find ourselves in the 21st century and its literally a room full of all your friends ever via you phone wherever you go. You can dial up or down your own volume. I think much like our speaking voices its hard to judge from inside our own heads. So while i admit my statuses are those of a semi irritable germophobe, this post is more my observation of others postings, especially on facebook.

Its the people who fit in and have a pretty good life whose statuses I’m thinking of and there’s is a new element and new themes creeping in.

The theme that seems to strike out at me the most is the people who have posted pictures of their admittedly beautiful families, with very happy and congenial overtones. It reaffirms some ideas about the idea that America might still work. They’re admirable people, some go to church, they have houses and jobs and paid vacations and a measure, it would seem, of the american dream. When my buddy from high school is grilling with his cute kids he’s everything i love and remember.

    And then they post a picture of a racist Obama meme where they show school yard racism. Its a strange disconnect to me that those who are actually prospering have been inspired to feel fear of some impending threat that i am kind of sure is invented. Certainly recent economic trends of growth in jobs and housing are real facts that used to reassure people. To many now they’re moot.

The right sells protection from a threat thats currently got Obama as its primary straw man bad guy. Predictably it developed an ugly racist edge early. People are already so desensitized from it that with a year to go before an election we all wish ended yesterday,  I’m afraid the societal damage from this election may go on for years.

The right sells protection from a threat thats currently got Obama as its primary straw man bad guy. Predictably it developed an ugly racist edge early. People are already so desensitized from it that with a year to go before an election we all wish ended yesterday, that I’m afraid the societal damage from this election may go on for years.

The debate around Police use of Force issues is running concurrent to this and its seemingly not about to go away.Most interesting of all to me is how i have observed that the character of the crowd seems to change as soon as cops start gearing up. The part where this usually happens right about nightfall makes it a little hard to read. Is it that the cops just know when to gear up into Warrior Cop Mode or do American Citizens simply react very badly to the police militarizing in any fashion? I don’t think anyone should dismiss the latter.

So transpose this onto the mind of a middle class american who’s in way deeper than me with stuff like a spouse and kids. It seems to come back to a simple Pro Wrestling view of the world. Obama, bad. He speaks and they hear a bad guy wrestler talking trash. Refusal to acknowledge his actions is commonplace. On so many of the occassions that police officers have been killed Obama has made a few remarks or a borderline eulogy. He calls them heros and promises justice routinely, but the empty podium memes appear anyway with a caption saying this was his reaction. Its anti-Knowledge

Anti-Knowledge is a complex reverse logic that allows a guy too dumb to believe in evolution to develop the cognitive dissonance to be a successful brain surgeon. Its a growing element of 21st Century of America as two sets of facts compete for pre-eminince. One set of facts is old school stuff that people educated in the analog age got in the north. These are ideas like a civil war that developed over slavery, the robber baron versus Captain of Industry debate and a US Constitution meant to be amended.

The competing “New School Facts” are mostly southern regional ideas. These include a static religously inspired US Constitution, happy slaves, benevolent slavery, a northern Invasion to restrict states rights as the cause of the Civil War and a celebration of the failed confederacy. Throw in some serious climate change denial and a biblical sex ed lesson and youve got a pretty good approximation of a 21st century south carolina 10th grade social studies and science curriculum….and its useless nonsense.

Anti Knowledge seems to have emerged from the evolution versus creation non debate as a pseudo scientific shield for Evolutionists, who really just are the greatest intellectual heretics of our time. By creating a separate set of ‘facts’ i believe they think they can reorganize the thinking of their adherents to create knee jerk conservatives. Dylan Roof, the South Carolina Church shooter was a big anti-knowledge scholar.

It could end in 50 little fiefdoms

BARRY LAW CFO ARRESTED FOR EMBEZZLEMENT

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 When I attended Barry they were using Convict Labor to finish a well below code building, turns out that criminals have administration jobs there too!

Ive written several posts about Barry School of Law here. Their sins are impossible to count. Some include- Lying to the ABA and national publications to the tune of deducting 75% of the cost of a degree, which made them a top bargain and happened just in time, coincidentally, for them to increase class sizes. Then theres the policy of having a minimum GPA so low that not even straight A’s can save you in the next semester(this is called ‘separating a fool  from his money’).  All the while scraping the bottom of the barrel for unqualified people, like me, who NEVER should have been accepted to a law school (only every other school in America passed on me, right?). Their IT situation is late 90’s at best, not supportive of the newer computers a student would buy if the wished to have the best equipment for the job. Example- While they knew many apple products wouldn’t work there they never told the students.

Lastly and most disgustingly- if youre disabled they’ll hide behind Catholic School status and simply not comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Yup, fuck you handicapped person, pay no mind to the American Flag over their campus.

Welp, one of their admins is on his way to being a jailbird…..Go Figure!!

This was the best mug shot my readers found.  Featured image

Heres an excellent, thorough article from the Orlando Sentinel–

Ex-school CFO charged after spending $50K on drinks, other expenses

School CFO uses his corporate credit card to spend thousands on dinners with friends and drinks at Hooters.

The ex-chief financial officer at a law school with an Orlando campus is accused of spending $50,000 with his work credit card to buy drinks at Hooters, dine his friends and pay for his personal utility bills, court records show.

The ex-chief financial officer at a law school with an Orlando campus is accused of spending $50,000 with his work credit card to buy drinks at Hooters, dine his friends and pay for his personal utility bills, court records show.

A witness told authorities that LaTorre used the American Express corporate card “excessively and and made unauthorized transactions” from February 2014 through June 2015, according to the arrest affidavit.

A witness told authorities that LaTorre used the American Express corporate card “excessively and and made unauthorized transactions” from February 2014 through June 2015, according to the arrest affidavit.

The affidavit also said LaTorre wrote checks to himself.

On Tuesday police arrested LaTorre, a 56-year-old who lives in Broward County’s Hallandale Beach.

After he heard his Miranda rights, LaTorre admitted “he was aware he made personal transactions on the university’s corporate account,” the affidavit said.

Barry University is a private school headquartered in Miami Shores, with an Orlando campus located at 6441 E. Colonial Dr.

According to LaTorre’s LinkedIn page, he has worked at the law school since January 2014.

When contacted Thursday, Barry University officials declined to comment on the allegations or LaTorre’s employment history except to say he is no longer employed at the law school.

“The University continues to work with law enforcement on an active investigation, therefore we cannot comment any further,” the university said in a written statement.

grusson@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5470

Copyright © 2015, Orlando Sentinel

I was wrong about Edward Snowden

After a whole lot of thought and some mind blowung revelations about he underheaded nature of the NSA domestic ‘data gathering’ have convinced me that someone needed to blow the whistle.

The Data collection program needed to be exposed and Snowden should be pardoned and allowed to return.

Some of my other assertions about Snowde though, may still be valid. For example I pointed out he had top sexret clearance with an underachivers resume and seemed too young and inexperienced for the sort of security clearance he had. Its fortunate he decided to use this access to do good rather than personally enrich himelf. He lost everything when he exposed the program. He seems to have been convinced it was important Americans knew what their gvernement was doing, which was essentially spying on everyone all the time. Its actually quite patriotic. While thats cool it does show he was a bad hire for it, as bad as Chelsea Manning.

I had speculated the Russians may have thrown a hot chic at him or otherwise tried to manpulate him. That also still may be true, but he I really dont think he should be viewed as an enemy agent. Putin certainly enjoyed the complte embarrassment the Snowden leak caused the United States.

In the end though its much like the Pentagon Papers, we needed to know and were actually being harmed every moment we spent in the dark while the government digitally profiled us.

So while its still cool with most everyone that you would tap a criminals phone, the idea there needs to be a legal procedure that justifies it with a warrant and some sort of date in the next couple of years to become public information is now seen as the minmum standard.

So to the man who shares my birthday I say- I’m sorry and Thanks.

“Chemo & Cannabis” Why Getting High Helps With More Than Just Chemo

Pot….it’s what’s for dinner …or just smoke it, not utilizing this medicine is a legacy of J Edgar Hoover, what’s that tell ya?

The Rain City Cannabist

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I recently was diagnosed with stage 4 lung and bone cancer. Besides the pain and chemo side effects which are beating me like a 70’s circus monkey, cancer is also isolating. Most people know that cannabis helps with all the nasty side effects of cancer treatment from the seemingly endless nausea, the fucked up Neuropathy which leaves me and other only able to type or walk for short periods without my digits catching nerve pain fire and the actual in my case endless bone pain which feels like invisible assholes are breaking my bones. For this I smoke, vape, dab, and eat as much cannabis as I can. From super heavy Indica strains like , Muerte, El Heffe and all the beautiful kushes. Fuck if it is a heavy hitting indica I will get as much of it in me as possible short of hooping it up my ass.

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Some days…

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The Barry Fiasco 3 Years Later

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Well my post about the scam that is Barry School of law started out as just a rant and to make myself feel better.  I was shocked it drew so much reaction. The first push back was the removal from youtube of some pretty unflattering MP3’s they strong armed the provider into taking down. people heard it, mission accomplished.

Then the post here that started out simple and brief and grew into a montser with links and undeniable facts as i weathered an onslaught of attacks from the people still there mortgaging their financial futures forever, in a poor state, in the belief they would prevail. Some surely will, but nowhere near enough and most for reasons that have nothing to do with Barry at all, in fact it would be in spite of going there.

Do am Image Search for Barry Law School. They know not to show you too much of their campus and that their buildings look best from a distance

Do am Image Search for Barry Law School. They know not to show you too much of their campus and that their buildings look best from a distance

I liked most of my colleagues. Sadly, the odds are against them.My group graduated in increments over the sprng and summer. One very sweet girl is now working for a DA’s office and i couldn’t be happier for her. She was already in the field for a whhile as a legal secretary and had in state legal connections. Shes also quite bright. She  will be fine and is definitely a perfect person to go to a place like Barry because she merely needed that certification. She aready knew legal writing. Way to go!

One other friend is inheriting some work and a partnership and is also the best kind of person too go there, he had in state connections too. He also would have prospered anywhere.

This concludes the list of gainfully employed grads about 3 months out. The rest? Well even those who hate me (and you can see the comments on the original posts that some surely do) have my best wishes. Its early yet, i suppose, but those loans are 8 months away.

maybe when the loans come due those who were the most vocal in the comments will have an ugly realization. That maybe they should be mad the school under reported the level of debt they will be saddled with. 800 bucks a month sounds about right if they are going with a middle of the road repayment plan. I fucking hate when that bill comes. I walk around my shitty neighborhood and wish i had 300 more to spend on my place. I go out a lot less. Its not awful but its an impact. I had to put off buying madden 15 for a while and that hurt.  At least I live in New York City and have a police force I am not afraid of and some safety. In Florida it would surely be worse. The idea you would get to live on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando or beautiful Sanford, known for its vigilantism and intolerance is just a fucking downer! I would never leave my apartment, which would be cool in a way because I would be that fucking broke. I am not wishing this on anyone, i am just being sort of realistic. Theres no way its not gonna happen to someone. You can FORGET that new car and probabnly even kids. Its no longer a possibility if you end up like the average Barry Grad, which is to say NOT practicing law in any meaningful way.

I escaped after Summer School plus one semester, so it only cost about the price of 3 new cars. One day it may even be paid off! I would suppose they are in for about 6 times more.

The Barry Class of 2014 will probably not have many people making much more than i do in the legal field ($0). Then they probably will be forced to admit that the school hides the graduates salaries for a reason. Its gonna suck for many. Theres just no way it wont.

As far as the school? Reports i get are mixed. the new buildings are a step up from the welded iron trailers, but only the fact its florida allows people to occupy them. To be sure substandard materials and the use of convict labor will rear their ugly heads soon enough. Look for a never admitted sick building syndrome problem down the road.

The new Students? Well it was the biggest class ever last year and from all reports there were quite a few flakes including a security incident in the Library where some freaked out and had a meltdown. Thank God they weren’t violent. Hey, my car got keyed there, it already wasn’t all that genteel.

Googling “For Profit Law Schools Reviews” will bring back sobering results for those who are already chained to their debt, debt they can never go bankrupt on. debt that will keep them from getting into the better apartments and communities. If your still on the fence, maybe think again. If you are determined to make a go of it you need to be really in the top of the class to have much chance because the schools reputation is sullied and will take years to unfuck after they lied to the Wall Street Journal and US News & World Report to the tune of a 300% understatement on their costs. They never retracted this, they had to be called out. This is what you get with Barry.

20,000 hits later the original post remains a thorn in their side that they will always have to deal with and look what that says about their fragile rep. I would hope that some people escaped their clutches early with minimal damage. Thats all i ever tried to do when the post went from catharsis to a piece of real journalism I am quite proud of. It is 100% accurate, links to reputable sites to prove all points and is a godsend to anyone who is offered their crazy double secret probation deals. Not one person that was offered to (about a dozen) survived that devils bargain.

Surely Pope Francis would be mortified to see how petty, dishonest, vain, arrogant and avaricious his servants at the most holy Roman Catholic Law School across from Home Depot do business in his name.

Y’all Want This Party Started Now? The Tea Party Starts to Defect- Will GOP Return to Reason?

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The Tea Party is going solo in some states, and more and more will follow suit quickly. Believe it.

Last night i decided to weigh in on the Mississippi Senate Republican Primary Between Whacked out Chris McDaniel and and a suddenly moderate populist incarnation of what was once Senator Thad Cochran. I didn’t realize it would be huge! Specifically in the McDaniel post failure meltdown.

I mentioned Tea Bagger Maniac McDaniel had refused to concede.

The Tea Party's Ozzy Osbourne-Madman Chris McDaniel

The Tea Party’s Ozzy Osbourne-Madman Chris McDaniel

Its just not something they do, its too graceful and dignified. No Tea Bagger ever concedes in the conventional sense. They freak out and claim fraud no matter how crushing the vote tally. So, like Herman Cain before him and Joe Miller before him McDaniel went on a wild scorched earth rant about the underhanded and UnAmerican nature of his opponent/vanquisher, which was another republican this time; Thad Cochran and the GOP itself. With theatrics and insanity that seemed headed towards some theatrical pyro and maybe biting the head off a bat, McDaniel openly and full throatedly questioned the GOP’s Conservative legitimacy. He did more than imply that a third party was needed. Typical Bagger shit, right? Yes but this time soooo much more!

When the Loser of the Night took up the microphone at his Beer Hall Putsch-like Campaign gathering all Hell broke lose! (Cue Metal Guitar Chord Chunking!!)

A screaming McDaniel was incensed at what he thought was the most unAmerican and UnConservative aspects of Cochran’s strategy- first off-Inclusiveness. The idea that his states primaries were open to voters of either party disgusted McDaniel and he falsely called it illegal.  Next he attacked Cochran’s governing philosophy-Mainly the fact that Cochran had told the people in one of America’s poorest states that he would work within the framework of the existing system to bring home the money the state so desperately needed. The McDaniel philosophy and promise was to bring back Nothing to his state so that they could be Free… from money I guess. Why so many Republicans were so stoked about McDaniel’s vision is hard to say.  It had been assumed he would win going away. Instead he loses by 4000 votes.

Captain Cave-Man Thad Cochran, Newly Minted "Moderate"

Captain Cave-Man Thad Cochran, Newly Minted “Moderate”

On its own it was hilarious and fulfilling to see a tea billy hater so worked up and pissed he couldn’t be Coolest Kid in the Playground. He’s threatening to sue people today. Good Luck. Hey, maybe he will stick around long enough as an Independent Bagger Third Party kinda rebel Candidate and deal ol’ Thad a killing stroke out of spite and putting the Democrat in, whoever the Hell that is, into the seat Cochran has held since the Civil War (like 36 years).

Enter Snowbilly Grifter Sarah Palin, a woman without a soul or a real source of income outside her own big mouth. She seized on McDaniels comments and made a demand, semi Patrick Henry-like, of ‘Give Me a Conservative Republican Party or Give That Party Death!’ Rush Limbaugh, who also needs to blow a lot of hot air to stay rich, went full tilt on the third party option, that being the Tea Party. Hannity was on the same page, except of course when he said it he sounded like Sylvester Pussycat.

I’m Gonna Say It Now & Ya Heard It Here First–The Tea Party is going solo in some states, and more and more will follow suit quickly. Believe it.

Whats this say for the Republicans? they have birthed a monster to be sure. Their maladjusted latchkey kid Tea Party is a paranoid gun nut who hates his parents as much as anything else. The little bastard is going to take a chunk out of them.

In the short term the GOP is going to end up suffering serious setbacks, but they will always shill hard for big business and so they will survive. In the long term they need a new outlook. Thad Cochran ran toward the middle and won like that. Other old school republicans may just follow suit. It saved Cochran’s ass when he was considered dead and buried.  If they choose to take a similar approach, which included a healthy dose of Federalism, they will need to drop some other extreme ideas too, but this may actually help.

The Venn Diagram of the Tea Party/GOP has been in motion since McDaniels meltdown (way to perpetuate the Irish stereotype of ungoverned anger, dick) and I think will remain so for the foreseeable future

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