Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

The Fence Michelle Crossed Over

To know Barney was to love him. He was a sweet-natured feline who didn’t have a mean bone in his body. Unfortunately, he also didn’t have any sense of, or respect for, boundaries. At his worst, Barney would think nothing of jumping into your lap even if another cat was already there. He simply was “wired” in such a way that wherever he wanted to be, and whenever he wanted to be there…well, his intention was always his priority regardless of who or what was in his way.

Michelle Obama’s appearance as a presenter at the Academy Awards last night instantly brought back memories of Barney and his total lack of appropriate boundaries.

OSCAR1There appears to be no aspect of our lives that this Administration, and other Progressives, consider beyond the scope of their involvement and/or regulation. Like Barney, and his dismissal of all laws natural, Progressives proceed full steam ahead with a “damn the Constitution and God-given rights” attitude should either be in their way.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to tell you how much soda you can drink with disregard for the Bill of Rights and First Amendment. President Obama and Vice President Biden want to prohibit, or restrict, how you can defend yourself and your family despite your rights under the Second Amendment. Michelle Obama wants to tell you what vegetables to eat and she wants to dress up as an Oscar to tell you how good movies are for you, even when they are not so subtly indoctrinating you with a particularly Progressive agenda.

Call me crazy, but just as I wanted Barney to understand there were places and times that his appearances were unwelcome, so too do I want my politicians to understand that they are not my nutritionists, my parents, or my movie critics.

When I was in law school I had a professor who called me into his office one day to impart some unsolicited “fatherly advice” as he phrased it. He told me he had seen lots of students pass through those hallowed halls over the years and it was his observation that I “just didn’t have what it takes” to be a lawyer. He recommended that I “drop out of school and find another career.” I listened respectfully and when he finished I replied, “I have a father. If I want fatherly advice I’ll ask him.” I went on to graduate and successfully practice law. He died a year later.

It’s important that we know our boundaries. Deliberately ignoring them indicates a level of hubris worth noting. Therefore, I want Mayor Bloomberg, President Obama, Vice President Biden, Michelle Obama and all the other Progressives who lack any sense of boundaries to “step back jack” and stay out of those areas of my life that God and the U.S. Constitution deem mine to live and regulate.


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The Dark Knight and Pay to Play Amnesty

There is nothing extraordinary about President Obama’s announcement that “undocumented workers”( a/k/a illegal aliens) will be able to buy their way into a minimum two- year extended stay in the U.S., after which time their status will need to be renewed. The cost is $465. Even fee waivers will be available under “limited circumstances.”

Bypassing Congress to afford special status to certain individuals isn’t new. However, it’s usually done by Executive pardon by an outgoing President and granted to the rich and influential. To wit: Mark Rich. You remember. He was the fugitive financier and husband of a large contributor to Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library who was convicted of securities fraud then fled the country to evade incarceration. When his wife “petitioned” the Clinton Administration, it resulted in Rich’s pardon by Executive pardon as one of Clinton’s, literally, last acts as President.

The only difference between what the Obama Administration is now doing and the usual route via Presidential pardon in this “pay to play” amnesty, is one of cost. It’s Obama’s latest implementation and variation on redistribution of wealth. It’s redistribution of patronage. Now gaming the system can be accessed by those less rich and less influential. Unless, of course, you dismiss the influence that Latino’s will have via their vote come November 2012.

I saw “The Dark Knight Rises” this past weekend and I was struck by how much the horrific tragedy in Colorado unfortunately obscured and overshadowed the prophetic message of the movie. Gotham was driven to the brink of extinction by political corruption and manipulation of the masses through class warfare and the continual lowering of both the ethical and moral bars.

Sound familiar?

Obama isn’t the first. He’s the inevitable result of our allowing greed, corruption, deceit and indifference to flourish not only in the political arena but in our own lives as well. When each of us lives Gandhi’s message to “be the change you want to see in the world”… only then will we be able to lift ourselves, the culture and the Nation out of the ethical and moral morass we’ve created through self-interest, apathy and our endless desire for more of everything.

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Whitney Houston’s Parting Gift

Many think Whitney Houston died too young but I think she died right on schedule. I am not intending to be callous or glib when I say that.  Decades ago I wrote that “when someone loves you it’s possible that the time comes when the only thing they have left to give you is their absence.” I think Whitney Houston has left us with a timely and priceless gift. I only hope we are enlightened enough to know how to use it.

Her blessings were many…her beauty, her voice, her faith.  She lived a life rich in the fullness of them all.  She also struggled with the disease of the 21st century: addiction.  In her case, it was to drugs and alcohol. But addiction comes in as many forms as there are desires and presently, those of us living in this Nation of abundance are addicted to many. Whether its cocaine, sex, alcohol, wealth, chocolate, government welfare or youth…whatever…we are a Nation enslaved to our wants and desires. Our affluence allows us to indulge them all. Even welfare, one might argue, is the result of affluence. How many people of the world suffer hunger, die daily from hunger, because they live in countries too poor to provide government welfare. Even the poorest of us in this great Nation are not above losing sight of perspective and gratitude.

So why tie all of this to Whitney Houston’s death? In watching her funeral on Saturday, I noted that with a worldwide viewership, she managed to bring God center stage for a variety of religions and peoples across the globe.  Her legacy isn’t song or fashion. It’s the power of faith and the Light that shines from one who has it. It was her faith that was supporting her on the way back from addiction.

By example of the lives she touched, and the sheer power of her faith, she has bequeathed us a goldmine in tough economic times. She has pointed the way toward true wealth that enriches the Soul.  The wealth that flows from Love and Faith.

I only hope we are awake enough to not squander our windfall.


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Do You Know Who Your Friends Are?

Over the past three years I have written several posts referencing talk radio host Glenn Beck. The very mention of his name causes a visceral reaction in most people.  You either love him or you hate him.

Loving him, of course, will do no harm. Hating him will destroy you, not him. Hate works that way. Always.

What I find so fascinating about the negative reactions to Mr. Beck is the almost universal absence of facts upon which such vehemence is predicated. There is a voluminous amount of ignorance and misinformation about him. This is because most people only know him secondhand. They have seen video clips or quotes taken out of context and they believe distortions told them by others. Either way, they have abdicated personal responsibility in failing to gain firsthand knowledge of what Mr. Beck espouses or supports. I have not.

For the past 4 years I have listened to his radio broadcasts, watched his nightly show previously on the Fox Cable Network, attended the 8/28 Restoring Honor rally in Washington, D.C. and watched the most recent Restoring Courage events from Israel. You may conclude that I am therefore, by definition, a Glenn Beck “Groupie.” You would conclude wrongfully.

I am a former lawyer who, although deeply spiritual, deals in facts. Facts, I might add, gathered and analyzed by me.  Such has been my methodology in drawing conclusions about Glenn Beck.  Allow me to share them with you.

Glenn Beck is a capitalist and a talented entertainer.  He is also knowledgeable, truthful, sincere and honorable. He is proud to be an American, motivated by a commitment to individual freedom and personal responsibility, and sustained by his personal connection to the Source of All That Is (a/k/a/God).

Today on his radio show, Mr. Beck said the following regarding the public positions he has taken and the mission he is on: “I am standing in a place where I don’t have many friends.” I would suggest a different conclusion witnessed, admittedly, from a different vantage point. The best of humanity is standing in a place where it has few friends as courageous or certain as Glenn Beck.

As for my personal findings regarding Mr. Beck’s character, don’t believe me. But don’t believe anyone else, either. Seek out the truth for yourself. Listen to him with your own ears, process what he is saying with your own mind, and draw your own conclusions. Such an approach would be the actions of a fully conscious, personally responsible, and ethically honest human being.

Does that sound like you?


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Friedman, Costner, Obama and Defining Moments

It’s hard to believe that Thomas L. Friedman, writing for the New York Times, would be so foolish as to write something a hair-brained as his column on August 23rd titled “Obama, Tiger, Golf and Politics.” But, I am grateful for the laugh.  Not that Friedman intended me or anyone else to laugh, but when you posit a theory or opinion as intellectually empty using an analogy that sets up your subject matter for ridicule…well, you just have to love the guy. In such trying times, we can all use a good laugh.

Friedman thought a “golf” analogy would be a good way to make the point about the high stakes political strategy President Obama should employ. Never mind that most people are furious over this President’s 75+ rounds of golf since elected.  Through thick and thin, rain or shine, economic crashes and Middle Eastern revolutions…it’s all tee time to our fearless leader.

But what really got me in Friedman’s piece was the particular excerpt  he chose from the Kevin Costner movie “Tin Cup” to give direction to President Obama:

“Meanwhile, Mr. President, on a rainy day, rent the movie “Tin Cup.” There is a great scene where Dr. Molly Griswold is trying to help Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy, the golf pro, rediscover his swing — and himself. She finally tells him: “Roy … don’t try to be cool or smooth or whatever; just be honest and take a risk. And you know what, whatever happens, if you act from the heart, you can’t make a mistake.”

I would choose the same movie… but a different scene.

When Roy McAvoy refused to take the easy shot and make the green, he went instead for the long shot and missed it causing him to be dropped from the competition. When his caddy, Romeo, asks him “Why?” McAvoy replies, “You know why I’d still hit that shot? I hit it again because that shot was a defining moment, and when a defining moment comes along, you define the moment… or the moment defines you.

President Obama has had many defining moments in his Presidency and they have, sadly, definitely defined him.  He has shown himself to be a man lacking the skills to unite, absent allegiance to things American and her Allies, and absent a core understanding of who he really is or what he really values.

Next time, Mr. Friedman would do well to spend less time previewing the fictitious world of cinema and more time focused on the realities of this President’s defining moments.

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Katy Perry’s Error

Katy Perry did a good thing.

Then she did a fearful thing.

Yesterday, Katy Perry tweeted that her prayers were with the people of Israel.  According to Perry, the tweet was in response to a request by a follower on Twitter to pray for Israel.  Perry gave what appeared to be an innocent and seemingly heartfelt response to the request.

That was the good thing.

Following Perry’s tweet, she was barraged in her Twitter account with hateful and threatening tweets by other followers who clearly took offense at her offering up a prayer for the wellbeing of Israelis.  So, the pop artist quickly sought to undo what she had said by explaining that her tweet was merely in response to a request and that she opposes violence everywhere.

That was the bad thing.

Not that opposing violence everywhere could be wrong, in fact it’s commendable.  What was wrong was for her to be so intimidated, either for her physical safety or for a potential decrease in her fan base, that she retreated and sought to distance herself from her original comments.

We are moving out of a world where the “powers that be” have ruled by the use of intimidation and fear for thousands of years.  We will only succeed in that effort by refusing to be manipulated by fear any longer. It is only by knowing, with certainty, what we value and then being willing to stand for those values no matter who or what opposes them, can we hope to make the real and lasting change we desire in moving toward a more humane, compassionate and peace-filled world

Whether or not I am a fan of Katy Perry’s music (my teenage daughter is although I have, on occasion, deleted songs from her mp3 based upon Perry’s lyrics) Perry is none-the-less a role model by nature of her fame and demographic.  Therefore, how tragic that what she has exemplified by her backpedaling is cowardice and expediency rather than courage and principles.

My understanding is that Katy Perry comes from a traditional Christian home.  If that is in fact the case, she needs to return to the founding principles of that faith and stand fast in them. That will surely bring her more lasting success than either her lyrics or fan base ever will.

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