Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Former Senator Chris Dodd Leading The MPAA Support Of SOPA

The liberal Senator Chris Dodd, the Connecticut politician tied to the Countrywide financial scandal and sub-prime mortgage crisis, is now the  Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) is blasting “Blackout Day”
Tomorrow the main pages of Google, Wikipedia, Reddit and other sites will go dark to protest support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a piece of legislation in the House of Representatives which is so wide-ranging in effect that it threatens to curb not only piracy and illegal activity, but the method of information use which characterizes the internet.
If SOPA passes, however, the power to shut down web sites in the US will be unprecedented.
The US attorney general could shut down websites by asking courts to order ISPs to block access to them from within the US. And the fine print creates power to block sites — even legitimate sites — suspected or accused of copyright infringement, or those that link to sites that infringe copyright.
Here’s the blast from Senator Dodd:
“Only days after the White House and chief sponsors of the legislation responded to the major concern expressed by opponents and then called for all parties to work cooperatively together, some technology business interests are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns, rather than coming to the table to find solutions to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging.
It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.
A so-called “blackout” is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals. It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this “blackout” to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.”

Check out State of the Nation and this original post at: http://deskofbrian.com/2012/01/former-senator-chris-dodd-leading-the-mpaa-support-of-sopa/

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Radio host says Obama could shoot animals or be evil and still beat Ron Paul

From the Desk of Brian

The drive time talk radio host in Tampa is Todd Schnitt (aka MJ on the MJ Morning Show) and his banter with a caller Wednesday proved interesting and insulting.
It began as the caller accused Schnitt of being a party guy, an establishment honk and how he calls Ron Paul supporters “Paulsies”
“I think they are unreaonable…I don’t so (that it’s a derogatory term)…His name is Ron Paul. I guess I could call them Paul-ites.”
Schnitt added that he coined the term “Occupy Paul Street” before talking over the caller, bullying the conversation….
Herman Cain is described as a “non-serious clown in the (Presidential) race, completely unqualified and is “sideshow circus act” (Schnitt adds that he liked the 9-9-9 plan)
The screeching garden gnome (as DOB’s Robert Herriman affectionately and accurately nicknamed the talking head previously) includes Paul with the same description.
Then at 31:25
I’m for the candidate that can win. Ron Paul can’t win! Ron Paul can’t win!
Ron Paul doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. (Caller interjects)
If Obama shoots kitties and puppies in the head with pellet guns on live national television in the oval office…he will still…he would still beat Ron Paul. (caller) If he ripped off doll heads and puked up green vomit and his head went DFDKDDKJ(gibberish imitating Exorcist) and spun around, he would still beat Ron Paul

Full audio imbed there, so go check it out


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Egypt church bombing one year later - still no answers

A New Year's suicide bombing on a New Year's Eve Mass in the Saints Church in Egypt's Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria left 21 dead as the church was targeted. (Read more here as the riots took place right afterwards)

Now Amira Maurice, a 28-year-old pharmacist, is in Germany undergoing the surgeries to save her leg and deal with her burns. Her fiance was killed that dead and her story was reported by the Associated Press.
Another New Year's has passed since, and there are still no answers in Egypt's most dramatic anti-Christian attack. The investigation was halted 11 months ago and never picked up again. The only suspects ever detained were released, and it's not clear they had any role in it. No new suspects have ever been named. 
"Nothing. Nothing at all has happened with the investigation," said Maurice's father, Nabil Roman. "It is ridiculous." 
Roman suspects that the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the police, is dragging its feet in going after the case, but he doesn't know why. 
"Something is not clear. All I can say is that God will deal with them," Roman said.
The attacks in Alexandria was soon lost in the news cycle as protests against Hosni Mubarak became headlines from the region. The police who failed during the Mubarak era of thirty years, are even worse after his collapse. (Fear is that it will get even worse for the Coptic Christians in Egypt - more here)

As noted in the AP report:
Police were notorious for doing little investigation of crimes — instead, their modus operandi was usually to detain possible suspects and torture them into confessions, rights groups and former police officials say. After the fall of Mubarak's regime, the police have been in disarray and resisting reform in their ranks.
Meanwhile a bomb ripped through a church that day, changing and ruining and taking lives.
One year later all they have left is their faith...in God, not their country.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Obama gains more power with defense bill signing

“I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists,” President Obama said of the $662 billion legislation.

The propaganda.

The legislation includes a “national security waiver” that allows the president to transfer a suspect from military to civilian custody if he chooses.

The Truth

Full story: http://deskofbrian.com/2011/12/president-obama-signs-defense-bill-more-power-for-the-prez/

Best & Worse Movies 2011

If you don’t know me well, it’s important to note that I’m a harsh critic. I firmly believe that the adjective “great” (as in 5 star rankings) is as overused in film as in sports.

Moreover, since I’m not a professional critic, there are several films which would make most lists, but I haven’t seen yet. “War Horse” and “The Adventures of Tintin” are two recent films which appear worthy to make most “Best of” lists, but I haven’t made time for as of this writing.

Biggest Surprise of 2011 – “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

As the release date was move forward and back during 2011, it truly signaled a warning that the film would be a flop – this was not the case.

The Andy Serkis motion-cap Caesar was amazing, engaging and a true highlight to the year in movies. The ending of “Rise” delivered a satisfying setup for sequels without a cheesy Hollywood spoon-feeding of cliches.

Biggest Disappointment of 2011 – “Super 8″

It’s my own fault.

Steven Spielberg…JJ Abrams…A great nostalgic 80′s feel and an amazing trailer – the result was a major let down.

Don’t get me wrong, “Super 8″ was a good film, especially in the theaters, but on further viewings falls short. The alien knockoff of “District 9″, “The Fly” and well, about a dozen other sci-fi films, should never have been shown. The creepy, suspense built by the filmmakers in the first half of the film were quickly lost once we learned what the kids were facing.

Worst excuse for a sequel – “Hangover 2″

This was one of the biggest disappointments of 2011 as director Todd Phillips recycled the first film plot point by plot point. A monkey replaced the baby, the boys lose a bride’s brother instead of the groom, and on and on (read my analysis here)

A missed opportunity in my opinion.

“The Muppets” – laugh, cry and if you watch ‘Big Bang Theory’ – truly get surprised

Countless cameos were sprinkled in with song and dance numbers as the “Gang got back together” in the best Muppet movie ever made. Well, in my opinion none the Muppet films were “great” movies and this one was…on many levels.

Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo – the whole gang is there with a two new additions: Walter and Jason Segel, both will entertain you.

Oh yeah, if you want to see that “surprise” I mentioned – check it out here.

Jack Sparrow, Captain America, Thor and the Source Code

All of these were worth a view in 2011.

Even my wife who avoids the comic book fandom at all costs found “Thor” to be particularly entertaining. Sure Chris Hemsworth is obvious eye candy for the female moviegoer, but Tom Hiddleston as Loki was so impressive, that the film deserved an extra star.

Johnny Depp’s fourth “Pirates” film returned to the excitement, fun and fast pace which made Jack Sparrow so appealing to audiences. Unfortunately Ian McShane was underutilized as Blackbeard in a hollow and bland role. Overall “Stanger Tides” was a treat during the summer a positive return for the Disney franchise.

The complex psychological thriller “Source Code” fell off the radar screen quickly after a Spring release. Jake Gyllenhaal and director Duncan Jones set a stage of increasing intrigue and excitement (check out a full review here), but it was “Captain America: The First Avenger” which truly shined.

I shared the skepticism of many fans who didn’t feel Chris Evans could ever pull off the iconic Marvel hero. Not only was it a success and highly entertaining, Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull was incredible. From the classic comic feel, the World War propaganda to the USO sequence, the nostalgic Cap was perfectly set up and evolved into the idealistic patriot that Jack Kirby and Joe Simon created. (The review of First Avenger – here)

Transformers & Twlight win at the box office?

So disappointing is that this mindless blother found the most viewers at the box office. Worse yet is that another film is set in both franchises.

Not surprising when audiences will pay to see Ryan Reynolds in a CGI fest disguised as “Green Lantern” and endure the inane gags in “Horrible Bosses” or possibly…quite possibly have sat through the worst film “Arthur”.

The Great Harry Potter wrap-up

It’s finally over.

Wow, what a ride.

The final film truly delivered as the CGI was awesome, the action was spot on with the book and it was truly engaging all the way to the end.

Best of the Year: “X-Men – First Class” & “Courageous”

I didn’t think they could pull off an X-Men prequel but James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender can’t make the sequels fast enough in my opinion. Set in the 1960′s during the Cuban Missile Crisis, it adds the history and intrigue as a backdrop to make the new cast blend to the Bryan Singer X-Men mythology.

“Courageous” is a must see for every father on the planet.

Alex Kendrick rips your heart out, twists and turns to force you to question “How good of a father am I really?”

You won’t find “Courageous” on these lists because it’s a Christian movie, but it was rewarding to see it make a huge profit – over $33M at the box office on a $2M budget.

Some other notables:


“Contagion” – A great scientifically accurate interpretation of the super virus scare. There are a few loose ends and if the whole “Outbreak” film is NOT your thing, you will be bored.

“Battle: Los Angeles” – Aliens come, Marines fight back. Not much else to report here, but I found it surprisingly entertaining.

“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” – I’m a bit biased for “Mission” films even though I loathe Tom Cruise. This is fast-paced, the secondary characters are entertaining and in IMAX – WOW!

Don’t Bother

“Sucker Punch” – How did Zack Snyder get the “Man of Steel” job after this mess.

“Priest” – Just boring. Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, vampires, action….still don’t care.

”Rango” – Okay, it’s not bad, it’s just not that good. I didn’t find it exciting or that funny.

“Green Hornet” – Horrible. Just awful. Seth Rogen can’t do fight scenes, he can’t act and he’s only funny about half of the time. Let’s add Cameron Diaz and see how bad this movie can’t get.

“Cowboys and Aliens” – James Bond, Indiana Jones, the director of Iron Man and the hot girl from Tron — the result: boring piece of poo.