Update   (2015Oct13)


Tuesday, October 13, 2015                                               5:28 PM

Putin has kicked the hornet’s nest—he may have been forced by circumstances beyond his control to throw his weight around and make Russia’s military relevant (Do you know anyone who wants to invade that charming country?) but he obviously hasn’t been paying attention to America’s forays into the Middle East. Didn’t he know how much American blood and treasure we’ve spilled there—and what have we accomplished? With few exceptions, other countries, including Russia, have sat on the sidelines and waited for us to bring capitalism there, so they could find new business partners—why would any sane leader allow his or her nation to become equally embroiled—without even teaming up with the existing effort? Will Russian mothers allow Putin to waste their children supporting Assad—and why?

Iran has voted in favor of the nuclear-disarmament agreement—a blow to the hard-liners there, but a good thing for all of us. American meddling in that country made them hate us—with good reason. Anything we can do to restore good relations with the Iranian people would benefit everyone.

The magazine Playboy has announced that it will stop publishing photos of nude women—a victory for women’s rights and dignity? ‘Fraid not. They simply need to stop shelling out cash for the same pictures anyone can get on the inter-web—not to mention try to keep a magazine relevant in a post-paper society. There will still be plenty to ogle for those that still subscribe—just not full nudity. I always felt their decision to go that far damaged the ‘brand’ anyway—in a world where there are naked pictures of women, who needs Playboy? If your brand is titillation, why marry the cow? Sorry gals—that just slipped out.

I’m so excited by this week’s VOD movie offerings that I can’t decide which to watch first—“San Andreas” (starring the Rock) or “Tomorrowland” (starring the Clooney). I split the difference and watched “Entourage—The Movie” while I made up my mind. Everyone said it was awful (no surprise) and I always feel compelled to watch something everyone hates—I usually like those movies. In this case, I’d say that if you enjoyed the series, and you don’t mind paying a premium to watch an extended final episode—you’re good. If you wanted a movie, well….

Now “San Andreas” will undoubtedly be noisy and have lots of quick cuts—a guaranteed headache, especially if I watch it after seeing one movie today, already. “Tomorrowland”, on the other hand, is just the kind of movie I love—sci-fi, futurism, happy ending (I assume). I don’t know if I want that to be ruined by my being already tired from watching “Entourage”, either. Still can’t decide. Maybe not watch either until tomorrow. I was enjoying Kathryn Grayson on TMC early today—something where she co-starred with Mario Lanza—maybe that’s what makes it hard to pick a pay-video movie—nothing in my cart has the oomph of old Hollywood—modern movies rarely do. I can’t wait for the new Spielberg, with Hanks in it—that’s definitely got a shot.

I didn’t watch the GOP debates—those people have me reaching for the remote just from a sound bite on the news—there was no way I’d listen to their idiocy for hours at a time. But tonight’s the Democrat debate—should I watch? I’m already for Hillary. I already like the sound of Bernie better, but I know he can’t win nationally, so why torture myself? And the other three—well, if you can name them, you’ve got more on the ball than I do. People have been assuming Hillary will be elected our next president ever since she stood aside for Obama—and I know the media needs drama grist for their mills—but I’ve made my decision, and I think I’d rather watch something else. If I had the energy to really follow politics, I’d get involved, not watch it on CNN and tell myself I was involved.

I’ve considered politics—after years of getting furious at incompetence in public service, I’ve often thought about it. But all we civilians get are the sound-bites—politics is a long hard slog through meetings and conferences and conversations with other politicians. When I vote these days, I’m not only rooting for a candidate—I’m grateful that they’re doing what I could never have the patience for. I hope that they will do well by us, but I don’t make the mistake of assuming they have an easy job. Only the bad politicians have easy jobs—the good ones work like dogs, and for few rewards. Look at poor old Jimmy Carter—a great man ousted from his job by a movie star, after cleaning up Nixon’s mess and getting Americans to believe in the system again. No, I’d just as soon light myself on fire as become a politician.

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