Who IS this guy?!

'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

A few Random Thoughts

1) There are spiders in my car.  A LOT of them.  I clear spiderwebs off of the inside of my windshield every morning, and kill one or two of them crawling accross my dashboard every morning on my way to work.  And while they're not HUGE, they're not exactly SMALL either,  And I can't help but think, "What the hell are they EATING?"  I mean - they live in my CAR for Christ's sake!  Not exactly a lot of FLIES in there!


2) I have a theory that wildly fluctcating, and especially really HIGH ($4.25/gallon?) gas prices are the cause, and especially the TRIGGER, of many of our worst economic problems.  Now, at some point I'll get around to explaining that, but if you ACCEPT it for now, you can see one of the differences between how a conservtive and a liberal think: A conservative concludes that this is a reason to DRILL MORE, while a Liberal concludes that this is a reason to develop alternative energy and stop relying so much on oil.


3) Another difference between liberals and conservatives...

When I was getting my MBA, I had this real libertarian, free-market loving Professor for two semesters of Business Strategy.  He claimed to have "an almost religous belief in the power of the free market to solve all the world's problems."  And he really was a brilliant man.  His name was Karmalash Kumar and 99% of Graduates in my lcass would have named him as the one professor they respected the most; including me, despite our political differences.  I really, truly respected him.  But one day in class he was citing a study that purported to show that the idea that a company that acted "socially responsibly" did NOT in fact see any increase in profit for this, as the 'liberal' conventional wisdom would believe.  The study tracked [something like] 100 companies, half of which were considered 'socially responsible' or 'admired' and half considered 'despised' or 'socially irresponsible.'  And it tracked their stock prices over a ten year time period.  And do you know what? The results were exactly the same!  So he concluded that the was no pay-off to acting resposibly.

And which point I raised my hand and asked, "But... if you're going to make exactly the same amount of money either way, why wouldn't you just want to do the right thing?  Especially since it, apparently, doesn't cost you anything to do so?"

He was floored. And his only reply was, "Gee, I... never thought about it like that."

I'm really PROUD of that. 

(And it just goes to show how two people can completely agree on the FACTS yet reach wildly different conclusions in their JUDGEMENT.)


4) I just saw 'Inglourious Basterds' a couple of weeks ago.  That is a kick-ass fucking movie, and possibly the best writing job Quentin Taratino has ever done.  And that's saying something.



5) I'm trying to teach myself how to draw [better.]  What do you think?



6) In the Case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled such that Corporations would no longer be limitied as to how much money the could spend trying to influence elections.  Now... putting aside that it's basically self-evident how despicable and indefensible that decision IS, in their opinion the majority claimed that "the first amendment was written in terms of speech, not speakers" and that "Its text offers no foothold for excluding any category of speaker."

So... my question is... How the FUCK do you square that "logic" with those same justices' opinion in Morse v. Frederick (aka: Bong Hits for Jesus) where not only the fact that the "speaker" was STUDENT was particularly significant, but the fact thay his MESSAGE, one that the felt was 'obscene'  or 'offensive' or whatever, was also somehow significant?!

I was under the impression, mistaken apparently, that it was most most important to defend "FREE SPEECH" when the speaker or the message was one that you DISAGREED with.  I guess that's just a bunch of academic bullshit to these clowns.  I so hate the Reactionaty Wing of the SCOTUS.


6) "Thank you" to ClassicLiberal, BTW, for giving me that term to call them!


7) Why is it that my web brower only ever responds really quickly when I mistype the URL I want?

10 comments:

  1. "A conservative concludes that this is a reason to DRILL MORE, while a Liberal concludes that this is a reason to develop alternative energy and stop relying so much on oil."

    Something against which I always rage (to little apparent effect) is the habit of so many to talk about "dependence on foreign oil" as the evil that should be vigorously opposed. That's a trap. The thing to be opposed is dependence on oil, period. A focus only on "foreign oil" implicitly perpetuates oil dependence. Not good.

    "I just saw 'Inglourious Basterds' a couple of weeks ago. That is a kick-ass fucking movie, and possibly the best writing job Quentin Taratino has ever done. And that's saying something."

    Don't know that I'd rank it as his best writing. His movies are all exploitation films, but, beyond that, they're all so very different it's difficult to compare them. I've been with QT since RESERVOIR DOGS and TRUE ROMANCE (long before anyone else seemed to know who he was), and, except for DEATH PROOF and JACKIE BROWN (both massive creative misfires), all of his movies have been great. I think he needs to be making a lot more of them.

    Another good (unrelated) movie I just saw: Guy Ritchie's new reinterpretation of SHERLOCK HOLMES. Great stuff.

    The Morse decision was particularly egregious in terms of free speech, because the "student" in question wasn't acting on either school ground or during school hours. The actions of the school principal in that case--storming over to the demonstration and tearing down the banner--were absolutely outrageous, unjustifiable, and could have resulted in an assault arrest, had the kid decided to press the matter. Instead, it was the principal who kept grinding away, having Frederick suspended from school for five days, and, when he defended himself on free speech grounds, extending that to another five days in retaliation.

    Based on nothing except a desire for a predetermined outcome that contradicted the constitution, the court rejected Frederick's contention that the matter should be resolved on normal free speech grounds, and judged the matter on much narrower court-invented "student speech" grounds.

    It's also worth noting that Clarence "Uncle" Thomas issued a concurrence with the majority in that case in which he said the majority opinion didn't go far enough because ANY protection of student speech "is without basis in the constitution."

    If you want a similar case that offers yet another great reason why Sonia Sotomayor should have never been placed on the court, look at Doninger v. Niehoff, in which she ruled that students could be subject to school sanctions for wholly off-campus speech that "would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment." The offense punished? A student had criticized school officials on a personal blog!

    Getting back to the matter you raised, the court's decision in the Morse case did explicitly single out pro-drug speech as an exception to free speech protection, something the same reactionaries, in Citizens United, argued was no permitted.

    In sharp (and perhaps even more revealing) contrast to the Citizens United case, the wronged party in Morse was a living, breathing, flesh-and-blood citizen of the United States. In the Citizens United case, there wasn't even a human complainant, just a legal fiction. A pile of papers to which some state had granted economic advantages. The court held the legal fiction to be a "person," and then granted it greater rights than an actual person. The pattern of the right-wing Spencerite court of the 19th and very early 20th century repeating.

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  2. First things last...

    To me the biggest problem with Morse was the basic implication that it was somehow up to the court to decide which messages were OK and which were not. And that's just not free speech! ALL messeges should be OK unless they solicit specific criminal activity - and Morse did not. AT worst it criticized exsisting law. A law, BTW, which is being struck down state by state as we speak! It was absurd. Mocking a law, or a public official for that matter, is EXACTLY what free speech is all about! IT should have been laughed out the court. ANY defender of free speech should have just said, "It's not up to gov't to decide which messeges are offensive." DONE. If you can't meet the burden of proof in a crinimal solicitation case - which you couldn't with Morse, but I swear some of the the recent Glen Beck and Sarah Palin nonsense comes pretty close - the you don't HAVE a case!

    BUT, to Sotomayor's credit, she ruled with the diessenting liberals in "Citzens." So in the only really contentious case so far, she came down on the right side. The problem was that Kennedy didn't. If O'Connor was still around, I have no doubt that law would have stood.

    I've also been a Tarratino fan since 'Dogs. (My handle? Yeah...) True Rommance was fantastic, as was Natural Born Killers, even though it was changed a lot from what he originally wrote. I haven't seen Grindhouse yet, but if Jackie Brown is your WORST movie, you know you're doin' pretty darned good work! I just feel that he really came into his own as a writer in Basterds; matured, maybe. He's always been a master of writing natural, subtle dialog, but this one just took it up a notch, especially with Col. Landa's character. And the actor, of course, deserves a ton of credit for pulling it off, especially for doing so in FOUR LANGUAGES.

    Oh yeah... And Sherlock Holmes kicked ass too. A really great modernization of the genre, comparable to Casino Royale / James Bond. It wasn't quite as GOOD as Dark Knight, but I could still see it doing for Holmes franchise what DK has done for Batman.

    Thanks for you comment.

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  3. 1.Spiders in your car? Yikes! 2.I used to live in Alaska(for a long long long time)and people up there are unaffected by gas prices. The higher the price of oil the bigger their permanent fund checks. I dont think the GOP cares about gas prices except that the higher they are the more then can get people(even hypocritical secessionist Alaskans) riled up. They accomplish two things....1.nurse the corporate whore of big oil and 2.inflame the simmering anti muslim sentiments of most Americans. 3.Ahh! the difference between Libs and Cons....I think it is that conservatives pretend they are compassionate by offering their words and Dems know the needy cant eat prayers. 4.Inglorious basterds was a wee bit too bloody for me but the Jew hunter was played brilliantly. I found myself just sick with nerves the whole movie...sort of like I was when I watched the Departed. 5.Nice drawing. 6. Clarence Thomas sucks but so does the majority..if you know what I mean.
    Sorry, I am not usually quite so hyper critical but I live in New Orleans and the GOP has been here bumming us out. Oh we will take their money but much more of the dark, drear, tight assedness of those fools would have led to a Katrina style evacuation. My sign at the small Friday night protest(the night Palin spoke) was "I CAN SEE BULLSH*T FROM MY LEVEE."

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  4. JLarue,

    LOL - GREAT sign!

    And, BTW, that was how you were SUPPOSED to feel, during Inglourious Basterds. ;)

    Thanks for you comment.

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  5. JACKIE BROWN was a terrible movie. By all rights, it should have been a classic. It was based on a really good book by Elmore Leonard, and Leonard is the fellow from whom QT lifted that great brand of dialog he writes. It should have been a perfect fit.

    Any filmmaker wants to put his own stamp on whatever it is he's doing, but everything QT changed about the book was to the detriment of the movie.

    I appreciate the skillful use of pace, which, in this quick-cutting post-MTV world, makes me an old moss-covered rock in a world of ADD-afflicted children, who, with shocking regularity, rail against the, shall we say, patience I show a well-constructed picture show, but even I must concede JACKIE BROWN suffered from absolutely glacial pacing--it could have (and should have) been shorn of at least 40 minutes without losing a thing. Wretchedly paced.

    The ending? Well, there's no other way to say it: It just plain sucked. In the book, the bondsman leaves with Jackie at the end. The entire story had built to that moment. They were both getting old, they hadn't really gotten anywhere in their lives, they were sick of always scratching by. They had a chance to start over, and they were really starting to dig one another. This seems to have been changed, in the movie, for no other reason than the fact that Tarantino wanted to play "Across 110th Street" one more time, and it would have been incongruous with the proper ending. So, instead, QT made the ending incongruous with everything we'd just seen. And it SUCKED!

    The movie does have one thing going for it, though. It's easily the best Chris Tucker movie of all time, because ten minutes after Tucker first appears on screen, Sam Jackson puts him in a car trunk and blows his fucking head off. The only way Tucker could top that is if he was similarly killed in, say, 10 seconds after appearing on screen. Before he had a chance to speak.

    QT has, I suspect, a tendency toward becoming overly self-indulgent when there's no one around to give him a second opinion. When it works (think "Royale with cheese!"), it's a delight. When it doesn't, it just brings everything to a standstill.

    That's certainly the case with DEATH PROOF, which suffers from glacial pacing. At a fraction of JACKIE BROWN's run-time, it's an even slower picture, and seems even longer. QT lets his dialog meander on and on without concern for plot, which would be fine if it was primo QT dialog, but it isn't. Not even close. It's just boring, and, given the structure of the movie, it doesn't go ANYWHERE. DEATH PROOF is horribly unfocused. Rather than a coherent film, it's like a short film and its short-film sequel slapped together, with the sequel being made by people who had never watched the original (the sequel having an amusing ending, though).

    PLANET TERROR, the Robert Rodriguez contribution to GRINDHOUSE, is, on the other hand, a GREAT movie, and well worth the time.

    QT is a real cinephile, as am I. His movies are always heavily derivative of/inspired by earlier films, and I'm a big fan of most of those source films.

    The KILL BILL features (the second of which bogged down just a little in that self-indulgence) are a treasure-trove of references to earlier films. You get lifts from flicks like THRILLER: A CRUEL PICTURE, LADY SNOWBLOOD, SEX & FURY. "My name's Buck; I'm rarin' ta' fuck" is the opening line of Tobe Hooper's BURIED ALIVE. David Carradine references Caine from KUNG FU. Sonny Chiba, star of countless exploit classics (and references), is the master swordmaker, playing a descendant of a character he played on Japanese television. And so on.

    INGLORIOUS BASTERDS starts with PATTON addressing THE DIRTY DOZEN, and took its very title from the Enzo Castellari film that was one of its inspirations.

    I'm just ranting, though--not sure how I got off on this.

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  6. LOL. Classic, I love it. We butt heads over issues with profound political implications and the thing you let me have it over the MOST is a Quentin Tarantino movie! (OTOH, I've read your movie blog as well, so I know that you know your films every bit as much, and possibly MORE than you know politics, and are very bit, if not more, passionate about them as well!)

    I seriously did not like Jackie Brown enough to really disagree with you. Adn I totally know what you mean when you say that QT sometimes gets a bit too self-indulgant. But then, so many do. M. Night Shamalyan? Geogre Lucas? (Jar-Jar Binks?!) Even Kevin Smith, although it almost always WORKS in his case. Suffice to say, that I did not find Brown to be quite as repulsive as you did, but then I also never read the book, so I was judging it only on it's own merit, without another work to compare it to.

    That's being said, it's far and away my least favorite work of his, but I'd still be willing to dust it off and give it a whirl sometime.

    Like I said though: It's certainly nowhere near being worth arguing with anyone over! LOL

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  7. "Like I said though: It's certainly nowhere near being worth arguing with anyone over! LOL"

    Ah, but that's where you're wrong! The things over which we usually tangle are bullshit! Movies? THOSE are IMPORTANT!

    I made a mistake earlier, though. Yes, as difficult as it is to believe, that even happens to ME sometimes! I mentioned "Tobe Hooper's BURIED ALIVE." There is, of course, no such movie. The line I was referencing came from "Tobe Hooper's EATEN ALIVE." Which, btw, is pretty damn good!

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  8. 1)I would take spiders over roaches. I hated grabbing my steering wheel and feel something scurry back into the steering column!

    2) I think conservatives want gas prices to stay high so they would have a scare tactic. I recall when prices peaks a couple years back, all of a sudden small cars became popular and people decided to cut back consumption. But once prices dropped back down, their fears were silenced (and those fans were flamed by the right). When will people realize oil is not a renewable resource. My conservative friend told me that he is beginning to believe the earth manufactures oil in the core at a rate faster then we suck it out of the ground (I have a feeling this isn't an isolated thought process amongst conservatives)...

    3)Great conclusion.

    4) Awesome movie (although I could have done without some of the Tarantino kitsch and the David Bowie)

    5)Your drawing didn't pop up...

    6) Not familiar with Morse, but now I'm interested in looking it up...

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  9. KK,

    My picture's gone becuase the nice folks over at Ripway.com decided to suspend my account. I'll have to re-upload it somewhere else.

    "Morse" was the case where a student was suspended from school for displaying a banner reading "Bong Hits For Jesus." This was at a school funstion, but off of school grounds. The court had a chance to stand up for free speech and instead chose to support athoritarianism simply becasue they didn't like the message. (Which, as I recall, was the very REASON we had free speech!) But as bad as it is by itself, it become completely absurd when you try to reconcile it's logic with the decision in Citizens United. (Unless, of course, one just accepts that the court is made up of athoritarian corporatists. THAT explanation works out OK.)

    Thanks for you comment. I'll see what I can do about the pic. LOL

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  10. My picture's back up. (Thanks for nothing, Ripway.com!) It just a doodle that I did while on hold on the phone with someone. I just really dug how it came out. LOL

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