Current Events, MSM, Obama Administration

There IS Hope … Well Maybe

Hello?  Is anybody home?  It's me ... The President?
Hello? Is anybody home? It's me ... The President?

Just took a jaunt over to Fox News and found a few fun stories that would be perfect for what I like to call one of my potpourri posts.

1)      A State Department employee who is also an attorney has filed a lawsuit claiming that Sec. of State Hillary Clinton has illegally taken the post and must resign.  Here is AP’s report on the lawsuit, shortest AP article I have ever seen!

2)   Hannity has a new segment called Media Mash that I really like. He takes a glimpse at the week’s media bias and then has a guest contributor do the commentary with him. Unfortunately there is no link to this week’s segment but if you do go to Fox News >Hannity>Videos find the video clip entitled “Window Treatment”, it’s a hoot!

3)   President Obama tried to walk into the White House through a window! Sure, a window can look like a door and he has only occupied the White House for a little over a week so I can personally cut him some slack. I am sure he is still figuring out how to get from the private residency to various staffers offices. Now, yeah, it is funny for a chuckle but how this was basically ignored and how the flubs that President Bush made during his term were again, night and day.

But there is no Media Bias, right?

Education, Entertainment, Hollywood

The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Contrived

secret

ABC Family should be given the benefit of the doubt, they probably were trying to come up with a TV series that would attract teens enough to give them  a path to talk about teen pregnancy.  It was a nice idea, but somewhere along the line it became more like a PG espisode of the Donny & Marie show. 

The characters are completely unrealistic, even the adult characters are not even accurate enough to make it plausible to really teach a generation of teens about teen pregnancy.  It is a soap opera for innocent teens.  The series opens up with a far too sweet and innocent 15 year old who sneaks a pregnancy test home in her french horn case (I mean come on, really), takes the test in the bathroom while her mom rattles on about this being the part of her life where she needs to have fun.  Probably the most significant learning tool is conveniently lost in the timing of the first episode; how older boy talks girl into sex in the first place.

From there the word of the pregnancy swirls around school for some four weeks before Amy, the now pregnant teen, tells her parents that she is pregnant.  Along the way she meets Ben, an overly kind, overly naive 15 year old who falls “madly in love” with her and in what would appear to be two or three months, they decide to get married.  Ben’s father is extremely wealthy so all of the real concerns that a typical pregnant teen would confront are seemingly washed away; so much for the reality of teen pregnancy.   All the while that Ben and Amy are falling in love and declaring their desire to get married and make all of their troubles go away,  all the ancillary characters, teen and adult, are switching partners like a Delta Frat party at Animal House’s infamous Faber College.  Oh, and the real kicker, all of these teens go to a Magnet School.

Here are the completely unbelievable aspects of the show;

Amy is approximately 6 months along in her pregnancy and the father of the baby, Ricky; his parents and Amy’s parents have yet to meet or even have a conversation over the phone.

Ben’s father, a widower, thinks that if the kids are in love, why not let them get married, if that’s what they want to do.

Six months into the pregnancy, Amy and her mom have their first real conversation about who will care for the baby after the birth.  Amy assumes that her mom will just “stay home with the baby” while she goes to “school and band practice and stuff just Monday through Friday”. 

The most irritating member of the cast is George Jergens, Amy’s dad.  In every scene where he interacts with anyone but his daughters he is a simple-minded egocentric Neanderthal.  When he talks to his wife, it makes everyone watching wonder what she was thinking when she decided to marry this genius in the first place and it’s not the actor, it’s the writing. When he talks to his daughters he is usually what one would consider an adult, yet every other time he is simply awful!  Sadly, it appears that, with few exceptions, the casts of characters have no real moral or personal center.  They easily vacillate, often times in the same scene, from one extreme to the other in how they think, feel, act and react to everything around them.

In the most recent episode Ben and Amy sneak off to get married with fake IDs and as the day goes on all of their teen friends learn about it and show up at the wedding chapel.  No one in the chapel, except for the minister, is over 18, yet the ceremony goes on as planned.

It would appear that the writers are trying so hard to hit on all of the emotions that are rippling out from this teen’s pregnancy that they just don’t have enough characters to properly distribute the spectrum of the heart.  If they really wanted to share a true story of teen pregnancy with their audience, a reality show may well have been more appropriate. 

Even the title doesn’t make sense; the way rumors and info flow between the chacters in this show, Amy’s life as a pregnancy teen is anything but a secret!

Entertainment, Hollywood, People of Interest

The Successful Novelist: A Muse’s Delight

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I thought I would go light with today’s post and decided to write a bit about a book I just started, The Successful Novelist by David Morrell of Rambo fame. Yes, believe it or not, Rambo: First Blood was a novel first and later became a Holywood icon.  This is not a novel, but a book that he wrote and has updated, in which he shares his journey as a writer from the moment he decided to become a writer to the moment he got his first advance on First Blood and beyond. There is no doubt that this guy has had much success and  yet the thing I love about this book is that he modestly remembers from  where he came and the road he took to get there.  Now, he willingly and openly shares all of his successes and failures as a writer in the hopes that he can inspires others to stay the course and embrace a dream all the while avoiding the pitfalls and mistakes that he himself encountered.

The book is written with a very warm and supportive nature and you simply feel like you are sitting across the table from him in your kitchen and he is telling you his life story over a cup a joe, all the while encouraging you to do this, to become a novelist.  He gives his opinion about publishing and publishers and how to deal with them without losing your voice in the process if your novel eventually is turned into a movie or TV series and most importantly, makes the piece of work itself the most significant thing for a novelist to hold on to.

In short, this book is inspiring.  We really don’t see too many Hollywood types making an honest effort to share their craft with the up and coming generation of their entertainment genre; David Morrell is the exception.

The most hysterical thing of all?  I am barely 30 pages into this book and I feel like I am reading John Grisham’s The Client.   Back in grad school I was flying home for the Holidays and on a whim picked up The Client at a newstand in O’Hare Airport in Chicago.  I started reading it and simply could not put the thing down.  I got home around dinner time that night and had my traditional “first night home” meal that my dad would always make just for me and about 11 pm I went up to bed.  I picked up the book again and the next thing I knew it was almost 5 am and I heard my mom at the bottom of the stairs asking if I was okay.  I said that I was just reading before bed.  When she chuckled and told me the time I glanced at the clock in my room and couldn’t believe where the time went. 

That is how well written and insightful this guidebook for aspiring novelists is!

I may post again when I finish it!

For now, have a great night everyone!

Thanks!

Mary Ann

Education

Hypocrisy at San Antonio’s Central Catholic High School

 central-catholic-hs

A San Antonio teacher was terminated recently from her teaching position for marrying a man who had been divorced which is against Catholic Law. Having taught in a Catholic high school myself and knowing the politics of such an establishment, I have a lot to say to the former Ms. LaFortune (and her legal team).

First, Good for You!  The Roman Catholic Church has been a power hungry group of elitists for centuries and their hypocrisy is going to be their ultimate downfall.  Having taught is a similar setting, I am sure that much of the same ocurred with Ms. LaFortune.  First, the female and male teachers were held to completely different standards and sets of expectations.  I would be curious to know if any of the male faculty was divorced or married to someone who was divorced.  If demographics state that approximately 50% of all marriages in the US fail, then the odds are rather promising for this teacher finding a present or past faculty member who is or was divorced.

With all of the sexual deviance on the part of hundreds, if not thousands of clergy across the nation, the arrogance of this school’s headmaster sheds some light on just how out of touch today’s Catholic Church is.  If the school is having this sort of mind set then what about other issues?  The school I taught in is presently charging some $8,000 a year per student for instruction.  Then add to it books, uniforms and other incidentals and $10,000 is more like it.  Most Americans don’t have that kind of money to spend on private school tuition, therefore, the clientele of this educational institution is relatively wealthy and priviledged. 

Continuing on with this train of thought, how many of the student body come from divorced homes?  How many of them were conceived out of wedlock?  How many of the mothers of students that attend this school have had abortions?  How many drink or use illegal drugs when they are outside of school?  How many are having sex before marriage?  I can tell you, from personal experience, many students who come from these elite schools, as wonderful as these students are, they have the financial means to get their hands on just about anything and their families have the money to make a school look the other way regardless of the infraction. 

If the teachers are being held to such a high standard, are the students? Are the parents? 

Final comment; Does the school accept financial donations, endowments or trusts from individuals who have been divorced?  If they do then Ms. LaFortune has a very strong case.  If it sees the inside of a courtroom is another story.

MSM, Politics

Iseman vs. the NY Times: The winner is … The Attorneys

Former Presidential Candidate John S. McCain
Former Presidential Candidate John S. McCain

This AP article from last night has some intriguing undertones that are more than worthy of some space for today’s post. In short, a telecommunication lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, who was linked romantically to then presidential candidate John McCain in February of ’08 by the NY Times, has now taken legal action against the Times.

The intricacies of the claims and the responses from both sides are in and of itself newsworthy but it was the last part of this AP article that made me pause a moment.

“Ms. Iseman’s relationship with Senator McCain was entirely professional, ethical, and appropriate,” the lawsuit states, adding that it “was not different in kind from the cordial yet professional relationship that hundreds of lobbyists have with hundreds of members of Congress.”

The part that I found bothersome is the insinuation that this is a typical, some might even say traditional and acceptable behavior, for a member of Congress and a lobbyist. I think we can all come to the consensus that Congress, regardless of political party, is not there to truly serve the people they represent back home, but to serve themselves. Yes, they do work on legislation that often is passed and provides a nice park or improve the interstate and the like but that is nothing more than appeasement.

Someone may complain about their congressional representative all the while there will be someone saying, “Yeah, but remember when he did X? That really was a benefit to many in the community.” It may well have been, but it was nothing more than table scraps thrown your way to keep you happy and something to remind you of come re-election. Show me one member of Congress who truly cares about their district. I don’t mean to be cynical but this is the way it is. DC is nothing more than a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ club.

They placate to us and to the media all in the name of democracy yet the only people in DC who really have their collective ear are the most powerful of the lobbyists. This situation is Iseman is almost laughable. Lobbyists are the ones who really run DC, they have the money to make the members of the House and Senate at least listen … if only “We the People” had that kind of clout.

Now the interesting backdraft, if you will, will be how McCain will fit into all of this. If there are lawyers involved, you can bet that McCain will be threatened with a supoena. What will the Maverick do? We shall see …