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Went to see the Bees movie tonite.  As this is one of my favorite books of all time, I was somewhat skeptical that it could live up to the book and figured that the casting of Alicia Keys, Queen Latifah would be too much star power and detract from the story.  I had no concerns about Dakota Fanning filling the part of Lily – I knew that was a perfect fit the first time I heard she had the role. I was impressed with the job Paul Betany did playing Lily’s father – nailed it.  I thought all the sisters were good, particularly May and thought Jennifer Hudson played her part very well.  The setting was much as I had imagined it, although I don’t recall that the house was a two-story, but perhaps so.

If you haven’t listened to or read the book yet, do yourself a favor and get a copy of the audiobook narrated by Jenna Lamia – she puts the perfect voice to Lily.

All in all, I give it up two thumbs up – great acting, great production.

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Too late – you lose.

Seeing lots of ads tonight on the eve of the election by www.goptrust.com trying to scare people by linking Obama to Rev. Wright. Seeing these ads repeat over and over again on CNN and MSNBC and probably overwhelmingly on FOX.  Disgusting – they can’t win on their own good ideas for the country so they have to keep tossing out the same ol’ tired rhetoric of divisiveness and hate.   Not gonna work this time boys and girls.  I predict a landslide for Obama,  which I think is great, because it signifies a repudiation of the past 8 years and everything that has gone haywire in this country.

Is John McCain hard of hearing or is he just unable to comprehend Obama’s statement that for 95% of Americans there won’t be a tax increase?  Why do the Republicans trot out this tired mantra (Dems will tax and spend, tax and spend) over and over again?  Did we really have such a terrible 8 years under Clinton? Hell, I actually prospered during that period – how could that possibly be if the Dems are taxing and spending us to death? Look who the hell has been spending us down the toilet the last 8 years? And then the Republicans have the gall to blame Pelosi and gang for that – lordy.

I’m telling you some Americans scare the diddly out of me – how can you listen to McCain and even more so – Palin and think that they have the intelligence, thoughtfulness, and composure to run this country in comparison to Obama/Biden ? Have you ever listened to them talk? Sorry, the choice is obvious for me – I want someone who can understand complex issues. I don’t want another Bush surrogate who has to turn to his advisors for answers and then failing to understand them, implements them and sends the rest of us down the drain.  I also want to think that the President of the United States has a few more jellybeans bouncing around up there than I do – it’s pretty scary when I start thinking that I could grasp the issues better and make better decisions.  Here’s a thought – wipe any political persuasion out of your mind and listen to Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin – who sounds like they have half a brain?  Case closed.

I find it interesting when I look back at previous presidents – the Dems seem to attract the students of history, the Republicans the blowhards.  I still have not figured out why so many thought Ronald Reagan was the great communicator – seemed more like a buffoon to me. Thought it was interesting how Thomas Friedman told Tavis Smiley last night that the reason the Iron Curtain came down wasn’t because of Ronald Reagan – it was because the price of oil dropped so severely back then, leaving Russia powerless.  Sorry, I’ll take folks like Carter, Clinton and  Obama and I think Obama will go down as the best of them all. Can’t say I thought much of the Bushes, Reagan or Nixon.

I really love the Joe Plumber story – how ludicrous is it that McCain can say that Dems are just going to take the money from hard working people and give it to bums? Karl Marx, socialism.   Geez, does he really hold such a low opinion of the American public that he thinks they will believe that? (Possibly he has as much faith in them as I do).  What puzzles me more is how hard working poor folks from the red states can’t comprehend that the Democratic party is the only one that would really care about them – how do they figure the Republican party represents their values? Because they wave a flag around and shout about pro-life and thump the bible for a few months during election season?  I wonder if the hard working folks of the Red states notice how much they have advanced during the past 8 years after falling for that little con game?  Take  another look at which party’s platform really represents you. If you’re hard working and poor, the Republicans just want your vote and then you can shut up and stop whining.

So all you fence sitters out there (please tell me there can’t possibly be 1 out 7 who are undecided still!), get off of your doofus – if you don’t know who to vote for by now, just go vote for Obama/Biden. At the very least you can figure they’re smarter than you are.  Hopefully you’re smart enough to wonder if McCain/Palin are.

Moyers and Galbraith

Have recently started subscribing to Bill Moyers Podcast via iTunes. Perfect hour for my usual 3 1/2 mile walk.  Heard a very interesting conversation with James Galbraith (son of John Kenneth Galbraith) on our current economic crisis.

Galbraith argues that modern America has fallen prey to a wealthy, government-controlling “predatory class”:

Today, the signature of modern American capitalism is neither benign competition, nor class struggle, nor an inclusive middle-class utopia. Instead, predation has become the dominant feature — a system wherein the rich have come to feast on decaying systems built for the middle class. The predatory class is not the whole of the wealthy; it may be opposed by many others of similar wealth. But it is the defining feature, the leading force. And its agents are in full control of the government under which we live

Don’t stop there though as Moyers follows up with an interview with Mark Johnson and his ambitious Playing for Change:Peace through Music project. Some great music there. Moyers is easy to listen to – worth subscribing to.

Boy, this is hard to look at isn’t it?  I can’t imagine how many people are out there who have 401K’s and IRA’s and never look at their statements – many are probably heavily weighted in these particular indexes and boy are they going to be sick when they open that quarterly statement and see that 40% of their money just went poof!

If you were smart enough to pull out prior to this collapse, then it sure seems like it would be a good time to slowly start funneling  money back into fundamentally sound companies, especially ones with good dividends. I say slowly, because I see the potential for this thing to slide even lower over the coming months.  Still, It is hard to ignore all the pundits who keep reminding us that these “good companies” can be bought for a steal at the moment.  If you’d like to make some suggestions on just what some of those “good companies” might be, please put them in the comments and add why you think they would be good choices.

Digsby rocks

Want to hook up with your friends who are on various IM services? Take a look at Digsby . Very nice, not only allows connecting to AOL,Yahoo,MSN,IRC,GTalk, but also allows connections to Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.  And it has some very nice themes with some cool colors and bubble features for their talk windows. One particularly nice feature is that you can email directly from your Chat windows – that is sweet.  It also allows file transfers between AOL,Yahoo, MSN, but alas not Gtalk because Google uses their own proprietary file tranfer protocol.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think in comments section below.

Trojans,viruses and more

Well, I just went through a glorious experience of getting whacked with multiple trojans,viruses,malware,etc.  Started directing me to strange web sites, wouldn’t let me open Explorer or Control Panel, wouldn’t let me go to anti-spyware web sites – took over my desktop background, etc.

I figured I was doomed, but the folks at Spybot, most notably Blade, saved my keester. These are volunteers who donate their time to help pitiful folks such as myself. 🙂   You post your problem and they tell you to run HiJackThis (which analyzes your system) and once analyzed they will have you download a number of programs (ComboFix,etc) to run and clean up your system.  It’s not something you want to do without their help, I can say that, especially if you are not a very advanced user.  But now I’m clean again and have switched from Zone Alarm for my firewall to Online Armor, am running an updated version of Java Cool’s Spyware Blaster, Avast Antivirus, backed up with scans from SuperAntiSpyware.  In addition, I now use the great add-on (also suggested to me by Blade) called Virustotal, where you can upload any file you want to be analyzed by some 36 different virus programs.  All you have to do is right click the file and click send to VirusTotal. That is sweet, for sure, especially if you download a lot of programs. Nice way to really analyze them before running them.