Russia needs to get out of the Ukraine!
Who does Russian President Valdimir Putin think he is — invading a nation divided amongst itself and caught up in the midst of a revolution?
The United Sates of America would never do such a thing — except when it came to fighting wars in Korea (1950-1953) and Vietnam (1964-1975).
What does Russia expect to accomplish – crossing international borders and intervening directly into the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation?
The United States would never do such a thing — except when it came to lauching invasion forces multiple times within our own hemisphere, in Cuba (1961), the Dominican Republic (1965), Grenada (1983), Panama (1989-1990), and Haiti (1995).
Russia needs to learn to mind its own business and not meddle in the affairs other nations, no matter how justified military action might seem to be.
The United States would never do such a thing — except in places such as Syria (1949), Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Cambodia (1970-1975), Chile (1973), El Salvador (1982-1986), Nicaragua (1981-1987), and Libya (2011).
Russia is dead wrong to use its powerful military force to restore order. Russian troops have no right to be anywhere on the ground within the Ukraine/Crimea.
The United States would never do such a thing — except in war-torn regions like Kuwait/Iraq (1990-1991), Somalia (1992-1994), and Bosnia-Kosovo (1993-1995).
Russia is staging an unprovoked, pre-emptive attack against a foreign nation, which showed no discernable intent whatsoever to threaten or intervene in Russian affairs in any way.
The United States would never do such a thing — except when it came to going to war under false pretenses in Iraq (2003-2012, with ongoing occupation in the form of military bases) and Afghanistan (2002 to present).
Somewhere along the way during civility’s decline in everyday debate and discussion, we’ve lost something far more precious than common courtesy.
That is – the right to be wrong.
No matter where it occurs — with talking heads on television, at online forums and discussion groups, even in public places from classrooms to bars — debate and discussion have morphed into a vicious blood sport rather than a freewheeling exchange of interesting ideas and possibilities. It’s open season everywhere. Truth isn’t necessarily the pursuit, but the target.
Indeed, the objective has become winning at all costs. How one plays the game no longer matters. Achieving a greater understanding about an important issue or gaining enlightenment about something new is a low priority, if it matters at all. Rather, the goal of typical debate nowadays is conquering and ultimately destroying the opposition.
Let’s get a few things out of the way.
First, I like Ellen DeGeneres.
Second, I think Ms. DeGeneres is a wonderful talent and an inspiration to millions.
Third, at one time years ago I was a big fan of her work – both as a stand-up comedian and later when she had a prime-time hit television show on ABC. I used to watch her show every week.
And now, to the point: She’s a TERRIBLE host of the Academy Awards show.
I’ve watched every Academy Awards night presentation since 1972. Haven’t missed a year since. Tonight, the streak stays alive.
Here are my picks and preferences for each of the major categories:
I just returned from a special screening of the five live-action short films nominated for this year’s Oscars.
Allow me to tell you a little bit about them.
It doesn’t matter that you probably won’t ever see any of these movies. Which is a shame. You may not even be interested in the subject matter. Your loss. You might think movies are purely for entertainment and escapism rather than to gain awareness and insight about our world. Stay stupid.
Okay, I’m being provocative with a reason.
Short films differ from regular movies for a number of reasons. First, they’re usually a truer reflection of the storyteller’s vision, because budgets are small and “there aren’t as many cooks in the kitchen,” as one low-budget filmmaker put it. Furthermore, short movies have to jolt you quickly. There’s no time for much story or character development. Conflict is almost immediate and pronounced. This often makes live-action shorts intensely powerful and moving. Third, most short films are created in places other than Hollywood, which gives audiences a much wider (some would say more authentic) portrayal of the subject mattter.
The lasting impression this year’s Oscar-nominated five short films left upon me was compelling, albeit in different ways. I’d like to try and convey my emotional reactions to each film, as well as the audience’s general response (the screening I attended included about 100 viewers). My intent isn’t to rehash the stories as to make a case that these “different” kinds of films should be much more widely seen and celebrated rather than largely ignored, which is now too often the case.
STOP READING NOW if you plan to see any these films and don’t want elements of story and surprise ruined.