No American president had a more strained relationship with the press than Richard Nixon. Consumed by paranoia and stoked with bitterness, Nixon loathed the mainstream media. He didn’t even bother trying to conceal this malice. That was made abundantly self-evident by sharp words and contorted body language during his press conferences in front of cameras which gradually morphed into the twisted political degradation known as the Watergate cover up, ultimately leading to his downfall.
The third-annual “Poker for Hope” tournament takes place this Saturday night at Bally’s Las Vegas. Action gets underway at 6 pm.
Founded in honor of Tia Palermo, who battled non-Hodgkins lymphoma for 11 years and and passed away in 2012 at age 48, all funds raised will go to the Tia’s Hope charity, which helps patients and their families stricken with this disease in education, emotional support, and direct financial assistance. Read more about Tia and the foundation created in her name here: TIA’S HOPE
Today would normally be a self-absorbed exhibition of passion for the annual Academy Awards presentation, taking place this evening in Hollywood.
However, for the first time in a very long while, I haven’t seen enough of the movies and performances which were nominated in each of the major categories to provide a truly fair assessment. So this year, I’m doing something different.
I went back and looked over all the films released in 2015 and made my own list from top to bottom of those movies I viewed on the big screen. For those interested, here’s the complete catalog of every major film released last year: CLICK HERE.
What follows are the movies I saw in theaters (I’m biased toward the theatrical experience — giving little or no merit to watching on later on video), ranked best to worst, along with my brief comments about each film. I also included a list of movies which were purposely avoided, in addition to those I either missed or chose not to see for other reasons. That way, readers will know I didn’t forget some films, only that I didn’t have time to see them all:
We’re all going to die sometime — hopefully a long while from now and not in too much pain.
When that happens, someone we do not know, who we’ve likely never met before, will determine our cause of death. The overwhelming majority of deaths in this country occur from sicknesses and other natural causes. Some die from accidents. Others are suicides. However, some deaths arouse suspicions. A small percentage even involve foul play — even murder. That’s where the science of forensic pathology comes in. These experts with strong stomachs and a formadible fortitude examine bodies, collect the evidence, and ultimately make determinations which can sometimes produce far broader implications, not just for survivors of the deceased, but for society, as well.
Meeting Dr. Werner Spitz, the father of modern forensic pathology
Forensic pathologists have the coolest patients.
That’s just one of several jokes I heard at the annual conference of forensic pathologists’ held here in Las Vegas a few nights ago.
Forensic pathologists study dead people. Their objective is to determine cause of death. Popular culture knows this squeamish science mostly through popular television shows like “CSI.” However, forensic pathology involves far more than prodding corpses, probing for gunshot wounds, and sawing off skulls to examine brain tissue. As I would gradually come to discover, forensics have become the new frontier of law and order, bolstering the justice portion of the “criminal justice” system, while also sometimes igniting controversy and framing much of what we know of current events. Impartial to politics of sentiment, it’s findings can trigger murder charges, free the innocent, and even assuage the boiling tinder of race riots. At it’s core, forensics can also be the emotional salve of truth for survivors of the deceased, who may wonder what really happened to their friends and loved ones. Forensics is the dispensation of peace.
I’ve decided to pass on attending this year’s American Poker Awards, to be held in Los Angeles this weekend.
There are a number of reasons for this, which I won’t get into at the moment. I do want to express my support for the idea of handing out awards to those who have improved the game and for recognizing players and insiders who have made significant contributions over a certain period of time.
Are awards like this frivolous? Perhaps they are. But since just about every other business, sport, and art form honors its super achievers and icons, then so too should we. Even science, mathematics, economics, and literature indulge in their very own annual awards ceremonies. Poker, which is played by about 100 million people worldwide, rightly deserves a special night of spectacle, and the APA’s creators and organizers — Alex Dreyfus in particular — deserves our appreciation for making this happen.
I’ll begin my diatribe with the usual disclaimer.
New readers joining the fray might assume from my accusatory question masquerading as a blog headline that I’m one of those bug-eyed Hillary-bashing right-wing dick swingers who’s been poking along for any crack they can find in the formidable Clinton armor, sensing the scent of tainted blood to feed their inner vampires of hate. I’m not.
Give Clinton credit. A shitload of credit. Her scandals by the dirty dozen and detractors by the militant millions haven’t managed to lay so much as limp-wristed glove on America’s pant-suited rendition of the Iron Lady. The goons and gremlins have spent 25 mostly fruitless years hurling pointless investigations, frantic witch hunts, and fabricated jello fights mostly fueled by misogynistic lunatics who spend weekends burying gold coins out in the back yard and stockpiling canned food. If anything, if nothing else, Clinton’s proven to be one tough-as-nails battle-ax who can take a punch with the best and then clinch her fist and fire two back with a set of brass knuckles. She clearly brighter and has bigger balls than any Republican in the field. In many ways, she’s almost an ideal presidential candidate.
There’s a new movie out right now, titled “Race.” It’s the life story of Jesse Owens, the Olympic legend and 4-time gold medal winner best known for his astounding accomplishments at the 1936 Olympiad, which were held in Berlin under the shadow of grandiose Nazi pageantry.
From critics’ reviews, the movie is won’t be shattering any world records. I have no plans to go see it. It’s quite sad that the life of one of the greatest athletes of the last century was reduced to a muddled mess that will likely end up on Showtime by the end of March. [LISTEN TO THE PODCAST AT PAUL HARRIS’ WEBSITE HERE…it’s terrific]
Owens died in 1980. But he remains an intriguing figure in history for what he experienced and endured not just in track and field, but in society as presumably one of America’s “heroes.”
I had the great honor of meeting Mr. Owens in person, once. That occasion took place back in 1976, four years before his death. Permit me to tell you that story.
Everyone says they want to elect an honest politician. Bullshit. You fucking hypocrites.
Rarely does a politician come around who hasn’t pigged out at the political trough and enriched themselves. One finally comes around in the 2016 race, and most of the electorate are busy shilling for millionaires.
Wake the fuck up, or quit bitching about dishonest politicians, and then re-electing them time and time again.
(Okay, so this was to be my lead in to the following article. Now, I’ll try and be more civil and present a reasonable argument and play nice…..)
Introduction to an Overly Long, Admittedly Self-Indulgent, Highly-Detailed, and Occasionally Funny Story of My Nevada Caucus Experience
Saturday morning, I attended the Nevada State Democratic Party caucus for Precinct #6672, which covers The Lakes section of Greater Las Vegas.
My precinct includes mostly single-family homes, plus some nice condos and a few apartment complexes in the area just north of Desert Inn and west of Durango. For those unfamiliar with Las Vegas, that’s about 7 miles off the Strip, heading west towards Summerlin.
Democracy in action.