Posts Tagged ‘Iraqi War’

Random Friday Thoughts — March 13, 2020

Two weeks in a row with a new “Random Friday Thoughts”!  I hope this finds you healthy and happy!

Feel free to comment on any of my thoughts, but, as always, do it diplomatically!

MY THOUGHTS ON CORONAVIRUS

Don’t zone out from fatigue over the Coronavirus.  I’ll keep this part short!

You’re hearing a lot on the news about the virus, which is now a pandemic.

Basically the difference between a pandemic and an epidemic is that an epidemic is an illness affecting a specific region and a pandemic has global impacts!

Here is the U.S., sports seasons and playoffs are basically done, concerts are being cancelled or postponed, schools are extending spring break and going to online classes when they return, restaurants are closing, and the list goes on.

And, on Wednesday, actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, in Australia, announced they they tested positive for Coronavirus.

Tom Hanks Rita Wilson

Yet, there are those that are blaming the media (of course) for hyping up something that’s no worse than the flu, which kills people each year.

However, Dr. Anthony Fucci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says the Coronavirus is ten times (that’s 10 times) deadlier than the seasonal flu!

Coronavirus

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I don’t trust the government!  (I’m not just talking about the Trump administration — yet that speaks for itself!)  I’m talking about trust on a daily basis and not specifically with Coronavirus.

This mistrust of the U.S. government is a product of past administrations (Republican and Democrats) of telling us just what we “need” to know, when it deems the time is right.

Well, here’s the thing.  I think Coronavirus is a real public threat and I think we’re going to see the number of cases (and deaths) in the U.S. and Canada shoot up drastically over the next month or so.

As for me, I pray that I don’t get sick.  However, I’m doing nothing more to prevent it than I normally do in a typical day. 

I always wash my hands.  I love using hand sanitizer (even before it was chic).  I cover my mouth when I cough and I move away from people hacking like they’re coughing up a lung.

And, no I didn’t raid the store for toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and bottled water!

Watermelon Mint Vodka

However, I did buy a bottle of Smirnoff Watermelon Mint Zero Sugar Infusions vodka.  It sounded fun!  And, I do have a decent supply of wine and liquor!

I CAN’T GO ON…

You know I love buffets, especially in Las Vegas.

Hello, Wicked Spoon!  These were my four plates and truly UNLIMITED champagne and mimosas this past December from there!

Wicked Spoon

Because of Coronavirus, my life as I know it is (temporarily?) disrupted — if I was in Vegas now.

MGM Resorts (which doesn’t own Wicked Spoon) issued this statement earlier in the week:

“MGM Resorts will temporarily close buffets at ARIA, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor and Excalibur, effective Sunday March 15. These changes are temporary and will be evaluated on a weekly basis.”

11 YEARS ON FACEBOOK!

It what could be called “joy” and “madness”, I found out this week that I joined Facebook more than a decade ago.

So, if you don’t follow me there, here were my thoughts on my eleventh anniversary!

Facebook Anniversary

Facebook 11

VOTING

Primaries and caucuses are taking places across the nation ahead of the 2020 presidential election in November, which I think will be Joe Biden and 45.

I love looking at polls and I trust them — for the most part.

Vote

However, I also know that polls mean nothing if people don’t get out and vote!

And, come November 3, 2020, if you want to make “that man” a one-term president (or if you support him), you have to VOTE!

“OZARK” 

Season three of one of the best shows on television is coming back later this month.

“Ozark” returns March 27th on Netflix and from the new trailer, it looks like this could be Laura Linney’s year for an Emmy win!

She was incredible in season two and I was hoping that she and Julia Garner would take home trophies.  Garner won in the Emmy’s supporting actress category.

THANKS NETFLIX!

But, before I can check out the new season of “Ozark” with the incredible Linney, season three of “The Crown”, season two of “Sex Education”, season two of “Mindhunter”, and the first season of “The Politician”, I now have to buy a new television!

Thanks a lot Netflix!

Last month, I was going to start binge-watching “The West Wing” and this is what greeted me!

Bad Netflix

On December 1, 2019, Netflix deemed my Samsung television, which I got in 2014, obsolete for its streaming service!

What a rip off!

“GASLIGHTER”

Last week, I talked about the new Lady Gaga single, “Stupid Love” (it debuted at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100), from her upcoming April 10th album, “Chromatica”.

Now, I’m excited to know what my second album that I’ll buy in 2020 will be and when.

“Gaslighter” is the new single and the title track from the Dixie Chicks’ new album that’ll drop May 1, 2020!

“Gaslighter” is actually getting country music airplay!  It debuted on the Billboard Country chart at #31 and moved to #20 in its second week!

That’s their biggest hit at country radio since “Travelin’ Soldier” hit #1 in early 2003, about the time that Natalie Maines’ comments about President George W. Bush and the Iraqi War got the Chicks banned from country radio!

Their last album, “Taking The Long Way”, came out in May 2006, and it won the Grammy Award for “Album of the Year” and “Best Country Album”.

The Dixie Chicks’ last hit song was 2006’s “Not Ready To Make Nice”, which reached #4 on the Hot 100.

It went on to win three Grammy Awards — “Record of the Year”, “Song of the Year”, and “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals”, in 2007!

“KNIVES OUT”

If you like whodunit movies, you’ll like this mystery comedy.

The all-star cast includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, and Don Johnson.

The first half of the movie features some very humorous scenes as the story was set up.  Collette was especially funny.

I figured out early on who was likely the killer.  From that point on, the movie started to drag.  (Oh, I was correct!).

GRADE: B

PURGING MY CD & MOVIE COLLECTION

For months now, I’ve been purging my CD and movie collection.

I started listening to CDs that I liked at one time in my life, but I’d never say, “I want to listen to <insert album title here>.  I had about one thousand CDs and now it’s down to about 425 essentials that I don’t want to part with.

With my movies, I’m watching older ones, some of which didn’t become one of “my favorites”, and I’m getting rid of them.

Until recently, only three of them made the cut and I put them back on the shelf.

I kept the 2012 Spanish movie “Angels of Sex” (“El Sexo de los Ángeles”), the 2008 Israeli film “Antarctica”, and the 2010 American romantic comedy, “Is It Just Me?”.

“LEMON TREE”

This past week, I added three more “keepers”.

The first is the 2008 Israeli drama, “Lemon Tree”.

Hiam Abbass is heartbreaking and stunning!  She plays Salma, a widowed Palestinian woman fighting to keep the Israeli government from cutting down her lemon grove, which was planted by her late father decades ago.

It becomes a security risk when the Israeli Defense Minister and his wife, Mira, (a moving performance by Rona Lipaz-Michael) move next door.

“PATRIK 1.5”

Another was the very touching 2008 Swedish film, “Patrik 1.5”.

It stars one of the sexy Skarsgard brothers (no, not Alexander from “True Blood” and “Big Little Lies” and not creepy Bill (Pennywise in the new “It” movie series).

Gustaf Skarsgard is the lead in this comedy-drama.

His Göran Skoogh in “Patrik 1.5” would make the perfect husband! 🙂

“SOLO”

And, the final keeper, is “Solo”.

Even though this Argentinean movie came out in 2013, it speaks volumes about today’s dating and app hook-up scene!

You never really know who you’re meeting or hooking up with and what could happen!

Manuel (Patrico Ramos) and Julio (Mario Veron) finally decide to meet after chatting online for a while.

Once they meet, Julio tells Manuel, “There are really bad people round there. They say one thing and they mean another. You never know who you’re dealing with. You don’t even know who you’re bringing into your home.”

“TRANSAMERICA”

I also watched the incredible “Transamerica” with Oscar nominee Felicity Huffman and the adorably sexy Kevin Zegers.

While still a very fulfilling movie, so much has changed since it came out in 2005.

After the groundbreaking television series “Pose” and “Transparent”, I couldn’t imagine a movie made today about a trans woman that WOULD NOT be played by a real trans actress!

“GIRLS NIGHT OUT”

Debbie Gibson, one of my favorite artists of the 1980s, is back with a huge club hit!

“Girls Night Out” (Tracy Young Radio Remix) is currently at #4 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.

In 2019, Tracy Young scored back-to-back chart toppers on the the Dance Club Songs chart with Madonna’s “I Rise” and “Crave”.  (Young won a Grammy Award for the “I Rise” remix!)

From 1986 to early 1991, Gibson scored nine hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Of those, five reached the Top Ten, including the #1 hits, “Foolish Beat” (1988) and “Lost in Your Eyes” (1989, three weeks at #1).

When “Foolish Beat” topped the chart in the summer of 1988, Debbie became youngest person to write, produce, and perform a number-one single entirely on her own, at age 17!!!

“Only In My Dreams”, Debbie’s first hit in 1987 that reached #4, is still one of my all-time favorites!

“ICE BOUND:  A DOCTOR’S INCREDIBLE BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL AT THE SOUTH POLE”

Ice Bound

This 2001 book is about Dr. Jerri Nielsen, an Ohio doctor that took a year off from medicine to find herself by “wintering” in Antarctica with 40 others.

Just a few months into her one-year stay, she found a lump in her breast.

This book is the story of how she and her new friends, “winterovers”, worked via satellite and computers in the harsh -100° weather and months of complete darkness to keep her alive.

This lasted for eight months before the weather finally broke and she could be rescued and brought back to the U.S. for surgery in the fall of 1998.

In 2000, while I was an anchor and reporter in Mansfield, Ohio, I interviewed Dr. Nielsen.  Twenty years later, I have no clue what about!  Maybe it was about her recovery?

Dr. Nielsen was a cancer survivor for over a decade before she died in the summer of 2009.

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — May 11, 2018

I always appreciate you taking the time to check out my thoughts and I want to hear your thoughts, too!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

To all my female friends and any dads that fulfilled both roles as a parent, I hope you have a special weekend!

While it would be easy just to forget Mother’s Day altogether since my Mom has been gone for almost 28 years, I’m remembering her today.

Dessie 1990

There have also been other “Moms” in my life that deserve a special mention today:  Betty, Donna, D’nell, and Linda.

But, I really want to say Happy Mother’s Day to a special person in my life that never gets the love, respect, and appreciation that she deserves on this day and every day — my sister.

tammy PCB

Tammy, I’m so impressed with all that you’ve accomplished in life, especially the past seven years.

While you’re not alone in dealing with setbacks (we all have those), I want you to always appreciate all that you’ve done, all that you’ll do, and look for the silver lining in life and don’t focus on the clouds.

Happy Mother’s Day!

KANYE WEST’S EGOTISM

I’ve never been a fan of Kanye West and I don’t put him in the musical genius category as many do.

Also, I could care less if he’s a fan of Donald Trump and why.

kanye west

In the same token, there are people that say the same thing about me being on Team Hillary!

Hillary AP

However, when West basically says that 400 years of slavery was “a choice”, he went too far for publicity.  And, I’m not alone in my disappointment over that comment.

I’m not going overboard in bashing him over it because I don’t know if he’s saying all these things to bring attention to himself to drop new music or if he’s suffering another mental breakdown or exhaustion like back in 2016.

MICHELLE WOLF’S ROAST

The hoopla over comedian Michelle Wolf’s hosting the White House Correspondent’s Dinner is beginning to calm down.

Some thought she was too abrasive to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

MichelleWolfHuckabeeSanders

I think her bit on abortion was a little harsh, but the final punchline was spot on about powerful people getting abortions for their mistresses!

And, life Wolf said, I think it was a little soon for the Southwest Airlines joke.

But, the comments about Sanders were well within the safe zone.  Look at the some of the comments #45 and his supporters have made over the past few years (and still make)!

Bitch about it and move on!

WAS IT BULLYING?

A friend and loyal reader of my blog posed these questions to me, “Is roasting another form if [sic] bullying? Where does the line get drawn before roasting becomes rude and distasteful? Should the press hold itself to a higher standard? Would love to read your thoughts.”

Some could say that roasting is a form of bullying.  However, roasts have been going on for generations and we know what to expect from them.

We’ve become such a divisive nation that being mean or hateful is just common.  With social media, it’s even easier and more instantaneous to be nasty.

As for where to draw the line and was it crossed, it really depends on which side you’re on.  I thought many of Wolf’s jokes were funny and a couple were too strong.  (I mentioned them above.)

But, when it comes to comedians, when do they play it safe?

As for Sanders, before she agreed to attend in the place of #45 who was afraid to attend last year and this year, did she really think it would be warm and cuddly?

“THE TERROR”

The latest AMC series, “The Terror”, is very enjoyable.

It’s based on a true story (with creative dramatic liberties taken) about two navigation ships exploring the Arctic Circle in the 1840s.  The ships get stuck in the ice for several years.

The crews not only face “cabin fever” and starvation, but also a mysterious illness and a beast (imagined or real) that’s stalking the ships.

While the first episode starts out slow and talky, it definitely develops into a great and creepy series!

And, it does feature a very cruel and graphic flogging scene!

From an acting standpoint, thank you Adam Nagaitis, as Cornelius Hickey, for sharing your talents and assets!  Yikes!

Another thing that creeps me out is that the surgical procedures are conducted without gloves (it’s the 1840s) — all that blood and disease!

Nagaitis is sexy (especially without all the welts and blood), but he isn’t the only sexy standout in “The Terror”.

There’s also Ronan Raftery and Liam Garrigan!

REMEMBERING TAMMY WYNETTE

Last month marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Miss Tammy Wynette, the “Queen of Country Music”.

If you’re not a country music fan, you probably don’t know that she had 44 solo hits on the Billboard Country charts with 31 of them reaching the Top Ten.  Seventeen topped the chart!

And, with former husband George Jones, she scored 13 more hits with eight of them making the Top Ten and three reaching #1.

However, she also hit #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Billboard Dance chart in 1991 with the British duo, the KLF on “Justified and Ancient”.

How many of you remember this one?

The song also reached #1 in Austria, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, and Sweden, and make it all the way to #2 in Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the U.K.

“CRAZY RICH ASIANS”

I’ve now seen the first trailer for “Crazy Rich Asians”, which I first talked about last November, and I’m so excited to see the movie.

Back then, I wrote, “You may not know the name ‘Henry Golding’ now.  But, you will when ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ hits theaters August 17, 2018!  Golding is a 30-year-old British-Malaysian actor and he got married a year ago in August! 🙂 😦”

Henry Golding

I think “Crazy Rich Asians” could be the new “Pretty Woman”!  Well, without Julia Roberts and turning tricks in Los Angeles!

I’m so excited to see MUCH MORE of Henry Golding and the chemistry between his character, Nick Young and Rachel (Constance Wu).

Also, I hear that Goh Peik Lin (played by Awkwafina), Rachel’s Singaporean college best friend, is hilarious.

“Crazy Rich Asians” opens Friday, August 17th.

LIES LIES LIES

I just finished my 16th book, “Lies: And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them” by LIBERAL former U.S. Minnesota Senator (2009 to 2018) and “Saturday Night Live” comedian.

He resigned earlier this year after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

Franken

In this funny and factual book, he takes on right-wing lunatics Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity.

But, he also expresses his dislike for former President George W. Bush and his cronies, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice, mainly over the lies told about the “weapons of mass destruction” that led us into the Iraqi War in 2003.

While he’s also tough on Colin Powell, he shows that he has more respect for him than the others.

There is a humorous quote from Franken (especially in the wake of #MeToo and the allegations against him) when trying to expose the fake Bob Jones University in South Carolina, when he says, “I never lie.  That is, unless it’s absolutely necessary”.

I’d advise Republicans that toe the party line to skip the book because many of the FACTS will startle you.  Or, as Coulter, O’Reilly, or Hannity would call them, “Lies”.

REMEMBER THIS ONE?

The English trio The Thompson Twins first hit the American Top 40 in the spring of 1983 with “Lies”.

That song would peak at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it topped the Billboard Dance charts.

They went on to score seven Top 40 hits in America with three of them reaching the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100:  “Hold Me Now” (#3, 1984), “Lay Your Hands on Me” (#6, 1985), and “King for a Day” (#8, 1985).

“Doctor! Doctor!” just missed out on the Top Ten peaking at #11 in 1984.

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

PSY In Damage Control For Wanting Americans Dead

PSY is apologizing for “inflammatory and inappropriate language” that called for the murder of American soldiers and their families in 2004.  Should we accept his apology and move on or make him a footnote in the history of music just hours before he’s expected to perform a holiday concert for the President?

“Gangnam Style” by PSY is now the most watched video ever on YouTube, surpassing Justin Bieber’s “Baby Baby”.

I never jumped on the band wagon and I never did that excruciatingly painful dance routine, even though the video is fun the first few times you watch it.

PSY GS

However, the soon-to-be 35-year-old South Korean, born Park Jae-sang, is in hot water now and is in full damage control for controversial anti-war comments he made eight years ago protesting American involvement in the Iraqi war.  He’s also protested against the American military presence in Korea two years before that.

TNTs-Annual-Christmas-in-Washington

He’s scheduled to perform tonight for President Barack Obama and his family for the annual “Christmas in Washington” concert and there’s a part of me that wants his invitation revoked.

I think the Christmas special would be just as festive with performances by Diana Ross, Demi Lovato, Megan Hilty, Scott McCreery, and Chris Mann.  The timing just isn’t right for PSY to perform in light of the recent revelations about his 2004 protest performance.  I think he should take the high road and drop out.

Before I go on, I believe in full disclosure.  In 2003, I was fully opposed to President George W. Bush’s decision to declare war on Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

Now, back to PSY.

PSY 2

Back in 2004, he performed a song called “Dear American” with the lyrics,

“Kill those f—ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives/Kill those f—ing Yankees who ordered them to torture/Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers/Kill them all slowly and painfully.”

Billboard magazine is reporting this back story to the song, it’s “in response to the murder of a South Korean missionary in Iraq. The context is important: An Islamist group videotaped the beheading of missionary Kim Sun-il after the South Korean government refused to cancel plans to send 3,000 troops to aid the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.”

On Friday, he made this statement to MTV News:

“As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world. The song I was featured in — from eight years ago — was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two innocent Korean civilians that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time,” the statement read. “While I’m grateful for the freedom to express one’s self I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused anyone by those words.”

I have been honored to perform in front of American soldiers in recent months – including an appearance on the Jay Leno show specifically for them – and I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology. While it’s important we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so. In my music I try to give people a release, a reason to smile. I have learned that though music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology.”

PSY

I know he’s apologized for comments he made eight years ago.  So, do we say, “we accept your apology” and move on or do we call radio stations and demand they stop playing “Gangnam Style”, which has already gone #1 in countless countries across the world and has been downloaded more than four million times.

The bottom line is that we live in a country that isn’t too forgiving.

Remember, in March 2003, ten days before the start of the Iraqi War, Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines told a London audience, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”  That commented basically ended the Dixie Chicks’ country music career.  To me, what Natalie said in 2003 and what PSY said in 2004 are not even in the same league!

If you want to read my April 12th blog about the Dixie Chicks, here’s the link:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/a-nation-at-war-abroad-on-country-radio-as-a-statue-topples/

What are you thoughts?

Anthony