Saturday, January 10, 2009

148 Years ago, Judging the W. man, Book Reviews, Movie Reviews

Well it has only been 148 years since President Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th President of these United States and historians are pointing out the many similarities of Lincoln and President Elect Obama. While Lincoln was certainly not the overwhelming favorite to win the election, fact is he was given very little chance to be nominated or win, neither was Obama. But, he ran a successful campaign that is essential in this day and time to win, meaning you have to raise a lot of money and communicate with the people that vote, then you win. Some have said that the President Elect "seized on every possible shortcoming and inequity in American life and promised immediate cure-alls". While that statement was made, it was not the first time it was used against a Presidential candidate. Richard Nixon said the very same thing about John F. Kennedy during their election. So, it is very interesting to see how history repeats itself so many times and while I have always been told that the importance of studying history is to prevent making the same mistakes over and over again, it just doesn't seem to work. Now we see Obama organizing his cabinet in much the same fashion as Lincoln did. Lincoln went for the people who had run against him and were men of power, education, and position. But, the one cabinet member in the Lincoln administration that was the most critical at the time was Salmon Chase, appointed as the Secretary of Treasury and was to watch over all of the money challenges, and they were challenges. At the time the annual revenue generated by taxes and tariffs was $55 million(no this is not a typo) and the cost of the war was projected to be $532 million(no not a typo), it was going to take a money man to manage this. To remedy this short fall Chase called for increased taxes and special bond sales through a network of local banks. In the case of Obama, he has many more problems than that to contend with since he has an ongoing war costing $100 billion per year, and a $10 trillion national debt, and a sinking economy going faster than a sky diver without a parachute. So, the big question now would be--Mr. President Elect, who is going to keep the tally on this money challenge, and who is going to figure out how to pay this debt. As most will say, "let the government do it", but the problem is the government is "US". It will be interesting to see what tid bit of vast knowledge this administration will lend towards our "history" in hopes that it will not happen again.

As the new president takes charge of leading our country the old president leaves the White House after 8 years as the 43rd President. I have often said that James Buchanan has to be rolling around in his grave with the thought of not being rated as the worst president ever. He has gained that distinction over the years and even alluded to that many times. Now as the W. man is leaving the writers are changing a little bit and giving him some slack. Last week his wife and Secretary of State declared that he had done a good job and was a good president. Well of course they would say that, so I don't think that might go down as the final word. While I do agree that time and historical developments throughout the world will really determine whether the W. was a disaster or a good president we will just have to sit back a see how it pans out. Here are some things that I think could move him forward: 1. If the middle east converts to Christianity, and has a Jesus manger scene at all intersections in each major city, 2. The terrorists are converted to evangelists and are required to baptize 20 lost souls each year, 3. 2" steel pipes are used for plumbing repairs instead of home made bombs, 4. English becomes the lst language, 5. There are no more bombings at the local malls, In the case of the economy: 1. The national debt is reduced to 0, 2. All the countries that owe the USA money pay it back in full with interest, 3. Texas becomes a country, 4. Each citizen of the USA gets a $1 million stimulus check, 5. Jerry Jones is declared incompetent to own America's Team and the Cowboys are owned by former players, 6. The new Cowboy stadium is used for a revival to call all bad boy professional football players to repentance and take their million dollar signing bonuses away from them. This is just a starter, more will come later.

A new item to my blog will be the mention of some of the books I have read in the past or am currently reading. I just finished "Call Me Ted", about Ted Turner and how he built his empire and some of his personal stuff(like being married to Jane Fonda), and being the largest land owner in the United States. But I also have just acquired a new book "The Power of Less", authored by Leo Babauta. While these are on different subject matters they are really good books. I just received, as a gift, another book "Why We Suck" by Dr. Denis Leary. You had better put your liberal seat belt on before embarking on this one. Some chapter titles, "The Pope is a Pimp", "Your Cat Sucks Fish Heads in Hell", "Your Kids Are Not Cute", "Nuns, Tits, Booze and My Mom". Yes these chapters are there and it is a must read if you are curious. Other books I have finished lately are: "The Day They Killed the Cows"(a true West Texas story), "Hate Mail From Cheerleaders"(by Rick Reilly), "Where Have all The Leaders Gone", Lee Iacocca and on going Presidential history books totalling about 20. Looking at my book case I see the following: "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?", George Carlin, "Its Called Work for A Reason", Larry Winget, "Cowboy Logic", Kinky Friedman, "Antioxidant Revolution", Ken Cooper, "The Birth Order", Leman, etc., etc. This is a sampling of over 500 books and adding each week, so stay tuned.

Movie Review: "Valkyrie", *****, Our local critic gives this movie four stars, but I believe it deserves one more. This is a great movie and a true story, about one of the 15 failed attempts to assassinate Adolph Hitler during WW II. Tom Cruise plays the part of Col. Claus von Stauffenbeg, the mastermind of this attempt to rid the world of Hitler. The goal was not only to kill Hitler but also to put a new form of government in place immediately after his death. It is a very intense movie and well done in every detail. While they didn't waste any of the actors time on learning German accents the directors spent the time devoting attention to communicating the pinpoint timing necessary to take over an entire government from the inside. This will be a winner on Oscar night. Rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language.



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