Friday, April 17, 2015

TV Reccomendations

1. Just finished binge-watching Broadchurch on Netflix.

This is a British show that I had not heard of, but stumbled onto somehow. Anyway, it's a murder mystery spanning 8 one-hour episodes. It reminds me a bit of the first 2 years of AMC's The Killing. Multiple suspects, suspicion shifting from one to another and then back again, always keeping you guessing. The show deals with with the nuts and bolts of the police investigation, but also with the family of the dead boy trying to cope and the reaction of the townspeople fearful of the murderer among them.  Sometimes, the emotions can get pretty intense, as you might imagine.

There is apparently a second season that just started airing somewhere, I'll try to find it on demand, but these 8 episodes function as a stand-alone story that (spoiler alert) does finally get resolved in the end.

2. The Last Man on Earth

I don't know how this show is doing, ratings-wise. Fox has been running two episodes back-to-back each Sunday, and I don't know if that's because it's doing so well, or if it's an attempt to drum up interest, or if they're just dumping as many episodes as they can because it's doing poorly. I don't know.
What I do know is that Will Forte and Kristen Scall are two of the funniest people on Earth, and if you're not watching this because the promos looked a bit dull or silly, you're missing out on some really funny stuff.

Episode 1 does drag abit, definitely, because the only person in it until the very end is Will Forte. Will Forte is great, but there's only so much of him talking to mannequins and yelling at God that's going to work. Once Kristen Schall shows up, it really takes off. They've added a few more people including January Jones and Mary Steenburgen and it's just really funny and clever, and it's not "Arrested Development" or "The Simpsons" in terms of inventiveness but it's pretty damn good. And I'm happy that Kristen Schall seems to be finally becoming something of a star. She's been so funny on the Daily Show and as the voice of Louise on Bob's Burgers, it's about time she got a starring role.

3. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

This is anew Netflix exclusive that has been getting a fair amount of buzz. It stars Ellie Klemper (The Office, Bridesmaids) as a woman who has just escaped from an underground bunker after 15 years in captivity. So, besides knowing nothing of the modern world (a la Brendan Frazier in Blast From the Past) she's also in a lot of ways still a naive 15-year-old girl living as an adult.

Klemper is terrific in this role. I liked her on The Office, but I never would have thought she could carry a show like she does. Just her facial expressions alone are amazing. The sheer joy she exudes is infectuous. It would be so easy to play Kimmy as over-the-top ditzy or nutty, but she knows exactly where the line is.


There are a couple of problems with this show. First, Carol Kane, whom I usually love, is wasted as Kimmy's landlady. It's just not a well-written character, her jokes fall flat and it just doesn't work.

The bigger problem is that Kimmy was kidnapped at 15 and forced to live in a bunker with a cult-leader and three other women where, as she tells her new roommate, "there was weird sex stuff," and that ordeal is sometimes played for laughs. As is Kimmy's PTSD. Her roommate once tells her she needs to get therapy because she wakes up screaming and she bites his nails. Which isn't a bad line, but it's kind of offensive that they treat her ordeal as a source of humor.

I've only seen a few episodes, so hopefully that isn't something that's going to re-occur.

Also, Jane Krakowski is terrific as Kimmy's employer. She's used a lot better here than she was on 30 Rock, which is odd because Kimmy Schmidt is also a Tina Fey production.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Is this really how we're going to do this?

Report: Sheriffs Falsified Training Documents For Eric Harris' Shooter

Are we really going to do this? Are we really going to pretend that this was some deficiency in this guy's training?

We're really going to buy this scumbag's story that he couldn't tell the difference between a gun and a taser?

He couldn't differentiate between this

And this?

Are we really going to act like this dirtbag wasn't just itching for a chance to shoot someone?

I mean, the suspect had already been tackled by an actual cop, and there were at least two other real cops on the scene, so there was no reason to go for the taser at all. Bates was not in any danger at all. Neither were any of the real cops, or any bystanders. The only one in any danger was Eric Harris.

And Bates has been a fake reserve pretend playtime deputy since 2008. Five years pretending to be on the job, and he can't tell whether he has a pistol or a taser in his hand?

That is apparently what the Tulsa Police would have us believe.
Sgt. Jim Clark of the Tulsa Police, who investigated the incident as an outside party, said Bates didn’t commit any crime or policy violation, according to the Tulsa World.
“He was a true victim of slips and capture,” Clark said, which he claimed is a scientifically proven phenomenon.
Clark told the media that “slips and capture” occurs in medicine, aviation and law enforcement when mistakes are made during dire emergencies or when someone is under extreme stress. He said the person believes they are doing one thing, but are actually doing something else, saying an officer can go into “auto pilot” or tunnel vision during a stressful situation.
Okay, sure. I'll buy that. Under extreme stress, a person can make that sort of mistake. But this guy was NOT in a situation of extreme stress. The suspect had been subdued. There were three real cops there to handle the situation. No one was in any danger. How was he under any stress?

You want another reason to believe that Bates was the type of guy who would be looking for an excuse to shoot someone?

In Bates’ seven-page statement to Tulsa County sheriff’s investigators, obtained by the World on Wednesday, the reserve deputy states he previously attended a five-day homicide investigation school in Dallas and received “active shooter response training” by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona.

Yeah, Maricopa County. He got his "active shooter response training" from this guy:

So apparently, we're just going to go ahead and assume that this guy just accidentally fired a revolver instead of his taser in a tragic accident, and charge him with second degree manslaughter? I guess I should be somewhat pleased that he was charged at all, but still.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Why are there no consequences for this?

How many Republican Presidential hopefuls were at this meeting?

According to Right Wing Watch: "Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rick Perry and others."

Yes, the NRA, the only organization with more blood on its hands than the PNAC, held a meeting and these men who would be President attended. And spoke.
At a meeting where this occurred:

VIDEO: At NRA Annual Meeting, Ted Nugent Talked About Shooting Sen. Harry Reid

 Nugent called Reid a "lying prick," but described him as a necessary evil, stating, "If your child is dying and there is only one way to get to the doctor, would you get on Harry Reid's boat to get there? ... I'd get on the boat, get there, and then I'd shoot him."

And this happened:

NRA's Wayne LaPierre On Clinton And Obama: "Eight Years Of One Demographically Symbolic President Is Enough"

And of course, there will be no repercussions for their participation in this hate-and-fear-fest.

Imagine if a bunch of Democratic candidates had attended, um. . . well, there is no equivalent group on the Left. Nothing even close to an organization as disgusting and evil as the NRA.
But for the sake of argument, let's use the ACLU. I have a great deal of respect for the ACLU and I am NOT trying to equate them to the NRA. But to many on the Right, the ACLU represents pretty much all that is evil in the world.

Remember the way they hung the ACLU around Mike Dukakis's neck like an albatross? When Bush 1 was running against Dukakis, I, through sheer dumb luck, was handed a ticket to go in to the auditorium at Cal State Fullerton to see Ronald Reagan stump for Bush. I went in with a group of Dukakis supporters and booed him, don't worry. Anyway, one of the things that Reagan had to say about Dukakis was that he was a "card-carrying member of the ACLU" an organization which he claimed wanted to make it legal for our little brothers and sisters to be used in child pornography.

Obviously, this was total bullshit, but the Bush campaign repeted the "card-carrying member" trope over and over til election day.

So what are the odds that any Denmocratic candidate, or any surrogate, or member of the media will call out Cruz, Bush, Rubio, et al for their love of an organization that helps to make thousands of gun deaths possible each year? I'm guessing the odds are about zero. Maybe Alan Grayson might say something, but I can't imagine anyone else would.

Why not? Why shouldn't these candidates have to wear a scarlet A and a scarlet N and R? Every campaign ad, every stump speech by any Democratic candidate should hammer on these sob's embrace of the gun-nut fringe. What are they afraid of? The NRA represents, what, about 2 percent of the population? they claim to have 4.5 million members, that's about 1 and a half percent. Assuming that number is accurate, and assuming there are folks who share their point of view but haven't joined, let's say that's 5 million out of a population of 300 million. And as the recent post-Sandy Hook disgrace showed, the NRA doesn't even represent the views of a majority of its members who agree that the gun-show loophole shopuld be closed, and other mild restrictions should be put in place. So why worry about offending the NRA? You weren't going to get the votes of any of the gun-felaters anyway.

It's about time that we call these psychos out, make membership in their sick organization something about which to be ashamed. It's past time that anyone who admits being a member or supporter of the NRA be treated as a pariah. Talking about your NRA membership should be like talking about your online pornography subscriptions.

The NRA is a profoundly evil organization. There have to be some consequences for embracing them.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Quick Thought About COPS

I wonder how many lives were saved by the TV show COPS?

How many of these people would be dead today if the cops hadn't known they were on camera?

People Who Will Never be President - Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Dr. Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson to Launch Presidential Campaign on May 4

I have never understood the Ben Carson phenomenon. He is, by all accounts, a brilliant surgeon. But surgeon is a completely different skill set than President.

And Carson has absolutely zero applicable experience. He has never held any elected office, never been involved in politics at all as far as I know. The only qualification he seems to have is his utter batshit insanity.

I mean, no one knew who Ben Carson was a few years ago. Well, not no one, he had written an autobiography and some people knew about his surgical prowess, but he wasn't on anyone'ss political radar. Then he showed up at some prayer breakfast or something, said some shitty things about the President, and suddenly there was a "Draft Ben Carson" movement.

Why? There are tons of people who say shitty things about the President every day, A lot of them make a living at it. Why Carson?

My guess is that they looked at the results of the last two elections and thought "ohhhh. . . they want a black guy!" Combine this with their insistence that their last two candidates failed because they weren't far enough to the right, and Carson fits the bill perfectly.

And since the prayer breakfast thing, Carson has become famous for going on tv and saying the looniest things imaginable to try and shock people and attract attention. He's basically the political equivalent of Madonna at Coachella.

Dr. Ben Carson: America ‘very much like Nazi Germany’ 

And of course, he's a total hypocrite:

Although, it is possible that he's not actually insane, and this is all just a big grift.
And if this headline is any indication, it just might be:

Ben Carson Wants To Get Paid For Making Campaign Speeches

So maybe he's just this year's Herman Cain, another person who will never be President.