Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Don't Sleep on Don Cheadle

Seriously, who in Hollywood is more underrated as an actor than Cheadle? All the guy does is turn in great performances and still is never talked about as one of the elite actors in the business. As a matter of fact, you'd be hard pressed to find someone as versatile and capable as Cheadle period. I just watched his latest film Traitor the other night, and though the movie wasn't necessarily great (3 out of 5 stars), Cheadle was his usual self and played his role perfectly. He was widely heralded for a period of time after his work in Hotel Rwanda and has also done his fair share of blockbusters (Oceans Trilogy, Crash, etc.), but his name never remains in the conversation of the greatest actors of our generation. The fact that he can play a hilarious and complicated D.C. radio phenomenon (Talk To Me), an undercover Muslim terrorist (Traitor), a cold blooded killer from the South (Devil in a Blue Dress), all equally brilliant is really saying something. Don Cheadle refuses to be type cast and whenever he is on screen you never see someone acting because you believe his roles so much. Shout out to Cheadle.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Why Does U.S. Continue to Back Israel/AIPAC?

Seriously, why? I ask myself this every time there is news of the Israeli government "committing atrocities like they got immunity" (yes I just dropped Jay-Z in the first sentence of a political post, hereby eliminating any credibility one may have given me), against the Palestinians. When the region, and the world for that matter, turns to U.S. it continually shows a pro-Israeli bias and refuses to even examine the other side of the coin. I grew up with a Jewish mother, I respect what Israel means to the Jewish population of the world, but at some point enough is enough. Here is my basic opinion on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict: First of all, when Bush insisted on fair democratic elections in Palestine and the Hamas leadership group won, President Bush tried to deny the legitimacy of their authority. As much as I agree that Hamas is generally an evil, bigoted, organization, they won the election. Second, I have to say, I can see where Palestinian "terrorists" come from. Ask yourself this question, if your mother or your girlfriend or your brother or cousin or uncle was killed in a "war-strike" from Israel, how would you feel about the Israeli government? Just because they call it an act of war, why is that better than firing a missile at Israel? How is that, being a terrorist organization, but when Israel thrashes thousands of Palestinians, it is warfare? Terrorism is a type of warfare. And, it's the only way that angry Palestinians can seek revenge for the bloodshed caused by Israel. It then becomes a vicious circle where Israel fires back, and pounds Hamas with missiles, causing more resentment in the region. The question though, is why do U.S. politicians allow AIPAC to influence them in such a way that no matter the situation, the United States backs Israel? I wish I had the answer. Despite, most of the world pressuring Israel to lay off Hamas, the U.S is currently doing their typical blind pro-Israel song and dance. If you're expecting a change in the way business is done from the U.S. point of view when Obama enters office, think again, Obama has been a staunch Israel-supporter from day one and has surrounded himself with even more pro-Israel advisers (i.e. soon-to-be Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel). I'm sure people more knowledgeable about this will want to puke after reading my elementary analysis, but it is what it is. There's a comment section, enlighten me...

Movie Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

So many movies so little time. Here's a list of all the movies I had planned to see over the holiday season:

Changeling (w/ Angelina Jolie)
Curious Case of Benjamin (w/ Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett)
Doubt (w/ Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Meril Streep)
Milk (w/ Sean Penn)
Revolutionary Road (w/ Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet)
Seven Pounds (w/ Will Smith)
Valkyrie (w/ Tom Cruise)
The Wrestler (w/ Mickey Rourke)

...and I probably left some out. The starts have really come out in a magnitude of different roles this year and I couldn't be more disappointed that I've only seen one of the aforementioned. I have probably crossed 'Seven Pounds' off my list, after getting panned, but what other time of year can you say you have so many choices that you don't even consider what many call another brilliant performance from Mr. Smith. I'm going to try and hit the movies hard the for the next few weeks and see the movies that will have a shorter theater-shelf life first and move that way. Hopefully, I'll get to see all these before they go to DVD.

On to Benjamin Button, though. First of all, Brad Pitt is underrated. Don't get me wrong, he is a mega star, heart throb of all teenage girls, and married to Angelina Jolie, as an actor though, still underrated. The Assassination of Jesse James was a great movie and Pitt carried it through its lulls in action. My only question to him is why he is doing such long movies lately (with the exception of that piece of garbage Burn After Reading), I mean I'm all for long movies, but they better be damn good to overcome the inevitable boring stretches. I don't want to spoil this particular movie, so I'll tread lightly considering most people may have chosen other options to see in theaters first, but the story as you may have gathered from the previews centers around Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt), who was born as an old man, but grew younger into a little boy and his relationship with Daisy (Cate Blanchett), as they struggle to cope with a relationship where one is growing older while the other only gets younger. The movie is brilliantly acted, and paced perfectly, exploring each phase of Button's life with a near-perfect amount of time devoted to all parts. Granted, this causes the run-time to span nearly three hours, but the lulls are limited. I'd give it 4.5/5 stars and a definite recommendation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fed Cuts Interest Rates

Haven't been that heavy with political talk here recently (I'm sure it bores 1/2 the people who even bother to read my hack blog posts) and I've been meaning to address this for a while, so today when the fed cut interest rates to a point between 0 and .25 percent, I figured it to be the perfect opportunity. The cut in the interest rate is going to do nothing for people who are already locked into fixed mortgage rates (i.e. your standard 25-30 year mortgage rate), but it will free up some cash for those with prime mortgage loans. This is really just an attempt to help infuse some cash into the sinking economy, by freeing up funds from people's mortgage payments. The problem, from what I can gather with my limited knowledge on the economy, is that people with prime rates are already broke or they would have taken on a fixed mortgage rate, which at the time most any economist would have advised. Am I right? As for those with the sub-prime rates, I hate to harp on this again, but hello, they should have never been given the loan in the first place. But, because lenders were banking (npi) on the fact that housing values would increase by 10% each year, they knew that they could use a borrowers home as a bargaining chip in case they defaulted on their loan. In other words, if someone doesn't pay back the loan, the lender can simply take their house from them, and use the raised value of the house as a form of interest payment upon re-selling the home. However, when the housing market crashed, people defaulted on their loans (as they tend to do when they have credit ratings so poor that they qualify for sub-prime loans in the first place), the borrowers had no way of re-paying the loans. I admire what the fed is doing doling out all this cash, and I was listening to an interview with Whitney Tilson(a leading economist, warning of a second housing crisis looming), who claims that we are only 1/3 of the way through the recession and the worst is still yet to be seen. I am wondering how we can infuse money into the economy by cutting interest rates, if you aren't in an adjustable interest rate loan and you can re-finance. The only way I see this being a possibility is if you can somehow cut the fixed rates, saving potential US consumers hundreds of dollars per month, which would inevitably be injected into the economy. I literally have no clue what I'm talking about and can only make very general statements about this, but hopefully someone can leave a comment and school me on what is happening and what ideas are being floated around to change things.

Pro Bowlers Announced (Four Redskins Make Team)

How did any Redskins make it, is the question... only one is a starter, FB Mike "Hands" Sellers. The others as reserves are Chris "Thimble in my pants, fumble in the first quarter" Cooley, Clinton "I'm a Donk" Portis, and Chris "I always make it, despite mediocrity" Samuels.

Other surprises to me are Peyton Manning as the starting AFC quarterback and the complete snubbing of Dolphins QB Chad Pennington. Despite the fact that Manning has the 10th best passer rating in football, while Pennington touts the 4th best.

Here are your complete rosters:
Starters Listed First
Quarterback... Kurt Warner, Cardinals; Drew Brees, Saints; Eli Manning, Giants
Running Back... Adrian Peterson, Vikings; Michael Turner, Falcons; Clinton Portis, Redskins
Fullback... Mike Sellers, Redskins
Wide Receiver... Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals; Anquan Boldin, Cardinals; Steve Smith, Panthers; Roddy White, Falcons
Tight End... Jason Witten, Cowboys; Chris Cooley, Redskins
Tackle... Jordan Gross, Panthers; Walter Jones, Seahawks; Chris Samuels, Redskins
Guard... Steve Hutchinson, Vikings; Chris Snee, Giants; Leonard Davis, Cowboys
Center... Andre Gurode, Cowboys; Shaun O'Hara, Giants
Defensive End... Julius Peppers, Panthers; Justin Tuck, Giants; Jared Allen, Vikings
Defensive Tackle... Kevin Williams, Vikings; Jay Ratliff, Cowboys; Pat Williams, Vikings
Outside Linebacker: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys; Lance Briggs, Bears; Derrick Brooks, Buccaneers
Inside Linebacker: Patrick Willis, 49ers; Jon Beason, Panthers
Cornerback: Charles Woodson, Packers; Antoine Winfield, Vikings; Asante Samuel, Eagles
Safety: Nick Collins, Packers; Adrian Wilson, Cardinals; Brian Dawkins, Eagles
Punter: Jeff Feagles, Giants
Kicker: John Carney, Giants
Returner: Clifton Smith, Buccaneers
Special Teamer: Sean Morey, Cardinals


Starters Listed First
Quarterback: Peyton Manning, Colts; Brett Favre, Jets; Jay Cutler, Broncos
Running Back: Thomas Jones, Jets; Chris Johnson, Titans; Ronnie Brown, Dolphins
Fullback: Le'Ron McClain, Ravens
Wide Receiver: Andre Johnson, Texans; Brandon Marshall, Broncos; Reggie Wayne, Colts; Wes Welker, Patriots
Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs; Antonio Gates, Chargers
Tackle: Joe Thomas, Browns; Jason Peters, Bills; Michael Roos, Titans
Guard: Alan Faneca, Jets; Kris Dielman, Chargers; Brian Waters, Chiefs
Center: Kevin Mawae, Titans; Nick Mangold, Jets
Defensive End: Mario Williams, Texans; Dwight Freeney, Colts; Robert Mathis, Colts
Defensive Tackle: Albert Haynesworth, Titans; Kris Jenkins, Jets; Shaun Rogers, Browns
Outside Linebacker: James Harrison, Steelers; Joey Porter, Dolphins; Terrell Suggs, Ravens
Inside Linebacker: Ray Lewis, Ravens; James Farrior, Steelers
Cornerback: Nnamdi Asomugha, Raiders; Cortland Finnegan, Titans; Darrelle Revis, Jets
Safety: Ed Reed, Ravens; Troy Polamalu, Steelers; Chris Hope, Titans
Punter: Shane Lechler, Raiders
Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots
Returner: Leon Washington, Jets
Special Teamer: Brendon Ayanbadejo, Ravens

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Four Guys Three Mics - Episode Eleven

Episode Eleven coming soon in its usual format, for now though, you can listen to it on this link. I'm looking for a new mp3 splitter to cut it down... as for this episode, the first 10 minutes or so is the show before us who ran too long, so skip past that nonsense...


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bend the Rules in Illinois

"When the president does it, that means its not illegal" - Richard Nixon

Look sometimes you just have to make a move for the good of the country, even if it means bending the rules. Why doesn't Bush just make an executive decision, it's not like hes been a stark constitutionalist throughout his presidential tenure anyway. In a state where political corruption runs wild such as Illinois, why all of a sudden are we following the rules to the letter of the law? Why is disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich still in a position where he could lawfully give away the vacant senate seat? That's a complete joke. I think we all know that he is unlikely to do so, but so what? It's called making a statement, strip him of his powers, or at least suspend those powers until he is finally found guilty in trial. I believe in innocent until proven guilty, but you saw the transcripts from the phone calls. That's proof, whether it's been made official in the court of law is not really important right now, what is important is that we establish the fact that Rod Blagojevich is a clown and he should be stripped of every gubernatorial power he has until this is all finally settled.

What a Debacle

In Germany there is a 16-year old "female" by the name of Kim Petras, who four years ago at the age of 12 underwent a sex change to become a chick. This dudes name was Tim, now he is Kim, but the worst part about all this is that this Tim character is blowing up in Germany becoming a pop star. There's something unnatural about this and frankly I don't know its such a good thing to be trotting this shim out in front of a bunch of little kiddies. Not only that, but what kind of parent gives or allows their 12-year old son to have a sex change. No 12 year old is mature enough to make that kind of decision or realize whether or not that decision needs to be made. It's actually a disaster. Anyway, that's for each person to decide, here's a picture of T(K)immy's album cover:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Breaking News: Politicians Are Corrupt!

Is anyone really surprised by the news that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been arrested and is now in custody for seeking monetary bribes in exchange for appointment to the U.S. Senate. Basically what happened here is that when Barack Obama officially leaves for the white house there is a vacancy in his senate seat, that seat in Chicago has been a hotbed of activity and is one of the most coveted positions in the U.S. political landscape. Chicago, and that district in particular, has become a landing strip for some of the democratic party's most prominent rising superstars. According to state law Blagojevich is the one who has complete authority in choosing Obama's replacement, and thus, used that as leverage to extract bribes. Honestly, though, is anyone surprised by this? The guy is a complete clown, but hello, he is a politician. He is scum. He is out for self. This should be huge news and it is, but this shouldn't shock anyone, it certainly doesn't shock me.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Four Guys Three Mics - Episode Ten (Part Two)

In part two we continue our discussion of the perfect date and also discuss Plaxico Burress.


Four Guys Three Mics - Episode Ten (Part One)

In episode ten we talk about the perfect first date, nude cell phone pics, and gun laws.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Night Lights, Fink, and More

If you don't watch Friday Night Lights you might be a little bit clueless. It's probably one of the most slept on shows out there right now, it generally appears on NBC and is returning for a 3rd season on January 16. If you are lucky enough to have Direct TV, though, they are already airing the 3rd season. If you aren't that lucky it may or may not be in your best interest to click here (<-- clickable). I'm just saying. The first two seasons are all available at Hulu, click here for the link. It's a dope show, the football scenes are surprisingly strong, but it's also a perfect "date night" television show. In other words, something that you and your girl would both enjoy. Or, if you a girly man like I am, you might just be in heaven. So, check it out.

I was watching the show though and they were playing some pretty good tunes from this English singer/songwriter Fink. I'm probably years late on this dude but he rocks a little bit. Usually I link you to rap or soul music, but my interests are wide ranging. Give this guy a listen:

Anyway, thanks for staying with me here at the blog everybody. Also, if you get a chance remember to check out my new website http://www.MyWayOrTheParlay.com, we've been pretty hot the last few days, including a 4-0 night yesterday evening. So, give us a chance over there, but I'm going to keep it strong here at the blog, too. And one more thing, we need to cheer up a little bit. I know I'm a cynical pessimist just like everyone else, but god damn if enough isn't enough already. I know its cold, wet, and windy. I know the economy sucks. But, the holidays are practically here and it's time to just put all that to the side for a little bit, I'm not saying we ignore the problems in our lives, but let's stop feeling sorry for ourselves and crying all the time. Everybody has problems. Go see a movie. Don't put your whole life on facebook. And that's all I have to say tonight. Peace.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Starting a New Project

The Skins got creamed and if we don't beat Baltimore the season is over. That's all I have to say about that, and truthfully, I don't feel like talking about the Clinton as secretary of state news because I've already addressed that a number of times, so I'm going to take this time to let you all know about a new project I'm going to be working on. Well, not really new, but sort of. As many of you know I'm big into sports betting and the science behind why teams are favored by however many points and then trying to "beat vegas" with a number of hair-brain teasers and parlays. About a year ago I started up MyWayOrTheParlay.com, but it had a very limited run after I had some trouble with the webmaster and the site eventually died. I recently regained the licensing rights to the domain name though, and I am bringing the website back, probably under the same URL, though I may begin using OurWayOrTheParlay.com because I don't plan on being the only person giving betting news/advice/tips/etc. Anyway, I just thought I'd give you all the heads up that I'll be working on that for a while so the posts here might come a little slower than usual. Peace.