Archive for May, 2018

George, Being George

May 25, 2018

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George Plimpton’s life as told, admired, deplored and envied by 200 friends, lovers, acquaintances & rivals.

Norman Mailer said that George Plimpton was the best-loved man in New York. For more than fifty years, his friends made a circle whose circumference was vast and whose center was a fashionable tenement on New York’s East Seventy-second street. Taxi drivers, hearing his address, would ask, “Isn’t that George Plimpton’s place?” George was always giving parties for his friends. It was one of the ways this generous man gave back.

This book is the party that was George’s life–and it’s a big one–attended by scores of people, including Peter Matthiessen, Robert Silvers, Jean Stein, William Styron, Maggie Paley, Gay Talese, Calvin Trillin, and Gore Vidal, as well as lesser-known intimates and acquaintances, each with candid and compelling stories to tell about George Plimpton and childhood rebellion, adult indiscretions, literary tastes, ego trips, loyalties and jealousies, riches and drugs, and embracing life no matter the consequences.

In George, Being George people feel free to say what guests say at parties when the subject of the conversation isn’t around anymore. Some even prove the adage that no best-loved man goes unpunished. Together, they provide a complete portrait of George Plimpton. They talk about his life: its privileged beginnings, its wild and triumphant middle, its brave, sad end. They say that George was a man of many parts: “the last gentleman”; founder and first editor of one of our best literary magazines, The Paris Review; the graceful writer who brought the New Journalism to sports in bestsellers such as Paper Lion, Bogey Man, and Out of My League; and Everyman’s proxy boxer, trapeze artist, stand-up comic, Western movie villain, and Playboy centerfold photographer. And one of the brave men who wrestled Sirhan Sirhan, the armed assassin of his friend Bobby Kennedy, to the ground.

A Plimpton party was full of intelligent, funny, articulate people. So is this one. Many try hard to understand George, and some (not always the ones you would expect) are brilliant at it. Here is social life as it’s actually lived by New York’s elites. The only important difference between a party at George’s and this book is that no one here is drunk. They just talk about being drunk.

George’s last years were awesome, truly so. His greatest gift was to be a blessing to others–not all, sadly–and that gift ended only with his death. But his parties, if this is one, need never end at all.

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Republic, Lost

May 18, 2018

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The top 25 Hedge Fund CEO’s were paid more than all of S & P 500’s CEO’s combined. The average S & P 500’s CEO’s are paid 344 times more than their average employees. In 1970’s it was only 30 times. In Europe CEO’s average salaries are one half and in Japan one ninth of USA’s CEO’s salaries. For every $1 of added income in USA, 53¢ went to top 1% and the balance of 47¢ went to the rest or bottom 99%.I

Senators, CEO’s, Lobbyists, Consultants, Military leaders, Supreme Court Judges & Corporate special interests have revolving doors where they rotate between Government and corporate positions. Conflicts of interest exist and apparently encouraged. Yet Judges never recuse themselves , nor does anyone demand that they do.

In an era when special interests funnel huge amounts of money into our government—driven by shifts in campaign-finance rules and brought to new levels by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission—trust in our government has reached an all-time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress, and that business interests wield control over our legislature.

With heartfelt urgency and a keen desire for righting wrongs, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig takes a clear-eyed look at how we arrived at this crisis: how fundamentally good people, with good intentions, have allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests, and how this exploitation has become entrenched in the system. Rejecting simple labels and reductive logic—and instead using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left—Lessig seeks out the root causes of our situation. He plumbs the issues of campaign financing and corporate lobbying, revealing the human faces and follies that have allowed corruption to take such a foothold in our system. He puts the issues in terms that nonwonks can understand, using real-world analogies and real human stories. And ultimately he calls for widespread mobilization and a new Constitutional Convention, presenting achievable solutions for regaining control of our corrupted—but redeemable—representational system. In this way, Lessig plots a roadmap for returning our republic to its intended greatness.

While America may be divided, Lessig vividly champions the idea that we can succeed if we accept that corruption is our common enemy and that we must find a way to fight against it. In REPUBLIC, LOST, he not only makes this need palpable and clear—he gives us the practical and intellectual tools to do something about it.

Justice – What’s the Right Thing to Do

May 18, 2018

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This liberal academic expresses his opinions of obvious bias.

For Michael Sandel, justice is not a spectator sport,” The Nation‘s reviewer of Justice remarked. In his acclaimed book―based on his legendary Harvard course―Sandel offers a rare education in thinking through the complicated issues and controversies we face in public life today. It has emerged as a most lucid and engaging guide for those who yearn for a more robust and thoughtful public discourse. “In terms we can all understand,” wrote Jonathan Rauch in The New York TimesJustice “confronts us with the concepts that lurk . . . beneath our conflicts.”

Affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, national service, the moral limits of markets―Sandel relates the big questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of the day, and shows how a surer grasp of philosophy can help us make sense of politics, morality, and our own convictions as well.

Justice is lively, thought-provoking, and wise―an essential new addition to the small shelf of books that speak convincingly to the hard questions of our civic life.

Samson

May 18, 2018

SAMSON Chosen. Betrayed. Redeemed.

Synopsis: SAMSON, empowered by God with supernatural strength, endangers his destiny with impulsive decisions that lead to betrayal by a wicked prince and a beautiful temptress. When Samson calls on his God once more, he turns imprisonment and blindness into final victory. From the creators of GOD’S NOT DEAD comes SAMSON, an action-packed biblical epic.

Starring Billy Zane, Rutger Hauer and Jackson Rathbone, Samson’s journey of passion, betrayal, and redemption inspires audiences to realize that life’s failures need not define their future.

Starring: Jackson Rathbone, Rutger Hauer, Billy Zane, Lindsay Wagner, Caitlin Leahy and Taylor James as Samson

 

Den of Thieves

May 18, 2018

 

The irony in this movie is that Federal Reserve are the real thieves in life as they create paper currency out of thin air from the scraps of cotton from Levis blue jeans at a cost of 13¢ per Note/bill, which is a debt, and charge us interest. So the seniorage or profit on a $100 bill is 9,987%. Then there are the wire transfers, mortgages, loans, credit cards & derivatives where is no currency is created or exchanges hands.

One scene even shows where the FED removes  $30,000,000 out of circulation of tattered $100 bills and shreds them and sends them to the trash dump. Let that sink in as to the true value of our currency.

DEN OF THIEVES is a gritty Los Angeles crime saga which follows the intersecting and often personally connected lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. and the state’s most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank of downtown Los Angeles. Gerard Butler & Fifty Cents star in this movie.

The Scratch of a Pen – 1763 and the Transformation of North America

May 11, 2018

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“The scratch of a pen” is a quote from Francis Parkman referencing the Peace Treaty of Paris that transferred Indian lands to the Brittish.

In this superb volume in Oxford’s acclaimed Pivotal Moments series, Colin Calloway reveals how the Treaty of Paris of 1763 had a profound effect on American history, setting in motion a cascade of unexpected consequences, as Indians and Europeans, settlers and frontiersmen, all struggled to adapt to new boundaries, new alignments, and new relationships.

Britain now possessed a vast American empire stretching from Canada to the Florida Keys, yet the crushing costs of maintaining it would push its colonies toward rebellion. White settlers, free to pour into the West, clashed as never before with Indian tribes struggling to defend their way of life. In the Northwest, Pontiac’s War brought racial conflict to its bitterest level so far. Whole ethnic groups migrated, sometimes across the continent: it was 1763 that saw many exiled settlers from Acadia in French Canada move again to Louisiana, where they would become Cajuns. Calloway unfurls this panoramic canvas with vibrant narrative skill, peopling his tale with memorable characters such as William Johnson, the Irish baronet who moved between Indian campfires and British barracks; Pontiac, the charismatic Ottawa chieftain; and James Murray, Britains first governor in Quebec, who fought to protect the religious rights of his French Catholic subjects.

Most Americans know the significance of the Declaration of Independence or the Emancipation Proclamation, but not the Treaty of Paris. Yet 1763 was a year that shaped our history just as decisively as 1776 or 1862. This captivating book shows why.

The 15:17 to Paris

May 5, 2018

From Clint Eastwood comes “The 15:17 to Paris,” which tells the real-life story of three men whose brave act turned them into heroes during a highspeed railway ride. In the early evening of August 21, 2015, the world watched in stunned silence as the media reported a thwarted terrorist attack on Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris—an attempt prevented by three courageous young Americans traveling through Europe. The film follows the course of the friends’ lives, from the struggles of childhood through finding their footing in life, to the series of unlikely events leading up to the attack. Throughout the harrowing ordeal, their friendship never wavers, making it their greatest weapon and allowing them to save the lives of the more than 500 passengers on board. The heroic trio is comprised of Anthony Sadler, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, and U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone, who play themselves in the film. Starring alongside them are Jenna Fischer (“Hall Pass,” TV’s “The Office”); Judy Greer (“War for the Planet of the Apes”); Ray Corasani (TV’s upcoming “The Long Road Home”); PJ Byrne (“The Wolf of Wall Street”); Tony Hale (TV’s “Veep”); and Thomas Lennon (“Transformers: Age of Extinction”). Paul-Mikél Williams plays the younger Anthony, Bryce Gheisar plays the younger Alek, and William Jennings plays the younger Spencer.

Balance – The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America

May 4, 2018

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In this groundbreaking book, two economists explain why economic imbalances cause civil collapse—and why America could be next.

From the Ming Dynasty to Ottoman Turkey to Imperial Spain, the Great Powers of the world emerged as the greatest economic, political, and military forces of their time—only to collapse into rubble and memory. What is at the root of their demise—and how can America stop this pattern from happening again?

A quarter century after Paul Kennedy’s Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane present a bold, sweeping account of why powerful nations and civilizations break down under the heavy burden of economic imbalance. Introducing a profound new measure of economic power, Balance traces the triumphs and mistakes of imperial Britain, the paradox of superstate California, the long collapse of Rome, and the limits of the Japanese model of growth. Most importantly, Hubbard and Kane compare the twenty-first century United States to the empires of old and challenge Americans to address the real problems of our country’s dysfunctional fiscal imbalance. Without a new economics and politics of balance, they show the inevitable demise ahead.

Rutledge Reader in Caribbean Literature

May 4, 2018

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An outstanding compilation of over seventy primary and secondary texts of writing from the Caribbean. The editors demonstrate that these singular voices have emerged out of a wealth of literary tradition and not a cultural void.The Routledge Reader in Caribbean Literature is an outstanding compilation of over seventy primary and secondary texts of writing from the Caribbean. Locating key writers within a specifically Caribbean framework, the editors Alison Donnell and Sarah Lawson Welsh demonstrate that these singular voices have emerged not out of a cultural void or sparse literary background, but out of a wealth of literary tradition which until now was unknown or critically neglected.Writers from 1900 to the present, both famous and less well-known, are given a voice in this remarkable anthology which encompasses poetry, short stories, essays, articles and interviews. Amongst the many represented here are:* C.L.R. James* George Lamming* Jean Rhys* Benjamin Zephaniah* Claude McKay* Jamaica Kincaid* Sylvia Wynter* Derek Walcott* David Dabydeen* Grace NicholsThe editors provide an accessible historical and cultural introduction to the writings, making this volume an ideal teaching tool as well as a fascinating collection for anyone interested in the literature of the Caribbean.

Forever My Girl

May 4, 2018

 

Forever My Girl tells the story of country music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind.

 


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