RaaD Movies, News and Technology

Dany's RaaD Roundup

The Hangover 2 Review

I was glad that even with the pending legal battle over the facial tattoo made famous by Mike Tyson that was also featured plastered on the  face of Ed Helms (see above) in The Hangover 2, that the film actually was released on time for this holiday weekend.

The film itself though, is none too different from the original Hangover. So, you can take that two ways, if you loved the original, you will enjoy what is basically the same movie, just this time replace the backdrop of Las Vegas with Bangkok, Thailand. There is a lot that was not necessary in this film, like why was there a car chase in this comedy or why is this group (wolf pack) of guys actually friends with each other (Galifianakis not included)?

I know I will not remember much about this movie’s plot or many of the jokes, but just as with the first film, I will definitely remember the montage during the credits that actually chronicles the bachelor party night and how impressed I was with that trained monkey (on a side note, probably the most memorable on-screen monkey since Friends).

Regardless though, I know I had a lot of fun just watching the film unfold with all its one-off jokes. I enjoyed just letting the madness flow over me for 100 minutes.

Thanks to Hangover 2 trailer for the above pic.

Enjoy

Dany

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May 30, 2011 10:17 pm Posted by | animals, art, Bangkok, comedians, crazy celebs, Las Vegas, Law, movie reviews, movies, Nevada, travel, tv | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and The Onion for May 22, 2011

I love how much effort goes into the stories The Onion come up with, whether it is from their Onion videos or their print stories, their stories are hilarious with biting humor. This week, they take on public education funding and being a political junkie myself, it was wonderful reading this article.

I love the juxtaposition between Common and Ted Nugent that Stewart makes. There sometimes is just no way to square the circles that FoxNews creates on a weekly basis.
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Jon Ronson has a book The Psychopath Test (buy it here). After just a couple of years of medical training, I sometimes forget what psychology knowledge isn’t common knowledge for the public. Watching this interview was a lot of fun for me.
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Annie Jacobsen authored a book on the goings on at Area 51 (buy it here) over the years. First off, no aliens, but President Clinton did have to petition for access to their records after being denied access… wait, I forgot, officially, Area 51 does not exist…
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Watching the depth and breadth of Newt Gingrich‘s fall from grace amongst his Republican peers after he pooh poohed Representative Paul Ryan‘s budget and Medicare plans was amazing to watch.  The sheer gall of him trying to blame Meet the Press and then later saying that using that appearance in advertisements against him or Republicans would be considered lies was just stunning.
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After the  extensive interview with David Barton earlier this month, here is an extended interview with Constitutional Scholar Richard Beeman to provide a different perspective on the history of how the Constitution has changed over the years though amendments and legal judgments over the years in America.
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Thanks to Jeff for finding the hilarious Onion article. Thanks to The Onion for the above pic.

Enjoy

Dany

May 22, 2011 4:56 pm Posted by | books, clips, DC, economy, education, health, Law, medicine, military, politics, Religion, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show for March 5th, 2011 and the New Dead Island Game Trailer

Here is a great find by the Daily Show team of how when the issue is people making over $250K/year in business with giant benefits packages, 24 hour news pundits feel one way, but once you knock more than $150k/year off their yearly earnings and call them teachers, they are now treated as scum.
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When it comes to unions, any deal where it becomes virtually impossible to fire workers is bad, just look at the NY teacher rubber rooms where bad teachers just sit in rooms away from students all day and wait years before their disciplinary hearings… but that doesn’t mean that unions are bad and should be abolished and if you can’t reneg on Wall Street bonus contracts, why is it rational to do just that with union contracts? If you want to join a union, you should have that option. Unions for the public sector though are a bit tricky because the government can’t really fold and the money the workers get paid are not the politician’s money, it belongs to the constituents of the state, so any deal an official makes to increase longterm benefits only comes into play years after they are no longer on the hook for making the deal, while in the private sector, the owners that agree to these contracts are on the hook if they make a bad deal because the business could fail and have to close its doors.
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Here is an interesting interview with the Jordanian Ambassador Prince Zeid Ra’ad. King Abdullah has already dismantled the previous government, but I don’t think anyone yet knows what will come of his changes. The prince brings up some interesting possibilities, like what happens if the region unfolds into a battle between the Sunni‘s and Shia‘s on top of between the middle eastern countries that have already modernized vs the more conservative countries.
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Here’s just a bit of the absurdity what’s going on in Libya. With Muammar Gaddafi seeming to have lost his mind, although I don’t know how recent an event that actually is.
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Allison Stanger tries to explain just how much money is flowing from the US government to military contractors for her new book One Nation Under Contract. One point she brings up is that because there was no military draft, that changed the political discussion over going into Iraq and how we probably would not have gone into Iraq like we did if a draft was a possibility.
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Diane Ravitch talks about how complicated the issue of education is. How we stack up worldwide and what poverty does to education. Her book is The Death and Life of the Great American School System. I still think there needs to be a better way in a lot of these school districts to get rid of bad teachers, but it’s hard to put all the blame on them without dealing with the issues behind why the kids are doing badly in school. Teachers can’t make kids go to school and they can’t make them do their homework, sometimes the blame for why children do poorly in school is because of their family or their family situation.
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Lastly on a different note, thanks to the 404 episode465 (subscribe here) for letting me know about the new Dead Island video game trailer. I know the game won’t end up looking like this ultimately, but it certainly has piqued my interest.

Enjoy

Dany

March 5, 2011 9:39 pm Posted by | books, clips, commercials, economy, education, food, Iraq, Law, Lybia, Middle East, military, New Jersey, podcasts, politics, Religion, tv, video games, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

The Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for February 21, 2010

It would be interesting if the recent revolutions in TunisiaYemen, Egypt and many other countries in the region, lead the people if Iran to be able topple the government that they couldn’t topple after their last election.
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January Jones (who does a great job on Mad Men, but I still have yet to see their latest season) is just cute as a button as she promotes her new movie Unknown (and you know how that worked out for me from my last post when I went to see the preview for it).
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So far, proposals to cut the budget have only dealt with non-defense and non-medicare/medicaid/social security. The problem is that when you combine all those spending programs, that makes up over 80% of all federal government spending, so any cuts in spending not related to those programs, is just shaving off the top layer of snow from the iceberg that sunk the titanic. Until both parties get together and start talking about real spending cuts to the rest of the 80% of government spending (like how congress just voted to cut a military spending program on the F-35 fighter jet that the military did not even want anymore), all this is just one big kabuki theater. Although I must say, John Hodgman‘s got some interesting fiscal ideas!
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John interviews Republican State Leadership Committee Ed Gillespie. I think I will miss Michael Steele being the spotlight Republican organizer, because even though I don’t agree with some of Mr. Gillespie’s conclusions, he is much more measured and interesting to listen to.
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David Albright attempts to explain to Colbert the Stuxnet program, the damage it caused and what it could mean in terms of potential war… with a lot of help from Christiane Amanpour.
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It is time to celebrate another edition of Tip of My Hat/Wag of My Finger. Colbert tackles such issues as the sale of the Huffington Post to AOL, wales and trash tv.
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I love when secret memos get leaked out, especially when it makes news organizations seem petty and stupid. Thanks Fox News!
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Clarence Thomas is again in the news, he has an illustrious history of scandal in the news, but any time a high profile lawyer/judge has problems filling out legal documents, it makes the news.
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Jeffrey Leonard tries to explain how many big businesses are increasingly paying their small business contractors for their services anywhere from 30-90 days later than the small businesses have to pay for their own costs and how this change is really hurting the ability of small businesses from running efficiently, growing and hiring new people themselves.
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Enjoy

Dany

February 21, 2011 3:10 pm Posted by | clips, DC, economy, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Israel, Law, Middle East, movies, politics, tv, Washington, Washington DC, Yemen | Leave a comment

Win Win Sneak Preview Review

Tonight was an interesting and unexpected night. A friend and I were originally going to a sneak preview of Unknown, with Liam Neeson, but once we got to the theater and got onto the end of the line that was literally around the block, five minutes before showtime a representative from Fox Searchlight came around the corner and announced that the screening we were to go to was full up beyond a point ahead of us and if we wanted to see the film he was screening, Win Win, we could get in to see that instead… so we decided to give that a go instead.

The film stars Paul Giamatti as a family man and New Jersey lawyer, who is in trouble and throughout the beginning of the film makes one bad decision after another and then he needs to spend the rest of the film trying to untangle himself and possibly actually make a good decision or two on the way. Especially since the film is not even released yet, I do not want to give any more of the plot away, but Amy Ryan and Jeffrey Tambor also bring strong performances, while Bobby Cannavale provides some quirky comic relief moments and Alex Shaffer‘s muted performance was very believable.

What is funny is that I really enjoyed the film, I had a great time watching it, but I went in not knowing anything about the film and not having seen any trailers for the film. After seeing the film though, I can not imagine a trailer that Fox could put together that would entice me to see this film… and now that I JUST found the trailer online (which I do not want to share here), my advice is SKIP THE TRAILER and just watch this movie once it comes out. It is a film that anyone that doesn’t mind a bit of cursing will enjoy, so I was surprised it received an R-rating, but it must have just had too much profanity to pass with a lower rating, although I feel like a broader audience would enjoy this film because the story ultimately speaks to family life.

I don’t know if our original movie we were supposed to see was really sold out, but either way, I don’t mind, I had a good night with a small movie that I was not expecting tonight.

Thanks to OnlineMovieHut for the above pic.

Enjoy

Dany

February 17, 2011 3:21 am Posted by | Law, movie reviews, movies, New Jersey | 1 Comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for February 6, 2010

Texas seems to be a mass of mixed emotion in regards to religion in government. I can think of at least one devout Texan who would be interested in this story.
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It took the Obama administration the weekend to decide how to handle the situation in Egypt. Before the weekend, it looked loose support for the government structure, but after the weekend, once numerous reports came out about violence against the protesters, the rhetoric shifted.
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I am not sure sure, but I think that Jon Stewart was channeling Glenn Beck by mock insinuating that Sarah Palin may be a Russian spy sleeper agent, but whatever he was doing, it was a funny game of connect the dots. I think what is more important about that clip is that most Republicans try and claim that it was President Reagan who beat the Soviet Union, but this is the first I have heard them claim that they just spent themselves into bankruptcy. That is usually the argument made by Democrats.
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Bill Gates comes on to promote the eradication of polio from India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the four countries that humanitarian aid has never been able to erradicate polio from.
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Michael Steele is a great sport, after numerous episodes with Stewart and Wyatt Cenac making fun with a mini-puppet, he came on this week to talk about the current situation the Republican party is in.
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Who knew there was rape and then there was rape-rape? Thanks Kristen Schaal for clearing that one up! Republicans are trying to draw a line in the sand between what types of rape the federal government would help fund abortions for.
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The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, explains just how close a relationship the US government and military has had with Egypt over the past 30 years.
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Paul Offit, MD talks with Stephen Colbert about his new book, Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, where he talks about how important vaccinations are and about the half million Americans who medically can’t get vaccines that depend on everyone else to get vaccinated to protect them.
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These government approved wingless wynz seem very scary, even if they are just white meat wyngz.
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Here is another segment in Bill O’Reilly‘s sayings that don’t make any scientific sense.
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Enjoy

Dany

February 6, 2011 7:55 pm Posted by | Alaska, astronomy, books, clips, DC, Egypt, food, health, Islam, Law, medicine, Middle East, politics, Religion, science, Texas, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for the Week of January 30th, 2010

Megyn Kelly‘s view of Fox News’ coverage does not seem very well backed up by print or video evidence. I will just assume she missed all those different Nazi references on her own network… sadly this does not excuse Rep. Steve Cohen for using that type of rhetoric himself earlier this month though. Nice report Wyatt Cenac. The next day Jon Stewart calls Bill O’Reilly out on how HE took offense to Jon calling Megyn Kelly out on her previous statement out. Just as a by-the-by, I had no idea that Ms Kelly was a practicing lawyer.
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This may be the saddest piece on the Daily Show, that the historic town of Turkey Creek could only gather enough political power to appeal to the government once they got the bird lovering Audubon society on their side. Oh and shame on you Al Sharpton for not helping more with the issue or at least even seeming sympathetic about this issue.
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I disliked most of the Spider-Man movies, but I have liked James Franco in Pineapple Express, I have not gotten to see 127 Hours yet though. Here he talks about how he heard about his Oscar nomination.
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Jonathan Alter has a new book, The Promise, that looks at the first year of the Obama administration. Alter talks a lot about jus how badly President Obama and staff were at communicating to the public during that first year in office.
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T. Boone Pickens talks in this extended interview about his plan to get the US off of OPEC oil with his 10 year plan, even though he thought 2 years ago it was the same 10 year plan. He wants to get the US off OPEC oil with natural gas, two years ago he talked a lot more about wind power though. I just don’t know how he can say that he’s never seen any sort of damage coming from fraking though, he never gives a solid answer to the documentaries with flamable water in local faucets after fracking. Pickens does not seem to make sense, he says everyone is in and that it’s a non-partisan issue, but no one in the US government seems to be talking about it. It takes til the end of the 20+ minutes to get to the meat of the issue, one big reason nothing has moved forward with his energy plan is that energy companies are not yet convinced to give up their golden goose just yet.
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Stephen Colbert absorbs Keith Olbermann‘s audience and power after finding out that Keith’s show is over… only to experience some deleterious effects.
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Hey, you can move to Utah now and kill any suspicious animal wandering around you, by clubbing it to death, decapitating it or shooting it, as long as you have a reasonable belief that it is feral… sounds like a great way to spend Saturday night and possibly build a personal history of conduct disorder leading to a future payoff of antisocial personality disorder! THANKS State Rep. Curtis Oda.
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Daryl Bem‘s recent study shows that when people are being shown erotic images, they can predict which window that image will reveal said erotic image, at a rate of just over 53% compared to just under a 50% prediction for a neutral image.
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If you didn’t have a reason to avoid fast food. Here’s Taco Bell defending their beef taco filling even if it contains less than 35% meat, instead of the government mandated minimum of 40%… I guess in the future you might see Taco Bell selling their new beefoid burrito. Who wouldn’t want the non-harmful but also non-advantageous silicon dioxide (sand) in their food? Just don’t inhale it, it’s bad for the lungs, but so would other foods.
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I hope Brian Greene‘s new book, The Hidden Reality, explains how I could be “a bag of particles governed by the laws of physics.” The idea that math describes the possibility of alternate universes is intriguing. We still need some sort of experimental evidence, but I have no idea how we would go about obtaining that evidence. I wonder how this compares to predictive porn research, don’t you?
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Enjoy

Dany

January 31, 2011 4:06 am Posted by | astronomy, books, brain, clips, DC, economy, health, Law, movies, politics, science, sex, tv, Utah, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

US State of the Union and the Republican Response 2011

Last night President Obama took to the airways and gave his State of the Union speech in front of Congress to the US. If you missed it, I have posted it below.

After the State of the Union, Rep Paul Ryan gave the Republican Response to the President’s speech, you can see that video below if you did not get a chance to see that as well.

After watching both speeches, it is clear that the two men have different views of what makes America strong, but I have to hope that with all the areas that they agree, in the end, good laws and reforms will come from it. I do not believe that in the end, the entire 2010 health care reform bill will be repealed, but the most egregious sections of it will get changed. Reducing our deficit will not be easy, but cuts to research will only handicap our future and any reform to seriously cut spending will have to deal with both military spending and entitlement spending like Medicare, Medicaid Social Security and other healthcare related programs, since those programs alone already account for over 80% of our federal spending(image below) which come from this federal spending breakdown (image below).

Enjoy

Dany

January 26, 2011 2:19 pm Posted by | Arizona, China, clips, college, DC, economy, education, health, Law, medicine, military, politics, science, technology, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for January 23rd, 2010

It’s the end of Michael Steele‘s time heading the RNC, his tenure brought poor election results during the presidential election in 2008, but good election results in 2010, but at the same time massive debt for the RNC. I am not sure if overall that is so good for the RNC, it looks like it’s up to Reince Priebus to bring in massive fundraising to pay off that debt and he needs to bring back integrity to the organization, which isn’t hard to do as long as he doesn’t spend any money at gentlemen’s clubs like Michael Steele did previously.
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Peter Bergen has a new book, The Longest War, about the war in Afghanistan. He has an interesting view of al Qaeda and the Afghanistan War. I don’t know if I agree with his logic, but he is interesting nonetheless.
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I hate defending Sarah Palin, especially when she’s complaining about and insulting people LIKE ME, even going so far as calling people like me, people with almost no standards. I will say this, there is no evidence that Sarah Palin, her crosshair imagery and colorful language about being “up in arms” or anything else she has done in any way lead to or contributed to the Tucson shooting, but that doesn’t mean I have to like her. Every time I have to defend her though, it makes me mad, because she would just as well consider me a left leaning loon and dismiss my opinions and morals at the drop of a hat. Watch the video below of her if you don’t believe me.
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If you like science, exploration and the bleeding edge of new research, you will probably enjoy Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s new PBS series Nova Science Now, on exploring the pressing questions of current scientific research.
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It looks like ailing states and cities are going broke, with cuts to public services like the police department, fire department, public schools and the addition of legalized gambling and bringing us that much closer to THUNDERDOME… sounds like a good time to ask the federal government for a bail out since only state and local governments have to balance their budgets each year, while the federal government does not have this responsibility yearly. I doubt it would go very far any time soon with a Republican controlled House of Representatives and the head of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke squelching rumors of a Fed bailout of states and local governments, but it might open the door to some interesting solutions proposed. Also the 2nd video is Stephen talking with Christine Todd Whitman about the state budget crisis around the US.
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How long will it take for politicians speaking out for bringing people from different parties together based on how similar we all are to make a complete U-turn? I guess if you are Rep. Steve Cohen… about 1 week before pulling out the Nazi card.
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Kambiz Hosseini & Saman Arbabi from the underground Iranian satirical show Parazit. Watch it here if you are interested in Iranian politics.
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It sounds like Dan Burton wants Congressmen lavished with pope-mobile stylish dome protection… this is so sad.
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I spent a lot of my limited patience defending Sarah Palin above, but THIS is how you deal with Palin fatigue Mika Brzezinski!
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Disintegration of schools is a very odd issue, but I don’t know how good or bad an idea it is just from polling of parental satisfaction of the system. I would want to see some test score data to see how well these school children are performing, but the idea of disintegrating the schools, just based on the idea that social engineering of public schools is a bad idea is just more social engineering to solve what may not even be a problem.
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Forever Lazy looks like the next step down the road to America completely losing all touch with style, effort and a lean body shape.
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Ron Reagan, the son of former President Ronald Reagan talked about his father as president and how they engaged in political discussions, the book is Ron Reagan My Father at 100.
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Chris Matthews talks about how JFK impacted him growing up and how he is in the process of writing a book about former President Kennedy.
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Enjoy

Dany

January 24, 2011 3:00 am Posted by | astronomy, books, censorship, clips, DC, economy, health, Law, Middle East, nature, politics, science, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for January 16th, 2010

Never forget, advancing age does not decrease intellect or sexual desire, it may increase refractory time, but enjoy this piece about sex amongst Florida’s elderly population.
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I have never seen anyone promote a book like Denis Leary and I have also never seen an interviewer hilariously insult the book and the author as much as with this interview. You can check out Suck on This Year here.
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Here is an interesting look at history and I would not want to read any version of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that took out “the N word.” What would happen if we took all the Martin Luther King Jr. speeches where he used the word “negro” and replaced it with “African American?” There would be an uproar. I have also never heard of anyone publishing any of Thomas Jefferson‘s writings with his language white-washed either. Please just read the entire uncensored version here or get it from Amazon.
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All hail stupid, hastily put together and poorly thought through law proposals following a tragic event! Is it really good to know that a government for the people, by the people can end us up with officially that are just as stupid as some of the rest of us?
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Watch this extended interview with former governor (and most likely Republican Presidential candidate in 2014) Tim Pawlenty. He and Jon have an interesting discussion about the role of the federal government. He has a new book out called Courage to Stand.
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Now it’s time to make fun of how politics crept into the Obama Tucson mourning speech criticism a meer few minutes after the speech ended on most of the 24hr news organizations.
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Now you too can become a member of Congress, it’s easy, just watch this entire clip with your right hand raised in the air, just like 2 of our officially elected Congressmen did (story here)!
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When I heard Lithuania had it’s own perfume, it instantly reminded me of the old Snickers Gheorghe Mureşan commercial.
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Former Facebook programmer and Obama campaign worker Chris Hughes promotes his site jumo.com, where you can find charities  that interest you, follow them and donate.
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Using sarcasm, The Word is just good for you… also, you gotta love the blood libel reference that keeps Sarah Palin in the news cycle almost indefinitely.
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French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, co-author of Public Enemies, talks about God, debate and the inescapable black hole of political rhetoric.
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Who knew that snackrifice would enter  the lexicon? May the power of Dorito-Christ compell you!… or at least absolve you of your sins, or at worst, be offended by it.
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Lastly, after the Christmas weekend blizzard here on the east coast of the US, I found this lovely time lapse video documenting the snowfall with one shot every 5 minutes from a Canon DSLR.
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Enjoy

Dany

January 17, 2011 12:02 pm Posted by | Arizona, books, censorship, clips, crazy celebs, DC, Florida, food, guns, health, Law, Minnesota, photography, Religion, sex, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment