Category Archives: HUMAN INTEREST

Situations that tug at the heart or just makes me angry!

O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA (2016) – My rating: 9/10

ojmadeinamericaThrough interviews, new footage, and archival audio and video, O.J.: Made in America traces the life and career of O. J. Simpson, starting with his arrival at the University of Southern California as an emerging football superstar and ending with his incarceration in 2007 for robbery. Throughout the documentary, Simpson’s life – the football success, television career, relationship with Nicole Brown, the domestic abuse, Nicole and Ron Goldman’s murder, the trial – runs parallel to the larger narrative of the city of Los Angeles, which serves as host to mounting racial tensions and a volatile relationship between the city’s police department and the African American community.

TV critic James Poniewozik described the director’s technique in his New York Times review: “Ezra Edelman pulls back, way back, like a news chopper over a freeway chase. Before you hear about the trial, the documentary says, you need to hear all the stories — the stories of race, celebrity, sports, America — that it’s a part of.”

O.J.: Made in America premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2016, was released in theaters in New York City and Los Angeles in May 2016 and debuted on ABC on June 11, 2016, and aired on ESPN. The documentary has received widespread acclaim and has won numerous awards.

After seeing this documentary, I was impressed at how factual and straightforward it was.  I thought I knew everything about OJ, this gave me a new perspective and something to think about.  O.J.: Made in America is an excellent source of information into the whole picture from beginning to end, so if you care to know as much as you could about the life and times of O. J. Simpson, this is a great documentary to learn about him and all that went into shaping who he is.  O.J.: Made in America is currently streaming on Amazon, and can be gotten on Netflix.

[O.J.: Made in America WON the 89th ANNUAL OSCAR AWARD for Best Documentary Feature]

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13TH (2016) – My rating: 9.5/10

13thMy reaction to this Netflix Original documentary is simply WOW!  For a Black person, it’s truly depressing but it’s history and it is what it is. This is the kind of information everyone should know. Maybe it can make some kind of a difference regarding the race issues in America. No matter what character or category of person you might fall into, criminal, bad  or compassionate, I don’t see how anyone could go along with the stinking thinking outlined in this film.  13th is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed slavery (unless as punishment for a crime). DuVernay’s,  documentary opens with the idea that 25 percent of the people in the world, who are incarcerated, are incarcerated in the United States and argues that slavery is being effectively perpetuated in the US through mass incarceration. 13th features several prominent activists, politicians, and public figures such as, Angela Davis, Bryan Stevenson, Van Jones, Newt Gingrich, Cory Booker, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and many others.  It’s been said that one of the most compelling defenses behind this documentary is that it’s not opinionated or accusatory, it only presents the facts that are non disputable.  Racism, Slavery, the 13th Amendment, Jim Crow, ALEC, Republicans, The South, Political Leaders and Organizations, Militants,  Murder and The Privatization of the Prison System are all featured.  13th has garnered acclaim from film critics everywhere, as a major historian contribution that should not be ignored.

13th is directed by Ava DuVernay who also wrote and produced it along with Spencer Averick.  Living with and and knowing a lot of the facts in 13th didn’t make it any less disturbing to see put together in 13th.  I feel the issue of racism will never be resolved.  It’s bigger than anything we face and it’s truly a problem that’s eventually going to be our demise.  See it for yourself and form your own opinion.  13th is currently streaming on Netflix.

[13th is nominated for Best Documentary Feature]

 

THE WHITE HELMETS (2016) – My rating: 7.5/10

thewhitehelmetsThe White Helmets is one of the most profound documentaries I’ve seen. Filmed in war torn Syria, one of the most dangerous places in the world. The film follows the daily operations of a group of volunteer rescue workers of the Syrian Civil Defense, also known as The White Helmets. The film is directed by Orlando von Einsiedel and produced by Joanna Natasegara.

These men called The White Helmets are the first respondents when a bomb(s) is dropped. It doesn’t matter who needs help, the White Helmets are ready to dig through the ruins to extract anyone they can. An infant was trapped under several layers of rubble for hours when a faint cry was heard. They were able to pull the baby out, calling him a miracle. These men risk their lives time and again, every day and treat every person as though they are family, plus they never give up. Early training of volunteers was initiated in 2013 by British security consultant, James Le Mesurier, the White Helmet’s founder. Volunteers who work full-time, receive a $150 monthly stipend and do manage to travel to Turkey for training. They are young men and this is their life!  GOD bless these brave selfless men who risk everything to do GOD’s work, rescuing anyone who is in need!

The White Helmets is streaming on Netflix and is very informative.  It is a 40 minute short documentary.

[THE WHITE HELMETS won the 89th ANNUAL OSCAR AWARD for Best Documentary: Short Subject]

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LIFE ANIMATED (2016) – My rating: 8.5/10

lifeanimatedLife Animated is a documentary that I first heard about on WHYY when they interviewed Ron Suskind who wrote the story about his son Owen.  At the age of two, Owen started to lose his motor skills along with his perfectly structured speech patterns.  By three, his words had turned to gibberish and Owen was diagnosed with autism.  If you have a child with autism, you’re going to want to see this unique documentary.  Since I have a grandson with high functioning autism, I was very interested in seeing Life Animated and learned a lot from Owen’s journey.  I learned how he finally developed a way to communicate through the world of Disney, using animated Disney movies.  Owen, like my grandson, would watch a movie over and over and over again.  I never knew why, I just came to accept that was part of his personality.  In Owen’s case, he memorized every Disney, animated movie ever made and used the dialogue as a form of communication.

Eventually, he was able to speak again and express himself to others.  He started a club via the internet with other autistic children.  Today, Owen is around 25 years old and has his own apartment, a job and independence.  He will probably always need help but he’s come a long way.  I think this is a very significant film for anyone who knows or has an autistic child.  Life Animated is on DVD and is a worthy candidate for Oscar!

[Life Animated is nominated for Best Documentary Feature]

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IS TRUMP TRYING TO GROOM HIMSELF TO BE A DICTATOR?

deviltrump

I am still shaking my head over America voting Donald Trump in as President of the United States. Didn’t all the people see and hear the same bigoted, impossible promises I did? Now he’s appointing the worst possible cabinet to help him with his personal agenda.

NOW, America is shaken, concerned and afraid but it’s too late. Or is it?  When Trump’s run for president first began, everyone said Donald Trump would never make it to the primaries. There were 17 candidates running in the Republican Party and Donald Trump was given more media coverage than any other candidate in the history of a presidential run. Every day we were bombarded with Donald Trump’s name, something he commented on constantly. Once he won the primaries, things got worse. Trump became more outlandish and we began to see a pattern. We also discovered Trump is mentally unstable. Anyone with any sense wanted nothing to do with Trump. No newspaper would endorse him until the very end; and the three that did were virtually unknown. Republicans started denouncing Trump; even the former two Bush presidents announced they wouldn’t vote for him, support him, or endorse him. CNN and MSNBC constantly presented pole results that showed Hillary Clinton far ahead of Trump as well as several other politicians who normally voted Republican who were now voting for Hillary.  You could turn on your TV at any time of the day or night and the first thing you’d hear is something about Donald Trump.  No matter how bad the information was, excuses were provided for him and now I’m still hearing more of the same.  All of the late night talk hosts are having a field day making fun of Trump while Saturday Night Live (SNL), featuring Alec Baldwin, has taken impersonating Trump to a new level.  Trump of course is having a cow, tweeting that SNL should be taken off the air because it’s not funny.  All through Trump’s campaign, he called Hillary Clinton a liar but who’s really the liar? Since elected, Trump has had to come clean about his campaign promises, admitting he cannot build a wall and have Mexico pay for it nor can he reactivate “stop and frisk” or deport all non-registered foreigners.  He can’t keep most of his campaign promises.

However, he is managing to wreak havoc.  Just take a listen to what President Donald Trump has done in one week, then read on to get more of what Trump really stands for:

  1. Racism towards Blacks, Muslims, Latinos and all others that don’t fit Trumps bigot profile; Trump plans to start a Muslim registry, restart “random stop and frisk” for Blacks and deport Hispanic immigrants;
  2. What’s in it for Trump to help anyone below his level?  What has he ever done for anyone? All his speeches are about what he has that’s the best and what he has done better than anyone else, never speaking on anything he has done that wasn’t a benefit to him;
  3. Why is his cabinet filled with all billionaires? Why isn’t anyone, who can stop him, not, stopping him? They just keep approving his bad choice of people even after promising they wouldn’t, i.e. career racist, Jeff Sessions as Attorney General and Alt-Right Conservative Steve Bannon as his Chief Strategist;
  4. *Trump has broken all kinds of laws; No one has done anything about it, except there is now a lawsuit against him regarding his conflicting massive empires. However, there are no plans to impeach him;  
  5. No blind trust; He’s still running all his businesses; he’s moved all his family in the White House and has given them official positions while they continue to run his business empire;
  6. He has a major business empire stemming all over the world;  “In his most recent financial disclosures, Trump listed 144 individual companies that have had dealings in at least 25 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, South America and North America, among other companies with regional international interests, according to a CNN review.  The interests range from management deals with golf courses in the UAE, branding agreements with real estate projects that bear Trump’s name in India as well as companies that have been involved with beverage sales in Israel;”
  7. He has hired generals that don’t comply with the retirement rules; Generals have to be retired for at least 7 years before an appointment to a presidential cabinet;
  8. He constantly lies; In fact, he lies more than he tells the truth;
  9. He doesn’t fit a presidential profile; He’s been married three times as a result of cheating on his wives and says he doesn’t talk about that;
  10. He thinks he’s above the law; He has mentioned several times that he can do whatever he wants to do with no consequences;
  11. He’s against women’s rights; He has already signed a gag order against abortion funding;
  12. He has a foul mouth and says anything that comes to his mind; He mocked New York Times journalist Serge F. Kovaleskiat at a South Carolina rally by making twitching arm and face movements;
  13. He just has a regular college degree, no MBA and no education that would remotely qualify him for the job of running the USA; He maintains that he is an extremely smart guy, his words;
  14. He doesn’t like to read and has no attention span;
  15. He has never served in the military, nor as a politician of any kind; While this is not a requirement, it would have eased the fact that he has zero experience;
  16. He’s not going to give up the unprecedented use of tweeting as his source of communication; It’s just plain tacky;
  17. He has an incorrect temperament for a president and can be swayed easily; Just say something derogatory about him, and see what happens.  He can’t resist retaliating;
  18. He’s dangerous to us all; Already foreign dignitaries are threatening WWIII if he tries to carry out his suggestions like stealing their oil;
  19. He’s clueless as how to run this country; He’s already alluded to the fact that his cabinet will actually run the country, with his approval;
  20. He’s obviously extremely childish and a Megalomaniac;

    Megalomania is a symptom of mental illness marked by delusions of greatness, wealth, etc. 2.an obsession with doing extravagant or grand things He constantly compares the size of his events, numbers in the poles and wins against any competitor, always making himself the winner.  If the media reports differently, he calls them dishonest and accuses them of cheating.
  21. Trump is incapable of putting together a health plan and is at odds with his own party about ACA; Abandoning Obama Care is pure hatred of Obama (because he’s Black) and a pledge to destroy any Obama legacies.
  22. He’s been officially accused of raping a 13 year old in the 90’s.  More recently, several women came forward and accused him of rape and molestation, which labels him as a possible rapist; The case involving the 13 year old was dropped;
  23. He’s judgmental to a major fault; He numbers women on a scale of 1 to 10; He calls people names if he thinks they are not good looking or display a “normal” appearance.
  24. He’s now has his Press Secretary, Sean Spicer using propaganda tactics and lingo; When caught in a lie, they use “alternate facts” to cover it up, when there is really no such thing;
  25. He refuses to show his tax returns; Can we count how many scenarios Trump has listed as to when he would show his taxes;
  26. He has questionable ties with Russia and other foreign countries and their dignitaries; He seems to be having a love affair with Putin.
  27. He doesn’t respect women; This needs no explanation;
  28. He’s a bully and vengeful; Take a look at his treatment of Romney and Christie, He totally humiliated them;
  29. He’s a demagogue and a narcissist;
  30. He has ties to many white supremacist groups; He has the backing of the KKK as well as his nomination of Steve Bannon, who has been associated with Breitbart, an organization that legitimizes as well as serves as a mouthpiece for the alt-right movement, as his Chief Strategist;
  31. He has had to settle several law suits (to the tune of $125M) against his business school for fraudulent practices;
  32. He plans to move the news press out of the White House; He doesn’t want to be watched that closely;
  33. Trump’s approval rating was down to 37% inauguration dayAt present, it’s 36%;  This is the lowest approval rating for any president, ever;
  34. He wants to bring back torture for captured prisoners, a process that we have long banned because it doesn’t work and it’s barbaric;He says water boarding is good;
  35. **Trump signed executive orders to advance construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline; Both pose a health hazard if there’s ever a leak, which is a frequent occurrence with pipelines; In North Dakota during the year 2013, when lightning struck a pipeline, it leaked over 840,000 gallons of crude onto a wheat field.
  36. Trump has frozen the EPA, which protects Americans from poison and pollution; This action will keep the EPA from interfering with the reactivation of the pipeline;
  37. He thinks NATO is worthless. Trump plans to pull out of NATO;
  38. Trump is now using our tax payer dollars to look into fraudulent voting; He has won the election already. Upset because he didn’t win the popular vote is no reason to waste our tax payer dollars looking into a problem that doesn’t exist. There is no voter fraud, period!  However Tiffany (his daughter), Stephan Bannon (his White House Strategist), Sean Spicer (his Press Secretary), Jerry Kushner (his son-in-law) and Steven Mnuchin (his Treasury Secretary) are all registered to vote in TWO states.  With a the lowest approval rating of any president, he should leave this idea that he also won the popular vote alone;
  39. He doesn’t plan to read the Presidential daily briefs; Another unprecedented move by Trump;
  40. Trump fulfilled a campaign promise by signing an executive order to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP);  Given that Congress already announced they were not going approve it, the 12-country pact was already slated DOA, therefore Trump only gets credit for signing the order;
  41. He wants to be involved with the production of his reality show, Celebrity Apprentice; Is this because running America won’t keep him busy enough;
  42. Trump has removed the Spanish version from  the White House Web Site and deleted pages on Civil Rights, LBGT and Climate change;  Why would he do this unless he’s an extreme racist and homophobic;
  43. Trump doesn’t support global warming; He thinks it’s a hoax;
  44. Trump cannot keep any of the promises he made during his campaign.  He has no idea who is going to pay for a wall — I really don’t believe there’s going to be a wall. Trump says the US will pay and Mexico will pay us back — Mexico says NO THEY WON’T!!!

Why shouldn’t I and everyone else be upset and afraid?  I think he’s planning a takeover of the USA with his super rich cronies!  There’s much more I haven’t even touched on.  If Trump has done any good, it’s covered up by fear and uncertainty.  All of his bad outweighs his good (if there is any) and not worth what he is putting this nation through.  All the protests alone have probably cost the USA a bundle. Have we ever had a president with so many disqualifications?


* As of January 20, 2017, Trump runs the risk of violating the US Constitution.  The breach stems from his massive businesses that will now pose a conflict of interest with his presidency.  Trump has huge real estate holdings under written with a loan from the Chinese Government.  He has millions of dollars riding on building projects in Saudi Arabia and there have been foreign diplomats who have already admitted to spending money at Trump hotels to “curry favor with the US President”.

Trump says as president, he is exempted from the federal conflicts of interest regulations that usually bind elected officials.  He’s been advised correctly, except the violation may be a Violation of the Constitution.  Article 1 Section 9 Clause 8, referred to as “The Emolument Clause” says that no elected official can take an “emolument” of “any kind whatever” from a king, prince, or foreign state. This restriction is intended to prevent political officials from making decisions in favor of foreign governments based on personal bias.

Trump thinks the Emoluments Clause does not apply to him since he will not be receiving any gifts, money or otherwise from any foreign VPs.  Instead, his children, who are running his companies, will.   Despite the pending lawsuit against Trump, only Congress can enforce the Emoluments Clause against him and that’s highly unlikely.


** Regarding the oil situation, “Trump also owned stock in Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, according to his most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. Last month, the Times added, a Trump spokesperson said Trump had sold all of his stock during the summer, yet Trump has failed to provide any documentation proving the sale.”


So, I think it’s fair to say, WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE!  Donald Trump is NOT qualified to be president.  He’s not going to make anything better.  We the people should call our congressmen and take action against a man who is against everything the US stands for.  We should govern our country, or at least pick a worthy candidate to represent us.  Not Donald Trump.

 

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DONALD TRUMP vs HILLARY CLINTON

DONALD TRUMP is a commoner, period. He is not a polished politician. He has never had to be politically correct.  He’s not polished or refined like a politician because he never had to be. His street level existence has always suited his purposes just fine.  He would always up the ante when necessary.

Donald Trump is a real estate mogul who also happens to be a bully. He has many, many flaws and clearly doesn’t belong in the political arena.  He’s barely fit to walk among the insane, let alone the sane. He’s mentally impaired and has let the whole world peek his hold card.  Make no mistake, he has great ideas and can say anything he wishes because of his MENTAL status.  However, Donald Trump honestly has no plan and cannot deliver. This is a known fact, check out his website. You just have to get over how much you want what he says to be true and know that he just can’t deliver. His real estate bullying tactics are not going to work when you are trying to run an entire country.  This just “AIN’T” real estate anymore. There’s no point raking everything he says and does through the coals because he’s doing what a common street bully with mental issues do. He really wants to do what he preaches because success would feed his Narcissistic personality bringing him to an orgasmic state of being. When he said he wants to make America great again, he wasn’t thinking about Blacks.  After all, he is a proven bigot. There has never been a time America was great for Blacks.

BTW:  Out of 14 seasons of the Apprentice series, ask Trump how many Blacks he hired. The answer is two and he asked one of them (Randal D. Pinkett, 2005) if he would share his win with a White woman who was runner up (he never asked this of any other winner). The other win was Arsenio Hall, who isn’t on speaking terms with Trump.

The media is driving us crazy with their endless reporting of his every word and action. Suffice to say, if Donald Trump were to become POTUS, we the people, would be in extreme danger of World War III, dictatorship, bigotry, global disrespect, a crashed economy, loss of A1 status, women taking a huge step backwards, losing all they’ve fought for and a massive exit of citizens from our beloved country.  Already, the bar has been lowered. Notice others are using name calling to describe their opponents running for various positions i.e. “Shady Katie”. That’s a Donald Trump tactic. It’s childish and not what we stand for. This is not what we want to teach our children. He also has a habit of denying everything he’s accused of, even when there’s video being played in the background that shows he did do or say what he’s being accused of.  His locker room banter, as he calls it, may be okay for his world but not for the world we live in.

Can we agree for the sake of our well being and the well being of our country that Donald Trump is not fit to be president?  No one should vote for him and leave it at that. He’s out of his element as well as his mind and he cannot deliver.  AGAIN, DONALD TRUMP IS NOT FIT TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PERIOD!

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HILLARY CLINTON has prepared for POTUS her whole adult life. She is a little old fashioned but she truly knows the political game. If anything, Donald Trump has shown Hillary Clinton and the rest of the world that their current ideas and strategies regarding politics and government have to change. However, you just can’t say what you want to change, without showing how you’re going to make it happen. Hillary Clinton certainly has that covered, check out her website for details.

What she now needs to change, is her old fashioned style of delivering her speeches. Just talk to us as if she would a girlfriend or family member; get personal!  When delivering a speech, no highs and lows, no preaching, no yelling, no emphasis on sentence endings. She should try just plain enthusiastic talk, show passion without the corny old fashion speech antics. She needs to stop dressing in tweed, which symbolizes rich white women attire.  Dress for all the people, even go as far as jeans and a dressy top and jacket (blazer). Appeal to the “millennial’s”.  Commit to the issues that the voters want to see changed and tell how you’re going to make it happen. She should show that she can deliver unlike her opponent and for GOD’s sake, stop wasting time talking about Donald Trump, that’s giving him free press.

Hillary should keep giving out the website address for fact checking all the lies being told about her. She should address lies against her accomplishments. The only reason people think Hillary Clinton is so crooked and would be terrible as president is because Donald Trump keeps driving this point home. Ask what danger or harm has come to the US as a result of her deleted emails. Erased emails don’t make you crooked. She should ask “what do you think I’ve done with these emails?  Do you think I’m doing something against the country?” She should keep apologizing for having email on a private server and ask the people to please stop beating her up for it. She should ask them if they ever had to deal with a couple of computers at once when you have no real computer skills. Tell them she tried to minimize computer usage/interaction and that’s it. She should make it clear she would never have deleted any emails if she had known it would have caused so much turmoil. Tell the people she’s only human trying to do her job, which is not technical and say she’s just like a lot of people that’s not very computer savvy. Finally, she should also ask what else she did to get a bad name; ask the people to help her set the record straight.

Hillary knows endless people and should let other people speak on her character, including Blacks who have known her throughout her personal and political career; ask what makes her undesirable to voters. She could also commit to a check list for her first 100 days as POTUS to show her honesty, her willingness to change and openness to listening, proven by her actions when working with Bernie Sanders on ideas he passionately campaigned about, i.e. free college tuition. Hillary also needs to stress that as president, she and not her husband, would be running the country. Remind folks that she is better than she was eight years ago when she ran for president and that she has the experience and the temperament to make change and get the job done. In conclusion, HILLARY CLINTON IS NOT THE ENEMY, DONALD TRUMP IS! 

Note To The Readers: Don’t let the US become a weak laughing stock of the world, vote for HILLARY CLINTON. You’ll be voting for continued freedom and hope for a democracy that is fair. WE DON’T HAVE THE TIME OR PLACE FOR A DEMAGOGUE. Deliver US from evil, please get out and vote Democrat!

Cam Caray

CARTEL LAND (2015) – My rating: 8.5/10

CartelLandCartel Land is a documentary produced and directed by Matthew Heineman.  It tells about what the Mexican people who joined together under two modern day vigilante groups are doing in, their desperation, to clean up the drug situation in their respective regions.  Dr. Jose Mireles aka “El Doctor” is a small-town physician in Michoacán, Mexico who heads up the “Autodefensas” against the very violent “Knights Templar” drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. With unprecedented access, Cartel Land is a riveting, on-the-ground look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy.  Meanwhile, in Arizona’s Altar Valley, a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley, Tim “Nailer” Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across the US border.

It’s too bad when citizens have to take matters in their own hands because their government has failed them.  To say their tasks are grueling and dangerous, often ending in death is an understatement.  These citizens are not really trained in law enforcement and from what I saw, have chosen some tactics that may cross the lines of justice.  While anything goes in their situation and while you can’t be to careful, it’s a horrible situation to be in.  Cartel Land is informative and shows one of the ways in which to fight a problem that was once deemed hopeless.  Cartel Land is now streamed on Netflix and has won countless awards.  It’s in Spanish with subtitles.

[CARTEL LAND is nominated for Best Documentary]