Saturday, November 1, 2014

America: Imagine the World Without Her - A Movie Review

Overall, a good movie. A major plus of this movie is the perspective of D'Souza, who immigrated to the US from India. As such, like Tocqueville, D'Souza presents an "outside" viewpoint.

The movie does have its faults. It spends too much time reviewing the progressive left's distortion and vilification of US history before finally getting around to refuting those erroneous contentions. One could say that that is a positive for the sake of analysis. Nevertheless, one is left waiting for the "punch line". D'Souza, took an inordinate amount of time before finally geting around to mentioning that other cultures have been just as villainous as the US in various regards. Read the Wikipedia review.

One of D'Souza shortcomings, as an apologist for the US, in this film was ignoring Reagan's transgressions. D'Souza took great interest in hyping Reagan's famous quote: "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." as a supposed positive message. The problem of course, those were just empty words uttered for the sake of the sound byte. Reagan was unsuccessful in reducing the scope of government.

Rotten Tomatoes had an interesting breakdown concerning the responses to the movie. Eight percent of the critics gave the move a positive review. Which means 92% lambasted the film. Of the audience reviews, the positive percentage was 87%. It appears that the critics were not sympathetic to the conservative message. (I will agree that there were some non-political structural problems with the film.) Those who were motivated to the see the movie were probably conservative so the movie naturally appealed to them. In conclusion, the movie should be seen by all since it analyzes the US within the context of world history.

Finally - Science Fiction Magazine Database Ported to Linux

Finally, I have the Science Fiction magazine database working under Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 and LibreOffice  4.3.3.2). Now I no longer need MS Access for maintaining the database. Completing it has proven to have been more complicated and taken a lot longer than expected. Steep learning curve. Prior posts on this topic.

I do not anticipate embellishing the current rendition, even though it is quite rudimentary.  The next phase will be learning PHP, HTML, and CSS so that the magazine database can be accessed through a web browser. Another multi-year extravaganza?

This project is pretty much a learning experience effort. Much of the data can be readily found on "The Internet Speculative Fiction Database". I would not have been able put this project together without the assistance provide by the "Access2Base" website and the volunteers at the "Apache Open Office Forum". Thank-you.


The Main Form

"Show Author Stories" button pressed.
When the "Show Author Stories" button is pressed, all stories associated with that author are displayed, even if in magazines other than Analog.


"Find an Author" button pressed.
When the button "Find an Author" is pressed, you can initiate a search to display all stories associated with authors possessing the search string.


"Find a Story" button pressed.

When the button "Find a Story" is pressed, all stories containing the search string will be displayed.


"Add an Author" button pressed.

Occasionally, stories have more than one author. The form above allows traditional authors to be assigned to a story.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Obama's Middle East Debacle

Obama continues to play a confused duplicitous losing "Game of Thrones" in the Middle East. ISIS has continued to expand the territory that it controls which has also created a massive refugee crises. In a very slow disorganized response, Obama has initiated some air strikes (which some assert are simply for show) and has deployed some advisers to assist the Iraqi military. The overall summary: "Too slow and too late".

Obama has also claimed to have formed a coalition of various nations to fight ISIS. This coalition appears to be a sham. Beyond the obvious phot-op, the supposed members of the coalition have apparently not made any commitment to supply ground forces to combat ISIS. The situation in Iraq and Syria continues to deteriorate.

The monumental flaw is Turkey. Turkey (a supposed ally) has been acting in a manner supporting ISIS. Turkey has refused to allow the US to use its bases to conduct operations against ISIS. But wait, Susan Rise claimed that an agreement was reached. A success for Obama, no.  Turkey immediately refuted that claim. The Obama administration once again can't get its act together. But I digress from the major significance of Turkey in this ongoing Middle East saga.

Turkey a supposed ally and supposed member of the Obama's faux coalition refuses to participate in the fight against ISIS. Rather than fight ISIS, Turkey has actually bombed the Kurds within Turkey. What gives?

Turkey is on the side of ISIS since ISIS is accomplishing Turkey's dirty work of "ethnic cleansing" of Kurds and Christians. Turkey has had a long history of human rights abuses against the Christians and Kurds.

u-tube video: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew feels Crucified 
  
Turkey’s violations to human rights towards Kurds: A hindrance on admittance to the EU

Besides the issue that Turkey is really not a friend of the US, the actions of Turkey highlight  Obama's duplicity and repugnant moral relativism. Obama has used his "loudspeaker" to insist that Assad be removed from office in Syria asserting that Assad has "killed his own people"  and that the so-called Syrian "freedom fighters" should receive training and weapons. Well, if that is the case, then Obama should be publicly demanding for the removal of Erdogan and the arming of the Kurdish "freedom fighters". So far, Obama has been silent on Turkish "ethnic cleansing".

As an additional comment concerning Obama shallowness; Obama has labeled Putin's actions in the Ukraine as a violation of international law. Obama's actions toward Syria are just as illegal since Obama is interfering in Syria's sovereignty.

To restore some semblance of a coherent Middle East strategy, the US must support the Kurds and must use its military, economic, and diplomatic power to require any Islamic based regime to be secular and to guarantee human rights for all citizens within their respective countries.

Monday, September 1, 2014

CNN's Deplorable Disgusting Twisting of Facts to Fraudantly Bolster the "Living Wage" Concept

This morning CNN news had a segment discussing excessive executive compensation and the corresponding lack of growth in the compensation received by the generic normal employee. Nothing new with that, it has been a long term issue that has only gotten progressively worse instead of better.

CNN unfortunately twisted this issue to propose that the US government enter the fray to mandate that employees are entitled to better pay and should share in the profits that a corporation makes. Mandated better employee pay does nothing to resolve the issue of executive compensation. Logically, since the US is supposed to be a free market enterprise system, CNN's analysis was absurd because it was comparing oranges to apples.

Based on free market principals, if executive compensation is considered excessive, it is the corporate board of directors who should be squelching it as it is their fiduciary responsibility. Unfortunately, corporate board of directors have failed in this regard. They have been nothing more than rubber stamps for the executives they are supposed to supervise.

That leaves me in a quandary since excessive corporate pay has not been squelched by the board of directors. Ideally, corporate executives should recognize that they are employees (just like anyone else) and should not receive excessive compensation. Given that the board of directors have failed I wouldn't mind government intervention to force the board of directors to act responsibly to protect shareholders from excessive executive compensation.

CNN instead of recognizing that excessive executive compensation has been a market failure, twisted that theme to insist that the US government must step in (in the name of fairness) to increase the wages of employees and the hiring more employees. That is directly contrary to free market principles. One example was an absurd proposition that college students who are graduating with massive debt must be paid very well so that they can pay-down that debt. Companies do not exist for altruistic purposes. They should not be forced to pay "high" wages or to hire unnecessary employees.

CNN should not have twisted the issue of excessive executive compensation into a rallying call for government mandated increased employee compensation. It will not solve the issue of excessive executive compensation.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Obama Plays "Game of Thrones"

Obama has failed playing the "Game of Thrones" in the Middle East. Obama has illegally interfered in the sovereignty Libya, Egypt, and Syria. Furthermore, Obama has two bad uncooperative puppets. Maliki in Iraq and Karzai in Afghanistan. Finally, Kerry, the US Secretary of State, failed miserably at attempting to negotiate a cease fire between Hamas and Israel in Gaza. 

Obama's meddling in these countries has result in ongoing civil strife including a continued humanitarian disaster. Even the Washington Post finally acknowledged: "Libya crumbles as the United States looks the other way". More relevant to current events, the Post noted that "The Kurdish forces facing the Islamic State need help from the United States". Today, Obama finally announced limited aid and limited military assistance for the Kurds, Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic/religious groups being marked for genocide by the Islamic State. "As The Washington Post's Loveday Morris reports, as many as 40,000 remain stranded on "the craggy peaks of Mount Sinjar," dying of hunger and thirst and devoid of much support from a faltering Iraqi government."

While Obama is finally getting around to countering the ISIS advances, it is also Obama who facilitated the rise of ISIS by supplying (illegal) covert aid to so-called rebels in Syria. ISIS having been one such group. Had Obama supported the Assad regime, even if it is considered deplorable, the rise of ISIS may never have occurred as the Assad regime may have been able to neutralize ISIS. By destabilizing Syria and weakening the Assad regime Obama made a strategic blunder.

It would be ludicrous to place all blame on Obama for the chaos in Middle East since there are many players involved in this "Game of Thrones". Nevertheless, Obama meddling in "Nation Building" and "King Making" make him partially responsible for endless war and the ongoing humanitarian disaster.