“Populism” is the New “Nationalism”

 

The New York Times op-ed says, “If freedom is to prevail over the many challenges to it, American leadership is urgently required.” Unfortunately, the U.S. has leadership but not in the form it needs to preserve freedom.

In the U.S. “Populism” has become just another word for “Nationalism”. “America Great Again”, “America First” these are fascistic slogans used by a radical movement within the GOP that has Trump as its leader. This is a group that believes in the suppression of the free press, divisiveness along socio-economic and cultural lines, isolationism, and “bread and circuses (tax breaks and parades) for the masses. These people are elitists who have nothing in common with the average American and yet know how to manipulate and lie to achieve power through the ballot box. They are un-American and if we continue to allow them to usurp the government they are a threat not only here but globally as well.

-A. M. Holmes

Where the Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot Is My Lasagna?

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I think there’s something seriously wrong with me. Or is it maybe it’s the universe that took a left turn on me? I went to the grocery store this morning and I swore I got a Stouffer’s lasagna to make for dinner.

 

At least, I thought I did.

 

Nope, no lasagna in the bag after I got back.

Here’s the messed-up part. It’s not on the receipt. Instead, though, I have a bag of “country style hash browns”. WTF? I can’t even eat potato and yet, there they were AND PAID FOR!

 

But no lasagna.

 

I think I just had a Mandela Effect moment and my lasagna slipped into an alternate universe. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

A. M. Holmes

 

Scoobynatural!

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 (Image courtesy of Entertainment Weekly and The CW)

 

Tonight on the CW at 8 pm/ 7pm central is the crossover episode I’ve been waiting for since I first there was the possibility it could happen. ‘Scoobynatural’! Yep, that’s right folks. The venerated cartoon classic from the 70’s will be coupled together with the series ‘Supernatural’ in some freakish impossible way that can only happen to the Winchester brothers. Dean (Jenssen Ackles @JensenAckles), Sam (Jared Padalecki @jarpad) and Castiel (Misha Collins @mishacollins) all star in the show along with Scooby, Shaggy, Freddy, Daphne, and Velma. I’m as giddy and excited as a little school girl waiting for her parents to bring home the puppy she saw at the pet store and wanted it so bad. Yeah, like that.

Briefly, because that’s all we have, after Dean purchases a tv for his “Man Cave” at the Men of Letters bunker he, Sam and Castiel are transported into the animated world of ‘Scooby-Doo’. The Winchesters figure that this is a scheme by the Trickster to torment them (if you don’t follow the show just trust me when I say that, yeah, this something he would do) and believe that the only way out is to finish the storyline of the cartoon episode. Dean, the ‘Scooby-Doo’ aficionado takes lead thinking he recognizes the mystery to be solved. So, the three of them meet up with the Scooby Gang (Dean writing off the bucket list by finally meeting his lifelong dream girl, Daphne) and they help along trying to solve the mystery. Except, as if things can’t get any weirder, this is not that Dean, or anyone, remembers and now they are as clueless as the local law enforcer. 

The others starring in the show as voices are Grey (DeLisle) Griffin as Daphne, Kate Micucci as Velma, Frank Welker as Scooby and Freddy, and (drum roll please) Mathew Lillard doing what he has been done very well for years, Shaggy. It is written by ‘Supernatural’ seasoned writers Eric Kripke (creator/producer of the show), James Krieg and Jeremy Adams. It is directed by another ‘Supernatural’ veteran, writer, producer, director Robert Singer.

As of this posting, the show premieres in a little less than two hours. I’m already silencing my phone, getting dinner ready, and making sure, for the fifth time today, that the DVR is set to record so I can see it again. And again, and again. I also warned my friends, children, and ex-wife I’m running in ‘silent mode’ so “no one visits, calls, messaging unless someone is bleeding profusely and at the ER and even then, be near death”.  A little over the top? Well, at least I’m not locking my wife out -she’s a fan.

-A. M. Holmes

“PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH!”

In a Twitter posting the evening of March 21st, President Trump said,

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Here’s my reply.

Since the Russians help you win the Elections2016, I can see why you think this. But, to say you are “smarter”, more “energetic”, or charismatic than the previous POTUS not illustrates your ignorance of history and politics but you naivete in diplomacy. 

Don’t take credit for achievements you have yet to accomplish. So far there’s no non-nuclear proliferation treaty with either North Korea or Iran, no plan with Russia on ISIS or the MiddleEast. And at home, you are claiming economic boon without policy.

You claim victory without achieving anything. “PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH!” you dare to claim Reagan’s words and policy? How dare you. POTUSTrump, you are not and never will be a Great Communicator, you will never be a great anything.

-A. M. Holmes

Why I Remain on Facebook

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I thought about it as well, weighing the security breaches against staying in touch with people, and concluded that whatever I am worried that someone would get has already happened. Therefore, I’ve taken some steps to prevent any further excursions by outfits like Cambridge Analytica into mine and my friend’s lives. I’ve cut down my number of contacts down to a small, manageable number and of people I can control. Removed any pictures of my children and be careful of what I post in the future. I’ve also made access to certain information more restrictive. I won’t participate in surveys, test, and any of the other distractions FB had provided in the past. Note: I never understood why some of these would ask for a login to post on your profile if you were already logged in. Always seemed like a security violation.

Anyway, to keep in touch with family, former classmates, co-workers -friends, I will remain on FB. I will also remain to do so more carefully.

Streaming Review: ‘Babylon Berlin’

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The wonderful thing about Netflix is that every once in a while they present a gem of a series you would not have known about if they hadn’t carried it. ‘Babylon Berlin’ is one such jewel. It will draw you in and keep you interested with its engaging characters, intricate plot, and cinematographic style that captures the realism, and surrealism, of the period.

Set in 1929 Weimar Republic Germany it follows Cologne police Inspector Gereon Rath (played by Volker Bruch) as he and his Berlin counterpart, Detective Chief Inspector Bruno Wolter (Peter Kurth) investigate the Berlin vice underbelly of pornography, prostitution, and narcotics looking for a particular piece of politically damaging film. On the way, we run into Charlotte Fries (Liv Lisa Fries) a flapper and “It” girl from the impoverished slums of Wedding who will do most anything to support herself and her family including working as a part-time prostitute at the Moka Efti cabaret. But mostly, she works as a part-time office worker at the Berlin Police office where she dreams of someday becoming a detective herself. As Rath continues with his investigation of Berlin organized crime he eventually comes across Charlotte’s own amateur inquiries into the death of a railroad worker with ties to Russian Communist insurgents. Together they work to solve the mystery of a railroad car full of gold that seems to involve Stalinist secret police agents, organized criminals, corrupt politicians, and fascist thugs. The end will surprise you.

‘Babylon Berlin’ is based on Volker Kutscher’s novels adapted to television by Tom Tykwer (‘Sense8’), Achim von Borries, and Hendrik Handloegton and produced by Stefan Arndt (‘Cloud Atlas’), Uwe Schott, and Michael Polle of X Filme Creative Pool. There are 16 episodes, 45 minutes each and in German with English subtitles.  If you feel intimidated by the fact that it is in German with subtitles get over it -after following the plot and action you’ll be speaking Deutsch in no time.

I gave it a 5 out of 5 after binging it on Netflix and highly recommend it.

-A. M. Holmes     

Post #SOTU Commentary

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‘s speech was more of symbolic testaments than of real substance. Other than the brief mention of rebuilding our infrastructure and his most of the speech was about what others, his invited guest in the chamber, had done and empty words of rhetoric. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the speech had not clocked in at a whopping 1 hour and 20 minutes! The first 35 minutes was all about how he had created jobs, increased employee earnings, and help break Wall Street records. The rest of the speech was an artificially overly sweetened piece of fluffy confectionary Americana that leaves nothing but a bitter aftertaste. No real new DACA deal was offered, he wants the building of our defenses by returning to the days of nuclear annihilation, and told Congress he needs trillions of dollars for infrastructure rebuilding without defining what it is exactly and how it’s going to get funded. All I can say about this speech is that that’s 80 minutes I’ll never get back.