Friday, December 17, 2010

UNEMPLOYMENT NEWS: A 99er Christmas Reality Check - NO Hyperbole

With all the misconceptions today on the unemployment news, this is a 99er reality check. No frills, no whining and most of all no hyperbole - I leave that to Washington.

Today The Obama “Bend Over” became law, making it an official eternal and undeniable truth that our President and the majority of Congress care more about Rich Americans - even the Dead ones - than they do about hurting, living but soon to be dead impoverished Americans. Basically the Unemployed got scrooged!!!!

More about this terrible tax extension bill in tomorrow's blog articles, but today I wanted to convey this travesty from one 99ers' perspective - My own!

You see, I happen to be one of the very luckiest of the long term unemployed. I have a great family who has helped me survive this wilderness. Unfortunately their coffers have greatly dwindled because my need has been so great -- especially this year when my UI ended in March. I have made it a full time job for the past 2 years plus looking to land a job (good or otherwise) and at the same time dedicate an additional 55 hours per week to advocating for the 99ers.

I cannot afford a nice Christmas dinner or even a tree for this the 3rd Christmas in a row - but I am most fortunate to still be here at all - after brain surgery, being run over by a drunk truck driver and a host of other maladies in the recent years. God must certainly have a plan for me and I am content to abide in an attitude of profound gratitude.

You see I refuse to allow 536 jerks in Washington DC to dictate my happiness. God keeps me going even when things look their darkest. The method (My sister, benefactor, UI benefits) are all just the conduit through which the good Lord provides me sustenance, sort of like Manna from Heaven in the good book.

Still I do long for the days when I could buy just the right little something nice for all the people in my life. I often fantasize about winning the lotto and just how many people I could bless with that money. I remember when my Holiday decorations were the talk of the block in my neighborhood and I could give a $10 bill in a small bible to every homeless person I met with a sign on the streets that said "Please Help!"

99er Reality Check 2010

This is the extent of my christmas decorations this year and last year as well:

It may not be elaborate but with this and a manger scene, I manage to remind myself daily the joy and true meaning of this season.

My family all live very far away but we are close despite the miles that separate us geographically. They understand that family, kindness to all, a good heart and a great sense of humor are the keys to a life of victory - no matter your humble (even dire) circumstances.

The joy of this season will NOT be spoiled by the fact My government is populated by heartless cretins and complete, mindless idiots like Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) who went on Fox News this week with host Greta Van Susteren and falsely claimed Jobless Benefits Last ‘Well Over 100 Weeks’ - with the passage of the tax bill extension for the rich.

My rebuttal to Hatch and morons like him is put to rhyme in the video below.

Yes I am blessed, as earlier this month it looked as though I was losing what little I had left, when out of the blue a benefactor came forward to actually pay me a modest stipend over the next 6 months to keep fighting for the 99ers. GOD bless you!!!

Now, FINALLY for the first time in nearly a year -- not every waking moment of my life is filled with the terror of wondering how I am going to survive yet another month of futile job search. (and I will not be bleeding my relatives dry anymore either -UGH the guilt!) That guilt is now turned into relief and fortitude to continue to fight for those not as fortunate as I am now.

One of those I am desperately trying to find help for is a 99er named Debbie S. who was recently featured on CNN Money Reports, who will be homeless again before Christmas. Any donations that are made to my website Jobless Unite will go directly to help this NYC woman.

Yes I am just 1 poor 99er myself, but I am willing to help in any way I can. It is in being a blessing to our neighbors in need that we make our world a better place. A concept much too complicated for Congress and even our President too understand and fully grasp -- it would seem.

So here is the 99ers Christmas video. It really says it all and in rhyme!! Enjoy!

[Please use the donation button below to help Paladinette to KEEP FIGHTING for the 99ers! Thank you. All donations placed here will go directly to Debbie S. above - God will bless you greatly for your simple acts of generosity]

Oscar Best Song Candidate: "Despicable Me" By Pharrell Williams

Of the 41 songs competing for Best Original Song for the 83rd Academy Awards, this one, Despicable Me by three-time Grammy Award winner Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D, is one you just can't get out of your head. The buzz may be about Justin Bieber's possible Oscar nod, but Despicable Me the song is something to hear.

The song plays to open the hit animated film starring Steve Carrell as the wanna-be-evil Gru, who's hard exterior is softened by the entry of three orphaned girls into his life.

The movie played on United Airlines westbound flights in November; that's when I first heard the unforgettable opening song.

In an interview with, Pharrell said that he came up with the song just on watching the movie: "Honestly, the music is dictated by what you're seeing in the film. The movie tells you where to go and what to do. Despicable Me inspired the music moment-for-moment. Basically, what you watch is what's in there. For Despicable Me, I knew I definitely wanted some Steely Dan-sounding moments in there so I shot for that a lot [Laughs]."

Take a listen for yourself:

Giants need to make a statement that lasts beyond this weekend: an editorial commentary….

Giants need to make a statement that lasts beyond this weekend: an editorial commentary….
By Dr. Bill Chachkes-Executive Editor-Football Reporters Online-Special Contributor-Pro Football NYC

Everyone knows the Giants have had their “moments” this year, both high and low. Although they have already managed to win more then they have lost, it seems to be a very fragile success that they have enjoyed since the “comeback” win over the Bears by the score of 17-3 early in the season. By “comeback” I mean it was the comeback game of the year for the defense. If anything is clearly evident about the 2010 NY Giants, they are not without fault or weakness. Losses to the Cowboys and Eagles have shown that in recent weeks. But this team is not without heart and soul. The offense may put the points on the board, but as Coach Parcells used to say, as many coaches before him, “the defense has to drive the truck here. Defense wins championships.” No truer words were ever spoken on the game.

Several of my fellow writers and reporters both on this group of websites and elsewhere will fill you with stats, most about the resurgence of the defense under coach Fewell. It’s the defensive assistants here that fly under the radar net, kind of like the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter during the opening minutes of the first gulf war. Shock and awe is an understatement when discussing the Giants defense, and it’s defensive backs.

It’s my learned opinion that Coach Dave Merritt and Coach Peter Giunta, are two of the best in the business. You might remember Coach “G” as the defensive coordinator of the 1999 Rams that outlasted the Titans on the last play of the game for one of the most exciting game in Super Bowl history, until the Giants topped New England in the Arizona Desert in Super Bowl 42. It’s what these coaches are doing for the Giants defense that goes far beyond the stats culled each week.

This summer I watched intently as Coach Merritt ran a tip drill for the defensive backs the first few days of training camp. Clearly the defensive backfield has become the most improved unit on the team this year under their combined watch. Ronnie Lott told us on a conference call not long ago that he’s hard pressed to identify a better group of defensive backs. High praise from one of the game’s all time greats.

As great a compliment as that is, the Giants got here on total team effort. Clearly the whole is greater then the sum of it's parts and that’s the way it needs to be on this team. Visions of last years collapse are almost as far behind in the rear view mirror of our minds as the mundane and listless play that was the hallmark of the end of the 2009 season. It’s time for this defense and this entire team to make a final statement going into the home stretch of the 2010 season that makes their faithful fans forget the pasting the team took through the middle and end of 2009.

I personally don’t attend every game anymore as I did for many years, but I have been there enough the last two plus seasons to continue to know the pain the fans feel after a loss, as well as 25 plus years of joy and adulation after countless victories. If it is truly “all clicking at the right time” as many of the players suggest, even through another rough spate of injuries, then you will see this team finish off each of their last three opponents, starting this week against the dreaded Eagles.

Offensive Lineman David Diehl, when interviewed by John Fennelly and myself several weeks back, said that this team is indeed a big extended family, as coach Coughlin often suggests. Then it’s time for the “family” to pull together as hard as they can once again, as they did late in the 2007 season.

This is the moment, this Sunday, and the next two after this, to show the NFC East and the NFL, that “The NY Giants” are back, truly back, and they are taking no prisoners in their quest for the division title, and the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Tony Romo Pops the Question to Candice Crawford

CNN reported this morning that Candice Crawford was proposed to by Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo.

Crawford works as a reporter for KDAF TV and as the two celebrated her birthday at Five Sixty in Dallas Romo popped the question to the 24-year-old. Romo is 30-years-old and well known for being Jessica Simpson's ex-boyfriend.

As well as being a reporter, Crawford is known for being the sister of 'Gossip Girl' star Chase Crawford.

Tron Legacy: 2010: A Digital Odyssey

Tron Legacy is best seen at The Grand Lake Theater in Oakland. That's where this blogger saw it just over an hour ago. The grand space with it's indirect lighting is the perfect backdrop for a most unsettling movie.

Tron Legacy is so because it's a cross between the 1982 Tron and 1968's 2001: A Space Odyssey. In fact, you should see both of those movies before you set foot into the Grand Lake to see Tron Legacy. The Jeff Bridges-starring flick makes you think about the meaning of your own existence. It's also yet another story featuring White Guy Playing God While Not Mentioning God.   That was the unsettling part: the man-replace-God theme, again.

Yep. The "White Guy Playing God While Not Mentioning God" theme is hammered into us everyday.  Be it Stephen Hawking working to say God doesn't exist, and trying to make himself look like one in the process, or some Atheist like Christopher Hitchens asserting his all-knowing self into your life, telling you there is no God to trust in him, Christopher.

This happens so much so I view it as part of The Matrix. And in order to avoid being brainwashed by The Matrix you have to question of frequency of what you see. How many times have you seen the "Black Guy Playing God While Not Mentioning God" theme in a movie? How about in life? Hard to find an example, eh?   And frankly, I find that idea just as unsettling as the "White Male God" message.

But I digress.

Everything about Tron Legacy is 2001 A Space Odyssey, all the way down to these connections: Hal 9000 is Clu, the program-human created by Kevin Flynn (Bridges) that becomes all too self-aware. Kevin Flynn and Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) are Dave in 2001: the person we take the journey with to where he eventually becomes the star-child, the entity around which a new life form is born. That life form is represented by Quorra (Olivia Wilde), who was created by Kevin Flynn and is the last of her kind.

Ultimately, it's left to the elder Flynn as Dave to take down Clu as Hal 9000.

While I've given away the central theme of Tron Legacy, that doesn't mean it's not a film worth $11 and 3D glasses to see. It's worth every penny.  Even if the 3D wasn't really all that necessary.  In fact, there's a disclaimer at the start of the movie that some parts of it are presented in 2D, not 3D.  But I found myself pulling up my 3D glasses to get a view of Tron Legacy without them.   What I saw wasn't too bad.   Yes, 3D added something, but it wasn't the WOW factor we've come to expect from movies like Avatar, the Gold Standard for 3D to date.

Jeff Bridges Was OK

Jeff Bridges was just OK in his role as Kevin Flynn.  His flip 1960s hipster / LA Lakers Coach Phil Jackson-esque style injected just the right amont of humor into tense moments, though I can see how some would be annoyed with the act.

Garrett Hedlund was a little too action frat boyish to be believed, but we accept him as Sam Flynn, Kevin's son.

But where Garrett Hedlund was subpar, and that's due to the way the character of Sam was written, not to his acting skills, Olivia Wilde as Quorra was awesome.  She was, of all of the characters, the one you rooted for the most.  Quorra, a digital creation, was the most human of all entities in Tron Legacy.  Seeing her escape the digital world feel the sunlight at Tron's end, made up for whatever discomfort I had with the whole "White Man God" thing.

And why the discomfort?  Regardless of who does the God thing, human's aren't ready to be God, let alone play God.  Our idea of God as expressed in movies and books has little to do with being good, and everything to do with lording over other people, against their will.  

Lord, help us.