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Ghost of Sam Post

May 2008 - Posts

  • Criminals As Main Characters

    So you liked my last blog about movies? Let’s mention some more popular movies and point out some interesting things. The movie, American Gangster, is out now and I highly recommend it. It stars another two of my favorite actors, Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington. The movie is based on a true story. The bad guy (Denzel) is a major drug dealer and murderer. He was responsible for thousands of people ruining their lives with the drugs that he sold them. (Yes, I know that anyone stupid enough to “do” drugs can take the blame for their own problems, but dealers just enable druggies to hasten their demise.) He shoots people on the street in front of many witnesses; there’s no doubt who did the crime. To make matters even more interesting, he ships the drugs from China, through Vietnam, to the United States in the coffins of dead American soldiers. Throughout the movie we see him dining in fancy restaurants, purchasing real estate, and moving his extensive family into fine living quarters. He meets, and marries, a beauty queen, Miss Puerto Rico.

    His adversary, the cop (Russell) is as honest as they come. He turns in money that they find in criminals’ cars, alienating him from the rest of the cops who tell him to put the money in his pocket and not to report it. We see him dining on a tuna sandwich which he makes in his dwelling. He’s got troubles with his wife, visitation problems with his son, and he’s studying to be a lawyer in his spare time.

    Russell is eventually put in charge of a drug task force of specially picked under cover cops and is told to get rid of the drug problems in New York/New Jersey. The story continues with lots of action until, finally, they catch and arrest Denzel. Story over? No way. Denzel starts to deal with Russell, promising him rewards, etc. Russell says “no”, and grills Denzel to get to other drug dealers. Sound good. At the end of the movie, however, they have those short paragraphs telling the viewer what happens to each of the characters. Denzel plea bargains and gets seventy years in jail, but he only serves fifteen years and that, not consecutively. Let’s see, he murders people in broad daylight, smuggles drugs into the country, sells those drugs to thousands of people, bribes cops, and his punishment, according to our laws is: fifteen years? Russell, after finishing his law studies, takes his first client: Denzel! And, what about the police force? Well, three quarters of the cops were on “the take”. It’s not known whether the remaining twenty-five percent were “good” cops, or, maybe nothing could be proven. How could anyone possibly raise a child in a society like this? You teach the child right from wrong; teach him to have integrity, and then he goes out into the world and finds true stories like the one in this movie. Where is the reward in being “good”. Movies like this one show that “crime pays” for the criminal, and most of the cops are criminals too. How confusing!

    Another of my favorite flicks is the Ocean’s series, especially Ocean’s Eleven. It’s fictional (I think) and lots of fun to watch. But, the whole story is based upon thieves and robberies. The robbers are very charismatic and the story is told from their point of view. What messages are we sending to the youths? That’s it’s fun to plan and execute robberies? That no one really gets hurt? That the leader of the robbers always gets the girl?

    There are many films dedicated to Jesse James, William Bonny, and many other criminals. We idolize these characters. How about Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone, or Machine Gun Kelly? Criminals all, but everybody knows these characters well. In the fictional department, who has not seen the Godfather series? Though the stories are fictionalized, they are based on real characters. This author is acquainted with some of the things that really went on back in those days. The subject of our “Italian brothers” is an interesting one, especially as told from their side.

    Maybe next time, if you’re good, we’ll talk a little about the role of the police in our society. They are not there in the capacity that you think they are. So says Sam Post.
    Posted May 29 2008, 12:57 PM by Sam Post with 2 comment(s)
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  • For All Jodie Foster Fans

    There are some actors/actresses that seem to be miles above the average. Clint Eastwood, Arnold, Olivia Hussey, Jodie Foster are some of my favorites. Actually, I have quite a few favorites. I could name hundreds of Hollywood people from the 1930’s to the present that I enjoy watching on the big screen. When I think of any movie that I’ve seen Jodie Foster act, I remember it as a great movie. If she’s in the cast, I know I’ll love the movie. Who could have done such a wonderful job in Silence of the Lambs? The latest movie that I saw Jodie cast was entitled: The Brave One. Again, a magnificent movie. If you have not seen this flick, let me give you a few highlights.

    The character is a New Yorker just living her life like all the rest. She has a boyfriend, very much in love, gonna marry him, yada,yada. They take a walk in the park, they get mugged, boyfriend dies, she is badly beaten, but eventually gets healthy. Here’s where the movie starts to take form. The cops take their reports and, typically, do nothing to find the culprits. She gets really annoyed with them and starts to question them as to what they are doing to avenge her dead boyfriend. They tell her the same stale crap, “we’re doing everything that we can do.” In a nutshell, they are doing nothing, as I said, typical. She stumbles onto some clues that could be used to solve the case and she gives this information to the cops. Of course, they do nothing. Finally, she goes to buy a gun for protection, gets turned down, and gets one from a guy in a back alley. She goes out to find the bad guys. She is warned by the cops to stay out of it; they start watching her. She gets into a few tight spots where the neighborhood scum try to rob/rape her. She blows them away. Slowly, throughout the movie, she finds out who the bastards are and hunts them down. She eventually kills them all. The cops are still clueless. The one top cop who has been watching her shows up at the last minute to help her out but the point of the whole movie is that, if you are in trouble, you’re on your own. There’s nobody but you who is going to make things right, or to prevent a crime. The cops are only there to harass the good people, and to protect the criminals, and to make reports after the crime is committed.

    There was a series of movies with Charles Bronson some years back called Death Wish, 2,3,4,5. The Brave One reminded me of this great series. Same scenario, crimes are committed, cops do nothing but eat donuts, the main character has to track down the bad guys and dispatch them. But, he’s got to do it undercover, or the cops will arrest him.

    We need more cops like Dirty Harry. When you deal with the scum of society, you have to jump down in the sewer to get them. They are not going to “play by a bunch of silly rules” so you can put them in jail where they can live better than their victims.

    Do we see a pattern here in these movies? I know that when a writer/screenwriter produces a story for the cinema, they pick hot topics that are of relevance to the viewing public. Otherwise, who would go to see it? (Okay, so there are some weirdoes who will watch anything!) The recurring theme of crime at all levels of our society pervades the majority of movies. Obviously, somebody is trying to tell the public something. Something like: “Wake up and smell what you’ve been shoveling” when you support the criminals, and punish the good citizens for protecting themselves. So says Sam Post.

    Posted May 22 2008, 09:33 AM by Sam Post with 1 comment(s)
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  • One Possible Solution

    Thanks for tuning in. Obviously, you are among the few people out there who care, at least somewhat, about the mess this society has become. To refresh your memory (just in case it needs refreshing – no, the “refresh” button on your computer will not do it), here are a few highlights of the present dilemma.

    For every law that exists, there is another law that contradicts it. This society condones and encourages criminal behavior on all levels from the lowest street crime to the highest levels of industry and government. Many years ago I heard a question posed: Why is stealing against the law? Answer: Because the government doesn’t want the competition. We always regarded this question/answer as a joke, now I think it’s dead serious! It is well known that the way to tell if a politician is lying is to see if his/her lips are moving. We have emasculated our police, our teachers, and our parents. Even the existence of God has been challenged. We are a lawless (in spite of the thousands of ludicrous laws in libraries of law books) society that has become barbaric. American society today has become the worst kind of malignancy. We are barbarians in $1000.00 suits. We have reduced ourselves to the base level of “bread and circuses”; this society is declining into oblivion. That’s a sampling of the bad news.

    So, where is the hope? It’s in the people. It’s in the good folks who still possess the ability to think; to understand when they are being screwed; to exercise common sense. The way up to the fresh air is to find our way back to the way it was when we first set down rules for this new country. We need to look back to the times when things were better. Sure, we’ve had criminals, idiots, and politicians since the beginning. I’m not saying that the past was without fault. I’m saying that the proportion of good to bad was in our favor in the past. Today, the bad (societal insanity) is fast taking over the good. We’ve had many examples in past societies to show us what to do. Take, for instance, the Roman Empire. It had great things, and it had terrible things. We could learn from such examples if we wanted to build a better world, all of them. I don’t see that we are interested in taking a good example.

    The Romans built many things that were great (like viaducts, sewers, among others) that still exist. They also roamed the Earth killing and conquering until they became fat and lazy. Then they were conquered. Maybe if they had stayed in Italy and defended their land without trying to oppress the whole world, the other armies might not have wanted to snuff them out.

    There are plenty of similarities between Rome and America, just look around. If we want a better society, all we need to do is learn from the mistakes of civilizations that have gone before and, go back in our own short history to see when things were better, and then revisit some of these good things. Then we would see progress. Notice that the hardware of society outlasts its’ inhabitants. This is because, when you’ve got something good (like Roman sewers) you stick with it, then you see forward movement (like the modern toilet) (no pun intended). If you change things, like all the meddling that we do with people’s integrity, you get retrograde movement (constipation) and, finally, destruction of the inhabitants. The result: Planet of the Apes. Note: No animals, especially apes, were injured in the writing of this blog. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, blah yada, blah yada, …. you know the rest. So says Sam Post.

    Posted May 15 2008, 12:01 PM by Sam Post with 1 comment(s)
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  • The Next Round of Stupidity

    I had an interesting conversation with my car mechanic this morning. As he was changing the oil in my car we chatted about things mechanical. I always listen to people who know more than I do, so when we’re talking about cars with a car mechanic, I ask questions to gain some of his wisdom. We were discussing the longevity of cars and what could be done to get maximum mileage. Getting so many miles to the gallon is a hot topic these days but how long your car can be expected to last is something that has always been of interest to me. If I can get my car to last a half million miles, I want to know what I can do to make this happen. I don’t want my car to wear out because I’m doing something to ruin it. So, I engage whatever experts I can find in conversation.

    I told him that I always drive carefully, never spinning the wheels, no short stops, no speeding, and no undue acceleration. I drive with the flow of traffic, I pay attention to all sides, front, and back of my car all the time. I exercise courtesy whenever I can. For example, if I see another car behind me blink his lights (a universal request) I will move over to let him pass. I’m trying to exercise good driving skills and courtesy, but I’m also saving my car’s long term existence. The mechanic listened to all this, agreed with me on all points, but then he alerted me to a new “law” that has been enacted recently. He said that driving safely and courteously, as in the way I described above, could get me a ticket for – road rage! I asked him to explain what he meant because this sounded like the most idiotic thing that I have ever heard. Has this society gone so far down the toilet that driving safely equals road rage? He explained to me that if I was driving at, say, the speed limit in the left lane, and someone else is speeding up behind me, that I would be in his way and he would get the road rage because I was there. So, it could happen that I could be cited because someone else is breaking the law. What about the speeder? Now, understand that I’m not talking about an emergency vehicle going to help someone. I’m talking about average drivers just speeding. I wonder what’s going on in this apathetic society. It appears that the folks who take pains to stay within the rules, are being singled out for punishment. The scofflaws in every segment of our society are seen as normal. Or, could it be that the ever-growing legions of criminals (of all types) are sending a message? Are they saying something like, “Hey, stupid Americans, when are you going to learn that all your idiotic laws are wrecking the lives of the people that they are supposed to protect?!” Want a positive solution? Tune in next time when Sam Post will reveal how to undo this madness. So says Sam Post.

    Posted May 09 2008, 06:23 PM by Sam Post with 4 comment(s)
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  • India Technology

    I blogged last week about my dissatisfaction with customer service calls being outsourced to India. Yesterday I received an email with pictures that I wanted to pass along.







    THIS IS INDIA. IT'S WHERE YOU CALL WHEN YOU HAVE A TECHNICAL PROBLEM WITH YOUR COMPUTER.
    Posted May 08 2008, 09:42 AM by Sam Post with 3 comment(s)
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  • Communication Puzzle

    So you want to stay in touch 24/7. Okay, how can we do that? There must be a hundred ways to communicate with our fellow primates; let's look at a few. First, there's good ol' talking, face-to-face. This method goes back to caveman days when a grunt or groan, yell or scream would relay whatever you wanted to convey. This method worked well too, for many hundreds of years. During that time talking became an art. We developed languages and lexicons that covered the globe. For those versed in this form of communication, thoughts and feelings were easily transmitted and understood by almost everyone. But, what if you can't stand in front of the person with whom you wish to speak? Alexander came up with a solution. He invented the telephone and the people were happy (yay). We still used talking, but now we could talk to people who were many miles away. Telephones, then, are a second way to communicate.

    The original phones were rudimentary and difficult to use, but they were a wonderful break-through for technology. Over the course of many years the telephone improved in quality and the service got much better. At the height of the "telephone age", somewhere in the 1970's I guess, the phone service was fantastic. You could talk on the phone to someone in Russia and, given that the two of you could speak the same language, you could enjoy a bright, clear conversation as if the Russian was standing next to you. Then the quality of telephones started to decline. For some reason (maybe partly because the government broke up AT&T?) the quality of phone service dropped dramatically with the advent of portable phones and cell phones. Oddly, the landline phones also declined in quality. Nowadays, the quality of these "toys", for they can't really be taken seriously, is so bad that they only work about half the time. I received a phone call recently from a relative. She was using a cell phone and the reception was so horrible that I told her she must have had the wrong number - I couldn't recognize her voice! And these silly toys are very expensive to buy and expensive to service. We're paying more and getting less. Is this called progress? Only by the insane.

    A third form of communication can be seen in our "computer age." Computers, those wonderful tools that transmit blogs and store vast amounts of information, are sometime erroneously referred to as communication devices. In reality, computers prevent communication. They reduce our ability to communicate almost completely. Just think about it. In the communication process there are many factors. There is the spoken word, the facial expression, the tone of voice, the gesticulations of both people, the context, among other more arcane elements of the communications process. To dig further would risk becoming too academic. Anyway, computers eliminate almost all of the communicative factors. When reading a text message you can't even know the gender of the writer, let alone can you understand the passion of the message. Further, anyone could sign a fictitious name to the message. How would you know? Overall, technology has done more to disrupt communication than it has done to improve it. Without communication we can get very lonely and stressed. Severe stress leads to all sorts of dysfunctions and diseases. Maybe we would be better off with grunts and groans.

    So says Sam Post.
     

    Posted May 07 2008, 01:58 PM by Sam Post with 5 comment(s)
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