My all-time favorite movies


Movies have always been a big part of my life. I grew up in a really small town in the South Side of Virginia. There wasn’t much to do. I know this is a cliche but it was really true back then. There was no internet. No cell phones. No video games and no Netflix. If you wanted entertainment you went to the cinema.

That said here is my definitive list of my all-time favorite movies. Not necessarily in any particular order.

  • The Godfather – (A masterpiece)
  • The Godfather II – (In my opinion better than the first one)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – (saw this in 1977 and it changed my life)
  • The Empire Strikes Back – (Maybe the best of all the Star Wars movies)
  • Closed Encounters of the Third Kind – (Spielberg is the man)
  • Rocky 1 – (so good movies today still copy it)
  • Jaws – (early Spielberg, but still great)
  • The Exorcist – (Scariest movie ever)
  • Silence of the Lambs- (best physological thriller ever)
  • 2001 – A space Odyssey – (not sure I completely understand it, but I still think it is great)
  • Full Metal Jacket (War is hell, Kubrick is great)
  • Ghostbusters – (The original, not the recent remake. ‘Who you gonna call’)
  • A Clock Work Orange – (Weird, but Kubrick can do no wrong)
  • Pulp Fiction – (Quenten Tarantino at his best)
  • Inglorious Basterds – (Another great Tarantino movie)
  • Lincoln – (Great History lesson, great acting and directing)
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The civil unrest continues…

Charlotte Protest

The recent events that have unfolded in Charlotte, North Carolina are unsettling and disturbing. A man was shot and killed by police, which brought out protesters and in some case rioters in the Queen city, the largest city in North Carolina. A modern city wich is a banking hub and home to sports franchises, the Carolina Panthers (NFL) and Charlotte Hornets (NBA) as well as home to NASCAR.

This was just the latest in a string of violence between the police and black men over the last several years where black men have been killed by police officers and it has been on social media, filmed on camera phones, played out in the media and lead to protest in the particular city where it took place. This has lead to a divided nation and no trust between the police officers and the communities in which they serce.

I am not going to take sides in this debate, only offer a few thoughts and points that I feel might be getting overlooked. First off, the police do need to be transparent. If the person who was shot in Charlotte, Keith Lamont Scott, was holding a weapon and refused to put it down after the officers repeatedly told him to then the shooting was justified in my opinion. If he had no weapon as his wife claimed and was just sitting in his car, then this was manslaughter by the cops and should be prosecuted in a court of law.

I have the utmost respect for the men and women in blue. They go to work every day not knowing if they will be in a situation such as the one the officers were in Charlotte were in. I don’t think the police are intentional murderers. I do think they are known to use excessive force that is often unnecessary and this often disproportionately involved people (mostly men) who are minorities. This has gone on for years. Everyone of my generation remembers Rodney King ad the beating that took place at the hands of the LAPD that was caught on video back in 1991-1992. This was a disgusting display of force and misuse of authority and the fact that the cops were acquitted lead to the LA riots back during the same period.

The cops aren’t perfect, but by-and-large they are trustworthy and do what they are supposed to do with civilians which is to protect and serve the community that they belong in. I know I wouldn’t want to do their job which is one of the toughest careers in the United States.

I mentioned transparency earlier and I firmly believe that in order to help the healing between the police and the black community, more transparency is needed. The recently passed House Bill in North Carolina does not assist in any way the transparency issues that occur between the Police and citizens of North Carolina.

Trust will only come when there is better communication between the police and the black community. Passing laws that will facilitate non-tranparencey and delays in finding out the truth of what actually happened in these incidences is only going to make matters worse.

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My desert island musical selection

Desert Island

One important thing all human beings should think about is what music would they want to have with them if they were stranded on a musical island (because you just never know, right?)
If I had to pick one CD, I might go with Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon, Led Zeppelin IV, U2 – Joshua Tree, Radio Head- OK Computer, Pearl Jam -Ten, Nirvana – Never Mind, The Eagles – Greatest Hits or The Who – Who’s Next.

In a perfect world , I would have a mixed CD to accompany me during the lonely days and nights on the deserted island that I may or may nor inhabit one day. If that was the case, here are the tunes that would be on that CD.

  • Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
  • Pink Floyd – Time
  • Radiohead – Creep
  • Radiohead – Paranoid Android
  • Pearl Jam – Black
  • Pearl Jam – Even Flow
  • Alice in Chains – Rooster
  • Alice in Chains – Again
  • Audioslave – Like a Stone
  • Rage against the machine – Killing in the name
  • Kings of Leon – Arizona
  • The Who – Won’t get fooled again
  • The Who – Pinball Wizard
  • Led Zeppelin – Kashmir
  • Led Zeppelin – Hey Hey What Can I do
  • Foo Fighters – Everlong
  • REM – Losing My Religion
  • The Eagles – Hotel California
  • Fleetwood Mac – Rhiannon
  • Bush – Everything Zen
  • Finger 11 – Paralyzed

I hope I don’t actually ever get stuck on a desert Island, but if I do I want to have some great music to accompany me!

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I’m with her, because I am certainly NOT with him!

Hillary Clinton for President

I am probably never going to be the biggest Hilary Clinton supporter. I tend to vote Democrat, but she has never been my favorite. I think she did a good job as Secretary of State and was admirable as First Lady, but my choice of the Democratic nominee would be stronger towards Joe Biden if he decided to run or Bernie (Feel the Bern) Sanders.

It’s not that I don’t trust Hillary. Email scandal aside, I think she is trustworthy, intelligent, experienced and she would be good with diplomacy and for the most part, make good decisions as POTUS.

Her opponent, Donald J. Trump, on the other hand, would be a disaster as President. He is brash, insulting to women, minorities, people with disabilities and when it comes to foreign affairs he is just plain ignorant. He has no plan if he becomes President other than that he will “Make America Great Again”. No he won’t! America is already great. There is no need to make America great again. He will make America terrible and will incite violence, promote racism, make poor decisions, will piss off all of the leaders of other countries, probably start World War III and might end civilization as we know it.

Back in 1990 after I graduated from college I went to Atlantic City New Jersey and stopped in Trump casino. it was pretty sleazy and has since closed. I also stopped at Trump tower in 2001 on a trip to New York City. It was a nice building, but kind of pompous just like the person the building was named after.

Trump does real estate and fires people on reality shows. He should stick to real estate and television and stay in New York City where he belongs. Washington D.C will be Hillary’s new place of residence once November 2016 rolls around.

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HB2 sucks and it is stupid

We are Not This

“Stupid is as stupid does”- Forrest Gump

Stupid is as stupid does.This is how I feel about N.C Governor McCrory and the N.C legislature putting HB2 (House Bill 2) on the books in March 2016. Since the bill was signed into law, my birth state of North Carolina and residence for the past twenty plus years has become a laughing stock for the rest of the Nation due to the silly law that states among other things that a transgender person must use the bathroom according to their birth certificate, not according to how they identify.

The bill is stupid, unnecessary and makes the state of North Carolina a laughing stock for the rest of the United States.

Here are the issues I have with the HB2 law (in no particular order). (more…)

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Happy Birthday America!

United States Flag

Today is the 4th of July and many Americans will be celebrating with food, beer, wine, more food,music,swimming, fireworks and just having a great time with friends and family. Today is also a day we pause to reflect and take some time to reflect on what it means to be an American. America stands for freedom, prosperity, a government built by the people and for the people. Hard working people who live in a country knowing that they are free to pursue their dreams. We should not simply take all of these luxuries and freedoms for granted. Celebrate the 4th, but also understand the symbolism of the Holiday.

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; – Thomas Jefferson

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