Is the Internet a Utility?

Blog Frustration

Blog Frustration

(Wow, I typed this way too quickly this morning.) Gas, electricity, water, sewer and telephone have become for most Americans our basic utilities. These are things that most of us can’t live without. These are the services that we believe should never be interrupted. Is the Internet now one of these services? If so, how do we get to uninterrupted Internet service?

Psst, I’m talking to you, Comcast. Yep, I’m posting this using my cellphone. Why? Because Comcast has let me down again. 18 hours of no service. Multiple calls. Time wasted. The runaround. My kingdom for an honest answer from anyone who works for that dysfunctional company.

News Roundup: Lies, J.P. Morgan Chase, Best Quarterback in the NFL and More

Dana PerinoWhen I first started this blog, I thought it was very important for me to combat all the lies that are told in the public sphere. That proved extremely fruitless. Yet, there are some lies that we clearly need to call out. George W. Bush’s former White House Press Secretary, Dana Perino, decided that she would tell a little fib on national television. While on Fox News she said, “We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.” You don’t have to be a genius or know how to use Google to know that 9/11 occurred while George W. Bush was in his first term as president of our United States. Yet Rudy Giuliani, who was thrust into prominence by those same attacks, repeated the claim only a couple days later. Besides the multiple failures of 9/11, which I will not go into, there was the anthrax attack in which several Americans died and several others became sick. This was a terrorist attack. It happened on George W. Bush’s watch. Frank Rich has more. Look, I really don’t mind you having your own opinion. If you believe that George W. Bush was the greatest president since George Washington, good for you. I do mind when you pretend to have your own set of facts. The facts are clear. The failures of the George W. Bush administration led to 9/11. The failures in the aftermath of 9/11 led to our taking our eyes off the ball and focusing on Iraq instead of Al Qaeda. This allowed us to go into Iraq with too few troops to secure the peace. Now, let’s return to reality.

It would be nice if we had some fairy godmother who could wave a magic wand and change the world for good. Wouldn’t it be nice if corporations would be penalized for gross negligence? If you have a security breach in which 76 million credit card holders have their data exposed to thieves, isn’t that gross negligence? Why can’t we, as Americans, form a class action and sue J.P. Morgan Chase for gross negligence? Oh, that’s right, it’s illegal for us to do it.

It appears that a gay teenager was beaten. Unfortunately, this isn’t news. What is news is that he was hospitalized for the beating and is being charged by police for… I don’t know what exactly. It’s crazy.

Google is working on a really large TV which will fit together like Legos. Sounds cool. Hope it works.

Deaths from heroin overdoses have more than doubled over the last several years.

Conservatives are all up in arms because of voter suppression. I can only laugh. It is conservatives who have pushed voter suppression. They pushed ID cards and several other gimmicks in order to limit the young, the poor and some of the elderly from voting. Now one of their own, Leslie Rutledge, has been kicked off the voter registration. One of the things that I find amusing is that conservatives continue to say that this is a right-leaning country. If so, wouldn’t conservatives push to have more people vote instead of fewer? Continue reading

Movie Review: the Equalizer

Let me be honest. I’m a sucker for movies in which one person is smarter than everyone else. The first time I recognized my weakness was in a movie called Hopscotch with Walter Matthau. Let’s just say not only was that not even close to Walter Matthau’s best role, nobody else watched the movie but me. In spite of this, I loved it.

If you’re looking for romantic comedy or a movie that’s going to change your life, The Equalizer is not it. The Equalizer is an action movie like any of the Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone movies. These movies are clichéd. The bad guys are really, really bad. There are the good guys and then there are those innocent bystanders who stand around somewhat befuddled in the middle.

The two things that make this movie different from other action movies are Denzel Washington and Antonie Fuqua. Antonie Fuqua was also the director of Training Day. In my opinion, the direction of this movie was masterful. The movie was dark when it needed to be. It was fast-paced when it needed to be. It was also very stylized when it needed to be.

Denzel Washington is simply an actor at the top of his craft. We’ve seen this in Anthony Hopkins, Harrison Ford, Samuel L Jackson, Clint Eastwood and a few others. A real actor can suck you into the character even when the rest of the story is only so-so. Denzel Washington makes this guy believable. By the end of the movie, you wouldn’t be surprised if you walked into a Lowe’s or a Home Depot and found a mild-mannered stock boy who is really a highly trained CIA assassin.

In order to enjoy this movie, you have to sit back and relax. It takes a little while to unfold. Once the movie begins to unfold, you’re going to have to excuse the overused clichés. The good news is that this movie did not fall for the ridiculously stupid one-liners that we see in all of the Schwarzenegger movies. Arnold Schwarzenegger is somehow able to pull off these one-liners almost nobody else can. Denzel Washington has one of those lines and it works fabulously.

Then there is the cliché in which the bad guys are moving in to capture or kill our hero. They’re coming closer and closer. The suspense is growing bigger and bigger. Suddenly, we find out that our hero is not exactly where we thought he was. I gave the director a pass in spite of using this plot element not once but twice in the movie.

Finally, in all of these movies, you have a problem with the bad guys. How real do you want the bad guys to be? Maybe they should be so bad that they’re over the top and bigger than life? Or they could be just a little bit bad and become more realistic. I don’t know what the right answer is. The bad guys in this movie are basically Russian mobsters. This breaks from the recent trend in which everybody has to be an Islamic terrorist. So, I don’t have a problem these Russian mobsters. They are bad. They have no redeeming qualities.

This is a nice movie that came out in the fall because I don’t think it could’ve stood up to the summer blockbusters. All that being said, I think this movie is worth sitting down and enjoying. It’s clearly worth the price of admission. Sit back and enjoy.