The finals of America's Got Talent is really a hard one this third season. All five finalists are very good! Neal E. Boyd has a beautiful voice, and the Nuttin But Stringz are very entertaining, and I like Donald Braswell, and Emily sounds pretty good...BUT I love the unique voice of Eli Mattson. He is a good entertainer, really talented, and I can see him doing great shows in Las Vegas and elsewhere.
It's too bad the runner-ups can't have a smaller cash prize and a couple of shows in Vegas. Hopefully this will move all their careers forward.
At this point I cannot even predict who might win. In the beginning of the season I thought the winner would be Neal. Now....not sure at all. I do think it will be either Neal, Nutten or Eli.
I guess we'll know next week. You can see the other performances at the America's Got Talent website.
Earlier today I emailed a very good blog article by James Howard Kunstler, journalist and author, regarding the Republican party, "the party that wrecked America," as he tags them, and I must agree with that tag. These last nearly eight years have been very bad for this country. Kunstler’s opening sentences:
You may want to read Kunstler’s excellent article first before reading my friend and guest blogger, Ricky Kendall’s comments to the article. Ricky’s comments today were too good to just be deleted from my email. His comments deserve to be shared–as do those of James Kunstler.
Linda, Good grief. I was almost convinced to vote for McCain/Palin after reading the article and the comments! I have to agree that it would be nice to watch the Republicans struggle to dig us out of this horrible mess we are in. To be perfectly honest, I don't think either party is going to have fun trying to weld the economy back together again. The author is absolutely correct when he speaks of what we have to offer this world in products. We have none. I always wondered exactly what the consumer, information and high tech economies were all about. Out of these three, only one has a real product that you can carry home in a box and that would be the high tech economy and the software produced. Unfortunately even that software is put into a physical, hold in your hand existence using disks, cases and inserts made in another country. Even my Sunraze are made up of products that are all made in another country. I just put it all together to create my art.
Do we make anything anymore? We all consume like crazy but very few of us create anything to replace the energy at our end. The logo for my business when I cut my CD, was Power of Balance. When we receive an object, whether purchased, stolen, or as a gift, we should replace it with something. I don't mean that we should hand over a hand made trinket to the cashier along with our hard earned money. We should put something of a physical nature out there to replace it. Create something and sell it, give it as a gift or just plant a flower. The Native Americans were very well aware of this.
Humanity is a part of the earth and we are here because the planet has allowed it. Nature will be the final decision maker when it comes to our retaining our existence here. Even great economists say that an economy has a life of its own. They have no idea how true this is. Instead of letting it do as it should by letting it have that life, the politicians have screwed around with it to the point that it no longer can survive and it will crumble. There are very powerful rewards when things are in balance. Right now our economy is like a top slowing down, losing momentum and ready to fall over, fly off the table and come to a grinding halt, silent and still. We will have to start over and hope to learn from this mistake. I don't know that humanity ever learns much from its past mistakes because we just keep making the same ones over and over, mostly because of greed.
What does it take to get a top spinning again? You can't lift it to its correct position without product and you won't spin it with invisible string. We will have to go back to basics and start over. We need to create what we need to survive here, in this country. In the event that all other nations turn their backs on us, we need to have the capacity to take care of ourselves. As things stand now, such an event would be akin to the great USA being hit by a moon sized meteorite. Thank you for sending me that great article. It was inspiring and informative. It is the first time I have seen a commentary that actually brought up the fact that we no longer produce. It was refreshing. ~Ricky
Fact: Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin not only condones the aerial hunting of wolves and bears, she actively promotes this barbaric practice of hunting down wolves and shooting from low-flying aircraft or helicopters, chasing the wolves to exhaustion, and killing the animal at point-blank range.
* Palin approved a $400,000 state-funded campaign to promote this awful practice. * Palin has proposed a bounty of $150 for every severed left foreleg of a wolf that hunters produce. * Palin sued the Department of Interior to eliminate protection of the imperiled polar bear. * Palin questions the science on global warming, even though her state of Alaska is already gravely affected. * Palin is in favor of drilling for oil in the Alaskan Coastal waters and the National Wildlife Refuge, putting at risk the polar bear and the Cook Inlet endangered Beluga Whales, which may soon be permanently listed under the the Endangered Species Act.
She may be pro-life, (an issue that does not does not even belong in the political arena), but obviously she does not consider all life in our world to be of importance. We should not want an unqualified woman with this type of backward policies in a leadership position in this country, and all the while only a heart-beat away from the top leadership role.
A vote for Palin and McCain, (I put them in that order on purpose because it is obvious that is happening) will be a vote of backward movement in too many areas of our society, including environmental issues, the present wars and future war issues, women’s rights, gay rights, stem cell research, education. It will be "more of the same" of what we have endured for nearly eight years.
For the sake of our future, and of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren I hope people, especially women, will carefully think about what is now at risk in the November Presidential election. I know for damn sure, I want the best for my family’s future and I believe the Republican ticket will only bring more damage to this country and to our world standing.
The arrests last week during the Republican National Convention of several journalists, including award winning broadcast journalist, author and syndicated columnist, Amy Goodman gave my good friend, artist, musician, and songwriter, Ricky Kendall cause to speak out. I invited him to be my guest blogger.
His comments: I am outraged. Amy Goodman is kind, gentle, intelligent and soft spoken. She is one of the best voices for Democracy I know. I have not seen anything so outrageous since the 60's. The Democrats had best get their asses off their couches and vote. They need to make sure that the Republicans are booted out of office. It should have been done four years ago. What's next? If the Republicans are left in office our rights will be in shambles. This case with Amy Goodman is a very good example of what we may all face if the executive branch is left unchecked.
This country has got to be taken back from these far right zealots or we will find ourselves hiding, just as many Germans did during that reign of terror. Anyone who thinks that something so horrendous would never happen in the "Wonderful United States" had better stop and take a look around them. I can give some examples from how I have been feeling lately as a gay man. I'm worried that, having come out of the closet so many years ago, there is too much evidence of who I am and what I am. The gays who had revealed themselves in Germany were comfortable being who they were and living their lives "out". They were eventually rounded up and used a kindling.
I fear that If I lean too far left in my daily conversations, I could be attacked by the government for being too outspoken.
I'm afraid to state my beliefs at work for fear of being fired.
I'm afraid to put a bumper sticker on my car for fear it will be vandalized.
I fear for our children who are being taught to hate and taking that hate with them to adulthood.
I fear that President Bush and Vice President Chaney will get away with what they have done and set the stage for a Presidium as in the USSR decades ago. They have set a very disturbing precedence.
Most of all, I fear for the future of our country. We can stand by and let this happen just like the Germans did or, through political change, make sure that those who abuse their power are punished. From the Civil Servant protecting our streets to the President of the United States, there must be accountability. When they abuse their power they must pay a very high price which should include life in prison when lives are taken through their eagerness to raise their power and suppress those they are supposed to protect.
I will not let fear rule my world because that is what this administration wants of me. I feel it but I don't have to curl up in a corner and hide. I will remain who I am and I will do everything that I can to protect this nation from this anvil of greed and power that is weighing this country down.
Army officials reported today that soldier suicides may surpass the record rate of last year. Army officials said Thursday, September 4, 2008 that there are 62 confirmed suicides among active duty soldiers and National Guard and Reserve troops called to active duty. Another 31 deaths are being investigated.
If all are confirmed then the number for 2008 could be higher than the 115 of last year—and the rate per 100,000 could surpass that of the civilian population stated by Col. Eddie Stephens, deputy director of human resources policy, at a Pentagon news conference.
Previous military deaths from suicide are: 115 in 2007; 102 in 2006; 87 in 2005; and 67 in 2004. In 2003, the suicide rate per 100,000 was 12.4, and now it is expected to be 19.5 per 100,000.
I don’t know if there are any statistics available on soldiers suffering from depression or other mental illness such as post traumatic stress. Word is that soldiers do not get the proper care they need for mental disturbances, and are being forced to return to combat, and are having long tours of duty, and repeat tours of duty.
Our media has put the war coverage in the background during all the current political coverage. Funny isn’t it, when the billions being spent on this unnecessary war should be addressed, as should the growing number of dead soldiers, causalities, and civilians?
The latest figures of U.S. military DEATHS in Iraq is 4,154, and 582 in Afghanistan. Since "Mission Accomplished" announced by GW. Bush on the Navy super-carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003 there have been 4,015 deaths. Casualties figures are 30,568.
Approximately 551,231,600,000. DOLLARS have been spent in this war, and the per day figure is 341.4 million.
Last month a report issued by the Congressional Budget Office, indicated twenty (20%) percent of money spent for the Iraq War goes to private contractors. Senator Kent Conrad, D, North Dakota, the chairman of the Senate budget committee said the findings show a troubling trend. No kidding. Funny it took a investigation to uncover that. Conrad stated, "The Bush Administration’s move to out-source large portions of the Iraq war effort sets a dangerous precedent. The increasing use of private contractors restricts accountability and oversight; opens the door to corruption and abuse; and, in come instances, may significantly increase the cost to American taxpayers."
Military deaths, military suicides, military casualties, civilian deaths, wasted and unaccounted for money–our tax dollars.
I can’t help but wonder how many of the casualties–how many of those men and women will never regain their health–how many have brain injuries, how many have limb loss, how many will never be the same again.
Why do we allow ourselves, allow the media, allow the politicians divert our attention from the war that should ended a long time ago? NO, I take that back. The war that never should have began.
By the way, since I last put up a blog about the war in early January, there have been 250 deaths.
And as I asked then, how many will have died by the time our next president takes office? I sure hope our president is not the "military minded" one--as this war could continue beyond my lifetime if he has anything to say about it. It bothers me that the focus has turned from the war to superficial issues. LOL. Of course, the war was based itself on superficial issues, and oil and greed, and power are what these men and women really died for. Shameful.
Last week at dinner we had a friendly young man waiting on our table. Waitering was his second part time job, which he said he took a couple nights a week because he enjoys people. His first job was sales of security alarm systems, which he said was making him a decent living. He had just turned 21 and when ready to go to college he had turned down an opportunity to go to the Air Force Academy because of a girl,–not with her anymore although still friends–but now he wanted to go into the military. It was so hard for me to not tell him he was crazy to even consider doing so because he said it had always been his dream since he was a little boy to be a pilot. Damn, it is hard to ruin someone's lifetime dream, but I sure wanted to. I wanted to tell him he could take flying lessons at the local airport.....but...I kept his dream alive for him.
Pray for Rain Video: invites people to consider praying for a downpour, torrential rains, heavy enough to cause urban flood advisories in Denver, etc., a rain of biblical proportions during last Thursday's Democratic Convention and Obama's acceptance speech at the Denver stadium.
Again, some in the Religious Right are showing how ridiculous and hateful they can be. This video comes from the Focus on Family Group, James Dobson. Apparently Dobson has now pulled it from his website, but it is still out there on the Internet, and now that Gustav pounds the Gulf interfering with the Republican Convention, maybe ?? they decided in what bad and ridiculous taste this was. Boy, it sure brings back the awful and hateful comments made by "Christian" ministers Falwell and Robertson following 9-11 and Katrina. It is those attitudes that inspired me to leave my Republican registration behind nearly twenty years ago.
When are they going to learn that this "religious" control and focus is ruining the Republican Party. Again this is an example: asking people to pray for rain and cause havoc, and even worse.
When are these people going to learn that God is a loving God, and Jesus is about unconditional love? When they teach and live that then they may be worthy of the title, Christian. In the meantime someone needs to tell them to be careful what they pray for.