Friday, December 19, 2014

I have not missed one Red Kettle on my rounds this holiday season. When I hear the bell I look for the Red Kettle and donate.

The Salvation Army

"Doing the Most Good"

Am I missing something here, but,... Sony not a Japanese company?

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) (click here) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., which is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation, and includes the following groups:






I think there are a lot of problems regarding all this, including such a thing called jurisdiction. Where exactly was the company effected within the borders of the USA or at their corporate headquarters in Japan?

Four unreleased movies (click here) were leaked just days after the studio was forced to shut down its network in response to a security breach.

The scope of this cyber breach goes far beyond one movie as well. The graph is a casual measure of the distance from Tokyo to other major cities. Bejing is about 1300 miles from Tokyo, North Korea is going to be that much more, but, not as great a distance compared to Las Vegas.

I realize the issue of exporting terrorism is a concern, but, where did the breach happen in the USA or Japan? It is my opinion while this so called problem seems to be trivial to some extent; it really isn't; when one begins to recognize the depth of the cyber attack.

North Korea has it's own reasons for carrying out this 'mission' against the movie "The Interview," but, at the same instance there are major international laws and treaties involved with this. If Japan was breached and then the USA that shows proximity to North Korea is a problem for that hemisphere. But, if the attack took place in the USA, we are included in the country(ies) with an interest ending this type of aggression.

I don't think there is anything minor about these circumstances. So, while the theaters were really the impetus to retain the movie from being shown, there are a lot of complications for Sony in dealing with all this.

One of the statements by North Korea is that Sony was to end any and all leaks. That isn't even realistic. The leaks happened and it wasn't Sony that did it.

The controversy surrounding this that has been addressed is the idea this will lead to greater and greater infringements on the USA's freedoms and being co-opted by a foreign country in leveraging power over a corporation. That is quite frankly the least of the problem. The problem is huge and begins with the understanding the extent of the breach into Sony's corporate rights. The extent to which that is international as well as corporate has to be decided. The legal wrangling of all this is extensive. 

I think Sony simply decided the relationships with theaters and all those currently involuntarily involved needed to be protected. I doubt they had policies to even address such a bizarre circumstance.

President Obama is correct in that having a motion picture of paramount importance to a distant country is extremely odd. There are films aired in the USA all the time that carry controversy, but, that is our country and not North Korea where minor blemishes to their dictator is a gigantic problem.

I also believe North Korea took offense at the idea the USA was lampooning their leader in asking unassuming people to 'take him out.' The reaction by the actors when asked was "Take him out to lunch?" So the oddity of the film was not appreciated and the idea of ending a young leader's life in that country in particular is very real. This is off topic, but, realizing there were members of Kim's family put to death, the entire dialogue about any death in North Korea is a sensitive issue. I know it is not the issue in the USA, but, when one puts it into context from the view point of North Korea their problems with the film becomes somewhat clearer. I am not justifying any of this, because, I think it is a very big problem now that it has come our shores.

I know from a military standpoint and having the upper hand the reaction by Sony is wrong in the eyes of the Commander and Chief and rightfully so, but, I still believe Sony and Japan have to weigh all the problems and do what is best for everyone. I think everyone has their viewpoint and all are valid. It is simply how one views the problem and impact that one may feel differently than someone else. I will leave it in Sony's hands to do the right thing for their country and expect countries to become involved in defining everyone's responsibility. The problem is tricky. Why take risks when human beings are involved?
President Obama stated, "Building infrastructure for the USA would provide a million jobs for the country."

The Republicans state, "Keystone XL Pipeline would make a few thousand construction jobs initially and about 50 jobs permanently, maybe."

What is the difference?

Spending. President Obama wants Congress to authorize spending to improve the country's infrastructure while Congress washes their hands of it and instead wants TransCanada and their cronies to build a pipeline.

Even if the KXL creates 5000 jobs temporarily that means the Republicans are turning their back on the American people, the investment for a better infrastructure so they can cut taxes and pad the pockets of cronies without spending a dime of tax dollars.

For every one job President Obama's plan would create, the Republicans create .005 jobs. Who is responsible for the deteriorating USA infrastructure and lack of good paying jobs in the construction sector? Grover Norquist and his pledge.

The Congress are spineless to their cronies and dangerous in protecting the lives of Americans from deteriorating infrastructure.

August 4, 2007
Flying over Minneapolis’ (click here) collapsed highway bridge, President Bush got a bird’s-eye view Saturday of the concrete slabs and twisted steel that once spanned the Mississippi River.
The president’s Marine One helicopter circled the site several times during a 10-minute tour, allowing him to gaze down upon the muddy waters where some bodies are still trapped. He saw pieces of the highway littered with vehicles, including a school bus hugging a guard rail. Rescue boats below helped in the search for victims.
Later, Bush put on an orange and red hard hat and walked around the bridge site. Yards from the school bus, he stood with Gary Babineau, a construction worker who helped rescue children after the collapse.
Bush also planned to receive briefings on recovery efforts and meet with families and some of the victims....
Welcome back to life with Republican majorities.

"Have a careful Christmas."
I don't think the issue surrounding "The Interview" is important enough to clog the media with the idea of Freedom of Speech. It is Christmas Day, haven't we had enough of tensions on Christmas Day? 

I really have to blame the industry for the lack of patron security. It was the movie theaters that failed, not the First Amendment.

To believe movie theaters have to be sensitive to the public and they failed this time. They need to develop a sense of security to the public and have it in place as a value to the consumer. Security is important and I sincerely believe the theaters didn't make enough noise about the federal government securing them when all this began more than a decade ago.

I attend movie from time to time on Christmas. I think "War Horse" opened on Christmas and the Tweens were all about it that year. We went to a late afternoon Matinee and they loved it. Having movies open on Christmas Day is important. The theaters have to pay attention to the public and the safety of the public otherwise they aren't in business. I think this had to happen.

December 22, 2011
By Richard Corliss

How many Steven Spielbergs are there, anyway? (click here) One Spielberg released a 3-D animated comedy yesterday: The Adventures of Tintin. Another has an emotionally urgent live-action epic opening Christmas day: War Horse, the story of a boy who so loves his horse that he follows it into World War I. These Spielbergs: they contain multitudes—vast crowd scenes....

It is a cousin thing on Christmas Day. The gifts that age group receives are more sophisticated and social. Clothes, electronics. The littlest people want to play with their toys, but, the Tweens like the socializing of being in the theater together. It was a bonding thing between cousins that day. It was nice. 

Why have them all worried about a stupid threat? It makes no sense to state to these wonderful young people, "...there is a threat at the theaters, you know? Do you still want to go? I don't want to here how we get there and everyone turns chicken, okay?" No, no, no. That sort of upset scenario doesn't belong near our Tweens or otherwise on Christmas. The theaters weren't ready. It's silly to think something like this can effect young people on Christmas Day. 

The canary in the coal mine. I think it is the change in air pressure that alerted the Warblers.

A 9 gram bird will be more sensitive to air pressure changes than other animals. A storm can destroy their nests and kill them even if shelter in trees. It is interesting. Nature really does exceptional things.

December 18, 2014
By Jonathan Webb

...After disappearing to Colombia for the winter, (click here) 10 of the tagged warblers returned in April 2014. The team was in the field observing them when they received advance warning of the tornadoes.
"We evacuated ourselves to the waffle house in Caryville, Tennessee, for the one day that the storm was really bad," Dr Streby said.
Elsewhere in the US the storm had more drastic consequences. At least 84 tornadoes caused 35 fatalities and more than $1bn (£0.6bn) in property damage.
After the storm had blown over, the team recaptured five of the warblers and removed the geolocators.
These are tiny devices weighing about half a gram, which measure light levels. Based on the timing and length of the days they record, these gadgets allow scientists to calculate and track the approximate location of migratory birds.
In this case, all five indicated that the birds had taken unprecedented evasive action, beginning one to two days ahead of the storm's arrival.
"The warblers in our study flew at least 1,500km (932 miles) in total," Dr Streby said.
They escaped just south of the tornadoes' path - and then went straight home again. By 2 May, all five were back in their nesting area....
January 29, 2014
By Anna McKenzie
Creative Loafing: How are you arguing the case in court? (click here)Miller W. Shealy Jr.: We're proceeding on two grounds. First, a motion for after-discovery evidence and for a new trial under criminal procedural rules of the state. I have filed motions requesting coram nobis, a 500-year-old writ dating back to English common law. It's fallen out of use in criminal cases, but basically allows a court to correct certain legal errors for people who have been unjustifiably treated. It's a last best hope kind of thing. Even in 1944, to be arrested at the end of March and dead by June and not have an appeal was a rare thing. His family wasn't even allowed to see him. It's extreme injustice.
Why did the family re-open the case now?All of his full siblings are still alive. They're hurt, they're angry and they want their family name cleared. Apparently, everyone up in the Manning and Clarendon County area knows about this. It's local legend.
What are the case's chances, and what comes next?It's hard to say. It's a different case legally. There's also no square authority against us, so we're plowing new ground. We may be making some new law. After about 20 days, we'll be called into court and the judge will issue a ruling.
December 18, 2014
By Lindsey Bever
“[The police] were looking for someone to blame it on, so they used my brother as a scapegoat,” his sister Amie Ruffner told WLTX-TV earlier this year....