Monday, September 30, 2013

Sometimes when I get to thinking...


At work one day I picked up a business card and flyer for a cinematographer. The flyer was for a project that this individual had done for a film festival. Then it got me thinking.

I often note the works that were produced and exhibited online from either Brain Terminal or Protest Warrior that partially inspired this blog. There was a time that I wanted to match some of the work they did although what could be done differently by me than they did.

There are always projects that are worth doing if you require the services of a cinematographer. There is always something at least worth making a documentary about. There's always something out there you want the general public to know about.

And let me add, the many videobloggers I followed over the years. It seemed for the most part that activity has died down, but what they did to me was very ground breaking. Many of them really just wanted to show us the world as they see it. It something I'm interested in and still do it in the form of photography or even on social media.

Still when I saw the card for the cinematographer, for second my thought became what could be the use of such a skilled person. What project could be created that would justify having him work on my project?

Recently I talked with a friend having shared with him some posts from my other blog - The Sixth Ward. He had a much larger vision for what I'm doing there than I really did. He thought about flyers, t-shirts, he thought of ways to make money while pursuing a story, and much more.

Then in thinking of this, I recognize that sometimes there are moments like the one I described in the first paragraph of this post is the kind of out of the box thinking that necessary. It just lets me know that there are always projects that needs to be done and hopefully the world can only learn about something I'm passionate about!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Reason: Belle Isle Commonwealth: #Anarchy in Detroit


[VIDEO] You know this video should be tipped to Curbed Detroit that is part of a localized network of sites that keep an eye on real estate in many of our major cities around the nation. What you see above courtesy of Reason.tv definitely is real estate related.

I've actually visted Belle Isle four years ago. There was a family reunion in Detroit and I just so happen to visit and a picnic was held on this public park. It's very unique and beautiful.

The vision shown here while very appealing it should be just as possible to turn the various vacant neighborhoods that seem to exist in Detroit into this "Singapore" desired by the man who wants to develop Belle Isle. In fact many of our cities have neighborhoods that we should turn into a "Singapore".

This brings to mind something that was thought of years ago but that's for another post.

In the meanwhile, it's time to pay attention to any site that shows attention to what's going on in that beleaguered great American city!

Hat-tip Newsalert!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Capitol Fax: A totally messed up system

The Capitol Fax shares with us an example of how the criminal justice system works in Cook County. Last week a group of gang members decided to shoot up a park after one of them had recently been wounded in a shooting. It's noted that he was not only on probation in another but he had merely been sent to a boot camp for gun posession. It was noted that another man had been charged with gun possession, but was forced to sit in Cook County jail for 14 months after being charged.

Also noted another man had been acquitted of burglary but still had to sit in jail for processing. He had been at Cook County Jail for two years waiting for his trial to commence. So apparently processing releases is very slow at Cook County. Something needs to change there.

BTW, here's another example that I showed on this blog a while back! Although granted showing that is a bit of an extreme.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Reason: #Anarchy in Detroit, Part I

Via Instatpundit I got wind of another documentary series by Reason magazine talking about Detroit. The point of that series is to show how residents of Detroit are seeking to take matters in their own hands as city government isn't able to deliver necessary services there. Sometimes I suppose we all do what we have to do!

Detroit is a struggling city and this is no surprise to anyone. The question is, can this often beleaguered city be revived either by the actions of very passionate and concerned citizens or by government. I can only bet Detroit's people can solve most of the city's issues.

The video shown over at Instapundit is of a private security firm taking over some of the Detroit Police's responsiblity. Well they probably can't deliver tickets and all that, but that firm recognizes some areas where police can't really engage in. For example this security firm seeks to prevent and for the most part the police can only respond to something that already happened.

Perhaps the people in many of our nation's other struggling cities can take some notes to solve some of their urban problems. Even the magnificient metropolis known as Chicago could take some notes!

I would like to share some of the videos soon but feel free to click over to Reason to watch them for yourself.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Harvard announces no tuition and no student loans

A school like Morehouse College has a lot of catching up to do if they wanted to attract the best and brightest to their school. Especially if the best and brightest are from low-income families because expectantly access to higher education is certain to be a ticket to a higher income. No guarantee of course but if Harvard University is able to afford to allow low-income students to attend without paying tuition and utilizing student loans then one can only hope other universities could one day be able to do the same.

In which case the catching up involves money. It costs Harvard money to be able to provide free tuition dipping into endowment money. Morehouse likely couldn't ever come close, however, I'm sure there are ways they could help at least low-income students or at least help students whose family make less than $60,000/year (Harvard's threshold). Of course we know schools will work with the neediest students but my interest is to eliminate the option of student loans!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Reason: Operation Compliance: Detroit's War on Small Business


[VIDEO] Reason.tv looks at Detroit's Operation Compliance
Operation Compliance began with the stated goal of shutting down 20 businesses a week. Since its inception, Operation Compliance has resulted in the closure of 383 small businesses, with another 536 in the "process of compliance," according to figures provided to Reason TV by city officials.

But business owners say that Operation Compliance unfairly targets small, struggling businesses in poor areas of town and that the city's maze of regulations is nearly impossible to navigate, with permit fees that are excessive and damaging to businesses running on thin profit margins.
As if this great American city doesn't already have problems!

Media Matters: Unelected Detroit Official Turns Off Power To "Send A Strong Message"


[VIDEO] This article I just ran across comes from this site Media Matters. I've heard of them over the years although I've never read them. They've often been attacked by members of the right wing for being very biased. Even though it's very clear where their political agenda is.

All the same if this story out of the Detroit is true then this is simply the height of arrogance. Why play games with people like that just because you can? Media Matters' point, that this subject wasn't heavily covered in the news and they're right it should be.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Reason: Are We Rome?



[VIDEO] Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie interviews Free Market Institute;s Ben Powell discussing whether or not America is turning into ancient Rome.

Personally it's hard for me to compare the Roman Empire to the United States of America only so far as to say both of those nations reached their maximum influence at different times. Perhaps the USA wasn't as much about conquering at the Romans were and wasn't founded on nothing but military might. Although to be clear military might was one of the things that made this nation a very influential nation on the world stage.

The world had Pax Romana and now we have Pax Americana. Some people would say Pax Americana is in decline probably owing to factors that may include our current leadership.

Will America become Rome? Can we stave off the decline by making some necessary changes?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Should I get another iPhone?


[VIDEO] By the time I had bought my current iPhone it wasn't long until it was time for the iPhone 5. My feelings on that device is that I wish it was designed like the iPhone 4 & 4S and it appears the new iPhone 5S takes its cue from the 5.

For now it appears this is the design I will see for the foreseeable future. I could always wait for the iPhone 6 and hope Apple provides a better design.

On the other hand I'm all about utility as it's as much what the device can do and not all how it looks. Lots of social networking and picture taking in addition to the basic function of making phone calls. While they talk more about the processor hopefully it makes the phone function better. Although it's a great idea to use a fingerprint scanner to ensure security for the device.

Other than that should I keep my current iPhone and wait for the iPhone 6?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Crystal Morning: September 11th, 2001


[VIDEO] I'm pretty sure this video was shown here at least once. This was from Evan Coyne Maloney and showed the sights and sounds from that fateful day September 11, 2001. Today is the 12th anniversary!

As per usual on this date I will often avoid any TV programming that replays events from that very sad day. That very horrendous day when terrorism found its way to America and caused significant damage. Today is the time to remember what we lost.

While thankfully I never lost anyone on that day, I'm sad along with the people who have lost that day.

Here are a listing of all previous 9/11 posts tagged under September 11th. And yes it even includes a story about Osama bin Laden leader of al-Qaida who was killed by Seal Team Six in Pakistan.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

VIDEO: President Obama Addresses the Nation on Syria


[VIDEO] On Tuesday night the President gave his speech on the Syrian situation. He noted a number of developments that has roused intervention by the US Government in the civil war in that Mid-East nation. Mainly alleged use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians by the regime President Bashar al-Assad.

While our leaders in Washington continues to discuss the situation it appears in the rest of the world action is being taken. For example, Russia has offered a solution to this crisis and President al-Assad appears willing to possibly give up all of his stockpiles of chemical weapons.

This I hope would prevent any military intervention in Syria. There has to be a vested American interest in any military action over there and while laudable to force any nation to adhere to the rules of war it would bother me if we expend American forces once again to the region. In order for me to be convinced that this is right other than for the human rights aspects the American people want to know for sure if it's in their interests to intervene.

Also, the American people don't want this situation to turn out much worse for not only Syrian civilians but for Americans already weary of the conflicts that exist in the Mid-East. I'm rooting for no American military action!

Monday, September 09, 2013

In the mood for "The Right Stuff"


[VIDEO] When I was in high school (GO FALCONS) I had designs on being an astronaut and unfortunately that was one path never followed. Basically my vision was to go on a real live "Star Trek" thanks to the fact that I was a fan of that franchise and other series and movies that involved space exploration.

There was a documentary mini-series that aired on TBS years ago called Moonshot that chronicled the early days of the space program and through the Apollo years. Then at theaters was Apollo 13 which is a real life story of a "moonshoot" that didn't quite land on the moon due to a mechanical failure.

Then in my junior year of high school I did a research paper on the lead-up to Apollo 11. I have to say, at one point in my paper was a paragraph that was a full page long. What was that about? LOL!

Anyway, during this time I discovered this movie called The Right Stuff that also chronicles the early days of the space program and somehow fits in the role of aerospace pioneering by one Chuck Yeager. Yeager was the first man to break the sound barrier in the late 1940s.

So I'm a huge fan of movie soundtracks and therefore want to share some music from The Right Stuff's soundtrack. It's very heroic although in this YouTube vid above it turned heavily 1980s near the end. This movie definitely was an homage to a group of men called the Mercury 7 who were the first Americans trained for spaceflight.

Now I need to find this film!

Friday, September 06, 2013

Tech update assuming that you were getting anti-virus alerts

Years ago I had installed this application called vPIP - videos played in place - where I hoped to turn this blog into a video blog using the video hosting at Blip.tv. Needless to say it hasn't worked out as I had planned this blog isn't known for videos still and I used my YouTube channel more lately. Now with my anti-virus software my PC detects threats from vPIP and that means you have been getting the same alerts. Well I removed the code for this application and hopefully you won't receive any more alerts from this blog. :)

JPMorgan To Stop Making Student Loans

So apparently one of America's largest banks is pulling back from the student loan market noting they don't see anyway for this segment to grow. Here's one potential implication:
Which means that the government, that one lender that can't and won't pull out from the student loan bubble until it finally blows up, will be even more on the hook, and require yet another bailout of this latest $1+ trillion debt house of cards.
If this bubble blows up does it mean that those who are on the hook will no longer have to pay their loans?

Hat-tip Newsalert!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

High school student builds global tech company from St. Louis


[VIDEO] I really wished that at his age my drive was as strong as his. It takes drive to not only start your own business, but also to be able to make so much money. Here's hoping Mr. Jaylen Bledsoe goes very far in his life.

Also while I hope he achieves his dream of going to Harvard University, Morehouse College should do what they can to snare him up as well. :P

Monday, September 02, 2013

Washington Post: 9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask

International affairs isn't often a frequent subject on this blog. A friend asked about Syria - and also made sure to note that I'm a political science major as kept up with this news much more often than I have - he wanted to know what was going on there. My best answer for him was that the regime there was losing control of the nation.

He mentioned how Russia and the United Kingdom have rejected involvement in any type of intervention there. Although let's say for certain that the UK is more of an ally at this point than our friends over there in Russia. So basically the UK & Russia doesn't believe Syria is their fight.

It looks like the US is about to engage in some intervention because in attempting to re-assert control of Syria the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has utilized chemical weapons. This almost seems like Iraq all over again although it's hard for me to think of Assad in the same terms of Saddam Hussein who was his fellow Ba'athist.

All the same, I'm woefully ignorant of everything happening there. Hopefully this brief reader of the situation in Syria will educate myself and you the reader.

Let's be clear, I consider myself a domestic guy however let's remember that no matter how not good things may be here in America somewhere in the world is a deadly conflict. Let's hope Syria can finally have domestic tranquility.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Ward Room: Why Chicago Will Never Be Ready for Reform

Chicago will never be ready for reform. Wow! It could be a huge disappointment, but not necessarily a surprise. Many have tried for years, but I'm a strong believe in never say never. Perhaps reform will come in a much slower form! Although that's not what Edward McClelland argues here.