Kenneth Is A Man’s Name

TV IS No Longer Channels 2, 5, 7, 9, and 11 Anymore.

Finally, I got an answer from COMCAST about why my Amazon Prime Video service is not responding. After umpteen phone calls and chats with service advisors I was transferred to the Advanced Troubleshooting group. Within 48 hours they had an answer, a lame one, but at least it was an answer. It seems that Comcast has the same problem that I am experiencing across the country. Why in the hell didn’t they just alert their customers to the fact? Instead I have spent hundreds of hours over the past several months trying to get the stupid service to work. Of course COMCAST apologized and agreed to discount the months I had crappy service.

I asked them when they will have this nationwide outage fixed, their best guess is September 23 at 2:47 pm. They haven’t been able to fix the damn problem for months but they can tell me to the minute when it will be corrected, B.S. I felt sorry for the lady who was speaking to me for having to bear the message. Her name is Kenneth and I appreciate her ability to speak flawless English with great diction. Kenneth spoke to me from an island in the South Pacific near Singapore. Hiring her is one good thing COMCAST was able to do.

In the meantime, what I have discovered on my own is that the problem is weird. I have three TV’s spread around my house. I watch two of them and the third sits in the guest room waiting the arrival of a guest. Of course the TV in the guest room works flawlessly and the one I watch (50 inch screen with LCD display and high definition) is the most troublesome. Last night I took to watching TV in the guest room. I signed the guest register and the land lord allowed me to do that. What I have been doing is sitting in the living room with a laptop computer balanced on my knees to watch my Prime Video program over the internet. The pc has a high def screen but the sound is crappy.

My latest find is a program called Tin Star. Filmed in Canada near the Rockies in a town called Little Big Bear. The premise of the story is that an English policeman and his family(wife, teen daughter and six year old son) emigrate to Canada to escape all the violence they have in their homeland. In the very first episode a strange man dressed in black and wearing a face mask stops them in the road as they are driving to their new home, he raises a gun and shoots at the policeman, he misses the cop but kills the cop’s son, and injures his wife. Welcome to North America. The rest of the story revolves around how the cop goes about seeking revenge for his son’s murder. To make the story more interesting the writers make the cop an alcoholic, and make the demon in town a huge oil company that is extracting oil from Canada’s oil-sand reserves. In subsequent episodes the cop’s alcoholism takes over, and he does stranger things than the villains who tried to kill him.

I like the program because it is loaded with beautiful scenes of Canada, lots of mystery, sex, crime, murder, and intrigue. I hate the program because glamorizes sex, crime, and murder.

And that is all I want to say about that.

Feel Good Story

My last post for August 2020 is about a remarkable story documented on film. The last time I had this much excitement about a film was when Kevin Costner starred in McFarland. The new film is titled Spare Parts and stars George Lopez a standup comedian who shows us a new face in his role as an unemployed engineer who takes a job as substitute Science teacher in a Phoenix high school.

Both stories take place in poor communities heavily populated with illegal immigrants, all working in a cash society without any documentation. They send their kids to school because it is the law and they don’t want break any laws and bring attention to themselves. The teachers involved take the job seriously and learn to coach their students effectively. In Spare Parts, Lopez is corralled by a really smart kid to mentor a team four who want to enter an underwater robot contest.

The kids gel into a team and brainstorm through the problems associated with a robotic device that must function under water. They finish in time to drive to Santa Barbara for the competition. They enter into the college division because they rationalize that if they lose against a bunch of high schoolers no one will know the difference, but if they lose against MIT they will at least get some mention.

The story of how the team constructs “Stinky,” as they have named their creation, creates enough interest, but the story is deeper than just the kids building a robot from junk. There is a love interest between Lopez and another teacher played by Marisa Tomei, and conflict between one of the key members of the team and his father. The lad who initiated the whole project is running from I.C.E. who is hot on his trail to deport him.

Although the film does not get political, it does make the viewer aware of the problems involved with undocumented workers and their kids. They live in fear, they work for menial wages, they stay clear of the law, anything to stay here in America. The team member who has conflict with his father is under pressure to guard his brother who was born in the USA, while their mother was found and deported to Mexico.

Both McFarland and Spare Parts are films based on true stories. In both cases some of the plots are so unbelievable they have to be true because one couldn’t imagine the situations these characters go through. I give Spare Parts five stars. It has all the components of a great film, but most of all it is a tear jerking funny, and romantic story that keeps the viewers interest throughout. I will watch it again and again just as I have watched McFarland five times.

All through this film I kept thinking about the two families Iknow personally who are undocumented, and are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to staying in America. In my two cases the families have been here for over twenty-five years. Neither has been able to apply for Social Security nor any of the social programs we have here. Because of new Homeland Security rules they cannot fly on any domestic flights. They can leave the country to visit relatives, but reentry may take as long as ten years before they are granted new visas and green cards. In one family they traveled here with a young daughter who was a toddler. She is as American as any other kid in the country, but she is undocumented, her brothers who were born here are US citizens. In my mind this opposes a real moral dilemma. The toddlers who were dragged here should be granted automatic citizenship. The parents should be given some grace for each year they have lived here without any trouble.

Of course all people in this situation know where all the loop holes exist in the immigration system. We who have no interest in knowing the details of immigration have no clue about how illegal immigrants survive under our laws. Why should we? That is why we elect our representatives. It is their job to write the laws that govern these situations. Over the past twenty plus years under our bureaucracies, and our law makers we have allowed the problem of allowing undocumented people into the country and now we are faced with a real dilemma about how to resolve the issue. First, we have to stop the flow into the country. We need the wall, we need more and better border control, but most of all we need the resolve to enforce the laws. Then we must work on taking care of all the kids who were dragged here by their parents, lastly we must enable the undocumented people who have been here for so many years to stay here legally, and to give them a path to permanent residency, and a path to citizenship. Of course the easiest thing to do is to grant them all amnesty, but that didn’t work the first time we tried it, and we mustn’t allow it to happen again.

Day 20-Quarantine-Here Goes Anyway

My heart isn’t in this post today, but I’ll give it a try. For some dumb reason I feel punk today (do I have COVID?). I haven’t taken my walk, I haven’t cooked anything, and now I’m not writing anything. I dreamed all night about Homeland and got myself into some pretty confusing scenarios. I wish the studio would put me on their payroll. Actually, I don’t think I could come up with all the stuff the writers of that program think of. I have to admit, they have hooked me good. I watch several episodes everyday and the plot just gets more and more complicated. I have to keep telling myself this is not true, it is only a story, or is it? The story in season four takes place in Pakistan and I love the countryside scenes, and the crowded village (city) shots. Those pictures are real and very eye opening about how people live there. It reminds me of the days that I travelled to Singapore for work and took side trips to places in Malasia and Indonesia. People really do live like they do in the Homeland scenes. I even travelled to the now evil China, but saw only one day of their rural areas and one government picked village. Most of my time was spent in Hong Kong where it is crowded but the people speak english, are friendly, and try to live like westerners. Now I see videos of the Chinese cities like Wuhan and am amazed at the modernity of the buildings. The city is an architects dream.

When I see those modern buildings I wonder if their construction was as good as their appearance. I remember walking through shopping center buildings where the floors between sections had a two inch mismatch between them or the stairs were uneven. Construction was shoddy at best, and the building scaffolds were made from bamboo lashed together with rope. Construction coolies lived in makeshift apartments on the job sites. They were bamboo structures with screened walls sectioned into four by four foot by no more than six feet long cubby-holes. Each worker lived in one of those compartments. They used bamboo ladders to get from floor to floor. Those were interesting times.

COVID-19 is turning me off, and I feel I must turn my attention to activities that are a thousand miles in space rather than at home with corona. The only corona I would love to spend time with comes in a clear glass bottle of rich yellow golden beer.

The tone of the emails I am receiving definitely suggest that the country(and world) is preoccupied with COVID-19. Just for fun I will include some of the content I got today. Some of it is cute, some is hilarious and some is downright awful.

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Ready To Go Poop

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  • I used to spin that toilet paper like I was on Wheel of Fortune. Now I turn it like I’m cracking a safe

  *   I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.

  *   Still haven’t decided where to go for Easter —– The Living Room or The Bedroom

  *   PSA: every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.

  *   Homeschooling is going well. 2 students suspended for fighting and 1 teacher fired for drinking on the job.

  *   I don’t think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks we’d go from Standard Time to the Twilight Zone

  *   This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog….. we laughed a lot.

  *   So, after this quarantine…..will the producers of My 600 Pound Life just find me or do I find them?

  *   Quarantine Day 5: Went to this restaurant called THE KITCHEN. You have to gather all the ingredients and make your own meal. I have no clue how this place is still in business.

  *   My body has absorbed so much soap and disinfectant lately that when I pee it cleans the toilet.

  *   Day 5 of Homeschooling: One of these little monsters called in a bomb threat.

  *   I’m so excited — it’s time to take out the garbage. What should I wear?

  *   I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to Puerto Backyarda. I’m getting tired of Los Livingroom.

  *   Classified Ad: Single man with toilet paper seeks woman with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.

  *   Day 6 of Homeschooling: My child just said “I hope I don’t have the same teacher next year”…. I’m offended

Subject: [EXTERNAL] Poem to share
The earth whispered but you did not hear. 
The earth spoke but you did not listen
The earth screamed but you turned her off.
And so I was born…
I was not born to punish you.. 
I was born to awaken you..
The earth cried out for help…
Massive flooding. But you didn’t listen. 
Burning fires. But you didn’t listen. 
Strong hurricanes. But you didn’t listen. 
Terrifying Tornadoes. But you didn’t listen.
You still don’t listen to the earth when. 
Ocean animals are dying due to pollutants in the waters. 
Glaciers melting at an alarming rate. 
Severe drought.
You didn’t listen to how much negativity the earth is receiving.
Non-stop wars. 
Non-stop greed.
You just kept going on with your life..
No matter how much hate there was.. 
No matter how many killings daily.. 
It was more important to get that latest iPhone then worry about what the earth was trying to tell you..
But now I am here.
And I’ve made the world stop on its tracks. 
I’ve made YOU finally listen. 
I’ve made you take refuge. 
I’ve made you stop thinking about materialistic things..
Now you are like the earth… 
You are only worried about YOUR survival.
How does that feel?
I give you fever.. as the fires burn on earth. 
I give you respiratory issues.. has pollution fill the earth air. 
I give you weakness as the earth weakens every day.
I took away your comforts.. 
Your outings. 
The things you would use to forget about the planet and its pain.
And I made the world stop…
And now… 
China has better air quality.. Skys are clear blue because factories are not spewing pollution unto the earth’s air. 
The water in Venice is clean and dolphins are being seen. Because the gondola boats that pollute the water are not being used.
YOU are having to take time to reflect on what is important in your life.
Again I am not here to punish you.. I am here to Awaken you…
When all this is over and I am gone… Please remember these moments..
Listen to the earth. 
Listen to your soul. 
Stop Polluting the earth. 
Stop Fighting among each other. 
Stop caring about materialistic things. 
And start loving your neighbors. 
Start caring about the earth and all its creatures. 
Start believing in a Creator.
Because next time I may come back even stronger….

Signed, 
Coronavirus

Written by: Vivienne

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Published March 24, 2020 | By Giacomino Nicolazzo, Montecalvo, Lombardy, Italy.

As I sit here in my involuntary isolation, it was just reported that overnight 743 more people died and 5.249 new cases have been reported. This brings the total cases of infection to 69,176 and the body count to 6,820. We take relief in knowing that 8,326 people have recovered so far. (Numbers as of 3/24, 8:30pm in Italy.)

Most towns here in Italy, from the upper reaches of the Alps to the ancient shores of Sicilia and Sardenia, while not deserted, are closer to being ghost towns than the bustling centers of tourism, business and daily life they were just a few weeks ago. Stores and shops have been shuttered. Restaurants and coffee shops no longer serve customers. Schools, universities, sporting arenas…even our museums and theaters…all closed. Even the Vatican City has closed its gates and armed patrols monitor the 20 foot tall walls that protect it! Streets and roads are now empty for as far as the eye can see. Normally they would be filled with crazed Italian drivers in tiny cars and scooters (the ones that sound like demonic insects) darting here and there, reaching the limits of centrifugal force on our roundabouts. In the piazze of our towns and cities, there are now officially more pigeons than people.

Many of us know someone who has been infected and recovered. Some of us know someone who did not recover…now they are dead. But everyone knows someone who has been affected by this microscopic monster in one way or another.

Sixty million of us are in lockdown…it is like a war zone here. We are being held prisoner in our own homes by an unseen enemy that sneaked in unnoticed…by most of us. As you will read in just a few more minutes, there were those who knew something like this was coming…or at least they should have.

So who is to blame? With all this craziness swirling like a whirlpool at our feet, I just had to find the blame answer. And so I have spent my free time (of which I have a lot in these days) digging and researching. I was literally shocked to discover how this has come to be. I am not going to bore you with talk of Patient ‘0’ who spread it to Patient ‘1’ and how mathematics efficiently explains the rapid expansion of infection. No…I am going to tell you how (as I see it) the virus came to Italy.

It has everything to do with communists. Allow me to explain. Beginning in about 2014, Matteo Renzi, the imbecile ex-mayor of Firenze (Florence) acting as the leader of the Partito Democratico (synonymous with the Italian Communist party), somehow managed to get himself elected as Italy’s Prime Minister. To give you a proper frame of reference, Matteo Renzi was so far left, he would make Barack Obama look like Barry Goldwater!

At the same time that Renzi was leading Italy into oblivion, strange things were happening in Italy’s economy. Banks were failing…but not closing. Retirement ages were being extended…for some reason the pension funds were dwindling or disappearing. The national sales tax we call IVA (Value Added Tax) rose from 18% to 20%, then to 21% and again to 22%.And in the midst of all this financial chicanery, the Chinese began furiously buying up Italian real estate and businesses in the North.

Now the reason I mention Renzi and the Chinese together is that strange things were also going on between the governments of Italy and China. A blind eye was being turned to the way the Chinese were buying businesses in the financial, telecommunication, industrial and fashion sectors of Italy’s economy, all of which take place in Milano.

To be brief…China was getting away with purchases and acquisitions in violation of Italian law and EU Trade Agreements with the US and the UK…and no one in either of those countries (not Obama in the US or Cameron in the UK) said a thing in their country’s defense. As a matter of fact, much of it was hidden from the public in all three countries.

In 2014, China infused the Italian economy with €5 billion through purchases of companies costing less than €100 million each. By the time Renzi left office (in disgrace) in 2016, Chinese acquisitions had exceeded €52 billion. When the dust settled, China owned more than 300 companies…representing 27% of the major Italian corporations.

The Bank of China now owns five major banks in Italy…all of which had been secretly (and illegally) propped up by Renzi using pilfered pension funds! Soon after, the China Milano Equity Exchange was opened and much of Italy’s wealth was being funneled back to the Chinese mainland. Chinese state entities own Italy’s major telecommunication corporation (Telecom) as well as its major utilities (ENI and ENEL). Upon entry into the telecommunication market, Huawei established a facility in Serrate, a suburb of Milano. It launched is first research center there and worked on the study of microwaves which has resulted in the possibly-dangerous technology we call 5G.

China also now owns controlling interest in Fiat-Chrysler, Prysmian and Terna. You will be surprised to know that when you put a set of Pirelli tires on your car, the profits are going to China. Yep…the Chinese colossus of ChemChina, a chemical industry titan, bought that company too! Last but not least is Ferretti yachts…the most prestigious yacht builder in Europe. Incredibly, it is no longer owned by the Ferretti family. But the sector in which Chinese companies invested most was Italy’s Profitable fashion industry. The Pinco Pallino, Miss Sixty, Sergio Tacchini, Roberta di Camerino and Mariella Burani brands have been acquired by 100%. Designer Salvatore Ferragamo sold 16% and Caruso sold 35%. The most famous case is Krizia, purchased in 2014 by Shenzhen Marisfrolg Fashion Company, one of the leaders of high-priced, ready-to-wear fashions in Asia.

Throughout all of these purchases and acquisitions, Renzi’s government afforded the Chinese unrestricted and unfettered access to Italy and its financial markets, many coming through without customs inspections. Quite literally, tens of thousands of Chinese came in through Milano (illegally) and went back out carrying money, technology and corporate secrets. Thousands more were allowed to enter and disappeared into shadows of Milano and other manufacturing cities of Lombardy, only to surface in illegal sewing shops, producing knock-off designer clothes and slapping ‘Made In Italy’ labels on them All with the tacit approval of the Renzi government.  It was not until there was a change in the governing party in Italy that the sweatshops and the illegal entry and departure of Chinese nationals was stopped. Matteo Salvini, representing the Lega Nord party, closed Italy’s ports to immigrants and systematically began disassembling the sweatshops and deporting those in Italy illegally.

But his rise to power was short-lived. Italy is a communist country…socialism is in the national DNA. Ways were found to remove Salvini, after which the communist party, under the direction of Giuseppe Conte, reopened the ports. Immediately, thousands of unvetted, undocumented Refugees from the Middle East and East Africa began pouring in again .Access was again provided to the Chinese, under the old terms, and as a consequence thousands of Chinese, the majority from Wuhan, began arriving in Milano.

In December of last year, the first inklings of a coronavirus were noticed in Lombardy…in the Chinese neighborhoods. There is no doubt amongst senior medical officials that the virus was brought here from China. By the end of January 2020 cases were being reported left and right. By mid-February the virus was beginning to seriously overload the Lombardy hospitals and medical clinics. They are now in a state of collapse.

The Far-Left politicians sold out and betrayed the Italian people with open border policies and social justice programs. One of the reasons the health care system collapsed so quickly is because the Renzi government (and now continued under the Conte government) redirected funds meant to sustain the medical system, to pay for the tens of thousands of immigrants brought in to Italy against the will of the Italian people.

If you remember the horrible earthquake that decimated the villages around Amatricia, in the mountains east of Rome in 2015, you would also remember how the world responded by sending millions of dollars to help those affected. But there is a law in Italy that prevents private donations to charitable Italian organizations. All money and donations received must be turned over to a government agency, who in turn is to appropriate the funds as needed. But that agency is corrupt just as are all the others.

Most of the money never reached a single victim in the mountains. The Renzi government redirected the vast majority of those funds to pay for the growing immigrant and refugee costs. As the economy worsened under the burden of illegal immigration, compounded by gross government spending and incompetence, unemployment rose quickly…especially among young people. The unemployment rate for men and women under age 35 is close to 40%. So more money was diverted from the health care system and used to pay what is known here as guaranteed income. Whether you work or not you are paid here, especially if you belong to the PD! The government simply raises taxes on those who do work.

Let me give you a quick example of the height of insanity to which Italian taxation has risen. If you live in a building that has a balcony or balconies…and any of those balconies cast a shadow on the ground, you must pay a public shadow tax! I will say no more!

The point I am trying to make here is that not only did the Chinese bring the virus to Italy (and the rest of the world) it was far-Left politics and policies that facilitated it. This should hopefully be a warning to Americans that while they work to rid themselves of the China Virus, they should just as vehemently endeavor to rid their government of any politician that circumvents the Constitution and ignores the laws of the land…plain and simple.

Nothing was ever done by the EU who knew about it at the start.

Giacomino Nicolazzo is one of Italy’s most beloved writers.  Born and raised in Central Pennsylvania, he lives in a small village in Lombardy where he writes his books.

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Watch this moving graph and be startled

 

 

Oscar Stolen

 

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I had the TV on without sound last night and I looked up just as the announcement was about to be made for the best picture. Two dinosaurs were in charge, Warren Beatty held the envelope and Faye Dunaway (Bonnie and Clyde) was at his shoulder. He opened the envelop and looked at it befuddled, then handed it to Dunaway. She looked right at the teleprompter without having even glanced at the card and announced La La Land. The crowd cheered, and actors were running to the stage. The usual mayhem followed. All seemed normal except for one thing, the real winner was Moonlight. A Producer on stage took the card from Beatty and showed it to the camera it clearly said in very large letters “Moonlight.” Even a very sight impaired person could have read it.

moonlight-wins-best-picture.jpg

What happened? I think Beatty and Dunaway were in cahoots in an effort to steal the best picture award. Except Beaty couldn’t bring himself to do it, so he handed the job off to Dunaway who declared the winner she wanted rather than to read the card.

If I were the the true winners from Moonlight, I’d be filing a huge lawsuit today to sue Dunaway and Beatty for a trillion dollars. They succeeded in stealing a million dollar moment from the people who were rightly selected as the best. It is interesting to hear all the lame excuses the Oscar company is spinning about how it happened. Each of them is a lie.

Here they are heralding the best of the best of their industry, and it turns into a fake news event, that’s Hollywood.

I could be wrong on this. Knowing the morality of Hollywood it could be that La La Land was the real winner, and the Producer stole it from them by slipping a false Moonlight card into Beatty’s hand.

Not Recommended Unless . . .

My system for picking movies at the library is much the same as picking books. Go in look at the DVD cover art, and titles and pick something that looks interesting based on the actors. This time Julie Christie , and Olympia Dukakis attracted me to pick up a film titled Away From Her. I promised Peg that this was a chick flick and that we would watch it together. I had the disc in the player and was fumbling with a remote to change from cable to the DVD when a town hall meeting with Donald Trump and Sean Hannity appeared. Peg fixated on Trump and that is what we watched.

After we put her to bed I watched the movie alone. I am so glad we didn’t see it together. I hated it. By far the most depressing film I have ever seen. Even the music was depressing. I should have known better because the film is about a husband and wife facing Alzheimer’s.  At age seventy-six Ms Christie is still a very attractive woman. Of course that is coming from a man who is older. Most guys my age view any  woman who is younger as ‘HOT,’ but she is still quite hot.Julie-Christie-011.jpg

Maybe the story depressed me because it is about the life Peg and I are living, and it was a look into the future. Although, Peg is much further along in the progression than the character Fiona was in this film. Some of the Alzheimer’s traits depicted Peg has never experienced yet. One scene in which Fiona wanders off and gets lost is not one of  Peg’s traits. Peg has never wandered, and is now so progressed that she is unable to walk by herself much less wander. Fiona had issues with her husband, and she seemed to use her disease against him, like quickly attaching herself to a man in the nursing home, and ignoring her faithful husband who visited  daily. I like to think it was her disease working against him and not her deviousness.

The film has a surprise ending which caught me off guard when one day Fiona has a brief instance of total recall when her husband visits, and they hug again as would a man and wife married for forty-two years. I’m still waiting  for that moment, but I cherish the times when I get a smile or a few words.

I recommend this film for anyone who wants to get a short glimpse of life with a dying brain. If you are already experiencing someone with the disease it will only make you more depressed.

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