Archive for uninformed

Letter: "No more Nazi films... We all know what happened."

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12 years a slave films

Films allow us to eavesdrop on others-- past, present, and future. Films pull open the drapes so we can peek in. Films essentially allow us to be peeping Toms on lives imagined and real. They teach us, they inform us, they tug at us, they pull us in, they open our eyes to feelings and events that might have escaped us or that we've avoided.

Sometimes films make it unpleasant for us, and we squirm or cry or cringe or rage. Other times, of course, they sweep us into happy little fantasylands. We flock to the cinema, we are glued to our TVs and mobile devices.

In the Calendar section of my print edition of Sunday Los Angeles Times, there were a few letters responding to an article about a new film to be directed by Angelina Jolie that will debut on Christmas Day, called "Unbroken."

[I]n late 2012, [Jolie] stumbled on a talent agency's log line for "Unbroken," a feature adaptation of the Laura Hillenbrand blockbuster bestseller about the Olympic runner turned World War II bombardier Louis Zamperini, who survived 47 days in a life raft only to be tortured for more than two years as a Japanese prisoner of war.

Two of the three letters were positive, but the one that wasn't caught my eye. The Times doesn't post Calendar letters online, but here it is verbatim:

No more. It's time to stop making movies about Americans like Louis Zamperini who were tortured in Japanese prison camps. It's been almost 70 years since WWII ended. The people who did it are dead. Why make their descendants and an entire nation feel guilty again? The story's been told in print. Let it be. While we're at it, no more Nazi films either. We all know what happened.

Robert Bubnovich

Irvine

Alrighty then. Where to begin?

It should be safe to assume that, per Mr. Bubnovich, period pieces are worthless, because, hey, those people are dead. Who needs to be reminded of days gone by anyway? Especially if they recount episodes from yesteryear that are unpleasant. Even if they're accurate representations. Especially if they're accurate representations.

So any movie recalling historical events? Pfft! Clearly, they should be history themselves. Why make, say, audiences that watched "Lincoln," "Twelve Years a Slave," The Butler," "Schindler's List," "Sophie's Choice, "Saving Private Ryan," or any other motion picture based on U.S. or world history "feel guilty again," right? "Let it be"!

The last thing we want is for moviegoers to learn anything, to feel anything about what took place before their time, to connect in any way, to feel any emotion whatsoever about major events that changed entire nations, to be reminded that those who came before us could be cruel, monstrous, or just plain stupid, because, guilt!

Ignorance is bliss.

Memo to Robert B: We don't "all know what happened." Just ask Holocaust deniers. And history revisionists. "The story's been told in print." But if you don't read, the story hasn't been told at all. Just ask Fox News [sic] devotees.

And those who do know often need a memory jolt so that they can apply life lessons and knowledge responsibly and avoid the costly mistakes others have made.

Ignoring our past will not make it go away or alleviate guilt, nor will it make our worst memories more palatable.

In short, this, Mr. Bubnovich, does way more harm than good:

lalala I can't hear you hands over ears 2

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Abby Huntsman, "really, really upset about Social Security," would lead her generation into poverty

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Abby Huntsman The Cycle Social Security

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"Abby Huntsman is really, really upset about Social Security." That's how Michael Hiltzik begins his Los Angeles Times column today, and he is really, really upset about Abby Huntsman's message. We should be, too. Just watch the video above, and then read Hiltzik's dissection below. As the L.A. Times hard copy title put it, "On the reality of Social Security, she tells it like it isn't."

Michael Hiltzik points out how Abby Huntsman is part of a show (The Cycle on MSNBC) that tries to cater to a younger audience, but that doesn't mean she has to lie to them. And mislead them. And be uninformed and pass misinformation on to them. She rants about Social Security going bankrupt, and that her generation will be left with nothing.

As Hiltzik put it, "Unfortunately, almost everything she said about Social Security in the name of making it "sustainable" for her generation was wrong. Dead wrong... And if her generation believes what she said, it's going to be in deep trouble." He goes on to explain how she exaggerated demographics to make her point. Are we surprised? No, we are not.

Hiltzik:

She concludes: "We might disagree about the prescription for the ailing patient, but doing nothing about it--that will lead to none for all, rather than at least some for us."

Where Huntsman got this idea is a mystery, because no one who understands the program--from progressive supporters of Social Security to its conservative critics--says anything like that.

The most dire projections of the program's future say that "doing nothing about it"--no benefit cuts, no tax increases--will leave the program still able to pay 75%-80% of scheduled benefits. Not "nothing at all." And that 75% to 80% would still be much more per month 75 years from now than retirees get today.

By the way, it's also untrue that President Obama's budget plan makes "no mention of entitlement reform. None," as Huntsman claims. His budget proposes a very damaging cutback in Social Security disability, as we documented here, as well as changes to Medicare payment formulas to save money.

Huntsman has stitched her spiel together out of scraps and tatters of misinformation, of a sort we've heard from the older generation for years. They're no more accurate coming out the mouths of a "millennial." But it's tragic to see that what she's learned from her elders is how to mislead her public.

That Abby Huntsman is allowed to go on MSNBC and substitute talking points for the truth is, indeed, "really really" upsetting. Click here to demand that MSNBC issue an on-air correction.

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Fed Up: Special Comment by my 76-year-old friend

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fed up

My impassioned “72-year-old”  friend (who is now 76, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings of frustration about the state of politics and our dysfunctional Congress. I am more than happy to oblige, especially because I feel the same way.

This rant reminds me of one I did awhile ago: We have no choice. It might be time to revive that one.

Now on to "Fed Up." But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Now for his Special Comment:

FED UP

Like most Americans, I'm FED UP with the dysfunctional government we have.

I'm FED UP that there is a segment within the Republican caucus that refuses to compromise.

I'm FED UP that Republicans have more loyalty to a pledge they signed with Grover Norquist, to never raise taxes, forgetting the oath they took when sworn into office.

I'm FED UP that Republicans in Congress would rather spend government funds on phony investigations than pass a jobs and infrastructure bill, that would create jobs for millions of people, which would move our economy forward.

I'm FED UP with all the hate and racism that exists in our country.

I'm FED UP that the leaders of the Republican Tea Party don't denounce the use of racist remarks, hateful signs and pictures, displays of the Confederate Flag at rallies they attend in Washington D.C. and in their home states.

I'm FED UP with the disrespect shown President Obama and the office he holds. This has been going on since Joe Wilson yelled "You lie!" during a speech President Obama was giving to a joint session of Congress.

I'm FED UP that, after five years, there are still Americans who don't consider President Obama an American citizen or a Christian.

I'm FED UP with a party that lost a national election in 2012, that tries to use a government shut down and threat of default on national debt to force their ideology on Americans-- which the people had rejected-- and in the process, cost the country $24 billion.

I'm FED UP that a political party felt shutting down the government was a good thing, and brags about it and is threatening to try it again in 2014.

I'm FED UP that there are members in Congress who got elected with the sole intent of destroying the government.

I'm FED UP that the Republican Party is trying to defund and kill the Affordable Care Act, knowing full well it can't be done, in the process wasting more government funds.

I'm FED UP with members of Congress willing to cut funds that help those Americans in need while continuing to provide subsidies to farmers and oil companies, plus they refuse to close tax loop holes that benefit the rich.

I'm FED UP that states have or will enact laws to suppress the voting rights of Americans, when voter fraud doesn't exist in the country.

I'm FED UP that states have passed laws that don't allow women to control their own bodies.

I'm FED UP that the Evangelical Christians wanting to impose their religious ideology on all Americans and want to bring down the wall separating church and state.

I will continue to be FED UP, until these issues are addressed, or we will remain an extremely divided country pulling in different directions.

It's sad thing to say, but we are becoming a government, that unless one party controls Congress and the presidency, the chances of any important legislation getting done is almost nil.

That why it is extremely important for Democrats to vote in 2014 if we want to retain control of the Senate and possibly gain control of the House. Americans better begin to wake up and learn; the foundation of our democracy is being threatened by the radical right and it must be addressed.

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.

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Informing the uninformed on #Obamacare, this time a cancer patient: Special Comment by my 75-year-old friend

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ignorance

My impassioned “72-year-old”  friend (who is now 76, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings about the Affordable Care Act. I am more than happy to oblige.

But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Now for his Special Comment:

Eye Opening Experience

The other night I went out to dinner with another couple to our favorite family-owned Italian restaurant. We have been customers for over 13 years, and during that time have gotten to know the family and workers on a personal basis.

While having dinner, I was discussing Obamacare with my friend when the waitress, who has worked at the restaurant for at least 10 years, approached and wanted to ask us about the health care law.

She said she'd heard a lot a negative things about the program and had no idea what to do. Being customers for so many years, we knew the waitress had undergone a double mastectomy about three years ago.

We asked her a series of questions:

* Did she have medical coverage? Yes, but through a special program for cancer victims.

* Did her husband have medical coverage? No, has a pre-existing condition.

* Did her children under 26 years old have medical coverage? No.

* Was their joint income below a certain dollar level? Yes.

We told her that under Obamacare, her whole family would be covered, even those with pre-existing conditions, including children up to the age of 26.

In addition, her family would most likely be eligible to receive a subsidy due to her family income level, which will lower the yearly premium costs. We also informed her about annual exams she will be able to have where no co-pay was required.

She was unaware of any of the information we told her. We advised her how to find out about the various health insurance programs available in the state of Nevada along with how to find more information. We offered our services if she had any questions in deciding the type of programs that would meet her family needs, the premium to be paid, and any possible subsidy available.

Until this happened I was really unaware, on a personal basis, how uninformed Americans are about Obamacare and the benefits that are available to them. It was an eye opening experience for me and made me wonder how many other Americans are totally unaware of the Affordable Care Act and how it can benefit them.

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.

AND SPEAKING OF INFORMING THE UNINFORMED: I'm collaborating with @CACalls on a new BLUNT video. We're looking for short videos, NO MORE THAN 30 SECS, in which YOU answer the question "Why Do I Love Obamacare?" We must receive them no later than next Wednesday. Details here. This is an opportunity to stop complaining about negative Obamacare press and do something.

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