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February 19, 2015

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OSCAR's Messages:

Sean Penn wanted to make sure we knew that movies aren't made for profit as he opened up with it doesn't matter how many fans come to see--- really? Birdman collected about $30M compared to $330M for American Sniper. Hollywood doesn't like war movies. Sean Penn is pretty good in the role of a murderer though. I remember one that opened with him using two cars and chains to break his victim in two. Or was it just a slam at Clint Eastwood?

Birdman won three of the Top Awards and was easily one of the worst movies I ever watched. No wonder it got $30M. Only Oscar voters went. Hollywood likes Hollywood stories.

Mexican Director's like to push illegal immigration. Sean Penn wanted to know who gave the SOB a green card. That was an interesting comment.

The Theory of Everything probably did produce the best actor performance but it really did live up to the name with Penthouse, adultery,and scientific outcomes determining if you believe in God or not. In truth it did a great job of honoring a great story of intelligence,love, family and teamwork. On the other hand I still don't know what existed before the "black hole" that created it all. Or didn't create it all. So I'll wait for my time to end to find the answer.

Imitation Game honors more than anything the men and women of the intelligence world who can actually keep the nation's and the enemies secrets secure so the world can actually avoid more conflict than we have and avoid Armageddon as long as possible.

As talented as she was in her performance it seemed that Lady Gaga doing the Sound of Music came across as an indirect slam at Kerry Underwood who performed it on TV last year.

It was a long evening with a lot of political messages.


FOREIGN POLICY in flames? The recent NY Times article detailing the use of the media by ISIS to terrorize the world with their horrific acts brings one to question if we even have any idea what we are doing in foreign policy besides fighting fires. No one is actually giving these horrific acts legitimacy, but they are bringing into question the US logic in it's responses to ISIS. Specifically, how does the US justify a declaration of an all out assault on ISIS, request for the return of boots on the ground to Iraq and the rallying of a few willing partners to join the assault against them? When, at the same time the US turns a blind eye to the use of chemical weapons and barrel bombs by the Assad regime against the rebels over the past two years? Assad was on his way to the graveyard clearly in the eyes of the US military when Secretary Kerry teamed with Putin to save Assad. Now Putin is on the march in Ukraine having grabbed Crimea and Assad is joining the fight against ISIS while still committing horrific acts against the rebels. And, the Muslim/Arab population has to wonder what the US policy really is? Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? The US liberated Iraq and Afghanistan then abandoned them now returning. We destroyed Qaddafi then left Assad in power acting as if Russia was our ally. Are our friends the Saudi's flooding the world with oil to help chastise Russia and Iran, trying to jump start the world's economy, or are they destroying the US march to oil independence? Now there are elements using this confusion to almost defend ISIS actions.

War is messy and one can question the Chaney-Bush policy of Democracy for all in the Middle East but at least they had a strategy. That strategy has been replaced with inconsistent actions of engagement and withdrawal; threats and apologies; and lectures on who are and are not "Terrorists". Timelines in Iranian negotiations and Assad step downs come and go. Yemen is a target rich zone for drones and then we watch the abandoned embassy sacked.

Meanwhile Latvia where my son has moved from Ukraine now joins Lithuania and Estonia in wondering who is Putin after next? NATO beefs up but Ukraine is left unarmed to fight Russian tanks. We seem to forget that we armed the Afghanistan nationals when Russia invaded and eventually the Afghanistan people drove them out.

I don't have the answers but I was around the planning cycle for long enough to know if you don't have a strategy and a plan to carry it out then you will eventually be confronted with chaos and enemies on all fronts. Isn't that the way WWII started? I'd like to hear a plan. Besides avoiding the word Terrorist and asking for Congressional authorization for limited assets and another time line for withdrawal.

IMAGES tend to rule in the political world. And, it is very difficult to overcome those images to go on to be elected. In Wisconsin people knew Scott Walker, evidently, before he was seen as a union buster on the national scene. It will be difficult for him to ever transform himself into an education reformer at the level of voters to win the Presidency. Better to head for the Senate long term. Christie has joined that group as well. The 47% video painted Romney as an "only for the rich candidate". Republicans are quickly running short of candidates who have not produced IMAGES for Democrats to exploit no matter how competent they are. Jeb Bush is already running into his brother's Iraq decision and Democrats will blame all the ISIS problems on that decision to take out Saddam. They will pit Jeb against his brother's policies.

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