Jon Stewart chats with Bill O’Reilly, on Jon’s show this time

Watch a video of the conversation here
This was actually a pretty witty and funny exchange right up until the end when Bill-O decides to take a shot at Jon’s rally.

I wonder why Jon has tried on numerous occasions to paint Bill O’Reilly as the ‘fair’ and ‘sane’ one on Fox News. While that is true with regards to the opinion shows on Fox, the network also has news reporters such as Shepard Smith who are much less opinionated. It almost feels like Jon, who knows that O’Reilly is still top dog in the cable news ratings, is trying to pull Bill-O more left, hoping that the audience who watches him won’t be bombarded by biased conservative nonsense like those of Hannity and Glenn Beck.

‘Lone Star’ CANCELED By Fox After Just 2 Episodes

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

That’s too bad. I was thinking about maybe following “Lone Star”. Seems like an interesting premise if done right, I guess it just didn’t have enough appeal.

What surprises though is “Lie to Me” coming back onto the air so soon. I am a fan of the show, but I remember the show premiering in September of last year, then taking a break in the winter, before returning during the summer. Its season 2 finale aired just two weeks ago! FOX must really like this show.

A Little Faith in Obama’s Vision, Please?

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
It’s really sad to see the President of the United States having to defend himself against Tea Party / Birther / Exotic / Socialist allegations while he has to deal with things such as world peace (e.g. facilitating the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, containing an unpredictable Iran, etc.), eliminating poverty (in the world as well as in the United States), saving the middle class, providing all Americans with health care, bettering the education system, etc. The man has a vision and wants to get on with materializing it, but he’s being bogged down by petty politics.

What Obama needs to say to the apathetic voters, democrats included, is that the biggest reason why they need to vote for the Dems in the coming elections is to prevent the Republicans from taking power.

America cannot afford to let the GOP take back any part of Congress, or else every single piece of legislation would be stuck and beat until it’s dead, and government would get nothing done. America also cannot let the Republicans win because they are a party whose platform makes almost no sense at all, and would do the country much more harm than good. Finally, the Democrats need to vote to keep the GOP out because the Republicans would lead the country backwards, to more of what we had with the Bush administration.

Shots Fired At University Of Texas

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Possessing semi-automatic pistols is one story, like the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech Massacre Cho Seung-Hui did. At least Cho acquired them through legal means (although whether guns should be legal at all is another story). But having an AK-47 assault rifle is illegal anywhere, which makes this even more worrisome.

The question now becomes whether or not if this is an insane person or a domestic terrorist.

Stay tuned.

Movie Review: A few overdue words on “Inception”

I first saw “Inception” about three weeks after it came out, in July. I saw it again recently, in early September. The first time was at an almost-too-close-to-the-screen seat in an IMAX theater in Canada, the second time in a regular-sized theater in Hong Kong. Personally, it helped seeing the film twice, not because I didn’t understand the plot, but because there was a bit of a gap between the viewings, it allowed me to absorb the story after first time and just purely enjoy Christopher Nolan’s masterful film making the second time around.

Contrary to my own title for this blog post. I’m not exactly reviewing the film here. My intention is to talk about it; what it has done to me personally / what insights I have gathered, and the like.

I can sum up what I think of the film in a few sentences:
I think that writer/director Christopher Nolan’s intention was to make an all-time sci-fi classic. What he ended up with, though, is a brilliantly-made, fantastic action thriller, but not really a greatest-film-of-all-time. The film really is not that hard to understand, if you pay attention during the first 45 minutes or so, where the explaining takes place. And while the topic of the film concerns dreams, the characters never really indulged in discussing the nature of dreams. What we had instead were awesome set-pieces for mind-blowing action sequences, which is fine by me.

Here’s the thing: I’ve always been slightly annoyed when people say that certain movies only create certain worlds / go to exotic places so that they can film interesting action scenes, and does nothing to help the plot. While this is true in many cases, the argument as a whole doesn’t really make sense because all movies, good or bad, do this. It’s a matter of how seamlessly they blend it so that the audience doesn’t feel this way. In the case of “Inception”, Nolan’s dream world provided him opportunities to get really creative with the action sequences (zero gravity, flipping Paris over, etc.), but because he has captured the audience with this world, no one complains.

Interestingly enough, “Inception” has somewhat functioned as a litmus test for me. I’m not one for judging people (not in the open, anyway. But hey, everyone judges, it’s what people do. But that’s another debate…), but you can really get a sense of how well-rounded , how bright, or culturally connected (well-read, etc), a person is by discussing “Inception” with them. First of all, there will always be those who came out of the theater going “I have no idea what that movie is about”. While some regular movie-goers or educated people might fall into this category, you can probably safely assume that the people confused by “Inception” aren’t the brightest of the bunch, because the movie, as I mentioned earlier, is not that hard to understand.

Also, as I watched the film the second time, I realized that Tom Hardy, who played the role of Eames, the Forger, would be a really good fit to play James Bond once Daniel Craig is done. He is sharp, charming, sexy, and has the flare that we associate with previous James Bonds. Sure enough, there already is a facebook page dedicated to making Tom Hardy the next Bond.

It’s a great movie, one of my favorites of all time. It’s probably not one of the greatest movies of all time, but hey, in today’s world of mediocrity, I’ll take more movies of “Inception” caliber anytime.

Nick Kristof apologizes to Muslims, and I’m with him.

Read the article here

“Many Americans honestly believe that Muslims are prone to violence, but humans are too complicated and diverse to lump into groups that we form invidious conclusions about. We’ve mostly learned that about blacks, Jews and other groups that suffered historic discrimination, but it’s still O.K. to make sweeping statements about “Muslims” as an undifferentiated mass.”

Americans have discriminated against Muslims in similar ways as they had against Native Americans, Blacks, Jews, and other ethnic groups. But the scale, or perhaps the ‘macro-political’ implications of discriminating against people who belong to one of the biggest and fast-growing religions in the world makes it unique from the others.

Kristof says Americans are discriminating a minority in Muslim Americans, which is true. But Islam as a religion has grown to be one of the most powerful political and ethnic entities we have ever seen. Muslims control (or live on) most of the world’s current oil reserves, and with the Israeli-Palestinian talks revamping, Middle Eastern politics have once again taken center stage in international affairs. When some Americans speak polemically against Muslims, they are basically offending one of the most powerful religious / ethnic groups in the world. Sadly, almost none of the people doing the offending are aware of this fact.

Only the ignorant deal in absolutes and extremes. The more power the ignorant gets to wield, the more dangerous the world becomes. We need to educate people on arguably the most important character trait known to man, tolerance.

Michael Ware, Former CNN War Correspondent, Speaks Out On Alleged War Crime CNN Refused To Air

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Nobody cares about the horrors of war, Mr. Ware. It’s why the American war machine has been able to rumble on year after year. Politicians, pundits, or the average citizen don’t want to hear how terrifying it is to be in war. All they want to hear are that we are winning and that some casualties are inevitable.

By the way, this kind of stuff is ten times more newsworthy than the whole debacle concerning General Stanley McChrystal a few months ago. That was basically one general saying stuff he shouldn’t have. What Ware will be exposing Americans to here are things Americans ought to know, because parents are sending their children to war without fully knowing what it is they do there.

The roots of this problem goes back to the ignorance of the masses. It is absolutely appalling how much some people in America (militaristic ideologues, religious fanatics, big business, etc) have gotten away with. People need to wake up.

U.S. and China talk sanctions

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

The US-China political problem is much more complicated than many make it out to be. Yes, China has America’s number because holds so much bonds and exports so much of its goods to the U.S., but on the other hand, China cannot afford to see the U.S. economy collapse because the value of the money that they hold will plunge and demand for Chinese-made goods will fall.

Having said that, the U.S. can’t exactly do much when big Chinese business stick their middle fingers up to sanctions and continue doing business with the Iranians (especially the energy companies). The entire Chinese government is part of China’s business juggernaut, and they’re not about to let money-making stop because America wants to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.