The Red, White & Blue Lifestyle

The Red, White & Blue Lifestyle

~ Amy Lignor

 

Yes, July 4th is upon us and events, fireworks, backyard picnics – everything is about to commence. This is the celebration of our freedom; the celebration of America, but the events – the décor that will be used for the 4th and the theory that we should keep things ‘All-American’ does not fade away when the fireworks stop flashing in the sky.

4th of July, celebration, freedom, 'All American', patriotic, buy American, Made in the USAAs far as the holiday, itself, new ideas are coming out all the time. For a little chic to be thrown in with the norm, ideas of using beverages in glass bottles that are red, white and blue, sitting in metal tubs around the yard filled with ice – is a great way to make a splash and add to the patriotic theme. Supplies and/or gift baskets for your visitors can include things to help them with the heat that may come to your backyard on the 4th – red, white and blue face towels and water bottles are a great addition. Sparklers can be made into fantastic party-favors, wrapped as bouquets with red, white and blue ribbons. And the idea of red, white and blue flowers that can be planted in order to come back year after year is always an awesome idea, as well. They are not only a stunning American tribute all year round, but also the garden will provide an all-natural privacy screen that enhances and adds color to your home.

But you see, when the 4th is over, things do not have to end. Let’s face it, the kitchen is the room that gets the most time in the All-American households across the country. The kitchen is where everything is baked, prepared, and everyone stands on a daily basis to catch up and talk about life. Well…buying All-American and fixing up that small kitchen so that it allows more space for any event can be done quite easily…and allows for the purchasing of American-made products in the process.

The National Kitchen & Bath Design Competition does a wonderful job in bringing out ideas for that small kitchen where touches can be added that are not overly expensive that will make the small area look far bigger. Some of the ideas include; bracketed molding and drawer pulls, and changing the cabinets to a color that not only looks as if it has created more space but also is stunning to look at year-round. Robin’s-egg-blue is a great choice. If not wanting to paint, knocking out a wall in between the small kitchen and a family room to make a larger area for entertaining, is a great thought. Scraped maple floors, simple cabinetry with river-stone hardware that offers the room a completely uncluttered look. The ideas are endless.

A glass-tile mosaic backsplash, or a small island with storage space inside can go amazingly well with everything from tile to wood; as well as putting in recessed lighting and open shelves above the cabinets that allow for collectibles, will enhance and enlarge the kitchen area. Not to mention, all of the products and hardware purchased in the United States will bring even more patriotism by infusing the economy and offering jobs to many.

In other words, when the party ends on July 4th, the red, white and blue lifestyle most certainly doesn’t have to. And shouldn’t. There are stunning designs that are affordable for your small kitchen, and even other rooms you wish to alter or transform in the house. And with “Made in the USA” as the theme, the celebration never has to stop.

Source:  Baret News Wire

The "Ark" Debate: Saving the World’s Creatures or Not

 

The “Ark” Debate: Saving the World’s Creatures or Not

~ Amy Lignor

 

Perhaps it’s because of the ‘thoughts’ behind things like ‘Jurassic World’ or the new TV show called, ‘Humans’ – but the idea that DNA will be collected and ‘stored’ for every being on the planet actually sounds dangerous. Of course…we’re not talking about bringing back ancient beasts or having the ability to clone a person and make a “non-feeling” double. …Right?

 

Are Scientists Crossing the DNA Line?Moscow State University was the ‘name’ that landed the largest-ever scientific grant given by Russia for a project that spans through 2018. This project is to collect DNA from every living and extinct creature that will then be stored in a database – the first in the world. Some call this a modern-day take on “Noah’s Ark.” According to the researchers involved, the database will collect and save every creature known to mankind and will, in the end, cost approximately nineteen million dollars to create.

 

But this is not only going on in Russia. In fact, Britain has their own project when it comes to DNA collection, but they are calling their work, “The Frozen Ark.” They, too, are collecting DNA and cataloging/storing the information in a databank, but only the DNA of endangered species.

 

The statistics say that the Earth is experiencing the greatest loss of species, creatures, plants, etc., since the dinosaurs were “selected” for extinction. Apparently, despite a great many strong and determined efforts, 30% (and rising) of animals, whether they be on land or in water, will actually go extinct and join the dinosaurs in our history books within the next fifty years unless something far more aggressive is done.

 

As the human population grows, the destruction of natural habitats grows, and it certainly doesn’t look like human numbers are going to decrease. So for Britain, the “Frozen Ark” (set up in 1996) works to save samples of frozen cells from endangered animals before they go extinct, which means the animal’s characteristics can be kept for all time…and perhaps allow creatures to be restored to the Earth with new breakthroughs in technology.

 

If looking at Russia’s and Britain’s projects side by side, however, there are some interesting oddities. When it comes to the “Frozen Ark,” zoos, aquariums, museums and more, located in eight countries, have joined the project. And news is constantly given to the public, from the bison to the sea turtle to David Attenborough’s meetings with the President almost every weeks to keep everyone updated on the progress.  ( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frozen-Ark/173368602678865 ).

 

With the Russian project, not a great deal of information can be found – only the announcement in 2014 that the grant was landed. People are waiting to hear anything about this huge undertaking that will involve their scientists “cryogenically freezing” cellular matter, which can be reproduced later in the future if it becomes necessary.

 

Does America have their own “Ark” in the works? As far as the scientific community believes, America has not yet come out with their own databank project. But with Russia and Britain at the forefront of this science…the idea that creatures can be brought back seems to be walking the line between ‘excitement that no species will ever be lost to the Earth’ versus ‘DNA and this type of technology being in the wrong hands.’

Paul de Vos, ~Ark van NoahSource:  Baret News Wire

An Unexpected Wimbledon?

An Unexpected Wimbledon?

~ Amy Lignor

 

As all sports lovers – and even those who are not – will say, when it comes to tennis there are specific names that roll off the tongue when looking at a true champion that can go onto any court made of any substance and whip the tails of all the other players. For the women, of course, the name is Serena Williams. However, now that Wimbledon has begun there are many who state she will not win. And, let’s face it, her opening match, although victorious, was not exactly a shining example of the ‘best of the best.’

 

Centre_CourtIt’s possible she’s just getting her feet wet. When she met up with number 113 ranked, Margarita Gasparyan, perhaps she was still getting over the long flight to England. It certainly looked that way. This is the woman who wins easily – making the sport look as if she could lay down on a lounge chair and enjoy the sun, iced tea in one hand and tennis racket in the other, and beat anyone on the other side of the net without breaking a sweat. However, the first set played showed that even Serena can have a ‘bad day.’ The Russian competitor was playing her very first main draw match at Wimbledon, and actually got the crowd on her side when she led 3-1 in the first set. She was only a point away from a double-break lead, but…Serena woke up and realized that it was time to be herself once again. (Most likely she was angry at herself considering the early code violation she received for uttering an audible obscenity). The aggressive and impossible to beat Serena had a talk with herself and came back strong. She wants this. As everyone knows Serena has not won that Wimbledon title since 2012, and she is only two Grand Slam titles away from tying Steffi Graf’s career record and, undoubtedly, ending her own long tennis path being recognized as the best women’s player to ever hit the courts.

 

Williams has earned five titles at Wimbledon, but the past couple of years has shown that even she can lose. She states that Wimbledon “is the monkey on my back.” We will watch and see if the monkey is set free…or if it turns into King Kong.

 

For the men, the name Federer is on everyone’s lips. However, this year, there is some serious competition on the men’s side with four top contenders for the crown. Novak Djokovic has a bit of a sympathetic following after losing badly to Wawrinka in the French Open, but he still will not go down easily. In addition, he will not have to stand across from Federer, Murray or Nadal, the other contenders, until the finals. Djokovic is 41-3 this year thus far, but with his injuries and desperation/pain that you know he must be feeling over the French Open loss, it looks like an uphill battle for him.

 

Roger Federer has seven Wimbledon titles. And even though he may have crested the hill in his career, he certainly still has that passion and need (not to mention serious skill) to nab an eighth before the path to retirement is the one he chooses.

 

In other words…this is one Wimbledon that is not only offering big names, but a shot at glory and instant fame for a name you may never have heard before.

 

Source:  Baret News Wire

Stand Your Ground ~ Black Bodies and the Justice of God

 

Stand Your Ground

Black Bodies and the Justice of God

by Kelly Brown Douglas

Orbis Books

Paperback, $24.00

256 pages

ISBN: 978-1-62698-109-6

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

“Why is it becoming increasingly acceptable to kill unarmed black children? Why are they so easily perceived as a threat? How are we to keep our black children safe?

Kelly Brown Douglas, Book Review, Kam WilliamsAs the mother of a black male child, I find these to be urgent questions. The slaying of Trayvon [Martin] struck a nerve deep within me. After Jordan [Davis], then Jonathan [Ferrell], then Renisha [McBride], I was practically unnerved.

I knew I had to seek answers. This book reflects my search for those answers.”

— Excerpted from the Prologue (page ix)

It seems that once a month or so, with painful regularity, another unarmed black person is gunned down by a white civilian or white police officer. What is the reason for this escalating epidemic? Is it really a recent development or merely a long-hidden aspect of America’s social structure that’s come to light because of the profusion of cell phones in circulation among the population?

That’s what Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, as the mother of a black boy, found herself wondering in the wake of the shooting of Trayvon Martin. She also heard President Obama say that, if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon.

That made Kelly think, “I DO have a son, and he DOES look like Trayvon.” So, for her, the crisis was more than a matter of mere rhetorical speculation. Not wanting her son to become the next statistic, she heeded an urgent inner call to action.   

As a Professor of Religion at Goucher College, she decided her skills could best be put to use researching the

Kelly Brown Douglas, Book Review, Kam Williams

Author Kelly Brown Douglas
Photo: Courtesy of Goucher College

burgeoning phenomenon. And the upshot of her research efforts is Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God, an enlightening examination of the deep-seated roots of the racist reasoning relied upon in the course of snuffing out African-Americans lives so cavalierly.

The author opens the opus with a history lesson, tracing the source of the problem back hundreds of years to the birth of “Exceptionalism” in Anglo-Saxon England. Reserved for whites, that notion enabled Caucasians to adopt the concept of “Manifest Destiny” that led to the extermination of Native Americans (relying on the rallying cry “The only good Indian is a dead Indian”) and to the wholesale subjugation of Africans as property.

She sees today’s Stand Your Ground law as a logical extension of the supremacist philosophy that sustained slavery, Jim Crow segregation, lynching and other institutionalized forms of color-coded oppression. Apparently, part and parcel of that shameful scheme was a “natural law theo-ideology” hyper-valuing whiteness while denigrating the black body as “perpetually-guilty chattel.”

An iconoclastic cultural critique indicting the doctrine of Manifest Destiny for the rationalization of a perpetual war on African-American males.

To order a copy of Stand Your Ground, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1626981094/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News Wire

Top Ten DVD List for June 30, 2015

 

This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for June 30, 2015        

medical-simulation-top-10-400             

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00W3W2PI8/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

While We’re Young

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00XJJ5LK8/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Decline of Western Civilization

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00V02H564/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Five Easy Pieces [Criterion Collection]

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00UUOVC6M/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Get Hard

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VANBXWK/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Danny Collins

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00UZJO7UA/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

A Place to Call Home: Season Two

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00SXFIIOY/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Dancer and the Dame

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00T7Z5QAI/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

We Are Monster

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00YB41F4Q/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Nova: Invisible Universe Revealed

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VNQWUTY/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Honorable Mention

Soldate Jeanette

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00U8BDXGY/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Teen Beach 2

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00WAJ8PA6/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Spike Island

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00TLXIQ1W/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Gunman

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VXU96GK/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Of Girls and Horses

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00WH762AQ/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Saugatuck Cures

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00W8W38G6/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News Wire

Magic tWitch!

 

Stephen “tWitch” Boss

The “Magic Mike XXL” Interview

with Kam Williams

Magic tWitch!

 

Born in Montgomery, Alabama on September 29, 1982, Stephen Boss was always spinning and staying in motion as a child, which is how he earned the nickname “tWitch.”  After studying dance at Southern Union State Stephen “tWitch” Boss,  The “Magic Mike XXL” Interview, Kam WilliamsCommunity, he made his Hollywood debut in Season 3 of the reality TV series “So You Think You Can Dance” and was runner-up in the Finals in Season 4.

He parlayed that television success into a film career, appearing in Hairspray, Blades of Glory, Stomp the Yard 2 and, most notably, several installments of the Step Up franchise: Step Up Revolution, Step Up: All in, and Step Up 3D. And since April of 2014, he has been featured on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” as a guest DJ.

tWitch is married to his “So You Think You Can Dance” co-star, Allison Holker.

Here, he talks about his latest outing opposite Channing Tatum and Jada Pinkett Smith in Magic Mike XXL.

Kam Williams: Hi tWitch, thanks for another interview.

StB: Hi, Kam. How’re you doing?

KW: Just fine. And you?

StB: Great, thank you.

KW: So, what interested you in Magic Mike XXL?

StB: I had never worked with anybody doing the film before, which was great. And then when I heard that they were doing a sequel, I just put it out there that I was going to be a part of it. And I was excited.

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: How would you describe the character you are portraying?

StB: Malik is the guy that kind of inspires Mike to mind his p’s and q’s in order to be able prove that he’s still a top notch dancer.

KW: How do you prepare differently to play a stripper than to play the street dancer in Step Up or the fraternity step dancer in Stomp the Yard 2?

StB: Well, a lot of it has to do with the choreography. Once you’re on set with the extras who are ready to throw dollars and excited that you’re actually taking your shirt off it’s pretty easy to get into character. Our choreographer, Alison Faulk, helped tremendously to make sure we were still bringing it.

KW: When you’re cast alongside so many other great dancers, what do you have to do to stand out and put your personal mark on a movie?Stephen “tWitch” Boss,  The “Magic Mike XXL” Interview, Kam Williams

StB: Honestly, by just getting down the only way that I can, which I think I did with my first solo team. That was basically me free-styling. And when I free-style, that’s just the way that I dance. Nobody else dances like that. So, I thank that’s enough, doing me to the fullest.

KW: What message do you think people will take away from the film?

StB: [Laughs] It depends on what message you are open to taking. There’s the underlying buddy theme to this film about taking a road trip with your boys for your last hurrah, and having a good time and being open for anything. There are a lot of unexpected twists and turns and relationships formed due to unforeseen circumstances that actually work out for the better.

KW: Sangeetha Subramanian says: Twitch! Great seeing you with your wife on the finale of Dancing With The Stars last season.  How do you make your schedules work, since you are both in the entertainment industry?

StB: Well, we just make it work. It’s a day-to-day process. Sometimes, we’re like ships passing in the night. But on a lot of other occasions, we’ve been fortunate to wrap projects at the same time. When she finished “Dancing with the Stars” this past season, it just so happened she wrapped the same day as “The Ellen Show.” So, both of us then had a couple of weeks off together. So far, it’s been great! It’s been working out.

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: We all got nicknames when we were young. How do you feel about keeping yours?

StB:  I don’t mind it at all, because it’s a part of my being. It’s become part of my persona, when it comes to dance.

KW: Kevin Curran says: The teacher in me wonders whether the “tWitch” activity level for which you were
nicknamed persists to this day? Was it ever a problem for you in school, or was it possibly an asset?

StB: It was definitely a problem in school, but it was an asset, for sure. And yes, I continue to dance quite a bit and it remains very hard for me to sit still today, especially when music is playing. I had trouble in school because I didn’t want to focus. Honestly, I would have rather been dancing.

KW: Kevin also asks: What do you see as the ideal trajectory for where you would like your career to go from here: mostly dance, mostly acting, or a continuation of both?

StB: I would prefer mostly acting, but I would like to still like to be in the dance world, as well. I’ve been studying <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oLoyU3xYwbs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
acting in preparation for the next opportunity where a role comes along that isn’t attached to a dance component. When it comes to dance, TV shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars,” give you a platform to start and expand a dance business beyond your physical likeness, meaning I don’t necessarily have to be there for the operation to flourish.

KW: How have you enjoyed being a guest DJ on Ellen? Do you really pick the music, or just play it?

StB: It’s so much fun. I pick the music but, of course, Ellen has her say in terms of what she wants to hear. We have an incredible time. If you come to a taping of the show, you’ll see how much fun it is.

KW: David Roth asks: How come they missed you when they cast Chocolate City?

StB: [LOL] Because they cast me in Magic Mike XXL.

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

StB: I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’m sure there is one.

KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

StB: Strawberry Twizzlers.

KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?

StB: When it comes to fashion, I really enjoy sneakers. So, I’m going to have to say Jordans.

KW: The Mike Pittman question: What was your best career decision?

StB: To never stop.

KW: Was there a meaningful spiritual component to your childhood?

StB: Yes there was, for sure. I was raised religious, for the most part, which came with a spiritual component that has continued. So, I’ve always had spirituality around me.

KW: The “Realtor to the Stars” Jimmy Bayan’s question: What’s your dream locale in Los Angeles to live?

StB: I would have to say Malibu.

KW: The Anthony Mackie question: Is there anything that you promised yourself you’d do if you became famous, that you still haven’t done yet?

StB: Yes, to build a community center in my hometown, Montgomery, Alabama.

KW: What’s it like to be from Montgomery, a city with so much history in terms of the Civil Rights movement?

StB: Its history is very deep, and I’m so grateful to be from there. It really helps me in my day-to-day life. It helped me establish my vales, my base of who I am and how I feel about things..

KW: When I was growing up, you used to see Montgomery on TV all the time.

StB: Exactly!

KW: What was your very first job?

StB: Working at a restaurant called Flip Burger.  I lasted a grand total of about two weeks.

KW: The Tasha Smith question: Are you ever afraid?

StB: As an artist? Of course there are times when I’m afraid. But the trick is not letting fear dictate my every move.

KW: The Michael Ealy question: If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be?

StB: Malcolm X.

KW: What’s in your wallet?

StB: I[Chuckles] My license, my credit cards, and pretty much every business card I’ve ever been handed. I’ve got a George Costanza [from Seinfeld] wallet.

KW: Thanks again for the time, tWitch, and best of luck with Magic Mike XXL.

StB: Thanks so much, Kam.

 

Source:  Baret News Wire

Tatum and Team Turn Up the Titillation in Sequel

 

Magic Mike XXL

Film Review by Kam Williams

Tatum and Team Turn Up the Titillation in  Sequel

What made the original Magic Mike so appealing was it’s raw-edged, realistic feel that made you forgot you were even watching a movie. This relatively-superficial sequel tosses the notion of plausible character and plot development out the window in favor of a sensual take the money-and-run sequel focused squarely on titillation.

Magic Mike XXL,  Film Review, Kam WilliamsYes, Channing Tatum has returned in the title role, but conspicuously absent are Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Munn and a couple of other actors critical to the success of the original. Also gone is the picture’s legendary director, Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh (for Traffic) who retired in 2013 out of frustration with the film industry.

XXL picks up three years after the ending of the first episode, conveniently ignoring the fact that Mike had specifically left stripping for a legit line of work in order to walk off into the proverbial sunset with a grateful girlfriend. At the point of departure, we find Mike single again and flourishing as a furniture designer. He is soon duped into attending what is supposed to be the wake of Dallas (McConaughey), his former boss at the notorious nightclub known as Xquisite.

Upon arriving, however, Mike learns that Dallas is alive and well and living in Macao. The deceitful death notice was just a ruse concocted by pals to pitch him on participating in a reunion of The Kings of Tampa. That brawny brotherhood of hunky dudes with whom he’d once shared the stage is now interested in taking their bawdy burlesque show on the road.

Already signed on are Tarzan (Kevin Nash), Big Dick (Joe Manganiello), Tito (Adam Rodriguez) and Ken (Matt Bomer), as well as rubbery eunuch Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias), who’s been enlisted to serve as the chauffeur of their food truck-turned-tour bus. The plan is to drive from Florida to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to perform in a competition at the annual strippers convention.

Magic Mike XXL, Film Review, Kam Williams

It doesn’t take much in the way of arm-twisting to bring Mike aboard, and the next thing you know the motley crew is cutting a swath across the South, making stops to strip at seedy dives along the way, a big exception being Domina, the upscale establishment run by Mike’s ex, Rome  (Jada Pinkett Smith), which caters to a predominantly black clientele. Among the buff bods in her sepia stable are Andre (Donald Glover), Augustus (Michael Strahan) and Malik (Stephen “tWitch” Boss).

Magic Mike XXL was directed by Gregory Jacobs, best known for the made-for-TV Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra, which landed 11 Emmys in 2013. Too bad he  apparently couldn’t be bothered with crafting a credible story line for this disappointing, big screen production.

Magic Mike XXL, Film Review, Kam Williams

An unabashedly carnal indulgence solely interested in inducing gelatinous drools of saliva from the mouths of overstimulated females.     

 

Fair (1 star)

Rated R for nudity, drug use, graphic sexuality and pervasive profanity

Running time: 115 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures

Source:  Baret News Wire

Faith-Based Family Film Finds Believer & Doubting Thomas Bonding En Route to Vietnam War Memorial in DC

 

Faith of Our Fathers

Film Review by Kam Williams

 

Faith-Based Family Film Finds Believer & Doubting Thomas Bonding En Route to Vietnam War Memorial in DC

 

GIs Steven George (Sean McGowan) and Edward Adams (Scott Whyte,) became best friends while serving behind enemy lines in Vietnam, despite the fact that the former was a devout Christian while the latter was definitely a
Doubting Thomas. Sadly, both the atheist and the believer perished in battle in 1969, with each leaving behind a child he never got to know.

Fast-forward a quarter-century and we discover that the apples didn’t fall far from their patrilineal trees. Steven’s offspring John (Kevin Downes) has been blessed with a strong faith like his late father, and Edward’s son Wayne (David A.R. White) has somehow developed his own dad’s disdain for organized religion.

Faith-Based Family Film Finds Believer and Doubting Thomas Bonding En Route to Vietnam War Memorial in DC

This gulf in attitudes has ostensibly had a profound effect on the orphans’ respective fortunes. For, John is stable and successful and on the brink of tying the knot with the love of his life, Cynthia (Candace Cameron Bure). By contrast, Wayne is an underachieving  ne’er-do-well who has had more than his share of run-ins with the law.

Since John lives in California and Wayne in Mississippi, the two never met until the still-grieving groom-to-be informs his very patient fiancee that, before he walks down the aisle with her, he needs to repair the hole in his soul by learning all he can about his dearly-departed dad. That quest leads to Wayne, who just happens to have a stash of letters his father mailed home from the jungles of Southeast Asia.

Faith-Based Family Film Finds Believer and Doubting Thomas Bonding En Route to Vietnam War Memorial in DC

The two soon hatch a plan to read the letters while making a pilgrimage to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC. What ensues is a very eventful road trip in which Christ and the devil do battle for the heathen’s soul. The flashback-driven drama proceeds to alternate between the sons’ spiritually-oriented sojourn and recreations of their dads similar discussions of the virtues of Christianity over the course of their fateful tour of duty overseas.

  Thus unfolds Faith of Our Fathers, a faith-based  modern parable directed and co-written by Corey Scott (Hidden Secrets). Fair warning: while the movie does feature wholesome family fare, it’s occasional proselytizing (“Know that Jesus loves you and that you can trust Him.”) is distracting, but not so overpowering as to spoil the experience.

Look for Born Again Baldwin Brother Stephen in a scene-stealing performance as Sergeant Mansfield, the only character to appear both in the past and in present scenes. In 1969, we find him chastising Steven for preparing the men in his unit to die. But, he’s singing a different tune 25 years later when he conveniently intervenes in a deus ex machina moment.

A latter-day variation on the Prodigal Son parable providing proof that God still works in mysterious ways.

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG-13 for brief violence

Running time: 95 minutes

Distributor: Pure Flix Entertainment

Source:  Baret News Wire

Democracy Awake: The Time is NOW

Democracy Awake: The Time is NOW

by Ted Lund

We see and hear it all the time.

“The system is broken.” “Elected officials aren’t listening to us.” “I have no idea what that candidate even stands for.” “Why bother to vote? They just do what they want anyway.” “The Government is defying We The People.”

11070922_1117519341607873_8777186441861472698_n-300x236For the most part, it’s true. The system is broken. “They” aren’t listening to “We”. Special interests have become so ingrained on both sides of the political aisle that it seems almost impossible to effect any kind of change.

Until now.

Decorated-veteran Daniel Davis (Lt. Col. US Army-Ret.) and his dedicated team of patriots at DemocracyAwake.org want to empower the electorate and help us take our country back.

“For the first time ever in American history, the voter will have access to a concentrated power, The Power Hub, to select the candidate that most represents their views,” said Davis.

Davis and his team are nearing completion of The Power Hub, but still need our help.

“Upon completion of the crowdfunding campaign, our designers and engineers will complete the work on The Power Hub, which will reside at www.DemocracyAwake.org,” says Davis. “But even at these early stages, we are pleased to discuss what this powerful device will do for for the American voter.”

Davis says that although there are a number of excellent voter-oriented organizations and services available via social media, few Americans know what’s available or where to find them.

“Democracy Awake assembles the best of the most useful tools, placing them into one, easy-to-use location,” says Davis. “We’re going to put that power in your hands.”

The Power Hub allows voters to evaluate each candidate on a level playing field, issue-for-issue, promise-for-promise.

“You can get as much or as little information as you want, including a link to each candidate’s website for more information,” says Davis. “We also provide the option to examine in-depth candidate history.”

Key components of this level of The Power Hub are the ability to research and examine the voting records of previous office-holders, as well as detailing who backs them financially, and if they are beholden to any special interest groups. In the major races, The Power Hub will also point you to quality ‘fact-checker’ services, to assist in assessing the veracity of public statements and campaign materials.

“Our revolutionary system rides on the power of a new voter app that presents candidate information in a consistent, fair, and impartial venue,” says Davis. “Each candidate will have the ability to present a given amount of key information for voters to assess their qualifications and vision.”

But there’s one key component: The Power Hub will not reward a wealthy candidate by allowing him or her to have an extravagant presence.

“In our forum, everyone will be presented in the same format. This allows the candidate’s qualifications and vision for the future to do the talking, not the strength of their pocketbook.”

No longer will wealthy candidates and their special interest backers be able to guide the discussion based on the level of saturation in TV ads they can afford.

There’s another added benefit as well: neutralizing the impact of negative advertising.

“Well over half the ads in the recent past – as we all know too well – are negative, attack ads,” says Davis. “On Election Day, voters are essentially asked to choose the candidate they hate the least.  The ads rarely give an indication of the candidate’s vision for their district and country, or stance on critical issues.  The Power Hub will drive your ability to make an informed choice.”

For more information, to donate or show your support by signing The Declaration, visit www.democracyawake.org or follow them on Facebook.

 

Original Source; Baret News Wire.org

White-Collar Criminal Preps for Prison with Help of Faux Ex-Con in Unlikely-Buddies Comedy

 

Get Hard

DVD Review by Kam Williams

White-Collar Criminal Preps for Prison with Help of Faux Ex-Con in Unlikely-Buddies Comedy

Thanks to a flourishing career as a hedge fund manager, James King (Will Ferrell) is living in the lap of luxury in a sprawling, Bel Air mansion. Furthermore, the pampered multimillionaire’s stock seems about to skyrocket, given his promotion to partner and his impending marriage to the boss’ (Craig T. Nelson) daughter, Alissa (Alison Brie).

By contrast, working man Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) is stuck on the other side of the proverbial tracks in South Central White-Collar Criminal Preps for Prison with Help of Faux Ex-Con in Unlikely-Buddies ComedyL.A. where he has to worry on a daily basis about the welfare of his wife (Edwina Findley) and young daughter (Ariana Neal). He’s eager to move them out of the ‘hood, but first needs to save $30,000 to secure the mortgage on their dream house.

As a regular patron of a valet car washing service, James has regularly crossed-paths with Darnell. Nevertheless, he mistakes him for a mugger the day he’s surprised to see a black man approach him in the office parking lot.

To add insult to injury, instead of apologizing for the hurtful faux pas, tone deaf James insensitively claims ”I would’ve reacted the same, if you were white.” Then, he rubs salt in cash-strapped Darnell’s wounds by suggesting that, “I got to where I am by hard work,” before smugly adding, “Success is a mindset.”

However, the two’s roles are reversed when James is convicted of securities fraud, and sentenced to ten years in San Quentin. With just a month before he has to report to prison, he asks Darnell to prepare him for life behind bars, based on another unfounded assumption, namely, that he’s an ex-con.

Darnell agrees, charging precisely the $30,000 he needs as a down payment on his ticket out of the ghetto. However, the jokes are all on James, since the supposed “incarceration expert” he’s just hired has never even seen the inside of a jail.

Thus unfolds Get Hard, an unlikely-buddies comedy co-starring Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell. The movie marks the noteworthy directorial debut of Etan Cohen, whose successful mix of over-the-top slapstick and subtle social satire yields a cinematic experience as silly as it is thought-provoking.

So, one moment, we might witness goofy, gratuitous nudity courtesy of exhibitionistic Ferrell who has never been shy about
prancing around in his birthday suit, his Rubenesque physique notwithstanding. The next, we’re treated to relatively-sophisticated humor such as the musings of a spoiled rich kid boasting about how he built his company with his own two hands, before also admitting that he had actually relied upon an $8,000,000 loan from his father as seed money.

White-Collar Criminal Preps for Prison with Help of Faux Ex-Con in Unlikely-Buddies Comedy

Provided you’re open to politically-incorrect fare ranging from racist to misogynistic to homophobic, you’re likely to enjoy this inspired pairing of the relentlessly absurd Ferrell and the motor-mouthed Hart at the top of their games.

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated R for full-frontal male nudity, drug use, ethnic slurs, and pervasive profanity, sexuality and crude humor

Running time: 100 minutes

Distributor: Warner Home Entertainment Group

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras:Just Put Your Lips Together and Blow; GET HARD Line-O-Ramas: Swear-O-Rama, Pickup-O-Rama, Shiv-O-Rama, and Cry A River-O-Rama; The Kevin Hart Workout; Face Off with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart; Ferrell Fighting; A Date with John Mayer; Twerking 101; Will Ferrell, Gangsta; Inmates: Out of Control; Bikers, Babes and Big Bangs; gag reel; and deleted scenes.

To order a copy of Get Hard on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VANBXWK/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News Wire