Cruise and Company Reunite to Topple Terrorist Organization

 

 

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

Film Review by Kam Williams

 

Cruise and Company Reunite to Topple Terrorist Organization

 

Rogue Nation is the fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise featuring Tom Cruise as the dashing and daring Ethan Hunt. This episode has everything you’d expect from an action-oriented espionage thriller: international intrigue, irresistible eye candy and edge-of-your-seat fight and chase sequences.Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, Film Review, Tom Cruise, Ethan Hunt, Alec Baldwin

Just past our unflappable protagonist’s death-defying airplane stunt in the picture’s opening scene, we find him put out to pasture and retiring to Europe where he soon disappears from the grid entirely. It seems that his Impossible Mission Force (IMF) is being disbanded by the U.S. Senate Oversight Committee at the behest of CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin), an inept, if well-intentioned bureaucrat.

A governmental directive for IMF spies to come in from the proverbial cold gives evil a license to thrive, especially the Syndicate, a clandestine confederacy of assassins bent on what else but world domination. Ignoring the orders of his superiors, Ethan instead recruits former colleagues William (Jeremy Renner), Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) for help in toppling the power-hungry terrorist organization. And the team of veteran sleuths is ably assisted in that endeavor by Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson), an inscrutable double-agent with mysterious motives.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, Film Review, Tom Cruise, Ethan Hunt, Alec Baldwin

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, MI5 is as cerebral and multi-layered as it is high-octane and visually-captivating. Overplotted to the point of incomprehension, this is one brainteaser you might be better off not bothering to decipher. I say, simply sink into your seat and soak in the sweeping panoramas, the IMF team’s infectious camaraderie, and wave after wave of their derring-do, whether by land, sea or air.

The epitome of a bona fide summer blockbuster!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for action, violence and brief partial nudity

Running time: 132 minutes

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

 

Source:  Baret News Wire

Lions, Tigers, and Twitter, OH MY!

 

 

 

Lions, Tigers, and Twitter, OH MY!

 

 

I’m Will Roberts, and this is the Daily Scream! Ahhh, Here we go!
 

 

So what kind of social humorist would I be if I didn’t chime in and talk about what’s on everyone’s lips aka their social media?

 

Today, we talk about Cecil and the dentist. Which sounds more like a kids book title than the top viral trending, horrific issue, that is now being used as a wedge or should I say CROWBAR into so many other issues.
 

 

By the way, I am in no way defending this Dentist from Minnesota, what he did was wrong.  I believe and have many hunter friends, that feel the same way. If you can not use the animal you hunt, then you might just that type of person that does not find winning important, but the shiny trophy as the real prize.But, I will make this one comment about this hunter. He says that he did not know this lion was everyone, friend.
 

 

Sir, even if this animal was the town drunk, If you pay $50,000 to hunt something, most likely you had this lion by the tail for some time. But the law would determine that, or, is it too late. Here’s the real deal folks; social media is now the New Sherriff in town. It’s the long arm of the law or the two thumbs, trail and sentencing system in one. Right or wrong, someone is gonna hang! And that’s the problem. Within moments of this lion king’s last breath, social media got to work. It uncovered, discredited and dismantled any hopes of a normal life for this Dentist from Minnesota. Within the next day, his phone numbers, wifes’ info & passport number was there, online for all to see.
 

 

Social media has become the, watch your step and have a nice day of our lives. The odd thing is, you may not even be wrong, just interesting for the day. So watch your back folks or someone will.
 

 

Get my cartoons at WillSays.com
 

 

Will Roberts, The Daily Scream, Witt of Will,  Social & Political Humor, Social Media, watch your step

 

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

For movies opening July 31, 2015

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules:

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun                                                               

by Kam Williams

Kam's Kapsules, movies opening,  July 31, 2015, film fun, Big Budget Films, Independent & Foreign Films

For movies opening July 31, 2015

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (PG-13 for action, violence and brief partial nudity) Fifth installment of the espionage franchise finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) reassembling his crack team of spies to take out the international syndicate of deadly assassins targeting IMF agents. Cast includes Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin and Rebecca Ferguson.

Vacation (R for brief male frontal nudity, sexuality, crude humor and pervasive profanity) Seventh installment in the National Lampoon franchise revolving around now-grown Rusty Griswold’s (Ed Helms) nostalgic, cross-country road trip back to Walley World amusement park, family in tow. Featuring Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins, with Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Regina Hall, Keegan-Michael Key and Michael Pena in support roles, as well as cameo appearances by original cast members Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.  .

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Best of Enemies (R for sexuality, nudity and profanity) File footage documentary featuring the series of nine, nationally-televised, live-TV debates between liberal Gore Vidal and arch-conservative William F. Buckley covering such hot-button topics as politics, religion and sexuality, which degenerated into name-calling affairs where the pair referred to each other as a “crypto-Nazi” and a “queer.” Includes commentary by Dick Cavett, Kelsey Grammer, Noam Chomsky, John Lithgow and the late Christopher Hitchens.

The End of the Tour (R for profanity and some sexual references) Road flick revolving around the five-day interview conducted by Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) with the late David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) while the troubled scribe was on a book tour for his inscrutable, 1,000-page best-seller, “Infinite Jest.” With Ron Livingston, Anna Chumsky and Joan Cusack.

I Am Chris Farley (Unrated) Reverential retrospective about the life of the late comedian from his meteoric rise to an early demise. Featuring reminiscences by colleagues like Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, David Spade, Bob Saget, Molly Shannon and Jon Lovitz.

Jenny’s Wedding (PG-13 for mature themes and a crude sexual reference) Katherine Heigl plays the title character in this out-of-the-closet comedy about a lesbian who only informs her homophobic parents (Linda Emond and Tom Wilkinson) that she’s gay the day she and her longtime “roommate” announce their engagement. Ensemble cast includes Grace Gummer, Alexis Bledel and Matthew Metzger.

The Kindergarten Teacher (Unrated) Coming-of-age drama, set in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, revolving around a kindergarten teacher (Sarit Larry) who takes a special interest in a precocious, five year-old poet (Avi Shnaidman). With Lior Raz, Jil Ben David and Ester Rada. (In Hebrew with subtitles)

A LEGO Brickumentary (G) More than a toy documentary, narrated by Jason Bateman, examining LEGO as a cultural phenomenon.

Listen to Me Marlon (Unrated) Vanity biopic chronicling the life and times of Marlon Brando from the late screen icon’s own perspective as preserved in his personal archive of home videos and audio recordings.

The Pilgrim: Paulo Coelho’s Best Story (Unrated) Against-the-odds biopic tracing the Brazilian writer’s (Julio Andrade) rise from humble roots and mental illness to best-selling author of”The Alchemist” and dozens of other novels. (In Portuguese and Spanish with subtitles)

The Seventh Dwarf (Unrated) Animated variation of the Snow White fairytale finds the seven dwarfs embarking on a perilous adventure in search of a prince to revive a sleeping princess (Peyton List) with a kiss and thereby awaken the somnolent kingdom from a century-long slumber. Voice cast includes Nina Hagen, Cameron Elvin and Norm MacDonald.

Staten Island Summer (R for sexuality, nudity, crude humor, drug use, teen partying and pervasive profanity) Raunchy teensploitation flick revolving around a couple of recent high school grads (Graham Phillips and Zack Pearlman) who take summer jobs as lifeguards while trying to decide what to do next with their lives. With Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, Will Forte, Method Man, Fred Armisen, Cecily Strong and Jim Gaffigan.

That Sugar Film (Unrated) Super Size Me-style expose’ written and directed by Damon Gameau in which the Aussie actor conducts an experiment on his own body to illustrate the deleterious effects of a high-sugar diet.

Source:  Baret News Wire

Between the World and Me

 

 
 
Between the World and Me

 

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Spiegel & Grau

Hardcover, $24.00

168 pages, Illustrated

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Book Review by Kam Williams

“In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about american history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis.

Between the World and Me,  Ta-Nehisi Coates, book review, American historyAmericans have built an empire on the idea of ‘race,’ a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and and murdered out of all proportion.

What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught industry, and free ourselves from its burden.

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’ attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son.”

— Excerpted from the book jacket

Ta-Nehisi Coates garnered national attention a year ago when he published “A Case for Reparations” in the Atlantic Monthly magazine. Now, the  progressive pundit is back with “Between the World and Me” an equally-incendiary assessment of the state of race relations in the United States.

The book is basically designed as an open letter from Ta-Nehisi to his 15 year-old only-child, Samori. The author fears the boy might suffer the same horrific fate as African-American youngsters like Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis who were killed on a whim by white men for the “crimes” of being black while walking home from the store and listening to loud music at a gas station.   

Ta-Nehisi writes in a free-flowing, stream-of-consciousness style reminiscent of Allen Ginsberg in the epic poem

Between the World and Me,  Ta-Nehisi Coates, book review, American history

Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates

“Howl.” However, this relatively-introspective-opus is more of a meandering personal memoir than an escapist dirge.

For, whether he’s talking about dating an East Indian, a Jew with dreadlocks or the sister he would eventually marry, Ta-Nehisi invariably views every aspect of his life through the prism of race. As he sees it, skin color narrowly determines not only one’s treatment but one’s fate in this country, a burden that is almost too much to bear when it comes to being black.

Taking no prisoners, the fearless firebrand indicts everything from “democracy” to “whiteness” to “American exceptionalism” for the plight of his oppressed people. His hope for Samori is “to have your own life, apart from fear.” But he believes this nation still has a lot of work to do to arrive at a place where black lives indeed matter.

What higher praise could Ta-Nehisi ask for than the blessing of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison who christens him as the long-awaited visionary finally filling the intellectual void left behind by the late James Baldwin.

To read “A Case for Reparations,” visit: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

To order a copy of Between the World and Me, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0812993543/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News Wire

 

MLB’s Top 10 Stars Under Age 25

MLB’s Top 10 Stars Under Age 25

By Burt Carey

 

Don’t look now but Major League Baseball’s stars of tomorrow have already checked in, and in a big way.

A record 20 players at this year’s MLB All-Star game in Cincinnati were under 25 years old, marking a youthful push that hasn’t been seen in the game for decades.

Major League Baseball, MLB All-Star game, baseball's biggest stars, young players

With young players becoming baseball’s biggest stars, it’s worth a tip of the cap to salute the top 10 rated players under the age of 25, as selected by a panel of MLB.com and MLB Network analysts.

  1. Gerrit Cole, Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
    Born: Newport Beach, Calif.
    HS: Orange Lutheran HS, Orange, Calif.
    College: UCLA

Selected No. 1 of the 2011 draft by the Pirates, 6-foot, 4-inch Gerrit Cole has dominated this season with a 14-4 record, a 2.24 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 132 innings.

  1. Anthony Rizzo, 1st Base, Chicago Cubs
    Born: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
    HS: Stoneman-Douglas HS, Parkland, Fla.

Anthony Rizzo was selected in the 6th round of the 2007 draft by the Boston Red Sox and made his major league debut in 2011 with the San Diego Padres before going to the Cubs, where his batting average jumped to .285 in 2012. Currently batting .282 with 16 home runs, Rizzo is a two-time All-Star.

  1.  Carlos Correa, Shortstop, Houston Astros
    Born: Ponce, Puerto Rico
    HS: Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Gurabo, PR

A No. 1 overall draft pick, Carlos Correa worked quickly through the Astros farm system and made his major league debut on June 8. The big shortstop — he’s 6-4, 240 — is hitting .288 with 8 home runs in just 41 games. He’ll turn 21 in September.

  1. Madison Bumgarner, Pitcher, San Francisco Giants
    Born: Hickory, N.C.
    HS: South Caldwell HS, Hudson, N.C.

Madison Bumgarner already has three World Series champion rings. The southpaw has recorded over 1,000 strikeouts and 78 wins in five full seasons in the majors. In 2015, he’s 11-5 with a 3.16 ERA.

  1. Jose Fernandez, Pitcher, Miami Marlins
    Born: Santa Clara, Villa Clara, Cuba
    HS: Braulio Alonso HS, Tampa, Fla.

Now in his third season with the Marlins big-league club, Jose Fernandez was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was selected for the 2013 All-Star team. This year, following Tommy John surgery, he’s 3-0 in the four games he’s started, recording a 2.77 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 26 innings of work.

  1.  Sonny Gray, Pitcher, Oakland A’s
    Born: Nashville, Tenn.
    HS: Smyrna HS, Nashville, Tenn.
    College: Vanderbilt University

Standing at a mere 5-11 with a 195-pound frame, Sonny Gray doesn’t appear intimidating on the mound. But batters around the American League will tell you his ball has movement. The A’s ace is 10-4 this year with a commanding 2.30 ERA.

  1.  Giancarlo Stanton, Outfield, Miami Marlins
    Born: Panorama City, Calif.
    HS: Notre Dame HS, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Giancarlo Stanton made his major league debut in 2010 at age 19. Now 25, he’s hit five of the 13 longest home runs in the majors this year, according to Statcast. The three-time All-Star’s 27 homers and 67 RBIs speak volumes around the National League.

  1.  Manny Machado, 3rd Base, Baltimore Orioles
    Born: Hialeah, Fla.
    HS: Brito Miami Private School, Miami, Fla.

A strong showing on the gold medal USA Baseball 18 & Under team in the Pan American Junior Championship convinced the Orioles to select Manny Machado No. 3 overall in the 2010 draft. He battled knee problems in the ’13 and ’14 campaigns and this year the 6-3 right-hander has slammed 21 home runs and plated 51 RBIs with a .289 batting average.

  1.  Bryce Harper, Outfield, Washington Nationals
    Born: Las Vegas
    HS: Las Vegas HS, Las Vegas, Nev.
    College: College of Southern Nevada

At age 16, Bryce Harper was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. A year later he was selected No. 1 by the Nationals in the 2010 draft and debuted with the big-league club on opening day of 2012. The three-time All-Star was the NL Rookie of the Year (age 19), and his .330 batting average with 27 home runs and 64 RBIs has him in position for a league MVP award.

  1. Mike Trout, Centerfield, Los Angeles Angels
    Born: Vineland, N.J.
    HS: Millville HS, Vineland, N.J.

With a league-leading 31 homers this season, Mike Trout was an easy pick for the 2015 All-Star game. He didn’t disappoint. He was named MVP of the mid-summer classic for the second consecutive year. Those awards sit next to his 2014 American League MVP trophy and the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year award.

Less than two years after being drafted No. 25 overall in 2009, he made his major-league debut and played in just 40 games for the Angels. He broke out in 2012, batting .326 with 30 home runs. He’s already belted 31 homers in 2015, and his .315 batting average has him contending to win another league MVP award.

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

 

4 Great Tips for Booking a Fall Caribbean Cruise

 

4 Great Tips for Booking a Fall Caribbean Cruise

By Burt Carey

Looking to slip away to the Caribbean for a week or two in the fall is a smart decision for those who enjoy cruises. Hurricane season in the Caribbean is classic deal season for experienced cruisers.

With families and kids back in school and stormy weather threatening the region, the Caribbean actually becomes an adult playground in the fall, but you’ll have to be flexible to take advantage of the opportunities.planning your vacation, last minute deals, travel professionals, budget, added expenses, travel tips, cruisers, best deals, Caribbean Cruise

Here are four things to keep in mind as you plan your fall getaway.

Pick the Right Month

Typically you’d like to plan your vacation based on a cruise line’s ports of call, on-board amenities (did someone say gambling?), and other more relaxing activities such as sipping drinks with umbrellas in them around a pool. Just keep in mind that hurricane season occasionally throws you a curveball, and some of those ports or activities may be impacted by bad weather.

Don’t worry about the ship or its crew. They’re experienced and have at their disposal some of the most modern meteorological instruments known to humans. If a storm rears up in the eastern Caribbean, you may instead found yourself floating around in the Western Caribbean, or vice-versa. Go with it! Hang loose.

Plan your trip sometime from late August through early February, excluding the weeks surrounding holidays, to get the best deals.

Find Last-Minute Deals

Fall is when experienced cruisers really shine by staying flexible to take advantage of unsold cabins before a ship sets sail. Some cruise lines seem to relish selling last-minute deals at dirt-cheap prices — anything to fill the ship with paying customers — but there are some buyer-beware tidbits you should know about.

Sometime between 45 and 90 days before a ship sails is the best window to determine which cabins might be available, and cruise lines will chop prices to fill them. Imagine cruising the Caribbean for as low as $250 per person. It happens every fall.

Keep in mind that you have to sacrifice for last-minute deals. You can’t be picky about which ship you’ll be boarding, the cabin you’ll inhabit or which deck it is on, or where you’ll be going. Sometimes the best deals just pop up, and experienced cruises grab them because it’s cruising and it’s cheap. Last-minute cruise fares are typically non-­re­fund­able, and the full fare is due up­on book­ing.

Most cruise lines offer discounts, but you have to ask for:

  • Se­nior dis­counts for those 55 and older.
  • Mil­itary dis­counts for ac­tive or re­tired mil­itary per­son­nel.
  • Re­peat pas­sen­gers may be able to get 5 to 10 percent off.
  • Third and fourth pas­sen­gers staying a cabin typically booked by two people may qualify for a discounted ticket rate.

Find a Good Cruise Specialist Travel Agent

Sometimes travel professionals are the best at finding great fall cruise deals. And since they do this type of thing every day, they can make your vacation just that much easier and less stressful. Just make sure that your travel agent of choice specializes in Caribbean cruises who know not only how to find discounted fares but also which itineraries are best avoided and which ports of call are the best.

Look to your travel agent for advice on how to get the best amenities, and always ask about shipboard credits, free upgrades, drink specials, port activities and other specials that may not be advertised to the general public. And then watch them roll. They’ll handle everything with the cruise line, from booking to dietary restrictions, and then they will help you with the documents you’ll need for travel.

Go With a Budget

Yes, the dreaded B-word is incredibly important when cruising. Your travel agent can help you with identifying what comes with your ticket and what added expenses you might incur.

Swiping your shipboard pass (the cruising equivalent of charging items to your cabin) for alcoholic beverages, trips to the spa and other pricey items can bring about sticker shock if you don’t have a plan.

The price of your ticket will include your cabin, on-board entertainment and food. Other items to consider when budgeting your trip include:

  • Surcharges, taxes, fees and port charges.
  • Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and bottled. Some ships offer soda or drink packages that come with a per-day overall charge that covers your beverage consumption.
  • Travel to the ship, including airline tickets not booked as part of the package, shuttle service or in-port parking fees.
  • The cost of staying at or near port before or after the cruise, such as hotel, transportation and meals.
  • Shopping purchases made both on and off the ship.
  • On board extras, such as gambling, spas, massages and ship-to-shore calls.
  • Most cruise lines will offer suggestions for tipping, which is customary in the industry.

Most cruise lines use a convenient billing system set up through an imprint of your credit card. They will present you with the total bill at the end of the cruise. Keep all the receipts you sign to verify the tab’s total.

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Green Technology Helping Map Marine World

 

Green Technology Helping Map Marine World

by Ted Lund

 

Residents of the San Francisco Bay area are among the first to benefit from a new program launched with the help of Google, which is changing the way researchers map shorelines and the global sea level rise. But at first glance, it’s obvious the vessel doing the heavy lifting isn’t just any ordinary boat.

16 WAM-V USV with Headlands

16 WAM-V USV with Headlands

“It’s a Google Boat,” says staff scientist for the San Francisco Baykeeper organization, Ian Wren.

The small, remote-controlled catamaran has a number of unique features, including an adaptive hull design that flexes to provide ultimate stability, while utilizing Google’s proprietary camera system to create “bay-level” maps of the San Francisco area. And, it’s powered by the world’s leader in green propulsion systems, Torqeedo.

The Baykeeper organization plans on using the imagery collected — nearly 500 miles of coastline ranging from San Jose to Antioch, California — on its website and for educational purposes, helping illustrate the threats posed by global sea level change to critical wetlands.

“A lot of people know about sea level rise,” says Sejal Choksi, an environmental lawyer and Baykeeper’s interim director. “We are hoping these images will really bring the reality home to the public, that they will look at pictures of places they know and say, ‘Oh my gosh, this is going to be underwater.’”

The imagery is being collected by an innovative camera system developed by Google called the Trekker. Originally designed to be worn by backpackers, it didn’t take long for the cutting-edge internet company to realize the unit had a number of other applications. And thanks to a grant from Google, Baykeeper was able to obtain one of the cameras on loan.

The next step was finding a way to record the imagery with a minimum of manpower. The answer? A 16-foot Wave

16 WAM-V USV with Google Trekker

16 WAM-V USV with Google Trekker

Adaptive Modular Vessel (WAM-V) from Marine Advanced Research.

One of the biggest challenges, however, was how to propel the remote-controlled vehicle cleanly and efficiently. For that task, the group turned to leading electric propulsion innovator, Torqeedo.

Baykeeper’s WAM-V is rigged with twin Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 electric outboard motors rigged with four Power 26-104 batteries. Thanks to onboard traditional and solar charging capabilities, the WAM-V is able to run for hours with nearly zero environmental footprint.

The Google Trekker, WAM-V and Torqeedo technology is being applied elsewhere, including in a recent mapping project of American Samoa that can be seen here.

For more information on the San Francisco Baykeeper’s Google Boat project, visit the organization at www.baykeeper.org. To learn more about Torqeedo’s innovative line of green boating power solutions, visit www.torqeedo.com or follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Move Over Toyota: VW Leads Global Sales for 2015

 

Move Over Toyota: VW Leads Global Sales for 2015

By Burt Carey

 

German automaker Volkswagen surpassed Toyota in the first six months of 2015, selling 5.04 million vehicles to become the world’s top carmaker by sales.

Industry analysts are weary, however, facing an unsure market in China, where economic struggles and a faltering stock market could have an impact on Volkswagen’s sales for the rest of the year. China is VW’s largest single market.

Volkswagen, top car maker, global auto industryToyota, which sold 5.02 million vehicles so far this year, is one of several automakers suffering from a massive recall over Takata airbags, which have been linked to explosions that send shrapnel flying at drivers and passengers involved in accidents.

Volkswagen’s numbers are slightly down from the first six months of 2014, partly due to the Chinese economic woes and because of challenges in Russia and Japan. But a 6 percent increase in US sales helped it overtake Toyota for the first time since the Volkswagen Group announced in 2007 that it aimed to become the world’s top-selling brand by 2018. Volkswagen also owns the Audi and Porsche brands.

General Motors, despite having pulled its Chevrolet brand from Western Europe and its manufacturing and sales from Russia, finished the first six months of 2015 in third place with sales of 4.86 million vehicles.

All three automakers are dealing with declining sales compared to this time in 2014. The Volkswagen Group is down around 30,000 units, a drop of 0.5 percent. Toyota was down 1.5 percent, and GM’s sales dropped 1.2 percent.

Volkswagen depended on a solid performance in Western Europe (up 6.9 percent), where it is traditionally strong and where demand for new vehicles has increased at the fastest rate in the past 5-1/2 years. The 19 countries that use the euro in Europe are experiencing a long stretch of economic growth, putting auto sales on more solid footing in countries where Volkswagen dominates.

The global auto industry has expanded every year since 2009 but faces a stalling market in China, vastly decreased demand in Russia and soft sales in Southeast Asia and South America. Industry-wide deliveries increased just 4.4 percent in the U.S. during the first half of the year, the smallest annual gain since 2009.

Looking to the remainder of 2015, Toyota and GM hold an advantage over VW in the US market, but the German automaker promises to introduce several new SUV models to compete in the country’s most popular body style. VW faces stiff competition from Mercedes-Benz to hold onto the top import spot in Japan.

In addition to Audi and Porsche, the Volkswagen Group also has the Skoda and Seat brands. Its sales on the commercial vehicle side include the new T6 Transporter, as well as the MAN and Scania truck brands.

Toyota counts Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino (heavy truck) vehicles among its sales. And GM includes Buick, GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Opel, Vauxhall, Holden and some China-only brands such as Wuling in its sales figures.

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Sixties Documentary Revisits Legendary Debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley

Best of Enemies

Film Review by Kam Williams

Sixties Documentary Revisits Legendary Debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley

 

Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr. were among the most brilliant and articulate minds of their generation. The pair were also polar opposites, politically, which made the idea of hiring them to appear in a series of televised debates an absolute stroke of genius.   

Best of Enemies, film review, Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Jr

This was the brainchild of ABC-TV back in 1968, at a time when the network’s news department lagged far behind both CBS and NBC in the ratings. The plan was to have the liberal Vidal and conservative Buckley square-off during its coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions being staged that summer in Chicago and Miami Beach, respectively.

Arranging the showdown proved to be easier said than done, since the men not only hated each other politically, but personally as well. After all, Buckley saw himself as the defender of old-fashioned values and the status quo in the face of the Sixties’ counter-cultural revolution demanding equal rights for blacks, gays, women and other oppressed groups.

As expected, sparks flew during the spirited tete-a-tetes marked as much by effete Buckley’s arcane syntax as by firebrand Vidal iconoclastic comments. However, because neither participant wanted to lose, what began as sophisticated intellectual analysis eventually degenerated into an exchange of insults.

When Vidal referred to Buckley as a “crypto-Nazi,” he lost his composure and called his opponent a “queer.” A defamation lawsuit and counter-suit ensued, and the litigation would drag on for years.

Co-directed by Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville, Best of Enemies is a fascinating documentary which revisits a seminal moment in the history of TV. For, the explosive Vidal-Buckley arguments over hot-button topics ranging from religion to sexuality served to usher in a new era in terms of discourse over the airwaves.

Besides archival footage of the debates, the conventions and anti-war demonstrations raging right outside, the film features commentary by luminaries like Frank Rich, John McWhorter and the late Christopher Hitchens. A must-see account of the birth of passionate, television punditry.

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated  R for sexuality, nudity and profanity

Running time: 88 minutes

Distributor: Magnolia Pictures / Magnet Releasing

Source:  Baret News Wire

Now’s the Time to Tune Up for Season

 

Now’s the Time to Tune Up for Season

by Ted Lund

 

When Bryan Zabitski isn’t working on stories and columns related to his position as a field editor for Crossbow Connection Magazine or fielding customer queries as the customer service manager for TenPoint Crossbows, you’ll find him getting ready for the next archery season.

And that happens in a lot of different ways.

Tenpoint“In my spare time, I’m developing my stand locations and distributing minerals and food to attract game to those areas,” says Zabitksi.  “I use game cameras to monitor the activity of the game there throughout the year to give me an idea of what’s going on.”

But you can have the best stand on the best lease, with the best food plot, and if you can’t make the shot, it’s all for naught.

“The beginning of summer is an excellent time to start preparing yourself and your crossbow for the upcoming fall hunting season,” says Zabitski. “Whether new to crossbows or a seasoned pro, proper maintenance and tuning of your crossbow, proper arrow selection, and practicing your shooting routine all spell success when the season finally arrives.”

Check it Out

“You’ll want to perform a visual inspection of the condition of the string and cables,” says Zabitski.

He recommends checking cams to make sure they are working in unison, as well as visually inspecting cables and strings.

“At TenPoint, we recommend changing the string and cables every two to three years due to the stretching that occurs over that period of time,” says Zabitski. “A crossbow is a complex machine with many parts that must work together in order for the whole bow to function properly and consistently.”

If your bow is due for a string or cable change, Zabitski suggests scheduling an appointment with your bow’s manufacturer or local archery store prior to the Fall rush.

 

Pick the Right Arrow

One of the most important components of any archery set up is the right arrow and broadhead combination — something Zabitski says many take for granted.

“If you don’t already have a preference for carbon or aluminum shafts, research the pros and cons of both in order to decide what’s best for you,” says Zabitski.  “Factors to consider include maximum shooting distance. You should take into account the maximum distance that you will be shooting in the field and the game that you will be pursuing, as this will help you determine the best finished arrow weight and broadhead design for your purposes.  Always remember to purchase broadheads specifically designed for crossbows.”

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Once you’ve inspected your bow and selected your shafts and broadheads, it’s the perfect time to start developing aCapture practice regimen.

“Establishing a consistent shooting practice routine will help you be confident when the moment of truth arrives,” says Zabitski.

After performing maintenance on your crossbow and selecting a good arrow and broadhead combination, now you’ll want to put in some time on the range.

“There are a number of steps involved with cocking, loading and firing of a crossbow,” says Zabitski. “Develop a routine that you practice and maintain every time you cock and shoot it.  Familiarize yourself with the correct method for using your cocking device and follow it.”

He also suggests shooting from a variety of positions.

“It is important to shoot from a bench to establish the accuracy of your arrows,” says Zabitski. “But you also want to shoot from positions or locations that mimic actual hunting situations you’ll encounter during the season.”

Although all the steps combined won’t guarantee a successful season, they will go a long way towards improving your skills and give you a solid foundation to build on. But Zabitski has one more piece of advice.

“Shoot straight, be safe, and good luck!”

TenPoint Crossbow Technologies is a world-class manufacturer of archery products recognized as the industry standard for safety, precision engineering, durability, performance and power. TenPoint is committed to the care and conservation of our land, water and air;  the humane and responsible management of our wildlife; and the preservation and expansion of recreational shooting and hunting. For more information, visit www.tenpointcrossbows.com or follow them on Facebook and Youtube.

 

Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle.com