Waiting for Superman and Milton Friedman’s Educational Choice initiative for School Vouchers

waiting for superman movie

See Below after the break
for a SPECIAL INVITATION

I’ve seen so many amazing documentaries. Right now I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a better documentary than “Waiting for Superman“. Brilliantly executed. Explains the issues clearly and intelligently. Demonstrates the affects of our failing schools at a macro national and international level, and also on a very personal level by following the story of a handful of kids in our schools around the country. This film was powerful; insightful; emotionally gripping; and so beautifully cinematic. If this doesn’t receive an Oscar, then the Oscars will no longer have any meaning. Very few movies are required viewing for everyone, this is one. It’s as simple as that.

Perhaps the most powerful message of Waiting for Superman is its title. The school bus with our children is heading for a cliff, the driver is asleep at the wheel. No one is coming to save the day. We cannot wait for Superman. We CAN become aware, and act.

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Music Pick of the Day – The Cardigans

 
The Cardigans – Long Gone Before Daylight

Music Pick of the Day - The Cardigans

Communication
You’re The Storm
And Then You Kissed Me
Feathers and Doom
No Sleep

(Click image for Amazon.com)

I love when a band completely abandons their sound, reinvents themselves, and actually comes up with something much BETTER. Man did The Cardigans vindicate themselves from their cheesy radio pop days a la “Lovefool“. I didn’t hate them at all back then, just wasn’t into it. “Gran Turismo” did show a lot of promise in the electronic pop genre. But “Long Gone Before Daylight“, this is a beautiful masterpiece. Dropping the electronic thing for a mostly acoustic singer/songwriter feel. Very personal and bare. But the songs are still detailed and creatively developed. Her singing is on another level from before. It’s hard to believe this is an entirely new sound for them. “And Then You Kissed Me” is tender and edgy, a song about the joys of relationship violence, that could possibly offend a few feminists. Ok, this is not masculine music, but I’m not ashamed to admit I’m in love with this album.

[Video after the break]

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My First Burning Man Experience – 2010

Burning Man 2010 Fireworks

 

The world has come to an end.

Civilization as we know it is over. And all 50,000 survivors came out to the desert to celebrate with the biggest party the human species has ever seen. That’s what Burning Man feels like. The rules and social norms you’ve lived with all your life don’t apply in this city. Black Rock City. The most amazing city on the planet that exists for only one week each year and then disappears without trace. Leaving 200 square miles of endless dust blowing over dry earth in the extreme weather without any sign of life. Nothing lives on the playa, not even spiders or scorpions or ants. Until next year…

[photo gallery and videos below after the break]

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Music Pick of the Day – Archive (part 4 of 4)

 Archive – Controlling Crowds I-IV

Music Pick of the Day - Archive: Controlling Crowds

Pills
The Empty Bottle
Dangervisit
Quiet Time
Chaos
Razed to the Ground

(Click image for Amazon.com)

You could say this is a worthy sequel to Archive’s masterpiece “You All Look The Same To Me”. It is a concept album, only it’s not a 70s progressive rock throwback, it’s modern and proud. And it’s far more ambitious. Consequently, it’s less accessible. Not perfect, it has its misses, but regardless, this is a monumental achievement.
A complex concept double album, it all mixes together and flows with purpose, an attempt of something like Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” for this generation. Sometimes the material is Archive’s most accessible, sometimes their most ‘out there’. Controlling Crowds has many creative highs, and a few lows. Archive is pushing boundaries here, their own boundaries and the boundaries of music.
They did bring back their rapper… BUT, holy shit, it’s actually quite good this time. I’m not kidding! I don’t like rap at all, but the underlying song is creative and the vibe actually fits in well with the rest of the album (check out Quiet Time). On songs like Pills and The Empty Bottle they find a perfect mix of Electronica with Rock sensibility. Despite any flaws, this double album is amazing, and cements Archive as one of the most creative forces in music today.

My favorite Archive albums are still “Londinium” and “You All Look The Same To Me”

[Video after the break]

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Video of the Day: Chris Christie Responds to a Teacher

Fantastic! This is my favorite politician right now. Chris Chistie has balls. No one takes on the teachers’ union. They are protected and can do what they want. The points he made were clear, articulate, and convincing. Respect!

 

Hustle Bear Award: Man of the Year 2010 – Peter Schiff

Peter Schiff - Hustle Bear: Man of the Year 2010

The best explanation for what happened to our current economy came in 2006, way before any crash, when Peter Schiff spoke at the 2006 Mortgage Bankers Convention (video at the end after the break). He explained in great detail exactly what was about to happen to our economy and why. He explained this to a group that was making money hand over fist and full of excitement over the expected further good fortunes coming to them in their future. After the speech one member of the audience stood up and asked “As a lender and a property owner… should I just slit my wrists now?”

That may have been a joke meant to mock Peter Schiff. Few wanted to hear what he had to say. Fewer would believe him. Not because what he said didn’t make sense, not because they had a deeper understanding, but because they just didn’t want to believe what he said could possibly happen. He wasn’t the only one saying the exact same thing, it’s just he was the most visible, vocal and articulate.

Peter Schiff is a very important person to listen to right now. Less of a modern Nostradamus and more of a modern Paul Revere, he has been warning us of a coming catastrophe. Warning that there was still time to correct our path. We laughed at him.

The following video is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen:

(spread this around and share this video as much as possible)

How was he able to speak with such certainty back then about   Continue Reading >>   

Music Pick of the Day – Archive (part 3 of 4)

 Archive – Lights

Music Pick of the Day - Archive: Lights

Lights
Headlights
Programmed
I Will Fade

(Click image for Amazon.com)

“Lights” is a very mixed bag. There’s nothing consistent here that makes the songs feel like they belong together on the same album. I love half the album, the other half irritates me. When they’re good, they’re amazing, and there are some gems here. The highlight is the monster 18 1/2 minute title track song “Lights”. Another ambient slow build electronic rock masterpiece by the boys of Archive. Like the song “Again” from their album “You All Look The Same To Me”, “Lights” exists on a different time dimension than other music you listen to. It doesn’t rush itself, but lets you absorb it deep.
There is a brief return to their Trip Hop roots with the song Headlights. There’s several faster songs that rock out, and they’re cool musically, but ruined by the singer resorting to annoying monotone shouts.
(I skipped reviewing their 4th album “Noise”, for the same reason that while the music is pretty cool there, the singing annoys me)

[Video after the break]

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Music Pick of the Day – Archive (part 2 of 4)

 
Archive – You All Look the Same to Me

Music Pick of the Day - Archive: You All Look The Same To Me

Again
Sham
Meon
Finding It So Hard
Fool
Need

(Click image for Amazon.com)

Archive completely reinvented themselves with this album, you won’t believe this is from the same musicians as Londinium. Which would be really upsetting, because their Trip Hop sound was so well executed and influential; until… you hear this! Wow Wow. This album is even better. Genius. Beautiful. Mesmerizing.
The album begins with “Again”, one of the coolest songs ever recorded. Yeah it’s over 16 minutes, but it’s worth it. Listen to it in full and don’t skip through, you’ll ruin the deliberate buildup. Let yourself absorb it and follow the journey as it slowly develops. Everything about the song is stellar, except maybe the lyrics. But who cares? This is something special; starting off with organs, acoustic guitar and harmonica, the subtle textures, the progression, the production, even the singing.
This is electronic infused 70’s progressive guitar rock. Female lounge singer is out. Rapper is out [thank you god]. Male rock singer is in. If this album was simply released as Pink Floyd’s latest work in the new millennium it would received unlimited publicity heralding the return of the gods. Archive has mastered a totally different sound and has surpassed themselves here.
(btw, this is their third album, I skipped reviewing Archive’s second album “Take My Head” because… well, they lost their way there and it’s mostly painful and embarrassing, don’t bother with it.)

[Video after the break]

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Your Boss Is Your Customer

Your Boss Is Your Customer

Your boss is your customer. Your interview is your sales pitch. Your time and skills are your product. Your signed employment contract is your completed sale.

Your boss is your customer. Your power with any customer comes from your value to him. Bring a lot to the table and he will continue to be your customer. Bring even more to the table and you will have even more customers available. Supply and demand works great for you when there is only one of you. That is, of course, only if there’s not an uncountable number of others just like you.

Your boss is your customer. Some bosses are shitty. Some customers are shitty. Some customers are just nasty and unhappy no matter what you do. Some customers are not worth your time. If you’re unable to find quality customers, are you going to blame your customers?

Your boss is your customer. He is purchasing service from you monthly. Customer Service that lacks motivation and enthusiasm is a quick way to give him buyer’s remorse. If better service is provided elsewhere, he should purchase elsewhere. If he does fire you, he is not the asshole, you’re the asshole. Until you realize that, it’s doubtful you’ll fix the problem. Never expect someone to pay you for inferior service. If he does fire you and you have kids to feed, don’t blame your boss for their hardship.

Your boss is your customer. You treat your customers with respect. If you try to show a customer who’s boss, most of the time your customer will be happy to show you.
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Music Pick of the Day – Archive (part 1 of 4)

 
Archive – Londinium

Music Pick of the Day - Archive: Londinium

Old Artist
Dark Room
Head Space
Londinium
Nothing Else

(Click image for Amazon.com)

Many consider this the best Trip Hop album of all time. Surpassing even Portishead and Massive Attack. Well, I’d say it’s certainly a contender. The beats are intelligent and complex. The music is gorgeous and epic, the female vocals enchanting. BUT!!! Many of the songs are ruined when from out of nowhere this 80s style Rapper needlessly comes in and just fucking kills the vibe, jarring a careful creation of art and beauty. The album would be really sexy if there wasn’t any rapping. What were they thinking?! Londinium is the great masterpiece that almost was. And still could be with a minor tweak. ARCHIVE, PLEASE release a version with the rapper completely mixed out. Then you’ll have a real contender for the greatest trip hop album prize. Seriously, this album is really good. As the title suggests, these guys are from London and apparently this first album of theirs from the 90s was competing with all awesomeness coming out of Bristol. Archive has evolved into a completely different sound now 7 albums later, but you can hear seeds of their current sound here. Still, even though they’re not trip hop anymore, it seems like any one song here could fit somewhere on their latest albums.

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